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亚洲采取刺激措施遏制经济再恶化

发布者: shunitang | 发布时间: 2009-1-13 13:56| 查看数: 1227| 评论数: 1|



By Heda Bayron

Bangkok

12 January 2009

With the global economic slowdown increasingly felt in Asia, the region's governments have taken steps to shield their economies from the worst. But will these measures work?

Asian governments are spending like never before. Japan's government says it will provide some $700 billion in tax cuts, liquidity injections into cash-strapped financial institutions and cash handouts to citizens. China says it will use most of its $600 billion stimulus package to build roads and bridges and improve social services. Here in Thailand, the government promised aid to farmers and continued programs to aid the poor such as free electricity, water and bus rides.

All these measures are aimed at one thing: reviving economic activity to counter rapidly falling export revenues.

Jeffrey Sachs is an economist at Columbia University in New York, specializing in development issues. He spoke at the Asian Development Bank in Manila earlier this month.

"It seems to me that the most likely way out of this, including for Asia to overcome the crisis, has to rely heavily on public spending. Government purchases of both consumption goods and provision of government services in health and education, in housing and public investment mainly infrastructure investment," he said."The happy thing about Asia is that Asia needs all of that desperately."

Some recent measures are meant to illicit a rapid turnaround. For example, tax cuts and cash handouts like those proposed in Japan and South Korea are meant to boost incomes and encourage consumer spending. Other measures like infrastructure spending proposed by China and Indonesia could take many years to show results.

In Japan, while economists agree with short-term moves like pumping liquidity into the banking system to restart lending, some criticize Prime Minister Taro Aso's plan to give cash to consumers as a waste of public funds. They say Japan's long recession in the 1990's showed such handouts to be ineffective in stimulating demand.

"In reality, the effect of this policy is really, really minimal," said Hideaki Hirata, an economics professor at Hosei University in Tokyo."The amount is just 120 bucks [US dollars]. This amount would not be sufficient to stimulate the economy."

Hirata says the economy would be better off if the government invests in education, especially for poorer Japanese.

Joseph Zvglich is the assistant chief economist at the Asian Development Bank, which lends to governments in the region.

"The question is, are you getting it into the hands of the people that are going to spend it?" asked Zvglich."Because if it goes into savings, it won't have an impact. If you are getting it into the hands of somebody who is credit constrained, they are going to likely to spend it. By targeting the poorer segments of the population in particular, it would have a bigger impact."

But a short-term boost to the economy could be the goal for some governments, especially those faced with immediate political challenges.

Hirata, at Hosei University, says Japanese politicians are positioning for elections that could come as early as April.

"They [Japanese politicians] are really thinking about very short-term issues," said Hirata."That is the election. Long term does not yield any short-term fruit so they do not have much interest in those long-term economic policy [policies]."

In Thailand, Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, who took office last month after a court ruled the previous government had violated election laws, has stuck to populist measures to shore up his legitimacy in the politically divided nation.

Zvglich says governments have to carefully balance short-term stimulus and long-term gains.

"Having funds to those who will spend it will have a rapid effect. But that's not going to have any pay back later on," he said."After the crisis is gone, paying back the debt that is generated will be an issue. Having infrastructure projects which will provide for future growth is important. But we do have to keep in mind any infrastructure investment is going to only happen with a lag. Unless there are plans that can be scaled up very quickly, infrastructure spending is not going to give an immediate boost."

One question about these plans is how will Asian countries pay for all this spending? China and Japan have enormous foreign currency reserves, but poorer nations in the region will have to borrow. The Philippines last week borrowed one and a half billion dollars from international investors to cover its stimulus spending.

Sachs argues for greater regional cooperation. He called on Japan - with its strong currency - to provide long-term assistance to other Asian nations. He says this would help both Japan and the rest of the region.

"Since Japan is very reluctant to expand its own government investments, maybe understandably, it could expand other countries' government investment by providing long term yen-backed financing ...to increase the levels of government spending on these critical long term sustainable development," Sachs said.

But whether individual stimulus packages work at home, economists say a lot still depends on what happens overseas - particularly in the United States. Many people in Asia are keenly watching President-elect Barack Obama's economic stimulus plan, hoping it succeeds, and ripples across the Pacific.

最新评论

shunitang 发表于 2009-1-13 13:58:00
随着亚洲地区越来越感受到全球经济滑坡所带来的影响,亚洲各国政府采取措施,防止本国经济出现最坏的情况。那么,这些措施是否有效呢?

亚洲各国政府正在以前所未有的形式花钱。日本政府表示,要减税7千亿美元,向资金紧缺的金融机构注资,给民众发放现金。中国说,将把6千亿美元经济刺激计划中的大部分资金用于建设道路桥梁和改善社会服务。泰国政府则保证为农民提供帮助,并继续推动为贫困人口提供免费水电和公共交通的计划。

所有这些措施的目的都是一个,这就是刺激经济活动,抵消出口收入迅速滑落带来的影响。杰弗里.萨克斯是纽约哥伦比亚大学的经济学家,专门研究发展问题。他这个月早些时候在马尼拉亚洲开发银行发表了讲话。

萨克斯说:“依我看,最可能走出目前这种困境、包括亚洲摆脱这个危机的方式就是大量依靠公共开支。政府购买消费品,在医疗、教育、住房等方面提供政府服务,重点在基础设施建设方面增加公共投资。好在亚洲原本就非常需要这些。”

最近一些措施的目的是为了迅速扭转局面。例如,日本和韩国希望通过减税和发放现金来增加民众的收入,鼓励消费。其他一些措施,例如中国和印度尼西亚提出的基础建设开支可能就需要很多年才能看到结果。

在日本,一些经济学家认可通过为银行系统注资来重启借贷等短期措施,同时也有人批评麻生首相给消费者发放现金的计划是浪费公共资金。他们说,日本1990年代的长期衰退已经证明,这种发放现金的作法对刺激需求不起作用。

东京法政大学经济学教授平田英昭就这个问题发表看法说:“实际上,这种政策能产生的效果确实非常小,120美元,这么点钱不可能有效刺激经济。”

平田英昭认为,如果政府把钱投入教育,特别是改善日本贫困人口的教育,经济就可能受益。

约瑟夫.兹维利奇是亚洲开发银行的助理首席经济学家。他说:“问题是,你是不是把钱发给了那些会花掉这些钱的人?因为,如果人们把钱存起来,就不会产生任何影响。如果把钱给了手头紧的人,他们很可能花这些钱。把贫困人口作为对象,影响会更大一些。”

但是,对于一些国家政府来说,特别是对于那些眼前面临着政治挑战的政府来说,刺激经济短期增长正是他们的目标。

日本法政大学的平田英昭说,日本政界人士正在为即将于4月举行的选举做准备。他说:“他们所考虑的只不过是短期的问题,那就是选举。长期计划不能带来短期结果,因此他们对长期的经济政策没有什么兴趣。”

泰国总理阿披实是上个月泰国法庭裁定前政府违反了选举法以后就职的。在目前政治上处于分裂状态的泰国,他所采取的是一些讨公众喜欢的措施,以便提高个人声望。

亚洲开发银行的兹维利奇说,各国政府在平衡短期刺激和长期发展方面必须小心谨慎:“把钱交给那些急于花钱的人会收到立竿见影的效果,但是不会带来长远的好处。危机一旦过去,如何偿还由此带来的债务将成为问题。为未来的增长提供支持的基础设施建设是非常重要的。但是我们必须记住,基础设施投资要产生效应是需要一定时间的。除非能够在短期内扩大这些计划,否则基本设施投资不会立即产生刺激经济的效果。”

有关这些计划的一个问题是,亚洲国家政府如何偿付这些支出?中国和日本拥有雄厚的外汇储备,但是穷国的政府将不得不举债。菲律宾政府上个星期从国际投资机构借债15亿美元,用来资助经济刺激支出。

哥伦比亚大学的萨克斯教授提倡更多的地区合作。他呼吁日圆坚挺的日本向其他亚洲国家提供长期援助。他说,这对日本和亚太地区的其他国家都有帮助:“日本不太情愿扩大政府在国内的投资,这或许是可以理解的。既然这样,日本可以通过提供以日圆为后盾的长期财政援助来扩大其他国家政府的投资,以便增加对于长期和可持续发展来说至关重要的这些领域里的政府投资。”

但是经济学家们认为,各国经济刺激计划能否奏效在很大程度上将取决于海外,尤其是美国的经济状况。亚洲很多人正在以极大的兴趣关注着美国当选总统奥巴马的经济刺激计划。他们希望这个计划获得成功,从而对整个亚太地区带来涟漪效应。
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