tv Business Briefing BBC News March 20, 2019 5:30am-5:46am GMT
this is the business briefing. i'm ben bland. presidential pals: as brazil's right—wing leader jair bolsonaro hits it off with donald trump, how are things back at home? we take a closer look at the brazilian economy. and game on for google: the tech giant launches its new streaming platform, called stadia. and on the markets, asian shares slipped from six—month highs as investors took profits ahead of a policy decision by the us federal reserve.
hello. far—right brazilian president jair bolsonaro made his first visit to washington to meet us president donald trump at the white house on tuesday. they struck initial agreements on agricultural trade, with better access for american wheat and pork exports to brazil, also possibly restarting sales of brazilian fresh beef to the us. but how is the brazilian economy faring? latin america's largest economy got off to a bad start in 2019 — gdp grew byjust 0.1% in the fourth quarter, down from 0.5% in the three months to september. trump may want closer economic ties with bolsonaro, but china is currently brazil's top trading partner. the economy minister, paulo guedes, said brazil will not undermine its trade with china. but the most pressing challenge is social security reform — namely, pensions. it would see brazilians paying into private pension pots and would replace the public system
which offers a guaranteed package of retirement benefits. eduardo gomez, senior lecturer in international development at kings college londonjoins me now. good to have you with us on the business briefing. so, for those backin business briefing. so, for those back in brazil watching the pictures of the two presidents meeting, what they have agreed, what practical effect will it have? the practical effects is that brazilians are going to be happy that relations are being restored with the us. there some morejob opportunities restored with the us. there some more job opportunities and more import of beef, one of the ideas through this new trade relationship, but there also could be a backlash against bolsonaro, some of the supporters may not like the fact that he is trying to let the us have more influence in brazil, there is discussion of the us having a
military base in brazil, so some supporters do not want international influence within brazil are not like this. there may be a divided response the close of that bolsonaro gets to the us but for practical purposes, it is generally a positive response. i mentioned the slowdown in the brazilian economy, what are the main reasons for it?” in the brazilian economy, what are the main reasons for it? i started several years ago with excessive spending under the previous administrations, their antipoverty programmes, a lot of federal spending on antipoverty programmes at the same time a decline in exports, primarily commodities. so the government ran up a huge deficit and still has a huge fiscal deficit, so this is what the main reasons we re so this is what the main reasons were for this. simply not enough revenue coming in to cover a lot of the public sector cost for the government. and bolsonaro is nicknamed the trump of the tropics. what measures does he have planned
to try to achieve the sort of growth that president trump has achieved, if he can, in the us in the beginning of his administration? bolsonaro is following the traditionally liberal approach of lower taxes, interest in privatisation, and also reducing pension spending, and this will be a huge thing for the government. under the previous administration the government tried to reduce pension programme spending and it did not work out now bolsonaro is trying and approximately 13% of gdp goes to social security so if he is able to manage it and reduces spending this will potentially save the government billions of dollars. i think this is going to be a major step for the government. eduardo, thank you for talking us through that. google has announced its entrance into the high—end video games industry. its product, named stadia, is a streaming service. unlike traditional games consoles, it does not require gamers to download a game or own it on a disc.
instead, all games on stadia will be streamed over the internet and will likely require a monthly subscription, but the company did not say how much it would cost. our north american technology reporter dave lee asked google's head of stadia how the business model would work. we're talking not specifics on the games business model today. our vision today was to share the platform, the technology, the integration with youtube, the ability to see your one game vision reach scale across multiple devices. of course, this might remove the need for people to spend money on consoles, which are expensive, but it does mean people will need to have very good internet connections, very expensive internet connections, for this to work fully. if i am a parent, i am looking at that and thinking "wow, we will have to spend $100 or more a month for my child to play the games they want to do." this could be quite exclusionary on that point, no? we don't think so. we think that we stream at a number
of different resolutions which match the bandwidth that you have coming into your home, and we use some very clever compression algorithms inside our data centres to make sure that we deliver the highest quality experience to you at the best possible bandwidth. of course, any gaming platform is only as strong as the games on it. there was a lack of games mentioned in that presentation. you will need a lot more, won't you, if you are going to convert gamers who are on other platforms? we absolutely know that content is key for any platform success. today was about showing our vision to the developer community here at gdc. we want them to start thinking about how they can bring their creativity and technology. we wa nted we wanted them to see the capabilities of the platform. do you have more of them on board? absolutely. how many more? i am not going to share that. we will be back in the summer... aaa publishers?
we started with ubisoft bringing their newest game back in october, and i think that gives you a strong indication of our direction of travel. now let's brief you on some other business stories. a us jury has found that one of the world's most widely used weedkillers was a "substantial factor" in causing a man's cancer. pharmaceutical group bayer had strongly rejected claims that its glyphosate—based roundup product was carcinogenic. but the jury in san francisco ruled unanimously that it contributed to causing non—hodgkin's lymphoma in california resident edwin hardeman. american and chinese negotiators are reportedly planning fresh talks to end a trade dispute between the world's two biggest economies. according to the financial times and wall street journal, citing trump administration officials, us trade representative robert lighthizer and the us treasury secretary steven mnuchin will fly to beijing next week to meet chinese vice—premier lie he, who will pay a return trip to washington the following week.
china's xiaomi ended a tough 2018 on a high. net profit at the world's fourth largest smartphone maker more than tripled compared to the year before. a fall in global sales was more than offset by booming demand in india, where it outsold all its competitors to take a 30% market share. the crisis at india'sjet airways is deepening. the country's increasingly worried government has called an emergency meeting, angry passengers are demanding refunds, and pilots are threatening to strike over unpaid salaries. the carrier has now grounded six more aircraft as it struggles under the weight of debts totalling more than $1 billion. 0ur india business reporter sameer hashmi has the latest from mumbai. jet airways is struggling for survival and the situation is getting worse by the day. the airline has cancelled hundreds of flights in recent weeks and has
grounded more than half of its aircraft fleet. it has more than $1 billion of debt and it has failed to make payments to the banks, employees who have not been paid for months, and even aircraft leasing companies. some of them have even cancelled their deals with jet airways and taken their aircraft out of the country. the indian government has asked state—run banks to step in and provide some cash or some sort of relief to the airline so it stays afloat, because right now, they essentially have no cash. at this point of time, jet airways has been talking to multiple investors, as well as lenders, to strike a deal, but until now, they have not been able to arrive at a rescue plan. in fact, the airline was in talks with etihad airways, which owns a 24% stake in the airline. etihad had agreed to invest more in the airline and take control of the company, but the deal fell through after the founder ofjet airways refused to step down
from the board and the chairmanship. the country's regulator has described the situation as fluid. jet airways have been warned they might be forced to ground more aircraft in the coming days, which would lead to more flights being cancelled. however, it has asked jet airways to make sure they refund passengers whose flights have been cancelled over the coming days. —— whose flights have been cancelled over the last few days. analysts say the next few days are very crucial forjet airways, because if there is no fresh cash infusion, then the airline might have to completely ground its entire fleet. right now, it has no cash and it is finding it difficult to operate on a day—to—day basis. and that is why the government is actually asking the banks to give jet airways some sort of money at this point in time, to keep it afloat. that's it for the business briefing this hour. but before we go, here are the markets. asian markets mostly fell with nervous investors keeping tabs on developments in the china—us trade talks and the brexit saga,
while awaiting the conclusion of a key federal reserve meeting. we should get hints later in the day from the us central bank on how much it might slow down the pace of interest rate rises. a slowdown in the us economy and the world economy mean that the two rate rises that analysts were expecting this year, may not now happen. give us your best smile! it's the international day of happiness today, when people around the globe are being urged to do what makes them happy and spread a little happiness, too. for the sixth year in a row, the world happiness report will look at what is important to people's well being. our home editor mark easton has been to northampton, a town that is taking the pursuit
of happiness very seriously. britain is suffering from brexit blues, according to health experts and academics. there are warnings that economic uncertainty and political instability could damage the nation's mental health but here in northampton, town leaders are working together to spread a little happiness. i feel a little bit down but at a local surgery, doctor david smart is regarded as a happy evangelist, for stress, anxiety and mild depression he prescribed social events rather than pills. choose one or two that is relevant to you. referring people to community support based on the science of happiness. northampton is a great place, it has a great history but coming together, we think we can make a difference and we hope we can share that with the nation. you want to make northampton happier? that is my ambition, yes. patient could be sent here, a happy cafe. yeah,
absolutely. the happiness hub that has been created in northampton, i have met so many great people, we are starting a happy hairdresser project. and here is a local hairdresser. when they leave the salon, 0k, their hair looks great but i want them to feel great. salon, 0k, their hair looks great but i want them to feel greatlj woman being treated for cancer.|j feel probably better than i did before the diagnosis because i am looking after my body, i am doing mindfulness. there are ways to make people and places more optimistic, more resilient, and in this town they are working on how to help people see a glass half full rather than half empty. mark easton, bbc news, northampton. this is the briefing from bbc news. the latest headlines: the first funerals have taken place in new zealand for victims of friday's mass shootings at two mosques in christchurch. 30 of the 50 bodies have now been approved for release. the police say they will all be
released by the end of the day. the un says cyclone idai has created a massive disaster in southern africa. officials believe it may be the worst natural catastrophe that's ever hit the southern hemisphere. potentially, millions of people are affected. at least 1,000 are feared dead in mozambique alone, hundreds are missing in zimbabwe and malawi. theresa may is formally asking the european union to delay britain's withdrawal beyond march 29. the prime minister is to request an extension to the deadlocked brexit process until the end ofjune, possibly far longer. eu heads of government will consider the request on thursday. now, it's time to look at the stories that are making the headlines in the media across the world. we begin with the front page of the financial times. the eu taking a hard line with the uk, saying there are no guarantees it can delay brexit
beyond the set date of march 29. the guardian looks at how the devastating cyclone that hit south—east africa this week may be one of the worst weather—related disasters to strike the southern hemisphere. the gulf news is covering the ongoing protests in algeria, and how, according to the new deputy prime minister, president abdul aziz bouteflika has agreed to hand over power to an elected president. the south china morning post reports on the chinese president xi jinping's upcoming visit to italy where he is expected to sign a deal on four italian ports despite security concerns in the eu. the daily telegraph looks at how a mother has been asked to attend a police interview after being accused of using the wrong pronoun to describe a transgender woman. the new york times features a piece on costa rica,