No agreement over the leasing of the land at Grímsstaðir á Fjöllum in Northeast Iceland has been made with Chinese investor Huang Nubo, according to Huginn Freyr Þorsteinsson, assistant to the Minister for Industry and Innovation Steingrímur J. Sigfússon.
Grímsstaðir á Fjöllum. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.
Chinese newspaper China Daily reported that Huang would sign an agreement in the next month but Huginn has since commented that the news is inaccurate.
Huang reportedly told Xinhua news agency that the Icelandic government proposed signing contracts in China next month and that his company, Beijing Zhongkun Investment Group, would hold a press conference on the deal in Iceland.
Huginn said that the task force looking into the land lease and developments in tourism has not concluded its review and that it is highly unlikely that an agreement with Huang would be signed next month, ruv.is reports.
After Minister of the Interior Ögmundur Jónasson rejected Huang’s application for legal exemption to buy the piece of land (a requirement for non-EEA citizens), employment development associations in the rural regions Eyjafjörður and Þingeyjarsýsla were asked to examine the possibility of municipalities in North and East Iceland buying Grímsstaðir and leasing it to Huang’s investment company.
In May they concluded that the municipalities can establish a limited company to acquire a 70 percent share in Grímsstaðir. They suggested that an Icelandic company in Huang’s ownership rent the piece of land for 40 years and pay the rent in advance.
On July 31, the Government of Iceland decided to appoint a task force comprised of ministers and employees of different ministries to discuss the planned lease of the piece of land Grímsstaðir á Fjöllum to Huang and developments in tourism in Northeast Iceland. The piece of land covers 300 square kilometers.
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