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Quest Means Business

IMF Chief: Central Banks Must Not Let Up; Astana Walks Tightrope Between Russia and China; Kazakhstan Facing Difficult Geopolitical Landscape; Wildfire Smoke Shrouds U.S. Cities For 3rd Day; GAVI Chair: We Have To Prepare For Next Pandemic. Aired 3-4p ET

Aired June 08, 2023 - 15:00   ET



KIMBERLY DOZIER, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: It is likely that the British government will start giving less aid to Ukraine, and the US might be doing

the same thing. That's why other European allies right now are looking at this situation going, who can we count on? And Kyiv is especially worried

about that.

BRIANA KEILAR, CNN HOST: And that was the message that the prime minister was trying to send, he was saying that European partners in the US that

they are not going to tire and that Russia is counting on the fact that they will, but he was basically saying they're going to be disappointed.

JEFF ZELENY, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Right. I mean, he said that there is no point trying to wait us out. We will be here as long

as it takes. So, I think that is the view of these two principals, these two presidents, but interestingly, of course, they are under pressure from

third parties and the opposing parties most certainly.

DOZIER: You get the impression that what they're trying to do right now --

RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: So there you have the Sunak and Biden press conference. We'll leave that for the moment as we get more

interpretations on it.

It is one o'clock in the morning here. I'm in Astana in Kazakhstan. Let me also show you what is happening on Wall Street because it's the last hour

of trading on Wall Street and the market, as you can see, it's a bit of a rally, a bit of a tear. It is bene up most of the -- well, all of the

session chipped by a bit of read at the beginning, and we are up 183 points.

An hour left to go. Those are the markets and the main news that we're following.

The Eurozone is officially in recession and the IMF chief tells me central bankers must hold their nerve to beat inflation.

President Zelenskyy surveys damage after the dam collapse. On this program, you'll hear the head of the EBRD saying they will help rebuild.

And Kazakhstan at a crossroads, caught between China and Russia, the dragon and the bear.

Live from Astana in Kazakhstan where it is already Friday morning, just Friday morning, after one o'clock. For most of you, it is still Thursday,

June the 8th. I'm Richard Quest, and you better believe it in Kazakhstan, I mean business.

Good evening.

It's QUEST MEANS BUSINESS tonight live from Astana, the capital. And believe me, there's many debates whether it's Astana, Astana, Astana. We

will probably say all of them before we're finished tonight, there seems to be no disagreement.

We're all here, because global leaders have been arriving here in the Kazakh capital for the Astana International Forum. It used to be the

Economic Forum, and then the President widened the brief, and it is now the Astana International Forum.

And you're going to hear from some of the people who are on -- the guests: The IMF chief, Kristalina Georgieva. She will be talking to us. The head of

the EBRD, Odile Renaud-Basso. You will have the former EU Commission president, Jose Manuel Barroso. He is head of Gavi, and of course, an

international analyst of great repute, and Kazakhstan's deputy foreign minister will be here to talk about strategic in neutrality, if such


Tonight, though, we begin with economic news and hearing Kazakhstan, the head of the IMF, Kristalina Georgieva has said Central Banks must not and

cannot relax, despite the cooling headline, inflation number, the underlying embedded call whatever you want to call it, inflation number is

not moving down fast enough.

The Eurozone today was announced to be in mild recession. There are now two negative quarters of GDP. It is the smallest you can imagine, but I suppose

if technically -- well, you've got to be technical on some things, and that would appear to be a recession.

The IMF head says that Central Bank governors must hold their nerve and on the question of higher rates for longer, the overarching question, what

happens next?


KRISTALINA GEORGIEVA, MANAGING DIRECTOR, INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND: The trends in inflation, surprised us all. Headline inflation, fortunately

seems to have peaked, but core inflation is very stubborn. So central banks have no choice, but to fight it until they win that fight.

QUEST: Right. Now, the fight that they've done so far has got headlined down. Do you think that the amount that's in the system is enough for core


GEORGIEVA: I believe, we are at the point when central banks are looking at data and likely for some of them to pause but let me be very clear.


Until it is irreversibly a process of bringing inflation to target, Central Banks cannot let go.

QUEST: Here at the Astana Forum, everybody says the same message, that the five countries of Central Asia, if you cooperate together, if you have

greater transparency, et cetera, you will gain economic benefit.

Do you think A, they've learned and B, they're implementing?

GEORGIEVA: I do believe that they have learned. We have seen in the last years, the leaders in Central Asia taking a much more cooperative approach.

Remember the days when there were mines on the borders between Uzbekistan and Tajikistan and there were skirmishes between Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan

-- these days are gone. And it is leadership.

Where they need to step up is to intensify economic cooperation and give each other the reinforcement for reforms.

Let me tell you, we looked at what reforms can bring to this region, somewhere around six, seven percent of increase of the regional GDP. That's

incredible. They have to catch up that opportunity.

QUEST: So if we take Kazakhstan, they have this lovely phrase here I learned yesterday from one of the officials, between the dragon and the



QUEST: Between the dragon and the bear and it is not an easy position, geopolitically or economically.

GEORGIEVA: They have chosen rightly. Be friends with the dragon and with the bear and be mindful of the risks of this friendship, and I see this

demonstrably, in the spirit of this forum. I see it also in how they reach out to the rest of the world, and I believe very strongly that medium-sized

countries, small countries, they are destined to join forces in this world where the elephants may trample on the grass.


QUEST: Elephants trampling on the grass is certainly what they are concerned about here in Kazakhstan. New political leadership with a

president of just a couple of years, but the country itself, of course, the geographical location, borders, there is a very long border, longest in the

world, I think, between Kazakhstan and Russia. And on the other side with China,

they say here that it is between the dragon and the bear, and amid the war in Ukraine with US-China tensions, it is a fraught position.

I'm joined by the Kazakhstan deputy foreign minister, who is Roman Vassilenko. Sir, thank you.


QUEST: It is good to have you.

VASSILENKO: Thank you.

QUEST: This saying that you have between the dragon and the bear. Both of - - it could not be more difficult for you now with the war in Ukraine and increasing protectionism for China and the US.

VASSILENKO: Well, Kazakhstan has pursued what is known as a multi-vector forum policy from the very beginning of its independence 30 years ago, and

that means building positive relations with both Russia and China, and Kazakhstan being a huge country, but still with borders with even larger

countries, which you rightly mentioned, Russia and China.

QUEST: Okay, but the issue with Russia is you don't support the war in Ukraine.

VASSILENKO: We support the UN Charter. We support the respect for the UN Charter. We support territorial integrity of all states, including Ukraine

and we have made this position clear to Russia.

QUEST: And when the president said at St. Petersburg Forum, basically, we are not going to recognize your annexation of Donetsk and Luhansk and the

other regions, that did not go down well in Moscow.

VASSILENKO: Well, we maintain positive relations with Russia, but these relations means that we have difference of opinions on matters of

principle, and this is one such matter of principle where we have very different opinion.

QUEST: When you say this, the fear is that Russia could turn its attention to you, to your country, and Russia could either destabilize or God forbid,

ultimately launch a military action. Is that a fear?

VASSILENKO: No, no, absolutely not. Because we, as I said, have built these relations in a positive way for 30 years of our independence. We are

members of the Eurasian Economic Union together. There are three million ethnic Russians in Kazakhstan who are Kazakhstan citizens, and we maintain

this positive relationship with Russia.

And so we certainly -- we signed the border treaty with Russia. We are dealing it in this longest border in the world that you refer to. It is

almost demarcated by now, so there is no bone of contention.


QUEST: I guess, the feeling is that the temperature is getting hot, and that your policy of strategic neutrality becomes more difficult, especially

if Russia suffers more military losses.

VASSILENKO: Well, we don't call it strategic neutrality, because neutrality means a little bit of indifference. We are not indifferent to this

conflict. We're not indifferent to what's going on in the world. We've been very actively pursuing, as I said, a multi-vector foreign policy, including

by hosting such an event as today, the Astana International Forum, where we want to bring all the attention of the world to the problems of the world

and bring the middle powers together.

QUEST: You've been very active in terms of China as well, the Belt and Road, the whole thing. You're trying -- I mean, China wants more from you.

China wants to draw you into its orbit and sphere of influence. How difficult is it for you to resist that too?

VASSILENKO: Well, you would recall the expression, great game, but we think this great game is in the past. We think that right now, there can be a

concept of great gain for all and the pie is big enough, that everybody can be satisfied, meaning the outside partners can engage with Kazakhstan, bet

it China or Russia, or the West, which is our largest investor and trading partner, and it will all be nice, however, simplistic this may sound.

QUEST: This country is way more advanced in terms of transparency, democracy than your neighbors around you. I don't necessarily expect you to

agree with that. But the difference seems to be here, the president limiting his powers, single seven-year term.

You're wanting to move more to a western model.

VASSILENKO: Well, we are wanting to strengthen democracy, because our president indeed has a vision that a more devolved power, a normal

presidential republic that he is building is what this country needs.

QUEST: I am very grateful, sir. Thank you very much for joining us.

VASSILENKO: Thank you. Thank you.

QUEST: It is kind of you. The deputy foreign minister, and we were talking of course at the meetings at the Astana Conference. Thank you, sir.

VASSILENKO: Thank you.

QUEST: Very much, indeed.

VASSILENKO: Thank you.

QUEST: As we continue, Ukraine has been a major topic of conversation here. The rescues in Kherson had been hampered by shelling, which perhaps sounds

even more extraordinary and appalling.

It's all downstream from the dam collapse, where the situation gets ever more drastic and desperate. Ukraine says Russia is now targeting

evacuations and Kherson officials said at least nine people have been hurt. Russia in return says Ukraine is shelling, too.

President Zelenskyy went to Kherson. He met with the aid workers. He discussed the relief.

The scope of the devastation is now absolutely clear, certainly from the breach in the dam. Ukraine's Ministry says it'll take years to recover. The

agricultural losses alone are vast with the country facing major crop loss.

The EBRD is the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. It has been investing in the development of Ukraine for years, in total of more

than $10 billion since they started getting involved with the country.

I asked the head of the EBRD, who was here for the conference in the forum, I asked her how it was going to be -- how they were going to help Ukraine



ODILE RENAUD-BASSO, PRESIDENT, EUROPEAN BANK FOR RECONSTRUCTION AND DEVELOPMENT: We are already in discussion with the hydro power plan, the

hydro power company to extend them a loan, and so we are now discussing how this loan of 200 million euros, which we were working on could be you know,

used partly for emergency measures on their side.

I don't think -- I mean, the dam per se, the reparation will come soon because it is -- I mean, it is in occupied territories and so forth, but at

least helping the hydropower energy company in order to see how they can compensate or take some measures for -- I mean, exceptional measures,

emergency measures, we are doing that.

QUEST: How much of the bank's time, assets, resources is now being taken up with matters of Ukraine in some shape or form?

RENAUD-BASSO: It's more than 10 percent of our financing. Last year, we invested 1.7 billion and overall investment level of 13 billion so more

than 10 percent for Ukraine.

The effort to mobilize donor support is also very important that we were very successful because we get one point four, one point five billion of

donor support, and that allows us to share the risk.

QUEST: So you've now been at the bank in your composition for some time and you've now got an idea of where you want, the changes you want to make.

What will they be? How will your bank be different?


RENAUD-BASSO: So one big change, which has been just been agreed by our shareholder is to allow the bank to intervene in some sub Saharan African

countries, so six countries, and we will focus on private sector. This will start probably in 2025.

QUEST: Does that feed the critics who say, last time I looked that wasn't Europe?

RENAUD-BASSO: Yes, but it's a very close, I mean, it is countries which are very strategic to Europe, a bit like here, Central Asia is not Europe

neither. But, it is very strategic for Europe and it is very important for the region's stability.

So I think that that's a big step for the bank, a strategic change. The other big -- I mean, key strategic priority for us will be to be ready for,

to continue to support Ukraine, and to be ready for reconstruction.

QUEST: The reconstruction of Ukraine, such as when it happens, is going to take every penny from every organization in every possible way. No one

organization will be able to do it, and I presume you are now already seeking and working out what the financing mechanisms that you'll use.

RENAUD-BASSO: The most efficient way for one would be to give us some capital in order for us to have more leverage. So for $1.00, given we have

worked forward or invested, and visibility also in your construction. So we are working on that. we will come with a proposal by the end of the year

which we will show, and we discuss with shareholders on how to implement that proposal.

And I think that will give us the capacity to continue to support Ukraine in a prolonged war scenario or in the reconstruction without having a need

to have any guarantees and so forth.

So we will be able to take all the risk on our balance sheet.


QUEST: That's the head of the EBRD, which has invested mightily here in Kazakhstan, along with Ukraine.

It is just after quarter past one in Central Asia.

Coming up after the break, we are in Astana. It is a city that has risen or from the mountains. It is the flattest place I've seen in a long time. And

after the break, we'll be talking about what Kazakhstan wants to do next.



QUEST: Welcome back to QUEST MEANS BUSINESS tonight live from Kazakhstan, a country that was born out of the collapse of the Soviet Union, which has

been influenced hugely by Russian and Asian cultures, and yet, at the same time, it has had to carve out its own way, finding the way forward that

basically doesn't annoy anyone or remains friends with everyone.


QUEST (voice over): High in the Altai Mountains and across the Kazakhstan, the country of Kazakhstan extends thousands of kilometers.

This former Soviet state is the largest landlocked country in the world. Its capital, Astana was previously known as Nursultan, named after the

former president who led the country for decades.

QUEST (on camera): It was after the fall of the Soviet Union when Kazakhstan became an independent country, and the then President Nazarbayev

decided, Astana should become the country capital, a vast project of construction rapidly began.

QUEST (voice over): Its grand buildings and unique architecture reflect his vision for the country. He is said to have designed the Baiterek Monument

on a napkin, while on a plane.

QUEST (on camera): All of this was paid for, with the proceeds of oil and gas revenues. Kazakhstan is one of the largest producers in the world. And

yet, even that has created difficulties.

Kazakhstan is vast and landlocked. On one side is China, the other side, Russia. The supply lines are very tricky.

QUEST (voice over): Kazakhstan's global impact is not just from its underground resources. It's also in outer space. The country is home to the

Baikonur spaceport operated by Russia, the facility launched the first human into orbit, and it is now the busiest spaceport in the world.

QUEST (on camera): The challenges are both immediate, inflation is at 15 percent, and longer term, diversifying from an oil-based economy and

running throughout the principle of strategic neutrality, which as the geopolitical situation heats up, might be the greatest challenge of all.


QUEST: So when you look at the economy, obviously fossil fuel based is one of the key areas, but there is more than just oil and gas. The country has

huge reserves of uranium, and arguably even larger reserves of rare metals.

Kazatomprom is one of the biggest companies here. It mines, it processes the uranium, and it is moving into new areas with rare minerals.

The CEO showed me around and gave me an idea of just how significant this is to Kazakhstan's economy.


QUEST: This is where it all starts right.


QUEST: Your mine it out the ground.

MUKANOV: Yes. So we -- all have our mines are based in Kazakhstan, and all of our mines for the moment use mostly environmentally friendly type of

mining, in situ recovery.

So it means in situ that all stay underground. We extract only the solid uranium.

So we pump in the acidified solutions. This solution with acid goes through the whole body and we pump out the uranium solution by submerged pumps.

QUEST: And then there is very complicated process.

MUKANOV: Oh, no, no, no, it's easy. It is very easy.

QUEST: It is easy. The reality is that you are involved in an industry selling a product that at the moment is quite controversial between Russia

and China and uranium and the whole trading relationship since the war in Ukraine began.

How are you managing that?

MUKANOV: Our uranium that we produce, we are selling worldwide. We do not put in all eggs in one bucket. Currently, our sales portfolio splits

between Asian market, European market and American market. It is better for us to keep the sales portfolio shared between different types of assets in

the world.


QUEST: It is also more fascinating because I know, you have a phrase here in Kazakhstan, you're between the dragon and the bear. And you're supplying

both the dragon and the bear.


QUEST: And that's interesting. Complicated.

MUKANOV: Oh, we have enough uranium, to supply -- we currently for the last year, Kazakhstan itself was source of 42 percent of world uranium market.

QUEST: Has the war in Ukraine changed your supply lines in any way, the way in which you supply the rest of the world?

MUKANOV: Not directly. But we have seen that, also, together with a growing demand for the nuclear power, also a growing demand with a growing number

of nuclear reactors under construction, it's also increased the demand for natural uranium.

So some uncertainty that is present on the market, so we see instantiation of clients to get more uranium to have the safe stock.

QUEST: The reality is your product can be controversial, but the uranium and the rare minerals, because everybody wants rare minerals, and who has

got the market and who is got them? Uranium, what purposes, end users or it's very difficult.

You've been doing it a long time, but it was very difficult.

MUKANOV: Yes, it's a difficult. Uranium is quite specific business. It is very specific.


QUEST: I think that just about sums it up. It's very difficult. Talking about being difficult, in Washington, the atmosphere is truly dreadful as

the British prime minister, Rishi Sunak was arriving for meeting President Biden.

As we continue after the break, we'll get more details on three days of smoke and what's going to happen next, QUEST MEANS BUSINESS.



QUEST: Hello. I'm Richard Quest in Astana, Kazakhstan. More QUEST MEANS BUSINESS in just a moment.

We're talking about the smoke and the awful air conditions in the northeast United States. It's causing airport delays and disruption. And it's very

unhealthy for those who are having to suffer it.

More from Astana. We will be showing you how this future big city really came about. Also, an interesting new little quirk for some investors.

It's all after these headlines because this is CNN. And on this network, the news always comes first.

The U.S. Justice Department has told the former president, Donald Trump, he is a target in an ongoing investigation into the mishandling of classified


Sources are telling CNN the target letter is a possible indication of the coming indictment.

Four children and two adults were wounded in a knife attack on a playground in the southeast of France. According to the police, the male suspect, seen

here, is a Syrian asylum seeker. He's been taken into custody, shortly after the stabbings. His motive is not known.

Clashes broke out after Israeli forces staged a rare raid into the West Bank town of Ramallah. Israel says the operation targeted and blew up the

home of a man accused of bombings in Jerusalem. The Palestinian Health Ministry says at least six people were wounded, including a journalist.

The fires are in eastern Canada. The smoke and the smog have drifted down to the southern border. And it is now blanketing large parts of the

northeast United States, including major cities such as Washington, D.C., that you can see here.

Washington today is among the worst hit with smoke drifting off to the south in the west.

President Biden was with Rishi Sunak, the British prime minister, at a joint press conference. The president addressed the smoke, and he announced

more help for Canada.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I've decided -- I dictated a National Interagency Fire Center response to Canada's request for

additional firefighters and the fire suppression assets, such as air tankers.

We already have 600 American firefighters on the ground, and have they've been there for a while in Canada. Including Hot Shots and the Smoke Jumper


It's very important that the affected communities listen to the guidance of their state and local officials.


QUEST: Health comes first. But the smoke is also affecting businesses with many events, such as sporting events, concerts and the like having been

canceled. Broadway shows have also been canceled, with flights delayed, grounded in the northeast. Workers heading indoors have been told to stay

at home.

The wildfires' smoke lowers earnings. U.S. average $125 billion a year, served by the National Bureau of Economic Research.

Danny Freeman is in New Jersey. Danny is with me now.

Danny, the situation, I think you're quite rightly wearing a mask, the situation is serious. Is it getting any better or worse?

DANNY FREEMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Richard, I'll give you the glass- half-full first. It is getting better, especially in New York.

And here in Philadelphia, the glass-half-empty, it that is still pretty bad. Our air quality index is still in the unhealthy, bordering on very


You can see, behind me, this is the skyline of Philadelphia. Normally, on a clear day from here in New Jersey, you can see all of the buildings, city

hall, all these landmarks. Still, very, very hazy at this moment.

The city of Philadelphia, they just held a press conference about two hours ago. The health commissioner said there are still serious air quality

problems here in the city of Philadelphia. The mayor said it's still dangerous.


But the other word they kept bringing up was "fluctuate." For the past 24 hours, this air quality has fluctuated up and down. The worst here in

Philadelphia was overnight into this morning.

Now as you said, Washington D.C., getting a lot of the worst right now.

They expect, here in Philadelphia, for this air quality to continue to fluctuate for the next 24 hours.

The National Weather Service predicting, even tonight it may get worse still yet again.

You mentioned, Richard, businesses, sporting events, they've been also feeling the brunt of this right now.

The Philadelphia Phillies, there had their game last night against the Detroit Tigers postponed. It's supposed to go on today, 6:00.

I can tell you the Phillies have already released their starting lineup. They're feeling optimistic that the air quality is going to continue to

improve over the day, in time for first pitch. Again, we shall see at this time -- Richard?

QUEST: Thank you, Danny, in New Jersey with the poor weather.

The WHO, the World Health Organization, has declared an end to the Covid pandemic and the Covid crisis. Not so fast says the GAVI, the vaccination

organization. The pandemic is not over, they believe.

Jose Manuel Barroso is the global chair of GAVI. He says there are still many lessons to be learned by what happened.


JOSE MANUEL BARROSO, GLOBAL CHAIR, GAVI: First of all, we hope it's over and, certainly, that the worst phase is behind us. But we should always be

caution about what's possible, a resurgence.

Anyhow, we have to prepare for the next pandemic. Because it's scientifically certain, there will be further pandemics. What I hope now is

that we draw all the lessons from this pandemic and we are better prepared next time.

QUEST: What's the number-one lesson we need to learn?

BARROSO: We have to work together. What happened before, it was a lot of vaccine nationalism. The rich countries were able to get vaccines, because

of their economic power. But the developing countries were clearly behind, in spite of all efforts in equity.

QUEST: The current environment, that war in Europe, from your time in the commission, unthinkable that such a thing would happen. Unthinkable.


QUEST: Now, we have it. And how much -- obviously, I mean loss of lives is, first, but the damage to international structures that we've lived our

lives by is enormous.

BARROSO: I believe the world will no longer be the same after the invasion of Ukraine by Russia. It's not just war in Europe. It's not only a tragedy

for Ukraine. But also, by the way for Russian people that are dying.

But is a tragedy for the world. Because that is, in fact, contributing to a global decoupling, in terms of trade, investment, technology.

That is aggravating, deepening some in areas. By the way, the pandemic also helped to exacerbate.

QUEST: Protectionism.

BARROSO: Protectionism. Also the global arrival between the United States and China. Now we're seeing increasingly the risk of a kind of West against

Russia and China together. And some countries in the Global South agitating. So a much more fragmented world.

QUEST: Kazakhstan, on one side, they've got Russia. Always the threat that Russia might decide to destabilize.

On the other side, China. With all the problems of trade and China in the U.S. And they're stuck in the middle.

BARROSO: Yes, that's where they also want to have a close relationship with Europe. I'm proud it was my commission who launched the enhanced

cooperation agreement, which is now into force.

By the way, Richard, 40 percent of the trade of -- his with European countries. European countries are the bigger supplier of foreign direct


Sometimes, we don't have that idea, because statistics appear by countries. If you take the European Union together, it's the number one partner,

economically, of Kazakhstan.

QUEST: Do you believe that strategic neutrality, which is the phrase they use here, is possible, or is it a fig leaf?

BARROSO: I think they are trying to do it, and they are sincere. They're very able people.

I think, from their point, national point of view, I fully understand -- they are trying to balance -- of course, they're very concerned with the

developments in Russia.

Of course, because they are so close, they cannot criticize Russia directly. But they are not really following Russia.

I think they have been doing the best they can do with the current circumstances, from a geopolitical point of view.


QUEST: Jose Emanuel Barroso talking to me here in the Astana International Forum.

After the break, Kazakhstan wants to become more of a financial services country, a regional center if you will.


So they've come up with an innovative idea, a new way to give greater security and integrity and will to the market. I'll talk to the governor of

the Astana International Financial Center, in just a moment.


QUEST: So a "CALL TO EARTH" and the story of Kris and Doug Tompkins. They're conservationists in South America with Rolex Perpetual Planet

Initiative. Their goal is to help nature heal itself.


BILL WEIR, CNN CHIEF CLIMATE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In the upper right corner of Argentina, you will find a lush land brimming with life, a park

called Ibera, the home to 4000 species of plants and animals.

Near the very top of that intricate food chain and vital to keeping it balanced, is the majestic jaguar. But until 2021, the biggest cat in South

America had not been seen in the wild here for 70 years.

KRISTINE TOMPKINS, PRESIDENT & CO-FOUNDER, TOMPKINS CONSERVATION: When we decided to try to reintroduce jaguars back into the Ibera ecosystem, we had

to first understand what happened to them in the first place.

So we went back in, it`s not hard to find. And you see why there are no jaguars left in this two-million-acre territory.

WEIR: Kris and Doug Tompkins made a fortune in adventure gear and fashion, but now hold the legacy of launching what Chris calls the world's first

breeding program aimed at reintroducing keystone species back into the region.

TOMPKINS: Almost eleven years later, now we have between 14 and 18 jaguars living in the wild. And we have seven individuals who are sort of on deck

to be released.

WEIR: It`s the fruit of a labor Kris and Doug began decades ago when they traded in high powered lives and fashion for a cabin off the grid, deep in


TOMPKINS: The roots of Tompkins Conservation sprouted when Doug, after a really successful business career, went back to Chile and Argentina in the

early 90s.


Looking for a way to give back to the two countries he loved so much and to help nature begin to heal itself.

WEIR: Doug`s vision involved a rewilding approach to conservation. And he began by buying up millions of acres, turning ranches back into grassland

and forest, and then giving it all away with the creation of new national parks.

TOMPKINS: To create the system where species that have gone missing have the space and the safety to come back and not be extincted again.

WEIR: Along with its offshoots Rewilding Argentina and Rewilding Chile, Tompkins Conservation has conserved around 15 million acres over the last

three decades.

And after tragically losing her husband, Doug, to a kayaking accident in 2015, Kris Tompkins carries on the dream.

TOMPKINS: This photograph is a picture of Doug and me flying in the little plane, which we did nearly every day, and really understanding the

territories that we were becoming interested in and would eventually develop as national parks.

WEIR: To date, their donated land has inspired the creation or expansion of 15 national parks.

And in addition to the jaguar, they`ve successfully reintroduced 13 other species, like the giant anteater, collared peccary and pampas deer.

TOMPKINS: So here`s an example of community members. A species that had gone extinct and is back now, and a team member that tells the whole story,

rescuing an orphaned anteater cub.

Come on, boy, let`s go.

I feel extraordinary pride for what we`ve done so far. But I`m definitely not satisfied. I`m happy about the past, but I am completely focused on the

future. What will we be talking about in 10 years?

So we can elevate ourselves because of what`s been done in the past. What can we do now? What are we doing now?


QUEST: Fascinating story.

Let us know, let me know, what we're doing to help protect and conserve the earth. It is the usual hash tag, "CALL TO EARTH."



QUEST: There is little that surrounds us other than flatland all the way out to the step, as it is called.

But when you look at the skyline itself, as you'll see here, it is a unique bulging skyline. Futuristic structures, some of them are, arguably, a

little quirky. Some might even think of them a little weird.

It turned the country into international recognition. Mostly, in the last 25 years. Before that, a small nondescript city, when the capital was moved

here from Almaty in 1997.

But the place has great ambitions. Especially when it comes to the question of financial services. The position on the Silk Road, for example, where

the country's adopted an English-based law to attract new investment.

With me is Renat Bekturov, the governor of the Astana International Financial Centre.

Good to have you with us, Governor.


QUEST: You have this quirk in your financial center, that, essentially, you follow the common law, the English common law. You have arbitration, all

the rules. Why is that?

BEKTUROV: Because we believe that is what is important for the international investment community to actually invest into the country.

We have created a financial center, and one of the trades, as you said, is the jurisdiction. As a guardian of the jurisdiction in the trust of the

investment supposed to be the international arbitration center.

In the last five years, we actually have over 2,000 cases being processed.

QUEST: Isn't that a bit weird? I mean, if you're in the other capital markets here, or you have another form of dispute, it will be dealt with

under Kazakh law, Kazakh market.

All of a sudden, you go into your market, and many senior English judges have been here to guide you through it.

BEKTUROV: Yes, the U.S. can actually use the Kazakh law. It actually the processes or all you can see in England and the other jurisdictions.

But they can use the Kazakh legislation, that's the beauty. It's flexible jurisdiction.

There, for example, an arbitration center, over 40 arbiters, they can select what kind of laws, which jurisdiction to be used.

QUEST: The growth of financial services, crypto, all these sorts of things, I understand that you want to develop it. But do you see yourself as a

regional center?

BEKTUROV: Of course, that's what have been created for. Innovation is now - - we see fintech and the adventure capital industry growing. Fun set up here, now the investing not just in projects in Kazakhstan, but throughout

the region.

In Tajikistan, -- the structure here in A.C. because of the jurisdiction, and the flexibility and the rule of law that we have here.

QUEST: And yet, many of these other economies turned into potentially the wild west. Investor protections are minimal in many of these other

countries. The legislation is somewhat dubious.

I guess that has to be your selling point.

BEKTUROV: It is. It is. That's why we are attracting, again, the fund managers into the region, whose structure it here in AFC.

As you say, the demand for certainty, legal certainty, the proper regulation, that is what drives the demand for our jurisdiction, right?

And then it's even the simplicity of the English language as a business language.

QUEST: OK. Many of the large companies here, previously, would have floated an IPO on the London stock exchange, or any other major European, even U.S.

exchange. Have you managed to attract them back?

BEKTUROV: So, first things happened here, (INAUDIBLE) in 2018. But the last IPO, we had in December, came -- the largest state-owned property -- the

local only offering.

We're still fighting for that liquidity to bring it back here. I think now, we have become the good opportunity to do so.

The international markets look gloomy, but however here, regionally, we have interest from the retail, new asset managers developing here. I think

we have this great chance.

And we see the international businesses connecting to our infrastructure.

QUEST: Slowly but surely.


QUEST: But I guess my final point to you, before we take a look at the markets, they took hundreds of years to build. The New York Stock Exchange,

the Bretton Woods agreement, several hundred years. You can't do it overnight.

BEKTUROV: Yes, but we've been doing it for five years. We see already the results. There are almost 2000 companies registered. We have around 135

securities listed. So it's building up.


BEKTUROV: Yes, exactly.

QUEST: Good to see you, Governor. Very grateful that you come to us this evening. Which, I mean, it's 1:54. So 2:00 in the morning. I'm very




QUEST: To the markets, and how the markets are trading tonight. You've got U.S. markets, which are slightly, marginally higher, 179 points. They have

a decision. Only half a point. Looks like a big number. But it is actually only half a point.

And inflation data, too. Look at the -- take a look at the triple stack. The S&P is up on the day. It's up some 20 percent from October lows. And we

will get into large arguments about whether it's a bull market.

I'll be back to the races, you name it. You can guarantee that will be the latest things. But let's wait and see what the Fed does before we call it.

We will have a Profitable Moment, live here from Astana. I still can't decide if I prefer Astana, or Astana, Astana. Whatever it is, it's



QUEST: Tonight's Profitable Moment from Kazakhstan, from Astana.

I've been here numerous times. I've seen the changes in the development. One would never describe Kazakhstan, perhaps, as a liberal, Western

democracy, full of transparency. That would be pushing it too far.

But the changes of the new president, in the last couple of years, have certainly reversed much of the authoritarian nature of the country.

As you just heard, the increase in capital markets, the willingness to consider ideas, such as different jurisdictions, the English common law,

has greatly encouraged investors to come here.

And that is the difference between this country and its regional neighbors.

Because here, the president has limited his term. The president has changed the constitution to reduce his powers. There is a feeling in this country

that they know where they want to go.

The problem, of course, is Russia on that side there, and the dragon on the other. If you take those two, at the moment, the bigger threat, of course,

is the bear.


And this policy of structural neutrality that they are hewing to as carefully as they can is going to become more difficult as the war in

Ukraine gets ever tougher, especially if Russia starts having more military defeats.

But for the moment, Kazakhstan can be quite proud of what they've done and the direction in which they are traveling.

That's QUEST MEANS BUSINESS for this Thursday night.