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tv   World Business Today  CNN  December 16, 2011 4:00am-5:00am EST

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about the toe pictures, which i didn't even know existed. >> thank you. i'm zain vergee at cnn in london. here are the headlines. japan's prime minister says it's achieved a cold shutdown at its fukushima daiichi nuclear power plan the. that means temperatures in the reactor have stayed below boiling point for some time. experts say it will take decades to fully clean up the nuclear disaster caused by the earthquake and tsunami in march. the coastal fishing village in southern china is still under siege. police surrounded the village after nearly a week of protests. people say the local government took their land, sold it to
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developers and kept the money. residents say food and supplies are running low and they fear police might storm the village. u.s. military officials now admit its u.n.-man droned was looking for suspected nuclear sites in iran. one official says it was on a cia mission, tehran put the aircraft on display after it was brought down recently on iranian soil. prolific writer and social critic christopher hitchens has died. he often skewed the elite in his writings. his 17 books took aim at everything from the cancer that ravaged his body to waterboarding to religion. christopher hitchens was 62 years old. those are the top stories from cnn, the world news leader. i'm of did does have. "world business today" starts now.
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it's 9:00 a.m. here in london. good morning, i'm nina dos santos. and it's 5:00 p.m. in hong kong, i'm manisha tank. this is "world business today," the top stories on friday, the 16th of december. japan welcomes this news that the fukushima daiichi nuclear plant has been declared stable. raising billions of dollars in the virtual world. the company behind farmville. and 'tis the season to go shopping but perhaps someone should tell the great british public. without further adieu, let's get straight to the markets in europe. this is how been they've trading in just an hour's time. we're still holding into positive territory. we saw substantial gains for these markets in excess of 1%. in yesterday's possession and in the first hour of trading they seem to be holding 0 to that positive momentum, supported in
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particular by encouraging jobs and manufacturing data coming out of of the united states. those numbers out on thursday showed we saw u.s. jobless claims at a three-year low. it's not helped by the fact that fitch ratings, one of the more influential ratings agencies has decided to downgrade a whole raft of banks, some of biggest banks on the stock exchanges. for instance, one listed here on the cac 40, we have vcredit sui well. also protests in places like poland and sweden that don't even use the euro and another euro member, ireland, are also let's say putting a spinner in the works of last week's euro deal, manisha.
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>> we've had the major indices ending trading higher this friday. that means after four days of losses we finally have a day of gains. if you actually looked at trading volume, here are the indexes to show you what happened, volume was pretty low. it is, of course, just ahead of the holiday season. and that means a lot of people are moving around but nobody really wants to take a punt on what happened with all of that continued uncertainty in europe. we have seen support, like you were saying from the positive numbers out of the u.s., both on manufacturing and also when it came to the jobless number. now that weekly jobless number can be erratic but it was a number that was much better than people were expect. very encouraging news from the u.s. economy. many here in asia will hope to see more than that, particularly exporters, which we see the likes of in japan. not as good as some of the other major indexes in asia. we still had some of the
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exporters under pressure, toyota, for example. a mixed picture for people in tokyo, mitsubishi closed lower. olympus had a pretty terrible week, nina. a lot of the markets are moving on the back of that u.s. data, let's take a look at how session ended on wall street. stock markets closed higher on thursday, following positive jobs and manufacturing data but the gains were muted as investors were made nervous about the european debt crisis. the dow jones industrial average finished almost 0.5% higher, nasdaq crept up by 0.1% and the broader s&p 500 index rose by 0.3%. let's take a look at how that prepares us for the trading picture today. u.s. futures at the moment are on track for a mostly positive open when trading begins in about four to five hours from
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now. the u.s. will also release its monthly inflation data during the session and that will be eagerly watched by many economists but as you can see for the moment we're holding on to the positive gains with the likes of the s&p up to the tune of 0.66%. >> for the moment that's how it looks. keep on tracking those numbers for you. japanese authorities say they've made significant progress in containing the country's nuclear crisis. you're looking at live pictures of the japanese prime minister, noda. he's giving a news conference in tokyo and we are expecting him to announce a potential cold shutdown at the fukushima daiichi nuclear power plan the. cnn's paula hancocks has been covering this story since it began. she's been monitoring these developments from seoul. paula, what does this mean, exactly? >> reporter: manisha, the japanese prime minister has already announced that the fukushima power plant has in fact achieved a cold shutdown. he announced that just a couple hours ago within a government
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task force. right now he's talking to the nation and giving the japanese people news. a cold shutdown means that the temperature within the reactors, those crippled reactors after the march 11th earthquake and tsunami are below boiling point, below 100 degrees centigrade, which is over a certain period of time. what we've heard from the prime minister is that the fukushima power plan the now is in a stable condition and that the situation has been brought under control. also saying that the radiation exposure at the periphery of the plant is at low levels and will remain at low levels even if there is another accident or another natural disaster. it is a milestone but many critics, many experts, do say that we shouldn't get too carried away by this. there are still years and decades of work to be done. there's also the criticism from some experts that the terminology, a cold shutdown, might suggest that the situation is better than it actually is.
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cold shutdown usually is when you're talking about an operation that is stable, you're talking about nuclear fuel rods that are stable and, of course, that certainly isn't the condition of the fuel rods in four of the reactors at the nuclear power plant. there's also a discussion of how these fuel rods will even be removed in the future. that will be the next job for tepco workers but, of course, they haven't been able to get anywhere near them at this point to be able to see firsthand how bad the situation is. it is a milestone, many people calling it a symbolic milestone. cnn spoke to the tepco president just a couple days ago. he did acknowledge there was a lot more work to be done. he also acknowledged this cleanup is costing a lot of money. he doesn't know how the company will look in the future. >> translator: right now we are facing a big deficit and our biggest task is to rectify the situation. of course, we are considering several options as solutions and we're making sure we pick the
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most rachelleal of them. nationalizing the country is one of them. we do not deny consider nationalization. it will be after we debated what is the best solution. >> reporter: so a significant announcement for tepco, which is in charge of the nuclear plant, a significant announcement for the government as well. but for those fukushima residents who still are not allowed home, it doesn't actually make that much difference. there's still about 80,000 residents who have been forced to move away from the area because the area is unsafe. they still don't know when they'll be allowed home. those closest to the power plan the don't know if they'll ever be able to move home. 34,000 of them are still in temporary housing and there is an awful lot of anger still within the japanese public that they believe they weren't told the truth early enough and they weren't kept up to date with just how dangerous the situation
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was. manisha? >> paula, thanks for bringing us up to date and putting it in context for us. you've been tracking this story from the very beginning. thank you. now, let's talk about a meltdown of a very different sort, the share price meltdown we've seen for research in motion. rim stock slumped by 7% on thursday, following a disappointing setting results for the last quarter. they reported earnings. that represents a 70% drop from the $911 million that this same firm earned in the same quarter of last year. it warned that its next generation of smartphones would launch six months later than originally planned. rim's two chief executives, have been responding by slashing their annual pay packets to just $1 each. they've also pledged a comprehensive review of the company's operations. research in motion shares have
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now lost almost three-quarter of their entire value so far this year. investors will also be watching shares in the gamemaker zynga. they make words with friends and other games which are mostly played on facebook. zynga reportedly priced its initial public offering at $10 a share. that values the firm at $7 billion and is hoping to sell about 100 million shares in that debut. that would make zynga the largest internet ipo since started trading back in 2004. quite incredible. the products zynga sells online in games like farmville exist only in the virtual world but they do generate real world profits. >> i'm christina warren and i'm the entertainment editor at i write about social media and i'm interested in this world. i have none other than the mark zuckerberg action figure, limited edition.
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i was not the person i'd be addicted to farmville. i made fun of it. it's an easy thing to make fun of. i had to review the ipad app and i got sucked in. farmville was one of the globally successful facebook game. these are buildings that i created. it's almost like you are playing with a doll house and you build your world. the more you come back, the more money you make to raise animals and crops. i can exchange real money for virtual money to buy these goods more quickly. if there's any company that's printing money, it is zynga. >> i paid money for virtual goods that have absolutely no bearing on my real life. i can't reconcile that. that's their business model. this is cityville hometown, zynga's most popular game.
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has 53 million active daily users. it is much more task and goal oriented. that means that the game is easier for people to pick up and go because it has more clear objectives. you have a post office, a bike shop. the more you build your city, the bigger it gets, the more people you have. you can build towns and businesses. this is words with friends, also known as the game that got alec baldwin kicked off an of an airplane. the flight attendant tells him shut off the phone, they get into a tiff. it was a gift. it kind of opened up and said, hey, everybody is addicted to this. everyone can find a way to get pulled into this vortex of games. i think that's why zynga has been as successful. apple's game of the year is tiny tower. if i were zynga, tiny towers
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would keep me up at night. it's addictive, it's fun. the competition is coming at them from all sides. zynga's biggest challenge will be being able to create new games that will have everyone talking. so game on. >> it's worth being addictioned to the show. we have more still to come on "world business today." where we'll head to germany where two men who say they're able to check the country's industrial production in realtime.
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let's have a quick check of the price of oil and have a look at where that nymex crude benchmark contract is trading. we're up 32 cents right now, $94.19. manufacturing looking decent and also those jobless numbers are
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giving people cause for cheer, after prices had slipped on concerns about the recession looming into the euro zone. staying with the commodities theme, let's take a look at gold. it's trading higher, bouncing back from its worst weekly loss since the month of september. positive economic data coming out of the united states, easing demand for dollars, which have been quite a safe haven and also gold is a safe haf as well. it's currently trading up 16.64 at $1592. welcome back. you're watching "world business today" live on cnn. in india, the central bank left interest rates unchanged and shifted its focus from keeping a lid on inflation to promoting growth as the country's economy shows signs of a slowdown. industrial's industrial output fell 5.1% in october from a year earlier and its growth rate fell to 6.9% last quarter. that's the slowest pace in more
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than two years. the benchmark lending rate was kept at 8.5%. it's a clear change in the bank's priorities after 13 interest rate rises in the past 21 months. nina? moving on to another one of those bric economies, in the meantime, russia's president told eu leaders at a brussels summit that his country is ready to help the euro zone out of its current debt crisis. dmitry medvedev says any investment must be managed through the international monetary fund. china and india, other bric nations, have said the same thing so far. with all the economic uncertainty you might wish you had a crystal ball. it's all done by monitoring road traffic. from this week's marketplace
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europe, juliet mann explains. >> reporter: the problem with searching for reliable economic data is knowing which direction to take. but some number crunchers say it's all going on here, not the information super highway but germany's highways. these two bond-based academics have it all mapped out, tracking truckers going places with container loads of goods. their index gives a snapshot of industrial production in europe's biggest economy now without waiting weeks or months for official data to be released. here's how it works. most heavy vehicles in germany have gps technology on board, linking them up to a satellite system designed to collect road tolls. >> the toll collector, they use it to bill people and get money
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for the state. it finances our roads and public activity. however, one can use this data usefully to help solving our early forecasting problems. that's why we are the first, we have proposed to use this for forecasting economic activity. >> what they get is a steer on realtime production rate as goods are shipped about. they consider river and rail transport, too, but found the roads play the biggest role. >> kilometer driven, trips made, you want to see crossing of borders inwards and outwards and then impeerically try to relate that with some kind of economic indicator of significance. >> official figures show german industrial production rose more than expected in october. that tallies with the index results. there are a few dents in the body work. the index can't separate who's
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exporting to germany from who's just passing through. but it does give policymakers a clue to what's happening to the economy now without looking in the rearview mirror. juliet mann, cnn. still to come here on "world business today," we've got first business economy, now social class. we'll look at kln's new offering. choose your flying partners through good old-fashioned facebook stalking.
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let's check on the currency markets for you now. the euro still down, 0.1% or so. it's still off the lows we saw earlier in the week. as forster leng a steste steste and the yen. a warm welcome back. you're watching "world business today." we're live here on cnn. the choice used to be simple, first class, business class or economy, window seat or aisle. now the dutch airline klm it seems is shaking things up a little bit. it's introducing what's going to be known as social class. from early next year, passengers will be able to check each other's facebook profiles before deciding who they want to sit next to. klm is offering customers the option to choose to display their personal information on its online seating plan. the tool is designed
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specifically for in-flight networking. >> interesting stuff. richard quest spoke to simon calder, editor at "the independent" and asked him what he thought of klm's new offering. >> i think it is outrageous. social media are great in terms of air transport, for example, in the united kingdom, in northern europe, a year ago you were reporting on the appalling snowstorms which closed so much. it was twitter, social media that were helping people understand what was going on. i will say, the fact that you're traveling by air you're meeting all kinds of people outside your comfort zone but i don't think the two should ever be put together. >> oh, come on, how nice you'll be able to know who you'll be sitting next to. >> there might be a bidding war if people get to hear that richard quest is traveling in seat 1-a. i think it is much more likely that you will find there's
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almost a predatory element, some kind of in-flight stalking or worse and probably more likely the idea that you will be stuck next to a crashing -- flying to amsterdam to santiago for 14 hours with somebody that insists on drmpging the plane dry. was sitting next to a pilot, not the pilot, a pilot. it was terrific. he talked me through the entire flight. >> the best person sitting next to you is a no show. thattive goods you much more room to stretch out and enjoy the flight. >> calder mentioned in-flight stalking. they insist it is not an in-flight dating service. we shall see. klm could see an uptick in bookings in the new year. nina, i'm sure it will provide us lots of story opportunities.
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>> i find it interesting that someone is defending that move. interesting move there from the dutch airline klm. 'tis the season of good will and still to come here on "world business today," we have a heartwarming tale from the u.s. state of nebraska.
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from cnn london, i'm nina dos santos. >> and i'm manisha tank in hong kong. a warm welcome back to "world business today." we're about 19 minutes into the trading session here in
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europe. let's take a look at how the markets are faring. at the moment we seem to be holding on to the positive momentum we saw yesterday but only just. already, as you can see, some of the euro zone markets feeling the bite of credit rating downgrades for some of the biggest french and german banks. >> here in asia as you can see, all the major markets ending the session higher. in the u.s., the leading indices all set for a higher open when trading gets started later on, following thursday's reversal of a three-day losing streak for these particular markets. let's take a roundup of all the action on wall street. here's alison kosik. stocks made a modest recovery thursday after positive u.s. economic data helped investors forget about europe at least for one day. the dow gain 46 points, closing up 11870. the nasdaq and s&p 500 ended with slight gains as well. 366,000 americans filed new claims for unemployment benefits
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last week. that's the lowest level since may of 2008. it suggests that jobs recovery may be gaining traction. fedex shares jumped 8%. the shipping giant reported quarterly earnings that beat wall street estimates. the company credited strong demand for a pair of its residential delivery services and growth in e-commerce led to a 17% increase in daily shipping volumes. michael coors dre-- kors dressed up the new york stock exchange. they raised close to $1 billion for the hong kong-based fashion company. kors posted sales increases for 20 straight quarters, a sign that demand for some luxury goods has held up, despite a tough economy. coming up friday, the government releases retail inflation numbers for november. analysts predict only a slight increase in prices. darden has already warned that
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the numbers could be disappointing. that's a wrap of the day on wall street. i'm alison kosik in new york. let's stick with this retail theme. it's meant to be the season for lots of spending but in the runup to christmas, the latest statistics could be something of a mood killer for retailers across the united kingdom. i hit the shops and found halfway through the biggest retail month on the calendar, some stores it seems have little reason to be merry these days. we have just about a week before christmas, the traditional time for giving and receiving gifts for friends and families. it's a pivotal time for retailers, especially across the united kingdom. i've come to the retail center of british capital to gauge the pulse, let's say, for the shops and shoppers nearby. there aren't all that many carrying bags. for the retailers have been having a hard time of late. the latest figures show that retail sales in the uk fell by about 9.4% for the month of
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november. if you strip away everyday items such as fuel and gasoline, the figures are worse than that. down about 9.7%. at a time like this in the most busy shopping season of the year, guess what, they're still offering discounts, despite the fact that some of the companies are having to contend with higher commodity prices. the price of wool is up 75% in the first half of 2011 and textiles are more expensive thanks to the arab spring uprisings. here in london's cairnby street, there aren't that many people out, let alone holding bags, which is a worrying sign as we head towards the christmas season. i have found two people who have bags and have been christmas shopping. thank you very much. sara you have a bag. it's not particularly big. >> no and it has something for me in it which i bought in a sale. i think lots of people are buying things in the sales which have already started before christmas.
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>> stephanie, you've got a big. it's a bigger one. is that discounted as well? >> yes, it is. it's one present per person. kids, listen. one present only. >> unfortunately that might put santa out of a job, won't it? do you think, sara, people are spending less this time? >> i think maybe people are being very careful. like you said, there seem to be people around but not very many people with large shopping bags. maybe i'll see them on the train when i go home. >> stephanie, do you think to get people in the shops retailers have to offer a down? >> definitely, yes, we wouldn't be buying anything if there wasn't a zudiscount. >> worry about a recession for next year. >> i think people probably are. >> it seems to be the uncertainty, nobody knows what's going to happen or what's around the corner. >> are we having an austerity christmas? >> possibly. >> that just goes to show christmas may come once a year but you don't have to spend big
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to get that christmas cheer. sticking with the festive shopping theme, in the united states, paying a deposit for presents weeks in advance of christmas and then paying off the reamender over the coming weeks is pretty much commonplace. what is not so common is someone else paying off your debt for you. as we have this report for ketv, an anonymous santa has been spreading a little bit of christmas cheer in nebraska. >> reporter: hard to believe even santa -- >> it's very cool. >> reporter: could learn from a surprise -- >> it left me speechless. >> reporter: like this. >> people they don't know. >> reporter: when some anonymous donor stopped by this k-mart and asked to make spirits bright. >> they wanted to pay off a layaway. >> reporter: k-mart making the call to customers. >> you could tell she was starting to cry and i just had goose bumps. >> reporter: saying someone covered all but one penny to keep the layaway in store. and the story would be touching enough if it stopped with one family. but sure as a snow in december,
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it didn't stop there. another couple's kindness buying presents for donna's son. >> you owe a penny. we're like a penny? okay. i got a nickel. >> reporter: and lori stern's grand kids. >> i was just amazed. it's nice to see people that do that. >> reporter: now, some families covering another layaway or donating their savings to others. >> hopefully it will start a trend and it will go. >> reporter: before youen from tickally finish shopping this christmas, remember the reason for the season, just think of lori sterns and the smile. >> god bless them for it. >> reporter: brought by a stranger. let's check in on the weather now. we've seen hurricane-force winds followed by snow for much of western europe. meteorologist ivan cabrera is standing by at the international weather center. >> it is a mess in france right now. we have the security strike ongoing there. allow extra time for that. and on top of that, if that wasn't bad enough, we have a significant storm system that
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has brought hurricane force winds, heavy rain and now snow as well. we are going to take a look at the winds first of all here. 140 kilometer per hour winds, category 1 hurricane in the atlantic basin is basically what we had. that's, of course, right along the coastline of france. that happening over the next 24 to 36 hours. the moisture tens to move through the east, providing for flooding as well. we're getting new pictures now. i'm watching them with you as they come in with the splashover that's been ongoing along the coast. in addition to that, again, those winds that have been battering the region there, we understand upwards of 400,000 without power in france. it is going to be dark, rainy and, well, cold as well. because behind this storm is going to be a surge of the coldest we've seen so far this season. you combine that with the current winds and it is going to be a mess out there. in fact, the uk is when we get to that.
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take a look at some of winds. they weaken to the east. they begin to pick up as the low traverses and heads off into germany over the next several hours. look at that plume of moisture coming in right off the atlantic. that will fall in the form of snow as that cold air on the backside begins to move in and it has moved in. manchester airport reporting barely any flights in or out. the runways are covered with snow, the ground crews are working extra hard to get your flights in and out. but it will take a while. if you're flying in across western europe, check with your carrier. it will be a mess. there's the heavy rain and that does switch over to a significant snowfall event. the most significant so far this season as we take you into the next 24 to 48 hours, particularly into france, into germany and then eventually heading into poland as well. so a busy end to the week here. nina and manisha? >> okay. ivan cabrera, many thanks there at the cnn international weather
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center. if you've heard about anything in the show that you'd like to comment on, maybe it was the social class on klm, i don't know, or any of the other stories, you can get in touch with us, the whole team on our facebook page, just go to and let us know what you think. we're very social media friendly here on "world business today." you can also contact us and send us your thoughts via twitter, follow us @cnn wbt. >> i'm manisha tank in hong kong. and i'm nina dos santos in london. you're watching cnn, the world's news leader. who need
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insurance covered it all. call the scooter store for free information today. this week on "marketplace
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middle east," the u.s. pullout of iraq as the last u.s. troops leave, we sit down with the prime minister of kurdistan's regional government to discuss the road ahead. plus, denied an upgrade, the eau in qatar failed to meet a requirement. what does this mean? a lanmark evedmark event in. over the years, 1.5 million americans served there and only about 200 troops are to remain. the u.s. may be leaving behind a less violent iraq but let's take a quick look at the state of economic progress in the country. the international monetary fund systems that gdp will grow by more than 9% this year, compare that to a contraction of almost 0.75% in 2005. they produce close to 3 million barrels of oil a day. by 2017, the country hopes to
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produce 12 million barrels, though that is considered very ambitious. some other businesses are struggling along with its citizens because iraq has chronic power shortages. the unemployment is around 16% and 23% of iraqis live below the poverty line. iraq is hoping to boot its economy and drum up business. nuri al maliki says the country's future will be determined by businessmen, not generals. foreign investment in iraq hit $70 billion. as we inch ever closer to the full withdrawal of u.s. troops from iraq, not everyone is celebrating. the kurds in northern iraq fell victim to saddam hussein's brutal regime more than 20 years ago but even without him in power, they're apprehensive about the future as arwa damon found out when she spoke to the
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region's foreign minister, barham salih. >> we did not come this far to be subjugated. we have to make sure it is protected from undue influence. >> it is iran that wields the most influence in iraq right now. >> we have a vital stake in stable, good neighborly relations with iran. at the same token, i would say to iran and all of the other neighbors of iraq, they were victims of saddam hussein's aggression and the instability that was posed by iraq was not own i a danger to the people of iraq but also a danger to their neighbors. so the neighbors should also be wise enough to invest in the free will of the iraqi people instead of domination and interference. that will not help. >> you discuss the exxon deal with baghdad. did they specifically tell you not to sign it? >> the prime minister obviously voiced his reservations that they were not fully consulted but we went back through the
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important records of communication, from our point of view what was going on. development of resources in kurdistan is a contribution to the iraqi economy but there's also another factor. our recent history is very instructive. there's no way we would be dissuaded from our constitutional right to developing our resources and allow ourselves ever again become hostages to the wims of some bureaucrats in baghdad. we've been there before. oil was used to strangle our people, to commit genocide. >> there have been ongoing tensions between the kurdistan regional government and baghdad omp a numb over a number issues. central has been the hydrocarbons law. how are you going to bypass that? >> there are some colleagues in baghdad that see things differently. they want to run oil through a centralized bureaucracy. we believe what we've done in
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kurdistan is consistent with the constitution and we have led the way. i think it is also important to note over the past eight years we have had a stagnant oil policy and i think today oil export levels are dangerously low, far below what iraq needs by way of construction revenues and so on. >> how critical has foreign investment been to the success of what you've had here, how quickly is it moving forward and how concern ready you that it could get jeopardized. >> foreign direct investment has been crucial to our success and licenses that have been granted to the private sector, iraqi and iraqi/kurd and then kurd has exceeded $16 billion, much of the reconstruction you've seen in kurdistan emanates from private sector activity. this is very important. i believe kurdistan is now an important hub of economic activity. it is important market in its own right but it is also more
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important when you think of it as a gateway to the larger iraqi market. this is our vision. we want kurdistan to be the indispensable link of trade and commerce, economic cooperation among our neighbors. and am i concerned for the changes around us and the upheaval? yes, i am. can i give up my quest for a better life and better economy and better stability for my nation? absolutely not. >> at this week's opec meeting iraq along with libya have been included in the organization's quota and the latest output agreement. >> this 30 million barrel target includes iraq. iraq was outside the quota for many years. iraq still hasn't got its own quota assigned but it's somewhere within this opec basket target. that will be very interesting debate, i think, for the next opec meeting to say how much will iraq be assign and will iraq get a quota the same or higher than iran? which is what it's been signalling that it wants. >> opec ministers gather in vienna announcing they will
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maintain the current level of oil production, around 30 million barrels a day until next year. the new production limit is the first in three years and is a far cry from six months ago when saudi arabia's oil minister left a meeting in disagreement over production with iran. despite the show of unity, a lot still needs to be done. >> they were determined to get an agreement this time so they wouldn't have the disaster they had last time when the meeting broke up without any agreement. they've avoided that and everybody's come out smiling saying there's an agreement, which is great but they haven't tackled the really key issue, how will the individual country's quotas be allocated and how much will each member produce. >> saudi arabia hit the headlines for another reason this week, shuffling its economic team, the kingdom earlier announced over a $1 billion spending spree to increase wages and tackle unemployment. a cabinet change came following
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the death of prince sultan in october. analysts say it is a strategic move. >> the recent announcements in saudi arabia reflect what are the top three priorities for saudi into 2012. that's employment, employment and employment. these are skilled technocrats, well respected both within saudi arabia and globally. obviously trusted by the king to breathe fresh air into saudi arabia's efforts to really add some life into the domestic employment, not just the economy as a whole. up next, the road to an upgrade. did the uae and qatar manage to overcome the obstacles and gain emerging market data?
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an anxious week in the gulf markets as investors waited a decision by msci to upgrade the eau and qatar. they decided against it in the end. the main reasons about the uae and qatar are restrictions on ownership and clear investments. we explore the obstacles that do need to be overcome.
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>> reporter: here in the heart of dubai's financial district, there are plenty of glamorous exteriors in a region that is full of cash. so it may come as a surprise that the united arab emirates has so far been relegated below emerging market status. the financial data provided the msci classifies the world's economies and investment managers decide where to put their money based on those categories. what are they? to put it simply, economies progress from frontier markets to emerging markets all the way up to developed economies like the g-8 countries, for instance. frontier markets include the likes of bangladesh and vietnam, for instance. but even the majority of the wealthy oil-rich gulf arab countries are considered frontier economies. the reason for that, analysts say one of the main concerns is transparency. >> it's also about developing as
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a nation in terms of company law, regulation, regulation for investors, transparency. but these are all very classical, i guess early stage issues that developing emerging markets always face. >> reporter: those are some of the hurdles countries have to overcome to get upgraded to emerging market status. they also have to show a marked increase in the size and liquidity of their markets. and demonstrate more openness to foreign ownership. examples of emerging markets include brazil, india, china and south africa, for instance. why are these categories so important? fund managers see frontier markets as riskier places to put their money and they're more likely to invest in a country labeled an emerging market. regardless of the categories, there's a concern about contagion from the european debt
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crisis and it's generally a volatile time in the region so many fund managers are just hanging on to cash. leoni lakhani, cnn, dubai. for more about the program, visit or send comments to you can check out our web page in arabic as well, arabic. that's it for this edition of cnn "marketplace middle east." i'm john defterios. thanks for watching we'll see you next week.
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