Google announced Thursday that it has committed an investment of $2 billion in Malaysia, including the development of its first Google data center and Google Cloud region to meet the growing demand for cloud services locally and around the world, and artificial intelligence (Al) literacy programs for Malaysian students and educators.

The firm said in a statement that the site of the Malaysia investments will be in Sime Darby Property’s Elmina Business Park, in Greater Kuala Lumpur.

According to the statement, the Google data center will power Google’s popular digital services, such as search, maps, and workspace, that billions of people and organizations worldwide, including those in Malaysia, use every day.

It will also play an essential role in enabling Google to deliver the benefits of Al to users and customers across the country.

When operational, Malaysia will join the 11 countries where Google has built and now operates data centers serving users around the world.

The Google Cloud region will deliver high-performance and low-latency services to large enterprises, startups, and public sector organizations.

Google Cloud customers will benefit from key controls that allow them to maintain the highest security, data residency, and compliance standards, including specific data storage requirements.

The cloud region will be complemented by Google Cloud’s existing Dedicated Cloud Interconnect locations in Cyberjaya and Kuala Lumpur, which provide direct connections between an organization’s on-premises network and Google Cloud’s global network.

The Malaysia cloud region will join 40 regions and 121 zones currently in operation around the world.

“Google’s first data center and Google cloud region is our largest planned investment so far in Malaysia – a place Google has been proud to call home for 13 years,” said Ruth Porat, President and Chief Investment Officer; Chief Financial Officer of Alphabet and Google.

“This investment builds on our partnership with the government of Malaysia to advance its ‘Cloud First Policy,’ including best-in-class cybersecurity standards,

“With today’s announcement, Malaysia and Google are partnering to advance our shared work to create a supportive ecosystem for innovation and unlock the potential of digital
transformation,” he added.

Meanwhile, Tengku Zafrul Aziz, Minister of Investment, Trade, and Industry of Malaysia, said that Google’s $2 billion investment in Malaysia will significantly advance the digital ambitions outlined in Malaysia’s New Industrial Master Plan 2030 (NIMP 2030).

“The Google data center and Google cloud region in Greater Kuala Lumpur, in particular, will empower our manufacturing and service-based industries to leverage AI and other advanced technologies to move up the global value chain,” he said.

He also said Malaysia values Google’s plan to help the country develop a robust talent ecosystem by facilitating the growth of its people’s digital skills, businesses, and

“As this attracts further investments, it will spur innovation and drive growth for organizations of all sizes,

“We are confident that Google’s partnership and continued investment will accelerate our nation’s digital transformation, contributing to the MADANI vision toward a more prosperous, technologically advanced Malaysia,” he added.

As AI continues to transform various industries, Google noted it is crucial for educators to be equipped with the relevant knowledge and tools to prepare students for the future.

In alignment with the country’s Ministry of Education’s (MOE) National Digital Education Policy, Google has launched two programs to foster AI literacy for both students and educators.

These programs expand Google’s ongoing commitment toward making digital skills more accessible.

Designed to help educators safely and responsibly use generative AI tools, such as Gemini, to boost productivity, Google said the Gemini Academy has benefitted more than 600 educators in Malaysia since the launch of its pilot phase in November 2023.

It noted MOE is now formally expanding the program to more educational institutions, with the goal of benefiting 15,000 educators by the end of 2024.

Meanwhile, launched last month in Malaysia by Google DeepMind, the Raspberry Pi Foundation, and the Penang Science Cluster, Experience AI is designed to increase educators’ knowledge and confidence in delivering lessons about AI to students aged 11 to 14, by providing them with in-person training and equipping them with interactive lesson materials and tutorials.

According to Google, the program has an initial goal of training 1,000 educators in order to reach 10,000 students across Malaysia.

It is noted that in November 2023, the government of Malaysia and Google entered into a strategic collaboration to create inclusive growth opportunities for more Malaysians and homegrown companies using Al and cloud technologies.

The investments and programs announced on Thursday further advance Google’s work in Malaysia.

They are estimated to support more than $3.2 billion in contributions to Malaysia’s gross domestic product (GDP) and 26,500 jobs by 2030, according to a Google-commissioned evaluation by AlphaBeta (part of Access Partnership).

Google said the firm is proud to support the country’s continued digital transformation of its economy, in line with the MADANI Economy Framework and NIMP 2030.

“This project is expected to significantly benefit Malaysia’s economy,” said Azmir Merican, Group Managing Director, Sime Darby Property Bhd.

“Google’s confidence in Sime Darby Property underscores our capability to meet the needs of leading technology companies,

“This precedent positions Elmina Business Park and our industrial portfolio as premier hubs for technological development,” he added.

Google launches two initiatives with Malaysian government to upskill local youth