Te Aikhong’s Te Chour, Kepstar Data Center’s Andy Chee and Fourtitude Asia’s Tang Pen San. KT/Chor Sokunthea

A $70 million (approx. £53 million) deal for a new data centre in Cambodia has been agreed, with the planned site being the largest in the country.

The project has come about as a result of a collaboration between local IT firms Te Aikhong Enterprise and Kepstar Data Center, who recently inked a deal with Fourtitude Asia, which operates out of Malaysia.

The data centre will be built in the country’s capital city, Phnom Penh, reports local media company Khmer Times, and will fuel the country’s digital and cloud infrastructure. Fourtitude Asia is the largest cloud platform developer in Malaysia, which has a significantly more developed digital economy than Cambodia.

Tang Pen San, director of Fourtitude Asia, commented on the newly developing digital IT sector in Cambodia. “We have a lot of experience and expertise that we want to bring to Cambodia. This partnership is important as we found that the country is lacking professionals in technology and cybersecurity.”

Cambodia’s digital economy

Te Chour, director of Te Aikhong, praised the deal, given that this is the first time companies in the country have created partnerships with major firms from outside Cambodia. “A data centre is a key asset for the development of our digital economy,” said Chour.

“It is key for our economic growth. It will play an important role in attracting investors. Companies are more likely to come to Cambodia if they have a reliable place to store data. The data centre will comply with all international requirements and our customers will be private companies and banks, but we will also reserve some space for the government.”

Technology business in southeast Asia is a growing sector, and some believe that with a relatively undeveloped system of existing infrastructure, there is high potential for the region to build a strong digital ecosystem from the ground up.

Vietnam, for instance, played host to a smart cities competition last year, which looked to solve problems in various areas, such as traffic flow and energy infrastructure.

Despite these developments, southeast Asian countries still find themselves significantly behind more digitally developed economies such as China, Hong Kong and Singapore.