KUALA LUMPUR, March 1 (Reuters) - Malaysia on Friday re-instated an exemption to its cabotage policy to allow foreign vessels to repair undersea cables in its waters, Transport Minister Anthony Loke said, adding that the government is looking to make the move permanent.

Cabotage rules regulate shipping activities in a country's waters.

Malaysia in 2020 overturned an exemption, granted a year earlier, that allowed foreign vessels to carry out submarine cable repairs and maintenance work.

The move prompted major tech companies including Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Amazon to

seek a reinstatement

of the waiver, saying that repair times would take longer without the exemption.

Loke told reporters the government decided to reintroduce the exemption following discussions with major industry participants, and may seek to ensure the policy remained in the future.

"This step is important to attract more foreign investment in the data centre industry and to accelerate the growth of the digital economy," Loke said.

(Reporting by Rozanna Latiff; Editing by Christian Schmollinger)