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tv   Business Briefing  BBC News  March 21, 2019 5:30am-5:46am GMT

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this is the business briefing. i'm maryam moshiri. building a new silk road. china plans a global transport network to move its exports around the world. could italy be its gateway to europe? double denim day for traders, as levi strauss makes a wall street comeback, with a valuation of more than $6.5 billion. and on the markets, shares in asia mixed after wall street gave up early gains. optimism about the fed abandoning further rate rises this year being outweighed by concerns about the reasons behind that decision. markets injapan though closed
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for a public holiday. we start in rome, where chinese president xijinping is arriving today. he's trying to persuade italy tojoin china's grand plan for a global trade network, a sort of modern silk road. the trillion—dollar belt and road initiative aims to connect asia, the middle east, africa and europe via a network of ports, railways, roads and tunnels. it's central to china's strategy for boosting sales of its goods and services around the world. more than 100 countries have signed up, but italy would be the first g7 member tojoin. critics in the us and eu see the belt and road initiative as a plan to expand china's sphere of influence. they say it mostly benefits chinese companies, and traps poorer countries in debt to china. still, many in italy's business world would like investment from china. the port of trieste is in talks
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with a chinese construction firm for help with a billion—dollar revamp. it wants to become china's "gateway to europe." italy's trade with china hitjust under $50 billion last year. at 2.5% of gdp, china trade makes up a smaller share of the economy than it does in the us or wider eu do, so there is a lot of room for growth. let's get more on this story. professor francesco lippi is in our rome bureau. thank you forjoining us. what do you make of these plans to involve italy and the silk road, or the so—called chinese silk road? how does it benefit italy economically? well, the economics, it is pretty simple. it is a plan for a new trade
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routes that is massive, a huge investment plan, and as everybody knows, trade with china is growing and it is going to be booming in the yea rs and it is going to be booming in the years ahead. so there is a lot to be gained, there are a lot of opportunities in this plan. as far as the economics of it go, it is pretty simple in my view. it isjust a trade opportunity that is going to possibly deliver benefits. what about the politics? because that is where things get complicated. the politics is much more complicated because it brings into the picture issues of, you know, global stability, who is going to influence her, common military issues, and many dimensions which i think would be better dealt with at the european level rather than to be single country level. —— rather than at the. we are not seeing much cooperation at that you level. maybe the italian government wants to play
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smart and try to stand on its own, which in the long run, does not look like a good idea to me. then there is the italian politics. you know, they are obviously happy, the government is obviously happy to ta ke government is obviously happy to take advantage of this opportunity to get some more foreign investment into the country, but the overall picture is not going to be much improved by that. the country would better focus on its fundamental issues, to attract more investment, like fixing judicial courts and taxation and many other administrative redtape problems that the country has. bring us up-to-date on whether the italian economy stands right now, and why this level of investment would be useful? —— where the. any level of investment is useful, that is where growth comes from. so if a country invests into some other country it means that there are interactive investment opportunities there, and those are the ones that bring jobs
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and ultimately capital and growth. that is exactly one of the problem is that italy has, that it is attracting in the past two decades investment, because it is not a very attractive investment location, because of the problems ijust mentioned. so i am not surprised that the government is happy to see more interest from a huge country that wants to invest there. i am just saying the italian government be careful, it would be better to deal with this issue at the european level, where a bigger block, better co—ordinated, could probably strike a better deal than a single, relatively small country on its own, in spite of being a g7 country. professor, thank you so much for talking to us here on the business briefing. let's turn to brexit now, because there is yet more uncertainty for businesses over britain's departure from the european union. as you've been hearing, eu leaders will decide today whether to grant a delay to britain's departure date,
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from march 29th tojune 30th, as requested by prime minister theresa may on wednesday. european council president donald tusk has warned a delay will only be possible if parliament backs her withdrawal deal, which it has already rejected twice. so on wednesday the prime minister gave a final plea for support for the deal. it is high time we made a decision. so far, parliament has done everything possible to avoid making the choice. motion after motion and amendment after amendment has been tabled without parliament ever deciding what it wants. all mps have been willing to say is what they do not want. i passionately hope mps will find a way to support the deal i have negotiated with the eu. a deal that delivers on the result of the referendum and is the very best deal negotiable. and i will continue to work night and day to secure the support of my colleagues, the dup
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and others for the deal. but i am not prepared to delay brexit any further than june 30. chris southworth is secretary—general of the international chambers of commerce here in the uk. good to talk to you. i was reading earlier that the cbi have done a survey of businesses, at a recent one, and 88% of those surveyed would support a delay in the process if it means we avoid a no deal brexit. is that the mood music you are hearing? i think that is right. businesses trade at the optimum, when there are fewer barriers, and no deal breaks it would add significant barriers to trade. so that is right. but you have to remember that overseas this seems absolutely chaotic. so that percentage would be higher if you speak to overseas companies. what do you think needs to happen now? companies need certainty. it is interesting how we are hearing about china investing $1 trillion in the belt and road initiative. the uk has lost one chilean dollars in assets because of brexit. some sectors have already kicked in in terms of contingencies, that is happening either way. it has cost the financial services 7000 jobs, $1
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trillion in assets. we will see more of that kind of activity. we would like to see a real focus on the economy, jobs and livelihoods, and making sure those are safeguarded. that is what the world economy needs, it doesn't need more instability and chaos. lots of international businesses in the uk have said already that even if they we re have said already that even if they were to be a delay it is too late to change their contingency plans right now? yeah, that's right. we are forgetting how this looks overseas to foreign investors. itjust looks chaotic. they are making their own decisions in terms of where they are investing money. is that damage irreparable? robert lee, some of it. the uk needs to work really hard to make sure that does damage is minimalised or start to work on improving. chris, good to talk to you. thank you. let's go to the us now, where traders on the new york stock exchange will be breaking their strict "no jea ns" dress code today and digging out their denim. it's in honour of a return to the stock market for one of america's oldest brands, levi strauss and co,
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the original bluejeans maker. michelle fleury reports. what's done are you wearing today? levi's. levi jeans. i have always liked them because of the comfort level. you can wear them anywhere. liked them because of the comfort level. you can wear them anywhere! wardrobe staple, levi strauss is returning to the stock market. denim's comeback creating an opening for one of america's oldest brands. it isa for one of america's oldest brands. it is a good time for them to go public. the brand is hot. it is continuing to grow in the us and overseas and the market has been at a high for overseas and the market has been at a highfora overseas and the market has been at a high for a long time. but can only carry on for so long so it is a good time for them to raise a bit of money. fashion is notoriously fickle. levi's has struggled, closing us factories in the late 19905. but closing us factories in the late 1990s. but now it is making up ground. with help from famous faces like beyonce levi's has succeeded in balancing its heritage with the demands of today's customers.
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balancing its heritage with the demands of today's customersm balancing its heritage with the demands of today's customers. it has successfully expanded beyond that core of the genes business, and layered on top, lay it on a bigger women's business, they have gone from department stores to opening on it -- from department stores to opening on it —— opening a lot of their own stores and have developed a big international business as well. with one eye on china, india and brazil for future growth, levi's roots are most definitely american. launched during the california gold rush, when levi's patented denim pants with copper rivets in 1873, it invented blue jeans, or waste overalls, as they were first called. 0nce levi's goes public, fans will be able to buy shares in their favourite denim maker. who knows if it will turn out to be as reliable a better is buying a pair of one of its 501 jeans. michelle flory, bbc news, new york. —— fleury. coming up, we will take you through all the
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headlines. join us soon. goodbye. there's a warning that the nhs in england has no chance of training enough gps and nurses to solve the shortages it faces. a report by three leading think tanks predicts that in the next five years nurse shortages will double and gp vacancies could treble without radical action. 0ur health correspondent nick triggle reports. it is well documented the nhs is short of staff, and the government in england has responded by increasing training places for doctors and nurses. but now the three leading it think tanks are warning that alone will not be enough. 0n current trends, they predict by 2023 nurse shortages could more than doubled to 67,000
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and gp gaps could nearly triple two 7000. there is obviously some concern. but those projections are what would happen unless action is taken, and the important thing about this report and the recommendations we make is that we think if we do act on these we can reduce very significantly what the shortfall will be. the think tanks recommend annual grants of £5,200 be introduced to make studying nursing more attractive. that will still mean 5000 nurses per year will have to be recruited from abroad, something that has been made more difficult by brexit and a global shortage of nurses. closing the gp gaps will require a different approach as training and international recruitment will not provide enough doctors to meet demand. the think tank set other staff, such as physios and pharmacists, will have to do see some of their patients. that is an idea that is already being locked out. the government said recruiting more staff is a key priority for the
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extra funding being invested in the health service. that story and more will be coming up at six o'clock on breakfast with charlie stayt and louise minchin. they'll have all the day's news, business and sport. this is the briefing from bbc news. the latest headlines: theresa may heads to brussels to ask for a three month delay to brexit — time she needs to get parliament to back her deal. the prime minister of new zealand has announced a ban on the sale of assault rifles and semi—automatics, in response to the christchurch terror attack that killed 50 people in 2 mosques. rescue teams are still struggling to reach survivors one week after cyclone idai hit south—eastern africa. aid workers say thousands are still desperate for help. now it's time to look
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at the stories that are making the headlines in the media across the world. we begin with die welt in germany. it says the eu's turned the tables on the uk, with donald tusk saying he'll only delay brexit if theresa may manages to pass her deal. the mirror and almost all the british press covering brexit too. a much more emotional tone to the media here though — this article calling the prime minister arrogant and deluded. let's move on to quartz and another european story. italy is becoming the first country in the g7 to deepen ties with china joining its reinvention of the silk road trading routes. huff post picks up on a story from hawaii. it says it could become the first state to ban most plastics in restaurants, but is the environmentally friendly move bad for business? and tech website the verge has a big story on volvo. it says the carmaker will put cameras in its vehicles from 2020 to try to combat drunk and distracted driving.
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with me is jane foley, senior foreign exchange strategist at rabobank. of next week let's start by talking about brexit. this german take on thing provides a measured approach to evidence happening today discussing the latest in the saga which means that theresa may is now heading to brussels. and they are saying that the eu turns the table on theresa may. and what they mean is that they can have a delayed departure if they get a deal through parliament next week so this puts the pressure back on theresa may to make that decision. and if, the implication, if this doesn't all is not passed next week then it could bea no not passed next week then it could be a no deal brexit. theresa last night was blaming mps for everything and talking about the fact that she is with the public on this. do you
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think that did anything


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