The Ministry of Industry is working out a roadmap for investment in the development of bioeconomy in Thailand. The bioeconomy industry is one of the Government’s target industries and is part of the five future industries in the New S-Curve, under the Thailand 4.0 policy. Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak on 23 January 2017 presided over a ceremony for the launching of cooperation in building bioeconomy through the public-private-people partnership, or Pracharat.
The bio-economy plan has five sectors — bio-energy, bio-chemicals, food, animal feed and bio-pharmaceuticals.
At the ceremony, government agencies, the private sector, educational institutions, and research centers signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to drive bioeconomy development. The Deputy Prime Minister said that existing economic crops would be used to develop high-value products in an effort to build a bioeconomy, in accordance with the Thailand 4.0 policy. The project will start with sugar cane and cassava, which are grown in abundance in Thailand.
The Board of Investment (BOI) offers a wide range of tax and non-tax incentives for the bioeconomy industry.
Tax-based incentives include the exemption of corporate income tax for up to eight years, with an additional 50 percent reduction for five years and the exemption of import duties on machinery and raw materials. Non-tax incentives include the permission to own land and visa and work permit facilitation.
The Ministry of Industry will complete its investment roadmap for the development of bioeconomy within this year.
In working out the roadmap, it will cooperate closely with the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives and the Ministry of Commerce. In the initial stage, six cash crops will be selected for the development of bioeconomy.
They include sugar cane, cassava, rubber, rice, oil palm, and soybean. Discussions will be made on whether an industrial estate will be set up or not to accommodate the development of the bioeconomy industry.
As for investment in this development, the Ministry of Industry will use the Eastern Economic Corridor site in Rayong province to promote large investment projects, linking with the development of target industries and transport infrastructure.
Thailand has an abundance of natural resources, providing an important competitive advantage for the bioindustry sector. It is also making an effort to transform itself into the “bio-hub” of ASEAN.