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Luxembourg report Luxembourg report
by Euro Reporter
2011-12-06 09:25:18
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Luxembourg selected for Netflix European head office

The Government of Luxembourg today announced that Netflix, Inc. is locating its European headquarters in Luxembourg. Netflix is the world's leading Internet subscription service for enjoying films and TV shows, with over 20 million streaming members in the United States, Canada, and Latin America. Offering a broad range of Hollywood, international and local movies and TV shows, Netflix has revolutionized entertainment by giving people a choice to enjoy what they want to watch, when they want to watch it, for a low monthly price over a wide range of Internet-connected devices.

Netflix has announced plans to open its service in the UK and Ireland in early 2012. The company has been streaming to U.S. members since 2007, adding Canada in 2010 and 43 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean in September 2011.  "The decision by Netflix to establish its European operations centre in Luxembourg is a very exciting development," said Jeannot Krecke, Luxembourg Minister of the Economy and Foreign Trade. "We welcome their presence and look forward to their European expansion."

"Netflix's choice of Luxembourg is further testimony of the country's leadership in media and digital content delivery," said Francois Biltgen, Minister for Communications and Media. "We are delighted to be establishing our European base in Luxembourg, joining the many Internet companies that have found it a great place to do business," said Netflix Chief Financial Officer David Wells.


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 centre, but now it’s turning more and more into an ICT (information, communication and technology) centre,” 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.


Frustrated with lack of clarity on reforms

Luxembourg Finance Minister Luc Frieden said he is frustrated with the lack of clarity on the direction of euro-zone economic reforms, which is undermining discussions at the finance minister meeting Wednesday.

European Union heads of state will meet Dec. 9, when they will discuss potential changes to the union's treaty.  "We are not really clear where this will lead us," said Frieden. "I'm a little bit frustrated that a European Council [meeting of] heads of state and government is about to take place, dealing with fundamental issues...and we have had no substantive discussion about that."

While Frieden said it is the prime ministers who make such decisions, he added that the finance ministers can't discuss the best options for achieving fiscal discipline "without knowing where we are going in the long term in this process."

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