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农村和小城镇,中国的下一个经济增长点?

更新时间:2017-12-4 19:06:03 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

China’s Next Potential Boom Spot: The Places People Overlook
农村和小城镇,中国的下一个经济增长点?

LIANGDUO, China — One crisp October morning, Han Youjun got into his silver delivery van and left this small town in eastern China. Within minutes, his van brimming with boxes of every size and shape, he was rumbling through rice paddies, down narrow village lanes and past modest farmhouses, deeper and deeper into China’s vast hinterland.

中国梁垛——十月的一个凉爽的早晨,韩友军开着他的银色货车从中国东部这个小镇出发了。没过几分钟,他开的装满大大小小的各种形状纸盒子的货车就隆隆地行驶在稻田之间,穿过狭窄的乡间小路,经过不起眼的农舍,越来越深地进入到中国广阔的腹地。

In the past, delivery drivers like Mr. Han would have had little reason to travel so far. China’s boom over the past four decades made its crowded metropolises wealthy. Much of the rest of the country, especially farming communities like those surrounding Liangduo, in the eastern province of Jiangsu, remained relatively poor.

以前,像韩友军这样的送货司机几乎没有什么理由去这么远的地方。过去40年的经济高速增长让中国拥挤的大城市变得富有。中国的其他地区,尤其是像江苏梁垛镇周围这样的农村地区,仍相对贫穷。

But more and more, the benefits of China’s economic miracle are penetrating into smaller cities and countryside hamlets — as Mr. Han, a 32-year-old deliveryman for JD.com, an online retailer, knows all too well. The 70 packages crammed into his van that day were double the amount he usually hauled only 18 months earlier.

但中国经济奇迹的好处正在越来越多地渗透到中小城镇和农村地区,对此,为网上零售商京东(JD.com)送货的32岁的韩友军知道得再清楚不过了。那天,他的面包车里塞满了多达70个包裹,这是仅仅18个月前他通常送货量的两倍。

“The workdays have been getting longer,” he said.

“工作时间越来越长了,”他说。

China needs spenders in those places. The government is trying to shift the country’s growth engine away from its traditional dependence on factories and building things. Those old growth sources are no longer dependable and require more and more costly debt.

中国需要这些地方的消费者。中国经济增长的动力传统上主要靠工厂和基建,政府正试图改变这种情况。那些旧的增长动力不再可靠,而且需要越来越多的高代价债务支持。

Thanks to China’s digital revolution, advances in farming and billions of dollars spent on thousands of miles of new highways and railways, Chinese people away from the biggest cities are responding. Many of China’s more remote areas are catching up to rich metropolises and connecting to the broader economy in ways they had not before, with potential long-term benefits for the Chinese economy and the world.

多亏了中国的数字化革命、农业技术进步,以及对新公路和铁路进行的几百亿元投资,远离大城市的中国老百姓能响应政府的号召。中国的许多偏远地区正在赶上富裕的大城市,他们在以前所未有的方式与国内其他地方建立更广泛的经济联系,这对中国经济乃至全世界有潜在的长远利益。

In the prefecture that contains Liangduo, Yancheng, locals’ wallets are fattening more quickly than the national rate, and their household spending — which surged 8 percent per person in 2016 — outpaced the rises in Beijing and Shanghai.

在包括梁垛镇在内的盐城地区,当地人的收入增长比全国平均水平要快,他们的家庭支出增长率也超过了北京和上海,2016年,这里的人均消费增长了8%。

Signs of that new prosperity can be seen at Auto City, a jumble of ramshackle, boxy buildings in Yancheng where Toyota, Ford and just about every other major brand compete for customers. Zhou Zhengguo, owner of a dealership for the Chinese automaker Geely, expects to sell 2,000 cars this year, four times more than just two years ago.

新繁荣的迹象在盐城的汽车城里随处可见:丰田(Toyota)、福特(Ford),以及几乎所有其他主要汽车厂商,都在这里临时搭建的大型展厅里争夺客户。周正国拥有一家中国汽车制造商吉利汽车经销店,他预计今年能卖出2000辆车,这是两年前卖出车辆的四倍。

“Most people who bought cars were private businessmen,” Mr. Zhou said. “Now working-class people buy, too.”

“以前,大多数买车的人都是私营企业的老板,”周正国说。“现在,工薪阶层的人也买得起了。”

Those who live in China’s less developed places could be crucial to the next stage of China’s development.

那些生活在中国欠发达地区的人,对中国下个阶段的发展至关重要。

Robin Xing, an economist at Morgan Stanley, believes consumer spending in places like Yancheng’s urban center will continue to outperform bigger cities. As a result, two-thirds of all additional private consumption growth will come from these less developed areas through 2030.

摩根士丹利(Morgan Stanley)的经济学家邢自强(Robin Xing)认为,像盐城地区市区人口的这种城镇消费支出的增长将继续超过大城市的。因此,到2030年,中国所有的私人消费增长中有三分之二将来自这些欠发达地区。

“We do expect them to catch up, to narrow the income gap with the large cities,” Mr. Xing said.

“我们确实预计欠发达地区将赶上来,缩小它们与大城市的收入差距,”邢自强说。

Businesses are looking at such areas in a new light. New highways and high-speed railways make relocating factories and other operations into smaller cities easier, allowing companies to take advantage of their lower costs. Industrial output in Yancheng expanded more quickly than the national rate last year.

经营者正在以一种新眼光来看待这些地区。新建的高速公路和高速铁路让把工厂和其他业务搬到中小城市去变得更容易,这将让公司从降低成本上得到好处。去年,盐城的工业产值增长速度高于全国平均水平。

The gains are not limited to the hinterland’s main towns. Farms are becoming bigger, more efficient and more lucrative.

这些好处并不只限于纵深地带的主要城镇。农业生产也在变得更大型、有效,而且利润更高。

In Xinling, a nearby village, Luo Jianhai, 37, is typical of a new breed of farmer-entrepreneur. He has steadily expanded the farm where he tills rice and wheat by renting land from his neighbors. He also invested in two new tractors, which he lends out to other farmers who need them to work their own larger plots. Over the past three years his annual income has increased seven times, to $100,000, and his spending has quadrupled, mainly on higher-quality clothing for his three children and a new, $17,000 car from a General Motors joint venture.

附近新岭村37岁的罗建海就是这种新型农民企业家的典型代表。他用租用邻居土地的方法,一直在不断扩大自己种植水稻和小麦的农场。他还投资了两辆新拖拉机,并把这些拖拉机借给其他需要耕作更大农场的农民使用。在过去的三年里,他的年收入增长了7倍,达到相当于10万美元的水平,他的消费增长了4倍,主要是花在为他的三个孩子购买高质量的衣服上,再就是买了一辆通用汽车在华合资企业生产的、售价为1.7万美元的新车。

His improved lifestyle, Mr. Luo said, “is the difference between being poor and having money.”

他说,他改善后的生活方式“是贫穷与富裕的差别”。

Nearby, Cheng Zhiguo, 47, also enlarged his farm this year, increasing his net income to about $23,000 — five times greater than just three years ago. His reward: his first car, a Hyundai, bought in August.

附近,47岁的程志国今年也扩大了自己的农场,并把自己的净收入增加到相当于月2.3万美元的水平,是三年前的5倍。他给自己的奖励是第一辆新车,他在今年8月买了的一辆现代(Hyundai)汽车。

Such change is luring urban entrepreneurs such as Zhou Jian. Mr. Zhou, a 33-year-old resident of Nanjing, a major city in eastern China, figured that large-scale farming would also need more money. In 2013, he founded Nongfenqi E-Commerce Company, which helps arrange loans for farming families from banks and other lenders.

这些变化也在吸引着周建这样的城市企业家。现年33岁的周建家住中国东部主要城市南京,他的想法是,大规模的农业耕作需要更多的投资。2013年,他创立了南京农纷期电子商务有限公司,帮助农户从银行和其他贷款机构得到贷款。

Nongfenqi has since arranged about $150 million in loans, opened more than 100 offices spread around rural China and hired 800 employees. “The upgrading of the market allows businesses like us to serve these big farmers,” Mr. Zhou said.

农分期已放贷10亿元人民币(约合1.5亿美元),在中国农村设有100多个办事处,公司雇佣了800名员工。“市场的升级让我们这样的企业可以为大的农场主服务,”周建说。

Such opportunity has attracted JD.com. Over the past three years, JD.com has more than doubled its army of deliverymen, many aimed at reaching into rural towns and villages.

京东也被这种机会吸引了。在过去的三年里,京东的送货员人数增加了一倍多,其中许多人都在为乡村城镇和农村货送。

“Building a rural logistics network is one of our most important strategies,” said Wang Hui, JD.com’s head of delivery services. “With consumption developing in rural areas, we hope we can catch this opportunity to expand our business.”

“构建农村物流网是我们最重要的战略之一,”京东配送部主管王辉说。“随着农村地区消费的发展,我们希望能抓住这个机会来扩大我们的业务。”

That chilly morning in Liangduo, where the delivery station opened last year, a giant JD.com truck squeezed down a cluttered central street to disgorge hundreds of packages, which were sorted and carried to customers by nine full-time delivery personnel. The station is intended to help introduce residents to how e-commerce works. Next door, a merchant transformed his appliance shop into a JD.com outlet, where farmers, often unfamiliar with e-commerce, can test products available online and place orders.

在梁垛那个寒冷的早晨,一辆巨大的京东卡车勉勉强强地从拥挤的主要大街上开到了去年在镇里开设的分检站,把数百件包裹卸下来,这些包裹由将9名全职送货员分拣后运送到顾客手里。分拣站的目的之一是帮助居民了解电子商务的运作方式。隔壁的商人已把自己的电器店变成了一家京东分店,让不太熟悉电子商务的农民能在店里试用产品,然后下订单。

It’s an “online-to-offline” experiment to educate these new consumers in online shopping. The delivery station “is not just a logistics center,” said the JD.com manager in Liangduo, Ye Huanglong. “Anyone can come in and ask questions.”

这是一个“线上线下结合”的实验,为的是让这些新消费者学会网上购物。分拣站“不仅是一个物流中心,”梁垛的京东经理叶黄龙(音)说。“什么人都可以来这里问问题。”

Not all rural regions are advancing as quickly as Liangduo. Hu Binchuan, deputy researcher at the Rural Development Institute of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing, fears companies may discover, at least for now, that their profits from countryside customers do not match their efforts to chase them.

并非所有的农村地区都有梁垛这样的快速发展。中国社会科学院农村发展研究所的副研究员胡冰川担心,企业可能会发现,他们从农村客户那里获得的利润与追求这些利润所做出的努力不相配,至少目前是这样。

“Most rural areas are not that successful yet,” he said. “E-commerce platforms won’t be able to copy their success in cities to rural regions.”

“大多数农村地区还没有这样成功,”他说。“电子商务平台无法在农村地区复制他们在城市里的成功。”

The future, though, holds promise. One of Mr. Han’s first stops is at the home of Han Aifeng, a farmer. She ordered cartons of milk, which, she said, make for a convenient refreshment when tending her fish-farming ponds. The milk is among China’s most expensive brands, but Ms. Han, 64, can now afford it. Her husband works at a furniture factory, while she has increased the family income by raising crayfish and selling them in the local marketplace.

不过,未来充满了希望。韩友军送货的头几站之一是农民韩爱凤家。她网购了几箱牛奶,她说,她在养鱼塘忙碌时,这些牛奶是方便的饮料。虽然她买的牛奶是中国最贵的品牌之一,但64岁的韩爱凤现在花得起这笔钱。她的丈夫在一家家具工厂工作,她靠在当地市场上出售自己饲养的小龙虾增加了家庭的收入。

In all, the household’s annual income doubled in the past two years, to about $30,000, and Ms. Han’s spending on food and other goods has increased as well, much of it ordered online, using her smartphone. Discarded delivery boxes for pomelo, rice wine and yogurt are stacked on top of old rice hulls in a corner of her home’s courtyard.

总的来说,韩爱凤家的收入在过去两年里翻了一番,达到相当于3万美元的水平,韩爱凤花在食品和其他商品上的钱也多了起来,许多东西是她用智能手机在网上购买的。在她家院子的一角,网购柚子、米酒和酸奶的包装盒堆放在以前的稻壳上。

“I used to have to ride an electric bike to the market when I needed to go shopping,” Ms. Han said. “Now people bring everything to my door.”

“我以前需要买东西时,要骑着电动车去商店,”韩爱凤说。“现在有人把所有的东西送到我的家门口来。”

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