Thailand aims to attract foreign investment by introducing a 10-year visa program for investors in targeted businesses in the country’s industrial eastern region, according to a statement by the deputy prime minister.
Starting next year, the visa initiative is designed to streamline the process for investors as the government endeavors to ease restrictions, explained Deputy Prime Minister Phumtham Wechayachai during a press briefing.
In addition to the visa program, the government is setting its sights on achieving a higher total actual investment of 500 billion baht ($14.23 billion) in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) between 2023 and 2027, equivalent to 100 billion baht annually, Wechayachai stated.
Currently, the annual actual investment in the EEC stands at approximately 75 billion baht. To encourage investment in modern, environmentally friendly industries, the government is offering companies in these sectors the opportunity to bring in employees, specialists, executives, and professionals. These individuals will be eligible for an EEC work permit, a flat income tax rate of 17%, and a 10-year visa.
The EEC, spanning three provinces east of Bangkok, is a key focus of the government’s strategy to stimulate economic growth and attract investment, particularly in high-tech industries.
Thailand’s economy, the second-largest in Southeast Asia, experienced a lower-than-expected growth rate of 1.5% in the July-September quarter compared to the same period the previous year. This slower pace was attributed to weak exports and government spending, marking the slowest growth rate for the country this year.