ECONOMY

Chinese theme park plan

Chinese investors intend to create a theme park in Athens featuring cultural elements from their country. The company hired to represent them has submitted a proposal to the Greek National Tourism Organization named «Philoxenia: Town in Attica, Greece» and estimated at 250 million euros. The consultancy firm is currently examining various candidate areas in Attica to realize the investment, as the plot required must cover at least 350,000 square meters of which 150,000 sq.m. is to be built upon. According to the project’s blueprint, an exhibition center is to be created along with cultural exchange buildings, a venue for theater and opera, commercial streets, restaurants and a park with a lake. Among the locations proposed is a 1,200-sq.m. plot in Varibobi, northwest of Athens, that belongs to the National Bank of Greece. There is, however, a problem there because this area is protected as a forest. The initial funding by the Chinese will cover 30 percent of the construction costs of the project, but they also intend to lease or buy 50 percent of the buildings. The consultancy firm suggests interest already expressed by Greek and foreign investors will eventually cover 100 percent of the funding. The plan is expected to create more than 1,000 jobs in Athens. It is under the auspices of the local government of Fujian, an industrial region in southern China with a population of 36 million.