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Friday, March 6, 2015
Headlines in Italic are ones modified by Cover Mongolia from original
KCC closed +16.7% to C$0.035 on the announcement with 3 times the average volume
Kincora Copper welcomes reinstatement of Mongolian gold licenses with new 12-year terms
March 5 (Proactive Investors) Kincora Copper (CVE:KCC) has confirmed the reinstatement of its two gold exploration licences in Mongolia with new 12-year terms.
The Golden Grouse gold prospects comprise the North Fox prospect and the Western license and are next door to the company's copper project, Bronze Fox.
The Western licence hosts the Khunguut copper/gold extension of the West Kasulu prospect on Bronze Fox and the Tourmaline Hills, West Fox and Southwest targets.
Drilling undertaken by Kincora so far has focused on West Kasulu and 15 holes at Tourmaline Hills.
Sam Spring, Kincora's chief executive, said: "Uncertainty and the revocation of our Golden Grouse licenses has significantly impacted Kincora and general investor confidence towards Mongolia for over two years.
"We welcome this resolution in the most equitable and timely manner available to us, taking into consideration the interests of our shareholders and avoiding the courts.
"Regaining the returned Western license is particularly significant given its strategic importance, common geology with our Bronze Fox license, prospective previous results and favourable structural setting.
"The 106-license dispute has materially impeded Kincora's exploration efforts, including at Bronze Fox, and our corporate discussions and strategy."
Elisabeth Ellis, resident managing partner at Minter Ellison, which advised Kincora, added it was timely and welcome news for foreign investors with assets in Mongolia and those considering an investment in the country.
Mogi: total shortfall was 61m shares. XAM closed flat yesterday at A$0.09
Noble Increases Investment in Xanadu & Rights Issue Shortfall Offer Closes
March 5 -- Xanadu Mines Ltd (ASX: XAM – "Xanadu") is pleased to announce that Noble Resources International Pte Ltd ("Noble") has further increased its shareholding in Xanadu through a subscription for shortfall shares from Xanadu's recent rights issue ("Shortfall Shares").
Noble has taken up 5,547,885 shares at 12 cents per share for gross proceeds of A$665,746.20.
Noble will have a circa 9 per cent interest in Xanadu following allotment. The further investment from Noble, at a premium to last close, is another strong endorsement for Xanadu's Mongolian copper-gold strategy and exploration results.
The new funds will be allocated to further reducing the Deferred Consideration for the Kharmagtai copper-gold project, exploration activities and working capital. The investment from Noble means that Xanadu has successfully raised around A$15.3 million through the placement approved by Shareholders at its 2014 Annual General Meeting and the corresponding rights issue.
These new funds place Xanadu in a strong financial position. Furthermore, and as previously announced on 17 February 2015, the payment date for the remaining deferred consideration for the Kharmagtai project has been extended to 31 July 2016. This financial strength and flexibility ensure Xanadu is well-capitalised to unlock the value at its Kharmagtai and Oyut Ulaan copper-gold projects in what is scheduled to be a very active period of exploration and development for the company over 2015. Xanadu has completed successful drill campaigns at both projects, with a supplementary campaign undertaken at Kharmagtai following strong results from the first campaign.
This issue of Shortfall Shares to Noble is made in accordance with ASX Listing Rule 7.2, Exception 3. Xanadu has now closed the offer to issue further Shortfall Shares.
GoGo: Video Report from Noyon Mountain Area
By O. Ariunbileg
March 3 (gogo.mn) It has been several days that Noyon Mountain case has been gathering much attention lately. Therefore we are delivering coverage on the issue right from the Noyon Mountain area.
Here is the extract from the Gatsuurt Project submitted by Centerra Gold to the Government of Mongolia.
Gatsuurt project estimates to cover 303 hectares of land out of which 146 hectares are the former open pit gold mine. Total investment needed is MNT 503 billion and end result is 42 tons of gold and 3.7 tons of silver. During the projects over 1000 jobs will be created and 24 companies will be contracted for the downstream mining services. The project proposal provisions 70 hectares of woods to be impacted under mining activities. During the former open pit mining activities of Gatsuurt company river flow was changed, but the river is still flowing through the rocky parts of the land.
Total benefit of the project is estimated at MNT 1,885.8 billion. More in detail:
· Internal procurement /operation cost/: MNT 929.9 billion
· Royalties, taxes and other duties to be paid to state: MNT 600.3 billion
· Internal procurement /capital expenditure /: MNT 205.6 billion
· Salary for Mongolian employees: MNT 134.8 billion
· Local Development funds and charity: MNT 15.5 billion
We have traveled over 30 km to reach the Mandal soum of Selenge aimag to hear the opinions of the residents.
Och-Ziff Holding in Guildford Goes Below 5% Following Rights Issue
March 2, Guildford Coal Ltd. (ASX:GUF) --
TRQ closed +0.97% to US$3.13
Turquoise Hill Prices Should Head Towards US$6.41 - Analysts
March 4 (Ashburn Daily) Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd. (NYSE:TRQ) should head towards $6.41 per share according to 2 Analysts in consensus. However, if the road gets shaky, the stock may fall short to $2 per share. The higher price estimate target is at $11 according to the Analysts.
The short interest information of the company was disclosed in the recent information. Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd. (NYSE:TRQ), In a major positive the short interest in Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd. plummeted by 1.9% or 408,716 shares. The final shorts are 2.4% of the total floated shares. The positions dropped from 22,044,505 shares on January 30,2015 to 21,635,789 on February 13,2015. Inculcating the per-day average trading of 3,187,022 shares, the days to cover are 7.
Shares of Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd. (NYSE:TRQ) rose by 3.29% in the past week and 9.03% for the last 4 weeks. In the past week, the counter has outperformed the S&P 500 by 3.57% and the outperformance increases to 3.35% for the last 4 weeks.
Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd. (NYSE:TRQ) slipped 0.64% or 0.02 points in daily trade. The first trade was executed at $3.09 and the stock saw an intraday high of $3.15. In a clear sign of sustained selling, the price closed at $3.07, which was also the lowest point of the day. Closing at the lowest point of the day is a big negative for the stock and more losses may follow todays dismal session. The total number of shares exchanging hands stood at 1,188,967. The 52-week high of the company is registered $4.36 and its latest market cap is $6,218 million.
Translation: Verdict in Criminal Court Case Against SouthGobi and Former Employees
March 5 -- SouthGobi Resources Ltd. (TSX: SGQ, HK: 1878) has filed the attached Verdict on Punishment of Second District First Instance Criminal Court in Mongolian language and its English translation in Vancouver, Canada on March 5, 2015 on SEDAR in Canada (www.sedar.com).
SouthGobi Resources Ltd. has taken all reasonable care in translating the official court verdict No. 131 of the Second District First Instance Criminal Court from Mongolian language into English language. The official text is the Mongolian version of the verdict. This English translation is for reference purpose only and no warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied, is made as to the accuracy, correctness, or reliability of the translation made from Mongolian into English. Any discrepancies or differences created in the translation are not binding and have no legal effect for compliance or enforcement purposes. When there are any discrepancies between official Mongolian version and English translation version, the official Mongolian version always prevails.
Subscription Agreement Between Novel Sunrise and SouthGobi Resources
March 5 -- SouthGobi Resources Ltd. (TSX: SGQ, HK: 1878) has filed the attached subscription agreement in Vancouver, Canada on March 5, 2015 on SEDAR in Canada (www.sedar.com).
MSE News for March 5: Top 20 -0.09% to 13,731.29, Turnover ₮17.1 Million
Ulaanbaatar, March 5 (MONTSAME) At the Stock Exchange trades on Thursday, a total of 11 thousand and 578 units of 14 JSCs were traded costing MNT 17 million 055 thousand and 630.50.
"Remikon" /4,400 units/, "APU" /2,247 units/, "Khokh gan" /2,120 units/, "Makh impex" /2,118 units/ and "E-trans logistics" /300 units/ were the most actively traded in terms of trading volume, in terms of trading value were "APU" (MNT seven million 885 thousand and 400), "Makh impex" (MNT seven million 101 thousand and 900), "Talkh chikher" (MNT 448 thousand and 800), "Remikon" (MNT 374 thousand) and "Material impex" (MNT 300 thousand and 200).
The total market capitalization was set at MNT one trillion 349 billion 567 million 010 thousand and 551. The Index of Top-20 JSCs was 13,731.29, decreasing 0.09% and the all index of MSE was 982.52, decreasing 0.06% against the previous day.
MSE Switches from T+3 Settlement to T+1
March 4 (MSE) By implementing the resolution No.:67 of Financial Regulatory Commission, dated on 28 January 2015, the settlement cycle for domestic equity market is switching from T+3 to T+1 effective from 4 March 2015 due to updated changes on trading and settlement system and related regulations have been made.
MSE Primary Offer: ₮672.7 Million 12-Week T-Bills at 3.45% Discount, Yield 15.54%
March 5 (MSE)
1. The issuer's name: Mongolian Ministry of Finance
2. The purpose of the issuance of bond: Fund management of State treasure
3. Offering scope of securities: Offering to the public
4. Type of securities: Government securities
5. Face value: MNT 100,000
6. Discounted price: MNT 96,547
7. Total amounts issued: 6,727 Units
8. Securities performance:
Government Securities name
Value /мillion MNT/
Form of Interest payment*
Interest rate (percent)
Starting date of the order
Closing date of the trading
9. Rate of interest: interest rate of the Government Securities, which will be issued weekly, will be based on auction results of Central Bank basis State Government Securities weighted average interest rate. If the Central Bank's weekly trading cancelled, the interest rate will be set based on the previous trading of Government Securities weighted average interest rate.
10. Order deadline: The Mongolian Stock Exchange will take orders 6 days and the trading will close on the 6th day at 14.00 PM and information on total orders will be delivered to the securities issuer.
11. Trading period: Total registered orders distribution of MSE trading system will be determined based on the Ministry of Finance votes.
MSE Reinstates Argai Best Trading License
March 5 (MSE) According to the decree No.:201 of CEO of Mongolian Stock Exchange dated on 01 December 2014 and "Cooperation Agreement", there were some member companies temporary halted from trading due to failed to follow duties that stated on the agreement.
Accordance with decree No.: 68 of CEO of MSE dated on 04 March 2015, the trading license of "Argai Best" LLC has been reinstated due to executed duties.
MSE E-Newsletter, February 2015
March 3 (MSE) 28th edition of E-newsletter which contains MSE's brief news of February 2015, and it posted on website of MSE.
Click here to view 28th edition of E-newsletter.
BoM MNT Rates: Thursday, March 5 Close
MNT vs USD, CNY in last 1 year:
BoM FX auction: US$16m sold at ₮1,984.5, CNY76m at ₮315.81, accepts $9.6m MNT, $15m USD swap offers
March 5 (Bank of Mongolia) On the Foreign Exchange Auction held on March 5th, 2015 the BOM has received bid offers of USD 36.5 million and CNY 92.5 million from local commercial banks. BOM has sold USD 16.0 million in a rate of 1984.50 and CNY 76.0 million with rate of 315.81.
On March 5th, 2015, The BOM has received MNT Swap agreement bid offer in equivalent to USD 9.5 and USD Swap agreement bid offer of USD 15.0 million from local commercial banks and accepted the offer.
BoM issues ₮176.9 billion 1-week bills, total outstanding -12.75% to ₮311.9 billion
March 4 (Bank of Mongolia) BoM issues 1 week bills worth MNT 176.9 billion at a weighted interest rate of 13.0 percent per annum /For previous auctions click here/
GoM Treasury Auction: ₮80 Billion 12-Weeks Sold at Discount, 15.54% Yield
March 4 (Bank of Mongolia) Auction for 12 weeks maturity Government Treasury bill was announced at face value of 80.0 billion MNT. Face value of 80.0 billion /out of 117.0 billion bid/ Government Treasury bill was sold at discounted price and with weighted average yield of 15.54%.
Mogi: I don't get it, wasn't the verdict FINAL and BINDING? KRI down -9.1% since verdict jump
Mongolia Considering Options After Court Case on Khan Resources
By Michael Kohn
March 4 (Bloomberg) -- Mongolia will consider appealing a court decision awarding Khan Resources Inc. $100 million.
Mongolia's options also include settling with Khan, Bayartsetseg Jigmiddash, Mongolia's State Secretary of the Ministry of Justice, said at a press conference in Ulaanbaatar on Wednesday. An international arbitration tribunal awarded Khan Resources approximately $100 million as compensation for the cancellation of the company's mining licenses.
The government will review a 100-page verdict issued by the court before making a decision on the next step, Bayartsetseg said.
Government of Mongolia ordered to pay 100 million USD to Khan Resources
March 5 (news.mn) Khan Resources LLC has claimed 285 million USD in losses from actions taken by the Mongolian government and won a case against the government in the International Court of Arbitration. The court ordered that Mongolian government pay 100 million USD to Khan Resources. State Secretary of the Ministry of Justice J.Bayartsetseg has spoken to the media about the ruling.
The Mongolian Government lost the case with the International Court of Arbitration and now has to pay a large amount of money to Khan Resources. Could you please give us detailed information regarding this case?
The claimants of this case were Khan Resources LLC and Central Asian Uranium. This has become one of the main issues of the dispute.
After the arbitration dispute, which began on January 10, 2011, over the duration of four years, the court has met three times.
Following the first court session in 2011, according to the appeal of the Mongolian government, it was decided that the case would be divided into cases of subordination dispute and reimbursement dispute.
In May 2012, the case became a subordination dispute, and it was considered a dispute for the arbitration court and several violations had been made. The third court session on the reimbursement issue was organized in November 2013.
From the Canadian side, there was a claim that the license had been illegally withdrawn.
The court decision was issued yesterday, and a document of more than 100 pages has been delivered but we haven't discussed it yet. According to the court's decision, the Mongolian government will have to pay 80 million USD and also we need to pay the costs of the court.
Do we have the chance to appeal?
The Government of Mongolia will decide what will be the next steps and measures to be taken. The right to appeal is open. In addition, the issue of negotiation and conciliation is also open. The Government of Mongolia will decide which path to choose.
Is there any deadline for an appeal?
There is no fixed term, but I think that it is not a very long term.
Is the license now in our ownership?
According to the court's decision, the license of the mine hasn't been withdrawn. The Government of Mongolia is now keeping this license, so interested companies can utilize the license and conduct exploration and investments, so it is open. Maybe the possibility to provide an investment is open by repaying expenses due to the court.
Mongolian Government has all further options on Khan verdict – MoJ – Montsame, March 5
Khan Resources Awarded $100 Million in Case Against Mongolia
By Michael Kohn
March 3 (Bloomberg) -- Khan Resources Inc. won a case in an international court against Mongolia, six years after its mining licenses were stripped and it was forced to abandon its uranium development in the east of the country.
An international arbitration tribunal under the United Nations Commission on International Trade awarded approximately $100 million as compensation for the cancellation of the company's mining licenses, Toronto-based Khan Resources said in a statement issued March 2.
Mongolia's state-owned Monatom LLC operates the uranium deposit with Russia's Atomredmetzoloto JSC. "Monatom will work with Khan Resources for solution," Mongolia's Parliament Speaker Enkhbold Zandaakhuu said in an e-mail.
The trial with Khan has been one of several nagging disputes between Mongolia and mining companies that arrived in the north Asian country seeking business opportunities over the past decade. The disputes, which include Rio Tinto Group's stalled Oyu Tolgoi mine development, have contributed to an 88 percent drop in foreign direct investment in the past two years.
"In respect of the merits of the claim, the Tribunal agreed with virtually all of Khan's arguments and concluded that Mongolia had breached their obligations towards Khan under Mongolia's Foreign Investment Law," Khan Resources said. "As a consequence, Mongolia had also breached the multi-lateral Energy Charter Treaty to which Mongolia is a signatory."
The company had been seeking damages in excess of $350 million, according to a Feb. 26 press release. Khan rose 28 percent to C$0.55 in Toronto trading on Monday.
The Tribunal's award will "spark a conversation among Mongolians" that will lead to better relations with foreign investors, said Bilguun Ankhbayar, the CEO of Mongolian Investment Banking Group LLC.
"It is going to help Mongolians understand the different dynamics of international investments, especially in the mining sector. They cannot make decisions by themselves, they have to pay the price as well," he said.
According to the World Bank, Mongolia's 2013 gross domestic product was $11.5 billion.
MP Uyanga Seeks to Dismiss President Elbegdorj Over SouthGobi Pardons
By O. Ariunbileg
March 5 (gogo.mn) MP G.Uyanga started a battle against President of Mongolia Ts.Elbegdorj. She once outbraved anyone around her and addressed the President directly with: "You never report. You are lucky that no one is asking you to do so."
Yesterday MP came out with an announcement intending to dismiss the President. According to the Constitutional rights, President of Mongolia Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj issued a Decree to pardon some convicts. President pardoned U.S. citizen Justin Kapla, citizens of Philippines Cristobal David and Hilarion Cajucom Jr who have been convicted of tax evasion charges. This act has become the grounds for MP G.Uyanga to see it as the violation of the Constitution and President needs to be dismissed.
MP G.Uyanga is to submit the issue to the Constitutional Court and if the court rules in favor for MP G.Uyanga, she will submit the issue at the State Great Khural.
DOES STATE GREAT KHURAL HAVE RIGHT TO DISMISS PRESIDENT?
It does have the right. In the provision seven of the Law on Mongolian President it states that:
1. President shall report each year to State Great Khural.
2. State Great Khural to discuss the issue on dismissal of the President basing on provision 35 and article 2 of the Constitution Law, in case if President violates Constitution, other legislation and its full powers and not less than one third of the State Great Khural members officially submits the issue.
This implies that MP G.Uyanga needs to collect support from other 25 State Great Khural Members. Seeing from yesterday's announcement she has four independent MPs on her side. How many more MPs will side with her?
Minister Erdenebat meets Oyu Togloi CEO on Revised State Policy on Industry Bill
March 5 (news.mn) Minister of Industry D.Erdenebat received the President and CEO of Oyu Tolgoi, Andrew Woodley, today.
At the beginning of the meeting, Woodley expressed his views on the decreasing prices of raw materials for mineral resources in the global market, but noted that although prices are due to decrease, it is possible to seem them increase at mid-level pricing.
He mentioned that in recent years, the procurement of goods to Oyu Tolgoi LLC has been mostly been handled by Mongolian companies, and 50 percent of OT's supply procurement was from domestic producers.
The President and CEO of Oyu Tolgoi stressed that it is possible to increase the procurement of domestic supplies.
The Minister of Industry noted that the Ministry of Industry has revised the state policy document to be adhered to in the industrial sector and submitted it for approval by the Parliament.
The policy paper addresses how to resolve the issues of heavy industry in the future.
The Minister stressed that the policy document covers establishing a copper melting factory. Woodley said that the company is following the issue closely. OT's first copper concentrate was exported in July 2013, and since that time, the total amount of exported copper has reached one million tons.
Last year the company has paid 250 million USD in taxes and fees, and procurement expenses of 300 million USD were paid to domestic producers.
Areva to start small-scale uranium exploration at Dornogobi projects
March 5 (news.mn) Cogegobi LLC, the Mongolian subsidiary of the Areva Group of France conducting exploration work in Ulaanbadrakh and Zuunbayan soums of Dornogobi aimag, plan to start exploring uranium on an experimental basis this year.
Chairman of the company Terry Pleasant met with Head of the Citizen's Representative' Council G.Ganbaatar on February 25, and discussed the projects to be carried out this year.
Cogegobi LLC has been approved to conduct a feasibility study and plans for exploration are nearing completion. If the company receives a mining exploration license, exploration activity will start soon.
The residents of the area where the mining activity of Cogegobi LLC is taking place have claimed that due to the improper activity of the company, cattle are dying and becoming ill.
EBRD President to Visit Mongolia in March
March 5 (infomongolia.com) On March 04, 2015, Finance Minister J.Erdenebat held a meeting with the Head of Ulaanbaatar Office of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Matthieu Le Blan upon a request of a latter part.
During the meeting, the EBRD Country Office Director introduced the Bank activities in the country and parties discussed current collaborative issues and further cooperation development issues, besides, exchanged views on opportunities to finance biggest projects in infrastructure and other sectors.
Moreover, Mr. Matthieu Le Blan conveyed an interest of the EBRD President Sir Suma Chakrabarti to meet the Finance Minister during his upcoming visit to Mongolia expected in March 2015.
Also, Country Office Director Matthieu Le Blan conferred to Finance Minister J.Erdenebat an invitation to participate in the EBRD Annual Meeting and Business Forum 2015 to take place in Tbilisi, Georgia on May 14-15, 2015.
Concluding the meeting, Minister J.Erdenebat noted that the MNT (Tugrug) loan to private sector businesses provided by the EBRD has been greatly contributing to reduce the currency risk and expressed his hope to broaden such loan services.
Average lifetime of a Mongolian government 28 months: Indication of need to revise the Constitution
By E. Orgil
March 3 (gogo.mn) Spring session of the State Great Khural is to discuss the amendments to the Constitution of Mongolia. National Research team assessed the implementation of the Constitution.
In 23-year time only two cabinets have completed its period fully, while we have witnessed the cabinet of few months lifetime as well. Average lifetime for a governing power in Mongolian is 28 months, which affects negatively on government continuation and sustainable development of the country.
This is clear indication of the hole in the legislation and there is real need to make amendments to the Constitution. This issue is to be discussed during the spring session of the State Great Khural, according to the State Formation Standing Committee head A.Bakei.
National Research team concluded that Constitution, which was adopted in 1992 and implemented for over 20 years, needs to be amended as it is no longer serves to the specifics of the current social and political developments.
In view of this conclusion, special working group on amendments to the constitution has been established with the order just before the closing of the autumn session of State Great Khural consisting of seven MPs.
Seven MPs to participate in the adoption of the renewed Constitution are
· N.Batbayar Member of Parliament
· L.Tsog Member of Parliament
· S.Bayartsogt Member of Parliament
· D.Lundeejants Member of Parliament
· D.Demberel Member of Parliament
· R.Gonchigdorj Member of Parliament
· L.Bold Member of Parliament.
Working group will revise the seven amendments adopted in 2000, which have been critizised for worsening the Constitution. Moreover the main focus will be on independence of the cabinet, double deel issues and city status within the administrative unit section.
Mogi: I'm sure it's complete pain in the ass but these moves seem to defeat the whole purpose of having this in the first place
Public officials who declare income, assets reduced by 20,000
March 5 (news.mn) The Standing Committee on Legal Affairs has decreased the number of taxpayers declaring and submitting asset ownership and income by 20,000.
Assistants and advisors to ministers and high ranking state officials will no longer need to submit asset and income declaration.
Last tax season, about 58,000 officials submitted asset and income declaration. The number of people declaring assets and income has decreased, but no changes have been made to the Anti-Corruption Law.
The Standing Committee on Legal Affairs stated that it is possible to make further cuts and raise the number to 38,000 exempt from declarations.
PM orders petroleum authority to find 2nd source of jet fuels to reduce MIAT costs
Ulaanbaatar, March 5 (MONTSAME) In an effort to find a second source of aviation fuel supply, the Prime Ch.Saikhanbileg invited on Wednesday to a meeting the head of the Oil Authority G.Ulziiburen and his deputy Ts.Amraa, the Chief operating officer of MIAT company N.Ganbold, and the chairman of Ulaanbaatar Railways JSC L.Purevbaatar.
Ganbold said the cost of jet fuel is a major factor in the economic difficulties and in current financial situation of the MIAT, "we suffered a 736 million Togrog loss in the last six months".
After reviewing this and other situations, the Premier sharply criticized the heads of several departments and MIAT for the losses and urged them to eliminate the fuel dependence on a single source. "Contracts in favor of private companies cause great losses to state-run companies. Bear in mind, only the people, not the MIAT, are paying for the expensive fuel. Our priority is to get rid of this dependency and a monopoly," he stressed.
The head of the Oil Authority G.Ulziiburen said his office together with the "Ulaanbaatar Railways" JSC were seeking a second supplier of jet fuel. "We have studied a possibility of fuel imports from China and Russia, and are thoroughly considering the issue of purchasing fuel storage and transport logistics.
The calculation of the cost of fuel will be based on the prices of the Singapore Exchange, an international model. In late April-early May we will be able to start importing the fuel from another source," he said.
The PM instructed them to take urgent measures to get prepared for the installation of containers in Zamiin-Uud border checkpoint and to develop a report to be submitted to the cabinet.
Training held for participation of female border security officials
March 5 (news.mn) A training for participation of female officials in border security and management issues was organized in cooperation with the School of Law Enforcement and the Organization on the Security of Europe (OSCE), and multinational security organizations.
During the training, discussions were organized among participants and opinions were received.
The following officials participated in the discussion: Member of Parliament M.Batchimeg, State Secretary of the Ministry of Justice J.Bayartsetseg, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary from the USA to Mongolia Piper Anne Wind Campbell, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary from the Czech Republic to Mongolia Ivana Grolova, and other officials.
The agenda included the following issues: an open and secure border, factors influencing security of the border and management system, combating corruption and providing transparency, customs inspections at the border, and more.
More than 30 officials participated in the training, including specialists from the General Police Department, the General Inspection Authority of Mongolia, General Authority for Border Protection, State Specialized Inspection Agency, Chinggis Khaan International Airport, General Intelligence Agency, National Intelligence Academy, and 30 officials from the National Emergency Management Agency.
Narita Airport operator looking to invest in Mongolia
TOKYO, March 5 (Nikkei Asian Review) -- The operator of Japan's Narita Airport is considering investing in Mongolia's new international airport slated to open in 2017, hoping to establish new avenues for growth overseas.
Narita International Airport Corp. plans to partner with Japan Airport Terminal and trading house Jalux. With support from the Japan International Cooperation Agency, they have already begun a feasibility study.
The Mongolian government is expected to finalize the airport's management framework around April. If it chooses the Japanese consortium to operate the facility, Narita International Airport Corp. will invest up to 300 million yen ($2.49 million) in a new special-purpose company. It would mark the first investment in an overseas airport by a Japanese airport operator.
Japan's Mitsubishi Corp. and Chiyoda have won the order to build the airport about 50km southwest of the capital city of Ulan Bator. The total project will cost 50 billion yen, roughly 90% of which will be funded through yen-denominated loans from the Japanese government.
Though Narita International Airport Corp. has advised airport operators in Vietnam and Egypt, it never has invested in foreign facilities. Fraport, which runs Germany's Frankfurt Airport develops real estate and manages commercial facilities at foreign airports. Overseas accounts for about 20% of total sales. The Japanese company hopes to make similar inroads in related businesses in Mongolia through the project.
The company also hopes to gain a better sense of the Asian market by placing its staff on the new airport's management team and apply that knowledge to its business at Narita Airport near Tokyo.
With Asian demand for air travel expected to grow, new airports are being planned across the region. Businesses face cutthroat competition over coveted opportunities such as handling air traffic control or installing popular shopping outlets.
Operator of Narita airport may invest in new Mongolian airport – Kyodo News, March 5
Korea's SK Telecom inks deal with Mongolia's Skytel for LTE adoption
SEOUL, March 5 (Yonhap) -- SK Telecom Co., South Korea's largest mobile carrier, said Thursday it has clinched deals with Taiwanese and Mongolian counterparts to provide mobile network solutions as part of a broader move toward global expansion.
SK Telecom said it signed memorandums of understanding (MOU) with both Taiwan Mobile Co. and Skytel Group of Mongolia on Wednesday (Spain time), during the Mobile World Congress being held in Barcelona. This will initiate them into adopting the long-term evolution (LTE) network and mobile solutions.
In a separate deal, SK Telecom also joined hands with Nokia Corp. to export its mobile technologies and network management solutions to over 600 global clients held by the Finnish firm.
Taiwan Mobile, which holds a 28-percent market share in the country, has been active in expanding LTE service on its home turf with over 1 million users subscribed to the advanced mobile network.
Skytel, which has recently begun to introduce LTE service in Mongolia, is expected to get a boost in establishing a solid footing for the faster network coverage, SK Telecom added.
The move by SK Telecom comes as part of its efforts to make further inroads overseas. The South Korean company has recently signed a set of similar deals with Russian mobile phone operator MegaFon, Smartfren of Indonesia and Shanghai-based China Telecom Corp.
2nd World Clean Coal Conference Mongolia to Take Place in Ulaanbaatar on May 14-15
March 5 (infomongolia.com) Another news related to Coal Conference for 2015 focused on Mongolia is a series of the World Clean Coal Conference that recently started in India last February to continue in Indonesia in April and thereafter to launch the second edition of the World Clean Coal Conference, Mongolia to take place in Ulaanbaatar on May 14-15, 2015.
The World Clean Coal Conference in response to the new challenges and opportunities facing clean coal industry worldwide is aimed to introducing the leading coal companies, power utilities, oil & gas companies, chemical and fertilizer producers' innovative experiences, addressing the major challenges in government policy, regulation and industrial standards, delivering latest developments in technologies that help clean coal industry build new business model fitting into a low carbon and sustainable future.
Why Mongolia Conference
As one of the growing emerging market, Mongolia enjoys a very rich coal reserve. However, due to air pollution and dependence on importing oil & gas from aboard, Mongolia needs to find a sustainable energy mix to fuel its economic growth. Clean coal, thanks to its high carbon conversion efficiency and enticing profitability for its coal-derivatives, has shown a great potential in the national energy security of Mongolia.
According to Draft Agenda of the 2015 World Clean Coal Conference, Mongolia, the following topics will be featured.
www.InfoMongolia.com is collaborating with organizers of this international event as a local media partner and for more information please visit www.worldcleancoal.org/Mongolia/
Government securities can be used as tender collateral
March 3 (Mongolian Economy) England has been trading government securities for 500 years. How it works is the government announces the sale of government securities to the public for a certain period to attract investment. Months or years later, when it comes time for the government to pay the investment returns and yields, the government re-announces the trade of government securities to compensate the previous investments. This cycle of compensation has continued for a half a millennium.
Government security trading has generated strong recent interest in Mongolia. In the past, only a few major banking players were involved in security trading organised by the central bank—causing interest to be low. But now, enterprises and individuals have the opportunity to participate in trade, according to an announcement by Mongol Bank.
Bonds or other government securities—which basically operate by having you lend your money to the government and later receive a return in full plus interest—are relatively new to Mongolia. According to the data from the Mongolian Stock Exchange, the government has accumulated in total MNT 78 billion from government security trading, while private participants gained a profit of MNT 7 billion.
Government securities can contribute to short-term budget revenue, expenditure gap financing, investment for development projects and financial market development. In addition, the central bank views that government securities can be used as a monetary policy tool that can establish real interest rates. Government securities have the advantage of being high liquidity, risk-free and offering tax-exempt interest income.
Government securities offer high interest rates—higher by almost three percent than the highest interest of commercial banks. Plus, if you have an urgent need for money (liquidity), the possibility to sell or transfer the securities to secondary market participants makes the initial investment one of high liquidity. Even after selling or transferring the securities, any earned interest is retained free of any charges.
Owning securities has other advantages. For example, bidders in tenders are required to make at least a 30 percent deposit. Thus, if an enterprise bids for a MNT 100 million tender, it must place a deposit of MNT 30 million. However, if you own a government security of that amount, you can use that security as a tender deposit guarantee.
The public may want to know if an account used in government securities trade can be used again in future trades. Mongolian Stock Exchange marketing and public affairs director J.Myagmarsuren says: "Government securities are usually declared in terms of three, six, nine or twelve months. If you participated in a three months term exchange, and if it expired, then the account is closed. After that a new account must be created in order to participate. Interest is calculated every month."
The next government security exchange is going to be held on 24 March. During this exchange 255,828 securities are going to be traded, with a nominal value of MNT 96,659.
Mongolia Reduces Safe Aircraft Distance on High-Altitude Flights from 90 to 30kms
March 2 (infomongolia.com) Mongolia has accomplished a work to adhere a new service of safe distance between aircrafts on high-altitude flights from 90 km to 30 km, which is effective from 10:00 am of March 16, 2015.
By reducing the safety distance, it expected to improve the ability to enter the airspace of Mongolian territory, which can increase the number of flights and will be an important contribution to the development of the air transport industry.
UB seeks ministry's help in bringing power to new housing districts
Ulaanbaatar, March 3 (MONTSAME) Chairman of the Citizens' Representatives Khural of Ulaanbaatar D.Battulga and the General Manager of Ulaanbaatar and Chief of the Municipal Governor's Office B.Badral held a meeting with the Minister of Energy D.Zorigt on Tuesday.
They submitted several requests on matters on improving the heat and power provisions of the city in regard to the re-structuring of ger (national dwelling) districts. The requests are about the additional power source for the new housing districts to be built near the Headquarters of the Mongolian National Broadcaster and "Denjiin 1000" black market, an expansion of main heat line of the city center, and a re-connecting of the detached part of the super voltage lines of Ikh Toiruu (Great Ring) area.
In response, the Minister promised to take these issues in to the consideration and to present them to the Cabinet in a near term.
The Municipal administrators said they expect the solutions before this April 1, when a construction of roads and buildings begin.
Ulaanbaatar City Council to discuss zoning issues
March 5 (gogo.mn) Capital city government council meeting is being held today. The council meeting will discuss the following issues:
- Ulaanbaatar city Flood Risk Assessment and Risk Management Strategies.
- Ulaanbaatar city zoning planning, conclusions of studies and assessments on engineering and geology and soil norms.
- Archive regulation project on adding the documents.
- Introduction on supplying Ulaanbaatar city with LPG.
The discussion meeting will be held at 2PM at Khangarid Palace.
12 tons of reserve meat ready for sale in UB
March 5 (gogo.mn) 12 tons of reserve meet is ready for the sales in Ulaanbaatar city during spring and summer seasons at seven meet reserve facilities of six companies such as Makh Market, Baatruud Tenger, General Foods, Makh Impex, Khanbulgan Khuns and ANDM, which comply to the food quality and safety standards.
30 percent of the total meat reserve is comprised of beef and goat meet, where the 40 percent is lamb.
Capital City Special Inspection Authority conducted assessments on the food and safety standards at those facilities and the state inspector introduced the assessment result.
Moreover, preparation work for selling the reserve meet was ensured by conducting assessment on package and collecting equipment to shred, pack, classify and label.
A Potential Breakthrough in Mongolia's Relations With North and South Korea
By Mendee Jargalsaikhan
March 2 (Eurasia Daily Monitor Volume: 12 Issue: 38, The Jamestown Foundation) Mongolia takes a resolutely middle road when it comes to North and South Korea. It values its long-standing relations with the North while developing its newly-declared strategic partnership with the South. Due to its geographic location, wedged between Russia and China, Mongolia is often considered a "regionless" state. Therefore, engaging the two Koreas is particularly important for Mongolia as it attempts to integrate itself into Northeast Asia as well as expand its foreign economic and cultural interactions beyond China. Until now, the two Koreas have been hesitant about engaging in trilateral engagements with Mongolia, while the other major powers have, heretofore, paid little attention to Ulaanbaatar's constructive engagements with Seoul and Pyongyang. However, the series of diplomatic initiatives that transpired over the past year suggest that the members to the Six Party Talks on de-nuclearizing North Korea—the United States, China, Russia, Japan, and North and South Korea—are changing their attitude toward Mongolia's efforts. Meanwhile, both the Republic of Korea (ROK—South Korea) and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK—North Korea) are evidently beginning to seek increasing economic opportunities in and with Mongolia.
In 2014, key international players began to publicly commend Mongolia's sustained diplomacy, which does not isolate North Korea. Notably, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe recognized Mongolia's role in facilitating and hosting several meetings between Japan and the DPRK, especially for talks on the issue of North Korea's abductions of Japanese citizens (Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, September 24, 2014). Mongolia hosted three rounds of meeting between Japan and North Korea in 2007–2012, and a secret meeting between the abductees and their Japanese relatives in March 2014 (Japan Times, March 26, 2014). Even though Mongolia's diplomatic efforts seemed to attract little to no attention from the United States, they have been well received in the Japanese media.
It should also be noted that last year, Mongolia organized the so-called Ulaanbaatar Dialogue, involving all Northeast Asian states. The Ulaanbaatar Dialogue's track II format includes a city mayors' forum, women parliamentarian meetings, and a numerous sporting activities; and North Korea actively participated in all of these programs. Chinese President Xi Jinping has repeatedly expressed his support for the Ulaanbaatar Dialogue initiative during his August 2014 visit to the Mongolian capital, as well as during a meeting on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Dushanbe, last September (Ikon, 22 August 2014; Dushanbe SCO Summit Press Release, September 12, 2014).
South Korean and Russian attitudes toward Mongolia's regional role are also changing. In particular, Seoul seems to regard Ulaanbaatar as a valued partner for its Northeast Asia Peace and Cooperation Engagement Initiative (NAPCI) as well as its Eurasia Initiative (Yonhap News, August 26, 2014). Meanwhile, with the upsurge in political contacts between Russia and the DPRK in 2014, Moscow has supported Mongolia's engagement with North Korea (38 North, November 6, 2014). Indeed, during Russian President Vladimir Putin's visit to Ulaanbaatar last September, both sides even agreed to collaborate on using the North Korean Rason port (Ikon, September 3, 2014). Both North Korea and Mongolia, as Russia's traditional geopolitical pivots to Northeast Asia, welcome Russia's engagement. Whereas, it is clearly in Russia's interest to transform North Korea from a roadblock to an entryway for reaching non-Chinese markets across Northeast Asia.
Even Mongolia's view in Washington has been undergoing a moderate shift. US policymakers are now weighing the options of using Mongolia as: 1) an example for political and economic transitions, 2) a venue for dialogue on economic cooperation, and/or 3) a staging area for humanitarian activities in the wider region (Brookings Op-Ed, No. 84, January 2015; CSIS, December 3, 2014).
With these increasingly positive attitudes among all the major players, Mongolia may be able to capitalize on its secure domestic and political situation, as well as its political neutrality toward both Koreas, in order to strengthen its ties with potential partners across Northeast Asia. At the same time, Ulaanbaatar hopes to be able to provide more opportunities for trilateral collaboration among Mongolia, the ROK and the DPRK, especially in areas of sustainable development.
In mid-January 2015, a North Korean aircraft picked up 104 heads of cattle from Mongolia, the first shipment of 10,000 promised animals to help the DPRK develop its animal husbandry sector as a part of Mongolia's humanitarian assistance package to this country (News.mn, January 13). Although Mongolia provided livestock (goats) to North Korea in the past, this time both sides aim to implement a much larger project, which will help the DPRK build up its long-term food-production capacity. With its traditional experience in the animal husbandry industry, Mongolia raises 51.9 million grazing animals and is re-building its export capacity to Chinese, Russian and Japanese markets (National Statistics Office of Mongolia, January 2015).
Another area that both Koreas are interested in is the leasing of fertile Mongolian land—especially along the major river basins in the eastern and northern parts the landlocked Asian country. Under a four-year-old agreement between the ROK's Korea-Mongolia Agricultural Development Initiatives (KMADI) and the local government of Mongolia's Dornod province, South Korea leased 30,000 hectares of land in eastern Mongolia to develop eco-friendly agriculture and livestock breeding (Korea IT Times, March 11, 2011). In the long run, the project aims to bring South Korean capital and technology into Mongolia with a long-term objective of creating sustainable sources of agricultural and livestock production.
Finally, about 30–40 thousand Mongolians live in South Korea, and 3,000 South Koreans and 2,000 North Koreans reside (or work) in Mongolia. Moreover, South Korea is becoming a major gateway for Mongolians to reach the Asia-Pacific region and North America: 65,000 Mongolians travel to and through Seoul every year. Currently, there are 20 flights in the summer and 12 in the winter between Seoul and Ulaanbaatar. Thus, South Korea has grown into one of Mongolia's largest trading partners and has increased its investment in the landlocked country's mining, infrastructure and services sectors. Although on a smaller scale, Mongolian businesses are also eyeing investments in North Korea, if Pyongyang gradually opens up its economy.
If these trends continue, Mongolia may appeal for even more economic and cultural collaboration with the two Koreas. And there appears to be ever greater potential for collaboration on sustainable economic projects such as agriculture, tourism and infrastructure development.
MP R.Amarjargal meets DPRK Ambassador on expanding DP, Labor Party ties
March 5 (news.mn) R.Amarjargal, Secretary in charge of Foreign Relations of Democratic Party received Democratic Republic of North Korea Ambassador to Mongolia Mr. Hon Gu and Consular An Sen Il on March 4, 2015.
During the meeting two sides have discussed issues on the cooperation between Labor Party of Democratic Republic of North Korea and Democratic Party in Mongolia.
President Elbegdorj participates in Germany-Mongolia Business Forum
March 5 (news.mn) The President of Mongolia, Ts.Elbegdorj, has participated in the Mongolian-German Business Forum organized in Berlin on March 3, 2015.
President Ts.Elbegdorj, the Governor of Berlin Michael Muller, the Head of the Board of Directors of Deutsche Bank, Minister of Foreign Affairs L.Purevsuren, Minister of Roads and Transportation N.Tumurkhuu, Governor of Ulaanbaatar E.Bat-Uul, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary from Mongolia to Germany Ts.Bolor, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary from Germany to Mongolia Gerhard Tidenman participated in the forum.
More than 170 Representatives from the industrial, tourism, and infrastructure sectors participated in the forum, with 90 representatives from Germany. Fifteen Mongolian companies participated in the forum with most having traditional business relations with German companies.
The President of Mongolia, Governor of Berlin, and Julia Arnold, Director of International Economic Relations of the Chamber of Industry and Commerce of Germany gave opening speeches.
President Ts.Elbegdorj and Chancellor Angela Merkel Hold Press Briefing
March 5 (president.mn) President of Mongolia Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj who is paying a working visit to the Federal Republic of Germany, and Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany Angela Merkel held a meeting, following which the Excellencies hosted the press for briefing.
Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel: I learned that one percent of the Mongolian population speaks German language. This is an excellent bridge for our bilateral relations. I am pleased to welcome Mongolia as the Official Partner Country for ITB-2015, and its President Ms. Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj to open the ITB.
In 2011 Germany and Mongolia concluded an Agreement of Bilateral Cooperation in the Mineral Sector. Within the confines of the Agreement, a profile technological school was established in Mongolia. Our two parties need to make greater efforts to implement the agreed objectives of the Agreement. Germany-Mongolia bilateral relations are very special. We do enjoy active political relations, however our economic cooperation has remained relatively slow. Over the past period, we failed to implement our joint economic project to the level we wished.
President of Mongolia Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj: Mongolia views Germany as its main partner in Europe. I am very happy for the fact that Mongolia was chosen as a Partner Country for ITB-2015, the world's largest tourism fair. I am also very glad that Chancellor Angela Merkel and I had a wonderful opportunity to meet and discuss our bilateral relations and cooperation and exchange views on issues of regional character. Madame Chancellor visited Mongolia in 2011. We visited Germany in 2012. Mongolia endeavors to expand her relations and cooperation with Germany in every field. I wish to reassure that Mongolia shall work actively to implement the agreed goals and objectives of our bilateral relations. I am indeed very happy about this chance to meet with all of you here.
Question by a Mongolian journalist: You have mentioned that the two countries are yet to achieve active economic cooperation, especially in the minerals sector. Mongolia has huge mineral resources. Mongolia is interested in supplying Germany and Europe with mineral resources, such as rare earths etc. What, do you think, is needed at policy level in order to shorten the physical distance between the two countries?
Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel: We need to cross three roads first. First, for infrastructure projects, the sources for initial investments need to be established. We do encounter financial problems with projects we have agreed on. Second, in order to extract minerals, necessary infrastructure needs to be put in place. The deposits of interest are located in remote provinces. Third, Mongolia has two big neighbors. They have their own positions and versions of development of roads and transportation infrastructure in Mongolia. So if one wants to speak to Mongolia, it will have to speak to the two neighbors as well.
President of Mongolia Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj: We must most scrupulously implement our Agreement of Cooperation in the Minerals Sector. Further on, Mongolia is proposing Germany to study the possibilities for establishing an economic cooperation agreement as Mongolia wishes to develop a comprehensive economic cooperation with Germany. If our two parties establish such an agreement and manage to have it ratified by parliament, it will create a splendid environment for promoting extensive bilateral relations. I do believe that we do have much room for cooperation on this front. Railroads are our main transportation infrastructure. Mongolia and Russia hold a joint investment of 50% each in Mongolian railroads. We have started constructing new railroads as well. During the visit of the President of the PRC to Mongolia last fall, our two governments signed an excellent agreement on transit transport through the territory of China. The agreement indicated the routes, the ports and the level and scope of concrete soft conditions that China accords to Mongolian transit transport. A similar agreement can be established with the RF as well.
Question: The two countries do not have any major infrastructure connections except for the direct flight operated by Mongolia. Infrastructure is indeed the basis for other types of relations. How does Germany view the possibilities for participation in expanding infrastructure cooperation?
Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel: The airline companies of our countries maintain relations in the civil aviation. Germany will work to support and expand these relations.
President of Mongolia Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj: Mongolia is a landlocked country, therefore, air transportation is vital for our development. Mongolia pursues greater connectivity with Europe. Our country can serve as a land and air hub located between Russia and China. We are now building a new airport. Mongolia will be extremely pleased to start-up any joint project in this field with Germany.
Mongolia held her first democratic election in July 1990. This year marks the 25th anniversary of establishment of a democratic government in Mongolia. Mongolia strives to be a role model in our region for human rights, rule of law, openness and transparency. Our two neighbors have always reaffirmed their respect for the choice of the Mongolians. Mongolians never doubt in the rightness of the choice they made 25 years ago. Mongolia will work to further consolidate our choice. We are grateful to Germany for its support and assistance, and for sustained cooperation with Mongolia.
Foreign Minister Visits UN Office in Geneva
Ulaanbaatar, March 5 (MONTSAME) The chief diplomat of Mongolia L.Purevsuren started a visit to the United Nations Office at Geneva, Switzerland on Wednesday.
At a meeting with Mr Michael Moller, the acting head of the UN Office at Geneva, the FM affirmed that Mongolia wants to strengthen ties and cooperation with the UN and its organizations, and underlined that Mongolia has been contributing to the global peace, development and human rights, actively participating in the UN peacekeeping operations. He also noted that Mongolia had the UN General Assembly adopted the resolution on education for democracy and successfully chaired the Community of Democracies (CoD).
Mongolia has been contributing to efforts of the international community for disarmament, non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and controlling armament, Purevsuren emphasized. "Mongolia is doing all its best to forward actions of the United Nations Disarmament Commission (UNDC) within its chairmanship for the Commission," he said asked Mr Moller to consider a selection of Mongolian experts to the UN Office at Geneva.
In response, Mr Moller said the UN highly values the contribution of Mongolia to the UN actions and efforts for forwarding goals for the global peace, security and development. He congratulated Mongolia on chairing the UNDC and promised to consider a request of Mongolia on employing the Mongolians at the UN Office at Geneva.
After this, the Foreign Minister is to address a summit of the UNDC, a high level forum of the UN Council for Human Rights, and to meet the Steering Council of the CoD.
Mogi: wonder if the Kapla case came up
Mongolia Foreign Minister meets UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
Ulaanbaatar, March 5 (MONTSAME) In frames of the visit to the United Nations Office at Geneva of Switzerland, Mongolia's Minister of Foreign Affairs L.Purevsuren Wednesday held a meeting with Mr Zeid Ra'ad Zeid Al-Hussein, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.
The latter emphasized the UN High Commission for Human Rights (UNHCHR) highly appreciates Mongolia's efforts and actions for supporting and protecting human rights and freedom.
In response, the FM said that a strengthening of the democracy and participating in all activities for ensuring human rights and freedom are the main principles of Mongolia's foreign policy. He said Mongolia established a foundation for sharing its experiences with others and organized some measures together with regional countries.
Mongolia successfully chaired the Community of Democracies (CoD) in 2011-2013, and is heading the Freedom Online Coalition (FOC) in 2014-2015, he noted and invited the UNHCHR to take part in the FOC's fifth annual conference which will run May 4-5 in Ulaanbaatar.
Mongolia has been nominated for a membership in the UNHCHR for 2016-2018, and the Mongolian government wants to widen the cooperation with the UN and its organizations in fortifying human rights and democracy, Purevsuren said.
Mr Zeid appreciated contributions of the Mongolian government to strengthening democracy, cherishing and protecting human rights, and expressed a readiness to collaborate with Mongolia in all spheres.
Mongolia Seeks to Bring Turkish Experience in Renewable Energy
March 3 (gogo.mn) D.Zorigt, Minister of Energy received the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Turkey to Mongolia Murat Karagoz.
Mongolian Foreign Policy document states that Mongolia will develop amiable relations with Republic of Turkey through improvement of economic and other interests in Mongolia. Currently Mongolia and Turkey are advancing the international relations to the partnership level.
Intergovernmental economic and trade commission has been established in 1994 and there is great potential for both countries to partner in sectors as agriculture, construction, environment, SME, tourism, mining and logistics.
Minister D.Zorigt emphasized that Turkey is experienced in reneweable energy, especially topping the list of hydropower sector and expressed interest in adopting the technology and know-how in Mongolia and training Mongolian engineers and technical staff in Turkey, adding that there are two Turkish companies already operating in Energy sector in Mongolia.
Aidiner Global LLC started its operation in Sumber soum of Gobisumber aimag back in 2009 and is involved in a wind power plant project and has established 2 measuring stations t conduct wind capacity studies. Currently the company holds licenses and necessary approvals, signed energy supply and purchase agreement dated March 1st, 2012, which was renewed on January 14, 2014.
The project is now at negotiations with investment banks and international funds, wind turbine manufacturers, transport and insurance companies.
ZTM LLC developed Feasibility Study on Hydroelectric Power Plant planned with funding from the Turkish ZTM on Tavaltain Khavtsal (Tavaltai Canyon) in Nogoonnuur soum of Bayan-Ulgii aimag has been conducted and upon building the power plant, Mongolia hopes to fully supply western region aimags with electricity.
The FS indicates that Turkish side to introduce the efficient technology and develop the Power Plant with capacities of 88,7MW. Moreover, ZTM expressed their interest in taking on the project of Khovd River Hydroelectric Power Plant on a concession agreement basis. Upon building the power plant, Mongolia hopes to fully supply western region aimags with electricity. ZTM Engineering and Consulting also started creating a master plan for Mongolian hydroelectric power plant development.
Republic of Turkey Ambassador asked for support on these two projects with the licenses and other documentations needed.
ZTM LLC developed Hydropower Master Plan based on studies conducted at 29 river basins in Mongolia and submitted to the Ministry of Energy.
Mongolia Expresses Its Interest to Acclimatize Turkish Technique & Technology in Renewable Energy – infomongolia.com, March 3
Minister of Energy meets Ambassador of Turkey – Montsame, March 3
Mongolian Armed Forces to Take Part in Russia's May 9 Victory Parade
Ulaanbaatar, March 3 (MONTSAME) A squad of 80 military of the Mongolian Armed Forces is to demonstrate a pride of the Army at the Victory Parade for the 70th anniversary of the Great Patriotic War.
A grand parade will take place in Moscow on this May 9. It is known that the parade will march with attendance of the representatives of Armies of the Commonwealth of Independent States and the allied with the former Soviet Union countries during the World War II.
The preparation of our squad is going under a management of Colonel G.Saikhanbayar, a head of the Department for Strategy and Policy Planning of the Ministry of Defense. Chief of the President's Office P.Tsagaan will check on the preparation on Thursday.
Ambassador of Belarus Stanislav Chepurnoy meets Minister for Food and Agriculture of Mongolia
March 5 (Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belarus) On March 5, 2015 Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Belarus to Mongolia Stanislav Chepurnoy met with the Minister for Food and Agriculture of Mongolia Radnaa Burmaa.
The sides discussed current issues of bilateral cooperation in the field of agriculture, including supplies of Belarusian machinery, interaction in the sphere of agrarian science and veterinary medicine as well as education of Mongolian specialists in the Belarusian educational establishments.
Mongolian Culture Days Held in Indonesia
Ulaanbaatar, March 3 (MONTSAME) The Mongolian Embassy to the Republic of Indonesia and the Honorary Consulate in Surabaya successfully co-organized the Mongolian Culture Day in Surabaya on February 25 and the opening ceremony of the Embassy in Jakarta on February 28.
In Surabaya, the opening remarks were made by the Deputy Mayor of the city Mr Wisnu Sakti Buana and by the Ambassador of Mongolia to Indonesia Ms Sh.Battsetseg. Surabaya people and the representative of Consulates and Honorary consulates attended the event to get acquainted with our history and culture.
In Jakarta, the actions involved the Indonesian Minister for Women's Empowerment and Child Protection Y.Yambise; the Minister of National Development Planning A.Chaniago; a Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs A.M.Fahir, and representatives of other Ministries, state agencies, diplomatic and business missions along with Mongolians who live/study in this country. Mr Battsetseg and the Indonesian Deputy FM A.M.Fahir and others addressed the gathered, saying that the diplomatic relations, established in 1956 between Mongolia and Indonesia, have been founded in times of the Great Mongol Empire.
After this, several events took place such as fashion collections of Mongolian traditional clothes, which present changes in clothing through the course of history, and performances of long songs, throat singing, morin khuur, religious dance, folklore dance, contortion and shaman dance.
U.S. Ambassador Talks Tsagaan Sar Experiences
March 3 (gogo.mn) We are delivering the Tsagaan Sar experiences of expats working and living in Mongolia. Our guest is Ms.Piper Anne Campbell, United States Ambassador to Mongolia.
Ta Sar shinedee saikhan shinelev uu?
Saikhan shinellee. Saikhan shinelsen uu. I had a great Tsagaan Sar.
How many years have you been working and living in Mongolia?
This is my third Tsagaan Sar in Mongolia. Each year as I meet more and more Mongolians I had more personal connection with Mongolia and with Tsagaan Sar.
Please share with our readers your experience with celebrating Tsagaan Sar?
For us Tsagaan Sar starts quite early, because here at the U.S. Embassy we have a Deel day each year. We invite all our staff both Mongolian and American to wear their deel for a day and to have cultural presentations and conversation about Mongolian culture. So we celebrate quite early and our Tsagaan Sar is still ongoing, because next week at my house we will honor one of the important aspects of Tsagaan Sar, which is honoring elders. We do that by inviting, reaching out to Mongolians who used to work at the U.S. Embassy, who have retired and we consider them as our Mongolian elders and each year we have celebration with them. For me Tsagaan Sar is still ongoing.
What was the most exciting or difficult thing during the Tsagaan Sar?
My strongest memory of Tsagaan Sar is when I went with Mongolian and foreign friends to celebrate Tsagaan Sar with rural herder family. We had some lovely time there feeding animals and as we were leaving we saw the basket, which the lady from the house used to collect the animal manure for the firing and other purposes and she had a special rake, which she uses to pick up the manure. She showed us how quickly and easily she can pick up the manure and catch it in the basket on her shoulder. We all got to try to do that as well. I was throwing manure everywhere, but it turned into a bit of a game. We all enjoyed it very much.
What would you advise your friends coming to visit Mongolia during Tsagaan Sar?
It's little bit challenging, because Tsagaan Sar is such a wonderful holiday. Certainly for people who are interested in observing the culture or seeing very colorful sight: colors of a deel, wonderful hats and observe wonderful tradition around Tsagaan Sar are something that is great for any foreigner to observe. But Tsagaan Sar is so much about family and so much about visiting your friends. That it is little bit hard to penetrate from the outside. And my first advice for anybody thinking about coming to Mongolia for Tsagaan Sar would be that you need to make connections with Mongolians, so that you experience the real Tsagaan Sar.
Of course it is a family gathering and one has to be familiar with somebody in the family, in order to attend and experience the customs and traditions.
I would like to ask about the next approaching celebration in Mongolia, which is International Women's day, which is widely celebrated in Mongolia. What are your observations of this may be not so widely celebrated internationally holiday?
I think it's fascinating that the International Women's Day is celebrated quite widely here in Mongolia. I'd like to say that this is the recognition of women in Mongolia, in Mongolian society, politics and business. I had such wonderful interactions here with Mongolian parliamentarian and with Mongolian women in NGO and business community. I'm constantly impressed by their vision of where and how they want to engage with their male counterparts to move Mongolian society in a democratic direction.
How would you rate involvement of young women in Mongolia in every aspect of life?
Certainly there are so many young women actually, who are very engaged, very involved. I think it is too easy to get involved in sort of straight statistics, to say, where women are fifty percent of the population, why aren't they fifty percent of the parliament or fifty percent of the CEOs. We are rather far from that place, from that point in the United States and Mongolia. We need to focus on how to create opportunities for women and men for moving forward to make the choices about their personal and professional lives that work best for them.
Have you encountered more female or male counterparts working in Mongolia?
Statistically I certainly have encountered more men, whether we are looking at the diplomatic core or the Mongolian government. But I would say that I 've worked with phenomenal women, who have an outsized impact in Mongolia.
What were your personal experience with meeting very young and talented female CEOs running businesses in Mongolia and who are doing an incredible job?
The U.S. Embassy works closely with Mongolian Association of State Alumni (MASA) and many of the most impressive women who I've met in Mongolia are alumni of different programs in the United States. And whether it is interviewing, just this week, a young woman who is interested to enter the U.S. Millitary Academy - West Point, or speaking with alumni of MASA, there are impressive women who were Eisenhower Fellows in the U.S., or even having been involved with women featured on magazines on entrepreneurship in Mongolia. I had a wide opportunity to engage with women, who are very active in different sectors in Mongolia.
This is quite impressive that we have young and energetic women who are doing something for the future and society.
It is great. The fact that a business magazine can devote an entire edition and feature many different women working in different sectors speaks very highly for Mongolia.
Thank you very much for your time and I would like to ask you to greet our readers for Tsagaan Sar and Women's Day?
Saikhan shinelsen uu. This year we are entering year of the sheep and I hope for everybody it will be positive and prosperous year. I wish all the best to your readers.
Dunjingarav 2015: 11 child jockeys fall, one hospitalized
March 5 (news.mn) The Dunjingarav 2015 horse racing competition was held on February 28 in Tuv aimag's Khui Doloon Khudag.
We asked S.Baigalmaa, Executive Director of Country Services at the Department for Child Protection and Family Support, if any child jockeys had been injured during the horse races said to have been organized according to government resolutions.
How many children who fell from their horses were injured?
According to the media, there are reports that a lot of children fell from their horses and died. In reality, during the horse racing competition 11 children fell from their horses during the stallion and five-year-old horse races. Only one child suffered a head injury, the other 10 children didn't receive any injuries.
We heard that in previous years there were a number of injured children.
During the last two years, the Mongolian Horse Riding Foundation has paid great attention to this issue and the number of injured children has decreased dramatically.
GIEWS Country Brief: Mongolia
February 27 (FAO) --
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
2014 wheat production is estimated to have recovered from last year's reduced level
Wheat imports forecast to decrease in 2014/15 marketing year (October/September)
Prices of wheat flour were stable in January but at record levels
New Insurance Model Protects Mongolian Herders from Losses
· The government of Mongolia worked with the World Bank to look for solutions to better protect herders from climate related losses to their livestock.
· A new insurance scheme was introduced, where payments are based on the total number of livestock lost by species and soum (district) rather than on households' actual, individual losses.
· This new insurance system benefits herders. It also makes better business sense for insurance companies.
March 4 (World Bank) Sweeping steppes, white, snow-capped mountains, sparkling frozen rivers—Mongolia's winters are beautiful. But they can be harsh as well. The temperature regularly dips below minus 40 degrees Celsius (-40°C). In extremely cold winters called dzud, livestock die and herders lose their livelihoods.
From 1999 to 2002, a succession of dzuds followed by summer droughts killed 30% of all livestock in Mongolia. In 2010, 8.8 million livestock were lost to dzud, an equivalent of 4.4% of the country's economic output.
After the devastating dzuds in 1999-2002, the government of Mongolia worked with the World Bank to look for solutions to better protect herders from climate related losses to their livestock. In 2006, the Index-Based Livestock Insurance Project was launched initially in four aimags (provinces). In 2010, when another dzud hit Mongolia, it was expanded to cover all 21 aimags. This was the first time such a system was implemented in the world.
The project introduced a new insurance scheme where payments are based on the total number of livestock lost by species and soum (district) rather than on households' actual, individual losses. The index is compiled and maintained by the country's National Statistics Office (NSO).
The insurance program is a combination of self-insurance, market based insurance, and social safety net. Herders bear the cost of small losses that do not affect the viability of their business while larger losses are transferred to the private insurance industry. Only the final layer of catastrophic losses is borne by the government.
Benefits for Herders
Since the program started, insurance policies have become more and more popular among herders. Every year there is an increase in the number of policies bought.
About 19,500 herders purchased the insurance during the 2013-2014 cycle, an increase of 21% over the past cycle. All herders eligible for compensation got indemnity payments.
The new insurance system also provides strong incentives to individual herders to continue to manage their herds in face of disasters to minimize negative impacts. For example, if a herder suffers no losses while his neighbors lose a large part of their herd after a dzud or a drought, the better herder is rewarded for his extra effort and receives a sum based on the losses of the whole area.
M. Purevjav, a herder in Ulaan Uul County, bought his insurance policy in the winter of 2014.
"In 2013, several families bought polices for the new insurance program. District officials counted all the animals in the county—about 1,200 in all. If the loss of livestock surpasses 6% of the total count, all the insured families got paid. It did and the money came through," Purevjav said.
Getting people like Purevjav to understand how the new insurance works is not easy. Activities such as radio campaigns, local presentations, and the distribution of pamphlets and newsletters help promote awareness and understanding. But personally speaking with herders always works better.
Ch. Hunbish, a sales representative of Tenger Insurance, travels from valley to valley on his motorcycle, meeting herder families to explain the concept of index-based insurance.
"There is very little room for ambiguity in such a system. It prevents insurance companies from not paying on time. It also prevents individual households from making false claims," he said.
Thanks to such efforts, 65.5% of herders nationwide are now aware of the product.
The winter in 2014 was mild. Purevjav's herds fared well so he didn't get indemnity payments. But he understands that it is how index-based insurance works.
"This system protects us against big disasters. When hundreds of animals die, we can expect a return," Purevajav said. "It helps when we are on the verge of total ruin."
Benefits for Insurance Companies
Traditional insurance products that cover livestock mortality were not only unpopular with both insurance companies and herders, it also proved ineffective in Mongolia. Because it was based on individual losses, herders can be tempted not to take effective measures to protect their stock or to falsely report deaths. It was difficult for insurers because monitoring individual herders in the vast territory of Mongolia is almost impossible. Only a small number of high value livestock were insured.
"In a market-driven economy, with such a big number of livestock perishing in the Mongolian winters, traditional insurance models simply could not work. They were not financially viable," said Ya. Ulziibold, Director of the Index-based Livestock Insurance Project.
M. Munkhbaatar is the Director of Branch Control Department of Bodi Insurance, one of the seven insurance companies that are participating in the project. "We used to have many problems verifying individual claims," he said. "How can we verify livestock deaths in remote areas? It often involved collecting a lot of proof and documentation which was not always reliable or easy."
"With the index system we simply rely on the statistics. It's a much simpler process that leaves less room for error. It benefits the herders. It also makes better business sense for the insurance companies," he added.
Under the project, insurance companies also receive training on core insurance skills, such as actuarial, which helped improve their overall business. Sales agents like Ch. Hunbish were trained and certified before being approved to sell the insurance.
Local insurance firms remain committed to selling the product.
Kh. Gantsogt, State Secretary of the Ministry of Finance said, "We found a way to guard against severe winters and droughts. This was the greatest result of the project."
"Previously, herders thought only in two ways: they interpreted losses as fate, or expected the government to step in with relief. It was a no win situation. Now they have a choice and a system that works," he said.
Princeton resident relieved son freed from Mongolian prison
March 4 (Princeton Union-Eagle) Justin Kapla, who had been in a prison in Mongolia since Jan. 30 under a five-year, 10-month sentence on a tax evasion charge he refuted, was pardoned last week by the president of Mongolia and is back in his native Minnesota to the relief of his mother, Princeton resident Sue Kostanshek.
Kapla was not only freed from prison in the capital city of Ulaanbataar shortly after the Union-Eagle had been to press last week with a story on his plight, but, for the first time since 2012, he was allowed to leave Mongolia. He took the opportunity quickly, arriving back in Minnesota last Saturday afternoon with his wife, Solongo; his stepson, Eagle, 14; and the couple's daughter, Evelyn, 4.
"I couldn't believe it," said Kostanshek last Sunday, the day after Kapla, a graduate of Elk River High School, returned home. "It didn't seem like it could be real. It was the best day ever. I loved every minute."
"It felt very good when they (authorities) said 'pack up your things, you're going home,'" Kapla said. Actually, the message bearer who came to his jail cell spoke the words in Mongolian, Kapla added. Kapla said he could understand enough of the message to recognize the Mongolian word that means home.
"It was an immense feeling of relief," said Kapla as he stopped in Princeton on Monday to talk about the ordeal that involved international politics. As Kapla tells it, Mongolia did not want the coal mining company, SouthGobi Sands, LLC, which Kapla had once worked for, to be sold to the Chinese and as a result tried to thwart the sale by placing people connected to the company, including Kapla, in a bad situation.
After Kapla was placed under the travel ban, he wrote a letter to U.S. Sen. Al Franken asking for help. Kapla stated in the letter that he had been deemed to be a witness in an investigation into corruption among Mongolian officials in relation to the transfer of certain SGS mineral exploration licenses.
Kostanshek, speaking last week when Kapla was still in prison in Mongolia, said that the prosecution's earlier charges against Kapla were thrown out by a Mongolian judge for insufficient evidence.
Kapla, a 41-year-old metallurgical engineer, took a winding route to end up working in Mongolia. He had been working for a mining company in New Mexico about 12 years ago when he got a call from his former boss at that company who had gone to work at an open pit gold mine in central Mongolia. The former boss told him there was an opening in the Mongolian gold mining company for Kapla to train Mongolian workers in American mining techniques at the mine. Kapla worked in that job between October 2003 and November 2008 and then worked in gold mining in West Africa for two years. Then he went to Mongolia to work for a coal mining company called SouthGobi Sands (SGS). He started as general manager of operations and in six months was promoted to president.
In May 2012 he was placed under a travel ban so that he was not allowed to leave the Mongolia. The ban was lifted after about a month but then reinstated in October 2012.
The ban was lifted along with the Mongolian government declaring he was free to leave prison. Two Philippine citizens who had also worked for SGS and who had been placed in prison were also freed. At this time Kapla is part owner of a construction company in Mongolia and after being able to leave Mongolia, has offered to divest his shares to his partner in the company, Kapla said. But the partner responded that they should still try to work things out where Kapla would keep his shares, Kapla said.
Does Kapla want to return to Mongolia? He answered that he wouldn't put it out of the question, but indicated he is not eager to return. His immediate plans are for Solongo and Eagle to return to Mongolia to have Eagle finish out the school year and then the two would come to the U.S.
Kapla talked some about his nearly one-month stay in the Mongolian prison. It's a big prison with an estimated 500-1,000 prisoners, and as far as he knew he was the only American in it and the authorities didn't let him mix with the Mongolian prisoners. He says he was in a 12-foot-by-12-foot cell and was given two 30-minute breaks each week to go outside his cell for exercise, and allowed two 15-minute breaks each week for family and friends to visit. While prison is prison, the prison staff members acted professionally, he said.
"I commend the guys who run the place," he said.
Mongolia in the winter is colder than Minnesota and because of the coal fuel used, Ulaanbaatar is known as the most polluted capital city in the world, he said. The capital sits in a valley, and during real cold weather, smog settles in, he said.
Kapla indicated that he otherwise found Mongolia a good place to live, noting that he has spent half his adult life there and wouldn't have stayed as long as he did if he hadn't liked it.
The Flaming Cliffs of the Gobi Desert is where the real Indiana Jones once explored in the early 1900s, where dinosaur bones have been found and where a river in the Gobi Desert builds up during winter to resemble a miniature glacier, Kapla noted.
Also the largest salmon in the world is most abundant in Mongolia and it is also home to Marco Polo sheep that look like big mountain sheep with curled horns, and there are Taki horses, the oldest species of horses and the closest relative to the zebra, Kapla added.
Kapla said he had a fairly large group of people working to free him from the travel ban and then imprisonment and that included an international law firm called Gibson Dunn, as well as other attorneys, friends, family members, and people in the U. S. State Department and in Congress.
Kostanshek said that Barbara Harper, who was once an aide to former U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann and is now an aide to U.S. Rep. Tom Emmer, has especially worked hard to help her son.
U.S. Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Franken issued a joint statement dated Feb. 26 announcing the Mongolian president's pardon of Kapla. It continued that the two senators had worked with the State Department and the Mongolian government to assist in resolving Kapla's case.
Franken stated that his office had contacted the U.S. Consulate in Mongolia, the Mongolian ambassador to the United States, the Mongolian prosecutor general, and Secretary of State John Kerry in trying to free Kapla.
"I filed a human rights violation with the United Nations in July 2014," Kapla said. He noted that the claim was officially registered in November 2014 and has gone to the High Commission for Human Rights in Geneva, Switzerland.
Kapla said that he believed the nearly six-year prison sentence was not going to stick and therefore felt that he would be free before the normal 18 month process was complete in dealing with a human rights violation claim. But he felt it was important to file the claim anyway for the sake of others that might be used by a government for selfish means.
"I hope they (Mongolian officials) put reforms in place to not let this happen again," Kapla said.
Kapla quoted the president of Mongolia saying the prosecutor that put Kapla in prison "must have been influenced and that she must reveal who the influence was or she would be accountable." Kapla added that the mayor of Ulaanbaatar and other politicians also went on TV supporting Kapla being freed.
ITB Berlin 2015: Opening Ceremony Photo Report
March 5 (gogo.mn) President Elbegdorj Tsakhia officially opened the Mongolian Pavilion, accompanied by the Minister for Environment, Green Development and Tourism, Mrs. Oyunkhorol Dulamsuren, and the Mayor of capital city of Ulaanbaatar, Mr. Bat-Uul Erdene.
Opening ceremony welcomed Mongolian folklore performance and art of Mongolian calligraphy followed with welcoming speech at ITB Berlin Partner Country Mongolia by Ms. Oyunkhorol Dulamsuren, Minister of Nature, Green Development, and Tourism, Mongolia with keynotes by Mr. Gantemur Damba, Chairman of Sustainable Tourism Development Center NGO, Mr. Altanbagana Deleg, Managing Director of Active and Adventure Tours LLC and Ms. Nyamsuren Geserbadam, Managing Director of Selena Travel LLC.
The small stage featured the presentations on Sustainable tourism practices in Orkhon Valley UNESCO World Heritage Site and SUSTAINABLE TOURISM PRACTICES ON LAKE HOVSGOL, MONGOLIA
While the big stage hosted session on Mongolia, Nomadic by Nature: Perception, Innovation, Partnership, which focused entirely on Mongolia and intended for international tour operators interested in expanding their existing adventure travel offerings as well as for journalists interested in learning about off-the-beaten track adventure tourism itineraries in Mongolia.
Speeches were given by Indraa Bold, Managing Director, NGO Tourism for Future and Mr. Christopher Doyle, Executive Director of Europe, Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA).
Afterwards Mongolia introduced herself as MICE destination deaturing arious speakers, among them Mr. Bat-Uul Erdene, Mayor of Ulaanbaatar, Ms. Oyundelger Dagva, Head of Marketing of MIAT Mongolian Airlines, Ms. Lakshmi Boojoo, Managing Director of Mongolia Economic Forum, and Ms. Javklan Ganbold, Head of Marketing of Best Western Premier Tuushin.
Mongolia comes to life in Berlin
March 3 (Mongolian Economy) More than 10,000 tourism sector representatives of 180 countries gather once a year for the world's largest travel trade fair that officially opens 4 March in Berlin.
Mongolia is participating in the ITB exhibition as an official partner for the first time; as of now, its years-long preparations are almost finished. A huge ger with 15 walls—three times the size of a standard yurt—towers outside the Messe Berlin exhibition building; a big billboard near the central entrance indicates Mongolia's participation as an official partner. In addition, a long row of posters advertising Mongolia can be seen along the road leading to the exhibition.
Around 50 Mongolian tour operators are participating as observers, while 16 enterprises and two well-known hotels are here as official partners. At the moment, nearly every country from around the world is underway in decorating its exhibition space—in displays featuring their most widely recognized features in their tourism sector.
As an integral part of its culture, Mongolia is highlighting the ger in many unique fashions. Four gers have been built inside the exhibition hall, where Mongolia takes up 400 square metres, of a showroom size of 160,000 square metres. After nearly two years of preparations for the event, the grand opening—and Mongolia's debut to the global tourism industry—is only a day away. Nearly 300 Mongolians are participating in the event, representing sectors such as arts, media, politics, private enterprise and event organisers.
Ninety-six people arrived in Berlin on 28 February to being preparations ahead of the show. Yesterday, artists practiced on the performance stage, while microphone and light adjustments were completed. The artists represent many Mongolian traditions: X Rose studio contortionists, the National Folk Song and Dance Ensemble, the Moriin Khuur Ensemble, national artist E.Amartuvshin, Arga Bileg band, Sweety Motion pop group, and pop singer S.Naran. They each have a mission to deliver the best of Mongolian culture to international audience. Meanwhile, exhibition guests are going to enjoy the taste of real Mongolian cuisine, as 10 professional chefs arrived here with those from Mongolia.
The first squad of the organising team arrived in Berlin on 14 February, and organised a press conference on 18 February. According to a report from the Messe Berlin monitoring organisation, more than 170 foreign media and press have broadcasted information about Mongolia.
Delegates of the Mongolian President have already arrived in Berlin. They were met by 50 taxis with ornamented with the Mongolian flag. During the show, Berlin public transportation will be decorated in the Mongolian flag.
Today the organisers from the Mongolian side are monitoring and checking all the performances to make sure that everything goes according to plan. Berlin has already sparked to life with the activity of the ITB expo. And that means Mongolia's one-of-a-kind art, culture, and travel destinations are only a day away from sparking the imagination of ITB participants from around the globe.
Magazine: Mongolia - Nomadic by Nature
Adventurer Ash Dykes talks about his tough expedition in Mongolia
March 4 (Buxton Advertiser) World record-breaker Ash Dykes, who has been nominated for Adventurer of the Year at this month's National Adventurer Awards, will be talking about his expedition in Mongolia.
Ash climbed mountain peaks, was stalked by wild wolves and battered by sandstorms as he trekked solo over 1500miles in 78 days, pulling a 120kg cart of provisions.
Now 24, he survived one of the toughest expeditions, where temperatures exceeded 40degC, with no shelter.
His talk Breaking Mongolia will be aired at Sheffield Student Union on Monday, March 9, and at Buxton's Pavilion Arts Centre on Friday, April 24.
Share the View: A Look Back at Mongolia
by Dave and Deb
February 18 (The Planet D) With a little extra time on our hands, we've had a chance to reminisce about our travels over the last 6 years. It's been an amazing ride. One of the most amazing countries we've visited in that time was Mongolia. It was 2011; we were driving a car from England to Mongolia with Sherry Ott of Ottsworld and Rick Griffin of Midlife Road Trip. We were on a great adventure known as the Mongol Rally.
Mongolia had big, beautiful, blue skies. It seemed to go on and on forever. In Western Mongolia, the Steppe of the country is a vast, wide-open savannah of grasslands surrounding the Gobi desert. To drive our tiny Nissan Almera crammed with people and gear across the Steppe, through rolling mountains, and into the Gobi Desert was one of the best adventures of our lives.
Horses ran wild across the plains, families lived in temporary shelters known as Ghers and everyone welcomed us into their homes as friends. We'd camp each evening in the desert shrub lands and nearly every night someone would approach on horseback and motorcycle bringing us cheese and Aireg (fermented mare's mild) as welcoming gifts. We would sit with them by the fire. They would check out our car and we'd show them the route we had taken across two continents.
American Express is a brand that celebrates enriched moments, so when they talked to us about #SharetheView, an ongoing visual content series that celebrates and shares amazing travel experiences, Mongolia instantly came to mind. If there is one country with a view to remember, that is it. We'll never forget the massive landscape and rolling hills of the Mongolian Steppe.
We haven't had a lot of time to really stop to reflect on our Mongol Rally adventure. After Mongolia we jetted off to some other part of the world to expand our horizons and we've been going non-stop ever since. But now, as we pause for a moment, we smile and remember the little things like sharing a bottle premium Chingis Khan vodka in the middle of the desert or crossing rivers and lakes praying that our car wouldn't stall in the middle, and going on blind faith as we chose which dirt road to take hoping it would lead us to our final destination.
We got lost a lot. We all fought a lot, laughed a lot and cried a lot (well, at least Deb did) and in six weeks time, we made it to the finish line of Ulaanbaatar where we donated our car to charity and celebrated like it was 1999.
World Circus in Mongolia 2015: A Must-See Entertainment, March 23-29, ASA Circus
March 3 (infomongolia.com) Mongolian National Circus in association with the "Development Center of Mongol Circus" NGO are hosting the second edition of the "World Circus in Mongolia" international event at the ASA Circus in Ulaanbaatar on March 23-29, 2015.
At the attractions, over 60 circus artistes from 12 countries are invited to take part, including fabulous troupes from America, Belarus, Canada, China, England, Latvia, North Korea, Russia, Spain, Ukraine, Vietnam and Mongolia.
The 2015 World Circus in Mongolia edition will feature from A-class performers and notably, the world known entertainments will be shown by North Korean flyers with its circus "king" air show and Chinese artists from Cirque Shanghai to blow away by the daredevil antics of the "Wheel of Destiny," in which two daredevils run inside and outside the speedily rotating wheels of a windmill-like contraption.
Moreover, Spanish illusionists will be showing top magic tricks and Mongolian acrobats will be presenting their award-winning teeterboard act on plank that broke the world record of six 'turns' in the air.
According to organizers, tickets will be on sale from Monday, March 09 and cost 15,000, 20,000 & 30,000 MNT (Tugrug) depending on a seat location with free entrance for kids under 4-age olds. Also, performances will be starting at 07:00 pm on weekdays and at 03:00 & 07:00 pm on weekends.
The first edition of the World Circus in Mongolia was staged in 2013 with participation of artists from 14 countries.
WDN Honors Finland's Tarja Halonen, Mongnolia's Oyun Sanjaasuren for Contributions to Advancement of Women in Politics
March 2 (Democracy Speaks, International Republican Institute Blog) As the world celebrates International Women's Day, WDN will take time to recognize two women who have become leaders in their own countries and serve as role models to women around the world.
Tarja Halonen, president of Finland from 2000-2012, and Oyun Sanjaasuren, a member of Mongolia's Parliament, will be honored with the 2015 Jeane J. Kirkpatrick Award for the outstanding contributions they have made to the advancement of women in politics and civil society. The awards will be presented by Cindy McCain, honorary chair of the WDN Council, as part of WDN's annual International Women's Day conference. This year's conference, which will be held March 2-6, will include elected female legislators from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Jordan, Mongolia, Peru and Tunisia. You can follow WDN on twitter to learn more about the particapants and follow the conversation with #IWD2015 and #WomenInOffice.
The Jeane J. Kirkpatrick Award recognizes honorees for their commitment to increase women's political and civic participation within their own communities and on behalf of women worldwide. A long-time board member of the IRI and the first woman to serve as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Jeane J. Kirkpatrick was a strong advocate for women's participation in politics and the establishment of WDN. Her remarkable career and leadership are an inspiration to women around the world.
Tarja Halonen served as Finland's 11th president and its first female head of state from 2000-2012. Widely known as a steadfast defender of human rights, democracy and equality have been central themes throughout her career. From March 2009 until September 2014, she served as the chair of the Council of Women World Leaders and remains a member today. Prior to her election as president, Halonen served four terms in the Finnish Parliament. She has held the cabinet posts of minister of social affairs and health 1987-1990, minister of justice 1990-1991 and minister for foreign affairs 1995-2000. As foreign minister, she held the European Union Presidency in 1996. Halonen has also played an active role in the Council of Europe as both a member of Parliament and minister. Among her many current international duties she co-chairs the High Level Task Force for the International Conference on Population and Development.
Oyun Sanjaasuren was first elected to the Mongolian Parliament in 1998 and is currently serving her fifth term in office. As a member of the Parliament's Women's Caucus, Sanjaasuren works with her colleagues representing five different political parties, to address critical issues facing Mongolia including health, education and environmental policies. She also heads theZorig Foundation, known for its work advancing democracy, good governance, education and community development. During her time in Parliament, Sanjaasuren served as minister of foreign affairs (2007-2008) and as minister of environment and green development (2012-2014). In 2004, she served as vice speaker, leader of the Democratic Coalition Parliamentary Caucus and chairman of Sub-Committee on the Millennium Development Goals. Sanjaasuren also co-chaired an election reform working group where she advocated for greater women's political participation. Sanjaasuren is the president of the United Nations Environment Assembly and is a member of the World Economic Forum's Global Agenda Council on Water Security.
Mogi: Mongolia's probably the only country here where girls are more educated than boys, just that it doesn't necessarily translate into equality in work, politics
White House Initiative Targets 11 Countries, Including Mongolia, in Promoting Girls' Education
Michelle Obama heads to Asia to promote girls' education
WASHINGTON, March 4 (Reuters) - First Lady Michelle Obama will travel to Japan and Cambodia this month as part of a US global effort to support education for girls, the White House said on Tuesday.
She will visit Tokyo and Kyoto in Japan from March 18 to March 20, and the Cambodian city of Siem Reap from March 21 to 22, it said in a statement.
The initiative aims to reduce the number of girls - 62 million worldwide - who do not attend school in an effort to improve their financial stability, health and well-being, according to the administration.
The effort, launched last summer through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), will utilize the Peace Corps volunteer programme to help expand access for schooling for girls, especially for teenagers.
Senior Obama Adviser Valerie Jarrett on Tuesday said corps volunteers will recruit and train other local volunteers and push other community efforts in nearly a dozen countries.
"The best way to economic security, the best way to pursue your dreams is if you can have an education," Jarrett told MSNBC in an interview, adding that girls who finish school are more likely to earn a decent living and improve the quality of life for them and their families.
President Barack Obama and the first lady are expected to discuss the initiative at the White House later on Tuesday.
Cambodia is one of 11 countries targeted by the Peace Corp initiative during the programme's first year, the White House said. The other countries are: Albania, Benin, Burkina Faso, Georgia, Ghana, Moldova, Mongolia, Mozambique, Togo, and Uganda.
Other countries will be added later, it added.
Peace Corps Volunteer Helps Organize Mongolia's First Special Olympics Competition for 150 Athletes
Qualifying athletes will represent Mongolia at the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Los Angeles
WASHINGTON, D.C., Feb. 26, 2015 (Peace Corps) – Peace Corps volunteer James Busacca of Valley Center, California, recently helped organize Mongolia's inaugural Special Olympics National Competition for more than 150 children and adults with intellectual disabilities—14 of whom will represent Mongolia at the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Los Angeles. The competition was coordinated between Special Olympics Mongolia and four local special needs schools to give the athletes an opportunity to discover new strengths and abilities while increasing awareness.
"There is a lack of public dialogue around intellectual disabilities in Mongolia, which can lead to stigmas and misconceptions," said Busacca, a graduate of the University of California, Santa Cruz who has been living in Mongolia since 2012. "The competition allowed the athletes to compete and have fun but was also an educational opportunity for the general public."
The Special Olympics Mongolia program was established in 2013 and the National Competition was the first opportunity for Mongolians to compete in an official Special Olympics event as an accredited program. Busacca began working with Special Olympics Mongolia last fall to help plan the three-day competition, which included events in track and field, judo and table tennis.
"Special Olympics Mongolia has been a great organization to work with because we get to offer amazing experiences to Mongolians with disabilities and their families," Busacca said. "We also get a chance to educate a wide audience throughout the country through high-profile events like the Special Olympics World Summer Games."
The athletes who qualified for the summer games in Los Angeles will join more than 7,000 athletes and 3,000 coaches from nearly 180 countries around the world to compete. The opening ceremony, to be held July 25 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, is expected to attract 80,000 people.
"I'm very excited for the athletes going to the World Summer Games and for those who had the opportunity to participate in the National Competition," Busacca said. "My favorite memory from the competition was getting to talk to the athletes and see their excitement and enthusiasm. We've already heard from their families and the event organizers that they plan to make the competition an annual event."
The Peace Corps has had a long-standing relationship with Special Olympics since the organization was founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver. In 2011, the Peace Corps signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Special Olympics that increases opportunities globally to support people with intellectual disabilities through innovative programs that promote peace, friendship, acceptance, and mutual understanding.
ACMS Speaker Series: Dr. Batkhishig Baival, "Mongolian Rangelands and Resilience" Project
5:30 PM, Tuesday - March 10th, 2015, American Corner, Ulaanbaatar public library
Mongolia's political structure, climate, livelihood and environment are changing. Yet nomadic herding is still a central way of life. This pastoral system has resisted change or adapted as herders learn and combine different sources and types of knowledge. Research has found there are five knowledge sources used by herders for informed pasture management. Understanding how knowledge is communicated by different knowledge sources ensures easy access to the information they can provide, maximizing what can be learnt and ensuring successful communication.
About the Presenter
Dr. Batkhishig Baival conducts interdisciplinary research on social-ecological system dynamics of pastoral communities in Mongolia. She is in-country coordinator for the National Science Foundation funded trans-disciplinary research "Mongolian Rangelands and Resilience" project, which is implemented by the Colorado State University in collaboration with the several Mongolian Research Institutes. She has a PhD in rangeland ecosystem science from Colorado State University and before her graduate studies, she worked at the UNDP and now she is founder and director of Nutag Partners and Nutag Action Research Institute in Mongolia.
UNEP Secretary Invites Minister Oyunkhorol to Asia-Pacific Ministerial Meeting
Ulaanbaatar, March 2 (MONTSAME) The Minister of Environment, Green Development and Tourism D.Oyunkhorol received Mr Jiri Hlavacek, the Secretary of Governing Bodies of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) last Friday.
At the beginning of the meeting, Mr Hlavacek said that he highly spoke the Mongolia's participation in the UNEP, and then expressed thanks to the government of Mongolia for joining global activities for nature protection. He noted that the UNEP has been cooperating with Mongolia in the issues of global climate change, natural disasters and crisis, a management of eco-system, the environmental governance, chemical poisonous substances and effectiveness of natural resources.
The UNEP Secretary invited Ms Oyunkhorol to participate in the Environment Ministerial Meeting of Asia-Pacific Region to be held in May in Bangkok, Thailand, emphasizing an importance of the forthcoming meeting for discussing urgent matters, sharing experiences and issuing joint solutions. Mr Hlavacek also asked the Minister to take part in the 2nd session of the UNEP Assembly to run Mayin Nairobi, Kenya.
In response, the Minister Ms Oyunkhorol said she is glad to meet the UNEP Secretary, and thanked the UNEP for collaborating with Mongolia and paying big attention to the environmental issues of Mongolia. Ms Oyunkhorol said she intends to take part in the Environment Ministerial Meeting of Asia-Pacific Region, and expressed her willingness to meet with Mr Achim Steiner, the UNEP Executive Director.
The Minister said Mongolia wants to cooperate with the UNEP in upgrading and renewing the rules and regulations on the environment sector in order to improve the environmental governance and legal regulations and to make them more fruitful.
Expressing her positions on some issues of the environmental sector in Mongolia, the Minister asked the UNEP to render assistance and support to Mongolia for resolving relevant matters in several phases.
Mongolia's ancient silver mines highly polluting: study
March 4 (MINING.com) A team of American and Chinese scientists have revealed that pollution from heavy metals like lead, zinc and cadmium spiked between 1271AD and 1368AD in the Yunnan region, affecting several of southwest China's water reservoirs.
Writing in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, geologists from the University of Pittsburgh and the Chinese Academy of Sciences argue that large amounts of silver smelting ended up contaminating the area. And the attribute the high volumes to Mongolia's hunger for the precious metal, used to make coins, jewellery and art.
"Culminating during the rule of the Mongols, known as the Yuan Dynasty, these metal concentrations approach levels three to four times higher than those from industrialised mining activity occurring within the catchment," writes Aubrey Hillman, who led the study.
She said that one surprising finding was to see that the concentrations of lead were close to levels at which harmful effects may be observed in aquatic organisms. Yet, she added that levels of pollution remained relatively low until 1271AD, around the time when Kublai Khan founded the Yuan dynasty and became Emperor of China.
The Mongols established their first government-operated silver mine in Yuan around 1290AD and taxes from silver production came to account for 47% of the national revenue.
The Yuan area is still known for being rich in mineral resources, with important deposits of copper, tin, gold, silver and iron ore.
Majority of Religious Organizations in UB Are Now Christian
March 3 (infomongolia.com) The Ulaanbaatar Municipality has finished counting on religious organizations and groups conducting its activities in the territory of the capital city.
The counting, registration and determining its locations were carried out between November 15 and December 05, 2014 and recently completed to set into a data base.
Key Findings and Statistics on Religion in Ulaanbaatar, the capital city of Mongolia As of February 2015, a total of 372 temples, churches and meetinghouses in 10 different types of denominations are counted and registered throughout Ulaanbaatar both licensed and unlicensed, of which, 28.5% is referred to majority Mongolians worship, the Buddha religion.
Organizations conducting religious activities in shamanism were registered 22 groups or 5.9% of total numbers.
But, the majority, or 61.3% of total churches and meetinghouses is referred to Christian faith, whereas 7 Catholic Churches exist in Baganuur, Nalaikh, and Chingeltei districts of Ulaanbaatar as well as other 5 groups are representing as the "Others" or Baha'i, Moon, Shinto and Hinduism faiths.
The 76.0% or 283 temples and churches of total numbers are certified officially to carry out its activities in the territory of Ulaanbaatar.
Moreover, one third of total numbers locates in "housing estate" area, where the majority or 64.2% of temples and churches are counted in "ger" districts, of which, 158 Christian churches and Gers or 66.1%.
These temples and churches are mostly concentrated in the 1st and 2nd Khoroos of Songinokhairkhan (that well known as Tolgoit area), 14th Khoroo of Khan-Uul ('Ulziit Khoroolol'), 2nd, 14th, and 19th Khoroos of Bayanzurkh ('Dari Ekh', 'Narantuul Zakh', 'Shar Khad') Districts of UB.
Some 319 organizations and groups out of total registered 372 or 85.8% are considered as "normally" conducting its activities.
However, Christianity in Mongolia was considered as a minority religion until 2008, but with the end of Mongolia's communist regime in 1990, numbers of Christian followers have been steadily increasing and foreign Christian missionary groups including Roman Catholics, Lutherans, Russian Orthodox, Presbyterians, Seventh-day Adventists, various evangelical Protestant groups, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) and Jehovah's Witnesses are registered today.
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