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tv   Counting the Cost 2018 Ep 11  Al Jazeera  March 19, 2018 7:32pm-8:01pm +03

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departure will give the u.k. the freedom to negotiate and sign trade deals with the rest of the world immediately but there's still no agreement on the question of the irish border reports are emerging that syrian government forces have arrested hundreds of people who've been trying to flee the enclave of eastern ghouta over the past few days the syrian government backed by russia launched an offensive to retake the area from rebel groups over a month ago the u.n.c. monitary in chief martin local has told the security council that humanitarian needs in the democratic republic of congo have doubled over the past year thirteen many people are in need of aid republican and democratic senators in the u.s. are calling for facebook see mark zuckerberg to testify before congress that's over allegations that data from fifty million of its uses was harvested by the consultancy firm cambridge analytic her and may have been used to influence the
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u.s. election those are the top stories stay with us and al-jazeera counting the cost is coming up next. a law and has i'm sick of this is counting the cost on al-jazeera your weekly look at the world of business and economics this week old million russians getting all they bargained for as putin heads for reelection. also this week saudi aramco puts its i.p.o. on ice and keeps the financial world guessing about the fate of the world's biggest
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stock market listening. plus open for business the push to revive zimbabwe's economy. but here is on track to become russia's longest serving leader since joseph stalin as a mere putin seeks reelection in the coming days he might not be too worried about the state of the economy there's been a rise in living standards over his eighteen years in office and despite western sanctions and volatile prices russia's economy is still growing on this week's show we're looking at makes and how ordinary russians are likely to face putin stays in power russia correspondent rory chalons reports from the town of. real russia as you're often told here isn't found in the biggest cities for that you've got to turn up the car radio and hit the road leave moscow in st petersburg for a smaller places where vladimir putin support runs high and. so we've chosen
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the town of glitch four hours from the capital. which. is where you and alexander live the couple in their eighties kind of hospitable and both staunch putin voters. but he's a very almost man he would never say anything he didn't mean and if a person is all honest speaks genuinely and his deeds to good you can say only positive things about such a man. they see putin as a strong leader and were particularly impressed by the recent state of the nation speech where he pulled back the veil on secret weapons development. of. lived through a tough history with his country we started our lives in a terrifying war they were starvation and losses and we understood this with our
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countries the ninety's undermined everything so much uncontrollable times but putin slowly went in the right direction and brought us to the moment where we can see ourselves as a state able to take on a man's tasks again. after talking and evening routine watching the news unlike internet savvy youngsters older russians still get much of their information from t.v. most of it state controlled there's a good reason why the support of people like alexander miller is so important for vladimir putin and that's because when it comes to actually showing up on election day pensioners of the most reliable voters in russia. not everyone here is so enthusiastic go. out on the frozen river volga ice fisherman waits patiently for the bites but when it comes to the elections nicholai isn't impressed with the quality of the catch. whom to vote for
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there's no choice no candidates i think all vote for putin i'd like him to catch the thieves and mend our roads he's reinforcing the army at least something but there's no want to choose a soon as any candidate appears to slightly challenge him he gets drowned immediately such disenchantments backs up the view that putin's support may be brittle high only because of the lack of alternatives and worryingly for the kremlin state pollster vit c. om just noted a twelve percent drop in putin's ratings in russia's big cities. but alexander milos allegiance is steadfast in their long lifetime russia has marched to very different music. and they're happy with a man company called in which you. were joining me now from london is timothy ash a senior emerging markets sovereign strategist with blue bay asset management thanks very much for being with us so is russia under putin's leadership equipped
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to deal with the current economic challenges was a difficult few years i mean we had sanctions and lower all prices from twenty fourteen on the words the russian authorities kind of put the barricades up we saw we've had a very tight fiscal and monetary policy since and it's been about building barricades and defenses and you know that's worked in some respects it's created financial stability exchange rates been pretty stable inflation is drops the problem is they haven't had a growth i mean growth has been very weak and very disappointing arguably fiscal and monetary policy has been too tight too aggressive because of concerns about the political challenges facing russia and putin is also held back from you know structure of forms of the russian economy is in dire need of the per deep structural forms things like business environment fighting corruption is lots of demographic problems in russia declining declining population there really haven't been addressed it's been a very cautious micros policy actually very cautious macro's policy where the
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russian government will point to their growth in the agriculture. sector saying that they're growing a lot more crops now domestically in response to the sanctions how does that for example factor into the whole economy. well you know it's useful it's helpful obviously agriculture is good for all areas but in the end you know growth is less than two percent and that's from a very low base. and you know with oil prices recovering back to over sixty dollars a barrel so i think that's pretty disappointing and we're very much back to the growth trend that was you know before the problems that russia had in ukraine and these again these deep seated structural problems of really not been addressed and i think after the elections assuming putin wins another presidential term at the weekend you know the question mark will be whether or not putin is interested in more ambitious economic reform agenda so is russia still essentially at the mercy
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of the global oil market i mean is it doing enough to address that and to try and diversify its economy you know in the end i think that's the points i mean russia is still an oil metals play. you highlighted agriculture but i think beyond our culture not really enough has been not nuff focus or broader diversification in the end investments i mean russia is stripped still struggling in terms of attracting foreign prime direct investments and that relates again to these ideas of the business environment property rights rule of law. the geopolitical relationship with the west in the end if you're a big four in a motor manufacturing company do you feel secure. building physical assets in russia or the moment when the relationship with america with the u.s. and europe is so difficult probably not and what are the implications of all this for ordinary russians i mean putin is still very popular with many russians but has
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he has improved their economic lot. well if you go back to ninety nine in the yeltsin era i mean the answer will be yes you know living standards have improved but the last three four years have been very difficult i mean stagnation has been the order of the day everyone's been pulling their belts in because of this you know that the external challenge as that would be perceived from the russian perspective and frustrations a building i mean if you look at opinion polls people are pretty uncomfortable with governments and governments is pretty unpopular putin himself is popular because all these foreign adventures and the very strident foreign policy in these returns are like a nationalist agenda in terms of ordinary russians and their day to day lives i think i think they're not particularly happy i mean stagnation doesn't go down very well there is job security but living standards of taking
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a fairly significant hit and and a lot of young liberal russians are leaving and i think that's that's particularly challenging for the long term future of the economy russia needs those kind of people obviously to bring approach the improvements and raise that growth potential of the russian economy in russia faces a real demographic time bomb i mean it's a declining population. over the longer term russia needs to find a lot of young dynamic people from somewhere you talk there about that the so-called foreign adventures and of course ukraine and syria come to mind then and one of the russia's other big exports is military hardware and arms so how does that play in to all of this then as far as russia's economy. well i mean certainly the ukrainian intervention has not been particular helpful i mean sanctions have had an impact there was an immediate impact back in two thousand and fourteen
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pressure on the exchange rate loss of reserves policy ought to be tightened money went into recession accentuated the problems around lower oil prices since then as i mentioned it resulted in much tighter fiscal a month of course in the probably was appropriate. and we've got started nation really as a result of very low growth as a result. i mean we have seen you know russia you know beefing up our exports of arms that's been one of the growth sectors you mentioned agriculture the challenge there i guess still is the relationship with with the west in the u.s. in particular the countering america american adverse restress sanctions that could could put a pressure some pressure on those arms exports for example russia's plans to sell as four hundred air defense systems to the turks could fall within the remit of those of those u.s. sanctions and we could see similar actions by the americans to counter some of these arms sales overseas by the russians good to get your analysis on this timothy
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ash in london thank you my pleasure. now zimbabwe's business community is calling for international sanctions to be removed to help improve the ailing economy president emerson mango wants to attract more foreign investors but many are cautious about doing business with zimbabwe or which also has more from. company produces one thousand eight hundred tonnes of flour a month he thinks he could double production as sanctions imposed on zimbabwe by the west nearly two decades ago are removed they targeted specific individuals loyal to former president robert mugabe was that his company is not on the sanctions list but he feels. means that many others like him are considered guilty by association we could not do with countries. sending money to zimbabwe ultimately the new york. fronts coming to suburban
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banks to be frozen. confiscated tend to be that affected us. from the from europe number of companies afflicted with equipment bought from europe and the u.s. can't easily be replaced the state owned railway company is one of several that needs urgent foreign direct investment. right now president was government is leasing locomotives and wagons from neighboring south africa he says it's a temporary solution until people are ready to do business with zimbabwe again president and respect human rights and hold free and fair elections. once that then perhaps some or all remaining sanctions will be removed. to law foreign investment when god was government says it will amend black economic empowerment laws to limit majority ownership for the state to only diamonds and platinum we have to work with this promise. but not many. actually being actively kept.
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encourage people to. but not quite enough with investors and until those investors season as low risk which could take a while remnants of the once thriving industrial sector tower over the jobless. are still to come on counting the cost why the fashion industry is being accused of ripping off traditional mexican designs. but first the owner breast corruption scandal has rocked latin america and continues to rumble on with peru's president facing impeachment for a second time pedro pablo kaczynski survived a first bid to remove him from office in december but now congress has voted in favor of reopening proceedings against him seventy nine year old leader is accused of lying about his ties to the brazilian construction giant which is at the center
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of a multi-billion dollar bribery case kaczynski denies the charges experts say nearly eighty percent of all businesses doing business with the brecht are likely to end of bankrupt by the end of this month and tens of thousands of workers have lost their jobs how this week marked the twenty ninth birthday of the world wide web and its creator tim berners lee issued a stark warning to mark the occasion in an open letter to the guardian newspaper he was hugely critical of the tech titans the control today's internet he's calling for more regulation to rein in the power of platforms like google facebook and twitter unilever one of the largest companies in britain is closing down its london offices and moving its corporate headquarters entirely to the netherlands consumer goods giants decision is a blow to british business sentiment as its government negotiates to leave the
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european union dutch company already has its headquarters in rotterdam. it's a sad week for those of us weak for those of us who grew up with toys r us the world famous brand has announced it will sell or close hundreds of its stores in the u.s. and at least thirty thousand jobs will go the seventy year old retailer helped shape the toy industry for decades but it's face stiff competition in recent times from online businesses gabriel is on doe has a story. right right for generations of children in america and around the world it was a playground for picking out the latest toy everything from a new doll bike or toy race car toys r us like the name so aptly implies was synonymous with any and all toys for kids stores could be found all over america including in one of the most important intersections in the world times square in new york city as the business empire expanded it opened in more than thirty five
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other countries as well including babies r us stores and it clothing and supplies for infants but was shoppers increasingly going online at sites such as amazon major high street stores are taking a hit to their profits toys r us managers finally gave up announcing that after seventy years in business they were shutting their doors for good and closing or selling off all of the nearly eight hundred stores in the u.s. and around the world i think where toys are struck the bowls in a few areas one is their online business while everybody is growing their own why business toys r us was down twelve percent they perform extremely poorly online trouble had been brewing for the company for years and its chief executive complained last year about the challenges it faced that it's so competitive it's a twenty five billion dollar industry and every marketer out there wants to try to
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get their arms around those young families certainly the on line business has made it even more attractive for customers to price shop and look at various alternatives so it's a very competitive business but toys r us has many self-inflicted wounds primarily about five billion worth of debts which meant there wasn't much money to upgrade stores the company filed for bankruptcy last year toys arrests employees about sixty thousand people around the world now they're looking for new jobs gabriels on for counting the cost in new york. now the biggest initial public offering the world has ever seen has been delayed when saudi arabia said it was going to sell five percent of its state energy giant saudi aramco to public investors top stock exchange's sat up and took notice the flotation was tipped to happen this year but now saudi aramco says it needs to review its options for the listing but joining us
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now from london is professor paul stevens a fellow at chatham house in london thanks so much for being with us so what do you make of what's happening with with this i.p.o. or is the case maybe what's not happening because we haven't really heard any firm announcements from the company as to as to when this will be happening. i think the problem is that they've run into serious problems and the problem was created in april twenty sixth eem when mohammed bin salmond first announced the privatisation because at that point he put a valuation on saudi aramco of two trillion dollars this was achieved by a rather simplistic piece arithmetic you take the reserves two hundred sixty six million billion barrels and then multiply it by an oil price and the oil price they took was seven and a half dollars a barrel which was the price that total had paid when they bought but the problem
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with that is that to say then they're going to take fifty five percent gives a benchmark a one hundred billion dollars and if the privatisation goes ahead and they get less than one hundred billion dollars this will be seen as a failure and this is bad news from m b s's point of view so my sense is that they're desperately trying to sort of wriggle out of the privatization process because the valuation is grossly overstated and there aren't likely to get one hundred billion and the last thing that m.b.a.'s needs at the moment is some sort of an obvious failure when you're talking about m.b.a.'s you of course talking about the crown's prince hamad bin salmen and this is been seen this whole. around co i.p.o. has been seen as the lynchpin of his overall strategy of reforming the saudi economy so. we see this as as as a setback for that then. not necessarily for reforming the economy but certainly to
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make the i.p.o. the proverbial jewel in the crown i think was a mistake because as i say they've created a benchmark by which you can judge the success or failure of this and i think this is the reason for the delay in the process i think suspect that they're more likely to try and go ahead with a private sale because the beauty of a private sale is nobody will know if it's failed or succeeded because you won't actually know what the prices but what message is all of this sending to foreign investors this this apparent lack of transparency from from from the company and from saudi officials on this. i don't think it's particularly good news from that point of view and indeed i think more important was the arrest in november the number of senior businessman in the kingdom and this illustrates a fundamental problem in saudi arabia and that is a lack of real property rights and if you are
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a foreign investor i think you're going to be looking very hard at the kingdom before putting money in and indeed the private sector within saudi arabia will also look hard at investing within the kingdom and how how important is this i.p.o. . to the business of the foreign exchanges that are competing for its listing namely the london stock exchange and the new york stock exchange. well that's another problem with the privatization because neither would be a good place to put the privatization into the united states because of problems with the juster act which would allow american citizens affectively to sue the american government also on nymex the rules for listing reserves are very strict and saudi aramco would struggle with with those rules and in london as the rules stand at the moment they can't privatized less than twenty five percent now london
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is trying to change those rules but there's a lot of opposition within the institutions in the city of london opposing that so both options at the moment are not looking at fact they've and one of the implications of this for the saudi kaname domestically i don't think they're that important and it certainly shouldn't stop the process the much needed process of economic reform that is that is actually underway they were hoping to get one hundred billion dollars from the sale but there are other sources of income for that and therefore i don't think it's going to make a huge amount of difference to the reform program providing it's not seen as a failure in other words providing they don't go ahead with the i.p.o. and get significantly less than one hundred billion dollars good to speak with you paul stevens in london thank you very much now mexico's famous for its highly patent artwork and the fashion world has taken notice but what happens if traditional designs from
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a centuries old culture reappear on the catwalk and in global merchandise who should profit from it and who really owns the intellectual property john harmon has more from mexico city. it's taken is a q.b. sent to a lifetime to get to here when the pen seems to guide it so what he sees in his community of to mangle mexico lies of the page made flesh by his wife. this intricate dream world has been built up in the imagination of generations of tonight go across people together the communities become famous for these top astri's. now they're worried that their shared heritage is being exploited by big brands who use their designs but don't share the profits but i must proportion. we can make anything we're asked to that we should be paying a fair amount that way we can get ahead generate employment here and pay people right. a recent study by n.-g. o. impacto concludes that
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a clothing brands of plagiarised indigenous designs. the spanish clothing firm mango used to design in this wetter after complaints they withdrew it from wrote a letter pledging to help the community several indigenous communities in mexico have their own distinctive designs which are sold locally in shops and markets these are often poor people so when they see their patterns being used to mass produced or luxury clothing without compensation or recognition it really rankles. the problem is judging when the thin line between inspiration and plagiarism is crossed defining that by copyright is tough because the designs are often the cultural heritage of entire communities rather than just one person. congresswoman paolo félix says companies shouldn't see it as a legal question but one of moral duty guess what i wanted us to comment that was they need to get ethically responsible because at the end of the day it's just
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stealing that is states of mexican people we have to have their word is to say you can't explode it is thanks in other countries and say they are yours. but honestly it's a complicated picture but the very fact it's been watch more closely than ever may mean a fair deal from its cruise cross people. and that is our show for this week and as always you can get in touch with us by tweeting me at has him seeker and do you use the hashtag a j c t c when you do or drop us an e-mail counting the cost at al-jazeera dot net is our address and there's more for you online at al-jazeera dot com slash c.t.c. that will take you straight to our page which has individual ports links and entire episodes for you to catch up on that is it for this edition of counting the cost i'm has a secret from the whole team here thanks for joining us the news on al-jazeera is next.
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the scene for us where on line what is american sign in yemen that peace is always possible but it never happens not because the situation is complicated but because no one cares or if you join us on set there are people that that are choosing between buying medication and eating this is a dialogue i want to get in one more comment because this is someone who is an activist and has posted a story join the global conversation at this time on al-jazeera.
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we are witnessing around the word this hungry money which is only looking at how to make the next profit devastate economies devastating ecosystems putting a price on the protection of nature green economy is sound good but it was all privatized sation of nature should our environment be for sale but we're trying to do this destroy people to stabilize the country are giving them a financial incentive to do that pricing the planet at this time on al-jazeera. observateur in russia denounce electoral violations of law to me a person claims a presidency for another six years. hello i'm suit us and this is al jazeera live from london also coming.

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