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QUEST MEANS BUSINESS

Interview with Portugal's President; Interviews with John Chambers, Alan Mulally

Aired November 10, 2011 - 14:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


MAX FOSTER, CNN ANCHOR: A dark winter ahead. The EU warns the economic picture is bleak. At last a prime minister is named and he pledges to push through reforms. Plus the CEOs of Cisco and Ford and Next tell me about their worries for the Eurozone.

I'm Max Foster. This is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS.

Hello. The scale of the economic challenge is being made all too clear. The EU warns of a deep and prolonged recession. An economist tells me in many countries it is not a recession they need to be worried about. It is a depression. Mr. Sarkozy has caused a stir reportedly floating the idea of a two-speed Europe.

Tonight, on QUEST MEANS BUSINESS Portugal's president says stop blaming the individual countries and cooperation and coordination is now key.

Now it is time for the technocrats. Greece has finally settled on a new prime minister, Lucas Papademos. And the former ECB man is already singing to the EU's tune. He says his number one priority is seeing Europe's debt plan through.

Diana Magnay is in Athens for us tonight. So this is the beginning of fresh start, Diana?

DIANA MAGNAY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: A fresh start for Greece. As you say, his hands are pretty much tied. He has to sing to Europe's tune, because otherwise Greece isn't going to get the money it needs to stave off bankruptcy as early as December. But this man, he is an experienced central banker, he has steered, or helped steer Greece into the euro, as governor of the Bank of Greece in 2001. Not it is his job to make sure that it stays there. Let's just take a look at the man and his first day on the job.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MAGNAY (voice over): It's a job for the brave. A heavy responsibility for a man unused to politics.

LUCAS PAPADEMOS, NEW GREEK PRIME MINISTER (through translator): The mandate is big and the responsibility I take on is even bigger.

I am not a politician. In fact, I have dedicated the biggest part of my life to the exercise of economic policy, both in Greece and in Europe. The Greek economy continues to face each problem despite the immense efforts which are being made for its fiscal recovery and the improvement of its competitiveness.

MAGNAY: Lucas Papademos knows those problems well. He was governor of Greece's central bank for 1994 to 2002; in charge of monetary policy when Greece entered the Eurozone 10 years ago. After that, a vice president of the European Central Bank, and advisor to outgoing Prime Minister George Papandreou through two difficult years. He seemed confident, but clear on one point, that Greece needs unity to see it through the months ahead.

PAPADEMOS (through translator): Greece is at a critical crossroads. The choices we have to make, the course we will choose will be of profound importance for the welfare of the Greek people. Now the course won't be easy, but I am certain we will solve our problems. We will solve them more quickly if there was unity, consensus, and understanding.

MAGNAY: It took four days of intense political wrangling to reach this point. Greeks on the street seem relieved the deal was done, and ready to give him at least the benefit of the doubt.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's going to give us the opportunity to get rid of this misery we're living in right now.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's not a magician. But I feel a little bit optimistic, but politicians tend to disappoint us.

MAGNAY: Now the hard work begins. Greece is locked into a deal with European lenders that demand the new government introduce even tougher austerity measures than those the country has seen before. Mr. Papademos must hope that he can carry the Greek people with him. As he tries to pull the country out of its deep economic crisis.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MAGNAY: Bear in mind, also, Max, he has to make sure that however much talk there is of a coalition government, that he can really reconcile the bitter divisions that exist within the parliament to push the bailout through, Max.

FOSTER: OK, Diana, thank you very much indeed for that.

Meanwhile the European Commission has slashed its growth forecast for the Eurozone, saying things have taken a turn for the worse. The commission now only expects overall growth of 0.5 of 1 percent next year. It says some Eurozone countries will actually contract. If you need proof of how much the cards are stacked up against Europe, bear this in mind. These forecasts are based on the assumption that countries can eventually fix the debt crisis next year.

Only a few months ago we were expecting more than three times as much growth, 1.8 percent, the Commissioner of Economic Affairs Olli Rehn had sobering words.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OLLI REHN, COMMISSIONER, ECONOMIC AFFAIRS: The recovery in Europe has come to a standstill and a stagnation of GDP is now expected in the coming quarters, and until well into 2012. Growth is held back by (UNINTELLIGIBLE) in confidence, stressed financial markets and weakening global conditions.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FOSTER: Well, things are getting pretty nervy around the Eurozone. Standard & Poor's admitted it accidentally told some clients, would you believe, that France had been downgraded. While Angela Merkel is having to deny that she is hoping to build a new, smaller Eurozone. Fred Pleitgen has an update now, from Berlin.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The German government has strongly denied a report that German and French officials were apparently engaged in talks to change up the makeover of the Eurozone. Apparently, trying to lead it to a smaller and more stable union, possibly without some of the countries that are currently in trouble. Now, Italy and Greece have, of course, always been named as countries that could potentially have to leave the Eurozone.

But again, even the original report stated that any sort of discussions between German and French officials were more at a theoretical level, and certainly never reached the realm of political talks. Nevertheless, these reports did spawn Angela Merkel to, in a press conference on Thursday, say that it was always German's stated goal and remains Germany's goal to keep the Eurozone stable in its current form.

ANGELA MERKEL, CHANCELLOR, GERMANY (through translator): I think it is very important. And it seems to be the case that Italy regains its credibility, that the austerity package is being implemented. And that the political leadership is clarified fast. That is, I believe, very important for the credibility of Italy.

Germany has had only one aim for months now, since we have had the euro debt crisis, to stabilize the Eurozone, as it is now.

PLEITGEN: Angela Merkel also said that she believes that reforms within Eurozone countries would make the common currency very stable for the years to come. However, in the past couple of weeks, leaders in Germany, as well as France, but especially in Germany have changed their position somewhat. They have all along been saying that they do want the Eurozone to remain exactly the way it is. However, they also say that if countries do not undertake the necessary political reforms to cut their budgets, that in the end, the survival of the euro would be more important than keeping all the members inside the common currency. Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Berlin.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

FOSTER: Well, Valentine Van Nieuwenhuijzen says there is a only one institution left who can save the day and that is the ECB. He is the chief economist at ING and I asked him if he's worried that the permanent bailout funds in the works will be enough to rescue Europe?

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

VALENTIJN VAN NIEUWENHUIJZEN, CHIEF ECONOMIST, ING INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT: I think the whole structure of this bailout fund is problematic. And they haven't decided what route to go. And in the end, you know, even if they take this first lost (ph) proficient (ph) structure, it will be more powerful. But it will not be powerful enough to fully save countries like Spain and Italy together.

FOSTER: So, it doesn't matter, basically?

VAN NIEUWENHUIJZEN: Well, I think to some extent it doesn't matter anymore. The problems, by now, have become too big. So there is only one institution left to really attack these problems, and that is the ECB.

FOSTER: And they are keeping quiet.

VAN NIEUWENHUIJZEN: They are keeping quiet, because they are so very much afraid that if they do too much too early, you get this moral hazard issue, and these governments will not reform. And that is the key thing.

FOSTER: But you do expect them, for example to step in if Italy gets into serious trouble?

VAN NIEUWENHUIJZEN: In the end, I do expect them to step in. Remember, you know, if they don't, the Eurozone breaks down, and to some extent the ECB, as a result of it, will also fall apart. You know the euro is the ECB's baby. And they will react like any other parent would. If the child is really at risk all principles go out the window. \

FOSTER: If you talk about Italy, rather than Greece, because in terms of economics Greece is sort of out of the picture, right now, isn't it? Italy really matters. But are you starting to look at other countries as well? Where is this contagion going to end?

VAN NIEUWENHUIJZEN: Well, you know, exactly. This is-you know this whole process went from very small countries to bigger and bigger ones. Spain and Italy, and then it already becomes very difficult to control. Of course, the next discussion now, is France, struggling to keep its AAA rating. Even rumors on Austria today, on the back of problems in the banking system there. So, I think everybody, also the stronger countries have a very strong incentive to stop this vicious downward spiral and for once and for all end this crisis.

FOSTER: On a word on Italy, they are moving ahead, but politics seems to be making great strides at the moment. But what's their immediate economic future? What do you expect to happen there?

VAN NIEUWENHUIJZEN: Well, I mean, the immediate economic future looks to be pretty dire. I mean, if you look at the latest data, it is quite clear, the Eurozone is in a recession. And certainly the Italian economy is in a recession. So for the near term it is going to be, you know, rising unemployment and very, very weak growth, negative growth.

Unless they stop this spiral again, you know, there is going to be probably further deterioration. And look at Greece. It is basically in a depression. It is no longer a recession, it is a depression.

FOSTER: And we saw Wall Street really being knocked sideways by the Italian story the other day. So is this the point where the rest of the world really starts feeling the pain?

VAN NIEUWENHUIJZEN: Well, in the end, if we do not solve this crisis, the rest of the world will feel the pain. I mean, a euro crisis, a euro collapse is bigger than a Lehman collapse. And remember what happened in the aftermath of that. So, there is luckily enough some brighter spots in the global economy, look at the Chinese or the U.S. economy, but this is still the big (UNINTELLIGIBLE) risk out there that can overshadow everything else.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

FOSTER: Well, straight ahead on QUEST MEANS BUSINESS, the president of Portugal tells me debtor nations shouldn't have to carry all the blame in this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANIBAL CAVACO SILVA, PRESIDENT OF PORTUGAL: The responsibility of the current crisis is a shared one.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

FOSTER: Portugal's president is convinced that the euro will come out stronger from this crisis. President Anibal Cavaco Silva has been meeting with his U.S. counterpart, Barack Obama, at the White House. And after those talks had finished, he told me that Portugal was ready to step up and play its part.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SILVA: Portugal will fully meet its commitments. We are taking this agreement as an opportunity to build a solid economy and to put our public finances on sound track. And Portugal will overcome its difficulties. You may be sure, we shall honor, as it happens always, with Portugal, in the past, we shall honor our commitments.

The government is taking some tough measures not just to reduce the budget deficits, we are going to comply with the goals, which were established in the agreement signed with the IMF and the European Union, but also implementing social reforms to increase productivity and the competitiveness of our economy.

FOSTER: What do you think the future holds for the Eurozone? Can it survive in its current form?

SILVA: I'm sure that the euro will survive and will be a world currency, as it is already, nowadays. The important decision was already taken. Increasing coordination, economic policies and not just coordination of budgeting policies among the member states, but there has been too many hesitations, perhaps some (UNINTELLIGIBLE), and some delays. That has been the problem. But you know that the European Union is a club with 27 member states; 17 in the Eurozone.

And the institutional framework is not favorable to very quick actions. That takes some time. And so it is normal that some tensions emerge because it is a very complex system. But I'm sure that the Eurozone, the European Union, will overcome its difficulties. Because economic integration, financial integration, monetary integration is crucial asset for Europe to face the challenge of the future.

FOSTER: Your signature is on the Maastricht Treaty. Is there a fundamental problem with what was signed all those year ago?

SILVA: The Maastricht Treaty was negotiated more than 20 years ago. Just two years after the fall of Berlin Wall, and when we are not talking about globalization, as we are talking today. But I can see that it was the right and the correct decision at the time. It was a huge step forward. Countries accepted to put-to put in comment, very crucial parts of their sovereignty to create a single currency, a unique central bank, a single monetary policy, a single foreign exchange policy. What has failed was the surveillance (ph) and the commission and the council of ministers was supposed to put in place in order to prevent excessive deficits in some countries.

So the responsibility of the current crisis is a shared one, not-it is incorrect, it is wrong, to blame just those countries with financial difficulties now. Because the institutions, they failed as well.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

FOSTER: The Portuguese president speaking to me earlier.

Well, next, breaking up is hard to do but there is a $400,000 prize on offer, if you can work out how to do it properly. We'll hear from Simon Wolfson, about the Wolfson Prize, the competition he came up with for an orderly Eurozone exit plan.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

FOSTER: Well, the crisis in Europe has truly global implications. And companies that operate on an international level are taking note of that. John Chambers is CEO of data networking company, Cisco Systems. He says he is very concerned about the European situation. From San Jose, California, he talked to CNN's Poppy Harlow about an unexpected rise in public sector spending is helping to cushion the blow.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JOHN CHAMBERS, CEO, CISCO SYSTEMS: People talk about Europe as one Europe, you almost want to think of it as a block of four groups, the Northern Europe, Germany, Scandinavia, the Netherlands, is growing well. And it has been pretty solid all year for us. The U.K. and France grew 13 percent. So, you are seeing the middle countries to OK. It is Southern Europe where the challenge is occurring. And Eastern Europe is mixed, Poland is doing OK. When you go all the way over to Russia, they are doing OK. So it is kind of a balanced story.

Poppy, we grew 13 percent in this quarter, in Europe. Next quarter we are forecasting growth, and we admit single digits. So we look for our growth to come out in of the Americas and Asia-Pacific.

POPPY HARLOW, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: In single digits?

Right. Right so that shows you are projecting that this weakness is going to continue and Europe is going to weigh on the company. I am also interested in your public sector exposure. About 20 percent of Cisco's global sales come from the public sector. You dominate there in switching and routing, but how much are global cut backs in spending, these austerity measures, going to hit that business, John? And on top of that, what is Cisco going to do to combat that?

CHAMBERS: Well, you are right on the public sector. It is an area where you are seeing a cut back. And that was perhaps the most pleasant surprise of our quarter. Our public sector, on a global basis grew by 10 percent year over year. The U.S. only grew by 5 percent.

But if you watch the way we are starting to sell to customers, and they are buying. You saw our announcement, maybe, in Virginia, where the four large universities in Virginia came together with the governor. They are completely changing education, focused on 100,000 incremental degrees, job creation, and Cisco is their partner, with video across the board.

That is how we begin to sell in the future. We solve, whether it is the military, working with them, on their key missions, whether it is the financial institutions or the service providers, saying how do you generate more revenue, we are in the sweet spots in this market, as it evolves.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

FOSTER: Well, selling to customers on five continents, carmaker Ford has a special insight into the global economy. Yesterday Ford's CEO Alan Mulally gave me his thoughts on the economic landscape and the crisis in Europe.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ALAN MULALLY, CEO, FORD MOTOR COMPANY: Globally, you know, clearly the United States is recovering from a very deep recession. But it is recovering. Europe is dealing with their sovereign debt issues as well as their austerity measures. But they are recovering which is a positive thing, because we are all climbing out of a very big hole.

And in Asia-Pacific's case they are slowing down from a very high growth rate, to levels that I think are a lot more sustainable. But I think the most important thing, is our leaders, around the world, is their laser appreciation-and focus-on the importance of an expanding economy. And that is the fact that they are focused on this, they are going to bring together all the fiscal and monetary policy measures to bear, and take care of this gradual recovery and expansion in the economy, which is so important to all of us.

FOSTER: Is it a concern to you, though, that in order to grow long- term, they need to make cut backs now, so the next few years are going to be very difficult for your customers.

MULALLY: Well, I think that all of us want a long-term growing economy, worldwide. I think the most important thing, just like in business, is to deal with the current reality, deal with it decisively, for the good of the longer term. Because the longer we delay then the worse that recovery is going to be. So I think move in and move in decisively, is absolutely the right thing to do. And Ford is going to size our production to the real demand, everywhere around the world. And have the vehicles that people want, in the quantities they want them.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

FOSTER: Chief exec of Ford speaking to me.

Well, Germany and France have dismissed rumors that they are discussing a possible break up of the Eurozone, with Italy now joining Greece in the debt spotlight, that worst-case scenario, though, is looking less improbable. Simon Wolfson is the CEO of British clothing retailer, Next. He is also a member of the House of Lords. He wants to prepare for the worst. Wolfson is offering economists a $400,000 prize to devise an orderly Eurozone exit plan. Entries must be in by the end of January. And Wolfson says work is already well underway.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SIMON WOLFSON, SPONSOR OF THE WOLFSON PRIZE: We are going to announce the judges next week. We have five professorial level economist to judge it, international economists to judge it.

FOSTER: Global?

WOLFSON: Yes, global. And we have already had 600 expressions of interest from economists around the world as to them entering the competition.

FOSTER: Give us a sense of the caliber of the entries.

WOLFSON: We've had at least one Nobel prize-winning professor expressing interest in entering.

FOSTER: And have you looked through any of the ideas yet?

WOLFSON: Oh, I'm not expecting to get people's ideas in for another two or three months.

FOSTER: But is this better or worse than you expected?

WOLFSON: It is much better than expected. I've been enormously surprised at the interest that it has generated. And I think it shows how important this idea, that people need to think about what might happen if the euro breaks up.

FOSTER: And is your feeling that there are lots of ideas, or people don't have an idea, so they want to think about it?

WOLFSON: I think there are ideas. You know, economists have been thinking about this. But I don't think they-one person has really thought through every element of it. And just to give you a sort of feel for the complexity of the question. What happens to private debt? What happens to your mortgage? If you are in the euro and your country falls out of the euro, what happens to your mortgage?

FOSTER: Because the bank that I owe the money to is in a different country, with the euro?

WOLFSON: It might be in a different country. And it might have lent you the money in euros. And your suddenly earning, let's say new drachma, and you can't afford to pay your mortgage in old euros anymore.

So, what happens to private debt? Sovereign debt? To mortgages? All of these things are desperately important to be thought through. And then we need to think about what will the international banking system look like if all these changes take place?

FOSTER: And there is going to be a whole new central banking system set up behind that as well? So a new central bank in each country? Get rid of the ECB?

WOLFSON: It depends what the configuration of Europe looks like after the euro breaks up, if it breaks up. And I should say, I don't want it to break up, but if it does I don't necessarily think we will see 12 different currency member nations-

FOSTER: Shouldn't it just be a smaller Eurozone?

WOLFSON: There may be. There maybe two or three blocks, who knows? And this is one of the key questions that we need to answer: Is what is a stable, optimum currency block within Europe? Is it a nation-state, or is it a small group of nation states that have very similar and integrated economies?

FOSTER: Obviously, the costs for all of these governments are immense, already, just surviving. How can they then afford the cost of a new system?

WOLFSON: Well, a new system in itself, doesn't cost a great deal. You know it is only a new central bank. There are already central banks each country. So the actual infrastructure is there in terms of the banks, etc cetera. What the expense will be, the writing off of debts, in countries whose currency has devalued. But the extent to which those currencies are devalued can, to a certain extent be controlled. If the Eurozone breaks into different currency zones, what should be the relative value of the different currencies? In effect that is a controlled write off of debt. And whether that is affordable or not will depend on the math and how much those currencies are devalued.

FOSTER: Since you launched the competition, many people's worst fear has transpired. And this just seems to be taking in Italy right now. Their bond yields have gone above 7 percent, concern that that is the tipping point for Italy. Does that change the pressure on the competition?

WOLFSON: I think it does. My biggest worry is that something may happen before we've even got the answers in. And I sincerely hope that as well as people working for the sake of this competition, that all of central banks in Europe are busy working on exactly the same problem. Because if they are not, we could have chaos.

FOSTER: You are talking about a disorderly sort of collapse, right?

WOLFSON: The worst possible thing that could happen is for the euro just to bust up, and for one government to start printing its own paper. Because then there will be no clarity as to what paper is worth. What happens to people's savings, their mortgages, their debts. Contracts will fall through. So it really needs to be planned and implemented with confidence and authority.

FOSTER: Once that winner has been announced, are you going to throw some sort of support behind that and pushing it towards Europe?

WOLFSON: I think the most important thing is that it is out there and that people have got it. And we'll do as much as we can obviously to publish and publicize the answer that we think is the best one.

FOSTER: And eyes on another prize after?

WOLFSON: Haven't thought about that yet.

FOSTER: It could continue, though, couldn't it? There is always a crisis every year.

WOLFSON: There are always interesting economic questions that need to be asked. And I think what this prize process has made me realize is just how powerful it is. And that thought that can't be done institutionally, or by governments, can actually be stimulated through offering a prize. And what I say about the prize, the money is quite a lot, 250,000 pounds, but it is not the money. It is the fact that the money means the prize is serious.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(NEWSBREAK)

FOSTER: Moscow should soon be granted membership into the WTO's exclusive club. To gain admittance Russia had to bring its laws into line with the group's rules. And its gilded membership, the World Bank, says it could boost Russia's economy as much as 3 percent, maybe more. Little wonder, then, that the Kremlin has worked for 18 years to gain approval. It just needs a rubber stamp now and that is expected next month.

We go live now to Geneva and the man who runs the World Trade Organization, Director General Pascal Lamy.

Thank you very much, indeed, for joining us. And it must be a huge relief for you. This has been a massive amount of work hasn't it?

PASCAL LAMY, DIRECTOR GENERAL, WTO: That is exactly it. And it is a good news in a rather somber world economic outlook. So, for once a bit of good news, because I think basically this is good news for Russia. This is good news for WTO members and this is good news for the future of the world trade.

FOSTER: It came down to a few thorny issues in the end, didn't it? Automobiles, agriculture, telecoms, there were certain areas where it was difficult to make progress. So just explain where the breakthrough came.

LAMY: Well, as you just said, it has been a very long, complex, protracted process; 18 years of negotiations, which shows if that was needed in the World Trade Organization you have got to be patient. It took a long time, not least because Russia had a lot of adjustments to make, in its own legislative, regulatory system, to put it at the standard of the WTO.

And, of course, there were also tough negotiations on market access, on high quality beef, on automobiles and spare parts. And we also had, as you know, this difficulty, ballot difficulty with Georgia, which our Swiss friends have been successfully working on, which, in reality, was the latest hurdle that needed to be cured.

FOSTER: And that was to do with trade, wasn't it? Particularly in Apkazi (ph) and Safa Setchia (ph). As you say, you refer to the Swiss there. They had to negotiate this, effectively, on everyone's behalf. So what was the final compromise there?

LAMY: It is a monument of clever diplomacy. And I must say, again that the Swiss President Micheline Calmy-Rey has been doing extremely well. It is an extremely complex, balanced language, because on the one side the Georgian view was that border posts were wrongly located, because they have this territorial problem. And the Russian view was that all of this had nothing to do with trade, but with pure politics, so transforming this into a trade issue, but not to the point of bringing it into the world organization. Again, whether sort of-I call that gymnastics, which they did extremely well.

FOSTER: But private companies effectively are going to oversee trade in that area, yeah?

LAMY: That is absolutely right.

FOSTER: I want to ask you, more broadly about trade, because this is a positive story for free trade, obviously. But at the same time the global economic crisis is making some countries actually shut down their borders as they become more protectionist, to protect their national economies. Is that something you are concerned about?

LAMY: Yes, it is. We are certainly concerned that protectionist pressures are raging. And our job is to contain them, to keep them at bay, through the disciplines which we have in the World Trade Organization, and in which our members have subscribed in order to open trade.

So the pressures are there. There has been a limited amount of slippages here and there. So far, so far, significant protectionist surge. But I'm-true, I'm worried, as we all know the world economy is not in good shape. And the second wave of the crisis might be like, sometimes second waves are more dangerous.

I mean protectionism is the dog that hasn't barked yet, since '08, and we would all like to keep it this way, which is by the way what the G20 leaders decided when we discussed this last week in Cannes.

FOSTER: And just a last word on Doha. Not going anywhere, right now, I assume?

LAMY: Yes, for the moment, you are absolutely correct. Still an impasse, although, although, we are trying to explore. By the time of the ministerial meeting we will have a month from now, here, in Geneva. If there can be a way of de-packaging. The sort of Gordian knot, which we have for the moment, and which has unfortunately proven impossible to de- knot.

FOSTER: OK, Mr. Lamy, thank you very much indeed for joining us. I appreciate your time on the program.

Well, coming up, a super star with a head for business. Rapper, 50 Cent, shows us why he wants to make a new name helping others.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

FOSTER: Well, his life really does read like a Hollywood screenplay. From the streets to stardom, and now servicing others, or service to others. After making millions in the music business rapper 50 Cent is launching a different kind of business venture now. CNN's Maggie Lake caught up with him.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CURTIS "50 CENT" JACKSON: I try to relax people before I ask for my money.

MAGGIE LAKE, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Though he was all smiles the day we met him, there was a time in the life of 50 Cent when that statement would have sounded more like a threat than a joke.

But this convicted felon, turned rap superstar, has morphed yet again, into a key donor to the United Nations.

JACKSON: I was actually traveling on tour and had an opportunity to stop in Africa. And I experienced something that was more extreme than low income.

LAKE: Moved by the experience Curtis Jackson, AKA, 50 Cents, decided to launch an energy drink called Street King, and use the proceeds to provide meals to the World Food Program.

NANCY ROMAN, UNITED NATIONS WORLD FOOD PROGRAM: Really the breadth is important for us. Because we are recognizing that consumers, really, they want to do things in a different way now.

LAKE: So does Curtis Jackson. The many who vowed to get rich or die trying, says he is now motivated by something more powerful.

JACKSON: It has been a gradual process in me, at this point, I feel like I need to show growth and do different things that allow me to be a stronger person, in other's lives, without it actually relating to music. I think music is a platform that was necessary for me to get enough attention to matter. And now I can do things that are really effective.

LAKE: Jackson is no stranger to the beverage business. An early investment in Vitamin Water is rumored to have netted the star close to $100 million, a figure he declined to confirm.

Street King is a much more public venture. Jackson has enlisted high- profile friends to spread the word and hopes others will follow his lead.

JACKSON: I feel like away from the actual energy drink itself, that the business model for Street King is the solution for a lot of actual issues that are going on right now. When you look at Occupy Wall Street and the protestors there, instead of them feeling like major corporations don't care about working-class people. It is conscience capitalism. It is creating a business model that is already giving back.

LAKE: When you look back on some of the songs that you've done, some of your lyrics, are there any that stand out in your mind that sort of speak to your business strategy?

JACKSON: "Position of Power"

(RAP MUSIC)

In hip-hop culture we usually talk about finances we don't have, in the very beginning. And you know, a lot of the artists fake it, `til they make it. And from my perspective I'm blessed to actually be in a position where I have acquired those finances.

LAKE: Financial success that 50 Cent hopes to translate into a new way of doing business.

JACKSON: When Jay-Z's e-mailing me and Swiss Beats (ph) is giving me a call, it tells me that my peers are actually watching. Just imagine if Google was under this model. It is only 10 years old. You know, like that would solve a huge portion of the problem, you know, as far as world hunger is concerned.

LAKE: Maggie Lake, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

FOSTER: Let's take a look at the Dow. This is looking pretty positive, as well, today. It is up, as you can see. Nearly 1 percent, so a bit of a turn around in its fortunes; no more worries about Europe, at least for now.

That is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS. I'm Max Foster. Thank you for watching. "MARKETPLACE EUROPE" is up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

JULIET MANN, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to MARKETPLACE EUROPE. I'm Juliet Mann.

We are in Dublin to look at the business of the Internet and technology in Europe. This week we are asking if Europe is loosing out to China and the United States in this fast-growing sector.

I talk to the founder of app giant Get Jar.com, Ilja Laurs, who says that his move to California's Silicon Valley made his company a success.

And in the quest to find Europe's answer to Silicon Valley, we head to East London.

I'm in Dublin in a part of town they are calling Silicon Dock. Big American Internet firms, like Google, Facebook and Linkedin have all set up their European headquarters here. The big names are a draw, making Dublin the place to be for techno start up. While, Dublin, London, Berlin, Vienna, and more, all claim to have a corner of their city that is Europe's equivalent to Silicon Valley, what each one is missing is a home grown company with the size and reputation of the U.S. firms who settled here.

Despite that, Europe's Internet economy is growing. Take a look at this week's Europe By Numbers".

In 2010, money generated from the Internet contributed 4.1 percent to the economies of the 27 EU member states. That is a rise of 0.4 percent on 2009. Germany and the U.K. made up almost half of that; 18 percent came from France; Italy and Spain were responsible for 19 percent, and the remainder came from the rest of the EU.

In this week's "Face Time" interview, I spoke with Ilja Laurs, an Internet entrepreneur from Lithuania, whose company, Get Jar, has become one of the largest supplier of apps in the world. He says he couldn't have made it happen if he hadn't moved to Silicon Valley, California, because Europe doesn't yet have what it takes.

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MANN: What would you suggest to these government officials? What do they need to do to make it easier to replicate that kind of Internet high- tech community, in pockets of Europe.

ILJA LAURS, FOUNDER, GET JAR.COM: Well, first, really decide for yourself that really this is something you want. So, calculate the sequences of actually having a successful Silicon Valley-why? Because that will mean you have to change your labor laws, at least for start up companies.

So the question is, first I need to understand, really what the implications of having a Silicon Valley, so you can decide, do I rally want that? And third is a practical feeling, oh they are saying that do split the delegations for small companies, after that (UNINTELLIGIBLE). Because the same type of rules that govern, say, an airline, with all the strikes, and professional unions and so on, it simply inexplicable, it is a severe damage to a small set up. Which, you know, operates in every different environment. So that would be my first step.

MANN: If you dive into the Internet communities in London, Berlin, Dublin, they all say the contrary. They all say we have a pool of highly skilled labor right here, and that is why this is the place to be for an Internet start up. Do you dispute that?

LAURS: Well, there are certain pockets of interesting people and good people. And typically those would be around some very specific niches. For example, Lithuania is pretty much famous for banking technology and mobile technology. So yes, you can find, maybe 100s of people in those specific areas. Now, when you really need to scale beyond that, hundreds of people is like nothing, right? I mean, this is a pretty small size team for Silicon Valley. You need really thousands of people. And that is the level at which I don't' think any European place can really help.

MANN: Suppose you were, able to hire, in Europe, as I suppose there are other restrictions then, but if your start up didn't take off in the way that you wanted it to. If perhaps you had to let some jobs go, are you saying it is much easier to do that?

LAURS: The one idea that I certainly have is that European culture, European set of values, in general, is pretty much incompatible to innovation. Because when you really think of that, innovation is primarily is about the trial and error. I mean you cannot build a good thing that works in the way it supposed to work. So you need to hire, you need to fire people really fast. The metabolism of your company has to be really fast. And be (UNINTELLIGIBLE) the effort, which goes into the company has to be really big.

Facebook is not built working from 9 to 5 under the government regulations that say six-week vacations and all of those things. Europeans are much more like Social Security, creativity, family, hobbies, all those lives, and work itself is not in the top set of values for Europeans. I'm not saying it is good or bad. It is just the way it is. But it is very incompatible with say, innovation.

MANN: Are you saying that Europeans are almost doomed for failure in the Internet sector? Can it ever replicate the community and those working practices that they have got in Silicon Valley?

LAURS: Well, I think that it is just the environment is much more competitive in the Silicon Valley, or in general, in America. And I think because of all those reasons the inflexibility of the labor laws, the difficulties scaling and lack of concentration, lack of skill concentration because apparently you cannot find very, very high specialists in very specific areas in what you need.

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MANN: Ilja Laurs, there.

Join me after the break where we will be looking at another place vying to be Europe's Silicon Valley. And I meet an entrepreneur in residence, a mentor for Internet startups.

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MANN: Welcome back to MARKETPLACE EUROPE. Dublin isn't the only place that is being dubbed as the next, (UNINTELLIGIBLE) Silicon Valley. East London is courting companies like Google to establish launch pads for tech entrepreneurs there. But, as Jim Boulden reports, even in one of Europe's biggest cities, replicating the success of California isn't easy.

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JIM BOULDEN, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: More than 100 tiny tech companies have blossomed in East London, attracted by cheaper rents. But as companies grow, many move to the more prestigious West London. The government wants to change that by creating a tech cluster, a mini Silicon Valley.

GEOFF HUGHES, FACEBOOK DEVELOPERS GARAGE: There is a real opportunity to help amazing companies grow up in that area, they develop their authenticity, and their significance there. And then they don't need to move.

BOULDEN: To help the government is looking at transforming some of the East London Olympic site into a tech and innovation hub, after the 2012 Games. And the darlings of Silicon Valley have pledged support, the likes of Cisco, Intel, Facebook, Google and QUALCOMM, say start ups in East London can now get access to the expertise of these one-time start ups.

ALEX HALLIDAY, SOCIALGO: I think when bring a lot of technology companies together something really magical happens. They are able to share ideas. The tech guys can go and solve complex problems together.

BOULDEN: But it is not just about location, doing business in London is not easy compared to Silicon Valley; from the lack of super-fast broadband, to pre-Internet laws on copyright, intellectual property and patents, the prime minister admits Britain has a lot of impediments to creating its own Silicon Valley.

DAVID CAMERON, PRIME MINISTER, BRITAIN: This is London. This is the capital of international finance. If we can't do better at getting money into start up ventures and into the businesses of the future, then really we are not succeeding.

BOULDEN (On camera): Nobody here pretends that these narrow London streets will rival Silicon Valley, but the prime minister says with so many innovation centers being created around the world, especially in developing nations, why shouldn't London be able to get a chunk of that innovation as well?

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MANN: I'm joined now by Noel Ruane, the entrepreneur in residence for Dogpatch Labs Euro, which is a mentor for homegrown start ups here in Dublin and all around the world.

Here we are, on the canal, in the heart of Silicon Dock. Is there really an Internet community here to rival that of Silicon Valley?

NOEL RUANE, DOGPATCH LABS: Absolutely. I think here particularly here in this area just behind us here at the headquarters of-the non-U.S. worldwide headquarters for Google. Just further up the canal, is the non- U.S. world wide headquarters for Facebook.

MANN: You've worked in Silicon Valley and you have worked here in Europe. Can you really compete when it comes to the Internet and technology sector?

RUANE: Within Europe, obviously, one has separate markets, there is localization requirements in terms of language. So we don't have one homogenous market, similar to the United States. We have principle markets, addressable markets, which is the U.K., Germany and France, where one sees more consumer Web site companies, more social media companies, because again, there is an addressable market there.

But I think, again, a lot of companies, these days are born on web companies, they don't need to be near their customers. And therefore, can launch and be successful from anywhere. And I think Ireland, again, is a good location for that.

MANN: What about the argument that you can't really cut it as a big Internet brand unless you have spent time in Silicon Valley? That Europe really doesn't have everything you need?

RUANE: Well, I think many of the founding teams, right across Europe, have spent much time in Silicon Valley and New York. I meet companies all the time where the founders have returned home after, perhaps, graduating from Stanford University, spending several years working either on the West Coast, in Silicon Valley, or in New York, with a large Internet company. So they have all that experience. The fact is that they can now set up their businesses back in Europe, in Ireland, in Turkey.

MANN: So what you are saying is they can't do it without Silicon Valley?

RUANE: No, no, I'm saying that like they get experience in Silicon Valley, but then they return home and they can set up their businesses here.

MANN: And then that is where they make the money?

RUANE: We hope so.

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MANN: That's it from Dublin. One of a clutch of cities competing for high-tech business. In Europe there are fractured markets, language barriers, not to mention an economic crisis, all potential glitches for any one European city becoming the next global and groundbreaking technology hub.

I'm Juliet Mann, join us next week on MARKETPLACE EUROPE. Good bye for now.

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