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商业 - 2013财富全球论坛

美国前财长:中国需要重启改革

David Whitford 2013年06月08日

美国前财政部长汉克•保尔森认为,中国现在的经济发展模式已经失去了动力,中国需要重新为改革注入活力。但是,他对中国经济前景持乐观态度,认为中国新一届政府是一个强有力的领导班子,他们的表现值得期待。

    北京大学光华管理学院(the Guanghua School of Management at Peking University)院长蔡洪滨注意到,谈到如今中国在社会、环境和经济上面临的巨大挑战时,往往会出现这样的情况:“经常到中国来的人都相当乐观,很少或从未来过的人则会说中国已经处于崩溃的边缘。”

    不用说,和本周五上午参加2013年成都《财富》全球论坛中国经济变化讨论会的大多数嘉宾观点一致,蔡洪滨在这个问题上持乐观态度。但所有与会者都没有低估今后挑战的严峻性。

    美国前财政部长、高盛(Goldman Sachs)前首席执行官汉克•保尔森说:“有一点最让我关注,而且中国政府也已经意识到了这一点,那就是目前中国的经济增长模式正在失去动力,需要重新为改革注入活力,这显而易见。”

    虽然和全球标准相比,中国的经济增长依然迅猛。但2010年以来,中国的经济增长率不断大幅下降。2013年第一季度,中国经济增速为7.7%,低于之前两位数的增长水平。保尔森指出:中国“过于依赖政府主导的投资、基建和制造业,过于依赖出口,内部增长不足。服务业需要为中国经济做出更多贡献。”

    麦肯锡(McKinsey)全球总裁鲍达民则表示,尽管如此,他仍是“乐观派”,原因是中国经济有一股“根本动力”,那就是城市的快速扩张。长期以来,麦肯锡一直预计到2030年中国的城市人口将达到10亿。鲍达民承认,这是个预测,无法确定,而且农村人口向城市的大量转移实际上也可能有所放缓。但他仍然认为,中国的城镇化转型才刚刚完成起步阶段,“这个进程将继续进行下去。”(点击此处了解麦肯锡对中国的其他观点)

    保尔森警告说,经济增长方式将对环境产生重大影响。为实现经济繁荣,中国已经在空气污染和水污染方面付出了沉重代价。这对中国来说是个严峻的问题,而且可能给世界其他地区带来灾难性影响,除非中国建设燃煤发电厂的脚步能有所停滞,或者通过其他方式来降低对化石燃料的依赖。

    保尔森指出,中国新一届领导人“既理解民营经济的重要性,也了解改革的必要性”,对此他基本表示赞赏。但他说,中国政府需要更多地参与环保,这方面的工作不能减少。“中国需要立法,而且需要落到实处。”他还认为,在“当地政府集中精力促增长”的情况下,地方上很难做到这一点。

    保尔森最后说:“好消息是(新一届领导人的)预期很高。坏消息是这些预期几乎不可能成为现实。他们是一个强有力的领导班子。他们必须非常坚定。”(财富中文网)

    译者:Charlie

    Cai Hongbin, dean of the Guanghua School of Management at Peking University, has noticed a pattern in the way people respond to the stiff challenges -- social, environmental and economic -- facing modern China: "Those who come often to China are pretty optimistic. Those who rarely or never come say China is collapsing."

    Cai, needless to say, is optimistic, as were most of the panelists who took part in a conversation about China's changing economy at the 2013 Fortune Gobal Forum Friday morning in Chengdu. But none underestimated the enormity of the challenge that lies ahead.

    "What hits me right smack between the eyes is the same thing the Chinese government knows," said former US Treasury Secretary and former Goldman Sachs (GS) CEO Hank Paulson. "The current growth model is running out of gas. They're going to need to reinvigorate reform, it's clear."

    China's growth rate, while still robust by global standards, has slowed dramatically since 2010; it was 7.7% in the first quarter of 2013, down from recent double digits. China is "too reliant on state-led investment and infrastructure and manufacturing," Paulson continued. "Too reliant on exports. There's not enough domestic-led growth. It needs more from the services industry."

    Dominic Barton, global managing director at McKinsey, said he's "bullish" nevertheless, based on what he called China's "underlying force of growth" -- rapidly expanding cities. McKinsey has long predicted that China's urban population will reach one billion by 2030. The number is a "projection," not a certainty, Barton allowed; and the flood from the countryside may in fact be slowing somewhat. But China is still just at "the end of the beginning" of its urban transformation, he maintained. "This thing will still move." (See more from McKinsey on China)

    How that growth is accomplished, Paulson warned, will have serious environmental implications. China has already paid a steep price for prosperity in dirty air and dirty water -- serious problems for China, and potentially catastrophic for the rest of the world unless China can somehow stop building coal-fired power plants and otherwise lessen its reliance on fossil fuels.

    Paulson applauded China's new leadership for "both understanding the importance of the private sector and the need for reform" generally. But he said the government needs to be more involved, not less, when it comes safeguarding the environment. "You need to have laws and you need to enforce them," Paulson said, adding that that's hard to do at the local level when "local leaders are focused on driving growth."

    Paulson's conclusion: "The good news is that expectations [of the new leadership] are high. The bad news is that it will be almost impossible to meet those expectations. They're strong leaders. They're going to need to be very strong."

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