Google to boost Malaysia's digital infrastructure with $2bn investment

30th May 2024
Sheryl Miles

Google, a unit of Alphabet, has announced a significant investment of $2 billion in Malaysia to establish its first data centre and Google Cloud region in the country.

This development is a part of Google's broader strategy to expand its presence in Southeast Asia, a region experiencing rapid digital growth and attracting substantial investments from global technology giants.

Advancing Malaysia’s digital infrastructure

This investment aligns with the Malaysian government's digital ambitions, particularly its MADANI Economy Framework. This framework aims to foster economic growth and ensure socio-economic benefits for all stakeholders, including small businesses. Google's investment is expected to enhance Malaysia's digital infrastructure and provide advanced AI capabilities and other technologies to help local industries move up the global value chain​​.

The data centre and cloud region will be located in Sime Darby Property’s Elmina Business Park in central Selangor state. This location will enable better service delivery for Google's products, such as Search, Maps, and Workspace, and offer valuable cloud services to local businesses and public sector organisations.

Collaborative efforts and skill development

In addition to the infrastructure investment, Google is also focusing on creating high-value jobs and bringing the benefits of AI to local communities and companies. As part of the MADANI Economy Framework, Google and the Malaysian government have announced joint initiatives aimed at accelerating local innovation and talent development. These initiatives include digital training programs such as the Go Cloud programme, which aims to upskill 300,000 Malaysians by 2026 through no-cost online courses in generative AI, data analytics, and Cloud-based productivity tools.

Furthermore, the Gemilang digital training programme, which has provided 31,000 Google Career Certificate scholarships, will continue to help Malaysians earn professional certifications for entry-level jobs in high-demand fields​​.

Boosting economic competitiveness through AI innovation

Google's investment also includes plans for joint AI launchpad initiatives to create new jobs, enhance public service delivery, and help local companies tap into global markets. These initiatives will leverage Google Cloud technologies to address real-world challenges and deploy scalable solutions for productivity gains and public good. Priority areas include improving digital government services, financial inclusion, healthcare, education, and advancing Industry 4.0.

Moreover, digitalisation projects aimed at enhancing community safety and promoting low-carbon mobility will utilise Google Cloud’s AI capabilities to make strategic decisions, such as diverting traffic during extreme weather events and recommending locations for electric vehicle charging stations​.

Regional investment trends

Google’s investment is part of a larger wave of tech investments in Southeast Asia. Other technology giants such as Microsoft, Amazon, and Nvidia have also announced substantial investments in the region.

Microsoft has committed $2.2 billion to cloud services in Malaysia and $1.7 billion in Indonesia. Amazon has announced plans to invest $9 billion in Singapore, $5 billion in Thailand, and $6 billion in Malaysia. Additionally, Malaysian conglomerate YTL’s utilities unit is partnering with Nvidia to develop AI infrastructure with a $4.3 billion investment​.

Google’s $2 billion investment in Malaysia's data centre and Cloud services marks a significant step towards enhancing the country's digital infrastructure. This move, coupled with similar investments from other tech giants, underscores Southeast Asia's growing importance as a hub for technological innovation and digital transformation.

Through this investment, Google aims to support Malaysia’s ambition to become a regional leader in the digital economy, providing advanced technologies and fostering a supportive ecosystem for local industries.

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