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Microsoft to invest $1.7B in expanding cloud, AI in Indonesia

Tech giant Microsoft will invest $1.7 billion over the next four years in expanding cloud services and artificial intelligence (AI) in Indonesia, including building data centers, company chief executive Satya Nadella announced on Tuesday during a visit to the country.

Jakarta is Nadella’s first stop on a trip to Southeast Asian countries to promote the U.S. company’s generative AI technology. Later this week, he will visit Malaysia and Thailand.

Microsoft’s investment will “bring the latest and greatest AI infrastructure to Indonesia,” Nadella said.

“We’re going to lead this wave in terms of AI infrastructure that’s needed,” he added.

Nadella met outgoing President Joko Widodo and his Cabinet ministers earlier on Tuesday to discuss joint AI research and talent development, Communications Minister Budi Arie Setiadi told reporters.

Widodo suggested Microsoft base its data centers on the resort island of Bali or in the new capital city of Nusantara, which is still under construction in the jungle of Borneo, the minister said.

Nadella said Microsoft will train 2.5 million people in Southeast Asia in AI by 2025, including 840,000 in Indonesia.

Microsoft is trying to expand its support for the development of AI globally, including a $2.9 billion investment in cloud and AI infrastructure in Japan and a $1.5 billion investment in AI firm G42, based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Nadella’s Jakarta visit comes two weeks after Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook met Widodo and said he would look into building a manufacturing facility in Indonesia.

Indonesia has a huge, tech-savvy population, making the Southeast Asian nation a key target market for tech-related investment.

Last week, Microsoft beat Wall Street estimates for third-quarter revenue and profit, driven by gains from adopting artificial intelligence across its cloud services.

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