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Where will hot money go?
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China cannot rule out the possibility of large sums of hot money, or short-term speculative capital, flooding out of the country after the Olympic Games as the world's fourth-largest economy is slowing the pace of its economic growth, experts said.

International speculators might withdraw their huge profits gained from China's economic boom in the past several years at some point in the post-Olympics era as the Olympics fades out as an economic booster, they pointed out.

"It's possible that a large amount of hot money will flow out of China after the Olympics as the country's economic situation changes," said Li Youhuan, vice-president of the Guangdong Academy of Social Sciences' Industry and Economic Institute.

China, one of the fastest-developing economies in the world, has witnessed double-digit annual growth since 2003. But the latest statistics show the Chinese economy has slowed down for a fourth straight quarter, rising only 10.1 percent in the second quarter of this year, after growing 10.6 percent in the first quarter.

China's investment in the Olympics, between 2001 and 2008, is estimated at 520 billion yuan (US$76.11 billion), said Huang Wei, an economic adviser to the Beijing Municipal Development and Reform Commission, the Shanghai-based Oriental Morning Post reported. That means an investment of around 200 million yuan per day from July 13, 2001, when Beijing won the bid to host the 2008 Olympic Games, to August 8, 2008, when the Olympics begins.

Beijing, the Chinese capital and Olympic host city, invested a total of about 295 billion yuan in the Olympic Games between 2001 and 2007, said Liu Zhi, deputy secretary-general of the Beijing municipal government. The figure includes investment in the city's infrastructure for transportation, environmental protection and energy, according to Liu.

The robust investment has given a strong boost to economic development. China's fast economic growth in the previous years is closely related to the country's preparations for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, the 21st Century Business Herald quoted Chen Jian, an economist from the Beijing Institute of Socialism, as saying.

Olympic host city Beijing and co-host city Qingdao achieved an annual economic growth of 12 and 15 percent from 2003 to 2007, respectively, Chen said.

(China Daily August 8, 2008)

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