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香港需要在中国经济转型与对外投资发展中找到新空间

 

国际金融危机后,全球经济正在经历一个较长时期的再平衡过程,国际直接投资和资本流动出现新的趋势,中国通过加快企业对外投资,促进经济转型势在必然。香港需要利用自身的独特优势,在内地新一轮改革和经济转型中找准定位,为内地企业对外投资提供强大的金融支持和专业服务,着力打造企业对外投资的融资、服务、营运和风险管理中心,进一步巩固提升国际金融中心地位。上个世纪八十年代以来香港及时抓住了国际资本进入中国市场的机会,成功实现经济转型并一跃成为有国际影响力的金融中心,与此形成对照的是,当前中国经济的转型、中国企业对外投资的发展也给香港提供了一个新的发展空间。

一、在国际经济金融结构的重整的大背景下,中国加快经济转型和对外投资,为香港与内地经济金融合作拓展了新的空间

2007年以来的国际金融危机,打破了原有的国际经济金融结构和格局,全球经济和各国国际收支面临再平衡的过程,不同经济体的经济增长模式、外贸市场结构和国际资本流动都面临较大的变化。具体来说,美国居民、企业和金融三大部门的资产负债表得到初步修复,经济出现弱势复苏,美元开始走强。而欧洲债务危机虽然得到暂时缓解,但普遍面临银行全面去杠杆、政府财政紧缩、以及严重的失业等约束,实体经济复苏难度较大。新兴经济体的外贸市场均出现不同程度的萎缩,同时也面临防范资产泡沫和扩大内需、促进经济转型的压力,中长期经济增长趋于放缓。

在国际投资和资本流动领域,受金融危机影响,跨国公司大规模削减投资和资本支出,导致全球外国直接投资明显收缩,据联合国贸发会议报告,2011年全球外国直接投资流量为1.5万亿美元,比2007年的峰值低约23%。据估计,目前全球跨国公司现金存量超过5万亿美元,发达国家企业的投资意愿仍未恢复。另一方面,全球资本流向也出现新的变化。2011年流入发达国家的直接外资增长了21%,达到7480亿美元,占全球的50%左右,而流入发展中国家的直接外资仅增长11%

对于中国来说,在欧美市场萎缩、全球总需求脆弱的环境中,经济政策的重点正转向经济转型。如果说中国在八十年代的改革开放,主要是利用了全球产业转移带来的巨大机会的话,那么,在当前国际经济金融结构再平衡的环境中,中国的机会则来自于多个方面:

首先,是利用相对充裕的储蓄进行全球资源的布局,为中国正在进行的工业化信息化城镇化和农业现代化奠定资源基础;

其次,有许多产业虽然站在中国国内的角度可能是过剩的,但是从全球范围内来考察则未必过剩,需要站在全球化的角度,把国内一些过剩的产能,例如钢铁、水泥、家电等转移到非洲等发展潜力大的地区;

第三,在金融危机时期,部分欧美企业陷入困境,这些企业所拥有的技术、品牌可能对中国相关产业的转型升级是十分有价值的,通过收购兼并等方式积极引入一些有价值的技术创新,对推动当前中国经济的转型无疑有着积极的推动作用。

因此,中国“十二五”规划和“十八大”报告进一步提出“加快走出去步伐,增强企业国际化经营能力,培育一批世界水平的跨国公司”,标志着加快对外投资成为中国实施经济转型、加快对外开放的一项重大战略。2012年,中国对外非金融类直接投资已达772.2亿美元,但相较于中国当前的经济总量,在全球外国直接投资中的比例仍然很低,有着巨大的增长潜力。

随着中国对外直接投资规模的增长,企业对投融资、资产配置、资金管理、风险管理等方面的金融服务需求也迅速增加。619日,国务院常务会议部署的金融支持经济结构调整和转型升级的8项措施中,就强调金融行业要支持企业“走出去”,提出创新外汇储备运用,拓展外汇储备委托贷款平台和商业银行转贷款渠道,大力发展出口信用保险,以及推进个人对外直接投资试点工作等思路。香港可以在这些思路的具体实施中发挥自身的优势,例如外汇储备的市场化运用、出口信用保险业务的拓展以及个人对外投资试点的配套落实等。

但是目前国内的金融市场开放程度不高,金融机构服务企业对外投资的能力有待提高,在企业“走出去”的过程中也暴露出一些风险和问题,比如缺乏国际市场运作经验和专业化人才、融资渠道狭窄、资金风险管理能力差、企业难以融入当地市场等等。对于国际化、高效率、专业化的香港金融业和服务业来说,积极配合中国经济转型,服务中国企业对外投资,无疑是一次新的发展和转型机遇,也是巩固和提升香港国际金融中心地位的重要发展空间。

二、香港可以重点发展成为内地企业对外投资的融资中心、专业服务中心、全球营运和风险管理中心以及技术创新向内地转移的重要平台

2011年,李克强总理访港时要求内地企业与香港企业联合 “走出去”,显示出决策层对香港在内地企业“走出去”方面发挥重要作用的期待。具体到金融和专业服务业,香港要在现有优势的基础上,逐步发展成为内地企业对外投资的融资中心、服务中心、以及全球营运和风险管理中心,借此进一步打造助推内地企业“走出去”的重要平台,这对于探索合作新空间、业务发展的新增长点有着重要意义。

一是继续发挥香港资金充裕和国际融资平台的优势,打造中国企业对外投资的融资中心。目前,内地企业对外投资所需的融资,主要来自于国内的金融机构及其海外分支。据中国银监会数据,截至2012年底,16家中资银行业金融机构在海外设立1050家分支机构,覆盖49个中国和地区。与内地企业遍布世界各地的对外投资相比,中资金融机构无论在海外分支机构的数量还是资产规模方面,都难以满足迅速成长的内地企业对外投资的融资需求。同时,内地金融体制改革是一个渐进的过程,企业对外投资还面临着外汇管制、项目审批等诸多限制。香港资金流动自由,筹资方式灵活,集聚了世界各国的大型金融机构,它们的分支机构遍布全球,可以在内地企业对外投资中提供全面的买方信贷、项目融资、杠杆收购、资金结算等多种金融服务,这正好满足了内地企业对外投资过程中的多元化融资需求,是香港金融机构业务发展的新增长点。

二是继续做大做强离岸人民币业务,丰富香港人民币投资产品,为内地企业对外投资提供人民币融资服务,并相应推进人民币国际化的进程。国际金融结构的重构,为中港两地的金融业发展及人民币国际化提供了难得的时间窗口。在有关政策和市场需求的推动下,香港的人民币业务快速发展,已初具离岸人民币业务中心雏形。但是,明显的不足和制约是缺乏丰富的人民币金融产品。在国际国内形势正在发生深刻变化的背景下,香港以加大对外人民币融资为手段,助力内地企业“走出去”,不仅可以为内地企业提供人民币融资服务,降低企业的汇率风险,满足企业的多元融资需求,更为重要的是,可以丰富香港人民币市场的金融产品,拓展人民币市场的深度和广度,与内地有序推进人民币资本项目可兑换和资本市场开放形成积极互动。

三是利用香港的营商网络和专业服务优势,协助内地企业做好对外投资咨询服务,打造内地企业对外投资的专业服务、国际营运和风险管理中心。当前,内地企业对外投资尚处于初级阶段,管理全球布局中的经营风险和金融风险的能力还有待提升。以海外并购为例,目前内地企业海外并购的占比仍然不高,成功率依然较低,这很大程度上是受制于内地金融市场仍然欠缺发达的国际投资咨询服务和并购融资服务。香港专业咨询服务企业可以利用自身国际化的优势,为内地企业对外投资提供法律、财务、税务、咨询、营销等全面的中介服务,将内地企业强大的制造能力、雄厚的资本实力与香港的专业服务优势相结合,引导内地企业在香港设立国际运营和风险管理中心,帮助企业提高国际经营能力

第四,香港可以打造成为将国际市场上适用于中国市场的技术创新,转移到内地市场、并促进内地企业转型升级的重要平台。这一方面需要有活跃的投资机构以香港为平台在国际市场投资和购买适用于中国经济转型的一些创新性技术,另一方面又能够将这些技术对接到内地的企业运营中,促进内地企业的转型升级,在这个过程中,需要大量的投融资、技术转移等方面的专业服务,目前正显示出巨大的需求空间。

  

巴曙松 博士

国务院发展研究中心金融研究所副所长、博士生导师

中国银行业协会首席经济学家

香港经济发展委员会委员

 

 

 

Hong Kong Needs Finding New Opportunities during the Development of China’s Economic Transition and Foreign Investment

 

 

Dr. Ba Shusong

Deputy Director-General, Researcher of Financial Research Institute, Development Research Center of the State Council

 

Chief Economist of China Banking Association

Member of Economic D Development C Commission of Hong Kong

 

After the international financial crisis, global economies are undergoing a rebalance process, and new trends are emerging foreign indirect investment and capital flow. Economic transition driven by foreign investment’s speeding up is inevitable. With its peculiar advantages and accurate orientation in the new reform and economic transition of mainland, Hong Kong could provide much powerful financial support and professional service for mainland enterprises’ overseas investment, and becomes a center for financing, service, operation as well as risk-management, which consolidating and elevating Hong Kong’s position as the international financial center. Since 1980s, Hong Kong seized the opportunity of international capital flowing into mainland timely, and developed to be a financial centre with international influence, by similar dynamic, currently the economic transition and foreign investment provide Hong Kong new developing opportunities.

1, China’s economic transition and foreign investment provide new projects for economic and financial cooperation between Hong Kong and mainland, under the restructuring background of world finance and global economy

Global economy and balance of payment are rebalancing after the international financial crisis erupted in 2007, which broke the original international economic structure as well as the financial pattern and economic growth model, foreign trade market structure and international capital flow of different economies are facing considerable changes. Specifically, balance sheet of US three main departments such as U.S. residents, enterprise and finance are restoring; Economy is on the way to a moderate recovery; US dollar becomes stronger. European debt crisis is temporarily relieved. However, difficulties of real economy’s recovery increase in the setting of banks’ deleverage, fiscal restraint, together with high unemployment rate. Foreign trade market of emerging economies are shrinking in different speeds, meanwhile the economies are also under pressure of preventing capital bubble and enlarging of domestic demand as well as accelerating economic transition, which tackle economic development in medium and long- term.

In the field of global investment and capital flow, multinational corporations begin to cut off investment and capital expenditure influenced by the financial crisis. According to United Nations Conference report, foreign direct investment flows in 2011 is 1.5 trillion dollars, less than its highest amount in 2007 by 23%. It’s estimated that on one hand there is over 5 trillion dollars cash position among global transnational companies; obviously companies from developed countries are still reluctant to invest. On the other hand, capital flows in the world shows a new trend. Foreign capital flowing into developed countries increased by 21%, comparing with 11% into developing countries, to 748 billion dollars in 2011, accounting for 50% of the global total amount.  

Transition becomes the main content of economic policies in China, setting in Euro-America markets’ shrinking and total demand in the world being fragile. If we attribute the success of Reform and Opening up begun in 1980s to seizing the opportunity of global industrial transition, under the background of economic and financial structures’ rebalancing, new developing opportunities of China are:

First, distributing investment on the global resource by taking advantage of China's comparative abundant foreign exchange reserves could provide resource base for China’s industrialization, informatization, urbanization and agriculture modernization.

Second, it seems many industries are in overcapacity in China; however in a global view, they may be not. So, China should transfer industries like steel, concrete, and household appliance to the areas with huge potential demand like Africa from the point of global view.

Third, the financial crisis caused many European and American enterprises into trouble, whose technologies and brand values could make enormous contribution to China’s industrial restructuring and upgrading. Technology innovations brought by merging and acquiring these companies will positively promote China’s economic transition eminently.  

So, the issue of Twelfth Five-Year Plan” and 18th Party Congress Report, which proposed “Chinese companies should expand overseas presence at a faster pace, enhance their operation in an international environment, and develop a number of world-class multinational corporations”, indicates speeding up of foreign investing becomes an important strategy of China’s implementation of economic transition and opening up. Foreign non-financial invest flows reached 77.22 billion dollars in 2012. However, comparing with China’s economic aggregate, foreign investment flows is still eminently small, which indicates a tremendous growth potential.

Along with the growth of foreign direct investment flows, demand for financing, asset allocation, fund management and risk management are increasing rapidly. The point that financial industry should supporting companies’ “expand oversea presence” was emphasized in the eight measures on providing financial support for economic structure adjustment, transition and upgrading, which were proposed at executive meeting of the State Council  in 19th,June. Specifically, China should innovatively use foreign exchange reserves; widen co-financing platforms and vary on-lending channels; develop export and credit insurance business; encourage the pilot work of personal foreign direct investment. Hong Kong could make use of its peculiar advantages t during the specific implementation of these policies, such as improving the market-oriented use of foreign exchange reserves, developing export and credit insurance business and supporting the implementation of the pilot work of personal foreign direct investment.

While the degree of financial market’s opening up is not high; abilities of financial institution serving real economy need improving. In addition, during the process of companies “expand oversea presence”, some risks and problems are also revealed such as lack of international market-operation experience and professionals, insufficient financing channels, low risk-management ability, difficult to integrate into local market for enterprises. Great developing as well as transition opportunities are coming up for Hong Kong which has international, efficient, and professional financial industry and services sector. Supporting mainland’s economic transition and enterprises’ foreign investment could also consolidate and improve Hong Kong’s international financial centre position.

2Hong Kong could emphasis on developing itself to be a financing center for foreign direct investment of mainland enterprises, a professional service center, as well as a global operating and risk-management center, and an important platform for technology innovations transferring to mainland. 

Premier Li Keqiang called on mainland and Hong Kong enterprises should “expand oversea presence” jointly in 2011, which shows policy makers’ great expectation on the role of Hong Kong in helping mainland enterprises “expand oversea presence”. Based on the existing advantages, Hong Kong could develop to be a financing, service, global operating and risk-management center for foreign direct investment of mainland enterprises. Moreover, an important platform for technology innovations transferring to mainland should also be formed, which means many for these enterprises to exploring new space for cooperation and new growth business development.

First, taking consistent advantage of its abundant capital and the position as the international financial center, Hong Kong could be a financing center for the foreign investment of mainland enterprises. Nowadays, financing demand of investing overseas from mainland enterprises is mainly met by domestic financial institutions as well as their oversea branches. According to CBRC statistics, there are 16 Chinese banks with their 1050 oversea branches, distributed in 49 countries. Comparing with enormous foreign investment of mainland enterprises, oversea branches of Chinese financial institutions are still insufficient in terms of quantity and scale which couldn’t satisfy these enterprises’ sharply increasing financing demand. Meanwhile revolution of mainland’s financial system is still in a gradual process; enterprises’ foreign investment is still facing foreign exchange controls, project approval, and many other restrictions. Differently, in Hong Kong, capital flows are unrestricted; financing channels are various. Moreover, there are many gigantic international financial institutions which could provide all-around buyer credit, project financing, leverage buyout, funds settlement etc., which could satisfy mainland enterprises’ diversified financing demand well.

Second, continuing to develop offshore RMB business, amplifying RMB financial products of Hong Kong, providing RMB financing service for mainland enterprises in foreign investing, and promoting the process of internationalization of RMB. The reconstitution of international financial structure offers a precious time buffer for financial industry’s development and the internationalization of RMB in both mainland and Hong Kong. Driven by some policies and market demand, RMB business develops rapidly in Hong Kong, and the RMB offshore business center is preliminarily formed. However RMB products are still insufficient, which have tackled the center’s developing. Under the background of international and global situation being facing profound changes, Hong Kong could make great contribution to the “expand oversea presence” of mainland enterprises by providing foreign investment RMB financing service. In addition, it could also satisfy their various financing demand. Moreover, it could also enrich financial products in HK’s RMB market; broaden the depth and breadth of RMB market, and together with mainland, continue to realize the convertibility of RMB capital account, as well as push on the opening of capital market.

Third, taking advantage of Hong Kong’s business network and professional service, assisting mainland enterprises in doing investment advisory service, Hong Kong could build up the functional centers of professional service, international operation and risk management for the mainland enterprises’ foreign investment. Foreign investment of mainland enterprises is still in primary stage currently, and operating risk together with financial risk management ability needs improving. Taking oversea merger and acquisition for example, currently the proportion of mainland enterprises overseas mergers and acquisitions is still not high and the success rate still remains low which is because of mainland’s shortage of international investment advisory as well as merger and acquisition service. HK’s advisory corporations could provide law, finance, consultancy, selling service for mainland enterprises with their international background. Combined their own great manufactory ability, strong capital power with HK’s professional service, mainland enterprises could establish international operating and risk management center in Hong Kong, to promote their international operating ability.

Fourth, Hong Kong could develop to be an important platform transferring technology innovations compatible to Chinese market to mainland, to speed up mainland enterprises’ transition and upgrading. On one hand, active investors could invest and buy innovative technologies, suitable for China’s economic transition in Hong Kong; on the other hand, these technologies’ introducing could accelerate mainland enterprises’ transition and upgrading. During these interactive processes, plenty of services like financing, technology transferring is needed, which are already in great demand.      

 

 



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