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Huge sales pitch ready for big firms

1,000 firms invited to review incentives by Wichit Sirithaveepom

More than 1,000 multinational companies will be invited to a conference next month on incentives offered for firms ,establishing regional operating headquarters in Thailand.

The incentives announced recently by the Revenue Department include a corporate tax reduction to 10% from the current 30%. Expatriate workers would pay a flat rate of 10% for personal income taxes for two years, compared with the existing 5-37% scale.

The conference also aimed at briefing foreign firms about other positive gains from establishing new operations or expanding existing ones in Thailand, said Satit Rungkasiri, a department spokesman.

The government has become more aggressive in recent months in reaching out to foreign investors. with policies  aimed at presenting Thailand as a politically stable, safe and business-friendly gateway to Asean.


Officials say the incentives would help generate new revenues by attracting increased trade and investment flows. "We can compete with every other country in the region in terms of tax incentives, whether itís Singapore or Malaysia." Mr Satit said.

The department planned to focus on top multinationals with operations in the region to invite to the conference. Tax officials have even been assigned to browse corporate web sites to seek promising candidates. Foreign chambers of commerce have also been asked to help publicize the program.

The program also waives taxes on dividends paid to headquarters by domestic and foreign subsidiaries, as well as dividend taxes paid by the headquarters itself to its overseas parent.

To qualify, headquarters must have paid-up capital of 10 million baht and offer services to subsidiaries or branches in at least three other countries. Firms can be Thai- or foreign- owned.

At least half the revenue booked by the headquarters must be derived from overseas operations, although this requirement will be reduced to one third for the first three years.

Bangkok Post, February 8, 2002

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