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Wednesday, September 16, 2015

[Gatsuurt overrun by ninjas; FTSE keeps Mongolia on watchlist; SGK approves veto; IIB gives €20m; and OSCE PA starts today]

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Wednesday, September 16, 2015

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Headlines in Italic are ones modified by Cover Mongolia from original

 

Overseas Market

TRQ closed +1.18% on the announcement Tuesday to US$3.00

Oyu Tolgoi Financing Set to Advance After Mongolian Approvals

By David Stringer

Ø  Owners of Mongolia mine to progress project talks with lenders

Ø  Mongolia is backing expansion of giant copper and gold mine

September 15 (Bloomberg) Key government approvals for the expansion of Mongolia's Oyu Tolgoi copper and gold mine will allow Rio Tinto Group and its partners to advance talks with lenders, according to the state-owned company that holds a stake in the project.

Government agencies have agreed to accept a feasibility study on proposals to develop an underground mine at the site, one of the world's largest copper deposits, and provided guarantees to the World Bank's Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency, state-owned Erdenes Oyu Tolgoi LLC said Monday in a statement.

The approvals show Mongolia's "resolve to rapidly bring this world-class resource into production and on a broader level further demonstrates that Mongolia is open for business" said Davaadorj Ganbold, executive director of Erdenes Oyu Tolgoi. It holds Mongolia's 34 percent stake in the mine and Rio-controlled Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd. holds the remaining 66 percent.

The partners will seek to raise as much as $6 billion of external funding for the underground mine, including third-party project financing and sales accords, according to a development plan published by Turquoise Hill in May. Rio is seeking to target 15 to 20 banks to raise more than $4 billionJean-Sebastien Jacques, head of its copper and coal business, said in May.

Disputes Resolved

Two years of stop-start talks on the mine's future were ended in May, when Rio and Mongolia's government settled disputes that had halted the expansion and acted as a deterrent to foreign investors in the Asian nation. Oyu Tolgoi, located 80 kilometers (50 miles) north of the Chinese border, is forecast to account for about a third of Mongolia's economy in full operation.

Copper for delivery in three months on the London Metal Exchange was little changed at $5,312 a metric ton at 11:13 a.m. in Sydney. Rio sees the metal poised for longer-term gains, Chief Executive Officer Sam Walsh said Aug. 6.

As output declines at aging mines, producers are encountering difficulties in discovering and developing viable new projects and in securing approvals, which "means that we will see copper moving into short supply going forward," he told investors in London.

Expansion of Oyu Tolgoi is scheduled to restart in mid-2016, Turquoise Hill said last month. It may take as many as seven years to complete, according to Rio.

Link to article

 

CG closed -2.59% Tuesday to C$6.78

Illegal artisanal gold miners have infiltrated Gatsuurt reports Mining Minister

Ulaanbaatar, September 15 (MONTSAME) The Minister of Mining R.Jigjid delivered a report on a state of affairs of the "Gatsuurt" gold deposit at the cabinet meeting Monday.

He said he had already got familiarized with the situation. The located in Selenge aimag's Mandal soum deposit does not have clearly fixed number of state-owned shares of the deposit, "this has been hindering the exploitation works". Set up by an order of the PM working group and a professional organization have a conclusion that there are no an archeological findings on a special licensed field of the "Centerra Gold Mongolia" LLC. Meanwhile, the deposit has been occupied by private gold diggers, only during the September 10-11 night some 300 diggers literally attacked the area, even one was taken to hospital, he said. The locality's authorities and people have been asking related officials to stop the illegal exploitation of gold, the Minister noted.

Actually, the site is ready for the exploitation, he went on, but the diggers have been a big problem, which, in its turn, has been caused by a stagnant legal environment. The time has come to begin putting the deposit into economic circulation, the Minister concluded.  

Link to article

 

Announcement made after Tuesday close, 276 closed +2% Tuesday to HK$0.255

MEC Issues Shares to Contractor to Settle US$0.46 Million Debt

On 15 September 2015, after trading hours, the Company and the Subsidiary entered into the Subscription Agreement with the Subscriber, an Independent Third Party. Pursuant to the Subscription Agreement, the Subscriber has conditionally agreed to subscribe and the Company has conditionally agreed to allot and issue a total of 14,449,760 Subscription Shares at the Subscription Price of HK$0.25 per Subscription Share.

The Subscription Shares represent (i) approximately 0.84% of the existing issued share capital of the Company as at the date of this announcement; and (ii) approximately 0.83% of the issued share capital of the Company as enlarged by the issue of the Subscription Shares (assuming that there will be no change in the issued share capital of the Company between the date of the Subscription Agreement and Completion save for the issue of such Subscription Shares).

The aggregate Subscription Price for all the Subscription Shares in the sum of HK$3,612,440.00 is equivalent to the amount of the Debt, i.e. US$463,133.36 being the outstanding service fees due and owing by the Subsidiary to the Subscriber under the Mining Agreement for the mining and related services rendered by the Subscriber to the Subsidiary for three months from May to July 2015. The Subscription Price shall be used to repay and settle the Debt. The Subscription Shares will be allotted and issued pursuant to the General Mandate.

Completion of the Subscription is conditional upon, among others, (i) the Listing Committee of the Stock Exchange granting approval for the listing of and permission to deal in the Subscription Shares; and (ii) a Mongolian legal opinion to the satisfaction of the Company that the Agreement has been validity executed by the Subscriber and the acceptance of the Subscription Shares by the Subscriber constitutes a valid set off of the relevant service fees due by the Subsidiary to the Subscriber under the Mining Agreement.

Shareholders and potential investors should note that Completion of the Subscription is subject to fulfillment of the conditions under the Subscription Agreement. As the Subscription may or may not complete, Shareholders and potential investors are reminded to exercise caution when dealing in the Shares.

Link to release

 

GUF closed -7.14% Tuesday on the announcement to A$0.026

Guildford's expansion plans gain momentum

PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Junior developer Guildford Coal has been granted a new mining licence in Mongolia, allowing the company to proceed with its coking coal expansion plans in the South Gobi region.

Guildford on Tuesday said the mining licence would be valid for 30 years, with the company able to extend up to two additional terms of 20 years each.

The mining licence aligned with the company's expansion plans to produce two-million tonnes a year of coal by 2016, three-million tonnes a year by 2017 and then ramping up to sustainable output of five-million tonnes a year by 2020 through the expansion of existing operations and the development of satellite pits in existing licence areas.

The newly granted mining licence covers part of a previously granted and highly prospective exploration licence with an inferred resource of 15-million tonnes and an additional exploration target of between 26-million and 45-million tonnes.

The licence is adjacent to the existing Baruun Noyon Uul (BNU) mine, allowing for the use of already-installed infrastructure and allowing for a fast ramp-up.

Guildford was hoping to start mining at the newly awarded licence in 2016, with low strip-ratio coal targeted and incorporated into an already-approved mine plan to allow for mining on the KS North limb resource area of the BNU mine.

Link to article

 

Peace Map Holding: Interim Report 2015

September 15, Peace Map Holding Ltd. (HKEx:402) --

MANAGEMENT DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS

BUSINESS REVIEW

Mining and Exploration Business in Mongolia

The Group currently holds four coal mining licences covering a 1,114-hectare coal mine at Tugrug Valley (the "TNE Mine"). Based on a report from an independent technical advisor issued in 2010, the TNE Mine has approximately 64.0 million tonnes of measured and indicated resources and an additional 27.9 million tonnes of inferred resources.

During the Period under Review, there was no material change in the amount of resources in the TNE Mine, compared with that in the six months ended 30 June 2014. Besides, the Group also holds three exploration licences in respect of coal deposits in DundGobi (14,087 hectares) located in Mongolia.

Taking into consideration the market price of coal, the cost of production of the TNE Mine and the continuous recession of foreign investment in Mongolia, the Group did not commence production during the Period under Review.

Link to report

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Local Market

MSE Trading Report: Top 20 +1.11%, ALL +0.85%, 17.3 Million Stocks, ₮8.7 Billion T-Bills

September 15 (MSE) --

Link to release

 

₮10 Billion 14.512% Discounted 52-Week T-Bills Sold with ₮21.4 Billion Bids

September 15 (MSE) On 15 September 2015, the bond orders of 52 weeks Government bonds with 14.512% annual interest, placed on order book, and Ministry of Finance supplied 100,000 or MNT10.0 billion out of total order 214,450 pieces or MNT21.4 billion.   

Bellow member brokerage companies participated in the bond trading as follows: 

Companies' name

Volume

1

Monsec

57,175

2

Tenger Capital

42,782

3

Secap

30

4

BDSec

13

 

Total

100,000

Link to release

 

FTSE Keeps Mongolia on Frontier Watch List in Annual Review

September 15 (mse.mn) On 11 September 2015, Mr. Angar Davaasuren, Acting CEO of MSE, received an official letter from Mr. Christopher Woods, Managing Director of Governance Policy of FTSE Group, a global leader provider of stock market indices and associated data services.

According to the official letter, the FTSE Russel Governance Board has determined to retain Mongolia on the FTSE Watch List for a further year and review the possible inclusion of Mongolia as a Frontier market at the next annual review in September 2016.

To be included as FTSE Frontier Market, MSE needs to introduce custodian services,  upgrade the security settlement process, improve liquidity, introduce security lending /short sell, stock lending/ and introduce derivative market and off-exchange transaction into the Mongolian capital market.

Note: The FTSE Group operates 250,000 indices including real-time indices calculated across 80 countries in the world, and there were 76 Capital market well developed countries out of 168 graded by FTSE Group.

Link to article

Link to FTSE announcement

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Economy

BoM MNT Rates: Tuesday, September 15 Close

 

 

9/15

9/14

9/11

9/10

9/9

9/8

9/7

9/4

9/3

9/2

9/1

8/31

8/28

8/27

8/26

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

USD

1,986.49

1,993.94

1,997.26

1,995.73

1,994.89

1,993.35

1,989.47

1,993.28

1,993.93

1,991.91

1,992.17

1,991.49

1,991.88

1,992.18

1,992.65

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

EUR

2,242.15

2,266.41

2,254.01

2,237.81

2,225.50

2,232.65

2,216.27

2,218.82

2,237.39

2,247.37

2,248.06

2,235.75

2,243.75

2,256.74

2,290.55

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

CNY

311.89

313.09

313.33

312.72

312.91

313.24

312.47

313.61

313.71

313.20

312.72

312.18

311.57

311.03

310.70

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

GBP

3,060.68

3,080.94

3,084.57

3,063.45

3,067.64

3,061.89

3,021.71

3,036.36

3,045.53

3,046.23

3,067.94

3,071.67

3,069.89

3,085.79

3,126.97

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

RUB

29.46

29.45

29.53

29.00

29.51

28.96

28.99

29.58

29.86

29.72

30.65

30.11

30.33

29.31

29.08

Bank rates at time of sending: TDB (Buy ₮1,980 Sell ₮1,990), Khan (Buy ₮1,980 Sell ₮1,989), Golomt (Buy ₮1,981 Sell ₮1,990), XacBank (Buy ₮1,980 Sell ₮1,992), State Bank (Buy ₮1,978 Sell ₮1,992)

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

Link to rates

 

BoM FX auction: US$8.7m sold at 1,984.18, CNY42.8m at 311.02, accepts $82.5m MNT swap offers

September 15 (BoM) On the Foreign Exchange Auction held on September 15th, 2015 the BoM has received bid offers of USD 14.2 million in a rate between MNT 1981.0-1986.0, selling bid offers of USD 0.75 million and bid offers of CNY 67.4 million in a rate between MNT 310.01-312.0 from local commercial banks. The BoM sold USD 8.7 million in a closing rate of MNT 1984.18 and CNY 42.8 million in a closing rate of MNT 311.02 respectively.

On September 15th, 2015, The BoM has received MNT Swap agreement bid offer equivalent to USD 82.5 million from local commercial banks and the BoM has accepted the offers.

Link to release

 

Money supply up 1% in August, down 1.7% from 2014 to ₮9.96 billion

September 15 (gogo.mn) According to report of the Bank of Mongolia, money supply (M2) reached to MNT 10.0 trillion at the end of August  2015, increased by MNT 100.9 billion or 1.0  percent  from the previous month and it has decreased by MNT 171.7 billion or 1.7 percent compared to same period of the previous year.   

At the end of August 2015, currency issued in circulation reached MNT 774.4 billion, it has increased by MNT 15.4 billion or 2.0 percent from the previous month and decreased by MNT 105.7 billion or 12.0 percent compared to same period of the previous year. Loans outstanding amounted to MNT 11.8 trillion, at the end of August 2015, decreased by MNT 152.0 billion or 1.3 percent from previous month, by MNT 497.6 billion or 4.0 percent compared to same period of the previous year.

Principals in arrears reached MNT 780.4 billion at the end of August 2015, it has increased by MNT 63.9 billion or 8.9 percent from previous month, by MNT 253.3 billion or 48.0 percent compared to same period of the previous year.

At the end of August 2015, the non-performing loans over the bank system reached MNT 865.5 billion, it has increased by MNT 40.8 billion or 5.0 percent from the previous month, by MNT 245.5 billion or 39.6 percent compared to same period of the previous year.

In the first 8 months of 2015, 22.4 тln. shares were traded in the stock market valued at MNT 691.9 billion. Shares trading has increased by MNT 556.3 billion or 5.1 times more and shares has decreased by 14.7 mln.pieces or 39.7 percent compared to same period of the previous year.

Link to article

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Politics & Legal

Mongolia Parliament Approves President's Partial Veto of Amnesty Law

September 15 (gogo.mn) Today, majority of MPs have supported the President`s partial ban on Law on Pardon at the irregular plenary session of State Great Khural. Total of 56 MPs have attended in the session of which 49 or 83.1 percent of them approved, while 10 or 16.9 percent of them declined.

After the Justice Standing Committee meeting plenary session of the State Great Khural was set to be held again. Therefore, Law on Pardon is expected to be submitted within today.

The President has partially banned the Law on Pardon. Specifically, he vetoed the provisions 4.1 and 7 of the law.

The President stated that people who took bribe, corrupted, abused their position, illegally capitalized, appropriated budget fund and deceived the property of others must not be pardoned.

Moreover, he added that it is right to cut 2 years of people who affrayed, committed robbery, and intentionally injured other`s body.  

Link to article

Related:

Parliament accepts President's veto over amnesty lawMontsame, September 15

 

Cabinet Replaces Head of Civil Aviation Authority

Ulaanbaatar, September 15 (MONTSAME) …

-       By a cabinet decision, Ts.Erdenebileg was removed from the post of the head of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). N.Nyamdavaa will replace him.

Link to article

 

Civil Will-Green Party announces candidates for deputy ministers

September 15 (news.mn) The Political Council of the "Civil Will Green Party" held a meeting on 14th September to discuss the candidates for the deputy minister positions, as a result of which they decided to nominate Z.Gan-Ochir and R.Bulgamaa as Deputy Ministers.  Ms. R.Bulgamaa is a lawyer and economist, whilst Mr. Z.Gan-Ochir is a mining expert. Thus, to date, two Deputy Ministers have been nominated from the "Civil Will Green Party", two from the "Justice Union Group" and three from the "Democratic Party".

Link to article

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Business

Concession awarded to connect Selenge's Altanbulag soum to running water

Ulaanbaatar, September 15 (MONTSAME) A project will be implemented to connect Selenge aimag's Altanbulag soum to a freshwater source under a concession contract.

The cabinet meeting on Monday authorized the Investment Authority of Mongolia (IAM) to establish the contract with the "Margad Mongol" LLC and obliged D.Erdenebat, the Minister of Industry, to manage the contract establishment process in accordance with laws. In addition, the Minister of Finance B.Bolor and the Minister of Industry D.Erdenebat were ordered to reflect MNT 400 million in the 2016 state budget for the repayment of the project's investment.

According to the project, the concessionaire must complete a connection of Altanbulag soum to the freshwater source by this November 1, spending own capital, and receive the money from the 2016 state budget. A guaranteed term of the freshwater pipes is three years.  

Link to article

 

Mongolia to prepare 126 thousand tons of meat for export this year

Ulaanbaatar, September 15 (MONTSAME) The Minister of Food and Agriculture R.Burmaa MP reports on terms of veterinary services and quarantine with foreign countries in frames of meat process, entities allowed to export meat, meat export size in 2015-2016.

By a preliminary census of livestock, she said at the cabinet meeting on Monday, Mongolia counted 70.6 million heads of livestock in a first half of this year. There are 42 meat processing factories, 145 factories of sausage and conserved products, and 21 factories of semi-processed meat and meat products, she went on.

Mongolia has established contracts on export and import of livestock products with Russia, China, Japan, Kazakhstan, Vietnam and some Arabian countries. As for China, its General Authority of Quality Monitoring and Quarantine permitted five Mongolian companies to supply meat and meat products to China, she noted. 

Mongolia intends to prepare meat of 10.4 million heads of livestock for the domestic needs, and 5.6 million heads of livestock for the export, which means that 126.3 thousand tons of meat will be exported, said Burmaa.    

Link to article

 

Mongolia looks to increase meat export as OIE regional conference convenes in UB

September 15 (gogo.mn) Mongolia is hosting the 29th Conference of the OIE Regional Commission for Asia, the Far East and Oceania during September 14-18.

More than 100 representatives are attending the conference including veterinarians from 36 member countries of the Asia Pacific region including Dr Bernard Vallat, Director General of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), representatives from Food and Agriculture Organization of UNICEF and other international organizations. 

At the first day of the conference, OIE and Bill Gates Fund jointly organized seminar under the topic of "To support Veterinary Sector by Developing Partnership between State and Private Entities".

During the seminar, they discussed on many important issues including the partnership between the State and private entities on veterinary sector, capacity of national veterinary, service quality of veterinary, law, legislation, veterinary role in food safety, international standard, capacity of veterinaries in Asia Pacific region countries and cooperation of OIE, while exchanging information on achievements and lessons learned.

Our country has paying attention to determine veterinary policy with participation of herders, businesses, government organizations, NGOs and private entities, develop, control animal disease and to create opportunity to export raw product of animal origin.

Major importance of organizing the conference in Mongolia is to support its agriculture sector and meat export, expand cooperation with regional countries and improving the credibility of Mongolia among the partnering countries and region.

Link to article

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Ulaanbaatar

Cabinet authorizes $85 million credit guarantee for ger district redevelopment

Ulaanbaatar, September 15 (MONTSAME) In frames of a project on re-planning the UB city's ger (national dwelling) areas, apartments will be erected in Sukhbaatar district's 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th khoroos (smallest administrative unit in Ulaanbaatar) and in Chingeltei district's 13th and 15th districts.

The cabinet meeting decided Monday as such and authorized the Board of the Development Bank of Mongolia (DBM) to issue a credit guarantee equaling up to USD 85 million for realizing this project. In order to minimize a guarantee risk of the DBM, an obligation was given to B.Bolor, the Minister of Finance, to set up a risk fund and to resolve necessary capital for it. Another order was given to Z.Bayanselenge, the Minister of Construction and Urban Development, and to E.Bat-Uul, the Mayor of Ulaanbaatar city, to control an implementation of the related resolution.  

Link to article

 

Construction of new airport at 56.8%, year-end target 65.8%

September 15 (gogo.mn) Only 480 days left for the finish of New Ulaanbaatar International Airport construction project. The Project Implementation Unit reported that this year is considered as the peak period of the project.

They aimed to reach the construction performance to 65.8 percent within the end of 2015 by working with busy schedule and detailed planning. As of September 11th, the construction process is at 56.8 percent which over fulfilled the planned performance by 3.6 percent.

Currently, the concrete works of 2 runways, road and rail terminal have completed and interior works have started. Moreover, electrical, mechanical, telecommunications, security, security systems, network engineering moisture protection, fire protection system works are going underway.

As of today, more than 2100 staffs and engineers are working at the construction site while about 220 vehicles and techniques are operating at the site.

Link to article

 

Traffic accidents drop 21% in September, drunk driving 43%

September 15 (gogo.mn) Traffic accident reports have dropped by 935 compared with the previous year due to the revised law on road traffic safety which was launched from Sep 01.

In other words, total of 4552 traffic accident were reported during September 1st to September 14th of 2014 while this number was decreased to 3617 this year. 

According to the revised law, responsibility of drunk driving cases have upgraded. In result, total of 663 drunk driving cases were registered this year which were decreased by 502 cases compared with the same period of the previous year.

Even the offense index has went down from 29244 to 22341.

Link to article

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Diplomacy

IIB extends €20 million 7-year loan to Development Bank of Mongolia for SME support

September 14 (IIB) On September 14, 2015, the International Investment Bank has signed a loan agreement with the Development Bank of Mongolia in the amount of EUR 20 million for seven years. The loan facility will be used to support the SME sector, in particular to contribute to the implementation of socially significant projects in Mongolia.

This is the seventh loan in the IIB's current portfolio, which brings the total amount of the Bank's financing of the Mongolian economy to EUR 68 million.

The extended loan reflects the IIB's intentions to continue supporting the Mongolian financial sector and also goes perfectly in line with the «Year of Asia» in the Bank, announced at the beginning of 2015.

Link to release

 

Delegates Begin Arriving for OSCE Parliamentary Assembly Autumn Meeting

Ulaanbaatar, September 15 (MONTSAME) Officials of the Parliamentary Office and Ministry of Foreign Affairs Tuesday welcomed at the "Chingis Khaan" international airport delegates who will take part in the 2015 autumn session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).

This session will run September 16-17 in Ulaanbaatar with an "Addressing security challenges in the OSCE region and beyond: the role of parliamentarians in fostering regional cooperation" theme.

Parliamentarians from across the OSCE's 57 participating States are expected to attend the session to discuss security issues within the politics-military, environment-economic and democracy-human rights spheres.

Hosted by the State Great Khural (parliament) of Mongolia, the meeting is to be a final major gathering of the Assembly this year.

The Speaker of Mongolia Z.Enkhbold and the President of Mongolia Mr Ts.Elbegdorj are supposed to address the Assembly during the opening session on September 16. 

Among the key speakers will be OSCE PA President Ilkka Kanerva (MP, Finland), members of the Mongolian delegation to the Assembly, officials from the United Nations and Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

The session will also feature a special roundtable on Central Asia with the Heads of OSCE field presences in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

Mongolia, the most recent country to become an OSCE participating State, will host OSCE PA meeting for the first time.

Link to article

 

Foreign Minister of Thailand receives new Ambassador of Mongolia

September 11 (Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand) On 10 September 2015, H.E. Mr. Tugsbilguun Tumurkhuleg, Ambassador of Mongolia to Thailand, paid a courtesy call on Mr. Don Pramudwinai, Minister for Foreign Affairs, on the occasion of assuming his duty as the Ambassador of Mongolia to Thailand.

During the meeting, the Minister of Foreign Affairs welcomed the Mongolian Ambassador to Thailand and reiterated Thailand's commitment to strengthen Thai – Mongolian relations and cooperation. The Minister was also pleased to learn that the investment of  the two Thai companies  in Mongolia, namely Banpu and Bumrungrad Hospital, has been going well.

On this occasion, H.E. Mr. Tugsbilguun expressed his gratitude to the Minister for the warm welcome and reiterated that Thailand is an important investment and development partner and Mongolia is committed to fostering ties with Thailand and other ASEAN countries at the bilateral, regional and multilateral levels.  In addition, H.E. Mr. Tugsbilguun also thanked Thailand for continued support and technical cooperation to Mongolia since 1992. In this connection, H.E. Mr. Tugsbilguun also extended an invitation to the Minister to visit Mongolia in the near future.

Both sides also agreed to continue promoting exchange of high-level visits and convene the 1st meeting of the Consultative Body on Bilateral Cooperation, the bilateral mechanism which was established in 2013 to help move forward all areas of cooperation. Moreover, the two sides reaffirmed the reciprocal support for each other in multilateral frameworks.

H.E. Mr. Tugsbilguun assumed his position as the Ambassador of Mongolia to Thailand on the 11th of August 2015. Prior to assuming this post, H.E. Mr. Tugsbilguun served as the Director of the Department of Neighboring Countries and the Deputy Director of the Americas, Middle East and Africa. Moreover, the Ambassador spent a year attending a Thai language training program at Srinakharinwirot University from 1994 to 1995 and was posted at the Embassy of Mongolia in Bangkok from 2004 to 2007.

Link to release

 

Mongolia Discusses Increasing Labor Export to Japan for Tokyo 2020 Preparations

September 11 (parliament.mn) On September 11, 2015, Minister of Labor, MP G.Bayarsaikhan and MP L.Bold received the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Mongolia Mr. Takenori Shimizu.

At the beginning of meeting, Minister G.Bayarsaikhan mentioned that he is receiving the delegates to discuss and exchange views on Mongolian labor force to export to Japan, the country to host the XXXII Summer Olympics in Tokyo in 2020. In this regard, Minister G.Bayarsaikhan requested to increase the number of Mongolian workers on the ground that the Government of Japan had requested to import a working force from Mongolia.

Moreover, Minister underlined the importance of mutually beneficial cooperation in the implementation of the Economic Partnership Agreement established between the two countries.

Ambassador T.Shimizu congratulated the newly appointed Minister G.Bayarsaikhan and said the Government of Japan has been implementing relevant measures to host the 2020 Olympics, in particular on importing foreign work forces. He also added that Mongolian citizens have been practicing in Japan through Japan International Training Co-operation Organization (JITCO) Programme since 1998.

Link to release

 

Cabinet Backs President's Initiative on Maintaining a Permanent Status of Neutrality

Ulaanbaatar, September 15 (MONTSAME) The cabinet on Monday approved directives the Mongolian side is to adhere to at the 5th meeting of the Mongolia-Hungary intergovernmental commission for the trade, economy, sciences and technological cooperation. It will take place this September 22-23 in Ulaanbaatar.

- Directives were approved for the Mongolian side that will participate in the 6th meeting of the Mongolia-Czech intergovernmental commission for the trade, economy, sciences and technological cooperation, which will take place this September 21-23 in Ulaanbaatar.

- The cabinet discussed the President's initiative on maintaining the permanent status of neutrality, and considered as necessity to realize this policy. A governmental resolution on the matter will be issued.

Link to article

 

Mongolia, China police forces conduct joint counter-terrorism training

September 15 (news.mn) The Mongolian and Chinese police-forces have been conducting a joint-training exercise. Entitled "Eagle-2015", this cooperation activity took place in the city of Erlian, which is located on the Chinese side of the border, on the main UB-Beijing railway line. The exercise, involving a total of 150 Mongolian and 500 Chinese policemen, aims at preventing terrorist activity in this important border region. The focus is on both national and international counter-terrorist training. During "Eagle-2015", a parade of Mongolian and Chinese policemen, demonstrated close-range fighting, had a flag parade and presented demonstrations in armed and unarmed combat. Representatives of the Mongolian General Authority for Border Protection and Central Intelligence Authority of Mongolia as well as the National Security Council acted as observers during the "Eagle-2015" joint-training. 

Link to article

 

Mongolia Delegation at 59th General Conference of IAEA

Ulaanbaatar, September 15 (MONTSAME) A delegation led by Mr G.Manlaijav, the secretary-general or office head of the Nuclear Energy Commission of Mongolia, is taking part in the 59th General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) which kicked off this Monday in Vienna, Austria.

The IAEA's week-long annual meeting has gathered representatives of the IAEA's Member States, including several ministers, to consider and decide on key elements of the Agency's work, budget and priorities. Additionally, dozens of events--including a Scientific Forum--are awaiting the delegates and high governmental representatives.

IAEA Director-General Yukiya Amano delivered a statement at the opening session of the Conference to highlight key developments in the IAEA's work since the last General Conference.

The delegates are expected to consider the IAEA Annual Report for 2014 and the IAEA's Programme and Budget for 2016-2017. Budget and finance-related matters are also on the provisional agenda, such as contributions to the Technical Cooperation Fund; the IAEA's Financial Statements for 2014; and the scale of the assessments of Member States' contributions towards the Regular Budget.

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Education

Cabinet approves list of core priorities to developing science and technology

Ulaanbaatar, September 15 (MONTSAME) A regular cabinet meeting on Monday approved the list of core technologies and of sciences and high tech leading directions.

Obligations were given to L.Gantomor, the Minister of Education, Culture and Science, to ensure an implementation of the list, whereas B.Bolor, the Minister of Finance, was told to reflect necessary capitals in the Basic guidelines for social-economic development and in annual state budgets.

The list has been divided into several branches such as human development, environment, agricultural development, industrial progressive technologies, and high-tech.

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Society

Mongolia commemorates 800th Anniversary of Khubilai Khaan

September 15 (infomongolia.com) Opening ceremony of the 800th birth anniversary of Khubilai Khaan (Kublai Khan) was held on September 15, 2015 at the Chinggis Khaan Square.

Prime Minister Ch.Saikhanbileg, Minister and Head of the Cabinet Secretariat S.Bayartsogt, Minister for Education, Culture and Science L.Gantumur and administration of Mongolian Academy of Science (MAS) and other researchers and scientists attended at the ceremony.

At the ceremony, Head of the Cabinet Secretariat and Anniversary Organization Committee S.Bayartsogt has delivered opening remarks.

Minister S.Bayartsogt said: "Mongolian government has issued a decree to commemorate anniversary of Khubilai Khaan on June of 2015 to honor and value the contribution of Khubilai Khaan to Mongolian and world history and promote research works related Mongolian history.

Today we admire the history of our ancestors Modun Shanyu (Modu Chanyu) who established the very first statehood in central Asia, Chinggis Khaan and his grandson Khubilai Khaan.

There were time when we had to deny our history. However, new path of Democracy that Mongolia choose enabled Mongolian people to restore our history and understand it, and scientist and researchers have done a lot in past years. Today, Khubilai Khaan's 800th birth anniversary shows that the truth of history always comes.

Khubilai Khaan managed to established Great Yuan Empire that brought peace to territories between Europe and Pacific Ocean controlling Il-khanate and Golden Horde, established one united monetary system, made taxation system more flexible, invented first paper money, established first Mongolian fleet and promoted sea transportation, established first academy of Mongolia and cherished scientists. Mongolian and foreign scientists always showed great interest in Khubilai Khaan. Therefore, we must not forget great man, our ancestor."

Celebratory events program:

"Khubilai Khaan and his Succesors" album on history based on archeological researches conducted in Mongolia and 10 volume books written based on results of researches regarding Khubilai Khaan and Yuan Empire published for the anniversary and celebratory events such as traditional festivals and scientific conference are planned.

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Possible case of anthrax detected in Ulaanbaatar

September 14 (infomongolia.com) A possible case of anthrax is detected in Ulaanbaatar, the capital city of Mongolia. A 40 years old man with possible animal bite on his right shoulder contacted hospital on September 09, 2015.

According to patient who possibly infected with anthrax, he did not get in touch with any animal and manure. The patient is currently being treated in National Research Center for Infectious Diseases (NRCID) of Mongolia.

NRCID is currently testing samples from the patient for confirmation while other relevant organizations are conducting investigation works.

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Mongolia, Japan to co-organize seminar on cancer diagnosis and treatment

Ulaanbaatar, September 15 (MONTSAME) The National Center of Oncology (NCO) and Japan's Nakayama Institute of oncology will co-organize the 6th international meeting themed "Diagnosis and treatments for cancers of digestive tract" in Ulaanbaatar.

For hosting the event, the cabinet on Monday authorized B.Bolor, the Minister of Finance, to allot money from the state reserves.

During the meeting, medical doctors and professors from Japan and South Korea will give lectures, demonstrate surgeries, deliver to their Mongolian colleagues knowledge based on confirmation.

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Nature, Environment

Sheep gene study uncovers valuable Asian diversity

·         Previous genetic research mostly focused on European sheep

·         The research could ultimately benefit all sheep farmers

·         It could help develop flocks that will thrive on rough grazing

September 14 (SciDev.Net) Sheep flocks around the globe are far more genetically diverse than previously believed, offering a chance to create more-productive breeds needed by farmers in developing countries, according to an international research team. 

Their study is published in the October issue of the journal Molecular Biology and Evolution. It compares the DNA from cell components called mitochondria in 42 sheep breeds from China with breeds as far west as Finland and the United Kingdom. The study also examined two species of wild sheep.

The samples of mitochondrial DNA show clearly how breeds have evolved since sheep were first domesticated in Mesopotamia — a region that encompasses parts of what is now Iraq, Syria and Turkey — about 10,000 years ago. As herding communities travelled back and forth across Asia, sheep with different characteristic to the Europe-bred races emerged.

One surprise was that there was not one but several waves of migration in which sheep were traded along the Silk Road linking China with the West. The second, later phase involved sheep bred to cope with the harsh climate of northern China and Mongolia, which became a centre of sheep trade (see map).

As a result, sheep from Mongolia show more genetic variation than the breeds developed in Europe that have been the focus of most sheep genetics research, the paper shows.

"Almost all previous sheep genomic analyses have had poor sampling of genetic diversity from East, North and Central Asia, so this study is important for this aspect alone," says John McEwan, principal scientist with AgResearch, an agricultural research institute in New Zealand, one of the world biggest exporters of sheep meat.

The researchers involved in the study are mainly from China, which is particularly keen to improve its sheep industry. Most existing sheep breeds were developed as much for their wool as their meat, but there is a shrinking Chinese market for wool and growing demand for mutton. Chinese farmers cannot rely on breeds developed on the lush green pastures of Western Europe, the researchers say. They need flocks that will thrive on the rough grazing of Central Asia.

But Mark Young, a geneticist with another New Zealand agricultural agency, Beef + Lamb New Zealand Genetics, says the study does not provide all the answers.

"The paper is all about what we can infer about sheep movements in the past, based on DNA changes. There is nothing linking this directly to local adaptations or performance measures," he tells SciDev.Net. "Since farming livestock is about managing animals to exploit surplus production, like milk and meat, this doesn't inform us about those dimensions."

But McEwan says the research will ultimately benefit all sheep producers, not just those in countries such as New Zealand with a well-developed infrastructure for promoting livestock improvements.

China, for example, has the capacity to absorb lessons from the study, he says. "New Zealand has about 30 million sheep while China has about 187 million. So China can benefit immensely more from this information than New Zealand if they decide that is what they want."

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Art, Entertainment

"Precious Works of High Saint Zanabazar" exhibition opens at Choijin Lama Temple Museum

September 15 (gogo.mn) Exhibition named "Precious Works of High Saint Zanabazar" is open to the public until September 27th at Choijin Lama Temple Museum.

This exhibition is dedicated to the 380th birth anniversary of High Saint Zanabazar - Mongolia's first Buddhist leader and it is showing 17 artistic works of him including paintings, carvings and sculptures.

Moreover, commentary album of his works with painting is available in Mongolian, Tibetan, Sanskrit and English.

Zanabazar has been called the "Michelangelo of Asia" for bringing to the region a renaissance in matters related to spirituality (including theology), language, art, medicine, and astronomy. He composed sacred music and mastered the sacred arts of bronze casting and painting. He created a new design for monastic robes, and he invented the Soyombo alphabet in 1686- based on the Ranjana alphabet, which served as the alphabet for Buddhism in Mongolia. He also created the Quadratic Script- based on the Tibetan and Phags-pa script.

Zanabazar personally created thangkas and bronze statues of Buddha. His personal works are mostly kept in museums. He also founded a school of Buddhist art. The talented monks of his school created many figures of Buddha continuing well into the 19th and 20th centuries.

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Travel

Mongolia to Promote Sustainable Tourism on World Tourism Day

September 15 (gogo.mn) Every time we travel, for whatever reason, we are part of a global movement; a movement that has the power to drive inclusive development, create jobs and build the sustainable societies we want for our future; a movement that builds mutual understanding and can help us safeguard our shared natural and cultural heritage.

This year on the 27th of September, we want you to talk Tourism. It's a day for us all to celebrate Tourism. World Tourism Day has been celebrated since 1979, and the UNWTO declared the theme for 2015 as "One Billion Tourists, One Billion Opportunities".

Mongolian Tourism Association (MTA) will be organising a series of events for the World Tourism Day 2015 including lectures about sustainable tourism at universities, an academic conference among students and researchers and a press conference to raise awareness of tourism and sustainable development in Mongolia. Moreover, MTA is aiming to procure some of the issues Mongolian tourism industry faces such as domestic flight irregularity, Naadam ticket distribution etc solved by the government, related ministries and local governers' houses.

MTA is the largest professional association in Mongolian tourism industry with over 100 registered members, and works to defend its' members welfares and contribute to the sustainable development of Mongolian tourism. About more than half of the MTA members are tour operators. It's estimated that 60% of incoming tourists to Mongolia, and about 70% of outgoing tourists travel with MTA members. Moreover, MTA issues the tour operator's permit based on the contract between the Ministry of Nature, Environment, Green Development and Tourism.     

Prepared by Zola, General Manager of Mongolian Tourism Association for GoGo Travel. © All rights reserved 2015.  www.TravelMongolia.org; Tel/Fax: +976-7000-7820

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