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Microsoft Plans to Invest $2.2b in AI and Cloud Services in Malaysia

According to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, the company will invest $2.2 billion over the course of the next four years in Malaysia’s new cloud and AI infrastructure. It will also collaborate with the government to develop a national AI center. In an effort to increase support for AI development locally and globally, this is Microsoft’s single greatest investment in Malaysia.

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

As part of his tour of Southeast Asia, Nadella also announced on Tuesday a $1.7 billion investment in cloud and AI services in Indonesia. He declared on Wednesday that Thailand will be the site of Microsoft’s first regional data center. The internet behemoth also announced in April that it was investing $2.9 billion in Japan and $1.5 billion in G42, an AI company based in Abu Dhabi.
Additionally, Microsoft promised that by 2025, 2.5 million people in Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam will receive AI training. When Nadella met with Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim earlier, he stated that the investment will be the main pillar supporting the government’s objective of increasing Malaysia’s AI capabilities.

According to Anwar on Facebook, the new investment would help strengthen the nation’s cybersecurity capabilities, train an additional 300,000 people in AI, construct a national AI center of excellence, and foster the development of Malaysia’s developer community. In addition to managing one of the biggest cloud computing businesses in the world, Microsoft has advanced artificial intelligence through its collaboration with OpenAI, the company behind ChatGPT. Microsoft has since included Copilot, an AI assistant, to its Microsoft Edge browser, which has helped the company increase revenues by 20% in the first quarter.

With a population of more than 600 million, Microsoft views Southeast Asia as a developing market and a possible site for additional AI product development. According to a research by international consulting firm Kearney, artificial intelligence might boost Southeast Asia’s GDP by about $1 trillion by 2030. Of the total, it is anticipated that Malaysia will receive $115 billion and Indonesia $366 billion.

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