Microsoft invests $2.2 billion in Malaysia for AI, cloud | Technology

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella says the company will educate and train 200,000 people.

Following similar announcements in Indonesia and Thailand, Microsoft will invest $2.2 billion in artificial intelligence and cloud infrastructure to support Malaysia's digital transformation, the tech giant said.

In an announcement by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella on Thursday, it plans to establish an AI center of excellence and provide education and training to 200,000 people in the Southeast Asian country.

“We are committed to supporting Malaysia's AI transformation and ensuring that it benefits all Malaysians,” Nadella said as he arrived in Kuala Lumpur on the final stop of a three-nation tour of Southeast Asia.

“Our investments in digital infrastructure and talent will enable Malaysian businesses, communities and developers to harness the latest technology to drive inclusive economic growth and innovation across the country.”

Malaysia's Investment, Trade and Industry Minister Zafrul Abdul Aziz said the investment represented a “deep partnership built on trust”.

“Indeed, Malaysia's position as a vibrant technology investment destination is increasingly recognized by globally recognized names due to our well-established semiconductor ecosystem, underscored by our value proposition of 'This is where the world begins',” he said.

“The development of Microsoft's essential cloud and AI infrastructure, together with AI skills opportunities, will significantly enhance Malaysia's digital capability and further elevate our position in the global technology landscape. Together with Microsoft, we look forward to creating more opportunities for our SMEs and better paying jobs for our people as we embark on the AI ​​revolution to fast-track Malaysia's digitally enhanced growth journey.

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Nadella earlier this week announced multibillion-dollar investments in AI and cloud services in Indonesia and Thailand.

Global consulting firm Kearney estimates that AI could contribute nearly $1 trillion to Southeast Asia's gross domestic product (GDP) by 2030.

Microsoft is seeking to increase support for the development of AI globally, with its latest efforts including major investments in Japan and United Arab Emirates-based AI firm G42.

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