Blue Wolf Mongolia Countdown to Liquidation: 2 months, 28 days
Mogi: all investor presentation should be like this
Wolf Petroleum Investor Presentation, January 2013: “Exploring The New Frontier in Oil”
January 22, Wolf Petroleum Limited (ASX:WOF) --
Mongolian Mining (00975) sees turnaround to loss for FY2012
[ET Net News Agency, 22 January 2013] Mongolian Mining Corporation (00975) said it expects the Group to record a consolidated loss for the year ended 31 December 2012 as compared to a consolidated profit recorded for the previous financial year.
The expected turnaround to loss is mainly attributable to a decrease of prices for coking coal products supplied by the Group due to market conditions in its principal market, the People's Republic of China, as demand from steel mills and coke plants was affected by global economic conditions, an increase in the Group's finance costs due to the issue of guaranteed senior notes in March 2012, and an increase in the Group's costs related to accounting for inventory loss provisions.
Its annual results announcement is expected to be published in March. (HL)
Excerpt from MMC release:
Although the above factors have impacted the Group’s financial results for the year ended 31 December 2012, the Board continues to believe that the Group is currently well funded with a strong cash position and remains well positioned to continue to pursue its strategic objectives and operational targets.
Related: CHANGE OF PRINCIPAL SHARE REGISTRAR AND TRANSFER AGENT IN THE CAYMAN ISLANDS – MMC, January 22
Winsway's ratings lowered to 'B' & on CreditWatch Negative by S&P
[ET Net News Agency, 22 January 2013] Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said it had lowered its long-term corporate credit rating on Winsway Coking Coal Holdings Ltd. (01733) to 'B' from 'B+'.
At the same time, the agency lowered the rating on the company's senior unsecured notes to 'B' from 'B+'. It also lowered its long-term Greater China regional scale rating on Winsway and on the notes to 'cnB+' from 'cnBB-'.
In addition, S&P placed all the ratings on CreditWatch with negative implications.
"We downgraded Winsway because we are unclear if the company can turn around its financial performance in 2013 following an expected loss in 2012," said S&P's credit analyst Huma Shi.
"A recent profit warning from Winsway suggests that its financial results for 2012 could be significantly below our previous base-case expectations." she added.
It said Winsway's cash flow protection will likely remain weak in 2013, due to depressed coal prices, high inventory, and the uncertain ramp-up of a new coal mine in Canada. In our opinion, the company's business model of back-to-back contracts with customers has not protected Winsway from its exposure to coal-price volatilities. (KL)
Related: Winsway (01733) tips turnaround to loss for FY2012 – ET Net News Agency, January 21
Guildford: Proposal to Vary Management Agreement with TheChairmen1
January 22 -- Guildford Coal Limited (the Company, ASX:GUF) wishes to advise that it has agreed with its major shareholder, TheChairmen1 Pty Ltd (Chairmen), to vary the terms of the Management Agreement between the Company and Chairmen (Management Agreement) subject to various shareholder approvals. Independent Expert PriceWaterhouseCoopers Securities Limited has determined that the proposal to vary the terms of the Management Agreement is fair and reasonable for the Company's shareholders who are not excluded from voting on this proposal.
Management Agreement - Success Fee
As previously announced, the Management Agreement dated 26 May 2010 (as amended on 20 July 2010) provides that the Company will pay Chairmen a success fee of $20,000,000 (excluding GST) for each 100,000,000 tonnes of indicated resource of coal in connection with one or more of the projects acquired by the Company prior to it being listed on the ASX (Projects) up to a maximum of $100,000,000 (Success Fee).
As announced to the ASX, the first installment of the Success Fee was paid to Chairmen by Guildford on 3 August 2012 by way of the issue of 44,179,369 fully paid ordinary shares.
The Company may pay each instalment of the Success Fee either in cash or by the issue of fully paid ordinary shares (Shares), or by a combination of cash and Shares at the election of the Company's independent directors (or if there are no independent directors on the Board, an independent valuer).
Proposal to Vary Management Agreement
Under the terms of the proposal, the Company and Chairmen have agreed to finalise the remaining potential Success Fee instalments due to Chairmen under the terms of the Management Agreement.
In consideration for being relieved of any further obligation to pay the Success Fee to Chairmen, the Company will issue 74,000,000 Shares (Consideration Shares) to Chairmen.
Following the issue of the Consideration Shares no further instalments of the Success Fee will be payable to Chairmen.
The proposal to vary the Management Agreement and issue the Consideration Shares is conditional upon the approval of the Company's shareholders being obtained at an Extraordinary General Meeting to be held at 11:00 am (AEDT) on 27 February 2013 at the offices of K&L Gates, Level 31, 1 O'Connell Street, Sydney NSW 2000.
Chalco Urges Erdenes TT to Honor Terms of Coal-Supply Accord
January 22 (Bloomberg) Aluminum Corp. of China Ltd. is urging Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi LLC to honor terms of a $250 million supply agreement after Mongolia’s largest-state owned coal miner halted deliveries, seeking higher prices.
Managers at the international trading unit of Chalco (2600), as Aluminum Corp. is called, met officials at the Ulan Bator-based company in November to discuss issues related to price and shipments, Chalco said today in an e-mailed response to Bloomberg queries. The fundamental terms of the accord shouldn’t be changed, Chalco said.
Erdenes TT wants to increase prices and cut shipments, changing the terms of the contract signed in July 2011, Chief Executive Officer Yaichil Batsuuri, who has led the company since October, said in Jan. 14 phone interview. Erdenes TT supplies coal to Chalco at $53 a metric ton, compared with the $61 it costs to move the fuel to the Tsagaan Khaad border station, Batsuuri said.
“We hope Erdenes TT will strictly adhere to the agreement including the confidentiality terms,” Chalco said in its e-mail today.
Exports to customers including Chalco stopped on Jan. 11 as cash-strapped Erdenes TT couldn’t pay Altangovi, a logistics provider, according to Batsuuri.
Chalco shares added 1 percent to close at HK$4 today in Hong Kong, beating a 0.3 percent gain in the key Hang Seng Index.
The halt in shipments comes as Erdenes TT seeks a state loan for as much as $500 million to repay debt and fund infrastructure, Batsuuri said earlier. Erdenes TT’s unpaid bills of as much as 5 billion tugrik ($3.6 million) to Altangovi has stopped the logistics company from being able to buy the diesel it needs for warehousing operations, he said.
The company is developing part of the Tavan Tolgoi coal field, Mongolia’s largest. The field, 70 percent of which holds coking coal, is located 150 miles (241 kilometers) north of the Chinese border in the heart of the Gobi Desert.
Erdenes TT in negotiations with Chalco over prices
January 21 (news.mn) Erdenes TT CEO Ya.Batsuuri announced that the only buyer of Tavan Tolgoi coal exports in China has been suspended from January 11th.
The reason is that the company sells export coal per ton at 53 US dollars while the output and transportation costs are 61 US dollars. The company head held negotiations with the Chinese state owned CHALCO on the coal prices.
While Erdenes TT faces financial difficulties negotiations with investors on the West Tsankhi operation have come to a stand-still.
Erdenes TT took 250 million US dollar in advance for a coal supply contract with CHALCO in July 2011. But the state owned company transferred most of the money to the Human Development Fund in order to be distributed to every citizen of Mongolia as part of the free allowance from the mineral resources.
But Erdenes TT needs a 400-500 million US dollar pay-out for debt and to build infrastructure.
The company has already claimed bailout from the Government but it is still unclear how much investment is planned for Erdenes TT.
MONGOLIA’S FIRST METALLURGY PROCESSING PLANT WOULD BE OPERATIONAL BY 2016
January 21 (InfoMongolia) Mongolia is exporting nearly all excavated minerals due to absence of metallurgy processing plant in its territory; thereby in order to seize the export flow of iron ore and work more profitable producing end-products locally, Mongolian Metallurgy Manufacturer Union, which was formed recently in the midst of this month, has decided to implement a project to build its own plant in Mongolia.
Though, a feasibility study for steel works to be constructed in Sainshand was made by “Bold Tumur Yeruu Gol” LLC and the Union agreed to start the project purposed to supply domestic demands.
In order to implement the project, “Bold Tumur Yeruu Gol” LLC, “Erdes Holding” LLC, “Beren” LLC, “Mongol Metal Mining” LLC and “Monlaa” LLC have been united forming the “Mongol Gan Negdel” Company. Following the Company's decision to allocate its particular share to state, the Government of Mongolia revised and agreed to collaborate, consequently a metallurgy processing plant would be operational by 2016, reports Montsame agency.
'Having the balls' to grab Oyu Tolgoi said to be Albanese's greatest achievement
January 18 (MINING.com) As the industry continues to rake over the coals of Tom Albanese's tenure at the world's second largest miner some are finding positives from his five-year reign.
One is that he successfully saved Rio Tinto (LON:RIO) from the clutches of BHP Billiton (LON:BHP). Marius Kloppers launched a bid – it was never going to be anything other than an unfriendly one – in November 2007.
Barely six months later – after Albanese sold of assets to the tune of $30 billion and boosted the company's dividends to stave off BHP – Rio's stock reached a record high.
It was downhill from there.
The Sydney Morning Herald spoke to industry insiders who disagree.
They say taking control of Robert Friedland's Ivanhoe Mines, owners of Oyu Tolgoi in Mongolia, in 2012 following a initial investment spearheaded by Albanese before he become CEO , was a great gift to Rio:
"He had the balls to take on the Oyu Tolgoi deal and internally [at Ivanhoe] we felt that him doing that deal saved his bacon the first time around," said Peter Reeve, the former chief executive of Ivanhoe's Australian offshoot.
"A lot of other people wanted it: BHP Billiton wanted it, the Chinese wanted it, loads of other people wanted it because it's a great project. But he got it, he nailed it."
After growing up in New Jersey, Albanese studied geology and finance in Alaska, and Reeve – the new boss of explorer Havilah Resources – said the pursuit of Oyu Tolgoi showed just how good Albanese's grasp of exploration was.
"If you are a good minerals person you understand that the only way to create real wealth is to get the discoveries done – he has a deep understanding of exploration because he came from that as a source," said Reeve.
"He bought along a very cloistered and dud system – that being the dumb part of the Rio Tinto bureaucracy – he bought that along and made them do that deal with Oyu Tolgoi.
"He was still thinking as an explorationist.
"There was a view within Ivanhoe that Tom did a lot of very good work getting that deal done and I know [Ivanhoe founder Robert Friedland] had the opinion that it was a good effort to get a big systematic company like that over the line."
Oyu Tolgoi is indeed one of the greatest prizes in mining and is months away from commercial production. And it will be producing for generations.
At northwards of $10 billion it hasn't come in cheaply, but the gargantuan project is set to produce more than 1.2 billion pounds of copper, 650,000 ounces of gold and 3 million ounces of silver annually at full tilt.
But there is the issue of ownership.
Mongolian politicians have tried twice in the last two years to grab more than the government's 34% share of Oyu Tolgoi.
So far Rio's hard line on re-opening negotiations on the 2006 agreement has worked, something Albanese (and of course Friedland) should take credit for.
This approach may not succeed for much longer.
The country's parliament is considering a radical new mining bill that seeks among a raft of other onerous provisions, a controlling stake in all foreign-owned mines.
In the past cooler heads have prevailed and laws have always ended up with fewer teeth.
But the politicians now in power who campaigned last year on taking a greater share of the country's vast mineral wealth.
They may not back down again.
Mongolia: Highlights of the 2013 Budget and the Fiscal Outlook
January 17 (The World Bank) --
Key Findings –
The 2013 budget approved by the Parliament on November 15, 2012 has an important implication as the first annual fiscal plan prepared under the fully effective Fiscal Stability Law (FSL). The budget proclaims that the Government will be committed to the FSL by setting the structural fiscal deficit at 2 percent. While this is a progress toward a more sound fiscal policy, the budget also has significant potential risks of undermining the goal of the FSL with optimistic revenue projections and expansionary spending plans.
· Total revenue is projected to increase by 28.9 percent from the 2012 budget, reaching MNT 7,258 billion. However, the rate of increase in total revenue is likely to reach 40 percent compared to the 2012 revenue outturn. The revenue projections are potentially over-estimated, given the revenue shortfalls in 2012 and the inclusion of controversial extra revenue (MNT 445 billion) expected from re-negotiating the 2009 OT (Oyu Tolgoi mine) investment agreement. Potential revenue shortfall may reach up to 6 percent of GDP.
· Total expenditure and net lending is planned to rise by 17.9 percent from the 2012 budget, reaching MNT 7,444.6 billion. Much of the increase relates to a sharp increase in capital expenditure of 44.7 percent. Despite the large increase in capital expenditure, a reduction in capital repairs adds to concerns about maintaining the quality of the new and existing capital investments. The spending plan of the current budget is yet to include two new spending elements that could have significant adverse impact on the fiscal outlook: (i) Price Stabilization Program (MNT 718 billion) and (ii) the use of proceeds from the sovereign bond issue of USD 1.5 billion.
· The structural balance is projected to reach 2 percent of GDP, the maximum level set by the FSL. This is clearly a progress to be noted. However, the fiscal target is likely to be hard to achieve, given the potential revenue shortages and the two new spending components that will eventually have to be added to the budget. Exact fiscal impact from the additional spending components remains uncertain at this stage. However, we expect that the fiscal deficit may reach over 6 percent and the magnitude could be larger depending on how the extra spending plans unfold.
The fiscal imbalance would be much higher if off-budget financing operations were included in the fiscal outlook of the budget. The fiscal burden from off-budget financing through the Development Bank of Mongolia (DBM) announced in 2012 is estimated to be over 4 percent of GDP in 2013. Large scale off-budget financing operations will significantly undermine the effectiveness of prudential rules of the FSL and likely add to the overheating pressures from the on-budget fiscal activities.
The recent involvement of the Bank of Mongolia (BoM) in the Price Stabilization Program and the ambiguity on the use of sovereign bond proceeds are adding to concerns on growing tendency to bypass the FSL. Participation of the BoM in the Government’s price stabilization measures through providing a subsidized financing is beyond the traditional role of monetary authorities. Clear plan for the exit of the central bank needs to be drawn up to disconnect the possibility of it turning into another off-budget financing vehicle. While it is a sign of growing interest from global financial markets in Mongolian economy, the new bond issue could become a significant fiscal risk without prudent plans to use the proceeds. It must be noted that the recent bond issue cannot be an off-budget financing channel and that the receipt and the use of the proceeds need to be properly recorded in the budget. The Government also needs to take adequate time and extra caution to select and appraise projects to be financed by the proceeds, considering the financial cost of the external borrowing and economy’s capacity constraint.
Macroprudential Policies for a Resource Rich Economy: The Case of Mongolia
Maino, Rodolfo ; Imam, Patrick ; Ojima, Yasuhisa
Authorized for Distribution:
January 22, 2013
Summary: This paper explores the extent to which macroprudential tools can be used to manage banking sector risks in Mongolia, a commodity producing country exposed to both procyclical and cross-sectional financial sector risks. Loose fiscal policy, rising credit activity, and heightened risk appetite—attributable to the commodity boom—are fuelling price volatility in asset markets, posing significant risks to financial stability if left unchecked. Rising interconnectedness, potential increase in dollarization and concentrated exposures are compounding those risks. Macroprudential tools can complement fiscal and monetary policy adjustments to avoid the buildup of vulnerabilities in the banking sector.
The fastest-growing countries in the EBRD's area of operations are Mongolia and Turkmenistan
Jan 21 (Reuters) - Economic growth in emerging Europe and North Africa will pick up to 3.1 percent this year, benefiting from an easing of the euro debt crisis, development bank EBRD said on Monday.
The fastest-growing countries in the EBRD's area of operations are Mongolia and Turkmenistan, both of which should enjoy double-digit expansion due to new copper and energy projects respectively.
Coal Mongolia 2013 to take place for the third year
January 21 (Business-Mongolia.com) As one of the major events in the minerals sector, Coal Mongolia 2013, an international conference and exhibition to be held on 21-22 February in Ulaanbaatar, will be offering multiple possibilities in sourcing, networking and business partnerships in the coal industry. Jointly organized by Mining.mn and the Ministry of Mining, the event aims to bring International Investors into the coal sector of Mongolia, introduce the most advanced, environmentally friendly technologies in the coal mining industry and create a mutually beneficial partnership that will strengthen Mongolia’s competitiveness in the region.
According to the organizers, Coal Mongolia 2013 will enable its participants to learn more about the state policies and legal environment on coal mining sector from the officials of the new government. It is the first major conference within the industry to be organized since the formation of the coalition government last year. In addition, new investment opportunities in coal exploration, production and processing projects will also be presented during the event.
As one of the richest countries in the world in terms of coal resources, Mongolia considers coal mining as one of the priority sectors for its economic growth in the long term. Key government officials including the Prime Minister of Mongolia, Minister of Mining, and Minister of Economic Development will be attending the Coal Mongolia 2013 presenting government’s short and long terms strategies on coal mining and its regulatory environment.
Last year, the event had attracted over 1,000 delegates and visitors from 28 countries and over 300 foreign and domestic companies, NGOs, and Government officials. Should you be interested to obtain more details about the upcoming conference, please visit www.coalmongolia.mn.
Mogi: a very mellow account of what happened during the meeting. He had some pretty harsh words, though deserved in my opinion, for the ministers
President gives directions to the Government
January 21 (UB Post) The Government of Mongolia has conducted it’s first-time open discussion forum, where the President of Mongolia, Ts.Elbegdorj took a part, hearing information regarding the work the government has supported to reduce air pollution as well as making some specific recommendations.
The open discussion forum was conducted during the meeting of the National Security Council, where it was stated that the air pollution of the capital city had reached disaster levels. Previously, a law to reduce the air pollution in the capital city was developed at the direction of the President Ts.Elbegdorj and was adopted in February 2011. Thus, at the beginning of this meeting the minister for Nature, Environment and Green Development S.Oyun and the Chairman of the National committee on air pollution reduction of the capital city P.Tsagaan presented their progress report.
The initiatives implemented, to reduce the air pollution included such things as; introduction of smoke free stoves, smokeless fuel, power saving heating and reducing the vehicle emissions. The results were that the air pollution during the overloaded heating months from October 2011 through February 2012 was decreased by 20 percent and the toxic substance contained in the pollution was reduced by 80 percent.
After introducing the results of the work combating air pollution; the Minister for Construction and Urban Development Ts.Bayarsaikhan, the Governor of Capital City E.Bat-Uul and Minister for Economic Development N.Batbayar, introduced a policy of innovation which will be implemented by Parliament. The policy included such things as; improving the planning of ger districts, the building of apartments and the upgrading of infrastructure.
Pre 2012 it was decided to plan and build100 thousand apartments in Ulaanbaatar and relocate 400,000 ger and at risk residents into the new apartments by 2020. Mostly they will be built in outskirts of Ulaanbaatar, where the ger districts dominate. It is hoped that construction of these apartments for 100 thousand households will relocate 400,000 of the 800,000 ger district residents reducing; air pollution, traffic congestion and ground and water pollution, emphasized the Mayor of Ulaanbaatar E.Bat-Uul.
During the open discussion members of the government asked questions related to the results of the work to reduce the air pollution and policies to be imminently implemented, with the President Ts.Elbegdorj demanding clarification on some issues and making proposals on several others. He proposed to take action; against state civil servants who made bad decisions, to intensify the implementation of works under construction or financed, to increase pressure on the management of some sectors which are under project performance and compliance pressures.
Furthermore, the President directed the relevant officials to make the economic preparations in order to facilitate the mass migration of ger citizens within the capital city. In the end Ts.Elbegdorj praised the ministers of the Reform government who are working diligently and asked them to increase their efforts to improve productivity.
Ulaanbaatar to launch the ambitious “Street” Project
January 22 (news.mn) The Ulaanbaatar City Administration is to launch a project entitled “Street” in order to ease traffic jams and reduce air pollution.
Within the project 33 intersections in the city center will be rebuilt, 700 roads will be barred and a highway along the Tuul river through Ulaanbaatar city will be built.
Ulaanbaatar city administration is in negotiation on a ban on raw coal transportation to the city, instead encouraging the half coking coal in order to reduce air pollution by up to 50 percent. It will also support wool as a building material and hasten highway construction.
The City Authorities say there will be no difficulties due to available land.
SEVERAL DOCUMENTS SIGNED BETWEEN POLAND AND MONGOLIA ON EDUCATION, DEFENSE, ECONOMY, REGIONAL COOPERATION AND SCIENCE
January 22 (InfoMongolia) The state visit of Mongolian delegation to the Republic of Poland led by the President of Mongolia Tsakhia ELBEGDORJ has started on January 21st, where President of Poland Bronislaw Komorowski welcomed his counterpart at the Presidential Palace in Warsaw, Poland.
Mongolia’s Presidential-level visit to the Republic of Poland is being conducted after 13 years, and this state visit includes Foreign Minister L.Bold, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Mongolia to the Republic of Poland A.Ganbaatar, Deputy Minister for Finance S.Purev, Deputy Minister for Construction and Urban Development G.Baigalmaa, Deputy Minister for Population Development and Social Welfare O.Tamir, and other officials are accompanying.
Following the reception ceremony, Presidents of Poland and Mongolia held one on one talks and were present at the several documents signing ceremony held between the two Governments.
- Particularly, Program on Cooperation in educational sector was signed between the Ambassador of Mongolia to Poland A.Ganbaatar and Barbara Kudrycka, Minister of Science and Higher Education of Poland.
- Intergovernmental Agreement in defense sector was inked by State Secretary of the Ministry of Defense of Mongolia Z.Boldbaatar and Robert Kupiecki, Under-Secretary of State for Defense Policy, Ministry of National Defense of Poland.
- Intergovernmental Agreement in economic sector was inked by the Ambassador of Mongolia to Poland A.Ganbaatar and Dycha Andrzej, Deputy Minister for Economy of Poland.
- Intergovernmental Agreement in regional cooperation was inked by Ambassador of Mongolia to Poland A.Ganbaatar and Pawel Orlowski, Deputy Minister for Regional Development of Poland.
- Intergovernmental Agreement between the Sciences’ Academies and “Executive Protocol” were signed by President of Mongolian Academy of Sciences B.Enkhtuvshin and Michal Kleiber, President of Polish Academy of Sciences.
President Bronislaw Komorowski underlined during a joint press conference with President of Mongolia Ts.Elbegdorj, "I am convinced that the Polish Embassy should be reopened in Mongolia. This is very significant for the strengthening of Polish-Mongolian cooperation".
Mongolian president visits Poland - Thenews.pl, January 21
Minister Radosław Sikorski meets with Mongolian Foreign Minister - Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Poland, January 21
Poland considering reopening embassy in Mongolia – InfoMongolia, January 22
Radio Interview: Mongolia and Poland: building new ties – Thenews.pl, January 22
January 21 (Herald Scotland) SEVERAL Scottish businesses are embarking on a trade mission to Mongolia this week and will take part in celebrations surrounding the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the country and the UK.
Armoured vehicle maker Penman, whisky firm Benriach, smoked salmon specialist Gourmet's Choice and accountants from the Houston Partnership are among the delegation.
They will also be joined by representatives from Glasgow University, the Edinburgh Tattoo and the British Association of Ophthalmologists with the party scheduled to arrive in the Mongolian capital Ulan Bator on January 25.
Along with sector specific meetings and visits to high level politicians, there will be a Burns Supper marking the diplomatic history between the nations where a bottle of the Glasgow Lord Provost's whisky will be presented to the mayor of Ulan Bator.
Although still one of the poorest nations in the world, Mongolia has a fast growing economy which has been tipped to expand annually at above 10% until 2016.
Much of Mongolia's growth is being driven by the $6.2 billion development of the vast Oyu Tolgoi gold and copper mine in the southern part of the Gobi desert.
It is being jointly developed by the Mongolian Government plus industry players Ivanhoe Mines and Rio Tinto.
There are already about 15,000 people working there as it gears up to its first commercial production this year.
Several other mining companies have operations in the country while demand in areas ranging from infrastructure and construction to luxury goods is also soaring.
This growth profile has attracted interest from around the world and Scottish firms are keen to explore opportunities.
David Scott, the Honorary Consul of Mongolia in Scotland, said: "The opportunities in Mongolia across many industries are significant.
"There are major knock on effects from the booming mining sector and the infrastructure that comes from a growing middle class in areas like the service sector and education."
AUSTRIA-MONGOLIA BUSINESS FORUM TO BE ORGANIZED IN VIENNA
January 21 (InfoMongolia) In the scope of the 50th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between the Republic of Austria and Mongolia, the Austria-Mongolia Business Forum will be co-organized by Mongolian Embassy in Vienna and the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber in Vienna on March 11, 2013.
Last year, the same event was arranged in Ulaanbaatar, where over 40 business representatives from Austria led by Richard Schenz, Vice-President of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber have taken part in the Mongolia-Austria Business Forum.
This time, Austrian Federal Economic Chamber has requested Mongolian National Chamber of Commerce and Industry to invite Mongolia’s representatives from mining, nature, health, renewable energy, agriculture and foreign trade sectors to participate the Forum.
The diplomatic relations between the Republic of Austria and Mongolia was established on July 01, 1963.
GEM International’s alcohol license suspended
January 22 (news.mn) The Authority for Fair Competition and Consumer Protection (AFCCP) has suspended the license of Gem International LLC temporarily for two months for violating advertisement law by publicly airing adverts for alcohol. The national brewery GEM International allegedly violated advertisement law by airing four different alcoholic product adverts during a movie on TV7 on January 1st.
The petition to suspend their production license, proposed by O.Magnai, the Chief of the Authority of Fair Competition and Consumer Protection (AFCCP), was submitted to the Ministry of Agriculture and Industry on January 18th. Decision makers accepted the petition and have suspended GEM International’s license to produce alcoholic beverages and beer temporally for two months.
GEM International gave the explanation that the TV7 staff were in error for mistakenly airing the banned products publicly.
Therefore the patent owner of the movie and GEM International are suing Bayangol District Court, claiming they are not guilty.
Gem International is unhappy about the suspension because the Court decision has not yet been made.
Civil Liberty II
The Constitution of Mongolia states that the law shall protect the immunity of residence and the confidentiality of letters and other forms of communication of a citizen.
January 16, 2013. By Jargalsaikhan Dambadarjaa
The best New Year gift this year was the following decision from our reformist government. As soon as we welcomed 2013, the government rolled up its sleeves and immediately began to work on creating a joint system for website comments in order to introduce regulatory measures on comments posted by people on news websites.
Relevant government organizations were directed to develop and introduce technical solutions as well as necessary software and impose regulations on the operation of websites that specialize in news or grant domain names. Based on databases of the General Authority for State Registration and mobile network operator companies, information related to those who post comments will be registered and stored in the National Data Center.
They say that the main purpose is to open up an opportunity to investigate and take legal measures in case a complaint is lodged regarding inappropriate comments such as false accusations, sexual remarks and criminal threatening.
In an Ancient Greek tale, people drag into their city a huge wooden horse that was left behind the walls. When everyone was asleep at night, Greeks that were hidden inside the horse come out and let their troops enter the gate and seize the city. The tale of the Trojan horse tells us that a nice gift can sometimes have a bad outcome.
The above mentioned decision made by the Government of Mongolia reminds us of the story of the Trojan horse. In order to post a comment on website, a person will be required to put his or her full name, state their registration number and officially register their phone number. This means the government will be keeping track of who you are, what views you uphold, which political party or politician you support and which ones you don’t. They say that the government will work in compliance with relevant legislation and rules regarding the confidentiality of personal information. One can’t help but wonder whether the government is going to suddenly protect our personal information after all these years of stealing our money.
These kinds of measures are taken only in countries ruled by monarchies, communist regimes or dictatorships. It will not and cannot be implemented in a democratic Mongolia.
We, the people of democratic Mongolia, know the wonderful taste of having freedom as well as the bitter taste of not having it. A mere decision or resolution from a handful of individuals can never take our right to speak.
Instead of diversifying the economy and resolving many urgent issues in our society, the government is going to spend a great proportion of public budget on restricting freedom, violating the right to speak and impose control. What they propose to do is not a smart move and technically impossible to achieve in the long term.
The internet involves a huge amount of traffic flowing in many directions. When websites in Mongolian become like a one-way radio, all of them will eventually shut down. Aware of the danger ahead, twenty-four big companies that operate such websites expressed their objection to the government’s decision. However, nothing has been done in favor of them.
As official news websites disappear, unofficial ones located abroad will emerge and operate for a while. It makes no difference to people who will keep posting comments and expressing their opinion on foreign websites. Regardless of how hard they tried, no government has been able to stop globalized social networks such as Twitter and Facebook.
Internationally, they use programs that regulate posting comments of a criminal nature. For example, a system called ‘Discus’ is used for enabling online discussions and conversations. This system allows people to open an account and post a comment. Insulting comments can be filtered and warning signals are sent to other networks if a computer address is filtered multiple times for posting such comments. It is a responsible action for host companies to remove any comment that violates personal freedom and the liberty of someone. Some responsible websites in Mongolia have already been using this system.
If companies that don’t monitor comments on their websites adopt a similar system or software program, the problem will be solved. On another point of view, behind this attempt to impose monitoring controls on websites, what if there are narrow interests to gain profit from businesses that involves public budget?
On the other hand, every website operating company has to respect their clients’ satisfaction. Otherwise, they will be pushed out by competition. The government should impose control on websites that require money to remove comments of criminal nature and uses intellectual property without consent. What is absurd is to police everyone’s actions.
Paradox of Mongolian democracy
The government is a power apparatus that can implement a “stick” policy better than a “carrot” one. Today we can see that the Mongolian government is no different. The very same Democratic Party that carried out the democratic revolution is now trying to take a step that directly violates civil liberty and drastically restricts the right to speak. This is the paradox of Mongolian democracy.
Who is the Democratic Party serving? Are they serving the people or are they only serving their own political party? The government is going to register people who express their opinions and intimidate them with law enforcement. Are we going to thank the government and be glad for staying alive? Are we going to praise the grace of our political parties and their leaders just like old times?
The Mongolian people hope that the government will not make the whole world laugh by blocking international websites and social networking sites just like China and Arab countries did. In only a few months the VII Ministerial Conference of the Community of Democracies will take place in Mongolia, which currently has the chairmanship of the community. The Democratic Party could not have decided to surprise the Community of Democracies by showing how civil liberty can be breached.
Democratic Party, how about showing them how invaluable, efficient and cheap it is to promote public transparency by providing the people with every opportunity to express their opinion on any website?
If that is made possible, I would leave the following comment: “ Your law on communications was revised (2011.12.15) and changes have been made since 2008. Are you not aware of this? Mr. Regulator – how many years does it take for you to renew the information on your website ?”. In general the public wants to know who monitors the websites of government organizations and checks how frequently they are updated or are they user-friendly or not?
If the government treats comments from the people as an important tool and a great opportunity to improve their work rather than an enemy to eliminate, Mongolia’s public governance will go up by a rank. This is a choice for the Democratic Party to make. Whether to support this party at the next election or not is a choice of ours to make.
The Advocates for Human Rights Begins Work in Mongolia
January 15 (The Advocates for Human Rights) The Advocates will travel to Mongolia on January 19 on the first of two fact finding missions to assess the country’s efforts to protect victims of domestic violence.
The Advocates will work with its Mongolian partner, the National Center Against Violence (NCAV), to interview police, prosecutors, judges, social service providers, non-governmental advocacy organizations, and high-level government officials. The goal will be to understand how Mongolia’s current domestic violence law has been implemented and to make recommendations for improvement.
According to the NCAV, domestic violence remains a serious problem for women in Mongolia, despite the existence of a domestic violence law since 2005. The NCAV estimated that one in three women was a victim of domestic violence and one in ten was a victim of battering in 2010. While restraining orders are available to women suffering from abuse, they are often poorly enforced.
Proposed amendments to the 2005 law are scheduled to be introduced in Mongolia’s Parliament in October of this year. The Advocates and the NCAV plan to release a report with findings and recommendations based on its fact-finding before then.
Cheryl Thomas, Director of The Advocates’ Women’s Human Rights Program, says, “The Advocates applauds Mongolia’s efforts to strengthen its domestic violence law and provide better protection for victims of violence. We welcome this opportunity to work with our partners in Mongolia to assess the country’s current law on domestic violence and its implementation, as well as make recommendations for improvement.”
Click here to learn more about issues of violence against women in Mongolia.
AN AUTHORIZED NIKE RETAILER STORE OPENS IN ULAANBAATAR
January 21 (InfoMongolia) The world's leading supplier of athletic shoes and apparel, and a major manufacturer of sports equipment Nike has opened it’s an authorized Retailer Store in Max Mall, Ulaanbaatar on January 20, 2013.
The official distributor Blue Mon Group has initiated a major research on distributing and representing Nike brand in Mongolia, where authorities have signed the exclusive distributor agreement with Nike Inc. as in region of Mongolia in 2011. At the ribbon cut ceremony President of Blue Mon Group Tseveen-Ochir SANJJAV, Vice President of Mongolian National Olympic Committee Tsend DAMDIN, and other outstanding sportsmen such as E.Badar-Uugan, P.Serdamba, Kh.Tsagaanbaatar and N.Enkhbat were present. The Group is aiming to open another two stores in Ulaanbaatar within this year.
The NIKE Company based in the United States was founded on January 25, 1964 as Blue Ribbon Sports by Bill Bowerman and Philip Knight and officially became Nike, Inc. on May 30, 1978. The company takes its name from Nike, the Greek goddess of victory. Nike markets its products under its own brand as well as Nike Golf, Nike Pro, Nike+, Air Jordan, Nike Skateboarding and subsidiaries including Cole Haan, Hurley International, Umbro and Converse.
Nationalism and Nationalist Sentiment in Mongolia
An essay for the 2012 Undergraduate Awards (International Programme) Competition by Juan Diego Astudillo. Originally submitted for Politics of Nationalism at McGill University, with lecturer Hudson Meadwell in the category of International Relations & Politics
Ethnic Mongols, the cultural and linguistic heirs of Chinggis Khan's medieval land empire, inhabit the independent state of Mongolia as well as parts of Russia and China. Mongolian nationalism and national sentiment, however, are distinctly modern phenomena which arose in reaction to 20th century Russian and Chinese policies that threatened the survival of the Mongol way of life. Of the three Mongol-inhabited regions in which nationalist sentiment arose, only in one did true nationalism emerge.
Whether or not national sentiment developed into nationalism was related to the extent to which Russia and China used administrative divisions to weaken their Mongol subjects' cultural unity and political strength. While Mongols in Outer Mongolia managed to unite, those of Buriatia and Inner Mongolia --who were more exposed to the administrative barriers of Russia and China--could not. Like its rise, the trajectory of Mongolian nationalism was largely guided by the agendas of surrounding empires. Two phases of social engineering during the Soviet period, the first successful and the second unsuccessful, are strongly linked to key characteristics of modern Mongolian nationalism.
WWF To Set Up Eco-route In Mongolia's Western Region
ULAN BATOR, Jan 22 (Bernama) -- The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) will establish an eco-route for tourists through the natural habitat of the snow leopard and wild mountain sheep in Mongolia to protect the rare species.
The project was designed to increase local residents' income from tourism and encourage them to protect the animals instead of hunting them illegally, Xinhua news agency quoted local media as saying.
According to the report, the eco-route is expected to open in 2013 and will pass through Mongolia's western region and neighbouring areas of Russia.
The route will be managed by Mongolia and Russia.
Human impacts on the rare animals will be controlled by limiting tourist numbers on each trip which lasts for two weeks.
A trip will cost no more than two million Mongolian tugriks (US$1,400).
Dornod’s Mongol Daguur Steppe being considered for World Heritage Site
January 21 (UB Post) UNESCO is conducting a study in the wetlands of the Mongol Daguur Steppe to determine whether it will be listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. The Mongol Daguur Landscape is one of the most well-preserved examples of steppe natural complexes on earth. It comprises intra-zonal wetlands and forest-steppe landscapes that are of great significance for the conservation of the universal biodiversity. If registered as World Heritage, Mongolia will become the 26th country to have its landscape registered as such.
The Mongol Daguur steppe is a trans-boundary eco-region lying on the border of three countries: Mongolia, Russia and China. The area is specifically located in Dornod Province of eastern Mongolia, the Daurian eco-region in Russia and the Hulun Lake wetlands in China.
The Daguur Steppe straddles in north eastern region of Mongolia and was listed as a specially protected area of Mongolia in 1992 in accordance with Government Decree 11 which protects the wildlife, flora and fauna of Mongolian. In 1994, in accordance with a multilateral treaty between Mongolia, Russia and China, the Mongol Daguur Wetland was listed as an International National Park. It is also an International Protected Area. Mongol Daguur has also been listed in the UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve. The Daguur steppe is a Wetland of International Importance in the Ramsar Convention too.
Mongolia: #15 in New York Times’ 46 Places to Go in 2013
January 11 (The New York Times) --
15. Mongolia: The welcome mat is out for a million tourists
Mongolia’s vast grasslands have long attracted adventure travelers, particularly those willing to go on horseback, but a limited tourism infrastructure has kept numbers low. Now, the government, hopeful that the country’s mining boom will survive a recent slowdown, is working to change that, setting a goal of one million annual overseas tourists by 2015 — roughly double the number who visited in 2011. In anticipation of the increase, foreign hotel chains are opening in Ulan Bator, the capital, including a Ramada that opened last year, a 273-room Shangri-La scheduled to make its debut in December and a new Radisson Blu and Hyatt Regency, both under development. A new domestic airline,Mongolian Airlines, started flights last January and has since added an international route to Hong Kong, with plans for additional Asian destinations. Tour operators like Nomadic Journeys are offering new bespoke camping trips to more remote parts of the country, like the grasslands in the Eastern Steppes, so visitors can get away from the tourist crowds — easy to do in a country this size. Though for many people the untouched countryside remains the main reason to go to Mongolia, there are new attractions in the capital, too: Last year, the Government Palace was opened to visitors for the first time, giving tourists a glimpse of young Mongolian democracy in action. — Justin Bergman
“Mogi” Munkhdul Badral
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