- I can promise you a new era for Lyngen municipality. I trust that Huang Nubo will create huge and positive financial ripples throughout the north of Norway. There is not a better capitalist than Huang, says businessman and and landowner Ola O.K. Giæver jr.
Thursday afternoon the Norwegian newspaper Nordlys greets two delighted businessmen in the newly opened Clarion Hotel The Edge in Tromsø, Norway. And its not marginal news they check in with their luggage. Landowner, pilot and multimillionaire Giæver jr and project leader Kurt Arild Larsen drops the biggest financial politics bomb the north of Norway has ever witnessed.
Experts warns against Nubo
Because, they can reveal that one million square meters of north Norwegian prime nature real estate has been sold to the Chinese billionaire and big pin Huang Nubo.
The famous traveling Chinese has gained massive international attention the last years for his flamboyant plans to buy big areas of Iceland and Svalbard in the Arctic north. Behind Nubo a long line of criticising experts warns the world of what they believe to be methods of the Chinese government to get a foothold in the Polar sea and the Arctic. Nubo is a member of the communist party and has worked ten years in the Chines propaganda ministry.
Iceland sent the suspected imperialist packing, but earlier this week he announced that he wants to buy hundreds of square kilometres in Svalbard to start tourism. But first he made a deal with two north Norwegian businessmen.
«It all started in October last year, when my family and I had the Chinese ambassador for dinner at my house. I told him i had land for sale. He told me he «knew a guy». Fourteen days later Huang Nubo and I were out in the fjord on my boat. We showed him everything the north has to offer, the pilot says.
- Felt the need to think about it
The deal transfers the area Seljavika, 3,5 kilometres from Lyngseidet and an one hour car ride from Tromsø, over to Subo. One million square meters of forest, beach line and a mountain that borders to the massive and impressive Lyngen alps.
«He asked me at once how much i could sell him and how much i wanted. I said one square kilometre. But I also had to think about it, and a future sale had to benefit the community and the land.»
Then in February Giæver and Larsen travelled to China and the billionaires hometown of Beijing. The deal was in the end sealed in Oslo a few days ago.
“We have become good friends and hugged afterwards, project leader Kurt Arild Larsen says,”
China wants Arctic silence
When Huang Nubo is done with his plans, a five star luxury resort stands ready to welcome rich Chinese tourists. The price for the land is for now a secret but Giæver and Larsen reveals that it means billions of Norwegian kroners for the people in the poor municipality Lyngen.
«He wants to give the Chinese the opportunity to experience arctic silence and clean air. 80 per cent of the labour will come from local entrepreneurs and that, Lyngen really needs. We are talking about billion investments from his side, the business pair says.
(Questions and answers)
- Wasn’t it just a bribe ride you were enjoying in China?
- No, I would call it a sort of a welcome trip.
- How much is it for one million square meters in Lyngen?
- Can’t say. We want to tread lightly until all formalities are cleared.
- You will be criticised for this. Is that understandable?
- No. We are doing serious business and have a good feeling about this project. There will always be someone against these kind of expansions but we of course also listen to nabours, municipiality and the government.
- We can’t evade the big political questions here. Have you, with Chinas treatment of The Dalai Lama and Nobel peace prize winner Liu Xiaobo, reflected around Chinas brutal methods against Norway and the world?
- We’re just five million people in Norway and China has a long and rich history and culture. At the same time they are 1.4 billion people. I think they also have difficulties understanding us and our rules and norms which don’t fit in over there. Kinas growth has also lifted 300 million people out of poverty. Grudges should not be held to long even though politics and human rights of course are important.
- So you’re not fooled by the Chinese government who’s only interest is control in the Arctic?
- I Trust Nubo 100 per cent and have no doubt he has good intentions. We have met wonderful and welcoming people during our visits and observed incredible quality resorts that he has built. He respects local history and culture and that connected us instantly. Seljevik has for 15 years only been a plan on an piece of paper and if you say no to this nothing happens in Lyngen. Now we achieve progression. My goal for this land has always been high and I want quality investors. They trust us and we will do our best to make shure they succeed.
The Norwegian ministry of foreign affairs says it’s not natural for them to comment on the subject of Chinese businessmen buying big heaps of land in arctic Norway.