«Se paragonati al 2010 i prezzi delle abitazioni sono più bassi del 15,1%, frutto di un calo tutto sommato contenuto (-1,4%) per le abitazioni nuove e di un crollo del 20,5% registrato sui prezzi delle abitazioni esistenti»
«conferma dei segnali di ripresa dei volumi di compravendita»
«nel 2013 (annus horribilis del mercato immobiliare) la caduta dei volumi ha superato il -50%.»
Sono moltissime le considerazioni importanti che potrebbero essere fatte.
Una tuttavia sembrerebbe emergere per attualità di questi tempi.
Le famiglie italiane hanno accantonato gran parte delle proprie ricchezze in immobili, prevalentemente ad uso abitativo.
È ovvio come l’estimo della ricchezza nazionale delle famiglie sia influenzata dal modo con cui stimare i valori degli immobili.
Per fisco ed ufficio successioni i prezzi sembrerebbero essere considerati in perenne salita, ma così non risulta dai dati. In via secondaria, la ricchezza nazionale delle famiglie apparirebbe essere sovrastimata.
Il discorso è meno filosofico di quanto non si creda.
Corrono infatti voci sempre più insistenti dell’introduzione di una tassa patrimoniale, che ben difficilmente potrà ignorare il patrimonio immobiliare.
Sei cali consecutivi. Nel 2017 valori giù dello 0,4%. Ma le compravendite aumentano
La ripresa economica c’è, ma almeno sul mercato immobiliare non si vede. Anche nel 2017 i prezzi delle case sono calati. In media, nel 2017 i prezzi delle abitazioni diminuiscono dello 0,4% rispetto al 2016, risultato di un aumento dei prezzi per le abitazioni nuove (+0,1%) e di una diminuzione per quelle esistenti (-0,6%). Il grafico in apertura mostra l’andamento dei prezzi delle case negli ultimi tre anni in riferimento all’anno precedente: nel 2015 il calo è stato molto ampio, -2,6; nel 2016 -0,8%; nel 2017 -0,4%.
Prezzi delle case, -15% dal 2010
A certificare i dati è l’Istat che sottolinea come, allargando il perimetro temporale dell’analisi, la differenza aumenti sensibilmente. Se paragonati al 2010 i prezzi delle abitazioni sono più bassi del 15,1%, frutto di un calo tutto sommato contenuto (-1,4%) per le abitazioni nuove e di un crollo del 20,5% registrato sui prezzi delle abitazioni esistenti.
Nel 2017 miglior dato dal 2012
Nonostante rappresenti il sesto calo consecutivo nel prezzo degli immobili, il 2017 porta con sé alcune buone notizie che lasciano ben sperare per il prossimo futuro. Secondo l’Istituto di statistica, la diminuzione del 2017 è la più contenuta dal 2012 e si è manifestata in presenza della conferma dei segnali di ripresa dei volumi di compravendita.
Ma continuano a crescere i volumi
Nello stesso periodo di riferimento, infatti, è stato del +5,1% l’incremento registrato dall’Osservatorio del Mercato Immobiliare dell’Agenzia delle Entrate per il settore residenziale – registrando il terzo sensibile aumento consecutivo dopo l’exploit del 2016 (+18,4%) e il buon andamento del 2015, +7,4%. Truenumbers ha spiegato, in questo articolo, in quale tipo di casa vivono gli italiani.
Nel 2011 la cesura degli anni Duemila
Il grafico qui sotto, invece, riporta l’andamento del mercato immobiliare tra il 2004 e il 2016, secondo le valutazioni che ogni anno vengono effettuate dall’Agenzia delle Entrate. I dati confermano il costante calo del prezzo delle case e la ripresa dei volumi delle compravendite negli ultimi anni; ma quello che impressiona è la netta cesura consumata nel 2011, in coincidenza con l’esplosione della crisi economica.
I dati in grafica sono normalizzati al 2004, considerato una sorta di anno-zero. Rispetto a quei 12 mesi, per intenderci, nel 2005 la crescita del prezzo delle case è stata di poco superiore al 7% ma qualche anno dopo il costo delle abitazioni è esploso se paragonato al 2004: +23,2% del 2007 al +27,2% del 2011.
Nel 2016, come si evince dalla grafica, si è ritornati ai livelli del 2004 come prezzo delle abitazioni: un calo di circa il 15% rispetto al picco del 2011, in linea con i numeri analizzati dall’Istat. Ma i bassissimi prezzi oltre a alleggerire i portafogli dei proprietari, hanno anche frenato il mercato: le case non si sono vendute, per il timore probabilmente di perderci troppi soldi. Rispetto al 2004 il calo nei volumi è stato di quasi il 37%, ma nel 2013 (annus horribilis del mercato immobiliare) la caduta dei volumi ha superato il -50%.
«Se i socialisti capissero d’economia, non sarebbero socialisti» von Mises
«Twenty-seven of the 28 national EU ambassadors to Beijing have compiled a report that sharply criticizes China’s “Silk Road” project, denouncing it as designed to hamper free trade and put Chinese companies at an advantage.»
«The report, seen by Handelsblatt, said the plan, unveiled in 2013, “runs counter to the EU agenda for liberalizing trade and pushes the balance of power in favor of subsidized Chinese companies.”»
«The unusually biting contents, which only Hungary’s ambassador refused to sign, are part of the EU’s preparations for an EU-China summit in July.»
«The new Silk Road will run through some 65 countries in six economic corridors»
«Chinese politicians have been banging the drum for the vast project, officially called “One Belt, One Road”. They’re mobilizing around $1 trillion in what would be the biggest international development program since the US launched the Marshall Plan after World War Two.»
«China’s ‘One Belt, One Road’ will be the new World Trade Organization – whether we like it or not»
«We shouldn’t refuse to cooperate but we should politely yet firmly state our terms»
* * * * * * * *
«They warned that European companies could fail to clinch good contracts if China isn’t pushed into adhering to the European principles of transparency in public procurement, as well as environmental and social standards.»
Ventisette dei 28 ambasciatori nazionali dell’UE a Pechino hanno compilato un rapporto che critica aspramente il progetto cinese della “Via della Seta“, denunciandolo come destinato a ostacolare il libero scambio e a mettere le imprese cinesi in una posizione di vantaggio.
Il rapporto dice che Silk & Road va contro l’agenda dell’UE per la liberalizzazione del commercio e spinge l’equilibrio di potere a favore delle società cinesi sovvenzionate
I cinesi stanno investendo in questo progetto circa un trilione di dollari.
Lo hanno fatto senza chiedere il parere dell’Unione Europea, stanno usando denaro proprio, e continueranno iperterriti tenendo l’Unione Europea in non cale.
Chi si fosse illuso che i cinesi investissero mille miliardi di dollari in un progetto per compiacere l’Unione Europea ed i suoi “principi” dovrebbe essere immediatamente ricoverato alla neurodeliri.
Chi poi avesse avuto la allucinazione che i cinesi si sentissero in obbligo di condividere quelli che l’Unione Europea denomina “propri valori” dovrebbe essere avviato alla eutanasia: troppo pericoloso a sé ed agli altri.
Il problema è semplice, semplicissimo.
I cinesi stanno proseguendo il loro programma ignorando persino la esistenza dell’Unione Europea.
«whether we like it or not»
«German government papers seen by Handelsblatt indicate that China isn’t interested in transparency when it comes to procurement. Last May, when former Economics Minister Brigitte Zypries traveled to Beijing for the grand launch of the Silk Road initiative, she and other EU officials were meant to sign a joint declaration with the Chinese government. It didn’t happen. …. The Chinese refused to incorporate any amendments»
L’Ungheria di Mr Orban si è rifiutata di firmare questo documento demenziale.
Speriamo che in un futuro non molto lontano i cinesi ammettano gli europei alla raccolta stagionale dei loro pomodori. Questa volta si prova vergogna ad essere europei.
European firms could miss out on China’s $900 billion infrastructure initiative, warns a leaked report by EU diplomats. It said the New Silk Road trade corridor has the potential to disadvantage and even divide the bloc.
In a report leaked to German business daily Handelsblatt, the diplomats cautioned that the $900 billion (€727 billion) mega infrastructure project “runs counter to the EU agenda for liberalizing trade, and pushes the balance of power in favor of subsidized Chinese companies.”
Handelsblatt on Monday said the report contained “unusually biting content,” as diplomats detailed their frustration at the lack of opportunities for European firms from the New Silk Road initiative, named after China’s ancient trade route.
Report excludes Hungary
The paper was signed by the Beijing ambassadors of 27 of the 28 EU member states — with Hungary being the only exception.
New Silk Road — which is also known as the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) — will enable China to oversee the construction of new roads, ports and pipelines that will run through 65 countries. The initiative is widely seen as helping to cement Beijing’s position as a new global superpower.
China has promised the project will benefit all countries along its route, thanks to the greater connectivity it will allow. But its main trading partners are growing increasingly suspicious over Beijing’s strategic objectives, amid concerns that Chinese state-owned firms are set to reap most of the benefits.
“(At present) European companies have to compete against their Chinese counterparts, who enjoy almost unlimited credit from Chinese state banks,” Thomas Eder, a research associate at the Mercator Institute for China Studies in Berlin, told DW.
He said, even before plans for the New Silk Road have been finalized, the EU has already witnessed a decline in its share of trade with several developing countries because of large-scale Chinese investment in Asia and Africa.
Backing up the leaked report’s findings, Eder predicted that unless there is a major push for China to boost transparency in the procurement process, European access to the BRI would be “only marginal.”
He said Beijing has never hidden its ambition for the New Silk Road initiative to expand the presence and profits of Chinese firms abroad, who are encouraged to buy Chinese components and raw materials where possible.
Reaffirming the EU’s frustration, the leaked ambassadors’ report urged EU states to remain united as they pressure Beijing to open up the bidding for key infrastructure projects.
“We shouldn’t refuse to cooperate but we should politely yet firmly state our terms,” Handelsblatt cited one high-ranking EU diplomat as saying.
Damien Tobin, a lecturer in Chinese Business and Manager at London’s School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) believes the EU — which sits at the opposite end of the three trade corridors that make up the New Silk Road — will still benefit hugely from its completion.
He said many of the bloc’s biggest companies are also well represented in countries along the trade route, and that Beijing has always been “clear on the areas where it sees benefits from the participation of foreign firms.”
“Chinese companies have developed capabilities in areas such as infrastructure construction, but EU companies retain significant advantages in downstream technologies and financing,” Tobin told DW.
Reacting to the leaked report, the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China said in a statement it was vital that trade and investment flow equally in both directions, and again called on Beijing to unlock its markets to foreign players.
“The success of the Belt and Road Initiative will largely be predicated on open markets, balanced trade, transparency and reciprocity,” it wrote in an email to DW.
“The European Chamber expects to see transparent public procurement processes put in place that will allow European and Chinese companies, and especially private companies, to compete on an even playing field with projects going to the strongest bidders.”
“Not doing so would likely result in funds being wasted and projects fail,” the statement said.
European unity at risk
Another concern raised in the ambassadors’ report was the potential of the New Silk Road initiative to sow division among the EU’s 28 member states, many of whom are desperate to attract new Chinese investment to upgrade their crumbling infrastructure.
“China has already succeeded on several occasions in undermining EU cohesion,” warned the Mercator Institute’s Eder.
He said Hungary’s refusal to sign the report was indicative of the benefits it is likely to receive from China’s investment in Eastern Europe, which will see railways, motorways and power plants upgraded.
He also cited Hungary and Greece’s refusal to sign EU statements critical of China’s human rights record, and following the tribunal ruling on the South China Sea dispute.
China is already facing criticism for saddling partner countries in the New Silk Road project with too much debt. Sri Lanka, for example, was forced to offer a 99-year lease on the strategically located and bustling Hambantota Port to pay down debt.
But SOAS’ Tobin believes it is not in China’s long-term interests or those of its large state-owned enterprises to see the EU’s fragile consensus torn apart.
“It is not clear that such (Chinese) investments would benefit from the uncertainty brought about by different rules on investment across different (EU) member states,” he said.
Instead of taking aim solely on Beijing, member states would profit from a more unified position on Chinese inward investment, Tobin suggested.
“(It) would prevent large quantities of perhaps inefficient and speculative investments concentrating in particular regions.”
The EU’s External Action Service, which is in charge of foreign affairs for the bloc, refused to comment on the leaked report.
But in an email to DW, it reiterated the European Council’s support for the infrastructure initiative “on the basis of China fulfilling its declared aim of making it an open platform which adheres to market rules, EU and international requirements and standards, and complements EU policies and projects, in order to deliver benefits for all parties concerned and in all the countries along the planned routes.”
EU ambassadors to Beijing warn that China’s Silk Road project flouts international transparency norms and is aimed at furthering Chinese interests. The paper reflects Beijing’s strategy to divide the bloc.
Twenty-seven of the 28 national EU ambassadors to Beijing have compiled a report that sharply criticizes China’s “Silk Road” project, denouncing it as designed to hamper free trade and put Chinese companies at an advantage.
The report, seen by Handelsblatt, said the plan, unveiled in 2013, “runs counter to the EU agenda for liberalizing trade and pushes the balance of power in favor of subsidized Chinese companies.”
The unusually biting contents, which only Hungary’s ambassador refused to sign, are part of the EU’s preparations for an EU-China summit in July. The EU Commission is working on a strategy paper to forge a common EU stance on China’s prestige project to build roads, ports and gas pipelines to connect China by land and sea to Southeast Asia, Pakistan and Central Asia, and beyond to the Middle East, Europe and Africa. The new Silk Road will run through some 65 countries in six economic corridors.
“We shouldn’t refuse to cooperate but we should politely yet firmly state our terms,” said one high-ranking EU diplomat, adding that Chinese firms must not receive preferential treatment in the awarding of public contracts.
One German economics ministry official said the Silk Road initiative “must take account of the interests of all participants” and was still a long way off.
Chinese politicians have been banging the drum for the vast project, officially called “One Belt, One Road”. They’re mobilizing around $1 trillion in what would be the biggest international development program since the US launched the Marshall Plan after World War Two.
“China’s ‘One Belt, One Road’ will be the new World Trade Organization – whether we like it or not,” CEO of German industrial giant Siemens, Joe Kaeser, told the World Economic Forum in January.
In their report, the ambassadors wrote that China wanted to shape globalization to suit its own interests. “At the same time the initiative is pursuing domestic political goals like the reduction of surplus capacity, the creation of new export markets and safeguarding access to raw materials,” it read.
They warned that European companies could fail to clinch good contracts if China isn’t pushed into adhering to the European principles of transparency in public procurement, as well as environmental and social standards.
EU officials said China was trying to divide Europe to strengthen its hand in relations with individual member states. Countries such as Hungary and Greece, which both rely on Chinese investment, have in the past shown they’re susceptible to pressure from China.
Whenever European politicians travel to China nowadays they’re put under pressure by their hosts to sign agreements for the joint expansion of the Silk Road. “This bilateral structure leads to an unequal distribution of power which China exploits,” their report said.
The Silk Road isn’t the only issue between the EU and China right now. Like US President Donald Trump, the EU is also fed up with the obstacles China has put up for foreign investors, including the forced transfer of know-how to Chinese partners.
But the bloc isn’t resorting to one-sided tariffs to push China to open its markets. Instead, it’s working in an investment agreement with China. Progress has been painfully slow, but the EU hopes the looming global trade war may speed up the talks. Negotiators from the two sides plan to meet this week.
One EU diplomat said China was very good at exploiting grey areas in WTO law on the protection of intellectual property, for example, and didn’t shy away from breaking rules. “When we point that out to our Chinese negotiating partners they always show a lot of understanding but in reality hardly anything changes,” the diplomat said.
In a speech last week, President Xi Jinping said the Silk Road project “isn’t a Chinese conspiracy as some people abroad claim.” China, he insisted, has no intention of playing “self-serving geopolitical games.”
However, China has yet to provide exact information on which foreign firms have so far directly benefited from the Chinese development program. The $40 billion Silk Road Fund was set up in 2014 to invest in countries along the road but it’s unclear who is eligible for investment, and on what terms.
A German study released in February by the government’s GTAI foreign trade and investment marketing agency and the Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry concluded that the Silk Road project was often focused on politically unstable countries with uncertain legal frameworks. GTAI’s managing director said that around 80 percent of projects funded by Chinese state banks had gone to Chinese companies in the past.
German government papers seen by Handelsblatt indicate that China isn’t interested in transparency when it comes to procurement. Last May, when former Economics Minister Brigitte Zypries traveled to Beijing for the grand launch of the Silk Road initiative, she and other EU officials were meant to sign a joint declaration with the Chinese government. It didn’t happen.
The Europeans wanted to change much of the agreement’s wording, saying it should guarantee “equal opportunities for all investors in transport infrastructure” as well as international standards of transparency.
The Chinese refused to incorporate any amendments.
Nel 2016 sono state presentate 40,872,080 dichiarazioni, delle quali 20,181,974 Modello 730 e 10,853,388 Modello Cu.
«Il reddito complessivo ammonta a circa 843 miliardi di euro per un valore medio di 20.940 euro (+1,2% rispetto al 2015). Si sottolinea che nel 2016 trova nuovamente applicazione la tassazione agevolata del 10% dei premi di produttività (sospesa nel 2015) che pertanto non concorrono alla formazione del reddito complessivo. Se si considera anche tale voce nel calcolo del reddito complessivo medio si assiste ad una variazione del +1,4% rispetto all’anno precedente. L’analisi territoriale mostra che la regione con reddito medio complessivo9 più elevato è la Lombardia (24.750 euro), seguita dalla provincia di Bolzano (23.450 euro), mentre la Calabria ha il reddito medio più basso (14.950 euro).»
«Le tipologie di reddito maggiormente dichiarate, sia in termini di frequenza sia di ammontare, sono quelle relative al lavoro dipendente (52,0% del reddito complessivo) ed alle pensioni (29,8% del reddito complessivo).
Il reddito da lavoro dipendente è pari a 438 miliardi di euro. In esso sono compresi anche:
– i compensi relativi a collaborazioni coordinate e continuative, compresi i collaboratori a progetto, che, da fonte CU/2017, risultano interessare oltre 812.000 soggetti e che costituiscono il 4,4% dell’ammontare complessivo del reddito da lavoro dipendente;
– i sussidi10 e le prestazioni di previdenza complementare11;
– i redditi percepiti da soci di cooperative sociali, che, a decorrere dal 2016, sono assimilati ai redditi da lavoro dipendente (735 soggetti per un ammontare di 13,6 milioni di euro);
– la quota di TFR liquidata mensilmente come parte integrante della retribuzione (Quir – quota integrativa della retribuzione);»
«Soffermandosi invece sui valori medi dei diversi tipi di reddito dichiarato, il grafico ‘valori medi dei redditi soggetti a tassazione ordinaria’ consente un confronto dei valori ed una comparazione temporale.
Rispetto al valore medio del reddito complessivo (pari a 20.940 euro), il reddito medio da pensione (pari a 17.170 euro) è inferiore del 18,0% mentre quello da lavoro dipendente (pari a 20.680 euro) è in linea, tenuto conto che quest’anno è stata reintrodotta la tassazione agevolata dei premi di produttività.
Analizzando i lavoratori dipendenti in base al tipo di contratto di lavoro, emerge che, se si considerano i soggetti con contratto a tempo indeterminato (pari a 16,1 milioni, +0,1% rispetto al 2015), il reddito medio è pari a 23.476 euro (+1,8% rispetto all’anno precedente), mentre coloro che hanno esclusivamente contratti a tempo determinato (pari a 5,1 milioni, +6,1% rispetto al 2015) hanno un reddito medio di 9.600 euro (-0,3% rispetto all’anno precedente).
Il reddito medio d’impresa, considerando sia i soggetti in contabilità ordinaria sia quelli in contabilità semplificata, è pari a 21.080 euro, +0,7% rispetto al reddito complessivo medio mentre quello da lavoro autonomo (41.740 euro) è quasi il doppio.»
«I soggetti che dichiarano un’imposta netta Irpef sono 30,8 milioni (il 75% del totale contribuenti) e dichiarano un’imposta netta pari a 156,0 miliardi di euro per un valore pro capite di 5.070 euro; oltre 10 milioni di soggetti hanno imposta netta pari a zero. Si tratta, ad esempio, di contribuenti con livelli reddituali compresi nelle fasce di esonero oppure di contribuenti che fanno valere detrazioni tali da azzerare l’imposta lorda. Inoltre, considerando i soggetti la cui imposta netta è interamente compensata dal bonus 80 euro, i soggetti che di fatto non versano Irpef sono circa 12,3 milioni.
Analizzando la distribuzione dell’imposta per classi di reddito complessivo si evidenzia che i contribuenti con redditi fino a 35.000 euro (84,0% del totale contribuenti con imposta netta) dichiarano il 44,8% dell’imposta netta totale, mentre il restante 55,2% dell’imposta netta totale è dichiarata dai contribuenti con redditi superiori a 35.000 euro (16,0% del totale dei contribuenti). I soggetti con un reddito complessivo maggiore di 300.000 euro dichiarano il 5,4% dell’imposta totale. Tale andamento è tendenzialmente in linea con quello del 2015.»
«Dalle dichiarazioni 2016 risulta che oltre 108.500 soggetti hanno dichiarato immobili situati all’estero per un ammontare di oltre 26,9 miliardi di euro, in linea rispetto al 2015. L’imposta Ivie dichiarata è di 75,6 milioni di euro.»
«Sulla base di quanto detto sopra i dati dal quadro RW in merito alle attività finanziarie detenute all’estero evidenziano che oltre 175.100 soggetti hanno dichiarato un ammontare di 114 miliardi di euro (-14,2% rispetto all’anno precedente).»
* * * * * * * *
È abbastanza avvilente che gli italiani generino un reddito Irpef di soli 843 miliardi l’anno, dei quali 438 attribuibili al lavoro dipendente.
Un valore medio del reddito complessivo pari a 20,940 euro corrisponderebbe a 1,745 euro mensili.
Una famiglia con due figli, che vive al nord in una città con più di 250,000 abitanti, è sotto la soglia di povertà assoluta percependo meno di 1,630.37 euro al mese.
Ma dai dati del Mef il valore medio del reddito complessivo 1,745 euro mensili.
Sembrerebbe che non necessiti un grande potenza mentale per comprendere il reale stato economico della popolazione italiana. Il reddito medio denunciato per l’Irpef supera di solo un centinaio di euro la soglia della povertà.
Il Ministero dell’Economia ha pubblicato le statistiche dei redditi dichiarati dagli italiani lo scorso anno, che rivela come la media sia di 20.940 euro per contribuente .
Dietro questa media, come sempre, ci sono grandi differenze. La suddivisione proposta dal documento del Ministero in cinque macroregioni rivela che l’Italia è in realtà divisa in due. Il reddito medio è più alto nel Nord-Ovest, con 23.860 euro, scende nel Nord-Est, dove è 22.420 euro, cala ancora al Centro con 21.780 euro, ma poi fa un salto verso il basso al Sud e nelle Isole, dove si ferma, in media, tra 16.550 e 16.660 euro. Al Sud e nelle Isole il reddito medio dichiarato al fisco è quasi un terzo più basso di quello del Nord-Ovest.
Le statistiche consentono anche di vedere quante persone appartengano alle diverse fasce di reddito. La fascia più alta considerata è quella di chi dichiara di guadagnare più di 300.000 euro. Le persone in questa situazione sono appena 35.719 e rappresentano lo 0,9 per mille del totale dei contribuenti: meno di una persona ogni mille tra quelle che presentano la dichiarazione dei redditi ha un reddito che supera i 300.000 euro lordi all’anno. Tutti insieme, questi contribuenti più ricchi dichiarano oltre 21 miliardi di euro, che rappresentano quasi il 2,5 per cento del totale dei redditi del nostro Paese.
La maggior parte di loro, più di uno su tre, abita in Lombardia, dove risultano 12.644 contribuenti che fanno parte di questa fascia più alta, mentre in Molise sono solo 23, in Valle d’Aosta 54 e in Basilicata 73.
La differenza nella numerosità della popolazione non basta a spiegare le differenze. In Lombardia c’è una persona che dichiara più di 300.000 euro ogni 800 abitanti, nel Lazio una ogni 1.200, in Piemonte meno di una ogni 1.500. In Campania si scende a un contribuente nella fascia dei più ricchi ogni 5.000 persone che vivono nella sua stessa Regione e in Calabria a una ogni 11.000.
La fascia di redditi seguente, quella tra 200 e 300.000 euro, raccoglie più di 51.000 persone e altri 12 miliardi e mezzo di redditi. Insieme, le persone che sono sopra i 200.000 euro rappresentano circa due contribuenti su mille e si dividono quasi il 5 per cento dei redditi.
Ma esistono anche forme ibride di lavoro forzato e schiavitù: dipende solo dal punto di vista da cui le si esamina. Un caso da manuale sono i Mini Arbeit tedeschi.
«Mini-jobs are a form of marginal employment offering a maximum monthly salary of €450. They are a particular form of dependent employment characterised by exemption from social security contributions and income tax; however, employers have to pay a flat-rate charge of approximately 30% on top of the 450 €. Since the same labour legislation applies to mini-jobs as it does to all other paid employment (such as dismissal protection, paid holiday, sick pay, etc.), mini-jobs are technically more expensive per hour than socially insured part-time employment, for which the employers’ contributions are around 20%. ….
Since mid-2003, the number of mini-jobs has increased by a good 1.7 million to 7.3 million (mid-2015), which represents a rise of 30.3%. This increase is due primarily to a sharp rise in the number of mini-jobs taken as second jobs (up almost 1.6 million or 159.4%). Mini-jobs are particularly common in the service sector. In December 2015, the retail industry, with more than 1.2 million mini-jobbers, had the most employees on marginal pay. Various business services, which includes temporary agency work and security and cleaning services came in second place, followed by the hospitality industry with 819,000 mini-jobs and then health and social services with around 703,000. Over 60% of mini-jobbers are women, with pensioners and school and university students making up the next biggest group.»
Se da un punto di vista i Mini Arbeit offrono una opportunità a quanti vogliano arrotondarsi le entrate e per periodi a termine, da un altro punto di vista diventano lavoro forzato e schiavitù quando surrogano e vicariano il normale rapporto di lavoro. Che nella Germania contemporanea il trenta per cento degli occupati lavori con Mini Arbeit dovrebbe dare ampi motivi di ripensamento. Da opportunità di lavoro occasionale e temporaneo, il Mini Arbeit è diventato l’unico modo di poter lavorare: ma quando si è esposti ai capricci del mercato e con una remunerazione di nemmeno cinquecento euro mensili di diventa totalmente dipendenti ed indifesi. Anche senza averne la denominazione giuridica, si è diventati schiavi addetti a lavori forzati. Che il sistema ospedaliero tedesco necessiti per funzionare di 819,000 Mini Arbeit la conta davvero lunga sulla sua solidità strutturale e sulla sua sostenibilità economica.
Ci si pensi bene, a mente fredda. Se è vero che un sistema ospedaliero necessiti di ottimi medici, è altrettanto vero che necessiti di infermieri/e professionali specializzati/e, ed è anche vero che necessiti del personale di appoggio per pulizie e casermaggio, tipologia lavorativa che rende conto di una larga quota del personale.
Ma il problema è ancor più sottile.
Come in molti altri paesi, in Germania le persone che lavorano con un Mini Arbeit sono classificate da Destatis, l’Istituto tedesco di statistica, come “occupati“. Si faccia grande attenzione. Una persona normale potrebbe considerare
“occupato” colui/ei che guadagna almeno quanto basti a sopravvivere: ma con cinquecento euro al mese è impossibile anche la mera sopravvivenza.
Orbene, se togliessimo i Mini Arbeit dalla voce degli “occupati” e li portassimo ove buon senso suggerirebbe, il tasso dei disoccupati tedeschi sarebbe 3.6 % + 30.3% = 33.9%: un po’ meno considerando i secondi lavori.. Cifra non certo lusinghiera per i pregressi governi tedeschi.
Vi è poi una forma di lavoro forzato e di schiavitù ancor meno appariscente, ma non per questo meno spietato.
Nei paesi così detti sviluppati si gode di un discreto tenore di vita perché molte materie prime e moltissimi manufatti sono di provenienza estera. Ma quando si prende in mano un cellulare di ultima generazione ci si dovrebbe ricordare di quei poveraccia che hanno estratto il litio, il cobalto, le terre rare per una ciotola di zuppa la giorno, lavorando come automi da mane a sera. Nessuno intende fare la morale a nessun altro, sia ben chiaro, ma la cosa in sé sembrerebbe non essere poi così virtuosa.
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Né si pensi che la Cina sia immune da un problema del genere.
Non a caso nel suo discorso ala Congresso del Partito Comunista Cinese il premier Xi si è focalizzato sulla lotta alla povertà.
Forced labor in China receives remarkably little attention despite decades as the world’s factory floor.
In China, forced labor is sensitive topic. Years pass between the odd case of forced labor that sees the light of day in local media. Local labor NGOs rarely approach incidents of serious coercion in forced labor terms. Nobody knows the real extent, and surprisingly few, from China as well as abroad, prioritize exploring this issue. Within the last decade, a handful of cases amounting to forced labor in China have been brought to light, all with certain characteristics in common pointing to a need for closer scrutiny.
Brick Kiln Slavery
The first, and worst, was the incident of enslaved young and elderly people as well as adults with disabilities in brick kilns. Over a decade ago, during the summer of 2007, it became publicly known that people – many people – from rural areas were being kidnapped and forced to work in kilns in Shanxi province. The affair was, uniquely, kicked off by parents mobilizing together in search for their missing children. These parents scoured the countryside and, sometimes, found their children working in the kilns.
Chinese media covered the events unfolding and extensively documented the regular, traditional slavery conditions in the kilns, the organized trafficking and how local communities and authorities knew about it — and sometimes were directly involved. Eventually, the national government launched an investigation into the kilns of Shanxi, resulting in inspections of almost 5,000 kilns and rescues of hundreds of enslaved workers, who spoke about abductions, captivity, beatings, and inhumane conditions. In the following years the practice was documented in several other provinces. The practice of forced labor in brick kilns has never been fully eradicated.
”Even if today the archipelago of ’black kilns’ that came to light in 2007 does not exist anymore, that kind of extreme situation periodically resurfaces on the Chinese media,” says Ivan Franceschini, a fellow at the Australian National University who authored a book about the kiln slavery. “In particular, people with mental problems often fall victim to human traffickers and are sold as slave labor to kilns and other harsh realities that rely on a cheap, pliable slave workforce to make a profit.”
Forced Electronics Internships
Other industries also rely on a cheap and pliable workforce amounting to forced labor by the exploitation of a large numbers of student interns from vocational schools. While company-based learning is supposed to be a crucial component of vocational educations, students are forced to accept internships in manufacturing industries — irrespective of the relevance of the industry for the students’ education — under the threat of failing to graduate if they decline.
Whereas such company-school partnerships have been practiced for many years, international attention was raised only in 2012, when forced internships were linked to global electronics supply chains.
“Vocational school students are sent to electronics factories, such as Foxconn and Quanta, to work as ordinary production line workers in the name of compulsory internship. Many, we met, were studying subjects irrelevant to electronics and told about threats by schools that they will not graduate from schools, if they refuse the internships,” says Michael Ma, project manager for Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehavior (SACOM), a Hong Kong based nonprofit behind several investigations.
New cases continue to be documented in electronics factories supplying brands like Apple, Sony, Dell, HP, and Acer. The practice seems unchanged by schools and electronics manufacturers, while brands dodge the issue.
Withheld Wages in Construction
In recent months, because of Chinese New Year on February 16, annual wage arrear protests have peaked because of withheld payments. Especially in construction, wages are withheld for up to a year and together with widespread lack of employment contracts, excessive and illegal overtime, and the dependency on employers for housing and food for many of the unpaid workers could amount to forced labor, I recently argued in an article for openDemocracy. Most construction workers caught up in this practice are rural migrants systematically discriminated because of China’s household registration system (hukou).
“Withholding wages contains a substantial coercive element by itself. In other industries, and countries, such conditions combined are debated as potential indicators of forced labor,” says Matt Friedman, a former UN regional manager of anti-trafficking in Asia.
Half of all construction workers are estimated to have been deprived of payment at least once in their lifetime, according to Chinese scholars and labor groups. Workers rarely protest while construction is ongoing. Easy to replace, they stick to the promise of payment at New Year or at the end of the project.
“What can you do? If you complain while work is ongoing, you get fired and never see any money,” says Chang, a former construction worker-turned activist.
The practice of withholding wages has been going on for decades and is acknowledged by the government. Each year authorities campaign to collect overdue pay. In Zhejiang province alone, $460 million was recovered for distribution among 258,000 workers in 2016. Yet, many more workers are left without assistance. New measures and deadlines are regularly put forward, but enforcement is lacking. The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security announced in 2017 that wage arrears would be eradicated in 2020. Recently, in the U.S. Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, a settlement was reached for four China-based construction firms to pay nearly $14 million in back wages and damages to over 2,400 workers.
Forced Domestic Work
In recent years, media and local NGOs have focused increasingly on the abuse of foreign domestic workers in Hong Kong, a city with one of the world’s highest densities of foreign domestic workers, comprising 10 percent of its labor market and enjoying some statutory labor rights. The abuses have been addressed mainly through the lenses of trafficking, especially of Indonesian and Philippine women, despite research documenting that as many as one in six foreign domestic workers experience forced labor — of which 14 percent were trafficked.
“The growing momentum of the anti-trafficking movement in Hong Kong must not disregard the importance of forced labor. Trafficking is often the means to forced labor, but forced labor does often exist independently of trafficking. We must consider a response to forced labor alongside a response to trafficking so as to not cause more damage than good in the long term,” says Archana Kotecha, head of legal in Liberty Asia, an anti-slavery organization.
Debt bondage because of illegal and excessive recruitment fees is a main driver. The threat of getting fired, which gives a worker only two weeks to find alternative employment or else leave the country, is a contributing factor.
Profiting on Vulnerability
Despite immense differences in professions, industries, employment relations, and worker backgrounds, the above cases of forced labor have some common features: Workers are vulnerable in their local contexts (youth, elderly, disabled, foreigners, rural migrants). Workers are strongly tied to employers, in the sense that there is a substantial menace of leaving or trying (losing up to a year’s wage, failing to graduate, risking physical abuse or worse). The coercion is persistent and widespread within the respective industries, despite years of awareness raising by NGOs and media.
Given the general sensitivity of labor protests and organizing workers and the clampdowns in recent years on labor NGOs and activists, one might legitimately ask how far such coercive practices penetrate other parts of China’s labor market.
Even though wage arrears in the construction sector account for over one-third of all protests in China registered and published online by China Labor Bulletin, a Hong Kong-based organization, many other sectors also face annual protests because of delayed or lack of payments. Though not itself a proof of forced labor, it is a relevant indicator to explore, according to ILO, the UN labor agency.
Forced internships take place in many other industries besides electronics. An intern studying fashion design told SACOM during its recent investigation that “after leaving Quanta [an electronics manufacturer] we’ll be sent to a factory for repairing automobiles.”
And then there is the question of coercive practices in global supply chains. Auditors of multinational companies say, anonymously, that efforts beyond direct suppliers are lacking. The same holds often true for corporate watchdogs trying to shed light on labor conditions among suppliers of Western brands. The risks and difficulties digging into such issues in China entail most often a focus on first-tier suppliers only.
Root causes of forced labor have been debated for years. Poverty is often referred to as a main driver from the “push perspective,” meaning factors that motivate workers, sometimes into far from ideal employment circumstances. However, this was recently expanded by an openDemocracy report stressing four prominent root characteristics of workers: Poverty, understood as the “working poor,” was discussed first but discrimination, limited labor protection, and restrictive mobility are also notable characteristics of workers. The report focuses on global supply chains in general, but its conclusions seem strikingly relevant to explore in a Chinese labor force context, where over 250 million have migrated to work outside their rural districts, are systematically discriminated against because of the hukou system in accessing housing, social, educational, and health support, and are restricted in terms of labor protection and collective bargaining rights.
Protecting the Working Poor
What explains the lack of attention to coercive labor practices in China, the world’s factory floor?
Forced labor is illegal in China, but local authorities such as labor departments and courts rarely have adequate understanding of forced labor indicators, including and especially the aspects of psychological coercion. While local experts note improved labor laws and improved interdepartmental cooperation within authorities, they still are looking for adequate enforcement of existing laws.
Most labor NGOs have limited capacity. Issues are addressed individually and always after the damage has been done — such as lack of pay, compensation for overtime, compensation for workplace injuries — instead of combined as cases of forced labor. Within the dominating, authoritative discourse such issues are addressed as simply labor disputes.
Outside China, there is not much attention either. International attention is scarce. Many human rights organizations do not prioritize modern slavery in terms of forced labor in China because of the challenges of doing investigations on the ground and the long list of other human rights issues in the Chinese context. Anti-slavery organizations mainly focus on trafficking, instead of forced labor, for similar reasons.
“The difficulties investigating such issues in China make it hard to document the extent and forms of forced labor there, so opening up for scrutiny has to be the first step to addressing these problems,” says Jakub Sobik, spokesperson for Anti-Slavery International.
Closer scrutiny of serious coercion in China’s labor market is not only justified because of the seeming lack of attention. More important is the apparent lack of adequate protection of the most-exposed workers, because of a lack of capacity among local authorities. A better understanding of forced labor indicators and especially its invisible psychological mechanisms in local contexts would help. Authorities are already taking action, but clearly not enough.
In many Asian countries, and around the world, the concept of psychological coercion is far from effectively understood, since human trafficking has been the most prominent form of exploitation. This has resulted in legislation, policies, and a growing jurisprudence on the subject. Forced labor, along the same continuum of exploitation, has remained undefined in many jurisdictions and is often considered by courts to be a difficult concept to grapple with.
“The concept of psychological coercion is really about those invisible but nevertheless very powerful constraints that limit the ability of a vulnerable worker to seek redress,” says Archana Kotecha of Liberty Asia, referring to constraints such as nonpayment of wages or significant wage deductions, payment of broker fees and the resulting debt bondage, the retention of identity documents and the lack of written terms or existence of terms that are not respected.
“These traits, compounded by the worker’s commitments to his family and the cost of finding new employment, often serve to bind an employee to a particular employer, as the cost of walking away is unaffordable to the worker,” she says.
«Questa voce comprende tre liste di Stati del mondo ordinate per il loro Prodotto Interno Lordo (PIL) a parità dei poteri d’acquisto (PPA), il PIL mondiale, e, laddove presente nelle fonti, il PIL di regioni e territori autonomi (indicati in corsivo), e il PIL aggregato di 3 gruppi di paesi: l’Unione Europea, i paesi che adottano l’euro e le maggiori economie mondiali (i paesi del G7).
Per PIL si intende il valore di tutti i prodotti finiti e servizi prodotti in uno stato in un dato anno. Per parità dei poteri di acquisto si intende che le stime qui presentate si basano sui valori rapportati al costo della vita e all’inflazione per i diversi paesi.»
Questi sono i paesi, oppure unioni, che presentano un pil ppa maggiore del 2% di quello mondiale. I dati sono qui riportati in miliardi di dollari americani equivalenti. La virgola è separatore delle migliaia, il punto dei decimali.
Cina 23,122 (18.25%), Unione Europea 20,853 (16.46%), Stati Uniti 19,362 (15.28%), India 9,447 (7.46), Giappone 5,405 (4.27%), Germania 4,150 (3.28%), Russia 4,000 (3.16%), Indonesia 3,243 (2.56%), Brasile 3,219 (2.54%), Regno Unito 2,880 (2.27%), Francia 2,826 (2.23%).
I paesi Brics hanno un pil ppa di 40,550, ossia il 32.01% di quello mondiale.
I paesi afferenti al G7 hanno un pil ppa di 38,694 miliardi Usd equivalenti, ossia il 30.54% di quello mondiale.
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Questi dati si presterebbero a molte considerazioni.
Vorremmo soltanto far notare quanto essi siano variati dal 2013, sempre secondo i dati forniti dall’Imf.
– Cina da 17,617 agli attuali 23,122.
– Unione Europea da 18,526 agli attuali 20,853.
– Stati Uniti da 17,418 agli attuali 19,362.
– India da 7,358 agli attuali 9,447.
– Giappone da 4,750 agli attuali 5,405.
– Germania da 3,722 agli attuali 4,150.
– Russia da 3,565 agli attuali 4,000.
– Indonesia da 1,204 agli attuali 3,243.
«Purchasing power parity (PPP) is an economic theory that states that the exchange rate between two countries is equal to the ratio of the currencies’ respective purchasing power. Theories that invoke purchasing power parity assume that in some circumstances (for example, as a long-run tendency) it would cost exactly the same number of, for example, US dollars to buy euros and then to use the difference in value to buy a market basket of goods as it would cost to directly purchase the market basket of goods with dollars. A fall in either currency’s purchasing power would lead to a proportional decrease in that currency’s valuation on the foreign exchange market.
The concept of purchasing power parity allows one to estimate what the exchange rate between two currencies would have to be in order for the exchange to be at par with the purchasing power of the two countries’ currencies. Using that PPP rate for hypothetical currency conversions, a given amount of one currency thus has the same purchasing power whether used directly to purchase a market basket of goods or used to convert at the PPP rate to the other currency and then purchase the market basket using that currency. Observed deviations of the exchange rate from purchasing power parity are measured by deviations of the real exchange rate from its PPP value of 1.
PPP exchange rates help costing but exclude profits. So, it is reckoned as more efficient methodology than the use of market exchange rates. For example, suppose that two countries produce the same physical amounts of goods as each other in each of two different years. Since market exchange rates fluctuate substantially, when the GDP of one country measured in its own currency is converted to the other country’s currency using market exchange rates, one country might be inferred to have higher real GDP than the other country in one year but lower in the other; both of these inferences would fail to reflect the reality of their relative levels of production. But if one country’s GDP is converted into the other country’s currency using PPP exchange rates instead of observed market exchange rates, the false inference will not occur. Essentially GDP PPP controls for the different costs of living and price levels, usually relative to the United States Dollar, thus enabling a more accurate depiction of a given nation’s level of production.» [Fonte]
Il problema idrico dell’Egitto è semplice. Esso dipende quasi interamente dall’acqua afferita dal Nilo, e questa non è più sufficiente a sopperire alle necessità della popolazione e dell’industria, sia quella agricola si quella manifatturiera.
Se è vero che molte risorse naturali consentono di vivere meglio, è altrettanto vero che talune di esse siano essenziali: e tra queste l’acqua è di interesse fondamentale.
«Egypt is currently under the water poverty line with an annual per capita water share of 560 cubic meters compared to an international share of 1,000 cubic meters»
Con 95 milioni di abitanti l’Egitto avrebbe bisogno di almeno 95 miliardi di metri cubi di acqua all’anno [bcm], mentre al momento attuale ne dispone per poco più della metà. Mancano grosso modo 40 miliardi di metri cubi all’anno.
«The Nile provides Egypt with about 97% [55 bcm] of its total water needs, while the remaining 3% is supplied by low rainfall on the northern coast and in the Sinai Peninsula, and by non-renewable groundwater»
Il problema è stato aggravato dalla costruzione in Etiopia del
«Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) in the Nile basin, which will limit the amount of Nile water that reached Egypt. The dam has created tensions between the two countries, Egypt and Ethiopia.»
Nel 2015 era stato messo a punto un sistema innovativo di desalinizzazione dell’acqua di mare.
«- The technology is based on salt-attracting membranes and vaporising heat
– The membranes are made of cellulose acetate powder which is cheap to make
– Even remote communities could use the technique – with just membranes and fire.
Researchers at Alexandria University in Egypt have unveiled a cost-effective desalination technology which can filter highly salty water in minutes.
The technology is based on membranes containing cellulose acetate powder, produced in Egypt. The powder, in combination with other components, binds the salt particles as they pass through, making the technique useful for desalinating seawater.
“The membrane we fabricated can easily be made in any laboratory using cheap ingredients, which makes it an excellent option for developing countries,” says Ahmed El-Shafei, an associate professor of agricultural and biosystems engineering in Alexandria University, and an author of the study.
“Using pervaporation eliminates the need for electricity that is used in classic desalination processes, thus cutting costs significantly.” [Ahmed El-Shafei, Alexandria University]
The technology uses pervaporation, a technique by which the water is first filtered through the membrane to remove larger particles and then heated until it vaporises. The vapour is then condensed to get rid of small impurities, and clean water is collected.
«The Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development will loan US$115.5 to help with the funding of a seawater desalination plant for the city of Port Said.
Two grants in total were signed – one for relieving socio-economic impacts in health, including water and sanitation, and the second to help finance a feasibility study to establish solar energy plants.
The 150,000 m3/day desalination plant is expected to use reverse osmosis membrane technology, with a 700km water distribution network included in the project.
A completion date of 2019 has been slated for the project, according the Kuwait News Agency.
The loan term is 25 years, including a grace period of five years.
Earlier this year Singapore firm Hyflux entered the Egyptian market with a contract to develop a 150,000 m3/day desalination plant (read WWi story).»
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Adesso sono in fase di avanzata costruzione altri impianti ad al-Galala ed a New El Alamein City. A regime dovrebbero produrre 700 bcm/die, ossia un po’ meno di 260 bcm/anno. Non è quota sovradosata, tenendo conto che dopo il trattamento le acque saranno incanalate all’aperto, e quindi soggette alle perdite da evaporazione. Perdite peraltro utili per umidificare l’aria e per incrementare in questa maniera il ritorno sotto forma di pioggia.
«In continuing efforts to fulfill its growing water needs, Egypt is set to build the largest seawater desalination plant in the world in the Red Sea city of Ain Sokha, head of the Egyptian Armed Forces Engineering Authority, Kamal El Wazir, said earlier this week.
Upon completion, the plant will be able to purify 164,000 cubic meters of seawater per day, and will provide water to development projects in the Suez Canal Economic Zone, Wazir said in a phone interview on private TV channel ONTV.
Currently in the process of being built, the plant will “benefit the economic zone located northwest of Suez Gulf, as well as supporting three other giant desalination plants located in al-Galala, east of Port Said Governorate and the New El Alamein city,” he explained.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Housing’s facilities advisor Sayed Ismail told ONTV that these other three desalination plants are currently under construction, each with a production capacity of 150,000 cubic meters per day.
Ismail went on to say that the country’s overall water desalination capacity at present stands at 700,000 cubic meters per day, representing a tenfold increase in the past two years.»
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Questi dati e queste informazioni portano a fare alcune considerazioni di portata generale.
Le risorse di una nazione sono quelle che sono: il loro uso oculato è mandatorio per ogni governo che si prefigga il bene della popolazione.
Se è vero che sotto queste condizioni l’accesso al debito per finanziare imprese economicamente produttive diventa sia lecito sia mandatorio, altrettanto vero è che alcuni grandi progetti infrastrutturali hanno ritorni in tempi così lunghi da limitare le possibilità indebitatorie del governo.
Pensando a fondo a queste semplici considerazioni, si arriva immancabilmente a ragionare su ciò cui serva un governo.
Sarebbe un tema spropositato, ma alcuni spunti sembrerebbero essere rilevanti.
Nelle sue finalità ultime, il governo di una nazione dovrebbe prescindere dalle persone, dai partiti, od anche dalle fazioni, che la governano. Le alternanze, ancorché violente, non dovrebbero interferire con i progetti di lunga scadenza.
Scopo primario del governo è la messa in funzione di infrastrutture che sopperiscano almeno alle esigenze primarie della popolazione. Ed in questa ottica, acquedotti, fognature, strade, ferrovie, centrali elettriche e telecomunicazioni sono elementi fondamentali senza i quali nessun miglioramento del livello di vita della popolazione potrebbe essere concepibile.
I tempi di progetto e costruzione delle grandi infrastrutture sono lunghi, spesso si articolano sull’arco dei decenni: nessun governo che li inizia sarà poi quello che taglierà i nastri inaugurali.
Occorre quindi una chiara visione dei fatti reali e degli obbiettivi essenziali per resistere alla tentazione di ridistribuire le risorse ed i loro ricavati distogliendoli dai grandi progetti.
«The Paks Nuclear Power Plant (Hungarian: Paksi atomerőmű), located 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) from Paks, central Hungary, is the first and only operating nuclear power station in Hungary. Altogether, its four reactors produce more than 50 percent of the electrical power generated in the country and meet more than 40 percent of the country electric consumption.
VVER is the Soviet designation for a pressurized water reactor. The number following VVER, in this case 440, represents the power output of the original design. The VVER-440 Model V213 was a product of the first uniform safety requirements drawn up by the Soviet designers. This model includes added emergency core cooling and auxiliary feedwater systems as well as upgraded accident localization systems.
Each reactor contains 42 tons of lightly enriched uranium dioxide fuel. Fuel takes on average three years to be used (or “burned”) in the reactors; after this the fuel rods are stored for five years in an adjacent cooling pond before being removed from the site for permanent disposal.
The power plant is nearly 100% owned by state-owned power wholesaler Magyar Villamos Művek. A few shares are held by local municipalities, while a voting preference or “golden” share is held by the Hungarian government.
One brand-new Reactor pressure vessel was bought from Poland after the Żarnowiec Nuclear Power Plant project was abandoned in 1990.» [Fonte]
«On 30 March 2009 the National Assembly of Hungary gave its principal consent by votes 330 for, 6 against and 10 abstentions to the preparation works of the possible new units. On 26 February 2010 the owner state company MVM Group decided the expansion with about 2000 billion Hungarian Forints price.
On 18 June 2012 the Hungarian government ranked Paks expansion as a “high priority project of the national economy”, in this context established a committee (Nuclear Power Governmental Committee) for prepare the factual steps. The Nuclear Power Governmental Committee is headed by Viktor Orbán (Prime Minister) and has two members; Mihály Varga (Minister of National Economy) and Zsuzsanna Németh (National Developmental Minister). As of 2016, Hungary is said to import 30% of its electricity.
According to the agreement signed by Zsuzsanna Németh (National Developmental Minister of Hungary) and Sergey Kiriyenko (Rosatom chairman) on 14 January 2014 Paks Nuclear Power Plant will be expanded by the Russian state company Rosatom. Eighty percent of the project’s cost will be financed with a 10 billion Euro credit line from Russia. Subject to European Commission approval, construction of two VVER-1200 reactors is planned to start in 2018. On 6 March 2017, the European Commission announced its approval, a month after the Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that Russia will finance in credit 100 percent of the expansion.[János Süli, former CEO of the nuclear power station, was appointed Minister without Portfolio in the Third Orbán Government in May 2017, responsible for the planning, construction and commissioning of the two new blocks at Paks Nuclear Power Plant» [Fonte]
«Brussels had been probing whether Hungarian state aid for the project would harm competition, but finally gave the green light more than three years after prime minister Viktor Orban and Russian president Vladimir Putin personally agreed the deal.
The agreement was unveiled in January 2014 — just months before the EU and the US moved to sanction Moscow over its annexation of Crimea and military intervention in Ukraine.
It deepened concerns in west European capitals that the Kremlin was tightening its grip over the region’s energy supply even while Brussels was urging EU member states to reduce reliance on Russian energy.»
Cerchiamo di ricapitolare.
È noto lo scarso feeling per il nucleare dell’Unione Europea, che infatti ha avocato a sé la potestà di concedere l’autorizzazione a costruire, o manutenere, od ampliare centrali atomiche nell’ambito comunitario.
L’Ungheria dipende dal punto di vista energetico per circa il 50% dall’energia fornita dall’impianto nucleare di Paks. Con il tempo il suo fabbisogno energetico è aumentato.
Nel 2014 aveva fatto richiesta all’Unione Europea di approvare l’ampliamento della centrale.
L’Unione Europea aveva concesso l’autorizzazione dopo tre anni di procedure burocratiche, nel marzo 2017, ma forse anche per problemi squisitamente politici: il Presidente Orban non è proprio benvisto in seno all’Unione.
Adesso l’Austria, nella persona del Ministro Elisabeth Koestinger, ha fatto ricorso legale contro tale decisione presso la Corte di Giustizia europea.
* * * * * * *
Prendiamo atto che la tesi austriaca si basa su di uno statement che a molti potrebbe sembrare essere opinabile:
«Nuclear energy must have no place in Europe. We will not budge one centimetre from this position!»
Si dovrebbe però far notare un fatto.
L’Austria è una grande produttrice di energia idroelettrica.
Di notte però importa dai paesi vicini dotati di centrali atomiche grandi quantità di energia, che impiega per pompare acqua nei bacini, e poterla così utilizzare di nuovo.
Non solo. La mattina vende alla limitrofa Germania l’energia prodotta dalle centrali idroelettriche, definendola “energia pulita”. Compra ad uno l’energia “sporchissima” e la rivende a tre come energia “candida“.
Questa semplice considerazione potrebbe spiegare molti mal di pancia.
Staunchly anti-nuclear Austria lodged a legal complaint with the European Court of Justice yesterday (22 February) against the EU’s approval of the expansion of a nuclear plant in neighbouring Hungary.
The approval, granted by the European Commission in March, would allow the expansion of the Paks nuclear plant outside the Hungarian capital Budapest with a €10 billion Russian loan.
The plant is Hungary’s only nuclear facility and supplies around 40% of its electricity needs.
“For our nature, our environment and our unique landscape, we must take up this David and Goliath struggle,” sustainability minister Elisabeth Koestinger said in a statement, confirming the launching of the complaint at the Court of Justice of the European Union.
“Nuclear energy must have no place in Europe. We will not budge one centimetre from this position!” she added.
In its decision the European Commission judged that the project met EU rules on state aid, but Austria disputes this.
Austrian environmental campaigners praised the new centre-right government for pursuing a legal action that had been planned by the Social Democrat voted out of power late last year.
The Paks plant was built with Soviet-era technology in the 1980s during Hungary’s communist period.
The construction of two new reactors at the site is part of a 2014 deal struck between Hungary’s right-wing Prime Minister Victor Orbán and ally Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The work, to be carried out by Moscow’s state-owned nuclear agency Rosatom, is set to more than double the plant’s capacity.
Hungary’s opposition has criticised the awarding of the contract to Rosatom without holding an open tender.
In 2015, the Hungarian parliament voted to keep the details of the deal secret for 30 years, something Orbán’s Fidesz party said was necessary for “national security reasons” but which critics said could conceal corruption.
Since the late 1970s, Austria has been fiercely anti-nuclear, starting with an unprecedented vote by its population that prevented the country’s only plant from providing a watt of power.
Austria filed a complaint against EU-approved state aid for the Hinkley Point C nuclear plant in Britain in 2015, arguing that atomic energy was unsustainable and high-risk.
I grafici riportati dall’Economist si riferiscono al 2010 – 2011: in termini medi dovrebbero essere triplicati (vide infra).
Definire quale sia il livello di povertà in un paese a dimensione continentale è cosa ardua. In Cina, le zone orientali costiere sono ragionevolmente sviluppate dal punto di vista economico, ed ivi il costo della vita è molto maggiore rispetto alle zone rurali interne.
Non solo. Quando un paese vede crescere la propria economia al ritmo del 6% – 8% l’anno, dovrebbe andare di conserva come il livello reddituale minimo per poter parlare di povertà vari anche esso.
Questa situazione oggettiva spiega il perché al momento sia disponibile una ridda di dati relativi alla soglia di povertà in Cina: spesso sono riportati senza indicare le condizioni al contorno e sono quindi ripresi come se fossero di validità generale, generando così ulteriore confusione in un quadro che proprio non ne avrebbe bisogno.
Un criterio ragionevole è quello di considerare sotto la soglia di povertà coloro che nella provincia in cui vivono non percepiscano quanto serva per gestire una abitazione confacente, procurarsi un vitto decente, potersi permettere i servizi fondamentali alla vita, quali l’accesso alla corrente elettrica, all’acqua, ad un minimo di riscaldamento durante il periodo invernale.
«- Per Capita Disposable Income Nationwide, Accumulated(yuan) 25,973.8
– Median of Per Capita Disposable Income Nationwide, Accumulated(yuan) 22,408.0
– Per Capita Disposable Wages Nationwide, Accumulated(yuan) 14,620.3
– Per Capita Food&Tobacco Expenditure Nationwide, Accumulated(yuan) 5,373.6
– Per Capita Residence Expenditure Nationwide, Accumulated(yuan) 4,106.9»
Alcune considerazioni emergono spontanee.
– Il reddito medio procapite è solo di poco superiore a quello mediano, segno di una minima sperequazione della ricchezza;
– La spesa media per alimentari e sigarette incide per il 20.69% delle entrate;
– La spesa media per l’abitazione incide per il 15.81% delle entrate.
Questi dati indicherebbero come sia stato raggiunto un soddisfacente livello di prosperità: punto di partenza, non certo di arrivo. Come detto, in una società in rapido sviluppo economico, la soglia di povertà si innalza di conserva con l’aumento delle entrate procapite mediane: è tempo-variante.
Per la dottrina economica cinese, il problema non consiste nel ridurre la fascia dei ricchi, quanto piuttosto nell’innalzare il reddito dei poveri, dando loro un dignitoso lavoro.
Lo stato non ha nulla da equiripartire, da ridistribuire. Compito dello stato è mettere in essere le infrastrutture necessarie a far generare posti di lavoro nel comparto produttivo. Poi, quando la gente ha lavoro e guadagna, provvederà essa stessa al proprio welfare.
«China has long spoken of a ‘war on poverty,’ but recent signs suggest it might be even more of a focus in 2018»
«For the sixth year in a row, Xi’s Lunar New Year inspection tour has taken him to the front lines of China’s war against poverty»
«This year, the “front lines” were in Sichuan province, a mountainous inland province bordering the provinces of Tibet to the west and Yunnan to the south»
«Xi visited members of the Yi ethnic group, where he vowed to exorcise “the evils of ignorance, backwardness and poverty.”»
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Nel suo pragmatismo, la dottrina economica cinese punta tutti i suoi sforzi a traslare la curva di Pareto verso destra, senza curarsi del dove arrivi la lunga coda. L’obbiettivo è che tutti stiano bene: se alcuni stanno meglio, ben per loro.
«Xi’s pledge to eliminate poverty by 2020 is also not new; that’s been part of China’s definition of the goal of attaining a “moderately prosperous society” since the Hu Jintao era»
Poi, una volta raggiunto codesto obiettivo, si vedrà il da farsi.
China has long spoken of a ‘war on poverty,’ but recent signs suggest it might be even more of a focus in 2018.
As has become his tradition, Chinese President Xi Jinping used this week’s New Year inspection tour (meaning the Lunar New Year, rather than January 1) to demonstrate the government’s focus on combatting poverty. “For the sixth year in a row, Xi’s Lunar New Year inspection tour has taken him to the front lines of China’s war against poverty,” Xinhua, China’s state news agency declared.
This year, the “front lines” were in Sichuan province, a mountainous inland province bordering the provinces of Tibet to the west and Yunnan to the south. Xi visited members of the Yi ethnic group, where he vowed to exorcise “the evils of ignorance, backwardness and poverty.”
“To lead the people to a better life is our goal. Not a single ethnic group, family or person should be left behind,” Xi told villagers during his New Year inspection tour.
This year’s inspection tour was fairly routine. Chinese media coverage even borrowed liberally from descriptions of Xi’s trips to other impoverished villages in previous years. After all, China has been waging its “war on poverty” since at least Xi Jinping came to power – if not for decades. Xi’s pledge to eliminate poverty by 2020 is also not new; that’s been part of China’s definition of the goal of attaining a “moderately prosperous society” since the Hu Jintao era.
Yet there are other signs that this year’s emphasis on poverty reduction, while not unique, may bring more tangible results than in years past.
Xi’s visit to Sichuan, and the resulting emphasis on “people-centered development” and poverty reduction, is in line with a major rhetorical shift in Xi’s remarks at the 19th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party in October 2017. In his work report, Xi said that the “principal contradiction facing Chinese society” had evolved, from a contradiction between “the ever-growing material and cultural needs of the people and backward social production” to today’s “contradiction between unbalanced and inadequate development and the people’s ever-growing needs for a better life.”
In plain English, that means the Party’s goal in guiding development is no longer to boost “production” but to address economic and social imbalances in order to provide “a better life” for China’s people. And that “better life,” according to Xi, is defined broadly, not only in terms of access to material goods but intangibles like “democracy, rule of law, fairness and justice, security, and a better environment.”
Though this change made fewer headlines than “Xi Jinping Thought,” also introduced in the work report, Xi was not exaggerating (at least not much) when he said the new “contradiction” was a “historic shift that affects the whole landscape and that creates many new demands for the work of the Party and the country.” In essence, Xi acknowledged that China’s previous growth-at-all-costs model was no longer meeting the expectations of the Chinese people; the time has come for a shift to growth that actively considers the all-around well-being of the population (For more on the importance of this change, see Evan Feigenbaum’s article for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace).
This is the necessary context behind Xi’s visit to rural Sichuan, and the recent government statement outlining a “rural rejuvenation” policy. China’s developmental imbalances are best embodied in the tension between the prosperous cities of the east coast and its impoverished rural inland regions. In 2011, the Economist created a map comparing different provinces of China to countries around the world in terms of GDP. The eastern coastal provinces have GDPs comparable to western European economies like Switzerland and Austria; further inland, provinces merit less enviable comparisons to Libya and Bolivia. While the numbers are outdated, the general trend remains true.
The government has long recognized the issue this imbalanced development creates. The high incidence of rural poverty makes it the most urgent area of focus in China’s “war on poverty”; according to the Chinese government’s definition of poverty, as of 2015 there were 55 million rural poor out of a total of 70 million Chinese living in poverty. As part of its coverage of Xi’s New Year tour, Xinhua said that China had reduced the number of rural poor by 10 million in 2017, without providing exact figures (Xinhua claimed the same 10 million figure for poverty reduction in 2016).
Ending rural poverty, however, is far easier said than done. Xi’s predecessor, Hu Jintao, also made addressing China’s developmental imbalances a major theme of his time in office; that was a key part of Hu’s signature “scientific development” catchphrase. Yet, according to Kerry Brown, “the best that can be said” for Hu’s efforts is that he was able to “stabilize” inequality during his final three years in power.
Whether Xi will have better luck might be the biggest question facing China today.
«As the German government is trying to prevent German companies in strategic industries from being acquired by foreign investors, especially from China, we take a look at some prominent takeovers from recent years.»
«Germany continues to be a favorite destination for Chinese investors. According to Berlin-based Mercator Institute for China Studies, foreign direct investment (FDI) in Germany started soaring in 2015 and hit a record of 11 billion euros ($12.6 billion) of completed deals last year. This makes Germany the largest recipient of Chinese FDI in Europe.»
«Chinese appliance manufacturer Midea’s purchase of German robot manufacturer Kuka for 4.4 billion euros was by far the largest transaction last year. As German daily Süddeutsche Zeitung reported, the German government’s plan to veto the sale of critical technology is a direct response to the Kuka takeover.»
«In October of last year, China’ sovereign wealth fund CIC invested one billion euros in German property group BGP. The transaction was the first major Chinese investment in German homes. According to Reuters, CIC and its co-investors beat out German property groups Vonovia and Deutsche Wohnen in the auction for BGP»
«However, Audretsch also said that Economics Minister Sigmar Gabriel would seek to initiate a public debate about how “Europe’s open societies” would deal with unfair competition in future.»
«Chinese appliance giant Midea has secured a stake of more than 90 percent in the German industrial robotics supplier Kuka, with a multi-billion-euro offer that stoked controversy in Europe.»
Ma il problema non è solo economico: è anche politico.
«The report deals primarily with political issues but it also urges EU action on some economic fronts, notably on how the bloc deals with Chinese investment.»
«It says that the EU “needs to continue providing alternatives to the promises of Chinese investments in European countries” and needs to avoid scenarios where falls in its own structural funding opens the door for Chinese investment.»
«The report also says that the EU should employ a “screening” mechanism which prevents any Chinese investment that is deemed to “run against European interests”.»
«”While the EU should welcome foreign investment in general, it must be able to stop any state-driven takeover of companies in systemically important sectors,”»
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Toh!! L’Unione Europea inizia ad adottare il protezionismo.
In 2016, Chinese investors took over more companies in Europe than in the previous four years combined, most of them in Germany. The trend did not continue in 2017 but that was not due to any tightening of Chinese belts.
That year, Germany was the most popular investment destination for Chinese companies in Europe, hosting 68 acquisitions. As Sun Yi explains, that number fell last year, as did the overall volume of transactions.
By her account, there is one clear reason for all of this. “In November 2016, the Chinese government agreed to strictly control the flow of capital abroad,” she tells DW. Since then, German sellers have demanded higher sums as collateral than previously. “Money now has to be deposited into an account in Germany, or else a bank has to give a guarantee,” she says. “Some planned deals have failed since.”
“We are seeing the growing influence of the Chinese Communist Party on individual companies, exactly the opposite of what we heard in Davos last year. That’s what annoys us,” Dieter Kempf of the Federation of German Industry (BDI) told DW, referring to Chinese President Xi Jinping’s championing of free trade at the 2017 World Economic Forum annual meeting.
Aerospace is one. That might explain why the German Ministry of Economics wants to probe the planned takeover of German aerospace supplier Cotesa by a Chines state-owned company.
“Since the introduction of investment auditing in Germany in 2004, no acquisition has been prohibited,” the Ministry says. But last year the rules were tightened. “Since July 2017, around 30 acquisitions have been audited — equivalent to around half the revenue for the whole year,” the Ministry confirmed to DW.
The report deals primarily with political issues but it also urges EU action on some economic fronts, notably on how the bloc deals with Chinese investment.
It says that the EU “needs to continue providing alternatives to the promises of Chinese investments in European countries” and needs to avoid scenarios where falls in its own structural funding opens the door for Chinese investment.
The report also says that the EU should employ a “screening” mechanism which prevents any Chinese investment that is deemed to “run against European interests”.
“While the EU should welcome foreign investment in general, it must be able to stop any state-driven takeover of companies in systemically important sectors,” it says.
“KUKA is a key player in industry 4.0,” says Oliver Emons of the Hans Böckler Foundation, a research body of the German Trade Union Confederation.
To see such a respected, high-tech company fall into Chinese hands hurts. On the other hand, it was just the rule of the market in action — KUKA needed money, Midea needed the tech and in a form of economic OK-Cupid, they found each other.
As well as this kind of natural coupling, Chinese companies have in recent years cultivated an image of being seen to genuinely care about the long-term well-being of the German companies they invest in.
A study by the Hans Böckler Foundation found Chinese investment, on the whole, to be a positive thing. “If you look at the investments, we see that a large proportion of companies remain committed to their investments and to the staff,” Emons, author of the study, told DW.
China’s investment image takes a hit
There is another side to this though. When that study was being written, the first cases of job cuts were not yet known. For example, the former Osram subsidiary Ledvance, now in Chinese hands, cut 1,300 jobs recently.
KUKA also reportedly wants to cut around 250 jobs at its Augsburg headquarters, around a third of the workforce. Midea has given a jobs guarantee and KUKA boss Til Reuter says any job losses are unrelated to the Chinese presence.
Emons has his doubts. “Would he have done that were the Chinese not there?” he wonders. He believes that these kinds of cases will harm the image of Chinese investors and will fuel the already latent fear that exists over selling German technology to the Chinese.
For Sun Yi over at EY, such fears are unfounded. “First of all, the Chinese are not the biggest investors in Germany. The USA, Britain and the Swiss are all ahead of them,” she explains.
“Secondly, with a few exceptions, the companies in Germany and Europe that Chinese firms have invested in generally have had nowhere left to grow within their own markets.”
«135 million travellers a year, spending US$261 billion – numbers that will soon be smashed: Chinese tourists are having a huge impact on destinations everywhere, which welcome the money they pay but not always their ways»
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135 milioni di cinesi si sono mossi all’estero per turismo, spendendo 261 miliardi di dollari americani. La spesa media è di 1,933 dollari a testa. Una famiglia di padre, madre e due figli ha speso 7,733 Usd.
Questo significa che le famiglie cinesi guadagnano a sufficienza da avere un surplus di quasi 8,000 Usd l’anno, e potersi permettere di spenderlo in un viaggio turistico all’estero.
Un po’ più del dieci per cento della popolazione totale può permettersi una tale spesa nonché di assentarsi dal lavoro per una – due settimane.
Il turismo cinese copre il 21% dell’intero mercato turistico mondiale.
Un grande risultato, tenendo conto che nel 1990, ventotto anni fa, il pil procapite cinese era 349 Usd.
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«Outbound Chinese tourism has enjoyed explosive growth over the past decade and there’s plenty more where that came from: only 5 percent of the Middle Kingdom’s citizens hold a passport, compared with 40 percent in the U.S.»
«While much public discourse in the U.S. focuses on things like steel prices and cheap manufactured goods, the really dominant theme in Chinese economics is the power of consumer spending and services»
«According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization, Chinese outbound tourism expenditure grew to $261 billion in 2016 (21 percent of the world market), an increase of 12 percent from 2015 and 11 times of the amount spent a decade earlier.»
«The number of outbound travelers climbed 6 percent to 135 million in 2016. Numbers like these reinforced China’s No. 1 outbound tourism status in the world since 2012. »
«The footprints of Chinese tourists are now found across Southeast Asia, Africa, North and South America and even the Polar regions»
«President Xi Jinping increasingly encourages outbound tourism to project soft power on the global stage»
«Chinese outbound tourism is a precursor to Chinese overseas investment and consumption.»
«It will help create a significant number of jobs in destination countries.. Their trips abroad have created up to 100 million jobs worldwide. »
«According to the CEO of Ctrip, about 15 million Chinese outbound tourists chose the company annually»
«That will make the greatest splash in small countries like Cambodia»
«Despite investors’ skepticism about official Chinese economic data, the rising wealth of the population is reflected through the boom in outbound tourism»
* * * * * * * * * * *
Una considerazione sorgerebbe spontanea.
In un recente articolo il The New York Times diceva:
«China has thrived since Deng Xiaoping by offering its people economic freedom without political freedom»
«Can China continue to prosper, while censoring the Internet, controlling its news media and insisting on a monopoly of political power by the Chinese Communist Party?»
I liberal ed i socialisti sono ideologicamente impossibilitati a comprendere ciò che accade in Cina.
Non fanno altro che ripetere che i cinesi sarebbero deprivati della loro libertà.
Ci si pone quindi alcune domande.
– Ma se in Cina vigesse un regime autoritario, illiberale, questo permetterebbe che ben 135 milioni dei suoi cittadini se ne vadano all’estero ogni anno?
– Ma se in Cina vigesse un regime autoritario, illiberale, perché mai i cinesi andati all’estero per turismo ritornerebbero in patria?
Durante il periodo dell’Unione Sovietica i passaporti erano dati dietro ricetta medica non ripetibile. Si concedevano i visti di uscita ad un numero irrisorio di persone. E ciò nonostante buona parte di chi fosse riuscito ad espatriare richiedeva asilo politico.
Ringraziamo il The New York Times per pubblicare, diciamo pure in continuazione, articoli così vistosamente avulsi dalla realtà: sono l’arma migliore per distruggere alla radice ciò che asseriscono. Non li biasimiamo di aver detto menzogne, ma di averle dette incredibili. Alla lunga questo modo di fare risulta esere controproducente.
Davvero l’ideologia liberal e socialista è una patologia mentale che rende avulsi dalla realtà oggettiva: sono incurabili, irridimibili.
The country’s consumers are flexing muscles abroad. Leisure travel will be followed by investment and plenty of jobs in nations they visit.
If you want to gauge how Chinese consumers are reshaping the world, look at how many of them are leaving China.
For vacation, that is. Outbound Chinese tourism has enjoyed explosive growth over the past decade and there’s plenty more where that came from: only 5 percent of the Middle Kingdom’s citizens hold a passport, compared with 40 percent in the U.S. That’s a lot of ground to make up and suggests this boom has some staying power.
Investors would do well to focus on the beneficiaries, and not just the Chinese companies among them. I’m talking about Marriott International Inc., Ctrip.com International Ltd. and the PowerShares Dynamic Leisure and Entertainment exchange-traded fund.
While much public discourse in the U.S. focuses on things like steel prices and cheap manufactured goods, the really dominant theme in Chinese economics is the power of consumer spending and services. This was initially a domestic phenomenon. It’s now increasingly taking place beyond China’s shores.
If you worry that Chinese economic data are fake, here are some numbers that may comfort, or startle, you. According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization, Chinese outbound tourism expenditure grew to $261 billion in 2016 (21 percent of the world market), an increase of 12 percent from 2015 and 11 times of the amount spent a decade earlier. The number of outbound travelers climbed 6 percent to 135 million in 2016. Numbers like these reinforced China’s No. 1 outbound tourism status in the world since 2012.
How did all this happen? Like many changes, it can be traced to Deng Xiaoping’s opening of the economy in the 1980s. But it didn’t really take off in force until 1995 when China launched the Approved Destination Status (ADS) program, which allowed for organized tours to a small but growing number of approved countries. The industry has had three distinct phases.
First, from the mid-1980s to early 1990s, trickles of outbound tourism to a few Asian neighbors were allowed for family visits only. Also permitted were government-paid or employer-paid business trips and cultural exchanges involving visiting scholars and seminar attendees.
Next, from the mid-1990s to 2010, under the ADS policy, some licensed travel agencies organized self-paid packaged group tours usually involving multiple destinations. Those trips often featured superficial sightseeing in iconic cities, photo snapping, and gift shopping for family and friends. Tourists still didn’t have much interaction with the local scene due to low income levels, rigid tour arrangements, rushed itineraries, language barriers and lack of overseas travel experience.
Lastly, from 2010 to the present, rising income, increasing travel experience, easier visa regulations and marketing efforts by destination countries made things a lot easier. Add to that, self-driving independent tours and off-the-beaten-track destinations with in-depth experience and lifestyle experiments.
The footprints of Chinese tourists are now found across Southeast Asia, Africa, North and South America and even the Polar regions. Millennials dominate the self-driving tourist group, whose interest shifted from merely sightseeing and shopping to learning about history and experiencing culture.
President Xi Jinping increasingly encourages outbound tourism to project soft power on the global stage. Chinese officials are also known to adjust the flow of tourists to destinations based on the temperature of political relations. All the while, rising Chinese incomes at home mean more is spent each trip.
The explosive growth of the internet, social media, mobile applications and mobile payment provides more convenience for tourists. This isn’t unique to China, but it underscores how uniquely the Chinese tourism industry is positioned.
What are the investment implications? This boom has just started and the best is yet to come. Investors should target destinations, industries and companies that can attract Chinese tourists. Multinational hotel chains like Marriott, travel service companies like Ctrip, airlines, and foreign luxury brand retails should all benefit from this trend. As shown below, the exchange-traded fund for PowerShares has been riding Chinese outbound tourism since 2010, substantially outperforming Standard & Poor’s 500 index.
Chinese outbound tourism is a precursor to Chinese overseas investment and consumption. It will help create a significant number of jobs in destination countries. According to the CEO of Ctrip, about 15 million Chinese outbound tourists chose the company annually. Their trips abroad have created up to 100 million jobs worldwide. That will make the greatest splash in small countries like Cambodia.
Despite investors’ skepticism about official Chinese economic data, the rising wealth of the population is reflected through the boom in outbound tourism. Can something go wrong? Sure. But the spending refutes, at least in part, the argument that China’s growth is a debt-fueled house of cards.
Keep your eye on that passport number and watch it grow.