Kevin Frayer/Stringer

La estrategia de crecimiento incompleta de China

BEIJING – El crecimiento económico de China se ha venido desacelerando durante seis años -mucho más de lo esperado-. Ansiosos por frenar la caída, funcionarios del gobierno y economistas chinos han buscado, desesperadamente, una explicación clara que apuntase a una respuesta efectiva en materia de políticas. Y, el pasado mes de noviembre, oficialmente le echaron la culpa a deficiencias del lado de la oferta a largo plazo, de las que prometieron ocuparse con reformas estructurales de amplio alcance.

Sin embargo, si bien se debería aplaudir a las autoridades chinas por su compromiso con la implementación de reformas estructurales dolorosas -y extremadamente necesarias-, el foco en el lado de la oferta ignora en gran medida el presente. China enfrenta dos desafíos diferentes: la cuestión de largo plazo de una caída de la tasa de crecimiento potencial y el inmediato problema de un crecimiento real por debajo del potencial.

Entre los factores de largo plazo que minan el crecimiento potencial están los rendimientos a escala menguantes, una creciente brecha de ingresos y una esfera en contracción para el desarrollo tecnológico a través de la imitación. Es más, si bien el dividendo demográfico del país se disuelve, su capacidad de sustentación (el tamaño de la población que el medio ambiente puede sustentar) se está extenuando -una situación a la que los altos niveles de contaminación ciertamente no ayudan-. Para concluir, siendo el dato más importante, el país sufre un progreso inadecuado en cuanto a una reforma orientada hacia el mercado.

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