Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Vietnam ponders on decision to host Asian Games

Experts still show financial worries for the up coming Asian Games while officials race to prepare for the event.

When being asked by reporters at a conference about the East Asia Pacific economic update, World Bank's Country Director for Vietnam Victoria Kwakwa said they will not make a commitment to give loans to build the infrastructure for the 18th Asian Games. She said that it's not the World Bank's role and the government will not make loans for such purpose either.

Previously, leader of General Department of Sports and Physical Training said Vietnam now can provide 80% of infrastructure for the games. Leaders of the sport sector also promised that the state fund for the 18th Asian Games will not surpass USD150 million.
However, former director of the high sport achievement department under the Department of Sports and Physical Training Nguyen Hong Minh showed doubts about the announced numbers. He said that the 80% implies Vietnam's current number of stadiums but the stadiums that are qualified for Asian Games are much fewer.

"Vietnam has only 2% of the infrastructure ready," he added, "If we want to use Quan Ngua Stadium for gymnastic competitions then we'll have to build an additional building for sport-specific warm-up. Similarly, the stadium for track and field or karate must have more equipment. Each electronic board to announce the match's results may cost USD6,000-8,000." According to Minh, Vietnam needs to set up a board that can calculate all the expenses and provide the most exact numbers.
In early April, Minister-Chairman of the Government Office Nguyen Van Nen said Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung had asked the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism to submit reports as a reference to make a decision whether to go ahead with a plan to host the 18th Asian Games. He went on to say that Vietnam has yet to make a deposit for the organization of the Asian Games and two countries had returned their host positions in previous years.
An official from the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism said they submitted planning and organising reports to the government. "We have done all we can in order to host the 18th Asian Games. The rest depends on the government's and public's decisions."
A leader from General Department of Sports and Physical Training said South Korean partners had committed to help Vietnam with the stadium for track cycling. Vietnam may use hotels and even university dormitories instead of building new venues for accommodations. However, he said that all plans may change.

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