Minister discusses foreign investment in environmental tourism
On 24 August the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Össur Skarphéðinsson, met with Mr. Huang Nubo, chairman of the board of directors of the Chinese investment firm Zhongkun Group.
Mr. Huang Nubo informed the minister of the company's intention to invest in environmental tourism in Iceland and participate in developing tourism in collaboration with Icelandic authorities. The company had plans for setting up hotels in particular, in Reykjavík as well as in Northeast Iceland. Zhongkun Group is currently engaged in projects in North Iceland, i.e. Grímsstaðir á Fjöllum, and if these projects would materialise the firm intended to, in cooperation with the Icelandic authorities, to connect the main area of Vatnajökull National Park with the area of Jökulsárgljúfur National Park. This would be in line with with the Zhongkun Group‘s emphasis on nature conservation and environmental tourism. Furthermore Zhongkun Group stated that it would be prepared to renounce all water rights in Jökulsá á Fjöllum-river and that the project would be carried out in close cooperation with Icelandic authorities and local inhabitants.
The minister welcomed foreign investment and strengthening of tourism, in particular in rural areas, and noted that the municipality of Norðurþing had welcomed the company's ideas. It was, however, necessary to study each project thoroughly in cooperation with all parties concerned and consult on the next steps and that Icelandic authorities were prepared to do so.