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20th Century Fox to build theme park in S Korea

Hong Joon-pyo, centre, governor of South Gyeongsang Province, with Jeffrey Godsick, left, president of Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products, and Tim Fisher, right, CEO of Village Roadshow Theme Parks, attends a ceremony in Seoul./EPA

Hong Joon-pyo, centre, governor of South Gyeongsang Province, with Jeffrey Godsick, left, president of Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products, and Tim Fisher, right, CEO of Village Roadshow Theme Parks, attends a ceremony in Seoul./EPA

Global entertainment provider 20th Century Fox has signed on with Australian media company Village Roadshow to open an integrated leisure complex in the southern part of the country - a project that is expected to create a total added value of 2.2 trillion won (US$2.1 billion), according to industry sources.



The $3.5 billion investment project involves the construction of a mega sized leisure complex within the Busan-Jinhae Free Economic Zone in Changwon, South Gyeongsang Province.



The blueprint - including a Fox theme park, six-star hotel, casino, movie complex, premium shopping outlet mall, 18-hole golf course and a marine sports centre - is the centrepiece of the provincial government's 50-year development vision, according to officials.



Though efforts have been made in the past to build theme parks here, jointly with global players such as Universal Studios or Paramount, none have so far succeeded.



"Jinhae, however, is different from past cases as the region is part of the FEZ," said South Gyeongsang Gov. Hong Joon-pyo.



"This means that the investors will be less burdened with site rental fees and early-stage investment costs."



The theme park will not only vitalize the regional economy but also boost Korea's attractiveness as a major tourist spot in Asia, creating an employment effect for 10,000 people and a direct economic effect of 5 trillion won, according to the governor.



To achieve the goal, the parties will establish a special purpose company by the end of this year and kick off the construction next year, in the hopes of opening by 2018.



"Fox is deeply committed to Korea, and we have been producing a wide range of Korea-based entertainment contents over the past three years," said Jeffrey Godsick, president of the American company's consumer products division.






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