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Mogi: Minister of Mining Gankhuyag says a press conference will be held on Tuesday on the results of OT negotiations held in London. Article below says London meetings were "successful" and that some of the issues are left to be discussed in UB.
Оюутолгойн хэлэлцээрийн талаар маргааш мэдээлэл хийнэ
9-р сарын 30 (news.mn) Оюутолгойн далд уурхайн хөрөнгө оруулалтын санхүүжилтийн талаар Лондон хотноо есдүгээр сарын 23-наас эхэлсэн хэлэлцээр өнгөрсөн ням гаригт өндөрлөж, Монголын Засгийн газрыг төлөөлж явсан эрхэмүүд нутагтаа ирээд байна.
Уул уурхайн яамны Стратеги төлөвлөлт, бодлогын хэлтсийн дарга Ч.Отгочулуу, "Эрдэнэс МГЛ"-ийн дэд захирал Г.Тэмүүлэн, "Эрдэнэс Оюутолгой"-н гүйцэтгэх захирал Да.Ганболд нар "Рио-Тинто"-гийн удирдлагуудтай хийсэн Лондонгийн хэлэлцээр амжилттай өрнөсөн бөгөөд зарим асуудлыг Улаанбаатарт хэлэлцэхээр тогтсон байна.
Энэ талаар Уул уурхайн сайд Д.Ганхуяг хэлэхдээ "Маргааш Лондонгийн хэлэлцээр хэр болсон, ямар уур амьсгал дунд өрнөсөн, ямар асуудлыг хэлэлцсэн талаар хэвлэлийнхэнд мэдээлэл хийнэ" гэсэн юм.
Khan Investment Management Update (09/27/2013)
For the month of August, the Khan Mongolia Equity Fund (KMEF) performance was essentially flat (-0.46%) despite a decline in the Mongolian Tugrik (MNT) of -8.32% against the USD. Year to date the MNT has depreciated 21%. A stronger than expected rebound in China's exports in July and August signaled the world's second largest economy may be stabilizing, which clearly bodes well for Mongolia's resource exports and its economy.
The Government of Mongolia (GOM) is currently in the midst of a two week Extraordinary Session of Parliament that has focused on key legislative debates hindering the country's economic performance. 5 laws are currently being addressed including the new Investment Law drafted by the Ministry of Economic Development, which is widely expected to replace the former Foreign Investment Law (1993) and the Law to Regulate Foreign Investment in Sectors of Strategic Importance (SEFIL, 2012). The new Investment Law will bring more transparency and stability – particularly for overseas investors. According to Mongolian Investment Banking Group (MIBG), the new law is expected to "create a significantly positive legal environment for existing and prospective foreign investors […] bring equality to domestic and foreign investors […] and stability to the tax code."
As we have stressed repeatedly, Mongolia remains heavily reliant upon Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). A new agency named "Invest Mongolia" will be introduced shortly with the sole purpose of attracting FDI to the country. We are pleased with the initiative and believe this should provide further stability and confidence to all investors.
Of the 16 positions in the portfolio, 8 lost ground, 2 remained unchanged, 4 gained, and 2 new securities were added. FeOre Ltd (FEO:AU) gained 18.42% to AUD 0.045, although remains at an 82% discount to its DEC 2011 IPO price of AUD 0.25. Aspire Mining Ltd (AKM:AU) fell 14.75% to AUD 0.05. Erdene Resource Development Ltd (ERD:CN) fell 20% to CAD 0.10, or half the price paid by Teck Resources several months ago during a private placement of CAD 1M (at CAD 0.20). The Mongolian Stock Exchange (MSE) lost 5.23% for the month of August and has fallen 23% year to date.
The Khan Mongolia Equity Fund performance for August was -0.46%.
The Net Asset Value as at 31 August 2013 was USD 30.74
The August Factsheet can be downloaded by registered users of the Khan Investment Management website – www.Khan-Management.com
Following a decline of 32% in July, Turquoise Hill Resources (TRQ:US) recovered 29% in August, although has subsequently lost 13% month to date to USD 4.52. TRQ subsidiary Oyu Tolgoi LLC (OT) will have a new CEO next month following the end of Cameron McRae's 3 year contract. Rio Tinto top copper marketing executive, Craig Kinnell, has been named as the new head. The GOM recently replaced its representatives on the OT board. The new Mongolian directors stated quickly that they have "intentions to move the project forward" and are currently in London to meet with Rio Tinto and discuss Phase 2 financing and other unresolved issues. During his recent press conference, the Minister of Mining made a number of positive comments that appear to underscore a notable shift in sentiment and a resounding support for OT and the Investment Agreement (IA). "The OT agreement was made already. So we'll fulfill the agreement, and everything shall be handled according to the agreement." The about-face is a welcome sign and hopefully an indication of positive news expected over the coming weeks.
Mongolia is re-launching talks with international miners on developing the western block of Tavan Tolgoi. The GOM is also considering giving equity in its biggest coal project to foreign investors in power, rail and water projects around the Tavan Tolgoi basin. Recently the Chinese and Mongolian Presidents met to discuss promoting cooperation between the two countries. Xi Jinping said China will strengthen its economic and trade cooperation with Mongolia in three major areas of mineral resource exploration, infrastructure construction and financial cooperation.
The GOM and Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) have signed an MOU to issue up to USD 1B worth JPY denominated "Samurai bonds", guaranteed by the Government of Japan. Mongolia will now have access to an additional line of cheaper debt financing with an expected longer term maturity (10-20 years), allowing the GOM to continue the country's much required infrastructure development.
A further sign of growing confidence in the nascent economy was the news that another major foreign financial institution, Standard Chartered PLC, which has had a representative office in Ulaanbaatar since 2011, has applied to open a branch in Mongolia to undertake corporate lending services.
The GOM is clearly undertaking significant steps to improve the investment climate and boost exports. There also appears to be a clear shift in general sentiment towards the country with recent international commentary about Mongolia taking a more balanced and optimistic outlook when compared to the largely negative reports of the last 18 months.
We view the current legislative developments as a very positive sign that will provide the appropriate foundation for future economic development. These changes are likely to act as a further catalyst for a shift in perception (and reality) that Mongolia is maturing and undertaking the necessary steps to reinvigorate its slowing economy through prudent policy and legislative progress.
I will be travelling to Mongolia again 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.
KHAN INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT LIMITED
Guildford Coal: Annual Financial Report
September 30, Guildford Coal Limited (ASX:GUF) --
Xanadu Mines: Annual Financial Report
September 30, Xanadu Mines Limited (ASX:XAM) --
FeOre: Annual Financial Report
September 30, FeOre Limited (ASX:FEO) --
General Mining Corp: Annual Financial Report
September 27, General Mining Corporation Limited (ASX:GMM) --
SHARYN GOL ANNOUNCES CLOSURE OF TENDER OFFER FOR AND ACQUISITION OF NACO FUEL, EXPANDING THE COMPANY'S OPERATIONS INTO VALUE-ADDED, CLEAN COAL PRODUCTS
September 30 -- Sharyn Gol JSC (MSE: SHG; "Sharyn Gol") is pleased to announce it has closed the previously announced tender offer for Naco Fuels JSC (MSE: NKT; "Naco"), with the acquisition of 11,723,989 shares, representing 92.9% of Naco. Naco owns a coal enrichment and briquetting plant located in Darkhan, Mongolia. Sharyn Gol intends to return Naco's plant, which is ideally situated to enrich Sharyn Gol's coal into clean burning char and smokeless briquettes, to operation in October 2013.
There is strong demand for smokeless fuel in Mongolia amounting currently to an estimated 500,000t of smokeless fuel in UB city alone, with additional markets in the industrial cities of Darkhan and Erdenet, plus other industrial users. The replacement of raw coal with smokeless fuel as the primary heat source in the informal housing (ger) districts would significantly reduce air pollution in Ulaanbaatar and elsewhere. According to a report by the World Bank, "compared to other cities for which data is available in global databases, and also compared to Chinese cities with high PM (particulate matter) concentrations, UB appears to be the most PM-polluted capital and is among the cities with the worst air quality in the world".
Graham Chapman, Sharyn Gol's CEO, stated: "The Naco acquisition represents a logical expansion of Sharyn Gol into the highly attractive market for coal briquettes. Sharyn Gol intends to aggressively expand its smokeless fuel business and will continue to make opportunistic investments to maximize revenue and cash flow growth for the benefit of all its shareholders".
Sharyn Gol, located 225 kilometers north of Ulaanbaatar, on Mongolia's main national rail line, is a leading producer of high-grade thermal coal and sells to state-owned power stations, local cement factories as well as retail consumers.
Eurasia Capital Mongolia Reverse-Lists on MSE
September 20 (MSE) Based on Financial Regulatory Committee resolution No.:156 of 10 April, 2013, Mongolian Stock Exchange's "Securities listing rule" clauses 50, 57 "Ar Khust Shunkhlai" JSC's nominal value of MNT 100 tugriks 75 874 total issued shares has been increased by merging company's /Eurasia Capital Mongolia/ nominal value of MNT 100 tugriks 2 195 018 shares, resulting in total of 2 270 892 shares.
"Eurasia Capital Mongolia" is listed at Mongolian Stock Exchange and provides brokerage, dealer and underwriting operations. Hereinafter "Ar Khust Shunkhlai" JSC will be continuing "Eurasia Capital Mongolia" company's business operations.
Montsame MSE News: Top 20 +0.46%, Turnover ₮16 Million
Ulaanbaatar, September 30 /MONTSAME/ At the Stock Exchange trades held Friday, a total of eight thousand and 895 shares of 21 JSCs were traded costing MNT 16 million 041 thousand and 014.50.
Rates of shares of 13 companies increased, of three decreased and share price of five were stable.
The total market capitalization was set at MNT one trillion 400 billion 996 million 982 thousand and 052. The Index of Top-20 JSCs was 13,816.13, increasing by 63.37 per cent (Mogi: come on Montsame, its POINTS) against the previous day.
BoM Official FX Rates: September 30 Close
Total outstanding 1-week bills falls to ₮1.49 trillion from ₮1.56 trillion
BoM issues 1-week bills
September 30 (Bank of Mongolia) BoM issues 1 week bills worth MNT 211 billion at a weighted interest rate of 10.5 percent per annum /For previous auctions click here/
PM: USD300 million remains from the bond money
September 27 (Business-Mongolia.com) On a weekly 30 minute session with the Prime Minister, Government for Change has given answers for the questions from journalists as a conclusion for 1st anniversary.
According to the Prime Minister budget needs to be adjusted due to decrease in export revenues. The PM is planning to pay an official visit to China in the near future and during the visit there will talks around the economic cooperation with the country. It includes issues regarding infrastructure and logistics.
It has been said that you sued 3 journalists. Is it true?
I have been in politics for over 23 years. I never sued a journalist. Once, I took Terguun newspaper to a court. The ones that shields with a journalist and a make them write a paid things are the ones who should responsible. Therefore, the rumour is not true, you can say that there will never be such action from me. If a certain media entity is proceeding with a smear campaign, it should be fully responsible for the words as a editor or the owner.
Your government said that 35 thousand jobs have been created and unemployment is decreasing. But, those who are above 40 cannot find jobs. What is the policy of the government on this issue?
Government of Change has initiated to establish the Labour Ministry separately. This is contributing to the employment rate of the people who are over 40 years old. In a year, it trained over 6600 people, and provided with 3-month intern-ship. There are many people who are included in this program that over 40 years old. Those who are actively looking for employment can find work through the Ministry, and from there to training centres. Demand for labour is enormous at the current time. If you have visited the job fair yesterday at Chingis Square, you may have noticed how skilful the gentleman who had been trained for just 5 months in operating an excavator. Today in Mongolia, there many jobs for people who want to work. Those who are studying at the specialized training centres receive MNT190 thousand. Therefore, I suggest the people who over 40′s to take on the opportunity.
Can you update us on the expenditure of Chingis Bond ?
Out of USD1.5 billion we have already spent the USD700 million. Out of the remaining USD800 million, USD500 million is planned on various projects. We are planning to spend the last USD300 million for supporting the goods producers and manufacturers. The final decision is yet to be made.
During your official visit in Japan, you have stated that the government will issue Samurai Bond. When will it commence?
During visit, we have contemplated the idea. The idea was discussed in general. It doesn't mean that we had already decided to issue the bond.
Representatives from Development bank will make presentations on Mongolian economy. If they can make them confident in the bond, it will be sold. That will be the principle of the process.
You are going to visit China in the coming month. What issues are included in the agenda?
We are aiming to bring our economic cooperation on the new level, and make it possible for a mutually beneficial relations. We met the Chalco representatives, we Chalco debt will be paid off within this year. They have interest to work with us in the coming years. We will meet ChingHua (Mogi: must be Shenhua) too. Before the the visit, we will try to solve issues on logistics. Railways and airways will be the main topic, how much will it cost to ship our goods on Chinese territory etc. If we reach an agreement before the visit, during the visit we will be signing the agreement.
Is there going to be a budget adjustment? The budget revenue is lower MNT1.5 trillion than planned?
It has become necessary that we need to make some adjustment on the 2013 budget. Sliding royalty would have given us MNT450 billion from OT project, but due to certain reasons there are difficulties collecting them. Our export has diminished. Because the tax revenue is not reaching the planned target, we are trying to save what we can.
What control does Bank of Mongolia has over the commercial banks when providing the 8% mortgage?
Khas Bank has stated that they are providing these mortgages without any disruption. The question should be asked from the Bank of Mongolia.
The coal price has increased from last year for the local consumer. Will there be actions taken by the government such as subsidized coal supply?
We will take measurements regarding the coal price. Some degree of subsidization will be in place. Nalaikh coal accounts for small percentage on local consumers demand. So, the coal price will not be increased just because of that.
During the Asian Banking Association meetings the advice was to cease issuing bonds from our country. Then, what triggered us to issue Samurai Bond just after Chingis Bond?
The SGK approved that the government can issue bonds for up to USD5 billion. The first phase was USD1.5 billion, and the remaining is USD3.5 billion. Government can issue USD3.5 billion bond on the right moment. The idea is to issue USD1 billion or USD600 million in Japanese market. The bond money from Japan will not be affect the budget. The main mission is to have a paved road to all 21 provinces. I think you would agree that it is right action. Because, we cannot build it with the state budget, we are having no choice but to fund it from foreign funds. The crossroads and junction maintenance and re-constructions in the capital is one of the examples. Necessary projects will be funded by the bond money.
Besides the infrastructure, we have a need to support and develop our manufacturing and production industries. For example, if we could produce the cotton from wool, we could supply the uniforms for school children 100% from local producers. However, the state budget cannot afford these support, we need to use the bond money. If factories can expand their capacity with the bond money loan, 3 fold goods will be made in few years. We will pay off the bond with it. We will not distribute bond money as welfare of 16$ per person like the previous government.
Government stated earlier that in order to affirm the continuation of 8% mortgage program, it is re-financing the Social Insurance Fund, is this work being done?
We are working on how to proceed further with the mortgage loan just as we planned and stated when it started. The good things is we have more young people working than those receiving a retirement plan. Therefore, you could say that we have an advantage.
Prime Minister: Budget amendment is now certain
September 26 (news.mn) During the regular "30 Minutes with the Prime Minister" meeting on 6th September the Reform Government of Mongolia reported on the work done over the past year since the new government was formed and answered reporters` questions.
The Prime Minister noted that budget amendments will be made for 2013 because of the current situation.
Within the country exports declined and imports dominated, therefore the Prime Minister was certain that there must be amendments to the remained of the 2013 budget, cutting back on unnecessary expenditures.
The Prime Minister has planned visits to China and Russian in October. He commented that many issues related to the economy will be raised during the visits.
Parliament task force appointed to audit Bank of Mongolia at MPP pressure
September 25 (news.mn) The Mongolian People's Party (MPP) has submitted a request several times to conduct an audit of the Bank of Mongolia.
As a result of the request the Standing Committee on Economy established a task force to conduct an audit into the Bank of Mongolia and appointed members to the task force.
The task force will conduct auditing on foreign currency reserves and large-scale projects and programs run by the Bank of Mongolia in cooperation with the Government of Mongolia. The spending of the 1.5 billion US Dollar Government Bond or "Chinggis Bond" will also undergo auditing.
The task force includes MP S.Byambatsogt, MP Ts.Nyamdorj, MP G.Uyanga and MP D.Zorigt.
Several transactions using counterfeit bank notes uncovered
September 30 (news.mn) The Police are investigated a case of the circulation of counterfeit currency. Several attempts to circulate a fake 20,000 MNT bank note were revealed last week. A task force has been appointed from the Police to investigate. Police have revealed a large sum of counterfeit Tugrug bank notes in service providers in Sukhbaatar, Chingeltei and Songinokhairkhan districts.
A civilian attempted to pay with a counterfeit 20,000 MNT bank note in City Shop in Songinokhairkhan district.
The Police has issued a warning that anyone attempting to distribute counterfeit bank notes will be charged according to the law of Mongolia.
ULAANBAATAR HOSTS SOUTH EAST ASIAN CENTRAL BANKERS MEETING
Ulaanbaatar, September 30 /MONTSAME/ The 12th meeting of the South East Asian Central Banks Centre (SEACEN) Executive Committee was held September 28-29 in Ulaanbaatar.
Chaired by N.Zoljargal, the president of the Bank of Mongolia (BoM), the meeting brought together central banks' vice presidents and leaders of executive committees of 16 countries such as China, the Republic of Korea and Vietnam and others.
At the meeting, the participants reviewed a progress in implementation of SEACEN strategic directions, discussed initiatives, focused on activities and budget of the current operating year, recommending a proposed programme of activities, budget and other operational matters of the SEACEN Centre for the forthcoming operating year.
The central banks' vice presidents noted that the biggest central banks in the world are paying more attention to the economic growth, concluding central banks are transmitting into a new method of realizing the fiscal policy due to a new environment.
MONGOLIA TO CONDUCT LABOR MARKET EVALUATION WITH US' RAND CORP
Ulaanbaatar, September 30 /MONSTAME/ Minister of Labor Ya.Sanjmyatav September 28 was given an authority to sign an agreement that will be established with the US RAND (Research and Development) Corporation with an aim to cooperate in evaluation of the state of labor market, determining of the obstacles facing, and in developing ideas of overcoming the problems.
Within the agreement, a target survey is to be run with aim to determine the weakness of our labor market and a policy recommendation will be developed.
This work fits to the government's plan on creating 150 thous. jobs by 2016.
September 30 (MIBG via Emerging Markets) --
Economy – State Property Concessions Projects Revealed
MIBG has learned from reliable sources that the Government is introducing a list of key development projects that will fall under the scope of State Property Concessions. These projects span ten Government Ministries, ranging from the construction of a new power plant to specialty hospitals. Included in the list is an overview of the selection process and an identification of whether a contract will be awarded through a tendering process or direct contracts. While the list is extensive we do anticipate amendments as the Government engages different stakeholders in the development process.
Those projects identified under the Ministry of Road consist of railways, roadways and airport improvements. In total, 2150 kilometers of rail and 1050 kilometers of road have been planned with the majority of the work being awarded directly through Government contract. Uniquely, each of the airport projects that have been outlined in this list will be awarded through a tendering process. This includes the renewal of eleven provincial airports and improvements to management functions at the current Chinggis Khaan International.
The Ministry of Mining was also listed among the ten Ministries with projects including the construction of Trade Service Centers along the Chinese border and the construction of Quality Control Laboratories for Oil Production in the Selenge and Dornod provinces. There are also a number of projects listed under the Ministry of Manufacturing and Agriculture that are directly related to expansion of Mongolia's mining sector. These include the construction of two coking coal plants with a combined capacity of 3 million tons per year, a copper smelting plant with an annual capacity of 1 million tons and an iron ore processing plant with a capacity of 4.5 million tons per year.
In coming days MIBG will be assessing each of the key projects in order to determine their viability and potential impact on the economy. At first glance, we do feel that a number of opportunities for investors and service providers are likely to emerge across a number of Ministries. The table below provides some context for the scale of this list with an encouraging focus on several important areas of development including transportation, manufacturing and energy.
Needless to say, we are most excited by the provision for transportation infrastructure as a key component to further developing Mongolia's economy through its mineral resources. Following a depressing start to 2013 the Government is focused on doing everything it can to attract foreign investment back into the country. One of the main actions that they are taking, as mentioned previously, is changing legislation in order to create an equal footing for both domestic and foreign capital. Supported by a strengthening legislative environment these projects may provide the catalyst that institutional investors need to be enticed back to market.
If readers would like to discuss these projects and the implications that they will have for Mongolia in detail they are welcomed to contact MIBG through email@example.com.
Legal – Extraordinary Session Concludes, No New Laws Approved
The Extraordinary Session of Parliament concluded last week leaving investors and the business community even further in the dark with regards to the legislative environment in Mongolia. Five new laws were supposed to be passed, making investments into Mongolia fairer and smoother. This was initiated by the Government of Mongolia in order to revive foreign direct investment into the country. As a reminder, the laws being discussed include the Investment Law, the Investment Fund Law, the Gold Trade Transparency Law, the Abundant Minerals Law and amendments to the Water and Forest Act (a.k.a. "Long Name Law").
The question remains, why was Parliament unable to adequately discuss and approve these laws in the two week window that they were given? Here's our point of view:
1. Stabilization of the Tugrik: The rush to revive FDI began when the Mongolian Tugrik started its 25% YTD decline against the USD. This magnified the situation and created a sense of urgency among law makers to take immediate action. However, the Tugrik appears to have stabilized from lows of ~1720 and has since appreciated to ~1650 on the back of rumors regarding the "Sumo Bond." This stabilization may have provided a false sense of security to Parliament, resulting in further scrutiny of the proposed investment law. In fact, the proposed Investment Law received over 170 comments from Members. This heightened interest should play into greater longevity for the law once passed, having had the opportunity to voice all opinions.
2. Request for more Time: Both the Democratic Party (DP) and the Justice Coalition (JC) requested to defer the amendments to the Water and Forest Act until the fall session of Parliament. This deferral is intended to provide for additional research and comments to be garnered.
3. Alignment with Minerals Policy. The Mongolian People's Party (MPP) requested to defer the proposed Gold Trade Transparency Law and Abundant Minerals Law until the fall session of Parliament. This deferral is intended to align the proposed legislation with the introduction of Mongolia's new Minerals Policy which is being developed by the Government of Mongolia.
Based on our monitoring of the situation we believe that both the Investment Law and the Investment Fund Law are ready for approval during the fall session of Parliament. Needless to say, investors and Mongolians alike would have preferred to have the above laws approved during the Extraordinary Session. However, we view the work that has already been concluded during this session as a head-start to the upcoming fall session which will begin on October 1st.
China – Shanghai Free Trade Zone: A Milestone in Economic Reform
On Sunday, September 29 the experimental Shanghai Free Trade Zone began operations. The opening ceremony was attended by all levels of Government including the Party Secretary of Shanghai, the Minister of Commerce and Shanghai's Mayor. The trade zone consists of 29 square kilometers of space and has been initiated with the participation of twenty-five Chinese and foreign companies being granted licenses.
Prior to the opening ceremony, China's state council announced the free trade zone rules which outlined the designated services and mandates of the operation. The objective that was given was to upgrade financial services and promote cross border trade while improving governance and encourage foreign investment into eighteen different sectors. More importantly, we believe that this zone will allow the Chinese currency to increase its convertibility and provide a stronger foundation for the potential regulation of interest rates.
We believe that this is a major step towards economic reform for China and it demonstrates that the Government is holding true to its promise to strengthen the country's economic situation. However, the advantages that these changes will create are not limited to Chinese companies. We believe that Mongolian companies are well positioned to benefit from the introduction of the trade zone across many of the eighteen sectors. In operating through the trade zone companies can expect that regulations across international trade, finance and shipping will be loosened providing further opportunities for Mongolian corporates to business overseas.
The Mongolian Investment Banking Group LLC (MIBG) is a financial boutique, providing a select range of financial services and products designed specifically to generate value within the mining and resources sector of Mongolia. For more information click here.
CABINET MEETING RESOLUTIONS IN BRIEF: SEPTEMBER 28, 2013
September 30 (InfoMongolia) The regular Cabinet meeting was held on Saturday, September 28, 2013 and the following issues were discussed. The main issue discussed during this meeting was the draft bill on 2014 State Budget and Cabinet members agreed the Budget issue will be continued next week.
- Minister of Mining D.Gankhuyag reported to Cabinet members about the project to construct a complex with the capacity of producing 210 thousand tons of semiprocessed coke fuel per year. Within the project framework, the period for technical and technological changes to rid of ash and dust from BZK-75 stove was extended for one month and Ministers of Mining and Energy were assigned to give a process results report.
- In order to evaluate the state of labor market, determine the obstacle it is facing, and develop ideas to overcome these obstacles, Minister of Labor Ya.Sanjmyatav was given an authority to sign the cooperation agreement between the Ministry of Labor and the US RAND Corporation.
- The summary of the 15th Joint Committee Meeting between the European Union and Mongolia that organized this month in Ulaanbaatar were praised, the work plan to be implemented along the meeting results were approved, and Minister of the Cabinet Office of the Government of Mongolia and head of the Mongolian committee Ch.Saikhanbileg was assigned to oversee the implementation of the work plan.
- The results of the first Mongolia-France intergovernmental working group meeting held in Paris were discussed, the action plans to be implemented following the meeting was approved, and State Secretary of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Mongolia and head of the Mongolian working group G.Tsogtsaikhan was assigned to oversee the implementation of the plans.
- The matter to sign the Minamata Convention on Mercury was discussed and after discussing it with affiliated Parliament Standing Committee, the authority to sign the convention was approved.
AGENDA FOR AUTUMN SESSION OF PARLIAMENT APPROVED
Ulaanbaatar, September 29 /MONTSAME/ The State Great Khural (parliament) approved a list of agenda that will be discussed by the autumn regular session September 23.
The debated will be bills--on the 2014 budget of Mongolia, on the 2014 budget for the Human Development Fund (HDF), on the 2014's fund for the social insurance fund, on border checkpoints.
The session will also consider draft amendments to the laws on setting up court, on court administration, on court of Mongolia, on budget, on state audit, state stamp duty, geodesy and cartography, and on the government of Mongolia.
Other drafts are--on new wording of the laws on civil health insurance, on protection of cultural heritage, on oil, on land, and on land cadastre; and draft parliamentary resolutions on approving the 2014 basic directions for state fiscal policy, on approving a concept and middle-term programme on green development, and on approving a state policy on mineral sector and so on.
The Speaker has obliged all Standing committees, factions of political parties and coalitions, and the parliamentary office to ensure all preparation for the session.
PM WANTS ALL TO TIGHTEN RESPONSIBILITY
Ulaanbaatar, September 30 /MONTSAME/ An online meeting titled "Responsibility; Monitoring and Execution", held every month with administrations of ministries and agencies, ran last Friday.
The Prime Minister N.Altankhuyag congratulated the gathered on the one-year anniversary of the government of reforms, "nonetheless, there is no time to mark it, for we still have to tighten our responsibility," he warned and focused on two matters.
The first one is a library in Bayan-Ulgii province. A construction of its building began in 2007 at the locality's budget of 30 million MNT and was planned to open in October of that year. "Today we see that the budget has grown reaching 390 millions MNT and even more 452 million is needed but the library has not been opened yet," he stressed.
The second problem is the building of "Altai" ensemble of Gobi-Altai province, "its history is almost similar to the above, a construction launched in 2007 with 1.8 billion MNT budget but it has boosted by 3.5 billion MNT and the building has not been erected."
The Premier said he can give other many examples of such work and strictly ordered the Ministers to be more responsible in their mission.
Anti-corruption website launched
September 30 (news.mn0 The Mongolian Youth Federation has successfully launched several campaigns; "Young people together against corruption" and "Anti-corruption: I will not take or give bribes".
Now the Mongolian Youth Federation has launched an anti-corruption website "www.avliga.mn" in the effort to fight against corruption in Mongolia.
The website will report on corruption and bribery cases and give access to the full information about organisations and personal who organize events for transparency.
MP Batzandan Drafts Bill on Recalling MPs by Public Poll
Ulaanbaatar, September 25 /MONTSAME/ J.Batzandan MP Wednesday said he has worked out a draft law on withdrawing a parliament member.
The draft says that an elected at constituency person is to be withdrawn from the Great State Khural on a basis of a proposal initiated by two third of the electorate, and that an elected by the party's list will be recalled upon this party's representation.
"From today, I have started opinion poll to debate this matter, if the public supports the draft, I will submit it to parliament," said J.Batzandan MP.
Sound of Gunfire and What It Means
September 26 (UB Post) On September 16, last Monday, a group of non-governmental organizations and environmental activists protested against the amendment of the law concerning prohibition of mining and quarrying in environmentally protected areas of water and river basins and forested areas, otherwise known as "the law with the long name".
The incident caused much alarm and stir among the public and foreign media watchdogs alike, as the protest involved a shoot fired just outside the Government Palace and confiscation of explosives, grenades, and guns.
The incident was quite a shock, as the issue was not at the forefront of the public's attention, and such severe and drastic action was not warranted. Reportedly, the shot was fired by accident while Government Palace security agents struggled to disarm the protesters inside the public park behind the Government Palace. But as to why they brought guns and chose to load them, was the question on everyone's lips.
The firearms and explosives were reportedly brought by protesters from the Gal Undesten movement, who "wanted to show their seriousness" about the issue and their readiness to take drastic actions by bringing guns.
Eleven arrests were made, and even after the protesters scattered, law enforcement agencies found hidden explosives in a nearby building. Government buildings, ministries and nearby establishments were evacuated for police searches for possible weapons and explosives. Local newspapers reported that an explosive was found in a bin outside Central Tower, and another was been found days after the incident.
If indeed these explosives were planted by the Gal Undesten movement, they are surely an act of terrorism and the action warrants years of imprisonment. But it seems rather beside the point to try to blow up Central Tower or innocent bystanders for environmental protection.
The whole point was to protest against the amendment of the law with the long name to preserve the environment. The protestors claimed that the law was not being implemented, and mining activities were still taking place in environmentally protected areas of water basins and forested areas.
According to on-site reports, the protesters had banners stating "40 percent of Mongolian lands should be protected by the state and 1,782 extraction permits should be terminated in accordance with the current Extraction Law on River Basin and Forested Areas."
I would venture to guess that if the government were to terminate 1,782 mining permits which has already been issued, Mongolia would discourage all of its foreign investors and even domestic miners would not want to do business here.
The whole point of amending the law with the long name and the foreign investment law is to bring back investors, which were part of the reason Mongolia lost business credibility and foreign investors when the bills were passed rather abruptly last year.
But here are these movements claiming that the laws – which caused the loss of who knows how many potential investors and brought about the closure of many businesses - weren't even implemented to begin with. I suppose with lands as big as Mongolia's it would be rather costly and logistically difficult to inspect all mining activity sites thoroughly.
But back to bringing guns to protests. In my opinion, this was an incredibly dangerous and thoughtless action on the part of the movement. By bringing guns outside a heavily protected building they have put their own safety at risk and that of those around them.
Furthermore, they drew more attention to the fact that were ready to engage in a gun fight with law enforcers than they did to the cause they were demonstrating for.
After the incident, the public scarcely paid attention to the implementation of the law with the long name, preservation of environment, or anything else related to the cause. All that news coverage and stories focused on was the fact that guns were fired outside the Government Palace, and explosives were found.
Thankfully, no-one was hurt by explosives or gun fires. But the whole episode was a catastrophe which failed to prove their initial point and spawned even more issues.
Other issues totally unrelated to the protest's motive, such as gun control, anti-terrorism measures and other matters, were brought up after the protest, but the law with the long name will still be discussed by the government, and most likely be amended. But this isn't the worst. International media reported on the event from the perspective that resource nationalism is taking over Mongolia, which frightens foreign investors still in Mongolia and fades the interest of those who would want to invest in Mongolia, hurting its political and business reputation further.
The question of why they chose to bring guns still remains however. No one forced them to bring them and they weren't facing any imminent threat. In fact, footage of the event posted on the internet showed how irate the protesters were. Irate and armed is not a healthy combination, and only leads to disaster. Gunned protests rarely accomplish anything but war and blood. But the protesters claimed that they had tried all other forms of protest, and this was to prove the point that they were ready to take arms to protect their lands. But I didn't hear about them having peaceful demonstrations before – they jumped right into their ultimatum, which ties into another point I want to make.
Peaceful demonstrations have lost their meaning and heed no results; hence, people are making reckless moves to get their point across. Every time a severe issue rises, groups and individuals demonstrate at the Central Square in front of the Government Palace. A year doesn't pass without a couple of people demonstrating. It's turning into something resembling tradition.
A demonstration is usually a last resort, a solution to a problem that is blatantly being ignored by the authorities. Some government officials talk about hunger strikes and demonstrations in a nonchalant manner, calling it the spring or fall "syndrome," the chosen time of protests. This light-hearted attitude towards the very real issues of the people, is symptomatic of a problem that is even deeper. A strike, a last resort that demands attention to a pressing issue, is ignored, showing that the leaders of the country don't care about the fate of those who are led.
Protests happen because individuals and groups have issues that need immediate attention, but are not being addressed or listened to by the authorities, and the leaders of this country seem to have grown numb to this fact.
People don't show up in mass numbers at the square because they want to pester you, or because they have too much time on their hands. Mongolia's management has been screwed up for so many years due to corruption and bureaucracy, that when a person is faced with a problem, they don't know who to appeal to, because those in charge aren't willing to or able to resolve their concerns.
It includes small things, such as students protesting unfair hikes in tuition fees, but being blatantly ignored. Just the other day, a man drove his car into a hole dug by a construction company at night. The hole was not marked, and the man was lucky to survive the crash. The driver of the car got his wrecked car out of the hole and called for compensation, but was met with insults from the construction company, and says that he cannot win a lawsuit against them for damages.
When issues aren't addressed, there will always be protests. And if the politicians and authority figures are tired of reckless protests, demonstrations and strikes, they better start fixing the existing issues at the root, by fighting corruption and weeding out all the bad branches.
Attitude towards leadership only reflects the quality of leadership. The people are ready to speak their minds and take action, but it's plain to everyone that Mongolia's leadership is the root cause of inaction, because it doesn't care about the people of this nation.
Mining Minister receives President of Chalco
September 25 (news.mn) The Minister of Mining D.Gankhuyag received the President of the Aluminum Corporation of China Limited (Chalco), Xiong Weiping and accompanying delegates on Tuesday September 24th.
At the meeting the Minister of Mining D.Gankhuyag expressed approval for the successful bilateral cooperation on economy between Mongolia and China and the efficient changes made into the coal agreement between Chalco and Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi LLC.
The Minister of Mining also said that Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi LLC is held by the Mongolian people. We are trying to increase the value of the business by developing a railroad and power station."
The Minister of Mining also stressed that Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi will pay back the remaining 170 $ million it owes the Aluminium Corporation. Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi, the state owned company received an advance payment (loan) of 350 million USD from Chalco in July 2011, to be paid back in coal.
The President of Chalco, Xiong Weiping, emphasized that the Chinese Government holds 70 percent of the multinational Aluminium Corporation that cooperates in the extraction of aluminium oxide, the electrolyzation of virgin aluminium and the processing and production of aluminium. It has total assets of 70 billion US dollars.
The Minister of Mining, D.Gankhuyag said that "We will ensure the supply of high quality coal. We hope you will offer the international market price for our commodity products. It is significant to improve the agreement making it clear and transparent and to meet international standards in the agreement."
Belarus bans small livestock imports from Mongolia
MINSK, 30 September (BelTA) – Belarus has restricted the imports of animals susceptible to foot-and-mouth disease from Mongolia, BelTA learnt from the Veterinary and Food Supervision Department of the Agriculture and Food Ministry of Belarus.
According to the World Organization for Animal Health, incidents of foot-and-mouth disease were registered in Dornod, Mongolia.
In this respect Belarus has introduced temporary restrictions on the import of live animals susceptible to foot-and-mouth disease, meat products and other raw materials made from susceptible animals, as well as hides and hoofs, offal, wool, lambskin, semen, embryos, milk and dairy products made from susceptible animals that include livestock, small cattle, wild animals, hunting trophies, fodder and feed supplements for animals, including supplementary feed and ready-made feed for dogs and cats that were made from raw materials originating from Dornod, Mongolia, as well as used equipment to breed, slaughter and gut animals.
Simultaneously Belarus cancels all previously issued permits for the import of the above-mentioned products from the region.
Foot-and-mouth disease is an infectious disease that affects animals and human beings. The virus causes a high fever, blisters inside the mouth and on the feet. Humans can be infected with foot-and-mouth disease through contact with infected animals or consumption of infected animal products, but this is extremely rare. The disease cannot spread from humans to humans.
The Department also informed that incidents of sheep pox and goat pox had been reported in Zhambyl Oblast, Kazakhstan. Belarus has imposed temporary ban on the supplies of slaughtered and pedigree sheep and goats, wild, zoological and circus even-toed ungulates, animal products and killing products, supplementary feed and ready-made feed for dogs and cats that were made from raw materials originating from Zhambyl Oblast, Kazakhstan, as well as hunter's trophies of susceptible animals.
Sheep pox and goat pox are highly contagious diseases. The virus causes fever and formation of lesions on skin and mucus membrane. Infection occurs through close contact with severely affected animals. Among most susceptible species are milk and fine-wool goats. The mortality rate makes up 2-3% with benign forms of pox and reaches 100% with hemorrhagic forms.
City Matters: A twenty-first century Silk Road between East and West is long overdue
By Roger Gifford, Lord Mayor of the City of London.
September 30 (City A.M.) OVER two millennia ago, the opening of the Silk Road in Asia had a transformative effect on trading right across the world.
This remarkable development played a crucial role in facilitating previously unimaginable exchanges of goods, services, ideas and even culture across borders. In our information age, new technology has - of course - revolutionised how these exchanges take place, by dramatically accelerating communication speeds and broadening global interconnections. Nonetheless, Asia continues to be at the crossroads of global trade today.
That much was clear during a recent City business visit to China and Mongolia. Our trading links with these two countries will be critical to shaping our future as a trading nation in the region, so it is vital we make the case for why the UK should be seen as their partner of choice.
China and Mongolia - like many other developing nations - have recently experienced a relative slowdown, as they tackle their own separate economic challenges and markets respond to uncertainty over the US quantitative easing programme. That does not mean the UK should scale back our engagement in the region. Far from it.
Policymakers in both countries are committed to delivering the market reforms needed to sustain growth rates that benefit the wider population. Shanghai, for example, recently unveiled details of an ambitious new Free Trade Zone (FTZ) covering 28 square km of the city. The FTZ - the first such zone on the mainland - will offer relative tax freedom and greater room for institutional innovation, spurring international investment under international rules of engagement.
This is part of a wider shift in China towards services and consumption, and away from exportled growth. As a world-leading international financial centre, London continues to support China's strategic objectives in areas including the internationalisation of the renminbi.
In Mongolia, there is a less immediately obvious imperative to undertake such a shift, given that its still-impressive economic performance is driven by vast mineral reserves across the country. Nonetheless, the government recognises the need to avoid the "resource curse" by creating a business environment conducive to inward investment and sustainable growth.
This presents opportunities for City firms to work in partnership on developing banking, legal systems, accounting standards, and professional services. Similarly, the UK's expertise in structuring, financing and implementing major infrastructure projects with private sector participation through PPP can help Mongolia. Its government has far-reaching infrastructure plans, which have seen spending in this area increase 35-fold in the past ten years.
A new Silk Road, linking London to China and Mongolia is long overdue. City firms can help to bridge the 5,000 miles that separate us by getting out there and showing the virtues of trade - just like two millennia ago.
Property census begins in Ulaanbaatar
September 23 (news.mn) A campaign for "Property census and tax payers` registration" began on September 20th according to a joint regulation by the Ulaanbaatar City Mayor and the Head of the General Department of Taxation.
The census and registration will be conducted in two phases. The first phase will be held by sub-commissions specific districts over 30 working days, from September 20th to November 1st 2013.
The second phase for monitoring will be conducted by the Ulaanbaatar City Commission across the city over 10 working days from November 4th to November 15th.
The last Property Census was conducted in 2008. But there is no data on taxpayers so there is problem for the estimation of property.
Thus the census aims to create an information database for taxpayers, improving taxation and tax payment, increasing a sustainable income source for local budgets this year during the campaign of the Property Census and Taxpayers registration.
The census and registration proceedings will involve citizens who have registered in districts in the City and every property, place of employment that runs a business, service and trade and taxpayers.
According to the regulation issued by the Ulaanbaatar City Mayor and the Head of the General Department of Taxation, a task force will count each property located in the City, register in form and compare the information database and confirm the registration.
ULAANBAATAR & BANGKOK DISCUSS STUDENT, DOCTOR, NURSE EXCHANGE PROGRAMS
Ulaanbaatar, September 30 /MONTSAME/ Invited by D.Battulga, the Head of Citizens Representative Khural of the UB city, a Thailand delegation has stayed here with an official visit September 28-October 1.
The delegation has been led by Bangkok City Chairman Mr Pipat Lappratana.
Mr Battulga has received his guests. Having thanked them for arriving in Mongolia, he reminded them that last year in Thailand the sides shared views on implementing several mutually profitable works, for example, a realization of student exchange program, of doctors and nurses exchange program, a collaboration in the traditional medicine. "Now we want to realize these works," he said.
In response, Mr Lappratana said he is glad to be here and thanked for warm welcome. He expressed a readiness to enact all these programs, and added that experience exchange programs in education and health sector will be run next year.
Ulaanbaatar Film Festival bringing Cannes style to Mongolia
September 24 (news.mn) The first Ulaanbaatar International Film Festival will be held in Mongolia as an initiative of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism in collaboration with the Mongolian-French Center, the Culture and Art Authority of the City and the Arts Council of Mongolia.
Ulaanbaatar City will host the International Film Festival between 4th and 9th October. During the film festival the 12 winning films from Cannes, Berlin and Venice 2013 that lead the current trends in the movie industry will be screened for Mongolians to enjoy.
A number of featured films will be screened for free during the Ulaanbaatar Film Festival including; "Salvo", (Italy) the feature of Cannes` Critics week, Director`s Fortnight, "Un Certain Regard", The Golden Cage (Mexico), "Ilo Ilo" (Singapore) and "Eat Sleep Die" (Дta Sova Dц). There will also be opportunities to meet the makers of these feature films.
Directors, producers and actors from the US, France, Taiwan, Singapore, Mexico, Turkey, Italy and Germany have been invited to the Ulaanbaatar Film Festival as well as Istanbul, Cannes organizers, agents of Memento Films in France, Match Factory and Film Boutique.
During the Ulaanbaatar Film Festival there will be French film days featuring the winning films.
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Abe hosts Mongolia's chief at home
September 30 (Jiji Press) Prime Minister Shinzo Abe held a meeting with Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj at his private residence in the Tomigaya district of Shibuya Ward, Tokyo, on Sunday afternoon.
Elbegdorj decided to stop by Tokyo on his way home from New York, where he attended the U.N. General Assembly session
It is rare for a prime minister to host talks with a foreign leader at his private residence.
During the one-hour meeting, Abe said Japan hopes to strengthen ties with Mongolia in politics, security, economics, and cultural and personnel exchanges. Elbegdorj said he shares these hopes.
They discussed developments in East Asia, including the situations in China and North Korea.
FOREIGN MINISTER BOLD RECEIVES VICE FOREIGN MINISTER OF DPRK
Ulaanbaatar, September 29 /MONTSAME/ On Friday, the Minister of Foreign Affairs L.Bold received Mr Pak Kil-yon, the Vice Foreign Minister of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) in the UN Headquarters, New York, USA.
When exchanging views on the Mongolia-DPRK cooperation, Mr Pak noted that our bilateral traditional relations and cooperation have been developing successfully, and said the DPRK aspires to expand these ties. He thanked Mongolia for giving a humanitarian assistance to his country.
Our FM noted that Mongolia is focusing on ensuring of a preparation for an upcoming state visit of the Mongolian leader to the DPRK.
He underlined that Mongolia attaches a great importance to the peace and security in the Northeast Asia, and asked the North Korean side to back Mongolia's initiative on launching the Ulaanbaatar Talks on the matter.
Saying that Ulaanbaatar will host this November a meeting of Women Parliamentarians of Northeast Asian Countries, the Foreign Minister hoped that the N.Korea will send to it its delegation.
US to provide $5.1 million to improve government accountability in Mongolia
September 26 (news.mn) The Minister of Economic Development of Mongolia Ts.Batbayar and the US Ambassador to Mongolia, Piper Anne Wind Campbell signed a Cooperation Agreement between the Governments of the USA and Mongolia on Thursday September 26th.
Through the amendments into the Cooperation Agreement between the Governments of Mongolia and the USA, the USA will make available a 5.1 million US dollar finance supplement for projects. The finance supplement will be spent on projects to improve Government Accountability, the strength of civil society and Administration reform nationwide and specifically in the countryside for better results.
US Ambassador Ms. Campbell said that "the US Government has increased the help for development in Mongolia year on year. The Governments of Mongolia and the USA signed an Agreement on Transparency in Matters Related to International Trade and Investment in New York last week. This is clear evidence that the economic cooperation between the two countries has strengthened."
US Government aid to Mongolia has reached 230 million US dollars via the U.S. Agency for International Development since 1991.
Honorary Consulate of Mongolia opens in Chicago
September 30 (news.mn) A ceremony for the establishment of an Honorary Consulate of Mongolia to Chicago, USA was held on Saturday September 28th. The President of Mongolia, Ts.Elbegdorj and Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary B.Altangerel, a new Honorary Consul of Mongolia William Pintas and residents from the community attended the ceremony.
The new Honorary Consul William Pintas took his post in the State of Illinois on the occasion.
During the opening ceremony of the Honorary Consulate, President Ts.Elbegdorj remarked in his speech that the "newly established Honorary Consulate of Mongolia will play a big role not only to protect the legal rights and interests of Mongolian citizens in Illinois but also bring a boost to bilateral cultural and economic cooperation between the two countries."
The new Honorary Consul of Mongolia, William Pintas is a native of Chicago living in Lake Forest his wife and three children.
William Pintas graduated from Miami University with a bachelor degree in Business in Florida in 1981 and Thomas M Cooley University with a Master of Law in Michigan. He established a law company "William G. Pintas & Assoc" in 1985 then joined Laura Mullins creating "Pintas & Mullins Law Firm".
The Pintas & Mullins Law Firm has successfully recovered millions of dollars for over 10,000 clients from across the country.
William Pintas is co-owner of the "Preferred Capital Funding" to give legal support to civilians who complain about claim to court. William Pintas was appointed as Honorary Consul of Mongolia on September, 2013.
Speaker welcomes Chairman of the National Assembly of South Korea
September 30 (news.mn) Today the Speaker of the State Great Khural, or Parliament, welcomed the Chairman of the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea, Mr. Kang Chang-hee, who is making a visit to Mongolia. Speaker Z.Enkhbold along with Mr. Kang Chang-hee showed respect to the Great Chinggis Khaan monument in front of Government House.
Following this the honorary guest was invited to the ceremonial hall at Government House to leave a message in the Guest Book.
The Chairman of the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea will meet with the Prime Minister of Mongolia N.Altankhuyag following his meeting with Speaker Z.Enkhbold on September 30th according to a report by the Public Relations and Communications Division of Parliament.
South Korea Speaker Appreciates Changes to Investment Law, Proposes Air & Railroad Cooperation
September 30 (news.mn) Today, September 30th, Speaker Z.Enkhbold received the Chairman of the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea Kang Chang-hee with accompanying delegate who are visiting Mongolia.
In the meeting Speaker Enkhbold expressed his satisfaction about current bilateral relations in all fields and the comprehensive partnership that is being enhanced. He expressed his belief that the visit by the Chairman of the National Assembly of Republic of Korea to Mongolia will bring the desire to strengthen relations and encourage further cooperation between the two countries.
Speaker Enkhbold also noted the importance of boosting bilateral cooperation on trade, investment, road transportation, mining, health and other sectors as well as expressing interests in South Korean investment in railroads, bring railroad technology to Mongolia and training Mongolians in South Korean universities and institutes as qualified engineers and technicians.
The Speaker also suggested to intensify cooperation on environmental protection within the green development policy.
Mr. Kang Chang-hee noted the boost in relations between the two countries particularly intergovernmental relations and expressed his hopes that the Speaker will focus on deepening intergovernmental relations in the future days.
Mr. Kang Chang-hee said that "for South Korea, Mongolia is the fifth partner on economy and foreign trade. Mongolia is a mineral rich promising country that can be developed. South Korean 30 or 40 years of experience can be introduced to Mongolia the sector will be easily developed."
He continued saying that leading South Korean entities run their business in Mongolia and expressed gratitude that Parliament is near to passing a new Strategic Investment Law that is not expected to block foreign companies. He also said that "the air and railroad sector is highly developed in the South Korea. So if we cooperate on it, the railroad sector will be developed and current undergoing projects will be completed soon."
Speaker Enkhbold then suggested to enhance cooperation related to youths and the student exchange program and provide social guarantees for the people who live and work in South Korea by expanding the activity of the Social Security Service Center. Te Speaker wished success to the Chairman of the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea at the end of the meeting.
Mongolia signs UN Convention Against Torture and Arms Trade Treaty
September 26 (news.mn) The Minister for Foreign Affairs of Mongolia L.Bold has signed the Optional Protocol of the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) during the agreement event, a part of the 68th Session of United Nations General Assembly on September 24th. The Arms Trade Treaty is a multilateral treaty that regulates the international trade in conventional weapons, from small arms to battle tanks, combat aircraft and warships which has not entered into force.
The United Nations General Assembly approved the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) in New York on March 28th based on demands for a new international law to set clear rules for all global transfers of weapons and ammunitions.
The Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), designed to secure world peace and safety, is a significant historical document that outlines the participant countries roles to improve the regulations on international arms trade. As of September 25th, 108 states have signed the ATT, with 24 of these including Mongolia signing the agreement at the UN General Assembly.
Mongolia joined the United Nations Convention against Torture in 2002. Mongolia has now signed the Optional Protocol of the Convention pledging the country to establish an organization to prevent any kind of torture.
Mongolia has become the 86th country to signed the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), and the 80th country to signed the UN Convention against torture.
Foreign Minister meets with Mr Hugo Swire
Ulaanbaatar September 29, 2013 /MONTSAME/ The Mongolian FM L.Bold has received Mr Hugo Swire, a member of the House of Lords of the British parliament and UK Minister of State for the Foreign Office.
Their meeting took place in New York on Friday.
Mr Bold noted that the two countries are marking this year the 50th anniversary of the bilateral diplomatic relations, and expressed a hope that the Foreign Secretary and First Secretary of State Mr William Hague will visit Mongolia soon.
He also expressed a satisfaction with works being done in education and cultural sectors, and asked Mr Swire to intensify these works and to augment a student exchange and scholarships for the Mongolians. He put forward a proposal on establishing a contract on peoples' visa-free travelling in frames of the consular ties.
In response, Mr Swire asked the Foreign Affairs Minister about determination of developmental goals of Mongolia after 2015, and invited Mongolia to an event of the Open Government Network which will run November this year in London.
Foreign Minister Bold Co-Chairs Sub-Meeting at UNGA Session on Abolition of Capital Punishment
Ulaanbaatar, September 29 /MONTSAME/ Mongolia's Minister of Foreign Affairs L.Bold has co-chaired a sub-meeting themed "Role of regional organizations in abolition of capital punishment" at the 68th session of the UN General Assembly. He chaired it September 27 together with his French counterpart Mr Laurent Fabius.
This meeting brought together Navi Pillay, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights; Catherine Ashton, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy for the European Union (EU); Salil Shetty, the secretary-general of the Amnesty International; also Foreign Ministers and Permanent Representatives to UN of 12 countries, and other high officials.
Mr Bold gave the gathered all details on state measures of Mongolia for abolishing death penalty and highlighted his country's experience.
Since the President of Mongolia Ts.Elbegdorj put a moratorium on the capital punishment, our country has been doing efforts to get rid of this kind of punishment, and has joined the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Mr Bold stressed.
He also informed the gathered that the draft amendment to the criminal law does not have any clauses on the capital punishment. It was appreciated by Ms Ashton and Foreign Ministers of France, Portugal, Norway and Italy, and the Amnesty International.
After the meeting, our FM held a meeting with Mr Shetty to discuss measures to be taken by Mongolia and the AI in near future. He invited Mr Shetty to Mongolia.
Foreign Minister Bold Meets French Counterpart at UNGA
Ulaanbaatar, Septembr 29 /MONTSAME/ During the 68th session of the UN General Assembly, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Mongolia L.Bold Friday met with Mr Laurent Fabius, France FM, at the UN Headquarters in New York.
While discussing the Mongolia-France relations and cooperation, Mr Fabius said the economy and democracy development Mongolia has achieved has became an example in the region. He also confirmed that France focuses on activating of the bilateral economic cooperation.
Mr Bold agreed with his counterpart that the two countries can widen their cooperation. Scheduled early 2014 visit of Mongolian President to France will contribute to the expansion of the collaboration, Mr Bold noted and expressed a hope that a forthcoming visit of the French Foreign Minister to Mongolia will give a significant impetus to our ties as well.
Foreign Minister meets Russian counterpart
September 27 (news.mn) The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Mongolia L.Bold met his counterpart the Foreign Minister of Russia, Sergei Lavrov, at the UN Headquarters during the 68th Session of UN General Assembly on September 26th.
The two counterparts exchanged opinions on bilateral cooperation, the upcoming visit to Russia by the Prime Minister of Mongolia and spoke about the need to move ahead on some issues of economic cooperation between the two countries.
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov noted the essential need of defining implementation and the results of deals on bilateral economic cooperation signed during the previous bilateral high-level meetings. He noted the need to determine the problems and reasons behind these and invited Minister L.Bold to make a working visit to Moscow in the near future in order to review those issues.
Foreign Minister Lavrov also stated the significance of the two parties reaching a resolution on certain issues during the 17th meeting of the Russian-Mongolian Intergovernmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific and Technical Cooperation in Moscow on 25th and 26th November.
The counterparts agreed on the need to continue high-level visits and business meetings between Mongolia and Russia and complete preparation in order to promote high-performance.
President Elbegdorj makes statement on Nuclear Disarmament at UN General Assembly
September 27 (news.mn) The President of Mongolia Ts.Elbegdorj is currently attending the High-level Meetings at the 68th Session of the General Assembly. Yesterday President Elbegdorj attended the Nuclear Disarmament meeting on September 26th.
The Nuclear Disarmament meeting was the most focused on subject by the world during the UN 68th Session of the General Assembly.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the President of the 68th session of the General Assembly John Ashe made opening speeches at the first ever discussion on Nuclear Disarmament at the high-level meetings of the 68th Session of the General Assembly.
Representatives and leaders of the Governments of 15 countries including Mongolia, Iran, Japan, Austria, Cuba, Nigeria exchanged views on Nuclear Disarmament, urging greater efforts and immediate action toward the world being free of nuclear threats and accelerating nuclear disarmament actions.
The Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe said in his remarks; "I support the UN Secretary-General"s five point proposal on nuclear weapons, agree to the point that the issue that needs to be focused on is a ban of nuclear weapons."
The new Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed officially Teheran"s stand on nuclear weapons. President Hassan Rouhani commented that "Iran needs a large amount of nuclear energy to keep pace with the rest of the world and to become a developed country. Every country can be developed if it chooses the right path for development."
President Elbegdorj said in his speech "in its efforts toward reaching a world free of nuclear weapons, Mongolia, sandwiched between two large nuclear powers, declared a non-nuclear-weapon status 20 years ago. Now we are trying to create new actions to promote nuclear disarmament from our non-nuclear status."
"Mongolia"s non nuclear weapon status was ratified with the support of the international community and as well as national flexibility and constant policy when Mongolia enacted a law in 2002 with various activities relating to prohibited nuclear weapons in Mongolia.
In 2012, the Permanent Representatives to the United Nations of the five nuclear weapon states (the United States, China, France, Russian Federation, and United Kingdom, known as the P5) approved Mongolia"s non-nuclear weapon status and they affirmed their intent to respect Mongolia's nuclear-weapon-free status and not to contribute to any act that would violate it. It is clear evidence that even a small country can make an effort to build a nuclear free world."
"Mongolia is seeking to cooperate with Northeast Asian countries on securing the region as a non-nuclear weapon zone as a country that has had experience of securing its own security using democratic politics and diplomat ways.
It is not an easy task but we know that such a goal requires courage and political tenacity to realize stability. Strengthening faith is necessary. Based on the goal to strengthen faith in the region, I suggested to initiate an Ulaanbaatar summit to discuss the security issues of the Northeast Asian region and invited representative from the region for negotiations."
Prime Minister receives Chinese Culture Minister
September 25 (news.mn) Today, on Wednesday Prime Minister N.Altankhuyag received the Minister of Culture of the People"s Republic of China, Cai Wu who is visiting Mongolia to liaise with his counterpart, the Minister of Culture, Sport and Tourism, Ts.Oyungerel.
The Chinese Culture Minister Cai Wu said that bilateral relations in this sector between the two countries are booming adding that the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Mongolia and China will team up to deepen good relations and exchange experiences. Mr. Cai Wu also noted the successful negotiations made between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Mongolia and China.
Prime Minister Altankhuyag stated that boosting good, fair, mutually beneficial relations with China is a priority of the foreign policy of Mongolia. The Prime Minister also added that he is grateful that bilateral relations in all fields between Mongolia and China have expanded and moved to a strategic partnership level.
The Prime Minister then said that it has been a year since the Reform Government of Mongolia was formed. The Government focused on culture, sport and tourism and restructured the Ministry. Next year is the 65th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Mongolia and China.
The Prime Minister suggested holding public events collaborating and involving the people of the two countries for the anniversary, adding that there are many things to share in this sector.
Chinese Culture Minister Cai Wu enjoyed a classic and art concert featuring Mongolian culture. Mr. Cai Wu said that Mongolian folk art is at a high level and expressed his willingness to hold Mongolian art concerts in China in order to promote the art.
Mr. Cai Wu presented a certificate worth 300,000 CNY for equipment and facilities to the Minister of Culture, Sport and Tourism, Ts.Oyungerel during his visit to Mongolia.
Prime Minister plans visits to Russia and China
September 23 (news.mn) The Prime Minister of Mongolia, N.Altankhuyag has planned to make official visits to both Russia and China. The date has yet to be scheduled but the announcement will be made soon.
Relations between Mongolia and China have been broadened to a strategic partnership and China is the largest trading partner and importer for Mongolia. Therefore the Prime Minister`s plan to visit China is highly anticipated.
Mongolia is over 90% dependent on Russian imported petroleum and also imports electricity from Russia. The delegation to Russia is also therefore considered very important for future relations between the two countries.
MONGOLIA ESTABLISHES DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS WITH SURINAME
Ulaanbaatar, September 30 /MONTSAME/ Mongolia established the diplomatic relations with the Republic of Suriname in New-York September 27.
Under a mutual aspiration to develop and strengthen the friendly relations and cooperation, the two countries have agreed to adhere to the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, the UN Charter and to international legal principles and norms.
A joint statement thereon was signed by the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Mongolia L.Bold and by his counterpart from Suriname Mr Winston Lackin.
Mr Bold said Mongolia attaches a great significance to widening and developing bilateral relations and cooperation with Latin American countries, "which is obviously confirmed by a decision to open the Mongolian Embassy in Brazil, and through it we can advance the Mongolia-Suriname relations and cooperation."
DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS ESTABLISHED WITH SIERRA LEONE
Ulaanbaatar, September 29 /MONTSAME/ Mongolia and the Republic of Sierra Leone have established the diplomatic relations in a scope of Mongolia's goal to create such relationship with all members of the United Nations (UN).
The joint statement on it was signed September 27 in the UN Headquarters, New York, by L.Bold, Mongolia's Minister of Foreign Affairs and by Mr Samura Kamara, the Sierra Leone Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
Under a mutual aspiration of developing and strengthening the bilateral friendly relations and cooperation, the countries have agreed to adhere to the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, the UN Charter and to international legal principles and norms.
MONGOLIA ESTABLISHES DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS WITH PALAU
Ulaanbaatar, September 26 /MONTSAME/ Mongolia has established the diplomatic relations with the Republic of Palau.
A memorandum on the diplomatic relations was signed Wednesday by Mr L.Bold, Mongolia's Minister of Foreign Affairs, and by Mr Tommy Remengesau, the President of Palau.
The same day, Mr Bold held a meeting with his counterpart of Iceland Mr Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson. They underlined an importance of upcoming political consultative meeting scheduled in 2014 for expanding the bilateral relations and for determining its directions, and noted that organizing of mutual visits and information sharing will help design the spheres of the cooperation.
Mr Bold expressed a willingness of Mongolia to collaborate with Iceland in a way of training the Mongolian experts in a scope of the programme on combating desertification, of sharing experience and saving water resources.
The sides also shared views on forthcoming elections of the UN Security Council's non-permanent membership, of Commission for Maritime Commission and of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC).
Centre for OSCE Research to conduct training for Mongolia
September 23 (news.mn) The Centre for OSCE Research (CORE), which is part of the Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy at the University of Hamburg are jointly with the Mongolian Institute for Strategic Studies conducting an open training sessions for civil servants, researchers and NGOs between 23rd and 27th September.
At the open training session the OSCE feature activities, common policy and activity range will be introduced. Discussions will be held on Mongolia`s status, participatory role and efforts as a new member of the OSCE.
Mongolia became the 57th country to join the organization as a participating State of the OSCE in 2012. In becoming an OSCE member state conditions are favorable for Mongolia to strength multi-pillar foreign policy, in particular, to co-operate with fellow member states on security, exchange information and experience and attend international talks regularly.
OSCE Secretary-General, Lamberto Zannier and the chairman of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly Riccardo Migliori visited Mongolia exchanging views on bilateral cooperation. The OSCE representatives also observed the Presidential election held last June.
In addition, a lecturer group led by Mr V.Yelchenko the Ambassador of the Ukraine, a chair of the OSCE, visited Mongolia last June meeting Mongolian officials and exchanging views on potential cooperation.
Foreign Policy Roundup: September 16-29, 2013
By Brandon Miliate
September 29 (Mongolia Focus) It was a busy week in the world of Mongolian diplomacy with both President Elbegdorj and Minister of Foreign Affairs L. Bold attending the 68th Session of the United Nations this past week. I have provided a break down of their activities below. As always, if I have missed anything please do let me know.
While attending the UN General meeting, Mongolian President Elbegdorj:
Minster of Foreign Affairs, L. Bold:
· met with the , during which he mentioned Mongolia's successful chairmanship of the Community of Democratic States in 2011-2012, and the Mongolian Government's presentation of a plan for democratic education to the 67 UN General Assembly last year
Mongolian Minister of Development, N. Batbayar, and the U.S. Ambassador to Mongolia, Piper Campbell, signed an agreement, which authorized a to the Mongolian government. This additional funding was the direct result of the newly signed US-Mongolia Transparency Agreement.
Mongolia's Minster of Defense, D. Bat-Erdene, traveled to China to conduct official negotiations on . During the negotiations, they discussed Asia-Pacific security issues more broadly, and North Korean issues specifically. The visit ended with the signing of a MoU on the future of their cooperation and strategic partnership.
On the invitation of Ts. Oyungerel, . After meeting with a delegation from Mongolia's Sport, Culture, and Tourism Ministry, he met with the Chinese ambassador to Mongolia. Before leaving he and Oyungerel signed a protocol on "Organizing 2014 Cultural Relations Days."
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