Friday, June 24, 2016

[AKM to blend with TT; APU distributes ₮5.4B; SGK restarts; GE signs Erdenes Mongol MOU; and Russia-Mongolia-China economic corridor plan signed]

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Friday, June 24, 2016

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ASEM's 4th side event: Consultative Meeting on Food Security held in Ulaanbaatar

June 23 ( ASEM Consultative Meeting on Food Security, the fourth side event of the ASEM Summit, concluded in Ulaanbaatar on June 21. The meeting has been attended by a total of 130 participants, including agriculture-responsible government and non-governmental organizations from 17 ASEM member countries, and delegates of international organizations carrying out food and agricultural projects. 

"Food security is one of the crucial issues in the future of Asia and Europe, thus, recommendations from this discussion will be reflected in the upcoming ASEM Summit document," said State Secretary Ariunbold Namsrai of Ministry of Food and Agriculture, who opened the meeting and welcomed the delegates.

The meeting had three plenary sessions, on Food Production, Security, and Nutrition. Speakers included senior officials from Malaysia's Ministry of Health, Spain's Public Health Regional Authority, People's Republic of China's Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Delegation of European Union to Mongolia and China, as well as resident representatives of World Health Organization, UN Food and Agriculture Organization, EU's Support to the Modernization of the Mongolian Standardization System Project. 

"We have successfully discussed issues of food security in Asia and Europe, including transportation and logistics, malnutrition risks for adolescents and infants, obesity, and veterinary disease," said Binderya Batsukh, Chairman of the Meeting and Head of Foreign Relations in the Ministry of Food and Agriculture. "Mongolia has been striving to grow its meat exports, and we have talked about how to prevent from trans-border veterinary diseases, such as foot-and-mouth disease, from the best practices of Kazakhstan, China, and Russia."

The delegates discussed the impacts of climate change for food production, food additives, and genetically modified food production as a biotechnology tool. Another facet of the discussion was focused on health-related issues, including breastfeeding, obesity, and the food produce and product verification issues. The drafting committee issued a protocol of the meeting, which will be submitted for the ASEM Summit on July 15.

Link to article


Mongolia recommends pastoral animal husbandry as salvation for global food securityMontsame, June 23


Nat'l commission for ASEM Summit meets

Ulaanbaatar, June 22 (MONTSAME) The national commission for the 11th ASEM Summit preparations held Wednesday its 31st meeting which approved a schedule of seeing venues of the Summit's events.

In accordance with the schedule, the national commission members will work next week at the "Chingisiin Khuree" camp, "ASEM Villa" town and the day-to-day management center.

Head of the sub-committee on media Ts.Jadambaa informed about a furnishing of the media center of ASEM, while he saying that this media center will be located at B1 floor of the Shangri-La Ulaanbaatar to provide foreign and domestic media with working facilities. The furnishing is being performed in accordance with internationally-recognized scheme, and it is expected to finish by July 1, he said.

Link to article


Int'l Market

AKM last traded A$0.007 on June 20

Aspire Mining signs blending initiative with Mongolia's Tavan Tolgoi Coal mine

June 23 (Proactive Investors) Mongolian coal explorer, Aspire Mining Limited (ASX:AKM) has signed an agreement with the Mongolian Government, owner of the world class Tavan Tolgoi Coal Mine to look into blending coal opportunities with Aspire's Ovoot mine.

The MoU was signed with Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi JSC (ETT), the Mongolian Government entity that owns the giant Tavan Tolgoi mine, one of the world's largest untapped coking and thermal coal deposits.

Aspire's Ovoot Coking Coal Project is also world class in size and quality, ranked as the second largest coking coal project by reserves in Mongolia.

In 2014 Aspire conducted a number of blending tests with various coals including non-coking coal from the massive Tavan Tolgoi Mine.

Of note, that demonstrated the capacity to blend Ovoot Coking Coal and upgrade the coking ability of other coals.

It is expected that over the current life of mine plans there are very significant quantities of non-coking coal to be produced at Tavan Tolgoi without a current viable market to sell into. 

The test work showed that blending relatively low proportions of Ovoot coking Coal (as low as 25% in the blend) resulted in a blended primary coking coal product under the Chinese system.

David Paull, managing director for Aspire, welcomed this positive development to work together with ETT to add material value to Mongolian coking coal. 

"Tavan Tolgoi is by far the largest coking coal deposit in Mongolia with Ovoot being the second largest by reserves and it appears that there are numerous technical and commercial synergies in working together to improve the value of exported Mongolian coking coals."

MoU main points

Aspire and ETT have agreed to: 

-       share data and samples for further evaluation. 

-       establish a technical and commercial working group to prepare a feasibility study into the blending of Ovoot Coking Coal, Tavan Tolgoi non-coking coals and potentially other suitable Mongolia coals in a coal blending facility. This could have a capacity of 8 to 10 million tonnes per annum. 

In the event that the feasibility study is positive, Aspire and ETT will jointly enter into commercial negotiations to establish a blending joint venture and to work together to attract necessary funding.

The Ovoot project development is dependent on the construction of the Erdenet to Ovoot railway which is being progressed by Aspire's subsidiary Northern Railways LLC (Northern Railways).

Northern Railways has been granted a rail concession in August 2015 and the project is undergoing a bankable feasibility study.

Production from the Ovoot project can coincide with the commissioning of the Erdenet to Ovoot railway.

Aspire also currently owns a 50% interest in and is the operator of the Ekhgoviin Chuluu Joint Venture (ECJV) and has an option to increase its ownership to 100% of the ECJV. 

The ECJV owns a 90% interest in the Nuurstei Coking Coal Project (Nuurstei) which has a 12.85 million tonne JORC resource.

Aspire has the option to purchase Noble's 50% interest in the ECJV through to March, 2017.

Of the 12.85 million tonne resource, 37% resides in the Indicated category and 63% is in the Inferred category.

Link to article

Link to AKM release


ERD closed flat on the announcement, -2.94% Thursday to C$0.33

Erdene Continues to Intersect Near-Surface, High-Grade Gold at Bayan Khundii, With 8.3 Metres of 14.3 g/t Gold from Surface

HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA--(Marketwired - June 22, 2016) - Erdene Resource Development Corp. (TSX:ERD) ("Erdene" or "Company"), is pleased to announce drilling results from the Company's recent high-grade discovery at its 100%-owned Bayan Khundii Gold Project ("Bayan Khundii") in southwest Mongolia. Today's results continue to expand the near-surface, high-grade gold zones recently identified at Bayan Khundii. Included with this release, for reference, are two plan maps.

"Our Q2 exploration program has been a tremendous success, following up on our initial high-grade drill results announced in late 2015," said Peter Akerley, President and CEO of Erdene. "We have confirmed continuity of the very high-grade Striker Zone, identified broad zones of gold mineralization at depth, and under post mineralization cover, and identified high priority targets through reconnaissance drilling and trenching. Following a period of review and interpretation we are planning to return to drilling in Q3."

Today's results include the final five drill holes and six trenches from the Q2 exploration program designed to test areas around the periphery of the Bayan Khundii Main Zone and in the Northeast Zone 700 m to the northeast. Highlights include:

·         14.2 g/t gold over 8.3 m in BKD-44

·         0.40 g/t gold over 70 m to the end of hole in BKD-44

·         Drilling continues to confirm extensions of mineralization under post-mineral cover

·         Northeast Zone trenching and drilling confirms gold mineralization 700 m northeast of Striker Zone

Link to release


TER trading flat Friday at A$0.007

TerraCom: Completion of Debt Restructuring

June 23 -- TerraCom Limited (TerraCom or the Company) (ASX: TER) is pleased to announce the completion of a significant milestone in the restructuring of its balance sheet with the execution of long-form documentation for the 5 Year Interest Only Bond (Bond) as part of the continued implementation of its Strategic Plan.

As advised to the market on the 16th May 2016, TerraCom had entered into a binding agreement with financiers on the 5 Year Interest Only Bond which required long-form documentation to be agreed by mid-June 2016.

5-Year Interest Only Bond

No Shareholder Dilution – Outstanding Convertible Notes

Positive Impact on Cashflow and Balance Sheet

Other Company Developments

Mongolian Coking Coal Update

The Company is continuing with the implementation of the new supply chain at BNU in Mongolia which will provide the foundation to recommence mining and ramp up production to an annualised rate of 1.5 mtpa.

Business Development

In order to support the growth and expansion of the Company and to de-risk from single mine and single country operator TerraCom continues to evaluate cash generative assets for potential acquisition.

The Company is in the final stages of negotiations on a strategic opportunity in Queensland Australia to acquire a mature mining operation which is currently on care and maintenance.

The Company continues with due diligence on the potential acquisition of a hard coking coal mining operation in Indonesia. The mine's production licence has a 12 year remaining life and is located in close proximity to road, barge and port infrastructure which connects into the seaborne coal market. The mine has a capability of delivering 500,000 tonnes per annum of hard coking coal.

Link to release


Entree Gold Announces Results of Annual General Meeting

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - June 23, 2016) - Entrée Gold Inc. (TSX:ETG)(NYSE MKT:EGI)(FRANKFURT:EKA) ("Entrée" or the "Company") provides the results of the Company's Annual General Meeting ("AGM") held on June 23, 2016.

All of the matters submitted to the shareholders for approval as set out in the Company's Notice of Meeting and Information Circular, both dated May 19, 2016, were approved by the requisite majority of votes cast at the AGM.

The details of the voting results for the election of directors are set out below:

Link to release


Centerra Reports Kumtor Mine Receives 2016 Emissions and Discharge Permits

TORONTO, ON--(Marketwired - June 23, 2016) - Centerra Gold Inc. (TSX: CG) reports that its Kumtor operation, located in the Kyrgyz Republic, has received its 2016 maximum allowable emissions ("MAE") permit from the Kyrgyz Republic State Agency for Environmental Protection and Forestry ("SAEPF").

Link to release

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Local Market

MSE Trading Report: Top 20 +0.22%, ALL 0%, Turnover 64.9 Million Shares

June 22 (MSE) --

Link to report


MSE Trading Report: Top 20 +1.39%, ALL +0.16%, Turnover 15 Million Shares, 4.3 Million T-Bills

June 23 (MSE) --

Link to report


APU Distributes 5.4 Billion Dividend to 3,476 Shareholders

June 22 (MSE) "APU" JSC decided to distribute dividends worth MNT5.4 billion to its 3476 shareholders, and placed dividends payment to their account of 3075 shareholders through Mongolian Central Security Depository on 3 June 2016.

"APU" JSC kept the remaining dividends for 401 shareholders who missing information /client's register number/ and 4 major shareholders, and it is planning to make direct payments from company.

Link to release


Maturity Notice: 10 Billion 15.473% Discounted T-Bills

June 23 (MSE) Dear investors, please be advised that the following government bond is about to mature.

Symbol of Government Securities

Amount /units/

Maturity /week/

Form of Interest payment

Interest rate (percent)

Issued Date

Maturity Date








Link to notice

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

BoM MNT Rates: Thursday, June 23 Close
















































































































































































































Bank USD rates at time of sending: Khan (Buy ₮1,931 Sell ₮1,942), TDB (Buy ₮1,936 Sell ₮1,949), Golomt (Buy ₮1,930 Sell ₮1,942), XacBank (Buy ₮1,932 Sell ₮1,943), State Bank (Buy ₮1,935 Sell ₮1,948)

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

Link to rates


BoM declines USD bid, CNY ask/bid offers, accepts $115m MNT, $16.5 USD swap offers

June 23 (Bank of Mongolia) Spot trade: Commercial banks bid MNT1931.50-1941.00 for USD 4.0 million and MNT 294.50 for CNY 1.0 million, asked MNT 295.70 for CNY 0.3 million respectively. The BOM did not accept any offers.   

Swap and forward trade: The BOM accepted the bid offers of USD 115.0 million of MNT swap agreement, asked USD 16.5 million of MNT swap agreement from commercial banks. The BOM accepted the bid offers of buying USD 115.0 million and selling USD 1.5 million swap agreements.

Link to release


Mongol Bank specialist speaks about changes in foreign currency market

June 22 (UB Post) In an interview with Udriin Sonin, Director of Mongol Bank's Market Department J.Bataa spoke about issues related to the foreign currency market, with a focus on the USD exchange rate.

The USD exchange rate that reached 2,050 MNT in March has depreciated by 90 MNT as of today. What is the reason for the USD exchange rate slump?

When any product becomes rare in the market, its prices go up, but when there are sufficient supplies, prices drop. The same principle is observed in the foreign currency market. As of today, commercial banks and currency exchange centers in Mongolia are selling USD for 1,965 to 1,968 MNT, while Mongol Bank set the USD exchange rate at 1,961 MNT.

Are there any seasonal influences in the appreciation of MNT rate?

As Mongolia has a floating exchange rate regime, MNT rate against USD exchange rate is determined through demand and supply equilibrium. Depending on the economic structure features, sometimes we can notice seasonal changes. For example, in the first quarter of every year, we can notice pressure on MNT rates against foreign currency, but starting from the second quarter the pressure noticeably drops.

At the end of the first quarter of last year, the MNT rate against USD appreciated by 5.1 percent, while in the second quarter of 2016, the rate has gradually appreciated by 4.4 percent. In addition to seasonal influences, the government released 500 million USD in bonds on the international market, drew in 250 million USD in syndicated loans and increased the domestic foreign currency supply, meeting the expectations of foreign currency market participants.

Some economists explain that the intensification of Oyu Tolgoi's underground mine development has influenced the MNT rate appreciation. How realistic is this explanation?

By resolving the financing for Oyu Tolgoi's underground mine expansion, the company's operations have intensified and its foreign transaction flow has increased.

As a result of many influences I mentioned before, as of the first four months of 2016, the nation's balance of payments equaled 202.3 million USD, showing a positive result. This created the basic conditions for MNT rate appreciation against foreign currencies.

How does Mongol Bank participate in the foreign currency market?

Mongol Bank participates in the foreign currency market only when there is a short-term and sudden fluctuation created in exchange rates. Statistics show that Mongol Bank supplied approximately 89.9 million USD to the domestic foreign currency market per month when foreign direct investment into the country was decreasing, prices of mineral products drastically decreasing, and when the country saw deficits in the balance of payments and state budgets over the last three years.

In the last three months, USD purchase orders from commercial banks have drastically decreased at foreign exchange auctions organized by Mongol Bank. That's why we didn't participate in the foreign exchange auctions over the last three months. However, Mongol Bank is doing foreign exchange swaps and forward contracts from commercial banks to prevent exchange rate risks, and support payment capability.

The public is concerned about further changes in foreign currency rates. How would you predict the foreign currency rate in the future?

There were several positive changes in basic economic indicators since the beginning of 2016. The annual inflation, measured by the consumer price index, equaled 1.8 percent at the end of May. As of April, the nation's current balance was 86.6 million USD, while financial balance saw 279.3 million USD in profits. This resulted in positive balance of payments of 202.3 million USD in April, which was an increase of 522.8 million USD compared to 2015.

There are signs of improvement in prices of raw materials in the global market. From the beginning of 2016, prices of iron ore went up by 15.9 percent, copper by 0.3 percent, and prices of gold rose by 20.2 percent. World Bank projected that Mongolia's economic growth pace will improve starting from 2017, and reach over 10 percent by 2020.

Mongol Bank projects that balance of payments by the end of 2016 will be positive for the first time in the last three years. These expectations are bringing forth possibilities for sustainable foreign currency market conditions.

Link to interview

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Politics & Legal

Spring session of parliament to continue from Thursday

Ulaanbaatar, June 22 (MONTSAME) At its meeting held Wednesday, the Council at Speaker approved agendas and schedules of plenary meetings of the parliamentary spring session and meetings of the Standing committees to continue on June 23-24 after an adjourn.

By the approval of the schedule and agendas, the Standing committee on justice will run final discussions of a draft amendment to the law on the takhar service (equivalent to the US Marshals service) and other relevant laws, while the Standing committee on security and foreign policy will hold final discussions of draft new wordings of the laws on defense, on the Armed Forces and will discuss bills on military service and on legal status of servicemen.

The Standing committee on environment, food and agriculture will hold final discussions of a draft new version of the law on health of livestock and animals and other related bills.

The plenary meeting will start on Friday will consider draft laws and resolutions reviewed at the Standing committees.

Link to article


Only one MP arrives for standing committee session

June 23 ( The Mongolian Parliament has been on temporary recess until today. Tomorrow, 24thJune, Parliament will officially re-assemble to conclude the remaining issues. Today, three sessions of the various standing committees are being held in Government House. But only one MP, Mr L.Bold turned up for a session of the security and foreign policy standing committee.  Other MP's are standing in the election and busy working in their constituencies. Several well-known MP's, however, including, R.Amarjargal, Ts.Bayarsaihan, D.Demberel, Ts.Dashdorj, Su.Batbold and J.Batsuuri will not be standing for re-election.

Apart from security and foreign policy, the justice standing committee and that for environment, food, agriculture also had sessions today.

Link to article


Late Changes to Mongolia's Election Law Raise Concerns Ahead of Next Week's Polls

By Meloney Lindberg and Amarzaya Naran

June 22 (The Asia Foundation) On June 29, Mongolians will cast their vote for a new parliament, the State Great Khural, for the seventh time since the country's first democratic election in 1992. The election process in Mongolia has always been reasonably free and fair with no concrete evidence of electoral fraud, and with a relatively high turnout. However, since the 1992 election when voter turnout was 95.6 percent, turnout has consistently dropped in subsequent elections, reaching 67.3 percent in the last election in 2012. While low turnout is a concern, the most contentious issue surrounding next week's election are late changes to the election law that include rejecting the party list system.

The 2012 parliamentary election was contested with a mixed electoral system that included both proportional representation through a "party list" and a majoritarian system or "first past the post." On April 21, 2016, Mongolia's Constitutional Court rejected the use of party lists that determined 28 of the 76 seats of parliament in 2012. The court argued that the party list system violates the rights of citizens to directly elect their representatives. Less than two months before the election, on May 5, 2016, the parliament adopted the court ruling and amended the election law to remove the party list system and return the election system back to a full majority. Some worry that this change, coupled with a short campaign time of only 17 days, may favor incumbents or members of the major political parties and limit the space for independents and smaller political parties that will have an abbreviated time to be heard by the voters.

Changes in the law also led to the last-minute remapping of electoral districts and allocation of 76 seats. Overall, 48 mandates have been assigned to 21 aimags (provinces) and 28 to the capital city. When the Mongolian parliament approved the gender quota for candidates of at least 30 percent in 2012, it was praised as a progressive step. However, as part of changes to the election law, parliament decided to decrease the gender quota to 20 percent in this election, even though the change had not been included within the Court decision. Both major parties, the Democratic Party and the Mongolian People's Party, nominated 17 and 16 female candidates, respectively, as required by the law.

This year, 69 independent candidates are running – the highest number ever. According to the Sant Maral Foundation's annual Political Barometer released in March 2016, more than one-third of the public (31.9% in the countryside, 39.4% in the capital city, Ulaanbaatar) responded that none of the major parties can best solve their problems. The survey also reveals a high percentage of undecided voters, at over 40 percent, which could mean that smaller parties have a better chance at influencing voters' decisions during the campaign, which officially kicked off on June 11. One feature of Mongolia's election law is that all campaign activities must end one day before Election Day. This clause has been strongly enforced in past elections and tends to leave everyone to wonder in amazement at how all the posters and billboards on the city streets and buildings can vanish overnight.

Coinciding with the parliamentary elections this year are elections for Ulaanbaatar's City Council. An unprecedented 286 candidates are running, vying for just 45 seats. As Ulaanbaatar's population rapidly increases, the importance of running the capital city government is becoming more pronounced. Although allocated only 28 seats in the national government, the City Council is seen as more directly representing the priorities of Ulaanbaatar citizens, who now make up nearly half of the country's entire population, given its power to manage day-to-day issues as well as develop investment, infrastructure, and environmental policies city-wide.

The Mongolian General Election Commission (GEC), which serves as the main government body to organize elections, has faced enormous challenges due to these late changes in the election system, which has resulted in an even more expensive election than planned. The GEC has done a fair job in the areas of online checks of voter registration, as well as checks of party platforms together with the National Audit Agency against their fiscal feasibility so that candidates would not include promises of large cash handouts in their party platforms. During the 2008 election, campaigns competed for who could promise the most cash to voters – two major parties promised to share the country's mineral wealth with citizens through cash handouts of $500 and $750. Candidates are now barred from making election promises about money or employment.

However, the GEC has struggled to sufficiently educate citizens on the electoral system and how to compare party platforms and distinguish between the different candidates. Voters currently do not have easy access to standardized information on candidate profiles, including past offices held or proposed policies. While parties technically make information about platforms and candidates available, making this information more easily accessible and publishing standardized and unbiased information through voters' guides would be a tremendous help.

Although these changes present challenges as Mongolia's democracy transforms, the country has a significant history of free and fair elections that will likely carry it forward. As Mongolians head to the polls next week to decide who will run their country for the next four years, it is important to recognize that, despite historical election day stability, reformers inside and outside government should not abandon efforts for improvements in the transparency and efficiency of the electoral process.

Meloney Lindberg is The Asia Foundation's country representative in Mongolia, and Amarzaya Naran is the Foundation's deputy manager for Governance Programs there. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the individual author and not those of The Asia Foundation or its funders.

Link to post


Electoral Laws translated into English

June 22 ( An English translation of the Mongolian Electoral Laws has been accepted by the General Electoral Commission. Under a Government resolution based on the Electoral Law Amendment, election vocabulary in Mongolian (so far, available in Russian), international election observation rules, establishing an electoral district, district mandate number, code, area and the election timetable has now been translated into English. Copies of the English versions of the electoral laws have been handed over to international observers.

So far 240 foreign observers from four countries have requested permission to observe the parliamentary election and have obtained permission from the General Electoral Commission.

Link to article

Link to election law downloads


Election Day: Fears of July 1

By Julian Dierkes

June 22 (Mongolia Focus) The spectre of the July 1 2008 riots still loom over Mongolian elections. While full explanations never really emerged, it seems that those riots were a combination of some orchestration of protests, the latent potential for protests in frustrations about the election, as well as a lack of preparation by the police.

If those were the factors that led to violence, then – fortunately – two of these factors don't hold for the coming election on June 29 or its immediate aftermath:

1.    Since the 2008 riots, the police has been preparing systematically for incidents of unrest. Presumably that preparation means that any unrest would be handled more professionally, i.e. with a focus on de-escalation and appropriate responses.

2.    If there was some orchestration of protests in 2008, neither of the two main parties is likely to plan anything similar this year, in part because there is a widespread sense that 2008 was a very regrettable blip that was bad for Mongolia, and so should not be repeated.

Voter Frustration

Yet, I do see some reasons to be nervous about the immediate aftermath of the election because I see a number of factors that are likely to leave some voters frustrated. This frustration coupled with the general social ferment brought about by unemployment, lack of opportunity, and lack of prospects in some parts of Ulaanbaatar especially, is a potentially explosive mix.

Frustration about the Result: Parties

Given the dismal performance of the Mongolian economy over the past four years and the infighting and some chaos that has characterized the DP government, a thorough defeat of the DP would not be surprising. Yet, changes to the electoral law that set up hurdles for smaller parties, may mean that the Great Khural will be roughly divided between the MPP and the DP with only a few independents making it into parliament as non-big party MPs. Whether or not the MPP ends up winning or coming close to a majority of 39 seats, it now looks likely that the DP will return with relatively strong representation.

Frustration about the Results: Options

Why might the DP return a strong showing? Well, in part because of manipulations of the election system. But the other element that I have been hearing a lot about is voters' frustration with the lack of alternatives. That is in part frustration with the self-destruction of the XUN Party and the apparent dissolution (as a parliamentary force) of the CWGP. For a brief moment last year, XUN inspired some who were looking for more professional politicians, with more real world and foreign experience, and a dedication to anti-corruption efforts, me included.

The other part of this frustration is that a significant portion of the electorate, especially in Ulaanbaatar, is likely committed to vote against the MPP and the MPRP, but also disappointed by the DP's government. That doesn't leave such a voter a lot of options.

A further contributing factor to the sense of a lack of options is that there are very few new faces coming up in either of the big parties. Only 21 of the 76 constituencies don't have an incumbent in the race. This is certainly the case for the DP which continues to be dominated by some of its founders and "democratic revolution heroes" who are all ageing and remain stuck in their factional ruts. There is no obvious force for rejuvenation that has any parts of the electorate particularly excited as far as I can tell.

In the MPP, there are at least some structures for a generation turnover in place, but at the same time, there isn't much buzz around any of the current leadership or some of the younger faces that are making their way through the party structure.

Doubts about the Results

Unfortunately, some doubting of the election results has been a common feature in past elections. Not only was this ostensibly the motivation for the July 1 riots, but the whole discussion of the "black machines" has been characterized by deep-seated mistrust of the counting and reporting process.

Presumably, the 2004 electoral system with 76 majoritarian districts should make the counting relatively straight-forward. Having said that, the deployment of electronic counting in 2012 did not bring the expected/desired speed in the counting-process in part because there are significant enough delays along the way that the process is not as easy as 1, 2, 3, count, report, aggregate. Out of fear about the aftermath of the election, results came very quickly on the morning after the election in 2012. But if the result is not entirely clear and/or if some constituencies might not reach the minimum required 50% participation, the results might be somewhat delayed. Any such delay will fuel speculation and doubt, in part because those are the default reactions to discussions about the counting process.

Ulaanbaatar in late June

One factor makes this election different, of course, the Asia-Europe Meeting Summit, July 15-16, with numerous heads of state and heads of government expected in town less than three weeks after the election.

Because of this event and the international visibility that will come with it for Mongolia, I'm sure that the government and all officials in the security apparatus will do everything to avoid protests or – worse – any kind of violence following the election.

I would not be surprised if alcohol was banned earlier than just the day before the election. Arrests of potential agitators appear to be happening already. On the election night itself, the police will be discretely omnipresent, I suspect.

However, what if the frustrations I foresee do boil over and express themselves in somewhat spontaneous protests, perhaps not in the centre of Ulaanbaatar but on the edge of the central area, for example? If anything were to escalate, the security forces would obviously be very reluctant to respond with any kind of force, as some parts of the world will be watching very closely in anticipation of the ASEM summit. But if protests turn violent and are not met with a forceful response? What happens if there is intermittent rioting for three nights running because no one actually wants to declare a state of emergency that close to a summit? Are there contingency plans to cancel/move ASEM?

What about races that end up undecided or close to it by some days after the election? Would the election commission then suddenly wave the minimum 50% threshold simply to force a result? How would such a decision be received?

Bottom Line

I am not quite predicting riots, but I would not be surprised if they did occur. While I was fairly certain in 2012 that the election and the reporting of results was going to pass smoothly, I am much less certain of that this year.

Link to post


Media in Mongolia

A look at the media landscape in Mongolia after 26 years of a free press.

By Aubrey Menard

June 23 (The Diplomat) In 1990, Mongolia's peaceful, democratic revolution ushered unprecedented press freedom into the small country. In the intervening 26 years, the media has expanded rapidly, currently boasting nearly 500 media outlets for a population of three million. This abundance hasn't necessarily bolstered democracy–news is frequently bought and paid for by politicians, and unchecked freedom of speech can lead to libelous, uncorroborated journalism.

In this video, Lhagva Erdene (Mongol TV) and Bola Zaankhuu (Eagle TV) describe the state of the Mongolian media and their efforts to bring high journalistic standards to Mongolia. The video is the fourth in the series Young Mongols, an effort to update the world's perception of Mongolia through the stories of its inspiring young people.

Aubrey Menard holds degrees in Politics from Smith College and the University of Oxford.  She lives in Ulaanbaatar and works on extractive sector governance in Mongolia.  Find her on twitter at @AubreyMenard

Link to post (and video)

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GE Mining Seeks Up to $1b Sales to Erdenes Mongol Over 10 Years

By Michael Kohn

June 22 (Bloomberg) -- GE Mining sees "pipeline of opportunity" for as much as $1b in equipment and service deals with Erdenes Mongol LLC over next seven to ten years, Mohamed D. Butt, CEO of
GE Transportation Asia Pacific, says in Ulaanbaatar.

* GE Mining, unit of GE Transportation, signs MOU with Erdenes Mongol to form strategic partnership

* GE Mining will bid for tenders made by Erdenes Mongol: Butt

* NOTE: Erdenes Mongol is the holding company for stakes in nation's resources assets, incl. Tavan Tolgoi and Oyu Tolgoi


Link to Erdenes Mongol announcement


Mongolia's Development Bank becomes partner of SCO Interbank Consortium

Tashkent, Uzbekistan, June 23 (Trend) Mongolia's Development Bank became a partner of the Interbank Consortium of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO IBC) according to a decision made at a meeting of the SCO IBC Council in Tashkent June 23.

During the meeting, chaired by Uzbekistan's National Bank for Foreign Economic Activity, the Council members also discussed the elaboration of the SCO IBC development strategy for 2017-2021, more active cooperation with the Silk Road Foundation, and the cooperation with international financial organizations operating in the SCO area.

Kazakhstan's Development Bank was elected the bank-chairman of SCO IBC for 2016-2017.

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization Interbank Consortium (SCO IBC) was established on October 26, 2005 under a decision made by the Council of Heads of SCO Member States.

The IBC incorporates the following SCO member states' authorized banks and credit institutions: Kazakhstan's Development Bank, China State Development Bank, Kyrgyzstan's RSK Bank, Russia's State Corporation Bank for Development and Foreign Economic Affairs, Tajikistan's State Savings Bank Amonatbonk and Uzbekistan's National Bank for Foreign Economic Affairs.

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US Government to support the SMEs

June 22 ( REACH project, to facilitate access to credit for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in ways that will lead to stronger and more sustainable businesses, have launched today. USAID in cooperation with Development Solutions NGO are implementing the project. 

Project launch event was attended by the officials of Embassies from USA, Japan, Korea and European Union to Mongolia, resident representatives of the international organizations, the Ministry of Industry and Mongolian Credit Guarantee Fund experts. 

The US Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Mongolia Ms Jennifer Zimdahl Galt delivered opening speech. She stated that small and medium enterprises sector in Mongolia generates 20% of GDP. However, they do not have enough financial source. 75% of them want to receive loans and REACH project will supply this demand and support them.

The goal of the project is to improve and scale access to credit for SMEs which face obstacles to receive loans, by assisting SMEs find the appropriate financial products for their specific needs and helping them qualify for the loans. 

The objectives of the project is to strengthen SMEs to qualify for loan requirements and facilitate 500 loans worth of 25 million USD. 

Moreover, following core activities have planned;

  • identify SMEs needs on access to credit capacity building
  • provide technical assistance to SMEs in preparation for loan applications
  • build partnerships with government agencies and private stakeholders
  • operate loan facilitation service centers in five project aimags 
  • organize SMEs Access to Credit annual forum 

Project team to cooperate with Credit Guarantee Fund and the Ministry of Industry. The Ministry of Industry noted that loans worth of MNT 241 billion was granted to 1500 SME projects during 2012-2016. As a result, many industries have established and total of 13 thousand workplaces have created. Currently, over 7000 people are working in SME sector. 

REACH project to open its branch in Bayan-Ulgii, Dornod, Dundgobi and Selenge aimags. 

If you need more information on the project, please contact at 7722 2210.

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Project Description


Remarks by Ambassador Jennifer Zimdahl Galt at the REACH Project Launch EventU.S. Embassy

Brazil-Mongolia Chamber of Commerce established

Ulaanbaatar, June 23 (MONTSAME) Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Mongolia to Brazil Ch.Sosormaa has attended an official ceremony of opening the Brazil-Mongolia Chamber of Commerce as a honored guest during her working tour to Parana State of Brazil.

This chamber has opened at the Parana State Chamber of Commerce while the Ambassador is visiting Parana at the invitation of the State's governor Carlos Alberto Richa.

At the ceremony, the Ambassador Ch.Sosormaa gave details to Brazilian political and business officials about a business and investment environment in Mongolia, and exchanged views on boosting the cooperation in trade, investment and business fields. The sides reached an agreement to back specific proposals and initiatives on the cooperation.

In the scope of her tour to continue until Friday, the Ambassador will leg a meat processing factory in Curitiba city, plants of producing biofuel from garbage and ethanol from potatoes. She said Mongolia wants to cooperate with Brazilian business people in building such factories in Mongolia.

Link to article, top Mongolia's most visited sites

June 23 ( The number of Mongolian websites is increasing annually. In 2014, there were 92 websites involved in media coverage; this year there are 98. According to a media monitoring survey currently underway, the most visited social network visited by Mongolians is Facebook, and the most popular media websites are and More than 100 websites were operating actively at the end 2015. Foreign television shows such as 'Mongolia's got talent' and 'Your Face Sounds Familiar' are now being produced and broadcast in Mongolia.

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Mongolian Delegates to Attend 2016 Global Entrepreneurship Summit

June 23 ( The U.S. Embassy in Ulaanbaatar is pleased to announce that Mongolian entrepreneurs Khongorzul Bat-Ireedui and Amartaivan Budee will attend the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES), which will take place June 22-24, 2016 in Palo Alto, California. They will join more than 700 entrepreneurs from around the world along with investors, speakers, and leaders in the entrepreneurship space.

These innovative entrepreneurs will be joined by President Barack Obama and other high-level U.S. Government officials, including Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, Administrator of the Small Business Administration Maria Contreras-Sweet, Administrator of USAID Gayle Smith, Ambassador at-Large for Global Women's Issues Catherine Russell, and Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Richard Stengel.

This Global Entrepreneurial Summit will be the 7th installment in a series previously hosted by the United States and the governments of Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, Malaysia, Morocco, and Kenya. In bringing the Summit back to the United States, President Obama highlights his commitment to building bridges that help us tackle global challenges together.

Learn more about the Global Entrepreneurship Summit at Join the online conversation using #GES2016, and follow us on Twitter at @GES2016 and Instagram at GES2016.

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All the ducks in a row

Mongolian Economy Magazine JUNE2016 №11 (113)

June 23 (Mongolian Economy) Although the issue of turning the satellite towns surrounding the capital into cities with their own satellite towns has been talked about for many years, no progress has been made as of yet. Establishing industrial parks would be beneficial not just to Ulaanbaatar, but the entire economy of Mongolia. Therefore, the Ulaanbaatar Development Corporation (UBDC) is organising the Ulaanbaatar Development 2016 business forum to hash out issues related to the establishment of industrial parks. Several projects to establish industrial parks have been developed. Specifically, projects such as the Nalaikh Construction Material Industrial and Technological Park, Emeelt Light Industrial and Technological Park,Nalaikh Construction Material Trade Centre and Eco Park are awaiting implementation through the Ulaanbaatar Development Corporation within the framework of the "Ulaanbaatar 2020 Comprehensive Plan and Development Approach for 2030." The UBDC informed that MNT768 billion will be required in order to implement these projects, noting that it is possible to resolve its investment in cooperation with the private sector.

Six economic sectors are actively operating in the capital: wholesale and retail trade, open pit and underground mining, small and medium value-added production, real estate, finance and insurance. The Ulaanbaatar Economic Development Strategy, published last year, states that these sectors account for more than 60 percent of the value-added GDP of the country. Over the last five years, the city's economy has grown by9.5 percent. Industrial parks as well as other developmental sectors are crucial in increasing this performance. However, the preparation works of the projects are just beginning, as the working group organizing the forum explained that initial works such as pre-feasibility studies, partial plans and detailed assessments of environmental impact are being developed. The Deputy Mayor for Ecology and Green Development, T.Bat-Erdene, is heading the working group, while the Executive Director of the UBDC, E.Temuulin, is serving as the secretary.

If indeed these projects are successfully implemented, then the Ulaanbaatar of 2030 would become unrecognisable from what it is today. There will be more sources of diversified economic income, and significant changes will be made in the infrastructure sector. All the key information, including objective and scope of projects, required investment, repayment and private sector involvement, will be included in the proposals. The UBDC, which is striving to implement these projects, developed the details meticulously, and even prepared English versions as an attempt to attract foreign investors.

Among the mentioned projects, Eco Park is raising a lot of eyebrows. It should be noted that Mongolia, a developing country, is giving importance to ecology at a time when nature and environmental issues have become a global concern. In addition, the population of Ulaanbaatar, where the majority live, is increasing year by year. In such a situation, the volume of urban waste is rapidly increasing, as up to 3,000 tonnes a day head towards the dumps. This amounts to around a million tonnes of waste per year. Meanwhile, the processing industry has not developed in the city, let alone the whole country. In this regard, there is a dire need to improve waste management, minimise environmental impact and not dump waste openly. Hence, the Eco Park initiative may just be a timely solution if it gets implemented. The main objective of the park is to classify and recycle wastes and use the most economically and environmentally friendly technology to do so. The park, which will be built at two main locations, was planned with a rather broad scope, as it will be built on area covering 174 hectares along five kilometres of the Naran hillside road and includes 12 recycling plants and five infrastructure facilities. It is estimated that USD 246 billion will be required for the project, with a repayment period of just under 10 years and construction finishing in 2020.

More than 10 other expected projects are waiting for turn for implementation. The organisation in charge has done everything except actually building the things and is facing financing issues. It was said that Ulaanbaatar has the potential to become an Asian financial hub during last year's UB Forum. If all these projects currently only on paper are realised, Ulaanbaatar will get a good start to its goal of becoming an economic and financial hub in Asia.

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S.Korea wishes to cooperate on "Aero-Express" project

June 23 ( Governor of Capital city and Mayor of Ulaanbaatar city E.Bat-Uul received H.E. Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Korea to Mongolia U Sung.

At the meeting, sides exchanged views on thermal power plant V investment and cooperation on development of railway transportation within city. 

At the beginning of meeting, Ambassador U Sung asked about construction progress of thermal power plant V thats being built at Khul valley in Bayanzurkh district. Government of South Korea expressed some amount of assistance on the project.

Mayor E.Bat-Uul said "Water supply and sanitation engineering support solutions are researched and solved. Construction work will begin this fall."

Ambassador U Sung said "I have heard the news about cooperation and signing of MoU with "Ulaanbaatar Railway" to run a lightweight railbus from Ub city to the new international airport at Khushig valley. Korean entities would like to cooperate and invest on this project. We hope you will support us.

In turn mayor E.Bat-Uul said "Ulaanbaatar railway is Mongolia-Russia joint institution. Therefore, Russia expressed their cooperation by investing in "Aero-Express" project. Korea is well know for their excellent inner city railway transportation. I am grateful for this cooperation proposal from experienced country such as S.Korea. It will be much more effective and fruitful if Mongolia, Russia and Korea implements this project together." reports Press and Public Relations department of the Governor's office.

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S.Korean companies interested in cooperating on Aero-Express projectMontsame, June 23


Railbus to serve in Khushig Valley Airport route

June 22 ( Governor of capital city E.Bat-Uul, Mongolian-Russian joint institute "Ulaanbaatar railway" director L.Purevbaatar have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on building "Aero-Express" railways to develop railways in close vicinity of capital city.

The cooperation will enable the construction and utilisation of new railways, reduce freight volume passing through city center, and stop transportation of dangerous cargos. Within the cooperation, sides will work on expansion of train station, connecting Nalaikh, Partizan settlements to capital infrastructures by having double-track railway lines that passes through city.

Railbus to run between Ub to New International Airport in Khushig Valley, procurement of new railbus to support continuous service, and building maintenance workshop are reflected on MoU.

The cooperation will start this fall and first phase is expected for implementation in 2017. Establishment will be fully completed by 2030, reports Press and Public Relations department of the Governor's Office.

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Railway to be constructed from UB to new int'l airportMontsame, June 22


Silk Road Complex under construction in UB

Ulaanbaatar, June 23 (MONTSAME) The complex is being erected alongside of the crossroad of "120k" microdistrict, with nine camel carrying loads and a horsemen followed by a dog. Sculptors have been working on the statues, while the UB City plans the gardening.

Walkways covering 120 squaremeter space and lawn for 300 squaremeters are planned to put, and 80 subshrubs, two elms and 28 syringas to be planted.

Sculptor Yo.Dalkh-Ochir is working on the statues.

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Greenery along the 'Khui Doloon Khudag' road

June 23 ( Ulaanbaatar city will host the Mongolian traditional celebration of 'Naadam' on July 10-13. At present, the city landscaping office is working very hard. Their main task is to plant green verges and "eco panel installations" along the way to 'Khui Doloon Khudag.  So far they have planted 3750 trees along the road, upgraded 140 road sings and painted guide lines along 3000 m2 road. Over the weekend, Mongolians will clean the rubbish from 5500 m3 of drainage ditches and along the roads as part of a citywide clean-up.

The National Naadam Commission has approved this year's budget of MNT 2.9 billion. This year, 1024 wrestlers will be competing in the arena of Ulaanbaatar's Central Stadium. The general director at the State Drama Theatre, state prize winner N.Naranbaatar is in charge of the choreography of the opening and closing ceremonies of Naadam.

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Elbegdorj meets President of Tatarstan Republic

Ulaanbaatar, June 22 (MONTSAME) President of Mongolia Ts.Elbegdorj received Wednesday visiting Rustam Nurgaliyevich Minnikhanov, the President of the Russian Tatartstan Republic.

At the beginning of the meeting, the Tatartsan President said his visit is continuing here successfully, and informed his delegation participated in a Mongolia-Tatarstan Republic joint meeting.

"As we are visiting here with a big composition of delegates from the private sector and business, I really hope our joint meeting has been held fruitfully. There is an opportunity for us to develop the economic partnership and commercial ties between Russian Tatarstan Republic and Mongolia. I am confident that we will face no challenges in intensifying the ties," Minnikhanov said.

Tatarstan Republic has vast experiences in oil and petroleum industries, so the sides are able to cooperate in it, he pointed out.

Expressing the satisfaction with activation of the relations between Mongolia and the Russian Tatartsan Republic and organization of meetings and events, Ts.Elbegdorj believes that officials and business people included in the Tatarstan's delegation will set up effective cooperation with Mongolian organizations and enterprisers.

Present at the meeting were A.Battor, advisor to the President on foreign policy; D.Gankhuyag, the State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; I.K.Azizov, the Ambassador of the Russian Federation to Mongolia; A.A.Karimov, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Industry and Trade of the Russian Tatarstan Republic; and other officials.

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Mongolia to consider oil industry cooperation with Russia's Tatarstan Republic

Ulaanbaatar, June 22 (MONTSAME) Prime Minister of Mongolia Ch.Saikhanbileg received June 21 Mr Rustam Minnikhanov, the president of the Russian Republic of Tatarstan, on the sidelines of the latter's working visit here, to discuss the bilateral economic cooperation.

In the margin of the strategic partnership between Mongolia and the Russian Federation, the government of Mongolia is interested in development intensified economic cooperation with Tatarstan, the PM noted. He also put forward an offer for experiences investors and businesspeople from Tatarstan to cooperate with Mongolia in oil processing industries.

The first oil project can be the foundation of Mongolia-Tatarstan friendship, as Erdenet Mining Corporation has become the eternal symbol of Mongolian-Russian economic ties, said Mr Ch.Saikhanbileg.

The Premier told Mr Minnikhanov that our business people have gotten au fait with the successful free trade zone and industrial park developments in Tatarstan, and that they are eager to supply meat and meat products to the republic.

President of Tatarstan applauded the cooperation offer of the Prime Minister in oil industry, and noted that it is possible to supply petroleum to Mongolia, to organize Mongolian-made product fair and exhibitions, and invite Mongolian business representatives in Tatarstan, as well as to increase the flow of tourists to Mongolia.

Present were at the meeting, State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Mr D.Gankhuyag, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation to Mongolia Mr I.K.Azizov, and the accompanying delegation of the president of Tatarstan.

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President Ts.Elbegdorj arrives in Tashkent to attend SCO meeting

Ulaanbaatar, June 23 (MONTSAME) President of Mongolia Ts.Elbegdorj arrived Thursday in Tashkent city to take part in the 16th meeting of the heads of states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, to be held on June 22-25.

On the airport, the Mongolian President was welcomed with the guard of honor by Shavkat Mirziyoyev, the Prime Minister of Uzbekistan; Abdulaziz Kamilov, the Foreign Minister of Uzbekistan; Daniyar Kurbanov, the Ambassador of Uzbekistan to Mongolia; and B.Batkhishig, the Ambassador of Mongolia to Uzbekistan.

In the scope of the SCO meeting of state heads, Ts.Elbegdorj will hold a trilateral meeting with his counterpart of Russia and China. Following the trilateral meeting, the State leaders will attend a ceremony of signing documents.

Furthermore, Ts.Elbegdorj will meet with Islam Karimov, the President of Uzbekistan, and then will partake in an expanded meeting of the Council of SCO State Leaders.

Mongolia received the observer status at the 2004 Tashkent Summit.

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China, Russia, Mongolia Endorse Development Plan on Economic Corridor

June 23 (Xinhua) China, Russia and Mongolia inked a development plan here on Thursday to build an economic corridor linking the three neighbors, pledging to boost transportation connectivity and economic cooperation in border regions.

The plan was signed after a meeting of Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj in the Uzbek capital of Tashkent ahead of an annual summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).

While chairing the trilateral meeting, the third of its kind, the Chinese president reviewed the achievements the three countries have made in implementing their mid-term roadmap for cooperation, saying progress and positive results have been made in such areas as trade and economy, cultural and people-to-people exchanges, transit transport, tourism and sports.

"The Chinese side is satisfied with the momentum of our trilateral cooperation," Xi said.

He proposed that the three countries continue to center on the aligning of China's Silk Road Economic Belt initiative, Russia's development strategies, especially its transcontinental rail plan, and Mongolia's Steppe Road program to actively advance the trilateral cooperation.

Xi called on the three countries to well implement the development plan to build the economic corridor and strengthen cooperation in transportation infrastructure connectivity, port construction, industrial capacity, investment, trade and economy, cultural and people-to-people exchanges, and environmental protection, thus producing outcomes at an early date.

"We three sides should actively engage in the discussion of building cross-border economic cooperation zones, enhance industrial tie-in, boost sub-regional cooperation in our adjacent areas, and promote the common development of our adjacent areas," Xi said.

The Chinese president also urged the three countries to expand cooperation within the framework of the SCO, especially in such areas as transit transportation, food security, disaster reduction and energy.

Putin said Russia, China and Mongolia are friendly neighbors based on equality, respect and mutual benefit.

He said Russia, in light of the three countries' consensus, is committed to working with China and Mongolia to well implement the projects of transportation and infrastructure construction, speed up simplifying port procedures, and promote regional economic integration process.

Russia is also willing to increase cultural and people-to-people exchanges with the other two countries, he added.

For his part, Elbegdorj said the development plan on the economic corridor linking the three countries is very important, adding that Mongolia stands ready to join hands with China and Russia to advance the construction of transportation infrastructure and strengthen economic cooperation in border regions.

Mongolia also hopes to enhance cooperation with the other two countries in agriculture and disaster relief, he said.

After the meeting, the three heads of state also witnessed the signing of a trilateral agreement on the mutual recognition of the customs supervision results on certain commodities.

The 16th meeting of the SCO Council of Heads of State is scheduled to be held in Tashkent on Thursday and Friday.

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Russian, Chinese, Mongolian leaders adopt program of economic corridor between countriesTASS, June 23

Video: Construction of China-Russia-Mongolia CorridorCCTV, June 23

Studio interview: China, Russia, and Mongolia jointly create economic corridor CCTV, June 23


Leaders of Mongolia and China hold meeting

Tashkent, June 23 (MONTSAME). On sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit underway in Tashkent, President of Mongolia Ts.Elbegdorj held on June 23 a bilateral meeting with President of China Xi Jinping at the Kuksaroi (Blue Palace) State Resident.

"Heads of state of China and Mongolia have previously had several bilateral meetings where a several number of vital agreements were reached. Our countries are succeeding in developing comprehensive strategic partnership relations which are even more advancing and expanding with emergence of new potentials", said the Chinese leader.

Mongolia and China are progressing at the level of comprehensive strategic partnership relations. The agreement on developing such forms of ties were reached during a state visit of Mr. Xi Jinping to Mongolia, recalled Mr. Elbegdorj and welcomed dynamic advancement of the relations.

"Mongolia is expecting to host an official visit of Premier of the State Council of China Li Keqiang which will coincide with the upcoming ASEM Summit in Mongolia. We believe that a number of issues would find their solution during the visit, noted the President of Mongolia.

There are two urgent issues we need to focus on today. One is providing four border checkpoints with international status. In this context, Gashuunsukhait and Gants mod border checkpoints are confronted with challenges related to railway, explained Mr. Elbegdorj and requested his Chinese colleague to pay a particular attention to it.

Another point is negotiations on creating possibilities for Mongolia to reach seaport through the territory of China and railway transit transport, highlighted the Mongolian leader.

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Mogi: oh come oooon!

Putin Concerned About Mongolian Dam Threatening Lake Baikal

MOSCOW, June 23 (AP) — Russia's President Vladimir Putin voiced strong concern Thursday about Mongolia's plans to build a hydroelectric plant on a river flowing into Lake Baikal, warning it could endanger the world's deepest lake.

Putin said that the prospective China-funded dam on the Selenga River would cause "certain risks" to the lake in southern Siberia.

"We would like to study this issue most attentively together with our Mongolian friends and the People's Republic of China," Putin said during a meeting with leaders of China and Mongolia in Uzbekistan's capital, Tashkent.

Putin suggested that Russian power plants could increase electricity supply to Mongolia instead to help meet its energy needs.

The hydropower plant project long has drawn criticism from environmental groups, which expressed fears that it could endanger the world's oldest lake, formed more than 25 million years ago.

Environmentalists warn that the Mongolian dam project would disrupt the Selenga River flow into Lake Baikal and pose catastrophic threat to many of its 2,500 species, of which more than 75 percent are believed to exist only in its waters.

Lake Baikal is 1,642 meters (5,387 feet) deep and contains about 20 percent of the world's unfrozen fresh water, the largest freshwater reservoir in the world by volume. It has been made a UNESCO World Heritage Site thanks to its unique character and biodiversity.

Putin met with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Mongolian President Elbegdorj Tsakhia on the sidelines of a two-day summit of the Shanghai Security Cooperation Organization, a security alliance dominated by Moscow and Beijing. Mongolia has an observer status in the group.

The three leaders also discussed a transport corridor and other infrastructure projects.

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World Energy Council welcomes Mongolia as its newest member committee

Ulaanbaatar, June 23 (MONTSAME) The World Energy Council has announced that it welcomed Mongolia as its newest member committee, bringing the number of the Council's committees to 95 with our four direct memberships. The Council now has a presence in 99 countries.

The Mongolian member committee hosted by the Mongolian Federation of Engineering Organizations aims to promote and support safe, affordable, and reliable energy transformation in the region. As part of its work, it will provide a platform for all stakeholders to discuss and work on the future of energy while representing the Mongolian perspective within national, regional and global energy debates.

Originally existing as a member committee in the past, Mongolia has now re-joined the Council's network as a new entity with O.Erdene-Ulzii of the Mongolian Federation of Engineering Organizations appointed as Chair and Mungunchimeg as its new Secretary.

Mongolia currently ranks at 94 among 130 countries on the World Energy Council's 2015 Energy Trilemma Index and achieves an energy balance score of BCD, with 90% of its population having access to electricity. The Index measures countries' energy sustainability performance based on the three pillars of the trilemma: energy security, energy equity, and environmental sustainability.

A recent report by the International Renewables Agency (IRENA) suggested that Mongolia's mostly untapped renewable resources could be used to kick-start a major cross border power corridor between Russia, Mongolia, China, South Korea and Japan.

Excellent solar and wind resources in the Gobi Desert, some of which is in Mongolia and the rest in China, mean that the country has a vast renewable energy potential of 2.6TW.

Mongolia's installed power-generation capacity is currently made up of just 7% from renewables, mainly from hydropower. However, the government has set a target of 20% renewable by 2023 and 30% by 2030. Having had to rely on Russian energy imports to cover short-term contingency needs and on China to power its southern towns, Mongolia aims to use its huge renewable resources to become a net exporter of energy in the future.

Mongolia's parliament recently adopted broad measures aimed at future sustainability including the Green Development Policy and the Law on Energy Conservation and Efficiency.

Christoph Frei, Secretary-General of the World Energy Council said: "We are delighted to welcome Mongolia as our newest member committee. Over the last three years, Mongolia has continued to improve on its overall trilemma ranking. While its energy security rating is steadily rising, among its main challenges lies environmental sustainability. In this context, balancing the trilemma will remain a challenge with national and international dimensions. We look forward working with its energy leaders and hearing their vision for the future at this year's Congress in October."

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Ambassador discusses Mongolia-Uzbekistan relations

Ulaanbaatar, June 23 (MONTSAME) Non-resident Ambassador of Mongolia to the Republic of Uzbekistan B.Batkhishig met Monday with A. Fatkhullaev, Director of the Department of Asia and the Pacific of the Uzbekistan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, discussing the bilateral relations.

The Ambassador proposed to sign the Agreement on exemption of diplomatic and official passport holders from the visa requirements within this year as well as to sign several agreements on cooperation in the sectors of agriculture, trade, economy, science and technology, tourism and combating terrorism.

Moreover, the Ambassador suggested organizing the forth meeting of bilateral political consultation between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of the two countries next year in Tashkent, as well as mutual visits between other ministries and authorities.

Mongolia established diplomatic relations with the Republic of Uzbekistan on January 25, 1992 after the latter had announced its independence on September 3, 1991. The Embassy of Mongolia in Ankara is accredited and covers Uzbekistan while the Embassy of the Republic of Uzbekistan in Beijing covers Mongolia.

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Ambassador B.Batkhishig meets with Uzbek Minister of EducationMontsame, June 23


Japan continues to support young Mongolian civil servants

June 22 ( On behalf of the Government of Mongolia, Foreign Minister L.Purevsuren has signed a memorandum with the Government of Japan. The memorandum regards a new Japanese grant aid project for Human Resource Development Scholarship (JDS) Project worth 555 million yen. The project, scheduled to start in 2016, will last approximately 7 years. In all, 22 Mongolian fellows are to be involved in JDS this year. JDS first started in Mongolia in 2001; to date, 262 fellows have been sent to Japan.

The Japanese Grant Aid for Human Resource Development Scholarship (JDS) Project is aimed at supporting human resource development in a range of recipient countries selected by Tokyo. The JDS Project targets highly capable young officials (mainly from government) who are expected to engage in implementing social and economic development plans as future leaders. Currently, JDS is being implemented in Mongolia, Indonesia, the Philippines, China, Laos, Uzbekistan, Cambodia, Vietnam and Ghana.

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Mongolia to develop human resources with assistance from JapanUB Post, June 22


Mongolian embassy in Moscow not connected to tobacco-smuggling case

Ulaanbaatar, June 22 (MONTSAME) Mongolian diplomatic mission to the Russian Federation issued June 22 an official statement regarding the detainment of a retired official at the Ukraine-Romania border in connection the tobacco smuggling. The Mongolian Embassy in Moscow underlined that the respondent D.Dokhombayar retired in 2015, after completing his appointment as an economic adviser at the Embassy in Budapest, Hungary, in 2011-2015.

Embassy expressed regret for the false news and attempts to connect this case to the Mongolian diplomatic mission to the Russian Federation.

The diplomatic mission of Mongolia to the Russian Federation warned that these false information might have a serious consequence in the diplomatic relations between our two countries, and responsibly stated that the Embassy is not connected in any means with this case.

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Health, Education

1st State Hospital opens new branch

Ulaanbaatar, June 22 (MONTSAME) Branch ambulatory of the State 1st Hospital has opened and started providing healthcare and medical services from Monday, having received some 400 customers so far. On June 22, Prime Minister Ch.Saikhanbileg visited the new hospital to see presenting of "One hospital, two wings" project implementation.

The opening for the branch ambulatory took place on the same day. Present PM Ch.Saikhanbielg, Minister of Health and Sports S.Lambaa and the director of the State 1st Hospital B.Byambadorj.

The government has been taking measures for improving healthcare capacity, having opened diagnostic centers in 11 provinces, and managed installations of necessary equipment in the State 1st Hospital and the army hospital, total cost of which reached 79 billion MNT (40 million USD).

The constructions of western region diagnostic and medical center and the general hospital at the University of Medical Sciences, which cost over 300 billion MNT.

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UNICEF and Mobicom sign Memorandum of Understanding

Strengthening partnerships for child-focused corporate social responsibility

June 23 ( UNICEF Mongolia and Mobicom Corporation, the country's leading communications services and technology company, signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) yesterday.

This signature represents a major step towards strengthening partnerships with private sector to advance child-focused corporate social responsibility (CSR) in Mongolia.

CSR within UNICEF refers to efforts towards positively changing business behaviour and practices as they affect children in collaboration with a range of stakeholders, including companies, governments, civil society, children and young people.

Along with Mongolia's economic growth and its recent classification as an upper middle-income country, the private sector has progressively increased its contribution to the local economy, opening opportunities for CSR and public-private-partnerships. UNICEF Mongolia, within its mandate to advance the rights of all children, particularly the most disadvantaged, is uniquely positioned to play a technical advisory role to industry leaders, such as MobiCom Corporation, with a view to enhancing their CSR policies with a specific focus on children.

MobiCom Corporation has a proven track record of its commitment to children's rights, as seen with its support to the establishment of the toll-free child helpline as well as its child-focused CSR priorities.

"MobiCom is delighted to sign a cooperation MoU with UNICEF to extend our CSR efforts focused on children of Mongolia. Together with our partners MobiCom has made a notable impact towards child protection and improving basic hygiene condition for children in rural areas. We are confident that through our collaboration with UNICEF, we will make even greater impact for the wellbeing of children, which is the main focus our CSR initiatives" said David Holliday, the CEO of MobiCom.

The agreement sets the stage for leveraging corporate leadership, resources and expertise to support children in Mongolia, as well as advocacy for the strengthening of the country's policy and legislative environment to be more conducive for the protection and realization of children's rights. Within the scope of the MoU, UNICEF and MobiCom Corporation also pledge to work together in a critical area related to the information technology industry – child online protection – through awareness raising and on-going action-oriented assessments of the opportunities and risks for children in the online world, in accordance with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and UNICEF Guidelines for Industry on Child Online Protection.

UNICEF Mongolia and Mobicom Corporation will jointly introduce innovative technological platforms to foster the participation of children and youth, promote awareness and respect for children's rights as well as the Child Rights and Business Principles among the public and business community in Mongolia, the MoU states.

"We are delighted to join forces with MobiCom today around such critical child priorities. We are certain that this partnership will help us tackle challenges and maximize opportunities for children in an areas of great relevance both to MobiCom and UNICEF using innovation as a key strategy to deliver results" said UNICEF Mongolia Representative Roberto Benes.

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Culture, Society

A Haircut for Mongolia's 'Half-Wild' Horses

An inside look at a spring ritual among the nomads of the Mongolian steppe.

By Dimitri Staszewski

June 23 (The Diplomat) "Gadaa aduu dellej baina"—"They're cutting the horses' hair outside."

Filling in the gaps with her hands-turned-scissors mimicry, I was surprised by my own ability to understand the words my host-mother, Enkhchimeg, was saying.

I grabbed my camera and stepped into the furious bluster that characterizes Mongolian spring. Herders and horses kicked dust and dirt, which was caught by the wind and thrown into eyes, ears, and mouths as I photographed the yearly ritual of cutting each horse's mane.

Mongolian horses have been aptly described to me as "half-wild." Despite their undersized stature in comparison to their Western counterparts, lifetimes of grazing, running, and playing with the herd have left their spirits uninhibited and whole—gruff and abrasive in both texture and personality. If you held an apple to a Mongolian horse's face, she would take a momentary pause to gaze at this foreign object and person before putting her head down, returning to graze her familiar pasture.

I entered this whirlwind of hair, teeth, and flying grit with my camera and go-to 50mm lens. I was left in awe as my equipment forced me into close proximity with these half-wild animals and the four men wrangling them.

Dimitri Staszewski is a recording engineer, producer, and an adventurer who enjoys merging his passions for creating multimedia content and exploration. He is currently in Mongolia on a Fulbright-mtvU scholarship. He is adding to his online archive of traditional Mongolian music performed by nomadic herders.

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The App That Wants to Simplify Postal Addresses

A British startup is assigning a unique name to every meter of Earth's surface. Should addressing systems be universalized—and privatized?

June 22 (The Atlantic) There is a city in central Florida where two homes have adjoining backyards. One of the houses sits on Anna Catherine Drive; the other faces Summer Rain Drive. You could scramble under a hedge and get from one property to the other in seconds.

If you wanted to make the same journey legally, however, you had better get ready for quite the excursion. The shortest driving distance between the two front doors is seven miles long. It includes a four-lane state highway. On a good day, the trip takes 20 minutes.

You could tell this story to indict American car culture or to explain the costs of subdivision-based development, but it's also about something much simpler: the importance and ingenuity of postal addresses. If you tried to drive to either of those backyards using only a latitude-longitude coordinate to find them, your GPS might send you many miles off course.

This matters far beyond Florida suburbia.

Mongolia is a spectacularly huge and empty nation. It falls in the bottom half of countries when ranked by population, but lands in the top fifth when measured by area. Some 2.8 million people inhabit its more than 600,000 square miles—but even that is a deceptive figure, as almost half of its population lives in and around the capital, Ulaanbaatar. Mongolia is the least densely populated sovereign nation on the planet.

This presents some problems for its 900-employee postal service, officially known as Mongol Post. Even in the capital, there are few named streets, so many people write addresses based off the nearest landmark. Sometimes people even write their cellphone numbers or a set of direction on an envelope to ensure its delivery. What's more, nearly a quarter of the population is nomadic, according to the World Bank and Quartz; they have no permanent address, in the Western sense of the term.

"There's really no addresses at all for most of the country," Sheldrick told me.

This makes a grid-based system especially appealing. Instead of trying to take advantage of a road-based infrastructure that does not exist, the Mongol Post can quickly ensure that everywhere in the territory has an address.

At least that's what Ganhuyag Chuluun Hutagt thinks. Ganhuyag is a businessman and Mongolia's former finance minister (Mogi: deputy finance minister). Last year, he heard Sheldrick describe the What3Words system at the World Economic Forum in Davos. He was intrigued but had little ability to implement it for Mongolia.

And then suddenly he did. In January, the Mongolian government offered up 30 percent of Mongol Post in an initial privatization bid. Ganhuyag's company, ARD Holdingsacquired about 17 percent of the organization.

"He then called me straight up and said, 'We'd love to bring What3Words to Mongolia for Mongol Post,'" Sheldrick said.

Now he has. Last week, Mongol Post announced that What3Words will provide a national addressing system for Mongolia, "integral to its service and a part of the infrastructure that will help drive the country's economic development." What3Words has drafted a new, Mongolian-language version of its grid system. The announcement was first reported by Quartz.

"I have been working at the Mongol Post company for 10 years now," said Batsaikhan Tsedendamba, the CEO of Mongol Post, in a statement. "During this time, we have been presented with numerous local and international addressing systems and technologies. Of them all, I believe what3words is the most user-friendly and optimal."

But a set of mapping nerds is insistently asking: Optimal, sure—but optimal for whom?

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Nature, Environment

Emergency management agencies open new museum and training center

June 23 (UB Post) A Museum for Emergency Management Agencies of Mongolia was opened on Monday to commemorate the establishment of the first modern emergency management agency of Mongolia on June 20, 2003.

The opening ceremony was attended by Deputy Prime Minister Ts.Oyunbaatar, his advisor P.Dash, Major Generals P.Sundev and  G.Makhbariad, former Head of the State Reserve Authority J.Byambanorov, former Head of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and High Commissioner Ts.Amgalanbayar, current NEMA Head and Brigade General T.Badral, and other representatives.

The new museum was built to honor the history of emergency management agencies, gather and preserve valuable historic documents and items to future generations, and exhibit them to the public.

Over 500 important items are displayed at the museum, including historic documents and photographs of pioneers and heroes of emergency services, nuclear protective gear and equipment, textbooks, training materials, firefighter suits, and more.

The museum was introduced as an institute that will raise public awareness about the operations of emergency service agencies, cultivate patriotic values in children, and increase public knowledge on disaster prevention.


To mark the 13th anniversary of the Mongolian emergency management sector, the first-ever Disaster Management Training Center was opened on June 20.

The NEMA notes that Mongolia will be able to strengthen the Mongolian emergency management sector through the new training center, aid disaster management operations, provide the public with knowledge and information on disaster prevention and measures to take in case of an emergency or disaster.

The training center has 52 rooms in total for training for burning and smoky environment, practicing first aid and rescue operations in high-rise buildings, and an earthquake simulation room. It also has meeting rooms, a library, and a mini 3D film theater.

Reportedly, the Disaster Management Training Center has a capacity to organize training for 150 to 200 people.

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Michael Despines is the Snow Leopard Trust's New Executive Director

June 21 (Snow Leopard Trust) Michael Despines is an accomplished nonprofit leader with extensive professional experience in international development. As an avid conservationist and passionate photographer, he has also been dedicating himself for many years to inspire others to respect and appreciate the natural world.

Working with a wide range of international development and aid organizations, Michael has helped communities around the world become more sustainable. Starting immediately, he will be leading the Snow Leopard Trust's international team of scientists, conservationists, and operations professionals in their efforts to partner with local communities in snow leopard habitat and protect the endangered cat.

"I'm excited to have the opportunity to combine my passion for wildlife conservation and my experience in the world of sustainable community development at the Trust", Michael Despines says.

Michael holds a B.S in Electrical Engineering, a B.A. in General Arts and Science, and a Masters in International Management. He is fluent in French and English and has worked in or visited over 30 countries.

For more details on his background, see Michael Despines CV.

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Mongolian boxers contesting for last Olympic Qualifiers

June 22 ( Mongolia's last four boxers are contesting for the Olympic Qualifiers in Baku, Azerbaijan. The four entering the last-16 of the Olympic Qualifiers are: Kh.Enkh-Amar /52kg/, E.Tsendbaatar /56kg/, N.Shinebayar /75kg/, S.Erdenebayar /81kg/.

Another four boxers G.Gan-Erdene /49kg/, D.Otgondalai /60kg/, B.Chinzorig /64kg/, B.Tuwshinbat /69kg/ have already qualified to participate in the Rio Olympics.

The Baku tournament will be held on June 16-25. There are 469 boxers from 105 countries contesting for 39 places in the 2016 Rio Olympics. The first five places in each weight category will qualify for Rio.

Currently, 32 Mongolian athletes have qualified to participate in the Rio Olympics. The categories are as follows:

  • 9 in free-style wrestling
  • 3 in shooting
  • 1 in archery
  • 4 in boxing
  • 1 in taekwondo
  • 1 in powerlifting
  • 13 in judo.

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Peking to Paris Motor Challenge stops by Mongolia

June 23 (UB Post) The sixth edition of Peking to Paris Motor Challenge arrived in Ulaanbaatar, giving Mongolians a spectacle of 50 Vintageant cars, dated pre-1942, and 60 Classic cars, dated pre-1977.

Signaled by the wave of a flag, one of the toughest but the most extraordinary journey possible for a motorcar, Peking to Paris Challenge, began on June 12, as 110 crews crossed the starting line at the Great Wall of China in Beijing. The car enthusiasts are on a tight-schedule to drive their target 8,500 mile rally and cross the finishing line in Place Vendome in the center of Paris on July 17, 35 days from the starting line.

The most number of car enthusiasts are participating in this year's challenge, according to the Endurance Rally Association, which prepared and planned the challenge for three years.

"The entry list features over 30 different automotive manufacturers and competitors representing 24 different countries. This is truly a global event that challenges both car and crew to the limit," said Fred Gallagher, Endurance Rally Association rally director.

Reportedly, Steve Trafton and Katherine Trafton from the USA are co-driving a 1915 American La France, the oldest car challenging the tough rally this year. Other vehicles include a 1917 La France Tourer Speedster, 1923 Vauxhall OD 23/60, 1928 Bentley Super Sports, 1930 Ford Model A, 1933 Rolls Royce Phantom II, 1934 Hudson Terraplane Convertible, 1956 Porsche 356A, and a 1977 Mercedes 280E.

Participants faced their first share of problems 40 kilometers into their journey while driving through the bumpy roads of Gobi Desert in Mongolia.

According to one of the participants, one car broke down soon after entering Mongolia and Ulaanbaatar, 352.73 kilometers from the starting point. Ulaanbaatar residents were bedazzled several other vintageant and classic cars had to leave the challenge unable to overcome obstacles in Gobi Desert. The issues ranged from flat tires and suspension problems to problems with the accelerator and brakes.

The adventurous car enthusiasts drove into Mongolia through Datong and Erenhot cities in China and finally reached Chinggis Square in by the sight of vintageant and classic vehicles, only seen on photographs. Resetting odometers, some 100 drivers set off to their next stop, Novosibirsk city in Russia.

On the 10th day, June 21, drivers passed Khyargas Lake in Uvs Province, western part of Mongolia. They are expected to reach Novosibirsk city on June 25.

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Special hunting permit temporary restricted due to ASEM

June 23 ( In warm seasons, special hunt permit is issued to citizens by aimag, soum governor's office.

But due to upcoming ASEM Summit in Ulaanbaatar, special hunt permit is temporary restricted starting June 27.

Ministry of Environment, Green development and Tourism made this decision and is to be effective until July 20.

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Ilkley friends in the final preparations for their 10,000 mile adventure from Yorkshire to Mongolia

June 23 (Ilkley Gazette) A TEAM that met when they attended Ilkley Grammar School is to represent Yorkshire in the 2016 Mongolia Charity Rally.

One Steppe Beyond is made up of 24-year-old Matthew Wild, his twin brother William and their 23-year-old friends Megan Hampton and Oliver Hayes, who between them have been Explorer Scouts, completed the Duke of Edinburgh's Gold Award and studied abroad for a year, so have a sense of adventure and the desire to help others less fortunate.

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Art, Entertainment

Matt Davis to bring Comedy World Tour in UB tonight

June 23 ( UB Comedy will host a world class solo stand-up show for the first time in Ulaanbaatar tonight only at Revo bar.

The show will feature Matt Davis, an award-winning comedian who has released 5 albums over 18+ years as a touring performer. He has arrived in UB yesterday to perform. He has kicked off a year-long comedy tour around the world since July, 2015. He has visited and performed stand-up comedy at 29 countries so far. His twelve months tour is near to finish and he stated that I want to continue the next thing and it involves even more. 

Tickets for the show is available at 86266339 and the price is 30,000 MNT which includes one free beer and free delivery. For more information, please click HERE

You are taking A World in Jest comedian tour around the world. Where did this idea come from?

The original idea came from when I started touring US almost 20 years ago. I did all of the US, most of Canada, Caribbean and then I did China two years ago. Then I started realizing you do not have much stand-up comedy was going around all over the world. I noticed that I was not completely connected yet. There were independent guys doing shows in few countries.

I believe people have that interest a lot in common. So if you are interested in stand up comedy or doing comedy or if you are interested in building boats, when you have a lot of common with someone else likes to build boats and it does not matter where they are. I wanted to prove that. There is a community of those people that are not just connected. But you could connect them.

I put the idea together and started reaching out to people. Then people coming back and introduce me to more people and then the more people. I feel like I maybe proved that. 

Stand-up comedy is newer in Mongolia. Have you ever watched the video of Mongolians?

I watched the show last night. I went to UB comedy show last night and it was very good.  The local people and the comedians were really funny. It was in Mongolian and I do not know what they were saying. However I can tell a lot just by the way someone`s talking. They clearly good at what they are doing and the audiences were loving it.

What advice do you have for the Mongolian stand-up comedians?

The only advice is just keep doing it. There is no magic way of learning how to do comedy. Because stand-up comedy is performing, writing and it requires a lot of self-exploration and understanding yourself. It just takes time and effort over and over. If you want to learn how to be a painter, there is no magic way to learn how to be a painter. You just have to paint, understand and learn, get better. You hope you get to that place where you have unique style of painting. I would say as a same. Comedians in UB are doing well. 

I started with trying. These guys run UB comedy they run open mics where people can sign up and try for the first time. That is the first step. When you go through that, you get better and better. There are many festivals around the world and you can go or start touring like me. There is no degree you can get. It is an art form. 

Tell me about your tonight`s show at Revo bar?

We are going to have couple of guys from UB comedy and they will open the show in English. Then I am going to go up and do an hour show. That hour is based around last year. It is all new material. It is not the materials I was doing twelve or thirteen months ago. It is not that show. It is like a different show. I will talk about places I have been and things that common or different from my point of view. 

What is your next country?

Next one I will go back to Thailand. I will work on new stuff there. There were no shows there and no one have done it before. They is no comedy there. I am working with some guys trying to get some stuff.  

They have a bad view on the world. People say to me you should never go there. But it is just people. They get bad view in the world for other reasons. But the people who are they just people like everywhere else. We are going to try to do it. 

Good luck.

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Russian pop rock bank Zveri to perform in Mongolia

Ulaanbaatar, June 22 (MONTSAME) The "Zveri" Russian pop rock band will stage a concert in Mongolia with an objective to deliver actions of saving mazaalai (Gobi bear) around the world under a slogan "Sings for Mazaalai".

This concert will be co-organized by the SHAMK entertainment and the "AIST" TV channel in Mongolia, but the concert's date is not clear yet.

Founded in 2001, the "Zveri" band includes Roman «Zver'» Bilyk (lead singer), Vyacheslav Zarubov (musician), Alexey Lubchik (bass guitarist) and Maksim Leonov (guitarist) and Mikhail Kraev (drummer).

The band was named after Roman Bilyk's nickname. He was soon joined by Maksim Leonov on guitars, Kostya Labezkiy on the bass, Kirill Antonenko on keyboards and Misha Kraev on the drums and the group began work on their debut album Golod (Hunger), released in February 2003. This album contained many of the group's best-known songs, such as Dozhdi-Pistolety (Rain-Guns), Dlya Tebya (For You) and Prosto Takaya Sil'naya Lyubov' (Simply such a strong love).

In March 2004, Zveri released their second album, entitled Rayony-Kvartaly (Regions-districts).

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Mongolia-Russia joint photo exhibition opens in Moscow

Ulaanbaatar, June 22 (MONTSAME) In the sidelines of the 22nd Mongolia-Russia regular meeting of the cooperation in archive sector, a photo exhibition named "Mongolia-Russia economic relations in 1955-1985" opened Monday in Moscow.

This exhibition is displaying copies of historical documents and contracts established between 1955 and 1985 on the Mongolia-Russia economic relations as well as photos which are collected in the state archive of the Russian Federation.

Present at the exhibition's opening were I.Saruul, head of the General Authority of Archive of Mongolia; Ch.Battomor, Counsellor of the Mongolian Embassy in Russia; and V.P.Tarasov, deputy chair of the Russian Archive Agency. The exhibition will continue until July 20, 2016, and it will be mounted in Ulaanbaatar in 2017.

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U.S. State Department extends global visa processing services work with CGI

CGI continuing support of State Department Consular Affairs in Russia, Kazakhstan and Mongolia

Fairfax, Virginia, June 22, 2016 -  CGI (NYSE: GIB) (TSX: GIB.A) today announced that it has been awarded the recompete of its US$32 million contract by the Department of State's Bureau of Consular Affairs for visa processing support services in Russia, Kazakhstan and Mongolia. The award is a firm-fixed-price task order with four one-year extensions, made under the DOS Global Support Strategy indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) contract.

Under the terms of the new agreement, CGI will continue to assist the government with non-immigrant and immigrant visa processing, providing information, appointment, document delivery and greeter services.

This contract provides the State Department's consular affairs stations with numerous advantages, including the delivery of more consistent service levels. In addition, the Department gains far greater visibility into the visa process. Ultimately, the security of US borders is strengthened through vigilant adjudication of visa applications.

"We are gratified by this award and view it as a vote of confidence in the high quality support we have provided this important client during the last five years," said Tim Hurlebaus, CGI Federal President. "CGI is proud to now support consular services in 70 countries around the world."

About CGI Federal

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5 up-and-coming destinations to explore before they get too popular: Ulan Bator, Mongolia

June 23 (AsiaOne) Singaporeans are an inquisitive bunch.

They may stick to familiar travel destinations like Hong Kong, Taiwan and Japan, but they are quite an inquisitive bunch when it comes to exploring lesser-known places too.

According to travel search engine, online flight searches have gone up for these five destinations that are a little off the beaten track.

If you're game for exploring new frontiers, check them out below:


Dubrovnik, Croatia

Boracay, Philippines

Ulan Bator, Mongolia

Mongolia's vast, untouched grassland, desert and mountain landscapes are teeming with adventure. Trekking, rafting, camel riding and ger (a round tent covered with animal skins) camping are just a few of the options that are enticing more travellers to consider a visit.

Spend a day exploring the capital, Ulan Bator, which is a fascinating mix of modern high rises, retro Soviet architecture, ger settlements and Buddhist monasteries.

Queenstown, New Zealand

Bonus location: Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

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UB city participates in Hong Kong's "International Travel Expo"

June 22 ( The Capital's Tourism Department and the national airline MIAT have participated in the International Travel Expo 'ITE-2016', which was held in Hong Kong last week (June 16-19). 'ITE-2016' involved more than 300 institutions, cities and country representatives. The Capital's Tourism Department participated in 'ITE-2016' for the second year running as part of the Friendly Ulaanbaatar Program. Hong Kong passport holders have been granted visa-free access to more than 140 countries; they are now being allowed to stay for an additional two weeks in Mongolia. With a population of seven million, Hong Kong spends more than 20 billion dollars a year on travel.  In recent years, the number of Asian passengers travelling to Ulaanbaatar for business has also increased. According to the Capital's Tourism Department, MIAT is providing five direct flights from Ulaanbaatar to Hong Kong per week during the summer months.

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Mongolia basic Do's and Don'ts

June 22 ( Mongolia is a country of strict "Do's and Don'ts" when it comes to traditions and lifestyle, specifically in the countryside. Some of these rules are of religious background, and others derived from the practical necessities of the nomadic culture. And obviously, there are also examples of superstition. Though in the city, these practices are less strict and one might see a few of the city people not following the rules. However, it does not mean that you should not follow the rules.  

The Mongols have lived in a solid harmony with the Mother Nature for millenniums, and most of the Dos and Donts rules are related to respecting the nature, and also about etiquettes in the Ger. Ger also means home in Mongolian, and is considered as a sacred place. So whether it's a Ger or a house it's a home, and whether you are a Mongol or not these rules are for everyone...

Here are some of Mongolia's basic Dos and Don'ts (indoors and outdoors both). It sure will come in handy when you're visiting this ancient and diverse land of nomads. Take in mind, that depending on the reqion you're travelling there might be stricter rules, so please ask your tour guide for this. Enjoy your travel in Mongolia!


  • Stand on the threshold when entering the Ger/house
  • Refuse offered drink or food in the Ger/house (it's customary for Mongols to offer tea and food as a welcoming omen), at least try to enjoy a sip or two.
  • Whistle inside a Ger
  • Lean against the pillars in the Ger
  • Throw water or any rubbish into the fire (fire is sacred!)
  • Pee in any waters in nature such as lakes, rivers, streams ever! (Water is sacred!)
  • Touch other people's hat or especially, man's head
  • Walk over the Uurga (horse catching pole)
  • Point at someone with a single finger
  • Spill milk/dairy in river, well, or lakes
  • Talk or joke about bad things that may happen
  • Estimate travel hours as drivers believe it brings evil on the trip
  • Ask names of big mountains while the mountain is still in sight  
  • Say thank you too much or for small gestures (Mongols are often shy)


·         Greet the people when entering the Ger

·         Give/receive presents with both hands

·         Hold a bowl by the bottom, not by the top rim.

·         Try to speak Mongolian even it's just Hello (Sain bainuu?), Thank you (Bayarla!) or Bye (bayartai!)

·         Enter or leave Ger through the left

·         Accept food or drink with your right hand or both hands

·         Receive the snuff bottle and gently loosen the top without removing it

·         Bring some small gifts such as stationary for children

·         Always get on horseback from the left

·         Watch over your wallet/purse. Pick pocketing is common in crowded places

·         Shake the hands of someone who you have accidentally bumped feet with

Prepared exclusively for GoGo Travel by Zola (Co-founder of Premium Travel Mongolia LLC.

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