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Singapore remains the top data center market in Asia Pacific

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When it comes to the data center market in Asia Pacific, Singapore remains the top destination for organizations to invest in and build infrastructure. Despite land shortage being a major roadblock for some organizations, data center demand in Singapore remains at an all-time high.

According to the 2023 Global Data Center Market Comparison report by Cushman and Wakefield, Singapore is ranked third globally for its data centers as well. Northern Virginia and Portland in the US are tied in the first place while Hong Kong, another popular destination for data centers in APAC comes in fourth place.

In fact, Singapore and Hong Kong are the only two cities outside of the US that are ranked in the top 10 data center markets.  Despite a lack of developable land, the report states that both cities are ranked highly because of their strong ecosystems, excellent connectivity, consistent demand the availability of all major cloud services that continue to expand in these cities, where possible.

Singapore also remains a premiere market in the APAC region, especially after the government lifted its moratorium and established new policies and parameters, enabling the market to reopen to savvy developers that can meet the government’s new requirements. The report also stated that the data center market in APAC in general has been experiencing increased interest, especially among emerging data center markets. These include Bangkok, Johor, Hyderabad, Ho Chi Minh and Manila.

In particular, Bangkok and Johor continue to record increasing investments in data centers by both small and large operators. For example, Singtel has just announced plans to build a data center in Bangkok while China’s ByteDance has opened a data center in Johor with Bridge Data Centers as well. AirTrunk also recently announced the development of its first data center in Johor with more than 150 megawatts of planned capacity.

Interestingly, the move towards secondary and emerging data center markets has been substantial, with hyperscale tenants and collocation providers evaluating and announcing new projects worldwide. There are concerns about power availability in top markets, with utility costs in set markets rising by a median of 16%.

When it comes to fiber connectivity, Singapore remains at the top in APAC. However, Beijing and Shanghai are catching up as they continue to improve their fiber infrastructure. Bangkok, which is a new entry to the report is also catching up, proving that low latency and high connectivity can be present.

With cloud availability being one of the key enablers of data centers, of the 63 markets profiled in the report, 34 cities are offering all three major cloud services. This includes AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud. The 34 cities all have a considerable future expansion planned and the land acquired in expectation of further growth. For example, Kuala Lumpur has risen to have some form of presence from all three major cloud providers.

As the data center market continues to grow to meet increasing demands, these emerging markets could end up being game changers for the industry in the future.