Deputy Prime Minister Supattanapong Punmeechaow said the government expects the new surge of infections will be short-lived.
Mr Supattanapong said international arrivals are projected to return to normal in April after the successful introduction of vaccines in many countries.
He said the government’s economic policy next year will focus primarily on accelerating the disbursement of fiscal 2021 budget expenditure of B3.2 trillion and infrastructure development projects.
More infrastructure projects under public-private partnerships will be approved by the government next year, said Mr Supattanapong.
“The government will try its best to keep investment momentum going until 2022, especially for private investment, which is projected to improve in 2021 and 2022,” he said.
The National Economic and Social Development Council projected private investment would recover to an expansion of 4.2% in 2021 from falling 8.9% in 2020. Public investment is projected to grow by 12.4%, slightly down from 13.7% in 2020.
Mr Supattanapong said the government is committed to improving laws and regulations; facilitating ease of doing business and implementing investment policy to attract foreign investment in 2021-22; and focusing on new S-curve industries (aviation, logistics, biofuels and biochemicals, digital, medical services and robotics).
Domestic industries need continuous promotion and support to upgrade their production using automated systems, he said.
To spur private investment in 2021, the Board of Investment (BoI) on Dec 21 approved additional measures, including a 50% corporate tax deduction for five years for investment projects worth at least B1 billion.
The BoI usually offers a maximum exemption from corporate income tax of eight years.
The government offers firms in the Eastern Economic Corridor a corporate income tax exemption of up to 13 years and a 50% tax reduction for up to five years.
The board also agreed to extend the promotional measures for another two years to investment projects in special economic zones in 10 provinces.
The measures cover 300 categories of investment, with privileges offering a range of corporate income tax exemptions for a period of 3-8 years. For 14 targeted industries, including agriculture, fisheries, textiles, garments, leather, furniture, jewellery and ornaments, investors are eligible for another 50% corporate income tax deduction for five years.
The 10 provinces referred to here are Chiang Rai, Kanchanaburi, Mukdahan, Nakhon Phanom, Narathiwat, Nong Khai, Sa Kaeo, Songkhla, Tak and Trat.
The BoI also approved another two-year extension (2021-22) for the measure to promote investment in the five southern provinces of Narathiwat, Pattani, Satun, Yala and four districts in Songkhla.
Investors are eligible for three, five and eight years of corporate income tax exemption, depending on the category.