The Board of Investment (BOI) Thailand agreed to promote investment incentive schemes for “Smart City” to improve living standards. Smart City is an initiative for advanced IT systems and innovations; the incentives shall contribute to the promoted city’s development in six fields and enhance the people’s quality of life, especially in more remote areas. Smart City focuses on the improvement of:
- Smart Mobility: efficient transportation and logistics management, car sharing, green mobility
- Smart People: education for digital awareness, lifelong learning by providing village internet and digital learning centers
- Smart Living: healthcare services, public safety, living comfort due to intelligent living facilities
- Smart Economy: ease of doing business, business connectivity, innovation and transformation
- Smart Governance: efficient public services, digitalization for more transparency
- Smart Energy & Environment: green energy, clean and safe environment
Investors who plan to develop Smart City infrastructure systems, especially with the focus on telecommunication infrastructure will benefit from the BOI incentives; provided that the project includes operations in one of the six aforementioned fields. Furthermore, IT system developers who support the Smart City project by creating, installing and providing solutions for one of the six fields will be promoted by these incentives. However, it is notable that the BOI grants a corporate income tax exemption of eight years for investors operating in the eligible fields plus a 50% reduction for another five years. By implementing its own solutions, Thailand strives for technological independence in the digital sector.
Smart City is a step towards “Digital Thailand” and according to the Minister of Digital Economy and Society Dr. Pichet Durongkaveroj, “Digital Thailand” aims to reduce the disparity in the society and enhance the regional development. Therefore, digital education is seen as a key factor for Thailand’s technological development.