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Beijing Olympics to create 1.8 mn jobs

October 11, 2005 14:08 IST
The Beijing Olympics in 2008 will generate 1.8 million new jobs in the host city, says the Beijing Municipal statistics Bureau.

A research report by the bureau estimates that between 2004 and 2008, 280 billion yuan ($34.6 billion) will have been invested, which will bring Beijing and nearby regions a boom in construction, communications and environmental protection industries.

After that, the service sector will be the major job provider. The investment is forecast to raise the city's gross domestic product by an average of 0.8 percentage points per year.

Beijing would spend 100 billion yuan (USD 12.3 billion) of that figure on infrastructure construction for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, which will take place from August 8-24, head of the bureau's accounting division Wei Xiaozhen said.

"The massive construction projects, such as the 300-kilometre subway network and the 600-kilometre highway system, will create a huge number of job opportunities over the next few years," Wei was quoted as saying by  the China Daily.

Moreover, the city is expected to allocate more than 10 billion yuan ($1.23 billion) to build or rebuild sports venues. These buildings will be used as public sporting and entertainment venues after the games.

"To operate and maintain such huge buildings, service workers are in great demand," Wei said. Preparations for the 2000 Sydney Olympics meant 150,000 new jobs in Australia. Experts say Beijing, with its plentiful cheap labour, can expect to gain even more.

Apart from generating 1.8 million jobs, the Olympic efforts will increase the proportion of the service sector in the city's economic structure, an important factor in gauging a city's level of development.

According to the report, the service sector will take up 70 per cent of the city's economic volume in 2008, 10 percentage points higher than the current level.

"It is good news for Beijing to see the growth of the service sector," Wei said, adding that the service industry usually accounts for more than 80 per cent of the economic volume of cities in developed countries.

Inward investment will bring Beijing and its environs a spending boom in construction, communications, postal and telecommunication services, tourism, and catering.

However, Beijing still has a long way to go if it is to make the Games both successful and profitable, the report said.
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