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Monday, November 10, 2014
Headlines in Italic are ones modified by Cover Mongolia from original
TRQ closed +6.71% to US$3.18 Friday
Turquoise Hill Resources (TRQ) to Release Q3 Earnings on Monday, Analysts Expect US$0.03 EPS
November 8 (Analyst Ratings Network) Turquoise Hill Resources (NYSE:TRQ) is set to issue its Q314 quarterly earnings data on Monday, November 10th. Analysts expect the company to announce earnings of $0.03 per share and revenue of $604.00 million for the quarter.
Shares of Turquoise Hill Resources (NYSE:TRQ) traded up 6.71% during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $3.18. 10,021,151 shares of the company's stock traded hands. Turquoise Hill Resources has a 52 week low of $2.93 and a 52 week high of $4.36. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $3.45 and a 200-day moving average of $3.57. The company has a market cap of $6.399 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 1490.00.
On the ratings front, analysts at Cowen and Company cut their price target on shares of Turquoise Hill Resources from $10.29 to $9.89 in a research note on Wednesday, October 15th. They now have an "outperform" rating on the stock. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the company's stock. The stock presently has an average rating of "Hold" and an average target price of $9.89.
Rio's Mongolian plans remain on the outer after PM's ouster
By Matt Chambers
November 8 (The Australian) NEGOTIATIONS to press ahead with Rio Tinto's planned $US5 billion ($5.8bn) expansion of the Oyu Tolgoi copper and goldmine in Mongolia look set to remain in limbo, with the Mongolian parliament kicking out the Prime Minister and widespread management and board changes at the project.
Two days after Mongolian legislators voted their Prime Minister out, Rio subsidiary Turquoise Hill announced its chairman and chief executive would retire at the end of the year, after less than three years each in the job.
And Rio's Oyu Tolgoi chief executive Craig Kinnell returned to Britain last month for family reasons.
Vancouver-based Turquoise Hill, which Rio owns 51 per cent of, said chairman David Klingner and chief executive Kay Priesly, both former Rio employees, would step down at the start of January and December respectively.
Rio copper development vice president (and Turquoise Hill board member) Jeffrey Tygesen will be appointed chief executive and fellow director Jill Gardiner, a former RBC Canada regional head who has never worked for Rio, will become chairman.
Andrew Woodley, who was running the ill-fated Mozambique coal operation Rio sold for $US50m after buying for $4bn, will become Oyu Tolgoi chief this month. Under Ms Priestly and Mr Klingner, Turquoise Hill brought Oyu Tolgoi into production but oversaw a period of tensions with the government that has seen the valuable underground expansion of the project stalled so far for 16 months.
"The appointments were the result of an extensive succession planning program that has been under way for several months," Turquoise Hill said.
Dr Klingner said he was pleased with the company's development under Ms Priestly.
"Under her leadership, the company emerged debt free in January 2014 following a successful rights offering, significantly reduced corporate costs ... and divested multiple non-core assets," he said. Rio Tinto and Mongolia, which owns 34 per cent of Oyu Tolgoi, have been unable to negotiate a fiscal framework and settle other disagreements over the expansion, which will realise most of the value in the project.
This week's 36 to 30 vote dismissal of Prime Minister Norov Altankhuyag amid reported allegations of financial mismanagement, including slumping foreign investment, corruption and nepotism, does little for confidence that a deal on Oyu Tolgoi is close.
Rio would not comment on the political turmoil..
Mongolia-based miners in limbo after premier ousted – MINING.com, November 7
MSE News for November 7: Top 20 -1.07% to 15,311.52, Turnover ₮30.5 Million
Ulaanbaatar, November 7 (MONTSAME) At the Stock Exchange trades on Friday, a total of 3,639 shares of 6 JSCs were traded costing MNT 30 million 514 thousand and 467.00.
"Mogoin Gol" /2,800 units/, "APU" /559 units/, "Nako Fuel" /178 units/, "Mongol Leather" /42 units/ and "Shariin Gol" /36 units/ were the most actively traded in terms of trading volume, in terms of trading value were "Mogoin Gol" (MNT 28 million), "APU" (MNT two million 71 thousand and 377), "Shariin Gol" (MNT 231 thousand and 250), "Darkhan Foods" (MNT 120 thousand) and "Nako Fuel" (MNT 49 thousand and 840).
The total market capitalization was set at MNT one trillion 540 billion 409 million 27 thousand and 40. The Index of Top-20 JSCs was 15,311.52, decreasing 165.15 units or 1.07% against the previous day.
MSE Weekly News, November 3-7: Top 20 -1.52%, Turnover ₮57.8 Million, T-Bills ₮4.3 Billion
Ulaanbaatar, November 7 (MONTSAME) Five stock trades were held at Mongolia's Stock Exchange on November 3-7 of 2014. In overall, 67 thousand and 187 shares were sold of 40 joint-stock companies totaling MNT four billion 401 million 917 thousand and 957.00.
"Remicon" /six thousand and 112 units/, "Genco Tour Bureau" /three thousand and 600 units/, "Mogoin Gol" /2,822 units/, "Binse" /2,000 units/ and "APU" /2,000 units/ were the most actively traded in terms of trading volume, in terms of trading value--"Mogoin Gol" (MNT 28 million 220 thousand and 80), "APU" (MNT seven million 444 thousand and 467), "Darkhan Nekhii" /MNT five million 752 thousand and 120/, "UB-BUK" /MNT three million and 84 thousand and 480/ and "Material Impex" (MNT two million and 739 thousand).
MSE Issues Formal Apology Over Online Access Failure
November 7 (MSE) Mongolian Stock Exchange apologizes for internet connection failure which happened due to maintenance service of Mongolian Stock Exchange's internet provider company without any previous notice and lasted till 10 35 AM and also for the access failure of Mongolian Stock Exchange trading system
We will try our best to take measures on solving continuous internet traffic connection issues in the future.
BoM MNT Rates: Friday, November 7 Close
October MNT vs USD, CNY Chart:
BoM issues ₮87.6 billion 1-week bills, total outstanding -9.8% to ₮506.6 billion
November 7 (Bank of Mongolia) BoM issues 1 week bills worth MNT 87.6 billion at a weighted interest rate of 12.0 percent per annum /For previous auctions click here/
BoM: Statistics of Financial Information Unit Activity for Q3
November 7 (Bank of Mongolia) --
Will we shame our Great Khan once again?
By Jargalsaikhan "De Facto" Dambadarjaa
November 2 (UB Post) On October 25 of 2012, Parliament approved a resolution to release medium and long-term securities of up to five billion USD on the international market in order to finance the policy to "accelerate the economy, invest in long-term development, and support exports". In one month, the new government sold a one billion USD ten-year bond with an interest rate of 5.1 percent, and in January of 2013, sold another five million USD five-year bond with an interest rate of 4.1 percent on the international market. Usually, it is the side giving credit that names a bond program with a name seeped in national pride. However, the Mongolian government, the side borrowing, named this program the "Chinggis Bond". Chinggis Khan would probably be ashamed, for he conquered the world; he didn't gather debt.
Five hundred million USD and one billion USD of the Khan's debt will need to be repaid in January of 2018 and December of 2022 respectively. In addition, 615.6 million USD in interest is to be paid on an semi-annual basis.
Yet, after two years, the Minister who initiated the bond program (and gave it the Khan's name) has resigned and his ministry is no more. Of the 1.5 billion USD in bond proceeds, 60 percent (or 882 million USD) has already been dispersed and the remaining 40 percent is in savings and is to be allocated to projects in the coming years. Of the dispersed amount, 610 million USD will be repaid from the federal budget (allocated as 252 million USD for roads 252, 40 million USD for the "Gudamj" project, 102 million USD for infrastructure, 20 million USD for power plants, and 194 million USD for new railroads) and 272 million USD will be repaid from project proceeds: the purchase of a Boeing 767 for 2.9 million USD, state housing projects for 60 million USD, agriculture and light industry projects for 152 million USD, 14 million USD in construction, and 27 million USD to fund 888 projects to increase export and replace imports.
CAN THE DEBT BE REPAID ON TIME?
Debt accrued in domestic currency is referred to as government debt, while debt accrued in foreign currency is sovereign debt. The reason for which is that the country itself is the guarantee for foreign debt. If the combined amount of these two types of debt rises above a certain percentage of the economy, the situation becomes risky for both the borrower and the lender. If a household accrues debt that is many times more than their income, they might even lose their home. By law, Mongolian national debt cannot increase to more than 40 percent of our gross domestic product (GDP). However by the third quarter of 2014, the debt level had reached 50 percent. Our government's total debt is 13.2 trillion MNT, of which 3.9 is foreign debt, 2.1 is domestic securities, 2.7 is foreign securities (Chinggis and Samurai bonds), 2.3 is government guarantees, and 1.6 is the debt of state-owned enterprises. The loans of state-owned enterprises working in the red are almost equal to the Khan's debt.
Also, the depreciation of the tugrik by 30 percent during the previous year has increased the debt to be paid in U.S. dollars accordingly. The parliamentary approval without knowledge of precisely which projects were to be financed and how it would be repaid goes back, once again, to the issue of "dual roles". Since the Minister of Economic Development sees the freely dispersed bond proceeds as a "heavenly endowment" and the Prime Minister has stated, "our children will pay for it", we still haven't fully decided where to allocate the proceeds, even after two years.
Because the bonds will be repaid from the federal budget – or in other words, by the taxpayers – the credit risk of Mongolia has increased sharply. By taking into consideration the pressures on the federal budget, third parties have recently decreased the credit rating of Mongolia to negative or risky.
IF WE CANNOT REPAY IN TIME…
It is obvious that if we cannot repay the debt accrued in the name of our children, our Great Khan will be shamed once again. Especially since the probability of shaming our Khan is growing increasingly high.
First, three years from now, the government might proclaim that they have no plans to pay 500 million USD in one day, which is equal to the entire federal budget investment, and that it is the problem of the next government. In the draft of the 2015 federal budget, nothing was allocated to the principal of the debt, only the interest payments.
Second, instead of paying attention to the bond proceeds, the Ministry of Finance has drafted a bill to allow national debt to reach 70 percent of GDP and is lobbying for its parliamentary approval.
Third, the restructuring of the ministries is once again decreasing the effectiveness of the public institutions, and negatively impacting their ability to operate in the long-term. Besides which, in the current environment, where we are facing economic crisis with income from mining operations decreasing, foreign investments declining drastically, inflation increasing, and the tugrik dramatically depreciating, the return on the bond investments is also in decline. If Mongolia cannot repay the bond in time, it is possible that Mongolia's default will be proclaimed throughout the international community and Mongolian accounts held in foreign countries will be frozen. Mongolia's reputation will fall and, even worse, the trust of the international community in Mongolia will disappear. It will require a decade of effort to reclaim our reputation and the speed of development will be decreased drastically. Our country's credit risk will rise and the price of foreign debt will increase. When the country's credit rating falls, it also holds back private companies and makes pulling foreign investment very expensive.
Thus, the development of the economy will be met with many challenges, it will be difficult to be competitive, imports will increase, and the tugrik will depreciate even further.
Economic development requires investment. Because a developing country like ours was unable to implement policies to wisely manage foreign investment to drive growth, we had to start relying on foreign debt.
In order to not shame the Great Khan, it is up to everyone to pay down this "great debt" through his or her taxes. When will the Mongolian government start implementing intelligent policies?
Trans. by G.Munkh-Ariun
2014 Prosperity Index: Mongolia - 52nd, Up 5 Spots from 2013
Mongolia ranks 52nd globally in the 2014 Prosperity index, having risen five places since last year.
Mongolia's best performance is in the Social Capital sub-index, where it ranks 25th in 2014.
Mongolia's lowest performance is in the Health sub-index, where it ranks 91st in 2014.
Mongolia — Back on the Right Track?
October 30 (FTI Consulting) After years of soaring growth driven by the natural resources market, the Mongolian economy has taken a turn recently, with official reports indicating a decline in GDP and foreign direct investment. In an effort to address growing uncertainty around the market, the Mongolian government has now taken several measures to once again attract foreign interest and encourage potential investors to return to the market. FTI Consulting's man on-the-ground, Alex Horbasz, takes a closer look at these regulatory changes and what impact they could have on foreign investors.
By Jargalsaikhan "De Facto" Dambadarjaa
November 9 (UB Post) Why must there be taxes? It's because it was decided that citizens were all to contribute to financing the government, whose primary role is to organize security to protect the three basic rights of people: life, liberty, and property. Through social progress, the government's duties were expanded to provide education and protect health. Of the one million people that make up Mongolia's labor force, 18 percent work in government, law enforcement, education, or healthcare.
The funds to provide wages, facilities, and transportation for these 180,000 citizens are accumulated by taxing the portion of the population creating material wealth. The number of taxpayers is about 400,000, after subtracting the 100,000 who are abroad, the 100,000 unemployed, and the 220,000 who run businesses off the radar. This means that one taxpayer is paying the costs of government services on behalf of 7.5 people.
The taxes in Mongolia are divided into income, capital, and sales taxes. Because our country is almost solely dependent on the mining industry, the royalties from public goods (mineral reserves) are no less than the income tax collected from individuals and businesses. A tax ratio like this, especially in a developing country like ours, where the citizens cannot oversee public governance in its entirety, leads to a prevalence of corruption and bribery.
The mineral markets have their own development periods. When prices and sales fall due to foreign markets, tax revenues fall along with them and the government usually ends up borrowing to make up for its bloated spending. If the government cannot restrain its spending and increase the revenues from sectors outside of mining, the chances of that country being credited to borrow again decrease. Consequently, there is no choice but to raise the other types of taxes.
Currently, the Mongolian government is looking for all the ways it can increase tax revenue. Mongolia is a country with a heavy tax burden. Every company pays 10 percent of their income in VAT, 10 percent of their payroll goes to income tax, another 20 percent to Social Security and health insurance, and finally, 10 percent of their net revenue. This comes out to a total tax burden of 47 percent of a company's income.
This tax rate has become too heavy a burden on the nation's roughly 90,000 enterprises and most can no longer afford to pay. Due to this, the Mongolian Chamber of Commerce and the Business Council have urged authorities to cut taxes in half. Even though half the companies are bankrupt, they are not allowed to close down. The local tax authorities want to increase their ranks so that they can work to collect taxes from all the companies.
In order to provide bonuses for the tax authority workers, who work long hours on little pay, the Head of the General Taxation Authority released the procedures for providing bonuses on the implementation of performance agreements, and these procedures were updated on June 27, 2013. These procedures are based on a Ministry of Finance resolution to provide incentives for decreased spending and increased fiscal income, which was approved in 2007, and later updated on November 15, 2012.
Thus, this "race" to increase fiscal income by exceeding the planned budget has continued for the duration of several governments, has brought private businesses to their knees, and provided the foundation for bribery. In actuality, working at the tax department, in customs, the courts, or any other similar oversight department, still provides people with the opportunity to find income that can be many times greater than a civil service worker's actual wages. Due to this, politicians have been using such positions as "currency" to pay off their election debts.
The Independent Authority against Corruption (IAAC) has reported that in the tax divisions of the capital districts, 60 percent of the tax revenues that were collected in excess of the budget was being used for bonuses.
For example, in 2013, the Sukhbaatar District tax authority was able to collect an excess of 4.2 billion MNT. It was granted 800 million MNT in bonuses, of which over 40 percent (360 million MNT) was given to the General Taxation Authority, 40 million MNT to the Head of the Tax Division, 40 million MNT to the Head of the Finance and Treasury Division, 54 million MNT to the Head of the Tax Collection Department, and 2.2 million was given to each officer. The Bayangol District taxation department was awarded 574 million MNT, and 220 million MNT went to the General Taxation Authority, 20 million MNT to the division head, 12 million MNT each to five senior officers, and 5 million MNT to one senior officer. In Bayanzurkh district, the tax authorities were awarded a bonus of 1 billion 174 million MNT, of which 273 million MNT went to the division head and 528.7 million MNT was divided among the 32 officers. Songinokhairkhan District received 501 million MNT, of which 75 million MNT went to the division head. Khan-Uul District and Chingeltei District each received 416 and 250 million MNT respectively to share among their workers. What kind of plan is this?
The core of the problem is not that the bonuses are huge, or that they go against article 38 of the Tax Law, which states: "the monthly bonuses awarding an officer will not exceed his/her monthly salary." The problem is that the Ministry of Finance feels that these bonuses do not go against any of their resolutions or procedures.
This all proves that the tax officers are using the uncertainty of laws and regulations to plunder the assets of others, as well as forcing some people to pay bribes. It is indication of how foolish it would be for anyone to talk of developing the private sector or re-investing in business under such conditions.
Taxes should be low, and everyone should pay them without being forced. The more value that people get to receive from their labor, the more value they will create. If they pay more than half their income in taxes, the motivation to work and use resources efficiently decreases. Let us Mongolians unite for fair taxes and intelligent taxes.
Trans. by G.Munkh-Ariun
Mogi: being the weekend, local media is failing to report developments in English:
After 2 days of meeting, only things decided at DP National Consultative Committee meeting were 1) not kick out the 8 MPs from DP for voting against Altankhuyag, 2) not to ratify Altankhuyag's cooperation deal with MPRP, 3) Gave DP parliament caucus the authority to negotiate with parties with parliament seats on establishing a government coalition.
NCC holds a meeting to discuss DP's internal issues
By Ch. Khaliun
November 9 (UB Post) The National Coordinating Committee (NCC) of the Democratic Party (DP) held a meeting to discuss several internal issues of the party, particularly the schedule for the DP's Assembly, a decision from the Inspection Committee (IC) on the expulsion of its eight members who voted for dismissal of the Prime Minister, and the issue of selecting a new head of the party.
Beginning the meeting, Head of the DP N.Altankhuyag and E.Bat-Uul gave speeches. The meeting was chaired by N.Altankhuyag, E.Bat-Uul and Secretary-General Ts.Oyundari, but participants decided to change the meeting's leaders. After fierce debate, the participants decided to choose E.Bat-Uul, Chairman of the City Council D.Battulga, and Governor of Sukhbaatar District D.Badarsan as leaders of the meeting, finishing the first day of the meeting.
The following day, the NCC discussed the party's major issues.
A total of 174 members attended the meeting, from which the majority decided that it was unnecessary to discuss the issue of changing its party leader.
The next issue was the expulsion of the party's eight members for contributing to the PM's dismissal and the collapse of his government, as well as calling for accountability from the seven members who didn't attend the plenary session at such a significant moment.
The participants decided to not expel the members who voted against the party, because they believe that the resolution of the IC violates the party's regulations, rejecting the call for accountability of those members.
During the two-day meeting, the DP's NCC released a resolution to cancel the agreement established between the DP and Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party (MPRP).
Participants scheduled the DP's Assembly for next month and decided to discuss the issue of the party's head and review the program "Mongol Khun 2020".
Who will be chosen as the next PM?
November 9 (UB Post) As soon as the "Government for Changes" collapsed and Prime Minister N.Altankhuyag handed over the State Seal, rumors among the public arose about who would be the next Prime Minister?
D.Dorligjav, Ch.Saikhanbileg, Lu.Gantumur, Z.Enkhbold, R.Amarjargal and Kh.Battulga were at the top list for potential candidates to serve as the next Prime Minister, according to the public's speculations.
But before the new PM is elected, many issues need to be resolved in the Democratic Party, including resolving violations among the factions in DP.
Whether the DP can hold the authority of the government or not is under public scrutiny. Also, will the recently signed cooperation agreement between N.Altankhuyag and N.Enkhbayar remain valid?
The DP has a 20 year history in Mongolian government. Any heads of the factions and groups in the DP are looking ahead to the 2016 election and attempting to recover the party's honor.
The DP has many choices for choosing parties and coalitions to cooperate with and establish their government. The choices they have are the Justice Coalition, the MPP, or working with the Justice Coalition and individual members of the MPP.
Anyhow, a new government will be established soon, but the most significant issue is that there have to be ministers who know their sectors and make policy to undo the mistakes of the former government.
On the other hand, the "double deel" issue is also being raised – whether or not parliament members wearing a "double deel" should work in the government.
The public waits with interest for a response from the DP.
Brief profiles of possible candidates:
State General Prosecutor D.Dorligjav has served as the Deputy Minister, Minister of Defense, head of the DP, general secretary of the DP and head of the Office of the President. The President has been actively lobbying for him. Most of the members of the DP suggest that he remain the state general prosecutor.
Speaker of Parliament Z.Enkhbold has served as the head of the State Property Committee, advisor to the Speaker, and general secretariat of the DP. The "Shonkhor" faction supports his candidacy.
Head of the Cabinet Secretariat of Government Ch.Saikhanbileg worked as the president of the Mongolian Youth Federation, Minister of Education (currently the Ministry of Education and Science), head of the Information, Communications Technology and Post Authority, and head of the Press and Public Relations Department of the Government. He has enough support if the representatives of the National Coordinating Committee of the DP make up the electors.
Member of Parliament Kh.Battulga has served as Minister of Roads, Transportation and Urban Development and Minister of Industry and Agriculture. He participated actively in the collapse of Altankhuyag's government. Even if he is nominated, he is unlikely to receive a majority vote from the National Coordinating Committee.
Member of Parliament R.Amarjargal worked as the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Prime Minister. If the DP can relieve economic hardship and be elected in the next term, he is the most likely candidate for Prime Minister. The public has great expectations to promote him to Prime Minister, but he is not relevant to any factions so he is unlikely to be elected.
Minister of Education and Science L.Gantumur is not connected to any stories of corruption and is one of the most well-spoken members of the DP. He might be a strong competitor.
DP open talks to choose new PM: official
November 7 (AFP) Mongolian lawmakers will meet Friday to start talks on choosing a new prime minister for the resource-rich country, an official told AFP, but observers say it could take weeks to fix the fractured government.
The poll comes after Norov Altankhuyag was voted out by the country's parliament, the Great Hural, on Wednesday amid accusations of cronyism and a struggling economy that has suffered from slumping foreign investment.
The opposition Mongolian People's Party had called last month for the vote of no confidence in Altankhuyag, who has also faced criticism from factions within his own party, the Democratic Party (DP).
"Members of parliament will meet on Friday to discuss the new prime minister," said a spokeswoman for the DP, the majority party in the ruling coalition.
The spokesman did not say how long the talks were expected to last, but DP members are also thought to decide on a new cabinet that can be proposed to their coalition partners, observers say.
Political commentator and television presenter Jargalsaikhan Dambadarjaa told AFP the favourite to become new prime minister was cabinet secretary Saikhanbileg Chimed, a graduate of George Washington University.
"It will take a couple of weeks and we will have to go with an acting prime minister, which is not a good situation," he added.
Mongolia has enjoyed world-beating growth in recent years -- peaking at 17.5 percent in 2011 -- on the back of a resources boom -- mainly coal, copper and iron ore.
But that slowed to 5.3 percent in the first half of this year, and the country also faces rising inflation and a weakening currency.
"While the prime minister was skilled at keeping a coalition together, he has been heavily criticised for leading Mongolia into a situation of economic crisis," Julian Dierkes, a Mongolia expert at the University of British Columbia, told AFP.
Mongolia, for decades a tightly controlled Soviet satellite, shook off communism nearly a quarter of a century ago and has emerged as a vibrant parliamentary democracy.
DP oversight committee ejects 8 members who voted against Altankhuyag
November 7 (news.mn) The Watch Committee of the Democratic Party of Mongolia held a meeting on Thursday to review the issue of the DP caucus members who gave no confidence votes for the party leader and called for the resignation of the Prime Minister and his government.
The Watch Committee issued a resolution to eject the 8 DP members who accepted the demand from the opposition party and voted against Prime Minister Altankhuyag. However, the resolution issued by the Watch Committee will be effective only after the National Consultative Committee of the Democratic Party agrees to it.
The meeting of the National Consultative Committee of the Democratic Party is scheduled to be held today, at 3:00 p.m.
The National Consultative Committee of the Democratic Party is expected to hotly debate the current political situation, who will be the next party leader, and how to form a new government.
City Council Representatives also need to remove their 'double deels'
November 6 (UB Post) Representatives in the Ulaanbaatar City Council are employing a "double deel" standard, not just ministers and members of the parliament.
The concept of "double deel" means one person is appointed to two different roles that create a conflict of interests.
In accordance with the law, the City Council is a legal subject that has who are elected through free elections and are responsible for resolving social and economic issues in the best interest of citizens.
The City Council has the authority to approve the City Governor's action program, discuss reports and evaluate them, check the fulfillment of decisions made by the council, approve the city budget, and set the amount of some taxes and fees. But today, many representatives of the City Council are leading executive level government organizations that have to report their activity to the council.
It is a big concern because the City Council has 45 members, but more than half of them are working in executive governance and running their own businesses in addition to their City Council work.
For instance, City Governor E.Bat-Uul, his five deputies and advisors working in the City Council. How fair can the evaluations and conclusions drawn about the Governor's work be?
More money is spent on double deel employees because the representatives of the City Council receive monthly cash bonuses. They also have extra expenditures, including private cars, cell phones, assistant officers, and advisors.
The President initiated a bill to ban members of Government from becoming Members of Parliament. The bill was discussed several times and was not approved. Recently, another Member of Parliament was appointed to a position, but voluntarily resigned due to his position on the "double deel".
Consequently, inter-governance principles fail and the work of the state is lost.
City Council representatives wearing a "double deel"
1. Ulaanbaatar City Governor E.Bat-Uul
2. Deputy Head of Roads, Transportation and Infrastructure of the Ulaanbaatar Governor N.Gantumur
3. Deputy Head of Employment and Social Protection of the Ulaanbaatar Governor Ts.Buyandalai
4. Deputy Head of Ecology and Green Development of the Ulaanbaatar Governor T.Bat-Erdene
5. Deputy Head of Urban Development and Investment of the Ulaanbaatar Governor S.Ochirbat
6. Deputy Head of Social Development of the Ulaanbaatar Governor Ts.Enkhgerel
7. Director of the State Housing Corporation A.Gantulga
8. Deputy Head of Trade and Development Bank D.Khurelbaatar
9. Head of Water Supply and Sewage of Ulaanbaatar S.Unen
10. Deputy Minister of Health and Interim Advisor of Ulaanbaatar Governor J.Amarsanaa
11. Governor of Sukhbaatar District D.Badarsan
12. Deputy Head of the Ulaanbaatar Heating Network Company and Executive Committee Member of Ger District Re-planning L.Naranbaatar
13. Head of the Ulaanbaatar City Investment Authority L.Narantuya
14. Governor of Bayangol District D.Orosoo
15. Head of the Public Transportation Corporation Ts.Odontungalag
16. Interim Advisor of Domestic Inspection of the Ulaanbaatar Governor Ts.Altantsetseg
17. Director of the National Auto Transportation Center T.Boldbaatar
18. Head of the Ulaanbaatar Incorporated Company D.Enkhsaikhan
19. General Director of APU Trading D.Enkkhsaikhan
20. Head of the Auto Trade Complex D.Baidrag
21. Head of Finance Department at APU Trading B.Tuvshin
22. Project Manager of the Urban Services and Ger Area Development Program and Manager of Khan Ger Resort L.Saintugs
23. Governor of Chingeltei District D.Ganbold
24. Deputy Governor of Songinokhairkahn District R.Dagva
25. Director of the National Park B.Saranchimeg
MP G. Uyanga Submits Bill to Reign in Unregulated Pawn Shops
Ulaanbaatar, November 4 (MONTSAME) A member of parliament Ms G.Uyanga submitted on November 4 a draft law on collateral for loans to the Speaker Z.Enkhbold.
Many years passed since the pawn shops had taken over the roles to provide cash for people in need of immediate loans. "There are laws and norms that regulate relations between other financial subjects and customers such as laws on banks, saving and credit cooperatives and on other financial organizations, but an integral part of the financial sector--the pawn shops, responsible for loans, still have been operating without any specific regulations," she explained.
On the motives to develop this draft law, Ms Uyanga named a necessity to regulate the financial sphere that currently lacks such regulations and to eliminate the consequences on society because of that lack.
"Corruption as Threat to National Security" Conference Runs
By B. Amarsaikhan
Ulaanbaatar, November 7 (MONTSAME) The Standing Committee on security and foreign policy organized on November 6 a theory-and-practice conference themed "Corruption as a threat to national security" jointly with the US Asia Foundation (AF), Authority Against Corruption, Women Leadership foundation and State University of Mongolia, at the State House.
Present at the meeting were Vice Speaker L.Tsog, the head of the Standing Committee Ts.Oyunbaatar MP, a head of Standing Committee on justice D.Ganbat MP, a Country-Director of the AF for Mongolia Meloni Lindberg, a department head of the Corruption Combating Agency (CCA) E.Amarbat, as well as representatives of public and private organizations. The gathered discussed the obstacles faced while seeking the most efficient anti-corruption approaches and developing their implementation plans.
L.Tsog thanked Ms Lindberg and other representatives and expressed a confidence that the meeting would serve as a decisive action toward combating corruption. A chairman of the Standing committee on security and foreign policy Ts.Oyunbaatar presented a paper on "Corruption as a threat to National Security". He emphasized an importance of "A Glass Account Law" in combating corruption and improving state services. According to him, the 2012 election PR costs of the State Great Khural were quadrupled against 2008.
After this, Ms Lindberg addressed the meeting and appreciated being a co-organizer of the meeting. The Asia Foundation mainly focuses on promoting democracy and good governance in Mongolia, she said. This meeting is important as the participants would reach a general understanding about high-class corruption and discover correct policy approaches. "The Asia Foundation has been realizing a project on strengthening a transparency and governance (STAGE) in Mongolia in the past two years, it became the basis of this meeting," she added.
According to B.Bat-Otgon, the head of the CCA department for prevention and enlightenment, the agency investigated 351 cases involving 693 people in 2012 and 2013, 372 of whom were from state administrations and services' agencies. The CCA also disclosed MNT 123 billion of damage and managed to have 9.4 billion covered. The CCA issues a proposal on amending the Law against Corruption and the Law on Prevention of Crimes, and on reflecting the recommendations by this meeting to the National Strategy against Corruption.
The participants also raised important matters on intensifying a prevention of corruption and enlightenment of people, risk-of-corruption assessments on drafts being discussed by the Parliament, developing a strategy program on combating corruption.
'Gal Undesten' announces lawsuit against Areva in international court
November 7 (news.mn) Activists of "Gal Undesten" (Fire Nation), an environmental and human rights movement, announced that it will bring a lawsuit to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) against the French company Kogegobi LLC if it does not agree to their demands to halt operations.
Gal Undesten delivered a demand for the halt of operations of the French company Kogegobi LLC, which is conducting explorations, evaluations and research in the country.
The activists of the environmental and human rights movement stated that the company ignores the laws of Mongolia and decisions by local authorities, and that it has violated the legal rights and interests of local residents through its illegal operations in the country.
Gal Undesten believes that the company's illegal activities cause irreparable harm and loss to the environment and the area's residents.
The activists demanded that the company halt operations within 72 hours and leave the country.
The activists also noted that if the company does not accept their demands, they will file a lawsuit with the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
Mogi: the decision was made a while ago, remember reporting it on the newswire
UK Court Dismisses Standard Bank Claim Against UB Railways on Lack of Jurisdiction
By Georgina Squire, Rosling King LLP
United Kingdom, November 7 (Lexology) This relates to a claim brought by a bank incorporated in England against a number of parties (one of which was situated outside of the jurisdiction) and considered whether the English court was the correct forum for the dispute to be heard.
The first claimant was a bank incorporated in England. The first defendant (Just) was a Mongolian company, which was engaged with the sale to Mongolian companies of petroleum products which it bought from countries outside Mongolia. The second to sixth defendants were companies associated with Just. The seventh defendant was a major customer of the eighth defendant, UBR, which was owned by, among others, the governments of Russia and Mongolia and maintained and operated the railway network in Mongolia.
Standard Bank's main claims were against the first defendant, as borrower, and the second to sixth defendants, as guarantors, following default by the first defendant in the repayment of substantial sums of money advanced by Standard Bank, under a written agreement governed by English law. It was common ground that debts governed by Mongolian law and owed by UBR to the first defendant had been validly assigned under Mongolian law to Standard Bank.
Standard Bank claimed against UBR under what it contended, but UBR denied, that there was a collateral contractual undertaking by UBR. Standard Bank applied, without notice, for permission to serve the proceedings on UBR out of the jurisdiction, contending that it had a good arguable case that, among other things, its claims against UBR fell within a particular jurisdictional gateway and that there was a real issue to be tried as between Standard Bank and those defendants and UBR was a necessary / proper party to the claims made against those defendants. The bank was granted permission for service outside the jurisdiction in respect of the eighth defendant, whose debts to the first defendant had been assigned to the bank.
UBR applied for an order setting aside the claim form and a declaration that the English court lacked jurisdiction.
Three main issues arose for the Court to decide: Firstly, was Standard Bank's claim against UBR sufficiently strong to give rise to a serious issue to be tried on the merits and, accordingly whether permission to serve a claim form out of the jurisdiction, under CPR 6.36 had been justified.
Secondly, a question arose as to whether Standard Bank had satisfied the requirement in gateway (3) in proving that UBR was a necessary or proper party to the claims against the other defendants. UBR submitted that Standard Bank had not satisfied the second requirement. Standard Bank contended that UBR was a necessary party into the enquiry into Just's discharge of its obligations under a facilities agreement in 2012 and that the assignment and in particular its obligations as pledger of benefits under the UBR sale contract. It contended that the claims were closely bound up with one another.
The third issue regarded whether or not the English court was the proper forum. UBR relied on the alleged non-disclosure by Standard Bank, which, it contended, ought to have drawn the court's attention to a jurisdiction agreement in the UBR supply contract which, under Mongolian law, constituted an exclusive jurisdiction clause.
The Commercial Court held that the bank had failed to show that UBR was a necessary and proper defendant to the claim. Further, England was not the proper forum. The application to set aside service and the declaration sought were granted.
This case provides a helpful reminder that the correct forum must be considered carefully when bringing an action against parties residing outside of the UK.
Canrim Resources October 2014 Monthly Letter
November 9 --
To the Shareholders of Canrim Resources Pte Ltd.,
October saw Canrim complete the formation of its proprietary platform for license application and development, while simultaneously oversubscribing its seed financing. Maintaining a low burn rate, Canrim is now in a holding position, preparing for MRAM to re-commence license issuance.
With the current political environment in a state of flux, the issuance of minerals licenses which commenced in late August, with the tendering of the first 14 previously rescinded 106-licenses, was halted. The government knowingly in need of revenue and FDI, it is anticipated that once the noise of out Parliament settles, mineral license issuance will continue forward.
During this period Canrim is actively tracking parliamentary news as well as general Mongolian sentiment. Mining sentiment in Mongolia continues to show improvement as the Mongolian Government announced plans to form a joint venture with Centerra Gold, a project which has been in relative limbo for several years. A sizable gold project this is one of several encouraging pieces of October minerals related news indicating to our team that Mongolia has the ability to recover from its mistakes of the past several years.
Mongolian Economic Update:
1. October FX reserves rise 13.0%
2. October 02: Government plans JV with Centerra Gold on Gatsuurt mine
3. October 06: Newcom awarded 50MW wind farm permit in Tsogttsetsii
4. October 07: Parliament endorses restructuring to trim costs/streamline government
5. October 24: Mongolia embraces standard gauge railway to lower transport costs
6. October 30: Mongolia gains 4 spots to #72 in Ease of Doing Business Rankings
We look forward to updating you again on our progress and developments in Mongolia. If you would like to learn more about Canrim Resources, I encourage you to contact us directly at email@example.com. Our team will be delighted to speak with you.
The struggles of Sainshand Industrial Park
November 2 (UB Post) In the middle of October, I went to the Sainshand Industrial Complex. I hoped that the construction work of the complex was operating effectively, but locked doors and dark tunnels welcomed me on my arrival.
Three years have been spent building the complex, which is still not operational, and the project's executing company has been unable to pay its workers.
Bechtel Corporation of the U.S. was selected as a general advisor to the project in 2011, and Mongolia paid 2.4 million USD for the project's master plan, preliminary prefeasibility studies, a contract for the plant's establishment, financing structure, and planning.
At the time the two sides signed the cooperation agreement, Vice Chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission L.Zorig emphasized, "The impact of the project on the Mongolian economy is much higher than the Oyu Tolgoi and Tavan Tolgoi projects."
During the first phase of the project, the relevant officials noted that over 10,000 workers would work on the construction of the complex, 2,400 people would be provided with jobs during the exploitation process, and a new settlement for 21,000 residents would be established.
But in reality, everything is quite different from what the officials were promoting.
Vice Minister of the Industry and Agriculture B.Tsogtgerel noted, "There are environmental and political issues to building the complex. If these problems are fixed, the construction work will be conducted effectively. This issue is beyond our ministry and the vice minister's authority."
There is a clear estimation that an investment of over 11 billion USD is needed to build the Sainshand Industrial Complex: 4.33 billion USD for constructing the infrastructure and establishing a settlement, and 6.67 billion USD to build the plant. The total cost of the project is several times higher than the gross domestic product, so the Sainshand Industrial Complex Company aimed to cooperate with domestic and foreign investors.
But who will invest in a place where the railway and electricity haven't been established yet?
If the state could release 200 to 300 million USD for the establishment of its infrastructure, it would be easier to introduce the project to foreign companies to attract investment. Unfortunately, the state budget did not reflect any funds for the project last year, or even this year.
The Sainshand Industrial Complex Company has been unable to pay its workers since April, and it owes a debt of 300 to 400 million MNT to the social guarantee fund.
One of their workers said, "Due to the lack of funding, a financial statement was sent to the workers and many workers were laid off. Currently, very few full-time workers, especially engineers, are working in Dornogovi Province. They did not receive a single tugrug as a part of their salary."
D.Ganbold, the head of the Heavy Industry Department, expressed that the Sainshand Industrial Complex funding issue was discussed twice during parliamentary sessions, but it did not gain support.
Isn't it regrettable to leave the project after thinking about how much money was spent on it (2.4 million USD for the master plan and then 14 billion MNT from the state budget)?
The Sainshand Industrial Complex included coke, cathode copper, iron pellet, cement and steel producing factories. Among them, the steel producing factory was expected to lead the rest in productivity.
The steel factory was planned to be capable of producing two to five million tons of steel per year. The Fluor Corporation, which conducts engineering and construction activity, concluded that it was able to build this plant in Mongolia.
Also, three big foreign companies expressed their willingness to cooperate with Mongolia to establish the steel producing factory.
An official of the Heavy Industry Department underlined that Mongolia is able to become like Taiwan, where equipment for many small and medium enterprises is produced.
Based on these projections, project supporters believe that the GDP could increase by 20 to 30 percent and a significant change would be brought to our economy.
Fluor suggested that Mongolia's per capita GDP could reach 10,000 USD if the complex was at full operational capacity.
Whether the complex is saved or not now depends on the decisions of the State.
The Sainshand Industrial Complex, which has laid off its workers and has over 300 million MNT in debt, is not able to make an independent move.
The Vice Minister of Industry and Agriculture said, "We can't give an accurate answer on when the complex can be built. It will be built after three years, when the railway is constructed."
"New Railway" Project Paper Works 65% Complete
November 7 (infomongolia.com) In November 2014, Executive Director of the state-owned "Mongolian Railway" Company P.Batsaikhan reported that a blueprint for "New Railway" project to construct over 1,800 km of railroad is accomplished.
In addition, Japanese "Nippon Koei" Co., Ltd, who had won an open tender in 2013, has been executing the paper works and as of today, this work is undertaken at 65% of completion. Also, in order to implement this project about five thousand employees are required, adds P.Batsaikhan.
In the frameworks of implementing the "State Policy on Railroad", the authorized "Mongolian Railway" JSC announced an open tender for "New Railway" project to select financial, legal and technical advisor company in February 2013. After which, "Mongolian Railway" and "Nippon Koei" had signed a Contract of Cooperation on "Technical Advice Service Provider" on May 14, 2013.
Under the project, over 1,800 km of railroad will be constructed in the routes of Ukhaa Khudag (Tavan Tolgoi) – Sainshand – Baruun-Urt – Khuut – Choibalsan, Choibalsan – Ereentsav, Khuut – Bichigt, Khuut – Numrug as well as between Tavan Tolgoi – Gashuun Sukhait and Arts Suuri – Erdenet.
In October 2014, Parliament of Mongolia approved to construct new railway between Tavan Tolgoi – Gashuun Sukhait and Khuut – Bichigt using narrow gauge of 1,435 mm, and between Arts Suuri – Erdenet, Tavan Tolgoi – Sainshand – Baruun-Urt – Khuut – Choibalsan, and Khuut – Numrug under broad gauge of 1,520 mm.
Biochar: Answer to Global Warming?
November 9 (UB Post) Professors and scientists of the Mongolian State University of Agriculture (MSUA) manufactured and supplied 10 tons of biochar to Oyu Tolgoi LLC. Biochar is not only beneficial for reducing global warming and has been dubbed a "technology to save the earth", ranked third after solar and wind energy.
Professor at the School of Engineering of the MSUA B.Munkhbat who led the team that produced biochar gave a very informative interview about biochar production.
Based on which studies and technology did you manufacture biochar?
Research work began in 2008. There are several ways of producing biochar. Studies were initially aimed towards manufacturing technologies and equipment. Our objective was to invent an easy-to-use stove made from highly advanced technology and equipment with simple structure that doesn't require special skills allowing anybody to function it.
After studying many types of stoves, we got a patent for a new stove that sucks air from the inside and ignites from the top. Later, we needed to determine technological regime for the stove and biochar raw materials such as dung, manure, Blackwood, pine tree, birch bark, and sawdust. We also researched about how to extract biochar from raw materials. At this stage, we needed to change the design of the stove and altered the diameter of a hole for letting in primary air accordingly to raw material properties.
Many scientists across the world determined the best burning temperature for getting the best quality biochar is 500 to 700 degrees Celsius. Our research also came out the same. In 2013, we saw it was correct to develop biochar studies in Mongolia and established the Mongolian Biochar Research Institute (MoBRI) of the MSUA. We worked towards creating a bio bank containing all records of getting biochar from all types of raw material in Mongolia. It was necessary to have specialized personnel for biochar production. Therefore, two doctorates were educated in Japan and China. One of them is running our management. We're currently training six post-graduate degree course students. Our next research work is on reusing oil and heat, emitted during biochar extraction process.
Mongolia has over 60 million livestock. Locals in gobi (desert) and western provinces use manure and dried and compressed dung as fuel while provinces such as Selenge, Bulgan and Khuvsgul don't use manure. They don't use collected trees from forest cleaning.
We started this research because biochar production is not only beneficial to the environment but also profitable for the economy. Besides using meat, milk, wool, cashmere and leather, herders can manufacture products with animal manure and compressed dung for getting revenue.
What can this fuel (biochar) be used for?
The president of the International Biochar Initiative said that the only way to stop global warming is to manufacture biochar at large quantity. According to biochar studies, although emissions from dung can't be seen by naked eyes, the biodegradation process continues for five to six years. Toxic substances, including nitrous oxide and methane, are released into the air as a result of this biodegradation. On the other hand, smoke is created from burning dung or manure. Converting every biochar into solid form has two significances. Firstly, toxic substance will not be released into the atmosphere. Secondly, burying biochar into soil will improve its fertility and create useful bacteria for plant growth.
Potato harvest increased by 35 percent when our researchers experimented by inserting biochar into soil a month before harvesting. The number of useful bacteria in a gram of soil also increased. Specifically, before biochar was put into a gram of soil, the soil contained three million useful bacteria but a month after inserting biochar, the number increased to 300 million. This is convenient for agricultural technical restoration of fields and the mining sector. Organic and mineral fertilizers are put into soil annually. However, biochar can be preserved for 500 to 1,000 years after inserting it once.
We established a small plant capable of manufacturing 50 to 800 kg biochar a day in Mandal soum, Selenge Province thanks to getting financing for constructing a small-sized biochar plant after participating in an innovation project contest and getting support from the MSUA. We produced trial products and supplied it to Oyu Tolgoi LLC. Oyu Tolgoi LLC will try them out on soil next spring. We'll be able to see how the products recover and improve Gobi's decertified zone soil.
Apart from putting it into soil, biochar can be used for roasting meat and filtering water as well as air. Biochar is used in South Korea's high-filtered cigarettes. Legal environment and regulations are causing us difficulty. For instance, legal environment isn't available if I wanted to manufacture biochar fertilizer and establish my own company. An extremely good law for innovation was passed. However, there isn't any opportunity for implementing it. It states that the state will support people executing innovations by purchasing their products. Yet this is conflicting with the Public Procurement Law.
Can anything besides tree and manure be used as raw material for biochar?
Any sort of organic waste can be used as raw material, including bone, paper, and things of animal and plant origin. Biochar output is from 25 to 30 percent, depending on the raw material. It will not give off any negative impact to the environment or release smoke and gas during production.
Mongolia has several industries that produce products from waste materials. Their regular and long-term operations are limited due to inadequate raw material supply. Does a biochar plant have sufficient raw material sources and opportunities for running regular operations?
We didn't aim for the sole possession of the technology for manufacturing biochar or the plant. It's impossible to do that. However, every household can become the manufacturer. Stoves were invented with our many years of effort. Every household should acquire this stove, manufacture biochar whenever it's convenient, and we need to be able to collect them at the MoBRI somehow, maybe by an exchange system. It'll be useful if biochar characteristics and quality can be determined and supplied in the future. Only this stove is necessary for household production.
How many biochar stoves have you produced? Has prices for the stove and biochar been determined?
Around 20 out of 40 manufactured stoves are used by us. They will be sold for cheap prices. Biochar price hasn't been determined even internationally. Prices are different depending on the availability of raw materials and its quality.
How's the demand for biochar in Mongolia?
Currently, few alcohol, drinks and beverage, and spirt manufacturing companies import biochar from Russia and China. Demands will depend on how much biochar can be manufactured in the future.
Vice Minister about Implementations of Light Industry Projects
Ulaanbaatar, November 4 (MONTSAME) The Vice Minister of Industry and Agriculture B.Tsogtgerel participated November 3 in the "Hour of Construction" traditional meeting to report on the state of implementations of light industry projects.
The Government of reforms allocated loans of MNT 154 billion from the government "Chinggis" bonds revenue for 159 projects, in frames of its policy to promote five priority industries of cashmere, wool, sewing, dairy and greenhouse farming, he reminded. In a scope of "888" project on promoting import-substituting and export-increasing products, a first financing of the approved total investment of MNT 109 billion for 15 projects has reached the targets, "the government also provided loans of MNT 50 billion for 29 projects out of the 140 billion approved for promoting a leather industry," he said.
The development of industrial mentality instead of bargaining is a brand new trend in Mongolia's economic history, resulting from the announcement of industrial era by the Government of reforms, he went on. In the last two months, a wet-concentrate processing plant opened in Bulgan aimag, and a copper-and-molybdenum concentrate processing plant opened in Erdenet, moreover, a bone-recycling factory will lead a development way for wide range of factories such as of oil, flour, calcium, soap, shampoo, china, and souvenirs, said Mr Tsogtgerel.
"There are complaints that the financing has slowed down due to transactions between commercial banks, it nit like that because these banks issue transactions after careful assessment and investigation over the entities and projects," he noted. He also added that Khan and Golomt banks issue major loans for 56-65 projects, the Trade and Development Bank issued the largest amount of loans--55 billion Togrog. In times of such unprecedented amount of financing from the government, the establishment of a cooperation mechanism between private entities and commercial banks will provide a good basis for further development, he said.
Turning Coal into 'Gold'
By Paul Sullivan, Georgetown University
November 4 (UB Post) One of the most important concepts for a country rich in natural resources to understand is value added. Another is employment generation. Mongolia could dig out its coal and send it to the Chinese and others and create a lot of wealth in the process. It could also create some jobs in the coal extraction and transport industries. However, it could create a lot more wealth and jobs if it focused on the processing of that coal, and also changing that coal into other products.
Coal is not just a dirty, hard, and polluting fossil fuel. It is a fuel source for electricity production for many places, including Mongolia where about 99% of its electricity is made with coal. The type of coal that is used is called steam coal most often, this is mostly bituminous coal or even some of the softer, less clean coals like lignite. These types of coal are crushed into a powdery state in the electricity station and then burned to create heat. That heat is used to create steam. The steam turns a turbine. The turbine creates electricity. So coal can be used to make directed electrons, or electricity. Coal is a fuel that is used often in cement production. It is also used in the making of steel and other metals. Coal can be turned into something called coke, which is a lot better to use in steel mills than just plain coal. Coke is more energy rich than plain coal, even the most carbon rich and energy rich coal, such as anthracite or even graphite. Coal tar and other coal residual products can also be used in the production of petrochemicals.
Coal can also be used in petrochemicals production due to the gases that are produced in underground coal gasification. This way the coal does not need to be dug out, and the soil and water on the surface damaged in the process. Gases are produced when the coal is heated with water vapor and either oxygen or air pumped in very deep in the ground where the coal seams are found. The coal need not be burned underground to make this happen. It is heated in a controlled way with specific "oxidants" used to make the chemical processes produce the specific gases from the coal. These gases include hydrogen, nitrogen, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, methane (natural gas), hydrogen sulfide, and others according to the chemical makeup and impurities in the coal seam. These gases as a total are often called syngas, or synthetic gas. They are synthesized from coal, oxygen or air, and water vapor. One feeder pipeline going into the coal seam sends the oxidants down. The other outflow pipe brings up the syngas. The syngas itself can be burned for fuel, but mostly for electricity production. This method of using coal for electricity is a lot cleaner than simply burning crushed coal in the generating plant.
Sometimes the coal is delivered directly to the electricity generation plant. Then it is gasified in a part of the plant, then specific gases from that process are fed into the electricity generation system. This is what is called an integrated coal combined cycle gasification plant. They are extremely expensive so for now not a good idea for Mongolia. Some cost in the range of $2.5-5 billion dollars. That is a hefty price. It is a lot cheaper to gasify the coal underground and send the syngas to the generating plant. It would be best to have the coal and gasifier system near to the electricity plant, but sometimes that is not possible so pipeline systems need to be set up.
One project Mongolia may consider is a combination of many coal gasification facilities and a significant pipeline system bringing the syngas to synfuels factories. Synfuels are a result of some fairly complex chemical, pressure and heat processes that can produce diesel fuel, petrol, and other products from the original syngas. Is this not amazing. Coal can produce fuel for a car or truck?
Methanol, another possible fuel for transportation and other economic activities can also be produced from coal. Natural gas, CH4, can be taken directly out of coal seams as coal bed methane, but can also be extracted from coal from gasification and also via the production of synfuels. So Mongolia could have another transport fuel from coal, CNG of compressed natural gas. LNG, or liquified natural gas, can also be a product of various coal processes.
With the right training, education, investment and equipment, Mongolians could also turn coal into, and this is really amazing, a huge list of products most would never even consider to be from coal: soaps, aspirin, dyes, plastics, fibers like nylon and rayon, carbon fiber for car manufacturing and the like, benzene, coke, ammonia, fertilizers, urea, formaldehyde, nitric acid, activated carbon for air and water cleaning, polyvinyl chloride (for plumbing pipes, etc.), ingredients for cosmetics, resins and even ingredients to toothpastes and shampoos (especially anti-lice shampoos and anti-dandruff shampoos). This is just a partial list of the things that coal could make.
Why just export the raw coal? In the medium to long runs Mongolia could develop a series of industries based on its huge coal reserves that would help capture the value added of those industries. Otherwise, other countries who have these industries capture the value. It is like selling raw diamonds instead of polished jewelry. The biggest return to diamonds is at the last stages of cutting, polishing and setting. Coal in the rough can be used to make a lot of things that could be pure "gold" in income for Mongolia and Mongolians.
If the development of these coal-based industries have the right offsets from investors then many scholarships, training institutes, and more could be developed in Mongolia. Mongolia could also in a few decades be an invention hub for coal-based industries. Mongolian universities could find themselves at the forefront of clean coal and coal derivatives inventions.
Imagine all of this. Now think of a palm-sized piece of coal and what could be done with it — and for the Mongolian people. A lot of money will be pouring into Mongolia because of its raw materials. Much of that money could be used to develop skills and education of the Mongolian people, and in the development of industries that could grasp the value added of coal-based industries for Mongolia and Mongolians.
China Firm Seeks Concession to Build Medical Waste Treatment Plant
Ulaanbaatar, November 4 (MONTSAME) A director of the Department of policy implementation and coordination at the Ministry of health Ya.Buyanjargal has received the representatives of the Chinese Ordon LLC.
The latter expressed a willingness to cooperate on a concession basis with the Ministry in a medical waste treatment. The guests also said that their company is engaged in sale and delivery of equipment for decontamination and disposal of such waste.
Stylebook Snapshot: Emzeg Steppe brings luxury cashmere from Mongolia to Ross Park Mall
By Sara Bauknecht
November 9 (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette) The Peace Corps took Jon Hetts to Mongolia to aid with business development. Unexpectedly, the country helped him develop his own business, too.
Mr. Hetts, 27, of Cranberry, is the founder of Emzeg Steppe luxury cashmere clothing, made with raw materials from Mongolia. He sells everything from scarves and shawls to fashion ponchos for adults and pieces for babies online at www.emzegsteppe.com and at select shops across the country and abroad. He now also stocks selections at a kiosk at Ross Park Mall (near Kate Spade andBurberry) that will be there through mid-January while supplies last.
Emzeg Steppe, which loosely translates to mean "delicate plains," came about 2½ years ago, by accident in a way.
"As a gift for my mom I bought a cashmere scarf from Mongolia. When I gave it to her she was blown away by it, loved it and how luxurious it was," Mr. Hetts said. "My mom kind of got the idea in my head. ... It's a way to stay in touch with Mongolia."
With no background in the apparel industry (his time at the University of Pittsburgh was spent studying finance), it took some time for him to find his fashion footing, but his Mongolian languageteacher helped him connect with a production facility in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia's capital. With its owner, as well as with input from shoppers, Mr. Hetts designs the collection made with materials that are picked, cleaned, spun, dyed and made in Mongolia.
The cashmere facility has about 30 full-time female employees. The cashmere comes from free-range goat herds that inhabit some of the highest elevations of Mongolia during its bitterly cold winters. To survive these conditions, the animals grow fine downy coats that make for some of the world's highest quality cashmere.
In the beginning Mr. Hetts tested the market by taking the collection to trade shows in New York.
"I got a ton of just really good feedback," he said, with many complimenting the quality and classic natural colors. With this boost of confidence, Emzeg Steppe managed to secure wholesale accounts with some stores in France, Boston, New York City, the Hamptons on Long Island, N.Y., andNantucket, Mass.
Opening up his own shop in the region is another possibility someday, he said, but in the meantime the kiosk at Ross Park Mall is a way he can get a taste of retail life. At the kiosk, shoppers can find items that average about $120-$150, with headbands and hats typically less than $100. Mr. Hetts mans the stand, with assistance from his mom, Janet. (He's named the cashmere scarf he sells Le Janette Shawl, in honor of the type of scarf he gave his mother. Prices start at $122.)
"If this is successful I'd like to expand," Mr. Hetts said, with ideas for spring and summer collections and building up the e-commerce site in mind. "Hopefully it works."
Mongolia at ITB Asia Tourism Exhibition, October 29-31
Ulaanbaatar, November 4 (MONTSAME) Mongolian companies have taken part in a major tourism exhibition-fair ITB Asia, which ran in "Marina Bay Sands" hall in Singapore on October 29-31.
The seventh exhibition was attended by 825 representatives of 73 countries, were also the registered 9,100 tourism representatives of 110 countries. The number of the participants increased by seven percent against the previous year.
During the exhibition, the Mongolian Ambassador to Singapore B.Delgermaa held business meetings with a director of ITB Berlin Mr David Ruetz and a director for Partner Countries of ITB Berlin Ms Rika Jean Francois. According to Mr Ruetz, through inking a memorandum of cooperation with the ITB Berlin and becoming a partner to this organization Mongolia will be included in eight-stage project for sustainable development of tourism industry, introduced to the online network of 44 million 797 thousand users, and will be advertized globally through this daily information network.
Mongolia's first tourism entities "New Juulchin World Tours" LLC and "Zendmen travels" LLC have participated in the ITB Asia.
Tusgai Ajillagaa Tops October Mollywood Box Office
November 4 (infomongolia.com) Upon the initiation of Mongolian Authority for Fair Competition and Consumer Protection, a gross income of Mongolian movies screened at cinemas was announced for October 2014.
Accordingly, 11 movies were screened nationwide in October and the top earned movie was selected as "Tusgai Ajillagaa" (Special Operation) making a total of 94.7 million MNT in only 10 days.
The "Tusgai Ajillagaa" is a 2014 Mongolian comedy film by "Go Adventure" Studio, Directed by D.Galbayar, produced by U.Munkh-Erdene and was first released on October 22, 2014.
Survey: Public sector corruption hampers private sector
November 4 (Mongolian Economy) Nearly half of the companies surveyed (43.3 percent) in the fifth Study of Private Perceptions of Corruption (STOPP) reported that corruption in the public sector is affecting them directly.
The Asia Foundation and the Sant Maral Foundation released the study on Mongolian corruption in cooperation with the United States Agency for International Development's Strengthening Transparency and Governance in Mongolia (STAGE) project.
"The study aims to strengthen democratic governance with more responsible and transparent legal regulations through supporting power balance," according to Meloney C. Lindberg, country representative of the Asia Foundation. Despite the high level of public corruption, the survey shows significant improvement from previous years.
Asked which organisations create the most obstacles for business, respondents cited the tax office (30.6 percent), the Specialized Inspection Agency (18.2 percent), and customs (11.8 percent). Averaged over all five previous STOPP surveys, negative assessments prevail over positive assessments, by roughly 70 percent to 20 percent of those polled.
64.5 percent of individual citizens who participated in study feel the public sector is fundamentally corrupt.
Mongolian businesses report that the main obstacles to business in Mongolia are high taxes (52.1 percent), access to credit (26.2 percent), and strong competition from other companies (21.5 percent).
Although the overall assessment remains negative, the number of businesses reporting 'a lot' of corruption dropped by 5.4 percent. The number of companies that 'never' encountered corruption also increased.
Gender differences in attitudes toward corruption are tied to the size and sector of businesses. Big manufacturing, construction, and mining businesses employ more men, while smaller service and trade businesses employ more women. When the data are separated by gender, the variations are found to be connected to differences among these sectors.
Moomedia Secret Bridal Shoot Location: Mongolia
Our brave couple Jing Lin Wang & Ng Joe Wee, came to us and told us we can choose any destination for their photo shoot. They gave us a budget and our imagination ran wild.... Here is the process:
We would also like to thank Selena Travel Mongolia for helping us put together the exciting itinerary.
Ulaanbaatar to Host "Integrated Resource Management in Asian Cities: The Urban Nexus" Workshop
November 3 (infomongolia.com) The Fourth Regional Workshop in the context of the project "Integrated Resource Management in Asian Cities: the Urban Nexus" will be organized in Ulaanbaatar on November 05-07, 2014.
At this Fourth Seminar, over 100 participants from Asia comprising of senior level policy makers from the national and city governments of the partner cities, representatives from regional networks of cities, international and regional experts, and the private sector enterprises will gather for the three-day regional workshop in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.
The Urban Nexus project is implemented by the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), and financed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). In the scope of the Nexus project, it is aimed to provide an opportunity for city governments to enter into a dialogue with national governments and other relevant stakeholders and discuss the elements of an enabling framework for urban nexus initiatives to thrive.
The objectives of the Fourth Regional Workshop in Ulaanbaatar are:
1. Review progress in the planning and implementation of Nexus project initiatives in participating cities and share the challenges, experiences and benefits.
2. Review current policies and programs in support of Nexus approaches in participating countries, in order to identify the elements of a policy framework to enable urban Nexus initiatives to thrive in the countries.
3. Discuss the governance dimension of the urban nexus, and in particular the role of the Nexus Task Forces in partner cities and other tools in support of the institutionalization of urban nexus into urban planning processes.
4. Explore the opportunities to strengthen public participation into the consultation and planning processes for the effective implementation of the nexus initiatives in the cities.
5. Identify measures to integrate the urban nexus initiative into the emerging global agendas and the need for urban nexus initiatives to be highlighted in the international dialogues.
The opening remarks will be presented by Mayor of Ulaanbaatar E.Bat-Uul and Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Federal Republic of Germany to Mongolia Gerhard Thiedemann as well as representatives of the BMZ and ESCAP.
Air quality data critical to reducing Ulaanbaatar air pollution
November 6 (UB Post) The following interview is with expert of air quality at the National Agency Meteorology and The Environmental Monitoring J.Bayarmagnai, about the air quality in Ulaanbaatar and what the agency is doing to reduce air pollution.
How was the air quality in Ulaanbaatar last October?
According to the data of last October, the average amount of sulfur dioxide in Ulaanbaatar was in the average level, which is 9 µg/m3, the amount of nitrogen dioxide was above the average level, at 41 µg/m3, the amount of big dust particles was higher than the normal level by 1.8 fold, at 184 µg/m3, while the amount of small dust was below the normal level, at 54 µg/m3. The amount of ozone and the carbon dioxide were in the normal level.
Between October 13 to 25 in Ulaanbaatar, the air was more polluted than other days, especially in the area of ger districts. People can get information about the air quality by visiting the websites www.tsag-agaar.mn and www.agaar.mn.
What is your agency doing to reduce air pollution?
In Ulaanbaatar and in the biggest settlements in provinces, we measure the amount of six substances that are common pollutants, including sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, dust and carbon dioxide. According to this measurement, we collect some data about the major sources and substances that pollute the air, the location where pollution appears a lot and the time when the pollution has highest and harmful to human body. These information and data help us do some works to reduce the air pollution. Every year our agency collects all those data and we summarize the results. I think these kinds of data are an important information to fight and reduce air pollution. If we could make some analysis on the results of air quality, it would help solve the problem.
Is the measuring standard same as highly developed countries?
In Mongolia, we use two general methods, chemical analysis and automatic measurement that determine two to six substances that pollute the air. Overall, 10 employees work and monitor the automatic measurement, while four experts analyze the air quality by chemical analysis. In rural areas, 23 experts determine the amount of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide through chemical analysis, while in some provinces, big particle dust and carbon dioxide are determined by an automatic apparatus. In the future fully automated working condition is required.
When is the highest rate of air pollution observed?
During cold days, from October to April people start using their stoves and the usage of stove lighting increases. As a result, the amounts of sulfur dioxide and dust increase drastically. Especially in December, January and February, air pollution is highest. In the morning, from 7-11a.m. and in the evening from 5-12 p.m., the substances that pollute the air reach its peak point.
We all know that air pollution affects negatively on humans health. As you are an expert, what would you recommend to protect ourselves from pollution? Is it possible?
At the times I mentioned above, children, the elderly and people who have respiratory and cardiovascular diseases should spend less time outside and must wear protective masks. People who spend most of their time at home and at the office should plant plants and clean the air in the room as much as possible. In all seasons children must play away from the areas where dust occurs a lot, for example big roads, when they are outside. And I would like to say that if people can use the air quality data and information in their daily lives, they can protect themselves from pollution to a certain extent.
What can people do to contribute to reducing air pollution in the city?
It is very important that each person be involved in air pollution problems because pollution affects us all. There are some ways to fight air pollution. For example, to use fuel that releases less harmful gases, if possible buy newer cars, get the car serviced regularly, use public transportation, and save electricity. People who live in ger districts must follow the proper instruction when using their stoves, get involved in the projects related to reduction of air pollution, minimize the heat loss of their houses, and if possible, use electricity as well as processed fuel.
Organizations must use more eco-friendly technology and install smoke filters. That way, if we work together, we can reduce air pollution.
Source: Undesnii shuudan
China supports Mongolia to join APEC
BEIJING, Nov. 8 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping voiced support for Mongolia to join the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) during a meeting with Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj on Saturday.
China welcomes Mongolia's entry into the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and backs its participation in international and regional affairs, including joining the APEC, Xi said.
China is also willing to work with Mongolia and Russia to build the economic corridor linking the three countries, he said.
Xi visited Mongolia in August and the two countries upgraded their bilateral ties to a comprehensive strategic partnership.
"I would like to keep a close contact with you. Legislatures, governments, parties, armed forces and civilian sectors of the two countries should enhance exchanges and cooperation," Xi said.
China and Mongolia should sign the free trade treaty "as early as possible" and speed up the program to build a cross-border economic cooperation zone, he said.
Xi noted that the primary cooperation areas should involve connectivity development, mining, power and agriculture.
Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj, who has met Xi for five times this year, said that Mongolia would like to push forward major cooperation programs in railway, mining and energy as well as cultural and people-to-people exchanges.
Mongolia expects to strengthen the three-party cooperation with China and Russia, he said.
The Mongolian president is in Beijing for a dialogue on strengthening connectivity partnership on Saturday, which is also attended by leaders from Bangladesh, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Pakistan and Tajikistan.
PRESIDENT ELBEGDORJ MEETS WITH PRESIDENT XI JINPING – President's Office, November 8
China to create US$40 billion Silk Road Fund to upgrade Asia links
Xi pledges to break 'connectivity bottleneck' with infrastructure project that will help Eurasian countries and counter US influence
By Minnie Chan
November 9 (South China Morning Post) China will put US$40 billion (HK$310 billion) into a Silk Road Fund to improve infrastructure links across the Asia-Pacific, President Xi Jinping announced yesterday.
Addressing the leaders of Bangladesh, Cambodia, Laos, Mongolia, Myanmar, Pakistan and Tajikistan at a meeting in Beijing on Asia-Pacific development, Xi said the fund's goal was to "break the connectivity bottleneck" in the region.
Analysts said the fund was intended to serve as a challenge to the United States' renewed focus on Asia.
Xi said the fund would be used to provide investment and financing for infrastructure and resources, and to boost industrial and financial cooperation to forge better links between countries along the "new Silk Road". It is part of Beijing's strategy for an economic bloc to revive trade along the route between China and the Mediterranean.
The fund will be "open" to active participation by investors from both within and outside of Asia, and "such a framework accommodates the needs of various countries and covers both land and sea-related projects", Xinhua quoted Xi as saying.
Representatives of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation also attended the meeting.
Zhou Fangyin , a professor at the Guangdong Research Institute for International Strategies, said the fund, which is expected to help more than 60 Eurasian countries upgrade their infrastructure, was designed to burnish China's international image by projecting it as a responsible international player.
"The announcement of the Silk Road Fund indicates that Xi is really taking action on China's Silk Road strategy, which he first raised in September last year. It comes as many Asian countries doubt China's claim to be a peace-loving and responsible superpower," Zhou said.
"The Silk Road strategy aims to challenge US President Barack Obama's 'pivot to Asia' by using the lure of trade and investment. I think it will be quite effective as many Asian countries are keen to develop infrastructure but struggle to do so because of a lack of capital and technology."
Zhou said Xi also hoped the Silk Road strategy, which aims to put China at the centre of the Asian economic zone, would drive broad-based development in border areas like Xinjiang , Tibet and Yunnan through the development of high-speed railways and international ports.
Qiao Mu , dean of the Centre for International Communication Studies at Beijing Foreign Studies University, said financial incentives were the "easiest and the most effective way" for China to improve its relationship with its neighbours, but the strategy posed a threat at home.
"I am afraid that such a generous investment will trigger public anger as our education and medical sectors also need financial support," Qiao said.
"China has too much money - its foreign reserves are near US$4 trillion … But Chinese taxpayers can't check whether the government spends the money in a useful way due to the current political system."
UN Adopts Protocol "Mongolia's International Security and Nuclear-Weapon-Free Status"
November 3 (infomongolia.com) Drafts proposals presented by Mongolia entitled "Mongolia's International Security and Nuclear-Weapon-Free Status" was supported by the Members of the Committee and adopted without a vote at the General Debate of the First Committee of the 69th Session of the UN General Assembly in New York on October 31, 2014.
Mongolia has always been a firm advocate of nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation and is making efforts to contribute in international peace and security by promoting its nuclear-weapons-free status. Mongolia's status enjoys broad international recognition, as attested in a wide range of international instruments, such as the Final Document of the 2010 NPT Review Conference, the Outcome Documents of the Conferences of the State Parties and Signatories to Treaties that Establish Nuclear-Weapon-Free-Zones and Mongolia, biennial resolutions of the UNGA on Mongolia's international security and nuclear-weapon-free status, as well as the Final Documents of NAM Summit and Ministerial Meetings.
In this regard, Mongolia signed a Declaration parallel with the Five Permanent Members (P5) Joint Declaration on Mongolia's Nuclear-Weapon-Free-Status on September 17, 2012. By their joint declaration the P5 have recognized the Mongolia's unique status and declared that they would respect that status and would not contribute to any act that would violate it.
Moreover, Mongolia's initiative was co-implemented with states of Australia, Austria, China, France, Indonesia, Ireland, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mexico, Montenegro, Morocco, Russia, UK, USA, and Uzbekistan.
UN Resolution on Mongolia's Nuclear-Free Status Adopted – Montsame, November 3
Speaker Assures EU Ambassadors Mongolia Can Overcome Economic, Political Difficulties
Ulaanbaatar, November 7 (MONTSAME) The Speaker Z.Enkhbold received on November 7 the accredited and concurrent Ambassadors of the EU members to Mongolia.
The Speaker appreciated an opportunity to meet with them and congratulated the newly appointed Ambassadors of the European Union, of Hungary and Cyprus for their presentations of credentials and wished them a success.
This meeting has become traditional, starting from 2009, it is a cooperation mechanism between Mongolia and Europe, he said. "In a scope of its 'Third neighbor' policy, Mongolia wants to expand relations with all members of the EU in every possible sphere," he said and added that Mongolia looks for support and recommendations from European countries on organization of the ASEM summit to take place in Ulaanbaatar in 2016.
He said that the established on April 30 of 2013 Agreement on Partnership and Cooperation between Mongolia and the EU is to have its importance in determining directions of the bilateral relations and cooperation in many sectors. The Agreement has been ratified by Mongolia and by 12 EU members, "and I want to urge other EU countries to support intensifying of the ratification procedures in their countries".
He assured the guests that Mongolia can overcome nowadays economic and political difficulties and keep its social sustainability and economic development.
Mongolia has inked agreements with 17 EU members on Promoting and Securing Investments. "Our country aims to introduce the European norms and standards to all economic sectors, and I thank the EU for its kind support. In regards of the above obligations, the project to promote facilitating Mongolia's standardization began to be implemented from April 1 this year," he said.
He mentioned that Mongolia and European Parliament holds meeting every two years, and the 10th consultative meeting is to happen in 2015 in Ulaanbaatar.
Mongolia and NATO established a document of partnership in 2012, and a group for interactions with the NATO Assembly has been operating at the State Great Khural since then. Mongolia has also become a member of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. "The 2015 Autumn Session of the OSCE Parliament Assembly will also run in Ulaanbaatar", Mr Enkhbold said and expressed his belief that all Ambassadors will actively cooperate in the organization of the above events.
At the end of the meeting, the Speaker answered the questions of Ambassadors.
Ambassadors Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of 27 countries, including Germany, the UK, France, the Czech Republic, Austria and Belgium, participated in the meeting. Present were also vice-chairmen of the State Great Khural M.Enkhbold and L.Tsog, and S.Byambatsogt and N.Battsereg MPs.
Mongolia and Germany Host 11th Consultative Meeting on Defense Sectors
November 7 (infomongolia.com) In the frameworks of the 2014 cooperation program between the defense sectors of Mongolia and the Federal Republic of Germany, the regular bilateral consultative meeting is ongoing in Ulaanbaatar at the Defense Ministry on November 03-07, 2014.
The German delegates led by Head of Department for International Cooperation, Federal Ministry of Defense, Colonel Christian Schmidt have held a working visit to the Defense Ministry of Mongolia on November 04-06, 2014.
During the meeting, parties discussed the implementation of the 2014 Program and exchanged points on developing the 2015 Program to train Mongolian military personnel at the Bundeswehr.
This is the 11th consultative meeting between the sectors and at the meeting held on November 06, Mongolian side was attended by officials of the General Staff of Mongolian Armed Forces headed by the State Secretary at Defense Ministry, Major General Z.Boldbaatar, and the other attendees were led Director General for Security and Defense Policy, Federal Ministry of Defense, Rear Admiral Thorsten Kaler.
In consultations, parties exchanged information concerning international security issues and defense co-operation between the two countries, besides shared views on current and future development trends reaching consensuses.
Moreover, the Deputy Minister of Defense of Mongolia A.Battur received the Federal Ministry delegates and also shared views on bilateral cooperation and exchanged information.
In 2014, Mongolia and the Federal Republic of Germany are celebrating the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations and this 11th Consultative Meeting is giving importance to the event.
Mongolia-Germany Meetings on Defence Run – Montsame, November 7
Moscow's newest WWII memorial will also be its first Buddhist temple
By B. Dulguun
November 9 (UB Post) A foundation stone laying ceremony for a memorial Buddhist temple was held at the memorial complex in the Poklonnaya Hills in Moscow, Russia, on National Unity Day, celebrated on November 4.
Construction of the Buddhist temple complex project, commemorating every Buddhist killed during World War II, has been hastened so the memorial is finished in time for next year's 70th anniversary of the Allied victory in World War II.
The project is particularly significant to Moscow because it will become Moscow's first Buddhist temple.
Members of the Federation Council of Russia, the State Duma, Russian Presidential Executive Office, the Moscow City Duma, as well as Buddhist monks from Buryatia, Kalmykia and Tuva, and plenipotentiary representatives of Irkutsk participated in the event.
At the foundation stone laying ceremony, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Mongolia to Russia Sh.Altangerel and other embassy staff members, representative offices of the Ulaanbaatar Railway Authority, Erdenet Mining Corporation, and Mongolrostsvetmet LLC, as well as Mongolians living in Moscow were also present.
"It's said the first battle of the Great Patriotic War of the Soviet Union took place in Khalkhiin Gol in 1939. Then, it can be said that the last battle was when the Soviet troops liberated Manchuria across the Hyangan Mountain Range. Mongolian troops participated in both of these battles. The people of Mongolia supported its neighbor [Russia] during the war years by mobilizing all of Mongolia's economic opportunities. Mongolia is a Buddhist country. I'm confident this Buddhist temple complex, dedicated to everyone who died heroically during World War II, will become a heroic friendship monument for both of our country's people," stated Ambassador Sh.Altangerel.
AMBASSADORS OF NAMIBIA, COLOMBIA, QATAR, BAHRAIN, VENEZUELA PRESENTED CREDENTIALS
November 6 (President's Office) On November 6, 2014, Ambassadors from the Republic of Namibia, the Republic of Colombia, the State of Qatar, the Kingdom of Bahrain and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela presented their credentials to President of Mongolia Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj. After handing the credentials President Elbegdorj held a private meeting with Ambassadors.
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Namibia to Mongolia Mr. Ringo Abed noted that next year Mongolia and Namibia will mark the 25th Anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations and expressed his firm commitment to further developing bilateral relations between the two countries. President Elbegdorj noted: "Mongolia is pleased to cooperate with the South African countries, in particular, Namibia - one of the fastest growing economies in Africa. In late 1990s, I had a chance to visit Namibia to attend the International Parliamentary Association Summit. Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mongolia as well as the Office of the President will be committed to support the foreign Ambassadors. I wish every success in your future endeavors".
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Colombia to Mongolia Mr. Tito Saul Pinilla noted: "There is an opportunity to develop cooperation and exchange students between the National University of Mongolia and National University of Colombia. Our two countries have great potential to expand business collaboration. Mutual exchange of the Deputy Foreign Minister-level visit and joint consultative meetings between the Foreign Ministries of the two countries served as a significant step towards improving bilateral ties". President Elbegdorj conveyed his sincere greetings to the President of Colombia Juan Manuel Santos, underlining the opportunity to enhance bilateral cooperation in education and business sector. President mentioned that Mongolia and Colombia have an opportunity to intensify mutual ties through the newly opened Mongolian Embassy in Brazil.
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the State of Qatar to Mongolia Mr. Sultan bin Salmin Said Al-Mansouri noted with satisfaction the notable invigoration of the bilateral relations in defense and infrastructure sector, stressing the opportunity to deepen mutual cooperation in economy and investment field. Mr. Ambassador also noted that the frequent exchange of high-level visits would be a great impetus to enhancing the bilateral relations and partnership between the two countries.
At the meeting with Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Kingdom of Bahrain to Mongolia Mr. Anwar Al Abdullah, President Elbegdorj marked with satisfaction the development of bilateral relations since the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries in 1998. Mongolia and the Kingdom of Bahrain both would greatly benefit from cooperation in trade, investment and oil sectors. President Elbegdorj conveyed his sincere greetings to the King of Bahrain Hamad bin Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa.
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to Mongolia Mr. Ivan Antonio Zerpa Guerrero conveyed the President of Venezuela Nicolas Maduro's greetings to President Elbegdorj and noted: "President Nicolas Maduro have entrusted me with a duty to enhance bilateral relations with Mongolia in the next 25 years. We greatly appreciate Mongolia for supporting our country within the international organizations. Mongolia supported Venezuela in the election of the non-permanent member on the UN Security Council. We have the intention to organize Venezuela-Mongolia Parliamentary Group in the Parliament of Venezuela".
In response, President Elbegdorj conveyed his warm greetings to the President of Venezuela Nicolas Maduro and wished Ambassador success in his diplomatic mission.
WHO Reviews Mongolia's Readiness for Ebola
Ulaanbaatar, November 7 (MONTSAME) On the critical time of global awareness of Ebola, the representative of the World Health Organization (WHO) to Mongolia Dr Soe Nyunt-U visited Thursday the national Center for infectious diseases.
He learned that the emergency department of the center has 28 personnel, including physicians and ambulance drivers. Each physician has a couple of protective clothing. Tye emergency's ten rooms are furnished, and 50-bed rooms isolate infection-struck patients from others. Four teams, each of 12 people, have been trained to work in times of emergencies and of Ebola outbreak, the guidelines on reception, diagnostics and treatment have been developed and are ready for use, reported the clinical vice director M.Tunsag.
"Most employees at the emergency department are young doctors, they are prone to risks during infections outbreaks, so we are focusing more on their proper trainings," said the vice director. The center submitted a request to the WHO and the Ministry asking a support in renovating some equipment and sanitation facilities, she added.
In response, Dr Soe Nyunt-U said it is of importance to ensure a high-level readiness although Ebola outbreak is unlikely to occur in Mongolia. He thanked the staff of the Center for raising awareness with all capacity.
Consultant of the WHO will visit Mongolia soon, he added and said the young doctors can learn more from the trainings then. "The trainings are important not only in times of Ebola but also during spreads of new and reoccurring diseases," said Dr Nyunt-U. He also promised to deliver the request to the Regional office of the WHO and that the organization will focus on overseas trainings and exchange of experiences of doctors and scholars.
Dr Nyunt-U was accompanied by the head of the Social Health Department of the Ministry D.Narangerel and other officials.
Mining and traditional livelihoods: Mongolia's future in a changing climate
by Vigya Sharma, University of Queensland
November 6 (Environment, Conflict and Cooperation) While traditional livelihoods, or herding maintains a deep-rooted socio-cultural and philosophical significance for Mongolia and its nearly 3 million people, increasing aridity and rampant desertification (also, see here) pose serious threats to the continuity of nomadic pastoral lifestyle. At the same time, a booming mining industry is causing an atmosphere of scepticism amongst Mongolia's large herder population with regard to growing competition over access to land and water. Impacts from both large scale and artisanal mining on the country's socio-ecological landscape are evident in varying forms.
Climate change adds a further layer of complexity to this already dynamic relationship between herding and mining, resulting in several implications for the country's future development. Foremost among them is the critical dependence of both these economic sectors on suitable natural climatic conditions. Mongolia's high vulnerability to both gradual and sudden perturbations in the natural climate is largely due to limited institutional capacity to tackle loss and damage resulting from climatic changes. The last two decades particularly have witnessed a series of intense climate-influenced natural disasters (locally known as 'dzud'), causing millions of livestock to perish and several thousand households consequently impacted.
Three observations in this context warrant further attention. Firstly, the relationship between mining and herding is of particular significance during a natural disaster when traditional livelihoods including herding, and animal product-based businesses may no longer flourish due to harsh living conditions causing livestock deaths. In such circumstances, the mining sector provides a critical source of potential alternative employment and livelihood opportunities for several thousand Mongolian herder households to sustain through climate-influenced natural disasters. Secondly, considering that both mining and traditional livelihoods are vulnerable – although varyingly – to climatic changes, in-situ adaptation, not relocatability is preferred as an adaptation response. To this extent, climate change as a common concern allows the two sectors to move beyond conflicts over access to land and water to facilitate long-term cross-sectoral cooperation and synergistic partnership development from a multistakeholder perspective. Finally, while traditional pastoralism boasts a rich repository of many generations of indigenous knowledge of dealing with natural disasters, the extractives sector has access to sound financial and latest technological resources. By bringing together each sector's individual strengths to create innovative pathways of dealing with climatic changes in a mutually-inclusive manner, it may be possible to deconstruct some of the complexity underlying Mongolia's mining-traditional livelihoods-climate change nexus mentioned above.
This formed the premise for a series of capacity building workshops undertaken in September 2014 in Mongolia by The Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining of The University of Queensland, Australia jointly with Civic Solutions, a local civil society group based in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. The Asia Pacific Network for Global Change Research based in Kobe, Japan provided financial support for the workshops. Minister (Dr) S Oyun of Mongolia's Ministry of Environment and Green Development provided further support for the workshops as well as encouragement towards the idea of bringing together stakeholders from across herding groups, mining companies, civil society organisations, media and local (soum), provincial (aimag) and central government departments to a single platform to understand climatic influence on each sector, take stock of current capacity to deal with resulting impacts and identify future pathways to facilitate improved preparedness towards climate-influenced natural disasters and address loss and damage.
Two multistakeholder workshops were conducted in Umnugobi and Bayankhongor provinces with a concluding symposium organised in Ulaanbaatar. A particularly important outcome from these workshop discussions has been to propose the establishment of a Knowledge Hub of key actors from different sectors in Mongolia. The Hub will enable a robust ongoing dialogue on better understanding the interface between Mongolia's mining and herding sectors in light of current and future climatic changes. Several ideas in relation to the proposed Knowledge Hub were discussed at the workshops and these will play a critical role in informing policy guidance on multistakeholder public-private partnership development that will be available in the final report due to be published by February 2015.
Further, the proposed Knowledge Hub will provide a trigger for several domestically- and internationally-funded projects studying a number of discrete elements of Mongolia's mining-traditional livelihoods-climate nexus to share findings and cooperate on identified research gaps to allow greater focus – both theoretical and applied – over the coming years on this critical topic in the Mongolian context.
DW Program: "Coming Home: A Journey with Saruul Fischer through Mongolia"
November 66 (Deutsche Welle) When Saruul Fischer came to East Germany at the age of 11, she could not have known how important her homeland would be to her in the future. Now, a DW film crew accompanies Saruul on a trip back home to Mongolia.
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GUEST COLUMN: TRAVELING WHILE BLACK IN MONGOLIA
One distant, storied land in East Asia, emerging from long isolation. One intrepid Black woman expat traveler — and, I'm proud to say, IBIT reader. It all adds up to one hell of a travel story.
by MELISSA WATKINS
November 8 (I'm Black and I Travel) I knew nothing about Mongolia except that I wanted to go there. Okay, scratch that—I knew two things—I wanted to go there, and it was the birthplace of Genghis Khan.
A bit of cursory research told me that it's the fifth fastest growing economy in the world and that much of the country's population maintains a traditional nomadic way of life. Combined with a favorable exchange rate and inexpensive lodging ($30 USD for a week in a self-catering hostel) and I was intrigued.
I already live in Asia and managed to find a fairly inexpensive flight to Ulaan Bataar, Mongolia's capital. Off I went, with reassurances that the country was safe for a lone lady traveler.
Other than that, my expectations weren't particularly high, and that was a good thing.
My first 72 hours in Ulaan Bataar were an absolute nightmare. In between cancelled bookings and racial abuse, I was ready to pack up and go home early from the 6 day trip—something I've never done.
Fortunately, I was able to pull myself up and turn things around just in time to have an absolutely fabulous time in the country for the remaining three days I was there.
Ultimately, I loved Mongolia. I think more Black travelers should go to Mongolia and enjoy the cultural experience. However, there are definitely some things you'll need to know before venturing out among Genghis Khan's descendants.
Do: Go to Mongolia
It's one of the world's fastest growing countries but also one of the most sparsely populated. Those who live nomadically herd animals while living in round moveable houses called ger. For a fee ($50 – $200 USD), you can travel to these camps and experience a truly traditional way of life that is slowly disappearing as the country urbanizes.
Sleeping on the steppes, riding a camel, watching a vast and empty landscape from horseback are some things I never imagined doing. Though the cities feel modern, the nomad camps have a tinge of the Wild West. The climate ranges from the Gobi desert in the south to icy forests in the north and east, with rolling, open steppes unifying the two.
Besides the nomadic experience, Mongolia also has a rich and detailed history, ranging from the world-conquering legacy of Genghis Khan to today's peaceful democracy, which you can find out more about in the museums and temples in the capital city.
There's also a deep and diverse culture, influenced by Buddhism, communist China, Soviet rule and the over-arching legacy of the Khans. The capital city is a mishmash of Soviet-era apartment blocs, cutting edge skyscrapers, wide open public squares, cultural monuments and shopping malls. There are so many things to see and do that I couldn't possibly list them all here, but they are all unique and worth seeing.
Don't: Go alone
Mongolia is remote and most locals don't have a lot of experience with foreign faces. Being alone and visibly different can make you an unintentional target.
On my first afternoon there, I took a stroll to Sukhbataar Square (home of the Mongolian parliamentary building) and was accosted by a large hairy man who shouted "NO BLACKS! GO HOME!" and ran off. Later, I was chased by a potential mugger (fortunately I was rescued by another large hairy man).
The next day, my brand-new camera was stolen. While your hosts in the ger camps will be friendly and open-minded, be aware that alcohol abuse is a problem in some camps and their neighbors may not always be of the same mind.
This is not all that Mongolia has to offer and the benefits far outweigh these potential dangers. I also don't need to tell you that as Black people traveling, we may encounter people unfamiliar with our actual culture beyond pop-culture icons who may not have the correct idea about who we actually are.
Travel to Mongolia is a priceless experience, but be wise. Go with a group and enjoy it together, safely. I was fortunate to find a few other loners like myself who realized there was safety in numbers and my trip was much better for it.
Do: Plan everything you possibly can in advance, pre-paying when you can
Some lucky people have months-long vacation and choose to spend all of it in Mongolia, wandering through the country wherever there's an expedition or a horse available. The rest of us, however, would do well to plan everything out as much as possible BEFORE arrival.
I only had a few vague promises when I got into the country and they turned out to be nothing but words. That resulted in spending three days in Ulaan Bataar wandering from agency to agency, a lone voice trying to cry my way into the wilderness. Save yourself the aggravation.
Most hotels and hostels in Mongolia have in-house tour guides and drivers. When you book your accommodation, make sure that you can book your ger camp stay and any visits to national parks and animal trekking at the same time. If you can't, find another place to stay that does offer the service with specific prices and timeframes.
My personal recommendation is Sunpath Mongolia, a cheerful, family owned company with excellent English and reasonable rates. They operate a clean, safe hostel and plan tours to all parts of the country.
Finding Sunpath was the key to turning my entire stay in the country around. Without their help, I would have left early and gone home.
Don't: Expect people to operate on Western time frames or quality standards
Life moves slower in Mongolia than what you may be accustomed to. Many people still live according to the rhythms of camp and even in nicer places, things may be a bit…rough. Sunpath Hostel, beloved as it is, didn't have reliable hot water at the time that I was there — and it's in a nice area.
Many of the homes in the suburbs don't have indoor plumbing at all. Food is basic, traffic can be chaotic and don't expect your bus to run on time. While more people spoke English than I expected, it's still not common to meet fluent English speakers. Bring a phrasebook, walking shoes, a little bottle of hot sauce —and most importantly, your patience.
Do: Spend as much time as you can with nomads and in nomad camps
To me, the most worthwhile part of a visit to Mongolia was experiencing life outside the cities. Life in the ger camps is beautifully peaceful, and is a wonderful way to reset from a hectic city life. The landscape is serene and if you book carefully, you can see desert, forest, and plains all in one trip.
Don't: Waste more than a day in the cities
Ulaan Bataar, the capital city, has its own charm, but it's also not very attractive or safe. Beggars and pickpockets are a problem and after my first day, I decided not to be outside alone at night. There isn't much nightlife to speak of, anyway, and the museums and landmarks, while good, can all be seen in one full day. All of the best experiences in Mongolia are at least a day's drive out of the city, in the camps and national parks
I realize that for many of you reading this, Mongolia is far away. It sounds uncomfortable, even dangerous. It is! However, it's also a unique adventure and one of the rare travel experiences that allows you into homes and a culture completely unlike your own, or any other you've experienced.
If you have the time and the money, visit Mongolia.
Telescopic Nationalism: Visions of Mongolia in Time and Space
By Tal Liron
October 8 -- Presented on August 12, 2014 in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. Copyright 2014 by the American Center for Mongolian Studies (ACMS) and Tal Liron. Please contact the ACMS for more information.
In this presentation, Tal Liron articulates a model for analyzing a "deep grammar" of Mongolian national narratives. Starting with Naadam and Sukhbaatar/Chinggis Square, the discussion moves through many places, events, projects, personas and symbols that are employed and deployed in the ongoing effort to define and situate the "Mongolian nation" within shifting geopolitical and cultural constraints. We meet Buddhas and dinosaurs, archers and presidents, calligraphers and murderers. The analysis is based on data collected through a year-long, ongoing ethnographic research project based in Ulaanbaatar.
Tal Liron is a PhD candidate at the University of Chicago's department of anthropology. This presentation is part of his dissertation-in-progress (as of October 2014) about contemporary Mongolian cultural nationalism, ideologies of cultural heritage, and historiographic mechanisms. The project is in part funded by the Division of the Social Sciences of the University of Chicago and the American Center for Mongolian Studies (ACMS).
There are a few minutes missing at 50:00. In them, Liron moves to the topic of "Other Silences":
"My discussion of Ungern-Sternberg was an example of telescopic nationalism silencing the past by blatantly skipping over it. If you don't mention Ungern-Sternberg, then he effectively doesn't exist in history. Conversely, the Shugden narrative is hiding in plain view. The struggle is exactly about who gets to silence whom in this historical moment that is unfolding before our very eyes.
You can put it this way: this is telescopic nationalism at its most volatile and fragile. It's exactly the desire to create for Mongolia a single grand historical narrative, one with Buddhism at its core.
I could go on and on, but I don't want to keep you here all night. So I'll just quickly point out a few other places that the telescope avoids. The analysis would follow similar principles as presented in this talk."
Kyushu Basho 2014: A Tale of Two Mongolians
BY MARK BUCKTON
November 7 (Japan Times) There are two men to watch when the action gets underway at sumo's final basho of 2014, down in Fukuoka on Sunday.
Both are Mongolian.
One, in just his first tournament in the top division so very nearly upstaged the other, arguably the greatest wrestler who ever lived, when he scored an incredible 13-2 in his makunouchi debut. His name is Ichinojo.
The other, yokozuna Hakuho, matched the newcomer before calmly sending him to the dirt with a wonderful pulling over-arm throw on Day 14, going on to notch up his 31st career title a day later.
So massive – pun intended – has been Ichinojo's arrival in sumo's senior division that once the top division men start filtering in to for bouts around 4 p.m. Sunday, sumo fans present in Fukuoka or watching on TV around the world will be talking about the 21 year old from Minato Beya.
As the new Mongolian on the block he may one day be charged with carrying his nation's flag into the next decade, but for now, he will simply be looking to put on a reasonable showing at the sport's third highest rank of sekiwake in Fukuoka.
Truth be told, few in sumo expected he would be promoted quite as high as sekiwake when the Kyushu tournament rankings were announced recently.
Komusubi? Likely. Maegashira one? At least. Sekiwake? Cue the raised eyebrows.
In being promoted to sumo's third highest rank ahead of Fukuoka, however, he is the first man since the Showa Era (1926-89) to be promoted so fast following a debut tournament in the top flight.
Yet, while he is clearly the one to watch for so many, sumo's 199 kg, 192 cm darling of the media looks to be struggling to regain the form that saw him tear up the rankings just six weeks ago.
Hospitalized in October with a bout of shingles, he has, at time of typing, yet to embark on any degeiko sessions at other stables with men of comparable ability, the people he really should be practicing against to put in a half-decent performance in Kyushu.
Of course, it would not be the first time for a rikishi looking to hide his techniques or levels of (un)fitness from those he will face to exaggerate a bout of sickness. But for Ichinojo, TV and other media commitments coupled with his health issues might just have combined to become the straw bale that have broken this behemoth's back.
The first day will tell a huge amount, both about his physical form and his ability to cope with men at the pointy end of the division where size alone is not enough to put up the numbers.
Of course all the current media hullabaloo surrounding Ichinojo will be suiting one man right down to the ground.
That man is yokozuna Hakuho who will be chasing his 32nd career yusho to equal the all-time record set by former yokozuna Taiho between 1960 and 1971
He is increasingly being lauded as the greatest of all time, and if the quality of his sumo and the fact he has achieved similar numbers to Taiho in a much shorter time are anything to go by, his fans are right.
Only late on Thursday was it confirmed he will be facing both his fellow yokozuna in the quest for 32, an announcement by the Harumafuji camp concerning an eye injury he picked up in September. Apparently the socket has healed enough for him to enter.
Even with the fact that Hak will be going against two fellow yokozuna and a full complement of ozeki, few would bet against him turning the heat up on his foes when the chips are down, and walking away with a Taiho-equalling tally come the 23rd.
If he does, Ichinojo, the hugely popular Endo or any other star of sumo's future notwithstanding, the spotlight will once again be Hak's, and Hak's alone come the 2015 Hatsu Basho in January back in Tokyo.
Sumo history of this magnitude is penned just one or twice a century.
We are watching perhaps the greatest ever preparing a bid to secure for himself the single most important achievement in this 257-year-old sport.
He will do it.
Just don't bet on it. That would be illegal!
SUMO/ Ichinojo no match for Harumafuji as Hakuho starts strong on Day 1
November 9 (The Asahi Shimbun) Yokozuna Hakuho got off to a typically masterful start as the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament kicked off on Nov. 9, but Mongolia's new rising star, Ichinojo, was completely outclassed by veteran compatriot Harumafuji.
True to form, Hakuho utterly dominated komusubi Ikioi at Fukuoka Kokusai Center to claim the first of what he hopes will be an unmatched wining record in Kyushu. With 31 career titles already under his belt, including wins in the last three tournaments, Hakuho, still 29 years old, is just one behind the record set by the legendary yokozuna Taiho between 1960 and 1971.
He says he is in good shape and has vowed to match Taiho's record this year--which means he has to take the top honors in Kyushu. Though he has his detractors, if Hakuho can win the tournament it will be hard to deny his place as one of the greatest wrestlers to ever enter the ring.
The most hyped match of the day was between Harumafuji and Ichinojo, but that fizzled quickly as the yokozuna pushed the newcomer out of the ring.
The 199-kilogram, 21-year-old Ichinojo is emerging as sumo's biggest new star. He scored an amazing 13-2 record in his top-division debut last time out, which rocketed him to sekiwake rank with unprecedented speed. He hasn't been at top physical form since the tournament ended and--as his poor showing against Harumfuji suggests--he still has a lot to prove.
Yokozuna Kakuryu, meanwhile, defeated komusubi Takekaze with superior thrusts for his opening win.
One notch down, Kisenosato, who is seen by some as Hakuho's biggest hurdle in Kyushu, was beaten back at the face-off by top maegashira Aminishiki but recovered calmly and thrust Aminishiki off his feet.
If he can come through, which is by no means a given, Kisenosato would be the first Japanese-born wrestler to win a tournament since Tochiazuma pulled that feat off in 2006. A title would bring him closer to breaking the Mongolian monopoly of the sport's top rank, which could help sumo win back Japanese fans who have grown weary of not having a compatriot to cheer for at yokozuna.
In other bouts, ozeki Kotoshogiku had a fairly easy time driving top maegashira Tochiozan over the edge, but Goeido, in his second outing as an ozeki, overextended on his attack and fell to maegashira No. 2 Takarafuji. Sekiwake Aoiyama, of Bulgaria, picked up his first win at his new rank by sending maegashira No. 2 Toyohibiki onto his belly.
Fitness Doctors: A New In-Demand Profession in Mongolia
November 2 (UB Post) A new type of profession, that of a fitness doctor that works at fitness clubs and gyms, are becoming popular in Mongolia. Although doctors are not trained specifically for this field, a young doctor named N.Enkhbayar is working as a fitness doctor in Mongolia to satiate popular demands.
Below is an interview with Internal Medicines Resident Physician at the State Central Third Hospital, fitness doctor and trainer at Golden Gym N.Enkhbayar. He graduated from the Mongolian National University of Medical Sciences in 2003.
Why did you choose to work in a fitness club as a doctor? Have you done any related work before?
Social issues affected my decision. As I studied in my sixth year, I started having difficulties as I had no fixed salary. Everyone is aware of a [doctor's] profession. Eight to ten years of study are required for the profession as it demands high responsibility. It was hard to work while studying since it has too much workload and pressure. Then, I found a job advertisement on Biz Network website and went to meet the employer. I was hired [at Golden Gym fitness club] as a part-time employee as I had to adjust my work hours with my school timetable. I've been working as a fitness doctor for almost two years.
Since your clients are people who want to slim down, improve their body figure or cure form illnesses, are any special researches or studies necessary?
I participated in organizing seven shows for adults and two shows for students and children, and provided consultations for health and diet related issues. From a perspective, this work is becoming a new research topic as well as a quest. Many lessons about healthy diet and exercise are taught at the Mongolian National University of Medical Sciences. It's important to effectively lose weight in a short period of time through healthy methodologies when you have lack of movement in daily life and are suffering from obesity. The second winner of the second competition of Golden Gym had to discharge from a hospital to receive their award. This person was diagnosed with fatigue syndrome from excessive exercise. It would be unfortunate if future competition winners are enlisted to hospitals like so. I realized that we have to work with clients so that they don't get too exhausted and replenish their energy with plenty of food.
People shouldn't get exhausted from actively engaging in fitness sports. On the contrary, their work productivity should be rejuvenated. Mongolians have incorrect information about protein. People training in fitness can take suitable amount of protein for effectively losing weight without fatigue. This will not show any negative effects.
Can you share an example of someone who lost weight in a short time without exhausting themselves?
There was a participant who lost 51 kg in three months without developing fatigue. Even so, that person was eating and drinking the same amount as other people during the award ceremony at a New Year party. Since I started working here in the fitness club, I've been working hard on providing correct information about diets and exercise to instructors and trainers. It'll be more beneficial to customers if instructors are more aware and knowledgeable about this.
Golden Gym used to suggest network health products. Was it really a healthy way for losing weight?
A year ago, Golden Gym had a fitness club named Herbalife. This method has been proven to develop fatigue among customers so it's no longer effective. There were people who exercised without consuming Herbalife products. Weight can be managed by only monitoring your diet and exercise. Not everyone has to use protein.
Are there any exercise programs for people with sicknesses or chronic diseases? Doctors advise cardiac patients to run or jog.
We often get clients who've been doing office work (seated work) for decades and are getting heart strokes. We suggest exercises that'll adjust to their workload. Frequently, people actively exercise on the first day and later suffer from muscle-ache. Pressure and workload have to be managed properly. The person exercising will not be overstrained if the exercise repetition is gradually increased. Gold Gym keeps competition participants under cardiac medical control and takes video records of them.
Blood sugar level of participant Gansukh in our "Turkhunduu" (In-shape) Show was 27 mg/dL. He had to regularly get insulin shots and consume painkillers because of constant headache. Approximately 21 days after entering the competition, he lost 11 kg and his blood sugar level dropped to 5.5 mg/dL. The competition finished over a month ago but his body condition is still normal. It's possible to stay healthy by mobilizing your body with healthy diet without wasting money on medications and injections.
I work at the endocrinology department of the State Central Third Hospital. Insulin is crucial for people with too much glucose in their blood. All sorts of diseases, including back pain, diabetes, high blood sugar, and thick blood, are becoming common due to obesity caused by seated work and driving cars. Heart strokes and hemorrhage in brain are common these days. In some cases, people are passing away in their sleep. This type of death is caused from high blood pressure stroke between hardened arteries. You can prevent this by exercising.
Fat and muscle ratio appears to be important. Are people who aren't overweight but have no muscle mass also deemed somewhat lethargic?
We diagnose clients with a Tanita Inner Scan monitor, which measures muscle and fat levels. What would happen if 10 kg muscle is lost while you diet to lose 10 kg weight? If muscles are reduced, subjects will be worn-out and will not be able to cope with the pressure. Even skin, hair and nails will revive its color if fat is burnt. Their body will become lighter, enhancing their productivity. You need to be aware of the necessity to consume food before and after exercising to lose weight healthily.
Some people prioritize banning bakery products to lose weight. The main food for the brain is carbohydrate, which is flour. Flour and bakery products should be consumed appropriately. It's wrong to prohibit it totally. These products are sources for energy. It breaks down muscle glycogen (sugar stored in muscles).
When you understand the complex structure of the human body physiology, you'll be able to know which food you need to consume. Even if you exercise in a different gym, you'll be able to manage your diet and exercise without the help of a trainer or medical assistance. If you eat white bread and lie around, you will gain weight. If you adjust how much you eat and exercise, this will become energy and burn fat.
There's a method for slimming down that is widely spread throughout society which involves not consuming any meat products and food after 6 p.m. Is this effective?
If you eat tsuivan (noodle dish with vegetables and meat) at 17:30 and lie on the sofa, you will obviously gain weight. After eating a meaty dish for lunch, you can eat as much vegetable, fruit, salad and dairy products as you like without consuming more meat. You can even eat a salad in the middle of the night. Your hunger isn't a matter of your stomach rumbling but a signal indicating that the blood sugar level going to your brain is low. Obviously, you should limit milk with high fat percentage and reduce the amount of egg yolk and mayonnaise in the salad.
Can thin people exercise to gain weight?
Indeed. Anyone can engage in fitness sports since it's a sport designed to fix your figure. You can exercise to gain weight. You have to exercise in fitness clubs to get a beautiful and strong body without suffering from fatigue.
Is there an age limit for developing muscles? Is there any prohibition for using protein?
Artificial protein shouldn't be used by children under the age of 18, pregnant women and people with heart rhythm disorder. Mongolians often make the mistake by substituting protein for food or over consuming. This is hastiness for trying to build muscles. Protein will become a vitamin if used consistent to one's weight, but if over used, it'll become poison. It's the same as degrading your kidney by using vitamin C on a daily basis. Over consuming protein will harm your liver, brain and kidney. Having children frequently do light exercises combined with stretching is very effective for bone growth and developing a healthy lifestyle.
Japan's Kamikaze Winds, the Stuff of Legend, May Have Been Real
Storms in 1200s could have helped thwart attacks by Mongolian Emperor Kublai Khan's fleets, a study of lake sediments finds.
By Devin Powell
November 4 (National Geographic) An ancient story tells of the kamikaze, or "divine wind," that twice saved Japan from Kublai Khan's Mongol fleets. So powerful was the legend that centuries later thousands of World War II pilots known as kamikazes would sign up to protect Japan again, by crashing their planes in suicide missions.
Now University of Massachusetts Amherst geologist Jon Woodruff says he has uncovered evidence of some truth to the legend of the ancient kamikazes, typhoon-strength winds that saved Japan from Kublai Khan in the 13th century.
Woodruff traveled halfway around the world to find evidence of the winds in Japanese lake beds, near the site of shipwrecks thought to be part of Kublai Khan's sunken armada.
"This is one of the earliest historical examples of atmospheric and oceanic conditions having a significant geopolitical impact," says Woodruff. Not until the 20th century would Japan have to defend its borders from a foreign power again.
Stuff of Legend
Some details of the story are known historical fact.
In the 13th century, Genghis Khan's grandson Kublai Khan had already conquered much of China and hoped to expand his Mongolian empire. To attack Kyushu, the southernmost of the four main Japanese islands, he amassed an enormous fleet of Chinese and Korean ships. It was one of the largest armadas the world has ever seen, with more than 140,000 sailors, according to Woodruff.
Yet twice, in 1274 and 1281, Kublai sent his overwhelming forces across the Korea Strait, and twice his fleet was destroyed.
Legend has it that Khan's ships were sunk when an emperor summoned two massive storms, the kamikazes.
The problem with this story, aside from the question of whether the storms were divinely ordained, is that powerful typhoons are relatively rare today in the part of western Japan that was attacked. Historians tend to give more credit to the Japanese troops who defended their land.
Scholars also note that modern popularization of the kamikaze story, in which an emperor summons the divine winds that project Japan, has an element of propaganda to it. Emperor Hirohito resurrected the tale in the final hours of World War II, when he appealed to Japanese pilots to become his divine winds and defend their homeland by crashing into Allied forces.
Woodruff and his team excavated sediments from beneath lake bottoms near the coast that suggest typhoons were more common in western Japan half a millennium ago than they are today. Two of the sediment layers may even have been laid down by the very typhoons that inspired the kamikaze legend.
Divine wind saves Japan
Recent science gives reason to trust the legends of typhoon winds known as kamikaze, said to have destroyed thousands of Mongol ships in the 13th century during attempts to invade Japan. Twice, Mongolian emperor Kublai Khan sent fleets across the Korea Strait, only to be struck by powerful storms and shipwrecked.
"We have fairly strong evidence of two intense inundations at the end of the 13th century," says Woodruff.
Searching for Kamikaze
Sediments buried beneath lakes give geologists a record of past weather, because they often contain materials washed in by storms. Some of the old layers Woodruff's team hauled up from beneath Lake Daija, near the coast of Kyushu, contained unusually large amounts of rock made from other ground-up rocks—called clastics—and the metal strontium. The most likely source of these materials would be massive amounts of sand and pulverized shells washed in from the beach by typhoons.
At another lake on the western edge of Kyushu, the researchers found deposits rich in clastics and titanium, a metal probably scoured from the bottom of a nearby river, also by typhoons.
And not just any typhoons. Dated carbon samples in the sediment layers associated with the two largest storms suggest they occurred at the right time to have been the legendary storms that saved Japan.
But there's enough uncertainty in those carbon dates to leave room for doubt, and Woodruff's geological records must also contend with historical accounts. A description of the first battle, in 1274 at Hakata Bay, was recorded for posterity by a samurai who makes no mention of a typhoon, only a shift in wind direction that helped the Japanese prevail.
As for the second attack in 1281, archaeologist James Delgado wouldn't be surprised if a huge typhoon was involved. He has seen the remnants of the devastated fleet firsthand, in sunken shipwrecks first discovered in Imari Bay in the 1980s.
Japanese scientists exploring the wrecks found a Chinese plaque, the remains of a Chinese soldier, and other artifacts that "powerfully proved" the sunken ships once belonged to Kublai's Mongol armada, says Delgado, who was not involved in the geology study.
"History isn't simple," says Delgado, director of maritime heritage at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries. "Too much of an emphasis on the storm takes away from the human elements."
Divers have also unearthed burned timbers, a clue that the typhoons got some help from soldiers in repelling the Mongol invasion. Japanese war tactics may have included sailing flaming boats into their adversary's fleet.
Next year Japanese teams expect to begin excavating a shipwreck found in 2011 for more archaeological clues. What treasures will be found within and what new wrinkles may be added to the tale of the kamikaze remain to be seen.
11 Thousand-Horse Parade Enters Guinness Book of World Records
Ulaanbaatar, November 7 (MONTSAME) Mongolia's record of the "largest in the world" horse parade that involved 11 thous.125 horses and their riders has been included in the special edition of the Guinness world records book of 2014. The edition is dedicated to the 60th anniversary of the Guinness World Records.
The largest in the world horse parade was achieved by the Federation of Mongolian Horse Racing Sports and Trainers (FMHRST) during an event organized by the chairman of the Federation M.Enkhbold and a secretary-general P.Sergelen in Khui Doloon Khudag on August 9 of 2013. The event ran in order to duly mark the historic 750th anniversary of the establishment of Ministry of Horses in Mongolia and to advertize to the world Mongolia's culture of horses, national horse-race and the spirit and skills of the children who ride racing horses.
The Mongolian parade broke the record of previous largest parade arranged in Colombia in 2006 with 7,895 horsemen.
6th Floor, NTN Tower
Baga Toiruu, Chingeltei District 1
Ulaanbaatar 15170, Mongolia
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