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No post-Olympics recession: official
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Beijing will not experience economic recession after the Olympic Games, a senior municipal government official said on the sidelines of the ongoing 11th National People's Congress.

"The economy in Beijing will not fall into recession after the Games, though this did happen in previous Olympic host cities," said Zhang Gong, director of the municipal development and reform commission.

"After doing research and analysis of the previous six host cities, we conclude that Beijing will experience no post-Games recession."

As a developing city, Beijing still has great potential and needs more investment, he said. "In some developed cities, over-investment before the Olympic Games led to a sudden fall after the Games, but Beijing is still developing," Zhang said.

"And in Beijing, which has a population of over 16.3 million, the large amount of consumption will also help to maintain economic stability."

A booming national economy is also a major supporting factor, he added.

Zhang said the municipal government would continue its investment projects after the Games, such as the construction of subways, and would discuss the possibility of a second airport for the city.

Investment in the Beijing Games won't affect the overall economy of the capital city, an official from the organizing committee explained.

"There are two parts to investment in the Olympic Games, operational costs, which come from all the sponsors, and the costs for the construction of the infrastructure, including those venues," said Wang Wei, executive vice-president of the committee. "Investment in infrastructure construction came from the government, but only covers a little part of the total income. So, it won't affect the overall economic structure of the city."

(China Daily March 17, 2008)

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