American technology firm Microsoft said Wednesday it will open a new data center region in Thailand.

Microsoft said in a statement that the data center region will expand the availability of Microsoft’s hyperscale cloud services, facilitating enterprise-grade reliability, performance, and compliance with data residency and privacy standards.

It follows growing demand for cloud computing services in Thailand from enterprises, local businesses, and public sector organizations.

It will also allow Thailand to capitalize on the significant economic and productivity opportunities presented by the latest artificial intelligence (AI) technology.

Cited a research by Kearney, Microsoft said AI could contribute nearly $1 trillion to Southeast Asia’s gross domestic product by 2030, with Thailand poised to capture $117 billion of this amount.

Microsoft has also announced significant commitments to build new cloud and AI infrastructure in Thailand.

The commitments build on its memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Royal Thai Government to envision the nation’s digital-first, AI-powered future.

“Our ‘Ignite Thailand’ vision for 2030 aims to achieve the goal of developing the country’s stature as a regional digital economy hub that significantly enhances our innovation and research and development (R&D) capabilities while also strengthening our tech workforce,

“This announcement with Microsoft is a significant milestone in the journey of our ‘Ignite Thailand’ vision – one that promises new opportunities for growth, innovation, and prosperity for all Thais,” said Thailand Prime Minister Thavisin.

Satya Nadella, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Microsoft, said that Thailand has an incredible opportunity to build a digital-first, AI-powered future.

“Our new datacenter region, along with the investments we are making in cloud and AI infrastructure, as well as AI skilling, build on our long-standing commitment to the country – and will help Thai organizations across the public and private sector drive new impact and growth,” he added.

Dhanawat Suthumpun, Managing Director of Microsoft Thailand, said that Microsoft is dedicated to helping Thailand excel as a digital economy, ensuring that the benefits of cloud and AI technologies are widespread and contribute to the prosperity and wellbeing of Thais.

“Together, we are laying the foundations for a future that is not only technologically advanced but also inclusive and sustainable,” he added.

Microsoft also announced on Tuesday that it will provide AI skilling opportunities for over 100,000 people in Thailand, and support the nation’s growing developer community.

The skilling commitment is expected to benefit more than 100,000 individuals in Thailand, the firm said.

Microsoft will also enhance the AI proficiency of those involved in the nation’s tourism sector through the AI Skills for the AI-enabled Tourism Industry program.

The initiative is a partnership between Microsoft and Thailand’s Ministry of Digital Economy and Society, Ministry of Tourism and Sports, Ministry of Labour, and the nation’s Technology Vocational Education Training Institute.

It aims to empower young entrepreneurs and youths involved in tourism businesses across minor-tier geographic provinces in all five regions of Thailand.

The program will also focus on enhancing the capabilities of 500 trainers from technology vocational education training institutes in AI for Thailand’s tourism sector.

These trainers will then equip young individuals in tourism and hospitality with AI skills.

The learning module will be accessible through partners’ learning platforms to ensure sustainability and scalability.

The tourism initiative builds on other Microsoft-supported skilling initiatives in Thailand, including Accelerating Thailand, the ASEAN Cyber Security Programme, Code; Without Barriers, and the Junior Software Developer Program.

Microsoft will also enable the Royal Thai Government to adopt a cloud-first policy with an AI skill development program for developers and government IT personnel.

Nadella highlighted the important role developers play in shaping Thailand’s digital-first, AI-powered future.

According to the statement, Microsoft will continue to help foster the growth of the country’s developer community through new initiatives such as AI Odyssey, which is expected to help 6,000 Thai developers become AI subject matter experts by learning new skills and earning Microsoft credentials.

It is noted that Thailand is a rapidly growing market on GitHub, the Microsoft-owned software development, collaboration, and innovation platform.

More than 900,000 Thailand-based developers used GitHub in 2023, representing 24 percent year-on-year growth.

Microsoft announces AI skilling opportunities for 2.5M people in the ASEAN region by 2025