Chinese Tycoon Plans Resort in Iceland

Chinese business tycoon Huang Nubo said on Tuesday 17 April that his company hopes to sign an agreement to develop a swath of land in northeast Iceland, despite initial setbacks.

Last year in 2011, Huang’s Beijing Zhongkun Investment Group offered $200 million to acquire a piece of land – about 0.3 percent of Iceland’s total area – in order to turn it into an eco-tourist resort.

While some top officials backed the plan, the Icelandic interior ministry said in November the deal would not go forward because it did not comply with rules on foreign land ownership.

“Despite some setbacks, the Icelandic government did not reject our proposal entirely,” said Huang. “We are likely to finalize the investment in two months.”

While it is partially covered with glaciers and ice-capped mountains, Iceland is warmed by the Gulf Stream, making the country relatively warm for its latitude. Temperatures in the capital city of Reykjavik reach 26 degrees.

Huang said today on Wednesday 18 April that the Iceland project will be a corner-stone for his company to expand in Nordic countries over the next decade. Denmark will be his next target, he said.

“Once we wrap up the deal, I will go skiing in Greenland with the Danish ambassador to China,” Huang said, adding that he has had “numerous talks” with Danish officials on potential investments.

Thordur Hilmarsson, managing director of Invest in Iceland, a government agency, said on Wednesday that the Icelandic government is updating legislation related to investment from emerging economies like China.

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