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tv   World Business  PBS  April 10, 2011 11:30am-12:00pm PDT

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>>this week on world business... despite parliament extending his term to 2020, the president of kazakhstan is instead asking the citizens of the country for their vote of confidence. . >>we are on the way to democratization. we are strictly committed to the democratization processes... >>green buildings are the holy grail of architecture today and designers of a new united nations headquarters in nairobi have taken
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environmental stability to a new level. >>this facility embodies a new, green economy i have championed for years now. >>how has australia handled the floods and the biggest cyclone in its history - we talk to finance minister wayne swann >>so the australian economy is in pretty good nick. we took a hit, but we are going to bounce back. >>hello and welcome. i'm raya abirached and this is world business, your weekly insight into the global business trends shaping our lives. just weeks after kazakhstan's parliament approved a referendum to extend the president's current term to 2020, nursultan nazarbayev vetoed the decision, instead
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calling for a snap election to put his future in the hands of the people. this will not only be an important forerunner to next year's parliamentary elections, but a test for the leader who has ruled the country since the breakup of the soviet union. >>reporter: at a state-run stable out on the vast steppe outside the capital of kazakhstan, amanzhol khassenovknows a good race when he sees one -- as he trains 200 horses >>it's not just the astana public that saddle up here but politicians - so when it came to the presidential elections -- amanzhol knew how to spot a winner. >>khassenov: racing is racing, there's the happiness of winning and the bitterness of loosing. people are voting for the person and for the economy these two things are inseparable. if there is a boom in the economy, it means there is a person behind it. >>reporter: that's what was tested
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in a snap election that saw the incumbent president nursultan nazarbayev pitted against three rivals, who championed everything from social security to green issues. >>kassymov: i want to liquidate the monopoly of one party and to have a multi-party parliament and to finish administrative reforms...and to transfer the authority to the parliament. >>akhmetbekov: the short notice of the election was an issue for us. we had everything we possibly could within onemonth. the territory of kazakhstan is vast to reach all the people within one month is not possible. >>reporter: on election-day voters were out in force at more than 9,700 polling stations across a nation the size of western europe. >> well i voted for the president because he has increased our pensions and we live comfortably now. >> i voted for akhmetbekov, leader of the communist party,
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he is very energetic and i think we need fresh blood in to the political situation of the country. >>reporter: along with top politicians, the president was out voting - his popularity is intertwined with kazakhstan's meteoric economic rise. >>...20 years with nazarbayev at the helm has seen market reforms, over $120 billion in foreign investment and a 500 percent rise in gdp. >>these facts aren't lost on voters. >>nazarbayev: the central election committee reported that 90 percent of the electorate participated and over 90 percent of the votes were given to me as president of the country. we also need to continue politicalmodernization; there is hope from the international community for this. >>reporter: a landslide victory... largely
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unheard of in the west -- had international observers signalling thatkazakhstan still needs to make progress on democratic reforms before parliamentary elections next year. >>everts: the lessons of yesterday in combination with the aspirations and ambitions could be used for changing for improving the electoral environment for the next elections. >>yermekbayev: we are on the way to democratization. we are strictly committed to the democratization processes...apart of course from the social and economic reforms and the diversification and modernization of theeconomy, and the president particularly mentioned increasing the role of the parliament. >>reporter: with the president firmly back in the akorda -- the kazakh ite house - the economy and bolstering the private sector is back on the agenda -- using revenues from vast
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oil reserves now buoyed by highprices. >>munter: fate has given the kazakh's a very good opportunity and i think if there is something that you wouldreally like to have access to at this point in time it is natural resources and political stabilityand i think kazakhstan offers both of those. >>owen: the economy is still highly dependent on natural resources and oil in particular. oil accounts for about 25 to 30 percent of the economy, 50 percent of government revenues, 60 percent of exports....its of course been very important in the growth of the economy over the last decade but it does mean the economy is potentially vulnerable to large swings in international commodity prices. >>reporter: that's why post elections -- the harvard educated, minister of economy believes it's time for kazakhstan to be more integrated into the global economy, if it is to thrive
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and surve. joining the world trade organization by the end of next year is part of that goal... >>aitzhanova: which will give a clear signal to investors, particularly investors who'll be going to non-oil and non-energy extracting sectors of the economy and that the government is committed to regulate the economy based on international trade regulations. >>reporter: it's this style of economic management that has seen income per head jump more than ten fold -- since the early 1990s. >>the recent overwhelming vote to re-elect nazarbayev.... was not just one to keep their 70-year oldpresident in power, but a vote for continued economic prosperity over political change... >>in the worldwide fight to reduce carbon emissions
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greening our offices has become an imperative. and that's the thinking behind the brand new headquarters of the united nations environmental programme in nairobi, a state of the art blueprint for combating climate change. >>reporter: when the united nations began to outgrow its offices in nairobi... it set itself a challenge: createthe world's first energy-neutral un headquarters. >>the result is this. >>one of the greenest buildings in africa, featuring the continent's largest solar panel installation - over 6,000 square metres - energy saving lighting, natural ventilation and an ultra energy efficit data centre, all designed to generate as much electricity as its 1,200 occupants consume. >>the opening warranted the visit of the secretary general himself. >>ki-moon: this facility embodies a new, green economy i have
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championed for years now. an economy that can usher in a cleaner future, create jobs, and spur economic growth. >>sager: the building sector is the single largest contributor to global greenhouse gas emission with one-third of global energy use taking place in offices and homes, a number that is expected to double by 2030 unless urgent action takes place. the united nations environment programme has done just that: building an energy neutral showcase it hopes will be copied far and wide. >>reporter: the $19 million office facility takes environmental sustainability to a new level... incorporating cutting-edge eco-architecture and energy neutral designs. >>perhaps, most surprisingly, it was built in africa... by local architects and contractors. >>kibaki: it is remarkable that unep and un habitat, both of which
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are at the heart of global efforts towards sustainable environment and human settlements, are pioneering this milestone project in our region and africa. >>reporter: situated almost 1,800 meters above sea level just south of the equator... nairobi was deemed the perfect location for the new building... as it enjoys warm, sunny days and cool evenings. >>the building's data center benefits directly from these conditions. >>traditional data centers are the biggest consumers of energy in office buildings... using high-powered air-conditioning to maintain the servers. >>based on microsoft technology... the so-called it-pac stands by itself outside the building and iscooled by natural air. >>mccosker: as with any office building - unep is no exception - the it takes between 80-90% of the energy requirement.
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so what we had to come up with with unep here is a new idea on how to save some of that energy. the itpac does that that. it reduced the energy requirement for the it by two-thirds, thereby giving energy back to this building for other usage. >>steiner: we have installed the first itpac in africa, which is another example of how the latest technology can be deployed in africa. and this was also one of the objectives of the united nations: to demonstrate that the latest technology available in the world market deserves to be deployed also in a continent like africa, because energy is a major issue here. >>reporter: other features include a central atrium with light-wells in every office zone... solar water heatersand energy efficient computers. >>rainwater is also collected to supply the fountains and ponds. >>jong: all the water, the grey water, the sewage water, 7.5 million liters a year rainwater harvested from the roof, all goes into an artificial swamp we built. and all the gardens you see around us here will not need a drop of water
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from the mains water. it will all be recycled water and captured water that will keep these gardens green. >>reporter: it's all part of unep's master plan to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 3% each year. implementing the efficiency measures is expected to save the organization an estimated $800,000 a year. >>steiner: i hope as a result of what we are doing here in nairobi, other parts of the un system will also lookat this technology because our objective is to reduce our own electricity consumption, our co2 emissions. and therefore anything we can do from lighting to management of infrastructure to the data centers and the information and communication technology hardware are all part of this effort to make the un more climate neutral over time. >>reporter: the united nations world headquarters in new york is itself undergoing a nearly $2 billion renovation... an eco-friendly refurbishment expected to be completed by 2013.
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>>at a time when environmental catastrophes dominate headlines... from the oil spill in the gulf of mexico to the nuclear crisis in japan... the un aims to set a positive example to the world. >>ki-moon: this building is a living model of our sustainable future. because, ladies and gentlemen, if our growing population is going to survive on this planet we need smart designs that maximize resources, minimize waste and serve people and communities. >>still to come on world business... >>why australia's finance minister is confident in the country's future despite the damage done by floods and the cyclone earlier this year. >>and the winter x games return to europe pushing for bigger and better things. >>on a high... and the rest
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in just a moment on world business... >>australia is counting the cost of the twin impact of the floods in queensland and the biggest cyclone in its history. the natural disasters have thumped the economy and australia's record of 20 years recession-free might be in jeopardy. but the country's finance minister, federal treasurer wayne swan remains positive. >>swan: well there's no doubt that it will impact on growth. in the current financial year it will knock about half a percent off growth..but we will bounce back really strongly because the australian economy is strong, it's underlying fundamentals are good..very strong employment growth..a strong investment pipeline. so i think we will bounce back
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pretty quickly. >>scott : australia has had twenty years recession free. there are predictions in might dip briefly into recession. how much are the floods and the cyclone going to contribute toward that? >>swan: well, i couldn't rule that out. but as i said, the underlying fundamentals are strong. australia has created something like 330,000 jobs in the past year alone. yes there will be an impact particularly in the march quarter but i expect to see it bouncing back very strongly. we've got this very strong investment pipeline, particularly in resources but, more broadly than that, and we've also got underlying strength in our financial system. so the australian economy is in pretty good nick. we took a hit, but we are going to bounce back. >>scott: now tourism, one of the pillars of queensland's economy, how much is the perception that queensland is under water particularly from overseas doing more damage than the actual floods did themselves? >>swan: there's no doubt about that....when i was at the g20 summit some weeks ago and the impression overseas was that the whole
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state was under water. the whole state was never under water and our great tourism industries were still operating even during the floods. certainly some areas were affected ona temporary basis...but they're all operating. i mean nothing beats queensland..nothing beats queensland when it comes to the sun..when it comes to the reef..when it comes to the surf beaches and when it comes to the rainforest. and we're open for business. >>scott: what about the strong dollar, that's not particularly helping is it >>swan: well certainly the strength of the dollar has an impact but we've got a great product in australia and we are still seeing strong visits to the country. the countries they come from changes from timeto time but we have a terrific tourist industry. but what we have to do is to get over the impression that the country..that the whole state was under water. it wasn't and our tourism industry is operating and is great value for money here at the moment. i recommend people particularly from the european winter...come down to queensland. nothing beats it. >>scott: mining sector, also hit by the floods, one of the reasons for australia's
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resilience and its relationship with china. how badly affected was the mining sector? >>swan: well certainly there was a temporary impact of a couple of the key rail lines were out of operation for some time, but they are recovering...and exports are certainly in great demand. we're getting very good prices particularly for our coal in queensland. there has been a bit of damage to repair. that's happening. but that strong investment line..pipeline is there...and there are still plenty of jobs in the resources sector and we are exporting strongly. >>scott: and agriculture is there a bit of a silver lining in that there was drought before and now yohave all ts water and rain it's terribly good for the crops? >>swan: well certainly there's been an impact. but we had a very strong winter crop....there's been an impact on the summer crops...from my observation as i move round the state.. a lot of the state is recovering very quickly in the key the agriculture industries, so i am pretty optimistic about that. >>scott: how much is it going to cost to put right? >>swan: well..certainly a very big expense. the floods will cost well over 5.6 billion dollars and , of course we have had
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to fund that, primarily through savings in our budget but also through a temporary levy in income tax for one year. >>scott: how has that emergency levy gone down with the australian taxpayer? >>swan: i think it's got the support of the community. people understand that we've got to rebuild. it's not just a question of what has happened to houses and to families..and that has been devastating...but it's the damage to public infrastructure...all the roads and bridges and parks and ports and so on have been affected and the commonwealth in australia is responsible for about 75 percent of that a pretty big bill...but also a big bill for those people who lost their we have also be raising money on a voluntary that people who may not necessarily have insurance, or who've been under-insured....can also get some assistance. >>scott: there was a problem about a lot of are those people going to get their houses back? >>swan: well, that will depend on their policy. it has brought forward a debate in australia about flood
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insurance and how it operates. we're having a good, hard look at that. it's also brought forward a debate about whether we need a natural disaster insurance scheme for the whole country. we're looking at that as well... scot any lessons been learned from it? >>swan: i think there is. i think there is a lot to be optimistic about. what we saw was an extraordinary response from our community to help our fellow citizens. people literally came from right around the country to volunteer. people were working with families they'd never met. we haven't seen in australia the sort of response we saw on the ground in brisbane, in south east queensland and in north queensland ..quite the way it happened on this occasion for many, many years. >>in thes the winter x games have done a loto me frstylspor from the niche to the mainstream and made some of the competitors stars. now a multi-million-dollar franchise, the games have crossed the atlantic again. the second winter x games europe will be held in tignes, france. but canthey replicate
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their success in a european sporting culture? >>reporter: the winter x games, home to a 22 foot high superpipe and a slopestyle course with some of the most challenging kickers, jumps and rails to be found on mountain. >>woods: everything about the x games is cool and awesome, that's just how i've grown up seeing it and seeingx games as the pinnacle of where you want to be >>reporter: after 15 years stateside, the games have become the blue riband event for freestyle skiing and snowboarding and in 2010 the games finally made it across the atlantic for the first edition of the winter x games europe. >>merignargues: last year it was a big success, it was a surprise
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for us and for espn and canal + too. we expected 30,000 spectators and there was more like 60,000 spectators, we expected 200 journalists and there were nearly 400 journalists, everything like that it was a very very big success for the first years. >>reporter: and, despite extremely challenging weather, 2011 saw spectator numbers rise to 75,000, already on a par with its north american big brother. big numbers and confirmation there is a european appetite for these sports. >>chatelain: we are strongly convinced that these sports and the x games are something that will be huge in the coming years >>reporter: indeed in their short history
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the games have taken the sports from relative obscurity right into themainstream >>bleiler: the x games has been huge in promoting snowboarding and i would just say action sports in general, xgames is definitely responsible for making it more accessible to everyone, to the mainstream and putting it out there in a way that people who don't necessarily watch the sports can understand it, can get excited about it and get behind the people in it. >>reporter: and that is the challenge on the european stage. while american freestyle skiers and snowboarders are household names, that is not the case in a european culture more obsessed by its football stars; >>rolland: for american guys maybe it's better to win in us but for a french guy like me here it's perfect because all the french media all the european media, we need
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media in europe because nobody know really the action sports and we need to push the sport and that's why it's good for me to win here >>reporter: the early signs are certainly positive: >>lupo: the 27,000 people here last night for kevin roland, might be changing things a bit here in europe.i think the stars are starting to become famous in their own right here in europe a home town hero so to speak. >>reporter: the total prize purse is over 400,000 but merely competing can make a stunning difference to an athlete's earning potential >>dabbaoui: just being invited to the x games will increase your earnings by about 50% and if you make a medal even just double it or even triple it >>reporter: the no doubt sizeable outlay for the host resort of tignes may remain confidential
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but they are confident it is worthwhile. >>merignargues: the price is a contract confidential clause but i can say and it's true that it's a worthwhile investment... this week for example the resort is 90% full. it is the third most important week in the winter and it's not holidays, it's not school holidays for french or another european country, it's just the x games bring a lot of people. the second reason, very very important is media exposure. >>reporter: and thanks to a global reach they can be sure of some serious airtime >>lupo: domestically in the united states espn and espn two are combining for 12 hours of linear programming, additionally espn three is televising 18 hours in the us online. canal + here in france is televising 30 hours live,
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and then 198 countries worldwide are also globally producing the program, either through syndication or through the espn networks internationally >>reporter: a facet that is clearly attractive to sponsors: >>mcilvain: action sports has gotten huge globally, every brand wants to activate and do something strong aroundaction sports, and there is no other brand that is as strong within action sports on the event side as the x games. the x games is really the super bowl of action sports >>horton: budget wise were putting about a third of our overall budget into events and just under half of thatgoes into x games, it's the biggest one >>milns: and it's not just for the pros. i'm here in the specially constructed ex-park where everyday skiers and snowboarders can hone their skills on a variety of different rails and kickers, wish me luck, i'm going in
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>>reporter: nor is it just for the boys, and in many ways it is a leading example of equal opportunities >>burke: when i started it was just the boys, ... but i'm happy to see how far it's come along there's girls at every event now and events like x games there's equal prize money so it's been a long road but it's been a lot of fun and i'm really proud to see where it's gone >>reporter: as these young sports grow up, who knows what heights they and their stars can hit. >>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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