Thailand the New Startup Capital of Southeast Asia
According to a Mastercard survey in 2019 Bangkok is the most visited city in the world welcoming 22.7 million international visitors. Known as the land of Smiles Thailand has long been known as a great destination for visitors of all kinds. However, with the rapid development of infrastructure in Thailand and the region it is fast becoming the ideal place to set up businesses targeting the ever-growing middle class of Indochina and Southeast Asia as a whole.
Let’s look at why Thailand is the ideal location to headquarter a startup based in Southeast Asia.
Ease of doing Business
With great efforts from the Board of Investment of Thailand (BOI) and The Department of Business Development (DBD), it has now become easier than ever to set up a business in Thailand. There are a multitude of ways a foreign national can set up a business in Thailand with relative ease. While there still exist some protectionist practices within business regulations in Thailand. They pale in comparison to the myriad of red tape and regulations that hinder setting up businesses in the rest of Indochina. And if your business leverages on emerging technologies in its processes you will find Thailand to be one of the most open economies in the region. The Thai government understands the need to invest in areas of growth such as manufacturing, high end services and digital technologies as such there are many incentives for businesses whether local or foreign who invest in these areas through the Board of Investment (BOI).
Low Operating Costs
Thailand has a very established private sector catering to various business needs, with a multitude of choice when it comes to the most business expenses. A very competitive rental, telecommunications and broadband sectors lead to big cost savings for businesses setting up in Thailand in contrast to several jurisdictions in the region where such sectors may be controlled by state monopolies or oligopolies. This strong private sector also brings with it great reliability in regards to business necessities not to mention the absolute best customer service that you will receive anywhere in the world.
Highly Educated Workforce
In any start-up or I dare say in any modern business, the greatest bottleneck faced by business owners would usually be to satisfy the ever-growing need for talent in the business. While other countries in the region such as Singapore might have highly educated workforce, it comes with a very high price tag both in terms of employee overhead and cost of doing business. In recent years Thailand has come to rival even its more developed neighbors in this area. With most middle-class Thais going to Universities and completing ever popular exchange programs in the west. The modern Thai work force is filled with highly educated, globally traveled and multi-lingual employees. With the sheer amount of highly trained job seekers available it truly is an employer’s market. And if there is a need to import talent to fill a skill gap within your company; Thailand is one of the most popular locations in the world as such you will find very little problems finding expats to fill such roles.
Digitally savvy population.
The Thai people consistently clock the highest number of hours spent on the internet in the world from year to year without fail. It also has one of the highest levels of mobile internet penetration in the world. From their heavy use social media, internet banking, digital payments and their use of a multitude of online technology in their daily lives. We have a population that this very tech savvy and very much plugged into the world through the internet. You will find that Thais are avid early adopters of all kinds of digital technology. Allowing you to not only find customers for all kinds of digital services and products but also employees and partners who will comprehend the power of technology and its nuances relatively easily.
With a beautiful country that everyone wants to visit, open and friendly business regulations, highly educated and technologically savvy population and reasonable operating costs; Thailand is all but set to become the ideal home for startups in Southeast Asia. If you as a business owner are looking for the greatest return for your investment with the least number of challenges in the region look no further than Thailand.