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Wednesday, July 22, 2015
Headlines in Italic are ones modified by Cover Mongolia from original
TRQ closed +0.28% Tuesday to US$3.55, -11% in last 1 month
UPDATE 1-Oyu Tolgoi project financing seen signed by year-end -Turquoise Hill
(Adds gold production, forecast, background)
July 15 (Reuters) - A project financing agreement for the underground expansion of Oyu Tolgoi, a massive copper and gold mine in Mongolia, is expected to be signed by year end, mine owner Rio Tinto's Turquoise Hill Resources unit said on Wednesday.
Oyu Tolgoi produced 52 percent more copper concentrate in the second quarter, or 55,300 tonnes, than in the same period a year ago, Turquoise Hill said. This is the highest quarterly concentrate production since operations began.
Gold concentrate production was 238,000 ounces, more than double the 113,000 ounces in the second quarter of 2014.
Turquoise Hill repeated its previous forecast for full-year output of 175,000 to 195,000 tonnes of copper and 600,000 to 700,000 ounces of gold in concentrates.
In May, Mongolia and Rio Tinto reached an agreement that paved the way for work to resume on the $5 billion mine that is expected to drive growth for the country and company. A crucial next step for the expansion is securing finance.
Oyu Tolgoi started production in 2013.
Link to TRQ release: Turquoise Hill Announces Second Quarter 2015 Production, July 15
Turquoise Hill Resources Downgraded to "Sell" at Zacks
Shares of Turquoise Hill Resources (NYSE:TRQ) traded up 0.28% during mid-day trading on Tuesday, hitting $3.55. The stock had a trading volume of 2,105,466 shares. Turquoise Hill Resources has a 52-week low of $2.65 and a 52-week high of $4.74. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $3.93 and a 200-day moving average of $3.57. The company has a market cap of $7.14 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 47.33.
Turquoise Hill Resources (NYSE:TRQ) last released its earnings data on Monday, May 11th. The company reported $0.03 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.01 by $0.02. The company had revenue of $426.00 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $113.90 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted ($0.03) earnings per share. The company's revenue for the quarter was up 274.2% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts expect that Turquoise Hill Resources will post $0.16 EPS for the current fiscal year.
A number of other firms have also recently commented on TRQ. Analysts at BMO Capital Markets reiterated an "outperform" rating and set a $6.50 price target on shares of Turquoise Hill Resources in a research note on Thursday, July 2nd. Analysts at TD Securities reiterated a "hold" rating and set a $5.50 price target (up previously from $5.00) on shares of Turquoise Hill Resources in a research note on Saturday, May 23rd. Analysts at Bank of America upgraded shares of Turquoise Hill Resources from an "underperform" rating to a "neutral" rating in a research note on Thursday, May 21st. Analysts at TheStreet upgraded shares of Turquoise Hill Resources from an "e+" rating to a "hold" rating in a research note on Wednesday, May 13th. Finally, analysts at CIBC downgraded shares of Turquoise Hill Resources from a "sector perform" rating to an "underperform" rating in a research note on Tuesday, April 7th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company's stock. Turquoise Hill Resources currently has an average rating of "Hold" and an average target price of $7.30.
Short Interest Falls 22.4% in Turquoise Hill Resources
July 13 (Insider Trading Report) Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd. (NYSE:TRQ) has seen a shortfall of 3,934,988 shares or 22.4% in the short interest. The remaining shorts are 1.5% of the total floated shares. The net short interest, as on June 30,2015, stood at 13,614,574 shares and the stocks days to cover will be 4 by factoring in the average per day volume of 3,773,187 shares. On June 15,2015, 17,549,562 shares were shorted. The information was released by Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc (FINRA) on July 10th.
Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd. has lost 1.9% in the last five trading days and dropped 15.62% in the last 4 weeks. Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd. has dropped 4.49% during the last 3-month period . Year-to-Date the stock performance stands at 16.77%.
Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd. (NYSE:TRQ) rose 2.26% or 0.08 points on Monday and made its way into the gainers of the day. After trading began at $3.53 the stock was seen hitting $3.63 as a peak level and $3.5 as the lowest level. The stock ended up at $3.62. The daily volume was measured at 1,798,114 shares. The 52-week high of the share price is $4.74 and the 52-week low is $2.65. The company has a market cap of $7,285 million.
The company has received recommendation from many analysts. The shares has been rated as hold from 1 Wall Street Analysts. 1 analysts have suggested buy for the company.
SouthGobi Resources in Trading Halt Pending Update on Private Placement
July 21 -- At the request of SouthGobi Resources Ltd. (TSX: SGQ, HK: 1878) (the "Company"), trading in the shares of the Company on The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited will be halted with effect from 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, July 21, 2015 pending the release of an announcement in relation to an update on the private placement agreement and The Toronto Stock Exchange delisting review.
Novel Sunrise Announces Change of Ownership
TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - July 20, 2015) - Novel Sunrise Investments Limited ("Novel Sunrise"), the largest shareholder of SouthGobi Resources Ltd. ("SouthGobi"), today announced that China Cinda (HK) Investments Management Company Limited ("Cinda"), a wholly-owned subsidiary of China Cinda Asset Management Corporation Limited, has acquired ownership and control of all of the outstanding voting (ordinary) shares of Novel Sunrise through Hope Rosy Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cinda. These shares of Novel Sunrise were acquired by Cinda pursuant to its exercise of a share charge which was granted by the former owner of such shares (Mr. Chen Guogang) as security for certain obligations of Novel Sunrise and such former shareholder relating to the financing which Cinda provided to Novel Sunrise in April, 2015.
Novel Sunrise owns and controls 71,291,147 common shares of SouthGobi (each, a "Common Share"), representing 29.04% of the total number of Common Shares outstanding.
Novel Sunrise is of the opinion that during the past few years SouthGobi has been facing, and that it continues to face, a number of serious problems, including with respect to the sale and marketing of its coal product in China, production management and costs (both operating and capital costs), relationships with local stakeholders in Mongolia and China (including governments, service providers and customers), logistics, and relationships with the capital markets in Hong Kong and China.
In view of these problems, Novel Sunrise intends, among other things, to closely evaluate the performance of SouthGobi and the value of its investment therein, including an analysis and assessment of SouthGobi's business, assets, operations, financial condition, prospects, capital structure, management and corporate governance.
Depending on the factors referred to above, and such other factors as Novel Sunrise may from time to time consider relevant, Novel Sunrise may, among other things, subject to applicable securities laws of Canada and Hong Kong (i) communicate with other shareholders of SouthGobi; (ii) solicit proxies or consents to be used at SouthGobi's upcoming annual general meeting or at a special meeting of shareholders, or otherwise; (iii) acquire additional Common Shares; (iv) dispose of some or all of its Common Shares; and/or (v) take such other actions with respect to SouthGobi as Novel Sunrise may from time to time determine appropriate. In particular, Novel Sunrise intends to approach the board of directors of SouthGobi with a view to reconstituting the board at the annual general meeting of SouthGobi scheduled to be held on August 6, 2015, including the election of individuals to be nominated by Novel Sunrise in substitution for, and in addition to, the individuals nominated by it before Cinda's acquisition of control of Novel Sunrise.
SouthGobi 2Q coal sales volume at 190,000 tonnes, closed US$2.9 million placement
[ET Net News Agency, 15 July 2015] SouthGobi Resources (01878) said it sold 190,000 tonnes of its coal products during the second quarter of 2015, a decrease of 69.8% from a year earlier.
After the resumption of mining operations on 30 March 2015, production increased to 620,000 tonnes for the quarter, allowing SouthGobi to position itself to meet its commitments under existing and expected new coal offtake contracts.
SouthGobi has also obtained all necessary regulatory approvals for the private placements and subsequently successfully closed the Swiss Life GP private placement raising US$2.9 million for the issuance of 5 million common shares.
As at 13 July 2015, certain steps of CITIC Merchant's due diligence exercise remain to be finalized and therefore the approval from the board of directors of CITIC Merchant has not yet been obtained. As such, an extension of the closing date to 20 July 2015 has been agreed to allow more time for CITIC Merchant to complete their due diligence.
KRI closed +3.45% Tuesday to C$0.60, -15.49% since 15 July announcement
Khan Resources Says Mongolia Seeking to Annul Arbitration Award
By Michael Kohn
July 16 (Bloomberg) -- Mongolia govt filed appeal with Paris court to annul compensation awarded to Khan Resources, according to statement from Toronto-based miner on Wednesday.
* The French Court of Appeal in Paris informed co. annulment bid was made on July 9: statement dated July 15
* READ: Mongolia to Pay Khan Resources $100 Million Award, Premier Says
* Bayartsetseg Jigmiddash, state secretary at Mongolian Ministry of Justice, couldn't be reached by Bloomberg in phone calls, text messages on Thursday
* NOTE: Khan Resources shares fell 18% to C$0.60 on Wednesday in Toronto
* NOTE: Khan Resources Takes $104 Million Mongolia Dispute to U.S. Court
Erdene and Tian Poh Amend Option Agreement; Drilling to Commence on Khuvyn Khar Copper Porphyry Project
HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA--(Marketwired - July 15, 2015) - Erdene Resource Development Corp. (TSX:ERD) ("Erdene" or "Company") announced today that it has amended its option agreement with Tian Poh Resources Limited ("Tian Poh"). Tian Poh has been granted a 6-month extension (to December 9, 2015) to exercise its option to acquire an interest in Erdene's Zuun Mod mining license (the "Property") in southwest Mongolia. The Property is host to Erdene's Zuun Mod molybdenum-copper project ("Zuun Mod") and the Company's Khuvyn Khar copper-silver porphyry project ("Khuvyn Khar"). As consideration for the extension, Tian Poh must complete a minimum of 1,000 metres drilling on the Property by October 30, 2015, and in addition Tian Poh has committed to incur an aggregate of US$500,000 of exploration work ("Consideration Exploration") on the Property prior to June 30, 2016. The drilling will be completed on the Company's Khuvyn Khar project and will test high priority copper porphyry targets identified by Erdene during its 2014 exploration program. A joint management committee will be formed that shall agree on exploration program design before the end of July 2015 with one member appointed by each of Erdene and Tian Poh. Included for reference is a map of the Property showing the location of Zuun Mod and Khuvyn Khar.
"We are pleased that Tian Poh has decided to focus its efforts on Khuvyn Khar and look forward to the resumption of drilling on this exciting copper porphyry target," said Peter Akerley, Erdene's President and CEO. "Our 2014 exploration program provided further definition and confidence in our modeling of a potential copper porphyry target at Khuvyn Khar, supported by high-grade copper-silver mineralization intersected by Erdene in previous drilling."
As consideration for the exclusivity period granted to Tian Poh on February 12, 2015, Erdene was paid on signing a non-refundable deposit of US$50,000. Additionally, US$200,000 was paid on signing to purchase a non-interest bearing debenture ("Debenture") issued by Erdene. If Tian Poh does not elect to exercise its option by December 9, 2015, the principal amount of the Debenture will be converted into common shares of Erdene at CDN$0.14/share. No additional shares will be issued, or consideration paid, to Tian Poh with respect to any expenses it incurs with respect to the Consideration Expenditures in the event Tian Poh does not exercise its option. If Tian Poh exercises its option, the Debenture will be deemed to be redeemed and the funds applied to the amount due on closing, which is expected to be on or about December 11, 2015.
Tian Poh can acquire and retain a 51% interest in the Property for US$4.8 million in cash and equity in Tian Poh, and by meeting certain work commitments. If Tian Poh exercises its option and meets milestones to retain its 51% interest (details provided in the Company's February 12, 2015 press release; click here), it will have the right to increase its interest to up to 100% through additional cash and/or equity payments. The amount incurred by Tian Poh on the Consideration Exploration shall be credited to Tian Poh's work commitments upon exercise of its option. Erdene will retain a 1% net smelter return royalty, which will be subject to certain buy-down provisions.
Khuvyn Khar Copper-Silver Porphyry Project
The Khuvyn Khar copper-silver porphyry project ("Khuvyn Khar") is located on the same mining license that hosts the Company's Zuun Mod deposit (described below), 2.2 km to the southeast. In 2014, work on the Khuvyn Khar project area included rock chip sampling, geophysical modeling, detailed vein and alteration mapping of high priority areas and a 1,532 metre trenching program designed to identify the geology, alteration and mineralization in area of poor outcrop exposure located within high priority target areas. The data collected from this exploration work provided further definition and confidence in the modelling of a potential copper porphyry target at Khuvyn Khar. The 2014 work program culminated in the identification of new, partially buried high priority drill targets in the north-central Khuvyn Khar area as well as a new target in the western portion of the Khuvyn Khar property. Exploration at Khuvyn Khar continues to confirm the potential for copper-rich porphyry style mineralization, a conclusion supported by high-grade copper-silver mineralization intersected by Erdene in previous drilling (34 m of 1.34% copper and 9.24 g/t silver).
Background on Zuun Mod Mineral Resource
In June 2011, Erdene received an updated National Instrument 43-101 ("NI-43-101") compliant resource for the Project from Minarco MineConsult of Sydney Australia. The June 2011 Zuun Mod mineral resource report can be viewed by clicking here.
Zuun Mod Mineral Resource Table
MATD closed -9.52% Tuesday to 4.75p
Petro Matad unveils changes at the top
Petro Matad shares nudged higher as it named two new roles....
July 17 (Proactive Investors) Shares in Mongolia - focused oiler Petro Matad (LON:MATD) nudged higher as it named two new roles - a new chairperson and chief executive.
Petro Matad Awards Shares to Directors in Lieu of Fees
July 21 -- Further to the Company's announcement of 7 May 2014, the current non-executive directors of Petro Matad Limited, the AIM quoted Mongolian oil explorer, have again agreed that for the six months from 1 October 2014 to 31 March 2015, a period when the Company was significantly cash constrained, they have continued to forego their usual director fees and in lieu of cash will receive conditional share awards under the Company's existing long term equity plan, thus creating further savings for the Company. The delay in award of the conditional share awards until the current time is as a result of the Company being in successive closed periods since October 2014. Following completion of the Company's farm-out to BG Group plc, the non-executive directors will be paid their directors' fees from 1 April 2015 onwards.
The conditional share awards vest immediately and participants have until 31 March 2016 to exercise these awards for an exercise price of US$0.01 per Petro Matad ordinary share. An aggregate of 1,993,520 conditional share awards were awarded to the non-executive directors of the Company on 20 July 2015, as set out below.
Number of Conditional Share Awards awarded in lieu of fees
GUF trading -2.5% to A$0.039 mid-day Wednesday, +5.41% in last 1 month
Guildford Coal Advises H2 2015 Production Forecast and Secures Two New Mongolian Licences
July 15 --
BNU Coking Coal Mine H2 2015 Production Forecast
Guildford Coal Limited (Guildford or the Company) (ASX: GUF) is pleased to provide production forecast for the second half of 2015 at its Baruun Noyon Uul (BNU) coking coal mine in Mongolia. The initial commissioning pit has been successful in confirming the BNU coking coal product quality and the value in use proposition it presents to the Chinese steel makers. The revision is a result of increased ongoing resource definition as part of our operating strategy and a subsequent detailed review of the short-term mine plan focussed on positive cash returns during the current low price cycle. This has resulted in the BNU operation opening up a new lower strip ratio mining area, which was supported by encouraging results of further in-fill exploration as part of the next stage of the BNU mine.
This operational strategy should enable the company to ramp up and achieve the goal of 125,000 tonne per month production rate, during H2 2015.
Baruun Termes Exploration Licences NE-025961 and NE-025966
Guildford is pleased to announce that on July 9th 2015, its Mongolian subsidiary Terra Energy LLC (Terra Energy), has been granted two new exploration licence by the Mineral Resources Authority of Mongolia (MRAM). The Baruun Termes exploration licences NE-025961 and NE-025966 are prospective for potash and complement Terra Energy's existing assets in Mongolia. The licences are located in close proximity to the Company's current coal exploration licence XV-181142 in Uvs province of North West Mongolia. The two licences, totalling 81.71 km2, have been granted for a term of 3 years. Following the 3-year term, a further 3 years can be granted, in stages, up to 12 years, following approval by MRAM.
Guildford Coal: Shallow Coking Coal 'Micro Basin' Uncovered at BNU Mine
July 21 -- Guildford Coal Limited (Guildford or the Company) (ASX: GUF) is pleased to announce that in June 2015, an extensive exploration program at its Mongolian Baruun Noyon Uul (BNU) Mine uncovered a shallow coking coal 'micro basin'. The exploration program focused on increasing mining and mine planning confidence with 91 exploration drill holes completed. These were both proximal and to the east of BNU's current pit for a total of 5,211 metres with an average hole depth of 57.4 metres. The holes include 85 PCD or rotary holes with full downhole geophysical survey conducted by Weatherford Geophysics and 6 PCD core holes for coal quality analysis. The program utilised 3 drill rigs, 2 Sandvik DE710 from contractor MMID LLC, and 1 from contractor MERA LLC, a DM45 Atlas Copco.
The micro basin is an elongate (c. 500 metres long and 200 metres wide) fault-bounded structure characterised by thick coal seams, up to 45 metres gross and 35 metres net coal to the near east of BNU Mine (200 metres from the current pit). These large shallow coal intersections are by far the thickest ever discovered at the Company's leases in the Noyon sub-basin.
Guildford has commenced the BNU East Pit in order to expose the low strip ratio coking coal as quickly as possible.
A total of 47 holes, with aggregated depth of 3,199 metres were drilled to the near east of BNU, with 26 drilled within the micro basin. These 26 holes had an average depth of 75 metres with average coal thickness of 14 metres, compared to the programs average net coal thickness 9.7 metres. Drilling further east of the micro basin also had significant coal intersections and remains an area for further exploration.
2015 Exploration Drilled Holes in PIT2 (Micro Basin)
A total of 137 raw ply samples have been taken from BNU east pit for detailed coal quality analysis. These results are still ongoing but initial raw results show a high quality coking coal product. Coal working section composite and float sinks will proceed.
Raw results of non-oxidized coal within working sections for TU-90A.
Further exploration is planned to be completed later in the 2015 season with the target of defining further possible 'micro basins' along strike lines to the east and west of the current pits.
Mining commenced on the BNU East on June 29th 2015 and has progressed quickly to uncover coal seams as shown by the following portfolio of photos:
AKM trading flat at A$0.017 mid-day Wednesday, -15% in last 1 month
Aspire: ECJV Acquires New Coal Exploration Licences in the South Gobi Region of Mongolia
· ECJV has been granted two exploration licenses with a third under application in the South Gobi Region.
· Area prospective for hard and semi hard coking coal.
· South Gobi region has rapidly developing rail and road infrastructure access to Chinese steel industry and low cost structures.
· Licence acquisitions consistent with Aspire's strategy of developing near term coking coal mining operations while the Erdenet to Ovoot railway is developed.
July 14 -- The Mongolian Government has recently re-opened its Cadastre Division of the Mineral Resource Authority of Mongolia to accept new applications for exploration licenses. Changes to the Mongolian Minerals Law have also extended exploration license tenure up to 12 years.
Aspire Mining Limited (ASX: AKM, the Company or Aspire) is pleased to announce that its 50% owned Ekhgoviin Chuluu Joint Venture (ECJV) with the Noble Group (SGX: N21) has been granted exploration licenses 18294x and 18304x (now referred to as the Erdenbulag Coal Project) with a further license area under application called Khuren.
Aspire has an option to acquire Noble's 50% interest in the ECJV exercisable to March 2016.
These new licenses are all focused on the South Gobi Region of Southern Mongolia in an area that hosts coal bearing Permian age sediments and a number of existing coking coal mines and resources. The license location is in an area between Ceke Border (approximately 170 kms to the south west) with China and the Tavan Tolgoi Coal Field (approximately 200 kms to the east).
Rail development in this region is accelerating with rail from Tavan Tolgoi to be extended both south to China and east to connect with the Trans-Mongolian Railway at Sainshand.
Preliminary work to be undertaken by field investigations in 2015 will include surface mapping and sampling to enable drill hole identification.
Aspire and the ECJV have been reviewing prospective coking coal basins in Mongolia where the Company has been established for over six (6) years. The strategy has been on identifying prospective newly available exploration licence areas where there is access to either existing or intended rail and road infrastructure for near term mine development projects.
Such projects will compliment the work being undertaken on the Northern Mongolian Nuurstei Coking Coal Project as a pre-rail start up and the much larger and world class Ovoot Coking Coal Project (Ovoot) that is reliant on the availability of rail connectivity to the existing Mongolian rail network.
Aspire's Managing Director, Mr David Paull, said "We are very pleased to have been able to acquire these prospective coking coal exploration licenses through the ECJV. They were identified after an exhaustive prioritisation undertaken by both Noble and Aspire geologists. Should coking coal deposits be identified in these license areas there are a number of export existing and intended transport options to support the development of coking coal operations in the near term."
"Aspire believes that Mongolian coal exports to China will continue to grow as China seeks to diversify away from reliance on the seaborne trade and the aim is to position ourselves as a key strategic supplier of quality coking coals into the Chinese market."
"Our aim is to continue to identify additional opportunities in Mongolia. We believe that these opportunities are consistent with, and complimentary to our existing strategy on advancing towards developing the Nuurstei and Ovoot coking coal projects and the Erdenet to Ovoot railway", Mr Paull said.
Gan-Ochir Zunduisuren Stake in Aspire Falls to 4.37% in Dilution
Modun to Sell Nuurst Coal Project to Mongolia Nationals for US$2.2 Million, Terminates Previous Agreement
July 22 -- The Board of Modun Resources Limited (Modun or the Company) provides the following update on the status of the disposal of its Mongolian Coal Assets.
The Company has previously announced that it had entered into a highly conditional sale agreement to dispose of its Nuurst Thermal Coal Project. The Company advises that it has now terminated this agreement on its terms as a result of being unable to agree the terms of the formal sale agreement with the Mongolian purchaser. The parties had originally entered into the agreement in November 2014, and notwithstanding the parties ongoing negotiations to progress the transaction, the parties have been unable to agree formal terms and the Company has elected to terminate the transaction.
As set out in the Notice of Meeting for the upcoming Shareholders meeting on 30 July 2015 and in the Company's Prospectus dated 1 July 2015, the Company has been negotiating with other third parties in relation to the Nuurst Thermal Coal Project and is pleased to advise that it has executed a conditional share sale agreement (SSA) with two Mongolian nationals for the sale of all the shares in Modun's 100% owned subsidiary Modun Resources LLC. Modun Resources LLC is the owner of the Nuurst coal assets.
The material terms of the contract are as follows:
· Consideration payable is USD $2,210,000.00 of which USD $100,000 is expected to be paid on exchange of contracts as a deposit; and
· Completion is subject to and conditional upon shareholders of Modun approving resolution 15 in the upcoming meeting of shareholders due to be held on 30th July 2015 and completion is to occur 3 business days thereafter.
The transaction will also see the purchaser assume the risk of the potential Mongolian tax liabilty previously disclosed by the Company. The SSA otherwise contains the usual warranties and completion deliverables of a transaction of this nature.
The Directors consider that this new transaction represents a better outcome for shareholders and the Company as it moves forward with the LiveTiles transaction.
EGI closed +1.71% Tuesday to US$0.285, -24.96% in last 1 month
Entree Gold Appoints Anna Stylianides to Board of Directors
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - July 14, 2015) - Entrée Gold Inc. (TSX:ETG) (NYSE MKT:EGI) (FRANKFURT:EKA) ("Entrée" or the "Company") has appointed Anna Stylianides to its Board of Directors.
Ms. Stylianides has over 20 years of experience in global capital markets and has spent much of her career in investment banking, private equity, and corporate management and restructuring. She began her career in corporate law by joining the firm of Webber Wentzel Attorneys in 1990 after graduating from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. In 1992, she joined Investec Merchant Bank Limited where she specialized in risk management and gained extensive experience in the areas of corporate finance, structured finance, mergers and acquisitions, structuring, specialized finance and other banking and financial services transactions. She was also involved in designing and structuring of financial products for financial institutions and corporations.
Ms. Styliandes is currently the Co-Chairman and CEO of Eco Oro Minerals Corp. (formerly Greystar Resources) and a director of Capfin Partners, LLC, Altius Minerals Corporation and the Fraser Institute.
Ms. Stylianides has also been a director of and engaged in the financial restructuring of several NASDAQ publicly traded companies, gaining extensive knowledge of Canadian and SEC securities regulations. She has had numerous board appointments, including Callinan Royalties Corporation and Alphamin Resources Corporation. Additionally, Ms. Stylianides was previously a director and CEO of Surgical Spaces Inc. Group of Companies and oversaw its national expansion strategy to become one of Canada's private healthcare consolidators prior to its sale to Centric Health Corporation in 2011.
Lord Howard of Lympne, Chairman of Entrée, commented, "Anna is a welcome addition to our Board of Directors, as someone who will bring a depth of experience that can only enhance and strengthen our entire team. I am very much looking forward to working with Anna as we continue to move our Company forward."
Entree Gold Enters Into Agreement to Acquire NSR Royalty From Candente Copper
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - July 20, 2015) - Entrée Gold Inc. (TSX:ETG)(NYSE MKT:EGI)(FRANKFURT:EKA) ("Entrée" or the "Company") announces that it has entered into a binding Letter of Intent (the "Agreement") with Vancouver based Candente Copper Corp. ("Candente") to acquire a 0.5% net smelter returns royalty (the "Royalty") on Candente's 100% owned Cañariaco project in Peru.
The purchase price for the Royalty is US$500,000. The Agreement is subject to the execution of a definitive royalty agreement, among other things.
Cash at end of quarter A$291K. VKA last traded A$0.016 Monday
Viking Mines: Quarterly Report, 30 June
July 16 -- During the three months to 30 June 2015, Perth-based Viking Mines Ltd (Viking, VKA or the Company) activity was primarily focussed on concluding the sale agreement for the Akoase gold project in Ghana to Akroma Gold Limited.
1. Akoase Gold Project (Ghana, VKA 100% - reducing to 0% upon completion of sale)
2. West Star/Blue River (Ghana, VKA 100% hard rock)
3. Berkh Uul Coal Project (Mongolia, VKA 100%)
No on-ground work was undertaken on the project during the quarter.
As previously reported, the Mongolian Government has been in the process of reviewing and mending the Law on Prohibiting Mineral Exploration and Extraction Near Water Sources, Protected Areas and Forests (commonly referred to as the "Long Name Law"). The Company has been advised by the Ministry of Tourism, Green Development and Environment that approximately 53% of the Berkh Uul prospecting licence falls within a headwaters of rivers zone and is subject to a determination under the Long Name Law. This government determination impacts upon the Company's current coal resource and Viking continues to engage in discussions on this matter with the Mineral Resource Authority of Mongolia (MRAM) and the Ministry of Tourism, Green Development and Environment.
Notwithstanding the above, the Company is continuing with the Berkh Uul mining lease application process.
4. Khonkhor Zag Coal Project (Mongolia, VKA 100%)
The Company has been advised by the Ministry of Tourism, Green Development and Environment that the Khonkhor Zag Environmental Impact Assessment, prepared by Mongolian environmental consultants SEC LLC has been approved. This, combined with the Khonkhor Zag Feasibility Study report which has previously been approved by the Mining Ministry, provides a clear pathway for any future mining, coal production and export at Khonkhor Zag.
A number of project farm-in/acquisition opportunities were considered during the quarter. None are currently at an advanced stage of consideration. Viking will continue to pursue these and any other opportunities, which are complementary to its existing project portfolio.
KCC closed flat Tuesday at C$0.025, -16.67% in last 1 month
Kincora upbeat as Mongolia returns to investment fold
Oyu Tolgoi alone looks set to account for around a third of the Mongolian economy.
July 14 (Proactive Investors) Kincora Copper will shortly be making some big decisions in Mongolia
Isle of Man Court Rules in Favor of Origo in Complaint by Brooks Macdonald
July 10 -- Further to the Company's 10 June 2015 announcement, the Isle of Man Court yesterday handed down judgment in the Isle of Man Court proceedings in favour of the Company, and has confirmed that the Articles bear the meaning propounded by the Company. The Company is pleased with this positive outcome to the Isle of Man proceedings.
The Company remains committed to attempting to work with holders of convertible zero dividend preference shares in the Company to achieve a mutually acceptable resolution to concerns raised. Further announcements with regards to this matter will be made in due course, as appropriate.
Origo Partners: Announcement re Concern raised by Brooks Macdonald Group plc
July 14 -- Further to the announcement made by Brooks Macdonald Asset Management (International) Limited ("Brooks Macdonald") earlier today, the Company confirms that Brooks Macdonald has notified the Company of a claim in relation to the construction of a provision of the Company's articles of association (the "Articles"). This claim is in relation to article 4.17 of the Articles, which primarily addresses a conversion mechanism relating to the Company's convertible zero dividend preference shares.
The Company is giving serious consideration to the concern raised by Brooks Macdonald and remains committed to attempting to working with Brooks Macdonald to achieve a mutually acceptable resolution to concerns it has raised. Further announcements with regards to this matter will be made in due course, as appropriate.
Origo Partners: All Resolutions Dully Passed at AGM
July 21 -- Origo is pleased to announce that at its annual general meeting held today all the resolutions proposed were duly passed.
Asia Resources Sells Mongolia Iron Ore Project – Annual Report
July 21, Asia Resources Ltd. (HKEx:899) --
Chairman's Statement, Management Discussion and Analysis
Whereas, for the business of Mongolia Mine, due to the environmental issues disclosed previously, the iron mining activities in Mongolia continued to be suspended in order to minimize expenses being incurred.
On 25 March 2015, the Group has entered into a conditional sale and purchase agreement with the purchaser, Mr. Tan Shaliang, an independent third party, in respect of the sale share of Infinite Nature Limited (which has a subsidiary company, Tian Sheng Resources Development Limited, an investment holding company, and one indirect wholly owned subsidiary, Khuderbold LLC, a company engages in iron mining business in Mongolia) at a consideration of HK$1,000,000. The disposal of the Mongolia Mine business was subsequently completed on 31 March 2015 (details of which were disclosed in the announcement dated 25 March 2015). A gain on disposal of approximately HK$2,186,000 was recorded for the year ended 31 March 2015.
MSE News for July 20: Top 20 -1.01% to 14,329.58, Turnover ₮13.8 Million Stocks
Ulaanbaatar, July 20 /MONTSAME/ At the Stock Exchange trades on Monday, a total of 113 thousand and 525 units of 14 JSCs were traded costing MNT 13 million 775 thousand and 338.95.
"Remikon" /108 thousand and 838 units/, "State Department Store" /3,020 units/, "Mongolia Telecommunication" /706 units/, "Sor" /262 units/ and "Hai Bi Oil" /250 units/ were the most actively traded in terms of trading volume, in terms of trading value were "Remikon" (MNT seven million 440 thousand and 727), "Darkhan nekhii" (MNT one million 750 thousand and 320), "State Department Store" (MNT one million 627 thousand and 971), "Mongolia Telecommunication" (MNT 639 thousand and 636), and "UB-BUK" (MNT 595 thousand).
The total market capitalization was set at MNT one trillion 364 billion 270 million 928 thousand and 658. The Index of Top-20 JSCs was 14,329.58, decreasing 1.01% and the all index of MSE was 998.57, decreasing 0.67% against the previous day.
MSE News for July 21: Top 20 -0.48% to 14,260.15, ₮47.7 Million Stocks, ₮9.7 Billion T-Bills
Ulaanbaatar, July 21 /MONTSAME/ At the Stock Exchange trades on Tuesday, a total of 131 thousand and 197 units of 12 JSCs were traded costing MNT nine billion 731 million 154 thousand and 757.30.
"Remikon" /22 thousand and 570 units/, "Tsagaantolgoi" /5,500 units/, "State Department Store" /1,359 units/, "APU" /759 units/ and "Merex" /420 units/ were the most actively traded in terms of trading volume, in terms of trading value were "Tsagaantolgoi" (MNT 36 million and 575 thousand), "Suu" (MNT three million and 270 thousand), "APU" (MNT two million 714 thousand and 600), "Gutal" (MNT one million and 960 thousand), and "Remikon" (MNT one million 478 thousand and 018).
The total market capitalization was set at MNT one trillion 354 billion 018 million 357 thousand and 402. The Index of Top-20 JSCs was 14,260.15, decreasing 0.48% and the all index of MSE was 991.94, decreasing 0.66% against the previous day.
MSE Weekly Report, 6-10 July: MSE ALL -0.92% to 1,000.13, Stocks ₮177.3 Million, T-Bills ₮10 Billion
July 16 (MSE) Mongolian Stock Exchange organized 5 securities trading sessions and made transaction of MNT10.1 billion with daily average transaction of MNT2.0 billion between 06 July 2015 and 10 July 2015.
221,844.00 shares of 37 joint stock companies worth of MNT177,314,188.00 were traded.
Most actively traded securities
Most active brokerage companies
Ard Capital Group
Government retail bonds trading:
100,000 Government retail bonds worth of MNT10,000,000,000.00 /10 billion/ traded through one trading session.
Most active brokerage companies in government securities trading
Daewoo Securities Mongolia
As of July 2015, market capitalization was MNT1,368,108,381,796.00 which indicated decreased of 1.05%, and MSE ALL index reached 1,000.13 units which indicated decreased of 0.92% from the previous week.
MSE Weekly Report, 16-17 July: MSE ALL +0.51% to 1,005.28, Stocks ₮19.7 Million, T-Bills ₮10 Billion
July 20 (MSE) Mongolian Stock Exchange organized 2 securities trading sessions and made transaction of MNT10,019,657,833.00 between 16 July 2015 and 17 July 2015.
37,817.00 shares of 19 joint stock companies worth of MNT19,657,833.00 were traded.
MOST ACTIVILY TRADED SECURITIES
ULSIIN IKH DELGUUR
MOST ACTIVE BROKERAGE COMPANIES IN SHARE TRADING
Ard capital group
Government retail bonds trading:
100,000 Government retail bonds worth of MNT10,000,000,000.00 were traded through one bonds trading session.
MOST ACTIVE BROKERAGE COMPANIES IN GOVERNMENT SECURITIES TRADING
As of July 2015, market capitalization was MNT1,372,074,967,688.00 which indicated increased of 0.28%, and MSE ALL index reached 1,005.28 units which indicated increase of 0.51% from the previous week.
₮30.8 Billion 14.25% 12-Week T-Bills Sold via MSE
July 21 (MSE) On 21 July 2015, the bond orders of 12 weeks Government bonds with 14.250% annual interest, placed on order book, and Ministry of Finance supplied 100,000 or MNT10.0 billion out of total order 308,429 pieces or MNT30.8 billion.
Bellow member brokerage companies participated in the bond trading as follows:
Asia Pacific Securities
₮10 Billion 15.086% 52-Week T-Bills Sold via MSE from ₮21.1 Billion
July 16 (MSE) On 16 July 2015, the bond orders of 52 weeks Government bonds with 15.086% annual interest, placed on order book, and Ministry of Finance supplied 100,000 or MNT10.0 billion out of total 211,192 pieces or MNT21.1 billion.
Bellow member brokerage companies participated in the bond trading as follows:
MSE Bi-Weekly Market Makers Report: Tenger Capital, Standard Investment, BDSec
July 16 (MSE) Regarding the "Market Makers" introduction into securities market by Mongolian Stock Exchange /MSE/, MSE will publish two weeks Market Makers performance report to the public.
As of 10 July 2015, total of 404 order of the Government retail bonds have been planned to submit and performance of Market Makers shows following results "BDSec"-68.6%, "Standard Investment"-55.9% and "Tenger Capital"-77.7%
As of 10 July 2015
Orders planned to submit
MSE: Notice to File Quarterly Financial Reports by 20 July
July 16 (MSE) According to the Article No.:13.2 of Accounting Law of Mongolia, the Article No.: 20.1.6 of Securities Market Law of Mongolia, Joint Stock Companies should submit quarterly financial report to the Mongolian Stock Exchange within 20 July 2015.
As of 16 July 2015, "Asia Pacific Properties" JSC, "Mongolia Development Resources" JSC, "Mongol Shir" JSC, "Shimtleg" JSC were submitted the quarterly report to the MSE out of total 237 MSE listed JSCs.
Therefore, attention to MSE listed companies, please submit the quarterly financial report to Mongolian Stock Exchange within 20 July 2015.
FRC Approves Javkhlan Kharaa JSC's Change of Name to E-Monie JSC
July 16 (MSE) According to the Article No.: 6.1.1 of Legal Code of Financial Regulatory Commission, the Article No.: 20.1of "Securities Listing Regulation" of FRC, the legal name of "Javkhlant Kharaa" JSC changed to the "E-Monie" JSC on FRC's listing.
MSE's listing amendments will be taken according to the "Listing Regulation of MSE".
FRC Approves Shimtleg JSC's Change of Name to Khar Khorum Proterties JSC
July 16 (MSE) According to the Article No.: 6.1.1 of Legal Code of Financial Regulatory Commission, the Article No.: 20.1of "Securities Listing Regulation" of FRC, the legal name of "Shimtleg" JSC changed to the "Khar Khorum Properties" JSC on FRC's listing.
MSE's listing amendments will be taken according to the "Listing Regulation of MSE".
Gutal JSC Major Shareholders Launch Bid for Remaining 44.2% at ₮12,100 a Share
July 8 (MSE) According to the Article No.: 57.1 of Company Law of Mongolia and the Regulation of to purchase or make offer to buy shares of JSC, joint interest parties who owns 44.2% of "Gutal" JSC are making offer to buy rest of 902,739 shares of "Gutal" JSC at MNT12,100.00 from other shareholders.
Tender offer effective period: until 02 August 2015
Date of tender execution: 03 August 2015
If you need more information, contact with following address: "Gendex" LLC , Sukhbaatar district, khoroo #5, khoroolol #5, door#401
Telephone: 99103042, 99008777
47 Brokers Fail to Pay MSE Quarterly Membership Fees on Time
July 16 (MSE) According to the Article No.: 7.1.3, 7.1.4 of "Membership Regulation" of Mongolian Stock Exchange, securities Member Company shall pay annual membership fee and supply of service fee within first 10 days in every quarter. There are 47 securities companies that failed to follow their obligations.
If securities company that failed to follow obligations that stated in the Article No.: 4.4 of "Partnership Agreement", based on provision No.: 232.6 of "Civil Law of Mongolia", 0.5 percent of the daily value in every overrun days will be deducted as undue loss. MSE is warning that the rights to participate trading will be suspended from 10 August 2015 for those securities companies.
List of securities companies that failed to follow obligations:
1. "ARD CAPITAL GROUP" LLC
2. "ARD SECURITIES" LLC
3. "ACE&T CAPITAL" LLC
4. "BATS" LLC
5. "BLOOMBURY SECURITIES" LLC
6. "BLACKSTONE INTERNATIONAL" LLC
7. "BLU SKY SECURITIES" JSC
8. "BULGAN BROKER" LLC
9. "BUMBAT-ALTAI" LLC
10. "GATSUURT TRADE" LLC
11. "GRAND DEVELOPMENT" LLC
12. "GOODSEC" LLC
13. "DARKHAN BROKER" LLC
14. "DELGERKHANGAI SECURITIES" LLC
15. "EUROASIA CAPITAL HOLDING" JSC
16. "ZERGED" LLC
17. "ZGB" LLC
18. "CAPITAL MARKET CORPORATION" LLC
19. "LIFETIME INVESTMENT" LLC
20. "MONGOL SECURITIES" JSC
21. "MONSEC" LLC
22. "MERGEN SANAA" LLC
23. "NATIONAL SECURITIES" LLC
24. "UNDURKHAAN INVEST" LLC
25. "SANAR" LLC
26. "TAVANBOGD" LLC
27. "TUSHIG TRUST" LLC
28. "HUNNU EMPIRE" LLC
29. "MICC" LLC
30. "MW TRADING SECURITIES" LLC
31. "SG CAPITAL" LLC
32. "FCX" LLC
33. "ABJYA" LLC
34. "I-TRADE "LLC
35. "BAGA KHEER"LLC
36. "BBSS" LLC
37. "GLOBAL ASSET" LLC
38. "GOBIIN NOYON NURUU" LLC
39. "DCF" LLC
40. "DOGSON" LLC
41. "ZEUS CAPITAL" LLC
42. "NOVEL INVESTMENT" LLC
43. "PREVALENT" LLC
44. "TAVANTOLGOI KHISHIG" LLC
45. "FINANCE LINK GROUP" LLC
46. "MIBJ" LLC
47. "UNITED SECURITIES" LLC
MSE Signs MOU with Institute of Geosciences on Introducing Int'l Resource Standards to Mining Companies
July 10 (MSE) Angar.D, CEO of Mongolian Stock Exchange and Damba.B, president of Mongolian Professional Institute of Geosciences and Mining signed the Memorandum of Understanding. During the signing event, Tumenbayar.Ch, Head of Department of Public Administration and Management of Ministry of Mine, Bat-Erdene.D, Advisor for Minister of Ministry of Mine, Oyungerel.B, CEO of Mongolian Professional Institute of Geosciences and Mining and its Board members and representatives of member organizations were participated.
The purpose of this Memorandum of Understanding was to introduce the internationally recognized mineral resource evaluation to MSE listed mining companies. By implementing this standard, MSE listed mining companies will have possibilities to dual list at other foreign exchanges due to their transparent public mineral reserves information.
BoM MNT Rates: Tuesday, July 21 Close
MNT vs USD (blue), CNY (red) in last 1 year:
BoM issues ₮107 billion 1-week bills at 13%, total outstanding +12.1% to ₮992.8 billion
July 20 (BoM) BoM issues 1 week bills worth MNT 107 billion at a weighted interest rate of 13.0 percent per annum /For previous auctions click here/
BoM FX auction: CNY43.1m sold at ₮318.50, accepts US$119m MNT, $21.7m USD, CNY20m CNY swap offers
July 21 (BoM) On the Foreign Exchange Auction held on July 21th, 2015 the BOM has received bid offers of USD and CNY. The BOM has sold CNY 43.1 million in a rate with MNT 318.50.
On June 21th, 2015, The BOM has received MNT Swap agreement buying bid offer equivalent to USD 119.0 million, USD Swap agreement selling bid offer equivalent to USD 21.7 million and CNY swap agreement bid offer equivalent to CNY 20.0 million from local commercial banks and the BOM has accepted the offers.
BoM FX auction: US$26.5m sold at ₮1,983.6, CNY30m at ₮319.16, accepts $80.5m MNT, $6.7m USD swap offers
July 16 (BoM) On the Foreign Exchange Auction held on July 16th, 2015 the BOM has received bid offers of USD and CNY. The BOM has sold USD 26.5 million in a rate with MNT 1983.6 and CNY 30.0 million in a rate with MNT 319.16.
On June 16th, 2015, The BOM has received MNT Swap agreement buying bid offer equivalent to USD 80.5 million and USD Swap agreement selling bid offer equivalent to USD 6.7 million from local commercial banks and the BOM has accepted the offers.
Mongolia's Tugrik Seen Heading for Record Low as Copper Tumbles
by Lilian Karunungan and Michael Kohn
July 8 (Bloomberg) Mongolia's tugrik is seen dropping to a record low in the coming weeks as the price of copper, the country's top export, tumbles.
GoM Treasury Auction: Scheduled ₮10 Billion 12-Week Bills Sold at Discount, Average Yield ₮14.25%
July 16 (BoM) Auction for 12 weeks maturity Government Treasury bill was announced at face value of 10.0 billion MNT. Face value of 10.0 billion /out of 15.0 billion bid/ Government Treasury bill was sold at discounted price and with weighted average yield of 14.250%.
Mongolia Copper Concentrate Exports Top $1b in 1st Half of 2015
By Michael Kohn
July 10 (Bloomberg) -- Mongolia's copper concentrate exports increased to $1.15b in the first half of 2015 from $985.9m a year earlier, the National Statistical Office says on its website.
* Volume of these exports rose 14% to 663,800 tons from 583,500 tons
* Coal exports fell 26% y/y to 6.9m tons from 9.4m tons yr earlier; value fell to $309.6m from $448.1m
* Gold exports rose 61% y/y to 4 tons from 2.5t; value rose to $157.8m from $89.8m yr earlier
* Crude oil exports rose 18% to 3.77m barrels from 3.19m barrels yr earlier; value falls to $196.8m from $320.3m
* Total exports were $2.37b in the first six months compared to $2.48b yr earlier
* China purchased 86% of Mongolia exports in the first six months, worth $2.05b
* China took $2.28b of Mongolia's exports in 1H 2014
Mongolia June CPI Drops to 7.3% Y/y: Slowest Rise Since 2011
By Michael Kohn
July 10 (Bloomberg) -- Mongolia's June CPI fell 0.1% m/m, increased 7.3% y/y, the slowest rise since June 2011 when inflation was 6.2%, the National Statistical Office says Friday in statement.
* M2 money supply was 10t tugrik at end-June, a 2.1% increase m/m and 0.7% fall y/y
* Loans outstanding were 11.9t tugrik at end-June, down 2.9% y/y
* Principal in arrears totaled 603.9b tugrik at end-June, a 37.8% increase y/y
* Non-performing loans totaled 773.9b tugrik at end-June, a 4.8% increase m/m and 36.5% increase y/y
* Total external trade in 1H fell 17.2% y/y to $4.2b, a drop of $872m
* 1H exports fell $109.8m or 4.4% y/y and imports plunged $762m or 29% y/y
* Trade surplus in 1H was $531.4m compared to $120.7m deficit a year earlier
* June industrial production index rose 13.8% m/m and 21.3% y/y
8% Mortgage Program Update: ₮566.7 Billion Refinanced, ₮2.04 Trillion Newly Issued
July 20 (Cover Mongolia) As of July 17, ₮566.7 billion (₮566.1 billion as of May 31) existing mortgages of 19,132 citizens (19,116 as of May 31) were refinanced at 8% out of ₮839.4 billion (₮839.1 billion as of May 31) worth requests.
Also, ₮2,038.0 billion (₮1,987.8 billion as of May 31) new mortgages of 38,120 citizens (36,864 citizens as of May 31) were issued at new rates out of ₮2.1 trillion (₮2 trillion as of May 31) worth requests.
Link to release (in Mongolian)
How Mongolia's rollercoaster economy could be about to take off
By Joshua Neicho
July 9 (International Business Times) While Greece dominates the headlines, there's another prime minister facing a crisis in foreign reserves and who recently called a referendum on austerity.
Imposingly tall with sparkly eyes, Mongolian prime minister Saikhanbileg Chimed appears every inch a worthy descendant of Ghenghis Khan, which is apt given he has thrown himself into marketing Mongolia's brand.
The country has been on an economic roller coaster. In 2011 it saw record 20% growth, before subsequently falling to 4-5% and witnessing a 91% collapse in foreign direct investment.
Partly, this is due to external factors, such as the demand for copper and coal from China. Mongolia is a tiny economy, less than a third the size of North Korea, and a small gust in its giant southerly neighbour magnifies effects.
But previous governments have also been blamed for economic malaise, particularly over precipitating a dispute with Rio Tinto about profit share at the Oyu Tolgoi (OT) copper mine.
After 2012's election victor Norovyn Altankhuyag was dismissed by parliament, Saikhanbileg was appointed in his place in 2014, heading a grand coalition.
Only 500,000 of Mongolia's three million people took part in the PM's text message consultation on whether the country should pursue more mining or implement austerity; but it gave him a mandate in negotiations over the second stage at OT, a deep pit mine.
Since the deal was made in April, prominent members of the Mongolian business community have been full of praise. Sainbayar Beejin, chairman of construction company the Soyombo Group, hailed him as "one of the bravest and most practical PMs".
Bear to bull?
"We think the bear market in Mongolian equities is over and a new bull market is now under way," says Nick Cousyn, COO of BD Securities, Mongolia's largest broker and investment bank.
"Economically, I am not sure if there is a country with more potential for growth in the next three to five years."
The fly in the ointment is not only that the second stage of OT is not yet in motion. Ulsbold Harper, an expat in the UK with a Mongolian property business, highlights that beyond a reported Rio Tinto pledge to invest $250m to $300m in OT-2 construction in 2015, details are short about financing plans for the $4bn project.
Mongolia's openness to diversifying its trade and investment partnerships exposes its vulnerabilities. Before his latest roadshow, the PM went cap in hand to Japan. China has been unwilling to offer a $1bn "soft loan" this time round.
How many Western governments will want to be too closely involved with Mongolia?
"There's a feeling of Mongolia being open for business again," says Peter Morley of specialist emerging-markets communications consultancy EM.
"The key word here is 'again'. Mongolia was one of those hot markets that everyone wanted a piece of, but people ended up disappointed."
Caution and corruption
Richard Adley, co-CEO of investment bank First Frontier, cautions that portfolio investment will lag with no arrangements yet for prospective investors to set themselves up with a global custodian.
Adley's company considers Mongolia a "pre-frontier" market, one step behind Vietnam and Bangladesh.
Corruption is an unquantifiable problem. Gordon Turley of Mott MacDonald says it is "much better than it was" and that "we haven't encountered it".
Bataa Tserenbat of the Mongolian Association in London believes it is growing. He said: "I can't blame people who take money out – the system will have to change".
There are stories of parochial misdeeds such as the building in Ulaanbaatar seized because the developer committed a planning infringement and bought at auction by an official with planning responsibilities; of huge alleged scandals such as the belief Mongolia sells its coal to the Chinese at an uncommercial rate.
Then there are anomalies such as the duplication resulting in 54 power stations for three million people.
What of the future
Ask Mongolians about the country's future and you may get a long wish list. Sainbayar Beejin foresees a "regionally competitive" financial sector in 10-20 years, on the model of Singapore and the UAE.
He wants respect for contract law enshrined, the ceiling for national debt raised and increased education standards.
Gankhuyag Chuluun cites a move away from dependence on commodities as key; he sees "huge potential" in agriculture and cashmere production, pending consistent vaccination practices and intensified cattle rearing.
A retired Mongolian diplomat thinks the country can aspire to be a Hong Kong of North Asia. He hopes to see market penetration by international banks, reform of the tax system and the legal underpinnings of a market economy "as fast as possible. Unfortunately, we are very slow on things like that".
Mongolia has wide horizons, but much of the thinking is as avowedly "blue sky" as the band in the national flag. If its politicians can achieve a green light for the projects in front of them, that will be remarkable enough.
Mongolia Special Parliamentary Session to Debate Ministers' Fate
By Michael Kohn
July 10 (Bloomberg) -- Mongolia's Parliament, the State Great Hural, will hold an special session to consider the dismissal the 6 govt ministers representing Mongolian People's Party (MPP), Speaker Enkhbold Zandaakhuu said Friday in Ulaanbaatar.
* Special session to begin Aug. 3, run for ~2 wks: Enkhbold
* "I agree to completely remove the MPP from the government because they are not doing agreed jobs, their functions since they joined the government": Enkhbold
* MPP breached agreement with coalition by starting premature campaigning in provinces: Enkhbold
* Four draft laws not discussed in spring session, including Amnesty Law, Economic Transparency Law, to be discussed during Aug. special discussion
* 2016 elections to be held in late June as scheduled with no plans for early election: Enkhbold
* NOTE: Parliament concluded spring session Friday without considering Democratic Party proposal to dismiss MPP ministers
* NOTE: Mongolia's ruling Democratic Party announced on July 3 its intention to remove Mongolian People's Party from coalition govt due to lack of cooperation
Mongolia: Tracking Public Concern about Corruption
July 8 (The Asia Foundation) Mongolia's public commitment to fight corruption has been strong, from the adoption of the Anti-Corruption Law of 2006 and the creation of the Independent Authority Against Corruption (IAAC) in 2007, to the Law on Information Transparency and the Right to Information of 2011 and the Law on Conflict of Interest the following year; and this commitment has recently been reaffirmed by the introduction of an anti-corruption action plan by the Ulaanbaatar City Municipality. But despite these official measures, a new survey by The Asia Foundation has found that the general public remains pessimistic about the persistence of corruption in Mongolia.
On June 22, The Asia Foundation released the results of its sixteenth Survey on Perceptions and Knowledge of Corruption in Mongolia (SPEAK). A collaboration with Sant-Maral Foundation, and supported by Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, this longitudinal survey of 1,360 households nationwide measures evolving public perceptions of petty corruption, grand corruption, government institutions, and the impact of corruption on the day-to-day lives of Mongolians. SPEAK is one of just a few regular, nationwide surveys in Mongolia, and its results are widely cited and used by civil society and government organizations. Known from 2006 to 2011 as the Mongolia Corruption Benchmarking Survey, this is the fifth iteration of the survey since it was renamed SPEAK in 2012.
The June survey found that pessimism about corruption has increased among citizens. Fifty-nine percent of respondents said that corruption had increased in the previous three years, compared to 41 percent in September 2013. About a fifth of respondents in September 2013 and March 2014 said that corruption would increase (20.4 percent and 23.4 percent respectively). In April 2015, about a third of respondents (35.2 percent) said they expected it to increase in the next three years. Positive evaluations of the IAAC have also declined, from 29.4 percent in September 2013 to 22.6 percent in March 2014, and to 16.6 percent in the latest survey.
Despite these discouraging results, respondents who said corruption would not decrease in the next three years declined dramatically, from 52.5 percent in September 2013 to 27.4 percent in the new survey. And corruption fell one place in the rankings of major problems facing the country. The problems now ranked in the top three – unemployment, inflation, and the national economy – appear to reflect the current economic situation.
With parliamentary elections coming in 2016, the latest survey included questions related to campaign finance, which also elicited some pessimistic responses. Fifty-three percent of respondents said that campaign finance would be "not at all" fair and transparent. In addition, political corruption emerged as a strong concern for the first time in this survey. Three of the five institutions deemed most corrupt were political: political parties, national government, and Parliament. National government was ranked among the top five for the first time since the surveys began in 2006.
On the positive side of the ledger, there has been a persistent decline since the very first survey in citizens' direct involvement with petty corruption. In 2006, 26 percent of respondents said they had paid a bribe in the past three months. By September 2010, this number had fallen to 13 percent, and it fell again, to just seven percent, in the latest survey. The average reported size of bribes paid has also decreased significantly, from 717,000 Mongolian National Tugrik ($377) in September 2009 to 277,000 MNT ($145) in the latest survey. Among factors seen as hindering the anti-corruption fight, a cultural trait, "the habit of solving problems through corrupt practices," has fallen from first to second place, to be replaced by "imperfect legislation or sanctions."
When it comes to anti-corruption initiatives by state institutions, respondents ranked "introduction of new technology" highest in both importance and effectiveness. Almost three quarters of respondents (71.6 percent) rated this as "significantly" or "extremely" important. As new technology generally means computerization, this suggests a pragmatic outlook. Next in the rankings by importance and effectiveness was the passage of the new Budget Transparency Law, popularly known as the "Glass Account" Law, which requires all government organizations to publicly report financial decisions and disbursements of public funds.
To further encourage public discussion and debate, The Asia Foundation provided the SPEAK findings to Nuudel Shiidel, one of the most-watched television forums on Mongol TV, an independent television broadcaster whose viewership is ranked in the top three nationwide. The 90-minute talk show featured six hard-hitting panelists, including Head of the Public Awareness Department of the IAAC Ms. Bat-Otgon, Member of Parliament Mr. Temuujin, and prominent figures from civil society. The host also took questions via Twitter.
The ranking of corruption as a major, national problem has been more or less stable in recent surveys, but over the longer term it has fallen significantly, from 28.8 percent in 2006 to just under eight percent in the latest survey. On the other hand, more than 80 percent of respondents continue to agree "strongly" or "somewhat" that "corruption is a common practice in our country," as they have consistently since 2006. However, the public's opinion of the impact of corruption on personal life has shown some improvement since 2006, which can be connected to the decreasing reports of bribes or instances of corruption in previous surveys.
Despite the decline in the positive evaluation of the IAAC, it remains the public's institution of choice to lead the fight against corruption, a preference substantially unchanged since November 2012. This public support is extremely important, as a single agency cannot combat corruption alone. To fight corruption successfully, the IAAC must work in partnership with government ministries, the judiciary, Parliament, the private sector, professional bodies, civil society groups, donor agencies, the media, and the public.
Although Mongolia deserves credit for the positive steps it has taken to fight corruption, the findings of the latest SPEAK survey and previous surveys show a continuing need for more effective actions and policy implementation.
Amarzaya Naran is a consultant to The Asia Foundation's Urban Services Project in Mongolia. She can be reached at email@example.com. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author, not those of The Asia Foundation.
Mongolian website journalist detained over defamation complaint
This statement was issued by Globe International Center on 16 July 2015.
Globe International Center (GIC) strongly condemns the detention of S.Battulga, a female journalist from info.mn website, and calls for her immediate release. She was arrested on 9 July 2015 and taken to the detention center Gants Hudag.
Criminal proceedings were launched against the journalist and four other individuals, following complaints by S. Bilegt, Director of Noyod LLC, on the grounds of defamation and properties' dispute. The journalist is accused of insult for publishing an article about the aforementioned company and its director on info.mn in June 2013.
The trial was postponed until 27 July as one of the attorneys failed to attend the trial. The Judge of the First Criminal Court considered the absence of the attorney an attempt to interfere with the judicial proceedings by the defendant's side. The journalist and the other defendants were accused, as they have been several times before, of intentionally attempting to delay the hearing process, and exerting pressure on the complainant in order to evade the court case. The Judge ordered the arrest of the journalist and the four other accused until the next hearing, following a request by the complainant's attorney and based on Article 68.1 of the Criminal Proceedings Code.
This is the second time that S. Battulga has been detained in connection with the case. Previously, on 17 July 2014, when the first hearing was scheduled, she was imprisoned for 32 hours. The journalist was originally charged under Article 111.2 of the Mongolian Criminal Code. During the investigation, charges against the journalist were aggravated by changing the above provision to 111.3 which states "Defamation connected with an accusation of committing a serious or grave crime shall be punishable by a fine equal to 151 to 250 times the minimum salary or by imprisonment for a term of 2 to 5 years."
The first hearing in the case was held on 12 December 2014. The journalist was found guilty of insult and ordered to pay compensation of 21 mln. MNT (approx. US$11,000). The appellate court subsequently transferred the case to the first instance court.
On 9 July 2015, the Confederation of Mongolian Journalists (CMJ), GIC and the journalist's attorney G. Batbayar, convened a press conference protesting the journalist's detention and demanding her release. They stated that the journalist's arrest was unjustified and expressed concerns about the detention of the journalist whose article was based on gathered evidence.
GIC considers this an attack against freedom of expression and journalists' professional rights. This is the first incident in Mongolia when a journalist has been convicted together with their source of information.
According to the journalist's attorney, the judge's arrest order is inconsistent with the law and it would be possible to release the journalist on bail until the next hearing.
Battulga's imprisonment has become an issue of concern in the Mongolian media. The Mongolian journalism community protested the imprisonment of their counterpart and joined a movement known as "Stop preventing journalistic activities that are consistent with the law. Free the journalist."
On 15 July, the CMJ issued a statement in support of the journalist and requesting the General Council of Courts to examine the Judge's arrest order and take urgent action.
On 16 July, the journalism community, including CMJ and GIC, convened a press conference calling for the journalist's immediate release. They stated, "The journalist's detention violates Article 39 of the Criminal Code of Mongolia which stipulates 'the prevention of a journalist's professional activities that are consistent with the law, with the view to . . . preventing the dissemination of any information which impacts the culprit's or others' interests shall be punishable…".
Sit-In Strike Held to Free Journalist Charged with Defamation
July 20 (gogo.mn) Journalist of info.mn site S.Battulga is in detention at 461th prison camp on the grounds of defamation of others. In view of this issue, representatives of media sector have conducted sit-in strike to demand freeing S.Battulga.
On July 9th Judge L.Batjargal of 1st Criminal Court ruled detention of journalist S.Battulga on the grounds of possible defection. Since then S.Battulga is in detention for 11 days.
J.Jargalsaikhan, Vice President of the Legal Affairs of the Website Associtation: "They said that they are not obliged to reply to our demand. In a reply at demand from the lawyer, we have been told that Attorney General of Bayanzurkh, Chingeltei and Sukhbaatar district primary criminal court is not entitled to affect the ruling of the judge, which was made based on hall discussion.
B.Tsogtgerel, Board Member of the Website Associtation: "We are extremely against the fact that journalist S.Battulga is in detention. I wish there is no such practice of suppressing an individual for expressing own views in 21st century and in a country with democracy."
J.Sukhbaatar, former MP: "Journalists are the representative of the fourth governance and through them public enjoys their rights of expression. Journalists should have their rights. In this regard, journalists are uniting today.
Protection of own rights is the most important value of the democratic society. In that regard, I am fulfilling my civil rights by uniting and having the right of expression today."
Journalists are expressing their regret and pity that a journalist is being in detention by publishing the article with the certain and known sources.
Subsidized Mortgage Loan Duration Extended from 20 to 30 Years
July 8 (gogo.mn) Cabinet Plenary Session held yesterday have came up with decision to set the mortgage loan duration to be 30 years.
If the Mortgage Loans issued previously with 8 percent APR was with duration of 20 years the cabinet session approved the adding of the 10 years resulting the mortgage loan period to be 30 years. This decision is related with the lowering of the deposit amount to 10 percent while the government will back up the rest of the 20 percent.
Cabinet Approves Measures for Winter Preparation
Ulaanbaatar, July 8 (MONTSAME) The cabinet meeting held Tuesday approved a resolution on taking measures for ensuring winter preparation works in the agricultural sector in accordance with a specific plan. By the resolution, related Ministers received obligations for the preparation works.
Obligations were given to R.Burmaa MP, the Minister of Food and Agriculture; E.Bat-Uul, the Mayor of Ulaanbaatar, governors of aimags and soums, to take specific measures for improving the provision of techniques and equipment to prepare hay and fodder and to form an emergency reserve of fodder. They also were given orders to ensure preparation for labor and technical force to be involved in the harvesting and for protecting harvest from dangerous climate phenomena and prevent possible loss of harvest.
The Minister of Health and Sport G.Shiilegdamba was obliged to have local hospitals and health organizations reserve necessary medical facilities and medicine, to provide them with ambulance cars, and to release a schedule on mobile medical services to local people during the winter and spring times.
The Minister of Road and Transportation N.Tomorkhuu was ordered to ensure preparation to make roads and paths open constantly and to provide necessary techniques and facilities.
Works will be implemented to prevent a deterioration of pasture lands and negative effects on harvesting, to make a risk evaluation and to perform a cloud seeding for making artificial raining. Such obligations were given to U.Khurelsukh, the Deputy Premier; R.Burmaa, the Minister of Food and Agriculture; and D.Oyunkhorol, the Minister of Environment, Green Development and Tourism.
The Minister R.Burmaa; and head of the General Authority of Special Inspection Sh.Radnaased were ordered to increase the export of livestock and meat in order to prevent an overpopulation of livestock and negative impact on the pasture capacity and fodder adequacy.
In addition, the cabinet said local people should be responsible for ensuring the winter preparation works.
Nat'l Strategy Adopted on Intellectual Property System
Ulaanbaatar, July 21 (MONTSAME) The national strategy on Intellectual Property System was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers on July 20. This strategy aims to truly promote creativity and contrivance, to improve the legal environment for intellectual properties protection.
The document will help the intellectual properties creation, their management, cadres' preparation, and disseminating a proper knowledge to the public about intellectual properties.
The cabinet at its regular meeting on Monday assigned a chairman of Intellectual Properties Office of Mongolia N.Chinbat to manage the implementation of the strategy and to ensure a cohesion of the implementation activities taken by different institutions.
The cabinet members, heads of agencies and localities' governors were obligated to implement the national strategy within their scopes of authority.
Montsame and Yonhap News Agencies Renew Agreement
Ulaanbaatar, July 8 (MONTSAME) On July 8, a ceremony to extend the agreement on cooperation between MONTSAME National News Agency and the Yonhap News Agency of the Republic of Korea.
The agreement extension was inked by the Executive director of Yonhap Mr Lee Hong-Ki and the MONSTAME Director-General Mr A.Baatarkhuyag in July 8. Present were also the foreign relations manager Kim Su Jin and the political analyst An Young So.
The cooperation between the news Agencies started on June 14 of 1985, when a director of Yonhap Agnecy in charge of articles Mr Chun Chon sent Olympic Games program and some survey materials to the then-director of MONTSAME L.Zantav. The cooperation has been expanding since then.
On the further perspectives of the cooperation, A.Baatarkhuyag said there had been a difficult situation due to the Cold War era, but has been prospering since the 1990's. "The extension of agreement manifests the common interests of both agencies to develop the cooperation and relations. We have a possibility to closely cooperate, since we do not have any conflict of interest", he noted.
Mongolia Cabinet Backs Joining Marrakesh Treaty for Visually Impaired
Ulaanbaatar, July 8 (MONTSAME) The cabinet meeting on Tuesday discussed and then backed a bill on ratifying the Marrakesh VIP Treaty on facilitating access to published works by visually impaired persons and persons with print disabilities.
This treaty has been signed by N.Chinbat, a head of the Agency of Intellectual Property (AIP), in accordance with credence of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs under authority of the government.
Signed in Marrakesh, Morocco on 28 June 2013, the treaty focuses on copyright exceptions to facilitate the creation of accessible versions of books and other copyrighted works. It sets a norm for countries ratifying the treaty to have a domestic copyright exception covering these activities, and allowing for the import and export of such materials.
Celebrating 25 Years of Democracy in Mongolia: An Interactive Look
(International Republican Institute) --
On December 10, 1989, a group of 300 young Mongolians came together and announced the birth of the Mongolian Democratic Union (MDU), the first political force to challenge the Communist single-party system in the country. At the same meeting, the newly-formed MDU voiced the demands of the Mongolian people for the Communist regime to cede power, allow a democratic multi-party system of government, grant civil rights to citizens and enforce freedom of the press in the country. Throughout the past 25 years, the democratic revolution transformed Mongolia from a closed society ruled by a repressive single-party Communist system into a free and open society that functions as a dynamic multi-party democracy. At the same time, Mongolia and its citizens have opened up to the international community, gaining access to travel freely around the world, opening their markets to foreign investment and expanding independent foreign policy and multilateral cooperation. The International Republican Institute is proud to have played a small role in helping the Mongolian people achieve their goal of a more democratic, open and transparent country.
US Government Invites Rand Group to Assist Mongolia Delegation
HOUSTON, TX--(Marketwired - July 21, 2015) - Rand Group met with Ministry of Mining officials from Mongolia Friday to discuss the application of modern business technologies as part of a five-day workshop put on for the resource-rich country by the US Department of Commerce's Commercial Law Development Program (CLDP).
Rand Group executives outlined how the integration of technology into its business practices would have a measureable impact on the financial and economic success of the country's growing oil and gas industry, particularly as it relates to its land-based crude oil fields.
"We are very honored to have met with the Mongolian officials, and that the CLDP -- through the Houston U.S. Export Assistance Center -- thought to include us as part of this important delegation," said Ron Rand, President and CEO of Rand Group. "This was a unique opportunity for us to share our knowledge and expertise with officials from one of the world's emerging economies."
Joining the Mongolian delegation was Ariunchimeg Bandi, financial management specialist from the World Bank's Mining Infrastructure Investment Support Project.
The delegation spent two days in Denver, Colorado gaining insights into valuation of oil and gas, financial management, and other fiscal and government regulatory matters before arriving in Houston and meeting with Rand Group executives at the company's Bellaire office.
According to the World Bank, Mongolia had a GDP of $12-billion in 2014 and experienced 7.8% growth that same year, with poverty rates continually declining thanks in part to the exploration of its mineral resources. The country has the largest reserve of copper in the world, and extensive oil and gas fields.
About Rand Group
Rand Group (www.randgroup.com) helps clients use technology for business success. Established in 2003, Rand Group is a specialist in Microsoft Dynamics ERP and CRM, and has since become one of the largest companies of its kind in the South Central United States. This year, Microsoft named Rand Group as a member of the 2015 Microsoft Dynamics Inner Circle -- reserved for the top one percent of Microsoft Dynamics partners around the globe. Headquartered in Houston, Rand Group has four offices -- two in Houston, one in Dallas, and one in Vancouver.
Concessions Awarded for 120km, 135.5km Paved Roads
Ulaanbaatar, July 21 (MONTSAME) Projects will be implemented to construct a 120km paved road between the end of the Dashinchilen-Orkhon bridge and the auto-road of Moron-Tarialan as well as a 135.5km paved road between Zavkhan aimag's Songino soum and the Khyargas Lake in Uvs aimag.
At its meeting on Monday, the cabinet authorized the Investment Authority to establish concession contracts on the road constructions and obliged D.Erdenebat, the Minister of Industry, to manage the contract establishment process.
The cabinet considered as rightful to establish the concession contracts with China Railway First Group and the "CTU Bohemia" company.
GoM Transfers PSC on Nomgon IX Block from Space Geology Exploration to Oil of South Mongolia
Ulaanbaatar, July 21 (MONTSAME) The cabinet meeting on Monday discussed and then backed a bill on exemption from customs tax and VAT the electricity that is imported by the "Energy system of western region" state-run company from Russia and China. The bill will be submitted to parliament.
- The cabinet decided to transfer rights and duties to the "Oil of South Mongolian Territory" LLC for running oil exploration and exploitation on the "Nomgon-IX" area under a production-sharing contract, established between the Oil Authority and the "Space geology exploration" LLC.
- A project unit will be set up at the Ministry of Environment, Green Development and Tourism, with a key duty of ensuring a preparation for implementing the "Silk Road Tourism" program.
- The cabinet considered results of the President's participation as an observer in the Meeting of State Heads of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) this July 9-10. The FM was obliged to submit this matter to the National Security Council (NSC).
- The cabinet discussed a draft law on ratifying amendments to the general rules and convention of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). The matter will be consulted with a related Standing committee of parliament.
- The Minister of Industry D.Erdenebat presented to the cabinet a report on his visit to Japan, while the Minister of Labor made a report on his visit to the Republic of Korea.
New tourist route follows The Great Tea Road
Special train - the Eurasian Star - will reopen exotic and historic trail linking China, Mongolia and Russia.
July 16 (The Siberian Times) The Great Tea Road has been called the longest land trade route in the history of mankind, and now a key section of it will be honoured as a tourist route seeking to tap the world's two billion tea drinkers.
Starting from the Great Wall of China, it once wove its way to Europe via Mongolia and Russia.
At the recent BRICS summit, President Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping and President of Mongolia Tsakhiagiyn Elbegdorzh agreed to the new tourist route in a joint co-operation deal which will highlight the tea trade route from Beijing, across Mongolia, to the Siberian cities of Chita, Ulan-Ude and finally Irkutsk, a distance of more than 3,000 km.
Hopes are for the Great Tea Train to be operating for tourists by next year and become a great Bucket List must-do for tea drinkers everywhere. Potentially the train could stop at each city for two days on its odyssey through the historical route by which tea reached Russia and Europe in centuries gone by.
'The project is now at the stage of development and approval,' said Trans-Baikal region senior official Natalia Soldatova. 'It is considered by Russian regions and the department of Russian Railways for tours.'
The train will pass along the Trans-Siberian route, but it is hoped for investment of at least one billion roubles - some $17.5 million.
It is hoped another stop on the route will be at Naushki, which is some 30km from the ancient merchant town of Kyakhta, and the closest rail stop to this intriguing outpost.
Its name that may not trip off the tongue now, but it was world famous in previous centuries for its role in trading tea - but many other commodities too - between China and Russia.
Founded by Serb, Savva Raguzinsky, as a trading point with the Qing Empire in 1728, it had close ties to its Chinese counterpart, Maimaicheng, and boasted a 19th century tea bourse.
The two towns even developed their own language, for use in trade and known as Kyakhta Russian-Chinese Pidgin, enabling them to barter goods.
At the time, as Wikipedia relates, 'the Russians sold furs, textiles, clothing, hides, leather, hardware and cattle, while the Chinese sold silk, cotton stuffs, teas, fruits, porcelain, rice, candles, rhubarb, ginger and musk.
'Much of the tea is said to have come from Yangloudong, a major centre of tea production and trade near today's Chibi City, Hubei'.
By the mid-19th century tea accounted for 90 per cent of imported goods on this trading route, brought by camel caravans crossing Mongolia.
An early visitor in 1782 was Sir Samuel Bentham, a noted English mechanical engineer, naval architect and adventurer, and brother of philosopher Jeremy Bentham. In a varied life, Sir Samuel variously was put in charge of Prince Potemkin's workshops and factories, decorated for his role in a victorious battle against the Turks, and appointed commander of a battalion of 1,000 men in Siberia.
He took back to the West the Chinese boat designs he had seen deployed on Siberia's great rivers. Crossing from Kyakhta he noted that he was treated 'with the greatest politeness which a stranger can meet with in any country whatever'.
A later Western traveller, Charles Wenyon, observed in 1893 that 'the best tea produced in China goes to Russia'. Much of it then went further west, to Europe.
The tea route in Russia received 'bricks' of compressed tea from camel caravans at Kyakhta - which came via Mongolia from the Great Wall of China gate at Kalgan and beyond.
The cargo was then moved across Lake Baikal and through towns and cities including Irkutsk, Yenisysk, Tomsk, Kainsk, Tara, Tobolsk, Tyumen, Yekaterinburg, Kungar, Perm and Kazan to Moscow and points west.
The coming of the Trans-Siberian railway ended the tea caravans, yet more than a century later, interest is now rekindled in the Great Tea Road. Many towns on this historic road have buildings and museum collections relating to this earlier era.
There is now a yearning to honour this trading history and the achievements of previous generations. In 2010, as a mark of this respect for the past, the first symbolic tea caravan in 100 or so years arrived in Kyakhta.
Two years later, 300 tourists from China on a train following the Great Tea Road, for the first time, and a motor rally also followed the route.
Chinese, Aussies shun Mongolia as number of tourists drop 4.8% in first half
July 16 (gogo.mn) Tourist companies and specialists agree that majority of the tourists visit Mongolia during Naadam Festival celebrations.
According to the numbers of first half of this year number of tourists have dropped by 4.8 percent, where number of tourists from China dropped by 15.2 percent and number from Australia dropped by 14.3 percent, played significant role in the decrease. If previously one out of two tourists was from China, the trend has changed and the tourists from Ukraine and Hong Kong are more interested in visiting Mongolia.
This year number of tourists coming from Ukraine increase by 37.2 percent and from Hong Kong increased by 19.8 percent. Moreover, number of tourists at the northern border has doubled since the visa-free entry effective from November 2014.
Statistics numbers show that tourists from Russia coming into Mongolia has increased only by 3 percent compared with the same period of the last year. Travel and Tourism Council under Chamber of Commerce believe that the number of visitors will remain the same in the second half of the year.
Tsolmon Travel company emphasizes that although Mongolia has acted as a partner country at this year's ITB expo, the results won't show immediately, but in 2-3 year time the number of visitors heading to Mongolia will increase.
Inspection Protocol Signed on Exporting Horse Meat Products from Mongolia to China
July 8 (news.mn) The head of Profession Control Authority Sh.Radnaased has the met general director of the Food Safety Import and Export Bureau of the Chinese Inspection and Quarantine Services Mr. LI Wei and other officials. Mr. Radnaased expressed his satisfaction regarding the ceremony to sign protocol between Mongolia and China. The protocol is the result of long term work to export Mongolian horse meat-dumplings and horse-bone flour to China. Also, the two sides have decided to appoint a working team to deal with quarantine requirements for exporting a variety horse-meat products and also wheat flour, rye, and importing potato, and vegetables.
Jeju to establish healing center in Mongolia
July 13 (Arirang Radio) Jeju Province is set to establish a natural healing center in Mandal, a district of Selenge Province in northern Mongolia.
The center, which will be built inside the National Hospital, will offer moxibustion, cupping, taping, and massage therapies.
To help establish the center, the 9th Division Jeju Peace Volunteers will visit Mongolia from August 22 to 30. After a six-week practice period here, the volunteers will paint the walls and offer their medical services to the Mandal public.
They will also choose locals who wish to be trained as health practitioners. Those who complete the training course will receive a certificate and then be authorized to provide certain medical services themselves.
Jeju Province also has plans to invite the trainees to Jeju to receive further education so that they might offer continued services in Mongolia.
Korea's OB Brewery struggles to hold on to Mongolia sales
ULAN BATOR, Mongolia, July 11 (JoongAng Daily) - For Korean beer manufacturer Oriental Brewery Company, the land of Genghis Khan is not just the largest importer of its flagship product, sudsy Cass beer, but kind of a brother country where it is willing to share some of its profit for the sake of its environment.
On Tuesday, in the middle of a wilderness called Erdene Sum, a desert scrubland about 70 kilometers (43 miles) east of Ulan Bator, dozens of people gathered at a small forest of poplar trees dubbed the Cass Forest of Hope. They were there to celebrate the receiving of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification's Land for Life Award 2014, which was awarded last March.
"Since 1999, Mongolia has been our market, so naturally, we at OBC kept our eye on the Mogolian desertification issue, which affects Korea and all of Asia," said Frederico Freire Jardim, CEO of OBC, in remarks at the ceremony. "The Cass Forest of Hope project will be continued until the forest of Erdene Sum turns green and I would like to request our dear participants to keep supporting our project."
At the ceremony, Freire and other participants unveiled a commemorative monument and planted a tree.
The Cass Forest of Hope project kicked off in 2010 with the goal of planting 150,000 trees by 2020. The idea is to turn a wilderness into a windbreak to prevent Mongolia's stiff winds from eroding the soil. The project is also contributing to the local community by giving jobs taking care of the forest to local nomads. OBC is spending 1 percent of all its sales in Mongolia on the forestry project.
The ceremony was proof that Mongolians appreciate OBC's efforts. Among the attendees on Tuesday were Ulan Bator Vice Mayor Bat Erdene, who was there to offer a plaque of appreciation to OBC, and Dorjgurkhem Batbold, a director from the Ministry of Environment and Green Development.
"Desertification is a problem not only for Mongolia but for all of Asia," said Erdene at the ceremony. "This is a model case in that [OBC], beloved by Mongolian customers, is sincerely engaging in solving environmental problems of Mongolia."
OBC is also supporting scholarships for the impoverished and the country's athletes. The national Taekwondo team, for example, has been sponsored by OBC and its local wholesale partner Cass Town. Partly as a result, Mongolia's Taekwondo team won its first medal last year in the Asian Games held in Incheon, Korea, the homeland of martial art. It took home a bronze medal.
But Cass is facing challenging times in Mongolia, where it is sold as a premium brand. Cass enjoyed a 60 percent share of the local beer market share in its early years, but that has shrunk to approximately 4 percent as of 2014, according to Cass Town.
"Cass had a large market share when it was introduced in 1999 and 2000 because that was before the beer market was properly developed," said Cass Town President Enkhbat Dambadarjaa. "As Cass developed the market, local beers like Sengur and Borgio emerged and the government imposed a 25 percent tariff on import beers in recent years."
Moreover, since Cass is positioned as a premium beer in Mongolia, with a 20 to 30 percent higher price than local brews, tough economic times in the past couple of years have depressed Cass sales in Mongolia. According to Cass Town, the Mongolian Tugrik has weakened from 1,400 tugrik to the U.S. dollar in 2013 to 1,950 tugrik this year and overall consumption in the country has drastically decreased since 2014.
But the heads of OBC and Cass Town are staying optimistic about future growth in Mongolia thanks to the value of the Cass brand that has been built over 16 years and due to its positioning in the premium beer bracket.
"Cass means a lot to Mongolians because it was the beginning of the Mongolian beer market," said Dambadarjaa. "And it is still loved by Mongolians because of the contributions OBC has made to Mongolia."
"Our market share here may have shrunk as the market grew more competitive, but I anticipate it won't go down further," OBC CEO Freire Jardim added. "The economic situation isn't very good at the moment, but Cass will be popular again once the situation gets better."
OB joins Mongolia forestry efforts – The Korea Herald, July 9
OB plants 'green hope' in Mongolian desert – The Korea Times, July 9
Behind the Label - Part 1: A Journey from Mongolia to Scotland
July 14 (Tengri Yakwear) Nancy Johnston, CEO and Founder of Tengri, spent 10 days in Mongolia in June sourcing this year's supply of yak fibres, which will create 'The Rider Collection', due this autumn/winter 2015.
Tengri aims to bring the unique qualities of Mongolian yak fibre to the forefront of the design, textile and fashion industries through fairshare business, creating garments and yarn to help improve Mongolian nomadic herders' livelihoods and protect the country's beautiful landscape.
Nancy talks about her latest journey and experiences in Mongolia.
When did the collaboration between Tengri and the herder families start?
My relationship with the herder cooperative started in March 2014. I had a friend who was working as a vet in Mongolia and she invited me over. While staying with yak herder families in the Khangai Mountains, I spent a week in the country learning about the challenges facing the people and the land, and living in a yurt with a family. Their main challenge was earning enough money to educate their children. By the end of the trip, I had decided to set up a business that would hopefully help them preserve their way of life and also improve their children's future.
How many families benefit from that collaboration?
The cooperative of herders involved 398 families when I first starting buying yak fibres direct. Today, just over a year later, the collaboration involves more than 1,500 families. In a very short time, the collective action and cooperation from the families has been incredible.
When does the combing of the yaks happen?
Mongolian yaks shed their winter coats in the spring, so the combing of yaks happens over the spring and summer months to harvest the fibres from the animals. It takes roughly two to three strong individuals to lasso the semi-wild yak for handcombing. No yaks are harmed during this process and the fibres are just combed off the animal's coat. Every yak produces about 100 grams of precious fibres. This year, we've managed to secure a substantial quantity of yak yarn from the cooperative, which will ensure we have enough to create new garments and also textiles that we can use in collaboration with other designers.
Did you have to face any challenges in Mongolia? Tell us about a typical day out there.
Doing business in a different country presents many and there was never a typical day. One of the main challenges is language and cultural differences. Finding a good translator who also doubles as a cultural advisor is invaluable in Mongolia. Other challenges include transport and logistics travelling in Mongolia is always an epic journey, but always a memorable adventure.
How do you get the yak yarn from Mongolia to the UK?
I'm really lucky to have the cooperation of the herders, who help to transport the fibres to the necessary processing agents in Mongolia, where the yak hairs get washed, processed to a variety of grades and packaged for export. From there, I have agents who ensure the fibres arrive safely in Scotland where our manufacturers are ready to create yarns and fabric, adding new value to the fibre through quality craftsmanship and technological innovation.
What's next in the transformation of the yarn?
I formed Tengri as a collective movement, so we are working with a range of designers from different disciplines who are creating a range of pieces made from yak fibres. We will be exhibiting their work in partnership with 19 Greek Street Gallery this September during the London Design Festival. Before this, it's in the hands of the Scottish craftsmen to transform the fibre into a beautiful, high-quality and unique fabric!
You've talked about the quality craftsmanship and technological innovation from Scotland. What is so special about the yak wool?
The yak fibres we source come from a very specific breed of yak, only found in Mongolia and unique to the Khangai mountains. Their precious coat is handcombed and available just once a year, so it is truly an exclusive luxury because each yak only produces about 100g of soft down. Once combed, the fibres go through a cleaning process and are separated to a variety of grades of soft fibres before export to the UK. From there, a range of technological innovations combined with centuries of heritage and quality craftsmanship from Scottish mills, spinners and weavers transform the fibres into premium yarns and fabrics suitable for a range of luxury goods.
What happens next?
Yak fibre has amazing inherent properties. It's as soft as cashmere, warmer than merino, water- and odour-resistant and hypoallergenic. I'm excited to be sharing this fibre with London designers and artisanal makers who will be using their craft skills to transform it into amazing pieces as part of our collaboration with 19 Greek Street. We look forward to revealing all during the London Design Festival from 19-27 September.
Hans Ubbink designs with sustainable Mongolian leather
April 15 (Leather Magazine) Dutch fashion designer Hans Ubbink is to design clothing and accessories made from sustainable Mongolian leather.
Explaining how the project came about, Ubbink said: "During a research trip in Mongolia I saw an excess of hides from horses, sheep and cows that have grazed freely for years on the Mongolian highlands." Currently, only a quarter of the Mongolian hides available are processed into leather, and those hides that are processed are often tanned by means of outdated tanning methods.
"I want to help change this," Ubbink continued. "Therefore, I accepted an invitation to work together with Mongolian herders, tanneries and workshops in order to create sustainably produced leather clothing and accessories."
The jackets, bags, shoes and other accessories will carry the new label Aduu Mal, which signals to Dutch consumers that the goods are produced in the most sustainable manner.
Ubbink presented the first exclusive pieces at the end of March, and by next spring they will be available in limited edition in the Netherlands. The line will then be expanded in the autumn. Ubbink will design products with the Aduu Mal label for various brands, the names of which will be released later this year.
The hides that are processed into leather products originate from herds of horses (aduu in Mongolian), sheep, goats, yaks and cows (mal). These herds graze freely in the Mongolian highlands following centuries-old traditions.
Chemical company Stahl has educated Mongolian tanneries on the production of chrome-free leather and on the processing of those specific horse hides that would not have been tanned otherwise. Furthermore, any wastewater is purified and reused, and tanners, tailors and shoemakers are assured of healthy working conditions and earn fair wages.
The production chain is transparent and as sustainable as possible too.
"We will track every step of the process: from the origin of the hides, the processing of the leather, up to the production of clothing, shoes and accessories," said Ubbink. "With the Aduu Mal label you will not only know from what workshop your purchase originates, but also exactly which herd was at the foundation of your new bag, jacket or shoes."
During his trip to Mongolia, Ubbink witnessed first-hand how the Mongolian nomads coexist with sheep, cows and horses.
"It is a beautiful sight to see the herds graze in freedom," he said. Mongolian herders use virtually every component of the animal to serve them in their daily lives, such as the milk, meat, intestines and even the bones.
Due to the newest tanning methods, the excess hides that would have previously been wasted can now be processed into leather for the international market.
How Designer Makeda Matheson Turned Mongolian Cashmere Into A Cash Cow
The 27-year-old on launching her line of luxury knitwear, living her creative dream and the importance of championing ethical business
July 20 (The Voice) LUXURY FASHION designer Makeda Matheson's mother founded the self-dubbed 'Cashmere Mafia' with her sisters in the 1980s.
Together, the young women would, and still do to this day, says Makeda, "go out shopping and find these amazing cashmere sales and tell each other about it or buy up everything and share it among the group".
So when Makeda founded her own fashion line of luxury cashmere garments in September - almost three decades later - it was less of a fluke and more like a rite of passage.
"My mum and my aunts have always instilled in us this innate understanding of quality and what that means in your clothing," the Yorkshire-born, London-based designer explains. "No one is rich, but everyone wears cashmere sweaters as standard. I think that was where I got the understanding of what it means to wear something of quality and have it last."
The designer founded Makeda Matheson after stints in New York with stylist Robert Verdi, where she took on the role of buyer's assistant helping style Hollywood stars Eva Longoria and Hugh Jackman and years at an events company, which included putting on affairs for high fashion clients including Louis Vuitton.
But her love of cashmere always led her back to knitwear.
"I was always collecting knitwear so it didn't feel abrupt when it happened," she explains. "I was drawing jumpers for four or five years and was thinking about knitwear I'd like to see."
After conversations with established names in the fashion industry, who she had met through her time in former job roles, the 27-year-old was persuaded to go it alone.
"I was meeting people like Olivia Von Halle [a British luxury nightwear designer] and Chinti & Parker [a British luxury ready-to-wear label] who are probably the most prevalent designers working with cashmere at the moment," Makeda says.
"Our paths crossed when I was working with the events company, so they knew my work. Meeting them, I was like 'Oh, maybe I'll work with you for a bit and learn the industry', but they were like, 'You already know the stuff, it's just that you're applying it to a different medium," she said.
Makeda considered going back to university "to work on knitwear designs so I could learn how to do technical patterns because knitwear is one of the most technical designs," but was put off by the three-year completion date.
"It crossed my mind to go back to university and to work for somebody else, but I thought, 'Do you really want to give over your creativity when you feel you have the tools to do it yourself?'"
After a conversation with friend, Blaize Duffy, Makeda was given the initial cash injection to start her business.
Laughing, she recalls the conversation.
"I was telling Blaize what I had been doing and she was impressed with what I told her and asked what I would need to make it happen. I told her the amount I needed and she was like, "Ok, do it!" She paid for it in the beginning."
The Makeda Matheson range of 'Lounge Lux', which means to "lounge luxuriously", includes her "cash cow" cashmere socks, which retail from £40, cashmere T-shirts (£125), jumpers (£195), jumpsuits (£375) and a new long-length cardigan (£730).
With prices veering to the higher end of the hundreds, is she worried that she's pricing her consumer, who she says are "women in their twenties, thirties and forties", out of the market?
"I advocate the concept of 'accessible luxury'," she says. "My items aren't the same standard of crew necks that you might get from Marks & Spencer. I make investment pieces, which are adaptable. My main piece is the ruff sweater with an interchangeable neck panel, so you can wear one piece five ways. Customers can feel like they've invested in something," she explains.
"Compared to my competitors, I'm actually charging a low price point. Cynthia Parker sweaters are priced £350, whereas mine are £195 and you'd pay about £1,000 for a Ralph Lauren one.
"In addition," she says, "all of my garments are produced in a factory owned and run by its workers in Mongolia. Wool is sourced from cashmere goats of nearby farms and the factory runs on a zero waste policy, with every part of the fibre used for myriad purposes."
At the time of our interview, Makeda, who balances her new venture with a full-time job in filmmaking, has just returned from a business trip to Mongolia where her cashmere is sourced and items made.
On her trip, she said: "I wanted to make sure everything I'm sourcing was done properly. I didn't want misery in the weave."
Throughout her stay, Makeda was happy to see the factory was as described and "that everybody was well treated, well-paid and happy".
"That's the thing," she adds, "when people are purchasing something, they don't necessarily know where things come from. It's important for me to ensure the brand champions ethical luxury."
But far be it for that to mean customers can't save a few pounds on cleaning bills. All Makeda Matheson products - which will include brighter colours and different designs for the summer months - are machine washable "so it eliminates the fuss of having to go to the dry cleaners".
"Most people don't know that the more you wash cashmere, the better it gets. Most cashmere companies tell you to 'dry clean only' because it limits responsibility if you do it wrong."
Though the savvy entrepreneur admits her first year in business has been a good one - with her socks proving to be the most popular item at her stockist, T&Shop, and recent news that her garments will be on sale at the annual Design Junction exhibition in September - Makeda says she still has a lot to learn about running a company and fulfilling her goal of being stocked in Liberty, Matches and Net-A-Porter.
"Business is a constant learning curve," she says. "In my daytime job, I deal with budgets, selling films and all that stuff, but when you're doing it for yourself, it's very different. I'm learning a new type self-confidence and pride in what I do. It's a new level of learning and I'm enjoying working out how to navigate it."
Well-suited in Mongolia
Entrepreneur, CSS grad Zorig Tumennasan named to Forbes-Mongolia's "Top 30 Under 30"
(The College of St. Scholastica) Everything was looking up for newly minted St. Scholastica graduate Zorig Tumennasan in 2012.
He had just returned to his native Mongolia to work as a marketing manager and was looking forward to a bright future.
There was just one small problem. He was expected to come to work each day in a suit and tie. But the fashion-conscious Tumennasan wasn't satisfied with the typical business suits he found in his country of 3 million people.
Buoyed by an entrepreneurial spirit and the skills he'd learned as a double major in business management and marketing, he went into business for himself making custom suits for Mongolian professionals.
Within just a year, his company, Premier Tailor, had relocated to a busy downtown location in the capital, Ulaanbaatar. The young self-starter found himself within the pages of Forbes-Mongolia's Top 30 Under 30 section.
The listing "is such great honor to me," Tumennasan said. "Basically I was the youngest of all the other guys; I'm turning 25 in September. The main reason they chose me was that I introduced a new service in Mongolia with no help from other businesspeople."
When he struck out on his own, his business model was clear.
"I thought opening a tailor shop which offers almost the same quality as a high-end brand with very affordable prices would be a good business opportunity," Tumennasan said.
He points out that among his peers on the "Top 30" list who had studied in the U.S., many attended Ivy League schools.
Mongolian Entrepreneur to Participate in Global Entrepreneurship Summit
July 21 (U.S. Embassy) On July 24, a select cohort of emerging entrepreneurs from around the world will meet investors, policy makers, and industry experts during GES Youth and Women's Day in Nairobi, Kenya. These entrepreneurs will learn new skills and gain expert business advice before joining around 1,000 participants for the remainder of the summit on July 25 and 26. The U.S. hosted the first Summit in Washington, D.C. in 2010 and since then, GES has expanded to a global event.
Mongolian entrepreneur Amartuvshin Otgonbayar was selected for sponsorship by the Department of State to participate in the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) "Youth/Women 2015" program. In addition to co-founding educational website SAYAN.mn, he also serves as a program officer at Mercy Corps Mongolia.
At GES 2015, sessions will cover a range of topics such as "Financing Entrepreneurship," "Intra-Regional Entrepreneurship and Trade," and "Leveraging Technology for Entrepreneurship". Additionally, Challenge Hack Sessions address issues like such as improving models for entrepreneurship training and resolving challenges of high-impact entrepreneurship.
In addition to educating entrepreneurs, this event allows participants to showcase the potential that their businesses have for growth. Further, it builds the capacity of women to innovate and launch business ideas that fulfill identified market needs. The goal of this event is to enable participants to build profitable businesses, support their families, and generate new opportunities elsewhere in society.
New opportunities emerge in Mongolia after mine expansion deal struck
By Naomi Canton (firstname.lastname@example.org)
July 6 (Asia House) Opportunities are growing in infrastructure, finance, engineering, tourism and leisure in Mongolia, following the announcement in May 2015 that the Mongolian Government has reached an agreement with Rio Tinto and Turquoise Hill Resources to develop the underground mine at Oyu Tolgoi.
Curved bridge is the first in Mongolia
By B. Erdenechimeg
July 16 (gogo.mn) 299km road connecting Temeen Khuzuu-Baga Ulaan-Khovd has been opened for the transportation in October 2014.
The road consists of 12 bridges totaling to 740 m. One of those are curved bridge, which is the first of its kind in Mongolia and has the load capacity of 30 tons, as the bridge was intended for the heavy load trucks.
Length of 12 bridges range from 5-120 meters. According to the construction contractors, China Jiangsu Jianda Construction and China Gezhuba Group Limited, the bridges and roads are done in compliance with international standards.
UB Mayor extends alcohol permits of bars, restaurants to 4am
July 16 (news.mn) At a meeting of the City Administration Board meeting, Order A/609of City Mayor has been approved.
According to 3rd provision of 4th article of the "Excessive Drinking of Alcoholic Beverages Law" - until the new rule to provide permission for the sale and serving of alcoholic beverages by the City Civil Representation Meeting has been approved, those entities which currently have permission to sell alcoholic beverages within Ulaanbaatar can now do so until 4.00 am. The Order comes into force from Friday 9th July.
Flash Rain Floods New Road in 1st Microdistrict
July 20 (gogo.mn) Constant rain showers and thunderstorms are striking in Mongolia and Ulaanbaatar city during last two weeks. Due to the lack of the drain pipes and engineering system in Ulaanbaatar city streets after some rain showers streets are easily flooded. There are even sarcastic posts on social media "Sudden improvement of life and living on a lake shore".
Ulaanbaatar city roads and streets were flooded after brief rain showers with hail which started at around 2PM today. Road behind the 1st microdistrict as usual was flooded and two cars were stuck in the middle of the water. Some of the buildings seemed like lone island in the middle of the ocean.
"Previously, it wouldn't get flooded this much. After new road has been constructed, all the water from the Bayangol district is running towards this area, although there are draining pipes installed they are constantly being overflooded. I cannot imagine what will happen if the rain have continued for an hour, as this is what happens only after 20 minutes ofa rain. We do complain to the authorities, but with no success" were the words of a resident, who wished to stay anonymous.
Ulaanbaatar to Build Three New Drainage Stations
July 21 (news.mn) In order to modernize the central drainage system, the Ulaanbaatar City Administration has decided to build drainage stations in the west, east, and central part of the town. The plans for the phase one drainage station in central Ulaanbaatar are completed. This City Administrative Office has paid MNT 266 million for this blue print to be prepared. Construction work will begin in the autumn. When this phase has been completed construction of the next drainage station will commence. The second station will be located in western Ulaanbaatar.
UB City and General Electric Discuss Cooperation Results and Plans
Ulaanbaatar, July 17 (MONTSAME) On July 17, the Mayor of Ulaanbaatar E.Bat-Uul received Mr Tu Min, the Chief Financial Officer at the General Electric (GE) Global Growth Operation in Mongolia along with other officials, specialized in finance.
Preliminary report of the works, completed in frames of the Cooperation MoU signed in 2013, was discussed at the meeting. The sides also exchanged opinions on cooperating in energy provision, renewable and digital energy and water recycling, and touched upon the matters on introducing coal gasification–based technologies in Ulaanbaatar's healthcare services, development of electric productions and building electric power stations.
Mr Tu Min said his office is working on the commissioning of Salkhit Wind Power Station, and that the GE had transferred their investment to the new construction. "We hope that the commissioning of Salkhit power station will contribute to Ulaanbaatar's energy provision. We consider that GE and UB City can cooperate in many other spheres", he said.
E.Bat-Uul said that many new developments have been commissioned in scopes of the Sustainable Green Development Strategy and the Smart Ulaanbaatar program. City administration is in cooperation with foreign institutions in the healthcare service, he noted and added that UB City can build cooperation with GE in the above and others fields.
3-D paintings in 16 locations across UB
July 16 (news.mn) Under the "Ulaanbaatar Welcomes You", program3d pictures are being painted covering a total area of 127 square meters in Ulaanbaatar. These 16 locations including: the west side of the Central Post Office, the garden in the south western and eastern sides of Chinggis Square, the west side of the Circus, the bus stop in the 13th District, to the South West of the 5th High School, IT park, and others. The artists of the Art and Design Academy are creating these unique 3D pictures.
UBiers: Tudor Iliescu
July 8 (gogo.mn) We are delivering the next "Short Interview" featuring Expats in Mongolia, who are working and enjoying live in Mongolia and UB city. We aim to share their experiences of living in Mongolia. Our next guest is Tudor Iliescu. Certainly, it starts with "Why Mongolia?"
Why you choose to come to Mongolia?
I learned about Mongolia's growth so I decided to research some more. I work for a company that builds mobile apps in Romania and I thought maybe we can bring our expertise to this market. So it was mainly a business decision. But, as probably with a lot of people who decide to come here, it was also a personal decision: I really wanted to immerse myself in a completely different culture. Turns out… our cultures are not as different as I initially thought.
This year we are having hot and dry summer. How do you like the climate here?
Having lived and travelled only in Europe, the climate is a bit of challenge for me. The dry air and the pollution here are the only things I really can't get used to.
How much did your expectations differ upon arrival to UB?
I always want to keep an open mind, so I was trying not to have preconceptions about this place. But to be honest I was expecting a slightly more traditional society. What I found is Mongolia seems to have more in common with the former Soviet block than East Asia. I'm by no means a good cultural observer so I hope I don't offend anyone with my remarks, it's just my bird's-eye view of this place.
How is UB treating you so far?
Except for the harsh climate and pollution part, UB is spoiling me. I've been lucky enough to meet great people who have tried their best to make me feel welcome here. Also, I've been exploring the city and I've found some really interesting places: from museums and less known art galleries to cosy coffee shops and impressive landmarks.
What are your expectations of Naadam Festival?
I've been reading about it online, but getting tickets seems to be really complicated so I haven't made any plans yet. Maybe I'll go to the countryside – from what I've heard, things are more authentic there.
What would you advise for the person who has never been to Mongolia?
I think there are two main categories of people who come here: tourists and expats.
As a tourist, I would try to turn off the "tourist mode" and go off the beaten track. If you come to Mongolia just to stay in a typical western hotel, go to the big Chinggis statue, get on a camel and buy tons of souvenirs from the State Department Store, you're completely missing out on what this country has to offer. Stay with a family, take the bus, shop in Naran Tuul, get lost, meet people, get out of your comfort zone! Allow Mongolia to unravel itself to you.
As for someone coming here as an expat, I'd advise to get out of the expat community bubble. Things here might work very different than in your home country, but try to be neutral, remain honest and perseverant. If you can contribute to improving things, do it. If not, don't complain about everything - you are the one who decided to live here.
What would you have changed here?
For me, it's really disheartening to see the same mistakes being made in all former communist countries. Mongolia seems to have the same power-hungry politicians that are relying on socialist and nationalist propaganda in order to take over the country's resources, while compromising the economy, humiliating the poor and driving the young generation out. If I could, I would empower individuals and local communities to make decisions, instead of corrupt officials.
What to Visit: Museums in UB
July 8 (gogo.mn) Ulaanbaatar city is developing and expanding day by day while preserving its old nomadic style. Few places in Ulaanbaatar where you can experience the pure cultural heritage from the ancient years are the museums. Here we are delivering you the information of several museums which is open all year round and Naadam Festival (July 11-15).
BOGD KHAAN MUSEUM
CHOIJIN LAMA MUSEUM
NATIONAL MUSEUM OF MONGOLIA
3D TRICK ART MUSEUM
July 8 (Mongolian Economy) Five years ago, CNN ranked Mongolian as the 4th coolest nationality on earth. When describing "cool" Mongolians, journalist Barry Neild said: "Along with a carefully crafted air of quiet mystery, these unflappable souls pretty much perfected the freewheeling, nomadic cowboy existence, throat singing and yurts. Fur-lined everything—boots, coats, hats, undies—adds hearty splendor to the historic mystique. And who else keeps eagles as pets?"
Unfortunately, one of the world's coolest nations ranked 131st out of 140 countries in a tourism report by the World Economic Forum. It received a score 5.49 out of 7 for its friendliness towards visitors. It seems almost daily now that newspapers and broadcasters report about Mongolia's unfriendly tourism destinations. Some even say in their reports; If you're hoping for friendly locals, don't come here.
No one wants to have their vacation ruined by rude locals. Are Mongolians really this unfriendly? Relatively few people take nationalistic actions against foreigners. But with reputations, a few bad apples ruin the whole bunch. To combat the reputation before it gets worse, some Mongolians are taking action.
The 'Hospitable Ulaanbaatar' campaign was given the final tick of approval by the City Council last September. It seems like a big step to redesign some of the city's bad images. 'Nairsag UB' is social campaign launched by the Ulaanbaatar city Tourism department. The campaign encouraged Ulaanbaatar residents to smile more and to be more polite when facing tourists. Nairsag means hospitable and friendly in Mongolian. The campaign's main goals are to enhance local residents' awareness towards tourism and to form a tourist-friendly atmosphere. The plan is based on the general development Master Plan of Ulaanbaatar city until 2020. In a development tendency document that plans further toward 2030, the 'Hospitable Ulaanbaatar' campaign aims to make the capital a business tourism center of North-East Asia, and a cultural tourism hub of Mongol nationalities. Ulaanbaatar's campaign seeks to attract two million tourists by 2020 and five million by 2030.
Currently, Mongolia hosts at most 500,000 tourists a year. They pass through the city before and after travelling across Mongolia. Ulaanbaatar Mayor E.Bat-Uul's recent apology to foreigners shows why there is need to dress down the city for not being harmonic. Ulaanbaatar Mayor E.Bat-Uul met with delegates of the Association of Inner Mongolians in Mongolia a few weeks ago and offered his apology for an attack against Inner Mongolian tourists by members of a Mongolian nationalist group. Photos of the foreign visitors kneeling in front of members of a Mongolian nationalist group at landmark Burkhan Khaldun Mountain had been circulating on social media two weeks prior to the Mayor's statement. But Bat-Uul can't just come out and apologize every time some Mongolians scare foreigners. If apologies mean so little, the reputation of Mongolia and Mongolians will fall. That is the outcome for the next time.
The 'Hospitable Ulaanbaatar' campaign is there to lead Ulaanbaatarians to clear the city's name and that of society. Behind the campaign, the service sector stands foremost, and has begun taking action in their activities. There are already completed reports about tourist police implementation; vocational training on ethics and English language classes were organized for patrol officers and other service sector employees. The Ulaanbaatar City Tourism Board and Metropolitan Police Department are organizing several programmes to enhance tourist safety, prevent and protect tourists from possible crimes, and provide convenient travel conditions. Just few days ago, an international expo and competition for hotels, restaurants and catering was held here. Through all these, the capital aims to be a friendly and safe city for tourists.
The campaign-which will be conducted in three phases, has two years per phase. Almost 60 percent of all conducting works should be completed in the first two phases, and the rest will fit in the last two years of campaign. The city council intends to get more participation from the private sector in the campaign's implementation, which they believe is the most efficient way to reach their goal.
Clear outcomes should be seen by the campaign's 2020 deadline. What results can we expect?
According to the city council's approved resolution for the campaign, there are certain measures to scale implementation outcomes of the campaign. The campaign will increase tourism numbers to the aforementioned, increase tourism's contribution to the overall economy of city by 20 percent from current the 9.8 percent, and create 35,000 new jobs. The tourism 'leakage effect' should decrease by 30 percent at least, while crime per 100,000 tourists should drop threefold. Without these results by 2020, the Hospital Ulaanbaatar Campaign will have been a waste of time and money.
To make Ulaanbaatar city friendly, the city council is budgeting five percent of total city budget every year, or about MNT 35 billion. Increased investment and promotion is expected to raise GDP by 2.5 times, or USD five billion, by 2030 according to Hospitable Ulaanbaatar Campaign. For this year, city council budgeted 4.6 billion, less than five percent, to be used to complete 44 initiatives. Ts. Enkhtsengel, Deputy Mayor of Ulaanbaatar, explains that the low figure is a result of the campaigns infancy.
In Ulaanbaatar, there are many new shiny projects under construction, from new restaurants and hotels to other service accommodations, which is good thing. But a lack of customers would be a huge problem on the financial side. For the service sector, tourism is a big part of their profit. Data from the Ulaanbaatar tourism department says a tourist in Mongolia spends on average USD 190 per day. Service sector entities can't count on just purchases from locals, because it's not really enough to build strong performance and expand. More tourists in Mongolia means better profit for most service sector entities. In some ways, selling products to an increased number of tourists is an easier, more direct process than exporting.
"The service sector contributes 60 percent of total city GDP. If service sector profit increases, state and city tax income will rise, and financing of the Hospitable Ulaanbaatar campaign will come back through the increased sum of tax revenue," says, Ts. Enkhtsengel, Deputy Mayor of Ulaanbaatar city in charge of social development.
This year, there are 32 public events in the framework of the campaign. The schedules of the events are already distributed to relevant tourism units. The events are planned to be held regularly every year. The 32 events had to meet certain criteria—such as their likelihood of attracting tourists, benefits to promote domestic purchases, and increase in profits for the service sector.
Currently, almost 70-80 percent of all tourists visiting Mongolia come in July specifically for Naadam. The organising of other big scale cultural events could break up the one event-led mass of tourists, as it would give more options to see in Mongolia. Furthermore it would help tourism companies to operate for four seasons when events are scheduled all year around.
The Hospitable Ulaanbaatar Campaign is a plan to make both tourists and Ulaanbaatarians smile. If capital residents don't smile much and behave politely, the campaign won't be as effective. Are there any benefits to being unfriendly? If we analyze the effects of being friendly, there are far more economic and social benefits that can be seen. If the campaign succeeds, Mongolia could come up on the list of world friendliest countries. Friendly sounds pretty cool, doesn't it?
Xi urges quickened construction of China-Russia-Mongolia economic corridor
UFA, Russia, July 9 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday called on China, Russia and Mongolia to push forward the construction of an economic corridor linking the three nations.
Xi made the remarks when meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj on the sidelines of the 7th BRICS summit and the 15th Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in the southwestern Russian city of Ufa.
Xi said economic cooperation is the priority area of trilateral cooperation.
He hoped that the three countries could dovetail the Silk Road Economic Belt initiative with Russia's transcontinental rail plan and Mongolia's Prairie Road program, and push forward the construction of the China-proposed trilateral economic corridor.
Xi urged relevant government departments in the three countries to step up the docking of development strategies of each countries and transform the vision into concrete cooperative projects.
China and Russia have agreed to align the construction of Silk Road Economic Belt with the Eurasia Economic Union (EEU), he said, calling for combined efforts in the construction of the EEU and trilateral economic corridor.
The docking of those development strategies is an important measure for boosting regional economic cooperation and the development of the Eurasian continent, he said, welcoming Mongolia's participation.
Recalling the first meeting held in September 2014, Xi said that launching trilateral cooperation process is a major decision made by the three countries, focusing on common development and closer regional cooperation.
Noting that the three countries are good neighbors and strategic partners, Xi said trilateral cooperation has a strong basis and huge potential.
He proposed to push forward trilateral cooperation from a strategic height and long-term perspective.
Politically, the three sides should cement mutual trust and forge a community of common destiny, Xi said, adding that economically, the three countries need to integrate their development strategies and advance regional economic cooperation.
Xi also called on the three nations to intensify communication among their peoples and consolidate the social basis of trilateral cooperation.
On international and regional affairs, he said that China, Russia and Mongolia should beef up coordination and cooperation so as to safeguard regional and world peace and stability.
Putin said that the close bond among Russia, China and Mongolia serves as a solid foundation for trilateral cooperation.
Since the first trilateral meeting last year, the government departments concerned from the three sides have maintained close communication and coordination, and witnessed smooth cooperation in railway transportation, tourism and other sectors, he said.
The Russian president said he was happy to see the consensus reached this time on further expanding and deepening cooperation, which serves the common interests of the three countries.
Elbegdorj said the people of the three countries will benefit from the trilateral cooperation on railway transportation, logistics, facilitation of agricultural and mineral trade, infrastructure construction and other sectors. The Mongolian side was looking forward to closer cooperation among the three nations.
During the meeting, the three heads of state approved a roadmap for the development of trilateral cooperation and witnessed the signing of a memorandum on compiling a guideline for building the trilateral economic corridor, a framework agreement on facilitating trilateral trade and a framework agreement on cooperation on ports of entry among the three countries.
Russian-Chinese-Mongolian cooperation has huge potential — Putin
The Russian leader mentioned an agreement on cooperation in developing cross-border check points and a memorandum on providing a favorable trade regime
July 9 (TASS) UFA, July 9. /TASS/. Cooperation between Russia, China and Mongolia has huge potential, Russian President Vladimir Putin said after a meeting with Chinese and Mongolian leaders Xi Jinping and Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj on Thursday.
"Last year, we opened actually a new page in Dushanbe in the relations between our states and launched a mechanism of three-party meetings at the highest level on the initiative of the Mongolian president," Putin said.
Russia, China and Mongolia are close neighbors united by rich historical traditions, friendly and good neighborly relations of their peoples, Putin said.
"We were aware of the huge potential embedded in the Russian-Chinese-Mongolian interaction and therefore instructed the ministries concerned to start approving specific areas of our cooperation," Putin said, adding some results could already be summed up now.
Over the past period, three rounds of consultations at the level of deputy foreign ministers were held and the first meeting of transport heads from the three countries took place in May in Ufa, the Russian president said.
The Russian side proposed sealing the comprehensive nature of trilateral interaction with a special roadmap, Putin said.
"A corresponding draft was prepared for our meeting. The sides defined priority spheres of their interaction, such as politics, security, the economy, cross-border and interregional ties, the humanitarian sphere and international affairs," the Russian leader said.
A memorandum on creating an economic corridor on the initiative of Chinese leader Xi Jinping put forward back in Dushanbe was signed on the sidelines of the trilateral meeting, Putin said.
The Russian leader also mentioned an agreement on cooperation in developing cross-border check points and a memorandum on providing a favorable trade regime.
"Experts are also working on other promising projects," the Russian leader said.
"For example, this involves the construction of a transit electric power transmission line from Russia to China across Mongolia and the establishment of a trilateral transport and logistics company," Putin added.
Corresponding companies are working on creating a transport corridor based on the Ulan Bator railway. The three countries are also intensifying cooperation in the tourist sphere and the creation of a cross-border tourist cluster, the Russian president said.
Strategic significance of second meeting by presidents of China, Russia and Mongolia
By Gu Jianjun, post doctorate of Central Compilation and Translation Bureau
July (CCTV) During the Twin Ufa Summits trip on July 9, 2015, President Xi Jinping attended the second meeting by heads of China, Russia and Mongolia. Presidents Xi Jinping, Vladimir Putin and Tsakhia Elbegdorj have striven to strengthen cooperation with long-term strategic plans. President Xi suggested promoting comprehensive tripartite cooperation in international and regional politics, economics and humanities from a long-term perspective and strategic height. Deepening comprehensive strategic cooperation among the three countries has important economic and strategic considerations.
On the one hand, it helps promote implementation of China's One Belt, One Road Initiative. Focusing on real development needs, China, Russia and Mongolia look to economic cooperation for preferred and essential fields of strengthening tripartite cooperation. The three parties approved the mid-term development roadmap for tripartite cooperation between China, Russia and Mongolia. Some cooperative memos and agreements were signed by the three relevant ministries including a memorandum on compiling and building a planning outline of a China-Russia-Mongolia economic corridor, a framework agreement on creating favorable conditions to boost China-Russia-Mongolia trade cooperation and a framework agreement on the development of China-Russia-Mongolia frontier port cooperation.
Thus, construction of Chinese Silk Road Economic Belt Initiative, Trans-Eurasian Belt Development proposed by Russia, the Prairie Road by Mongolia will be linked more closely. This will effectively promote the building of China-Russia-Mongolia economic corridor and boost the regional economic cooperation and development of the entire Eurasian continent.
The Silk Road Economic Belt strategy in the One Belt, One Road Initiative covers not only southeastern but also northeastern Asian economic integration. Both are combined and lead to Europe. The tendency is to eventually integrate Eurasia economically.
The northernmost route starts from China and ends with Europe via Central Asia and Russia. The China-Russia-Mongolia economic corridor is the lifeline of the aorta. The Trans-Eurasian Belt Development proposed by Russia consists of the Trans-Siberian Railway and Baykal-Amurskaya Oblast railway reconstruction projects. This plays an important role of integrating the vast territory of Russia. The Prairie Road program advocated by Mongolia consists of five projects with a total investment of about $ 50 billion. The projects include a 997-kilometer expressway connecting China and Russia, a 1,100 kilometer-electrified railway and the extension of trans-Mongolian railways, gas and oil pipelines. The effective joining of the Silk Road Economic Belt, the Prairie Road and Trans-Eurasian Belt Development will boost the building of China-Russia-Mongolia economic corridor and promote practical cooperation projects including railways, roads, energy resources, logistics, transportation and agriculture.
The Zamyn-Üüd-Ulaanbaatar expressway project has been launched. It is the first expressway in Mongolia and the first program under the auspices of One Belt, One Road Initiative and the Prairie Road. It will not only promote the economic development of areas along the expressway but also China-Russia-Mongolia transit transport cooperation.
It is worth noting it will help ease Chinese geopolitical pressures in the Asia Pacific. China used to give priority to coastal or frontier defense.
Nowadays, oceans are of great significance for China. The tense situations in the East China and South China seas have drawn more Chinese government attention to the oceans. The Diaoyu Islands dispute will likely intensify between China and Japan in the East China Sea. China, the Philippines and Vietnam are facing the same situation about differences in the South China Sea.
Backed by the US and Japan, the Philippines and other countries are always acting provocatively. Japan even showed its malicious intention by meddling in the South China Sea. Japan and the Philippines on May 12, 2015 held their first joint naval exercises in disputed areas of the South China Sea. The location of the exercises was not far from Huangyan Island. In response to geopolitical tensions in the Asia-Pacific and to avoid headaches on two fronts, China needs a stable and reliable backup partner along its northern and western borders.
The establishment and operation of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) safeguards and protects peace, security and stability in Central Asia as well as the Chinese western and northern borders. Since India and Pakistan joined SCO, the situation in South Asia is becoming stabilized. China's security situation in the west and southwest has greatly improved. China, Mongolia and Russia are the three largest neighbors on the Eurasian continent. They have a complicated historical relationship. China shares a border of over 4,700 kilometers with Mongolia and more than 4,300 kilometers with Russia. The stable relationship of the three countries and border safety are vital to the national security of China.
Mongolia is only an observer country in SCO. Although China and Russia consented to Mongolia becoming a full member, it will take some time before it officially joins. In September 2014, President Xi Jinping, Vladimir Putin and Tsakhia Elbegdorj launched the first three-leader meeting mechanism at the SCO Dushanbe Summit. The China-Russia-Mongolia economic corridor will cement the strategic interests of three countries more closely together.
Through cooperation in the SCO and the China-Russia-Mongolia leader meeting mechanism, China basically ensured backyard security. This will relieve pressure being exerted by the United States in the Asia-Pacific and offer a greater room diplomatic maneuvering. It also offers China more opportunities to deal with the issue of the Diaoyu Islands and the South China Sea.
Putin meets China, Mongolia leaders to boost ties – Ukraine Today, July 9
Elbegdorj Proposed Research Center for Russia-Mongolia-China Trilateral Projects
July 16 (news.mn) Mongolian President Ts.Elbegdorj has made the following proposals at the trilateral summit taking place today in the Russian city of Ufa:
1. To establish a research and project center in Ulaanbaatar to provide technical and economical evaluation of trilateral projects
2. To improve border co-operation to export Mongolian raw materials from the mining and agriculture sectors through the territories of China and the Russian Federation to third countries.
3. To study the possibilities of natural gas and oil transit pipelines through Mongolian territory.
4. To maintain long-term stable prices for imported electricity from Russia and China and to co-operate to reduce the prices in the future.
5. To establish co-operation mechanisms between top commercial and economic organizations.
CCTV: Interview with Mongolian Ambassador to China
July 8 (CCTV) Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj has initiated the trilateral summit between China, Russia and Mongolia. The first meeting was held in September in Dushanbe and the second one will be held in Ufa this year. CCTV's Wang Tongxuan spoke to Mongolian ambassador to China, and finds out his views on bilateral ties between China and Mongolia.
"During this meeting, we are going to sign initiative document this year, so as you see Mongolia can be sort of transit country between China and Russia and we can propose our territory and infrastructure to increase the trade between Russia and China and other investment cooperation," Mongolian ambassador to China, Tsedenjav Sukhbaatar said.
"Chinese president Xi visited Mongolia last year and two countries elevated the strategic partnership to comprehensive strategic partnership, both also agreed to almost double the trade to 10 billion. How's that being implemented?" Wang said.
"Two countries has big advantages, first is location. Mongolia is the country has the longest land border among the neighbouring countries, we have more than 4700 long border.. give opportunity to development closer economic ties. Lately as we witness Mongolia trade with China doubled and tripled reaching around $6 billion. The major export items are mining product like coal, iron, copper and other metals. we want to develop our industry. Chinese side is also helping us. That will increase our trade volume in a substantial way," Tsedenjav Sukhbaatar said.
"How to attract Chinese investment?" Wang said.
"China has been our biggest trading partner, the biggest investor for years. Chinese company has advantages because of the geographical location and the most important thing is the political relations. We have so close political relation understanding. China has financial resources, China has human resources, experienced and skilled workers and technology in many field, China's technology is now considered the best in the world," Tsedenjav Sukhbaatar said.
"China has also agreed to allow the landlocked Mongolia to use its northern seaports for exports, how's this initiative progressing?" Wang said.
"We did have one agreement with China on transportation which allows us to use Tianjin port as Mongolia's main seaport but now we have access to major seaports situated on the Bohai sea and northeast China start from Dalian going all the way Jinzhou, Qinhuangdao, Tianjin all those ports are open to Mongolia. If we have other infrastructure like railway and roads we are now able to use these ports," Tsedenjav Sukhbaatar said.
Mongolia Gains Access to South Korea's Korail Network
July 20 (news.mn) On 17th July, the Mongolian-Russian Joint Venture Company, "Ulaanbaatar Railway" and the South Korean national "Korail Corporation" signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).
Under the MoU, Mongolia, which has no access to the ocean, will transit 25,000 tons of freight through the Korean port of "Rajin". This will initially be for a trial period. "Korail" (Korean Railroad Corporation) is Korea's national railway operator and operates the metro, passenger and freight systems. It is the de facto owner of most of the Korean Railway Network.
The "Ulaanbaatar Railway" Joint-Venture has the responsibility of transporting about 30 million tons of freight during 2015. The conclusion of the MoU will have many advantages for the Mongolian economy.
Russian Attitudes And Policies Behind Rise In Mongolia's Influence In Buryatia – OpEd
By Paul Goble
July 20 (Eurasia Review) The influence of Mongolia on Buryatia has increased dramatically, according to a Moscow historian who visited Ulan-Ude after a gap of just over seven years, a development due at least in part to the overbearing attitude of Russian officials and the bad feelings that has generated among the Buryats.
In a Facebook post picked up by Buryat and Mongol outlets, Aleksandr Morozov says he is struck by how rapidly the Buryat capital has developed: "Those who say that in Putin's Russia nothing is changing or is changing only in Moscow have never travelled beyond the ring road" (facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=481839078632382&id=100004188811429&fref=nfand asiarussia.ru/blogs/8370/).
But in addition to these positive changes, there are other more negative ones: "public dissatisfaction is evident" given that "Moscow seeks to run everything, and this is not well received." Moscow suggestions are seen "as orders" that "must be fulfilled and over-fulfilled at any price. The problems of federalism are superimposed on complicated inter-ethnic relations."
"The Buryats," Morozov says, "are dissatisfied by the fact that important positions are occupied by non-Buryats … and up to the present are upset by the unification of Buryat districts in the 2000s to Chita and Irkutsk oblasts. As a counterbalance to the loss of political influence are being taken persistent efforts to develop Buryat culture and language."
Buryats are also unhappy about the influx of people from Central Asia and the Caucasus, he says, and they are very attentive to Buryatia's neighbors. "Everyone fears" China, "but Russian bureaucrats look at it already as certain that Russia sooner or later will lose these places."
"For Buryats," the Moscow historian says, "the example of Mongolia is important." Until recently, that country was much poorer, but now "everything is changing before their eyes. Mongolia is developing rapidly, something that generates delight and envy" among the culturally close Buryats.
After the introduction of a visa-free regime and the collapse of the ruble, he continues, Buryatia was flooded with cheap goods from Mongolia, and Mongols came for vacations on Lake Baikal.
"If Mongolia in the future will develop as it is now, its influence on Buryatia will grow," Morozov suggests. "The example of a successful, ethnically close, independent state inevitably will be conceived by part of the Buryat elite as an inspiring example for emulation."
According to the Russian historian, young Buryats also look to South Korea, the result of Seoul's promotion of itself. Today, young Buryats seek to enroll in universities in Seoul or in Beijing; their desire to study in central Russia "has weakened," thanks, Morozov says to "Russia's little Nazis, may they be cursed."
Taken together, he says, these shifts are "not the most favorable for Russian statehood. Problems are building up which are not being resolved, only put off." The large number of people who commented on his post echoed his words on every point.
But with respect to the Buryats, Moscow does not now seem to be able to put a foot right. Today's "Novaya Buryatia" reports that Buryats are upset that a copy of the Ivolgin datsan that was erected in Sochi as part of the "My Russia" exhibit is now being used as a bar and restaurant (newbur.ru/articles/21680).
They say that Russian laws about offending the feelings of believers must be enforced in this case which affects them just as Moscow has done in the case of supposed denigration of Russian Orthodox feelings. The Buryats have had some success in this regard: In 2003, their complaints led the owners of Moscow's Buddha Bar to rename it the Karma Bar.
About The Author
Paul Goble is a longtime specialist on ethnic and religious questions in Eurasia. He has worked as director of research and publications at the Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy, and earlier served as vice dean for the social sciences and humanities at Audentes University in Tallinn and a senior research associate at the EuroCollege of the University of Tartu in Estonia. He has served in various capacities in the U.S. State Department, the Central Intelligence Agency and the International Broadcasting Bureau as well as at the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Mr. Goble maintains the Window on Eurasia blog and can be contacted directly at email@example.com.
Belarus: Mongolia's Latest Partner?
Mongolia's president held a meeting with Belarus' Alexander Lukashenko in Ufa, Russia.
By Ankit Panda
July 10 (The Diplomat) At a bilateral meeting in Ufa, Russia—the site of summits for the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, BRICS, and Eurasian Economic Union this week—Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko expressed their interest in deepening their bilateral ties and expending cooperation. According to reports by Belarusian state media, Lukashenko and Elbegdorj acknowledged similarities between their countries.
"Our people are very similar, they are hardworking and kind. We can sell various things to each other. I think that it would be great to organize expert groups at the level of governments to study various cooperation avenues and even develop concrete projects," Lukashenko noted, emphasizing a potential increase in trade with Mongolia. According to Belarusian state media, Lukashenko highlighted the sale of BelAZ heavy construction equipment, including dump trucks, from Belarus to Mongolia. He added: "This is a good project, we are ready to develop it. But we must move forward."
Elbegdorj echoed the statement: "Belarusian tractors, dump trucks and BelAZ vehicles are well known. Some time ago there was a Minsk refrigerator in every family."
"These are landlocked countries without nuclear weapons. We have transferred to the market economy virtually at the same time, we are located between big states," he added, highlighting other commonalities between the two countries.
Belarus and Mongolia established diplomatic relations in 1992 and the two countries have expanded their bilateral interactions in recent years. In 2013, Belarusian Prime Minister Mikhail Myasnikovich led a delegation to Ulanbataar to meet with a range of Mongolian officials. According to the Eurasia Daily Monitor, the visit was treated as a major diplomatic event in Mongolia, with considerable press attention. In 2014, Belarus opened an embassy in Mongolia, another sign that the two countries were looking to expand their relationship.
Mongolia's approach to Belarus is unsurprising given Elbegdorj's bid to dynamically expand Mongolia's relations with countries the world over. As I've noted previously in The Diplomat, Elbegdorj spearheaded a major expansion of Mongolia's "third neighbor" policy, forging partnerships with countries beyond Russia and China.
Elbegdorj did meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping in Ufa as well. Last year, Putin initiated a trilateral process with China and Mongolia, with the intention of expanding infrastructure cooperation between the three neighboring states. "The natural geographic proximity of Mongolia, Russia and China makes it possible for us to implement good long-term projects in infrastructure, the power sector and the mining industry. We have what to discuss with each other. Naturally, we deem it important, expedient and useful to start a permanent dialogue," he noted.
Belarus, Mongolia interested in closer cooperation – BelTA, July 9
83 Chinese Workers Stuck in Mongolia Heads Home Tonight
July 13 (CRI English) The 83 Chinese workers stuck in a recent labor dispute in Mongolia will head towards their homeland tonight after receiving train tickets from their contractor at a construction site in Ulan Bator, according to the Xi'an-based Huashang newspaper.
Hu Guangli, one of the workers, said he has also received 5-thousand-yuan (805 US dollars) subsidy from a domestic property company named "Yuansheng", who is in charge of the construction project in Ulan Bator.
The company in Weinan city of northwestern China's Shaanxi province, was accused of failing to pay the Chinese workers salaries, worth over 3 million yuan (480 thousand US dollars) in total.
On Sunday, Chinese Embassy in Mongolia announced on its official website that the Chinese workers will be sent back home soon and the dispute will be settled through a judicial channel.
The embassy has launched a consular protection mechanism after 10 Chinese workers at the construction site filed a complaint on July 9.
83 of the 95 workers involved in the case were introduced to work in Mongolia through a labor agent in Sichuan, while the other 12 was hired locally. Most workers come from provinces including Shaanxi, Hebei and Sichuan as well as Inner Mongolia autonomous region.
Right now, the embassy says an in-depth investigation is underway.
The labor dispute was first posted online over the weekend, as a netizen was seeking help from local authorities in Shaanxi province.
Japan's top security envoy to visit China
July 15 (AFP) Japan said Wednesday its top security diplomat will tour China and Mongolia in a trip seen as a potential precursor to another summit between Tokyo and Beijing.
Shotaro Yachi, the head of the National Security Council, will visit Beijing from Thursday through Saturday for talks including a meeting with Yang Jiechi, China's top diplomat who serves as state councillor, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said.
Yachi will also go to Mongolia after his visit to Beijing, Suga added.
The government said the trip by Yachi, formerly a top career diplomat, is part of routine work to build ties with his counterparts around the world.
Yachi "regularly visits foreign countries under the prime minister's orders to meet with his counterparts to build relations," Suga told a press briefing. "This trip to China and Mongolia will be part of that," he said.
Local media is rife with speculation that he is going there to pave the way for a possible visit to China by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, for what would be his third talks with President Xi Jinping.
The two conservative leaders met in November 2014 for the first time and in April this year -- both on the sidelines of international meetings.
Strains over territorial disputes and attitudes towards wartime history continue to divide Asia's top economies.
But Abe and Xi are seen as gradually warming up to each other to foster better ties, particularly economic relations.
Abe is considering travelling to China around the time of a September 3 ceremony in Beijing to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, the Nikkei daily and the Mainichi Shimbun said over the past weekend.
China officially invited Abe to attend the event marking Beijing's victory in what it calls the war of resistance against Japanese aggression, but it has yet to receive a response, Kyodo News reported.
Mongolia venue of secret May talks with Pyongyang over abductions
ULAN, BATOR, July 20 (Kyodo) – Japan and North Korea held secret talks in mid-May in Ulan Bator over North Korea's abductions of Japanese nationals decades ago, a diplomatic source in Mongolia said Sunday.
Officials of the two countries met secretly before what Japan viewed as the one-year deadline on July 4 for completing the North Korean probe. North Korea told Japan on July 2 it needed more time to complete the investigation, according to the Japanese government.
The investigation is the third that Pyongyang has promised to conduct, following probes in 2002 and 2004 that Japan found unconvincing.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe sent an aide to Mongolia in mid-May to seek its help in getting North Korea to clarify what became of Japanese nationals it abducted in the 1970s and 1980s, a source familiar with Japan-North Korea relations said. Chances are high that the aide, one of Abe's executive secretaries, joined the secret talks.
In July last year, North Korea launched a comprehensive investigation into all Japanese residing in the country in return for Tokyo lifting some sanctions. The probe included a reinvestigation into the 12 Japanese citizens officially listed by Tokyo as abduction victims who are still missing.
On Sunday, Shotaro Yachi, Abe's key foreign policy adviser who heads the secretariat of Japan's National Security Council, held talks in the Mongolian capital with Tsagaandari Enkhtuvshin, secretary of Mongolia's National Security Council.
The Mongolian official told reporters he promised Yachi that Ulan Bator will continue to serve as a mediator for the settlement of the abduction issue. Mongolia has diplomatic ties with North Korea, while Japan does not.
India values its relationship with Mongolia: President
July 10 (IANS) President Pranab Mukherjee on Friday greeted the people of Mongolia and its government on the eve of their National Day, saying India valued its relationship with the country.
In his message to Mongolian President Tsakhia Elbegdorj, President Mukherjee said India valued and cherished its relationship with Mongolia which was "anchored in our shared historical and spiritual linkages".
"I am confident that the elevation of our relations to that of a strategic partnership during the recent visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Mongolia will herald a new era of co-operation and partnership between our two countries and strengthen the bonds of friendship between our two peoples," he said.
Stating that this year marked the 25th year of democracy in Mongolia and the "60th anniversary of our diplomatic relations", the president said: "I am positive that our engagement, as fellow democracies inspired by the ideals of Buddhism, will contribute to the socio-economic progress and prosperity of our two nations."
"Please accept, Excellency, my best wishes for your health and well-being as well as for the progress and prosperity of the friendly people of Mongolia," he added.
Mongolia's National Day marks independence of the land-locked nation in east-central Asia from Chinese rule in 1921.
Indian president greets Mongolia on eve of its National Day – Xinhua, July 10
China to deport foreign tourists after 'Genghis Khan video'
Beijing, July 18 (Reuters) China will deport nine foreign tourists whom it detained last weekend, apparently after some of them watched a documentary on Genghis Khan in their hotel room, a spokesman for two of the tourists said on Saturday.
The release of the group – five South Africans, three Britons and an Indian – signals the end of a case that sparked international consternation and outcry.
Authorities in the northern region of Inner Mongolia detained the mostly elderly travellers last weekend along with 11 others in their group while they were on a 47-day historical tour of China.
A South African charity that has spoken to the media on behalf of relatives of the detained, said earlier Chinese authorities had told their governments that some in the group had watched "terror" videos, linked to a banned group.
Chinese authorities have not specified what crime the tourists were suspected of committing, saying only they were suspected of breaking the law.
A British-based spokesman for two of the tourists, 74-year-old Hoosain Jacobs, a well-known anti-apartheid activist, and his wife Tahira, 68, said a video on the 13th century Mongolian warlord might have led to an "unfortunate misunderstanding".
"They watched a documentary on Genghis Khan to further their understanding of the region they were in at the time, and this may have mistakenly been deemed as 'propaganda' material," the spokesman said.
The group had visited the Genghis Khan Mausoleum the day before they were detained, he said.
It is not clear why authorities might object to a film about Genghis Khan but the government has become more sensitive about ethnic tension in border regions over the past couple of years.
Authorities have cracked down on groups seeking greater rights for ethnic Mongols, and jailed a prominent ethnic Mongol dissident for separatism in 1996.
China deported 11 members of the group this week and the nine were expected to leave in the next few days.
Nelson Kgwete, a spokesman for South Africa's Department of International Relations and Cooperation, said the Chinese government had not indicated why the group was detained.
A British Foreign Office spokeswoman said the detainees were in good health.
Mongolian Foreign Minister Meets John Kerry on US Visit
Ulaanbaatar, July 16 (MONTSAME) The Minister of Foreign Affairs L.Purevsuren, who is in the USA with an official visit, met the State Secretary of the US Mr John Kerry on July 15. Our FM extended congratulations to the USA on the historic deal with Iran and the successful diplomacy.
Mr Kerry thanked L.Purevsuren and said the Mongolian FM has become the first foreign guest to be received after the prolonged complicated talks with Iran.
In response, the FM said this year marks the 25th anniversary of Mongolia's first democratic election, and thanked the USA for consistent support for the democratic processes in Mongolia and for cooperation as the leading "Third neighbor" of Mongolia in the economic partnership and in protecting global peace.
He also underlined that Mongolia attaches great importance to the comprehensive partnership with the USA, "these ties must be enriched with more economic contents by away of increasing the US investments in Mongolia's infrastructure and energy spheres".
The United States is happy to congratulate friends in Mongolia on 25 years of democracy, said Mr Kerry and highlighted that Mongolia have taken leadership positions in democracy and democracy support. "Mongolians very involved in supporting Burma, supporting Kyrgyzstan. They have got a very bold program to do that. They are supportive of the United States in keeping troops in Afghanistan alongside us, being supportive of UN peacekeeping missions. And we just had a visit from the Prime Minister recently working on economic cooperation and other issues," he said.
The dignitaries also exchanged views on the matters of regional and international relations, particularly of the two countries' cooperation in Asia-Pacific affairs, in North-East Asian security and economic integration issues.
John Kerry: Remarks With Mongolian Foreign Minister Lundeg Purevsuren – State Department, July 15
Press Statement by John Kerry: Mongolia National Day – State Department, July 10
Vietnam, Mongolia sign procuracy cooperation
July 11 (VNA) Vietnam Supreme People's Procuracy and the Mongolia Prosecutor's Office have signed a cooperation programme for the 2016-17 period, in a bid to foster their partnership.
The deal was inked following talks between Procurator General Nguyen Hoa Binh and Mongolian General Prosecutor M. Enkh-Amgalan on July 10, as part of the former's ongoing visit to Mongolia from July 10-13.
Binh said stronger procuracy collaboration with Mongolia would help fostering bilateral ties between the two countries.
He held that over the past years, the Supreme People's Procuracy of Vietnam and the Mongolia Prosecutor's Office have enjoyed a growing cooperation with regular meetings to exchange experience.
Mongolian General Prosecutor M.Enkh-Amgalan said the new cooperation agreement will contribute to deepening ties between the two procuracy agencies.
During his stay in Mongolia , Binh and the Vietnamese delegation attended a ceremony to mark the 94 th anniversary of Mongolia's National Day and the National Naadam Festival. He also visited a number of economic and cultural establishments in Mongolia.
PLA art delegation makes friends in Mongolia with help from PR Lighting
July 8 (ET Now) The art delegation of the People's Liberation Army (PLA), comprising 106 members, recently held the first of three shows at the Ulaanbaatar Central Palace of Culture during a ten-day visit to Mongolia.
The delegation consisted of people from the Song and Dance Troupe of the PLA General Political Department, the PLA Academy of Arts and the Acrobatic Troupe of the PLA Guangzhou Military Area Command (MAC).
During their visit, the delegation carried out artistic exchanges with the song and dance troupe of the Mongolian military, where spectacular effects from PR Lighting were provided by the Chinese manufacturer's Mongolian partner, D-light. This involved 36 units of XR 200 Beam and 36 XPAR 336.
The lightweight and compact XR200 Beam is equipped with a Platinum 5R or Osram 230 HRI lamp, to provide a parallel, laser like 'pencil' moving beam with a brightness of 67,765 lux, usually achievable only with far greater wattages. This combined with the LED source of the fully featured XPAR 336, housing 36 RGBW LEDs, to provide high output efficiency and low power-consumption, making it ideal for a raft of applications.
The head of D-lights, Mr. Davaa and Ms. Bolor, described the combination as perfect and the performances as "very successful."
Zhang Qianyi, head of the Song and Dance Troupe of the PLA General Political Department, said that the carefully-prepared programmes – which also included shows in Darhan and a special show for the Mongolian troops – embody the characteristics of the Chinese military and also demonstrate the spirit of the Chinese people.
The aim of the visit was to enhance mutual trust and friendship between the two militaries through these performances in Mongolia – and with the help of these shows, and their use of PR Lighting dynamics, it certainly succeeded.
Mongolia, land of opportunity for S. Korea: ambassador
ULAANBAATAR, July 9 (Yonhap) -- Mongolia is poised to become the next land of opportunity for South Korean firms as it takes steps to attract more foreign investment, Seoul's top envoy to Ulaanbaatar said Thursday.
In a first step, Mongolia revised its foreign investment laws last year in a bid to improve the business environment for foreign firms.
"The Mongolian economy is rebounding after nearly hitting bottom this year, so many expect it to become a land of opportunity," Ambassador Oh Song said in an interview with Yonhap News Agency.
In May, an Australian company signed a contract to develop a copper mine in Mongolia, while China and Japan are reported to be closing deals to develop the country's coal mines.
"As an inland country, Mongolia has a lot of interest in projects to link railways and China and Japan are very eager to take part," Oh said. "South Korea has also made some investments in the construction of such social infrastructure, but there are still a lot of areas to be developed."
As the two countries mark the 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations this year, their ties have expanded across various sectors ranging from medical services to Korean pop culture, with some 30,000 Mongolians currently working in South Korea, the ambassador said.
On Wednesday, Yonhap signed an agreement with Mongolia's state-run Montsame News Agency under which the two sides will exchange articles promoting their respective countries.
Court interpreters for foreigners rising in Korea
July 17 (Korea Times) Suren Otgonbayar, 41, who came to Korea from Mongolia to earn a Seoul National University doctorate in social education, frequently receives mail from the court.
"It's from court," a postal service delivery worker says in Korean with suspicious eyes.
Otgonbayar is used to receiving such mail. After opening the envelope, he sits down at his desk and begins translating the summons into Mongolian.
It reads, "The recipient of this letter is subject to questioning and is therefore required to appear before the Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office on Thursday at 10 a.m."
He puts the translated paper in an envelope and seals it. The envelope will be delivered to a Mongol man, a robbery suspect, who the summons was initially written for, living in Gyeonggi Province.
Otgonbayar is one of 1,581 court-registered interpreters in Korea. They are fluent in Korean and another foreign language, including English, Chinese, Kazak, Hindi, Nepali, Urdu, Vietnamese and Arabic.
The number of court interpreters is on the rise in line with the growing number of crimes committed by foreigners living here.
According to the National Police Agency (NPA), the number of foreigners investigated by the prosecution stood at 30,684 in 2014, up 15 percent from a year earlier.
The number of trials involving foreign suspects is also on the rise with 3,790 in 2014, up 441 from 2012. To cope with the rising number of foreigner-related cases, courts have taken steps in selecting qualified interpreters to better provide suspects with due representation and equal protection under the law regardless of their nationality.
The Seoul Central District Court offers regular training sessions for interpreters, which are also attended by judges, law professors and law clerks.
The sessions provide those involved with the legal system tips to avoid misrepresentation.
The two main tasks of interpreters are translating court documents and providing interpretation during court hearings.
They receive up to 30,000 won for translation work the size of an A4 paper.
Interpretation during hearings costs 70,000 won for the first 30 minutes and an additional 50,000 every 30 minutes thereafter.
According to the Supreme Court, a yearly budget of 1.65 billion won ($1.3 million) is allocated for interpreters, an eight-fold increase from 2 billion won in 2010.
Besides criminal cases, interpreters are helping foreigners in other courts.
The Seoul Administrative Court, which deals with disputes between the government and foreigners, has a counter that provides foreign language services to help throughout court proceedings.
The court mainly deals with refugee status approval, political asylum approval, expatriation orders, naturalization approval and visa extensions.
The Seoul Family Court, which deals with divorces involving foreign wives, has counters for those from the Philippines and Vietnam. An average of 106 people a month visit the counter.
Mongolia to Join Convention on Transfer of Convicts of the Council of Europe
July 8 (gogo.mn) Draft law on joining Convention on the Transfer of Convicts of the Council of Europe will be submitted to the State Great Khural.
As external relations expand, number of people studying, working and travelling for business purposes abroad has been increasing. Therefore, the Government is working on estabishing an agreement of transfer of convicts with several countries.
Mongolia signed bilateral agreements with seven foreign countries that joined Convention on the Transfer of Convicts. Our country has joined the Convention on the Transfer of Convicts of the Berlin in 1978 and its valid now.
However, the dealing of the transfer of convicts with non-member countries has to go through separate procedure.
47 member countries of Europe and 17 non-member countries have joined Convention on the Transfer of Convicts of the Council of Europe and countries of constant visits by Mongolians such as USA, Australia and Japan.
Mongolia May Join Convention on Sentenced Persons Transfer – Montsame, July 8
Constitution Court of Mongolia to Use Korean Counterpart Software
July 8 (news.mn) Yesterday (7th July), the Mongolian and S.Korean Constitutional Courts signed a MoU about information and technological cooperation. In accordance with the MoU, both sides agreed to use the best Korean legal software for internal cases and solving Mongolian Constitutional Court issues. During the meeting, Academician and Chairman of Mongolian Constitutional Court J.Amarsanaa and Deputy Secretary of the Korean Constitutional Court Kim Heon Jeong exchanged their opinions regarding cooperation between the two Constitutional Courts and the legal administrative authorities.
Ecuador's ambassador presents credentials in the Republic of Mongolia
July 16 (Ministry of External Relations) The Embassy of Ecuador in the People's Republic of China announced that on July 7, Ambassador Jose Maria Borja presented the credentials to President Mongolia, Tsakhiagiin Elbergdorj, Concurrent Ambassador in that country.
President Elbergdorj referred to the growing interest that Mongolia attaches to Latin America and the need to strengthen the links between countries. An example of this, as he said, is the recent opening of the Diplomatic Mission of Mongolia in Brasilia. In addition, the president sent warm greetings to President Correa, and offer assistance of his Cabinet for any management that Ambassador Borja and his team wish to undertake to build, consolidate and strengthen the nascent bilateral relationship and look for areas of common interest.
Ambassador Borja also held meetings with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lundeg Purevsuren, the Deputy Foreign Minister, Navaan Yunden Oyundari. He also met with Deputy Minister of Education, Culture and Science, the Chamber of Commerce and the Rector of the National University of Mongolia.
Ecuador established diplomatic relations with Mongolia on October 30, 1982. Ambassador Borja promised to promote and work to boost bilateral relations promoting areas of bilateral cooperation and promoting an approach in political and multilateral levels.
Cuba and Mongolia Reaffirm Bonds of Friendship
HAVANA, Cuba, Jul 20 (acn) Lundeg Purevsuren, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Mongolia, reaffirmed on Monday in this capital the willingness of his country to strengthen ties of friendship with the fraternal nation of Cuba.
After being received by Acting Foreign Minister Marcelino Medina, the Mongolian Foreign Minister thanked the island for being the bridge between his country and Latin America.
Cuba was the first country in the region to establish diplomatic relations with Mongolia, and this allowed our relations with Latin America, he underlined.
In turn, he expressed his joy at being in Cuba in the context of the 55th anniversary of uninterrupted ties between both nations.
He said the last visit of a Mongolian FM to the Caribbean island was 20 years ago, however, he reiterated a saying of the Asian country: "Old friends are the best."
Likewise, Acting Foreign Minister Marcelino Medina said that this official visit is an example of the progress and strengthening of bilateral bonds.
Relations are good and there is potential to continue developing them, and in the area of cooperation they could be expanded significantly, a reflection of the strength and constancy our friendly ties have in time, he commented.
He also thanked the support of Mongolia for the resolution presented by Cuba at the UN General Assembly, which demands the lifting of the economic, commercial and financial blockade unfairly imposed on Cuba by the United States.
Mongolia Foreign Minister Visits Cuba, Sides Call To Strengthen Their Relations – Prensa Latina, July 20
Mongolian Military Trains With US Troops While Preparing for Exercises With Russia
By: Alicia J. Campi
July 16 (Eurasia Daily Monitor Volume: 12 Issue: 133, Jamestown Foundation) The Mongolian Armed Forces (MAF), working with the United States Pacific Command (USPACOM) and the US government's Global Peace Operations Initiative (GPOI) program, hosted their annual multinational exercise known as Khaan Quest 2015, on June 20–July 1. The exercise was held at the 311th Army Division's Five Hills Training Area, outside the Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaatar. This year's Khaan Quest featured over 1,200 personnel and was co-sponsored by US Army Pacific, and US Marine Corps Forces, Pacific (MARFORPAC), along with 22 other countries including China, which participated for the first time. Also taking part were United Nations peacekeeping operations troops from Australia, Bangladesh, Belarus, Canada, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Japan, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Poland, Russia, South Korea, Tajikistan, Thailand, Turkey and the United Kingdom (News.mn, June 19). Khaan Quest 2015 consisted of a command post exercise and a field training exercise, both of which focused on peacekeeping and stability operations (US Embassy–Ulaanbaatar press release, June 17). The main goals of this yearly exercise are to develop methods and techniques for peacekeeping and enhance military collaboration amongst the participant countries. But as Khaan Quest was concluding, Mongolians were finalizing their plans for military exercises with the Russians this August in an operation named Selenge 2015.
In an opening ceremony involving foreign ambassadors, Mongolian Minister of Defense Tserendash Tsolmon welcomed the troops by saying: "This exercise contributes to enhance UN peacekeepers, improve the capacity of participant countries in peace support, and strengthen military confidence and security in the Asia and Pacific" (The Mongol Messenger, June 25). The 600 participating Mongolian troops were under the command of newly appointed chief of the MAF General Staff, Major General Dulamsuren Davaa (Montsame, June 18). The 300-man US contingent, primarily from the Alaska Army National Guard and US Army Alaska, was led by Marine Brigadier General Christopher J. Mahoney, deputy commander of MARFORPAC (US Embassy–Ulaanbaatar press release, July 1). During the following two weeks, the troops participated in a field training exercise focused on peacekeeping operations, survival training, competitive events, and realistic scenario–based missions practicing command-and-control capabilities in peacekeeping operations (Dvidshub.net, June 20).
Mongolia and the United States first organized Khaan Quest in 2003; and as of 2006, they have expanded it into a multinational peacekeeping exercise. Khaan Quest is currently among the five main annual events organized for supporting peacekeeping capabilities and capacity building in the Asia-Pacific region (The Mongol Messenger, June 25). In addition to regular military training, forces participating in Khaan Quest also collaborate to conduct real-life Civic Action Engineering Projects and Cooperative Health Engagement activities. In particular, the participating military forces provide medical services to Mongolians living in rural areas and Ulaanbaatar's "ger" districts (sprawling residential zones that originally began as unsanctioned tent cities). Since 2004, about 75,000 people have received such medical services. This year, approximately 480 patients were treated for acute or minor surgical conditions. Services provided included dental, pediatrics, ophthalmology, neurology and cardiology. In addition, veterinary specialists treated nearly 330 animals. In the Civic Action Engineering Program, which started in 2006, the peacekeeping forces conduct humanitarian work such as maintenance and renovations to schools, kindergartens and hospitals, as well as organize water distribution points in the provinces and capital. During Khaan Quest 2015, participating troops completed renovations at the Special Needs School in Ulaanbaatar.
According to Major General Zagdsuren Boldbaatar, the deputy defense minister of Mongolia, "Humanitarian events such as engineering civic action program projects and incorporating health engagement events are an integral part of the exercise, which raise the importance of this event." (Dvidshub.net, June 20). In closing ceremony remarks, on July 1, Mongolian President Tsakhia Elbegdorj and Major General Greg Charles Bilton, the deputy commanding general of operations for US Army Pacific, emphasized the key role played by UN international peacekeeping operations in critical situations around the globe.
Chinese press reports on the joint exercises in Mongolia were muted, despite the fact that Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) units this year were participants, not just observers. Chinese news wire Xinhua (June 20) merely quoted the military attache's office of the Chinese Embassy to Mongolia, saying that this was the first time that China has sent troops to join the annual exercises. Meanwhile, an Indian correspondent noted that, "No statements from either the Mongolian or the U.S. side emphasized the significance of China's first-time participation" (The Diplomat, June 23). A foreign diplomat present at the opening ceremony privately remarked that the opening-day speech of Chinese General Zhang Liguang was surprisingly effusive in content. Zhang later said "that through the joint grouping and training with the troops from different countries, the Chinese troops have accumulated valuable actual-combat experience and, at the same time, enhanced mutual trust and friendship with the troops from the participating countries" (China Military Online, July 2).
But as Khaan Quest 2015 exercises were underway, the Russian Armed Forces of the Eastern Military District—stationed in the Republic of Buryatia—held consultations with the MAF, on June 30–July 2, in Chita, the capital of the Transbaikal Region. These Russian-Mongolian talks concerned planning for the upcoming field exercise Selenge 2015. The Selenge 2015 drills will run from August 19 to 27, and, for the first time, will take place on the Tsugol training complex, in the Transbaikal Region, in the Russian Far East. It is expected that 500 Russian and 350 Mongolian troops will participate. Selenge military exercises have been conducted annually since 2008. The last two years, they were held in Mongolia (Infomongolia, April 21). This year's exercise is dedicated to the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II.
The combined militaries will practice anti-terrorism tactics involving landings and crossing water barriers. The Russian Eastern Military District's contingent will include a tank battalion, mechanized infantry company, mortars, a self-propelled artillery and rocket battery division, flamethrowers, snipers, reconnaissance, and nuclear, biological and chemical (NBC) protection units. Russia will also deploy about 90 pieces of military equipment, including two Su-25s, a pair of Mi-8AMTSh assault transport helicopters, and an Mi-24 helicopter gunship. The Mongolian side will bring to the exercise a tactical grouping infantry battalion, infantry fighting vehicles, armored personnel carriers, T-72 tanks, BM-21 Grad multiple-launched rocket systems (MLRS), as well as mortars (Function.mil.ru, June 30).
As Mongolia's participation in the almost back-to-back Khaan Quest and Selenge 2015 exercises highlights, Ulaanbaatar continues to value military links with each of its neighbors as well as the West, and is using such drills to hone different capabilities.
Mongolia Welcomes Historic Agreement with Iran
Ulaanbaatar, July 21 (MONTSAME) As a country declared its territory as Nuclear-Weapon-Free zone, Mongolia welcomes the historic agreement between P5+1 and the Islamic Republic of Iran.
It was said on Monday in a statement of a spokesperson of Mongolia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
"Mongolia hopes for the successful implementation of the agreed Comprehensive Plan of Action that would be a concrete contribution to nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation of nuclear weapons as well as the enhancement of confidence building in the region," the statement says.
Employment of New College Graduates Increases in 2015 to 64% from 34.8% in 2013
July 8 (news.mn) Mongolia supplies 35-40 thousand graduates to the labor market annually. Compared to 2012, the employment statistics have increased this year. Experts explain this rise as being connected to students being more sensible in their choice of study in relation to their future profession. In 2013, only 34.8% of graduates were employed; this year this has risen to 64%. Also, 50% of graduates are now working in their profession.
Looking over the statistics, mining graduates are by far the largest group working as their chosen sector.
Also, 25% of all students are studying business administration; which means that competition will increase when they enter the labor market. In the fields of information and journalism, there are currently 2341 students studying; this is equal to half the number all journalists in Mongolia.
Mongolia Takes Two Bronzes at 2015 Int'l Math Olympiad
Ulaanbaatar, July 16 (MONTSAME) Mongolian pupils have competed in the 2015 International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) which ran this July 4-16 in Chiang Mai of Thailand.
B.Erdenebayar and O.Bodrol have grabbed bronze medals, for the latter it has become the second one. Other four Mongolians have received honorable mentions. By the team, Mongolia became 45th alongside the Czech Republic and Switzerland, out of 104 countries. The US team has won the 56th IMO, capturing five gold and one silver medals.
The IMO--World Championship Mathematics Competition for High School students--is held annually every time changing its hosting country. The first IMO ran in 1959 in Romania, with 7 countries participating. It has gradually expanded to over 100 countries from five continents.
Mongolia's first participation was in 1964, since then it has competed 44 times having won two gold, 19 silver and 56 bronze medals so far.
Asia Society Announces 2015 Asia 21 Young Leaders: Yanjmaa Jutmaan (Khovd University)
New 2015 Class and Asia 21 Alumni to Gather at Special 10th Anniversary Summit in Hong Kong, December 1-4
NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - July 08, 2015) - Asia Society is pleased to announce the Asia 21 Young Leaders Class of 2015, the newest members of the region's preeminent network of young leaders from across the Asia Pacific, representing the private, public, and nonprofit sectors.
"The new class of Asia 21 Young Leaders is a remarkable group. We are excited to introduce these leaders of the Asia-Pacific region to the Asia 21 Network, where they will find mentors, potential collaborators, and, we hope, new friends," said Asia Society President and CEOJosette Sheeran. "We welcome this passionate group to the Asia 21 family, and look forward to the contributions they make to the public good in the coming years."
Now in its 10th year, the Asia 21 Young Leaders Initiative has become a robust network of more than 800 young leaders from 30 nations. They are all in their own ways focused on shaping a brighter future for the Asia-Pacific region, and confronting the most vexing challenges facing the region today. Asia 21 Young Leaders are selected through a highly competitive process based on outstanding achievement, commitment to public service, and a proven ability to make the world a better place.
The 32 young leaders who make up the Asia 21 Class of 2015 represent 22 countries and are divided almost evenly between men and women. Fifty percent work in the private sector, 44 percent in the nonprofit sector, and 6 percent in the public sector. Members of the Class of 2015 include Narayan Adhikari (Nepal), a social entrepreneur and champion of accountability in Nepal; Zubaida Bai (United States), founder of a for-profit social venture that develops low-cost technology for women in the developing world; Mishi Choudhary (India), a technology lawyer and online civil liberties activist; Duong Giap (Vietnam), founder of the first massive open online course (MOOC) platform in Vietnam; Yanjmaa Jutmaan (Mongolia), her country's first female chancellor of a state university; Lisa Katayama (Japan), who is empowering social activists and entrepreneurs in Japan with leadership, design, and storytelling tools; Seung-yoon Lee (South Korea), the first East Asian president of the world-famous Oxford Union debating society; Henry Motte-Munoz (Philippines), co-founder of an anti-corruption NGO in the Philippines; Korvi Rakshand (Bangladesh), a pioneer in volunteerism who is striving to break the cycle of poverty through quality education for the unprivileged; and Xing Yuan (China), head of Advanced Digital Analytics of Global Digital Medicines at Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation.
The 2015 Class and Asia 21 alumni will gather at a special 10th anniversary Asia 21 Summit in Hong Kong, December 1-4. The summit will celebrate the achievements of the first decade, explore innovative ways to leverage the Asia 21 network for greater impact, and form special Asia 21 Task Forces to address critical issues facing the region.
The members of the Class of 2015 are:
· Yanjmaa Jutmaan (Mongolia), Chancellor, Khovd University
For more information about Asia 21 and complete profiles of the 2015 Class of Asia 21 Young Leaders, visit www.AsiaSociety.org/Asia21.
About Asia Society
Asia Society is the leading global organization dedicated to promoting mutual understanding and strengthening partnerships among peoples, leaders, and institutions of Asia and the United States in a global context. Across the fields of arts, business, culture, education, and policy, the Society provides insight, generates ideas, and promotes collaboration to address present challenges and create a shared future. Founded in 1956 by John D. Rockefeller 3rd, Asia Society is a nonpartisan, non-profit institution with headquarters in New York, major centers in Hong Kong and Houston, and offices in Los Angeles, Manila, Mumbai, San Francisco, Seoul, Shanghai, Sydney, and Washington, D.C.
Complex Museum of Mongolian Ethnography to Be Established Under Concession
Ulaanbaatar, July 8 (MONTSAME) A complex museum of Mongolian ethnography will be established under a concession contract.
At its meeting on Tuesday, the cabinet authorized the "Secret Mongols" LLC to establish the contract, and told D.Erdenebat, the Minister of Industry, to manage the contract establishment process in accordance with relevant laws.
The ethnography museum will consist of museums of ethnography, national ger (national dwelling), panorama, eco tourism, special tourism and hotels. The complex will be erected within five years with a financing of USD 125 million. No money will be allotted from the government of Mongolia for the complex museum, and the museum's project will be realized with financing of the private sector.
Kimse Yok Mu reaches out to orphans in Mongolia
July 10 (CIHAN) International charity organization Kimse Yok Mu extended helping hand to orphanages in Mongolia during the holy month of Ramadan.
Along with its Mongolian partner Khen ch baikhgui distributed food packages to several orphanages in the cities of Ulan Bator, Darhan and Erdenet. The volunteers from the organization also presented clothes and held fast-breaking (iftar) dinner for the children. Receiving the packages, children hugged KYM volunteers and expressed their gratitude.
Monoglian officials also thanked to the KYM and Khen ch baikhgui for their efforts and presented certificate of appreciation them.
Link to article (includes video)
Mongolian wrestling crowns new 'National Lion'
Ulan Bator, July 20 (AFP) - Victory at Mongolia's top wrestling contest brought Enkhtuvshingiin Oyunbold a Toyota Land Cruiser, and something far more valuable: the title of "National Lion".
At 22, Oyunbold is the youngest ever champion of the Mongolian National Naadam Wrestling Tournament, after he made it through nine rounds undefeated.
The importance of traditional wrestling -- or "bokh" -- in Mongolia cannot be overstated, and it is of one the country's "three manly skills", along with archery and horsemanship.
For Mongolians throughout the vast steppe nation known as the land of the "Eternal Blue Sky", wrestling is sport, entertainment, and a key topic of conversation and aspiration.
The pinnacle comes during the annual summer festival of Naadam, which Mongolians have celebrated for eight centuries.
Most Mongolian parents hope their baby boys will grow up to wrestle, believing the sport makes their men strong, patient and tolerant.
Most who participate also train in other varieties of grappling sports such as judo, freestyle wrestling and Japanese sumo.
More than 70 percent of Mongolian Olympic medallists are wrestlers, and all three current holders of the highest rank in Japanese sumo, yokozuna or grand champion, are Mongolian.
Navaanii Khureltogoo, a 60-year-old woman who watched the final two rounds of Naadam wrestling at Ulan Bator's central stadium, welcomed the rise of new young wrestlers such as Oyunbold.
"They go through years of tough physical and mental training," she told AFP.
The tournament, at which 512 contestants fought over two days, "shows our men's character, splendour, power and resilience", she added.
Wrestlers practise outdoors under the watchful eyes of their trainers.
"It is extremely difficult to tell who will win because everybody did well during training," said contestant Khadbaatar Munkhbaatar, now 35, who became a National Lion in 2007.
"Mongolians say that the most fortunate man will win," he added at his "gal", or training camp.
Three days before Naadam, he and other wrestlers went up to the mountain peaks, seeking inspiration from the Naadam Tenger, a kind of Naadam god.
The spiritual side of the sport most colourfully manifests itself when grapplers perform a pre- and post-match "eagle" dance, flapping their arms in symbolic flight.
"Some wrestlers are very fortunate in Naadam wrestling," said M. Oyuntogtokh, a 40-year-old wrestling fan.
"I believe there must be a Naadam Tenger who blesses those who will win."
Mongolian child jockeys mount up at Naadam festival
July 15 (AFP) Battling summer heat and dust, child jockey Purevsurengiin Togtokhsuren rides his stallion across the vast Mongolian steppe.
Despite being only 13 years old, Togtokhsuren is riding for the fifth time in the national races for Mongolia's summer festival, known as Naadam, lining up against some 170 other child jockeys.
Riders chant hard to inspire their horses and Mongolians hope to be covered in the dust they kick up -- they believe it brings good luck.
The armies of Genghis Khan and his descendants rode their steeds to conquer a huge swathe of the Eurasian landmass and for 800 years, Mongolians have celebrated Naadam, which showcases the "three manly skills" of horsemanship, archery and wrestling.
The warm temperatures are also a welcome respite from long and brutally cold winters -- the reason Togtokhsuren himself rides horses for money.
His parents sent him to work as a jockey after they lost their livestock during the unusually harsh winter of 2010, known in Mongolia as a zud, in which millions of animals perished.
Togtokhsuren has taken to the sport and says he wants to coach other jockeys in the future, so that he can ride horses his entire life.
But the time away from family has taken a toll.
"I don't know what my parents do for a living while I'm away," says Togtokhsuren, whose serious mien and close-cropped hair give him an air of maturity beyond his years.
"I don't miss my mum because I've been living at my coach's for the last five years," he added.
Togtokhsuren would not say how much he makes, but Mongolian child jockeys usually earn 500,000 tugrik (about $250) a month -- which goes to their parents, while coaches pay for food and school materials.
There are incentives. A first place at the national races -- the most prestigious in the country -- entitles him to 20 percent of 15 million tugrik prize money from by the government, and often more from sponsor companies.
Though bathed in the glow of tradition, racing is also a hazard to the children who mount up -- some have died or suffered serious injuries -- and their plight has drawn the attention of UN agencies such as the International Labour Organization and UNICEF.
Mongolian horses are bred for stamina and distances are far longer than in Western racing.
Togtokhsuren took third and fourth place in Naadam races in 2014, but finished well down the line this year.
He came in 30th in the six-year-old stallion race, a 15-kilometre sprint, and 54th out of 172 in the five-year-old stallion competition, a 23-kilometre event.
But he withdrew from the Ikh-Nas, a run over the same distance for fully mature horses, saying his mount was too feeble to take part.
More than half of Mongolian pastureland has suffered from heat and lack of rainfall in recent months, resulting in little fresh summer grass and a parched look to the steppe.
"Because of the drought my horse is too weak to compete this year."
Photographer Captures Bewitching Images Of Mongolian Child Jockeys Racing Across The Steppes
July 17 (Huffington Post) Purevsurengiin Togtokhsuren is just 13 years old, but he's already a seasoned jockey. This year marked his fifth time competing in the horse races of Naadam, Mongolia's annual summer festival. The festival celebrates the three "manly arts" of Mongolian society -- horse racing, wrestling and archery.
Johannes Eisele photographed Purevsurengiin on July 8-11 during the Naadam races in Khui Doloon Khudag, near Ulaanbaatar.
Purevsurengiin's parents sent him to work as a jockey after a severe winter in 2010, the AFP reports. Mongolian child jockeys usually earn about $250 a month for their families, while their coaches pay for their food and school.
Mongolian races are far longer than Western ones, and Naadam courses can be anything from 15 to 30 kilometers long (nine to 18 miles) depending on the age of the horse. Despite a strong performance in 2014, Purevsurengiin came in 30th place in this year's race.
UNICEF has raised concerns about the safety of child jockeys. Two children were killed and 24 more were injured in the 2013 Nadaam races. "The use of children as jockeys for the purpose of making profit or entertainment is a violation of children's right to protection from exploitation and harmful labour and places them in great danger," it said in a statement.
Mongolia, Italy hosting joint gala opera concert in Formello
July 8 (infomongolia.com) Mongolia and Italy is jointly hosting a gala concert "La Cenerentola - Italian Opera 2015" on July 19, 2015 in Formello, Italy.
The concert is held in framework of project "La Cenerentola 2015, 2016" initiated by an Italian opera singer of Mongolian origin S.Ayana.
The project will be implemented through several phases for two years.
Joce Flint, a cowgirl from Mengha off to conquer Mongolia
July 17 (936 ABC Hobart) By her own admission, Joce Flint was overwhelming her facebook friends with a barrage of pictures from her back-paddock at Mengha, south of Stanley. She hurt her knee and it allowed her time to work on her photography; soon she was documenting unique and traditional lifestyle in Circular Head – cattle crossing the road during her mail-run, horseback droving on Robbins Island, even tourists bogged on wild beaches. Joce's facebook page is now popular, locally and beyond, but next is a challenge. A 19 day trek on horseback to see the reindeer people of Mongolia. Rick Eaves bailed her up at the start of her mail run for this chat....
Joanna Lumley's Trans-Siberian Adventure episode two: Mongolia
Last Sunday, Joanna Lumley stunned viewers with her brand new series Joanna Lumley's Trans-Siberian Adventure.
July 16 (STV) The one hour documentary saw the 69-year-old depart from Hong Kong on a legendary journey of epic proportions from East to West.
In episode two this Sunday, Joanna is in Mongolia and spends time with some Mongolian nomads.
She also visits a giant statue of Genghis Khan and a gold mine.
Joanna then spends time in the capital Ulan Bator, where she tracks down the amazing Mongolian throat singers before catching the train to Putin's Russia.
She meets Mongolian tradesmen on the train before crossing the border into Siberia.
Be sure to tune into STV on Sunday (July 19) at 9pm for all that and more from the celebrated British actress.
Five bodies found at Khuiten Peak of Altai Tavan Bogd Mountain
July 16 (gogo.mn) Five people climbing to Altain Tavan Bogd mountain in Bayan-Ulgii aimag went missing.
Yesterday Media and PR Officer B.Oyun-Erdene at the National Emergency Authority made clarifications of this matter.
According to her five bodies have been found at the Khuiten Peak of the Altai Tavan Bogd mountain and the bodies were not yet recognized as of the missing five climbers and the police department at the Bayan-Ulgii aimag are conducting the works on recognizing the bodies. The bodies are said to be transferred to Ulaanbaatar this morning.
According to NEMA the bodies were found on July 14th and the cause of death is initially states as due to the frost.
This year is the 100th anniversary of the first climb at the Altai Tavan Bogd Mountain. The 100th anniversary climbing has coincided with the Naadam Festival celebrations and many climbers and alpinists, both domestic and foreign, have headed to Altai Tavan Bogd.
50 youth soccer teams from six countries start competing in China
HOHHOT, China, July 16 (Xinhua) -- Young soccer players from Russia beat their Chinese counterparts 7-1 on Thursday in the opening match of an international youth football tournament in northern China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.
The team from Buryatia, one of Russia's republics, competed in an U-13 category with the team from Baotou, a city of Inner Mongolia.
More than 50 teams from six countries including Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Russia, Uzbekistan and host China participated in the tournament, running from July 16-26.
The U-13 category featured five-a-side games, while the U-15 teams played standard 11-a-side football.
A football-themed forum was held on the occasion as well on Thursday.
UB to Host "K" Group Games of AFC U-16 Qualifiers
Ulaanbaatar, July 16 (MONTSAME) The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has awarded a right to the Mongolian Football Association (MFA) to organize games of the "K" Group of the AFC U-16 Asian Championship for 2016 in Ulaanbaatar.
It is expected that the Group stage games will take place this September 16-20. The group has included national teams of Japan, Hong Kong, Brunei and Mongolia.
Eleven winners and four runner-ups of each group will be qualified to compete in the final of the AFC U-16 Asian Championship that will run September 15-October 2 of 2016 in India.
Coached by a Serbian expert Voislav Bralushich, the U-15 Mongolian national football team started intensive training from this July 8. The team has headed for China to take part in the Silk Road Cup.
The wild horses of Mongolia: Stunning photographs show glorious return of Przewalski's mares in an effort to save the species
· Four horses have been brought back to their native steppes in Mongolia's Takhin Tal Nature Reserve
· The Return of Wild Horses project is a collaboration between the Prague Zoo and the Czech Army
· The rare breeds are brought from Prague to Bulgan in a 24-hour journey requiring two stopovers for re-fuelling
July 17 (Daily Mail) In a complex and highly delicate operation, carried out with military precision, four wild Przewalski's horses have been returned to their native steppes, the Gobi desert region of southern Mongolia.
The Return of Wild Horses project was first launched in 2011 and this month, in a collaboration between Prague Zoo and the Czech Army, a fourth group of the rare breed was prepared for the arduous journey from the Kbely military air transportation base in Prague to Bulgan.
The 24-hour journey required two stopovers for re-fuelling, with the horses, named after a Russian explorer and naturalist during an expedition, being moved from Prague Zoo to an acclimatisation centre, Dolni Dobrejov, some 50 miles from the capital.
Scroll down for video
All four mares were born in different cities: Kira in Hungary's National Park in August 2008, Rabea in Leipzig in September 2009, Paradise in Paris in May 2009, and Querida in Prague Zoo in August 2012.
It was the role of head vet Roman Vodicka to administer the tranquilisers during this acclimatisation process and he had to use a double dosage of sedative on Querida who had sleeping difficulties.
Before being installed in their respective transport crates, the horses had blood samples taken by the vets.
Prague zoo to release further Przewalski horses in Mongolia
Prague, July 18 (CTK) - The Prague zoo will transfer another four mares of the Przewalski horse, a rare species on the brink of extinction, to Mongolia next year so that they can reunite with the horses that were taken there from Prague and released in the wild in the past years, Miroslav Bobek has told the media.
Four mares were flown to the Gobi B protected nature area earlier this month.
The next four will follow in June 2016, Bobek said.
In the meanwhile, another foal was born in the Przewalski horse herd in the Prague zoo on Sunday, July 12, he added.
In cooperation with the Czech military, the zoo has taken a total of 19 Przewalski horses to Mongolia in five transfers so far. One horse has died in Mongolia, but those surviving have 10 offspring already.
Bobek said the zoo wants to initiate an extension of the Gobi B reserve and possibly also to launch a closer cooperation with China on the Przewalski horse salvation.
The Prague zoo has been the world leader in breeding the rare horse species that was killed out in the wild 40 years ago and is being returned to its former habitats now.
"We do not focus on the transfers only. We also support a long sustainability of the wild horses' return. We have reconstructed a hospital in the area, constructed haylofts, and we support the activities of the environmentalists and the nature wardens in Gobi B," Bobek said.
At present, a total of about 500 Przewalski horses live in three localities in Mongolia, including 139 in Gobi B, the destination of the last four Prague transports.
This brought the wild horse population to the level before the winter 2009-2010 when almost two-thirds of the animals died as a result of unusually hard frosts.
The new foal in Prague is the 226th born in the zoo. Its mother is Jessica, from the Prague Przewalski horse family. Its father is Leon, a stallion from Ukraine.
The soap-opera lives of wild Przewalski's horses
July 16 (Horsetalk.co.nz) They fight over the affection of the ladies, chase off their foes, and one even sneaked across a river to join some mares in a fenced enclosure. Such are the soap-opera lifestyles of Przewalski's horses on the Mongolian steppe.
Conservationists are celebrating the successful return of four Przewalski's horses to their native Mongolia, where they will eventually join their wild compatriots.
The arrival of the mares Querida, Rabea, Kíra and Paradise marked the fifth successful transport of the endangered wild horses from the Prague Zoo in the Czech Republic to their native habitat on the Mongolian steppe.
Life for the four will certainly be interesting, judging by the tales that have emerged of the romantic escapades of their predecessors.
The animals are now settling into an acclimatization enclosure, where they will remain under the supervision of rangers for about a year.
"Only then they will get the chance to run freely across the endless Mongolian landscape," Prague Zoo's director, Miroslav Bobek, said.
Three mares from the previous airlift from the Czech Republic were released from the acclimatization enclosure – the Gobi B Strictly Protected Area – only days before the arrival of the newcomers.
Bobek provides a colorful account of how the mares from previous airlifts have assimilated into local life.
He said the mare from the 2012 airlift were checked out by two wild stallions – Mogoi and Erkhes.
"Erkhes sized up his chances. He chased away his competitor and stayed near the enclosure with the mares for so long that the rangers finally let him go in.
"These four mares comprise Erkhes's harem today and so far they have given him three foals. However, after more than two years of life in the wild they are so shy that it is impossible to approach them from closer than two kilometres," he said.
Mogoi had to wait for the four mares airlifed to the region in the summer 2013.
"Being faithful to his name, which means Snake, he sneaked into the enclosure with them through a small river," Bobek said.
"For a long time he lived only with these four mares – first in the acclimatization enclosure and then in the wild; only a few weeks ago he got a fifth one.
As for the three mares just released, the rangers of the protected area gave them the opportunity to become part of the harem of the young stallion Tanan.
Together with the three, Tanan had a harem of five mares and two foals.
"But everything changed only a few hours after this herd ran out of the enclosure," Bobek said.
"Tanan led them to the southwest and the same evening he bumped into Mogoi. Something unexpected happened: Mogoi took over the whole of Tanan's harem! So Tanan remained alone and Mogoi is leading a herd of 13 mares and 2 foals.
"I'm personally very curious if Mogoi will be able to keep his large harem, and which of the stallions will first of all become interested in Querida, Rabea, Kíra and Paradise."
The journey of the four mares took 36 hours in all, relying on an airlift by the Czech Army, which has so far transported 19 Przewalski´s horses to Mongolia in five flights.
Bobek said this year's operation was complicated by extreme heat in the Czech Republic and torrential rain in Mongolia.
Prague Zoo has played a significant role in the preservation of the Przewalski's horse, which became extinct in the wild at the end of 1960s. They have been gradually reintroduced to their native habitat over the last 25 years.
Prague Zoo is in charge of keeping the studbook. The horses transported so far have produced 10 offspring.
Altogether, there are about 500 Przewalski's horses living at three different locations in Mongolia. There are 137 of them in the Gobi B region.
Mongolia: One Month, One Nation
Mongolia, July 14 (Mission Network News) — 25 years ago, there were only four reported believers in the nation of Mongolia. Now, with over 40,000 believers, Mongolia is the 8th-fastest growing church in the world.
A huge part of it is because of Christian radio broadcasting.
"Far East Broadcasting, FEBC, has been involved in the country, taking the Gospel there for many years," says John Fugler of Reach Beyond.
"They've established a radio station…and it's been spreading throughout the country, adding repeaters and other stations to broadcast the Gospel."
The stations have proven to be effective. Recently, a new church was planted in the capital city of Mongolia by FEBC listeners.
After years of work, Reach Beyond has partnered with FEBC to help establish more stations.
"At Reach Beyond…we build radio stations in unreached parts of the world. Our team and their team got together and realized that we could be a part of this–be in partnership to make this happen," Fugler says.
The goal of the partnership is to work with local believers to put a station in each of the 21 provinces. But in countries like Mongolia, where the Gospel is just starting to take root, there are obstacles that get in the way.
"There's always opposition–spiritual opposition, political opposition–and other things that just go with that. You have to lean on the Lord [and] say, 'God you've opened this door, and we're going to walk through it.'"
While doors have been opening, one obstacle continues to hinder the progress: funding. However, a solution has recently presented itself.
"Moody Broadcasting came to us and said, 'We really like this partnership–this project. We'd like to tell our listeners about it and actually raise funds to accomplish this.'"
Fuglar adds, "That was a direct answer to prayer."
Mission Mongolia: One Month, One Nation
Now, during the month of July, the three partners are promoting Mission Mongolia to raise funds for three new stations.
"By the end of this month, you may see these three stations fully funded, and by the end of the year, those three stations broadcasting on the air," Fugler says.
"With these stations adding to the current network of stations, 90% of the population will be covered with Christian radio. So this is really strategic. Basically you're seeing virtually [the] entire country within reach of the Gospel being broadcast."
Moody Radio is telling its listeners about the project each day during July.
"The big event on Moody running this month culminates July 30 and 31. Four of their stations will take two full days to come to the climax of this campaign for Mission Mongolia."
Reach Beyond is also raising funds for their SonSet Effect project.
"The SonSet Radios are solar-powered, hand-held radios, fixed-tuned to the local Christian radio station," Fugler explains.
"We'll send 900 of these to Mongolia to be used at some of the radio stations that are being built. The radio station will then hand out these radios to people in the community and have an instant audience."
These tools help share the Gospel in places that missionaries can't go.
During this month, the three partners need your help to impact Mongolia for Christ. Take your next step to fund the stations, or the SonSet Effect project. Also, follow Reach Beyond's Mission Mongolia prayer list on their Facebook page.
"I think we're going to see some great things happen. This is just the beginning of what God's going to be doing in Mongolia."
Survivorman safely back in Toronto after Mongolian crash
Les Stroud flew from Mongolia with a punctured or collapsed lung, two broken ribs and a dislocated shoulder
HUNTSVILLE, July 14 (The Muskokan) - The man known for his survival skills has once again made it back safely.
Les Stroud, whose production company is based in Huntsville, has returned to Toronto after a vehicle collision in Mongolia on July 9 left him with numerous significant injuries. A post to Stroud's official Facebook page at roughly 10:30 a.m. on July 14 assures fans he is safely back in the country and shows the reality TV star in a hospital bed with numerous bandages on his abdomen.
The post, made by "Web Girl" to the page states, "Les has made it safety back to Toronto everyone! Breathing a sigh of relief - as painful as it may be for him with his punctured lung. He will be on his way back to good health after some surgery and of course some healing time. Thank you all for your thoughts, comments and well wishes!"
The post goes on to list his injuries as a dislocated shoulder, two broken ribs and a punctured or collapsed lung.
Stroud was reportedly in a vehicle that had been driving for seven hours over a desert grass field in Mongolia back to base camp when the rollover occurred. He said they were going and 50 miles per hour when it happened.
There were three other passengers in the vehicle at the time and Stroud said the other passengers received only scrapes and bumps.
"I and the other three who were in the car are lucky to be alive and a million people have it a lot worse off than i (sic) do right now - so i feel like a pussy complaining but thought I would give a little update - all this said - this hurts like hell!" said Stroud in a July 10 post to his Facebook page.
Stroud was in Mongolia shooting his new show, which he indicated will now be postponed. He had spent days waiting for a flight back to Toronto saying he wanted medical assistance in Canada.
Eastbourne pair set off for Mongolia - by car – Eastbourne Herald, July 21
It's Mongolia or bust in back of old ambulance for Hertford school friends – Hertfordshire Mercury, July 20
From Meltham to Mongolia - the Farnell brothers on the drive of a lifetime – The Huddersfield Daily Examiner, July 20
Mongol Rally trio seeking fun and adventure – Otago Daily Times, July 16
Woman to tackle 10,000 mile adventure to Mongolia in a 15-year-old Corsa – Halifax Courier, July 16
Mongolia or bust! Rally is no pushover for rugby trio – Nottingham Post, July 15
Former Stortford college student to drive tiny Suzuki to Mongolia – Herts & Essex Observer, July 15
Adventurers from Gloucester to drive to Mongolia in 1.2 litre Peugeot 106 – Gloucester Citizen, July 17
School mates Thomas, of Maldon, and Malcolm drive 10,000 miles Essex to Siberia – Essex Chronicle, July 10
Meet the Tartan Tourers – Daily Record, July 9
6th Floor, NTN Tower
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