Monday, December 9, 2013

[MCS adds more MMC as debt collateral, Mongolia gains 11 spots in TI corruption index, and Russia considering Mongolia as alternative China trade route]

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Monday, December 9, 2013

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Overseas Market

MCS Adds Further 1.22% MMC Stake as Collateral, Now 30.99% of Total 33.5% MCS Stake

December 6 (Cover Mongolia) Disclosure of Interests notices filed December 5 reveals MCS added a further 45.17 million shares out of its 33.5% stake in MMC, or 1.22% of total shares in "short position."

MCS now has 30.99% of its total stake up as collateral to its lenders.

MCS Chairman Odjargal personally directly owns 4.98% stake in MMC, and President Od owns directly 2.87%, of which they've also put up as collateral 1.08% and 0.7% respectively.

Link to MCS interest notice

Link to Odjargal interest notice

Link to Od interst notice

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Local Market

BDSec Daily Market Update, December 5: Top 20 -0.5%, Turnover 21.5 Million

December 5 (BDSec) Mongolian stocks fell, with the regional benchmark index retreating from an eight-month high. MSE Top 20 index ended the session 0.50% lower at 15,591.84 points. Trading volume was light at 25.8 thousand shares worth MNT 21.5 million. Out of only 11 companies traded on the bourse, 8 stocks fell and 3 stocks gained. Khukh Gan (HGN), a DRI producer, was the biggest loser of the day. The stock closed 6.48% lower at MNT 129.99. Talkh Chikher (TCK), the country's largest bread and bakery maker, advanced 3.46% to close at MNT 13,460.

Link to update


Montsame MSE News for December 6: Top 20 +0.79%, Turnover ₮56.3 Million

Ulaanbaatar, December 6 /MONTSAME/ At the Stock Exchange trades held Friday, a total of 21 thousand and 565 shares of 21 JSCs were traded costing MNT 56 million 314 thousand and 371.00.

"E-trans logistics" /13 thousand and 878 units/, "Tavantolgoi" /5,771 units/, "Asia Pacific Properties" /826 units/, "Aduunchuluun" /382 units/ and "Shivee ovoo" /214 units/ were the most actively traded in terms of trading volume, in terms of trading value-"Tavantolgoi" (MNT 30 million 564 and thousand and 968), "Asia Pacific Properties" (MNT 20 million 210 thousand and 480), "E-trans logistics" (MNT one million 523 thousand and 380), "Shivee ovoo" (MNTone million and 498 thousand) and "Aduunchuluun" (MNT 687 thousand and 600).

The total market capitalization was set at MNT one trillion 613 billion 212 million 450 thousand and 889. The Index of Top-20 JSCs was 15,715.73, increasing by MNT 123.89 or 0.79% against the previous day.

Link to article


FMG Mongolia Fund: October +3.22%

Please note that we are changing to quarterly comments. Next update will be posted in mid-January.









































Link to fund page



November 29 (BDSec) BDSec JSC was rewarded "Best Brokerage Company in Mongolia" and "Best Investment Company in Mongolia" of 2013 by the Global Banking & Finance Review at its annual awards that name stand-out performers in the banking and financial industries around the world.

It was the first time that BDSec received awards from an international organization. In 2013, BDSec was able to manage a successful private deal that involves the occasion of the first ever Mongolian public company taking over an international asset. 

BDSec's Board Chairman Mr. Lkhagvadorj Burenmend said "We are honored to be recognized by such an influential international organization and at the same time, I believe it simply shows the potential as well as the popularity that the Mongolian capital market is gaining within the community of global investors. "I'd also like to use this moment to congratulate as well as thank all of our clients and shareholders who have been the main reason for us to receive these prestigious awards" he added.   

BDSec is a local brokerage and investment banking firm based in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia with the dominant market share in securities trading and capital raising industries in the country. It's also the most trusted partner of foreign and local investors as one-third of total Mongolian clients and nearly a half of total international clients trade through BDSec.

Link to release



November 27 (MSE) Based on Financial Regulatory Commission resolution no.371 of October 23, 2013, Mongolian Stock Exchange  "Securities listing rules" clause 50.3, 57, and the company request of November 15, 2013 the name of "Arkhust shunkhlai" JSC changed to "Euroasia capital holding" JSC. 

About "Euroasia capital holding"JSC /MSE: SUN/

Address: Sukhbaatar dist, 1 khoroo, Olympic street, Regency 314, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

Date of list in MSE: 1992-05-09

Type of share: common

Total number of shares: 2,270,892

Link to release



November 27 (MSE) "MJIH" LLC's special license for conducting broker, dealer and underwriting services in the securities market has been invalidated by the Financial Regulatory Commission resolution #376.  

Based on "Law on legal status of Financial Regulatory Commission" article 6.1.3, "Law on Legal entities licensing" article 14.1.1, "Securities market law" article 34.1.4, FRC "Regulation on licensing of professional services in the market" article 8.2.1 the Financial Regulatory Commission invalidated "MJIH" LLC's license for underwriting, brokerage and securities dealing activities by its resolution #376 of October 23, 2013.  

The company clients will be transferred to other brokerage firm that conducts professional services in the market with license to broker-dealer related issues and it shall be governed according to the concerning jurisdiction and regulations. 

Link to release



November 27 (MSE) "Progress Partners" LLC's special license for conducting brokerage and securities dealing services in the securities market has been invalidated by the Financial Regulatory Commission resolution #375.  

Based on "Law on legal status of Financial Regulatory Commission" article 6.1.3, "Law on Legal entities licensing" article 14.1.1, "Securities market law" article 34.1.4, FRC "Regulation on licensing of professional services in the market" article 8.2.1 the Financial Regulatory Commission invalidated "Progress Partners" LLC's license for brokerage and securities dealing activities by its resolution #375 of October 23, 2013.  

The company clients will be transferred to other brokerage firm that conducts professional services in the market with license to broker-dealer related issues and it shall be governed according to the concerning jurisdiction and regulations. 

Link to release



November 27 (MSE) On November 15, 2013 the Session for executives from professional organizations of the securities market, Financial Regulatory Commission, Mongolian Stock Exchange, Mongolian Securities Clearing House and Central Depositary, Mongolian Association of Securities Dealers, and brokerage firms, took place.

During the session, FRC and MASD have made presentations concerning the growth trend of securities market and the difficulties that are facing. Furthermore, the MSE and MSCHCD's executives have made presentations regarding the revision of securities market infrastructure.

During the session participants agreed on following recommendations:

- to protect investors' interest and rights by combining management of state and self-regulatory organizations,

- to ease securities issuance process in order to create favorable environment for the state owned companies to be privatized, 

- to encourage investors by introducing flexible taxation policy, that will give further incentives and

- to strengthen securities and cash clearing and settlement standards.

The Financial Regulatory Commission shall inform public about the agreed proposals and recommendations. 

Link to release

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BoM FX Rates: December 6 Close



















December Chart:

Link to rates


BoM refuses $0.6 million, CNY 11.9 million bid & $12 million ask offers, swaps $83 million, CNY 20 million

December 5 (Bank of Mongolia) On the Foreign Exchange Auction held on December 5th, 2013 the BOM has received from local commercial banks bid offers of 0.6 million USD and 11.9 million CNY and ask offer 12 million USD. BOM has refused all offers.

On December 5th, 2013, The BOM has received MNT Swap agreement offer in equivalent to 83 million USD and CNY Swap agreement offer of 20 million CNY from local commercial banks and accepted all offers.

Link to release


Total outstanding up ₮4.95 billion to 1.15 trillion

BoM issues 453.2 billion 1-week bills

December 6 (Bank of Mongolia) BoM issues 1 week bills worth MNT 453.2 billion at a weighted interest rate of 10.5 percent per annum /For previous auctions click here/

Link to release


Mongolia to Ease Gold Taxes to Boost Reserves

Ulaanbaatar, December 5 /MONTSAME/ Easing tax on gold exploration will help increase the nation's gold and foreign currency reserves by USD 1.7-2 billion, specialists highlight.

The above estimation has been foreseen in anticipation of approval of draft law on transparency in gold trade at the parliamentary session, presuming that a lower tax of 2.5 percent will boost the gold selling of the miners to Mongol Bank.

In five year's time, the foreign currency reserve will reach USD 8.5-10 billion, the specialists say, noting the fact that in 2005, when the tax on gold exploration was low as 2.5 percent, the gold production saw the highest of 24 tons a year.

The draft bill estimates gold production of 9.9 tons, and gold export of 4 tons at the nation's largest project of Oyu Tolgoi when it agrees at twice lower gold royalties for selling their gold to Mongol Bank.

The draft bill also imposes more strict punishments for cases of illegal trading, exportation, concealing of gold and tax evasion.

Link to article


Mongolia bets on new FDI rules to restore investor confidence

Hit by declining investor confidence, the Mongolian government has announced reforms to its investment laws and launched an inward investment agency

By Jacopo Dettoni

December 5 (fDi Magazine) Amid concerns over a deteriorating business climate, the Mongolian government has launched an overhaul of its foreign investment legislative framework. The new law, which took effect on November 1, paves the way for a friendlier market environment by lifting many of the investment restrictions rushed through parliament in May 2012, and establishes investment development agency Invest Mongolia Agency to liaise between government and investors.

Trust in political institutions is fading and foreign investment plummeting in Mongolia. After years of unprecedented, commodity-powered economic growth, excitement has given way to scepticism.

FDI inflows hit record levels in 2011 and 2012, when they reached $4.7bn and $4.4bn, respectively, according to figures from Mongolia's central bank. However, the limitations introduced in 2012 froze many deals and FDI was down 46.8% from January to August this year, with full 2013 inflows expected at around $2.5bn.

Removing barriers

In a push to get foreign investments back on track, the new FDI law opens up strategic sectors such as mining, telecommunications and banking. Foreign investors willing to invest in these key areas will not need political approval any more, with the exception of at least 50% state-backed companies. Additionally, the law removes any differentiation between foreign and domestic investors and introduces incentives to mitigate tax risk.

The law approval "is a key first step towards attracting back the foreign investors that Mongolia has lost over the past year and a half", said a report by local real estate developer MAD Investment Solutions. 

Authorities have expressed optimism that investors will return.

"If the government and private investors strike an agreement on some of the big projects in the pipeline, FDI figures will fly. Then nobody will wonder if FDI reaches $10bn per year," Invest Mongolia Agency's new head Sereeter Javkhlanbaatar said.

Untapped resources

Mongolia boasts largely untapped deposits of coal, copper, gold and uranium that combined might be worth some $1.3tn. FDI inflows will naturally go towards mining developments like Rio Tinto's multi-billion Oyu Tolgoi (OT) copper and gold mine. At the same time, the government has shown commitment to developing basic infrastructure such as power plants, roads and railways as well as the agriculture sector.

However, the gap between words and action has yet to be closed as many projects are still on the drawing board. In the meantime, the standoff between the government and Rio Tinto over OT phase II and confusion over 106 mining licences hit the headlines, making it clear that the new FDI law will not be enough to turn the tide by itself.

"All laws and regulations should be correlated and meet the same quality standards. We should improve the legislative framework as a whole," Mr Javkhlanbaatar said.

Link to article


2014 guideline on projects to be financed by state budget

December 8 ( 2014 Fiscal Law (Mogi: 2014 budget) has been approved by the SGK on 15th of November. In relation to that, Ministry of Economic Development organized a seminar on "Project implementations and preparation to be financed by state budget in 2014″. Ministries' respective investment department officers presented the Mongolian Investment Policy and Implementation.

81% of the investment will be in the construction industry

81.4% which is MNT930.3 billion will be spent on construction, MNT3.9 billion on maintenance, MNT44.7 major renovations, MNT117.8 billion on equipment purchases, and MNT42.9 billion will be spent on preparing the 2015 construction plans.

In category, 36.96% will be invested in infrastructure, 27.43% in health, education and human development, 6.36% in agricultural industry, and 29.26% in other sectors. The newly implementing investment is in budget reform of MNT80 billion in 16 soums of 16 provinces. Policy was on sustaining education and health budget in the coming year, and newly implement major infrastructure projects.

Foreign aid and grant is decreasing

Mongolia has been implementing infrastructure projects by foreign aid and grants. From 1991-2002, Mongolia had been a recipient of USD5.5 billion which 55% was a easy-term loan 45% in grants. 69% of these funds were spent on agricultural, road system, power and health sectors. 70% of the easy-term loan came from Asian Development Bank, Republic of China, Japan and grant was given by the previously mentioned countries and entities plus World Bank and South Korea.

Due to the the shift from low-income to lower middle income country in 2011 easy-term loan and grant amounts have been decreasing and commercial loans have been increasing. Despite the easy-term loans from foreign countries the foreign loan cannot exceed 40% of the GDP. In the end of 2013, the maximum amount has been reached therefore, there is no possibility of obtaining easy-term loans. However, there is a need of  significant investment for developing ger-area, and the cap in the GDP is making it not possible.

2 projects will be implemented by concession investment 

One of the ways to implement major projects is through public private partnership which is concession investment. State is unable to implement all the necessary projects with its budget. Therefore, by long-term contracts private sectors that built these projects can earn their payback from the government and final customers. It will enable the state to decrease the load on budget and private sector will be able to provide good quality services to the government. Mongolia adopted a Concession Law in 2010.

Currently, there are two projects that are being implement by concession law which are Nariin-Sukhait Shivee ovoo paved road. The project cost is USD109 billion in build-operate-transfer basis in 17 years, and Mogoi river thermal and heating power plant in same basis within 22 years. In the future the research is being conducted on Power Plant V, Altanbulag-Ulaanbaatar-Zamyn Uud highway, Tavantolgoi-Khanbogd-Khangi road, and Tuul Songino water preservation compound projects.

Link to article

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Mongolia President Tsakhia Elbegdorj wants to cut state firms by one-third

President Tsakhia Elbegdorj wants more private investment as well as a sovereign wealth fund

November 29 (South China Morning Post) The Mongolian government plans to slash the number of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) by one third to encourage private investment and set up a sovereign wealth fund, said Mongolian President Tsakhia Elbegdorj yesterday in Hong Kong.

Mongolia will also enact a law that will discourage companies owned by Mongolian ministers from competing with foreign and private firms, he said.

Competition between Mongolian SOEs and private firms is "not good", Elbegdorj told a Hong Kong Trade Development Council (TDC) luncheon audience that included Hong Kong businessmen.

"The Mongolian government should serve your interests, not challenge your interests. We have to create that favourable environment in Mongolia. In two years, we will have in Mongolia full rule of law," Elbegdorj said.

The Mongolian government plans more laws to foster privatisation and reduce state ownership, said Javkhlanbaatar Sereeter, acting director general of the Invest Mongolia Agency of Mongolia's Ministry of Economic Development. The elimination or privatisation of one-third of Mongolian SOEs will be "a long process", said Javhklanbaatar.

Tsogsaikhan Chagnaadorj, an executive with Eagle Group, a private Mongolian construction firm, welcomed Elbegdorj's plan to privatise Mongolian SOEs.

"It's hard to compete with government companies as they have government funding and monopoly power," he said.

Eagle Group is considering listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange within three years, to raise funds to build residential property projects in Mongolia, Chagnaadorj added.

Elbegdorj has held talks with executives of Singapore's Temasek Holdings, on the basis Mongolian plans to set up a sovereign wealth fund like Temasek, .

Elbegdorj expressed hope that his government's dispute with Anglo-Australian mining giant Rio Tinto over the Oyu Tolgoi copper and gold mine will be resolved next month. Oyu Tolgoi is 66 per cent-owned by Rio Tinto's Turquoise Hill Resources unit, while 34 per cent is owned by Erdenes Oyu Tolgoi, a Mongolian SOE. The mine's shareholders are waiting for US$4 billion of project financing to be finalised before a December deadline.

At the TDC luncheon yesterday, Elbegdorj witnessed the signing of two memorandums of understanding (MOU). One MOU was between the TDC and the Mongolian National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, to strengthen economic and trade ties between Mongolia and Hong Kong. Another was between InvestHK and Invest Mongolia, to boost investment between Hong Kong and Mongolia.

"This is the largest Mongolian delegation ever to Hong Kong," said TDC Council Member Benjamin Hung.

Link to article



November 29 (Allens) --

In brief: The President of Mongolia, His Excellency Mr Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj, and delegates, including the Governor of Mongolia's Central Bank Mr Zoljargal and Minister for Construction and Urban Development Mr Ts.Bayarsaikhan, presented to the business community of Hong Kong on Thursday, 28 November at the Hong Kong – Mongolia Business Forum 2013. Partner David Wenger (view CV) and our Mongolia team attended the presentation and noted some highlights.

In his opening address, the President made it clear that Mongolia has 'made mistakes' but is willing to change in order to once again attract foreign investment to Mongolia. He emphasised the government's recognition of the need for foreign investment and said he is working towards creating a 'win-win' outcome for the country and foreign investors. In particular, the President confirmed the government's commitment to the recently amended and substantially relaxed foreign investment laws and, importantly, announced that there will be no substantial amendments to the existing Minerals Law.

Over the past 12-18 months, Mongolia has seen a precipitous drop in levels of foreign investment and a general weakening of investor sentiment. While contributing factors have included challenging commodity prices, a government distracted by Presidential elections and a slowdown in China's growth, two important contributors to the slowdown have been the country's introduction of a revised and restrictive foreign investment regime in 2012 and the continuing and de-stabilising discussions over the fundamentally important Oyu Tolgoi project.

In response to the slowdown, the President and delegation acknowledged that Mongolia needs to attract foreign investment and made clear that the government will facilitate changes in order to achieve that objective. The major topics discussed included:

1.    Foreign Investment Law: the recent reform to the law on foreign investment law through passing of the new Law on Investment and the repeal of the unpopular Law on Regulation of Foreign Investment in Business Entities Operating in Sectors of Strategic Importance. For more on the new Law on Investment, see our Client Update: Mongolia's New Investment Law.

2.    Privatisation: the potential for a moratorium on state ownership of businesses and a move towards privatisation of state assets and the establishment of a sovereign investment company (similar to Singapore's Temasek).

3.    Mining Law: no major changes to the existing Minerals Law of Mongolia (other than 'minor' improvements).

4.    Permitting: the tightening of the various permitting systems that operate in Mongolia in order to increase business efficiency and decrease the possibility of corruption.

5.    Oyu Tolgoi: the substantial advancement of discussions over the Oyu Tolgoi project by year end and a commitment to the next phase of financing for the project.

6.    Tavan Tolgoi and the new securities law: a renewed focus on Tavan Tolgoi, including recent amendments to Securities Market Law (which comes into force on 1 January 2014), which will allow Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi (which owns the Tavan Tolgoi mine) to list on domestic and foreign bourses and raise necessary cash to exploit the Tavan Tolgoi coal deposit.

The President and delegates' discussion and demonstration of willingness to learn from and remedy past errors was well received by a Hong Kong business community who welcomed the message of a stable and investor friendly environment in Mongolia.

Our Mongolia team will keep you updated on any further developments.

Link to update


De Facto: Secret to smart government

By Jargalsaikhan Dambadarjaa

December 8 (UB Post) President Ts.Elbegdorj convened a national consultative meeting titled "From a Big Government to a Smart Government" two weeks ago. The meeting, which was nationally broadcasted live on television, was an important, thought-provoking occasion that audaciously raised the deep-seated, serious issues that has grown inside the government for many years. The discussions during the meeting gave us more hope that our country would have a better, healthy tomorrow.

The President clearly summed it up the successes and failures of the government of Mongolia. He also gave a unique, explicit outlook on what has to be done in order to fix the government and bring economic growth. If Mongolians manage to implement the resolution to issues discussed during the event, development of the country will undoubtedly move up a rank. However, the biggest challenge the government faces today is whether it is actually capable of bringing about such change and who would solve the existing problems in what manner and sequence.

Smart government

President Elbegdorj outlined what he felt was an incorrect manner of thinking in Mongolia.

"The government is everywhere, the government decides everything. Accountability is not a big deal and it is something we can get away with. The one who becomes an official can act as he/she pleases. Research and theory do not matter if you have experience. An election program must only be pleasing to the voters. The government must own assets, because if they do not, others will benefit. "Today" rather than "tomorrow" is the only important thing." He went on to strongly criticize that the only time politicians actually gave a thought about their voters was during the election days and they would only care about themselves on any other day.

Although the President gave an explicit description of the current reality of the big government Mongolia has, he did not talk much about the underlying cause of the problem. A disease can only be cured when there is a correct examination of the patient's current condition is made, and also an accurate diagnosis of the cause of the disease.

President Elbegdorj defined "smart government" as a combination of skilled people, technological advancements, research, and laws. It would take a relatively little time to reform the government's governance if he pointed out specifically which of the factors mentioned above preceded the others and which would have to be changed first. The answers to these two questions are tied to one issue that is the leadership crisis faced by the Mongolian government today.

According to the Constitutional Law, the state is formed by the legislative, executive and judiciary branches. These three branches are supposed to be independent from each other and mutually complementary. In order to have a good, smart government, there must be good, smart people in the higher level governance. Regardless of a good constitutional law, a country can enter into havoc if their government is not capable, or fails to demonstrate its leadership and duties. When this happens, the people might go on a public protest opposing the government and, in some cases, it could result in a revolution that replaces the government.

A good government starts from a good person. It is hard to imagine a smart government without smart people in it. Are the most skilled Mongolians currently working for the government? If not, why? What criteria are used to appoint a minister in the government? What leadership qualities are considered by political parties when they prepare their candidates for elections? What qualities, skills and knowledge do the people in our government have today?

Our country needs to strengthen its government structure. However, even if we come up with the best system possible, we will need leaders who can conduct good management of the system. This is where the "helicopter view" comes in. The term was first used by Royal Dutch Shell Company to describe a leader who can rise above others to see the bigger picture while being able to distinguish between the smallest parts.

In order to identify leaders with the helicopter view, we must carefully determine their ability to assess the reality, their vision, imagination, leadership qualities, and energy. A good leader should not only possess required knowledge but also be able to match his actions and words and be fully dedicated to what he is supposed to do. We have to know exactly what characteristics a leader has and what his motivation is, because the smarter a person is, the greater harm he is capable of inflicting on society.

Skills and salary of ministers

Highly developed countries such as Japan have developed a system that is aimed at identifying leaders with the helicopter view and prepare them for higher positions by assigning small to big responsibilities from the early stages of their development. Even Mongolia had a similar system in the socialist era. A leader must be highly disciplined, mentally and physically, and be able to make the best decisions without panicking in the toughest of situations.

Keeping that in mind, if you look at how the Mongolian government is managed today, you will be able to see with great ease that our government actually is huge, but not smart. It has been many years since our government started appointing inexperienced people as public servants after making the decision based on where they come from rather than what professional abilities they possess. Relevant ministers must be responsible for their actions. The initiative to have our public service recruit their employees based on skills and merit has not progressed. Four out of 21 governors of all Mongolia provinces are currently under investigation by the Independent Authority Against Corruption. Weren't the best of Mongolia supposed to be working for the government?

After identifying, preparing and appointing a skilled leader, it has to be made sure that they are retained. One of the important conditions that make an employee stay at his job is his salary. Some countries use carefully developed salary systems to determine how much a minister should be paid. On the other hand, some countries just adopt salary levels from their private sector. For example, since 1995, Singapore has set the salary of a minister at the same rate as the highest paid CEO in its banks, plants, accounting agencies, engineering companies, law firms, and multinational corporations.

The secret to a smart government is smart leaders. It is time to start checking whether the current leaders who are managing the main organizations and units of the government are doing their job smartly, and bring about change. When appointing someone to a higher position, there should be a much bigger, more significant criteria than the type of political party affiliations the chosen candidate might have. As long as a minister is a smart leader, it is irrelevant which political party they are a member to.

Senior positions inside the government (including a minister's position) should have revised responsibilities and requirements. Also, there ought to be a system that selects and prepares the required personnel and provide them with a salary rate that is based on their performance. This is where we should begin transforming a big government into a smart government. Otherwise, the job cannot be done by establishing one or two working groups that just write up an action plan and some reports.

In any case, the reputation of the President of Mongolia will now depend on the results of reforms to be carried out to shift from a big government to a smart government. The clock of historic expectations has started ticking…

Link to article


Proposal Made to Prohibit Nomination of Vodka Producers to Parliament

Ulaanbaatar, December 6 /MONTSAME/ A national forum on the public involvement in reducing alcohol drinking harms ran at the State Residence Friday.

The Minister of Industry and Agriculture H.Battulga delivered a speech on current state of the nation's vodka production, expressing his position on harms of alcohol abuse and prevention methods.

He mentioned an urgent need to tighten up the nomination criteria of the parliament elections, recommending a restriction on individuals who had been sentenced in crimes related to drug business and who has an alcoholic beverage and/or cigarette business.

Present at the forum were the advisor to the President Ch.Sosormaa, a Health Deputy Minister J.Amarsanaa, an Education and Science Deputy Minister B.Urgamaltsetseg and others. 

Link to article


Mongolia Drops Again In Corruption Perceptions Index, Climbing 11 Spots to #83

Ulaanbaatar, December 3 /MONTSAME/ The corruption index of Mongolia declined from 94 to 83 out of 177 countries, with a point of 38 for this year (on a scale from 0 perceived "highly corrupt" to 100 perceived "very clean").

"The Corruption Perceptions Index 2013 demonstrates that all countries still face the threat of corruption at all levels of government, from the issuing of local permits to the enforcement of laws and regulations," says Huguette Labelle, a Chair of Transparency International.

In the Corruption Perceptions Index 2013, Denmark and New Zealand tie for first place with scores of 91, whereas Afghanistan, North Korea and Somalia this year make up the worst performers, scoring just 8 points each.

"The top performers clearly reveal how transparency supports accountability and can stop corruption," notes Labelle. "Still, the better performers face issues like state capture, campaign finance and the oversight of big public contracts which remain major corruption risks".

The CPI scores and ranks countries/territories based on how corrupt a country's public sector is perceived to be. It is a composite index, a combination of surveys and assessments of corruption, collected by a variety of reputable institutions. The CPI is the most widely used indicator of corruption worldwide.

Mongolia was listed 120th in 2009, 116th--in 2010, 120th---in 2011, and 94th in 2012.

Berlin-based Transparency International (TI) is a non-governmental organization that monitors and publicizes corporate and political corruption in international development. Originally founded in Germany in May 1993 as a not-for-profit organization, Transparency International is now an international non-governmental organization. It publishes an annual Corruption Perceptions Index, a comparative listing of corruption worldwide. The headquarters is located in Berlin, Germany.

The organization defines corruption as the abuse of entrusted power for private gain which eventually hurts everyone who depends on the integrity of people in a position of authority.  

Link to article

Link to index's Mongolia page


The Asia Foundation Releases USAID-Funded Survey on Perceptions and Knowledge of Corruption (SPEAK)

Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, December 4, 2013 (The Asia Foundation) The Independent Authority Against Corruption (IAAC), The Asia Foundation, The Sant Maral Foundation, and Mercy Corps Mongolia (MCM) released the Survey on Perceptions and Knowledge of Corruption (SPEAK) report as part of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded Strengthening Transparency and Governance in Mongolia (STAGE) project. The project aims to strengthen democratic governance by building a more transparent and accountable regulatory and legislative environment while promoting principles of checks and balances.

Implemented in September 2013, the survey provides important nationwide data on perceptions of corruption at the household level. This report reflects the third round of the survey conducted under the STAGE project. A total of four SPEAK surveys are to be implemented through the end of the project in March 2014.

During the public launch of the SPEAK survey, Richard Chen, acting USAID Representative to Mongolia noted: "USAID hopes the survey findings will provide important data and perspectives for policy deliberations in Mongolia related to transparency and good governance."

By providing information on long-term trends in every day corruption and new information on citizen views on grand corruption, the Foundation believes that the surveys will trigger invigorated and critical dialogues on issues of transparency, accountability, and corruption in Mongolia. Designed to capture long-term, nationwide data on perceptions of corruption, the SPEAK survey builds on the semi-annual corruption benchmarking survey conducted under the USAID funded Mongolian Anti-corruption Support (MACS) project, implemented from 2006 – 2011 by the Foundation.

The Foundation has been disseminating the survey findings in partnership with the IAAC and the MCM's USAID-funded Active Partnerships and Public Engagement for Accountable Localities (APPEAL) project.

Scope SPEAK survey

·         Surveyed 1,360 households in 7 districts in Ulaanbaatar and 21 soums in 6 aimags in September 2013;

·         A total of 11 surveys were conducted before SPEAK, which allowed for data comparison over time.

·         Presents nationwide data on perceptions of corruption and actual incidences of corruption at the household level;

·         Expanded to include questions on grand corruption and administrative practices;

·         Face-to-face random interviews conducted.

Findings SPEAK survey

·         Corruption continued to be the third most important problem in the country, but its relative significance among respondents is decreasing.

·         Respondents are significantly more optimistic about the progress in fighting corruption in the last three years, and are more hopeful about the state of corruption in the future.

·         Expectations of fair treatment in health, education and government administration have worsened since the second survey in March 2013.

·         Land utilization, local procurement tenders and mining continued to be perceived as the most corrupt sectors.

·         The respondents' perception that there is a strong correlation between "politics" and "grand corruption" is growing, which supports yet another finding: that political

Read more about The Asia Foundation and its work in Mongolia.

Link to release


Latest Survey on Perceptions and Knowledge of Corruption in MongoliaInfoMongolia, December 4

Asia Foundation Releases Survey on Perceptions and Knowledge of CorruptionMontsame, December 5


Bribery and Bold Statements

December 8 (UB Post) "Watch out, or I'll bury you with money!" yelled a scruffy looking old man at the driver who nearly ran him over, as he carelessly crossed the road while counting a bundle of money drawn from an ATM on the roadside.

The car zoomed away, and the passersby who noticed the affair chuckled.

The old man's remark may seem strange to some, but in Mongolia, it is a cynical joke that accepts the giant stigma of society that is corruption.

It's a mark of how deeply corruption has engraved itself into society, when the issue is viewed as a norm. A typical view of the average Mongolian is that every politician and high ranking authority figure is corrupt, and the sad part is that they are largely correct in that notion.

The 2012 filing of assets and net worth of Mongolia's  parliamentarians amounted to a total of 1,137 billion MNT in net assets, or approximately 785 million USD. Of the 74 MPs that disclosed their wealth, the top four control about 64 percent of the total.

According to, the amount is equivalent to 7.6 percent of Mongolia's economy. Basically, only a handful of people control a significant portion of the total assets in Mongolia. I will not presume that they acquired power through illegal means, but I'm sure it wasn't a moral method either. Carefully crafted laws whose implications are hidden from the public are a dime a dozen, as well as legislations that are never implemented.

It is also common knowledge that parliamentarians have to pay a substantial "donation" to the state in order to take part in the elections. In the 2012 election, it was some 50 million MNT in donations alone. In other words, a poor person, or even an average income individual, cannot set the country's rules.

The way the so called "donation" was explained just before the elections, was that 50 million MNT is "not a lot of money for someone with public support." The paradox is that poor people don't get support because they lack money to promote themselves and their ideals. The system basically helps the people already in power stay in power, while giving practically zero chance to others interested in public service. Therefore, it is no surprise that many manage to save a seat for themselves election after election.

But it's not just politics that are corrupt, Mongolia's society itself is corrupt due to poorly constructed systems that lack initiatives against corruption and bribery.

If you want a loan issued quickly, the easiest way is to know someone at the bank. If you want basic hospital treatment, from personal experience, I know that gifts to the doctors and nurses will do the trick. If you want a better grade or if you want to start up a business and need approval, it is certain that someone will want a favor in return.

Just the other day, when I was lining up to have my car inspected, a random stranger knocked on the windows and asked me if I wanted to move up the line. The way he explained it, he would take my documents up to the inspector and have it approved and they wouldn't even need to check my car, for a fee of course. I declined, as I would have to entrust my documents to a random stranger who happened to reek of alcohol.

Two hours later, when the inspection was finally over, I caught myself wondering whether I should have just accepted the offer and saved myself a whole lot of trouble and time.

I also wondered, how many people have accepted such offers while honest folks waited hours to receive a simple state service. Indeed in today's society, many doors are wide open if you're willing to deal in favors. On the other hand, all doors are closed and everyone is unavailable if you do it the proper way.

The issue is so much a part of our way of accomplishing tasks that we don't even morally question such things anymore. This is appalling. It is no wonder that critical sectors such as education, media and health are toppling because of corruption that erodes their structures from top to bottom.

Corruption is the worst issue that Mongolia, as a country, faces today, and thankfully it has captured the attention of international organizations as well as state organizations.

The Independent Authority Against Corruption (IAAC), The Asia Foundation, The Sant Maral Foundation, and Mercy Corps Mongolia (MCM) just released the Survey on Perceptions and Knowledge of Corruption (SPEAK) report as part of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded Strengthening Transparency and Governance in Mongolia (STAGE) project. The project aims to strengthen democratic governance by building a more transparent and accountable regulatory and legislative environment while promoting principles of checks and balances.

Implemented in September 2013, the survey provides important nationwide data on perceptions of corruption at the household level. This report reflects the third round of the survey conducted under the STAGE project. A total of four SPEAK surveys are to be implemented through the end of the project in March 2014.

By providing information on long-term trends in every day corruption and new information on citizen views on grand corruption, the Foundation believes that the surveys will trigger invigorated and critical dialogues on issues of transparency, accountability, and corruption in Mongolia. Designed to capture long-term, nationwide data on perceptions of corruption, the SPEAK survey builds on the semi-annual corruption benchmarking survey conducted under the USAID funded Mongolian Anti-corruption Support (MACS) project, implemented from 2006 – 2011 by the Foundation.

The survey enrolled 1,360 households in seven districts in Ulaanbaatar, and 21 soums in six provinces in September 2013; a total of 11 surveys were conducted before SPEAK, which allowed for data comparison over time.

Progress in the war against corruption has to be noted too. In the Corruption Perception report by Transparency International, Mongolia moved up 11 places since 2012. Mongolia was listed 83rd out of 177 nations with the score of 38 this year, while it was listed 94th in 2012 with the score of 36.

The President happily declared that Mongolia became the biggest progress maker in the fight against corruption last year.

The government is also introducing the e-procurement program to increase transparency of the tender process for state initiated projects. The new e-procurement system will reportedly allow free and equal distribution of information among bidders, both foreign and domestic, letting the right bidder for the job receive the commission.

Although the fight against corruption is slowly gaining momentum, progress in this area has been woefully slow to make any difference in the lives of the public. The real indicator of a successful government and law makers is their impact on people's lives.

If the bold statements about the big progress against corruption by higher officials is real and true, it only indicates the depth of how bad corruption is, because Mongols experience the impacts of corruption every day.

Every politician likes to show an optimistic facade, and "Mongolia has a bright future" is the most used line in political speeches. I agree with the sentiment, but nobody clarifies when that future will become the present. As long as corruption is the main concern of this nation, that future will continue to be the future and not the now.

We all know that transparency is the key to resolving corruption, as people don't accept injustice when it is being done behind a glass door. But they can't protest injustice if they can't see it. The main point is that, despite all the talk of progress, the impacts of corruption are being felt everyday by everyone, and this needs to change or that promise of prosperity will always be talked about in the future tense.

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Why Russia Is Exploring Alternate Trade Routes With China via Mongolia

December 8 (Motley Fool) According to the Eurasia Review, "Russia was the third-largest producer of liquid fuels in 2012, following the United States and Saudi Arabia. During that year, liquid fuels production averaged 10.4 million bbl/d." Russia has a surplus they can export, and luckily enough one of their biggest consumers is neighboring China.

Transneft, the Russian pipeline giant with a virtual monopoly, and Rosneft are considering an overland route for their oil exports to China using Mongolia as a shortcut. This would add an alternate to the Caspian Pipeline Consortium (CPC) Kazakhstan route. Currently, Russia's using a network of pipelines that feed into China through many third party nations. There are three routes being used by Russia to transport oil to China.

Pipelines to China

The pipelines that feed into China (the ESPO pipeline system) have a flow of 36 million tons of crude per year. Out of that, 20 million tons is earmarked for Chinese markets. The recent spur from the ESPO is the Skovorodino-Mohe branch. The spirit is designed specifically to shunt off oil to China. It is hoped that this spur will be able to have a flow of 30 million tons per year. Currently, the Skovorodino-Mohe branch has a production flow of 15 million tons per year. The third pipeline into China is the proposed Atasu-Alashankou pipeline. This route would not take effect until sometime in 2014. It is thought that Transneft will have a production flow of 7 million tons through this pipeline. That will give China roughly 42 million tons of crude from Russia through three overland pipelines.

Transneft is concerned that if the Atasu-Alashankou pipeline is used it will face a transshipment revenue loss of $1.5 billion. This loss is separate from the projected Russian export tax loss.  

Russian export tax

If Russia chooses the Atasu-Alashankou pipeline, which is based in Kazakhstan, its loss of export taxes could amount to nearly $2.6 billion. What is at stake is how the Customs Union, which includes Belarus, Russia, and Kazakhstan, determines the sale of oil. The regulations loosely state that no taxes will be levied between those three countries if the commodity is sold within those three countries. If Russia were to use the Atasu-Alashankou pipeline they would be handing Kazakhstan an opportunity to collect that tax if they decided to sell the crude oil to China directly.

A viable large flow alternative does not exist yet for Russia to continue to transport large amounts of crude oil to Chinese markets. Once a viable option is discovered, Russia can enjoy the profits of their export tax and not strain relationships between the Customs Union members.

Kazakhstan is also becoming a volatile partner. Recent disputes with Chevron and Eni over environmental concerns and operations have raised concerns in a nation with rising nationalistic tendencies. Kazakh officials closed down Eni's operations in Kashagan, a Caspian Sea field, citing environmental violations. Chevron was also accused of of mismanaging its sulfur stockpiling in the Tengiz field, which has led to a shutdown. Chevron has been operating in Kazakhstan for 20 years. 

Pipelines are not the only solution

There are many ways to ship crude oil to refineries. Transneft has explored the use of rail as an expedient option to deliver crude to western China. This would utilize Mongolian rail lines that would meet up with various pipelines throughout the region. The rail head would be in the Megat railway station in Russia's Irkutsk region. From there, the transfer of crude via tanker trains will be channeled through the Naushki station on the Mongolian border. Mongolia would not be charged for any transit as it is only being used as a intermediary between Russia and China.

Mongolia would definitely welcome the increased use and trade along the Megat route, which, is only being used to 20% of its capacity.

Harbin China is also a rail route being used by Russian oil companies to supply crude to CNPC. Harbin is located in the Heilongjiang province in China's northeast region.

What Russian oil exports mean to investors

Investors should keep an eye on future developments of Russian and Chinese pipelines and freight rails. As the infrastructure grows to meet demand, so will the reliability of crude oil going to market. Once Russia is able to make more money via Mongolia there is an increased chance they will export less through Kazakhstan, which could have a trickle down effect to local businesses. 

Russia still is using the CPC as a major component in their European energy strategy to import liquid fuels from China but may in the future decrease their presence if other routes are proven to yield more profit for Moscow. BP is expected to buy more from the straight-run fuel oil from China. This is a direct result of exports from Russia which have expanded China's ability to attract business. 

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Mogi: had this in my inbox for almost a month now, thought it would be posted up on their website but hasn't been so far. Had to resort to DropBox.

Golomt Bank Releases Audited 2012 Financial Statement

Link to report


Shenhua to Import 30-50mn Tons of Coking Coal per Year from Mongolia

BEIJING, Dec 05, 2013 (Menafn - SinoCast Daily Business Beat via COMTEX) --Chinese coal producer Shenhua Group Corp. Ltd. will import 30 million to 50 million tons of coke from Mongolia per year in the future.

Zhang Guangjun, deputy general manager with THE Shenhua Science and Technology Research Institute, disclosed at a forum on December 4 that it would import 30 million to 50 million tons of coke from Mongolia per year in the future. Available data shows that the nation imported a total of about 30 million tons of coke in the first half of this year and in line with industry observers, the import of Shenhua will deliver a strong impact on the domestic coke market.

It has taken the group about a decade to gain the exploitation right of Mongolia-based Tavan Tolgoi coal mine, one of the biggest unexploited coal mines in the wold. However, due to policy factors, it has not achieved the goal yet. Information the China National Coal Association (CNCA) released on its website at the start of November shows that it had signed a MoU with three Mongolian firms, namely ETT (Mogi: Erdenes TT), ER (Mogi: Energy Resources, subsidiary of MMC) and TT (Mogi: the MSE listed "Little TT), on railway construction cooperation and boosting coal trade. And in line with some industry observers, this is a prelude to its success in gaining the exploitation right.

Zhang reiterated that its failure to gain the exploitation right had a close tie with foreign investment policies of Mongolian and so far, the government had even not reached a conclusion internally. It released new policies for foreign investments not long ago and the policies would make it easy for the group to gain the exploitation right.

People in the circle said at the start of October that Mongolia released new policies for foreign investments recently and according to the policies, provided that a state-owned foreign firm wanted to invest in industries including mining, banking, communications and news & media in Mongolia and the stake it controlled exceeded 33 percent, the deal needed to win a nod from concerned Mongolian authorities only. And this might mean that the threshold for Chinese firms to invest in the Mongolian mining industry would be lower.

He stressed that the policies were quite different from those released last year and according to the latter, if a foreign firm wanted to invest in a Mongolian one engaged in industries including mining, banking, communications and news & media and the stake it held in the latter exceeded 49 percent and the injection exceeded about USD 60 million, the deal should be subject to the parliament by the government. (USD 1 = CNY 6.09)

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Local residents demand changes to Tavan Tolgoi-Sainshand railroad route

November 29 ( Local residents of Tsogttsetsii sum in Umnugovi province held a press conference on Thursday to announce their intention to oppose an extensive railway construction plan, part of the "New Railway Network" project, for a 468km rail track on the Tavan Tolgoi-Sainshand route.

Local residents, mostly herders, urged to preserve their homeland as a wild and undisturbed site. The Tavan Tolgoi-Sainshand railway is projected to run through the northern part of Tsogttsetsii sum where the majority of the local population are settled. 

Local residents demand project developers to reconsider the decision on the location of the Tavan Tolgoi-Sainshand track.  The area where the railroad projected is to go through is not only wild grassland but also the habitat of the Mongolian antelope. Therefore local residents suggested to the Minister of Road and Transport, A.Gansukh, to see the condition with his own eyes and to meet local herders. 

Local residents said they do not oppose the Tavan Tolgoi-Sainshand railroad itself but want a reconsideration of its location due to its social, ecological and environmental impacts. 

Residents suggest the project developers more the railroad plans to the southern part of the sum. 

Link to article


Mongolia Has 700 Billion Tons of Oil Shale Says Ministry

Ulaanbaatar, December 2 /MONTSAME/ Mongolia has more than 700 billion tons of oil shale resources, the Mining Ministry says in its preliminary estimation.  

Some 60 deposits of oil shale are located in Tov, Ovorkhangai, Dundgobi, Omnogobi, Dornogobi, Khentii, Sukhbaatar and Bayankhongor aimags.

The U.S. "Genie Oil Shale Mongolia" company wants to carry out a research into opportunities of founding an industry that produces  petrol and diesel from the oil shale, for example, such an enterprise, established on the Khoot deposit would process 6,700 tons of high quality fuel a year.

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New Online Taxation System to Be Used Next Year

Ulaanbaatar, December 4 /MONTSAME/ A new online taxation system is expected to come into service in near time, says the General Department of Taxation.

The new online arrangement of tax payment will facilitate efforts of business persons, saving their time. Within framework of reforms in tax payment, the department has been working on to create hi-tech based tax system that enables easy and efficient services to taxpayers.

To become accustomed to their new scheme, last week, the Taxation department organized a lecture-workshop combined training among 6,000 tax payers and 570 officials from provinces, with a support of the Business Plus Initiative of US Agency for International Development.

Early next year, tax payers will be able to access the taxation department through the new system, which enables online report sending, direct communication, inquiries, online payment and e-signature.

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Modernized Payment System to Expand Access to Finance in Rural Mongolia

MANILA, PHILIPPINES, November 28 -- The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is helping Mongolia modernize its payment system to fully serve rural residents and herders as well as small and medium-sized enterprises.

ADB's Board of Directors has approved a $20 million loan to help the Bank of Mongolia set up a cost-effective, up-to-date payment infrastructure and system that will meet the needs of the government, businesses, and individual consumers throughout the country.

"An efficient payment system is critical to the development of financial markets. Reducing the cost of financial service delivery through branchless banking and use of noncash payment methods through mobile phones can enhance access to finance by the poor," said Ying Qian, Director for Public Management, Financial Sector, and Regional Cooperation Division at ADB's East Asia Department.

At present, 90% of Mongolia's small and medium-sized enterprises do not have adequate access to finance, as the majority of the banks are based in the Ulaanbaatar, the capital and main urban center.

The country's rugged terrain and limited availability of transport make it costly for banks to extend and maintain their mainly cash-based services in remote and sparsely populated rural areas. As a result, Mongolia suffers from urban-rural disparities and inequality has increased over time.

The loan will improve the interbank payment system that supports the clearing and settlement of all interbank and payment service provider transactions. It will also upgrade the retail payments infrastructure and support systems that can reduce the use of cash in the retail system.

A full-service payment system aims to double the number of active users of payment cards among rural residents and herders to 180,000 by 2022, and increase the number of payments terminals in rural areas by at least 50% to more than 6,000 by 2022.

Link to release


Pulse of the Economy – Employment in Focus with Mongolia Talent Network

By Chris MacDougall

November 28 (Emerging Frontiers) Adrienne Youngman is one of the Founding Partners of Mongolia Talent Network, the largest executive search firm in Mongolia. In a market where the Government only reports annual unemployment figures Adrienne is uniquely positioned to provide qualified insight into one of the key elements of economic expansion, local job creation.

Chris: Adrienne, we have been hearing a lot of conflicting numbers regarding employment in Mongolia. Given your exposure to the job market what is your take on the current health of the economy and what impact is it having on job creation?

Adrienne: In the last 12 months the job market has switched from being a candidate's market, to an employer's market. There has been a clear slowdown in job creation and we've seen a number of redundancies in the mining sector in particular. Companies are slower to make hiring decisions than they were a year ago because their need is less urgent and they are not as certain about the future. Therefore processes are slower and candidates have to work that bit harder for the best jobs.

It's hard to say what is going on in terms of total unemployment numbers because we really only work at the upper end of the market and our focus is on executive search. I know that there are reportedly pockets of growth (apparently the construction industry took on 15k more jobs this year versus last year, for example) but my gut feel is that the overall impact is negative.

Our clients are generally still hiring and the market is still growing but not at anywhere like the same pace that we saw in 2012. I feel that the job market, like the overall economy, is catching its breath after a period of very strong growth.

Chris: One group that I would like to hear from you about is new graduates. Last month, the Government stated that 30% of Mongolia's unemployed have undergraduate degrees. If that's true, what prospects can the economy hold for new graduates in the next few years? Do you see Mongolia Talent Network playing a role in helping these young people find placements?

Adrienne: That statistic sounds perfectly plausible to me. Mongolia has a highly educated population in general and those graduates would be aiming for skilled/professional jobs, which is a segment that has been heavily impacted.

The candidates that have the strongest prospects, now and in the future, are those who have chosen focused professional studies of a high caliber: HR, Legal, Accounting, Engineering, etc. Candidates with highly generalized degrees and potentially less rigor were able to walk into great jobs when the market was booming but things are tougher now and they are finding that they are competing for jobs with more candidates of a similar background. It's harder for them to get great roles.

If you look at the data: 25% of Bachelor's degrees awarded in 2012 were for Business Administration, 17% were for Teaching, this compares with only 5% in Law, 6% in Engineering, and less than 2% in Geology, in a mining driven economy.

The silver-lining of a less buoyant market is that it forces us to be more efficient. I would put the challenge out to those considering degrees to really consider future career choices, focus, and push themselves as much as possible in their studies. Then regardless of what happens with the economy they will be in the best possible situation.

Now, as recruiters we don't have much interaction with graduates, nor do we expect to have, but as a socially responsible company in Mongolia we have put a lot of effort into trying to improve transparency and hope that this will benefit job seekers at all levels. This includes creating a range of career advice documents that should help younger candidates make more informed degree and career choices.

Chris: Great advice and a nice segue into my next question, which focuses specifically on job creation in the mineral resources sector. The sector has always been positioned as an engine for job creation. I'm not disputing that, but what is concerning is the pace at which growth is taking place. What do you think is hindering job creation in the sector and what will it take for employment to really start rolling?

Adrienne: The mineral resources sector is certainly the engine of job creation, as it is of economic growth overall. The slow-down that we have seen in that sector has or will impact every sector and I think it's fair to say that all business owners are watching to see what will happen in mining.

For employment to really start rolling again the initial priority is for renewed growth. In my view this will require a resolution of the issues surrounding OT, laws and a general investment environment that is more conducive to foreign investment, and clarity around issues like licensing.

Once growth resumes the priority will then be capability building and skills transfer.

If we take OT as a case in point, they have plans to invest a huge amount in technical training and soft skills/leadership training, not to mention all the on-the-job training that you would expect on a project like this. The benefit of this in terms of the labor force should be clear and will enable the company to succeed with their ambition of gradually replacing expatriate talent with skilled local professionals.

This kind of investment is one we see in many of our clients. Wagner Asia for example performed extremely strongly in last year's Employer of the Year survey and the key strength noted by its employees was Training and Development. The survey clearly showed the importance of this investment in terms of satisfaction and retention but the economic impact is also significant. This kind of skill development will support healthy long-term growth for Mongolia, enable the continued emergence of a middle class, and ensure that Mongolians fully benefit from their economic prosperity at all levels in society.

Chris: I couldn't agree with you more, and I'm glad that you bring up Oyu Tolgoi. Given recent events OT continues to be the favorite topic when discussing Mongolia. Seeing as 1,700 sub-contractors were laid off in August what kind of implications could further delays have for the job market? Similarly, when all disputes are resolved will this represent any positive catalysts for employment?

Adrienne: Oyu Tolgoi is everyone's favorite topic for good reason. All disputes being resolved would have an immediate impact on the employment market because of the number of people that would be directly or indirectly employed in Phase 2. The number I've heard quoted is that, when it reaches full production, OT will employ over 100,000 people. Further delays would prevent that recovery although it's not clear at this stage whether further job losses would be required.

So yes, I believe that resolution of the dispute would be a positive catalyst, however, I also believe that it will take more than just that for the market to return to its former state.

Chris: What about employment within the informal economy? At present, there are no formal means to measure the impact of such events as the OT dispute, but we feel that it plays a significant role. Some estimates place the informal labor force in Ulaanbaatar at 20% of the city's population. Given your experience how do you see this supporting or hindering Ulaanbaatar's transition into a regional hub for economic activity?

Adrienne: I was once told that many of the workers in the informal economy represent a lost generation. A generation that, following the collapse of the Soviet Union, missed the opportunity for further education and were pushed out of the formal workforce into the informal economy.

As the market grows the demand for talent will grow alongside it and one of the enablers for that continued growth will include finding ways to bring about the participation of the full population. Otherwise, as Mongolia continues to evolve and develop there is a risk that these people will be left behind. I believe that this segment of the population can support Ulaanbaatar's transition and that they need to participate in the development of their country.

Chris: Do you have any thoughts on which sectors are going to experience the most amount of growth in the next two years? What kind of employment opportunities do you expect to see being created as a result of this?

Adrienne: If Mongolia reaches its potential then all sectors of the market will grow and I would expect to see employment opportunities created across the board.

Mining will lead the way but will be swiftly followed by associated services such as mining services, law firm and professional service firms. As the benefits of economic growth filter through they will drive much broader growth in areas such as consumer goods, public spending and real estate.

I would expect to see a far-reaching impact in terms of jobs but the most immediate need is for skilled professionals across the board. Particularly in areas like engineering, geology, HR, law, accounting. These areas are in short supply in the local market and will be key in supporting long-term development and professionalization.

Chris: When the market does return to its previous trajectory it sounds like talent will be one of the key challenges to overcome. What are your thoughts on this? How would you characterize the local talent pool for companies considering opportunities in Mongolia?

Adrienne: The headline is that the Mongolian Talent pool is bright, but not very large. Mongolia has a working population of just over 1m. There is a very high literacy rate (c.98%) and a high level of academic qualifications. In my experience Mongolians are very quick learners, generally very keen to learn, and are pretty exceptional linguistically.

Mongolians have had access to a range of international scholarships and the majority of our candidates have academic qualifications from overseas institutions.

The weakness, in my view, is that many undervalue solid experience versus academic qualification. I've seen bright candidates early in their careers (say 1 or 2 years into their professional lives) leave jobs where they were building invaluable experience to go and complete further study. They return certain that their studies will lead them exciting management positions, but they lack the experience for these roles. More often than not they return to very similar positions despite the investment in study.

On the more experienced end of the market the challenge stems in part from the fact that it is so small a market. The best candidates are generally in jobs and stay there out of a combination of loyalty and nervousness about starting a conversation about a new role because it could so easily filter back to their employer. Any discussion feels like a big move and there may be a reluctance to open the dialogue. You will never reach the best candidates through job advertisements.

To be honest, there are a number of challenges in terms of locating the best talent. I could go on at length but it is probably enough to say that the job market has historically been opaque and inefficient and many have vested interests in keeping it this way. Our service was born from a desire to bring transparency into the market and improve efficiency. Our talent network enables us to locate the best candidates for our clients, because the right talent is out there, it's just not a big pool.

Chris: Thanks for that and thank you again for taking the time to discuss. This has been very informative and has provided some very unique insights into the current economic situation that few others are discussing.

Adrienne: It's been my pleasure, as always!

I always enjoy reading your articles for the clarity of insight and straight-talking. Providing information and transparency is one of the most important parts of our mission at Mongolia Talent Network, so it's great to be able to share views in this way.

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Mongol TV Head: Media Can Help Fix Country's Big Problems

Nomin Chinbat says Mongolia's 180 channels are full of illegal content and political propaganda, but hopes this can change.

SINGAPORE, December 5 (The Hollywood Reporter) – Nomin Chinbat, head of Mongol TV, has grander intentions than just ridding the country's television business of rampant pirated content and unlicensed formats. The young executive wants to help clean up Mongolian politics and the nation by creating a free and open media.

Pirated versions of shows and movies around the world flood Mongolia's 180 channels, except Mongol TV.

"The networks are used as propaganda channels for politicians. They are used very effectively every four years at election time," says Chinbat, whom The Hollywood Reporter named  one of the 25 Most Powerful Women in Global TV at MIPCOM 2013.

STORY: MIPCOM:  The 25 Most Powerful Women in Global TV - Nomin Chinbat 

"There are laws against piracy, but they aren't implemented," explains Chinbat, who says that politicians in the country of roughly three million won't challenge journalists because their relationships with them are too cozy. 

Mongol TV has invested in original programming, licenses all of its imported content and runs investigative journalism features highlighting social problems such as alcoholism and corruption.

The company is organizing a Mongol TV Day for February 2014, to which it has invited major international studios, to raise awareness of the issues, and introduce the global industry to Mongolia. Britain's ITV and America's CBS are already confirmed, and negotiations are ongoing with other attendees.

The situation has improved in recent years, with some channels having become what Chinbat calls "hybrids, which license some sports rights, but then steal others and copy formats."

"These days some of these channels might license 25 episodes of a format, and make 50. But this is actually progress," says Chinbat.

Chinbat and her team were at the Asian Television Forum (ATF) in Singapore looking for new formats that can be produced within the constraints of Mongolian television budgets.

"The studios are small, so we can't do shiny floor shows with big audiences," says Chinbat.  

However, with Mongolia's young population – 65 percent of the country is under 35 years old – mobile viewing is on the rise, and the network is already working second-screen utilization and new media applications. This demographic sweet spot should guarantee strong growth in the population, economy and nascent entertainment sector in Mongolia in the coming decades.  

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MNBC migrates to DVB-T2 with Thomson Video Networks

December 6 (Rapid TV News) Mongolia Digital Broadcasting (MNBC) has launched Mongolia's first ever DVB-T2 service, using head-end systems from Thomson Video Networks.

Launched in 2007, MNBC was Mongolia's first digital terrestrial TV network operator and will now be able to broadcast up to 120 digital TV channels over five UHF transponders to maintain its position and compete with Mongolia's national satellite operator.

Working with systems integrator Digital Horizon, MNBC has deployed TVN's Vibe EM1000 multi-channel SD encoders and NetProcessor 9030 multiplexer and video processor with embedded DVB-T2 gateway.

Link to article

Link to TVN release


Northern Provinces Of Khuvsgul & Zavkhan Connected by Paved Road

Ulaanbaatar, December 4 /MONTSAME/ Two provinces in northern Mongolia have been connected by paved road of 79 km.

The road construction, connecting Moron soum of Hovsgol province to Tosontsengel of Zavkhan province, has been realized by HKB International Holding Co of Mongolia, with a cost about 37 billion togrog. From Tosontsengel, the paved road further will go to Tarialansoum of Uvs province.

The construction project involved 350 employees and 120 machineries, the contractors say, noting that a part of the old earth-road near Moron soum had been destructed the most due to soil degradation.

Present at the road opening ceremony were Transportation Vice Minister H.Erjan, Ts.Davaasuren MP and the locality authorities. 

Link to article


Ban on import of used car tires expected

December 3 / Groups in Parliament discussed a draft bill to make amendments into the law on air on Monday December 2nd. 

The President of Mongolia, Ts.Elbegdorj, initiated the draft bill in order to transfer the executive power of the National Committee on Reducing Air Pollution under the office of the President of Mongolia to the Prime Minister. 

One of the key agenda to reduce air pollution in Ulaanbaatar city is believed to be bringing coking coal into household use. Parliamentarians also suggested to ban the import of used car tires in Mongolia. 

MP G.Batkhuu, of the former Prime Minister S.Bayar`s Government, raised the issue and Government issued a decree, however the process failed to work.  Now caucuses in Parliament have ordered the Government to find a way to make it work. 

Used car tires are imported in large amount as they are cheap and Mongolians frequently buy old used car tires. But the used car tires are not serviceable and they are often used as fuel in suburban ger districts during winter time. 

Therefore banning used car tires has two reasons. The draft bill will be discussed during the Standing Committee meeting in the Parliament session meeting next week. The Ulaanbaatar air quality management division is also considering a regulation that prohibits the burning of waste tires. 

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Invest in a shopping mall in Mongolia: Village @ Nukht

December 3 (Property Frontiers) Watch this exclusive interview with our award-winning developer partners to discover how you can enjoy double-digit yields and capital growth by investing in a brand new retail unit in the Mongolian capital. 

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Tourist numbers in decline in Mongolia, falling 12% from 2012

December 3 ( A monthly report by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) shows that the number of tourists in Mongolia fell to 333,000 or by 12.1 percent compared to last year. 

Apparently July and August are the high period in the tourist season in Mongolia. According to the report tourists from China fell by 23.5 percent in the first nine months of 2013.

The report showed that 48.3 percent of foreigners who were allowed to enter Mongolia were Chinese visitors, while 14.1 percent were from Russia, 9.8 percent from South Korea, 4 percent from Japan and 3.5 percent from USA. However, even though the total number of tourists who visited Mongolia declined, the number of visitors from Turkey increased.  

There are also rising numbers of visitors from India, Kazakhstan and South Korea. For the first nine months of this year 405.5 thousand foreigners were allowed to enter Mongolia. From these 82.1 percent out of them visited Mongolia on tourism while 84 percent of 1.2 million visitors in transit were on private purposes. 

A report by the General Authority for Border Protection, a government regulatory agency pointed out that one of every three foreign visitors or 69.4 percent were from East Asia and Pacific countries and 24.3 percent from Europe. Out of almost 74 percent or 300,000 of all foreign visitors who were allowed to enter Mongolia were male. 

The figure that a total of 3.2 million foreign visitors entered Mongolia has declined by 5.1 percent compared to the same period of last year. 

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Ulaanbaatar makes it easier to build with one-stop permit center

December 4 (UB Post) The Ulaanbaatar City Administration established the Center for Receiving City Residents on December 26, 2012, to ease the many complicated procedures required to obtained construction permits. Delegates of the city administration, foreign organizations and private businesses held a consultation meeting to discuss the center's operations and future plans.

The center was in charge of nine services related to construction. It mostly provided permits for commencing construction operation, resuming construction or inspections by the State Special Commission for approval.

During the meeting, the center informed that it has addressed the requests of 6,674 residents, and over a thousand construction permits were issued so far.

Officials noted  that by allowing a single center to handle all construction related issues, the productivity of construction authorities has increased, and most importantly, the center eases the approval process for builders.

Before the center was established, builders had to wait for construction approvals for approximately 107 days, but the center has allowed the issue to be settled within 23 days.

Mongolia jumped 25 places in the Dealing with Construction Permit section of the Doing Business 2014 Report by World Bank since last year. Mongolia ranked at 107th in the Construction Permit section in the 2014 report.

Although the services provided by the center had positive results, procedures required for construction permit is still problematic and time consuming, according to officials from the construction sector.

During the trilateral meeting of builders and state officials, the Ulaanbaatar City Mayor, E.Bat-Uul, talked introduced a number of plans to ease construction related procedures in 2014.

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Blueprint for New Ulaanbaatar City Hall Approved

December 4 / In the frameworks to stabilize the centralization in Ulaanbaatar, the Capital City Administration has resolved to move its headquarters from center of the city to far west in the territory of Songinokhairkhan District, in detail the 6th Khoroo, well known as Bayankhoshuu area.

The decision was issued at its Capital City Citizens' Representatives Khural (City Council) meeting held in March 2013 and following the studies, it was decided to relocate the City Office in the 9 ha available space at above location, which is being implemented under General Development Plan of Ulaanbaatar City until 2020.

Following the bid announced to implement the project, South Korea's Halla Group won the tender and the Group officials have introduced its final version of the blueprint, where parties discussed the feasibility studies and other relevant issues to co-implement during the workshop held at the City Office on December 03, 2013.

Preliminary, the complex will have three main structures visually from above as eyesight, consisting of a 20-storey building for Administration Office and affiliate Agencies to form an "upper eyelid", the second round construction is purposed as All-in-One Citizens Reception Center imagining as an "eye ball" and the third building for City Council will image the "lower eyelid".

The new City Administration is planned to be accomplished by the end of 2015 and currently the energy source based on renewable energy is under discussion.

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Bill on Redevelopment of Ulaanbaatar Submitted to Parliament

Ulaanbaatar, December 5 /MONTSAME/ The Minister of Construction and Urban Development Ts.Bayarsaikhan Thursday submitted to the Speaker a draft law on the city redevelopment. 

The bill reflects clauses on increasing the people's participation in renovation of infrastructure, engineering pipelines and apartments, urban planning, land use, activities of urban furnishing, and creating a related monitoring system. 

In addition, the bill also says about re-planning the out-of-date constructions.

Before working out the bill with eight articles and 28 clauses, its authors had studied same laws of Russia, Japan, South Korea and Germany.           

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Number of Free Wi-Fi Zones in Ulaanbaatar Reaches to Ninety-Nine

December 5 / The Capital City Implementing Agency, IT Authority in collaboration with Kewiko Company is undertaking a Free Wi-Fi Zone to metropolitans and as of today these free zones have been reached to 99 spots in Ulaanbaatar.

The wireless internet service provider, Kewiko, which was established in September 2010, currently provides its wireless service to 7 Districts from 9 in Ulaanbaatar, including Bayanzurkh, Bayangol, Khan-Uul, Sukhbaatar, Nalaikh, Chingeltei and Songinokhairkhan and there are two types of its services as paid by purchasing prepaid cards and free, where users can surf in the network by choosing Free Kewiko option in the following locations.

The 99 Free Wi-Fi Zones in Ulaanbaatar:

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Two Ice Skating Fields to Be Erected on Chinggis Square In Ulaanbaatar

December 5 / In winter period, citizens of Ulaanbaatar city, in particular youths and children do not have sufficient places for enjoyment to spend their leisure times.

Hence, the Governing Office of the Capital City decided to erect two ice skating fields on Chinggis Square in Ulaanbaatar.

The fields that would meet standards will be operational by December 15, 2013, and each to have a 20x40 meter's of size, which will be placed on the north side of the Square, besides pavilions for cloth changing, fast food and skate rental along with additional lighting and tiered seats will be also structured.

In addition, organizers pledged to conduct regular service for the fields and arrange some contests. On the same day, December 15th, the New Year's Tree Lighting ceremony will be also held at the Square.

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President of Mongolia Expresses Condolences to South Africa

December 6 / The President of Mongolia, Mr. Tsakhia Elbegdorj expressed his condolences to H.E. Mr. Jacob Zuma, President of the Republic of South Africa, over the death of Nelson Mandela, who inspired and challenged the world to stand up for others.

In his letter, President Ts.Elbegdorj underlined that the tireless struggle and humble convictions of Nelson Mandela showed Mongolians how precious are the value of democracy and equality. His courage and passion will be kept in our hearts.

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Foreign Ministry of Mongolia Issues Travel Warning for Thailand and Ukraine

December 4 / On December 03, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mongolia issued a travel warning for Thailand and Ukraine.

The warning recommends that Mongolian citizens should not travel to Bangkok and Kiev and should defer all non-essential travel to these countries due to ongoing demonstrations and unrest.

Also, Mongolian nationals residing in these countries are advised not to go the gathered places or nearby the administrative organs and follow the regulations issued by the local legislative bodies.

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Emir of Qatar Invited to Visit Mongolia

December 4 / These days, Minister of Defense D.Bat-Erdene is conducting a working visit to the State of Qatar at the invitation of the country Minister of State for Defense Affairs, Major General Hamad bin Ali Al-Attiyah.

During his visit, Minister D.Bat-Erdene was received by the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, sides discussed the bilateral ties and were satisfied with current growing relations at all potential sectors noting that the cooperation between the two states should bring fruitful results in future by co-implementing large-scale projects.

Also, Minister and the Emir emphasized that Mongolia-Qatar cooperation in defense sector plays leading role in the partnership of the two countries and at the end of meeting Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani warmly accepted the invitation send by the President of Mongolia to visit the country.

On December 03, 2013, Minister of Defense held official talks with the Minister of State for Defense Affairs, Major General Hamad bin Ali Al-Attiyah. The Ministers exchanged views on present collaboration between the two sectors, touched upon global and regional security issues, and discussed present situation of bilateral collaboration and partnership agendas to implement.

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Defense Minister visits, December 4


Mongolia calls on Russia to build through roads, pipes to China    

MOSCOW, Nov 27 (PRIME) -- Mongolia has proposed that Russia should build rail and automobile roads, oil and gas pipelines, and power transmission lines through its territory to China, the Natural Resources and Environment Protection Ministry said in a statement Wednesday following an intergovernmental commission meeting.

The countries have also agreed to further consider the possibility of Mongolian exports to third parties via ports at the Russia's Far East.

Mongolia has also asked Russia to maintain supplies of oil products at 1 million tonnes in 2014 and consider the creation of a joint working group to discuss annual oil supplies.

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L.Bold Participates in NATO Foreign Ministerial Meeting in Brussels

Ulaanbaatar, December 5 /MONTSAME/ The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Mongolia Mr L.Bold took part in a Meeting of NATO Foreign Ministers with non-NATO ISAF Contributing Nations held on December 4-5 in the NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium.

Mr Bold addressed the meeting, appreciating achievements of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). He highlighted his country's contribution to the international community since 2003, participation of Mongolia in the ISAF before and after 2014, and assistance to be rendered to the ISAF from the next year.

Mongolia began to participate in the ISAF in 2003 by sending its mobile training teams, and expanded its participation in 2008, sending helicopter instructors and repair experts, and guard people. For the time being, 350 troops are serving in the ISAF.

Within the action, Mr Bold held also meeting with Mr Guido Westerwelle, the Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs of Germany, and with Mr Ahmet Davutoglu, the Foreign Minister of Turkey. The sides exchanged views on the bilateral relations and cooperation, middle- and short-term plans, measures to be realized in 2014, Mongolia's contribution to the ISAF, and on further participation in it.

Moreover, Mr Bold shared views on the cooperation issues with Ms Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy for the European Union; Mr Elmar Mammadyarov, his counterpart from Azerbaijan; and B.Brende, the FM of Norway.        

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L. Bold Discusses OECD Projects and Programs Planned in 2014 for Mongolia

December 5 / Following the attendance at the North Atlantic Council meeting in Brussels, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Mongolia L.Bold is continuing his working visit to Paris, France.

On December 02, 2013, MFA Minister L.Bold met with Head of the Eurasia Competitiveness Program at Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Mr. Antonio Somma.

The OECD is an international economic organization to help Governments to foster prosperity and fight poverty through economic growth and financial stability. Although the organization unites the leading economies, recent years works toward to support developing countries. However, Mongolia is not a member state of OECD, but a close cooperation with the organization would bring positive results to the development of country economy, deems the Government.

During the meeting, the parties exchanged views on projects and programs for 2014 planned for implementation by OECD in Mongolia and solutions to achieve better results. Minister L.Bold expressed his confidence that projects and programs that are giving a start to bilateral cooperation would provide significant benefits and pledged to promote the Eurasia Competitiveness Program, emphasizing Mongolia's active participation in the economic cooperation between Europe and Asia.

On the same day, Minister L.Bold met with Mr. Bernard Vallat, Director General of the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).

Minister L.Bold noted, Mongolia is interested in hosting world gathering of nomadic and transhumant pastoralists in Ulaanbaatar in 2014 upon the initiative the President of Mongolia and discussed possibilities for cultivating productive cooperation in the area of animal health in Northeast Asia.

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Senior Diplomat Awarded French Order of Legion of Honour

Ulaanbaatar, December 5 /MONTSAME/ A veteran diplomat and Ambassador of Mongolia G.Luuzan has been awarded the French Order of the Legion of Honour for his contribution to expanding the Mongolia-France relations and cooperation.

The Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of France to Mongolia Mr Yves Delaunay granted the Order on Wednesday to the diplomat in France's Embassy in Ulaanbaatar. Present at the ceremony were also our senior diplomats, the French Embassy staff, French language teachers from Mongolia's State University (MSU) and others. 

Mr Luuzan worked many years in the diplomatic service and was the Ambassador to Vietnam.  

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Mongolia Establishes Diplomatic Relations with Micronesia

December 6 / Within its aim to establish diplomatic relations with all United Nations members, Mongolia has established diplomatic relations with the Federated States of Micronesia in Beijing, the People's Republic of China on December 06, 2013.

Setting mutual aspirations to develop and strengthen friendly relations and cooperation as a guideline, the two countries agreed to adhere to the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, the UN Charter and international legal principles and standards.

The Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Mongolia to the PR of China Ts.Sukhbaatar and the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Federated States of Micronesia to the PR of China Aquino Susaya have signed the joint statement to establish diplomatic relations.

As of today, Mongolia has established diplomatic relations with 176 states of the world and the EU.

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Social, Environmental and Other

Mongolia to recycle junked cars

December 4 (UB Post) Approximately 650,000 vehicles are registered in Mongolia and over 500, or 75 percent of them, have been used for more than ten years. A certain number of vehicles fall out of use every year, but unfortunately, none of them are recycled locally, as there is no car recycling center in Mongolia. Instead, their parts are sold.

Member countries of the European Union adopted a law to recycle all unusable cars in 2002, while the U.S., Great Britain, Japan and South Korea officially began using end-of-life car recycling technology starting in 2005.

The government is now considering adopting the technology in Mongolia, and has been studying car recycling technology since last year to avoid the waste created by inoperable cars and make a profit from the process.

Chief of the Technology and Specialization Division of the Ministry of Roads and Transportation, N.Battulga, gave an interview about the recycling program.

-How will the inoperable and old cars be recycled?

-We are taking proposals from auto-based ministries on improving the legal framework for recycling vehicles, and cooperating with citizens and companies that run auto repair and trade businesses, as well as auto sector experts.

The open disposal of inoperable cars is massively damaging to the environment. Antifreeze used for cooling systems damages the ozone layer, while automotive oils and accumulator fluids damage the soil to the extent that it can't be recovered ever again.

The Asian Automotive Recyclers Association had its seminar in September 2013. During the seminar, we proposed that Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) cooperate with Mongolia on formulating a pre-feasibility study for a car recycling center, training specialized staff for the center, opening a designated vocational center, and introducing modern recycling technology. Accordingly, KOICA officials visited Mongolia and agreed that a recycling center is necessary here. For the pre-feasibility study and the initial stage of the establishment of vocational center and a recycling center, an estimated one million USD would be spent. We are planning to start the construction next year.

-Where is the planned location for the recycling center?

-Ulaanbaatar City Administration has decided to build it in Emeelt in the 20th khoroo of Khan-Uul District, where the industrial park will be developed.

-How many vehicles will be recycled at the center?

-The center will recycle around 50,000 vehicles per year. The Mongolian economy will be able to earn approximately 15 million USD in revenue from it. In total, 95 percent of all inoperable cars will be recycled. The remaining five percent will be turned into ash that doesn't harm the environment.

In addition, the center will recycle refrigerators, television sets, and boilers. It will also create over 1,000 job opportunities for citizens.

-How much financing will the project require in total?

-We are planning to establish a complex with a recycling center, vocational center, staff dormitory, offices, and a small thermal power plant all available in one location. The recycling center will consist of facilities for car receiving, dismantling, parts classification and parts repair. The latter facility will repair car parts that can be re-used. All the financing will total 38 million USD. Six million USD is required for the recycling plant alone.

-How much will the center pay for inoperable cars?

-The center will buy each inoperable cars for between 200 to 2,000 USD.

- Do you think it is possible to manufacture cars in Mongolia?

-Why not? I think it is possible in the future.

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ADB to support Mongolia in building 89 kindergartens and schools in 2014

Ulaanbaatar, December 5 /MONTSAME/ The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has decided to render next year financial assistance to Mongolia in constructing 89 kindergartens and schools in the city and in localities.

The decision has been made in accordance with a request from L.Gantomor, the Minister of Education and Science, during a meeting with the ADB Vice President.

This year, about 100 new buildings were put into use for the education and scientific sectors, such as 24 buildings for kindergartens, 18 for schools, five for dormitory, also five sport halls, and a laboratory.     

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Mongolian Calligraphy Registered on List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding

December 5 / The 8th Session of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage is being organized by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Azerbaijan and UNESCO in Baku from December 02 to 07, 2013.

At the Session, 24 State Parties are discussing 12 nominations for inscription in 2013 on the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding, and 31 nominations for inscription in 2013 on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Mongolian delegates led by Secretary-General of Mongolian National Commission for UNESCO Mr. Gundegmaa JARGALSAIKHAN are attending and as a nominee state, the delegates have promoted Mongolian Calligraphy on the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding, and Traditional Craftsmanship of the Mongol Ger and its Associated Customs on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

The first part of the Session to accredit the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding was concluded on December 04, 2013 and out of promoted 12 nominations for inscription in 2013 only 4 were selected.

Most notably, the State Parties unanimously agreed to register Mongolian Calligraphy as an Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding as one of these 4 selected.

Following the decision, Secretary-General G.Jargalsaikhan underlined, "Mongolian heritage, Calligraphy, is now being recognized by the world and I am grateful on behalf of my country for decision makers. Moreover, I would like to appreciate those scholars, calligraphers, mentors and unions, who inherited this intangible cultural heritage to date. By joint efforts of the state and its people, we will create more in order to preserve our Mongolian calligraphy and absolutely positive to inherit to our future generation. In addition, Mongolian calligraphy is the fifth heritage listed, before Mongol Tuuli (Mongolian Epic), Bii Biilgee or Biyelgee (Mongolian Traditional Folk Dance), Traditional Music of the Tsuur and Circular Breathing Technique of the Limbe Performance were registered".

From the Order issued by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism of Mongolia on February 08, 2013, below listed cultural heritages of Mongolia are in the List in Need of Urgent Safeguarding. The above mentioned five heritages were also listed but from now on have been registered at the UNESCO and one of the followings will be discussed next year at the 9th Session of the Intergovernmental Committee.

National List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding

1.    Melodies for Coaxing Animals

2.    Coaxing Ritual for Camel Calves

3.    Mongolian Traditional Practices of Worshipping Sacred Sites

4.    The Art of Steel Carving

5.    Traditional Art of Book-Making

6.    Traditional Wedding Ceremonies of Different Mongolian Ethnic Groups

7.    Traditional Performance Techniques of Folk Musical Instruments and Their Repertoire

8.    Mongolian Traditional Tsam Dance

9.    Traditional Forms of Puzzle Games

10.  Performance of the Mongolian Jangar Epic

11.  Mongolian Traditional Contortion

Mongolian calligraphy is a 1000 years-old writing system that vertically connects continuous strokes together to create a word.

Letters of Mongolian script have been created and taught by nomads from generation to generation. Whatever style it is writtenwith, it is easy to read it if one knows the 90 letter forms that all read phonetically.

The letters of Mongolian scripts are meant to be taught and explained not only in written form but also orally. For example, there are six main strokes used in creating letters for Mongolian calligraphy. They are named as Titim, Shud, Shilbe, Gedes, Num and Suul, which translate into English as Head, Teeth, Stem, Stomach, Bow and Tail respectfully.

Traditionally, the main way of teaching calligraphy from one generation to another was home mentoring. The traditional mentors selected the best of his students and trained them to be calligraphy writers. However, during communism, especially during the 1937-1940 Stalinist purges, thousands of mentors and traditional scholars were killed. Those who remained alive were banned from mentoring the younger generation. Soon after that, or around 1946, a new, Cyrillic script was adopted as the only eligible scripts therefore banning all the teachings of old Mongolian scripts and Latin lettering. Only in the 1970s, was the old Mongolian script re-introduced to scholars, allowing a limited number of classes in universities.

After the 1990 democratic changes, along with the revival of Mongolian identity, interest in traditional calligraphy reawakened.

As a sign of such revival, the very first non-communist political organization, the Democratic Union of Mongolia, used folded calligraphy as its main logo.

Today, literary scholars and calligraphers D.Batbayar, Sh.Choimaa, D.Battumur, D.Ganbaatar, B.Elbegzaya and G.Akim are playing significant roles in popularizing the Mongolian art of calligraphy.

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Mongolian Calligraphy Registered In UNESCOMontsame, December 5         

Communities must be involved for the protection of Mongolia, December 5


Mongol Ger Becomes Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

December 6 ( The 8th yearly meeting of the UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Heritage, which is being held in Baku Azerbaijan, delivered good news for Mongolians today on Friday December 6th, 2013. 

According to an official, the Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Heritage has approved to register the Mongol ger on the Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. 

One of Mongolian heritage`s, the Mongol ger, has been added to among 30 itmes for inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. 

SO far six elements that promote Mongolia`s unique history and culture have been inscribed to UNESCO`s List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding. 

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World Giving Index 2013: Mongolia Climbs 4 Sports to #42

December 4 / The UK-based Charities Aid Formation NGO has released the World Giving Index 2013 that aimed to provide insight into the scope and nature of giving around the world. In order to ensure that giving is understood in its various forms, the report looks at three aspects of giving behavior - Helping a stranger, Donating money to charity and Volunteering time over the same period.

This is a fourth edition of the World Giving Index and includes data from 135 countries across the globe that was collected throughout the calendar year of 2012, where the top three giving countries are the United States, Canada and Myanmar, and contrarily China, Croatia and Greece are at the bottom of the Index.

As of Mongolia, with overall score of 39 was ranked at the 42nd place, and in the Helping a Stranger category, 48% of Mongolians gave hands to strangers, which was placed at the 64th, also in the Donating Money to Charity category was ranked at the 37th with a score of 39, and in the Volunteering Time, Mongolia's 29% of population spent their time in Volunteering and was ranked at the 26th out of surveyed 135 countries.

In the World Giving Index 2012, Mongolia was ranked at the 46th place with overall score of 35, in 2011 Index was at the 59th with a score of 35, and in 2010 Index at the 67th with a score of 32.

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Mongolians offer long-life prayers for His Holiness the Dalai Lama

New Delhi, December 5 (The Tibet Post) The day was just breaking as the spiritual leader of Tibet His Holiness the Dalai Lama arrived at the Kempinski Hotel on Wednesday morning to perform the various preparatory rites for the Vajrabhairava Empowerment.

The hall was quiet and virtually empty when he began, but towards the end of his rituals, two Mongolian musicians began to play poignant lilting melodies on their bowed, stringed instruments.

Once His Holiness was seated on the throne, the Mongolians proceeded to offer prayers for his long life, based on the 'Offering to the Spiritual Master' (Lama chopa), which they recited in Tibetan. When it was done, His Holiness said:

"First of all, thank you all very much for making this Long-life Offering. I noticed that in the section for eulogy and appeal, you recounted the relationship between Mongolians and the Dalai Lamas. When the Third Dalai Lama, the omniscient Sonam Gyatso, was leaving for Mongolia, an attendant took the reins of his horse and uttered this prayer: 'May you, the lamp of Je Rinpoche's teachings, dispel the darkness of sentient beings.' He went on to establish the Dharma, particularly the Gelugpa tradition, firmly on Mongolian soil."

He continued, "When I made my first visit to your country in 1979, a long-life ceremony was offered during which those making the prayers wept, which brought tears to my eyes too. However, the person who brought the tsog had tried to put on a hat that turned out to be too small for his broad skull, so he'd simply laid it across his head instead, which I remember made me laugh. Since then, I've been to Mongolia several times, although there may be some who only think of it as a reason they can't drink vodka. Anyway, we'll meet again and again in the future."

Once the empowerment was complete, he remarked that dedicated practitioners take the necessary parts of the empowerment as and when they need them. By request, His Holiness gave a reading transmission of a prayer for the swift return of Kalka Jetsun Dhampa, who passed away in Mongolia nearly two years ago. Proceedings were completed with a tsog offering and His Holiness gave his concluding advice:

"We've finished this Dharma discourse for Mongolians. Now the most important thing is to make an effort to cultivate the awakening mind and a realization of emptiness."

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A Singaporean Abroad: Stephanie Seow - Mongolia 

(Channel NewsAsia) Stephanie Seow is only 24, but for several years she has run an annual camp for disadvantaged youngsters in the beautiful Mongolian countryside. This year she faces a bigger challenge than usual, taking care of some children who have suffered serious abuse. Find out how she rises to the challenge.

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Mongolia, Turkmenistan join international horseracing fold

December 6 ( The International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA) has welcomed racing organisations from Mongolia and Turkmenistan as affiliate members.

Recent ratification to IFHA statutes at its annual General Assembly in October created a new affiliate membership category within the Federation. Thus, the Federation of Mongolia Horse Racing Sport and Trainers and the Turkmen Atlary State Association, by unanimous vote of the IFHA Executive Council in Paris in October, have become the IFHA's first two affiliate members.

The Federation of Mongolian Horse Racing Sport and Trainers (FMHRST) is a non-governmental organization (NGO) which serves to the development of equestrian sport in Mongolia and works to protect the rights of horsemen who specialize in this national sport.

The Turkmen Atlary State Association is the state-endorsed body responsible for development of a national breeding and racing industry for Turkmenistan's Akhal-Teke breed.

The new affiliates were announced by IFHA Chairman Louis Romanet this week, and several key appointments to IFHA executive office positions and committees have also been made.

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Federation of Mongolian Horse Racing Sports and Trainers Becomes Affiliate Member of International Federation of Horseracing Authorities

December 6 / On December 02, 2013, the Chairman of the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA), Louis Romanet announced the admission of horseracing organizations from Mongolia and Turkmenistan as affiliate members.

The IFHA Chairman L.Romanet noted, "Each year the International Conference of Horseracing Authorities represents a pivotal forum for racing authorities throughout the world to come together to learn and exchange best practices. This year's conference confirmed that the IFHA and racing authorities are committed to developing and promoting international competition. Additionally, the conference showcased methods on how racing can be best marketed and branded regionally and internationally, creating value in the process".

The Federation of Mongolian Horse Racing Sports and Trainers (FMHRST) and the Turkmen Atlary State Association, by unanimous vote of the IFHA Executive Council at the 47th Annual International Conference held last October, have become the first two affiliate members of the IFHA.

The IFHA 47th Annual International Conference was held in Paris, France on October 07, 2013, where representatives from 51 different racing nations had gathered.

At the Conference, it was also announced that the 35th Asian Racing Conference will be held on May 05-08, 2014 in Hong Kong and that a Pan American Racing Conference will be organized in June 2015 in New York.

The Federation of Mongolian Horse Racing Sports and Trainers is a non-governmental organization that has objective of protecting the rights of trainers and jockeys and task to present and accomplish the idea of development of Mongolian national tradition of horse racing.

The FMHRST hosts and organizes all the horse racing that takes place on Mongolian land, which was formed at the decision of Conference of the Mongolian Horse Racing Trainers Committee on May 25, 1995.

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IFHA: Mongolia joins international racing foldMontsame, December 6

Mongolia, Turkmenistan join international racing, December 6

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