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Thailand Industry News – Attracting Regional Headquarters Needs Incentives

By on Nov 16, 2015 in Industrial, Property News

Thailand and other Asean countries are being encouraged to find no-tax measures to encourage the development of foreign companies’ regional headquarters, without competing with one another in such a way as to weaken the whole region. This is for the good of Thailand industry as well as all other Asean countries.

Warrick Cleine, Head of Tax at KPMG Asia Pacific, said physical infrastructure was equally important in attracting companies to set up these centres. This includes the availability of quality office buildings, but also modern airports and transport infrastructure. Other factors mentioned were immigration procedures, including visas and work permits as often these centres need an international work force and the quality and cost of talent in the workforce of the host country. Most regional headquarters needs a range of experts covering for example management, marketing, finance, human resources and IT.

Thailand continues to face strong competition from Singapore. According to the law firm, Baker & McKenzie, more than 2000 foreign companies have set up headquarters in Singapore, whereas Thailand has less than 200.

Cleine noted that “Understanding the differences (across the region) is key to ensuring a business remains compliant with the laws in each Asean country, and also key to making important business decisions. As was the experience in the EU (European Union), we believe there will be pressure over time to harmonise Asean’s tax regimes to ease doing business but, in the meantime this is a challenge that business has to handle,” he said.  We expect the governments across emerging Asean to continue to invest in their tax administration systems to help them cope with the demands of regional integration, and growth in cross-border investment and trade,” Cleine said.

Source: The Nation November 2nd, 2015
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