Thursday, August 21, 2014

[Xi lands in UB, MNT rises for 4th session, Xanadu jumps on drilling, and Minister Oyungerel's brother jailed for twitter posts]

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Thursday, August 21, 2014

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Overseas Market

XAM trading up 41+% on the announcement


August 21, Xanadu Mines Ltd. (ASX:XAM) --


-       East Altan Tolgoi is a significant new discovery at the Kharmagtai project with multiple intersections of hundreds of metres grading better than 1% CuEq between depths of 50m and 700m from surface.

-       The Altan Tolgoi system has an overall strike length of over 800m and remains open to the west, east and at depth.

-       KHDDH346 intersects high-grade, copper-gold mineralisation hosted in a broad zone of tourmaline breccia mineralisation of 390m @ 0.51% Cu & 0.26g/t Au (0.67% CuEq) from 116m.

-       KHDDH346 significant high-grade intervals include:

o    122.7m @ 1.03% Cu & 0.56g/t Au (1.38% CuEq) from 307.3m including

o    46.0m @ 1.55% Cu & 1.11g/t Au (2.26% CuEq) from 384.0m; and

o    59.4m @ 0.89% Cu & 1.14g/t Au (1.60% CuEq) from 578.6m; including

o    39.4m @ 1.16% Cu & 1.6g/t Au (2.16% CuEq) from 578.6m.

-       KHDDH347 has been assayed to a down-hole depth of 550m intersecting 402m @ 0.4% Cu & 0.36g/t Au (0.63% CuEq) from 148m. Assays are still pending from 550mwith visual copper sulphide mineralisation extending to 650m (EOH).

-       KHDDH347 significant intervals include:

o    28m @ 0.72% Cu & 0.46g/t Au (1.01% CuEq) from 350m; and

o    50m @ 0.58% Cu & 0.65g/t Au (1.00% CuEq) from 382m; and

o    11m @ 0.52% Cu & 0.79g/t Au (1.02% CuEq) from 450m; and

o    77m @ 0.55% Cu & 0.75g/t Au (1.02% CuEq) from 471m.

-       KHDDH350 has intersected visible copper sulphides from 30m to the current hole depth of 420m. KHDDH350 is an 80m step-out to the south of KHDDH343 and will help define the true width of the recently discovered East Altan Tolgoi.

-       KHDDH351 has intersected visible copper sulphides from 208m to the current hole depth of 390m. KHDDH351 is a 190m step-out to the east of KHDDH346 and extends the east-west strike of the Altan Tolgoi system to over 800m.

Link to full release


Mogi: nice coup

Guildford Coal Appoints Wal King as Chairman

August 21 -- Guildford Coal Limited ("Guildford" or the "Company") (ASX: GUF) is pleased to announce that former Leighton Holdings Chief Executive Wal King will be appointed as NonExecutive Chairman of the Guildford Board from 29 September 2014.

Mr King joined Leighton in 1968 and was appointed the company's chief executive in 1987.  Under his leadership, Leighton grew from an organisation with annual revenue of $1 billion to one of the world's leading contracting, services and project development organisations with revenues of more than $20 billion and substantial operations in Australia, Asia and the Middle East.   

During this time, Mr King gained a wealth of experience in planning, funding, constructing and operating worldscale projects, including many in the resources sector.

Mr King is currently a NonExecutive Director of CocaCola Amatil Ltd and Asia Resources Minerals Plc, the NonExecutive Deputy Chairman of mining services group Ausdrill Ltd and the NonExecutive Deputy Chairman of Sundance Resources Ltd.

Mr King is an Honorary Fellow of the Institution of Engineers Australia, a Foundation Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management, the Australian Institute of Building and the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering.     

Mr King was made an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2004 for service to the Australian construction industry as a leader and innovator through his initiatives to develop the export of engineering services, particularly in the Asian region.  It also recognised his services to the community through support for a range of educational, environmental, welfare and cultural organisations. He was also awarded the Centenary Medal in 2001.  

Mr King joins Guildford as its BNU Mine prepares for the export of a trial shipment of coal to the Shivee Khuren / Ceke border port for processing and sale. This pivotal event, "first coal on road", is expected to take place 25 August.  

Guildford Group Managing Director Peter Kane said Mr King will be a valued and respected addition to the Guildford Board. "Wal's appointment to the Board is a coup for the Company. He is a proven leader whose unrivalled skills and experience are exactly what the Company needs as it enters its next phase as a producer".

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Local Market

MSE News for August 20: Top 20 -0.19% to 15,901.47, Turnover 102.6 Million

By B. Khuder

Ulaanbaatar, August 20 (MONTSAME) At the Stock Exchange trades held Wednesday, a total of 188 thousand and 839 shares of 18 JSCs were traded costing MNT 102 million 607 thousand and 165.00.

"State Department Store" /143 thousand and 751 units/, "Genco tour bureau" /28 thousand and 340 units/, "Merex" /10 thousand and 030 units/, "Olloo" /5,000 units/ and "Tavantolgoi" /870 units/ were the most actively traded in terms of trading volume, in terms of trading value--"State Department Store" (MNT 86 million 248 thousand and 600), "Bayangol hotel" (MNT five million and 251 thousand), "Tavantolgoi" (MNT four million 388 thousand and 500), "Genco tour bureau" (MNT two million 407 thousand and 900) and "UB-BUK" (MNT one million and 092 thousand).

The total market capitalization was set at MNT one trillion 599 billion 036 million 208 thousand and 283. The Index of Top-20 JSCs was 15,901.47, decreasing by MNT 30.78 or 0.19% against the previous day.

Link to article


MSE Approves BDSec's 6 Million Share Issuance

August 20 (MSE) Based on the article No. 83.1 of "The company law of Mongolia", resolution No. 267 of the FRC adopted on 07 July 2014, articles No. 8.1, 8.5, 8.10.11 of the MSE's company rule, articles No. 7.2, 20.3 of the Listing Rule and suggestions and conclusions of Board of director meeting of MSE on August 19, 2014, "BDSec" JSC's additional 6,000,000 shares with a nominal value of 100 MNT were listed and changed the securities listing of "BDSec" JSC with a nominal value of 100 MNT total of 17,000,000 shares.

Link to release


APS Stock Recommendation: Suu JSC – BUY

August 20 (Asia Pacific Securities) ---

Executive Summary

Suu ("MSE:SUU") has been established in 1958 and is one of the oldest organisations in Mongolia. They are major milk and dairy product producer and started their operation, by the help of Soviet Union, to supply Mongolian capital city Ulaanbaatar. Currently, they process 200 tons of milk daily and produces over 60 types of milk and dairy products, including ice-creams and yoghurts.

The company turned into "joint stock company" and got listed on MSE on August 31, 1992. Suu employs over 200 people and owns a factory that consists of 3 production divisions. With the slogan "From herder's farm to your home" they work together with over 3,500 farmers and herders throughout the country which turned the company into the largest milk supplier in Mongolia.


According to the information of Mongolian Securities Clearing House and Central Depository (SCHCD), 93.81% ownership of the company kept with 3 block shareholders, and remaining 6.19% or 32,377 are held by 275 small shareholders.

·         Jamiyan. D – 38.69% or 133,093 shares

·         Ganbaatar. D, the President of Max Group  – 33.06% (113,726 shares)

·         Tuvshintugs. B – 22.06% (75,886 shares)

Financial Review

At the end of 2013, "Suu"'s revenue reached MNT 33.51 billion, which was a 34.67% increase from previous year. However, net profit has decreased 8.13% to MNT 2.33 billion. During this period their operating expense increased by 51.9% and became the main reason why their net profit fell. According to the company's report, increase in expenses were necessary, as they are expanding their factories.

Business Development

Last year the company has made developments on the quality side of their services, and introduced new products to the market. For instance, they have successfully expanded their ice cream factory and installed new factory for milk production. Therefore, they have introduced "Dream" ice cream and "Dense Milk" products. Moreover, Mongolian National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MNCCI) awarded Top Corporate Award of 2013 to Suu JSC.

This year they are working to implement ISO22000 standard and to increase its product quality. Another important work the Suu is doing is, they are reducing the price of flagship products. Mongolian economic performance slowed down from last year, the current account deficit increased and the tugrik depreciated against other currencies. These factors created major impact on consumers' income and spending, and Suu is working to make it easier to supply necessity good to the society. Thus most popular product line the "My Mongolian Milk's" price has been reduced by 14% (400 MNT) by the Suu.

Share Price Performance

Suu JSC is a component of the MSE's benchmark Top-20 index. The minimum price of the stock was MNT 1,000.00 and the maximum was MNT 126,500.00, which is the current price as of 12 August 2014. The 52 week range standard deviation of the stock is 13,208.05.

Asia Pacific Securities Recommendation

Asia Pacific Securities currently rates "Suu" as "BUY". They have favourable reputation in the society, good CSR policy and prestigious brand image in the market. Many Mongolians choose Suu's milk rather than other brands, on the ground of the taste, healthiness, and trustworthiness.

The company has been the first Mongolian milk manufacturer and they are still the biggest supplier of the milk in the market. They are coping well with current economic slowdown, and have the right strategy to keep their customers in the long run.

However, there are few obstacles to mention. Their main domestic competitor is "APU" JSC and APU has just installed new factory that can supply 120 tons of milk daily. APU has the growing image in the milk and dairy product sector. Furthermore, Chinese companies have big shares in the market, and it certainly saturates the competition.

Not to mention that 98.81%'s stock concentration raises red flag too. It decreases the liquidity of the stock and works against the true market price. APS thinks that this risk can be eliminated by stock-split and Suu is in the middle of that negotiation.

Currently, the stock is performing at its all time high and seems risky to invest. However, APS believes that it's not a bubble. Suu consistently develops their factories, technologies and strategies. Spending large sum on research and development is a good sign of growth in the future, even though it pushes their financial performance down.

We value "Suu"'s per share at MNT 132,359.42, and the valuation is based on WACC of 5.03%, 1.41% of terminal growth rate, and regression analysis correlation of 0.73. The stock beta is 0.15%, which is weakly correlated with the MSE Top 20 index.

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Khan, TDB holding rates, Golomt, XacBank lowers USD, State Bank now same as Khan, TDB

BoM MNT Rates: Wednesday, August 20 Close

















































August MNT vs USD, CNY Chart:


Link to rates


BoM issues 21.3 billion 1-week bills, total outstanding -27.2% to 243.9 billion

August 20 (Bank of Mongolia) BoM issues 1 week bills worth MNT 21.3 billion at a weighted interest rate of 12.0 percent per annum /For previous auctions click here/

Link to release


GoM Treasury Auction: 52 Billion (Out of Available 70 Billion) 12-Week Treasury Bills Sold at Discount

August 20 (Bank of Mongolia) Auction for 12 weeks maturity Government Treasury bill was announced at face value of 70.0 billion MNT. Face value of 52.0 billion MNT /out of 52.0 billion MNT bid/ Government Treasury bill was sold at discounted price and with weighted average yield of 14.749%.

Please find expanded information from Table.

Announced amount /by MNT/


Received bid amount /by MNT


Sold amount /by MNT/


Weighted average yield


Maximum yield of fulfilled bids


Minimum yield of fulfilled bids


Link to release


Mongolia's foreign debt reaches $19.88 billion says NGO

August 20 (UB Post) Debtless Mongolia non-government organization (NGO) warned that the total foreign debt of Mongolia has reached 19.88 billion USD, or 37.7 trillion MNT, and accordingly, each citizen carries debt of 12.89 million MNT, according to the USD exchange rate on August 18.

The national debt amounts to 215 percent of 2013′s GDP and 184 percent of 2014′s expected GDP. A total of 4.5 billion USD of the foreign debt belongs to the government and 1.41 to the Central Bank. The government's debt increased by 3.1 billion USD. Director of the NGO Ch.Enkhbat emphasized that 401.3 million USD of the government debt was soft loans from partner countries and international banks and financial organizations, whereas the rest was commercial loans. He criticized the government for trading bonds and getting commercial loans instead of using the opportunity to get soft loans of an additional one billion USD. Members of the NGO commented, "We ought to pay 580 million USD debt to Development Bank and 500 million of the Chinggis Bond in 2018, and the remaining one billion USD of the Chinggis Bond in 2022. We can pay these debts in time only if GDP grows by 15-18 percent annually. But we have no fundamentals to produce such growth, thus proving that Mongolia has undergone debt burden." The NGO said it will send a statement to the government and parliament members who are responsible for supervising the government and impose responsibility.

Source: Unuudur

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Culture Minister's brother Ts.Bat jailed for expressing his opinion on Twitter

By D. Sergelen

August 20 (UB Post) Ts.Bat , brother of Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Ts.Oyungerel, was sentenced to three months and ten days in prison at a Primary Court hearing for "defaming" the Minister of Road and Transportation A.Gansukh on  Twitter and other online social media.

Ts.Bat worked as a chief of the policy planning department at the Mongolian Civil Air Transportation LLC and he tweets through his account "Bat Engineer".

The Primary Court believed that Ts.Bat spread false allegations to public in order to defame Minister A.Gansukh intentionally from September 30 to October 17, 2013.

The decision of the Primary Court was met with public outrage and criticism. The fact that Twitter and Facebook was deemed as a legitimate medium for information distribution was a focus of public attention.

Ts.Bat was accused of spreading false information to public in accordance with the 111.2 Clause of the Criminal Code.

Commenting on the its decision, the Primary Court explained, "The public is defined as a part of society and as such, to be condemned for this particular crime, it does not have to be committed before one or more individuals, and a defamation of an individual even to a single individual will be considered a crime."  The court defined media as, "The press media is television, radio, telecommunication network, computer network, special program, printed media and other means."

Twitter users have taken up to demonstrating at Chiggis Square to show their opposition for the court's decision. The protestors said that the Primary Court condemned Ts.Bat for expressing his opinion on online social media. "Everyone has a right to express their voice in a democratic country but Minister Gansukh attempted to restrict Mongolians' right to express their opinion," they said.

Minister Ts.Oyungerel said that the case was the first time that a person was convicted for expressing themselves on social media in Mongolia and that she will work with all levels of the judiciary sector to eradicate the current standing, during an interview with Mongol Television on August 18.

Link to article


MPP Faction Head Meets Japanese Parliament Delegation

By B. Khuder

Ulaanbaatar, August 20 (MONTSAME) Head of the parliamentary faction of the Mongolian People's Party (MPP) S.Byambatsogt and his deputy D.Oyunkhorol Wednesday met with Sonoda Hiroyuki, Hayashi Moto, Nikai Hidetoshi, the members of the House of Representatives of Japan's parliament. 

The sides shared views on the bilateral relations and cooperation. "We have two neighbours, and Japan is our third largest neighbour," noted the faction head. "Our countries have been maintaining the good partnership cooperation for a long time, the Mongolians are always thankful to Japan for aid and donation, and we will focus on continuing expanding the relations and cooperation with Japan," Mr Byambatsogt stressed.

He went on that a restoring of the national economy has become "our goal to reach in a short time". "It is vital for us to receive Japanese experience and support, including from members of Japan's parliament, in creating chances for the Japanese private sector to make investments to Mongolia," he said.

After this he asked the Japanese side to draw an attention to an implementation of the project with Japanese financing on erecting oil refineries in Darkhan-Uul aimag.

Supporting the views of Mr Byambatsogt, the Japanese MPs recommended that Mongolia focus on making value-added products and on increasing their export.

Mr Sonoda expressed a strong confidence that the Mongolia-Japan relations and cooperation will strengthen, and underlined an importance of the MPs role in a present development of Mongolia.

Ms Oyunkhorol said Mongolia wants to study the Japanese experience in the electoral system, which allows voters to directly elect their candidates.

Link to article



August 19 (Independent Mongolian Metals & Mining Research) --

·         100 days to boost economic growth have officially ended yesterday, August 18, and we expect a number of commentaries from various stakeholders including opposition MPP and various commentators in the marketplace

·         We expect detailed quantification of results of 100 days, to which we hope to contribute as well, however, even at a glance, key indicators of economic health - slowing growth from ~7% in Q1 to ~4% in Q2, rising inflation from ~12% to ~15%, worsening debt profile of both GoM and BoM, populist-popular continued off-budget DBM financing and inflating real estate sector via subrisk-free rate mortgage financing, free fall of MNT from ~1800 to ~1900, dwindling official reserves, negative FDI, etc and etc, all point to progressively increasing economic deterioration with , in our opinion, symptoms of stagflation. 

·         Similarly, we expect various checking line by line delivery of targets of 100 days Parliament resolution such as on OT, TT, 106 licenses, railroads, etc

·         However, before engaging in this kind of detailed analysis, our interpretation of 100 days results is that of spectacularly desperate attempts to "buy" electorate with various forms of subsidies(fixing roads, subsidized housing, etc.) and give-aways (free land, etc) and attempts to fix the deterioration from economic mismanagement that has accumulated over recent years( with perennial favorite PR strategy to blame-shift to previous GoM) 

·         While acknowledging meaningful positive results  such as amendments to Minerals Law and gold amendment we highlight them to be legislative acts by Mongolian Parliament that by definition require long term implementation/trackrecord to bring the concrete results. 

·         We believe with the 100 days plan Mongolian Prime Minister has cornered himself and his Cabinet to a " hole" that is hard to imagine that he will get out without political cost. Various polls such as online polls by strongly suggest that electorate is unsatisfied with results of 100 days plan and economy

·         In this regard, we view Mongolia strongly swinging from "third" to "immediate" neighbors with Chinese and Russian Heads of State visits and expected signing of  mega-deals as mostly much needed "  good news PR" spin to detract and confuse concerns of Mongolian electorate while the substance of the the visits will be whether and at what price China and Russia will essentially " rescue" economically Mongolia providing much needed investment, 

·         This crucial point is intentionally or unintentionally mostly left out by Mongolian media groups (similarly spectacularly exposed by McMutton fiasco) with ties to Mongolian business/political elite groups

·         We find situation with Mongolian Parliament scheduling a special session to honor Chinese President rather ironic after "speedvoting" in just two years ago  infamous SEFIL to block takeover of Mongolian listed coal miner Southgobi by Chinese state controlled company and recent unprecedented stirring of anti-Chinese sentiment by MP Kh.Battulga, popularly known as " Genco" , all of which provides in our opinion insights into maturity of Mongolian democracy

·         We caution that Mongolia might be about to offer some of its meaningful assets at the bottom of the cycle in these desperate deals of the good old non-transparent days which only highlight difference between superpower deals and transparent deals with "third neighbor "global top tier investors ( one can just compare corporate governance and transparency of Mongolian-Russian JV Erdenet Mining Corporation with its never-ending corruption scandals and corporate governance and transparency of Oyu Tolgoi LLC, which, by the way, raises issue of "classic" double standards by Mongolians toward these kind of entities and structures- we heard about Oyu Tolgoi Watch NGO but never heard of Erdenet Watch NGO )

·         In summary, we believe that after massive positive spin "smoke" from superpower visits will wear out by end of September and economic reality check will return with beginning of new political, business and economic cycle, we expect significant reshuffling by political players in Ulaanbaatar. We reiterate that the only logical solution out of this situation is supermajority, i.e DP and MPP bipartisan coalition to form a Government of National Unity, the only proven structure that brings political stability and assurance to the society, but it would require true commitment to larger national and society's interests by political parties, instead of merely " reflecting" Mongolian society as Parliament Speaker characterized the Parliament in shockingly honest way

·         Ultimately, current economic deterioration and embracing with open arms Chinese dragon and Russian bear that they love to bash popularly, Mongolian people are "reaping" what they "sow", paying their price for Parliament and Government  that merely" reflects"  them, i.e, by definition "populist-popular" elected officials with "populist-popular" promises(priority for Mongolians), slogans(get fair share from minerals), campaigns(fix unproftable Oyu Tolgoi Investment Agreement), etc without much substance but painful consequences, instead of leading them with competent and effective leadership. 

·         In another words, Mongolian "populist-popular" voters are continually taken advantage("played") by "populist-popular" elected officials,  getting what they voted for , i.e. "populist-popular" choices they made at the last Parliament Election delivered by "populist-popular" authorities that they themselves elected

·         We will paraphrase a proverb " if something sounds too good and too popular, it is probably painful"

Independent Mongolian Metals&Mining Research does and seeks to do business with organizations and entities covered in its research. As a result, investors should be aware that the firm may have a conflict of interest that could affect the objectivity of Independent Mongolian Metals & Mining research. Investors should consider Independent Mongolian Metals & Mining Research as only a single factor in making their investment.

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Operations at Mongolia's Tavan Tolgoi Mine Halted, Macmahon Says

By Michael Kohn

August 20 (Bloomberg) Operations at Mongolia's Tavan Tolgoi coal mine have been suspended amid a disagreement between state-owned mine operator Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi JSC and contractor Macmahon Holdings Ltd. (MAH)

About $22 million in progress payments for work already completed is overdue and its unit has been in talks with Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi, Mongolia's largest state-owned coal company, regarding payment, Perth-based Macmahon said today in a statement.

"Macmahon advises that operations at Tavan Tolgoi have now been suspended by ETT, as part of a range of disagreements between the parties," the Australian company said. "The parties are engaging in discussions to see whether the matters can be resolved by agreement."

The disagreement comes as Mongolia's government is locked in a prolonged dispute with Rio Tinto Group over cost overruns and taxes at the Oyu Tolgoi copper and gold mine that's lead to a plunge in foreign investment.

Enkhbat Badarch, chief financial officer at Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi and Batsuuri Yaichil, its chief executive officer, weren't immediately available when contacted by phone.

Macmahon has been operating at Tavan Tolgoi since 2012 and its contract is due to expire in 2017. It won a bid in August 2011 to work as a contract miner at the east pit at Tavan Tolgoi, Mongolia's largest coal deposit. The pit contains 1.08 billion metric tons of reserves and 78 percent is coking coal, an important steelmaking ingredient.

Most of the coal from the mine is delivered to the Aluminum Corp. of China Ltd.

Link to article


Mogi: I completely disagree with the notion that Mongolia is shifting towards its neighbors. It's not like we shunned the two before and suddenly decided to "pivot" towards back them. It's ironic actually how it was BECAUSE we tried to shift AWAY  from China that we're in a position where there's only Russia and China left willing to deal with us. I think the consequent visits by Russian and Chinese presidents will shine the light ever stronger towards the west and pivot our focus back actually to our "third neighbors."

Mongolia Seeks Economic Lifeline With Pivot to China, Russia

By Michael Kohn and Yuriy Humber

August 20 (Bloomberg) After two decades courting Western investors and political allies, Mongolia is refocusing on foreign ties closer to home seeking to revive its economy.

China's President Xi Jinping is scheduled to arrive tomorrow in the country landlocked between his nation and Russia, as Mongolia's economic woes mount. Growth is the weakest in four years, foreign investment has plummeted, inflation is rising and the currency has plunged to a record low.

Xi's trip to the mineral-rich nation, the first by a Chinese president in 11 years, comes ahead of the expected visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin about two weeks later. As analysts anticipate deals or negotiations from energy to infrastructure, the visits signal a pivot to Russia and China as a prolonged spat with Rio Tinto Group over Mongolia's biggest ever investment has cooled foreign interest in the nation.

"The timing is critical," said Peter Morrow, partner at NovaTerra LLC, which advises on projects including energy, from Ulaanbaatar. "Both China and Russia are keenly interested in Mongolia's resources, and both know that the country is going through a rough economic patch."

Since breaking free from Soviet influence and becoming a democracy in 1990, Mongolia -- with an estimated $1.3 trillion of natural resources -- has tried to counter the leverage of Russia and China by seeking ties with so-called "third-neighbors" including the U.S. It has sought to woo investors including Peabody Energy Corp., Anglo American Plc and South Korea's Samsung Engineering Co.

China Deals

The nation is turning to China, its biggest trading partner, and Russia after foreign investment collapsed 70 percent in the first-half. Investment plunged amid an already 18-month dispute with key investor Rio Tinto and after Mongolia passed more nationalist-minded investment laws in 2012, that were later reversed.

"Everyone is dealing with China," Mongolia's vice minister for mining Erdenebulgan Oyun said last month in an interview. Among potential deals expected to be signed during the Chinese leader's visit is a gas project and supply accord with China Petrochemical Corp., known as Sinopec Group, according to Erdenebulgan.

Energy, transport and infrastructure agreements will be on the agenda during Xi's visit, assistant Chinese Foreign Minister Liu Jianchao said on Aug. 18 in Beijing, with an aim to give Mongolia better access to ports and overseas markets for its natural resources, including coal. Cooperation is a priority for both governments on port corridors, minerals, energy and finance, he said, without giving specific details. Xi will visit Mongolia on Aug. 21-22, the official Xinhua News Agency said Aug. 14.

Slowing Economy

Mongolia's economy expanded 5.3 percent in the first-half, data last week showed, the weakest pace since 2010. As recently as 2011, Mongolia grew at a world-beating 17.5 percent, before slowing to 12.4 percent in 2012 and further to 11.7 percent last year. The currency, the tugrik, slumped 16 percent in the past year to a record low of 1,897.73 on Aug. 14 and inflation jumped to 14.9 percent as of the end of July. The nation's foreign exchange reserves fell 58 percent year-on-year to $1.32 billion as at the end of June, Bank of Mongolia said this month.

Operations at Mongolia's Tavan Tolgoi coal mine have been suspended amid a disagreement between state-owned coal miner Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi JSC and Australian contractor Macmahon Holdings Ltd., Macmahon said today. Tavan Tolgoi is Mongolia's largest coking coal deposit.

Potential Risks

Still, agreements with China and Russia may hold risks including less transparency than dealing with western investors, Dale Choi, head of Independent Mongolian Metals & Mining Research, said in an Aug. 13 note to clients. Mongolia might sell key parts of its assets at the bottom of the cycle and move away from transparent free markets, he said.

"The risk is that the 'third-neighbor policy', a cornerstone of Mongolia's independence, will be weakened or even abandoned, that the country's future is mortgaged to solve short-range problems," said NovaTerra's Morrow by e-mail on Aug. 13.

There's also Mongolia's uneasy cultural relationship with China, with both countries at different times a conqueror and a vassal of the other.

Seeking Resources

China is scouring the globe for resources from natural gas to food to meet domestic demand. Xi's Mongolia trip comes about two years after the country blocked an attempt by Aluminum Corp. of China Ltd. to take control of Mongolian miner SouthGobi Resources Ltd.

China's thirst for power and alternatives to burning its own coal because of environmental concerns, make Mongolia and its vast reserves of the fuel a logical replacement, Chuluunbat Ochirbat, Mongolia's Vice Minister for Economic Development, said July 23. The $400 billion natural gas supply deal Russia signed with China in May also offers Mongolia a chance to collect fees from transit pipelines, he said. Russia's Putin is expected to visit the nation in early September, Chuluunbat said last month. A date for Putin's visit hasn't yet been set, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Ulaanbaatar.

"Russia has the ability to re-engage Mongolia economically very quickly," said Nick Cousyn, chief operating officer of Ulaanbaatar-based brokerage BDSec. "China on the other hand, can bring investment to Mongolia on a scale unequaled globally."

Link to article


Invitation to Mongolia London Business Summit by Mongolian British Chamber of Commerce

August 11 --

Dear Colleague,

I have pleasure in giving you preliminary notice of the Mongolia London Business Forum 2014 - Focus on Ulaanbaatar.

The Mayor of Ulaanbaatar, Mr Bat-Uul Erdene will be our key note speaker. The seminar which is free to attend will take place at the offices of Clyde & Co LLP, the St Botolph Building, 138 Houndsditch London, EC3A 7AR on Friday, 26th September between 09:00 – 12:00 hours and will outline opportunities for different types of British business and investors in Mongolia's capital city. The registration starts at 08:30am.

A full agenda will be sent out in early September but if you wish to register for a place please email Altansuvd at

John Grogan,


Link to invitation


World Bank announces new Country Representative for Mongolia

ULAANBAATAR, August 20th, 2014 (World Bank) The World Bank has appointed James Anderson as its new Country Representative for Mongolia. Mr. Anderson has formally taken the position on August 18th and will begin work in Ulaanbaatar next week.

Mr. James Anderson is a U.S. national and a PhD in Economics. He brings with him broad experience, having worked with the World Bank since 1997. Before joining the World Bank Mongolia, he served as the Senior Government Specialist in Hanoi, Vietnam. From 1998 to 2008, he was a public sector specialist in the European and Central Asia Region of the World Bank. During the 1990s spent some years working in Mongolia as part of a USAID project and consulting for the World Bank, organizing training on institutional reform and conducting research on the effects of privatization and on Mongolia's burgeoning informal sector. 

Mr. Anderson will soon begin making courtesy calls with government officials, including the Minister for Economic Development and Minister for Finance.

"Mr. James Anderson will lead the World Bank's engagement in Mongolia, working in partnership with the government and other stakeholders to support Mongolia's development, leveraging its resources to help reduce poverty and ensure that Mongolia's prosperity is widely shared among the population," said the Country Director for Mongolia, China and Korea Mr. Klaus Rohland.

Under Mr. Anderson's leadership, the World Bank Mongolia will continue to support the Mongolian government's efforts on a broad range of development issues and closely work with development partners, the private sector, and civil society.


In Ulaanbaatar: Tina Puntsag, +(976) 7007-8207,

For more information, please visit:

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Unuudur interviews Mongolia's only foreign-trained cosmetic surgeon, Songdo's G.Bat-Erdene

By B. Dulguun

August 20 (UB Post) Cosmetic surgeons aren't trained in Mongolia. This is an interview with the first and only Mongolian that majored in cosmetic surgery abroad, G.Bat-Erdene, who's well-known as the cosmetic surgeon of Songdo Hospital. He studied medicine at Cuba's Latin American School of Medicine (ELAM) of University of Havana for seven years and cosmetic surgery for another five years. G.Bat-Erdene is only thirty years old but his patients and colleagues define him as a young experienced surgeon with exceptional skills and sense. 

Mongolian's have controversial views about cosmetic surgery. Some revere its outcomes while some experience its negative effects or emphasize natural beauty. Is there any requirements for getting cosmetic surgery?

People often debate on whether cosmetic surgery should be done or not. All surgeries have specific requirements. Specifically, reasons for conducting surgery on a particular person are very important. For eye cosmetic surgeries, the person has to be willing to have the surgery above all. They'll want it if their eyelids are unsatisfactory. Through an examination, eyelids are checked on their droopiness and excess fat tissues. The two sides discuss to decide if the surgery should be carried out.

Lately, breast cosmetic surgery is becoming popular in Mongolia. This surgery has specific sizes and requirements. A woman's breasts must have 150 to 200 ml volume at minimum. Some women's breasts are naturally small or become small and lose their shape after giving birth and breast-feeding. After examinations of women's height and chest circumference ratio, doctors decide on the size of implants.

Liposuction for removing fat also has requirements. Fat tissues under the skin must be two to 2.5 cm thick. If it exceeds this limit, it becomes fat. The layer is graded as first, second and third level. Depending on this, operations are conducted. It's wrong to tell a healthy person that they must or must not undergo cosmetic surgery. Basically, the person must be willing and have an absolute reason for getting cosmetic surgery.

People who are evidently beautiful sometimes are dissatisfied with their outer appearances. Even with normal features, they want to "fix" them. What do you advise in cases such as these? Can you refuse their requests?

As mentioned before, cosmetic surgeries have basic requirements. Firstly, the person must be mentally healthy. On the first meeting, through a questioning and examination, we check their mental health. We aren't able to fulfill all requests if people make too many demands. In this case, we advise and make them understand what operations are more preferable and what features don't need to be changed.

Lately, people interpret cosmetic surgery as a tool for acquiring money. If they can make money, they fulfill all requests by customers. This is wrong. People who demand many things see huge results. Unfortunately, not everyone is content with their results.

When you see relatives and friends, do you think about how their features would look better? Do you see them from a professional perspective?

Professions influence our daily lives. I don't look at people that way. I try not to. People do ask me to look at them from a professional's point of view and give recommendations. If they truly find me to see them as a professional, I counsel on what could be changed. But whether it's through cosmetic surgery or other methodology is another issue.

To you, what is the definition of a beautiful woman?

Being born a woman is itself beautiful. Comparing a person's appearance with another person's is bias. Similar to how every child is lovely and adorable, every woman has their own beauty. People who say they are unattractive have their own uniqueness or may have something much better than other people. Every woman is beautiful.

Do cosmetic surgeons have standards for conduct?

Not only cosmetic surgeons but every surgeon has to be neat. Every action and operations have orders and sequences.  Most importantly, cosmetic surgeons have to have high sensitivity. They should instinctively sense what small adjustment would give better results when they see a customer.

In recent years, not just women but also men are focused on their beauty. Do men come to you for cosmetic surgery?

Globally, plastic surgery is known to have originated since the late 1800s. It developed the most in the USA and European countries after WWII. Now, it's become the core of Asian cosmetic surgery. Mongolians think that only women can get cosmetic surgery. Men and women have equal rights for service in this sector.

According to latest statistics, the ratio of men and women undergoing cosmetic surgery varies from 25 men for every 75 women to 20 men for every 80 women, and the ratio gap will continue to increase. Men are getting eyelid and nose jobs as well as liposuction. The most recent male customer, weighing 137 kg, had liposuction and became 88 kg. If you compare his before and after appearance, he looks ten years younger.

As for women, they mainly get operations for breast augmentation or enlargement, breast lift, and liposuction for abdomen, thigh, and belly fat.

There's one big problem among Mongolian ladies. While Koreans and Japanese people have smooth and clean skin, Mongolians are prone to getting acne, spots, pigments, and freckles due to climate reasons. Can you get smooth, clean and livelier skin through plastic surgery?

It is a part of cosmetic surgery. It's a bit different as it's done through nonsurgical procedures, which is currently done by various Mongolian beauticians. To make skin clean without freckles, a certain regime is followed at hospital level, particularly, through laser or chemical methods. The chemical method is done with trichloroacetic acid. When the acidic substance is applied, it molts and burns the surface layer of the skin while the laser method involves burning with ultraviolet ray to peel off the surface layer of the skin, leaving you to look much younger. The procedure removes light wrinkles. It also eliminates all types of skin pores, acne, and scars.

People complain that their freckles and scars weren't removed with the laser method. It isn't a surprise that it didn't work. Firstly, it was done by an unprofessional, meaning that they will not get adequate results as it wasn't done according to standards and under hospital supervision. Secondly, you must never get laser treatment in summer. Laser treatment isn't suitable especially for countries like Mongolia with extreme climate. It's ineffective in environments with sun ray, dirt, and dust. Salon staffs don't explain this to customers and only think about getting revenue.

Cosmetic surgery television shows are getting popular in the USA, South Korea and Turkey. Through the sector, these countries increase medical tourists and people are very interested in the shows. Is it possible to develop this sort of television programs in Mongolia?

From one side, it's a show but from another, it shows how skilled and experienced the country's doctors are and how great the after-surgery results are. Bone surgery changes people the most. When a chin, jaw, nose, and cheeks are slightly altered, a person changes incredibly, more than plastic surgery. Bone surgery hasn't developed in Mongolia at the moment, indicating that conditions to run cosmetic surgery shows are incomplete. Cosmetic surgery can be advertised through other means. Foreign countries publicize plastic surgery and its results through magazines. Mongolia hasn't got such magazines yet.

There are several cases where a person got cancer from getting nose reconstruction surgeries and a person becoming blind after an eyelid operation. What's the primary focus of cosmetic surgery?

Many people inquire about the most risky surgery and its negative effects. It's risky to even pull out a tooth. If the person to get a double eyelid surgery catches a cold, this becomes a hindrance for operations and any sort of old diseases may become a difficulty after a surgery. High and low risks follow every type of cosmetic surgery as it involves doing operations on a person's body. Professional surgeons work to decrease risks.

The first priority is to approach professional surgeons and hospitals. The customer needs to be healthy and after an operation, they must follow certain restrictions and diet. This reduces risks. Surgeons must ensure their tools, equipment and product are secure and safe.

Lately, unprofessional individuals are doing cosmetic operations. In skin cosmetic surgery clinics, they bring Korean surgeons and get them to carry out breast surgeries. These surgeons don't give after surgery treatment and make customers suffer and face losses. Just recently, a woman, who had a breast enlargement surgery at that clinic, lost blood and came to me. Their skin doctor couldn't diagnose where she was losing blood from and its reasons.

How do you see Mongolia's current cosmetic surgery practices and envision future practices?

It'll develop. Cosmetic surgery sector is correspondent to the nation's economy. People take care of their beauty when they have adequate money supply. Mongolian economy did fall in the last two years but the number of people undergoing cosmetic surgery is increasing each year. Oral advocacy is really effective among Mongolians. People know me better as the cosmetic surgeon of Songdo Hospital, instead of Bat-Erdene.

Source: Unuudur

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Good Opportunity for Startups to Learn from Seasoned CEOs

August 20 (Mongolian Economy) The Business Solutions Exhibition and Forum will be held this Thursday and Friday at Misheel Expo. The theme of this event is "From Business to Business," and companies will display their products and services to participating members. These products and services include equipment, technology, office solutions, information technology, media, consulting services and human development. New business innovations and solutions will also be presented. 

The Ministry of Labor will play a huge role during the exhibition. The ministry will introduce policies, projects and programmes in addition to providing financial support. This two day event is highly important as CEOs and high-level managers will attend to present their business ideas and stories. This also provides a good opportunity for starting businesses to learn the ropes of the playing field. The programme of the exhibition and forum can be found at 

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Residents reluctant to give up land for UB road project

By B. Mendbayar

August 20 (UB Post) The expansion of a 4.6 kilometer road from Revolutionists' Street (Khuvisgalchidiin Gudamj) to the new terminus of Zuragt and the Bayankhoshuu intersection is currently delayed due to residents' reluctance to vacate their lands.

In May, Express Zam began the expansion of the previously seven meter wide road to a fourteen meter wide road with 2.5 meter wide sidewalks of on both sides. Though the company finished paving the first 2.5 kilometers of the road and opened it prior to Naadam Festival, further expansion work was hindered due to some residents' reluctance to vacate their lands. The expansion of the road, which was built in the 1980s and has not undergone renovation since, is expected to be finished by October.

The fences and land belonging to 156 households covers a lane of the prospective road. The properties, partially or wholly, will have to be vacated in order to have a wider road. Accordingly, notices to vacate land has been delivered to residents. Presently, as the road work continues, some residents are vacating their land and demolishing their houses and fences. Some residents advocate the expansion, which will not only repair the now bumpy road, but also expand the Ulaanbaatar road network and reduce traffic congestion.

A resident of the sixth khoroo of Songinokhairkhan district, T.Barkhas, said that though it was hard to suddenly vacate his land after living there for ten years, he did not linger, for it's said that development follows roads. Following the majority, his family started to pull down their house and vacate their lands. He commented, "The valuation of my real estate and land was not as high as I expected, but I ought to vacate my land. My family owned a carpentry factory and a two-story house. We also used to operate a grocery store and a rental apartment. It was very unfortunate to demolish all of this. Even though we were regretful, we were the first household to accept the proposal and vacate 183 square meters of our land without hindering the work by demanding to have our land revaluated and get more money. But some residents are inconsiderate. We intend to build a new house on our remaining land."

Refusing to vacate his land until getting what he feels his land is worth, B.Sangi, resident of the same khoroo, said, "I'm ready to vacate my land for money. I have no other property than this land. I will become homeless if I give up my land. I demanded seventy million MNT from the City Office for Property Relations, which is the cost of a single room apartment. But the office refused. Thus we agreed to sell half of my land for 50 million MNT. But the order to vacate has not been issued yet. If I get the money I agreed to, I will build a ger on my remaining land and live there. My family owns 245 square meters of land. The land I'm giving was valued to be worth three million MNT according to state assessment. Including my house, the total value stood at 24 million MNT. However, I had the land valued by a private company, and the total value was 38 million MNT. Adding 12 million MNT to the assessment, I decided to claim 50 million MNT. I'm ready to vacate my land if the office gives me the money I asked for."

However, relevant authorities plan to forcefully evict the residents who hinder the project in such a manner.

Ten households yet to vacate

Below is an interview with a senior specialist at the City Office for Property Relations, E.Enkhtulga, on the road expansion process.

How many households have not vacated their lands?

Revolutionists' Street is a huge street that stretches through three districts, namely Songinokhairkhan district, Chingeltei district and Bayangol district. A new 4.6 kilometer road has undergone expansion since May 1. Out of 156 residents and entities whose real estate covers the prospective road, 146 have vacated their lands. Ten households who are selfish and unaware of their social responsibility demanded more than market value for their lands and refused to leave.

How much money has been spent on the expansion project?

Seven billion MNT from the city budget has been spent so far.

When will the remaining residents' lands be vacated?

We met the residents two to three times and informed them of the real value of their properties. However, the residents speak of the significance of the location of their lands and its market value in response. We cannot give residents the amount of money they ask for when they demand more money than their properties are worth. The Property Movement and Privatization Department of the City Office for Property Relations estimates the value of real estate. After the value is estimated, we negotiate with residents in accordance with the Land Law. In doing so, we make sure the the value is accurate in conformity with relevant laws. The amount of compensation provided for a household who does not own real estate or lives in a ger is low. Residents have the right to have their property revaluated by another organization if they think the value we estimated is not accurate. Some residents who doubt the value we estimated come to us with a value estimated by another organization. We scrutinize the value presented. Currently, no resident has appealed to the courts arguing that their property was inaccurately valued. We plan to negotiate with the ten residents and have their lands vacated by August 20.

If giving more money than market value is impossible, how will the dispute be settled?

The expansion must be complete by October 1 according to the contract. The land vacating regulation was approved byUlaanbaatar citizens; the Representatives Council calls for eviction if a resident doesn't respect public interests. We won't push the residents for immediate vacating of their properties. We informed them several times of the market value of their properties and how much money the state can give. We also mentioned the possibility of relocation. But they refused. In case we run into an impasse, we are preparing to evict them. Prior to eviction, we will deliver notice of eviction in case they don't vacate their lands within appointed time.

Is enough compensation being provided to residents to build a new house?

Residents pull down their houses brick by brick in order to save the bricks that are reusable. The compensation is enough to build a new house of the same size. So, residents can immediately pull down their fences and build a new house before winter comes. However, these residents are not satisfied with the compensation, claiming "we could have sold our land at a higher price since it's located near a road." It would be highly appreciated if the residents actively participate in this city construction project and contribute. In addition, some residents will leave their land without pulling down their houses if we give them all the money they've demanded at once. So, in order to prevent this, we give them 60 percent as an advance and agreed to give them the rest after they start to pull down their houses, based on inspections and photo evidence taken by our specialists.


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UB road projects delayed by land disputes

August 20 (UB Post) "New roads will help to bring down traffic congestion but people aren't giving up their land, which slows down road construction" reports the City Road Authority.

Governor and Mayor of Ulaanbaatar E.Bat-Uul, City Governor Authority Director E.Gerelchuluun, General Manager of Ulaanbaatar B.Badral, and Head of the City Road Authority D.Nanzaddorj checked on the progress of Ulaanbaatar road construction on August 8.

Governor E.Bat-Uul visited road construction sites from Dunjingarav Center to Uliastai and the 17.6 km road from Bayanzurkh Tovchoo to Yarmag Bridge The construction companies reported that the roads will be completed on time.

Beijing Street road complete in November

Beijing Street road construction from the northern intersection of the University of Science and Technology to the 11th khoroolol intersection was visited by Mayor E.Bat-Uul.  Sixty-five percent  of the construction is now done. The total expenditure of the construction, 59.8 million CNY, was granted by the Chinese Government.

The Mayor's next stop was the new road construction from Yarmag Bridge to Thermal Power Plant №3. The road work will be complete by September 15, but there are some difficulties for successful construction: weather conditions and citizens who are not giving up their land.

"One resident who owns an apartment near Gurvaljin Bridge, where the road construction starts, isn't giving up his land, which interferes with road construction," noted the construction company carrying out the project.

New road to connect Uliastai gap.

Two road projects are planned in Ulaanbaatar this year. A 2.3 km road will be built from Shar Khad to Botanic. Thanks to this project, families in Uliastai gap will have bus service.

The tender for the executing company has been announced. Experts say that new roads will bring down traffic congestion.

Yarmag-Nisekh road finished this month

A 13.7 km road project from Yarmag Bridge to Nisekh will be complete by August 25, carried out by Chinese company HKB International. The road construction started in June 2012, and cost 26 billion MNT from the state budget. Director of HKB International Jon Won met Mayor of Ulaanbaatar E.Bat-Uul and introduced his work. Jon Won noted that the construction stagnated at times because of financial problems.

Now only final paving of the road is left to be done. Because of rain, construction work stopped during E.Bat-Uul's visit. "Road treatment is an important thing. Big cities treat their roads by planting trees on both sides.  This project is being tested in Ulaanbaatar by Tod Gazar. Twenty  year old pine trees were planted along Yarmag and Nisekh road," noted the mayor.

"Pine is a beautiful tree, with high production of oxygen. It doesn't need that much care for 300 years," noted experts from Tod Gazar. Tree planting will also take place on the road to 22 Tovchoo next year. Planting trees on both sides of the road has two advantages: the trees protect the road from water and wind erosion. Trees absorb water and keep the ground dry, which protects roads from rain water damage.

"Only lighting is left for the Yarmag Nisekh road," reported the Governor of Khan-Uul district.

Land dispute delays

A 5.5 km road with four traffic lanes and sidewalks from Monos intersection to Nisekh is being built by Badrakh Oil and Arts Suvarga . "At this time, construction expenditure equals 16 billion MNT, and will increase further. The construction work must be done by September 20, but it's ambiguous," reported Badrakh Oil.

The mayor's last visit was to the road construction site in Bayankhoshuu. A 4.6 km road is being constructed by Express Road from Zuragt's new ending to the Bayankhoshuu Toiruu intersection. People aren't giving up their land, which has caused delays for road construction. Claiming 50 million MNT, 22 families aren't relinquishing their land. Related organizations couldn't make a deal with them, due to a lack of funding. Three billion MNT from the state budget has been allocated for land purchases.


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Ulaanbaatar Mayor Requests Japanese Government Support for Metro

August 20 ( On August 20, 2014, Governor of the Capital City and Mayor of Ulaanbaatar Erdene BAT-UUL received in his office the Japanese Parliamentary delegation headed by member of House of Representatives Mr. Issei Koga, where parties exchanged views on Ulaanbaatar city development issues.

At the beginning of meeting, Mayor E.Bat-Uul noted, "First of all, we would like to express our profound gratitude to Japanese People, Parliament and the Government for providing the first assistance to Mongolia during the difficult period of transition to democracy and a market economy in 1990s. The "Ulaanbaatar City Development Program Until 2020 and Tendencies Until 2030" have been developed with support of the Government of Japan, which were ratified by the State Great Khural (Parliament) and in order to continue this long-term program implementation, we need your assistance. Moreover, we would like to extend our request to the Government of Japan to support and paying attention on the issue of Ulaanbaatar Metro megaproject implementation".

In response, Parliamentary member Issei Koga said, "We have noticed the rapid development of Ulaanbaatar in recent years and it is important to implement well the general city planning. Therefore we will be working to provide our support".

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UB Mayor Meets Parliamentary Delegation of JapanMontsame, August 20


Ulaanbaatar and Irkutsk to Cooperate in Promoting Winter Tourism

August 20 (Mongolian Economy) Ulaanbaatar will cooperate with the Russian city of Irkutsk. The Mayor of Ulaanbaatar, E. Bat-Uul, met with the Deputy Mayor of Irkutsk to discuss potential areas to cooperate on with the development of new projects.

The Deputy Mayor highlighted areas of which both cities can work together on, especially winter tourism. E. Bat-Uul offered two other main areas of interest: The restoration and maintenance of old buildings and the establishment of programmes and measures against air pollution. After the meeting, a more detailed plan will be created in order to pursue these cooperative strategies. 

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Xi's visit to Mongolia to strengthen beneficial cooperation, promote friendship

August 20 (People's Daily Online) Chinese President Xi Jinping will pay a state visit to Mongolia from Aug. 21 to 22, 2014. In interviews with the People's Daily, people from different walks in Mongolia all think this will be a historic visit for both countries, and look forward to the progress this visit will bring to the relationship between China and Mongolia.

Gombosuren, former foreign minister of Mongolia, says 2014 is the 65th year since Mongolia established diplomatic relations with China. Both countries will have a lot of celebrations for this event. What's more, this year is also the 20th anniversary of the establishment of "China-Mongolia friendship and cooperation treaty". The bilateral relation now is in its best situation. With the visit of President Xi, there will be better and long-term strategies for the development of the relationship between the two countries. He believes that the neighborly relation will last much longer under deeper cooperation between Mongolia and China.

Butqimeg (Mogi: Batchimeg), a member of the Security and Foreign Policy Committee in Mongolia, tells the People's Daily that with China's fast development in economy, Mongolia as its neighbor has paid great attention to it and is eager to learn and to be benefited from China's development. In Mongolia, a lot of people are learning to speak Chinese so that they can understand China better. President Xi's visit, according to Butqimeg, will enhance mutual understanding between the two peoples, and promote the development of politics, economy, and security. With people from the two countries having more communication and understanding with each other, the bilateral relationship will become better as well. Benefited from China' prosperity, people of Mongolia will also live better lives.

Although the economy of Mongolia has been booming in the past several years, Butqimeg stresses, dependence on mining industries would not support the development in the long run. In the process of propelling other industrial developments, restructuring and upgrading economic structures, investments from China play a very important role.

People of different occupations in Mongolia are expecting the arrival of President Xi Jinping, Chimedtseye Menerel with the Sino-Mongolian Friendship Association tells the People's Daily, adding that being a neighbor of China, various industries in Mongolia will be benefited and developed after this visit. He hopes there can be more agreements signed between the two countries and more Chinese cultures introduced to Mongolia so that the friendship will be enhanced.

Xuruhuu (Mogi: another misspelling looks like), the director of International Studies Institute of the Mongolian Academy of Sciences, thinks the development of relation with China is one of the priorities of Mongolia's foreign policies, and of which economic and trade relations are the most important. The fast development of China is a very positive factor for Mongolia, and the cooperation between the two countries in infrastructure construction and mining industries are much anticipated.

The chairman of the Young Entrepreneurs' Association in Mongolia says that China is the No.1 trade partner of Mongolia. The visit of President Xi will definitely help a lot in the investments and trades between the two countries. He adds that he is expecting that more agreements can be signed in transportation, logistics, ports and customs. China has provided great convenience for Mongolia in international transportation service, and he hopes there will be more cooperation in economic areas in the future.

The article is edited and translated from 《加互利合作 友好——蒙古国各界切期盼近平主席访问, source: People's Daily

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President Xi's visit to Mongolia highly anticipated by local people

August 19 (CCTV) President Xi Jinping's visit to Mongolia is the first by a Chinese head of state in 11 years. Many in Mongolia see the visit as an important opportunity to overcome economic difficulties and boost long-term developments.

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Who Will Accompany President Xi During Visit?

By B. Khuder

Ulaanbaatar, August 20 (MONTSAME) Two members of the Central Politburo of the Communist Party of China (CPC) are expected to accompany Mr Xi Jinping, the President of the People's Republic of China, during his forthcoming state visit to Mongolia which will start on Friday.

The Foreign Minister of China Mr Wang Yi, who recently visited Mongolia, as well as some 80 high-level politicians, officials and media people have been included in the visiting group, 32 of whom are engineering and technical staffers.

Mr Xi will also be accompanied by his spouse--former singer of China's Military Ensemble Major-General Peng Liyuan. As planned, Ms Peng Liyuan will attend an opening ceremony of the Chinese Cultural Week that will take place at the Central Cultural Center.

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Security ramped up for Chinese President's visit

By B. Khash-Erdene

August 20 (UB Post) Mongolian security officials began ramping up security across Ulaanbaatar on Monday with the impending visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping.

In a press release, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that the Chinese President was due to discuss bilateral matters on Thursday. However the UB Post could not confirm rumors prior to deadline that the Chinese President's visit is set to begin a day earlier than both Mongolian and Chinese officials had announced.

However, major multi-use venues Blue Sky and Monnis Towers confirmed that they were advised by police not to open windows facing the State Palace on August 20 and 21.

Sources in the Chingeltei District Police Department confirmed that security has been heightened since Monday. He noted that during high level official visits, the police typically heighten security on the day of the visit, and that the police are taking on more work during this particular visit.

Mongolia and China enjoy an officially diplomatic if complicated historical relationship, further complicated by anti-Chinese sentiment common in some sectors of Mongolia society and politics.

With increased trade, boosted after the free market and democratic revolution of 1989, Mongolia's dependence on China for consumer goods jumped radically, which some see as cause for concern for Mongolian national security and independence. China's state-sponsored People's Daily describes the relationship between the two countries as one of   "constant progress" since the revised signing of the Treaty on Friendly Relations and Cooperation in 1994.

President Ts.Elbegdorj has been particularly keen on reshaping the image of Mongolia's southern neighbor to the public, for which he has received both criticism and praise. Bilateral relations have improved as the nations increased high level dialogues in recent months.

President Ts.Elbegdorj visited China in May for a regional security summit, which was followed by visits from Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in June, and Vice-President Li Yuanchao in April.

The last visit of a Chinese president to Mongolia occurred eleven years ago in 2003, with the visit of then President Hu Jintao.

During the visit, officials are expected to draw up a series of energy and infrastructure deals, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The deals will cover the construction of two coal-to-gas plants that will supply up to 95 percent of its output to China. Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs Liu Jianchao told the South China Morning Post that the two countries would also sign deals on coal mining and infrastructure.

The UB Post will provide coverage of President Xi Jinping's visit in our next edition.

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China, Mongolia Customs Establish MOU on Cooperation

August 20 ( At the invitation of the Chairman of Customs General Administration of Mongolia Osor GANBAT, Chinese delegation led by Minister of the General Administration of China Customs (GACC) Commissioner-General Yu Guangzhou has been conducting an official visit to Mongolia on August 19-22, 2014.

During their visit, GACC delegates held bilateral talks with Mongolian counterparts and parties established intergovernmental agreement of cooperation on border port issues. Moreover, the two sides established two Memorandums of Understanding on Cooperation between the General Administration of China Customs and Customs General Administration of Mongolia, and between the Customs Office of Manzhouli, China and Customs Office of Dornod Aimag, Mongolia.

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China and Mongolia clash over how to exploit the Gobi desert

August 20 (The Conversation) The Gobi Desert in East Asia conjures images of a remote landscape, with nomads riding across the steppe. In fact, today it is home to herders and farmers, the world's fastest-growing economy, vast copper and gold mines and is China's main domestic energy source. The imagined expanses and agro-pastoral livelihoods exist alongside mountains of coal, modern cities, desert agriculture and environmental challenges to its viability and future well-being.

As Chinese president Xi Jingping arrives in Mongolia to discuss a series of trade and energy deals that would give Mongolia better access to global markets, it is worth looking at the shared desert that lies between Beijing and Ulaan Baatar. As the two nations work together, reconciling differences in the Gobi will be a major challenge.

At 2.3m km2 the Gobi is the world's third largest desert, covering most of Mongolia and much of northern China. Yet 25m people live in an area that stretches from the edge of Beijing to the Kazakh and Russian borders in the west and north. Across the Gobi, conservation reflects a shifting balance between human development and natural fragility.

Home to the world's highest sand dunes (more than 300 metres), most of the Gobi is a dry gravel plain and sparse rangeland. The landscape challenges residents with extreme cold (to -40C), hot summers (to 40C), periodic droughts and minimal surface water. Humans drive the need for extensive groundwater use, particularly in China, where the government encourages farming even though annual precipitation is often less than 200mm.

This leads to competition for limited environmental resources between agriculture, cities such as Hohhot, Baotou and Urumqi (each more than 2m people), mining and traditional herding (Mongolia) and settled livestock-raising (China). Today the vast majority of water in Inner Mongolia – the autonomous Chinese province that borders Mongolia itself – goes for coal extraction and processing to meet China's energy demands.

Conservation of the tenuous desert environment and rural livelihoods encounter several socio-economic forces and physical challenges. Though a shared landscape, the issues differ greatly between China and Mongolia as policy, culture, history and democracy/autocracy separate the neighbours.

In Mongolia water is essential for animals and household needs yet supply is obscured in shallow and deep aquifers that are difficult for locals to tap. Groundwater, essential for the desert's new copper, gold and coal mining, requires money and technology to exploit and thus is pursued by regional and international mining companies. This results in conflict between local residents and businesses for limited water and raises issues of land use and livelihood viability among mobile herders, still the dominant lifestyle in rural Mongolia.

In China strong state control and intervention has resulted in a manipulated water system where farmers need swipe-cards to get allocated water, use of natural pastures for animals is restricted and ecological resettlement sees once-mobile herders settled in villages by government decree. Removal of livestock opens land for farming and most importantly, for profitable mining that often is owned, or directly benefits, local governments. Mining in the region has led to economic growth, jobs, pollution, land degradation, dust generation and settlements that lack basic infrastructure.

The notion of conservation and the role of nature in everyday life is integral to the Mongolian conception of the world whereas the Chinese model is focused on economic and infrastructure development irrespective of environmental impact. This splits the Gobi at the border; on one side roads, fencing, settlement, degradation and policy has ended free movement in China and sees the environment as something to be managed and exploited to ultimately benefit the several layers of government.

This leaves one to ask "what conservation" as water, land and vegetation are used for financial benefit, not as an inherent social good to protect. In Mongolia national parks comprise 13% of the country and species such as the Gobi bear, gazelle, marmot and Saker Falcon benefit from social conceptions of nature's importance and varying degrees of protection.

Though a vast area, the Gobi's harsh environment and intricate ecosystem make wide swathes of open land and limited human use of nature key to conserving flora and fauna. This means creating non-financial value for wild steppe and desert regions. Without care the environment can become less productive and potentially experience desertification. Preserving nature takes insightful policy, sustainable land use, recognition of environmental benefits and the support of rural and mining communities.

In the Gobi this takes place against Mongolia's weak institutional framework and China's all-powerful bureaucracy. While the Communist Party remains in power conservation will be sacrificed for perceptions of growth and social stability. The picture in Mongolia is more optimistic as history and cultural preferences favour a strong role for nature in Mongolia's conception of the world.

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1000 Students to Study Engineering in Japan with JICA Soft Loan

August 20 (Mongolian Economy) According to the bilateral agreement of Mongolia and Japan, Mongolia will send 1000 students to Japan in order to pursue degrees in engineering and other technology related fields. The Ministry of Education and Science is collaborating with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to run this programme that aims to create more highly-educated engineers and increase the competitiveness of university education. This project began in June of 2014 and will continue until March 2023. 

Students will receive soft loans from Japan in order to travel and study in Japan. The Minister of the Ministry of Education and Science, L. Gantumur, said, "We need more than 30,000 engineers and technology specialists in building road and railway sectors. We are planning to establish a German university in Mongolia to meet the needs of high quality professionals by cooperating with both Germany and Japan." 

As of today, over 200 students have received degrees from universities in Japan. The implementation of this project will also help schools such as the National University of Mongolia and the Mongolian University of Science and Technology to reach international standards. Soon enough, there will be 1000 more engineers and technology employees that are much needed in the industrial sector. 

A representative from JICA in Mongolia said, "Mongolians will be able to receive education in engineering at international standards for a discounted price or 8.4 times lower than the market average." Students will take loans for tuition and life expenses from the government however, after the completion of their education, their loans will turn into scholarships if they come and work in Mongolia for five years

For anyone interested in being involved within this programme, they can register starting on August 25 at

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Foreign Minister of Republic of Korea to Pay Official Visit to Mongolia, August 25-27

August 20 ( At the invitation of Minister for Foreign Affairs of Mongolia Mr. Luvsanvandan BOLD, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea Mr. Yun Byung-se will pay an official visit to Mongolia on August 25-27, 2014.

In the frames of the visit, Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se will pay courtesy calls on the President of Mongolia Ts.Elbegdorj and the Prime Minister N.Altankhuyag and to hold official talks with Foreign Minister L.Bold.

During the bilateral talks, parties will discuss and exchange views covering several topics such as boosting the Mongolia-Korea "Comprehensive Partnership" relations; broadening trade, economic and investment cooperation; facilitating travel conditions between citizens; confirming Mongolia's position on situations in Northeast Asia and the Korean Peninsula; and partnership in the frameworks of "Ulaanbaatar Dialogue" on Northeast Asian Security forwarded by President of Mongolia Ts.Elbegdorj and "Eurasia Initiative" proposed by the President of the Republic of Korea Park Geun-hye as well as Mongolia's tasks to join the APEC and participation in the East Asia Summit.

Mongolia and the Republic of Korea have established the diplomatic relations on March 26, 1990.

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Foreign Minister of South Korea to VisitMontsame, August 20


Mongolia and S.Korea to Cooperate in Land Rehabilitation

By B. Khuder

Ulaanbaatar, August 20 (MONTSAME) Mongolia will have own training center that prepares and enforces experts who will perform mining rehabilitation.

It will be established through a project on fortifying the management of reducing negative effects of the mining, which will be co-implemented by Mongolia's Ministry of Environment and Green Development and the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) between 2014 and 2018. The project was certified in a cooperation protocol signed by Ms S.Oyun, the Minister of Environment and Green Development, and Mr Choi Heung Yool, the KOICA Permanent Representative to Mongolia on Wednesday.

In general, the sides will collaborate in minimizing negative impact of the mining on environment, introducing environmentally-friendly mining, refining a legal area for this rehabilitation. It is expected also that the project will give a chance to perform model rehabilitation on the places where the rehabilitation has not been done yet.

In frames of the KOICA's non-refundable aid, the project will be realized under USD 7.6 million financing. 

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Mogi: no major country is doing this.

Mongolia temporarily restricts issuing visas to travelers from West Africa

August 20 ( The Citizenship and Migration General Authority of Mongolia has temporarily restricted the issuing of visas to passport holders of the West African countries Sierra Leone, Liberia, Nigeria, and Guinea, until a fast moving and fatal outbreak of the ebola virus has slowed down. The authority advises travelers with Mongolian passports to avoid traveling to or inviting someone to Mongolia from the West African countries hard-hit by the disease.

Twelve travelers with Mongolian passports recently arrived from the Democratic Republic of Congo, where spread of the ebola virus is high.

The travelers show symptoms of ebola virus infection but they are now under the supervision of medical specialists.

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Mongolia Using Joint Military Exercises as a Foreign Policy Tool

by John C. K. Daly, non-resident Fellow at the Johns Hopkins Central Asia Caucasus Institute in Washington DC

August 20 (Silk Road Reporters) Mongolia, historically dominated by either Russia or China, has sought to preserve its independence by holding joint military exercises not only with its former overlords but with Central Asia's newest interloper, the U.S.

The latest bilateral military exercise, Selenge 2014, kicked off on Aug. 15, the fourth in a series of "Selenge" joint military exercises. According to Russia's Eastern Military District spokesman Aleksandr Gordeev for the first time Selenge 2014, being held at Munkh Khet, will deploy Mi-24 helicopters from an air base in the Zabaikalye territory. The Russian Armed Forces' Akatsiia artillery system, Grad multiple launch rocket system and Shilka anti-aircraft system will also participate for the first time. Selenga 2013 was also held in Mongolia, with 300 soldiers from Russia's Eastern Military District operating in conjunction with 250 troops of the Mongolian Armed Forces.

The "Selenge" military exercises represent only a fraction of the Mongolian military's involvement with the armed forces of other nations. Mongolian troops also participate in bilateral military exercises abroad. On Aug.6-16, 2012, 38 Mongolian Army soldiers participated alongside 44 Indian Army troops from the Jat Regiment in the eighth round of the "Nomadic Elephant" joint exercise in Belgaum district in Karnataka state, an operation designed to sharpen the troops' skills in UN peacekeeping missions. The soldiers conducted several counter insurgency and counter terrorism operations. An added benefit of the joint exercise was a number of special sessions designed to assist in modernizing Mongolia's defense establishment. The first joint Mongolian-Indian exercise was held in 2004.

Participation in international peacekeeping exercises has been a key tenet of Mongolian foreign policy since 2002, when Mongolia's government passed a law allowing Mongolian armed forces to participate in UN-backed and other international peacekeeping operations abroad. Over the past decade, over 9,000 Mongolian troops have served overseas on peacekeeping missions.

In 2003 a Mongolian contingent was sent to Iraq, while in 2005-2006 Mongolian troops participated in the Belgian Kosovo Force (KFOR) contingent. Closer to home, in 2009 Mongolia dispatched 144 soldiers to serve in the International Security assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan. In its most recent deployment, in 2012 Mongolia sent peacekeepers to South Sudan.

On Aug. 7 a farewell ceremony was held in Ulaan Bator for the fourth shift of Mongolian troops dispatched to South Sudan. The battalion consisting of 850 peacekeepers is drawn from the National Emergency Management Agency, National Police Agency and the Authority for Border Protection and is unique in that 40 percent of the 850 peacekeepers are women and approximately 40 percent of the men are soldiers and military officers have previous experience in peacekeeping missions.

Besides Afghanistan and South Sudan, Mongolian peacekeepers are currently deployed in Sierra Leone, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Western Sahara and Liberia.

Sandwiched as it is between Eurasia's two superpowers, Mongolia has relied on diplomacy and participation in international peacekeeping exercises to maintain its independence under its "Third Neighbor" policy of its building relationships with countries other than Russia and China.

The "Third Neighbor" policy seeks to enhance Mongolia's strategic relationships with U.S. and other large economies, including Japan, Canada and several countries in Europe. In a 2013 interview, Mongolian Minister of Defense D.Bat-Erdene explained the government's thinking behind its worldwide peacekeeping deployments, remarking:

"Our strategy is to foster defense relations with many nations around the globe. Our name is now highly praised and well-known among foreign countries, and we are greatly respected. I think we have achieved the highest level of international cooperation compared to other government agencies in Mongolia. All of my predecessors paid special attention to this and contributed their valuable personal efforts. The more friendly and cooperative our relationship is with other countries, the stronger our defense. One proof of this is the annual Khaan Quest multinational peace support operations exercise. To ensure the security of Mongolia, we have the duty to engage in as much defense diplomacy as possible. I firmly believe that what Mongolia is doing is what is best for our country and that the intention for our global outreach is understood well and respected by every country. Having that said, pursuant to the National Security Concept and the Foreign Policy Concept of Mongolia, our priority is to maintain and strengthen our partnership with our two neighbors."

Nor is the U.S. left out of Mongolian defense planning, as since 2002 U.S. troops have participated in the annual "Khaan Quest" multinational peacekeeping exercises. The Khaan Quest exercise was first launched by the United States Army Pacific Command and the Mongolian Armed Forces in 2002 as a bilateral military exercise, but it became a multinational exercise in 2006. Due to Mongolia's proximity to China, many military experts previously considered the early Khaan Quest exercises as part of a U.S. strategy to contain Beijing but China's participation in "Khaan Quest 2014" for the first time, held at Mongolia's Tavan Tolgoi (Five Hills) training grounds, is now proof of the multinational character of the annual training exercise. Khaan Quest 2014 included more than 1,000 troops, including approximately 300 U.S. military personnel and participants and observers from 23 other countries including Australia, Bangladesh, Belarus, Canada, China, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Japan, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Poland, Republic of Korea, Russia, Singapore, Tajikistan, Thailand, Turkey, and the United Kingdom.

The rising importance of Mongolia in Washington's perceptions was highlighted by the April visit of U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, the first visit of a U.S. defense secretary to Mongolia since Donald Rumsfeld's 2005 tour. For the first time, Mongolia was invited and became a part of the NATO Defense Ministerial Meeting held in October 2012.

In yet another military connection, Mongolia also has observer status in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, which has a distinctly anti-American tinge. In the aftermath of the tragic events in Andijan, Uzbekistan, on July 5, 2005, on the presidents of Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan at a SCO summit signed a joint declaration requesting the U.S.-led anti-terrorist coalition forces to set a date for leaving Central Asia.

Despite the International Security Assistance Forces (ISAF) drawdown in Afghanistan, one place that SCO forces will apparently not be deployed to is Afghanistan after ISAF complete their drawdown there by the end of the year. While in Oct. 2013 Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that the development of the situation in Afghanistan clearly shows that Afghan security forces will not be in a position to take control of law and order in the country after the withdrawal of NATO-led forces, on Jan. 15 SCO spokesman Kirill Barsky told a news conference, "The SCO is not prepared to assume the responsibility of ensuring security in Afghanistan itself."

Mongolia's diplomatic sleight of hand is impressive, and its government's commitment to global peacekeeping operations is beyond question, but in light of deteriorating Western relations with Russia and China's assertions of sovereignty in the south China Sea, it remains to be seen for how much longer Mongolia can continue to juggle commitments as disparate as NATO, the SCO, China, Russia, India and the U.S.

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Social, Environmental and Other

Mongolia: A Land of Strong Women

By Augusta Thomson, Fulbright Scholar, India

August "My name is Nomin, and I am forty-two years old ..." Nomin is the thirty-fifth woman our team has interviewed on a five-week journey across the Gobi Desert to research women's and girls' uses of digital technologies. When we enter her ger she sits stirring a cauldron of milk tea. She tells us that she is the mother of three, and that she splits her time between a summer camp outside of Dalanzadgad, the aimag center of Omnogovi Province, and an apartment in Ulaanbaatar, where her children attend school during the winter. As she speaks, her two daughters sit against the wall of the ger, playing games on their Smartphones; occasionally they stop to listen. Nomin is proud of her nomadic heritage. Even though she is college-educated and has access to urban comforts in the winter, she is happiest when she is working in the countryside, tending to her family's livestock. During the summer her life is rich and productive.


In Mongolia, women are the primary providers and caretakers, especially among rural herder populations. They are also statistically more educated and better off financially than their male counterparts, although gender equality poses an issue in a mostly-patriarchal culture. The women we meet are hospitable and generous: we learn the landscape of the Gobi in stories told over warm bowls of milk tea. Those stories inspire us to listen more closely, to follow an underlying thread of resilience. They remind us that we are on this journey because we fundamentally believe in the powerful combination of women and knowledge; and we know that Mongolia is a land of exceptionally strong women.

This strength is something I have come to admire in our translator, Gundegmaa. Several months earlier, when, Lara, the team's Canadian researcher, and I pieced together our research project we interviewed several potential female translators. In the end, we found Gundegmaa, or Gundii, through a lead in Canada. After an in-depth Skype interview, we knew that we would be hard-pressed to find another candidate with comparable English skills, and we offered her the job almost immediately.

Now, I know how lucky we are to have Gundii's combined compass of intellect and wisdom guiding us. Whenever we stop for an interview she talks to the women we meet, laughing and paving the way for our conversations. She navigates the language barrier, molding our questions appropriately and catering them to each interviewee. Gundii is more than a guide; she is a teacher. I wonder if this is because she understands first-hand what many of the women and girls we meet are facing, She, too, grew up in a small village three hundred kilometers outside of Ulaanbaatar where she dreamed of a brighter future. Under the guidance and encouragement of her father she worked hard and excelled in school, especially in English class. Eager to hone her English skills she moved to UB when she was sixteen to live in a small two-room apartment with her two older sisters. She studied late into the night, memorizing English vocab and practicing her grammar. At eighteen her hard work paid off, and she won a year-long Soros Scholarship to study English at the University of Montana. Gundii threw herself into seminars on political science and gender studies. After twelve months she returned to Mongolia determined to take her education further-- to do something to empower and elevate women in her own country. She worked as the project leader on a youth project involving fifteen aimags and 15,000 adolescents. Together with the help of two prominent NGOs, Globe International and Mercy Corps, Gundii promoted digital activism across rural Mongolia by creating a 90-page guide to social media tools like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Now, her intention to promote positive change carries her across the desert; and when Nomin points to her eldest daughter and tells us that she hopes to one day work in nanotechnology Gundii's eyes light up. They talk and later trade email addresses: one woman's determination to succeed ignites and fuels another's.

The more we travel the more I see how women bind Mongolian society and families together. I see how women like Gundegmaa inspire other women to reach their full potential. And I see how that deep commitment to positive action is not only something valuable for Mongolians, but for women across the world. Mongolia's digital landscape is developing at an accelerated pace. In response to a recent boom in mobile technologies and especially Smartphones, information access is changing the nature of nomadic society and arguably, traditional values and priorities. Social media has taken Mongolia by storm. Although Internet has yet to reach most areas of the Gobi Desert it is likely that the next few years will change that. Already, mobile feature phones have become the primary means of communication for nomadic pastoralists. Nomads no longer visit each other to share tea and chat about livestock; they call each other. With increased access to information there is a heightened need for information management. As technological tools reach Mongolians from diverse sectors and communities, it is clear that there will need to be some way of educating and training youth about the power and implications of the digital world. I cannot help thinking that women like Gundegmaa should lead that movement.

After an hour inside Nomin's ger it is time to move on. I stoop down and step over the threshold, into the sun. Before opening the car of the jeep I turn back for one last look inside the ger. Once again, Nomin's daughters sit near the wall, tapping away and playing games on their Smartphones. Gundegmaa meets my gaze, "I hope that they will study abroad and achieve their dreams," she says, "I hope that inspiration can be used to guide Mongolia's future." I look at her and nod. As Nomin stirs her cauldron of tea the steam rises.

Follow Augusta Thomson on Twitter:

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Extreme sports scene in Mongolia

By A. Oyunzul

August 20 (UB Post) Extreme sports competition X-games Mongolia took place at the National Amusement Park in August 17, with a demo show of professional skateboarders from London, Paris, Tokyo, and Berlin.

The competition had four categories: skateboarding, rollerblading, BMX, and bike trials, in which over 80 competitors, aged from 11 to 26, took part. The competition was the second extreme sports event organized by Mongolian Uukhai Skateboarding Association.

This year, the association prepared a small skate park for the event, which had a couple of quarter pipes, a spine, wedge ramps, a wooden box, and a bench. The judges gave points up to 10 for each participant.

With dubstep music blasting, young skaters jumped over 8 to 12 people in front of a crowd of over hundred, on a hot summer day.

One of the highlights of the event was that a female skater participated in this year's X-Games Mongolia.

In the BMX contest, it was quite challenging for contestants to do stunts as it was their first time riding at a skate park, the hosts commented.

BMX is an off-road bicycle, which costs around 1,000 USD, used for racing and various stunts. Last year's champion Turmunkh, 24, noted, "There are many young riders competing compared to last year. When we are doing shows in the countryside, there aren't any BMX riders out there. So you can say that this competition is a state championship."

Turmunkh has been doing freestyle stunts on a performance bicycle for five years, and started doing professional BMX stunts a year ago.

"It is very challenging for us to train in Mongolia, because of the harsh weather. In winter, we can't train, so when summer comes we forget the stunts we learned a year ago. Our crew Hand-up's main goal is to promote extreme sports to the public. But due to the lack of sponsorship, we're only riding BMX as a hobby. With a sponsor, we can lead extreme sports to a professional level," Turmunkh highlighted.

Turmunkh said his crew is hoping to build a skate park for young athletes.

Bike trials were held after BMX, which is relatively new to the Mongolian extreme sports scene. Trial riding requires extreme bicycle handling skills over all kinds of obstacles. It was introduced to Mongolia three years ago. Competitors have to jump over industrial pallets without ever setting a foot on the ground. Shinekhuu, 26, last year's runner up, noted that trial bikes are very light weight, has no seats, and sturdy.

"In the past, we had to learn trial riding from online videos, now we have the opportunity to teach young riders," Shinekhuu said.

After a short break, high-jump contests began for roller skaters. This year's high-jump rollerblading record was set at 105 cm; whereas BMX jump record was set at 100 cm. Skateboarders also had to "ollie", over a tape, a trick where the rider and the board leap into the air without the use of the rider's hand. After a tough competition, the high-jump skateboarding record was set at 65 cm.

As the local hard-rock band Rec-on was playing, skaters rehearsed non-stop for the free style skateboarding contest. The youngest competitor, Erkhembileg, aged 11, was competing for the first time. He has been skateboarding for a year, and learned tricks from older skaters. Erkhembileg said, "I learned about this contest just yesterday, and I hope I can skate well."

All skaters were nervous, and falls during tricks was common. Nevertheless young skaters showcased their talents, and tried their best.

A American skateboard group, The Carhartt WIP, did a demo show after the competition. The team has 11 members, including six pro-skaters.

It was the skaters' first time in Mongolia, and they are on a mission to document their journey. The Carhartt supports artists, musicians, and skateboarders in the USA.

Some 10 years ago, The Carhartt representatives came to Mongolia for a month, and published a photo book of the experience named, "Dirt Ollies". They also released a documentary film called "Mongolian Tyres."

Joseph Biais, a French professional skateboarder of The Carhartt, comment, "We have been skating in Ulaanbaatar for five days. We also tried to skateboard in the countryside. Mongolia is a very interesting country, and the city has a lot of great spots. Mongolian skaters are really into skateboarding, they progress fast, and aren't scared of failing."

Organizers of the competition mentioned that the number of participants increased this year, and expressed their hopes that more will take part next year.

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Mogi: father of M. Bold, XacBank CEO and M. Oyungerel, Deputy Chairman of Chamber of Commerce

IOC Honorary Member Sh.Magvan Turns 87

By B. Khuder

Ulaanbaatar, August 20 (MONTSAME) A Honorary member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Mr Magvan Shagdarjav turned 87 years Wednesday.

Born in 1927 in Zavkhan province, Magvan served as a member of the IOC in 1977-2007, and then became a Honorary Member of the IOC in 2007. He also served as president of the Mongolian National Olympic Committee (MonNOC) in 1969-1979, and has been a member of the MonNOC Executive Board since.

Mr Magvan is a co-founder of the National Olympic Academy and the National Olympic Museum (1987) and Library (1984). Moreover, he served as the Chef-de-Mission of the Mongolian national team for the Olympic Winter Games in Sapporo (1972), Sarajevo (1984), Calgary (1988) and Lillehammer (1994) and to the Summer Olympics in Munich (1972) and Montreal (1976).

For his significant contribution to sports, Magvan was awarded Centennial Olympic Movement Trophy (1994); Olympic Solidarity Cup (1995); Order of Merit of Mongolian State and other countries' governmental organizations; Olympic Order (2008); and the State Honored Title of Cultural Figure (2003).

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