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2008/05/20 09:00 KST
Daewoo Motor, Paramount to launch joint venture on theme park

   SEOUL, May 20 (Yonhap) -- South Korean auto retailer Daewoo Motor Sales Corp. and Paramount Pictures Corp. of the United States were to launch a joint venture on Tuesday as part of their plan to open a movie amusement park in western South Korea, an official at Daewoo Motor said.

   Daewoo Motor and Paramount Pictures, a unit of U.S. media giant Viacom Inc., will spend a total of 1.5 trillion won (US$1.4 billion) to build the theme park in the western airport city of Incheon, a main gateway to South Korea, said Daewoo Motor spokesman An Seog-su.

   Daewoo Motor Sales Corp. Chief Executive Lee Dong-ho and Michael E. Corcoran, president of consumer products and the recreation group at Paramount, were set to officially launch the joint venture called "Paramount Movie Park Korea," the spokesman said.

   Financial details of the venture weren't immediately released.

   Previously, the two sides said it would open the amusement park on reclaimed land in Incheon by 2009, making the Hollywood studio, known for movies such as "Titanic" and "Mission Impossible," the first foreign entertainment company to operate a resort in South Korea.

   Construction for the theme park is already underway, the spokesman said.

   Currently, South Korea has two large-scale amusement parks operated by Samsung and Lotte, the country's two family-run business conglomerates.

   Daewoo Motor and Paramount are scheduled to complete construction of all facilities, which will include a 300-room hotel and shopping malls, before the city hosts the 2014 Asian Games.

   "The Paramount theme park is a key priority not only for Daewoo Motor Sales but also for the city of Incheon," said Daewoo Motor's Lee in a previous statement.

   "The park has the potential to become a true catalyst for regional development, and we at Daewoo Motor Sales are proud to be spearheading this landmark project together with Paramount," Lee said.

   In November last year, another U.S. film producer, Universal Studios, controlled by General Electric Co., and South Korean builder POSCO Engineering & Construction Co. said they will build a US$3 billion theme park south of Seoul by 2012.

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