07/09/2017 Asia Business Report


07/09/2017

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

:00:00.:00:16.

India's Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, looking to drum up trade ties

:00:17.:00:25.

with Myanmar. Turning over a new leaf. How will Nissan's new car fare

:00:26.:00:39.

in a crowded market? Good morning, Asia. Hello, world. Welcome to

:00:40.:00:41.

another edition of Asia Business Report. I'm Sharanjit Leyl. Thank

:00:42.:00:44.

you for joining us. India's Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, has gone to

:00:45.:00:48.

Myanmar to boost trade ties. It is an important relationship for

:00:49.:00:52.

Myanmar because India is the third largest destination for the exports

:00:53.:00:55.

of the country. But Myanmar is coming under pressure to end the

:00:56.:01:01.

violence it is reportedly inflicting on the Rohingya Muslim minority. I

:01:02.:01:06.

asked if we can expect any deals from this visit. They are looking to

:01:07.:01:15.

increase access between the two countries in terms of ease of travel

:01:16.:01:19.

between the two nations which is important for trade and the risen.

:01:20.:01:28.

-- tourism. India is a destination for medical tourism from Myanmar.

:01:29.:01:35.

India has been a key market for Myanmar. It is no doubt on the

:01:36.:01:40.

agenda. Is India likely at all to use China's dominance? We know China

:01:41.:01:47.

is well ahead in terms of investing into Myanmar and potentially reaping

:01:48.:01:52.

the benefits. Could they exert power there? Myanmar is interested in

:01:53.:01:58.

diversified in its engagements with various countries and not limiting

:01:59.:02:06.

itself to a few. Are they likely to achieve anything? The headlines have

:02:07.:02:11.

been dominated this week by the Rohingya Reifers. Narendra Modi says

:02:12.:02:19.

he wants to deport 40,000 from India. How will they get past that?

:02:20.:02:23.

Among the topics discussed was security matters. This could be

:02:24.:02:29.

grounds for further deepening those ties that we just discussed. We may

:02:30.:02:35.

see cooperation around maritime security and these two countries,

:02:36.:02:39.

they share roughly 1600 kilometres of orders, and it is important for

:02:40.:02:45.

both sides to identify ways they can co-operate, build trust, current

:02:46.:02:53.

issues notwithstanding. -- borders. In other news, Facebook says it has

:02:54.:02:58.

discovered a Russian funded campaign to promote divisive social and

:02:59.:03:02.

political messages on its network. The company said $100,000 was spent

:03:03.:03:08.

on three dozen advertisements over a three-year period. They did not back

:03:09.:03:15.

any political party, but talked about rights and society and a

:03:16.:03:31.

quality. Hurricane Irma Hasebe Caribbean and inflicted major damage

:03:32.:03:35.

on its way towards Florida. It is expected to impact the US as well.

:03:36.:03:40.

It is causing disruption for airlines and oil supply routes and

:03:41.:03:45.

has sent farmers scrambling to protect facilities and farm deals

:03:46.:03:50.

and animals. And of cause the US is dealing with the effects of

:03:51.:03:53.

hurricanes Harvey which dropped record rainfall on Texas. --

:03:54.:04:00.

Hurricane. The refineries are wanting to restart production by

:04:01.:04:04.

early next week. The company that makes Sharpies is cutting its

:04:05.:04:08.

earnings due to the impact of the storm. Over to Malaysia, where Prime

:04:09.:04:17.

Minister Najib says he wants to see more women on boards of directors,

:04:18.:04:28.

ideally 30% of all directors. Norway set 40% back in 2003 and is now

:04:29.:04:35.

nearing that goal. Germany has a 30% target, similar to Malaysia. And

:04:36.:04:38.

over here in Singapore, the government has a 20% target by 2020.

:04:39.:04:45.

In Malaysia, the government also added that businesses without the

:04:46.:04:51.

motherboard directors will be named and shamed. -- female board

:04:52.:04:57.

directors. Will this make a difference? It is going in the right

:04:58.:05:05.

direction. He said there is a target, not when it has to be

:05:06.:05:08.

reached by. Whether it will be compulsory, voluntary... It will

:05:09.:05:14.

depend on what follows from now on. But what I do now, I spoke earlier

:05:15.:05:19.

this week at a conference, and a clear message was that the tone from

:05:20.:05:23.

the top matters. What Malaysia is doing with this statement from the

:05:24.:05:28.

Prime Minister, it is making it an issue for the entire country, which

:05:29.:05:31.

is good news. In terms of benefits financially for companies, how does

:05:32.:05:37.

it actually benefit a company's bottomline in terms of dollars with

:05:38.:05:45.

women on board? There are many studies. A lot of it is correlation

:05:46.:05:50.

rather than causation. It is hard to say exactly how much the benefit is.

:05:51.:05:54.

But what is important is the McKinsey study which showed you

:05:55.:06:02.

could outperform by 30% with gender diversity. By 35% if you have in

:06:03.:06:12.

addition ethnically and culturally diverse companies. In Asia you have

:06:13.:06:20.

cultural differences, Inge and cultural norms. That discriminated

:06:21.:06:25.

against women. -- ingrained. Where are we seeing good strides in Asia?

:06:26.:06:30.

Australia leads the way to be honest. They have a system where if

:06:31.:06:37.

they do not meet the 30% target by 2018, mandatory quotas will come

:06:38.:06:43.

into play. They are doing the best. They also have it in the public

:06:44.:06:47.

sector, which I want to see in Asia. We are only talking about private

:06:48.:06:51.

business targets are what about governments? They are in a better

:06:52.:06:56.

position to do this. I don't really know why. They do very well. The

:06:57.:07:03.

worst is Singapore is at the bottom of the list along with South Korea

:07:04.:07:10.

and Japan. Once a leader in the electric car industry, Japan's

:07:11.:07:16.

Nissan is now having to compete with other carmakers racing to deliver

:07:17.:07:20.

semiautonomous vehicles. They have announced a second generation Leaf

:07:21.:07:34.

will fall into the core product line, instead of being niche. Will

:07:35.:07:38.

the plan work? We caught up with the launch. We got sent this report. It

:07:39.:07:48.

was a huge production, with lots of aplomb for what is a dull looking

:07:49.:07:57.

car. It is the new Nissan Leaf. Why are we here? It matters because this

:07:58.:08:02.

car, the previous oration of this car, is the biggest selling electric

:08:03.:08:09.

vehicle in the world. -- itieration. Nissan and other companies believe

:08:10.:08:13.

this and something like it is the future. In 10- 15 years' time, most

:08:14.:08:17.

of us will drive some sort of electric vehicle. But worldwide,

:08:18.:08:23.

electric vehicles are still a tiny percentage of car sales to be in the

:08:24.:08:32.

US, just 1.2% of cars sold last year were EVs. Why are they convinced? We

:08:33.:08:45.

are convinced it is coming. Migration from hybrids to EVs is

:08:46.:08:53.

coming. We are more convinced than seven years ago. It is certainly a

:08:54.:08:58.

better looking car than the previous model which was kind of bug eyed and

:08:59.:09:02.

an acquired taste. But the difference is the size of the

:09:03.:09:07.

battery pack. With the new battery, the car can go up to 400 kilometres

:09:08.:09:14.

on one charge. Normal day-to-day usage, this is more than that for

:09:15.:09:22.

Japanese people. Range anxiety will not be an issue for the future. That

:09:23.:09:28.

figure of 400 kilometres is very optimistic. But Kessler and

:09:29.:09:35.

Chevrolet are already offering some with ranges over 300 kilometres. --

:09:36.:09:41.

Tesla. And now Nissan says they can do it as well. And that was at

:09:42.:09:47.

speaking to the new Chief Executive of Nissan. The markets now and how

:09:48.:09:54.

they are faring at the Asian open. We are seeing Japan's Nikkei getting

:09:55.:10:01.

something of a lift from the slightly weaker yen. We did see it

:10:02.:10:07.

actually fall to four-month lows just on Wednesday. It is coming back

:10:08.:10:12.

somewhat as investors look for a bargain on the market. Also seeing a

:10:13.:10:19.

lift to a lot of the energy shares, taking cues from Wall Street where

:10:20.:10:24.

we saw gains from US markets. A lot of worry still lingering over the

:10:25.:10:31.

Korean Peninsula. But Hurricane

:10:32.:10:33.