Johor poised to become digital economy hub

Fostering innovation: (From left) Cheam, Noorzita, Lee, Hanafi, Wan Murdani and Deutsch posing for a picture at the opening of the data centre at Nusajaya Tech Park in Iskandar Puteri, Johor.

ISKANDAR PUTERI: Johor is set to emerge as one of the key players in the digital economy in the region with investments by data centre providers in the state, says a state exco member.

The presence of these providers will create new job opportunities not only for Johoreans but also for Malaysians from other states, said Johor Investment, Trade and Consumer Affairs committee chairman Lee Ting Han.

“This will spearhead our economic growth and propel Johor towards a prosperous future,’’ he told reporters during the opening of the Equinix JH1 International Business Exchange Data Centre at Nusajaya Tech Park (NTP) near here.

Lee said the company’s world-class facility would enhance the state’s technological capabilities, attract global businesses, and foster innovation.

He said Johor has the right ecosystem to attract more investments in the data centres, with eight already operating and 10 more in development stages.

Lee said with two clusters of data centres – the Sedenak Tech Park developed by Johor Corporation and NTP – Johor is in a good position to emerge as one of the leading data centre hubs in the region.

“Thirteen companies are either in discussions or at the planning stages to invest in the state,’’ he said.

He added the Federal Government had approved RM144bil in data centre investments for the country, of which Johor had received RM90bil.

The two-storey JH1 facility is strategically located 15km from Singapore. The data centre will address heightened demand from both local enterprises and organisations based in neighbouring regions.

With an initial investment of US$40mil (RM187mil), JH1 provides up to 500 cabinets and 1,800sq m of collocation space to bolster the nation’s digital growth.

Equinix Asia-Pacific president Jeremy Deutsch said Malaysia is a cornerstone market and a top destination that is highly sought after by its customers.

He added the company’s entry into Malaysia is also aligned with the MyDigital initiative introduced by the government, which strives to outline a strategy for a nation to expedite the development of digital products and services.

Equinix Malaysia managing director Cheam Tat Inn said that the opening of JH1 and KL1 data centres signalled a new era of digital connectivity and innovation in the country.

“These IBX data centres serve as the cornerstone for driving business agility, fostering collaboration, and fuelling economic prosperity,’’ he said.

The KL1 facility is located in Cyberjaya, a key part of the Multimedia Super Corridor, and is expected to provide a total of 2,630sq metres of space once fully built.

Also present at the opening of the JH1 event were Investment, Trade and Industry deputy secretary-general Datuk Hanafi Sakri, Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation head of Digital Industry Wan Murdani Wan Mohamed, and Malaysia Investment Development Authority, Business Services and Regional Operations Division director Noorzita Mohamad Noor.

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