01/05/2017 Asia Business Report


01/05/2017

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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Thawed relations. Japan and China holds direct economic talks for the

:00:19.:00:27.

first time in nearly two years. Tears and disappointment. The impact

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on Indian workers with the new Australian visa laws. Good morning,

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Asia. Hello, world. Welcome to another edition of Asia Business

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Report. It's a Monday. It may be May Day or Labour Day were you are, but

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we know that markets have a lot to digest in the next few days. Japan

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and China are resuming bilateral trade talks after two years starting

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from today. The Federal Reserve kicks off its two-day meeting.

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Investors will be looking for clues on how many more US rate hikes could

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be in store this year. That is the same day that tech giant, Apple,

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will give its financial report card. Facebook follows the next day. And

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on Thursday, the Australian Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, meets US

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President Donald Trump in New York. What can we expect from this busy

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week? I asked a guest what he is expecting from Japan and China. The

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relationship between Japan and China at the political level is a very

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sensitive one. There are deep roots to that and I won't dwell on them.

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But I think this is symbolic of Xi Jinping moving to calm things down

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in the neighbourhood. This is a good time for Japan and China to have

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constructive dialogue on something other than North Korea. So,

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hopefully, you know, it is a positive for the region, and, of

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course, China being such an important economic engine for the

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world, hopefully it is a positive for the economy of the region, as

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well as its politics. Let us look at those big technology giants

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reporting this week. Are you more interested in Apple or Facebook's

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earnings? Apple is such an old reliable at this stage in the game

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that the only thing we can expect is positive surprises, as opposed to

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those who like to paint doom and gloom for Apple. It is a good were

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cause for investors. Facebook is more interesting for me. -- work

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horse. It gives an indication of what is happening in the world of

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the Internet. Facebook is the bellwether for these kinds of

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relationship based Internet stocks. And it is the counterpoint to other

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stocks like Twitter and so on who don't have as much substance. It is

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going to be a colourful week. Last week was as well. Lots of

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opportunity for investors if they pay attention. Now, Australia and

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the US. We know they are old allies. But there was a famously awkward

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phone call between Donald Trump and Malcolm Turnbull. Will be expect the

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good ties between these countries to continue later this week? So, I

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think, obviously, underneath the surface of that relationship between

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the US and Australia, it will continue to soldier on, regardless

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of who is in the leadership position of either country. But I think at

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the sort of level of public drama, we hopefully will see a gearshift as

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Donald Trump has managed in a number of other circumstances so that what

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was apparently an awkward interchange becoming something more

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of a man-to-man friendly relationship. And we have the US

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Federal Reserve coming out with interest rates, up or down, or any

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at all? Well, I am hoping that the Federal Reserve, having played front

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and centre for everybody over the last few years, becomes more of a

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sideshow and real economic activity starts to drive interest. I won't

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make a prediction, though we expect a number of rate increases this

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year. James speaking to me earlier. Last week, Australia announced

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sweeping changes to its visa rules, making it much harder for its

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skilled workers to come from overseas. It is aimed at

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prioritising jobs for Australia. Indians make up nearly a quarter of

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skilled immigrants, with others being British and Filipinos. 8000

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visas were granted to them in the last nine months to be how has the

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move gone down in India? I really wonder. I cannot believe this has

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stopped. Is there any other possibility out there? It is over.

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We have invested a lot of time into this. They have to move 200

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occupations from the skilled list. Those in the pipeline whose cases

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were being processed, they suddenly cannot go along any longer. The last

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two years we have been very focused on going to Australia. We started

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with our skill assessment. We paid $3000. We spoke to our families, we

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said we are finally going. Something like this was unexpected. The US is

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getting tougher on visas as well. People are migrating from the US and

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UK to Canada and Australia. It will affect me, I think. Me and most of

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the students in the future. Because, if they are changing the rules, they

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are giving the job is to Australians, not the Indians. I

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worked really hard. I left no stone unturned for this. We have been

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preparing. Everything has just become confusing. A personal look at

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what those visa changes entail. Another bit of business news. Demand

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for South Korean goods led to a 15% jump. Shipments to China jumped 10%

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compared to a year ago. The mainland is the largest export market for

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South Korea, followed by the US and the EU. And President Joko Widodo

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travelled to the hometown of the Philippine president, Rodrigo

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Duterte, in the Philippines. The Indonesian leader was there to

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inaugurate a new shipping lane to boost trade between the two

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countries. It will reduce shipping time from five weeks to three days.

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US President Donald Trump has invited the Philippine president to

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Washington in a phone call over the weekend. They discussed the threat

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of North Korea and the war on drugs in the Philippines. Public access to

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wireless Internet, Wi-Fi, maybe ubiquitous in many big cities right

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here in Asia. In Germany, would you believe it is a different story?

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Public Wi-Fi is hard to find. There is a legal reason for it. Wi-Fi

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owners can be potentially held liable for any illegal activity that

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occurs on their network. Campaigners have been trying to change this and

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draft legislation has been put forward. But that is also facing

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opposition. We have more from Berlin. If you are looking for a

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morning coffee, there are few better places than Berlin's trendy cafes.

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If you like to check your e-mails while sipping a large hey, you might

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find Wi-Fi hard to come by. -- latte. A new law means that Wi-Fi

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owners could be asked to pay up if it is used by others to download

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illegal content. I have never heard of anyone being sued for illegal

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downloads. But to make sure, we have got liability insurance. Confusion

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could be one of the reasons why so many cafes do not offer Wi-Fi.

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German politicians never admits an opportunity to talk up the digital

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economy of the country. So the fact that cafes like this can lack Wi-Fi

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is something of an embarrassment. A new law is moving through German

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parliament set out to fix this. Not all campaigners are happy with

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legislation. It is a good thing and a bad thing. The good thing is that

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it tries to review the section about liabilities and states very clearly

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that under no condition can the holder be liable for third-party

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downloads. But at the same time, the draft law states that you can ask

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the operator for blocking a certain information that is related to

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copyright infringement. According to the draft law, you can do that even

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without a court order. Whatever shape the legislation takes, the

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race is now on to get something passed before the German elections

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on September. Jo Miller, BBC News, Berlin. A quick look at markets.

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Only Australia is open to date. That is it for Asia Business Report. --

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today. Thank you for

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