Chinese government invests in $1bn-plus Canadian development

by Ryan Smith

The Chinese government may become an investor in a billion-dollar-plus development in Canada.
China’s state-sponsored investment company, CITIC Ltd., has pledged an investment of at least $100 million in a planned housing and entertainment development in Niagra Falls, Ont., according to the Buffalo (N.Y.) News.

While specifics of the project by China-based GR Investments Co, haven’t been finalized, Niagra Falls Mayor Jim Diodati told the News it would be a combination of housing, business and commercial use. Diodati said there would also be an “innovation” area to encourage the commercialization of Chinese research and development.

Although it will likely be the end of 2018 before construction even begins, the investors have already purchased the land, and the developer has a track record for “top notch developments” in China, Diodati told the News.

“It’s significant in that it’s not land they have options on,” he said. “They’ve already purchased it. They’ve already spent several million dollars.”

Diodati, along with two other Niagra Falls officials, the Ontario premier and the Canadian ambassador to China, flew to that country for the announcement of CITIC’s investment, which represents a major investment by a foregin sovereign fund, according to the News. It’s also a mark of the Chinese government’s confidence in the project, which should lure other investors.

“It was important to see CITIC there with the private investors and the premier of the province and our ambassador to China, to have us all in the room endorsing and supporting this type of global investment,” Diodati said. “This will give a lot of confidence to other prospective Chinese investors when the government is in.”

CITIC has been pursuing more global investments lately, and Niagra Falls is part of the firm’s new Invest Abroad program, the News reported.

“They want to use Niagra Falls as their Launchpad for further investment,” he said. “They love Niagra Falls. It’s a huge, iconic, global brand.”

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