The spread of the pandemic, economic difficulties and cheaper technology are likely to encourage industrial factories to apply more automation and robotic systems in their production.
According to Duangjai Asawachintachit, secretary-general of the Board of Investment (BoI), automation and robotic systems can save on production costs and increase competitiveness for entrepreneurs.
“We expect many factories, particularly those with BoI-promoted projects, to upgrade to automated production,” she said.
In the first six months this year, the BoI reported 28 of its promoted projects with investment worth 5.7 billion baht submitted applications to use automation and robotics, up from 19 projects worth 1.5 billion baht in the same period last year.
Promoted projects that upgrade to automation are eligible for an exemption on import duties for machinery and a three-year corporate income tax exemption on the revenue of existing projects. The corporate income tax exemption cannot exceed 50% of the investment capital, excluding the cost of land and working capital.
The corporate income tax exemption cap is raised to 100% of the investment, excluding land cost and working capital, if promoted investment projects choose to apply automation or robotics that are linked to or support domestic automation systems production and the value of the linkage reaches at least 30% of the total value of the automation system.
The BoI has come up with measures to support industrial factories improving their efficiency by upgrading and replacing machinery since 2014, said Ms Duangjai.
On Nov 4, 2020, the BoI’s board approved extending the measure for improvement of production efficiency for another two years until the end of 2022.
Another BoI measure covers the service sector in addition to the manufacturing sector.
The measure, previously limited to investment in agro-industry, was expanded to promote sustainable development in related activities in supply chains such as furniture factories and paper mills.