11 July 2024

The cabinet approved a proposal from the EEC (Eastern Economic Corridor) Policy Committee today (Tuesday) to upgrade the status of the EEC from a “special economic zone”to a “free trade zone”, in which incentives, such as income tax breaks, further easing of employment restrictions for foreigners, VAT exemption for tourists buying goods there and permits for 24-hour of recreational activities and liquor sales will be granted to businesses in the area.

Deputy Government Spokesperson Rachada Dhnadirek said that, according to the EEC Policy Committee’s proposal, the airport in the EEC will be upgraded to a world-class airportand an aviation and logistics hub for the ASEAN region.

To achieve this, she said that several laws, such as those covering customs and excise, will have to be amended, adding that businesses in the so-called “aviation city” will be exempt from corporate income taxes for up to 15 years and their dividends will not be treated as taxable income.

Other incentives include 24-hour liquor, sales 24-hour “recreational activities”, a customs checkpoint for the import and export of liquor and tobacco, a tax free zone and a bonded warehouse.

Foreigners in the EEC will be allowed to work in jobs which are currently restricted, tourists and travellers will be exempt from customs duties and excise taxes on the purchase of locally-made products sold in the aviation city for the first ten years.

More incentives under consideration include VAT exemption for products bought by tourists in the EEC, up to a value of 20,000 baht per head per year for the first ten years, custom duties and excise tax exemptions for personal belongings brought into the country by travellers and goods purchased in the EEC worth up to 200,000 baht per head per year for the first ten years.

Rachada said that the cabinet also advised the EEC Policy Committee to gauge the opinions of relevant agencies whenconsidering incentives to be granted in the EEC area.