Chinese railway STR/Getty Images

中国一带一路倡议的经济意义

发自纽约——自2013年以来,中国一直致力于推动“一带一路”倡议,旨在为亚洲,欧洲和非洲国家的60多个国家建立起物质基础设施和政策联系。有批评者担心中国此举可能主要是为了扩大地缘政治影响力以便与美国和日本竞争,因此会着力于一些缺乏经济意义的项目。但如果能满足几个条件的话,这一倡议就会产生相当大的经济意义。

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亚洲开发银行最近的一份报告证实,许多一带一路国家迫切需要大规模的基础设施投资,而这恰恰是中国所承诺的投资类型。孟加拉国和吉尔吉斯斯坦这类国家缺乏可靠的电力供应,阻碍了制造业的发展并压抑其出口能力。而印尼等国家则需要足够的港口来实施国内经济一体化或国际贸易。

 “一带一路”倡议承诺会帮助各国克服这些限制,为港口,道路,学校,医院,发电厂和输电网的建设提供外部资金。在这个意义上说,这个倡议可以像美国1945年后的马歇尔计划那样发挥作用,而后者为战后欧洲的重建和经济复苏所作出的贡献得到了全世界的广泛赞誉。

当然,只靠外部资金并不足以取得成功。受援国还必须实施关键性改革以提高政策透明度和可预测性,从而降低投资风险。实际上,补充性改革的实施将成为左右一带一路投资经济回报的关键因素。

对中国来说,一带一路投资在经济上是有吸引力的,尤其是当中国的私营企业率先实施的时候。 当中国在2013年首次提出“一带一路”倡议时,该国的外汇储备已达4万亿美元,而这些储蓄的美元回报率却极低,每年不到1%。再加上当时人民币兑美元的升值预期,如果换成中国本国货币的话收益甚至是负的。

在这个意义上,中国的一带一路投资代价并不是特别昂贵,尤其是考虑到其潜在利益的情况下。而中国之所以拥有超过40%的贸易额相对GDP比率(远高于美国),部分原因是其贸易伙伴国的基建发展不足和经济多样化不足。通过解决这些弱点,中国的一带一路投资可以大大提升本国和参与国贸易量,为企业和劳动者带来相当大的收益。

这并不意味着这类投资对中国来说是无风险的。经济回报将取决于企业经营决策的质量。特别是当效率并非首要考虑因素的情况下,中国的国有企业可能会参与一些低收益项目,而这也是为何要密切留意中国的国有企业改革进程的原因。尽管如此,虽然“一带一路”倡议显然是部分是由战略目标所驱动的,但成本效益分析表明其经济意义也极大——大到有人或许会质疑为什么中国不早点执行。

即便是美国等国也可能从中获取巨大的经济回报。全球金融危机爆发至今已是十年,全球大部分地区的复苏仍然疲软而短暂,而大规模的基础设施投资可以为全球总需求提供急需的短期刺激。美国可能会看到自身出口的需求激增,包括汽车、牵引机车、飞机,高端建筑设备以及财务、会计,教育和法律服务。

从长远来看,新的基础设施将减少物流瓶颈,降低生产原材料的成本,最终带来更高的生产力和更快的全球增长。

如果各个一带一路项目能遵循较高的环境和社会标准,同时就可以在气候变化和收入不平等等全球挑战方面取得重大进展。越多的国家选择参与这些项目,实现这些标准的机会就越多,全球社会所得到的回报就越多。

在这个某些世界上最具影响力的国家都向内转向,大谈树立贸易壁垒和边界围墙的时代,我们的世界更一些需要专注于建立桥梁和道路的举措——无论是在路桥本身还是其寓意上——而一带一路战略这样的倡议正是如此。

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