Long considered a tech hinterland, Southeast Asia is fast emerging as a center of gravity for the industry.

The CEOs of Apple, Microsoft and Nvidia are among the industry chieftains who’ve swung through the region in past months, committing billions of dollars in investment and holding forth with heads of state from Indonesia to Malaysia. Amazon recently took over a giant conference hall in downtown Singapore to unfurl a $9 billion investment plan before a thousands-strong audience cheering and waving glow sticks.

After decades of playing second fiddle to China and Japan, the region of about 675 million people is drawing more tech investment than ever. For data centers alone, the world’s biggest companies are set to splurge up to $60 billion over the next few years as Southeast Asia’s young populations embrace video streaming, online shopping and generative AI.