Monday, March 14, 2016

[GoM launches $200m loan; MEC pays debt with shares; Feb statistics out; budget deficit up; Erdenes Mongol gets $35m; and Areva woos UB]

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Monday, March 14, 2016

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ASEM's significance to Mongolia

March 10 (UB Post) Ulaanbaatar will host the 11th ASEM Summit of Heads of State and Government (ASEM11) this summer. The preparation work for the summit and issues surrounding it have made headlines recently in local media. The talk of banning rural area residents from entering Ulaanbaatar during ASEM11 has sparked outrage among social media users, and some have begun to question the significance of the event.

The following information was provided by the government to raise awareness of ASEM and its significance to Mongolia

ASEM's establishment and scope

ASEM and Mongolia

Mongolia formally joined ASEM in 2008, through approval from ASEM members during the seventh ASEM Summit. Since then, Mongolia has been participating in high-level meetings and conferences at presidential level.

Mongolia earned the right to host ASEM11 during last year's ASEM10, hosted by Italy. Analysts viewed this as an indication of immense amount of trust placed upon Mongolia by ASEM members. Experts advised considering the organization of ASEM11 as a rare opportunity rather than a burdensome task.

ASEM11, to be held in July this summer, will also mark the 20th anniversary of ASEM. Mongolia's experience of hosting the Seventh Ministerial Conference of the Community of Democracies in 2013 and Autumn Meeting of Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe in 2015 is expected to be useful for organizing the upcoming summit, as well as prove Mongolia's capability.

Significance of hosting ASEM Summit in Mongolia 

Source: "ASEM and Mongolia" brochure published by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mongolia

Link to article


More than 250 delegates from 53 countries to attend ASEP 9

March 10 ( 9th Asia-Europe Parliamentary Partnership (ASEP 9) meeting, one of the side events of the 11th ASEM Summit, will be held in Ulaanbaatar on April 21-22. 

B. Boldbaatar, Secretary General of the Parliament Secretariat and head of the working unit of the National Committee and B. Bayasgalan, the Deputy Chief of ASEM Office of Mongolia made press session today on the preparation for the ASEP 9 meeting. 

More than 250 delegations from 51 countries is expected to arrive in Ulaanbaatar during ASEP 9 meeting. Preliminary, parliament heads of three countries and deputy heads from six countries have announced their attendance. 

Two plenary sessions in politics, economy, social and arts will be held during ASEP 9 meeting. 

In scope of ASEP 9 meeting, great hall of Parliament house and meeting halls are being repaired and latest simultaneous interpretation equipment is being installed.

Link to article

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Int'l Market

Mongolia counts on loan as bond investors look the other way

March 10 (GlobalCapital) The government of Mongolia is making its debut in the syndicated loan market, launching a $200m dual-trancher after plans for a bond fell through due to pricing issues. While the country's heavy reliance on commodities makes it a risky bet, bankers reckon the development of a copper mine project and its potential income gives its outlook a boost. Shruti Chaturvedi reports.

The sovereign, through its Ministry of Finance, has mandated Credit Suisse for the fundraising which was opened into syndication last week. But the fundraising plans have been a while in the making, as this is not the country's first attempt at accessing international capital markets this year.

Mongolia ...

Link to article (needs subscription)


MEC to Issue 9.2 Million Shares to Contractor to Settle Debt

March 11 -- On 11 March 2016, after trading hours, the Company and the Subsidiary entered into the Subscription Agreement with the Subscriber, a Independent Third Party. Pursuant to the Subscription Agreement, the Subscriber has conditionally agreed to subscribe and the Company has conditionally agreed to allot and issue a total of 9,170,183 Subscription Shares at the Subscription Price of HK$0.173 per Subscription Share.

The Subscription Shares represent (i) approximately 0.52% of the existing issued share capital of the Company as at the date of this announcement; and (ii) approximately 0.51% of the issued share capital of the Company as enlarged by the issue of the Subscription Shares (assuming that there will be no change in the issued share capital of the Company between the dates of the Subscription Agreement and Completion save for the issue of such Subscription Shares).

The aggregate Subscription Price for all the Subscription Shares in the sum of HK$1,586,441.69 is equivalent to the amount of the Debt, i.e. US$203,389.96 being the outstanding service fees due and owing by the Subsidiary to the Subscriber under the Mining Agreement for the mining and related services rendered by the Subscriber to the Subsidiary for two months from November to December 2015 and the 10% retention amount for certain months of invoices after the deduction of our miscellaneous supply costs including coal and fuel. The Subscription Price shall be used to repay and settle the Debt. The Subscription Shares will be allotted and issued pursuant to the General Mandate.

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

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

Link to release


Mogi: Hmmm. Got my hopes up when I saw the trading halt. Was hoping they sign a farm-out agreement finally

Wolf Petroleum Served with Originating Process by Aboriginal Corp, Requests Trading Halt

March 14 -- In accordance with ASX Listing Rule 17.1, the Directors of Wolf Petroleum Limited (ASX Code: WOF) (the Company) hereby requests an immediate trading halt of the Company's securities. The Company, as Second Defendant, has been served with an Originating Process by Ngaanyatjarra Council (Aboriginal Corporation) (NCAC) for the winding up on the grounds of insolvency. The amount claimed by NCAC is $104,880.91.

The First Defendant to the Originating Process is Palgrave Resources Ltd (ACN 116 047 299) (First Defendant).

The Company has an indemnity from the First Defendant in respect of the claim by NCAC.

The Company is currently seeking legal advice in relation to this matter and will update the market as soon as possible.

The trading halt is requested until an announcement is made to the market, which is expected to be on or before the opening of trading on Wednesday, 16 March 2016.

The Company is not aware of any reason why the trading halt should not be granted.

Link to release


Eumeralla: Interim Financial Report

March 10 --

Review of Operations


In October 2015 the Company engaged Lunda LLC (Lunda) to perform an IP/Res Gradient Survey. Lunda has performed the IP/Res Gradient Survey and is in the process of preparing a report to be submitted to the Mineral Resources Authority (MRAM) of Mongolia.

Link to report


Turquoise Hill to Announce Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2015 Financial Results on March 17, 2016

VANCOUVER, BC--(Marketwired - March 10, 2016) - Turquoise Hill Resources will announce its fourth quarter and full year 2015 financial results on Thursday, March 17, 2016 after markets close in North America.

The Company will host a conference call and webcast to discuss fourth quarter and full year results on Friday, March 18, 2016 at 11:00 am EST/8:00 am PST. The conference call can be accessed through the following dial-in details:

North America: 416 340 8018 | 866 225 9256

International: +1 416 340 8018

The conference call will also be simultaneously webcast on Turquoise Hill's website at An archived playback of the call will be available on the Company's website.

Link to release


Xanadu Mines: 2016 AGM on 6 May, Annual Report on 6 April

March 11 -- Xanadu Mines Ltd advises that its Annual General Meeting will be held at 11:00am (Sydney time) on Friday 6 May 2016 at the offices of Computershare Investor Services, Level 4, 60 Carrington Street, Sydney NSW 2000. The Notice of Meeting and Annual Report will be sent to shareholders by 6 April 2016.

Link to release


MMC to Hold Board Meeting on 24 March to Approve Final Results

March 10 -- The board of directors (the "Board") of Mongolian Mining Corporation (the "Company", and its subsidiaries, the "Group") hereby announces that a meeting of the Board of the Company will be held on Thursday, 24 March 2016 for the purpose of considering and approving the final results of the Group for the year ended 31 December 2015 and its publication, the recommendation of a final dividend, if any, and transacting any other business.

Link to release


Origo Partners Trading Temporarily Suspended at Company Request

March 11 -- At the request of the Company trading on AIM for the under-mentioned securities has been temporarily suspended from 11/03/2016 7:30am, pending clarification of the Company's financial position.

Link to release


Winsway (01733) mulls rights issue after share consolidation

[ET Net News Agency, 14 March 2016] Winsway Enterprises (01733) said it proposes to consolidate every 20 existing shares into one consolidated share. 

The company also proposes to raise about US$50 million (around HK$387.5 million) by way  of the rights issue on the basis of three rights shares for every one consolidated share. 

The subscription price is HK$0.69 per share, representing a discount of about 76% to the  adjusted closing price of HK$2.9 per consolidated share, based on the closing price of  HK$0.145. 

The proceeds will be used to pay the sum of US$41.7 million to the holders of the senior notes in the restructuring of the outstanding senior notes, the consent fee under the restructuring support agreement and the success fee to Houlihan Lokey, the financial advisor to the steering committee.

Trading in shares of Winsway will be resumed this morning.

Link to article

Link to Winsway announcement


Winsway: Interim Results for Six Months Ended 30 June 2015


Photos: Boom Times Fade in Mongolia's Capital

March 10 (WSJ) Few developing countries have been hit harder by the slump in commodities prices than Mongolia

Link to photos

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Local Market

MSE Weekly Report: Top 20 -3.69%, ALL -3.13%, ₮54.6 Million Shares, 3.8 Billion T-Bills

March 11 (MSE) --

Link to report


Taliin Gal JSC to hold annual shareholders' meeting on 29 April

March 10 (MSE) Shareholders meeting of "Taliin Gal" JSC /mse:TAL/ will be held on 29 April 2016 at conference room of company's building, Baruun-Urt sum 9th group at 9:00. Registration day will be end on 13 March 2016.

Phone number of meeting organizer: 99119508, 99117466

Link to release

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Historic low 2,048.18/USD set March 10, 2016. Reds are rates that set a new low at the time

BoM MNT Rates: Friday, March 11 Close
















































































































































































































Bank USD rates at time of sending: TDB (Buy ₮2,039 Sell ₮2,048), Khan (Buy ₮2,039 Sell ₮2,048), Golomt (Buy ₮2,039 Sell ₮2,048), XacBank (Buy ₮2,039.5 Sell ₮2,048.5), State Bank (Buy ₮2,037 Sell ₮2,048)

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

Link to rates


BoM FX auction: US$20.1m sold at 2,048.75, CNY30.4m at 314.05, accepts $6.65m MNT swap offers

March 10 (Bank of Mongolia) On the Foreign Exchange Auction held on March 10th, 2016, the BOM has received buying bid offers of USD and CNY. The BOM sold USD 20.1 million in a consistency rate of MNT 2048.75 and CNY 30.4 million in a closing rate of MNT 314.05.

On March 10th, 2016, the BOM has received MNT Swap agreement buying bid offers equivalent to USD 6.65 million and USD swap agreement selling bid offers equivalent to USD 20.0 million from local commercial banks respectively. The BOM accepted the MNT swap agreement buying bid offers of USD 6.65 million and did not accept the USD swap agreement selling bid offers of USD 20.0 million.

Link to release


BoM issues 113.2 billion 1-week bills at 12%, total outstanding -5.2% to ₮472.3 billion

March 11 (Bank of Mongolia) BoM issues 1 week bills worth MNT 113.2 billion at a weighted interest rate of 12.0 percent per annum /For previous auctions click here/

Link to release


Mogi: deficit is the right word here

Mongolia Revenue Shortfall in Jan.-Feb. Reaches $126m, NSO Says

By Michael Kohn

March 11 (Bloomberg) -- Mongolia's total revenue and grants to the general budget in Jan.-Feb. were 708.8b tugrik compared with total expenditure of 967.3b tugrik, a revenue shortfall of 258.5b tugrik ($126.3m).

* NOTE: Revenue shortfall in same period yr ago was 185.3b tugrik

* Non-performing loans totaled 889.1b tugrik at end-Feb., a 0.5% increase m/m and 33.3% increase y/y

* Principal in arrears totaled 974.5b tugrik at the end of Feb., a 144.8% increase y/y

* Tax revenue decreased 27.4b tugrik or 4.2% y/y

* Total external trade in Jan-Feb. fell 20.6% y/y to $965.4b, a drop of $250.2m

* Exports fell $139.9m or 18.6% and imports plunged $110m or 23.8% compared with the same period a year earlier

* February CPI +2.0% y/y, +1.2% year-to-date



M2 +1.4% MoM, -2.3% YoY to 10 Trillion

Ulaanbaatar, March 11 (MONTSAME) The Bank of Mongolia has reported that money supply (broad money or M2) reached MNT 10.0 trillion at the end of February 2016, increasing 142.0 billion or 1.4% against the previous month, but decreased 237.7 billion or 2.3% against the previous year.

At the end of February 2016, currency issued in circulation reached 655.5 billion Togrog, going down by 58.2 billion or 8.2% against January and by 120.4 billion or 15.5% against the previous year.

Loans outstanding amounted to 11.6 trillion Togrog, declining 155.6 billion or 1.3% against January and by 549.5 billion or 4.5% compared to the same period of previous year.

Principals in arrears reached 974.5 billion Togrog at the end of February 2016, increasing 35.6 billion or 3.8% against January, and by 576.4 billion or 2.4 times against the previous year.

The non-performing loans over the bank system reached MNT 889.1 billion, increasing 4.8 billion or 0.5% against January, and 222.1 billion or 33.3% compared to the same period of previous year.

Link to article


Mongolia Jan.-Feb Copper Concentrate Exports Rise 33% Y/y

By Michael Kohn

March 11 (Bloomberg) -- Mongolia's copper concentrate exports increased to 273,800 tons from 205,800 tons a year earlier, the National Statistical Office said on its website.

* Value of these exports fell to $334m from $363.3m

* Coal exports fell 22% y/y to 1.44m tons from 1.71m tons yr earlier; value fell to $43.9m from $65.5m

* Gold exports declined 32% y/y to 1.7 tons from 2.5t; value fell to $63.5m from $98m yr earlier

* Crude oil exports rose 17.2% to 1.4m barrels from 1.2m barrels yr earlier; value fell to $43.9m from $58.7m

* Iron ore exports fell 27.2% to 575,300 tons from 790,300 tons yr earlier; value fell to $16m tons from $47.5m tons

* Total exports were $613.3m in the first two months compared with $753.3m yr earlier

* Mineral products accounts for $462.6m in the first two months, precious metals (mainly gold) accounted for $63.8m



Social insurance revenue +26.7%, expenditure +14.6% in first two months

Ulaanbaatar, March 11 (MONTSAME) Revenue of the Social Insurance Fund amounted to MNT 240.7 billion, reflecting increase of MNT 50.7 billion or 26.7 percent, while expenditure of the fund reached MNT 264.9 billion, increasing by MNT 33.7 billion or 14.6 percent compared to the same period of 2015, by the end of February, 2016.  

In the first two months of this year, totally MNT 23.7 billion granted to 176.4 thousand people for pensions, and welfare benefits from the Social Welfare Fund, the number of people received pensions and welfare allowances increased by 17.0 thousand people or 10.6 percent, and the amount of pensions and allowances increased by MNT 1.9 billion or 8.5 percent compared to same period of the previous year.

Link to article


UB Housing Price Index Down 0.1% in February, Down 10% from 2015

March 11 (BoM) --


New Housing

Old Housing

Index change /from 2013.01 base/




From previous month




From year beginning




From previous year




Link to release (in Mongolian)


Birth rate falls 2.5% in first two months of 2016 from previous

Ulaanbaatar, March 11 (MONTSAME) In the first two months of 2016, 12,391 mothers delivered 12,459 children (live births), representing decrease of  320 mothers or 2.5 percent and 339 children or 2.6 percent compared to same period of the previous year, reports the State Registration and Statistics Agency. 

Link to article


IFE President: Mongolia could be a wealthy location for business development

March 10 (UB Post) The following in an interview with Dr. D.Batjargal, Professor of Economics and President of the Institute of Finance and Economics about  the state of the economy and investment in Mongolia. 

Mongolian economic growth reached its highest levels in 2011 and 2012. In that time, foreign investment increased rapidly. But now, the economy's situation is bleak in Mongolia. How is the economic situation tied to foreign investment?    

Historically, from 2010 to 2012, as the amount of China's coal imports drastically increased, Mongolia rapidly emerged as an important overland coal supplier for China, given its geographic proximity, large coking coal resource endowment, and relatively low mining costs. In those years, the Mongolian economy was growing rapidly – but it was not real economic growth – and it reached 17 percent. Now, economic growth is three percent, but it is not possible to say its a "crisis", it is just the tide of the economy and how it is treating itself now. Traders of imported goods have called it a crisis because of the reduced purchasing power of import consumers, because prices for imports are raised when the U.S. dollar exchange rate increases.

How can Mongolians attract foreign investment during this difficult time?

I suggest that we shouldn't see this as the Mongolian economy's situation for a long time. Here, amazing business opportunities can grow out of global mega projects in the next five years.

The powerful financial institute BRICS has been established within the global economy. The institute is pursuing the fulfillment of mega projects and huge construction projects which are establishing linked infrastructure in Eurasia. Russia, China, and Central Asian countries are working very actively for this. It is possible to understand that these projects will definitely be fulfilled as a result of the political decisions already made by the powerful countries of Russia and China. Therefore, huge projects, huge constructions, and economic growth will take place on a wide scale soon.

First, Mongolia has all the required raw materials for these projects. Second, as for geographic location, Mongolia is situated in the center of the road and region where the mega projects will be realized.

How is the Mongolian state preparing for these projects? 

As for infrastructure, Mongolia is investing more in its energy sector. The western road linking Russia and China has become operational. The government has made the decision to construct adjacent railroad linking Russia and China with electrical access.

The construction of a highway linking Eurasia has started. Next year, a bigger airport is about to go into operation in Northeast Asia. A safe road linking North America, Europe, and Southeast Asia is about to pass through Mongolia. Because of the political direction of Middle Eastern countries, Turkey and the Ukraine are facing very serious situations. There is no way to use a new road through the north of Mongolia and Siberia.

As for strategy, a very good situation is developing for the Mongolian economy in the near future. All the raw materials for these construction projects are in Mongolia.

If you could speak to foreign companies, what should they pay more attention to when running a business in Mongolia? 

Companies have good opportunities to run a sustainable business in Mongolia when they conclude good negotiations with the state, and when they understand their social responsibilities and the need to run operations responsibly.

A few foreign companies that entered the Mongolian market early were forgetting to be socially responsible in their operations. Local people started opposing the aggressive operations of those companies. That opposition was aggravated, and then began to become a nationwide point of view. At that time, the state didn't have any experience in cooperating with foreign companies. Now, our state has studied cooperation with them.

Mongolia is a resource rich country, as is Siberia. China is a huge market. China has high growth and moves towards rapid development. Just behind China is a second huge market in India. China is pursuing a policy of making huge investments in South Africa and South America. For this, a country needs a huge amount of raw material reserves.

What kind of business ventures do you suggest for foreign companies? 

Link to interview

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Politics & Legal

5% mortgage loans will be issued starting Mar 15

March 10 ( S.Erdene, the Minister of Population Development and Social Welfare held press session today. He reports that 5% mortgage loan will be issued starting next Tuesday (Mar 15). 

On behalf of the Government, the Ministry of Population Development and Social Welfare, Bank of Mongolia and heads of commercial banks signed trilateral cooperation agreement. Therefore legal framework for issuing 5% mortgage loan was created. 

Currently, 77 thousand citizens received 8% mortgage loan. They pay more than MNT 100 billion monthly in interest and main credit. 

It reaches MNT 1.4 - 1.6 trillion in a year. Now this payment will transfer into future pension reserve fund and then it will be financed 5% mortgage loan.

Link to article


New mortgage scheme to be implemented on 15th, March 10


PM orders swifter connection of electricity

Ulaanbaatar, March 10 (MONTSAME) Primary methods of reducing smoke in Ulaanbaatar are to reduce coal usage and to increase an electricity consumption, "so it is vital for us to provide the city with a reliable and cheap source of energy," said Ch.Saikhanbileg PM at "Hour for solutions" weekly meeting, on Wednesday at the "UB electricity delivery network" company.

He noted that the UB city "has 'warmly' overcome this sometimes minus 40C winter", and thanked the energy authorities for their providing the people with the nice heating.

He said that a commissioning, with money from the "Chingis" bonds, of the expansions of the 3rd and 4th thermal power stations and of a new "Amgalan" power plant in th city's Bayanzurkh district has given outcomes. He added that a construction of "Baganuur" and "Booroljuut" power plants near Ulaanbaatar are expected to launch this spring.

An executive director of the "UB electricity delivery network" company S.Tomorkhuu spoke about their company and its technical difficulties, and underlined a necessity to make a policy decision on supporting the private sector's investments and running of the energy sector in a new atmosphere. The Premier appreciated that the company receives opinions and requests of consumers through electronic devices and provided them with a chance to obtain information about payments and checking issues.

A period of connecting the capital city to new sources of electricity was cut to 79 days in 2015 and to 126 days in 2013, he noted and ordered the company to shrink this period to 40 days and to cut a number of work units. 

After witnessing the calling center and dispatcher at the company, the PM gave obligations to the company's authorities and the Procurement Authority to calculate the connection works, to quickly organize a purchase of products and services in a transparent for people manner, and to properly resolve tax issues in connection with payment for the electricity connection.

Link to article


Globe International and 22 NGOs believe police will complete thorough investigation of journalist's death

Globe International Center and 22 NGO believe Police will complete a thorough investigation of the death of famous Mongolian journalist and publicist

February 29 (Globe International Center) Over three months has passed since Luntan Bolormaa, a female journalist and publicist, was found dead at her home on the night of 21 November 2015. Bolormaa's family members, friends, relatives, co-workers, the journalism community and the public are anxious for Police to investigate and report on her sudden death.

Sources said that the National Institute of Forensic Science conducted an autopsy of Luntan Bolormaa and concluded that she died due to a brain hemorrhage caused by a concussion in the occipital bone. Police are continuing their investigation into Bolormaa's death.

Luntan Bolormaa was a well-recognized investigative reporter and publicist. She was a Founder and Editor-in-Chief of the Mongolian Mining Journal. Bolormaa published mainly on economic, political, business, and mining issues. Moreover, she managed the non-governmental organization, "Journalism for Development," which trained and supported journalists in reporting on economic and mining related issues.

We express our deepest condolences to her family, friends, relatives and co-workers, and believe the Police will complete a thorough investigation of the crime, determine if her death was somehow linked to her journalism duties, and bring the perpetrators to justice.

Signed by: Amnesty International Mongolia, Bayansharga, Centre for Human Rights and Development, Confederation of Mongolian Journalists, Environment and Health Centre, Global Meridian, Globe International Center, Government Citizen Partnership, Kazakh Women's Arular Federation, Law and Human Right Centre, LGBT Centre, Media Council of Mongolia, Media Council Club, Mitchell Foundation, MONFEMNET National network, Mongolian Gender Equality Center, Mongolian Women's Employment Support Federation, National Center against Violence, Oyu Tolgoi Watch, Psychological Responsiveness, Rivers without Boundaries Coalition, Sayanaa Well-being Association, Steps Without Borders

Link to release


Mogi: season of paid demonstration begins

Demonstrators demand dismissal of UB mayor over too many deputies

March 10 (UB Post) Ulaanbaatar residents demonstrated outside the National Museum of Mongolia demanding the dismissal of Ulaanbaatar Mayor E.Bat-Uul and his deputy mayors on March 9.

The demonstrators believed that E.Bat-Uul violated the Law on Administration, Territorial Unit and Unit Administration by hiring more than two deputy mayors, and demanded the mayor to fire six capital vice mayors by March 9. They also believe that E.Bat-Uul abused his power as Mayor by giving salaries and funding transportation expenses of deputy mayors from taxpayers' money.

"We're demanding Mayor E.Bat-Uul to apologize to Ulaanbaatar residents and resign from the Mayor's position," said one demonstrator.

"It's against the law to have so many deputy mayors. According to Article 30.1.2 of the Law on Administration, Territorial Units and Unit Administration, there should be one province mayor and there should be no more than two deputy mayors under the capital mayor. But now, there are six deputy mayors in the capital and two deputy mayors per district.

"That's why we're asking E.Bat-Uul to demit. Currently, we have gathered signatures of more than 7,000 citizens. We sent our demand to the Mayor on March 7; we will receive our response at 4:00 p.m. [on March 9]," said Khan-Uul District citizen B.Tseren.

Mayor E.Bat-Uul said that the demonstrators are exercising their freedom of speech as stated in the Constitution.

"It's their right to see and explain laws however they like. The Constitution of Mongolia states that top level [government] cannot interfere with regional affairs. The City Council determines the number of deputy mayors and their limitation of rights and powers, and approves the budget required to fund deputy mayors as stated in the Constitution. This is an important clause determining municipal immunity," said E.Bat-Uul.

One deputy mayors have a monthly salary of 800,000 MNT. According to the Mayor, all of the deputy mayors have their own assignments in the Ulaanbaatar General Development Plan, to be implemented through 2030, so they cannot be fired.

"Previously, some of the deputy mayors asked to work without a salary, but there's no law that allows a deputy mayor to work without payment. They're receiving salaries accordingly with the decisions and rules approved by the City Council," said E.Bat-Uul.

Link to article


B.Bulgan Torture Accusation "Not Groundless" Says Human Rights Commission

March 10 ( It has been four months, since the wife of the S.Zorig was arrested at the pre-prison in the Tuv province. The real reason of the arrestment is still secret. Therefore, we have clarified some answers about this issue form the director of the National Commission of Human Rights J.Byambadorj.

-We heard that the mother of B.Bulgan D.Baigal has proposed National Commission of the Human Rights. Did the National Commission of Human Rights take an action on this issue? What was the result?

-We have received the complaint from D.Baigal. According to her complaint, we took an operation over this issue. We do not negate, whether there was the torture or not, during the investigation. The case of S.Zorig is classified as the top secret degree. Therefore, we can not provide every answers to every questions. We have tried as much as we can, and received the answer about the torture from the belonging authorities.

-So, what was the answer?

-We have met B.Bulgan. There is nothing serious condition, like being written on the media. But it is not groundless.

Link to interview


PM ignores MP Baasankhuu's debate challenge

March 10 ( As we reported last week, Mr O.Baasankhuu, who is a very active member of parliament, wants to have a live TV debate with Prime Minister Saikhanbileg in which he wants to hear why his numerous law projects have been ignored.

On 9th March, Mr Baasankhuu held a press conference, during which he told journalists: "Although, I have invited Prime Minister Ch.Saikhanbileg to a panel show on 12th March at 19.00pm, the Prime Minister has not responded. Therefore, I decided to postpone the panel show for two weeks until 23rd March. If the Prime Minister continues to react like this without answering, when the next session of the State Great Khural starts I will openly ask – 'Why you did not come to the panel show?' If he does come to the panel show on 23rd March, I will ask questions about the law projects, which I presented, for example: "Law on the legal status of towns and villages", and "Policy to create the saving funds" to support the Erdenet copper plant.

Source: Media Bureau at the Parliamentary Administration

Link to article


PM visits the Ulaanbaatar Electricity Distribution Network

March 10 (UB Post) Prime Minister Ch.Saikhanbileg held his weekly Hour of Solutions meeting at Ulaanbaatar Electricity Distribution Network (UEDN) on March 9, to discuss issues related to power supply and distribution.

"We have peacefully overcome temperatures of minus 40 degrees Celsius this winter. This is thanks to the personnel in the electricity and energy sector.

"The commissioning of Chinggis Bond funded Thermal Power Plant No.3's 50 megawatt extension, Thermal Power Plant No.4's 123 megawatt extension, and Amgalan Thermal Power Plant has brought about good results. The state is investing enough in lines and regions from the state budget and other sources. We have to work with better organization and a savings system with our current capacity until the new power plants are built. The construction of the Baganuur and Buuruljuut power plants near Ulaanbaatar will commence this spring. When they are opened, the power supply will increase and we'll have warm winters no matter how cold it gets," said Prime Minister Ch.Saikhanbileg.

UEDN supplied electricity to 51.6 percent of central Ulaanbaatar in 2015. It is currently serving 316,190 customers in 16 soums of Tuv Province and eight districts in Ulaanbaatar. Its number of customers has increased by 10.3 percent since 2013.

Link to article

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Erdenes Mongol to Receive $35m Loan for Corporate Restructuring

March 8 (Bloomberg) -- Erdenes Mongol LLC will receive a $35m technical assistance loan from the Asian Development Bank for corporate restructuring, the company's chief executive Byambasaikan Bayanjargal, said today in Toronto.

* Byambasaikhan speaks on sidelines of PDAC International Convention on Tuesday

* Erdenes Mongol international audit of 3-yr financials done by Ernst & Young, co. also working with IFC to improve governance and policy standards, and with EBRD to implement efficiency in procurement practices

* Corporate changes at Erdenes Mongol done "to ensure the company is a business and it is run on commercial practices," Byambasaikhan says

* NOTE: Loan maturity is 15 years, interest and principle differed and accrued for first three years. Project envisages transforming EM into a world class sovereign investment and management company, similar to Temasek in Singapore, EM will hire and retain high-level consultants to assist this process, according to ADB loan overview



EBRD helps Mongolia's Molor Zam increase turnover

EU funding helps Mongolia's Molor Zam, a PVC window and door manufacturer, improve its production process.

March 11 (EBRD) Good insulation is essential for windows in houses in Mongolia every day of the year. The country registers some of the lowest and highest temperatures on the planet, from +40 °C in the summer to -40 °C in the winter, as well as extreme temperature ranges between day and night.

Gerelmaa Enebish and her family seized this business opportunity when in 2003 they established Molor Zam, a company that produces PVC windows on the outskirts of the Mongolian capital Ulaanbaatar.

Ms Gerelmaa had previously worked in a window manufacturing company as production plant director when she decided she was knowledgeable enough to start her own business.

Back then, PVC windows and doors were a new product on the market so the company started only small-scale production.

Soon enough the benefits of better thermal insulation for lower prices and more durable frames than timber ones helped Ms Gerelmaa's company build its reputation.

Molor Zam also took advantage of the rapid economic growth that ranked Mongolia as one of the world's fastest growing economies up to 2012. The population in the capital was quickly increasing and the building sector was booming.

When the demand for high quality vacuum windows and doors started exceeding capacity and the company had to decline orders, Ms Gerelmaa decided to invest into expanding her production facilities.

However, managing the company after this development proved to be quite a challenge. "We had to shift from an intuitively-managed family business to a much larger operation and to regain efficiency in our processes we needed support," recalled Ms Gerelmaa.

In the relatively small Mongolian SME sector, other firms face a similar lack of know-how.

For example, according to the latest Business Environment and Enterprise Performance Survey (BEEPS V) conducted by the EBRD and the World Bank, companies such as Molor Zam describe inadequate workforce skills as one of the key obstacles to doing business in the country.

"The EBRD's Advice for Small Businesses (ASB), which in Mongolia is funded by the EU, helps to tackle these weaknesses by matching local SMEs with appropriate consultants who work with business owners and their employees to solve both management and operational problems," said Baigalmaa Sanjjav, Principal Manager of the ASB team based in Mongolia..

"For example, we introduced Molor Zam to local consultants for process re-engineering to help streamline the production as well as to improve the overall management of the company."

After analysing the manufacturing process, a local consultant helped increase efficiency by replacing old equipment, optimising the use of the factory space and creating a more rational production sequence, thereby cutting production time.

"Work was so demanding and the equipment so difficult to operate before that our employees wouldn't stay longer than a year: too tough!" said Ms Gerelmaa.

"Now we retain all our workers. They participate in the work with commitment and contribute ideas to improve."

The company was also able to develop its first business plan which provided a solid strategy for future growth.

Thanks to the project, they introduced a machine to cut window fittings based on German technology which brought a new, higher quality product.

Mass orders from construction companies are now easy to manage and deliver. With daily production increased from 20 windows a day to 64 higher quality ones, efficiency is paying off.

"Our turnover dramatically increased. We recently completed an order for the prestigious building complex Hunnu micro district," explained Ms Gerelmaa.

"Next on Molor Zam's business plan is innovating its branding and marketing strategy to keep ahead of competition."

Link to release


Cummins to open branch in Mongolia this month

Ulaanbaatar, March 11 (MONTSAME) Mayor of Ulaanbaatar E.Bat-Uul received March 11 Steve Rose, the general manager of Cummins Mongolia Investment LLC. The latter said that Cummins, a major US-based diesel engine manufacturer, is opening an official branch in Mongolia this March 25.

Mr Rose also highlighted that Cummins, regardless of the global economic difficulties, made profit of 19 billion USD last year.

The Mayor expressed a satisfaction with the launching of a Cummins Mongolia branch and promised to attend the grand opening.

"I am happy with the opportunity to collaborate with one of the top companies of the world. To be frank, our public transport's conditions are not as good as desired. We have been putting much effort to improve the system. In the commitment, we can work with Your company and national EcologyBus LLC on park renovations," he said.

Link to article


Anviz Biometrics Tech Protects Trade and Development Bank of Mongolia

March 10 (Find Biometrics) The Trade and Development Bank of Mongolia (TDB) has new biometric access control systems for its rooms and elevators, as well as a time and attendance tracking system, via Anviz Global technology. The technology was recently installed by subcontractor Topica.

It's a sophisticated set of systems. Floor access via elevator is now controlled by fingerprint scan, which is synced with individuals' security access privileges; and fingerprint biometrics also control access to the building's offices, and are used to collect and track employee attendance. Administrators also have remote system access, and can set the times at which staff are allowed access to certain facilities.

TDB is Mongolia's oldest bank, and last year won "Best Bank of Mongolia" in the Euromoney Awards for Excellence Asia 2015 event. As such, Anviz's latest deployment is a high-profile one for the company, complementing other recent deployments in Albania and India. As the company seeks to continue expanding globally, these kinds of projects should help it to attract new clients.

Link to article

Link to Anviz press release


Malayasia, Mongolia and more lifejackets for Bangladeshi fishermen on Asian IMRF agenda

March 10 (Hellenic Shipping News) Fishermen in Bangladesh will benefit from more lifejackets from the Asian arm of the International Maritime Rescue Federation (IMRF) which also intends to share best practice with maritime search and rescue (SAR) organisations in the area.

The Asia-Pacific Regional Centre (APRC) is growing in stature and influence and, in a busy schedule, has plans to meet with SAR representatives from a range of organisations and countries.

A representative will attend the Mongolian National Vessel Safety seminar – the first time the IMRF has been to the country – as well as visiting Japanese and Korean SAR organisations to exchange ideas.

Link to article


Hogan Lovells hosts Women Empowerment training in Ulaanbaatar

March 11 ( Within the scope of International Women's Day, a global law firm "Hogan Lovells" organized professional training event under the topic "Women leadership and communication skills" yesterday.

Opening speeches were given by Her Excellency Catherine Arnold, Ambassador to Mongolia from United Kingdom, and Christopher Melville, a Partner at Hogan Lovells representative's office in Mongolia.

The training was facilitated by Teresa Woodland, a trainer and management consultant at international consultancy company Madston Black. She has 25 years of experience in professional executive coaching, having worked in world famous McKinsey and made significant contribution in opening the company's offices in South Korea and China.

During the event, participants and facilitators shared and discussed the many challenges women face in society and the ways to overcome those obstacles. The training touched the fundamental 3 areas which all women should work on to develop the necessary skills in order to succeed in business and career.

For more please watch the full interview below.

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Areva to establish children's charity foundation, support winter tourism in UB

Ulaanbaatar, March 11 (MONTSAME) It was sounded during a meeting of the Mayor of Ulaanbaatar city Mr E.Bat-Uul with Mr Thierry Plaisant, the director-general of the "Areva Mongolia" LLC on Friday.

The guest thanked the Mayor for the audience and spoke about the company, mentioning "it is doing business in Dornogobi and Sukhbaatar aimags, has opened its office in Ulaanbaatar, has been focusing on development of these aimags", and added about a willingness to contribute to them. 

In response, Bat-Uul appreciated this company's launching a project that is supposed to create some six thous. jobs. "People's livelihood has been difficult due to unemployment rate rise caused by slackening of the mining investments in the last two years". He fully supports the company's works, he said.

He is also thankful for the company's willingness to collaborate in the city's great construction and activities, and said he wants to cooperate in two issues.

"Cases of severe illnesses have increased among children of low-income families, so we plan to establish a charity foundation called 'Kindness' to help these children. In addition, we want to attract tourists by expanding winter festivals and organize a race of camels on ice of the Tuul River," he said.

Mr Plaisant said his company can cooperate with Ulaanbaatar in these matters, emphasizing that the company pays great attention to social responsibility actions.

The "Areva Mongol" LLC started its activities here in 1996, it runs its business in geology, exploration and mining.

Link to article


BBC World Service: Air Pollution in Ulan Bator

Science in Action, BBC World Service

Fast growing cities like Beijing, New Delhi and Ulan Bator suffer from increasing air pollution. The smog often clouds the air and causes health problems. Ulan Bator faces a special challenge because the winters are exceptionally cold. Many people in Mongolia's capital city live in traditional yurts that are heated with coal fires. Temperatures as low as -40 degrees Celsius keep the smoke from the fires from dispersing. Dr Purevdorj Olkhanud, from the Mongolian National University of Medical Sciences, travels back and forth between the US and Mongolia, where he gathers data on air quality in Ulan Bator to improve the public health situation.

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Canada ready to assist Mongolia in setting up sovereign wealth fund

Ulaanbaatar, March 11 (MONTSAME) While paying the working visit to Canada, the Mongolian Minister of Finance B.Bolor has met with Ms Karina Gould MP, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Development.

The Finance Minister thanked the Canadian government for involving Mongolia in a list of countries that receive assistance and for launching the first project within this aid.

In times of a shrink in developmental aid from developed countries, an involvement of Mongolia in the list of assistance as well as a boost of the win-win cooperation in the mining and investment areas are the evidence of the two countries' aspirations to develop the economic cooperation under a mutual understanding and to realize a long-run policy for the ties, the dignitaries noted.

In connection with the above decision, the Finance Minister said he will promptly manage an establishment of an intergovernmental memorandum of understanding. He asked the Canadian side to focus the bilateral developmental cooperation on areas of not only mining, but also agriculture, education, empowering localities, and making reforms in the state services and laws.

The Finance Minister also said Mongolia wants to cooperate and study experiences in creating a fund of wealth within the law on heritage for next generation and setting up a body to manage the fund.

The Canadian side expressed its readiness to collaborate with Mongolia in these matters and underlined an importance of empowering a state body on the fund's management and keeping it separate from political impact.

Link to article


Belarus views Mongolia as promising partner in Asia

MINSK, 11 March (BelTA) – Belarus views Mongolia as a promising partner in the Asian region, Belarusian Vice Premier Vladimir Semashko said as he met with Minister of Construction and Urban Development of Mongolia Zangad Bayanselenge on 11 March, BelTA learnt from the press service of the Belarusian government.

"The mutual trade turnover is still insufficient. It is considerably lower than the existing potential between the two countries," noted Vladimir Semashko. Thus, in 2015 the trade totaled $23.2 million (export at $23.1 million, import at $0.1 million).

According to Vladimir Semashko, intensification of contacts between the two countries at every level will form a robust base for mutually beneficial cooperation.

In his words, the countries have been steadily developing cooperation in the recent years. The joint Belarusian-Mongolian commission for trade and economic cooperation was set up in 2013. It is more than a year and a half since Belarus opened its diplomatic representation in Mongolia. The two states have resumed contacts at the supreme, high and interagency levels, considerably expanded the bilateral legal framework, intensified trade and economic cooperation. "We are interested in maximizing the use of the still untapped potential of the bilateral cooperation. Our priority is the development of trade and economic relations," stressed Vladimir Semashko.

According to the Vice Premier, Belarus is ready not only to sell its products to Mongolia and bring the bilateral relations onto a qualitatively new level. Belarus is also ready to take part in the vehicle park upgrading programs, setting up joint companies in automobile manufacturing, mining sector, providing the corresponding economic sectors of Mongolia with necessary types of vehicles.

Link to article


Foreign ministries of Mongolia and Turkey sign MOU on IT cooperation

Ulaanbaatar, March 11 (MONTSAME) A meeting took place March 9 between the State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mongolia D.Gankhuyag and Ali Naci Koru, a Deputy FM of the Republic of Turkey.

The sides shared views on the bilateral relations and cooperation between the two Ministries of Foreign Affairs.

Mr Gankhuyag confirmed an interest of the Mongolian side to cooperate with Turkey in introducing E-visa system in Mongolia.

After this, the Memorandums of Understating were inked between the two Ministries on cooperation in Information Technologies and in Archives.

According to the officials of the Turkish side, more than 11 million e-visas have been issued since Turkey started this system in April of 2013, and 30-35 thousand applicants obtain Turkish visa through online system a day.

The E-Archive project is being implemented by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkey since December of 2013, there are 65 million pages of documents in 110,742 folders in the Central Archive of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkey, which are to be completely digitalized and disclosed to the public by the end of 2016. The Turkish side stressed possibilities of sharing with the Mongolian colleagues the Turkish experiences and know-how on digitalizing archive documents.

Present at the meeting were Mr B.Batkhishig, the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Mongolia to the Republic of Turkey, Mr E.Munkh-Ochir, the Consul-General of Mongolia in Istanbul city, and other officials from the two Ministries.

D.Gankhuyag also gave an interview to the Anadolu Agency, a state-run press agency of Turkey, to talk about the Mongolia-Turkey ties.

Link to article


Aung San Suu Kyi receives Mongolian Ambassador at her home

Ulaanbaatar, March 11 (MONTSAME) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs Friday reported that the Ambassador-designate of Mongolia to the Republic of Union of Myanmar Mr T.Togsbilguun has met with Ms Aung San Suu Kyi, the Leader of the National League for Democracy, at her residence in Nay Pyi Taw.

The Ambassador conveyed to her greetings of the Mongolian President Ts.Elbegdorj and congratulated her on the victory at a parliamentary election held last year's November in Myanmar. After this, Togsbilguun held meetings with Mr Thant Kyaw, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Mr Kyaw Zeya, Director-General of the Political Department of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Myanmar, to share views on the Mongolia-Myanmar relations.

Link to article


Four Mongolian students arrested in Tokyo for Roppongi apartment robbery

TOKYO, March 11 (Tokyo Reporter) – Tokyo Metropolitan Police have arrested four male exchange students from Mongolia suspected in a number of thefts, reports Nippon News Network (Mar. 11).

In the early morning hours of February 14, the suspects, including one 20-year-old, entered an unlocked apartment in the Roppongi area of Minato Ward and stole nine items valued at 60,000 yen.

One of the suspects denies the allegations, while the three others admit to the charges. "I did it to cover living expenses," one of the suspects is quoted by police, according to TV Asahi (Mar. 11).

The four suspects, all of whom arrived in Japan last fall to study the Japanese language, accessed the apartment building by accessing its exterior stairwell from an adjacent building.

Police believe that the suspects have been involved in 10 similar robberies in which the value of lost items totals 500,000 yen.

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Health, Education

Traditional Mongolian Medicine Museum Opens at MNUMS

March 11 ( Today, the first museum of traditional Mongolian medicine opened in the Medicine Institute of the Mongolian National University of Medical Sciences (MNUMS). The museum has a range of exhibits including the plants and tools needed to make traditional medicine, which have been in use in Mongolia for 5000 years. Traditional medicine specialists noted that there is nothing Mongolians cannot heal, if the traditional and modern medicine is combined.

It is claimed that Tibet and China use several traditional medicines, which originated from Mongolia, such as acupuncture and cauterization, traditional manual bone setting and head massage for concussion.

Approximately, 100 countries around the world have their own forms of traditional medicine. In all, 36 governments provide support for the traditional medicine sector; Mongolia is one of them.

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Culture, Society

Daylight saving will start on March 26th

March 10 ( On the night shifting from March 25th to March 26th, summer daylight saving time shift will start. 

In other words, at 02AM you must turn clocks upwards 1 hour to 03AM.

The summer daylight saving time shift will continue until September 30. 

Cabinet resolution dated March 9th, 2015 stated that Mongolia to shift to daylight saving time starting March 28th, 2015.

Link to article


Mongolia to go into daylight saving time this monthMontsame, March 10


Mitsubishi Pajero to the rescue: 100 saved in snowstorms

March 11 ( It has been a year since the "Mongolian Pajero Club" was set up. This is a voluntary organization aimed to help herders during snow and dust storms. The last occasion the volunteers were in action was on 4thMarch – in the recent snow strom they helped rescue 100 people and 30 cars stuck in the snow on the Moringiin Davaa, Aidsiin Davaa, Khui Doloon Khudag, Nairamdal, and Takhilt Davaa. The "Mongolian Pajero Club" does not accept any money for helping people. Since January 2016 they have been cooperating with "NEMA", the National Emergency Management Agency of Mongolia, which is responsible for combating natural disasters.

Link to article


J.Luvsandorj: Erroneous translations of Secret History of Mongols continue to appear

March 11 (Mongolian Economy) We sat down with Luvsandorj Jugder, professor of philosophy at the South and Central Asian Studies Institute of Charles University in the Czech Republic.

-Last year, you published a glossary for the Secret History of the Mongols. In doing so, you studied translation errors in the book and compared the Chinese interlinear translation with many other translations. How many years have you been researching the book?

-When I was in ninth grade of the secondary school (17 years old), I was barely able to read the Secret History of the Mongols in the traditional Mongolian script. After I become a university student, I read the Mongolian Cyrillic version many times. Each time I read the book, I thought there was something wrong. For example, I had questions such as: "Did Jamukha, who was fighting in the steppes, have 70 pots? Let's say he did; then what will he do with the pots that boiled people?" It seemed like something was wrong after I read the part where "Jamukha boiled 70 youths of the Chonos tribe in pots to death".

It is said that Ogodei Khan established a postal system connecting Asia and Europe and made a decree to cut the nose and lips of anyone that damages or steals from a post or its equipment. When I read this, I thought Mongolian khans would never decree such cruel order. I had been noticing errors and defects such as these for some time, so I decided to write a Khalkha-Mongolian translation of the Secret of History of Mongolia in 2000 and finished it in 2014.

-What are the most significant or serious mistakes you noticed? Translators said that they translate it from Chinese rather than Mongolian. Why do they translate it from Chinese interlinear translation?

-You said that you come back to Mongolia every year. Do you get homesick?

-Of course I miss my country. However, my main job is to study the lands and places where Genghis Khan fought. I started to travel around Outer and Inner Mongolia every summer for 3000-4000 kilometres since 2000, and it must add up to more than 50,000 kilometres by now.

Link to interview


Country Women's Association of Australia holds seminar on Mongolia

State International Officer, Mrs Joy Granger, gave a Welcome to Country before welcoming all present at the Country of Study Seminar on Mongolia held on Saturday, January 30.

Several members from CWA SWG attended.

The National Anthems and Motto were recited and the day commenced.

The Secretary to the Ambassador gave an introduction to the day.

He was followed by Pro. Li Narangoa.

She teaches courses in Japanese history and language, Mongolian history as well as broader thematic courses including 'Lies, Conspiracy and Propaganda'.

Her current research interests include Japan's relations with other Asian countries.

After morning tea, Mrs Losolsuren Byambaa gave a talk.

Mrs Byambaa is the wife of the Ambassador of Mongolia, H E Mr Batlai Chuluunhuu and mother of two daughters.

Before lunch Mongolian Fashions were paraded.

Beautiful outfits including wedding attire and children's wear were displayed.

After lunch Mr Peter Sloane, retired Consul General to Mongolia and agricultural expert who has travelled 27 times to Mongolia since the 1960's, gave a very interesting talk on all things Mongolian called Mongolia Land of Blue Sky.

Many Mongolians live in China.

According to Mr Sloane the Great Wall of China was built to keep horses out, not people.

Mrs Ruth Shanks, World President of ACWW, spoke on the work being done in Mongolia helping women farmers to grow crops in greenhouses.

On show were a collection of items from Mongolia belonging to well-known photographer, Peter Sykes.

A very successful seminar was completed with an enjoyable Gala Dinner.

- Country Women's Association, South West Group

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Nature, Environment

NEMA vice chairman talks about dzud at ACDR 2016

Ulaanbaatar, March 10 (MONTSAME) Vice chairman of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) Colonel Ts.Ganzorig has taken part in the Asian Conference of Disaster Reduction (ACDR2016), held in Phuket of Thailand on February 25-29.

The event has been organized by the Government of Thailand (Ministry of Interior), Government of Japan (Cabinet Office), United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) and Asian Disaster Reduction Center (ADRC). Mr Ganzorig gave presentation about disaster of dzud that often occurs in wintertime Mongolia.

The event attracted 96 delegates from 32 member and consulting countries and international and regional organizations.

The NEMA Vice chairman also discussed with Masanori Hamada about organizing the ACDR2017 in Mongolia.

Link to article


Climate change in Mongolia destroying pastures on which nomadic herders rely

Overgrazing and a cycle of summer drought and winter snow has degraded vital pastureland in Mongolia, killing livestock and jeopardising livelihoods

March 10 (The Guardian) Daashka and his brother tear across the Mongolian steppe on a motorbike in a desperate search for somewhere to graze their herds. Pastureland is dwindling rapidly as the country is beset by a cycle of drought and harsh winter that is killing off livestock in droves.

"The summer ends early now and the fall is short and dry. Then there's the long winter," said Daashka, a 19-year-old herder who uses just one name and lives in the central Ulziit region.

The family's herd, mostly sheep and goats, has shrunk from about 1,000 animals to 600, Daashka said, leaning against the motorbike on an exposed patch of dirt that, in other years, would have been covered by the roots of grass and other vegetation.

Mongolia is experiencing a natural disaster called a dzud. The phenomenon, unique to the country, usually occurs after a summer drought is followed by heavy winter snowfall that makes already scarce pastures inaccessible to livestock.

In the past, the country experienced widespread dzud about once in a decade, but they have recently been occurring every few years. Experts say the rising frequency is due to a combination of climate change and human activity, which has increased the size of herds to levels the grasslands cannot sustain.

With temperatures dipping below -40C (-40F) in the evenings and extreme cold expected until April, Daashka's family saved enough money to buy feed, which they hope will keep their herd alive until the spring.

Other nomads have not been so fortunate.

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From chopping wood in -25 degrees to playing in the shadow of the Wembley arch... meet the Mongolian starlets learning their trade at League Two club Barnet

·         Ganbold Ganbayar  and Soyol-Erdene Gal-Erdene are Mongolian teenagers training with Barnet

·         The pair have impressed since coming over from difficult conditions 

·         Both have top-flight and continental experience despite their young age 

·         There has never been a home-grown Mongolian professional, but both are hoping to make it one day

·         Ganbaa, 15, has scored two goals and given two assists in just two games

March 11 (Daily Mail) Arriving at Barnet's Hive complex provides a snapshot of English football.

As you walk in you are surrounded by training pitches, some of them a little the worse for wear in winter, an impressive facility used by everyone from the club to the local community. The grassroots.

Looking up, you see the Hive itself, the 5,000-seater stadium of a club that has bounced between non-league and the lower leagues for most of the last two decades. The professional game.

Then, rising above the smaller stadium, a few miles away but seeming closer because of its immense size, you can't help but notice the Wembley arch. FA Cup finals and England internationals feel within touching distance. The elite.

There cannot be a more fitting place to discover English football - nor any more unlikely students than Ganbold Ganbayar (Ganbaa) and Soyol-Erdene Gal-Erdene (Galaa), a pair of Mongolian teenagers spending a month learning their trade at the League Two club.

Despite his youth, 15-year-old Ganbaa is a regular in the Mongolian Premier League, has played in the AFC cup (Asia's equivalent of the Europa League) and has hopes of becoming his country's first ever home-grown professional.

Galaa, four years older, and a little quieter, helped his side to the Mongolian title last season, and also dreams of making the grade as a pro.

But they have never experienced anything like this. There are more outdoor pitches at the training ground of the side currently ranked 83rd in the English football pyramid than in the whole of Mongolia – but the teenagers have adapted quickly.

'Back home it's more laid back,' says Ganbaa after his first training session. 'It's more about passing the ball around, possession, not particularly pressing.

'In defence there's more contact, rougher defenders. When I've played, even in Bhutan and elsewhere there's much less contact with defenders.'

Their fellow players on a cold February morning are all college students in London, part of an English academy system that, for all its flaws, prepares hundreds of talented players for the professional game, both on and off the pitch.

The contrast to Galaa's training regime at home is stark. 'My life is very simple, you know. I go to training, do chores.

'Our houses don't have running water, so you have to go and get the water. You chop wood to provide heat for the home. So simple chores like that.'

Despite an upbringing that most of Barnet's youngsters would find as alien as the Mongolian climate, the boys' talent is clear from that first training session, as they are introduced to Barnet's Under 18 development side.

At one point, during a one-on-one dribbling drill, a coach shouts 'try and find a Mongolian to swap with' - surely the first time that sentence can have been heard on a north-London training ground.

Language proves a barrier to start off with – neither player speaks a word of English, and the two travelling coaches on the sidelines don't want to interfere – but football is universal.

'It wasn't that much of a problem because the coach was showing us exactly what to do,' explains Galaa. 'The coaches were great.'

Glimpses of the pair's skill shine through, but the conditions at home - it was minus-25 degrees when the pair left for England - mean rustiness is a problem. They haven't played outside since October because of the cold, and futsal is no preparation for academy football.

Two weeks later and both rust, and the doubts, have gone. Coming off the bench for Barnet's U16s in a friendly, Ganbaa provides a crucial assist in a 2-2 draw with Norwegian side Stabaek. A few days later he adds another assist, and two goals of his own, against Fulham, scoring past a young goalkeeper by the name of Jose Mourinho Jnr.

For a boy who has grown up watching Premier League football on TV from a small town in northern Mongolia, just a few miles from the Russian border, it is quite a step.

'It was a great experience, because of the prestige of the club,' he says after the game. 'I tried to give 100 per cent, there was that extra motivation because they're a big club.

'I didn't know at the time that he was Mourinho's son,' he adds with a smile that is never far from the surface. 'But they told me after, so that's nice.'

For Enkhjin Batsumber, a club owner and Mongolian FA administrator who has helped to bring the two players over to London, the whole process is a huge step, not just for these two but for Mongolian football as a whole.

'All the things we are learning from Barnet here are really useful. Especially the academy system, it's massively important to us.

'These kids can become as good as anybody, really fast, if given the opportunity. And seeing Ganbaa do so well, it's a confirmation that we are doing the right things, we're not so far off.'

Ganbaa, who grew up an Arsenal fan from 4,000 miles away, knows his target – and it's a simple one: 'I've always thought I was going to become a professional, even when I was really young.

'The ultimate goal is to be part of a professional club, get a contract, that would be huge. But for now, I've just got to keep trying.'

There are murmurs around the club that Ganbaa, who has made the bigger impression of the two boys, would be good enough to earn a contract next year. Certainly, in footballing terms, he would be worth one, even though logistically it may be a step too far for now. The talent is there.

'It would be a dream,' he says, on an astro-turf pitch in the shadow of Wembley. 'A massive dream come true.'  

Link to article


NGOs say child jockeys shouldn't race in commercial winter horse races

March 10 (UB Post) The UB Post reported that a group of children's rights NGOs and associations had joined forces to try and stop child riders taking part in spring and winter horse races, raising their concerns at a press conference. 

They say that due to the very cold weather conditions it is not safe for child jockeys, who can be as young as seven years old, to take part. Due to race days and child jockeys can also miss out on important school work, meaning they get left behind in lessons. 

The NGOs also say that races organized during the winter and spring are not traditional, unlike the races which take place as part of the Naadam Festival in the summer, and are organized for commercial gain. Because of this, they say adults should take part as jockeys rather than children. 

The UB Post spoke to Amaraa Dorjsambuu, a child protection specialist at UNICEF Mongolia, to find out more about their concerns.

Can you tell me about winter racing in Mongolia and why it should be stopped?

Our concern is really about children who are riding the horses in winter and spring. These races only started in 2004 and a recent study we commissioned with the Human Rights Commission and Legal Research Center and Bar Association of Mongolia looks into five main issues.

1. Are winter races really part of the culture?
2. Are they in line with national standards? And do we have a legal framework for them?
3. What are the health hazards?
4. How does this affect children's education?
5. And whether it is a form of hazardous labor?

Link to interview


Ulaanbaatar City Sponsors Mongolian Athletes for Abilympics

March 11 ( The "Abilympics" is an international competition for people with disabilities. This year, the 9th International Abilympics will be held on 23rd-28th March in France under the patronage of President Francois Hollande. In order to enable Mongolian sportsmen to participate in the event, Ulaanbaatar City Mayor Bat-Uul has issued a protocol entitled "Provision of Financial Support" (number A/171), which will supply the required MNT 16.7 million from the City Administration's reserve fund.

Souce: UB City Administration Media Bureau

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Borussia Dortmund holds talks with Mongolian Football Federation

March 11 ( On 8th March, a trilateral meeting was held between the Mongolian Football Federation (MFF), MIAT and the German Bundesliga football team "Borussia" Dortmund. The team's representatives in Asia and in the Asia Pacific Region, Mr. Suresh Letchmanan and Peter Leibel respectively, together with Mr. Benedikt Scholz who is foreign relations and business development boss are currently in Mongolia. The CEO of the Mongolian national carrier MIAT, Mr T.Tamir and deputy director N.Ganbold also attended the meeting.

During the meeting, MFF President A.Ganbaatar presented the activities and visions of the Federation. He also confirmed his wish to cooperate with the German Football Association, especially with "Borussia" Dortmund.

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Mongolian Football Federation Holds First Symposium with FIFA, AFC, JFA Delegates

March 11 ( Attended in the event was A.Ganbaatar, MFF president, and S.Lambaa, the state secretary of the Ministry of Health & Sports, Tommy Moller Nielsen - FIFA representative, Mr. Mikhael Muller,  a representative from Germany Football federation, Mr. Vaithilingam Subramaniam, a representative of AFC and Imai Junko, a female representative from Japanese Football Association and other MFF officials and guests.

Opening speeches were given by A.Ganbaatar. "Good morning, thank you for attending in the 1st MFF Symposium. I'm grateful for MFF for organizing this wonderful event. I would like to express my deepest gratitude to our honorable guests who came long way to participate and give speeches on the development of football in Mongolia. MFF came long way since it's established in 1959, joining AFC in 1997 and FIFA in 1998. Today's symposium is the first one ever organized from MFF including other international football federations. We plan to hold this event annually to discuss our long term development plan, share plans and reach concrete solutions that will benefit and develop our organization to international level. I'm sure we can define and set the new foundation philosophy of MFF today." said A.Ganbaatar.

Following MFF president's speech, S.Lambaa, the state secretary of the Ministry of Health & Sports, talked about the importance of professional trained coach for the future development Mongolia's football world. He also highlighted the success of Mongolian athletes in international tournaments in single man/woman sports but team sports are lacking behind. Mongolian President's decree on promoting team sports is in action and the ministry of Health & Sport will support and provide necessary assistance to MFF.

Invited representatives of FIFA, AFC and JFA gave speeches about the need to have professionally trained coaches in Mongolia. Although MFF is young and small compared to other international football organizations but it came long way in the past decade. Mongolia already have talented young generations of players, but the lack of international certified professional coaches, and solid long term development plans are the main issues MFF needs to resolve. They all agreed that to develop football in Mongolia, the system needs to focus on the right policy and man management. Another thing they all highlighted was the concern on technical department. To solve all these challenges, government policy and financial support is definitely needed. Since MFF is member of FIFA and AFC, they have been cooperating with these organizations closely to get necessary assistance. The key to successful development of football in Mongolia is to design specific training programme that is suited for Mongolians, weather and condition. If you copy another programme that works for other countries or clubs, it might not work here. That's why Mongolia needs to design and develop genuine, programme that works best for their people.

Unfortunately, Mr. Steven Lewis, a representative from UEFA couldn't arrive due to flight delay.

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Art, Entertainment

World Circus in Mongolia 2016, March 26 – April 10

March 11 ( "World Circus in Mongolia 2016" international circus artists' joint show will be co-organized by Mongol Circus Development center" NGO and Mongolian National Circus for the third consecutive years.

Over 60 top artists from 15 countries are expected in this show, including Mongolia, North Korea, England, Canada, Spain, China, Russia, Ukrain and Vietnam. The show includes some of their most renowned acts, as well as magic shows, trained monkeys, crocodile, and dogs.

World Circus in Mongolia 2016 will start playing on March 26 to April 10 and ticket price ranges between 15.000 - 30.000 MNT Tugrik depending on seat rank.

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"Mongolia of Eternal Blue Sky" photo exhibition opens in Montreal

Ulaanbaatar, March 11 (MONTSAME) "Mongolia of Blue Skies" photographic exhibition opened March 4 in Montreal of Canada. The measure has been organized in the margin of the annual Asian Festival, and is the first-ever major cultural event about Mongolia for Quebec.

The organizers are the Embassy of Mongolia to Canada and Accès Asie Festival. The exhibition will be open until this May 8, displaying photographs of Mongolia's nomadic culture, way of life, beautiful landscapes and modern developments, taken by B.Bayar and A.Giimel.

The opening remarks were given by the Ambassador R.Altangerel and the Director-general of Accès Asie Mr Khosro Berahmandi. More than 600 people attended the opening ceremony, including the diplomatic mission representatives and Mongolians living in Montreal. Dressed in traditional costumes, they played national music, danced folk dance and offered Mongolian cuisine to the guests. 

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Ulaanbaatar to Host Face of Beauty International in September

Ulaanbaatar, March 11 (MONTSAME) The capital city will host this internationally-acknowledged beauty contest this September. Beauties from over 60 countries are to take part in this contest. The main organizer is Miss Mongolia Consulting NGO. Foreign delegates will come by the end of this month to get au fait with a preparation for the Face of Beauty International-2016.  

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MIAT plans to add direct flights to North America

March 10 (Mongolian Economy) When travelling from Mongolia to the US, much time is spent on layovers while transferring flights, since there are no direct flights. Within the scope of its medium and long-term strategy, MIAT is planning to have add direct flights to the US and Canada.

To make that happen, many things need to and are being done in terms of material and human capital. In addition, thorough market research is necessary, as these flights are costly and lengthy.

In other words, the preparatory works to meet the requirements set by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) are on-going. Boeing airplanes used for long-haul flights were purchased last year as one of the preparatory works.

One of the demands set by the American FAA is to conduct staff in training twice a year. To do so, the trainings must be conducted at a Boeing training centre according to the FAA, and in training centres of Germany and Netherlands in accordance with the European Aviation Safety Agency.

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Ulaanbaatar to host first Int'l Forum on Nomadic Tourism with UNWTO

Ulaanbaatar, March 11 (MONTSAME) Minister of Environment, Green Development and Tourism N.Battsereg, at his third meeting with Mr Taleb Rifai, the Secretary-General of the UN World Tourism Organization, has finalized some issues on tourism cooperation.

Decisions were made based on the review of the meeting, held in January in Madrid, Spain.

The first-ever International Nomadic Tourism Forum will take place in Ulaanbaatar this October 13-15.  The sides also shared views on setting up preparation working groups that would develop the concept and program of this international event, aimed at making Mongolia a leading power in "on the track of Nomads" brand of tourism and creating globally compatible tourism products and services.

They also agreed on sending 6-12 tour specialists to train and work at the Asia-Pacific Department of the UNWTO.

Mr Taleb Rifai invited the Minister Battsereg to participate in the Sixth Meeting of the Tourism Working group, which will be held in Iran this April, and in the First Tourism Ministerial Meeting, to kick off in China in May.

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Mongolian pavilion opens at ITB Berlin 2016

Ulaanbaatar, March 10 (MONTSAME) A ceremony took place on Thursday to open a Mongolian pavilion at the 2016 ITB Berlin international exhibition, which kicked off March 8.

Mongolia is taking part in the exhibition on 101 square meters to present the Mongolian Airlines Company (MIAT), the Tourism Department of City and six tour operators. The opening of the Mongolian pavilion was taken part by Mr David Ruetz, the chairman of the ITB Berlin exhibition.

Mongolia attended the previous year's ITB Berlin as the official partner.

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Minister of Environment addresses ITB Berlin opening

Ulaanbaatar, March 10 (MONTSAME) While being with a working visit to the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG), the Mongolian Minister of Environment, Green Development and Tourism N.Battsereg MP attended an opening ceremony of the 2016 ITB Berlin international exhibition on March 8.

Last year, Mongolia took part in this grand action as the official partner.

Opening remarks were also made by Michael Muller, the Governing Mayor of Berlin; Mr Christian Goke, the CEO of ITB Berlin exhibition; Ms Iris Gleicke, the Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy; and Mr Michael Frenzel, a president of the Federal Association of the German Tourism Industry (BTW).

Speeches were given the Secretary-General of the United Nations' World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Mr Taleb Rifai, and the Maldivian Minister of Tourism Mr Moosa Zameer as honored guests.

Founded in 1966, the ITB Berlin is the world's largest tourism trade fair. The companies represented include hotels, tourist boards, tour operators, system providers, airlines and car rental companies.

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450 tourists come to see the Eagle Huntress

Ulaanbaatar, March 10 (MONTSAME) The Eagle festival is observed annually on March 5 in Bayan-Olgii-- western Mongolia where Kazakh minority settles, and at Chingisiin Khuree tourist camp just outside Ulaanbaatar. This year's guest of honor was Aisholpan--the little eagle huntress who draws international attention to Mongolia, having caught the eyes of a BBC photographer at the eagle festival of 2014.

Foreigners were amazed back then by the bravery of Aisholpan, who competed with 72 men and defeated all of them at the "Khyran" eagle festival. Some 450 tourists came to see her at this year's festival.

The event is of great significance in raising awareness of and participation in the environment protection, and in respecting and promoting the ancient and natural way of hunting.

Harsh, cold and snowy winter is an integral part of Mongolia's climate. Adventure-seeking tourists love to visit Mongolia during winter. "Ice" festival, which takes place on a frozen Khuvsgul, the lake containing a major part of the world's fresh water reserve, the two humped (Bactrian) camel race in the Gobi, and the Eagle Festival are the best-known winter activities for tourists.

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Discover Zavkhan Province – Hidden Gem in Western Mongolia

March 11 ( GoGo Travel will be introducing provinces of Mongolia as potential travel destinations to provide the readers and travelers with comprehensive travel information about Mongolia. We will be going for the least travelled provinces first, and our first destination is Zavkhan province, rightly a hidden gem in the western part of Mongolia. 

Stretched for 82500 in the western part, the beautiful Zavkhan province borders with Russia in the north and 6 provinces of Mongolia in the east, south and west. The province is one of the first 5 provinces founded in 1923 in the formation of the modern Mongolian administrative units. Uliastai town is the centre of Zavkhan and is 1021km from Ulaanbaatar. The current population of the province is about 70 thousand, 65% of whom are nomadic herders. The population's mainly made of a single ethnic group Khalkha, with a small number of Sartuul people with an interesting historical background. The Zavkhaners are proud for being the home to 8 of the enlightened monks of Mongolian Buddhism, and the first 2 presidents of Mongolia were both from Zavkhan.

The characteristics of Zavkhan landscape is a spectacularly beautiful combination of snow capped Khangai Mountains (highest point Mt. Otgontenger 4031m is in Otgon soum), lush green forest, crystal clear lakes and rivers (rich in fish), open steppe and even sand dunes at some parts. Also there are plentiful natural hot springs, which are believed to cure various diseases. Undoubtedly, Zavkhan offers an amazing scenery everywhere and sees a great prospective for developing various adventure and cultural tourism products including horse riding, mountain trekking, fishing etc.

Major attractions in Zavkhan are Mr. Otgontenger, Mongol Els sand dunes, Nariin Gol (Nariin Oasis & sand dunes), the Khar Lake, Senjit Khad (Hoop Rock), the Zavkhan river, Bulnai Mountains, Tarvagatai Mountains, the Lake Telmen, the Lake Oigon and many more.

The best time to visit Zavkhan is when the weather is milder, from early June till middle of September. The average summer temperature is 22' C daytime. Tosontsengel soum is one of the coldest places in Mongolia once setting the record -55' C in January. If you love winters and don't mind experiencing the cold Zavkhan is the perfect winter travel destination for you!

All soum centres offer a motel or two (no hot shower available at many), and in Uliastai there are several local hotels with facilities. A few Ger camps operate in summers throughout Zavkhan, mostly at the most popular destinations such as Mt. Otgontenger, Khar Lake, Ulaan Khaalga Hot Springs etc. Undoubtedly, tent camping is great in Zavkhan. And due to poor road system to the western provinces, Zavkhan was unreachable for many until last summer when 85% of the paved road construction was done. The paved road to Zavkhan is set to be complete by August 2016.

If you wish to explore the impeccably beautiful and remote Zavkhan province, please contact local Mongolian travel companies – some offer set group tours and some may tailor tours for you.

Photos are courtesy of Mr. Bayar Balgantseren – a renowned Mongolian photographer. 

Prepared only for GoGo Travel by Zola (Co-founder & Partner of Premium Travel Mongolia LLC (

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