Disneyland conference on agenda to clear air

11:00, November 02, 2009      

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Shanghai would soon organize a press conference to reveal information related to Shanghai Disneyland, a project subject to wild speculation, Mayor Han Zheng said yesterday.

"It is a topic raised every time I attend a press conference," Han said in response to questions after the 21st International Business Leaders' Advisory Council closed.

"We will hold a conference, possibly next week, to specially talk about it."

The timing may coincide with United States President Barack Obama's first state visit to China, from November 15 to 18, with a stop in Shanghai.

In March last year, Han announced that Shanghai had applied to the National Development and Reform Commission to build a Disneyland and the best location would be in the Pudong New Area.

In August this year, top government officials in Pudong said consensus on major aspects of building "an important tourism project" in Pudong had been reached, but still required approval from the central government.

Driving force

They did not identify this project as Disneyland but said its investment could reach tens of billions of yuan.

It would be one of the driving forces for the district's development, said Pudong Director Jiang Liang.

It was widely speculated that it was a Disneyland project because of the sheer scale of the investment.

If the Shanghai Disneyland project is approved, it will become third Disneyland in Asia after Japan and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

The project would significantly boost businesses in sectors such as property, hospitality, retail and tourism in surrounding areas.

Walt Disney Co signed a statement of intent to build a Disneyland on the Chinese mainland in 2002, and then set up a venture to develop it.

It was put on hold because of concerns that the Hong Kong park, which opened in 2005, would suffer.

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