https://www.economist.com/international/2021/04/15/india-has-proved-to-be-a-popular-and-clever-investor-in-poor-countries

India Inc
印度企业界

India has proved to be a popular—and clever—investor in poor countries

在贫穷国家,印度已成为受欢迎的精明投资者

IN CENTRAL Lusaka a brand-new flyover flutters with the green, white and saffron of the Indian flag. Throughout the Zambian capital lorries produced by Tata Motors, part of the steel-to-tech Tata empire, are used for everything from construction to rubbish collection. Signs inside the vehicles instruct drivers in both English and Hindi. The lorries’ occupants phone each other over a mobile network run by Bharti Airtel, an Indian telecoms firm.

在赞比亚首都卢萨卡(Lusaka)的中部,一座新建的天桥上飘动着绿、白、橙这三种印度国旗包含的颜色。在这座城市里,从建筑工地到垃圾收集,几乎处处都在用塔塔汽车公司(Tata Motors,其所属的塔塔帝国的业务涵盖从钢铁到科技的众多部门)生产的卡车。卡车内的驾驶员指示以英语和印地语两种语言写成。车内人员通过印度的巴帝电信(Bharti Airtel)运营的移动网络相互通话。

Many Zambians, like people in many other developing countries, complain loudly and often about the Chinese firms that are big local investors. India is also a big commercial presence but no one bats an eyelid. Tata Motors has huge assembly plants in many countries, including South Africa and Malaysia. Bharti Airtel is one of the biggest telecoms operators in Africa. The Aditya Birla Group is the world’s largest producer of carbon black, an ingredient in car tyres. It is one of Egypt’s biggest industrial investors and exporters.

和其他很多发展中国家的人一样,许多赞比亚人也常常大声抱怨在当地大举投资的中国公司。印度在这里的商业投资也很多,倒没什么人有意见。塔塔汽车在包括南非和马来西亚在内的许多国家都设有大型装配厂。巴帝电信是非洲最大的电信运营商之一。埃迪亚贝拉集团(Aditya Birla Group)是全球最大的炭黑生产商,炭黑是生产汽车轮胎的一种材料。该集团是埃及最大的工业投资者和出口商之一。

Even in sectors governments deem strategic, such as infrastructure and communications, Indian foreign direct investment (FDI) is not viewed as geopolitical scheming or hegemonic ambition. “That’s one of the selling points for India,” says Gareth Price of Chatham House, a British think-tank. “With the obvious exceptions of Pakistan and China, everyone is kind of all right with India.”

即使在基础设施和通信等政府认为具有战略意义的领域,印度的外商直接投资(foreign direct investment,以下简称 FDI)也不被认为存在地缘政治图谋或霸权野心。「这是印度的卖点之一,」英国智库查塔姆研究所(Chatham House)的加雷斯・普莱斯(Gareth Price)说,「除了巴基斯坦和中国这两个明显的例外,似乎人人都不反对印度的投资。」

India was once compared to China as an emerging-market power with capital to splurge. The spectacular rise in Chinese investment over the past decade or so has scotched that analogy. Now poor countries are trying to finance their recovery from covid-19 without deepening their debt or their dependence on China. India’s forays are tiny in comparison—around 7% of China’s total stock of FDI in developing economies (not counting investment in Hong Kong, which is sometimes included). But its approach has lessons for foreign investors trying to go about their business without setting off alarm bells.

人们曾把印度与中国相提并论,视之为有大把资本可挥洒的新兴市场大国。过去十来年里中国海外投资的惊人增长让两国失去了可比性。现在,贫穷国家正努力为疫情后的复苏筹措资金,但不想加重债务负担或增加对中国的依赖。印度的进军相对而言规模微小——约为中国在发展中经济体 FDI 存量的 7% 左右(不包括在香港地区的投资,有些统计会将此计算在内)。但是,在如何能推进投资而不触发警铃这一点上,印度的做法为外国投资者提供了经验。

Firms from emerging markets have long invested in other emerging markets. Their experience at home of delays, chaos and financing constraints provide useful preparation. India helped organise the Bandung conference in 1955, which discussed “South-South” co-operation.

来自新兴市场的公司对其他新兴市场的投资由来已久。它们在本国市场遭遇过的拖延、混乱和融资限制为它们做了很好的准备。印度在 1955 年协助组织了探讨「南南」合作的万隆会议。

Indian investments in the rich world are more likely to grab headlines. Deals such as the Tata Group’s acquisition of Tetley Tea or Jaguar Land Rover involve household names, hundreds of millions of dollars and a smack of reverse imperialism. But India’s stock of outward FDI to the poor world is about the same as its stake in rich countries, and has been growing more steadily over time. In 2019 it reached roughly $46 bn, according to the latest estimates by the UN Conference on Trade and Development, up from around $40 bn in 2010. About $30 bn of that is in Asia and around $13 bn in Africa.

印度在富裕国家的投资更有可能登上头条新闻。塔塔集团收购的公司包括泰特莱茶叶(Tetley Tea)和捷豹路虎(Jaguar Land Rover)等家喻户晓的企业,投资金额以亿美元计,带有那么点「反向帝国主义」的意思。但是,印度对穷国的 FDI 存量与在富国的投资大致相当,并且长期以来增长更为稳定。根据联合国贸发会议的最新估计,2019 年,印度对穷国的 FDI 存量为约 460 亿美元,而 2010 年为约 400 亿美元。其中约 300 亿美元在亚洲,约 130 亿美元在非洲。

Some of the data are sketchy. Multinational companies headquartered in India generally set up local subsidiaries. They route money through tax havens such as Mauritius. And the 18 m-odd overseas Indians (those born in the country or holding Indian citizenship) include entrepreneurs who switch passports and register businesses locally. “It becomes a jigsaw,” says Jai Bhatia of Cambridge University.

部分数据不太完整。总部设在印度的跨国公司一般会设立地方子公司。它们通过毛里求斯等避税天堂转移资金。1800 多万海外印度人(在印度出生或拥有印度国籍的人)当中,有些企业家用别国护照在当地注册公司。「像拼图一样复杂。」剑桥大学的贾伊・巴蒂亚(Jai Bhatia)说。

Even if some pieces of the puzzle are missing, those that remain demonstrate the most obvious reason investment from India is viewed with Less suspicion than that from China: scale. Even as Indian investment has grown steadily, Chinese investment in the poor world has soared: from $83 bn in 2010 to $645 bn in 2019.

即使这个拼图不完整,但从已有的部分看,来自印度的投资之所以引发的疑虑少于中国,有一个最显著的原因——规模。尽管印度的投资稳步增长,但中国对贫困国家的投资却是暴涨,从 2010 年的 830 亿美元激增至 2019 年的 6450 亿美元。

Another reason is that, unlike Chinese investment, little of India’s FDI comes from state-controlled companies, which are often suspected of operating with one eye on geopolitical strategy and foreign-policy goals. ONGC Videsh is one of the few sizeable government-owned Indian businesses operating abroad. It has bought up assets in countries as far apart as Mozambique and Colombia.

另一个原因是,与中国的投资不同,印度的 FDI 很少来自国家控股的公司,而这类公司常被怀疑在投资的同时兼顾地缘政治战略和外交政策目标。ONGC Videsh 是为数不多在海外经营的印度大型国有企业之一,它已在像莫桑比克和哥伦比亚这样天南地北的国家收购了资产。

But its firepower is not in the same league as its Chinese peers. Sinopec, a state-owned oil company, first muscled its way into the Angolan oil industry in the mid-2000 s. It gazumped ONGC to buy a stake in a block from Shell, an oil-and-gas giant. Jonathan Hillman of the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, a think-tank in Washington, points out that India has nothing comparable to China’s Belt-and-Road Initiative, a global infrastructure-building scheme. “The Indian government hasn’t spent as much time presenting grand visions,” he says.

但这家公司的火力和它的中国同行不在一个级别。国有石油公司中石化在 2005 年前后首次强势挤入安哥拉的石油工业。它压过本已签署了初步协议的 ONGC,抢购了石油和天然气巨头壳牌手中一个石油区块的股权。华盛顿智库战略与国际研究中心的乔纳森・希尔曼(Jonathan Hillman)指出,印度没有可与中国的全球基建计划「一带一路」倡议相提并论的东西。「印度政府没花那么多时间来描述宏伟的愿景。」他说。

Most of India’s FDI comes instead from privately held businesses, which undertake projects overseas for purely commercial reasons. They include recently arrived entrepreneurs, (disparagingly dubbed “Rockets” in Kenya for their intention of making fortunes and quickly heading home), multinational investors headquartered in India and diaspora families who have been doing business abroad, especially in Africa, for generations.

印度的 FDI 大部分来自私人企业,在海外投资纯粹是出于商业目的。它们包括近期来到海外的企业家(因为打算赚一票就回国而在肯尼亚被贬称为「火箭党」)、总部设在印度的跨国投资者,以及已经好几代侨居海外(尤其是非洲)做生意的印度裔家庭。

Indian traders began settling around the edges of the Indian Ocean centuries ago. In the 19 th century thousands more were sent to far corners of the British empire, to work on plantations in Mauritius and build railways in Kenya. Many stayed and built their own businesses. Others braved long journeys on dhows to join them in Africa. “We tend to view things ahistorically and through a geopolitical prism, so it is all about China,” says Parag Khanna, an international-relations expert whose father worked for the Tatas in Africa. In a sign of China’s rise on the continent, the railway that drew Indians to Kenya in the 1890 s has been replaced by the Madaraka Express, a Chinese-built line named after the anniversary of Kenyan independence from Britain (madaraka means “ruling power” in Swahili).

几个世纪前,印度商人开始在印度洋沿岸定居。19 世纪,成千上万的人被派往大英帝国的各个遥远角落,在毛里求斯的种植园干活,在肯尼亚修建铁路。许多人留了下来,建立了自己的企业。另外一些人冒险乘坐单桅三角帆船长途跋涉,加入已经在非洲的印度人队伍。「我们倾向于撇开历史,从地缘政治的角度看问题,所以满眼都是中国。」国际关系专家帕拉格・卡纳(Parag Khanna)说,他的父亲曾在非洲为塔塔工作。作为中国势力在非洲大陆崛起的标志,19 世纪 90 年代吸引印度人前往肯尼亚的铁路已被中国修建的马达拉卡快线(Madaraka Express)取代,这条新铁路的名字来自纪念肯尼亚脱离英国的自治日马达拉卡节(马达拉卡在斯瓦希里语中意为「统治权力」)。

The Indian diaspora has sometimes experienced resentment. In the 1970 s, for example, Idi Amin, a despot, expelled Asians from Uganda and seized their property. But by and large, a shared history has bred familiarity. Kenya’s government has gone so far as to recognise Asians as the country’s 44 th official tribe. Vimal Shah, whose grandfather emigrated from India, started the Bidco Africa juice-to-cattlefeed empire with his father and brother about 35 years ago. He knows the best Indian food in Nairobi and volunteers at the Jain community centre, but has a Kenyan passport and sees himself as thoroughly Kenyan. “I’m not a desi [local] from India,” Mr Shah says.

印度侨民有时也会遭遇怨憎。例如,在上世纪 70 年代,独裁者伊迪・阿明(Idi Amin)将亚洲人赶出乌干达,并没收了他们的财产。但总的来说,共同走过的历史建立了亲切感。肯尼亚政府甚至承认亚洲人为该国第 44 个正式部落。祖父是印度移民的维纳姆・沙阿(Vimal Shah)在大约 35 年前与父亲和兄弟一起创立了博达集团(Bidco Africa),这个企业帝国的业务覆盖从果汁到牛饲料的众多领域。他知道内罗毕哪里有最地道的印度美食,还在印度耆那教社区中心当志愿者,但他拿的是肯尼亚护照,并且认为自己完完全全是肯尼亚人。「我不是印度来的移民。」沙阿说。

After independence, industrialists looked beyond India’s borders to free themselves from red tape. One of India Inc’s first foreign ventures was a textile mill built by the Birla Group in Ethiopia in 1959. The conglomerate then expanded across South-East Asia, where economies were opening up. A second, bigger, rush of FDI came in the 1990 s, when India loosened capital controls. Last year Indian businesses set up 4,590 projects abroad, up from 395 in 2000, according to data crunched by Prema-chandra Athukorala of the Australian National University.

印度独立之后,实业家们将目光投向海外以摆脱官僚主义繁文缛节的束缚。印度企业界的第一批外国投资项目中就有埃迪亚贝拉集团于 1959 年在埃塞俄比亚建立的一家纺织厂。随后,这家企业集团将业务拓展到了逐步开放的东南亚经济体。上世纪 90 年代,印度放宽了资本管制,掀起了规模更大的第二波 FDI 热潮。根据澳大利亚国立大学(Australian National University)的普雷玛 - 钱德拉・阿杜克拉拉(Prema-chandra Athukorala)整理的数据,去年印度企业在海外投资了 4590 个项目,2000 年的数字是 395 个。

A third reason Indian investment tends to arouse Less resentment than that from China is that Indian companies have a largely justified reputation for trying harder than the Chinese to hire and buy locally. In 2006 the World Bank surveyed almost 450 businesses in Africa. On average, Chinese firms employed almost a fifth of their workers from China and other East Asian countries, whereas Indian firms brought Less than 10% of their workers from India. The Chinese businesses imported 60% of new machinery from China; their Indian peers bought just 22% from India. That trend continues today, says Harry Broadman, the economist who led the research.

印度投资引起的不满往往少于中国的第三个原因,是印度企业有一个总体来说名副其实的声誉,那就是它们在从当地聘雇和采购方面比中国企业更尽心。2006 年,世界银行调查了非洲近 450 家企业。平均而言,中国企业从中国和其他东亚国家雇用了将近五分之一的员工,而印度企业从印度带去的员工不到 10%。中国企业从中国进口了 60% 的新机械设备,而印度企业仅从印度购买了 22%。这种趋势持续至今,领导这项调研的经济学家哈里・布罗德曼(Harry Broadman)说。

The fact that many Indian companies are still family-run may have something to do with that. Executives worry about both their founders’ reputation and the way their actions reflect on Mother India. Rudrarup Maitra, who looks after Tata Motors’ international commercial-vehicles business, talks about the company’s contributions to development in its overseas markets, including its efforts to get ambulances to Sri Lanka and rubbish trucks to Nigeria. “There is definitely a responsibility we have to brand India,” he says.

这可能和许多印度公司仍是家族企业有一定关系。公司高管会顾及创始人的声誉,以及自身行为对祖国形象的影响。塔塔汽车负责商用车辆国际业务的鲁德拉鲁普・迈特拉(Rudrarup Maitra)谈到公司为其所在海外市场的发展所做的贡献,比如为斯里兰卡提供救护车,给尼日利亚带去垃圾运输车。「我们对印度这个品牌绝对负有责任。」他说。

Some think India does too little to parlay its diaspora into investment. India’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, was a staunch believer in anti-colonial solidarity and refused to use overseas businesses as a tool for foreign policy. Successive governments have followed his lead and offered at best limited support to Indian businesses’ efforts abroad. Diplomats complain that they can do little to help their compatriots beyond courting local governments and rolling out the red carpet for visiting industrialists. Manu Chandaria, who was born in Kenya over 90 years ago to Gujarati parents and is now one of east Africa’s best-known industrialists, laments that the government in New Delhi has not made the most of ethnic Indians abroad, using them as neither “a tool” nor “a resource” 。

有些人认为印度没有很好地利用侨民扩大对外投资。印度第一任总理贾瓦哈拉尔・尼赫鲁坚信要团结起来反对殖民统治,拒绝把海外企业用作外交政策工具。后来的历届政府都继承了他的做法,顶多为印度企业的海外投资提供一些有限的支持。外交官们抱怨说,除了讨好地方政府和隆重欢迎到访的实业家之外,他们帮不上海外同胞什么忙。马努・坎达利亚(Manu Chandaria)90 多年前出生于肯尼亚,父母是印度古吉拉特人,他现在是东非最著名的实业家之一。他对印度政府没有充分利用海外印度裔感到痛惜,认为政府确实没有把他们当「工具」,但也没有把他们用作「资源」。

Flying the flag 国旗飘扬

Gurjit Singh, a former Indian ambassador to Ethiopia, Germany and Indonesia, suggests that India Inc might pack a bigger punch if India’s government increased support to cut the local cost of financing investment overseas. India provided $7 bn in official medium- and long-term export credit in 2019, according to the Export-Import Bank of the United States. That makes it the world’s fourth-largest provider, but is still far behind China’s $33.5 bn.

曾任印度驻埃塞俄比亚、德国和印度尼西亚大使的古吉特・辛格(Gurjit Singh)表示,如果印度政府加大支持力度,削减海外投资融资的本地成本,印度企业可能会有更大的影响力。根据美国进出口银行的数据,印度在 2019 年提供了 70 亿美元的官方中长期出口信贷。这一规模位居全球第四,但仍远远落后于中国的 335 亿美元。

But Indian companies’ independence from their home government also brings an advantage: it contrasts favourably with the perception that Chinese ones will unquestioningly do the Chinese state’s bidding. Bharti Airtel, which has had a large share of Africa’s telecoms market since its 2010 acquisition of Zain Africa, a Kuwaiti telecoms company, has obvious strategic power. Akhil Gupta, a high-up at the company, says Airtel would “without question” do anything an African government asked, including disconnecting its service. But he would certainly not take orders from the Indian government on how to run Airtel’s overseas operations, he says. “That is the beauty of democracy.”

不过,独立于印度政府对印度公司而言也是一项优势,这与人们眼中会无条件唯中国政府马首是瞻的中国公司形成了鲜明的对比。自 2010 年收购科威特电信公司 Zain Africa 以来,巴帝电信在非洲电信市场占据了很大的份额,拥有显而易见的战略力量。公司高管阿克希尔・古普塔(Akhil Gupta)说,巴帝电信「毫无疑问」会满足非洲政府提出的任何要求,包括断网。但在运作公司的海外业务方面,他肯定不会听从印度政府的命令,他说。「这就是民主的魅力。」

Not all businessfolk with Indian roots Excel as ambassadors for the motherland. Mahatma Gandhi, who spent time in South Africa as a shipping lawyer, created a good impression. The Gupta brothers, Less so. The trio, who moved from Uttar Pradesh to South Africa in the 1990 s, were at the centre of the corruption scandal that helped end the presidency of Jacob Zuma in 2018. Elsewhere, Vedanta Resources is locked in a bitter dispute with the Zambian government over its copper mines.

并非所有印度裔商人都是祖国的优秀大使。在南非做过航运律师的圣雄甘地为印度树立了良好的形象。古普塔三兄弟就差远了。这三人于上世纪 90 年代从印度的北方邦(Uttar Pradesh)移居到南非,曾身陷南非政治腐败丑闻的中心,这起丑闻推动了前总统雅各布・祖马在 2018 年下台。而资源公司瓦达塔(Vedanta Resources)就赞比亚的铜矿问题与当地政府陷入了激烈纠纷。

The arms-length relationship between New Delhi, India’s political capital, and Mumbai, its commercial centre, works well in good times. But when India Inc messes up abroad, India looks bad. And when the state’s relationship with another country gets complicated, investors find doing business there harder. “Does flag follow trade or does trade follow flag?” asks Tanvi Madan of the Brookings Institution in Washington. “What you find is that they become intertwined.”

一切顺利的时候,印度的政治中心新德里与商业中心孟买之间所保持的距离收效不错。但当印度公司在国外惹了麻烦,印度也颜面无光。而当印度与另一国的关系变得复杂时,投资者会发现在那个国家生意更难做了。「是国旗跟着买卖走,还是买卖跟着国旗走?」华盛顿布鲁金斯学会(Brookings Institution)的坦维・马丹(Tanvi Madan)问道,「你会发现它们是相互交织的。

Published since September 1843 to take part in “a severe contest between intelligence, which presses forward, and an unworthy, timid ignorance obstructing our progress.”

我们应该学会去理解别人的观点,不仅仅是服从和被告知。

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我们应该学会去理解别人的观点,不仅仅是服从和被告知。

我们应该学会去理解别人的观点,不仅仅是服从和被告知。
我们应该学会去理解别人的观点,不仅仅是服从和被告知。
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