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劳动力不断减少,中国将如何应对?

Clifton Leaf 2016年07月14日

中国劳动力人口不断,需要加强创新以提高生产效率。

 
 

帮助中国创造经济奇迹的主要发动机之一,不久就会开始减速。《财富》杂志于周二上午在奥斯本举行了第15届科技头脑风暴大会(Brainstorm Tech),并就中国的创新进行了圆桌讨论。讨论会得出了上面的结论,这也是少数几条不值得庆贺的意见之一。

麦肯锡全球研究院(McKinsey Global Institute)的合伙人迈克尔·崔指出,中国在过去30年间取得的非凡经济增长,有两个方面的因素发挥了同等重要的作用:一方面是劳动力增加和投资,另一方面则来自生产效率的提高。

但很快,或许最早在明年,随着总体人口的老龄化,中国劳动人口的数量便会开始减少。(据估算,目前中国55岁以上的人口超过20%。)

崔表示:“这意味着推动中国经济增长的一半动力即将消失,也意味着中国需要通过创新提高生效效率,”才能继续创造奇迹。

对于中国为应对这一问题所做的准备,崔基本上持乐观态度。按照他的说法,中国已经证明了在消费者驱动创新(包括阿里巴巴、腾讯和百度等网络巨头)和效率驱动创新(如提高家电效率等)方面的勇气。然而,虽然中国每年毕业的工程和科学类博士数量超过了其他任何国家,但在这些领域的创新方面,中国的表现则是好坏参半。

讨论会的其他参与者对中国经济未来的评估更为乐观。其中包括伟创力(Flex)公司CEO麦克·麦克纳马拉,该公司在中国有80,000至100,000名员工。麦克纳马拉的公司生产物联网设备到自动血糖仪等各种产品,他认为,将中国想象成“低质量、劣质、低端”制造中心是错误的,实际上在尖端产品创新方面,中国已经成为“全世界不容忽视的真正力量。”

上海纪源资本(GGV Capital)合伙人李宏玮和帕洛阿尔托CSC Venture Capital经理合伙人吴碧瑄,也看好中国的创新。

Very soon, one of the main drivers of China’s economic miracle will begin to stall. That was one of the key takeaways—and one of the few non-celebratory comments—in a roundtable discussion on innovation in China, at Fortune’s 15th Brainstorm Tech conference in Aspen on Tuesday morning.

Michael Chui, a partner at McKinsey Global Institute, pointed out that China’s extraordinary economic growth over the past 30 years has derived from two roughly equal sources: half has come from labor force increases and investment and half from boosts in productivity.

But very shortly, perhaps as soon as next year, the size of the Chinese workforce will start to decline as the overall population ages. (By one estimate, more than 20% of the population is now over the age of 55.)

“That means that half of the source of economic growth in China will roughly disappear,” said Chui, “which basically means the country needs to accelerate productivity through innovation” in order to keep the magic going.

Chui was mostly upbeat in assessing China’s readiness to do just that. The country has clearly shown its mettle in what he calls consumer-driven innovation (including online giants like Alibaba, Tencent, and Baidu) and efficiency-driven innovation (things like improved appliances). But China has a more mixed record when it comes to innovating in the areas of engineering and science, despite minting more Ph.D.’s a year than any other nation.

Other panelists, including Mike McNamara, CEO of Flex—which employs between 80,000 and 100,000 people in China—were more optimistic in their appraisals. McNamara, whose company makes everything from Internet of things-enabled devices to automated glucose meters, said that image of China as a “low-quality, shoddy, low-end” manufacturing hub was incorrect and that in terms of even sophisticated product innovation, China had become “a real force for the world.”

Jenny Lee, a partner with GGV Capital in Shanghai, and Veronica Wu, managing partner with CSC Venture Capital in Palo Alto, were equally bullish in their view of Chinese innovation.

纪源资本合伙人李宏玮

吴碧瑄认为,虽然看起来令人感到意外,但政府对处于萌芽状态的行业采取静观其变的监管方式,对于本土科技公司的成长有巨大的帮助。关于中国监管部门,吴碧瑄表示:“当他们不知道该做什么的时候,他们选择静观其变。”

对于这种做法,多名参与讨论者均认为,可以最为有效地促进创新。(财富中文网)

译者:刘进龙/汪皓

Wu suggested that—surprising as this may seem—a government wait-and-see approach to regulating burgeoning industries was a huge help in getting home-grown technology businesses to flourish. Said Wu of Chinese regulators, “When they don’t know what to do, they sit back and watch what happens.”

That, said several panelists, may be the best boost for innovation they could provide.

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