Chinese Internet search engine company Baidu Inc. has inked a deal with the Institute for Infocomm Research of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research in Singapore for the two parties to establish a joint lab to research and develop technologies related to the processing of Southeast Asian languages.

This partnership is recognized as an important layout for Baidu in the Southeast Asian market, and it is a key step for the company’s international development strategy.

The new lab, which will be named Baidu-I2R Research Centre, will reportedly focus on Southeast Asian language resources, natural language processing, information retrieval, information extraction, speech information processing and multimedia processing. Of these targets, the natural language processing is the most important subject and the research is mainly about Vietnamese and Thai.

Wang Mengqiu, vice president of Baidu, said that Baidu is thrilled to be joining forces with the Institute for Infocomm Research for this joint laboratory. Their overlap and complementary expertise in their research areas make them perfect partners. Together with the Institute for Infocomm Research, Baidu is laying the foundations to deliver an equally good user experience to users in other markets.

Established in 2002, the Institute for Infocomm Research is a member of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research family. It performs research and development in information, communications and media technologies to develop holistic solutions. Its research capabilities are in information technology, wireless and optical communication networks, interactive and digital media, signal processing and computing.