DAVOS: Let me start by saying sorry. There is no way to get through this blog without a dose of shameless namedropping. How else can I tell you what the great and good have been telling me.
For instance, this morning it was a short coffee bar chat with HRH Prince Andrew, on British industry and how it’s weathering the recession. Prince Andrew told me he is spending a lot of time in the UK talking to industry.
As Special Representative for UK Trade, he can act as a link between all sides in the economy. I will press him on this in my interview which you can see on Friday’s show.
Then there was a quiet talk with James Hogan, the CEO of the Abu Dhabi airline Etihad about his plans for his new A380’s.
Sometimes these ‘meetings’ are mere nods in corridors (for instance with the Russian Deputy Prime Minister). Other times they are full-on interviews such as my discussion on the Ukraine-Russia gas dispute with the President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso.
There is something about being in Davos that lets leaders become more reflective and often expansive. Trevor Manuel, Finance Minister of South Africa, for instance, talking to me about whether he will remain FM after the election (yes, if asked but not forever was his answer.)
Often these meetings are nothing more than “bragging rights.
Oh yes, I saw Tony Blair. I will tell friends, conveniently leaving out the fact Mr. Blair was being rushed to the front of a security line: I was standing near the back..we brushed shoulders. But – hey – I ‘met’ him.
Richard Quest is a CNN anchor and correspondent who reports on business travel issues. Tune in to CNN International each evening at 1900 GMT to catch Richard’s new show, “Quest Means Business.
For more information on Davos please visit www.cnn.com/davos