Construction work for the 2008 Beijing Olympics is on track, with construction of all venues underway two years before the start of the Games.
That at least is the conclusion of the International Olympic Committee, whose chief inspector Hein Verbruggen issued a statement yesterday:
"BOCOG (Beijing Games Organising Committee) shows steady and strong involvement and achieves good progress in all fields of Games preparation.
We therefore look to the path to 2008 with great confidence. "
The operational budget for the Games is about US$2BN. However, another $40BN has been budgeted to upgrade Beijing's infrastructure and tackle pollution before the opening ceremony in August 2008.
Tu Mingde, BOCOG president assistant, is quoted as saying:
"The preparations have been going smoothly and well on schedule.
It (operational budget) will be much higher than the amount we had in the bid file."
The Chinese authorities expect the cost of the Games to be tax neutral.