China’s central government has given the green light to the Walt Disney Co. to build its long-awaited first theme park on the mainland in Shanghai, after a decade of negotiations, both sides announced. The announcement of the deal, which would be one of the biggest ever foreign investments in China, comes less than two weeks before US President Barack Obama makes his first official visit here, starting November 15 in Shanghai. Neither side disclosed any figures, or gave a time frame for reaching a final agreement, but previous reports have said the US entertainment giant will invest 3.6 billion dollars in the 10-square-kilometre (four-square mile) park. “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,” Walt Disney said in a statement. “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,” Disney president and CEO Robert Iger said. The Shanghai government said in a statement that approval had been granted late last month, and that both sides had “started in-depth…
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