Joining PM Prayut at the launch, held at the Duangjit Resort & Spa in Patong, were Science and Technology Minister Dr Pichet Durongkaveroj and Phuket Governor Chamreon Tipayapongtada.
At the launch, PM Prayut delivered his keynote address “Phuket: From World Class Destination to World Class Smart City & Startup Hub”.
“The object of today’s event is to inspire entrepreneurs to launch their own successful businesses across the Kingdom to move economy to Thailand 4.0 and to promote the awareness of digital technology, which will change Thai economic and social structure,” he said.
“Today, we will confirm to the world that Phuket is becoming a ‘Smart City’. The island will be a centre to support a new generation of startups and become a startup hub for Asean.”
PM Prayut highlighted the important role that Phuket played on the international stage.
“The most important thing that we all know today is that tourism in Phuket is growing, with a record 13.2 million tourists visiting the island. About 9.5 million of those were foreigners, he;helping to generate a total of over B313.3 billion in revenue.
“Recently, Unesco recognised Phuket as a City of Gastronomy. Phuket is one of such 18 cities around the world, but the first in Thailand, and the first in the Asean region, to recognised by Unesco.
“This proves Phuket’s quality as an international city. The central government has a duty to support the quality of Phuket’s environment and infrastructure to continue to develop the city for the future.”
“When we combine this with investment in digital technology, Phuket will become a city for innovation, creativity and the new centre for a new generation of businessmen and entrepreneurs and startups,” he concluded.
Science and Technology Minister Dr Pichet Durongkaveroj noted, “The government understands the importance of developing startup businesses, which are the foundation of a new economy for the country.
“We want find new ways to support this in every aspect, such as by developing skills, attracting talented people from around the world, adjusting business laws to support startups and creating opportunities for startup to grow, namely by supporting startup investment, supporting investment in businesses and creating a friendly environment for startups,” he said.
He continued, “The government has set up a strategic plan to set up ‘Startup Districts’ in every part of Thailand. This year’s ‘Startup Thailand 2016’ is being organised under the concept ‘Unite to Rise’, bringing together startups and related startup agencies from every sector for the first time in Thailand by focusing on innovative startup products and services.
“This is a good start to open up the stage for talented and creative startups to get together to exchange their views and unleash their creativities while showcasing their masterpieces to build up the new business model. This attempt will lead to the strong connection and opportunity for venture capital to drive Thai economy into a brighter future,” Dr Pichet said.
The three-day Startup Thailand event in Patong (Sept 16-18) features exhibition booths highlighting successful startup ventures, contests for best startup ideas and presentations, and presentations by expert speakers explaining key aspects of successful startups.
Among the expert speakers lined up to give presentation are Bill Morrow, Founder and CEO of crowdfunding experts Angels Den, to speak on startup capital, and Thye Yeow Bok, Program Manager for Google’s APAC Developer Relations Ecosystem, to speak on “Build, Grow and Earn with Google Firebase”.
Other key speakers include Angsumalin Fordham, Head of Products for Thailand, Visa Inc; Virasak Sutanthavibul, Senior Executive Vice President in charge of Commercial banking Bangkok Bank Public Company Limited; Charassri Charoenpol, Deputy Managing Director Kasikorn technology Group Secretariat Co Ltd; and Paphakorn Ratanasate, Executive Vice President, Investment Government Savings Bank.
For details of the presentations and activities at the event, visit ThailandStartup.org