Monday, November 30, 2015   

Cyberport critics get stake hint

Agence France-Presse

Sunday, March 21, 1999

Government may sell its share to other parties later

THE government has insisted that Pacific Century Group should play a

leading role in the Cyberport project and hinted that its own stake

could eventually be sold to interested parties.

Property developers had earlier expressed dissatisfaction over the

awarding of the project to Pacific Century, claiming the company would

enjoy the benefits from the residential development without going

through a public tender.

Deputy Secretary for Information Technology and Broadcasting Eva Cheng

reiterated yesterday that the $13 billion development was an


information-technology infrastructure project instead of a property


"We do believe many local developers are financially capable of

undertaking the project. But this is a project of complexity and is

highly risky. We don't want to see one day that a party in the project

would shed its responsibility to others (if there are too many

participants)," Ms Cheng said.

She revealed that a provision in the agreement with Pacific Century

stated the government's stake could be ultimately sold to other

parties, but the buyers would not participate in the construction of


Ms Cheng said the first phase of residential development would not be

completed until 2003 and profits would only be realised in 2005.

Initial negotiations between the government and Pacific Century, which

is headed by Richard Li Tzar-kai _ the youngest son of property tycoon

Li Ka-shing _ did not cover residential development.

"This is not a charity. The project needs to provide a reasonable

return, but the government does not want to take a big risk project,"

Ms Cheng said. "Cyberport will spur economic development in the

future. The government wants to own the project as it has a very

strategic role."

One third of the 23 hectares allocated for the project in Telegraph

Bay, Pok Fu Lam, will be zoned for residential purposes. Ms Cheng said

the potential damage to the environment and the likely pressure on

transport in Pok Fu Lam would not be serious after a comprehensive

assessment of the issues had been made.

She expected Cyberport to help the application of information

technology in Hong Kong, such as shopping and conducting banking

transactions via the Internet.

Meanwhile, Chief Secretary for Administration Anson Chan Fang On-sang,

speaking at a public function, said: "Cyberport will offer the best

working and living environment and facilities for leading-edge

information-technology and services companies.

"We will have an environment where we can upgrade our existing

economic activities, create new products and expose them to the

electronic world market," she said.

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