Wednesday, October 21, 2015

[ERD raising C$1m; FRC to evaluate MSE-LSE partnership; DP caucus discusses Gatsuurt; Baganuur elects first mayor; and Abe arrives tomorrow]

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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

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Overseas Market

Announcement made after market close. ERD closed Tuesday -6.67% to C$0.14

Erdene Announces Private Placement; Drilling to Commence on the Bayan Khundii Gold Project

HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA--(Marketwired - Oct. 20, 2015) - Erdene Resource Development Corp. (TSX:ERD) ("Erdene" or "Company"), is pleased to announce that it intends to undertake a non-brokered private placement ("Private Placement") to raise up to $1 million.

Private Placement

Erdene is undertaking a non-brokered Private Placement to sell up to 7,142,857 units at a price of $0.14 per unit for gross proceeds of up to $1,000,000. Each unit will consist of one common share of the Company and one-half of one common share purchase warrant, with each whole common share purchase warrant ("Warrant") entitling the holder to purchase one common share of the Company at a price of $0.18 for a twelve month period from the closing date. Finder's fees will be paid on a portion of the Private Placement, consisting of up to 6.5% of the gross proceeds raised and finder's fee warrants equal to up to 6.5% of the number of common shares issued in the Private Placement. Each finder's fee warrant will be exercisable into one common share of the Company at $0.14 per share, for a period of 12 months from the closing date.

Proceeds of the Private Placement will be used to advance the Company's Bayan Khundii gold discovery and the Altan Nar gold-polymetallic project, as well as for general working capital purposes. At Bayan Khundii, the Company plans to conduct a geophysical survey and to complete a maiden drill program as follow-up to the results reported on October 5, 2015 (click here to view news release) that included 30 m of 2.70 g/t gold from Trench BKT-01. At Altan Nar, work is expected to include additional metallurgical process test work, evaluations of the mining, engineering, transportation, and marketing options, exploration and development related programs, and work required for a mining licence application (click here to view the Company's latest news releases on Altan Nar).

The Private Placement is expected to close on or before November 3, 2015, and is subject to certain conditions, including, but not limited to, the receipt of all necessary approvals including the approval and acceptance by the TSX. All securities to be issued pursuant to the Private Placement will be subject to a four-month hold period from the closing date.

Link to release

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Local Market

MSE Trading Report: Top 20 -1.03%, ₮9.4 Billion T-Bills, ₮964.3 Million Stocks, UID -11.8%, ₮952.7 Million

October 20 (MSE) --

Link to release


10 Billion 28-Week 14.311% Discounted T-Bills Sold on MSE with 31.5 Billion Bids

October 20 (MSE) On 20 October 2015, the bond orders of 28 weeks Government bonds with 14.311% annual interest, placed on order book, and Ministry of Finance supplied 100,000 or MNT10.0 billion out of total order 315,432 pieces or MNT31.5 billion.   

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

Companies' name



Novel Investment






Tenger Capital



Golomt Securities



Daewoo Securities Mongolia



Altan Khoromsog








Link to release


FRC to Evaluate MSE-LSE Strategic Partnership

October 19 (FRC) The FRC held an irregular meeting of the Commission on the 13th of October to discuss the result of a thorough field inspection covering the last 6 years of the Mongolian Stock Exchange's capital market operation and the Commission members supported that the Mongolian Stock Exchange to be registered as a self-regulatory organization.

The meeting was held with the participation of the Vice minister of the Ministry of the Finance, the Head of the Board of Members, the Executives of the Stock Exchange and the stock owners. The FRC supervisors conducted the evaluation stated that the transparency, bureaucracy free and sabotage free environment for the stock exchange's trades and registration at the levels of programming and organization can not be provided currently. The internationally accepted costly payment system is well suited at the secondary trading however, the system is payment lacks the right modules in communication with the clearing organizations, securities companies; the Mongolian system being a primary trade platform requiring a new module as an extension is needed. Therefore, evaluation on the "Strategic Partnership Agreement" of the Mongolian Stock Exchange  and the London Stock Exchange is to be made in terms of a long term policy and strategy proposing to the Parliament of Mongolia and The State Ikh Khural in order to re-activate the agreement terms with the London Stock Exchange, to resolve the possible costs within a short time period and introduce to the Standing Committee on Economy at the Parliament by the Ministry of Finance.   

Link to release

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Historic low ₮1,997.26/USD set September 11

BoM MNT Rates: Tuesday, October 20 Close








































































































Bank rates at time of sending: TDB (Buy ₮1,987 Sell ₮1,996), Khan (Buy ₮1,986 Sell ₮1,995), Golomt (Buy ₮1,986 Sell ₮1,995), XacBank (Buy ₮1,987 Sell ₮1,996), State Bank (Buy ₮1,986 Sell ₮1,995)

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

Link to rates


BoM FX auction: US$5.8m sold at 1,992, CNY21.5m at 312.8, accepts $15m USD, $8.028m MNT, CNY30m CNY swap offers

October 20 (BoM) On the Foreign Exchange Auction held on October 20th, 2015 the BoM has received bid offers of USD 6.95 million in a rate between MNT 1989.20-1992.75 and CNY 4.0 million in a rate between MNT 314.01-314.11 from local commercial banks. The BoM sold USD 5.8 million in a closing rate of MNT 1992.00 and CNY 21.5 million in a closing rate of MNT 312.80. 

On October 20th, 2015, The BoM has received USD Swap agreement selling bid offer equivalent to USD 15.0 million and MNT Swap agreement bid offer equivalent to USD 8.028 million, 30.0 million CNY Swap agreement bid offers from local commercial banks and the BoM has accepted the offers.

Link to release


16 distributors selected to reserve 84,720 tons or 30 days' worth of petroleum

Ulaanbaatar, October 20 (MONTSAME) At its regular meeting on Monday, the cabinet assigned the Minister of Mining R.Jigjid to manage the work to obtain such amount of petroleum reserve as 84,720 tons, sufficient for 30 day consumption, by March 1 of 2016.

The cabinet approved a list of petroleum reserving entities and a range and petroleum products along with designated amounts for 2016. This year, 16 petroleum handling companies have been obligated by the Government to have at least 8,155 tons of A80 (widely recognized as 80 RON), 21,505 tons of A92, 50,030 tons of diesel fuel and 3,660 tons of TC-1 airplane fuel. The companies have been maintaining the overall amount at 83,350 tons.

The amount of imported fuel reached 1,051,337.7 tons from August 2014 to August 2015.

Link to article


Tourists to Mongolia Increase 0.4% in 2015 to 317,000, Chinese Down 9%

October 20 ( During the first nine months of 2015 a total of 317,000 tourists visited Mongolia. This represents a marginal 0.4% increase on the previous year. Of this number, 112,000 were Chinese tourists, which is a 9% reduction on 2014. The Mongolian Immigration Service informed that, still one in every three tourists is Chinese. Tourists, especially from the Russia, South Korea, and Kazakhstan are increasing every year. According to the study by the Bank of Mongolia, the average tourist spends USD 126 daily in Mongolia; 30% of which is for the hotel, 24% for restaurants and the balance on goods and services.

Link to article


For Mongolia, China's Slowdown Is Provoking Emergency Response

By Michael Kohn 

·         With 88% of exports winding up in China, Mongolia badly hurt

·         China's neighbor looking to sell power plants, postal service

October 21 (Bloomberg) While China's slowing economy has singed stock markets around the world, no nation is more affected than neighboring Mongolia. Things have gotten so bad that the government in this mineral-rich nation is planning job and salary cuts for bureaucrats, and the sale of shares in state-owned companies including the postal service.

Mongolia, sandwiched between China and Russia, is an early illustration of fallout from slower growth in the world's second-biggest economy. "When China sneezes, we get a cold. That is how the situation is. It really affects us in a major way," Dale Choi, founder and director of the research firm Independent Mongolian Metal & Mining Research, said in a phone interview.

That's because about 88 percent of Mongolia's exports -- mostly commodities including coal -- wound up in China in 2014 and falling revenue from these products is pushing Mongolia deeper into economic crisis. Earlier this month the country's Finance Minister Bolor Bayarbaatar unveiled emergency austerity measures so the government can pay its bills.

The sliding commodity prices are exacerbating existing woes for Mongolia, which has had a sharp downturn in foreign direct investment because of the price decline as well as some disputes with foreign companies like Rio Tinto Plc.

If passed by parliament, the austerity measures would eliminate government jobs, cut salaries and merge agencies in an effort to reduce spending. Revenue-raising plans include selling off shares of power plants and the postal service, which are relics of a Soviet era and continue to bleed red ink -- something the government can no longer afford.

While austerity may not be encouraging for a government that faces a contested election in eight months, Prime Minister Saikhanbileg Chimed has few other options. His finance minister reported that the 2015 budget will face a shortfall of more than 4 percent, or $500 million, by the end of the year -- a considerable sum for a $12 billion economy.

Mongolia's gross domestic product growth has fallen to the current pace of about 3 percent from more than 17 percent in 2011. In August, the sovereign's Chinggis bond, issued in 2012, slid at the fastest pace in two years before recovering slightly. Its currency, the tugrik, has tumbled to record lows.

Commodity Collapse

China's slowing demand has played no small part in Mongolia's economic decline. In the first nine months of this year Mongolia exported $3 billion worth of products to China, down from $3.6 billion in the same period a year earlier, a fall of 17 percent.

Revenues are down sharply for Mongolia's commodities exports: a 32 percent drop for coal, 41 percent for oil and 48 percent for iron ore. Only the value of copper shipments has shown an increase, up 1.9 percent in September from the previous year, largely because of a ramp-up in production at the new Oyu Tolgoi copper mine.

"Now, everything will depend on how competitive we are," said Choi, who is based in Ulaanbaatar and has been analyzing Mongolia's commodities market for six years. "If we do nothing, the trend will be a continued decline. The prices are going down but China will continue to buy, so we just need to deliver at lower prices and still make money, which means improving infrastructure."

Mongolia's economy could worsen if the export picture with China doesn't improve soon. A recent report by the Asian Development Bank forecast growth for the whole of 2015 slowing to 2.3 percent, before a recovery to 3 percent in 2016.

Soviet Period

Mongolia's big push in commodities is still a relatively recent phenomenon. Soviet geologists began mapping out the country from the 1950s, paving the way for a handful of coal mines and the Erdenet copper mine, which shipped all its product to the USSR.

When private enterprise arrived in the 1990s, Mongolian entrepreneurs started mining outfits and were joined by a handful of Chinese and Western companies. The most successful was undoubtedly Ivanhoe Mines (now Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd.) which explored and developed the giant Oyu Tolgoi deposit.

Cashmere, Tourism

Mongolia's reliance on China's commodity appetite was more opportunistic than planned. In fact, successive governments have tried to diversify the export economy away from mining. The government has backed projects to develop the dairy and meat industry, leather, cashmere, tourism and even gambling as ways to overcome its reliance on mining exports. Still, mining today accounts for 79 percent of exports.

And Mongolia has not always leaned so heavily on China. For most of the 20th century the nation was a client of Moscow and the bulk of its raw materials were shipped north to the USSR. A peaceful transition to democracy 25 years ago opened up new markets to Mongolia. A "third neighbor policy" was developed so that it could seek economic ties with the U.S., Japan, Germany and other Western countries.

But China, which shares a 2,906-mile border with Mongolia's southern frontier, quickly became the number one trading partner.

Mongolia's cashmere producers were the first to make inroads in China, followed quickly by the mining companies. Today cashmere only makes up about 6 percent of the exports Mongolia sends to China. The rest are minerals.

Mongolia , though, doesn't blame all of its economic problems on China. The government is quick to point out that misguided policies have caused self-inflected wounds. The most drastic was the 2012 Strategic Entities Foreign Investment Law (SEFIL), which put an immediate chill on foreign investment in Mongolia.

FDI Discouraged

SEFIL's purpose was to impose more government oversight of the sale of Mongolian assets to foreign entities. It was sparked after the Aluminum Corp. of China Ltd. made a bid to buy Mongolian coal miner SouthGobi Resources Ltd.

While the government successfully prevented the sale, the law caused overall foreign direct investment in the country to plunge more than 50 percent the next year.

John Johnson, chief executive of CRU China, a Beijing-based market analysis firm with a focus on commodities, said China's slowdown has given Mongolia a lesson that the country should try to regain some foreign investment.

"The reality is hitting home in Mongolia that they have to change their view a little bit and they have to be a bit less hostile given the downturn in the commodity cycle," Johnson said. But, he said, the potential to develop is still there: "China is still a huge market and Mongolia just needs to capture a small slice of that market."

Link to article

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Politics & Legal

Parliament Agenda for Oct 20: Standing Committees on 2015 Budget Amendment

October 20 ( Standing Committee meetings are scheduled for today.

1. Justice Standing Committee meeting at 09AM.


  • Amendments to law on 2015 Mongolian State Budget, Amendments to 2015 Budget Law for Human Development Fund, Amendments to Budget Law for 2015 Social Insurance Fund"
  • To appoint accredited representative at Constitutional Court

2. State Structure Standing Committee meeting at 09AM.


  • Amendments to law on Government of Mongolia, amendments to law on science and technology, amendments to law on anticorruption, amendments to draft law on prevention of conflicts of interest, draft resolution of State Great Hural on approval of general scheme for state administrative organization`s system and structure
  • Amendments to law on 2015 Mongolian State Budget, Amendments to 2015 Budget Law for Human Development Fund, Amendments to Budget Law for 2015 Social Insurance Fund"

3. Budget Expenditure Monitoring Sub-Standing Committee Meeting at 10AM.


  • Amendments to law on 2015 Mongolian State Budget, Amendments to 2015 Budget Law for Human Development Fund, Amendments to Budget Law for 2015 Social Insurance Fund"

4. Environment, Food and Agriculture Standing Committee meeting at 02PM.


  • Revised draft law on agriculture
  • Amendments to law on 2015 Mongolian State Budget, Amendments to 2015 Budget Law for Human Development Fund, Amendments to Budget Law for 2015 Social Insurance Fund"

5. State Structure, Education, Culture and Science Standing Committee meeting at 02PM.


  • Draft law on medical aid and service and affiliated other drafts
  • Amendments to law on 2015 Mongolian State Budget, Amendments to 2015 Budget Law for Human Development Fund, Amendments to Budget Law for 2015 Social Insurance Fund"
  • Amendments to draft law on health insurance

Link to article


Parliament Agenda for Oct 21: Standing Committees on 2015 Budget Amendment

October 21 (GoGo Mongolia) Standing Committee meeting is scheduled for today.

1. Economic Standing Committee meeting at 09AM:


·         Amendments to law on 2015 Mongolian State Budget, Amendments to 2015 Budget Law for Human Development Fund, Amendments to Budget Law for 2015 Social Insurance Fund

·         Amendments to law on Government of Mongolia, draft resolution of State Great Hural on approval of general scheme for state administrative organization`s system and structure

·         To establish working group

·         Others

2. Security and Foreign Policy Standing Committee meeting at 09AM:


·         Amendments to law on 2015 Mongolian State Budget, Amendments to 2015 Budget Law for Human Development Fund, Amendments to Budget Law for 2015 Social Insurance Fund

·         Revised draft law on international agreement

3. Budget Standing Committee meeting at 02PM:


·         Amendments to draft law on custom

·         Amendments to draft law on custom tariff and custom tax

·         Amendments to draft law on excise tax, amendments to draft resolution of State Great Hural on approval of customs duty rates of import good

·         Operation report for 2016 of the Mongolian State Budget, Amendments to draft law on 2017-2018 budget adjustment

Link to article


DP caucus discusses Gatsuurt bill, denies party is splitting

October 20 ( Democratic Party's faction in the parliament held its regular meeting yesterday and responded to questions by correspondents.

The faction leader B.Garamgaibaatar stated that the faction of Democratic Party discussed mainly about issues of the state budget.

In details, Speaker of Parliament and Prime Minister respectively made reports at the meeting. Also, Ya.Sanjmyatav, leader of the working group assigned to develop the faction's conclusion over the draft laws of 2015 state budget amendment and 2016 state budget, delivered the report.

PM made the statement that the agreement matters regarding Gatsuurt gold mine have been arranged. Accordingly, the faction previously assigned the guideline to submit draft parliament resolution about registering Noyon Mountain as the state protected area.

Next matter discussed is about the unity of the faction as member of the faction are critical of such rumors being spread.  Recently, news and media outlets have been reporting that Democratic Party goes into separation as several members are about to found a new political party. This rumor is false and it has not happened, he officially stated.

MPP today politicizes the issue of 3000 state employees being laid off. The party, which negatively spoke of too many people being employed and enlarging state personnel, now criticizes that state employees are to be laid off. We would say that it is truly political game.

In regards to other laws being submitted alongside the state budget draft law, changes in the state personnel set to be discussed and finalized in August, 2016. A relative draft law has been submitted with the draft law of the state budget.

According to recent comments by Cabinet Secretariat of Government, we are unlikely to face any obstacles in 2016 state budget if the draft law of abridging the state personnel are submitted and approved all together with the draft law of the state budget. Thus, the faction has agreed to support current draft law about the personnel to be submitted by Government.

Finally, the faction discussed and finalized matters above.

Link to article


Bill submitted on maintaining permanent status of neutrality

Ulaanbaatar, October 20 (MONTSAME) An advisor to the President on human rights and legal policy Ch.Onorbayar Tuesday submitted to the Speaker Z.Enkhbold a draft law on maintaining the permanent status of neutrality.

The bill with 11 clauses in three articles is supposed to contribute to the improvement of the legal basis for ensuring the national security, foreign and defense policies. "Maintaining the status of neutrality will not change the foreign policy of Mongolia but will become a basis for keeping balanced ties with other nations. The bill is fully accorded with the Constitution of Mongolia, the Concept of National Security, the Concept of Foreign Policy, the Fundamentals of Military Policy and other related laws," Onorbayar said.

In conjunction with this bill, a draft resolution of parliament has been formulated to amend the Concept of National Security and the Concept of Foreign Policy. In addition, Mongolia is expected to need to join the 1907 Hague Conventions relative to the Rights and Duties of Neutral Powers and Persons in case of War on Land as well concerning the Rights and Duties of Neutral Powers in Naval War.

Link to article


Bill presented on ratifying EU rules on transfers of sentenced persons

Ulaanbaatar, October 20 (MONTSAME) Head of Cabinet Secretariat S.Bayartsogt MP submitted to the Speaker Z.Enkhbold a bill on ratifying the Convention on Transfers of Sentenced Persons of the European Commission, on October 20.

S.Bayartsogt noted that it is time that Mongolia focuses on concluding agreements and on joining related conventions on the transfer of convicts and on legal assistances to those Mongolian nationals who have become subjects to criminal activities abroad, as a number of the Mongolians to study and work overseas increases, he said.

Bilateral agreements on the same issue have been signed with South Korea, China, Canada, Russia, Poland, Turkey and Cuba. Mongolia is also a subject to the 1978 Berlin Convention on Transfers of Sentenced Persons, which is currently effective.

Link to article


Speaker Greets Mongolians on 70th anniversary of Referendum for Independence

Ulaanbaatar, October 20 (MONTSAME) The Chairman of the State Great Khural (parliament) Z.Enkhbold delivered greetings to the Mongolians on the 70th anniversary of the Referendum for Independence.

This Referendum took place on October 20 of 1945 in accordance with a resolution of the Presidium of Conference of the People's Republic of Mongolia. "The votes for the Independence were a democratic choice of the Mongolians. Some 50% of the all voters were illiterate, but the Referendum was participated by all to strengthen the Independence and to make their democratic voting. I am very proud of them," said the Speaker and urged all Mongolians to make efforts for the country's development.

Link to article


Talk With Me: Ganbaatar S., Independent MP

October 19 (Star TV Mongolia)

Link to interview


130 Erdenes TT employees on sit-down strike over halt of operations on East Tsankhi

October 20 ( Workers of "Erdenes Tavantolgoi" company went on sit-down strike yesterday. The workers from Australian-invested company operating in East Tsankhi had been working under the employment agreement established with "Erdenes Tavantolgoi".

But Erdenes Tavantolgoi company informed the workers that the partner Australian company halted its operations and left Mongolia, being replaced by Chinese-invested company, so that the workers will be employed by Chinese-invested company. As asked about the matter, Head of the Labor Union of Erdenes Tavantolgoi S.Erdene said: "We go on sit-down strike because we protest against that Erdenes Tavantolgoi suspends the establishment of a cooperation agreement. We will expand into public demonstration in case of our demand not to be received."

Total of more than 130 workers are on sit-down striker.

Link to article


Public Holiday Chinggis Khaan's Birthday Falls on November 12 This Year

October 20 ( This year, birthday of Chinggis Khaan is set to be celebrated on November 12th (Thursday).

According to the Law ` 12th is an annual non-working public holiday in Mongolia.

Link to article


IRI Seeks Contractor to Perform 3 National Polls in Mongolia

Procurement Number:


Open Date:

October 20, 2015

Questions Deadline:

23 October 2015 (COB local time)

Closing Deadline:

26 October 2015 (COB local time)

Decision Date:

28 October 2015 (DC time)

Geographical Area Restrictions:


Point of Contact:

Ashleigh Whelan,


The International Republican Institute (IRI) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, organization dedicated to advancing freedom and democracy worldwide. Since 1983, IRI has worked to develop democratic institutions and ideals, carrying out a variety of international programs to promote freedom, self-government and the rule of law worldwide. IRI provides technical assistance in the areas of political party strengthening, developing civic institutions and open elections, promoting democratic governance and advancing the rule of law.

IRI's work in Mongolia focuses on improving the participation and inclusion of women in political campaigns. The Institute's program provides technical assistance to women candidates across Mongolia and political parties at the national and sub-national levels. This initiative targets the main barriers that prevent women in Mongolia from being nominated as candidates and elected into representative office by raising public awareness of these challenges, facilitating political parties to address these obstacles and informing ordinary citizens about substantive issues that directly contribute to an underrepresentation of women in elected positions of government. A key competent of this work is polling that IRI conducts in order to gauge public sentiment and in turn to inform women candidates, political parties and other stakeholders on constituent concerns and issues relevant to women's electoral participation. IRI is seeking bids from qualified survey research and polling firms to conduct three national polls (5,000 respondents each) in Mongolia. IRI will include party representatives in the design of the questionnaire to ensure engagement from important stakeholders.

Period of Performance

1 November 2015 – 31 March 2017

Statement of Work

The Contractor shall conduct three national polls (5,000 respondents each) representing a cross-section of all voting-age Mongolians throughout the country aimed at evaluating public opinion on political and social issues in the country. Polls are expected to take place at the outset, midterm and approximately four months prior to the end of the period of performance.

To meet the requirements of the Statement of Work, the Contractor will be expected to:

Link to Request for Proposals

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PwC Mongolia Tax Alert: The Law on Supporting Economic Transparency - Opportunity for foreign individuals

October 20 (PwC Mongolia) --

Tax forgiveness for foreign individuals in Mongolia

Foreign individuals qualifying as Mongolian tax residents need to report and pay tax in Mongolia. In this alert, we would like to bring your attention to a available one-off forgiveness from the principal tax obligation and sanctions under the amnesty program for those who have not reported on taxes in previous years

I. Brief overview of rules for tax residents

1. Tax Residency Status

A foreign individual is considered as a Mongolian tax resident if he or she resides in Mongolia for 183 or more days in a tax year or owns a residence in Mongolia (Article 6.1.1 and 6.1.2 of the Law of Mongolia on Personal Income Tax ["PIT"]). Above days are calculated based on the number of days of a calendar year from the day of entry into Mongolia and in case of multiple entries, it will be determined based on the total days of stays in Mongolia.

2. Taxable Income

If foreign individual is a resident tax payer, his or her income earned in Mongolia as well as income received from any source outside of Mongolia (i.e. worldwide income) is subject to tax in Mongolia (Article 9.1.1 of the PIT law).

3. Tax Rates and filing obligations

Resident taxpayers are taxed at 10% on all type of income earned, except for some types of income.

Qualifying individuals should prepare and file the individual annual tax return on a self-assessment basis.

Annual tax return is due by 15th of February of the year following the reporting year (Article 28.2 of the PIT law). The annual individual income tax return is formTT-06 (a) and (b).

4. Penalties for late tax payment and late submission of tax returns

If a tax payer did not pay taxes on time, the tax administration will impose 0.1 percent penalty per each late payment day on outstanding balance of taxes payable (Article 74.2 of the General Taxation Law of Mongolia). In addition to penalty, fines will be imposed (0.052 percent per day currently) on outstanding balance of taxes payable (Mongolian Government Resolution №25, dated 26 January 2015).

Responsible person who have failed to file tax returns on time would be fined 3-4 times the minimum labour wage (Article 75.1.3 of the General Taxation law of Mongolia). The current minimum labour wage in Mongolia is MNT192,000.

In case individuals have not fulfilled their tax obligations in previous years, now there is an opportunity to declare such liabilities and utilize one-off forgiveness.

We encourage individuals to consider this opportunity (see more details on a next page).

II. Tax Forgiveness under the Law on Supporting Economic Transparency (amnesty law)

In August 2015, the Mongolian Parliament adopted a law on Supporting Economic Transparency introducing amnesty from tax obligations and fines for, inter alia, individuals who have not registered as taxpayers and filed/disclosed their tax liabilities in previous years. The law provides forgiveness for the principal tax liability and respective fines/penalties.

Foreign individuals who are going to utilize the amnesty would need to provide a disclosing tax return before 31st December 2015 – no other supporting documents and/or explanations are needed.

Also, the disclosed items would not be subject to tax inspection, administrative sanctions or criminal prosecution.

The information disclosed for the purpose of amnesty would be kept confidential and cannot be used as an evidence document. The above amnesty would be provided for periods before 1 April 2015.

Link to alert


British Embassy Hosting Seminar on Building Information Modeling with Construction Ministry

October 20 (GoGo Mongolia) Embassy of UK in Mongolia, the Ministry of Construction and Urban Development in cooperation with Building Smart Mongolia NGO to organize "International Best Experience of BIM" Seminar on October 20-21 at conference hall of Bishrelt Hotel.

Building information modeling (BIM) is a process involving the generation and management of digital representations of physical and functional characteristics of places.

·         Registration for the seminar is open at 94748050.

·         Registration fee is at MNT 5000.

Below is the agenda for the two-day seminar:

Link to article


Where to Invest in Mongolia?

October 20 (Mongolian Economy) If you have decided to invest in Mongolia, but would like more information in order to choose which sector to invest in, this may nudge you in your desired direction. Below is information on potential Mongolian sectors other than mining to invest in.


The British investment agency Property Frontiers concluded that the "most suitable real estate investment country is Mongolia." According to the conclusion, the demand for construction development, especially the demand for housing, will continue to increase rapidly over the next few years. The government's announcement of 10 percent down payments on mortgage loans has opened a path for the impoverished ger district's residents to move into apartments. According to a survey by the Mongolian National Construction Association, there is USD 1.5-2 billion worth of purchase demand. Therefore, the construction industry is at the forefront of investment opportunities in Mongolia.


In recent years, tourism has increased more than ten-fold in Mongolia, which makes it the fastest growing sector of the economy. As an original and the only remaining nomadic culture on earth, Mongolia has a valuable resource to promote tourism. Beautiful natural landscapes and a rapidly developing society juxtaposed with a centuries-old culture is sure to attract tourists. In March of this year, Mongolia participated in the ITB Berlin 2015 tourism expo held in Berlin, Germany as an official partner country. Meanwhile, an average of 400,000 tourists come to Mongolia per year, and it has been announced to the world that Mongolia has set the objective to receive one million tourists in 2016 and two million by 2020. To do this, the Ministry of Tourism will emphasise developing special and unique tourism, especially winter tourism.


Mongolia, with its aim of becoming a less importing, more exporting country, produces nearly 80 percent of the consumed electrical energy domestically and imports the remainder from outside. However, many works are undertaken to achieve the goal and many projects, such as the Eg river hydropower plant project, are ongoing. According to the world energy balance forecast up until 2030, a quarter of the world's energy balance is expected to focus on Northeast Asia. More than 300 deposits were discovered under 15 coal basins in Mongolia. As of this year, Mongolia has 173.3 tonnes of coal reserves. By detailed exploration, 23.5 tonnes of reserves were proven. Mongolia, having huge resources of coal energy can build power plants based on large deposits and export energy to China and Northeast Asian countries easily. In such a context, the Ministry of Energy is working to implement a project to export energy by building a 4,800 MW power plant near the Shivee Ovoo coal mine.

Alternative energy

The Gobi desert too can boast tremendous energy potential. The Gobi, which has large natural resource reserves, also has renewable energy potential second only to the Sahara desert. This potential has already drawn the interests of Asia. Even though detailed study of renewable energy sources have not been carried out, there is plenty of it in the Mongolian steppes. There is an estimate that there is a potential 56.2 billion kWh of water, 1200-1400 kWm of solar and 836.8 kWh of wind resources.


Mongolia has huge natural resources and has been dubbed "Minegolia" by some. At a time when natural resources are being rapidly put into commercialisation, development and value addition is essential. Mongolia's goal is to transform from an exporting economy to an industrialised economy. Mongolia is planning to develop a heavy industry complex and extract chemical coal, copper, iron, zinc, non-ferrous and ferrous metal ores and process them, and then build more environmentally friendly, advanced technology factories with the capacity to produce value added finished products. 

Mongolia has more than 1000 deposits with about 80 types of minerals. Mineral reserves explored in Mongolia:

·         20.6 billion tonnes of coal

·         84.1 million tonnes of copper

·         1.08 billion tonnes of iron

·         2.4 thousand tonnes of gold

·         18.1 million tonnes of lead

·         332.6 million tonnes of oil

Investors have significant opportunities as the government is seeking to support the development of processing industries to produce value added products. The processing industry is undeveloped and industrialisation is in process, while the country has huge mineral reserves. Mongolia is located between the two of the largest markets and is close to other major markets in Northeast Asia. Infrastructure is improving as major infrastructure projects are being implemented. In addition, Mongolia has reached relevant agreements with its two neighbours on developing a harmonised transportation network. 


Agriculture is Mongolia's traditional sector. The sector accounts for nearly 20 percent of the nation's GPD and is the basis for determining the country's social and economic development as it is the backbone of the food supply and domestic industrial raw materials. About 35 percent of the country's workforce is engaged in this field and living on its product sales. Therefore, the Mongolian government has placed focused attention on developing the food and agricultural sector, industrial growth and improving productivity. The agricultural sector consists of staple area such as food production, animal husbandry and agriculture. Of these, investors are able to raise capital from animal husbandry and food production.

Livestock farming

The country's economy is still heavily dependent on animal husbandry. This sector produces about 80 percent of the total agricultural output and makes up nearly 10 percent of the total export revenue. One third of the country's population earns a living from income generated by livestock herding.

Food production

Import goods account for nearly 70 percent of Mongolia's total food products. However, this number is decreasing each year, and Mongolia aims to continue to decrease it in the long run. The government is aiming to develop food industry value added networks, increase food supply, and organise and coordinate the implementation of food security and service improvement policies. The advantages of investing in this sector:

-       A unique geographic location between the two of the world's largest markets,  providing a great possibility to supply products.

-       Unique biological products which have adapted to the harsh climatic conditions as a result of selective breeding.

-       About 35 percent of the country's workforce works in this field and lives on its product sales.

-       The number of heads of livestock is increasing consistently.

-       An abundance of sea buckthorn – a most healthy berry that has the potential to be a major product.

Link to article


General Managers of 43 ASEM-Certified Hotels Trained for 2nd Day

October 20 (Montsame) As we know, the Asia-Europe Meeting /ASEM/ where the heads of state and government gather biannually to discuss political, economic and cultural issues will be held in Ulaanbaatar next year.   

High level delegates including Presidents and Prime ministers from more than 50 countries will arrive in our country for the Summit.

Mongolia sees this meeting as a very important event and is attaching great importance on its organization. President of Mongolia has issued a decree to establish a National Council which is headed by Prime minister to deal with specific duties on organizing and making directions of the ASEM summit in Ulaanbaatar.

/Mr A.Ganbaatar, The head of working group in charge of ASEM's promotion/:

According to the order of  Prime minister, there were established six working groups which are responsible for hotel accommodation, logistics, communication, food, security, press, organization of cultural events and preparation of documents.                                                                                          

It is estimated that more than 4500 guests from more than 50 countries will arrive in UB for the Summit. Mongolian hotels will play an important role in welcoming and providing hospitality to foreign guests.
Therefore, the government has made a decision to grant the long-term soft loans to the amount of 100 mln dollars for some hotels to improve their services and star ratings. So far, 43 hotels have officially been chosen to accommodate the participants of ASEM Summit.

In addition to current hotels, world famous chain hotels like "Holiday Inn", "Radisson", "Sheraton", and "Shangri La" are expected to be operational by this year.

On Monday and Tuesday trainings for hotel managers are being held in a scope of a preparation for the 11th ASEM Summit.

The trainings, specially dedicated to the hotel managers who will be serving heads of states, PMs and other high guests, have been led by diplomats and leaders of State Protocol Department. The trainings' programme includes themes such as receptions, banquets, feast protocols, hotel management, contemporary issues of service technologies, ethical body conduct around high guests, dressing for ceremonies.

Link to article (includes video)

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Baganuur City Residents Elect Baganuur Energy's Tavinbekh N. as Mayor

Ulaanbaatar, October 20 (MONTSAME) The election of Baganuur city's governor took place October 18 with a participation of Sh.Otgonbayar, N.Tavinbekh, R.Ganbaatar and Ts.Tsogbayar.

Some eight thous.and half people out of 19 thous.024 registered voted. N.Tavinbekh collected the largest number of votes--57.72%, followed by Sh.Otgonbayar (28.88%), R.Ganbaatar (9.79%) and Ts.Tsogbayar (2.79%).

A confirmation note of selecting N.Tavinbekh as the governor of Baganuur city will be submitted to the Presidium of the Citizens' Representative Khural of Ulaanbaatar.

N.Tavinbekh graduated from the Mongolian University of Science and Technology in 1995 majoring in electric engineering. He worked as executive director of the "Electricity delivery network of Baganuur-Eastern region" state-owned company in 1995-2013. Until today, he has been serving as a director of the "Baganuur energy" LLC.  

Link to article


4,200 trees planted in Gandan Monastery as part of Green Yard Project

October 20 ( The second phase of the "Green Courtyard Project" is continuing successfully. It will be recalled that this project aims at improving and extending green areas and helping the environment. According to the schedule of the founders of the "Green Courtyard Project" "National Park", "Chinaagiin Galsan Foundation", and "MIKA Mongol NGO" are to plant 9670 trees in the second phase. Ulaanbaatar's "Gandan Tegchinlen Monastery" is an important part of this phase; a total of 4200 have been planted.

Link to article


Tuul Riverbank Cleanup Conducted from Bayanzurkh to Yarmag Bridges

October 20 ( The Ministry of Environment Green Development and Tourism and "Tuul River Basin Authority" have organized the cleanup campaign along the river bank. The staff of the Ministry of Environment, Green Development and Tourism, its various agencies, members of the JICA Alumni Association and students of the Agriculture Universities participated in the clean-up campaign. Approximately, 200 people have cleaned the river banks from the Bayanzurkh to the Yarmag Bridges. The State Secretary at the Ministry of Environment Green Development and Tourism said that: "3.2 million tons of waste is produced annually. In the near future, the "Law on Waste" will be approved. The payment system for waste producers will be established in the law".

Link to article

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Shinzo Abe to pay four-hour visit to Mongolia on October 22

October 20 ( Japanese Prime Minister Mr. Shinzo Abe to pay an official visit in Mongolia on October 22 and his visit to last for four hours.

During his visit, Mr. Shinzo Abe to meet with President of Mongolia Ts.Elbegdorj and to exchange their views on forwarding the implementation of economic partnership agreement established between the two countries.

Moreover, he is scheduled to meet with PM Ch.Saihanbileg.

Interestingly, it will be the second state visit for Japanese Prime Minister Mr.Shinzo Abe to Mongolia. He paid an official visit in Mongolia on March, 2013.

Link to article


Shinzo Abe to visitMontsame, October 20


Mongolia, Germany hold consultation ahead of development policy agreement

Ulaanbaatar, October 20 (MONTSAME) A consultative meeting ahead of the Mongolia-Germany intergovernmental agreement on developmental policy cooperation ran Monday in Ulaanbaatar.

The sides exchanged views on a present situation of the bilateral economic cooperation and a further policy, after which the Mongolian side made a presentation on projects on supporting sustainable management for minerals, on changes in biological diversities and profits of energy--the priorities of the developmental cooperation between the two countries.

Following the meeting, the parties signed the 2013 agreement on the financial cooperation and the same agreement for 2014/2015 with aims to fortify pledges of the 2014 intergovernmental agreement on the developmental policy. In accordance with the agreements, projects are expected to be implemented to renovate the thermal power stations in Darkhan and Erdenet cities and to construct over-head energy lines between Ulaanbaatar and Dundgobi aimag's Mandalgobi soum.

Present at the consultative meeting were Kh.Gantsogt, the State Secretary of Mongolia's Ministry of Finance; representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Environment, Green Development and Tourism, Ministry of Mining, Ministry of Energy, Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, Ministry of Labor, Ministry of Industry; and the German delegation led by Ms Gisela Hammerschmidt, a director of the Asian Department at Germany's Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation.

Link to article


Mongolia, Kazakhstan share experiences on long-term development planning

October 20 ( Member of the Parliament and Head of working group in charge of document preparation of Mongolian long-term development plan, Mr. Sandag BYAMBATSOGT and member of the Parliament, Minister for Environment, Green Development and Tourism, Mr. Namdag BATTSEREG received delegation of the Republic of Kazakhstan on October 19, 2015, who is visiting Mongolia to share experience on government long-term development plan.

At the meeting, MP S.Byambatsogt said: "Mongolian long-term development plan is already adopted but it is not in effect due to lack of suitable legal environment for its implementation. Therefore, heads of three party groups in the parliament established a working group to resolve the issue. It aims to adopt development plan for 2020 and 2030. According to the Mongolian long-term development plan, political parties participating in the election will offer implementing certain parts of the long-term development plan instead of personal party platform. In addition, the working group will reflect the possibility to make a quick change by the government if needed upon the long-term development plan to make it more flexible."

Member of the parliament N.Battsereg said that the working group is working on documents for the next 15 years of Mongolian long-term development plan, and stressed importance of sharing experience with its neighboring country.

Ms. Ayana Manasova, Head of Center for Strategic Research and Analysis of the Presidential Administration of the Republic of Kazakhstan, and Mr. Alikhan Baimenov, Chairman of Agency of the Republic of Kazakhstan for Civil Service Affairs, responded by thanking members of Mongolian Parliament for the warm welcome and introduced the government long-term development plan of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Also, Kazakhstanian delegation will have a meeting with the sub-group in charge of providing basic technical assistance to main working group in charge of the document preparation of the Mongolian long-term development plan.

Mr. R.Khatanbaatar, Head of sub-group of the main working group in charge of the document preparation of the Mongolian long-term development plan, delegation of the Embassy of Kazakhstan in Mongolia and other relevant officials were in attendance.

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Health, Education

ACMS Speaker Series: Bryce Lowry - Tracing the Bronze-Iron Age Transition: Preliminary Results of Fieldwork from Bayankhongor aimag

October 27th, 2015 - Starting 5:30 PM

Location: American Corner, Ulaanbaatar Public Library

Tel: 976 7711-048

In this article following Gramsc Although recent advances in archaeological research on the wider steppe have uncovered important social and economic trajectories of steppe communities, the political economy of Late Bronze -Early Iron Age (ca. 1500-500 BCE) Mongolia remains poorly understood except in broad strokes. Scholars suggest that these communities became more socially "complex" during this transitional period, concomitant with a shift in economic practice: from a mixed economy to one of pastoralism. But the questions of "how,", "why," and "by what mechanism" these political and economic shifts came to be, have not been clearly established. This is in part due to a focus solely on burial monuments and their excavation.

To counter this trend in Mongolian archaeological research, my joint Mongolian-American project attempted to engage conceptually and methodologically with occupational landscapes—an idea that acknowledge the importance of burial contexts but does not solely rely upon them.  This talk will be a cursory presentation of our 2015 archaeological research in Bayankhongor aimag. It will cover the intended research plans, questions, and methods, as well as a partial discussion of the findings and their potential to inform us about the Late Bronze and Early Iron Ages of Mongolia.

Link to release


UArctic Scholarships Granted to Dukha Youth, Mongolia

October 20 (Reindeer Herding) Last month, during the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly held in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, a number of Norwegian parliamentarians met with Dukha / Tsataan youth with whom WRH and ICR partners through the Nomadic Herders project in a session organized by ICR. (see story and photo essay here).

In tandem with this session, 12 reindeer husbandry youth were granted UArctic Scholarships through the UArctic EALAT Institute. The scholarships were granted to work with Traditional Knowledge in their own culture related to protected areas,  reindeer husbandry and conservation of biodiversity in times of climate change. The scholarships were delivered by Ola Elvestuen, a representative of the Venstre party in the Norwegian Storting.

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Nature, Environment

Front Line Defenders Meet Environmentalists Confronting Extractive Industries in Mongolia

Front Line Defenders Head of Campaigns visits Mongolia and Kyrgyzstan to meet environmentalists confronting extractive industries in an effort to protect the environment. The research is for the next book in the series of nonfiction graphic novels produced by Front Line Defenders in cooperation with local HRDs - the first book La Lucha: The Story of Lucha Castro and Human Rights in Mexico was published in April 2015.

Mission Debrief: Mongolia, September 2015


Front Line Defenders Head of Campaigns traveled to Mongolia on a research for the next nonfiction graphic novel the organisation will produce, focused on environmentalists confronting resource extraction industries.


Since emerging as an independent nation following the collapse of the Soviet Union, Mongolia has seen an increase in mining activity and increased interest by foreign mining corporations. A sparsely populated country, Mongolia is home to a diverse ecosystem, upon which traditional herders, farmers and nomads rely for sustenance and sustainability. With a population of 3 million people, Mongolia does not require huge energy resources and as such is in a position to pursue renewable energy resources to meet its domestic needs. However, that has not stopped foreign energy and other resource extraction companies from seeking to exploit the natural environment.

In 2009, much to the delight of environmentalists in Mongolia and around the world, the parliament passed the "Law on Prohibiting Mineral Exploration and Extraction Near Water Sources, Protected Areas and Forests" - known locally as the 'Law with the Long Name', which set out to curb mineral extraction activities in order to protect the environment. Yet, following intense pressure by corporations and their local allies, the law was ultimately amended and barely implemented, allowing companies to essentially run roughshod.

HRD View:

Human rights defenders protecting the environment include urban environmentalists, rural nomadic herders and farmers, and indigenous peoples seeking to protect a traditional way of life. Over the years since the passing of the Law with the Long Name, they have come under sustained attack, including harassment and defamation, frivolous lawsuits aimed at penalizing them for their activities, fines and criminalisation. HRDs who are continuing their work find themselves operating in a hostile environment without much support from local authorities which should be empowered to protect them by virtue of the legal framework established by the 2009 law. Ultimately they see the legal code being made subservient to the corporate interests of the mining sector.

FLD View:

Front Line Defenders chose to focus on Mongolia as one of the countries in the graphic novel because although it is not the most dangerous place to work to protect the environment, the situation is worsening and many of the actors that are tied to serious abuse in other countries are operating in Mongolia today. As such, without significant pushback and the rallying of support from the wider society, environmentalists in Mongolia face a future in which not only do they find it more and more difficult to work, but in which they see the country's precious environment torn up for the sake of corporate profit.

Link to report


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Mongolia finishes third at Judo Grand Slam Paris 2015

October 19 ( The 2015 Judo Grand Slam Paris was held successfully on October 17-18, 2015 in Paris, France. Mongolia has participated with 17 judokas for the qualifications for Rio 2016 Summer Olympics.

On the second day, two Mongolian judokas won bronze medals. In men's 90 kg category, L.Otgonbayar could grab bronze by defeating hosting country's judoka. In men's 81 kg category, O.Uuganbayar showed splendid performance and defeated his opponent from Japan.

This year, Mongolian judokas have brought 2 gold, 1 silver and 4 bronze medals from Judo Grand Slam Paris 2015 and ranked third at the medal standing table.

Gold medal winners:

M.Urantsetseg, women's 48 kg
D.Tumurkhuleg, men's 66 kg

Silver medal winner:

D.Sumiya, women's 57 kg

Bronze medal winners:

D.Amartuvshin, men's 60 kg
D.Altansukh, men's 66 kg
O.Uuganbaatar, men's 81 kg
L.Otgonbaatar, men's 90 kg

Link to article



October 20 (Paulick Report) Even though he never has raced outside the U.S., Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint (G1) hopeful Mongolian Saturday embodies the "world" in Breeders' Cup World Championships because his connections are from Mongolia. Owner Ganbaatar Dagvadorj's Mongolian Stable and trainer Enebish Ganbat purchased Mongolian Saturday for $60,000 at Keeneland's 2011 September Yearling Sale.

On Oct. 3, Mongolian Saturday was second in the Woodford (G3) Presented by Keeneland Select, which was rained off the turf course and run on dirt. The performance marked the gelding's fourth runner-up finish in stakes competition this year, which includes the Parx Dash (G3) and Turf Monster (G3) both on the turf at Parx.

On Tuesday close to 10 a.m., Mongolian Saturday worked for the first time since the Woodford, covering three furlongs in :37.40 under assistant trainer Santiago Aragon.

Ganbat is happy about the prospect of saddling his first Breeders' Cup starter.

"Everybody is excited," he said, adding that the owner is to attend the Breeders' Cup to watch Mongolian Saturday compete.

Ganbat, who is in his fifth year of training in the U.S., said he began training horses in Mongolia in 1995. He has 12 horses in training for Dagvadorj, who keeps several broodmares in Central Kentucky.

Mongolian Saturday became Ganbat's first Keeneland starter when he ran in the Woodford. The gelding, who has made 30 starts at 13 race tracks in six states and Ontario, has six wins and earnings of $410,926.

Ganbat said a decision on whether to work Mongolian Saturday another time before the Breeders' Cup would be made at the end of this week. He said the gelding would be ridden in the Breeders' Cup by Florent Geroux, who was aboard him in the Woodford.

Link to release


Mongolian Chess Federation appoints representative in South Korea

October 20 ( The President of Mongolian Chess Federation Ts.Sainbayar has appointed I.Otgonbat as the Federation's representative in South Korea. I.Otgonbat has worked successfully in the organization of the "Asia Youth Chess Championship 2015", which was held in Suwon, South Korea. Also, since 2010, I.Otgonbat has been organizing chess competitions for Mongolians, living in Seoul and Incheon; these are held on the Birthday of Chinggis Khaan, and Mongolian Independence Day with the support of the Mongolian Ambassador in South Korea.

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Art, Entertainment

Insanely Flexible Woman On Mongolia's Got Talent | Got Talent Global

October 19 (Got Talent Global) This contortionist wows the judges by her amazing physical flexibility performance. 

Got Talent Global brings together the very best in worldwide talent, creating a central hub for fans of the show to keep up to date with the other sensational performances from around the world.

Watch more Mongolia's Got Talent:

Link to video


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The Golden-Eagle Hunters of Mongolia


October 20 (The New Yorker) The golden eagles that live in the high Altai mountains, in far-western Mongolia, build their nests in the crags of the area's rugged peaks—there aren't many trees. Hunters belonging to traditional nomadic clans from the country's Khazakh minority climb up to these crevices to capture the birds at around four years old, which is old enough to know how to hunt but young enough to be pliable to human company and training. The eagles are domesticated, fed by hand, and will live with the hunters' families for years. When the Australian-born photographer Palani Mohan began travelling to the Altais to document the traditions of these eagle-hunters, known as burkitshi, many of the men he met talked about loving the eagles like their own children. In an introduction to a new collection of his photos, Mohan writes, "It is the bond between hunter and eagle that fascinated me."

To hunt, the men take their eagles high into the mountains so that they can scan the valleys below for foxes and other animals, which the eagles fly down to catch. (Only female birds are used, because they're larger—with an eight-foot wingspan—and fiercer hunters.) The photos capture this harsh trek: against the rugged, rocky landscape, the men's weathered skin peeks through their fur coats and hats; the birds look dinosaur-like, with wild eyes, but sit calm and alert on the hunters' arms. In one photo, a hunter cradles his eagle gently, its talons curled toward the sky. "They love to be carried in such a way," the hunter told Mohan. "It makes them feel loved and relaxes them, just like a baby." In another, a hooded eagle looks a little bewildered in a swaddle made of leather and carpet, which keeps the birds warm during winter hunts, when temperatures can drop to forty below.

The burkitshi are a dying breed. Mohan estimates that there are only fifty or sixty "true" eagle hunters left. A ninety-three-year-old hunter named Orazkhan Shuinshi told him that young people "want only to be inside, in the warm, and they keep their eagles just for festivals and treat them as pets." He continued: "The people are lazy and that makes the eagles lazy. Eagles are wild fighting birds. They are not something to hang on the wall like a carpet."

Although eagles can live for thirty years, the hunters keep each one for only about ten years, then release it to live out its last years in the wild. The bird is taken far away, and the hunter sometimes has to hide, or wait for darkness, to keep it from following him home. When Mohan talked to Shuinshi, in 2012, the old man had released his last eagle the year before. "It was as if a member of my family had left," he said. "I think about what that eagle is doing; if she's safe, and whether she can find food and make a nest. Have her hunts been successful? Sometimes I dream about these things."

"Hunting with Eagles: In the Realm of the Mongolian Kazakhs," by Palani Mohan, is out now from Merrell.

Link to article


Wrestling, Archery, and Racing: Genghis Khan's Draft Still Takes Place in Mongolia

By Paula Froelich, Editor-in-Chief

October 20 (Yahoo Travel) In mid July every year, all over Mongolia, business in the boomtown capital of Ulaanbaatar and in the tiny towns dotting the country comes to a standstill — as day laborers, miners, shopkeepers and almost every man, woman, and child head to their yurts to prepare for the Naadam Festival.

The festival — which some claim has been going on every year for over 2,000 years, although records only go back as far as the 13th century — mainly comprises the "Three Games of Men": archery, wrestling, and horse racing. [It should be noted, that women do compete in archery — but aren't allowed in anything else. Legend says that once, a woman won the wrestling tournament, shaming the men, which is why all the wrestlers now must compete bare chested. As the main wrestlers are built like linebackers and move like cheetahs, one can only imagine who the woman was who won.]

Related: Mongolia's Secret Natural Wonder

Initially, Naadam began as a way to let off steam or show off after weddings or gatherings, but during Genghis Khan's reign (and for hundreds of years after) it formalized into a showcase of talent and a way for warriors to catch the king's eye.

The games also helped determined the new head of state when a king died — the stronger and wilier the clan's fighters, the better chance they had at getting elected to lead.

These days, with the pillaging over, Nadaam celebrates the 1921 revolution when Mongolia officially declared itself an independent country.

And it's basically a hell of great time.

The day starts with an elaborate ceremony in the National Stadium — where dancers, horsemen, and musicians perform scenes from Mongolia's past — including, naturally, Genghis Khan's domination.

And then the games begin.

Related: Hospitality or Hazing? Surviving a Vodka Fueled Night in Mongolia

All the games showcase how at one time Mongolia ruled the world.

Archers, using bows that could shoot longer and with better aim than their European counterparts, shoot multiple arrows at tiny targets in the distance. Wrestlers, who are so powerful that when they slam together you can feel it reverberating in the stands, show their ground-fighting skills — and then there's horse racing, by far considered the most historically important.

The horse race is 27 kilometers long over rough terrain and is a physical representation of how Genghis Khan and his warriors conquered Asia and Europe so quickly.

Related: How to Be a True Nomad: Milking Camels in Mongolia

The entire festival takes place over a week or so and draws international politicians, ambassadors, the country's presidents, and even a celebrity or two.

It's like the Olympics, a Renaissance festival, and a hyper-choreographed North Korean parade rolled into one [fun fact: Mongolians are one of the only people in the world who don't need a visa to enter North Korea]. And if you ever get the chance — you must go.

Link to article (and video)

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