酒产业集群——生产力解放的更高形式 (Alcohol Industry Clustering—higher form of productivity liberation)



Served as the primary issue to be considered for businesses, the choice of location, which can be influenced by many factors such as resources, market, transportation, environment and others, is deemed as the first link to reap a sound production. All these factors determine the cost of output and whether a production can take place, or whether the production rate can be maintained. Unless necessary, it is less likely that people would take on businesses that are the opposite of cost-efficient, which is a basic rule from an economic perspective. 产出与成本的判定,是动态变化着的。产出与成本的稳定是相对的,不稳定是常态,是具体的历史的统一。

The determination of cost and output is dynamic and changing, where stability of output and cost is relative, while instability is the norm, featuring a concrete, historical unity.


This is because the exploitation of resources is dynamically changing, and when the supply of resources decreases, the output drops, and vice versa. Market demand, too, transforms as people’s living quality improves. Transportation, environment, and the artificial nature are also constantly altering under the influence posed by human activities.


If there is an optimal location, scale, and output for a business, it must be a place where businesses and the local factors are a good match. However, this matching will gradually become a mismatch between output and supply, for the supply factor can’t remain unchanged. To maintain the matching, people will have to change the supply model, and to do that, mobility in respective factors and businesses becomes necessary. The flow of factors requires a quick circulation so as to facilitate the industrial relocation. A good resource and industrial relocation contribute to achieving a Pareto Optimality in resource allocation, which is the mission of economics that is always difficult to be accomplished, and it is also a topic that countless economists and management scientists will never seem to be able to finish.


The best form catering to such high-level resource matching is business clustering, where the matching factors meet not only the needs of an individual business, but can generate externalities as well, meaning boosting business output without further input. Studies showed that it is a result of the non-dissipative feature of knowledge-based factors, and a reason drawing people’s attention to the aspect business clustering.


Clusters in the alcohol industry have stronger externalities than general industrial clusters. This is because the interconnectedness of the alcohol industry chain, a characteristic of this industry, is more evident in the alcohol production process. There also exists positive externalities in many aspects, specifically embodied in the wine making process, including the microbial environment which is crucial for this process, grain raw material transportation, staff training, joint efforts in forging market chains and so forth, leading to a higher output with less input under the context of business clusters. Without a favorable microbial environment, there could be little chance to produce premium alcohol products, which in turn reiterates the importance of business clusters. Moutai, for example, produces superior baijiu. Starting from 2005, the Ministry of Science and Technology of China invited bids from all over the country to study and implement the strategic policy dubbed “clearing the cage to make way for new birds (saving more space for high-tech industries)”, allowing enterprises that are unrelated to the alcohol industry to move out of the Moutai. The policy has laid a solid foundation for the alcohol industry to become the pillar industry in Guizhou province. This clustering of Guizhou’s alcohol industry achieves a similar effect to that of the Bordeaux wine clustering in France.


Promoting the formation of industrial clusters is an important way to liberate more productivity.  “Liberation” requires “revolution”. In some cases, this “revolution” may also increase the cost of production in the short term due to human interventions. However, for a long-term point of view, it is necessary for the visible hand, the government, to involve. Timely government subsidies to enterprises are often required, this is only to compensate for the short-term losses caused to enterprises out of government intervention. Experience from multiple countries shows that efforts to play the role of both the government and the market must be made in order to quickly form industrial clusters, be it under socialist conditions or capitalist conditions in the market economy, such methods are usually adopted.


Industry clusters realize a new industrial “revolution”, whose value outweighs the new greenfield investment in achieving capital savings and effective allocation of resources.集群的更高层面是企业在更大区域内实现产业分工。真正的区域经济“一体化”决不是产出的同质化,是合理的产业分工和产业布局的形成。在这方面,经过数十年的努力,国际分工已取得了很好的成效,各国进出口的不断增长,就是很好的见证。进入新世纪后,中国政府一直在推动企业跨区域重组,推动生产要素跨区域流动。我们有理由相信,随着这一更高层面的产业集群的不断形成,包括酒产业在内的产业的新的“革命”,一定会在更高层面上推动生产力的解放。

The higher level of clustering is the industrial division of labor among enterprises in a larger region. True regional economic “integration” is never about the homogenization of output, but the formation of a reasonable industrial division of labor and industrial layout. In this regard, after decades of efforts, the international division of labor has achieved good results, witnessing the continuous growth of exports and imports in different countries. Since we entered the new era, the Chinese government has been promoting the cross-regional restructuring of enterprises and the cross-regional flow of production factors. We have good reasons to believe that with a higher-level of industrial clustering, a new “revolution” in industries including the alcohol industry, will certainly drive a momentous push in liberating productivity at a higher level.



Dr.Chen Zeming