Una infraestructura incomparable

PEKÍN – Después de muchos meses con indicadores económicos desalentadores, el Consejo de Estado chino ha revelado un paquete de «miniestímulo», centrado en la construcción de vivienda social y la expansión del ferrocarril. La decisión llega un mes después de que el primer ministro Li Keqiang declaró que China había fijado su meta de crecimiento anual en «alrededor del 7,5 %», la misma del año pasado. Las implicaciones son claras. Si bien el crecimiento impulsado por el consumo continúa como meta de largo plazo para China, la infraestructura seguirá –al menos en el corto plazo– como motor principal de la economía de ese país.

Por supuesto, China no es la única economía que depende de la inversión en infraestructura para respaldar el crecimiento económico. El Banco Mundial estima que las inversiones en infraestructura representaron aproximadamente la mitad de la aceleración en el crecimiento económico del África subsahariana entre 2001 y 2005.

Según el Banco, un aumento de la inversión en infraestructura del 10 % se asocia a un crecimiento del PIB del 1 %. Esas inversiones también generan empleo, tanto en el corto plazo, por la creación de demanda de materiales y mano de obra, como en el largo plazo, para los servicios relacionados. Por ejemplo, cada 100 millones de dólares invertidos en el mantenimiento de caminos rurales se generan aproximadamente entre 25.000 y 50.000 oportunidades de empleo.

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