El fetiche financiero de China

Mientras que las zonas costeras de Tianjin, cerca de Beijing, están en pleno desarrollo, el telón parece estarse levantando sobre un “centro financiero” más en China. Hace algunos años, cuando Shangai buscaba obtener un papel similar, los banqueros e inversionistas de todo el mundo se preguntaban si el objetivo real era que esa ciudad sustituyera a Hong Kong como el centro financiero de China. En el proyecto piloto actual, Tianjin, al norte de China y Shanghai, al sur, compiten entre sí, lo que provoca incluso más dudas.

Hubo un tiempo en que nadie tenía idea de cómo crear un “centro financiero”. Un centro financiero sencillamente era una gran metrópolis en donde se llevaban a cabo enormes transacciones financieras. Ciudades como Londres y Nueva York llegaron a ser conocidas como centros financieros sólo hasta después de demostrar que funcionaban como tales.

Las autoridades de China parecen no darse cuenta de que muchas de las ciudades importantes no han tenido la suerte de convertirse en centros financieros. No hay una teoría económica o de otro tipo que explique por qué una ciudad denominada “centro financiero” tenga que ser más valiosa o encantadora que otras. Entonces, ¿por qué debe China establecer como objetivo nacional vital el desarrollo de centros financieros globales? ¿Necesita China realmente sus propios centros financieros de categoría internacional? ¿Necesita el mundo que China los tenga? ¿O acaso es necesario tal objetivo porque un centro financiero puede determinar la suerte de una gran metrópolis?

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