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AWS to open Malaysia cloud region in 2024

Amazon Web Services’ new cloud region in Malaysia will open next year to meet the increased demand for cloud services and support digitisation efforts in the country

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is set to open its new cloud region in Malaysia next year, following the launch of an office in Kuala Lumpur in June 2023 as part of its increased investments in Southeast Asia.

The Malaysia cloud region, initially announced in March 2023, will provide organisations with the capability to store data in the country, reducing latency for cloud applications. Additionally, it will play a pivotal role in advancing Malaysia’s digitisation ambitions and meeting the high demand for cloud services, while fostering innovation in Malaysia and across Southeast Asia, according to AWS.

AWS has been operating in Malaysia since 2016, but its expansion in the country has accelerated in recent years. The cloud giant plans to invest $6bn in Malaysia by 2037.

This move comes at a time when interest in artificial intelligence (AI) is surging in the region, driven by recent advancements in generative AI capabilities. Major hyperscalers have been racing to develop these capabilities for customers, such as 123RF, one of the world’s largest suppliers of digital stock photos.

In March 2023, the Malaysia-headquartered company introduced an AI image generation service that uses Stability AI’s Stable Diffusion text-to-image foundation model and Amazon SageMaker to help users generate unique, custom images from text prompts.

“The introduction of the 123RF AI image generation service has significantly transformed our user experience and expanded our product offerings,” said Alex P’ng, CEO of 123RF.

“Users now have the creative power to bring their ideas to life, leading to a remarkable 20% increase in licensing rates for AI-generated content since 123RF’s launch. This success highlights the pivotal role cloud technology plays in our customers’ success as we push the boundaries of creativity in the ASEAN region.”

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In addition to its infrastructure investments, AWS is collaborating with World Education Placement Services to offer free cloud computing skills development and job training through the AWS re/Start programme. This 12-week, entry-level cloud skills programme is designed to prepare unemployed and underemployed learners for careers in cloud computing and connect them with employment opportunities at local employers.

Tertiary institutions, such as the Asia-Pacific University of Technology and Innovation and the University of Malaya, will also gain access to a free, ready-to-teach cloud computing curriculum that prepares students for certifications and jobs.

“In Malaysia, we’re not just building infrastructure, we’re spurring a wave of digital transformation and investing in a digital workforce that will shape the nation’s future,” said Chuah Seng Heng, country manager for worldwide public sector at AWS in Malaysia. “The new AWS region will empower Malaysia to accelerate cloud adoption in the public sector and help agencies transform the way citizen services are delivered.”

Being an emerging digital hub in Asia, Malaysia has also attracted investments from datacentre providers such as Equinix.

In June 2023, Equinix announced plans to open its first datacentre in Kuala Lumpur in the first quarter of 2024, building on its expansion announcement last year to enter Malaysia with a datacentre in the southern state of Johor.

Malaysia currently ranks as the third-largest datacentre colocation market in the ASEAN region, and is projected to experience a compound annual growth rate of about 11% from 2022 to 2027.

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