Thailand approves 10 year EEC visa for foreigners: Summary of Cabinet meeting in Phetchaburi

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Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin

Phetchaburi hosted a significant mobile meeting of the Thai Cabinet on May 13-14, chaired by Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin.

The meeting concluded with several resolutions aimed at enhancing the country’s economic and social landscape.

Government Spokesman Chai Wacharonke provided a comprehensive report on the directives issued during this session. Here’s a summary of some of the announcements from the meeting.

Pushing the lower central region to become a tourism nub

Prime Minister Srettha emphasized the potential of Suphan Buri, Kanchanaburi, Ratchaburi, and Phetchaburi provinces to develop into major cities that boost residents’ quality of life and attract significant tourism and investment. The directives for each province include:

Suphan Buri: Recognized for its exceptional water management system, the Prime Minister has tasked the Royal Irrigation Department with developing a long-term plan to address future natural disasters.

Kanchanaburi: The Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives is to implement measures to improve and control diseases in dairy farms and promote comprehensive dairy farming practices. Additionally, all agencies are to intensify efforts to tackle illegal immigration, rubber control measures, and the smuggling of agricultural products, especially drugs.

Ratchaburi: The Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives and the Ministry of Commerce are to devise measures to reduce production costs, promote technology, and balance agricultural product prices. The Royal Forest Department, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, and the Ministry of Tourism and Sports are to consider developing Khao Ngu Stone Park into a tourist attraction and recreational area.

Phetchaburi and Prachuap Khiri Khan: Hua Hin Airport is to be upgraded to accommodate both domestic and international tourists. The Ministry of Transport will expedite the study for the airport’s upgrade, including runway expansion and construction of an international terminal.

The Ministry of Tourism and Sports is to study the demand for services at Hua Hin Airport to ensure investment feasibility. The government also emphasizes promoting tourism through various activities, including bull racing sports, with all actions complying with relevant laws and regulations.

Government Spokesman Chai Wacharonke

10 year EEC visa for foreigners

The Cabinet acknowledged the outcomes of the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) Policy Committee meeting, which included the introduction of a special temporary EEC Visa.

This visa aims to attract specialists, executives, professionals, and their families to the EEC, offering significant incentives to boost investment and expertise in the region.

Key features of the EEC visa:

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Specialists (S), executives (E), professionals (P), and their spouses and dependents (O) are eligible for the visa.
  • Applicants must have an employment contract with a business operator or a relevant contract requiring work for the benefit of a business operator.
  • Applicants must have no prohibitions under immigration laws and must have their qualifications certified by the business operator.

Benefits:

  • The visa allows up to 10 years of stay, not exceeding the duration of the employment contract, with multiple entries.
  • The initial entry period can be up to 5 years, and it includes rights for spouses and dependents.
  • A fixed personal income tax rate of 17% applies, offering significant tax savings compared to standard rates.

Expected Outcomes:

  • The EEC Visa is expected to promote and support businesses in special target industries within the EEC, enhancing national competitiveness.
  • It aims to facilitate knowledge transfer from high-potential experts and professionals to local industries.
  • The government anticipates generating revenue from visa fees (10,000 Baht/person/year) and EEC Work Permit fees (20,000 Baht/person/permit).
  • The policy is projected to attract approximately 149,388 foreigners over the first 10 years, creating substantial economic activities and employment opportunities.
  • The EEC Visa will support investments in the Digital Industry and Innovation Promotion Zone (EECd), enhancing the digital industry’s capabilities and fostering sustainable growth through innovation and technology.

The EEC Visa aligns with the broader goals of the EEC to transform the region into a hub for trade and investment, focusing on high-tech industries and innovation.

By offering an attractive package of benefits, the Thai government aims to draw top-tier talent and significant foreign investment, which will drive the country’s economic development and position it as a leader in digital technology and innovation.

Nationwide minimum wage increase to 400 baht starting September-October

Deputy Government Spokesman Karom Phonphonklang announced that the Cabinet has approved a nationwide minimum wage increase to 400 Baht, effective from September to October 2024.

The Ministry of Labor and the Wage Committee conducted a survey of essential expenses and consulted with industry stakeholders before finalizing the new wage. This adjustment aims to ensure a fair living wage for workers across the country.

Increase in budget and extension of debt commitment for Nong Rong railway overpass project

The Cabinet approved an increase in the budget and an extension of the debt commitment period for the construction of the Nong Rong Railway Overpass in Cha-am.

The original budget of 138.60 million Baht has been increased to 152.67 million Baht, with the debt commitment period extended to fiscal years 2017-2026. This project, managed by the Department of Rural Roads, aims to improve transportation infrastructure in the region.

Thailand’s Cabinet in Phetchaburi on May 14

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