Malaysia aims to attract Microsoft, Google for data hub ambitions

As part of its strategy to become a data hub, Malaysia’s Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry, Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz, is seeking to attract tech giants Microsoft and Google to establish operations in the country. Amid escalating tensions between the United States and China, Malaysia aims to position itself as a neutral supply chain base.

Tengku Zafrul stated that Malaysia is “slowly establishing ourselves” as a data centre hub, and the country is looking to attract as many multinational companies (MNCs) as possible. However, Malaysia faces competition from Southeast Asian neighbours Thailand and Vietnam, who are also vying to draw MNCs looking for new bases outside of China.

“We are seeing a lot of realignment of supply chain, you know, looking at resiliency and security coming to this region,” Tengku Zafrul said.

He also highlighted Malaysia’s proven ecosystem over the past 50 years as a factor that influenced US electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla’s decision to establish a base in the country. Tengku Zafrul believes that Malaysia’s status as a semiconductor hub can be advantageous in appealing to MNCs navigating complex geopolitics.

“We have to be opportunistic sometimes,” he said. “We are in the position of being neutral and being part of the critical supply chain. Malaysia has been a net beneficiary.”

In recent developments, the International Trade and Industry Ministry (Miti) secured potential investments worth RM23.07 billion (US$5.6 billion) and potential exports of products and services amounting to RM2.1 billion (US$510 million) to Japan following its Trade and Investment Mission to Tokyo and Osaka. In March, Miti approved Tesla’s application to import Battery Electric Vehicles into Malaysia, with the company also planning to establish a head office, Tesla Experience and Service centres, and a supercharger network in the country.

World News

Lee Shuyi

Lee is an expat writer living in Thailand. She specialises in Southeast Asian news for the Thaiger. When she's not writing, Lee enjoys immersing herself in Thai culture and learning Thai.

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