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王义桅:投资“一带一路”会不会打水漂?(中英文)

Wang Yiwei: is the Belt and Road Initiative anything but “throwing money around”

文 王义桅

在国外,不同的国家地区对“一带一路”有不同的感受。为什么有的从“一带一路”中获得了四五百亿美元的投资,有的却没拿到大项目?在国内则有另一番疑惑:国内经济增速放缓,要用钱的地方很多,为何还要去沿线一些高风险国家投资?投资“一带一路”会不会打水漂,无法实现经济收益?

Different foreign countries and regions have different opinions with the Belt and Road Initiative. Why have some countries and regions received investment worth USD 40 billion or USD 50 billion from China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), while others gets no big projects from the BRI? At home, some doubts also prevail. The domestic economy growth has slowed down and many fields need investment, so why does China go to invest in risky countries along the route? Will investment in the Belt and Road get nothing back and fail to deliver any economic benefit?

看来,国内外对“一带一路”都存在不同程度的误解,要么把它当作对外援助,要么把它视为对外撒钱,担心引发债务危机,毕竟国内还有许多要用钱的地方,比如精准扶贫、设施改造等。其实,“一带一路”并非对外援助,它的提出从国内背景来说,是为了解决改革开放两大问题:解决发展模式的不可持续性问题,以及全球化效应递减问题,这也标志着中国从融入到塑造全球化、从向世界开放到世界向中国开放的态势转变;从国际背景来说,是中国塑造欧亚一体化,巩固大周边依托,推进贸易投资便利化,深化经济技术合作,建立自由贸易区,最终形成欧亚大市场。

It seems that the BRI investment is misunderstood at home and abroad to varying degrees. It is either regarded as “foreign aid” or as “throwing money around”. People are worried about that it will trigger a debt crisis, after all, many fields at home still need money injected in, such as targeted poverty alleviation and infrastructure improvement. In fact, the BRI is not “foreign aid”. From the domestic background, it was proposed to solve the two major problems facing China’s reform and opening-up, that is, to address the unsustainability of the development model and the problem of diminishing effects of globalization. Therefore, it also marks such changes as China has turned from integrating into globalization to shaping globalization and from opening up to the world to promoting the opening up of the world to China. From an international perspective, it marks the efforts China makes to advance the integration of Europe and Asia, consolidate the support of its neighboring countries, facilitate trade and investment, deepen economic and technological cooperation, and establish free trade zones, so as to eventually develop a large Eurasian market.

2019年10月14日,中白工业园内两名白方员工正在组装柴油发动机(图 新华社)

“一带一路”也并非简单的中国对外投资。中国经济增长模式正从出口、引资驱动向投资、创新转型,争取产业、行业标准、国际话语权日显重要。“一带一路”建设充分彰显我国国有企业优势及制度优势,正推动中国从靠拼劳动力、资源、资本、技术优势向标准、话语权、发展模式及创新优势转化。印尼雅万高铁中方之所以能击败日方,背后是中国国有银行的支持。中国模式正在非洲大显身手,非洲第一条中国标准跨国电气化铁路,从设计、施工到运营,全都采用了中国模式。肯尼亚的蒙内铁路和蒙巴萨港口建设也是如此。

Nor is the BRI simply Chinese outbound investment. China’s economic growth model is shifting from being driven by exports and investment to investment and innovation. Hence, it is increasingly important for China to strive for discourse power in industry, industry standards and international affairs. The BRI fully demonstrates China’s state-owned enterprise advantages and institutional advantages, and is promoting China’s transformation from relying on labor, resources, capital and technological advantages to standards, discourse power, development model and innovation advantages. That China beat fierce competition from Japan to win the contract to build Indonesia’s Jakarta-Bandung high-speed railway cannot be separated from the support of domestic state-owned banks. The Chinese model is making its mark in Africa, where the first Chinese-standard cross-border electrified railway was designed, built and operated in the Chinese model. The same is true of Kenya’s Mombasa-Nairobi Standard Gauge Railway and Mombasa Port.

4月26日,雅万高铁三号隧道顺利贯通 (图 中国青年网)

资金从哪里来?基础设施互联互通资金缺口巨大。据《超级版图》一书预测,未来四十年人类基础设施投入超过过去的四千年!因为发达国家基础设施要升级换代,比如要建信息港、数字通关、智能电网、智慧城市等,而发展中国家普遍面临基础设施短板困扰。“一带一路”建设靠中国一国投资是不现实的,必须采取全球融资方式,创新融资模式,公私合营PPP模式因此受到青睐。看到基础设施巨大投资缺口就担心中国去学雷锋、做冤大头,把钱投给“一带一路”项目,大概是本能的反应。

Where does the money come from? There exists a huge funding gap in infrastructure connectivity. According to Connectography, investment in infrastructure in the next 40 years will exceed that in the past 4,000 years, because developed countries need to upgrade their infrastructure, such as building information ports, digital customs clearance, smart power grids and smart cities, while developing countries are faced with infrastructure weaknesses. It is unrealistic to only rely on China’s investment in the construction of the BRI. Instead, the global financing method must be adopted and the financing mode innovated. Public-private partnerships (PPP) are therefore favored. It is probably a knee-jerk reaction for domestic critics to worry that China will be an easy marker to throw money at the BRI projects when seeing a huge investment gap in infrastructure.

巴西美丽山水电站特高压直流输电一期工程的埃斯特罗托换流站(新华社记者李明 摄)

资金往哪里投?投资美日等发达国家,固然风险少,但面临投资设限的障碍,长远收益不及“一带一路”沿线国家,风险与收益成正比,着眼发展潜力,占有未来市场,就要投资“一带一路”沿线国家。这些国家普遍处于中国改革开放初期水平,十分看重中国工业化、城镇化经验。中国的技术市场化能力较强,最能发挥中国投资“一带一路”沿线国家的潜力。电车、汽车都是欧洲人的发明,但美国人把它用到了极致;今天,中国也把高铁、互联网等并非中国的发明用到了极致,将来国际高铁标准、5G标准相当程度就是中国标准或中国标准占据重要分量。投资“一带一路”沿线国家和基础设施项目、能源及港口等国计民生工程,有助于增强沿线国家与中国的经济联系,形成命运共同体,摆脱对西方的依赖。

Where does the money go? Investment in developed countries is of course less risky, but facing the obstacles of investment restrictions, the long-term return is not as good as that in the countries along the Belt and Road. According to the risk-return tradeoff theory, in view of the development potential and the future market, China should invest in countries along the route. These countries are generally at the early stage of China’s reform and opening-up and attach great importance to China’s experience in industrialization and urbanization. China has a strong capacity in technology marketization, which can help maximize the potential of its investment in these countries. Both the electric car and the automobile are created by Europeans, but Americans get the most out of the inventions. Today, China has also tapped into the fullest potential of the non-home-made inventions including high-speed rail and Internet. In the future, the international high-speed railway standard and 5G standard are Chinese standards to a considerable extent or where Chinese standards occupy an important part. China’s investment in infrastructure, energy and ports which are vital to national economy and people’s livelihood in countries along the route will help these countries enhance their economic ties with China, build a community with a shared future and get rid of dependence on western countries.

中老铁路万象站40米四管通信铁塔 (图 新华社)

“一带一路”着眼于“五通”,即以资金、技术优势制订标准:产业标准——新基础设施(如5G技术),大宗商品定价权——能源管道,国际投资、贸易规则——C-WTO,E-WTO(从商业领域到电子商务领域的世贸规则),在此基础上,不断推进深化与“一带一路”沿线国家标准化双多边合作和互联互通,大力推进中国标准“走出去”,提升中国在全球分工体系中的地位。“一带一路”建设也是中国反对保护主义,在全方位开放中进一步推动投资便利化,打造开放共赢的合作模式,建设包容性全球化,提升中国的国际话语权。因此,“一带一路”建设不能只算经济账。

The BRI focuses on policy coordination, connectivity of infrastructure, unimpeded trade, financial integration and closer people-to-people ties, that is, the development of standards based on financial and technological advantages, including industrial standards of new infrastructure (such as 5G technology), pricing power on bulk commodity--energy pipelines, and international investment and trade rules--C-WTO and E-WTO (WTO rules from business to e-commerce). On this basis, China will strive to deepen bilateral and multilateral cooperation and connectivity with countries along the route, vigorously promote Chinese standards to go global, and enhance China’s status in the global division of labor. The BRI also reflects that China opposes protectionism, further promotes investment facilitation in the course of all-round opening-up, creates an open and win-win cooperation model, builds inclusive globalization, and enhances China’s international voice. Therefore, the benefits of the BRI should not be considered only in terms of economic benefits.

面对极少数外国政府更迭频繁、信用缺失,老百姓担心“一带一路”经济效益与安全风险,这完全可以理解。但是评估“一带一路”收益,不能就事论事,要看长远、全局,看关键环节,考虑到大国投资基础设施的历史惯例。再者说,规模效应也需要时间积累,比如中欧班列,前期存在回程空车问题,这就是规模不够。

Faced with frequent changes in a very few foreign governments and their lack of credit, domestic people are worried about the economic benefits and security risks of the BRI, which entirely makes sense. However, in assessing the benefits of the BRI, people should not consider it as it stands, but take a long-term and holistic view to focus on key links and take into account the historical practices of great power in investing in infrastructure. Moreover, the scale effect also needs time to build. Take China Railway Express as an example. There is a problem of empty dispatch in return trip in early stage, which is just caused by insufficient scale.

2019年3月29日,“创维号”中欧班列在成都国际铁路港举行发车仪式 (图 央广网)

的确,“一带一路”有关投资合作项目,特别是部分基础设施项目投入资金大、建设周期长、成本回收慢,但从长远来看,对提升区域基础设施互联互通水平、造福沿线各国人民具有重大而深远的意义。项目也要有所区分,是战略项目、政策项目还是商业项目?战略性项目是国家担保的,如中巴经济走廊,本身是不以赚钱为目标的;政策性项目多为示范工程,如雅万高铁,不能简单以赚钱与否来衡量其价值;而剩余的商业性项目则本身是按照市场原则办的,是赚钱的。部分项目出问题,被耽误,长远和整体来看也是在试错,为其他项目和后期项目做铺垫。

Indeed, the cooperation projects under the BRI, especially some infrastructure projects, require tremendous investment and long construction cycle and have slow cost recovery. However, in the long run, it is of great and far-reaching significance to improve regional infrastructure connectivity and benefit the people of countries along the route. It is also necessary to distinguish the projects to see whether it is a strategic project, a policy project, or a commercial project. Strategic projects are guaranteed by the government, such as China–Pakistan Economic Corridor, which are not aimed at making money. Most policy projects are for demonstration purpose, such as Jakarta-Bandung high-speed railway, their value cannot be measured simply by whether they are profitable or not. While the remaining commercial projects are run in accordance with the market principles, and are profitable projects. Some projects encountered problems and are held up. In the long run and on the whole, they are also for trial and error, laying the foundation for other projects and later projects.

中巴经济走廊重要能源项目——中电胡布燃煤电站 (网络图片)

总之,遵循“企业主体、市场运作、国际惯例、政府引导”原则,秉持共商共建共享理念,“一带一路”建设不是对外撒钱,而是新的长征,是中国与有关国家合作与友谊的拓展与深化,将极大地提升中国制造、中国营造、中国规划的能力与信誉,重塑人类文明史与全球化话语权,体现中国崛起后的天下担当。

In a word, following the principle of “enterprises as main players, market operation, international practice, government guidance”, and adhering to extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, the BRI is not “throwing money around”, but a new “Long March” for China. It is to expand and deepen the cooperation and friendship between China and relevant countries, will greatly enhance the ability and reputation of “Made in China”, “Built by China” and “Planned by China”, is reshaping the history of human civilization and the discourse power in globalization and reflects China’s responsibility as a major country in international community after its rise.

来源:《一带一路报道》2020年第3期

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