July 30th, 2012
06:53 PM GMT
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London (CNN) - In 2008, 92% of all Olympic swimming medallists were wearing Speedo suits. But then, after the Beijing Olympics, the rules changed.  Swimming’s governing body FINA dramatically reduced the amount of skin the suit could cover, and the last four years have been a race to adapt.

Using testing techniques often reserved for aeroplanes and Formula One cars, and working with experts from around the world in its top-secret “Aqualab,” Speedo came up with a solution. It’s known as the Fastskin 3.  This week’s Make, Create, Innovate looks at the evolution of this suit, and the designer’s hopes for their own Olympic success.

Filed under: Quest Means Business


July 30th, 2012
05:29 AM GMT
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Editor’s note: Outlook is CNN's in-depth look at business climates around the world. To August 12, 2012, we’re focusing on Singapore.

Singapore (CNN) – Kiat W. Tan, CEO of Gardens by the Bay, has built a “people’s garden” with solar powered “super trees” and vast glasshouses, all in the shadow of Singapore’s imposing Marina Bay Sands hotel.
Tan tells Richard Quest why the only way to make the botanical garden a success in the city was to be big and bold.

CNN’s Outlook series often carries sponsorship originating from the countries we feature. However CNN retains full editorial control over all of its reporting.

Filed under: Outlook Singapore


July 26th, 2012
04:28 PM GMT
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London (CNN) – The British economy is shrinking far faster than expected. The latest figures - showing a 0.7% contraction - are a huge shock.

The rotten weather, extra days off for the Diamond Jubilee and contagion from the eurozone crisis have contributed: Now even UK Chancellor George Osborne is conceding the country has “deep-rooted economic problems.”

Jeremy Cook, chief economist at foreign exchange company World First, points to the eurozone’s hoovering up of government cash as one issue. Government spending is meant to be dropping but is instead increasing, he says. “We’ve said the situation would get worse before it gets better, anything worse than this and we are risking depression,” he warns.

Oh dear, what a gloomy picture. But at least London is hosting the Olympics, right? British Prime Minister David Cameron has declared the games in London will bring great spoils: Around $20 billion, we’re told. Banks, restaurants and retail outlets have staffed up, helping nudge unemployment to a nine-month low.

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July 26th, 2012
10:37 AM GMT
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(Johannesburg) CNN – It is being dubbed by some as the “Second Scramble for Africa” - millions of acres of land being snapped up by companies from Asia and the Middle East.

The land rush was in part spurred by the food and financial crisis of 2008, when corporations, investment funds and governments began to re-focus their attention on agriculture as a profitable commodity.

Massingir Agro-Industrial is a South African and Mozambican company that has been given the use of 30,000 hectares of land in Massingir, western Mozambique, by the country’s government.  Backed by European investors, once feasibility studies are complete, the company will begin planting sugar cane to produce sugar - 80% of which will be exported to Europe.

Under the deal, local villagers will not be relocated. Some land will be left for the villagers but the vast majority of it will be off limits.

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July 25th, 2012
09:34 AM GMT
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Editor’s note: The Millennials are a generation that are constantly plugged in and moving fast to make their mark on the world. CNN’s Quest Means Business is tracking four of them.

(CNN) - To examine millennial David Lloyd's business success, we look at his childhood and how his youthful drive led to triumphs in the business world.

"I think that as a toddler David always wanted to be first, the first out of the bath, the first into the car, that I think was a fairly distinctive thing about him in fact, he was quite a competitive child,” explains David’s mother, Sarah.

Sports loomed large in his childhood. "I think all of things, I think sport does teach you a great deal," Sarah says. "It teaches you fair play, it teaches you how to work with a team, it teaches you good communication, it teaches you how to cope when you lose – I think that's incredibly important. So I think in all kinds of ways sport kind of mirrors life."

Filed under: The Millennials


July 23rd, 2012
05:18 AM GMT
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Editor’s note: Outlook is CNN's in-depth look at business climates around the world. To August 12, 2012, we’re focusing on Singapore.

Singapore (CNN) – Singapore’s strategic position at the mouth of the Strait of Malacca – one of the world’s critical energy chokepoints – has always meant the resource-poor city state has occupied a special place in the world of geopolitics.

Almost all of East Asia’s oil supplies must pass through the narrow shipping strait making Singapore one of the world’s busiest ports, but also vulnerable to shifts in the region’s energy mix.

The recent unrest in the Middle East – which has some analysts saying that $100 per barrel is likely to be the default benchmark oil price for some time to come - has demonstrated to Singapore that its energy security hinges on reducing its exposure to price and supply risks. FULL POST

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Filed under: Outlook Singapore


July 21st, 2012
09:36 AM GMT
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(CNN) –The newly appointed CEO of Yahoo is finding out something expectant moms quickly learn – you get a lot of unsolicited advice. All manner of well-meaning people have jumped on twitter and blogs to tell Marissa Mayer how she is going to feel after birth and how much maternity leave she should take. It makes me feel vaguely queasy.

For the record I have two small children. I took three months maternity leave for each and it wasn’t even close to enough. I struggle every day to balance work and children and many days feel I am failing. But that is my experience. It is personal to my life, my kids and my work ethic. I wouldn’t imagine telling anyone else how it is going to be for them or how they should conduct themselves.
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Filed under: Business


July 20th, 2012
03:19 PM GMT
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Editor’s note: Outlook is CNN's in-depth look at business climates around the world. To August 12, 2012, we’re focusing on Singapore.

Singapore (CNN) – In the drive for economic development, sometimes the fundamentals are forgotten. And nothing is more fundamental than clean water.

It is estimated that 800 million people live without access to safe drinking water; a fact that convinced Singaporean Oliva Lum to use her expertise as a chemist to address the problem.

Lum devised a solution and business plan to help quench the thirst of her home nation. She sold her house and car to raise capital to fund the project. FULL POST

Filed under: Outlook Singapore


July 20th, 2012
11:04 AM GMT
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Editor’s note: Outlook is CNN's in-depth look at business climates around the world. To August 12, 2012, we’re focusing on Singapore.

Singapore (CNN) – How did the banking community lose its integrity?

Singapore’s Minister for Finance, Tharman Shanmugaratnam, believes that culture had a part of play.

“We have to find a way to get back to a system that has individual and collective responsibility,” he told Richard Quest.

“Firstly, I think we went through a period of regulatory naivety, on both sides of the Atlantic and globally; deregulation went too far. Second, self regulation didn’t work. Part of the reason was an excessive faith in mathematical models and a loss in the role of judgement and responsibility among boards and senior management.

“These are not problems inherent in banking or global finance, these are problems especially of the last ten years.”

CNN’s Outlook series often carries sponsorship originating from the countries we feature. However CNN retains full editorial control over all of its reporting.

Filed under: Outlook Singapore


July 19th, 2012
11:21 AM GMT
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Mumbai, India (CNN) – After years of growing at a breakneck speed of around 9%, the Indian economy is running out of steam and the manufacturing sector is suffering.

External problems like the crisis in Europe, plus domestic troubles like inflation, are hurting manufacturers, forcing some to shut up shop, scale back - or in some cases, start manufacturing in China.

Ashish Saraf is CFO of Technocraft Industries. His factory outside Mumbai makes yarn, cotton, clothes and engineering equipment. Almost everything is exported so Saraf keeps a close eye on exchange rates, watching as the rupee slid about 25% versus the dollar over the past year.

Usually, when the rupee weakens, Indian exports become cheaper, so buyers overseas order more. But that’s not the case for Saraf because, he explains, the European crisis has completely wiped out demand for his goods.

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