Renminbi. Chinese currency.

Una oportunidad de 5 millones de millones de dólares para China

SHANGHÁI – China se enfrenta a la difícil tarea de lograr un aterrizaje económico benévolo, después de décadas de expansión económica espectacular. Los pesimistas abundan, pero no se les debe dar importancia. En la problematizada economía mundial de hoy en día, China tiene una ventaja que otros países carecen: tiene marcado un camino claro hacia adelante. Si China lleva a cabo un esfuerzo sostenido e integral para aumentar la productividad, puede hacer frente a sus desafíos de crecimiento, reducir los riesgos de atravesar por crisis financieras, así como puede concluir exitosamente su transición hacia una economía de altos ingresos que sea impulsada por el consumo y tenga una gran clase media y acomodada. Si lo logra, hasta el año 2030 su PIB anual podría estimarse en una cifra que supere en $5 millones de millones de dólares a la cifra que probablemente llegue a alcanzar, si los formuladores de políticas continúan buscando un crecimiento impulsado por la inversión.

Y, de hecho, puede que China tenga muy pocas opciones. Los impulsores tradicionales de su economía – como ser una vasta reserva de mano de obra excedente e inversiones masivas en infraestructura, vivienda y capacidad industrial – se están agotando. La población en edad de trabajar ha alcanzado su punto máximo, la urbanización se está desacelerando, y las industrias del acero y del cemento están sufriendo por un exceso de capacidad instalada. Los rendimientos sobre el capital han disminuido, por lo que China no puede confiar en que el gasto en inversión vaya a generar suficiente crecimiento.

Afortunadamente, sin embargo, China tiene un gran margen para lograr ganancias en el ámbito de la productividad laboral, misma que sólo llega a niveles de entre un 10 y un 30% de aquellos alcanzados por las economías avanzadas. Cuando el Instituto Global McKinsey analizó más de 2.000 empresas chinas que abarcan sectores que van desde los del carbón y el acero hasta aquellos de fabricación de automóviles y ventas al por menor, determinó que es posible elevar la productividad china hasta el año 2030 en proporciones que van desde un 20% a un 100%.

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