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英语新闻:印度:下一个超级大国?

2015-01-29    来源:财富中文网    【      美国外教 在线口语培训
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英语新闻:印度:下一个超级大国?

英语新闻:

A year ago, India’s future looked bleak. Anemic economic growth, inflationary fears, and a lack of credible leadership in New Delhi had fostered uncertainty and pessimism. That changed dramatically when Narendra Modi became Prime Minister on the promise of reforming India’s government and jumpstarting its floundering economy.

On Sunday, President Obama begins a three-day visit to India. As he meets with Modi to cement America’s relations with India, all eyes will be on the world’s largest democracy’s potential and what it could mean for investors worldwide. Most signs point to a bright future and to the possibility that India could well become a superpower.

There are challenges, of course. The reforms that Modi has initiated are still in early stages. Political, cultural, and macroeconomic factors could slow down or derail progress; government corruption could be harder to eradicate than imagined, and oversized economic ambitions could crash against the hard reality of poor infrastructure and widespread poverty. At the same time, rising tension with its nuclear neighbor Pakistan and the growing military might of China could require India to spend heavily on defense, create internal strife between Hindus and Muslims, and distract from other priorities.

But despite all this, the promise of a brighter future for India still holds firm. There are three reasons for this:


The first is economic. Modi’s initiatives aimed at revamping India’s restrictive business regulations and creating a real free market seem to be working. Even though GDP growth in the third quarter of 2014 slowed slightly from the summer to 5.3%, it was still much higher than that of the last several years. India’s $1.9 trillion economy is projected to expand by 6.4%this year, according to the International Monetary Fund, and the country has already outpaced Japan as the world’s third largest economy in terms of purchasing price parity, a measure that adjusts for price differences between economies, according to the World Bank.

In addition, falling oil prices have reduced the risk of inflation and will enable the country to cut its costly fuel subsidies. Every a $10-a-barrel decline could increase GDP by 0.1%, lower inflation by 0.5%, and narrow the current account deficit, Nomura economists led by Sonal Varma wrote in an October report. Further bolstering the economy is the billions of dollars in increased foreign investments, including$33 billion from private and public sources in Japan, aided by the raising of investment caps by the government and a stable interest rate environment.

The second part of Modi’s plan is to improve India’s national infrastructure. This includes a proposed increase in infrastructure spending of $800 billion to reach targeted economic growth of 7% as well asenabling banks to buy infrastructure bonds to spur trading activity in the debt markets. Late last year, Modi also secured a $20 billion infrastructure investment from China. Collectively, these initiatives could enable India to upgrade its overtaxed transport system, bring stable water supply and electricity to more areas, and expand the use of technology throughout the country.

But the most important aspect of India’s infrastructure is its human capital. What makes India’s population so valuable is its large pool of young workers — 65% of India’s population is 35 or under, giving the country a strong competitive edge in the coming decades.

To realize the potential of this human capital, the government has launched several initiatives aimed at improving education, retraining rural workers for skilled jobs in other sectors, providing bank accounts to all Indians to teach personal financial planning, offering free life insurance, encouraging the wider use of computers and the Internet, and generally modernizing the workforce for the big jobs boom coming up in the fast-growing healthcare, information technology, telecom, and retail sectors.

The final factor that could position India as a superpower is its geopolitical advantage. Since his election, Modi has made a concerted effort to strengthen ties with Russia, Japan, and the U.S. For each of them, India is a valuable trading partner with a vast consumer base and labor pool waiting to be tapped. But even more significant is the strategic importance of its alliance with all those nations.

Reeling from Western economic sanctions and low oil prices, Russia needs India’s partnership more than ever to bolster its economic foothold in Asia and counter U.S. influence. Similarly, the U.S. would like to expand bilateral trade with India, which reached$95 billion in 2013, while also using the democratic nation to balance the power of China in the region. By extending the hand of friendship to all of them, Modi is being diplomatic; but he is also keeping his options open to forge partnerships that will maximize the benefit to India, both financially and politically.

India may not reach its desired destination in a straight line or in the timeframe that Modi has set for it, but odds are pretty good that it will become a leading player in the economic and geopolitical spheres fairly soon.

bleak: adj.暗淡的,昏暗的; 没有指望的; 寒冷的

inflationary: adj.通货膨胀的; 通货膨胀倾向的

flounder: vi.挣扎,折腾; 着慌,勉强应付

cement: vt.粘牢; 巩固; (用水泥、胶等)粘结

derail: v.使(火车)出轨,使脱轨

eradicate: vt.摧毁; 完全根除

initiative: n.主动性

revamp: vt.将(某物)更新,翻新; 修补

parity: n.平价,价值对等; 同等

bolster: vt.支持; 支撑; 鼓励; 援助

(财富中文网)


一年前,印度的未来看起来并不怎么乐观。经济增长乏力,通胀引发担忧,国家政府公信力的缺失带来了不确定性和悲观情绪。新总理莫迪上任后承诺对政府进行改革并重振其低迷的经济,印度局势因此而发生了重大变化。

上周日,美国总统奥巴马开始了为期三天的印度之行。期间,他与莫迪举行了会晤,以巩固美印关系,而外界最为关注的是印度这个最大的民主国家的潜力以及此次访问对全球投资者意味着什么。大多数迹象表明,印度前景一片光明,而且很有可能成为超级大国。

当然,印度面临着挑战。莫迪推行的改革才刚刚开始。政治、文化和宏观经济因素可能延缓或影响改革进程;根除政府腐败的难度可能超过预期;在基础设施匮乏和民众普遍贫困的严峻现实面前,过高的经济抱负可能化为泡影。同时,由于印度与有核邻国巴基斯坦的关系越发紧张,而且中国军事实力在不断增强,印度可能被迫将大量资金用于国防,而上述因素也会加剧印度教教徒和穆斯林教徒之间的冲突,并让印度政府无力关注其他重要工作。

不过,尽管存在这些不利因素,但对于印度美好未来的展望仍是毋庸置疑的,原因有三:

首先是经济。莫迪的改革旨在改变限制性工商业法规并建立一个真正自由的市场,这些措施似乎已经开始发挥作用。2014年第三季度印度的GDP增长率为5.3%,尽管稍低于第二季度,但远高于之前几年的水平。国际货币基金组织估算,印度的经济规模为1.9万亿美元,今年将增长6.4%。世界银行指出,按购买力平价(即按照各经济体的价格差异进行调整后的等值系数)计算,印度已经超过日本,成为全球第三大经济体。

此外,油价不断下跌使通胀风险下降,也让印度政府得以削减高昂的燃料补贴。去年10月份,以索纳尔•瓦尔玛为首的野村证券经济学家们在一份报告中估算,油价每下跌10美元/桶,印度GDP就会增长0.1%,通胀率将下降0.5个百分点,经常项目逆差也会缩小。由于政府放宽了投资限制,再加上利率稳定,外国在印投资增加了数百亿美元,其中包括来自日本私营和公共领域的330亿美元投资,这进一步提振了印度经济。

莫迪改革计划的第二部分是改善印度的国家基础设施,其中包括增加8000亿美元的基础设施开支,以便让印度经济实现7%的增长目标,同时还允许银行购买基建债券,以盘活债券市场交易。去年年底,莫迪还从中国争取到了200亿美元基础设施投资。所有这些措施可能让印度有能力对不堪重负的交通运输系统进行升级,为更多地区提供生活用水和电力,并让技术的应用范围扩大到全国。

但印度基础设施最重要的一面在于其人力资本。印度人口之所以价值连城,原因在于该国拥有大量年轻劳动力——35岁及以下人口在印度占65%,这将让印度在今后几十年里拥有强大的竞争优势。

为实现人力资本的潜力,印度政府已经采取多项措施,旨在改善教育条件,留住行业内从事技术性工作的农民工,为所有印度人提供银行账户并进行个人理财规划教育,提供免费人寿保险,鼓励更广泛地使用计算机和互联网,以及实现劳动力的全面现代化,以迎接医疗保健、信息技术、通信和零售行业的快速增长所带来的就业机遇的激增。

印度有可能成为超级大国的最后一个因素是地缘政治优势。自上任以来,莫迪一直在下大力气巩固印度与俄罗斯、日本和美国之间的关系。对于后三者来说,印度是个有价值的贸易伙伴,拥有巨大的消费者群体和有待开发的劳动力资源。更为重要的是,印度和这些国家建立联盟有着重要的战略意义。

受西方经济制裁和低油价影响,俄罗斯比以往任何时候都需要印度这个伙伴,以便巩固自己在亚洲的经济支点并在影响力上和美国抗衡。与之类似,在2013年美印双边贸易额达到950亿美元的基础上,美国愿意扩大和印度的贸易规模,并利用印度来制衡中国。莫迪通过向这三个国家伸出橄榄枝展现了其外交手腕;同时,对于那些能够实现印度经济和政治利益最大化的合作伙伴关系,莫迪也持赞成态度。。

印度也许无法一帆风顺地实现自己的目标,或者说无法按莫迪设定的时间表做到这一点。然而,印度非常有可能十分迅速地成长为经济和地缘政治领域一股重要力量。



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