Thailand’s Digital Economy and Society (DE) Ministry is looking at setting up a 5-billion-baht ($147 million) Digital Economy Fund in September in line with the government’s policy to promote startups to create and expand their businesses domestically and internationally.
According to local media, DE Minister Pichet Durongkaveroj said in the meeting with startups that the DE fund would not only provide the funding but also be a part of the government’s strategic plan to make the startup ecosystem healthy.
More than a capital injection, the fund is set up to promote research and development, support the operations of the Digital Economy Promotion Agency and cover expenses for the Office of National Digital Economy Committee (NDEC), chaired by the prime minister.
The ministry is forming the operational committee, supervised by the NDEC, to manage and disburse the fund, he added.
Apart from the previous launches of venture capital funds by several state agencies and the government’s banks, the DE Ministry, the Revenue Department and the Board of Investment have been working on attractive incentive packages for both Thai and global tech startups.
Meanwhile, CAT Telecom together with the Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand is also building the country’s first digital innovation park to serve as the development centre for startups in Chon Buri province at a total investment of 10 billion baht ($294 million).
The government plans to use the digital park as an ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) data hub with ultra high speed broadband infrastructure powered by CAT, including international submarine cable station, data center and satellite earth station.
According to its plan, 60 per cent of the park will be reserved for startups and private companies, 15 per cent for research instiitutes and the remaining 25 per cent for accommodations.