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Closing Remarks by Mr. Victor Lam, JP, Government Chief Information Officer, at the “BEAM Plus Data Centres v1.0 Launch Ceremony” (with photos)

Ms Ivy LEE (Chairperson of BEAM Society Limited), Sr Dr Stephen LAI (Director and Vice-chair of Green Labelling Committee, Hong Kong Green Building Council), Under Secretary Mr CS LIU, Mr Victor CHEUNG (Convenor of BEAM Plus Data Centres Roll Out Task Force), distinguished speakers, honourable guests, ladies and gentlemen,

Good afternoon! It is indeed my great pleasure to witness the launch of the BEAM Plus Data Centres v1.0, which marks the beginning of a new chapter in data centre development in Hong Kong. Once again, a big salute to the BEAM Society and the Hong Kong Green Building Council for your unceasing efforts in introducing green building practices and assessment tools to promote green data centre development. These practices and assessment tools can certainly uplift the level of energy efficiency in the local data centre industry and contribute to making Hong Kong a sustainable smart city.

Data centres are an essential IT infrastructure underpinning our economic development, supporting our pillar sectors like financial services, trading and logistics as well as other industry sectors. They are also a key driving force to catalyse the development and adoption of e-business, digital government and smart city solutions that rely heavily on highly reliable and efficient computing facilities for technologies such as cloud computing, artificial intelligence, big data analytics, Internet of Things, 5G, etc. Hong Kong has always been an excellent location for data centres. According to Cushman & Wakefield, a global commercial real estate services firm, Hong Kong ranked the third most attractive data centre location in the entire Asia-Pacific region. We have exhibited strong performance in the data centre markets, accounting for 54% of all Asia-Pacific data centre investment volume in the first half of 2020. And in the 2020 Cloud Readiness Index, Hong Kong ranked 1st in Asia-Pacific. The Government has been highly committed to promoting data centre development in Hong Kong by implementing various facilitation measures, including the provision of suitable land for high-tier data centre development, encouraging conversion of industrial buildings, and use of industry lots to data centres as well as setting up a Data Centre Facilitation Unit to provide one-stop support services to local and non-local enterprises interested in building data centre operation in Hong Kong. Through these facilitation measures, we are pleased to note that a considerable number of local and non-local enterprises, including international and national technology giants, Internet and cloud service providers, and local data centre operators are setting up new data centres or expanding their presence in Hong Kong in recent years, which reaffirmed our strong competitiveness as a regional data centre hub. We will continue to take full advantage of our strength to facilitate data centre development in Hong Kong for supporting the growth of our digital economy and smart city development.

On the other hand, the industry’s awareness of energy efficiency and environmental protection has been growing. There is an increasing need for traditional data centres to undergo green transformation and new data centres to adopt green design. Our Government Data Centre Complex under construction provides an excellent showcase for adopting the latest green data centre practices with environmental-friendly design and construction as well as green technologies and practices in the management and operation to reduce energy consumption and carbon footprint. I am most thankful to our Architectural Services Department and its consultant for their dedicated efforts in leading to our Government Data Centre Complex achieving the “Gold” rating in the Provisional Assessment under the BEAM Plus Data Centres v1.0. I sincerely hope that the Government Data Centre Complex can lead by example and another data centre will achieve the “Platinum” rating in the near future.

The Government will continue to work closely with the BEAM Society, the Hong Kong Green Building Council as well as the industry to promote the Green Data Centre Practice Guide, the newly launched BEAM Plus Data Centres assessment tools and their far-reaching benefits. Thank you very much.