Business / Economy

Chinese firm proposes $2b fund for Christchurch quake rebuild

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-09-23 17:16

WELLINGTON -- A Chinese company is looking to invest up to $2 billion into rebuilding New Zealand's earthquake-battered city of Christchurch, city leaders said on Wednesday.

Mayor Lianne Dalziel said she had signed a Letter of Cooperation and Friendship on behalf of the Christchurch City Council with Guoxin International, which could see a major injection of capital in to the city's rebuild projects.

The Chinese company was committing to raise $2 billion for investment opportunities in the city to assist in the post-earthquake reconstruction and regeneration of Christchurch.

Dalziel said the council was keen to develop relationships and connections that would attract quality economic investment into Christchurch and the agreement reached with Guoxin International provided an ideal opportunity to do this.

"This occasion recognizes the opportunity to enhance mutual understanding and explore possibilities for collaboration as the city regenerates and rebuilds. This is a very generous commitment from a very large and reputable Chinese company," Dalziel said.

Guoxin International, the international business and investment arm of the Guoxin Group, is China's largest tendering and procurement company with a focus on major government projects, particularly in infrastructure development.

The company intended to establish a fund in New Zealand to explore a range of investment opportunities, with a major focus on the Christchurch rebuild program.

Both parties had expressed their willingness to work together, said Dalziel.

Chinese Consul General to Christchurch Jin Zhijian said the signing of the Letter of Cooperation and Friendship was a symbolic event.

"The fund Guoxin International is establishing will focus on the Christchurch rebuild program and it reflects the friendship between our two countries and shows our willingness to help each other in difficult times," Jin said.

"The fund also represents a further deepening in collaboration in financial sectors between China and New Zealand."

The non-binding deal does not impose any legal or financial obligations or liabilities on any of the parties.

Christchurch was shaken by a series of large earthquakes from Sept 4, 2010, including a 6.3-magnitude quake that killed 185 people in February 2011.

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