07/09/2017 Asia Business Report

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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.


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


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


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


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


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


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


Myanmar because India is the third largest destination for the exports


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


diversified in its engagements with various countries and not limiting


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


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


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


Among the topics discussed was security matters. This could be


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


see cooperation around maritime security and these two countries,


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


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


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


discovered a Russian funded campaign to promote divisive social and


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


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


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


quality. Hurricane Irma Hasebe Caribbean and inflicted major damage


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


It is causing disruption for airlines and oil supply routes and


has sent farmers scrambling to protect facilities and farm deals


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


hurricanes Harvey which dropped record rainfall on Texas. --


Hurricane. The refineries are wanting to restart production by


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


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


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


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


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


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


In Malaysia, the government also added that businesses without the


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


But what is important is the McKinsey study which showed you


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


addition ethnically and culturally diverse companies. In Asia you have


cultural differences, Inge and cultural norms. That discriminated


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


semiautonomous vehicles. They have announced a second generation Leaf


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


figure of 400 kilometres is very optimistic. But Kessler and


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Korean Peninsula. But Hurricane