Sunny Chan, who works for a firm based in Paris and is seeking an A-Pac data center, said the Singapore government is doing a better job at attracting data centers than the HKSAR. "International customers don't care about location," he said, "business incentives-tax, whatever-is what they seek."
Chan spoke of his recent experience in Singapore: "The SingTel guys showed up and spent much effort pitching Singapore. We were told how to reduce tax, etc...there was a "one-stop shop" feel. The Hong Kong government can play an important role here with policies and incentives."
But despite the Singaporean efforts, Chan said his firm "set up in Hong Kong as China is the biggest market in French eyes."
One stop shop
Mak responded that the government plans a 'one-stop shop' through investHK-the position paper can be read as a PDF at: http://www.info.gov.hk/digital21/eng/D21SAC/attachments/D21SAC_paper_1-2011.pdf
Lau summed up the discussion by noting that deciding where to locate an A-Pac datacenter involves strategic decisions as well as financial ones. "The rule of law is important," he said, "but 'sweeteners' are important from a business point of view."
"Why is Hong Kong not as competitive as SG?," concluded Lau. "It would take a concerted effort, but we should be in that decision-process."
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