Beijing Economically Capable of Hosting Olympic Games

If Beijing wins the right to host the 2008 Olympic Games, it is economically capable of hosting the quadrennial event.

Beijing Mayor Liu Qi made the remarks in a meeting on November 8 with Robert Carr, governor of the New South Wales State of Australia.

Beijing is one of the five bidders for the 2008 Games. The other cities include Paris, Osaka, Toronto and Istanbul.

Liu's confidence has been underlined the fact that Beijing's annual growth rate of economy averaged 9.8 percent in the past five years and the financial revenue increased by 20 percent on a yearly basis.

The mayor said that Beijing is fully in the position of meeting the cost of building Olympic stadiums and venues, which only accounts for a small percentage of what Beijing invested in infrastructure.

"Beijing has invested over 300 billion yuan in infrastructure in the past five years. While the investment needed for Beijing to build Olympics stadiums is estimated to stand at 13 billion yuan," he said.

"What is more, Beijing, if winning the right to host the Games, has still six or seven years to prepare the Olympic facilities," he added.

Liu said that Beijing invested heavily in the infrastructure not only for the sake of the Olympic bid, but to meet the needs raised by the development of the city.

"Beijing is now preparing a five-year plan, under which the economic growth rate will be kept at about 9 percent on average," said Liu.

Carr, who has visited Beijing for quite a few times, echoed that Beijing had impressed him greatly.

"Today's Beijing is just like Sydney in bid for the 2000 Games," said Carr. "Beijing is currently an exciting city."

He said that if Beijing wins, it is certain that the city will put on a wonderful Games.

"Anyone who has visited Beijing will come to a conclusion that Beijing has the ability to host the 2008 Games," said Carr.

Carr is heading a delegation here for talks with the Beijing 2008 Olympic Bidding Committee, saying that they are willing to give a helping hand to Beijing's bid.

"We are very pleased to exchange views with Beijing on the experiences in bidding and hosting Olympics," he said.

Carr came to Beijing after visiting the southern city of Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong Province which has sister relations with New South Wales.

(People's Daily 11/09/2000)

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