Beijing Summer Olympics

beijing_olympics.gifBeijing is the national capital of the world’s fastest growing economy and the city has chosen to host the 2008 Olympic Games. Glowing economic predictions portray China as the world’s largest economy by 2020, if it maintains its current trajectory. With the Olympics in the bag, the local government has seized the nettle to activate a vast investment blueprint that will shake up Beijing. The facts and figures alone are breathtaking: in the run up to the Olympics, US$ 6.7 billion is to be spent on Beijing’s public transport system and road construction, US$ 4.4 billion is earmarked for environmental protection, US$ 18.2 billion is planned for the expansion of manufacturing and high tech industries , while the development of new urban areas is expected to cost a cool US$ 96.8 billion.

Thus, it is but obvious that Beijing is continuing the tradition of initiating transformational changes in its environment by hosting such mega scale events. Out of an approximate of US$ 14.257 billion worth of capital investment only about US$ 1.872 billion (13%) will be spent on sports venues and the Olympic village. The tourism sector is also coming under the purview of the planners who estimate an increase in the tourist influx beginning with the Olympic Games in August 2008. Besides China is targeting the No. 1 slot in terms number of tourists per year by 2020. The Olympic boom is also expected to add an average of 0.3 to 0.4 percentage points a year to national gross domestic product (GDP).

In the labour market ,with plenty cheap labour available the Olympic economy will have created as many as 2.1 million new job opportunities by the year 2008. However, despite such promising figures Beijing will have a long way to go if it is to make its Games both successful and profitable. The precedent examples of the Athens and Sydney Olympics have shown huge losses to the tune of billions of US dollars to the respective governments. The Beijing case is, thus, keenly being anticipated and its success estimated. As the curtains will rise on the 8th of august 2008, the world will wait and watch…

Charulata Somal

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