Chinese business close to renting land in Iceland
Updated: 2012-05-04 19:49
By Mei Jia (chinadaily.com.cn)
Chinese business tycoon Huang Nubo said he's close to making a deal to acquire a property in Iceland for tourism investment.
A new arrangement would see Huang rent the property rather than buy it, he told China Daily at his office on May 4.
"The whole deal is nearing completion today. I think the outcome won't be far from my expectations," said Huang with full confidence in the realization of his $200 million investment in 300 square kilometers of land in northeast Iceland.
Chinese business tycoon Huang Nubo said he’s close to making a deal to acquire a property in Iceland for tourism investment, May 4, in Beijing. [Photo/Mei Jia]
Huang explained that if everything goes well at an Iceland cabinet meeting scheduled to discuss condition of the deal on May 4, Icelandic time, then his deal will be approved.
He will then be able to sign contracts in the middle of June and begin operating as planned.
Huang stirred huge controversy and questions in 2011 when his company, Beijing Zhongkun Investment Group, announced a plan to buy the land to build a top resort and tourist facilities.
However, in November the Icelandic Minister of the Interior rejected the purchase.
Huang showed more calm and confidence today when talking with China Daily compared with the anger he revealed when commenting on the rejection in November.
"I did nothing but wait after the rejection," he said, "But finally my patience is paying off."
He said the Icelandic side has been in contact with him frequently after the rejection.
"The Icelandic officials and residents know the significance of my investment, and they know it sends out messages of Icelandic attitude towards foreign investment," Huang said. "They've been working hard to find a way of making the plan possible."
Backed this time by the Icelandic Ministry of Industry, and coordinated by Invest in Iceland agency, the new terms would allow Zhongkun to use the land under a long-term lease agreement, rather than as a direct purchase.
Thordur Hilmarsson, director of the agency, is optimistic that the deal will go through.
"We are working according to Icelandic law and hopefully the outcome will be satisfying for both parties," Hilmarsson told Icelandic media.
Huang is hoping the duration of lease will be 99 years.
"And if by leasing, the possibility of rejection is low because it has nothing to do this time with the Minister of Interior," he added.
Huang believed if the deal is made, it will be pioneering and exemplarily to private-owned Chinese companies going global.
Huang is hoping the Icelandic resort will open for business in five years if agreement reached by both sides.