A plan to cut import duties on luxury goods, in an effort to promote the country as a tourist "shopping paradise," is scheduled to be considered by Thailand's Cabinet within the next month.
Earlier in September, the Ministry of Finance had disclosed that, by the end of 2013, Thailand would scrap the present 30 percent import duties on luxury goods, such as brand-name perfumes and cosmetics, watches and clothes.
While these products are subject to the highest duties in Thailand, luxury taxes do not exist in such places as Singapore and Hong Kong. The duty decrease would therefore, it was hoped, attract more wealthy foreign tourists, particularly from Mainland China, to Thailand and stimulate the domestic economy.
The Permanent Secretary for Finance Areepong Bhoocha-oom, who had previously disclosed the intention to fully cancel the import duties on luxury goods, has now said that, as part of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra's policy to boost tourism under her "Shopping Paradise" initiative, it is proposed that the duties would now be reduced to 5 percent instead.
He added, however, that there is still work to be done to consider assistance for the Thai businesses that could be affected by the reduced duties, especially those in the fashion and cosmetic industries, to ensure that they will still be able to compete in their domestic markets.
TAGS: Finance | tax | business | China | Singapore | Thailand | Hong Kong
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