Thailand is preparing to put the finance and banking sectors ready for the upcoming establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) in 2015, Finance Minister Thirachai Phuvanatnaranubala said Monday. At an economic seminar, the minister said the government would implement policies to prepare the country for the AEC such as the reduction of corporate income tax from 30 percent to 23 percent in 2012 and to 20 percent in 2013 so that the rate will be close to other ASEAN countries. As for the monetary policy, the minister elaborated that he would discuss ways with the Bank of Thailand (BoT) to invite leading banks from other ASEAN countries to open their branches in Thailand to serve customers from their own countries and will promote Thai banks to operate overseas. The minister believed that Thai banks are strong enough to compete in the global market and will benefit from the difference in interest rates. He added that he would find ways to reduce taxes to promote investment because he viewed that foreign investment here is still in the same level as other countries in the region.