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Disney’s Hong Kong plans may stall

Companies missing October deadline

HONG KONG — Tourism commissioner Mike Rowse has indicated that the Hong Kong government and the Walt Disney Co. may not be ready by the end of October to announce plans to build a theme park in the territory, according to a published report.

Back on July 1, the government said it had set a late-October deadline for the close of negotiations on the proposed Disney park, which would be the second in Asia.

“If we get to the end of October, we’ll form a view then as to whether we need some more time or whether it’s a lost cause,” Rowse told the South China Morning Post.

“If we do manage to achieve it by the end of October, I think both sides will feel pretty pleased with themselves,” said Rowse, who is the government’s point man in the marathon negotiations with Disney.

Proponents of the plan were hoping that the territory’s chief executive, Tung Chee-hwa, would announce a decision on the project when he gives his annual policy address next week. But Rowse indicated to the paper that no such announcement was likely.

Rowse said the teams from the government and Disney have made “enormous progress, but we still have a lot to do.”