Thailand offers incentives for investors in electric vehicle charging stations,electronics

06, Nov. 2019

Duangjai Asawachintachit, secretary general of the Thai government’s Board of Investment, explains a new set of tax incentive for electric vehicle charging stations and
Duangjai Asawachintachit, secretary general of the Thai government’s Board of Investment, explains a new set of tax incentive for electric vehicle charging stations and "smart" electronics production in the country to lure more foreing direct investment at a press conference in Bangkok on Nov. 1, 2019.

BANGKOK, NNA – The Thai government’s Board of Investment has introduced a new set of incentives to reward foreign firms that install electric vehicle charging stations or produce “smart” electronics, part of a broader effort to bring in new foreign investment.

On the electric vehicle side, applicants must install 40 battery chargers in the Southeast Asian country to get a five-year corporate income tax exemption, the state investment agency’s Secretary General Duangjai Asawachintachit told a news briefing on Friday.

“The new measures’ aim is to encourage producers to set up charging stations in wider areas,” the secretary said.

The investment board issued these new incentives after a 2018 effort. Thailand previously gave benefits to operators who installed at least four electric car chargers. The new measures cover all types of vehicle, not only cars. There is no deadline for applications for the corporate tax exemption.

Southeast Asia’s electric vehicle market is set to expand sharply this year. Annual electric car sales in Thailand will grow 61 percent from last year to 32,000 by the end of 2019, according to a report from the Thai-based Kasikorn Research Center.

Sales of all types of cars in the country are forecast to edge up by 1.8 percent to 1,060,000 this year, research center data show.

Separate incentives for producers of “smart” electronics

The Board of Investment also approved on Friday incentives for producers of “smart” appliances and electronics. Qualifying companies can avoid corporate income taxes for eight years. Chinese companies that heavily invested in “smart” technology are expected to apply, Duangjai said.

Products equipped with sensors, systems of internet of things use and other modern technology would qualify, the secretary added.

Attracting new foreign investment

Foreign direct investment into Thailand surged 69 percent in the January-September period from a year earlier to 203.37 billion baht ($6.73 billion), the board said in a statement Friday.

In light of the U.S.-China trade dispute, the Thai government has sought to attract foreign companies looking to relocate production out of China. Thailand had already rolled out additional incentives in September to lure foreign investors.

Applications for investment in targeted industries, including electronics and automotive, totaled 131.78 billion baht and accounted for 65 percent of total foreign direct investment for the first nine months of this year.

Japanese investors spent the most, with 59.19 billion baht, followed by Chinese at 45.44 billion baht and Switzerland at 11.71 billion baht.

These measures should help the “growth momentum of FDI and overall investment in Thailand to continue to expand into 2020,” the secretary is quoted as saying in the statement.