HONG KONG (AFX) - The government has rejected a request by Legislative Council member Choy So-yu for disclosure on the costs of building various facilities at the Hong Kong Disneyland, which opened to the public in September.
Secretary for Environment, Transport and Works Sarah Liao said in a statement that the information sought by Choy cannot be disclosed as doing so may not be in the best interest of Hong Kong International Theme Park Ltd (HKITP).
HKITP is a joint venture formed by the government and Walt Disney Co to set up and operate the theme park.
'In order to ensure that HKITP secures the most favourable terms from contractors in future tendering exercises and that its bargaining position will not be affected, construction costs in the contracts should not be released,' she said.
She added that Hong Kong Disneyland is being run in accordance with the usual commercial principles and model of Walt Disney Co.
She said HKITP was provided total financing of 14.1 bln hkd, comprised of equity injection from the government and Walt Disney, as well as loans provided by the government and commercial entities.
Choy asked Liao to disclose construction costs at Disneyland following media reports that the costs were 'excessively high', raising doubts about whether the government had closely monitored expenditures in the project.
Liao said that while Disneyland was being constructed, HKITP's management company was required to report on the work progress and expenditures to HKITP's board.
'Under close monitoring of the board, construction of Hong Kong Disneyland was completed on schedule and within the approved financing arrangements,' she said.
She added that Walt Disney undertook the planning of all facilities in Hong Kong Disneyland as it has over 50 years' experience in building and operating theme parks.
(1 usd = 7.8 hkd)