开放对美国有利 / America Would Benefit from an Open Door Policy

开放对美国有利

要衡量美国是否已从全球金融危机中复苏,最重要的指标之一就是失业率,反之即就业机会的增加。失业和就业不足仍是让人头疼的问题,它们是阻碍消费者信心和支出回升的主要因素,因此解决就业问题也就成了当务之急。

所以,奥巴马政府着力扩大出口也就不足为奇了。他们已经制定了5年实现出口翻番、同时创造约200万个就业机会的目标。这一目标志向高远,但却值得一试。

出口增长和就业机会增加之间的关系比较松散,难以准确预计,因此出口翻番能否真的在美国土地上创造出200万个就业机会还需要拭目以待。

然而这仍是个值得称道的积极目标。

同时,还有一个有利于美国经济的绝佳机会尚未得到足够的重视。目前,只有屈指可数的几位美国酒店及餐饮服务业的老总注意到了它,但似乎还没有得到华盛顿的支持。

自9/11事件以来,取得赴美签证的难度更大,耗时更长,特别是对中国、俄罗斯、印度和巴西人而言。更不幸的是,这种状况偏又赶上中国游客“走出去”的热情高涨、海外旅游人数陡增的势头。

结果,大部分中国游客都过美国而不入,这也怨不得他们,因为去欧洲或其他国家要容易得多。

在2011年6月13日出版的《财富》杂志中,万豪国际(Marriott International)的董事长兼首席执行官小比尔•马里奥特说:“911以来,金砖四国(巴西、俄罗斯、印度及中国)的游客必须亲自前往美国驻外领事馆接受面试才能取得签证。2010年10月,从美国驻华的五个领事馆获得面试和签证需要等候48天,而去英国只要12天,去欧洲其他国家的等候时间甚至更短。”

所以,毫不为奇,2010年前往欧洲的中国人突破了350万,而去美国的中国游客却只有80万。根据美国商务部(the U.S. Department of Commerce)的统计,2000年美国在国际旅游市场的占有率为17%,而目前已下跌近一半,仅为12%。

马拉里奥特继续说,根据美国商务部的统计,游客每增多10%可以造就10万个新就业机会,还能刺激零售及餐饮消费,给美国经济带来健康的连锁反应。

大体而言,这意味着不用作任何新的投入(现有饭店及设施已充分具备接纳更多游客的能力),也不用花时间为扩大出口而建设提高产能的新生产设施,就能创造出新的收入。

从和美国另一家国际酒店集团CEO的对话中我了解到,比尔•马里奥特并非唯一一位谈及这个问题的酒店老总。但遗憾的是,华府内部对此事的支持论调还尚未形成。

讽刺的是,我最近的一系列博客都在描述当年首次访华的种种遭遇,而如今中国人赴美的难度之大几乎直追改革开放前美国人去中国的困难水平。

这到底是怎么了?!

显然,911事件对美国造成的深远影响要求美国必须对国家安全进行全面检视,结果从多方面对美国人及访美人员的在美生活造成了影响,这既可悲但又可以让人理解。

另外一个重要因素就是美国国内对非法移民还存在着复杂的、政治性的担忧。

所有这些都说明,要修订和理顺赴美签证的政策和程序,前路仍然荆棘密布。

但不要忘记,上世纪70年代末到80年代初,中国在推出改革开放政策之前也遭遇过无数艰难险阻和强烈反对。

这关乎领导和政治艺术。让我们期望美国能出于自身利益的考虑,抓住这次机遇,让中国及世界各国人士合法赴美的手续变得更加便捷,创造双赢的局面。

America Would Benefit from an Open Door Policy

One of the most critical indicators of progress in the U.S. recovery from the global financial crisis is unemployment, and conversely, job creation. Unemployment and underemployment remain vexing issues and a major damper on recovery in consumer confidence and spending, so fixing these problems is a top priority.

It comes as no great surprise, then, that the U.S. government under President Obama’s leadership has focused on export promotion. They have championed a 5-year goal of doubling U.S. exports, and creating an estimated 2 million jobs in the process. These are very ambitious goals, albeit very worthwhile ones.

It is impossible to accurately predict the causal link between the growth of exports and the creation of new jobs, so whether a doubling of exports will actually result in the creation of 2 million new jobs on American soil remains to be seen.

Still, it remains a laudable and positive objective.

Meanwhile, there is another golden economic opportunity for the U.S. which has received little attention, with the exception of a handful of corporate leaders in the U.S. hotel and hospitality industry, who for the time being do not seem to have attracted much support in Washington.

Since 9/11, the process of obtaining a visa to visit the U.S. has become vastly more challenging and time-consuming, especially for nationals of China, Russia, India and Brazil. In the case of China, this unfortunately has coincided with a huge and fast growing surge of Chinese tourists “going global.”

As a result, Chinese tourists are largely giving the U.S. a miss, and I can’t blame them. It’s a lot easier to go to Europe, or a host of other destinations.

Writing in the June 13, 2011 issue of FORTUNE, Chairman and CEO of Marriott International, Bill Marriott, Jr. observed: “Since 9/11, visitors from the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China) must have an in-person interview at one of our overseas consulates to get a visa. In October 2010, the wait time for an interview and visa at one of our five consulates in China was 48 days; for Britain the wait time was 12 days, and it was even less for the big European countries.”

It’s not surprising, then, that in 2010, more than 3.5 million Chinese visited Europe, compared with only 800,000 who visited the U.S. In the year 2000, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce, America’s share of international tourism was 17%. By 2010, it had dropped by nearly half, to 12%.

Marriott goes on to say that, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce, a 10% increase in tourist visitors would create 100,000 jobs. It also boosts retail and food and beverage spending, which has healthy knock-on effects for the U.S. economy.

By and large, this means generating new revenue without any new investment (ie the hotels and other facilities already have ample capacity to accommodate more visitors) or the time required to build new production facilities, as may be required to expand manufacturing capacity in support of export growth.

I know from conversations with the CEO of at least one other major U.S.-based international hotel group that Bill Marriott is not alone among hotel industry leaders in speaking out about this problem. Unfortunately, champions of the issue within the beltway in Washington have been slow to emerge.

The irony of this is that, as I described in my last series of posts regarding my first visit to China in 1975, nowadays it is almost as challenging for Chinese to visit America as it was for Americans to visit China in her pre-Open Door and Reform. era.

What’s wrong with this picture?!

Obviously, the profound impact on America of the 9/11 tragedy understandably required a complete overhaul of national security which impacted many aspects of life in America for Americans as well as would-be visitors.

Another important, complex and politically charged set of concerns within the U.S. relates to illegal immigration.

All of which is to say, there are plenty of challenges ahead on the road to revamping and streamlining policies and procedures concerning U.S. visitors’ visas.

Lest we forget, there were plenty of challenges and powerful opposition to China’s Open Door and Reform. Policy before it was promulgated at the end of the 1970s and early 1980s.

That’s what leadership and statesmanship are all about. Let’s hope that the U.S. can seize the opportunity, out of self-interest, to make it much easier for her to welcome legitimate visitors from China and around the world. It’s a win-win situation.


更多



相关日志/Related Posts

阅读数 69,286 / 69,286 views



开放对美国有利 / America Would Benefit from an Open Door Policy》上有 8 条评论

  1. 匿名 说道:

    评 5 分

  2. 匿名 说道:

    评 5 分

  3. 匿名 说道:

    评 5 分

  4. 匿名 说道:

    评 -5 分

  5. 匿名 说道:

    评 3 分

  6. 匿名 说道:

    评 5 分

  7. 匿名 说道:

    评 1 分

  8. 匿名 说道:

    评 5 分

发表评论 / Leave a Reply

电子邮件地址不会被公开。 必填项已被标记为 *

*

您可以使用这些 HTML 标签和属性: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <p> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

:wink: :-| :-x :twisted: :) 8-O :( :roll: :-P :oops: :-o :mrgreen: :lol: :idea: :-D :evil: :cry: 8) :arrow: :-? :?: :!: