Hong Kong developer pitches ground-up city in Ireland for HK expats

Ivan Ko wants to build a city for 50,000 Hong Kongers outside Dublin

New York Weekend Edition /
Aug.August 01, 2020 12:00 PM
Ivan Ko

Ivan Ko

A Hong Kong developer redrew a pitch to build a city from scratch in Ireland after what appeared to be a lukewarm reception.

Victoria Harbour Group founder Ivan Ko is now looking for a roughly 20-square-mile site outside Dublin to build a city from the ground up dubbed Nextpolis that would host 50,000 Hong Kong emigrants.

He first pitched a 193-square-mile project around December as an autonomous city in the vein of Hong Kong itself, but has now revised the proposal after getting feedback from Ireland and other potential host countries.

“We found out that replicating the Hong Kong model was not suitable, as if we were imposing something, and that Hong Kong people would be seen as segregated from the rest of the population,” he said, adding that the new proposed city would not have its own border or independent political system.

He called Nextpolis “just a new city to let Hong Kong people live together and at the same time integrate with local businesses so we can maximize the benefits to both sides.”

Ko cited Ireland’s favorable corporate tax structure as a reason to build there and said the proposal meets the Irish government’s desire to develop outside Dublin, according to the Guardian.

A spokesperson for Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs said that the department was in contact with Ko and his team and provided feedback when they first approached the Irish government in December, but “since providing this guidance there has been no further action taken by the department in this matter.” [The Guardian] — Dennis Lynch


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