A property tycoon from Hong Kong wants to build a city in Ireland to host 50,000 emigrants from the semi-autonomous region in a plan he likens to the puritans arriving in America, The Guardian reports.
Ivan Ko, founder of the Victoria Harbour Group (VHG), an international charter city investment company, hopes to find a 50 sq km site between Dublin and Belfast to create a new city, named Nextpolis, from scratch.
Ko has pitched the plan, which would include schools that teach in Cantonese, to Irish officials, arguing it would fit the government’s stated desire to develop regions outside the capital.
Of six locations under consideration the favourite was a site between Drogheda and Dundalk, near the border with Northern Ireland and within striking distance of Dublin airport, Ko told the Times, which first reported the story.
A department of foreign affairs spokesperson in Ireland confirmed there had been talks with Ko but appeared to pour cold water on the idea. “Following an initial approach in December 2019, the department had limited contact with the individuals involved to provide helpful and realistic guidance about Ireland. Since providing this guidance there has been no further action taken by the department in this matter,” they said.