Beijing 2008 Olympic Budget Unveiled

The Beijing 2008 Olympic Games Bidding Committee (BOBICO) unveiled a budget which posted a US$16 million surplus in Beijing on Friday, the third and penultimate day of a four-day inspection tour by an International Olympic Committee (IOC) evaluation team.

The budget plan, which was assessed by the IOC team in a morning presentation, projects a total cost of US$1.609 billion for hosting the world's biggest sporting event and estimates a revenue of US$1.625 billion.

BOBICO framed its Olympic budget on three principles, Jiang Xiaoyu, the Committee's vice-president said. One of them is to make sure "all the commitments made to IOC are delivered smoothly and that we have an achievable and realistic projection of Games revenues and expenditures".

The other objectives are to make sure that "staging the Games in Beijing will have no negative financial implications to the municipal government and its residents" and "will bring no financial risk to the IOC".

In the budget are the commitments to "supporting a truly world-class event by providing all the necessary infrastructure and financial resources", the BOBICO presentations said.

The budget was worked out with "a lot of carefulness", Jiang said. But he said "It's a frugal one."

The massive spending city planners have promised for the environmental and infrastructure purposes have not been included in the Olympic budget, Jiang said.

"Even though we were not to land the 2008 Olympics, the investment on the environment and infrastructure should still go ahead," he said.

There should be no worries on the financial aspects of the possible 2008 Games, Jiang said. "Beijing's bid has been backed by a strong economy," he said. "The municipal government's revenue for the fiscal year of 2000 hit US$4.1 billion," he said.

The Chinese government is 100 percent behind the bid and has demonstrated its commitment to get the job done whatever it takes, said the BOBICO presentation report.

"The financial support from the central government has provided a safety net for BOBICO and the IOC, but we are also confident that the strong Chinese economy will truly be able to support the marketing strategies for our budget," the presentation report reads.

(Xinhua 02/23/2001)

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