The Beijing Olympic Games budget will not register a deficit, according to Wei Jizhong, the Chinese Olympic Committee former general-secretary, on Thursday.
The total cost of the Games was recently estimated to be 2.2 billion U.S. dollars, exceeding the original 1.6 billion U.S. dollars estimation when bidding for the Olympics, Wei said, adding the revenue would also increase at the same time. He did not reveal the exact figure.
The 72 year old, president of the non-profit Beijing Olympic Economy Research Association, was previously head of the budget team for the 2008 Olympic Games Bidding Committee.
He said the revenue budget was previously 1.625 billion U.S. dollars, a little bit higher than the original 1.61 billion U.S. dollars budget. "We had missed some of the factors at that time."
"The first should be the security concerns. I made the budget before the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attack in the United States and thus did not give much consideration to the non-conventional security factors," he said.
"The second is that we underestimated the change of currency exchange rate and prices. The third is the high-tech investment. We did not expect the LCD screen TVs cost so much."
However, the income also increased much more than originally forecast, Wei said.
"We used to be very conservative. We thought revenue of more than 1 billion U.S. dollars was a bold forecast, which has been proved wrong."
The revenue included two parts. One was the allocation from the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) income and the other China's own income.
The allocation from the IOC was about 49 percent, which was a large amount of money and had been increasing currently, Wei said.
He believed, for China itself, the number surely was even larger.
One direct evidence was the postponement of the Olympic lottery's release, which used to be aimed at profit but was now turned to publicizing the Olympics, he said.
"Thus, I am confident to say the Olympic budget would not be in a deficit," Wei said.
(Xinhua News Agency August 21, 2008)