MONDAY, April 15, 2024
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Indonesia, Thailand competing for billions in US investments at APEC week

Indonesia, Thailand competing for billions in US investments at APEC week

ASEAN rivals Thailand and Indonesia are competing to lure investment from major US companies during the ongoing Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders’ Week in San Francisco. So far, both countries have sealed significant deals worth billions.

Indonesia's President Joko Widodo had previously tried to woo investment from electric carmaker Tesla during a meeting with CEO Elon Musk in May last year. Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin has also sought investment from Tesla, even test-driving one of its cars at Government House last month.

During this week’s APEC summits, Thavisin has closed deals with Google, Microsoft and Amazon worth about 300 billion baht combined. These investments are aimed at boosting Thailand's digital infrastructure, focusing on innovation and cloud-first policies. 

Google is eyeing Thailand for its fourth data-centre hub in Asia. The collaboration is considered crucial for Thailand’s move to a digital and artificial intelligence (AI) economy. 
Meanwhile, Microsoft plans to invest 100 billion baht in Thailand's first-phase focus on data centres and clean energy. Thailand reportedly saw off competition from Malaysia and Vietnam for Microsoft investments.

Indonesia was successful in securing a deal with US oil giant ExxonMobil for a US$15-billion (312 billion baht) investment in petrochemicals, following President Joko Widodo's meeting with its president Darren Woods. ExxonMobil plans to invest in petrochemical projects and construction of a carbon capture and storage (CCS) facility in Indonesia. The facility is expected to be the largest of its kind in Southeast Asia.
Indonesia and Thailand, the first and second largest economies in ASEAN respectively, are competing to attract investments from leading global corporations, particularly in high-tech industries, by showcasing attractive investment opportunities within the region.
 

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