BANGKOK, Thailand Thailand is mulling issuing visas for foreign startup businesses to boost its innovation industry and overall economy, the Thai government said Monday.
"We will issue the 'Startup Camp Visa' to legalize these businesses instead of having them apply for tourist visas as per the current practice," said Kobsak Pootrakul, Minister Attached to the Prime Minister's Office.
"A lot of digital nomads come here because it's cheap. The food is good and there are many tourist attractions. So why don't we just give them legal opportunities to do so? They can even hire Thai staff too," Kobsak said.
There are more than 1,500 startups in Thailand as of early 2018, according to the Ministry of Science and Technology.
The Thai capital Bangkok and the northern city Chiang Mai have been ranked among the world's top five cities for digital nomads in various polls.
It was not immediately known when the government will start issuing the startup visas.
Kobsak made the remarks at the World Bank's launch of Thailand's economic report in Bangkok, which estimated the biggest economic growth in the South-East Asian country since 2012 at 4.1 per cent.
The continuous growth, from 2.9 per cent in 2015, to 3.2 per cent in 2016, and then to 3.9 per cent last year, is largely attributed to rapid export growth and the booming tourism industry, according to the World Bank.
Source: NAM News Network