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复旦大学中国经济研究中心主任

 
 
 

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关于“金砖四国(brics)  

2006-12-20 09:11:05|  分类: 默认分类 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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应日本亚洲研究所(IDE)主任,著名的经济地理学教授Fujita先生的邀请,我19日来到东京参加关于所谓金砖四国(BRICs)的研讨会The Rise of the Next Giants: Anatomy of BRICs"。这是自BRICs被高盛提出来之后,这可能世界上第一个关于BRICs学术研讨会。会议请来了这四个国家的经济学家以及世界银行和MIT的经济学家做嘉宾讲演。会议的规模相当大,有500人以上,来自学术、政府和企业。会议今天下午13:30-18:30在日本经济新闻社会馆开幕,除了Alice Amsden教授做主题发言之外,我被安排在四国报告的第1位出场。大家用英文演讲,现场有同声翻译。我的题目是”MAKING GROWTH HAPPEN IN POST-REFORM CHINA“。下面是这个会议的主办方“日本亚洲研究所”(IDE)的研究员 Taeko Hoshino女士 撰写的会议背景材料,这个材料是基于包括我在内的四国经济学家提交的论文而写出的。我们提交的这些论文将于明年在麦克米兰结集出版。

An Introduction to Anatomy of BRIC

Taeko Hoshino

 

The purpose of this paper is to explain the objective of this international symposium and to raise some of issues discussed at the following part of the symposium, representing IDE-JETRO, which coordinated this symposium.

It is on October 2003 when the word “BRICs” firstly appeared in a Goldman Sacks report (Wilson and Purushotham [2003]).  This report attracted attention of economists and investors of the world because of its shocking projection which estimates that BRICs economies together could surpass the G6 in less than 40 years.  On the other hand the report stresses that a big country does not necessarily mean a wealthy country by indicating that supremacy of G6 would continue for the next 40 years in terms of GDP per capita.  From these facts it seems that the report aimed at not warning developed countries of accelerated pace of catching up of  BRICs, but  inviting firms and investors of the world into the promising BRICs market, as suggests its title (“ Dreaming with BRICs: The Path to 2050”) , which sounds like “let’s dream with BRICs by investing on them”.

 

Fragility of BRICs Growth

Since the Goldman Sacks report appeared, the interest in BRICs economies has grown also in Japan.  In response to it, an increasing number of books and articles,  which include “BRICs” in their titles, have been issued. In these analyses, due to a good economic performance in recent years, which seems to prove the appropriateness of projection of the Goldman Sacks report, the observation on future growth of BRICs economies is generally optimistic.  With this regard we must pay attention to the fact that they presume some conditions for their optimistic view to be realized.  In the case of the Goldman Sacks report, it rests on the convergence hypothesis, which presupposes that the less a country is developed, the faster it grows.  Despite of its rationality in a confined context, it is apparent that economic growth of developing countries has not traced a trajectory as the hypothesis assume, if we see examples of countries which has confronted with difficulty in getting out of poverty traps.  Optimistic projections are fragile also in a point that they rest on premises which are sometimes mutually exclusive.  Examples are the macro-economic stability and the political stability, which are commonly referred as premises.  All of BRICs have huge poverty population, and their income distributions are worsening under the economic growth.  In these situations the economic growth would easily become a seed of political instability.  If the seed were removed by social policies, it would cause an expansion of fiscal deficit, which, in turn, would become a seed of macro economic instability.  In this way, premises, on which rest projections of BRICs economies, are uncertain in their nature.  It is possible to say that a dream with BRICs would easily convert to a nightmare if premises were lost.  The word “Myth” of the Japanese title of this symposium (“ The Emergence of BRICs: Myth and Facts”) contains a message of warning about a fragile basement which supports optimistic projections of BRICs economies. 

 

Focus of Anatomy

Then what is “Facts” of the Japanese title?  A phenomenon which happens in actuality has different aspects which can be accessed from different approaches.

We can point out two characteristics observed in preceding analyses on BRICs economies.  Firstly they attach much importance to external factors in explaining their recent economic growth.  External factors such as a flood of foreign direct investments, soaring prices of primary goods, rapid increase of exports, are those stressed as main factors.  Secondly, the time span of analysis is relatively short.  It is natural considering that the deregulation and the globalization, which are regarded as other important factors of their growth, are phenomena of the 1990s and thereafter. 

In the following part of the symposium, we try to access to facts taking a different approach from the preceding analyses.  Firstly, we will attach much importance to internal conditions of growth.  Admitting the importance of external factors to the recent growth of BRICs, we dare to focus on this aspect.  It is because in order to think about prospects of development of BRICs economy, its analysis is indispensable.  If a growth were mainly sustained by external factors, it would be halted when these factors disappear, situations such as withdrawals of foreign direct investment or sudden drops of primary goods prices.  We consider that it depends on internal conditions of growth whether a growth would be halted or not.

Secondly, we will take a longer time span in observing economic development. Economic development is a historical process which proceeds in interaction of internal and external conditions.  The analyses which stress the importance of external factors of growth, mainly focus on the period of the 1990s and thereafter.  By contrast, because of the point of view which stresses the importance of internal conditions, especially those conditions which need a long period of time to be matured, we will broaden our horizons of analyses to the period before the 1990s. 

 

Internal Conditions of Growth

    Dr. Amsden is a world-famous scholar on the history of industrialization of developing countries.  We titled this symposium “Rise of the Next Giants?”, which joins and modifies titles of two famous books written by her, “ Asia’s Next Giant”(Amsden[1989]), an analyisis of industrialization of Korea,  and “The Rise of the Rest”(Amsden[2001]), an comparative study of industrialization of 12 developing countries including BRICs except Russia, in order to express our respect to her.

    Dr. Amsden considers the industrialization of developing countries as a learning process of imported technology by imitation and absorption.  Under this postulate she lays special emphasis on institutions which make possible a smooth learning process of developing countries.  Among various institutions, those she attaches greater importance are institutions related to corporate sector, finance, the labor market and the technological innovation.  With regard to the corporate sector, she thinks that the role of local firms in the industrialization is more important than foreign firms, as we have already seen in her lecture.  Another characteristic is that she stresses the important role of government in the industrialization process. With this respect her argument is placed to the opposite position of the neo classical ones, which put emphasis on the function of market mechanism for economic growth.  I consider that these arguments such as the institutional setting of industrialization and the role of government can be important issues of our discussion. 

 

Sustainable Growth of BRICs

We discuss on the internal condition of sustainable growth of BRICs at the following part of this symposium.  Four distinguished economists from each country of BRICs present their evaluation on their home countries.  In order not to diverge the discussion, we asked speakers to refer to one or some of the following points in their presentations. 

?     How do you evaluate the actual high reputations of BRICs economies?

?     How do you explain the recent good economic performance of your country?

?     Do you see any obstacles for further growth of your country?

We have already received preceding papers.  For better understanding of presentations that follow, I would like to introduce some remarks of four speakers and to make some comments on three important issues taken from the framework of Dr. Amsden’s argument.  They are issues of the institutional settings of growth, the role of government, and the growth of local leading firms.

First issue is the institutional settings of growth.  Among various institutions, we consider that those related to corporate sector, finance, labor market and technological innovation have major importance for economic growth.  All of BRICs are experiencing a transformation of institutional settings.  Although all of them have faced difficulties in it, the magnitude of difficulty seems to be different.  While for India and Brazil, which have a long history of capitalist development, their task is to modify and improve pre-existed institutions in order to adapt to the request of globalizing economy (institutional reform), the task for China and Russia is to replace the pre-existed institutions by totally new ones (institutional transition).  Obstacles of transformation are supposed to be greater in the case of institutional transition than that of institutional reform.  Dr. Yasin will speak us about their formidable task in Russia.  China and Russia adopted different strategies of institutional transition.  While China adopted evolutionary way, which advanced gradually adding new institution to old ones and reducing the proportion of old ones in long time, Russia adopted revolutionary way, which tried to uproot old institutions and plant new ones at once.  Judging from their economic performance, the evolutionary transition seems more successful than revolutionary one.  Notwithstanding of Chinese successful experience, we must note that Chinese transition has not yet completed, because of their delay in the transition of corporate sector, especially concerning institutions related ownership, and of finance sector.  Final success of evolutionary way should be declared after completion of all these transitions. 

The second issue is the role of government.  Neo classical economists consider that the market mechanism promotes economic growth by optimally allocating factors of production using prices as signal.  Under this premise they consider that the role of government is to get the relative prices rights, which means that the government should not intervene in the market.  With this respect, Dr. Amsden, who positively evaluates the role of development finance of the Korean government in the industrialization, expressed the important role of government by a phrase of “getting relative prices wrong”. Hinted from this phrase, Dr. Zhang created another phrase of “getting incentive right” in order to express the important role of Chinese government in the rapid economic growth.  This phrase means that one of factors which made possible the rapid economic growth was the Chinese central government, which advanced the process by institutional building based on incentive mechanisms of dual products market, rewards to economic actors, and delegation of responsibility to the local government.  Although Chinese government has successfully intervened in the market, it was because they had enormous power under the socialist polity.  Their experience in institutional building may serve as a model for other developing countries with socialist polity.  With respect to Brazil and India the margin of discretion of government seems to be narrowed under the pressures from the globalizing market and from the democratized society.  Although the government is required to play a role in the macro economic stability, further economic growth and the equitable distribution of fruits of growth, as suggests Dr. Ferraz for the case of Brazil, it seems that their role is actually limited to the first one. 

The third issue is the growth of leading local firms.  As Dr. Amsden argued in her lecture, the growth of local firms is an engine of the growth of national economy.  Leading local firms play an important role in the catching-up process of economic development.  One of the ways to see the capacity of local leading firms is to see if they can compete in the global market.  Table shows a distribution by countries of top-100 multinationals of the world originated in developing countries, East and South Europe and CIS.  This table shows that, among BRICs, the number of top multinationals originated in China fairly surpasses that of other three countries.  Their activity extends to a variety of sectors, such as petroleum, mining, metal and metal products, electrical and electronic equipment, food and beverages, etc.  By

 

contrast, in the case of other three countries, not only their number is reduced but also their activity is concentrated to natural resource sector.  It is safe to say that the dynamism of national economy is reflected in the number and activities of multinationals.  In newly industrializing countries, in the process of import substitution industrialization up until the early 1980s, development of diversified and family controlled large industry groups were observed.  By the liberalization of trade and investment in the 1990s, many of these groups faced with competition, and disappeared or were absorbed by more competitive ones.  However, the survived groups have improved their competitiveness by restructuring their business and by professionalizing their management (Hoshino ed.[2005], Hoshino and Suehiro ed. [2006]).  This process is also observed in India, according to Dr. Patibandla, and in Brazil according to our studies.  At the same time, in those fields which appeared recently, such like IT soft industry in India, the growth of newly emerged firms is observed.  These facts indicate a possibility of increase of the number of global players in near future.  Thus considered, the number global players can be one of useful indicators when we see the capability of sustainable growth of BRICs.

Based on the knowledge presented in two keynote lectures and four presentations that follow, we will organize a panel discussion on the capacity for sustainable growth of BRICs. We hope to present facts of BRICs original to this symposium.  Even if we failed with this respect, we will, at least, try to make an enjoyable discussion which stimulates the intellectual curiosity of all participants in the symposium.

 

References

Amsden, Alice [1989].  Asia’s Next Giant: South Korea and Late Industrialization, New, York: Oxford University Press.

Amsden, Alice [2001]. The Rise of the Rest: Challenges to the West from Late-Industrializing Economies, New York: Oxford University Press.

Hoshino, Taeko, ed. [2005] Management and Innovation in Family Business: A Comparative Study of Asia and Latin America (in Japanese), Chiba: IDE-JETRO.

Hoshino, Taeko and Akira Suehiro, ed. [2006]. Top Management of Family Business: Business Management in Asia and Latin America (in Japanese), Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten.

Wilson, Dominic and Roopa Purushothaman [2003]. “Dreaming with BRICs: The Path to 2050,” Global Economics Paper No.99, Goldman Sachs, October 1.

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