Minutes of Regional Operating Headquarters meeting
August 10, 2005 13.30 16.00 hrs.
Grand Meeting Room, Revenue Department
On the 10th of August 2005, representatives from government agenciesconsist of Board of Investment, Immigration Bureau, Department of Employment, Bank of Thailand and Revenue Department met with members from Board of Trade and Joint Foreign Chamber of Commerce to identify obstacles that hamper the development of the Regional Operating Headquarters(ROHs).
The objective of the meeting is to update some changes in the ROHs benefits and also to exchange views and comments in order to make the ROH scheme more attractive to investors.
Since the government launched the ROH scheme 3 years ago,
there have been problems which hamper the development of the ROH scheme. Four major problems are :
1. One-stop service centre for ROHs
2. Work permit approval
3. Tax incentives for ROHs expatriates, and
4. Foreign exchange control restriction
Board of Investment raised the issues of time - frame of BOI approval and one window service for visa and work permit. ROH which filed for non-tax benefits with BOI will normally take 60 working days for project approval. An On-line application is being set up which will definitely lessen the processing time. The visa and work permit can now be done by one window. BOI and RD agreed to work together to allow BOI application and RD notification to be submitted at the same time.
The Immigration Bureau announced that there were at least 7 companies and 130 individuals requested for visa extension at their one - stop service. They agree with the floors comment that process of visa renewal should be improved.
The issuance of ROH work permits will be revised. The Department of Employment has set up new criteria which allows up to 5 expatriates per one ROH. However, if the income is greater than 3 million baht, such condition will not be applied.
Bank of Thailand has clarified that profit and dividend can be repatriated without BOTs permission. Foreign currency can be allowed to be kept for up to 6 months. If companies need to hold currency longer than 6 months, they should submit the request to BOT for permission.
The Revenue Department proposed to extend tax reduction period up to 4 years.
Problems raised by Joint Foreign Chamber of Commerce have been mainly classified to unclarified of ROHs procedure, inapplicable of ROHs regulations, insufficient of ROHs privilege and the need of one stop service.
The meeting were broadly discussed in various issues and several suggestions have been raised from participants. Mr.vanHaren, Chairman of JFCCT, and Mr.Satit, Deputy Director of the RD, agreed to work together as a small working group to resolve problems under current rules and regulations concerning foreign exchange control, insufficient non-fiscal incentives, ROH approval by RD and bureaucratic red tape.
In addition, other valuable suggestion have also been suggested.
The RD should publish a complete handbook consisting of all relevant
information required for setting up ROH in
2. One stop service should be tested by government agency.