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Eonomist: Olympics raise global profile of China
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Hosting the Olympics has raised China's global profile, and the country as a whole, including its cities like Hong Kong, should benefit in the long run, Moody's economist Sherman Chan said Tuesday.

The seemingly immense sum spent by China in preparing for the Games was partly borne by the private sector and will not be a fiscal burden for the government, Chan said.

The economist with Moody's Economy.com put the total spendings, directly or indirectly involved in the Olympics, at around 42 billion U.S. dollars.

The Beijing Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games said it spent over 2 billion U.S. dollars as operation funds, and about 280 billion yuan (40.88 billion U.S. dollars) in upgrading of municipal facilities.

China said the raising of China's global profile "will help to boost tourism even after the Games end" and that "the enormous spending on infrastructure will improve the country's long-term competitiveness."

"Better airport facilities, subway networks, roads and recreational venues will all help to support continued rapid development," she said.

Public works built in preparation also benefited cities like Hong Kong, one of the co-host cities, she said.

In the short run, however, playing host to the Olympics will neither boost nor curb China's growth in this year, Chan said.

There will be a surge in retail trade during the third quarter but much of this could be offset by the effect of special temporary measures enforced for the Olympics, she said.

Nevertheless, there could be the loosening of the labor market after the Games, as "jobs have been created over the past few years," which will be a challenge, she said.

Larry Jiang, managing director of Guotai Junan Hong Kong, also said the hosting of the Olympics will not be a boost to the economy in the short run and, therefore, it is unlikely for China to suffer a post-Olympics economic slowdown.

(Xinhua News Agency August 13, 2008)

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