Firm in Sturgeon China deal dissolved
THE Chinese firm which signed a £10 billion funding deal with the Scottish Government has been dissolved.
Nicola Sturgeon was left red-faced by the cancellation of her memorandum of understanding involving the now-defunct SinoFortone Group.
The Government had hoped it would lead to a massive programme of investment in housing, renewables and other infrastructure.
But the deal quickly fell apart after it emerged the parent company of the other funder, Chinese Railway No 3 Engineering Group (CR3), was blacklisted in Norway over human rights concerns. Now Miss Sturgeon faces further embarrassment over the fate of SinoFortone Group which, according to Companies House, was ‘dissolved via compulsory strike off’ last week, with all assets becoming the property of the Crown.
That is hardly a windfall, as the group’s last accounts from July last year showed it comprised ten shares worth £1 each.
Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie said: ‘Ministers and their officials had eight discussions with SinoFortone and concluded it was a “serious and credible” company. Now the firm Nicola Sturgeon claimed would bring £10 billion of investment has been struck off.
‘The SNP failed to check the company’s human rights, corruption and investment history. They failed to make the deal public, and when it was exposed, attacked opposition politicians for asking questions.’
Trade Minister Ivan McKee responded: ‘As is well known, the Scottish Government has had no contact with Sinofortone for some time.’