Hong Kong-on-Suir: Plans to build new international city outside Waterford!
No it’s not April 1. Waterford was one of six locations in the country considered by Department of Foreign Affairs officials as potential locations for an autonomous city named Nextpolis.
The plan was proposed by Hong Kong businessman Ivan Ko (pictured), who has been scouring the globe for potential sites for the new international charter city because of the unstable political situation between Hong Kong and mainland China, The Times of London reported.
The other locations discussed were: an area between Drogheda and Dundalk in Co Louth; a site to the east of Galway city; an area just north of Limerick city; a site to the east of Cork; and an area near Killarney and Tralee in Co Kerry.
It is believed that officials have been discussing the plan with the Victoria Harbour Group (VHG), an international charter city investment company, since December about a plan to create a city from scratch that would be home to tens of thousands of Hong Kong residents.
According to The Times, documents released under freedom of information reveal that a number of meetings took place in Ireland and Hong Kong about a 500 sq km area of land for the new city.
Last month, Mr Ko revealed that discussions were ongoing with “Ireland and two other countries”.
In December, Mr Ko wrote that he wanted to invite “relevant institutions, agencies, major corporations and/or brilliant talents and experts from Ireland” to get involved with the “Sim City” project.
Regional director in the Asia Pacific Unit of the Department of Foreign Affairs Tim Mawe, wrote back: “Many thanks for your message and for the interesting conversation last week.”
He added: “As regards Sim City, I note that you will be in touch with David and I again. At that point, we can see what to do next.”
David Costello is consul general of Ireland to Hong Kong.
On January 9, Mr Ko emailed again, attaching a presentation explaining the project. “We would like to prepare the attached draft proposal for the consideration of your country,” he said.
He added: “Over the last few months, we have formed a group of core members and a group of volunteers to work on various topics relating to this international charter city (ICC). I hope we you can bring this up to your President, the honorable Michael Higgin and his colleagues.”