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Friday, June 17, 2016
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IMF urges ASEM to boost integration between Asia and Europe
ULAN BATOR, JUN 10 (EFE/EPA) — The International Monetary Fund (IMF) urged members of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) on Friday to boost integration between the two continents through investment in infrastructure.
ASEM Consultative Meeting on Food Security, Ulaanbaatar, June 20-21
Ulaanbaatar, June 16 (MONTSAME) One of the side events of the forthcoming 11th ASEM Summit, a consultative meeting on food security will be held on June 20-21 in Ulaanbaatar.
A press conference on the consultative meeting's preparations and agenda was called at the MONTSAME agency's info-center by M.Tsengeg, director of the MFA Department of European and American Affairs; and B.Binderiya, head of the External Cooperation Department of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture.
The consultative meeting will be attended by representatives from public and non-governmental organizations engaged in the agricultural industry of 17 countries, Embassies and Consulates in Mongolia, and 11 international organizations including the European Union (EU) that are implementing projects and programs on agriculture and food.
To be held under three main topics--the food supply in Asian and European regions; trade, transportation and logistics of foods; and climate change impact on food safety, the meeting is set to contribute to improving food supply in ASEM members by accelerating food production, promoting the public-private-partnership (PPP) and regulating effectively the national and regional policy on foods.
The consultative meeting will be resulted in releasing recommendations and conclusion that are to be summed up and presented at a pertinent debate of the 11th ASEM Summit scheduled on July 15-16 in Ulaanbaatar.
Gwangju to Host ASEM Culture Ministers' Meeting on June 22-24
June 16 (KBS) The seventh biennial Asia-Europe Culture Ministers' Meeting will be held in the southwestern city of Gwangju next week.
According to the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism on Thursday, Some 200 delegates, including eight culture ministers and eleven deputy ministers, from 51 countries will take part in the meeting in Korea.
Under the theme "culture and creative economy," the meeting will discuss the future of cutting-edge technologies and creative industry; traditional culture and creative economy; and international cooperation for cultivating creative industries.
On the last day of the meeting, South Korea's Culture Minister Kim Jong-deok will announce a Statement in his capacity as the meeting's chairman.
The chairman's statement is expected to call on the ASEM members to strengthen cooperation on culture and creative economy and work together for the joint development of contents industry.
ASEM Photography & Art Exhibition opens at UN Headquarters
June 16 (gogo.mn) The opening ceremony of "The Spirit of Eurasia" photopraphy and art exhibition was held on 13 June at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. The exhibition which is dedicated to the Summit of the Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM) in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia is organized by the Asia Europe NGOs Network and the Permanent Mission of Mongolia to the United Nations.
H.E. Mr. Sukhbold Sukhee, Ambassador and Permanent Mission of Mongolia to the United Nations, H.E. Mr. Karel Jan Gustaaf van Oosterom, Ambassador and Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the United Nations, H.E. Mr. Sebastiano Cardi, Ambassador and Permanent Mission of Italy to the United Nations and Mr. Guiseppe Sergi, Managing Director of the Asia Europe NGOs Network delivered opening remarks.
While pointing out that Mongolia was hosting the Summit of the ASEM in the 20th anniversary of the establishment of ASEM, Ambassador S.Sukhbold explained the importance of organizing the exhibition at the UN Headquarters dedicating it to the Summit.
Photographic and art exhibits from ASEM member states will be displayed at the two stages. The first one will be held on 13-25 June and the second stage will be on 11-16 July.
ASEM Shangri-La Press Center to open by July 1
June 16 (gogo.mn) ASEM Press Center which will cater to foreign and domestic reporters, journalists and media delegates has planned to be commissioned within July 1.
49 sound and visual rooms, desks for 450 journalists as well as all necessary equipments for live streaming, high-speed internet connection and international phone calls will be installed at 2400 square meter areas located at the B1 floor of Shangri-La hotel.
The press center will work for 24 hours.
The online registration of journalists to cover the ASEM 11th summit has already commenced. Preliminary, about 800-1000 international and domestic journalists are expected to report the summit.
XAM last traded A$0.22 on Wednesday, +120% YoY
Xanadu Mines in Trading Halt Pending Capital Raising Announcement
June 16 -- Pursuant to ASX Listing Rule 17.1, Xanadu Mines Ltd (Xanadu) requests a trading halt in respect of Xanadu's ordinary shares with immediate effect.
In accordance with Listing Rule 17.1, Xanadu advises:
(a) the trading halt is requested pending an announcement in relation to a proposed capital raising (Capital Raising Announcement);
(b) Xanadu wishes the trading halt to remain in place until the earlier of such time as it makes the Capital Raising Announcement, or the commencement of trading on 20 June 2016; and
ERD closed flat Thursday at C$0.35. +150% YoY
Canada's Erdene Resource sees bright future after striking gold in Mongolia
June 15 (MINING.com) Canada's Erdene Resource (TSX:ERD), one of the very few miners to never have encountered issues in Mongolia, has seen its shares soar in the last few months after the company hit the jackpot with a new multi-ounce gold discovery in the country's southwest.
The Halifax, Nova Scotia-based miner announced fresh results Tuesday for a 3,845-metre drill program that began in April to follow up on initial figures and test more prospect areas over a 1.7 km trend.
MacDonald believes the recent rout in commodities prices made Mongolia realize how reliant it is on its natural resources and the importance of keeping foreign investors happy.
Erdene Provides Highlights of AGM
HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA--(Marketwired - June 16, 2016) - Erdene Resource Development Corp. (TSX:ERD) ("Erdene" or "Company"), is pleased to announce its shareholders voted in favour of all items of business brought before them at the Company's Annual and Special Meeting of Shareholders ("AGM") held on June 14, 2016 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Details of the AGM are provided below, and a webcast of the AGM presentation is available here.
Appointment of Board and Executive
At the AGM, shareholders voted in favor of Erdene management's nominees to the board of directors, with details of the vote as follows:
Dr. Anna Biolik
J.C. (Chris) Cowan
T. Layton Croft
"We are very pleased to welcome Dr. Anna Biolik and David Mosher to our Company's board of directors. Their combined experience in business development, government relations, and mining in foreign jurisdictions will add strength as we advance our core gold projects in southwest Mongolia," said Peter Akerley, Erdene's President and CEO. "Anna has over thirty years of public and private sector experience and is one of the foremost Canadian experts on Central Asian business and diplomacy, having acted as Canada's first resident Ambassador in Mongolia, while David is a gold mining executive with over thirty-five years of experience in mine and company building in foreign jurisdictions, including Russia and Burkina Faso."
Following the AGM, Erdene's board of directors appointed its executive officers for the coming year, namely: President and Chief Executive Officer - Peter Akerley; Chairman of the Board - Chris Cowan; Vice President and Chief Financial Officer - Ken MacDonald; and Corporate Secretary - Suzan Frazer.
KPMG LLP was re-appointed Auditor of the Company to hold office until the next AGM or until its successor is duly appointed.
Approval of Unallocated Options under the Company's Incentive Stock Option Plan
At the AGM, shareholders also approved all unallocated options issuable under the Company's incentive stock option plan.
CICG: Annual General Meeting & Special Shareholder Meeting
June 16 -- CIC Gold (LSE: CICG) is pleased to announce that the Annual General and Special Shareholders Meeting of the Company will be held at Level 8 Suite 802, The St Regis Commercial Center, 21 Jianguomenwai Dajie, Beijing, China 100020 at 5.00 pm. on Thursday, August 11th, 2016.
The Annual General and Special Shareholder Meeting Information Circular ("Circular") is available on the Company's website. A copy of the meeting notice will be mailed to shareholders of the Company in the near future.
Mongolia Growth Group Announces Change of Auditors
Toronto, Ontario, June 15 (FSCwire) - Mongolia Growth Group Ltd. (YAK ‐ TSXV and MNGGF - USA) ("MGG") or ("the Company") a commercial real estate investment and development company participating in the growth of the Mongolian economy announces today that its former auditor, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP ("PwC"), has resigned as auditor effective June 9, 2016 at the request of the Corporation and Davidson & Company LLP ("Davidson") will be appointed as the successor auditor effective the same day. In accordance with National Instrument 51-102, the Corporation has filed a Change of Auditor Notice on SEDAR, together with letters from PwC and Davidson, each confirming that it is in agreement with the statements contained in the notice, as applicable. There were no reportable events (as defined in National Instrument 51-102) between PwC and the Corporation.
MEC: Notification of Board Meeting
June 15 -- The board of directors (the "Board") of Mongolia Energy Corporation Limited (the "Company") announces that a meeting of the Board of the Company will be held on Monday, 27 June 2016 for the purpose of, among others, approving the announcement of the final results of the Company and its subsidiaries for the year ended 31 March 2016 for publication and considering the payment of final dividend, if any
BDSec Report: The South Gobi Land Grab
By Nick Cousyn
June 9 (BDSec) Contrary to the lukewarm investor sentiment towards Mongolia currently, the exploration license activity in and around Oyu Tolgoi (OT) has started to heat up. Kincora Copper recently announced the acquisition of privately held Ibex, creating the largest land bank of exploration licenses in the South Gobi.
Entrée Gold retains extremely valuable and strategic land surrounding the Oyu Tolgoi deposit, which is only partially covered by their Joint Venture with Turquoise Hill. Rio Tinto and Turquoise Hill have also been quite active, perhaps beyond what many had thought, which we detail below. What happens in this region in the next 1-2 years will help shape modern mining history, which has recently been obscured by the now resolved dispute between the Government of Mongolia and Rio Tinto over Oyu Tolgoi. Many leading geologists view the South Gobi Desert as the most prospective ground for copper mining in the world today, making the current land grab taking place a high stakes game and something investors should be paying attention to. Investor sentiment towards Mongolia has improved considerably following Rio Tinto giving Oyu Tolgoi its "Notice to Proceed" for construction on the underground mine. Through publicly available data from the Mineral Resource Authority of Mongolia (MRAM), we will try to give investors a better sense of the exploration license activities currently taking place and the strategic implications.
The Pole Position
As the only major mining concern operating in Mongolia, Rio Tinto (via their 51% ownership of Turquoise Hill) controls Oyu Tolgoi, the world's most significant copper discovery/project of the past 25 years. Following the successful resolution of the dispute surrounding the OT Investment Agreement last May, RIO/TRQ appear to have gone back into expansion mode, as per their FY'15 financial results released on March 17, 2016:
Exploration during 2015
MSE Trading Report: Top 20 -1.19%, ALL -0.11%, Turnover ₮17.1 Million Shares
June 16 (MSE) --
Ulaanbaatar BUK JSC Shares in Trading Halt Pending 100-for-1 Stock Split
June 16 (MSE) Based on No.: 47 of the enforcement letter from state inspector of Financial Regulatory Commission dated 16 June 2016, trading of "ULAANBAATAR BUK" JSC halted temporary.
In the enforcement letter, decision of 100 for 1 stock split action made on "ULAANBAATAR BUK" JSC, that has total 1,315,475 outstanding shares with nominal price of MNT100.00 resulted total of 131,547,500 outstanding shares with MNT1.0 nominal price were stated. The trading of "ULAANBAATAR BUK" JSC halted temporary starting from 16 June 2016, and Mongolian Stock Exchange have an assignment to execute it within 5 working days.
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 16 Close
MNT vs USD (blue), CNY (red) in last 1 year:
BoM declines USD ask, bid, CNY bid offers, accepts $105m MNT, $26.5m USD swap offers
June 16 (Bank of Mongolia) -- Spot trade: Commercial banks bid MNT1950.00-1955.00 for USD1.6 million, asked MNT 1968.00 for USD 3.0 million and bid MNT296.11-296.80 for CNY 7.0 million respectively. The BOM did not accept any offers.
Swap and forward trade: The BOM accepted the bid offers of USD 105.0 million of MNT swap agreement and bid offers of USD26.5 million of USD swap agreement from commercial banks. The BOM accepted all of the bid offers.
BoM issues ₮35 billion 1-week bills at 10.5%, total outstanding +5.1% to ₮165.15 billion
June 15 (Bank of Mongolia) BoM issues 1 week bills worth MNT 35 billion at a weighted interest rate of 10.5 percent per annum /For previous auctions click here/
Consolidated Balance Sheet of Mongolian Banking System: NPLs, Loss Down in May
June 16 (Bank of Mongolia) --
/in million of togrogs/
Central bank bills
In domestic currency
In foreign currency
In domestic currency
In foreign currency
In domestic currency
In foreign currency
Profit/loss of current year
BoM buys 767.1 kgs of gold in May, 3.3 tons YTD
June 2016 (BoM) --
Link to data (in Mongolian)
EPCRC Monthly Macroeconomic Overview – April 2016
June 8 (Economic Policy and Competiveness Research Center) GDP growth above 3% for the first time since early 2015. More info and figures in our April Macroeconomic Overview.
240 international observers to work during parliamentary elections
Ulaanbaatar, June 16 (MONTSAME) Next parliamentary elections are due on June 29. Four countries, along with Konrad-Adenauer Foundation, the International Republican Institute (IRI) and Asian Network for Free Elections have submitted their requests to appoint more than 240 observers during elections and obtained the accreditations from the National Election Committee of Mongolia.
Among them is an OSCE (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe) team of more than 180 observers from over 20 countries.
These observers, coming from USA, Austria, Germany, Italy, Iceland, Canada, Russia, South Korea, Romania, Finland and France, will make short- and long-term observations throughout all election processes, from preparations to election results.
MP G.Uyanga's election as party leader was illegal says members
June 16 (news.mn) A press conference has been held regarding G.Uyanga, the Chairperson of the Independence and Unity Party (IUP), who has left her previous party and group before the election. During the press conference, the members of the IUP's board of directors A.Amartaivan and B.Saintur have announced that the Chairperson of IUP G.Uyanga had been appointed illegally.
The IUP directors said: "When the documents approving G.Uyanga's appointment as Chairperson were submitted to the Supreme Court; it appears that the signatures might have been forged. Therefore, we are taking this matter to the Supreme Court".
If this accusation that the signatures were forged is proved to be correct, the rights of the IUP's 40 candidates for the parliamentary election and the 28 candidates for the City Representative Assembly will have been violated – as too the rights of the voters.
"Chinggis Bond Expo" held in Chinggis Square
June 16 (news.mn) Today, the Mongolian Government and Development Bank are jointly organizing "Chinggis Bond Expo". The event was held on Ulaanbaatar's Chinggis Square. In the opening ceremony, Prime Minister Ch.Saikhanbileg and the CEO at the Development Bank N.Munkhbat spoke about the success of the initiative.
A total of 129 companies which have been financed under the Chinggis Bond program are participating in the exhibition. Several success stories can be mentioned, including the, "Highway Project", the "Street Project", the "Engineering Infrastructure Project", "Increasing the capacity of Power Plant 4", the "Tavan Tolgoi Power Plant Project" and the "Egiin Gol Hydroelectric Plant".
The State's Role in Large Resource Projects
By Unurjargal Urjin
June 15 (Mongolia Focus) The appropriate forms for state participation in mining sector – a sensitive issue in Mongolia. The Canadian International Mineral Resources and Development Institute (CIRDI) organized a cooperation conference with the Mongolian Ministry of Foreign Affairs themed "The State's Role in Large Resource Projects". At the 2 day conference participants and experts discussed their experiences and mistakes with interactive experiences. CIRDI invited mining experts from developing countries such as, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar, Laos, and Afghanistan. These various experts provided solutions which strengthened national mining governance, efficiently allocated resources and ensured diversity of the mineral sector.
Matthew Genasci, a principal consultant at "Mining Policy Group", hypothesized that the state could become involved numerous ways in mining projects. The second panel discussion was having professionals from Mongolia major mining company "Erdenet", "Baganuur LLC" (Mogi: Baganuur JSC) partially owned by the state and state-owned company, national head investment company, basically mining assets, "Erdenes Mongol" present their objectives. All of these companies have different level of state participation yet the state's participation has not been formalized. For instance, Erdenet company is owned 51 percent by the Mongolian Government in Mongolian-Russian joint venture, which contributed about 13.5% of Mongolian's GDP and 10% of tax revenue. The Baganuur coal mine is owned 75% by the Mongolian Government and privatized 25% of its share on the market. In the case of Erdenes Mongol's main objective is execute Mongolian state owned mining companies assets as well as public shares in market. Other well-performing, state-owned companies such as Codelco (Chile), and LKAP (Sweden) etc., have a similar situation requiring reform of state involvement. So, to what extent should the state get involved?
Root of State Participation in Mining Projects
Mining is capital-intensive, navigating many regulations to initiate most projects. First, the state must establish well-adapted mining regulations. In 2014, Mongolia adopted a "State Mining Policy" which documents the state's role from a legal perspective. Second, the state will determine how these principles, rules and laws will be implemented. During the conference, participants expressed the view that SOEs' board members must be independent, must improve and must stabilize each company's governance. While ensuring transparency, the state needs to deal with total economic capacity prior to negotiating any large mining project. Third, the state needs to consider long-term and "unseen" consequences of their decisions. As claimed by the Fraser Institute, the state usually faces the problem of dynamic industries as like mining. For instance, empirical evidence shows the Tavan Tolgoi coal project bid has proven the state has fallen short in considering opportunity cost and long term considerations. Eventually, even state participation form could be varied, the principles of participation must be clearly identified.
How can states participate more? The Future of State Participation
SOEs' involvement in the resource sector is decreasing in developing countries with none in developed countries. The state must choose their participation level in mining projects. Once established, some fundamental principles could be identified, such as a distinction between the player and the regulator of the game; flexible state mining policy may be a good start. One of mining global leading country, Peru, approved corporate tax rate cuts from 28 to 30 percent beginning of 2016. Also British Columbia in Canada announced a relief plan for mining companies struggling with low commodity prices, aiming to not only remediate mining companies, but also providing relief for communities around large mining projects.
State flexibility will not work without transparency and will lead to a highly uncertainty environment. [The case of Mongolian Windfall Tax Regime]. Mongolian Constitutional law indicates natural resources in Mongolia shall belong exclusively to the people and be under state protection. Although, I oppose the windfall tax regime, people need to get benefit from the commodity price boom cycle. Also, the state should relieve companies and enterprises from harmful situations like commodity price downturn. Therefore, state participation must be flexible under a legislation framework working with mining companies, instead of against them, for the benefit of the country.
By the way, this conference was a great chance to discuss with newly developing mining countries like as Mongolia, to explore their strength as well as representatives figured out better suitable models on their countries to use natural resources efficiently.
Unurjargal Urjin is a Master's student at the Norman B. Keevil Institute of Mining Engineering of the University of British Columbia. His research interest in Social License to Operate, company and society relations. He also has working experience in Tavan Tolgoi and Oyu Tolgoi mining companies as mining engineering in Mongolia.
AmCham Mongolia highlights of the week
June 16 (news.mn) --
AmCham Co-Hosts Roundtable Discussion with the U.S. Agribusiness Exploratory Trade Delegation with U.S. Embassy
AmCham Hosts Meeting with the Senior Representatives from Leading International Financial Institutions in Mongolia
AmCham Hosts Networking Reception with the U.S. Agribusiness Exploratory Trade Delegation Sponsored by its Member G-Mobile
UB Dance Festival-2016 to be held on June 19 at Chinggis Square
June 16 (gogo.mn) In scope of Friendly Ulaanbaatar program, City Governor`s Office jointly with City Cultural Department and Extreme Crew Studio to organize UB DANCE FESTIVAL-2016 for its second year on June 19 at Chinggis square.
This year, dance crews from Japan, South Korea, China and Inner Mongolia will participate in the festival.
Following activities to be held at the festival:
- Dance crew battle
- 1vs1 battle
- Graffiti, street art national championship
- Parkour & Freerunning, Extreme sport championship
- DJ Zesty's line up
- Dance performance and training by the international dancer
- Social dance performance and training
- Backyard label performance
Following artists and dance crews to participate in the festival:
UB city keen on cooperation with Germany on waste treatment
Ulaanbaatar, June 15 (MONTSAME) Deputy mayor of Ulaanbaatar in charge of green development T.Bat-Erdene and the general manager of the capital city B.Badral are paying a visit to Germany, upon support of the Nexus Project on Integrated Resource Management in Asian Cities.
On the sidelines of their visit, they were presented with latest technologies of hard waste recycling and waste water treatment on IFAT 2016 annual fair.
T.Bat-Erdene and B.Badral got au fait with the operations of mini water treatment facility of Germany's Bergmann Company, sanitary pumping vacuum technology of Bilfinger and technology for processing waste clay by Ultrawaves, and discussed about possible cooperation with the management of these high-tech companies.
3rd UB Dialogue on Security in Northeast Asia int'l conference begins in Mongolia
Ulaanbaatar, June 16 (MONTSAME) The 3rd international conference on Ulaanbaatar Dialogue on Security in Northeast Asia was launched in Ulaanbaatar by the Mongolian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Institute of Strategy Studies at the National Security Council (NSC).
The two-day conference brought together some 150 people including scholars and researchers from Russia, China, North Korea, South Korea, Japan, India, USA, Germany, Great Britain, France and Australia, the UN, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, Mongolian nongovernment organizations and private institutions. They are addressing issues on the present state of Northeast Asian security, challenges, approaches to building the mutual understanding and trust in regional countries and promoting the economic cooperation in Northeast Asia, and sharing experiences in environmental protection in the region and disaster management.
Topics regarding the regional security, present economic situation, tendency and environmental sector, is covered in reports by Choi Kan Il, the section head of the Institute of American Studies at the North Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Lee San Hyong, deputy director of the Sejong Institute of South Korea; Jenny Town, the Assistant Director of the US-Korea Institute at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS); Elena Boekova, a chief researcher at the Russian Academy of Sciences; and other scholars.
Japan-Mongolia ties shifting from aid to economic exchange
ULAANBAATAR, June 16 (Nikkei Asian Review) -- Hopes are high that a bilateral agreement now in force between Japan and Mongolia will spur economic exchange.
The economic partnership agreement, signed in February 2015, went into effect June 7. Japan "would like to see Mongolia strengthen business ties and develop -- without relying on grant aid," a government source said about the significance of the pact.
Automobiles and autoparts make up nearly 70% of Mongolia's imports from Japan. The economic partnership agreement, or EPA, removed Mongolia's 5% import duty on new cars, autoparts and construction machinery, with the duty on vehicles up to 10 years old to be abolished within 10 years. The accord is to eliminate tariffs covering 96% of trade between the two countries over the next decade.
Japan, for its part, removed its tariff on cashmere coats coming in from Mongolia, potentially helping grow that country's exports. The pact also grants Japanese companies preferential terms when investing in the country -- particularly useful for trading houses and others aiming to tap Mongolia's rich copper, coal and other mineral resources.
Trade between Mongolia and Japan totals around 37 billion yen ($349 million) annually. The country is Japan's 79th largest export market, and ranks No. 108 as a source of imports. Though it covers four times as much land as Japan, its population is a mere 3 million or so. The number of Japanese living there stands at around 400. A little over 200 Japanese companies have a Mongolian presence, many of them small or midsize businesses. While Mongolia's reputation for producing top-class sumo wrestlers gives it a sizable cultural presence in Japan, its economic weight is lacking in comparison.
Yet the two nations have long maintained friendly ties, providing a foundation for the recent EPA. Japan was a consistent supplier of grants and other financial aid to Mongolia after the country broke away from the Soviet Union and democratized in 1990. That support exceeded 200 billion yen in all -- the most from any nation.
Resource development and other activity powered rapid growth in Mongolia's economy after the turn of the millennium, raising per-capita gross domestic product above $4,000. This put the country squarely in the club of middle-income nations, precluding Japan's ability to provide grant aid as it had in the past.
But perhaps because Mongolia has grown accustomed to such aid, the political will to push development along independently is low, a Mongolian government source said. Bringing the EPA into force was apparently intended in part to banish that mindset and encourage sustainable economic growth based on private-sector investment.
Japan's economic weight alone makes it a natural partner in this endeavor. But so does a particularly high affinity for Japan in Mongolia. Around 1,600 Mongolian students study in Japan in any given year -- the most from any country in proportion to its population. Nearly 10% of the Mongolian legislature has study-abroad experience in Japan. Linguistic similarities between Mongolian and Japanese make fluent Japanese speakers fairly common among the general populace as well.
"Japanese companies have been slow to enter this country so far," said an official at the Mongolia-Japan Center for Human Resources Development here. "But I would like to see them use the EPA as a chance to take advantage of Mongolia's superb talent," he said.
Yet Mongolia still presents business challenges characteristic of developing nations. Many politicians run companies of their own, and are unafraid of pushing policies favoring those interests. The rapidly shifting regulatory environment that results is a source of headaches for many Japanese companies. The country also suffers from a deep-rooted corruption problem: a number of lawmakers appeared in the Panama Papers, which revealed the identities of those exploiting tax shelters.
The Mongolian economy is now suffering chills as resource prices slide and China's economy continues to lose speed, with GDP growing just 2.3% last year. Hopes are high that the EPA will give the country the shot in the arm it needs, in the absence of any other obvious medicine. The government will need to continue cutting its aid dependence and creating a business-friendly economic climate if that cure is to take.
Myanmar, Mongolia anticipate better relations through cultural exchange
NAY PYI TAW, June 16 (Xinhua) -- Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj is currently on a three-day working visit to Myanmar since Tuesday.
His visit came on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of Myanmar-Mongolia diplomatic ties and is the second world leader coming to Myanmar since the new government took office in April.
During his visit in Nay Pyi Taw, President Elbegdorj held talks with his Myanmar counterpart U Htin Kyaw on boosting bilateral relations and friendship through cultural exchange.
The two leaders discussed further cooperation in trade, mining, education, environmental conservation and tourism sectors.
The two leaders witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding on cultural cooperation between the two countries.
During his visit, Elbegdorj also met with State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi with the pair vowing to enhance bilateral cooperation.
The pair discussed matters concerning democratization and rule of laws, national reconciliation and peace process, and democracy culture.
Protection of natural resources, preservation of heritage and cooperation in power sector were also covered by their talks.
During the visit, a Mongolia-Myanmar Business Council was launched following the signing of an MoU on economic cooperation between Mongolia National Chamber of Commerce and Industry and its Myanmar counterpart.
Elbegdorj extended invitation to both President U Htin Kyaw and State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi to visit Mongolia and attend the 11th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) to be hosted by Mongolia on July 15-16.
Elbegdorj paid the first state visit to Myanmar in November 2013 since the two countries established diplomatic ties in 1956 and the two countries then signed an agreement on mutual visa exemption for holders of diplomatic and special passports of citizens of the two countries.
Elbegdorj addressed a Myanmar-Mongolia business forum in Yangon and also delivered speech at the Yangon University on experience in reform in Mongolia.
Aung San Suu Kyi also last visited Mongolia earlier in April of 2013 in the capacity of then opposition leader and parliamentarian.
According to figures, Myanmar exported textile worth 370,000 U.S. dollars to Mongolia in the last fiscal year 2015-16, while medicines, tyres, soft drinks, computers and related accessories worth 2,000 USD were imported over the fiscal year when the two countries began bilateral trade.
Visa deal inked with Mongolia – Myanmar Times, June 16
President partakes in Mongolia-Myanmar business forum – Montsame, June 16
President attends "Sound Management of Natural Resources-2" Int'l Workshop – Montsame, June 16
President Elbegdorj holds official talks with his Myanmar counterpart – Montsame, June 16
Mongolian Ministry of Education, Culture and Science to cooperate with Myanmar – Montsame, June 16
Ts.Elbegdorj meets president Oslo Center in Myanmar - Montsame, June 16
Mongolian President meets Aung San Suu Kyi – news.mn, June 16
Charge d'Affaires of Belarus M.Snopko meets State Secretary of the Ministry of Construction and Urban Development of Mongolia
June 15 (Belarus MFA) On June 15, 2016 the Charge d'Affaires of the Republic of Belarus to Mongolia, Mikhail Snopko, met with the State Secretary of the Ministry of Construction and Urban Development of Mongolia, Sandag Magnaisuren.
During the meeting, the sides discussed prospects for bilateral cooperation in the sphere of construction, as well as the implementation of the agreements Belarus and Mongolia previously reached.
Non-Resident Ambassador to Chile presents credentials
Ulaanbaatar, June 16 (MONTSAME) Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Mongolia to the Republic of Chile Ch.Sosormaa presented Wednesday her diplomatic credentials to Michelle Bachelet, the President of Chile.
Following the presentation ceremony, the Chilean President Michelle Bachelet held an individual meeting with the Mongolian Ambassador.
The Ambassador conveyed greetings from the Mongolian President Ts.Elbegdorj to Michelle Bachelet, and presented to her a congratulatory letter of the Mongolian leader on the 45th anniversary of the bilateral diplomatic relations which is marked this year.
The Ambassador Sosormaa pledged to make every effort to develop relations between Mongolia and Chile in all potential areas of cooperation.
President Bachelet assured to render every assistance in strengthening the friendly relations that exist between our two countries and wished every success to the Ambassador.
The parties reached certain agreements to cooperate in the mining, education, public service and social welfare spheres and to ensure conditions for establishing visa waiver agreement.
Mongolia and Chile established the diplomatic relations on June 1, 1971.
Mongolian Ambassador to UN meets with UNICEF Regional Director
Ulaanbaatar, June 16 (MONTSAME) Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Mongolia to the United Nations S.Sukhbold met with Karin Hulshof, UNICEF Asia-Pacific and East Asia Regional Director, in New York, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs published Thursday.
Ambassador S.Sukhbold congratulated Karin Hulshof on taking over her new duty, and underscored that the Mongolian government gives priority to child protection and development issues. He emphasized that the UNICEF significantly contributes to these matters.
Karin Hulshof said she believes the UNICEF regional center will maintain the traditional close cooperation with the Mongolian government, and then briefed about regional priorities in the child protection and development fields.
To be adopted by the Executive Board in September 2016 in New York, UNICEF's new Country Program Document for Mongolia in 2017-2021 will mainly focus on child survival and development, inclusive, healthy and quality learning environments, and equitable social policies and protective systems.
Seabees Build Partnerships in Khaan Quest 2016
By Construction Electrician 3rd Class Tenisha Wisdom, Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 4, U.S. Navy
ZUUNMOD, Mongolia, June 4 (DVIDS) – Seabees assigned to U.S. Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 4 participated in an engineering civil-assistance program (ENCAP) project as part of Khaan Quest 2016, May 22- June 4. This is the first time since the exercise began in 2003 that Seabees have participated in this exercise.
U.S. armed forces along with forces from Mongolia, Singapore and India, constructed the fourth dormitory in Zuunmod, Mongolia, for students travelling from nearby cities to attend school. NMCB 4, U.S. Army and U.S Marine Corps engineers also made necessary repairs to the schoolhouse classrooms.
"Khaan Quest 2016 meant more than just building a dormitory; it was building relations with the Mongolian Armed Forces, experiencing Mongolians food and culture, and working together with the other armed forces," said Utilitiesman Constructionman Aaron Toval. "I am pleased with the final product of the building. We had one mission in mind - to help provide a an exceptional facility for the children of Mongolia and we accomplished that mission."
Seabees 'Provide Exceptional Building to the Children of Mongolia' – Seabee Online, June 16
Mogi: she's the daughter of the Mongolian Ambassador to Australia, Chuluunhuu Batlai
Canberra College student from Mongolia off to world debating championships in Germany
June 11 (The Canberra Times) Canberrans are no strangers to debating, but few have been invited overseas to put their oratory skills to the test.
Canberra College student Egshiglen Chuluunhuu is among that group, heading to Germany next month after securing a place on the national schools debating team.
She will face off against students from at least 66 countries over 10 days at the World Schools Debating Championship in Stuttgart.
The progression to national debating representative would not have been obvious to her peers when Egshiglen, or Eggy, took up the competition.
"Up until about year 9, I was someone who was pretty introverted, pretty shy, terrified of public speaking," she said.
"It was one of my English teachers who said debating is not necessarily about public speaking, it's about having a passion as to how the world should work and that desire to identify problems and come up with solutions collaboratively."
Debating has allowed Eggy to explore and contest issues in topics including economics, sex and gender, international relations and indigenous affairs.
She balances her time debating between studying the International Baccalaureate and ACT Senior Secondary Certificate, while also volunteering for the Red Cross, and helped found her college's Interact Club.
Eggy was selected for national representation after competing as part of the ACT team at the national championships in Sydney last month.
The team came third, and Eggy impressed the judges with her views on topics such as "we should give the Northern Territory to indigenous Australians" and "we should ban cosmetic procedures and products designed to alter an individual's racial appearance".
The Australian team will know three of the topics in advance of the world championships, but there remains a lot of pressure on the students on the stage.
"The Australian team generally does pretty well and I think we have a good chance, but it will be tough," she said.
"When I found out I was [on the team], I was kind of paralysed; someone had to tap me to get me off my seat. It's been a long-time dream of mine."
The competition runs from July 19 to July 29.
Law school students donate graduation fund to maternity hospital
Ulaanbaatar, June 16 (MONTSAME) Students of the law school of the National University of Mongolia have donated four O2 Concentrates, which in total cost 7 million MNT, to the II Maternity House. The law school students have initiated the charity action in 2014, and since then have been donating necessary staffs to the National Health Center for Mothers and Children and the National Oncology Center.
The funds have been raised from the students' savings for graduation parties. Each year approximately 150 students graduate from the Law School.
O2 Concentrators are important equipment to help save lives of infants, who have breathing difficulties.
At the II Maternity House, 28-30 infants are born every day, and 5-6 infants have certain kinds of trouble and require the use of this equipment.
The hospital has 16 newborn incubators and 4 thermal care devices, each requiring a O2 Concentrator. However, 6 O2 Concentrators were shared for operating these equipments, until the students donated more. We are grateful now that the infants are secured with more access to oxygen, said the head of the neonatal department B.Delgersaikhan MD.
Young Mongols Series: Feminism in Mongolia
June 15 (gogo.mn) Young Mongols, initiated by the Aubrey Menard, is video series to allow Mongolians to tell their own stories and to help the rest of the world better understand what the country is like today.
Ten videos in total are planned to be released. The topics covering are feminism, the ger district, mining, education, Mongolian-made products, food, media, education, entrepreneurship, and fitness.
The first episode allows you hear the stories of three young women who are fighting for equal rights in their country.
Zolzaya Batkhuyag tells about women's rights and the feminist movement in Mongolia today. She describes the issues facing women in Mongolian society and the activities of Women for Change, the group she founded over five years ago.
Who Are The Eagle Hunters Of Mongolia?
(Seeker) A small tribe in the Mongolian Altai Mountains hunts with a rather unusual tool... golden eagles.
The largest bird of prey in North America, the golden eagle, is a magnificent predator. Much of North America is within range of these fantastic beasts and they are Mexico's national bird (even featured on their flag). The territory of golden eagles also reaches much of Asia, northern Africa, and Europe.
Golden eagles can have a wingspan up to 7.5 feet and have been known to dive upon their prey at 150 miles an hour. With this remarkable prowess, some people have even trained these birds to help them hunt. In the past, American ranchers targeted golden eagles for fear they would hurt their livestock. It was determined, however, that these birds had a minimal impact on ranch animals, and they are at present protected by law.
These predators don't pose a significant threat to our farm animals but they are still a serious force of nature. They often prey on rabbits, marmots, and ground squirrels. Smaller fare, like reptiles, fish, insects, and other birds, are part of their diet too. These birds also grow much bigger. On occasion, golden eagles have been seen attacking full-grown deer.
Check out more on David Baxendale, World Travel Photographer of the Year Finalist
Mongolia's Post Office to Use Pioneering Three-Word Addresses to Deliver Mail
June 15 (ABC News) Mongolia's post office is pioneering a new approach to delivering the mail.
Customers can use the free What3Words app to find their new address and can then write it on an envelope or enter it on the checkout page for online transactions. The postal service will then use those three words to deliver the parcel to the 3-by-3 meter area they correspond with on the map.
New App Will Simplify Mail Delivery in Mongolia – Transitions Online, June 15
New Address System In Mongolia Replaces Numbers With Words – PSFK, June 15
Mongolia's New Address System Gives Every Location A Poetic Three-Word Name – Atlas Obscura, June 16
3000-year-old bow displayed to Mongolia exhibition
June 16 (MONTSAME) The Mongolian bows which have been developed over the millenniums passing tests of time, were used during the rule of Huns Empire, Genghis Khan, the Qing or Manchu dynasty, Bogd Khaan, the People's governance to reach the present days.
The ancient artifacts belonging to the historical period from New Stone Age to XIX century and modern bows made by contemporary masters are displayed at a bows exhibition opened in the Museum of National History.
Over 3 000 years ago ancestors of mongols had been making the bows using bamboo, with horn on the belly (facing towards the archer) and sinew on the back, bound together with animal glue. As animal glue is dissolved by water, composite bows may be ruined by rain or excess humidity; a wrapper of (waterproof) birch bark may give limited protection from moisture and from mechanical damage.
The bow is usually stored in a leather case for protection when not in use. This kind of weapon has made a contribution to the cultural and intellectual heritage of humanity. Nowadays, it takes 6-8 months to make a bow with a new technology.
25 days till Naadam
June 16 (news.mn) Only 25 days remain until the State Naadam Celebration. The National Commission to organize Naadam has approved this year's budget at MNT 2.9 billion; this being similar to last year's.
This year, a large number of wrestlers (1024 in all ) will be competing in the arena of Ulaanbaatar's Central Stadium. Because it is anticipated that the competition will run late into the evening, the stadium lighting is being checked; if necessary, additional lights will be installed. Currently, there are ten high-capacity floodlights at the 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. The opening ceremony will perform in dance highlights from B.Sharav's famous painting "One day in Mongolia". No less than 40 soldiers on horseback and 400 infantry of the Modun Shanyu will depict the majesty of the Khunnu Empire. Director N.Naranbaatar is continuing the Mongolian history theme by using the inspirational rhythm of "Independence", by the poet D.Purevdorj, who is a Hero of the Labor and People's Writer. Choreographic presentations of the "Gerege", "Urtoo", "Ikh Huraldai", "Silk Road" and Camel Caravan will be performed.
Also, Honorary Artists T.Ariunaa and B.Sarantuya and the group "Uvertura" will sing during the opening ceremony.
Defending Mongolia's Growing National Park System
A visit with Tumursukh Jal, director of one of the largest protected areas in northern Asia
June 15 (Earth Island Journal) A few months ago, when Mongolian national park director Tumursukh Jal was on an official visit to the Grand Canyon, one of his hosts asked a simple question: "How many national parks do you guys have there in your home country?" When Tumursukh mentioned there were 99 of them, his US colleagues seemed a bit nonplussed. "That many, really?"
Sensitive to his audience's surprise, Tumursukh* went on to say: "Well, it seems to me that, when you Americans think of national parks, you normally conjure up a picture of one of your own amazing areas, like Yellowstone or Yosemite, or the Grand Canyon here. But you know, my friends, the rest of the world is catching up with you. Before long, we'll have just as many national parks in Mongolia as you do here."
Although it might take a few decades for Mongolia to surpass the United States in the sheer number of its national parks, in one way it already has outstripped America. The Mongolian parks now cover nearly seventy million acres, or almost one fifth of the entire country. By comparison, all the American national parks and monuments put together protect only 14 percent of US lands. And unlike America, where the pace of change is slower, there are new parks being created virtually every year in Mongolia. (Read more about the need for new national parks in the United States in the Journal feature "Room for More.")
The issue that worries Tumursukh is not that Mongolia lacks enough national parks. Instead, there is almost too much territory to protect – and certainly not enough park rangers and other resources to do the job correctly. This seems to be a problem facing many of the former Soviet bloc countries. Over the last 25 years, countries like Mongolia and Russia have been creating new parks at near-record rates. But now they need to catch up, and recruit qualified rangers and train them for the rigorous work of managing these parks. And to do this, they often need to reach out for advice and support from their western counterparts.
In fact, this was one of the objectives of Tumursukh's recent visit to America's parks. At each official meeting, he was quick to point out that the three parks that are under his command cover over 3 million acres – or an area that is around four times larger than California's Yosemite National Park. But whereas the permanent staff at Yosemite hovers around 800 full-time employees, the three parks that Tumursukh manages only have 30 staff members total. So it's easy to understand the challenges that the Mongolian park rangers face every day as they try to patrol such massive landscapes with such small numbers of staff.
Tumursukh is also quick to point out that they are not just randomly creating new national parks in Mongolia. Each of the new protected areas contains either a unique landscape (like the Gobi Desert), or was formed to preserve one of the country's several engendered species and their habitats. The Ulaan Taiga Parks that Tumursukh manages lie on the edge of several mountain ranges, which are the last strongholds of the famed Snow Leopard, as well as the Argali Mountain Sheep and the Ibex. The Argali sheep (Ovis ammon) are a sight to behold; their horns weigh an average of 50 pounds, making them the largest of all the big-horned sheep. Also listed on the IUCN Red List, the Ibex (Capra sibirica) is no less impressive. Adult male goats will often have horns more than four feet long.
The streams in Tumursukh's parks are also home to the largest (and most threatened) trout species in the world. And there is another, more familiar animal that takes shelter in these parks: the northern Reindeer. With only a few left in the wild here, many more have been domesticated by local nomadic families. When Tumursukh was in Yosemite, he showed a somewhat humorous video of himself riding one of these reindeer to patrol his park. He says he prefers this mode of transport to noisome snowmobiles, which the Ministry of Nature, Environment and Tourism has offered to purchase for the park. (You can view this video on the website of Mongolia's leading environmental NGO, the Mongol Ecology Center, a group that Earth Island helped spawn some half-dozen years ago.)
During his trip to the US, Tumursukh left the distinct impression with American park directors and rangers that he is very confident in his work. This positive outlook, however, belies a recent tragedy in Tumursukh's life, one that is not uncommon in those countries in the world like Mongolia that are trying to fight against industrial development.
This tragedy struck at the heart of what Tumursukh and his colleagues are trying to do in the steppe-lands of northern Asia. It started in the spring of 2014, when Tumursukh's activist son, Sumbe Jal, was stabbed by assailants allegedly affiliated with the gold mines that Sumbe was battling near Mongolia's border with China. These assailants were never apprehended.
Unfazed by this first attack, Sumbe continued in his quest to create a new national park in the gold-rich Tost Mountain area, one of the last Snow Leopard habitats in the world. Once again, however, several masked men confronted and stabbed Sumbe, yet were unsuccessful in their attempt to extinguish Sumbe's life and spirit.
In an effort to recover from these attacks, Sumbe retreated to his father's homeland near the Ulaan Taiga Park in northern Mongolia. This time he was tracked down by his pro-development enemies; and in November of last year, Sumbe's body was found on the main road that leads back to his favorite Gobi Desert region.
Even though Tumursukh and his family were numb with grief following this loss, Tumursukh did not cancel his spring trip to America. Nor did he stray from his determination to continue in his son's footsteps and protect his native lands from development.
At the time of Tumursukh's visit to America in March, the Mongolian government was debating the creation of a Tost Mountain National Park. This new park would effectively nullify all the mining permits that had previously been issued in the region, and bring to fruition Sumbe's dream. However, the fate of this new national park is still uncertain – there are many in the government who likely fear standing up to mining interests in Mongolia. This same fear probably influenced the decision of local police to rule Sumbe's death as a suicide, a rather dubious ruling given the previous violence against him.
Many of Tumursukh's friends and colleagues believe that justice might never be served in the case of his murder. But perhaps, if the Tost Mountains do become the latest in a series of new national parks in Mongolia, some form of vindication of Sumbe's life and efforts will come to pass.
We should note that the lands that Sumbe sought to protect from development – as well as the ones that his father is currently struggling to protect further north as a park manager – are all essential parts of a much bigger eco-system. This system spreads from the headwaters of Tumursukh's mountain parks all the way down into the Lake Baikal watershed of Russia, and further onward to the Arctic Ocean, comprising one of the world's largest watersheds. And at many points along its waterways, the surrounding lands are still relatively pristine and abundant with wildlife.
The question now is whether the likes of Tumursukh and Sumbe will prevail in keeping the upper reaches of this watershed relatively unspoiled by human development. The question also is what the rest of the world can do to support these brave men.
Surprising Choices in Mongolian Olympic Judo Team
June 16 (Judo Inside) The Mongolian team for the Olympic Games in Rio hosts some surprising choices. Mongolia had even four choices for the men U60kg including 2014 World Champion Boldbaatar Ganbat, but the technical staff have chosen for young daredevil Tsogtbaatar Tsend-Ochir who fought the World Junior Championships final in 2014 and in 2015. Tsend-Ochir won a bronze medal at the World Cadet Championships in 2013. In 2015 he was in the final of the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam and showed some great judo.
Mongolian Olympic team to have pre-training near Rio
Ulaanbaatar, June 16 (MONSTAME) Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Mongolia to the Federative Republic of Brazil Ch.Sosormaa signed June 13 an agreement with the "Functionar" training center, located in Rio de Janeiro's satellite city - Volta Redonda. Mongolian athletes to participate in the 31st Olympic Games are now able to do preliminary training.
The preliminary trainings are important for Mongolian national team in order to adapt to Brazil's climate and recover from jet lag until they are adjusted for the time zone.
Rio de Janeiro is located south of the equator and on the opposite half of the globe from Mongolia, with 12 hour time difference.
B.Oyun-Erdene wins gold, qualifies for Rio 2016 Paralympics
June 16 (gogo.mn) Czech Target 2016 – Para Archery Qualification Tournament for Rio 2016 is being held at Czech Republic.
Four Mongolian athletes are competing in the tournament.
B.Oyun-Erdene wins recurve women`s gold medal and qualifies for Rio 2016 Paralympic. She won Indian athlete with 7:1 and Iraqi athlete with 6:4 and qualified for the final. Then, she defeated Taiwanese athlete with 7:1 at the final and received gold medal.
B.Oyun-Erdene has competed in the London 2012 Paralympic.
32 Mongolians qualify so far for Rio 2016
June 16 (news.mn) Currently, 32 Mongolian athletes have qualified to participate in the Rio Olympics.
By sporting category, the number of qualifying athletes is:
- 9 in free-style wrestling
- 3 in shooting
- 1 in archery
- 4 in boxing
- 1 in taekwondo
- 1 in powerlifting
- 13 in judo wrestling.
It should be noted that three athletes, including B.Ser-Od, have qualified in track and field athletics; however, the official confirmation has yet to be received. In addition, several Mongolian boxers are traveling to Baku, Azerbaijan in order to participate in another Olympic qualifying event.
POLO+10 goes Mongolia!
Date: 20-30 August 2016. Airport: ULN (Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia)
June 15 (POLO+10) Endless width characterises the homeland of the immortal legend Genghis Khan. Here in Mongolia, the sport of polo comes close to its roots. Exotic and unforgettable impressions in the heart of Asia – this is the next adventure POLO+10 is heading for.
• 19-20-21 August: Arrival of the polo teams in Ulanbaatar
Suite 303, Level 3, Elite Complex
14 Chinggis Avenue, Sukhbaatar District 1
Ulaanbaatar 14251, Mongolia
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