Bangkok No 1 in Asia for launching a startup: survey

Bangkok No 1 in Asia for launching a startup: survey

Skyline of Bangkok's business district in the Sathorn-Sukhumvit area. Inset: Entrepreneurs founding startups at work (Source: Wikipedia).
Skyline of Bangkok's business district in the Sathorn-Sukhumvit area. Inset: Entrepreneurs founding startups at work (Source: Wikipedia).

Low cost of living & rents raised Bangkok to top place for small startup businesses. 'Digital nomads' choosing Thailand too, but more friendly regulations needed.


Bangkok No 1 in Asia for launching a startup: survey

Apinya Wipatayotin

Bangkok is the best city in Asia to launch a startup and No 7 in the world.

This is according to a new survey by the organization PeoplePerHour, a freelance sourcing firm..


The survey took into account many factors including the cost of living, rent, monthly salary and general ease or difficulty of starting a new business.

The survey found Bangkok has been attracting financial technology (fintech) and other startups that view it as an ideal hub from which to push into the Asean region given its location, huge population and growing middle-class.

According to the survey, Vancouver in Canada takes the top spot globally followed by Berlin and Manchester, England.

In Asia, Bangalore was No 2 (it ranked 10th globally) followed by No 3 Kuala Lumpur (11th globally) and Singapore (12th).


Bangkok's ascendancy results from strong government support for startups in recent years as well as its cooperation with other stakeholders from the private sector.

This is according to Science and Technology Minister Atchaka Sibunruang.

The government has been emphasising the importance of new business developers who can effectively and significantly drive economic growth, she added.

Make sure to check out the Startup Thailand YouTube channel here.


Already this year 1,500 of 8,000 proposed startups have launched in Thailand, creating over 7,500 jobs, Ms Atchaka said.

Investment in this area has grown 150% year-on-year, she added.


Thailand can lure significant investment from new startups as they marvel at the business opportunities despite the tight regulations, said Pun-arj Chairatana, executive director of the National Innovation Agency (NIA).

He cited the case of Thai based Fintech startup Omise, which has a Japanese partner, and which won a 1.8-billion-baht contract to set up a payment system for commercial banks (see here & here).


Bangkok and Chiang Mai are home to groups of "digital nomads" who serve as freelance digital technology developers.

However, these digital nomads do find their businesses hobbled by restrictive Thai regulations on visas, money transfers and other matters.

"The government has realised the problem and is trying to deal with it," Mr Pun-arj said.


"They [the government] may issue a 'talent visa', as is the case in Japan and Europe."

"That's a good way to lure investment and promote close cooperation with local startups," he added.


The private sector is focussing more on helping startups, especially land developers.

He said the NIA has signed a deal with True Cooperation to develop part of Punnawithi Road in the Sukhumvit area as a digital park or startup hub.

This month, the ministry's Startup Thailand 2017: Scale up Asia event saw over 42,000 participants and up to 30 billion baht in business generated, he said.

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  • according to (prep): as stated or reported by somebody/something - ตามคำบอกเล่า, ตามรายงาน
  • as well as: also -
  • ascendancy (noun): the position of having power or influence over somebody/something; the advantage, power, or influence that one person or group has over another - ภาวะมีอำนาจ
  • attract: to cause someone to be interested in something - ดึงดูดความสนใจ
  • based: where the main work of an organisation, business, etc. is done or controlled - ซึ่งเป็นศูนย์กลาง
  • case: a particular situation or a situation of a particular type - กรณี, เหตุการณ์, สถานการณ์
  • check out: look at something to see what it is and whether they are interested in it -
  • cited: mentioned as an example, explanation or proof of something else -
  • commercial bank (noun): a bank with branches in many different places, that provides a range of services, especially related to bank accounts, loans and saving money, for people and businesses; the kind of bank that most people use - ธนาคารพาณิชย์, สถาบันการเงินที่มุ่งเน้นการรับฝากเงิน
  • contract: an official written agreement - สัญญา
  • cooperation: a situation in which people or organisations work together to achieve a result that will benefit all of them - การร่วมมือกัน
  • cost of living (noun): the amount of money that people need to pay for ordinary goods and services such as food, clothing and a place to live - ค่าครองชีพ
  • deal (noun): a formal agreement, especially in business or politics - ข้อตกลง, การตกลงซื้อขาย, การซื้อขาย
  • despite (prep): used to show that something happened or is true although something else might have happened to prevent it; used to show that somebody did not intend to do the thing mentioned - ถึงอย่างไรก็ตาม, ทั้ง ๆ ที่
  • developer (noun): a person who "develops"and creates something new such as a new product, computer program or real estate development such as houses or an office building -
  • developer (noun): real estate developer, a person or company that builds new "real estate developments" including buildings, houses, shopping centers, etc - นักพัฒนาที่ดิน
  • developer (noun): software developer, a person who writes computer programs and apps as their job -
  • drive (verb): to cause; to force somebody to act in a particular way - บังคับ, ผลักดัน
  • ease (noun): lack of difficulty - ความง่ายดายในการทำสิ่งต่างๆ
  • effectively: producing the result that was intended - ได้ผลดี
  • emphasise: to stress something such as an idea, fact or detail; to explain or show why something is important - เน้น
  • especially: more with one person, thing, etc. than with others, or more in particular circumstances than in others - โดยเฉพาะอย่างยิ่ง
  • factors (noun): facts or situations which influence the result of something - ปัจจัย
  • firm: a business or company - บริษัท
  • focus: to give attention, effort, etc. to one particular subject, situation or person rather than another - เพ่งความสนใจ
  • freelance: earning money by selling your work or services to several different organisations rather than being employed by one particular organisation - ทำงาน อิสระ, บุคคคที่เสนอตนเองเพื่อรับทำงาน
  • generate: to produce - ก่อให้เกิด
  • globally: throughout the world - ทั่วโลก
  • growth (noun): economic growth, an increase in economic activity - การเติบโต
  • hobble (verb): to walk with difficulty, especially because your feet or legs hurt - เดินกะโผลกกะเผลก, เดินโซซัดโซเซ
  • hub: the central or main part of something where there is most activity - จุดศูนย์กลาง
  • huge: very large - ใหญ่โต
  • ideal: the best possible - ดีที่สุด
  • investment (noun): the act of investing money in something - การลงทุน
  • issue: to give or provide something official - แจกจ่าย
  • launch: starting something - การเริ่มต้น
  • location: where someone or something is - ที่ตั้ง,ทำเล
  • lure: to attract someone/something - ล่อใจ, หลอกล่อ, ยั่วยวน
  • marvel: to show or feel surprise or admiration - ประหลาดใจมาก, ตกตะลึงกับ
  • matter: a situation or subject which is being dealt with or considered - เรื่อง, ภารกิจ, งาน
  • middle-class (noun): families that are not poor or rich but have incomes in the middle, sometimes thought of as educated people with professional jobs - ฐานะปานกลาง, ชนชั้นกลาง
  • minister: a member of the cabinet, the group of government ministers who make and approve government policy - รัฐมนตรี
  • ministry: a government department that has a particular area of responsibility - กระทรวง
  • money transfer: sending money from one place to another place -
  • nomad: a member of a community that moves with its animals from place to place - ชนเผ่าเร่ร่อน, คนร่อนเร่
  • opportunity (noun): a chance to do something, or a situation in which it is easy for you to do something - โอกาส
  • participants (noun): people who take part in something - ผู้เข้าร่วม
  • partner: one of the people who owns a business and shares the profits, etc or works together with another business in an activity - หุ้นส่วน, ผู้ร่วมมือ,
  • population: a particular group of people or animals living in a particular area - กลุ่มที่อาศัยอยู่ในที่เดียวกัน
  • private sector: businesses and industries that are not owned or controlled by the government - ภาคเอกชน
  • promote: to encourage or support something - สนับสนุน
  • proposed: suggested as an idea for a group to consider - ถูกเสนอ
  • rank: someone’s official position in the armed forces, police, fire services, etc. - ยศ, ตำแหน่ง
  • recent: happening or starting a short time ago - เร็วๆ นี้
  • region: a large area of land or space, usually without exact limits or borders - ภูมิภาค, ขอบเขต, แถบ, บริเวณ
  • regulations: official rules that control the way that things are done - ระเบียบปฏิบัติ
  • restrictive: limiting and controlling - ซึ่งถูกยับยั้ง, ซึ่งถูกควบคุม
  • result (noun): a thing that is caused or produced because of something else - ผล,ผลลัพธ์,ผลที่ตามมา
  • results (noun): what you get in the end when activity is completed (test results, research results, etc) - ผล
  • salary: a fixed amount of money that you earn each month or year from your job - เงินเดือน
  • set up: to create something or start it - ตั้งขึ้น
  • sign: sign agreement, put your signature on an agreement; agree to do something in exchange for something such as money - เซ็นสัญญา
  • significant: important - สำคัญ
  • significantly: in an important way - อย่างมีความหมาย, อย่างสำคัญ
  • source: to get something from a particular place - ได้จาก
  • stakeholder: someone who has an interest in the success of a plan, system, or organization, for example a worker in a company or the parent of a child at a school - ผู้ถือผลประโยชน์ร่วม
  • startup (noun): a company that is just beginning to operate - บริษัทใหม่
  • support: to give help, encouragement or sympathy to somebody - สนับสนุน, เป็นกำลังใจ
  • survey: to ask a large number of people questions to find out their opinions - สำรวจ
  • talent: a person with a natural ability to do something well - ผู้ที่มีความสามารถพิเศษ
  • tight: very strict and firm - เข้มงวด, กวดขัน, เคร่งระเบียบ
  • took into account: considered; thought carefully about the various factors involved before making a decision or developing an opinion - พิจารณา, คิดอย่างละเอียด
  • transfer: to officially arrange for someone else to be the owner of something - โอน
  • view: a personal opinion, belief, or attitude about a particular situation or subject - ความคิดเห็น
  • year-on-year (adjective): the amount or statistic for a period this year (month, quarter, half-year) compared to last year -
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