Google will invest $2 billion in Malaysia to develop its first data center and Google Cloud region in the country, the unit of Alphabet said on Thursday, the latest in a wave of expansion by global tech firms into Southeast Asia.

The government said the investment would advance Malaysia's digital ambitions, and the artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities and other advanced technologies would help local industry move up the global value chain.

With a young tech-savvy population of 670 million, Southeast Asia has been attracting plenty of interest and investment recently from technology giants including Microsoft, Amazon, Nvidia and Apple.

Google said in a statement that the data center and cloud region will be located in Sime Darby Property's Elmina Business Park in central Selangor state.

The data center will power services including Search, Maps and Workspace, and will help deliver AI services, while the cloud center will offer services to local firms and public sector organizations, it said.

"Malaysia and Google are partnering to advance our shared work to create a supportive ecosystem for innovation and unlock the potential of digital transformation," Google's Chief Financial Officer Ruth Porat said in the statement.

Last November, the government and Google announced a collaboration aimed at accelerating innovation domestically.

Other tech giants have also been announcing large investments in the region. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced cloud services investments worth $2.2 billion in Malaysia and $1.7 billion in Indonesia during a recent visit to the region.

In December, Malaysian conglomerate YTL's utilities unit announced it would partner with Nvidia to develop AI infrastructure in a $4.3 billion investment deal.

Amazon has announced plans to invest $9 billion in Singapore, $5 billion in Thailand and $6 billion in Malaysia.