HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

China asks Thailand to cut border trade taxes

Exclusive luxury housing estate opened

Tax incentives for private contributions to social causes

China asks Thailand to cut border trade taxes

China has asked Thailand to slash cross-border taxes. Chinese businessmen have complained that the current rates are unfair.

Chinese entrepreneurs made their demand during a recent visit to China’s southern Xishuang Banna region by Thai government officials. The chairman of China’s Chamber of Commerce said Thai entrepreneurs enjoyed substantial tax concessions, including tax exemption for imported goods under 3,000 yuan (US$ 362), and a 50 percent tax reduction on goods over 3,000 yuan. In contrast, Chinese businesses have to pay customs duties to Thailand at the regular rate.

Thailand also maintained the full tariff rate on Chinese goods that were showcased at the Economic Quadrangle Expo, held recently in Thailand’s northern region, where goods from Laos, Myanmar, China and Thailand were exhibited.

Meanwhile, the director of the Bureau of Supporting Industries Development, Sanae Niyomthai, said that Thailand has offered China trade concessions in return for giving Thai entrepreneurs special privileges. The two countries have slashed taxes on agricultural goods to zero, as part of the free trade area (FTA) agreement with China. However, there are concerns that Chinese products might flood the Thai market as a result of the tax cuts on other items, like electrical appliances.

The association of Thai exporters has proposed that China finance road construction in Laos. This route would link Bangkok and the southern Chinese city of Kunming.

Thai exporters have also suggested that the Thai government negotiate with Myanmar a decrease in the border pass fees on the Mae Sai-Chiang Thong-Chiang Rung road which connects Thailand with Myanmar, China and Laos. This would help reduce the cost of transportation. Thailand and China have also agreed to exchange information on trade to strengthen bilateral trade ties and cooperation. (TNA)

Exclusive luxury housing estate opened

Nopniwat Krailerg

Quality House has launched their new project, Laddarom Elegance, a luxury housing estate situated almost in the heart of the city.

Jarin Pongyen, director of the Laddarom Elegance project, said the estate was situated on an area of 66 rai, worth up to 1 billion baht and has 150 houses. Thirty houses have already been reserved, a figure that has surpassed the company’s expectations. Fifty percent of the purchasers are local people, while the rest are mostly Bangkokians. Jarin said no other housing estate companies dared to start constructing houses in the 5-20 million baht price range at present.

A double security system is being used at the project, including a double gate system. “With this system, persons who do not have permission to enter your residential area will never be able to do so,” Jarin explained. “A public area is supplied for your guests in case they have not been allowed to enter. Closed circuit television is installed throughout the estate and operates 24 hours, recording all incoming and outgoing traffic.” Additionally, a security terminal is installed in each house is linked directly to the security operation center.

Tax incentives for private contributions to social causes

The government has announced major tax concessions for Thai firms or individuals who make charitable donations in the public interest. The government hopes this strategy will help generate funds for many of its social development initiatives. The Education Ministry and the Social and Human Development Services Ministry are also hoping this will help them raise funds from the private sector for the education of underprivileged students.

Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra wants Thailand’s underprivileged to have better access to education to help them escape the problems of poverty. Government departments and agencies have been instructed to publicize the government’s campaign to raise funds for these education grants.

Thaksin said the private sector should contribute to educating the poor so that it can take advantage of the government’s tax relief for donations to social causes. These include education, recreation, museums, libraries and art galleries. Donations to the Sports Authority of Thailand are also tax deductible. Tax exemption has been extended to include juristic persons who make donations in cash and in kind for recreational facilities including the maintenance of private children’s playgrounds, public parks and sports arenas. Individual taxpayers can also have their donations deducted at cost when they file their tax return. Other tax incentive measures being introduced include parental subsidies to encourage children to take care of their aging parents. (TNA)