Azmin Ali says met Microsoft, discussion focused on Malaysian ESG agenda

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Minister of International Trade and Industry Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali today highlighted the initiative’s US$1 billion investment to establish Microsoft’s first datacentre region in the country. ― Picture via Facebook/Azmin Ali
Minister of International Trade and Industry Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali today highlighted the initiative’s US$1 billion investment to establish Microsoft’s first datacentre region in the country. ― Picture via Facebook/Azmin Ali

KUALA LUMPUR, May 18 ― Minister of International Trade and Industry Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali announced today that he had met technology giant Microsoft today, discussing the environmental, social and governance (ESG) agenda during the meeting.

On his Facebook page, Azmin said he looks forward to a successful partnership between Putrajaya and Microsoft on advancing the agenda.

“I am optimistic that with our 29-year long history with Microsoft coupled with its future plans, Malaysia is on track to achieve its aspiration of becoming a regional leader in digital economy anchored by ESG agenda by 2030,” he said.

Azmin’s meeting with Microsoft is part of his 10-day US Trade & Investment Mission (TIM), which began on May 8 and involved meetings with several high-technology companies such as Texas Instruments Inc.

Last year, the government had announced a partnership with Microsoft under the Bersama Malaysia initiative, in which the hyperscaler is investing US$1 billion (RM4.4 billion) in Malaysia with the building of its first data centre region in the country.

Azmin today highlighted the initiative’s US$1 billion investment to establish Microsoft’s first datacentre region in the country.

He said the move underscores a commitment to upskill one million Malaysians by the end of 2023, to “help create economic opportunities for the people and businesses in the digital era.”

The TIM aims to advance Malaysia’s prospects as an attractive investment destination and trading partner due to a central ESG agenda and supply chain resilience.

The minister also said the mission is expected to garner RM14.62 billion in investments from the US, targeting new business opportunities and high-income jobs for Malaysians.

ESG investing has been on the rise among socially conscious investors and requires standards to be met by potential investments in terms of environmental stewardship, impacts on social relationships, and effective governance.

A report released by PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Malaysia earlier this year stated that: “Malaysian public-listed companies are faring well in ESG factors among their Asean peers based on leading ESG indicators including disclosure and commitments to sustainability practices.”

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