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Monday, September 22, 2014
Headlines in Italic are ones modified by Cover Mongolia from original
Mongolia Energy (00276) to consolidate shares & issue CNs
[ET Net News Agency, 22 September 2014] Mongolia Energy Corporation (00276) said it agreed to issue five-year 3% convertible notes to chairman Lo Lin Shing, Simon, Cheng Yu Tung and Och-Ziff Capital Management Group LLC's subsidiaries in the principal amount of up to HK$543 million, HK$2,427 million and HK$500 million respectively.
The initial conversion price is HK$0.23 per share, representing a premium of about 1.3% over the adjusted closing price of HK$0.908 per new share.
Upon full conversion, it is expected that the aggregate voting rights of Mongolia Energy Corporation held by Lo Lin Shing and his spouse, Cheng Yu Tung, Cheng Kar Shun, Henry and his spouse will increase to 77.21% from 27.12%.
Besides, Mongolia Energy Corporation proposes to consolidate every four existing shares of HK$0.02 each into one consolidated share of HK$0.08 each and reduce the par value of each issued consolidated share from HK$0.08 to HK$0.02. It also proposes to change the
board lot size for trading in the shares from 1,000 existing shares to 3,000 new shares upon the capital reorganisation becoming effective.
Xanadu Mines: Kharmagtai Exploration Target Upgraded
- Xanadu upgrades the Kharmagtai Exploration Target to 150-250Mt at a grade of 0.40-0.60% Cu & 0.40-0.70g/t Au.
- The Exploration Target is based on 260 diamond drill and 155 reverse circulation drill holes completed since 2002 at Kharmagtai at 4 separate porphyry centres including over 9,000m of new diamond drilling by Xanadu.
- Xanadu's recent drilling has discovered a high-grade tourmaline breccia zone east of Altan Tolgoi which is approximately 1,000m long at least 150m wide and up to 600m deep.
- The new tourmaline breccia zone includes multiple intersections of over 200m grading 1.0% CuEq or better representing a significant addition to the Kharmagtaiporphyry system.
- Further drilling is planned to:
o convert mineralisation within the Exploration Target into resources;
o test extensions to the current high-grade mineralisation; and
o identify new mineralisation outside of the Exploration Target.
- Xanadu is also preparing a range of multi-disciplinary studies to assess potential development concepts.
September 18 -- Xanadu Mines Ltd (ASX:XAM – "Xanadu") is pleased to announce it has upgraded the Kharmagtai Exploration Target.
Xanadu recently completed approximately 9,000m of exploration drilling and has updated the geological model covering the Altan Tolgoi, Tsagaan Sudal, Zesen Uul and the recently discovered East Altan Tolgoi tourmaline breccia zone. Additional information used to define the Exploration Target includes detailed surface mapping, trenching and extensive geophysics.
The new Exploration Target is set out in the following table:
Previous exploration had defined three prospects at Altan Tolgoi, Zesen Uul and Tsagaan Sudal with a total Exploration Target estimate of between 250 to 400Mt at an average grade of 0.25 - 0.30% Cu and 0.25 - 0.30g/t Au. The large low-grade target contained a higher-grade target of 50 - 80Mt at an average grade of 0.4 - 0.5% Cu and 0.6 - 0.8 g/t Au (refer to the ASX release dated 3 February 2014).
The potential quantity and grade of the Exploration Target is conceptual in nature. There has been insufficient exploration to estimate a Mineral Resource under the JORC 2012 code and it is uncertain if further exploration will result in the estimation of a Mineral Resource.
BARRY LAVIN JOINS XANADU BOARD AS INDEPENDENT NON-EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
September 22 -- The Board of Xanadu Mines Ltd (ASX: XAM – "Xanadu") is pleased to announce the appointment of Independent Non-Executive Director, Barry Lavin.
Barry is an accomplished senior mining executive who spent 18 years with the Rio Tinto Group until 2009, where his most recent executive role was in its Copper Group having the responsibility for identifying and evaluating acquisitions.
Barry is a mining engineer and while at Rio Tinto was the Managing Director of the Northparkes Mines JV where he helped position the operation as a highly productive, profitable and safe underground block caving operation. At Rio Tinto, Barry also held the role of Managing Director of Global Technical Services.
Commenting on Barry's appointment, Xanadu's Chairman, Mark Wheatley, said, "We are delighted to welcome Barry to the Board of Xanadu. His recent executive and non executive experience is highly relevant to our company today and he adds significant technical and operational expertise to the Board."
In addition to his BSc (Hons) (Mining Engineering) degree Barry has an MBA and is a Chartered Engineer. Barry is currently a non-executive director of Barminco Ltd, an Australian underground mining contractor with international operations, a non-executive director of Ferrum Americas Inc., a listed Canadian junior, and is Managing Director of Teviot Resources Pty Ltd., a diversified junior.
Barry also served on the Board of Oz Minerals from 2011 to 2013.
An Appendix 3X is attached.
MOU last traded at A$0.004 Thursday
Modun Issues First Tranche of A$1 Million Share Issuance
September 17 -- As announced by Modun Resources Ltd (Company, ASX:MOU) on 1 September 2014, the Company had received commitments to subscribe for new shares at 0.2c per share to raise $1,000,000 in additional equity via a share placement to Sophisticated Investors (Share Placement).
Proceeds will be used for general working capital including the strategic review of the Company's 100% owned Nuurst thermal coal project.
We are pleased to advise that the first tranche of the Share Placement has today been completed. As a result the Company has today issued and allotted 347,500,000 fully paid ordinary shares at $0.002 per share to raise $695,000.
Shareholder approval is required prior to the issue of the second tranche as the proposed subscribers are either related parties or potential related parties to the Company.
Attached to this announcement are an Appendix 3B and cleansing notice in relation to today's issue
Viking Mines Keeps Prospectus Offering Open Until Talks Mature with Potential Strategic Investor
September 19 -- Further to the Company's announcement of 29 August 2014 the Company advises that it will keep its prospectus offering open until further notice to allow discussions with a potential strategic investor to reach maturity.
The Company's prospectus offer is to raise up to $3,040,000 by the issue of up to 80,000,000 shares at an issue price of $0.038, with 1 free attaching option exercisable at $0.09 on or before 30 April 2017 for every 4 shares subscribed for (Offer).
As previously announced, the prospectus offer has passed the minimum subscription level of $2,090,000 and the Company will progressively allot valid applications as application monies clear.
Winsway: Interim Report 2014
September 19, Winsway Enterprises Holdings Ltd.
CNNC Obtains Feasibility Study Approval for Mongolia Uranium Project
September 19, CNNC International Ltd. (HKEx:2302) --
Management Discussion & Analysis
The Group has made significant progress in the application of mining license for its Mongolian uranium mining project. During the Period, the Mongolian project obtained the approval of the relevant department of the Mongolian Government on the feasibility study report of the project. Negotiations with the Mongolian Government to develop the Mongolian project have been taken place so as to form a joint venture company for developing the project together according to the law of Mongolia.
Currently, all the conditions precedent for the application of the mining license will be fulfilled upon the approval of the updated revision of environmental assessment report of the Mongolian project by the Mongolian authority.
FUTURE STRATEGY AND OUTLOOK
For the Mongolian project, the Group will continue its negotiation with the Mongolian Government to form a joint venture company for the full preparation of the uranium resources project in Mongolia, and strive for the revision and accreditation of environmental assessment reports for the application of the mining license.
MSE News for September 19: Top 20 -1.01% to 15,953.84, Turnover ₮28.3 Million
Ulaanbaatar, September 19 (MONTSAME) At the Stock Exchange trades on Friday, a total of 47 thousand and 623 shares of 19 JSCs were traded costing MNT 28 million 312 thousand and 864.00.
"Hermes center" /27 thousand and 640 units/, "Remikon" /11 thousand and 163 units/, "Sor" /4,355/, "Tavantolgoi" /1,102 units/ and "Uvs chatsargana" /1,000 units/ were the most actively traded in terms of trading volume, in terms of trading value were "Sor" (MNT 10 million 666 thousand and 280), "Tavantolgoi" (MNT five million 726 thousand and 300), "Hermes center" (MNT four million 369 thousand and 892), "Uvs chatsargana" (MNT two million and 550 thousand) and "Remikon" (MNT one million 471 thousand and 525).
The total market capitalization was set at MNT one trillion 600 billion 643 million 394 thousand and 779. The Index of Top-20 JSCs was 15,953.84, decreasing 162.39 units or 1.01% against the previous day.
MSE PROPOSES TO COOPERATE WITH EBRD ON MONGOLIAN CAPITAL MARKET DEVELOPMENT
September On Sep 16th 2014, Angar.D the acting CEO of Mongolian Stock Exchange met with Mr.Matthieu Le Blan, head of Ulaanbaatar office of European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and handed over the Mongolian official letter to develop Mongolian capital market.
In 2013 Ministry of Finance and Bank of Mongolia have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with this bank which includes 64 member countries to launch "Increase lending in local currency" program and it includes this bank's roles to develop capital market.
Therefore Ch.Ulaan, the governor of EBRD bank's Mongolian side raised an official proposal to launch the program efficiently and handed over an official letter to Suma Chakrabarti, the president of EBRD.
MSE Seeks Consultants to Develop the Derivatives Market:
Early morning rates: Khan (Non-Cash Buy ₮1,830 Sell ₮1,844), TDB (Non-Cash Buy ₮1,830 Sell ₮1,842), Golomt (Non-Cash Buy ₮1,831 Sell ₮1,843), XacBank (Non-Cash Buy ₮1,833 Sell ₮1,845), State Bank (Non-Cash Buy ₮1,827 Sell ₮1,842) FX rates
BoM MNT Rates: Friday, September 19 Close
September MNT vs USD, CNY Chart:
BoM FX auction: CNY18m sold at ₮299.08, accepts US$9.5m MNT, $30m USD swap offers
September 18 (Bank of Mongolia) On the Foreign Exchange Auction held on September 18th, 2014 the BOM has received bid offer of 3.5 million USD and 44.5 million CNY as closing rate of MNT 298.11-300.14 from local commercial banks. The BOM has sold 18 million CNY as closing rate of MNT 299.08.
On September 18th, 2014, The BOM has received MNT Swap agreement bid offer in equivalent to 9.5 million USD and USD SWAP agreement offer of 30 million USD from local commercial banks and accepted all offer.
BoM issues ₮157 billion 1-week bills, total outstanding -0.026% to ₮390.7 billion
September 17 (Bank of Mongolia) BoM issues 1 week bills worth MNT 157 billion at a weighted interest rate of 12.0 percent per annum /For previous auctions click here/
GoM Treasury Auction: ₮40 Billion 12-Weeks Bills Sold at Average 15.576%
September 17 (MoF/BoM) Auction for 12 weeks maturity Government Treasury bill was announced at face value of 40.0 billion MNT. Face value of 40.0 billion /out of 46.05 billion bid/ Government Treasury bill was sold at discounted price and with weighted average yield of 15.576%.
BoM Monthly Statistical Bulletin, August 2014
September 19 (Bank of Mongolia) --
The Sales Managers' Index: Mongolia
Economic activity continues to contract in September
· Business Confidence rises slightly but remains low
· Market and Sales Indexes improve but still falling
· Prices Charged Index sees sharpest fall since February
The Mongolia Headline Sales Managers' Index (SMI), a composite indicator, is by far the most up-to-date monthly assessment of economic activity in Mongolia.
The Headline Index (derived from an average of the Business Confidence, Market Growth, Sales, Prices and Staffing Indexes) fell slightly to 42.1 in September, down from 42.3 in August, indicating that economic activity continues to contract but a slower pace compared to last month.
The Business Confidence Index rose for the first time since March 2014 to register a value of 37.9 in September, after declining to 36.7 in August. This points to very low levels of business confidence.
Sales Managers continued to cite high inflation, and falling direct investment, as major factors undermining business sentiment.
The Market Growth Index shows growth of the general marketplace in respondents' own industry sectors.
The Index increased to 38.8 in September, up from 38.0 in August, suggesting that growth in the economy continued to fall.
The Product Sales Index illustrates sales made by panellists' own companies.
The Index increased to 40.6 in September, up from 39.6 in August, indicating an improvement from the previous month.
Stagnant wages, and high costs of imported goods (particularly food and building materials) are reported as the main factors driving down sales.
The Prices Charged Index fell to 53.3 in September, down from 55.5 in August, indicating that prices continue to rise but a slower pace compared to last month.
Panellists pointed out the continued appreciation of the U.S. Dollar against the Mongolian Tugrik as a primary factor driving up prices.
The Staffing Index reports the number of staff taken on compared to the same period last year.
The Index fell to 39.8 in September, down from 41.8 in August, the sixth consecutive month of decline, signalling a continuing deterioration in the job market.
World Economics Chief Executive Ed Jones commented:
"Despite a small improvement in Business Confidence, Market Growth and Sales Indexes, the Mongolian Headline SMI for September indicates that the country's economic activity continues to deteriorate further although at a slower rate compared to last month."
Mongolia to Increase Fuel Reserve to Maintain 30-Day Reserve
September 19 (infomongolia.com) At the Cabinet meeting held on September 18, 2014, it was ratified to renew reserve volume for imported oil products due to increased demand.
Minister of Mining D.Gankhuyag is obliged to organize preparation works for oil products reserve for the next year before March 01, 2015, in particular, to increase the reserve volume up to 88,900 tons, which is equal to 30 days of consumption.
As of today, the fuel reserve is estimated at 80,480 tons for 30 days and has been provided in the past two years. According to contracts established between the Government and importer companies, 13 entities have been obliged to provide oil products reserve for A-80 - 7,770 tons, AI-92 - 21,820 tons, Diesel - 46,730 tons and TC-1 - 4,360 tons for 30 days reservations respectively.
Moreover, despite of increasing the fuel reserve up to 90 thousand tons, the reservoir for oil products is also needed to enlarge.
Therefore, authorities said that 9 containers with capacity of 5,000 cubic meters are being installed at the most convenient locations along the railroad in Ulaanbaatar, Darkhan, Govisumber and Zamyn-Uud.
Petroleum reserves re-estimated – Montsame, September 19
Mongolia: Toward a Greener Economy
September 19 (Mongolian Economy) Several recent initiatives highlight Mongolia's commitment to a greener economy.
An experimental study is to be conducted by the National Statistical Office of Mongolia, with the help of the UN's International Labour Organisation, to define the concept of a green working environment. The first of its kind in Mongolia, the study is to be completed in H1 of 2015 and consists of two parts: one based on households, the other on enterprise.
Since Rio+20—the UN's Conference on Sustainable Development in 2012—Mongolia has taken several measures toward integrating green development into its national policy. Mongolia was the first country to join the UN Environment Programme's global 'Partnership for Action on Green Economy' (PAGE) last year. The aim of the project is to build a national green economy strategy "that will generate new jobs and skills, promote clean technologies, and reduce environmental risks and poverty," according to PAGE. Mongolia's concerns include sustainable mining, renewable energy, and ecotourism.
After having joined PAGE, the Mongolian government outlined a policy on Green Development that Parliament approved in June 2014. The planning of the implementation process is currently underway. One of the main goals of the approved policy is to support and grow green jobs and the green working environment.
Mongolia Seeks to Boost Tourism, Increases Budget Allocation to Five Percent
By A. Burenjargal
September 19 (Mongolian Economy) Tourism receives MNT 35 billion to turnaround a 15 percent decline in visitors and boost the country's strategic tourism sector.
For the past year, tourists numbers in Mongolia declined by 15 percent while Mongolia is also included in world's unfriendliest nations for tourists, explains E.Bat-Uul, the city's mayor.
To reverse this negativity and to take advantage of Mongolia's natural beauty on offer, officials initiated the 'Hospitable Ulaanbaatar' campaign and sponsored next year's ITB Berlin – a major travel trade show after which an influx of tourists is expected. Officials are predicting tourist numbers to reach two million by 2020 and five million by 2030. In 2013, 366.095 tourists visited Mongolia.
Tourism has never been a priority but is now seen as a strategic sector as Mongolia recognizes the need to diversify away from mining.
"Mongolia had never invested money more than a billion tugrugs into tourism. But the state budgeted MNT 35 billion for the development of tourism and culture sector every year. That is believed to be great investment for a change", said Minister of Culture, Sport and Tourism, Ts. Oyungerel.
There is also an unbalanced portion of outbound and inbound tourism. In the past year, Mongolians made 1.6 million trips out of the country. The number of Mongolian travellers is also four times higher than inbound tourist numbers. Balancing inbound and outbound tourism figures forms part of the campaign's strategy.
Is Mongolia ready to handle an influx of tourists?
As the country's tourism sector develops, there will be many lessons learned along the way. Policymakers will have to deal with current inflationary pressures for tourism operators. Many charge in USD, which is illegal, but necessary to deal with the increase in inflation over the past year.
Branding, promotion, customer service, ease of travel, resources and capacity are just some aspects of tourism officials will have to consider when promoting Ulaanbaatar and Mongolia.
A data from Ulaanbaatar city tourism department says tourists in Mongolia spend, on average, USD190 for one night per night. Two times the average wage for a Month
This year's budget for tourism is well above what it was in 2012 when only MNT one billion was spent in tourism sector. Increase investment and promotion is expected to increase GDP by 2.5 times or five billion dollars by 2030 according to Hospitable Ulaanbaatar campaign.
With endless natural beauty and culture, Mongolia is a playground for keen travellers. If the sector is developed sustainably and with its customer in mind, the tourism sector may be a valuable asset to a country looking to develop industries other than mining.
Mongolia gov't to submit bill on minerals sector transparency
By B. Amarsaikhan
Ulaanbaatar, September 19 (MONTSAME) The Government on September 18 decided to submit draft law on transparency in minerals sector to State Great Khural. A ratification of it will result in long-term social and economic benefits.
Provision of transparency in Mongolia's Minerals Sector is considered to be a great contribution to the following achievements such as establishment of a global-standard management of collaborative monitoring; legal basis for demolishing the corruption and dead expenses in the sector; development of partnership between public and private sectors and civil societies; public access to the operations and relations of exploiting companies, states agencies and public organizations; increase in the state and local budgets through taxes by eliminating the inefficient expenses of the mining companies; consolidation of better governance through transparency in expenditure of taxes paid by minerals sector to the Government.
Bank of China: Friend or Foe for Mongolia?
By Zulbayar Badral
September 17 (Lehman Bush LLC) According to the National Statistical Office of Mongolia, at the end of July 2014, non-performing loans (NPL) throughout the entire banking system reached MNT 599.7 bln, up MNT 32.7 or 5.8 percent from the previous month, and MNT 146 bln or 32.4 percent up from the same period of the previous year.
Even though the Bank of Mongolia reported that money supply at the end of July 2014 reached MNT 10,081.0 bln, up MNT 1,992bln or 24.6 percent compared with the same period of the previous year, the NPL figure is a quite disappointing, and people and businesses are struggling to settle their loans, and are looking into finding cheaper sources of funding more aggressively than ever during this economic slow-down period.
The inaccessibility to affordable money is a major factor for why some 40 Mongolian companies have requested approximately USD 3 bln in loans from the representative office of the Bank of China in UB since its opening in January 2013. Therefore, it is likely that these businesses considered the interest rates charged by Mongolian banks to be too high, and/or their loan requirements to be too unfavorable.
According to the "Monthly Statistical Bulletin" from the Bank of Mongolia for July 2014, their annual weighted average lending rates were at 19.20% and 13.30% for domestic and foreign currency respectively. Logically thinking, it appears that any business that has lower than a 45-50 percent gross profit margin would eventually fail in the current business environment because of the 20 percent bank lending rate, the 10 percent Mongolian Corporate Income Tax, and the VAT, in addition to massive operational costs including office rental and HR costs unless there is enough cash available from substantial equity investment or retained earnings.
Logic would therefore dictate that one of the potential solutions to drive down bank lending rates to a more business friendly level is to promote market competition in the banking sector by inviting more foreign full-service banks into Mongolia.
As of 2013, Mongolia's banking sector was accountable for 95% of the country's finance industry which was, in return, equivalent to 5.8% of total GDP for the year. To date, 13 commercial banks operating in Mongolia and 6 foreign banks have opened their representative offices.
Source: Khan Bank, corporate presentation
Of those 13 banks, two banks are 100% foreign owned (Chinggis Khan Bank and Credit Bank), while four have foreign shareholders: Trade and Development Bank of Mongolia, Khan Bank, National Investment Bank of Mongolia and Transbank (Source: "The Country Report: Mongolia 2014", OBG).
However, these foreign owned or invested banks are not yet significantly influential to accelerate competition in the banking sector to lower lending rates for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) or individuals. The reasons for this situation probably stem from their inadequate asset base or primary focused on targeted corporate clients matters such as mining, construction or infrastructure sectors. Therefore, Mongolia may need to welcome a larger candidate who can deliver both corporate and personal banking services at affordable level to the country. Fortunately, Mongolia need not look too far for a suitable bank to work with. A viable candidate is located just next to Mongolia in China.As a result of the currently upgraded political and economic ties between China and Mongolia, it has become an evident that Bank of China, which is 68% owned by Government of China and 32% owned by investors, is likely to expand its presence and operations in Mongolia.
There are a number of reasons to predict this. Firstly, the recent State visit by China's president concluded with a number of business deals and agreements being signed including one for cooperation on building Coal-to-Gas Plant worth USD 30 bln, a Railway and Transit transport agreement, and a Chinese seaport use agreement for Mongolia. Hence, it follows that there will be a potential sharp increase of business cooperation between China and Mongolia in the near future, and, logically, the Bank of China will follow its customers to Mongolia. The "Follow–the-customer" hypothesis is that banks go multinational to better serve the foreign operations of domestic corporate entities.
Secondly, banks in some countries (like Mongolia) may be inefficient (outdated technology) or non-competitively priced. Look at a queue at any of the bank branches around central Ulaanbaatar. Such conditions may attract a potential foreign bank or banks to penetrate these markets by employing newer technology or better marketing tools.
Thirdly, the Bank of China will find it possible to take advantage of diversification and interest rate differentials. Current policy interest rates for the Bank of Mongolia and China's Central Bank are 12.0 % versus 6.0% respectively.
It can understandably be forecast that the arrival of Bank of China, which is the second largest lender in China overall, and the largest foreign exchange lender, will benefit Mongolia's SMEs and people by lowering current bank lending rates to a more affordable level. However, the arrival of the Bank of China and other foreign banks for that matter in Mongolia may well be the proverbial double edged sword.
In spite of the possible benefits of having the Bank of China doing business in Mongolia, there is already some concern that foreign banks operating locally would quickly sweep away the local banks because they have the capital, access to cheap funds, and technology that are not available to Mongolian banks.
To be honest, unfortunately, this is one of major principles of the market economy in which we are operating, and the local banks have to accept this and become more competitive themselves. This is why the banks have risk management departments and continuously hire trained professionals in the risk management arena. Additionally, government agencies commissioned to regulate the unfair competition and manage the country specific risks are also in place to regulate banking sector practices.
Further, some may say that China's involvement in the banking sector may lead to foreign dominance of the banking sector. In point of fact, Mongolian banks are already owned partially by foreigners as illustrated by the table below extracted from the annual reports for 2013 from the Mongolian banks.
Even though a variety of sources have stated that the Bank of China potentially will make possible big projects in Mongolia that local commercial banks cannot finance themselves, this may somehow not be beneficial for Mongolia as the financing of these major projects is likely to generate large public debts in the future. Whereas, once the Bank of China begins operating in retail banking, it will boost the domestic banking sector by bringing healthy competition and any borrower's default on loans would ultimately be considered as a private (legal) person's default not the public debt. This situation could be said to be the yin and yang of the inevitable arrival of foreign banks in Mongolia.
One major upside of the Bank of China's full operation in Mongolia is that it may attract foreign direct investment and foreign trade opportunities since the Bank of China operates in a number of countries through branches and representative offices. Mongolian producers, especially export/import companies and conglomerate entities, can potentially take advantage of the superior experience and expertise of the bank in international payment systems. In theory, a foreign bank coming into a country is expected to increase foreign currency inflow into the country's economy, which, among other potential benefits, should generate a very positive and calming effect on Mongolia's current volatile currency exchange rate.
Inhospitality towards, and intolerance of, the presence or involvement of China in Mongolia's social and economic life has been one of the main themes of the nationalistic rhetoric and is gradually abating since the slowdown of Mongolia's once double digit economy; once one of the fastest growing economies in the world. Mongolians are becoming more pragmatic in terms of developing the country's economic and political direction. From this perspective, one may agree that at the end of the day fair competition with multiple participants in the country's banking sector will be beneficial to both the banks and to the people of Mongolia.
Zulbayar Badral works for Lehman Bush LLC which is a consultancy firm providing business consultancy, market intelligence, and corporate services. Lehman Bush LLC has affiliate offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Houston, USA. For more information, please visit. www.lehmanbush.mn. You can reach Mr. Zulbayar through Zbadral@lehmanbush.com and follow him via @ZulbayarB on Twitter
President meets World Bank's new Mongolia country director & representative
September 19 (news.mn) On Thursday, President Ts.Elbegdorj met with the World Bank's new Country Director for China, Mongolia and Korea in the East Asia and Pacific Region Bert Hofman and World Bank Country Representative for Mongolia James Anderson.
Bert Hofman has recently been appointed as the World Bank's Country Director for China, Mongolia and Korea in the East Asia and Pacific Region.
James Anderson was appointed as the World Bank Country Representative for Mongolia in August.
The World Bank officials presented their missions and spoke about collaborating effectively on projects and programs, as the World Bank has in the past. President Ts.Elbegdorj noted that Mongolia has collaborated effectively with the World Bank for many years, and the World Bank has contributed much to supporting Mongolia's development, reducing poverty, and in building a system to distribute the benefits of economic growth fairly to Mongolian citizens.
President Ts.Elbegdorj stressed that Mongolia is striving to make medium-term economic risk regulations.
The President added that Mongolia is taking certain measures to make assessable economic growth, provide sustainability to the macro economy, attract more foreign direct investment, and formulate related laws and regulations. At the end of the meeting, President Ts.Elbegdorj wished the World Bank officials success on their missions.
Chief of President's Office P.Tsagaan receives WEF's Head of Mining
By N. Khaliun
Ulaanbaatar, September 19 (MONTSAME) The head of the Presidential Office P.Tsagaan Friday received Ms Gillian Davidson, a Director and Head of Mining and Metals Industry, World Economic Forum.
The sides noted an effective cooperation between Mongolia and WEF and exchanged views on seeking ways of expanding the ties. After this, they discussed the issues of The World Economic Forum Annual Meeting held in Davos, Switzerland, the 10th World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF) to run in Dubai on October 28-30, the Mongolia Business Summit to take place in Ulaanbaatar on June of 2015.
WPP's Y&R to Open First Majority-Owned International Agency in Mongolia
Acquisition of majority stake of MCS Holding LLC's Creative and Research Unit will form Y&R Mongolia
ULAN BATOR, Mongolia, September 19--(BUSINESS WIRE)--David Sable, Global CEO of Y&R, announced today that Y&R Advertising has agreed to acquire a majority stake in the creative advertising and research agency of MCS Holding LLC, one of Mongolia's largest business conglomerates. Y&R Mongolia, in partnership with TNS, is the country's first majority-owned international agency.
Established in 2008, MCS Holding's Creative and Research Unit provides a range of services, including advertising development, events management, and consumer and retail market research services. Its existing clients, including MCS Asia Pacific Brewery, Herbalife, JTI and Dell, will benefit from both Y&R's and TNS's global networks and solutions.
Commenting on the agreement, Y&R global CEO David Sable said, "The formation of Y&R Mongolia will make Y&R the most expansive network in Asia, with coverage across North, South and Southeast Asia, including Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Myanmar. We are a global boutique: Strong local offices with deep roots in the market offer our clients the best of both worlds — the local relevance they need, along with the global power of a network."
The research business will be affiliated to global research consultancy, TNS. TNS CEO APAC, Chris Riquier said, "Mongolia presents a strong opportunity for our clients, who are keen to understand more about their consumers. We were the first international research consultancy in many markets across the region, including Myanmar in 2013, and we are pleased to partner with Y&R to be first to establish a presence in Mongolia."
One of the world's fastest growing economies, Mongolia's GDP is forecast to grow at 9.5% in 2014, and 10% in 2015 according to the ADB's annual Asian Development Outlook 2014. Mongolia was named among Citigroup's '3G' countries, the Global Growth Generators with the most promising (per capita) growth prospects until 2050.
Y&R Mongolia will continue to be headed up by Managing Director Tuul Purevsuren, reporting to Y&R Asia President Matthew Godfrey.
Matthew Godfrey, President Y&R Asia said, "Y&R Mongolia is the country's first international agency, just as Y&R Yangon was a first for Myanmar. We pride ourselves on industry firsts in Asia, as part of Y&R's ongoing mission to resist the usual in everything we do."
MCS Holding LLC is one of Mongolia's largest conglomerates with interests in energy, infrastructure, information communication technology, food and beverage, apparel, wholesale and retail, real estate and mining.
Gankhuyag A., Managing Director of MCS Holding said, "Partnering with Y&R is a step forward to achieve our mission to introduce world standards in our home country. MCS has pioneered in introducing global brands in Mongolia successfully in the industries we operate. MCS' local knowledge and engagement combined with Y&R's industry expertise and global network will create a powerful synergy."
Y&R is one of the leading global marketing communications companies. It is made up of the iconic Y&R Advertising agency; VML, one of the most highly regarded and fastest-growing digital agencies in the world, and iconmobile, one of the premier mobile marketing companies.
Y&R's largest agency, Y&R Advertising, has 188 offices in 92 countries around the world, with clients that include, Campbell's Soup Company, Colgate-Palmolive, Danone, Dell, Xerox, GAP, Land Rover, and Telefonica, among many others.
Y&R is part of WPP (NASDAQ: WPPGY).
WPP agrees to acquire Creative and Research Agency from MCS Holding in Mongolia – WPP, September 19
Macmahon Units in Standstill Pact With Erdenes to Negotiate Dues
By Michael Kohn
September 18 (Bloomberg News) Macmahon Holdings Ltd. (MAH) and two of its subsidiaries in Mongolia called a three-week truce with coal miner Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi JSC as the two sides negotiate over unpaid claims.
Fluor Still In Business In Mongolia
By Jon Springer
September 18 (Forbes Asia) Fluor, a company based in Irving, Texas USA, is still doing business in Mongolia. An earlier report this week by this author noted that Fluor had reportedly removed all foreign personnel from Mongolia rapidly at the first hint that the government of Mongolia may have a tax inquiry for the company. Despite confirmation from a multitude of sources in Mongolia, Fluor's communications director Brian Mershon confirms that Fluor remains committed to Mongolia with more than 30 employees including several ex-pats working in the country on various infrastructure projects and the Sainshand Industrial Park project.
The bad reporting is solely this author's responsibility with deep apologies to those working for Fluor, their family members and friends. The sources I relied upon have been reliable in the past but the statements should have been verified directly.
Mr. Mershon, Director of Global Media Relations & External Communications at Fluor, issued this statement from Fluor to clarify the situation:
"Fluor works on projects in diverse market segments in Mongolia including infrastructure, mining & metals, and industrial services. We currently have more than 30 employees in Mongolia, and as is typical on our project locations across the globe, we increase and decrease project staff size as needs dictate. We have been in Mongolia since 2006 and expect to continue to provide assistance to our clients in Mongolia across the industries we serve as client and project needs require."
Other details in the earlier article related to the cases of Justin Kapla, Hilarion Cajucom, Cristobal David and others who remain under exit visa bans remain accurate.
Mongolian developments set to woo Middle East investors
September 20 (Shamal Marketing Communications) The mixed-use Mongol Tower, costing in excess of $300 million once completed, is to be situated in 1.1 hectares of prime city centre real estate, with a built up area of 7,700 square metres, in the central business district, just 10 minutes' walk from Sukhbaatar Square, the location of the Government House and Capital Centre.
Mongolia to debut two ground-breaking projects as Japanese architect Nikken Sekkei showcases developments at Cityscape in Dubai
Leading Japanese architect Nikken Sekkei, has signed contracts with major Mongolian development companies Mon Uran LLC and Dunjingarav LLC, to design three projects in the capital city of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.
The Mongol Tower and WOO City developments will be highlighted at Cityscape Global as part of Nikken Sekkei's extensive showcase of global design projects. Completing the trio is La Boqueria de Mongolia, set to become Mongolia's largest market complex and based on Barcelona's internationally renowned comida fresca (fresh food) market.
Ulaanbaatar is home to about 45% of Mongolia's 2.8 million population and when completed in 2018 the contemporary Mongol Tower will be a symbol of modern Mongolia, its economic growth and aspirations and further emphasising investment potential in this frontier market.
The mixed-use Mongol Tower, costing in excess of $300 million once completed, is to be situated in 1.1 hectares of prime city centre real estate, with a built up area of 7,700 square metres, in the central business district, just 10 minutes' walk from Sukhbaatar Square, the location of the Government House and Capital Centre.
Once completed, the tower, which will rise 301 metres over 68 floors and cover approx. 170,000 square metres of floor space, will become the highest building in Mongolia, featuring serviced apartments, high quality office and retail space, making it a shopping destination in its own right.
Apart from its robust sustainability and creative design, another unique design feature is the ratio of glass to concrete on the exterior; which increases gradually from the lower to the higher floors, creating a tower that seems to rise up from the earth and melt into the sky - mirroring the ambitions of the Mongolian capital.
WOO City, is a large scale resort complex planned by Dunjingarav LLC, one of Mongolia's foremost property developers and a subsidiary of Mon Uran LLC. Located on the southern edge of central Ulaanbaatar, WOO City will face an expansive public park (currently planned for construction) and offer magnificent views of Bogd Khan Mountain further to the south.
The complex will boast hotels and condominiums, as well as commercial, leisure and cultural facilities. The 100-hectare site will consist of developed space totalling approximately one million square metres and while the design is inspired by the classic Cote d'Azur resort of Monte Carlo, it is dotted with elements reflecting Mongolia's unique characteristics and heritage.
WOO City is planned as Mongolia's first world-class resort complex, capable of hosting international events such as Formula 1 racing. The project is expected to contribute significantly to the development of Mongolia's tourism industry and overall economy.
"These successful bids, plus a third - La Boqueria de Mongolia, an 80,000 square metre wholesale food bazaar which is now at an advanced planning stage - are further testimony to Nikken Sekkei's ability to create innovative designs using the latest energy saving technologies whilst sympathetically developing iconic buildings with cultural sensibilities to the local environment," said Mr. Nakamura Mitsuo, Chairman of Nikken Sekkei.
The signing of the contracts highlights enhanced Mongolian-Japanese trade and investment relations as well as improving business prospects. Listed as an emerging market in February 2011 when analysts at Citibank determined Mongolia to be one of 'Global Growth Generators' effectively those countries with the most promising economic growth prospects for 2010-2050.
Nikken Sekkei is located in hall 2, stand number 2A30, at Cityscape Global.
Architects turn Gateshead into Mongolian yurt camp
Gradon Architecture pitched a tent to teach local schoolchildren about life in Mongolia
September 17 (Newcastle Chronicle) Architects turned a small corner of Gateshead into a Mongolian yurt camp as they invited children to learn more about the Far Eastern country's rich nomadic culture.
Gradon Architecture has been working in the former soviet state, trying to design replacements for buildings which are ill equipped to face temperatures that can drop to minus 30C.
"Most people tend to associate Mongolia with images of Genghis Khan and nomads, but actually this is a very outdated view," said architectural technologist Tanja Smith.
"In many ways Mongolia is as modern as the UK with an enthusiasm for forward thinking, especially amongst the younger Mongolian generations seeking and pushing for change.
"However, as one of the coldest and most polluted places to live on earth, Mongolia and especially its capital Ulan Bator, continues to face significant challenges which affects us all.
"For the past year, we have been working in the country to design a number of innovative and sustainable housing solutions that will help replace the former soviet-era building stock which is ill-equipped to cope in deadly minus 30 temperatures.
"We now want to share these experiences with our local community to get the next generation thinking about sustainability and how construction and low impact dwellings can improve the way people live.
"Hopefully our Mongolian Discovery Day helped to bring this unique culture to life."
The one-day event saw an authentic Mongolian Ger tent - also known as a yurt - pitched outside Gradon's office at NE40Studios in Ryton, with nine and 10-year-old pupils from St Mary and St Thomas Aquinas Primary School and St Thomas More School in Blaydon, visiting to experience what it's like to live in Mongolia.
Earlier this year, the practice submitted design proposals for 50 energy-efficient homes in the Nukht Valley of Ulan Bator, as well as an 18-storey hotel, apartment and shopping plaza in the city of Darkhan.
So while learning about the nomadic culture the children were challenged to design and decorate their own low-impact homes as part of the project.
And Gradon also used the day as a chance to raise money for the Christina Noble Foundation, a charity which works with deprived people in Mongolia.
"While working in Mongolia we've witnessed some terrible scenes of poverty," Tanja said.
"Families with very little money to their name are struggling to survive in some of the coldest temperatures known to man.
"We've been out to visit these families with the Christina Noble Foundation and as part of our work, we're helping to plan new improved residential developments for people currently living in deprived Ger communities."
Water Scarcity a Threat to Mongolia's Sustainable Development
September 17 (The Asia Foundation) A new report from the Asian Development Bank sent a warning signal to Mongolia that, despite its wealth of natural resources and pristine image, the country faces a severe water scarcity and quality crisis – one that could leave its growing capital, Ulaanbaatar, faced with water shortage as early as 2015.
Outside of the capital, Mongolia's rural residents are also under threat. As a result of climate change, hundreds of Mongolia's lakes and rivers have dried up, and there is significant desertification of land especially in the south around the Gobi desert. Water sources are unevenly distributed within the landlocked nation, with abundant surface water resources located in northern Mongolia, but which are inaccessible for the drier central and southern parts of the country that lack water sources. As a result, Mongolia has a high reliance on groundwater resources which accounted for 80 percent of all freshwater consumed in 2010, according to the recent ADB report. Water is crucial not only for daily consumption by the people and for herders to maintain their livestock, but also for Mongolia's economic development as an essential resource for industries such as the mining sector, which has driven the country's economic growth. Reconciling these competing interests is a challenge, and conflicts over water can put increasing pressure on the already limited resources.
Apart from water scarcity, water quality is also a worrying concern with herding, mining, and urban development posing threats to public health. In the northern province of Mongolia, Khuvsgul, home to one of the largest fresh water lakes in Asia as well as a wide network of rivers, many communities live in remote areas that lack basic water supply infrastructure. A survey conducted by The Asia Foundation in 2013 under its Environmental Protection and HWTS pilot project implemented in 12 soums of Khuvsgul aimag, showed that residents in the soumsalmost exclusively collect drinking water from sources outside the home and that half came from unprotected lakes and rivers. The survey also found that most unprotected sources are exposed to significant levels of contamination from proximal human waste, livestock, and seasonal flooding. The survey also found that nearly two-thirds of all households do not treat their drinking water. The majority of households collect drinking water in closed plastic or metal containers, but store water in open or partially open containers. While about two-thirds of households clean their drinking water collection and storage containers at least once per week, it is likely that many household containers are sources of contamination as a result of inadequate cleaning and disinfection.
In the remote soum of Tsagaan-Uur in Khusvsgul, the majority of households obtain water from the river to fulfill their daily living needs. However, the quality of water is increasingly threatened by pollutants from animal husbandry and waste disposal. To monitor the quality of the water in the area, the Foundation recently established a water quality monitoring group consisting of citizens, teachers, water guardians, local health inspectors, and other officials to protect the local river and test water quality on a frequent basis. In addition, to raise awareness among households, parents, teachers, children, and local government officials, we organized a training on household water treatment systems to improve their water, sanitation, and hygiene behavior.
According to Enkhtsetseg Bazarsad, a member of a herder family and one of the participants in the training for households, deteriorating water quality is especially an issue in the summer when the rivers are not frozen and therefore more exposed to external pollutants. "During the winter months, we live higher up in the mountains and collect water by piercing a hole in the ice or crushing the ice itself, and water tends to be purer. In the summer months, we collect water every day from the river in jerry cans as we live outside the soum center without any access to a water well," she said. As a result of the HWTS training, she now filters water through a cotton cloth or by boiling it before usage. Further awareness raising is needed within the broader community to sensitize people on the health hazards of drinking unsafe water, and for this purpose, the Foundation together with the National Public Health Center is developing a strategy to change behavior which will be implemented this fall.
Water quantity and quality is also becoming a problem increasingly in the capital Ulaanbaatar. With nearly 50 percent of the population living in Ulaanbaatar, ensuring that there is sufficient and safe water for everyone is a challenge. As a result of climate change and increased water substraction, the streamflow of the Tuul river, which feeds the acquifer that supplies most of the water for Ulaanbaatar, is shrinking. Especially in the outer districts, many residents lack a connection to the central water supply network and have to make use of water kiosks to purchase water or get their water directly from the river. In the outer area of Nailakh district, this is especially a problem as in the absence of proper water sewage systems, sewage gets disposed of in the river affecting households living downstream. To empower the local communities to be better able to protect their existing water sources, treat, and safely store water to ensure it is safe for consumption, the Foundation is expanding its pilot project to Ulaanbaatar's Nailakh district. It is expected that the pilot project in Khusvgul and Nailakh will provide valuable lessons learned to inform national level policy decision-making on the protection and treatment of Mongolia's precious water sources.
The Asia Foundation's Environmental Protection and Household Water Treatment Systems pilot project in Khuvsgul and Nailakh is funded by UNICEF.
Tirza Theunissen is The Asia Foundation's deputy country representative in Mongolia. She can be contacted at email@example.com. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the individual author and not those of The Asia Foundation.
2014 Autumn Green Days Fair to Showcase Freshly Harvested Vegetables and Fruits
September 19 (news.mn) The annual "Autumn Green Days" fair and exhibition will be held at Dunjingarav shopping center on September 20-26th.
The annual fair and exhibition is organized to improve food security; promote and make fairly priced vegetables and fruits planted and harvested in Mongolia available, direct to consumers; expand links between businesses, state agencies, non-governmental organizations, customers and farmers; and provide an opportunity to share experience.
The "Autumn Green Days – 2014" fair and exhibition will be organized under three themes: "Healthy Food -2014" an exhibition of food benefitting heathy; "Golden Autumn -2014" a Mongolian agricultural exhibition; and the "Selected Breed -2014" exhibition.
President to take part in session of UN General Assembly
By B. Khuder
Ulaanbaatar, September 19 (MONTSAME) The President Ts.Elbegdorj will head for the USA on Saturday to participate in the 69th session of the UN General Assembly which kicked off September 16 in the UN Headquarters, New York City.
In frames of the session, the President will attend several international meetings and events such as the Climate Summit, the 29th session on Population and Development, the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples, and will hold bilateral meetings with his counterparts and chairs of international organizations.
DPRK Delegates Extend Kim Jong Un's Greetings to President Elbegdorj
Ulaanbaatar, September 19 (MONTSAME) The President of Mongolia Ts.Elbegdorj received Thursday the North Korean delegates led by Mr Kang Sug Joo, a member of political bureau and a secretary for International Affairs of the Worker's Party of Korea.
The high guest passed to the President greetings from Kim Jong Un, the leader of Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
The leader of Mongolia said that a principle of the relations between the two countries is concrete, "firstly, we must strengthen the ties secured by previous generations, secondly, the ties must satisfy interests of the two sides, and, thirdly, the documents must be realized signed during the Mongolian President's visit to DPRK in 2013".
The President thanked the N.Korean side for supporting his "North-East Asian Dialogue" initiative and reaffirmed the invitations for the leader of N.Korea Kim Jong Un and first secretary of the Worker's Party Kim Yong Nam on visiting Mongolia.
FM Bold meets DPRK Workers' Party reps – Montsame, September 19
Elbegdorj: Mongolia Will Not Accept Proposals on Burying or Transiting Nuclear Waste on Its Territory
By B. Khuder
Ulaanbaatar, September 19 (MONTSAME) The President of Mongolia said it in interview to Masakatsu Ota, a journalist of the Japanese "Kyodo Tsushin" agency on Thursday.
This interview was dedicated to the Day of Banning Nuclear Weapon marked on September 26.
"I guess there is no country that has reached a positive outcome or succeeded with acquisition of a nuclear weapon. The nuclear weapon-free status of Mongolia has been backed by the five nuclear weapon states by releasing an official statement. Now we are negotiating with the NWS especially with the neighbour countries to establish intergovernmental agreement on the matter," the President said.
"The National Security Council of Mongolia (NSC) has made a concrete decision on prohibiting the burying of nuclear waste and transporting the weapons in Mongolia. It is also illegal for any official from Mongolia to make negotiations or discuss the issues with other countries' people without permission from the NSC. Mongolia has the law on it, so Mongolia will never accept any proposal to bury and/or transit nuclear waste in its territory. This is a proven decision," Mr Elbegdorj stressed.
"The next issue is my position. Mongolia may accept an action of producing nuclear yellowcake if the country will explore, research or exploit nuclear substances, but no further action shall be permitted," he pointed out.
Mongolia Invites Mozilla to 2015 Freedom Online Coalition Conference in Ulaanbaatar
By B. Khuder
Ulaanbaatar, September 19 (MONTSAME) While in the USA with a visit, the Ambassador-at-Large of Mongolia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs S.Badral and an advisor to the Minister of Foreign Affairs O.Mashbat met Thursday with Mr Chris Riley, a senior policy engineer at the Mozilla in Washington DC.
During the meeting, Mr Badral pointed out that Mongolia is chairing the Freedom Online Coalition (FOC), and then invited the Mozilla company to partake in the Online Freedom Coalition Conference to be held 2015 in Ulaanbaatar.
Accepting the invitation, Mr Riley said the company intends to advertise the cheapest smart phone of USD 33 during the upcoming conference.
Mongolian Delegation Meets US State Department Officials as Chair of Freedom Online Coalition
By B. Khuder
Ulaanbaatar, September 19 (MONTSAME) The Ambassador-at-Large S.Badral and an advisor to the Minister of Foreign Affairs O.Mashbat Thursday held a meeting with Mr Scott Busby, the Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor at the US Department of State, and with Mr Christopher Painter, the U.S. Department of State Coordinator for Cyber Issues in Washington DC.
The parties exchanged views on a chance to collaborate within Mongolia's presidency for the Freedom Online Coalition (FOC). Then the US side expressed a willingness to render Mongolia a support in hosting the FOC's Conference in 2015.
The same day, the diplomats met with Ms Nese Guendelsberger, a Deputy Chief of the Federal Communications Commission's International Bureau, and Ms Susan Ritchie, Senior Advisor, Bureau of International Information Programs at US Department of State. The sides shared views on participating in the 2014 International Telecommunication Union Plenipotentiary Conference to be held in October in Pusan, South Korea, on developing bilateral cooperation in communications and on a chance of organizing mutual visits.
Google Expresses Support for Mongolia's Chairmanship of Freedom Online Coalition
By B. Amarsaikhan
Ulaanbaatar, September 19 (MONTSAME) Ambassador-at-large S.Badral and an advisor to the FM O.Mashbat met with the chairman for foreign relations of Google Inc. Ross LaJeunesse on September 18 in Washington D.C.
During the meeting, Mr LaJeunesse said Google Inc. supports initiatives of Mongolian Government, and noted that Mongolia has become a role-model of democracy in its region. He also noted that Mongolia is leading the Online Freedom Coalition, and expressed a willingness of Google to take an active part in the Ministerial meeting of the coalition which will run Ulaanbaatar.
Summary of Xi Jinping's Visit to Mongolia Introduced at Cabinet Meeting
September 19 (infomongolia.com) The regular Cabinet meeting of the Government was held on September 18, 2014, where over 40 issues were discussed and the first issue revised was the state visit of the President of the People's Republic of China Xi Jinping to Mongolia conducted on August 21-22, 2014.
The state visit summary was intoduced and agreed to submit to the National Security Council of Mongolia obliged by Foreign Minister L.Bold.
The main purpose of the visit of the head of China to Mongolia was to ensure mutual trust building and common understanding, to strengthen friendly ties and to develop the establishment, equality and mutually beneficial cooperation in the strategic partnership between Mongolia and China.
During the Presidential visit to Mongolia paid after 11 years, China and Mongolia have signed a Joint Declaration on the Development of Comprehensive Strategic Partnership; moreover, 26 Memorandums, Protocols and Agreements were inked between the two Governments and organizations that directed to broaden bilateral cooperation. In addition, 11 documents were signed between entities of the two countries.
Following the negotiations, Mongolia and the People's Republic of China have principally agreed:
- To provide at least 40% of tariff concession on Mongolia's transit freight to transport through the territory of China,
- To open new four border ports at Gashuun Sukhait - Gants Mod, Shivee Khuren - Sekhee, Bichigt - Zuun Khatavch, and Sumber - Rashaan,
- To increase the number of seaports for Mongolia and to transport at least 1/3 of total transit freights from Asia to Europe through the territory of Mongolia;
During the visit, China pledged to provide a grant aid of 1.3 billion CNY in the period of three years to come and a soft loan of 1 billion CNY.
Also, strengthening mutual understandings between the peoples of two countries and exchanging cultural and humanitarian cooperation activities, the Governments of China and Mongolia have negotiated to implement the following programs in the next 5 years:
- To increase the quota of scholarships provided by the Government of China by 1,000,
- To involve 1,000 people from Mongolia in short-term training programs in China,
- To train 500 Mongolian military officials in China,
- To invite 250 media staff and 500 youths from Mongolia to China for experience exchange and tourist purposes,
- To invite 250 youths from China to Mongolia for tourist purposes;
These measures are aimed to deepen cooperation and strengthen mutual understanding in the Mongolia-China friendly relations, besides to contribute to the sustainability of the exchange programs between young people including children.
Moreover, since 2006, the two countries' authorities have been discussing to arrange all bilateral treaties, protocols and agreements' effectiveness established between Mongolia and the People's Republic of China from 1949 to 2012, and a Protocol to accomplish this joint work was also signed during the President Xi Jinping's visit.
Thereof, a working group chaired by Deputy Foreign Minister D.Gankhuyag has accomplished and introduced the summary, which was approved at the Cabinet meeting.
Accordingly, Deputy Foreign Minister D.Gankhuyag affirmed that Mongolia and the People's Republic of China had established a total of 425 agreements, whereas 152 documents are effective and 273 agreements' effective period are ended.
Visit of Xi Jinping Summarized – Montsame, September 19
Summary of Vladimir Putin's Visit to Mongolia Introduced at Cabinet Meeting
September 19 (infomongolia.com) At the regular Cabinet meeting held on September 18, 2014, the summary of the working visit of the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin to Mongolia was revised, which was conducted on September 03, 2014.
The visit summary was introduced and agreed to submit to the National Security Council of Mongolia obliged by Foreign Minister L.Bold.
The main outcomes of the working visit paid by the Russian President V.V.Putin to Mongolia was reaffirmed as priorities of Mongolia's foreign policy to deepen joint collaboration and relations with the Russian Federation and further to strengthen Mongolia-Russia strategic partnership and the two Governments were obliged to accelerate on resolving current urgent problems in the bilateral cooperation.
During the Presidential visit to Mongolia, the Government representatives of the two countries have signed on 15 intergovernmental documents and the following intergovernmental negotiations were agreed:
- In the frameworks of Mongolia-Russia military-technical cooperation, to modernize Mongolian Armed Forces' weaponry and equipment,
- To prepare Mongolian military personnel in Russia,
- To involve Mongolian Armed Forces representative in the grand military parade dedicated to the 70th anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War 1941-1945, which will be celebrating at Red Square in Moscow in 2015,
- To develop legal frameworks under concessional terms to supply Mongolia's agricultural products, including meat & meat products, wool, cashmere, leather, skin products and Mongol Ger (traditional felt dwelling) on Russian market,
- To establish in the near future an Agreement on soft loan of 50-100 billion RUB between Finance Ministries of the two states that would provide necessary resources of Russian currency in Mongolian market,
- To immediately start a project on modernization of Ulaanbaatar Railway JSC and finish by 2020 that aims to construct a parallel railway and to electrify the railway network,
- To establish necessary agreements within this year on increasing freight transit transportation volume between Russia and China through Mongolian territory;
In the frameworks of modernization the Ulaanbaatar Railway JSC, at the first phase, an electrified parallel railway will be constructed in the routes of Sukhbaatar – Sainshand – Zamyn-Uud with capacity of up to 100 million tons of freight transportation.
Moreover, the Intergovernmental Agreements on reciprocal visa-free travel between citizens of the Russian Federation and Mongolia, and on reciprocal transferring illegal immigrants were approved at the Cabinet meeting.
In the scope of the Agreement on reciprocal visa-free travel, nationals of the two countries will be eligible to travel up to 30 days, but not to exceed 90 days in any 180 day-period. The agreement will enter into force after 30 days since the two parties officially notice each other the accomplishment of internal rules.
Government Discusses Results of Putin's Visit – Montsame, September 19
Mongolia, Japan to Mark 40th Anniversary of Diplomatic Ties on September 23
By B. Amarsaikhan
Ulaanbaatar, September 19 (MONTSAME) On the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Mongolia and Japan to be marked on September 23, a broad spectrum of art and cultural events has been hosted by both sides.
They are, for instance, a Mongolian and Japanese calligraphy exhibition "Sky and sun partnership", staged in Ulaanbaatar August 20 and to be displayed in Japan this November, a famous Japanese artist Sh.Shikandai's solo exhibition in Ulaanbaatar this August, and twenty Mongolian artists' plan to join "14 views of Mount Fuji" tour this October. In parallel, Mongolian music bands and singers are going to make a Japan tour in October and to perform at the Japanese Music Festival opening, reports press and public relations division of MFA.
Mongolia to Receive Aid from Turkey to Boost Defense Capacity
By B. Khuder
Ulaanbaatar, September 19 (MONTSAME) The cabinet meeting on Thursday approved a Mongolia-Turkey intergovernmental agreement on the financial cooperation in the military sphere and a protocol on realizing a financial assistance.
These documents were inked in November and December of 2013 in Ulaanbaatar and Ankara cities. Accordingly, a legal basis has been created for Mongolia to receive non-refundable aid of some TRY 2 million from the Turkish government for the defense sector. These moneys might be spent for purchasing products made at military factors of Turkey.
Mongolia to Seek Finland's Support to Join Arctic Council as Observer Member-State
September 19 (infomongolia.com) On October 09, 2014, the XII Intergovernmental Commission Meeting on Economy, Science and Technical Cooperation between Mongolia and the Republic of Finland will be taking place in Ulaanbaatar.
Mongolian side will be chaired by Minister of Population Development and Social Protection S.Erdene and the other part by Under-Secretary of State at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs Matti Anttonen, who is responsible for external economic relations of the country.
The intergovernmental meeting is aimed to strengthen bilateral cooperation in forestry, besides to request technical, technological and finance assists from Finland in the development of Sainshand Industrial Park. Also, parties will discuss issues of collaboration in increasing the number of reindeer in Mongolia and its genetic diversity improvement. Moreover, Mongolia will ask Finland's support to join the Arctic Council as an Observer member-state.
The Arctic Council is a high-level intergovernmental forum that addresses issues faced by the Arctic governments and the indigenous people of the Arctic. It has eight member countries: Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden and the United States.
Mongolia-Finland Intergov't Commission Meeting to Be Held – Montsame, September 19
2nd Intergovernmental Meeting between Mongolia and Belarus to Take Place in Minsk Next Week
September 19 (infomongolia.com) The Second Intergovernmental Meeting on Trade, Economy, Science and Technical Cooperation between Mongolia and the Republic of Belarus will take place in Minsk on September 22-23, 2014.
Mongolian Government will be chaired by Deputy Minister of Construction and Urban Development G.Baigalmaa and the Belarusian side by Deputy Minister of Industry A.S.Ogorodnikov.
At the meeting, parties will revise the official visit of Prime Minister of the Republic of Belarus Mikhail Uladzimiravich Myasnikovich to Mongolia conducted in September 2013 and to discuss implementation works following the First Intergovernmental Meeting on Trade, Economy, Science and Technical Cooperation between the two countries held in Ulaanbaatar on August 21, 2013.
Apart of these, officials will consider a joint factory establishment in Mongolia proposed by Belarusian side, also, boosting issues between the business entities and entrepreneurs.
Mongolia-Belarus Intergov't Commission Meeting Approaches – Montsame, September 19
Mongolia Appoints New Permanent Representative to ASEAN
September 19 (infomongolia.com) At the Cabinet meeting held on September 18, 2014, it was resolved to appoint Mrs. Shagdar BATTSETSEG as the Permanent Representative of Mongolia to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
Sh.Battsetseg has been working as the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Mongolia to the Republic of Indonesia, who was promoted by the Cabinet decision in April 2014.
Mongolia has been participating in the ASEAN Regional Forum since 1998; joined the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia in 2005 and further intends to become a member of ASEAN Dialogue Partners.
Newly appointed Permanent Representative of Mongolia to the ASEAN, Sh.Battsetseg succeeds Mr. Ts.Jambaldorj, who was recalled in April 2014.
Mongolia appoints its Permanent Rep to ASEAN – Montsame, September 19
Permanent Representative of Mongolia to ASEAN appointed – news.mn, September 19
Presidential Decree on Climate Change Presented to Ministers
By B. Amarsaikhan
Ulaanbaatar, September 19 (MONTSAME) A ceremony took place Friday to present the Presidential decree on directives to Government on environmental changes at "King Chamber" of the Ministry of Environment and Green development.
Present at the event were Chief of Staff of President's Office P.Tsagaan, the Minister of Environment and Green Development S.Oyun, her advisor and state Honored environmental agent Z.Batjargal, the Minister of industry and agriculture Sh.Tuvdendorj, and also distinguished scholars engaged in the environmental studies.
The was sounded by S.Erdenebold and handed bv Mr Tsagaan to the Ministers S.Oyun and Sh.tuvdendorj. Mr Tsagaan said that, since his first year in the office, the leader of Mongolia has been paying serious attention to the environmental issues, and addressed an importance of this decree as a necessity to reflect people's and scholars' opinions into the policy and preparedness for the environmental changes. He also noted that S.Oyun during her two-year presidency in the UN Environment Assembly is ready to introduce global practice to Mongolia and to share our achievements with others.
After the presentation, a living environment and green development policy advisor to the President, L.Erkhembayar received opinions of the gathered about the decree.
The President Ts.Elbegdorj will give speech on the Presidents' summit on environmental issues in New York this September 23, and will chair the round table meeting.
Mongolia approves national programme on waste management
By B. Amarsaikhan
Ulaanbaatar, September 19 (MONTSAME) The Government approved a national programme on waste management on September 18. The programme aims to reduce a burial waste through reducing import of services and goods and their consumption, recycling and using the waste as an energy-productive source.
Amount of waste has tripled within the last four years, reaching 2.4 million tonnes in 2013, while a customary disposal of wastes–burial still remains as the only approach. The programme includes involvement, management and structures of operations of state agencies, governors, private sector, research and civil societies, in prominent details. Operations of refuse sites that meet health standards will be systemized, some 20 percent of waste will be recycled and be used for production of value-added goods.
Learning to Be a Citizen in a Democracy: Lessons Learned in Mongolia
No unfound missing children as Police warns of creating false fear on social media
September 19 (news.mn) Dozens of posts with photos of missing Mongolian children have been shared hundreds of times, as social media reacts to them promptly.
Chief of the Media Office of the General Police Department B.Baatarkhuu commented on the social media phenomenon. B.Baatarkhuu said, "All those posts of missing children with photos are found on that day. There is not a single case of a missing child that is not found, or found dead, so far.
"Unfortunately, the phenomenon of frequently posting and sharing information about missing children makes the public concerned that these children are still missing.
"Therefore, we suggest approaching the police before posting photos and posts about missing children to social media networks. The latest case, for instance, a missing child was found in two hours by police officers in Songinokhairkhan district and taken home on September 4th. But the posts and photos of that missing child were shared by 10,000 social media users for 10 days after the child was found."
Davaadorj, Munkhbat Open Mongolia account with two golds in Judo at 17th Asian Games
September 21 (The Gulf Today) Both of Mongolia's golds came in judo, with Tumurkhuleg Davaadorj winning the men's 66-kilogram class and Urantsetseg Munkhbat taking the women's 48-kilogram competition.
Japan's Misato Nakamura won the women's 52-kilogram class and Yeldos Smetov took gold in the men's 60 kilogram.
It was a disappointing day for the Indian judokas as Sushila Devi, Kalpana Devi and Navjot Channa failed to add to the country's medal tally in the 17th Asian Games on the opening day of competitions at the Dowon Gymnasium.
While Commonwealth Games (CWG) silver medallist Sushila (48kg) and Kalpana (52kg) both went into repechage after their quarterfinal loss in their respective women's category, Channa, though, was ousted from the men's 60kg pre-quarterfinal match by Mongolian Boldbaatar Ganbat.
Crumbling tower in ancient Mongolian ruins offers clues about Khitan history
By KAZUTO TSUKAMOTO
September 19 (The Asahi Shimbun) Japanese researchers who made the first comprehensive study in six decades of a crumbling brick tower from an 11th-century fortress town in eastern Mongolia say their findings shed light on the little-known nomadic Khitan people.
The tower is the centerpiece of ruins in Kherlen Bars, a settlement that dates to the Liao Dynasty (916-1125), when the Khitan flourished. The site is about 600 kilometers east of Ulan Bator, Mongolia's capital.
A team of researchers from Nara University made a number of discoveries about the structure of the tower. They also found remnants of a mural that suggests the Khitan were more advanced than historians realized.
The research team was headed by Tetsuo Shoji, an associate professor of information media, and Yoshihiro Senda, a professor of archaeology whose expertise is castles.
The team, working with the Mongolian Academy of Sciences' Institute of Archaeology, took 3-D laser measurements of the ruins in June.
The eight-sided tower is thought to have been constructed around the 11th century. The bricks are stacked high in circular formation to create a hollow chamber inside. Broken pieces of timber are still visible in the inner walls, suggesting the tower had seven levels. The top of the tower collapsed long ago, so the structure now rises to a height of only 16.5 meters.
With brick walls 1.8 meters thick, the structure has a diameter of 9 meters. The diameter of the inner chamber is 5.6 meters at the base and narrows in height. The researchers confirmed the presence of plaster on a part of the inner wall and traces of color, indicating a mural once covered the surface.
According to Takashi Matsukawa, a professor of Mongolian history at Otani University who visited the site in May,
many Liao Dynasty towers exist in present-day China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, then the Khitan kingdom's base. But the Kherlen Bars tower is the only one known to exist within the borders of modern Mongolia.
It sits on what was the front line of the Liao's entry into the Mongolian steppes. The ruins are thought to have been a military garrison where soldiers would gather to shore up the kingdom's northern defenses.
Mongolian scholars excavated the area around the tower in 1953, but no full-scale investigation had been conducted since.
"Precisely recording the pagoda's measurements is a highly significant accomplishment," said Matsukawa.
On the hunt for dinosaur eggs in Mongolia's Flaming Cliffs
By Tim Johnson
September 18 (BBC) I knew that I probably wouldn't find any dinosaur eggs – that the best and perhaps sole specimens had been carted away on camelback almost a century ago. But that certainly didn't stop my search. Striding onto the red soil of Mongolia's Flaming Cliffs – one of the greatest dinosaur fossil sites the world has ever seen – my eyes flashed across the sandstone in the fading daylight, hoping to catch a hint of white or grey among the shifting sands. Experiencing the same thrill of discovery encountered by American naturalist Roy Chapman Andrews and his hardy compatriots in 1923 was a long shot, to say the least. But here in the birthplace of paleoembryology – the study of unhatched dinosaur fossils – under the same wide open sky that inspired Genghis Khan to conquer the world, I felt anything was possible.
I was in Mongolia's South Gobi Desert, a land where camels roam free and nomads still follow ancient paths across the horizon in search of greener pastures. Part of Asia's largest desert, the South Gobi was once an inland sea where life flourished some 80 million years ago, in the Late Cretaceous Period. Many experts speculate that it was also a site of mass extinction, where avalanche-like sand-slides both swept dinosaurs away and preserved their remains. In most other parts of the globe, the sites would've been roped off, the public kept far from such priceless pieces and places. But here, some of the world's most fascinating prehistoric wonders were at my fingertips – sometimes literally.
My base of operations was the renowned Three Camel Lodge, a collection of gers (traditional Mongolian yurts, constructed out of latticed wood, felt and canvas) situated on a small plateau overlooking a vast sweep of sand and sky. Every morning, I launched into the desert accompanied by guide Ankhmaa Baatartsogt, racing across the sand in a Land Rover, a rooster tail of dust trailing behind us.
One of our first stops was Havtsgait, an isolated area that's home to a number of Bronze Age petroglyphs. Following a narrow, rocky, 22km path up a series of switchbacks in the rugged Gobi Gurvan Saikhan mountain range (in Mongolian, Gobi Gurvan Saikhan translates as the Three Beauties of the Gobi), we arrived at a big, flat rock that served as a sort of cross-section display of Bronze Age life. Before me, petroglyphs dating back as far as 5,000 years depicted horses pulling carts and riders sitting high on galloping steeds. In some cases, riders' arms were held taut in the heat of a hunt, while rams and camels grazed nearby. As one of the highest spots in the Gobi, the Gobi Gurvan Saikhan has provided hunters an excellent vantage point for millennia, and as such some 40 petroglyphs dot the area of Havtsgait.
I had seen somewhat similar petroglyphs before in Canada, but always at a distance, the figures cloistered behind ropes or even glass. I knelt at the base of the rock and traced the figures with my fingers, while Baatartsogt pointed out their most salient features. "These were the things that were important to their lives. It's not so different today," she said, referring to the fact that many modern-day Mongolians continue to live simply, tending to herds of goats and sheep and following nomadic routes that have remained largely unchanged since ancient times.
Not far from the range, just inside the Gobi Gurvan Saikhan National Park, a small museum showcases a much earlier period of Gobi history. From the outside, the rather grandly named Natural History Museum didn't look like much – just a low-slung square building, a little worse for the wear of the constant winds that blow down from the Three Beauties. But inside, alongside stuffed Bactrian camels and terrifying bearded vultures whose beaks and eyes were frozen by some taxidermist into fearsome masks of predation, there were excellent paleontological samples. Among them were 80-million year-old rib, leg and back bones from a Tarbosaurus – a close, fearsome relative of the Tyrannosaurus – found as recently as 2008, as well as large, round dinosaur eggs from a Protoceratops. The samples sat under a thin sheet of glass, allowing me the chance to enjoy them at close range, taking a very unhurried pace as I examined each prehistoric crack and line.
In the early 1920s, a team of palaeontologists and archaeologists came to the South Gobi to find dinosaur bones, working under the banner of the American Museum of Natural History. Led by Andrews, a sort of real-life Indiana Jones who would later rise to enormous worldwide fame (and the directorship of the museum), the searchers drove a fleet of wobbly old Dodges into the desert, arriving at the Flaming Cliffs, about 20km east of the Three Camel Lodge. The valley at the foot of the cliffs was literally covered in bones – the world's richest discovery at the time. They spent weeks collecting and excavating, eventually loading their treasures – which included the first dinosaur egg fossils and numerous bones from the Protoceratops (one species would be named after Andrews) – onto the backs of dozens of camels, packing them tight for the journey home.
I would make no such discovery. Wandering the cliffs, I didn't spot a single, tiny bone fragment protruding from the rock and soil. Disappointing, especially as archaeologists and amateurs alike continue to turn up fossils in this area. But I certainly wasn't devastated. I watched the sun dip lower and lower on the horizon, its fading rays casting brilliantly against the warm hues of the flaming sandstone. Sitting there, surrounded by 80 million years of history, I had to admit it was one of the finest sunsets I had ever seen.
The Three Camel Lodge is about 70km northwest from Dalanzadgad, the capital of Mongolia's South Gobi province. Dalanzadgad is a 90-minute flight from the nation's capital, Ulaanbaatar.
Run by tour operator Nomadic Expeditions, the Three Camel Lodge offers a wide variety of packages that include ger accommodations, full board and daily tours through the desert.
Video: Nomadic Dreams in Mongolia
By COMMENCAL Bicycles
September 18 (Pinkbike) Mongolia the land of the famous Genghis Khan, a country slightly larger than France with only three million people, making it the lowest population density in the world. Nomadic life is still the life style of many Mongolians, moving their ger,(round tent) their family and all their goods where ever they are needed depending on the season.
We were very lucky to be invited here by our dear friend Christopher Giercke and his Mongolian wife Enkhe. They own a tented summer polo club in the Orkhon valley (literally in the middle of nowhere - forget electricity, phone or internet, here you find nature in its most primitive form and beauty.) Their goal is to reintroduce polo to Mongolia by helping young local kids to play the sport…
It is difficult to imagine that it was from this actual valley that hundreds of years ago, Mongolia started one of the biggest empires in history. Horses and archery were the ultimate weapons at that time (A little less efficient nowadays…) I've never been a big fan of horses myself, but I assume from watching these kids galloping full speed on their horses in the middle of the steppe. That they have a wonderful feeling of freedom. So what about riding a bike there ?
Honestly, in a land of horses, I feel a little bit alone with my Meta Hip-hop, even if I quickly find some interest from the rare locals people that I meet. Nomadic life means a small impact and little trace on nature. We were looking to ride single track, but we found none of them. The hills are totally virgin, not one trace or track, just grass and rocks….and so many hills as far as the eye can see.
In the beginning you feel very intimidated by this huge space in front of you, you're lost in its immensity, shy, you loose your confidence, your mark, you don't know which way to go… Then you realize that you can go where ever you want, choose the least steep way to climb, then at the top you have an unlimited choice of lines. You discover a unique feeling of freedom that I have never encountered before.
This is the reason that I ride a mountain bike, this feeling that you can escape, at least for a while, the reality of this world, returning life to this simple pleasure of being free. In Mongolia I definitely found that feeling.
Thanks to all the members of the Giercke family for your hospitality, it is so refreshing to meet passionate people who like to share what they have. Big thanks to Commencal for making the most fun and reliable bike to ride.
6th Floor, NTN Tower
Baga Toiruu, Chingeltei District 1
Ulaanbaatar 15170, Mongolia
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