Mickey Mouse targets Viet Nam
by Le Hung Vong

HCM CITY — The Walt Disney Co. (TWDC), creators of the world famous cartoon characters Mickey and Minnie mouse has officially come to Viet Nam, but its long-wanted Disneyland will not come in the near future.

"We aren’t considering (developing an entertainment) park in Viet Nam at the moment," said Douglas Miller, executive vice president and managing director of Walt Disney International, Asia Pacific, during a press meeting in HCM City yesterday.

"But we are focusing 100 per cent (of our effort) on the Hong Kong Disneyland," Miller said at the press meeting held after the ceremony to announce the licensing agreement for consumer products for Indochina between TWDC and the US-headquartered East Media Holdings Inc. (EMHI).

Under the agreement, EMHI was appointed the official and exclusive partner for TWDC in Viet Nam, Laos and Cambodia; and will be responsible for the licensing of Disney-branded consumer products for numerous categories from publishing to food and beverages, apparel and accessories, to school and party goods.

"Viet Nam is a dynamic market that is experiencing tremendous growth. With this announcement, three of our four lines of business – Disney consumer products, studios, and media networks – are now present here," said Miller.

Allen Wu, founder and chairman of EMHI, said Disney products will be present in Viet Nam after October this year, while most products are Disney-branded consumer products are manufactured in China.

He added the company was looking for quality Vietnamese partners for manufacturing consumer products in the country.

"Today’s agreement between Disney and EMHI will help to spread the message in the US that Viet Nam welcomes high quality American investment, products and services," said Robert Bannerman, Commercial Commissioner at the US Consulate General in HCM City.

In April this year, Buena Vista International, Walt Disney Studios’ international distribution unit, announced its entry to the Viet Nam market through a distribution deal with MegaStar JV Ltd, which will distribute a line-up of Disney and Touchstone movies.

TWDC, a Dow 30 company, has annual revenues exceeding US$30 billion in its most recent fiscal year. With its corporate office in Hong Kong, TWDC (Asia Pacific Limited) has offices in 10 countries in the region. Hong Kong Disneyland, the company’s first theme park in China and the 11th worldwide, opened in September of 2005. — VNS

Source: VietnamNews