El crédito a quien le corresponda

En tiempos, cuando la planificación central comunista sofocaba la economía de China, la inversión en activos fijos era el criterio del régimen para calibrar el progreso económico. Cuantas más toneladas de acero se producían, hormigoneras se vaciaban y galones de petróleo crudo se bombeaban del subsuelo, mejor. La economía basada en el consumo, a la que Occidente capitalista había sucumbido, al parecer, estaba descartada por ser un tigre de papel.

En la superficie, nada ha cambiado demasiado. China sigue obsesionada con la inversión: en 2005 la construcción de fábricas y de infraestructuras representó el 41 por ciento del PIB y la mitad, aproximadamente, del crecimiento económico. Además, los altos niveles permanentes de inversión del país en activos fijos tienen sentido: construir carreteras, conducciones de agua, sistemas de metro, redes de telecomunicaciones y fábricas de productos electrónicos es lo que debe hacer un país inmenso y en rápido proceso de modernización.

Pero la dirección del Partido Comunista ha decidido que en el próximo decenio los peluqueros, los contables, las presentadoras de karaoke, los guías turísticos y los directores de películas serán los nuevos pilares del rendimiento económico. A medida que se aminore el crecimiento de la inversión y los mercados de exportación soporten sus imprevisibles ciclos económicos y estados de ánimo proteccionistas, China dependerá cada vez más del consumo para la creación de puestos de trabajo y de ingresos... y el sector de los servicios es aquel en que más consumo se da.

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