Ahead of Obama's visit, China approves Walt Disney's Shanghai theme park after a decade news
04 November 2009

After a decade of negotiations, China has finally approved Walt Disney Company's plans to build a theme park in the Pudong district of Shanghai, it's first in mainland China and fourth overseas, costing around $3.59 billion, making it one of the largest-ever foreign investments in China.

The Walt Disney Company announced yesterday that the Project Application Report (PAR) for a Disney theme park in the Pudong district of Shanghai has received approval from the relevant authorities of the central government of China.

"China is one of the most dynamic, exciting and important countries in the world, and this approval marks a very significant milestone for The Walt Disney Company in mainland China," said Robert Iger, president and CEO of The Walt Disney Company.

''The PAR approval will enable Disney and its Shanghai partners to move forward toward a final agreement to build and operate the park and begin preliminary development work. Upon completion of the final agreement, the project's initial phase would include a Magic Kingdom-style theme park with characteristics tailored to the Shanghai region and other amenities consistent with Disney's destination resorts worldwide,'' said the company in a statement.

In early January, the California-based Disney and the Shanghai municipal government jointly submitted plans to the Chinese government to build a $3.59-billion park to open as early as 2014 (See: Walt Disney to build new theme park in China).

The Shanghai government said in a statement that both sides had "started in-depth talks on details of the project, to build a world-class Disneyland after the Chinese government gave its approval late last month.

But the approval came after the then mayor of Shanghai Zhu Rongji visited Disneyland in Los Angeles in July 1990, and wanted a similar theme park in Shanghai and asked Disney to start negotiations with the Chinese central government.

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Ahead of Obama's visit, China approves Walt Disney's Shanghai theme park after a decade