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tv   World Business Report  BBC News  May 12, 2017 5:30am-5:46am BST

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this is bbc world news. the headlines. president trump has changed his explanation about why he fired the director of the fbi. he told a television interview he'd already decided to sackjames comey before receiving advice from thejustice department. the party founded by the french president—elect, emmanuel macron, has unveiled most of its candidates for next month's parliamentary elections. more than half of them have never held elected office, and half are women. foreign ministers from the eight arctic circle called for urgent global action to reduce greenhouse gases. however, the us secretary of state, rex tillerson told the ministers, that his country would not rush to make a decision. in football, manchester united and ajax will contest the final of the europa league.man united beat celta vigo 2—1 on aggregate while the dutch side beat lyon 5—4 over the two legs. the final is in stockholm on the 24th may. now it's time for world business report.
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zooming exports and crumbling classrooms. the paradox of germany's lopsided economy. plus will iran stay open for business? conservatives pledge to roll back rouhani's reforms, as companies nervously await next week's presidential election. welcome to world business report. i'm tanya beckett. also coming up, playing for big "steaks." china agrees to buy us beef as trade talks continue. but first: we start in europe's economic powerhouse, because in a couple of hours‘ time, germany will release its latest gdp figures. growth is expected to have accelerated in the first three months of the year, fuelled by global demand for the country's exports, like cars and machinery.
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but it's not all cause for celebration. let me show you why. last year, germany clocked up its biggest ever trade surplus. that's how much more it exports than it imports. at $275 billion germany has one of the biggest trade surpluses in the world. it's a source of tension with its neighbours and allies. look at how much more germany sells to these top economies than it buys from them. the us in particular has accused germany of exploiting an undervalued euro to get an unfair trade advantage. an over—reliance on exports isn't the only problem. the european commission says germany just too frugal. it is saving too much, and investing too little. it wants to see some of that cash invested in the region's struggling economies. but many germans think the spending should start closer to home, asjoe miller reports from berlin.
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home time at this school in the south of berlin where students have more reason than most to want to get out of the building. we have classrooms we have to paint ourselves and windows that don't close and toilets that are so filthy stu d e nts close and toilets that are so filthy students don't drink anything all day so they don't have to use them. also, the pay makes it difficult to find the bull who want to do the job at all. conditions are terrible and schools are falling apart. it is not just public investment that is the problem. germany has a $300 billion current—account surplus. that is a good figure, but it suggests that german companies preferred to invest money abroad, perhaps because they
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see german schools like this, ageing infrastructure, and a lack of investment. and it is becoming a political problem. we see that, for example, in current discussions with the donald trump administration, and with france, where emmanuel macron has recently said germany should try to bring down its current account, we see that german policymakers are actually with there back against the wall. —— their backs. they have to defend the economic strength germany is seeing. this is a problem because it creates tensions. now, in just a few months‘ time, german voters will get to choose their next parliament, and as they do so, they may have one of the following questions. if the german economy is growing so strongly, they ask, why are tax is
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still higher, and why are my benefits still so low? —— taxes. more simply, will i see an improvement in my quality of living? joe miller, bbc news, germany. to asia now. and since us president donald trump and chinese president xijinping met in florida last month, the two countries have been in talks to try and reduce tensions over trade. well, it looks like those talks are beginning to yield results. in the last hour or so, we‘ve heard there could soon be more access to china‘s markets for us farmers and financial firms. rico hizon is watching developments for us in our singapore bureau. rico, what‘s happening? ta nya! tanya! hi! he loves tojump in. what is happening? do you know what, this is happening? do you know what, this isa is happening? do you know what, this is a turnaround after all of the negative rhetoric from president trump on china before xijinping‘s visit. but from the looks of it, it
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is positive, with the us and china expanding trade and beef and chicken. and they are increasing access for firms. the chicken. and they are increasing access forfirms. the plan is to reduce the massive trade deficit with beijing. the secretary said the deals are the first tangible results of trade negotiation allowing us import of beef no later thanjuly 16th, and chinese cooked poultry will be allowed in the us markets. and other services will begin a licensing process in a sector where the union pay system in china has had a near monopoly. the secretary said these deals will bring down the trade deficit between the two economic superpowers and will have an impact on the chinese surplus by the end of the year. so, tanya, on paper, the us has the upper hand.
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thank you very much, rico hizon, reporting from singapore. we are also looking at iran, which holds its presidential election next week. it will be closely watched by hundreds of companies worldwide who are keen to do business there. the current president, hassan rouhani, has opened up iran to foreign investment and has attracted some of the world‘s biggest firms. but conservative challengers have said they would reverse his policy. later today the candidates hold the last in a series of presidential debates, which will focus on business and the economy. jeremy howell has more. two years ago, jubilation on the streets of tehran. world powers promised to lift sanctions on iran after hassan rouhani promised to scale back the nuclear programme. the economy, close to collapse, is now growing at 7% a year. hassan rouhani says foreign trade and investment are vital for future
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growth. iran has struck trade in the oil and gas sectors and ordered new aircraft from airbus and boeing. and peugeot are back making cars. but the main conservative challenger to hassan rouhani says the rapprochement with the us is failing. 0ne rapprochement with the us is failing. one in eight iranians is unemployed. the wealth gap is widening. he wants to give iranian firms the lead in rebuilding the economy, rather than dealing with the west, and wants more trade links with countries like china and russia. he also promises to create millions of newjobs for young iranians. but he has not yet said how. jeremy howell, bbc news. reza shaybani is chairman of the british photovoltaic association which is working in the solar energy business in iran. welcome to the programme. thank you.
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are you concerned about the elections? some of the markets could be reversed. not really. we see the acceleration of the growing economy will carry on regardless of... because the desire is there to make it happen? absolutely. iran is a growing economy with a young and dynamic highly educated population. it has the ability to grow further in the region. so i don‘t see any problem with it. what has been your experience during the time that hassan rouhani has been in power? before that, things were different. things are different. look no one can fix the economy and everything else the iranians have had to deal with after ten years of sanctions. hassan rouhani took office that a difficult time when iran was isolated and the economy was in a bad state. in a short period of time
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he has made significant progress. is thejob done? he has made significant progress. is the job done? no, he has made significant progress. is thejob done? no, it is half done. even in this period, the iranian government has attracted over $3 billion in foreign investment. and they managed to get over 40— $50 billion of iranian assets which were frozen. tell us your experience of the country and what you do they. right. we invest in renewable energy in the solar sector. we did this successfully in the uk. in iran we are doing exactly the same. iran has lots of land and son and a growing economy in need of powers. —— ? ?macroi economy in need of powers. —— ? ?macr01 solar energy needs a strong framework and access to finance. we are like that in the uk we have all of these and what we are doing is
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exporting expertise in these fields to iran. last year, during the visit of the iranian energy minister to london, we signed a framework agreement to invest in one gigawatt of solar assets in iran, are proximally 1.5 billion dollars. thank proximally1.5 billion dollars. thank you very much. —— apprimately. in other news: london—based virtual reality firm improbable has raised $500 million in one of the biggest ever investments in an early—stage european technology business. japan‘s softbank is backing the company, which builds large—scale virtual worlds and simulations, in a funding round that values the business at more than $1bn. improbable was founded just five years ago by herman narula and rob whitehead, who had studied computer science together at cambridge university. shares in macy‘s have plunged after the us department store owner said quarterly sales slid 7.5%. macys lost around 14% of its value. rivals, kohls and jc penney, were also down sharply amid fears about the health of the traditional us retail sector.
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the rise in on line shopping has seen us department stores shed more than 32,000 jobs in the past year, according to us government estimates. a quick look at what has been happening on the markets now. the main thing is the stabilisation of the oil price. looking at european markets. the gdp figures for germany will prove pretty influential this week. no move on interest rates in the uk at the moment. inflation emerging from the uk on that. the us still affirming support for rate hikes over there. don‘t forget that you can get in touch with me and all of the team on twitter. some of them don‘t like to make themselves too available. i am tanya beckett with
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the bbc. in the 19th century, public baths and washhouses were an important part of improving people‘s health but over the years many have closed due to cuts in council funding. this weekend one of the uk‘s oldest pools, the victoria baths in manchester, will open it‘s doors to the public for the first time in 2a years. jayne mccubbin reports. this is a special moment in the new history of this old pool. how excited are due for this moment? really excited. it has been put in four years since the public has had access to the pool. it will be a great day and great fun. this week, manchester‘s victoria baths will be full with the sounds of water once again. another historic pool closed
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from closure and brought back. the same that happened in leeds. we feared losing it. come in through this way. hello. council cuts looks like they would threaten the future of this pool. the people were inspired and did not want it to close and become a museum. inspired and did not want it to close and become a museumm inspired and did not want it to close and become a museum. it was a team effort. we were supported. close and become a museum. it was a team effort. we were supportedm newcastle, the community came together when the threat of closure turned into reality. when we heard that the turkish baths were going to close, i cannot tell you the reaction. it has been used by generations before me. i thought that future generations would want to use it. it would be so sad if it closed. after a £5 million redevelopment by a charity, this
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place will reopen next year. britain has lost just over place will reopen next year. britain has lostjust over half of its historic pools. campaigns like these arejust a race historic pools. campaigns like these are just a race against time. this is bbc news. the latest headlines: president trump has changed his explanation about why he fired the director of the fbi. he told a television interview he‘d already decided to sackjames comey before receiving advice from thejustice department. the party founded by the french president—elect, emmanuel macron, has unveiled most of its candidates for next month‘s parliamentary elections. more than half of them have never held elected office, and half are women. foreign ministers from the eight arctic circle called for urgent global action to reduce greenhouse gases. however, the us secretary of state, rex tillerson told the ministers,

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