09/03/2018 Asia Business Report


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09/03/2018

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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I'm Kasia Madera with BBC News.

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Our top story: There's been

an historic announcement

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about North Korea

at the White House.

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President Trump has agreed to meet

the North Korean leader,

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Kim Jong-un.

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The White House confirmed

the meeting would happen at a time

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and place yet to be determined.

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The head of a South Korean

delegation that held talks with both

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leaders this week said the meeting

would happen by May.

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The South Korean envoy praised

Mr Trump's uncompromising stance

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for adding to the pressure

on North Korea.

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North Korea has agreed also agreed

to halt nuclear and missile tests.

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The White House said the Trump

administration looked forward

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to the denuclearisation

of North Korea -

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but in the meantime,

all sanctions and maximum pressure

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must remain on Pyongyang.

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The President said he agreed to the

meeting because he is the ultimate

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decision-makers in his country.

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And the top story here in the UK:

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A jury at the Old Bailey

has been shown a video,

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of the moment a bomb partially

exploded on a tube train

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in South West London last September.

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Now on BBC News all the latest

business news live from Singapore.

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President Donald Trump accepts North

Korea's offered to talk about

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denuclearisation. Our tough

sanctions responsible for the change

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of heart? And looking for the next

big flavour. For those with a sweet

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tooth in Asia. Good morning, Asia.

Hello, world. Glad you could join us

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on this Friday edition of Asia

Business Report. As you have been

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hearing on BBC World News over the

past 90 minutes, Donald Trump has

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agreed to meet with North Korean

leader Kim Jong-un in order to

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defuse the nuclear. Let's get more

on this with Leisha Santorelli. The

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potential meeting that might take

place. But still, no venue. Donald

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Trump tweeted that currently in the

midst of coming up with a date and

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time and place but initially, what

has been the reaction of the

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financial markets in Asia?

As this

news was coming through, Japan and

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South Korea in stock markets were

opening and they are soaring. Japan

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up by 2%, South Korea 1.5% and its

currency is doing well and this is

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because of such a dramatic

breakthrough in the tensions on the

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Korean Peninsula and obviously

investors are overjoyed. At the

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prospect we could see a de-

nuclearised North Korea. We have to

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treat this planned meeting with

caution. Previous attempts to

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negotiate with North Korea on a

bilateral and multilateral level

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have all failed. A lot of credit

must be given to Donald Trump and

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his administration for putting a lot

of pressure on North Korea but that

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we still need to be sceptical as to

whether we will see any deal

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delivered.

What about giving credit

to China who is a major political

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and economic ally for North Korea?

We know that North Korea has been

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hit by its toughest ever sanctions

on an international level -- level.

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From the EU, Japan and South Korea.

Crucial to all is China. It accounts

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the 90% of trade with North Korea.

The US and China have been having

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their own intense relationship.

China has been in a position where

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they need to be more accommodating

for North Korea. We are seeing a

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crackdown on smuggling of goods into

North Korea. I think China must be

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given some credit.

A knee-jerk on

the upside for markets in Asia.

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Thank you for the update. My

business colleague Leisha

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Santorelli. President Trump has

followed through on his campaign

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promise and signed an order putting

steel and aluminium tariffs in

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place.

We want a lot of steel coming

into our country but we wanted to be

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fair and we want our workers to be

protected and we want frankly our

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companies to be protected. By

contrast, we will not place any new

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tax on product made in the USA. So

there is no tax if a product is made

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in the USA. You don't want to pay

tax? Bring it to the USA, there is

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no tax.

Some argue that these

tariffs are moving the US closer to

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a trade war but there are exemptions

for Mexico and Canada, according to

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experts.

Their 25% import tariffs on

steel, 10% import tariffs on

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aluminium. Steel imports to the US

are not gigantic. 1.6% of imports.

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0.2% of GDP. These are not huge

numbers when it comes to the overall

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US economy but the key thing is

whether or not these tariffs set up

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a trade war. We have seen threats of

retaliation by the European Union

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who has threatened to tax everything

from American bourbon which is

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manufactured in Mitch McConnell's

home State of Kentucky to American

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motorcycles in Paul Ryan's State of

Wisconsin. We will see the European

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Union is successful at getting rid

of these extensions. This is a White

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House which likes to put on a show

so inviting nations to apply for

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exemptions, give us your best offer

and we are more than willing to give

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what we've given to Mexico and

Canada.

The Republican Party, some

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of President Trump's major allies,

and the Democrats are against these

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trade tariffs. Is there a likelihood

they will even get into effect?

We

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have 15 days for the tariffs to take

effect. We have seen strong

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opposition from President Trump's

own party. There are over 100

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members who said they were deeply

concerned, in the Republican Party,

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and other Republicans who came out

and say they wanted to introduce new

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legislation which could strip

President Trump of his powers to

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institute tariffs such as these.

More to be seen.

More than a year

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ago, Mr Trump through a wrench into

a free-trade arrangement once ranked

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as the world's largest and now the

remaining 11 countries are going

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ahead without America and signing a

revamped version. It's been

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rebranded as comprehension --

copperhead seven progress of

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agreement for the Trans-Pacific

Partnership or CP TPP. We sat down

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with the Australian Trade Minister.

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We know already there is interest

from other economies who would like

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to join. The more that do, the

stronger the value of the

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Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Seeing

this become a reality, there are

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some huge hurdles in each of the

countries to deal with Congress.

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Ultimately that will be determined

by the domestic processors each

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country must pursue but the

consensus view, the agreement coming

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into effect by the end of this year

or early next year. We need six

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countries to give effect to it. If

we do that, the agreement should

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come into effect in the not too

distant future.

Today has been a day

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of mixed feelings with the US going

one day and Australia, and others

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going the other way in terms of

trade. Is this the new way for

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global trade now?

There is nothing

particularly new about the fact that

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different countries adopt different

positions on trade. History has

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taught us that has been the case

since time immemorial. We have seen

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over the last 40 or 50 years in

particular the liberalised trade has

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driven economic growth and jobs.

Countries that engage in trade a

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more prosperous. Countries engaged

in trade have higher levels of

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employment in the country is because

you can grow businesses, they are

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more stable if they are engaged in

international trade is that is what

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drives our approach.

The Australian

Trade Minister there. Opening a

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chewing gum lab in Singapore makes

as much sense as setting up a bar at

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a meeting of teetotallers. The

government sees gum as a sticking

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nuisance but global snack company

Mondelez saw an opportunity to sink

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its teeth into a project.

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Chewing gum and Singapore are an

unusual pairing but global snacks

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company Mondelez says Singapore was

just the place rich new research

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centre for gum and candy.

Singapore

is a wonderful place because of its

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diversity. Course the high quality

of talent and good R&D.

Mondelez was

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spun off from US food giant craft in

2012 and makes everything from

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Cadbury chocolates and Oreo cookies

to denting chewing gum. It may seem

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like child's play but developing

suites is supplied singly

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complicated. Creating a jelly can

take months or even years in

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research and development and make

sure it's just right and this is the

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place where scientists are working

on new types of gum candy. I could

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try one. I can't tell you what it

tastes like because still top

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secret. Consistency and flavours are

a big part of the work here and that

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can vary from market to market. Take

China, for example.

There is a

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cultural heritage which is using

lower sweetness and less sugar and

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our products see we will customise

this product is the China to have a

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lower level of sweetness.

Suites and

snacks are $41 billion is this in

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Asia-Pacific and with an expanding

middle-class, the region is set to

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become the fastest-growing market.

So localising flavours helps to win

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over more palates. How are you

doing? Every little detail right

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down to the packaging is important

as Mr Kelaher and his team are

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hoping to win over hearts and

satisfy Asia's sweet tooth.

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It has been a sweet day so far

operation stock markets. They are

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surging. Japan, Hong Kong and

Australia

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