The Thai government is looking to develop its startup industry by following in the footsteps of Singapore’s initiatives which have made the city-state a leading incubator of entrepreneurs.

Singapore is the top Asian economy in this year’s global startup ecosystem index published by StartupBlink : Thailand ranks 52nd on the global startup ecosystem index, while Singapore is ranked sixth. Thailand still faces many challenges in supporting entrepreneurs, including complicated paperwork and a shortage of investors and skilled talent.

Key Takeaways

  • Thailand is looking to boost its startup industry by offering tax-free capital gains to investors in certain sectors.
  • Singapore has been successful in producing leading startups due to factors such as low corruption, ease of doing business, and no tax on capital gains.
  • Although Thailand has taken steps to develop its startup ecosystem, it still faces challenges such as oligopolies, a shortage of investors, and a complicated bureaucracy.
  • Thailand’s startup ecosystem is still in its early stages but has the potential for growth and development.
  • The Thai government has implemented innovative visa programs and infrastructure investments to attract foreign entrepreneurs and investors.

Thailand is prioritizing the development of its startup ecosystem to secure future economic growth. While not yet as focused as some of its neighboring countries, the Thai government is making efforts to attract and connect local and foreign entrepreneurs through innovative visa programs and infrastructure investments.

The country has already produced several unicorns and hopes to stimulate the entrepreneurial spirit of its population to draw more capital into the startup scene. The government has also passed tax cuts for VCs and incentivized investing in certain industries to attract more foreign investment.

Thailand’s startup scene has seen significant growth in recent years, with the number of startups increasing from 102 in 2018 to over 1000 in 2022. The FinTech sector accounts for 60% of total capital funding, and the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the need for digital services. The government has also implemented policies to attract foreign startups and investors to the ecosystem through the SMART Visa program. However, challenges remain, such as the need for experienced talent and a trend-following mindset among some founders.

The Thai public sector is inventive in terms of visa programmes and the use of various vehicles to allow expats to stay in Thailand for a long time, even though there is still a lack of a talent connection between international and local talent. Examples include a special Elite visa for professional, business, and leisure travel as well as a Smart Visa for foreigners who have founded IT firms in Thailand. Furthermore, the recently introduced Long-Term Residents Visa is the only visa that offers high-potential persons a variety of tax and non-tax perks.

About the author

Zhong Li is a tech journalist who covers the latest developments in artificial intelligence, robotics, and biotechnology. Zhong Li is passionate about exploring the ethical and social implications of emerging technologies.

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