Thailand urges wealthy expats to boost economy

BANGKOK (Bangkok Post) – The firm has given the green light to an economic stimulus and investment promotion plan aimed at attracting wealthy foreigners and highly qualified professionals from abroad to help revive the economy after Covid-19.

Benefits of the package include a 10-year Thai visa not only for approved special visitors, but also for their spouses and children, government spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana said on Tuesday.

The package also includes automatic work permits, the same income tax rates as Thai citizens, a tax exemption for income earned abroad and ownership of property and land, he said. .

Thanakorn said the right to elect to pay a fixed rate of 17% income tax under the package is offered, but only to foreign experts contributing to the development of the government’s flagship program of the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) .

The government hopes to attract more than one million skilled people to Thailand over the next five years, starting next year, he said.

“The government also expects these foreigners to spend an average of one million baht per person per year while staying and working in Thailand, or about one trillion baht over the next five years in total,” he said. said Thanakorn.

About 800 billion baht is also expected from the money invested by about 90,000 foreigners as required in the application forms for these long-term visas, he said.

An additional 270 billion baht is also expected to come from taxes paid by these foreigners: 180 billion baht from income tax, 70 billion baht from value added tax and 22 billion baht from taxes related to their government. has four target groups for this long period. fixed-term visa program, the first group being wealthy citizens of the world who travel frequently and have assets in multiple countries, he said.

To obtain a long-term Thai visa, this group would be required to invest at least $ 500,000 (16.5 million baht) in Thai government bonds in the form of foreign direct investment (FDI) or in real estate. , did he declare.

The minimum income required for this group is $ 80,000 per year for the past two years, while the minimum required value of assets held is $ 1 million and the minimum health insurance coverage required is 100,000. dollars, he said.

The second target group are wealthy retirees aged 50 or older with sufficient pensions to cover their living costs in Thailand, he said.

Members of this group are required to invest at least $ 250,000 in Thai government bonds in IDE format or in real estate, he said, adding that the minimum income required for the group is 40,000. $ per person per year.

The minimum health insurance package required for this group is also $ 100,000 per person, he said.

The third group are the so-called Thai professionals who want to live in Thailand while working remotely for their employers in other countries, he said.

People in this third group are expected to be digital nomads and employees of large organizations nearing retirement, he said.

The fourth and final group of foreigners who should be interested in this long-term visa program are highly skilled professionals who might want to come to Thailand to work as experts in government target industries, Thanakorn said.

Highly qualified professionals who would work as university professors to teach subjects related to important industries are also part of this group, he said.

They must have at least five years of professional experience, earn at least $ 40,000 per year and have a health insurance policy with a coverage value of $ 100,000, he said.

Thailand’s Board of Investment has been tasked with setting up a new center to specifically serve this long-term visa program, Mr Thanakorn added.

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