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Thailand NIA bullish on startup focus

Bangkok: The government will continue its efforts to promote Thailand as a global startup investment destination, bringing together Asean collaboration and attracting global venture capital to the region, says the National Innovation Agency (NIA) as reported in the Bangkok Post.

“Thailand’s startup scene is real, not just some fantasy, as evident by the large size of investments in local startups but also smaller deals for lesser startups in pre-series A funding,” said Pun-Arj Chairatana, executive director of the NIA.

The agency will continue its three-year-old policy of building a “new economic warrior” by increasing awareness of startup businesses and increasing the number of corporate venture capital to grow the funding pool to 50 billion baht (USD1.2 billion).

To continue this momentum, the NIA will this year focus on multiple sectors of startups which include MAR (music, art and recreation) tech startups as this can serve tourism and Mice (meetings, incentives, conferences, exhibitions) as well as entertainment, streaming and over-the-top services.

It will also promote deep tech which uses advanced technology like artificial intelligence in health, food, and agriculture. Deep tech startups rely on major technological breakthroughs and require long-term investment, which is why Thailand has very few. However, 150 startups out of a total of 750 are MAR startups.

In order to simulate the growth of startups, the country needs to position itself as a landing pad for global startups by creating a welcoming startup environment through smart visas and the Startup Act.

“If we have more foreign startups here by helping them to collaborate with local startups and co-found new ventures that will benefit the country,” Pun-Arj said.

Meanwhile, the NIA is also collaborating with key cities that can be landing pads for local startups to expand to overseas markets.

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