Tech start-ups thriving in Thailand, says IT website

Thailand is poised to emerge as a leading global hub for tech start-ups, many of which are already thriving in the Kingdom thanks to efforts both by government and the private sector to create the right environment to foster innovations and entrepreneurship, the OpenGovAsia website wrote last week.

“In order to support and improve the tech start-up scene, the public and private sectors are joining forces. Thailand will eventually serve as the place to be for start-ups to create digital innovations that would benefit the country and the region,’’ wrote OpenGovAsia.

OpenGovAsia organizes conferences and advocates for governments in the region to adopt information and communications technology (ICT) to a greater extent than they already have. “We are passionate about digital transformation in government,’’ the organization said.

OpenGovAsia pointed to True Digital Park, a mixed-use complex in Bangkok developed by True Corporation, as an example of how Thailand is building the right base for startups to succeed. Aside from residences and shops, the facility highlights its co-working spaces and electronic infrastructure designed to serve as the foundation of an ecosystem for tech startups and entrepreneurs.

True is one of the major broadband providers in Thailand and is a subsidiary of CP (Charoen Pokphand) Group, one of the largest and most successful agro-industrial conglomerates in the Kingdom.

On the public sector side, the government has provided broadband access to all of the country’s villages, is implementing a national e-payment system, and is offering special ‘Smart Visas’ for those with advanced ICT skills and investors in startups. Its 20-year national strategy, Thailand 4.0, seeks to support advanced technologies and innovation as the keys to propelling the economy and society to a higher level of development.

OpenGovAsia cited several reason put forth by Thanasorn Jaidee, president of True Digital Park, as to why Thailand is becoming a global destination for start-ups. They include the Kingdom’s geographic location, its openness as a country, the national strategy that supports innovation and focuses on higher technologies, the Smart Visa program, the rising purchasing power of Thais and their counterparts in neighboring countries, and the appeal of the Kingdom as a place to live and work.

“The Smart Visa project grants start-ups with a five-year corporate income tax exemption. It grants co-working spaces with an eight-year corporate income tax exemption. The project also grants venture capital firms with a 10-year corporate income tax exemption. Another government support for start-ups is the establishment of 15 Innovation Districts to help start-ups with their operations,’’ OpenGovAsia wrote.