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Friday, June 12, 2015
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Mongolia to Sell $350 Million Global Bonds as Debt Comes Due
By Michael Kohn
June 11 (Bloomberg) -- Mongolia plans to sell $350 million of global bonds to help repay more than $1 billion of debt.
The securities will be issued in the "near future" via the Ministry of Finance, Munkhtur Tserendoo, spokesman for the prime minister, said in a phone interview Thursday from Ulaanbaatar. He declined to be more specific on the timeframe.
While Mongolia has raised billions of dollars in debt in recent years to fund infrastructure and support its mining-based economy, declining commodity prices and disputes with investors have stalled investment and slowed economic growth. Foreign direct investment plunged to $382 million last year from $4.45 billion in 2012.
In a breakthrough in May, the Rio Tinto Group and the government resolved a two-year funding dispute for the second phase of Oyu Tolgoi, Mongolia's largest-ever mining project that is forecast to account for a third of the economy when it reaches full production in 2021. The agreement will usher in more than $4 billion to build the underground copper mine.
Mongolia plans to sell as much as $1 billion of bonds this year due to "favorable market conditions" created by the Oyu Tolgoi deal. It also wants to lock in lower costs before the Federal Reserve raises interest rates and draws money away from emerging markets.
The proceeds from the new sale will be used to finance the fiscal deficit, provide long-term funding, support the balance of payments and extend the payment time on existing global securities guaranteed by the government.
Petro Matad says Mongolia approves farmout
June 11 (StockMarketWire.com) - Petro Matad said the Government of Mongolia has formally approved the farmout of a portion of Petro Matad's participating interests in Blocks IV and V in Central Mongolia. The key terms of the farmout were previously announced by the Company on 7 April 2015.
In formal recognition of the approval by the Mongolian government a tripartite Protocol of Assignment has been signed by an authorised representative of the government.
This follows earlier approval by the Mongolian Cabinet. This same Protocol had previously been signed by authorised representatives of BG and Petro Matad as part of the process for agreeing the farmout.
The transaction remains subject to one further BG Group condition. Upon satisfaction of this condition the Company will issue a further announcement together with an operational update on preparations for the commencement of work programme activities.
Whilst the Company's current cash reserves are low the Board of Directors of Petro Matad are highly confident that the remaining condition to the farm-out will be resolved before these reserves are depleted.
In the event that the farm-out does not complete within the next few weeks the Company is in talks with a potential provider of short term funding to ensure that the Company will have access to the necessary cash resources to be able to continue to operate until the farmout is completed.
However, at the current time, nothing has been agreed in this regard and there can be no certainty that any agreement will be forthcoming.
MSE News for June 11: Top 20 +1.54% to 14,283.33, T-Bills ₮1.5 Million, Stocks ₮47.5 Million
Ulaanbaatar, June 11 (MONTSAME/ At the Stock Exchange trades on Thursday, a total of 20 thousand and 512 units of 21 JSCs were traded costing MNT 49 million 008 thousand and 330.00.
"APU" /8,591 units/, "Merex" /4,129 units/, "Tavantolgoi" /1,342 units/, "Remikon" /1,300 units/ and "Baganuur" /971 units/ were the most actively traded in terms of trading volume, in terms of trading value were "APU" (MNT 30 million 458 thousand and 050), "Bayangol hotel" (MNT five million and 457 thousand), "Tavantolgoi" (MNT five million and 368 thousand), "Baganuur" (MNT two million 750 thousand and 350), "Sharyn gol" (MNT one million 115 thousand and 500).
The total market capitalization was set at MNT one trillion 363 billion 619 million 812 thousand and 554. The Index of Top-20 JSCs was 14,283.33, increasing 1.54% and the all index of MSE was 988.07, increasing 0.92% against the previous day.
MSE CEO Meets Chairman of Quam Financial Services
June 11 (MSE) On 10 June 2015, Mr.Bernard Pouliot, Managing Director at Quam Limited Investment Arm, visited to Mongolian Stock Exchange and held meeting with Angar.D CEO of MSE. During the meeting, Angar.D presented information about existing policies and activities of MSE, future development trend of capital market and government retail bonds trading. Mr.Bernard Pouliot acquainted information about investment opportunities in domestic market, and he expressed his interest on Government retail bonds.
Since 2015, the Government retail bonds have been attracting more foreign investors.
Mogi: 7 month (+1 week) high vs USD
BoM MNT Rates: Thursday, June 11 Close
MNT vs USD (blue), CNY (red) in last 1 year:
BoM FX auction: US$17m bought at ₮1,875, accepts $71m MNT swap offers
June 11 (Bank of Mongolia) On the Foreign Exchange Auction held on June 11th, 2015 the BOM has received selling bid offers of USD 17.0 million in a rate between MNT 1863.50-1875.00 and buying bid offers of USD 1.4 million in a rate with MNT 1865.00. The BOM has bought USD 17.0 million in a rate with MNT 1875.00.
On June 11th, 2015, The BOM has received MNT Swap agreement bid offer equivalent to USD 71.0 million from local commercial banks and the BOM has accepted the offer.
Mongolia's Gold Exports Jump 48.4% on Year to $133m in Jan.-May
By Michael Kohn
June 11 (Bloomberg) -- Mongolia's gold exports increased to 3.4 tons in the first 5 months of 2015, from 2.5 tons a year earlier, the National Statistical Office says on its website.
* Value of exports rose to $133.3m from $89.8m
* Copper exports rose 24% y/y to 535,800 tons, from 433,800 tons a year earlier; value rose to $887.3m from $718.3m
* Coal exports fell 28% y/y to 5.22m tons, from 7.25m tons a year earlier; value fell to $239.1m from $355.3m
* Crude oil exports rose to 3.16m barrels from 2.6m barrels a year earlier; value slid to $161.2m from $259.4m
* Exports totaled $1.87b in five-month period, down from $1.92b a year earlier; mineral products accounted for 80.2% of export revenue
Mongolia Trade Turnover Falls 17.4% Jan.-May : Statistics Office
By Michael Kohn
June 11 (Bloomberg) -- Total external trade turnover decreased $700.9m to $3.3b in the first five months of 2015, the National Statistical Office says Thursday in statement.
* Exports fell $52m or 2.7% and imports plunged $648.9m or 31% compared to same period a year earlier
* Trade balance was in surplus by $422.3m in Jan.-May, compared to $174.5m deficit a year earlier
* M2 money supply totaled 9.8t tugrik at end-May, a 1.4% increase m/m and a 3.9% decrease y/y
* May CPI rose 0.4% m/m, 8% y/y, the slowest increase since June 2011
* Principal in arrears totaled 600.6b tugrik at end-May, a 57.5% increase y/y
* Non-performing loans totaled 738.6b tugrik at end-May, a 1.1% decrease m/m and 19.2% increase y/y
* Loans outstanding were 12.2t tugrik at end-May, a 0.9% increase y/y
* Tax revenue decreased 30.5b tugrik or 1.6% y/y
* Industrial production index at end-May rose 5.3% m/m and declined 5.8% y/y
Budget deficit reaches ₮347.7 billion in 2015, revenue falls short 17.4%
June 11 (news.mn) In May 2015, the Ministry of Finance provided information on the state budget. Total budget income stood at 82.6% and outgoings at 68.7%; which means the state budget accumulated MNT 2.1 trillion instead of the expected MNT 2.5 trillion. There are several tax shortfalls and other reasons that have caused this situation, for example: Value Added Tax (VAT) on imported products is MNT 154 billion, income from the privatization of property -MNT 123 billion, company tax-MNT 50 billion, standard VAT on non4-imported products-MNT 83 billion, and customs import duties -MNT 30 billion. For these reasons, the budget balance now stands at MNT 347.7 billion as opposed to MNT 244 billion in April 2015.
Master Budget Statistics – Montsame, June 11
Social Insurance Revenue +1.5%, Expense +21.9%, Deficit ₮92.5 Billion in 2015
Ulaanbaatar, June 11 (MONTSAME) In the first five months of this year, the revenue of Social Insurance Fund amounted to MNT 539.0 billion, reflecting an increase of MNT 8.2 billion or 1.5% and the expenditure of the fund reached MNT 631.5 billion, showing an increase MNT 113.4 billion or 21.9% against the previous year.
Total of MNT 60.2 billion granted to 192.0 thousand people for pensions, and welfare benefits from the Social Welfare Fund, a number of persons received pensions and welfare benefits increased by 28.3 thousand people or 17.3%. Amount of pensions and allowances increased by MNT 0.8 billion or 1.5% against the previous year.
In the first five months of this year, MNT 101.7 billion was granted from the Human Development Fund to 1,010.0 thousand children aged below 18 as cash benefits.
Unemployment Down 15.7% from 2014, -5.5% from April
Ulaanbaatar, June 11 (MONTSAME) The number of unemployed reached 32.0 thousand at the end of May of this year, showing a decrease of 5.9 thousand people or 15.7% against the previous year and decreased by 1.9 thousand people or 5.5% against the previous month.
Beef prices up ₮305 on average this week
June 11 (gogo.mn) As the second week of June 2015 comes to an end, National Statistics Office reported the average prices for main food items.
Average prices for meat:
Average price for mutton with bones is at MNT 7.570, beef with bones at MNT 8.445.
Price for beef with bones were stable compared with the previous week, while prices for beef were increased by MNT 305.
Beef priced the lowest at Max supermarket at MNT 7530 while beef priced highest at Nomin, Mercuri, Bumbugur, Tavan-Erdene markets at MNT 9000.
Price for mutton with bones were decreased by MNT 40 compared with the previous week, while prices for mutton were decreased by MNT 40.
Mutton priced the lowest at Max supermarket at MNT 6870 while mutton priced highest at Mercuri, Tavan-Erdene markets at MNT 9000.
Prices for flour and vegetables:
Packaged "Altantaria", high-quality flour, at the biggest markets and supermarkets priced at MNT 1,100-1,500, price for first grade flour is at MNT 900-1,300 and price for second grade flour is at MNT 750-970.
"Atar" bread priced at MNT 1,000-1,200 at markets and supermarkets. "Atar" bread priced the lowest at "Bumbugur" and "Orgil" markets at MNT 1000. "Atar" bread priced the highest at "Zambala" supermarkets at MNT 1,200.
Prices for cabbage were increased by MNT 15, potato were increased MNT 5 and carrot were increased by MNT 10 compared with the previous week.
Parliament Adopts Socio-Economic Development Guidelines for 2016
Ulaanbaatar, June 11 (MONTSAME) The morning plenary session of parliament Thursday started with 52.6 percent attendance and decided to hold discussions of 18 issues on June 11-12.
After this, a final reading of the parliamentary draft resolution on adopting these General Guidelines ran. It was introduced by A.Tleikhan MP on behalf of the Standing committee on economy. The first reading of this draft ran on this June 4, at which the MPs ran a voting on 40 principally different formulations and passed it to the above Standing committee for the last discussion. The committee reviewed all the aspects and then handed over copies of the final version to the MPs.
At today's session, the draft resolution on adopting the General Guidelines for Economic and Social Development of Mongolia in 2016 was approved with 74.5 percent vote.
Parliament Session Agenda for June 11: Plenary Session
June 11 (gogo.mn) Plenary session is scheduled for today.
1. Draft resolution of the State Great Khural on "Approval of the Main Socio-Economic Development Principles for 2016"
- Introduction by MP A.Tleikhan
2. Amendment to law on property mortgage and other relevant draft law
- Introduction by MP J.Batzandan
3. Draft Amendments to the Law on Pension Insurance Funds
4. Amendments draft to the law against alcoholism
-Introduction by MP Z.Bayanselenge
5. Renewed draft law on Accounting
-Introduction by MP Ch.Khurelbaatar
6. Renewed draft law on Audit and affiliated other drafts
-Introduction by MP Ch.Khurelbaatar
7. Draft law on Future Heritage Foundation
-Introduction by MP D.Battsogt
8. Draft law on Supporting Economic Transparency
-Introduction by the Minister of Justice D.Dorligjav
-Introduction by MP D.Battsogt
9. Draft law on amendments to the Law on Government Special Fund
-Introduction by MP Ch.Khurelbaatar
10. Draft Resolution of the State Great Hural on "Approval of State Energy Policy"
- Introduction by MP A.Tleikhan
11. Amendments Draft to the Law on Energy
- Introduction by MP L.Enkh-Amgalan
12. Amendments Draft to the Law on Renewable Energy and affiliated other drafts
- Introduction by MP L.Enkh-Amgalan
13. Draft to general administrative law and affiliated other drafts
- Introduction by MP Kh.Temuujin
14. Draft law on capital city tax
15. 8th Conclusion of Constitutional Court in 2015
- Member of the Constitutional Court Sh.Tsogtoo
- Introduction by MP Kh.Temuujin
16. 9th Conclusion of Constitutional Court in 2015
- Member of the Constitutional Court D.Ganzorig
- Introduction by MP Kh.Temuujin
17. Draft Law on Fire Safety and affiliated other drafts
- Introduction by Mongolian Deputy Minister U.Khurelsukh
- Introduction by MP D.Lundeejantsan
18. A draft law on Movable Property Pledges and affiliated other drafts
- Introduction by the Minister of Justice D.Dorligjav
- Introduction by MP J.Batzandan
19. Draft Resolution of State Great Khural on Renewing the Mongolia`s Nuclear-Weapon-Free Status
-Introduction by MP M.Batchimeg
S.Bayartsogt: Mongolia has Parliamentary Governance with a Strong President
June 11 (gogo.mn) Head of the Office of the Government S.Bayartsogt attended the Minister Hour today to introduce on the activities of the cabinet and addressed questions from the journalists.
It has already been five weeks since the cabinet submitted the Tavantolgoi Deposit Development Agreement draft to the State Great Khural and is on hold until the Working Group led by MP L.Erdenechimeg established with the order of the Speaker of the Parliament delivers the its report, which is being delayed according to MP L.Erdenechimeg due to the lack of all the requested documents.
For instance, MP L.Erdenechimeg mentioned the delays to receive English version of the agreement with the investors, to which S.Bayartsogt answered that the requested documents have been delivered 10 days ago.
Moreover, although some of the requested documents were undisclosable the cabinet had delivered for the internal use only. On June 9th WG requested the agreement referal of between the companies, which was denied as the matter was relevant to internal procedures of the companies. Other than that all the Tavantolgoi related documents are available for the WG according to S.Bayartsogt and he critizised that Mongolia has no secrets, which is not seen anywhere in the world.
Second issue was related to Constitutional Amendments working group, where S.Bayartsogt is the member as well and main changes proposed with the amendments.
According to Head of the Office of the Government, although proposed amendments may seem big in numbers they are covering only three main directions and emphasized that according to the international experts Mongolia has Parliamentary governance with strong President.
Parliamentary involvement in the executive power is much higher in Mongolia and issues related with Oyu Tolgoi and Tavantolgoi should have been resolved in a business manner and handled by the Cabinet only. Therefore, Mongolia is seen as country with unique parliamentary governance. Amendments to the Constitution is directed at resolving those issues.
-There were proposals to increase number of member of the parliament?
-In 1992 with the declaration of the Constitution we have approved the Parliament to have 76 members. Since that time population of Mongolia has increased by a million. Number of the voters have big gap in the city and rural areas by 3-4 times. In order to balance the representation of the population it was proposed to increase the number of members by 33% or to have 99-100 MPs. But the matter is to be discussed.
WG is also touching on the issues related with administrative units. According to the Constitution Mongolia has only one city. Proposals received are discussing adding Erdenet and Darkhan as cities.
-It was proposed to limit the rights of the President?
-Since the approval of the new constitution 23 years ago Mongolia had 4 presidents and it has been seen as if all of them were working under different legal environment. In order to have parliamentary governance president should be appointed by the parliament.
S. Bayartsogt participates in "Ministers' Hour" – news.mn, June 11
Head of Cabinet Secretariat at "Hour of Minister" – Montsame, June 11
Seminar Held for Chairmen of Governors' Offices of Capital and Aimags
June 11 (infomongolia.com) On June, 11, the seminar of Chairmen of the Governors' Office of Capital and Aimags has commenced at the State Palace of Mongolia. The Cabinet Secretariat of Government of Mongolia, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) jointly holds the seminar.
Deputy Head of the Cabinet Secretariat G.Ganbold noted that the seminar will discuss governance and decentralization program (GDP) and service improvement of local administrations in Mongolia to reach common understanding.
Jacques Merat, GDP program manager of SDC, have given presentation on GDP and international consultant Stefan Pfaeffli introduced the progress of processing documents related to decentralization strategy to the chairmen.
Furthermore, difficulties and solutions for delivering government service to local regions, service improvement of governor's offices in soms and required training programs will be discussed at the session. The session will continue two days.
MP L.Enkh-Amgalan Holds Online Meeting with Khuvsgul Authorities
Ulaanbaatar, June 11 (MONTSAME) A member of parliament L.Enkh-Amgalan Thursday held an online meeting with authorities of Khovsgol aimag at the "G" hall of the State House.
Organized by the Parliamentary Office, this weekly online meeting gathered authorities of the aimag, the Citizens' Representative Khural, officials and people. .
Head of the Media and Public Relations of the Parliamentary Office O.Batkhand made the opening speech at the meeting. After this, Khovsgol aimag's governor A.Erdenebaatar spoke about implementation of the state-budgeted works.
Enkh-Amgalan MP shares views with the province's authorities on urgent issues of development in Khovsgol, on related policy, state budget investments, a course of construction under money from the Fund for Local Fund, and monitoring. He pointed out that some 300 million Togrog has been approved by the cabinet for works related to debenture financing by a parliamentary resolution. A legal condition has been created for those companies who are to pay off their debt through debentures, "so the expected investments in localities will be continued until the parliamentary spring session break on this July 10".
Guest Post: National Labour Party – Хөдөлмөрийн Үндэсний Нам
By Bulgan Batdorj
June 10 (Mongolia Focus) Since their first forum "National Development – Mongol Person" in February this year, the Development Hun (ХҮН/Hun = person, individual) club expressed its intent of becoming a political force, but had not settled on both type (political movement, pressure group or party) or name. So, on May 4, the Development Hun club announced that they were becoming the new "National Labour Party" (in Mongolian) "Хөдөлмөрийн Үндэсний Нам", abbreviated as ХҮН. The National Labour Party was registered with the Supreme Court of Mongolia on November 2011 as a political party and there was no information on whether it was a name transfer or merger. Before settling on the name, the club had suggested a few names which contained the word ХҮН. This is because their framework is to centre on ХҮН.
According to Sant Maral's April 2015 Politbarometer, 43.5% of respondents say that none of the political parties can best solve the socio-political or economic problems that Mongolia is facing today. This seems to suggest an opening for a possible new political force next to the two large parties and well-established parties like MAXH and Civil Will Green Party.
Those problems are in priority order Unemployment; Standard of living; Price increase (totals 65%) Economy, Law enforcement, Corruption, Education, Social Justice, State Administration and lastly Environment rated on the 10th place with 1.4%. Many of these problems are addressed in the HUN party's "Mongolia Goal" agenda. There are 10 pillars for the Mongolia Goal [see the graphic entitled "МОНГОЛ ЗОРИЛГО" on Facebook]. Those are: (right to left)
1. National Existence
2. Environment to create wealth
3. Legal Environment
5. Wealth Distribution Environment
The "Mongol Goal" is illustrated in three timelines, short term, medium and long term, with set up qualitative and quantities objectives for the Mongolian economy and society up till 2050. The proposed framework suggests a liberal ideology, accepting the government's role in education, health and poverty and endorsing a free(er) market economy.
The party seems to be building an image of educated and experienced men (Mogi: not just men) who are mature and energetic, based on the people who are representing the party in the public domain.
For example, the party leader is Mr. S. Borgil, who received a masters and PhD in the U.S., and has previous work experience at the Mongolian Ministry of Finance and a bank in Colorado.
Mr. B. Naidalaa is the CEO and the secretary of the Mongolian Banker's Association, with previous experience in banking and MCS company. He has a graduate degree from the University of Kobe, Japan.
Another figure representing the party is Mr. T. Bat-Orgil, his mother and grandmother are highly respected and state-recognized actresses in Mongolia, so he is perceived by the public as being the son of a wealthy family and out of touch with the realities of a difficult life.
All three man are successful, educated and experienced. According to their interviews, many of the party's members are foreign graduates and harvested work experience, recognized in specific sectors (technocrats). They uphold strong values of ethics, principles, accountability and humility at the individual level.
At the institutional level, they are promoting strong institutions (often pointing fingers at the other parties for having weak institutional capacity) guided by knowledge, justice and unity. As per the same Politbarometer, 65% of the respondents say that government policy is characterized most by self-interested politicians and in support for the rich. So, the image and message of "technocrat – capable institution" is appealing to many. This could also be a good strategy as the need of having technocratic perspectives involved in political decision-making was the main motive (at least publicly) to dissolve Prime Minister N. Altankhuyag's government and was the main condition for the next government (although this did not happen).
Challenges in Organizing a New Political Force
There are two main criticisms so far. The party is firmly pointing its fingers at the MPP & DP for their failures, but a further round of the "blame game" is not the best strategy to win the hearts of some. The second issue is that people are starting to develop conspiracy theories about the party's finances as the events they organize are taking place at fancy venues and without transparent information on backers.
Anyone who has observed past election years in Mongolia would know that they will hear about many new political parties that they have never heard before during election campaign and will never hear again till the next election. The public is weary of yet another "New Political Party" especially on the doorstep of another election. But the National Labour Party might be the new thing that Mongolia might give a go for the next election in 2016 as they seem to be hitting the nail on the head (at least according to the Politbarometer 2015).
About Bulgan Batdorj
Bulgan Batdorj is a Master's student at the Norman B. Keevil Institute of Mining Engineering of the University of British Columbia. Her research interests are Extractive Dependency, Resource Curse and Sustainability.
General Election Commission briefs new Mongolian Ambassadors on 2016 election
June 11 (news.mn) The General Electoral Commission held a meeting with Mongolia's new ambassadors due to serve abroad. There was an exchange of opinions about the preparations for next Parliamentary Election which will take place in 2016. Due to the election, ambassadors expressed their wish to provide possibilities for Mongolian citizens living abroad to vote in the election.
According to research data from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, of the 122,000 Mongolian citizens currently living abroad, only 57,000 citizens have been involved in the "New Registration".
General Electoral Commission Chief of Ch.Sodnomtseren reminded the ambassadors to pay particular attention preparing for the election well in advance and to work carefully in accordance with the "Electoral Law" and other related regulations.
National Organizing Committee for ASEM Discusses Safety, Security Issues
June 11 (gogo.mn) 11th ASEM meeting is set to be organized in July 2016 in Ulaanbaatar city. ASEM 2016 will be by far the largest diplomatic gathering in Mongolia's history with over 5000 guests including leaders, government officials, international agencies and media of 51 countries attending the event.
National Council organizing the event is led by the Prime Minister Ch.Saikhanbileg and today the council held its plenary discussion on the organizational matters with its Security, Ceremony and Board Crossing sub-working group which is led by the Minister of Justice D.Dorligjav.
Today, the council discussed on ensuring the safety of the officials and guests, ensuring national security and organizing events for ensuring the national security, establishment of Immediate Administrative Department and Integrated Control Center and estimated its necessary technical requirements and budget. Today`s discussions will be submitted to the Government meeting.
Nat'l Council for ASEM Summit Preparation Meets – Montsame, June 11
One More Opportunity to Finance Business Ideas
By A. Burenjargal
June 11 (Mongolian Economy) Many business ideas are left as just ideas. Though many have the desire, they do not have the means to establish and operate a company. Options for investment and financing are hard to come by, no matter how great an idea an entrepreneur has. Thus, state-owned institutions are thinking up ways to turn good ideas into reality and raise investments. The Mongolian Stock Exchange and professional organisations participating in the stock market have been organising vocational trainings to give advice on raising funds from capital markets and issuing securities.
This time around, the MSE and officials from the Ministry of Industry established a joint working group to actualise opportunities to raise funds from capital markets and start a business. They will conduct detailed studies on possibilities to finance industrial projects and will help entrepreneurs wanting to start or expand their business operations to raise funds.
Starting from the 4th of this month, the Ministry of Industry, Ministry of Energy, Ministry of Mining and Erdenes Mongol LLC will cooperate to expedite the operations of the Mongolian government as well as works to bring the strategically important mineral deposits into the economic circulation. "The Ministry of Industry will work with Erdenes Mongol LLC on projects to establish coal liquefaction and processing plants," said the Minister of Industry, D.Erdenebat.
D.Zorigt, the Minister of Energy, stated, "Erdenes Mongol LLC's subsidiaries own the licences for strategic deposits such as the Shivee-Ovoo coal mine and the Baganuur coal mine. Renovations and extensions will be made and coal production will increase as major power plants are built. Thus, it is necessary that the newly established sources be continuously and reliably supplied with fuel and raw materials. We decided to cooperate to organise this undertaking in the near future in accordance with good business principles." The works to invigorate stock market activities and give government support to entrepreneurs through policy have begun.
Conditions Necessary for the Economy to Improve are Upon Us
By A. Burenjargal
June 11 (Mongolian Economy) The Bank of Mongolia's monetary policy committee began discussing policies and targets for the second quarter of this year. The members of the board discussed macroeconomic projections and analyses during the meeting. More comprehensive and quantitative analyses of the positive changes on the economy since the beginning of the year and expectations for the second half of the year will be reflected in the coming policy moves.
The above mentioned steps will be useful for other analyses and policy proposals. Revised projections and analyses will be discussed at the next meeting of the monetary policy committee. "Currently, it can be said that the central bank's foreign exchange reserves are at a good level. Specifically, there's a six-month reserve of foreign currency. It's twice the international standard, which is that reserves must be able to withstand three months of importing," said S.Bold, Chief Economist of the Bank of Mongolia.
The central bank's monetary policy board makes policy decisions after discussing it for several meetings. This year, the committee has met twice and increased the policy interest by one percent, bringing it up to 13 percent in January. However at the next meeting in April, they decided to keep interest rates as they were. Recently, the inflation rate has declined, nearing the central bank's target of seven percent, and Mongolia's improved risk levels in foreign markets are expected to have welcome effects.
Also, there some good signals: foreign currency inflows are likely to increase; the forex market is stabilizing for the good of the tugrik; banks started to secure long-term foreign exchange sources from international markets. The monetary policy committee's expected decision is attracting attention as the OT underground mine development and financing plan has been resolved and uncertainties in the investment environment is being shed.
Griffith's Business School staff help shape Mongolia's mining boom
June 11 (Brisbane Times) Queensland researchers are helping shape the next major mining boom - occurring about 8,500 kilometres away from Australia.
Staff from Griffith's Business School are hosting Mongolian delegates over the next few weeks to discuss strategies to manage the country's burgeoning mining growth.
The former Soviet satellite has huge coal, copper and gold resources which have only been tapped in recent decades.
A Rio Tinto-run mine is expected to generate up to a third of the nation's GDP, with more 800,000 tonnes of copper and gold produced.
Griffith business school lecturer Dr Tapan Sarker said the landlocked nation with a population of three million people could be lifted out of the third world if it capitalises on its mining industry.
However managing such unprecedented growth is a challenge Mongolian government officials and industry leaders have turned to Queensland experts for advice.
"They can be as good as Australia on a per-capita basis because they have a small population and huge potential," Dr Sarker said.
"The fact is we have to make things the right way, we have to have the governance right, we have to make sure things are transparent."
The delegates are meeting with Griffith staff, Queensland Treasury and major accounting firms to seek advice on formulating tax systems for foreign companies.
"Australia's experience in how systems are implemented in the resource industry at state and national level is a valuable knowledge base that can be put to productive effect in Mongolia," he said.
"What is important for them is to ensure their growth is sustainable.
"This business of mining is dangerous and it causes displacement. It also causes water and air pollution and is very resource intensive as well."
Mongolia Promotes Tourism at Hong Kong Exhibition
June 11 (news.mn) The City Tourism Office, "Miat LC", "Juulchin", and "New Juulchin" are ready to participate in an important International Tourism Exhibition which will take place in Hong-Kong on 11th-14th June.
In total, 483 organizations from 49 countries are participating in this 4-day event. The first day of the exhibition will be for professionals only; the second day for the general public.The Government is seriously promoting tourism; within the "Ulaanbaatar Welcomes You Program", and a decision has been taken to focus on marketing Mongolia to its neighbors with direct flight connections. In this context the Mongolian companies participating in Hong Kong have been allocated a 18 metre2area in the very central part of the exhibition hall.
Last year, 115 million Chinese traveled abroad. Most of them are from Shanghai, Beijing, Hong-Kong, and Guangzhou. Advantages of attracting tourists from China include the 5 weekly flights between Hong-Kong-Ulaanbaatar and possibility to book visas directly from the Mongolian Consulate. In order to help prepare to receive large numbers of Chinese tourists Professor Kaye Chon, who is both the head of the Department of Hotel and Tourism and director of the University of Polytechnic University of Hong-Kong, has been invited to teach Mongolian hotels and restaurants managers.
CBD vehicle restriction postponed as traffic jams less severe than estimated
June 11 (gogo.mn) Vehicle restriction by the last number of the license plate by odd and even numbers set to start from June 15th to August 15th due to the construction and repair works was postponed.
"According to the repair works, we thought that "flood of traffic jam" will occur. However, the situation is not causing serious traffic, so that it can be resolved through postponing the vehicle restriction." stated the City Mayor E.Bat-Uul.
Discussion on changing the working hours of state organizations will be made next week and City considered it as one of the solutions to decrease the traffic overload.
Central Post Office-Flower Center Road to open before deadline
By A. Narantsatsral
June 11 (gogo.mn) Today City Officials have conducted monitoring on the process of renewing the heating pipelines at Central Post office intersection to Flower Center intersection.
Renewal of the heating lines is being done to enhance the capacity and install new 1700 m tap water pipelines of the sewage system built in 1982. The project provisions integrated renewal and there will be no need to dig the earth again in the future.
Enhancing the heating line capacity will enable to connect to the central heating system 7th microdistrict and Demjiin myanga area.
According to E.Erdenekhuu, Field Engineer at Khangiltsag LLC, one of the project contractor companies the road will be open 4-5 days prior the intended date of the project finish which is June 25th.
Total budget of the heating pipeline renewal is the MNT 12.65 billion and is being financed by the Development Bank of Mongolia through the contractors: Khangiltsag LLC, ABG Energo LLC and Gandirs Ord LLC.
The proposal to use plastic pipelines for the updating of the tap water was declined as the heating pipes heat up to 110-130C and there is danger of a meltdown. Therefore the drinking water pipelines are to be replaced with metal pipes.
D.Baatarkhuyag, General Manager at Water and Sewage Authority says that replacement of the current ф400 mm pipes with ф500 pipes will be done during night hours in order to decrease the inconveniences for residents.
Presidents of Mongolia & European Parliament Host Press Briefing
June 11 (news.mn) On the sidelines of an official visit to the European Parliament, President of Mongolia Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj held a meeting with the President of the European Parliament Mr. Martin Schulz and hosted a joint press statement.
President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz noted: "Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen. Once again I officially welcome you, Mr. President of Mongolia to the European Parliament. Mr. President, thank you very much for your great speech to the European Parliament. All the members of the European Parliament are deeply impressed by your speech and messages of hope, cooperation, fighting for values, defending democracy, freedom of speech, pluralistic society, open minded society looking on the basis of a long historical tradition of your country and contributing the cultural development. But on the basis of the past experience, your country implements a forward looking political strategy. This is an enormous achievement.
I want to thank not only for your speech, I want also to answer your call "Friends, let us cooperate and work together for all these values". Yes, let us work together, especially looking to the ASEM Summit in 2016. Under the preparation of this important meeting of the world regions, we have to take important decision of the future generations.
I accept this invitation and would like to underline how happy we are that the President of Mongolia – a democratic country, addressed his speech to the representatives of 507 million Europeans of 28 sovereign countries. This is a unique place because we adopt a binding law for more than 500 million citizens from 28 countries. I think your speech has encouraged us and this will give great impetus to the deepening of bilateral relations between the European Parliament and Mongolia".
President of Mongolia Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj noted: "Thank you Mr. President. This is really great honor to address the plenary of the European Parliament with 751 members from the 28 nations. It is really unimaginable in Asia, in our part of world. I call it a premier invention for advancing democracy peace and harmony. It is the biggest representative in democratic institution human kind ever created on the earth. This is the European Parliament.
I am really happy to represent my nation and speak on the achievements of our country. It was really great honor to be here. This was a great encouragement for us. Mongolians have watched my speech through the livestream and they are really excited.
We are doing good thing in our part of world. Of course having demonstrations and elections is one thing. But maintaining and building those institutions were difficult. In this regard, the European Union, the European Parliament and its member states have undoubtedly supported our country from the beginning. In 1990s, when we entered into a new era we had a great friend – the European Union and European states. It gave us great encouragement. Now there is a new stage of cooperation. We have a great economic potential. One time Mongolia was the fastest growing economy in the world, but now we are experiencing a strong slowdown. Nevertheless, our economy shows 5-6 percent of growth.
We have something to offer. You have great technology and expertise. There are huge opportunities for your companies to invest Mongolia.
I am really happy that Mongolia will host the ASEM Summit next year. I have invited the President of the European Parliament Mr. Martin Schulz to attend the Meeting and to tell his story of success and challenges to our audience. It will give us a great insight and encouragement. We are working in many fields with great success, such as political, social, educational, energy, environmental and other.
We have a Partnership cooperation agreement with the European Union and it will enhance the mutual cooperation. Thank you for this great opportunity. This is really great honor for us. It is a great recognition what we have achieved in 25 years through the hard work for democracy, for advancing the rule of law, human rights, openness and transparency in our part of world. This is our value. We have to respect the human dignity and we have to give more opportunities to our people. We are accounting on your help and support. Thank you".
Sandwiched Mongolia looks beyond its two gigantic neighbours
By H.E. Ravdan Bold, outgoing Mongolian ambassador to Australia.
June 12 (The Australian) Mongolia's unavoidable environment — surrounded by two big civilisations, with fast-growing markets and nuclear powers — created challenges and opportunities. The Western economic sanctions followed by the Tiananmen incident in 1989 led to the establishment of a strategic partnership between Russia and China; and a new regional organisation, the Shanghai Co-operation Organisation, which is expanding to central and south Asia. Mongolia is the only country in inner Asia which is not a member of this organisation. Due to the crisis in east Ukraine, the West put sanctions on Russia. However, this gave the economic and energy co-operation between Russia and China a new momentum. Therefore, one can say geopolitics is an integral part of everyday lives of Mongolians.
The priority in foreign policy of Mongolia is to maintain friendly relations with its neighbours. However, while Mongolia is a landlocked country, it pursues a "third-neighbour policy", with the purpose to be open and firmly connected with the outer world through political, economic, security and people-to-people links.
In the framework of this policy, Mongolia aims to effectively collaborate with Australia through bilateral and multilateral co-operation. I note with great pleasure the close bilateral co-operation within international financial institutions such as the World Bank.
Education became a strong bridge between Mongolia and Australia. More than 400 "Mozzies", including parliamentarians and members of the cabinet, studied in Australia. The number of Mongolian students studying in Australia have tripled during the past three years, to nearly 900.
Like other nations of the region, Mongolia praises the New Colombo Plan, which has already started playing a great role in bringing Australia closer to the Asia-Pacific. Mongolia has been invited to participate and the first Australian students are on their way to Mongolia.
A visit by the Mongolian Foreign Minister last year was the first such trip in more than 20 years. It has deepened bilateral political understanding and expanded the partnership.
The bilateral consultations and exchange of high-ranking officials has also intensified. Mongolia received with great pleasure the recent announcement by Foreign Minister Julie Bishop that Australia will open its embassy in Ulaanbaatar. It was important that within the spirit of Australia's economic diplomacy the Australia-Mongolia Business council was established, with the support of companies such as Minter Ellison and Rio Tinto. More than 60 Australian companies operate their offices in Ulaanbaatar, making this country one of the most important investors in Mongolia.
A concessional agreement was concluded between the Mongolian government and Australian company Aspire Mining early this year to build a 700km railway in the north of Mongolia. Mongolia welcomes the presence of Australian businesses in inner Asia. There is no doubt that the decision to continue the $5.4 billion second stage of the Oyu Tolgoi project will give fresh and greater opportunities to Australian investors. The government of Mongolia is also working towards utilising the Tavan Tolgoi deposit, which has one of the world's largest reserves of coking coal — 6.5 billion tonnes. We hope economic utilisation of these two deposits could have a positive impact on global mining development.
There is a wide potential for bilateral co-operation in agriculture and tourism. The recently signed defence co-operation accord will strengthen links between our defence forces.
Redistribution of wealth within the Asia-Pacific region affects the balance of power. In these circumstances, the mutual trust and understanding within the international co-operation will remain greatly important.
Multilateral co-operation provides small nations with an opportunity to strengthen their interests and make contributions. Mongolia is actively participating at international peacekeeping operations under the UN mandate. Mongolian troops have been deployed in South Sudan for the past three years; it is the second-largest Mongolian deployment in Africa.
Mongolia will host the 20th anniversary summit of the Asia-Europe meeting in July next year. The heads of states and governments of 65 nations will convene in Mongolia. Mongolia is a small but responsible partner; it is actively determined towards its own sustainable development, also to the stability and peace in north Asia.
Stalin's secret railway for war against Japan confirmed in Mongolia
June 11 (The Asahi Shimbun) A secret railway in eastern Mongolia and a confidential order by Josef Stalin show that the Soviet Union was preparing for war against Japan in 1942, three years before the actual war started, researchers said.
A joint team of Japanese and Mongolian researchers recently confirmed the existence of the military railway connecting three huge bases that Soviet forces used as strongholds to attack Japan during the closing days of World War II in 1945.
Stalin's order for research on construction of the military railway was given in a secret document dated June 6, 1942, despite the neutrality treaty concluded by the Soviet Union and Japan in 1941, the researchers said.
In 2009 and 2014, the joint research team confirmed the sites of the three bases, in Sanbeis, Matad and Tamsagbulag. The bases were surrounded by an anti-tank trench with a circumference longer than the 34.5-kilometer Yamanote Line loop in central Tokyo.
From late April to early May this year, the team, headed by Hisaya Okazaki, looked for transportation routes linking the three sites. Their work included aerial searches over vast plains in Mongolia, which was under the influence of the Soviet Union during the war.
The researchers found that the military railway, which transported troops and supplies, was an extension of a branch line of the Trans-Siberian Railway. The military railway's total length was about 400 kilometers.
According to an internal document of the Imperial Japanese Army in 1941, Japan believed the Soviet Union only had trucks and other vehicles for transportation between the Sanbeis base and the border with Manchuria (current northeastern China), which was then under Japanese control.
But according to documents disclosed to the research team and accompanying Asahi Shimbun reporters by the Mongolian Institute for Defense Studies, Stalin demanded that research on the construction of a railway from the Sanbeis base to the Manchuria border be completed by the end of 1942.
The secret order was among confidential documents that Russia has disclosed to Mongolia in recent years.
"It seems that the railway was completed in 1943," said Sanuidagva Ganbold, a professor at the Institute for Defense Studies.
Japan and the Soviet Union concluded the Japanese-Soviet Neutrality Pact, also known as the Japanese-Soviet Non-aggression Pact, in April 1941. The pact was effective for five years.
A month after war broke out between the Soviet Union and Germany in June 1941, Japan sent soldiers to Manchuria for "drills." However, it gave up on the idea of invading the Soviet Union.
In mid-August 1942, Stalin told visiting U.S. special envoy Averell Harriman in Moscow that the Soviet Union was unable to start a war against Japan under the circumstances at that time, but it would do so in the future.
That remark was believed to be Stalin's first reference to a possible war with Japan. However, his secret order for the military railway was made two months earlier.
"Seeing the traces of huge bases and the military railway on a vast plain, I felt anew the national will of the Soviet Union that regarded Japan as its enemy and was keeping its guard up against the country even when it had a neutrality treaty with Japan and was engaged in a war against Germany," said Kazutoshi Hando, author of "Soren ga Manshu ni Shinkoshita Natsu" (Summer when the Soviet Union invaded Manchuria).
"Japanese leaders initially planned to attack the Soviet Union under the name of drills. But when the possibility of Japan's defeat in the war became high, Japan tried to ask the Soviet Union to serve as a mediator. I am appalled by the gap between Stalin's strong determination and Japan's optimism," he said.
Link to article (includes video, pictures)
NKorea laborers are exploited in Mongolia, says ILO
The International Labor Organization said Mongolia is a signatory to the ILO's Forced Labor Convention No. 29, and Ulan Bator is required by the convention to put an end to forced labor conditions.
BANGKOK, June 10 (UPI) -- North Korean laborers forced to work in Mongolian factories are toiling in substandard conditions, the International Labor Organization said Wednesday.
Sophy Fisher, a senior communications officer at the ILO's Asia office, said North Koreans in Mongolia are suffering abuse of workers' rights. Their pay is delayed, and they are obligated to offer their salaries to their supervisors as contributions, Voice of America reported.
Fisher said Mongolia is a signatory to the ILO's Forced Labor Convention No. 29, and Ulan Bator is required by the convention to put an end to forced labor conditions.
North Korea operates a global network of forced laborers, according to North Korean defector Lim Il. Lim, who escaped a life of slave labor at a construction site in Kuwait, said North Korea's leadership makes hundreds of millions of dollars from its slave labor force in the Middle East, Russia and other countries, including Mongolia.
Lim has said North Korea's system of slave labor earns the regime more than $1.8 billion annually.
A Mongolian envoy to Washington has said there are around 2,000 North Korean workers in Mongolia's textile factories and agricultural sector.
South Korean news agency Yonhap reported a five-year agreement between Mongolia and North Korea is driving the supply of North Korean forced labor to Mongolia.
The number of North Korean workers in Mongolia is expected to rise to 4,000, the Korea Times reported. Under Kim Jong Un the population of forced laborers have increased from 50,000 to 60,000.
North Koreans are increasingly less likely to work abroad to bring in foreign currency, because of economic opportunities available inside North Korea and because of exploitive work conditions overseas.
Mongolia to tighten security over MERS outbreak in South Korea
June 11 (infomongolia.com) State Inspector General Sh.Radnaased, Acting Chairman of the General Agency for Specialized Inspection (GASI), has warned inspection services of Mongolian customs service to stay on alert in connection to coronavirus outbreak in South Korea earlier.
On June 10, State Inspector General Sh.Radnaased has ordered medical authorities of the capital and aimags to strengthen countermeasures against Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) virus and hold reserve of infectious disease medicines, reagents, test kits, disinfectants and other required medical equipment at all hospitals in the country. Further, medical authorities must provide information on MERS to citizens and conduct training for medical specialists.
According to statistics, totally 1,250 cases of coronavirus detected in world countries and 449 of them confirmed dead. In South Korea, where Mongolian citizens actively visit, there were 95 cases of MERS and 7 were confirmed dead.
President of Khovd University Selected for 2015 Class of Asia Society Asia 21 Young Leaders
@JYanjmaa: Great! I have been accepted as a member of the 2015 Class of Asia Society Asia 21 Young Leaders. http://t.co/tdC5RhLMZV
NEMA Conducting Water Rescue Trainings at Gachuurt
Ulaanbaatar, June 11 (MONTSAME) At order of the chairman of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), water-rescue trainings are running these days on the Gachuurt river with a participation of some 50 personnel from the Capital City Rescue Unit and the emergency departments of Nalaikh and Baganuur districts of Ulaanbaatar.
Trainees are receiving knowledge practice on rowing boats, conducting group rescue operations in times of boat inversions, giving occupational safety instructions, providing lifebuoys, making searches and performing rescuing operations in water, utilizing motorboats, diving, preparing diving accessories and swimming in streaming water.
The training will continue for three days. The NEMA and the Capital City Police Department have been releasing patrol boats in the Tuul river every summer since 2010, in a view of increasing number of picnics on the river banks.
Thanks to the patrol-boat framework, calls to the water-related accidents sites decreased 81 percent, a number of people lost in water accidents--by 64.5 percent in 2014 against 2013. In the first six months of 2015, the NEMA received three emergency calls only, took out two dead bodies from water and rescued one life.
The boat-rangers will patrol the Tuul river from the Gachuurt's "Black Water" bend to the "Biocombinat" bridge from June 10 to September 10.
Fairbanks Man Likely Contracted Measles in Mongolia
June 10 (Alaska Public Media) A case of measles in Fairbanks is the first confirmed occurrence of the highly contagious viral infection in the state in 15 years. The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services says a man who flew from Mongolia to Fairbanks on May 31 to work at the University of Alaska Fairbanks tested positive for the virus. He was at the university and numerous other locations around the city, including several stores, before he knew he had measles. The man was contagious through June 7 in Fairbanks.
State of Alaska Epidemiologist Dr. Joe McLaughlin suspects the man contracted measles in Mongolia, where there's a large ongoing outbreak of the disease that causes a telltale rash, fever, runny nose, red eyes, and in rare cases can lead to deadly pneumonia or encephalitis.
"The big question is what should people in Fairbanks be doing."
Dr. McLaughlin says that depends on a few things. He says people born before 1957 are likely immune to measles because they were exposed to the actual virus prior to widespread immunization. He says many born after that date were likely immunized as children, protection that lasts a lifetime, but otherwise…
"If you are un-vaccinated, under-vaccinated or you're not sure, our recommendation is to go to your health care provider and make sure you get vaccinated."
McLaughlin says measles spreads easily through the air, and respiratory secretions, even up to two hours after an infected person has been in a room.
"Measles is one of the most contagious pathogens known. About 90 percent of people who are exposed to measles, who have not been vaccinated, or have not had the infection in the past, will get infected."
McLaughlin says symptoms typically take a week to 3 weeks to appear after exposure. He adds that the virus can spread from an infected person 4 days before the rash starts, and 4 days after it ends. McLaughlin urges watching for symptoms and calling a health care provider if you suspect you have measles.
"Then your health care provider will give you instructions about what to do. What he or she will likely say is I want you to come to the clinic, drive to the clinic, and we will send a nurse out to escort you into the clinic, and we'll avoid the waiting room, because we don't want other people to be exposed."
The state reports that the man who traveled to Fairbanks with measles was on a flight from Seattle that stopped in Seattle, but not Anchorage. Federal officials are contacting people who may have been exposed on airlines outside of Alaska.
Bulgarian, Mongolian Archaeologists Launch Excavation Works Near Perperikon
June 9 (Novinite.com) This year, the team of archaeology Prof. Nikolai Ovcharov will continue with the unearthing of the entire Acrople near the ancient Bulgarian town of Perperikon. Research efforts will be supported by Mongolian experts, Nova TV reported Tuesday.
Petroglyphs and other drawings point to new discoveries regarding the ancient Bulgarian nation that inhibited the region along the Bulgarian - Turkish border. The discoveries are not new but now a possible relationship to similar artefacts from Moldova will be explored.
''These paintings are a tradition that has been brought from the regions where ancient Bulgarians initially resided, somwhere in Central Asia,'' stated Prof. Nikolai Ovcharov. '' It is connected with their beliefs in the dieties of Tangra, Umai, and many others. Some connect them to the shamanism culture to a point. This is the reason why a joint research expedition alongside Mongolian experts is so important.''
It is expected that project financing will be provided namely through Mongolia.
Meanwhile, excavation works near Perperikon are already along the way. Archeologists have already discovered a statue, projectedly dating back to 3 C AD.
Perperikon has increasingly become an important tourist site in Bulgaria, with annual tourist influx of 100,000 people.
Lauretta Summerscales: I feel confident dancing Giselle with Gantsooj
By S. Odbayar
June 11 (gogo.mn) Gantsooj Otgonbyamba, principle dancer of the Mongolian State Academic Theater of Opera and Ballet, HWC, is one of the most talented and well trained ballet dancers representing Mongolian Ballet on world stage audiences. For his 10th anniversary with the Mongolian State Academic Theater of Opera and Ballet as principal dancer, he stages inspirational revised version of Adolpho Adam's Giselle.
In his performance he invited his school mate Lauretta Summerscales, First Soloist at the English National Ballet. Lauretta landed in Mongolia just few days ago and directly went to rehearsals of the ballet with Mongolian dancers.
We had a pleasure to meeting with her during her busy schedule of rehearsals at the Mongolian State Academic Theater of Opera and Ballet for her upcoming performance as Giselle to be staged on June 12.
Lauretta has been dancing since the age of 3 and joined the English National Ballet in 2009 and became First Soloist in 2013. Her career highlights were being invited to join English National Ballet and dancing the leading role of Myrtha, Queen of the Willis in Giselle at the London Coliseum in January 2010. Below is the brief interview.
Your impressions of coming in Mongolia?
- Yesterday was a bit hard as I was jetlagged. But today is being good as things are being non-stop.
How did you meet Gantsooj?
- We both went to English National Ballet School together. He came in my second year and he was the year above me. I don't remember him being there for long. I think it might have been six months. We did The Sleeping Beauty together for school. That is where I met him first. And it has been six years since we last saw each other.
Have you been in touch with him throughout these years or he just approached you recently?
- He just approached me recently. We are on Facebook so I see what he is doing. He was the one who contacted me through Facebook saying can you come to Mongolia. I thought he just wanted me to come see Mongolia I didn't realized he meant to dance. I said I cannot, I am working and I just cannot come to Mongolia. Then he explained more about what he wanted and I needed to ask my director if I could come.
I was really shocked, I thought my director would say 'no', because I will be away for whole week and she has said no to quite few things recently. I think just the timing was good and I was really shocked when she said 'yes'. I was really excited, because I had prepared for 'no' and I was in China when I found out about Giselle. It was like present.
You started rehearsals just after you landed in Mongolia. How do you evaluate skills and techniques of Mongolian dancers?
- In class is the best. You can see different styles and different techniques. It is very similar to England. We have same ballet steps. It is just there is no room for big jumps the studio rooms are quite small.
How do you feel about dancing with Mongolian dancers and performing for the Mongolian audience?
- I feel excited, but I am nervous as well. I don't know the audience will react. The dancers are lovely and they are very good to me. I feel a lot support which is really nice, because this is the first time so far being away from home doing another ballet. Today is the first time when I can feel it through, as yesterday I was bit tired after long flight. Today is like the adrenaline is going and you have the butterflies. But at the same time I want to do a good show.
What are your expectations from this performance of Giselle?
- I want to explore something I haven't explored before. Experience the different emotions and I just hope I can be free on stage and I hope that Mongolian audience enjoys it and I don't disappoint them.
You said that your favourite role was Aurora from Sleeping Beauty. Are you playing as Giselle for the first time?
- I had a chance to play in Giselle, but because I had just joined the company I did Mirtha, queen on the Wilis. That was five years ago and since then at the company we never did Giselle again. This is the first time for me to play as Giselle. I am very excited, because this is my first and I am exploring it, as here there is different repertoire. Although the solo is same the acting is different, we have different mime.
Have you had time to do research on Mongolia?
- I really like art, so I wanted to know what were the traditional clothes, what were the traditions many years ago. I looked more into those kinds of things and I actually do not know about today's society.
Do you see this trip as good one?
- Definitely yes. I think this brilliant as I get to see another country and also see other ways how people dance and how they work. Also to explore myself as well without the pressure of my own staff, I can do what I want.
Few words about Gantsooj and do you feel confident to be dancing with him on Mongolian stage?
- Very funny guy. He has improved so much since I last saw him at school. He loves what he is doing here, he loves the country. He is doing much better now than before, his jumps, his elevation. I feel confident to be dancing with him. He is brilliant.
Thank you and wishing you good luck.
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