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Thailand seeks to boost local startups with $150m fund and special visa

As part of efforts to facilitate the local startup ecosystem, Thailand will be funding US$151 million for the Digital Economy, and exempt capital gain tax for start-up joint venture by Thai and foreign investors

Olivier Languepin

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As part of efforts to facilitate the local startup ecosystem, Thailand will be funding US$151 million for the Digital Economy, and exempt capital gain tax for start-up joint venture owned by Thai and foreign investors

New startups needing initial funds for innovative product and service development will receive financial support from this fund, reported The Bangkok Post.The fund will be used in four ways.

The fund will be used in four ways. It will go to startups and the private sector in digital economy development; boost research and development; support the operations of the new Digital Economy Promotion Agency; and cover expenses for the National Digital Economy Committee Office.

The Thai government is now working on incentive packages for startups, the report said, including tax incentives and a special 4 years visa allowing foreigners to stay and without applying for a work permit.

Four year visa for highly skilled professionals and investors

A plan to offer four-year visas to highly skilled professionals and investors was endorsed in September by the Thai Cabinet.

Those who obtain the so-called “Smart Visa” can stay in Thailand with their spouse and children for up to four years without applying for a work permit.

Unlike other visa holders who have to report to the authorities every 90 days, they would only need to present themselves to the Immigration Bureau annually, according to information published online by an agency promoting the prime minister’s agenda.

To be eligible, applicants must be investors, startup entrepreneurs, high-level executives or highly skilled professionals. The announcement did not detail which skills would be considered.

Thai-foreign joint venture startups exempt from capital gain tax

The National Start Up Committee says it is speedily drafting a legislation that will exempt capital gain tax for start-up business that is jointly invested by Thai and foreign investors.

The move is aimed at attracting more foreign investors to the joint venture so that Thai investors will be strengthened.

Director of the National Innovation Agency Mr Phan-art Chairat said the law will give tax privileges to joint venture startups, particularly the exemption of capital gain tax from stock tradings in the stock market up to five years.

He said this tax incentive would help to strengthen Thai startup business and attract more foreign investors to invest in Thai startups.

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