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Wednesday, July 9, 2014
Headlines in Italic are ones modified by Cover Mongolia from original
TRQ closed -0.29% to US$3.47
Mongolia Says Delay at Copper Mine With Rio Not Its Fault
By Michael Kohn
July 9 (Bloomberg) Mongolia's prime minister urged Rio Tinto Group to hasten development of the underground expansion at the Oyu Tolgoi copper mine, shifting blame for the mine's slowdown away from his government.
MNGGF closed +2.17% to US$2.35, YAK +4.6% to C$2.50
Mongolia Growth Group Publishes First Commercial Property Report – May Monthly Letter
Toronto, Ontario, July 8 (FSCwire) - Mongolia Growth Group Ltd. (YAK – TSXV and MNGGF – USA), a real estate investment and development company pursuing the dynamic growth of the Mongolian economy via ownership of institutional-quality commercial property assets in the capital city of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia is pleased to announce the release of its May 2014 Shareholder Letter.
May 2014 Shareholder Letter
To the Shareholders of Mongolia Growth Group Ltd.,
In May 2014, MGG's core commercial property portfolio* experienced a same-store rental increase of 28.8% relative to May 2013 on properties owned 12 months or longer, as measured in local currency (Mongolian Togrog). Total billed revenue for May 2014 was 257.0 million Mongolian Togrog, as compared to 220.1 million Mongolian Togrog in May of 2013 or a 16.8% increase.** The occupancy rate for the core portfolio in May of 2014 was 95.8% including an occupancy rate of 98.4% for core retail properties and an occupancy rate of 89.7% for core office properties.
Investment Portfolio and Q1 Commercial Property Report
During the month of May, we continued to implement our strategy of shifting MGG's asset mix away from smaller properties that cost more to maintain and manage, towards larger institutional-quality assets that are easier to scale, as we continue to build MGG into Mongolia's leading commercial real estate concern. During May, we disposed of one property, along with finalizing the transfer of the three properties noted in the press release on May 29, 2014. In the first five months of 2014, we have disposed of a total of nine properties.
Q1 Commercial Property Report
MGG has now published Mongolia's first bilingual commercial property report covering the retail sector in central Ulaanbaatar. MGG intends to continue publishing quarterly commercial property reports with the second quarter report focused on the office market.
When we first arrived in Ulaanbaatar in the summer of 2010, it was difficult to get practical information about the commercial property market. As an industry leader, we feel a responsibility to bring transparency to the commercial property market, both for investors and potential tenants interested in learning more about the current state of the market. We are very excited to be releasing the first of many future institutional quality commercial property reports.
To access Mongolia's first commercial property report, please visit the Company's leasing website www.mggproperties.com.
Mongolian Economic Update
During the first quarter of 2014, Mongolia's GDP grew 7.4%
Since our previous update to you:
· GDF Suez-led group signs a 450 MW power plant concession agreement with the Mongolian government to build a US $1.2 billion power plant in Ulaanbaatar. The plant is scheduled for commissioning in 2017. According to the concession agreement, the group will fund, construct, and operate the plant for 25 years; sell its power to the central grid, and then transfer the facility to the government. Terms of the power purchase agreement and heat purchase agreement are still under discussion (Bloomberg)
· The official launch of the Altanbulag free trade zone on the border with Russia took place on June 24th. The Free Trade Zone was established to improve cross-border trade and diversify the Mongolian economy (UB Post)
· Mongolian Airlines (MIAT) has launched twice-weekly direct flights from Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia to Frankfurt, Germany (Montsame)
· Hunnu Air has launched twice-weekly flights from Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia to Paris, France (Anna Aero)
· Mongolia's copper concentrate exports rose 87% year-over-year in the first four months of 2014, reaching US $718.3 million (Bloomberg)
We look forward to updating you again on our progress and new developments in the Mongolian economy next month.
Fragrant Prosperity PLC: Proposed Acquisition of 60% of Monvest, Operator of National Lottery of Mongolia, for £3 Million
Fragrant Prosperity PLC (GXG:FPL, "Company") is pleased to announce that it proposes to acquire 60% of the issued share capital of Monvest Group Pte Ltd (Monvest) for a total consideration of £3,000,000, to be satisfied by cash and share consideration. The consideration has been arrived at following negotiations between the Company and the Vendor. The proposed acquisition is in line with the Company's investing policy.
Monvest, (Company Number 201129883C), a company incorporated in Singapore having its registered address at No 2 Kallang Avenue #08-29 CT Hub Singapore is an entertainment and leisure company that operates the National Lottery of Mongolia.
The directors of the Company are of the opinion that the proposed acquisition of Monvest is fair and reasonable and will deliver value to shareholders.
Further announcement will be made upon completion of the proposed acquisition.
About Fragrant Prosperity
The Fragrant Prosperity Company Limited has been established specifically to raise funds in order to take a 70% equity interest in an existing casino operation on Jeju Island, one of South Korea's Primary tourist destinations.
MSE News for July 8: Top 20 +3.76% to 16,580.6, Turnover ₮34.1 Million
Ulaanbaatar, July 8 (MONTSAME) At the Stock Exchange trades held Tuesday, a total of 84 thousand and 229 shares of 25 JSCs were traded costing MNT 34 million 098 thousand and 705.00.
"Genco tour bureau" /30 thousand units/, "Khokh gan" /15 thousand and 238 units/, "Remikon" /13 thousand and 709 units/, "Hai Bi Oil" /9,087 units/ and "E-trans logistics" /6,290 units/ were the most actively traded in terms of trading volume, in terms of trading value--"APU" (MNT seven million 244 thousand and 900), "Hai Bi Oil" (MNT three million 543 thousand and 930), "Genco tour bureau" (MNT two million 649 thousand and 899), "State Department Store" (MNT two million 445 thousand and 938) and "Tavantolgoi" (MNT two million 377 thousand and 500).
The total market capitalization was set at MNT one trillion 679 billion 324 million 541 thousand and 916. The Index of Top-20 JSCs was 16,580.60, increasing by MNT 600.16 or 3.76% against the previous day.
Fitch: Mongolia Data Shows Growing Economic, Financial Risk
Fitch Ratings-Hong Kong/Singapore-08 July 2014: Recently released Mongolian foreign-reserves data confirm that economic and financial stability is under pressure, says Fitch Ratings. Mongolia has largely failed to build adequate fiscal and external buffers against commodity price volatility to which its economy is becoming increasingly exposed. Exceptionally loose fiscal and monetary policy amid a challenging external environment is exacerbating external accounts which are already weak, and adding to financial risks.
Mongolian central bank data through to end-May 2014 show gross foreign reserves falling by 27% to USD1.6bn, from USD2.2bn at end-2013. As a result, reserves now provide only 1.8 months of external payment coverage, well below the 'B' range median of 3.2 months. It is also likely that the headline figure is being bolstered by foreign drawings under swap arrangements with other central banks. According to the Bank of Mongolia's latest statistical bulletin, "foreign liabilities" stood at USD960m, which suggests that net reserves could be as low as USD540m.
The Bank of Mongolia announced on 7 July that it has agreed with the People's Bank of China to extend its CNY10bn (USD1.6bn) swap facility for a further three years, and that discussions are in progress for a possible doubling of the arrangement. The renminbi swap is a meaningful source of external liquidity support - even though the renminbi is not a convertible currency - because Mongolia sources about 30% of its imports from China. However, the swap offers only short-term liquidity support, and does not address the underlying drivers of deterioration in Mongolia's economic performance and credit profile.
Economic policy has been highly expansionary since key commodity export prices begun to fall amid a general slowdown in China. The World Bank estimates the public sector deficit to have come in at 10.9% of GDP in 2013 owing to off-budget spending, despite a Fiscal Stability Law which is supposed to limit deficits to 2% of GDP. Monetary policy has also been extremely loose, with the Bank of Mongolia cutting its policy rate by 275bp since end-2012 while increasing funding to the banking system by MNT3trn (17% of GDP).
Weakening external accounts combined with expansionary monetary and fiscal policy have fed through to the Mongolian currency, which has depreciated by 10.1% against the US dollar year-to-date, following a 17.6% decline in 2013.
The result is that macroeconomic performance continues to deteriorate with rising inflation and slowing growth, despite the extensive stimulus. A significant challenge for raising economic activity (and improving external finances) is the slowdown in foreign direct investment (FDI) since the end of construction for the first phase of the multi-billion dollar Oyu Tolgoi copper mine. FDI inflows have fallen by 64% yoy in the first five months of 2014, contributing to the elimination of the capital/financial account surplus of the balance of payments. The beginning of the second phase of construction at Oyu Tolgoi is likely to provide a significant boost to foreign-capital inflows and broader economic activity. However, Fitch feels that ongoing disputes between the government and the mine's developers could push an agreement pushed back into 2015.
This, combined with the weakening currency, will put additional pressure on both the sovereign and other domestic borrowers which have relied heavily on foreign-currency lending. The aggregate NPL rate fell to 5.1% in May, from 5.3% at end-2013, while total NPL growth came to 95% yoy. This indicates that pressures remain on the financial system, a full year after the failure of the country's then-fifth-biggest lender, Savings Bank, in July 2013.
BoM MNT Rates: Tuesday, July 8 Close
July MNT vs USD, CNY Chart:
BoM FX auction: US$28.7 million sold at ₮1,832.1, CNY68.1 million at ₮295.51, accepts $17 million MNT swap bids
July 8 (Bank of Mongolia) On the Foreign Exchange Auction held on July 8th, 2014 the BOM has received bid offer of USD and CNY from local commercial banks. The BOM has sold 28.7 million USD as closing rate of MNT 1832.10 and 68.1 million CNY as closing rate of MNT 295.51.
On June 8th, 2014, The BOM has received MNT Swap agreement bid offer in equivalent to 17.0 million USD from local commercial banks and accepted the offer.
BoM Mortgage Loan Report, May 2014
July 8 (Bank of Mongolia) -- For the May 2014 total of MNT 112.3 billion mortgage loan was issued to 2084 borrowers, with total outstanding mortgage loan reaching MNT 2365.31 billion and total number of borrowers reaching 57579.
Growth rate of total outstanding mortgage loan has accelerated since June 2013 as government launched "Housing Mortgage Program" with an interest rate of 8 percent per annum. Year-on-year growth rate of total mortgage loan outstanding increased by 1.6 percentage point from the previous month, 10.4 percentage point from the beginning of year, 103.9 percentage point compared to the same period of previous year.
Among the outstanding mortgage loan, 68.4 percent or MNT 1618.1 billion was issued by "Housing Mortgage Program" (including refinanced mortgage loan with reduced interest rate of 8 percent per annum), 28.5 percent or MNT 674.5 billion was financed by commercial banks' own capital and 3.1 percent or MNT 72.8 billion was issued from other sources.
By the end of the reporting month, domestic currency mortgage loan made up to 97.4 percent of total outstanding mortgage loan.
Comparative share of past due in arrears and non-performing loan in total outstanding mortgage loan is stable.
By the end of May 2014, share of non-performing loan in total outstanding mortgage loan was 0.4 percent.
Mortgage loan issued in the reporting month
Mortgage loan issued in the reporting month has increased by 0.6 percent from the previous month, 80.7 percent from the same period of previous year.
Major amount (MNT 82.3 billion, which was made up of 73.2 percent of mortgage loan issued in the reporting month) was issued by "Housing Mortgage Program" with an interest rate of 8 percent per annum.
From the midterm of 2010, amount of issued loan per borrower has been constantly increasing and reached MNT 53.9 million by the end of May 2014.
In the reporting month, MNT 28.2 billion mortgage loan has been repaid, that is 54.2 percent greater compared to the same period of the previous year.
Number of borrowers
In the reporting month, mortgage loan by "Housing Mortgage Program" was issued to 1395 borrowers, mortgage loan from banks' own capital was issued to 688 borrowers.
By the end of May 2014, total number of borrowers has reached 57579.
Term and interest rate of mortgage loan
Term of mortgage loan issued in the reporting month ranges between 0.5 to 20 years and has weighted average term of 15.8 years. Weighted average term of total outstanding mortgage loan is 14.9 years.
Weighted average interest rate of issued mortgage loan stood at 10.0 percent. Weighted average interest rate of mortgage loan issued in the reporting month by commercial banks' own capital by domestic currency was 15.6 percent, while by foreign currency was 8.7 percent per annum.
Appendix 1. Consolidated mortgage loan report of commercial banks.
Outstanding mortgage loan (MNT million)
Weighted average term of loan issued in the reporting month (month)
Weighted average interest rate of loan issued in the reporting month (in annual basis)
Total number of borrowers
By "Housing Mortgage Program"
President submits Bill on Public Hearing to ensure civil participation in policymaking
Ulaanbaatar, July 8 (MONTSAME) A head of the Presidential Office P.Tsagaan and an advisor to the President on human rights and legal policy Ch.Onorbayar Tuesday submitted to parliament a draft law on public hearing.
Noting that the Smart Government means democratic principle as well as a responsibility, Mr Tsagaan emphasized that the bill on public hearing aims to ensure a civil participating in the management of state such as formulating, approving and realizing state policies and decisions. "This is the very first bill about ensuring people's participation in working out state policies and decisions," he said.
The public hearing is divided into several types. The legislative hearing is for the public when lawmakers are working out laws. Other kinds are dedicated to general monitoring, investigative actions, budgets, localities and appointment by the draft law.
Financing "Made in Mongolia": Agriculture Edition
July 8 (Mongolian Economy) The Government of Mongolia decided to invest MNT 1 trillion to local industries after their announcement "Let's Produce in Mongolia." Out of this investment, the agriculture sector received MNT 267 billion. The Government hopes that this money will be able to correctly regulate the trading of raw materials, process leather and hide, keep prices at a stable level, increase the production of value-added products and increase employment. This will help revive and develop the sector dedicated to leather and hide production.
Currently, there are 25 processing manufacturers of leather and hide and 187 industries that develop finalized products from these raw materials. Two of these industries are foreign invested. The Government is investing MNT 110.4 billion from the Samurai bond through commercial banks to fund projects revolving around animal skins and final production industries.
10.3 million pieces of leather and hide have been processed. Of these 10.3 million, 25.8 percent were produced in Mongolia to create finalized products. Of the rest, around half of them were partially processed at the first level, and the other half went to China as raw material and processed at the first level. 40 percent of these products are exported to ten different countries including Italy, Spain, Turkey, and South Korea. The remaining 60 percent are used locally as souvenirs, bags, clothes, shoes and uniforms for army, police and emergency personnel.
Every year, raw material reserves total MNT 150 billion. 25 percent, or MNT 38 billion, go to national Mongolian producers. 75 percent, or MNT 112 billion, are bought by local and foreign traders to export as raw materials to be processed at the first level. The Ministry of Industry and Agriculture released data that shows the country lost MNT 800-900 billion worth of final products locally due to high levels of exports. Parliament passed measures to support herders and manufacturers in 2012 to combat the loss of revenue.
The Government issues a bond worth MNT 140 billion which will allow soft loans to be granted to national Mongolian producers of final products and deep processed products. Little by little, by 2017, the Government is obliged to move all leather and hide manufacturers to a new zone and will create soft loans with an interest rate of less than seven percent per year. Through this, MNT 110 billion will be borrowed to increase the circulation of capital in order to buy raw materials. Another MNT 30 billion will go towards technological renovation.
With the investment from the Government, people are hoping to get 200 more manufacturers of leather and hide products, especially within the countryside, to make more finalized products such as bags and shoes. They also hope to create 25,000 jobs, thus increasing employment levels. If Mongolia is able to process MNT 150 billion each year, Mongolia can expect sales to reach MNT 1 trillion. Mongolia is currently targeting countries such as China, Russia, and those in the European Union as its main exporters of leather and hide. Exports equal USD 450 million. In addition, there will be another MNT 202 billion in taxes within the budget.
Oyu Tolgoi: Report details MNT 50 billion investment in Mongolian development
- Oyu Tolgoi showcases contributions to society, environment and community development -
Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, July 8, 2014 (Oyu Tolgoi LLC) Oyu Tolgoi today released its 2013 Sustainable Development Report, detailing more than MNT50 billion of investment in development programmes, targeted schemes and social investment projects in the South Gobi and across Mongolia.
The report, Sustainable Development Report 2013, features a full breakdown of programmes and expenditure focusing on safety and health, environmental protection, regional and community development, education and training, and economic development.
Speaking about the report launch, Oyu Tolgoi President and CEO, Craig Kinnell, said: "To us, 'sustainability' means investing in – and supporting – the communities and environment where we operate. In other words, managing our impact carefully, contributing positively to the social fabric of Mongolia, acting with integrity, and helping to strengthen the wider economy of which we are a central part.
"As a business, which will last for more than 50 years, we recognise that we have to earn the trust of our neighbours in the South Gobi. It is understandable that they have high expectations from Oyu Tolgoi and it is for us to prove our commitment to them. These reports, which will be published annually, will help to show our progress."
Significant highlights of the report include:
Ø A better-than-target safety record for the year.
Ø Investment in improving the health of employees with long-term health conditions.
Ø Water use which averaged less than half the global average for copper-gold mines, with an 84 per cent recycling rate.
Ø Further expansions to our collaborative monitoring programmes, where Oyu Tolgoi works with local herders to monitor the environmental impact of the mine.
Ø Connection of Khanbogd to a permanent power supply and continued engagement to develop a long-term master plan for the town's development.
Ø Support for a series of NGO-led projects to create a tangible and long-lasting impact on economic and social development in the South Gobi and nationally.
Ø Completion of the three year National Workforce Programme, with a total of 13,500 previously unemployed Mongolians benefiting from the scheme.
Ø More than MNT820 billion spent on procurement within Mongolia, and a 78 per cent increase in procurement spend in the South Gobi.
In future years, Oyu Tolgoi will continue to produce Sustainable Development Reports which will be published online, at www.ot.mn.
July 8 (infomongolia.com) The City Council in collaboration with UB Tourism Board, Metropolitan Police and Mongolian Students Union are implementing "Tourist Guide-Police" program during the 2014 National Naadam Festival and tourist season.
The Student-Police is obliged to guide tourists and provide necessary assistance, besides prevent attacks on tourists, and in case of any violations relevant to tourists, they have to solve problems immediately.
Students were selected based on their foreign language knowledge and were taught with skills on proper handling in urgent situation like first-aid assistance, advise tourists with basic knowledge on law, etiquette, psychology as well as self-defense classes. Currently, 44 students are involved in the program.
The student-police will be employed and paid depending on how many hours worked, in other words, it is planned to employ at least 4 hours a day and 88 hours per month and 3,500 MNT (Tugrug) per hour. Consequently, a student may earn at least 308,000 MNT per month and during tourist season or months of July, August and September, they will be rewarded with minimum of 924,000 MNT. The necessary fund for this program is allocated from the City Council budget.
Gradon Architecture unveils designs for new Mongolian ministry
Proposals have been submitted by Gateshead firm for an eco-friendly ministerial building in the Mongolian capital of Ulan Bator
July 8 (The Journal) North East architects with a growing reputation for international work are to put forward design plans for a landmark building in the capital of Mongolia.
The Gateshead-based Gradon Architecture has joined forces with architects from the country to design a new ministerial building, destined for a prime site near the Mongolian Parliament in Ulan Bator.
The move came about as a result of a government competition, which will see firms competing to create an innovative building that will not only accommodate hundreds of politicians and civil servants, but which will include ecological features.
According to the World Health Organization, Ulan Bator is the second most polluted city in the world, the use of wood or coal-burning stoves in the traditional 'ger' districts being a major cause.
The government is therefore taking action by encouraging the construction of energy-efficient homes and businesses.
Associate architectural technologist at Gradon, Tanja Smith, said: "We wanted to create an excellent working space for ministers and civil servants and to make a statement about how future construction projects could be embraced.
"We have sought to show the strength of the Mongolian nation and its people through design, as well as providing functionality and practical eco-features to create an energy-efficient building.
"Ulan Bator is a growing city with a big pollution problem and it's important that the winning design inspires further environmental awareness across the country. It is a step into environmental design for a country that is growing up fast."
Gradon's design includes energy-efficient heating, a water recycling system, high levels of insulation, a roof top garden and glare shields on windows. It also includes cultural references, such as the incorporation of the Ulzi Khee symbol, meaning 'happiness and eternity'.
Smith added: "We have looked at Mongolia's history and culture and based our design on the curves of a horse as the animal is a major symbol of Mongolian culture going back through time to Genghis Khan and beyond. We think it is a building combining function, efficiency and important cultural references."
After starting to take on international work two years ago, with help from UK Trade & Investment (UKTI), overseas business now makes up 30% of the company's total turnover. The practice recently submitted design proposals for 50 energy-efficient homes in the Nukht Valley of Ulan Bator and an 18-storey hotel, apartment and shopping plaza in the city of Darkhan.
Kyrgyz PM Arrives in Mongolia for Official Visit, July 8-12
July 8 (infomongolia.com) Prime Minister of the Kyrgyz Republic, Mr. Djoomart Otorbaev is paying an official visit to Mongolia on July 08-12, 2014.
Today on July 08, Prime Minister of Mongolia, Mr. Norov ALTANKHUYAG welcomed his counterpart of Kyrgyzstan at the Central Square and after bowing to the Chinggis Monument, Premier Dj.Otorbaev left a note on the Book of Guest.
During his visit, the Kyrgyz Prime Minister will hold official talks with Premier N.Altankhuyag, pay courtesy calls on President of Mongolia Ts.Elbegdorj and Parliament Speaker Z.Enkhbold and visit to the Khyargas Lake in Uvs Aimag.
Moreover, the Kyrgyz delegation led by Premier Djoomart Otorbaev is invited to participate in the 2014 National Naadam Festival as Distinguished Guests.
Kyrgyzstan Premier to start visit here – Montsame, July 8
Mongolian leaders, Kyrgyz PM meet on ties
ULAN BATOR, July 8 (Xinhua) -- Mongolian leaders held talks with visiting Kyrgyz Prime Minister Djoomart Otorbaev here on Tuesday, with both sides vowing to boost bilateral cooperation in various fields.
"Exchanges of relevant delegations, especially parliament members, between our two countries to share experiences is significant," Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj said.
He also made a brief introduction on Mongolia's democratic election, saying an effective system for voter registration and automated election is important for a just, fair vote.
Otorbaev, who arrived here Tuesday for a five-day working visit, said Kyrgyzstan is willing to learn from Mongolia's experience in democratic election and market economy.
Mongolia's model of democracy is more fitting to Kyrgyzstan as the two countries have many similarities in tradition, lifestyle, culture and history, he added.
Moreover, Otorbaev said, Mongolia and Kyrgyzstan have a good opportunity to cooperate in such fields as mining, animal husbandry and tourism. (Mogi: we no want no learn nothing about mining from you, cheers, and we no role model for you either, cheers)
Earlier in the day, the prime minister also met his Mongolian counterpart, Noroviin Altanhuyag, and parliament speaker Zandaakhuu Enkhbold.
During the meetings, both sides agreed to boost trade and economic relations between the two countries, especially imports and exports of their relevant local products such as wool, cashmere, sugar and berries.
Consulate General of Mongolia to be opened in Bishkek
July 9 (24.kg) The Consulate General of Mongolia will be opened in Bishkek. This was announced today in Ulaanbaatar at the meeting of the Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan Dzhoomart Otorbayev with his colleague out of this country Norovyn Altankhuyag.
He stressed that "the Kyrgyz side enthusiastically accepted the proposal and supported the decision of the Mongolian side about opening of the Consulate General of Mongolia in Bishkek."
Dzhoomart Otorbayev informed that in 2015 Kyrgyzstan scheduled parliamentary elections in the country, and stressed the importance of sharing experience with Mongolia in the reform of the electoral system.
Special attention within the negotiations was paid to the issues of trade and economic cooperation between our countries. In particular, the development of newly created Business Council between the two countries was discussed. They reached agreements in the field of agriculture, animal husbandry, trade and investment, business, industry, mining, transport, construction, tourism, health care, culture and science.
Dzhoomart Otorbayev also noticed that a special place in the economy of Kyrgyzstan, as well as in the economy of Mongolia, takes the mining industry, and expressed the interest in study of the Mongolian experience.
Earlier, during his visit to Mongolia, the First Vice Prime Minister of the Kyrgyz Republic Taiyrbek Sarpashev noted the experience of the official Ulaanbaatar in the electoral reform.
Elbegdorj to Visit Japan on July 21-22, Participate in Invest Mongolia Conference Tokyo 2014
July 8 (infomongolia.com) The Frontier LLC is organizing a special edition as series of Invest Mongolia Conference, and this time the July Invest Mongolia Conference will be held in Tokyo, Japan on July 23, 2014.
This special edition will be hosted by Frontier LLC in the scope of the Mongolia's Presidential visit to Japan, which is expected on July 21-22, 2014, where over 120 distinguished leaders in both political and business fields from Mongolia are visiting Tokyo together with the President Ts.Elbegdorj.
In the frameworks of the July Invest Mongolia Conference 2014, sub-meetings focused on "Investment Climate in Mongolia", cooperation opportunities in mining sector with Japan, current situations at Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi and Oyu Tolgoi mines, real estate market in Mongolia as well as topics on bank and financial institutions and infrastructure will be touched upon.
In the "Investment Climate in Mongolia", Minister of the Cabinet Office of the Government of Mongolia Mr. Chimid SAIKHANBILEG, Chairman of Invest Mongolia Agency Mr. Sereeter JAVKHLANBAATAR, Deputy Minister of Economic Development Mr. Ochirbat CHULUUNBAT will be participating as Speakers. Also, in the meeting themed on mining sector, Deputy Minister of Mining Mr. Rentsendoo JIGJID, CEO of Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi Company Mr. Badarch ENKHBAT, CEO of Oyu Tolgoi Company Mr. Davaadorj GANBOLD and in the meeting themed on real estate commerce in Mongolia, CEO of Asia Pacific Investment Partners Mr. Lee M. Cashell and Chief Investment Officer of Golomt Bank Mrs. Luvsandorj BOLORMAA, and in the infrastructure sub-meeting, President of Mongol CEO Club Mr. Tsevegmid TUMENTSOGT will be delivering remarks.
Frontier LLC is organizing the Invest Mongolia Conference annually since 2007 and Invest Mongolia Conference in Ulaanbaatar will be taking in upcoming September, besides Invest Mongolia Conference in Tokyo in December 2014, which will be held for consecutive second year.
Therefore, at the conference, organizers prepared the program focusing on Investment Climate, Governance of Mongolia and specific industries and projects which are feasible for Japanese investors and hoping that the President Ts.Elbegdorj will attend the Tokyo July Conference on this occasion and answer to the questions and requests by the experts and industry leaders in Japan.
Moreover, InfoMongolia.com is collaborating with Frontier LLC as a media partner until the end of this year.
Mongolia and Italy to Broaden Cooperation in Defense Sector
July 8 (infomongolia.com) A delegation from the Ministry of Defense of the Italian Republic led by Secretary General of Defense/National Armaments Director, Lieutenant General Enzo Stefanini is conducting a working visit to Mongolia on July 06-08, 2014.
In the frameworks of the visit, the Secretaries General of the Defense Ministries of Italy and Mongolia, Lieutenant General Enzo Stefanini and Major General Zagdsuren BOLDBAATAR have held a meeting discussing bilateral ties between the Ministries and exchanging views on current cooperation and further measures to carry out.
During the meeting, parties agreed that although the bilateral relations between the sectors had been established in 1997 by appointing reciprocal Defense Attaches, current collaboration has been almost stopped; nevertheless, this visit with a large delegation plays an important role to boost.
Moreover, the two Secretaries exchanged opinions to further broaden Mongolia-Italy defense industry cooperation, particularly, in peace support operations, military training and defense industrial sector as well as potentiality to be expanded in the regular high-level and mid-level official visits between the two Ministries of Defense.
Also, Lieutenant General Enzo Stefanini held a meeting with the Vice Chairman of the General Headquarters of Mongolian Armed Forces, Major General B.Bayarmagnai. Afterwards, Italian delegates visited the Military Training Center of Mongolian Armed Forces or so-called Five Hills Training Center in Tuv Aimag and got acquainted with activity of Military Unit No.084.
Mongolia and Italy to broaden defense cooperation – Montsame, July 8
Hungary revamps foreign missions, opening new embassies in Mongolia, Ecuador
BUDAPEST, July 8 (Xinhua) -- The Hungarian cabinet is revamping its international mission structure, opening embassies in Ulan Bator, Mongolia and Quito, Ecuador, while closing down the ones in Nicosia, Cyprus and Tallinn, Estonia, Foreign Affairs spokesperson Anna Nagy told local wire service MTI on Tuesday.
The new embassies are to open on January 1, 2015, while the closures are slated for September 15, 2014, she added. January 1 will also mark the opening of four new consulate generals: in Kazan, Russia; Dusseldorf and Stuttgart, Germany; and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
In a streamlining bid, Hungary plans to combine its United Nations (UNO) and Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) missions in Vienna and its UN and World Trade Organization (WTO) missions in Geneva as of September 15. Its UN Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) offices in Paris will be merged as if December 31.
Hungary has already closed down several embassies and consulate generals in a 2009 cost-cutting effort.
Mongolia selected for Australia's New Colombo Plan as destination for undergraduate internships
Ulaanbaatar, July 8 (MONTSAME) An invitation has been sent to Mongolia by the Foreign Minister of Australia Julie Bishop to officially involve our country in the New Colombo Plan implemented by the government of Australia.
A proposal on this involvement was put forward by Mongolia's Foreign Minister L.Bold during his visit to the country in March.
Officially launched in December of 2013, the New Colombo Plan offers Australian undergraduates new opportunities for prestigious scholarships and grants for study and internships/mentorships in the Indo Pacific region. By this programme, Australian students are involved in short- and long-term trainings, and it is being successfully realized in Japan, Indonesia and Singapore.
In conjunction with the programme, Mongolia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs is working for involving Mongolia in the Work and Holiday visa classification of Australia so as to let Mongolians aged 18-30 be allowed to travel Australia for up to 12 months, of which four months are spent for training or job. Main criterion is the mutual equality. Mongolia does not have yet any legal regulation for allowing foreigners to simultaneously work and have training within its territory for up to 12 months, so some times shall be taken to do official talks on the matter.
Mongolia to join ICCPED, OPCAT conventions on human rights
Ulaanbaatar, July 8 (MONTSAME) The Minister of Justice Kh.Temuujin MP Tuesday submitted to the Speaker Z.Enkhbold draft laws on ratifying the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (ICCPED) and the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (OPCAT).
The ICCPED is an international human rights instrument of the United Nations and intended to prevent forced disappearance defined in international law, crimes against humanity. This is one of the vital international documents related to protecting human rights out of the national laws of Mongolia, thus it must be ratified by Mongolian parliament in accordance with the Mongolia's law on international contracts.
Adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2002, the OPCAT is a treaty that supplements to the 1984 United Nations Convention Against Torture. It establishes an international inspection system for places of detention modeled on the system that has existed in Europe since 1987 (the Committee for the Prevention of Torture).
The bill on joining the OPCAT bears one article. Furthermore, draft amendments to some laws on the National Commission for Human Rights, on implantation of court decisions, on arresting suspects and defendants, on criminal procedure and on the Takhar Service (equivalent to Marshal Service of USA) have been formulated in conjunction with the bill on joining the OPCAT.
Missouri cattle ranchers work to capture a slice of the beef market with Mongolian wisdom
July 8 (Columbia Daily Tribune) On Saturday mornings, Jeff Cook, of Altai Meadows shows up at the Columbia Farmers Market with a cooler filled with various cuts of his grass-finished beef and sometimes chickens and a little produce from his garden. The sign next to his cooler says: "100-percent grass-fed beef." But he often finds himself further explaining to customers how he raises his cattle and the differences between grass-fed and grass-finished beef.
It can be confusing.
Grass-fed beef might not always be grass-finished. Organic beef is not necessarily grass-fed. And grass-finished cattle spend their lives on pasture. Pasture-raised cattle have access to grass but might also be fed grains and other supplements. In 2007, the USDA came up with a definition of grass-fed beef, but the American Grassfed Association posts stricter standards (see the standards box).
Jeff and his wife, Augie, began raising cattle in Higbee in October 2009. They named the farm for Altai, a mountain range in Mongolia. While in the Peace Corps, Jeff met Augie in her hometown of Hatgal on the southern end of Khuvsgul Lake in northern Mongolia. There, the growing season is short and winters are harsh, he said. The people live on what they preserve, including lots of meat.
"Augie can't live without it," he said. "She was raised on it. Nothing goes to waste. We use the bones and the marrow." Augie serves as his quality-control manager, "taste-testing every animal."
While in Mongolia, Jeff marveled at how families raising cattle moved their yurts four times a year with the grazing cattle.
"They live with their herds in the pasture," he said. "It's very old school. I like how it was simple. I try to do a lot of that here."
It hasn't been that simple, however. There is a steep learning curve for 100 percent grass-fed farmers, he said. Jeff tapped into his past experience as a wildlife biologist, looking at habitat closely.
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