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Speech by Ir. Allen Yeung, Government Chief Information Officer, at the “DatacenterDynamics Conference Hong Kong 2015”

Honourable Charles Mok, Distinguished Speakers, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good morning. It gives me great pleasure to join you all today at the opening of the DatacenterDynamics Conference Hong Kong 2015. The Conference provides a good platform for sharing insights on the latest trends and development of data centre and cloud computing technologies for building green, energy-efficient and agile data centres.

In today’s Information Age, information and communications technology is a key enabler underpinning every advanced economy, making data centres the essential infrastructure for practically all economic sectors. Data centre has lowered the initial cost of having a complete IT infrastructure for most business and particularly for start-ups. It also offers expansion on IT needs on a highly scalable manner. Companies such as Dropbox, Uber, AirBNB are among those whose success rely heavily on data centre infrastructure.

Over the past few years, the data centre industry in Hong Kong has been developing rapidly, and Hong Kong has built up a solid reputation as being a prime location for setting up data centres. Located at the heart of Asia, Hong Kong is strategically a centre for trade and business. There are over 7 500 overseas and Mainland companies in Hong Kong. Over half of them also set up their regional headquarters and regional offices here, making Hong Kong their natural choice for setting up data centres in supporting their regional operations.

With pro-business environment, robust telecommunications infrastructure, relative free of natural disasters, reliable power supply, free flow of information, low and simple taxation regime as well as proximity and close ties with the Mainland, Hong Kong is an ideal place to set up data centres. According to the Data Centre Risk Index, Hong Kong has been ranked as the safest Asian city for data centres. We are also ranked by the International Data Corporation as the most suitable location in Asia Pacific for setting up data centres. For instance, the cluster of eleven high-tier data centres in Tseung Kwan O Industrial Estate is the largest data centre cluster in the Asia Pacific region.

The Government is committed to promoting data centre development in Hong Kong, such as by adopting multi-pronged facilitation measures.

In terms of land provision, the Government has earmarked three hectares of land in Tseung Kwan O for high-tier data centre development. The first one-hectare site was sold in October 2013. We are now working with relevant government departments to make available the second one-hectare site for data centre use in 2016.

Since mid-2012, we have put in place two incentive measures to encourage the conversion of industrial buildings and redevelopment of industrial lots into data centres. To date, we have received 16 applications, 12 of which have been approved, providing a total floor area of 58 000 square meters for data centre use. Besides, to render assistance to enterprises interested in setting up data centres in Hong Kong, we set up the Data Centre Facilitation Unit in July 2011 to provide them with one-stop support services. Since its establishment, the Unit has handled over 390 enquiries from enterprises within and outside Hong Kong, and assisted three overseas and two local companies in establishing high-tier data centres in Hong Kong. In addition, the Unit proactively works with relevant government departments on measures to address the unique operational requirements of data centres, such as reducing the goods vehicle parking requirements, converting vacant parking space to transformer rooms where necessary, etc.

Before I close, I would like to express my sincere thanks to the organiser in staging the conference today, which will definitely foster collaboration in promoting the advancement of data centres. I wish today’s conference a great success and all of you a fruitful sharing.

Thank you.

- ENDS -