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中国:从“世界工厂”到“世界市场”

(2010-08-10 17:30:27)
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中国:从“世界工厂”到“世界市场”
英国《金融时报》 王明 东京报道
 

20多年来,日本大阪府上海代表处的主要工作,是帮助规模较小的日本零部件供应商跟上潮流,把制造产能从高成本的本土转移到成本低得多的中国。

该代表处所长田中克明(Katsuaki Tanaka)表示,如今,工作人员则是把更多时间花在帮助日本中小企业与中国客户建立联系上,以期这些客户能够弥补日本国内需求的不足。

田中克明说:“过去,中国被称作‘世界工厂’,现在它已成为‘世界市场’。(日本)各种类型的企业都想在这个市场开展业务。”

田中克明工作内容的变化,体现了东亚两个大国之间经济关系正在发生着的历史性的拓展与深化。

即使是最谨慎的日本企业,也深知中国作为销售收入来源的潜力——中国政府成功调集财政资源,化解了全球经济放缓的影响,就深刻说明了这一点。

中国制造工艺的日趋精良,以及日本在华投资企业的发展成熟,意味着两国的产业供应链交缠得愈加紧密。中国再也不是运往他处的日本产品廉价的最后组装地。

日本贸易振兴机构(JETRO)上海事务所所长大西康雄(Yasuo Onishi)表示:“以前,中国从日本进口零部件和半成品,向日本出口成品。现在,这一流动是双向的。”

以市价美元计算,中国今年似乎有望超过日本,成为全球第二大经济体。中国的人均收入仍然较低,但许多城市消费者有能力尝试高价商品和服务。

从餐馆业、旅游业到药品供应商、酿酒商,日本各式企业都希望从中国的经济增长中受益。大西康雄表示,日本在上海的新投资大多集中在服务业。

日本先进的环保技术意味着,它可以在中国减少污染和温室气体排放的努力中发挥关键作用。

不过,虽然中国去年取代美国成为日本最大的出口市场,但日本企业在中国也面临着一些问题。在华经营的日本企业热衷于扩张,但日本贸易振兴机构的一项调查显示,50年来,在华实现盈利的日本企业的比例,已降至2009年略高于50%的水平。在华日本企业似乎难以抵挡劳资纠纷的冲击,而中国政府要求它们与中方合作伙伴分享技术秘密,也可能削弱它们的技术优势。

尽管如此,现金充裕又渴望海外扩张的中国企业的崛起,已为大阪府上海代表处带来了一项新任务。田中克明表示:“我们正想方设法让中国企业到大阪来投资。”

译者/汪洋

JAPAN REVISES ITS ROLE IN THE CHINA MARKET
By Mure Dickie in Tokyo
 

For more than two decades, much of the work of the Shanghai office of Japan’s Osaka Prefecture was helping small Japanese parts suppliers join the shift of manufacturing capacity from their high-cost homeland to far cheaper China.

These days staff spend more time helping small to medium enterprises make contact with Chinese customers so they can make up for a dearth of Japanese domestic demand, says office chief representative Katsuaki Tanaka.

“In the past, China was called the world’s workshop – now it’s the world’s market,” Mr Tanaka says. “And (Japanese) companies of all types want to operate in this market.”

Shifting demands on Mr Tanaka’s time are part of a historic broadening and deepening of the economic relationship between East Asia’s pre-eminent powers.

Even the most cautious Japanese companies are keenly aware of China’s potential as a source of sales, a message highlighted by Beijing’s success in mustering its financial resources to shrug off the effects of the global economic slowdown.

The growing sophistication of Chinese manufacturing and the maturity of Japanese-invested operations means industrial supply chains are ever more tightly enmeshed. China is no longer just a cheap place to do final assembly of Japanese products for shipment elsewhere.

“Previously, parts and intermediate products came in and finished goods were exported to Japan but now the flow goes both ways,” says Yasuo Onishi, president of the Shanghai office of the Japan External Trade Organisation.

China looks likely to surpass Japan as the world’s second-largest economy in market dollar terms this year. Chinese per capita incomes remain low but plenty of urban consumers are able to sample high-value goods and services.

Japanese businesses from restaurants and resorts, to pharmaceuticals providers and sake brewers look to tap into Chinese growth. New investment in Shanghai is mostly in the service sector, says Mr Onishi.

Japan’s advanced environmental technology means it could well play a central role in China’s efforts to cut pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.

But while China replaced the US as Japan’s biggest export market last year, Japanese groups face problems. Companies from Japan operating in China are keen to expand but the proportion mak­ing a profit there has fallen in the past 50 years to just above 50 per cent in 2009, says a Jetro survey. Japanese businesses in China appear vulnerable to labour unrest and their technological edge could be eroded by Beijing’s demands that they share secrets with local partners.

Still, the rise of cash-rich Chinese companies eager to expand abroad has created another role for Osaka Prefecture’s Shanghai office. “We are trying to get Chinese enterprises to invest in Osaka,” notes Mr Tanaka.

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