Thursday, March 10, 2016

[MNT nears 2050; no bids for GoM treasuries; FinMin in Canada; and Guinness Record set for largest camel race]

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Thursday, March 10, 2016

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20 years ASEM – an important bridge between Asia and Europe

The Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) celebrates its 20th anniversary. ASEM has made a significant contribution to strengthening relations between Asia and Europe. For Mongolia and Switzerland it is an important platform for political, economic, cultural and other exchanges with ASEM member states.

By Minister Lundeg Purevsuren, Foreign Minister of Mongolia, and Federal Councillor Didier Burkhalter, Head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs

March 9 (ASEM Mongolia Office) During the past 20 years, ASEM has developed into a key platform for foreign policy dialogue between Asia and Europe. Today, it is an important forum to come together and jointly shape the process of globalisation – on which we all can have our impact – on the twin continent of Eurasia. The ASEM conferences, be they on the level of heads of state or government or on the level of senior officials, are also a useful platform for bilateral meetings to nurture bilateral relations with partner countries and to make progress on matters of common concern. The celebration of the 20thAnniversary of ASEM provides an opportunity to raise its visibility among the public.

Where should ASEM go from here? Should ASEM remain a non-binding forum or could it one day become a huge economic area stretching from Lisbon to Tokyo and from Dublin to Wellington? Discussions about new processes to enable ASEM to produce more tangible results, to have more positive effects on everyday life, will be at the top of the agenda of the forthcoming 11th ASEM Summit to be held in Ulaanbaatar on 15-16 July, 2016.

These discussions are important and legitimate because ASEM is relatively unknown to the public. Besides ASEM there are other organisations, such as the World Trade Organization (WTO), the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB, to which both Mongolia and Switzerland have become a member), which are better known and whose results are more directly felt. ASEM must not duplicate their work, but has to concentrate on the interstices of the international system, that is to say on exchanges and interconnections between its various parts. ASEM's added value is that it enables the countries of Asia and Europe to agree on shared points of reference, to strengthen their relations and thereby develop a better understanding of issues of concern to them.

ASEM is an excellent forum to promote open and constructive political dialogue between Asian and European partners about global challenges such as trade and economy, sustainable development, stability and peace. ASEM also strengthens links between heads of state and governments to streamline bilateral contacts and thereby contribute to international framework conditions for peace and prosperity. This is more important today than ever. We are facing numerous crises and challenges. Existing norms and normative structures are being called into question, but the large number of actors sometimes makes it difficult to achieve cooperative solutions and the organizations of global governance are not always able to step in. That is why forums such as ASEM are so important. It is nonetheless still necessary to improve certain aspects: to promote concrete projects that benefit citizens in Asia and Europe and to strengthen ASEM's culture of dialogue. Enhanced partnership, increased connectivity, more focused cooperation between the ASEM member states, improving of working methods of ASEM are essential for taking the ASEM process into the next decade.

Since joining ASEM, both Mongolia and Switzerland have distinguished themselves as active and innovative bridge builders. ASEM is an important element of both countries' foreign policy strategies to promote relations with Asian and European states. ASEM provides Mongolia and Switzerland with additional opportunities to discuss what it means to be a neutral state and explore ideas how bridges can be built. Indeed, both Mongolia and Switzerland are endeavouring to introduce independent and pertinent ideas on their continents and into the ASEM process. Through their involvement in ASEM, Mongolia and Switzerland declare their commitment to the universal value of good relations, multilateralism, the primacy of law over power, and a foreign policy geared towards compromise and mediation.

Besides participating in ASEM conferences, both Mongolia and Switzerland carry out projects with other ASEM member states and with the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF). The aim is to achieve concrete progress through dialogue, progress that positively influences the lives of our citizens. For example, in November 2015 Switzerland hosted the 15th Informal ASEM Seminar on Human Rights in Montreux with the aim of promoting cooperation between civil society actors, police officers and government representatives from ASEM member states in the fight against human trafficking. In May 2015 Mongolia hosted an ASEM seminar on renewable energy and in 2016 together with China it will organize training for farmers on food security. These events are aimed at promoting cooperation between interested ASEM partners in important fields as protection of environment and food security. At this year's ASEM summit, Mongolia and Switzerland will also demonstrate their commitment to young people by co-funding the Model ASEM, a simulation run by ASEF for Asian and European students, because it is in young people where our future lies. The aim is to provide the young generation a platform to present their creative ideas and opinions to the heads of state.

In order for ASEM to be able to provide added value in the coming decades, Mongolia and Switzerland will work for an increased focus on ASEM's role as a forum for political dialogue, economic cooperation and cultural exchanges. Civil society and young people of the twin continent should be more involved in ASEM conferences. In the next two decades and beyond, ASEM will thus be able to continue to perform a role that would otherwise be unfulfilled in the network of existing interregional and international organisations: that of a bridge between Asia and Europe, as an instrument for stability and prosperity for the benefit of our citizens.

Link to post


9th Asia Europe Parliamentary Partnership Meeting: Diplomats briefed

March 9 ( Today (7th March), a meeting took place between the members of the organizing National Committee of the 9th Asia Europe Parliamentary Partnership Meeting (AEPPM), Member of Parliament N.Enkhbold, the General Secretary of the Parliamentary Administration B.Boldbaatar and diplomats and consular representatives based in Mongolia. Following the meeting, the organizers provided information about the forthcoming Partnership Meeting.  

The 9th AEPPM will take place on 21st-23rd April 2016 in Ulaanbaatar, within the framework of ASEM. In fact, it will be the first event, related to the ASEM Summit.  According to the General Secretary B.Boldbaatar, the Speaker of the State Great Khural (parliament) has sent invitations to Parliamentary Speakers from partner countries. Currently, 90 representatives from 20 countries have confirmed their wish to participate in the 9th AEPPM.

Source: Media Bureau at the Parliamentary Administration

Link to article


Mogi: ummmm, I don't think more people will necessarily come for ASEM if there's no visa fees. Lost opportunity to make some money I'd say. For tourists it would make sense, especially on off seasons

ASEM delegates will be exempted from visa fees

March 9 ( ASEM Security, Protocol and Immigration working group--headed by D. Dorligjav, Minister of Justice, held its regular meeting today. The working group discussed security, protocol and its necessary equipment, visa issuing and border access arrangements.

Border troops will serve as security staffs during ASEM 11 Summit and training for border troops have already begun. 

Working group to issue visas to 4000 delegations will be established. Also the ASEM delegations will be exempted from visa fee and their visa will be issued at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and border crossing. 

Justice Minister D.Dorligjav assigned members to organize safety training to volunteers to work for official side events during the 11th ASEM. 

Link to article


New-born wild camel calf named "ASEM" by FM Purevsuren

March 9 (Mongolian Economy) A delegation headed by Minister of Foreign Affairs L.Purevsuren visited a wild camel breeding centre at the Gobi National Park in Bayantooroi village of Tsogtsoum in Gobi-Altai province on 18th of this month. During the visit, the staff of the breeding centre asked the minister to name the newborn of the endangered species of wild camel.

The minister explained: "I named this female camel calf 'ASEM' to symbolise the ASEM summit to be held in Mongolia this year, as it will have significance and value for our country." The ASEM summit to be held in in July of this year can do much to elevate Mongolia's reputation on the world stage. It also carries the significance of becoming the platform to set the foundation for other important works and events in the future.

The newborn ASEM was born to the first female wild camel of the breeding centre nicknamed "Firstborn Yellow." Her father is called "Nameless Yellow." In fact, wild camels are considered to be one the world's most endangered species and definitely one of Mongolia's unique treasures. It has been almost 30 years since this national park began raising wild camels in 1987 in order to boost the population of the creatures. This case of domesticating a wild camel is the first and the only case in world history.

Link to article


Int'l Market

Viking Mines: Interim Report 2015

March 9, Viking Mines Ltd. (ASX:VKA) --

Link to report


Draig Resources: Interim Report 2015

March 9, Draig Resources Ltd. (ASX:DRG) --

Link to report


Origo: Announcement re Redemption of Convertible Zero Dividend Preference Shares 

March 8 -- Further to the announcement of 26 February 2016, the Company's articles of association include a requirement for the Company to redeem US$12 million of  convertible zero dividend preferences shares ("CZDPs") by 8 March 2016. 

Whilst the Company continues to seek to deliver the objectives of its investing policy and to achieve an orderly realisation of its assets, the Company is not in a position to redeem US$12 million of CZDPs at the current time. As set out in the circular posted to Origo shareholders on 19 January 2016, the Company will now remain under a continuing obligation to undertake the redemption of US$12 million of CZDPs as and when it is legally able to do so. 

The Company is engaging with the key CZDP shareholder in an attempt to reach a mutually acceptable resolution to the unfulfilled 8 March 2016 redemption requirement and remains committed to engaging with all of its key shareholders in an attempt to reach an acceptable resolution to the ongoing legal dispute with its key CZDP shareholder. 

As previously announced, the directors of the Company are continuing their efforts in exploring a number of possible funding options to secure additional working capital for the Company.

Link to release


SouthGobi Announces Annual General Meeting on May 26

March 8, SouthGobi Resources Ltd. (TSX:SGQ, HKEx:1878) --

Pursuant to a request from the above-mentioned reporting issuer, we wish to advise you of the following information in connection with its Annual Meeting of Shareholders:

Date of meeting: May 26, 2016

Record date for notice: March 29, 2016

Record date for voting: March 29, 2016

Beneficial ownership determination date: March 29, 2016

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Local Market

Mogi: No trading report published for the day. MSE's been doing that a lot lately


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Historic low 2,047.00/USD set March 9, 2016. Reds are rates that set a new low at the time

BoM MNT Rates: Wednesday, March 9 Close
















































































































































































































Bank USD rates at time of sending: TDB (Buy ₮2,041 Sell ₮2,049), Khan (Buy ₮2,042 Sell ₮2,049), Golomt (Buy ₮2,042 Sell ₮2,049), XacBank (Buy ₮2,042 Sell ₮2,049), State Bank (Buy ₮2,042 Sell ₮2,049)

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

Link to rates


BoM issues 216 billion 1-week bills at 12%, total outstanding +44.7% to ₮498.3 billion

March 9 (Bank of Mongolia) BoM issues 1 week bills worth MNT 216 billion at a weighted interest rate of 12.0 percent per annum /For previous auctions click here/

Link to release


25 Billion 39-Week Treasury Auction Receives No Bids

March 9 (Bank of Mongolia) Auction for 39 weeks maturity Government Treasury bill was announced at face value of 25.0 billion MNT and each unit was worth 1 million MNT.The Government Treasury bill was not sold the due to absence of both competitive and non-competitive bids.

Link to release


15 Billion 2-Year Bond Auction Receives No Bids

March 9 (Bank of Mongolia) Auction for 2 years maturity Government Bond was announced at face value of 15 billion MNT and each unit was worth 1 million MNT. The Government bond was not sold the due to absence of both competitive and noncompetitive bids.

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Politics & Legal

President holds breakfast meeting with women's NGOs

Ulaanbaatar, March 9 (MONTSAME) On occasion of the International Women's Day, the President Ts.Elbegdorj attended the annual breakfast meeting with representatives of women's NGOs on Tuesday.

Co-organized by the President's Office and the "Monfemnet" national network for Mongolian women, the "Through women's eyes" forum was held under a theme "Through women's eyes: Existence of civil society" within the event. The forum's attendees had breakfast with the President, exchanging views on women's position over issues discussed at the forum.

The forum brought together some 300 delegates from women's and human rights and other areas' institutions, groups, NGOs, scholars, researchers, media, individuals and local residents. They reviewed matters on civil role and effects, and civil society institutions in formation of the human, civil and democratic society defined in the Constitution of Mongolia, the legal landscape of ensuring the civil society development and financing system.

Present at the breakfast meeting were Ch.Onorbayar, an advisor to the President on human rights and legal policy; A.Ganbaatar, an advisor to the President on public relations; B.Nergui, a deputy head of the Presidential Office; and P.Sainbileg, head of the Media Service.

Link to article


Prime Minister receives 21 outstanding women

Ulaanbaatar, March 9 (MONTSAME) In the occasion of International Women's Day, Prime Minister Ch.Saikhanbileg welcomed 21 distinguished women from various sectors at the State House on March 7 and conveyed warm greetings on behalf of the Government of Mongolia.

The Premier also extended "warm greetings to respectable mothers, grandmothers, and thousands of Mongolian women and girls out there".

Mongolian government has been putting efforts on ensuring gender equality, by implementing the National Gender Equality Programme, Law Against Family Violation, Law on Gender Equality, Law Against Human Trafficking and Medium-term Strategy of Government on Gender Equality (2013-2016), said the PM and added that the government will continue to make commitments to ensuring the rights of girls and women.

Link to article


Inspired by Zaya – Former Foreign Minister G.Zandanshatar

March 9 ( "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

Special episode of New Year features former Minister of Foreign Affairs and MP ZANDANSHATAR Gombojav. 

I made tired my guest by letting him to play chess for two hours even he told me that I have many works to do and I sleep at 6 am every day. Because I heard that he is a quite good player.
Interestingly, when he was a younger, he was working as a lecturer at university and his wife was one of his students. Also we talked about his book, current work and future plan. 

For the full episode please click here.

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Cost and time for obtaining electricity connection to be reduced

March 9 ( Mongolia had included on ease of doing business measurement since 2013. This year Mongolia ranked 56th out of 189 countries on the World Bank's annual ease of doing business measurement which uses ten methodologies. 

Our country ranked 134th in Getting Electricity methodology, which means the electricity is the most serious obstacle to business in Mongolia. 

Today Ulaanbaatar Electricity Distribution Network Company (UBEDN) introduced what they have done to fix this issue. 

UBEDN to follow new electricity regulation starting Apr 15. S.Tumurhuu, Head of UBEDN reports that we are working to simplify the process of obtaining electricity connection as well as to reduce the time and cost required for the connection. 

According to the Doing business 2013 measurement, an average time for electricity connection was 126 days in Ulaanbaatar city. Now this period has lowered by 79 days. 

Previously, residents and entities requested to connect electricity have to pass eight stages. However, they will pass two stages starting the implementation of new electricity regulation. 

Moreover cost for the electricity connection will be reduced by 20 percent from MNT 40 million. 

In other words, residents and entities will save their money and time for electricity connection starting Apr 15. 

Link to article


Annual "Construction Ulaanbaatar 2016" trade exhibition opens at Misheel

March 9 ( Annual "Construction Ulaanbaatar" expo opened on Mar 4 at Misheel expo center. 

This year's expo attracted more than one hundred companies in building and construction industry. Construction Ulaanbaatar 2016 will run for ten days, providing information on the latest technologies, housings and city planning services.

The expo aims to promote the products of Mongolian building material manufacturers and suppliers, while expanding cooperation between industries and introduce latest technologies to the public. 

The expo, which is being co-organized by the Ministry of Construction and Urban Development, Construction Development Center, Public Housing Corporation, State Housing Corporation, Mongolian Agency for Standardisation and Metrology and Misheel expo, will close on Mar 14. 

Link to article


Parliament Ratifies ADB Loan to Improve Credit Guarantee System

ULAANBAATAR, MONGOLIA, March 7 (ADB) — The Mongolian Parliament has ratified a loan agreement with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for a project to improve the credit guarantee system.  

"The project will help Mongolian small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) get more access to finance from commercial banks which will help diversify the economy, which in recent years has been dominated by the mining sector," said Robert Schoellhammer, ADB Country Director in Mongolia.

The assistance will help SMEs access the collateral they need—but often lack—to obtain loans through commercial banks by offering SMEs an alternative to the use of real estate. By making more long-term financing available for SMEs through strengthening the Credit Guarantee Fund of Mongolia (CGFM), the project will promote economic diversification and jobs.

The project is funded by a $60 million loan from ADB, with an initial portion of $6 million expected to be made available in March 2016. Expected completion of the project is March 2021. Loan funds will be used by CGFM to place time deposits into approved banks, which will partially support their funding for new loans issued with a credit guarantee. SMEs will need to meet the approval criteria of the bank and the CGFM in order to obtain a loan and guarantee, as well as complying with ADB safeguard policies.

The agreement was ratified during a session of parliament on 19 February.

Accompanying the loan, a technical assistance project will be financed with an $800,000 ADB grant. The assistance aims to strengthen the CGFM, which was established in November 2012 to support SMEs, but has failed to realize its full potential.  Strengthening the fund will allow it to support up to $432 million in loans to SME subprojects.

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. 

Link to release


AmCham Mongolia Selects Director of Communications

ULAANBAATAR, March 8 (AmCham Mongolia) – The Board of Directors of the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) in Mongolia announces that Mr. Erdenesukh (Sukhee) Otgonbayar has been selected as its Director of Communications, effective immediately. Sukhee has extensive experience in marketing, branding and communications, having worked for over three years in Mongolia's leading commercial bank, Golomt Bank and its holding company Golomt Financial Group. Sukhee holds B.A in International Economics and lived for over four years in San Francisco, CA, USA while earning an Associate of Science degree in General Business from The City College of San Francisco.

"I am excited to be appointed as Director of Communications of AmCham Mongolia and I look forward to taking part of AmCham's strong commitment of becoming the leading business organization in Mongolia. It's such a privilege to be working with the leading business entities in Mongolia and United States to create better business ties between United States and Mongolia and to become one of the strongest voices in Mongolia that advocates free enterprise and better business environment for our members." said Sukhee following the announcement

Jay Liotta, Chairman of the AmCham Mongolia Board of Directors also commented, "I am delighted that Sukhee has joined AmCham as its Director of Communications. AmCham's Board of Directors is certain that his experience and fresh perspective will further enhance and strengthen AmCham's reputation of leading business organization in Mongolia and his appointment is clear indication of AmCham's continuous growth and its commitment to deliver the best services for our members."

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 is the official local affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Based in Washington, DC, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the largest business federation in the world with over 3 million member companies.

Link to release

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60% of all motor vehicles in UB registered so far

Ulaanbaatar, March 9 (MONTSAME) According to the date issued by the National Auto-vehicle Center, Mongolia has total of 795,754 registered vehicles, of which 469,335 are in the capital city, as of February 29, 2016. Collecting of motor vehicle tax, air pollution and road use taxes are taking place between January and May, 2016.

In the first two months, the taxes were collected from 62,350 vehicles.

For the last four years, owners of registered 95,770 vehicles haven't paid the compulsory taxes. Therefore, these vehicles are to be suspended from the State Registration.

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Mongolia looks to expand trade ties with Canada

Ulaanbaatar, March 9 (MONTSAME) The Mongolia's Minister of Finance B.Bolor is paying a working visit to Canada for taking part in the PDAC International Convention running in Toronto.

Within the visit, the Finance Minister Monday met with Ms Chrystia Freeland, a member of Canadian parliament and the Minister of International Trade, exchanging views with her on the bilateral economic cooperation, trade and investment issues.

Mr Bolor noted the government of Mongolia attaches great significance to a sustainable development of the Mongolia-Canada cooperation, realizing a policy on foreign investments, and is making big efforts to positively resolve matters for Canadian investors.

The sides concurred to actively collaborate in augmenting the quotas for Mongolian students studying in highly-developed countries especially in Canada in times of an expansion of the Mongolian external relations and a realization of the multi-pillar economic policy, to support and protect Canadian investments and to conclude an intergovernmental agreement in near future on these matters.

PDAC International Convention, Trade Show & Investors Exchange is the world's leading Convention for people, companies and organizations in, or connected with, mineral exploration.

The Finance Minister's visit will continue until March 10.

Link to article


Khan Quest 2016 preparation starts

March 9 ( The "Khan Quest" military training exercises have already become an annual tradition in Mongolia. The preparation courses for the training instructors have already commenced at the Mongolian Armed Forces United Study Center. The instructors - who will be based at the various military training zones - are being taught by 33 trainers from the Mongolian Armed Forces along with 26 foreign trainers from 11 countries, including Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, Bangladesh, New Zealand, the USA, Indonesia, Nepal, Canada and Japan.

Military personnel from 47 countries will participate in this year's "Khan Quest"which is scheduled to take place in May 2016.

Link to article


Ambassador Jennifer Zimdahl Galt's Remarks at the Women's Participation in Law Enforcement Forum

March 4, 2016 (U.S. Embassy) --

Good afternoon.

State Secretary Bayartsetseg, distinguished guests, colleagues,

It is an honor to be here today and to hear so much about women's contributions to national security policy and law enforcement in Mongolia.

This forum is taking place at an opportune time, just days before we celebrate International Women's Day.  This year marks its 105th observance.  In its early years, the day honored the women's rights movement, including efforts to win the right to vote and hold public office and to end discrimination in the workplace.  Today the day is observed as a time to reflect on progress, call for change, and celebrate women who have made a difference in their communities and countries.

Those of us here today recognize that no society can reach its full potential if it leaves 50 percent of its people behind.  The United States has been and will remain a strong advocate for women's equal and full participation in all aspects of public life, including security, conflict prevention and resolution, and peacekeeping.  It is because we so value women's participation in these areas that we adopted a National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security.  Since December 2011, this plan has been our signature strategy for implementing our commitments to the UN's global women, peace, and security agenda.  The plan's goal is as simple as it is profound:  to ensure women are equal partners in all aspects of peace-building and conflict prevention, as well as to protect women from violence, including gender-based and domestic violence.

In October 2015, the United States reaffirmed our support for women as equal partners in peace and security through a series of monetary commitments totaling $31.3 million.  This will fund initiatives around the world that promote women's participation in peace processes and decision-making and help protect them from brutality. 

In Mongolia, the United States has historically enjoyed close collaborative relationships with law enforcement agencies, and we have seen the progress women have made in these organizations.  Today, women make up an increasingly large percentage of personnel, and they are increasingly taking on leadership roles.  One of the many Mongolian staff at our embassy, in fact, rose to become the National Police Agency's first female colonel before she retired and (luckily for us!) joined our team.  A Takhar Service member last year became the first Mongolian female law enforcement officer to attend the FBI's prestigious national academy in Quantico, Virginia, with support from our embassy and the FBI.  Last year as well, I was pleased to see our embassy hire its first female Mongolian investigator. 

Link to speech


Ambassador Jennifer Zimdahl Galt's Remarks at ISS Ambassador's HourU.S. Embassy, March 2


Mongolian suspects nabbed in NT$1 million theft in Taipei

Taipei, March 9 (CNA) Six Mongolians who entered Taiwan as tourists earlier this month were arrested Tuesday on suspicion of stealing mobile phones and other products worth about NT$1 million (US$30,447) from shopping centers around Taipei, police said Wednesday.

Police at the Zhongxiao W. Rd. police station received a tip off on Monday that a cellphone store in the Taipei Main Station Underground Mall had fallen victim to phone theft and discovered based on surveillance video that three young men and three young women were suspected of having stolen the phones, according to Taipei City Police Department's Zhongzheng First Precinct.

A task force formed by the police station then launched an investigation and found that the burglary ring of six 20-somethings were staying at a hotel on Nanjing West Road.

They were arrested during a raid at the hotel at around 3 a.m. Tuesday as they were preparing to check out, according to the police.

After being apprehended, the six youths initially refused to answer police questions on the pretext that they do not speak Chinese or English, but later agreed to cooperate after police showed them video footage caught by surveillance cameras of them stealing products.

According to police, the six-member ring, aged between 20 and 25, came to Taiwan earlier in the month as tourists and preyed on 3C (computer, communication, and consumer electronics) and apparel stores in the greater Taipei area.

After a search of their luggage, police discovered some 60 smartphones, women's clothing, 3C products and perfume.

The six youths said they wanted to take their loot home to sell.

The case was referred to the Taipei District Prosecutors Office. 

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Health, Education

Sixty Students Complete Oyu Tolgoi Youth Development Programme

March 9 (Oyu Tolgoi) Sixty young people from 44 Ulaanbaatar schools on Monday graduated from the Oyu Tolgoi's Youth Development Programme, a three month long intensive leadership and capacity development course.

The graduates on Monday received their certificates, with a small group of high-performing participants receiving scholarships to study at university.

Michael Gavin – Oyu Tolgoi's General Manager, People & Organisation presented the certificates, saying: "The Youth Development Programme is our vision brought to life – helping transform the natural wealth of Mongolia, embodied in its youth, to enduring value, knowledge, and skill through education. We are proud to play this part in helping these bright, promising students deliver to their potential."

G. Enkhzaya, student from 24th school said in her speech: "The programme taught us to be team players and showed the importance of each individual contribution to team successes. By following this path, we have built strong foundations to help us continue on the paths we have chosen, becoming successful leaders along the way. I am so greatful to OT and our teachers who made this possible."

This year, 239 applications were received from 36 public and eight private schools in Ulaanbaatar, with 60 students selected to take part in the programme. The students began studying modules in leadership and capacity development in October 2015.

The programme was set up in 2014 to develop the capacity of candidates for Oyu Tolgoi's national and international scholarship programme; helping students develop relevant skills as they transition from high school to university.

The programme is jointly organized with the Mongolia chapter of AIESEC, an international independent, independent, not-for-profit organisation run by students and recent graduates of institutions of higher education. Student members of AIESEC Mongolia played an active role in delivering the programme, teaching modules, and providing positive examples for the younger generation.

Link to release


Oyu Tolgoi builds new community sports hall in Manlai soumOyu Tolgoi, February 28


Mongolia's University of Humanities forms network with 10 other Asian foreign language universities

11 Asian foreign language universities forms network

March 9 (The Korea Times) The Hankuk University of Foreign Studies (HUFS) and 10 other foreign language universities in Asia have formed a consultative body to step up cooperation and exchanges. 

Leaders of the 11 universities launched the body during the Presidential Forum for Universities of Foreign Studies in Asia at Westin Chosun Seoul, Wednesday.

"I expect today's forum to serve as a starting point for the creation of an even closer network and to upgrade the quality of foreign language education provided in the Asian region," HUFS President Kim In-chul said during his welcoming address. 

Kim hoped that the new consortium will boost joint research and student exchanges. 

"It will be a cornerstone for creating joint degrees and developing e-learning content together," he added.

He also said he wants to invite more foreign language universities in other Asian countries including India and Bangladesh, and reach out to Europe and the Americas.

Ambassadors of China, Japan, Mongolia and Vietnam gave congratulatory speeches at the forum

Korea's Education Minister Lee Joon-sik said in a congratulatory message, "Foreign studies universities can create a network in an Asian context to overcome similar challenges and environmental difficulties in the future by sharing and providing the impetus to implement policy initiatives, while supporting each other."

The 11 universities are HUFS, Cyber Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, Busan University of Foreign Studies, Daegu University of Foreign Studies, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, Kyoto University of Foreign Studies, University of the Humanities in Mongolia, Beijing Foreign Studies University, Shanghai International Studies University, Samarkand State Institute of Foreign Languages and University of Languages and International Studies-Vietnam National University (ULIS-VNU).

Link to article


ACMS to Publish New Research Series "Mongolian Field Notes"

March 9 (American Center for Mongolian Studies) The ACMS is excited to announce the launching of a new online research publication called Mongolian Field Notes which will be available periodically tentatively starting May 1st, 2016. Mongolia Field Notes will communicate academic research about Mongolia to broader audiences. They are modeled on the successful Asia Pacific Field Note's produced by the Institute of Asian Research at the University of British Columbia (

Mongolia Field Notes connect research work conducted by Mongolian and international researchers to issues in contemporary Mongolia. The goal is to highlight researchers and their areas of expertise, and to provide information in a concise format. Field Notes can cover any topic related to Mongolia, including politics, economics and business, science, environment and technology, or people, history and society.

We are currently encouraging American, Mongolian and other international researchers to submit their short articles for review. Write a 300 to 1000 word Field Note using lively, jargon-free language and clear writing. At this time, only submissions in English are accepted. A Field Note should explore an academic concept or research related to contemporary Mongolia. Where possible, integrate current events into your Field Note. Your submission should effectively convey a key idea or point, backed up by concise arguments and evidence.

Submissions are now being accepted for the May 1st as well as future editions of Mongolia Field Notes.   In order to be considered for the May 1st edition, your submission must be received by April 11th, 2016.

For more information about how to submit as well as the full submission guidelines email Julia Clark at

Link to release


You are invited: ACMS Annual Meeting in Seattle, April 1st, 2016

Dear ACMS board members, individual members, students and friends,

Please join us for our 2016 ACMS Annual Meeting, on Friday, April 1st, 2016. This year's meeting will be in Seattle, in conjunction with the Association for Asian Studies (AAS) annual meeting at the Sheraton Seattle Hotel (1400 6th Avenue). Our event will be held in the Willow A Ballroom of the conference hotel.

Our membership meeting will begin promptly at 7:30pm, with reports from Marc Tasse (Resident Director) and Julia Clark (Cultural Heritage Coordinator) from our Ulaanbaatar office, as well as from David Dettmann (US Director) from our Philadelphia office and Charles Krusekopf (ACMS Executive Director).

A reception, poster session, and a cultural program will immediately follow the membership meeting. Posters will be presented by researchers and administrators who do important work in Mongolia, and the cultural program will feature a Mongolian musical performance. Drinks will be available for purchase, and light refreshments will be served courtesy of our event co-sponsor, Western Washington University.

The event is free and open to public. Registration to AAS is not required for the event.

Please help us spread the word, and hope to see you there--whether you come by jeep, motorcycle, or horse!

Again, the details for our meeting are:

ACMS Annual Meeting, Poster Session, and Reception
7:30pm Friday, April 1st, 2016
Sheraton Seattle Hotel (1400 6th Ave), Willow A Ballroom

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Culture, Society

Feminism in Mongolia

March 8 (Young Mongols) Zolzaya Batkhuyag (Zola, for short) tells us about women's rights and the feminist movement in Mongolia today.  She describes the issues facing women in Mongolian society and the activities of Women for Change, the group she founded over five years ago.


Zola is joined by Bolortsetseg Ankhaa and Khaliun Bayartsogt, fellow members of Women for Change.

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UN Mongolia for IWD 2016: End Disparity – Promote Equality 

Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, March 7, 2016 (UN in Mongolia)  Ending poverty and reducing inequality starts with empowering women. The theme of this year's International Women's Day (IWD) is "Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality". Gender equality is integral to the overall 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and today we highlight the need to accelerate actions towards this end.

Mongolia has made good progress in enhancing women's role in society. However, in accordance with this year's IWD theme, there are three areas that merit further attention – namely increasing women's political representation, transforming gender inequalities in employment, and eliminating gender-based violence against women and girls.

Currently, the percentage of women in Mongolia's national parliament stands at 14.5% and is below world average of 22.9% and Asia-Pacific average of 18.8%. The recent introduction of the legal quota of 30% of female candidates is expected to contribute to increasing women's political representation. With the upcoming parliamentary elections voters and political parties have an opportunity to support women candidates.

Inequality in the labor market is also a challenge. Despite their high level of educational attainment, women in Mongolia merely earn an average of 85% of men's wages. Women are often engaged in less paid professions and irrespective of their individual competencies, women tend to occupy lower ranks than men in the job hierarchy both in the public and private sectors. To add to the challenge, Mongolian

women spend double the time of men on household and care duties. The lack of social support systems for unpaid family responsibilities exacerbates the problem forcing women to choose between employment and care, or to carry a double burden. This impacts women's participation in productive employment and in high-growth sectors in the economy, and has implications for their career progression, pensions and overall well-being. As elsewhere, the so called "sticky floor" and the "glass ceiling" are a reality for women in Mongolia that calls for effective response.

Lastly, as in many other countries violence against women and girls is widespread in Mongolia. It is estimated that one out of 5 women suffers physical violence within the family; and one out of 2 children is subjected to domestic violence. Statistics show that 88% of victims of domestic violence are women, and 40% of victims are young women and girls aged 15-34. Violence against women is a human rights violation that needs addressing.

International Women's Day is a time to call for broad based societal change to take action towards gender equality without which the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development cannot be achieved. Planet 50-50 by 2030 is not a women's agenda but a whole of society agenda.

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Mongolia sets Guinness Record for largest camel race in the world

Ulaanbaatar, March 9 (MONTSAME) Mongolia has set another Guinness World Record, having organized the race of the largest number of camels. Total of 1,108 camels came to the finish line out of 1,115 registered to the race, during the "Mongolian Camel – 999" festival, held in Dalanzadgad, Omnogovi (South Gobi) aimag on March 6-7.

Omnogovi leads Mongolia and the world by Bactrian camel population. Mongolian Camel – 999 Festival gathered over 2,000 camel herders participating with over 1,600 camels from 30 soums of 11 aimags. More than 3,000 international and domestic tourists viewed the festival. Among them were, distinguished guests including Speaker Z.Enkhbold, D.Bat-Erdene MP and Minister of Food and Agriculture R.Burmaa.

A female camel gave birth to a little colt on the grounds of this festival, which incident cheered the viewers, who took this as a good omen representing great increase in the camel population.

The previous record for the largest camel race belonged to Inner Mongolia, China, where 550 camels raced.

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Blue Pearl Ice Festival – Mongolia's main winter tourism attraction

March 9 (MONTSAME) The annual ice festival has been organized for the 17th time this year, highlighting the winter beauty of Lake Khuvsgul, the deepest and clearest lake in Mongolia. The festival is called Blue Pearl.

Game of sliding on the frozen lake, shining out with blue light is the traditional game of Mongolians dating back to ancient times. Mongolian President's participation in this year's ice festival was an effort to promote the tourist attraction to this Mongolian festivity. Year by year, the number of foreign tourists watching the festival has been increasing as the event challenges the speed and aim of the participants throughout the day in the untouched beauty of the surrounding landscape and on the frozen blue lake.

The scope has been expanded with international participants, adding international status to the ice festival. The ice festival took place in Lower woody bay of Lake Khuvsgul attracting some 1200 vehicles, more than 70 handcraft traders, over 50 foreign tourists and over 8,000 Mongolians. For the two days, traditional events such as art concert, bonfire party and shamanist rites were performed.

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Mental athlete E.Enkhmunkh wins China's Super Brain Show

Ulaanbaatar, March 9 (MONTSAME) Mental athletes of the Intelligence Academy of Mongolia (IAM) successfully competed in the Super Brain Show, one of the biggest TV shows in China, which was concluded last Sunday.

The "X-Team" consisting of trainers from Mongolia, Spain, Peru, Sweden, and Australia won the last episode as the sections of the show are called - by defeating the Chinese team with 5-1 points.

A key player in the winning team was E.Enkhmunkh, who is a trainer at the Mongolian Intelligence Academy, International Master of Memory and World Youth Champion. His mission was to memorize 225 figures presented on 15x15 tables very quickly as they vanished in a matter of seconds. He did this successfully and brought valuable points to his team. He is trained by Kh.Khatanbaatar, the IAM president.

The show is expected to be aired on Jiangsu TV channel.

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O.Gundegmaa breaks nat'l record in 10m air pistol

Ulaanbaatar, March 9 (MONTSAME) A State Honored Sportswoman and Olympic silver medalist O.Gundegmaa has set a new record of Mongolia in women's 10 m air pistol event, during the ISSF Rifle and Pistol World Cup continuing in Bangkok, Thailand.

She broke the record after collecting 392 points overall in the women's 10 m air pistol event on March 6, and she came to 6th place in the contest. Her countrywoman Ts.Monkhzul IMS took 17th place with 377 points in the same contest.

Another woman G.Nandinzaya IMS came to 15th place in the women's 50m Rifle 3 Positions Women contest. 

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5 Mongolians Elected to Office at FISU Executive Committee Meeting

Ulaanbaatar, March 9 (MONTSAME) The International University Sports Federation (FISU) held its Executive Committee Meeting on March 3-6 in Brussels, Belgium, electing new heads of the 15 committees and 275 new members.

Serving from 2007 at the FISU, a member of the Monitoring Committee D.Jargalsaikhan has been elected as a deputy head of this Committee which consists of 27 members.

An external relations officer at the University Sports Federation of Mongolia (USFM) Z.Uranbileg; and a board member of the USFM Kh.Batsaikhan have been selected as a member of the FISU Students' Committee. Moreover, director of the Eagle TV channel D.Badamdash has become a member of the Committee on media.

The USFM president Mr Bayasgalan Danzandorj has been serving as the FISU Treasurer for the third time.

During the FISU Executive Committee meeting, Asset Abdualiyev, Head of the Organizing Committee for the Winter Universiade, delivered an interim report on the accomplished work preparing for the upcoming events in Almaty.

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Hockey Night in Mongolia

March 9 (Winnipeg Sun) You know you're far from a hockey hotbed when the closest sporting goods store is a 15-hour train ride away in Siberia.

That's what brothers Nate and Boe Leslie, who grew up in Carman, discovered when they hosted a nine-day hockey camp in Mongolia in February 2015. The co-owners of Leslie Global Sports are experienced travellers, but the conditions in Mongolia were still far more spartan than they expected.

Mongolia, a landlocked country between China and Russia known for its vast emptiness, only has a handful of outdoor rinks that were built by the Soviets in the 1970s -- at least what's left of them.

"The rinks had boards with no gates where there should be doors, there was just open spaces," Nate Leslie said from his home in Vancouver. "Those are the rinks the men play in their league that qualify them as an official IIHF sanctioned country.

"We thought it would be basic and rough ... but we didn't anticipate the fact they had no gear and were sharing it. It's like going back 80 or 90 years in hockey in Canada."

The most common sports in Mongolia are wrestling, soccer, archery and archery on horseback, Leslie said, but it's clear they have a love for hockey.

"Those kids were tough," he said. "It was often -28 C. They were playing with no toques, no mitts, no helmets, no gear, skates six sizes too big ... but they played for hours.

"One morning we got up and there was 105 kids on the ice waiting for us. They found skates somewhere."

The camp toured several communities, finishing 80 kilometres from the Russian border.

"It was four hours off the highway in the frozen tundra, just following tracks in the snow," Leslie said. "We came upon a former Soviet-run mining town of about 2,000 people with a rink outside the school.

"There was ice on the walls and the ceiling inside our room that night. I slept in all my clothes."

Growing up with their mom, Barbara, being a teacher and their dad, Bob, being a hockey coach, teaching hockey was a natural path for the Leslie brothers to take.

The Leslies spent time in Switzerland in the late 1980s where Bob had a three-year coaching stint under fellow Manitoban Andy Murray. They returned to Carman for a few years where Boe and Nate played high school hockey for the Cougars.

Nate, 38, spent four years in New York building a hockey program at a Manhattan boarding school, before landing in Vancouver in 2008. Boe, 40, played eight years of pro hockey in Europe before settling in Baltimore, Md., where he is the owner and CEO of Leslie Global Sports America.

Leslie Global Sports is a hockey development company with an emphasis on coaching mentorship and training.

"We work with minor hockey associations in the season, running skills clinics and helping develop the coaches," Leslie said. "Then we have an online training program."

It was through their online program, How To Play Hockey, that Leslie was contacted by people in Mongolia. CBC journalist Karin Larsen, whose son is coached by Leslie in Vancouver, filmed a 40-minute documentary on the tour.

The film had a screening in Vancouver and the Leslies are applying to a film festivals, including the Manitoba Sport Film Festival.

"We believe it deserves some kind of network coverage (rather than) throwing it up on YouTube and being done with it," Leslie said.

For more details on the Leslie's Mongolian tour, go to

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Art, Entertainment

Child laureates of international art festival awarded

Ulaanbaatar, March 9 (MONTSAME) Pupils of the #3 Mongolia-Russia joint secondary school Monday received prizes for successfully taking part in the "Zvyozdny venets" /Star crown/ international children's and youths' art festival which took place on September 21-27, 2015 in Moscow, Russia.

The prizes were granted to the pupils by Major-General J.Gurragchaa, a cosmonaut and Hero of former People's Republic of Mongolia and Soviet Union; Ya.Ariunbold, a deputy director of the Department of Propaganda and Information of the Mongolia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs; and other officials. 

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