Friday, May 23, 2014

[GoM to submit Gatsuurt as strategic, FDI drop adjusted to 65.2%, Eznis announces shutdown, and GoM considers cutting tax on USD deposits]

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Friday, May 23, 2014

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Headlines in Italic are ones modified by Cover Mongolia from original


Overseas Market

Announcement made after Thursday close. ERD closed flat at C$0.18 Thursday

Erdene Drills 22 m of 2.1 g/t and 12 m of 4 g/t Gold at Altan Nar

Provides Results of Geochemical, Geophysical and Geological Work

HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA--(Marketwired - May 22, 2014) - Erdene Resource Development Corp. (TSX:ERD) ("Erdene" or "Company"), is pleased to provide an update on 2014 exploration activities at its wholly-owned Altan Nar gold-polymetallic project in southwest Mongolia.


·         Multiple gold-silver-base metal zones intersected in drilling at Union North Zone 

·         Continuity of Union North established at depth and along strike 

·         11 drill holes completed over four high-priority targets; results pending for eight holes 

·         Geophysical surveys identified intense chargeability anomalies below main target zones 

·         Detailed soil survey outlined geochemical anomalies coincident with chargeability anomalies and related zones of alteration 

·         Expanded surface exploration reaffirms prospectivity of high-priority targets that remain relatively untested by drilling 

·         Exploration to date at Altan Nar has defined 12 target zones over a 5.6 km by 1.5 km area

Link to release


Announcement made after May 20 close. CG down 7.1% since May 20

Centerra's Boroo mine mill crippled

TORONTO, May 21 ( – Canadian gold producer Centerra Gold this week reported that its Boroo mill, in Mongolia, would operate at about half its nameplate capacity for two weeks after the mill's vacuum contractors broke.

The Toronto-based firm said that it had implemented a work-around, but that the mill would process stockpiled ore at a reduced rate until repairs have been made.

Centerra said that it had located the required parts.

The TSX-listed company said that it did not expect any material impact on the Boroo operation's expected gold output for the year.

The Boroo operation is expected to produce about 45 000 oz of yellow metal this year.

Link to article

Link to Centerra press release


Mogi: the amended list includes Centerra's Gatsuurt. Good news for them

Cabinet to Submit to Parliament Amended List of Strategic Deposits

Ulaanbaatar, May 22 (MONTSAME) The cabinet on Wednesday decided to submit to  parliament a decision on proposed amendments to a parliamentary resolution on inclusion of certain deposits to the list of strategic minerals deposits.

- The cabinet also agreed to submit to parliament a draft law on ratification of the loan agreement for Payment system modernization project between the Government of Mongolia and the Asian Development Bank.

- The cabinet approved a seven million euro financing for equipment renovation and human resources capacity building project of the State first clinic which will be carried out under the Intergovernmental Financial Collaboration Treaty between Mongolia and Austria.

- A pact was approved to join the Global Green Growth Institute as a member state, which was signed by Environment and Green Development Minister S.Oyun in Songdo, South Korea on June 9 of 2013.

Link to article


Viking Ashanti Ltd. Changes Company Name to Viking Mines Ltd.

May 21 -- As approved at the General Meeting of shareholders on 2 May 2014, Viking Ashanti Limited wishes to advise of its change of name to Viking Mines Limited with immediate effect.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission recorded this change of name on 15 May 2014.

For the ASX platform purposes the change will become effective as of Monday 26 May 2014

The Company's ASX code will remain the same.

Link to release

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Local Market

BDSec Daily Update, May 22: Top 20 +0.11%, Turnover 14.6 Million

May 22 (BDSec) MSE stocks inched higher on Monday. The Top 20 index reached at 15,415.61 points, gaining +0.11%. HBOil (HBO), a specialty oil recycling company, was the most actively traded company on the MSE with over 25 thousand shares worth of MNT 8.3 million changed hands. The Company recently announced opening a data room in Pyongyang DPRK and recruiting experienced exploration consultant.

Trading turnover for Thursday was MNT 14.6 million.


Trading Value Leaders

Close (MNT)

Value (MNT)




Baganuur (BAN)









Top Gainers

Close (MNT)

% Change

Silikat (SIL)



Mongolia Development Resources (MDR)



Remicon (RMC)






Top Losers

Close (MNT)

% Change

Genco Tour Bureau (JTB)



Material Impex (MIE)






Link to update


BDSec Daily Update, May 21: Top 20 -0.06%, Turnover 8.6 Million

May 21 (BDSec) Mongolia stocks edged lower on Wednesday. The benchmark index fell -0.06% to 15,398.25 points. Mogoin Gol (BDL) and Nekheesgui Edlel (NXE) both gave up -14.8% today. Baganuur also lost as much as -7.4% to close at MNT 3,241.

On the other side, State Department Store (UID) bounced back to MNT 519, recovering +12.6% after being traded in red for the last two trading sessions.

Talkh Chikher (TCK) added +0.5% to close at MNT 17,700, extending its winning sessions to 25th straight trading session.

Turnover was low at MNT 8.6 million.


Trading Value Leaders

Close (MNT)

Value (MNT)




Tavantolgoi (TTL)



Mogoin Gol (BDL)






Top Gainers

Close (MNT)

% Change

State Department Store (UID)



Darkhan Nekhii (NEH)



Talkh Chikher (TCK)






Top Losers

Close (MNT)

% Change

Mogoin Gol (BDL)



Nekheesgui Edlel (NXE)



Baganuur (BAN)



Link to update

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BoM MNT Rates: Thursday, May 22 Close





































May MNT Chart:


Link to rates


Mogi: using monthly numbers FDI was shown to have fallen 36% previously. WTH?

Mongolia Q1 FDI Plunges 65% to y/y to $294m

By Michael Kohn

May 21 (Bloomberg) -- Mongolia's Q1 foreign direct investment fell to $294m from $845.8m, a y/y decline of 65.2%, according to adjusted data released today by Mongolia's central bank.

* 2012 Q1 FDI was $1.27b

* 2014 Q1 current account deficit $320.6m vs $771.9m yr ago: central bank

(Bloomberg First Word)


BoP Report, Q1: FDI -65.2% to US$294 Million, Current Account Deficit -58.5% to $320.6 Million

May 21 (Bank of Mongolia) Quarterly Balance of Payment (BOP) report alters from the monthly preliminary BOP report (January, February, March) as it is executed using the data from the quarterly reports of enterprises, international trade statistics, state budget, information from the banking system and Mongolian enterprises' balances at foreign accounts.

Main indicators:

Current account deficit stands at US$ 320.6 million which is decrease of US$ 451.2 million from the previous year. Of which (i) deficit of international trade account of goods decreased by 131 percent, thus showed surplus of US$ 71.8 million; (ii) trade of services deficit decreased by 11 percent to US$ 339.0 million; (iii) deficit of income account dropped by 44 percent to US$ 102.9 million; and (iv) current transfer increased by 90 percent to US$ 49.4 million.

Balance of capital and financial accounts showed surplus of US$ 66.2 million which is decrease of 90 percent or US$ 591.4 million from the previous year. This is due to i) 65 percent decline of foreign direct investment from abroad to Mongolia which is US$ 551.1 million (Mogi: this is the wrong number. 551.1 is the difference between the balance of FDI coming in and coming out), ii) surplus of portfolio investment increased by US$ 333.1 million and iii) the deficit of other investments increased by 185 percent or US$ 387.9 million compared to a year prior.

·         Balance of Payment for the First Quarter of 2014

·         External sector statistics

Link to release


BoM FX auction: US$17.7 million sold at 1,826.5, CNY38.5 million at 293.1, $40 million MNT swap bid, $25 million USD ask offers accepted

May 22 (Bank of Mongolia) On the Foreign Exchange Auction held on May 22nd, 2014 the BOM has received from local commercial banks bid offer of USD and CNY. The BOM has sold 17.7 million USD as closing rate of MNT 1826.50 and 38.5 million CNY as closing rate of MNT 293.10.

On May 22nd, 2014, The BOM has received MNT Swap agreement bid offer in equivalent to 40.0 million USD and USD Swap agreement ask offer of 25.0 million USD from local commercial banks and accepted all offer.

See also:

·         FX Auction Statistics

Link to release


Mogi: looks like Chinggis money parked in commercial banks is being loaned out big time.

BoM issues 172.1 billion 1-week bills, total outstanding -30.6% to 595.6 billion

May 21 (Bank of Mongolia) BoM issues 1 week bills worth MNT 172.1 billion at a weighted interest rate of 10.5 percent per annum /For previous auctions click here/

Link to release


GoM Bond Auction: Announced 10 Billion 3-Year Bills Sold at Premium, Average Yield 11.64%, with 25 Billion Bids

May 21 (Bank of Mongolia) Auction for 3 years maturity Government Bond was announced at face value of 10 billion MNT and each unit was worth 1 million MNT. Face value of 10.0 billion /out of 25.0 billion bid/ Government Treasury bill was sold to the banks at premium price and with weighted average yield of 11.64%.

Please find expanded information from Table.

Information of Government securities auction

Announced amount /by MNT/


Received amount /by MNT


Sold amount /by MNT/


Weighted average yield




Frequency of coupon payment

Semi annual

Maximum yield of fulfilled bids


Minimum yield of fulfilled bids


Link to release


GoM Treasury Auction: 20 Billion 52-Week Bills Sold at Discount, Average Yield 9.45%, With 33 Billion Bids

May 21 (Bank of Mongolia) Regular auction for 52 weeks maturity Government Treasury bill was announced at face value of 20.0 billion MNT and each unit was worth 1 million MNT. Face value of 20.0 billion /out of 33.0 billion bid/ Government Treasury bill was sold to the banks at discounted price and with weighted average yield of 9.45%.

Please find expanded information from Table.

Information of Government securities auction

Announced amount /by MNT/


Received amount /by MNT


Sold amount /by MNT/


Weighted average yield


Maximum yield of fulfilled bids


Minimum yield of fulfilled bids


Link to release


Guest post: will Mongolia default?

By Gavin Bowring, Asean Confidential

May 22 (FT beyondbrics) In November 2012, Mongolia issued US$1.5bn of five and 10-year sovereign debt – cutely called "Chinggis bonds" after the 13th century Mongol conqueror Genghis Khan. These were happily snapped up by yield-hungry investors as Mongolia continued to post one of the world's fastest GDP growth rates. The government, in theory, should have used this money to invest in commercially viable infrastructure to provide power, transport and logistical infrastructure to support the country's continued growth.

But with a substantial portion of this debt maturing within the next 3 years, concerns have been mounting about the government's ability to repay. While some of the US$1.5bn bond was used to build useful social infrastructure within the capital, Ulaanbaatar – including new roads and schools – an equally significant portion was spent on pork-barrel and pump-priming programs. Moreover, the government has little to show in terms of commercially viable investments that generate returns.

Mongolia already runs a substantial fiscal deficit. If spending by the Development Bank of Mongolia is included, it amounts to at least 12 per cent of GDP. With Mongolia's debt-to-GDP now above 50 per cent, the Ministry of Finance has been urging Parliament to raise the legal debt ceiling from 40 per cent of GDP to 70 per cnet of GDP, as a means to issue more bonds for debt servicing.

However, parliament so far has refused to budge, while the World Bank has strongly advised the government against raising the ceiling, following an internal assessment of Mongolia's debt sustainability and its current debt tenors. It also appears unlikely that international investors would be overly willing buyers of new Mongolian debt, given the clear and present risks. On the side lines of the recent Asian Development Bank meeting in Kazakhstan, representatives from Mongolia's Finance Ministry admitted that the current debt situation was a difficult one, although they declined to comment on specifics.

Perhaps the biggest worry, however, is that the mining sector has largely come to a standstill. The country's two flagship projects, the Tavan Tolgoi coking coal mine, and the Oyu Tolgoi copper-and-gold project – in which global mining giant Rio Tinto has a 66% stake – are not contributing meaningfully to government coffers. Sources suggest that Tavan Tolgoi, which has a contractual obligation to sell coal to China's Chalco, is currently exporting for as little as US$30-40 a ton, below the cost of the production. Moreover, pricing pressures continue to persist, with Chalco reportedly struggling to find buyers in China.

Oyu Tolgoi has yet to fully commence commercial production, with ongoing tripartite disputes between the Mongolian government, which wants a greater equity stake in the project, Rio Tinto, which has invested substantial sums of money in the project but has been losing confidence, and with the Chinese government/Chalco, which also holds a 9% stake in Rio Tinto, but has been reported to be seeking greater control over the project's offtake in return for providing the electricity required for commercial production.

Meanwhile, medium-sized miners, including Hong Kong-listed Mongolian Mining Corp (MMC) and South Gobi Resources (Mogi: SouthGobi), have either stopped production or are struggling to repay debts, given the weak export environment. New foreign investments have come to a halt also in part due to the persistent uncertainty in the country's legal environment and the high-profile detention of senior executives at South Gobi.

For now, the economy remains relatively robust, mainly due to the trickle-down effects of the economic boom over the last five years and recent fiscal stimulus spending. The local currency – the tugrik – has taken a beating, as has the stock market, but some investors continue to see value opportunities and strong long term fundamentals.

That may be justified. But in the short term, the lingering issue of how Mongolia will repay its debts remain unresolved. There are effectively three options. The first is that Oyu Tolgoi, a project which alone is expected to account for more than 30% of GDP once it reaches full production, finally gets underway. While Mongolia has over 200 major projects that contribute to government revenue – not only in mining, but in infrastructure and construction – many are either cash flow negative or simply do not have sufficient scale to shore up government coffers.

Another option would be to draw on Chinese funding. The Chinese government recently doubled the size of its currency swap with the Mongolian central bank to Rmb20bn, as a measure to help instill confidence in the currency and shore up foreign exchange reserves. Nevertheless, Mongolia is unlikely to veer towards full dependency on Beijing for sustenance.

A third option would be to draw on other sources of funding and development aid, including from the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, Korea Exim Bank, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC). However, new grants may come with certain conditions and caveats attached that could prove tricky to enforce in Mongolia's shaky political system, while new lending facilities may be deemed unfeasible if the debt ceiling is not extended.

For its part, in December 2013 JBIC recently provided a guarantee for the Development Bank of Mongolia (DBM) to issue its first ever Samurai bond, at US$290m with an ultra-low coupon of 1.52%. However, DBM has since struggled to use this money for local project finance. It reportedly has been seeking to convert its yen borrowings into US dollars as a means to avoid exchange risks stemming from a weakening yen, but has yet to find a willing counterparty.

There is still time for Mongolia to bring its fiscal house in order, but the clock is ticking.

Gavin Bowring is a research director at Asean Confidential, a research company owned by the Financial Times

Link to article


Mongolia's Credit Ratings in Review

May 22 (Mongolian Economy) As the economy shows subtle signs of decline over the past several months, it is important to look at the credit ratings offered by the Big Three – Standard & Poor's (S&P), Moody's, and Fitch Group. These three credit rating agencies hold a global market share of approximately 95% collectively, making their ratings a reliable source to seek the stability of the Mongolian economy. While each agency creates their own set of rules for allocating certain ratings, it is useful to take into account of all three to see where Mongolia stands in the global market.

According to S&P, Mongolia received a rating of B+ indicating a stable economy. The rating shows that the economy is somewhat vulnerable to adverse business as well as financial and economic conditions. However, Mongolia still has the capacity to meet financial commitments, expressing the relative opinions of creditworthiness of an issuer or credit quality of the nation. 

Moody's offered Mongolia a credit rating of B1, which shows stability, keeping in consistency with the rating provided by S&P. A rating of B1 in the long-term means that Mongolia is perceived as being speculative with a high credit risk. In the short-term, it shows that it is not prime, meaning it cannot be determined with accuracy whether or not the nation has the ability to repay short term debt. 

Lastly, the Fitch Group rating gives Mongolia a score of B+, which means that the financial situation varies noticeably. While this indicates the country is in the negative spectrum of things rather than being classified as stable, it is important to note that its ratings fall into sync with the other credit rating agencies. 

Based on Mongolia's credit ratings, the darling of the global investment community not so long ago, still has the capacity to improve in terms of meeting financial commitments. While the country is still developing over time, the ratings give insight into the stability of the country and to see that Mongolia stands in the middle of the global economy with a vast amount of improvements to make. 

Link to article


Mongolia discussing cutting tax on USD deposit interest income to attract investment

May 20 ( Following the high inflation rate in the country the interest rate of saving account is high in Mongolia around 12%-14% annually. Also, if you save in USD it will be around 4-6% annually. However, there is a high interest income tax for foreigners who save in dollars. Today, Mongolian government and the Central Bank is discussing on removing the tax burden to attract more account holders in Mongolian Banks. Perhaps it is one of the measures the government is taking to attract foreign currency inflows.

Link to article

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Mining Minister appointed acting Industry & Agriculture Minister

May 22 ( The Minister of Mining, D.Gankhuyag, has been appointed as acting Minister of Industry and Agriculture until the post is filled.

MP and former Minister of Industry and Agriculture, Kh.Battulga, resigned from the post on his own initiative, agreed by the decision of the plenary session meeting of Parliament last week. Friday`s cabinet meeting issued a decision to appoint the Minister of Mining D.Gankhuyag as acting Minister of Industry and Agriculture at the same time on May 16th.

It is uncertain how much time the Government needs to submit the names of nominees for the position to Parliament. The names of the nominees must be discussed in Parliament before the new appointment to the position of Minister can be made.

Link to article


Minnesota Media Fails Hometown Man In Mongolia

By Jon Springer

May 22 (Forbes Asia) It is a reasonable hope for citizens of any country that if they are working or traveling abroad and get into trouble, they will get help from their home country. For American Justin Kapla, he was able to engender a brief moment of support from his hometown local Minnesota media three months into his now 19 month exit ban from Mongolia, but then the local Minnesota media dropped his story. As a member of the media that has tried to shed light on his story and also someone that holds a concern that fellow members of the media would cover a story about me if I were ever in trouble, it has been disturbing to watch local Minnesota media let Mr. Kapla dangle without coverage in Mongolia even while local members of the United States Congress make the public aware they are working on his case.

Last week, a judge in Mongolia said the government's case against Mr. Kapla and two colleagues from their work at SouthGobi Sands, a wholly owned Mongolian subsidiary of internationally listed SouthGobi Resources, was insufficient and threw the case out of court (temporarily). However, Mr. Kapla and his two Filipino colleagues (Hilarion Cajucom Jr. and Cristobal David) remain under an exit ban from Mongolia. The exit ban allows the men to live in Mongolia, but restrains them from travel beyond Mongolia indefinitely.

Link to full article


De Facto: Who are the secret owners of political parties?

By Jargalsaikhan Dambadarjaa

May 20 (UB Post) Who is the most influential person in Mongolia? For whom exactly does the authority make decisions for? In order to answer these questions fully and accurately, we, the citizens, must at least be aware of who exactly is funding political parties that are producing authorities. In other words, we must know where political parties get their financing from.

Without investigating who donated how much, to which political parties, under whose names, and whether those who made donations or their relatives have been given senior positions inside the government, and without disclosing such information to the public, Mongolia can never stop corruption and remove the biased influence that wealthy individuals and companies have on the decisions that are coming from the government.

Given that they are keeping the financial information of political parties undisclosed to the public, it sounds like a bad joke when the government announces that they will become a "smart government" and have a "glass purse" (meaning their financing will become transparent). The financing of political parties have been increasing after every election, reaching dozens of billions of MNT and there is no transparency in where or from whom political parties get their campaign finance and how they are paying it back.

If a country cannot stop its government policy from serving only few wealthy individuals, people lose their trust in the government and a dictatorship gradually sets in. When that happens, democracy, human rights, and an increase in the living standards of ordinary people become nothing more than a dream.

The life of political parties in Mongolia has two seasons: election season and non-election season. During an election season, financing of political parties is regulated by the election law. If it is a non-election season, the Law on Political Parties governs the funding of political parties.

It is stated by the law that political parties must submit their campaign finance reports to the General Election Committee within a month after the conclusion of an election. According to the General Election Committee, the Democratic Party spent 11.2 billion MNT while the Mongolian People's Party spent 10.1 billion MNT for the 2012 parliamentary elections. The total expenditure of all political parties was 35.7 billion MNT that year. The committee's report states that a total of 2,525 people donated up to one million MNT, the maximum amount allowed by law, to the Mongolian People's party (MPP) whereas the Democratic Party (DP) and Justice Coalition had 3,000 and 1,300 individual donators respectively. If you exclude the donations that came from individuals, the remaining financing of political parties is made up by donations offered by companies. Legally, a company can make a donation of up to 10 million MNT to a political party. However, there should have been independent audits performed on those reports.

The 2012 parliamentary election, the first ever majoritarian and proportional mixed one, had 76 electoral districts and a total of 544 candidates, including 354 candidates by political parties, 190 nominees listed by political parties and 26 independent candidates. If we take these numbers into account, the campaign finance report suggests that each candidate spent 65 million MNT (approximately 50,000 USD) on average. However, the election campaign costs were much higher in reality. The report obviously did not include the hundreds of millions of MNT that the political parties charged their members for nominating them in the party lists.

The finance reports of political parties from a non-election season are never made public. The actual numbers are not even known to ordinary members of political parties. The only glimpse we can have in those finance reports is when such information is sometimes leaked to the media due to internal conflicts within a political party. For example, Ts.Shinebayar, a former member of Parliament, stated in March 2012 that "During the 26th Conference of the Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party (currently Mongolian People's Party) U.Khurelsukh, who was the general secretary of the party at the time, said that MAK (Mongolyn Alt Corporation) and NIC (Petrovis) companies each made donations of one billion MNT to the party while members of Parliament Sh.Saikhansambuu, B.Choijilsuren, and Ts.Sodbileg also donated one billion MNT each. D.Damba-Ochir donated 500 million MNT." The non-election season financing of the Democratic Party is also undisclosed and the total amount of donations they received would presumable be not less than that of the Mongolian People's Party.

This secrecy surrounding political finance makes people doubt whether the current authorities received some benefits lawfully, by providing cheaper loans to banks and companies, in which they had vested interests, when allocating the proceeds of 1.5 billion USD acquired by the issuance of government bonds. The government needs to have an independent audit carried out on itself, and inform the public of the results.

Viewed as "questionable" by the current Parliament, 130 of the total 260 projects that are funded by the public budget were commenced in 2012, which was an election year. It shows how greatly campaign finance has become dependent on public budget.

At any rate, there is a huge amount of undisclosed financing in Mongolia's politics. This secret political finance include money collected from state-owned companies' income rather than profits, all kinds of formal and informal fees charged from large infrastructure projects, under the table dealings for the issuance of government permits, and other donations.

As the real income of the people decreases every year due to weaker MNT rates, the wealth of our senior state officials keeps growing. Therefore, transparency in political finance is one way to achieve justice. A great hope lies in the belief that the new bill on the transparency of financing of political parties will not go up in smoke in Parliament.

We see the need for our country to develop and implement specific laws to regulate the cash flow that is coming in and out of political parties. If there is transparency in political finance, people will be able to oversee the flow of huge amounts of cash found in our political sphere today. It will be great contribution to letting people make informed decisions and boosting their trust in democracy as well as politicians.

Healthy competition in politics is clearly dependent on economic sources. However, there should be a good regulation that allows the oversight on the acquisition of economic sources and their use. A timely report to the public should also be ensured.

In Mongolia, the public budget provides a certain amount of funding to political parties. Ten million MNT for each seat in Parliament was allocated to political parties from the public budget. It was provided once a year and half the money was spent on the electoral districts by the relevant members of Parliament. However, the money given to members of Parliament has been increased to one billion MNT each, which drew a lot of criticisms from the public. The State Fund informed that a total of six trillion MNT were provided as financial assistance to political parties who had seats in Parliament from 2009-2012. Since they are receiving funding from the public budget, political parties are supposed to produce their financial reports on a regular basis as state funded organizations do. However, they seem to have "forgotten" to do this.

International practices show that there are three main components in the expenditures of political parties. These include non-election expenditures (costs associated with structure, organization, and routine operations of political parties), election expenditures (campaign finance), and independent expenditures (when a candidate raises funds independently from the political party). Independent audits are performed on each of these expenditures and detailed reports are released.

It is viewed by policy researchers that the public funding for political parties encourages transparency in public governance, supports healthy political competition, and contributes to the establishment of strong and responsible political institutions. Laws alone will not be enough to ensure transparency in political party funding. In order to make sure that laws are fully implemented, all related stakeholders including political parties, government organizations, media and civil society must work together in harmony.

Every support should be given to government organizations that ensure the implementation of the law on political party finance and to the media, political oppositions, universities, and research organizations that contribute to transparency.

Strengthening democracy is like nurturing a tree. When you plant a tree in the ground, you cannot leave it as if it is a 100-year-old oak, but nurture the tree regularly by watering and protecting it. In a democratic society, the ruling power goes to the political party that has won the public election. The winning political party assumes a great power, which is accompanied by a great responsibility. This responsibility of theirs must start from being able to provide their financial reports on time and make it available to the public. Just as we must constantly nurture the trees, we, the voters, must always make such demands to the political party and start providing regular oversight. This way, our democracy can be strengthened. As our tree grows bigger, there will be more reliable guarantees for less corruption, stronger democracy, and better protection of our rights.

Link to post



Ulaanbaatar, May 20 /MONTSAME/ The Cabinet Secretariat for Government will extend its cooperation with the Konrad Adenauer Foundation (KAF).

A memorandum of continuing the collaboration was signed Tuesday by Kh.Oyuntsetseg, a department head of the Cabinet Secretariat for monitoring, evaluation and domestic audit; and Wolfgang Maier, deputy head of the KAF Office for Europe and international cooperation.

Mongolia has been cooperating with the KAF since 2003 in ensuring the development of Mongolian parliament, democratic system and the economic growth.

In 2007, the Cabinet Secretariat established the cooperation with the foundation. Accordingly, projects have been co-implemented on improving skills of governors in all levels, on exchanging experiences and on realizing a general policy for local development.    

Link to article

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Eznis Airways Announces Indefinite Cease of Operations Due to Financial Difficulties

May 22 (Eznis Airways) This is to inform that Eznis Airways LLC is stopping its operation beginning from May 22nd for an uncertain period of time due to the financial difficulties and the current situation at the airline industry. Eznis Airways LLC is a national airline that had been operating since 2006, constantly and reliably carrying thousands of passengers.

We thank everyone who chose our airline, our regular passengers, our partners and our suppliers, for cooperation and support.

The management of the company and the shareholders had done everything during the last two years to survive, to keep positions of our employees and most importantly, to serve the public, but they cannot subsidize the financial losses any longer. 

We bring our apologies for all our customers, passengers, employees, engineers, flight operation staff and the crew. 

We wish you all the best in your future. 

Link to release


Government of Mongolia to Issue 100 Billion in Securities to Finance Export-Oriented Projects

May 22 ( At the regular Cabinet meeting held on May 21, 2014, it was resolved to allocate 100 billion MNT (Tugrug) by purchasing Government Securities to finance projects that aim to replace import and increase export outputs.

The fund will be allocated to those projects each requests up to 2 billion MNT from commercial banks and will be financed through Small and Medium Industry Development Fund, where Minister of Economic Development N.Batbayar is entrusted to trade the Government Securities and Development Bank Board Members are permitted to complete the action, moreover, Minister of Labor Ya.Sanjmyatav will be monitoring the project financing and obliged to control the implementation.

In the frameworks of the Government Action Plan, it was cited to support projects that aim to replace import and increase export outputs, thereby, Government accepted a total of 131 projects to support and increase export outputs, and 757 projects to replace import products and another 200 projects in the other fields.

Whereas, 61% of projects to increase export is relevant to processing animal raw materials and food industry, and the 30% of projects to replace imports is regarding to manufacturing of construction materials, and the rest 26% is directed to increase food industry domestically.

Also, there are 579 projects that each requests financing of over 2 billion MNT that estimate a total of 341 billion MNT.

Link to article


In response to malicious allegations regarding Liberty Partners' railway project engagement

May 21 (Liberty Partners) In an article dated May 15th, 2014 published by Mongolian media outlet "Morning News" ("Article"), it accuses Liberty of misconduct and further attempts to cast doubt on Liberty's integrity with purported reference to the awarding of an Advisory Contract (see below) in 2011. Liberty absolutely rejects these accusations contained in the "Article" and views these baseless accusations as a clumsy attempt to undermine Liberty's credentials, obscure the true facts, attempt to demean and bring into question the accomplishments of Liberty in the minds and face of public and Liberty's partner organizations.

The contractual provisions governing the Advisory Contract for the Mongolian railway feasibility study were legally sound and the feasibility study undertaken by members of the Advisory Team fully pursuant with the terms of the contract. Furthermore, the study submitted to the Government of Mongolia was fully accepted and endorsed by the Cabinet Meeting Minutes No. 40 dated 31 August 2011. An accurate summary of the facts around the award of the noted contract is set forth below.

The Parliament of Mongolia approved the State Policy on Railway Transportation on June 24, 2010 by Resolution No. 32 ("Railway Policy"). Within this policy framework, pursuant to the Cabinet Resolution No. 283 of November 3, 2010, the Chairman of the State Property Committee and the Minister of Roads, Transportation, Construction and Urban Development issued a Joint Resolution No. 30/24 on February 1, 2011 authorizing Mongolian Railway State Owned Shareholding Company ("MTZ") to select and engage an advisory team to prepare a feasibility study for Phase 1 of the Railway, in accordance with Article 6.2.1 of the Railway Policy. Directive No. 2/254 of the State Property Committee dated February 7, 2011, and MTZ Board of Directors Resolution No. 23 dated March 1, 2011, authorized MTZ to execute the Agreement for Advisory Services dated April 7, 2011 ("Advisory Contract") with McKinsey & Consulting Company Inc., Shanghai, Beijing Branch ("McKinsey"). BNP Paribas, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP and Liberty acted as co-advisors together with McKinsey (collectively, the "Advisory Team"). Liberty's role in the Advisory team was to perform local advisory services that included, but not limited to, facilitating interface between the Project and all relevant Mongolian ministries and authorities for purposes of ensuring compliances with Mongolian requirements. Furthermore, pursuant to Cooperation Memorandum of Understanding on Certain Projects dated April 15, 2010 (the "MRTCUD MOU") between Liberty and the Ministry of Roads, Transportation, Construction and Urban Development ("MRTCUD"), Liberty provided financial advisory services to MRTCUD that included, among other works, assistance in the development of railway infrastructure and other large capital investment projects. These services were performed by Liberty on pro bono basis. Article 3.2 of MRTCUD MOU permits Liberty to be compensated through engagements with financing or other participating parties on specified projects.

Liberty has at all times complied and continues to comply fully with the laws and regulations of Mongolia and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of the United States, as well as adhered to The Chartered Financial Analyst® (CFA) Institute Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct. We stress that it is such adherence to necessary compliance that allows Liberty to partner with the best breed of global business elite. Liberty bridges the gap between the stakeholders and human capital, both local and foreign, through its work and with its staff, invests and contributes to the future of Mongolia and its people.

Liberty Partners remains committed to its guiding principles and assures its present and future partners of its tried-and-true business integrity.

About Liberty Partners:

Liberty Partners LLC was founded in March 2010 with a vision of assisting Mongolia in the development of mining, infrastructure and industrial projects through financial expertise. The Company provides financial advisory, structuring and arranging of debt and equity financing, and other services that enable public and private sector clients in Mongolia to grow their businesses and successfully deliver projects by accessing global capital and loan markets.

The founder of Liberty, Mr. Ganbat Chuluunkhuu previously worked in the International Structured Finance team of Commerzbank AG, New York, from 2003 to 2009. His international banking career focused on originating and structuring debt financing in Africa, Central Asia (including Mongolia), CIS and Latin America markets. In addition to Mr. Ganbat Chuluunkhuu, the Liberty team consists of highly educated young Mongolian professionals, all of whom share the same enthusiasm and passion for participating in the successful and equitable development of Mongolia.

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Show me the money! Strengthening EITI implementation in Mongolia

Mongolia is a leading EITI implementer but its full potential as a supplier of relevant and useable extractives information is yet to be realised

May 21 (The Guardian) The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) is a global coalition of governments, companies and civil society working together to improve openness and accountable management of revenues from extractives. In May 2013 in Sydney, Australia, the new EITI Standard was launched. Implementing countries (which now include the USA and soon the UK too) were presented with a new challenge: set your own objectives for EITI and go beyond just an annual reporting exercise. One year on, Mongolia has embarked upon a range of new initiatives that both maintain its position at the forefront of EITI implementation and have the potential to improve governance of the country's extractive industries.

Why is EITI so important in Mongolia?

1,676 companies holding 3,049 leases, exploration licenses and production sharing agreements are working across Mongolia's vast lands, exploring, mining and drilling for array of solid minerals and hydrocarbons. Extractive companies are active in one third of Mongolia's 350 soums (districts). The moratorium on new exploration licenses could soon be lifted, opening the door to more companies and more dollars. The extractive industries dominate – and will continue to dominate – the Mongolian economy for years to come. All Mongolians are affected directly and indirectly by the sector, both positively (in terms of Mongolia's improving public services and infrastructure made by possible by increased government revenues, for example) and negatively (in terms of environmental damage and the lack of job creation by a capital-intensive industry). Mongolians, therefore, have an interest in – and a right to know – what taxes and royalties companies are paying to national, provincial and local government, who the beneficial owners are, what they are licensed to mine for. They want to know what state-owned companies are doing too, and how government is spending the revenue it is getting from the extractives sector. Given this is the information that EITI collects and disseminates, the initiative has particular relevance and use in Mongolia for government, civil society and the general public.

Making EITI more relevant and useable

The number of companies participating in EITI in Mongolia grew to 1,531 last year, more than any other country in the world. While this is undoubtedly an achievement, transforming a large paper-based dataset (the 2012 annual report was over 1,600 pages) into useable information that contributes to greater transparency and accountability in the sector has proved challenging. EITIM, with the support of the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development and Adam Smith International, is transforming the EITI reporting process by creating an efficient, electronic system – "eReporting" – that will feed into a publicly accessible database. Similar to an "open data" initiative, the new system being developed in partnership with a Mongolian software company Interactive LLC, will integrate with software tools for visual presentation of data, free-to-use tools that are in the public domain and cadastral maps. Users of the information will be able to produce "mashups", overlaying extractives data with other datasets such as unemployment and water resources.

Making EITIM sustainable

A weakness of EITI in Mongolia (and in many implementing countries) is its sustainability – it is dependent on a World Bank grant, typically given for two years at a time. Gaps between grants lead to uncertainty and the postponement of important activities. Adam Smith International has worked with the Mongolian Ministry of Mining and EITIM to develop a new sustainable institutional model and legal framework for EITI implementation that will see the creation of a Mongolian-led and Mongolian financed initiative. Additionally the EITIM Law, soon to be submitted to parliament, specifies the roles and responsibilities of the many stakeholders involved. Legal clarity provides the private sector with the certainty they need to invest and operate, and reduces compliance costs. It also provides Mongolian citizens with a basis on which they can hold their government to account, and gives EITIM the prominence it deserves.

What else needs to be done?

EITI is undoubtedly a useful tool for Mongolian civil society to hold government and companies to account and for government to provide sector information to the public. A third and currently missing ingredient needs adding before EITI realises its full potential: companies need to benefit from it too. They need an incentive to do more than just submitting reports each year. While some companies are more active than others in EITIM, all need to recognise the utility of EITI in forming their social license to operate. For this to happen, EITI needs to play a role in informing dialogue between companies, mine-affected communities and local government. This requires EITIM to provide relevant, localised information to those communities, hence the importance of the catalytic effect of the EITIM open data initiative. Once companies realise the benefit of EITI and view it as more than just another reporting exercise, then EITI in Mongolia – and in many other countries – will demonstrate its full value.

This content is produced and controlled by Adam Smith International

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May 21 (CEO Club) Mongolia's one and only member based executive club CEO Club announced Tumentsogt Tsevegmid, Executive Director of General Electric in Mongolia, as the club's fifth President.

Tumentsogt.Ts, who has been representing GE in Mongolia since 2011, has a rich background in developing strategies and shaping the regulatory environment for the infrastructure and energy sector in Mongolia. He receives the post from Amarsaikhan Sainbuyan, Chairman and CEO of Oyuny Undra Group, in accordance with the club's rule to appoint a lead in every two years.

"I am honored to take over the role of President of CEO Club of Mongolia, which already has strong reputation of being a leading voice of business community in Mongolia" said Tumentsogt Tsvegmid before moving on to say "I believe the club can continue to make a difference in improving business environment in Mongolia by working together with business advocacy groups, professional associations, Government and the international community."

CEO Club in its seventh year of operation, represents 20 of the best breed of Mongolian executives, however with a new President in place, the club will expand its membership under the newly coined C30 membership program, and will step up its participation and endorsement activities geared towards building investor confidence to stimulate domestic investment activities.

For further information relating to this announcement and the club, please contact Gerel Orgil via 88779173,  and Sainbayar Beejin, Executive Coordinator for CEO Club on 89112028, 

About CEO Club

CEO Club was established in 2007 under Mongolian National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MNCCI) as a network platform for the most senior executives in Mongolia. In the past the club has actively sought to influence the positive changes and modifications to the business environment as a whole, and to this day, the members of the club still stands for that mission. СЕО Club is well acknowledged for establishing Mongolian Economic Forum as the single most important platform for maintaining a dialogue between the private sector and the government.

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EBRD-Funded "Consult Expo 2014" Fair for Consulting Firms Opens

Ulaanbaatar, May 21 (MONTSAME) With a financial support of the Business Advisory Service /BAS/ of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development /EBRD/, the "Consult Expo-2014"  fair opened at the National Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Wednesday.

This two-day action has been organized by the Institute of Mongolian Management Consultants. It has  brought together 50 private and non-government consulting organizations that offer advisory services in marketing, management, research, human resources, business planning, finance, audit, insurance, investment, IT, engineering and mining.

During the fair, specialized consultants are giving professional service to businessmen and entrepreneurs.

The opening ceremony was attended by Ts.Javsanjav, a deputy director of the Chamber, N.Battogtokh, a head of Small and Medium Enterprise Development Department at the Ministry of Labor, and Mr Matthieu Le Blan, the Permanent Representative of the EBRD in Mongolia.  

The EBRD's Business Advisory Services in Mongolia was established in 2008 with an aim to support small- and medium-sized business people and to connect them to foreign and domestic consultants.

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After 12 Years Altanbulag Free Trade Zone to Hold Opening Ceremony in June

May 21 (Mongolian Economy) Yesterday, Mongolian officials met to discuss the new Altanbulag Free Trade Zone (AFTZ) on Mongolia's northern border with Russia. After investing MNT 23 billion for the past 12 years, the opening ceremony will finally be held next month on June 22. This Free Trade Zone opened discussions on how this new development can impact Mongolia's economy as well as company operations in the near future.

Following the opening ceremony, an exhibition will be held until the end of June in the AFTZ allowing businessmen and all others who are interested in the project to attend. To keep in spirits with celebration, there will be 60 containers that can be filled with products, free of charge, to pass through the Free Trade Zone into Russia. 

This project aims to better improve relations between both Russia and China by allowing the circulation of products between China and Russia through Mongolia. Another Free Trade Zone on the border of Mongolia and China in Manjuur, will further help the transportation of Russian and Chinese products. The distance between Manjuur and Altanbulag is 1320 kilometers, saving both nations lengthy travels by channeling trade within Mongolia's borders. 

Russia and China previously created a strategic partnership in 2015 that will amount to approximately 100 billion USD in trade. 20% of the profits already pass through the Free Trade Zone of Manjuur, and officials hope to see another 10% run through Altanbulag in the near future. This project is expected to earn Mongolia up to USD 100 million in profits. With this and tax free pressure for the next five years, the project is expected to help the economy grow while improving relations between both Russia and China. 

With its strategic location, Altabulag also boasts ease of travel. Russia residents can enter Altanbulag without a visa and Mongolia residents can enter with a driver's license or their national ID. Due to this, transportation in and out of the Free Trade Zone will flourish over time. 

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Three Proposals Included in Shanghai Declaration from Mongolia Says President Ts.Elbegdorj

May 22 ( On Wednesday, May 21, the President of Mongolia Mr. Tsakhia ELBEGDORJ gave an interview to Mongolian reporters accompanied him in the Fourth Summit of the CICA held in Shanghai, the People's Republic of China on May 20-21, 2014. 

Mr. President, how do you see the highlights of the Summit and what the Mongolia's role in the CICA?

This is a high-level Summit being organized once in four years and being enlarged in terms of participants and its significance. At this year's event, representatives from 47 states have participated. Most notably, Mongolia's three initiations forwarded were adopted and included in the Shanghai Declaration following the Summit.

First, "Ulaanbaatar Dialogue on Northeast Asian Security" that aims to bring a mechanism to enhance bilateral and multilateral cooperation with the countries of Northeast Asia and in pursuit of long term goals for regional peace and stability. In this regard, Mongolia to host a multilateral meeting in its capital city of Ulaanbaatar in upcoming June.

Second, Mongolia's initiation of its nuclear-weapon-free status was greatly supported by attendees and was included in the Declaration.

Third, Mongolia's proposal initiated in 2006 regarding the signing of the Intergovernmental Agreement on establishing an International Think Tank for Landlocked Developing Countries in Ulaanbaatar was also included.

In Shanghai, you have held a separate meetings with two neighboring Presidents, would you please share your opinions.

Mongolia's priority issue of foreign policy is equally to develop its partnership with our two neighbor countries. The meeting with the President of the People's Republic of China, Mr. Xi Jinping was conducted in a friendly atmosphere. However, it was planned to have a meeting in a half of hour, but was prolonged up to two hours and ten minutes that means a lot and we have exchanged views on many issues.

The meeting was also concluded successfully with our northern neighbor's President Mr. Vladimir Putin, afterwards we have reached a consensus to resolve some issues together. This means some important bilateral agreements would be established.

Where many issues are needed to resolve and most of these are not relevant bilateral affairs, it regards trilateral issues, in other words, Mongolia's active participation is required between the three countries. Therefore, I and the President V.Putin agreed to form a joint working group on some tasks.

Following the Shanghai Summit, Prime Minister of Mongolia N.Altankhuyag is heading for Saint Petersburg, Russia to conduct an official visit, where he will be meeting with the state head of the Russian Federation to affirm negotiations discussed here.

Besides, President V.Putin promised to arrange meeting for Mongolian delegates with Russian high-level authorities in St.Petersburg and Premier N.Altankhuyag is also invited to attend the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum 2014.

Moreover, President V.Putin underlined that Mongolia is a key territory for railway transit transportation, which means as same as our country's position and it is very significant in terms of economic benefits.

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Putin Accepts All Initiations Extended by Elbegdorj to Strengthen Bilateral Cooperation

May 21 ( On May 20, 2014, President of Mongolia, Mr. Tsakhia ELBEGDORJ held a meeting with the President of the Russian Federation, Mr. Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin in Shanghai during the participation at the Fourth Summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA).

The meeting was arranged in a hotel, where President V.V.Putin is staying and at the beginning of meeting, Russian President mentioned long lasting traditionally historical friendly ties between the two countries and expressed optimistic future tendencies. President also emphasized the 75th anniversary of the victory by Soviet-Mongolian Army over the Kwantung Army of Japan in the Battles at the River Khalkh, Mongolia, which will be celebrating in August 2014, is a part of historical relations and stressed, "Nevertheless, our two countries have some issues to communicate, in particular, on how to further expand relations and how to change economic structure in terms of mutually beneficial cooperation".

At the meeting President Ts.Elbegdorj expressed his willingness to discuss on several topics, for instances, railway transit transportation, celebration of the Khalkh Gol anniversary as well as to abolish visa formalities between citizens of the two countries, and noted, "Mongolia is located between the People's Republic of China and the Russian Federation, and by the means of this geographical location, the transit by rail and other transport means via Mongolian territory is the shortest way to connect the two neighbors and would be very significant. Therefore, we would like to collaborate in mutually beneficial by choosing most optimal solution to develop railway transportation. In this regard, by organizing Russia-China-Mongolia trilateral and Russia-Mongolia bilateral dialogues would play an important role".

Mongolian President also proposed to organize trilateral dialogue on railway transit transportation in Ulaanbaatar and added, "Railway and transit transportation issues are related to the interests of both countries and is a strategic issue. In upcoming August, the 75th anniversary of the victory at Khalkh River will be marking, this is our joint victory, therefore, we would like to celebrate this historical event together and please accept our invitation to participate".

President of the Russian Federation assured all initiations extended by the President of Mongolia and expressed his readiness to revise and collaborate, moreover invited President Ts.Elbegdorj to visit Moscow.

The separate meeting conducted between the Presidents of Mongolia and the Russian Federation was concluded in a friendly atmosphere focused on strengthening bilateral economic traditional cooperation and topics discussed between the two states of head will be considered during the upcoming an official visit of the Prime Minister of Mongolia, N.Altankhuyag to Saint Petersburg, Russia.

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Landlocked Countries to Convene in Ulaanbaatar, June 2-3

May 22 ( The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mongolia in cooperation with the Office of the High Representative for Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (UN-OHRLLS) will host a high-level international workshop on "WTO Agreement on Trade Facilitation: Implications for LLDCs" in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia on June 02-03, 2014, the Ministry reports.

UN Deputy Secretary-General and High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States Gyan Chandra Acharya, Minister for Trade, Commerce and Industry of Zambia Robert Sichinga, Chairman of LLDC Group, Ambassador of Zambia Mwaba Kasese-Bota, LLDC Group Coordinator on Trade and Development, Ambassador to UN in Geneva Juan Esteban Aguirre Martinez stated on their participation in the upcoming event which will bring together representatives of 32 member states of LLDC Group, donors and transit countries as well as about ten international organizations, government agencies, private sectors and civil society.

Agenda of the meeting includes background research paper "Assessment of the WTO Agreement on Trade Facilitation: Implications for the LLDCs", preparations for Second United Nations Conference on Landlocked Developing Countries and reflection of LLDCs' development challenges in post-2015 Development Agenda.

Landlocked Developing Countries

The Second United Nations Conference on Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDC) for all Member States is scheduled to take place in Vienna, Austria on November 03-05, 2014.

Landlocked Developing Countries face significant challenges associated with their geographical location and in areas such as trade, transport and infrastructure. They are reliant on transit routes provided by neighboring countries and often have to cover vast distances to facilitate import and export. There are 32 Landlocked Developing Countries, 16 of which are located in Africa, 10 in Asia, 4 in Europe and 2 in Latin America. Seventeen of these are also classified as Least Developed Countries by the United Nations.

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Int'l Conference of Landlocked Countries to RunMontsame, May 22

Representatives of landlocked countries to meet in, May 22


N. Korea's nuclear envoy to meet ex-U.S. officials in Mongolia

BEIJING, May 21 (Yonhap) -- North Korea's chief nuclear envoy is scheduled to hold an informal meeting with former U.S. government officials on the sidelines of an academic conference in Mongolia this week, a diplomatic source with knowledge of the matter said Wednesday.

The planned meeting between Ri Yong-ho, Pyongyang's chief negotiator to the stalled six-party talks, and former U.S. officials, including Joel Wit, a former U.S. State Department official specializing in North Korean issues, comes as North Korea has threatened to conduct its fourth nuclear test. Ri arrived in Beijing on Tuesday on his way to Mongolia.

Although no incumbent U.S. officials will attend the conference in Mongolia, such informal meetings between North Korea's nuclear diplomats and former U.S. officials have served as venues for them to share ideas about resuming the six-party talks aimed at ending the North's nuclear weapons program.

"Like previous informal meetings, this week's meeting in Mongolia is expected to allow the two sides to exchange views on ways to resume the six-party talks," the source said on the condition of anonymity.

Since late March, North Korea has been threatening to conduct its fourth nuclear test, although recent satellite images showed no immediate signs of a test.

The six-party forum, which includes the two Koreas, the U.S., China, Russia and Japan, has been dormant since late 2008.

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"Track 1.5" US-N. Korea talks being held in Mongolia

Talks featuring government figures and private sector experts suggest a turn toward dialogue by the North

By Park Hyun, Washington correspondent and Gil Yun-hyung, Tokyo correspondent, May 22 (The Hankyoreh) --

A "Track 1.5" meeting between North Korea and the US reportedly started in Mongolia on May 21.

Attendees at the half-government, half-private sector talks were said to have included Ri Yong-ho, North Korea's Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, and various former US State Department officials. One of the reported visitors on the US side was Joel Wit, a former State Department official in charge of North Korea who now runs 38 North, a website on North Korean issues at Johns Hopkins University.

The Track 1.5 meeting would be the first in eight months, with the last being held in Germany and the United Kingdom last September. It suggests that Pyongyang has resolved its internal issues in the wake of last December's execution of former second-in-command Jang Song-thaek and is now working once again to resume dialogue with Washington and the six-party talks on its nuclear program.

After proposing senior-level talks in June 2013, North Korea suggested a number of negotiation plans to Washington through the Track 1.5 meetings and China. The situation halted abruptly in December, around the time of Jang's execution, and remained quiet until very recently.

"The fact that Ri Yong-ho is himself attending the meeting suggests that North Korea is strongly committed to resuming dialogue," said a diplomatic source in Washington on condition of anonymity.

It also suggests that North Korea, which hinted about a possible fourth nuclear test in late March, may have abandoned the idea of playing that card.

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Seoul urges N. Korea to abandon nuclear ambitionsYonhap News, May 2


PM Altankhuyag on State Visit to Russia, Attending St. Petersburg Economic Forum

May 22 ( The Prime Minister of Mongolia, N.Altankhuyag, is leaving today, May 22nd, for the Russian Federation. The Prime Minister is to attend the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum 2014 (SPIEF), which will take place between May 22nd and 24th in Russia, upon the invitation of Russian President V.Putin.

During the visit to Russia, the Mongolian Prime Minister is supposed to be received by Russian President V.Putin for bilateral talks.

Prime Minister N.Altankhuyag will return from the visit to Russia on May 25th.

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Mogi: oops

First Mongolia-Thailand Intergovernmental Consultative Meeting to Take Place in Ulaanbaatar

May 22 ( Due to absence of the Prime Minister of Mongolia these days, who is attending the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum 2014, the regular Cabinet meeting scheduled on upcoming Saturday was held on Wednesday, May 21, 2014.

At the Cabinet meeting over 10 issues were revised and one of the resolved issues was to organize the First Mongolia-Thailand Intergovernmental Consultative Meeting in Ulaanbaatar on May 27, 2014.

At the Cabinet meeting, it was agreed a guideline of Mongolian representatives to adhere and the State Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mongolia G.Tsogtsaikhan is obliged to submit participants at the panel meeting to represent the country.

During an official visit of then Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand, Ms. Yingluck Shinawatra to Mongolia to attend the VII Ministerial Conference of the Community of Democracies held in Ulaanbaatar in April 2013, the bilateral partnership council was established.

In the frameworks, First Mongolia-Thailand Intergovernmental Consultative Meeting is arranged to take place in Ulaanbaatar in the scope of celebrating the 40th anniversary of the establishment of the diplomatic relations between the two states.  

The First Consultative Meeting is aimed to broaden partnership between the two countries in political, economic, trade, investment, mining, food, agriculture, culture and tourism sectors, after which parties will sign a Protocol on discussed issues.

Mongolia and the Kingdom of Thailand have established the diplomatic relations on March 05, 1974.

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U.S. Officials Discuss Energy Regulation on MNB

May 21 (US Embassy) A U.S. delegation focused on energy issues and commercial law development will be featured on a May 29 broadcast of "Open Discussion" on Mongolian National Broadcaster (MNB).   

The delegation, included Joseph Figueiredo, Program Manager for the Unconventional Gas Technical Engagement Program (UGTEP), Bureau of Energy Resources, US Department of State; Joe Yang, Attorney-Advisor in the Commercial Law Development Program (CLDP) of the U.S. Department of Commerce, Office of the General Counsel; and Barclay R. Nicholson, Partner in the Houston office of Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P., who focuses on business disputes and energy disputes.  They visited Mongolia to discuss best practices and assistance related to laws and regulation of energy industry.

The delegation, along with Otgochuluu Ch., Mongolian Ministry of Mining, and Ganbold Da., an economist, were interviewed by  Mongolian National Broadcaster's "Open Discussion" program. The panel discussion was titled, "Meeting Mongolia's Energy Market Needs: How Much Regulation is Right?" The interview will run on MNB on Thursday, May 29, at 21:05.

During their visit to Mongolia, Silk Road Foundation and the U.S. Embassy co-sponsored a luncheon discussion that featured the visitors.  More than 50 people attended the event to discuss "Challenges of Transitioning to a Truly Free Market: The Case of Mongolia's Energy Sector".

The delegation was also interviewed by Mongolian National Radio for broadcast on both MNR and Voice of Mongolia. The guests discussed several U.S. government programs dealing with assistance on developing commercial laws as well as best practices in developing laws related to energy and the programs' potential benefits to Mongolia.

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British Foreign Office Minister of State to Visit Oyu Tolgoi Mine

Ulaanbaatar, May 22 (MONTSAME) The Minister of Foreign Affairs L.Bold Thursday received visiting Mr Hugo Swire, the Minister of State for the Foreign Office of the United Kingdom.

The dignitaries exchanged views on the Mongolia-Britain bilateral relations, international and regional issues, including the Korean Peninsula, a current crisis in Ukraine and a matter of Afghanistan.

In a scope of the two-day visit, Mr Swire will visit the Oyu Tolgoi mine, becoming the first British Minister to leg this site.

Mr Swire said: "The Foreign Secretary's visit to Mongolia last year was testament to the importance we place on our partnership with Mongolia. We were the first western country to establish relations with Mongolia in 1963, and in 2013 we celebrated fifty years of diplomatic relations. They remain as strong now as they were at the start."

"I look forward to working together on international issues around security, defense and economic growth as well as promoting British business and meeting Chevening scholars. And I hope in particular to have productive discussions on the future development of the Oyu Tolgoi mine--a major British investment and a huge opportunity for Mongolia," he said.

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Vice Speaker receives British Foreign Office Minister of State Montsame, May 22


50th anniversary of Swiss-Mongolian diplomatic ties celebrated in Ulaanbaatar

Ulaanbaatar, May 22 (MONTSAME) Dedicated to the 50th anniversary of the diplomatic ties between Mongolia and Switzerland and the 10th anniversary of the Representation establishment of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation /SDC/ in Mongolia, an event of honor ran at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Wednesday.

It has been co-organized by L.Bold, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and by Mr Jean-Jacques de Dardel, the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Switzerland to Mongolia. Among the gathered were members of the government and parliament, delegates of the Diplomatic Corps in the UB city and Swiss-collaborative organizations of education, culture, art, sciences, trade and business sectors, and a Director-General of the SDC.

A photo exhibition about Mongolia and Switzerland opened, it will be on display on the Chinggis Square until May 24.

In recent years, the sides have paid mutual visits, for example, the President of Mongolia and the Foreign Affairs Ministry to this country, and the Vice President of Swiss Confederation and the President of the National Council to Mongolia.

Mongolia and Switzerland established diplomatic relations May 22 of 1964.

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Foreign Ministry briefs consular officials of diplomatic missions on Mongolia's visa policy

Ulaanbaatar, May 20 (MONTSAME) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs Tuesday hosted a meeting for consular officials of the diplomatic missions in Ulaanbaatar city.

During the meeting, the gathered were given details about the visa policy of Mongolia, its tendency, amendments to the related laws and rules, reforms in some state organizations and their functions.

Moreover, the Foreign Ministry gave responses to questions from the consular officials, and heard current problems faced to the consuls. They exchanged a view on creating a mechanism to urgently tackle sudden problems or difficulties.

The gathering brought together 28 consular officials of 14 diplomatic missions in Ulaanbaatar; delegates from the Ministry of Justice, the General Police Department and other organizations.    

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Standing Committee on Security and Foreign Policy Runs Online Meeting with Mongolian Ambassadors

Ulaanbaatar, May 22 (MONTSAME) Members of the Standing committee on security and foreign policy had Wednesday an online meeting with Mongolian Ambassadors residing in foreign countries.

The meeting was organized in connection with the establishment of a working group responsible for scrutiny over implementation of the national security and foreign policy principles. It was attended by the chief of the working group D.Demberel MP, members R.Amarjargal and B.Bolor MPs, together with 13 Ambassadors of Mongolia.

Mr Demberel asked the Ambassadors to share views on urgent matters, before noting the establishment of a collaboration agreement with the European Union on issues regarding "Third neighbor" nations. He also complained about the lack of integration in the foreign policies and asked the Ambassador to brief on their activities aiming at protection of rights of students studying abroad.

After the working group leader, B.Bolor MP asked the Ambassadors to update actions taking place under goals to make the foreign policies more economy-oriented.

Ambassador of Mongolia to Japan S.Khurelbaatar talked about difficulty in entering the Japanese market, due to Japan's overwhelmingly dominant domestic supply to its own market and lower quality of Mongolian products. He then gave pleasant news that one thousand more Mongolian students will be granted scholarships of the Japanese Government to study in Japan.

For making the foreign policies more economy-oriented, the Embassy receives many offers from foreign investors, but keeping firm contact with relevant authorities in Mongolia is not always easy, said Ambassador of Mongolia to Sweden Z.Altai.

Mother language learning of Mongolian children growing in foreign countries has become a significant problem, said Ambassador of Mongolia to Hungary T.Gandi, noting that her request for online mother language lessons for these children has not been answered by the Education and Science Ministry of Mongolia.

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Nepali Delegates Study Mongolian Experience on Fighting Human Trafficking

May 21 ( Deputy Chairman of Citizenship and Migration General Authority of Mongolia (CMGAM) Myatavdorj MUNKHBAT received delegates from the Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare, Ministry of Home Affairs, and Ministry of Labour and Employment of the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal in Ulaanbaatar on May 21, 2014.

The Nepali delegates' visit to Mongolia aims to get familiarized and study Mongolian experience on the fight against human trafficking and exchange opinions on the above topic.

During the visit, guests were introduced with activities of the CMGAM's Department of Permit and Registration, Department of Monitoring and Buyant-Ukhaa Office at the Chinggis Khaan International Airport.

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Social, Environmental and Other

Mongolian social welfare agency reps visit Elko, Nevada

ELKO, May 21 (Elko Daily) — Mongolians looked in Elko this week for ideas for social programs.

"They are trying to see how America does different family services," said professional translator Ellen Batjargal. "... They want to adapt what works in Mongolia, rather than adapt from one country."

The new social welfare agency in Mongolia sent representatives to Ruby Mountain Resource Center and Meals on Wheels on Wednesday. The trip took place in collaboration with the University of Nevada School of Medicine.

Julie Caldwell, who worked for the Mongolian Youth Federation and is a private community development consultant, contacted the university. Caldwell knew one of the women in the group as a former colleague.

"Nevada is really similar to Mongolia," she told the Free Press. "... Half of their population lives in their capital. The rest are nomads."

Furthermore, the climate is similar, she said.

The General Authority of Social Welfare Service Government Implementing Agency was recently formed in Mongolia, having once been part of the labor agency, Batjargal said. In Elko, the department representatives learned about how Americans work with the elderly and the disabled.

"It's kind of neat to see them building a foundation," said Keith Clark, director of rural outreach for the University of Nevada School of Medicine.

The visitors asked Ruby Mountain Resource Center Director Naomi Leahy about her organization. Leahy shared information about how the workers are paid.

"Our task is to train them with employment skills so they may go out and get a job if they want to," Leahy said.

Several employees spoke to the visitors with assistance from the translator, and Leahy also shared a few success stories.

"It is my favorite organization in Elko for demonstrating integrated services," Caldwell said.

Agency representatives were able to ask questions about the welfare system. For example, one woman asked why a certain man and woman with disabilities would lose their government benefits if they were married. Other questions included what kind of government money the program receives.

Abigail Wheeler, Elko County transit coordinator for Get My Ride, also spoke to the group.

"A lot of these people would not have transportation if there was not a public transportation system," Wheeler said.

After the presentations, the Mongolian visitors toured the Ruby Mountain Resource Center thrift store and boutique. Some women even purchased a few items. The employees greeted the visitors enthusiastically.

"They come from various family backgrounds," Wheeler said. "... They have a family with each other and the staff and they look forward to coming here."

Departments of the Mongolian agency that were represented included development, population, evaluation and internal audit, social welfare and IT.

"They're now developing for the first time all these services," Caldwell said.

The women arrived on Monday and will be leaving Nevada on Saturday. Their tour of Nevada includes trips to Reno, Carson City, Fallon and Las Vegas. Clark said they will also be shown the School of Medicine's telemedicine program.

Caldwell said this visit is part of an exchange program. Next year, Elko residents will be able to sign up for a two-week trip to Mongolia through the Great Basin College Continuing Education department. It is funded by a grant from World Bank, Caldwell said.

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Dear IWAM,

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(The JESUS Film Project)

Twenty-three years ago, the Lord called Warren Willis and his late wife, Diane, "to the uttermost part of the earth" – a country with only five known Christians at the time. He responded, others partnered through prayer and giving, and a nation began to be transformed.                                                                                                                                       

Video above is courtesy of Campus Crusade Legacy Project. More videos like this can be found at

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From past to present, partners like you have helped send the good news to the uttermost parts of the earth. Today, students continue the legacy in their own country to share the "JESUS" film with men, women and children. To learn more about the ongoing ministry in this Asian country, please watch the video below.

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