Google announces $2bn investment to boost Malaysia’s digital transformation

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Google has unveiled a monumental $2 billion investment in Malaysia, aimed at accelerating the country’s digital transformation. This substantial financial commitment includes the development of Google’s first data center and Google Cloud region in Malaysia, located in Sime Darby Property’s Elmina Business Park, Greater Kuala Lumpur. This strategic move is set to enhance cloud services both locally and globally and will involve AI literacy programs for Malaysian students and educators.

Details of the Investment and Infrastructure:

The newly announced Google data center will support popular digital services such as Google Search, Google Maps, and Google Workspace, which are extensively used by billions worldwide, including in Malaysia. This facility is pivotal in enabling Google to extend the benefits of AI technology across the country. Upon completion, Malaysia will join an elite group of 11 countries hosting Google data centers that serve users globally.

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The Google Cloud region is designed to provide high-performance, low-latency services to a diverse client base, including large enterprises, startups, and public sector organizations. This cloud region will complement existing Dedicated Cloud Interconnect locations in Cyberjaya and Kuala Lumpur, facilitating direct connections to Google Cloud’s global network. The setup will adhere to stringent security, data residency, and compliance standards, addressing specific data storage needs of various industries.

Comments from Corporate and Government Officials:

Ruth Porat, President and Chief Investment Officer; Chief Financial Officer of Alphabet and Google, commented on the initiative, stating, “This is our largest planned investment so far in Malaysia—a country Google has called home for 13 years. This investment underscores our commitment to advancing Malaysia’s ‘Cloud First Policy’ and setting cybersecurity benchmarks.”

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YB Senator Tengku Datuk Seri Utama Zafrul Aziz, Malaysia’s Minister of Investment, Trade, and Industry, highlighted the investment’s alignment with Malaysia’s New Industrial Master Plan 2030 (NIMP 2030). He emphasized that the Google data center and Google Cloud region will empower local industries to leverage AI and ascend the global value chain, thereby fostering economic growth and technological advancement in line with the MADANI vision.

AI Literacy and Educational Initiatives:

Google’s investment also focuses on building AI literacy among Malaysian educators and students, aligning with the Ministry of Education’s National Digital Education Policy. Initiatives like the Gemini Academy and Experience AI are designed to equip educators with the tools needed to prepare students for future technological landscapes. These programs are expanding rapidly, with the Gemini Academy set to benefit 15,000 educators by the end of 2024 and Experience AI aiming to reach 10,000 students through trained educators.

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Economic Impact and Future Prospects:

The investment by Google is projected to contribute over $3.2 billion to Malaysia’s GDP and create approximately 26,500 jobs by 2030. This partnership between Google and the Malaysian government is expected to catalyze further investments, sparking innovation and growth across all sectors of the Malaysian economy.

Google’s latest investment in Malaysia is a testament to the potential of digital technologies to transform economies at scale. By integrating advanced cloud and AI solutions, Google is not only enhancing its service offerings but also contributing significantly to the socioeconomic development of Malaysia.

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