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WARSAW: US tech giant Google on Wednesday launched a new cloud data hub in Warsaw — its first in Central and Eastern Europe — with an investment of nearly $2.0 billion (1.7 billion euros).

Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki hailed the new hub saying it would ensure “better service from private and public entities” and strengthen security because the data would be stored in Poland.

“We hope that the new Google Cloud region will... help in recovery from the pandemic and will contribute to a thriving digital economy in Poland and the neighbouring countries,” Magdalena Dziewguc, Google Cloud’s country manager, said in a statement.

US embassy charge d’affaires Bix Aliu said US companies have invested around $60 billion in Poland and Google “is adding close to $2 billion to that number by expanding cloud services”.

Poland’s economy last year went into recession for the first time since the fall of communism three decades ago because of the coronavirus crisis but it is expected to bounce back this year.

The government has put an emphasis on developing the tech sector.

Microsoft announced last year that it would invest one billion dollars in Poland to expand its operations, including the creation of a new regional cloud-computing data hub.

Google and Microsoft are among the global leaders in providing cloud services — an industry worth hundreds of billions of dollars.

As well as charging for the service, cloud operators are able to harvest huge amounts of data and open up many other revenue streams.