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Welcome speech by S for IT at AWS Summit Hong Kong (English only) (with photo)
     Following is the welcome speech by the Secretary for Innovation and Technology, Mr Nicholas W Yang, at the AWS Summit Hong Kong today (June 21):

Alex (Corporate Vice President and Managing Director of the Amazon Web Services Greater China, Mr Alex Yung), distinguished guests, friends, ladies and gentlemen,

     Good morning to you all. It is a wet morning, but it will be a happy morning. It is my great pleasure to be here for the AWS Summit Hong Kong, the first AWS global series hosted in Hong Kong. And more importantly, I am truly delighted to learn from AWS' announcement this morning that the company has planned to establish a new data infrastructure region in Hong Kong in 2018. It is good news for our industries and the business community. This also reaffirms our status as the prime location for setting up data centre facilities in the region, and also a recognition of Hong Kong's competitive edge and strengths as an Asia hub for doing business and in this digital era, a regional data hub.

     Digital globalisation technologies, such as machine learning, cloud computing, big data analytics, Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, FinTech, VR, etc, have transformed the landscape of the global economy. This transformation creates new business models and huge flows of data. Data have become a new currency of the digital economy and a new fuel for innovation.

     According to the market forecasts, global cloud workloads will more than triple by 2020 compared to 2015, and global cloud traffic will increase at a compound annual growth rate of 30 per cent over the same period. As a result, global workloads for data centres will be more than doubled, and global data centre traffic will increase at a compound annual growth rate of 27 per cent by 2020.

     In the Cloud Readiness Index 2016, Hong Kong is ranked first in cloud readiness in the Asia Pacific. This puts Hong Kong in a strong position to lead the next wave of innovation in data-related technologies.

     Our advantages of a fully open market, the free flow of information and strong digital infrastructure enable the development of a vibrant market of international and local Internet service providers. Hong Kong's information and communications technology infrastructure is one of the world's most sophisticated and advanced. The reliability of our electricity power supply is supreme, exceeding 99.999 per cent. We have a cluster of 11 high-tier data centres in Tseung Kwan O Industrial Estate, forming probably the biggest data centre cluster in the Asia Pacific region outside of Japan. Currently, Hong Kong is connected to 10 submarine cable systems and a number of overland cable systems for external communications. As of December 2016, the total equipped capacity of external telecommunications facilities was over 45 terabits per second. As we all know, Facebook and Google are building the fastest trans-Pacific submarine cable connecting Hong Kong and Los Angeles which, when it comes online in 2018 will increase our external telecommunications capacity by 120 terabits per second. And, together with other submarine cable systems being constructed, the total capacity of Hong Kong will reach 200 terabits per second by the end of 2018. This makes a clear and compelling statement about Hong Kong's competitive position.

     Hong Kong is strategically located at the heart of Asia. In addition to our prime location our sound legal system, our pro-business environment and robust enforcement for data protection and privacy, as well as the free flow of talent and information, make Hong Kong the ideal home for 3 700 regional headquarters of the world's leading multinational corporations today.

     Leveraging on our unique advantages under "one country, two systems", we strive to give full play to Hong Kong's role as a "super-connector" and full support for the Belt and Road initiative and the Mainland's "going out" policy. To this end, we are working hard to build Hong Kong into a global data hub. Aggregating international data will further attract technology, goods and services, capital and talent from all over the world. These will spur innovation and accelerate the development of our data centre industry, big data businesses, data-driven economy and related sectors, and of course, it will help create new jobs in Hong Kong.

     I hope the introduction of the new AWS Region in Hong Kong will further accelerate cloud computing adoption and cloud based system development in Hong Kong and facilitate the digital transformation of businesses in this city. Harnessing our robust financial market and the rapid growth in the technology landscape, Hong Kong is well positioned to become the premier global data hub in the region. We will continue to promote our competitive advantages and encourage prospective operators to establish a presence in Hong Kong.

     We thank AWS for coming to Hong Kong. Last but not least, I would also like to thank AWS for hosting the Summit in Hong Kong. I wish the Summit every success.

     Thank you very much.
Ends/Wednesday, June 21, 2017
Issued at HKT 10:58
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Speaking at the AWS Summit Hong Kong this morning (June 21), the Secretary for Innovation and Technology, Mr Nicholas W Yang, welcomed AWS' plan to open an infrastructure region in Hong Kong in 2018. The move reaffirms Hong Kong's status as the prime location for setting up data centre facilities in the region.