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Friday, August 22, 2014
Headlines in Italic are ones modified by Cover Mongolia from original
Voyager Resources in Voluntary Suspension Pending Acquisition Announcement
August 22, Voyager Resources Ltd. (ASX:VOR) --
MNP Petroleum Corp. Retains Investor Relations Consultant
BAAR, SWITZERLAND / ACCESSWIRE / August 20, 2014 / MNP Petroleum Corp. ("MNP") (TSX-V: MNP) (OTCQB: MNAP) announces that it has retained J. Streicher Capital LLC ("Streicher"), a New York based IB group, pursuant to a written agreement providing for a six month term beginning on an effective date of August 14, 2014. Pursuant to this agreement, Streicher has agreed to assist the Company at trade shows, liaise with the investment community and assist with the organization and presentation of roadshows. MNP has agreed to pay Streicher an initial engagement fee of US$7,500 and a monthly retainer of $7,500 plus approved expenses.
Furthermore, effective August 20, 2014, MNP also granted 750,000 stock options to Streicher. These 750,000 options are divided into three different groups – 250,000 exercisable at a price of US$0.076 (the "First Option"), 250,000 exercisable at a price of US$0.084 (the "Second Option") and 250,000 exercisable at a price of US$0.090 (the "Third Option"). All of these options shall vest in four quarterly instalments over a period of twelve months, with the first instalment of 187,500 options (consisting of 62,500 First Options, 62,500 Second Options and 62,500 Third Options) vesting October 13, 2014, the second instalment of 187,500 options (consisting of 62,500 First Options, 62,500 Second Options and 62,500 Third Options) vesting January 13, 2015, the third instalment of 187,500 options (consisting of 62,500 First Options, 62,500 Second Options and 62,500 Third Options) vesting March 13, 2015 and the fourth instalment of 187,500 options (consisting of 62,500 First Options, 62,500 Second Options and 62,500 Third Options) vesting July 13, 2015. All of these options will expire 5 years after the date of grant. The grant is subject to the execution of a stock option agreement by Streicher, the terms of the Company's 2011 amended stock option plan and approval by the TSX Venture Exchange.
MNP is an international oil and gas company with primary focus on exploration and development in Central Asia and Mongolia. Through its 1.2% equity interest in Petromanas Energy Inc., a Canadian public company, MNP participates in exploration projects in Albania, France and Australia. In Tajikistan MNP owns 90% working interest in a Production Sharing Agreement covering the license areas Zapadnyi and Severo-Zapadnyi in the Soughd region through its wholly-owned subsidiary DWM Petroleum AG. In Mongolia, MNP owns 74% working interest in two Production Sharing Contracts covering Blocks XIII and XIV through its wholly-owned subsidiary DWM Petroleum AG.
MSE News for August 21: Top 20 +0.59% to 15,996.01, Turnover ₮12.3 Million
Ulaanbaatar, August 21 (MONTSAME) At the Stock Exchange trades held Thursday, a total of 20 thousand and 132 shares of 16 JSCs were traded costing MNT 12 million 304 thousand and 388.00.
"Genco tour bureau" /10 thousand and 693 units/, "Remikon" /5,000 units/, "Khokh gan" /1,100 units/, "Tavantolgoi" /748 units/ and "Hai Bi Oil" /745 units/ were the most actively traded in terms of trading volume, in terms of trading value--"Tavantolgoi" (MNT three million 732 thousand and 215), "Gobi" (MNT two million 165 thousand and 800), "Makh impex" (MNT one million 925 thousand and 766), "Genco tour bureau" (MNT 898 thousand and 212) and "Remikon" (MNT 755 thousand).
The total market capitalization was set at MNT one trillion 621 billion 970 million 050 thousand and 130. The Index of Top-20 JSCs was 15,996.01, increasing by MNT 94.54 or 0.59% against the previous day.
MSE Approves Davaanbulag JSC's Request for 66.6% Reduction in Outstanding Shares
August 21 (MSE) Based on Financial Regulatory Commission resolution No.273, of 2014, article No. 8.10.11 of the MSE's company rule, articles No. 20.1, 20.2.1, 20.3 of the Listing Rule and listing inspection report on "Davaanbulag" (MSE:DBL) JSC's request, and according to Mongolian Stock Exchange Chief Executive Officer's Resolution No.126 of August 19, 2014, listing amendments were made to "Davaanbulag" JSC and its total of 103,703 shares were deducted by 69,066 shares to 34,637.
BoM MNT Rates: Thursday, August 21 Close
August MNT vs USD, CNY Chart:
Mogi: guess they didn't double it after all, maybe even China got scared of not getting paid back, but then again, not getting paid is actually China's MO
Bank of Mongolia and People's Bank of China signs new currency swap agreement with size expanded to RMB 15 billion
August 21 (Bank of Mongolia) On August 21 2014, Zoljargal Naidansuren, Governor of the Bank of Mongolia (BoM) and Zhou Xiaochuan, Governor of the People's Bank of China (PBoC) signed a new currency swap agreement for a term of another three years, with its size expanded from RMB10 billion to RMB15 billion. The new agreement will be effective for three years, and can be extended by mutual consent and superseded the RMB10 billion currency swap agreement signed on 06 May 2011 and extended on 14 May 2014.
BoM and PBoC relations have witnessed remarkable growth since 2011 when the first agreement was signed. With efforts from both sides, the new currency swap agreement and the expansion of its size marked a new step in development of bilateral relationship between two central banks.
The expansion of the currency swap agreement between the BoM and the PBoC are crucial in helping to provide liquidity, when necessary, to maintain the stability of the financial market. The new agreement will facilitate the further development of trade and investment between two countries.
China is Mongolia's largest trading partner and investor for the past 10 years, with the bilateral trade volume reaching 5.4 billion U.S. dollars in 2013 and the renminbi is the second most used currency for cross border payments with China and Mongolia.
Incidentally, in June 2014, the yuan ranked as the seventh most active currency for global payments and accounted for 1.55 percent of payments worldwide and overtook the euro to become the second-most used currency in global trade finance after the dollar last year, according to the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (Swift).
BoM FX auction: USD bid, ask offers declined, accepts swap $11.5m bid, $84m ask offers
August 21 (Bank of Mongolia) On the Foreign Exchange Auction held on August 21st, 2014 the BOM has received bid offer of 5.0 million USD as closing rate of MNT 1845.10-1850.10 and ask offer of 10.0 million USD as closing rate of MNT 1864.0-1865.0 from local commercial banks. The BOM has not accepted any offer.
On August 21st, 2014, The BOM has received MNT Swap agreement bid offer in equivalent to 11.5 million USD and USD Swap agreement ask offer of 84.0 million USD from local commercial banks and accepted all offer.
Mongolia, China Sign Accord on Rail Transport: Elbegdorj
By Michael Kohn
Aug. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Countries resolved issues including usage of seaports, new railroad exits, freight amounts and validity terms, Mongolia's President Tsakhia Elbegdorj says in statement after meeting his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping.
* The two countries discussed the possibility of increasing transit transportation from Asia to Europe via Mongolia reaching 100 mln tons by 2020
* Countries signed 30 agreements and MOUs
China Development Bank Seeks Cooperation with Development Bank of Mongolia
By B. Khuder
Ulaanbaatar, August 21 (MONTSAME) The Deputy Prime Minister and head of the Mongolian side of the Mongoia-China intergovernmental commission D.Terbishdagva met Thursday Mr Zhijie Zeng, a president and vice chairman of the China Development Bank Corporation (CDB).
The CDB is a largest bank in China in terms of investment size, having USD 350 billion, it cooperates with 115 countries, Mr Zhijie said. He went on that China wants to cooperate with the Development Bank of Mongolia (DBM) because Mongolia is a neighbour of China and has long-year friendly relations with it, and asked the Deputy Premier to give support to this cooperation.
"We consider that the state visit of Mr Xi Jinping to Mongolia is a historical event, in frames of which the two countries' development banks have agreed to sign a contract of 162 million US dollars. This is a start of our cooperation, and it will become closer and will finance more projects and programmes," Mr Zhijie said.
Noting that Mongolia has owned a land of 10 hectares areas in the Tianjin seaport, Mr Terbishdagva asked the CDB president to support the port's construction.
Best Time to Invest in Mongolia: Hamilton
Aug. 22 (Bloomberg) –- Khan Investment Management Founder and Chairman Travis Hamilton discusses Xi Jinping's two-day visit to Mongolia and what the trip means to both countries with Angie Lau on Bloomberg Television's "First Up."
Erdenes Mongol, China Railway Engineering Sign On to MMC, ETT, TT MOU with Shenhua Energy
August 21 (Mongolian Economy) This morning at 11:00 am, the Chinese President, Xi Jinping, landed in Mongolia with his wife for an official visit upon the invitation of Ts. Elbegdorj. After landing, they were greeted by the Prime Minster, N. Altankhuyag, and his wife, Kh. Selenge, and the Foreign Affairs Minister, L. Bold. His visit will last for two days and will involve a series of important meetings. This afternoon, Xi Jinping and his wife met with the Ts. Elbejdorj and his wife at Chinggis Square at 16:00 pm which led into a meeting beginning at 16:45 pm.
After the meeting, it is expected that both parties will sign over ten agreements including one regarding the development of transit transportation. As a landlocked country, Mongolia will have the opportunity to discuss the progress of this project with the help of China to allow it access to the Pacific Ocean. This is seen as a chance to define the development of Mongolia during the next 20 years.
As of 2013, trade between China and Mongolia estimated USD 5.4 billion. Of this value, USD 3.7 billion came from exported products to China and the rest came from imported products. Approximately 90 percent of all exported items were mining products. Another important issue that will be discussed is the change in protocol regarding a prisoner transfer agreement. There are currently 40 Mongolians that are jailed in China, and the approval of this agreement will allow Mongolia to bring the prisoners back.
Last year, the Mongolian Prime Minister visited China on an official visit. Then, Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi, Energy Resources and Tavan Tolgoi signed a memorandum with Xinhua Energy (Mogi: Shenhua). This is expected to last 20 years and will export one billion tonnes of coal. Today, Erdenes Mongol and China Railway Engineering Corporation (CREC) signed onto the memorandum.
CREC ranks 112th out of 225 global contractors. It is a state-owned construction company and is considered to be the largest construction company in the world. CREC is involved in a wide array of infrastructural projects overseas, especially throughout Southeast Asia and Africa. The company is made up of 31 member enterprises: 16 super-large construction enterprises, 3 large surveying and designing enterprises, 3 large research and development enterprises, 5 large manufacturing enterprises and 4 other organizations run by Headquarters.
Economic Development Minister receives President of China Exim Bank
August 21 (Mongolian Economy) Many meetings followed the visit of China's President, Xi Jinping. Yesterday, the Minister of the Ministry of Economic Development, N. Batbayar, met with Li Ruogu, the Chairman and President of the Export-Import Bank of China (EXIM), alongside other representatives. The participants discussed past loans and nonrefundable assistance processes from China while attempting to define the objectives of a future partnership. For example, in the past, China has granted Mongolia over 800 million Yuan of nonrefundable assistance and 800 million USD of loans.
Li Ruogu has expressed an interest to expand cooperation with Mongolia on wider issues as Mongolia is experiencing a time of great development. N. Batbayar has highlighted the years between 1950 and 1962 to have been the climax of relations of both countries thus the importance of the meeting is to intensify projects that are experiencing slow growth.
Both parties have agreed on the financing of some projects such as creating the first highway, installing pipes spanning China, Russia and Mongolia in a project called "Taliin Zam" or Steppe Road, and enhancing railway and energy sectors.
PM Attends Opening of New Concrete Factory That Will Meet 30% of Domestic Demand
By B. Khuder
Ulaanbaatar, August 21 (MONTSAME) The Prime Minister N.Altankhuyag Wednesday addressed an opening ceremony of a new factory of concrete.
Producing two types of concretes--aerocrete and light concrete--the factory has been erected by the "Dorniin Tsas" LLC within a goal of the cabinet for reforms "Let's produce in Mongolia".
The PM said the cabinet for reforms has a goal to have Mongolia manufacture products itself by exploiting own minerals. "Mongolia imports 2-3 thousand trains of concretes a year, a 'Dorniin Tsas' company can produce 200 thousand cubic meters of concretes a year, so we do not need import such an amount," Mr Altankhuyag said and thanked this company for founding the factory which will provide 30% of the product. The factory is not harmful to environment, is smoke-free, does not create waste, is equipped with the latest technologies, re-uses water, and employes 60 people, said executive director of the company.
Business Solutions 2014 Exhibition and Forum to Start Tomorrow at Misheel Expo
August 21 (infomongolia.com) The Ministry of Labor and Mongolian National Chamber of Commerce and Industry are organizing "Business Solutions 2014" Exhibition and Forum themed "Business 2 Business" at Misheel Expo Center in Ulaanbaatar on August 22-24, 2014.
The Business Solutions Exhibition is being organized for the first time in Mongolia that aims to gather all entrepreneurs in-one and will be promoting and introducing their business activities and solutions.
The 2014 Business Solutions Exhibition attendees are from:
1. Banking, audit and other financial institutions
2. Human resources, human resource development and educational organizations
3. Information Technology organizations
4. Real estate, brokerage, rental, and construction sector
5. Health organizations
6. Office solutions and furniture
7. Media design
8. Freight forwarder
DR. OYUNGEREL JANCHIV APPOINTED AS CHAIRWOMAN, GANHUYAG CHULUUN HUTAGT AS CEO ARD FINANCIAL GROUP
August 21 (Ard Holdings) The regular Board of Directors meeting of Ard Financial Group (Ard Holdings), held on 15th of August 2014, elected Ms. Oyungerel Janchiv as Chairwoman of the Board and Mr. Ganhuyag Chuluun Hutagt as Chief Executive Officer of the Company.
Ms. Oyungerel is a prominent businesswoman and leader in the Mongolian business community. She is best known as the founder of Petrovis Group. Ms. Oyungerel is a graduate of Gubkin Russian State University of Oil and Gas. She started her career as a petroleum economist at the central oil supply depot of the Oil Supply Management Authority. From 1982 she started working as a chief economist in the Oil Supply Management Authority, Mongolia. Between 1990 to 1996, she worked as a General Director of the state owned monopoly, Neft Import Concern (NIC). Since 1997, she had been working as a CEO, and then became a Chairwoman of Petrovis LLC. Notably, Ms. Oyungerel, who is also a founder of Capitron Bank and the British School of Ulaanbaatar, serves as Deputy Chair of Petro Matad Limited, listed on London's AIM and is a Non-Executive Director of Mongolian Mining Corporation, which became the first Mongolian entity listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. She is a well-known representative of the Mongolian business community and is a dedicated supporter of the private sector development.
"As a shareholder and a Director of Ard Holdings, I firmly believe in the future of this Company. We are embarking on a challenging mission to grow this Group into a comprehensive financial services company with leadership positions in all areas we are engaged in. Ard will have a profound positive impact on the development of the Mongolian financial services industry. And I am confident that the joint efforts of all shareholders, Board, and the management will be rewarded with success", says Ms. Oyungerel.
Mr. Ganhuyag, the founding CEO of XacBank and TenGer Financial Group, served as Vice Minister of Finance from 2010 to 2012. He became the Executive Chairman of Equity Investment Trust, the predecessor company of Ard Holdings, since 2012. Gan, as he is widely refered to, is a founder of the Mongolia Economic Forum, the CEO Club, as well as the Boom 2020 football movement for kids. Ganhuyag is also a member of the Young Global Leaders' Community of the World Economic Forum.
"I always believed that people should take an ownership stake in the wealth they are creating. Ard stands for people in Mongolian. I have a vision that Mongolia will become a major banking and financial hub in the region. The shareholders of Ard Holdings entrusted us to establish a leading group of financial companies. We will strive to accomplish the goals set before us with due honor and diligence, relying on our collective knowledge and expertise", says Gan.
Ard Financial Group is a financial holding company with the objective of maximizing the value and return on the investment for its shareholders, while offering a unique opportunity to take part in the ownership of Mongolian financial services industry players and share in the potential of its stock markets. The investment portfolio of Ard Holdings includes the country's leading companies such as Ard Insurance, Ard Credit, Monet Capital, Ard Assets, TenGer Financial Group, and XacBank. The Company is also invested in the Institute of Engineering and Technology, TenGer Systems, and Wild Digital Agency through its investment fund.
Ulaanbaatar Buses to Offer All-Day Valid Tickets During 10-Day Car Restriction
August 21 (infomongolia.com) From tomorrow or August 22 to August 31, 2014, the Capital City Administration and the Traffic Police Department of Ulaanbaatar have issued a 10-day regulation cutting 50% of all vehicles on the UB road in order to decrease traffic load before new school year.
In other words, vehicles those plate numbers ending with EVEN numbers are to participate on the road on EVEN days and vehicles ending with ODD numbers allowed on ODD days between August 22 and August 31, 2014.
As part of the regulation, the City Administration also issued a temporary regulation for riders of public transportation and in the frameworks; a colored ticket for public transportation that valid for certain day and costs 500 MNT (Tugrug) will be effective for all-day despite of public transportation types such as big and small capacity buses, trolleybus, micro-bus or railbus, which means someone who buys a ticket will be enabled to ride and change the transport with same ticket for the day permitted.
However, it would cause losses to public service providers, but the City distributes 1.3 billion MNT for these 10 days to cover the expenditure.
UPDATE 2-Mongolia eyes economic boost from China president's visit
* China, Mongolia sign deals on mining, finance cooperation
* Xi tells Mongolians more cooperation will benefit both sides
* Struggling economy forces Mongolia to tilt towards China (Recasts, adds China, Mongolia proposing summit with Russia)
By Terrence Edwards and David Stanway
ULAN BATOR/BEIJING, Aug 21 (Reuters) - Chinese President Xi Jinping proposed on Thursday the expansion of bilateral trade with Mongolia to $10 billion a year by 2020 as he arrived for a two-day visit aimed at deepening economic ties between the neighbours.
Xi's arrival marks the first Chinese presidential visit in 11 years to Mongolia which has been hit by plunging commodity prices and a rapid decline in foreign investment. It is keen to agree to new deals on transport, energy and mining investment with its dominant trading partner.
The two countries signed a joint declaration upgrading their relationship to a "comprehensive strategic partnership". They also signed agreements to cooperate further in areas such as economics, energy, mining and finance.
"Xi proposes to expand China-Mongolia trade to $10 billion by 2020," China's Xinhua state news agency said.
Two-way trade was worth $324 million in 2002 but rose to $6 billion in 2013, accounting for more than half of Mongolia's total foreign trade, Xinhua said.
In an article written by Xi for Mongolian newspapers, Xi said China would do all it could to help Mongolia develop.
"China hopes that both countries can push cooperation on building inter-connecting railways and roads, the development of mines and processing," Xi wrote.
China already buys more than 90 percent of Mongolia's exports, mainly of coal and copper, and 49 percent of foreign enterprises registered in Mongolia are Chinese, Xinhua reported.
But while the focus remains on economic cooperation, persistent Mongolian worries about Chinese political hegemony in the region make a bigger breakthrough unlikely, analysts said.
"I don't think right now is the time to talk about breakthroughs in relations - the Mongolian economy is in a difficult situation but it isn't difficult enough to have any immediate impact (on relations)," said Sumati Luvsandendev, head of the Sant Maral Foundation polling organisation.
Mongolia aims to use its mineral wealth to modernise its isolated pastoral economy, but it has struggled to fund its plans. A 2012 law aimed at restricting foreign ownership in "strategic" sectors, since reversed, has also slowed foreign investment, which fell 70 percent in the first half of 2014.
Mongolia's economy grew just 5.3 percent in the first six months, slowing from 11.7 percent in 2013, official data showed.
Mongolia has previously sought to restrict Chinese firms from taking control of its assets, blocking a stake bid by state metals conglomerate Chinalco for the Mongolia-based miner SouthGobi Resources.
But slowing growth could persuade the government to allow greater Chinese involvement in its mining and infrastructure sectors, the two pillars of its long-term plans.
"Balancing Russia and China and introducing the participation of so-called third neighbours remains the broad outline of Mongolian policy," said Neil Ashdown, senior analyst with IHS Country Risk and Mongolia specialist. "What we are seeing is a lean towards China at the present time, and the clear reasons for that are the way the economy is going."
Mongolia is also keen to use China's rail network to deliver coal and other minerals to other markets, and a transhipment deal is set to be signed during Xi's visit.
"I think the most important deal we can get out of this visit is a rail transit agreement," said Bontoi Munkhdul (Mogi: yes, it's me), chief executive of the Ulan Bator-based Cover Mongolia consultancy. "Allowing rail access to seaports in China would allow us to export our commodities to other sea-borne Asian nations." (Mogi: allowing would allow, oh Mogi)
But while the deal could give Mongolia more options, analysts expect the bulk of its coal and copper exports to be sold to China for years to come.
The government in Ulan Bator has already agreed to form a joint venture with state-owned Chinese coal giant Shenhua Group to build a 13-km (8-mile) rail link that will help deliver Mongolian coal across its southern border.
During a visit to China last year, officials said a working group had been set up to build roads, railways and pipelines that would turn Mongolia into a "transit corridor" linking the Chinese and Russian economies.
China voiced support for a Mongolian proposal for a trilateral summit with Russia to increase consultation and cooperation among the three neighbours, Xinhua said.
Russia's President Vladimir Putin will visit Mongolia in September, with more cooperation deals expected.
Chinese President Arrives in Mongolia for State Visit – Xinhua, August 21
Video: Chinese President Xi Jinping visits Mongolia – CCTV America, August 21
Video: Proximity and complementarity strengthen China-Mongolia ties – CCTV, August 21
Video: Mongolian people expect Xi to improve trade ties – CCTV, August 21
2014 important for China-Mongolia ties – Xinhua, August 21
Mongolia, China pledge to almost double annual trade to $10 billion by 2020
By GANBAT NAMJILSANGARAV
ULAN BATOR, Mongolia, August 21 (AP) — China and Mongolia pledged Thursday to almost double their annual two-way trade to $10 billion by 2020 as President Xi Jinping became the first Chinese head of state in more than a decade to visit this sprawling resource-rich nation sandwiched between China and Russia.
China also agreed to give the landlocked country access to ports in its north and northeast, the official Xinhua News Agency said. No details were immediately given.
Xi met with President Elbegdorj Tsakhia in the Mongolian capital Thursday, after which the two signed a joint declaration upgrading ties to a "comprehensive strategic partnership" based on trust, friendship and "a common aspiration for closer ties of mutual benefit," Xinhua said.
Xi plans to meet Friday with Prime Minister Altankhuyag Norov, who is chairman of Elbegdorj's ruling Democratic Party, and deliver a speech at the Great Hural, Mongolia's parliament.
China accounts for more than half of the country's external trade and receives almost 90 percent of its exports, mainly copper, coal and animal products, while supplying 37 percent of its imports. Bilateral trade has soared over the past decade, reaching $6 billion last year.
Faced with declining foreign investment and increased inflation and unemployment, Mongolia is desperate for more routes to export its mineral resources. Xi's trip to Mongolia — the first by a Chinese president in 11 years — is expected to include discussions on infrastructure investment as well.
Four of 11 agreements under discussion have to do with ground transportation to Chinese ports, to better ship high-value minerals to South Korea and Japan, China expert Munkhtuul Banzragch said.
Mongolia is building a railway from one of its largest coking coal deposits to the Chinese border. Still undecided is the much-debated issue of whether to stay with Mongolia's wide-gauge rail inherited from its time as a Soviet client state, or shift to a narrower gauge used in China.
Xi will oversee the signing of 20 cooperative agreements covering mineral extraction, infrastructure building, finance and diplomatic relations, the official China Daily newspaper said.
With several major mining projects in legal limbo, Western investment in Mongolia has fallen sharply, causing the country to turn increasingly to China and Russia to support its economy, which traditionally relied on animal herding.
Mongolia relies on Russia for 76 percent of its gasoline and diesel fuel and much of its electricity, making it highly vulnerable to price fluctuations.
A nation of about 3 million people almost the size of Alaska, Mongolia was firmly under Soviet sway during the Cold War and sided with Moscow in its battle with Beijing for leadership of the Communist bloc.
In the 1990s, after the collapse of the Soviet empire and loss of subsidies from Moscow, Mongolia transitioned into a democracy and a market economy and adopted a "third neighbor" policy to court nations like the United States and Japan and reduce its reliance on its two giant neighbors.
Economically, however, China and Russia are more important than ever and Russian President Vladimir Putin is to visit Mongolia in September.
China's Xi visits Mongolia with focus on trade – AFP, August 21
Spotlight: China, Mongolia give strong boost to win-win cooperation
BEIJING, Aug. 21 (Xinhua) -- China and Mongolia on Thursday gave a strong boost to bilateral ties by upgrading their diplomatic relationship to a comprehensive strategic partnership and setting a target of expanding two-way trade to 10 billion U.S. dollars by 2020.
Ambitious as it seems, the goal is within reach, considering the agreements the two sides signed on speeding up cooperation in rail and road connectivity, mineral resources development and processing, and finance, among many other areas.
These deals are just part of the fruits reached by the pair of neighbors during Chinese President Xi Jinping's ongoing two-day state visit to Mongolia.
The visit is the first in 11 years by a Chinese head of state to Mongolia, and also the second time for Xi to make a one-country state visit since he took office in March 2013.
On Thursday, Xi and his Mongolian counterpart, Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj, signed a joint declaration to upgrade bilateral ties to a comprehensive strategic partnership.
The two countries established a good-neighborly partnership of mutual trust in 2003 and elevated the ties to a strategic partnership in 2011. The latest upgrading demonstrated both sides' great attention to the neighborhood and their will to push the ties on to a fast track.
China agreed to offer sea ports and railway transport access to the landlocked neighbor and help Mongolia finance a number of projects in medical care, education, railroad and residential community construction.
China and Mongolia also inked a memorandum of understanding on setting up an economic cooperation zone and a deal on currency swap.
In addition, China also promised to support Mongolia creating a better environment for attracting foreign investment and help it join the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) mechanism and actively engage in East Asian cooperation.
They agreed to carry forward economic cooperation for the benefit of both countries and peoples and realize common development, according to the joint declaration.
All these agreements will inject fresh impetus into the trade between China and Mongolia, which stood at 324 million dollars in 2002 but surged to nearly 6 billion dollars in 2013.
China has been Mongolia's largest trading partner and largest source of foreign investment over the past 10-plus years.
Between 1990 and 2012, a total of 11,642 foreign enterprises registered in Mongolia, among which 49 percent were Chinese. Of the 9.826 billion dollars of foreign direct investment (FDI) absorbed by Mongolia during the same period, 3.484 billion dollars came from Chinese companies.
The two countries enjoy close geographic links with a 4,710-km land border dotted with 14 crossings along the frontier.
About 1.3 million people traveled between the two countries in 2013, among whom over 1 million Mongolians visited China, including officials, tourists, businessmen and students.
This year marks the 65th anniversary of China-Mongolia diplomatic ties, the 20th anniversary of the revision of the Treaty on Friendship and Cooperation between China and Mongolia, and the China-Mongolia Friendly Exchange Year.
Just as Xi stressed in a signed article published Thursday with the title of "Galloping Toward a Better Tomorrow for China-Mongolia Relations," neighbors are dearer than distant relatives.
"Mongolia enjoys vast land and abundant resources. China is growing rapidly and is strong in capital and technology, making it possible to provide all-round support for Mongolia in capital, technology, logistics and market," Xi noted in the article.
ADVANCE ON FOUR WHEELS
In order to further push forward bilateral relations, Xi put forward a four-point proposal during talks with his Mongolian counterpart.
First, he called on the two countries to enhance political and security cooperation.
Xi said he is willing to maintain communication with Elbegdorj through various channels on major issues of common concern, and invites Elbegdorj to attend a dialogue among China's partners on the sidelines of the informal leaders' meeting of APEC due to be held in Beijing in November.
China appreciates Mongolia's correct stand on issues related to Taiwan and Tibet, and supports the legislatures, diplomatic bodies, political parties and defense departments of the two countries to establish and bring into full play the dialogue and communication mechanisms between them.
Second, Xi urged the two sides to comprehensively expand practical cooperation.
The Chinese president asked the two countries to continue making good use of the inter-governmental cooperation mechanism and realize the goal of lifting bilateral trade to 10 billion U.S. dollars by 2020.
The two countries, he said, should expand mining, infrastructure and financial cooperation, prioritize cooperation on connectivity and major projects, and strengthen collaboration in such areas as deep processing of mineral products, new energy, electricity, agriculture and border ports.
They also should increase the size of currency swap, launch the preparatory work for the negotiation and signing of a bilateral free trade agreement at an early date, and vigorously promote the building of cross-border economic cooperation zones, added Xi.
Third, the Chinese president urged the two countries to enhance people-to-people exchanges.
The two sides, he said, should properly carry out the China-Mongolia Friendly Exchange Year program, and enhance exchanges and cooperation in such areas as youth, media, protection of intangible cultural heritage, and the prevention and control of transnational contagious diseases and desertification.
Fourth, the Chinese leader called on the two countries to promote cooperation on international affairs and under multilateral mechanisms.
The two sides, he said, should continue strengthening coordination and cooperation within the frameworks of the United Nations, the Asia-Europe Meeting, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia.
China supports Mongolia playing an active role in international and regional affairs, added the Chinese president.
For his part, Elbegdorj said the Mongolian side highly values the development of good-neighborly friendly cooperation with China and regards it as a priority of Mongolia's foreign policy.
The establishment of the comprehensive strategic partnership indicates that China-Mongolia relations have entered the best period in history, he said, noting that he fully agrees with Xi's proposal on enhancing bilateral cooperation.
Roundup: China, Mongolia explore ways to expand bilateral economic ties
ULAN BATOR, Aug. 21 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping is expected, during his upcoming visit to Mongolia, to work with Mongolian leaders to explore effective ways to expand and deepen bilateral economic and trade relations between two countries.
China has been Mongolia's largest trading partner and a major investor for more than a decade, with the bilateral trade volume reaching nearly 6 billion U.S. dollars in 2013 -- nearly 20 times that of 2002 and more than half of Mongolia's total foreign trade.
Xi's visit will largely promote investment, economic and trade cooperation between the two countries, said Sun Weiren, the commercial counselor of the Chinese Embassy in Mongolia.
There are 6,169 Chinese enterprises registered in Mongolia as of June, 2013, accounting for 48.8 percent of foreign enterprises registered in Mongolia, according to statistics released by Mongolia.
Chinese investment totaled 2.56 billion U.S. dollars by the end of 2013, according to statistics released by China.
China and Mongolia share 14 border crossings for exports and imports, with the advantage of less transportation distance and lower cost.
China imports coal, oil, minerals, livestock and other primary products from Mongolia, while the electromechanical products, agricultural products, construction materials, and textiles from China are also popular in Mongolia.
The projects Chinese enterprises have engaged in include construction of roads, thermo-electricity stations, and housing, all of which serve as infrastructure build-up to help improve Mongolian people's living standard.
China's Gezhouba Corporation has built roads in western Mongolia, and other Chinese companies have built houses for Mongolian people. The Beijing Construction Engineering Group plans to build residential buildings in Ulan Bator, covering an area of 210 hectares with the support of preferential loans from China.
The financial cooperation between the two countries is also enhanced. The Bank of China (BOC) set up its representative office in Mongolia in 2012. In June 2014, the bank allocated its first loan of 25 million dollars to a local company, TUUSHIN. And more than 40 local companies have applied for loans of more than 3 billion dollars from the bank, covering such fields as energy, manufacture and infrastructure.
BOC will continue to support Chinese enterprises in Mongolia, as well as Mongolia's construction of infrastructure, energy and resources development, and avoid competition with local banks, the chief representative of BOC to Mongolia, Dai Xingjun, said.
BOC, jointly with other Chinese enterprises, established two funds to help improve Mongolia's education and the livelihood of the people, and to enhance cultural exchanges between the two.
Experts expect that China and Mongolia will work together to increase bilateral trade volume, improve the structure of foreign trade and investment, promote industrial upgrading, develop interconnection of railways, highways and electricity, as well as support cooperation in key areas and large-scale projects.
China Voice: Xi's Mongolia visit and neighborhood diplomacy – Xinhua, August 21
China-Mongolia-Russia trade fair inaugurates China-Mongolia customs arrangement
August 21 (Xinhua) The China-Mongolia-Russia Economic and Trade Cooperation Fair opened on Wednesday with the inauguration of a center to process a cost-saving customs document in Erenhot, a city on the China-Mongolia border.
The center will handle ATA Carnets, an international customs document which allows duty-free temporary export and import of goods for up to a year.
Its establishment will help boost border trade, economic development and cultural exchanges, said Lu Ming, deputy head of the law department of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade.
"With the service center, we will never have to make customs declaration for our costumes and stage properties when going abroad for performances," said Qiqige, a student with the art school of Inner Mongolia University who performed in Mongolia in July.
Erenhot, in the north of China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, sits on the China-Mongolia-Russia railway and is the largest of a dozen ports along the 4,710-km China-Mongolia border, where the trade volume accounts for 70 percent of that between the two countries.
In June, the State Council, China's Cabinet, approved the city to pilot preferential policies in finance, taxation, investment and industries to deepen cooperation between China and Mongolia.
Chinese President Xi Jinping will pay a state visit to Mongolia from Thursday, his first visit to the country since taking office in March 2013 and also the first by a Chinese president in 11 years.
This year marks the 65th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Mongolia and the 20th anniversary of amendment of the Treaty on Friendly Relations and Cooperation between the countries.
Trade between the two countries is booming, a dynamic which analysts say is key to rapid border development.
Last year, the bilateral trade volume between China and Mongolia reached nearly 6 billion U.S. dollars, 15 times the volume of a decade ago. Some 13 million tonnes of freight were exported or imported through Erenhot, up 12.5 percent year on year.
The China-Mongolia-Russia Economic and Trade Cooperation Fair, inaugurated in 2009, is one of the most important trade events for the China-Mongolia border region.
More than 400 exhibitors from China, Mongolia, Russia, the United States, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam and the Republic of Korea are attending the annual fair, which lasts until Friday.
It features exhibits ranging from clothes and accessories to heavy machinery and tourism services.
Related forums will also see attendees discuss regional cooperation including the Silk Road Economic Belt, the proposed network of trade infrastructure which covers the three countries.
Official Program of President of China Xi Jinping's State Visit to Mongolia
August 21 (infomongolia.com) The President of the People's Republic of China Xi Jinping and his spouse Peng Liyuan are paying a two-day state visit to Mongolia on August 21-22, 2014.
The two-day state visit's official program of the President of China Xi Jinpin to Mongolia
Thursday, August 21, 2014
11:20 am - The delegates to arrive at the Chinggis Khaan International Airport with Beijing-Ulaanbaatar special charter flight
04:00 pm - President of Mongolia Tsakhia ELBEGDORJ and his spouse Khajidsuren BOLORMAA to welcome the President of the People's Republic of China Xi Jinping and his spouse Peng Liyuan at Chinggis Square, Ulaanbaatar
04:45 pm - President of Mongolia Ts.Elbegdorj and President of the PR of China Xi Jinpin to hold an official talk in the Government House, "A" Hall
05:45 pm - President of Mongolia Ts.Elbegdorj and President of the PR of China Xi Jinpin to be present at official document signing ceremony in the Government House, Ceremonial Hall
06:00 pm - President of Mongolia Ts.Elbegdorj and President of the PR of China Xi Jinpin to hold a press conference and deliver statements in the Government House, Ceremonial Hall
Friday, August 22, 2014
09:30 am - Prime Minister of Mongolia Norov ALTANKHUYAG to pay a courtesy call on the President of the PR of China Xi Jinpin in the Government House, "B" Hall
10:10 am - Speaker of the State Great Khural (Parliament) Zandaakhuu ENKHBOLD to pay a courtesy call on the President of the PR of China Xi Jinpin in the Government House, "B" Hall
10:45 am - President of the PR of China Xi Jinpin to deliver a speech in the Session Hall of the Parliament of Mongolia
03:30 pm - President of the PR of China Xi Jinpin to attend in the opening ceremony of photo exhibition themed "Timeline of China-Mongolia Trade and Economic Partnerships", "Tuushin" Hotel, 5th floor
04:30 pm - Mongolian Mini-Naadam Festival will be organized for the President of the People's Republic of China Xi Jinping and his spouse Peng Liyuan, "Chinggisiin Khuree" tourist camp
05:30 pm - Departure from Chinggis Khaan International Airport, Ulaanbaatar
Mongolian Leader Welcomes President Xi Jinping at Chinggis Khaan Square – Montsame, August 21
Culture Minister Ts.Oyungerel Meets Chinese Counterpart
By B. Khuder
Ulaanbaatar, August 21 (MONTSAME) A delegation headed by Mr Cai Wu, the Minister of Culture of the People's Republic of China (PRC), started Wednesday a visit to Mongolia.
The same day, Mongolia's Minister of Culture, Sport and Tourism Ms Ts.Oyungerel met with her counterpart of China. The latter, who is visiting Mongolia for the second time, emphasized the 65th anniversary of the Mongolia-China diplomatic relations, and expressed a satisfaction with widening bilateral relations and cooperation and with visiting Mongolia again. Then he said he wants to strengthen the cultural ties.
Wishing China's delegation a comfortable stay here, the Mongolian Minister said she is glad with an expansion of the cultural and art ties between the two countries, "for example, many talented artists from China took part in the 'Altargana' international festival held here under auspices of the Prime Minister", and called the Chinese side to make efforts to boost a long-time friendly cooperation. She also said that she is thankful to China for rendering a support in restoring pieces of cultural heritage. The sides also exchanged views on conducting joint researches, co-fighting the trafficking of unique pieces of the cultural heritage and augmenting a quota of Mongolian students to study in China majoring in culture and arts.
China, Mongolia propose trilateral summit with Russia
ULAN BATOR, Aug. 21 (Xinhua) -- China on Thursday voiced support for Mongolia's proposal to hold a trilateral summit with Russia so as to further strengthen consultation and cooperation among the three neighbors.
The endorsement was conveyed in a joint declaration signed by Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Mongolian counterpart, Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj, during Xi's ongoing state visit to Mongolia.
Premier meets parliamentary delegation of Japan
By B. Khuder
Ulaanbaatar, August 21 (MONTSAME) The Prime Minister of Mongolia N.Altankhuyag met with a visiting delegation led by Mr Moto Hayashi, a head of the Japan-Mongolia friendship group at the Liberal Democratic Party of Japan (LDP).
Together with him came Mr Satsuki Eda, a head of the Japan-Mongolia friendship group at the House of Councillors of Japan's parliament; Mr Hiroyuki Sonoda, a head of the Japan-Mongolia friendship group at the House of Representatives; and other MPs.
Mr Altankhuyag thanked the Japanese parliamentary delegation for visiting Mongolia and underlined that development of friendly ties and cooperation with Japan is one of the priorities of Mongolia's foreign policy.
In response, Mr Moto expressed a satisfaction with an intensive development of the Mongolia-Japan relations and collaboration, including strategic ties and economic partnership.
Marshal Yu.Tsedenbal's Granddaughter Visits Mongolia
August 21 (infomongolia.com) On August 20, 2014, Member of Parliament Mrs. D.Arvin received in the Government House, Mongolia's then the State Head and Prime Minister Yu.Tsedenbal's granddaughter Zorig ANASTASIYA.
At the beginning of meeting, Ms. Anastasiya appreciated for a warm reception and shared her travel experience to her grandfather's birthplace namely Davst Sum of Uvs Aimag, Mongolia. She also expressed her gratitude that the Government pays respect to the Hero of Mongolia, Marshal Yumjaa TSEDENBAL and said, "During my visit to the grandfather's birthplace, it gave me an impression to be a Mongolian when the local air took my breath away".
Granddaughter Z.Anastasiya also noted that she came to visit MP D.Arvin to show her appreciation, who greatly assisted to Yu.Tsedenbal getting a nationality of Mongolia during the difficult periods of 1990s.
In response, MP D.Arvin thanked her for visiting Mongolia and wished to be closely tied with Mongolian country and people, and conferred an official invitation to her father Ts.Zorig to visit Mongolia.
Yumjaa TSEDENBAL (September 17, 1916 - April 20, 1991) was a prominent leader of Mongolia from 1952 to 1984. During his political life, he served as the State Head, Prime Minister and General Secretary of the Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party and a member of Political Bureau.
Yu.Tsedenbal was awarded with the highest title of the Hero of the People's Republic of Mongolia, Hero of Labor and Marshal of Mongolia. He retired in 1984 and remained in Moscow until his death; his body was brought to Ulaanbaatar, where it was buried at Altan Ulgii cemetery.
His wife, Anastasia Ivanovna Filatova (1920 - October 21, 2001) was a national of the USSR, who was often said to be the most powerful political figure in Mongolia due to her close relationship with the Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev. They had two sons Vladislav and Zorig.
Yu.Tsedenbal's granddaughter Z.Anastasia has graduated from Moscow Institute of Asian and African Studies and currently employed at a tourism company in Moscow to promote and introduce tourism program for Mongolia.
Z.Anastasia had her first visit to Mongolia in 2005 upon the invitation of TV9 television and paid a courtesy call on then Prime Minister S.Bayar.
At this time visit, she was also received by Prime Minister N.Altankhuyag.
D.Arvin MP Receives Tsedenbal's Granddaughter – Montsame, August 21
Room #5, Coffice Hub, 5th Floor, Time Center
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