彼德森国际经济研究所:中韩经济关系深化势不可挡
2014-08-14 15:50:37
彼德森国际经济研究所:中韩经济关系深化势不可挡(2014.08.14)

  提要:近期的习近平访韩之旅意义重大,最重要的意义或许在于,此次访问进一步增强了中韩两国的密切经济关系。事实上,中国经济转型的最大受益国可能莫过于韩国。中国十几年前就已成为韩国最大贸易伙伴。两国都对加强双边经济与金融关系的无穷机遇充满期待。从很多方面来看,中国经济重心吸引韩国进一步靠近是很切实的前景,甚至不可避免,但外交方面的不确定性则要大得多:韩国公众对中国的态度虽然在好转,但依然存在疑虑。然而,目前看来,两国都愿让双边经济关系的好时光持续下去。

  (外脑精华·北京)近期的习近平访韩之旅意义重大。这是中国国家主席首次在出访朝鲜前出访韩国。此次访问也凸显了中韩两国领导人对日本的不满和不信任。但最重要的或许是,此次访问进一步增强了中韩两国的密切经济关系。事实上,中国经济转型的最大受益国可能莫过于韩国。中国十几年前就已成为韩国最大贸易伙伴。两国都对加强双边经济与金融关系的无穷机遇充满期待,包括期待着可能在今年达成的双边自贸协定。

  本文尝试对中韩经济关系进行定量分析,并讨论两国在复杂政治环境下正在加强关系的领域。从很多方面来看,中国经济重心吸引韩国进一步靠近是很切实的前景,甚至不可避免,但外交方面的不确定性则要大得多:韩国公众对中国的态度虽然在好转,但依然存在疑虑。

  中韩贸易对韩国越来越重要

  过去十年间,中韩双边贸易大幅增长。中国在本世纪初成为韩国第一大货物贸易伙伴,至今已遥遥领先于韩国其他贸易伙伴。2013年,韩国对华进出口总额分别达到830亿美元和1460亿美元,双边贸易额超过美日两国对韩贸易总量。

  当然,一个因素扭曲了中韩贸易图景:两国间的中间产品进口与再出口规模较大,因而存在重复计算问题。如果仅考虑增加值贸易,从而排除中间产品进口的影响,那么韩国外贸图景就会有所不同:如表1所示,经合组织和世贸组织发布的最新数据显示,到2009年,就增加值贸易而言,美韩贸易规模仍然大于中韩贸易规模。然而,这种局面正在转变之中,2005-2009年间,中韩增加值贸易规模大幅增长,而美韩、日韩增加值贸易规模则稳中有降。可以想见,按照这种势头,在2009年(已有最新数据的年份)之后的几年内,中韩增加值贸易规模可能已经与美韩贸易规模不相上下。



表1:中、美、日对韩增加值贸易规模比较
  年份 中国 日本 美国
韩国出口增加值在贸易伙伴GDP中占比 2009 4.19% 2.00% 5.45%
2008 3.78% 2.10% 5.74%
2005 3.12% 2.27% 5.77%
贸易伙伴出口增加值在韩国GDP中占比 2009 2.78% 2.77% 3.61%
2008 3.60% 3.53% 4.13%
2005 1.98% 3.23% 3.62%
数据来源:经合组织,世贸组织

  中国成为韩国最大贸易伙伴的一项关键意义在于,外贸是韩国经济增长不可缺少的动力--出口对2013年韩国经济增长的贡献度超过一半。货物贸易总额在韩国GDP中的占比已由2000年的52%升至2012年的95%;以这项比例衡量,在世行统计的202个经济体之中,韩国居于贸易密集度最高的20%经济体的行列。而且,如果韩国出口增速依然高于低迷的消费增速,那么对韩国未来的经济增长而言,外贸(以及中国)的作用将更加至关重要。

  促进中国对韩投资,推动两国金融一体化进程

  然而,经济一体化绝不仅限于货物往来,还必须打造复杂的供应链、满足服务和金融需求、并建设外贸需要的基础设施,所有这些都需要大规模投资。目前,韩国对华投资规模较大。2013年韩国对华直接投资存量为550亿美元;对比来看,韩国对美直接投资存量为387亿美元。韩国投资约占中国吸收FDI存量(中国香港除外)的7%左右,与新加坡和中国台湾的份额接近。然而,中国对韩投资(无论是直接投资还是证券投资)却远低于美国、欧盟和日本。这或许不足为奇,因为中国金融业仍较为封闭,而且中国企业近年来才开始海外扩张,并进行大规模对外直接投资。

  不过,从近期动向来看,中韩金融一体化进程有可能迈出坚实步伐。首先,韩国准备加入设立人民币业务清算行的少数国家行列,这有助于在双边贸易中使用人民币,以及在韩国发行人民币证券。再则,韩国的RQFII额度已增至800亿元人民币,和英、法两国相近。这两项进展可望推动韩国的人民币交易,尤其是鉴于这种交易的起点极低:2013年韩国贸易总额只有不到0.5%用人民币结算,而美元结算的占比高达85%。再则,韩国对中国拥有巨额贸易顺差,因而贸易结算所得的多余人民币可以在韩国国内投资于高收益人民币资产,从而规避汇率风险。

  从中国的角度来看,建设这些金融基础设施不仅能促进贸易增长、对冲汇率风险,也有助于推动韩国成为中国的主要投资对象之一,以吸收中国放松国内对外投资管制所释放的积压资本。

  韩国公众对中国的复杂心态

  在中韩经济一体化不断推进之际,韩国公众对强邻中国怀有复杂而谨慎的心态。皮尤研究中心进行的调查显示,略超过一半的韩国公众总体上怀有好感,其他人则给予中国负面评价,尤其是在中国军事崛起和韩国人认为的本国利益为中国所忽略的问题上。

  然而,即使考虑韩国公众对中国的谨慎态度,短期内两国关系仍可能会继续升温。在皮尤研究中心2014年进行的最新调查中,韩国公众对中国怀有好感的比例明显上升。峨山政策研究院称,韩国国民总体上对中国领导人习近平怀有好感。

  中韩合作成长空间巨大

  总体上看,中韩经济一体化程度并未达到双边贸易总量所显示的水平。具体说来,中国对韩投资、双边证券投资以及货币结算基础设施都刚刚起步,成长空间很大。而且,中韩外交关系领域还存在一些隐患。

  然而,近期中韩两国间的友好气氛令双方得以在贸易和金融基础设施领域取得了多项互利的成果。中韩自贸协定谈判已进行多年,看来有望取得成功。中国领导人习近平提出了2015年双边贸易总额达到3000亿美元的目标,这个数字接近2013年韩国GDP总量的四分之一。虽然韩国人对于本国依赖中国经济感到不安,而且希望依靠美国来平衡中国的影响力,此类心态给韩国领导人决策造成了困难,但目前看来,两国都愿让双边经济关系的好时光持续下去。

  英文原文:Let the Good Times Roll: China’s Growing Influence in South Korea

Xi Jinping's recent visit to Seoul was remarkable for a number of reasons. It was the first in which a Chinese president visited the South before the North, no doubt a thread which the Kim regime took note. It also highlighted both leaders' distaste and distrust for neighboring Japan. But, perhaps most importantly, it reinforced the strong economic relationship between China and South Korea. Indeed, there are few countries in the world that have benefited more from China's economic transformation than the ROK. China has been South Korea's largest trading partner for years, and both countries are seeing myriad possibilities for deeper economic and financial ties, including the possible conclusion of their bilateral FTA this year.

In this post, we will try to quantity China's present commercial relationship with Korea and lay out areas in which the two countries are forming closer ties in the face of a complex geopolitical environment. In many ways, South Korea's drift further towards China's economic center of gravity is a very real prospect and perhaps inevitable. However, the diplomatic tea leaves are much harder to read: general South Korean public sentiment towards China is warming, but remains discomforted by the increasing dependence on a partner that does not consider their country's interest, supports the North Korean regime, and engages in less-than-benign territorial disputes with neighboring countries.

Trade and Investment

Bilateral trade between China and South Korea has increased markedly over the past decade. Since the early 2000’s China has been South Korea’s top partner in total merchandise trade, commanding a sizeable advantage over other major countries (Exhibit 1). In 2013, South Korea’s total trade with China – $83 billion in imports and $146 billion in exports – was more than its total combined trade with the United States and Japan.

Of course, the above picture is muddled by the fact that China and South Korea trade in a comparatively large amount of re-exported/imported intermediate products which are subject to double-counting. If we compare trade in value added goods, a statistical technique designed to strip out the intermediate inputs that are imported from other countries, South Korea's trade relationships look somewhat different. As of 2009, ROK-US trade still appeared more important than that with China in purely value-creation terms according to the OECD-WTO (Exhibit 2). However, this is changing: value added trade between China-ROK expanded noticeably over the 2005 – 2009 period observed, while that with Japan and the United States remained static or declined. With a few years since release of the latest figures, it is not hard to surmise that further gains may already rival US-ROK levels.

China's position as Korea's largest trading partner is especially significant considering that international trade is an integral driver of the South Korean economy - exports accounted for more than half of the country's growth in 2013. Total merchandise trade as a percent of GDP has risen from 52% in 2000 to 95% in 2012; out of 202 counties that the World Bank lists, Korea is in the top 20 percent in terms of this rough measure of trade penetration. Moreover, trade - and by extension China - could become even more integral to South Korea's future growth if export gains continue to outpace that of Korea's still-sluggish domestic consumption.

But there is more to economic integration than simply lobbing goods back and forth over the Bohai. Complex supply chains, service and financial needs, and infrastructure to facilitate this trade must exist - all of which require significant investment. As shown in exhibit 3, South Korea’s total asset holdings in China are comparatively large, with a direct foreign investment position of $55 billion in 2013 (compare this to its $38.7 billion position in the United States). From China’s perspective, this is about 7 percent of its total inward FDI stock (excluding Hong Kong) according to the latest data from UNCTAD, roughly similar to that of Singapore and Taiwan. However, Chinese investment, both in foreign direct and financial assets, in South Korea is much smaller than the US, the EU, or Japan. This is perhaps not surprising as China's financial sector remains insular, and that Chinese companies have only recently begun to expand overseas and engage in large-scale foreign direct investment.

However, bilateral financial integration could take solid steps forward given recent developments. Seoul is preparing to join only a handful of nations in receiving a Renminbi clearing bank, which will facilitate the use of RMB in bilateral trade and encourage issuance of RMB-denominated securities. Moreover, Korea's RQFII quota has also been expanded to 80 billion yuan, similar to quotas for the UK and France. Taken together, these developments could prompt an expansion in yuan-denominated transactions by South Koreans, especially as it comes from an extremely small base: in 2013 less than 0.5 percent of Korea's total trade was settled in RMB, as opposed to 85 percent in US dollars. And, considering China runs a significant trade deficit with South Korea, excess accumulated RMB could then be invested locally in potentially higher-yielding RMB-denominated assets, thus allowing Korean firms to partially eliminate FX exposures. From China's perspective, developing financial infrastructure now not only facilitates trade expansion and hedges exchange risks, but prepares South Korea as a prime investment destination for its pent-up capital as Beijing gradually loosens restrictions on its domestic residents' international investment portfolios.

Public Perceptions and Geopolitics

In the background of continued economic integration, the South Korean public holds a complex and cautious outlook on their powerful neighbor. According to Pew's Global Attitudes project, which dedicates an entire section to gauging cross-country sentiment towards China, the South Korean public appears guardedly agnostic in certain broad respects: while a little over half of respondents reported generally favorable views of China (Exhibit 4), other areas elicit strongly negative responses, particularly towards China's military rise and its perceived non-consideration of South Korea's interests.

Yet, even taking the cautious public attitudes into consideration, a continued warming of China-ROK ties is likely to continue in the short term. Pew reports a large jump in positive sentiment towards China in its latest poll, The Asan Institute sees general favorability for current Chinese leader Xi Jinping, and a February 2014 poll by TNS Korea shows that public assessments of Korea-China relations have markedly improved in the first year of Park Gyeun Hye's presidency.

Party On

When one looks under the hood, China and South Korea's economic integration is perhaps not quite as deep as the headline trade figures would suggest. Particularly Chinese investment in Korea, bilateral financial portfolio holdings, and currency-settlement infrastructure are coming from a low base, with considerable room to grow. Moreover, many landmines may lay ahead on the diplomatic front. South Koreans still perceive China as an ardent supporter of the North Korean regime and worry about its handling of territorial disputes in shared waters. And given Korea's size, openness, and reliance on foreign trade for growth, public anxiety regarding Beijing's increasing power and its potential ability to influence South Korean national policy by utilizing its economic leverage may grow. While not entirely comparable, South Korean policymakers are surely taking heed of recent developments in this regard in Taiwan and Hong Kong.

Nonetheless, the recent flowering of bilateral goodwill has allowed China and South Korea to pursue a number of steady, mutually beneficial improvements to trade and financial infrastructure. The China-South Korea FTA has been in negotiation for years and is certainly not a done deal, but seems more likely to succeed given a Xi-Park joint statement calling to finish talks within the year along with reports of significant progress even before this latest negotiation round. Xi has set a bilateral trade target of $300 billion by 2015, which is a little under a quarter of the ROKs total GDP last year. While anxiety over increasing economic dependence andthe desire to balance China's influence with that of the United States will present more difficult decisions ahead for Korean policymakers,for now both countries appear content to let the good times roll.

来源:彼德森国际经济研究所,2014.7.25,作者:Kevin Stahler,Kent Troutman
作者:Kevin

京ICP证000069号

中经网数据有限公司 版权所有
本网站由中国网络通信有限公司(CNCnet)提供网络带宽
建议使用 800*600 分辨率浏览