19/04/2017 Asia Business Report


19/04/2017

Live from Singapore, the essential business news as it breaks and a look ahead to the news that will shape the business day.


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liquid was sprayed during an argument.

:00:00.:00:00.

Now on BBC News all the latest business news live from Singapore

:00:00.:00:18.

America first. The US President unveils his plans to change the

:00:19.:00:26.

rules for the controversial hate one big fees. American workers have long

:00:27.:00:34.

called for reforms to end these Visa abuses and for the first time their

:00:35.:00:38.

calls are being entered for the first time. And a snap election for

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the UK. How much nervousness does is add to the market?

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Good morning, Asia and hello world. This is Wednesday. Thank you for

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joining us. I am Rico Hizon. By America, higher America, that is the

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aim of US President Donald Trump's latest executive order. As we

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reported just hours ago he signed the order to review a temporary Visa

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programme used to place foreign workers in highly skilled US jobs.

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Mr John says he wants to stop abuse of the immigration system. Right

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now, widespread abuse in our immigration system is allowing

:01:23.:01:25.

American workers of all backgrounds to be replaced by workers brought in

:01:26.:01:29.

from other countries to feel the same job for some time less pay.

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This.. American workers have long called for reforms to end these Visa

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abuses and today their calls are being entered for the first time.

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That includes taking the first steps to set in motion a long overdue

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reform of H one B visas. The order falls way short of Mr John's

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campaign pledge to end the controversial programme, technology

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companies say the visas help them feel vital skill shortages. Data

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from the US citizenship and immigration services reveal that

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more H one B visa holders come from India than any other country. As for

:02:14.:02:18.

the White House, well, they say eight out of ten workers on the Visa

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are paid less than the median wage for their industry. Earlier we spoke

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to our North American business correspondent about what the order

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will actually achieve. What Donald Trump is doing is directing the

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administration, the people who work for him, to reassess how this

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programme is working, to enforce it where it is not being enforced. The

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rules that exist. And to see whether or not it is doing what it was

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designed to do. So you are not talking about ripping up the Visa

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programme as some fear based on remarks he had made, I think what we

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are seeing is sort of the pragmatism, the businessman who

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regularly meets with other CEOs, other business leaders and he

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remembers the value of this programme. This is not targeting, it

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does not sound like it at any rate, highly skilled workers, but those

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who perhaps may be seen to be taking away from American jobs. This idea

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of higher American, by American, it is the higher American portion that

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we are seeing being put into practice here. He has basically

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flagged this policy in throughout his presidential campaign that the

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executive order seems to not go that very far. What will this mean for

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technology companies? It does not go that far and at this point it is

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really just a sort of stuff being ordered to collect recommendations

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about what they would like to see. The reports need to be submitted and

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the commerce Secretary will review them. There will be more

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consultation and at this point the changes are yet to be fully

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determined. I think technology companies are not worried yet. What

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we are seeing, however, is that there are polls coming out here in

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the United States showing that perhaps Donald Trump is losing

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support amongst some of his core supporters and this is one way,

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certainly, to try and get back to that populist message that proved so

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successful for him on the campaign trail, which was to try and help

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those in America who feel that they are losing their jobs to other

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countries in the world. As we mentioned, India has been the single

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biggest source of workers migrating to America to work in tech

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companies. The order could lead to changes in how these visas are

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worded and would likely affect the 150 billion dollar industry in

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India. Any changes to the Visa process in the US will mean bad news

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for the 150 billion dollar IT service industry in India. Every

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year 65,000 visas are issued in a lottery system and most of them are

:05:15.:05:25.

taken by Indian consultancy firms. The order in itself will not change

:05:26.:05:29.

the Visa process but it asks for suggestions from federal agencies.

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Analysts say that the Trump administration wants to get rid of

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the lottery system. The Congress is also debating a piece of legislation

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which once companies to more than double the minimum wage paid to

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foreign workers who are working on a H1B Visa. Last year, it India's IT

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services industry generated $65 billion of revenues from the US

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market. So if they have to pay foreign workers more, or hire people

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from the US market, then that will hit their revenues and profitability

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in the long-term. The US is not the only large democracy to announce an

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overhaul to its immigration policy. The Australian government has

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announced it will scrap its 457 skilled guest worker Visa although

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it has a replacement in mind. As our correspondent tells us how many

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people that is likely to affect. At the moment there are some 95,000

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workers who have these coveted 457 visas for highly skilled workers.

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They are meant to apply to jobs where you have at least a university

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standard education but they range massively, everything from actors

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and airline pilots to firefighters, police officers, even zookeepers.

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Now all of those jobs are mentioned are on a list that the government

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has set out saying that in the future none of those professions

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would be considered for the replacement visas. However, similar

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situation to what you heard there in America, the majority of 457 visa

:07:12.:07:16.

holders come from India, about one quarter, followed by the UK and

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China. Most of the jobs and most of the visas are given to the IT

:07:20.:07:23.

sectors and the hospitality industry. Both of those business

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sectors bringing forward complaints at the moment saying they are

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uncertain about what this will meet their industry. Why is the

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government changing the Visa well, I guess 457s are no longer vote

:07:38.:07:41.

winners, a bit like in America, they have become unpopular domestic

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league because of this idea that they may be taking jobs from

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domestic workers. The Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull,

:07:49.:07:51.

yesterday said they should not be a passport for foreign workers to take

:07:52.:07:55.

Australian jobs. But Australian jobs should be for Australia and workers

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and only then filled by foreign workers. The focus now will be on

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what comes next. What exactly this replacement system will mean and in

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the budget in May, what businesses are looking at is whether there will

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be an increased tax for businesses to pay to help find the training of

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Australian workers so that in the future there are are not these big

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skill gaps in Australia that mean they have to import workers to come

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here. In other business news, a well-known Indian business tycoon

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has been granted bail after his arrest in the United Kingdom. He

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faces extradition to India over accusations of fraud. The flamboyant

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businessman, who are denied any wrongdoing, made his fortune selling

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beer under the iconic Kingfisher brand before branching out into F1

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racing, IPL and aviation. Prime Minister may have called for a snap

:08:56.:08:59.

election in June. A stronger mandate for a party will allow them to

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negotiate a better Brexit deal. The British Pound strengthened on the

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news and I asked whether investors should expect more volatility? That

:09:08.:09:11.

strengthening pound had an immediate impact on sharemarket trading with

:09:12.:09:16.

the sharemarket dropping by 2.5% in trading overnight. It is a bit of a

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surprising move to see a currency strengthen on a weak economic

:09:25.:09:27.

development that it reflects on the market. The market is concerned

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about the outlook for the pound and is very short at any news and it's

:09:32.:09:35.

the social position scrambling for cover. Although the pound has

:09:36.:09:38.

strengthened I would see that reverse over the next one or two

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days. That was our correspondent in Sydney. As a look now at how market

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action is shaping up in early Asian trading. The two to five down by 45

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points. The All Ordinaries giving back 24 points. Most of them in

:09:57.:10:02.

negative territory. Asia, the investor sentiment has dropped on US

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markets after the Prime Minister of the UK called for a snap election.

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On Wall Street, let's have a look at a quick numbers there. Also in the

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red. US stocks are retreating admit disappointing early results after

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disappointing results from Goldman Sachs. China's growth targets for

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2017 and 2018. Thank you so much investing your time with us. Sport

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Today is up next. More now on the story that's been

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dominating the headlines -

:10:38.:10:42.

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