Prime Minister Mohiuddin Yassin, Prime Minister of Malaysia located in Southeast Asia, said that Microsoft will invest one billion US dollars over the next five years in Malaysia as part of a new partnership program with government agencies and local companies, according to Business Times.
The announcement of what will be the US tech giant's biggest investment in Malaysia comes after the country in February granted conditional approvals to Microsoft, Google, Amazon, and the state telecom company Telekom Malaysia to build and manage large-scale data centers and provide cloud services.
It also comes after the country witnessed a 68% decline in foreign direct investment (FDI) last year, the largest drop in Southeast Asia. Malaysia has defended itself as an investment destination, with the Finance Minister recently saying it is looking at incentives to help attract more FDI.
It said that investments from cloud service providers would range from 12 billion Malaysian ringgit to 15 billion Malaysian ringgit (3.87 billion Singapore dollars - 4.84 billion Singapore dollars) over the next five years. As part of the Bersama Malaysia initiative, Microsoft will establish the first data zone, which consists of several data centers, in Malaysia to manage data from various countries, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said at an event marking the launch of the program.
Microsoft's executive vice president, Jean-Philippe Courtois, said, the upcoming data center area will be a game-changer in Malaysia, it would enable the government and companies to transform their operations.
Under the program, Microsoft will also help up to 1 million Malaysians acquire digital skills by the end of 2023.