Google has announced that it will invest A$1bn ($740m, £550m) in Australia over the next five years.

It is the US technology giant’s largest investment in the country to date.

Google says the money will be used to build a research hub, increase its cloud computing capacity and fund partnerships with local organisations.

The move – named the Digital Future Initiative – is expected to directly create 6,000 jobs and support 28,000 overall.

“Australia can help lead the world’s next wave of innovation, harnessing technology to improve lives, create jobs, and make progress,” Google boss Sundar Pichai said at the initiative’s launch in Sydney.

Also attending the event, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison welcomed the plan: “The decision by Google has major benefits for Australian businesses as we engage with the economic recovery before us.”

The investment will see the company partnering with local organisations, including Australia’s science agency the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO).

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