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Property tycoon eyes Ireland as new base for millions of Hong Kong citizens

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Ireland is top of the tycoon's wishlist as a new version of Hong Kong. Stock image: Sean Pavone

Ireland is top of the tycoon's wishlist as a new version of Hong Kong. Stock image: Sean Pavone

Ireland is top of the tycoon's wishlist as a new version of Hong Kong. Stock image: Sean Pavone

Ireland is being eyed as the location for a new city that would be a base for potentially millions of Hong Kong citizens considering leaving as China tightens its grip on the city.

The proposed 'charter-city’ would have its own regulations and tax regime, like Hong Kong which has thrived as a free market at the edge of China for decades.

Hong Kong property tycoon Ivan Ko is reported to be scouring the globe for a location to create a new version of Hong Kong, with Ireland top of his wish-list, according to a report in the UK’s Telegraph newspaper.

Ireland has had special economic zones in the past – including the Shannon Free Trade Zone and the International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) in Dublin.

However, these days any structure based on special tax concessions or property incentives would likely fall foul of European State Aid rules, which bar the granting of supports to companies or individuals that are not available to their competitors.

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