Beijing Olympics to generate 1.8m jobs
By Li Jing (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-10-11 05:57
The Beijing Olympics in 2008 is set to generate 1.8 million new jobs in the city, according to the Beijing Municipal Statistics Bureau.
And as businesses drool over the huge "Olympic cake" Beijing is baking, hundreds of thousands of job hunters will be queuing up to enjoy a slice.
Construction, communications and environmental protection industries will provide most jobs until the end of next year. After that, the service sector will be the major job provider, the bureau predicts.
A research report, released by the bureau last week, estimates that between 2004 and the Games, 280 billion yuan (US$34.6 billion) will have been invested, raising the city's gross domestic product by an average of 0.8 percentage points per year.
Wei Xiaozhen, head of the bureau's Accounting Division, said Beijing will spend 100 billion yuan (US$12.3 billion) of that figure on infrastructure construction.
"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 said.
Moreover, the city is expected to allocate more than 10 billion yuan (US$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.
The 1988 Olympics brought nearly 300,000 new jobs to Seoul. 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.
Wei Jizhong, president of the Beijing Olympic Economy Research Institute, said preparations for 2008 should be carried out in a cost-efficient way, with the city seeking a balance between short-term Olympic construction and long-term social and economic development.
In line with Mayor Wang Qishan's call for a frugal approach to the Olympics, Beijing has launched a cost-cutting exercise.
(China Daily 10/11/2005 page3)