Chinese Investor Disappointed in Icelandic Officials Skip to content

Chinese Investor Disappointed in Icelandic Officials

Chinese investor Huang Nubo who sought to acquire the piece of land Grímsstaðir á Fjöllum in northeast Iceland and whose application for legal exemption to do so was rejected last week, expressed his disappointment in the decision in the Chinese media over the weekend.

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Jökulsárgljúfur, one of the attractions close to Grímsstaðir. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.

According to visir.is, Huang stated that Icelandic officials had not informed him that it was in violation of current laws for him to acquire the piece of land. Otherwise he would never have wasted his time and money on the attempted acquisition, he reasoned.

The Social Democrats, who form the coalition government along with Minister of the Interior Ögmundur Jónasson’s Left-Green Movement, are critical of his decision on Grímsstaðir.

Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir told Fréttablaðið that she was disappointed in his decision and wished that the matter had been discussed more thoroughly within the cabinet.

However, she respects Ögmundur’s decision and authority, the PM said, adding that she hopes it won’t cause Huang to cancel other plans to invest in tourism in Iceland.

Halldór Jóhannsson, Huang’s spokesperson in Iceland, told mbl.is that Huang is no longer interested in any investments in Iceland as the message seems to be that they are not wanted. He does not intend to challenge the minister’s decision, Halldór said.

Managing director of the Icelandic Travel Industry Association (SAF) Erna Hauksdóttir told Fréttablaðið that she was surprised in Ögmundur’s decision to reject Huang’s application.

SAF and other industry associations in Iceland have been calling for foreign investment but Erna said the decision is bound to repel other potential investors. She describes the rejection of Huang’s application as a lost opportunity.

“What surprised me the most is that no attempt was made to reach any sort of agreement with the investor. He was not granted an interview with the minister,” Erna stated, adding it is strange that no compromise at all had been attempted.

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ESA

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