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Monday, May 26, 2014
Headlines in Italic are ones modified by Cover Mongolia from original
Announcement made before HK open. SGQ closed +3.13% to C$0.66, TRQ closed -0.26% to US$3.85 Friday
SouthGobi Resources Announces US$10 Million Shareholder Loan Facility With Turquoise Hill Resources
HONG KONG, CHINA--(Marketwired - May 25, 2014) - SouthGobi Resources Ltd. (TSX:SGQ)(HKSE:1878) (the "Company" or "SouthGobi") today announced that its majority shareholder, Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd. (TSX:TRQ, NYSE:TRQ, NASDAQ:TRQ) ("Turquoise Hill"), will support the Company by providing a $10 million revolving credit facility to the Company to meet short term working capital requirements. All figures are in U.S. Dollars unless otherwise stated.
The key commercial terms of the facility are as follows;
· maturity date of August 30, 2014;
· interest rate of one month US dollar LIBOR Rate in effect plus 11% margin per annum;
· commitment fee of 35% of interest rate payable quarterly in arrears on undrawn principal amount of facility;
· front end fee of $100,000
· draws subject to customary closing conditions and the Company's cash requirements in the ordinary course of business;
· facility is subject to certain mandatory prepayment and termination provisions; and
· the Company to continue to seek other funding alternatives.
Advances made under the facility will be used by the Company to fund operations and meet its ongoing obligations and future contractual commitments.
As Turquoise Hill owns approximately 56% of the Company's outstanding common shares, its agreement to provide the facility is a related party transaction under applicable Canadian securities laws. The facility is exempt from the formal valuation and minority approval provisions of such laws.
As of May 23, 2014 the Company had cash of $2.8 million following the payment of approximately $7.9 million of interest to China Investment Corporation ("CIC") under CIC's $250 million convertible debenture. The shareholder loan facility has been structured as permitted debt in compliance with the provisions of the CIC convertible debenture requirements.
Notwithstanding the provision of the $10 million shareholder loan facility, the Company continues to experience negative impacts on its margins and liquidity and there can be no assurance that the Company will have sufficient funding for the balance of 2014 to be able to continue as a going concern, as more fully detailed in its Management's Discussion and Analysis for the quarter ended March 31, 2014, available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com, and, in particular, section 5 "Liquidity and Capital Resources" and section 11 "Risk Factors" thereof. Therefore the Company is actively seeking additional sources of financing to continue operating and meet its objectives, while continuing to be focused on minimizing uncommitted capital expenditures while preserving the Company's growth options.
KRI closed -4.5c to 26c on the announcement on low volume
Khan Files Second Quarter 2014 Financial Results
TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - May 23, 2014) - Khan Resources Inc. (CSE:KRI) ("Khan" or "the Company") announced today that it has filed its financial statements and management's discussion and analysis for the six months ended March 31, 2014 on SEDAR and has posted these documents to its website www.khanresources.com.
· International arbitration action against the Government of Mongolia - All submissions and hearings have now been completed in respect of the international arbitration action against the Government of Mongolia for the illegal expropriation in 2009 of the Company's mining and exploration licenses for the Dornod uranium project in northeastern Mongolia. The hearing on merits and quantum was completed between November 11 and November 15, 2013 and two post-hearing briefs were subsequently submitted; the first on February 5, 2014 followed by a final brief on April 11, 2014. The Tribunal is now in the process of formulating their decision which is expected in the second half of 2014. The amount of damages sought by Khan currently exceeds $350 million.
· Cash - Substantial cash outflows for legal expenses related to the international arbitration came to an end during the period. Management is now conserving its cash resources pending the judgment of the Tribunal. The Company's rate of cash expenditures has declined significantly since April 1, 2014. For more information, see the Cash Flows and Liquidity discussions below.
· Investments - As at March 31, 2014, Khan held 14.8 million common shares of Macusani Yellowcake Inc. ("Macusani"), which represents 9.3% of the 159.5 million Macusani outstanding common shares.
The fair value of the investment at March 31, 2014 was $1,557,000 - an increase of $393,000 from the value at September 30, 2013. The increase was due to an improvement in the price of Macusani common shares from $0.075 per share at September 30, 2013 to $0.105 per share at March 31, 2014, offset by the sale of 700,000 shares during February and March for gross proceeds of $92,000.
· Corporate matters - The Mongolian subsidiaries were closed on September 30, 2013 and all Mongolian tangible assets were retired. The windup of these entities is expected to be completed in the third quarter.
· The following table summarizes financial results of the Company for the three and six months ended March 31, 2014 and 2013.
Mogi: bailing out MAK, giving passes to Centerra, MEC.
MONGOLIA PROPOSES ISSUING BONDS TO ACQUIRE 34% STAKE IN TSAGAAN SUVARGA, DROPS KHUSHUUT, KEEPS GATSUURT, TSAIDAMNUUR ON LIST OF PROPOSED STRATEGIC DEPOSITS
May 23 (Independent Mongolian Metals & Mining Research) --
Mining Minister has submitted today to Parliament draft resolutions
· to establish state stake in Tsavaan Suvarga (TS) copper-moly project , located approximately 150 km to the northeast of OT. According to the EBRD which led the US$350M syndicated loan for MAK in 2012, the TS deposit contains 1.3 million tons of copper (According to MAK's website and Mongolian media reports, oxide resource of 16Mt at 0.42% Cu & 0.011% Mo with primary sulphide resources of 250Mt at 0.53% Cu & 0.018% Mo resulting in 1.8 million tons of copper and 66 thousand tons of Moly, open pit mine duration of 18 years and scheduled by end of 2016 processing of 16.9mt of ore per year to produce annually 320 thousand tons of copper conc and 5000 tons of moly conc, project is 45% complete)
· "Based on clause of the Law on Minerals that state can possess shares equal to 34 per cent of capital invested in a strategic deposit discovered without state budget funds and that state stake amount will be determined by agreement considering size of state investment, the draft resolution proposes for state to acquire possession of 34 per cent shares by investing 34 per cent of total investment of US$1B equal to US$350M"
· "it is proposed for funding for US$350M to be resolved by issuing Government bond in second quarter of 2014. The shares are to be owned by Erdenes MGL and JV is to be established with licence possessor company"
· Previously there have been reports in Mongolian media of financial difficulty encountered by MAK resulting in curtailing activities at TS since last October and inability to pay salaries and the company lobbying the Government to get funding for the project from Chingghis bonds, support by state stake and tax policy
· to amend list of deposits to be enrolled in strategic deposits as proposed by draft resolution submitted by Government on May 31,2013.
· Original resolution proposed enrolling seven deposits - Khushuut and Tsaidamnuur coal deposits, Gatsuurt gold deposit and four rare-earth elements deposits. Later, the original resolution was retracted by the Mining Ministry when Economic Standing Committee recommended to update the resolution complying with newly approved State Policy in Minerals Sector.
· This time Government submitted resolution to enrol Tsaidamnur and Gatsuurt deposits as respective developers of project – Tsetsens Mining&Energy LLC and Centerra Gold Mongolia LLC have requested to enroll the deposits into list of strategic deposits.
· Khushuut was removed due to disagreement on the proposition with investors listed on international stock exchange( MEC) and local authorities reaching agreement with investors on cooperation and a proposal delivered to establish agreement without enrolling into strategic deposits
· Four rare-earth elements deposits were postponed due to incomplete exploration, unclear technological solution for concentrating and processing and incomplete feasibility study
Link to the Parliament official information on Tsagaan suvraga: http://open.parliament.mn/content/4031.htm
Link to the Parliament official information on Gatsuurt: http://open.parliament.mn/content/4034.htm
Link to Mining Ministry's press release: http://mm.gov.mn/news/view/218
MSE News for May 23: Top 20 -0.27%, Turnover ₮8.6 Million
Ulaanbaatar, May 23 /MONTSAME/ At the Stock Exchange trades held Friday, a total of 9,045 shares of 24 JSCs were traded costing MNT eight million 569 thousand and 679.20.
"Remikon" /3,043 units/, "Merex" /1,980 units/, "Nako tulsh" /1,000 units/, "Khokh gan" /1,000 units/ and "Bayalag nalaikh" /982 units/ were the most actively traded in terms of trading volume, in terms of trading value--"Gutal" (MNT two million and 210 thousand), "Talkh chikher" (MNT one million 180 thousand and 950), "Tavantolgoi" (MNT 791 thousand and 100), "Material impex" (MNT 643 thousand and 500) and "Remikon" (MNT 499 thousand and 983).
The total market capitalization was set at MNT one trillion 567 billion 786 million 222 thousand and 850. The Index of Top-20 JSCs was 15,374.42, decreasing by MNT 41.19 or 0.27% against the previous day.
MSE Weekly Review, May 19-23: Top 20 -0.8%, Turnover ₮122.2 Million
Ulaanbaatar, May 25 /MONTSAME/ Five stock trades were held at Mongolia's Stock Exchange May 19-23, 2014.
In overall, 198 thousand and 026 shares were sold of 47 joint-stock companies totaling MNT 122 million 205 thousand and 306.30.
"Remikon" /119 thousand and 407 units/, "Hai Bi Oil /28 thousand and 615 units/, "Genco tour bureau" /21 thousand and 037 units/, "Khokh gan" /8,420 units/ and "Merex" /2,997 units/ were the most actively traded in terms of trading volume, in terms of trading value--"Bayangol hotel" (MNT 54 million and 638 thousand), "Remikon" (MNT 17 million 767 thousand and 792), "Hai Bi Oil" /MNT nine million 442 thousand and 950/, "Baganuur" /MNT four million 587 thousand and 534/ and "Material impex" (MNT four million 478 thousand and 500).
FRC approves procedures for establishment and licensing of mutual funds
May 25 (business-mongolia.com) Financial Regulatory Commission of Mongolia has approved the "Mutual investment fund establishment and licensing procedure" on 21st of May. The document will regulate and coordinate the implementation of Mutual Investment Fund Law that become effective on 1st of January, 2014. It will enable foreign and local companies to attract investment to their funds through specialized financial companies raising capital from the public. Also, the funds will be exempted of operation tax which FRC believes that a major support on developing such funds and thus financial market of the country.
"ASIA PACIFIC PROPERTIES" JSC Announces Ten-For-One Stock Split
Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, May 21st, 2014 (Asia Pacific Properties) By the request of Asia Pacific Properties (MSE: APP) JSC, based on Financial Regulatory Commission resolution no.:3, of January 15, 2014, and Clauses 50, 57 of Mongolian Stock Exchange's "Listing rules", Mongolian Stock Exchange Chief Executive Officer's Resolution number 33 of February 13 2014, listing amendments were made to "Asia Pacific Properties" JSC. The company has issued 352,770 ordinary shares to the public and after the arrangement APP's stocks split ten-for-one ratio, which becomes 3,527,700 with nominal value per share changing from MNT 100 to MNT 10.
Therefore, each APP shareholder on record at the close of business on February 13 2014 will receive nine additional shares for every share held on the record date. The stock price was MNT 24460 on December 6th 2013, and after the split it will be MNT 2446.
According to the project of "increasing Asia Pacific Properties' stock value", the stock split will certainly impact positively on the shareholders assets, because increasing the number of shares and decreasing the value per share will bring greater liquidity. Furthermore, it can bring true market value to the stock.
About Asia Pacific Properties ("APP")
"APP" JSC is the subsidiary company of Asia Pacific Investment Partners ("APIP"), and operates in four main areas:
1. Construction projects
2. Real estate selling, leasing, fixing based in Ulaanbaatar
3. Real estate selling, leasing, fixing based in the countryside
4. Agriculture and farming industry business
Furthermore, the company's prospect is to expand its real estate and agriculture operations in the countryside. They are planning to research agriculture products and analyse real estate selling and leasing in the countryside, in order to bring true market value.
APIP, the parent company, is successfully implementing other major real estate projects, such as the "Olympic Residence" and the "Village @Nukht" complex, and APP has made a contract to act as an agent for the "Village @Nukht".
BoM MNT Rates: Friday, May 23 Close
May MNT Chart:
BoM issues ₮253.4 billion 1-week bills, total outstanding +7.6% to ₮640.8 billion
May 23 (Bank of Mongolia) BoM issues 1 week bills worth MNT 253.4 billion at a weighted interest rate of 10.5 percent per annum /For previous auctions click here/
PM Establishes Economic Council to Advise on 100-Day Stimulus Plan
Source: Undesnii Shuudan
May 22 (BCM) Prime Minister Norov Altankhuyag is leading a new council to represent the private sector for his 100-day economic stimulus plan.
Altankhuyag announced the formation of the working group on 19 May to employ the legislative effort Parliament passed earlier this month. The council consists of 30 members, 18 of whom are businessmen and academics. Bayanjargal Byambasaikhan, chair of the Business Council of Mongolia, will serve as council secretary. Other members include L. Byambaa, deputy president of the Mongolian Financial Market Association; Kh. Gantsogt, state secretary of the Finance Ministry; N. Munkhbat, executive director of the Development Bank of Mongolia; and B. Lakshmi, a financial market researcher.
The council will not have the power to directly affect policy, but instead will be responsible for acting as a medium for the private sector to reach the government directly. The council will have joint meetings with the working group responsible for directing the 100-day economic stimulus program twice a week, with public reports to be made each Monday.
The first objectives for the council will be to assist in the revision of the Mongolian tax system and to reduce state interference in private business affairs.
De Facto: Mongolian economy has "landed"
By Jargalsaikhan Dambadarjaa
May 25 (UB Post) Before contracting by 1.6 percent in late 2008, Mongolia's economy was experiencing an average growth of nine percent annually due to the economic bubble caused by increased mining investment. The decline in economic growth was largely due to international copper prices that had decreased by 60 percent by the end of 2008. In order to make up for the public budget deficit that year, Mongolia borrowed 280 million USD from the International Monetary Fund under a stand-by arrangement. As the global financial crisis was deepening, Mongolians were talking about reducing their dependency on mining and developing other industries. Although our politicians were making promises about what actions to take to achieve those goals, all was forgotten soon after the prices of copper, coal, and gold started increasing in 2010. As a result, the economic bubble began to expand once again.
Instead of accumulating the mining income and investing it in building infrastructure, the coalition government, which was formed by the two major political parties, subsequently distributed free cash to citizens in order to fulfill their election promises from 2008. It did not take long before their accumulation ran out and people started demanding that the government fulfill what was promised. In order to fulfill those promises prior to the next election, the government handed some more cash to the people by using the income generated by state-owned companies and forcing them to provide loans. The government acquired loans worth 100 million USD from Erdenet Mining Corporation, 250 million from Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi, and 100 million from Oyu Tolgoi.
Due to increased corruption and illegal trade within the mining industry, the President of Mongolia banned the issuance of mining exploration licenses for an indefinite amount of time in 2010. Also, just before the 2012 parliamentary elections, the parliament enacted a new law that included mining, communications, and financial sectors as strategic sectors where foreign investment would be restricted. Because of this law being passed by the parliament, foreign investment stopped coming into Mongolia as many investors left the country.
The Democratic Party won the 2012 elections and formed a government in cooperation with several smaller political parties. The government first issued the Chinggis Bonds worth 1.5 billion USD and later received another loan in yen worth 250 million USD through the Samurai bonds. Taking into account the government-guaranteed bonds worth 580 million USD issued by the Development Bank, Mongolia had a huge external debt that equaled 20 percent of GDP and 50 percent of the public budget at that time. It made the economic bubble even bigger.
By the beginning of 2013, Mongolbank used the loans mentioned above as guarantees to print money, and started providing soft loans designated to maintaining economic growth and protecting jobs by supporting construction projects, helping people purchase apartments, and stabilizing the prices of petrol and meat. Our domestic currency had relatively small fluctuations before, as much of the bond money was put into circulation. Mongolia had a trade deficit that equaled one fourth of the economy at the time. Foreign investment, which amounted to 50-60 percent of GDP, was used to make up for the deficit. Nevertheless, the foreign investment stopped coming while the inflow of foreign currency decreased for two consecutive years. It led to the Mongolian tugrug weakening starting in autumn of 2013. Currently, one American dollar has become worth more than 1,800 Mongolian tugrug. In 2010, the Mongolian tugrug was one of three currencies with the strongest increases in their rates against U.S. dollars (Mongolian tugrug – 15 percent, South African rand – 14 percent, Australian dollar – 13 percent). However, due to the tugrug's decline against the dollar, many correlations within economic indicators were disrupted. As a result, the economic bubble started losing air, began shaking with unpredictable patterns, and popped, shrinking in size. The Mongolian economy has come back to the ground.
The parliament issued a resolution on May 8, 2014, to set out an action plan that includes measures to be taken by the government to invigorate the economy in 100 days. Most of the actions in the 100-day plan to overcome financial difficulties and change the management system of public properties are already included in the existing government action plan. However, it appears that those measures have not been implemented for two years.
The authorities tend to like using the phrase "providing support to businesses". Nevertheless, they usually do the opposite in reality by increasing public expenditures and strangling market competition. It ultimately reduces productivity, which is the basic requirement for development. Economic programs from our government usually include enterprises and business activities, but they do not set out exactly who will do what. For this reason, new state-owned companies are established as well. For example, what does the government mean when they say that they will create equipment and machinery leasing in order to boost domestic production? Leasing services are currently provided by large commercial banks. The only condition is that leases must be cheaper than bank loans. If they are going to make them cheaper through soft loans provided by the government, every single tugrug injected into the economy today will weaken the rates and increase the price of equipment being imported from abroad. Or, are they going to establish a state-owned company? Who will set up the national insurance corporation? Will it be the government? Also, the government said that they would, "develop a program to establish ownership in large state-owned companies". This does not mean anything other than confirming that public property has no particular owner, thus, no oversight. It would be an entirely different case if the government said that they would turn state-owned companies into publically-owned shareholding companies.
The government stated that they would support many projects. However, it does not make sense when the government says that they will return 90 percent of taxes collected from economic entities. Does it mean that the one billion tugrug expected to be saved from a 20-percent reduction in public expenditures will be spent on this? Although the government promised to implement dozens of projects that have been discussed for decades, it looks like they will still not start work on the 5th power plant, the funds for which have already become available.
Furthermore, the 100-day action plan includes spending to promote our tourism industry. We hope that their detailed plan includes more specific actions, such as improving tourism services and setting standards and requirements for tourist camps, hotels, and transportation.
It would be more efficient if the basic principles for implementation of all tasks were determined when developing the list of actions to be taken to invigorate the economy.
The principles of the policy pursued by the government in the mining industry should be based on long-term sustainability, mitigated environmental impact, good planning, and transparency. The financing of political parties has to be made transparent in order to reduce corruption and strengthen good governance. This job belongs to the government. In order to provide public oversight of state-owned companies, they must be turned into shareholding companies that are publically owned. No tugrug should be printed until there is more foreign investment coming into the country. The supply of money ought to be regulated by economic growth. Our economic policy should be supported by free competition. However, the 100-day action plan did not include such details. Therefore, this plan currently looks more like a wish list.
It is time for us to carefully develop and fully implement a long-term policy based on the principles of the free market in order to keep us up in the air, determine the internal and external factors which contribute to an economic bubble that flies but bursts afterwards, and try not to land too hard on the ground.
The clock is ticking for the government of Mongolia to stimulate the economy
May 25 (UB Post) The Government of Mongolia, which received instructions to intensify and recover the economy in 100 days, is getting to work. The plan for the hundred days was approved on May 9 through Parliament and almost two weeks have already passed, with only 90 days left for the government to fulfill, approve and decide on measures to improve the country's economy.
The government has divided its projects into six groups. Leaders are aiming to complete several projects such as accelerating production in the mining and minerals sector, supporting businesses, developing the construction and infrastructure sectors, enhancing the economic capacity of province and aimags, increasing foreign investment, and implementing measures regarding monetary policy. A special team including officials from the business and financial sectors are working on research and assessments of how to improve the economy in the near future.
The efforts will focus on a total of 71 issues during the next three months. Obviously, one hundred days is not enough time to complete all the planned work. Three months is short time for the those who work and more than enough time for those who don't. It might seem impossible to complete so many projects in only three months, but the government has no other option but to try accomplishing its goal.
The primary purpose of this one hundred day effort doesn't lie in seeing its outcomes tomorrow or next week. Its main purpose is to enhance an economy which has been hobbled for many years and to put the growth of the country's economy in the right direction.
The following is what the Government of Mongolia has planned to complete and accomplish within one hundred days to strengthen the country's economy.
1. Support business owners:
- Promote smart consumption, reduce unnecessary import consumption and promote the purchase of Mongolian national products
- Introduce leasing services for equipment, machinery and facilities to promote domestic production
- Develop a program to possess vested state-owned entities and submit it to parliament
- Stop unnecessary state monitoring and inspections and give advice to entrepreneurs
- Create conditions to put land in economic circulation
- Reduce the number of approvals required for the operation of a business and ease issuance procedures
- Establish national insurance cooperation for loans
- Stabilize and intensify operations of the stock exchange
- Increase MNT for CNY exchange deal by 20 billion CNY
- Make amendments to the law on tender bids regarding the quality of constructions and roads
- Begin work to create a VAT system which will stimulate spending
- Develop a draft bill on proprietary rights and submit it for further discussion
- Ease factors which are increasing expenditures and costs for national industries and domestic operations in order to provide them with sustainable operations, provide loans and loan insurance, and support their inclusion in the domestic and foreign bond market
- Collect information from calls to the government's 11-11 center about business challenges and bureaucracy and take urgent, appropriate measures to address them
- Implement a mid-term program to reduce loan interest rates, make plans to open branches and units of foreign banks, and issue approvals by 2016 in a limited range
- Make economic data open to the public, develop a draft bill on economic amnesty and submit the bill to Parliament for approval
- Renew the quota for foreign laborers and balance their classification
- Develop a draft bill on mobile assets and deposits of immaterial wealth and submit it to the Parliament
2. Increase production in the mining and minerals sector:
- Amend Law on Minerals and approve exploration licenses
- Launch operations at the Asgat silver mine
- Resolve issues around controversial licenses
- Take measures to increase coal export, support beneficial cooperation through the participation of foreign and domestic investors in the Tavantolgoi mine, enhance competitive capacity in the foreign market
- Support gold exploitation
- Launch operations of a domestic oil processing industry
- Make preparations for the Mongolia-China coal gasification industry
- Form a permanent council to strengthen the economy in the Prime Minister's office
- Accelerate progress at Oyutolgoi's underground mine and provide policy support from the government
- Form a minerals policy council
- Show policy support for the implementation of non-traditional oil, oil, coal dilution and gasification, and energy export projects and programs
- Clear hurdles and barriers for companies operating in the uranium sector
- Resolve railway and transportation infrastructure issues to enhance compatibility with exports
3. Intensify the construction, industry, and infrastructure sectors:
- Allow state organizations and state-owned entities to buy domestic products directly from manufacturers without arbitration
- Intensify construction of Gashuun-Sukhait and Tavantolgoi rail lines
- Finish border railway construction this year
- Create fuel and energy tax exemptions, improve the investment environment, develop a plan to shift transmission lines and new energy sources for state/private entity partnerships and submit it to the Parliament
- Manage postponed VAT and customs payments for industrial facilities and equipment
- Support incomplete industries in starting their operations
- Support export and build industries to replace imports
- Increase wool and cashmere production
- Increase loans to fund the promotion of SMEs to 100 billion MNT and increase sources of loan guarantee funds
- Activate mutually beneficial cooperation with neighboring countries and stimulate talks to build railways and highways that will connect Russia and China and create petroleum, natural gas and energy transportation infrastructure
- Begin construction of the Baruun-Urt-Bichigt road and improve infrastructure at the Bichigt border point
- Start construction of the Tuul highway in May
4. Strengthen aimag and provincial infrastructure economy:
- Implement the "Street" project in aimags and Ulaanbaatar
- Launch the construction of thermal plants in aimag centers to improve heating supply
- Renew 16 soum centers included in the "New Soum" project
- Establish the first phase of milk processing and production in inter-soum centers
- Connect six provinces (Dornod, Khuvsgul, Umnugobi, Sukhbaatar, Gobi-Altai and Zavkhan) to Ulaanbaatar with paved roads
- Apply international trade status to the Gashuun-Sukhait and Shiveekhuren border points
- Launch and continue the 1,000 Households housing program in aimag centers
- Provide government support for projects and programs implemented in Ulaanbaatar with its own capital
- Make loan interest rates for apartments built in aimag centers seven percent
5. Increase foreign investment:
- Attract investment to the nation's free trade zone
- Introduce a new debt management system
- Annulment of profit tax for non-banking financial organizations that attract investment greater than 100 thousand USD
- Improve tourism infrastructure: initiate projects to introduce duty-free services, business centers, vacation destinations, and free trade zones
- Create investment funds: activate implementation of the Law on Investment Funds
- Tax exemptions for banks that attract overseas capital
- Launch concession works: create more state responsibility in the Law on Concessions, amend the law to protect national producers and entities and grant them priority
- Increase tourism sector income and promotion within "ITB"
- Attract investment from foreign investment funds and foundations
- Organize partial investment meetings with vested international banks, financial organizations and foreign countries
- Increase number of countries with visa-free travel agreements and create a pleasant visa environment for foreign investors
6. Regarding budget and monetary policy
- Reduce operational budget expenditures by 20 percent and shift to a cost cutting regime
- Provide transparency about government bond spending and trade in the international market, and improve monitoring
- Submit draft bill on development policy planning to Parliament
- Expand the range of operations at the Development Bank and improve governance: increase its independence and amend related laws and regulations to improve the investment environment
- Evaluate the foreign currency exchange rate and state budget funds with new methods and evaluate stability
- Provide budget transparency, create conditions for NGOs and tax payers to put controls on the performance of the state budget
- Prohibit promotions and advertisements through the press and media with the exception of reports from state organizations about their operations, and prohibit "conclusion contracts"
- Decide whether to continue implementing a mid-term program to stabilize basic commodity prices
L.Bold: We didn't make a revolution to have such a society
May 25 (UB Post) We understand that law enforcement is an institution for the "organization of force" and we have already adapted to an attitude which lives up to it. Even officials and servants in the field have been operating with the concept and belief that organized forces must use force against citizens.
Present society demands innovations in the judicial system and a renewal in thinking, making all levels of law enforcement organizations serve citizens and protect their legal rights instead of using force against them.
During the first two weeks of May, politicians thrived on heated discussions about taking measures against Justice Minister Kh.Temuujin, while on Tuesday, parliament members discussed in detail the hot topic of the judicial and legal sector. Tuesday's meeting of the Standing Committee on Justice and the Sub-Committee on Human Rights touched upon several incidents involving citizens who were under investigation, and whether they breached the law and had not been proved guilty in court, but died during the time they were held in detention centers. Officials and specialists from the Court Decision Implementing Agency and the chairman of the National Human Rights Commission attended Tuesday's meeting and responded to questions from parliament members, as people in detention centers suffering from health problems is a serious violation of human rights.
During the meeting members discussed even more serious issues, suspecting that law enforcement institutions are becoming organizations which abuse citizens' freedoms by abusing their power over citizens, repressing, threatening and pressuring them.
Law enforcement organizations say the reason for their actions is that "higher ranking authorities gave them such a duty," referring to someone whose name and rank is unknown, emphasized parliament members during the meeting.
All steps and actions of a civil servant should be done on legal grounds, and law enforcement, investigations, and the detention of suspects should be carried out legally. But today, judicial servants are operating under the order of high ranking authorities, which reminds people of a period of terrible repression, pointed out some parliamentarians.
Addressing the issue, member of the human rights sub-committee and Foreign Affairs Minister L.Bold said, "What have we strived for since 1990? We didn't work and make an effort for twenty years to have such fear. Back then, the Ministry to Protect Society From Danger accused anyone they wanted to. They kept all people in fear. Today our situation is the same. We made changes bringing revolution.
Can we have a revolution again if the Ministry to Protect Society From Danger is going to be re-established?" During the meeting he also made the following statement which caught the attention of many:
"We all have one motherland. Mongolia faces economic crisis today. Investment has decreased.
Everyone's participation causes that, particularly the participation of legal organizations plays a major role in it. Today we are living in the age of information. How is the world imagining Mongolia? Many articles saying that "Mongolia is a giant prison" have been published in the world's leading publications.
Who caused that? Who is behind these incidents? What is the reason to mine the reputation of Mongolia in foreign countries? The consequence of these incidents is being reflected on each Mongolian household and the livelihood of each individual. What are our legal organizations doing to protect its citizens from this situation? Who is giving an explanation? Or is it true that Mongolia is a giant prison? What will the human rights commission do regarding that issue? I believe that the human rights sub-commission should now hold a meeting and issue an explanation."
He also stated, "Relevant organizations are saying that death in a detention center of the Court Decision Implementing Agency is a serious incident. Actually it is not an 'incident', it is a Mongolian catastrophe. It is a deep catastrophe for the families, children and relatives of these deceased individuals. The question has been raised about where Mongolia is heading, as innocent people who have not been found guilty and are detained in jail are dying."
Law enforcement organizations have not heard strict and firm criticism or the position of parliament members on mistakes and bungles made during investigation procedures, as stated in recent meetings of standing committee. Maybe members of Parliament and politicians are fearful. Regarding this, Minister L.Bold said, "We won't be fearful. We are members of Parliament. We will state our minds. Anyone can do anything to us, but we have nothing to fear."
He explained, "Today, during the meeting of the Standing Committee on Justice, we are discussing laws related to innovations in the judicial sector. The current law on criminal investigation and punishment has features that support and approve of the concept of interrogation and punishment.
This concept of accusing someone after interrogation and torture has been kept in Mongolia. Now we are trying to change that situation. But can't you change interrogation and punishment practices, respecting the right to be alive and basic rights and interests stated in the constitution? I remember one case crystal clear. One commissioner from the Independent Authority Against Corruption (IAAC) called a bed-sore citizen for a hearing. Even though the citizen said he was in a bed-sore situation, the IAAC staff came and carried him to a four-story building and questioned him. We did nor strive for such fear. Isn't it possible to come and be questioned in some situations? We had a revolution in the 90s and made changes to the Ministry to Protect Society From Danger. Some people call it a revolution without death. We did not join the revolution dreaming of a great life. We made this revolution sacrificing our lives.
"Afterwards we changed everything – including our constitution, changed legal organizations and gave rights to policemen. Soon after, perversion started. You all remember that a former Justice Minister was convicted of a crime, put in a jail and almost killed. Then, rights were given to prosecutors. But the rights were withdrawn from them as it was obvious that prosecutors were becoming the tools of authorities. Then we figured out that the hinge of all these injustices was corruption, and decided to establish an independent organization, the Independent Authority Against Corruption. All rights were given to them, but it led us to today's situation. Now, what changes should be made and for what? Should we gather at the Central Square again?
"All the methods and tools are the same. Firstly, negative information about a person is spread through the press and media and citizens are led to believe it. Then it becomes boring to people whether that person will be dragged to prison or be killed, because that person has already become the trash of society.
"B.Renchin was a victim of that act. Articles with headline "Seventy-year old needs restraints" appeared in newspapers. In the end, people did not come to B.Renchin's funeral. My father was suspected and investigated because he cried from deep in his heart at B.Renchin's funeral.
"All in all, truth wins. Today we have built statue a for B.Renchin. Where are the statues of Lenin and Stalin now? This is not an issue that is resolved by an ideology. It is an issue of people's choice. But we live in fear today. We are backing away from our democratic choice under the influence of striking each individual, family, organization and society in fear. You should give an answer. You decide if you are going to recover the former Ministry to Protect Society From Danger.
"If there is gap in the law, you tell us and we will fix it. We are not scared. We are members of Parliament. We will state our minds. We should change that situation. Chairmen of relevant organizations are absent today. The Sub-committee on Human Rights is an organization of Parliament. We will work for a guarantee of a democratic society."
Transport Minister Attends 7th International Transport Forum in Leipzig
Ulaanbaatar, May 23 /MONTSAME/ The Minister of Roads and Transport A.Gansukh participated in the seventh International Transport Forum by invitation of his counterpart of Germany Mr Alexander Dobrindt in Leipzig, Germany, on May 21-22.
He was accompanied by R.Burmaa MP, a head of Mongolia-Germany parliamentary group.
Themed "Transport for a Changing World", this annual action brought together road and transport ministries of 50 countries and more than a thousand delegates.
The participants mainly focused on the topics relating to economic growth supporter and environment- friendly transport, technique development, digital infrastructure, population increase and climate changes.
During the measure, A.Gansukh met with his counterparts of Germany, Latvia, Lithuania and with other officials.
Rosneft Signs 5-Year $1 Billion Supply Deal with Magnai Trade, Shunkhlai and Cooperation Deal with Government of Mongolia
May 23 (Rosneft) Rosneft expands its presence at the oil products market of Mongolia. Within the Petersburg International Economic Forum Rosneft signed two 5-year term contracts for oil products supplies with leading importers of Mongolia - Magnai Trade and SHUNKHLAI. The documents were signed by Rosneft President, Chairman of the Managing Board Igor Sechin and CEOs of the Mongolian companies.
The overall cost of supplies - 1 bln US dollars, volume - more than 1 mln t, duration - June 2014 - May 2019.
As result uninterrupted supplies of fuel to the Mongolian market will be secured, Rosneft will receive a guaranteed distribution channel and will increase its market share in Mongolia. The overall market share of the named companies accounts for 28%.
Rosneft is aimed at increasing the volumes of supplies to the Mongolian market - the Company already reached similar agreements with other local companies. This will allow Rosneft to supply up to 80% of the needs of oil products of the Mongolian market. Agreements will be signed in the nearest future.
It is worth noting that the agreements are signed with the ultimate consumers which allowed to tie up the economically attractive contracts for all the parties.
Moreover within the Forum Rosneft and the Governmental Agency for oil of Mongolia signed an Agreement of cooperation. The document was signed by the Company's President Igor Sechin and the head of the Agency Gungaajv Olziburen. The Agreement envisages the realization of a joint evaluation of perspectives of infrastructure projects in the sphere of securing of oil products supplies to Mongolia and also in the sphere of the development of oil and gas fields in Mongolia.
Commenting on the signing Igor Sechin said: "The Mongolian market has a great capability of growth and therefore it is important that Rosneft takes a firm position in it. At the same time the Company is aimed at the expanding of the mutually beneficial cooperation with Mongolian partners".
Mogi: NIC is a Petrovis company
Rosneft, NIC Sign 5-Year $1.3 Billion Contract for Oil Products Supplies
May 24 (Rosneft) Rosneft expands its presence at the oil products market of Mongolia. Within the Petersburg International Economic Forum Rosneft signed a 5-year term contract for oil products supplies with the leading importer of Mongolia - NIC. The document was signed by Rosneft President, Chairman of the Managing Board Igor Sechin and NIC LLC Executive director Sonomtseren Altantsetseg.
The signing ceremony was led by the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin.
The overall cost of supplies - 1.3 bln US dollars, volume - more than 1.2 mln t, duration - June 2014 - May 2019.
The overall Mongolia market share of NIC accounts for 25%.
Rosneft is aimed at increasing the volumes of supplies to the Mongolian market - the Company already reached similar agreements with other local companies. This will allow Rosneft to supply up to 80% of the needs of oil products of the Mongolian market. Agreements will be signed in the nearest future.
It is worth noting that the agreements are signed with the ultimate consumers which allowed to tie up the economically attractive contracts for all the parties.
Commenting on the signing Igor Sechin said: "The Mongolian market has a great capability of growth and therefore it is important that Rosneft takes a firm position in it. At the same time the Company is aimed at the expanding of the mutually beneficial cooperation with Mongolian partners".
Russia, Mongolia Economic Ministers Discuss Free Trade Zone, Railway, Infrastructure, Energy, Oil Pipelines
MOSCOW, May 23 (Xinhua) -- Moscow and Ulan-Bator have been considering a free trade zone with the participation of Mongolia and the Customs Union (CU), Russian Minister of Economic Development Alexei Ulyukayev said Friday.
"Alexei Ulyukayev and his Mongolian counterpart Nyamjav Batbayar held a meeting where they have discussed prospective bilateral projects," Russian ministry's press said.
Among the projects, the ministers singled out the building of a modern railway infrastructure, energy facilities, electricity grids and oil pipelines for Mongolian domestic needs and transit to China.
According to Ulyukayev, the two countries look forward to switching to mutual accounting in their national currencies and eventually, Mongolia's joining the CU free trade zone.
The CU currently comprises Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus, while Armenia and Kyrgyzstan are waiting to join the economic alliance.
Earlier this week, Ulyukayev said the CU also mulled over an agreement with Hanoi on Vietnam's accession by the end of 2014.
Mining Minister Submits Reworded Draft Law on Petroleum
Ulaanbaatar, May 23 (MONTSAME) The Minister D.Gankhuyag Friday submitted to the Speaker Z.Enkhbold a draft new wording of the law on oil.
The draft initiator said this law must be altered, for Mongolia needs to give to its people an understanding about oil, natural gas and non-traditional oil, to make clear duties and rights of the state and of self-governance bodies of localities, and to refine all relations in royalty, taxes, granting, suspending and annulling special licenses.
In order to equalize legal terms in harmony of other laws, some understandings are amended or added to the draft, Gankhuyag said.
The Minister also said the cabinet worked out draft amendments to the laws on tax and on the state budget.
"Energy Mongolia-2014" International Conference and Expo
May 23 (Mongolian Economy) The two day "Energy Mongolia-2014" International Conference and Expo is being in Ulaanbaatar until the 24th of May. This exhibition is a platform for investors to discuss environmentally friendly technology to boost the country's world energy competitiveness index which rests at a score of 36.77. This places Mongolia 107th out of the 146 participating countries according to KPMG.
Sonompil. M. of the Energy Ministry hopes to establish a good base to introduce advanced technology that is nature friendly for upcoming energy projects. This would increase the competitiveness of the Mongolian energy sector as well as expand cooperation and partnership in the field.
Related authorities are giving presentations regarding multiple facets of the energy sector. They are discussing energy policy and planning, competitiveness in the energy sector, price and tariff policy, renewable energy resources, and efficient energy technology. These presentations pave way for more talks on how to revitalize the energy sector of Mongolia by making progressive improvements in the way things are run and organized.
By ramping up the energy sector of Mongolia, officials and representatives aim to reduce the amount of air pollution that plagues the nation. With eight power plants focusing on water, sun, and wind energy sources, people are leaning towards the positive direction. Out of 794,000 families, 509,000 are connected to the central grid whereas 102,000 families who live a nomadic lifestyle rely on renewable energy resources.
Otgonbayar. S. from the Energy Regulatory Commission stated that in order to attract investors to the energy sector of Mongolia, the country must reform its tariffs as well as clarify the legal environment that prohibits many investors from taking a risk.
Total energy comsumption per capita per annum is 1, 889 kWh/hour. The goal of introducing new and advanced technology is to increase economic benefits by creating a tariff system based on real absolute costs. This is the priority of the energy sector. Officials are also pushing to pass new energy laws to establish a sounder sector within Mongolia's borders that would strengthen business opportunity as well as competitiveness.
The Energy Vice Minister, Dorjpurev. D., says that we have a huge opportunity to meet domestic demand as well as exports if we can use our entire capacity. The energy sector can become another economic pillar to the country of Mongolia.
"Energy Mongolia-2014" Int'l Conference Runs – Montsame, May 23
"Energy Mongolia 2014" International Conference and Exhibition Runs in Ulaanbaatar – infomongolia.com, May 22
MOUs Signed with Investors at Energy Mongolia 2014
Ulaanbaatar, May 23 (MONTSAME) During the "Energy Mongolia-2014" international conference, Mongolia has established a memorandum on mutual understanding with five foreign investors.
This document has been inked by B.Amarsanaa, the CEO of "Erchim" Corporation, by Mr Hur Myun Pang, a director "Asia Holdings" company, by Mr Lee Sung Hak, a manager of "Hyundai Heavy Industries", and by Mr Park Sung Cheol, a director of "Meritz Securities".
This is a part of actions of short-term goals of the energy sector aimed to increase capacity based on domestic thermal and power energy, and intensify international cooperation focused on the sector's competitiveness.
In frames of the cooperation, the sides intend to set up a comprehensive station, develop distribution network of energy product trade, introduce here the latest hi tech, erect mobile power plant in order to get connected to internationally-standardized smart network.
13th Taiwan-Mongolia Trade and Economic Meeting Held in Ulaanbaatar
May 23 (Mongolian Economy) Peter W.J. Huang, President and CEO of Taiwan External Trade and Development Council (TAITRA) worked with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Mongolia to discuss opportunities between both countries at the Mongolia-Taiwan Trade and Economic 13th Meeting. Last year, the meeting was held in Taiwan where 70 business representatives from Mongolia went to discuss the relations between both nations. This year, 30 business representatives came from Taiwan to further continue discussions.
Taiwan and Mongolia have a unique relationship in which both countries complement each other economically. Taiwan is a country with advanced technologies whereas Mongolia is a country with abundant land and rich mineral resources. Together, both nations can work together and combine their strengths to form a strong relationship. This is a reason why Taiwanese bankers want to cooperate with the Mongolian banking sector. They have enough money to invest in Mongolia; however the only problem that lies in the way is that there is not enough information on the legal environment.
The Director of Foreign Investment, Javkhlanbaatar, gave a presentation on the investment environment of Mongolia. Taiwanese business representatives in turn gave a presentation on the management of recycling organic waste in order to benefit the environmental facet of the Mongolian industry. Through these talks, both Mongolia and Taiwan can learn from each other to firmly consolidate their relations.
Currently, there are 50 Taiwanese businessmen in Mongolia while there are no Mongolian businessmen in Taiwan. Officials hope to turn this around by requesting a direct flight between Mongolia and Taiwan to increase travel and relations. As of 2013, 2300 Mongolians traveled to Taiwan for purposes relating to medical opportunities, tourism, and business. There are also 820 Mongolian students studying in Taiwan with scholarships received from the government. In addition, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Mongolia hopes to increase the 1700 Taiwanese tourists to Mongolia to 2000 in the future.
Increasing travel is not the only thing to consider. If Mongolians buy more products from Taiwan, they can gain advantage of low-interest loans from the Export-Import Bank (EXIM) of Taiwan. This would help the mining, agriculture and animal husbandry sectors as well. The head of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry says that Mongolia is not using the opportunity to buy non-essential products from Taiwan. Instead of looking at relations as a business deal, it is important to view it as an opportunity to manage natural resources properly and to introduce environmentally friendly technology. Mongolians should begin to buy more than just essential goods to help promote relations between the two nations.
13th Business Meeting between Taiwan and Mongolia Held in Ulaanbaatar – infomongolia.com, May 23
In Ulaanbaatar with EITI Project Graduate Students
By Julian Dierkes
May 20 (Mongolia Focus) Together with Dirk van Zyl, a colleague in UBC's NBK Institute of Mining Engineering, I supervised an interdisciplinary group of graduate students in a project on the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) and focused especially on EITI reporting in Mongolia in the Spring term, see http://blogs.ubc.ca/maapps
I'm in Mongolia May 21-30 with some of the students from the group who will be presenting the results of their analysis of the EITI reporting to various audiences. One presentation at the Ministry of Mining that will focus on policy makers has been scheduled for Tuesday, May 27, already.
Another presentation will be at 16h on Monday, May 26, in the conference room of the Puma Imperial Hotel. This event will be co-hosted by the EITI Secretariat in Mongolia and will be free and open to the public.
Flower Center four-way intersection to connect Peace Avenue, Seoul Street and Chinggis Avenue
May 25 (UB Post) A 0.45 kilometer road will be constructed going south across the fence of the winter palace of the President of Mongolia, which is state-protected property, connecting it to Seoul Street and the road behind Bayangol Hotel.
The road is a new initiative being implemented as part of the "Street" project of the Ministry of Economic Development, which is carrying out all major road expansion and development projects in the city.
The project will turn the road in front of Flower Center into a four-way intersection after the road to Seoul Street is paved. The intersection will join Peace Avenue, Seoul Street and Chinggis Avenue, and officials are expecting a reduction in traffic congestion in the area.
One of the main problems facing road expansion is big private or public buildings. It is very rare for the residents to give up their private land or real estate for public road expansion.
However, both government and private organizations, including Mongol Alt Company, Shunkhlai, Kapital Group, Nomin Holdings, TES Petroleum, Petrovis, Ulaanbaatar Hivs, Erel LLC, Darkhan Mink and Minii Delguur have shown their support for public road projects and have relieved some of their land for last year's road projects.
The President and other officials have expressed that they are willing to cooperate with the new road construction.
Prime Minister Arrives in Saint Petersburg
Ulaanbaatar, May 23 (MONTSAME) The Prime Minister of Mongolia N.Altankhuyag arrived Thursday in Russia's Saint Petersburg to attend the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.
A led by him delegation includes Economic Development Minister N.Batbayar, Foreign Deputy Minister D.Gankhuyag, Petroleum Authority Chief G.Buren-Erdene (Mogi: Ulziiburen) and others.
On Friday, after taking part in panel session themed "Sustaining Confidence in a World Undergoing Transformation", the Premier will be received by the President of Russia Vladimir Putin. Our PM will also receive V.Yakunin, a head of Russian Railways, and Igor Sechin, a head of "Rosneft", an integrated oil company majority owned by the Russian government.
The St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) is a leading international economic and business forum held annually in Russia. The Forum was established in 1997. Since 2006, it is run under a patronage of the Russian President. The organizing committee of the Forum is chaired by the Minister for Economic Development of the RF, with input on the programme and activities coming from a community of major international and Russian business leaders.
Over the past five years the Forum has transformed into a leading global business event, attracting over 4,000 Russian and international participants, representing government and business from around the world, joined by leading voices from academia, the media, and civil society. SPIEF gathers leading decision-makers to identify and deliberate the key challenges facing emerging markets and growth economies, Russia and the world, and engage communities to find common purpose and establish frameworks to forge solutions.
Prime Minister of Mongolia Meets President of Russian Railways JSC
May 23 (infomongolia.com) Prime Minister of Mongolia, Mr. Norov ALTANKHUYAG, who is participating in the International Economic Forum 2014 (SPIEF), held a meeting with President of the state-run Russian Railways Company (RZD), Mr. Vladimir Ivanovich Yakunin in Saint Petersburg, the Russian Federation today morning on May 23, 2014.
During his meeting, President V.I. Yakunin noted, "Before I have met you in Mongolia and I am glad to meet you again here in my home city and welcome to Saint Petersburg. We do remember how the people of Mongolia greatly assisted during the WWII. Our two nations have long friendly ties. Today, the global community is facing economic difficulties. I am sure the present Forum would play an important role in tackling our problems".
Prime Minister N.Altankhuyag said he was pleased to share views on joint actions to be taken for improving the efficiency of the Ulaanbaatar Railway and stimulating mutually beneficial cooperation.
The next meeting scheduled is with Mr. Sergey Viktorovich Chemezov, CEO of Russian Technologies Corporation, reports the Media and Public Relations Office of the Government of Mongolia.
Mongolian delegation comprises of the Minister of Economic Development N.Batbayar, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs D.Gankhuyag, Chairman of the Petroleum Authority G.Ulziiburen and other officials.
Premier Meets Russian Railways President – Montsame, May 23
Prime Minister met President of Russian Railways – news.mn, May 23
Elbegdorj invites Putin to attend 75th anniversary of Khalkhyn Gol Victory
May 25 (UB Post) The Fourth Summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) was held in Shanghai, China. President Ts.Elbegdorj attended the summit, an inter-governmental forum for enhancing cooperation towards promoting peace, security and stability in Asia and the rest of the world, where he worked to include the "Ulaanbaatar Dialogue on Northeast Asian Security" initiative in the declaration of the Fourth Meeting of CICA and delivered a speech, according to the Office of the President.
Within the working visit to Shanghai, President Ts.Elbegdorj met with President of Russia Vladimir Putin on May 20. At the meeting, the parties exchanged views on increasing bilateral trade and promoting joint ventures between Mongolia and Russia. Both sides discussed issues related to their partnership in expanding the nation's railway network, in particular, cooperating to use the Trans-Mongolian railway as the primary trade route between China and Russia. President Elbegdorj touched upon a broad range of issues, particularly, on developing railway transit transportation, jointly celebrating the 75th anniversary of the victory in the battle of Khalkhin-Gol, and proposed the abolition of visa formalities between citizens of the two countries.
President Elbegdorj said, "Mongolia is located between China and Russia and is the shortest way for transit by rail and other transport means. We should look at how to use these possibilities and build railway in mutually beneficial ways. It is important to initiate and organize Russia-China-Mongolia trilateral and Russia-Mongolia bilateral dialogues. Railway network and transit transportation issues are strategically important to Mongolia." He added, "This August, Mongolia will mark the 75th anniversary of the victory in the battle of Khalkhin-Gol. This is our joint victory, and therefore, we would like to celebrate the historical anniversary together." The President invited President Vladimir Putin to visit Mongolia to jointly mark the anniversary.
President Elbegdorj proposed the organization of a trilateral dialogue on transit transportation issues in Ulaanbaatar. In response, President Vladimir Putin said that he accepted the proposals of President Elbegdorj and expressed his readiness to cooperate with Mongolia. President Putin also invited his Mongolian counterpart to visit Russia.
The issues discussed by the heads of state will be considered during the official visit of Mongolian Prime Minister to Saint Petersburg, Russia.
Foreign Minister L.Bold On Official Visit to Sweden from Monday
Ulaanbaatar, May 25 /MONTSAME/ The Mongolia's Minister of Foreign Affairs L.Bold will start an official visit to the Kingdom of Sweden on Monday.
The Mongolian Minister has been invited by his counterpart of Sweden Mr Carl Bildt, and this visit runs on occasion of the 50th anniversary of Mongolia and Sweden.
The countries established the diplomatic relations on June 30, 1964.
Mongolia Opens Consulate in Hulunbuir, Inner Mongolia
May 23 (infomongolia.com) On May 22, 2014, Director of the Consular Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mongolia, Mr. Sh.Sukhbaatar handed over a consular patent of Mongolia and exequatur granted by the Government of the People's Republic of China to Mr. D.Ganbold, who will represent the country as the Consul of Mongolia to Hulunbuir city, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region of China.
Consular Department Director Sh.Sukhbaatar wished newly promoted Consul of Mongolia D.Ganbold successes in his mission to develop bilateral political, economical, cultural and humanitarian ties between the two nations and protect interests of Mongolian citizens residing there.
The Consulate of Mongolia is newly being opened in Hulunbuir, Inner Mongolia and as today, Mongolia's Embassy in Beijing, General Consulate in Khukh Khot (Hohhot), Consulate in Ereen (Erenhot or Erlian) and Consular Representative Office in Shanghai cities are operating.
Kholonbuir Consul Receives Exequatur – Montsame, May 23
UN Mongolia Resident Coordinator Meets with Visiting IAEA Delegate
Ulaanbaatar, May 23 (MONTSAME) The UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative to Mongolia Ms Sezin Sinanoglu received Mr O.Acuna Thursday.
The latter--a head of Asia and Pacific Section, the Department of Technical Cooperation of the International Atomic Energy Agency /IAEA/--has been invited by N.Tegshbayar, a head of the Nuclear Energy Agency of Mongolia.
Ms Sinanoglu and the visitor shared views on the matters relating to cooperation and interrelations between international organizations based in Mongolia and to Mongolia-UN development program for 2012-2016.
Mogi: Things are getting prettttttty serious!
U.S. Embassy in Ulaanbaatar Welcomes First Marine Detachment
May 23 (U.S. Embassy in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia) On May 23, 2014, U.S. Embassy Ulaanbaatar held a welcome ceremony to institute the first ever U.S. Marine Security Guard detachment in the Embassy. Ambassador Piper Campbell expressed her delight at having Marines serving at the Embassy Ulaanbaatar. The Ambassador concluded her speech with a quote from 1885, "The Marines have landed and the situation is well in hand."
U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sergeant Adam Zybert thanked the Embassy for the work in preparing for the Marines' arrival. He quoted Ronald Reagan "Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. But, the Marines don't have that problem", and continued "If President Reagan were still here today, I believe he would say the U.S. Embassy Ulaanbaatar does not have that problem either".
As part of the ceremony, the Marine Security Guards presented the colors for the raising of the flag in the Embassy compound.
Foreign Policy Roundup #18: May 12-26, 2014
By Brandon Miliate
May 25 (Mongolia Focus) Highlights for the past few weeks include: Putin meets with the Mongolian President at the Confidence Building Measures in Asia international forum and with Mongolian Prime Minister N. Altankhuyag at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.
Mongolian Prime Minister N. Altankhuyag is traveling to St. Petersburg to represent Mongolia at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. This year, Western opposition to current developments in Russian foreign policy has affected the Forum, with 40% lower international attendance. Western opposition has also put Mongolia's relations with the Russian Federation in a tense position, highlighted by N. Altankhuyag's meeting with President Putin during the event.
During the Confidence Building Measures in Asia meeting Shanghai, Mongolian President Elbegdorj and Russian President Putin had a meeting, during which they discussed bilateral relations.
Mongolian Minister of Law, X. Temuujin invited the Chinese Deputy Law Minister (Mogi: Kh. Temuujin) to exchange ideas on cooperation in the fields of law and rights.
Mongolia's newly appointed ambassador to Moldova, L. Dugerjav, presented his credentials to the Moldovan President.
Mongolia's Ambassador to the European Union, Kh. Davaadorj, participated in a conference held for the opening of a new East Asian Studies Center in the Netherlands at Gronigen University.
As Mongolia and Sweden mark 50 years of diplomatic relations, Sweden's non-resident ambassador made an official visit to Ulaanbaatar.
L. Bold met with the British Minister of Foreign Affairs to discuss international developments ranging from Afghanistan and Ukraine to North Korea.
Mongolian Minister of Foreign Affairs, L. Bold, received the Israeli Ambassador to Mongolia to discuss the two countries' bilateral relations and congratulated the ambassador on the Israeli National Day.
In preparation for the 2015 conference on Nuclear Nonproliferation, Mongolian representatives met with the 5 nuclear states' in New York. The representatives made particular note of Mongolia's non-nuclear status.
Minister L. Bold met with US Senators Steve Shabet and Steven Lynch during the Mongolian leg of their Asian tour.
For previous postings, please CLICK HERE.
Health advocates oppose draft bill on establishing smoking rooms
May 25 (UB Post) Advocates of the National Center for Public Health (ANCPH) opposed a draft bill that will establish smoking rooms in public service organizations. Around 600,000 people die every year due to passive smoking in the world, according to World Health Organization (WHO) study.
The study revealed that 43.9 percent of the world population at passive smokers at home, while 55.8 percent at workplace. Sitting in a room filled with cigarette smoke for an hour causes equal impact as smoking 15 cigarettes, according to studies. "There is no such thing as safe amount for cigarette smoke inhalation," reported the advocates.
"Mongolian law makers are about to submit a draft bill which allows smoking rooms in public service places and allows cigarette sales closer to schools for the third time to Parliament. This is a clear sign that Mongolia and Parliament are violating the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control," added the advocates.
The ANCPH therefore called Parliament to refuse to either discuss or approve the draft bill.
Stolen Erdene Zuu Monastery Buddhist deities recovered
May 25 (UB Post) Seven gilded Buddhist deities, which went missing on Monday last week, are reported to have been found. Uvurkhangai Province Police Department confirmed that it is true that the deities were recovered but refused to give further information as the case is still under investigation.
The deities were stolen from Erdenezuu Monastery in Kharkhorin, Uvurkhangai Province, on Sunday night, along with other valuable and historically important religious artifacts.
The seven gilded deities date back to the 18th century and are worth over 70 million MNT in total, according to the latest report from the museum's curators.
The gilded Duinhor deity weighs 22.8 kilograms, and its base is gilded as well. The Jugdernamjil deity is also gilded and weighs almost 1.6 kg.
The Minister of Culture, Sport and Tourism, Ts.Oyungerel, talked about the case saying, "The theft must have been the result of thorough planning in advance. An organized group of thieves who were aware of the museum's security system and signals must have committed the crime."
MYF President A.Munkhbat: Mongolian entrepreneurs are the pride of Mongolia
May 25 (UB Post) The following is an interview with the President of the Mongolian Youth Federation, A.Munkhbat, highlighting issues regarding the federation and future plans including the "Cycling Ulaanbaatar" project and the Asian Youth Forum.
What is the Mongolian Youth Federation planning to do in the near future?
Our federation announced that we will devote May to cyclers. For the last six months, with the initiations of young people, we have been implementing "Cycling Ulaanbaatar" project to transform Ulaanbaatar into a suitable city for cycling. To make this happen, Ulaanbaatar itself needs to transform into an eco-city. To become an eco-city, we need to be able to ride bicycles during warm seasons.
Around 70 percent of the Mongolian population, especially young adults are facing physical inactivity. Cycling is the most appropriate exercise for good health. Just like the old saying, "You don't die of old age but from inactivity," we must eliminate physical inactivity from young people and in order to do this, we're implementing "Cycling Ulaanbaatar" project. The residents of Ulaanbaatar are already seeing the results. Previously, only few people rode bicycles but now, countless young people are cycling. Within May 2014, our association is planning to submit an official request to Parliament to exempt bicycles and other sports equipment from VAT and customs.
In Mongolia, there aren't many gyms to do sports; however, compared to before, the number of fitness centers has increased significantly. We need to keep on increasing sports facilities. Tax relief to some extend is necessary to make this happen. We're also aiming to nullify income tax for these sorts of businesses. I'm certain that parliamentary lobby groups will support youths as well as this proposal for subsidy.
It's important to build cycling roads for "Ulaanbaatar on Bicycle." Shouldn't this issue be resolved before subsidies?
Within the framework of the project, road constructions will continue. Although we're tight on budget, we'll make arrangements with available organizations and construct more cycling lanes. There are more and more negative aspects with the increasing of cyclers. We're working to establish a contract about this with the police.
We'll be doing activities about how to ensure safety while cycling, bicycle-related traffic rules, what to do when there's an accident and how to register bicycles. Additional measures include registering bicycles for insurance and leasing services. Getting rid of extra weight by cycling and turn into a sportive guy to whom young girls will storm around has become the current trend among young people.
Soon, we will submit "Healthy and Vibrant Mongol" project to the president. Mongolians have the potential to become the fittest and strongest young people in Asia. If we workout correctly and efficiently, we'll be able to stand out from Asian youths and become healthier.
"Ulaanbaatar on Bicycles" project was included in the 2014 budget but wasn't supported?
You can't say it wasn't supported. It received many votes because it was supported by many people. Last year's project activity was significantly difficult. Also, the proposal wasn't added through the government so some MPs added parts to the proposal during the meeting and additional proposals were blocked.
This year, how many kilometers of cycling lanes will be commissioned?
One billion MNT was planned for building cycling roads in Ulaanbaatar. When tenders were announced, two companies were chosen and begun working on the road construction. This year, around 20 kms of road will be built. The first road goes all the way to the end of Belkh Street. There is a 17.2 km long road on the northern side of Bogdkhan Mountain which was handed over to the Minister of Economic Development N.Batbayar and a two billion MNT financing was issued. If this road is commissioned, Bogdkhan Mountain will get a complete circulating paved road.
Together with Speaker of Parliament Z.Enkhbold, we're planning to organize an international bicycle race named "Get Slim Bogd Khan." From the Prime Minister's budget, cycling and running lanes are being built at the National Garden Park which will soon be commissioned. We're also planning to build a cycling road along Selbe River. We submitted a request to the Chinese Embassy to allow us to build a cycling road in Beijing Street through the capital city.
The Asian Youth Forum is taking place in September. How many representatives of how many countries will participate in this forum?
Last year with the support from the Prime Minister, Mongolian youths participated in the Asian Youth Forum with a variety of composition. Now, we'll be taking up many responsibilities as we now have the honor of organizing the forum in Mongolia. The forum will take place in September in Ulaanbaatar directly under the auspices of the Prime Minister. Representatives of 25 Asian countries are to participate.
I met with the Asian Youth Council and the World Assembly of Youth to discuss and come to an agreement on the preparation work for the forum. The motto will be "Youth and Unity" and around 300 representatives from the Mongolian side and 300 representatives from foreign countries will participate. Soon there will be promotions for registering Mongolian representatives. Additional two meetings will be organized for this forum. The very first forum of Northeast Asian Youth will be co-organized with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
An integral issue of the Mongolian Youth Federation is children's amusement park. Lately, there's hasn't been any news regarding the amusement park?
The struggle for children's amusement park is still continuing. We got a new law so we're trying to follow its principles. The Mongolian Youth Federation isn't an abolishable organization that consists of some populists or a seal kept in someone's bag. We are a responsible organization with many years of history. We're doing whatever is necessary to work in accordance with the law. Many complaints from residents were dismissed at court.
Privatization issue of the amusement park was not permitted from the start. However, privatizations isn't considered illegal. We're in a dilemma regarding the court so this issue should be discussed by the National Security Council and they should submit proposals to relevant organizations. Shortly, we'll submit issues to be discussed by the National Security Council.
A second session regarding the children's amusement park will be organized. We will clarify many issues including as to why the amusement park issues aren't being resolved, whether MCS Group fulfilled what they promised and what the capital city will do with the rest of the land. Mon-Uran Company said it'll build more buildings. Just recently, the Youth Cultural Center was fully repaired and started operating. The ill-spoken Prime Minister was able to acquire money and repaired it. Just like this, many more centers will begin operating.
When will the second session be organized?
It's planned to be organized by the end of this month. It depends on political situations as they tend to pressure us.
Are promises made during the first discussion session being fulfilled or has it been forgotten?
Troublemakers themselves should resolve their own problems but no one is resolving anything. The Mongolian Youth Federation is a nongovernmental organization so it's better to clarify with those who made the promises themselves about this issue.
Forbes Magazine selects world's top 30 young people. The Mongolian Youth Federation will be selecting Mongolia's top 40 young people together with Forbes Mongolia Magazine. Why are you selecting 40 people?
Presently, those who bring prospects to Mongolia are not regarded as valuable entity to society. Heads of the government are seen as the most important figures. This is wrong. We mustn't do this. We should be respecting those who bring prospects to society. A list of Mongolian entrepreneurs who should be the pride of Mongolia will be made. The best young people of Mongolia will be selected from those under the age of 40. Young people, who have brought new opportunity into society through their own success, not politically, will be ranked by the capital they've acquired.
What sorts of criteria are set for the nominees?
There are several basic questions on the nomination form. The most important thing is their success and achievement. They could not only write detailed descriptions of their success but also add an attachment to prove it. Every successful young person under the age of 40 can become candidates which means that anyone can be nominated these candidates. For example, nominate a person who is successfully running a company. We classified around 40 different sectors. We made applications for nominations. Those who want to nominate themselves or others will fill out nomination forms using this application and submit their material to the organizing committee by the end of May 20.
Meet Mongolian Reindeer Herders Fighting To Save Their Way Of Life [PHOTOS]
May 23 (Business Insider) Deep in the Mongolian snowforest, the Dukha (also known as Tsaatan) people have herded reindeer for thousands of years. They are one of the few remaining nomadic tribes still living remotely from civilization, but their lives have changed rapidly over the last 15 years.
Dutch photographer Jeroen Toirkens — who has documented nomadic peoples for a decade — traveled to Mongolia a few years ago to find out how life for the Dukha has changed and how it has remained the same.
When he got there, Toirkens found a traditional way of life at constant odds with a country attempting to modernize. With the government contracting foreign mining companies to develop its lucrative natural resources, the Dukha have often been left by the wayside.
The Dukha live under extreme circumstances in the taiga, or snowforests, of Northern Mongolia. During the winter months, the temperatures can fall to 50 degrees below zero.
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