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《经济学人》:中国制造业-廉价商品的终结?

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中国劳动力成本提高是否预示着中国制造业的终结?还是在这背后,中国大地上正在酝酿着另一个产业的崛起。

Some are predicting the end of the cheap “China price”; others are moresanguine

“IT IS the end of cheap goods,” says Bruce Rockowitz. He is the chief executive of Li & Fung, a company that sources more clothes and common household products from Asia than perhaps any other. In the low-tech areas in which Li & Fung specialises, the firm handles an estimated 4% of China’s exports to America and a sizeable chunk of its exports to Europe, too. It has operations in several East Asian countries, where it diligently searches for cheap, reliable suppliers of everything from handbags to bar stools. So when Mr Rockowitz says the era of low-cost Asian production is drawing to a close, people listen.

"廉价商品的日子已经过去了,"利丰公司总裁布鲁斯说。利丰公司是亚洲地区服装面料和日用品最大的采购商。利丰公司专注于低技术商品领域,中国每年向美国出口业务量约4%以及向欧洲地区大多数出口业务均通过该公司进行操作。利丰公司在东亚几个国家开展业务,力求寻找到可靠的廉价商品供应商,从手提包到酒吧的凳子,几乎所有廉价商品都是他们的目标。因此,当布鲁斯先生说“亚洲生产低成本商品的时代即将终结”,人们都会相信。

He argues that Asian manufacturing has gone through a number of phases, each lasting about 30 years. When China was isolated under Mao Zedong, companies in Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea grew expert at making things. When China reopened in the late 1970s, after Mao’s death, these experienced Asian operators converged on southern China. With almost free access to land and labour, plus an efficient port and logistics hub in nearby Hong Kong, they started to make things ever more cheaply and sell them to the whole world.

布鲁斯认为,亚洲的制造业经历了几个阶段,每个阶段持续了约30年之久。毛泽东领导下的中国处于孤立时,香港、台湾和南韩的公司是制造业的主力军;在1970年代末期,也就是在毛泽东去世之后,中国实行改革开放,这些经验丰富的亚洲制造业经营商纷纷在中国南部各省开设工厂。几乎免费的土地和劳动力成本,外加上高效的港口和邻近香港的物流枢纽,让他们生产的产品价格更加低廉并销往全世界。

For the next 30 years manufacturers in China helped to keep global inflation in check. But that era is now over, says Mr Rockowitz. Chinese wages are rising fast. A wave of new demand, especially from China itself, is feeding a surge in commodity prices. Manufacturers can find some relief by moving production to new areas, such as western China, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Malaysia, India and Indonesia. But none of these new places will curb inflation the way southern China once did, he predicts. All rely on the same increasingly expensive pool of commodities. Many have rising wages or poor logistics. None can provide the scale and efficiency that was created when manufacturers converged on southern China.

在随后的30年中,中国的制造业让全球抑制住了通货膨胀。但是,布鲁斯说,这样美好时代即将过去。中国的工资水平上涨很快。来自中国的一个新的需求浪潮正在推高商品的价格。制造业企业家也许可以通过将制造业向中国西部、越南、孟加拉、马来西亚、印度及印度尼西亚进行转移,缓解一些成本压力,但是,布鲁斯预测,这些新的区域无法像当初中国南方的制造业那样有效抑制通货膨胀。一切都受制于日益上涨的生产要素价格,这些地方不是工资上涨就是物流运输落后。没有一个地方可以像当初中国南方制造业那样,规模和效率并举。

重点单词   查看全部解释    
ordering ['ɔ:dəriŋ]

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n. [计]定序;排序;订购 v. 命令;指挥;订购(o

 
capacity [kə'pæsiti]

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n. 能力,容量,容积; 资格,职位
adj.

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sophisticated [sə'fistikeitid]

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adj. 诡辩的,久经世故的,精密的,老练的,尖端的

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available [ə'veiləbl]

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adj. 可用的,可得到的,有用的,有效的

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commodity [kə'mɔditi]

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n. 商品,日用品

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hawk [hɔ:k]

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n. 鹰,掠夺别人的人,鹰派人物
n. 清嗓<

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logistics [ləu'dʒistiks]

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n. 后勤学,运筹学,物流

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miracle ['mirəkl]

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n. 奇迹

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flight [flait]

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n. 飞行,航班
n. 奇思妙想,一段楼

 
intellectual [.intil'ektʃuəl]

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n. 知识份子,凭理智做事者
adj. 智力的

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