In recent interviews, Chinese entrepreneur Huang Nubo revealed to reporters more details of his land deal in Iceland, which differ greatly from what was previously reported. He also said it was the President of Iceland himself who encouraged him to initially invest in the country.
Huang Nubo has had his sights set on Grímsstaðir, some 30,639 hectares in northeast Iceland, to be developed into a luxury hotel, some 100 villas “mostly for wealthy Chinese”, a golf course, and other related activities. While he was denied being able to purchase the land due to legal reasons – Icelandic law prohibits non-Scandinavians from purchasing land – he has since been allowed to lease the land.
It was initially reported that the deal would be a 40-year lease, with another 40 years’ option at the lease’s conclusion. China Daily now reports the deal is for a 99-year lease, to be purchased for 6 million USD, or about 750 million ISK – 19 years more and about 250 million ISK less than initially reported.
Chinese Radio International reports that Huang Nubo’s inspiration for investing in Iceland came at least in part from Icelandic president Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson:
He says the idea of buying a piece of land in Iceland first occurred to him when he first went to the country for a social event for amateur poets, a society he considers a lifelong passion. Enchanted with the landscape and with Icelandic president’s encouragement, he decided to invest.
In the China Daily article, Huang Nubo also said that while he does not believe he will “gain hugely from the Icelandic project,” he added, “What I’m confident about is that our project will upgrade Icelandic tourism. In 10 years, the world will know that a man from the Yellow River is doing tourism all over the world.”
Huang Nubo is expected to sign his lease agreement this month.