Microsoft Corp today announced plans to set up its first datacentre region in Malaysia.
The datacentre, located in Greater Kuala Lumpur, will provide cloud services locally with world-class data security, privacy and the ability to store data in the country.
At present, the tech giant has 60 datacentres worldwide.
Microsoft was appointed as the cloud service provider by Putrajaya today.
This is part of Microsoft's initiative, dubbed "Bersama Malaysia" (Together with Malaysia) which planned to empower Malaysia's inclusive digital economy.
The investment is expected to generate up to US$4.6 billion (RM19 billion) in new revenue for Malaysia's ecosystem of local partners and cloud-consuming consumers over the years.
Microsoft Malaysia managing director K Raman said under the "Bersama Malaysia" initiative, the company will also train one million people by end of 2023.
Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, who witnessed the signing ceremony between Microsoft and various stakeholders, said the firm will invest at least US$1 billion (RM4.13 billion) over the next five years.
"It is estimated that it will help create 19,000 jobs, including 4,000 IT-related amongst its cloud users," Muhyiddin added.
In his speech, Muhyiddin said Microsoft's investment could strengthen Malaysia's position as a potential data hub.
He said Malaysia has immense potential to become a data hub in the region, owing to the availability of high bandwidth, ample space, competitive power tariffs and the presence of hyperscalers.
"We are a small nation with big data ambitions. The commitment to fiberise the nation with 5G bandwidth and install data storage capacity is just the beginning.
"As we chart this course, Malaysia fully intends to remain at the forefront of technology by using data to deliver improved services for businesses, increase economic productivity and ultimately step up Malaysia’s competitiveness.
"As always, the government will lead by example, firstly in migrating 80 percent of its data to the cloud by the end of 2022," he said.
"I hope Microsoft's plan to train one million Malaysians could be a template to bridge the digital divide and empower each Malaysian through technology adoption," he added.
Raman told a press conference later that besides Greater Kuala Lumpur, Microsoft planned to extend its datacentre to Johor.
He said the datacentre in Greater Kuala Lumpur will deliver access to the full Microsoft Cloud, which includes Microsoft Azure, Microsoft 365, Dynamic 365 and Power Platform.
"We have been in Malaysia for 28 years and we continue to invest a lot in Malaysia. We see huge potential in the diversity of the Malaysian public; with their skill capacity, we can develop together to serve the region," he said.