Investment Promotion - International Business Center Scheme introduced by the Thai Board of Investment

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published on December 21, 2018 / reading time approx. 2 minutes

  

The Thai Board of Investment (BOI) introduced a new investment promotion category. Effective as of 11 December 2018, the former International Trading Center (ITC) has been discontinued. Instead, the BOI now accepts applications for International Business Centers (IBC). Applications for ITC submitted later than 10 December 2018 will no longer be accepted by the BOI.

 

 

Previously, in October 2018, the tax authorities revised the tax incentives offered under the former ITC scheme to comply with international tax standards (base erosion and profit shifting).

Projects granted IBC promotion will be offered incentives of the category B1. This basic investment promotion includes the following non-tax incentives:

 

  • 100 percent foreign ownership
  • Eased requirements to obtain visa and work permits for expatriates
  • Right to own land
  • Special investment protection under the Thai Investment Act
  • Certain import duty exemptions

  

The IBC promotion requires the following:

  • THB 10 million of registered and paid-up capital
  • Employment of at least 10 employees (certain exemptions may apply)
  • Promoted company must provide at least one of the following services to an affiliated company:

o general administrative service, business planning, and business coordination;
o procurement of raw materials and parts;
o research and development for products;
o technical support;
o marketing and sales promotion;
o human resources and training;
o financial advisory;
o economic and investment analysis; or
o treasury center.

                    • Promoted companies who intend to operate the international trade business, such wholesale transaction at least needs to comprise an in-out and another out-out, out-in or in-in transaction (for example: sale from Thailand abroad, in-out, and sale from abroad to Thailand, out-in). Additionally, such Promoted companies need to engage in any kind of service to the affiliated company. A mere wholesale activity without such service to the affiliated company can no longer be promoted under the IBC scheme.

 

The IBC scheme seems to be a stifled ITC scheme. However, the additional out-in requirement and rendering of service to the affiliated company for wholesale activity, as well as the obligation to hire 10 employees will require investors to jump additional hurdles. It remains to be seen how the BOI will enact the scheme. Companies currently applying for ITC promotion are urgently recommended to revise their application.

  

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