The Ultimate Guide to Filming Incentives in Asia Pacific (updated 2020)

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Since the 1920s, film scouts have been traipsing through jungles, over rivers and around islands in the Asia Pacific to find the perfect location to add a bit of tropical spice to their production. Today, thanks to the many countries in Asia Pacific offering generous filming incentives, productions with budgets of all sizes can capture the beauty and splendor of the region. We have put together this quick, easy-to-read list of the best filming incentives in Asia Pacific.  We hope you will use it when deciding where to shoot your next project.

Filming Incentives in Asia Pacific

Each country has specific requirements that need to be met to qualify for the incentive programs and many also have an annual cap on the amount of funds to be awarded under their incentive program. You can find more in-depth information about each country’s incentive program more by clicking on the links provided.


Up to 47% cash rebate of local spend.


30% cash rebate on all qualifying Malaysian Production Expenditure (QMPE). At least 30% of the production crew must be residents or citizens.

New Zealand

20% cash rebate of qualified New Zealand production expenditures (QNZPE) and 5% if significant economic benefits to New Zealand (point system) demonstrated.


40% cash rebate of total Singapore spend and further 10% grant of the Singapore spend of current project can be used for next project.

South Korea

20%–30% cash rebate on foreign audio-visual works production expenditure incurred for goods and services in South Korea.

Incentive Definitions

Film Production Rebate
A rebate (or grant) is funds paid to the production company based on the amount of qualifying expenditures, or jobs created in the state or country by the project. The production company does not need to file a tax return for rebates.

Film Refundable Tax Credits
A refundable tax credit is similar in function to a rebate, however, the production company must file a tax return to claim it, and receive a credit for taxes owed. Tax credits can sometimes be used as collateral to obtain a loan so that the production company receives an advance, which is usually discounted.

Film Transferable Tax Credits
A transferable tax credit may be sold or assigned to a local taxpayer. Some states offer transferable tax credits, which allow production companies to sell or get a refund for tax credits that they are not able to use. Many times brokers are used to perform these transactions.

Film Non-Refundable, Non-Transferable Tax Credits
This type of tax credit can be used to offset a production company’s current tax liability, and can be carried forward for a set time, but not transferred to third parties.

The information stated herein is for reference only and based on a source using data as of November 2020. Make sure you consult a qualified tax adviser and professional who is familiar with tax incentive programs to determine the best fit for your project.

Travel-free Options

Unable to travel to Asia Pacific to produce your project? No problem. Global Media Desk has a simple and easy solution. Send us your brief and we will handle the rest with our local crews on the ground. No need for travel and no need to delay your project. We can get the footage you need with the results you are looking for, anywhere in the world.

We are here to help!

Global Media Desk has been helping productions find the highest-quality local crews in Asia Pacific for over 20 years.    Please contact us with any questions you may have about filming in the region or fill out a quote to see how we can make your production a complete success.

Photo Credit: Supertrees by Khairul Nizam, on Flickr