US to Boost Digital Connectivity and Promote HiTech in APEC

The USA hosted the APEC Summit in San Francisco in November 2023. The US remains the largest source of #FDI into APEC while China is the largest trading with most of the APEC countries.

At the end of the Summit, the White House issued a statement to summarize the contributions of the USA to the APEC economies. Under the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment (#PG2I), the US private and public sectors will have poured more than USD 50 billion into APEC by the end of 2023. The aim is to promote Sustainability, Resilience and Inclusivity with an emphasis on the application of innovation and technology.

Happening in the Bay Area next to the Silicon Valley, this edition of the APEC Summit could not fail to have a strong high-tech flavor and follow some of the bleeding-edge technological trends. To enhance digitalization and connectivity, the USA will plough in nearly USD 25 billion in new subsea optical cables across the Pacific and promote adoption of hi-tech across APEC countries.

In the same vein, Google will partner with local telcos to install two new Trans-Pacific fibers. Furthermore, KKR will partner with Singtel to invest USD 400 million for Optic Marine Services.

On the other hand, Amazon will invest more than USD 20 billion into secure and resilient cloud infrastructure to host its cross-border eCommerce platform which will assist #SME in APEC to internationalize and scale up.

Not to be left behind, Meta (formerly Facebook) launched a research partnership program with 14 universities across 8 APEC countries to fund and promote innovative technologies. In addition, Meta will provide #AI training to 500 million people across APEC by 2024, while paying particular attention to SME and women entrepreneurs to become more tech-savvy.

“We finally have a way to interact with computing using natural language. That is, we finally have a technology that understands us, not the other way around. As our interactions with technology become more and more natural, computers will increasingly be able to see and interpret our intent and make sense of the world around us.”

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

Microsoft will partner with satellite ISP Kacific to expand access to high-speed internet in Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Cook Islands and other such island states. Some 10 million people will get access to broadband via satellite and 750 schools and clinics will also be connected to internet broadband. In Australia, Microsoft will invest USD 3.2 billion to upgrade its data center and #AI infrastructure.

Astranis Space Technologies will invest USD 100 million to provide affordable, reliable and high-speed internet using MicroGEO broadband satellites to serve the rural communities scattered around the numerous islands in the Philippines archipelago.

Micron is partnering with 17 universities and polytechnics across APEC to nurture a semiconductor workforce. In particular, Micron announced the establishment of the US-Japan University Partnership for Workforce Advancement and Research & Development in Semiconductors (UPWARDS) which brings together six US and five Japanese institutions of higher learning.

Nvidia announced its support to more than 5,000 startups across APEC by providing opportunities to connect with Venture Capitalists (VC) and to facilitate access to cutting-edge technologies.

OpenAI Founder Sam Altman at APEC CEO Summit 2023

During the APEC CEO Summit, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella highlighted that his company has invested more than USD 10 billion into OpenAI which is revolutionizing how we interact with computers thanks to its generative AI engine #ChatGPT. In fact, the founder of OpenAI Sam Altman is set to lead the Microsoft AI team. Google CEO Sundar Pichai is also working hard to ‘infuse more AI’ into its flagship search engine.

Through the above programs, the US is thus cementing its position as the global innovation capital and technological leader while addressing some of the developmental issues of APEC.