经济学家:庞大对华贸易赤字困扰印度
2016-03-01 17:58:33
经济学家:庞大对华贸易赤字困扰印度(2016.03.01)

  提要:2015年印度经济增速高于中国,但该国对华商品贸易赤字却进一步扩大,突破了其GDP的2%,这凸显了该国制造业的虚弱地位。就在印度试图效仿中国的出口驱动型制造业增长模式之时,全球经济正在被中国工业的过剩产品所淹没。目前,随着中国工资水平不断攀升、以及经济重心由出口转向消费,印度希望填补中国工业留下的市场真空,但至今为止效果不大。

  (外脑精华·北京)2015年印度经济增长7.5%,超过了中国6.9%的增长率。然而,印度对华商品贸易赤字却进一步扩大,突破了其GDP的2%。对印度决策层而言,这凸显了该国制造业的虚弱地位。印度只需将对华贸易赤字减少一半,就能消除其总体贸易赤字,从而消除对外融资缺口。

  目前,印度对从生丝到三聚氰胺餐具的众多中国产品征收反倾销税;其政府2月份又对多种中国产钢材规定了最低进口价,理由是中国以低于成本的价格在印度“倾销”这些钢材。世贸组织发布的数据显示,印度当前对华反倾销的力度之大,是20年来全世界绝无仅有的。

  印度商务部长Nirmala Sitharaman主张通过卢比贬值来抑制进口并刺激出口。但事实上,印度卢比对人民币早已连年贬值,对双边贸易差额却影响甚微。而且,卢比贬值还可能令被油价下跌和稳健货币政策所压制的通胀卷土重来。

  印度促进制造业出口的努力收效不大

  中国制造业增加值在GDP中的占比高达32%,为印度的一半左右,看起来印度政府对此很是羡慕。印度政府认为,制造业是吸纳每月上百万劳动力的理想选择。印度政府向陶瓷和自行车零件等规模较小的劳动密集型制造业提供享受补贴的贷款。印度的低税“经济特区”还将获得更多补贴,很多此类特区都是为服务于单个企业而设立的。

  2月份,孟买举办了一次“印度制造”宣传活动,意在向外国投资者展示开放的形象,并争取外资的建厂承诺。然而,就在印度试图效仿中国的出口驱动型制造业增长模式之时,全球经济正在被中国工业的过剩产品所淹没。目前,随着中国工资水平不断攀升、以及经济重心由出口转向消费,印度希望填补中国工业留下的市场真空,但至今为止效果不大。

  中国对印度的贸易顺差难以动摇

  印度企业抱怨说,他们的许多产品被中国市场排斥在外。印度是农产品净出口国,但其大部分农产品被中国的各种植物检疫规则所排斥。印度制药企业则抱怨说,中国逐渐增加对其他发展中国家的援助,包括经常提供中国产药品,因而受援国购买的印度产药品就减少了。

  印度的服务贸易拥有全球顺差,主要来自向富国出口服务。然而,印度对华贸易却以出口小零部件为主。中国在双边旅游往来中也占有优势:2014年中国赴印游客为18.1万人次,印度赴中国游客则为73万人次。双边贸易逆差令印度深感痛苦,对中国而言却无关痛痒,因为中国是印度的最大进口来源国和第三大出口市场,而印度只是中国的次要贸易伙伴。

  如果说中国消费者不愿购买印度产品,那么中国企业是否愿意在印度建厂呢?最近中国企业宣布了一些大型在印投资项目,如大连万达的100亿美元工业园项目,以及主要在中国大陆进行生产的台商富士康的50亿美元建厂计划。富士康去年7月曾表示,到2020年将在印度建成10-12家工厂,雇佣100万人;但去年富士康却因劳工纠纷而在印度关闭了一家工厂。

  经历多年的经济低迷之后,印度正在因成为世界增速最快的大经济体而自豪。仅仅这一点就足以引起跨国公司的兴趣。例如,苹果就考虑加强在印度的销售,这或许有助于弥补中国需求迟缓的影响。尽管如此,苹果在印度生产产品还有待时日,而增加在印销售只会进一步扩大印度的对华贸易逆差。

  

  英文原文:The India-China trade gap

SHIPS leaving Nhava Sheva port, across the harbour from Mumbai, tend to ride higher on the water than when they arrive. India's trading statistics explain why: steel and other industrial goods from China weigh down the ships as they come in, to be replaced on the way out by fluffy cotton bales, pills and-given India’s perennial trade deficit in goods-empty containers.

India’s economy grew by 7.5% last year, cruising past China’s 6.9% growth. Yet the deficit in goods trade with China continues to widen (see chart), to over 2% of GDP last year. For Indian policymakers this is an irksome reminder of the weakness of the country's manufacturers. Halving the trade shortfall with China would be enough to eliminate India's overall current-account deficit, and thus the need for external financing.

The government's ideas for shrinking the shortfall have been sadly predictable. The minimum import prices it imposed earlier this month on various grades of Chinese steel, which it claims are being "dumped" below cost, come on top of other anti-dumping levies and taxes on steel and myriad other products, from raw silk to melamine dinner sets. No country has used such measures as energetically as India over the past 20 years, according to the World Trade Organisation.

The commerce minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, has called for a devaluation of the rupee to curb imports and boost exports. Yet the rupee has been falling against the yuan for years, with little effect on trade. And a weakening currency could revive inflation, which falling oil prices and sound monetary policy have helped tame.

The government looks longingly at manufacturing's 32% share of China's GDP, roughly double the Indian figure. It sees factories as the ideal way to soak up the million-odd young workers who join the labour force every month. So it is showering sops on various industries. It is handing out subsidised loans to small-scale and labour-intensive industries such as ceramics and bicycle parts. Lightly-taxed "special economic zones", many of which are set up to benefit a single company, are in line for further handouts.

A "Make in India" jamboree in Mumbai earlier this month sought to present an image of openness to foreign investment, eliciting promises of multi-billion-dollar plants from firms keen to cosy up to policymakers. But India is trying to emulate China's export-led manufacturing growth in a global economy that is now drowning in China's industrial surpluses. It hopes to fill the vacuum left by its larger neighbour as Chinese wages rise, to double those of Indians, and its economy rebalances from exports to consumption. Yet so far it has struggled to seize that opportunity.

Indian firms grumble, with some justification, about their products being shut out of the Chinese market. Agricultural products, of which India is a net exporter, are largely excluded from China through various phytosanitary rules. Indian pharmaceutical firms complain that China’s growing aid to other developing countries often includes the provision of medicines-Chinese-made ones, of course-which means that the recipient countries buy fewer Indian-made drugs than they used to.

India runs a global surplus in services, mainly by selling them to rich countries. But they are a small component of Indo-Chinese trade. China gets the best of tourist exchanges between the two countries: 181,000 Chinese tourists came to India in 2014, against 730,000 Indians who visited China. All this tortures Indians, for whom China is the biggest source of imports and third-biggest export market, but barely troubles China, for whom India is a second-tier trade partner. Indian policymakers are reflexively sceptical, for example, of China's plan to build a road linking the countries, worrying it will only widen the trade imbalance.

If China's consumers won't buy Indian goods, perhaps its businesses could build factories in India instead? Some big projects have recently been announced, notably a $10 billion industrial park to be developed by Dalian Wanda, a Chinese property group; and a $5 billion plant proposed by Foxconn, a Taiwanese electronics outfit which mainly manufactures in China. Foxconn said last July that it might employ up to 1m Indians in 10-12 plants by 2020, despite suffering labour strife when it closed an existing factory last year. However, foreign investors' projects often fall quietly by the wayside when bureaucratic obstacles prove insurmountable. Foxconn is already said to be rolling back its ambitions.

After years in the doldrums, India is enjoying its moment as the world's fastest-growing large economy. That in itself will be enough to pique the interest of multinationals: Apple, for example, thinks a sales push in India can help make up for sluggish Chinese demand. Even so, it will be a while before its devices (whose assembly it outsources to Foxconn) are made in India. Instead, they will further weigh down the ships entering its ports.

来源:经济学家

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