x Brown

Thailand dangles tax breaks in bid to become region’s circuit board hub

The Board of Investment (BOI) has extended tax breaks and other privileges for the printed circuit board (PCB) industry in a bid to make Thailand the PCB hub of Southeast Asia.

BOI secretary-general Narit Therdsteerasukdi announced that investment privileges have been extended to the following three PCB supply chain sectors:

  • companies supporting PCB production processes such as lamination, drilling, plating, and routing.
  • manufacturers of key raw materials for PCB production, including copper-clad laminate (CCL), flexible CCL (FCCL), and Prepreg.
  • producers of essential materials and supplies for PCB manufacturing, such as dry film, transfer film, and backup boards.

These businesses will receive benefits including exemptions from import duties on machinery and raw materials used for export production and corporate tax exemptions for up to eight years.

The BOI is seeking to leverage the trend for production base relocation due to global geopolitical pressures, including tensions between the United States and China.

Last year, 40 companies, mainly from China, Taiwan, and Japan, invested over 100 million baht in Thailand’s PCB industry, which now hosts 10 of the top 20 PCB manufacturers.

The other 10—also from China, Taiwan, and Japan—could potentially invest tens of billions of baht if they can be lured to establish production bases in Thailand.

“If we can attract these companies and they, in turn, help bring in smaller companies related to the PCB industry, then I believe Thailand can step up as the No. 1 PCB manufacturing hub in ASEAN,” Narit said on Thursday.

PCBs are a crucial building block for the electronics industry, found in electronic devices, electric vehicles, medical equipment, automated machinery, and the digital sector.

Global PCB leaders already in Thailand include Fujikura, CMKT, FORTH, Denso Ten, and Chin Poon.

Another four industry giants—Unitech, Compeq, SCC, and Unimicron—have submitted investment promotion applications to the BOI.

The BOI says Thailand’s advantages as a base for advanced electronics manufacturing, chips, and high-level semiconductors include infrastructure readiness, access to clean energy, sufficient water supply, a skilled workforce, and growing demand in the domestic market.

SOURCE: The Nation

About The Author