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The World of Business

Author: BBC Radio

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Insights into the business world - featuring content from BBC Radio 4's In Business programme, and also Global Business from the BBC World Service.
375 Episodes
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Berries Galore!

Berries Galore!

2019-07-0600:28:20

Strawberries at Christmas? No problem! And as cheap as ever? Yes, of course! Many of us have become used to buying whatever fruit and vegetables we want, whenever we want, no matter the season. Strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and blueberries are available in supermarkets all year round. Until recently that was not the case. So what does it take for this to happen and what’s the cost? John Murphy peels back the layers of the berry industry, which has grown massively in recent years. Despite increasing production costs, prices have remained stable. Can that continue? Politics, economics and the environment could have a bruising impact on producers and on the price and availability of the fresh fruit we eat. Presenter: John Murphy Producer: Sally Abrahams Picture Credit: BBC
Who are Huawei?

Who are Huawei?

2019-06-2900:27:011

Chinese technology company, Huawei, is the world’s biggest supplier of network telecoms equipment, and with a research budget of up to $20 billion, its ambition is to be even bigger still. However, it’s also one of the most controversial businesses of our time. The United States and others have banned its involvement in their critical infrastructure, fearing that Beijing might use the company to spy, steal trade secrets, or even wage cyber warfare. Huawei insists that its networks are as secure as anyone else’s, and says that its technology is literally years ahead of competitors, so countries who reject it risk falling behind. As the world prepares for a technological revolution through 5th Generation mobile communications, the BBC has gained rare access to Huawei’s founder and Chairman, Ren Zhengfei, to explore his company’s origins, its rise to global pre-eminence, and what makes it tick. And, to ask if the current security questions threaten its continued growth. Presenter: Karishma Vaswani Producer: Michael GallagherPicture: Customers entering a Huawei Technologies Co. store in Beijing, China Credit: Kevin Frayer/Getty Images
Business Making an Impact

Business Making an Impact

2019-06-2200:28:43

Climate-change scientists have warned that the clock is ticking, environmental campaigners are blocking the streets, but until now the world of business has kept itself out of the fray. That is changing. From multi-billion dollar investors, to leaders of international companies, to banking bosses, the call is going out for business to take more responsibility for the way the world runs, and the way businesses run themselves. And it’s not just their environmental impact that’s coming under scrutiny. Inequality, their supply chains and the way they treat their workforce are becoming as much a part of companies’ bottom line as simple profit. Welcome to the Impact Economy. David Baker meets new business champions who want to overturn the old ways of doing things and put commerce at the centre of guaranteeing a future world that is good for everyone. But will it work or is it just a flash in the pan? Presenter: David Baker Producer: John Murphy Picture Credit: Getty
The Berlin Airport Fiasco

The Berlin Airport Fiasco

2019-06-1500:26:373

One thing Germany does well, you might assume, is infrastructure and transport. Think again. For Global Business on the BBC World Service, Chris Bowlby’s had a rare behind the scenes tour of Berlin’s new airport. It’s billions over budget, already seven years late in opening, and is still being rebuilt before a single plane’s landed. So what’s gone so wrong in a place supposed to be the capital of efficient engineering? And is the Berlin airport fiasco a warning for infrastructure builders everywhere?Presenter: Chris Bowlby Producer: Jim Frank Picture Credit: Getty
The last eighteen months have seen a global public backlash against plastic. Everyone talks about the huge impact that Sir David Attenborough and the BBC's Blue Planet series has had in raising public awareness about the damage that 8 million tonnes of plastic which enter the ocean every year is having on sea life. It was one of the triggers for consumers, governments and companies to decide that action needed to be taken. But what does it mean for businesses which depend on plastic as a core raw material or for the packaging and retail industries, both deeply reliant on plastic? Caroline Bayley talks to companies about the opportunities and challenges presented by the plastic backlash.Presenter: Caroline BayleyProducer: Beth Sagar-FentonPicture Credit: BBC
Guyana: Getting Rich Quick

Guyana: Getting Rich Quick

2019-05-1800:28:381

Guyana, a country of just 750,000 people wedged between Venezuela and Suriname on the north-east coast of South America, has never had an oil industry. But a series of recent discoveries in its waters has revealed billions of barrels of oil beneath the ocean, potentially one of the world’s biggest reserves. Next year, the oil is due to start flowing and the impact on business is already being felt. A shoreside oil service industry has popped up; workers who previously struggled to get by are finding stable employment; and cafes and hotels are overflowing with foreign customers. But encounters with the Venezuelan Navy, huge environmental risks, and legal challenges mean this is a business that is far from straightforward.Presenter/Producer: Simon MaybinPhoto: A trainee at the Totaltec Academy in Georgetown prepares for work in the new oil sectorCredit: BBC
Getting Hired

Getting Hired

2019-05-0200:28:05

The face-to-face interview can be life-changing. But it comes with risks attached, of bias on the part of the interviewer, or nerves on the part of the candidate. Lesley Curwen looks at the fast-changing process of getting hired in companies, big and small. Large companies are increasingly using recruitment tools including artificial intelligence to weed out the weakest candidates, in order to find the right candidate for the right job. But there is resistance in some quarters from some small employers who believe in the old ways of sifting through CVs by hand to produce a short-list. So can the traditional face-to-face interview survive longterm? Presenter: Lesley CurwenProducer: Smita Patel Picture credit: Getty Creative Stock
Can the United Arab Emirates grow its own food? The Desert kingdoms today import 90% of their own food, at great cost. And each year consumption increases by 12%. This raises issues of food security, price and environmental damage – flying in fruit from California is not environmentally sustainable. This is a region with little soil and few water resources. On average it rains just five days a year. So why is agriculture now considered one of the most exciting growth areas in the UAE? Farmers here depend on desalinated water from the Arabian Sea – costly to both the farmer and, once again, to the environment. But new agricultural technologies are being developed. Starting at a small scale, can such businesses really be built up? Or are they vanity projects reliant simply on oil wealth? Georgia Tolley examines if the Emiratis can make their desert bloom and ensure their business of food production grows. Presenter: Georgia Tolley Producer: John MurphyPicture Credit: BBC
Behind the Facades

Behind the Facades

2019-04-1800:28:281

The relationship between landlord and tenant is an important, often unseen, dynamic that most of us don’t give much thought to. And yet, it's reshaping high streets up and down the country. High rents are blamed for the collapse of so many retailers - they appear unsustainable yet they are the vehicle through which much of our pension wealth is invested. In this programme, Ruth Alexander looks at different models of ownership: from the big financial institutional investors through to the original aristocratic landowner and asks how - in the turmoil created by the rapidly changing retail environment - these landlords are facing up to a new reality. Presenter: Ruth Alexander Producer: Alex Lewis
Its top stars can earn millions of dollars a year, without breaking into a sweat. They train for hours a day and have legions of fans, who fill stadiums to watch them. But these aren't normal sports stars. They're part of one of the fastest growing industries - known as Esports. And, as John Murphy discovers, the distinction between real physical sport and this online, virtual version is narrowing, as major companies and some of the world's most famous football clubs are signing up the top Esports players to play in major competitions. A number of video games, including Fifa, Dota2, Call of Duty and League of Legends, have their own international leagues and world championships. The global audience is now estimated at more than 200 million, and growing. Annual revenues from Esports, currently around 650 million dollars for events, continue to rise. Billions more are generated through video games sales. In the UK the video games sector, from which Esports have sprung, is now worth more than video (films) and music combined. There's even talk of Esports becoming an Olympic sport. So will dexterous Esporters become the new athletic champions, or is this a business that will play itself out? Who is making the money and how? And why are top soccer clubs clamouring for some of the virtual action? Presenter: John Murphy Producer: Lizzy McNeillImage Credit: BBC
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Mel Vis

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Apr 8th
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