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Amazon’s RM25.5 bil investment will further enhance ICT industry, help SMEs, says Tengku Zafrul

Amazon’s RM25.5 bil investment will further enhance ICT industry, help SMEs, says Tengku Zafrul

02 Mar 2023

Amazon Web Services (AWS)’s latest investment will further enhance Malaysia’s competitiveness in the information and communications technology (ICT) industry, while helping small and medium enterprises (SMEs) foster innovation, in line with the country’s digital aspirations. 

Minister of International Trade and Industry Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz said his ministry and its agencies, such as the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (Mida) and InvestKL, would continue to play a role in attracting quality digital investments, creating more value and opportunities for growth via data and cloud-based technologies, as well as generating high-paying jobs for Malaysians.

“These investments are also important in creating spillover effects for our SMEs, who can also become world class (businesses) by being a part of the vendor ecosystem of multinationals like AWS.

“I have been informed that AWS will eventually have 80% of its workforce made up of Malaysians. 

“The partnership between the government and AWS has all the makings of a very promising future supporting Malaysia’s economic development, while also fulfilling the nation’s digital ambitions,” Tengku Zafrul said in his speech at the AWS Malaysia Cloud Day conference here on Thursday (March 2). 

AWS announced that it would be opening a new infrastructure region in Malaysia, with an estimated investment value of RM25.5 billion over 15 years.

According to Tengku Zafrul, Malaysia is rapidly emerging as the digital hub of Asean, thanks to a few factors, namely Malaysia’s highly developed ICT infrastructure, including high-speed internet connectivity and a well-developed telecommunications network that provides a conducive environment for digital innovation and growth. 

Secondly, he said the country boasts a large pool of tech talent, with graduates majoring in key subjects such as computer science, electrical engineering, and data science. 

“Malaysia’s skilled and diverse workforce makes it an alluring destination for companies seeking to enhance its digital capabilities and regional footprint,” he said.

The minister added that Malaysia’s robust intellectual property protection framework and the rule of law also assure investors like AWS that their innovations and investments will be safeguarded and protected. 

“And there is further good news in that our revised New Industrial Master Plan 2030 will seek to enhance all these advantages and better position Malaysia as the gateway to Asia. 

“We are also looking to improve the ease of doing business for investors, both foreign and domestic. All these, and more, will be unveiled in our revised New Industrial Master Plan 2030 (NIMP 2030) in the third quarter of 2023,” he said.

In line with the National Investment Plan (NIP), aligned with the National Investment Aspirations (NIA), Tengku Zafrul said both domestic and foreign direct investments play a key role in accelerating the nation’s growth and revitalising Malaysia’s investment landscape, especially in responding to emerging trends. 

Launched in October 2022, he said the NIA is anchored on five key pillars, including increasing economic complexity, creating high value job opportunities, extending domestic linkages, developing new and existing economic clusters, as well as improving inclusivity.  

From January to September 2022, Tengku Zafrul said Malaysia successfully attracted almost RM194 billion worth of approved investments.

Meanwhile, Mida chief executive officer Datuk Wira Arham Abdul Rahman said the agency has been facilitating and assisting AWS with its investment in the country.

“Malaysia already has a reputation as a rising star of the global data centre sector and by having AWS, the world’s leading cloud provider, Malaysia will solidify its position as a data centre hub in the region. 

“The investment and initiatives from AWS will provide Malaysia with cutting-edge technologies, providing a competitive edge to local businesses, especially SMEs and MNCs (multi-national corporations), helping them to grow,” he said.

Wira Arham said Malaysia has one of the most developed data centre markets in Southeast Asia, valued at RM4.7 billion (US$1.06 billion) in 2021, according to market analyst organisation Arizton, and the figure is expected to grow rapidly in the near future, rising to RM7 billion (US$1.57 billion) by 2027.

Source: Bernama