Nikkei published the interview article of Kitipon Urapeepatanapong, current chairman of Baker McKenzie Bangkok Office, in the "legal talk (Ho-toku)" section today, on 20 February 2017.
Below is the translation of the article.
“Tax rate reduction reaches the lowest limit "
Kitipong Urapeepatanapong, chairman of the Tax Committee of the Board of Trade of Thailand, predicts that Southeast Asian countries will in the future compete on more than tax rates. "In Southeast Asian countries, the competition to attract companies will focus more on overall operational convenience, as represented by a combination of tax advantages and other factors, such as improved infrastructure, rather than purely on corporate income tax rates," he said. While corporate income tax rates may well continue to fall in the U.S. and Europe, "Southeast Asian countries often have corporate income tax rates of around 20% — some of the lowest levels in the world. Further reductions are therefore unlikely."
Many Japanese companies currently do business in Thailand in such areas as the automotive and electrical appliance industries. As a result, the government has been expanding its preferential policies, including work authorization policies, and offering income tax incentives for corporations and foreign individuals. However, competition to attract foreign companies has become intense, with a number of competitors, such as Indonesia and Myanmar, in the market. Projecting what lies in store for Thailand in the future, Mr. Urapeepatanapong stated, "The current military government is well positioned to proceed with reforms, as it cares little about public opinion. It is possible that it will take further bold measures to attract foreign investment."