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Europe Courting Chinese Cash For Greek Bailout; Larry Summers Comments Newly Minted Plan; Interview with Stavros Lambrinidis; Formula 1 Comes to India; Access to Clean Water; The Price of Piracy; Interview with Mthuli Ncube

Aired October 28, 2011 - 14:00:00   ET


MAX FOSTER, CNN ANCHOR, QUEST MEANS BUSINESS: Now the real deal. Europe gets to work by asking China to chip in.

The reality after the rally, stock markets begin to cool as the euphoria fades.

And a reality check for Spain as more than one in five are now unemployed.

I'm Max Foster in for Richard Quest. This is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS.

Tonight Europe is courting Chinese cash. The head of Europe's bailout fund is in Beijing. He told officials Europe is a sound suitor worthy of China's favor. But you can bet that China won't be handing anything over without some sort of pre-nup.

It is less than 48 hours since Eurozone leaders agreed to a fourfold increase in the bailout fund. The European Financial Stability Facility is to be pumped up to 1.4 trillion. Partly through a special investment vehicle of SPIV. The head of the fund, Klaus Regling, says he is not in Beijing to negotiate. He is just letting China know what a good opportunity to dispose of their surplus cash.


KLAUS REGLING, CHIEF EXECUTIVE, EUROPEAN FINANCIAL STABILITY FACILITY: China must invest every month because the current account has a surplus, as you all know. The foreign exchanges of China go up every month and therefore they have a need for investment. And that also my experience talking to the Chinese authorities that they are interested to finding attractive, solid, safe investment opportunities.

And I'm happy that European bonds have been considered to be in that category in the past. And therefore I'm optimistic that we will have also a longer-term relationship because we will continue to provide safe, effective investment opportunities.


FOSTER: Well, the Chinese vice finance minister Zhu Guangyao, says China wants more details before it will commit to buying further into the EFSF.

So what's in it for China? Well, let's take a look. Because at an international level China might gain diplomatic kudos (ph) as a reputation as banker to the world, would come its way, I guess. It would also be helping its biggest export market, which is the EU, to recover. And it would be protecting its current investments in the region.

Now at the domestic policy level it would be helping to reduce the dominance of the U.S. dollar in world trade and helping to free its currency, the yuan, from its dollar peg as well. China could also demand concessions from Europe. Either directly, on the terms of its investments in the bailout fund. Or indirectly such as seeking European support in trade disputes.

Now Seijiro Takeshita is a director of Mizuho International Bank, here in London.

Thank you so much for joining us.


FOSTER: I mean it is a good sort of investment for China, isn't it? But do you think they will be attracted, even though there are risks?

TAKESHITA: Yes, to a certain degree. Of course, physically, I think there is one methodology of diversifying their foreign exchange, of course. For example, they have been a very heavy buyer of yen denominated assets early in the year. And Japanese were quite worried about this.

Secondly, let's not forget that they want to halt the systemic (ph) risk from happening. Obviously, Europe is a very big client, so of course they wouldn't want to see a turmoil here. So that is another very important point. But these are two physical points.

Now, I think there is a very important, intangible point, which you just pointed out.

FOSTER: What? Which is?

TAKESHITA: For example, I think the bargaining power, definitely.


TAKESHITA: Beat the trade dispute that you were just talking about. It just cover A to Zed, you know all the things, Max, we talk about here, for example, about the disputes of international dispute is based on the fact that at least there is a fundamental rule, for example capitalism be it liberal or non-liberal. There is a discrepancy.

But you were talking about one nation that is based on Communism, of a totally planned economy. You are talking about such a big discrepancy that is emerging in order to fill that gap between these rules. Obviously, they would like to have bargaining power on virtually anything from trade dispute, foreign exchange rate, even to human rights.

FOSTER: It's interesting, isn't it? China is emerging, obviously, as this global super power. But it has the cash. So it has taken over from the U.S. in a way, already, hasn't it? It has got so much more control of the world already.

Do you think China is the only country that can save Europe?

TAKESHITA: No, I don't think so. I think Europe has to save itself, first, of course. And I think one of the dangers here is that if people do get used to this kind of systematic conditions where you automatically go for where the cash is. I think that is a very big danger zone. Let's not forget that there are many capital-rich countries here in Europe. And I think it is more like a precautionary measure, or I should say, emergency measures, that should be taking place. Rather than, I would say, a random fix methodology of bailing things out.

FOSTER: It is worrying on a certain level, isn't it, in terms of power being centered? Because they already control U.S. debt, and then we are encouraging them, well, the Europeans are encouraging them to then hold European debt as well. So they control the whole of the Western system, effectively. They have power over it, ultimate power because it is money.

TAKESHITA: Well, yes, they would be increasing in bargaining power without a spec of doubt. But let us also not forget that they also have, I think, in the long term internal problems. Because right now, as I say, it is a planned economy; they can do whatever they want. But under normal economy this wouldn't be possible.

Let's not forget that still, their per capita GDP, it is still a poor nation, at the end of the day. It is still 1/10 of, for example, Japan. So at normal instances, let's say-let's assume that, for example, democratic movement moves on, would it be possible, eligible, for China to do what they are doing right now. That is also a big question. That is one of the reasons why I feel danger in the system being so reliant to where the cash is-simply where the cash is.

FOSTER: Cash is king, though, at the moment. Everywhere?

TAKESHITA: Very much so.


FOSTER: Seijiro, thank you very much indeed.

Italy conducted the first major test of Europe's grand plan today when it went to the market to borrow money. It paid dearly to raise more than $11 billion, maturing on various dates. Italy borrowed 10-year funds at more than 6 percent. And that is the highest rate since Italy joined the euro. Remember the immediate aim of this week's plan was to bring down borrowing costs for countries.

European traders seem to be nursing a hangover from Thursday's exuberance. Now the afterglow from those marathon, all-night debt talks has faded, as you can see. Traders are coolly assessing the agreement. In the cold light of day shares in Italy slumped following that disappointing bond sale. The main market in London was also down. But Frankfurt's DAX did manage to eek out a gain. Bank shares are the biggest losers wherever you look, though.

It was a similarly down day in Paris and Madrid. In Zurich shares in the recruitment firm, Hidecco (ph), helped to lift markets clear there.

Let's take a look at the U.S. markets. Then investors seem to be hitting the pause button here, too. Creeping doubts about Europe hitting confidence. You can see down very slightly. Now financial stocks are mostly lower, but overall those markets are on course for a stellar month. The Dow has gained 12 percent in October, so far. So that gives you some context.

We'll have more on what is dragging the Spain main index in just a moment. Further set back for the country's massive unemployment problem.


FOSTER: Spain's unemployment crisis has gone from bad to worse. Almost 5 million people are registered as unemployed in the third quarter. That is a massive 21.5 percent of the workforce; up from 20.9 percent in the second quarter.

It is not only Spain's highest rate since 1996, it is also by far the worse rate in Europe. The crisis doesn't bode well for Spain's Socialist government in the run up to next month's general election.

Joining me now is Iain Begg, professorial research, at London's School of Economics European Institute.

Thank you very much.


FOSTER: For joining us.

In terms of Spain, I mean, when you look at those figures, it is almost worse Portugal, or almost Greece on a level, isn't it? When so many people haven't got their jobs.

BEGG: It is. And what it tell us is that those who analyze problems of Europe's periphery as being identical or making a mistake, part of it is the banking crisis.


BEGG: Spain's public sector crisis.


BEGG: Greece is a public sector crisis and Spain's unemployment is the principle problem. But it is also worth noting that Spain, in the decade prior to the crisis, was the job engine of Europe. It created nearly a third of all the jobs in Europe, over that previous decade. So maybe it is a scaling back to normality that is going on.

FOSTER: OK. And in terms of the next stage on the European debate. You obviously had the overnight talks the other day, but everyone is still talking about the G20. So that sort of, you know, had the great reaction from the markets yesterday. Now it is tempering off a bit. Everyone is looking towards the G20. Spain plains into that as does Greece and Italy, as well. So how focused is everyone on the G20? How important is the G20?

BEGG: Well, everybody is now saying Europe has made big steps towards sorting out the problem that the rest of the world was demanding it solve. Now it will be up to the rest of the G20 to try to find complimentary measures. The U.S., in particular, is going to come under pressure because we know that U.S. unemployment is high and that the U.S. fiscal deficit is in an awkward position, coordination at the G20 level is the next stage in all of this.

FOSTER: Are we going to get it?

BEGG: I think there is a disposition to get more of it than we have had in the previous two runs of G20 yes. Plus, we have a certain very dynamic individual call Sarkozy, who is going to be insisting on getting some thing to boost his own standing.

FOSTER: Well, this is-Sarkozy is a typical example, isn't he? You know he's got this domestic issues that he has got to deal with. And then he's got the European issues. And when we go to G20 we are talking about global issues, and working with the other continents, the other big economies. So what chance is there for a solid agreement, something that is convincing to the markets?

BEGG: Well, G20 doesn't really produce solid agreements. It creates programs of work, that everybody signs up to. But I'm pretty sure Sarkozy will be looking for a triumph to boost his own presidential chances.


FOSTER: So what would that be? What do you think he is looking at?

BEGG: He'll be looking at coordinated stimulus programs of the sort that we saw in 2009. To get back on track some of the regular treaty (ph) reforms (ph), particularly in the financial sector that they have been very keen on. So that is the sort of thing would stand him in good stead.

FOSTER: And who is going to fight him on that?

BEGG: Well, nobody will really fight him so much as it is very difficult to bang 20 heads together to get an agreement. And that is where his-he'll be looking for some sort of success.

FOSTER: OK, Iain Begg, thank you very much for coming in.

BEGG: Thank you.

FOSTER: Now, while Spain's economy lingers in the danger zone, as we all know, European leaders have struck an agreement to tackle the bloc's wider debt crisis. A day after that announcement the new plan is facing criticism for its lack of detail.

Maggie Lake joins me now from New York.

And Maggie, you got to speak to some very prominent figures, didn't you, on this issue? What are they saying?

MAGGIE LAKE, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I did, Max. I had a chance to catch up with Larry Summers, who one of many titles he held, of course, former Treasury secretary, U.S. Treasury secretary; involved in multiple administrations, including one of Obama's top economic advisors.

I would sort of not say that he was critical in as much as that he was very sober about the massive challenges facing, not only Europe, but the U.S., which we discussed as well. And his acknowledgement and concern that we all understand that the hard economic work is just beginning.


LARRY SUMMERS, FORMER U.S. TREASURY SECRETARY: Deep problems like those in Europe are managed, not ultimately resolved. And this was an important European summit, but it will not be the last European summit. There are details that need to be filled in.

How will the EFSF be leveraged? How will that $1.4 trillion be delivered? What will the path of Italian fiscal policy be in particular? Is there a growth strategy? In the United States we resolved our system financial issues, but we suffered from a lack of growth. Is there a growth strategy for Europe or is it simply a matter of avoiding financial collapse?

Have the banks been adequately recapitalized? There has been a lot of questioning of the European stress tests. These are all issues that markets will be watching going forward. I think the good news in today's announcement is less its concrete details, of which there are not so many and the ones there are can be questioned. I think the good news is the rather clear political commitment to stand behind the financial system.

LAKE: And you mention the EFSF. Europe is going to need money, either through that or through the special purpose vehicle we think they are going to establish. Is the U.S., do you think the U.S. is going to be in a position where they are going to have to provide money for that? Or contribute? Should we be doing that?

SUMMERS: I think that is very unlikely. I think given the magnitude of our own debts, but more fundamentally, given a principle of regional responsibility, and given the existence of a very strong IMF, of which the United States is the largest shareholder, and so contributes indirectly whenever the IMF contributes. I would expect that to be the larger set, larger vehicle of support from outside Europe, focused through the IMF.

LAKE: Let's talk about the growth strategies here in the U.S. We have some growth numbers out, it was better-than-expected in the third quarter. Is the risk of recession or falling back into recession, now, fully off the table? What's the outlook for 2012?

SUMMERS: I don't think so. I think as long as you have an economy that isn't growing at escape velocity rate. Isn't growing at a rate where jobs are being created rapidly enough that unemployment is coming down at a significant rate. Perhaps 250,000, 300,000 jobs a month. Until that kind of milestone has been achieved, you still have the prospect that an adverse shock, or a loss of confidence could tip the economy back. But I think the risks have been reduced.


LAKE: So, Max, clearly a very different tone coming from Larry Summers than some of the enthusiasm that we have seen in the market; not only over the European deal, but about some of the data that has been coming through. A lot of risks out there; we are going to see investors sort of repricing, get their head around that. This calls for an enormous amount of political will to continue down these roads, both in Europe and in the U.S. where we have a bitterly divided Congress. They can't get their heads together.

Summers thinks we need more stimulus, in the short term. So it is a difficult road ahead. You can tell he's concerned. Certainly not time to pop those champagne corks, yet, if you talk to Larry Summers.

FOSTER: OK, Maggie, thank you very much indeed. All those issues really going to be coming up at the G20, aren't they?

Now when we come back, could this be the beginning of the end for the Occupied London" protests. As local authorities plan legal action, against them, we'll be live, with the protestors. There they are now.


FOSTER: Here are scenes from the Occupy protests around the world. Let's get a taste of how each one is unfolding as we speak. And they all started with Occupy Wall Street, here, September 17 in New York. This video is from Wednesday when some pushing really flared up, as you can see.

The demonstrations have spread to other parts of the U.S., like Oakland, in California. On Tuesday night, there, an Iraq War veteran's skull was fractured during a police crackdown. The mayor has since apologized for the use of force and Olsen has been upgraded to fair condition.

Moving on, then the protest has spread far past the United States, even to Islamabad and Pakistan, here. And protestors there say they are drawing attention to the impact capitalism has had, particularly the privatization of state enterprises like the railways.

And here, in London, of course, we have been talking about it. And the local authorities have been out and they plan to take legal action to evict protestors from their camp outside St. Paul's Cathedral. CNN's Erin McLaughlin is actually outside St. Paul's this evening.

How's it going now, Erin?

ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Max, the city of London and St. Paul's Cathedral announcing today separate legal actions against this campsite here. The council says that the decision has nothing to do with the protestors message. But the protestors I spoke to say they aren't exactly happy with the decision, Max.


SPYRO VAN LEEMNEN, PROTESTOR: We are very disappointed to see the church decided to take the legal route. The church should stand by ourselves. Jesus himself kicked out the money lenders from the temple. And I would say this symbol of Christianity collaborating with the money lenders and evict people from their doorstep.


MCLAUGHLIN: OK, well, just around me, in back of me, here, Max, you can see the protestors just finishing up with a general assembly. That is the way the Occupy London movement seems to deal with decisions, to make decisions. They say it is a democratic form of decision-making. And just over there they appeared to be playing loud music and a Halloween party of sorts, appears to have kicked off here, Max.

But council members tell me that any sort of legal injunction process cold take three to four months to reach any sort of decision, Max.

FOSTER: It is very complex, isn't it? Because there are all sorts of authorities involved and they can't just kick them off?

MCLAUGHLIN: Yes, Max, it is extremely complicated. Boris Johnson, the mayor of London, has himself said-has been very critical of this camp. And he said that he plans on pursuing legal-pursuing perhaps, new laws in London to prevent tent cities like this one from, in his words erupting like boils across the landscape of London, Max.

FOSTER: Erin, thank you very much, indeed.

Now authorities in London have made it plain they are not happy with the protestors there. As are police in various cities around the U.S., but protestors in the U.S., where the Occupy movement started, of course, have received a kind of support from an unlikely quarter. None other than Donald Trump; speaking to CNN's Piers Morgan, he seemed to agree the demonstrators had a point.


DONALD TRUMP: I think some are very serious people. I think some are down there for dating purposes. And I've said, they are down looking for girls, looking for women, looking for men. They are looking for anything. Some are very serious people. And they should be serious because the economy is terrible. I personally think Wall Street isn't their target. I think their target is the White House, and certainly Washington.


FOSTER: More predictable and more unequivocal support came from the other end of the political spectrum, from filmmaker Michael Moore.


MICHAEL MOORE, FILMMAKER, ACTIVIST: This is conglomeration of ideas and thoughts and feelings about what is happening, but it all points to: Are we going to live in a democracy that is run by the majority of the people? Or are we going to be living in a kleptocracy (ph), where the kleptomaniacs on Wall Street, who have stolen people's pension funds, they have wrecked people's lives, millions have been thrown out of their homes, millions are without health insurance, millions have lost their jobs. How many more millions of people do they think that they are going to abuse like that before people start to stand up?


FOSTER: Well, another view from the protests, or of the protests, came from Martin Sorrel, the chief executive of the WPP Group. And earlier today he told CNN he isn't surprised by the demonstrations.


MARTIN SORREL, CHIEF EXECUTIVE, WPP: If you look back for historical comparisons, it has happened before and when you have a recession or an uncertainty, or slow growth, I think it is only natural for people to be extremely concerned. I mean, we have very high levels of unemployment, particularly in the West; and more worryingly, very high levels of youth unemployment. If you go to a country like Spain you are talking about supposedly as much as 40 percent youth unemployment.

So, this does breed unrest and concern, legitimately. And clearly something has to be done about it. But I think the unfortunate thing is that in the short term it is likely to be a slog in Western Europe and it is likely to remain unpleasant from an employment point of view.


FOSTER: There are, of course, staunch supporters and opponents of the Occupy Movement. Our QUEST MEANS BUSINESS Facebook followers aren't shy about offering their opinions. We were wondering if it is going to change anything. We have been asking them.

And Navin says this: "I must say these protestors are making the right noises. But not forceful enough to bring down the corrupt."

Julian: "It's disgusting. They are blocking people going to their place of worship, just plain wrong."

Referring there to London, of course.

"They need a leader. They should call Michael Moore," says Michael, namesake.

"Nothing will be achieved," says Franklin. "Although I agree with what they are trying to do. They have no sense of direction."

European leaders are trying to send Greece in the right direction, meanwhile, once and for all. This week saw bondholders agree to write down 50 percent of its debts. When we come back we'll hear from the Greek foreign minister on why his country really needed to be cut some slack.


FOSTER: Our top business story this hour, Europe's efforts to attract investment from China. The head of the Eurozone's bailout fund is in Beijing. He will look out for ways to boost the fund up to $1.4 trillion.

Klaus Regling says there are no negotiations going on, he's just explaining why the bailout fund is a safe and potentially profitable investment for China.


KLAUS REGLING, CHIEF EXECUTIVE, EUROPEAN FINANCIAL STABILITY FACILITY: China must invest every month because the current account has a surplus, as you all know. The foreign exchange reserves of China go up every month. And, therefore, they need foreign investment. And that's also my experience talking to the Chinese authorities, that they are interested to finding attractive, solid, safe investment opportunities. And I am happy that, you know, that the funds have been considered to be in that category in the past and therefore I am optimistic that we will have, also, a longer-term relationship because we will continue to provide safe, attractive investment opportunities.


FOSTER: Expansion of the EFSF is part of the grand bargain worked out by European leaders. Further austerity measures in Greece were a prerequisite for the deal. Everybody knows it won't be easy for the Greek people.

For more perspective on the problems and prospects of Greece, I'm joined now by -- or from CNN New York by the Greek foreign minister, Stavros Lambrinidis.

Thank you very much, indeed, for joining us, Foreign Minister.

We -- we heard, of course, from the prime minister yesterday in his public address.

Give us a sense of whether or not you think the Greek people are convinced by this.

STAVROS LAMBRINIDIS, GREEK FOREIGN MINISTER: Well, what happened yesterday is that it gave a humongous amount of breathing space to Greece and to the Greek people to be able to apply the very tough measures that we have to in a way now that is realistic and in a way that can provide a light at the end of the tunnel.

Greece has made remarkable changes in the past year-and-a-half. They have been scarcely reported, because every day, there was another article in some other newspaper predicting our imminent demise. But we're still around. We're still here.

But the reason you had all this speculation about Greece's fate is because there was a sense that the loans were too high in interest, too short repayment periods, that other European countries were being attacked while Greece was putting its -- its house in order, and, therefore, that Europe appeared not to have a common position.

We changed all that yesterday. We have safeguarded Greece. We safeguarded other European countries. We safeguarded the euro and the Eurozone. And we safeguarded Europe.

And I think that this is a very, very strong message that we sent around the world.

FOSTER: But you and your prime minister have been giving the sense that this is the beginning of a fresh start for Greece. But, actually, it's not true. There's so much pain to go through before you can start your fresh start. and you haven't got the Greek people on your side. You have seen lots of demonstrations.

And I don't -- I'm not sure you're absolutely convincing the Greek people that this is a fresh start, because actually they've got to go through pain first.

LAMBRINIDIS: A fresh start does not mean that there's no pain there. Greece has committed itself to make a tremendous amount of very difficult changes. It's already made a lot of them. It will continue to make the rest, because we need to get into primary surpluses, because we had a very large debt and deficit.

Greece is, without a question, in the center of this storm, but it's not the cause of the problems. And I think that what the Greek people need and what they wanted -- because, of course, when your current salary gets cut and your pension gets cut, you're not on the street celebrating and thanking anyone. It's very, very painful.

What the Greek people want is for the rest of the world to know that these changes are being made, that they are painful, but now, that the time has come for us to join hands in solidarity as opposed to point fingers. Scapegoating Greece has never been the solution to a much larger debt problem. We take our responsibility to change the country very seriously. It's painful. It will take years. But now, we have to focus on the broader issue, how to safeguard each other. And this is what Europe is all about. And I'm very, very hopeful after yesterday's decision.

FOSTER: Has joining the euro been a disaster?

I ask you this in the context of the French president's comments yesterday that, actually, it was a mistake to let Greece in, it's been a disaster for you and for them.

LAMBRINIDIS: Well, I think what is interesting, what happened yesterday, because I spoke before at pointing fingers instead of joining hands. What's interesting is that we moved ahead to something in addition to everything else I just mentioned. We moved to a greater economic governance. We had a common currency that wasn't followed by a common fiscal policy or a common political policy, for that matter.

All this changed. Now, this would allow for all these speculations on whose finances are what and whether or not they are accurately reported or not, to -- to fall in the past and be forgotten.

Now, we are together. We will be working together. We will be monitoring each other. This is something that a common currency needs. The euro didn't have it. They will have it from now on. And -- and one can see, in fact, the euro, how strong it is. Everyone has been predicting, in addition to Greece's demise, I should say, or Europe's demise, the euro's demise, for the past year-and-a-half. And the euro lost, you know, some cents (ph), then it regained them after that. It's still a tremendously strong currency.

So I think we should not be playing that game of speculation. I think, you know, enough is enough with all this. We have to look forward to how we stabilize our economies and grow them. The growth potential in Greece and in Europe is huge. The potential for new jobs is huge. And I'd much rather focus on the positive...


LAMBRINIDIS: -- rather than, you know, play the speculation game.

FOSTER: Just on the -- on the -- on the fact that the EU is going to be sending in a team to be based in Athens to oversee this program, the prime minister painting this as a picture that it's great to have advice.

But, actually, that's a bit of an insult, isn't it?

They're taking -- they're tapping into your sovereignty.

LAMBRINIDIS: Not at all. This is a technical team that will be following the progress of the implementation of the measures that -- that we are taking very closely. Right now, what you have is every three months, the troika comes in, there's all this drama happening around those visits. There's absolutely no reason for all this. These are changes that we have to make. There's another team of experts that we have asked, from around Europe, to help Greece in issues such as tax evasion, such as organizing the medical services, things that we can use the expertise of our partners.

And, in fact, I hope, to be honest, that other European countries can use that experience. We are not all at the same level. Some of us have competitive advantages. Greece has its own. Spain or Denmark has -- have their own.

We are using the best that we can get from other European countries to change ours. And -- and I hope that other European countries follow this example.

FOSTER: OK, Foreign Minister, we really appreciate your time on the program.

Thank you very much for joining us.


FOSTER: Now, big engines and big money -- Formula 1 has arrived in India. Next, we'll look at the high tech challenges and economic benefits that it could bring.


FOSTER: Formula 1 has arrived in India. The country's Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry says the sport could bring in $10 billion over the next decade. India's inaugural race is set for this Sunday.

And as Sara Sidner reports, the country is keen to prove it's up to the challenge after last year's Commonwealth Games fiasco.


SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For the very first time, Formula 1 is moving into India. It is a high octane, high priced sport that requires some very expensive equipment and infrastructure, from the track pits and grandstands to area roads and electrical service. In a country known for being behind the curve when it comes to infrastructure, this was a challenge.

So how does the track stack up?

India's first ever Formula 1 driver, Narain Karthikeyan, is gushing over it.

NARAIN KARTHIKEYAN, FORMULA 1 DRIVER: You know, for the next generation of drivers, this is a (INAUDIBLE) today. What -- the inauguration of the -- of India's first Formula 1 track. So I think it's going to make a big difference to the future drivers of -- of India.

SIDNER: India had something to prove with this event after the embarrassment it faced in the lead-up to the 2010 Commonwealth Games, where missed construction deadlines and corruption marred India's reputation.

Analysts say the difference between the Commonwealth Games and Formula 1 is private industry, not the government, was responsible for the project.

AJAY SHARMA, INDIAN ASSOCIATED CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE & INDUSTRY: Well, what we feel is that it's a big news for the country that the business community has once again demonstrated that they are capable of creating a world class infrastructure and they can create a world class sport, which we have also witnessed in the recent past.

SIDNER: It took a lot of money to build. Jaypee Group spent about $400 million on the brand new Buddh International Circuit, a huge sum of money for a sport that most here are not familiar with and most can't afford to attend.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't think we Indians are much into Formula racing or MotoGP racing. It's a new thing for us.

SIDNER (on camera): One of the reasons Formula 1 is here is because it's hoping to attract new fans. And with such a huge population, the second largest in the world, it's not a bad place to do that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm very, very excited about and it is happening in India for the first time so that's really good. Young people -- for young people, it's a good thing.

SIDNER (voice-over): Certainly hopes so. With India now firmly in the circuit, they hope many more fans follow.

Sara Sidner, CNN, New Delhi.


FOSTER: Let's check in on the weather now.

Pedram Javaheri is at the Weather Center for us -- hi, Pedram.

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Hey, Max Foster, how is it going?

Yes, we're talking about conditions across Western Europe here. And, you know, mild readings in place here for the weekend, the last weekend of October. And the temperature is going to be at or above average in a few spots. London, we'll shoot for 16 degrees, partly cloudy skies, some sun breaks there on into Sunday. A few storm systems well to the north. But really, the most active weather lined up across the southern regions of the Mediterranean there, Western Mediterranean. A storm system has kind of separated from the main flow of energy, producing a very heavy rainfall and some unusual dry spots, around, say, Algiers in Northern Algeria, on into Tunis there. Heavy rainfall forecast, upwards of some 100 millimeters out around portions of Tunisia over the next couple of days as the storm system sits in place.

And if you're watching us from Central and Eastern Europe, expect some pleasant autu -- autumn conditions there, with high pressure in place and sunny skies expected to continue. But once again, isolated tornadoes, heavy rainfall, some gusty winds going to be the name of the game.

And that's exactly what our friends across portions of Italy were dealing with. We know of the fatalities. At least nine people lost their lives there in on of the most really incredible places in the world when it comes to geography. But that same geography, the mountains that you see with those hillside communities across Italy, Max, these are the places that really begin to exacerbate the situation when we get this much rainfall. And over 500 millimeters in a few spots across portions of Italy. But fortunately, it looks like the cleanup process is going to remain dry the next couple of days -- Max.

FOSTER: Unbelievable pictures.


FOSTER: Pedram, thank you very much, indeed


I'm Max Foster in London.

Have a great weekend.




I'm Robyn Curnow in Johannesburg.

Now, it's the essential ingredient for life, but many people around the world just don't have access to clean water. Some companies are finding solutions in bottles like these. Which is why, for this week's show, we're going to focus on two water packaging initiatives that are empowering communities in both Kenya and South Africa.


NKEPILE MABUSE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Valpre markets this stuff as the sweetest tasting water. Now, the bottled water producer is hoping to be called green, as well. The South African based Coca-Cola brand has launched what they call an eco-friendly bottle at its new packaging facility outside of Johannesburg.

The so-called PlantBottle is made from up to 30 percent plant-based material.

LINDA APPIE, SENIOR BRAND MANAGER, VALPRE: Just from an environmental perspective, it's -- it has been proven to have reduced carbon emissions. The bottle is fully recyclable. And, also, the bottle it not biodegradable. Why that is also a plus is basically because you don't need to create a separate recycling stream for PlantBottle. It can go into the current recycling stream.

MABUSE: Coca-Cola says it's now working on a 100 percent plant-based plastic called PET, that is commercially viable, though its rival, Texaco, has already unveiled such a bottle.

But while the packaging reduces the company's environmental impact during production, some environmentalists remain concerned.

Since the plant-based bottles are not biodegradable, they argue that, ultimately, nothing new is being done to reduce waste.

A coalition of environmentalists released a statement about the PlantBottle saying, quote: "We regret that Coca-Cola will not be collecting and recycling their own PET plant bottles."

Still, Coke considers the PET bottle a step in the right direction and says its new Valpre factory is considered one of the greenest plants in Africa.

CASPER DURANDT, SENIOR TECHNICAL OPERATIONS MANAGER, COCA-COLA: We've got solar heating. We've got the generation of electricity through the sun. We have the life of -- of the use of -- of natural light on the shop floor. We do rainwater harvesting on our roof.

MABUSE: Aside from the environmental initiative, Valpre is gaining recognition for those running the factory.

TEBOGO MARUMA, VALPRE PLANT FITTER: The whole plant has been run by the ladies. The whole machines are being operated by ladies. And then all of these people tend to think -- tend to take women as whole moms, stay at home, do that, do that. But now I believe everything has changed. And maybe one of them and more -- and I believe more women will come and join my industry.

MABUSE: Coca-Cola hopes so, too. The beverage giant has created a global initiative to impact five million women by 2020. Now, from a state- of-the-art bottling plan to one of simpler design, Robyn Curnow sat down with Kenyan entrepreneur, Joel Mwale, to discuss how he came up with his company's Skydrop Enterprises. A producer of low cost purified drinking water.

CURNOW: So you were driven to do something because of the state of the municipal water.

What was wrong with that water?

JOEL MWALE, FOUNDER, SKYDROP ENTERPRISES: It was highly charged, meaning it was not affordable for many guys. It was unreliable because it could come today. Tomorrow it's not there. And in addition to that, the water had been contaminated due to the spread of water-borne diseases.

CURNOW: You yourself got dysentery?

MWALE: Yes, I got dysentery. And I was taken to the hospital.

CURNOW: You're sitting in your hospital bed sick from the water that the municipality had provided your region, your village. And you decided to build your own water.

MWALE: So what I did is that I've been saving $95 for a period of eight years. That's approximately 10,000 (INAUDIBLE) for a period of eight years.

CURNOW: So it took you eight years to save $95 US.


CURNOW: And you used that money to do what?

MWALE: I used that money to build a bull hole (ph). It works in such a way that somebody has just got to attach a wheel. Then a lot of water comes out in the other end. And it serves a population of around 5,000 households.

CURNOW: So you built this bull hole (ph). You provided clean drinking water to your village. But as the years went on, your mother was employed. You were worried you were going to have to drop out of school because there was just no money. So you did something else.

MWALE: Yes. And so what I did is that I saw the potential and I saw it was raining. And i saw water running off the ground. And so I said that if there's anything that I can do to be able to tap this rain water, store it in a reservoir, then be able to purify it and sell it to the public -- because I'd seen Coca-Cola do that through their Dasani product.

CURNOW: So you had this idea. You borrowed money and you bought a water purifier, which basically purified rainwater?


CURNOW: Bottled it.

And how many bottles of water do you sell to your community?

MWALE: I will sell an average of 33,000 bottles for the last financial year, which I ended up making a profit of 330,000. That's approximately $4,000.

CURNOW: The reason you started your business was because the municipality had failed to provide clean water.

Do you get angry with government, with leaders in Africa, for not giving people like you basic necessities?

MWALE: The many type of leaders we have are people who have -- they are -- they are -- they're in these government positions in order to sway their own means and not to solve. And I think that's something that should change.


CURNOW: Next up, hijacked ship held for ransom -- piracy is a scourge in Somalia but consumers across the continent are the ones paying the price.


CURNOW: Even though Somali pirates are hijacking ships hundreds of kilometers off East Africa's coastline, consumers on the mainland still feel an impact.

Well, our guest on FaceTime this week is Professor Joel Mwale.

He's the vice president and chief economist of the African Development Bank.

He's also co-author of a recent report on the true economic impact of piracy in Africa.


CURNOW: When we talk about Somali piracy, we talk about trade routes being disturbed, what about increase in -- in insurance in the shipping industry.

But there is a very, very real effect on the people who live on the mainland, isn't there?

MTHULI NCUBE, CHIEF ECONOMIST & VICE PRESIDENT, AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT BANK: Yes, absolutely. There is a real impact because it -- it -- it shows up in the -- in inflation. The cost of doing business is -- is very high. And you feel it when you talk to businesspeople.

In -- in Uganda, for instance, they will tell you that they are being affected by the piracy issues, the whole security issue, because of increased insurance costs, increased transport costs.

But, also, people in the tourism industry do feel the impact of the -- of the cruise liners, which are no longer docking in that part of the world because they are worried about -- about, you know, ships being -- being hijacked. So -- so tourism is -- is being affected.

But, also, a long-term impact, apart from fishing, is the exploitation of any offshore oil and gas or any minerals. That -- that, again, gets affected, because you can be prospecting when there's a risk that, you know, you might not come back on land after prospecting. And, therefore, you can't exploit the oil and the gas resources that are out there.

So all of these things are being -- are being affected by -- by piracy.

CURNOW: Let's get to the root causes of piracy. You know, we can sit here and talk about the economic impact. But what about the answer -- I mean I get a sense that there are two types of piracy. I think it's been described as twin piracy, because these pirates, a lot of them used to be Somali fishermen and their stocks were depleted by illegal fishing.

That, in itself, has not been addressed, has it?

NCUBE: No, it hasn't been. And certainly there is a sense that this was initially a reaction to -- to -- to foreign ships coming in to fish, illegally depleting the stock of fish. So these freshmen, you know, then took -- took a -- took, you know, the law into their own hands and said, look, we'll start, you know, hijacking ships, you know, as a way of getting back.

And then it became an -- an easy business, a way of life. They got -- got hooked onto it.

So that issue has not been -- been addressed, at from the Somalis' point of view.

The -- the -- the fishermen in Somalia do feel that the net was favoring the other side, which is allowing them to plunder, or carry on plundering. And -- and so that means that then the root cause of -- the initial root cause of piracy is not being addressed.

CURNOW: What do you think needs to be done in Europe and Asia about this illegal fishing?

NCUBE: Well, I -- I think, first of all, due fees should be paid to - - to countries where the fishing is being done, as long as they are -- they're fishing within the legal continental shelf of that country.

CURNOW: But it's highly unlikely that Spain or Greece or Italy and South Korea or China or Russia -- now, these are the countries that are illegally fishing in Somali waters. It's highly unlikely they're going to start paying fees to the Somalis.

NCUBE: Well, first of all, there's no government to pay to.

CURNOW: Yes. That's...

NCUBE: You know, so that's the other problem.

CURNOW: That's a point.

NCUBE: But -- but it could be paid to a family, for instance, maybe a family. We do have a -- a global governance system in the form of the U.N. and the U.N. or something like that, some other agency of the U.N. Perhaps it could be paid, the (INAUDIBLE) could be paid into some fund. Then the fund, this also, then, could be used back in Somalia to do some good.


CURNOW: Mthuli Ncube there, the chief economist of the African Development Bank.

Now, let's take a look at what's making business news headlines in actually this week.



Agricultural Boost

Zimbabwean state media report that Brazil has loaned Zimbabwe $300 million to support local farmers and boost food security.

The loan is part of Brazil's larger initiative to increase food production throughout Africa.

Going for Gold

Mining firm Rangold Resources has opened its new gold mine in Ivory Coast.

Already the world's leading cocoa producer, Ivory Coast is looking to increase gold production, as it focuses more on its mineral resources.

Before we go, a reminder. You can find us online at That's where we post this week's show, as well as many other previous interviews and stories.

Also, become a fan on our Facebook page. That's where you'll get a sneak peak at upcoming shows, as well as behind the scenes photographs.

But for me, Robyn Curnow, here in Johannesburg, goodbye.