Google announces $2bn investment in Malaysia, as gov’t hails 26,500 jobs

Tech giant says investment in Southeast Asian country will ‘pave the way for delivering the transformative power of AI’.

Google has announced plans to build its first data centre and 'cloud region' in Malaysia [Virginia Mayo/AP Photo]

Google has announced that it will invest $2bn in Malaysia to establish its first data centre and “cloud region” in the Southeast Asian country.

“This investment is not just about infrastructure; it’s about unlocking new possibilities for businesses, educators, and every Malaysian,” Farhan S Qureshi, country director for Google Malaysia, said in a blog post on Thursday.

Qureshi said the Google data centre would power services such as Google Search and Google Maps and “pave the way for delivering the transformative power of AI to users and customers across the country”.

The Google Cloud region will offer “high-performance, low-latency cloud services” to enterprises, startups, and public sector organisations alongside “key controls that allow them to maintain the highest security and compliance standards,” Qureshi said.

Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim said the investment would add $3.2bn to the country’s economy and create 26,500 jobs by 2030.

“The investment related to Google’s first data centre in Malaysia and the development of the Google Cloud region is proof that the Government’s clear planning in addition to the country’s economic strength and resources are attractive to existing and new investors,” Anwar said in a post on X.

“Undoubtedly, this places Malaysia as one of the leading countries in the use and support services of digital technology-based services.”

Google’s announcement comes several weeks after rival Microsoft said it would invest $2.2bn in artificial intelligence and cloud computing in Malaysia.

US tech giants have been ramping up investment in Southeast Asia, home to a young computer-literate population of 670 million people and one of the fastest-growing regional economies.

Global consulting firm Kearney has estimated that AI could contribute nearly $1 trillion to Southeast Asia’s gross domestic product by 2030.

Amazon earlier this month said it would invest $9bn in Singapore to expand cloud infrastructure in the city-state, following earlier announcements of multibillion-dollar investments in Malaysia and Thailand.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies