Los trucos del comercio de China

BEIJING – El año pasado, China alcanzó aparentemente otro hito en su meteórico ascenso, al superar a los Estados Unidos y pasar a ser la mayor potencia comercial del mundo, con un volumen total de comercio de 25,83 billones de yuanes (4,16 billones de dólares), pero ese logro es en gran medida ilusorio... y no se debe permitir que oculte la necesidad que tiene China de transformar su modelo comercial.

Desde el decenio de 1990, China ha estado creando su “comercio de perfeccionamiento pasivo”, mediante el cual importa insumos intermedios de otros países, los elabora o monta y después los exporta, con lo que la relación del comercio de productos intermedios con el comercio exterior total ha aumentado rápidamente. Los insumos intermedios comprenden el 29 por ciento, aproximadamente, de las exportaciones mundiales, pero el 40 por ciento de las exportaciones totales de China. Como la contabilidad comercial tradicional se basa en el país de origen, la segmentación del valor añadido resultante y de la división internacional del trabajo en múltiples niveles pueden distorsionar las cifras comerciales.

Por ejemplo, el modelo de “comercio triangular”, con el que China importa grandes cantidades de insumos intermedios de países del Asia oriental, como el Japón y Corea del Sur, y después exporta los productos montados a los EE.UU., permite una gran redundancia en la documentación comercial. En 2010, más de la cuarta parte de los 19 billones de dólares del mundo en exportaciones se contabilizaron más de una vez.

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