Pages

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

[OT appoints underground GM; MNT/USD ₮0.99 shy of all-time low; BCM launches index; and Elbegdorj vetoes pardons for corruption]

Please click Display Images or Download Pictures to properly view this newswire

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Follow the news on Facebook, Twitter and view newswire archive here

Jump to: Overseas Market - Local MarketEconomyPolitics & LegalBusinessUlaanbaatarDiplomacy - Social, Environmental & Other

Headlines in Italic are ones modified by Cover Mongolia from original

 

Overseas Market

TRQ closed flat Monday at US$3.22, -9.04% in last 1 month

Oyu Tolgoi appoints general manager for underground development

Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, 17 August 2015 (Oyu Tolgoi LLC) Oyu Tolgoi has appointed Greg Field as General Manager - Underground, one of the key roles in the execution of the Oyu Tolgoi underground development, and, the first of a number of key roles being filled as Oyu Tolgoi progresses towards development of the underground project.

In this new position, Greg Field will play a major role in preparations for underground mining at Oyu Tolgoi.

Andrew Woodley – President and CEO, Oyu Tolgoi, said: "The development of the underground mine is a vital part of our long-term future as a business, and we are pleased to announce Greg Field's appointment to this important role. Greg's breadth of experience – spanning various roles at Oyu Tolgoi, and senior positions in block caving projects and mine construction around the world – will be a great asset to the project."

Greg Field previously held a variety of roles in Oyu Tolgoi, most recently as General Manager, Infrastructure and Services. He has more than 20 years of mining experience across Asia, Africa and Australia, with extensive senior experience in block caving, which will be used at Oyu Tolgoi underground mine.

Prior to joining Oyu Tolgoi, Greg Field was General Manager, Operational Readiness at Argyle Diamond Mine in Australia. He has a degree in mining engineering from the University of Johannesburg.

Link to release

 

FMG Mongolia Fund, July 2015: -9.07%, -8.64% YTD, -60.9% Since Jan'12 Launch

August 17 (FMG Funds) --

Link to fund page

Back to top

Local Market

MSE News for August 17: Top 20 -0.38%, MSE ALL +0.12%, Turnover 1.3 Million

Ulaanbaatar, August 17 (MONTSAME) At the Stock Exchange trades on Monday, a total of 349 units of 10 JSCs were traded costing MNT one million 333 thousand and 810.00.

"Mongol Savkhi" /128 units/, "Remikon" /50 units/, "Gobi" /50 units/, "Baganuur" /40 units/ and "Darkhan Khuns" /22 units/ were the most actively traded in terms of trading volume, in terms of trading value were "Gobi" (MNT 434 thousand), "Niislel Orgoo" (MNT 195 thousand), "UB-BUK" (MNT 174 thousand and 900), "Mongol Savkhi" (MNT 128 thousand), and "Baganuur" (MNT 112 thousand and 10).

The total market capitalization was set at MNT one trillion 296 billion 595 million 545 thousand and 73. The Index of Top-20 JSCs was 13,218.47, decreasing 0.38% and the all index of MSE was 960.89, increasing 0.12% against the previous day.

Link to article

Link to MSE trading report

 

Binse JSC Public Offering Begins Secondary Market Trading

August 17 (MSE) The primary market trading of "Binse" JSC conducted between 03 June 2015 and 28 July 2015, and its 150,814 shares out of total public offered 800,000 shares traded though Mongolian Stock Exchange /MSE/. 

Pursuant to the Resolution No.:1/3703 of Financial Regulatory Commission /FRC/ of 2015, the primary market trading of "Binse" JSC were considered as a successful, and FRC informed that the secondary market trading will be traded through MSE. Therefore, the secondary market trading of "Binse" JSC is starting from 17 August 2015. 

Link to release

 

MSE Market Makers Report: BDSec, Tenger Capital, Standard Investment

August 17 (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 15 August 2015, total of 506 order of the Government retail bonds have been planned to submit and performance of Market Makers shows following results "BDSec"-68.38%, "Standard Investment"-26.09% and "Tenger Capital"-66.32%

As of 15 August 2015  

Securities company

Orders planned to submit

Orders submitted

Percentage

1

BDSec

506

346

68.38

2

Standard Investment

506

132

26.09

3

Tenger Capital

506

335.6

66.32

Link to release

Back to top

Economy

BoM MNT Rates: Monday, August 17 Close

 

 

8/17

8/14

8/13

8/12

8/11

8/10

8/7

8/6

8/5

8/4

8/3

7/31

7/30

7/29

7/28

http://www.mongolbank.mn/images/iconexchange/usd.png

USD

1,992.93

1,992.16

1,991.18

1,990.59

1,989.00

1,988.42

1,987.92

1,987.84

1,987.99

1,988.03

1,986.27

1,985.06

1,985.06

1,982.42

1,978.80

http://www.mongolbank.mn/images/iconexchange/eur.png

EUR

2,211.75

2,223.45

2,213.59

2,204.78

2,181.04

2,179.61

2,170.21

2,168.53

2,159.95

2,178.48

2,184.00

2,174.24

2,176.82

2,190.28

2,187.76

http://www.mongolbank.mn/images/iconexchange/cny.png

CNY

311.65

311.28

310.30

308.71

314.39

320.21

320.14

320.11

320.14

320.15

319.87

319.67

319.68

319.29

318.68

http://www.mongolbank.mn/images/iconexchange/gbp.png

GBP

3,122.62

3,109.46

3,109.82

3,100.84

3,094.69

3,080.76

3,082.27

3,098.18

3,106.20

3,101.63

3,107.02

3,094.11

3,097.59

3,093.37

3,079.01

http://www.mongolbank.mn/images/iconexchange/rub.png

RUB

30.49

30.67

31.18

30.77

31.33

30.86

31.08

31.35

31.62

31.44

32.00

33.16

33.53

33.26

33.06

Bank rates at time of sending: TDB (Buy ₮1,982 Sell ₮1,997), Khan (Buy ₮1,980 Sell ₮1,996), Golomt (Buy ₮1,980 Sell ₮1,997), XacBank (Buy ₮1,985 Sell ₮1,997), State Bank (Buy ₮1,984 Sell ₮1,998)

MNT vs USD (blue), CNY (red) in last 1 year:

Link to rates

 

Mogi: BoM has no English press updates since Thursday

BoM issues 95 billion 1-week bills at 13%, total outstanding lowest since May at 348.85 billion

Date

Min Rate

Average Rate

Max Rate

Amount

Outstanding Amount

2015/08/17

13.00

13.00

13.00

95000

348850

2015/08/14

13.00

13.00

13.00

55000

416850

2015/08/12

13.00

13.00

13.00

198850

486850

2015/08/10

13.00

13.00

13.00

163000

488950

2015/08/07

13.00

13.00

13.00

125000

491150

2015/08/05

13.00

13.00

13.00

200950

563650

2015/08/03

13.00

13.00

13.00

165200

461550

Link to table

 

Transport Sector Statistics: Rail -5.3% Freight, -16.6% Passengers, -8.6% Revenue, Air -19.6%, -12.2%, +3%

Ulaanbaatar, August 17 (MONTSAME) In the first seven months of 2015, 10513.9 thousand tons of freight and 1671.3 thousand passengers (double counting) were carried by railway transport. Compared to the same period of 2014, the carried freight decreased by 585.9 thousand tons or 5.3 percent and the number of carried passengers --by 333.8 thousand people or 16.6 percent.

The revenue from railway transport in the first 7 months of 2015 reached MNT 214.0 billion, reflecting decrease of 20.0 billion Togrog or 8.6 percent compared to the same period of the previous year.

In the same reporting period, 1574.7 tons of freight and 353.5 thousand passengers (double counting) were carried by air transport. Compared to the end of July, 2014, carried freight by airplane decreased by 384.7 tons or 19.6 percent and the number of passengers decreased by 49.0 thousand people or 12.2 percent.

In the first 7 months of 2015, the revenue from air transport reached MNT 140.8 billion. The revenue increased by 4.1 billion Togrog or 3.0 percent compared to the same period of the previous year.

Link to article

 

Carrot, Potato, Cabbage Prices Up 13-37% from Last Month

August 17 (gogo.mn) As of August 12th,

  • prices for packaged high-quality flour were increased by 0.3 %
  • prices for first grade flour were increased by 2.9%
  • prices for packaged second grade flour were increased by 0.5% compared with the previous month.

Compared with the previous week, prices for packaged high quality flour were increased by 0.6% while prices for first grade flour were decreased by 1.0%.

Average prices for rice and sugar

As of August 12th, prices for rice were risen by 2.3 percent compared with previous month and previous week besides prices for sugar were stable compared with revious month and previous week.

Average prices for potato and vegetables

As of August 12th, prices for potato and vegetables were increased by;

  • Prices for potato - 23.8 percent,
  • Prices for carrot - 13.0 percent,
  • Prices for cabbage - 37.0 percent,
  • Prices for turnip - 23.2 percent,
  • Prices for onion - 5.5 percent.

Compared with the previous week, prices for potato were risen by 0.9%, prices for turnip were risen by 5.0% while prices for carrot were dropped by 13.1%.

Average prices for milk, egg, vegetable oil and butter

As of August 12th, prices for packaged 1L milk were decreased by 1.9 percent compared with the average prices of previous month and week.

Prices for egg have dropped by 0.7 percent compared with the previous month and week.

Prices for vegetable oil were increased by 3.7 percent compared with the previous month while increased by 2.7 percent compared with the previous week.

Prices for butter were increased by 2.8 percent compared with the previous month and increased by 2.1 percent compared with the previous week.

Link to article

Back to top

Politics & Legal

Mogi: Elbegdorj issued a partial veto on the amnesty law, specifically on the articles that pardon corruption cases

Parliament Commission to Implement Amnesty Law Holds First Meeting

August 17 (Parliament.mn) On August 17, 2015, Commission administered by standing committee on Legal affairs of the State Great Hural (Parliament) has held its first meeting on organizing an implementation of the recently ratified Law on Pardon.

At today's commission meeting, members authorized the Cabinet to allocate relevant fund from the state budget for expenditure in delivering excused people from detention centers/prisons to provincial regions.

Also, it was agreed to form a sub-commission comprised of representatives from judges, prosecutors and lawyers.

At the first meeting, the Commission head, Chairman of the standing committee on Legal affairs, MP D.Ganbat; MP O.Baasankhuu; MP Ts.Oyungerel; Commission deputy head, Vice minister of Justice Ts.Uugangerel; Commission secretary, Deputy head of General executive agency of court decision G.Tuulkhuu and other officials were present.

Link to release

 

Chairman of Parliament Conducting Working Visit to Uvs Aimag

August 17 (Parliament.mn) On August 17-18, 2015, Chairman of the State Great Hural (Parliament) Zandaakhuu ENKHBOLD has been conducting a working visit to Uvs aimag to meet provincial authorities and familiarize with local development and its activities.

During the working visit, Chairman Z.Enkhbold paid tribute to the monument of Marshal Yu.Tsedenbal by laying a wreath. Also, he got acquainted with ongoing Street project being implemented in Ulaangom Sum, where newly erected and constructed garden park, thermal power station and apartment residency have been opened its doors. Besides, Speaker Z.Enkhbold will be familiarizing with activities of local meat, foam, iron and wood plants.

Link to release

 

EITI Chair in Mongolia: "No real transparency without people's involvement"

August 17 (Mongolian Mining Journal) Clare Short, International EITI Chair, was recently in Mongolia at the invitation of the Government's Cabinet Secretariat. She spoke to G.Iderkhangai of the MMJ on the sidelines of an EITI event in Bayangol soum, Selenge aimag.

What brings you to Mongolia for your second visit?

I regularly travel to many countries in the EITI and am nowhere to hear local views and opinions and to get a first-hand idea of how the extractive industry is running in Mongolia. 

Just writing reports is not enough, the main thing for EITI is to reach people in a simple and comprehensive manner. This open day in Bayangol will, on the one hand, give people a correct understanding of and information about EITI work, and, on the other, allow us to hear their opinion, which enriches the report and throws up ideas about how to improve operations of the extractive industry.

What does EITI see as Mongolia's accomplishments?

The Mongolian EITI report is known for its thickness. It is replete with information but some wonder if ordinary people can absorb it all, or if they are all useful or usefully presented. We have taken measures to see that our reports make more sense to people. We have divided information about the extractive industry into categories, made our presentation simpler, and put all reports online.

Our accessible electronic data base will be of great help to journalists, researchers, policymakers -- everybody. In terms of opening up information, the EITI Mongolia website is a big step.

Proper implementation of EITI principles is possible only when there is trust between the state, the private sector and the public. How far is such partnership seen in  Mongolia?

The Mongolian Government is very interested in cooperating with EITI Mongolia. So is the civil society. The mood is not upbeat, with mineral products prices falling, but this has not affected the general commitment to EITI. 

EITI has a global reach, and Mongolia is among approximately 50 countries that are actively supporting the initiative. Minerals are gifts to a country from Nature or Earth. So many things in our daily life and use are from extracted minerals that it is not so correct to say, "I don't like mining".

While there are good companies, operating responsibly and paying taxes fairly, there are also companies whose practices upset people. In earlier days, mining sector operations were generally closed to community scrutiny. People did not know much about how the industry worked and hence did not concern themselves with what licences companies held, what taxes they paid, how their extraction work was done, and many such things. Things began to change when people realised that much money was being made behind the mystery.

EITI was established to replace the mystery of the extractive industry with transparency. Success in this is possible only if the major stakeholders -- the civil society, the government and the private sector-- participate and cooperate in the exercise. 

What are the results EITI hopes for with such cooperation and participation?

First, correct and reliable information will be accessible. Second, mining operations will be run in a fair manner. Third, ordinary people will benefit from their country's natural resources. It is indeed heartening that countries where the EITI is being implemented have shown positive changes and results. People are starting to understand the initiative. 

We initiate the implementation process of EITI in a country, but changes happen only after the parties begin to cooperate in reforming and improving the mining sector. To help in this, we give necessary information and support to the target groups.

The first five annual reports of EITI Mongolia mostly offered copies of the companies' balance sheets and government accounts of taxes received. We were also working towards bringing together representatives of the government, companies and the civil society for open exchange of  information, to allay misunderstandings based on rumours and wrong perception. This was the first move from EITI in Mongolia. 

EITI is to change its reporting norms and focus from October 1. How are you preparing for this in Mongolia?

Representatives from EITI implementing countries decided at the 2013 global conference in Sydney, Australia, that our reports would go beyond balance sheets and cover other areas of the operation of both state and private mining companies. Our aim is to show that proper management of mining operations entails transparency in disclosing terms of contract, conditions governing any licence, manner of operation practised by state-owned companies, total revenue allotted to the local government, how mining revenue is spent, how the country plans its economic growth policy after its mineral resources are exhausted and such. 

All this will apply in Mongolia. A UN convention says local citizens have to be treated the same as aboriginal people when seeking their approval of a mining project. In Mongolia, however, there is no clarity onif local communities can be considered in the same way. 

What has interested you the most at the EITI event in Bayangol?

There was a complaint that companies get their mine rehabilitation plan approved by the Environment Ministry, without reference to the local community. This needs change. The local government must have the right to review any such plan. There can be no real transparency without people's involvement.

The same is true of mining revenue. Mining activity can support local development and improve people's lives, but at the same time, it can also encourage corruption, seen in the big black hole left behind at mine closure. EITI wants to ensure that mining profits are shared with the local people. 

You said people's involvement is important for the success of EITI. But in Mongolia, many do not have adequate knowledge and understanding of working in mining, which leads them to reject employment in the sector.

Of course nobody wants their children to become lifelong artisanal gold miners. Mining must be developed in a focused and sustainable manner, which we do not see at present in artisanal gold mining. 

In the Philippines, they are using EITI to address issues faced by their artisanal miners. In Mongolia, too, the report can be prepared with an eye on how artisanal mining can be organised more efficiently and how it could be sustainably developed. The EITI secretariat team can study the Philippines' experience and how its results can be applied in Mongolia.

During the event here, I was struck by how strong and established democratic sentiments are in  Mongolia. I was very happy to see people express their opinions and suggestions openly and without any fear and how the government respects and discusses these with them.  I hope that more opportunity will come to adopt initiatives from local citizens, once an EITI subcommittee is established in Bayangol soum.

Why is Norway taken as one of the better examples where natural resources revenue is spent prudently?

Norway is indeed a good example but it has the advantage of being a developed country, which means it already has money, and can use its natural resources in a planned way and spend the revenue, without any immediate pressure. Less prosperous countries do not have that luxury, as lack of disposable funds forces them to earn money from mining as fast and as early a possible and then to spend it to meet various short-term demands. Mining itself is not a sustainable sector, but mining revenue can be used for sustainable development. We have to be careful that we look to long-term benefits, and do not spend all on immediate needs. 

Link to article

 

Back to top

Business

The BCM Business Growth Index Q2'15: +3.4 °C

August 14 (BCM) The BCM Business Growth Index is a regular barometer of business climate in Mongolia which tracks movements in business confidence quarterly. This first release of the Business Growth Index relates to the Second Quarter of 2015. 

This quarter the Business Growth Index Temperature is +3.4 Degrees Celsius!

Link to release

 

Before entering large markets: Issues facing Mongolian SMEs

By. G.Orkhon

August 17 (Mongolian Economy) While participating in the Ulaanbaatar Investment 2015 forum, the Director of Best Shoes LLC, B.Tuvdennyam said, "Today, our company has signed a contract to export 200 shoes to the Netherlands." It is evident from his words that Mongolia has the opportunity to compete internationally and build a standard industry in the country. Like him, many entrepreneurs were saying that they have already started selling their products globally during the "National Symposium of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises" held last month. Clearly these small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) constituting 70 percent of the total GDP have their eyes on the global market.

It has been said that the government, especially the newly established Ministry of Industry, will support export and import substitution and industrialization through policy. Currently, SMEs make up only 0.7 percent of the country's total exports. Therefore, Head of Small and Medium Industry Policy Regulation Agency in Ministry of Industry, G.Bilguun, said they must prepare SMEs' export capacity. The Ministry of Industry will put emphasis on financing projects that will introduce new, innovative technologies and support output and production for exporting. The government is planning to finance SMEs with MNT 70 billion worth of low-interest loans.

More than 80 percent, or 50,600 people, of the entrepreneurs are engaged in SMEs. Most of them are concentrated in the capital. Thus, entrepreneurs said we must pay attention to the labor force and human resources first, in order to develop this sector and to expand the market. They also said our country's labor force development system is not up to par. As a result, there is a shortage of professionals and experts in the marketplace. Therefore, there is a need to train these subpar professionals and experts in conjunction with relevant organisations. At the moment, private sector participation in the economy, an essential aspect of developing the current labor force and meeting demand, is at 60 percent. On the other hand, university and college professors were saying during the forum that entrepreneurs should provide students with an opportunity to practice and gain experience.

We lack state support

The majority of the SMEs are engaged in wool, cashmere, textiles, woodwork, leather and food production. They stated that there are many issues when putting goods manufactured in Ulaanbaatar on the international market, as well as hindrances in doing business domestically.

T.Otgonbayar /General Director of TACO, LLC/:

-Mongolian companies kneel down at small sign of economic volatility. The social insurance tax needs to be reduced. Promising small and large businesses should be supported. The tax base must be expanded legally. We need to computerise the employment process. Manufacturing is associated with the labor force. Public policy should target to those who want work. Please establish a labor training center. As for infrastructure, our country has linked faraway provinces with the city by paved roads, so it's easier to transport goods to and from the city now. So now, we need to introduce better postal services.

The government needs to think about how to transform herders to manufactures, we need to make them agriculturally cooperative. Land issues remain a problem for manufacturing. We can›t acquire land, even when willing to pay for it. There is no support at all. The private sector participates in international trade fairs at their own expense. We simply lack state support.

Ch.Ganbat /General Director of Gazar Shim, LLC/:

-Since transitioning to a market economy, the food industry has been the most successful industry, that is, until now. Our country doesn't have a laboratory that analyses the internal components of imported products. It's common for results to differ when analysed in Mongolia as opposed to being analysed abroad. We have a lot of potential to export our products. However domestic analyses of products and goods are not meeting international standards. Therefore, the government should support testing and analysis centers. Russia has stated that they're ready to buy our products if we meet their analysis requirements. Mongolia needs to be recognised as a global organic and natural food manufacturer, so the government needs to emphasise this and provide support. It is difficult for us manufacturers to meet international standards and certifications all on our own. Therefore, we lack state support. Manufacturing will not develop without innovation. In fact, every sector must make an innovation in order to raise Mongolia›s level of competitiveness. There are entrepreneurs who can establish an industrial or infrastructure park without any state financing.

B.Tuvdennyam /Director of Best Shoes, LLC/: 

-We took an MNT two billion loan via Chinggis bonds. Leather processing factories like "Darkhan Nekhii" want to give their raw materials to us and put their finished products into foreign markets. We're very optimistic about the economic partnership agreement with Japan. In the past, we exported handbags to Japan. In doing so, we exported our products through retail because the customs duty was uncertain. Now we believe an opportunity for us is here. We have a positive opinion on high cost imported goods, because people would not want to buy expensive poor quality goods. The government needs to support manufacturing for domestic demands by a policy, rather than yearning for exports. 

Entrepreneurs are facing issues such as these when doing business. In the past month, representatives of SMEs voiced their opinions to relevant officials at several meetings and conferences. Head of Small and Medium Industry Policy Regulation Agency of the Ministry of Industry, G.Bilguun, said that the Ministry of Industry is emphasising the development of business clusters. Furthermore, the Minister of Industry, D.Erdenebat, stressed that "the government will cooperate with the private sector and academic institutions to develop a program to support innovative projects initiated by the youth." The Minister of Industry has signed a contract to develop an industrial park with the relevant authorities in Erdenet and Darkhan. G.Bilguun said that it is also possible to establish the much needed industrial parks in Ulaanbaatar and develop this sector. 

Emphasis on results

Enterprises operating in the capital and its employees are the largest investors in the development of the city. Deputy Mayor of Labor and Social Protection Affairs of Ulaanbaatar, Ts.Buyandalai, said that the private sector is the largest sector investing in Ulaanbaatar. He said, "It's the government and city administration's responsibility to support the enterprises engaged in manufacturing. We have allocated a MNT 15.2 billion fund for it in the budget. MNT 100 million worth of funding will be provided to every khoroo of the capital. The new policy of the city administration affords each khoroo the right to choose who gets the loans." In order to make Ulaanbaatar a city with greater economic capacity, current social issues need to be resolved. According to Ts.Buyandalai, economic capacity can be improved by increasing the citizens' average salary. Therefore, it is good to support the enterprises that provide jobs.

There are several organisations that support the development of SMEs, one of them being the city owned "Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency." The Head of SMEDA, B.Odgerel, said, "We're emphasizing the providing of loans from Small and Medium Enterprises Fund to manufacturers without any setback. We granted MNT five billion last year. As for this year, MNT one billion has come into the fund at the moment. This year, MNT one billion is placed in the Guaranteed Credit Fund. Banks receive the financing project and send us the collateral verification results. As a result, we finance acceptable projects." As of today, the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Fund has granted more than MNT 3.9 billion loans to a total of 41 enterprises including 13 dairy farming and four pig farming enterprises. B.Odgerel said that the city is focusing more on enterprises which have potential, even though very few enterprises are being afforded loans. Currently, the agency has a financing of MNT 15 billion that will be lent to small business owners. There are also the government and Development Bank loans. Thus, it can be seen that there is a relatively large number of borrowing options. However, the question is how the entrepreneurs are going to be involved in these loans.

Small and medium-sized enterprises encounter many obstacles during development. It is inefficient to limit this sector to solely the domestic market demand. Experts briefly stated that we are not thinking about to whom and for what our production is intended. SMEs should study the global market and market demand, instead of manufacturing based on their personal interests. During Ulaanbaatar Investment 2015 forum under the theme "Partnership for Development," professor L.Oyuntsetseg talked about how a certain Japanese professor›s dog was resting on a felt mat with a picture of Genghis Khan on it. It is an example of how we are not thinking about the products we are manufacturing today. In other words, knowledge-based manufacturing is lacking.

Experts stressed that public-private partnerships must solve SMEs' issues together. An opportunity to develop small and medium-sized enterprises should be presented if government shares the burdens of entrepreneurs and solve their issues together. At the same time, the experiences of highly developed countries can also help us to resolve the issues we are facing today.

Link to article

 

Mongolia to Host 11th Northeast Asian Tourism Forum, August 20-21

August 17 (gogo.mn) According to the 11th IFNAT in Ulaanbaatar on August 20-21, officials from the Ministry of Tourism, City Tourism Department, Tourism Department of Mongolian Chamber of Commerce and Mongolian Tourism Association made an announcement to the public today.

The Ministry of Environment, Green Development and Tourism, City Tourism Department, Tourism Department of Mongolian Chamber of Commerce and Mongolian Tourism Association are jointly organizing the forum.

This year, following delegations have registered to participate;

20 delegations from China

40 delegations from Japan

50 delegations from South Korea

10 delegations from Russia

120 delegations from Mongolia.

Mongolia hosted the forum in 2008 for the first time which addressed the issues of eco-tourism.

This year, the forum will be held under the theme MICE tourism (Tourism for meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions). Moreover, speech contest between international students to be held under the topic "Developing eco-tourism in Northeast Asia".

Over 40 speeches to be presented at the forum including how to develop tourism in Northeast Asia and how to develop business tourism in Ulaanbaatar city.

Main objectives of the IFNAT are to determine the participation of tourism in Northeast Asian regional development, discuss urgent problems faced to the regional tourism sector, to co-formulate solutions for overcoming difficulties, to strengthen the ties with regional countries in the tourism sector, increase the exchange of cross-border travelers, discover new and more effective opportunities for tourism and to share experiences and information.

State agencies of tourism, researchers, travel agencies and students attend in the IFNAT, reported by the Ministry of Environment, Green Development and Tourism.

Link to article

 

C&IT Venue of the Week: Shangri-La Hotel, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

C&IT Venue of the Week is the Shangri-La Hotel, Ulaanbaatar, which opened in June in the Mongolian capital.

August 17 (Conference & Incentive Travel Magazine) Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts' latest luxury opening is in the Mongolian capital Ulaanbaatar, which is expanding at a rate of knots.

In 2016, the 290-room hotel will be connected to the Shangri-La Centre, a 28-storey luxury development that will house commercial and retail space, as well as exclusive apartments.

Delegates will be within walking distance of various historical sites.

Rooms begin at 42sqm with complimentary wi-fi. The 84m2 executive suites, meanwhile, include access to the Horizon Club Lounge on the 21st floor.

The hotel's meeting space contains eight multi-functional rooms and Mongolia's largest event space, the Grand Ballroom, which can host 800.

Groups can dine in the property's signature restaurant Huton, serving Chinese cuisine, or enjoy a nightcap on the outdoor terrace of the pub-themed bar and grill.

Wi-fi: free throughout

Link to article

Back to top

Ulaanbaatar

DrinkEntrepreneurs Ulaanbaatar #3 to be held on Aug 20

August 17 (gogo.mn) DrinkEntrepreneurs Ulaanbaatar #2 was successfully held on June 24th.

Initially launched for fun in Paris, DrinkEntrepreneurs is going global, with events organized in more than 30 cities such as Shanghai, London, Paris, Dublin, Berlin, San Francisco, Buenos Aires, Singapore and now in Ulaanbaatar.

- Impression of participants of Drink Entrepreneurs #2 – 

The main purpose of the event is to expand the circle of acquaintances of entrepreneurs and people who are planning to start its business and to encourage them.

"DrinkEntrepreneurs" which is attended by not only businesses, but also you, will be held on Thursday (Aug 20th) at 07PM at Sky Lounge, Central Tower. The only rule of the event is "Particpitate, meet with others and participate again.".

DrinkEntrepreneurs is not just an event – it's a movement that is slowly but steadily becoming a key connector in local entrepreneurship scenes.

So NO TAGS, NO CODING, just get to know each other with a drink!

For more information on the event, please visit at its official FACEBOOK page.

If you want to register for the event, please click here.

Link to article

Back to top

Diplomacy

Mongolia Opens Honorary Consulate in Eskisehir, Turkey

August 17 (MFA, Mongolia) An openning ceremony of the Honorary consulate of Mongolia in the city of Eskishehir, Turkey was held on August 14, 2015. On the ceremony the governor of Eskishehir province Gunger Azim Tuna, the mayor of the city prof. Yilmaz Buyukershen, the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Mongolia B.Batkhishig and Honorary consul of Mongolia Ilhan Koce had congratulatory speeches.

The ambassador B.Batkhishig in his speech stressed an importance of establishing of Honorary consulate in Eskishehir-one of the industrial and cultural center of Turkey as a significant event in the history of friendly relations between Mongolia and Turkey and expressed his belief that the Honorary consul, Mr.Ilhan Kose will exert all his capacity and possibilities to expand bilateral trade and economic cooperation, to increase a number of students and to safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of Mongolian citizens residing in the city. He handed over a stamp of the Honorary consul to Mr. Ilhan Kose.

The senior adviser to the Prime Minister of Turkey prof.Emine Nur Gunai, members of parliament prof. Gaye Usluer, Jemal Okan Yuksel and chairmans and members of Trade and Industrial chambers also attended the ceremony.

After the ceremony Ambassador B.Batkhishig had a meeting with the governor of Eskishehir province Mr. Gunger Azim Tuna. He also met the rector of Anadolu university prof.Naji Gundogan, the rector of the Osmangazi university prof.Hasan Gonen and mongolian students and talked about their training and living conditions.So far almoust 200 mongolian students graduated from these two universities and now more than 30 students are studying here.

The city of Eskishehir which is located around 230 km to the west of Ankara has 685000 inhabitants and produces railway locomotives, fighter aircraft engines, trucks, home appliances, agricultural equipments, textiles, brick, cement, chemicals and also is very famous for its crafts, souvenirs made from a meerschaum or foam of the sea.

Link to release

Back to top

Social, Environmental & Other

Students' Union collecting signatures against increase in tuition fees

August 17 (gogo.mn) Mongolian Student Association expressed their views regarding the increase in tuition fees. They have started to collect signatures from students who are protesting against the increase in tuition fees.

E.Batjargal - Foreign Affairs Chief Officer at Mongolian Student Union:

"Universities increase their tuition fees annually. We have not contest the increase in tuition fee. We claim to report the expenditure of tuition fees. Even they say that the fees spend for the improvement of library and training hall, we all know this is false. Moreover, dormitory fee were increased this year. Basic charge is included in dormitory fee of National University of Mongolia and the expenditure is uncertain.

Mongolian Student Association has planned to organize press conference on Wednesday (on Aug 19) in connection with increase in tuition fee and dormitory fee. 

Link to article

 

75 couples marrying today on auspicious day

August 17 (gogo.mn) Today is worshiped as the auspicious day for Mongolians. There are many couples who will marry on this day.

Especially, 75 couples ordered to register their marriage at Wedding Palace. However, as September 29th is the most auspicious day for Mongolians, registration order of Wedding Palace have already finished.

There are still many couples to be registered their marriage not depending on the auspicious day.

According to the report of National Registration Department, 9517 couples were registered their marriage in last month (July), of which 8140 couples were registered their marriage for the first time. 

Link to article

 

ACMS: This Month in Mongolian Studies, August 2015

August 2015 (American Center for Mongolian Studies) "This Month in Mongolian Studies" is a monthly listing of selected academic activities and resources related to Mongolia. This list is based on information the ACMS has received and is presented as a service to its members. If you would like to submit information to be included in next month's issue please contact the ACMS at info@mongoliacenter.org and/or the editor, Marissa Smith, at msmith@mongoliacenter.org.

This publication is supported in part by memberships.  Please consider becoming a member of the ACMS, or renewing your membership by visiting our website at mongoliacenter.org/join.  Thank you!

In this Issue:

·         ACMS Announcements

·         ACMS Sponsored Programs and Events

·         Calls for Papers, Conferences, and Workshops

·         Research Fellowships, Scholarships and Grants

·         New Research Resources

·         Other News and Events

·         Recent Publications

Link to newsletter

 

Shakespeare's Globe Theatre brings its world tour production of Hamlet to Mongolia

August 13 (U.K. Embassy) Last night the British Embassy was delighted to welcome the Globe theatre to Mongolia as part of their world tour to celebrate the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare's birth.  Shakespeare is a great British icon, and it was a real privilege to see one of his most famous plays enjoyed by a Mongolian audience.

This completely unprecedented theatrical adventure will see Hamlet tour every country on earth over 2 years. Sixteen extraordinary men and women are currently travelling across the seven continents, performing in a huge range of unique and atmospheric venues.

Speaker of Parliament Enkhbold and other Members of Parliament and Ministers to the State Academic Drama Theatre of Ulaanbaatar came along to watch a once in lifetime opportunity performance of Hamlet by the Globe Theatre.  This is part of the Globe Theatre's grand world tour celebrating the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare's birth.

Dominic Dromgoole, Artistic Director of Shakespeare's Globe and Director of Hamlet said:

'Globe to Globe Hamlet was created with the aim of performing Hamlet to as many people as possible, in as diverse a range of places as possible. The central principle of the tour is that Shakespeare can entertain and speak to anyone, no matter where they are on earth; and that no country or people are not better off for the lively presence of Hamlet.'

Globe to Globe Hamlet has been performed in over 100 countries across the Americas, Europe and Africa to more than 89,000 people, with over 1/2 of the whole tour now complete. The team will next be heading to South Korea followed by Japan.

Our special thanks go to the State Academic Drama Theatre, UK Alumni and Gohelp Charity whose support was greatly appreciated and without which this spectacular event could not have gone ahead.

www.facebook.com/ukinmongolia, @HMAArnold, #globe_theatre

For further information please contact louise.edwards2@fco.gov.uk.

***

 

Mongolia medal-less for the first time at wrestling Junior World Championships

August 17 (gogo.mn) Mongolia sent teams consisted of four male and two female free style wrestlers in all three Olympic styles to the UWW Junior World Championships which was held in Salvador, Brazil, August 11-16.

Mongolian team were chaired by Vice President of Mongolian Free Style Wrestling Federatiom B.Batzaya, State Honored Trainer Ts.Hosbayar, Trainer of Hasu-Megastars Club Yo.Batdarhan and teacher of Ireeduin Odod secondary school in Orhon aimag B.Idersaihan.

Mongolian wrestlers have competed at UWW Junior World Championships since 2007 and won medals in every year. However, no medals were received by the athletes of Mongolia this year.

Even, Z.Zanabazar who was the only hope for Mongolian team, wrestled for silver medal at 55kg category with Indian athlete at the last day of the tournament, he was defeated by the Indian athlete either lost at silver medal wrestling.

Link to article

 

Kyrgyzstan U16 takes 2nd at China tournament beating Mongolia 5-0

Bishkek, August 17 (AKIpress) - A youth football team of Kyrgyzstan is continuing its preparations for the start of the qualifying round of the Asian Football Confederation's tournament for the men's under-16 national teams.

In this regard, Kyrgyzstan participated in an international tournament of Silk Road Cup in China along with the teams of China, Uzbekistan and Mongolia.

During the opening match, the Kyrgyz team led by coach Samat Suimaliyev defeated their peers from Uzbekistan 3-1 but lost then to China 0-4.

The final match took place on August 14, when the national team played against Mongolia and achieved the victory 5-0.

After three rounds of Silk Road Cup, Kyrgyzstan scored 6 points and took the final 2nd place.

Link to article

 

Querying 'The Field' in Fieldwork…: Mongolia

By Rebekah S. Plueckhahn

August 14 (University College London) This September, the Emerging Subjects team will at last begin our fieldwork in Mongolia! This much anticipated part of our project will span from 2015-2016, with follow-up trips to Mongolia in 2017. In many ways it gets to the heart of what we do as ethnographers, spending long periods of time with friends and people we meet from a variety of backgrounds, building research relationships as people share insights that can be better understood through this long term research method. All of us have experience of long term research in Mongolia, and some of us are Mongolian, making this return to Mongolia a very welcome one. It is also finally the chance as a research team to actively engage with and draw from our collaboratively built shared theoretical frameworks through which we will pursue our different topics, frameworks that will no doubt shape and be shaped by our changing methodological approaches.

However, looking back upon the busy year of our project thus far has given me cause to reflect upon what 'the field' actually means for us as anthropologists of Mongolia. The past year for Mongolia has been an eventful one. Key political changes have occurred coupled with the signing of new agreements to spur on the extractives industry. A nationalist protest base has also risen strongly in response to some of these changes. Our preparatory reading and thinking through processes of economy and personal experience has already caused us to look at these changes in Mongolia with new perspectives, which has spurred our thinking about and commenting on these events. Without discounting the underlying historical disjuncture and inequalities between the 'academy' and 'the field' in anthropology – a topic which deserve ongoing critique – how distinct have these two domains actually been for us thus far? Where does 'the field' begin or end, or even manifest as it relates to Mongolia?

Facebook has proven to already be a 'site' that has allowed us to connect with a variety of interrelated networks on a daily basis in Mongolia spanning many rural areas, and diverse communities within the capital. It has become a place where a growing protest base in Ulaanbaatar has found a platform through which to connect and share information, becoming foundational to the formation of the movement itself. Friends have reached out to us to share thoughts on changing politics, sharing personal reflections on their views for the future, and their experiences of this year's Tsagaan Sar, or Lunar New Year. Similarly, internet is now available throughout rural areas in Mongolia through smart phones, and Facebook networks now echo and expand existing, fundamental rural social networks. It was once only possible to keep up to date with news through bad telephone connections and actually being there. Now we are now able to talk often to friends and family.

For a long time a number of us have also been engaged with the Mongolian diaspora. Throughout the past year migrant Mongolian friends of ours have been sharing their reflections on Mongolia and engaging with our research group, where a number of scholars shared their valuable insights and discussed their current research on Mongolia.

'The field' itself within Mongolia also often proves illusive. As many ethnographers of Mongolia would attest, the term 'village' as some kind of bounded unit (if that exists at all) in relation to rural Mongolia is an unhelpful term which paints a static misrepresentation of the reality of mobile Mongolian life. People move so often between rangeland, district centres, provincial cities and the capital that it is often the ethnographer's job to jump on the jeep and travel too.

The interconnections between areas of Mongolia also stem internationally. As people engage with a myriad of different economic enterprises, they are forming links and connections that influence and are influenced by larger international, global processes of finance markets stemming from Hong Kong, London and New York. Another 'fieldsite' for us thus far has been the finance news as we have tracked reporting on commodity prices, corporate mining decisions and investment commentators' impressions of a wavering Mongolian economy.

Additionally, even when conducting fieldwork, the different 'sites' we will work within in our different topics will undoubtedly overlap and expand when we draw our data together to paint a bigger conceptual picture.

Regardless of how helpful or not the term 'fieldwork' actually is, nothing beats the chance to talk and spend time with all sorts of people in the place that they call home. And perhaps this is what 'the field' is for us this coming September. It is a chance for reunions with friends, or for some, to return home. It is a chance to talk with new people in different settings over a long period of time whose opinions and voices aren't so readily or easily heard. It is a chance to physically engage with, experience and better understand how people live in the dust storms in the Gobi, or experience the confusing, convoluted bureaucratic processes of gaining ownership of land or a securing a loan. To experience how people negotiate the long, repeated train trips to the border to conduct trade, and to hear the reflections of people struggling to understand and influence how their surrounding environment will be changed with mining. It is a chance to learn first-hand about how the changing economy of Mongolia is experienced, and it is this that we are looking forward to.

What constitutes 'the field' to you in Mongolia or elsewhere?

Link to post

 

Top 10 Things to Do in Mongolia: The Best of the Steppes Thanks to Good Ol' Genghis Khan

August 17 (Reflections Enroute) If you are looking for an adventure on your next vacation?  You can't get any more adventurous than Mongolia!  Exotic, completely different, wonderful and friendly people, and even some food all add up to the trip of a lifetime.  Once, I don't know, because quite frankly I'm ready to go back!

Here's our top 10 things everyone who visits this truly off-the-beaten-path country needs to do!

One – Find yourself a company that will take you on a trip in a Russian van!  This is one country that I wouldn't recommend driving yourself, mainly because just outside of the capital city the road ends, and if you are lucky, you will be on dirt tracks.  Other times, you are completely at the mercy of your driver, and his navigational, mechanical, and linguistic skills as he takes you places you would never find by yourself.

Two – Sleep in a ger! The Mongolians are still largely nomadic and during our time there, we saw more than one family tearing down, putting up, or just transporting their entire home and load of possessions on a truck.  We stayed in different gers each night, but they were all comfortable.  Fitted out with beds, a wood stove, and decorated in lively colors and traditional patterns, it was a nice bridge between tenting and a hotel room.  The biggest downside was the hike to the outside toilet, which we dubbed the "slit-trines".

Three – Stop along the way and get to know the locals.  The summertime is also shearing time, and we saw many families working hard, using hand shears, and willing to let us watch and even ask questions.  It was a fine balance, because summer is short, and they have a lot to do, so we tried to be as unobtrusive as possible.  This family loved having us there, and even shared some fermented horse milk with us.  Yum!

Four – Ride a Mongolian pony!  If you have heard anything about Mongolia at all, it is that they are and always have been master horsemen.  We made sure before we took off to let our driver know that one of the things we wanted to do is ride horses, and we stayed overnight with the family that owned these beauties.  It's hard to tell from this shot, but the ponies are very short, and I laughed every time I snuck a glance at Jim, whose feet were just about dragging the ground.  The ride itself was so much fun and through the most gorgeous countryside.

Five – Try your hand at living the Mongolian nomad life.  This family was so welcoming, and by the time evening milking hour approached, Mom knew I would be there armed with my camera.  She showed up in her prettiest outfit and even wore pearls!  She offered to let me try and milk the yak and the goats. Needless to say, I would starve.  I couldn't get anything from those beasts.

Six – See a show!  If you look behind the throat singer, you will notice we are not in an auditorium.  We are in the ger that we were spending the night in.  Our hostess asked us if we wanted to see a throat singer and some acrobats, and how cold we say no?  We had our own private show, and the family was so proud to tell us all about it.

Seven – Visit the exotic Gobi desert and ride a camel!  This was not my first camel ride, but it might have been one of my most fun!  First of all, on a Bactrian camel you get to sit between two humps.  This, I have to tell you, is a lot more comfortable than riding in front of the one hump of a Dromedary.  You don't feel like you are going to fall off.  On this ride, the girls got us situated, then their little brother who was about eight years old took us out on the trail.  Just him.  No one else.  It was a blast. We were completely in charge of making our camels do what we wanted them to do.  So much fun and the views!  The views were magnificent.

Eight – Visit Karakorum.  As far as tourist sites go, there just are not that many in this wind-blown country of nomads.  Karakorum was the old capital and today you can visit the walls and a few buildings that mostly belong to the Buddhist temple.

Nine – Take advantage of any restaurant you drive by!  Sleeping with local families in their gers was fantastic, but let's face it they do not have a lot of extra food so the meals were quite spare.  Jack, our driver, quickly learned that every town that has an eatery was going to be visited by us.  This was a fast food ger serving traditionl Khuushur, and a better snack I've never had!  There were not many restaurants, but we tried every one we passed and found good wholesome food.  Eat out!

Ten – Wander around the capital city of Ulan Bator.  It certainly isn't the prettiest city, with its Soviet buildings, dilapidated infrastructure, and of course the ubiquitous Irish Bar or two, but don't pass up the chance to do some shopping, eat at a restaurant, and stay in a hotel with running water.  I suggest you do this at the end of your trip; you will appreciate it so much more!

And Bonus! – Ballroom dance at sunset with your hosts and their guests!  Yep!  These young girls cranked up the generator and out blasted some Tchaikovsky which they deftly danced to.  I could have watched them for hours.  Out in the middle of Mongolia, you have to make your own fun!

Have you ever thought of going to Mongolia?  Wouldn't you just love dancing in the Gobi?

Link to post

 

Changing Paths – Why We Didn't Buy Horses In Mongolia

August 17 (NOMADasaurus) "Two roads diverged in a wood and I – I took the one less travelled by, and that has made all the difference."

Of all the travel quotes that get thrown around, this one from Robert Frost's poem "The Road Not Taken" is my absolute favourite.

Since meeting in a Canadian hostel in 2008, Alesha and I have always tried to live a life that makes us happy. And what makes us happy is travelling. We weave between life's different paths and try to never second-guess the decisions we make and where they lead us to. Ultimately, we prefer to kick back and let things unfold, allowing our course to manoeuvre and change as we continuously wander. Even though we might have a general idea of which way we are headed, we are more than happy to deviate from that path at a moments notice, when something more appealing comes along. It is not an ideal mindset for everyone, but this is how we have chosen to structure our lives – To be spontaneous, flexible, and forever on the road.

A few months ago Alesha and I were sitting in a park in Xi'an, discussing what our next move after China should be. We could jump on a ferry and head to South Korea, or take the train across the country towards Central Asia. The memory of an old conversation with another traveller suddenly came flooding back, and the wheels started spinning in our brains. One of the guys we bought our motorcycles off of in Laos said he wanted to travel Mongolia by horse. This sounded incredible to us then, and it sounded incredible to us now. It was then decided: We would travel through Mongolia, but on horseback.

The more we thought about this, the more excited we became. Admittedly Alesha was more reserved about this idea than I was. But despite the doubts, we committed to buying our own horses, no matter the cost or difficulties. We even made a video announcing our plan and posted it on our Facebook page. The response we got was massive, and we received scores of comments and emails from people eager to see how we played out our next adventure.

Fast forward to today, as we prepare to leave Mongolia after two months in the country. We never bought the horses.

When we first crossed the border from China, we were determined to do everything we could to make our horse riding dream a reality. We talked to locals and other travellers, and we teamed up with the crew at Steppe Riders outside of Ulaanbaatar to learn about horse care and riding skills. We even found contacts to buy the horses from, complete with all the gear we could need. We were ready to take the plunge.

But then things started changing.

An incredible opportunity came up for us to explore the Gobi Desert with Selena Travel, and we jumped at it. The tour was impeccable, and we loved every second of it. Then an old friend I hadn't seen in 8 years came to Mongolia, and we started making plans over a few beers to catch up on old times.

"But we have to head back to Ulaanbaatar to buy our horses."

It was always in the back of our thoughts.

Another opportunity then arose – the chance to visit the Dukha reindeer herders in Northern Mongolia. This was something we had dreamed of doing long before we ever knew we were coming to Asia.

"Afterwards, we'll go back and buy our horses. We said we would, and we have to keep our word."

We talked about it constantly.

Another week had passed, and we got in touch with some friends who were halfway through their own horse riding adventure. Their stories were far from ideal, and it sounded like a lot of hard work for not much reward. Other locals told stories of horse thieves and persistent mosquitoes.

We spent four days camping by Khovsgol Lake, drinking wine, making camp fires and hanging out with good friends. The rugged Wild West of Mongolia was beckoning our name. Travellers told us of the sensational hiking, glaciers, striking mountain ranges and isolated beauty that awaited in the region. We were desperate to see it for ourselves, but thought we couldn't. Did we really want to miss out on what was meant to be the most remarkable part of the country to go on a horse riding adventure our heart was no longer in for?

It was then that we had to admit something to ourselves. We didn't want to buy horses any more.

Alesha kept expressing her desire to abandon the idea, but we didn't want to disappoint you, our amazing readers. We had said we were going to buy horses, and we didn't want to back down on our word. The truth is though that buying horses was going to restrict our Mongolian experience in more ways than we were willing to accept. In the end we just said "fuck it", and started hitching west.

It was like a weight was lifted from our shoulders. We were now free to go anywhere we wanted, by any means we wanted. It's funny to think that now, because really we were always free to do whatever we wanted anyway. But at the time the decision was monumental.

At first we felt like we were letting people down. Perhaps one of you had been inspired by our idea and wanted to do it yourself. Maybe you were looking forward to seeing our journey through Mongolia on horseback. Then again maybe no one actually cared what we did. At the end of the day we are still travellers before we are writers, photographers or bloggers, and we had to put our own desires first. Honestly, we are not sorry for this. I hope you understand.

Our last month in Mongolia was magnificent. The details will be left for another story (or more likely another 5 or 6 stories), but everything we experienced was unbelievable. Sometimes your life's path changes unexpectedly, and sometimes you consciously change it. Plans get altered for other ideas at the drop of a hat. We know this as well as anybody, because we rarely have plans. It is just something we have to accept in life, for better or worse.

And as hard as it was for us to abandon our original scheme, we don't regret it one bit.

Link to article

Back to top

 

---


6th Floor, NTN Tower
Baga Toiruu, Chingeltei District 1
Ulaanbaatar 15170, Mongolia
Email: info@covermongolia.com
P Please consider the environment before printing this e-mail.

1 comment:

  1. Duke University
    Duke University Duke University is a private research university located in Durham, North Carolina,

    ReplyDelete