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Thailand expands AI and electric vehicles action plans

The Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research, and Innovation (MHESI) and the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society of Thailand came together in early March 2024 to develop the action plan of the second phase of Thailand’s National AI Strategy and Action Plan, which will focus on strengthening the AI ecosystem in industries like tourism, trade, finance, security and production.
To accelerate Thailand’s AI transition, six pilot projects have been identified, including developing a central tourism data centre, designing and developing an AI-based financial fraud detection system to prevent the impact of cybercrime and promoting further research on AI-based machines to increase the productivity of the industrial sector.
Meanwhile, in the area of electric vehicles (EV), MHESI, on 18 March 2024, presided over the signing ceremony of a cooperation agreement to drive the EV policy of 23 agencies under its purview. This is in support of government efforts to make Thailand into the largest EV hub in the Asia-Pacific region, with the following targets and goals:

1. A workforce of 150,000 for the sector within the next 5 years.
2. EV cars to make up at least 30 percent of cars in Thai universities and government agencies by 2030.
3. 100 entrepreneurs with enhanced skills and capabilities in science and technology through the allocation of approximately 3,000 million Baht (GBP65.3 million) in research funding over five years

What does this mean for the UK sector?
Artificial intelligence remains one of the top priorities for Thailand while EV is gaining attention and interest. With MHESI as the co-lead of the National AI Strategy, and with EV receiving support from the government, there is keen interest in Thailand for international partnerships and research collaboration in these areas, as well as for training programmes to enhance the skills of those already in the workforce.
UK universities should expect an increase in demand for AI or EV related courses by Thai students and those that specialise in AI- or EV-related courses should promote their respective niche areas and seek out opportunities to partner with Thai universities, particularly in the areas of new interest under the six new AI projects - AI ethics, big data, generative AI, and/or linguistics – as well as in EV.