Source: http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5j-1nW9lq_LC_3xeJgctjG8ue8OQQ Universal Studios to build major theme park in S.Korea (AFP) – 1 hour ago SEOUL — US film giant Universal Studios Tuesday signed a deal with South Korean partners to build its largest theme park in Asia at a cost of around three trillion won (2.67 billion dollars). Universal Parks and Resorts and 14 South Korean partners, including Lotte Group and a subsidiary of steel giant POSCO, signed the framework agreement to develop the park at Hwaseong, 40 kilometres (25 miles) southwest of Seoul, by 2014. The initial deal was announced in late 2007 but faced problems raising capital until retail and hotels group Lotte was persuaded to join the project. Lotte Asset Development will have a 26.7 percent stake, while POSCO's construction subsidiary POSCO E and C will be the second largest shareholder with 24.4 percent. Work is due to start early next year on the park, which will include a water park, theme hotel, condos, a golf course and other facilities. Kim Moon-Soo, governor of Gyeonggi province, said the resort will create more than 40,000 new jobs. Culture minister Yu In-Chon called it "a major opportunity to develop the national tourism industry". Universal Parks and Resorts chairman and CEO Thomas Williams said at the signing ceremony that the project will play "a leading role in the growth and development of the Korean tourism industry". He said director Steven Spielberg, a consultant to Universal Parks and Resorts, is expected to take part in the South Korean project. Universal Studios also operates theme parks in Hollywood, Orlando in Florida and Japan, and a park on Singapore's Sentosa Island is nearing completion.