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Luxembourg seeks Korean’ investment in IT sector

Luxembourg is looking for investment from Korean tech companies interested in the European online game market.

“In the past, Luxembourg was known as a financial center, but now it’s turning more and more into an ICT (information, communication and technology) center,” said Romain Fouarge, information communications and technology director for Korea and Japan at the Luxembourg Ministry of Economy and Foreign Trade.

Online gaming has become big business due to the combined growth of console, PC and portable gaming, according to market researcher DFC Intelligence.

Luxembourg has heavily invested in their communication networks to meet growing demand in the online gaming sector.

Fouarge stressed that companies had set up operations in Luxembourg due to its central location and its incentives such as low tax rates and state-of-the-art infrastructure.

Korean company Nexon, which specializes in online games, has chosen Luxembourg to manage the operational activities for development, marketing and public relations for the European market.

“The gaming industry is developing fast, requiring more energy and bandwidth so that’s why we are preparing for the next generation,” said Peter Sodermans, senior consultant at Luxembourg for Business.

The next generation will see download speeds of 1 gigabyte per second and upload speeds of 500 megabyte per second, he added.

“A lot of brands have chosen Luxembourg in the last couple of years for their European operations, such as iTunes, Amazon, Skype and Real Player,” Sodermans said.

Other incentives include a value added tax rate of 15 percent, the second-lowest in the region after Switzerland, and an intellectual property tax benefit of 80 percent.

“We are the place for distribution of the product, we’ve been doing this since the 1930s; it was radio then, now it’s the internet,” Fouarge said.

By Yoav Cerralbo  (yoav@heraldcorp.com)
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