At the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders’ Meeting, the Royal Thai Government and Google today announced a strategic collaboration to boost Thailand’s digital competitiveness and accelerate artificial intelligence (AI) innovation. The agreement will see both parties working jointly to instill four foundational pillars that are necessary for the country to thrive in the AI economy: advancing digital infrastructure investments; promoting secure and responsible AI adoption to transform public service delivery; anchoring on cloud-first policies; and making digital skills more accessible to Thais.
These initiatives build on Google’s investments in Thailand over the last 12 years. In 2022 alone, the company’s products and programs supported more than 250,000 jobs. Google also contributed, both directly and indirectly, an estimated US$4.3 billion in economic benefits to local businesses.
Srettha Thavisin, Prime Minister of Thailand, said: “Our partnership with Google is a significant step forward in fulfilling this government’s vision of transforming sectors of high relevance to Thai citizens, businesses, and investors through cloud-first policies, while creating a safer cyberspace. Google’s expertise and investments in digital infrastructure, responsible AI research, digital skills development, and securing technology platforms at global scale will help Thailand leapfrog into becoming an innovation-driven economy, create high-value job opportunities, and raise our people’s quality of life.”
Ruth Porat, President & Chief Investment Officer; Chief Financial Officer, Alphabet and Google, said: “Guided by our local mission to Leave No Thai Behind, our partnership with the Government of Thailand seeks to strengthen its digital competitiveness and further advance its cloud-first digital transformation. We see immense potential for technology to be a powerful enabler for businesses and communities. Together we aim to improve the delivery of public services and scale the adoption of AI technologies with Google Cloud. Importantly, we will equip Thais to participate in the digital economy through talent upskilling and by ensuring secure, reliable and innovative digital infrastructure for people and businesses. We look forward to working with our partners in Thailand to deliver transformative opportunities for its citizens.”
Pillar 1: Investing in Thailand’s digital infrastructure
Google is exploring the potential establishment of a new in-country Google data center to power digital services.
Google Cloud previously announced that it is bringing its first cloud region to Thailand. With the Government’s support, Google Cloud today confirmed that its Thailand cloud region will be located in Bangkok. When it launches, the Thailand cloud region will bring Google Cloud technologies closer to local organizations to help them deliver digital services more reliably, with greater scalability, and at higher speeds, and support them in innovating with AI. The establishment of this cloud region is estimated to lift economic productivity, contributing more than US$4.1 billion to local GDP by 2030 and supporting the creation of 50,300 jobs in that year.
Pillar 2: Accelerating public sector AI adoption and strengthening cybersecurity
The Government and Google will embark on joint initiatives to accelerate bold and responsible AI development and application across ministries, government agencies, and key industries.
The Ministry of Digital Economy and Society (MDES) and Google Cloud will explore the use of generative AI (gen AI), taking advantage of Google Cloud technologies to rapidly deploy scalable solutions for public good. Priority areas include e-government services, financial technology, healthcare, education, and transportation.
Google and MDES will also pursue a shared agenda for responsible AI progress, with Google contributing policy expertise and its Secure AI Framework to help mitigate risks associated with AI systems. In 2018, Google was one of the first companies to issue AI Principles and establish specific areas of application it will not pursue. These principles serve as a living constitution, informing the company’s approach to developing advanced technologies and solutions.
To help public sector entities, businesses, and Thai citizens continue to realize the benefits of digital transformation while protecting them against cybercrime and malicious cyber activity, the Government and Google Cloud will engage in cyber threat information exchange and joint capability building, in view of potentially establishing a National CyberShield Alliance. This alliance will enable the Government to combine automation, analytics, threat intelligence, and AI to rapidly detect, investigate, and collectively defend against sophisticated cyber attacks on critical national infrastructure.
Pillar 3: Establishing a cloud-first strategy for Thailand
Google will support MDES’s development of a Go Cloud-first Strategy for Thailand, contributing policy and technology expertise to ensure the delivery of resilient, cost-efficient, and innovation-driven digital infrastructure for the country. This underscores the Government’s efforts to prioritize the use of best-in-class cloud services in government operations over capital-intensive on-premise solutions, while aligning with international privacy and security standards. MDES will also cooperate with Google Cloud to identify the types of data that may need to be stored within Google Distributed Cloud Hosted, a fully air-gapped private cloud environment.
Pillar 4: Making digital and cloud skills even more accessible to Thais
In partnership with MDES and the Board of Investment of Thailand (BOI), Google is offering 12,000 additional Google Career Certificate scholarships under its Samart Skills program. First launched in October 2022, this brings Google’s total commitment to 34,000 scholarships. This will help more Thais to develop skills and earn professional certifications—at no cost—for entry-level jobs in high-demand fields like cybersecurity; data analytics; IT support; and e-commerce & digital marketing.
Google Cloud is also making its Introduction to Generative AI Learning Path available to individuals at no cost. Accessible through the Google Cloud Skills Boost Program, this learning path consists of online courses that equip learners to understand the difference between gen AI and other types of AI, and how to apply AI responsibly. Learners who complete this learning path will earn a digital skills badge that they can share on their resume to validate their foundational understanding of gen AI.