The government of Malaysia and global tech giant Google have on Thursday announced a strategic collaboration to create inclusive growth opportunities for more Malaysians and homegrown companies in the fast-growing digital economy.

Google said in a statement that the collaboration brings both parties together to help businesses of all sizes advance their digital competitiveness through skilling programs, investment in digital infrastructure, responsible artificial intelligence (AI) innovation, and cloud-first policies.

These initiatives build on Google’s investments in Malaysia over the last 12 years.

In 2022 alone, the company’s products and programs supported more than 47,900 jobs and also contributed, both directly and indirectly, an estimated $2.8 billion in economic benefits to local businesses.

“Malaysia’s MADANI Economy Framework aims to increase the size of our economic pie, as well as ensure that all stakeholders—particularly rakyat (Malaysians) and small businesses—will enjoy the ensuing socio-economic benefits,

“This latest commitment by Google, aimed at accelerating local innovation and talent development in the field of AI, will certainly boost the nation’s digital competitiveness, in line with the MADANI Economy Framework and the New Industrial Master Plan 2030 (NIMP 2030),” said Anwar Ibrahim, Prime Minister of Malaysia.

Meanwhile, Zafrul Aziz, Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry, said Google’s continued contributions to the Malaysians and homegrown businesses, especially through programs that nurture skilled talent and help small businesses scale regionally, not only support the achievement of NIMP 2030’s missions, but also enhance Malaysia’s overall global competitiveness to foreign investors.

Ruth Porat, President and Chief Investment Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Alphabet and Google, said the partnership they are announcing with the government of Malaysia aligns Google’s local mission of Advancing Malaysia Together with the government’s goal to create a supportive ecosystem for innovation that includes more meaningful and equitable job opportunities.

To advance these shared goals, she said the firm intends to assist Malaysian organizations in addressing real-world challenges using AI, and utilizing Google Cloud technologies to rapidly implement solutions for economic growth and public good.

“As the country makes strides toward digitalization and AI adoption across industries, this collaboration recognizes the importance of no-cost access to digital skilling programs to empower all Malaysians to participate in a thriving and inclusive digital economy,” she added.

To provide Malaysians from all backgrounds with more digital training opportunities, Google Cloud, CloudMile, and Trainocate are making five digital learning paths available at no cost.

Accessible through the Go Cloud program—which aims to upskill 300,000 Malaysians by 2026—the learning paths consist of online courses to help individuals better apply generative AI (gen AI), data analytics, and cloud-based productivity tools.

Learners who complete the five learning paths will earn digital skills badges that they can share on their resumes and extended 30-day access to more learning paths at no cost.

This builds on Gemilang, a digital training program that has provided 31,000 Google Career Certificate scholarships to less fortunate individuals in partnership with educational institutions and nonprofits.

This helps Malaysians earn professional certifications—at no cost—for entry-level jobs in high-demand fields such as data analytics; information technology (IT) support; as well as e-commerce and digital marketing.

According to the statement, Google’s investments in infrastructure play a critical role in enabling more local companies, including small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), to expand their operations regionally.

This is in alignment with the NIMP 2030, whose mission includes ensuring that Malaysian SMEs and manufacturing companies are appropriately enabled to embrace technology and digitalization rapidly.

With the support of the government of Malaysia, Google is now exploring the potential establishment of an in-country Google data center to power digital services.

The Malaysian government and Google Cloud will also embark on joint AI launchpad initiatives to create new jobs, enhance public service delivery, and help local companies tap into global markets.

These may include empowering public and private sector organizations to address real-world challenges with gen AI and take advantage of Google Cloud technologies to rapidly deploy scalable solutions for productivity gains and public good.

Priority areas include improving digital government services, financial inclusion, healthcare, and education, and advancing Industry 4.0.

The initiatives also include digitalization projects to keep communities safe from natural disasters and make low carbon mobility more accessible for Malaysians.

The projects will look to leverage Google Cloud’s AI capabilities to prompt decisions to, for example, divert traffic or evacuate people ahead of an extreme weather event, recommend investment locations for more electric vehicle (EV) charging stations, enable lower-cost smart charging for users, and build a scalable energy exchange to support renewable energy exports, in alignment with Malaysia’s National Energy Transition Roadmap.

The initiatives also include protecting public sector entities, businesses, and citizens against malicious cyber activity.

The Malaysian government and Google Cloud will engage in cyber threat information exchange and joint capability building, in view of potentially establishing a National CyberShield Center of Excellence.

This will enable the government to combine automation, analytics, threat intelligence, and AI to detect, investigate, and defend against cyber attacks on critical national infrastructure.

Google will also support the Malaysian government’s refinement of its existing Cloud First Policy for Malaysia, contributing policy expertise and its Secure AI Framework to account for the latest advancements in cloud computing and AI.

This reinforces Malaysian government’s efforts to prioritize the use of resilient, cost-efficient, and innovation-driven cloud services over capital-intensive on-premise systems, while aligning with global best practices on data privacy and security standards.

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