The National Innovation Agency (NIA) has vowed to make Bangkok an innovation hub in Asean attracting foreign investment in research and development (R&D) and startups by working with the government to amend the Foreign Business Act, which limits foreign shareholding to 49% of a business. It also aims to groom deep tech startups and expand innovation districts into the provinces.

The move is also part of its plan to raise Thailand’s position in the Global Innovation Index from 43rd in 2021 and ensure Bangkok appears in the top 50 best cities for startups as the capital was ranked in 71st place in the Global Startup Ecosystem Index 2021. 

“We will focus on building the country’s brand as ‘Innovation Thailand’ and turning Bangkok into an innovation hub in Asean to increase new innovation and tech firms here,”.

Pun-arj Chairatana, executive director of the NIA

Bangkok has a healthy startup ecosystem with large corporate firms heavily investing in tech areas and a number of corporate venture capital funds but there is a lack of multinational firms to invest in R&D in Thailand, so that is why the country’s position in the Global Innovation Index has not improved much, he noted.

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