Catapulting Thailand's GDP Growth: Thailand Data Center Council Appoints Inaugural Chairman to Drive Southeast Asia's Data Center Hub Ambitions

Technology News Thursday February 22, 2024 13:33 —PRESS RELEASE LOCAL

Catapulting Thailand's GDP Growth: Thailand Data Center Council Appoints Inaugural Chairman to Drive Southeast Asia's Data Center Hub Ambitions

The Thailand Data Center Council (TDCC) is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Thosaphol Pengsom as its inaugural Chairman, marking a strategic move to position Thailand as the premier data center hub of Southeast Asia within the next three years.

As of 2023, the APAC data center colocation market supports 10,233 MW of IT capacity, constituting approximately 40% of the global market. Projected estimates by Structure Research anticipate this capacity to surge to 19,069 MW by 2028. While Malaysia and Indonesia in ASEAN have experienced substantial growth, Thailand, despite being the second-largest GDP in the region, faces challenges in policies and regulations, posing a risk to its participation in the burgeoning AI Economy.

AI is poised to drive economic growth by influencing both the demand and supply sides. Notably, key industry players like Nvidia, with a substantial market value of 1.83 trillion USD, symbolize the supply side. Their technology is instrumental for both cloud service providers and content platforms, and these entities find their operational base within data centers. The establishment of the Thailand Data Centre Council underscores its goal of collaboratively working with the government, cloud service providers, and content platforms to reform policies, fostering an environment that inspires confidence among international investors.

Mr. Thosaphol Pengsom, the newly appointed Chairman, brings extensive experience, having served in key roles such as Former Vice Minister for the Office of the Prime Ministers (Ministry of Digital Economy and Society), Former Vice President of the Ministry of Energy, and Former Chairman of the National Big Data Institute: NBDi.

Mr. Thosaphol emphasizes, "While major cloud service providers like Alibaba Cloud, Huawei Cloud, Tencent Cloud, Amazon Web Services, and Google Cloud Platform have entered Thailand, fostering and supporting an environment that accelerates the expansion of their data center capacity is imperative."

TDCC's strategic focus areas include:

  • Policy Refinement: Promote and instill confidence in the data center industry. Expedited amendment of obstructive regulations and licenses to reduce time to market and unnecessary costs. Clear guidelines will be established in collaboration with the government to provide robust support for existing and incoming cloud providers and data center operators, fostering certainty for the industry to capture the AI growth opportunity.
  • Sustainability & Renewable Energy: Collaboration with the energy sector to align on renewable energy requirements reflective of the data center industry's growth. This industry, driven by hosting GPUs for cloud service providers and content platforms, will prioritize sustainable practices.
  • Workforce Development: Incubating and training personnel at all levels, expanding the curriculum for data center education. Short, medium, and long-term training and internship plans will be developed, with ongoing negotiations with relevant government agencies to enhance personnel development within the ecosystem.
  • Mediation and Advocacy: Functioning as a mediator, TDCC will address issues and challenges by engaging relevant agencies, fostering confidence among foreign investors, with the ultimate goal of benefiting the country and the Thai people.

Amidst the Bank of Thailand's projection of a 3.8% growth in the Thai economy by 2024, the government is proactively pursuing investment initiatives, ranging from short-term soft power campaigns to the long-term southern land-bridge project. A significant focus of these efforts is on attracting data center investments, recognized as a pivotal driver for Thailand's economic advancement.

Established in January 2024, TDCC, through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between five founding members, aims to elevate the data center sector, positioning it as a critical industry for Thailand's digital infrastructure.

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