Wednesday, October 16, 2013

[OT talks resume in UB amid China customs stall, ₮1T mortgages now 8%, and TT Power Plant bidders shortlisted]

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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

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Overseas Market

Global miner Rio Tinto resumes talks with Mongolian gov't

ULAN BATOR, Oct. 15 (Xinhua) -- Representatives of Rio Tinto, an Anglo-Australian mining company, arrived in Ulaanbaatar on Monday to resume talks with the Mongolian government, official sources said.

The government is pushing Rio Tinto to continue developing underground mining shafts in the Oyu Tolgoi mine, the construction of which was halted by the mining giant in August due to the government's rejection of its financing proposal on the project.

During the talks, both parties are expected to discuss the project cost overruns, the updating of the feasibility study -- a major source of conflict -- and most importantly, the project financing scheme proposed by Rio Tinto.

The Mongolian government claims that Rio Tinto, which is in charge of the copper-gold mining project in South Gobi region of Mongolia, has exceeded the cost limit initially approved by 2 billion U.S. dollars.

Rio Tinto had been trying to get approval from the Mongolian government for its financing proposal since last winter, but the government never offered a direct reply.

According to the proposal, Rio was to get a financing package worth 4 billion dollars from several leading global banks, such as International Finance Corporation, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and Standard Chartered Bank.

Faced with deteriorating economic conditions and a shortage of hard currency, the Mongolian government is now attempting to bring the global miner back to its investment in the country.

Earlier this October, three Mongolian board members of the Oyu Tolgoi LLC, the joint venture between Rio Tinto and the Mongolian government, visited the London headquarters of Rio Tinto for talks on the disputed issues.

Otgochuluu Chuluuntseren, a board member of the joint venture and director general of strategic policy and planning of the country's mining ministry, said the talks in Ulan Bator will continue until December.

Link to article


Rio Tinto restarts negotiations with Mongolia over Oyu, October 15


Rio Tinto Mongolia copper output climbs, but China import snag drags on

October 14 (Reuters) - Global miner Rio Tinto (RIO.AX)(RIO.L) could be forced to amass a mountain of copper concentrate at its new $6 billion Oyu Tolgoi mine in Mongolia while Chinese buyers resolve a lengthy customs impasse with their government.

The Oyu Tolgoi concentrator continued to ramp up production in the third quarter and is now operating at maximum processing capacity of 100,000 tonnes of ore per day, said Toronto-listed Turquoise Hill Resources (TRQ.TO), which runs Oyu Tolgoi and is 66-percent owned by Rio Tinto (Mogi: No, 50.8% owned by RIO).

Oyu Tolgoi was supposed to start shipping copper concentrate to China shortly after the mine opened in July. But instead has been forced to stockpile the material while buyers negotiate with Chinese customs officials over import approvals.

"Oyu Tolgoi's customers are making good progress with Chinese customs officials to resolve matters with purchased concentrate at the border," Turquoise Hill Chief Executive Kay Priestly said in a statement.

Turquoise Hill said it was sticking to a forecast to produce between 75,000 and 85,000 tonnes of copper in concentrates at Oyu Tolgoi in 2013

"Shipments of concentrate are expected to be aligned with production rates by the end of 2013," it said.

The mine shipped 38,000 tonnes of concentrate to a bonded warehouse in China between July and September 18 and another 122,000 tonnes was being held in inventory at the mine, the company said previously.

Data from Turquoise Hill on Tuesday showed the concentrate contained 43,700 tonnes of copper metal.

The mine also yielded 83,000 ounces of gold and 281,000 ounces of silver in the first nine months of 2013, it said.

Given the mine and concentrator are still early in development and operation, ore grades and recovery rates are expected to improve throughout the fourth quarter, according to Turquoise Hill.

The concentrate is destined for Chinese smelters. Buyers are seeking the necessary approvals to enable them to collect the material from the warehouse.

Mongolia has a 34-percent stake in Oyu Tolgoi, but will not share in any profits until Turquoise Hill recovers all the costs of the project.

Economic growth in the sparsely populated and landlocked country is heavily tied to its vast copper and coal resources, and reinvigorating foreign investment has been a top priority for its government.

Rio Tinto, which releases its third quarter production data later on Tuesday, is expected to provide an update on efforts to resume normal operations at its Kennecott copper mine in Utah, following a pit collapse in April.

Link to article

Link to TRQ Q3 report


China customs impasse locks up $11bn Mongolian play

October 16 (The Australian) RIO Tinto remains unable to sell production from its $US11 billion ($11.5bn) Oyu Tolgoi project in Mongolia as China refuses to grant necessary approvals for $US425 million of warehoused copper, gold and silver to enter the country.

In its third-quarter report released yesterday, Rio revealed that metal stockpiles remain at the mine and at warehouses near the Chinese border because Chinese customs officials have still not approved the product to enter into their country.

Rio notified the market of the problem between China and Mongolia, neighbours with a long tradition of hostility (Mogi: long tradition yes, but don't think it describes the relationship now), last month.

"Oyu Tolgoi's customers are making good progress with Chinese customs officials to obtain necessary approvals to enable them to collect purchased concentrate from the bonded Chinese warehouse," Rio said.

Despite the problems, the company maintained its position that it expected production at the mine, the first stage of which has now ramped up to full capacity after starting production earlier in the year, to be aligned with sales by the end of the year. Sales cannot be booked by Rio until customers receive the product.

Rio reported an otherwise strong third quarter, bolstering lost copper sales in Mongolia through a better-than expected recovery from a huge landslide at the Bingham Canyon mine in Utah's Rocky Mountains.

The recovery at Bingham Canyon led Rio to boost 2013 production guidance, which includes the Oyu Tolgoi production it cannot book as revenue, to 590,000 tonnes, up from previous guidance of 565,000 tonnes.

If Rio can sell the copper, this represents an extra $US180m in revenue for the miner.

"This was a strong quarter for Rio, driven by strength in copper as (Bingham operator) Kennecott Utah copper recovers more quickly than expected," analysts at RBC Capital said in a note.

Rio's third-quarter mined copper production of 162,300 tonnes trounced Deutsche Bank's expectation of 133,000 tonnes.

The surprise boost in copper output and guidance sent Rio's shares higher yesterday afternoon. The stock finished $1.55, or 2.5 per cent, higher at $63.20 yesterday after trading at $62.70 immediately before the report was released.

Rio's huge West Australian iron ore unit, which is Australia's biggest corporate taxpayer and whose $US4.27bn of underlying first-half earnings was greater than Rio's total first-half profit, continued to perform solidly, recording record production and shipments.

Global iron production of 68.3 million tonnes in the third quarter was in line with expectations and the company's production guidance of 265 million tonnes of iron ore production was unchanged.

Link to article


Rio Tinto plays the long game in Mongolia over Oyu Tolgoi mine

October 15 (FT) A big increase in Rio Tinto's copper output has underlined the high stakes it is playing for at a flagship new mine in Mongolia, where the FTSE 100 miner is starting to reap the benefits of a $6bn investment but has frozen further development amid disputes with the government.

Oyu Tolgoi produced 30,000 tonnes of copper concentrate in the third quarter, reaching capacity for the first time since it went into operation this year.

The output, along with a speedy recovery from a landslide at Rio's Bingham Canyon mine in the US, helped push group copper output up 23 per cent in the third quarter compared with a year ago, Rio said on Tuesday in its quarterly production report.

Rio raised its production forecasts for copper for the year and shares in the company rose 3.6 per cent. "The copper upgrades could have a carry-through effect to 2014," said analysts at Morgan Stanley.

When complete Oyu Tolgoi – known as "OT" – will have an underground mine alongside the operating open pit and should be producing 400,000 tonnes annually, making it one of the world's biggest copper mines and helping to reduce Rio's heavy reliance on iron ore for most of its earnings. Rio controls the project through a majority stake in Turquoise Hill, which has 66 per cent of OT while Mongolia owns 34 per cent.

The underground part of OT will cost a further $5bn to $6bn and yield most of the project's benefit. However, its development is on hold after disagreements between Rio and the Mongolian government, which wants to rethink the split of revenues between and the state over the decades-long life of the project.

Rio's start-up of OT has also been hit by problems moving copper concentrate across the Mongolian border into China, just 80km away and the only realistic market for the mine's output. Shipments from OT have gone no further than a Chinese bonded warehouse because customers have not yet obtained approval from customs officials to collect the concentrate. Rio can recognise revenues from OT only once copper leaves the warehouse.

The disputes show the problems that Rio has in developing the biggest foreign investment in Mongolia, a country that has only recently opened up to western mining projects. It also shows the complexity of managing a mine in a country so dependent on China, whose relations with its smaller northern neighbour sometimes flare into disputes.

A mining executive from another company likens Rio to an animal trapped between two tigers. "They have their head in the mouth of one tiger and their tail in the mouth of the other," the executive says.

Rio, which has Chinese state aluminium group Chinalco as its largest shareholder with more than 12 per cent, indicated on Tuesday that the customs issue should be solved by the end of the year.

The dispute with Mongolia may be harder to resolve. Delays and cost overruns on OT jeopardise planned revenue flows for the government, which is prohibited from running deficits of more than 2 per cent. According to the OT investment agreement, the government does not start to see returns until investors including Rio have recouped their costs. But buoyed by optimism over the prospect of a national windfall, politicians have made a series of popular budgetary commitments to the Mongolian people, including a costly commitment to cap interest rates on mortgages.

Munkhdul Badral, chief executive of market intelligence firm Cover Mongolia, says: "Cost overruns and the project financing are all things that the government of Mongolia probably didn't figure in at the time of the agreement signing."

Rio is expected to insist it will not renegotiate the investment agreement and cannot guarantee Mongolia's level of dividends from OT.

Analysts at Bernstein Research welcomed Rio's firm line. "The historical precedent for both developed and emerging countries' governments to demand an increased share of rents extracted along with the minerals from their soil cannot be ignored. We believe that this is ultimately a self-defeating strategy by host governments, but it is one with an impressively long pedigree," they said.

A person familiar with Rio's thinking on the project said: "This is a 100-year project. You can't renegotiate, make a poor deal and then pay for it every day for the next 50 or 100 years. The platform has to be stable."

Link to article


UPDATE 1-Rio Tinto copper, iron ore, coal output rising after strong Q3

* Rio boosts 2013 copper guidance as Kennecott mine recovers

* Mongolia's Oyu Tolgoi copper mine now at design capacity

* Iron ore, thermal coal output at record highs in Q3

* On track to beat $750 mln target for exploration cost cuts

SYDNEY, Oct 15 (Reuters) - Global miner Rio Tinto boosted its forecast copper output for 2013 after a better-than-expected recovery at its landslide-hit U.S. Kennecott mine, and posted record iron ore and coal output in the third quarter.

Copper production was also buoyed by a ramp-up at the Oyu Tolgoi mine in Mongolia, while Rio said in its third-quarter production report it was on track to beat a target of cutting $750 million in exploration spending this year.

Mining companies worldwide are under pressure to reduce costs and drive existing assets harder as demand for raw materials levels off after years of high growth, particularly from China.

"Copper's come in well ahead of most people's expectations, and there's a pretty chunky production guidance upgrade there," said Chris Drew, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets.

Shares in Rio extended gains after the report, rising 2.5 percent in Australian trade to a near three-week high and outperforming the broader index.

In Australia, Rio Tinto said productivity improvements led to record quarterly iron ore and thermal coal production and shipments in the third quarter.

Rio Tinto counts on iron ore for more than two-thirds of its revenue.

Iron ore shipments, which rose 11 percent from the previous quarter, were boosted by a planned expansion to take annualised output to 290 million tonnes.

The work was on track to be completed by the end of the first half of 2014, ahead of time and under budget, Rio said, but left its full-year guidance for iron ore unchanged at 265 million tonnes.

Despite an expected slowdown in demand growth from China, Rio Tinto is expanding ports and rail lines in Western Australia to cope with output of 360 million tonnes, which would make it the world's biggest iron ore miner ahead of Brazil's Vale .

A board decision is expected by early December, with Rio Tinto -- like rivals Vale and BHP Billiton -- counting on economies of scale to keep costs well below those of smaller competitors.

"We maintained good progress against our strategic priorities to improve the performance of our businesses, strengthen the balance sheet and deliver our approved growth projects," Chief Executive Sam Walsh said in the report.

Rio Tinto said it expects the Kennecott mine in Utah, struck by a severe landslide six months ago, to yield 185,000 tonnes of copper in 2013, up from a July forecast of 150,000 tonnes, due to progress on building a new road to help in waste removal and remediation work.

An avalanche of dirt buried the northeast section of the open-pit mine on April 10. Rio Tinto initially said it expected production at Kennecott to drop by at least 50 percent in 2013.

Third quarter output of mined copper rose 23 percent on a year ago, with Rio Tinto exporting copper from Mongolia to bonded warehouses in China.

Overall, the company upped its 2013 guidance for mined copper by 4.4 percent to 590,000 tonnes and refined copper by 17 percent to 270,000 tonnes.

"Rio is currently trading on around 11 times next year's consensus earnings numbers," said Peter Esho, chief market analyst at Invast.

"There is large scope for upside in these earnings estimates, which have already factored in some turnaround, but not the full extent that this report card suggests," he said.

Link to article

Link to RIO Q3 report


Xanadu Mines assays broad copper, gold zones from trenching at Oyut Ulaan in Mongolia

October 15 (Proactive Investors) Xanadu Mines (ASX:XAM) has returned broad copper and gold values from a 780 metre trenching program to test coincident geophysical and geochemical anomalies at its Oyut Ulaan copper-gold porphyry project in Mongolia.

The program has defined three near-surface mineralised porphyry centres with results up to 85 metres at 0.75% copper with 0.54 grams per tonne gold, including 36 metres at 1.49% copper and 1.02 grams per tonne gold.

The trenching was performed concurrently with the recent drilling at the Diorite Hill prospect, and drill testing of the new targets is scheduled within the next phase of drilling.

Link to article

Link to XAM release


Khan Investment Management Update (10/15/2013)

October 15 -- For the month of September, the Khan Mongolia Equity Fund (KMEF) was down marginally by 0.57%. Despite positive performance from a number of positions, the aggregate portfolio performance was weighed down by the continued sell off of Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd (TRQ:US). 

Earlier in the month the Government of Mongolia (GOM) legislated the widely anticipated new Investment Law and new Investment Fund Law, which will greatly improve the domestic capital markets and attract foreign capital back to Mongolia. Importantly, the new Investment Law eliminates any approval procedure for private foreign investors and  investment vehicles, removes discrimination against foreign investors, removes "Sectors of Strategic Importance" from the law and provides the basis for economic, legal and taxation stability. 

Of the 15 positions within the portfolio 7 gained, 2 remained unchanged, and 6 lost ground. Haranga Resources (HAR:AU) recovered 28.57% to AUD 0.09, Eumeralla Resources (EUM:AU) rose 25% to AUD 0.15, and Aspire Mining (AKM:AU) recovered 15.38% to AUD 0.06. Turquoise Hill (TRQ:US) fell 15.33% to USD 4.42.TRQ has now been sold off 53% year to date to USD 4.12 or down 31% since beginning commercial production and exports to China in July this year.  

The Khan Mongolia Equity Fund performance for September  was -0.57%.

The Net Asset Value as at 31 August 2013 was USD 30.56

The September Factsheet can be downloaded by registered users of the Khan Investment Management website –  

The new GOM representatives on the board of Oyu Tolgoi (OT) recently travelled to London to meet with Rio Tinto. It was reported that "50% of the outstanding issues were resolved" and that discussions would continue in Mongolia this week. OT board member Otgochuluu announced that "GOM, OT, and Rio Tinto are all sitting in one boat now…" We are confident that the remaining outstanding issues between the stakeholders of OT are in the process of being resolved and expect positive news to be announced in the weeks ahead which we believe will provide the basis for a re-rating of the stock.  

Haranga (HAR:AU) announced positive news following results of an independent techno-economic assessment of its Selenge iron ore project. The report concludes that the JORC compliant resource supports a 16 year mine life and wet magnetic processing plant with standalone infrastructure to deliver 3Mtpa of concentrate. A coarser grind concentrate has improved economics by reducing mill size and power consumption, resulting in lower capital and operational expenditure. 

Following further drilling Xanadu Mines (XAM:AU) announced that it has extended the high-grade mineralisation zone at its Oyut Ulaan copper gold porphyry project. Wolf Petroleum (WOF:AU) announced that it has identified oil seeps at one of its oil and gas exploration blocks, providing evidence of an active petroleum system at the Sukhbaatar Block. 

We have recently been informed by several sources that famed investment house Elliott Management is onshore in Mongolia and actively looking for investment opportunities, which we believe validates our views that this is a great time to enter the Mongolian market. 

Whilst 2013 to date has seen falling FDI, a depreciating currency, and poor local stock market performance, when looking at recent developments there are clear signs that we are on the cusp of a significant and sustained recovery. 

According to James Passin, Fund Manager and co-founder at Firebird Management, "In the absence of some external shock or another downturn in commodity prices, I think we will see another run up in Mongolian asset prices, in fact one far exceeding the bull market of 2011… there is an unlimited potential to extract value through equity exposure to Mongolian industries… We think that January 2014 will mark the beginning of a multi-decade bull market in Mongolian equities. And we think there is huge upside, certainly in this period of stability between the presidential election and the next parliamentary elections in 2016." 

Overall, the investment opportunities and growth potential of Mongolia remains tremendous and we believe that there is a window of opportunity that currently exists for investors to acquire quality investment opportunities with outstanding long term potential. 

I will be traveling to Mongolia from 20th to 30th October to meet with portfolio companies, regulators, partners and officials. I will also be speaking at the upcoming Mongolia Investment Summit to be held in Hong Kong on the 18th to 20th November. Please let us know if you have any interest to attend the Investment Summit – we would be delighted to assist you with your registration. 

I thank our investors for their continued support and I look forward to updating you further of our developments next month. 

Best regards, 

Travis Hamilton

Managing Director


Link to Khan


Guildford Coal: Appointment of Director and Resignation of CFO

October 16 -- Guildford Coal (ASX:GUF) is pleased to confirm the appointment of Mr Peter Kane, a Mining Engineer with 25 years' experience in the mining industry throughout Australia and New Zealand, as a Non- Executive Director. This appointment is another key step for Guildford in making the transition from explorer to producer/seller.

Mr Kane held Chief Executive Officer roles at both Boardwalk Resources and Aston Resources before being appointed Chief Operating Officer – Projects with Whitehaven Coal following the merger of Whitehaven with Aston. Previously, Mr Kane spent 3 years as Chief Operating Officer with Macarthur Coal, leading the Company's mines and project developments in Queensland prior to the purchase of Macarthur by Peabody. During his tenure at Macarthur Coal and Aston, Mr Kane also covered the role of Joint Venture Chair on multiple operations with numerous JV partners.

Prior to that, Mr Kane spent 10 years with Leighton (contractors) in various roles including General Manager of the Australian mining contractor business. His earlier career included 10 years with BHP in their iron ore and coal divisions.

Guildford Coal further advises that Mr Michael Wotherspoon has left his position as Chief Financial Officer of Guildford Coal.

Mr Mark Reynolds, currently Project Director – North Queensland, will be appointed to the role of acting-CFO whilst a search is undertaken for a new CFO. Mr Reynolds is a Certified Practising Accountant and a member of the Australia Society of CPA's. He holds a Bachelor of Business from the Queensland University of Technology.

Mr Reynolds started with GUF in May 2013 and has an extensive background in financial, commercial and strategic management. Mr Reynolds is familiar with the current suite of issues so his appointment will make for a relatively seamless transition.

The appointment of Mr Kane as Non-Executive Director and the transition to Mr Reynolds as acting- CFO will take effect immediately.

Link to release

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Local Market

MSE News, October 15: Top 20 +1.16%, Turnover 25 Million

Ulaanbaatar, October 15 /MONTSAME/ At the Stock Exchange trades held Tuesday, a total of 20 thousand and 906 shares of 20 JSCs were traded costing MNT 25 million 054 thousand and 358.00.

"Genco tour bureau" /10 thousand and 110 units/, "State Department Store" /3,540 units/, "Tavantolgoi" /2,430 units/, "Khokh gan" /1,695 units/ and "APU" /1,000 units/ were the most actively traded in terms of trading volume, in terms of trading value--"Tavantolgoi" (MNT seven million and 290 thousand), "Tav" (MNT six million 859 thousand and 360), "APU" (MNT three million and 900 thousand), "State Department Store" (MNT one million 561 thousand and 140) and "Talkh chikher" (MNT 910 thousand).

The total market capitalization was set at MNT one trillion 432 billion 949 million 277 thousand and 277. The Index of Top-20 JSCs was 13,989.95, increasing by MNT 160.19 or 1.16% against the previous day.

Link to article


MSE News, October 14: Top 20 -0.77%, Turnover 40.2 Million

Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ At the Stock Exchange trades held Monday, a total of 41 thousand and 440 shares of 16 JSCs were traded costing MNT 40 million 202 thousand and 571.00.

"Genco tour bureau" /18 thousand and 761units/, "Hermes center" /7,827 units/, "Remikon" /4,990 units/, "Tavantolgoi /4,778 units/ and "Moninjbar" /3,200 units/ were the most actively traded in terms of trading volume, in terms of trading value--"Suu" (MNT 16 million 801 thousand and 600), "Tavantolgoi" (MNT 14 million 333 thousand and 551), "Aduunchuluun" (MNT two million 348 thousand and 550), "Genco tour bureau" (MNT one million 594 thousand and 685) and "Hermes center" (MNT one million 213 thousand and 185.00).

The total market capitalization was set at MNT one trillion 422 billion 233 million 328 thousand and 522. The Index of Top-20 JSCs was 13,829.76, decreasing by MNT 107.58 or 0.77% against the previous day.

Link to article


MSE Weekly Review: Top 20 +0.03%, Turnover 81 Million

Ulaanbaatar, October 13 /MONTSAME/ Five stock trades were held at Mongolia's Stock Exchange on October 7-11, 2013.

In overall, 183 thousand and 012 shares were sold of 49 joint-stock companies totaling MNT 81 million 308 thousand and 532.49.

"Genco tour bureau" /74 thousand and 605 units/, "Silikat" /40 thousand and 100 units/, "Remikon" /29 thousand and 656 units/, "Nakotulsh" /7,124 units/ and "Hermes center" /6,289 units/ were the most actively traded in terms of trading volume, in terms of trading value--"Sharyngol" (MNT 17 million 267 thousand and 320), APU" (MNT eight million 606 thousand and 020.00), "Aduunchuluun" /MNT eight million 448 thousand and 408/, "Silikat" /MNT seven million 906 thousand and 195/ and "Genco tour bureau" (MNT six million 341 thousand and 976.00).

Link to article

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BoM Exchange Rates: October 15 Close











October Chart:

Link to rates


Total outstanding 1-week bills up 185 billion to 1.79 trillion

BoM issues 1-week bills

October 14 (Bank of Mongolia) BoM issues 1 week bills worth MNT 430 billion at a weighted interest rate of 10.5 percent per annum /For previous auctions click here/

Link to release


BoM holds FX auction

October 15 (Bank of Mongolia) On the Foreign Exchange Auction held on October 15th, 2013 the BOM has received bid offer of USD and CNY from local commercial banks. BOM has sold 22.0 million USD and 100.5 million CNY to the local commercial banks.

On October 15th, 2013, The BOM has received bid offer of USD for Swap agreement from local commercial banks and sold 40.8 million USD.

Link to release


Mortgage Program Update: ₮459.1 Billion Refinanced, ₮530.3 Billion Newly Issued

October 15 (Cover Mongolia) As of October 11, ₮459.1 billion (₮455.9 billion as of October 7) existing mortgages of 16,351 citizens (16,256 as of October 7) were refinanced at 8% out of ₮794.6 billion (same as October 7) worth requests.

Also, ₮530.3 billion ( ₮510.9 billion as of October 7) new mortgages of 9,227 citizens (8,924 citizens as of October 7) were issued at new rates out of ₮618 billion (₮529.5 billion as of October 7) worth requests.

Link to release


Number of unemployed falls 14.7% to 37.6 thousand

October 14 ( National Statistics Committee has announced that the unemployment rate has decreased comparing to last year. In numbers, comparing to last year the overall unemployed number of people is 37.6 thousand, decreased by 14.7% or by 6.5 thousand people.

The educational class of the unemployed people as follows:

- Masters and Phds degree – 0.5%

- Technical education – 6.8%

- Technical college – 10.5%

- Bachelors degree – 29.9%

- Secondary Education – 41.5%

Above figures show that with those who has completed vocational schools and with Masters and PhDs are the lowest in number of unemployment rate. However, the those who have secondary education and those who earned their bachelor degree accounts for 70% of the unemployment. It means all of the registered unemployed people, 7 out of 10 of them are educated but unemployed. It is a saddening number comparing to their age and education.

However, the committee emphasized that these figures are just those who are registered. Also, it is difficult to exactly calculated how many in the population have no jobs. It will be wasteful to find oneself in unemployment after spending four years at a higher education institute.

Link to article


ADB funds China roads linking with Mongolia, Russia

October 14 (International Construction) The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is to provide financing worth US$ 200 million for improvement works to major highways and rural roads linking northern China with Russia and Mongolia.

The works will take place in Hulunbeier, one of the fast-growing areas in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region of northern China.

The current highway is narrow and in a poor condition, and cannot support the movement of heavy trucks. Improvement works are much needed.

The project will also include road marketing, signage and speed-controlled junctions to improve safety conditions of the highway.

The loan will also upgrade and rehabilitate rural roads in Hulunbeier, and improve the cross-border points to facilitate trade between China and Mongolia.

Link to article


"Hours of Construction Works" Meeting Runs

Ulaanbaatar, October 15 /MONTSAME/ The investments made to all aimags in the last five years bigger by 3.2 billion MNT than the "Chingis" bonds' capital.

It was reported by the Ministry of Economic Development to the Prime Minister at the "Hours of construction works" meeting on Monday.

"Just compare: a the total investment of the state budget stood at some  50 billion MNT in 2003, now, Khovd province received 150 billion in the last five years but has not run more or less significant construction so far," the Minister of Economic development stressed.

After hearing all the report, the Premier blamed Khovd, Khovsgol, Tov, Zavkhan, Dornogobi and Omnogobi who, after having received 130-150 billion each in the last five years, have been rather  unsatisfactory, and highly spoke Sukhbaatar aimag who only was given 50 billion for the same period but has managed to implemented many fruitful works.      

Link to article


For an emerging economy with a difference, look no further than Mongolia

·         Mongolia was the fastest growing economy in the world in 2011 (The World Bank)

·         Real income of Mongolians rose 20% between 2008 and 2011

·         Demand for western-style retail experiences has led to launch of The Village @ Nukht 

October 14 (Property Frontiers) With a rich history and a population that remains 30% nomadic or semi-nomadic to this day, Mongolia is a country of fascinating contrasts. Despite being the 19th largest country in the world, it has a population of just 2.9 million people, making it the most sparsely populated independent country on the planet.  

Mongolia shot to global attention in 2011, when Citigroup analysts flagged it as a Global Growth Generator, earmarking it as one of the most promising growth prospects for 2010-2050. At the same time, the World Bank upgraded this emerging market from a low to a middle income country, while Mongolia led the world to become the fastest growing economy that year, with a growth rate of 17.5%.  

Rapid growth 

Things have certainly moved fast for Mongolia. Mineral deposits estimated to be worth USD 1.4 trillion have led to rapid economic expansion, with growth for 2013 predicted to reach 14% according to the International Monetary Fund. In just three years, from 2008 to 2011, the Mongolian Stock Exchange quadrupled in size. A year later, the International Finance Corporation's Doing Business report saw Mongolia move up from rank 88 in 2011 to position 76 in 2012 – an indication that the ease with which business could be done in Mongolia improved significantly in just 12 months. 

The move from a communist regime to a more market-led existence has coincided with the economic impact of Mongolia's mineral deposits. Real income rose 20% between 2008 and 2011, while the number of retailers in the capital of Ulaanbaatar increased by an incredible 34% in the two years to 2010. 

Looking west

Demand for western brands and western-style retail experiences has experienced a massive surge in recent years. Between 2003 and 2011, annual per capita spending on clothing went up by 500% and the result has been a rising need for new retail developments that meet the demands of Mongolia's increasingly cash-rich population.  

Nowhere is this more in evidence that in the capital, Ulaanbaatar. Back in 2007, Property Frontiers' pioneering residential developments in Ulaanbaatar earned investors an average return of 24% and 300% capital growth over four years, capitalising on the city's residential real estate price rises, which have increased eightfold since 2001.  

Ray Withers, CEO of Property Frontiers, comments,  

"As one of the first property agents in the world to offer investment opportunities in Mongolia, this is one emerging market which lies close to our hearts. Home to some of our most successful projects, both in terms of capital growth and rental income, Ulaanbaatar still presents a wealth of opportunity for investors keen to cash in on the thriving commercial property market."  

From residential to commercial 

Indeed as is commonly seen in the west, commercial rental prices are now following suit from residential highs, having moved upwards from a range of USD 15-35 psm in 2009, to USD 35-70 psm this year. That's why Property Frontiers is once more working with the same award-winning developer in order to launch a brand new asset class in Ulaanbaatar. 

In the city's upmarket 'Billionaire Valley' area, The Village @ Nukht is a luxury, western-style shopping and leisure centre, already under construction and on track for completion by the end of Q4 2013.  

The prime one hectare site will include a number of freehold high end retail units. Strong yields with expected rental returns of 14.8% NET (with an assured yield of 12% for 24 months) and anticipated capital appreciation of up to 20% per annum, are attracting keen interest from the global investment community.  

With investment from USD 254,000, retail opportunities at The Village @ Nukht are expected to sell fast, which is far from surprising given the explosive growth of this dynamic country. While the wider world watches with interest, smart investors are ensuring that they are part of Mongolia's fascinating and rapidly evolving history.  

For more information about this high end retail investment in Mongolia, contact Property Frontiers today on +44 1865 202 700 or visit

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Mongolian property market on the up

The Mongolian property market is set for a boom, according to an investment operating firm

October 11 (Architects' Journal) Asia Pacific Investment Partners said the central Asian country was a shrewd place to buy, with rents and values up.

The company insisted Mongolia was ripe for further economic and housing growth despite a recent fall in foreign investment.

'Mongolia's fundamentals are as strong as ever,' said APIP.

'The economy grew by more than 11 per cent in the first half of 2013. The mineral reserves still exist and commodity prices… will eventually recover as China and the developed world bounce back.'

It added: 'Numerous fortunes will be made in Mongolia over the next decade, just as they were made in the last.

'Mongolia is prone to cycles in its climate as well as its political and economic sphere, but the overall trend remains upward.'

The firm said new mortgage laws giving subsidised home loans at a fixed rate of 8 per cent. had led to 8,000 new mortgage deals since July.

'Basic trade theory suggests that in a commodity export-driven boom, the price of non-tradable goods will appreciate rapidly,' said APIP.

'This is empirically vindicated through the yields and asset appreciation that has been seen on all of APIP's completed developments.'

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Industrial Output Increases 15% Due to Increase in Copper, Oil, Gold Production

Ulaanbaatar, October 14 /MONTSAME/ In the first nine months of this year, the total industrial output increased by MNT 185.6 billion or 11.5% to MNT 1,796.2 billion (at 2005 constant prices) against the previous year.

This increase occurred mainly due to 37.9-67.8% increases in mining and quarrying products such as copper concentrate, crude oil, gold; to 0.5%-7.5 times increases in industrial main products of manufacturing sector such as soft drinks, to 99% increase in kinds of sausage, steel casting, combed down, concrete mortar, vacuum windows and doors, sheepskin coat, printing plastic cards.

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Freight decreased 1.7%, passengers increased 19.1% year on year

Ulaanbaatar, October 14 /MONTSAME/ In the first nine months of this year, 30.7 million freight and 258.8 million passengers (at duplicated counting) were carried by all types of transport.

The freight carried decreased 0.5 million tons or 1.7%, whereas  the passengers number increased 41.5 million people or 19.1% against the previous year.

Some 15 thousand and half tons of freight and 2,898.8 thousand passengers (at duplicated counting) were carried by the railway transport. Compared to same period of the previous year, the volume of the freight rose by 410.0 thousand tons or 2.7%, the number of the passengers decreased 146.2 thousand people or 4.8%.

The revenue from railway transport decreased 220.1 million MNT or 0.1% down to 313.5 billion in the first nine months of 2013 against 2012. 

Some 3,117.4 tons freight and 600.7 thousand passengers were carried by air transport. Againts the same period of the previous year, the volume of the freight increased by 56.0 tons or 1.8%, the number of the passengers rose by 9.8 thousand people or 1.7%.

The revenue from air transport increased MNT 14.6 billion or 9.2% to MNT 173.2 billion. 

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Social welfare expected to increase 45.5%

Ulaanbaatar, October 14 /MONTSAME/ In the first nine months of this year, revenue of social insurance fund reached 913.1 billion MNT while expenditure to 785.1 billion MNT, showing an increase 163.7 billion MNT or 21.8 percent and expenditure 118.7 billion MNT or 17.8 percent against previous year.

Granting 99.4 billion MNT to 183.8 thousand people from social welfare fund means that social welfare reached some 9.1 thousand people or 5.2 percent, estimated amount to be granted increased 31.1 billion MNT or 45.5 percent.

953.1 thousand children aged below 18 received 168.6 billion MNT from the Human Development Fund /HDF/. A 21 thousand MNT cash allowance went to 215.1 thousand people each, a one million MNT cash allowance--to 5.4 thous. elders and disabled.

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Naimansharga exchange sold fake Chinese Yuan

October 14 / Several people who traveled to China filed complaints to the Police that the Yuan they bought from Naimansharga exchange was fake. The people claimed that some 6000 Yuan that they bought before they went to China was revealed to be counterfeit. Now Chingeltei District Police Department has initiated an investigation into the case. A noticeable increase in the seizure of counterfeit mainland banknotes in Mongolia this year has prompted police to warn the public to be aware of the risk of counterfeit notes. 

Police are warning the public to register the serial number of banknotes in writing or recording it on their mobile phone or using the guaranteed bank or financial institute when exchanging large amounts of money. The Police said most of the forgeries were 100 Yuan bills. Yuan buyers often become victims of counterfeiting when they buy a bundle of Yuan from Naimansharga and then get into trouble in China. 

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Democratic Party faction discusses 2013 budget & budget law amendments

Ulaanbaatar, October 14 /MONTSAME/ A parliamentary faction of the Democratic Party Monday discussed three draft bills at its meeting.

Those are a draft bill of amendment to the 2013 budget amendments law, submitted by Economy Ministry; a draft bill of amendment to budget law submitted by the President, and the 2013 budget amendment, submitted by the Government on October 11.

The discussion began with the Finance ministry's report on the 2013 budget amendments. They have become imminent as budget revenue and expenses have a significant gap between.            

The report also sees a 814.8 bil.tog decrease in the expenses, including budget operating expenses of 234.2mil.tog. The decrease is calculated in accordance with an article in the budget law stating that a budget deficit shall not surpass two percent of GDP.

Some 425.8 bil.tog expenses that have no agreements concluded or a financing in 2013 are trimmed from the budget. In 2013, an investment of 1.5 trillion tog has been expected, however, in the first ten months a total investment reaches merely 475 bil.tog, and 30.5 percent of which comes from the budget investment.

On foreign debt management, the Democratic faction believes a needed attention should be paid to warranty for foreign debt, "as a regarding legal environment does not exist in Mongolia", says a head of the faction D.Erdenebat, adding that the Finance Ministry has to redevelop a law on debt management.

The next issue on the agenda was a draft bill of amendment to the budget law, a bill submitted by the President of Mongolia.

A budget allocation to the provinces has been done according to four criteria such as province's development index, population, density, distance from UB, and territory size, and tax initiative, as stated in the budget law of 2011; and every criterion has an equal weight in the budget calculation, all 25 percent. The President offers a change in the criteria weight, giving 70 percent to population, 10 percent to territory size, and 20 percent to tax initiative. A tax initiative index for soum or district shall base on its per-person tax.

In a law, any profit over expenses, additional income or any saving from expenses can be accumulated to the local fund of the province. However, when the budget law was discussed in the State Great Khural, it was changed in a way that, a profit equal to the planned budget expenses shall stay in the local fund of the province, and the excess of that shall be accrued into the up-level budget. The draft bill aims to remove the above conflict. 

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October 14 (InfoMongolia) The regular Cabinet meeting of the Government of Mongolia was held on Saturday, October 12 and the following issues were resolved.

-       The UK Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs William Hague is conducting an official visit to Mongolia on October 14-15, 2013. Accordingly, Mongolian policy to adhere during the bilateral talks was revised and delivered for approval to the Prime Minister.

-       The regulation of preshipment inspection for imports of high venture food raw materials and other food products to import as aid was approved. Under the regulation, the goods or high venture food raw materials will be imported from only World Trade Organization member states or countries preliminarily negotiated with Mongolia on qualifying international standards for sanitary and prohibition regulations.

-       A University Hospital affiliated the Health Science University was approved to be established and will be constructed under the grant aid financed by the Government of Japan.

-       It was agreed Mongolia to participate at the "Expo 2015 - Milan" international exhibition and Minister for Industry and Agriculture Kh.Battulga is responsible as general coordinator.

-       The intergovernmental agreement on Educational cooperation between Mongolia and Belarus signed on September 04, 2013 was approved.

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Cabinet Meeting in Brief

Ulaanbaatar, October 13 /MONTSAME/ A regular cabinet meeting on Saturday discussed a draft of directives the Mongolian side is to adhere to during the upcoming visit to Mongolia of William Hague, the Foreign Secretary and First Secretary of State of the United Kingdom on October 14-15. The draft awaits an approval of the PM.

-       The cabinet considered as necessity to have a Mongolian delegation participate in the 2015 Milan International Expo which will take place in 2015, and decided to appoint Kh.Battulga, the Minister of Industry and Agriculture, as a general coordinator for the Mongolian delegation.

-       The cabinet adopted a Mongolia-Belarus intergovernmental agreement on cooperation in the educational sector. It was signed September 4 of 2013 in Ulaanbaatar.

-       A head of the Cabinet Secretariat for Government Ch.Saikhanbileg reported a one-year work since the "11 11" center was created at the cabinet for reforms. The cabinet members were obliged to focus on resolving opinions and problems coming from people to this center. 

-       The cabinet discussed a draft national plan of actions to be implemented by the government in frames of the Open Government Partnership (OGP). The head of the Cabinet Secretariat was ordered to present it at a summit of the OGP.

-       The cabinet got au fait with results of the World Economic Forum's first Strategic Dialogue on the Future of Mongolia. The Minister of Foreign Affairs was obliged to take measures on this matter.        

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Ulaanbaatar, October 15 /MONTSAME/ "An approval of near and middle term programs of strategic partnership, established between the two countries in 2011, is a main purpose of my upcoming visit to China," the Prime Minister of Mongolia N.Altanhuyag told the Xinhua news agency.

The 65th anniversary of the Mongolia-China diplomatic relations will be celebrated not only at the governments but also in the public level as a great occasion for the relations of both countries' citizens, he added. 

"As an observer state at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), Mongolia is putting an endeavor to have wide-range trade and economic cooperation with Central Asian countries. We are ready to actively cooperate with China and the regional countries in a development of railways, roads and other infrastructures in the region due to our interconnecting location between China and some other countries of Asia and Europe," said the Premier.  

He also noted that Mongolia has amended its investment law, making its legal environment stable and clearly understandable for investors. "Those who would like to invest in Mongolia from now on shall not feel fear of any sudden change in the investment law or regulations of the country".

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OSCE/ODIHR supports Mongolia in monitoring and protecting women's rights

ODIHR has been working with the National Human Rights Commission of Mongolia to monitor and protect women's rights in the country

(OSCE) Strategies for effective human rights monitoring and advancing women's rights were discussed by the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) at a workshop for officials from the National Human Rights Commission of Mongolia, in Ulaanbaatar on 14 and 15 October 2013.

The workshop building on the various aspects of the Commission's work, examining ways to further improve the handling of complaints, the documenting and reporting on human rights violations, and the monitoring the implementation of gender equality legislation.

"Women's rights are human rights, therefore, they should be protected and monitored within the broader framework of human rights," said Byambadorj Jamsran, Chief Commissioner of the National Human Rights Commission of Mongolia. "Effective monitoring can identify practices that amount to violations of the rights of women, thereby helping devise strategies to adequately address them."

ODIHR presented its Handbook for National Human Rights Institutions on Women's Rights and Gender Equality, which offers a survey of trends, examples and recommendations to guide national human rights institutions (NHRIs) in strengthening their capacity and practical work on women's rights and gender equality.

"NHRIs should facilitate women's access to the complaints mechanism, by improving outreach to the community and carrying out public inquiries into systemic gender-based discrimination," said Ajla van Heel, Gender Officer at ODIHR.

The workshop is part of ODIHR's activities in supporting the work of NHRIs to promote women's human rights of women across the OSCE region, in line with the 2004 OSCE Action Plan for the Promotion of Gender Equality.

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Marubeni, GDF Suez Among Final Bidders for Mongolia Power Plant

By Michael Kohn & Yuriy Humber 

October 15 (Bloomberg) Mongolia short-listed companies including Marubeni Corp. (8002) and Daewoo Engineering & Construction Co. (047040) among the final bidders to build a $1 billion power plant in the Gobi Desert.

Kansai Electric Power Co. (9503) also made the short list, along with a joint bid made by GDF Suez (GSZ) SA and Posco Energy Corp, according to a statement on the website of the state-owned Tavan Tolgoi Power Plant. It doesn't indicate when a winning bidder will be named.

Coal miners operating in the Tavan Tolgoi coal basin, which contains 6.4 billion tons of reserves, include state-owned Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi LLC and Hong Kong-traded Mongolian Mining Corp. (975) The Tavan Tolgoi Power Plant (TTPP) will generate 450 megawatts of power, according to the company website.

Mongolia is in the midst of a resource boom, with billions of dollars pouring into the country to develop deposits of coal, gold, copper and other minerals. Road and rail projects are under way to deliver the minerals to neighboring China while a coal-fired power plant would help to power the mines and processing factories, including coal washing plants.

TTPP could also bring domestically generated power to the $6.6 billion Oyu Tolgoi copper and gold mine, the Rio Tinto (RIO) Group-controlled mine that is Mongolia's biggest mining project.

Contractual agreements require Oyu Tolgoi to use energy produced in Mongolia within four years of commercial production, which began this year. The mine, which imports electricity from China, is located 130 kilometers (81 miles) southeast of Tavan Togloi.

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New uses for coal in Mongolia

October 14 (Oxford Business Group) Looking to diversify its energy sources, Mongolia is stepping up efforts to expand the value-added content of its coal industry through developing a coal-to-liquids capacity, a move that could reduce energy import costs and provide cleaner fuel.

On August 25, South Korean steelmaker POSCO announced it had formed a joint partnership with Mongolia's MCS Group to develop a $2bn coal-to-liquids plant in Ulaanbaatar's Baganuur district. The development has been in the pipeline since 2010, after POSCO and MCS commissioned a feasibility study from Hatch, a Canadian coal-to-liquids plant engineering company, followed by the signing of a memorandum of understanding to pursue the project in August 2011.

Under plans laid out by Won Kang-hee, the head of POSCO's Mongolian division, the joint venture (named the Baganuur Energy Corporation) would build and operate a plant to produce annually 450,000 tonnes of diesel and 100,000 tonnes of dimethyl ether, a clean-burning propane-like gas.

Won said POSCO was optimistic for the prospects of the project, and its potential to lead to further developments in the sector. "Once the coal to liquid plant is up and running, Mongolia will become a bridgehead for us to expand toward the world in the new energy resource area," he said.

However, critics of the project have pointed out that it will require a significant amount of capital, water and energy to be feasible, suggesting that Mongolia may be better off focusing on its available thermal coal to meet its current and near-term energy demand.

The coal-to-liquids plant will be just one arm of POSCO's foray into the Mongolian economy. The firm's POSCO Energy holds a 30% stake in a consortium that has been named as the preferred bidder for the construction and operation of $1.34bn power station. The consortium – which also includes France's GDF Suez (30%) and Japan's Sojitz Corp (30%) – has been awarded a 25-year build-operate-transfer contract for the 450 MW coal-fired station.

While the coal-to-liquids project has been in the development stage for three years, neither MCS nor POSCO has announced a clear timeline on when ground will be broken on the project, or a start date for production.

The MCS-POSCO joint venture is not the first of its kind in Mongolia; German giant ThyssenKrupp Uhde struck an agreement with the government in April 2012 to undertake a coal-to-liquids development, based on previously-completed feasibility studies. The agreements foresee ThyssenKrupp Uhde contributing proprietary technologies to both the coal-to-liquids project and to a heat-recovery coke-making plant, with the German firm also acting as general contractor. The project will be conducted in cooperation with the Industrial Corporation Mongolia, the country's largest industry-based holding.

Mongolian officials had been in talks with ThyssenKrupp over a coal-to-liquids project since 2009, when then-prime minister S. Bayar visited Germany, although ThyssenKrupp had been conducting preliminary studies as far back as 2007.

The need for Mongolia to develop a domestic fuel industry is becoming increasingly pressing. The country imports around 1m tonnes of diesel a year, a figure that will rise with industrial and transport demands set to grow in the coming years. Oil consumption has been forecast to rise from 800,000 tonnes in 2012 to 3.5m tonnes by 2020, and demand for oil derivatives is projected to climb at a similar rate.

It is estimated that Mongolia has at least 2.4bn barrels worth of proven oil reserves, though it will require a long time, and extensive investments, to exploit most of the identified deposits. With one refinery in operation, and with much of its output exported to China, further downstream investments will be needed before Mongolia's conventional oil reserves are to ready to reduce pressures on the domestic market.

With diesel representing around 60% of Mongolia's fuel consumption, experts have suggested that three or more coal-to-liquids plants, with a capacity equal to that planned by POSCO and MCS, will be needed to meet the economy's requirements in the medium term. As global coal prices are far less volatile than those for either oil or gas, the cost of the basic feedstock for such plants should remain relatively steady.

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Eznis Airways plane makes emergency landing after propeller fire

October 15 (UB Post) Several recent problems with safety have occurred in the Mongolian aviation sector, but Civil Aviation Authority of Mongolia administrators have allegedly hidden them according to Unuudur Newspaper. On Sunday, October 6, an SAAB-340 airplane of Eznis Airways took off at 6:30 p.m. in route of Ulaanbaatar-Dornod but landed after 30 minutes due to a problem with a propeller. Two passengers gave a short interview about the flight.

-You were passengers of a Ulaanbaatar-Dornod flight on Eznis Airways on October 6. Exactly what fault occurred? 

-Prior to taking off, the flight was delayed twice, which caused a big inconvenience for passengers. We were actually scheduled to take off at 1:30 p.m. according to the official schedule. But it was announced that the flight was delayed until 3:30 p.m., as the airplane hadn't arrived in time due to bad weather. After a while, the flight was delayed once again to 6:30 p.m. We waited again and finally took off around 7 p.m. But the pilot said the airplane was faulty after around 30 minutes of flying.

-How did he explain the fault? 

-I presume a part of one of the plane's propellers was on fire, as flames were coming out of the left propeller during the flight. The airplane itself wasn't stable. The light in the passenger cabin was cut and passengers couldn't even move or make a sound for extreme fright. 

-Did it land instantly?

- It felt like the airplane stopped in midair. The pilot carefully turned the airplane to Ulaanbaatar and landed. It seemed to take a long time to get back. Fortunately, our pilot was highly experienced in his job and we landed safely.

-You say passengers were very frightened. Did the pilot or flight attendants calm you down?

-As soon as the airplane landed, one of the flight attendants said, "What has just happened? A fire was coming from propeller. In my case, I will never get on this airplane again." Flight attendants are responsible for calming down passengers, but some of these flight attendants were acting so unprofessionally and fulfilled their duty poorly.

-How many passengers were there in the airplane?

-There were 18 of us. When the passengers switched airplanes and were preparing to head to Dornod Province, three of us even returned our tickets for fear that the same thing might happen again. All of the passengers were so afraid. Though a doctor came to us after landing, the doctor didn't check on us. After complaining about it repeatedly, the doctor barely checked passengers and went away.

-Did Eznis Airways officially apologize to passengers? 

-Even Eznis Airways and flight officials were not concerned about us. It is quite typical for them to be careless when it comes to domestic flights.

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October 14 (InfoMongolia) Mongolian National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MNCCI) is organizing a Mongolia-Italy Business Forum in collaboration with Mongolian-Italian Business Council at 10:00 am in the MNCCI building on October 15, 2013.

On behalf of Italian side, entities from construction, engineering, architecture, furniture, tourism, water industry technology and legal consulting firms are to attend, and to provide with consulting services to Mongolian financial and insurance companies.

Italian companies to participate:

1.    VISA - Engineering

2.    INTERCORPORATE - Fashion, jewellery, design and forniture, perfume, cosmetics, gourmet, food, automobolies, yachts,tourism and services

3.    EUROGROUP - Technological systems installation

4.    LUALDI PORTE - Wood furniture

5.    COMACCHIO SRL - Engineering

6.    PRESSIANI - Wholesale trading hydrothermal health

7.    BALDELLI SRL - Construction and construction machinery

8.    TERMIGAS - Engineering

9.    STUDIO ASSOCIATO NEGRI CLEMENTI - Legal advisor to majour italian banks, insurance companies and entrepreneurs

10.  Studio Barreca & Lavarra - Architectural firm

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October 15 (InfoMongolia) Mongolian National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MNCCI) and "Mongol Marketer" NGO are announced to celebrate Mongolian Marketers Day annually on October 20th and in the scope of the event, the first Marketers Forum is scheduled to take place at the MNCCI building on October 17, 2013.

In the frameworks, Mongolian marketers are aimed to gather in order to determine the country's new marketing tendencies, to keep up with world marketing developments and exchange with experiences.

At the first Marketers Forum, agenda for Marketers' Day will be discussed, besides speeches on "Historical Development of Marketing", "Current situation of Mongolia's export, its further possibilities and role of marketing", "Who is a Mongolian consumer?", and "What's the competitiveness environment of Mongolian marketing?" will be delivered.

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Narberth Entrepreneur David Solomon Brings First-Ever Mongolian Vodka to the States

October 14 (Main Line Today) This month, a new, ultra-premium vodka is hitting the local wine and spirits shops. Meet Golia Vodka—the sleek, upscale selection joining the overpopulated, flavored shelves by way of Mongolia, as scouted, sourced and distilled by Narberth entrepreneur, David Solomon.

What pushes a Main Liner to trek to Mongolia, thirsty for what may be the smoothest vodka yet? Why do you need to snag your share of uber-chic vodka immediately? All the details below, courtesy of our latest Q&A with Solomon himself.

TD: You've opened franchises all over the world. What made you decide to jump into the liquor market?
DS: I understand that the vodka market can seem like a crowded space, but numbers don't concern me. I know what it is like to be mice that tap dance around the elephants.

I was in the DVD vending business [developed idea for what became Redbox] and I was told at the start that big box stores wouldn't give us the time of day—Blockbuster showed us the door. I was also told that Internet companies and Netflix would kill us, and now, Redbox has 34,000 locations.

TD: Impressive! Admire your perseverance. Can you give our readers a brief back story how the idea of bringing Mongolian vodka to the states became a reality?
DS: I've done entrepreneurial businesses, from consumer and retail goods, to shopping centers, DVD machines, and 20 Toys R Us stores outside the United States. My friend has been a trader in Hong Kong for 13 years and took a junket to Mongolia. While there, he fell in love with a tour guide and they have now been there for the last dozen years. Together, the two of them built huge conglomerates that now own about half the country—everything from a cement factory, apartments, hotels, larger real estate and security.

I went to visit him, and he said, "Let's put together a new adventure. Help me bring Redbox and Toys R Us here." While he said this, we were drinking this vodka, and I said that it was "amazing" and it would be more interesting to take the vodka to the rest of the world.

TD: What makes this Mongolian vodka so "amazing"?
DS: There are two things that make vodka great—and it needs to have both; can't have one without the other: the ingredients and the filtration and distillation processes. Also, a good vodka is exceptionally smooth.

In Mongolia, they have the finest ingredients on the planet. Our water's sourced 50 feet below the surface, and it's exceptional. The deep-underground mountain water source produces pure, cold H2O—you just can't duplicate the water we are getting.

TD: How about the grains that go into the fermentation?
The wheat we use is the best wheat in all of Asia. It's the wheat that everyone is trying to get. It's organic and harvested courtesy of no till and has ancient roots.

TD: The distilling processes of Golia Vodka sets it apart from other brands on the market. Can you explain the filtering process of this brand?
DS: We take each batch and distill at least six times through silver and platinum, making sure all the impurities are removed. The end result is very smooth with no burn, something you could drink all night and not have a hangover the next day.

TD: Golia Vodka is only first debuting in Philadelphia, Delaware and New Jersey market? Why's this? Is there a plan to eventually expand nationwide?
DS: The idea was to be big in our backyard first. Rather be inch-wide than mile deep. This is why we agreed to be the official vodka of the Flyers, and the official vodka of the Prudential Center too. We're also sponsoring the pool at Valley Forge Casino Resort. We felt that it's important to have a major presence in our own backyard.

TD: Your sales pitch is for "manly men" — what about Golia Vodka do you think appeals to burly males?
DS: We're looking to appeal to manly men and the women who love them—women who like guys with beards (like you). We're playing off of the Mongolian history, the conquering hordes.

TD: Fitting the manly mold, Golia Vodka is the official premium vodka being stocked at the Prudential Center (with New Jersey Devils) and Wells Fargo Center (with Philadelphia Flyers). Can you discuss this involvement? There's an ice lounge too, yes?
DS: At the Prudential Center is our new Golia Ice Lounge. We're going to be serving vodka for every game in that place—it's great way to showcase the brand, high-visibility, amongst great food and drinks. The bar top is made of ice, so you have a perfectly chilled drink every time. The lounge is about 5,000 sq. ft—pretty extensive.

TD: You're from the Main Line area, a resident of Narberth. Where can we order Golia on the Main Line?
DS: We're in various bars and restaurants area-wide. We're also at the Wells Fargo Center, XFINITY Live, McFadden's, Del Frisco's, Public House. Basically, if it's a steakhouse or sports bar, sporting venue or casino, we'll be wherever our audience will be.

TD: What is your favorite mixer for Golia?
DS: We hired Gordon Ramsay's mixologist to develop signature cocktails for us. He created the Conquered Lands Collection which takes ingredients that Genghis Khan conquered and flips them into cool, unique cocktails. We wanted to highlight and show off the character and smoothness of Golia through authentic ingredients, such as Thai basil, ginger and lemongrass.

TD: Give me your last plug for your brand-new Mongolia-bred vodka:
DS: We're going back to what there should be on the vodka shelf—vodka-flavored vodka. We're playing on our roots and we're able to stands up to that [vodka] audience served neat or on the rocks. Enjoy it!

Through the month of October, spy Golia Vodka in area-wide Pennsylvania Fine Wine & Good Spirits stores and participate in the "Enter to Win a Flyers Experience" contest. Flyers fans and Golia Vodka lovers enter to win game tickets, autographed merchandise, ride the Zamboni, meet and greet alumni and more.

Golia Vodka retails per 750ml bottle at $29.99. To learn more, visit

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October 14 (InfoMongolia) The National Tourism Center affiliated the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism of Mongolia will be participating at the "International Travel Fair 2013" to take place at Taipei World Trade Center, Taiwan on October 18-21, 2013.

The Taipei International Travel Fair is the longest standing international-scale travel fair to be seen in Taiwan, where Mongolia's state-owned companies including "Juulchin", "New Tourist", "Torlogt" and "MIAT" Mongolian National Flag Carrier will be representing Mongolia in this tourism sector.

Also, the National Tourism Center will promote Mongolia's winter tourism activities and events considering the characteristics of Taiwan market, besides to exhibit Mongolian Art of Calligraphy.

On the last two days of the event, Mongolian art and culture troupe accompanying the exhibitors will stage its national folk performances at the main podium of the exhibition hall.

The International Travel Fair 2013 is being organized for its consecutive 26th year that serves as the ideal platform to bring together industry exchange and consumer spending. In 2012, over 60 countries and 850 organizations participated in ITF, utilizing 1,200 exhibition booths and attracting more than 260,000 visitors.

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De Facto: Let us make Ulaanbaatar one of the greatest cities in the world!

By Jargalsaikhan Dambadarjaa

October 14 (UB Post) Our population has not even reached three million, yet thousands of Mongolians are living overseas. While many of us, living in Mongolia or abroad, have a job and are enjoying a good livelihood, the majority is struggling in their everyday life. In many cases, they are suffering from weak family bonds, which often result in a divorce. Also, many children are growing up without the physical presence of their parents because they are working abroad to feed their family.

Mongolians are asking their relatives for money and using up all their savings to travel to Thailand, China, Singapore or Japan for medical treatment. Meanwhile, those who are more well-known to the public are collecting donations in order to fund medical service to be received in foreign countries. In this fashion, Mongolians have spent twenty years spending millions of dollars on getting medical treatment abroad. It no longer seems odd or unusual that the wealthy part of society constantly travels outside Mongolia with the purpose of getting treatment or just having a medical test.

It is time to carefully assess and reflect upon how foreign countries see us. We should also have a look at the way we are living in our country. In the capital city, half of our residents are living in ger districts with outdoor bathrooms and are carrying drinking water home on carts. Although the other half live in apartment blocks, they are frequently faced with problems such as power outages, lack of running water, broken elevators and thieves breaking into parked cars. Plus, there are many other difficulties such as disastrous air pollution in winter.

The underlying reason behind why Mongolians are almost on the verge of taking refuge in foreign countries is that we have been failing to create the necessary conditions to make our homes and our city a good place to live. Now is the time to bring about a change. What needs to be done in order to transform Ulaanbaatar into a great place to live? How could we turn Ulaanbaatar into one of the greatest cities in the world?

Urban planning and management

We have always dreamt about establishing satellite towns and creating zones to develop Ulaanbaatar. It looks like this dream passed-on by every mayor to his successor could soon be realized and satellite towns surrounding Ulaanbaatar will be built and connected by a network of highways.

It is said that large marketplaces will be moved out of the city and replaced with apartment blocks. Also, they are discussing building university campuses in the suburbs and establishing new districts for students there. However, in order to move marketplaces and build campuses, they will have to tackle the problems associated with land ownership, as most of the land outside the city is given land ownership certificates of 99 years.

It is time to introduce a system that registers land by its ownership. Public land and private property should be clearly distinguishable. The current categorization system in use serves no significant purpose, consisting of ger district, building area, and public domain. After introducing a new system and registering land by its ownership, we need to categorize land into three different zones according to its designated function: residential, commercial or industrial. This zoning needs to be legalized so that changes will not be made every time the management of the city is replaced. Otherwise, there will not be any substantial change to the way things are today.

Then, appropriate standards have to be set for every zone and costs associated with landscaping and other activities should be covered by revenue collected from capital gains tax. The world has yet to find a way to develop a city without imposing taxes. More investment could be found if independent capital assessments are made available.

The city management can issue bonds to fund their construction projects, such as building new schools, cultural centers and sports halls. In order to issue such bonds, a 2-3 percent tax must first be imposed on goods and services being sold in that territory. However, there is no such thing as tax imposed only on residents of a city. Therefore, the 2-3 percent tax could be incorporated into sales tax imposed by the government, or other similar taxes that are already in place. This way, a new tax is not necessarily required. Moscow did the exact same thing and issued bonds.

We should immediately turn Ulaanbaatar into an intelligent city that is built upon good harmony between the environment, tradition and a modern lifestyle. Also, we need to make sure that the technologies we use take into account the special characteristics of our climate when we make building materials and work on construction projects. Our city should be open to everyone and exist in good alignment with the region. Furthermore, an intelligent Ulaanbaatar should have skilled professionals who contribute to the city.

Our capital city should be developed under an economic model rather than a social one, so that many higher education and TVET schools prepare a more skilled workforce while high quality infrastructure is built. Also, specific industries will then be able to focus more on exports.

Furthermore, when constructing new buildings and districts, everything has to be taken into account, such as office space, entertainment, schools, kindergartens, residential areas, public transportation arrangements, and even pedestrian crossings. Moreover, certain parts of our city should play the role of financial centers, shopping areas or entertainment centers. It is much preferred that the capital city of Mongolia becomes a city like Denver or Calgary, rather than Hong Kong or Singapore.

Joint efforts

If we manage to build such a city, our accomplishments will unite the hearts of all Mongolians. Let us create new values to take pride in as Mongolians, besides the beautiful countryside we have. If everyone makes their own contributions to achieving this great goal of ours, we will realize that our city is something that we all share with one another.

We should show the world how much Mongolians can achieve by building a great city full of people living a nice life.

Obviously, there are things we can do and some things we cannot. We should learn from others while fulfilling our own duties responsibly. Let us put our best efforts into the development of our country and start from becoming a nation where every single person fully realizes the advantages of information technology today and makes the best use of it.

We should remind ourselves that we are living in a rather peaceful city. There are shootings and bombs exploding every day in the streets of Kabul, Tripoli and Damascus.

Mongolians can accomplish as much as anyone can. There is nothing that can stop us. We are a nation that is fully capable of setting out a great goal and achieving it successfully. The only thing that needs to be done now is to work together and walk on the same path to development, rather than going different ways.

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Skating, jogging and cycling trails 70 percent complete at National Garden Park

October 15 (UB Post) Prime Minister N.Altankhuyag, Head of the Cabinet Secretariat for Government Ch.Saikhanbileg, Minister of Nature, Environment and Green Development S.Oyun, and Minister of Culture, Sport and Tourism Ts.Oyungerel visited the National Garden Park (NGP) recently. The Prime Minister is set to spend 50 billion MNT on the park from the 2013 Prime Minister's Budget, allocated from the State Fund. With the financing, ski, jogging and cycling trails, as well as a multi-use sports field can be completed.

NGP administrators reported that the construction of 2.6 kilometers of an 8 meter wide trail is at 70 percent completion. Four meters of it will be a cycling lane with designated traffic signs, while the other two meters will be developed into a jogging trail with a rubberized track. The remaining two meters will be a walking trail with grass alongside and will turn into a cross country ski trail in the winter.

A sports venue with football, basketball and soft tennis courts will be completed in 2013, and will be open to the public.

Parliament members planted a larch arbor at the park last May and ministers watered the arbor during their recent visit. In spring 2013, 32 businesses and organizations planted around 2,000 trees at the park, 95 percent of which successfully grew. The Prime Minister said, "Planting trees is rather simple. But nurturing and watering them regularly is the most important part."

NGP staff prepared bio-fertilizer themselves to nurture, landscape and fertilize the soil, as well as water over 110,000 trees of 22 different species. The staff also held a workshop for private citizens on taking care of trees and bushes as part of "Public Tree Planting Day".

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Foreign Policy Roundup #8: September 30-October 13, 2013

By Brandon Miliate

October 13 (Mongolia Focus) Latest foreign policy news from Mongolia, including Mongolia's continuing bid to join APEC.


From Last Week

Mongolia established diplomatic relations with Suriname.

L. Bold met with a representative from the UN Office for Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Countries, and Small Island Developing states


Prime Minister Altankhuyag received the Chinese Ambassador to discuss the Prime Minister's upcoming trip to China later this month.

Z. Enkhbold called upon the Russian Ambassador to Mongolia. During the meeting aninvitation was extended to the head of the Russian Duma to visit Ulaanbaatar.

Mongolia is offering assistance to the Russian Federation following natural disasters in the country's far eastern provinces.

D. Erdenebat, member of the DP and Parliamentary member met with the Major of Buryatia's Ulaan-Ude. The focus of the meeting was on business relations, specifically the sell of building materials.

Asia Pacific

Director of the Mongolian Parliament, Z. Enkhbold, greeted the delegation of the South Korean National Assembly as they arrived on an official visit to Ulaanbaatar. Following their arrival, the two parties discussed strengthening their cooperation in the mining and transportation sectors, specifically mentioning Korean investment in the Mongolian railway.

For the first time, Mongolia participated in the APEC Ministerial Meeting. During the proceedings, L. Bold took the opportunity to discuss Mongolia's relations with Indonesia and ASEAN more generally, and how to strengthen relations in the future. L. Bold also reiterated Mongolia's objective of being admitted in APEC, something Indonesia has voiced support for. An English language examination of Mongolia's APEC bid is available here.

President Elbegdorj was invited to Japanese President Shinzo Abe's residence following a conversation at last week's UN Forum.

North Korean Leader Kim Jung-un sent a letter to Elbegdorj in recognition of 65 years of diplomatic relations between the two nations.


The Mongolian Ministry of Foreign Affairs held its annual meeting, for which several ambassadors were recalled and new appointments discussed, specifically those in France, Germany, Canada, and Switzerland. The meeting is at least partially the result of allegations of money laundering on the part of Mongolia's Ambassador to Germany.

Mongolia participated in the 129th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union in Geneva.

The fourth meeting of the Mongolian-Hungarian Commission was held in Budapest.

L. Bold met with the representatives of 20 E.U. states, in what has become an annual meeting since 2009 to discuss the Mongolian-E.U. partnership

Middle East

Z. Enkhbold made an official visit to Turkey and met with the Turkish Prime Minister


L. Bold met with Asia Foundation's Executive President. This week marks 20 years of cooperation between the Mongolian Government and Asia Foundation.

L. Bold announced plans to attend the World Economic Forum in Moscow from Oct. 18-20. 

For previous postings of the Foreign Policy Roundup in 2013 CLICK HERE

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UK Foreign Secretary visits Mongolia

Foreign Secretary William Hague will visit Mongolia on 14-15 October 2013, at the invitation of the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Mongolia.

October 14 (Foreign Office) The RT Hon William Hague MP Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs of the United Kingdom will pay an official visit to Mongolia by the invitation of H.E. Mr Bold L, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Mongolia on 14-15 October 2013.

This is the second visit of a Foreign Secretary to Mongolia since the establishment of the diplomatic relations in 1963 with the United Kingdom.

During the visit President Elbegdorj Ts, Prime Minister Altankhuyag N will receive the Foreign Secretary and official discussions will be held with Mr Bold L, Foreign Minister of Mongolia. Foreign Secretary Hague will also attend functions with Government representatives, representatives of broader political parties, business, NGOs, civil society, academics and international institutions in addition to visiting a Save the Children project in the Chingeltei district.

The visit of the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs of the United Kingdom is significant in terms of deepening the political trust and understanding, enhancing and strengthening the relations and cooperation with economic in content.

Further information

Follow Foreign Secretary William Hague's 3-nations Far East Prosperity tour on Storify

Follow the British Embassy Ulaanbaatar on facebook

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Canadian State Visit

By Dr. Julian Dierkes

October 13 (Mongolia Focus) 2013 marks the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Canada and Mongolia. Earlier this year, this anniversary was marked by a visit of the chairman of the Ikh Khural, Z Enkhbold, to Canada. Now, it has been announced that the Canadian Governor General, David Johnston, will be visiting Mongolia at the end of October.

This will be a first Canadian state visit and it reciprocates the visit of then-president N Bagabandi to Canada in 2004. Since then numerous officials have visited, including then-prime minister Su Batbold in Fall 2010.

The Governor General of Canada

For readers not familiar with Canada, the governor general formally represents the Queen of Canada (and some other minor places around the world), Elizabeth II. The governor general is appointed by the Queen upon nomination by Canada's prime minister. The current Governor General has held the position for just over three years. He is the commander-of-chief of Canada and has a number of constitutional rights and duties related to parliament, elections, appointments of officials, and the granting of various honours, most notably perhaps, membership in the Order of Canada. In international relations, the governor general represents Canada on state visits, such as the upcoming trip to Mongolia.

The current Governor General succeeded Michaëlle Jean in October 2010. He is a legal scholar who has taken on a number of university administrative role in addition to his scholarship on securities regulation and corporate law. From 1999 to 2010 he served as the president of the University of Waterloo.

Prior to the upcoming visit to Mongolia, the Governor General will have visited 12 countries on state visits.

Expectations of the State Visit to Mongolia

Likely Canadian Announcement

Despite his constitutional status, the governor general's role is largely a ceremonial one when it comes to specific policies, including international relations. He thus represents Canada on a state visit and does not typically hold negotiations on behalf of the government of Canada.

Nevertheless, the visit could be expected to be an occasion for announcements of new initiatives by either government. On the Canadian side, the announcement of a bilateral aid program is as long overdue highly likely. This program has been in preparation since 2011, including concrete planning by CIDA for activities, but has not been announced officially. After several rumoured high-profile visits from Canadian officials that fell apart at late stages in the planning, the Governor General's state visit and his address to the Mongolian parliament will afford the Canadian government a perfect opportunity to make this announcement for maximum impact in Mongolia even though the planned activities may be relatively limited.

Mongolia's current economic challenges may make this a fortuitous time to announce a program that will likely focus in part on governance questions, especially the role of the public service. This focus will also be highly appropriate a time when Mongolia's material conditions are improving with economic growth to the extent that human welfare is not as urgent a concern in the country (absent severe winter weather) as it would have been some years ago. A Canadian bilateral program would come at a time when the U.S. engagement is being scaled back and Japanese JICA is preparing to switch the focus of its activities in Mongolia from grant-making to loans.

The Canadian visit will draw attention to educational opportunities for Mongolians in Canada, but also to academic relations between the two countries, a development that I would – obviously and somewhat self-interestedly – welcome very much. Immediately after the governor general's visit, the Canadian embassy will be hosting an education fair in Ulaanbaatar for the first time and the fair's visibility in Mongolia will certainly be enhanced by the State Visit.

Possible Mongolian Announcements

As a state visit to Mongolia may also provide the occasion for announcements and initiatives by the Mongolian government, what can be expected in this regard? Note that neither Canadian nor Mongolian officials have hinted at any of these possible announcements, I am merely speculating here.

The most concrete and substantial "next step" in the Canadian-Mongolian relationship would be the conclusion of a Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA). Negotiations for such an investment began in 2009, though there has not been any suggestion that they have progressed to the extent that the conclusion of an agreement is imminent. As the Mongolian side seems to be slow to this particular dance, the State Visit could certainly be an opportunity for concrete steps to jump-start these negotiations once again. On the one hand, current parliamentary debates about its foreign investment law have put this topic on top of the agenda for many Mongolian officials, but a bilateral agreement specifically may not seem as urgent to policy-makers who are grappling with wider challenges. Since the investment community is looking for signals of stability and medium term opportunities, however, steps toward a FIPA could provide such a signal. Any initiative in this regard would merely be an announcement of intentions however.

Recently, Mongolia has lifted visa requirements for a number of countries. I myself thus benefited from the lifting of a visa requirement for Germans as of September, but very recently a similar announcement was made regarding Turkish-Mongolian relations. As Canada has also played an important and, indeed, strategic role in Mongolia's third neighbour policy, an announcement of a waiver of visa requirements for Canadians seems like a plausible welcoming present during a State Visit. Such an announcement would also recognize that it appears to have become easier for Mongolian nationals to obtain (tourist and other) visa to Canada in recent years, despite the hurdle that such visas are issued in Beijing.

Impact of the State Visit in Canada

Given the limited substantive expectations of the visit, the impact may not be great, particularly since Canadian attention likely will be more focused on the Governor General's visit to China that occurs just before his trip to Ulaanbaatar and coincides with a flurry of Canadian cabinet members visiting China.

Yet, many visitors to Mongolia in the past have become quite enamored with the country, its vibrant democracy, beautiful nature, and open people. If the same happens to the Governor General (and it has been observed several times that a routing from China to Mongolia often makes foreign officials appreciate the access to and openness of Mongolian officials), he may well become an advocate of sorts for Mongolia in Ottawa. Though he does not seem to be closely involved in policy deliberations of the Conservative government, such advocacy could give Mongolia a bit of a higher profile or perhaps help it regain the profile that it briefly held after Su Batbold's visit during which a personal relationship between Batbold and Prime Minister Harper seems to have been established.

The Governor General's return from Mongolia may also roughly coincide with the arrival of a new Mongolian ambassador, the country's fourth resident ambassador in Ottawa. R Altangerel has been nominated for this position. He has previously served as ambassador to France, as state secretary and chief of the protocol office in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Mongolia. Particularly the latter role is a much more central one in the Mongolian MoFA that extends much beyond control over etiquette for meetings between Mongolian and foreign officials and plays much more of a coordinating role.

As the new ambassador is bi-lingual and was reputed to be quite active during his posting in Paris, he may well be able to capitalize on some interest on the part of the Governor General to raise the Mongolian profile in Ottawa in 2014.

Regardless of the specific circumstances and any announcements – surprising or foreseen -, the State Visit will be a marker in Canada-Mongolia relations and will thus certainly also have an impact on Mongolia-related activities at Canadian universities, including the University of British Columbia.

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Chinese Hackers Targeting U.S.-Mongolian Military Cooperation?

October 14 (EurasiaNet) Chinese hackers have been planting malware in documents associated with U.S.-Mongolia military exercises in an apparent attempt to interfere with Mongolia's ties to the West, a private American cybersecurity company claims.

According to a recent report by the company ThreatConnect, Chinese hackers created a decoy "weaponized Microsoft Word document" appearing to be an official U.S. Army announcement related to the annual Khaan Quest exercise that Mongolia hosts, and the U.S. supports.

This activity represents Chinese Computer Network Exploitation (CNE) activity against organizations that China perceives to be jeopardizing its interests in Mongolia. As evidenced in the weaponized Khaan Quest document described above, Chinese APT groups will likely continue targeting US military entities involved in cooperation activities with the Mongolian military. Also, western European and other governments that engage with Mongolia diplomatically will be considered CNE targets as well.

Another document, in Mongolian and discussing a joint military exercise with Vietnam, was also found with the same bit of code. ThreatConnect suggests some sort of connection between this operation and the famous Chinese People's Liberation Army hacking operation, Unit 61398. It's hard to tell how seriously to take this -- threat inflation is endemic in the cybersecurity world -- but it's an interesting little look into how Washington and Beijing might be looking at this.

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Mongolia-Russia Friendship Month launched

October 15 (UB Post) It's been 53 years since Mongolia-Russia Friendship Month was first celebrated. This year, the launch took place on October 10. To celebrate, joint business meetings, a research conference, a Russian language day and competition, various contests, and performances will take place.

The launch of "Little Siberians" children's magazine was held during the event. The magazine, written in both Mongolian and Russian, included Mongolian national fairytales and myths and introduced the history and culture of Ulaanbaatar and Mongolia. Paintings and poems by Mongolian children, depicting national reverence and beauty, were also published. The magazine will be published every two months.

A quiz on a subject of "Russian Science and Technology" will be held on October 17, and a  recitation contest on "Magnificent Russian Poetry" will take place on October 18, while a ballet by Russia's finest principal dancers will be performed on October 19 at the State Academic Theater of Opera and Ballet. A Russian language Olympiad among high school students from Mongolia-Russia joint schools will be held too. The elderly of Buryatia will perform a "Young At Heart" concert in Ulaanbaatar as well. The cultural days will take place in Govi-Altai Province between October 21 and 24.

Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation to Mongolia V.Samoilenko, Irkutsk Region Governor S.Yeroshchenko and other officials attended the launch.

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October 15 (InfoMongolia) At the Ulaanbaatar City Citizen's Representative Khural (City Council) meeting held on October 14, 2013, a monument erecting issue in the city was discussed and introduced by Deputy Director of Capital City General Planning Division E.Anar.

In the frameworks, a monument dedicated to a well known diplomat specialized in Oriental Studies, Ambassador of the Russian Empire Ivan Yakovlevich Korostovets (1862-1933), was decided to erect in the territory of Bayanzurkh District, particularly in the area owned by Russian Center of Science and Culture in Ulaanbaatar (RCSC).

The project to monumentalize Ambassador Ivan Yakovlevich Korostovets will be financed from the Culture Minister's budget, which would cost 85 million MNT and a 6-meter tall statue.

Ivan Yakovlevich Korostovets representing the Russian Empire co-signed the first Russian-Mongolian Agreement in Urguu on November 03, 1912 and this agreement was a fact of historical importance in the politics of Mongolia after declaring its independence in 1911, and first recognized the autonomy of Outer Mongolia by Russia. Moreover, during his service in the country, Ivan Korostovets initiated to release first newspapers titled "Shine Toli" and "Niislel Khureenii Sonin Bichig" and the establishment of a secular school in Urguu under Russian sponsorship.

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Denver mayor accepts sister city Ulaanbaatar's invitation to visit in 2014

Ulaanbaatar, October 14 /MONTSAME/ A Consul-General of Mongolia to US San Francisco Mr N.Akhnbayar and the Deputy Consul Mr B.Bold last week worked in Colorado state to meet with Michael Hancock, the Mayor of Denver city.

They discussed a present volume of the cooperation between Ulaanbaatar and Denver cities and opportunities to forward these ties.

Underling that the cities have been co-implementing works for many years in a scope of the sister-cities relations, Mr Ankhbayar affirmed that the Denver Mayor has been invited by the UB Mayor E.Bat-Uul to visit the capital city of Mongolia, and asked him to pay this visit next year. He also proposed involving in the visiting group delegates from agriculture, mining, urban furnishing, investors and university representatives.

Mr Hancock replied that he will visit Ulaanbaatar city in 2014.

During a meeting with authorities of Colorado state's Department of Economic Development and International Trade, the sides agreed to collaborate in the agricultural sector, particularly in dairy productions, to set up ties between the Mongolian University of Science and Technology (MUST) and the Colorado University of Mining, and to develop the collaboration in the tourism sector.

Moreover, the Consuls legged Colorado-based Mongolian schools, and granted the schools textbooks and training materials and books, and also met delegates of the Mongolians' Union of Colorado State.  

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Speaker visits hydro electric station in Turkey

Ulaanbaatar, October 14 /MONTSAME/ A Mongolian delegation led by Speaker of the State Great Khural Z.Enkhbold visited on October 11 the Hirfanli hydro-elecric station in Turkey. A regional director for EUAS, the largest electric power company of the country, guided the Speaker around the station and briefed on its operations.  

The station is located 150km southeast Ankara, and has a dam high as 78 meters. Its annual generation capacity is 400 GWh.

After visiting the Hirfanli Dam, the Governor of the Kirsehir Mr Cakacak feasted the guests.

The same day, the delegation arrived in Cappadocia and saw a natural museum of Goreme and an underground city of Ozkonak. Cappadocia city is a popular tourist attraction, with its exceptional natural wonders, in particular characterized by fairy chimneys and a unique historical and cultural heritage.

During his visit, Mr Enkhbold gave interviews to the local media, and highlighted the significance of the agreement of Turkey and Mongolia on mutual exemption of visas. The agreement, signed at this visit, will be a great impetus to tourism development between the the countries, the Speaker underlined.  

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October 14 (InfoMongolia) The Implementing Authority of the Government of Mongolia, Mongolian Immigration Agency has announced a Pardon Campaign for foreign nationals residing in the territory of Mongolia from October 14 to 25, 2013.

The campaign aims to elicit, register and involve foreign citizens, whose visas, residential cards have been expired or not obtained, moreover during the period foreign nationals breached the relevant laws of Mongolia will be fined and deported from the country, but not blacklisted from entering the country again.

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Social, Environmental and Other

University of Health Sciences to Establish University Hospital with Japanese Aid

Ulaanbaatar, October 13 /MONTSAME/ At its regular meeting on Saturday, the cabinet decided that a trainings' hospital must be created at the State University of Health Sciences (SUHS).

The cabinet obliged L.Gantomor, the Minister of Education and Science, and N.Batbayar, the Minister of Economic Development, to realize the work with a non-refundable aid's capital from the Japanese government. Orders were also given to the Ministers of Health and of Construction and Urban Development to provide the work with professional and methodological support.

It is projected that professional and specialized medical doctors will work at the training hospital supposing it will improve students training, increase an adequacy of medical services for the population, improve professional skills of doctors, nurses and experts.  

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Vacancy: Country Director – Mongolia, Mercy Corps

Closing date: 09 Dec 2013


Mongolia is a country negotiating the balance of its pastoral traditions with its dynamic economic growth. Changes in government are complicating governance policies and international economic relationships. Environmental concerns, which were previously focused primarily on agriculture and livestock, are also troubled with the growing impact that mining is having and is adding to the struggle between responsible natural resource management and developing economic opportunities.

Mercy Corps supports families and communities in rural Mongolia with programs focusing on economic opportunity and transparent governing. Since 1999, we have worked with local governments and agencies, businesses, associations and civil society organizations to help build a robust economy and engaged community that respect Mongolian traditions.

Mercy Corps/Mongolia is concentrating on three strategic areas in FY14:

·         Inclusive Growth: Citizens crowding the poverty line have social and economic information, skills and resources to support themselves and their families and are able to participate in and shape market systems; requisite market institutions are robust, independent, and responsive;

·         Good Governance: Decision-making and resource allocation by government and local institutions (private sector and civil society) are informed, participatory, transparent, monitored, and accountable;

·         Environmental Stewardship: Improved awareness generates more responsible action from individuals to institutions towards the environment and natural resource management to promote resilience.

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How Mongolia Brought Nomads TV and Mobile Phones

By Jim Yong Kim, President, World Bank

October 15 (Bloomberg) In global development, as in business, delivery can determine failure or success. The windswept steppes of Mongolia, among the world's harshest environments, have become a testing ground for how best to deliver something increasingly important to Earth's entire population: electricity.

The conditions in rural Mongolia are forbidding. Winter temperatures on the steppes regularly drop to minus 30 degrees Celsius (minus 22 degrees Fahrenheit). Over a barren landscape three times the size of France, there are no paved roads. About a quarter of the country's 2.8 million people herd goats and yaks. They shelter in traditional felt tents known as gers, as they have for thousands of years.

Today, the country is changing quickly. Mineral wealth has driven economic growth of more than 10 percent and rapid urbanization. But Mongolia's leaders want to balance this by promoting rural development and preserving ancestral traditions. That means improving the quality of life for nomadic herders, including through electrification.

This challenge long seemed impossible. In search of fresh grazing land, herders roam far beyond the reach of fragmented power grids. In the 1990s, however, solar technology created a new possibility in the form of home solar systems light enough that herders could carry them while on the move. The Mongolian steppes also provide an almost optimal environment for harvesting solar energy, with clear skies for 250 days of the year.

Solar Power

In 2000, the government of Mongolia started the National 100,000 Solar Ger Electrification Program, a campaign to provide 100,000 nomadic herder families -- half a million people altogether -- with portable solar power units.

But how could the generators be delivered to the widely scattered nomads?

At first, the government relied on its administrative system, the only institutional network covering all of Mongolia's vast territory. In this formerly communist country, private enterprise barely existed. No company was ready for a challenge on this scale.

Moreover, each herder family has a relationship with a government official in the village closest to where that family camps during the short summer. The government tapped these village administrators to promote and sell the power systems. Under the plan, herders would receive a government subsidy for half the cost and pay the rest themselves.

After a slow start, sales of solar systems began to rise in 2002. By late 2004, about 30,000 units had been sold. Then sales abruptly crashed. For the next year, almost no systems were distributed. The Solar Ger initiative became paralyzed less than a third of the way to its goal. At the time, no one knew the reason for the crash, let alone how to fix it.

To find a solution, in 2006, Mongolian officials convened the Renewable Energy and Rural Electricity Access Project, an alliance of the governments of Mongolia and the Netherlands and the World Bank Group.

One problem with the Solar Ger delivery model, the project administrators soon found, had to do with cash flow. Payments from herder customers were channeled into general government accounts rather than the Solar Ger program itself, and this caused delays in procuring the systems. The REAP team recommended that future income immediately be reinvested in solar systems for new customers.

Marketing Lag

A more significant problem, however, centered on the program's incentive structure. The units hadn't caught on in part because village administrators, already busy with their many other responsibilities, didn't market them aggressively. Each sale required helping the buyer learn to operate the system, and administrators had no incentive to invest that effort and time.

A customer satisfaction survey in 2006 showed that after-sales service and support were the herders' main complaint with the program. When systems needed repair, they usually needed to be taken to Ulaanbaatar, the Mongolian capital. For many, that journey was prohibitively time-consuming and expensive. Customers needed more convenient technical support.

Salvador Rivera, who coordinated the World Bank's participation in the project, and his colleagues looked for examples of other programs or companies that had found ways to operate successfully in rural Mongolia. He started talking with leaders of the XacBank LLC, a microcredit institution that had recently built a robust clientele in the countryside.

XacBank had established tiny branches in remote Mongolian villages and, through these, acquired a tight network of personal relationships. Rural people could easily learn about the bank and its services, ask questions, and understand how microcredit might work for them. Once the bank granted a microloan, its personnel immediately followed up to provide advice and support. XacBank achieved a large volume of microlending volume with impressively high reimbursement rates.

Rivera wondered if a similar model might work for the Solar Ger program. He and the REAP team proposed creating a network of small, privately run sales-and-service centers throughout rural Mongolia, extending to towns and villages far out on the periphery. The local centers -- at least one in each region of Mongolia -- would provide sound advice about solar systems, energetic sales and reliable service.

Small Shops

The center operators, recruited through local advertisements, were mainly entrepreneurs who already ran small appliance or electronics shops. REAP provided training in how to maintain and make basic repairs to the systems. It also reinforced quality testing and introduced a limited warranty to build herders' confidence in the technology.

REAP's new model kept the government involved. It continued to provide the subsidy covering half the price of each unit. And it continued to shoulder crucial logistical tasks, including trucking the systems to remote areas. In especially low-density areas where private sales-and-service centers could never become profitable, government officials still served as the primary delivery agents for Solar Ger.

Almost as soon as the network of local centers was put in place, the program began to succeed. With each new sale, center owners found they had more demand for other goods that use electricity -- including light bulbs, mobile phones, radios and televisions. Many center owners thus went to exceptional lengths to spread the word about the Solar Ger program and ensure that herder families who purchased units were satisfied. Some regularly drove off-road vehicles onto the steppes to visit herders' camps, give advice on solar energy, help families install and maintain systems, or make repairs.

Positive word-of-mouth spread among herders, sales climbed, and the program began to change lives. Herders with solar units rapidly acquired mobile phones to stay in touch with relatives and friends and to conduct business. Many began using TV and radio to get up-to-the-minute information on weather and market trends for their products, such as alpaca wool. This enabled herders to earn more money when they brought goods to market. And families' leisure options expanded.

By 2012, the project had sold more than 67,000 solar systems, in addition to the 33,000 systems sold earlier by the government. The Solar Ger program met its goal of supplying solar power to half a million nomadic people.

Customer satisfaction among the herders has been extraordinarily high. In a survey, some 93 percent said they felt "extremely satisfied" or "very satisfied" with the systems and the service they received. Respondents unanimously said they would recommend the systems to others.

Ultimately, the REAP team members were able to turn a delivery failure into success using five strategies:

-       They got money flowing faster and brought in additional financial partners to expand the project to meet demand.

-       They listened to end-users' complaints about inadequate and inconvenient service and repairs. This is crucial, because good delivery depends on understanding what people actually want.

-       They looked to XacBank as a model of success.

-       They brought on board an important local constituency: appliance dealers who had incentives to drive the program. Measurement of delivery success should always hinge on whether the item or service delivered satisfies people's expectations and improves their lives.

-       They combined successful elements of the existing government-based approach with new strategies drawn from the private sector.

This success story also addresses one of the great risks inherent in development. As electricity and modern communications change the way Mongolia's nomadic herders live, there is real concern that a long-enduring way of life may be lost. Rural communities in many developing countries face similar trade-offs as urbanization accelerates.

The Solar Ger initiative shows that safeguarding rural traditions doesn't have to mean resisting all forms of innovation. New technologies can make it easier for people to maintain traditional rural lifestyles, while adapting to a changing world.

(Jim Yong Kim, a former president of Dartmouth College, is the president of the World Bank. This is the second in a three-part series about the importance of delivery in the success of global development projects. Read Part 1.) To contact the writer of this article: Jim Yong Kim at

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People power: Mongolia's battle against tuberculosis

October 15 (The Conversation) Chinggis Khaan (or as he is known in many countries, Genghis Khan) is Mongolia's national hero. The famous 12th and 13th century leader used considerable military and political savvy to build one of the largest empires in history. But while he was building an empire, another invader silently spread from person to person.

This invader, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, favours stealth over force. The disease that it causes, tuberculosis (TB), has endured from ancient times into the 21st century.

It is estimated that one-third of the world's population is infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis and around 5% to 10% of these will develop active TB in their lifetime.

Even with effective antibiotics, TB is still a major global health problem, though it is rarely seen in developed countries such as Australia. TB disproportionately affects the world's vulnerable, with over 95% of active cases and deaths caused by TB occurring in developing countries. Mongolia has a high burden of TB relative to its population.

The World Health Organization's (WHO) most recent Global TB Report estimated that in 2011 there were 8.7 million new TB cases and each day, the disease claims around 4,000 lives. For a disease that is treatable and curable, these statistics are alarming.

This year I'm working with the Mongolian Anti-Tuberculosis Association(MATA). Founded in 1993, MATA is a "home-grown" example of community health workers having a positive impact on TB control. Through a nation-wide network of 300 health volunteers, this organisation coordinates the provision of anti-TB medications, mainly targeting people unable to visit health clinics regularly.

The WHO recommends that anti-TB treatment is given through a scheme known as DOTS (directly observed treatment, short-course), as adherence to medicines over the typical six-month treatment course can be sporadic unless patients are adequately supported. Under DOTS, each dose of anti-TB medication is supervised and signed off by a health worker or volunteer.

MATA volunteers take anti-TB medications to around 400 patients each month through home visits, with volunteers serving patients living in their local city sub-district or town. An additional 280 patients attend contracted cafeterias for a free meal along with their anti-tuberculosis medications.

Volunteers are trained in the basics of TB and can become an important primary source of information, support, early identification of treatment issues and also a vector for encouraging contacts of patients to attend clinics for TB screening.

For their work, volunteers are provided with a small monthly stipend, the Mongolian equivalent of around 30 Australian dollars. They are supervised by MATA staff and work with tuberculosis clinic doctors and nurses who take responsibility for treatment decisions.

The results of this program so far are impressive. This is best demonstrated by looking at treatment outcomes for a specific group of new patients who have returned positive tests, of which approximately 30% of the national total are involved in MATA's program.

Of 621 patients from this group enrolled with MATA in 2011, 600 (about 97%) successfully finished treatment and almost all of these were cured of the disease. This is compared to an overall treatment success rate for this group of around 88%, reported by the National TB Program.

I spoke to some volunteers based in Bayanzurkh district, an area of Ulaanbaatar (also known as Ulan Bator) with one of the highest prevalence of TB in Mongolia. I asked one volunteer why she was involved in MATA's program and she replied, through translation,

There is a great feeling of accomplishment for me and the patient when someone finishes their treatment and is cured.

Meeting these volunteers – and witnessing their dedication – makes me think that with time, the TB situation can improve.

Managing a community-based treatment program on a national scale inevitably comes with a set of challenges. The last two decades have seen widespread internal migration, especially during winter, from the countryside into Ulaanbaatar.

Multiple factors have caused this including the transition to a market-based economy following the fall of the Soviet Union, with people increasingly seeking opportunities in the city.

Adding to this, a series of dzuds (particularly harsh winters, commonly associated with a high livestock fatality rate) over recent years has made the continuation of a traditional herder lifestyle untenable for many.

This has led to an expansion of the "ger districts", urban slums with a multitude of social problems and high rates of TB. The close living quarters during winter, when temperatures can plummet below -40°C, create ideal conditions for TB transmission.

Keeping track of TB patients who have started on treatment is one of the main problems our volunteers face in providing treatment, with many people returning to the countryside during summer. Other issues include reaching patients living in very remote places or those frequently moving around.

Lack of awareness and misconceptions can also be problematic when trying to encourage patients to complete their treatment. A 2012 national survey showed that most people know that TB is curable (84%) and is an air-borne infection (74%).

But many of those surveyed did not know treatment is provided free of charge (49%) or the signs and symptoms of TB (43%) which typically include a chronic cough, night sweats, unexplained weight loss, fever and/or tiredness.

Educating the public about TB can greatly improve case finding and treatment efforts and there is still progress to be made in this area. Providing high-quality training to volunteers is another important aspect of the program and this is complex to manage on a national scale.

Earlier this year I had the chance to participate in the external review of the National Stop TB Strategy 2010-2015, conducted with the support of the WHO. This provided an opportunity for reflection; to praise the many positive achievements of the National TB program and to identify areas where improvements could be made.

My main observation working in the TB area so far is that teamwork is central to reducing the global TB burden. From MATA, to the National TB Program and more broadly the WHO, the Stop TB Partnership and the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (among others), there is a huge network of people working towards a common goal.

Through utilising these partnerships, praising the good and improving the not so good, we can work towards making TB join smallpox as a disease of the past, in spite of the huge challenges that lie between this goal and the present situation.

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October 15 (InfoMongolia) On October 09-11, 2013, the Conference of Plenipotentiaries on the "Minamata Convention on Mercury" was held in Minamata and Kumamoto cities of Japan for the purpose of adopting the Convention.

Mongolia was one of 92 countries to sign the historic Minamata Convention and was represented by Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Mongolia to Japan S.Khurelbaatar, and authority from the Ministry of Nature, Environment and Green Development responsible for Toxic and Hazardous Chemical issues L.Jargalsaikhan.

Representing the Government of Mongolia, Ambassador S.Khurelbaatar signed the Minamata Convention.

Minamata Convention on Mercury

The Minamata Convention on Mercury is an international treaty that was designed to protect human health and the environment from anthropogenic emissions and releases of mercury and mercury compounds.

The treaty seeks to place controls and restrictions on a range of products, processes and industries where mercury is used, released or emitted. It seeks to phase out by 2020, the production, export and import of products that contain mercury.

These include batteries, switches and relays, certain types of compact fluorescent lamps, soaps and cosmetics, certain types of non-electronic medical devices such as thermometers and blood pressure devices; and the use of dental fillings using mercury amalgam.

The treaty also seeks to control mercury emissions and releases from the mining industry as well as cement and coal-firedpower plants. In addition, parties that have artisanal and small-scale gold mining operations are expected to draw up national plans within three years of the treaty being entered into force to reduce and where possible, eliminate the use of mercury in these operations.

Under the new agreement, populations at risk will be identified, and medical care and training of health professionals improved.

The decision to begin negotiations on mercury was taken by environment ministers four years ago at the 2009 session of the United Nations Environment Programme's Governing Council. The fifth and final negotiation took place in Geneva, Switzerland on January 19, 2013 where the treaty document was finalized.

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WATCH: Eddie Huang Goes to Beatles Square in Mongolia

October 15 (The Braiser) Most coverage of the modernizing world tends to be extremely sad, full of paeans to a lifestyle lost in the maddening crush of industrialization and technology. And we won't begrudge Eddie Huang his sad moments as he tackles the modernization of Mongolia in Ulaan Bataar, sharply contrasted with the life of a nomadic herder and his family.

But sometimes you just stumble across odd shopping malls, Seoul Avenue, and Beatles Square, and it's kind of charming. (And then he eats a sheep eyeball, and all the charm is…still there. Weird.)

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2nd phase of 2013 army recruitment begins on Tuesday

October 14 / The second phase of recruitment to the army in 2013 will begin on Tuesday October 15th. In the meantime the release of the first shift of personnel in service from the army is ongoing. 

According to the law of Mongolia any and all men between 18 and 25 are eligible for military service. A person who receives a recruitment call paper is obliged to arrive on time at the recruitment place to enlist to the army on a scheduled day. 

Any and all men who are citizens of Mongolia are obliged to be on duty particularly for the second level of military mobilization reserves. 

A citizen of Mongolia must comply with their duty to secure their homeland and are therefore obliged by the Constitution to join the army or pay a charge instead of enlisting. 

All levels of education organizations and employers are in turn responsible for providing a permit of leave to recruits who are at the age of enlistment when the recruit receives a call paper. The recruit must bring the leave permit to the place of recruitment. In the case of a recruit failing to arrive at the specified recruitment place with no excuse, fines will be imposed or charges will be sentenced according to Administrative law. 

If the recruit fails to arrive due to severe illness, quarantine or a situation of sudden danger and the cause is examined and proved by the testimonial of a Local Administration or formal examination from hospital, the excuse will be found acceptable.

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Most Mongolian child adoptions done by Americans

October 14 / A study shows that over 400 children have been adopted from Mongolia during the past years. However officials say that the report is not officially confirmed. 

According to the study most of the child adoptions that take place in Mongolia are made by Americans.  Currently Embassies from foreign countries to Mongolia have worked only a little on releasing the information about child adoption from Mongolia. 

From this year Embassies and Consulates are obliged to guarantee if the adopted children in the adoptive country is growing in a safe and healthy condition. Embassies and Consulate of foreign countries are also obliged to submit information officially about child adoption information to the Ministry of Population Development and Social Protection. 

Making the information about how adopted children are being raised in the adoptive country transparent to public or how to regulate it through family law is now being considered. 

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Mongolian film "Remote Control": struggle and hope

BUSAN, South Korea, Oct. 14 (Xinhua) -- A Mongolian teenger Tsog ran away from his nomadic family to the country's capital Ulan Bator. Sitting on the top floor of an apartment with a remote TV control in hand, he is trying to control the TV of a woman living in the opposite building, her life, the plane in the sky and even the whole world.

This is the scene from Mongolian director Byamba Sakhya's debut of feature film "Remote Control", the first ever Mongolian film entered and won the Busan International Film Festival's new currents section, the main competition section, in the festival's 18-year history.

The BIFF jury commented "Remote Control" neatly portrayed tensions between reality and fiction.

"Mongolia society is just like the teenager in my film, he wants to become an adult man, eager for more power, but still very young and naive," Sakhya told Xinhua in an exclusive interview.

Sakhya said the whole society is undergoing a huge transition in terms of politics, economy and culture. People are confused about whom they are and what their beliefs should be.

"The country is now struggling to look for its new value and identity that can represent its unique history and culture, which is my film tries to display," said Sakhya.

Born in Ulan Bator in 1962, Sakhya graduated from the Russian Film Institute as a cinematographer. He is also a writer and director who has worked in film industry for over 25 years.

Vast landscapes, the nomadic lifestyle and rich mineral resources maybe the current national identity of Mongolia. But Sakhya is looking for more.

A little monk appeared several times in his film, making Tsog cancel his original intention of helping a group of thieves.

"The monk is a symbol of the internal world of the people. I think we must look inside to find out our own identity," said Sakhya.

Sakhya's film is full of traditional symbols like Mongolian yurts, praying flags and the splendid Mongolia costumes, all of which are vanishing during this chaotic period.

But when a South Korean audience asked if Sakhya has some nostalgia about the past, he denied at once.

"The outsiders always have a romantic imagination about Mongolia's beautiful landscape and the traditional nomadic lifestyle. But for insiders it is only a tough life to live," said Sakhya.

Sakhya said there is something old they must keep, but there is also something new they should welcome. How to balance the past and present is a challenge.

"Sometimes we look back only because there are some basic thinks in the past, which are not changed by time. In most cases we have to look forward," he said.

Sakhya is indeed always looking forward. When he graduated from the Russian Film Institute and went back to Mongolia in 1990s, he felt he chose the wrong time to make films but never complained about it. The country's national film studio "Mongol Kino" which produced six to seven films per year has collapsed. Local filmmakers cannot get technical facilities and funds anymore.

Even now in Ulan Bator, where more than one million people live, only four cinemas exist. Film schools are short of facilities and professional teachers. Filmmakers can hardly get state subsidy and are forced to seek independent funding from Europe.

Sakhya regarded these difficulties and limitations as the fuel that sparked his creativity. His made a documentary film "Passion" to offer an insight into the past and present of Mongolian cinema. Sakhya followed filmmaker Binder Jigjid, the son of acclaimed Mongolian director Jigjid Dejid, traveled the country to distribute and screen his own films. During the journey he explored the universal battle between art and commerce and other challenges faced by current filmmakers.

"I and other Mongolian filmmakers are optimistic about the future as we are an optimistic nation since ancient times. In the past our nomadic people endure the tough environment and have to travel from one place to another. Only hope can make us survive," said Sakhya, who is now happy to witness the new generation of young filmmakers' emerging.

More and more young people become interested in filmmaking in recent years, although some of them have to go abroad to pursue film education considering the poor domestic educational environment.

"I hope young filmmakers can make some international success, so that our government will offer some funding to the film industry and maybe we will have our own studio again," said Sakhya.

Sakhya believes that the future of Mongolia's film industry links closely with the future of the country, which must be created in the right way.

"I don't think a film has strength to lead society in the right way. But I agree that it will be helpful if a film can help people understand who they are. Our society is consisted of individuals, so if each member of the society finds the right value, the society will be in the right way," said Sakhya.

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Teachers Needed in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

Posted By: Santis Educational Services <>   
Date: Friday, 11 October 2013, at 10:34 a.m.

Santis Educational Services in Ulaanbaatar have immediate vacancies for ESL teachers at their Schools in the heart of the City.

No better time than now to act, Mongolia is growing rapidly and waiting for you.

You will be a native English speaker, with an academic degree or suitable business experience or CELTA/TEFL qualification or similar, or even both. Your English speaking proficiency will be native to those countries who speak English as their first language. You will be capable of teaching international students of mixed ages to a high level of language proficiency. You will be enthusiastic, be open to learning new teaching techniques, be flexible and motivated. You may young or mature but not retired, with initiative to perform the task in hand in a professional manner. You will be of reasonable health. You will be a professional trainer, with leadership qualities. You will be able to start immediately, or very soon.

You will need to be available for at least 1 year without restriction. You will also have at least 18 months before the expiry of your current passport.

In summary suitable applicants will be: 

ESL qualified 
Able to commit to and fulfill a one year contract 
Able to provide two academic or professional referees 
Reasonably healthy without need of medication 
Young professionals or newly qualified trainees.

Teachers Salary Package includes: 

* Competitive salary paid in USD or local currency 
* Single Air Ticket home 
* Fully furnished housing within walking distance to work 
* 10 days paid vacation plus 10 days paid National Holiday 
* Longer term Contracts 
* International Community of Native ESL teachers employed by SES 
* Modern purpose built learning environments

If you fit this requirement and would like to apply please submit a short letter of introduction to Andrew Orgill and email it to, requesting an application pack which includes further details, together with your curriculum vitae and other documents required for international employment.

Come and grow with Santis

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Mongolian draught player beats 12-time world champion

October 14 (UB Post) Only two rounds remain in the Women's World Draught Championship being organized in Mongolia for the first time, at Puma Imperial Hotel.

The youngest contestant of the 38th World Draught Championship, M.Odgerel of Mongolia, defeated 12-time champion draught player Zoja Golubeva  of Latvia in the 13th round.

The legendary Zoja Golubeva, who was leading after 12 rounds, hasn't lost her top spot even after losing to M.Odgerel, sub master of draught.

Zoja Golubeva (born in Minsk on April 30, 1967, as Zoja Alexandrovna Sadovskaya) was the Women's World Champion in 1986, 1988, 1990 through 1992, and 1994 to 2000. She became a 12-time champion after winning the championships again in 2010. She also was the winner of the International Draughts tournament at the 1st World Mind Sports Games.

As the host country, Mongolia is allowed three contestants. M.Odgerel was a silver medallist at the Asian Draught Championship, and the match against Golubeva was her first victory of the contest.

During the 13th round, five-time world champion Tamar Tansikkujina of Russia defeated E.Mandakhnaran of Mongolia and moved to second place. The Ukraine's Dariya Tkachenko beat Matrena Nogovicina of Russia and placed third in the competition.

After the 13th round, sports master E.Mandakhnaran was in 11th place with 12 points. International sports master M.Nyamjargal was in 14th place with nine points, and sub sports master M.Odgerel was in 15th place with six points.

The 14the round of the competition will take place today, and the 38th World Champion of Draughts medallists will be selected. The playoffs can be viewed on

The Draughts World Championship is the singular world championship for international draughts, organized by the World Draughts Federation (FMJD). The championship occurs every two years. The men's championship first began in 1885 in France. The men's championship has had winners from the Netherlands, Canada, the Soviet Union, Senegal, Latvia, and Russia. The current men's champion is Alexander Georgiev, who previously won the championship five times. The women's championship first began in 1973 in the Netherlands, and has had winners from the Soviet Union, Latvia, the Ukraine, and Russia.

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2 Western Massachusetts men meet former President Jimmy Carter while fishing in Mongolia

SPRINGFIELD, October 14 ( – A fishing trip to Northern Mongolia held a special surprise for Edward Bauchiero and Tony Kuralowicz — sharing a helicopter ride and conversations with former President Jimmy Carter

Bauchiero, of Longmeadow, who works as assistant superintendent at the Hampden County Sheriff's Department, said it was great to meet the former president and his wife, Rosalynn, and said the Carters were very nice, and the president had a "great sense of humor." 

"After the initial shock, it really was an honor to meet someone who was so down to earth, and one time held the most powerful position in the world," Bauchiero said. 

Bauchiero and Kuralowicz, who lives in Chicopee and works as an inspector for the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, left for Mongolia on Sept. 13, and returned on Sept. 25. Mongolia is in central Asia between Siberia to the north and China to the south. 

When they arrived at an airport in the capital of Mongolia, Bauchiero said he heard a rumor that Carter might be there, and then expected it was true when he went through an extra-stringent security screening.

Carter was "a very friendly gentlemen," who came up to Bauchiero, said hi, and either identified himself as Jim or Jimmy, Bauchiero said. Bauchiero said he believes he replied "it's a pleasure to meet you Mr. President,' and he got right into talking." The Western Massachusetts friends then boarded an M1-8 helicopter with the Carters and others, and Bauchiero said he chose to climb into the luggage area so the Carters would have more room. The Carters were going to one camp to fish, and Bauchiero and Kuralowicz were going to a different camp. When they arrived by helicopter in the mountains of Northern Mongolia two hours later, a Secret Service agent told Bauchiero that Carter "would like to have his picture taken with you," Bauchiero said. They met once more at the end of the week, with Bauchiero telling Carter that he had caught a 45-inch taimen fish. Carter said the catch was nice, but retorted "but I caught more." "He is as sharp as a tack," Bauchiero said. "He has a great sense of humor." Bauchiero said he heard that Carter caught a 38-inch taimen, but that someone with the former president was holding the fish for a photograph, and the fish was dropped, and swam off. The taimen is known as the largest trout in the world, and is indigenous to Mongolia, Bauchiero said.

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Mongolians Top IJF's 73 & 66kg World Ranking

Ulaanbaatar, October 14 /MONTSAME/ A State Honored Sportsman and Olympic bronze medalist S.Nyam-Ochir and international master of sports D.Tomorkhuleg have been leading the world ranking for judo in the men's 73 and 66 kg weight categories, respectively.

The latest ranking of the International Judo Federation (IJF) was released on October 7 after the  2013 Judo World Championship Grand Prix tournaments and other international competitions.

A World champion M.Urantsetseg is the second with 1,910 points, following a Brazilian Sarah Menezes (2,454 points) in the women's 48 kg weight category. Another Mongolian silver medalist of the World championship D.Amartuvshin (1,822 points) is the third in the men's 60 kg  category, following NaohisaTakato of Japan (2,688 points) and AmiranPapinashvili of Georgia (1,936 points).

Other Mongolians D.Sumya (women's 57 kg) and G.Boldbaatar (men's 60 kg) are the fourth,  Kh.Tsagaanbaatar (men's 73 kg)--the 5th place; S.Miaragchaa (men's 66 kg)--at the 8th place,  and A.Tsolmon (women's 52 kg)--the ninth.     

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