Gov’t forms ‘Super Clusters’ to power high-tech industry

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Chaiwat Thongkhamkhun, director of the Office of Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning, outlines the strategy and tax incentives behind the government’s Super Cluster policy.
Chaiwat Thongkhamkhun, director of the Office of Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning, outlines the strategy and tax incentives behind the government’s Super Cluster policy.

Thailand hopes to fuel further economic growth to exploit opportunities in the ASEAN Economic Community through “Super Clusters” aimed at restructuring and upgrading the country’s industrial capabilities, a Transport Ministry told Pattaya business leaders.

Chaiwat Thongkhamkhun, director of the Office of Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning, outlined the strategy and tax incentives behind the government’s Super Cluster policy during a May 25 seminar at the Pattaya Pullman G Hotel.

Focused on Chonburi, Rayong, Chachoengsao, Prachin Buri, Sa Kaeo, and Trat, the strategy calls for increased integration of research, academic and public-private assets into core industry cluster ecosystems, as well as adding support in areas of workforce development, infrastructure, logistics and technology.

The Super Clusters are those areas of business using advanced technology and are considered to be the growth industries, including automotive, electric appliances, electronics and telecommunication equipment, eco-friendly petrochemicals and digital-based industries.

Future plans for other clusters include robotics, automation, aerospace, medical devices and food.

The objective is to create world-class industry ecosystems that will enable both Thai and foreign-operated companies to be even more successful while operating in Thailand and to ensure that Thailand is an optimal operating environment for business and ASEAN headquarters for foreign companies.

In addition to providing infrastructure and operational elements of the industry ecosystems, the government is also providing incentives to further support the Super Cluster initiative in the form of exemptions in corporate income tax, import duties, personal income tax for mission critical staff, and fast-tracked work permits and visas for foreign workers.

During the seminar, many representatives from manufacturing companies as well as industrial sites were present to exchange experiences and express their thoughts and opinions on the new project.

In Chonburi, Rayong, Chachoengsao and Prachin Buri, several mega projects and smaller works are to be analyzed and developed under the Super Cluster policy. Future and new projects will include railway transportation, development to Highway 7, transport by sea at Laem Chabang Port, transport by sea at Sattahip, transport by sea at Maptaphut, transport by air at U-Tapao-Rayong-Pattaya Airport and many more, totaling over 100 projects to be developed under a 60-billion-baht budget.