Azmin Ali: Amazon Web Services expected to make major investment in Malaysia to develop data centres

Azmin (middle) and Mida chief executive officer Datuk Arham Abdul Rahman (left) listening to Amazon Web Services (AWS) senior policy advisor Jennifer Thibodeau after having a meeting with Amazon early Tuesday. — Bernama

SEATTLE: Amazon Web Services Inc (AWS) is committed to realise Malaysia’s potential as a data hub in South-East Asia, and is expected to make a major investment this year to develop data centres in the country.

Senior Minister of International Trade and Industry Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali said the government has given approval to AWS to invest in the country. However, AWS has informed that it still has some things to iron out with the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA), the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) and the Ministry of Finance (MOF).

“As this involves high quality new technology, the government is prepared to study the requests made by AWS in order to encourage quality investments into Malaysia. We are discussing several new incentives which are more innovative and attractive to AWS so that it will build more data centres in Malaysia,” the minister told Bernama and TV3 after meeting representatives of AWS here on May 17.

AWS is a pioneering giant in the provision of cloud computing services.

He added that the discussion on Tuesday has resulted in a better understanding of the incentives that AWS requested, which are being considered by MITI and MOF.

"We are confident that the negotiation process will be finalised soon because for Malaysia, this investment is very important to accelerate the digital technology transformation process in Malaysia," Azmin said.

Prior to the meeting with AWS, Azmin also met with representatives of Microsoft Corporation, where the company said it is committed to train local talent via the "Bersama Malaysia Microsoft" initiative that was launched in April 2021.

"I have been informed that almost 500,000 local workers have been trained since the beginning of this year, and I am confident the target to train over one million local workers would happen by 2023,” he added.

Azmin said Microsoft and AWS are also prepared to provide input to the government in its efforts to enhance the country's competitiveness in the digital economy.

"The presence of these companies surely will accelerate the transformation and adaptation of digital technology which will help to generate sustainable growth in the country.

"Such investments are in line with the aspirations of the MyDigital policy which aims to provide Malaysians access to digital technology, especially industries, including the small and medium enterprises (SMEs),” the minister added.

On his meeting with Ammex Corporation on Tuesday, Azmin said the company is prepared to expand its glove imports from Malaysia.

Sixty percent of the company’s glove imports are sourced from Malaysia.

"We have identifed seveal local glove makers to meet the company’s demand.

"This will help to enliven manufacturing activities in our country, especially among SMEs, with regard to meeting international standards and enhancing their productivity for the US market,” he added. – Bernama

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