21/08/2017 Asia Business Report


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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at the Diamond League meeting in Birmingham.


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


Round one of Nafta talks wrap up as the US, Canada and Mexico try to


revamp the 20-year-old trade agreement. And find out why an


entrepreneur in Japan is staking her future on DNA analysis. It is a


Monday, everyone. Glad you could join us for this edition of Asia


Business Report. I am Rico Hizon. The first round of talks aimed at


revamping the North American trade agreement, or Nafta, ended a few


hours ago. The US, Mexico and Canada held meetings in Washington, DC and


covered more than 200 different negotiation topics. Our business


reporter has been following this story. A lot of wheeling and


dealing, but was there progress made in this negotiation process? Based


on the joint statement the countries put out following the first round of


talks, it looks as though there was progress in the fact they are


committed to coming to a deal by early next year. That is the hope,


and they are committed to making sure they are try and achieve that


through the next couple of rounds of talks. The next three rounds will


take place in early September, as well as October, in Mexico, Canada


and the US. The US is warning substantive changes to the Nafta


agreement, not just tweaks, so experts are saying that when they


want to compress changes that takes years in two months, that will take


be difficult to achieve. It is a 23-year-old trade deal, so President


Trump says it has been imbalanced and he wants to bring changes to it.


And abroad is calling this as the dating game between the three


countries involved. Which country has -- everyone is calling this a


speed dating game between the three countries involved. Which country


has the most at stake? It is a top priority for the US administration


but the issues at stake had to do with things like dispute resolution.


What happens when one of the countries, Canada, Mexico, or the


US, has an issue with dumping or subsidies, how will they resolve


that conflict? Another thorny issue with all the countries involved has


to do with where the products come from, especially cars. And it is not


only Nafta that President Trump wants renegotiated. He also wants a


renegotiation of the South Korea US trade relationship. Looking ahead to


what is on the economic and business calendar this week on later today


Thailand will release its gross numbers for the three months until


June. First-quarter growth beat expectations but it will be


interesting to see how the Southeast Asian country performs in the second


quarter. Tuesday, we will get the full year earnings from Australian


mining giant BHP Billiton. The recent swings could impact financial


performance there. And on Thursday it is the annual meeting of


prominent central bankers and finance ministers in the US state of


Wyoming. This meeting comes as the US central bank, the Federal


Reserve, has raised the cost of borrowing already twice this year


and has signalled it will raise rates one more time. The question


now is exactly when. And the weak wraps up with earnings from


Australia's Qantas. Earlier I spoke with a representative of the London


School of Economics who says his focus on the annual meeting of


central bankers in the US, and what the outcome could be for Asia. For


Asian businesses, the cost of funds is important and my cost of funds


would be very dependent on what the Fed or ECB do. Jackson hole is a


coming together of Central Bank governments, as you have said. The


economic backdrop right now is one of cautious optimism. No one is


talking about disinflation any more so it looks like demand is picking


up at least sickly glee. So the question is one of assessing how


sustainable is the current update -- cyclically. But if we see another


rate hike, this will raise the cost of funding. It is a surgical


operation and the surgeons are meeting in Wyoming. It will raise


the cost of funding. Over to Japan, which has one of the world's lowest


start-up rates and an even lower number of female entrepreneurs.


Generally Japanese women who set up their own businesses tend to be in


predictable industries such as fashion or beauty but our


correspondent tracked down a female entrepreneur who took the road less


travelled and set up a business analysing people's DNA. A typical


networking event for Japan's entrepreneurs. Despite the


government's effort to encourage more women to go into start-ups, it


is mainly made. This 28-year-old stands out. She is the founder of a


company in a very unusual industry, analysing people's DNA. Less than 1%


of Japan's population has had their DNA tested to find out what kind of


illnesses they might develop in the future. It means almost everyone in


Japan is her potential customer. So this is the kit that you will


receive at home. It costs 500 US dollars, and you will get the result


in about four to six weeks. The practice of gene analysis is


controversial among doctors and industry experts, because there is


no proof of its effectiveness to predict future illness. TRANSLATION:


Because it is DNA, customers tend to think that the results are 100%


accurate. You can even end up with two very different results if you


use different companies. And controversy was not the only


challenge for Junko. TRANSLATION: I knew my parents would be surprised


to hear that I wanted to start my own company. I thought they would


probably object to it, so I didn't tell them for six months after I


founded Gene Quest. You feel your face discrimination because of your


age and your gender? I sometimes get treated like what is this young


woman doing? But as a result people remember me more, so being a young


female CEO is not just a disadvantage. Shoko has managed to


overcome the challenges of being a young female entrepreneur by


ignoring her critics, something that most women here still don't feel


comfortable doing in this Mail dominated society. You might be


familiar with this saying. Only two things are certain in life, death


and taxes. Well, this week we are looking at the economics of death.


How much does it cost and who covers the bill? And we are starting our


coverage in New York. It is no secret that real estate prices in


the Big Apple are among the highest in the world, and guess what. It is


a similar scenario for those planning on residency six feet


under. Our correspondent went to find out more. Deals worth dying


for? Not in Brooklyn. In a city where land is at a premium, it may


come as a surprise that even cemeteries are pricing people out.


This cemetery still has room to grow but they are also trying to maximise


the space they already have. We wanted to provide the people of


Brooklyn especially with an option where they can have affordable


burial, and in their own neighbourhood. At a $2400 per square


metre, this is some of the priciest land anywhere in the city. It is


just like buying real estate, location, location. A grave which


will bury three people, and we bury one on top of the other, can start


as low as $4500 and can go as high as 18,000, depending upon the


location. 1-way people are avoiding the hefty pricetag associated with a


7.5 metre plot is by cremation. Something which is on the rise here


in New York. It still leaves the question of what to do with the


Ashes. This is a little, little closer to the New York border.


Jozsef sources granite from around the world to make tombstones,


mausoleums and grave markers for pets. It is very expensive to bring


something in from South Africa. Correct, it is very heavy and very


laborious. People may be cremated more, but Ashes are often left in


the closet and forgotten. We are working with a cemeteries to create


programmes very close to fishing, to have people's cremated remains


buried in the cemetery, a place where families can gather and there


is a name on the wall. If that name is not inscribed on the stone,


you're never here. The cost of burial is going up as land is being


used for other things but in a place like New York it is hard to put a


price on being remembered. Let's have a quick look at the markets. As


you can see, on our screens at the moment, flat and lower for most


Asian markets. Still being impacted by the Barcelona deadly attack and


deepening concerns over US President Donald Trump's economic agenda. The


Nikkei 225 down by seven points and the all ordinaries index giving back


47.5 points. The dollar fell against a basket of currencies, as continued


uncertainty over the economic agenda of President Trump pushed investors


out of the US dollar. Thank you so much for investing your time with


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