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7 May 2024

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Singapore's Data Center Business Enhanced by Malaysia and Indonesia

Singapore is the clear business leader with the most highly developed Digital Infrastructure in the ASEAN region, and this region is the most dynamic of all the world's developing regions according to the IDCA Digital Readiness Index of Nations. To maintain its leadership, this island-nation is now working closely with he neighboring cities of Johor, Malaysia (to the north) and Batam, Riau Islands, Indonesia (to the south).

Data center power consumption will top a projected 2.5TW by 2028 – keeping Singapore safely among all of APAC's “Big Six” hubs (along with Mumbai, Beijing, Tokyo, Shanghai, and Sydney). Singapore itself will host half of this capacity, with another 40% hosted in Johor and 10% coming from the growing Batam area.

Singapore, Johor, and Batam form what's officially known as the SIJORI (Singapore/Johor/Riau Islands) Growth Triangle, which was actually established some 30 years ago. The Sijori arrangement actually encompasses some areas neighboring Johor and Batam, although the core cities remain the key cities in the arrangement.

The Sijori arrangement is able to bolster tightly hemmed Singapore in its efforts to continue to develop its data center footprint and maintain its regional leadership and global position.

Yet separately, Malaysia and Indonesia maintain their own regional and global aspirations as well. Malaysia is the most highly developed ASEAN nation outside of Singapore, and has five times Singapore's population and 450 times its land area – Malaysia is indeed about the same size as Germany in area. Indonesia is still far less developed economically than Singapore or Malaysia, but its 280 million people put it within shouting distance of the United States in population, and a land area comparable to that of Mexico sprawls over an east-to-west distance that is also comparable to the United States.

So, less than 300 kilometers (200 miles) up the road from Johor, the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur is projected to have its own terawatt of capacity by 2028. Not for nothing, Indonesia's current capital city Jakarta (900 kilometers/540 miles south of Singapore) is projected to have a similar, terawatt-scale hosting environment at the same time. Meanwhile, Indonesia's government is investing tens of billions of dollars in building a new capital far, far from Jakarta, a region on the island of Borneo that presumably will need its own highly developed data center hub sooner or later.

The three-nation complex of Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia thus offers one of the more dynamic areas in the world.

Photo from Government of Singapore.

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