For the development of the Arctic, which is rich in oil and gas resources, China and Iceland have reached a series of cooperation.
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao arrived in Iceland on the 20th and held talks with Icelandic Prime Minister Sigurzadotti on the same day. Wen Jiabao said that China is willing to intensify consultations with ice on Arctic affairs and conduct pragmatic cooperation in polar regions, oceans, environment, shipping and other related fields, so as to jointly promote peace, stability and sustainable development in the Arctic region. In response, Sigurzadotti said that Iceland supports China to become an observer of the Arctic Council and participate in the peaceful development and utilization of the Arctic region. Iceland is willing to strengthen cooperation with China on the existing basis. After the talks, the two prime ministers jointly attended the signing ceremony of cooperation documents including the Framework Agreement between the Government of the People's Republic of China and the Government of the Republic of Iceland on Arctic Cooperation.
Wen Jiabao meets with Icelandic President Grimsson in Reykjavik
Through Wen Jiabao’s visit, China and Iceland have made positive progress in the joint peaceful development of the Arctic. Although Sigurzadotti emphasized that the cooperation between Iceland and China is limited to cooperation in the field of research, some analysts believe that the Arctic region is rich in oil reserves, and the conclusion of the above agreement will contribute to China's energy security strategy.
The Arctic is rich in oil and gas resources
This is the first time a Chinese Premier has visited Iceland since the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Iceland 41 years ago.
It is reported that China and Iceland signed 6 cooperation agreements during the meeting between the two prime ministers, covering geothermal, marine and polar research and a solar energy project. "These agreements will provide many opportunities for Iceland and Chinese scientists to increase research cooperation in the (Arctic) region." The statement of the Office of the Prime Minister of Iceland stated.
The Republic of Iceland, located in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean, is the second largest island in Europe. Although it has an area of only more than 100,000 square kilometers, it is close to the Arctic Circle and its geographic and strategic location cannot be ignored. Some geological research reports in the United States indicate that the Arctic region contains undiscovered oil resources estimated at 90 billion barrels and 30% of global natural gas resources. Global warming has caused the gradual melting of glaciers, and it will be possible to use the abundant oil reserves under the Arctic seabed. The accelerated melting of ice and snow will also greatly shorten the shipping route of cargo ships from Asia to Northern Europe. For example, the HNA journey from Shanghai to Northern Europe is expected to be shortened by approximately 6,400 kilometers.
In addition, Iceland is a member of the Arctic Council, and other members of the Council include Canada, Russia, Norway, Denmark, the United States and Finland. According to statistics from the International Energy Agency, China is currently the world’s largest energy consumer, and will consume approximately 21% of global energy consumption by 2015. Therefore, if it can obtain the status of an observer of the Arctic Council, it will be beneficial to exploit the rich Arctic. Energy reserves.
Huang Nubo is expected to rent land in Iceland
During the meeting, Wen Jiabao said that China is willing to accelerate bilateral free trade agreement negotiations with Iceland, and strive to achieve free trade between the two countries next year; expand mutual investment to ensure the success of large-scale cooperation projects; enhance the level of cooperation in the development and utilization of geothermal energy and scientific research in geosciences. Jointly expand the third-party market. Sigurzadotti said that Iceland is willing to use Premier Wen Jiabao's visit as an opportunity to speed up negotiations on a free trade agreement between the two countries and further expand friendly exchanges and cooperation between the two countries in the fields of trade, investment, geothermal, and humanities.
During the visit, Sinopec Group also signed a contract with Iceland Energy Company to plan to use China's geothermal resources for domestic heating and power generation.
Siyurzadotti said that Iceland is undergoing a series of reforms to achieve economic recovery and growth. It regards China as a reliable friend, and thanks China for its valuable support for Iceland's response to the financial crisis.
As a prominent "victim" of the financial crisis, the Icelandic krona has depreciated 50% against the euro, the banking assets have shrunk significantly, liquidity is insufficient, investment activities are weak, and the government debt burden is heavy. At the same time, the capital control measures implemented by Iceland hinder foreign investment, which is very detrimental to Iceland's emergence from the crisis.
At the end of August last year, the Icelandic government rejected a Chinese businessman Huang Nubo's application to purchase 300 square kilometers of land in Iceland for 1 billion Iceland Krona. Analysts generally believe that the Icelandic government is worried that the transaction will give China a strategic foothold in Iceland and facilitate China's access to local deep-water ports. However, according to "Forbes" website reports, this transaction is expected to usher in the dawn. Todd Helmason, head of foreign investment in Iceland, recently revealed that the Icelandic government is considering leasing the land in the form of a long-term lease to Huang Nubo's China Zhongkun Investment Group, and granting the company a certain investment reward. . "The outlook has become very clear."
It is reported that the land involved in lease is 300 square kilometers (about 0.3% of the land area of Iceland), and the total investment is estimated to be about 200 million US dollars. According to Huang Nubo, chairman of Zhongkun, the transaction is likely to be completed within the next two months. He plans to build luxury hotels and ecological resorts on this land. According to Forbes, after the project is put into operation, it will undoubtedly bring a large number of Chinese tour groups to Iceland.