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Wednesday, September 10, 2014
Headlines in Italic are ones modified by Cover Mongolia from original
Mogi: example of why some here say the western media is biased, reading this headline anyone's first thought will be "What did Mongolia do now?". TRQ closed +0.91% to US$3.33 after a drop in early trading after this announcement
Turquoise Hill suffers another setback at Oyu Tolgoi mine
September 9 (Reuters) - Turquoise Hill Resources announced yet another setback at its troubled Oyu Tolgoi copper project on Tuesday, saying the rake arms in one of the mine's two tailings thickeners had failed.
The Vancouver-based miner, a subsidiary of mining company Rio Tinto Plc , said an investigation was under way to determine the cause of the failure and that repairs had begun at the mine in southern Mongolia.
Oyu Tolgoi, which is 66 percent owned by Turquoise Hill and 34 percent owned by the Mongolian government, is one of the most promising copper assets in the world. But the project, initially discovered and developed by mining financier Robert Friedland's Ivanhoe Mines Ltd, has been plagued by a myriad of problems over the last decade.
In May, Turquoise Hill said rake blade failures had curbed production at Oyu Tolgoi in the first quarter, shutting down one production line for about seven weeks. Such teething issues at the mine, which began production in 2013, have followed a multitude of delays over the years, due to disputes with the Mongolian government over licenses and other matters.
Turquoise Hill said its concentrator at Oyu Tolgoi continued to operate at about a 60 percent production rate using the second thickener. The company said it would update the market as additional information becomes available.
Oyu Tolgoi concentrate thickener rake arms fail again – Mining Weekly, September 9
New hold-up for Rio's subsidiary Turquoise Hill at Oyu Tolgoi – Mining.com, September 9 (Mogi: another case of a bad headline)
FINANCE MINISTER SAYS OT AGREEMENT "VERY CLOSE", TO REPAY $110 MILLION ON TIME
September 9 (IMM&MR) We have attended Roundtable with the Mongolian Finance Minister Ch.Ulaan and new CEO of Mongolian Stock Exchange (MSE) D.Angar at LSE on September 9,2014. This is second trip to London by Mr.Angar since taking up the post and it appears that the two exchanges have sorted out their relationship and signed extension of their Strategic Partnership for three more years. Following are the key points from the event in our view:
Although the Minister continued with his various promotions of Mongolia on the theme " favorable investment destination " and some rigidity on his views on FDI issues in the country, nevertheless, he acknowledged and stressed various economic negative consequences such as currency depreciation and overall impression that we got was that of serious, business-minded approach to promotion of inbound investment including through MSE-LSE partnership.
His statements such as
· the tax dispute at OT will be resolved this week, "mutual mistake" will be finalised and fixed
· TRQ US$110 million T-bill due October will paid on time, " included in the budget"
· Mongolia doing everything it can to make September deadline for OT PF, agreement " very close", "please pay attention to concrete developments, not " sensation's foam" while elaborating on the theme "mutual faults (cost overruns, original plan for self-financing for Phase 2, accounting transparency, etc)", are , overall, encouraging, if those three indeed would eventuate. Since we expect tax announcement soon( this week,around September 10) , perhaps, it would make most sense to comment when the outcome of all three would start realize one by one.
The Minister also explained intended Cabinet re-shuffle and change in Government structure not as " significant shock" but by reducing costs and numbers of Ministries, i.e streamlining to make Government more nimble and "efficient".
· This point is in line with today's supportive of Prime Minister's announcement interviews by MP-s J.Batzandan and B.Bolor (both DP)and MP Kh.Bolorchuluun ( Ind.) published by major Mongolian news portals news.mn and eagle.mn of Eagle TV.
· only 2% ( 121 out of 5114) of respondents of online poll by top Mongolian portal gogo.mn has voted to remove the Mining Minister from his post, most votes - 18%(905) were cast against the Justice Minister, and the least votes - 23 votes against the Minister of Construction and Urban Development. (Mogi: should point out that Minister Batbayar is a very close 2nd with 17%)
We will comment on these political developments shortly.
Oyu Tolgoi Is Named The Best Social Insurance Contributor for 2013
Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, September 8 (Oyu Tolgoi LLC) - Today, the director of the Social Insurance Agency, Ts.Urtnasan, congratulated and awarded the commemorative trophy and certificate of honour to Oyu Tolgoi LLC which was selected as the best social insurance contributor for the year 2013.
He said at the awards ceremony - "The Social Insurance Agency has selected the best companies which made the largest contribution to the social insurance fund according to many criteria, and 11 of these companies were named the best social security contributors. In recognition of their achievements we placed their company flags and logos in the front of our office. Today, we are awarding the commemorative trophy and certificate of honour to one of these best companies."
Best social insurance contributor's certificate of honour says that the company was recognised by the Social Insurance Agency for proper and lawful calculation of social insurance premiums and their prompt payment without any delays and debts and for crucial contribution to ensuring social security of the insured employees.
LONDON STOCK EXCHANGE EXTENDS PARTNERSHIP WITH MONGOLIAN STOCK EXCHANGE
· Strategic partnership extended by a further three years
· Chultem Ulaan, Mongolian Finance Minister opens London trading
· Builds on three years of successful technology, regulatory and business development
September 9 (LSEG) London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) and the Government of Mongolia today announced they have signed an extension to their strategic partnership agreement between LSEG and the Mongolian Stock Exchange (MSE). The agreement, signed by Chultem Ulaan, Mongolia Finance Minister and Xavier Rolet, CEO, LSEG, will extend LSEG's partnership with the MSE by a further three years and allow the two companies to build on the progress achieved to date.
In 2012, The Mongolian Stock Exchange successfully migrated to the new MillenniumIT trading, market surveillance and depositary platform, marking the culmination of a 14-month project to modernise the country's capital markets infrastructure. In addition, LSEG has developed a wide-ranging education programme for market participants and worked with the Mongolian government to re-draft the country's capital markets regulations and securities law.
Xavier Rolet, CEO London Stock Exchange Group said:
"I am delighted to welcome Chultem Ulaan, the Mongolian Finance Minister to London Stock Exchange to open trading this morning. The Ceremony is a symbol of our very close relationship with Mongolia and reflects our successful partnership with the Mongolian Stock Exchange. The extension of our partnership underlines the significant interest in London in working with Mongolia to help the country realise its exciting potential. We look forward to the future and continuing to partner with Mongolia."
Chultem Ulaan, Finance Minister of Mongolia said:
"We are delighted to have London Stock Exchange Group as our strategic partner in the ongoing modernisation and development of the Mongolian Stock Exchange. We aim to transform MSE into a world-class market with international best practices and standards over the next three years. With the global business and technological expertise of London Stock Exchange Group, we will achieve this goal."
As part of the extended agreement, LSEG will work with MSE on several new areas including Post Trade infrastructure, FTSE Index development and we will investigate opportunities for trading new products and asset classes, including commodity derivatives and FX.
MSE News for September 9: Top 20 +1.55% to 15,948.34, Turnover ₮6.1 Million
By B. Khuder
Ulaanbaatar, September 9 (MONTSAME) At the Stock Exchange trades on Tuesday, a total of 15 thousand and 847 shares of 13 JSCs were traded costing MNT six million 125 thousand and 661.30.
"Merex" /9,020 units/, "Genco tour bureau" /5,549 units/, "Tavantolgoi" /500/, "State Department Store" /361 units/ and "Arig gal" /206 units/ were the most actively traded in terms of trading volume, in terms of trading value were "Tavantolgoi" (MNT two million and 600 thousand), "Talkh chikher" (MNT 872 thousand and 900), "Merex" (MNT 811 thousand and 960), "Arig gal" (MNT 473 thousand and 800) and "Genco tour bureau" (MNT 466 thousand and 366).
The total market capitalization was set at MNT one trillion 625 billion 950 million 853 thousand and 393. The Index of Top-20 JSCs was 15,948.34, increasing 243.23 units or 1.55% against the previous day.
FRC Establishes Non-Standing Policy Council on Securities Market
September 9 (MSE) A non-standing policy council of the securities market was established by Chairman's decree No.237 of FRC dated on September 3, 2014.
The council will discuss the issues on securities market development, policy and regulatory, as well as making proposals and conclusions on securities market trends and prospects.
The council is consisting of representatives of FRC, Ministry of Finance, Mongolbank, MSE, MSCH&CD, Corporate Governance Development Center, Mongolian Association of Securities Dealers, Financial Markets Association and the university scholars.
MSE CEO Receives IMF Representatives
By B. Amarsaikhan
Ulaanbaatar, September 5 (MONTSAME) Acting executive director of Mongolian Stock Exchange D.Angar received Friday representatives of International Monetary Fund at their request.
During the meeting, the sides focused on matters of the stock exchange operations, registered companies, new goods and services to come on the market in a scope of newly adopted law on financial securities, and on conducting of the trades of government securities through the Stock exchange. The discussion continued on the issues such as possibility for investments in above actions. The parties shared opinions on status and future trends of stock exchange market.
MSE PARTICIPATES AS SUPPORTER AT "I LIKE MONGOLIAN CAPITAL MARKET" EVENT
September 9 (MSE) In purpose of supporting residents and investors, to invest efficiently, to make actively responsible share holders, to share social wealth fairly and to increase public participation in the capital market, the brokerage firm - "BDSec" JSC has initiated and organized this event on September 5, 2014.
At the event, over 1,000 people participated and the students, residents interested in the capital market were provided by basic knowledge about the stock market from the young scholars, experts and sectors officials.
The acting CEO of MSE, Angar.D gave speeches on topic – "Current situation of capital market, implementation programs and goals", the acting deputy CEO of MSE, Chingunjav.B gave speeches on topic – "Trading software and pilot trading" and gave information of core operations and the officers worked on advertisement, guidance and advice.
Early morning rates: Khan (Non-Cash Buy ₮1,826 Sell ₮1,845), TDB (Non-Cash Buy ₮1,825 Sell ₮1,845), Golomt (Non-Cash Buy ₮1,828 Sell ₮1,845), XacBank (Non-Cash Buy ₮1,830 Sell ₮1,847), State Bank (Non-Cash Buy ₮1,823 Sell ₮1,846) FX rates
BoM MNT Rates: Tuesday, September 9 Close
September MNT vs USD, CNY Chart:
BoM FX auction: US$21m sold at ₮1,841, CNY101m at ₮299.41, accepts $26m MNT swap bids
September 9 (Bank of Mongolia) On the Foreign Exchange Auction held on September 9th, 2014 the BOM has received bid offer of USD and CNY from local commercial banks. The BOM has sold 21.0 million USD as closing rate of MNT 1841.00 and 101.0 million CNY as closing rate of 299.41.
On September 9th, 2014, The BOM has received MNT Swap agreement bid offer in equivalent to 26.0 million USD from local commercial banks and accepted the offer.
Mongolia's Sovereign Foreign Debt $4.5b at End of 2Q: Central Bank
By Michael Kohn
Sept. 9 (Bloomberg) -- Mongolia's general government debt stood at $4.48b at the end of 2Q, compared to $4.5b at the end of 1Q, according to a statement released today by the Bank of Mongolia.
* Sovereign debt was $4.21b at the end of Q2 yr ago: statement
* Total gross external debt position was $19.26b at the end of Q2 compared to $19.88b at the end of 1Q and $17.38b at the end of 2Q yr ago: statement
* Link to data release: http://www.mongolbank.mn/documents/statistic/externalsector/external_debt/201402eng.xlsx
Gross External Debt Position by Sector 3/ 4/
US$ (in thousands)
Deposit-Taking Corporations, except the Central Bank
Direct Investment: Intercompany Lending
Gross External Debt Position
Cabinet Discusses Bill on Creating "Fund for Future"
By B. Khuder
Ulaanbaatar, September 5 (MONTSAME) A cabinet meeting on Thursday discussed a governmental conclusion to a bill on fund for future, initiated by the President, and decided to submit relevant proposal to the draft initiator together with another draft law formulated by the Ministry of Finance.
The President worked out this bill considering an importance of equally delivering profits from the mining sector. The draft reflects a principle of equal delivery of the national profits, recommendations from experts and several countries' experiences in profit funds.
The cabinet believes that operating the fund of minerals in proper structure and organization will create conditions for protecting the national economy against a price fluctuation of minerals, ensuring a stability of budget, and inheriting wealth to the next generations.
Mongolia Jumps 9 Spots to 98th on WEF 2014-2015 Global Competitiveness Ranking
External Debt Burden and Overdependence on Natural Resources are the Root Cause of Mongolia's Economic Failure
Oyu Tolgoi has Trouble with Legitimizing its $3 billion Cost Blowout in the First Phase of Development.
August 29 -- Though China's president Mr. Xi's visit and his promise of financial assistance to the country eased the tensions accumulated between the current incompetent government of Mongolia and its people, the trouble reemerged with renewed strength due to deteriorating economic situations in the country. Recently several NGOs headed by "Debtless Mongol" and "The Real Owners of Resources" have called for a press conference as a warning to the government about the dangers and ineffectiveness of the policies implemented by the government.
Two major problems were brought up by the NGOs:
• national external debt and
• natural resource curse that fell upon Mongolia (mainly problems evolving around Oyu Tolgoi mining)
With Democrats taking over the government, sovereign debt of Mongolia has more than doubled in the span of just a bit more than two years. Total foreign debt of Mongolia had marked $9 billion dollars at the beginning of 2012 but it jumped up to more than $20 billion dollars these days and growing day by day. The official figure of the government share of the total external debt is $5.6 billion which is already 51% of the $11 billion economy. Though many doubt the actuality of official number and suspect that the external debt is significantly underestimated, it's indeed the official number and has already exceeded the legal debt limit indicated in the fiscal stability law. The fiscal stability law set government's sovereign debt threshold at 40% of GDP and ironically it's indeed the limit recommended by the World Bank and IMF, organizations that had much to do with current socio-economic predicaments of the country.
With national debt 53% percent of GDP, the current government isn't even blinking eyes for its apparent violation of the fiscal stability law let alone taking responsibility for the risks emerging from debt burden. Many experts agree that with total external debt almost 200% percent of GDP and growing speedily and no realistic plan and potential to reverse the debt wheel, Mongolia is assuredly headed the path, sovereign debt vicious circle that many resource rich poor African countries such as Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Nigeria and others had gone before.
Sensing the anger and extreme dissatisfaction of its people with the new government's policy, the current government of Mongolia attempted to implement "100 days for Economic Efficiency" a plan to bring an economy out of crisis situation or at least to improve the situation to quell the growing dissatisfaction among population. Many saw this plan as nothing but a cheap way to buy some time before they can borrow more from foreign sources. "100 days for Economic Efficiency" that mainly included plans of changing legal environments to bolster foreign investment in mining sectors, freeing up previously revoked mining licenses and selling lands to foreign individuals and entities for ownership and most importantly borrowing more from international sources have met fierce resistance from public and had ended now in a complete failure.
The second issue brought up at the conference was poor management of natural resources. Natural resources are blessings, or at least supposed to be blessings, for most countries, but it's not the case for late developing countries such as Mongolia , Nigeria and others. The cases of natural resource blessings turning into a curse are not rarity and it indeed is what's happening in Mongolia. The researches by scholars and expert opinions showed that the sudden hike in external debt and poor socio-economic measurements are the clear signs that the economy is in deep trouble deeply rooted in the founding structures of the economy. When faced with hard economic factors such as 35% inflation hike for consumer goods, 46% increase in USD exchange rates, poverty upped to 40% and people can't even afford to buy a loaf of bread and it takes two or more individuals to afford one, and some even living off of pet/dog food, it isn't quite convincing for the government and its affiliated media entities and other so called economists to argue that the country is in good shape and the economy is far from being in recession. Finally, it's this time that the Mongolians had to admit that the trouble is due to mismanagement of the resources and economy's overdependence on natural resources. And it's this time that more and more people started realizing that no selling land or mine, no freeing up previously revoked mining licenses and no increasing national debt will save the troubled economy but will suck the economy deeper into the vicious circle of debt from which the country may never get out.
Many see Oyu Tolgoi agreement and its ever growing debt as a clear display of resource mismanagement and a curse cast upon the country. Regarding OT, the NGOs rightfully named "Debtless Mongol" and "The Real Owners of the Natural Resources" advanced several requests to the government:
a. It's been seven to eight months since the government sent a special audit group for "overall check" on OT operations. Though there surfaced, from time to time, news on breach of contracts from both sides and brazen violation of investment agreements and possible financial fraud by investors including overestimation of expenditure and operation costs and tax evasion, no official audit report has been published. Therefore, it's necessary that the government audit group report the audit results that will answer the following questions
- Verification of over-expenditure of investment by $3 billion dollars and solutions on how these problems were resolved and present the evidences used in legitimizing unusually large investment expenditure
- Report on possible tax evasion by OT mine that includes but not limited to $127 million dollar dispute currently being held
b. Disclose original Shareholders' Agreement that has never been revealed and kept confidential. OT is a public company and it's a violation of public company rules to keep company's shareholder's agreement secret
c. Disclose the identities of individuals of Management Team mentioned in the Restated Shareholders' Agreement. Management team members' full name, address, and bank accounts must be disclosed
d. Legitimate explanation required for what purpose so called Management Fee was created and who this large sum of money, 3% of all investment expenditure before production and 6% after production, paid to?
e. Inform public on the negotiating process with Rio Tinto on terms of agreement for starting second phase development of OT mining, specifically $6 billion dollar additional investment and its legitimacy of the amount. Given 2010 original investment estimation at $6 billion dollars for both open and closed pit mining and with current investment expenditure exceeding $10 billion for the open pit only and additional $6 billion requested for the closed pit mining and the total amounting to $16 billion, it's necessary to question the overestimation and over-expenditure by OT.
- the disclosure of the terms of agreement must include, the
- Interests and other terms the Mongolian government would have to pay to its partner Rio Tinto for raising investment money from international market or borrowing from one of its own affiliated financial entities.
f. Mongolian government must inform the public, the actual owners of the wealth, on the terms and total amount it has to pay to its partner, Rio Tinto, for the 34% ownership in the OT mine.
g. Legitimate explanation required for legitimacy of the act by the Mongolian government who is representing the actual owners of the wealth, peoples of Mongolia, for agreeing to borrow from and pay to Rio Tinto, its partner in business, interest bearing amount for 34% share of OT mine, that is the property of all peoples of Mongolia.
h. Legitimate explanation required for the odd agreement on why Mongolian government has to "borrow" 6-7% interest bearing investment fund from Rio Tinto, co-owner and investment partner, for financing 34% stake it holds in OT while the actual investment fund is raised on the international market with OT mine assets as collateral.
i. Inform the actual owners of the wealth on the process of act to increase Mongolia's share in OT from current 34% to 50%. It's not only a agreed term written in the contract, but also a promise by the Democratic party during the parliamentary election and it's a time now for the Democrats, current rulers of the government, to carry out what was promised.
The non-governmental and nonpartisan organizations, "Debtless Mongol" and "The Real Owners of the Natural Resources", representatives of people of Mongolia, demand that the government of Mongolia give clear and full answers to all the questions asked in this statement.
Mogi: deadline is over but who knows
VACANCY NOTICE: International Consultant to assist in preparation of National Strategy for the Development of Statistics (NSDS), Mongolia
August 27 (NSO) --
Vacancy Notice: International Consultant to provide assistance in preparation of National Strategy for the Development of Statistics (NSDS), Mongolia
· Assessment: Review the various aspects of the National Statistical System (NSS), legal frameworks, institutional structures, resources, IT infrastructure, dissemination policies, sectoral statistics etc. This assessment will identify gaps between existing legislation and acknowledged best practices. Also, evaluation of the political, economic, legal and technological environment that supports/hinders the effectiveness of the NSS should be provided.
· NSDS development: Based on the completed assessment and in consultation with stakeholders, develop NSDS with a vision and objectives for the entire national statistical system 2015-2019 and strategies to achieve these objectives.
· Consultation and dissemination: Conduct a consultation workshop within NSS as a part of assessment process and with stakeholders' consultation and dissemination workshop on the results of the assessment and NSDS. In the final step the consultant shall review and discuss the NSDS through national consultation and dissemination workshop.
· At least Master's degree in statistics, economics or related fields or equivalent work experience;
· At least 10 years of work experience in statistics and at least 5 years work experience on the development of NSDS or similar documents for developing countries;
· Extensive knowledge of statistical systems of other countries and their statistical development strategies;
· Substantial knowledge and experience in statistics strategy development;
· Good analytical, writing, and presentation skills;
· Proven leadership, teamwork, and interpersonal skills. Ability to work under high pressure would be an asset.
· Fluency in reading, writing, and speaking English.
PM MAKES SUDDEN STATEMENT ABOUT WORK RESULTS AND CHANGES IN HIS CABINET
Ulaanbaatar, September 9 /MONTSAME/ Mongolia has managed to reform many spheres and has started a great construction in a two-year period since the cabinet for reforms set up, started the Prime Minister N.Altankhuyag his statement through several TV channels and radio after it had been announced about his sudden decision to make a statement on Monday evening.
"Mongolia constructed power stations with a total capability of 200 MWT in the last 20 years, but the cabinet for reforms has created the same capability energy just in two years. It is not the end, we will build three more power stations with seven-fold more powerful capability in next year's spring; throughout five cabinets in 12 years, a total of 2,300 km were constructed, the cabinet for reforms has run 2,500 km roads in two years, but this is not a final destination: We will finish connecting centers of all aimags to the UB city by nice paved road; we have achievements in housing, mortgage loan system, industrialization of construction materials, in agriculture and in measures for stabilizing inflation rate". He also mentioned about transferring of budget authority to localities.
The cabinet has launched a 100-day program on intensifying the national economy, "some officials deliberately distort it for political purposes". It cannot be done in one fell swoop, it says about promptly solving urgent problems by parliament and government, supporting private sector's business and involving it various works, and creating a friendly environment for businessmen by breaking the deadlock of long-year problems, he reminded and thanked "all MPs regardless of their political affiliation for efforts to resolve economic issues".
Noting that the cabinet submitted to parliament a decision on constructing new railways in frames of the programme on intensifying the national economy (PINE), the Premier noticed some successes, for example, the government managed to establish documents on less-costing transporting its export products to seaports; it freed small- and middle-sized productions from customs tax and VAT and so on. He promised to report on the two years' work and on the PINE soon.
"Our path has not been strewn with roses, and nowadays economic problems have not appeared in one day. A rapid soar of copper and coal prices at the world market made us lazy; initial investment in the OT and flows of dollars made some think that we would have all this forever and that we could develop on our own," he said. "On the other hand, Mongolia is still paying by its Togrog from its pocket and by a decrease in economic grown for scaring away investors, freezing exploration actions, cancelling 106 mineral licenses through court, also for unhealthy politicization of the Oyu Tolgoi matters, irresponsible statements of politicians, finally, for news about arrest or detaining foreign and domestic investors," the Premier stressed.
"But we do not bow our head, we are working hard on the basis of realistic calculations, and we do not make fuss around the currency fluctuations, which actually originated from the downturn in mining products prices, sharp decline in foreign investments, uncontrolled spreading money in a form of social help, and 'non-industrialization," he said.
The time has come to put aside all this empty politicization and to solve all problems, he stressed. The country's security, external relations, policy on neighbor countries, banking and financial trust and rate of the national currency must serve for the national interest, not for politics, he emphasized. "Foreigners have appreciated the legal reform in foreign investments' environment, nonetheless, a frozen situation with the Oyu Tolgoi and Tavan tolgoi projects is blocking the way for foreign investment, in case all this is tacked this autumn, a four billion dollars investment may come," the Premier said.
Then he announced that he will submit to autumn session of parliament an issue of making rotations in his cabinet in order to make it more dynamic, responsible and meticulous; a matter on changing the cabinet's whole structure will be submitted as well; he also intends to make the OT and Tavan tolgoi project active by tackling the railway matters; it is needed to create a legal environment that ensures the economic transparency by adopting the law on debt management; concrete works await them for stock market, corporate governance, welfare for children and elders, employment, infrastructure and agricultural spheres.
After this he underlined an importance of the recent visits of Chinese and Russian Presidents and stressed a value of the documents inked with them.
"This year, a number of our livestock has reached 60 million; by the end of this year or in the beginning of the next year we will receive our three millionth citizen. We, the Mongolians, must have one interest—the motherland, and one aim—the development and consolidation," the Premier Altankhuyag underlined.
PwC, National Audit Agency Gives Sign off DBM 2013 Records
By B. Amarsaikhan
Ulaanbaatar, September 5 (MONTSAME) An auditory report and recommendations by "PricewaterhouseCoopers" LLC, on the 2013 report of Development Bank of Mongolia have been assessed and are to be submitted to parliament.
Annual reports of the Development Bank, assessed by National Auditory Agency every year, have been assessed simultaneously by an international auditory organization in the last two years.
The bank inked agreement with "PricewaterhouseCoopers" LLC in 2013, in accordance with 29th protocol of the board of directors, to have yearly audits on its operational and financial reports of 2013, 2014, 2015. Pursuant to the agreement, the company audited the 2013 annual and semiannual financial reports of the bank and evaluated them as "valid". The national auditory agency reassured the evaluation by its approval.
The Development Bank, during its three year operations, had audits from three domestic and international auditory organizations.
Ts.Bat, Jailed for Defaming Minister Gansukh, Released on Bail
Police to reinvestigate Bat's defamation case
September 9 (UB Post) Aviation engineer and blogger Ts.Bat, who was sentenced to 100 days in a penitentiary on defamation charges against Transport Minister A.Gansukh on August 19, was released on bail on Tuesday morning, after an appeals court called for a reinvestigation of the case.
Culture and Sports Minister Ts.Oyungerel, Ts.Bat's sister, told the UB Post, "His lawyer just gave me the good news. He said that the case will be reinvestigated and that [Bat] has been released on bail."
Ts.Bat's first tweet after his release, stated, "If engineer is brave, minister will s**t in his pants."
"A country where the people are not allowed to criticize their leaders and only commends them is called the Democratic Republic of Korea. Mongolia mustn't be like them. Revolution hasn't ended yet," said Ts.Bat, through his Twitter page, @batengineer.
Meanwhile, the Mongolian Twitter community that has been insisting on Ts. Bat's release congratulated Ts.Bat's lawyer O.Altangerel, after he announced his client's release.
Before the trial, O.Altangerel tweeted, "Greetings to a day when Bat should be released. Hope to bring good news today."
Ts.Bat also thanked the preliminary court for underlining a threat to democracy by imprisoning him for defamation.
"Thank you preliminary court. Through your mistake, Mongolians were able to see and evaluate the threat to democracy," he tweeted.
Minister Ts.Oyungerel has been outspoken against the conviction of her brother and has maintained that imprisonment for defamation and libel cases are a serious threat to democracy and freedom of expression.
Globe International's Kh.Naranjargal told the UB Post that defamation and libel cases shouldn't be seen as criminal cases in court.
"In 2011, the UN's human rights commission advised Mongolia to retract defamation and libel cases from Mongolia's Criminal Code. We are firmly against the case being tried in criminal court," Kh.Naranjargal said.
She noted that the case isn't over and that a new investigation will examine Bat's claims and accusations made about Minister A.Gansukh on Twitter over the past year and a half.
Minister A.Gansukh could not be reached for comment.
"There is a clause in Mongolian law about deliberate defamation. The investigation will look into allegations made by Bat," she highlighted. "The police and law enforcement should be looking to find the truth; whether Bat's claims are true or false. Instead of doing this, they investigated the person who made the accusations."
Minister Ts.Oyungerel said that her brother's imprisonment illustrates that there is no protection for whistleblowers in Mongolia and added that she will continue to work towards providing protection for them in the future.
Mongolian blogger accused of defaming minister on Twitter freed on appeal
By Lisa Gardner
September 9 (Asian Correspondent) A Mongolian man sentenced to three months imprisonment last month for defaming a high-profile politician on Twitter was freed on appeal Tuesday morning.
The case had been the first to see a social media user convicted under the country's controversial criminal defamation and libel laws.
Ts. Bat (@batengineer) an engineer and blogger, was found guilty of defaming the Minister for Roads and Transport A. Gansukh via a series of tweets posted last October in relation to the aviation sector.
Earlier today the Ulan Bator Appeals Court found that further investigation was necessary as to assess the content of Bat's allegations against the Minister.
Minister Gansukh's office had yet to respond to requests for comment on the court's decision.
"We are very relieved that the court will consider whether what Bat wrote in his tweets was true or not," his sister, Minister of Culture Ts. Oyungerel, said following the verdict.
The Minister said she intends to push ahead with plans to draft whistleblower protection laws in Mongolia.
"We believe that the new investigation will demonstrate that Bat is in fact a whistleblower, and that Mongolians who speak up deserve protection," she said.
Conflict ignites between farmers and Agriculture Ministry over wheat price
September 9 (UB Post) Crop farmers went on a demonstration last weekend in Darkhan-Uul Province to oppose the Ministry of Industry and Agriculture's (MIA) unofficial report which stated that Mongolia might have to import Russian wheat instead of using domestic wheat for flour production this fall for financial reason.
Mongolia is expected to harvest 400,000 tons of wheat this year, which is expected to fully meet domestic demand, according to crop farmers in provinces.
Crop farmers are currently busy harvesting before forecasted radical temperature drop, from September 17. They said that stronger demonstrations will be made unless the ministry reviews it's position and makes a decision that benefits domestic producers.
Farmers will run deficits and some small crop fields might go bankrupt if domestic wheat is wasted.
The Public Communications Division of the MIA told the UB Post that government cannot afford the prices set by farmers. "Importing of wheat is being considered as Mongolian wheat price is set too high, while wheat prices are globally down. We have proposed to pay 500,000 MNT per ton of wheat and if national farmers refuse to sell their wheat at this price, we might have to consider importing wheat from Russia at cheaper costs," said the MIA.
Farmers said that they have to set higher prices as they took out substantial loans from commercial banks in spring.
Crop farmers were prompted to produce more than the previous year in order to meet domestic demand this year, as part of the ministry's plan before the resignation former Agriculture Minister Kh.Battulga.
If the ministry decides to import wheat, farmers will face losses as buyers become scarce.
The MIA said that it will make a statement regarding the plan this week with finalized price offers for domestic wheat.
Mogi: wonders of Google Translate:
Mongolia - a country of particular attention from Putin, but there are problems in Russia ...
By Vasiliy Ivanovich, ivanovic1963.livejournal.com
September 8 (ARD) After Putin's visit to Mongolia proclaimed "new perspectives", mainly - in the economic relations between the two countries. But, if you look closely - they are not so new, these prospects. And prospects whether it really? Russian bloggers analyze the reasons of "Putin's special attention" to the "land of Genghis Khan" and find that the vital interests of Russia can not afford any whatsoever Russian leadership "miss Mongolia."
All the great Russian or Soviet state leaders sought to go down in history as the "gatherer of Russian lands." Lenin ineptly lost part of the Russian Empire as Finland, Poland has always remained the focus of Stalin, who did much to restore at least part of the lost territories. As a result of the wars in 1939-1940, the Soviet Union annexed to his Western Ukraine, Western Byelorussia and pushed the border of Finland from the then Leningrad.
Putin, no doubt, a great politician. He revived a sense of Russia's greatness in the hearts of Russians. Thanks to Putin Russia has an independent foreign policy, not looking around on Washington or the EU. But the difference between the foreign policy of the USSR and the Russian Federation is the current elementary pragmatism Russian leaders.
If earlier the Soviet Union was willing to help and arms and loans to all who proclaimed the socialist orientation, and friends of the USSR proved to be very odious figures like Saddam Hussein Nur Muhammad Taraki, or, now purely economic or geopolitical interests are in the foreground.
Even old friends of the USSR, as Fidel Castro, Russia is a very pragmatic policy. Write-off of the old Soviet debts of Cuba does not look like an act of desperation rich creditor is unable to recover their money from the bankrupt customer, but as a multi-step. For debt relief in Cuba have to allow Russia to renovate a military base that existed during the Soviet period. Apparently, this is part of a larger plan for Russia's military presence around the world.
1520 and Mongolia
But Mongolia - a country of particular Putin's attention. The issue is not that Mongolia was for many years the USSR satellite dish. Not even the fact that the Mongols, the advantage of the weakness of Gorbachev and relying on the promises of the then Secretary of State James Baker, drove many thousands contingent of Soviet troops virtually overnight. Of course, such actions do not add warmth in relations between states. And hardly anyone remembers it now, during the anniversary of the victory in the Khalkhin-Gol.
Now Russia to Mongolia's economic and geopolitical interests. You can not even say exactly what the interest is in the first place. Most of all - economic.
Yakunin and Mongolia
Yakunin is not a major specialist in the field of railway transport. He's a friend of Putin. Besides Yakunin Railways is the mass of specialists. Yakunin role is not to control Railways as a business manager. He is responsible for the transport part of the great geopolitical game. The names may be different, "Eurasian Union", "customs union". This is a counterweight to the European Union.
Putin wants to economically connect all former Soviet republics except the Baltic, into a single economic zone. The first participants were Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus.
Kazakhstan has had an interest in more strategic. Kazakhstan needed a large and reliable partner in its relations with China. And Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko rather have simply had no choice. Who need it in Europe? With their trucks bring and potatoes? And Europe would not tolerate his dictatorship. So that Lukashenko simply had no choice. A Russian refers to it by the principle: "He's a son of a bitch, but our son of a bitch," turning a blind eye to internal problems of Lukashenko.
One of the compelling tools for the creation of an economic union in the territories of the former Soviet Union is the railway. Rather, it is not the road itself, and the rail network.
Armenia now officially enters the Eurasian Union. That is to say it becomes a new member. It all began with the Armenian railroad. The only vehicle of economic nature for Armenia is the railway. Using the fact that Russia is both a transit and cargoer for Armenian Railways tidied up in a group of "Armenian railway". Who carries out the management of the company, RZD, ie this company is led by specialists from Russia. The same pressure is carried out on all the railways of the former Soviet Union.
Cost-effective for all but Russia and Kazakhstan, a project to build a railroad from China to Kyrgyzstan managed to stop oil embargo threat. And this policy of pressure over the railway and developed Yakunin, and it is called "1520". And Mongolia has got into this space.
Russia's problems in Mongolia
Russia's main problem in Mongolia is solely the political structure Mongolia. Putin, as the sole leader of the country, which is concentrated all power in his hands, can not yet work with the Mongols. Mongolia - a parliamentary republic, and then has its own specifics.
Russia got repaid the debt under President Enkhbayar of Mongolia. He has promised a lot of things to Putin, but you do not re-elected. Now Enkhbayar in any case is in Korea being treated. Well, do not ask the same with the sick person, which promises to mine silver and uranium mines?
Then he decided that the most desired man - is the Prime Minister. And helped Bayar become prime minister. And he took it, and lied to the Oyu Tolgoi mine with. Too ill, fell from his horse and fled to the United States.
Then he took up the at-the-time popular H.Battulga. And that, in virtue of their stupidity, or rather greed ruined such a good combination. Well, more on that later.
"On the one hand, apparently, not enough good analysts Mongolia, on the other hand - the old Soviet habits interfere with the "big brother".
Russia's interests in Mongolia
How not cool, the entire infrastructure and industry of Mongolia was created by the Soviet Union. Even if some plants were built with the help of other brothers of the socialist camp, they were built on orders from Moscow. As the Czechs built a cement plant in the city of Darkhan or shoe factory in Ulan Bator.
Russia wants to become a world leader in the energy sector. And it all has to do this. Because of the technological gap Russia will not even try to compete in the market of solar panels and other areas of environmental energy. Russia is not necessary. She has both oil and gas, coal and uranium. That and are of importance.
From this list, Mongolia is the last two components, namely - coal and uranium. And here comes first vector of Russian interest in Mongolia.
Well, if you take the coal, Mongolia is directly threatened by the Russian coal exports.
It will be recalled that in the mid-90s, Russia was forced out of the European market by the Americans and funny to say - and Colombians. However, the Colombian coal then and now controlled by the Americans. And Russia was reoriented to a more promising market of the Asia-Pacific region. This is China, Korea, Japan and Taiwan.
Ever since the prime minister Fradkov, Russia tried to seize the coal industry of Mongolia. This is especially true Tavan Tolgoi. In 2007 it was officially declared the Russian interest in this field. But interest was just in control. Located close to China, this field carried a greater threat to the entire coal policy of Russia. It is the location, the quality of coal and the cost of goods sold were the deciding factors.
Here Putin made a bid to Yakunin and O.Derispasku. The first - a railway solutions, and the second - a coal magnate. Rather, more and coal magnate. As the Mongolian partner chose Battulga, ambitious politician, leader of the democratic union.
Rate through Yakunin was joining Tavan Tolgoi field to Trans-Mongolian Railway. Since Russia owns half of the shares of Mongolian railways - UBZhD - it automatically gave control of the mine.
You can remember how in 2010, Vladimir Yakunin, like a magician, sent a couple of compositions with the Mongolian coal from the station Choir to Nakhodka, implementing long-held dream of the Mongols on the way out to sea. So to speak, showed everyone that can RZD Vladimir Yakunin and personally.
A game by Deripaska was to acquire part or all of the most important coal deposits in Mongolia, including the Tavan Tolgoi. But here Mongolian politicians businessmen beat the Russians. The tidbit - Ukhaa Hudag - was given to a group of Mongolian companies under the general title "Energy Resource." And the other sections, it was decided to transfer to foreign companies. Then no matter how trying the Russians, nothing happened at all. Just did not give anything to anyone. That too was good Russians.
The main thing was to take control of the mine.
But then nimble guys from "Energy Resource" was almost confused all the cards and Yakunin, and Deripaska. They were able to find 700 million. Dollars for the construction of the railway. And our guys could not allow the existence of uncontrolled Russian railway from the mine to the Chinese border. This could break all the investment projects of the Russian coal industry.
Therefore, it was ordered to the right people in the government of Mongolia to stop the construction of the railway line. Well, here it is necessary to understand that not geopolitics Mongolia, not national security have some relation to the rail. It is necessary to take into account Russia's interests and everything goes.
A lot of materials on development of previously owned uranium deposits of the USSR. Neither the Canadians nor the French can not work in that direction. Mongolia - this is not the Niger, a country in Africa, where the French have long been working with uranium. That Russia can not allow that. In principle.
Well, we must remember that in Russia or Russian Geofunds is more material than in Mongolia itself. Need to remember this always.
Link to article (in Russian)
Oil & Oil Shale Mongolia 2014 kicks off Wednesday
September 9 (news.mn) Oil & Oil Shale Mongolia 2014 International Investment Conference will kick off in Ulaanbaatar, on Wednesday, September 10th. The two-day conference will bring together oil experts, representatives from the private sector, and foreign investors. The conference aims to become a platform for discussion on the improvement of the legal environment for oil and oil shale, in particular, the Petroleum Law of Mongolia. Participants will exchange views on tax issues in the oil sector, social concerns and the latest technology in the field. Prime Minister N.Altankhuyag, Mining Minister D.Gankhuyag are among the key speakers.
The Oil & Oil Shale Mongolia 2014 International Investment Conference will kick off at Tuushin Hotel on Thursday.
Mongolia Signs MOU with International Investment Bank
September 9 (infomongolia.com) On September 08, 2014, Minister for Economic Development of Mongolia N.Batbayar and the Chairman of the Board of the International Investment Bank (IIB) headquartered in Moscow, Nikolay Kosov have signed the Memorandum of cooperation between the two organizations in the Ministry of Economic Development in Ulaanbaatar.
Under the MOU, the cooperation is aimed to broaden partnership between Ministry of Economic Development and the IIB, particularly, in the spheres of activities focused to invest in projects and programs to implement including supports for small and medium enterprise development, and to promote public-private collaboration in Mongolia. The readiness and intention of the Bank to boost its participation in the Mongolian projects and programs were reflected in the document. Moreover, parties agreed as priorities to invest in the construction of new industrial complexes promoting the development of the agricultural sector in Mongolia.
International Investment Bank is an international intergovernmental organization was founded in 1970 on the basis of the Intergovernmental Agreements with its member-states of the Republic of Bulgaria, Socialist Republic of Vietnam, Republic of Cuba, Mongolia, Russian Federation, Romania, Slovak Republic, and the Czech Republic.
The main directions of its activities are the support of the small and medium-sized business as well as participation in financing socially significant infrastructure projects.
The Bank grants loans primarily through the leading national financial institutions with the participation of the state, development banks, export and import banks and agencies. In this regard, the IIB established Agreements with Mongolian financial institutions in 2013.
In 2013, the IIB established Agreements with Mongolia's:
- Capital Bank on further development of credit operations and funding of SMEs, 6 million EUR, loan term - 5 years
- A credit agreement with Khan Bank on financing of SMEs, 10 million USD, loan term - 5 years
- A credit agreement with Trade and Development Bank of Mongolia on the financing of credit operations of the bank on the territory of Mongolia, including the financing of SMEs, 10 million USD, loan term - 5 years
- Participation in syndicated loan with EBRD to XacBank (Khas Bank) for support of small and mid-sized businesses in Mongolia, 8 million USD
Mr. Demchigjav MOLOMJAMTS represents Mongolia at the International Investment Bank as the Deputy Chairman of the Board. (Mogi: a former BoM Governor)
Mongolia and Russia Sign Agreement on Modernization of Ulaanbaatar Railway
By N. Khaliun
Ulaanbaatar, September 5 (MONTSAME) In frames of the working visit of the Russian President Putin to Mongolia, the Ministry of Roads and Transport of Mongolia signed an agreement on outlining a strategic partnership for the modernization and development of Ulaanbaatar Railway (UBZD) with the Russian Railways.
The document was inked by Mr A.Gansukh, the Minister of Roads and Transportation, and by the president of Russian Railways Vladimir Yakunin. The main goal of the agreement is the strategic development of JSC "UBZD" to ensure growth in the export and transit of goods and strengthen its role in the Eurasian transport and logistics system.
According to the document, by March 1 of 2015 the parties will agree to terms of reference and determine specialized engineering companies to conclude the agreements with JSC "UBZD" for the preparation of investment feasibility studies, including market research, financial and legal models, and a feasibility study on construction projects and the modernization of the railway infrastructure in Mongolia. Funding will be done by JSC "UBZD", using their own and borrowed funds.
The main projects being considered include the centralized modernization and development of the route Sukhbaatar–Sainshand–Zamyn Uud (1,100 km), including the electrification and/or construction of a second track; the northbound construction of the Erdenet–Ovoot railway (545 km) from the perspective of developing the mining industry of northwestern Mongolia; and a construction of the Ovoot–Arz sur route (215 km) with access to Russia and contiguity to Kyzyl–Kuragino.
In the west, a railway line linking Russia and China through Mongolia to export from Russia to China, India, Pakistan, and other countries in the region will be developed, and in the east the possibility of using the Choibalsan–Erentsav railway section (239 km) from the perspective of transit to Khut–Bichigt is being considered.
The agreement also reflects the interest of parties to work with China to build up traffic from Russia to China in the opposite direction using UBZD, which includes the development of competitive tariffs and technological conditions for such shipments.
Rosneft to Train Mongolians in Russian Universities
By N. Khaliun
Ulaanbaatar, September 5 (MONTSAME) Minister for Education and Science of Mongolia L. Gantumur and the Rosneft chairman of the management board Igor Sechin signed an Agreement to arrange training for Mongolians in partner universities of Rosneft.
The ceremony ran in a presence the two Presidents on September 3 in Ulaanbaatar. Rosneft will assist an organization of teaching process for the Mongolian citizens at Russian universities, including expenses for education, migration formalities, domestic transport, accommodation, food, and scholarship.
The Company had negotiated this issue with Gubkin Russian State University of Oil and Gas, Moscow State University, International Institute of Energy Policy and Diplomacy of Moscow State Institute of International Relations (University) of the MFA of Russia.
Chief of President's Office P.Tsagaan Meets Anglo American Delegation
By B. Khuder
Ulaanbaatar, September 5 (MONTSAME) Head of the Presidential Office P.Tsagaan Thursday received a delegation led by Mr James Harman, a chairman of the Anglo American Group in charge of business and development affairs.
Mr Harman said the Anglo American Group wants to invest Mongolian mining sector, and it is now waiting for the permission from the government. (Mogi: permission? Permission for what?)
In response, Mr Tsagaan appreciated this willingness that coincides with an improvement in the investment environment in Mongolia. "Any foreign-invested company may be accepted nicely here and will face less difficulties if it supports national companies, purchases their products and services and hires the Mongolians," Mr Tsagaan emphasized.
Working group set up on modern day silk road "Talyn Zam" project
September 5 (business-mongolia.com) This summer, Modern day 'silk road' "Talyn Zam" (Steppe Road) project was initiated by the Government of Mongolia. Mr. Batbayar, Minister for Economic Development, made introduction of the project, and Cabinet Meeting made decision to set up working group on the project, headed by the Minister for Economic Development.
Within the framework of the "Talyn Zam" project, 997 km long highway, 1100 km long high voltage electrical line, gas and oil pipeline are planned. As the result of the project, the Mongolian Government expects increased FDI, construction throughout the nation and new era in the energy and mining sectors.
The Ministry of Economic Development has conducted extensive research, according to the point 4.4 of General Plan of Development of the Economy and Society in 2014 "to create infrastructure facility (railway, highway, oil, gas and energy) connecting the Russian Federation with People's Republic of China". As the result, "Talyn Zam" initiative was included in the Joint Statement on Profound Strategic Partnership Relations between Mongolia and China and Mongolian side continued the dialogue with the Russian officials during the President Putin's visit. President Putin warmly accepted the initiative and hinted to continue the negotiation further.
The Mongolian Government wants to avail this opportunity to connect the biggest provider of mineral resource and the biggest consumer and plays active role in realizing the modern day silk road through Mongolia, which will become the safest and shortest connection between China and Russia.
Project Management Institute (PMI) Mongolia to Launch Inaugural Conference on October 3-4
September 5 (infomongolia.com) Project Management Institute (PMI) Mongolia announces its inaugural Conference, Workshop and Exhibition that will take place at Blue Sky Hotel in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia on October 03-04, 2014.
The theme of the two day event is "Project Management in Emerging Economies".
This is an important and timely event for Mongolia and other emerging economies in the Asia-Pacific region. World investment in the Asia-Pacific region has been increasing exponentially in the past decade and future trends are promising for the region. This raises the question "are emerging economies ready to absorb such big investments and do they have professional project managers who can run these projects effectively?".
The aim of our inaugural conference is to hear from the best project managers in Mongolia and to provide an opportunity for project managers from Asia-Pacific to share experiences and learn from each other.
A range of workshops and speakers over the two day event will educate, inspire, and motivate professionals in the project, program and portfolio management field from across the Asia-Pacific region. In addition to the conference, workshop and exhibition program, delegates can benefit from networking events and organized sightseeing trips to the renowned countryside of Mongolia.
Discover Mongolia 2014: Confidence Builder
September 6 (Mongolian Economy) Discover Mongolia-2014, a two-day symposium of mining investors, concluded on September 4th. As one of the mining sector's biggest forums, this year's talks focused on the legal environment, the current situation of gold and coal, project financing, rare earth minerals, and geology exploration. The forum was accompanied by an exhibition displaying the operations of private-public entities.
The forum was a direct response to the recent decrease in foreign direct investment. FDI fell by 70 percent in the first half of 2014, according to the Bank of Mongolia. To attract investors, the government amended investment laws at the end of last year, with additional amendments of the Minerals Law and Oil Law passed this spring. A comprehensive policy for the minerals sector was also recently redefined.
Despite these measures, Discover Mongolia-2014 did not have seats filled at capacity. President of the Mongolian National Mining Association Algaa N said, "that the mining sector has seen its ups and downs in accordance with a natural cycle. The number of participants declined. But don't take it too seriously."
He also talked about the new changes made to the Minerals Law, passed by Parliament this spring. He sees these changes as the reform necessary to bring investors back to Mongolia.
This year, the forum welcomed investors from Australia, Canada, Malaysia, China, and Hong Kong.
Ochirbat Punsalmaa, Chairman of the Organizing Committee, said "The changes to the Minerals Law are extremely positive changes, particularly regarding the promotion of foreign investment. Now we are allowed to export through eight border points in China, after the Chinese leader's visit to Mongolia. Meanwhile, the top levels of government have recently discussed the signing of an agreement on transit between Mongolia, Russia, and China. These developments help establish a positive legal environment for Mongolian access to coastal countries' ports."
One of the biggest topics of discussion during the forum was the investment environment of the past three years. Bilguun Ankhbayar, CEO of MIBG, said that we need to let Oyu Tolgoi run if want to attract more foreign investment, which he underlined in a presentation titled 'Review and Outlook of Mongolian Investment Environment.'
Officials from the Ministry of Mining hope for increased investment by the end of this year due to positive changes made within Mongolia's legal environment. Exploration licenses alone are expected to generate more than two billion dollars.
The forum also hosted the signing of a memorandum on partnership in the minerals sector by private, public, and civil society representatives. Through the memorandum, multisided representatives of the mining sector promised to conduct their operations with a focus on friendliness, transparency, and responsibility.
MONGOLIA: UPCOMING REFORMS TO THE TAX SYSTEM
September 4 (BDO Mongolia) --
Mongolia adopted a new tax system 21 years ago. During these 21 years 101 laws have been approved, of which 46 have been cancelled and 55 are still effective.
After the implementation of the new tax system the first reform of the tax legislation was carried out in 2007. The main aim of that reform was to create a positive environment for businesses. Now Mongolia is planning to make its second reform to the tax legislation. In recent years a wide range of inefficient tax exemptions and reliefs were leading to tax avoidance, to the detriment of equality and a fair principle of taxation in general. Within the existing tax legislation, there are 40 different tax reliefs and more than 180 tax exemptions, which annually amount to MNT 1 trillion, 30% of the total annual taxation income of Mongolia.
The second tax reform is to be implemented in 2014, which will involve amending 17 tax laws.
Mongolia has 23 types of tax, of which four were never applied in practice. These are taxes on inheritances, presents and gifts, a capital city tax, a tax on dogs and a land surface usage tax. The dog tax was considered unnecessary, and draft laws in relation to the others will be discussed on the spring 2014 session of the parliament.
As a result of the reform, the number of tax guidelines for implementation of tax laws will be reduced from the current 24 to 13. The aim of this is to provide clarification and understanding in relation to disputes that have arisen in recent years with regard to tax laws and regulations.
The reform is guided by a policy of making the tax legislation simple and understandable for taxpayers, with no ambiguities. Furthermore, it aims to have a common policy on tax reliefs and exemptions, reflecting and following internationally accepted principles.
As reflected in the government's policy on supporting small and medium sized businesses, companies with a turnover of up to MNT 1.5 billion will be eligible for tax relief of 90% on their corporate income taxes. As a result, companies which are currently paying 10% corporate income tax will pay 1% tax by using this exemption.
One of the particular matters covered in the reform is an increase in the number of years tax losses can be carried forward, in order to assist business investment. The current legislation allows losses to be carried forward two to five years, which was considered short compared to other countries.
For corporate income taxation there will be some positive changes towards supporting businesses:
1. To give 1 to 1.5 years of tax exemption to new companies.
2. To extend tax loss carry forward to five years, to support businesses with high technology and innovative developments.
3. There will no increase in the tax rates within this reform.
From 2014, tax office services are moved online, and individual and business taxpayers will report on their applicable taxes online. Mongolia has already saved MNT 6.4 billion by replacing paper based reporting.
By moving the tax office services online, Mongolia has built the basis for a common and integrated database for tax, customs and state registration offices. This will make it possible to register and control cash and non-cash transactions. VAT invoices will also be moved to an online regime, replacing paper invoices.
The revenue limit for VAT payer registration will be increased to a certain level (MNT 50 million as per the draft amendment) in light of the current economic situation, with the aim of supporting investment and employment.
A new land surface usage tax has been drafted as part of the reform. Until now Mongolia has imposed tax on products extracted from underground, but not for using the surface of the land. Under the new legislation construction companies who are using the land surface will also be liable to pay tax.
The amendments will be effective when they are approved by the Parliament of Mongolia, and they are subject to change during the parliamentary discussion and approval.
Rentsenkhand. D (CPA, CPTA)
Tax and Outsourcing Service Partner
Mobile:+(976) 9911 1525
+(976) 9405 7212
Office: +(976) 7013 0411
Mogi: ummm, struggling to understand the logic here
Ulaanbaatar bans outdoor car sales from October
September 5 (news.mn) Ulaanbaatar City Citizens Representatives Khural issued a decision to ban outdoor car sales in Ulaanbaatar. The ban will be effective on October 1st, 2014.
City officials believe such measure will reduce traffic accidents that are common near the largest markets and heavy traffic.
Starting today, the Specialized Inspection Agency of Ulaanbaatar has announced the official decision and is delivering notices to car sales organizers and importers.
The car sales organizers will be responsible for removing cars from public areas once they receive their notice from the Specialized Inspection Agency of Ulaanbaatar.
Car sales organizers will be fined according to the law if they hesitate to clear vehicles.
UB Mayor E.Bat-Uul: I will not back down due to fear of criticism
September 9 (UB Post) The following is an interview with the Mayor and Governor of the capital city, E.Bat-Uul, about timely issues.
Bat-Uul is a politician from the Democratic Party, who was appointed as the Mayor and Governor of the Ulaanbaatar in August 2012.
How was the summer work and how are preparation works for winter?
This summer was very busy with road works, housing constructions and elevators as well as roof repairs. The results can be seen clearly. Despite economic difficulties, we can highlight that the city development didn't suffer as much.
How progressive is the housing work for ger area?
Apartment town is being constructed in Zuun Ail. This is the beginning of ger area housing work. When we first presented this idea, people were saying it was impossible but now everyone is asking to enlist their property for reconstruction. Maybe in two years, people will consider commercializing their land, finding investors, and building public apartments or houses.
People are saying that you didn't keep your promises and that you're exchanging people's land with few cubic meter apartments?
It's true that I claimed to transform ger area into residential areas when I participated in the election. I still uphold this position. To start this work, I built a state industry site. Now, I'm receiving land owners' submissions to construct houses on their lands. Some 20,000 households offered to build houses as of last July and there are more people willing to do the same. Land owners decide everything. I can't decide on behalf of them. My responsibility is to find investors for commercializing their land. I'll only work through public demand.
When will construction of residential areas begin?
There are fundraising issues. After this has concluded, we'll negotiate with land owners to compress their fences so that kindergartens and schools can be established. Some people don't agree and slow down work. For example, households near Gandan monastery are refusing to give up their land. We renovated only one street to show how the streets would change.
A total of 78 percent of total Ulaanbaatar housing is ger area. Immense amount of investment is required for building infrastructure. Infrastructure work will begin when funding issues are settled.
The residents don't have to depend on us to search for investors and build apartments themselves. They can gather land owners and propose to establish houses or apartments together.
Currently, how many areas have started constructing apartments through the ger area re-planning?
According to the data I received, apartments for 6,000 people will be operational in several areas including Songinokhairkhan District and Zuun Ail within this year. You can get specifics from the Head of City Council Battulga and Deputy Head Ochirbat who are responsible for city ger area re-planning.
The public was frustrated with the Metro Map Project trial, which allowed people to change buses with 500 MNT daily tickets. There's also the vehicle license plate restriction, which reduced traffic but violated people's driving rights. Can you comment on these issues?
We used license plate restrictions since last year. It's proven to be an effective method. A week before September 1, the start of new academic year, Ulaanbaatar traffic congestions usually reaches its peak. Parents and students buy stationeries for their children and overcrowd the city. We had to take this precaution method.
One factor that was hindering the license plate restriction was public transportation service. Drivers who can't drive on specific days have to use buses but public transportation service couldn't meet the needs and so we introduced the Metro Map Project along with vehicle restrictions.
How do you assess its outcome?
I'm satisfied. Public transportation staff have bad reputations of seeking profit instead of providing services to people. There was an initiation to eliminate this concept and to run buses according to specific standards and schedules as public transportation is designed for providing comfortable and fast services. Even with one passenger, buses should drive on determined routes on schedule. Buses shouldn't wait until the bus is packed with passengers, which is the current concept of Mongolian public transportation. We did a trial to reform into a system focused on providing services instead of working for profit. Obviously, all new experiments and trials face difficulties and criticism. From the recent trial, we collected useful data on developing the project and realized that this service could be introduced in the future.
That is only if buses become comfortable, routes are more specific and clear, and distribution of 500 MNT tickets is improved.
Exactly. We're planning to commission a new public transportation service from April 1, 2015 after wrapping up preparation work. Passengers will scan their cards in buses to pay. There'll be a monthly, six months' and family ticket packages. Bus routes will become clearer and buses will become more comfortable. Mongolia will purchase additional buses with 20 billion MNT. We plan to import long, extended buses. Ulaanbaatar needs 2,500 buses to meet residents' demand in the city according to the officials in public transportation. At the moment, there are 800 buses in the city.
Will 20 billion MNT be enough to purchase buses that'll meet basic needs?
Of course not. This is the spending money for one-time purchase. We'll be purchasing buses every year. Estimations show that the necessary number of buses will be fully provided in five years.
Will vehicle restrictions be enforced in the future?
No. We'll face a loss if this method is implemented for a long time. It'll be difficult for the people too. Some residents proposed to establish tollways at the city center and collect fees for passage. The collected fees will be used for the people.
When will tollways be imposed?
We'll conduct a survey. If new public transportation service is introduced from April 1, 2015 and people travel for a whole day with 500 MNT, the public transportation sector will face a deficit of 17 billion MNT.
To compensate the loss, are you trying to make cars pay a fee of 50,000 MNT for passage in the city center?
There's no other option for compensating the loss. It's impossible for the city budget to be compensated. The 50,000 MNT fee is the cost of uncongested service and passage. This is the global standard that London, Paris and Singapore have. Every city manages traffic congestions this way. People will have no reason to buy cars if they're provided with convenient and fast public transportation services.
Last fall, Ulaanbaatar received a loan from the Asian Development Bank. What's happening with that loan?
Mongolia received a high criteria loan from the Asian Development Bank. The government and international bodies are contributing considerably for Ulaanbaatar's construction and development. The Asian Development Bank invested 320 million USD to establish two sub-centers in Ulaanbaatar. Bayankhoshuu and Chingeltei Districts will become cities within a city. With the support from the Asian Development Bank, we're building a hospital.
The World Bank has almost finished implementing a project to improve clean water supply. We're also establishing schools and kindergartens. The government is implementing and funding a street project. Together with the Chinese government, Mongolia built a new bridge and now it's working towards metro works. Works for constructing a metro will begin from 2016.
Another hot topic of this summer was the online land registration. Many have expressed suspicions about the fairness of the selection process. Can you comment on this?
The public has become very distrustful and full of suspicion. There are so many poor people who are filled with bad thoughts and distrust. Many people were running around overjoyed for receiving land. Even infants were chosen for land ownerships. I doubt a that little baby could have used underhanded methods.
Truthfully, The Land Ownership Law was revised and the distribution of 0.07 hectares of land was discussed for many years but was unsuccessful. Some 1,000,100 people couldn't get their portion of land. We used this method so that those people could get their share. It's difficult to distribute land to everyone. In the past, we hadn't found technical solutions for completing this work. Mongolian land officials worked without eating or sleeping and developed a program that would distribute land to over 15,000 people within seconds.
Sorry, but this work was conducted fairly. Would anyone go around negotiating to give land ownerships to 15,000 people? Also the selection wasn't determined by a person but a computer. Would a computer try to give land via underhanded methods? Therefore, this talk about unfair selection process for land ownership is false.
From the people registered for land ownership, how many received lands?
Out of the 280,000 applicants, 15,000 people gained land ownerships in the first stage. Oddly, 4,000 of them didn't want land certificates. I can't stop wondering about this. Do you know how incredible those five land locations are? For example, Khojuul Valley in Uliastai is getting paved roads with state budget funds. It'll get sanitary and hot water networks as well as a Canadian-styled housed micro-district.
The officials met and discussed why people didn't want land certificates. One person explained that people who just wanted to try out the lottery registered in the website. If this is true, we should eliminate these mischievous people and do another lottery for the land they didn't claim.
Will everyone who didn't get land receive their share via online lotteries eventually?
Certainly. The some 1,000,100 people who didn't receive 0.07 hectares of land will all get lands. People who were left from the previous lottery will be transferred for the next lottery. The lottery for the first five locations was an experiment. We'll be doing lotteries for the remaining locations shortly.
Source: Daily news
Is Mongolia's mining boom causing Ulan Bator to run out of water?
September 9 (Deutsche Welle) Water is already scarce in Ulan Bator. But with the mining industry competing with energy facilities, agriculture and urban residents for water resources, the problem will intensify, as analyst Qingfeng Zhang tells DW.
Mongolia's economy has been expanding rapidly. After experiencing a GDP growth rate of 17.5 percent in 2011, the economy grew by 11.7 percent in 2013, easing from 12.4 percent in 2012. The massive development of mineral and coal mining has been largely the driving force behind the swift economic rise of the Central Asian nation. Mongolia - nearly the size of Western Europe - sits on a virtual treasure trove of natural resources estimated at around 1.3 trillion USD.
However, according to a recently released report by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) titled "Demand in the Desert: Mongolia's Water-Energy-Mining Nexus," the development of the mining industry is leading to an increase in the demand for water and energy; scarce resources especially in Mongolia's capital and largest city, Ulan Bator.
Qingfeng Zhang, Lead Water Resources Specialist at ADB who oversaw the report says in a DW interview that water shortages in the capital city are expected as early as 2015 as existing groundwater supplies become fully utilized. Ulan Bator will then be forced to draw on additional groundwater resources, but these may only last until 2021.
DW: Given the rapid development of the mining industry, does Mongolia face the possibility of water shortages in the near future?
Qingfeng Zhang: Rapid development of the mining industry is driving the urbanization and economic development of Ulan Bator with increases in demand for water and energy.
Water is already scarce in Ulan Bator, with water shortages expected as early as 2015 as existing groundwater supplies become fully utilized. The capital will then be forced to draw on additional groundwater resources, which have already been identified and approved for use. Supply is expected to be adequate until 2021 but then there may again be water shortages if demand remains high.
Basin-wide water shortages are not predicted in the major mining areas of the South Gobi desert. However, localized conflicts over water use with communities and herders are expected as the groundwater resources are extracted for mining.
How much water is the mining industry consuming?
In 2010, the mining industry accounted for approximately 13 percent of total water consumption while the energy sector accounted for around 10 percent. However, this is changing quickly due to rapid development of the mining industry and growing energy demand, which is thirsty for water.
For example, in the Galba-Uush Doloodin Gobi Basin of the South Gobi Desert, recent water use has been than less than 5 million cubic meters per year. Major new mining operations, including Tavan Tolgoi and Oyu Tolgoi, and a new coal fired power station, are expected to dramatically increase water demand, with an estimated 108.2 million cubic meters of water expected to be consumed annually by 2025.
Although, basin-wide water shortages are not predicted, it is expected that mining and energy water use will further exacerbate water use conflicts with local communities and traditional herders.
How scarce is water in Mongolia?
Mongolia suffers from regional scarcity of water resources. Abundant surface water resources are located in Northern Mongolia. However, this water is inaccessible for most parts of the country. Urban centers and mining operations are located far from these major water sources. As a result, Mongolia has a high reliance on groundwater resources. In 2010, groundwater accounted for 80 percent of all freshwater consumed.
To what extent will water shortages constrain the country's economic development?
Mongolia is grappling with the challenges of simultaneously achieving food security, water security, and energy security as the country implements its green development policy. At the same time, Mongolia's economic development based on mining and the sustainability of its urban economy will be impossible without energy and water - water as a key input to produce energy, and energy to operate water facilities.
What must the government do to ensure that supply meets demand for water?
In addition to integrating water resource considerations into energy and mining developments, Mongolia should promote energy efficiency in homes and industry, better rainwater collection, and more recycling of wastewater.
New energy facilities should be designed to minimize water use, while better payment systems such as water use fees and pollution fees could improve energy and water efficiency. These measures need to be supported by better water management institutions.
Qingfeng Zhang is Lead Water Resources Specialist with the Asian Development Bank's East Asia Department.
UB Partnership 2014 Int'l Autumn Fair to Bring 40 Delegates from Malaysian, Japanese and Taiwanese Firms
September 9 (infomongolia.com) Mongolian National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MNCCI) in cooperation with the Mayor's Office are organizing the "UB Partnership 2014" International Autumn Trade Fair at the Misheel Expo Center in Ulaanbaatar on September 11-15, 2014.
The "Ulaanbaatar Partnership" trade fair is being organized for the consecutive 19th year and in the scope of event, the Asia-Pacific Summit will be hosted at the MNCCI building, where members of international organizations such as MATRADE Exhibition and Convention Centre (MECC) and Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) will be participating.
It anticipates to bring over 40 representatives from Malaysian, Japanese and Taiwanese companies to introduce and promote its services and products to Mongolian market.
The 19th International Autumn Trade Fair in UB will be held in the following categories:
Display type will be listed below.
- Building and Construction materials
- Banking and Credit opportunities
- Equipment and Devices
- Pharmaceutical Products
- Wool and Cashmere
- Food and Food Products
- New Techniques and Technology
- Leather Products and Souvenirs
- Household Appliances
- National Articles
"Ulaanbaatar Partnership-2014" int'l exhibition approaching – Montsame, September 9
Putin: It is in our interests too to increase Mongolia's transit potential
September 3 (President of Russia) QUESTION: Since we are here in Mongolia, I would like to ask about the visit's results and whether you have managed to overcome the inertia in our trade and economic relations.
PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA VLADIMIR PUTIN: Yes, we talked a lot today about our trade and economic ties, although, as you know, this visit was timed to coincide with an event of a different nature – the 75th anniversary of the battle at Khalkin-Gol. This is a big event in our common history.
But of course we had to seize the opportunity too to discuss the full range of our relations, which we did, and, as I said during our work today, our colleagues from the various ministries, agencies, and companies representing the main areas of our cooperation did some very good work.
One of these areas is transport. This is a very important sector for Mongolia, and it is in our interests too to increase Mongolia's transit potential. Mongolia is located between Russia and China after all. We are big trade and economic partners and have bilateral trade with China that will come to $64 or already 65-67 billion this year. It therefore makes sense to put Mongolia's transport possibilities to greater use than is the case today. Then there is the metals sector, which was inherited from the Soviet period and is developing actively.
But there are clear problems too, arising due to the big imbalance in our trade relations. In this respect we are working now on increasing supplies of produce to Russia, but this is a case of our partners asking us to do this too. Some restrictions on supplies of animal products had been imposed earlier, but we have agreed that the Russian Federation Government will examine the matter of lifting these restrictions, especially those concerning meat supply quotas.
So we have transport, the metals sector, infrastructure development, and agriculture, and we discussed all of these sectors in quite some depth. We do have a concrete action plan but it has not yet been drafted on paper. We will need to complete this work soon.
Investment continues, but it is very clear that this is still not enough. Work on investment is another component of our cooperation and I think that there are good prospects in this area too.
Overall, I am happy with the results of today's work.
QUESTION: Mr President, you spoke with Mr Poroshenko today. The Ukrainian authorities initially announced that you had agreed on a complete ceasefire, but then explanations came that what is under discussion are concrete steps for settling the situation, which is understandable, given that Russia is not a party to this conflict. If there was discussion of concrete steps, what are they, and what will happen next?
Mongolia and Russia Finance Ministries Sign Technical Cooperation Memorandum
Ulaanbaatar, September 5 (MONTSAME) The Treasury Department of the Ministry of Finance of Mongolia signed the memorandum of technical cooperation with the Federal Treasury of the Russian Federation.
The document was inked by Kh.Gantsogt, the State Secretary of the Ministry, and by the Head of the Federal Treasury R.Artyukhin. Now the sides are afforded opportunities to exchange experience in the treasury systems functioning.
V.Putin's visit to Mongolia featured on Mongolian postage stamp
September 9 (news.mn) Mongol Post released a special issue postage stamp dedicated to Russian President V.Putin's 5-hour visit to Mongolia on September 3rd, on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the historic victory at the Battles of Khalkh Gol. The special issue postage stamp dedicated to the Russian leader's visit to Mongolia is available for 800 MNT.
Mongol Post also issued a special stamp to commemorate the state visit of China's President Xi Jinping to Mongolia in August.
MP J.Batzandan Receives General Consul of Australia in Mongolia
By B. Khuder
Ulaanbaatar, September 9 (MONTSAME) A member of the State Great Khural J.Batzandan Monday received Mr Tony Reinhold Burchill, the General Consul of Australia to Mongolia, in the State House.
He thanked the General Consulate for arriving and said he wants to have information on a present situation of the Mongolia-Australia ties, especially in the economy, education and mining spheres.
In response, Mr Reinhold thanked the parliamentarian for receiving him and gave details about the current bilateral relations and cooperation, ongoing projects and programmes and works being run within loans and assistance.
Mongolia and Australia have been collaborating in the educational sector for some 20 years, and 400 people have got master and PhD degrees in Australian universities and institutes so far, Mr Reinhold noted. After this the sides exchanged views on the cooperation in the economy and cultural sectors.
Head of Standing Committee Meets State Department EXBS Program Manager
By B. Khuder
Ulaanbaatar, September 9 (MONTSAME) Head of the parliamentary Standing committee on justice D.Ganbat Tuesday received a delegation led by Mr Daniel Blake Pritchett, a manager of the EXBS Program at the US Department of State.
Beginning the meeting, Mr Pritchett briefed about the programme, and then exchanged views with the Standing committee head on a draft law on the monitoring over the sales of strategic goods and on hazardous garbage.
The government submitted the bill on it to parliament in 2014, but it has been withdrawn in order to revise it. After an approval of the #1540 resolution of the UN Security Council in 2004, the President of Mongolia visited the USA in 2007, signing a bilateral memorandum of understanding on cooperating in preventing the transport of nuclear and other radioactive materials through the state borders, Mr Ganbat said.
In accordance with the EXBS programme, radioactive measuring devices have been installed in border checkpoints of Mongolia since 2008, and the bilateral cooperation in it has reached a specific achievement, Mr Ganbat said, and underlined an importance of preparing experts for this.
The parliamentarian also said the Standing committees on justice, and on environment, food and agriculture are ready to collaborate in this direction.
Present at the meeting were G.Bayarsaikhan, head of the Standing committee on environment, food and agriculture; J.Batzandan and O.Baasankhuu MPs.
(Mogi: below is a copy/paste of http://www.state.gov/t/isn/ecc/c27911.htm, this is how our news agencies work)
The Export Control and Related Border Security (EXBS) Programme seeks to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and destabilizing accumulations and irresponsible transfers of conventional weapons by helping to build effective national strategic trade control systems in countries that possess, produce, or supply strategic items, as well as in countries through which such items are most likely to transit.
The EXBS Program is designed to help countries develop and improve their strategic trade and related border control systems. In developing and improving these systems, we work to ensure conformity with international standards for regulating trade in items on the control lists of the multilateral export control regimes, to prevent the authorization of transfers to end-uses and end-users of proliferation concern, and to detect and interdict illicit transfers at the border. In building countries' capacity in this critical area, the EXBS Programme advances U.S. efforts to establish a global WMD detection architecture and helps key partners meet their obligations and commitments pursuant to important U.S. and international initiatives, including UN Security Council Resolution 1540, the Proliferation Security Initiative, the National Security Strategy and adherence to the guidelines of multilateral export control regimes.
The EXBS Program works with partner governments to identify regulatory and institutional gaps and to develop resource requirements. The EXBS Program provides a wide range of technical assistance, from executive exchanges to training workshops to the provision of detection equipment and specialized training for border control and enforcement agencies.
The EXBS Program provides assistance in five core areas--laws and regulations; licensing; enforcement; government-industry cooperation; interagency and international cooperation and coordination.
UN Unveils New Building in Ulaanbaatar
September 5 (infomongolia.com) The document signing ceremony on conferring the UN House facility in Ulaanbaatar for its official accommodations under lease term was held on September 05, 2014.
Construction works for 7-storey new UN House was accomplished in 2012 funded by the Government of Mongolia and at today's ceremony Minister L.Bold and UNDP Permanent Representative to Mongolia Sezin Sinanoglu have signed to document.
The UN House in Ulaanbaatar accommodates eight UN Agencies including Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), International Labour Organization, UNAIDS Mongolia, United Nations Development, United Nations Population Fund Mongolia Country Office, UN-HABITAT Mongolia, United Nations Children's Fund, and International Organization for Migration.
UN Receives New Building in UB – Montsame, September 5
45,068 Foreign Citizens from 116 Countries Currently Reside in Mongolia
September 9 (infomongolia.com) On September 08, 2014, the Citizenship and Migration General Authority of Mongolia (Immigration Office) made a statement that as of today, a total 45,068 foreign citizens from 116 countries are residing in the territory of Mongolia.
These nationals are employees, investors, researchers, students and their family members who are authorized with relevant permissions to work and study in foreign and domestic entities and organizations in Mongolia.
The vast majority of these foreign citizens are issued with temporary residence permit cards, where nationals working in the construction sector of our country hold large portion and largest number of foreigners in Mongolia counts for China - 26,053, Russia - 2,759, South Korea - 2,948, United States - 2,676, and North Korea - 2,647 citizens respectively.
It was previously informed that the Ministry of Justice and its affiliated organs including Mongolia Immigration are hosting Open Day this Saturday on September 13, accordingly detailed information relevant to visa, residence permit, invitation and other issues will be provided
45,068 foreigners from 116 countries residing in Mongolia – news.mn, September 9
Mongolians' Unions and NGOs Abroad to Gather in Ulaanbaatar on September 18
By B. Khuder
Ulaanbaatar, September 9 (MONTSAME) A unified forum themed "Creative collaboration" will run September 18 in Ulaanbaatar.
Co-organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the "E-station union" NGO (Mogi: Tsahim Urtuu), the upcoming forum will bring together delegates of Mongolians' unions, societies and NGOs abroad to discuss issues of co-tackling urgent problems facing Mongolians abroad, rendering state support to the organizations for them and seeking an opportunity and mechanism of developing the collaboration between the state and NGOs.
The organizers say the measure is important in terms of establishing close ties between the President, parliament, government and NGO and societies and unions of Mongolians residing across the world, of receiving their voice, and of inheriting Mongolian language, culture and custom to the next generations.
The forum is expected to attract some 90 delegates of Mongolians' unions, societies and NGOs; about 50 reporters and researchers from the "E-station union" NGO; and 130-150 officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and related institutions.
Mogi: for real?
Over 400,000 individuals diagnosed with hepatitis in Mongolia
September 9 (news.mn) Mongolia leads the world in mortality rates linked to liver cancer, with a figure eight times higher than the global average.
The mortality rate of liver cancer has continued to rise in recent years.
Over 95 percent of deaths from liver cancer are caused by chronic infections symptomatic of hepatitis В, С, and D.
Research conducted in 2013 shows that the spread of the hepatitis virus has reached over 400,000 individuals in Mongolia.
Onom Sam NGO launched the national "Healthy Liver" program and made a statement on Monday.
Onom Sam has initiated the national "Healthy liver" program to fight against the hepatitis virus and has developed a comprehensive prevention policy in collaboration with scholars and specialists.
The ambitious goals of the national program are to eliminate the hepatitis C virus in Mongolia by 2020, decrease the liver disease mortality rate by up to 50 percent through decreasing the spread of hepatitis C, and enrolling patients in treatment for chronic hepatitis C by 2020.
Onom Sam NGO has officially announced that they will be working with the Government of Mongolia and other professional institutes to implement the program.
Onom Sam NGO has also asked state agencies to resolve the following issues to cover certain finances required for the hepatitis C treatment from the Health Insurance Fund and the government budget, and to give permission to medical specialists and nurses to take part in the program for community health.
USAID provides grant for development of children with hearing impairment
September 9 (UB Post) A project to improve the development of disabled children launched on September 4 at School No.29 for children with special needs in Sukhbaatar District.
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is working to improve the development of disabled children and enhance their lives with the help of the Mongolian Association of Sign Language Interpreters NGO, the Mongolian Association of Youth with Hearing Disabilities and Children NGO, through the project.
Special advisor at USAID Judith Heumann informed about the non-refundable grants worth 294,114 USD during the launch.
Madam Heumann said, "I am glad to initiate the non-refundable grant of the International Disability Rights of the U.S. Department."
Director of School No.29 B.Batsaikhan said, "Our school was established in 1964. Currently 320 hearing impaired children study and received the 12 year compulsory education with other children at our school. The survey shows that every two to three children in 1,000 have hearing disabilities. But almost 90 percent of their parents have unimpaired hearing. Parents do not know how to deal with children with disability and parents need assistance in these cases. It is essential to diagnose and treat children with hearing disabilities," during the granting ceremony.
"Moreover parents have to be able to give communication and cognitive knowledge to their children. I want to express my appreciation to USAID, which is initiating, supporting and implementing this project," he added.
The biggest concern of this project is to diagnose children with hearing disabilities and teach them to communicate with others, said Judith Heumann and highlighted that specialists from two different organizations are working on this project.
"We can provide wellbeing in their lives. We estimate that over 1,000 people including disabled children, their families and teachers will benefit from the project," she added.
Nine delegates, including the director of School No.29, representatives of USAID, teachers, parents and children participated in the ribbon cutting ceremony.
The ceremony also included a children's performance. B.Altansuvd, a student at School No.29, performed a contortion act. She trains at ASA Circus and has worked in Israel for over four months as a contortionist.
Three other students of the school sung "Kindness of People" (Khunii Saikhan Setgel) in sign language and performed a Mongolian traditional dance.
A representative of the parents and guardians of students of School No.29, D.Dulguun noted, "Even though my son does not have hearing disabilities, he has difficulty in speaking. He attended Kindergarten No.189 for children with special needs for two years and attended a speech therapy. His teacher said that my son has potential to be able to speak in the future. My family was told that he can study at a normal school after five years of study at this school."
The USAID project will be implemented for two years, from 2014 to 2016, and will cover School No.29, Kindergarten No.189 and children and youth of four provinces.
Minister S.Erdene Submits Bills on Health Insurance, Population Development, Welfare
By B. Khuder
Ulaanbaatar, September 5 (MONTSAME) The Ministers of Population Development and Social Welfare S.Erdene Thursday submitted to the Speaker of parliament a draft new wording of the law on compulsory health insurance.
He also submitted draft amendments to the laws on approving a master policy on population development, on payment for pension and allowance for those who suffer from vocational illness and accidents, and on pension and allowance to be given from the social insurance fund.
Cabinet Backs Amendment on Forest Law, Tightening Enforcement on Illegal Logging
By B. Khuder
Ulaanbaatar, September 5 (MONTSAME) At its meeting on Thursday, the cabinet discussed and then backed a concept of a draft amendment to the law on forest.
The draft has been worked out by the Ministry of Environment and Green Development due to a requirement to have an extra regulation for combating illegal logging. By the current law, there is no a professional, laboratory or special unit that releases conclusions over crimes against nature and environment, so the draft has clauses on creating a system of estimating an extent of damage and releasing the expertise under a contract and after paying a concrete fee, on creating a monitoring system with the public participation, and on solving the finance of granting incentives to people.
If parliament adopts this draft, the illegal logging will be abolished through collaboration between the state and private sector in combating the crimes and in tightening responsibilities of guilty people.
UNICEF Representative in Mongolia honored with Peace Medal
September 5 (news.mn) By presidential decree, Mongolia's UNICEF Representative, Mohamed Malick Fall, has been honored with the Peace Medal for his role and effort to improve the legal environment for children's health, education, care and protection in Mongolia. The Chief of Staff of the Office of the President of Mongolia, P.Tsagaan, presented the honor to Mohamed Malick Fall today at the Government House.
During the ceremony for presenting the Peace Medal, P.Tsagaan said, "Hereby, the Mongolia's UNICEF Representative, Mohamed Malick Fall is being honored with the Peace Medal for his role and effort to improve the legal environment for children's health, education, care and protection in Mongolia. Mohamed Malick Fall, who has worked in Mongolia for years, is to leave the office for a mission to another country. I want to say thank you, on behalf of thousands of parents in Mongolia. I wish you success in your next mission."
UNICEF Rep Receives "Friendship" Medal – Montsame, September 5
Mongolia, the partner country of ITB Berlin 2015, presents its regions: Uvs Nuur Lake
September 9 (ITB Berlin) Mongolia has many attractions. One of them is the Uvs Nuur Basin, a kind of microcosm in the middle of Asia and one of the world's last remaining virgin eco-systems. From 4 to 8 March 2015 the partner country of ITB Berlin will be presenting Mongolia's many different attractions in Hall 26 to an audience of international trade visitors and the general public.
The Uvs Nuur Basin, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2003, reveals a remarkable ecological diversity – desert, marsh, dunes, semi-desert, steppe, taiga, tundra, and glaciers – in a relatively compact zone untouched by human activities. Its unique location at the geo climatic border of Siberia and Central Asia, with temperatures reaching + 470C in the summer and - 580C in the winter, offers a natural habitat of animals ranging from the endangered snow leopard and ibex to the white-tailed sea eagle. More than 362 bird species, including some rare migratory birds, can be watched in the area, too. The Uvs Nuur Basin area has barely any industrial development where the small population continues to practice traditional nomadic herding which plays an important role for the conservation of the ecosystem in the region and its pristine nature.
Lake Uvs, the main attraction, sits 743 meters above the sea level, the lowest point in Western Mongolia. Its surface area is 1.2 times larger than Luxembourg - making it Mongolia's largest lake. Fed by 200 rivers and streams, it is quite shallow with an average depth of 12 meters, and has no outlet making it five times more saline than the ocean. The shallow water, which warms up quickly in the sun, is said to make skin smoother, more radiant and healthier, according to locals.
To provide comfort for visitors, the local government built the first 'eco ger camp' at the lake in 2014. The camp plans to open next year providing comfortable beds in a traditional Mongolian "ger" and serve authentic Mongolian food.
Uvs Governor D. Tsendsuren stressed the importance of tourism for the local government by saying, "We are now open to local and foreign investors interested in building resorts and camps at the historical and natural attraction sites. The unique eco system in the Uvs Nuur Basin is like a 'mini earth'. If one wants to experience Antarctica, just come here. We have great steppe, Gobi Desert, oasis, high mountains, lakes, rivers, everything. Here, we have salt craters which are highly beneficial for health. With so much to offer, we are working in cooperation with private sector to develop sustainable eco tourism".
The area is also home to a variety of archeological wonders including 21 deer stones, 40 thousand petroglyphs, 20 stone steles with ancient scripts, and several ruins of ancient monasteries.
Mr Tsendsuren said the area was also well known for its agricultural delights. "Our provincial brand is seabuckthorn," he said. "We have more than 800,000 seabuckthorn trees, soon to reach a million. There are eight companies producing various products with it."
One of the regional delights waiting to be enjoyed by travelers is the natural salt plate dish.
- Mongolia is an independent, parliamentary republic located in Central Asia between Russia and China.
- Mongolia is home of the legendary Genghis Khan, nomadic herders, the Gobi desert, and rich folk traditions.
- The capital city, Ulaanbaatar, offers five-star accommodations and direct links to international hubs
- Travel highlights include horse trekking, visits with nomads, dinosaur fossils, archeological ruins, numerous festivals, & temples.
P Please consider the environment before printing this e-mail.