American technology firm Microsoft has on Tuesday announced it will invest $1.7 billion over the next four years in new cloud and artificial intelligence (AI) infrastructure in Indonesia.

Microsoft said in a statement that the investment represents the single largest investment in Microsoft’s 29-year history in the country.

According to the statement, these initiatives will help achieve the Indonesian government’s Golden Indonesia 2045 Vision, which aims to transform the nation into a global economic powerhouse.

“This new generation of AI is reshaping how people live and work everywhere, including in Indonesia,

“The investments we are announcing today – spanning digital infrastructure, skilling, and support for developers – will help Indonesia thrive in this new era,” said Satya Nadella, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Microsoft.

Budi Arie Setiadi, Minister of Communications and Information Technology of the Republic of Indonesia, also emphasized the significance of Indonesia’s partnership with Microsoft in realizing the ambitious vision of Golden Indonesia 2045.

“Indonesia’s collaboration with Microsoft on AI perfectly aligns with our ambition for a future driven by digital innovation,

“I am confident this partnership will open up new horizons for Indonesia, positioning us not only as consumers of technology but as pivotal contributors to the global technological supply chain,” he added.

Dharma Simorangkir, President Director of Microsoft Indonesia, said the firm’s investment sets a new milestone for Indonesia’s digital landscape.

“We aim to empower Indonesians with the infrastructure and skills needed for the AI era, aligning with our national vision for digital prowess,

“It’s a crucial step towards making Indonesia a hub for digital talent and innovation,” he added.

It is noted that the digital infrastructure investment builds on Microsoft’s Berdayakan Indonesia (Empower Indonesia) initiative, announced in February 2021, to accelerate inclusive economic growth.

This included plans to establish the company’s first datacenter region in the country.

The investment announced on Tuesday will enable Microsoft to meet the growing demand for cloud computing services in Indonesia.

It will also allow Indonesia to capitalize on the significant economic and productivity opportunities presented by the latest AI technology.

Cited the research by Kearney, Microsoft said AI could contribute nearly $1 trillion to Southeast Asia’s gross domestic product (GDP) by 2030, of which Indonesia is poised to capture $366 billion.

Microsoft has also on Tuesday announced AI skilling opportunities for 840,000 people in Indonesia, and support for the nation’s growing developer community.

The skilling commitment includes providing students with technical and vocational education and training in AI skills through the AI TEACH for Indonesia program.

Microsoft will also provide women in the country with opportunities and support to build careers in cybersecurity via the new Ready4AI&Security program.

It will also provide young people in the country with AI fluency training to enhance the employability and work readiness of those from underserved and underrepresented communities employees of nonprofit organizations with knowledge of, and skills in, AI and digital technologies.

Nadella highlighted the critical role of developers in harnessing AI to fulfill Indonesia’s potential as a digital economy.

He said Microsoft will continue to help foster the growth of the country’s developer community through new initiatives such as AI Odyssey, which is expected to help 10,000 Indonesian developers become AI subject matter experts by learning new skills and earning Microsoft credentials.

It is noted that over 3.1 million developers in Indonesia use GitHub, the Microsoft-owned software development, collaboration, and innovation platform.

This makes Indonesia home to the third-largest developer community on GitHub in the Asia-Pacific region, after India and China.

It is projected to be one of the top five developer communities on GitHub globally by 2026.

Indonesia is also one of the fastest-growing groups in the region, with a 31 percent year-on-year increase in the number of developers on GitHub in 2023.

Furthermore, it witnessed 213 percent year-on-year growth in the number of public generative AI projects on the platform in 2023.

Microsoft said it is actively collaborating with the Indonesian government, civil society, academics, and industry peers to ensure AI serves as a force for good.

Microsoft to invest $2.9B in AI and cloud infrastructure in Japan