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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

[China backs $500m loan; ERD closes $2.5m Sandstorm deal; MNT drops 0.8%; ADB loan to upgrade border crossings; and minimum wage increased]

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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

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ASEM 11

Nat'l council approves ASEM statue, app, villa budget and Turkish aid

Ulaanbaatar, April 20 (MONTSAME) At its meeting on Wednesday, this council discussed several matters regarding the preparation.

The gathered considered issues such as authorizing one organization to erect a memorial monument dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the ASEM and creating a smart phone application for the ASEM guests. These matters will be discussed by related sub-working groups. 

A report was given on resolving money for services at the ASEM Villa, hotels and souvenirs, after   which it was decided to approve of the finance after the Finance Ministry's consideration.    

Another matter thought was a technical non-refundable aid to be rendered by Turkey's government. It will be discussed at a sub-working group after having been scrutinized by the Ministry of Justice.

Link to article

 

Mobile app to be developed for ASEM delegates

April 20 (gogo.mn) Working group on service, cultural event, food and security for ASEM Summit, headed by Mayor E.Bat-Uul meet in April 19 at Governor's Office meeting hall. During this meeting they discussed number of issues regarding development of mobile application of Ub city information, map and ideas on monument for 20th anniversary of ASEM Summit, also catering service, safety of journalists and reporters coming for this event.

Initial version of mobile application for ASEM Summit delegations and foreign guests is available in Mongolian and English languages. The mayor obliged the working group to focus on the accuracy of information for 1471 locations running restaurant, entertainment, travel destination and cultural services, because the application will be useful for future tourists well after ASEM Summit is concluded. Meeting also decided to launch the mobile application in Chinese, Russian languages and necessary financing will discussed by National Council.

Approximately some 800-1200 foreign journalists, reporters will arrive in Mongolia to report and broadcast ASEM Summit and some 400-600 of these journalists, reporters will work 24 hours at the press center at Shangril-La.

Providing convenient working environment, and selecting catering service company for these journalists and reporters, along with food safety monitoring issues will be decided in the next few days.

Link to article

 

Remarks by the President Ts.Elbegdorj at the 9th ASEP meeting

April 25 (gogo.mn) - 9th ASEP meeting was held in Ulaanbaatar city on Apr 21-23. We deliver you the remarks by the President Ts.Elbegdorj at the 9th ASEP meeting. -

It is important to discuss such a broad range of issues between the two continents 

The ASEM Summit is an advancement podium and a new exemplary model platform dedicated to address the most pressing global issues

One specific feature of the ASEM Summit is that the organization does not belong only to the dignitaries. Not only dignitaries, but ordinary people participate in the Summit more actively. The ASEM Summit is a free podium for discussion, where business representatives and people from every level of society express their interests and opinions. I think it is an advancement podium and a new exemplary model platform dedicated to address the most pressing global issues. 

On the top of this platform, at the leadership of this exchange, the Asia-Europe Parliamentary Partnership Meeting is being held representing the people of their countries. 

The ASEM Summit is an important event, because, the Asian and European countries account for 63 percent of the world economy and the Asia is home to 58 percent of global population. If we reach a common understanding on economic and population issues, we will make great contribution to the global stability, advancement and the world peace. 

We are truly glad to host the ASEM and its events within the confines of the Summit. Also, our people attach great importance to this event. 

We will outline our future directions at this Summit

Link to speech

 

Ninth Asia-Europe Parliamentary Partnership Meeting finishes

Ulaanbaatar, April 25 (MONTSAME) The 9th Asia-Europe Parliamentary Partnership Meeting themed "Role of Asia-Europe parliamentary partnership in ASEM" successfully ran April 21-22 in Ulaanbaatar.

It brought together 170 delegates from 32 countries and the European Parliament (EP). Two sub-meetings also ran with titles "Effective multilateral relations and cooperation" and "Partnership for future".

Participants of the ASEP9 reaffirmed their willingness to keep their endeavor forward the ASEM for bilateral partnerships based on common principles on equality, on respecting each other, backing and protecting human rights and freedom. They pledged to strengthen parliamentary directions to ASEM actions, to fortify the ties between the ASEM and ASEP and to take proper measures for promoting parliaments' roles in realizing common purposes and interests of Asian and European nations. The participants also expressed a confidence that the 20th anniversaries of the ASEM and of ASEP will significantly contribute to the development of the comprehensive partnership and multilateral cooperation of Asia-Europe people, business, parliaments and governments.

The ASEP9 attendees strongly condemned all kinds of terrorism as severe threats to the global peace and stability, expressing their concern about increasing number of terrorist acts around the world. They underlined that parliaments have been contributing to anti-terrorist combat in ways of approving relevant laws, supervising their realization and allotting necessary financing.

Noting that the UN bears a supreme role in protecting the international peace and security, the ASEP9 participants emphasized main roles of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), the Convention on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and the Convention on the Prohibition of Biological Weapons in proliferating weapons of mass destruction, forwarding actions of disarmament and fully prohibiting tests of nuclear weapons.

They reaffirmed that it is necessary to strengthen the multilateral and international cooperation in resolving present and new born challenges to the world through principles and norms of international law.

Refugees and flow of migrants have peaked the largest number ever, the participants stressed, and concerned about a humanitarian crisis near borders of European countries and transit nations. They said it is urgent to tackle the ongoing problems on migration and refugees through complex measures covering all politics, security socio-economic factors, on protecting the refugees and migrants, rendering to them humanitarian aid and finding out sustainable and long-term solutions.

Asian and European countries noted that a respect of human rights and freedom is one of the factors for strengthening the just, equal, democratic and open society, and emphasized a necessity to run talks and cooperation in forming unified understanding, to adhere to laws and to anti-corruption combat. 

At the end of the meeting, the ASEP participants adopted a Declaration with 44 clauses, which reflect issues of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, international and regional cooperation on energy security, the ASEM members' cooperation in reducing risks of natural disasters and management in natural disasters, commercial and investment ties between Asian and European countries, strengthening the inter-citizen ties and on copyrights.

The Chairman of the State Great Khural (parliament) of Mongolia Mr Z.Enkhbold made the closing remarks, noting about a successful conclusion of the ASEP9, and expressed a gratitude to all the participants for attending the event.

Link to article

 

Speaker briefs media on conclusion of ASEP9

Ulaanbaatar, April 22 (MONTSAME) The Ninth Asia-Europe Parliamentary Partnership Meeting was organized in Ulaanbaatar. On the results of this meeting, the Speaker of the State Great Khural Z.Enkhbold made press briefing on April 22. 

Mongolia hosted the ASEP meeting for the first time and has completed it with a success. More than 170 delegates from 32 countries took part in this meeting, and the lawmakers from the two continents adopted a Declaration, noted the Speaker.

All sub-conferences and meetings have undergone in friendly and collaborative atmosphere, he added.  

The ninth ASEP meeting coincided with the 20th anniversary of the Asia-Europe Parliamentary Partnership and ASEM. The lawmakers from the two continents exchanged views and opinions on national and regional peace and security issues, climate change and sustainable development, along with the review of 20-year work within the Asia-Europe parliamentary partnership.

The Asian-European parliamentarians had a shared position to pursue the universal principles and norms of the peaceful means of negotiations and dialogue while discussing the pressing issues of the world and the region, the Speaker said.  

Positions and votes proposed by countries have been reflected in the Declaration on the basis of a collective consensus. The Asian and European parliamentarians unanimously agreed on the aspiration on the further support for the ASEM actions for consolidating the partnerships between the two regions, reassuring the ties between ASEM and ASEP, and increasing a role of parliaments in mobilizing the shared objectives and interests of the peoples from the two continents.

The ASEP9 was of great significance as it has broken the wind of actions that will take place in the margin of the upcoming 11th ASEM Summit. As the saying goes in Mongolia, "a good starts make a good finish, so we are confident that the next actions will be as successful as the ASEP9", concluded Mr Z.Enkhbold

Link to article

 

ASEP9 closes with ceremonial concert

Ulaanbaatar, April 25 (MONTSAME) Mongolia hosted the Ninth Asia-Europe Parliamentary Partnership Meeting (ASEP9) on April 21-23. On the final day, the delegates from 32 Asian and European parliaments watched a ceremonial concert at the State Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet.

The performances were given by the National Music and Dance Ensemble, Morin Khuur Ensemble and artists from the Opera and Ballet Theatre.

Present in the audience were the Chairman of the State Great Khural Z.Enkhbold, one of his Vice speaker R.Gonchigdorj, Secretary-General of the State Great Khural Secretariat B.Boldbaatar and the ASEP9 delegates along with other related officials.

Link to article

 

Asian and European lawmakers get glimpse of Nomadic culture

Ulaanbaatar, April 25 (MONTSAME) The Asian and European lawmakers, who had took part in the Ninth Meeting of Asia-Europe Parliamentary Partnership Meeting, got familiarized with Mongolian national games, traditions, cultural heritage and nomadic lifestyle on Saturday.

The guests watched archery, knuckle bone shooting game, calligraphy and horsemen performances.

Present were the Speaker of Mongolian parliament Z.Enkhbold, Vice speaker R.Gonchigdorj, a head of Mongolia-Italy friendship caucus in the State Great Khural (parliament) Ts.Dashdorj MP, and the Secretary-General of the SGK Secretariat B.Boldbaatar.

Link to article

 

Pietro Grasso completes official visit here

Ulaanbaatar, April 25 (MONTSAME) President of the Senate of the Republic of Italy Mr Pietro Grasso was seen off the Chingis Khaan International Airport, concluding his official visit to Mongolia, on April 23.

In frames of his visit, the Italian Senate President met with the leader of Mongolia Ts.Elbegdorj, held official talks with the Chairman of the State Great Khural (parliament) Z.Enkhbold, and received the Minister of Foreign Affairs L.Purevsuren.

Mr Grasso, as the host of the previous meeting of Asia-Europe Parliamentary Partnership, was one of the keynote speakers at the Ninth ASEP Meeting, held in Ulaanbaatar. Upon arriving, he had given Mongolia the "baton" of organizing the ASEP Meeting as well as the sub-conferences under the ASEM Summit.

Link to article

 

Monnis Motors to help with ASEM

April 22 (news.mn) During the current time of economic difficulty, the Government has found a way to solve one of the ASEM car issues; "Monnis Motors" has offered to provide their vehicles for the international summit free of charge! The government, from its side, will exempt the Monnis cars from custom tax and VAT. This is generally being seen as a good all-round solution.

"Monnis Motors" CEO P.Bayar has said: "Providing our cars for ASEM is such an honor to us. From one point of view, we are really excited that we can represent Mongolia with safe, comfortable and luxurious "Nissan" cars. Our vehicles will be provided free of charge for the duration of ASEM. From another angle, exempting these cars from taxation will bring us benefits for next few years. This will enable us to sell the vehicles without the taxation markup. Therefore, this venture is beneficial in every respect".

Link to article

 

Int'l Market

Chinese lenders support Mongolia's $500m debut

Mongolia has received commitments from Chinese lenders for its debut syndicated loan of up to $500m.

April 22 (GlobalCapital) The deal has received two commitments from Chinese banks and one more mainland lender is expected to join soon, said a source. Total commitments are in the range of $100m-$150m, he added.

Bank of China and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China were the two lenders to make commitments, ...

Link to article (needs subscription)

 

ERD closed -4.17% Monday to C$0.23, +43.75% YTD

Erdene Closes $2.5 Million Financing With Sandstorm Gold

HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA--(Marketwired - April 21, 2016) - Erdene Resource Development Corp. (TSX:ERD) ("Erdene" or "Company") is pleased to announce it has closed its transaction with Sandstorm Gold Ltd. ("Sandstorm") (NYSE MKT:SAND)(TSX:SSL) for total consideration of C$2.5 million to Erdene ("Transaction"). The proceeds will fund the Company's 2016 exploration projects, specifically drilling of the high-grade Bayan Khundii gold project, which commenced on April 8, 2016.

The Transaction included the issuance of equity of Erdene and Sandstorm, and royalty components that resulted in total cash and securities consideration of C$2.5 million to Erdene. The Transaction includes the purchase by Sandstorm, by way of private placement, of five million common shares of Erdene at $0.20 per share. Sandstorm has committed to hold the Erdene shares issued under the private placement for a minimum of 18 months. In addition, Sandstorm has issued common shares of Sandstorm to Erdene for total consideration of C$1.5 million, the price being based on the 10-day volume weighted average price of Sandstorm common shares as at April 14, 2016. In exchange, Sandstorm has been granted a 2% net smelter returns royalty ("NSR Royalty") on Erdene's two flagship gold projects in southwest Mongolia; the Bayan Khundii gold project and Altan Nar gold-polymetallic project. The Transaction provides Erdene with a 3-year option to buy-back 50% of the NSR Royalty for C$1.2 million, to reduce the Sandstorm NSR Royalty to 1.0%. Erdene has granted to Sandstorm a right of first refusal on future stream and/or royalty financings related to the Bayan Khundii and/or Altan Nar projects. No fees or warrants are associated with the Transaction.

The Company launched an exploration program at its 100% owned Bayan Khundii gold project on April 8, 2016. The program includes a 3,500 metre drill program, extensive geophysical and geochemical testing, as well as multiple studies in advance of a mining license application and economic evaluation. Results of these programs are expected to be available in late Q2 and during Q3, 2016. The program is designed to determine the continuity, grade and extent of the high-grade gold mineralization intersected in the Company's maiden Q4-2015 Bayan Khundii drill program. Details of that drill program can be found in Erdene's December 14, 2015 news release; click here.

Link to release

 

Erdene Provides Update on Trans Altai Alliance

HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA--(Marketwired - April 22, 2016) - Erdene Resource Development Corp. (TSX:ERD) ("Erdene" or "Company"), announced today that the Company has agreed with Teck Resources Limited ("Teck") to extend the optional subscription date for 2016 for the Company's strategic alliance ("Alliance") in Mongolia by 60 days to June 23, 2016. The new subscription date coincides with the planned commencement of the 2016 field exploration program.

The Alliance with Teck was entered into in April, 2013, and was formed by the signing of option and private placement agreements (collectively, "Agreement") to fund and carry out mineral exploration in the Trans Altai region of southwest Mongolia. Under the terms of the Agreement, Teck has the option to subscribe for shares of Erdene, priced at the then current market plus 10%, until it has invested $3 million or acquired through subscriptions 19.9% of the outstanding shares of Erdene, whichever occurs first. A minimum of $500,000 is to be subscribed by Teck on each anniversary date of the closing of the Agreement to renew the Alliance. To date, Teck has subscribed for $2 million in Erdene shares and owns 11.4% of Erdene's issued and outstanding common shares. Excluded from the Alliance are the Company's Bayan Khundii Gold Project and Altan Nar Gold-Polymetallic Project.

A multi-year program of regional exploration, designed to identify porphyry and porphyry-related mineralization, has been underway since inception. The program has provided the Alliance with a significant amount of technical information that continues to be evaluated. During the 2015 program the Alliance was able to secure new exploration licenses within the targeted area and is now reviewing the potential for future acquisitions within the Mongolia licensing system. Upon renewal of the Alliance, the 2016 exploration program will consist of surface geochemical sampling, geological mapping and prospecting, and analysis of newly acquired satellite data.

Link to release

 

SGQ dropped -31.1% Monday to C$0.31,

SouthGobi defaults on Turquoise Hill shareholder loan, in discussions for new repayment plan

HONG KONG, CHINA--(Marketwired - April 25, 2016) - SouthGobi Resources Ltd. (TSX:SGQ)(HKSE:1878) (the "Company" or "SouthGobi") announces update on the shareholder loan due to Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd. ("Turquoise Hill").

On October 27, 2015, the Company and Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd. ("Turquoise Hill") entered into a deferral agreement, in which Turquoise Hill agreed to defer the repayment of the shareholder loan to April 22, 2016.

The Company had not repaid the shareholder loan on April 22, 2016, and is currently in discussions with Turquoise Hill for a new repayment plan of the shareholder loan which has an outstanding loan principal of US$3.4 million and interest accrued up to April 22, 2016 of US$0.7 million. While SouthGobi believes it will be able to reach such a new repayment plan with Turquoise Hill, there is no assurance that the repayment plan will be favorable to SouthGobi.

Link to release

 

Novel Sunrise Enters Into an Option Agreement for the Sale of 10% of the Shares of SouthGobi

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - April 18, 2016) - Novel Sunrise Investments Limited (Novel Sunrise), the largest shareholder of SouthGobi Resources Ltd. (SouthGobi), announced that on April 15, 2016, it entered into an Option Agreement (the Option Agreement) with Voyage Wisdom Limited (Voyage Wisdom), a private company owned by Messrs. Guo Yulan, Li Ningquiao and Aminbuhe (collectively, the VWL Shareholders), pursuant to which Novel Sunrise granted Voyage Wisdom an option to purchase from Novel Sunrise (the Call Option), and Voyage Wisdom granted Novel Sunrise an option to sell to Voyage Wisdom (the Put Option), 25,768,162 common shares (the Option Shares) of SouthGobi currently owned by Novel Sunrise for a total purchase price of US$24,000,000 (Cdn$30,772,800), or US$0.93138 (Cdn$1.19422) per Option Share, payable in cash. The Option Agreement provides that the Call Option and Put Option may be exercised by Voyage Wisdom and Novel Sunrise, respectively, in whole but not in part, at any time prior to April 21, 2016 or such later date as the parties may agree in writing, but in no event later than October 21, 2016. The Option Shares represent 10% of the total number of common shares of SouthGobi issued and outstanding.

Novel Sunrise currently owns and controls 72,127,140 common shares of SouthGobi (including the Option Shares), representing 27.99% of the total number of common shares of SouthGobi issued and outstanding. Assuming the exercise of either the Call Option or the Put Option and the transfer of the Option Shares to Voyage Wisdom pursuant to the Option Agreement, Novel Sunrise would then own and control 46,358,978 common shares of SouthGobi, representing 17.99% of the total number of common shares then issued and outstanding (assuming that no other common shares of SouthGobi are acquired or disposed of by Novel Sunrise prior to that time).

Link to release

Link to Voyage Wisdom announcement

 

YAK closed -2.44% Monday to C$0.40, MNGGF -1.76%, +30% YTD

Mongolia Growth Group Announces Annual Results

Toronto, Ontario, April 20 (FSCwire) - Mongolia Growth Group Ltd.  (YAK TSXV and MNGGF - USA) ("MGG") or ("the Company") a commercial real estate investment and development company participating in the growth of the Mongolian economy announces its financial results for the full financial year ended December 31, 2015 and is pleased to report continued progress on improving operations and reducing costs as it targets positive Adjusted Funds From Operations (AFFO)*.

Highlights for the year: 

·         Dramatic improvements in operational performance have reduced negative annual AFFO by (89%) year over year to CDN $451,898 compared to 2014 when negative AFFO was CDN $4,127,427. 

·         Reduced expenses excluding non-cash, non-capitalized development expense from $5,578,213 to $2,665,165, a decrease of 52%, despite an increase in expenses associated with the operation of Tuguldur Center and various marketing initiatives 

"We are proud to report significant improvements in AFFO despite the accelerating weakness in the Mongolian economy," said Harris Kupperman, Chairman and CEO of MGG. 

"We have spent 2015 focused on improving our operations and reducing costs. The results on the expense side show the continued and dramatic progress that has been made to eliminate costs that were largely unnecessary spending. Unfortunately, this improvement has been offset by an accelerating decline in lease rates which has led our AFFO to continue to be negative, though dramatically less negative than prior years. 

While we believe that there are some additional cost savings that we can crystalize during 2016, the revenue side of the equation is expected to get worse in future quarters. With rental rates in in a downward trend, our focus during 2016 will continue to be on efficiency gains and cost reductions while we push ahead with our agency business. 

We continue to believe that we have an outstanding team along with a great collection of property assets in Ulaanbaatar. Despite a weakening economy, along with increased vacancy, tenant turnover and bad debt expense, we believe that our portfolio is substantially outperforming the rest of the industry in terms of occupancy and rent collection. While we are hopeful that the economy will recover within the next year or two, we anticipate that the next few quarters will be incredibly difficult for the overall economy and we will do our best to lose less money during this downturn." 

Over the next quarter, MGG expects to realize milestones in a number of areas: 

·         Continue to increase agency revenues quarter over quarter 

·         Identify additional cost cutting opportunities 

Prior Quarter Scorecard 

Outlook

Anecdotal evidence shows that over the past year, office rental rates have declined by greater than half, while retail rates have declined by roughly a third in Mongolian Tögrög terms. In both cases, the rate of decline is rapidly accelerating. As leases are renewed at current market rates, it is expected that this will translate into a decline in overall rent received on the contracts that are currently in place. Additionally, recent weakness in the Mongolian Tögrög to Canadian Dollar exchange rate that began in early 2016 has put additional pressure on our rents when translated into Canadian Dollars. Roughly half of the Company's expenses are denominated in US and Canadian Dollars; hence a decline in the Tögrög increases the Company's costs while reducing rental revenues, offsetting the prior trend during much of 2015. Fortunately, the Company has reduced run-rate expenses by more than half over the past year, which somewhat mitigates the anticipated decline in future revenues. 

Despite these economic headwinds, the Company has had its best quarterly AFFO performance since inception during the fourth quarter of 2015. Preliminary first quarter, 2016 results show additional improvement. The Company still believes that positive AFFO is achievable without having to raise additional equity capital, but current headwinds make positive AFFO difficult until the economy begins to recover. Going forward, the Company is hopeful that it can keep cash losses to a minimum as it awaits an eventual recovery in the Mongolian economy.

Link to release

 

MMC Annual Report 2015

April 25, Mongolian Mining Corporation (HKEx:975) --

Management Discussion and Analysis

In 2015, the global coking coal markets continue to face persisting imbalance between supply and demand, which led to the coking coal prices dropping to the lowest levels seen in a decade. In the fourth quarter of 2015, benchmark prices of coking coal settled at the lowest since 2005. The industry report estimates that it may take at least two years for coking prices to rise above current levels, provided that around 30 Mt of annual supply is required to be taken off the seaborne market to offset the receding Chinese demand and new supply from ongoing mine expansions.

In China, the Group's principal market, the crude steel output fell last year for the first time since 1981, amid a wider slowdown in the country's economy. According to the NBS, Chinese crude steel production declined 2.3% year-on-year to 803.8 Mt in 2015. The steel sector, the main consumer of coking coal, has been plagued by overcapacity in China and the rest of the world for years, and global steel prices have plummeted in the face of oversupply. Cooling Chinese coal consumption is the major factor behind the fall, although softer prices in the domestic market also contributed to weaker imports. The acceleration of the RMB depreciation from the third quarter of 2015 also made imports more costly.

The coal mining industry is experiencing severe competition between producers from various regions. It is expected in the near future to result in accelerated mine closures among high-cost producers. Recently, the Chinese government revealed plans to tackle chronic overcapacity in the coal sector by closing 4,300 small and inefficient coal mines and cutting annual coal production capacity by 700 Mt over the next three years.

In the last several years, in order to improve the Company's competitive position, the Company's management was able to achieve significant cost reductions by improvements in operational efficiency and productivity. Unfortunately this was insufficient to offset the continued sharp decline in product prices. Therefore, the management has prioritized resolving financial issues with a focus on preserving liquidity and managing its balance sheet.

In light of the adverse market conditions, and to better protect the interests of all the stakeholders of the Company, the Company started a dialogue with its lenders, and the financial and legal advisors of the steering committee of its noteholders about a possible restructuring arrangement in relation to its debt facilities. The Company is committed to transparent communication with broader investment community with the ultimate goal to achieve outcomes acceptable, and in the long term, beneficial to all its stakeholders.

Link to report

PROPOSALS FOR RE-ELECTION OF RETIRING DIRECTORS, GENERAL MANDATES TO ISSUE SHARES AND TO REPURCHASE SHARES AND NOTICE OF ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

 

Winsway (01733) year loss narrows to HK$1.72bn; no div

[ET Net News Agency, 25 April 2016] Winsway Enterprises (01733) said its loss attributable to equity shareholders for the year ended 31 December 2015 narrowed to HK$1,723 million from HK$3,693 million for the previous financial year. 

Basic and diluted loss per share was HK45.7 cents.

The revenue from continuing operations amounted to Rmb5,735 million, a decrease of 24% from a year earlier.

No final dividend will be distributed.

Besides, the board lot size of the consolidated shares for trading on the Stock Exchange will be changed from 1,000 consolidated shares to 12,000 consolidated shares with effect from 17 October 2016.

Link to article

Link to Winsway results

 

Wolf Petroleum: Legal Update

April 26 -- As announced on 14 March 2016 Wolf Petroleum Limited ('the Company'), as Second Defendant, had been served with an Originating Process by Ngaanyatjarra Council (Aboriginal Corporation) ('NCAC'). The amount claimed by NCAC was $104,880.91.

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

The Company wishes to advise that the terms of a commercial settlement have been reached and documented between NCAC and the Company. The Company has executed the settlement deed and placed the settlement amount in trust with NCAC's solicitors. The Company expects full finalisation of this matter in the coming days and will update shareholders in due course.

Link to release

 

Haranga Resources: Notice of AGM, 27 May

Link to notice

 

OT crosses 2 million tons in concentrate shipment

Ulaanbaatar, April 20 (MONTSAME) Oyu Tolgoi today (April 20) announced an update on its production for the first quarter of 2016. Andrew Woodley, Chief Executive Officer of Oyu Tolgoi, said, "Our exceptional performance over the quarter – setting new records in production, while improving our safety performance – speaks to the commitment and skill of the Oyu Tolgoi workforce. Shipping two million tonnes of concentrate, just three years after the start of production, is a reminder of how far we have come for such a young business. While significant market challenges remain, the Oyu Tolgoi team is on the way to delivering a sustainable, world class copper business. In these challenging times I am pleased with the teams focus and achievements on safely reducing costs and improving productivities. This is building a very solid foundation for the future of our business."

In Q1'16, concentrator throughput increased 3.1 per cent over Q4'15 resulting in average throughput of approximately 106,000 tonnes per day for the quarter. Concentrate production in Q1'16 remained high resulting from increased throughput and strong copper grades. Copper production in Q1'16 reached a quarterly high increasing 0.5 per cent over Q4'15. As expected, gold production in Q1'16 declined approximately 30 per cent over Q4'15 due to lower grades and the near-completion of mining in phase 2 of the open pit.

Given stronger-than-expected Q1'16 gold production, Turquoise Hill is increasing 2016 gold in concentrates guidance to 255,000 to 285,000 ounces from 210,000 to 260,000 ounces. Mining of the phase 2 gold core is expected to be complete in Q2'16. Turquoise Hill continues to expect Oyu Tolgoi to produce 175,000 to 195,000 tonnes of copper in concentrates for 2016.

Link to article

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Local Market

MSE Weekly Report: Top 20 +0.62%, ALL -1.38%, 168.1 Million Shares, ₮10.9 Billion T-Bills

April 25 (MSE) Mongolian Stock Exchange organized 5 securities trading sessions and made transaction of MNT12.3 billion with daily average transaction of MNT2.4 billion in period between 18 April 2016 and 22 April 2016.

Share trading:

108,917.00 shares of 36 joint stock companies worth of MNT168,134,526.54 were traded.

Most actively traded securities

 

Securities Name

Value /MNT/

1

TSA

Tsagaan tolgoi

53,560,800

2

APU

Apu

41,439,501

3

SUU

Suu

24,409,500

4

GOV

Govi

20,541,055

5

MNP

Mongol post

8,968,096

 Most active brokerage companies 

 

Company Name

Value /MNT/

1

GLMT

Golomt Securities 

112,376,451

2

BDSC

BDSec

62,840,148

3

STIN

Standard investment

43,593,670

4

GNDX

Gendex

41,483,396

5

GAUL

Gauli

17,432,740

Government retail bonds trading:

119,995 Government retail bonds worth of MNT11,999,500,000.00 traded through one trading session. 

Most active brokerage companies for Government securities trading

 

Company Name

Value /MNT/

1

MSEC

Monsec

6,727,000,000

2

TNGR

Tenger Capital

5,252,800,000

3

TDB

Tavan bogd

19,700,000

1,435 government retail bonds traded on secondary market of Government securities trading and total of 141,953,770.00 transaction has been  made.  

 №

 

Brokerage Firm

Value /MNT/

1

NOVL

Novel investment

283,907,540 

As of 22 April 2016, market capitalization was MNT1,301,873,708,233.00 which indicated decreased of 2.18% and MSE ALL index reached 793.81 units which indicated decreased of 1.09% from the previous week.  

Link to release

Link to PDF report

 

MSE Trading Report: Top 20 -1.4%, ALL -1.07%, Turnover 31 Million Shares 13.6 Billion T-Bills

April 25 (MSE) --

Link to report

 

12 Billion 12-Week Discounted T-Bills, 2 Billion 2-Yer Bonds Sold via MSE

April 25 (MSE) On April 25, 2016, 12 weeks /3 months/ Government bonds worth MNT12.0 billion 104 weeks /2 year/ Government bonds worth MNT2 billion traded respectively on primary market at Mongolian Stock Exchange.

Below member brokerage companies participated in the bond trading follows:

1. Short term /3 months/

 Securities Company 

Amount

1

Tenger Capital

59,066

2

Monsec

57,827

3

Deawoo Securities

2,725

4

Novel Investment

189

5

BDSec

160

6

Standart Investment

29

7

Golomt Securities

4

Total

120,000

2. Long term /2 year/

 Securities Company 

Amount

12

"Monsec

19,995

Total

19,995

Link to release

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Economy

Historic low 2,050.85/USD set March 28, 2016. Reds are rates that set a new low at the time

BoM MNT Rates: Monday, April 25 Close

4/25

4/22

4/21

4/20

4/19

4/18

4/15

4/14

4/13

4/12

4/11

4/8

4/7

4/6

4/5

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USD

1,996.27

1,980.38

1,982.67

1,978.39

1,986.24

1,992.39

2,005.08

2,008.46

2,013.15

2,020.04

2,023.91

2,026.93

2,032.89

2,042.75

2,042.49

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EUR

2,243.51

2,234.26

2,240.32

2,247.65

2,250.41

2,249.41

2,257.52

2,258.71

2,285.13

2,306.89

2,310.29

2,301.07

2,326.13

2,320.56

2,325.37

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JPY

17.94

17.92

18.08

18.17

18.24

18.45

18.34

18.35

18.49

18.64

18.77

18.64

18.69

18.51

18.50

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GBP

2,880.42

2,841.45

2,844.54

2,842.95

2,843.10

2,817.34

2,839.59

2,833.33

2,864.31

2,880.38

2,861.40

2,851.18

2,869.53

2,887.43

2,908.81

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RUB

30.06

29.90

30.59

29.80

30.19

29.12

30.27

30.16

30.49

30.34

30.17

30.02

30.04

29.79

29.61

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CNY

306.86

305.03

306.18

305.95

306.96

307.49

309.33

309.66

311.28

312.38

312.97

312.81

314.47

315.36

315.67

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KRW

1.74

1.73

1.75

1.75

1.75

1.73

1.75

1.74

1.76

1.76

1.77

1.76

1.76

1.77

1.77

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SGD

1,475.49

1,466.51

1,474.05

1,474.43

1,477.42

1,466.45

1,474.43

1,470.43

1,493.82

1,501.33

1,504.54

1,500.98

1,508.30

1,508.79

1,505.21

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CAD

1,573.91

1,555.07

1,568.94

1,556.68

1,557.10

1,534.61

1,566.04

1,557.67

1,571.12

1,566.71

1,558.17

1,547.81

1,559.80

1,554.66

1,559.15

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AUD

1,540.82

1,532.91

1,548.56

1,540.77

1,547.58

1,523.78

1,547.82

1,534.87

1,539.56

1,543.21

1,529.27

1,528.41

1,547.54

1,545.54

1,551.37

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HKD

257.35

255.28

255.58

255.06

256.09

256.90

258.50

258.91

259.56

260.46

260.89

261.30

262.09

263.35

263.36

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CHF

2,043.37

2,029.60

2,042.83

2,057.61

2,062.77

2,061.77

2,071.90

2,075.71

2,100.53

2,120.78

2,124.06

2,116.79

2,134.27

2,130.75

2,130.48

Bank USD rates at time of sending: TDB (Buy ₮1,992 Sell ₮2,002), Khan (Buy ₮1,991 Sell ₮2,001), Golomt (Buy ₮1,992 Sell ₮2,002), XacBank (Buy ₮1,991 Sell ₮2,001), State Bank (Buy ₮1,991 Sell ₮2,001)

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

Link to rates

 

BoM declines USD ask/bid, CNY ask offers, accepts US$72.5m MNT swap offers

April 21 (BoM) On the Foreign Exchange Auction held on April 21st, 2016, the BOM has received selling bid offers of USD 6.8 million in a rate between MNT 1971.50-1977.16, buying bid offers of USD 4.0 million in a rate between 1988.00-1989.00 and selling bid offers of CNY 5.0 million in a rate with MNT 305.50 respectively. The BOM did not accept any bid offers.

On April 21st, 2016, the BOM has received MNT Swap agreement buying bid offers equivalent to USD 72.5 million and USD swap agreement selling bid offers equivalent to USD 20.0 million from local commercial banks respectively and the BOM accepted the MNT swap agreement buying bid offers of USD 72.5 million.

Link to release

 

BoM issues 94.8 billion 1-week bills at 12%, total outstanding -16.7% to ₮220.1 billion

April 15 (BoM) BoM issues 1 week bills worth MNT 94.8 billion at a weighted interest rate of 12.0 percent per annum /For previous auctions click here/

Link to release

 

Sales Managers' Index: Mongolia, April 2016

April data signals continued deterioration in Mongolian business conditions

·         Sentiment towards short-term outlook drops further

·         Slower but strong declines in sales and market growth

·         Staffing levels fall at sharpest rate since panel started

April 21 (World Economics) Up to 34.4 in April from 33.4 in March, the World Economics Headline Sales Managers' Index (SMI) for Mongolia indicated a slower, albeit still marked deterioration in business conditions across the country. The SMI provides the most up-to-date monthly assessment of economic activity in the country. It is derived from an average of the business confidence, market growth, product sales, prices charged and staffing indicators. An index above 50 indicates growth, while an index below 50 indicates contraction. 

Sentiment regarding the short-term outlook for activity dropped further during April with the Business Confidence Index posting below the 50.0 no-change mark for the fourteenth month in a row. Surveyed managers attributed this to reduced raw material prices, declining demand conditions and rising unemployment levels. 

Meanwhile, April data showed continued contractions in both sales and market growth but at slower rates. The Product Sales Index posted the weakest decline since last September while the Market Growth Index fell at the slowest pace since October 2015. 

The Prices Charged Index also fell at a slightly softer rate compared to its value in March. However, the rate of decline was still sharp overall as weak client demand and increased price competition between companies led managers to reduce their selling prices. 

Moreover, cost-reduction efforts resulted in further job cuts across Mongolian companies. The Staffing Index signalled the steepest rate of decline since records started in March 2013. 

Summary

World Economics Chief Executive Ed Jones commented:

"The Mongolian economy contracted at a slower rate in April amid reports of weaker declines in market growth, product sales and prices charged. Business confidence continued to deteriorate while staffing levels registered the fastest decline on record. Overall, the latest data points to further drop in underlying demand over the next few months." 

Link to release

 

Minimum wage increased 25% to 240,000

April 25 (news.mn) On Thursday 21st, the leader of the tri-lateral National Commission on Labor and Society, Labor Minister G.Bayarsaikhan, CEO of the Mongolian United Federation of Employers Kh.Ganbaatar and the Mongolian Trade Union announced, that the Mongolian minimum wage is to increase by 25%.

Minister Bayarsaikhan said that: "The Law on Minimum Wage requires that the minimum wage be updated once every two years. It has been about two years, since the latest update was implemented on 1st September 2013. On that occasion, the minimum monthly wage was increased to MNT 192,000, this being MNT 1142.86 per hour.

The day before the announcement, the tri-lateral National Commission on Labor and Society had a been in session; the outcome of the meeting being a document  (4thprotocol) raising the hourly salary to  MNT 1428.60 per hour and the minimum monthly wage up to MNT 240,000. It should be noted that the increase is by 20% and not the above-mentioned 25%. The new wage minimum wage will take effect from 1st January 2017".

Link to article

 

Business registration statistics in first three months

Ulaanbaatar, April 20 (MONTSAME) In the first quarter of this year, the business registration pool has registered 129.9 thousand enterprisers and organizations, and 67.4 thousand or 51.9% of them are active.

42.6 thousand or 63.3% of all the registered enterprisers are located in Ulaanbaatar, 8.1 thousand or 12.1%--in central region, 7.4 thousand or 11.0%--in Khangai region, 6.3 thousand or 9.3%--in western region, and 2.9 thousand or 4.3%--in eastern region. In addition, 83.4% of the registered enterprisers and organizations have 1.9 employees, 7.3%--10-19 employees, 5.7%--20-49 employees, and 3.6%--over 50 employees.

There are 62.6 thousand enterprisers and organizations that have not launched yet their activities. In the period, a number of such entities increased by 6.7 point.

Link to article

 

Get ready for a recovery in demand

April 20 (Mongolian Economy) The monthly meeting of AmCham, the American Chamber of Commerce, was held on April 20. The Executive Director of Energy Resources LLC, G.Battsengel, economist Ch.Khashchuluun and senior economist at Erdenes Mongol LLC Ch.Otgonchuluu participated in the meeting discussing prospects for Mongolia's mining industry.

Many agreements, deals and projects were on the agenda when the prices of commodities were high, but many of them have not been fully realised as of today, the most noticeable projects being Oyu Tolgoi and Tavan Tolgoi. Recently, the Fifth Power Plant, the oil refinery and the TT power plant have been more discussed. However, major projects are not moving forward due to an unfavourable business environment, decrease investor interest and weak governance. During the AmCham meeting, economist Ch.Khashchuluun noted that many changes both favourable and unfavourable have been made at a time when domestic and foreign investors are closely watching.

"There is a certain link between the past and the present," stated Khashchuluun. "The mining industry needs to become more open to foreign direct investment while the government needs to keep its involvement as little as possible." In addition, he noted that the economic growth of China, the biggest buyer of Mongolian mining products, will only moderate, and stated, "Although it may not grow as fast as it used to, it will still continue to grow." Executive Director of Energy Resources G.Battsengel noted that the availability of raw material and geographical location being near China are the biggest advantages for the country. Thus, Mongolia has the opportunity to regain the status of the nearest supplier byusing its advantage when Chinese demand recovers. According to recent news, the price of iron ore has risen on the global market on the back of China's slight increase in demand for the commodity.

Mongolia's domestic market demand is limited by a population of three million. Thus, the participants of the meeting said that domestic businesses face the challenge of diversifying their activities as it is difficult to focus on one sole area. They mentioned that the mining industry has the full potential to meet the domestic needs for shale and crude oil instead of only coal. By doing so, dependence of crude oil and energy imports would be reduced.

Link to article

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Politics & Legal

Mongolia opposition party pact fails ahead of June election

ULAANBAATAR | BY TERRENCE EDWARDS

April 21 (Reuters) An electoral pact between the two main opposition parties in Mongolia collapsed this week, weakening the odds of victory for the Mongolian People's Party (MPP), which oversaw the world's highest economic growth five years ago, in crucial polls set to take place in June.

The ruling Mongolian Democratic Party was expected to come under intense pressure at this year's elections, scheduled for June 29, after four straight years of slowing growth and declining foreign investment, but it remains unclear if the MPP now can take advantage.

The MPP oversaw the country's highest-ever growth in 2011 and the strongest in the world that year at 17.5 percent. It was also in power for the signing of the investment agreement for the giant Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold mine in 2009, which spearheaded a three-year mining boom as world coal prices rallied.

Since then, the country's mining sector has taken a hit as a result of a dispute with Anglo-Australian miner Rio Tinto over Oyu Tolgoi, which has recently been resolved.

Mineral-dependent Mongolia is also one of the countries worst affected by slowing growth in China, which buys up nearly all of its northern neighbor's copper, gold and coal.

Negotiations fell through on Wednesday between the MPP, which ruled when Mongolia was a one-party state under Soviet hegemony before 1990, and the breakaway Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party (MPRP). The two sides disagreed over how seats would be divided in an electoral pact, according to a statement from the MPP.

"It would have been a hit with the electorate because they're splitting each other's votes," said Dale Choi, analyst and head of the Mongolian Metals & Mining research group, about the proposed campaign pact. "It absolutely would have given the MPP the upper hand."

The MPRP first ran for elections in 2012 under the leadership of former president Nambaryn Enkhbayar, who was convicted on corruption charges in 2012 and pardoned the following year.

The MPP currently has a small lead over the Democrats, according to poll published this month from the Sant Maral Foundation.

The poll gives the MPP a 14.6 percent approval rating from voters, higher than the 11.1 percent scored by the incumbent Democratic Party. The MPRP was the third most popular party, with a 6.8 percent approval rate.

Government under the Democrats has been dogged by party infighting, with one dispute derailing a deal that would have brought $4 billion of investment into the country's enormous Tavan Tolgoi coal mine.

The government of the current prime minister, Chimed Saikhanbileg, negotiated the deal in 2015 but it was blocked by Zandaakhuu Enkhbold, the parliamentary speaker, on the day when investors were due to sign the final agreement in Ulaanbaatar.

Link to article

Related:

Related:

MPP decides not to unite with MPRP for election in 2016GoGo Mongolia, April 20

MPRP – MPP strategic alliance rejectednews.mn, April 20

Last minute discord scuttles MPP and MPRP alliancegogo.mn, April 20

 

Independence and Unity Party elects MP Uyanga as chairman

April 20 (news.mn) Last week, MP G.Uyanga who left the Justice Union Group, was appointed as the chairperson of the Independence and Unity Party (IUP). On Monday 18th April, the first non-regular meeting of this party was held at the State Opera and Dance Theatre.

During the meeting, the IUP discussed and approved their action plan. With approximately 1000 members, the IUC looks interesting. Many well-known senior political figures as well as representatives of business, sport and the arts came to the meeting. But it is still unknown, exactly who has joined and who intends to join the party.

Evidently, the Independence and Unity Party was established by MP Kh.Battulga two years ago, in November 2014 and was officially registered just under a year ago by the Supreme Court on 29th May 2015. G.Uyanga has proposed that her old ally MP L.Tsog (who has left Justice Union with her) and other non-party members join the IUC.

Link to article

 

New IAAC director: the wait continues

April 22 (news.mn) Over a week has passed, since the director of Independent Authority Against Corruption resigned.

Although, the Law Against Corruption states that: "If director of the IAAC requests to resign, Parliament must discuss the issue within 21 days". The same law, however, does not have a provision stating within how many days the next director must be appointed.

Furthermore, under this law, the new IAAC director should be recommended by the President of Mongolia. The candidate for the post must meet the following criteria: have worked in the state service for more than 15 years, be over 45 years old, be a lawyer by profession, have experience in administrative leadership and have not been appointed to a political position within the last five years. It is possible for the director and deputy director of the IAAC to be re-appointed.

If the President proposes a candidate for the post of IAAC director, Parliament is legally obliged to discuss the appointment within 14 days.

Link to article

 

Mongolia hosts International Socialist Women's conference

April 25 (news.mn) On 22nd-23rd April, the Asian Regional Conference of the International Socialist Women organization took a place at the Blue Sky Hotel in Ulaanbaatar; representatives from 11 Asia-Pacific countries as well as Italy, Brazil, Columbia, Russia, Kazakhstan and India attended.

The theme was "Asian Women and Gender Equality" - gender equality being defined as the number of women number in the country's parliament. One of the UN Millennium Development Goals is to increase the participation of women in the national parliament by 30%. In 2015, a total of 43 countries succeeded in reaching this goal. 

Mongolia currently stands in 95th place on the list regarding female participation in parliament. During the conference, it was noted that Mongolian women are becoming more involved – however, the level is still too low. Over the last four years, the participation of Mongolian women in the State Great Khural (Parliament) has increased from 3.9%, to 14.9%, this being the result of the previous election. It will be interesting to see how this changes at the next parliamentary election.

Link to article

 

Prime Minister visits western provinces

April 24 (UB Post) Prime Minister Ch.Saikhanbileg conducted a working visit to the western provinces, meeting with officials and residents of Uvs, Khovd and Bayan-Ulgii provinces from April 21 to 23.

New flight to western provinces opens doors for domestic air transportation 

In Khovd province, Prime Minister Ch.Saikhanbileg attended a ceremony for the arrival of the first flight of MIAT's Boeing 737 from Ulaanbaatar to the western provinces.

During the ceremony, the Prime Minister highlighted that Khovd Province should become an essential link in Mongolia's air transportation and construction development. He stressed that he was witness to a significant event in the history of Mongolia's civil aviation and transportation sectors.

The Prime Minister noted that he expects Khovd Province's airport to become a larger airport as a result of the launch of the large aircraft flight between Khovd and Ulaanbaatar, and added that Khovd, home to a variety of ethnic minorities, and other western provinces should become tourist attraction centers.

Minister of Roads and Transportation M.Zorigt, who accompanied the Prime Minister on his visit, emphasized that the goals of air transportation sector officials have materialized with the launch of the large aircraft flight, and added that the next phase of work is to launch flights with large airplanes to the eastern provinces. "As a part of this project, the airport of Choibalsan, Dornod Province, will be rebuilt and maintained."

Road travel from Ulaanbaatar to Khovd Province takes two days, and can cost nearly 100,000 MNT. The flight from Ulaanbaatar to Khovd takes only two hours at a  cost of 200,000 MNT.

Uvs Province improves housing and healthcare

During his working visit to Uvs Province, the Prime Minister learned that the population of the province has reached 80,900 people over the last five years. In recent years, Uvs Province has experienced pleasant winters, resulting in the survival of healthy livestock. "As of the end of 2014, a total of 25.6 million heads of livestock  were registered. One of leading sectors besides livestock herding in Uvs is farming. Uvs Province has been meeting the flour needs of the three western provinces. Also, investment in Uvs Province has doubled in the last four years," an Uvs Province official told the visiting state delegation.

Uvs has built a medical treatment and diagnosis center with 2.3 billion MNT in financing from the Prime Minister's budget package. The number of people visiting Ulaanbaatar to undergo medical check-ups has been cut in half since the new medical center opened. The Prime Minister learned that Uvs Province has had around 70 cases of measles in the last two years, and that the spread of measles has been reduced.

Uvs is successfully implementing its own Street Project, paving 10.5 kilometers of road, 14.5 kilometers of sidewalks, and 2.1 kilometers of bicycle paths, also upgrading its underground engineering network. The province built a 127 meter bridge over the Tes River at a cost of 2.9 billion MNT, which has allowed herders to migrate  between their winter and spring camps with fewer barriers.

As a part of the 1,000 Families Project, apartments for 646 families have been commissioned. From 1990 to 2012, residential apartments for only 98 families were available in Uvs. A waste disposal site has been cleared and repurposed with the construction of townhouses with a well for freshwater supply.

Aero Mongolia and Hunnu Air conduct direct flights between Ulaanbaatar and Uvs Province six days a week, allowing tourists to make convenient travel plans, Uvs Province authorities emphasized.

Bayan-Ulgii residents want a maternity hospital built  

During his working visit to Bayan-Ulgii, the Prime Minister learned that the birth rate in Bayan-Ulgii Province is higher than the average birth rate of the country. In 2012, 1,864 mothers gave birth at Bayan-Ulgii's maternity hospital ward, whereas 2,108 gave birth there in 2015. Bayan-Ulgii authorities emphasized that the maternity ward of the province's hospital should be upgraded to be an independent maternity hospital, as the birth rate in the province has increased, overwhelming the resources of the ward and its obstetricians and nurses. The maternity ward  had 32 beds, but now has 50. The province's officials noted that the salaries of nurses and obstetricians should be increased to compensate for their increased workload, and asked Ch.Saikhanbileg to issue financing for a 50 bed-maternity hospital under budget amendments.

Ch.Saikhanbileg told the province officials to make calculations for the cost of a new maternity hospital and the staff's salaries and to get back to him in the near future. He promised to work on the issue in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Sports and the Finance Ministry.

Link to article

Related:

PM working in western provincesMontsame, April 22

 

Mongolia confirms commitment to international drug conventions at UNGASS

Ulaanbaatar, April 22 (MONTSAME) A delegation of Mongolia headed by J.Bayartsetseg, the State Secretary of the Justice Ministry, has participated in the UN General Assembly Special Session on the world drug problem (UNGASS), which ran this April 19-21 in New York, USA,

As the Ministry of Foreign Affairs published Friday, Ms Bayartsetseg reaffirmed the government's full commitment to the effective implementation of the three international Drug Conventions and "The Political Declaration and Plan of Action on International Cooperation towards an Integrated and Balanced Strategy to Counter the World Drug Problem", adopted in 2009, to reduce significantly by 2019 a cultivation and production of drugs, a demand for drugs and related health and social risks.

She talked about Mongolia's experience in including 2012 Program to increase awareness of drug problem among the public with specific focus on youth and students, capacity building training programs for law enforcement officers, particularly police and border officers, and establishment of inter-agency National Committee with 21 crime prevention sub-committees to prevent, combat, and take effective measures against drug.

She elaborated the national comprehensive Criminal Justice Reform aimed at combating the newly emerging and transnational crimes, including illicit drug trafficking and the abolishment of death penalty for all crimes including drug related crimes.

The State Secretary J.Bayartsetseg also made intervention at the Ministerial roundtable "Supply reduction and related measures; responses to drug-related crime; and countering money-laundering and promoting judicial cooperation" and had bilateral meetings with relevant UN officials.

Delegates of the Special Session recognized that the world drug problem affects virtually every nation and all sectors of society and underlined that there is pressing need for effective, compassionate, humane global response and people centered global drug policies to tackle the problem. The UNGASS adopted an outcome document entitled "Our joint commitment to effectively addressing and countering the world drug problem" where Member States reaffirmed their commitment to the goals and objectives of the three international drug control conventions, as well as their determination to "tackle the world drug problem and actively promote a society free of drug abuse."

Link to article

 

Development Bank CEO speaks about road financing

April 24 (UB Post) Meat is supplied to the capital from three eastern provinces of Mongolia. It used to take two months for three hired shepherds to collect 600 sheep from eastern provinces and bring them to Ulaanbaatar. It's reported that the total cost of transportation amounted to 20 million MNT within the span of two months. 

Now, it's become possible to transport 600 sheep to the capital within a day by truck thanks to a new road connecting Ulaanbaatar with Sukhbaatar, Dornod and Khentii Provinces. The total expense has dropped to four million MNT, according to a company that exports canned meat to Russia.

CEO of the Development Bank of Mongolia N.Munkhbat gave an interview about the economic benefits of new roads.

How much was invested for constructing roads connecting Ulaanbaatar and eastern provinces? Many people complain that investments are recovered for a long time and that the majority of bond investments were spent on road constructions. Can you comment on this?

During the four years since the establishment of the Development Bank, our bank has been actively financing development projects. The total amount of financing has exceeded five trillion MNT.

The Development Bank primarily invests in three directions. One of them is infrastructure. Hard infrastructure is essential for a nation. Around 1.4 trillion MNT has been spent on road projects, Street Project, and Ulaanbaatar's engineering infrastructure, networks and cable lines. Hard infrastructure is unique because it isn't a business activity. Its economic benefit is shown indirectly. This type of investment takes 28 percent of the total portfolio. The remaining 72 percent is spent on financing projects of government and non-government organizations that will give off profit to some extent. The private sector's projects are financed through commerce banks. Our bank is also investing in large projects for the Third and Fourth Thermal Power Plants, Amgalan Thermal Power Plant, three cement and metallurgical plants, MIAT Mongolian Airlines' Boeing 767-300ER aircraft, and the Tavan Tolgoi project.

It's become clear that engineering infrastructure and Street Project are economically beneficial, but the public is unsure whether road projects are beneficial. The Ministry of Roads and Transportation has researched and made calculations on this. Our bank made estimations using economic calculations of professors of the National University of Mongolia. Overall, the Development Bank is striving to connect all provinces to the capital via asphalt roads.

Ulaanbaatar was connected to five provincial centers with asphalt roads from 1992 to 2012. In the last three years, another six provincial centers got new roads, namely provincial centers of Murun, Dundgovi, Umnugovi, Bayankhongor, Sukhbaatar and Dornod Provinces. The government constructed another road from Saishand soum of Dornogovi Province with a different investment source. Projects have started for constructing roads to western provinces. So in two years' time, we'll become ready to construct roads from Ulaanbaatar to Uvs, Govi-Altai, Zavkhan and Khovd Provinces. Documents and planning have finished. Only Ulgii, the center of Bayan-Ulgii Province, will be left afterwards. Generally, Mongolia will be able to develop a road network linking every part of the country.

These projects will tremendously impact the Mongolian economy both directly and indirectly. We're now linking large regions that weren't connected to the market before. All the road work mentioned before cost 946.7 billion MNT. Over 1.2 trillion MNT has been put down into the state budget and is being issued to contractors after reviewing their performance. This figure is equal to 19 percent of the total portfolio of five trillion MNT. So 19 percent of the bond investment was spent on road construction. Yet, the economy of six provinces have been integrated with this amount of money. In addition, half of the work for joining four provincial centers to Ulaanbaatar have been completed.
The total cost for building roads for six provincial centers amounted to 591 billion MNT, but the Development Bank provides this money to companies by reviewing their performance. After receiving funds, companies have to pay tax, including income tax, tax from fuel purchases, and employees' social insurance contributions. 166 billion MNT is returned to the state as tax from the 591 billion MNT companies received as investment. In other words, the six province centers were linked to Ulaanbaatar at the cost of 425 billion MNT. The total length of the roads equal 1,246 kilometers.

What is the actual economic yield of the roads built at the cost of 425 billion MNT?

Link to interview

 

ADB New Loan to Scale Up Urban Service Upgrades in Southeast Gobi Project

ULAANBAATAR, MONGOLIA, April 25 (ADB) – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved an additional loan of over $19.4 million to scale up a project that is upgrading urban infrastructure and management services in fast growing aimag centers and border towns in Southeast Gobi.

The fresh loan will finance new wastewater treatment plants, while a technical assistance grant of $1 million from the Sanitation Financing Partnership Trust Fund, supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, will be used to assist the government in addressing sludge reuse, including implementing a pilot in at least one of the project aimag centers. The initial ADB project grant of $15 million, approved in 2010, supported infrastructure and service upgrades in Dornogobi and Umnogobi aimags. The new assistance will help meet the needs of other rapidly growing aimag centers—Avairkheer and Tsetserleg. 

"Mongolia has seen very fast growth in urban areas in recent years, as mining operations have expanded and trade with the People's Republic of China has picked up, but services and infrastructure haven't kept pace," said Antonio Ressano-Garcia, an ADB Senior Urban Development Specialist. "This new assistance will support essential urban improvements in selected aimag centers, giving a significant boost to the living conditions in these areas as well as aiding economic development."

The fresh funds will cover the construction of modern wastewater treatment plants in four aimag centers (Dalanzadgad, Sainshand, Avairkheer and Tsetserleg) to replace the current inadequate pond systems. The wastewater plants will meet government standards for discharge, including reusing sewage effluent. Further support for building know-how and institutional reforms will be provided for public utility service organizations in Avairkheer and Tsetserleg towns, resulting in improved planning, management, and cost recovery for services. 

The earlier project is on track to achieve most of its outputs, with significant improvements already made to water supply, sewerage, solid waste management and heating coverage. Almost 95% of ger area dwellers in the target soums now have access to potable water within 300 meters of their dwellings, resulting in a substantial reduction in water collection time for women and children. It has also established standard service agreements for local governments and public utility service organizations.

While the revised financing plan will see ADB's total assistance exceed $34.4 million the Government of Mongolia will contributewith just over $8.6 million. The project, which was initially approved in 2010, will see the additional activities carried out for about 3.5 years with an estimated completion date of December 2019. 

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, ADB in December 2016 will mark 50 years of development partnership in the region. It is owned by 67 members—48 from the region. In 2015, ADB assistance totaled $27.2 billion, including cofinancing of $10.7 billion.

Link to release

Related:

Asian Development Bank and Mongolia: Fact Sheet, April 2016

 

The War on Terror through the Mongolian lens

By Hassen Butt

April 22 (UB Post) Since the dawn of McCarthyism, America's policymakers have wandered around the pastures of minority politics like second-rate gardeners. If pundits have ever needed to search for a resurgence of anti-intellectualism and baseless smears in American politics, they may not need look further than the demagoguery of Donald J. Trump. But the veracity of much of the West's political story goes much further than a few promised walls and a barrage of anti-Islamic and Mexican sentiment; its bludgeoning hilt, for too long now, has been the efferent "War on Terror".

But what meaning, if any, does the "War on Terror" have for Mongolians? How does a country geographically withdrawn from the gamut of insurgent activity consume global narratives on terrorism? At first glance, the questions offered might seemingly function at a macro, geopolitical level. Yet Islam's inclusion into the folds of an ongoing political rhetoric has at once grounded the issue as an equally communal one, and one that certainly requires positive, informed, and open-minded discussion.

For Sarangua, a translator, reporter and former Foreign News Editor at NTV (Mongolia's 4th largest television station), the coverage of terrorism is always a "shaky issue". This is primarily because NTV's broadcasting standards mirror Mongolia's widely held political stance on "neutrality at all costs". For NTV, international news "has to be informative" and often there are domestic issues covered that broadly encompass national intelligence, disaster relief, and other security precautions.

Yet, concerning Islam and its presence in Mongolian media, Sarangua conceded to the straight lines of censorship and sensitivity, "We receive world news, and we just translate it; BBC, the Agence France-Presse, and so on." With regards to how that particular information is processed, Sarangua added, "We used to have a show called 'World News Review', where we chose one topic and usually included an interview with a political expert." When asked if the "War on Terror" had ever been part of that review show, she responded, "No, maybe it's too scary."

But what might this mean for Mongolia's sparse Islamic community? Approximately three to five percent of Mongolia's population is Muslim. The majority of this particular demographic is predominately Kazakh in ethnicity, widely populating the westernmost provinces of Mongolia. With Ulaanbaatar possessing almost half the country's 2.8 million population, Islam is certainly one of the least domestically visible cultural components.

For Fatima, one of Mongolia's few converts to Islam, the preservation and portrayal of a harmonious, peaceful, and tolerant religion is of utmost importance. Fatima's induction into her religion was twofold; she first had to educate herself, and then those who surrounded her. Seventeen years later, and she has certainly succeeded in the former. A keen linguist, she has gained fluency in various languages, including Arabic, Urdu, and Hindi. Her community efforts have shined through. In 2015 she crowd-funded Ulaanbaatar's first Islamic library, and has spent her own money and time perfecting many Quranic translations from Arabic to Mongolian.

With regards to the more media-focused, global aspects of Islam, Fatima spoke of great unhappiness, "This is just my opinion, but [news outlets] have often shown the bad face of Islam, making people enemies of each other for interest, never focusing on Islam's message of peace."

On a domestic level, Fatima's approach to the pressing questions of safeguarding national interests were forthright, "I agree that policy and intelligence must be correct. They may need to check us, people have jobs for that, it's national security. But when you ask me, 'Why are you collecting these books? Why are you teaching Arabic? What are you going to do?' This is actually rude." Her clear and concise insight into the Mongolian Constitution had echoed through at this point, "We have a constitutional right to the freedom of our religions. This should be followed."

Prompting the discussion of Islamic extremism in Mongolia, a slight reticence seemed to overshadow Fatima's previous vigor, "This is not our job, and what can we do anyway? We don't need to talk about terrorism, I always stay away from this discussion." It had seemed more appropriate for Fatima to promote further unity with regard to the topic, "For me, I do not even engage in sectarian conflicts in Islam, if you are Shia, Sunni, whatever, it doesn't matter to me." She added that news is always difficult to deal with, but there are "better responses" to what is being seen. One of which might come from Fatima's own efforts. In 2015 she spent one week translating the film "My Name is Khan" from Hindi to Mongolian, in hopes of spreading the film's message of religious tolerance.

It is certainly evident that differing realities persist as the narrative of global terrorism shifts beyond its own discursive boundaries. In the Mongolian context, there may not be any substantive remnants of a fearsome "War on Terror", there may even be very little collective apprehension of the threats that seem so relevant to a progressive and expansive "West". And although the shelter of ambiguity may cause no direct harm by remaining intact, it may eventually need to come undone in order to uphold the same practices of neutrality.

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Wreaths laid to S.Zorig's statue on his birthday

Ulaanbaatar, April 20 (MONTSAME) One of the pioneers of Mongolian democracy and a renowned figure in politics and society, the late S.Zorig was born on this day of 1962. As a tradition, members of Zorig Foundation, his family and friends lay flower wreaths to his statue, standing in south of Central Post Office.

Present were at today's ceremony, S.Zorig's younger sister S.Oyun MP, L.Bold, M.Zorigt and S.Demberel MPs, along with the members of Democratic Party (DP) and Civil Well Green Party (CWGP).

"My brother's close friends and colleagues remember him on this day and give lecture on his aspirations about Mongolia for young members of Zorig Foundation. The foundation has been implementing the Young Leader program for over a decade. We should not underestimate young people, because my brother was leading a revolution when he was 25 and 26 years old", said S.Oyun MP.

Representatives of Baganuur citizens also showed up at the ceremony. One of the citizens L.Baatarsuren said "He was one of the pioneers of democratic movement. His friends who 'fought' beside him are now the decision-makers. It is high time that his murderer was discovered and sentenced".

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Business

Mogi: article was updated it seems to correct some major errors. Previously it said "Shearman & Sterling has advised the government of Mongolia in its $500 million sovereign bond offering, with Allen & Overy serving as legal counsel for joint lead managers Golomt Bank and TDB Capital." and "Local firms MahoneyLiotta and GTs Advocates are also involved in the issuance, handling matters related to Mongolian law for the Mongolian government and the joint lead managers"

CORRECTED: A&O, Hogan Lovells, Mayer Brown act on Mongolia's $500 mln sovereign bond

April 19 (Asian Legal Business) Mayer Brown JSM and Hogan Lovells have advised the government of Mongolia on a $500 million sovereign bond offering under its $5 billion Global Medium Term Note Programme, its first offering since 2012. 

Allen & Overy and local firm GTs Advocates acted for the joint lead managers, which includes Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, ING and JPMorgan Chase as well as local banks TDB Capital and Golomt Bank and TDB Capital (Mogi: oops, TDB Capital and TDB Capital).

The Hogan Lovells team was led by Chris Melville in Ulaanbaatar and fellow partners Sina Hekmat in New York and Andrew Carey in London. Hong Kong-based partner Alexander Stathopoulos oversaw the offering for A&O. 

The issuance, which closed last week, was done under the government's Global Medium Term Notes Program. The bonds were sold internationally on a combined Rule 144A / Regulation S basis, with U.S.-qualified institutional buyers accounting for a substantial portion of the total demand.

Proceeds from the offering will be used to refinance indebtedness, fund budget deficits and finances different projects including infrastructure and roads.

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$27 Million ADB Border Crossing Loan to Mongolia Help Boost PRC, Russian Federation Trade

ULAANBAATAR, MONGOLIA, April 25 (ADB) – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $27 million loan to support more efficient and less costly trade flows across  three major border crossing points in Mongolia, paving the way for increased trade with neighboring People's Republic of China (PRC) and the Russian Federation.

"International trade is essential for Mongolia's economy and much progress has been achieved to conclude free trade agreements with trading partners. However, market access alone is not a sufficient condition for harnessing trade for development," said Cristina Lozano, an ADB Regional Cooperation Specialist. "This assistance will enable shorter processing time at border crossings points and will enhance efficiency and transparency of trade processes and procedures to facilitate cross-border trade."

The project will finance infrastructure and equipment at the border points of Altanbulag, Bichigt, and Zamiin-Uud, expanding handling capacity and allowing customs officials to work more efficiently. Assistance will also be given to upgrade the existing Customs Automated Information System, which was put in place with ADB assistance in 2010, and conduct preparatory work for the establishment of a single-window system for trade-related regulatory requirements. The project will help reduce the cost and time of compliance with trade procedures, resulting in faster and greater trade volumes and increased competitiveness for Mongolian exports. 

The selected border crossings are situated along economic corridor routes being developed by country members of the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) Program, including Mongolia. ADB supports CAREC's development of the corridors through a range of activities such as infrastructure investments and trade facilitation initiatives.

The Altanbulag border crossing provides the key link for trade from Mongolia to the Russian Federation, while the road/rail corridor from Ulaanbaatar to Zamiin-Uud carries most of the goods traded with the PRC. Bichigt links Mongolia to the northeast of the PRC, and once planned road upgrades are completed, is expected to see a substantial rise in trade volume.

The project will allow Mongolia to strengthen and modernize customs administration. ADB has been supporting regional customs reforms efforts through separate regional technical assistance projects by simultaneously promoting coordinated and compatible measures to reduce trade impediments.

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, ADB in December 2016 will mark 50 years of development partnership in the region. It is owned by 67 members—48 from the region. In 2015, ADB assistance totaled $27.2 billion, including cofinancing of $10.7 billion.

Link to release

 

1st BCM Annual Summit held

April 22 (news.mn) On Thursday 21st April, the first "Summit" of the Business Council of Mongolia (BCM) was held at the Blue Sky Hotel and Tower in Ulaanbaatar and was attended by over 200 people.

The main purpose of the event was to help in the creation of positive conditions for running a business or trading and investing in Mongolia. Currently, a total of 370 business experts are linked to the BCM's working groups.

The 1st BCM Summit was opened by the CEO of Erdenes Mongol Company, D.Byambasaikhan; the event was chaired by the CEO of the Business Council of Mongolia Jim Dwyer.

The event continued with the sub-meetings on subjects including - international financing, technical and equipment procurement in the mining sector, business strategy for times of economic hardship, new recommendations for the stock market, the various UB city projects and the election.

The delegates and invited specialists provided their conclusions at the end of the one day event; these will be passed on the Government of Mongolia as recommendations.

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Related:

BCM summit addresses business sector developmentUB Post, April 24

 

AmCham Monthly Meeting discusses challenges in the mining sector

April 21 (UB Post) The American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) in Mongolia held a panel discussion and a Q&A session about current challenges in the mining industry and future expectations from it with CEO of Energy Resources LLC G.Battsengel, Economist and Executive Director of Mongolia Oil Shale Association Ch.Khashchuluun, and Chief Economist of Erdenes Mongol LLC and board member of Oyu Tolgoi LLC Ch.Otgochuluu during their Monthly Meeting held on April 20.

The meeting was attended by approximately 60 participants, including AmCham members and representatives from the private sector.

During the discussion, economist Ch.Khashchuluun said that Mongolia is finally enabling independent operations in the mining sector and looking to diversify the economy. He added that government intervention should be minimized to be open for foreign investment. "What the government should do now is to create possibilities for more investment by preparing more in-detailed geographical maps, promoting exploration in both private and government organizations, and generally doing nothing else," said G.Khaschuluun. He continued and discussed existing projects, new infrastructure in the Gobi region, the construction of power plants, and the new independent fuel suppliers to Mongolia.

Board Member of Oyu Tolgoi LLC Ch.Otgochuluu spoke about the 35 million USD diversification project that the company is implementing with Asian Development Bank. "Erdenes Mongol is currently going thorough governance reform, which will increase our value by three or four times if we manage the transition well," he said, adding that the company is learning a lot about state ownership and corporate governance by cooperating with International Finance Corporation and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. He emphasized the significance of state owned enterprises which do not compete with the private sector, and added that the Erdenes Mongol board will remain the same regardless of the outcomes of the 2016 election.

CEO of Energy Resources LLC G.Battsengel said, "We always focused on our investors and shareholders rather than marketing our company. What is happening at Mongolian Mining Corporation at the moment is just a reflection of what is happening in Mongolia and what is happening in the coal sector globally." He focused his discussion on the advantages that Mongolia has in the regional market. During the Q&A session, G.Battsengel said that he predicts it will be three to four years before the completion of railways which will enable more cost effective transit of mining exports.

Link to article

 

Integrated EITI e-data system launched in the mining sector

April 21 (UB Post) The Mining Ministry reported on the launch of the electronic data system of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), and highlighted that all information related to the nation's mining sector, including special licenses, production, sales, tax payments, donations, and support, are now centralized and available to the public.

Mongolia first joined the EITI in 2006, and since then has been publishing EITI reports for  international and domestic audiences. The Ministry reported that since 2006, a total of 4,701 entities engaged in mining, oil, and uranium activities have released reports, making transparent information about company tax contributions. The government has reported on tax income from 6,858 entities.

Mining sector representatives underlined that when they were publishing their reports on paper, it required many materials and was time consuming, that the reports weren't always accurate, and the value of the information and access to it was poor.

From 2014 to 2015, Interactive LLC has been implementing the project to introduce the EITI electronic reporting system in Mongolia, with assistance from the Adam Smith International Institute, to provide integrated electronic EITI reports to the public and to improve the comprehensive reporting of mining sector information.

Information Technology Advisor of the EITI G.Ganbat said, "We started conducting studies on the electronic reporting system in 2013. In April 2014, the system processing work started and was successfully completed within five months. Staring from January 2015, we started receiving EITI reports, and the second stage of the work started in September 2015 and is now ongoing."

Senior Counsel from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development Paul Moffatt underlined, "Our bank has been consistently supporting the EITI over the past few years. We are grateful to have cooperated in transforming information into practice."

President of the Mongolian National Mining Association N.Algaa said, "Launching the integrated electronic information database is a great advance. However, consumers do have their own needs and demands. If we could provide information to target groups, that would be better."

Link to article

 

MIAT wet leases aircraft to Czech airline

April 22 (Mongolian Economy) MIAT Mongolian Airlines, the flag carrier of Mongolia, made a wet lease agreement to lease a 189-seat Boeing 737-800 to Travel Service Airlines of the Czech Republic from April, 15 2016 to October, 15 2016. MIAT wet leased a Boeing 737-800 to this same company last year as well. A wet lease is a leasing arrangement whereby one airline (the lessor, MIAT) provides an aircraft, complete crew, maintenance, and insurance (ACMI) to another airline or other type of business acting as a broker of air travel (the lessee), which pays by hours operated.

In other words, MIAT Mongolian Airlines will provide these things to Travel Service Airlines. In accordance with this agreement, a MIAT crew of about 20 members, consisting of pilots, engineers, flight attendants and flight supervisors, departed to the Czech Republic on the 13th of this month. Under the contract, the leased Boeing 737-800 will perform about 50 charter flights to Europe, Northern Africa and Russia.

Operating since 1998, Travel Service Airlines has a fleet of 17 aircrafts and is one of the Czech Republic's major airlines.

Link to article

 

Measures to be taken for sustainable development of land farming

Ulaanbaatar, April 22 (MONTSAME) An irregular cabinet meeting on Thursday issued resolution on establishing the "Mongolian farming corporation" state-run institution at the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, with a function of sustainably developing land farming industry and rendering support.

Obligations were given to B.Bolor, the Minister of Finance, and to R.Burmaa, the Minister of Food and Agriculture, to approve a rule of the corporation and to organize works. In addition, the cabinet decided to allot money from the Foundation for Land Farming to establish and start these functions. 

With an aim to ensure normal actions of the land farming industry in 2016, the Minister of Finance B.Bolor was told to issue a credit guarantee of 50 billion Togrog to be financed by the Development Bank of Mongolia (DBM). The DBM's Board was allowed to give the loan of 50 billion Togrog to the state-run institution.

The same day, the cabinet decided to submit to parliament a draft amendment to the law on land.

Link to article

 

Photo Report from Ariunaa Suri's fashion show

April 25 (gogo.mn) Designer Ariunaa Suri organised her "The spring fashion's night out" show in cooperation with Danish jewellery brand, DYRBERG/KERN. 

She showed daily and sportswear collection which reflected elements of tradional costumes. 

NHK World TV is making a documentary of her and the representatives were invited as a guest at the show. 

Ariunaa Suri on her new collection: 

We showed spring collection. I made sportswear and freestyle clothes for the spring. All Mongolians are able to try my collection. 

NHK World is making a documentary of you. More on that please?

NHK World is making photo shoot with me for seven days. They will make documentary which will be released internationally. I worked hard on that. My friends and collagues have helped me much. I am very excited. 

During the show, singer Gana from Camerton band and singer Uka from Kiwi group have performed.

Link to article

 

DeFacto: From Black to Blue

By Jargal "DeFacto" Dambadarjaa

April 24 (UB Post) Professor Gunter Pauli says that an economy reaches sustainability when it is ensured that people's basic needs are met by using what is locally available. Focusing on this, he developed a new business model to supply high quality goods at cheap prices to the market. Pauli proved in practice that this business model can bring about many advantages besides business profits. He first developed the model in 1994, when he was taking part in the preparatory work for the Kyoto Protocol on climate change at the request of the United Nations.

In the last 20 years, Pauli has implemented almost 200 projects and created thousands of jobs. He proved that a business which carries out such a number of projects and provides employment can still be competitive in the international market and keep increasing their profits. It was contrary to the traditional model, where large corporations want to increase their production by seizing cheaper labor, taking advantage of the supply chain that allows a timely delivery of standard products. This traditional model leads to an increase in unemployment and widens gaps in society.

What Pauli's model says is that individuals and enterprises should adapt to the changes in their environment by further developing their original business ideas, and creating more businesses that have a positive impact on society. If a business seeks to achieve its full potential, it can create more interconnected businesses, which would increase the total positive benefits. Pauli proved it in practice with a coffee business. A business that mainly sells coffee started using grounds from its coffee to grow mushrooms, and made animal fodder out of the waste that came from the mushrooms. It brought two additional sources of income to the coffee business.

Besides additional sources of income, it also increases the cash flow of the local economy. It increases employment and boosts the purchasing power of residents, which helps the sales of other businesses.

When financial capabilities improve, there will be fewer funds allocated for social care in the public budget, and more will be available for construction and development projects. Almost 90 percent of the value added to the price of food products comes from international and domestic transportation. If food products are produced locally, it will remove the costs associated with transportation and allow for high quality products to be delivered at cheaper prices.

The mushrooms grown by using coffee grounds are now supplied to many cities in the world at cheap prices. Furthermore, Pauli's model has changed the principles of many business models and resulted in initiatives such as using rock to make paper, making shoes and clothes out of coffee grounds, and growing forests on empty land. These initiatives created countless jobs that help the local economy. Why is a "blue economy" suitable for Mongolia? Pauli named the economic model based on his business model "Blue", and says that it is a deeper concept than a "globalized economy" or "green economy".

Green or renewable energy requires more funds from the public budget, and organic products are made at greater costs. Therefore, even though these two initiatives have been successful, they can only produce their true benefits in a prosperous country with people who can spend money on them. In contrast, a blue economy is solely based on new ideas, profitability, and creating jobs. As a blue economy has its own business model and requires a high cost to make a substantial change to the model, it is not suitable for large corporations. However, it offers countless opportunities to the younger generation and those who are seeking to set up a new business. A blue economy is mostly based on laws of physics such as gravity, and sees air pressure and temperature in a given local ecosystem as decisive factors.

Nature is a system that creates food and energy, and does not create any waste in the sense that any product that could be considered waste becomes the raw material for a system elsewhere. The blue economy has created many new products, such as storing electric power created by body heat and wind, toilets that do not produce waste or use water, phone chargers that do not use batteries, and red algae that can substitute for antibiotics. Likewise, Mongolians should start creating new ideas to grow forests in the Gobi and producing special products using various agricultural byproducts from livestock.

Lately, Mongolians have produced and exported heating materials using wool from sheep; soft drinks; beauty products such as creams, soap, and shampoo; and burn ointment using sea buckthorn. This is the beginning of building a blue economy in Mongolia. In early May of this year, Gunter Pauli, who is referred to as the "Steve Jobs of Sustainability" will visit Mongolia, give lectures, and be interviewed for my "defacto" series. Please read more about the blue economy at www.blueeconomy.org.

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Ulaanbaatar

UB to cooperate with Istanbul in several sectors

April 25 (gogo.mn) Yesterday, Mr. Kadir Topbas, Mayor of the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, arrived in Ulaanbaatar to pay an official visit. 

In scope of his visit, Mr. Kadir Topbas paid a courtesy call on Prime Minister Ch.Saihanbileg, Head of City Council D.Battulga as well as signed Memorandum of Cooperation between the Istanbul and Ulaanbaatar. 

Mr. Kadir Topbas is accompanied by 14 guests including his advisors andrepresentatives of Council of Istanbul, Head of Governor`s Office as well as state-owned companies. His visit will continue for two days.

UB will cooperate with Istanbul to improve the source of drinking water

Following the guests led by the Mayor of the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality met with UB City Mayor E.Bat-Uul. 

During the meeting, Mr. Kadir Topas expressed his interest in cooperation with UB on mega projects of construction, urban planning, improvement of drinking water source and waste management.

City Governor and the City Mayor E.Bat-Uul said that UB need to cooperate and share experiences with Istanbul on several sectors. Especially, two cities need to jointly implement the "Tuul pool" prject based on Tuul river. Moreover, he proposed to work on increasing the tourism sector.   

The Head of City Council D.Battulga expressed his interest to cooperate on projects directed at decreasing the air and soil pollution as well as ger-area re-planning. Also he expressed that UB is ready to cooperate on developing the public transportation service and increasing tourism.  

Istanbul receives 10 million tourists annually and it became the main tourism destination of Europe. They noted that direct flights between the UB and Istanbul need to be increased in order to develop the tourism of UB. 

Parties agreed to open representative office of Istanbul in UB.  

Parties signed Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) in several sectors in order to develop the relations between the two cities, establish brotherhood city relations and to exchange experiences. 

According to the MoC, two cities will cooperate on "Mongol Naadam" complex, urban planning, ger-area re-planning, establishment of Turkish housing town, production of construction materials, engineering and infrastructure sectors. 

Moreover, they agreed to focus more on introduction of new technology to produce meat and milk products, establishment of Turkish small and medium-sized industrial town as well as supporting investment in tourism sector. 

In scope of the MoC, two cities to establish representative offices, trade and cultural centers within 2016.

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"Beatles" street to become car-free with underground shopping mall

April 25 (news.mn) The Ulaanbaatar City Representative Council plans to establish four car-free streets in order to improve the city's image and to create a more pleasant environment for tourists. The name of the program is simply called – "Street". Four streets have been selected to become pedestrian-only thoroughfares are normally jammed with cars.  

According to the "Street" project, the first stage will focus on the street leading from the State Department Store (on Peace Avenue) to the State Department Store – also known as Minister Tserendorj Street. This thoroughfare, located in the 4th khoroo Sukhbaatar district in central UB will become the first car-free street. A large development program is planned involving the creation of a large underground recreational and retail area. The central park, best known for the Beatles Monument and its fountains, will be redesigned. Upon its completion, traffic in both directions will be closed at the weekends. The total area of the underground precinct will be 9940 square meters of which 6640 square meters will be occupied by retail outlets.

The project will be financed with the private sector and will take an estimated two years. The City Representative Council has stressed that the design must correspond with traditional Mongolian style.

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Novosibirsk will co-operate in renovating old "Russian" apartments

April 21 (news.mn) A Russian delegation headed by the Mayor of Novosibirsk, Mr Anatoly Lokot are currently visiting Ulaanbaatar. Since they arrived in the Mongolian capital on 18th, they have already had a meeting with the Mayor of Ulaanbaatar, Mr E.Bat-Uul, during which they discussed matters of joint co-operation.

At the beginning of the meeting, Mayor E.Bat-Uul said: "I visited Novosibirsk in October 2015 and signed a twin-city memorandum. Builders from Novosibirsk have contributed much to the construction of Ulaanbaatar. For this reason, we will continue to co-operate - primarily on the repair and renovation of old buildings in UB. We really need your experiences and management. We appreciate your support and co-operation in this work".

In reply, Mayor Anatoly Lokot said: "We will continue to co-operate and provide support to the construction, in every way possible. We intend to totally update the panel constructed apartments in UB. Firstly, we plan to work on the preparation of experts and conducting a financial and quantity survey in order to assess how much will be required for the construction. Assuming the financial issues are solved, we will commence work. In addition to the apartments, we will also co-operate on road repair, agriculture and public utilities".

It should be noted that most of the older buildings in Ulaanbaatar, such as those on Peace Avenue, were built according to Soviet construction practice using concrete panels.

Source: City Administration Media Bureau

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Religious organizations in UB being checked

April 21 (news.mn) A working group is studying all the religious organizations in Ulaanbaatar. The group, set up by order of UB Mayor E.Bat-Uul (protocol A/295), is scrutinizing churches, monasteries, NGOs, schools, kindergartens, welfare-centers and other religious organizations in order to ensure that they fall within the guidelines set out by the Ministry of Justice. According to the City Administration Media Bureau, the study began on 19th April and will last until 25th.

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Common traffic rules of UB

April 20 (gogo.mn) Are you new to Ulaanbaatar? Then you might be confused with the traffic rules of Mongolia. You will notice that regular traffic jam is common in UB. Because we have narrow roads and too many cars. Outside cities it is common to drive on roads with only one lane in each direction. 

Under Mongolian law, it is mandatory for drivers to carry their driver license and vehicle certificate at all times.

Being driver in Ulaanbaatar is easy, if you learn below main traffic rules.

SPEED LIMIT

Maximum speed within certain heavily populated areas such as towns marked with this sign is 20 km/h. 

Maximum speed within built-up areas is 60 km/h, maximum speed outside built-up areas is 80 km/h. 

From February 1, 2016, every driver received 10 points which are removed in case of committing traffic violations. Two points removed if breaking speed limit. Also the driver will be fined by MNT 48,000. 

LICENSE PLATE LIMITATION

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Diplomacy

MFA's club of consultants on economic cooperation holds first meeting

Ulaanbaatar, April 20 (MONTSAME) Initiated by the Economic Cooperation Department of the Foreign Ministry, a Club of consultants on economic cooperation affairs held its first meeting last week.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs L.Purevsuren made the opening remarks and delivered a report to highlight nowadays situation regarding a program on external cooperation of Mongolian economy. 

In a way of holding unofficial regular meetings, the club shares information and views on ongoing measures of the foreign economic policy and on our diplomatic missions for the economic cooperation.

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Istanbul Mayor Kadir Topbas pays visit to Prime Minister Ch.Saikhanbileg

April 25 (gogo.mn) Mongolian Prime Minister Ch.Saikhanbileg today received Kadir Topbas, Mayor of Istanbul of the Republic of Turkey, who is paying official visit to Ulaanbaatar at the invitation of E.Bat-Uul Mayor of Ulaanbaatar City and the Governor of the Capital City.

Ch.Saikhanbileg welcomed Mayor Kadir Topbas to Ulaanbaatar and expressed his hope this visit will open a page in two countries relations. Prime minister wished all the success in two mayors' cooperation and told the government will support their action.

Istanbul city has solved their air pollution, waste and water cleaning facilities and they are willing to share their experience with Ulaanbaatar city. Mayor of Istanbul Mr.Topbas said Istanbul and UB city administration can cooperate on many new projects, and underlined an interest to invest in different sectors.

During the meeting delegations discussed a cooperation on increasing the number of flights and agreed to research the possibilities of increasing current Turkish Airlines-MIAT joint flight numbers from three to five times a week.

Mayor Kadir Topbas wished best of success to Mongolia on hosting the 11th ASEM Summit reports Public and Press and Public Relations Department of Government.

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Related:

"Istanbul is ready to share its experiences with Ulaanbaatar"Montsame, April 25

 

India to host Mongolian Foreign Minister this week

NEW DELHI, April 25 (Economic Times) It is not just the Uyghur card that is drawing sharp reaction from China. Stepping up engagement in China's neigbourhood, Delhi is hosting the Mongolian foreign minister this week in back to back high-level engagement following Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan's recent visit to Ulan Bator, initiatives that Beijing will closely monitor. 

Less than a year after the first Indian prime ministerial visit to Mongolia, its Foreign Minister Lundeg Purevsuren is expected in Delhi in the coming week as Delhi looks to expand strategic partnership with the uranium-rich Asian nation with a strong Buddhist heritage

Informed sources indicate that Purevsuren, who is also the former national security adviser of Mongolia, would deliberate on a wide variety of subjects to take forward the strategic partnership that was announced during Narendra Modi's visit to Ulan Bator last May, which had taken many by surprise. That visit was clubbed with his first trip to China as the prime minister. The two countries, who have growing defence ties in the field of training and joint exercises, have also established partnership between the National Security Councils of the two countries to exchange information and perspectives on regional issues. Mongolia is the host of the next edition of the Asia-Europe Meeting on July 15-16, where India is expected to send a senior leader. 

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Mongolian Ambassador to Turkey: Now we have the third airline route, soon we travel to Turkey by train and car

April 21 (gogo.mn) We interviewed the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Mongolia to Turkey B.Batkhishig. He attended the 19th Eurasian Economic Summit which took place in Istanbul, Turkey with the former president of Mongolia, Mr. N.Bagabandi.

First day's topic was on the "Silk Road" project. Project initiator and representatives of PRC, stated that joining the "Silk Road" project is beneficial for all countries and noted that it has the possibilities of expanding the previous historical trade routes. 

-Meeting attendees discussed the possibilities of how countries connect through airways and some countries started infrastructure works including construction of roads and new airport. However, they have not introduced "The Silk Road" project in brief. The project which covers huge areas of Western parts of China to Turkey, is it published on a paper? Have all routes became clear? 

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Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan inaugurates cancer unit in Mongolia

Indore, April 22 (Times of India) Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, who is currently leading an Indian parliamentary delegation in Mongolia, inaugurated the commissioning ceremony of the BHABHATRON II Radiotherapy machine donated by India for treatment of cancer. The machine has been installed in National Cancer Centre of Mongolia, in Ulan-Bator (Mongolia).

On this occasion, Mahajan hoped that this cutting-edge technology would serve the needy in Mongolia, which would further consolidate the already healthy and warm relationship between the two countries. Mentioning that cancer is the biggest menace of modern times, she emphasized that more and more centres for prevention and post-disease treatment of cancer should be set up, particularly for poorer and needy section.

The machine has been indigenously developed by Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) by using an advanced telecobalt machine in India to fight the menace.

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Strong India-Mongolia ties need trade boost: Mahajan

April 20 (Press Trust of India) Strong political relations between India and Mongolia must be complemented by robust ties of trade, economy and investment, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan said today. 

Mahajan, leading an Indian Parliamentary delegation here to attend a meeting of the Asia-Europe Parliamentary Partnership (ASEP), also appealed to the top leadership and business community here to seize opportunities arising out of India's economic rise

She said that India and Mongolia share common values and understanding on a range of issues. 

Mahajan called on Mongolian President Ts. Elbegdorj during which she recalled that both India and Mongolia enjoy deep and warm relationship and that there is an imperative need to further strengthening and diversifying this relationship. 

Earlier, she met Mongolian Prime Minister Saikhanbileg and discussed matters of mutual interest. 

She also held a meeting with her counterpart Z Enkhbold, the Chairman of the Great Hural (Mongolian Parliament), in the Government Palace and shared views on a host of issues. 

Observing that common values and understanding between the countries have laid the ground for constructive engagement across several sectors, she opined that strong political relations must be complemented by ties of trade, economy and investment. 

Later, at a banquet hosted by Enkhbold, Mahajan noted that India and Mongolia have interacted since time immemorial. 

"Following the emergence of Mongolia as a modern nation state in the 20th century, the two countries have continued to build relations based on the shared historical and cultural legacy, especially of Buddhism. India also supported Mongolia for membership in the United Nations and to the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM)

"As befits spiritual neighbours, civilisational friends and fellow democracies, today we are also strategic partners," she said. 

Mahajan also informed her counterpart that Parliament of India would be happy to share its expertise in strengthening democratic institutions and parliamentary processes to Mongolia. 

Lok Sabha MPs Rajendra Agrawal and Heena Vijay Kumar Gavit of BJP, Dr Shrikant Eknath Shinde (Shiv Sena) and Butta Renuka (YSR Congress) are part of the delegation along with Rajya Sabha MPs Shantaram Naik (Congress) and K C Tyagi (JD-U) for the six-day visit beginning April 17. 

ASEP, a parliamentary forum, is linked to the inter- governmental dialogue that has been established between Europe and Asia to consider political, economic and cultural issues. 

The Asia-Europe meeting is part of the overall Asia- Europe partnership process. It serves as a forum for building inter-parliamentary contacts, exchanges and diplomacy and promoting mutual understanding among the people and countries of Asia and Europe.

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Indo-Mongolia Joint Military Exercise, Nomadic Elephant-2016 Commences at Mongolia 

April 25 (Ministry of Defence, India) The Eleventh Indo-Mongolia joint training Exercise, 'Nomadic Elephant - 2016' to promote military associations between India and Mongolia has commenced today at Mongolia. The exercise will culminate on 08 May 2016. The aim of this exercise is to develop synergy and inter operability between the two armies to fight in Counter Insurgency and Counter Terrorism environment under the United Nation mandate. 

A platoon of the Kumaon Regiment of the Indian Army alongwith a team of two observers will be taking part in the event. From the Mongolian Armed Forces, a total of 60 personnel will take part in the exercise. The event will culminate in a 48 hours joint outdoor exercise covering specialised operations in Counter Insurgency and Counter Terrorism environment. 

The Indian contingent will share their practical experiences of Counter Insurgency and Counter Terrorism operations through a series of classroom lectures and outdoor demonstrations which include aspects like House Clearing and Room intervention techniques in hostage situation, road opening, establishing mobile check posts, intelligence gathering and drills for countering Improvised Explosive Devices. Besides, military training both the contingents will also share their techniques of unarmed combat, specialised rappelling and participate in various sports events during the two weeks exchange. 

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Vietnam-Mongolia legislative ties thriving, says NA Vice Chairman

The Vietnam-Mongolia legislative relationship has progressed well with the regular exchange of all-level visits, said National Assembly Vice Chairman Uong Chu Luu when meeting with Speaker of the Mongolian Parliament Z. Enkhbold on April 21 in Ulaanbaatar.

April 22 (VNA) Highlighting the fruitful traditional friendship between the two countries, the NA Vice Chairman said that Vietnam always treasures the valuable support and assistance given by the Mongolian Government and people during its past struggle for national independence.

Luu appreciated the Mongolian Parliamentsending a high-ranking delegation to attend the IPU-132 Assembly in Hanoi last year and recommended the Mongolian State Great Khural create conditions for enterprises of the two countries to enhance collaboration and help Vietnamese citizens live and work in the country. 

He thanked the Mongolian Government for training agricultural experts for Vietnam, saying that it contributed to strengthening the bilateral traditional friendship and cooperation.

The Vietnamese official also spoke highly of Mongolia's role in organising the 9th Asia-Europe Parliamentary Partnership (ASEP-9) Meeting and making preparations for the 11th ASEM Summit (ASEM-11) in July in Ulaanbaatar. 

For his part, Speaker Z. Enkhbold said Mongolia wants to develop ties with Vietnam in all aspects from economy, trade and agriculture to culture and education. 

He also expressed his wish that Vietnam will support Mongolia joiningthe Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation ( APEC ) and the East Asia Summit (EAS) as well as developing relationships with ASEAN countries.

Vice Chairman Uong Chu Luu is leading a Vietnamese NA delegation to the ASEP-9 in Ulaanbaatar from April 22-23.

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Related:

Mongolia and Vietnam: our cooperation may be deepenedMontsame, April 22

 

Speaker Z.Enkhbold meets Polish delegation

Ulaanbaatar, April 22 (MONTSAME) The Chairman of the State Great Khural (parliament) Z.Enkhbold Friday received Ms Maria Koc, a Deputy Marshal of the Senate of the Republic of Poland, who is taking part in the ASEP9 in Ulaanbaatar.

Thanking the delegation for participating in the ASEP9, the Speaker underlined vital roles of the inter-parliamentary and the Parliamentary Offices' ties in the bilateral relationship. 

He said his last year's official visit to Poland was fruitful and underlined a significance of the 2014 and 2015 visits of the Deputy Marshals of the Polish Sejm to Mongolia for attending the OSCE Inter-Parliamentary Assembly.

Ms Koc said her country wants to expand the inter-parliament cooperation with Mongolia, and pointed out that the newly-formed parliament has established the Poland-Mongolia friendship group in the very first turn.

The Speaker said it is important to support the cooperation between the friendship groups at the parliaments in boosting the inter-parliamentary ties, and proposed organizing mutual visits and meetings in order to activate the collaboration between the inter-parliamentary groups, to exchange officials of the Parliamentary Offices, and to work together on training the staffers.

The parties also shared views on boosting the Mongolia-Poland cooperation in trade and economy and to continue dynamic ties in education, culture and scientific spheres.

Mr Enkhbold expressed a satisfaction with an intention of Poland's PM to take part in the upcoming 11th ASEM Summit in Ulaanbaatar.

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Vice Speaker meets parliamentary delegates of some countries

Ulaanbaatar, April 22 (MONTSAME) Mr R.Gonchigdorj, one of the Vice speakers of parliament. received Friday delegates of the Russian Federation, Hungary, the Great Britain, Austria and Pakistan, who are representing their countries at the 9th Asia-Europe Parliamentary Partnership Meeting (ASEP) in Ulaanbaatar.

The Vice Speaker discussed with them issues of the bilateral relations and cooperation, as well as inter-parliamentary ties, and thanked them for taking part in the ASEP9.

He underlined an importance of the inter-parliamentary ties and of the groups at the legislative bodies in boosting of the bilateral relations and cooperation, and talked about the foreign policy of Mongolia on deepening the ties with the countries.

Officials of the Russian State Duma and Federation Council spoke about the upcoming parliamentary election of Russia in September this year, and asked the Mongolian side to participate in this election as an observer. They expressed a willingness of Russia to expand the inter-parliamentary ties and the relations between groups.

A Deputy Speaker of the Hungarian parliament Mr Istvan Hiller underlined that Mongolia and Hungary can broaden their relations in all spheres. He said the PM of Hungary plans to take part in the 11th ASEM Summit in Ulaanbaatar.

Mr Istvan stressed a significance of expanding the cooperation in the educational sector and of training Mongolian students in Hungarian universities and institutes for making the bilateral relations closer.

At the meeting, a member of the Austrian parliament Mr Andreas Karlsboc said the Austria-Mongolia friendly relations and cooperation have been expanding, then highlighted that Austria sees Mongolia as its one of the important partners, and expressed a readiness to train Mongolian students on high-tech of mining.

During a meeting with a delegation from Pakistan--members of Senate Mushahid Ullahan and Gous Nyazi--the Vice Speaker Gonchigdorj said Mongolia aspires to widen the relations and cooperation with the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Affirming that Mongolia has a willingness to activate friendly ties with Pakistan in all spheres, Gonchidorj said the two countries can boost the cooperation and added Mongolia intends to start political and economic talks with Pakistan in order to fulfill these goals.

A member of the House of Commons at the UK parliament Mr Mark Hendrick congratulated Mongolia on hosting the ASEP9.

The Vice Speaker emphasized an importance of the 12th Mongolia-UK roundtable meeting held last month in London, and informed him about the Mongolia-London business forum to run this April 26-27 in London. He said Mongolia wants to introduce British experiences in a legal landscape of the capital market, its stable actions and some proper parts. He is hopeful the British side will participate in the 11th ASEM Summit with high level officials.

The parties exchanged views on the Mongolia-UK relations in politics, economy, business as well as the inter-parliamentary ties.

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Vladimir Putin receives credentials of Mongolia's new ambassador

April 22 (news.mn) On 20th April, the new Mongolian Ambassador to the Russian Federation, B.Delgermaa, presented her credentials to President Vladimir Putin. The Russian Head of State received the ambassadors of 16 countries in the Alexandrovsky Hall of the Great Kremlin Palace. In his speech, the Russian President said: "We are glad to receive you at the credential ceremony in the Kremlin. I hope that you will strengthen the relationship between Russia and your country, during your period of appointment. Our government, ministries, agencies, businesses and social organizations are ready to support you".

President Putin commenting on Moscow's relationship with Ulaanbaatar said: "Russia and Mongolia have been good neighbors for a long time. The implementation of the medium-term strategic program which was started last year will be a big stimulus to the development of the relationship between our two countries. We will continue our dialogue, which was initiated by President Ts.Elbegdorj during the Shanghai Co-operation Organization Meeting in Tashkent, in June. We also have a plan to organize a tri-lateral meeting of the presidents of Russia Mongolia and China".

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What Mr Lavrov's visit achieved

April 22 (news.mn) During his one-day visit to Mongolia last week, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov achieved a lot - visiting the President's official ger, meeting PM Saikhanbileg and his host Foreign Affairs Minister L.Purevsuren. The main outcome of the visit on 14th April, however, was the signing of a medium-term strategic cooperation agreement between the two countries. This is significant because a number of things which have long been under discussion will now take effect; the inter-governmental agreement about railway development will be implemented by the middle of the year, not to mention trade-specific actions including trade fairs and exhibitions. Russia will also provide a long-term loan to Mongolia and practical support during the ASEM Summit in July.

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Russian MFA explains Lavrov's "blue jeans"

April 20 (gogo.mn) Russian Foreign minister Sergey Lavrov's visit to Mongolia on April 14 attracted lots of public attention when he came out wearing blue jeans at the airport.

Many people wrote and discussed about this issue on social networks stating this action insults Mongolia. It's disrespectful for a diplomat to wear casual clothing on official visits. 

In response to this Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs made official statement about the 'blue jeans'.

"Russian delegations spent a night in a plane and planned to change clothes at the hotel before the official meeting took place" said Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Maria Zaharova.

She also added "Wearing a costume after spending a night in a plane would have been strange. There is nothing about wearing specific clothes depending on the event. Therefore, we don't think we did anything improper. Delegations knew they had to change clothes at the hotel before the official meeting. And it's not necessary to look at Lavrov appearance from diplomatic aspect."

Maria Zaharova underlined "We didn't mean any disrespect by this."

Source: TVrain.ru

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How Russia is moving ahead with its Asian pivot

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov recently visited Mongolia and Japan. His goal was to initiate a real "Eastern turn" in Russian foreign policy.

April 20 (Russia Beyond the Borders) At first glance Russia made an Eastward turn a long time before the West imposed sanctions on the country.  However, until now we have seen more of a Chinese pivot and not a full-fledged reorientation of policy towards Asia. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov tried to correct this imbalance with a recent visit to Mongolia and Japan.

Mongolian corridor

The first stop on the Asian tour was Mongolia. Yes, it's a pretty poor country, sandwiched between Russia and China. But Mongolia is a source of resources such as coal, and even uranium. The country can also be useful as a place to process hydrocarbons that would be exported to China

"Mongolia actually separates us from China," says Alexander Frolov, Deputy Director of the National Institute of Energy.  "This is why Moscow wants to bring Mongolia into the Eurasian integration processes, and in particular to implement a Russia-Mongolia-China economic corridor."

Sergey Lavrov said a proposal to establish the corridor  "could be submitted for approval to the leaders on the sidelines of the SCO summit in Tashkent in July 2016."

In addition, Russia will be engaged in the modernization of Mongolian companies, and will give the country a loan of 1 billion rubles.

Without peace there is no cooperation

Abe's Russia visit

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Speaker meets members of Russian Federal Council and State Duma

Ulaanbaatar, April 22 (MONTSAME) The Chairman of the State Great Khural (parliament) Z.Enkhbold received Thursday a delegation of the Russian Federation--B.Zhamsuyev, A.Vorfolomeev; members of the Federation Council; and A.Tarnavsky and N.Makarov, members of the State Duma.

The Speaker thanked the delegation for taking part in the 9th Asia-Europe Parliamentary Partnership (ASEP9) and underlined that a development of the traditional and good neighborhood ties with the Russian Federation is one of the priorities of Mongolia's foreign policy, and emphasized a significance of enriching the strategic partnership with Russia at a newer level.

The Mongolia-Russia inter-parliamentary ties and cooperation have been running at a high level, he went on. The Mongolia-Russia inter-parliamentary group at our parliament with 21 members and chaired by a Vice Speaker R.Gonchigdorj is working dynamically, he added. 

Talking about the visits of the chairs of the State Duma and the Federation Council to Mongolia in 2015, the Speaker said these visits reflect a present volume of the inter-parliamentary relations between our countries.

Mr Zhamsuyev thanked the Speaker for the audience and conveyed to him greetings from S.Ye.Naryshkin, the Chairman of the State Duma; and V.I.Matviyenko, the Chairwoman of the Federation Council.

Russia is participating in the ASEP9 for the third time, Mr Zhamsuyev noted and highlighted an importance of this meeting in making parliamentary delegates of Asia and Europe closer. He emphasized that an official visit of the Mongolian parliament Speaker to Russia last year gave an impetus to the cooperation.

After this the sides discussed some matters and shared views on ways of boosting the cooperation between the two legislative bodies, bilateral cooperation in trade and economy, great construction, inter-citizens' ties and other issues.

Present at the meeting were R.Gonchigdorj, a Vice Speaker of parliament; D.Terbishdagva MP; and other officials.

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Z.Enkhbold meets China's delegation

Ulaanbaatar, April 22 (MONTSAME) Speaker of parliament Z.Enkhbold Thursday received a delegation led by Ms Zhao Shaohua, a Deputy Chairwoman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of China's National People's Congress.

The Speaker expressed a gratitude to Ms Zhao for participating in the 9th Asia-Europe Parliamentary Partnership (ASEP9). He said Mongolia and China have a tradition to collaborate in international and regional actions, and thanked China for rendering support to Mongolia in hosting the 11th ASEM Summit.

Ahead of the 11th ASEM Summit to be held this July here, Mongolia will organize several meetings connecting Asia and Europe, "these events are important for determining further Mongolian foreign policy," Enkhbold said.

Developing sustainable good neighborhood friendly relations and mutually beneficial cooperation with China is of the priorities of the Mongolian foreign policy. A regularization of high level meetings and visits contributes to strengthening of the bilateral relations. "Moreover, 100 Mongolian youths have visited Ningbo city, one of the centers of Chinese ancient culture and of present development, I am happy with it," Mr Enkhbold said.

Thanking the Speaker for the audience, Ms Zhao underlined that the Mongolian parliament has significantly contributed to the bilateral cooperation. She is satisfied that our ties reached a comprehensive strategic partnership volume after the state visit of China's President Xi Jinping paid to Mongolia in 2015. She supported the Speaker's idea of boosting the bilateral cooperation and asked Mr Enkhbold to focus on intensifying works to be done in accordance with a document adopted during the 1st meeting of the Permanent mechanism of the Mongolia-China inter-parliamentary cooperation.

She also added that the 2nd meeting of this mechanism has been scheduled in Beijing, and invited the Speaker and MPs to participate in it.

The Speaker confirmed that new members of parliament to be selected from the 2016 election will take part in the 2nd meeting of the permanent mechanism. Noting that the foreign policy of Mongolia never changes when the country gets a new composition of parliament, the Speaker said Mongolia attaches a special attention to the trilateral cooperation Mongolia-China-Russia.

Mr Enkhbold pointed out that a mechanism of the Strategic consultative meeting of the three countries' FMs has bee created after a trilateral meeting of the three State Heads. A working group of the three countries intend to approve the "Economic corridor" joint programme, connecting it with the "Steppe road", "Economic region of Silk Road" and the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), he said. 

The Speaker asked the high guest to convey his greetings to Zhang Dejiang, the Chairman of the Standing Committee of the China National People's Congress.

Present at the meeting were M.Enkhbold, a Vice Speaker and head of the Mongolia-China inter-parliamentary group; D.Terbishdagva MP; and others.

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Speaker wants to strengthen Mongolia-Finland cooperation in winter sports

Ulaanbaatar, April 22 (MONTSAME) Speaker of Mongolian Parliament Z.Enkhbold received April 21 a delegation led by the First Deputy Chairman of the Finnish parliament Mr Mauri Pekkarinen. The Speaker wished the guests a pleasant stay in Mongolia and thanked them for the attendance in the Asia-Europe Parliament Partnership Meeting.

He noted that the implementation of actions, discussed at the 12th meeting of the Mongolia-Finland intergovernmental committee in 2014 in Ulaanbaatar, is unsatisfactory, and said related agencies from the two sides should take more active part in this.

Mr Mauri Pekkarinen congratulated him on the successful organization of the ASEP9 and promised to put more efforts to forward the issues discussed at the 12th intergovernmental committee meeting.

Z.Enkhbold expressed an interest in forwarding the cooperation with Finland in culture and sports, particularly in winter sports, and in infrastructure and capacity building.

The Speaker touched upon matters of possibilities of training kindergarten teachers in Finland and of exchange of masters and doctorates.

In response, Mr Pekkarinen said Finland has been leading the world in primary education sphere for over the last decade and expressed a willingness to extend cooperation in this sphere.

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Mongolia seeks close cooperation with Switzerland in higher education

Ulaanbaatar, April 22 (MONTSAME) Head of the Mongolia-Switzerland friendship caucus in the State Great Khural (parliament) L.Bold MP received the guests led by Ms Kathy Riklin, the member of the Swiss Parliament, on April 21.

Mongolia has been working to extend cooperation with the Swiss Federation in wider areas, including trade, tourism and industries. 

The Swiss delegates said that it is their first visit to Mongolia. Ms Kathy Riklin noted that the two countries have many common characteristics, such as having the powerful neighbors. Mongolia share borders with Russia and China, while Switzerland borders with Germany, France and Italy.

Mongolia's consistent participation in the World Economic Forum in Davos acts as a key factor of promoting bilateral and multilateral relations between Mongolia and Switzerland. She also mentioned that Mongolia can be an important producer of renewable energy.

L.Bold MP said Mongolia hosted the Autumn Session of Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) last September, and is hosting the ASEP9 this year.

"We are honored to welcome the global parliamentary representatives on such frequent basis", he said. "Swiss political system, democracy and its expertise are strong. We have so much to learn from Your country", he added.

Mongolian government gived scholarships to those who are accepted in the 20 top universities of the world, including the Swiss universities. Yet, many others are left out of the opportunity to receive higher education in the highly developed countries, he noted and asked the delegates to learn the possibilities of showing support on this from the Swiss Parliament.

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Speaker and MPs receive Senator of Philippines

Ulaanbaatar, April 22 (MONTSAME) The Chairman of the State Great Khural (parliament) Z.Enkhbold received April 22 a member of the Senate of the Philippines Mr Aquilino Pimentel and  accompanying him delegation.

Present were also a head of the Mongolia-Philippines friendship caucus in the Mongolian parliament D.Sumiyabazar MP and the State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs D.Gankhuyag. 

Mr Enkhbold expressed Mongolia's interest in activating a cooperation with the Philippines in tourism, culture and education. He noted that the authorities should deepen the dialogues in order to expand the business ties and exchanges.

The high guest extended a gratitude to Mongolian side for the warm welcome and a successful organization of ASEP9, and gave Enkhbold a letter from the President of the Senate of the Philippines. 

Mr Pimentel stated that a number of passengers between Mongolia and the Philippines are still small, regardless of the visa-free regime. "We should focus on this," he said.

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Australia to attend ASEM Summit on Ministerial level

Ulaanbaatar, April 22 (MONTSAME) On April 22, the Speaker of Mongolian parliament Z.Enkhbold received the Deputy-president of the Australian Senate Mr Gavin Marshall and the Australian Ambassador to Mongolia Mr John Langtry.

Z.Enkhbold wished them a pleasant stay in Mongolia and thanked for notifying that Australia will be taking part in the 11th ASEM Summit on Ministerial level. 

In response, Mr Gavin Marshall thanked for the warm welcome and said a Minister for Foreign Affairs will represent Australia in the ASEM Summit. Regardless of the ruling political party that can be changed after the upcoming election, Australia values the friendship with Mongolia and is sending the person who is expected to be appointed the FM, he said.

Mongolia and Australia have a history of longtime friendship and of a support for each other on the international arena, said Z.Enkhbold. "I am confident that this friendship will continue, strengthening in favor of the regional stability and social and economic prosperity," he added.

The sides also exchanged views on the drop of global commodity prices, the Free Trade Agreement between Australia and China, and ensuring of the economic sustainability.

Present were also a deputy head of the Mongolia-Australia friendship caucus in the State Great Khural O.Baasankhuu MP and the State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs D.Gankhuyag.

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Mongolia and Canada might cooperate in film industry and winter activities

Ulaanbaatar, April 22 (MONTSAME) Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada Mr Daniel Jean met with the Mongolian Minister of Foreign Affairs L.Purevsuren on April 21. The latter underlined that Canada is our "Third neighbor" and an important partner.

The sides unanimously stated that the intended intergovernmental agreement of Mongolia and Canada on promoting and protecting investments will result in the restoration of investors' confidence in Mongolia, as well as in enhancing the bilateral trade and investment turnover.

The sides also exchanged opinions on giving support to the newly established democracies in the region.

As agreed during the 2013 state visit of the Governor-general of Canada to Mongolia, ties should be forwarded in student exchange and scholarships for Mongolian students majoring in mining and other related specializations, and also by opening exhibitions about Mongolian nomadic culture and history, involving Mongolian film entities in the international film festivals, held in Canada, and by inviting the Canadian hockey teams and trainers for deepening a cooperation in winter sports, suggested the Mongolian FM.

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Ambassador to Latvia presents diplomatic credentials

Ulaanbaatar, April 22 (MONTSAME) The Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Mongolia to the Republic of Latvia Mr N.Bataa Tuesday presented his diplomatic credentials to the Latvian President Mr Raimonds Vejonis, in Riga.

At the meeting after the presentation, the Ambassador conveyed to him greetings of the Mongolian President, after which the sides exchanged views on the Mongolia-Latvia relations.

The President of Latvia Mr Raimonds said he will participate in the 11th ASEM Summit, hoping that he will hold a meeting with his Mongolian colleague. 

President of Latvia paid an official visit to Mongolia in 2014, Mr Raimonds noted and affirmed that the President of Mongolia has been invited to Latvia.

Following the meeting with the President of Latvia, Mr Bataa met with Mr Gundars Daudze, a Vice Speaker of Latvia's Saeima (parliament); Mr Karlis Sadurskis, the Minister of Education and Science; Mr Uldis Augulis, the Minister of Transport; and Ms Inga Skujina, the Acting State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

During these meetings, the sides discussed a chance to develop the bilateral relations and cooperation in politics, trade, economy, road, transportation and agricultural spheres, considered concrete measures for realizing these goals and their legal basis. They also shared views on international issues and expressed a mutual satisfaction with an active cooperation within international organizations.

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Training held for young diplomats

Ulaanbaatar, April 25 (MONTSAME) The Diplomatic Academy at the Ministry of Turkey's Foreign Affairs successfully organized an annual training program for international junior diplomats in Ankara this April 8-22.

This year's program, which gathered junior diplomats from 64 countries' Ministries of Foreign Affairs, was mainly focused on Turkey's current foreign policy, on social and economic development, and some regional issues.

Discussions and lectures were delivered by the Turkish well known diplomats and nobles such as Foreign Minister, Mr Mevlut Cavuşoglu and the Deputy FM Naci Koru.

At the closing ceremony, Dr. Mesut Ozcan, a Director of this Diplomatic Academy, congratulated the junior diplomats for completing their training and gave them certificates. 

The Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Mongolia to Turkey Mr B.Batkhishig met with Dr M.Ozcan and appreciated the Diplomatic Academy for inviting Mongolian junior diplomats every year. He also congratulated a Mongolian participant Enkhmunkh Bilegt, Attache, Department of Public Administration, on his successful completion.

The sightseeing and touring part of the 22nd International Junior Diplomats Training Program will continue in Nevşehir and İstanbul this April 22-30, when they will visit historical and cultural places.

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Ambassadors of Lithuania, Latvia, Marshall Islands and Federated States of Micronesia presented their credentials

April 21 (gogo.mn) On April 20, 2016, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Lithuania to Mongolia Ina Marčiulionytė, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Latvia to Mongolia Maris Selga, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of the Marshall Islands to Mongolia Thomas D.Kijiner, and Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Federated States of Micronesia to Mongolia Carlson D.Apis presented their Letters of Credence to the President of Mongolia Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj. 

Ambassador of Lithuania Ms Ina Marčiulionytė congratulated Mongolia for its achievements in democratic transition and expressed belief that Mongolia will successfully organize the upcoming Asia–Europe Meeting. The President expressed hope that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the President's Office of Mongolia will fully support her mission. 

Ambassador of Latvia Mr. Maris Selga expressed pleasure over his appointment as the Ambassador to Mongolia and said that he will work towards enhancing the bilateral relations and cooperation between the both countries. President Elbegdorj expressed pleasure that the President of Latvia, Raimonds Vējonis is planning to participate in the ASEM Summit that will be held in Ulaanbaatar in July and wished success in his further responsible mission.

Ambassador of the Marshall Islands Mr. Thomas D.Kijiner expressed satisfaction with being appointed as the first Ambassador of the Marshall Islands to Mongolia and noted that he will pay more attention to the expansion of mutual relations between the countries. President Elbegdorj wished success in his future endeavors. 

On the sidelines of the Working Visit of the President of Mongolia to Japan on May 24, 2015, a Joint Communique on the establishment of diplomatic relations between Mongolia and the Republic of the Marshall Islands was signed by the both countries. 

Ambassador of the Federated States of Micronesia Mr. Carlson D.Apis promised to put efforts to deepen and bring the mutual relationship into a new stage of development. 

President Elbegdorj wished Ambassadors success in their future endeavors and good health.

Link to article

Related:

New ambassadors present credentials to President Ts. ElbegdorjUB Post, April 21

 

Ambassadors of Macedonia, South Africa, Netherlands, Palestine and Uruguay present credentials

Ulaanbaatar, April 20 (MONTSAME) Ambassadors Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Macedonia, the Republic of South Africa, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the State of Palestine and of the Eastern Republic of Uruguay presented April 19 their Letters of Credence to the President of Mongolia Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj. 

Following the ceremony, Mr Elbegdorj met with the newly appointed Ambassadors. The Ambassador of Macedonia Mr Ilija Isailovsky said he will work hard to enhance bilateral relations. The President wished him a success in the diplomatic mission. Last year marked the 20th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Mongolia and the Republic of Macedonia, noted the President and expressed a belief that a lot of untapped possibilities exist to cooperate naming agriculture, tourism and education the most possible areas of cooperation.

At the meeting with the Ambassador of South Africa Ms Dolana Msimang the President said Mongolia views South Africa as its close partner in Africa and wished her success in future endeavors. 

During the meeting with the Ambassador of Netherlands Mr Ron Keller, the President said our country has always been grateful to the people of the Netherlands for actively developing a cooperation with Mongolia through consistent support to our democracy, social and economic reforms, and for sharing experiences, providing financial and technical assistances during tough transition tines started in 1990s. Since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries in 1972, cooperation has been expanding in agriculture, travel, economy and other sectors. 

The Ambassador of Palestine Mr Khalid Mahmood said he is glad to be appointed the Ambassador to Mongolia, and that he will work to enhance cooperation. The President wished him success in the diplomatic mission and added that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the President's Office of Mongolia will support him in the mission. 

At the meeting with Ambassador of Uruguay Mr Fernando Lugris, the President said Mongolia attaches an importance to the development of bilateral relations with Latin American countries, in particular with Uruguay. The Ambassador pledged to put all his effort to boost the relations with Mongolia. 

The leader of Mongolia wished the Ambassadors successes in their endeavors and a good health.

Link to article

 

Mongolia to cooperate with Lithuania in veterinary sector

Ulaanbaatar, April 20 (MONTSAME) The Mongolian Minister of Food and Agriculture R.Burmaa Wednesday met newly-appointed Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Lithuania to Mongolia Ms Ina Marciulionyte.

The sides exchanged views on a present situation of the bilateral cooperation in the agricultural sector and further collaboration. Ms Burmaa said her side could learn Lithuanian experiences in renovation and meat and dairy products production high tech, introduce them in Mongolia, and exchange agricultural goods. She also sounded her views on cooperating in livestock diseases treatment. 

In turn, the Ambassador Ms Marciulionyte underlined that the agricultural industry is the main area of the bilateral cooperation, and supported the Minister's proposal on exchanging representatives.

As a result of the meeting, the sides created conditions for concluding a cooperation memorandum between the two Agriculture Ministries in the veterinary sphere.

Link to article

 

US donates 30 new Land Cruisers to Mongolian Armed Forces

April 20 (gogo.mn) The United States government granted an aid of 30 new land cruiser vehicles for peace keeping operation.

Ceremony was attended by the state secretary of Ministry of Defense, colonel B.Batsaikhan, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to Mongolia Jennifer Zimdahl Galt, Head of General Staff of the Military Armed Force operation department, brigadier general D.Ganzorig,  Defense attache at the US Embassy in Mongolia, Matthew Kent and other officials.

In 2015, military unit numbered 311 went under structural renovation and repair worth 7 billion MNT tugrik with US government grant aid. 

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Health, Education

National oncology center needs equipment for liver transplant

Ulaanbaatar, April 25 (MONTSAME) "Eleg negt Mongolchuud" foundation is conducting a One Billion MNT fundraising campaign to localize the liver transplant surgery in Mongolia's National Oncology Center. The foundation and the center representatives, along with professional artists, called a press conference on April 24 to announce the commencement of the campaign.

Each year, over 2,000 new cases of liver cancer are reported in Mongolia, hundreds are dying of liver cancer. Nearly 80 percent of liver cancer patients are diagnosed with Stage 3 or 4 cancer. Death caused by liver cancer makes up 44 percent of all cancer-related deaths.

For the course of little over the last year, more than 100 cancer patients got liver transplant in India, some 60 received the surgery in South Korea. To sum up, the liver cancer patients are spending 11-15 million USD in total to get liver transplant abroad, every year.

The National Oncology Center successfully operates liver resections over 350 times a year, and is professionally capable of conducting liver transplant surgeries, say the medical practitioners from the center.

One billion Togrog of funding will be dedicated to purchasing required medical equipment for liver transplant and to sending a team of 20-30 professionals to India and South Korea for short-term capacity building trainings.

Anyone who wants to help can donate by making transfer to the Khan Bank account No: 5213001199, or by going to "demjleg.com" website to make an online donation.

Link to article

 

More "Harvoni" arrives for Mongolian hepatitis C sufferers

April 25 (news.mn) In the framework of the contract between the Mongolian Government and "Gilead Sciences" from the United States, "Ombal" is importing the "Harvoni" hepatitis C virus "wonder drug". The medicine, which has a price of USD 94,000, is being imported to Mongolia at preferential rates. To date, "Ombal" has sold Harvoni to 1600 people. From April 20th, the second phase of the supply of the medicine import program commenced. On this occasion, the medicine will be provided to 2000 people. One full course of this medicine consists of three dosages of "Harvoni"; the cost of this totals USD 1200. Recently, the Ministry of Health and Sport has proposed to the National Council of Social Insurance to add Harvoni to the list of essential medicine and to reduce the price.

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Mongolian doctors perform laparoscopic surgery with French equipment

Ulaanbaatar, April 21 (MONTSAME) Action Mongolia Nongovernmental Organization (NGO) of France has donated equipment and instruments for laparoscopic surgery to the hospital in Dundgobi aimag.

French surgeons, pediatricians and oculist including Bertrand Beaune, surgeon, Rene Fritch and Chantal Novel, oculists, Philippe Rebaud and Elozabeth Chabert, pediatricians, Patrick Sachot, otorhinolaryngologist, headed by Jacques Lagoutte, Vice President of the 'Action Mongolia' NGO worked in Dundgobi Aimag where they and Mongolian colleagues performed surgeries, trained local doctors and installed the equipment.

Chief of the Gynecological stationery of the First Maternity Hospital D.Onorjargal said that the First Maternity Hospital cooperates closely with France as well as Australia, Thailand, Taiwan and South Korea.  Last year, the 50th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between Mongolia and France was celebrated in Ulaanbaatar.

"In these frames, we marked the 10th anniversary of cooperation between the First Maternity Hospital and Action Mongolia NGO in light of which a broad range of events were organized including an international scientific conference, publication of a book and handbook and the premier of a documentary on bilateral cooperation. It is the fourth time Action Mongolia NGO donated a full set of laparoscopic surgery equipment to Mongolia since 2009.  The charity action brought benefits to the State Central Hospital III named after Shastin, the First Maternity Hospital, and rural hospitals in Dornogobi and Dundgobi aimags. They aimed to develop laparoscopic surgery in Mongolia.  The laparoscopic surgery equipment cost about 390 million Togrog.  During the last period, Mongolian and French surgeons worked together in Dornogobi, Dundgobi, Khovd, Uvs and Omnogobi aimags. Now, the Mongolian side is studying the present situation in Arkhangai aimag.  In the future, the sides intend to improve the qualifications of Mongolian medical personnel," she said.

During their stay in Mongolia, Action Mongolia NGO and the Ministry of Health and Sports of Mongolia signed a cooperation memorandum which aims to develop laparoscopic surgery and improve medical diagnosis, treatment and the quality of medical services in Mongolia. Moreover, the memorandum provides for the donation and supply of laparoscopic surgery equipment and instruments, training Mongolian doctors, medical staff and other issue on concerning development assistance from France.  The document was signed by S.Lambaa, State Secretary of the Ministry of Health and Sports of Mongolia and Jacques Lagoutte, Vice President of Action Mongolia NGO.

During this period, the French NGO donated eye surgery equipment and French oculists performed surgeries in Bayan-Olgii aimag.  This year, Dornogobi aimag will benefit from the charity action of Action Mongolia NGO which has opened a Representation Office in Ulaanbaatar under the auspices of the Mongolian Association of Gynecological Surgery and Endoscopy.

Vice President of the 'Action Mongolia' NGO Jacques Lagoutte was awarded with a Friendship medal by the Mongolian President in 2015 for his contribution to the development of laparoscopic surgery in Mongolia and for conducting numerous laparoscopic surgeries in Ulaanbaatar and rural aimags along with Mongolian surgeons and training Mongolian doctors.

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Core Pilates Studio in UB

- Startup Business - 

April 21 (gogo.mn) We have visited the first and only Core Pilates Boutique Studio in Ulaanbaatar city. 

PILATES CAN DEVELOP ALL MUSCLES WITHOUT TAKING A TOLL ON YOUR BODY

Pilates is an exercise system of both physical and mental conditioning that uses resistance rather than heavy impact to strengthen, stretch and align the entire body, as well as focus the mind. Pilates is often associated with abdominal work because all the exercises are initiated from a strong center or "core" and flows outward to the extremities. However, the Pilates method is an intense full body conditioning system that is appropriate and beneficial for people of all ages and fitness levels. Pilates can be practiced on a wide variety of equipment/apparatus using resistance springs.

Pilates was developed by Joseph Pilates, a physical-culturist from Germany. He studied both Eastern and Western forms of exercise including yoga.

During the first half of the twentieth century, he developed a system of exercises which were intended to strengthen the human mind and body. 

In his youth he had practiced many of the physical training regimes available in Germany, and it was from these he developed his own work. It has clear connections with the physical culture of the late nineteenth century, such as the use of special apparatuses and claims that the exercises could cure ill health. It is also related to the tradition of "corrective exercise" or "medical gymnastics" as typified by Pehr Henrik Ling. Joseph Pilates, like many Germans, was interned in Britain during World War I. On the Isle of Man, he started teaching other interned Germans about pilates.

MORE THAN 100 EXERCISES CAN BE DONE AT ONE EQUIPMENT  

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Ministry of Education grants 2.6 billion to students

April 21 (UB Post) The Ministry of Education, Culture and Science granted up to six million MNT to 450 projects developed by general education school students from 21 provinces and Ulaanbaatar. The grants amounted to 2.6 billion MNT in total and an award ceremony was held on April 19.

The 450 projects from 427 schools, involving 500,000 students and teachers, were chosen from a project competition among students to promote their school program, which was organized by the ministry through their Education Quality Reform Project.

During the award ceremony, Minister of Education, Culture and Science L.Gantumur said, "In this time where the core program is in progress, I'm confident that developing and implementing innovative projects that meet the school's needs develops well-rounded students, improves cooperation between teachers and students, and contributes to the independence of general education schools."

The grant program will be implemented in three stages with inclusion of state owned general education schools. In the first stage in January, projects of 200 schools were chosen and they are already being implemented. In the second stage, projects of 427 schools were chosen to receive the grants.

The ministry initiated the Education Quality Reform Project in 2012 to improve elementary education quality and to promote the core education programs by strengthening the Mongolian language, natural sciences, and mathematics education quality. The Education Quality Reform Project is funded through a 60 billion MNT soft loan from the World Bank's International Development Association. The project, in addition developing STEM education – science, technology, engineering, and mathematics – aims to have a positive impact on education by creating an education quality evaluation mechanism.

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Mongolia and Latvia to commence student exchange

Ulaanbaatar, April 21 (MONTSAME) On Thursday, Minister of Education, Culture and Sciences Mr L.Gantomor received the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Latvia Mr Maris Selga. The Minister congratulated the Ambassador for his accreditation and wished success on the diplomatic mission.

The sides exchanges opinions on ways of boosting cooperation in education, sciences and technology. The two underlines the great significance of bilateral student exchange in further cooperation and development of the two countries.

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Culture, Society

Ulaanbaatar-based festival offers glimpse into Turkish culture

April 24 (Daily Sabah) Organized as part of the third Ulaanbaatar Turkish Culture Days, which aims to strengthen Turkish-Mongolian cultural relations, Turkish Cinema Days has kicked off in the Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaatar. The event was inaugurated by Turkey's Ambassador to Ulaanbaatar Murat Karagöz, with Çağan Irmak's 2011 film "Dedemin İnsanları" (My Grandfather's People) the first one to be screened for the attending movie buffs. On the 101st anniversary of the Battle of Gallipoli, the film "The Water Diviner," starring Australian actor Russell Crowe along with Turkish actors Cem Yılmaz and Yılmaz Erdoğan, will be screened at the Turkish ambassador's residence.

An Anzac Day service will take place with the participation of Turkish, Australian, New Zealand and British communities at the Choijin Lama Monastery tonight. Moreover, a photo exhibition titled "Scenery from Turkey" will be opened at the Mongolian Artists Union's exhibition hall. A Turkish gala reception will be held at the residence at 7 p.m. On April 27, Ambassador Karagöz will give a lecture titled "Turkey: Bridging cultures and civilizations" at the National University of Mongolia and Turkish opera singer Serap Çiftçi and pianist Nurser Ugan will give a performance in the State Opera and Ballet Theater on April 29. Ulaanbaatar's Turkish Culture Days will welcome Istanbul Mayor Kadir Topbaş as the guest of honor at this year's events.

"Vizontele," "İncir Reçeli" (Fig Jam), "Patron Mutlu Son İstiyor" (Boss Wants a Happy Ending), "Av Mevsimi" (Hunting Season), "Uzun Hikaye" (Long Story) and "Organize İşler" (Magic Carpet Ride) will be screened during the event, which will end on April 29.

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Tengis Cinema showing Turkish award winning films for free

April 25 (gogo.mn) Embassy of Turkey in Mongolia has been celebrating "Turkish Cultural Days" in Ulaanbaatar city during Apr 22-29. In scope of this event, international award wining films are being showed at Tengis cinema for free. 

On Apr 24 at 7pm:

A Long Story (2012): A long story that started and ended at the station.

On Apr 26 at 7pm:

Vizontele (2001): The film is about the introduction of television to a small village in southeast Anatolia in 1974. Employing a tragicomic language, it tells of the efforts of Emin who is the village idiot and Nazmi who is the mayor of the village. Emin and Nazmi attempt to start the broadcasting of television in their village and face various difficulties in this process.

On Apr 27 at 7pm:

Incir Receli (2001): On a night of despair after being turned down continuously for the scripts he writes, Metin ends up in a bar where he meets a girl named Duygu. After spending the night together, she walks out in the morning before he wakes up and leaves only a short note. The next time they meet, Metin becomes curious about her secret and decides to follow her. What he finds out will be the beginning of an everlasting love.

On Apr 28 at 7pm:

Hunting Season (2010): The lives of three homicide detectives are turned upside-down during a murder investigation.

On Apr 29 at 7 pm:

Magic Carpet Ride (2005): A struggling, suicidal young comedian meets a car thief who is willing to teach him a few things about his profession.

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Nature, Environment

Mongolia signs landmark climate change agreement at UN

April 25 (news.mn) On 22nd April, the 170 member countries of the United Nation met in New-York in order to sign the Paris Agreement on climate change. The Minister of Environment Green Development and Tourism, N.Battsereg signed the important document on behalf of Mongolia.

Many countries believe that the measures to counter climate change and global warming will take effect before the scheduled time of 2020, as a result of the Paris Agreement.

U.S Secretary of State John Kerry, who came to the signing ceremony with his two-year-old granddaughter said: "Approving an agreement on the first day of a meeting sets a new record in international diplomatic relations. Even the USA, which does not sign on Fridays has signed the Paris Agreement". UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said of Secretary of State's grandchild: "These young people are our future. Today is a day for our children and grandchildren and all generations to come."

Link to article

Related:

Mongolia signs Paris AgreementMontsame, April 25

 

S.Korean advice on Natural History Museum

April 20 (news.mn) Today, R.Bold, who is Presidential Adviser on human development and social policy had a meeting with director of the research department at the National Science Museum of South Korea. Both sides exchanged their opinions regarding the re-construction of the building of the Natural Science Museum in Ulaanbaatar.

Over the last three years, the Mongolian Natural History Museum has been closed due to the old building's poor state of repair. The general director of the Natural History Museum, D.Zorigtbaatar, also attended the meeting.

Link to article

Related:

President's advisor meets S.Korean museum officialMontsame, April 20

 

Snow Leopard Vodka – Making a Difference for 10 Years

April 21, 2016 (Snow Leopard Trust) Snow Leopard Vodka, the iconic premium spirit with a mission to save its namesake cat, is celebrating its 10th anniversary today! By donating 15% of its profits to snow leopard conservation, the spirits brand has raised a total of $270,000 for the benefit of this endangered feline! Thank you to Stephen Sparrow, Snow Leopard Trust UK, Edrington, and the many affiliated businesses and aficionados who drink and promote Snow Leopard Vodka, and thereby improve the lives of snow leopards and local communities.

Here's a 'top-10' highlight of great impacts Snow Leopard Vodka has made for these cats

1) Anti-Poaching Rewards

2) Dzud relief in Mongolia

3) Research camera surveys in Kyrgyzstan

4) Handicrafts and Women Empowerment

5) Conservation Bonuses

6) Eco-camps

7) Nature Clubs

8) Predator-proof Corrals

9) Livestock Vaccinations in Pakistan

10) Snow Leopard Collaring

We're looking forward to the next decade in this fruitful partnership, and wish our friends at Snow Leopard Vodka a Happy Birthday. If you'd like to learn more about the brand and where it's available, please read this blog article from 2015.

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Digging for dinosaurs in the Gobi Desert

Join the Australian Geographic Society on a thrilling adventure in Central Asia to hunt for fossils with the Mongolian Academy of Sciences.

This is an account of the 2015 AGS Gobi expedition. Want to participate in 2016?

April 25 (Australian Geographic Society) DAY HAD TURNED to night, despite the sun being high in the sky, and I braced myself against winds, the like of which I had never experienced before. One of the Gobi Desert's legendary sandstorms had arrived, disturbing the day's fossil-hunting activities.

Sheets of sand and dust pounded against us as we packed up our gear and retreated to our parked convoy of 4WDs. Such dust storms are not altogether surprising in the Gobi, and we were well prepared. I was covered up with long sleeves, a beanie and cargo pants, and my eyes were protected by both wrap-around sunnies and a pair of goggles. A bandanna tied across my nose and mouth helped keep the dust out.

The Gobi Desert is a starkly beautiful region, rich in mysteries and legends. Covering 1.3 million square kilometres of southern Mongolia and the Chinese province of Inner Mongolia, it stretches south from the Siberian wilderness to the Tibetan Plateau.

Conditions are not always ideal, but the thrilling experience of a sandstorm only added to the excitement of this adventure for me and a small and enthusiastic crew of Australian volunteers.

We were there to prospect for and collect dinosaurs for the Mongolian Academy of Sciences (MAS) on a fossil-dig expedition that was a collaboration between the academy, Odyssey Travel and the Australian Geographic Society.

This April 2015 dig was on a small scale - with just a handful of paying participants - and was a recce for a much larger expedition, which will take place in September 2016 with 15 AG readers. I led the dig along with Dr Tsogtbaatar Khishigjav, renowned dinosaur hunter and head of the MAS's Institute of Paleontology and Geology in Ulaanbaatar.

The whole trip lasted 17 days, with eight days -camping hundreds of kilometres from anywhere in the eastern Gobi. The rest of the time was spent in the capital Ulaanbaatar and visiting a series of significant fossil and geological sites, as well as the spectacular Gurvan Saikhan ('three beauties') mountains.

Mongolia - a country of contrasts

Exciting dinosaur fossil find

Thwarting the fossil poachers

Spectacular dinosaur discoveries in the Gobi

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Sports

World qualifier in UB gives Olympic tickets to 48 wrestlers to Rio

Ulaanbaatar, April 25 (MONTSAME) The "First last chance" 2016 World Wrestling Olympic Qualification Tournament 1 took place this April 22-24 at the "Buyant-Ukhaa" sports complex, Ulaanbaatar.

The gathered for the events some 600 wrestlers from 80 countries competed in men's Greco-Roman, men's and women's freestyle. On the first day, competitions for men's Greco-Roman in under 59, 66, 75, 85, 98 and above 130 kg were held with 151 wrestlers from 51 countries, after which men and women's freestyle wrestling contests ran.

According to overall results, Hungary claimed four Olympic quotas; Armenia, China, Turkey, USA and Uzbekistan--three quotas each; Belarus, Georgia, Moldavia, Poland, Romania, Sweden and Venezuela--two quotas each; other 15 countries--one quota each.

Romania, Bahrein, Turkey, USA, Armenia, China, South Korea, Hungary, Belarus, North Korea, Iran, Ecuador, Israel and France won at least one gold medal.

Three Mongolians competed in the men's -97, women's -48 and -75kg categories, but did not win the Olympic ticket. There is a second chance for Mongolia to grab quotas at the second qualification tournament for wrestling that will take place this May 6-8 in Istanbul of Turkey.

Link to article

 

Mongolia freestyle wrestling president D.Dagvadorj awarded Golden Star Order

Ulaanbaatar, April 25 (MONTSAME) The president of the Freestyle Federation of Mongolia (FSWFM) Mr D.Dagvadorj has been awarded the Golden Star Order of the United World Wrestling (UWW).

It was handed by Mr Nenad Lalovic, the UWW president and a member of the International Olympic Committee, during a closing ceremony of the "First last chance" 2016 World Wrestling Olympic Qualification Tournament 1 on Sunday at the "Buyant-Ukhaa" sports complex near Ulaanbaatar. 

In its turn, the Federation of Mongolia awarded Mr Lalovic the Olympic Merit Order of the Mongolian National Olympic Committee (MonNOC), for his contribution to the development of the wrestling sports in the world. It was granted by Ts.Damdin, the MonNOC vice president.

Link to article

 

IMS Nandinzaya wins first medal in rifle at ISSF World Cup

Ulaanbaatar, April 25 (MONTSAME) A shooter of the national team of Mongolia G.Nandinzaya IMS has captured a bronze medal in the women's 50m 3 positions rifle contest at the ISSF World Cup Rifle/Pistol/Shotgun, which is running in Rio de Janeiro of Brazil.

This is first ever medal for Mongolia to win in rifle event of the ISSF World Cup. Our Nandinzaya has already been qualified for participation in the 2016 Olympic in this type. 

In the finals, held April 22, she came to the final round with 589 points and grabbed the bronze medal after collecting 443.3 points. A gold medal went to a Croatian Snjezana Pejcic, the silver--to Barbara Engleder from Germany.

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Footballer Okubo challenges Hakuho …to wrestling!

April 22 (news.mn) Footballer Yoshito Okubo, who is a forward at Japan's J1 League club "Kawasaki Frontale" has proposed wrestling with the 69th Yokozuna, top sumo wrestler Hakuho (M.Davaajargal).  Yoshito Okubo, who is 33 years old, is the real fan of Hakuho. In response, the 31-year-old Mongolian accepted his challenge and the pair wrestled twice.

After the light-hearted match, Yo.Okubo said: "I simply couldn't get him to budge at all. There is no football defender like him". Yoshiyo Okubo has scored 158 goals in the Japanese supreme league and been named "sniper of all time". He previously played in the Spanish and German leagues. Evidently, he used to study judo in childhood.

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Art, Entertainment

Khan Bank Sponsors Performance Byangels Acrobat & Contortion Center and Shonkhoodoi Traditional Circus

April 20 (Khan Bank) The Khan Bank Foundation sponsored a free performance by Angels Acrobat & Contortion Center, a partner in Khan Bank's social responsibility program, and Shonkhoodoi Traditional Circus from Darkhan-Uul Province for 150 students from School No. 9, 65, 67 and 104 in Songinokhairkhan District and handed out gifts to young audience.

Angels Acrobat & Contortion Center has been cooperating with Khan Bank since 2007, delivering exciting circus performances to children from ger districts. This time, Angels worked with the young performers of Shonkhoodoi Traditional Circus to present a freshly unique performance.

Since 2005, Shonkhoodoi Traditional Circus has been offering free instruction in the circus arts to children from low-income families to help them discover their talents.

T.Tumur, Director and Trainer of Shonkhoodoi Traditional Circus, Darkhan-Uul Province:  

Our circus children have already developed artistic and creative thinking. When we first recruited them, they had no understanding of the circus. With the appreciation and applause from the audience, their diligence and love for the circus has flourished. I firmly believe that many well-known and talented artists will be born from Shonkhoodoi Traditional Circus in the future. The art itself trains and strengthens young people, and teaches them patience. I hope to open the door to success for many children through the circus. Angels Acrobat & Contortion Center is supporting us to go on tour in Turkey. We will be leaving soon to promote the art of the Mongolian circus. This allows Shonkhoodoi's children to take several steps forward in their lives. I would like to convey my gratitude to Khan Bank for their support and providing a facility for rehearsals.

B.Orgilbold, Director and Producer of Angels Acrobat & Contortion Center:

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the foundation of circus culture in Mongolia. Through the Khan Bank Foundation, Angels Acrobat & Contortion Center, along with Shonkhoodoi Traditional Circus jointly organized this performance. The young audience was very impressed. We hope that the performance contributed to children's knowledge about the circus arts. The circus recruits and trains its future performers from young people in the audience who watch its performances. I believe this performance contributed to the children's knowledge of the arts and  gave them precious childhood memories.

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Ballet inspired by 10,000-year-old rock paintings to be staged

April 20 (gogo.mn) A modern and brand new ballet inspired by the 10000-5000 year old rock paintings to be staged at Mongolian National Song and Dance Ensemble Theatre on Apr 25 at 7pm. 

Choreographer D.Enhgerel produced the "Upside Down Traingle" ethno modern ballet based on the research made by the scholar and writer S.Dulam. 

Tickets are available at the tickey office of Mongolian National Song and Dance Ensemble Theatre. For more information, please, make contact to 95178989, 99108679, 70001996. 

Main roles of the ballet:

Julheg /Shaman/- Ya.Damchaabadgar
Elgujte /Tribal leader/- A.Lhagvatuya
Daahaa /Shaman assistant/- L.Saruul
Tundai /brave huntsman/ J.Hishigbayar

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Mongolian actor cast as Romeo at DC theater

April 21 (UB Post) Mongolian actor G.Zanabazar, known as Zana Gankhuyag, scored the role of Romeo in "Romeo and Juliet" staged at Synetic Theater in Washington, D.C., USA last month.

The following is an interview with Zana Gankhuyag by Unuudur. 

Please tell us about yourself to our readers. Why did you decide to become an actor?

My name is Zanabazar Gankhuyag. I have been in the USA since 2002 with my family. My mother is an eye doctor, and my father is well-known artist N.Gankhuyag. He makes tsam dance masks and costumes. My father participates in art events to promote Mongolia, and he organizes tsam mask exhibitions.

I used to study at a Mongolian school in Washington, D.C. every Saturday to not forget my mother tongue and culture. Dancer of the Mongolian State Academic Theater of Opera and Ballet Purevjav used to teach dance at my school. My father forced me to learn how to dance at first. But I fell in love with dancing and stage arts.  After that dance class, students of the school participated in events held in France, Germany, Belgium and Sweden and promoted Mongolia. At that time, I decided to become an actor. Then I entered the theater class of the school.

How did you enter Synetic Theater?

Synetic Theater selected artists from local schools. I also trained in taekwondo and Mongolian traditional dance. I think that influenced me to become an actor at Synetic Theater. Initially, I played Mercutio in a "Romeo and Juliet" play staged by Synetic Theater. After that, the head of Synetic Theater called me and offered me a job. I didn't believe it myself.

I worked as a supporting actor for a year at Synetic Theater. I was studying in high school at the time. Synetic Theater gave me a wonderful opportunity.

Do you have to try harder than other American artists at Synetic Theater because you are Asian? 

Every artist has to try hard. It is difficult to be selected as a protagonist. It doesn't matter if you are Asian or of other ethnic background. On the other hand, art is a business. So the theater has to choose talented artists to attract audiences.

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Travel

New cheap flight to Khovd

April 22 (news.mn) With the support of the Mongolian Government, MIAT and Aero Mongolia are cooperating in reducing the cost of some local flights. It has, therefore, been decided to provide a large aircraft for the Ulaanbaatar – Khovd route; from where there will be short flights to the neighbouring west Mongolian provinces of Bayan-Ulgii, Uvs and Govi-Altai. In other words, Khovd will become a West Mongolian transport hub.

Yesterday (21st April), the opening ceremony for this new service was held. The ticket price to Khovd province used to be MNT 240,000; now, under the new service it has been lowered to MNT 175,000. The bus journey takes at least two days and costs MNT 80,000; this is generally uncomfortable and without meals. The new air service now makes possibility to go to Khovd within two hours, in comfort and for an affordable price.

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