In a bold move aimed at elevating Thailand’s position as an attractive destination for foreign investments, the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) has recently approved a comprehensive package of incentives. These include a 10-year visa, streamlined work permit procedures, and an enticing 17% flat tax rate for foreigners engaging in the EEC’s strategic economic activities.
The announcement came following a pivotal meeting of the EEC Development Policy Committee, chaired by Deputy Prime Minister and Commerce Minister Phumtham Wechayacha on November 24. Notably, this marks the first time such privileges have been extended to foreign investors under the EEC’s legislative framework.
Key among these groundbreaking measures is the introduction of the EEC Visa, a progressive system designed to accommodate the diverse needs of foreign investors. The visa will be categorized into four types:
1. Specialists: EEC Visa “S”
2. Executives: EEC Visa “E”
3. Professionals: EEC Visa “P”
4. Spouses and dependents: EEC Visa “O”
Crucially, these visas come with several significant benefits, offering foreign investors an attractive and streamlined entry into the Thai business landscape. Some noteworthy advantages include automatic issuance of the EEC work permit, a flat income tax rate of 17%, a maximum visa duration of 10 years linked to the employment contract, unlimited usage, and online reporting options. Moreover, a dedicated fast-track channel at international airports across Thailand is set to be operational from January 1, 2024.
This visionary initiative by the EEC aims to stimulate foreign investment, particularly from specific modern industrial business operators with an environmentally friendly focus. These operators are encouraged to invest in the EEC area, bringing in foreign workers to contribute to the region’s economic growth.
Beyond the visa and tax benefits, the EEC is also keen on promoting equitable and transparent guidelines for granting incentives to business operators within the special economic promotion zone. These guidelines will be articulated in a notification by the EEC Office, emphasizing five key principles: innovation in public service delivery, consideration of benefits, assessment of granting benefits, inter-agency collaboration, and rigorous monitoring and evaluation.
During negotiations with potential beneficiaries, the committee will assess various factors. These include the targeted industrial sector, investment plans, commencement date of investment or business operations, importance to the supply chain and value chain, investment value, resource utilization, technological sophistication, knowledge transfer, and community outreach initiatives.
In conclusion, the EEC’s groundbreaking visa and tax policies represent a significant stride towards making Thailand a more welcoming and advantageous environment for foreign investors. By prioritizing innovation, collaboration, and sustainability, the EEC is poised to attract a diverse range of businesses and professionals, bolstering Thailand’s economic development in the process. Investors worldwide are sure to take note of this progressive approach, positioning the EEC as a forward-thinking hub for international investments.