Decision on Hong Kong Disney due this week

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The Independent Online
WALT DISNEY, the US entertainment giant, is this week expected to announce it has clinched a deal with the Hong Kong government to build aHK$20 billion (pounds 1.59bn) theme park - its second in Asia.

If the deal goes ahead, it will provide a boost to Hong Kong's economy. Analysts say the project would create thousands of jobs, boost tourism and retail sales, and trigger supporting development projects.

Shamus Mok, chief economist at the Bank of East Asia, said a Disney park would be "another economic pillar in Hong Kong". Merrill Lynch, the investment bank, estimated itwould add 0.3 per cent to Hong Kong's annual GDP over the five-year construction phase.

Intensive negotiations between Disney and Hong Konghave been underway since March. The June deadline was extended until 31 October after the two parties failed to reach an agreement.