CPSI NewsWire brings you market updates on Mongolia, compiled by CPS International, a Mongolian marketing arm of CPS Securities, a Perth, Western Australia based stockbroking and corporate advisory firm, specialising in capital raising for mining and junior stocks.
Kincora Copper announces up to $2.5 mln convertible note financing with Origo
July 9 (Proactive Investors) Vancouver-based Kincora Copper (CVE:KCC) announced Monday a non-brokered private placement financing of a convertible note with Origo Partners, for up to $2.5 million, payable three years from the date of issuance.
The mining exploration and development company said the convertible note bears interest at 8.7 percent per year, priced at the time of issuance in accordance with the TSX Venture Exchange.
The note is convertible into units of the company at any time after the date of issuance at a price of 25 cents each.
Each unit is made up of one common share and one purchase warrant, where one warrant is exercisable to purchase another common share at 45 cents for a term ending at the maturity date.
Kincora has also agreed to give Origo certain pre-emptive rights to purchase further equity in the company, it said.
Origo is currently the largest shareholder of Kincora, holding a total of more than 46.37 million common shares, or 29.28 per cent of the company.
Kincora will direct the proceeds of the private placement toward further developing its mineral properties in Mongolia and for general working capital.
The company announced in late April that it had closed its previously announced acquisition of Temujin Mining Corp.’s subsidiary, Golden Grouse, which was first reported in January.
Temujin is a portfolio company of investment firm Aberdeen International and a member of the Forbes Manhattan Group. Golden Grouse is a Mongolian company that holds the mineral exploration licenses 15075X and 15076X, next to Kincora's Bronze Fox project.
Kincora issued 20 million shares to Temujin, and on closing, Temujin kept 1.51 million Kincora shares and paid a dividend for the remaining stock to its shareholders.
Kincora will issue another 15 million shares to Temujin upon the discovery of one million inferred ounces of gold within four years of the deal’s close.
The company also agreed to spend $2 million on exploration on the acquired properties over the next two years. If Kincora does not complete the “minimum work” in the two-year period, it will issue 15 million shares to Temujin.
Kincora Copper is focused on copper-gold deposits in Mongolia. Its key asset is the Bronze Fox copper-gold deposit, which rests in the south-east of Mongolia, along the Oyu Tolgoi copper belt, 200km from the Chinese border, and roughly 140km northeast of the famous Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold project.
General Mining Corporation inks JV agreement for Mongolian copper project
July 9 (Proactive Investors) General Mining Corporation (ASX: GMM) has secured a joint venture agreement covering a highly prospective copper project adjoining its existing licences on the Khangai Fault in the northwest of Mongolia.
The Khangai Fault is a prominent fault which lies within the much larger Mongol-Okhotsk suture zone that stretches 3,000 kilometres into Russia and is up to 200 kilometres wide.
General Mining, through its wholly owned Mongolian subsidiary Golden Cross, can earn up to a 60% interest in the Oyut Tolgoi copper project – not to be confused with Oyu Tolgoi in the south of Mongolia – by meeting certain expenditure obligations before February 2013.
Surface exploration and diamond drilling in the mid -1970s at Oyut Tolgoi identified extensive copper mineralisation hosted in gabbroic rocks, with several of the historic holes returning mineralised intervals over tens of metres down hole.
Exploration included geological mapping, trenching and diamond drilling resulting in the discovery of a sizeable copper system.
Mineralisation consists of chalcopyrite and bornite with secondary covellite and chalcocite, hosted within gabbroic intrusive rocks associated with a major regional fault system.
The addition of the joint venture agreement to General Mining’s portfolio now gives the company exposure to 154,610 hectares along the Khangai/Bulnay Fault.
Khangai Fault Project
General Mining is targeting nickel, copper and platinum group elements within gabbro-mafic-ultramafic intrusions along the Khangai Fault where it holds five granted licences.
The Khangai Fault Project is considered prospective because of its proximity to Oyut Tolgoi where there is the presence of copper-nickel-cobalt-platinum group elements mineralisation along the Khangai Fault, with highlight intercepts of more than 100 metres at 1% copper.
The project lies along a largely unexplored deep fault in a region that hosts several world class nickel-copper-platinum group elements and copper-molybdenum-gold deposits.
Monvest Group Approved to List National Lottery of Mongolia in Boerse Berlin
BERLIN, Germany, Jul 8, 2012 (GlobeNewswire via COMTEX) -- via PRWEB - At a time when listing on a European stock exchange is almost as hard as winning the lottery for an Asian company, the National Lottery of Mongolia was pleased with the Boerse Berlin approval to list its owner and operator -- Monvest Group Pte. Ltd. (Monvest). Pending the transfer of Monvest shares to the European Clearstream Depository, the Monvest listing paves the way to develop the Mongolian lottery industry and to provide expansion capital for other markets in the region.
"The Berlin approval to list is a landmark for Mongolia at a time when capital markets are in flux," says Dr. Yap, Monvest Chairman. "Global markets are undergoing major changes. Sino Forest problems in Canada, delisting of China OTC listed companies due to poor transparency, and the closing of Frankfurt First Quotation Board (FQB) due to market manipulation have shaken issuers. Our response is to focus on transparency and establish a solid reputation. This is the best one can do in these times."
Monvest is the Singaporean holding company of Mongolian-based Modern Capital Vest LLC, the lottery operator, and majority owner of BizInvin LLC, the holder of a lottery license issued by the Ministry of Finance. Over 80 outlets are operational in the capital city of Ulan Bator, with a plan to open 150 outlets in 2012. Monvest has launched three lottery games -- 4D Lottery, 6/42 Jackpot Lotto and 6D Lottery.
"This has been a listings education," notes Dr. Yap. "The first step of our dream -- and that of our investors -- is being realized. We will make the people of Mongolia proud of our achievements and show that an emerging market company can achieve the high transparency standards of Europe." Monvest takes the high road when it comes to accounting and governance practices. Monvest audits accounts under IFRS standards and provides regular disclosure to shareholders. Monvest completes a semi-annual audit, surpassing regulations that require annual audits. Dr. Yap credits transparency for the success in Berlin. The Boerse Berlin called for all listed companies to be German registered in March 2012, but Monvest received an exemption from the exchange to list in June 2012.
MSE: WEEKLY REVIEW FOR OF JULY 02-06, 2012
July 9 (InfoMongolia) With the "Millennium IT" trade and payment system that launched on July 02, 2012, the daily trade of the Mongolian Stock Exchange (MSE) has been malfunctioning since opening the new system. Currently, only 5-9 JSCs are attending daily.
In the week of July 02-06, 2012, Mongolian Stock Exchange has held 5 trading sessions, where a total of 26.4 thousand shares of 5 JSCs have traded for 9.9 million MNT.
The Top 20 index reached at 22,286.67 points and the total market capitalization stood at 1 trillion and 939.9 billion MNT.
Out of 5 stocks that were traded 2 stocks’ prices rose, 1 stocks’ prices fell and 2 were unchanged. The most actively traded stocks by number of shares traded were Remicon (25.5 thousand shares), APU (904 shares) and Aduunchuluun (60 shares), whereas the most actively traded stocks by value of trading were Remicon (5.1 million MNT), APU (4.4 million MNT) and Aduunchuluun (284.0 thousand MNT).
“PROGRESS PARTNERS” LLC ADMITTED AS A MEMBER OF MSE
July (MSE) Under the MSE Board Resolution No.12 of July 6, 2012, “Progress Partners” LLC, which met the requirements of new trading system, has been admitted as a member of MSE. Consequentially, the number of members of MSE has reached 79.
“TENGRI SECURITIES” LLC’S TRADING AND SETTLEMENT RIGHTS REINSTATED
July (MSE) By the FRC Resolution No.170 of June 20, 2012 re extension of the brokerage and securities dealing license of ‘Tengri securities’ LLC for 3 years and the Official note of State Inspector No.104 of July 5, 2012, the trading and settlement rights of “Tengri securities” LLC have been reinstated effective from July 5, 2012.
FRC comments on latest capital market developments in Mongolia and recent failure of brokers to clear requirements to participate in trading
NOTICE OF FINANCIAL REGULATORY COMMISSION
July (FRC via MSE) The Mongolian economy is continuing to grow at a very rapid pace, expanding by 16.7 percent year-on-year in Q1 and GDP growth accelerated to an unprecedented 17.3 percent in 2011 from 6.4 percent in 2010. To restore and ensure this economic growth, stability in the financial market is essential.
To create balance in the financial sector where commercial banks currently dominate, Mongolia needs to develop the capital market same as other countries in the world. Developing the capital market is the cornerstone of policy to provide people and enterprises with opportunity to find investment, encourage the development of public companies, put the natural resources into economic circulation and distribute national wealth equally.
The Government of Mongolia has been promoting the capital market consistently by policy for last 2 years and during this period, market capitalization increased drastically reaching two trillions. Within the framework of this policy, Financial Regulatory Commission /FRC/ is conducting extensive reform activities of capital market infrastructure and legislations with other regulatory and related organizations.
Within the scope of regulatory reform, revised draft of Company law was approved in Oct 2011. Due to changes in economic conditions of Mongolia since 1999 when the Company law was last approved, the revised Company law resolved many issues comprehensively such as governance issues of a company, especially a public company, heightened responsibility of company management and the protection of rights of investors and stockholders.
FRC submitted the new draft of Securities Law to the State Great Khural which was developed in accordance with international standards in cooperation with the Mongolian Stock Exchange /MSE/, Ministry of Justice and Home Affairs, research institutions, market participants - broker dealers, underwriters, foreign and domestic specialists and other related parties. Although draft of Securities Law has been delayed for last two assemblies, we are confident that the new draft of Securities law which brings the financial market, especially the capital market into a new stage would be presented and approved by the State Great Khural in this autumn assembly.
Within the framework of infrastructure reform, Master Services Agreement /MSA/ has been established between MSE and LSE in April 2011 according to the “Strategic partnership agreement” which was signed by Mongolian State Property Committee /SPC/ and London Stock Exchange Group in 2010.
Under the strategic partnership, FRC, MSE, Securities Clearing House and Central Depository /SCHCD/ and market participants - broker dealer, underwriter companies co-operated substantially for last one year to launch the integrated system of Trading, Clearing, Settlement and Depository and Surveillance. By launching this integrated system, trading infrastructure, technology of our capital market and capability of human resources shall be brought in line with international standards. Furthermore, foreign and domestic investors shall become able to connect to the high speed trading platform, participate in a trade at efficiently at low cost for long term, and enjoy a real benefit from the capital market.
New trading system launched successfully starting from July 2nd 2012 and some of the market participants-broker dealers, underwriter companies have not been able to participate in MSE trading because they have not yet established an agreement with clearing banks and have not posted collateral yet. Therefore, the broker dealer and underwriting firms possessing a special license should immediately sign the tri-party contract with the Securities Clearing House and Central Depository and banks, in order to keep pace with the development of capital market. FRC has been consistently supporting these reform activities and has been co-operating with Mongolian Association of Securities Dealers by organizing certain activities to increase the financial and professional capability of brokers.
Market participants holding special license should perform their duties to serve investors and shareholders, to execute their orders and to provide them with information.
Within the aim of providing stability in the capital market, FRC shall continue to demand and monitor the fulfillment of appropriate requirements and responsibilities from market participants - MSE JSC, SCHCD JSC, broker dealer, underwriter companies, clearing banks and professionals associations to protect the rights and interests of investors and stockholders.
Hogan Lovells Newsflash: The Bank of Mongolia issues revised version of the Bank Licensing Regulations
July 9 (Hogan Lovells) On 7 June 2012, the Bank of Mongolia adopted regulations on bank licensing (the "Bank Licensing Regulations") to implement certain provisions of the Banking Law of Mongolia dated 28 January 2010 (the "Banking Law"). These regulations replace the regulations on bank licensing dated 7 August 2000. The newly-adopted regulations were officially published on the Bank of Mongolia website on 2 July 2012.
The promulgation of regulations consistent with the Banking Law had been pending for several months, and their issue should help to clarify uncertainties relating to the procedural aspects of the approvals and notifications process at the Bank of Mongolia.
The scope of the Bank Licensing Regulations is regulation of matters relating to applications to the Bank of Mongolia for establishing a bank, conducting banking activities, changing a bank's shareholding structure and share capital, and the review of such applications and supporting documents.
The regulations further clarify certain definitions, specify the requirements for establishing a wholly-owned subsidiary of a foreign bank in Mongolia and the circumstances in which banking licences may be issued, restricted, suspended, or revoked.
With respect to the entry of foreign banks into the Mongolian market, the Bank Licensing Regulations impose greater restrictions. Currently, it is not possible for foreign banks to operate through their branch offices in Mongolia, as under Mongolian law it is prohibited for representative and branch offices to engage in revenue-generating activities. The Bank Licensing Regulations contemplate the establishment of wholly-owned subsidiaries of foreign banks and provide detailed requirements and procedures for setting up such subsidiaries. Foreign banks may establish local subsidiaries no earlier than one year after the establishment of their Mongolian representative offices. Accordingly, the establishment of a representative office is a prerequisite for establishment of a local subsidiary.
Further, the minimum share capital requirement for a Mongolian subsidiary of a foreign bank is set at MNT65 billion (US$50 million), which is much higher than the minimum capital requirement for an existing Mongolian bank (currently US$6 million and set to increase to US$12 million from 1 May 2013). This requirement is set out in Order # A-81 of the President of the Bank of Mongolia dated 7 June 2012.
According to Article 1.5.3 of the Bank Licensing Regulations, share capital is defined as "the sum of total par value of the bank's issued common and preferred shares and any share premium, which shall consist of the capital contributions made by shareholders as approved by the Bank of Mongolia". Thus, the share capital cannot take into account treasury stock.
GDF Suez, Sojitz, POSCO, Newcom consortium selected preferred bidder for CHP 5
July 9 (EBR) GDF Suez subsidiary International Power in association with consortium partners has been selected as preferred bidder for the combined heat and power plant CHP5 in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.
Following finalization of the engineering, procurement and construction contract, the consortium comprising International Power, Sojitz, Posco Energy and Newcom will build and operate a coal-fired CHP plant with an electricity capacity of 415MW and a steam of 587MW.
The plant will consist of three circulating fluidised bed boilers, and is expected to go online in 2015.
The Mongolian government will purchase the entire output produced from the plant under a 25-year power purchase agreement. The Ulaanbaatar city will use the steam produced for heating purposes.
A mix of debt and equity in a ratio of 75:25 will be used by the consortium to fund total cost of the project, which is expected to meet the rising energy demand in Mongolia.
International Power, Sojitz and Posco Energy each hold 30% stake in the consortium, while Newcom acquires a 10% stake.
DP proposes to form coalition with MPRP-MNDP
July 9 (news.mn) N.Altankhuyag, leader of Mongolian Democratic Party, D.Erdenebat, general secretary of Democratic Party held a press conference and announced Democratic Party will form new government with Justice coalition. The Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party (leaded by ex-president N.Enkhbayar) and the Mongolian National Democratic Party (leaded by former Prime Minister M.Enkhsaikhan) joined a coalition “Justice” for parliamentary election of June 28 and took 11 seats.
“35.58 percent of Mongolians voted for Democratic Party on June 28. The Democratic Party considered which political party and coalition could support and cooperate with Democratic Party to implement our election platform. Currently we officially proposed to the “Justice” coalition to join to form new government” said N.Altankhuyag.
Mongolian People’s Party said on last Friday is ready to join to coalition with Democratic Party to form new government.
Former head of Presidential Office will lead Ulaanbaatar City Council
July 9 (news.mn) Today held a first meeting of newly elected Ulaanbaatar City Representative Assembly. 41 from 45 delegates attended a meeting. Delegates voted for D.Battulga for head of Ulaanbaatar City Representative Assembly. D.Battulga served as head of Presidential Office of Mongolia and on June 28 elected as member of City Assembly. Presidential Office informed after D.Battulga’s nomination that P.Tsagaan, Advisor to the President of Mongolia appointed as Head of Presidential Office.
A first meeting of Ulaanbaatar City Representative Assembly also elected Governing board members. The governing board includes 11 members 8 from Democratic Party (L.Narantuya, L.Naranbaatar, D.Badarsan, B.Tuvshin, L.saintugs, P.Batchimeg, Ts.Enkhtsengel and D.Battulga) and three from Mongolian People’s Party (former Mayor G.Munkhbayar, D.Ganbold and S.Amarsaikhan).
Ulaanbaatar City new Mayor should appointed by Prime Minister.
Mogi: 3 Justice Coalition MPs did not take the oath as they await court decision on whether to allow 3 disqualified candidates, including N. Enkhbayar.
Mongolia’s Parliament Begins Session; Four Seats Still Undecided
July 6 (Bloomberg) Mongolia’s newly elected members of parliament began their first session today even as four of the 76 seats in the State Great Khural remain undecided.
The General Election Commission submitted the names of 72 winning candidates from last week’s nationwide vote for the president’s approval, according to a statement on President Tsakhia Elbegdorj’s website. A new vote is needed in two seats after candidates failed to gather the 28 percentage threshold stipulated by the election law, the commission said last week.
The results of two more seats contested in Uvurkhangai province are being investigated after the commission received documents alleging breeches of the election law by the winning candidates, News.mn reported yesterday. The candidates, from the Mongolian People’s Party, distributed alcohol and sweets to voters, the news agency said, citing the commission.
From the 72 names approved by the election commission, the Democratic Party leads with 31 and the MPP has 25. The Justice coalition, which includes the party of ex-president Nambaryn Enkhbayar, has 11 seats, and the Civil Will party has two seats. Three other seats went to independents.
2012 Election Results: Parliamentary Election 2012 (by party), Parliamentary Election 2012 (by electoral district) – Business Council of Mongolia, July 6
MPP SECRETARY-GENERAL U. KHURELSUKH RESIGNS FROM POST, L. OYUN-ERDENE APPOINTED ACTING SG
Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, July 9 /MONTSAME/ The governing council of the Mongolian People's Party (MPP) held its meeting on Monday and appointed L.Oyun-Erdene as acting secretary-general of the party.
L.Oyun-Erdene has replaced U.Khurelsukh who asked to free him from post on Monday.
The acting secretary-general will work until a regular meeting of the MPP's conference.
L.Oyun-Erdene is a member of the MPP's conference and the president of the Social Democracy-Union of Mongolian Youths.
E.BAT-UUL BECOMES HEAD OF CITY'S DEMPARTY
Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, July 9 /MONTSAME/ At its 16th meeting on Sunday, the Consultative Committee of the City's Democratic Party elected a former MP E.Bat-Uul as its head.
97 members of the City's Demparty out of 135 members attended the meeting, and 96 of the participants cast their votes for E.Bat-Uul by a secret ballot. Mr. Bat-Uul expressed satisfaction with being elected the head of the City's Demparty and promised to make all efforts.
Mongolian Democracy Crawls, But Moves Ahead
Contrary to recent news, Mongolia is not going off the rails. It remains Asia's only post-socialist democracy. By Julian Dierkes
July 8 (WSJ) Reading some of the news out of Mongolia lately it would be easy to conclude that the country is on the verge of becoming yet another failed post-socialist experiment in democracy. Easy, but wrong. Parliamentary elections held late last month show an electorate exercising their rights, and institutions growing more functional at meeting the public's demands.
The origins of the doomsday fears for Mongolian democracy lie in the April 13 arrest of former President Nambaryn Enkhbayar on corruption charges. Some inside Mongolia accuse him of instituting a culture of corruption throughout government. However, the specific allegations in his trial are relatively minor, involving the privatization of a hotel, religious donations and import duties. Yet his arrest became a circus as news cameras captured him resisting by refusing to put on his shoes, forcing police to carry him out of his home in his socks.
It's no small matter for a government agency to authorize the arrest of a predecessor from an opposing party when the predecessor is plotting a political comeback. So observers might wonder whether this is a sign Mongolian democracy is running off the rails. Mr. Enkhbayar himself has encouraged such thinking, portraying himself as a political victim, complete with a hunger strike and PR campaign focused on garnering international support.
Yet a look at the June 28 parliamentary election belies the worst-case scenario. While Mongolia's democracy is a work in progress like most liberal systems of governance, many Mongolians continue to be dedicated to the task of building a durable democracy.
The first thing to note about the vote, in which citizens chose all 76 members of the unicameral legislature, is that both the polling and the aftermath have been largely peaceful. This is progress compared to the last vote four years ago. Violent unrest erupted in the capital Ulan Bator, killing five, after the then-opposition Democratic Party (DP) alleged that the Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party (MPRP) had engaged in massive election fraud.
Little evidence of election fraud was offered then, and the MPRP came into the previous legislature with a majority, even reaching out to the opposition. To ease passage of an investment agreement for the giant Oyu Tolgoi gold and copper mine, the MPRP invited the DP into a grand coalition that lasted until this January, when the DP exited the government.
To ensure that the violence four years ago would be remembered as a one-off case, the General Election Commission, a relatively independent body, significantly tightened campaign and polling regulations ahead of last month's voting. For instance, it forced parties to submit an election platform and then subjected this submission to an audit, which would assess the financial feasibility of the policies proposed. Electronic vote-counting machines and the use of laptops with fingerprint recognition software for voter registration were also introduced, along with video cameras at polling stations.
While political parties have again alleged fraud after the vote and the police is investigating some of these allegations, my own conclusions as an election observer suggest that these improvements led to a much smoother vote than in 2008. I spent the day shuttling more than 200 kilometers between polling stations in Ulan Bator's downtown and outlying districts. As voters stepped up to registration desks manned exclusively by civil servants, their residence records were pulled almost instantly following the fingerprint scan. Spot checks after the election, manually recounting ballots first counted by machine, suggest the machinery worked correctly.
Most encouragingly, the election results are set to be honored by all. An alliance led by the DP is likely to take over power from the coalition led by the Mongolian People's Party (the new name the MPRP gave itself in 2010). This smooth transition once again proves Mongolia's status as the only post-socialist democracy in Asia.
Still, in light of a proper electoral setup, the fraud allegations are telling. There is little concrete evidence at this stage of any serious problems beyond local irregularities, so the circulating of these allegations signals a lack of trust in political parties, their goals and the means by which they achieve them.
This lingering absence of trust is linked to the lack of parties' ideological or policy profile. Political parties continue to be set up around the business interests of politicians, so it's hard to build confidence that they are anything but a collection of oligarchs. This concern flared after parliament showed its resource nationalism in May by forcing the biggest foreign investments in the country to henceforth require state approval. Such attitudes will now be represented noisily by Mr. Enkhbayar's re-founded MPRP.
That the parties don't have a clear profile is playing itself out in coalition negotiations too, and there is good news here. Since the DP garnered a plurality of seats, some of its officials want to form a coalition. The obvious coalition partner would be the Mongolian People's Party. This grand coalition would have a solid majority and thus the greatest ability to move Mongolia forward in tackling the many challenges it faces.
It's true that a DP-led coalition may not change specific policies. What's more, if the public doesn't see steady improvement in governance and a fall in corruption over time, the lack of trust could undermine the legitimacy of elections. Yet, even without an ideological profile, an effective government through a grand coalition may still contribute to the building of trust in political parties and thus the continued institutionalization of democracy in Mongolia.
Mr. Dierkes is as associate professor and the Keidanren Chair in Japanese Research at the University of British Columbia's Institute of Asian Research.
ULAN BATOR, July 9 (AFP) US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived in Mongolia Monday as part of an Asian tour aimed at promoting democracy, as local politicians were locked in dispute over recent elections.
Mongolian President Tsakhia Elbegdorj has called on all parties to agree on forming a ruling coalition, after official results showed the opposition Democratic Party won most seats, but not enough for a majority.
There have been days of unease since the June 28 elections in which some parties said a new automated voting system to elect the Great Hural, Mongolia's 76-member parliament, had failed.
"The secretary is going to be very clear that we celebrate a succession of successful elections in Mongolia," a former Soviet satellite, a top State Department official told reporters travelling with Clinton.
Mongolia is sandwiched between Russia and China. After ending Soviet-backed rule in 1990, it has undergone a relatively peaceful and successful transition into a stable democracy.
Clinton arrived in Ulan Bator from Tokyo, where she used a global forum on Sunday to make a powerful plea for the rights of women in Afghanistan.
Mongolia hosts int'l women's forum to promote gender equality
ULAN BATOR, July 8 (Xinhua) -- The 2012 International Women's Leadership Forum opened here on Sunday to develop a common understanding on the importance of women's participation in political and economic spheres.
Over 100 women leaders from governments, private businesses, academia, civic organizations and other fields attended the forum to study ways and best practices to expand women's access to political and economic arenas around the world.
In an addressing to the forum, Mongolian Prime Minister Sukhbaatar Batbold said the Mongolian government will double its support for women who are going to participate in political and economic activities.
He said women are more vulnerable to economic crises and unemployment in Mongolia, and there are many single mothers who struggle to sustain their families and children.
Batbold stressed the government needs to do more to train women in business so that they can become more resilient.
According to a report provided by the organizers, gender imbalance widely exists in political and economic spheres in both developing and developed countries.
A lack of gender balance in decision-making in government persists, and women continue to be under-represented in national parliaments with an average of only 17 percent of seats occupied by women around the world, shows the report.
Over the last three decades, women's participation in the labor force market has increased, yet in both developing and developed countries wage differences between salaried men and women have been extensively documented, says the report.
Many international female leaders including former Canadian Prime Minister Kim Campbell and former Kyrgyz President Roza Otunbayeva attended the forum, which will conclude on Monday.
Mongolia: electronic counting but no trust
Authors: Julian Dierkes and Brandon Miliate, UBC
July 5 (East Asia Forum) The results from Mongolia’s 28 June 2012 parliamentary election on are in — sort of. The General Electoral Commission (GEC) announced the preliminary results on 30 June, with official results set to be announced by 13 July. No party won an outright majority, which would require 39 seats in the 76-member State Great Khural.
The Democratic Party (DP) won 31 seats, thus becoming the most likely leader of a governing coalition. The current prime minister and leader of the Mongolian People’s Party, Sukhbaataryn Batbold, won 28 seats, so he will be succeeded by the DP’s Norovyn Altankhuyag or another DP leader. The negotiations over a governing coalition will become clearer after the newly elected parliament appoints a new prime minister and cabinet. In the last few days, the DP has suddenly begun pushing hard for an expedited process that could see a new cabinet in July, even though initial expectations based on 2004 and 2008 had been for a coalition to be solidified by the end of the northern summer. It looks like Mongolia is now heading for a smooth political transition, unlike the aftermath of the 2008 parliamentary elections, when a ‘state of emergency’ was declared following the death of five people during large-scale protests.
The Mongolian government wanted to avoid similar unrest for the elections held this last June. To this end, the Central Election Commission implemented a number of reforms in line with Mongolia’s new election laws. But regardless of their success in making the voting process run more smoothly, the electoral reforms failed to build people’s trust in political institutions and parties.
Numerous measures were taken to make the campaigning and voting process on 28 June more trustworthy. This included the GEC enforcing campaign regulations more strictly than it had in previous elections. Parties were required to submit campaign platforms, which were audited by the GEC to ensure that they would not make promises that were not (economically) feasible. The parties were held to these platforms in their advertising.
To protect against allegations of multiple voting and unregistered voters, all polling stations were equipped with laptops connected to fingerprint scanners. Voters were given clear instructions on how to mark the ballot in the weeks leading up to the election, as well as in the corridor of the polling station; the instructions were also posted inside the booth itself. And, for the first time, ballots were counted by machine and a permanent video camera was set up to film the voting machines. Another innovation in this year’s elections was that domestic NGOs were able to nominate election observers to join party and foreign observers.
All of these factors together produced a highly efficient, well-organised and smooth electoral process.
But almost immediately after preliminary results started coming in, the DP and the Civil Will–Green Party Coalition (CWGP), who won 2 seats, made allegations of fraud and faulty programming of the voting machines, (Mogi: actually it was MPP not DP who alleged voting machine fraud) which prompted the recounting of votes by hand in many areas. Reassuringly enough, all but two machines were found to have correctly counted the ballots. In these two cases the difference in the total number of votes was negligible, which suggests that the machines had not been tampered with. But despite this confirmation, there continues to be a lack of trust in these new technologies, with most people feeling that corrupt election officials and party members could have easily manipulated them.
In many established democracies, voters are generally willing to trust that electoral processes are ‘free and fair’ and accurately reflect the ‘will of the people’. While trust in political institutions and the notion that all parties will play by the rules are commonplace in many countries, previous allegations of fraud have predisposed Mongolians to distrust election results. Though the election seemed to run smoothly with no obvious signs of fraud, technological upgrades and professionalism did not solve the real problem: a lack of trust in political parties.
If technology is not the fix, then adjusting the aims of political institutions and parties might be. Mongolian political parties need to dispel the image that they are ready to undermine the ‘will of the people’ in order to win. They need to show that they are willing to play by the ‘free and fair’ rules of the game.
Moreover, when parties lose, it should not mean that they need to buy more votes, offer more presents or commit more electoral fraud. Rather, it should indicate that they need better campaigns based on stronger policies. And when parties such as the DP receive fewer votes than expected, the response should not be pre-emptive allegation of fraud and corruption. Such allegations have generally been vague at best and unsupportable at worst. This type of response undermines any growing trust in the electoral process and may also explain the declining number of voter participation, from 76.5 per cent in 2008 to just over 65 per cent in this election.
Perhaps what Mongolia needs is less technology and more reform in what constitutes political ‘business as usual’.
Julian Dierkes is Associate Professor and the Keidanren Chair in Japanese Research at the Institute of Asian Research, University of British Columbia.
Brandon Miliate is an MA candidate in Asia Pacific Policy Studies at the University of British Columbia.
Julian Dierkes and Brandon Miliate are both authors on the Mongolia Today blog, available here.
Why Mongolians don't care
The stakes are high as multinationals eye the country's largely untapped natural resources. So, why aren't voters eager to have their say?
ULAN BATOR, Mongolia, July 7 (Global Post) — After Mongolia's 2008 parliamentary elections, widespread riots resulted in about 700 arrests, five deaths and many injuries. Before the polls on June 28, onlookers wondered if they should expect the same.
But this time around, despite a high unemployment rate and mining wealth that hasn't exactly trickled down, Mongolia's elections were a big yawn. Voter turnout was low at just over 65 percent, which was down from more than 95 percent in 1992.
Why, when the stakes are high and getting higher — with multinational companies eyeing the largely untapped natural resources — do so few Mongolians seem to care who is in office?
It's not because they don't know what's going on.
Near to midnight after the polls closed on June 28, half a dozen young men were lounging in the downtown area sporting the hip-hop style synonymous with young nationalists. When asked if he had voted, a rapper named "AMG" did not hesitate. “The election is bullshit. It's all the same from one party to the other."
AMG is part of a new wave of resistance, re-crafting American rap music around Mongolian issues while sidestepping direct political involvement. About 1 million of Mongolia's more than 3 million people are under the age of 25, according to government figures. And it's a segment that has largely grown disenchanted with politics.
Photos from GlobalPost: Extreme weather in Mongolia
Hip-hop artist “Gee” raps about life in “ger” districts (Mongolian wool tent/yurt) — the poor part of Ulan Bator. Gee is featured in a documentary about the Mongolian hip-hop movement scheduled to be released internationally this month.
His lyrics are political — for instance, he rails against foreign mining companies’ treatment of Mongolian workers. But, according to Al Jazeera, he isn’t interested in partnering with politicians who have sought him out. He says he makes music for himself, and doesn't "buy any of the claims made by present-day politicians," according to the report.
Roots of distrust
Lars Hojer, an anthropologist and assistant professor at Copenhagen University researching Mongolia, says that young nationalists aren't politically motivated.
“[Mongolian] people in general are disillusioned about politics," Hojer told GlobalPost earlier this month at a French bakery in Ulan Bator. "It is a very widespread understanding that politics and business are deeply intertwined and that most politicians only care about their own business and money and not Mongolia at large.”
Brandon Miliate, who contributes to the popular blog Mongolia Today, said voters didn't feel there was enough difference between the policies of those running for office. Though initial results show that some new officials were elected, Miliate says there aren't likely to be any significant shifts in policies.
Initial results show that the investor-favored Democratic Party won the most seats, though not enough to secure a majority. In the previous government, the Democratic Party was the junior member in a coalition with the more socialist-minded Mongolian People’s Party, which came in second in this election.
Though losing parties have demanded a runoff vote, the newly elected legislators were sworn in on Friday. And assuming the Democratic Party can form a coalition with a like-minded party, their win can be viewed as a boost for the mining sector.
After all, it was the Democratic Party that helped get the contract signed on one of the two major mines, the Oyu Tolgoi mine, which is set to become operational in 2013.
Mongolia's economy is booming, largely thanks to its mining sector. Some investors are marketing the country as the new Qatar in terms of resource potential, and the Brookings Institution called it the second fastest growing economy in the world.
Just six years ago, the informal sector — herding yaks and goats — accounted for 60 percent of the country's GDP, according to the International Labor Organization, a United Nations agency. At that time, mining contributed a mere 9 percent. Today, mining accounts for a whopping 30 percent of GDP and that figure is likely to grow significantly once the two major mines come online next year.
China is first in line to reap the benefits, already gobbling up 92 percent of all Mongolian exports. Mongolia has surpassed Australia as China's largest supplier of coal, according to official figures, and China Shenhua Energy Co. is among the companies spending billions on access to Mongolia's mineral resources.
State-owned Shenhua and US-based Peabody Energy Corp won the joint bid to develop Tavan Tolgoi, the second largest in the world after western China and the other major mine set to go online in 2013.
More from GlobalPost: Stolen from Mongolia for sex
But a booming mining sector isn't good for everyone. Though a growing economy has cut unemployment rates, it has also helped raise inflation. And wage increases have been uneven.
Further complicating matters, the country is not equipped to supply skilled labor to bring infrastructure up to the level needed to tap its resources. That means migrant laborers from other countries arrive to take jobs while Mongolians grapple with unemployment.
Signs of progress
Voter apathy aside, Mongolia has made strides in certain areas. To curb voter fraud, which was a major inciting force in the 2008 riots, electronic counting machines were used.
Miliate, a registered foreigner election observer, said that, “compared to 2008, major steps have been taken to curb electoral fraud. It is our opinion that while small scale issues could have arisen, the protections in place were enough to protect against any levels of fraud large enough to actually buy an election.”
Mongolia has had one of the lowest representations globally of women in government at 3.9 percent, according the Inter-Parliamentary Union.
Preliminary results for 2012 show nine women gained seats in parliament out of 76, compared to three in the previous polls. If this figure survives the recount, it ups women’s representation to about 12 percent.
And though most disaffected voters cite corruption as cause for their disenchantment, an anti-corruption legislation passed this year appears to be taking hold.
Former president and current leader of the Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party, Enkhbayar, was recently arrested on corruption charges. Preliminary election results show that his arrest deterred voters and his party didn't do as well as was expected, only gaining a few seats in parliament. (Mogi: I would actually say his party gained enormously from the arrest with 11 seats in Parliament)
Still, Mongolia's declining political engagement may not be a bad sign for the country's nascent democracy. Some observers say it's just plain normal. At least it's not that far off from the way democracy plays out in the US.
"I think 64 or 65 percent is turnout is quite normal for a functioning democracy," said Undarya Tumursukh, national coordinator for MONFEMNET, a women’s organization. "Compare with US voting rates, apparently 61 percent in 2004 was the highest turnout since 1968. I actually wonder why we are even saying the turnout is low in Mongolia.”
If anything, it may actually be a sign that fraud has been largely checked during the election process and democracy is progressing.
“I think this time voter turnout might be more realistic than previous election years," she said. "It is highly possible previous voter turnout rates were artificially inflated due to fraud."
E. Dari contributed to this report in Mongolia.
Mongolia Gets Fed Up Over Corruption – Asian Sentinel, July 6
Turkish airlines launches flights to Ulan Bator
July 5 (TurkishPress.com) As the Turkish Airlines (THY) has added the Mongolian capital city of Ulan Bator into its international network of flights, Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek said that those flights would initiate a new period in which relations with the land of our ancestors would get closer.
Simsek spoke to the Turkiye daily following a ceremony which was held on the occasion of new flights launched between Turkey and Mongolia, saying that a positive cycle would start thanks to these flights. “Now we are becoming ‘real neighbors’ with Mongolia.
A quite strong bridge would have been established thanks to the THY,” Simsek added. Stating that 1,300 Mongolian students who study in Turkey with significant contributions made by the Turkish state will undertake very important duties both in the public and private sector in their country, Simsek said that this figure was high, considering that the population of Mongolia is less than 3 million.
Touching upon the flights launched by THY, Simsek said, “Of course, such a rapprochement is reflected in the field of commerce as well.
In line with the target indicated by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan during his visit to this country, the trade volume between the two countries which has previously amounted to $3 million increased to $47 million last year.”
Clinton Praises Mongolian System
July 9 (WSJ) U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told an audience in Mongolia that her visit is a reminder of U.S. support for democracy in a region where China's influence continues to deepen.
In remarks Monday in Ulan Bator, Mrs. Clinton credited Mongolia with demonstrating that a blazing economy provides an opportunity to expand personal freedoms, and pushed back against repeated assertions from Beijing that democracy is unsuited to the region.
"I'm also pleased this meeting is happening here in Asia because we need to dispel the myth that democracy is a Western value," Mrs. Clinton said. "People everywhere want a voice in the decisions that affect their lives."
Mrs. Clinton credited Mongolia's "courage" in building a democratic system in territory surrounded by Russia and China, and sustaining it while its mining-based economy became one of the world's fastest growing.
In public, Ms. Clinton didn't dwell on Mongolia's most recent round of legislative elections, in which a popular politician was forcibly sidelined, the result was contested and there is still no clear leadership mandate almost two weeks after the vote. The current president's Democratic Party won the most votes June 28, but not a majority.
A person familiar with the matter said Mrs. Clinton discussed the election with President Tsakhia Elbegdorj, but offered no details. The person said the secretary of state also raised the case of former President Enkhbayar Nambar, who had hoped to run for a parliamentary seat but was deemed ineligible due to a corruption case filed shortly before the vote. Mr. Enkhbayar denies charges against him.
After visiting Afghanistan and Japan over the weekend, Ms. Clinton is scheduled to spend the remainder of the week in other countries on China's periphery: Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. Her most recent trip to China, in May, produced a series of economic and political agreements and paved the way for the departure to the U.S. of blind Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng.
"My trip reflects a strategic priority of American foreign policy today,'' Ms. Clinton said Monday, according to the Associated Press. "After 10 years in which we focused a great deal of attention on the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq, the United States is making substantially increased investments—diplomatic, economic, strategic and otherwise—in this part of the world. It's what we call our pivot toward Asia.''
Clinton Digs at China From Neighboring Mongolia – The New York Times, July 9
Clinton urges free markets with democracy in Asia – AP, July 9
Clinton in Mongolia as parties dispute vote results – AFP, July 9
Clinton calls Mongolia a "model", digs at China – Reuters, July 9
Clinton Links Democracy, Economics in Mongolia – Voice of America, July 9
TESTIMONY BY AMBASSADOR-DESIGNATE TO MONGOLIA PIPER CAMPBELL
Piper A. W. Campbell, President Obama's nominee to be U.S. ambassador to Mongolia, testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee May 16.
U.S. Department of State
Testimony of Ambassador-Designate Piper A. W. Campbell
Statement before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee
May 16, 2012
President Obama's Nominee to be Ambassador to Mongolia
It is an honor to appear before you as President Obama’s nominee to be Ambassador to Mongolia.
I am deeply grateful for the confidence that the President and Secretary Clinton have shown in me, and, if confirmed, I look forward to working closely with this Committee to build on the already strong ties between the United States and Mongolia.
I want to thank Congresswoman Hochul for introducing me. Although my 22 years in the Foreign Service have taken me far from Buffalo, N.Y., my roots there are deep. It seemed fitting for Congresswoman Hochul to be here today as she helped arrange my internship with the great Senator from New York – a former member of this Committee – Daniel Patrick Moynihan. Senator Moynihan's passion for foreign policy was one of the things that shaped my path of service, which has taken me from the Philippines to Iraq, and many places in between.
The other thing that shaped my path has been the support of my family. I would like publicly to express my love and gratitude to my parents, David and Gay Campbell; my siblings Todd, April, and Skip; and my nieces, nephews, and cousins, who are here. They are an intrepid bunch, having visited me at almost every overseas post. Indeed, I am convinced they would have visited me in southern Iraq this past year, if I hadn't consistently told them that Basrah was off-limits.
This is an exciting year for U.S.-Mongolian relations, as we mark the 25th anniversary of the establishment of bilateral relations. Over that time, our partnership has grown stronger. One of the most exciting things about working in Mongolia, if I am confirmed, will be that so much of this relationship is about opportunities. Let me try to explain this better by briefly highlighting some of the key areas on which I plan to work, should I be confirmed as the next Ambassador to Mongolia:
Creating opportunities for U.S. businesses in a growing economy: Mongolia's resource-rich economy and significant growth potential have garnered international attention and propelled it to the top ranks of what some call “the frontier markets.” With large reserves of coal, copper, gold, uranium, and other minerals, Mongolia has the potential to double its GDP over the next decade – making it one of the world’s fastest growing economies. U.S. goods exported to Mongolia increased an astonishing 171 percent in 2010 over 2009 levels, and in 2011 they rose above the $300 million mark for the first time. Mongolia continues to chart a growth path for U.S. exports that ranks among the highest of any country in the world.
As Mongolia’s economy continues to expand, there will be more opportunities for U.S. firms. If I am confirmed, our Embassy will actively practice what Secretary Clinton calls “jobs diplomacy”: connecting U.S. industry, small businesses, and state and local governments with the best possible information about opportunities in Mongolia and advocating on their behalf. I would like to see strengthened business ties not only in the mineral sector but also in “downstream” industries as Mongolia’s economy becomes larger and more complex and as interest in U.S. consumer goods grows. I think it is important to note that current U.S. programs in Mongolia – the Millennium Challenge Corporation as well as U.S. Agency for International Development and U.S. Department of Agriculture activities and our Trade and Investment Framework Agreement – also are helping Mongolia to diversify its economy, expand economic growth, and promote trade and investment.
Any successful market-based economy must operate with openness and transparency, as well as good governance and accountability – but these attributes are particularly important in a situation of rapid growth, especially when driven by a single sector. Although the physical environments in Iraq and Mongolia are about as different as two countries can be, I believe that my experience working on southern Iraq’s oil sector and dealing with a region experiencing rapid economic change provides excellent preparation in better understanding the issues Mongolia will be confronting and the opportunities rapid growth can provide for Mongolia – as well as for our growing trade and investment relationship. Certainly, in the near term, it would be an important step in the right direction for the Mongolian government to sign the proposed U.S.-Mongolia agreement on transparency in international trade and investment.
Building already excellent international cooperation to mutual advantage: Last summer, this august body passed a resolution recognizing the increasingly prominent role the Government of Mongolia has assumed internationally. Mongolia has participated in the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development; it currently chairs the Community of Democracies and will host the next Ministerial Meeting in Ulaanbaatar; and it has been active in international peacekeeping from Afghanistan to Darfur and South Sudan, from the Western Sahara to Chad, in Kosovo, and in Iraq. Mongolia has dispatched over 5,600 peacekeepers to 14 different peacekeeping operations since 2002, and runs a unique Training Center for International Peace Support Operations.
The United States and the Government of Mongolia share a common interest in promoting peace and stability. I have spent much of my career representing the United States in international fora and focusing on conflict situations. If confirmed, I will welcome the opportunity to work with Mongolian officials to advance our shared interests in these globally important areas. As one concrete example: In March of this year, Mongolia’s Partnership Plan with NATO was approved, which will allow for greater cooperation and assistance to make Mongolia’s military compatible with those of NATO Allies. Mongolia already has a history of operating with NATO forces in Afghanistan, a history that demonstrates its commitment to global responsibility and security.
Mongolia’s “decision for democracy” in the 1990’s was a truly remarkable development: Through its competing political parties, transparent and peaceful elections, and respect for human rights, Mongolia can serve as a positive role model for other countries in the region and beyond. A quarter of a century ago, Mongolia’s contacts with the outside world were limited. Mongolia’s progress over the last twenty-plus years provides an important and timely illustration of the value and importance of democratic systems. Mongolia recognizes the value of engagement with the United States and others in a “Third Neighbor Policy”, while also acknowledging the importance of maintaining good relations with its two immediate neighbors, Russia and China.
The United States has been a consistent and supportive partner in Mongolia’s journey to democracy. While this journey has included a number of difficult challenges, I believe that Mongolia’s tremendous economic potential and increased participation in multilateral fora bring enormous opportunities for further strengthening its democracy and ensuring that all of Mongolia’s citizens have a role to play in this journey. As Mongolia looks forward to two important elections – parliamentary elections in June 2012 and a presidential election in 2013 – we will continue our robust engagement with Mongolia on advancing its democracy, strengthening the rule of law, combating corruption, and developing its civil society. If confirmed, I will support and increase these efforts.
U.S.-Mongolian people-to-people engagement: Our current Ambassador in Mongolia has unearthed documents that seem to show that the first U.S. citizen visited Mongolia 150 years ago. Although I cannot claim that U.S.-Mongolian people-to-people engagement flourished without interruption from that point, the past decade has seen a tremendous growth in U.S. interest in Mongolia (which was ranked last year by National Geographic as one of the top 20 places to visit), as well as Mongolian interest in the United States. I understand that two-way travel by Mongolians and Americans alike keeps the Embassy’s consular section busy. The visa workload has been growing steadily over the last five years. We have facilitated educational and cultural exchange travel, giving qualified Mongolians the opportunity to experience the United States and its people. This supports our bilateral relationship and the many areas of mutual interest I already described. I believe that U.S. support, both governmental and private, of Mongolia’s cultural heritage sites, media sector, and amazing environment also is linked to increased U.S. interest – and to all the new associations our ever-more interconnected world engenders. If confirmed, I also would be delighted to serve in a country that hosts a vibrant Peace Corps program. Our Peace Corps volunteers are among the best grass-roots ambassadors for the United States and its values, and in Mongolia they are having a major and lasting effect.
Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee, it would be the highest honor for me to serve our country as the U.S. Ambassador to Mongolia. I joined the Foreign Service 22 years ago, coming in with a certificate in Asian studies from Georgetown University and a fascination with the region. Secretary Clinton recently predicted that the world's strategic and economic center of gravity in the 21st century will be the Asia-Pacific region. She framed one of the most important tasks of American statecraft over the next decade as locking in a substantially increased investment — diplomatic, economic, strategic, and otherwise — in this region. I welcome the opportunity to be on the front lines of that challenge. If confirmed, I will lead a diplomatic mission of approximately two hundred U.S. and Mongolian employees, representing seven agencies. I will do my very best to ensure that all members of that community and their families have the leadership, security, and support they need to get their jobs done and to engage on behalf of the United States to work with, and benefit from, the growth and dynamism so apparent in the Asian region.
Thank you for considering my nomination.
July 6 (Mongolian Economy) To Mongolians the number nine is auspicious. They worship their national emblems of nine. The Great Chinggis Khan, who made Mongolia known for its power and strength, had nine knights. He established the Great Mongolian Empire. Nine is a lucky number for Mongolians.
These following are nine contributions of the Oyu Tolgoi project to Mongolia’s economy and future. In Mongolia, where wrestlers and bowmen show their excellence, an old melody resounds inside of the white ger.
One: Mongolia has 50 million cattle. It is ranked 10th in the world for the number of cattle per capita and 11th for meat consumption per capita. It is ranked the same for its mineral resources as well. The public offering of Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi will reach the financial market by the first quarter of next year. The operations of Oyu Tolgoi will begin early next year. The time when Oyu Tolgoi sends its first product to the global market is nearing. At present, construction of Oyu Tolgoi is 90 percent complete. The current construction policy is “90+”.
Two: Only 32 days are left before people begin to cheer for the Olympics and the completion of the Oyu Tolgoi project’s development. Just as the Mongolian flag waves in the city sky of London, the construction will be rushing towards 100 percent completion. This historic project that promises to lead Mongolia towards development is finally becoming a reality. It is time for Mongolians to own both the London Olympics and Oyu Tolgoi.
Three: Mongolia’s rapid economic growth continues. In the first quarter of this year, the economy had grown by 16.7 percent. According to the World Bank, development of Oyu Tolgoi is a main contributor to Mongolia’s economy. Furthermore, the opportunity to invest in Mongolia will remain just as high as it is now.
Four: As mentioned above, development of the Oyu Tolgoi project has reached 90 percent completion. Construction is six months ahead of the schedule laid out in the investment contract and Oyu Tolgoi is to begin initial production in August this year. Of course, this production will be written as a part of Mongolian history.
Five: Investment into Mongolia reached MNT 7.8 trillion prior to the launching of the Oyu Tolgoi mine. Up to 30 percent of investment circulating within Mongolia’s economy is derived from Oyu Tolgoi, where over 1,900 domestic supply companies participate. Those companies have delivered procurement services worth MNT 1.7 trillion. Quality, efficiency and security is the motto of Oyu Tolgoi.
Six: Sustainable development means a long- term vision. It also means supplying current demand without affecting future demand.
As written on the official website of Oyu Tolgoi: “Sustainable development is an essential part of our goal. By providing a balance between environment, society and economy, we strive to reach sustainable development”.
Keeping its word, the company has invested over MNT 30 billion. It has invested sums into rural areas that nearly equal the state budget. In addition, the company has started the construction of 70 kilometres of water pipes, an international airport and a 36-megawatt power line. The MNT 1.6 trillion ore-enrichment plant planned for the site will create new jobs for many people.
Seven: According to the Bank of Mongolia, Mongolia’s international trade circulation increased by 42.4 percent in February 2012, compared to the same month last year. The average prices of Mongolia’s 10 main export goods rose by 11.8 percent. The import of main goods and raw materials increased by 43.8 percent.
Mining products represent a major part of this export. Coal and minerals comprise 40.6 percent of total exports, enriched copper is 22.5 percent, iron ore and enriched ore are 12.2 percent, and 22.5 percent is crude oil. Analysts say that Oyu Tolgoi would bring prominent changes to Mongolia’s export trade when it begins to operate at full capacity. They noted that there is plenty to benefit from with trade of added-value products.
Eight: Although Oyu Tolgoi is not yet fully commissioned, it generates MNT 1 for every MNT 3 circulating in the market.
“I am not here to justify that cash distribution is the right thing to do. But the money that is being distributed now, isn’t that money from Oyu Tolgoi”? asked publicist B. Baabar. He added “This is no sort of domestic investment. It is the same as taking money from one pocket and putting into another. So there’s no investment here.”
“If you want to open a shop, you will have to sell your house or get a loan. On the contrary, foreign investment means that some unknown person has dropped money into your pot. And when you start to profit, it is beneficial for you as well as your investor. For that reason, every country should rush to attract foreign investment. Currently, the United States is the leading country for attracting investment and China is second”.
Nine: The Oyu Tolgoi project is not a risky game for Mongolians. However, for investors it is going to be tough. Mongolians are expecting to gain more from the project in order to develop their economy because they are the owners of this wealth. Their will and desire is more powerful than possessing 51 percent of the Oyu Tolgoi mining company. The company will start production from the fourth quarter of this year, reaching completion in just 27 months from a 33-month plan.
Press release: Incredible achievement in a remote area – Oyu Tolgoi, July 4
July 6 (Mongolian Economy) It is an honour to know that our president has been named “The Policy Leader” at this Year’s U.N. Global Leader awards.
The U.N. Environmental Programme named President Ts. Elbegdorj as the recipient of this award to the Global Leader 2012 awards held in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. Attendees from over 20 media houses from around the world proclaimed President Elbegdorj as the “Green President”.
“We are delighted to express our deepest gratitude to President Ts. Elbegdorj, who has initiated and enforced environmental protection actions in his country and at the international stage” said Achim Steiner, director of the U.N. Environment Programme.
Mongolia’s president has become a green shining star. Previous recipients of the “Policy Leader” award are Nobel Prize holder and former Russian President Mikhail Gorbachev, former U.S. President Al Gore, Mexican President Felipe Calderon, Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed and Monaca’s Prince Albert II. What did the Mongolian president do to be awarded with such an honourable prize?
The Green Agenda
The change of grass and leaves from green to yellow is the first indication of autumn. But there was red, pink, white and blue everywhere as if colourful flowers were flourishing. The cheerful sounds of children are music to the world. Every year on September 1 is vibrant like this.
Pupils in their classroom wait for the bell to ring, signalling the break from classes. However, the first day of school in 2009 was somehow different and more silent. On that day Elbegdorj lectured on global warming at School No. 3 of the Sukhbaatar District in Ulaanbaatar. Since then, every year the president speaks on global issues with pupils for the so-called “Second Hour Lesson”.
There is a saying: “Planting a tree means a blessing for a lifetime, and two trees mean a blessing for the afterlife”. If two million trees were planted, how many blessing would that make? The president has established a national holiday devoted to planting trees. It is part of an initiative to plant two million trees every year. If each person planted 10 trees throughout the world, mankind would plant approximately 70 billion trees every single year. It is a good thought.
It is sad to see nature upheaved, and images of this caused by mining can be seen almost everywhere in Mongolia. Historic places such as Zaamar in Tuv Aimag, Uyanga and Bat-Ulzii Soums in Uvurkhangai Aimag, and Yeruu and Mandal Soums in Selenge Aimag have become just memories. Seeing one’s country turn barren, without flowers to flourish or water to flow, leave one with nothing more than emptiness. When 46 percent of Mongolia’s territory was regulated to mining, Elbegdorj sided with the environment when he ordered a halt to license granting. Actions such as these have made the president a leader of the world.
The president has initiated many environmentally friendly activities such as his introduction and later ratification of legislation to improve air quality in Ulaanbaatar, support for renewable energy and battle against desertification.
He is also an active member of many organizations that exist for the protection of the environment. For example, the president is a member of the United Nations’ council against climate change and the water resource protection group from the Davos economic forum. In 2010, the government organised its assembly in the Gobi and sent a proclamation to the United Nations. The water resource group has since decided to include Mongolia in its research. The first steps for cooperation have been taken.
Candidates are nominated by the U.N. Environment Programme, and later the winner is chosen after leaders conduct a poll. Voters said Elbegdorj has played a great role in protecting the environment, and introducing effective policies, and has proven his abilities to act as a real leader.
When Mongolia was experiencing rapid economic development, Mongolian Economy magazine was born, publishing its first edition under the name “Global New Trend: Green Development”. When handing our first edition to the president during the Mongolian Economic Forum in 2011, he said, “I am glad that such a professional magazine was born right on the verge of rapid economic growth. I liked the fact that this magazine focuses on green development and the protective use of water. Write more on green development”.
Now, the same people that created Mongolian Economy have created the Green Economic Growth non-government organization, aiming to educate citizens as well as policy makers on this understanding. We have got a lot to accomplish. Our magazine staff is glad to congratulate the president on his award. Let us create green development together.
Round Table Pizza Opening 10 Restaurants in Mongolia, Managers to Train in Manteca
MANTECA, CA, July 5 (Fox40 News) — Round Table Pizza announced plans Thursday to open 10 restaurants in Mongolia.
Two manager trainees landed in California Wednesday, and will spend the next eight weeks in Manteca, learning the tricks of the Round Table trade.
The company says the soon-to-be managers got special visas from the U.S. Embassy in Mongolia to make the trip. They’ll complete the basic manager’s training course, according to Round Table’s Senior Director of International Operations Mike Buck.
“The menu will be very similar, except that we will also serve Mongolian barbeque beef pizza and pasta there, and we may test some at the training restaurant in Manteca for some lucky customers,” Buck said, in a news release.
The first Round Table in Mongolia is set to open in September.
Bulgarian Archaeologist Considers Importing Shamans from Mongolia
July 8 (Novinite.com) Bulgaria should seriously consider inviting Mongolian shamans to "enliven" its ancient archeological sites, argues leading Bulgarian archeologist Prof. Nikolay Ovcharov.
At a press conference presenting the results of a recent expedition to Mongolia, Ovcharov said he and his team met and talked to local shamans to discuss the novel idea.
"I now have this as my cause and most probably in April and May next year we will have true shamanic rituals here in Bulgaria," said he.
Although Bulgarians speak a Slavic language and stem predominantly from ancient Slavs and Thracians, the ancient Bulgars, who founded the Bulgarian state in 681 AD and gave it its name, are considered by some to be of Turkic origin and as such related to the Mongols.
"We have to recreate the rituals of the ancient Bulgars at their archaeological sites here in Bulgaria," argued Prof. Ovcharov.
"The participation of true shamans would be really important from a scientific point of view, but it will also create a veritable tourist attraction," explained he.
According to Ovcharov, shamanistic rituals could be staged not only at Bulgar sites near Madara and Varna, but also at the ancient Thracian city of Perperikon.
"This is of utmost importance for tourism, and our tourist sites can be aptly enlivened with attractions like the one I am suggesting," added the archaeologist.
Prof. Ovcharov also said he is launching a campaign to build a monument to Saints Cyril and Methodius in Mongolia's capital Ulan Bator.
The two Byzantine learned brothers, who lived in the 9th century AD, were instrumental in creating what is now the Cyrillic script.
Cyrillic has been the official alphabet in Mongolia since 1945, but the old traditional Mongolian script is also mandatory in schools, and has been gaining popularity in recent years.
Fighting the Battle of Khalkhin Gol, Japanese and Red Army warfare and tactics in Mongolia
July 8 (Warfare and Diplomatic History Blog) Below is a second excerpt from The Battle of Khalkhin Gol: Soviet Mongol Defeat of the Imperial Japanese Army in Mongolia, May-September 1939 (Written by: Benjamin J. Sparks Worcester State University BA European History & 19th-20th Century Warfare, May 2012)
The Trail of Genghis Khan
May 17 (Global Traveler International)
"Mogi" Munkhdul Badral
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