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Malaysia, UAE ink MoU on advancing cooperation in data centre investments

January 25, 2024
The Star
5 mins read

KUALA LUMPUR: The Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry (MITI) of Malaysia and the Ministry of Investment of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have strengthened their commitment on advancing investment cooperation in the digital infrastructure sector.

MITI said both parties have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) today, marking a strategic partnership on the development of data centres in Malaysia, with potential projects anticipated to achieve a total capacity of 500 megawatts.

The MoU was signed by Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz and Minister of Investment for the UAE, Mohamed Hassan Alsuwaidi.

MITI said in a statement today that the MoU represents a strong commitment towards robust collaboration on the exchange of knowledge and expertise in the digital infrastructure sector between Malaysia and the UAE, which is also aimed at fostering greater bilateral economic and investment relationships between the public and private sectors of both countries.

MITI said Malaysia has emerged as a preferred destination for data centres in Southeast Asia, thanks to its robust digital and physical infrastructure, rule of law, as well as compelling government-backed measures and initiatives on data centre investment.

The increasing demand from regional small and medium enterprises (SMEs), MITI said, will provide the impetus for Malaysia's growing status as a significant regional player in digital economy.

Beyond data centre development, it noted that the MoU also illustrates Malaysia's commitment to advancing artificial intelligence (AI), in alignment with the New Industrial Master Plan (NIMP) 2030, the aims of which include enhancing the capacity of industries, SMEs and start-ups in AI and developing AI solution providers.

"Malaysia’s digital infrastructure collaboration with the UAE, with a focus on data centres, will certainly help strengthen our position as a preferred destination for digital investments.

"By being a regional data centre hub, Malaysia is well positioned to capture a significant portion of Asean’s digital economy, forecast to reach US$1 trillion by 2030.

"MITI and its agencies are determined to speed up the implementation of all committed investments so that investors, businesses and our people can quickly reap the benefits of a more robust, thriving digital economy within Malaysia and Asean,” Tengku Zafrul said.

Meanwhile Mohamed Hassan Alsuwaidi said this collaboration not only enhances the existing bilateral ties between both nations but also seeks to harness Malaysia's extensive potential as a top choice for data centre locations in the Asia-Pacific region.

"Being an emerging data hub in Southeast Asia, the arrangement aims to reinforce the nation's digital infrastructure and accelerate the expansion of its Internet economy, aligning with shared priorities and interests,” he said.

MITI said the MoU stands as a testament to the strong trade relations between Malaysia and the UAE, with significant growth in non-oil trade volume.

Currently, the UAE is Malaysia's second-largest trading partner in the Middle East, and Malaysia is a key player in UAE's exports and re-exports in the Asean region. - Bernama