中国新冠病毒疫情放缓:非洲哪些经济体会受到最严重的打击?

 In op-ed, 个人意见, 分析

去年年底首次在中国武汉发现的COVID-19,目前已蔓延到166个国家和地区,感染人数超过20.75万人,死亡人数超过8650人。世界卫生组织已经宣布它为全球流行病。这种疾病不仅对健康有影响。该病毒还不断导致各国境内和跨境旅行受到限制,并造成人员、服务、商品和资金流动大幅减少。中国内地的工厂和企业被无限期关闭,影响了中国与世界其他地区(包括非洲国家)之间的商品生产和贸易。其结果是,全球油价和股市暴跌,并且看不出任何缓和迹象。

covid19之前,IMF预测,到2020年,全球增最快的10经济体中,非洲将占到6个。这种增长是非常必要的,因为非洲也是世界上贫困人口最多的大陆,目前估计有4亿多贫困人口。

然而,COVID-19所带来的经济冲击可能导致贫困人口急剧增加,使非洲大陆更难在2030年前实现本已极其苛刻的联合国可持续发展目标。坊间传闻称,非洲各地都出现了经济衰退——例如,南非、尼日利亚和安哥拉已经受到大宗商品价格下跌的影响,而肯尼亚零售商正在消耗中国制造的库存,而且找不到廉价的替代品。但与非洲以外的国家相比,这些国家受到的打击到底有多大?非洲哪些国家将受到最严重的打击?要回答这些问题,我们必须从基本说起。

理论上讲,在中国已经发生的COVID-19经济冲击中,各国可以感受到两种类型的影响。第一个影响是需求。简单地说,我们都知道很多非洲(和其他)经济体向中国出口商品,供工厂使用或出售给中国消费者。例如,尼日利亚和安哥拉向中国出口石油;南非向中国出口贵金属。但是,随着工厂、餐馆和商店的关闭,由于封锁和其他行动限制,covid19已经减缓了中国对制造业和消费品的需求,因此,从非洲进口到中国的这类商品可能会中断,或者需要降价。这可能反过来导致非洲国家减产和失业。

COVID-19的第二种影响是给侧。简单地解释一下,许多非洲国家(和其他国家)进口中国制造的商品,用于基础设施建设、商店销售等等。COVID-19爆发后,我们看到中国大幅削减其制造业,因此导致中国对非洲国家的出口减少,和(或)以更高的价格出口。这影响了非洲国家的消费者需求,并可能导致肯尼亚出现的商场货架空无一物。

不管怎样,这就是理论。但非洲经济真的处于前面所说的两种经济冲击的“危险地带”吗?他们都那么依赖中国吗?根据我们公司的分析,如下图所示,有好消息也有坏消息。

 

首先来说好消息。没有一个非洲国家同时处两种经济。换句话说,非洲国家要么受到出口和大宗商品价格下降的影响,要么受到项目停滞和物价上升的影响。唯一可能的例外是加纳和马达加斯加,这两个国家都非常靠近这两个危险地带。

此外,非洲国家不太可能受到与其他国家一样大的冲击。例如,像越南和菲律宾这样的亚洲国家,根据国际货币基金组织最初的预测,到2020年,它们的经济增长率将超过6%。这些国家都处于这两种冲击的危险区域,而且在每个区域内的情况都比非洲国家更糟。另一方面,像美国和英国这样的国家非常担心他们的经济脆弱性,并且已经有了缓慢的增长,但是他们并没有陷入任何“危险地带”。所以危险区域可能会比我们建议的分界点大一些。

那坏消息是什么呢?坏消息是20个处于危险区域的国家中,有14个国家是最不发达的。意味着贫穷经济体会出更多的困。

与南非、甚至安哥拉和加纳形成对比的是,赞比亚、南苏丹和毛里塔尼亚等最不发达国家处于需求方面的危险地带,它们没有中国以外的买家,也没有中国以外的可行增长来源。例如,国际货币基金组织预计南苏丹将在2020年成为世界上增长最快的国家,增长8.2%,但主要是因为它向中国出口石油。尽管作为付款方式的基础设施融资担保可能会降低南苏丹的脆弱性,但这里存在巨大风险,尤其是如果中国买家声称遭遇“不可抗力”,并违背这些担保。这些都是最具挑战性的案例。

相反,尽管尼日利、肯尼、南非和加产阶级的崛起而被认为是主要的消国,但它们实际上都不属于供方面的危为什么?因为它们的经济相对多样化。他们从其他国家进口的和从中国进口的一样多,甚至国内也有生产,这给了他们另一种收入和工作来源。相比之下,像多哥、塞拉利昂、利比里亚、马里和马达加斯加这样的小国则没有这些选择。卢旺达是一个特殊的例子,它也处于“危险地带”。它可能不会像其他小经济体那样遭受那么大的损失,因为它2020年8.1%的GDP增长预测主要是建立在国内制造业和投资增长的基础上的——这可能仍然会发生。

那么这些分析意味着什么呢? 肯尼亚和尼日利亚等“危险区域之外”的国家应该停止抱怨吗? 不。他们正在经历的贸易问题是真实存在的,联合国非洲经济委员会(UN Economic Commission for Africa)刚刚发布的分析报告也证实了这一点。然而,作为中等收入国家,一个现实的主张是,它们的政府能够而且应该承担起责任,确定本国最脆弱的企业和人民,并利用一切可用的国内工具来帮助避免贫困的增加。

相比之下,许多处于“危险地带”的低收入非洲国家的极端贫困人口比例很高,例如马达加斯加的贫困率为75%。对于这些国家而言,来自各方面的国际支持——世界银行(World Bank)、非洲开发银行(African Development Bank)等多边组织、七国集团(G7)等高收入国家,以及中国——将是至关重要的。在我们的“危险区域”内的14个最不发达国家可以成为优先考虑的对象。

但国际合作伙伴能做些什么呢?帮助莫桑比克、赞比亚、南苏丹和刚果民主共和国等国的措施可能包括与银行业进行短期合作,帮助大小企业管理价格下跌,避免高利率。对于供应方面受到冲击的国家,如利比里亚、塞拉利昂和其他国家,可以采取的措施包括向中小企业和其他零售部门的企业提供短期贷款,以控制其进口商品的价格上涨和/或从其他地方获得更昂贵的替代品。对于所有14个最不发达国家,将需要扩大医疗和收入的安全网,以避免个人因失业或医疗支出而进一步陷入贫困。最后,从长远来看,正如睿纳新国际咨询公司在其他地方所主张的那样,更多的债务-贷款, 将对帮助这些脆弱的非洲国家使其经济多样化至关重要。例如,需要资金来建设更多的基础设施和产业,以便在当地生产商品(包括医疗产品),以替代进口或产生新的增值出口。这是显而易见的。它将在未来建立弹性机制和避免恐慌。

现在,我们仍然希望非洲作为一个区域,在健康和经济方面能够对covid19有相对的适应能力。但这不是必然的,我们的初步分析表明,如果政府和展伙伴仅仅根据媒体道和一的数据采取行困很可能会加。我们的分析只是基于非洲国家之间的差异及其与中国的关系来更好地理解这些影响的开始。我们正在寻找合作伙伴进行更深入的工作,以探索COVID-19正在向与非洲国家有强大贸易关系的其他地区扩散的动态效应和溢出效应。这是急需的。在不是恐慌的候,而是要提前仔细计划,各国政府慷慨行

本文于3月19日发表于外交学者杂志(The Diplomat),点击文末 “阅读原文”可查看原文链接。

 

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