21/08/2017 Asia Business Report


21/08/2017

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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at the Diamond League meeting in Birmingham.

:00:00.:00:00.

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

:00:00.:00:20.

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

:00:21.:00:27.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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covered more than 200 different negotiation topics. Our business

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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speed dating game between the three countries involved. Which country

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

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

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

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

:02:33.:02:36.

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

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

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

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

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

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Thailand will release its gross numbers for the three months until

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

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

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

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mining giant BHP Billiton. The recent swings could impact financial

:03:16.:03:19.

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

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prominent central bankers and finance ministers in the US state of

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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predictable industries such as fashion or beauty but our

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correspondent tracked down a female entrepreneur who took the road less

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

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networking event for Japan's entrepreneurs. Despite the

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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controversial among doctors and industry experts, because there is

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

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

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

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use different companies. And controversy was not the only

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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overcome the challenges of being a young female entrepreneur by

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

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comfortable doing in this Mail dominated society. You might be

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

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

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

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

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

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a similar scenario for those planning on residency six feet

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

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

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

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

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

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Brooklyn especially with an option where they can have affordable

:08:18.:08:21.

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

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

:08:27.:08:31.

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

:08:32.:08:35.

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

:08:36.:08:41.

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

:08:42.:08:47.

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

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

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

:08:56.:09:01.

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

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Jozsef sources granite from around the world to make tombstones,

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

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

:09:19.:09:23.

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

:09:24.:09:27.

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

:09:28.:09:32.

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

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

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

:09:42.:09:45.

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

:09:46.:09:50.

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

:09:51.:09:55.

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

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

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

:10:05.:10:10.

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

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

:10:17.:10:20.

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

:10:21.:10:26.

uncertainty over the economic agenda of President Trump pushed investors

:10:27.:10:34.

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

:10:35.:10:35.

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