Billions in Investment from Agricultural and Food Processing Giants
Thailand’s agricultural roots and natural resources have made the country one of the world’s largest food exporters, with annual exports exceeding $30 billion in 2012. The industry’s year-over-year growth rate of 12 percent will allow Thailand’s exporter’s to expand their reach from primarily western countries to emerging high-potential markets such as ASEAN, China, India, Russia and Africa.
Often referred to as the “Kitchen of the World,” Thailand is a global leader in rice, processed chicken, seafood and fresh fruit production, and its agricultural and food processing industries employ 870,000 workers at over 10,000 companies, including Unilever, Cargill, Coca-Cola and Dole. Food producers in Thailand source some 80 percent of raw materials locally and benefit from supporting industries, such as food processing and packaging equipment.
The Thai government also emphasizes the importance of research and technology that is driving today’s investment in international food markets. Companies have access to high-tech R&D centers like the Thailand Food Export Center that leverage the industry’s established investment flows and knowledge for future developments. Always at the forefront of the industry, Thailand was the first country to use cutting-edge technology from IBM to adopt the EPCIS standard for food traceability that ensures safe food transfer across borders.
Incentives for Thailand’s Food Industry
The Thailand Board of Investment offers tax-based incentives that include exemption or reduction of import duties on machinery and raw materials, and corporate income tax exemptions and reductions. The BOI also offers non-tax incentives such as permission to bring in foreign workers, own land, and take or remit foreign currency abroad.