8.11重磅双语新闻:亚洲新制造中心的崛起

吃书鸟 2017-08-11
Manufacturing flocks to new corners of Asia
亚洲新制造中心的崛起

Bangladesh has achieved an economic miracle in the past 20 years. A few decades ago it was one of the poorest countries on earth, stricken by famine and flood. Now it ranks as middle-income. Vietnam has done the same; Cambodia is close behind. Their spectacular growth shows fear of “premature deindustrialisation” is misplaced as a new generation of manufacturing powers rise to shape the 21st century.

过去20年里,孟加拉国实现了一个经济奇迹。几十年前,该国曾是世界上最贫穷的国家之一,深受饥荒和洪水的困扰。如今,该国已进入中等收入国家行列。越南也是如此;柬埔寨紧随其后。这些国家的惊人增长表明,对于“过早去工业化”的担心是多余的,新一代制造强国正在崛起,开始塑造21世纪。

What Bangladesh has done is all the more remarkable because the world has taken so little notice. Growth has steadily accelerated to more than 6 per cent, driven by the classic cheap-labour starter industry of textiles. It is now the world’s second-largest garment exporter. Powerful ge...
Manufacturing flocks to new corners of Asia
亚洲新制造中心的崛起

Bangladesh has achieved an economic miracle in the past 20 years. A few decades ago it was one of the poorest countries on earth, stricken by famine and flood. Now it ranks as middle-income. Vietnam has done the same; Cambodia is close behind. Their spectacular growth shows fear of “premature deindustrialisation” is misplaced as a new generation of manufacturing powers rise to shape the 21st century.

过去20年里,孟加拉国实现了一个经济奇迹。几十年前,该国曾是世界上最贫穷的国家之一,深受饥荒和洪水的困扰。如今,该国已进入中等收入国家行列。越南也是如此;柬埔寨紧随其后。这些国家的惊人增长表明,对于“过早去工业化”的担心是多余的,新一代制造强国正在崛起,开始塑造21世纪。

What Bangladesh has done is all the more remarkable because the world has taken so little notice. Growth has steadily accelerated to more than 6 per cent, driven by the classic cheap-labour starter industry of textiles. It is now the world’s second-largest garment exporter. Powerful gears of growth have begun to turn. The textile factories employ millions of young women, giving them economic power, prompting rural families to invest in education and triggering a demographic dividend.

孟加拉国取得的成就格外引人瞩目,因为世界对该国给予的关注是如此之少。在纺织业这个低劳动力成本的经典起步行业的推动下,孟加拉国的增长率已稳步加速到6%以上。目前,它是全球第二大服装出口国。强有力的增长齿轮开始转动起来。这些纺织厂聘用了数百万年轻女性,赋予她们经济能力,推动农村家庭投资于教育,并带来人口红利。

The growth of these new manufacturing centres is one of the most exciting changes in the global economy. They offer new markets for consumer goods, huge opportunities for investors and a way to lift millions of people out of poverty. Yet even as Bangladesh takes off, there are doubts about whether others can follow.

这些新的制造业中心的增长是全球经济中最令人激动的变化之一。它们提供了新的消费品市场,为投资者带来巨大机遇,成为令数百万人脱贫的一条途径。然而,在孟加拉国起飞之际,人们对其他中心能否跟上心存疑问。

Harvard economist Dani Rodrik has found a pattern of early manufacturing collapse in poor countries, with factories disappearing at much lower levels of development than they did in Europe or the US. He charts an industrial slump in South America, Africa and parts of Asia since the 1980s, in terms of output and employment. That is grave news for developing countries. As Mr Rodrik notes, manufacturing powers productivity. It is hard to get rich without it.

哈佛大学经济学家丹尼•罗德里克(Dani Rodrik)发现了一条贫穷国家里制造业过早崩溃的规律:在这些国家里,工厂消失时所达到的发展水平比在欧美要低得多。他从产出和就业量的角度,用图表描绘了南美、非洲和亚洲部分地区自1980年代以来的工业下滑状况。这对发展中国家而言是个坏消息。正如罗德里克所指出,制造业推动生产率的提高。没有制造业很难致富。

In the 1960s, Asian economies were sometimes compared with flying geese. As Japan ascended the manufacturing value chain — into electronics, for example — then Taiwan or South Korea could move into the textile market left behind. The result was development by echelon, like migrating birds. But if automation and robotics can now compete with even the cheapest labour then these opportunities will never open up. Developing countries will either have to find a new growth model via services or be forever stuck selling commodities.

自1960年代以来,人们有时把亚洲经济体比作“雁行”。当日本在制造业价值链内向上攀升(比如进入电子领域)时,台湾或韩国可以进入日本留下的纺织品市场。结果就是像迁徙候鸟那样的梯次发展。但是,如果自动化和机器人技术现在甚至可以跟最便宜的劳动力竞争,那么这些机遇将永远也不会显现。发展中国家将被迫找到一条依靠服务的新增长模式,要不然就会陷入永远出口大宗商品的境地。

Such fears are mistaken. It is more likely that Bangladesh heralds the start of a new wave of industrialisation in poor countries; one that will, in time, extend even to sub-Saharan Africa.

此类担忧是错误的。更有可能的是,孟加拉国预示着贫穷国家将开启新一波工业化;最终这波工业化还将传导到撒哈拉以南非洲地区。

Researchers at the UN confirm that the share of manufacturing and manufacturing jobs in the average developing economy has fallen. But for developing economies as a whole, they find the share of manufacturing and manufacturing jobs is ata record level. In other words, it is not that there is less manufacturing going on, or that robots are doing it all. Rather, all the manufacturing has become heavily concentrated in one place, causing a loss of industry everywhere else. That place, of course, is China. The geese were trying to migrate across China but getting gunned down by its formidable comparative advantage in making things.

联合国(UN)研究人员证实,在一般的发展中经济体,制造业和制造业岗位的份额已下降。但他们发现,发展中经济体作为一个整体而言,其制造业和制造业岗位的份额正处于创纪录水平。换言之,并非目前制造业在减少或者机器人占据了全部制造业岗位。而是,所有制造业越来越集中到一个地方,导致其他所有地区的工业减少。这个地方当然就是中国。大雁尝试飞过中国向别处迁徙,但被中国在制造领域的巨大比较优势一枪击落。

If other manufacturers are to grow, they must displace this industrial giant, and Bangladesh suggests that is now possible. China’s factories are investing heavily in automation and robotics in order to raise productivity and stay competitive as local wages rise. But there is little reason to think it will work any better than it did for the rich countries China itself displaced in the 1990s.

如果其他制造业国家想要成长,它们必须取代中国这个工业大国,孟加拉国的经历显示,现在这是有可能办到的。中国的工厂在自动化和机器人技术方面投入大笔资金,以提高生产率,并在国内工资升高之际保持竞争力。但是,我们几乎没有理由认为,中国这么做的效果,会比中国自己在1990年代取代的富裕国家当初这样做所取得的效果好。

Robotics technology has moved forwards but fully automated production lines are still vastly expensive and difficult to adjust. For that reason, robots are little used beyond automobiles and electronics, where the volumes are high enough. Robots are decades away from displacing skilful human fingers willing to work for dollars a day in an industry where customer demand changes as quickly as clothing.

机器人技术已在进步,但完全自动化的生产线仍极其昂贵,并且很难调整。正因如此,除了在产量足够高的汽车和电子行业,使用机器人的情况很罕见。在像服装业这样顾客需求快速变化的行业,机器人要取代愿意为每天几美元而工作的熟练工人,要等到几十年之后。

Much will depend on whether Beijing lets its low-skill industries die or fights to keep them. Its move away from currency intervention and a weak renminbi has directly aided the rise of new manufacturing hubs. Its sky-high rates of saving and investment, on the other hand, create overcapacity and suppress the growth of industry elsewhere. Other developing countries should hope Beijing succeeds in rebalancing its economy towards consumption. Nothing would do more to speed their growth.

一个很大的决定因素是,中国是允许其低技术行业死掉,还是尽力保住它们。中国减少干预汇率加上人民币走弱,直接帮助了新制造中心的崛起。另一方面,中国极高的储蓄率和投资率,导致产能过剩,压制了其他地区的工业增长。其他发展中国家应当祈祷中国经济再平衡成功、向消费倾斜。没有什么比这更能加快它们的增长。

If China’s population stops making cheap clothes but wear more of them, it will mean the available market is larger than ever in history. China had hundreds of millions of rich consumers in Europe, the US and Japan to sell to in the 1980s. Now there are billions of people buying clothes, shoes and toys. Whatever automation there is, bigger markets will offset it.

如果中国人不再生产廉价服装,而是消费更多廉价服装,那将意味着产生史上最大市场。在1980年代,中国可以把商品卖给欧洲、美国和日本的数亿富裕消费者。如今,购买衣服、鞋子和玩具的消费者有数十亿人。不论自动化发展到何种程度,更大的市场都将抵消其影响。

For the global economy, Bangladesh and others offer fresh growth with less reliance on China. There are important implications for prices in advanced countries. One cause of low global inflation is the impact of China’s entry into global markets. The rise of Bangladesh suggests prices will not pick up as China’s own income rises. There are still others wanting to manufacture their way to wealth — not least in Africa.

对全球经济而言,孟加拉国等国家提供了新的增长,减少了对中国的依赖。这对发达国家的物价产生重要影响。全球低通胀的原因之一,是中国进入全球市场带来的冲击。孟加拉国的崛起意味着,物价将不会随着中国自身收入的增加而上升。目前仍有很多其他国家希望通过制造业来致富——尤其是非洲国家。

Ever since the industrial revolution began in the mid-18th century, manufacturing has been the path from poverty to plenty, and despite a bout of congestion as China followed it, the route is as open as ever. The geese are ready to migrate again.

自从工业革命在18世纪中叶启动以来,制造业一直是从贫穷走向富裕的一条道路,尽管中国走上这条路后带来一阵拥堵,但这条路一如既往是开放的。大雁又准备迁徙了。



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