The future for the Asia Region with technology is incredibly bright, said Scott Beaumont, president at Google Asia Pacific, during his keynote address at Tuesday’s BEYOND Virtual event. The BEYOND virtual event is a preview of the BEYOND EXPO Macao 2021 that will be held from Dec. 2 to Dec. 4.
Below is the full text of Beaumont’s speech at the BEYOND Virtual event. The text has been edited for clarity and brevity:
Hello, everyone. My name is Scott Beaumont, I’m the president of Google Asia Pacific.
Thank you to Gang Lu and the team for the invitation to speak today and congratulations on this BEYOND event.
I’m actually really happy and thrilled to see Asia host such an event at such an important time for technology. The impact of COVID has really been quite remarkable. From people’s needing to get the information that they need as quickly and as reliably as possible, to being able to use new services they’ve not used before to help deliver groceries or keep themselves entertained during COVID, or to small businesses looking for a way to engage with digital skills and find a way to survive, it’s clear that technology has been incredibly important to many.
Particularly when we look at the Asia Pacific, 270 million new people have come online for the first time since COVID began, which is really quite remarkable.
And so, the key things are to make sure that this technology is accessible and that people have the skills that they need to be able to use these new services. In fact, when we put partnerships in place, behind the scenes, we make sure that people know how to use the internet, know how to use these services in a way that suits and serves them.
Now, Google has actually been in Asia now for just over 20 years. In fact, we celebrated our 20th anniversary just a few weeks ago.
Our first international office was in Tokyo in Japan and since that time clearly, we’ve seen Asia take the lead in a number of really interesting areas, whether that’s payments or video or commerce, the influence of Asia can be deeply felt in the technology space. And I think that’s just going to increase.
I think the new generation coming through is going to create a groundswell in innovation and entrepreneurship. Computer science is here. The market opportunity is here. The finances are here and so for entrepreneurs in the region, there really hasn’t been a better time to come to market and there is a significant opportunity. Not just through these incredible demographics, but by the fact that the technology itself provides an opportunity for us to be able to create new services for end-users, corporate and individuals throughout the region.
Now one of the areas where I’m hoping to see technology take the lead is climate change. Google made a statement that we want to be carbon-free by the end of the decade, and we’ve done that with some nervousness but some excitement.
We’re not quite sure of everything that needs to happen to get us there. We see some of the steps but some of the steps will be revealed to us as we continue to progress.
But I think it’s important that we try and I think it’s important that perhaps we set a standard that others might have the confidence also to follow.
We’re going to try and do our part too. We could be providing enterprises with the benefit of our cloud technology and AI and applied AI services behind that to help them get there.
We’re going to be looking with governments and some of our flood prediction tools or forest fire prediction tools as a way of helping governments respond better to crises.
We’re going to be looking at Search and Maps, for example, helping to provide consumers with better information to make better choices to enable them to be more climate aware as they think about their day-to-day.
This is an area where I think APAC can lead. Whether it’s climate change or whether it’s accessibility, or whether it’s how we deal with language, or whether it’s any number of the other potential opportunities that exist within the region.
I think the future for the Asia Region with technology is incredibly bright. Part of those demographics, part of that is the computer science capability, part of that is the natural positivity and entrepreneurship that I see around the region.
This is a great time to be embarking on the conversation that you’re having today at Beyond. I congratulate you on putting the event together and look forward to hearing some of the results of what comes out of the conversation.