Return to Transcripts main page

Quest Means Business

Biden Urges Unity At Bucharest 9 Meeting; Putin Hosts China's Top Diplomat In Moscow; Ukraine Seeking At Least $10 Billion Loan Program From IMF; Africa's Largest Economy To Elect New Leader; Jamaica Lobbies For Tourism Support; Dash To the Bell. Aired 3-4p ET

Aired February 22, 2023 - 15:00   ET



RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: There is an hour to trade on Wall Street before the midweek session is over. The market is digesting Fed

Minutes, and that is why you see a very sharp reversal of fortune, and whether or not the Fed Minutes justify, this is really a question we'll ask

over the course of the hour.

The markets and the main events of the day: Wartime diplomacy continues in Europe. Two Presidents are shoring up support from allies in the conflict

on Ukraine.

Starbucks chief executive, Howard Schultz, tells CNN he is leaving this time, no really leaving this time.

And Jamaica Tourism Minister will be with me. He wants to create a fund to help popular destinations in times of crisis.

Live from New York, midweek, Wednesday, February the 22nd. I'm Richard Quest and I mean business.

Good evening.

Both Presidents have been shoring up support of their allies in the war on Ukraine. On the US side, President Biden's on his way home, Air Force One

is currently over the North Atlantic. You can see they're just about to leave Western Ireland.

The President and his team, probably discussing how to deliver on the promises he made to provide Ukraine with weapons and money and to keep the

EU allies united.

Before he left Poland, President Biden met leaders of the eastern flank of NATO that called the Bucharest 9, and the President stressed the importance

of sticking together.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Today, as we approach the one- year anniversary of Russia's further invasion, it is even more important that we continue to stand together, and I think this is proof of how

strongly we feel.


QUEST: Now, yesterday, President Putin gave his State of the Union to the nation, today he was meeting China's top diplomat. Wang Yi told President

Putin that China and Russia need to remain flexible in the face of crisis and chaos.

Fred Pleitgen is in Moscow.

The two sides, the Russian and the Chinese. Now, at the at the meeting with Xi, of course, Xi basically told Putin don't even think of using nuclear.

Does Yi come with a strong message of support, a weak message, or just feeling out the situation?

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I think with a strong message of support for the Russians, but I think that this meeting,

Richard was even more important for Vladimir Putin, arguably than it was for Wang Yi.

I mean, I think it's quite telling that Vladimir Putin, you know, the leader of such a big country, obviously, the head of state of Russia, took

the time to meet with Wang Yi and once again, also in front of camera said how important the relations between China and Russia are to the Russian

Federation. Obviously, the Russians have been hit with a lot of sanctions over the past year, they rely on China really to reorient their entire

economy now, but also, of course, to get technology as well. And so, a lot really depends on China as far as Russia is concerned.

As far as the Chinese are concerned, I think it was also quite important for Wang Yi because he said during his meeting with Vladimir Putin that

obviously the relations between the two countries are very good, especially between Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin. But he also took a swipe at the

United States saying that third countries would not interfere in the relations between China and Russia, obviously, that seem to pertain to the

fact that the US has been voicing concern that the Chinese might think about providing lethal aid to the Russians for use in Ukraine -- Richard.

QUEST: Okay, but Fred, when we talk about the Chinese approach with the Russians, how far is this a case of my enemy's enemy is my friend?

PLEITGEN: Well, I think there is a certain degree of that. I think one of the things that we always have to keep in mind when we speak about the

Chinese is that of course, the relations with Russia are very important to them and, you know, important in many ways and the personal relations are

very good.

I think that China It also feels that Russia is more on side with China and obviously, they don't get a lot of the criticism that they get from the

United States, but also to fuel China's big hunger for things like natural gas, for things like oil as well, and quite frankly, for another -- a lot

of other raw materials.


However, of course, we also know that China also relies a great deal on relations with the United States and on relations in Europe. So you do have

that balancing act that the Chinese continue to have, they obviously don't want to burn bridges with the US and with the West, and that's why when it

comes to Ukraine, you can really feel how they go in there, and they say, in the end, they want a political solution to all of this. And you were

mentioning Xi Jinping, obviously saying that nuclear weapons in any case are out of the question.

QUEST: Right. So, Fred, does China remain a break on Putin's worst excesses?

PLEITGEN: Well, I think to a certain extent it does, but I think that Vladimir Putin himself, you know, at this point in time is not looking to

go that excessive. I mean, one of the things that we saw yesterday in his address to the Federal Assembly is that there was not really very much in

rhetoric that would see Vladimir Putin ramping things up.

He didn't say something like that would be another big offensive, there was really subdued rhetoric, if you will. I think right now, the Russians

themselves are sort of recalibrating a little bit. I think their military capabilities are in a pretty difficult state to at the moment. But of

course, they do depend a lot on China and they do look towards what China is saying about the conflict in Ukraine.

They definitely understand that the Chinese do not want this to escalate any further, that the Chinese certainly don't want this to become a

confrontation between Russia and the West, even though that is something that for instance, you hear a lot on Russian state TV, that that is exactly

what the Russians think it is.

I do think that to that extent, the Chinese do keep that in check a little bit simply because the Russians economy is so dependent on China right now,

just being on the ground here, it is surprising, Richard to see just in the past year, how Chinese products have for instance, on the roads, but in

shops already replaced a lot of things that had been there from the West before.

QUEST: Fred Pleitgen, grateful for you, sir. Thank you.

War is expensive. Obviously, the price in terms of lives is primarily the most important aspect of it, but you can't ignore that in this war,

particularly for Ukraine, the economy has shrunk by almost a third last year.

To help fill the gap, the West has offered Kyiv, $168 billion in various bits of financial aid. The Kiel Institute says less than half of that money

has actually made it into Ukraine's coffers.

Earlier this week, the IMF Chief, Kristalina Georgieva met directly with President Zelensky in Kyiv. Ukraine is pushing for a loan package of at

least $10 billion from the IMF. The Finance Minister spoke to Julia Chatterley about the where the money would go.


SERGII MARCHENKO, UKRAINIAN FINANCE MINISTER: Yes, we still need amount of around $10 billion to cover our budget needs for this year, as well as we

need to start process of reconstruction of our economy.

And you mentioned conditions, we are ready to fulfill all necessary requirements and conditions to be able to move on this program.

First of all, our conditions can include necessary measures to stabilize our macroeconomic situation, create necessary environment for fiscal

stability, for monetary stability, and certainly again, start discussing measures which can contain anticorruption measures.


QUEST: A year into the war, Ukraine's biggest company by revenue Metinvest is adjusting to the grim new normal. It is a steel mining group. It's lost

around half of its production assets because of the war. And that includes the Azovstal plant in Mariupol, which of course, we covered so extensively

when it was attacked.

As one of Ukraine's largest employers, many of its workers have left to join the fighting or fled the country completely. The company is also

dealing with factors like regular power cuts. Moscow has targeted Ukraine's energy infrastructure throughout the conflict and you can't make steel

without energy.

Despite this Metinvest is supporting the war effort by making military equipment. The Chief Executive, Yuriy Ryzhenkov is with me, joins me from


We've spoken before, sir, and you've been very kind in updating us regularly on the situation. So tell me now how -- I mean first of all, how

much you had pre in war and now today, how much steel are you able to make?


YURIY RYZHENKOV, CEO, METINVEST: Well, our steel production is down by about 70 percent if we're looking at year 2021 to the year 2022, and that

level that is a sustainable level for now, given the logistical and market constraints.

QUEST: When you look at that production, how did you break it down? Because obviously, there is still the need in the west of the country for

industrial steel and construction steel, and the like. And then, of course, in the military action, there's also the requirements. So how do you break

down your production?

RYZHENKOV: Well, actually, we're still producing quite a lot of steel for experts, mostly to the European Union. So we're exporting now, about 50

percent of the steel that we produce in Ukraine, so it is not all being consumed in Ukraine.

But yes, as you rightly mentioned, over the last year, we introduced 24 new products, in fact, most of which are related to the military aid. So this

is armored steel for bullet proof vests, this is special underground bunkers made out of steel, fortifications and so on and so forth.

QUEST: You talk about exports, I mean, that must be quite difficult, because you can't really guarantee, can you? I mean, power cuts and

suddenly, your production has to stop. How are you managing to navigate that?

RYZHENKOV: Well, we have a long relationship with our clients. And we have a pretty well established sales network, especially in the European Union

and we are trying to make arrangements for our clients. Whenever we are not able to deliver our steel, we always have a backup plan, Plan B, where we

can buy from the market and deliver to our clients. So that's how we do it.

But also, we're trying to sell when the steel is already produced and crossed the border into the EU. So that's the second option, which we have.

QUEST: You've been critical of the way in which the sanctions regime against Russia has been constructed, arguably, and also executed. As the EU

now looks to a 10th round of sanctions, what do you think needs to change there?

RYZHENKOV: Well, I'm not going to be able to talk about the whole kind of sanctions lists. I'm not a specialist in the sanction area, but I can talk

about the sanctions which are related to the steel industry, steel and mining industry. And there, we still see significant loopholes, especially

in supplies of semifinished goods like slabs.

There is a quarter which still within the sanction list, there is still a quarter of more than 3.6 million tons of slabs for Russians to supply to

the EU, which is pretty much the normal amount they supplied before the war. So I, think this is something that the EU needs to look closer.

QUEST: And in terms of employees, first of all, let me inquire. I mean, I hope that you have not suffered too many losses, or that it hasn't been too

heartbreaking, I think is probably the best way to do it. But also, you do have the problem of actually getting a workforce that's not either left the

country or fighting for freedom.

RYZHENKOV: Well, you're right. We do have some real losses. More than 500 of our employees died during this this invasion, about 150 of them in the

Armed Forces. Right now, actually, we have more than 7,000 of our employees serving in Ukrainian Armed Forces.

But yes, we do have difficulties with the workforce, especially in the cities, which are close to the frontline across Zaporizhzhia, but the key

task which we set out for ourselves for this period is to keep the most qualified members of our workforce, to make sure that the team is there,

and whenever we need to start working at full capacity, we have the available core team in place.

I think we're succeeding in that. We do have the core people in their places.

QUEST: Sir, forgive my naivete when -- I was expecting you to say, well, we've lost a handful of people or a handful of people have unfortunately

perished, but did you just say more than 500 people of your employees have been killed?

RYZHENKOV: Unfortunately, this is the case. Yes.

QUEST: I will say -- there is nothing one can say after that, other than, thank you, sir, for joining us. And we will keep talking to you as this

continues to put it all into perspective.

I'm grateful for your time, sir.

Just let that fact -- just let that pause for a moment.

The CEO of the steel company telling us at least 500 of his employees have been killed in the war, and 7,000 are fighting the war.




QUEST: The latest Fed Minutes had a bit of volatility on Wall Street. You'll see it. Look at the Dow, and we are off 132 points.

Rahel Solomon is with me.

Rahel, while we look at this and we look at the S&P 500 and the NASDAQ, the triple stock, we will show that and you'll see, down so far, 136. NASDAQ is

up just a tad, but it was much higher. Why? What happened?

RAHEL SOLOMON, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Well, we got those Fed Minutes about an hour ago, and here is what we learned, Richard. Essentially,

almost all Fed participants agreed and argued for a 25-basis-point rate hike, but that inflation remains unacceptably high and that there is more

to go.

The reason why I would argue, Richard, we're not seeing even more of an impact in the market is because this data is pretty old. Right? This news

is pretty old. Three weeks ago is a long time in today's economy.

Let's go through just the last few weeks and see what we've learned in terms of the US economy. February 1st is the last time we heard from

Federal Reserve Chairman, officially. We have, of course heard from him since then, but officially that's the last time we heard from the Fed.

February 3rd, just a few days later, Richard is when we got that blockbuster January Jobs Report, three times what economists were expecting

in terms of job growth. Then the next week, February 14th and 16th, we got two hotter than expected inflation surprises, inflation reports, both CPI

and PPI, and then also that same week, we got strong retail sales.

So the question now, Richard, on everyone's mind is what does the Fed do with all of that data? The next time we hear from the Fed on March 21st and

22nd, I believe it is, do they take this as evidence that they were right all along? Or do they do more?

QUEST: They're going to do more, but why -- this is where I find the market to be perverse because having seen those numbers that you've just elegantly

gone through, they should not have been surprised by the Fed Minutes saying they need substantially more evidence. What do they want? A man walking in

front with a red flag?


SOLOMON: Richard, I saw an op-ed today that I think perfectly describes what you're talking about. The markets are looking for a miracle, what they

need is a reality check, and I think that's what you're pointing to.

JPMorgan also pointing out in a recent note that the markets have never hit a low before the Fed was done raising rates, and we know that they are not

done. So, I think it is optimism. I think, it is wishful thinking. I think it's a soft landing camp seeing this economic data and thinking, maybe

we're out of the woods, but it would seem that we are not.

QUEST: I could have told you that months ago.

SOLOMON: Well then, maybe you should be doing a different job.

QUEST: I did. I did.

SOLOMON: You can be on an island somewhere, Richard.

QUEST: And Nouriel Roubini, who I was talking to yesterday, you're going to hear him on this program in a couple of days. Nouriel, basically very


SOLOMON: Yes, I mean, look, I think that the demarcation between the optimist and the pessimist are growing, right? I think it just really

depends on what data you're looking at.

When I talked to Mohamed El-Erian last week, he is -- his base case is actually not a recession, but he thinks that inflation will stick around at

four percent. It's a crazy economy. Trying to make sense of it is hard. Even Mohamed El-Erian said it's the toughest economy he's ever had to make

sense of.

QUEST: Four percent. Do they stick up for or do they carry on down? Thank you, Rahel. Good to you see.

Now, Rahel was just talking about JPMorgan. Well, JPMorgan has announced it is restricting its employees' use of ChatGPT. The bank has made the

decision to comply with limits on the use of third-party software. It comes over growing concerns over the viral AI chatbot. The service can respond

with misinformation and frequently bizarre answers.

The President of Microsoft, Brad Smith says that it can quickly fix those emerging problems with artificial intelligence.

Now, you'll remember of course, it released an early version of its AI through its Bing search engine. It gave incorrect or sometimes threatening

answers to users. Microsoft says it is continuing to improve the product, and Brad told me some of the issues can be fixed in a matter of hours.


BRAD SMITH, CEO, MICROSOFT: One of the things we've learned is that people, sometimes journalists do things with products that we never envisioned,

certainly never intended, but the interesting thing about AI, is I think we can actually move very quickly.

We addressed some of these issues literally in a matter of hours, and if we can continue to do that, if we can continue to put an ethical approach to

AI at the center of everything we do, I think that should give us all a lot of confidence that this technology has a very bright future in terms of

what it can do for people.

QUEST: Final question: Elon Musk at World Government Summit in Dubai last week, you might have seen his comments, basically saying there is going to

need to be more guardrails. He is more concerned.

I know you're concerned, Brad, but how much more regulation do you think there has got to be?

SMITH: I think when we look at where AI is going, it really should start with the companies that are making it like, Microsoft and OpenAI taking

steps quickly, identify problems, find solutions. Eventually, we'll get to the point where governments are likely to watch or reinforce those so that

everybody is responsible.

But if we want to move fast, and we should, let's let those of us who are creating this technology act responsibly, find solutions. It gives

everybody the opportunity to learn from this. Everybody has the opportunity to use their voice. It is, I think, our responsibility to listen to them.


QUEST: That's Brad Smith.

Howard Schultz, the Chief Executive of Starbucks is leaving the company for the third time. He talked to CNN's Poppy Harlow about his retirement plans,

and the push inside Starbucks to form a union.


POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: You've run Starbucks three times.


HARLOW: You've left Starbucks three times.


HARLOW: Is this the final time? Full stop.


HARLOW: You're ready to let go.

SCHULTZ: I'm ready to let go. I'm ready for the next chapter of my life. I don't know what that's going to be, but I'm not coming back to Starbucks.

HARLOW (voice over): A defining moment for the man and a defining moment for the company he built.

SCHULTZ: When I think back 1987, we basically 11 stores, a hundred people working for the company and a dream.

HARLOW (voice over): Starbucks' green and white siren would come to stand for one of the most progressive companies in the world.

(GROUP protesting.)

HARLOW (voice over): That legacy is now being tested, in what Howard Schultz describes as a battle for hearts and minds.

(GROUP protesting.)

HARLOW (voice over): As he looks to step down as CEO this spring.

SCHULTZ: I came back this past year because the company really did lose its way and it lost its way culturally.

I'd be the first to say the union showed up because Starbucks was not leading in a way that was consistent with its history in terms of being a

values-based company and I came back to basically restore those values.


HARLOW (voice over): After nearly running for President following his departure from Starbucks in 2017.

SCHULTZ: We need to restore dignity to the White House.

HARLOW (voice over): Schultz returned last year confronting a growing unionization movement.

(on camera): You've said that unions are contrary to Starbucks' vision.


HARLOW: And that's your vision?

SCHULTZ: Well, it's not only my vision. I think the 51-year history of Starbucks is a vision, a collective group of people that believe in doing

everything to create value for our people, so that we can create value for shareholders, and we've done that.

HARLOW: Why do you think unions are contrary to the vision of Starbucks?

SCHULTZ: Okay, yes. Let's first examine that unions in America for the most part have existed and have succeeded in the past, because of companies that

did nefarious things on the backs of their people, that they put their people last instead of first.

(PEOPLE cheering.)

SCHULTZ: Now, let's look at Starbucks. Starbucks employs 450,000 people around the world, 250,000 people in the US in our stores. We provide

unprecedented benefits, not because a union told us to, but because the conscience of the company and my own life story is based on trying to build

a company that my father, a blue-collar worker was not given -- not afforded those rights.


QUEST: Howard Schultz talking to Poppy Harlow.

The countdown to Nigeria's presidential election is winding down. The voting begins on Saturday. Stephanie Busari will be with me, the issues

driving people to the polls.


QUEST: Nigeria's presidential election on Saturday could be the largest vote ever held in Africa. It is a close race. There are no clear

frontrunners. The current President is term limited and 18 candidates are vying to become the next President.


The incumbent, obviously, is not going to be one of them. Among the favorites, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the candidate of Buhari's party. And the

campaign is taking place in the midst of a cash shortage, high inflation and rising tariff attacks. Stephanie Busari is in Lagos.

Good evening to you. Right. So. There is no front-runner.

So who is the front-runner?

STEPHANIE BUSARI, CNN SENIOR AFRICA EDITOR: Good evening, Richard. That's the million dollar question. Different experts, depending on who you speak,

to have a different prediction.

But what is exciting for analysts here and experts, is that, for the first time, there is a third candidate to break the two party domination in

elections since 1999. This time, a man by the name of Peter Obi is galvanizing the youth vote. They are solidly behind him.

And there is a movement behind him that is gaining momentum. We did speak to Peter Obi and also talked to people on the ground to find out what the

main issues are. Take a listen, Richard.


BUSARI (voice-over): Nigeria's political future hangs in the balance, with sitting president Mohammad Buhari standing aside, after two terms, voters

will decide on his successor on February 25th. Three candidates lead the race.

Ruling party veteran Bola Tinubu, whose campaign slogan, (speaking foreign language), translates to, "It is my turn."




BUSARI (voice-over): Former vice president Atiku Abubakar, who's run for presidency on five previous occasions and lost each time.




BUSARI (voice-over): An outlier candidate who told me he enjoys a large social media following and has galvanized the country's young people, many

of whom are still angry over the 2020 Lekki toll gate shooting, when, according to a judicial panel, the Nigerian army opened fire on armed



DEBO ADEBAYO, NIGERIAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: What this young generation of people want to do now is translate their anger into electoral



BUSARI (voice-over): With almost 40 percent of the registered 93 million voters under 34 years old, the youth vote could prove crucial; 61-year-old

Obi hopes to break the two party system, which has dominated Nigerian politics since the end of military rule in 1999.

His backers make their (INAUDIBLE) say he is the only candidate (ph) with integrity. His critics, however, one man alone cannot carry an unknown

political party.

BUSARI: Many people have said you would be easily impeached as president, because of your lack of structure.

PETER OBI, NIGERIAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE (from captions): That has happened to me before.

BUSARI: It happened to you before?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (from captions): So I know how to deal with it, how to navigate it.

BUSARI: How will you deal with it if you become president and you are impeached?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (from captions): Do the right thing.

BUSARI: Which is?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (from captions): Govern with the people.

BUSARI (voice-over): Earlier this month, a predictive poll gave the lead to Obi in a high turnout scenario. However, in a low turnout scenario,

Tinubu and his ruling party are expected to prevail.

MICHAEL FAMOROTI, CO-FOUNDER AND HEAD OF INTELLIGENCE, STEARS: It's time for the what about that looks like and I think that is probably most

reflected in the levels of engagement that we have seen, heading all to the polls, which are unparalleled, again.

BUSARI (voice-over): Nigerians will be cautiously hopeful that whoever wins will tackle the key issues, security and the economy. Nigeria's

economy is teetering on the brink of financial collapse. Skyrocketing public debt and criminals stealing hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil

every day, from the nation's primary source of income.

And a recent attempt to redesign a currency led to a cash crisis and widespread frustration, leading to people queuing for hours to get their

own money.

BUSARI: Ultimately, the winner had to achieve the highest number of votes nationwide and receive 25 percent of the votes cast in 24 of the 36 states.

If not, there will be a second round runoff within 21 days, between the top two candidates.

It's the first time since Nigeria began democratic rule that none of the candidates is an incumbent or former military ruler.


So whatever the outcome, Africa's most populous country will soon welcome a new dawn.


BUSARI: Richard, many saying that Nigerian politics is coming of age and embracing a new form of democracy. Because of some of the reasons

highlighted in that report, the lack of an incumbent, the lack of a former military ruler, they're saying that there would be a new face of a new type

of leader, if someone like Peter Obi gets into power, for example.

A lot of people are excited because he doesn't follow the typical African big man leader of politics. He carries his own brand for example. He flies

economy and he has a very no-frills approach. People are quite excited about that, Richard.

QUEST: Stephanie Busari, we will be following the election. We will talk more, thank you.

Jamaica said it's time for a fund to support tourism in tough times. According to the minister from Jamaica, the country's tourism minister says

nations that rely on tourism need help bouncing back from disruptions like pandemics.

The minister is with me now, Edmund Bartlett, for Jamaica's tourism.

Foreign minister, it's good to see you.

And what exactly -- where will the money come from, for this fund?

And who will spend it?

EDMUND BARTLETT, JAMAICAN TOURISM MINISTER: Firstly, Richard, this is a very innovative approach, I think. The money will come from the tourists.

All the 1.4 million and increasing number of visitors who going to destinations for one purpose, to consume.

And so as you consume, you leave a tip behind. This is a voluntary contribution that you are making, in order to put your own personal

responsibility to the fact that you have to be resilient because sustainability on planet Earth is our objective.


QUEST: What would this money be used for?

BARTLETT: This money will be used for mitigation, for adaptation, for the development of capacity within countries to know more about disruptions.

Firstly, how to track them and how to mitigate them. And then how to manage them and then how to recover and recover quickly and then to thrive


Now this is what enables countries like Japan, for example, to respond and bounce back quickly after disruptions. But at the same time, cultures like

my neighbor, Haiti, for 20 years, they are still struggling to recover from earthquakes.

So what we are saying is that if we enable these countries to have the resources to firstly educate and to provide knowledge information and then

to be able to communicate effectively, when these disruptions come and how to navigate them then that we are in a better place for quickly recovery

and bounceback.

QUEST: So this is more about getting countries into a position to handle, it rather than aid for example for rebuilding, restoration or whatever.

BARTLETT: Well, the fact is, when this fund accrues (ph), as it will, it will enable that possibility, too. So that you can use elements of it for

preparation, to enable resilient building in the railway (ph), that is, to build better, to enable quality materials and to develop the infrastructure

that will enable us to (INAUDIBLE) --


BARTLETT: -- when different types of disruptions hit us. So it has a dual role, Richard, in that it enables for the development of capacity.

And then secondly, it enables also for physical development, to enable a response on a timely and quick basis when disruptions of various types hit.


BARTLETT: -- is not going to be subject to the multilateral stringencies and rules of that game, where some poorer countries can't match up to what

is required. Because every single physical who comes into that country would contribute immediately. And that fund would into the country's

coffers for that purpose and that purpose only, we hope.

QUEST: Sir, briefly, finally, you are having a good year. Your numbers are up. And it looks like it is going to be a bounceback here for you.

BARTLETT: Oh, yes, absolutely. So far, for the year, we are 15 percent ahead of 2019 in arrivals. And earnings are running closer to 30 percent of

that period.


And that is a very strong response, I believe. And that has resulted originally because of the resilience that Jamaica has shown and the fact

that we, during the pandemic, had good sense of what to do, even against the background of the uncertainties that prevailed at the time.

Because we had established early, as you know, the global tourism resilience and crisis management center at our university. And we used the

information and knowledge that we're gaining about --


BARTLETT: -- to quickly move into the motion of getting the protocols right and (INAUDIBLE) our people so that they could respond well and

fortunately navigate it quickly through the difficulties.

QUEST: It is always good to see you, Minister. Thank you.

And that's QUEST MEANS BUSINESS for now. At the top of the hour, we will have a dash for the closing bell, coming up next, it is "MARKETPLACE







QUEST: Hello, I'm Richard Quest. Together we're going to have a dash to the closing bell, just two minutes from now.

The Fed minutes have made it clear that the inflation fight is far from over and the Dow is heading for quite a thumping loss. Not as bad as it was

when it saw the minutes. It was up around 334 points or so.

But you can see the sentiment changed when the minutes came out at 2 pm in New York. So we're off the best part of 100 points. The S&P 500 and the

Nasdaq, now that has eked out a small gain but it was up much more so that. The air came out of the balloon.

E.U. officials are discussing new sanctions on Russia. The CEO of Metinvest, the Ukrainian steel and mining group, said that current measures

can be tightened.


YURIY RYZHENKOV, CEO, METINVEST: But I can talk about the sanctions that are related to the steel industry, steel and mining industry. And there, we

still see significant loopholes, especially in supplies of (INAUDIBLE) goods like slabs.

There is a quota, which still, within the sanction list, there is still a quota of more than 3.6 million tons of slabs for Russians to supply to the

E.U. which is pretty much the normal amount they supplied before the war. So I think this is something that the E.U. needs to look at closer.


QUEST: If we look closer at the Dow components of the day, you see Salesforce is at the top. It's up about 1 percent, you don't often see

that. Home Depot has recovered some of the losses from yesterday's sharp fall.

And Intel has slightly fallen over today, slashing its stock dividend by two thirds. Walmart is down nearly 3 percent, warning investors yesterday a

bit difficult here ahead.