Thailand’s government said it will scrap import duties on luxury watches, clothes and cosmetics to help the country compete with Hong Kong and Singapore for wealthy travelers from markets including China.
The duty on some luxury goods will be cut to zero from 30 percent by the end of the year, Permanent Secretary for Finance Areepong Bhoocha-Oom told reporters in Chonburi province. Thailand’s SET Index jumped 3.6 percent, as Minor (MINT) International Pcl led gains among tourism-related stocks on optimism the tax reduction will boost travel demand.
The government expects tourist arrivals to surge 18 percent to 26.4 million this year, helping to counter a slump in exports and domestic consumption that may cause the economy to grow as little as 3.8 percent. Thailand’s tourism and services industries account for 50 percent of gross domestic product…
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