China's economy will not suffer a slowdown, and the country will remain a developing nation, after the 2008 Olympic Games, according to a senior Chinese economist.
Lu Zheng, chief of the institute of industrial economics with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said on Wednesday in Beijing that fears of an economic slowdown after 2008 are unwarranted.
He made the remarks at the China-South Korea Development Forum, which was jointly held by China Business newspaper and the South Korean Mail Business Daily.
Lu said Japan took advantage of the Tokyo summer Olympics in 1964 to boost its economy and has become the world's second-largest economy since then. And South Korea joined the Organization of Economic and Cooperative Development, a club of developed nations, after Seoul hosted the 1988 games.
Between 2002 and August 2008, when the Olympic begins, the Chinese capital will invest 268.6 billion yuan on sporting venues, roads and subways and pollution treatment. While that seems like a large investment, in the same period China will spend 42.5 trillion yuan on fixed-assets investment.
Investments in Olympics-related projects are just 0.59 percent of China's annual investment, and Lu said the boost to the national economy should not be overvalued.
"China will not be like Japan in 1964 and South Korea in 1988 and become a developed nation. Its industrialization and modernization are far from complete, even after Beijing holds the Olympic Games," Lu said.
"Hosting an Olympic Games will not significantly boost the Chinese economy, so it will not be followed by a depression, and China will not become a developed country," Lu said.
There are some forecasts that the Chinese economy, particularly in Beijing, will shrink after the games.
This year, the world's fastest growing nation is expected to spend 12 trillion yuan on fixed-assets investment. The investment is forecast to grow an average of 20 percent annually.
However, the Olympic Games will help China's sustained growth and benefit Chinese companies, said Oh Jong-nam, a chief organizer with the Seoul Olympic Games in 1988 and a professor with Waseda University in Tokyo.
"China is now the world's fourth-largest economy, but it can become the second-largest in the years after 2008," said Oh.