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Good morning. Welcome to Business Network. Business Today for Australia

up on the - Whitney Fitzsimmons. Coming up on the

program - the Treasurer's opposed to lending and inflation. And environmental fallout - fears grow about seafibre to the from near the grow about seafibre to the node

plant. Yesterday around the region, trade was mostly For more on the market

action I am joined by Christine

Ip from Bell Direct. Our local

trade is about to start. What

impact will that decision have on decision have on trade? That

deal has hit a wall. The

Treasurer has not made the

final ruling. The deal has been making headlines thanks to the sensitive nature of national

sovereignty. Yesterday, the ASX

share s did fall over 3%. Today

we may see a bit of weakness in

our saucy market. And the

reason for that is for better

or worse it does send a message

to foreign investors that

perhaps Australia is taking foreign investments. Two other more protectionist view on

things that are leading the markets

with e food today in economic DATa we have some lending around participation data to

look forward to. Unemployment

data is is out tomorrow but for

the rest of the week it will be

very quiet. Next week it will

be the start of earning season

in the US so we will see more

direction next week. The spike is down three China morning. The People's Bank of have on regional trade? The

Bank of China has was a surprise. There have bench mark rates to 6.31%. It

talks that China may slow its money triheightening, it's an prices. Yesterday, we did see oil, copper and the US market

fall in reaction but

just see a knee jerk reaction happy that China is engineering a slowdown while growth is still high. It was session in the US. Why was that in the market. We have seen a lot lot of usually positive for stock market but that's been over particularly over the policies

by the Federal Reserve. fought over which spending levels that have been fought over which the Democrats

and the Republicans didn't do the bigger losers the bigger losers was Boag. That was down about continue ing problems with its That was down about 1% over

737 aircraft. Google shares were down, that is one of the biggest loser, to rumours of an broeb. It was fairly un

inspiring on Wall dhow ending inspiring on Wall Street. The there's been some noise from

may be over at the end of June? That is right affect lot of investors reacting Bernanke has a knowledge Bernanke did or didn't say. the economy Bernanke has a knowledge that the economy is growing. But the market has market has read that as an indication the Federal Reserve plans to wind down stimulus measures. So there is a lot of uncertainty whether that is a wise move. So

we may see QE 2 well and truly

believed that further stimulus over by tind of June. It is

is needed to ensure that US economic traction. Even the central bank verse disagreed on that point. Unfortunately yesterday higher. How is the given - driven the market

positive in comparison. There's

a lot of investors on the

sidelines ahead of a got another downgrade. But investors re acting quite positive ly, in comparison to US markets. Amongst the best performers Amongst

were the tech stock s. Another

stand-out was Stone brand its shares up almost 5% after a broker upgrade. So a positive session in Europe European shares were up for positive session in Europe and

third day in a third day in a row. Thanks for

the update. Thank the update. Thank you. Now

let's take a closer look at what's happening with

currencies and commodities. The head of the Singapore exchange Magnus Bocker is holding on to the possibility

of a proposed merger with the Australian Stock Exchange, despite the Treasurer Wayne Swan's rejection of

Mr Said he doubts the merger Mr Said he doubts the

would be in the national interest but is willing to hear

further arguments before making

a final decision. Meanwhile, the Singapore Exchange boss says he has no intention of

pulling out. As far as the head

of scinga pore Exchange is concerned, the deal is still on the

has no intention of taking his $8 billion takeover deal of

main stock market operator ASX anywhere else any time

To him, the proposed merger between Singapore and Australian exchanges is still proceeding down regulatory channels. We expect, according

to the rules that follow our

application, that finally the

Treasurer will make a final

decision at the time of that

final decision we will make our final decision whether we

should - what we can do and

what we can't from the waiting for the final decision

Treasurer Wayne Swan block the from the Treasurer. Federal

company's bid on the grounds

the merger was not in the merger was not in the

national interest. On advice from Australia's foreign investment watchdog that has

serious concerns about the

proposal. But he also said open for discussion before proposal. But he also said he's

reaching a final reaching a final decision. And

the Singapore ex- has been

invited to provide comments to

the Foreign Investment Review

Board before a final come. We are surprised that the

Treasurer 's decision was to reject transaction. We continue to

believe the proposed

combination is in the interests of all the stake holders, and also very clearly in national also very clearly in the Australia and Singapore. The

claiming the deal would erode

claiming the deal would erode a political storm, with critics

sovereignty and sovereignty as financial hub. Under

as financial hub. Under Australian shareholder can own 15% of shareholder can 15% of the AS #k3678d final a - ASX the Singapore Exchange awaiting Wayne Swan's final decision Wayne Swan's final decision on bench mark lending and to control inflation. The People's Bank of China will raise lending rates by 25 basis

points from today, taking them to

respectively. The Mo was widely anticipated but came earlier

than many expected and on a public plolday. The country's consumer price index 4.9% in February, well the Government's full year target. Despite efforts target. Despite efforts to reduce Australia's central bank Australia's central bank has not been thrown offcourse not been thrown offcourse by the massive problem s yappian or the extreme weather

over the summer.

Bank of Australia kept interest rates month, saying the turmoil in

have limited impact outside country. Reserve Bank governor

Glenn Stevens is hard at work but not drafting

s because economists have found 83% of the words in this month's statement were month's statement were exactly the same as the same as the previous month. Which for me shows that the central bank is very the moment. The official cash rate has five months, the longest interest rate pause since 2006 and it is not over

May to August once

significant some of those significant some of those flood impacts Japan will be confined to country, with a limited impact

on the region. I think with respect to Japan there was mention the statement

particular disaster

final effects having any impact on Australia. So I think the absence of any comment was Bank is not Australia's extreme

the RBA says

items while coal production is taking resume. They seem to be acknowledging that the impact of the were larger than what they

previously elf previously elf pected. We did a flood survey and talked about

something like 1.5% off GDP.

They were initially talking

about 1% off GDP. What is

really happening there is the coal mines are taking longer to essentially

essentially pump the water and so therefore production is

expected. And there was some evidence trade numbers. Australia recorded

recorded a trade deficit in February, its first in nearly and imports rose nearly 5%. But, despite 5%. But, despite the flooding, rural rural expert ports performed very strongly and says the disaster in Japan suggests suggests price also remain high. The Japanese are very

conscious about with the issues around radiation and so forth, they're probably - they feel less incliend to be putting their faith in it seems Australia's meat it seems Australia's meat may help replace And India has imposed a 3-month suspension on 3-month suspension on food imports

concerns mount about contamination from the offshore from fish ing of the been stopped. The discoverying is stoking fears supply and the viability supply and the viability of

Japan's seafood industry. 11.3 con Tommed - contaminated water has

radiation water is being

removed from the reactor for highly contaminated water to be stored. The to feel the political to feel the political heat. TRANSLATION: The TRANSLATION: prevent highly water in spreading. But we prevent highly water in spreading. But we are dumping radioactive waternd we

feel very sorry about this. The

chief Cabinet sect insists the

radioactive water, which is up

to 100 times the legal to 100 times the legal limit,

will quickly disperse in the

ocean and be closely

monitored. First of all, we they do not overreact to this news. Japan's fish retail

industry has already been hit hard by the effects of the tsunami. This fish seller

agreed with the Cabinet secretary's assessment. TRANSLATION: I don't think that eating fish is too eating fish is too risky,

baseded on the information from

television news I don't get the

impact - impression that I

shouldn't eat fish. But some

consumers are yet to be convinced. TRANSLATION: The ocean is huge and there's no boundaries to indicate where where is not. Since the

situation is like this, I feel we we don't have to eat fish. Japan's prediction h dickment is not dickment is not without sympathy, with the New York

umpire State building lit up in

the country's colours to show solidarity. Portugal's main

banks have decided to stop

buying government dent. Banking chiefs chiefs have warned the

chiefs have warned the country urgent ly needs a bridging loan of $21

finance ing until the June 5

general election. But the European Commission says Portugal won't secure a loan

from its European counterparts without agreeing to strict conditions of an international bail-out. The pressure increased increased after Moody's s and

later Fitch each downgraded the later Fitch each downgraded the credit worthiness of the

country's banks. Moody's put it

from A 3 to 3 A A1 and warned

Lisbon must get outside help Lisbon must get outside help to resolve its debt

problems. Fitch downgraded its banks just days after slashing the country's credit rating the country's credit rating to

one notch f above junk. The one notch f above junk. The US budget row between President Barack Obama and Republican s has escalated with the President warning it would be

inexcusable not to agree on a deal and

deal and risk shutting down the Government. A meeting with senior democratic and Republican leaders in Congress to discuss the 2011 to discuss the 2011 budget failed to break an failed to break an impasse. There was no agreement on

shutdown close eer on shutdown close eer on Friday when a stop gap measure to fund

the Government expire s neither side yields. We can't have a

approach to this because, if we start aplying

that approach where I get 110%

of everything I want or I will not going to get anything done

this suffer. Mr Obama said if there was no deal by Wednesday he would call them back to the

White House. The impact on the American economy

as it struggles to recover from a severe you get 23 you take the concept of eBay established idea of recruitment Australian-based company freelancer.com. The power house behind the company, behind the company, CEO Matt Barrie, 2 million people globally 2 million people globally have earned a collective $84 is only the tip

is only the tip of the virtual iceberg. I caught up iceberg. I caught up with Matt

Barrie a short Barrie a short time ago. Welcome ago. Welcome to the program. Thank you. Now business, freelancer.com, it's an interesting explain it to us? We're the world's largest online

outsourcing market place. It's like eBay but instead of buying goods, it's outsourcing small jobs, particular. So the mainstream jobs are things like build me a website, help me get traffic to my website, design

me a logo, right through to

engineer ing, engineer ing, mechanical engineer, accounting, tax. Hundreds of different things online. Prior to this you developed three start-up businesses. Freelancer.com it

what was the looked at starting a business from scratch in this space but when I realised there

major US incouple benlts major US incouple benlts that

had had 10 to get in so I of businesses, probably between 6 and 10 and put them and that started two years ago. Since then we've taken off from the top some parts of the world neer the top 10. - 20. Freelancer.com you upon it in Vanuatu. It's a Swedish company run Swedish company

Swedish company run by a guy

who lived in van watto. It was called ghettofree lancer. It had about half a million users. He had one customer He had one customer support

person in the Philippine, three contract programs in the

Ukraine doing programs for him

and no employees. So and no employees. So I managed to buy that business. From

there I bought a number of

other things and other things and put

engineering behind it and marketing and marketing and resources. $5

billion have yet to join the Internet,

Internet, no doubt they

will. As you say it's the next

tectonic shift. So how do you take advantage of that massive

The world is about to go

through its next tectonic shift with most of with most of the world's

population not currently on the Internet but joining right now. I think this will change

everything. In the future we

will have our own personal area network

network of personal assistance.

So when you go to live in

Jakarta, where I grew up as a

child, we had a maid and a cook child, we had a maid and a cook

and a night watch men you will have a whole number assistants. You might have a researcher, researcher, a personal assistant, a graphic designer

on call, a search engine optimiser, if you're in business. I think it will change everything. How as freelancer.com, how do you capitalise

capitalise and capture that

growth? It's massive. That is the interesting question. That is

is probably one of the main

challenge s how we sustain and maintain the astronomical

growth. We're working on a

number of things. It's all

about Internet marketing for the most port. Vm SEO and

affiliate program s. But mostly a

a lot of it has been word of mouth. In Bangladesh we're

bigger than Microsoft.com and Amazon and that's through word

of mouth. When you can earn

your monthly wage in a matter

of hours or day s onlinis it catches fire. It must be difficult manages what is an Australian-based is a global business. Do you

have plans - I understand that you have headquarters or office s set up in you have headquarters s set up in #3457b ill ya. Do

you have other plans to space in the region. With you have other plans to space in the region. With at the moment numb of sites virtually. We've launched in Hong launched in Hong Kong, Singapore and the Philippine, New Zealand Pacific. Overseas we've

launched in UK, Canada and so on. Right now we run our support support out of Sydney. So we will want to tap into tap into the global market. You're not without market. You're not without your

critics. OK. There are those that have that have concerns that Freelancer forces contractor s in developed worlds to or

economies to cut their prices to compete with their counterparts. What do you say to those sort of critics? Absolute

we do is we provide an

productivity tool. If you're a

productivity tool. If you're a service providiner the West you

could look at how you can use your business. For example if you're a designer, you're constantly working and with a high of work load and

take more on, typically lose that client forever. lose that client forever. Now

instead what you can do is

there's a lot of work that there's a lot of work that we do in our

is mundane is mundane or tedious, with e can outsource that on how they can transform

themselves. How do you get over

have the ratings have the ratings system. You're

employing people that you don't or or you're being employed by that person or company. How do you get over that? Have you had problems

you've needed to deal with? Just like eBay, have a reputation system whereby where you before you rating feed Break and earn reputation on the site you

get higher in the bids list. The people at the top of The people at the top of the

bid list are make ing over $1 billion a year. That combined

with the fact that the

is very much the whole city Industry is very much So when you hire a Freelancer you put money in the system and the Freelancer starts work they can't access they can't access the funds

until you're 100% happy. Has there ever been any issues that

you have had to step in and deal deal with personally or any of your associates? We run a dispute resolution system. Every day we have around 1,500

projects posted a day and maybe

10 or so go into dispute. The If people decide they can

choose to get a choose to get a human arbiter to make a to make a decision. You just were awarded the BRW

entrepreneur of the year, did you ever anticipate picked up that website from the fisherman in Vanuatu that it would grow into something this? It's freaky when you walk

in a news agency and

sclaiment it's a surreal real

experience, it's been a-I was ing you for joining the program. Thank you very much for having me. Australia should not take its domestic

suppliers and security of food for granted. That st of a report to industry needs to focus industry needs to focus on local business

Australia produces enough food to feed 60 million people. At to feed 60 million people. At a time hen the time hen the issue of food security keepings cropping

you're seeing food right s from time to time, you're finding people being squeezed, billion people people obese. Australia is food secure but

improve our diet. If the world

is food insecure, Australia uns a will be a will be hit by high price, they will wars an collapsed summit on sustainable food in Melbourne, speakers say

Australia has to change the way it produces and processes food. We need to reinvent agriculture, we a completely difference way

that uses much a completely difference way

that uses much less land water, energy and so Australian produce is exported

but Professor batterham says there's a growing reliance imports. We're sending imports. We're sending stuff off for processing then

bringing it back. So I come

back to my energy thesis that

says if energy costs are going

to keep on rising do we really

want to kill off all our

processing industries because

they're not so they're not so competitive? He says the food industry will probably

probably have to develop more local business local business models. Robert

Peckham runs a company that

connects farmers and

consumers. It goes from selling food to basically asking food to basically asking people in the in the city to partner with

form farmers so they can get all their food supplied by the

farmers and allows the farmers

to grow damn good food. He says it's

it's a medium-sized business that breaks even,

that breaks even, with much of

the profit going into research.

But it is challenging the old

retailing system. Lots of retailing system. Lots of re really good farmers and people system that is saying to system that is saying to this

old system, Hay, turn around,

change course, get on board. Health promoters are

weighing in on sustainability debate with their own warning to

business. We've heard this

whole market - had this whole

market push to produce more and

more foods that are cheaper and

more convenience. And those

foods happen to be very high in

fat, sugar and salt. And they

have health care cost and health care costs are now going up much faster than gross

national product. But author is well placed to take advantage of emerging opportunities. We're very good at farming in un predictable

climates. Au Australian are top at that. We need to

export that nomg and the

technology they use worldwide

in order to secure the world

food supply. It's a local

challenge with challenge with potentially

global impacts. And now let's

look at what's making headlines

around the region. The Standard reports on China's rate hike.

In an effort to contain

inflation, the 'Financial International Monetary Fund has proposed its first guidelines

for control ing speculative

capital and the 'Wall Street Journal' says corps rat acquisitionses to climbing to pre-GFC level s driven by viers

in - buyers in Australia's

emerging economies. That is all

for Business Today. I am

Whitney Fitzsimmons. Thanks for

joining me. Enjoy your day.

Closed Captions by CSI

Federal Police called investigate a Defence Force sex scandal in Canberra. That solidarity is

masculine solidarity and women are at best only guests in that environment. Also today - in on Ivory Coast's belligerent ex-President but Laurent Gbagbo denies he surrendered. Negotiations started started a few hours ago and they're nuclear fallout, toxic fish found 80km from the found 80km from the crippled Fukushima plant. And the Government blameed