HKTDC Conferences Make Sunshine Pay for Kiwi Entrepreneur

“Stonewood aims to build 20 solar farms in New Zealand by 2027. The total development budget is estimated at about US$1 billion.”

Stonewood Group, a comprehensive investment firm from New Zealand, benefited from both the Asian Financial Forum (AFF) and the Belt and Road Summit, both co-organised by the Hong Kong SAR Government and HKTDC in 2023, to create connections and sign several technology-related cooperation agreements with Hong Kong businesses.

New Zealand plans to switch to 100% renewable energy by 2035, but less than 3% of its power currently comes from solar energy. A key Stonewood project aims to address this shortage by developing more solar farms in the country.

In January 2023, John Chow, Stonewood Co-founder, and Garry Ko, Executive Director of RCR Infrastructure, a Stonewood subsidiary, took part in a AFF.

  • Kiwi sun shines on Hong Kong technologies.
  • Belt and Road Summit links a green infrastructure entrepreneur Stonewood with Hong Kong investors and partners.

Stonewood made use of the investment project matching meeting and joined several promotion sessions. Forum attendees were interested in several of the company’s projects.

While in Hong Kong, they also held face-to-face meetings with potential partners and investors. One of these was RaSpect HK, introduced by the HKTDC Sydney Office, which provides AI-driven building inspection technology using drones and was a winner in the 2019 edition of the HKTDC’s Start-up Express.

The cooperation with RaSpect HK also helped Stonewood sign cooperation agreements with venture capital firm Abacus Ventures HK, Start-Up Express 2021 laureate Dayta AI (HK), and pioneering robotics firm Rice Robotics.

Joining the Belt and Road Summit in September 2023, Stonewood established further connections with many potential partners and investors, most of whom were interested in the company’s Solar Farms project. The HKTDC Sydney Office brought the interested parties together, introducing Hong Kong company Li & Co Global to Stonewood, which hired the firm for international financing advisory services.

Stonewood further leveraged its Hong Kong connections, signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Abacus Ventures HK to establish a partnership in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and Australia-New Zealand, including the solar power ventures.

In two other technology related MOUs, Stonewood’s infrastructure and building services subsidiary RCR agreed to collaborate with Dayta AI on a distribution partnership for smart retail technology investment partnerships in New Zealand, and with Rice Robotics (HK) to establish a distribution partnership for autonomous indoor service robots in New Zealand.

Stonewood aims to build 20 solar farms in New Zealand by 2027, of which 10 are already under construction. The total development budget is estimated at about US$1 billion, of which US$36 million has been raised and US$50 million is under joint development agreements. It will continue its fundraising activities and consider an HKEX listing.


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