Chinese businessman Huang Nubo claims that he was not fully aware of the laws pertaining to land purchase by foreign parties, according to RÚV.
Nubo claims that Icelandic authorities told him that his company simply had to be listed in Iceland and that at least two-thirds of his employees had to be Icelandic citizens to be able to purchase 72.19% of Grímsstaðir á fjöllum in east Iceland.
He says that if he had known that Icelandic legislation would prevent him from purchasing land in Iceland he would have not have embarked on this venture.
CEO of Travel Industry Association Erna Hauksdóttir told Vísir that the government’s decision will discourage other foreign investors in Iceland and calls this a lost opportunity.
Furthermore she considers it strange that the Ministry of the Interior did not seek to negotiate with Nubo.
Meanwhile, Beijing’s People’s Daily Online reports that Nubo echoes Erna’s sentiments, stating that “the sale had been initiated by the Icelandic landowners themselves and the rejection was a loss for both Icelandic and Chinese investors.”
Nubo was also quoted as saying that the decision “reflects the unjust and parochial investment environment facing private Chinese enterprises abroad”.
Read more about the rejection and the legislation that led to it.