Government salutes AI industry
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Government salutes AI industry

Nation 'ready for the future', PM says

Government salutes AI industry
PM Srettha Thavisin, left, welcomes Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and presides over the "Exclusive Networking Lunch Microsoft Build: AI Day" at Santi Maitree Building in Government House on Wednesday. (Photo courtesy of Government House)

The government is moving to fully embrace and support the artificial intelligence (AI) industry and pave the way for digital infrastructure in the future, according to Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin.

"Today, no one can deny that AI is one of the most transformative forces we have witnessed in this decade," he said at the launch of the "Microsoft Build: AI Day Event" held at Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre (QSNCC) in Khlong Toei district on Wednesday.

"AI has certainly changed many aspects of our lives, workplaces and how we do business today, and we are glad to assure you that Thailand is now ready for AI and the government is moving to fully support the AI industry in this country. Our digital infrastructure is ready for the future,'' he added.

Around 2,000 developers and business and technology leaders attended the event.

Mr Srettha said Thailand ranks among the countries with the strongest internet and digital infrastructure in the region, including broadband internet, mobile connectivity, fifth generation (5G) infrastructure and an international submarine cable network.

The "Ignite Thailand" vision, launched in February, demonstrated the government's commitment and clear path to transform Thailand into a regional hub in eight key industries, Mr Srettha said.

This includes digital economy, tourism, wellness and medical, food, aviation, future automotive, and finance. An important part of this vision is to turn Thailand into a "digital economy hub" of the region, if not the world. This vision involves attracting high-tech industries of the future, and also nurturing a secure digital ecosystem, including infrastructure providers and developers, he said.

Since he took office last September, Mr Srettha said the government has implemented several key policies, both short-term and long-term, to strengthen Thailand's competitiveness and enhance the country's global stature.

At the national level, the second phase of the national AI strategy and action plan for the period of 2024–2027 are being pushed forward. This is to further harness the power of AI and cloud computing in the country by implementing projects to strengthen AI ecosystem, he said.

Mr Srettha went on to say that Thailand's Board of Investment (BOI) has placed the digital industry among the strategic options for investment. This encompasses a comprehensive investment incentive package, crafted to help foster digital-related activities.

In addition, the government is working on the green energy transition.

Mr Srettha said businesses need renewable energy to achieve their net-zero targets. It is the government's priority to achieve global climate change commitments, both on carbon neutrality and net zero, as well as the policy of having 50% of energy production come from renewable sources by 2040.

The government has also committed to provide more than 9 gigawatts of new energy capacity through the Utility Green Tariff system by 2030. This will ensure that any business looking to invest in Thailand will have easy and affordable access to clean energy, he said.

The government will also be working closely with leading digital companies like Microsoft to create a sustainability sandbox aimed at fostering environmental innovation.

Mr Srettha said he was delighted to learn Thailand's commitment to propel the nation forward aligns with Microsoft's vision.

Last November, the government and Microsoft signed an MOU to pursue the vision of a cloud-first, AI-powered Thailand.

"In this regard, I'm also pleased to learn that Microsoft will participate in the effort to develop our human resources and help increase access to education and opportunities for local communities nationwide,'' Mr Srettha said.

He said the collaboration with Microsoft will lead to a brighter future and the government is committed to making Thailand a perfect destination for the digital industry.

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