Global Crossing, the troubled United States undersea cable operator, will sell its telecommunications services in Hong Kong through New World Telecom (NWT). The US firm will use NWT's 'last mile' connections to offer business services such as virtual private networks and international private leased circuits, estimated to be worth US$300 million annually. The partnership brings a name synonymous with the investment excesses that characterised the telecommunications boom of the late 1990s back to Hong Kong. The company has had little presence in the region since parting with its Asian arm, Asia Global Crossing, in 2002 as part of an extended debt restructuring. Global Crossing, 71.2 per cent owned by Singapore Technologies Telemedia, has similar deals in place with fixed-line carriers in 10 other markets. Jeffrey Curtachio, a senior vice-president of business development, said: 'We are looking to grow our global service partners to 18 by the end of this year.' Global Crossing will contract marketing and sales of its services to NWT. NWT will offer the services under its own brand. Hong Kong and the mainland presently account for less than 15 per cent of Global Crossing's revenue. Peter Hung, NWT's vice-president of marketing, said the deal would allow the company to broaden its focus from small and medium-sized firms by delivering corporate data services to international clients. 'In this partnership, we are taking our first step to expand out of Hong Kong and go international,' Mr Hung said. NWT's corporate customers will get access to international private leased circuits powered by Global Crossing and connected to its core network covering 30 countries. Mr Curtachio said Global Crossing's global 'channel partner' programme was aimed at penetrating key markets such as Hong Kong without its own sales force. How successful the 18-month-old strategy has been will be reflected in the company's full-year earnings report, which is expected to be released in two weeks. In Hong Kong, it will compete with carriers such as Hutchison Global Communications (HGC), which has its own undersea cable network. HGC's parent, Hutchison Whampoa, tried to buy a stake in Global Crossing in 2003 but backed out of the deal following opposition from US lawmakers uneasy about chairman Li Ka-shing's close ties with Beijing. Global Crossing and NWT declined to disclose the details of their revenue-sharing agreement. Nasdaq-listed Global Crossing is attempting to arrange financing of up to US$100 million against its accounts receivable.