The Government signed the final contract documents with the Walt Disney Company today (Friday) to provide for the opening of Hong Kong Disneyland in 2005.
The agreement to go ahead with the theme park project was first announced on November 2, 1999 by the Chief Executive. It was endorsed by both the Executive Council and the Legislative Council later in the same month.
The Financial Secretary, Mr Donald Tsang said at the signing ceremony that the agreement was a win-win deal.
"The theme park project will generate substantial tangible economic benefits for Hong Kong, including many thousands of new jobs. In addition, there will be significant intangible benefits," Mr Tsang said.
"Disney has gained access to the world's freest economy in order to do business. What better place could there be?" he added.
Government officials took part in the ceremony included Secretary for Economic Services (SES), Mr Stephen Ip; Secretary for the Treasury, Miss Denise Yue; and Commissioner for Tourism (CT), Mr Mike Rowse. Chairman of Walt Disney Attractions, Mr Judson Green, and two other company officials represented the Disney group at the signing ceremony.
Signing the Master Project Agreement on behalf of the Government was SES, Mr Ip. He said that it was an important milestone in the development of tourism in Hong Kong.
"This is a happy marriage between a world class tourism attraction and a world class tourist destination. We hope that Hong Kong Disneyland will not just bring us more tourists, but also wholesome quality entertainment for local families as well," he said.
Hong Kong Disneyland is seen as a key step by the Government towards enhancing Hong Kong's attractiveness as a visitor and tourist destination.
"We need to continue to diversify and enrich our tourism products. Hong Kong Disneyland will be an important anchor for us to develop further the family travel market," said CT, Mr Rowse.
"We also hope that the theme park will serve to attract other interesting tourism developments in Hong Kong in the years to come," he added.
End/Friday, December 10, 1999