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'Beijing Olympics won't be a burden on local govt'

New Delhi, Jun 3: A market intelliegence agency today said despite being billed as the costliest games ever, the upcoming Beijing Olympics won't be a financial millstone around the neck of the Beijing municipal government in the years to come.

''Rather than a financial burden, hosting the Olympics could give a long-term boost to the city government's creditworthiness,'' said Standard&Poor's credit analyst Kim Eng Tan. The cost of Beijing Olympics has been estimated at around 20 billion pounds. Tan said,''Chinese authorities recognise that the Olympics is not an end in itself, though its importance to China in terms of boosting its international standing is obvious.'' Careful planning of this massive sporting event suggests the benefits of hosting the games will continue long after the closing ceremony, S&P's said, adding many projects would have gone ahead whether the city had won the Olympics bid or not. Beijing is a fast-growing metropolis and, until recently, its urban infrastructure also lagged significantly behind cities of comparable importance in the advanced economies. Hence, most of the capital projects involved improvements that were already in the city's development plan.

The rating agency said Beijing Olympics could be compared to the experience of Barcelona, where substantial infrastructure investment leading up to the 1992 games helped boost its appeal for visitors and businesses alike. With the advantage of a rich and long history, the boost to tourism for Beijing could be even greater than the Spanish city, it added.


Story first published: Tuesday, June 3, 2008, 15:07 [IST]
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