Philippines eyes Hong Kong hyperscaler investments

Catherine Talavera - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines is eyeing to attract hyperscaler investments from Hong Kong as the Philippine Trade and Investment Center in Hong Kong (PTIC-HK) in partnership with the Philippine Consulate General Hong Kong (PCGHK) and the Philippine Board of Investments (BOI) recently held a webinar to promote the country as the next hyperscaler hub in the Asia-Pacific region.

“The webinar highlighted the attractions and major considerations for the hyperscalers and data centers to expand their business in the Philippines,”the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said in a statement yesterday.

Among the vital details that hyperscaler investors should consider about the Philippines is the large number of mobile phone connections and internet users in the Philippines, being the second largest in Southeast Asia, which shows a propensity of the local market to consume data, access services and content to be delivered by hyperscalers.

Other factors to consider include the country’s thriving digital and economic profile of the Philippines, the robust and sustainable infrastructure in the Philippines, the rich talent pool,  the strong government support, the favorable regulatory environment,  the very promising business market.

“All the above stated considerations made the webinar very timely for foreign businesses interested to enter the Philippine hyperscaler and data center sector,”the DTI said.

The  webinar featured officials of the Philippine government and leaders of top hyperscaler firms in Hong Kong and the Philippines.

It attracted 127 registrants who are officials of foreign companies interested in expanding their business in the Philippines.

“In recent years, the Philippines attracted some well-known global hyperscaler and data center giants to enter the country, such as Alibaba Cloud, Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, HGC Global Communications, and so on,”Consul General of the Philippines to Hong Kong Raly Tejada said.

“This is excellent evidence to prove that the Philippines has a superior environment for hyperscaler activities and data center operations in the APAC region,”he said.

During the webinar, Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual highlighted how the Philippines has positioned itself towards a stronger post-pandemic recovery, leading to a more vibrant trade, investment, and industry sector, and the game-changing policies that are already in place that would allow and support the entry of high-technology companies, including hyperscalers and data centers.

For her part, Trade Undersecretary for Competitiveness and Innovation Group Rafaelita Aldaba presented the Philippines’ value proposition for hyperscalers and the government initiatives that are building the country’s competitive edge as a preferred location for hyperscaler firms.

Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) Secretary Ivan John Uy also discussed the state and direction of the Philippine Information and Communications Technology and Telecommunications Infrastructure.

Renewable Energy Management Bureau of the Department of Energy (DOE) director Mylene Capongcol discussed the opportunities and availability of renewable energy in the Philippines.

Key partners from the private sector also elaborated their involvement in improving the country’s investment climate.

This includes PLDT Enterprise VP and technology management advisor Victor Aliwalas,who provided updates on the growing data center capabilities of the Philippines.

For their part, HGC Global Communications Limited international business division SVP for in-country project investment Paul Lai and Alibaba Cloud Intelligence Philippines country manager Allen Guo also shared their companies’ experiences of doing business in the Philippines to further promote the country as an ideal investment destination.

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