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tv   World Business  PBS  June 13, 2011 6:30pm-7:00pm PDT

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>>reporter: this week on world business... >>building on a huge new scale, mumbai's property boom is being driven by demand from the very top. >>there are ten thousand new apartments coming. the minimum value of the apartment is going to be a million dollars. >>reporter: rebuilding after the revolution, tunisia's minister for trade and tourism has high hopesfor the recovery of the industry. >>i believe that the future of tunisia is going to be wonderful. the only thing i don't know, which could be our best partner; europe, asia or america. >>reporter: and a new high tech solution to take the pain out of driving, by spotting traffi take the pain out of driving, by spotting traffi take the pain minutes out what traffic is going to look like.
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>>reporter: hello and welcome. i'm raya abirached and this is world business, your weekly insight into the global business trends shaping our lives. mumbai's property market has staged a dramatic recovery from the global financial crisis in line with the country's economy. the difference between this and previous real estate booms is the size and increasingly elite nature of the new buildings. >>reporter: the real estate business is booming in mumbai, with million dollar plus apartments underconstruction across the city. >>the biggest symbol of buying power is the new home of india's richest and the world's fourth richest man, mukesh ambani. his palatial tower dominates the skyline of south mumbai.
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according to reports, it has six floors of parking, a few swimming pools, a ballroom, a cinema and three, yes three, helipads. >>no wonder then india's rich are scrambling to get their own version of a luxury apartment. >>lodha: mumbai is a city of 22 million people or thereabouts. home ownership rates which are are inthe range of 20 percent - extremely low by global standards - a rapidly developing economy, and a land-locked island city 456 square kilometres in area - one-fourth of what the new york metropolitan region has for example, but four times the people. so all these factors put together contribute to avery real demand - continues demand for all sorts of real estate. >>reporter: and buyers are lapping up developments as soon as they are announced. vijay srirangan has invested half a million dollars in an apartment in this building complex in a mumbai suburb. even though it won't be ready till 2013.
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>>srirangan: they've got gardens, specialized gardens planned. they've got the usual clubhouse; they've got tennis courts that are planned, other games facilities are in place, children's park. several of those features, the ability to walk around inside the complex - as you grow older that's an important element - all of these add up to making this premium, exciting, and worth spending on as far as i'm concerned. >>reporter: the world's tallest residential tower, world one is planned in central mumbai. 60 percent of its apartments have already been sold, with prices up to 17 million dollars. when completed in 2014, the building will soar 450 metres above the arabian sea, but it's not just status that's driving the reach upwards.... >>lodha: at that height the theoretical temperature drop is 5 degrees from the ground level; so the air up there is 5
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degrees cooler than it is at the ground. >>reporter: this is just one of a new wave of super-tall apartment towers springing up around mumbai. these gated developments, a mark of india's rising economic clout, are not only changing the city's skyline but also its social fabric. they tower over crowded slums, which house half of the city's population, highlighting the growing gap between haves and have-nots in what is already one of the world's most unequal societies. >>alam: our huts are made of wood, we've covered it with plastic sheets, but during the rains we have problems. its difficult for our children when the water floods these paths, and when the wind blows away the plastic sheets, our homes get flooded too. the government doesn't provide us with any facilities, there is no drinking water and no electricity here.
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>>reporter: but far from investing in the potential growth area of affordable housing, most developers are focusing on luxury apartments attracted by huge margins. >>in the lower parel neighborhood, developers bought former industrial land for around 66 dollars per square foot a decade ago. they are now charging 10 times that for their apartments. meaning they only need sell a handful to the super rich to recover costs. >>varghese: the discrepancy in bombay is that at one level, you have people who don't have even the basic of human rights - whether it's the right to shelter, whether it's the right to water, right tofood, right to a clean toilet. and on the other side, you have big, big buildings coming of individuals, 60 floor buildings...the amount of energy used, the amount of water used, this means that the share which is available to the rest of the people in the city is drastically
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going down. >>reporter: but so too is the share of credit that has fuelled this boom, as banks become increasingly cautious about lending to real estate developers. also, india's interest rates have risen over the last year making it more costly to borrow money. >>in the long run, the quality of land a developer possesses will be crucial and that shows no signsof changing... >>khetan: land is very scarce in bombay, in the heart of the city of bombay, there is hardly any land which is surplus land which is remaining vacant. so sourcing land is definitely a big challenge...we always believe no business can survive on 20 years' or 25 years' of inventory, so we always believe in quality of the land rather than the quantity of land. >>reporter: yet with every developer rushing to announce premium projects, many believe the market is already oversaturated. >>vakil: there are 10,000 new apartments coming where
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the minimum value of the apartment is going tobe a million dollars. are there enough buyers, all of us feel there are not enough buyers to take 10,000 apartments in the next 2 years. >>reporter: this segment has seen prices grow by 30 percent in the last year alone and such apartments may now be overpriced. at the same time, many buyers have their money stuck in the indian stock market, which has fallen by more than 10% so far this year. >>vakil: this industry like the stock market has begun to depend on the confidence. and that confidence seems to have been shaken. and if the confidence is shaken what the typical buyer would do is put off the purchase. that's what we are seeing today... >>reporter: yet despite jitters analysts expect only a mild correction in the prices of luxury homesof 10 to 15 percent in the next few months. with demand expected
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to continue its upward climb once again, as the indian economy expands at 8.5 percent this year. >>reporter: the tourism industry is a vital part of the tunisian economy, bringing in over 2 and a half billion dollars a year and directly employing over 350,000 people. but the revolution at the start of the year has hit the sector hard, with some reports showing it is contracting by 40% in 2011. to find out how the country is planning to get back on track, we spoke to tunisia's interim tourism minister mehdi houass. >>easen: you've had the overthrow of the ben ali regime, you're now in political transition with elections in july: how is this weighing on the economic prospects of the country? >>houass: the touristic area, which is one of the biggest ones in tunisia...have been affected for more than forty percent. and we need
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the foreign investors to come back again to tunisia as soon as possible, just to show that we are on the right way, the way of a free country that have signed all the international treaties, you know, we respected all the international laws right now in tunisia and we on the way of democracy. so, the election are important but for tunisian because we are going to re-write our constitution. but...what we've done on january 14 is more important than what we are going to do after the elections. >>easen: you specifically mentioned tourism. numbers are down by forty percent and it is an essential part of the economy: how do you get numbers back up? >>houass: i have to go to every country one of our customers and to convince them that there's of course no problem with security but what needs...tourist is not security; it's serenity, hewants to be sure that in tunisia even in new
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country, new people, new atmosphere, new culture and just to tell them that we need them right now. this year because it's important for our economy, morethan three hundred and fifty thousand people are working in this industry >>easen: with all this being going on in the maghreb and north africa, how much of an issue is unemployment, specifically youth unemployment? >>houass: we know the real figures seven hundred thousand unemployed in tunisia and more than two hundred thousand with........graduates, a high level of school graduates. so this is the more important problem we have to face but we couldn't give job to all these people in months or in years. but wehave to give them perspective, we have to show them that we are on the right way, we have to show them that we were able to give an economical answer to this country.
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>>easen: is your government's emergency action plan going to be enough to kickstart the economy? >>houass: we know exactly what are the problems we have to solve in tunisia. and even we know exactly what should be the future tunisia, it's very easy....tunisia is going to be the first country in africa which is free, respecting the international law and obviously democracy. so we can be a wonderful platform for europe....european country to go through the african market which is the market of tomorrow; with one point five billion people. the ticket we have taken after this revolution is onlya one way; we can't come the position before. and....and with this, step by step we haveto assume our responsibility. to rebuild our infrastructure: roads, airports, posts.
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>>easen: despite the turmoil, foreign trade and investments haven't dropped off as significantly as they could have. why do you think this is the case? >>houass: the figures show the countrary...for example our exportation, our trades, foreign trades have increased......ten percent during the first quarter. and the....investment...the foreign investment has only decreased from twenty two percent. so it's not so much because the first quarter....wasthe quarter of the revolution ..... that means that the people who have...invested in tunisia a country which do not respected the law, which wasn't free; are now convinced that they haveto reinvest more in this country that's now free and respecting the international law. >>easen: what do you see as the main economic
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challenges for the tunisian economy going forward? is it stability? or is it the trickle down of wealth? >>houass: the challenge is to move our country...from a country that's traditionally was used to manufacture products, goods at a low price to a country that is able to do services; because he seven hundred thousand people that are waiting for job are.....educated in...they are able to do job in services, not in manufacturing goods. in services...could be services that....should can i say it...should be...that help big companies in europe to develop their products and services in africa using a platform in tunisia.
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>>easen: after all the recent turmoil that's gone on, what would you like people to understand abouttunisia and its economy? >>houass: we are in the centre of the mediterranean area. this is my message. so.....i believe that we are going to have huge country; i believe we are going to be the first real, free and democratic country in africa and i believe that the future of tunisia is going to be wonderful. theonly thing i don't know, which could be our best partner; europe, asia or america. the game is starting. >>reporter: still to come on world business... >>reto congestion and finding a parking spot in california >>reporter: and a good business spoiled, the golf industry is struggling to break even. >>reporter: in the rough... and the rest... in just a moment on world business...
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>>reporter: travelling by car in a modern city is a tense and frustrating experience. with greater numbers of cars on the roads, traffic jams are commonplace and parking spaces ever harder to find. now researchers in california are working on some smart solutions to these problems. >>reporter: so you programmed your gps, set up real time traffic alerts on your phone, and everything is going well. but despite your best efforts, halfway through your journey you're stuck in bumper to bumper traffic. >>day: we've all been in the situation where we are on the road and we are listening to the radio telling us about a traffic jam that we are already in, that is not all that helpful. 8''
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>>reporter: at ibm's altadena research centre in california, john day is heading up development of an intelligent transportation solution to forecast traffic jams before they happen. >>day: what we were really aiming for is to take advantage of our analytics to recognize the patterns in traffic, what happens when things go wrong and apply that to what's happening in real time so that we can predict 30 to 45 minutes out what traffic is going to look like. >>reporter: ibm is partnering on a personalized predictive modeling tool where users sign up and share data about their journeys collected by their smart phones. >>day: once you opt in, the idea is that you install a small application on a smart phone and you create an id on our web based system once you turn on the application it starts to learn your routes, >>reporter: by blending this automated learning with predictive analytics the tool can spot trouble ahead on specific routes and create a text or email alert to warn the commuter before they set out. >>the project is still in its research and testing
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phases and ibm isn't working alone. they've joined forces with california's department of transportation which provides data from thousands of traffic monitoring sensors. meanwhile, at the university of california in berkeley, professor alex bayen is sharing his research on mobile sensing. >>bayen: we are working jointly on developing algorithms, and we have some data agreements which enable us to exchange data in the proper institutional context. >>reporter: this real time congestion map of the san francisco bay area has been created using transport agency data plus data from smart phones. >>bayen: typically the smart phone is able to capture its position, its speed, lots of different parameters. and if you have a lot of this data you can put it in models that can recreate traffic at a global scale. >>reporter: being able to see into the future might help one aspect of your journey. but getting from point a to point b is only part of the challenge. >>harrison: so you've made it into town using all the latest technology and gadgets to ease
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your commute. but you're not at your destination yet, there is just one more problem to overcome: parking. >>reporter: getting to point c - a parking space, could take you another 15 minutes. a ucla report found that 30 percent of all traffic circulating around a city is looking for parking. at san francisco based start up streetline, zia yusef wants to change that. >>yusuf: so it all starts with the sensors that we put into the ground so this is an example of one of them. as you can see it's very strong. inside the sensor is a pretty sophisticated piece of equipment, you've got batteries you've got an magnetometer, you've got an antenna, a radio and what this sensor does is that it detects the presence of a car. >>reporter: so the sensor knows if a car is parked in a particular spot.
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specially adapted parking meters can also track payments. >>yusuf: that's our sensors inside an old coin operated meter but by doing this, this becomes a wireless device in itself so when you put a quarter in here we will know. >>reporter: the sensors are already in place in cities such as hollywood where subscribers to a "parker" app get real time information about available parking spaces. >>yusuf: so this is a block that has 4+ and you can go in there and you can see the pricing information, the availability and so on. >>reporter: places that install sensors are able to use the data to introduce dynamic pricing, raising the price where there's more demand and lowering it elsewhere. >>yusuf: a parking spot is a 20 foot by 20 foot piece of real estate. so this is a lot of space and asset to a city that really isn't priced appropriately. >>reporter: still operating with venture financing, streetline has partnered with companies like siemens in preparation for a future need to scale up. meanwhile, back at uc berkeley, professor bayen is setting his sights on future uses for all this mobile data too.
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>>bayen: if you could find some incentives for people to take alternate routes for the social good and you could reward them accordingly, you could probably achieve a better overall traffic pattern atthe scale of a city. what if you could pay people to drive in a certain way that is better for society? >>reporter: we've all heard the old quote describing golf as 'a good walk spoiled'. but these days...a better description might be 'a good business spoiled.' in europe's most mature market, the uk and ireland, many courses are struggling and as golfers tighten their belts the traditional industry model may be changing for good. >>smith: if you look at this industry it is failing. you are seeing golf courses going to the wall >>slessor: it's been horrible. >> o'connell: against 5 years ago it is tough.
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>>reporter: the british isles provide around half of europe's golf courses....and right now...those courses are hurting....... >>knowles: margins are tight. there are costs pressures. >>reporter: kpmg's golf advisory unite estimates that 45% of golf clubs in the uk and ireland failedto make a profit last year. a recent survey by the english golf union shows over half england's clubs no longer charge a joining fee...95% of clubs no longer have a waiting list... >>stanley: a lot of clubs are struggling on the membership side of things where once upon a time they had a long waiting list, of people waiting to come and join. those days for a lot of golf clubs are gone. >>knowles: people are evaluating at the moment. do i become a member or do i just play casual, what we call nomadic i think there might be a natural trend there. >>o'connell: the loyalty at private members clubs...especially in the last 5 years has really dropped out. >>reporter: at the core business is selling golfing holidays...but 3 years ago it created a web-based
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system where golfers could book cheap, off-peak tee times at participating golf clubs. >>stanley: last year we booked up just over 100000 golfers...which was up from 43000 golfers the year before. 50% of those are playing after midday during the week where for golf clubs is a very quiettime. >>reporter: over 600 clubs are now onboard...although the catch-22 is that while they appreciate theextra revenue...the cheap tee times also encourage players to become golfing nomads...and competition for those nomads is fierce...within a half hour drive of this club, for example...are 114 golf courses... >>o'connell: the availability and choice for paying a green fee, especially in this area is absolutely massive. you can play anywhere these days. 5 years ago you couldn't do that. >>reporter: stephen smith is a sports psychologist who over the past 6 years has surveyed the service offered by golf clubs...and he's found
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that many aren't exactly helping themselves... >>smith: most clubs have not realized they are in the service industry... you go through the door and your' not even acknowledged. they need to get their staff right. they need to make sure that when people come through the door they feel welcome. >>reporter: because just getting people into the clubhouse...never mind onto the hugely important... >>knowles: half our income comes from the golf sector. but the other half comes from the food and beverage area. that's the functions. the weddings. the parties and christmas and also the retail department. >>reporter: a recent study by consultants plimsoll says the average profit margin for uk golf clubs is currently running at 1%. so essentially...anything that can be done to get punters to the golf course will help... >>smith: it is about basics. a smile...a welcome. >>o'connell: a good experience
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is a clean well presented environment, professional, friendly staff. we adopt a smile campaign with a meet and greet, say hello to the customer. make them feel welcome. >>reporter: looking forward...2 groups clubs could make more welcome are women and young golfers, which currently only make up around 25% of the market...while courses themselves could also be adjusted to ensure everyone enjoys their round...from the expert... to the hacker... >>smith: it has to be a golf course of variety that allows people of all levels to play it and enjoyit. >>slessor: you know it's easy to build a difficult course and it's easy to build an easy course. butmost people can't play really diff golf courses so if you can achieve the balance of it being playable and fun for the less skilled but challenging for the more skilled then
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you're appealing to as wide a market as you can. >>reporter: time-poor golfers could also be targeted... >>o'connell: there's a lot of young families out there governed by time. >>slessor: the time issue is such that i'm aware of many places where they've got an 18 hole course in two loops of 9 and they're marketing themselves as two separate golf clubs. >>reporter: according to kpmg...over half of the uk's golf courses are predicting it'll be at least 2013 before we get back to pre-economic crisis levels... >>knowles: it's a curve. we'll come out of it again. >>reporter: although whenever golf does bounce seems certain to do so in a way that we've never seen before... >>slessor: a way of making golf quicker, more accessible, less snooty would be all to the benefit ofthe game.
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>>stanley: they need to work a little bit harder. need to offer a bit more for golfers. >>smith: you need the visiting golfer. you need the green fees. and if that's the case that old paradigm of "we can just ignore them old chap" simply not going to work. >>reporter: that's it for this week's world business. thanks for watching. we'll see you again at the same time next week.
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