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教育频道 > 外语天地-英语频道 > Words and Stories
2007年:亚洲经济的挑战
时间:2007年01月05日08:57 我来说两句  

 
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  This summers 10th anniversary of Asias financial crisisshouldoffer much cause for celebration. In the past decade, theregionhas emerged from meltdown, set its house in order and enjoyedaspectacular recovery. Memories of past turmoil and hardship,thoughnot entirely banished, are fading fast. Instead, the talktoday isincreasingly of Asias inexorable rise.

  In the past three years, the region has generated almost athirdof global growth – compared with a fifth of world output – anditsinternational trade has expanded faster still. Growth in eastAsialast year, estimated by the Asian Development Bank at 4.9 percent,was the highest since the crisis. Although conditions arelikely tosoften this year, the ADB still expects a respectable 4.4percent.

  Much has been done to repair the weaknesses that led tothecrisis, and the damage it created. Bad loans have been writtenoff,banks re-capitalised and prudential controlsstrengthened.Corporate balance sheets have been re-built andpre-crisis excessinvestment worked off. More prudent fiscal andmonetary policieshave taken hold, while bulging foreign exchangereserves havereplaced heavy reliance on short-term inflows fromabroad.

  Yet Asias recovery is neither as broad-based, nor as solid, asitseems. Its overall performance is flattered by exceptionallyrapidexpansion in China and, to a lesser extent, India. Growth isslowingin Japan, Asias biggest economy, and stuttering in SouthKorea, itsthird largest, while others, including Taiwan andThailand, areperforming below their potential.

  There are also serious doubts about the quality of Chinasgrowth.Beijing continues to wrestle with over- investment – theproduct ofa stubbornly high savings rate – a primitive system ofallocatingcapital and ineffectual monetary policy. A downturncould lead toanother rash of bad bank loans, straining a fragilefinancial systemthat lacks robust capital markets.

  Furthermore, Asia remains vulnerable to externalthreats,including a disorderly unwinding of global imbalancesandprotectionism in the west. Rapid expansion of intra-regionaltradehas yet to reduce substantially reliance on western markets inaregion where much growth is still export-led. Asiaspersistentcurrent account surpluses and undervalued currenciescould add topressures to erect barriers in the US and Europe ifthings turnbad.

  How should Asia respond? Chinas priority should bethree-fold.First, Beijing should tackle the underlying causes ofexcesssavings, notably by using fiscal and dividend policy to clawbackcorporate profits and curb their re-investment inovercapacity.Second, it should accelerate financial market reform,whileallowing the renminbi steadily to appreciate. Third, itshouldspeed up efforts to re-balance growth in favour ofdomesticconsumption.

  Japans priority should be to avoid premature monetary andfiscaltightening that could tip the economy back into deflation andeveninto recession. At the same time, the government should alsostartpromoting in earnest the many structural reforms needed toraiseproductivity growth and promote dynamic new businessactivity.

  In most of the rest of Asia, the need is different. In contrasttoChina, the most important tive should be to stimulate privateandpublic investment, which remains well below pre-crisis levels.Doingso would yield several benefits: it would spurmuch-neededimprovements in infrastructure; encourage more balancedeconomiesby unlocking new sources of domestic demand; andstrengthenresilience to external shocks.

  Asian governments should supplement those actions byallowingartificially low currencies to appreciate. Adjustments arebothnecessary to tackle global imbalances and desirable fortheireconomies. They would moderate inflationary pressures,directinvestment in favour of domestic, rather than export, marketsandcurb the fruitless accumulation of excessive foreignexchangereserves.

  Much of this agenda will take years, even decades, toimplement.But the conditions for tackling it are unlikely to becomeany morebenign than they are now. Asias policymakers shouldresolve tostart doing so in earnest this year, while the going isstill good.(接下页)

  今年夏天将迎来亚洲金融危机10周年纪念日,届时人们应会有很多庆祝的理由。
过去10年间,亚洲地区从灾难中崛起,重整旗鼓,实现了引人瞩目的复苏。对于动荡和苦难的记忆虽未完全磨灭,但已在迅速消逝。实际上,今天人们谈得越来越多的是亚洲的强劲崛起。

  过去三年间,相对于其占全球五分之一的经济产出,亚洲创造了全球近三分之一的经济增长,同时其国际贸易还在以更快的速度扩张。亚洲开发银行(AsianDevelopmentBank)估计,去年东亚地区的经济增长率为4.9%,为金融危机以来最高的一年。虽然今年的增长势头可能会放缓,但亚行仍预计该地区经济增长率将达到可观的4.4%。

  该地区已采取了很多措施,来补救导致金融危机的缺陷,以及危机所造成的破坏。银行冲销了坏账,重组了资本结构,强化了审慎控制。企业对资产负债状况进行了重新整理,金融危机前的过度投资被逐一清理。更为审慎的财政与货币政策占据了主导地位,外汇储备日益上升,取代了以往严重依赖海外短期资金流入的局面。

  不过,亚洲的复苏并不像看起来那样具有广泛和扎实的基础。由于中国和印度的经济扩张异常迅速,亚洲经济的总体表现被夸大了。作为亚洲最大的经济体,日本的增长正在放缓,第三大经济体韩国的增长步伐也磕磕绊绊,而其它经济体,包括台湾和泰国在内,其表现均未能达到应有的水平。

  同时,有人也十分怀疑中国经济增长的质量。中国政府仍在努力解决过度投资问题——这是其储蓄率居高不下所导致的结果,反映了中国资金配置体系的粗糙以及货币政策的低效。一旦中国经济陷入低迷,可能会再度产生庞大的银行坏账,使中国缺乏强劲资本市场的脆弱金融体系面临巨大压力。

  此外,亚洲仍面临诸多外部威胁,其中包括对全球失衡的无序调整,以及西方的贸易保护主义压力。在亚洲,大部分经济增长仍是出口驱动型的,迄今为止,地区内贸易的迅速扩张,仍未明显减轻亚洲对西方市场的依赖。在情况恶化时,亚洲持续的经常账户盈余和货币低估,可能会加大在美国、欧洲遭遇贸易壁垒的压力。

  亚洲应如何应对呢?中国的当务之急有三方面:首先,中国政府应当解决过度储蓄的根本原因,特别是要利用财政和分红政策,压缩企业的利润,限制它们在产能过剩领域的再投资;其次,应当加速金融市场改革,同时允许人民币稳步升值;第三,应当加大力度,向着有利于推动国内消费的方向,对经济增长模式进行重新调整。

  日本的首要任务是避免过早紧缩货币与财政政策,否则可能使经济重新陷入通缩,甚至步入衰退。与此同时,日本政府还应开始认真推动诸多亟需进行的结构性改革,以提高生产率增长速度,并推动富有活力的新商业活动。

  在亚洲其它地区,大部分经济体需要采取的措施各不相同。与中国相反,它们最重要的目标是要刺激私人和公共投资——投资仍处于远低于危机前的水平。此举将带来诸多好处:刺激急需的基础设施改善;释放新的国内需求来源,以鼓励经济更为均衡地发展;强化(经济体)抵御外部冲击的能力。

  作为补充,亚洲政府应允许被人为压低的货币升值。这种调整既是解决全球失衡所需,也符合它们的经济发展要求。此举将缓和通胀压力,将投资引向国内、而非出口市场,遏制过多外汇储备徒劳的累积。

  上述很多措施的实施将需要数年、甚至数十年的时间。但就解决问题的条件而言,现在的时机很可能是最好的。亚洲决策者应该趁形势依然很好的时候,下定决心在今年认真开始行动。(编辑:赵露)

  2


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