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Chinese keen to invest in Auckland - Mayor

Published: 12:22PM Monday April 23, 2012 Source: ONE News

Chinese businesses are "very enthused" about investing in Auckland, says the city's Mayor, following a trip to the Asian country.

Brown told TV ONE's Breakfast show today that during his trip to China he fielded interest in infrastructure, investment and the Auckland's high-tech and green-tech industries.

One topic of discussion was funding for the proposed city rail loop, where international investment is an option for the "cash strapped" council and Government, said Brown.

"It's certainly one of the options. We've presently got a discussion paper out at the moment that is looking at how we can fund it in terms of the revenue stream, whether it's congestion charges, network charges, regional petrol taxes - we've got 10 options out there that the community is coming back to us on," he said.

Australia, America and Europe have also expressed interest in helping fund Auckland's rail loop , as well as China, according to the Mayor.

"China is seriously interested in investing long term in 30-50 year periods, to fund and put the projects in place," he said.

However, he said he would only get involved in a deal if the Government was supportive and if it would be delivered through joint ventures with local companies.

Crafar farms

Brown said the controverisal issue of the sale of the Crafar farms to a Chinese company came up rarely on the trip, and he said "nothing" about it to his hosts.

"They hoped there would be further reflection on the decision. And in the end their government's decision on Friday came across pretty well."

He said the trip was about building economic ties between Auckland and its sister cities in China, and discussions were "diplomatic".