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Friday, October 2, 2015

[PM orders swift TT deal; ERD expands mineralization; MSE CEO replaced: MNT hovers; ADB to reform social welfare; and autumn session starts]

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Friday, October 2, 2015

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Headlines in Italic are ones modified by Cover Mongolia from original

 

Overseas Market

TRQ closed -2.75% Thursday to US$2.48

OT underground mine financing to be signed by end of year - Jigjid

October 1 (gogo.mn) The Minister of Mining R.Jigjid held meeting with media sector and expressed his position on OT underground mine financing.

"OT financing will be funded by the foreign and international banks and financial institutions. Thus, technical and economic feasibility study (TEFS) need to be accepted. Mineral Professional Council has accepted the TEFS recently. According to the information provided by OT, the underground mine financing is to be concluded by the end of this year", stated Minister R.Jigjid.

Rio Tonto BoDs approved the financing in accordance with preparations for underground mine development in August. As a result, equipment for the operation of underground mine and preparations are being forwarded without barrier.

Therefore, we think that underground mine development financing to be signed by the end of this year. In other words, we realized that the investors are making negotiations with international banks and financial institutions.

We claimed to resolve the financing urgently, reported by Gauli securities company.

Link to article

 

Minister M. Zorigt visits Oyu Tolgoi, expresses full support to solving transportation issues

Umnugobi, Mongolia, 28 September 2015 (Oyu Tolgoi) Oyu Tolgoi was pleased to host MP and Minister of Road and Transportation Mr Zorigt Munkhchuluun at its world-class facility on Saturday, 26 September, 2015.

Erdenes Oyu Tolgoi Deputy Director Mr Davaadorj Damdin and Oyu Tolgoi officials briefed the Minister on the latest developments at the operation and, on issues related to the key roads in the region on which products from the South Gobi region are transported to the China border for export.

The minister expressed his full support and commitment to solving transportation issues to ensure that Mongolian companies have high capacity and reliable access to export markets.

Link to release

 

Turquoise Hill Price Target Lowered to US$5.00 at Scotiabank

September 30 (MarketBeat.com) Turquoise Hill Resources (NYSE:TRQ) had its target price trimmed by Scotiabank from $5.75 to $5.00 in a research report released on Tuesday morning, StockTargetPrices.com reports.

A number of other research firms have also commented on TRQ. BMO Capital Markets initiated coverage on Turquoise Hill Resources in a report on Monday, June 22nd. They issued an outperform rating and a $6.50 price objective on the stock. Zacks downgraded Turquoise Hill Resources from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report on Tuesday, July 21st. Finally, TheStreet cut Turquoise Hill Resources from a hold rating to an e+ rating in a research report on Friday, August 7th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Turquoise Hill Resources currently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $6.72.

Link to article

 

HKEx closed Thursday, SGQ closed -2.5% to C$0.39

Turquose Hill's SouthGobi Stake Falls Below 22% on 22 September

Link to disclosure

 

HKEx closed Thursday, 975 last traded HK$0.197

PM orders swift resolution to TT negotiations – Cabinet Meeting in Brief

Ulaanbaatar, September 29 (MONTSAME) The Minister of Mining R.Jigjid presented to the cabinet on Monday a course of working out a draft contract to be established with investors of the Tavantolgoi coal deposit.

After the report, the Prime Minister Ch.Saikhanbileg ordered the working group of the contract to inform to the cabinet requests or proposals from investors and to intensify formulation of the draft contract.

-       The cabinet backed bills on the 2016 budget of Mongolia, on the 2016 budget of Social Insurance Fund (SIF), on the 2016 budget of Human Development Fund (HDF), on the 2016 budget framework; and other draft laws, parliamentary and government resolutions and draft amendments to laws. These drafts will be submitted to parliament.

-       The Minister of Finance B.Bolor was authorized to allot money from the governmental reserved fund for renovating pipelines and boiler-rooms of some border checkpoints in frames of the works of ensuring winter preparation in borders.

-       The cabinet approved a directive for a Mongolian delegation to take part in the 6th Mongolia-Canada roundtable meeting to be held on October 6 in Ulaanbaatar. The Mongolian delegation will be headed by R.Jigjid, the Minister of Mining.

-       The cabinet discussed and backed a draft amendment to the law on public holidays and celebrations. It will be submitted to parliament.

-       The cabinet approved a directive for a Mongolian delegation to participate in the 16th meeting of the Mongolia-EU joint committee to run on October 6-7 in Brussels, Belgium.

-       Ministers got acquainted with results of official visits of the Mining Minister to Brazil and Colombia paid on September 15-23, 2015.

-       The cabinet discussed a draft law on permanent status of neutrality, which has been initiated by the President, and other related bills and draft resolutions of parliament. Some proposals will be conveyed to the draft initiator.

-       The cabinet discussed a draft resolution of parliament on approving the 2016 basic guideline for fiscal policy as well as the 2016 basic guideline for fiscal policy. These documents will be submitted to parliament, reflecting proposals from Ministers.

Link to article

 

Otgochuluu: Tavan Tolgoi will be put in economic circulation

September 29 (gogo.mn) We interviewed of Chief Economist "Erdenes Mongol" LLC Ch.Otgochuluu on privatization and structure and members of the working group in charge of putting Tavan Tolgoi mine into economic circulation.  

The working group has been established to take care of privatization of several state-owned companies within this year. The Government of Mongolia sees privatizing state-owned companies as one of sources to increase budget revenues. How many companies which belong to Erdenes Mongol LLC are in the list of privatization?

Parliament approved "State Policies on Mineral Resources" states that state-owned mining companies are to be public company. The decision aims to improve companies' management and make it public company. Accordingly, the Government adopted resolution which directs to privatize "Baganuur" and "Shivee – Ovoo" joint stock companies owned by Erdenes Mongol LLC. With reducing state ownership to 51 percentages, we are advised to list additional shares at domestic and international exchanges. Then, we are now working according to instructions.

Also, we have started preparing integrated reporting which meets world standards, in cooperation with an international audit company. In order to be listed at international exchange, we must first fulfill several international standards. We are sure to be required to deliver international audit report and appraisal of assets. These works are now in process. "Baganuur" and "Shive-Ovoo" are very crucial joint stock companies which operate in strategically-significant mine fields.

However, the companies have not been profitable whole time because energy prices are state-regulated. The companies' expenditures have been continuously increasing. For instance, the companies use excavators and haul trucks for period of time twice more compared to regular life span of vehicles. It leads to a greater amount of expenditures which we should change. Future of two companies is likely to be bright thanks to V power station and Amgalan thermal station which are soon to start operations. Also, it is possible to construct small-scale power station and coal gasification plant based on these minefields. Then, it is enabled to supply coal at low price not only to thermal plants in Ulaanbaatar but also to other projects.

Does it mean more buyers coming?

Yes, it does. It is such great deal of opportunity to supply electricity and heating to Ulaanbaatar city for whole year. Additionally, they have a chance to work with other companies.

Is international audit company already selected?

Selection process is underway. Now we are working on tender announcement and evaluation process. KPMG, Price Waterhouse Coopers, Deloitte and Ernest Young have expressed their interests to participate in selection process which have been very competitive so far.

What is reason to list additional shares at foreign exchange?

Mongolian stock exchange development is rudimentary. We have two benefits of submitting shares at foreign exchange. Firstly, Mongolia will be promoted worldwide. Secondly, foreign market has high requirements which will force us to make management reform in order to be competitive alongside world-known companies despite mine reserves here in Mongolia ranked among top 10. Thus, we must renew our management and approaches in order to compete at next level.

For instance, subsidiaries of Erdenes Mongol LLC used to release separate reporting. We are now working on version of integrated financial statement. Also, we have finalized developing draft law of a state-owned 'holding company' which will operate as same as a private company does. Current laws and regulations which guide us are contradicted with each other. Frankly, new company will be much more independent than other state-owned companies. Independence and excellent management are fundamental to make the company competitive if not the best.

What foreign exchanges will you choose?

In terms of law environment, any foreign exchange such as London exchange and Shanghai exchange could be chosen. Also, there are sub stock exchanges which operate under top international stock exchanges in the world, which newly established companies are usually listed at. They set more flexible requirements compared to top exchanges. That is why we first target to list our company and sell its shares at those sub-stock exchanges. Instead, it would be much more difficult if the company is firstly listed at NYSE and compete with top companies.

Also, some stock exchanges in Germany, Japan, China and Great Britain are state-owned entities. The goal is to develop domestic companies listed instead of generating budget revenues from trading. Firstly, we should initiate cooperation with those state-owned stock exchanges. We have also established MOU with London Stock Exchange which agreed not to set high requirements for us, and support us.  

Will administrations of "Baganuur" and "Shive-Ovoo" companies be replaced?

These matters will be handled by board of directors and shareholders. Additional investors will be invited and entities will operate as same as a private company does. "Erdenes Mongol" LLC is more concerned with stability and professionalism of administrative teams which will lead companies.

As you mentioned, is "Erdenet" factory expected to join "Erdenes Mongol" LLC?

According to the government resolution, "Erdenet" factory set to join "Erdenes Mongol' LLC. As I understand, both of Mongolian and Russian sides have informed each other of respective merging matters. Russian side has merged its 49% ownership in the factory with Rostechnology.

The Government of Mongolia has decided that it is appropriate to merge all state-owned mining companies under single entity. Currently, Erdenet factory operates under State Property Committee while Baganuur, Shivee-Ovoo, Oyu Tolgoi and Tavan Tolgoi belong to Erdenes Mongol LLC. Personally, I think that incorporating these entities under one roof will strengthen the company's governance and be crucial to attract investment.  However, state and shareholders will have a final say on this matter.

You are Board member of Oyu Tolgoi LLC. Also, you are now working member of Tavan Tolgoi project. Please introduce us the working group led by Director B.Byambasaikhan?

The working group consists of officials from Investment Bureau, lawyers and economists from Erdenes Mongol LLC, Director of "Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi" B.Batbileg, Director of Mongolian Railway Company, and its chief lawyer. The working group was established with professionals in order to limit intervention of political officials. Also, the working group cooperates with international financial and legal experts.

What international company do you cooperate with and how much fee do you pay?

I cannot reveal companies' identity. The reason is that we have established classified agreement with them. That is why we cannot reveal details of them. Even, we will not inform the side which we will establish agreement with. Cooperation with international advisory companies has both advantages and disadvantages. Disadvantage is obviously high cost. However, benefits of cooperation are that international experts will advise us how to carry out matters professionally in alignment with international standards, and protect our interests and rights if facing issues.

There are rumors that investors are not interested in coal mining. What do you think of it?

It is true. Conditions have been dramatically changed. Even China is facing problems in coal sector. Numerous companies have bankrupted or been in difficult conditions while number of buyers has decreased on the other side. Rapid economic growth China was previously experiencing is now slowing down. China is also reducing its consumption of coal gradually because of air pollution. But we hope that trade of coking coal will soon surge because future of steel manufacturing is bright.

The reason steel market is bright is that China needs to make certain developments in some areas. That is why there is a plenty of demand for steel and copper. However, it has been slightly better compared to situation few months ago.  Lawyers and politicians expect market and economy to be stable for good. But it has own laws, and upsides and downs.

For instance, we have recently witnessed Chinese stock market crash. Chinese government spent 650 billion dollars to soothe battered sentiment and shore up the stock market. But the result is not promising. USA also face economic downfall in 2007-2008. It means that even big countries face "force majeure" situation.

Thus, we should take practical approaches towards economic difficulties rather than daydreaming ones.

When will the Tavantolgoi working group establish agreement with investor side?

We work under firm instructions approved by Prime Minister. Our main guidance is law of Mongolia. Also, there are parliament resolutions which support putting Tavantolgoi mine into economic circulation. We have not set an exact date to establish the agreement.

Link to interview

 

ERD closed -4.17% Thursday to C$0.115

Erdene Drills 12 m of 5.3 g/t Gold Equivalent at Union North, and 200 m Step-Out Trench Returns 28 m of 2.5 g/t Gold Equivalent*

HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA--(Marketwired - Sept. 29, 2015) - Erdene Resource Development Corp. (TSX:ERD) ("Erdene" or "Company") is pleased to report positive drilling and trenching results from the Union North deposit at the Company's wholly-owned Altan Nar Gold-Polymetallic Project ("Altan Nar") in southwest Mongolia. Drilling at Union North ("UN") continues to demonstrate excellent continuity of the high-grade, near-surface mineralization, while step-out trenching has expanded the main mineralized zone by 200 metres to the east. The assay results for the exploration program are provided in the Tables below. Additional drilling and trenching results for the Discovery Zone ("DZ") deposit at Altan Nar are anticipated by mid-Q4, 2015.

"Today's results achieved our stated objectives of confirming continuity of near-surface, high-grade zones within the Union North deposit and significantly expanding the mineralized zone, increasing our confidence in initial development and demonstrating excellent growth potential," said Peter Akerley, Erdene's President and CEO. "This marks the first reporting of a series of results anticipated in the coming weeks including those from our main Altan Nar deposit, Discovery Zone, and the new Bayan Khundii gold discovery 15 km southeast of Altan Nar."

Highlights *

·         Infill drilling returns high-grade intersections within 30 m of surface;

o    TND-81; 9 m of 6.2 g/t gold equivalent ("AuEq")

o    TND-81; Excluding two post-mineral dykes, 28.3 m of 2.6 g/t AuEq

o    TND-82; 12 m of 5.3 g/t AuEq (including 5 m of 10.9 g/t AuEq)

o    TND-83; 5.2 m of 7.7 g/t AuEq

o    TND-85; 12.8 m of 3.4 g/t AuEq

·         Main UN mineralized body extended 200 m east with step-out trench

o    ANT-41; 28.5 m of 2.5 g/t AuEq

·         Deposit remains open at depth and along strike

* For details on gold equivalent calculations, see Table below.

Link to full release

 

MNGGF closed +0.88% Thursday to US$0.357, YAK flat at C$0.48

Mongolia Growth Group Ltd. August 2015 Monthly Letter to Shareholders

Toronto, Ontario (FSCwire) - TORONTO, CANADA, October 1, 2015 /FSC/ Mongolia Growth Group Ltd. (YAK – TSXV and MNGGF – USA), ("MGG") or ("the Company") a commercial real estate investment and development company participating in the dynamic growth of the Mongolian economy announces the release of its August 2015 Shareholder Letter. 

August 2015 Shareholder Letter 

To the Shareholders of Mongolia Growth Group Ltd., 

In August 2015, MGG's core commercial property portfolio* experienced a same-store rental decline of 10.4% relative to August 2014 on properties owned 12 months or longer, as measured in Mongolian Togrog (MNT). Total billed revenue for August 2015 was 243.1 million MNT, as compared to 241.4 million MNT in August of 2014 or a 0.7% increase.** The occupancy rate for the core portfolio in August of 2015 was 92.6% including an occupancy rate of 92.7% for core retail properties and an occupancy rate of 92.4% for core office properties***. 

August Revenue 

August Revenue 

During August, we experienced a slight increase in revenue when compared to July, due to an increase in occupancy, offset by lower rental rates—particularly in the office market where rental rates continue to decline rapidly. Despite lower received rents, we feel fortunate that our properties remain well occupied during this difficult period of very high vacancy. 

Two months ago, we put in place a plan to increase revenues into the second half of the year. Despite heightened turnover, delinquency and bad debt expense, we believe that these initiatives are beginning to bear fruit—though the revenue effect from them will likely take a few months to kick in. 

Mongolian Economic Update 

Since the most recent letter: 

·         Total external trade turnover fell $1.35b to $5.8b in the first eight months of 2015 compared to same period in 2014, the National Statistical Office says (Bloomberg)

·         Exports fell $324.2m or 9.1% and imports plunged $1b or 28.8% compared to same period a year earlier (Bloomberg)

·         Trade balance was +$704.8m in Jan.-Aug., compared to zero a year earlier (Bloomberg)

·         Non-performing loans totaled 865.5b tugrik at end-Aug, a 5% increase m/m and 39.6% increase y/y (Bloomberg) 

We look forward to updating you again on our progress and new developments in the Mongolian economy next month.

Link to release

 

Petro Matad Loss Narrows As Farm-Out Deal With BG Group Progresses

LONDON, September 29 (Alliance News) - Petro Matad Ltd Tuesday said its pretax loss narrowed in the first half of 2015 as it continues to progress its farm-out deal with BG Group PLC in Mongolia.

The Mongolian oil explorer reported a USD1.7 million pretax loss in the first six months of 2015, slightly narrower than the USD1.9 million loss reported a year earlier, after its employee benefit expense more than halved to USD645,000 from USD1.5 million.

That employee benefit expense dropped following the company's decision to reduce its headcount compared to 2014, but was partially offset by some other costs increasing.

Consultancy fees rose to USD455,000 from only USD25,000 a year ago, whilst exploration expenditure increased to USD160,000 from USD34,000 and other costs totalled USD431,000 from USD355,000.

The main activity in the first half was the company's farm-out deal for its Block IV and V production sharing contracts in Mongolia to FTSE 100 oil and gas company BG Group. That deal became unconditional in June.

That agreement was for BG to earn up to a 78% interest in Blocks IV and V by paying for the first USD28 million of gross expenditure and a cash payment of USD4.6 million.

Originally, the pair planned on drilling the first exploration well of a two-well programme under the deal in 2015, but in June, Petro Matad said that first well had been pushed back to 2016.

By the time that well is drilled in 2016, the USD47 billion mega-merger between Royal Dutch Shell PLC and BG Group should be completed.

In anticipation of the successful conclusion of the farm-out, Petro Matad issued tenders for three major work programmes, namely the airborne full tensor gradiometer and high resolution aeromagnetics; 2D seismic acquisition programme; and core hole drilling.

Contracts for the first two have been awarded but the core hole drilling tender was suspended as the technical rationale for drilling the core holes is under review. The airborne full tensor gradiometer is nearing completion, and the 2D seismic acquisition programme will continue over a "number of months".

Petro Matad shares were down 0.7% to 3.85 pence per share on Tuesday morning.

Link to article

Link to MATD release

 

Origo Partners Plc: Interim Financial Report for the six months ended 30 June 2015 

September 30 -- Origo announces its unaudited interim results for the six months ended 30 June 2015 (the "Period") 

Highlights: 

·         Total investments of US$0.4 million in existing portfolio companies 

·         Investment gain of US$3.2 million (30 June 2014 investment loss: US$25.5 million) 

·         Loss before tax of US$3.8 million (30 June 2014 loss before tax: US$30.6 million) 

·         Net asset value of US$50.7 million (31 December 2014: US$54.3 million)  

·         Total other administrative expenses of US$2.5 million (30 June 2014: US$2.8 million) 

·         Net asset value per share of US$0.14 as at 30 June 2015 (31 December 2014: US$0.16), equivalent to 9 pence (31 December 2014: 10 pence) 

·         Closing net cash position of US$2.8 million as at 30 June 2015

Portfolio update 

The majority of Origo's portfolio companies traded in line with expectations during the Period and as such there was no material change to their carrying values. Notable developments at China Rice Ltd ("China Rice"), Unipower Battery Ltd ("Unipower") Moly World Ltd ("Moly World") and Kincora Copper Ltd ("Kincora") are summarised below. 

The value of Origo's equity holding in China Rice increased by US$6.4 million, to US$18.5 million, because of a re-rating of the company's peer group. 

As previously announced, Unipower continues to be heavily impacted by tightening credit conditions for small and medium sized enterprises, limiting its ability to procure required working capital financing to sustain growth. This has resulted in a 20% reduction in the carrying value of this investment to US$9.6 million.  

In addition, the value of Origo's stake in Moly World, the owner of a prospective molybdenum and tungsten project in Mongolia, has been written down by US$1.2 million to US$7.5 million as a result of the continued subdued outlook for the junior mining sector. 

Kincora is continuing exploration activities at its wholly owned Bronze Fox deposit in Mongolia following positive results in 2014. With a view to enhancing Kincora shareholder value, the management team of Kincora is also assessing a range of corporate transactions that would not otherwise be available to Kincora at more favourable points in the commodity cycle. 

Discussions with Kincora regarding the CAN$2.5 million convertible note held by Origo are ongoing.

13     Investments at fair value through profit or loss 

As at 30 June 2015 (Unaudited) 

Name

Country of incorporation

Fair Value hierarchy level

Proportion of ownership interest

Cost

US$'000

Fair value

US$'000

Resources Investment Capital Ltd.

British Virgin Islands

                 3

38.5%

       287

                -

Kincora Copper Ltd**

Canada

             1

26.3%

  7,389

    1,972

Moly World Ltd

British Virgin Islands

             3

20.0%

10,000

7,459

Gobi Coal & Energy Ltd**

British Virgin Islands

              3

14.0%

14,960

13,394

Ares Resources**

Mongolia

          3

5.0%

     148

         -

Total

 

 

128,809

94,553

Link to release

Related:

Dispute Resolution and Proposed RestructuringOrigo Partners, September 29

 

Former Centerra Gold CEO Detained in Bulgaria Sells 8,685 Shares

September 30 (MarketBeat.com) Centerra Gold (TSE:CG) insider John William Pearson sold 8,685 shares of the business's stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, September 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of C$7.40, for a total transaction of C$64,269.00.

A number of equities research analysts have recently commented on CG shares. TD Securities raised shares of Centerra Gold from a "reduce" rating to a "hold" rating and increased their target price for the stock from C$5.00 to C$6.00 in a research note on Saturday, August 1st. Scotiabank lowered their price objective on shares of Centerra Gold from C$8.00 to C$7.00 in a report on Tuesday, September 1st. RBC Capital increased their target price on shares of Centerra Gold from C$5.50 to C$7.50 and gave the company a "sector perform" rating in a report on Monday, June 15th. HSBC increased their price target on shares of Centerra Gold from C$8.00 to C$8.10 and gave the company a "buy" rating in a research report on Tuesday, September 8th. Finally, TheStreet lowered shares of Centerra Gold to a "sell" rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 19th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of "Hold" and a consensus target price of C$6.81.

Centerra Gold (TSE:CG) opened at 7.41 on Wednesday. The company has a market cap of $1.75 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 36.32. Centerra Gold has a 12 month low of $3.96 and a 12 month high of $7.98. The firm's 50-day moving average is $7.05 and its 200-day moving average is $6.81.

Centerra Gold (TSE:CG) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, July 28th. The company reported $0.09 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of ($0.03) by $0.12. On average, analysts anticipate that Centerra Gold will post $0.23 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Link to article

 

Prophecy Closes $556,000 First Cash Tranche of Private Placement

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - Sept. 30, 2015) - Prophecy Development Corp. ("Prophecy" or the "Company") (TSX:PCY)(OTCQX:PRPCF)(FRANKFURT:1P2) announces that it has closed the first cash tranche of the non-brokered private placement announced on September 1, 2015 (the "Placement").

The first tranche of the Placement raised gross cash proceeds of $556,000 through the issuance of 11,120,000 Units of Prophecy. Each Unit is comprised of one Common share and one Common share purchase warrant (each whole warrant, a "Warrant"). Each Warrant entitles the holder to purchase one additional Common share of the Company at an exercise price of $0.07 for a period of five years from the closing of the private placement.

The Warrants will be subject to the following acceleration conditions:

(i)

in the event that the closing price of the Common shares trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange (the "TSX") exceeds $0.15 per Common share; or

(ii)

the closing spot price of silver as quoted by KITCO Metals Inc. exceeds USD$25.00 per ounce,

in either instance, for a period of over 30 consecutive calendar days, at Prophecy's election, the exercise period may be reduced in which case, Warrant holders will only be entitled to exercise their Warrants for a period of 30 days from the date the Company either disseminates a press release or sends written notice to the Warrant holders advising them of the reduced and accelerated exercise period after which, the Warrants will expire.

Company management and directors subscribed for 7,000,000 Units of the Placement in the first tranche.

The Company paid in cash, finder's fees totaling $7,500.

Link to release

 

Aspire Mining Annual Report 2015

September 30, Aspire Mining Ltd. (ASX:AKM) --

Link to report

 

Wolf Petroleum Annual Report 2015

September 29, Wolf Petroleum Ltd. (ASX:WOF) --

Link to report

 

Guildford Coal Annual Financial Report

September 30, Guildford Coal Ltd. (ASX:GUF) --

Link to report

 

Solartech Int'l Annual Results

Mining

During the period under review, prices of mineral resources saw a significant downward adjustment. To a country which mainly draws support from the mineral industry sector, its impact was more severe. Coupled with the uncertainties associated with policies and regulations in Mongolia, new foreign investment came to a halt and a large number of existing foreign-funded enterprises also withdrew from Mongolia. The Group's mineral resources are concentrated in Dundgobi Aimag and Bayan-Ulgii Aimag, Mongolia.

The Group has consolidated the additional internal and external risk factors in Mongolia and continues to adopt a prudent and wait-and-see investment attitude. During the period under review, the Group conducted the necessary preparations before the mining work could be started and carried out minor additional exploration work and did not carry out large-scale capital investment, resulting in a delay in the production schedule.

During the year, the Group commissioned a qualified appraiser to carry put an impairment review on the carrying value of the mining rights. Due to delay of the mining plan (which led to corresponding reduction in future cash flows) and the change in expected selling price of copper in response to prevailing market conditions, it was necessary to make an impairment provision of approximately HK$180,449,000. Loss on impairment provision is non-cash item and will have no impact on the Group's cash flow and operations. Exploration and evaluation assets are three exploration permits held by the Group in Mongolia. The Group's subsidiaries have held such exploration permits in Mongolia for years. As no reserves of economic and cost effects have been found, the Group will return the exploration permits to the Government when such permits expires.

Link to report

 

NUR: Issue of Convertible Notes

September 29, National United Resources Ltd. (HKEx:254) --

INTRODUCTION

Reference is made to the announcement of the Company dated 8 July 2015. On 8 July 2015 (after trading hours), the Purchaser (an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of the Company), the Vendors and the Guarantors entered into the Sale and Purchase Agreement, pursuant to which the Vendors have conditionally agreed to sell and the Purchaser has conditionally agreed to purchase the Sale Shares, representing the 70% equity interest in the entire issued shares of the BVI Co at a consideration of HK$400,000,000 which shall be settled by way of issue of the Convertible Bonds in an aggregate principal amount of HK$400,000,000. The principal terms of the Sale and Purchase Agreement are set out below.

Link to release

 

Parmelia Resources Relinquishes All Tenements in Mongolia – Annual Report

September 29, Parmelia Resources Ltd. (ASX:PML) --

At the end of 2015, management decided to discontinue its exploration activity in Mongolia. Consequently, all tenements were relinquished and the related assets were impaired. Revenue and expenses relating to the discontinuation of the subsidiaries performing operations in Mongolia, St. Nicholas Mines Pty Ltd and Niquaero LLC, have been eliminated from the profit or loss from the Group's continuing operations and are shown as a single line item on the face of the statement of profit or loss and other comprehensive income (see loss for the year from discontinued operations).

Operating profit of the St. Nicholas Mines Pty Ltd and Niquaero LLC subsidiaries until the date of disposal is summarised as follows:

Link to report

 

MIBG: If you're interested in Mongolia, we have some great news...

October 1 (Mongolian Investment Banking Group) October 15th marks the three year anniversary of our weekly newsletter.

To celebrate, we've decided to re-launch with a new twist.

If you weren't an avid reader before, this is the best time to signup.

Allow me to explain:

Mongolian assets haven't been this cheap since 2009, right before the market rallied for three years straight.

In the following years, GDP exploded by +200%, the stock market rallied +100%, and Mongolia enjoyed unprecedented growth. Those were good times.

In recent years, there have been mis-steps, politically and legislatively. But luckily, that's all been fixed.

In time, Mongolia will capture a resurgence in commodities prices, increasing exports thanks to industrial expansion in Northern China, and (politics allowing) another period of explosive growth.

So how will you benefit by being a reader?

Whether you're managing $50 thousand or $50 million, we'll be sharing our view on the market, how to take advantage of the current opportunities, and what to watch out for.

In other words, you get the best news & analysis from one of the most attractive frontier markets in the world, and you have a qualified team of researchers and investors sharing actionable ideas on where and how to invest.

Here's the best part... it's free.

MIBG has become one of the most reputable investment banks in the country. We've enjoyed success during the good times and have executed both private and public investments amid horrible market conditions.

That said, while we're obviously bullish on Mongolia, we're not naive. There are tough times to come. But in order to capture significant upside you need to position yourself now.

For that to happen you need to know where to look and what to watch out for. That's where we come in!

Don't hesitate to get in touch. We're excited to be bringing this newsletter back to the market and appreciate any input you might have.

Until next week!

MIBG Research

www.mibg.mn

research@mibg.mn

PS: If you haven't already signed up follow the link below.

Link to release

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Local Market

MSE Trading Report: Top 20 -0.34%, ₮3.57 Million Stocks, ₮30.7 Million T-Bills

October 1 (MSE) --

Link to report

 

Mongolia Exchange Chief Resigns, Replaced by Ex-Central Banker

By Michael Kohn

September 30 (Bloomberg) -- Angar Davaasuren, acting CEO of the Mongolia Stock Exchange, resigns and is replaced by Bolor Munkhsaikhan, according to exchange website.

* No reason given for Angar's resignation from post held since June 2014

* Bolor previously worked for Mongolia's central bank: website

(BFW)

 

TDB Capital Plugs In to MSE Online Trading System

October 1 (MSE) MSE's member TDB Capital brokerage company launched their online trading system which allows to place securities orders, check account balance and track their trading orders online. 

In scope of the service, the company's system is able to connect with the trading system of MSE and orders will be placed directly. By introducing this service, market participants became able to use online trading services, which met to the international standards. 

Link to release

 

FRC reinstates Uujim Khangai JSC share trading

October 1 (MSE) By the Resolution No.: 368 of Financial Regulatory Commission dated on 24 September 2015, the trading rights of "Uujim Khangai" JSC has been reinstated.

Link to release

 

Mongol EEG Insiders Launch Tender Offer for 61,044 Shares at 1,400

September 20 (MSE) According to the clause No.: 57.1 of Company Law, the clause No.: 22 of Mongolian Securities Law and the clause No.:3.1 of Rules on tender offering to buy shares of joint stock company on mandatory and/or voluntary basis, joint interest party of "Mongol EEG" JSC (MEG) offered the tender offer to buy 61,044 shares from non-joint interest shareholders of "Mongol EEG" JSC. The proposed buyout price is MNT 1,400.00 (one thousand four hundred tugriks) and the offer is valid for 30 (thirty) days starting from 30 October 2015. 

Link to release

 

10 Billion 28-Week 13.948% Discounted T-Bills Sold on MSE with 20.8 Billion Bids

September 29 (MSE) On 29 September 2015, the bond orders of 28 weeks Government bonds with 13.948% annual interest, placed on order book, and Ministry of Finance supplied 100,000 or MNT10.0 billion out of total order 208,219 pieces or MNT20.8 billion.   

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

Companies' name

Volume

1

BDSec

46,027

2

Tenger Capital

45,890

3

TDB Capital

5,350

4

Daewoo Securities Mongolia

2,526

5

Tavanbogd

172

6

Secap

35

 

Total

100,000

Link to release

 

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

October 1 (MSE) Regarding the "Market Makers" introduction into securities market by Mongolian Stock Exchange /MSE/, MSE will publish a month Market Makers performance report to the public.

As of 30 September 2015, total of 1150 order of the Government retail bonds have been planned to submit and performance of Market Makers shows following results "BDSec"-69.2%, "Standard Investment"-39.7% and "Tenger Capital"-73.9%

As of 30 September 2015                                                                   

Securities company

Orders planned to submit

Orders submitted

Percentage

1

BDSec

1150

796

69.2

2

Standard Investment

1150

456

39.7

3

Tenger Capital

1150

849.6

73.9

Link to release

 

MSE Launches Android Version of "MN Stock" App on Play Store

September 30 (gogo.mn) Mobile application of Mongolian Stock Exchange has been available at Apple Store under the name of "MN STOCK" since October 2014. According to the many citizens and individuals, Mongolian Stock Exchange launched the Mobile Application that suitable for Android operating system.

Now "MN STOCK" mobile application available at "Play Store" for Android operating system, which is used by variety of mobile phone manufacturers including Motorola, HTC, Samsung, Google Nexus, LG and Sony.

Link to article

 

Capital Market Open Door Event to Be Held in Selenge

September 30 (gogo.mn) On 8 October 2015, capital market "Open Door" event will be held at Sukhbaatar sum, the capital of Selenge province by cooperation with Mongolian Stock Exchange and Government of Selenge province. During the "Open Door" event, following services will be provided to citizens and business entities from an open window service:

•    Guide to how to participate stock trading, information for MSE listed companies
•    Information and advices on how to issue stock and bonds
•    Information and introduction of the Government securities
•    Dividends information
•    Investment advices
•    Open the brokerage account
•    Search account
•    Comment requests from citizen regarding securities
•    Guide on how to participate trading on the Government securities in 2015-2016.

First half of this year, Mongolian Stock Exchange were organized capital market "Open Door" events in Ulaanbaatar and Orkhon province successfully. During the events, citizens provided information of most concerning issues like Tavantolgoi's 1,072 shares, pink and blue vouchers, and dividends information. More market "Open Door" events will be held throughout in provinces of Mongolia in future.

Link to article

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Economy

BoM MNT Rates: Thursday, October 1 Close

 

 

10/1

9/30

9/29

9/28

9/25

9/24

9/23

9/22

9/21

9/18

9/17

9/16

9/15

9/14

9/11

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

USD

1,996.27

1,996.83

1,996.99

1,993.89

1,996.76

1,996.27

1,995.28

1,995.17

1,993.66

1,993.59

1,992.50

1,990.09

1,986.49

1,993.94

1,997.26

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

EUR

2,242.44

2,242.44

2,244.22

2,231.26

2,229.48

2,236.32

2,221.35

2,229.50

2,252.14

2,272.09

2,252.52

2,243.63

2,242.15

2,266.41

2,254.01

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

CNY

314.07

314.16

313.81

313.02

313.16

312.86

312.54

313.00

313.03

313.36

312.95

312.41

311.89

313.09

313.33

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

GBP

3,021.16

3,026.00

3,032.63

3,032.31

3,042.96

3,048.00

3,063.15

3,091.32

3,098.45

3,104.82

3,090.17

3,051.90

3,060.68

3,080.94

3,084.57

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

RUB

30.70

30.41

30.17

30.37

30.32

30.05

30.07

30.17

30.00

30.19

30.60

30.06

29.46

29.45

29.53

Bank rates at time of sending: TDB (Buy ₮1,991 Sell ₮1,998), Khan (Buy ₮1,990 Sell ₮1,998), Golomt (Buy ₮1,991 Sell ₮1,998), XacBank (Buy ₮1,991 Sell ₮1,998), State Bank (Buy ₮1,989 Sell ₮1,999)

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

Link to rates

 

BoM FX auction: US$12.4m sold at 1,994, CNY21m at 311.51, accepts $4.15m MNT $15m USD swap offers

September 29 (BoM) On the Foreign Exchange Auction held on September 29th, 2015 the BoM has received bid offers of USD 15.3 million in a rate between MNT 1991.10-1997.11 and bid offers of CNY 50.65 million in a rate between MNT 310.60-313.02 from local commercial banks. The BoM sold USD 12.4 million in a closing rate of MNT 1994.00 and CNY 21.0 million in a closing rate of MNT 311.51 respectively.

On September 29th, 2015, The BoM has received MNT Swap agreement bid offer equivalent to USD 4.15 million and USD Swap agreement selling bid offer equivalent to USD 15.0 million from local commercial banks and the BoM has accepted the offers.

Link to release

 

BoM issues 57.4 billion 1-week bills at 13%, total outstanding -4.4% to ₮579.9 billion

September 30 (BoM) BoM issues 1 week bills worth MNT 57.4 billion at a weighted interest rate of 13.0 percent per annum /For previous auctions click here/

Link to release

 

Mongolia's Dollar Bonds Drop 3.2%, Biggest Loss in 8 Months

By Michael Kohn

September 29 (Bloomberg) -- Yield on notes due Dec. 2022 jumps 57 bps to 8.78%, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

* Yield climbed to 9.26% on Aug. 26, highest since the notes were issued in Dec. 2012

* Mongolia's currency, the tugrik, falls 0.08% to record low versus dollar

* Price of copper, Mongolia's No. 1 export, is near lowest level since 2009

* READ: Mongolian Dollar Bonds Drop Most in Two Years as Copper Slumps Link

(BFW)

 

GoM Treasury Auction: ₮10 Billion 52-Week 14.412% Discounted T-Bills Sold with ₮11.5 Billion Bids

September 30 (BoM) Auction for 52 weeks maturity Government Treasury bill was announced at face value of 10.0 billion MNT. Face value of 10.0 billion /out of 11.5 billion bid/ Government Treasury bill was sold at discounted price and with weighted average yield of 14.412%.

Link to release

 

Financial Stability Council Discusses Monetary Policy Guideline for 2016, Finalizing Zoos Bank Receivership

September 30 (BoM) On 29th of September 2015, Financial Stability Council (FSC) held its regular meeting. Through the meeting, the FSC discussed following issues:  

      i.        Approving a draft Program on Enhancing Financial Literacy;

    ii.        A draft Monetary Policy Guideline for 2016;

    iii.        The Financial Stability Report: Issue #5;

    iv.        Issues on establishing an asset management mechanism in the financial sector;

     v.        Inflation Report: Issue #2;

    vi.        Approving a draft procedure on macroeconomic database between the Bank of Mongolia, Ministry of Finance and Financial Regulatory Commission;

   vii.        Some issues on improving the legal environment and regulations of insurance;

  viii.        Finalizing the receivership operations of liquidated Zoos Bank;

    ix.        Amendment on 2015 budget and budget draft for 2016;

     x.        Issues on incorporating deposits of members of the Credits and Savings Union to deposit insurance. 

In accordance with decisions of the meetings, members of the Council, within their respective functions, assigned duties and delivered recommendations to the relevant parties.    

Link to release

 

BoM Governor submits bill on 2016 Basic Guidelines on Monetary Policy

Ulaanbaatar, September 30 (MONTSAME) The president of the Bank of Mongolia (BoM) N.Zoljargal submitted Wednesday to the Speaker a parliamentary draft resolution on approving the 2016 basic guidelines for the fiscal policy.

A drop in raw materials' prices at the world market has affected the Mongolian economy causing considerable declines in the external trade and in a flow of international investments to Mongolia. In view of this the BoM launched policy measures from 2012 in several phases to ensure a stability of the macro economy within the traditional and non-traditional policies, to keep the financial stable condition and to realize a measure of "soft-landing" for the national economy. All this has resulted in achieving some positive moves in economic and financial sectors of Mongolia.

According to the 2016 basic guidelines for the fiscal policy, keeping the payment balance by increasing the currency flow into Mongolia in a mid-term will enable us to create conditions for constantly augmenting the national economic growth. To free the state budget from deficit and to implement a proper management of debt will also help to ensure the economic growth.

As the reasons, the basic guidelines aim to maintain a balance of the macro economy of Mongolia and will focus on a banking and financial stability.      

Link to article

Link to the draft guideline (in Mongolian)

 

Bank of Mongolia plans to keep inflation at 7% in 2016

October 1 (infomongolia.com) The Bank of Mongolia has finished preparing directives of the state monetary policy of 2016 and ready to submit to the Parliament of Mongolia.

The Central bank plans to keep inflation rate at 7% in 2016. This year it was 6.6%. Officials of "Mongolbank" said that the inflation rate declined this years but the interest rate is still high because of the state budget deficit of 679 billion MNT (Tugrug) and frozen US dollar flow.

The Bank of Mongolia hopes that they can keep inflation rate between 5% and 7% in 2017-2018 if inflation rate of 2016 stays at 7%.

Link to article

 

Financial Stability Report, September 2015

September 30 (BoM) --

Link to report (in Mongolian)

 

Growth of NPLs Troubling, May Reach Nine Percent

October 1 (Mongolian Economy) The banking sector is relatively stable at a time when other sectors are not doing so well. O.Orkhon, President of the Mongolian Bankers Association, said that this is the result of taking preventive measures and calculating risks. During the CAREC Investment Forum, he also said that banks need to tighten lending and more prudently assessing risks in order to reduce the risks posed by non-performing loans, as economic situation will be far from ideal next year. The Bank of Mongolia reported that the banking sector's total value of loans reached MNT 11.8 billion as of August, which is a four percent decrease from the same period of the previous year. As for composition, 54 percent of the loans were granted to private entities, and 44 percent to individuals. In the August report, non-performing loans stand at 7.3 percent of total loans, a 2.3 percent increase from the same period of the previous year.

The rate of non-performing loans reached 17.3 percent during the economic decline of 2009. Although it has steadily fallen since then, it started to sharply increase starting last year. The growth of non-performing loans is troubling this year, and it's a bad indicator when the amount of total outstanding loans is also decreasing. As of August, the total value of non-performing loans reached MNT 865.4 billion, an increase of 39 percent from the same period of the previous year.

Experts say that the slowing of GDP growth and a high money supply had negative impacts on financial stability. In addition, weak investment and a weak tugrik are making things difficult for the private sector, exacerbating the already problematic issue of non-performing loans. 

As of last year, Mongolia's rate of non-performing loans ranked somewhere in the middle when compared to other countries. A financial sector heavily dependent on the banking sector is common in countries with transitional economies. Hence, the influence of the banking sector on the overall economy is very high in Mongolia.

Compared to the crisis of 2009, most sectors non-performing loan figures are bad; however, mining sector's loan figures are relatively good. The trade sector is facing difficulties as the purchasing power has weakened, as shown by the reduction in imports. The August non-performing loans report mentioned that non-performing loans may reach nine percent by the end of the year if the economic conditions continue to deteriorate. 

Link to article

 

Mongolia Falls 6 Spots in WEF Global Competiveness Index to #104

September 30 (WEF) --

Link to report

 

Wheat, vegetable harvest at 33.8%, 68.1%

October 1 (gogo.mn) As of yesterday, vegetable harvest is at t 68.1 percent, grain harvest is at 33.8 percent and potato harvest is at 65.7 percent, reported by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture.

Specifically,

  • 83.3 thousand tons of grain were harvested from 100.4 thousand hectares of land
  • 90.8 thousand tons of potatoes from 8.0 thousand hectares of land
  • 45.7 thousand tons of vegetable from 4.4 thousand hectares of land
  • 3.6 thousand tons of oil plants from 6.6 thousand hectares of land

Harvest of potato, vegetable and crop has slowed due to weather condition.

More than 1100 soldiers and 750 students are working for harvest.

This year, total of 512.3 thousand hectares of land were cultivated, of which 389.3 thousand hectares to grain, 360.7 thousand hectares to wheat, 12.5 thousand hectares to potatoes, 7.1 thousand hectares to vegetables, 78.5 thousand hectares to oil plants, 19.5 thousand hectares to fodder plants and 5.4 thousand hectares to medicinal herb were sown respectively.

Preliminary, 265.0 thousand tons of grain, of which 252.3 thousand tons of wheat and 117.3 thousand tons of potato, 75.3 thousand tons of vegetable, 28.7 thousand tons of oil plants, 53.9 thousand tons of fodder plants are expected to be harvested.

Link to article

 

Mongolia's Social Welfare Program Reform to be Supported by ADB $150 Million Loan

MANILA, PHILIPPINES, October 1 (ADB) – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $150 million loan to support reforms needed to sustain and improve the management of social welfare services in Mongolia, such as food stamps or cash transfers, to ensure they deliver maximum impact for the poor, during the period of economic difficulties.

"Social welfare programs account for a large share of the poor's income in Mongolia, and have significantly contributed to poverty reduction in recent years," said Yolanda Fernandez Lommen, an ADB Principal Economist. "However, there are some weaknesses in the current programs, including limited beneficiary targeting and programs' fragmentation, that need to be addressed. This assistance will give the government the fiscal space it needs to sustain the needed support for the poor and to carry out necessary reforms."

Mongolia's economy has been adversely affected by a slide in global commodity prices and growth moderation in the People's Republic of China that have slowed down economic growth and reduced government revenue. The rollout of the government's Comprehensive Macroeconomic Adjustment Program for 2015-2016, which, among several key structural reforms, aims to consolidate fiscal expenditure, is also having a contractionary effect on fiscal revenue collection. 

The loan will fund short-term revenue shortages, which if unaddressed, would result in significant cuts in welfare programs in 2015. The assistance supports a range of fiscal policy management and social welfare policy reforms, including consolidating budget expenses, improving fiscal transparency, and establishing a sovereign wealth fund. Other measures include increasing funds for the Food Stamps program, initiated in 2008 with ADB support, and subsidizing health insurance contributions for households in need of social welfare.

Social welfare-related reforms include measures to improve poverty targeting of benefits, and development of a plan to consolidate programs to reduce implementation costs and avoid duplication of benefits.

Of the total $150 million loan, $100 million will be released shortly. The remaining $50 million is scheduled to be released next year with the government's continuing efforts to sustain and improve social welfare services.  

ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members—48 from the region. In 2014, ADB assistance totaled $22.9 billion, including cofinancing of $9.2 billion.

Link to release

 

Has Mongolia's economic growth hit rock bottom? UB Post talks to ADB economist

October 1 (UB Post) Asian Development Bank (ADB) has introduced its projections for the Asia and Pacific region from 2016 to 2017, predicting rising inflation and offering perspective on economic growth. We spoke to economist L.Amar about Mongolia's economic prospects in the near future.

The public believes that next year's economic prospects are rather grim, as Mongolia's state budget is looking at difficulties and the country is facing substantial debt. Is there any way to get the economy back on its feet based on the ADB report?

There is a positive message that the economy will recover, since growth hit rock bottom this year. For instance, economic growth is projected to be 2.3 percent at the end of this year, but next year it is expected to pick up to three percent. By tightening monetary policy this year, inflation has decreased. By August, inflation was at 6.6 percent. The ADB projects inflation will reach 7.6 percent at the end of this year, and next year's inflation will be around the same level, which will have the positive impact of stabilizing commodity prices and alleviating the living conditions of the nation. Foreign direct investment also reached its lowest level this year, meaning that it will increase next year.

Will economic recovery depend on Oyu Tolgoi investments?

Yes. The Oyu Tolgoi underground mine's financial package is expected to be approved by February of next year. Furthermore, investment is expected to come during the middle of next year. This will increase taxes on imports and related services, and even improve service industries by increasing their revenue. There is an expectation that the Oyu Tolgoi underground mining investment will have the same impact as its initial investment, which helped Mongolia's economy grow by 17.5 percent [in 2011] This year, the two main economic sectors of the nation, mining and agriculture, are holding back the economy. Next year will also be similar.

This year's state budget revenue is expected to be 1.2 to 1.3 trillion MNT short, according to the Ministry of Finance. What are the main risks that are likely to face the state budget?

It was clear from the beginning that this year's state budget was drafted too optimistically by comparing it to the execution of last year's budget. The only way out is to cut costs from the budget to suit revenue. The state has to follow the law that states that state budget deficit must not be higher than five percent of gross domestic product. There isn't any other way.

What are the main risks for Mongolia' economy next year? Some economists have said that the decrease in  people's income will have a negative effect on the construction and banking sectors, as borrowers will not be able to pay their loans on time.

The biggest risk isn't domestic. The biggest impact will be determined by how well the Chinese government manages the economy and how it will influence our economy. The Chinese economy is heading more towards consumption rather than investment. They are decreasing infrastructure and construction investments, and this means that the demand for iron ore and coking coal, our main exports, is decreasing. If you look at their whole economy, automobile and machinery production is growing. The fact that they are decreasing investment in construction and infrastructure is negatively impacting our exports and reducing their value. From loan repayment reports, it is evident that bad loans are increasing, which is a concern.

How are Chinese economic prospects in the coming years? If China continues to pinch its construction and infrastructure projects, how will this affect Mongolia?

China's economy has been growing at an average of 10 percent over the last decade. Now it is at 6.8 percent, or around seven percent, which seems bad, but actually, compared to global economic growth, this is still a leading figure. We believe the Chinese economy will grow by 6.7 percent in the next year. Due to the situation I described earlier, negative impacts will be dominant.

Can the state budget really cut costs by more than a trillion MNT? Does Mongolia need to acquire loans to make up the deficit?

Since the budget can be expanded, it can also be reduced. People spend depending on how much money they have in their pockets. Since income is decreasing, spending has to be cut. The budget stabilization fund law leaves domestic and foreign loans open. The ADB has agreed to provide a 150 million USD soft loan to support the state budget, because economic slowdown has the worst impact on the most vulnerable groups in society. This type of loan can have up to 30 year terms and floating interest rates. Currently, the interest rate is lower than one percent a year.

Source: Undesnii Shuudan

Link to interview

 

Mongolia eyes rural growth

September 29 (Oxford Business Group) Mongolia's remote regions are beginning to feel the benefits of public and private initiatives aimed at attracting investment and promoting rural development in a bid to tackle rising levels of urbanisation and imbalances in regional wealth.

The country's rural regions are in need of greater development, having witnessed something of an exodus in recent years – especially in remote parts of the country, where inhabitants are increasingly eschewing low-earning agricultural jobs in favour of a higher standard of living in the capital.

Urbanisation reached 68% last year, up from 20% in the 1950s and well above the regional average of 48%, according to figures from the UN.

Development catch-up

Keen to stem flight from rural regions, particularly amongst semi-nomadic herders and their families, the Mongolian government and international organisations are working to provide remote communities with more support mechanisms.

In September the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation announced plans to channel $34.1m into rural initiatives as part of the third phase of its World Bank-backed Sustainable Livelihoods Programme (SLP).

Since its launch in 2002, the programme has supported public and private sector efforts to channel investment to underdeveloped rural economies across more than 300 of the country's soums (administrative districts). Over 6000 projects, largely in education and health, have already been financed through community development funds raised during the first two phases of the programme.

Another pillar of the government's efforts is the Integrated Budget Law of 2011, which grants rural communities a more prominent role in the budgeting process and greater control of state transfers through a local development fund. Under the law, community governors are instructed to conduct open surveys to help prioritise which investments, programmes and projects to implement.

Speaking in January, Bert Hofman, the World Bank's country director for China, Korea and Mongolia, told media, "The adoption of the Integrated Budget Law was a major milestone for empowering rural communities and provides a transparent mechanism for fiscal transfers for local development," adding that the SLP would help build capacity for local governments and communities to manage development initiatives.

Revenue sharing

The government is also considering tax reforms that could see a larger share of mining revenue retained locally. According to a statement in June by Prime Minister Ch. Saikhanbileg, communities could keep up to 30% of mineral revenues in addition to any local budget subsidies.

The prime minister used the example of the open-pit Gatsuurt gold mine in Mandal soum, located roughly 110 km north of Ulaanbaatar. If the community approved exploitation of the mineral resource, he explained, it could receive nearly one-third of the mineral resource payment and half the special licence fee, for a total of MNT60bn ($30.1m) in local revenue.

"[This would] mean that soums/aimags [provinces] with mining production will be able to develop themselves quicker and … become wealthier than other regions," Saikhanbileg said. "The soum's people will also decide how to spend the money from the payments."

Improving infrastructure

Improving rural connectivity to allow for better access to energy, goods and services is also central to future regional growth. Mongolia's rural communities are widely dispersed and have traditionally suffered from unequal access to infrastructure and logistics.

Outside the main triangle of activity – comprising Ulaanbaatar, Darkhan and Erdenet – populations are typically scattered or nomadic, which makes it difficult to provide and plan for infrastructure development.

To address these regional inequalities, the government is working to improve road, air and rail links, which would help boost trade and development in the coming years.

The government's strategy includes creating two regional road corridors by 2018, to cover a total of nearly 1700 km, as well as upgrades to existing rural roads. According to the Asian Development Bank, Mongolia is targeting $34m worth of road maintenance spending next year to reach its goal of 8000 km of paved roads nationwide by 2016, compared to 2800 km in 2010. The country also plans to ensure that 100% of aimag centres are linked to the capital via paved roads, up from the one-third with connectivity in 2009.

Results

The initiatives appear to be yielding results, with rural areas experiencing the fastest improvement in poverty rates in the country between 2012 and 2014. According to joint data from the National Statistics Office and the World Bank, rural poverty levels fell by 9 percentage points over the period, accounting for more than half of the overall reduction in poverty across the country, despite the smaller share of the population.

Livestock incentives schemes were cited as a particularly important tool in the Highlands region, which saw 44% of the national poverty reduction.

Link to article

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Politics & Legal

2016 budget bill proposes eliminating some deputy ministers, merging agencies

October 1 (news.mn) The new draft of the "State Budget Law", which has been presented by the Finance Minister and is being accepted by the Government, includes cutting the number of deputy ministers. Also, according to the draft bill, some Governmental agencies will be merged whilst others will be axed. Finance Minister, B.Bolor said that "in this way, Mongolia can reduce the State budget deficit by MNT 1.2-1.3 trillion".

According to the law, the Government presents the draft bills are expected to come into force next year, but fall under the State Budget of 1st October. In addition, tomorrow, the clarifications of the current State Budget will be presented to the Parliament.

Link to article

 

Autumn 2015 Session of Mongolia Parliament Opens

October 1 (Parliament.mn) Today on October 1, 2015, the State Great Hural (Parliament) of Mongolia commenced its Autumn plenary session that usually continues until February 1st and this is the 7th Session of the sixth parliamentary election /2012-2016/.

In his opening remarks, Chairman of the State Great Hural Mr. Zandaakhuu ENKHBOLD noted, "Since the end of latter session, a number of essential events were held in Mongolia. For instances, an extra-ordinary session commemorating the 25th anniversary of permanent functioning parliament in Mongolia was held as well as an irregular plenary session took place two times.

Moreover, Mongolia for the first time hosted the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly 2015 Autumn Meeting in its capital city of Ulaanbaatar. In this prestigious meeting of the world, President of the OSCE PA Mr. Ilkka Kanerva, Chairman of the State Duma of the Russian Federation Mr. Sergey Naryshkin as well as over 300 parliamentarians from 47 states and 19 representatives from 13 international organizations have participated.

During this session, the State Great Hural will be reviewing and ratifying important issues such as 2016 State Budget Law, 2016 Budget Law for Human Development Fund, 2016 Budget Law for Social Insurance Fund and Resolution on 2016 Monetary Policy Guidelines. In addition, it is scheduled to make amendments in the Constitution of Mongolia and in the Law on Election and therefore, it is a matter of our responsibility, initiative and efforts to timely discuss above and other issues".

Link to release

 

Speaker urges MPs to put in efforts to pass election, constitutional amendments in time

October 1 (UB Post) Speaker Z.Enkhbold reviewed the issues discussed and resolved during the parliamentary session break, including two irregular sessions, at the opening of the Fall Session yesterday, and urged all members of Parliament to put forward their best efforts for a productive session.

Parliament accepted the President's veto of the law on amnesty, but one of the irregular sessions failed to result in proper amendments to the law. The Speaker noted that amendments to the Amnesty Law will be finalized during this session.

He went on to say that the fall session of Parliament will discuss and adopt the 2016 state budget and 2016s budgets for the Social Insurance and Human Development funds, as well as a draft resolution on approving the 2016 basic guidelines for fiscal policy.

"This fall session is to become the most vital and responsible period for all members of Parliament, as the forthcoming 2016 Spring Session will coincide with preparations for parliamentary elections," he stressed.

"Many bills, draft amendments and resolutions are expected to be discussed and passed during the fall session. In particular, a draft amendment to the Constitution of Mongolia and a bill on elections must be adopted six months ahead of next year's parliamentary elections," he added and urged MPs to make efforts to resolve these issues.

Session meetings start at 9:00 a.m. and continue until 2:00 p.m. every Thursday and Friday. Responsibilities have been given to the heads of the parliamentary standing committees, sub-committees, and Secretary General of the Parliamentary Office B.Boldbaatar to organize the parliamentary fall session within the approved timetable.

After the opening of the fall session, the independent parliamentarians Ts.Davaasuren, Kh.Bolorchuluun, and S.Ganbaatar called a press conference to announce that they are ready to back the dismissal of Minister and head of the Cabinet Secretariat S.Bayartsogt.

Link to article

 

Speaker Z. Enkhbold Presentation at AmCham Mongolia: Autumn Session Agenda, OT/Gatsuurt/TT, Economy

September 30 (Parliament.mn) --

Link to preso

 

Parliament Session Agenda for October 1-2: Caucus, Committee, Plenary Meetings

September 29 (gogo.mn) Autumn Plenary Session of Parliament will commence on October 1st when following matters are scheduled to be discussed at meetings of parties, groups, standing committees and parliament.

09.00 am, Thursday, October 1:

ONE. OPENING OF AUTUMN PLENARY SESSION OF PARLIAMENT

TWO. MEETINGS OF PARTIES AND GROUPS IN PARLIAMENT AT 10.00 AM:

  • Democratic Party parliamentary group meeting at "A" Hall
  • Mongolian People's Party parliamentary group meeting at "B" Hall
  • MPRP-MNDP "Justice" group meeting at "V" Hall

THREE.STANDING COMMITTEE MEETING:

1. State structure standing committee meeting at 14.00, "A" hall:

Issues to be discussed:

  • Resignation of government cabinet member
  • Discussion of Constitutional Court's 2015 November conclusion on dispute whether constitutional clause in 7.1.12 clause of 7th article in Parliament law of Mongolia is violated.

2. Legal standing committee meeting at 14.00 "B" Hall

Issues to be discussed:

  • Discussion of Constitutional Court's 2015 November conclusion on dispute whether constitutional clause in 7.1.12 clause of 7th article in Parliament law of Mongolia is violated.
  • Discussion of draft law to amend Amnesty Law marking 25th anniversary of permanent parliament establishment.

FOUR. PARLIAMENT SESSION:

09.00 am, Friday, October 2:

  • Resignation of government cabinet member
  • Discussion of Constitutional Court's 2015 November conclusion on dispute whether constitutional clause in 7.1.12 clause of 7th article in Parliament law of Mongolia is violated.
  • Discussion of draft law to amend Amnesty Law marking 25th anniversary of permanent parliament establishment.
  • Discussion of draft law to approve Principles of Mongolian State Army Policies / President of Mongolia proposed the draft law on 2015.04.14 and first discussion continues/
  • Prime Minister's statement: "About assuring winter preparations"

Link to article

 

Independent MPs: We will back dismissal of Minister S.Bayartsogt

Ulaanbaatar, October 1 (MONTSAME) Soon after the opening of the regular autumn session of the State Great Khural, the independent MPs Ts.Davaasuren, Kh.Bolorchuluun and S.Ganbaatar called a press conference to announce that are ready to back a dismissal of the Minister and head of Cabinet Secretariat S.Bayartsogt.

"This will be settled at the plenary meeting of parliament on October 2," they said.

The State Great Khural has been criticized for discussing an issue of the Minister's ousting so early in the autumn session, "nevertheless, it should be understood as parliament's evaluation of the Ministers, working at the cabinet", said Kh.Bolorchuluun.

"The Constitutional Court has concluded that it is a violation of the Constitution when an MP initiates a proposal on dismissing a member of the cabinet but it is wrong, it is a political conspiracy because the proposal on firing Bayartsogt had been submitted by O.Baasankhuu MP before the CC's conclusion, so parliament must consider this issue, moreover, parliament will not accept the CC's decision," Davaakhuu added. 

Link to article

 

MPRP nominates Alaubek A. for Deputy Minister, MNDP undecided

October 1 (news.mn) During the Executive Council at the Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party (MPRP), the decision to appoint A.Alaubek as a Deputy Minister was made. His profession is that of a teacher of mathematics. During his career, he has worked at the Mongolian National University as a teacher; he has also been a post graduated in Germany.

The Government has shared two deputy ministerial seats with the Justice Union, which consists of the MPRP and the Mongolian National Democratic Party (MNDP). Therefore, at present one seat to be filled by a candidate from the MNDP remains.

To summarize; the Democratic Party (DP) has already chosen their three candidates for the deputy ministerial positions; and the Civil Will Green Party chose two candidates in August 2015.

Link to article

 

Cabinet to Submit Bill on State Property

Ulaanbaatar, September 29 (MONTSAME) The cabinet meeting on Monday discussed a draft law on state property and then decided to submit it to parliament, reflecting proposals from Ministers.

As of present, there are some 400 units of state properties which are divided into the ownership of state, province, the capital city, soum and district. According to the current law, owners are able to independently utilize or exploit their state properties.

By the draft law, the legislative body will maintain an authority to reform state-owned legal subjects. Furthermore, the government can reform or privatize state properties with permission of parliament, and Councils of provinces and the capital city can do the same with governmental permission.

Link to article

 

State, local administrations receives 230 thousand messages in first half

Ulaanbaatar, September 29 (MONTSAME) State central and local administrative organizations and state officials received some 230 letters on requests and complaints in the first half of this year.

It was reported by S.Bayartsogt, head of the Cabinet Secretariat for Government, at a cabinet meeting on Monday.

According to the report, messages and letters were sent to the state organizations and officials from 231 thousand people about requests, complaints and critics, and requests of 218 thousand people have been resolved in due times. Most of the messages were requests about exemption of pension credit, increasing area of apartments under the eight-percent mortgage loan and reducing a size of the up-front payment of the mortgage loan, Bayartsogt said.

Link to article

 

Contradicting policies and actions of Saikhanbileg's cabinet

October 1 (UB Post) The Finance Ministry of Mongolia has fulfilled Prime Minister Ch.Saikhanbileg's obligations and made estimations for cuts to current state expenses devoted to foreign and domestic travel, receiving guests, upgrading furniture, purchasing new items for state organizations, and reducing the salaries of high ranking state authorities by 30 percent. It was estimated that some 4 billion MNT could be saved by cutting those expenses.

In the last three months of 2015 the budget for purchasing items and furniture will be cut by 2.2 billion MNT. A total of 1.8 billion MNT will be saved by reducing the monthly salaries of 2,930 state servants, from provincial unit governors to the President, by 30 percent. The Finance Ministry claims that it has consistently reduced state budget expenses in recent years, and explained that the present cuts came up low, as almost all fields were covered in the cuts.

The Prime Minister called for accumulating income for the budget by increasing special taxes on petroleum imports. The Finance Ministry made several estimations on the raising of taxes, however, the ministry authorities have kept the results quiet, waiting for the adoption of amendments to the law on state budget. Parliamentary members are to discuss amendments to the state budget during the Fall Session, which kicked off yesterday. The legal grounds to increase taxes on petroleum imports will be formed with the adoption of budget amendments.

Principally, the Cabinet has the right to make the final decision to increase or decrease state taxes. However, its authority has been overreached at its highest level. The Cabinet has the right to raise the tax on diesel to 226,000 MNT and to raise the tax on high octane fuel to 90,000 to 217,000 MNT. This limit was set when oil cost 100 USD per barrel on the international market. Now, oil prices have fallen below 50 USD per barrel, and the chance has been created to increase taxes. In other words, the government is conducting a policy to draft the budget by accumulating some percentage of revenue from oil by increasing taxes. The Cabinet wants to take revenue from importers at five percent.

The Ministry of Industry has increased customs taxes on honey, meat, and cement in order to develop production, as well as to protect the domestic market from competing imports. Accordingly, it was estimated that 2.3 billion MNT would be accumulated for state budget income. The only chance to increase budget income is to raise import taxes, but it is obvious that billions won't be collected through this measure.

The government plans to cut budget expenses by 1.8 trillion MNT with amendments to the state budget. Even so, expenses will be equivalent to 6.8 trillion MNT. A savings of four billion MNT is tiny compared to total budget expenditure. A country with a 10 billion USD economy, and even a company with 100 million USD in circulation, can easily make such savings.

Forty percent of the state budget is spent on social welfare. Some 240 billion MNT is distributed to every child in Mongolia, 30 billion MNT goes to monthly students stipends, and 50 billion MNT is devoted to allowing students to travel for free on buses. There are many families who do not give much significance to 20,000 MNT, the monthly welfare allowance for children under age 18. Also, there are many students who have the financial capacity to pay bus fare. We should end the policy of a mass distribution of cash. It is time for politicians to agree on directing welfare services to target groups.

The Finance Minister said in a recent interview that budget cuts will start working if there is the elimination of giant state structure. In the first phase, agencies with less significance or redundant roles should be liquidated. There are now plans to liquidate two to three agencies, and some agencies will be consolidated. The Finance Minister also mentioned in the interview that the ministry is developing draft law to reduce the number of ministries from 15 to 9, and eliminate the position of Deputy Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister said in a recent Cabinet meeting that it is time to end spending on foreign and domestic appointments, training, meetings, and the purchase of goods. However, posts and tweets about 50 Mercedes-Benz Maybachs arriving at customs in Mongolia were popular on social media yesterday.

It turns out that these luxury cars, each valued at 300,000 EUR, were ordered and brought from Germany to serve foreign state delegates who will be attending ASEM 2016. It seems ridiculous that money that could build 300 schools and kindergartens, and is equivalent to the annual salary of nearly 3 million Mongolians, is being spent on chauffeuring the heads of some 50 countries for only three days. This purchase shows that the government's policy and its actions are contradictory.

Link to article

 

Statement by UN Resident Coordinator: Launch of Sustainable Development Goals

STATEMENT BY Ms. Beate Trankmann, UN Resident Coordinator, UN Press Conference, Launch of Sustainable Development Goals, 28 September 2015, UN House, 3rd Floor Auditorium

September 28 (UNDP Mongolia) This weekend the world entered a new era. On 25 September 2015, leaders from 193 countries adopted the Sustainable Development Goals - the global development agenda for the next 15 years.  The SDGs are a global call to action to end poverty, fight inequality, protect the planet and ensure that all human beings enjoy peace and prosperity without leaving anyone behind.

The SDGs have been set by all the people of the world for the people of the world – today and tomorrow. They are the result of an unprecedented 3 yr long consultation process. People across the world, including in Mongolia shared their vision for a better world and what is needed to attain it. More than eight million people worldwide voiced their views on their most pressing needs.

At the start of the debate was the question what kind of world do we want to live in? What type of development should the world strive for? The result was a development blueprint that envisages an equal and sustainable world. This is a world where development creates jobs and prosperity and does not harm the planet. This is a word where people can escape poverty, where they can stay healthy and get the food and water they need; where everyone can access clean energy and where everyone including women and girls are afforded equal rights and equal opportunities.

So, the SDGs are about the way we should live, behave, consume produce and do business to attain this vision. (For the first time, the SDG agenda includes targets on the protection of world's ecosystems and the earth climate)

The SDGs are also much more about governance focusing on the creation of the rule of law, transparency and accountability without which development can neither be equitable nor sustainable.

The SDGs are universal. They will apply to all countries regardless of their level of development. This is in recognition of the fact that the only way for prosperity to be shared and for the planet's natural boundaries to be respected, changes will need to take place in all countries at all income levels. This conveys a strong message that development is not something that happens to somebody else somewhere else. The SDGs are the peoples' goals – your goals.

The SDGs build on the achievements of the MDGs that were established in the year 2000. The MDG have been the most successful anti-poverty push in history. The lives of millions of people have been improved through MDG action. Global poverty continues to decline, more people have access to safe drinking water, more children than ever are attending primary school, and targeted investments in fighting malaria, AIDS and tuberculosis have saved millions.

Mongolia has embraced the MDGs, and embedded them into national development policy and plans. Good progress has been made. More than 500,000 Mongolians were lifted out of the poverty.  Mongolia succeeded where many countries failed, namely in decisively reducing maternal and infant/ under five mortality. But still 21.6% of the population live below the poverty line. They continue to lack equal opportunities to decent jobs, access to quality education, health and social care services. Achieving MDG targets for clean water and sanitation also remains a challenge. Mongolia as many other countries will also not reach the MDG target for gender equality in decision making. In addition, not everybody in Mongolia has benefitted equally from economic growth and development. Inequality between urban and rural is on the rise. Ger district populations also do not benefit from services to the same level.

The SDGs will continue this unfinished agenda of MDGs and build on it.

Successful implementation of SDGs will depend on all sectors of society – on all of us.Inclusive partnership with players from govt, businesses, civil society and academia is the only way to deliver SDGs effectively.

Responsible business operations, investment, innovation and collaboration from the private sector will be indispensable in the period ahead. The SDGs are a massive agenda. They cannot be financed from public sector and development assistance alone. Many of the recent successes in development and climate change have been achieved through public-private partnerships with the power to mobilize finance, expertise, knowledge and innovations, transform consumption patterns and protect the environment.

Civil society can make many important contributions to policy development. The role of civil society will be critical both to raise awareness with communities on new legislation and initiatives related to the SDGs but also to ensure that the views and actual needs of marginalized groups and remote populations are reflected in these plans.

The SDGs will be the center piece of the UN's work in Mongolia. To start, we will support Mongolia in producing reliable data and indicators that are essential for measuring progress and making sure our efforts reach everyone. We will support the government to integrate them into national development visions and policies, budgets and action plans. We will work with and support all stakeholders - civil society, private sector, communities - to play their role to accelerate progress across the goals.

The SDGs will be an essential platform to ensure that Mongolia can achieve and maximize all its potential in the next 15 years. By ensuring development that is inclusive, equitable and sustainable, Mongolia's natural resources can be translated in long term return for its people and future generations. There could not a better policy framework for Mongolia than the SDGs and this is an opportunity we cannot miss.     

The SDGs matter to all of us as we have a shared responsibility for our future and that of our planet. There is no "planet B" as the Secretary General says.

We are the first generation that can end poverty. But we are also likely the last generation that can save the planet from irreversible climate change.

Link to release

Related:

Premier meets new UN Resident CoordinatorMontsame, September 29

 

Memorandum Signed on Child Online Safety, Launches Website

September 30 (gogo.mn) National Authority for Children in cooperation with Communications Regulatory Commission of Mongolia have initiated child online protection and signed a memorandum of cooperation.

Cooperation between parents, teachers, educators and residents is essential for child protection in cyber world and creating child-friendly and safe internet environment.

Thus, National Authority for Children and Communications Regulatory Commission of Mongolia have cooperating and launched www.cybersafety.mn

Link to article

 

Agriculture Ministry introduces new 30-second grain analyzing equipment

September 29 (UB Post) The Ministry of Food and Agriculture reported that it has received equipment for determining the protein, moisture, and gluten content of wheat and grain within 30 seconds to one minute, on Monday.

The Ministry introduced the Inframatic 9500 (IM9500) grain analyzer from Perten Instruments in Sweden, and conducted its first test. The instrument uses advanced chemometric calibrations to convert a signal into constituent results concerning the content of moisture, protein, oil, and ash.

Previously, the Crop Promotion Fund (CPF) spent 30 to 40 minutes on analysis with its older equipment, but now by equipping six CPF branches with the new grain analyzers they will speed up the process for a single analysis.

The Executive Director of the CPF M.Tsolmon said, "By introducing new equipment we will be able to service farmers with less inconvenience. Starting from this year, we will categorize wheat by its gluten content. The grain analyzer will have an important role in this work. Yesterday we held training for laboratory assistants at our six branches, and starting from today, we are conducting analysis by utilizing the new equipment. Previously, farmers and flour producers were disputing wheat gluten content, but now this issue is resolved."

Link to article

 

Polish Court Officials Visit Mongolia

September 29 (news.mn) A high-level legal delegation from Poland has concluded a visit to Mongolia. The representatives, headed by the Vice Chairman of the Polish National Judicial Council paid a short visit to Mongolia, at the invitation of the Chairman of the Mongolian National Council of the Judiciary, Mr.N.Lundendorj. On 21st September, the Polish guests had official meeting with Mr.N.Lundendorj and others in the building of the Mongolian National Council of Judiciary. Both sides discussed the progress of the Mongolian Judicial development programme, the current situation of their Polish counterparts as well as experiences, issues of court structure and organization as well as dealing with related problems and urgent court issues. The Poland guests visited the Mongolian Supreme Court, Civil Court, and met the Head Judge and other officials on 21st-22nd September. Following on from their meeting, Mongolian judicial experts will attend a series of training seminars in Poland from January 2016.

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Business

Mogi: not quite sure of this yet

TDB raises $500 million from its 4th international bond issue

October 1 (news.mn) The Trading and Development Bank (TDB) of Mongolia has again exchanged USD 500 million Government guaranteed bonds on the international market. The revenue from the issue of the bonds will come to Mongolia in the near future. This exchange was the fourth of its kind by the TDB onto the international market.

Previously the TDB sold:

USD 500 million five-year bonds with a rate of 9.375%. These were successfully sold in May 2015.  

CHY 700 million bonds to the Chinese Market in 2014

USD 300 million bonds which has three years term and 10% rates, in 2012.

This time, it looks like TDB has exchanged the USD 500 million bonds again, in order to extend the payment period on the previous bonds.

Link to article

 

Mongolian Real Estate Developers Establish Largest Ever Partnership

/Ulaanbaatar, 2015.09.29/ Mongolian Real estate developers with pioneering construction projects launch the biggest partnership effort to date, under a company named Mongolian Development Partnership LLC (MDP).  The newly founded company shall serve as the building block for its partners in developing large scale Real estate projects domestically and internationally, while focusing on developing Mongolia's first Real Estate Investment Trust (known as REIT).

The members of MDP, consisting of Tsast Group, Zag Group, Orchlon Construction, Gandirs, and Green Resources Construction, have developed over 623,979 square meters of properties domestically, making the collective experiences presented by these companies unmatched.

"MDP partners have gained extensive experience in the last 2 decades of their operations in terms of introducing good governance and proper construction management in accordance with ISO and FIDIC standards, while adopting international standard best practices and modern technologies. We believe that the decision to found a joint company is of high importance as well as a required stepping stone for the future growth of our industry, as this will help us export Services.", said the MDP Board.

The newly established company has so far received requests for partnerships from other real estate developers with industry experience and good governance, including CHMM LLC and Buyanpel LLC and in response MDP shall remain open to further partnerships.

MDP will start operations with immediate effect to pursue its mid-term strategy to establish a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) within the next 2-3 years in order to provide the much-needed Exit strategy in the market, and provide qualified Fund management services.

ENDS

If you are interested in receiving media quotes or additional information please contact Gerel Orgil on 88779173.

NOTES TO THE EDITOR

Members of Mongolian Development Partners

·         Zag Group                                      (Founded in 1990)

·         Tsast Group                                   (Founded in 1997)

·         Orchlon Construction                     (Founded in 2003)

·         Gandirs Group                                (Founded in 1991)

·         Green Resource Construction        (Founded 2008)

·         Buyanpel                                        (Founded in 2004)

·         CHMM                                             (Founded in 1996)

Members of MDP board

·         Nemekhbaatar.B, Managing Director of Zag Group

·         Bayarsaikhan.N, Managing Director of Tsast Group

·         Ganzorig.D, Managing Director of Orchlon Construction

·         Erdenechuluun.Ts, Managing Director of Gandirs Group

·         Tsetsenzorig.Ts, Managing Director of Green Resource Construction

·         Ariunbold.D, Managing Director of Buyanpel

·         Chinbat.Kh, Managing Director of CHMM

A MDP board meeting is scheduled to take place in October 2015, during which the board members will appoint the board's Chairman along with the CEO.

Link to release

 

GASI issues warnings to construction companies over safety

September 30 (infomongolia.com) The General Agency for Specialized Inspection (GASI) of Mongolia has issued a warning to construction companies to pay attention to the safety of their workers as winter comes.

Construction works usually stops in Mongolia during wintertime and companies try to fasten their works in autumn leading to accidents, which ends lethal in many cases.

GASI has released a survey that showed the statistics regarding industrial accidents in past three years. According to survey, there occurred 164 industrial accidents 63 of them were fatal injuries.

As a number of such accidents is increasing lately, GASI is warning administrations of construction companies to keep the safety rules avoid accidents.

Link to article

 

"Mongol Music" Project to Protect Copyright of Works by Mongolian Artists

October 1 (gogo.mn) Mongolian music industry has a lot of room to grow and develop as the copyright rights and intellectual property legal environment has lacked in many aspects and many of the works of the artists, performers, authors and composers have long been neglected in terms of the intellectual property rights with illegal duplication and publishing on market.

Celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, Mongol Content LLC introduces new music project called "Mongol Music".

Applying international standards, Mongol Music project will protect copyright of works created by Mongolian musicians and artists, and manage matters of officially renting, lending and distributing the music to the public and secondary users.

N.Bat-Erdene, the Project Manager of Mongol Music project powered by Mongol Content LLC:

Our project will be connecting bridge between music artists and music service providers, and we are willing to cooperate with either artists interested to officially release their music to the public or individuals and entities keen to perform, show or play the music in public.

The project will establish a partnership with Mongolian Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers and provide a copyright protection for the work of artists.

U.Khurelbaatar, Executive Director of Mongolian Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers:

Mongol Content LLC is the ideal organization and trusted partner of MOSCAP. I am pleased with signing a renewed cooperation agreement with Mongol Content LLC. Protection of an intellectual property and copyright management will clearly advance the development of the industry and is a huge leap in setting the bars high.

Head of Mongolian National Center of Phonograph Producers B.Lkhagvasuren:

Mongol Content LLC, through the project, has written a new chapter in history of the music industry and particularly, it is enormously beneficial in protecting artists' rights and ensuring the regulation enforcement.

Numerous companies operating in music and art industry have been established in the past. Some of them have failed to reach the expectation. But Mongol Content has been the one to standout and successful in this regard and gained trust from its partners and artists. I wish all the success to Mongol Music project.

Mongolian State-honored Artist and Singer B.Sarantuya, Singer B.Batchuluun, and Singer D.Namsrainorov have become first clients of Mongol Music project.

Mongolian State-Honored Artist and Singer B.Sarantuya:

This year is 30th anniversary of my career as a singer and then, I have organized and planned many events to celebrate the occasion. Especially, I am glad that I have become one of the first clients of Mongol Music project launched by Mongol Content LLC, which I have worked with for a long time.

Leader of Niciton Band and State-Honored Artist B.Batchuluun:

Copyright of artists and musicians have been violated in certain degree until today. I would like to express my gratitude that Mongol Content LLC provides copyright protection for artists' works.

State-Honored Artists and Head of Mongolian Public Music Performers Association G.Chinbolor:

Mongolian Public Music Performers Association and Mongol Content LLC have signed the cooperation agreement. We are happy to collaborate with Mongol Music project.

Singer D.Namsrainorov:

I am happy to become first client of Mongol Music project powered by Mongol Content LLC, which has been supporting me throughout all these years.

Singer D.Uuriintuya added:

I am happy to be among the first clients of Mongol Music project. Protection of an intellectual property is something that artists have been lacking. I would like to express my gratitude Mongol Content LLC in their contribution to ensuring the copyright rights of music.

Mongol Music project will publicly present the music of both local and world-known artist in cooperation with international music productions.

Link to article

 

Mongol Movie project plans film portraying Mongolian culture to the world

October 1 (gogo.mn) A film was first shown to the public at BogdKhaan Palace in Mongolia in 1903, while some argue that it dates back to 1909. It is the first time that we were introduced to the film industry and made a first step to get familiar with world history and culture.

Video and audio combined with a director's skill, a writer's script and a plot are able to portray any idea in details. That is why we have been encouraged to express ourselves through the film after getting known of outer world by watching international movies.

We know that two films titled "The Story of The Weeping Camel" and "The Cave of The Yellow Dog" directed by D.Byambasuren had widely portrayed Mongolian traditions, culture and people to the rest of the world.

Accordingly, Mongol Content LLC carrier of slogan "Globalizing local content" introduces new movie project called "Mongol Movie".

Z.Otgontuya, the Project Manager of Mongol Movie project powered by Mongol Content LLC:

We are very pleased to cooperating with Ankhnyam Casting Agency, HERO Entertainment and actor B.Amarsaikhan plans to make a film portraying Mongolian livelihood and traditions on the heels of our 10th anniversary. 

- English caption available -

Actor B.Amarsaikhan: "It is advantageous for us to create a film, which positively interprets traditions and heritage in order to be recognized in the world's film industry. As we noticed, Japanese, Korean and Chinese filmmakers and artists are internationally known through portrayal of their marital arts. Similarly, we should present something, which could be our identity to attract foreigners."

Displaying Mongolian traditions, ancient kings and nobles, and nomadic livelihood in a film, which you can witness only here in Mongolia will be a huge advancement in the industry."

Actress R.Ankhnyam: "I believe that we, Mongol Content LLC and Ankhnyam Casting Agency, are able to create the film, which will bring us the international recognition"

Link to article

 

Mongol Comics project to promote Mongolian comic art locally, internationally

October 1 (gogo.mn) Mongol Content LLC and Nomadic Photo Storytelling Foundation today established MOU on further cooperation.  G.Gantuya, CEO of Mongol Content LLC and N.Erdenebayar, Head of Nomadic Photo Storytelling Foundation were present at the signing ceremony.

As a result, two organizations will cooperate on promoting Mongolian Comic Art locally and internationally.

Ts.Ankhbayar, Leader of "Mongol Comics" project:

As you know, GoGo News website has recently opened Comics section and regularly raises hot topics in it. In this regard, we successfully ran the competition of Comic Strips in partnership with Nomadic Photo Storytelling and Embassy of Japan in September. Winners of the competition will be announced on October 3. The competition will be organized annually in the future. It can be said that it is just an introduction part of promoting and distributing Comic Art to local audience. Comic content is still fresh for Mongolians. Thus, we have a lot to do in this field. I am happy to tie up our partnership with the talented team ahead of loads of work.

N.Erdenebayar, Head of Nomadic Photo Storytelling Foundation:

Nomadic Photo Storytelling Foundation has the objective to develop and locally advertise Mongol Animation. We are also providing a support on various Mongolian content creators. The establishment of MOU with Mongol Content LLC will lead us to a great achievement. I cannot see better opportunity than building solid partnership in order to create the quality content. Thus, we are pleased that we set to collaborate with Mongolian leading content creator. I firmly believe that we are able to generate internationally competitive contents thanks to Mongolian minds.

Link to article

 

Mongol Content to expand Mongolian video content with Orgil Media

October 1 (gogo.mn) Mongol Content LLC has been creating Mongolian contents based on a mobile technology and delivered the first ever national portal website, which has expanded into a digital news agency. With more in store the company introduces the new projects to set the new trends in digital and traditional content production and delivery with its new projects coming ahead such as Mongol Music, Mongol Movie, Mongol Comic and Mongol Video.

These will be the start of the quality Mongolian contents to be delivered both locally and internationally in cooperation with leading Mongolian productions, studios and Televisions. In the scope of these works, GoGo News Agency Mongol Content LLC has signed the cooperation agreement with Bloomberg TV Mongolia in June 2015.

Moreover, the cooperation in the field has expanded to the new entrants of the industry Orgil Media Consulting.

G.Gantuya, CEO of Mongol Content LLC:

In the coming 10 years we have planned the extensive cooperation with the creators, producers, televisions and content suppliers in Mongolia. Main objective of which is to produce quality Mongolian content. Therefore, we are cooperating with Orgil Media Consulting  and are signing the MOU today.

OTV an entertainment television, operated by Orgil Media Consulting, is to celebrate its first anniversary soon.

B.Bat-Orgil, CEO of OTV:

As the audience is exposed to foreign quality contents daily, there is need for the content producers to cooperate and walk hand in hand to produce and create Mongolian content to please the audience and which is able to compete with foreign contents.

Our cooperation will result in appealing and interesting contents for our viewers.

Link to article

 

Mongol Content to cooperate with Unitel on content distribution

October 1 (gogo.mn) Today, Directors of Mongol Content LLC and Unitel Group have signed the cooperation agreement. It enables "Mongol Content" LLC, which has been generating web content for years, to create new content in cooperation with Unitel Group.

Firstly, Mongol Content will create audio content including works of Mongolian artists and music performers as Unitel Group will provide an assistance on the distribution of the content via "UniMusic" service to its clients.

General Director of UNITEL Group R.Ganbold expressed his opinion on the partnership:

"First of all, I would like to congratulate Mongol Content LLC on its 10th anniversary. We have signed the cooperation agreement with Mongol Content LLC which has been successful in the field for 10 years. In the further, we will deliver the music service to our clients in cooperation with Mongol Content LLC. I believe that our partnership will be prosperous."  

CEO of Mongol Content LLC G.Gantuya said:

"Our company was established this day, ten years ago. I am happy to tie up our partnership with the second biggest mobile-phone operator in Mongolia on our anniversary day."

Link to article

 

Mongol Content launches 6IX adult magazine on print, online

October 1 (gogo.mn) New magazine sure to entertain and help readers to find solutions for their secret problems is about to be released with its first issue.

6IX adult magazine will allow the readers to get refreshed after a busy day and have a break from stressful environment with its aesthetic contents.

The magazine distinctly designed is to be released every two months not only in paper, but also in a digital downloadable version for your mobile phone, tablet and other portable device.

6IX will offer you unique nude art, portraying the beauty of Mongolian girls, intriguing news, advices, interviews and erotic articles.

The digital version for smart phone and tablet will be released soon.

Mongol Content LLC publishes 6IX magazine to mark its 10th anniversary and aims to set new trends among adult content providers. In addition, the publisher cites that the magazine will only present nude art and prevent showing of improper content.

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Aso: We might strip down the guys for our female readers

By R. Adiyasuren

October 1 (gogo.mn) We are delivering the interview with B.Ankhbayar, a young artist and a founder of We are Mongol Content Design Union, ROAAD crew, and a member of Click Click Boom.

He currently works as Art Director at Mongol Content LLC. We have discussed with him about his crew, and also his new magazine project that promised to bring the readers a new experience of nude art and intriguing information.

You have challenged yourself in numerous interesting fields. Let's start our interview with talking about the crews you are a member of

We are Mongol Content Design Union is a group of designers who have aspiration to advance graphic design into new heights. There is a common misconception or admiration that only works of foreign designers are good. Then, we, Mongolian designers, have formed the group to show our skills and create joint works. Also, the group goal is to challenge each other and become a role model for other aspiring designers. It consists of around 30 designers who work for top local companies. We always try to improve our skills and present others excellent works. Design works are highly valued because it is responsible to represent outer looks of anything and attract public or potential customers of business or services. First impression is important to keep people interested. For instance, attractive candy wrap triggers you to taste it, while good poster of new film leads you to watch. Our primary goal is to improve ourselves and secondly, to change a common negative notion among public towards this field.

ROAAD /initials of its members/ Crew consist of first and second generation graffiti artists in Mongolia and its goal is to introduce and develop the field. And, we are making efforts to enhance our abilities to the level of international artists.

Young people are familiar with "Click Click Boom" crew that consists of well-known rappers Gee, Desant (Troopers), Nomad, Ka and Zugii (Bee). But I am not as popular as them as I am not a rapper. I am a graffiti artist. The crew includes various artists such as beat maker, MC and graffiti artist.

You are currently working on an adult magazine project. Please tell us about it?

I work as an Art Director At Mongol Content LLC". Our company has an experience of creating contents for adults in the past and we have recently started developing our idea into something different, which is our new adult magazine called 6IX and I work as the Project Leader. Here in Mongolia, contents for adults are somewhat limited. On the other hand, there are plenty of information and content designated for youth and teenagers. But there is a void to fill in adult content market. People need excellent content source, which are able to help them to solve their matters. Thus, there must be something for adults to be entertained in aesthetic way and receive helpful information. For instance, a study shows that a man's heart functions get better after seeing a woman's bust for a while. Then, we are working on creating the magazine that will offer such valuable information for adults.

The magazine will be available in both paper and digital versions.

Our magazine's special feature is that it will be available not only in papers, but also there is a digital version. Paper version is limited to only texts and photos as we know. On the other hand, a digital version provides various contents including videos and audio.

Our team pays a great deal of attention on the quality of our content. For instance, we made an online interview with Russian nude artist and video maker. It proves our ability to create reporting from any corner of the world.

Photo content will be a crucial part of our magazine, 60 percent of which will consist of it. We will portray beauty of Mongolian girls through artistic photography. We have the editorial policy of not publishing inappropriate photo content. These days, people are not interested in or have a limited time to spare on reading texts. That is why we aim to attract readers with interesting and catchy articles.

Recently, a lot of kids are exposed to smartphones. Thus, they might be downloading digital version of the magazine. Despite beneficial using of high-tech, it should not be harmful to children. What security approach do you plan to take on this issue?

We have had a long discussion over this issue and studied international practices of handling it. However, the solution is not advanced. In other words, when you request access to an adult content, you are only asked: "Are you under 18" and choose either "Yes" or "No". It is not able to limit children's access to the content, so they can easily access. Our solution to the matter is better and only adults are able to provide correct answers to entry questions, we believe. For example, we will ask questions for people who request access, such as "What is the name of the dog from the movie "Four Tankmen and a Dog?" Polish TV series, What is the lover's name of leading character in "Cara Sucia or Dirty Face?" Venezuelan TV series." We view this could be a far better solution.

I understand that the magazine's content is designated for both men and women. Maybe in the future, will there be nude photos of men for female audience?

A beautiful woman can be appreciated by both men and women. The magazine is devoted for both sexes. We have some raw ideas of creating content featuring males.

You as well as your company have a previous experience of generating adult content. How do you pick your models to be featured in the magazine?

Our company has recently started model management services. We selected our models from the girls auditioned in the photoshoot. As I realized, Mongolian girls have become more confident, and take care of their beauty and appearance well. Most importantly, models we were working with were very eager to eternize their beauty in the magazine.

I understand that the magazine's content is designated for both men and women. Maybe in the future, will there be nude photos of men for female audience?

A beautiful woman can be appreciated by both men and women. The magazine is devoted for both sexes. We have some raw ideas of creating content featuring males.

You as well as your company have a previous experience of generating adult content. How do you pick your models to be featured in the magazine?

Our company has recently started model management services. We selected our models from the girls auditioned in the photoshoot. As I realized, Mongolian girls have become more confident, and take care of their beauty and appearance well. Most importantly, models we were working with were very eager to eternize their beauty in the magazine.

When will be the first issue of the magazine released? 

We will be delivering the first issue both in paper and digital version on October 1. But the digital version will be available on Play Store for Android system before that and soon on App Store for iOS.

Thank you for the interview. Wish you the success.

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Khan Bank signs US$20 million trade facility agreement with Turk ExIm Bank

September 25 (Khan Bank) In the framework of trade finance and international cooperation, KHANBANK executed a trade facility agreement of USD20 million with TURK EXIM bank. KHANBANK is now fully capable to support financing needs of our clients' cross border trade with Turkish companies.

KHAN BANK, being one of the leading banks with biggest customer base and distribution network, is privileged to contribute to the development of trade and economic collaboration between Turkey and Mongolia on the anniversary of 45 years of diplomatic relationship between two countries, by offering import financing solutions with flexible terms and conditions for up to seven years to our esteemed clients.  Besides close collaboration on trade finance with TURK EXIM, KHANBANK cooperates with many other Turkish banks including Yapi ve Kredi Bankasi AS, Akbank TAS, Turkiye Cumhuriyeti Ziraat Bankasi AS and a regional branch office of ING bank in Turkey.

KHAN BANK offers favorable trade financing solutions funded by facility lines established with foreign banks with the use of various trade finance products such as Letter of Credit, Bank Guarantee, and Collection to our corporate clients who conduct international trade business with many countries and also to those who are planning to trade overseas.

For further information on trade finance, please contact our Financial Institutions and Trade Finance unit at FITF@khanbank.com

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Mogul Power CEO: New power plant will reduce dependency on energy import

September 29 (UB Post) The following interview is with CEO of Mogul Power LLC J.Erdembileg, whose company is currently preparing to build a power plant adjacent to Tevshiin Govi brown coal mine in Saintsagaan soum in Dundgovi Province. The parent company of Mogul Power is the USA's Firebird Management.

According to J.Erdembileg, the new power plant will have a capacity of 600 megawatt and will be able to supply power to any direction, including Mongolia's southern regions.

What kind of work has Mogul Power achieved so far?

Our company received a special license at the Tevshiin Govi coal mine in 2010. In 2011, we started a project to build a power plant next to this mine because we considered it was best to utilize its coal.

We had RPS Aquaterra conduct water technology research in 2011 and Burns and Roe develop a pre-feasibility study in 2012. In 2013, we had environmental impact assessment done and had the Scientific and Technical Council at the Ministry of Energy approve our feasibility study. We finally received permission to construct a power plant from the Energy Regulatory Commission last year. Currently, our company is negotiating a build-operate-own form of concessional agreement.

It should be specified that our company will produce energy that will be able to recover investment after the power plant is built. Once the concessional agreement is approved, the power purchase agreement (PPA) will be established.

Amendments were made to the Energy Law last July. It was beneficial that authorities added provisions related to the establishment of the PPA with power stations, which operate using coal. Specifically, a new terminology, independent power producer, was created. This is a big step for making power system more market-oriented.

Mogul Power announced to raise financing for the power plant from international investors. Why did it choose to partner with SEPCO-III, a sister company of one of China's biggest multinationals-POWERCHINA?

We've taked with several investors from South Korea and China since 2013. Among them, SEPCO-III gave the most financially affordable proposal. Chinese companies implement tons of power plant projects globally. For example, SEPCO- III has completed over 40 projects. It has also commissioned power plants in many countries throughout Asia, Europe and Africa.

The first reason why we chose SEPCO-III is because it's very experienced. It also manufactures and assembles equipment and devices.

When can the construction work of the new power plant begin?

SEPCO-III is negotiating to construct the plant under terms to hand over the key. As Mongolia's construction season is short, it has agreed to complete the power plant in 48 months. It would've been possible to complete construction work within approximately 36 months if Mongolia's construction season had been year-round.

Will Mongolians participate in the construction process?

Construction work has many structures, including infrastructure and networking. We will aim to have Mongolians work on these fields, but obviously, we'll have Chinese experts execute technological works.

Nevertheless, workforce in Mongolia is insufficient. We'll have to probably get foreign workforce to build the power plant on time.

After commissioning the power plant, 90 percent of workers will be Mongolians. According to feasibility studies, around 760 people will work at the power plant. Another 300 jobs related to mining projects to supply the power plant with coal will become available. In total, we will provide more than 1,000 jobs.

How much investment is required for the power plant?

The estimated investment amounted to 38 million USD, according to the feasibility study approved in 2013. Now, an additional 1.1 billion MNT will be needed. We're planning to do an investment with a ratio of 70:30. The 30 percent of total investment will be provided by Mogul Power and the rest by bank loans.

What kind of terms are Chinese banks demanding for loans?

The terms for interest rate and time are very reasonable as it will be a long-term investment loan. The loan will continue for 20 to 25 years. The Chinese bank notified that it'll provide financing as SEPCO-III will be constructing the power plant.

Where will Mogul Power supply energy produced by the new plant?

Power plants have to sell electricity to National Power Transmission Grid companies according to the Energy Law. It's specified that although energy producers and distributors can be private, the organization to transmission must be owned by the state. If our company sets up a 25 km transmission line that can reach Mandalgovi, the capital of Dundgovi Province, we will be able to supply electricity to consumers there and even connect to the central power system.

Presently, there are transmission cables from Ulaanbaatar to Baganuur District and from Choir city in Govisumber to Mandalgovi. A line has been set up from Mandalgovi to Tavan Tolgoi. The government included a project to build a 330 kW cable for a distance of around 250 km from Ulaanbaatar to Mandalgovi in the Concession List less than a month ago. If this cable is set up, our plant will be able to supply electricity to Ulaanbaatar without having to transmission through Choir and Baganuur.

There is a distance of some 260 km between Ulaanbaatar to Mandalgovi, and nearly 280 km from Mandalgovi to Tavan Tolgoi. Our deposit is located right in between Ulaanbaatar and Tavan Tolgoi. It would be more efficient to get electricity from our power plant than supplying it from Ulaanbaatar.

Energy experts estimated that the southern region energy demand will reach approximately 1,500 megawatt. However, people in the sector are saying that apart from our power plant, other sources are being built such as Nar and Eg River hydro-electric power stations.

Our power plant and the Baganuur power plant, which has a capacity of 700 megawatt, will produce only energy. Mongolia imports energy from Russia during peak hours. Our power plant is aimed to stop this import. This will become a big advantage.

How much will Mogul Power's plant  charge per kW/ hour?

According to my projection, the price of per kW/hour produced by Mogul Power will be similar to the price of energy produced by Thermal Power Plant No.5 and Baganuur power plant, which will also be built soon. Thermal Power Plant No.5's per kW/ hour has been set at 0.07 USD. Our pricing is still indefinite as the concessional agreement hasn't been finalized.

People are starting to focus on making environmentally friendly technologies that produce energy from coal. What kind of technology will the new power plant in Tevshiin Govi have?

The most recently commissioned power plant in Mongolia is Thermal Power Plant No.4, which was commissioned in 1983. Since then, global plant technologies have improved considerably. We will use a special furnace to ensure eco-friendliness. As the power plant will be constructed in a desert region, it will use the minimum amount of water and have air coolers.

The feasibility studies developed by Burns and Roe estimates that the amount of disposal of toxic substances in the air will be twice as low as Mongolia's standards.

How good is the quality of coal in the Tevshiin Govi mine?

It's similar to Baganuur mine's, but better than Shivee Ovoo's. Mongolia doesn't export brown coal because it's unprofitable. Coal from Tevshiin Govi mine has low-calorie and high ash and moisture content. If we don't use this coal, it will become an abandoned asset.

The closest road to our mine is located 200 km away in Choir. We'll have to travel over 500 km to transport coal from Choir to the border. This is economically inefficient. Tavan Tolgoi faces loss by transporting coal only 240 kms. Yet the quality of our coal is two times lower than Tavan Tolgoi's.

How much reserve does the mine have?

The Minerals Council, under Mineral Resource Authority, determined that our company has 425 million tons of coal reserves at our licensed area. Accounting that around 3.5 million tons will be used annually, we have enough reserves to last over 100 years. Tevshiin Govi mine actually has nearly 1.8 billion tons of coal in reserve.

Several thermal power plant and renewable energy projects have been approved. In your opinion, when do you think Mongolia will be able to export energy?

Honestly, Mongolia will have a surplus of energy in the future. Exportation of energy isn't an issue that depends on one party. It also depends on the buyer. Mongolia's main market is in China. China's development plan is released every five years. Mongolia's energy export issue  will depend on whether China wants to purchase energy from Mongolia and includes Mongolia in its development plan. In other words, this issue will be determined once we've negotiated with the buyer.

Mongolia will probably not be able to export energy in the next five years if it isn't included in China's development plan for energy. If Mongolia efficiently executes energy projects and prepares necessary transmission cables before the next Chinese development plan is drafted, China will definitely consider importing energy from Mongolia.

Source: Unuudur

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AmCham Hosts Monthly Meeting with Speaker Z. Enkhbold

September 30 (gogo.mn) ULAANBAATAR, Mongolia – The American Chamber of Commerce in Mongolia (AmCham) hosted a meeting on Wednesday, September 30, 2015 with His Excellency Z. Enkhbold, Chairman of the State Great Hural. The meeting convened over 50 domestic and international business leaders to hear directly from our distinguished guests.

The Speaker gave remarks on the Parliament's legislative agenda for the Fall Plenary session and noted that has become a "tradition" to speak at AmCham's September Monthly Meeting before the Autumn Session." His remarks were followed by a Q&A session.

Magnai Ganzorig, Vice Chairman of AmCham Mongolia introduced the Speaker and noted that "AmCham's partnership with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington and with 28 AmChams in the Asia-Pacific region makes us the most effective platform to work with on your strategic trade and commercial agenda and we look forward to the work ahead."

AmCham Mongolia is an independent membership-driven organization that seeks to build, strengthen, and protect business between the United States and Mongolia and to actively promote Mongolia as a destination for American investment. AmCham Mongolia holds regular Monthly Meetings between its member companies and policymakers to discuss issues concerning the business environment and investment opportunities in Mongolia. Monthly Meetings are an important platform for AmCham members, public officials, and other stakeholders to network, build relationships, and discuss solutions to policy challenges.

The meeting was participated by more than 50 business delegations and the Speaker gave remarks on the Parliament's legislative agenda for the Fall Plenary session.

AmCham Mongolia holds regular Monthly Meetings between its member companies and policymakers to discuss issues concerning the business environment and investment opportunities in Mongolia. Monthly Meetings are an important platform for AmCham members, public officials, and other stakeholders to network, build relationships, discuss solutions to policy challenges.

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Related:

AmCham Mongolia Welcomes the Honorable Jennifer Zimdahl Galt, U.S. Ambassador to Mongolia – AmCham Mongolia

 

Mongolia sets out hopes for large-scale beef exports

September 30 (Global Meat News) This winter Mongolia hopes to send 10.4 million head of cattle to slaughter, including 5.6m for export purposes, which would bring the country's export volumes to 126,300 tonnes (t). According to the country's Agriculture Ministry, the total livestock population in the country is estimated at 70m head.

"Currently Mongolia is conducting negotiations to export meat products worth a total US$1 billion," stated Minister of Agriculture and Food Radia Burmaa, explaining that the most promising export locations were Russia, China, Vietnam and the Middle East.

Previously, the Mongolian Meat Association estimated that the potential capacity for export supplies was 100,000t of meat and meat products per year worth a total US$300m. "However, the actual volume of exports over the last three years amounted to 8,415t, which reflects only 10% of Mongolia's export potential," said the head of the association Mahtan Jadamba.

"Horsemeat accounts for more than 80% of meat exports, while the rest is beef. Last year Russia was the biggest purchaser of Mongolian meat, with a total volume of 2,217t, while China was in second place with 779t of meat imports," added Jadamba. He said that in May this year several meat processing facilities in Mongolia had been inspected by Vietnam veterinary agencies, while in August the country has been visited by Chinese specialists.

Mongolian officials expect that, as the result of these inspections, the list of approved suppliers will increase. Official data from the Agriculture Ministry states that the population of Mongolia, numbering three million people, consumes 250,000t of meat annually, while the country's domestic capacity allows it to produce at least 315,000t of meat.

Meanwhile, last year Mongolia promised to boost the volume of supplies to Russia to 100,000t of meat per year given the Russian food embargo. During a visit by Russian President Vladimir Putin to the country, the list of approved meat suppliers was expanded. However, the volume of deliveries still remains at the same rate as last year and, in the first half of 2015, Mongolia supplied only about 1,400t of meat to Russia.

Given the overall veterinary situation in the country, local experts believe the Mongolian government's plans to establish large-scale exports of beef are unrealistic.

"There are many veterinary barriers [on the supply of Mongolian meat abroad], as supplying completely sterile meat from grazing livestock is almost impossible. The demands of Russian veterinary body Rosselkhoznadzor can only be met by large industrial holdings, but there are no such companies in the country," commented Bato Achirov, an expert from the Asian-Russian Development board (an analytical agency within the Russian-Asian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs - RASPP).

"As such, it seems to me that it will be quite difficult for Mongolia to enter Russia's meat market. For local producers it is easier to work with Muslim countries, where consumption of lamb takes precedence over other types of meat and the requirements for the imports of this product are much more simplistic," he added.

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Anthrax disease case detected in Tuv aimag

September 30 (infomongolia.com) An anthrax disease outbreak was detected in a farm of Bayantsogt sum of Tuv aimag on September 20-26, 2015.

Sample test in laboratory has confirmed the case and relevant specialists from National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), General Agency for Specialized Inspection (GASI) and Ministry of Food and Agriculture of Mongolia were dispatched at the scene to prevent further spread.

According to officials, the cause of outbreak is natural. They have provided vaccination on 4,747 livestock - 1,881 cows and 2,866 sheeps and goats - of 34 houses in 3 locations. In addition, 6 facilities and 130 vehicles were disinfected.

Even though a team of 12 specialists with resource of 4 vehicles, 75 kg chalk and 2.5 kg ecocide are working to stop the outbreak from spreading further, they still need to vaccinate 6,000 more livestock. Disinfection team has requested assistance from the Government as the current resource is not enough for the work.

The Chief Veterinarian of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Ms. N.Enkhtuya said that the anthrax outbreak did not occur in past 20 years in region of Tuv aimag.

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Mongolian delegation at regional consultation of co-operatives

Ulaanbaatar, October 1 (MONTSAME) The delegation led by N.Enkhbold MP, a chairman of the Mongolian Union of Co-operatives (MUC), is taking part in the Regional Consultation of high ranking government officials and co-operative leaders which kicked off Thursday in Jakarta, Indonesia.

The delegation consists of J.Batkhuyag, the Vice Minister of Labor, and Sh.Battstetseg, the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Mongolia to Indonesia.

Under the consultation, sub-meetings will run themed "Resolving urgent problems to the independence of food sector and co-operatives", "Co-operatives and non-official economy", "Regional and globalization policy on developing co-operatives".

The MUC chairman Enkhbold is leading a sub-meeting "Policy and law on improving environment for co-operatives". 

The consultation will conclude this Friday.

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Ulaanbaatar

1% city tax starts October 1 on alcohol, cigarette sales and restaurant, bar services

September 29 (gogo.mn) 29th regular meeting of City Council was held today and capital tax was set at 1 percent as a result.

Rate of city`s tax was planned to be set around 0-10 percent based on the location and concentration of population.

According to the law of Mongolia, capital tax is imposed on entities providing four special services including bar, restaurants, hotel and resort as well as retailers of all types of alcoholic beverages and cigarettes, which are operating in capital city.

Regulation to register a tax payer, remove from registration and receive information was approved. The regulation will be effective from October 01. A working group to enforce the regulation has been established.

According to the working group's estimation, MNT 13 billion is expected to be collected annually from capital tax.

As of today, there are 5245 tax paying entities in capital city. Ulaanbaatar city`s total trade turnover is at MNT 22 trillion of which 1.3 percent is alcohol and cigarette purchase, reported by the Press and Public Relation Department of City Governor Office.

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Related:

Ulaanbatarians to pay one percent city tax starting on October 1UB Post, September 29

 

Bus operators near bankruptcy due to new bus pass system

October 1 (UB Post) Public bus operators reported to Ulaanbaatar City Mayor E.Bat-Uul about their substantial debt caused by the new bus pass system, during a meeting on Wednesday.

The administrators of the companies explained that they are on the verge of bankruptcy as they all owe 170 to 500 million MNT to Ulaanbaatar Smart Card LLC (USC LLC) due to the bus pass system, which launched two months ago.

They underlined the necessity to replace summer tires of buses with winter tires, provide unemployment benefits to former conductors who lost their jobs after the new system launched.

USC LLC provides shares of the total income collected at the company from the bus pass system to bus operators based on work hours and number of rounds buses make per day.

Before providing payment to bus operators, USC LLC deducts 10 percent. The bus operators requested the Mayor to halt the deduction as it caused a billion MNT deficit for them in the last two months, according to Ts.Odontungalag, Director of the Public Passenger Transportation Incorporated Authority.

Head of Finance and State Fund Division at Ulaanbaatar City Mayor's Office (UCMO), E.Gankhuu, promised to work on compensating the deficit after investigating the issue.

Mayor E.Bat-Uul asked bus operators to submit a proposal to UCMO for a state-owned consortium that will manage public transportation revenue of the city.

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350 producers selling fresh produce at "Autumn Green Days" expo at Misheel

October 1 (gogo.mn) 350 entities from 21 aimags and capital are selling their brand products at "Autumn Green Days 2015" expo which is being held at Misheel Expo Center. 

Selenge aimag exhibits their bread, smoked fish, vegetable and honey while Huvsgul aimag exhibits their fruit jam and medicinal plants as well as Hovd, Arhangai and Bulgan aimags are selling their traditional products including curd, cream and grease.

Autumn Green Days expo is being organized annually by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture under slogan "Mongol food - Organic food", "Golden Autumn". The expo will be continued until October 5th.

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PM visits new UB airport construction, progress ahead of schedule at 60%

October 1 (UB Post) Yesterday, Prime Minister Ch.Saikhanbileg visited the newly opened 8.6 km road from Yarmag Checkpoint to the Turgen River Bridge, and was updated on work for the new international airport being built in Khushigt Valley, Tuv Province.

The road connecting Yarmag Checkpoint to the Turgen River Bridge was completed within one month by Yalguusan Company and opened last Wednesday. The construction of a 9.1 km road from Undurdov Tourist Camp to Khushigt Valley will commence next spring.

The Japanese partnership of the Mitsubishi and Chiyoda corporations is the project contractor of the new airport, while Samsung C&T Corporation of South Korea was selected as the general subcontractor.
Over 2,100 workers and engineers from 40 domestic companies and over 20 companies from Japan, South Korea, Singapore, China, and the Czech Republic are working as subcontractors for the airport's construction. Around 85 percent of workers hired for the project are Mongolian.

Project coordinator N.Enkhbat said that regional entities are also participating in the project. The project's construction, structural concrete, reinforced concrete structure, and installation of metal casting is almost complete, and the overall project is at 60 percent completion. N.Enkhbat added that the project is ahead of schedule.

The PM expressed his appreciation to the project's coordinators and workers for completing work ahead of schedule. He assigned Minister of Roads and Transportation M.Zorigt to resolve the issue of required investment and present findings during the upcoming regular cabinet meeting.

At the end of his visit, the Prime Minister emphasized, "The construction sector shows how infrastructure and development projects can be completed within a short period of time, since 2012. During this time, six province centers were connected to UB with paved roads. This year Dornod Province will be connected to the capital. The Cabinet will focus on successfully completing the road construction to link the 21 provinces to Ulaanbaatar. The development in the roads and transportation sector not only contributes to the nation's economy, but also eases and benefits the lives of households."

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Ulaanbaatar: Coldest Capital, Colder Homes

By B.Khash-Erdene

September 29 (UB Post) Fall came at the drop of the hat this year. In a matter of just a few days, temperatures dropped throughout the country from above 20 degrees Celsius to below 10 degrees Celsius in the first half of this month, stirring panic among crop farmers and herders.

But the sudden cold doesn't just affect the provinces. Many apartments in Ulaanbaatar still haven't had their heating turned on, a process which started on September 15.

Apartment buildings in Sukhbaatar, Khan-Uul, and Bayanzurkh districts seem to be the most affected by the delayed heating.

Some residents claim that they have to wear their winter coats at home or set up electric heaters to keep warm. They've said that they are trying everything to push khoroos, district administrative units, to give them heating. Families with young children and babies expressed that there are health concerns with the suddenly chilly environment.

As it happens, my apartment, in Sukhbaatar District, hasn't received heating either. Bills have to be paid on time or khoroos just shut everything down until residents pay.

The official explanation from the Ulaanbaatar Heating Network is that apartment cooperatives, which are in charge of the maintenance of residential areas, owe them money and the heating issue isn't their responsibility.

"We have heard rumors about many problems related to apartment cooperatives. They are responsible for completing repair projects for pipelines before heating is supplied from our network. Around 50 apartment residents have complained that their homes haven't been given heating. But we are not accountable for those issues. Apartment cooperatives didn't fulfill their duties and owe an excessive amount of money to our network. That is why the heating has not been supplied to those apartments," said Director of the Ulaanbaatar Heating Network R.Khaidav.

Though residents of these unheated apartments claim to have issued complaints to their khoroos and apartment cooperatives, the issue still hasn't been resolved.

A plumber knocked on the door two days ago and asked to check the heating in my home. He didn't say how many buildings have been affected, or what the authorities plan to do about it, he just checked the radiators for heat and left with a vague statement about "checking other apartments in the area".

When I try to call the hotline for apartment cooperatives, their lines always seem to be busy. When, at last, I managed to get a call through, they didn't have any explanation. The operator just said, "We'll check," and hung up. I called again and demanded an explanation, but the result was the same.

Living standards in Ulaanbaatar aren't exactly smooth sailing. Ger districts emit hazardous levels of smoke that are responsible for one in four deaths in the city, they have no access to running water, sanitation, or access to the heating network. The alternative, apartments, experience regular power outages and water and heating gets cut for weeks due to pipe repairs or some other issue, every now and again. Sometimes it feels like the city is held together with duct tape, constantly on the verge of breaking.

As service providers, city and khoroo administrators have a duty to their customers, their khoroo residents. When residents fail to pay bills or taxes, our services are cut off, but when city administrators fail to fulfill their duties without sufficient reason, residents bear the burden.

In the end, nobody is held accountable for failures on the part of state organizations. Everyone just points their finger at some other organization or recites the usual financial issues and sits on their big, fat, comfortable chairs, looking sheepish. They have to realize that there is no excuse for failure to do their jobs.

The Ulaanbaatar City Council met yesterday and decided to charge residents operating bars, pubs, restaurants, resorts, and hotels a one percent Capital City Tax. Authorities are quick to set up taxes and fees, but lousy at resolving issues that affect the comfort and living conditions of residents.

Some have said that Mayor E.Bat-Uul is the only mayor to have done something to improve Ulaanbaatar, but if they compare the money he has spent during his time in office against the spending of his predecessors, they might not be so keen on him. Since taking office in 2012, E.Bat-Uul has spent nearly 1.9 trillion MNT. That's nearly four times his predecessor G.Munkhbayar's budget of 543 billion MNT spent from 2009 to 2012.

The cold isn't as bad as it could be in Ulaanbaatar, the coldest capital in the world, but if temperatures take another dip, things will turn really ugly. All we can do, it seems, is to hope that the voices of the public reach the right sets of ears before then.

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Diplomacy

At UN, Mongolian President urges coordinated action to tackle pressing global issues

29 September 2015 (UN News Centre) – In his speech at the 70th United Nations General Assembly's annual General Debate, Mongolian President Tsakhia Elbegdorj urged his international counterparts to unite and exercise decisive leadership to fulfil UN's core missions.

He stressed that the only way to rid the world of conflicts and other global issues is for world leaders to diligently work together to ensure that all the primary objectives of the UN are met.

"The only way to bring peace and stability is through a system of [norms], laws and institutions that every country agrees to abide by. If the UN fails to adopt [such a system], we all fail," said President Elbegdorj. "When we face global challenges, we must admit one thing: no one country – big or small – can address them on its own. Therefore, the coordinated actions of all players and countries are needed," he added.

He also highlighted the important role the UN has played over the past seven decades in maintaining world peace, and he admitted that in order to uphold the Organization's primary purposes, immediate and significant institutional changes must be made.

"We all know there are sound critiques of the UN. If our United Nations is to survive in the new reality, we must embrace substantive change. We need reforms to build a just common home. If we delay action, change will become more painful and challenging," he warned.

The President stressed that much of the global economy and manpower are spent on war machines and the propagation of violence, rather than on eradicating resolvable global issues.

"We are the first ones in history who have the potential, technology, and resources to resolve the world's problems. When I observe a giant military exhibit, I wonder: 'What a huge amount of money, human ingenuity and time are being spent on war machines and weapons of mass destruction.' With a fraction of the money and technology we spend for 'the masculine war show,' we could solve many of today's troubling issues," he said.

He also appealed to the governments to adopt national laws and policies to implement the Sustainable Development Goals, adopted recently by the Assembly.

"Our historic 2030 Agenda is comprehensive and sustainable. We agreed on urgent targets, on a broad range of economic and social challenges, and on environmental emergencies," he emphasized. "To achieve them, the family of nations needs a robust, inclusive and open mechanism. We must have reliable implementing, monitoring and accountability regulations and institutions in place," he added.

President Elbegdorj is among the many leaders who will address the general debate of 70th General Assembly which opened this year with the adoption of Agenda 2030 and 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Made up of all the 193 Member States of the UN, the Assembly provides a forum for multilateral discussion of international issues covered by the UN Charter.

Link to article

 

President of Mongolia addresses General Debate at 70th Session of UN General Assembly

New York, 29 September, 2015 (President.mn) --

Mr. President,
Mr. Secretary-General,
Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

My heartfelt congratulations to you, Mr. President of the General Assembly. You can count on my delegation's full support during the jubilee session and the year ahead. 

Mr. President,

We are commemorating the 70th anniversary of the United Nations. As a family of nations, our hopes for peace and progress, as expressed in the UN's Charter still resonate deeply today. The UN is designed to uphold humanity's primary aspirations:

-To live in peace
-To enjoy equal rights
-To aspire to everlasting happiness 

The UN has tirelessly served these noble purposes for 7 decades. If the UN did not exist, most of humanity would have ended up in violent confrontations and would have faced more arduous, complex challenges than occurred. 

We, together, achieved a lot and have drawn a better course. The number of sovereign nations has quadrupled since 1945. The world's economic output has increased fivefold. Human beings enjoy longer, healthier lives. We are more literate and educated. 

Today, the world has achieved the highest degree of international cooperation in history. Starting with the founding of the UN, governments have steadily invested more and more in new means of cooperation. 

These tools create new options, more space for compromises, and more legal frameworks than humankind has ever possessed. 

The UN has justly become the primary universal organization working for peace, instead of war; prosperity, instead of poverty; and instead of human rights violations, a dignified life for all.

Hence, I would like to state that the past 70 years of humanity were "the best 70 years ever". 

The founding of the UN, a historic milestone, connects our past, present and future. All of humankind is poised to make another great stride toward a new, better reality. I am hopeful for the future. 

Because we have the UN. 

Because we have useful experiences to tackle today's challenges. 

Because a new generation of humankind is rising. 

The new generation has creative solutions to challenges and see in them, new opportunities. 

They share knowledge and advance technologies. 

Link to full speech

Related:

STATEMENT BY TS.ELBEGDORJ, AT THE UN SUMMIT FOR THE ADOPTION OF THE POST-2015 DEVELOPMENT AGENDA – President.mn, September 29

 

Elbegdorj Addresses High-Level Forum on Landlocked Developing Countries

Ulaanbaatar, September 29 (MONTSAME) Within the UN Sustainable Development Summit in New York, the President of Mongolia Mr Ts. Elbegdorj delivered statement at the High-Level Forum of Landlocked Developing Countries on Monday.

The full statement of the President has been published on the President's website.

"First of all, I would like to extend to you and your delegation, Excellency, the congratulations of my country for the excellent manner in which you have been leading our group. I am confident that your team will continue to provide the necessary leadership to the group of LLDCs. Please be assured of the full support and cooperation of Mongolia," he said.

"I believe ever since the adoption of Almaty Programme of Action, we have received the much needed recognition from the international community of our special needs and challenges. However, we still face difficulties that are so profound and complicated. Infrastructure, road, energy still remain underdeveloped in many LLDCs. Thus, an innovative action plan was needed to further the progress. We adopted the Vienna Programme of Action for Landlocked Developing Countries for the Decade 2014-2024, and it is in our hope that jointly we will be able to address our issues effectively and reflect our special needs and challenges in the formulation of the post-2015 development agenda. Our partnership, commitment and support to each other is a crucial essence in successfully implementing Vienna Programme of Action.

Mongolia continues to attach utmost importance to the collective and coordinated efforts of the landlocked developing countries at every international event towards advancing their common interests and addressing the special needs of LLDCs. Our countries face serious constraints in their social-economic development endeavors due to their lack of territorial access to the sea and we all continue facing similar challenges in terms of the integration to international trade and transit transportation. Most of our countries including Mongolia continue facing 30-50% higher transport costs compared to representative coastal economies. Mongolia spends 6.2% of its entire GDP for transportation costs only.

It is precisely because of these constraints that we need to work together in a much more coordinated and dynamic manner. With this in mind the President of Mongolia has proposed the idea of having our own think tank in 2006. This idea became an initiative designed to enhance the analytical capability of landlocked developing countries in coordinating and substantiating our efforts to pool the best minds and mobilize targeted resources from the donor community to implement the Vienna Program of Action and achieve our respective goals agreed in the SDGs," Mr Elbegdorj said.

"2015 has been the year with notable successes and achievements in our foreign policy realm. Mongolia signed its first free trade agreement with Japan. This agreement opens up potentials not only to expand our trade relations with Japan, but also surge regional economic integration and gain actual economic value of our "Third Neighbor Policy". We are confident that this EPA will become an essential instrument to promote the liberalization and facilitation of trade and investment between the two countries as it eliminates tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade, facilitates to trade and customs procedures and increases technology transfer from Japan.

At the initiative of Mongolia, for the first time, the Tri-partite Summit of the Heads of State of Mongolia, the Russian Federation and the People's Republic of China took place during the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Summit in Dushanbe last year. The leaders of the three countries had the second Tri-partite Summit on the sidelines of the 15th SCO Summit in Ufa, Russia in July 2015. This newly established mechanism is crucial in establishing a favorable foundation to further enhancement of our cooperation and relations among three neighboring countries and providing coherent and harmonized regional policies to improve transit transport connectivity and ensure greater trade. We are of the view that this mechanism may transform Mongolia from being landlocked to land-linked,"

"As we approach a new era of development thinking, the role of the International Think Tank for LLDCs on the discussions of the implementation of the SDGs becomes even more important to our Group. Mongolia has been assisting the International Think Tank financially as well as politically ever since it was launched in 2009. However, the operationalization of the International Think Tank to a full extent can only happen with your support and a Multilateral Agreement with at least 10 accessions, which would make the International Think Tank an Intergovernmental body.

I would like to encourage the distinguished members of the group to demonstrate leadership and ownership by acceding to the Multilateral Agreement on the Establishment of an International Think Tank for LLDCs in order to bring the ITT to its full operation. We sincerely hope that remaining members of our group will soon become a party to the treaty with a view to fully operationalizing activities of the International Think Tank.

Like many landlocked developing countries Mongolia is impacted by climate change in a unique way. Climate change, land degradation, desertification, deforestation and drought pose a serious threat to the economic and social development and undermine our efforts towards the achievement of development objectives. It is my sincere hope that the outcome document of the Paris Summit will take due consideration of the special challenges faced by landlocked developing countries and provide us with adequate support to help to manage the negative climate change impacts," he said.

To conclude the statement, Mr Elbegdorj expressed his delegation's full endorsement of the draft Outcome document of this High Level Forum and its resolve to work together with fellow members towards its speedy implementation. 

Link to article

 

Mongolia one of top 20 contributors to UN peacekeeping operations

September 30 (MONTSAME) On September 28, 2015, President of Mongolia Mr Elbegdorj attended the Leaders' Summit on Peacekeeping at the United Nations General Assembly in New York. The President of the US Barack Obama chaired a summit of world leaders at the United Nations to garner commitments to boost the capacity and capabilities of U.N. peacekeeping and to allow the world body to deploy forces more rapidly if a new operation is created.

Since its dispatch of two military observers in 2002, Mongolia has become a significant contributor to UN peacekeeping missions. As of today, the country has sent over 12 000 troops to serve in hot spots around the world.

Link to article

 

President Elbegdorj gives interview to Charlie Rose, Bloomberg Radio

Ulaanbaatar, September 30 (MONTSAME) After giving an official speech to the General debate of the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), the President Ts.Elbegdorj conversed with Charlie Rose from PBS TV channel and gave interview to Bloomberg radio on September 29. Later that day, he visited the permanent mission of Mongolia to the United Nations.

Link to article

 

Mongolia, US, Japan foreign ministries hold first trilateral meeting in NY

Ulaanbaatar, September 30 (MONTSAME) Mongolia, the USA and Japan have exchanged views on chances/ directions of boosting their cooperation at international and international levels during the first trilateral meeting that ran Tuesday in New York City, USA.

The meeting was co-chaired by L.Purevsuren, Mongolia's Minister of Foreign Affairs; Mr Daniel R. Russel, the Assistant-Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs; and Mr Junichi Ihara, Director-General of the Asia-Pacific Department of Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

This first ever trilateral meeting has laid a foundation for an important dialogue mechanism that enables us to share with our Third neighbors--the USA and Japan--opinions on a broad spectrum of regional and global security and economic issues and on ways of coordinating actions at the regional and global levels reflecting shared interest. 

Link to article

 

Italy backs Mongolia candidacies to UN Human Rights, Security Councils

Ulaanbaatar, September 29 (MONTSAME) In a scope of the 70th session of the UN General Assembly in New York City, USA, the Mongolia's Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr L.Purevsuren Monday met with his counterpart of Italy Mr Paolo Gentiloni.

The Foreign Ministers have exchanged views on the bilateral relations and cooperation and boosting the economic cooperation, and then discussed issues of organizing a visit of the Mongolian FM to Italy in near future on occasion of the 45th anniversary of the diplomatic relations, mounting an exhibition about Mongolia during the Milan Expo and running a business forum. They also considered issues of strengthening the Mongolia-Italy inter-parliamentary ties, organizing a meeting of the intergovernmental commission and establishing the Embassy of Italy in Mongolia.

At the meeting, Mr Purevsuren asked the Italian side to train Mongolian students and professionals in Italian universities and institutes with scholarships and to render support to Mongolia for preparing art and cultural people, particularly opera singers.

Mentioning that the two countries are possible to collaborate in the agricultural field, the Mongolian Minister expressed willingness to export to Italy meat, meat products, cashmere, leather and woolen products and to introduce Italian techniques, technologies and designs.

The sides concurred to support each other within the multilateral cooperation, to back Mongolia at elections of the United Nations Council for Human Rights (UNCHR) and the Non-Permanent Membership of the UN Security Council.

Mr Purevsuren also reaffirmed hope that Italy will participate in the ASEM summit to be held in Mongolia in 2016 at the high-level and expressed his interest to get support within the preparation work for the ASEM 2016 Summit meeting, as host country of the ASEM 2014 Summit.

Link to article

Related:

Mongolia proposes cooperation with Italy in leather and cashmere productionUB Post, September 29

 

Foreign Minister deposits ratifications of Minamata, Optional Protocol to Child Rights Conventions to UN

Ulaanbaatar, September 29 (MONTSAME) The Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr L.Purevsuren deposited on Monday its instrument of ratification to the Minamata Convention on Mercury (Kumamoto, 10 October 2013) and the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on a communications procedure (New York, 19 December 2011) with the UN Secretary-General in New York. The treaty will go into effect after 30 days.

Present at the event were Mr S.Sukhbold, the Permanent Representative of Mongolia to the United Nations; Ambassador Mr Miguel de Serpa Soares, Under-Secretary General for Legal Affairs; and Mr Santiago Villalpando, Chief of the Treaty Section, Office of Legal Affairs of the United Nations.

Link to article

 

Mongolia expresses its position on banning nuclear weapon tests

Ulaanbaatar, October 1 (MONTSAME) Mongolia's Minister of Foreign Affairs L.Purevsuren expressed a position of his country over banning nuclear tests at the 9th Conference on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty which ran Tuesday in New York, USA.

Purevsuren underlined that having the Treaty enter force is vital for the global efforts for the disarmament of nuclear weapons. Mongolia always aspires to contribute to disarmament and non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, he said. Mongolia proclaimed its territory as nuclear weapon-free zone in 1992 and joined the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty in 1997, cooperating with related parties.

The FM urged countries to intensify their efforts for the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons and pointed out that Mongolia will back a final document to be issued by the conference.

Mongolia signed the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty on October 1 of 1996 and ratified it on August 8 of 1997.

Link to article

 

MFA State Secretary greets new U.S. Ambassador

September 30 (infomongolia.com) The State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. D. Gankhuyag has received a copy of the credentials from the newly appointed Ambassador of the United States to Mongolia, Ms. Jennifer Z. Galt on September 28, 2015.

During the meeting, Ambassador Galt has introduced her plan to expand the current state of relations between the two countries, and to progress the issues that are being considered currently. The sides also exchanged views on bilateral relations and future aims.

The newly appointed Ambassador is planning to present her Letter of Credence to the President of Mongolia in early October.

Link to article

 

Mongolia Ambassador discusses bilateral ties with Turkey MFA

Ulaanbaatar, October 1 (MONTSAME) Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Mongolia to the Republic of Turkey B.Batkhishig held Tuesday a meeting with Mr ┼×efik Vural Altay, a Director-General for Caucasia, Central Asia, Russia and Eastern Europe of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey. During the meeting, the Ambassador congratulated the director upon his new assignment and discussed with him some issues of Mongolia-Turkey ties. 

Link to article

 

UNEA President at GLOBE Asia-Pacific Regional Forum

Ulaanbaatar, October 1 (MONTSAME) A president of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) S.Oyun MP is taking part in the Asia-Pacific Regional Forum of GLOBE Parliamentarians, which is running in Tokyo September 30-October 1. The Forum addresses global environmental issues.

This year's event, being organized by GLOBE Japan, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan and JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency), has been attended by MPs from some ten Asian countries. Interesting presentations are given on the countries' policies and efficient solutions towards climate change adaptation and mitigation, and air pollution and waste management.

In her speech, S.Oyun emphasized the importance of close cooperation of MPs in realizing the Sustainable Development Goals, recently adopted in New York, and in pressing environmental issues such as climate change. She shared examples of climate change impact in Mongolia and gave information on the state policies for overcoming such difficulties.

The forum has been chaired by Yu.Koike, a member of Japanese Diet (Parliament) and a former Minister of Environment. Key presentations on energy-saving and on the inter-parliamentary cooperation for the environment protection were given by Nobel Prize Winner H.Amano, and by the President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) S.H.Chowdhury.

Link to article

 

Special training to be held for staff of ASEM accredited hotels

October 1 (gogo.mn) Hotel accommodation and conference hall working group of the ASEM held its 11th meeting on September 30.

During the meeting, working group led by P.Tsagaan, Head of the President's Office, discussed in detail about guidelines and criteria of the competition which aims to improve appearance, service and internal organization of hotels to receive delegates of ASEM meeting.

Moreover, they decided to give specialized trainings to hotel staffs commencing from October 19th and openly select the television channels to broadcast the training as series

They voted to conduct the training by specialized and acknowledged people in order to provide comprehensive knowledge of diplomatic ethics, methods of diplomatic ceremony and hotel services. In addition, they finalized the selection of the hotels to receive foreign journalists of ASEM meeting.

Total of 4000 delegates and guests are expected to arrive in Mongolia and more than 40 hotels to accommodate them were chosen.

Ceremony to award accreditation to hotels will be held and the competition titled "ASEM Partner - The Best Hotels" will be started officially. The competition between the hotels will be evaluated and rewarded by the result of progress and improvement. 

Link to article

Related:

Accommodation issues discussed by ASEM working groupMontsame, October 1

 

Team Mongolia to compete at 6th CISM Military World Games

September 30 (gogo.mn) CISM in conjunction with CISM member nations organize the Military World Games every four years and the 6th Military World Games to be held on October 2-12 in South Korea.

Team Mongolia has consisted of more than 80 people and to compete in box, shooting, judo, freestyle wrestling, cycling, taekwondo, archery and marathon category.

Today, authorities of Minister of Defense and Aldar Sport Committee to see off the athletes at 11.30AM.

Link to article

 

Model UNESCO Mongolia Conference to Run, 17 October

Ulaanbaatar, September 30 (MONTSAME) On occasion of the 70th anniversary of the UNESCO, the Youth Assembly at the UN will co-organize the first "Model UNESCO Mongolia" conference this October 17 together with the Mongolian National Commission for UNESCO,  in the "Consensus" hall of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The event will gather 70 young people aged 15-24 a selection of whom will use specific criteria.

The Model UNESCO Conference is one of the model assemblies of the UN organized across the world. The conference's main aims are to let its participants make in-depth research works into current international matters and to provide them with knowledge on international relations, diplomacy and UN's present programs and actions.

The participants discuss international issues by playing roles of representatives of the UN members. This year's conference for Mongolia will run under a theme "Equality between men and women in sustainable development".

The conference is supposed to end with a draft resolution, approved by the participants, later it will be officially submitted to the UN Permanent Representative Office in Mongolia and the UNESCO Representative in Beijing.    

Link to article

 

Two Mongolian men arrested in Sydney for rape, robbery during sex appointment

September 29 (Sydney Morning Herald) A Sydney woman was allegedly ambushed, sexually assaulted and robbed after agreeing to a sex appointment with a man in a city apartment.

After a three day search, Tuvshinbayar Bold, 21, and Tamir Altanbagana, 22, were arrested in the city after the attack on the woman left her in hospital.

Police will allege the pair responded to a post on website Backpage.com.au advertising sex services.

An appointment was made with the woman and one of the men showed up at the Sydney city apartment she was at on Sunday September 20.

It will be alleged in court that one of the men had a conversation with the woman at the front door before the other forced his way in at knife point.

Police will allege a pillow was put over the woman's face before she was sexually assaulted.

Before the duo fled, the woman's phone and other personal items were allegedly stolen.

The woman, believed to be aged between 20 and 30, was treated in hospital for injuries.

Three days later, Bold and Altanbagana, both from Mongolia, were arrested.

It is understood one of the men was in Australia on a student visa.

One of the men was also scheduled to fly out of the country before his arrest, Fairfax Media has been told.

The pair have been charged with several offences, including aggravated break and enter in company and sexual assault.

They appeared briefly in Central Local Court on Monday but did not apply for bail.

Link to article

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Health, Education

Maternity Hospital No. 3 opens to serve Bayanzurkh District residents

October 1 (UB Post) Bayanzurkh, the city's largest district out of nine, opened the new State Maternity Hospital No.3 (MSH3) on Thursday. Construction of the hospital took four years to complete.

With the new hospital, MSH3 has tripled the district's maternity patient capacity. It is now capable of providing gynecological, surgical, maternity, afterbirth care, intensive care, and newborn care services for women living in the 28 khoroos of Bayanzurkh District.

The district, with a population of 330,000 residents, had only one small maternity hospital for 45 patients until MSH3 came along. The small hospital was relocated and the new building of MSH3 was constructed on its foundation.

"The new, seven-story MSH3 was fully equipped with the latest medical technology with a 1.5 million USD grant aid from the Government of Japan. Each room has access to air conditioning and oxygen supply systems. A total of 223 medical staff are working at the hospital with a view to provide the best possible services for mothers and babies," said S.Ganbold, vice chief in charge of therapy at MSH3.

The hospital opened a separate gynecology ward with 30 beds and hopes to prevent and cure many conditions for women of the district. Mothers in need of gynecological treatment were transferred to State Maternity Hospital No.1 before.

"A parking lot for over 200 cars and footpaths were constructed outside the hospital to allow enough space for the patients' families," added S.Ganbold.

MSH3 was planned to open in spring of 2012, but was delayed due to a lack of experts who could design the building at the time, as was explained by the previous Ministry of Health.

After the tender bid was finished, the original constructor left the project after laying only the foundation of the hospital with one billion MNT in funding from the state.

A second tender in July 2012 selected another executor, but the company failed to complete construction. After seeing many different executor companies, the new building has finally opened this year.

Link to article

 

10 laboratories certified to test Hepatitis C

September 30 (gogo.mn) Today, the following laboratories are certified to provide test for Hepatits C;

  • Liver Center
  • Grandmed
  • Intermed
  • Songdo Hospital
  • "Gyals" Medical Center
  • Happy Veritas
  • Med-Analytic
  • Oncogene 
  • Standlab
  • "Itgel" Medical Center

"Although above-mentioned laboratories were given the right to carry out test for Hepatitis C, a payment for the test cannot be estimated.

An average payment for diagnosis of hepatitis C infection is expected to be at MNT 20.000 while a quantitative PCR test (also called a Viral Load Test or Hepatitis C RNA test), used to measure the amount of virus in your blood, is expected to be at MNT 160.000", stated by the General Director of National Center for Infectious Diseases D.Nyamhuu.

Price comparison of some of the authorized laboratories,

·         Liver Center - test used to diagnose hepatitis C infection is MNT 3000 and PCR test is MNT 120.000

·         "Gyals" Medical Center - test used to diagnose hepatitis C infection is MNT 6000, PCR test is MNT 140.000

·         Happy Veritas - test used to diagnose hepatitis C infection is MNT 15.000, PCR test is MNT 90.000

Link to article

 

Japanese doctors conduct presentations on stomach cancer

October 1 (news.mn) The Seventh International Symposium "Urgent Issues of Cancer-Management of the Digestive System" took a place in the meeting hall at the Shangri-La Ulaanbaatar Hotel, under the auspices of Prime Minister Ch.Saikhanbileg. Various international lecturers presented their speeches and video presentations under the themes of the "Diagnosis and Treatment of Cancer of the Digestive System". Approximately, 20 leading doctors of the eosophagus and stomach cancer, headed by the Japanese professors Masakazu Yamamato, Hiroki Yamaue, Hisahiro Matsubara, and Harushi Osugi discussed these topics.

Link to article

 

80% of Mongolia population assured of qualified drinking water supply

September 29 (gogo.mn) Yesterday, the Minister of Construction and Urban Development Mrs. Z.Bayanselenge attended a meeting titled "Integrated urban water management" held in State House.

At her opening speech, she mentioned that "We aimed to increase the rate of population have qualified drinking water supply to 60 percent and the rate of population using improved sanitation facilities to 40 percent by 2015."

The Minister also noted that in scope of this purpose, many projects and events are being implemented and as of today, 80.4 percent of total population is assured of qualified drinking water supply while 41.1 percent of total population have access to improved sanitation facilities.

Moreover, she emphasized that we have started to amend law on use of water supply and sewage system in urban and develop public sector strategy policy with the aim to improve legal environment and standard.

"Mongolian Water Partnership" NGO organized this meeting with the support of Global Water Partnership, World Bank and Water Partnership Program.

Link to article

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Society

UC Berkeley restarts Mongolian language program

Ulaanbaatar, September 30 (MONTSAME) On occasion of the revival of Mongolian language program and the Center for Mongolian Studies at UC Berkeley, "the Mongolia celebration" event was organized this September 26 by the Mongolia Foundation and the Institute of East Asian Studies of University of California Berkeley, with a support of the Consulate General of Mongolia in San Francisco, USA.

UC Berkeley was a leading center for Mongolian Studies in the USA with a Mongolian language teaching during 1935-1996. In September of 2015, UC Berkeley resumed the Mongolian language class, after 19 years. The revival of the studies at UC Berkeley, listed among the World Top 10 Universities, has opened a new historic page of Mongolian Studies in the USA. The Government of Mongolia provided a certain amount of financial support for the revival of Mongolian language program at UC Berkeley.

As the first part of the event, the conference "Archeology of Knowledge: New Archival and Material Discoveries in Mongolia" ran at which keynote speech was given by D.Zayabaatar, National Committee for Mongolian Studies. Recent research findings related to archaeological and archival discoveries were presented by Dr O.Batsaikhan, Academy of Science of Mongolia; Dr D.Erdenebaatar, Ulaanbaatar City College; Dr Erdenebat, the Mongolian State University; Dr Ts.Uranchimeg, UC Berkeley; B.Jargalan, Ph.D candidate from Yale University; Naran Faulkner, Independent Scholar, also by Patricia Berger, History of Art, UC Berkeley; Brian Baumann, Center for Mongolian Studies, UC Berkeley; Christopher Atwood, Central Eurasian Studies, Indiana University; Vesna Wallace, Religious Studies, UC Santa Barbara; Matthew King, Religious Studies, UC Riverside.

After the conference, there was a fundraising dinner with Mongolian traditional cuisine, music and dance performance by Bay Area's Ger Youth Center. The donations from tickets will be used for cataloging Mongolian books kept more than 50 years in UC Berkeley library, and publication of Mongolian language textbooks.

Link to article

 

Inspired by Zaya - Ts.Enhjargal, Editor-in-Chief, Forbes Mongolia

September 30 (gogo.mn) "Future of Mongolia is not just mining. Instead I believe our future is dependent on educated, intelligent and multifaceted youth". I want to proudly introduce those talented and educated young professionals to others.

Editor E.Ariunzaya

This episode features Ts.Enhjargal, who worked at World Bank in U.S and International Finance Corporation. Currently, she works as CEO of Forbes Mongolia magazine. She is definitely one of the young representatives Mongolian youths should be proud of. For the full interview please click here.

Link to article

 

Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage: Capacity-Building Efforts Continue in Mongolia

Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, 23 September 2015 (gogo.mn) – A capacity-building workshop on the elaboration of nomination files to UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists will be held in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia from 5-9 October 2015.

With the aim of enhancing capacities of Mongolian stakeholders in elaborating nomination files for the Lists of the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritages an effective tool for safeguarding intangible cultural heritage, this workshop is jointly organized by UNESCO, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science of Mongolia, the Mongolian National Commission for UNESCO and the Center of Cultural Heritage of Mongolia.

The five-day training workshop will gather 29 participants, comprising government officials, cultural officers from all 21 provinces of Mongolia, ICH practitioners and NGO representatives. Combining theoretical sessions, practical and field exercise two UNESCO-accredited facilitators will explore the different international mechanisms established by the Convention and their appropriate and effective use.

This workshop organized within the framework of "Safeguarding Intangible Cultural Heritage through the Strengthening of National Capacities in Asia and the Pacific", UNESCO/Japan Funds-in-Trust project, has been supporting Mongolia's endeavor to safeguard its valuable intangible cultural heritage since 2012 with a series of capacity-building activities, including need assessment, implementation and community-based inventorying. This workshop is part of the second phase of the Japanese-funded project implemented in other four countries of the Asia-Pacific region.

For more information about this project please visit: www.unescobkk.org

Link to article

 

Social Good Summit demonstrates Mongolia youth's commitment to the future

September 29 (UB Post) What kind of a world do we want to live in by the year 2030?

Leaders from 192 countries have gathered at the UN General Assembly in New York, from September 25 to 27, and adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, a set of 17 goals.

Meanwhile, another event was taking place on the other side of the globe – Social Good Summit (SGS).

SGS is a global event that brings people together to "unlock the potential of technology and to make the world a better place". The event takes place in approximately 100 countries in the world, and it was streamed live on the internet. One of these countries was Mongolia.

SGS Mongolia took place on September 26, at IT Park from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm. This was the second time the event was held in Mongolia. The main organizers were the Center for Civic Education, IT Park, United Nations Volunteers, United Nations Youth Advisory Panel, and the Mongolian Youth Council.

This year's summit focused on health, environment, education and opportunities concerning youth, technology and sustainable development goals.

Over 200 people were selected to participate from the online registration.

"Many people sent requests and applications to us but we chose them based on their essays about why they wanted to participate and how they could impact change," said R.Narangerel, the director of the Center for Civic Education.

UNDP's Deputy Resident Representative Thomas Eriksson reminded, "We have no planet B", and therefore the only way forward is sustainable development, which is development without harming the planet.

He highlighted that everybody and every action has an impact.

"It's about how we live, how we behave, how we invest, how we consume, and how we do business."

"We have engaged people, many young people here to find solutions, work and identify how this agenda could help Mongolia become a better place, how it could make the world a better place. So 2030 starts now, with your voices," said Eriksson.

Parliament member Ts.Oyungerel gave a motivating speech to young people to take the summit's goals as opportunities, contribute in reaching these goals and change, as an individual, as a nation and as one world.

"During my time, democracy was the thing. I dedicated about half my life to democracy. Now, Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) are the thing. This is your time," she said.

Ts.Oyungerel pointed out Mongolia's inability to fulfill two of the seven Millennium Development Goals (MDG) against poverty.

"The Prime Minister and I went to New York two weeks ago to discuss the wins and losses of the MDG and what to do in the future with the SDG's. We are ashamed that we couldn't use the chance to solve the issues and fulfill the two goals. Now in fifteen years, we don't want to be saying 'We had all these capital but we couldn't use it' again," she said.

She underlined the need for better technology, innovators and businesses.

"I believe these innovators here will make a change. We will fulfill our duties and I hope you do too. But talking about it is one thing and executing is another. I want you to take the issues I talked about as an opportunity and do something about it, and share it," Ts.Oyungerel said.

Next, actor B.Amarsaikhan, who portrayed Arigbukh in the Netflix series "Marco Polo", gave a humorous and inspiring speech based on his life experience.

Khusugtun Ethnic band then played an extraordinary piece titled "Chinggis Khaan".

The crowd was divided into three categories after lunch, and the discussions started in corresponding rooms: Information Technology (IT) and Physical and Mental Health; IT and Quality Education; and IT, environment, climate change and overcoming the impacts.

Each discussion was held for two hours and had a speaker, a moderator and three panelists. It was organized in a panel discussion format. Usually in a panel, the panelists discuss within the guidelines provided by the moderator in front of an audience, followed by questions.

Some of the audience wasn't aware of the discussion format or even what a panelist or a moderator was. Due to the lack of explanation, people had different expectations. In the education session, the moderator allowed questions from the audience and I heard many say "this wasn't a discussion." I felt that a simple explanation would have saved a lot of time and confusion at the summit.

The education session had the most people, about twice the size of people in the session on environment. The director of Khovd University, Yanjmaa, gave a speech about the accessibility of education. The session was mainly about self development, accessibility of education and the way it related to social media. The importance of education quality for the disabled was noted by hearing-impaired participants. What comes after formal education, as well as the issues that revolve around it was discussed. Ongoing projects about education were also introduced.

Some participants felt that the discussion should have revolved around education, opportunities and information technology, and youth involvement in improving these issues to fulfill the SDG.

"If the topic was about the current education system and the problems throughout the country, I would have been more than satisfied. However, the panel deviated into a different fields. Instead of talking about educational opportunities, such as scholarships and funding opportunities or websites that provide free courses such as edX, and Coursera, the topics revolved around the general issues the education system is facing," said one participant.

Saranchuluun, the first prosthetic legged marathon runner in Mongolia gave the speech at the summit. The IT and Health panel discussed about health issues such as stress, weight, and appetite. It also focused on the over usage of social media, which could be the cause of stress and loss of confidence.

The panelists also delved into the positive impacts social media and discussed personal experiences. At the end of the discussion, they came to the conclusion that the individual's attitude is what really matters if they want to resolve these health issues.

As a solution to the problems discussed, the session participants came up with an idea to build a smartphone application that gives information about food security and health problems in Mongolian. During the discussion, I found an 82-year-old woman expressing her view about healing through music.

"The reason I can attend these events just like you young people is because I have learned to treat myself with music," she said, and encouraged the use of music against stress.

Until this point, the panelists' discussions on information technology was limited to social media.

In the IT and environments session, Bayarkhuu, a broker, presented his current project concerning the zud, a blizzard. The smaller number of viewers enabled the discussion to be held in the traditional way with everyone sitting around. The discussion revolved around four main topics; climate change, its impact on everyday life, government policies concerning the issue, and young people's roles in halting climate change.

"Climate change is everyone's responsibility. We are required to expect solutions and policies from these new candidates in the election," the moderator said.

Forever Young band, which originated from the Orange Sessions against domestic abuse, performed at the event and talked about sending a powerful message against abuse through music.

The moderators of every session later came up on stage and gave a quick overview of the discussions.

The participants at the event also gave valuable information, such as the news about the translation of Khan Academy videos into Mongolian and the possibility of using free Microsoft and Google Education programs.

The participants said at the end that they were proud of the level of youth involvement in this event.

The event was streamed live online for the people who didn't have the opportunity to attend.

Approximately 30 volunteers helped with the organization for over a month. A sign language translator had been provided for viewers with special needs. She did an outstanding job translating the whole program for seven hours, even translating song lyrics.

"In the end, although there were some minor strays from the main topic, the summit showed how engaged young people in Mongolia are in the SDG," said one participant after the event.

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Nature, Environment

Protection of historical and cultural heritage near Boroo River to be improved

Ulaanbaatar, September 29 (MONTSAME) The Minister of Education, Culture and Science L.Gantomor presented to the cabinet meeting on Monday a conclusion of works of examining effects over the Boroo Settlement belonged to the Hun Empire--a historical and cultural immovable heritage--located in Tov aimag's Bornuur soum.

The examination works have been performed by a working group set up by an order of the Prime Minister due to an attempt of exploiting the Gatsuurt gold deposit near the place.

After hearing the report, the cabinet obliged the governors of Tov and Selenge provinces to take specific measures for improving reservation and protection of the cultural and historical immovable heritage near Noyon Mountain and Boroo River.

One of the findings of ancient buildings and construction in Mongolia, the Boroo Settlement was included in 2008 in the state protection list of the historical and cultural immovable heritage.

It has been concluded that exploitation works of the Gatsuurt deposit and ore transportation are not affecting the historical heritage site except dust from the 2 km road running to the Boroo's concentrate factory.

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World's largest freshwater lake under threat from climate change and dam

October 1 (Phys.org) Ecologists are warning the world's deepest and oldest lake is at risk from climate change and faces a new threat from plans to build a dam.

Russia's Lake Baikal, in eastern Siberia, holds one-fifth of all freshwater and is a global biodiversity hotspot.

Of its 2,500 known animal species, 75 per cent are endemic - unknown anywhere else. Of particular note are the 350 species of amphipod shrimps, most of them endemic and gigantic in size, and its iconic freshwater seal (nerpa).

Baikal also has enormous cultural significance for people of several faiths, including Buddhism and Shamanism, who live around its shores.

But environmentalists are warning this fragile paradise, named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996, is under threat with its clear waters warming much faster than the global average, with as yet unknown long-term effects on its ecology.

The average temperature of the lake increased by 1.2C between 1946 and 2004 which has had dramatic effects on the ecosystem.

It faces the added danger of a huge dam on its principal tributary, Mongolia's Selenge River.

And in recent months forests surrounding the lake have been devastated by fires, which ecologists say are linked to climate change as droughts and heatwaves become more frequent.

Scientists fear the proposed construction of the Shuren Dam in Mongolia and an associated pipeline would do further damage. They say it would further decrease the already record low water level of Baikal and irretrievably damage the Selenga delta - a vital spawning and feeding area for the lake's fish and birdlife.

An interdisplinary group of academics from universities in the UK, USA and Russia, led by the University of York, visited Lake Baikal in July and August 2015 as part of a three-year project, funded by a Leverhulme International Network grant, to explore Russia's environmental history and natural resources.

Dr Bryce Beukers-Stewart, an ecologist and fisheries biologist from the University of York's Environment Department, said: "Extreme weather is creating ecological havoc. The melting permafrost is changing land-atmosphere gas fluxes, damaging roads and infrastructure, and flooding the lake with excess nutrients.

"In recent months, including during our visit, devastating forest fires have swept through the area. Despite its world heritage status a new threat looms in the form of a giant dam in Mongolia. We need to act now to preserve this precious environment."

As part of their itinerary, the group visited the Barguzin scientific nature reserve, which was established in 1916 to protect the valuable sable population on the northeast shores of the lake. The scientists at the reserve and elsewhere in Russia have a strong commitment to protecting Baikal's unique ecosystem.

Professor David Moon, the lead investigator from York's History Department, said: "By bringing together colleagues from several countries and a range of disciplines that span the humanities, social and natural sciences, the project aims to present a more balanced view of Russia's environmental history and conservation than the predominately negative stereotype that is commonly perceived in the West."

Explore further: Russia moves to shut down Lake Baikal paper mill

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Sports

Salvation Army Children's Baseball Camp in Mongolia Fosters Friendship and Development

September 29 (Christian Daily) Over 100 Korean and Mongolian children came together to play baseball for a week from August 9 to 15 in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, in a training camp organized by the Salvation Army Korea. The camp consisted of three teams from South Korea and three teams from Mongolia.

"Mongolia is such a barren land for baseball," said Major Kyu-Han Kim, the former development ministries secretary of Salvation Army Korea. Mongolia doesn't have a baseball field nor a professional team, he added, though there is a team of amateur baseball players.

As such, Salvation Army Korea developed a children's baseball team three years ago called the Ulaan Tigers, and after having seen positive results, the mayor of Zuun Mud asked for a children's baseball team in that city as well. The teams are sponsored by the Kia Tigers, a professional baseball team in South Korea.

Kim says having this baseball camp with the Korean and Mongolian children helps in forming relationships cross culturally.

"It's awkward between the kids when they first meet, but the language and culture barriers come down very soon," he explained. "They'd joke around and play with each other using body gestures, and we can see that a sense of family and friendship forms as they play baseball together in the field."

Moreover, the Salvation Army decided to start this sponsorship program to provide care to neglected and isolated children in Mongolia, and to help in their physical development.

"The sponsorship program for the Mongolian children's baseball teams ... is not just support for baseball itself, but for the children who are desperately in need of care, socially and physically -- to establish a healthy physical condition, healthy social skills, and a sense of cooperation," Kim explained. "Through baseball, children can find opportunity, dreams, and hope, which will then empower them to plan for their future."

The Korean ambassador in Mongolia, the General Secretary of Mongolia's Olympic Committee, and the Director of Health and Sports in Mongolia were also present, and they "promised their continuous support for development of baseball in Mongolia," according to a statement by the Salvation Army Korea.

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Art, Entertainment

Affordable Art Fair at 976 Art Gallery, 25 Sep – 6 Oct

September 30 (gogo.mn) 976 Art Gallery is organizing "AFFORDABLE ART FAIR" from 25 September till 06 October, 2015. Small and medium sized, original artworks by famous Mongolian artists are offered for sale.

Prices for small sized works are ranging between MNT 100.000-250.000, medium-sized works are ranging between MNT 1.5-2.5 million.

976 Art Gallery is located at 1st floor of Best Western Premier Tuushin Hotel and it opens from 10AM to 07.30PM during the weekdays and opens from 12PM to 08PM during weekends.

For more information on the fair, please contact at +(976) - 94051127; 99750959 or click here.

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Tchaikovsky winning Mongolian soloist joins Mariinsky Theatre in Russia

Ulaanbaatar, September 30 (MONTSAME) Opera singer G.Ariunbaatar, the Grand Prix Winner of the 15th International Tschaikovsky Competition, has become a soloist of the State Academic Mariisnky Theatre of Saint Petersburg, Russia. The singer gave his concert at the theatre this September 27.

The Mariinsky Theatre can trace its history as far back as 1783, when a Decree on the establishment of a theatre committee "for performances and music" was published July 12 that year. The theatre was opened on Carousel Square on October 5 of 1783. The square has been given a new name "Theatre Square".

For more than two centuries the Mariinsky Theatre has been presenting the world with a plethora of great artists, including the outstanding bass and founding father of the Russian opera performing school Osip Petrov, great singer Fyodor Chaliapin, Ivan Yershov, Medea and Nikolai Figner and Sofia Preobrazhenskaya, ballet dancers such as Mathilde Kschessinska, Anna Pavlova, Vaslav Nijinsky, Galina Ulanova, Rudolf Nureyev and Mikhail Baryshnikov.

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Concert by Yulia Matochkina and Ariunbaatar Ganbaatar at Mariinsky Theatre, September 27

 

Zanabazar's Amitabha Buddha sculpture listed as unique historic heritage of Mongolia

Ulaanbaatar, September 30 (MONTSAME) Sculpture of Amitabha (Ayush) by the High Saint G.Zanabazar has been added to the List of Exclusive historic and cultural heritages. The decision was made at the regular meeting of Cabinet September 28.

The sculpture had been in the possession of Hungarian senior diplomat and a Mongolist Laszlo Kadar. The latter handed the artwork to the Vice Speaker of Mongolian Parliament R.Gonchigdorj, Ya.Sodbaatar MP and Mongolia's Ambassador to Hungary T.Gandi, during the scientific conference, held in Hungary in frames of the marking of 380th birth anniversary of the High Saint Zanabazar.

The Minister of Education, Culture and Sciences has set up a working group in charge of identifying special features and design of the artwork and transferring it to the museum treasury. The group has confirmed that the sculpture was in fact designed and created by the High Saint himself, considering that the artwork should be included in the list of exclusive historic and cultural heritages of Mongolia.

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Travel

Tourism Minister gives interview German newspaper Die Welt

Ulaanbaatar, September 30 (MONTSAME) The Minister of Environment, Green Development and Tourism N.Battsereg has given an interview to the German newspaper (over 1.1 million readers– "Diewelt und Welt Am Sonntag)". He talked about the Government policies targeted at welcome one million tourists in 2020.

He said the State is taking undertaking many actions to promote tourism, namely, increasing a  number of tour organizations, expanding their services scopes, implementing flexible and far-sighted policies and programs that meet the international perspectives, he said.

Parliament has received a Bill on Casino and is reviewing the Law on tourism, he added.

According to the latest statistics, the tourism sphere produced 5.29 percent of the GDP of Mongolia, having earned 263 million US dollars. Mongolia is receiving approximately 400 thousand tourists every year.

Mongolia ranks at 99th place among 140 countries, and at 19th among 25 Asia-Pacific countries. Nationwide, over 300 tour camps are operating with some 50 thousand staffers.

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Intersections: Feeling small in a country of open land and meat

Columnist Liana Aghajanian finds magic and few vegetarian options on assignment in Mongolia.

September 30 (Glendale News-Press) There is nothing more frightening, nothing that makes you so very acutely aware of your own insignificance in the world than the wide open spaces of Mongolia.

The capital is bustling with cafes, karaoke bars and Korean restaurants, but drive even a short distance out of Ulaanbaatar, and the remoteness of the country becomes immediately apparent.

Its vast and beautiful countryside is what brings most tourists to Mongolia in the first place, although only 15,000 Americans visited the country last year, according to a recent piece by McClatchy available online here.

After spending two weeks in the congested capital, I knew I had to get away and so, on Saturday morning, I set out to the countryside, eager to experience even a small percentage of the deep connection that Mongolians have for their land.

A few hours later, after spending the entire car ride feeling all enormous bumps of Mongolia's dirt roads vibrating through my entire body, I arrived at the camp of a family who was hosting me for the night. The family's yurt, or as Mongolians call them, "ger" was set up next to mine, and after watching the sun go down in a valley where no other humans seemed to be in sight as far as I could see, it was time to eat.

If you're an ardent consumer of meat, Mongolia is the country for you, as the diet is mostly made up of copious amounts of mutton, along with milky tea and various dairy products. If you're vegetarian, like me, you are virtually out of luck. The concept of not eating meat doesn't exactly go down well in the country and your options are extremely limited, which is why I survived that night on small portions of potatoes and bread.

The ger's main component is the wood-and-coal stove featured in the middle of its structure, the only warmth you have in the ger and one you'll desperately be thankful for as temperatures drop to insanely low levels at night, even during the summer. The reflection of the fire dancing on the roof of the ger was the last thing I saw before I fell asleep. At some point, it got so cold, I spent the entire night with my face buried deep within my sleeping bag.

It was the sound of cows being milked, and not my phone alarm, that woke me up. I threw on my clothes, brushed my teeth with the aid of a tea kettle of lukewarm water and milked a cow just as the sun was coming up and the ground was covered in glittering dew.

Life felt so simple and I felt so completely small in it. The feeling of invincibility often brought on by living in a major city had completely worn off. The only voice I could hear was my own and the overwhelming silence forced me to listen to myself. I felt a sense of clarity, focus and absolute freedom, away from the traffic, and the cellphones and our exhausting dependence on technology. I knew that I had absorbed the magic of the Mongolian countryside, even for a few brief moments.

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LIANA AGHAJANIAN is a Los Angeles-based journalist whose work has appeared in L.A. Weekly, Paste magazine, New America Media, Eurasianet and The Atlantic. She may be reached at liana.agh@gmail.com.

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5 O'Clock Somewhere: It's Not Good If Your Stomach Isn't Used To It

Fermented Mare's Milk in Western Mongolia

by Jacob Russell

September 21 (Roads and Kingdoms) "Be careful," warns my translator Byeibit, a kindly and maternal woman who feels responsible for my wellbeing. "If your stomach is not used to it, it's not good."

Her warning concerns the cup of airag, fermented mare's milk, that has just been handed to me while I sit in a Ger (the felt-walled, circular tents also known as yurts) somewhere in western Mongolia, near to the Chinese border. The Ger is crowded, people packed shoulder to shoulder around the circumference—men on one side, women on the other—with more people in the center facing out. Between the two circles lie plates full of powerful dairy products from the udders of just about every domestic beast you can imagine, and Russian chocolates that look pretty and invariably taste like soap.

The occasion is a hair-cutting ceremony. Traditionally the ceremony marks a child's survival to the age of about five, no small feat for nomadic families living in Mongolia's unforgiving wilds. My hosts are Kazakh nomads and it is their six-year-old son who's made it far enough to be ritually shorn.

The atmosphere is loud and bawdy. Everybody in the Ger looks old and tough. The men have hands like clubs, swollen from work, and every year shows on their faces tenfold. They show me the kind of reserved hospitality that leaves room for me to earn it after the fact. Earn it by, for example, showing that I'm not afraid of a bit of fermented mare's milk.

I sip the airag gingerly. It's surprisingly good. Like Turkey's ayran with a little more fizz and a slightly disconcerting hint of salami in the aftertaste. Byeibit takes advantage of a quiet moment to explain that airag often sends novice drinkers running for the pit latrine. I'm reluctant to finish it for fear of a refill. My colleague is already laid out with something dairy related. I left him in another Ger lined with psychedelic fabrics from which he stumbles every two hours to vomit next to a completely unmoved yak.

It is the end of summer and the landscape is deceptively stunning, craggy hills rising over wide, green valleys full of herds of horses, goats, cows, yaks, and camels. The weather is perfect, warm during the day and cool without being chilly at night. None of which gives a true impression of the sheer uncompromising difficulty of life here.

In the winter the temperature hits -40 F and there is always snow. There are no roads, and it took us 10 hours of back-breaking off-road driving to get here from the nearest town. You might find a doctor in the village, but even then you better hope you don't need much more than some antibiotics. Each family lives from its animals. They provide milk and meat and dung to burn. You sell them when times are tough and buy them when the going's good. Water comes from the river and electricity just doesn't come

By now many of the guests are more than jolly. It's time to cut hair but the atmosphere in the Ger is so loud and boisterous that the boy is too terrified to come inside. He is picked up and hauled through the entrance. His legs already inside, he makes a last-ditch attempt to stall, hanging onto the door frame and squirming in the arms of his brawny relative. It would be comical if it weren't for his obvious terror. Everyone laughs and shouts and his grip gives way. He's wrestled around the circle while gnarled fingers snip pieces of his hair off.

I exit the Ger to get some air. Outside, a young man braces himself against the back of a Russian Jeep and vomits copiously. While he staggers away, hawks that have been circling above the little camp all afternoon start diving down to pick pieces of half-digested, vodka-pickled meat from the puddle. The grace of their predatory swoop doesn't quite fit with its target.

Further away from the Gers, a girl of about seventeen is milking horses. As I approach some kids spook one of the horses and it delivers a kick that lands full in the girl's stomach and sends her flying onto her back. The pail of milk upends and covers her with a slapstick accuracy that recalls the perverse comedy of the boy's squirming.

After lying on her back stunned for a moment, the girl climbs to her feet. She wipes the milk from her face and kneels for a moment to get her breath, then she hobbles silently over to the mare that kicked her and continues to milk it. It seems as though there isn't much else to do.

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