Posted by: neilh10 | October 22, 2011

Where I suggest Chinese Investors build a brewery in Flateyri

I was asked to write a guest post by the excellent China Law Blog – reportedly the third most read english language law blog with over 100,000 visitors per month – on a subject I have written about previously: Chinese investment in Iceland. As everyone knows, the Chinese have been taking a significant interest in Iceland – which culminated in a recent proposal to build a five star hotel on 300 square kilometres of land in a remote part of north east Iceland.

The result was quite significantly edited, mainly to communicate my message in American Business language that what the Chinese really should be doing with their money is building a brewery, in Flateyri. As I conclude:

Indeed, the most believable analysis I have heard of the project itself is that China wanted to help Iceland out and so it sent over a property developer/poet/cat lover/arctic explorer with connections to the Icelandic Social Democratic party to invest in the one area of Iceland’s economy where foreign investment is tolerated. Despite this, it has all backfired spectacularly. As someone who lives part-time in Iceland and who is cautiously optimistic about China’s role in the world, I’d suggest that if China wants to use FDI as a way of building up good will among Icelanders, it consider building a brewery in my town of Flateyri would achieve a lot more (and cost much less) than golf courses and five star hotels.

Chinese businessmen: Coming to Flateyri soon?
The Chinese VP in Brussels

(from flickr)


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