PM backs startup initiatives on Korea trip

PM backs startup initiatives on Korea trip

Further cooperation urged to build successful new businesses

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha yesterday emphasised the importance of cooperation between South Korean and Asean to help new businesses while highlighting Thailand’s efforts in promoting a startup ecosystem.

Speaking at the Asean-Rok Startup Summit in Busan, Gen Prayut said both sides should continue to foster the growth of startups and consider building a network of focal points where state agencies in charge of the process can share their experiences.

He said that enhancing cooperation on startups in Asean and South Korea is also in line with the "joint vision statement for peace, prosperity and partnership" adopted at the Asean-Republic of Korea Commemorative Summit.

The summit, presided over by South Korean President Moon Jae-in, was organised on the sidelines of the Asean-Rok Commemorative Summit. Besides the Asean leaders, the meeting was also attended by hundreds of participants including promising startups, accelerators and government officials.

Gen Prayut shared with those present what his government has done to assist new businesses which he said are the key to developing an innovation-driven economy. 

According to the prime minister, the government rolled out three laws designed to facilitate the setting up of startups — tax incentives to attract foreign shareholders, allowing startups to test their ideas, and granting researchers the right to their intellectual property.

To encourage young entrepreneurs, the Youth Startup Fund was established with a budget of 100 million baht for funding throughout 50 universities to set up pilots for their students' business models.

On the international front, Gen Prayut said Thailand, as chair of Asean, pushed for the launch of Southeast Asia Startup Assembly (Seasa) in July for key players in the regional bloc to exchange information and expand cooperation in the sector.

He said the Seasa forum, which will be held annually, should help the region build and strengthen its startup ecosystem.

Gen Prayut also welcomed the signing of a memorandum of understanding between Thailand's Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation and South Korea’s Ministry of Science, Technology and Communications to promote cooperation in scientific research and development.

He said he was looking forward to expanding partnerships in innovation and startups between Thailand, Asean and South Korea.

The prime minister yesterday also attended Asean-Rok Innovation Showcase 2019 and the Mekong-Rok Welcoming Dinner with his wife on the third day of his four-day visit in Busan.


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