Journal : Global Times (Chinese) Date : Author : NA Page No. : 15
URL : http://www.jdqu.com/read-807617-15.html

Last week was “Make in India” week. Whether or not “Make in India” will one day replace “Made in China” has become a hot topic of discussion. Based on the discussion it seems majority of the views negative. A considerable amount of people feel ‘make in India’ is a “hopeless pursuit”. But in truth, the talk about replacing “made in China” is not misplaced. Considering the difference in development level, even if India’s manufacturing industry does develop to a certain degree, competition between India and China will be in different industries due to structural dislocation. However, if considered objectively, “make in India” will inevitably become an emerging force in the global markets. The idea behind “make in India” purely relies on the export of large amount of commodities to the other large BRICS markets.

India has a strong competitive advantage for developing manufacturing industry due to a relatively advanced technology, huge domestic market and supply of abundant labour force. Deloitte Global manufacturing Index shows that the competitive strength of India’s manufacturing industry ranks at no. 4 in the world manufacturing competitiveness. By 2018 it is expected to be second only to China. Although this index is controversial, seen from the point of view of changing global industrial division ‘Make in India’ has a lot of space to grow.

In a few low to mid-range industries, ‘Make in India’ has a comparatively strong cost advantage. The share of Indian textile market in America and Europe is beginning to increase. During ‘Make in India’ week, Indian businesses launched a 250 rupee smart phone. Despite the hype, it is troubling for the manufacturing industries in other countries. In Myanmar, Bangladesh and other neighboring countries, India’s cheap smartphone is already beginning to occupy the “market of poor people”. The cost of  producing drugs in India is only 1/10 of what it is in other countries. Although the protection of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) is poor, for now it appears that India has a strong advantage in the industry.

India’s potential competitive strength in the high technology sphere cannot be overlooked either. For example, the technology that India has accumulated in national defense sphere can spill over in the manufacturing industry sphere and act as a competitive advantage. In the post financial crisis era, the trend of intelligent manufacturing has contributed to India having a competitive advantage in its own field of information technology. In the automobile industry, due to the early introduction of international automobile manufacturers, India could use its international exposure to advance intelligent designs. For example, with effective control over car manufacturing costs, Tata motors produced the world’s cheapest car Nano which was priced at only $2000. India’s exploration of Nano material and other new technology spheres also cannot be overlooked. These competitive advantages combined with domestic and international markets will give rise to huge manufacturing capacity at some point in time.

‘Make in India’ has the distinct characteristic of the “late-development advantage”, which mean it can achieve “leapfrog development” by using its base of abundant natural resources aided by the advance international technology. This is particularly true in the industry of new technologies, where in some privately owned companies possess more flexibility in the main part of India’s innovative economic development. In addition, since India is a western  style democracy, developed countries from Europe and America have even more relaxed policies in the export of high tech material to India.

At present, the momentum of international capital investment in India’s manufacturing industry is increasing. Panasonic, Samsung, LG and other companies are establishing factories in India. China’s manufacturing industry has also increased their investment in India, for example, the Foxconn Technology group has begun setting up factories in India. In the next five years, the investment will reach $5 billion. In addition to this, India is also increasingly strengthening  investment promotions within China.

‘Make in India’ is acting as a significant development trend in the global economy. Compared to the “pale” backdrop of the other BRICS countries, India and China will become leaders among the emerging economies. Compared to the software and outsourcing service industry, the development of mid to low range manufacturing industry can absorb population from the agricultural sector. Urbanization in India will grow faster in the background of development of manufacturing industry. Given the huge demand for a large population and the economic scale, the development of manufacturing industry and urbanization will contribute to changing the current feeble structure of global commodity demand.

Since the Indian government lacks the strong economic mobilization, unlike the Chinese government, the success of ‘Make in India’ will ultimately depend upon market forces. Unlike ‘Made in China’, ‘Make in India’ is still weak. In the future, China will definitely be affected by ‘Make in India’ in a few mid to low range and special industries in the global markets. but this is also a type of displacement competition. One aspect to consider is that China’s high end manufacturing industry is growing rapidly and on the other hand, its “made in China” brand has already gained recognition in the international markets. Under the same technological conditions, India can no doubt gain a larger share in international markets by making a greater investment.

The author is a research assistant, World Economy, Shanghai Institute of International Studies

别过于轻视印度制造

过去一周是“印度制造周”,对“印度制造”能否在未来取代“中国制造”的讨论成为热点话题。从讨论结果看,否定声音居多,颇有“印度制造”是“扶不起的阿斗”之感。实际上,“取代”之类的用词并不准确,由于发展水平的差异,即便未来印度制造业发展达到一定层级,其与中国制造的竞争仍然是结构性错位的。但客观来讲,“印度制造”将不可避免地成为全球市场上的一支新兴力量。“印度制造”所产生的影响远比单纯依靠大宗商品出口的其他几个“金砖国家”深远。

 

印度具有诸多发展制造业的竞争优势,比如相对先进的技术、巨大的国内市场和充裕的劳动力供给。德勤全球制造业竞争力指数显示,印度制造业竞争力位居全球第四,预计2018年将仅次于中国,位居全球第二。尽管这一指数尚存争议,但从全球产业分工变迁角度看,“印度制造”存在较大的发展空间。

 

在一些中低端领域,“印度制造”具有较强的成本优势。印度纺织品在欧美市场上的份额开始明显上升。“印度制造周”期间印度商家推出只需24元人民币的智能手机,尽管存在炒作之嫌,但对于其他国家的生产制造商而言很有难度。在孟加拉国缅甸等周边国家,印度廉价手机已经开始占据“穷人市场”。印度相关药品的生产成本只有别国的1/10,尽管对保护知识产权不力,但已初步形成印度的竞争优势产业。

 

在高科技领域,印度的潜在竞争力也不容小觑,比如印度在尖端国防领域方面的技术积累均可转化为制造业领域的核心竞争优势。后危机时代,世界智能化生产潮流有助于印度自身在信息技术领域竞争优势的发挥。在汽车行业,由于较早引入了国际汽车制造商,在汲取国际经验的基础上,印度借助先进智能化设计,对汽车成本进行有效控制,比如塔塔公司生产出号称世界价格最低的汽车NANO,售价仅2000美元。印度在纳米材料等高新技术领域的探索也不可小看。这些竞争优势与国内和国际市场结合将在特定时段产生巨大生产能力。

 

“印度制造”具有典型的“后发优势”特征。可以在现有资源优势基础上借鉴国际先进技术,实现“蛙跳式”发展。尤其在一些高新技术领域,私营经济占主体的印度在创新经济发展方面更具灵活性。此外,在高端技术领域,由于印度实行所谓的西方民主政治,欧美日等发达国家对印度在技术输出方面政策更为宽松。

 

目前,国际资本投资印度制造业的势头在增强,松下、三星、LG等企业均在印度投资设厂。中国制造业也加大了对印度的投资力度,中国台湾的富士康开始在印度设工厂,未来5年投资额将达到50亿美元。此外,印度也加大了在华招商引资的力度。

 

“印度制造”作为一个发展趋势具有较强的世界经济意义。在其他金砖国家“失色”的背景下,印度和中国将一道成为新兴经济体中的佼佼者。相比起软件外包服务业,中低端制造业的发展对农业人口的吸纳更强,印度城市化进程将在制造业发展背景下提速。鉴于巨大的人口规模和经济体量,制造业和城市化大发展形成的国际需求将有助于改变当前全球大宗商品需求疲软的格局。

 

由于印度政府缺乏类似中国政府的强大经济动员能力,“印度制造”能否顺利发展将最终取决于市场力量。相对于“中国制造”,“印度制造”仍显弱小。未来在一些中低端领域和特定行业,中国在国际市场上将一定程度上受到“印度制造”冲击,但这种竞争也是一种错位竞争关系。一方面,中国高端制造业在迅速成长;另一方面,“中国制造”在诸多领域已经先于印度获得国际市场认可,在同等技术条件下,印度获得或挤占更多的国际市场份额无疑要付出更大的成本。(作者是上海国际问题研究院世界经济研究所助理研究员)

 

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