Microsoft is to invest $1.7bn in Indonesia’s cloud and artificial intelligence (AI) market.

The investment, which will also be used to build data centres, was announced by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella today (30 April) during a meeting with Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo.

Nadella is visiting Indonesia to promote Microsoft’s generative AI technology and stated that the funds would help to provide Indonesia with the latest AI infrastructure. 

“[Microsoft is] going to lead this wave in terms of AI infrastructure that is needed,” he said. 

Indonesia’s Minister of Communications, Budi Arie Setiadi, praised the investment and said he would be meeting with Microsoft to talk about future joint AI research and talent development.

Nadella also committed to training 850,000 Indonesian citizens in AI by 2025 and said that Microsoft hopes to train over 2.5 million people in Southeast Asia by 2025. 

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“This is (a breath of) fresh air for Indonesia as a country,” Setiadi told reporters outside Indonesia’s Ministry of Communication and Information. 

Setiadi stated that AI infrastructure could help Indonesia in its technological transformation. 

“This is not only about govtech but also other aspects like agriculture, fisheries, business and digital economy,” he said. “The collaboration with Microsoft can greatly help our digital transformation.”

Nadella will visit Thailand and Malaysia after his trip to Indonesia to continue promoting Microsoft technology in Southeast Asia.

By 2030, research and analysis company GlobalData forecasts that the total AI market to be worth over $1,037bn globally. 

Companies will continue to ramp up their AI rollout throughout 2024, increasing the need for critical infrastructure like data centres.