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Opinion

Five reasons why Thailand could be a new global destination for startups

Thailand can leverage its location and strengths in multiple business areas, as well as its readiness in terms of technology and the digital business sector

Boris Sullivan

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The Thailand 4.0 policy and Eastern Economic Corridor will lead to rapid advancements in and deployments of new technologies, says the head of True Digital Park.

The public and private sectors are joining forces to support the tech startup scene. True Digital Park, sponsored by True Corporation, is aiming to become a global startup destination. True Digital Park president Thanasorn Jaidee gave five reasons why Thailand is a global destination for startups.

Thailand is situated in the geographic and strategic heart of Southeast Asia

First Thailand is sharing borders with Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam — all emerging markets with tremendous growth potential.

Thailand is situated in the geographic and strategic heart of Southeast Asia

Thailand is situated in the geographic and strategic heart of Southeast Asia

Elsewhere in the region, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei and the Philippines have sizeable populations with considerable purchasing power, making Asean a major economic powerhouse.

Thailand can leverage its location and strengths in multiple business areas, as well as its readiness in terms of technology and the digital business sector.

Thailand 4.0 will see the economy transition to an innovation and technology focus

Second, Thailand has been through several periods of economic development that have focused on agriculture, light industry, heavy industry and now Industry 4.0, which will see the economy transition to an innovation and technology focus.

Thailand 4.0

Thailand 4.0 will see the economy transition to an innovation and technology focus

The Thai government is supporting startups with Smart Visa project and tax exemptions

Third, the government is supporting startups through a variety of measures such as the Smart Visa project, a five-year exemption from corporate income tax for startups, an eight-year tax exemption for co-working spaces and a 10-year tax exemption for venture capital firms.

The Smart Visa project to support startups in Thailand

The Smart Visa project to support startups in Thailand

Additional support includes the establishment of 15 Innovation Districts to help startups with their operations. These include Pathumwan, Lat Krabang, Klong San and Punnawithi, where True Digital Park is located.

Thai society is multicultural and enjoys regional and international influences

Fourth, Thai society is multicultural and enjoys regional and international influences that contribute to rich cultural diversity. This open interaction ensures that Thailand is an exceptional host, with a readiness to welcome startups from around the world.

Quality transport network, high standard of living and an advanced telecom infrastructure

Fifth, Thailand’s status as Kitchen of the World means a variety of cuisines and an abundance of quality foods with distinctive flavours at affordable prices. Together with a quality transport network, high standard of living and, most importantly, an advanced telecom infrastructure, the country provides startups with all they need to live, work and transform their ideas into reality.

Mr Thanasorn said these five reasons encouraged True Group to establish True Digital Park as the go-to digital hub, providing a complete ecosystem to foster the development and success of startups, meeting their work and lifestyle needs all under one roof.

Moving forward, the country will serve as a destination to attract talent and experts, letting them meet, exchange experiences, brainstorm research and enhance the competencies of Thai and international startups to create digital innovations that benefit the country and region. Bright future seen for Thai tech startups

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