KUALA LUMPUR: Amazon Web Services (AWS) took a wait-and-see approach before deciding to invest RM25.5bil in Malaysia, says Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (pic).
"Negotiations started in December 2019 and were ongoing.
"They (AWS) waited and believed that there was political stability in the administration with clear policies and direction.
"In the end, they contacted us to state that it was because of political stability and clear policies that Amazon chose Malaysia to set up their base," the Prime Minister said when answering a question raised by Sim Tze Tzin (PH-Bayan Baru) in Dewan Rakyat on Tuesday (March 7).
He added that transparency in negotiations between AWS and the government was also a factor in the company's decision to invest here.
"There were to be no negotiations with agents or private companies selected by us.
"We said that they (AWS) have the freedom and transparency to make their own choice subject to stipulated conditions," he said.
Anwar also noted that incentives provided to foreign investors were sufficient and AWS was more concerned if Malaysia was business-friendly.
"What they stressed was the ease of doing business on matters such as whether approvals could be done swiftly.
"That is why we have set up a main task force committee to oversee the project as we cannot carry on operating like how things were done the old ways," he said.
On March 2, AWS announced that it would be launching a new infrastructure region in Malaysia as part of a public-private partnership with the Malaysian government.
The announcement also came with AWS confirming that it intends to invest at least RM25.5bil in the country by 2037.
The company intends to develop Malaysia as a cloud region for data storage.
Another corporate giant, Tesla had also announced recently to invest here.
International Trade and Industry Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz had previously said that Tesla's decision was based on Malaysia’s strong electrical and electronics (E&E) ecosystem to support the manufacture of electric vehicles (EVs).
Tesla plans to set up an operating office in Malaysia and its Experience Centres as well as aftersales support facilities.
Meanwhile, Anwar said that businesses from Singapore and the Philippines have indicated their interest in using the AWS cloud facilities here once set up.
Without providing specific figures, he said that the investment by AWS and Tesla would create several thousand jobs including spillover effects for the surrounding small and medium enterprises.