Microsoft to Build AI Centre in Malaysia as Part of US$2.2 Billion Investment

Microsoft to Build AI Centre in Malaysia as Part of US$2.2 Billion Investment

by May 2, 2024

Microsoft has announced a major US$2.2 billion investment in Malaysia, aimed at enhancing the country’s digital and AI infrastructure over the next four years.

This move represents one of the largest single investments by the tech giant in Malaysia, second only to that of Amazon Web Services (AWS), which had pledged to invest US$6 billion.

The investment plan includes the construction of cloud and AI facilities, training for an additional 200,000 Malaysians in AI technologies, and collaborations with the Malaysian government to set up a national AI Centre of Excellence and bolster cybersecurity measures.

This initiative is part of Microsoft’s larger effort to position Malaysia as a central hub for cloud computing and cutting-edge technologies like generative AI, which are expected to boost the nation’s productivity, competitiveness, and economic growth.

Building on the “Bersama Malaysia” initiative from April 2021, this new funding aims to meet rising local demand for cloud services and leverage AI to propel economic and productivity advancements.

According to research from Kearney, AI could add nearly US$1 trillion to Southeast Asia’s GDP by 2030, with Malaysia potentially capturing US$115 billion of that growth.

In addition to infrastructure, Microsoft is extending its commitment to education in the AI sector. The company recently pledged to provide AI training for 2.5 million people across ASEAN by 2025.

In Malaysia, this includes specialised programmes for students, women, and underserved communities, aiming to enhance their skills and employability in the digital age.

Further strengthening its partnership with the Malaysian government, Microsoft will collaborate on various initiatives to advance AI adoption in critical industries and improve digital governance and cybersecurity.

Projects include economic analysis tools for trade negotiations, a virtual assistant for startups, and productivity enhancements using AI in government agencies.

To support the development of local talent, Microsoft will also launch AI Odyssey, a new programme designed to train 2,000 Malaysian developers as AI experts.

The company notes significant growth in the local developer community, with a 28% increase in Malaysian users on GitHub last year.

Satya Nadella

Satya Nadella

“We are committed to supporting Malaysia’s AI transformation and ensure it benefits all Malaysians.

 

Our investments in digital infrastructure and skilling will help Malaysian businesses, communities, and developers apply the latest technology to drive inclusive economic growth and innovation across the country,”

said Satya Nadella, Chairman and CEO, Microsoft.

Andrea Della Mattea

Andrea Della Mattea

“We are honored to collaborate with the government to support their National AI Framework, which enhances the country’s global competitiveness.

 

This strategic emphasis on AI not only boosts economic growth but also promotes inclusivity by bridging the digital divide and ensuring everyone gets a seat at the table, so every Malaysian can thrive in this new digital world,”

said Andrea Della Mattea, President of Microsoft ASEAN.