China Dangles Olympics Carrot For Global Business Community

Written by Malcolm Subhan | Brussels, October 15: | Updated: Oct 16 2002, 05:30am hrs
Promising to make the 2008 Beijing Olympics the biggest and the best ever, Chinas Ambassador to the European Union invited the international business community to make good use of this historical opportunity.

Addressing an audience of some 100 European businessmen and trade organisations here on Monday, Chinas Ambassador Guan Chengyuan declared that China will need the cooperation of the international business community to make the 2008 Games most successful in history.

We are taking advantage of the Olympic Games to industrialise the Beijing region, with the focus on high-tech industry, including microelectronics, biotechnology and new materials, the head of Beijings Municipal Economic Commission told his European audience.

Mr Fan Jian, who is also Director of the Leading Group Office for the Olympic industrial economy action of Beijing city, stressed the economic and industrial dynamism of the Chinese capital, adding, We have created a better environment for investment and for introduction of overseas technology.

The 16-member Olympics delegation, which had flown in from Beijing specially for the Brussels meeting, included the managers of six engineering and two construction companies. They are looking for tie-ups with their European counterparts, in order both to provide goods and services for the Beijing Olympics and to develop production for the domestic market and exports.

Giving details of the Master Plan for the Beijing Olympics, the Director of the Olympic 2008 projects, Mr Song Yu, described some of the 37 stadiums and 55 training centres to be built over the next six years. The largest stadium will seat nearly 90,000 spectators, the largest swimming pool some 17,000 for the duration of the Games, after which it will be converted into an aquatic centre.

China lacks sports centres, but more people are taking part in sports, Mr Yu pointed out. We are taking advantage of the Olympic games to develop the necessary infrastructure, he said.

Mr Yu saw Beijing developing into an international conference centre, thanks to the business centre and the modern infrastructure that is being built in connection with the 2008 Olympic Games.

But the assembled businessmen and consultants wanted to know how they could effectively take part in this massive construction effort. The broad outlines of the tendering process were given by Mr Yu. Starting October 27, his Office will publish announcements of the prequalification process in the international press. Details will also be available on the Office website. The process would be completed by the end of the year.

The half-day meeting was organised by the Euro China Business Association and its local member, the Belgian-Chinese Chamber of Commerce, with the support of a Belgian bank and electronics company and the Welsh Development Agency.