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在中印之间左右逢源的毛里求斯
Is Mauritius big enough for China and India?

来源:FT中文网    2017-10-12 05:58



        Border flare-ups in the Himalayas between India and China have long been a feature of international politics, yet, curiously, the two countries now find themselves rubbing shoulders in the less hostile terrain of distant Mauritius. Is the tiny Indian Ocean island big enough for both Asian giants?        长期以来,印度和中国在喜马拉雅地区的边境摩擦一直是国际政治的一部分,然而令人好奇的是,这两个国家如今在不那么敌对的、遥远的毛里求斯和谐相处。这个微小的印度洋岛国,是否大到足以容纳两个亚洲巨人?
        Mauritian ambitions as a financial centre involve both India and China playing big parts in its future. As it reinvents itself as an active launch pad for investors in Africa — from being, in the past, primarily a place to store offshore wealth — Mauritius wants to deepen its existing ties to India while cultivating new ones with China.        毛里求斯把自己打造成金融中心的抱负,涉及印度和中国都在其未来扮演重要角色。随着毛里求斯寻求把自己从过去的离岸财富中心转型成对非洲投资者的活跃跳板,该国想在加深与印度现有关系的同时,培育同中国的新关系。
        “We don’t have to make choices — we want to be friends,” says Rama Sithanen, the chair of local financial services group IFS and a former minister of finance. “We’ve never been asked to make those choices.”        “我们并非不得不做出选择……我们想要交朋友,”当地金融服务集团IFS的董事长、毛里求斯前财长希达南(Rama Sithanen)说,“我们从未被要求做出这样的选择。”
        On the other hand, relations with New Delhi and Beijing appear to be pulling Mauritius in different directions. The island aims to maintain political and security links with India, and to have China play a very important part in plans to re-orient Mauritius’s role as a financial centre towards Africa.        另一方面,与印度和中国的关系看来要把毛里求斯拉向不同的方向。这个岛国打算维持与印度的政治与安全关系,同时让中国在其把自身重新定位为面向非洲的金融中心的过程中扮演非常重要的角色。
        India has dominated investment flows to Mauritius since it opened up as an offshore centre 30 years ago. A recent change to capital gains taxation in the two countries’ tax treaty may somewhat diminish these flows in future. At the same time, a so-called “grandfathering” clause in the treaty means that Indian capital is still able to have a substantial interest in the island.        自毛里求斯在30年前作为一个离岸中心对外开放以来,印度便主宰了通向该国的投资流。最近,两国税务条约中的资本利得税规定发生变化,未来也许会在一定程度上减少这些投资流。与此同时,条约中的一条所谓“祖父条款”意味着,印度资本仍然有能力在岛上享有重大权益。
        The Mauritian political elite has powerful historical ties to India. Many are girmitya, descendants of Indian indentured labourers who came to work on sugarcane plantations under British rule on the island. So close are relations that Narendra Modi, the Indian prime minister, has been known to call Mauritius “Little India”.        毛里求斯的政治精英们跟印度之间有着强大的历史纽带。很多人是girmitya,即在英国统治该岛时期来这里的甘蔗种植园干活的印度契约劳工的后代。两者关系如此紧密,以至于印度总理纳伦德拉•莫迪(Narendra Modi)据悉把毛里求斯称为“小印度”。
        New Delhi’s influence on the island has not always been so discreet. In the 1980s, the government of Indira Gandhi briefly contemplated invading Mauritius when it appeared an India-friendly government was in danger of being overthrown.        印度对这个岛国的影响力并非一直这么谨慎。1980年代,当毛里求斯的亲印度政府似乎处于被推翻的危险时,英迪拉•甘地(Indira Gandhi)政府短暂考虑过入侵该国。
        In May, Pravind Jugnauth, the Mauritian prime minister, and Mr Modi signed an agreement on maritime security that came only two weeks after a Chinese summit meeting in Beijing, involving such national leaders as Russia’s Vladimir Putin and Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif, on China’s so-termed “belt and road initiative” — the large-scale effort by China to boost its trade through infrastructure building programmes abroad.        5月,毛里求斯总理普拉温德•贾格纳特(Pravind Jugnauth)和莫迪签订了一份海上安全协议,而就在两周前,他在北京出席了中国主持的“一带一路项目”峰会,与会的国家领导人还有俄罗斯的弗拉基米尔•普京(Vladimir Putin)和巴基斯坦总理纳瓦兹•谢里夫(Nawaz Sharif)等人。该项目是中国发起的大规模努力,目的是通过海外基建计划来提振贸易。
        The Mauritius/India agreement was sweetened by a $500m line of credit from the Indian government. This underlined how New Delhi can, similarly to Beijing, flex its financial muscles to back infrastructure projects and defend a sphere of influence.        印度政府提供的5亿美元信贷额度,使毛里求斯和印度达成的协议更具诱惑力。这凸显出,新德里能够像北京一样,依托雄厚财力来支持基建项目,并捍卫自己的势力范围。
        Metro Express, a planned light-rail network to relieve road congestion on the island, is being built by an Indian multinational and funded with nearly $300m in grants from New Delhi.        旨在缓解该岛国道路堵塞的轻轨网络Metro Express,正由印度的一家跨国公司承建,还得到了印度政府近3亿美元的拨款。
        If India’s political influence in the Mauritian capital, Port Louis, seems secure — not least through historical ties — China’s is looming large. Recently, for example, Mauritius has signed deals with governments in Senegal, Ghana, the Ivory Coast and Madagascar in order to help set up business parks and special economic zones. This is the kind of infrastructure that might soon be important to Chinese investors seeking to tap local markets.        如果说印度在毛里求斯首都路易港(Port Louis)的政治影响力看来很稳固的话(尤其是借助历史纽带),那么中国的影响也令人难以忽视。比如,毛里求斯不久前跟塞内加尔、加纳、科特迪瓦和马达加斯加签订了协议,以帮助设立商业园区和特别经济区。这正是在不久后也许会令寻求进入当地市场的中国投资者感觉重要的那类基础设施。
        Indeed, as Mr Jugnauth himself says, “Mauritius has invited the Chinese government to establish partnerships to invest in these ventures.” He adds: “Both countries recognise the huge potential that exists for deeper co-operation in future.”        的确,正如贾格纳特本人所说,“毛里求斯邀请中国政府建立合作伙伴关系,以便对这些项目进行投资。”他接着说:“两国都意识到深化未来合作的巨大潜力。”
        At the same time, this may not amount to Chinese companies setting up in Mauritius itself over the next few years and driving up demand for financial and legal services.        与此同时,这也许不会导致中国企业在未来几年落户毛里求斯,提振对金融与法律服务的需求。
        “I don’t think that there will be a big flow of Chinese investment [into Mauritius] for the next two to three years,” says Alain Law Min, chief executive of MCB, Mauritius’s biggest bank. Although, as he adds: “I’m optimistic that we should get some of [the] bigger boys coming through.”        “我认为,未来两、三年,(流入毛里求斯)的中国投资不会很大,”毛里求斯最大银行MCB的首席执行官阿兰•劳•敏(Alain Law Min)说。不过,他接着说:“我乐观地认为,我们应该会看到其中一些巨头落地经营。”
        Bank of China secured a licence in Mauritius last year, meanwhile, and Huawei, China’s biggest smartphone maker, is expanding its local presence.        去年,中国银行(BoC)在毛里求斯取得了执照,而中国最大智能手机制造商华为(Huawei)正在扩大在该国的业务地盘。
        In the long run, “the Chinese would like to find a base where they can access expertise,” Mr Law Min notes, especially to understand how to exploit demographic changes on the continent. Rising wages and an ageing population at home will push Chinese companies “to want to come to Africa to access that cheaper, and younger labour”, he says.        从长远看,“中国企业希望找到一个可以获得专长的基地,”劳•敏指出,尤其是为了弄明白如何利用非洲大陆的人口结构变化。他表示,国内工资升高以及人口日益老化,将导致中国企业“希望进军非洲,获得更廉价、更年轻的劳动力”。
        “We think that the corridor between China and Africa, in terms of trade and investment, will increase significantly,” Mr Sithanen says. “Equally, we have space for Indian companies to come and invest in Mauritius,” he adds.        “我们认为,在贸易与投资方面,中非之间的走廊将显著拓宽,”希达南说。“同样地,我们也有让印度公司来毛里求斯投资的空间,”他接着说。
        “China will win, India will gain.”        “中国会赢,印度也会赢。”
                
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