Thursday, July 14, 2016

[Top level bilateral talks to highlight ASEM; Cayman Court sets date for MMC hearing; TerraCom raising $1m; and Juncker to close AEBF today]

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Thursday, July 14, 2016

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Mongolia PM Opens 15th Asia-Europe Business Forum: Day 1 Review, Day 2 Preview

July 13 (ASEM Mongolia) The 15th Asia-Europe Business Forum (AEBF15) is taking place in Ulaanbaatar, July 13-14, under the theme “Connectivity for Inclusive Growth”. 

Over 700 high-level business representatives and CEOs from 38 countries in Asia and Europe are participating in the AEBF, the last side event before the 11th Asia-Europe Meeting Summit (ASEM11), an international political event where Heads of State and Government from 51 Asian and European partners convene in Mongolia.

On July 13, the two-day forum started at 13.00. “We want to connect Asian and European business people, and break down any barriers, any walls to trade and business, hence our theme Connectivity for Inclusive Growth,” said Ganbold Davaadorj, the CEO of the Erdenes Oyu Tolgoi LLC and Chairman of the Forum.

The newly elected Prime Minister of Mongolia Erdenebat Jargaltulga said in his opening speech, “Mongolia is implementing 32 projects along the economic corridor established with Russia and China. We have also signed an Economic Partnership Agreement with Japan, and are looking for opportunities to export flagship products to Southeast Asian economies.”

Discussion points

The first plenary session titled “Building an Inclusive Economy” discussed economic growth, income inequality, economic integration as EU, ASEAN, EEU, special and differential treatment, landlocked and small and remote island economies, paneled and presented by key officials from World Bank, Ajinomoto, EURACIFIC, ADB and Oyu Tolgoi.

The second plenary session, “Asia-Europe Connectivity”, included discussions of economic corridors, transit- transport barriers, land-locked countries, and people-to-people exchange by senior officials of Russian Railways, ADB, Erdenes Mongol LLC, and Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia.

Schedule of July 14

Tomorrow or on July 14, H.E. Elbegdorj Tsakhia, President of Mongolia, and H.E. Mr. Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, and H.E. Mr. Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Prime Minister of Vietnam, will make speeches at the closing ceremony.

The third section “Integrating SMEs into Global Value Chain” will begin at 09.00 of Thursday morning and business delegates will discuss economic integration, production network, intra-industry trade in parts and components within the region, distribution networks, and linkages between local firms and multinational corporations.

During the fourth session of “Investment and Green development” at 11.00 of Thursday, the discussion will be focused on investment promotion and facilitation, corporate governance, finance, public governance, FDI, policies to promote responsible business conduct, and investment in support of green growth.

The AEBF15 will end with an adaptation of a Joint Declaration for the ASEM11 on 15 July 2016.

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Abe eyes bilateral talks with Li, Hasina in Mongolia

July 13 (Jiji) Prime Minister Shinzo Abe may hold bilateral talks with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina when he visits Mongolia for three days from Thursday to attend an Asia-Europe summit, Japanese government sources said Tuesday.

Abe hopes to agree with Li to make efforts to defuse tensions, following recent incidents, including one in which a Chinese warship sailed near the Japanese-controlled Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea, the sources said. The islands are claimed by China, which calls them Diaoyu.

He will also convey Japan’s hope to launch at an early date a proposed communication mechanism for preventing accidental East China Sea clashes between the two countries’ ships or aircraft.

The Japanese side will call on China to abide by the Permanent Court of Arbitration’s ruling on Tuesday that basically rejected China’s claims to historical and other rights in the South China Sea over its territorial dispute with the Philippines, the sources said.

Also on the agenda at the expected Abe-Li meeting will be responses to North Korea’s nuclear arms and missile programs, and ways to enhance economic exchanges between Japan and China, the sources said.

Abe and Hasina are expected to confirm cooperation in implementing anti-terror measures and ensuring the safety of Japanese nationals in Bangladesh, following a terrorist siege at a restaurant in Dhaka earlier this month that killed seven Japanese and other hostages, the sources said.

Abe may also hold a bilateral meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on the sidelines of the two-day summit of the Asia-Europe Meeting, or ASEM, forum in Ulan Bator from Friday, the sources said.

The are likely to exchange views on responses to Britain’s decision to leave the European Union in a historic national referendum last month, the sources said.

No official bilateral meeting is planned between Abe and South Korean President Park Geun-hye. But there is a possibility of the two leaders having a brief dialogue, the sources said.

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Russia's Medvedev, Germany's Merkel May Meet at ASEM Summit

Russian Prime MInister Dmitry Medvedev may hold a brief meeting with Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel, as well as number of other heads of state and government, on the sidelines of the Asia-Europe Meeting in Mongolia, according to Russia's Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Prikhodko.

MOSCOW, July 14 (Sputnik) — Russian Prime MInister Dmitry Medvedev and Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel may hold a brief meeting on the sidelines of the Asia-Europe Meeting in Mongolia, Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Prikhodko said.

"A contact 'on foot,' as they say, with Merkel is possible, as well as with heads of other delegations," Prikhodko told reporters in Moscow.

Prikhodko also said Dmitry Medvedev may hold talks with a number of heads of state and government.

According to Prikhodko, details of Medvedev's meetings with Czech President Miloš Zeman and Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades are still being worked out.

"The meeting with Swiss President Johann Schneider-Ammann has been scheduled for July 15," he told reporters.

Mongolia will host the 11th ASEM Summit of Heads of State and Government (ASEM11) on July 15-16, 2016 in capital Ulaanbaatar.

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Li's visit gears up China, Mongolia for closer partnership

ULAN BATOR, July 13 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Premier Li Keqiang arrived in Ulan Bator on Wednesday to pay an official visit to Mongolia, in a fresh bid to further consolidate mutual trust and boost bilateral cooperation between the two neighboring Asian countries.

In his first trip to Mongolia since taking office in 2013, Li will hold talks with Mongolia's new prime minister, Jargaltulga Erdenebat, and meet with Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj and Chairman Miyegombo Enkhbold of the State Great Hural, Mongolia's parliament.

A series of cooperation deals covering trade, infrastructure, finance and energy, as well as climate change and media exchanges, will be signed during the two-day visit, the first half of Li's stay in Ulan Bator.

Upon arrival at the Chinggis Khaan International Airport, Li, greeted by Mongolian Foreign Minister Lundeg Purevsuren, likened China and Mongolia to two "good friends and partners" that "wish for the best for each other," while expressing his hope that the visit will further cement the two countries' friendly ties, cooperation and development.

Li said China is willing to continue to strengthen cooperation with Mongolia, by advancing the alignment of both sides' development strategies and expanding collaboration and exchanges in various fields, towards a future of common development and prosperity.

Sharing a 4,710-km-long land borderline, China and Mongolia have witnessed more and more intimate relations in recent years thanks to closer economic links and greater political trust between the two countries.

In 2014, Beijing and Ulan Bator upgraded their ties to a "comprehensive strategic partnership" -- the highest rank in Mongolia's diplomatic relations.

In the economic realm, China has for years been Mongolia's largest trading partner and largest source of foreign investment. According to official statistics, two-way trade has expanded 50 times over the past two decades.

In a signed article published by Mongolia's major news outlets on Wednesday, Li lauded the China-Mongolia relations as being the "best ever" in history.

His official visit will inject new vitality into the two countries' already cozy bonds, observers say.

On Friday and Saturday, the Chinese premier will attend the 11th summit of ASEM, an intergovernmental forum aimed at fostering political dialogue and boosting cooperation in various areas across Asia and Europe.

This year marks the 20th anniversary since ASEM was launched in Bangkok, Thailand in 1996.

The Ulan Bator summit, which came on the heels of the 18th summit between China and the European Union (EU) held in Beijing, will see Li deliver keynote speeches on China's proposition on ASEM's future development, Asia-Europe pragmatic cooperation, as well as major international and regional hot issues.

At the airport, Li said China has always attached great importance to Asia-Europe cooperation, and has actively supported Mongolia's efforts in hosting the 11th ASEM summit.

"(China) is willing to work with all parties to make the summit a success, and make positive contributions to peace and cooperation as well as common development between Asia and Europe," he said.

During the summit, Li is also expected to hold bilateral meetings with leaders of some ASEM members.

This will be the second time for the Chinese premier to attend the biannual summit. The last ASEM summit was held in Milan, Italy in 2014.

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Chinese premier calls for closer China-Mongolia partnership

July 13 (Xinhua) Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Wednesday called for closer China-Mongolia ties to bring more benefits to the people of both countries.

Calling China and Mongolia "good neighbors and great partners," Li said in a signed article, published by major Mongolian news outlets ahead of his official visit to the landlocked Asian nation, that friendly collaboration between the two countries has been picking up steam in recent years.

Bilateral ties are currently at the "best ever" level in history, said Li, who arrived in Ulan Bator later on Wednesday, adding that he hopes his visit will serve to further deepen cooperation and forge stronger bonds between the two countries.

In his first trip to Mongolia since taking office in 2013, Li is scheduled to hold talks with Mongolia's new Prime Minister, Jargaltulga Erdenebat, and meet with Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj and Chairman Miyegombo Enkhbold of the State Great Hural, Mongolia's parliament.

He will also attend the 11th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) summit in Ulan Bator on Friday and Saturday.

Hailing mutual respect and trust between the two states as well as frequent exchanges and dialogues between their leaders and at governmental-, parliamentary- and party-levels, the Chinese premier said China backs Mongolia in actively taking part in international and regional affairs, and has explicitly voiced support for its efforts to join the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC).

China also supports Mongolia to take part in the China-Japan-South Korea cooperation in an appropriate manner, and adopts an open attitude to Mongolia's participation in the East Asia Summit, Li said.

He said both countries should work together to strengthen coordination in the framework of the United Nations, ASEM and the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA), promote regional peace and prosperity, and give a boost to China-Mongolia relations.

Li noted that over the past two decades, trade between China and Mongolia has expanded 50 times, and that China has for years been Mongolia's largest trading partner and largest source of foreign investment.

The two countries are witnessing increasing cooperation in inter-connectivity, basic industries, environmental protection and other fields, he said, adding that "China is sincere and candid to aid and support Mongolia's development."

He said the two countries have reached a consensus on dovetailing China's Silk Road Economic Belt initiative with Mongolia's Steppe Road program, while calling for enhanced connectivity and stepped-up industrial capacity cooperation in mining, energy, and animal husbandry.

The Chinese premier went on to laud people-to-people and cultural exchanges between his country and Mongolia, and commended the latter's efforts in hosting the 11th ASEM summit.

"As long as we treat each other with sincerity and join hands in our march forward, we would without doubt forge closer ties between China and Mongolia and bring more benefits to the two peoples," Li said.

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Trade, cooperation on table as Premier Li visits MongoliaChina Radio, July 13


China expands economic corridor with Mongolia, Russia

HUHHOT, July 13 (Xinhua) - Mongolian designer Ganchimeg never imagined her clothing store in Inner Mongolia's Erenhot City could be so popular that sometimes she is too busy to stop for a drink of water.

"I came to China two years ago and have seen trade fairs and expos between the two countries rise. I met buyers at these events, and the orders just keep coming," Ganchimeg said.

Ganchimeg has to make 20 Mongolian robes and ten costumes this month. She has hired two tailors from Mongolia's capital Ulan Bator. "But we are still busy," she said.

Ganchimeg used to be a tourist guide in Mongolia. She decided to open a business in China after many Chinese tourists she worked with showed a keen interest in Mongolian culture.

"An increasing number of tourists from China enter Mongolia on their way to Ulan-Ude in Russia," Ganchimeg said.

Many tourists arrive in Mongolia on the the Erenhot-Ulan Bator-Ulan-Ude route, one of the main routes on the China-Mongolia-Russia economic corridor. The trilateral channel aims to boost transportation connectivity and economic cooperation in border regions.

The plan was signed by leaders of the three countries in June, marking a new stage of cooperation. It has already brought benefits to many.

Ubmall, a cross-border e-commerce platform, launched in 2014 by a foreign economic and trade company based in Erenhot, now has over 1,600 registered Chinese shops selling products to Mongolia.

In 2015, the company expanded its business, providing fast customs clearance services for e-business between China and Russia.

Parcels bound for Mongolia and Russia were delivered by train through Erenhot land port, said Li Pengyuan, a co-founder of, adding that the route is an effective supplement to the transportation routes between China, Mongolia and Russia, via ports of Manzhouli and Suifenhe.

"We deal over 20,000 packages daily, and the figure is expected to rise in the second half of this year," he said.

According to the frontier inspection station, in the first half of 2016, 58 trains carrying 2,414 cars of goods passed through the Mongolian port of Erenhot, up 1.5 fold year on year.

The economic corridor has also accelerated other cross-border transportation infrastructure projects, said Tumen-Tsetseg, a regional assessment researcher and professor with Inner Mongolia University, adding that it will boost economic cooperation between the three countries to cover more fields, such as culture, tourism and medicine.

"In turn, a better cultural cooperation will further accelerate the construction of the China-Mongolia-Russia economic corridor," she said.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang will pay an official visit to Mongolia from July 13 to 14. The visit is expected to "inject new impetus into the development of bilateral ties and benefit the people of the two nations," said China's Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs Kong Xuanyou.

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Park faces balancing act in ASEM summit

SEOUL, July 13 (Yonhap) -- President Park Geun-hye faces a tricky balancing act at the upcoming Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) in Mongolia, a venue likely to be marked by geopolitical tensions over a set of thorny issues including the South China Sea dispute, observers said Wednesday.

Park will attend the two-day multilateral summit, slated to take place on Friday and Saturday in Ulaanbaatar. The biennial gathering will be attended by the leaders of more than 50 countries including Japan, a key ally of the United States which is not an ASEM member.

The summit comes a few days after an international tribunal in The Hague, the Netherlands, rendered a landmark ruling against China's territorial claim to the lion's share of the resource-rich South China Sea.

Though the legal case at the Permanent Court of Arbitration was brought by the Philippines in 2013, it has been seen largely as a high-stakes battle between China and the U.S. -- the two major powers with which South Korea has been striving to maintain close ties for security and economic reasons.

Washington has led an international campaign to protect the "global commons" -- the freedom of navigation and flight in the strategically crucial waterway, while Beijing has pushed to beef up its territorial claims by building artificial islands in the disputed waters.

Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei have also engaged in maritime disputes with China that has delineated its claim to the waterway with "the nine-dash-line," a maritime demarcation line that takes in more than 80 percent of the South China Sea.

The long-simmering row over the sea is not in the official agenda for the ASEM summit. But it is likely to emerge as an important topic among the ASEM participants during their multilateral or bilateral encounters, analysts said.

What kind of stance the South Korean leader will present over the territorial issue has drawn keen attention as Seoul has sought to further strengthen ties with the U.S and China. The U.S. is South Korea's top security ally, while China is its crucial partner for trade, tourism and joint efforts to denuclearize North Korea.

"The ASEM summit this time could put Park in a difficult position due to a series of ongoing issues including the South China Sea spat and the friction with Beijing (over the decision by Seoul and Washington to deploy an advanced anti-missile system to Korea)," said Lee Dong-ryul, a China expert at Dongduk Women's University.

Park is unlikely to directly mention the South China Sea issue at the gathering as South Korea is not among the claimants to the contested waterway -- although the sea involves a crucial shipping route for the export-reliant South Korea, observers noted.

Should she feel the need to stake out her position, Park is likely to repeat her earlier statement. During the East Asia Summit in Malaysia in November last year, the president said that the freedom of navigation and flight must be protected, and that the waterway must not be militarized.

Attention is also being drawn to whether Park will meet Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang bilaterally on the sidelines of the ASEM summit.

Officials here said that Park's schedule for a summit with Abe or Li has not been fixed yet. But the three leaders could briefly meet one another during the multilateral summit gatherings, analysts said.

Above all, the most crucial task for Park is to drum up support from the ASEM members to pressure Pyongyang to abandon its evolving nuclear and missile programs.

Park is expected to use the multilateral summit to urge participants to faithfully enforce U.N. Security Council (UNSC) sanctions, which were adopted in May in response to Pyongyang's nuclear test in January and long-range rocket launch the following month.

Launched in 1996, ASEM is a consultative body aimed at strengthening cooperation between Asia and Europe in political, economic, social, cultural and other areas. The summit is held biennially, with the last one held in Italy in 2014.

ASEM consists of 51 member states and 2 regional organizations: the European Union and the secretariat of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

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PM Lee: Singapore, Mongolia have common outlook

ULAANBAATAR, July 14 (Straits Times) - Singapore, with a land area of 719 sq km, is a tiny nation compared to Mongolia, which spreads out across 1.56 million sq km.

But both nations are sandwiched by much bigger neighbours and are fully aware of that, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the start of his official visit to Mongolia yesterday.

He made the observation at a reception held in the capital city Ulaanbaatar for Singaporeans living and working in Mongolia.

It was a point derived from a conversation with a Mongolian leader visiting Singapore more than 10 years ago, he said. "I explained to him that Singapore is a small country with two big neighbours, and he said Mongolia is the same."

With this clear perspective of the way the world is, both know they not only have to make friends with their neighbours, but also with countries further afield and to cooperate in a globalised world, he added.

Mr Lee's four-day trip to the country marks the first official visit by a Singapore prime minister to landlocked Mongolia, which lies between Russia and China.

Mongolia has about 3 million people, while Singapore has a resident population of 3.9 million.

Today, Mr Lee will meet his counterpart, Prime Minister Jargaltulga Erdenebat, President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj and Speaker of Parliament Miyeegombo Enkhbold.

At the reception, Mr Lee said Singapore would like to increase trade with Mongolia. Two-way trade totalled $64 million last year.

Singapore's non-resident Ambassador to Mongolia Yip Wei Kiat is optimistic, saying there is growing interest among Singapore businesses in Mongolia.

Singapore's cumulative direct investment in Mongolia was $143 million as at end-2014.

Businessmen of both countries and Mongolians who attended Singapore's technical assistance programmes and studied in Singapore were also at the reception.

Mongolians studying in Singapore is to be encouraged, Mr Lee said, adding that Singaporeans may study in Mongolian institutions one day, and "we will get to know one another better".

Accountant Tsoggeral Davaajargal, 33, who studied English and hospitality in Singapore for four years, said she was attracted by Singapore's education system.

About 20 Singaporeans, most of whom are in teaching, live in Mongolia.

Ms Tan Yee Ling, who runs her own English-language school, moved to Ulaanbaatar in 2005, drawn by the vast expanses of the country while on vacation.

Said the 41-year-old: "I first visited Mongolia in 1996 and went horse riding in the grasslands. There were wide open spaces, no fences, blue skies. I really like the feeling of freedom here."

During his trip, Mr Lee will attend the Asia-Europe Meeting (Asem) Summit on July 15 and 16.

He said Singapore has a special interest in the inter-governmental dialogue because former Singapore prime minister Goh Chok Tong had helped get it started.

Asem marks its 20th anniversary this year, and Mr Lee said: "We are happy to see the baby which we started is now growing up."

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Singapore working with Mongolia to improve accessibility: Ambassador

SINGAPORE, July 13 (Channel NewsAsia) The Republic is working "very hard" with the Mongolian government to facilitate more convenient travel between both countries to encourage tourists and businesses, said Singapore's non-resident ambassador to Mongolia Yip Wei Kiat on Wednesday (Jul 13).

Speaking at a reception for the Singapore community in Ulaanbaatar, Mr Yip said there has been a steady increase in interest by Singapore companies to explore opportunities in Mongolia. 

The reception is part of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's bilateral visit to Mongoliafrom Wednesday to Saturday - the first official visit by a Singaporean Prime Minister to the country. 

Businessmen from both countries, as well as Mongolians who trained and studied in Singapore, attended the event. 

There are about 20 Singaporeans registered in Mongolia, working in sectors such as teaching and property, and while bilateral trade between the countries was modest at about S$64 million in 2015, Mr Lee’s visit is expected to help raise Singapore’s profile in Mongolia as well as awareness of the country among Singaporeans.

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Vietnam PM arrives in Ulan Bator, begins official visit

July 13 (VNA) Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc landed Chinggis airport in Ulan Bator on July 13, beginning his two-day official visit to Mongolia at the invitation of President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj and Prime Minister Jargaltulga Erdenebat.

PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc was greeted by Foreign Minister Purevsuren Lundeg, other Mongolian high-ranking officials, Vietnamese Ambassador to Mongolia Phan Dang Duong and other embassy staffers.

The PM and his spouse were invited to taste food made from milk, which showed the sentiments of Mongolian people towards distinguished guests.

Later on the day, PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc will be accorded with an official welcome ceremony to be chaired by his counterpart J. Erdenebat at Chinggis Khan square, Ulan Bator.

The two PMs will hold talks and witness the signing of a number of cooperative documents between the two countries.

PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc is scheduled to meet the President and Speaker of the National Assembly of the host country, attend the Vietnam-Mongolia Business Forum, and visit several businesses.

The PM’s visit to Mongolia will enable the two countries to seek major solutions to maintaining the political ties and stepping up affiliation in economics, agriculture, culture, and education.

Following the visit, PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc will attend the 11th Asia-Europe Meeting Summit in Ulan Bator on July 15-16.

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Croatian President Grabar-Kitarović to Travel to Mongolia for ASEM

On Friday and Saturday, the President will attend the Asia-Europe Meeting in Ulan Bator.

July 13 (Total Croatian News) Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović will participate in the 11th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) which will be held in Ulan Bator in Mongolia on Friday and Saturday. She has been invited to attend this major summit by Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj, announced the Office of the President, reports Večernji List on July 13, 2016.

The President will participate in the plenary meetings of the ASEM where the participants will discuss the achievements and prospects of the two decades of partnership, as well as the possibilities for strengthening the partnership between Europe and Asia.

In addition to Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj, on the sidelines of the Asia-Europe meeting the President will hold a bilateral meeting with President of the Swiss Confederation Johann Schneider-Ammann.

This year marks the twentieth anniversary of the Asia-Europe Meeting, which was first held in 1996 as a forum for dialogue and cooperation between Europe and Asia. In addition to heads of state and government of European and Asian countries, the ASEM meeting will be attended by president of the European Council Donald Tusk, president of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker and EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini.

The Mongolian President visited Croatia in 2011, while Croatian President Stjepan Mesić visited Mongolia in 2008.

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Indonesia VP Kalla Heading to 11th Asia-Europe Meeting Summit in Mongolia

Jakarta, July 13 (Jakarta Globe) Vice President Jusuf Kalla is scheduled to depart for Ulan Bator, Mongolia, on Thursday (14/07) to attend the 11th Asia-Europe Meeting Summit, slated for July 15-16.

According to vice presidential spokesman Husain Abdullah, Kalla will attend the opening ceremony at 9.00 a.m. on Friday.

"Mr. Kalla is scheduled for a three-minute speech during the plenary session, at around 9.30 a.m.," Hussain said a short message on Wednesday.

The vice president is also scheduled to have bilateral meetings with several heads of states and government leaders, including the presidents of Cyprus and Myanmar and the prime ministers of the Czech Republic, Estonia and the Netherlands.

The summit will conclude with a Naadam cultural festival at the Chinggisiin Khuree complex, ahead of an official dinner hosted by Mongolian President Taakhiagiin Elbegdorj.

The Asia-Europe Meeting was established to discuss issues involving European and Asian states. While various issues can be discussed at the forum, the talks have so far mainly focused on economics, politics, defense, education, culture and the environment.

The annual event (Mogi: biannual) serves as an informal meeting of ministers, while the summit, which is attended by heads of states, has been taking place every two years since 1996, alternating between Europe and Asia

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Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias at the 11th ASEM Summit

Greece is contributing to dialogue and cooperation between Europe and Asia

Ulaanbaatar, July 13, 2016/ Independent Balkan News Agency/ The Foreign Minister will visit Asia twice in ten days – and in fact in July – a sign of the importance attached by Athens to a geopolitical area with huge growth potential in the context of a multidimensional foreign policy.

After successful participation in the Prime Minister’s visit to Beijing and the NATO Summit in Warsaw (8-9 July), Mr. Kotzias will attend on 15 and 16 July the 11th Summit of the Asia -Europe Meeting (ASEM) to be held in the capital of Mongolia, Ulan Bator.

ASEM is the leading process of dialogue and cooperation of Asian and European countries. A look at the composition of the Asian group is enough to understand the interest Athens shows in the forum: ASEM is attended by the 10 member-states of ASEAN (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Indonesia, Philippines and Vietnam) as well as China, Mongolia, Japan, N. Korea, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Russia, Australia and New Zealand. Besides countries that are economic superpowers such as China and Russia, the Asian group consists of rapidly emerging countries, both politically and economically, with which Greece is seeking a complete revitalization and intensification of relations.

The 28 EU member states plus Norway and Switzerland make up the European Group.

Mr. Kotzias will hold a series of bilateral meetings at the highest level on the sidelines of the ASEM summit with the leadership of countries such as Singapore, Bangladesh, Mongolia, S. Korea and Australia.

Immediately after the summit Mr. Kotzias will travel to Brussels for the EU Foreign Affairs Council (July 18) and the Ministerial Council of the EU with the Cooperation Council of the Gulf countries (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates).

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Malaysia to share views, submit proposals for Ulaanbaatar Declaration at Asem Summit

ULAANBAATAR (MONGOLIA), July 13 (New Straits Times): Malaysia will share its views on various issues and submit several proposals to be included in the Ulaanbaatar Declaration at the 11th Asia-Europe Meeting (Asem) Summit, set to conclude on Saturday.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who will lead the Malaysian delegation, among others will propose a paragraph in the declaration on the need to maintain moderation among its partners .

Asem currently has 53 partners, namely 51 European and Asian countries and two regional organisations - the European Union and Asean Secretariat.

Malaysian Ambassador to China and concurrently accredited to Mongolia, Datuk Zainuddin Yahya, said Zahid will attend the opening ceremony on Friday before joining the first plenary session on the same day and a retreat at the Asem Village on Saturday.

"In the plenary session, he will share Malaysia's views on Asem's development and achievements in the past 20 years in politics; economic investment, trade and finance cooperation and the exchange of socio-cultural and education between Asian and European regions," he told a press conference for Malaysian media here today.

During the retreat, themed "Enhancing the Three Pillars of Asem", he said Zahid would also discuss with other leaders on the latest issues such as counter-terrorism, migration, human rights, drug and human trafficking, transnational crimes and inter-faith dialogues.

He said Zahid, who will arrive here tomorrow, is also scheduled to have a bilateral meetings with several head of governments including the prime ministers of the Netherlands and Slovenia.

The two day 11th Asem Summit is themed "20 Years of Asem: Partnership for Future Through Connectivity".

Asem is a biennial meeting that was first held in Bangkok in 1996 while the last one was organised in Milan in 2014.

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Cyprus President off to Mongolia for Asia-Europe Meeting

July 13 (Cyprus Mail) President Nicos Anastasiades will depart late Wednesday for Mongolia where he will participate in the 11th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM11) of Heads of State and Government of the European Union (EU) with Asian states, which will take place on1 5-16 July in Ulaanbaatar.

Among other items, the summit will deal with issues concerning the future of the ASEM, with the focal point being the promotion of the affiliation for deepening and upgrading the cooperation between Asia and Europe, as well as international and regional matters.

It should be noted that this meeting has an anniversary aura because this year marks 20 years since the formation of the ASEM.

During the proceedings the president will make interventions on a number of issues.

He will also hold several meetings on the sidelines with, among other leaders, the president of Mongolia, the prime ministers of Russia and Singapore, and the Vice President of India.

Anastasiades, who will be accompanied by the government spokesman Nicos Christodoulides, will return to Cyprus in the evening of July 18.

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Abe-Hasina to host special anti-terror event in ASEM Summit

July 13 (The Daily Star) The prime ministers of Japan and Bangladesh will host a special anti-terrorism event on the sidelines of the Asia-Europe Meeting Summit – in the backdrop of the grisly café attack in Dhaka.

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has accepted an invitation from her Japan counterpart Shinzo Abe to co-chair the event, Foreign Minister Mahmood Ali told journalists at a press briefing.

Besides, premier Hasina will be meeting Shinzo Abe, among other Asian and European leaders, at the sidelines of the meeting that will be held on July 15-16.

The prime agenda of Prime Minister Hasina will be to highlight Bangladesh’s strong commitment in fighting terrorism – the issue that is at the center of AESM summit this year.

She will also hold talks with the heads of Russia, Japan, Netherland, Switzerland, Germany, European Commission and Myanmar among others. She will also hold talks with Indian vice president and the Italian foreign minister.

Seven Japan nationals were among the 20 hostages, mostly foreigners, killed during the July 1 attack at Holey Artisan Bakery in Bangladesh capital’s diplomatic zone.

In view of the worldwide terrorism threat, this year’s Asia-Europe Meeting Summit will focus on terrorism and violent extremism issues, its charter says.

Foreign Minister Mahmood Ali was briefing journalists on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s schedule during the two-day summit to be held in Mongolia this weekend.



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PM Hasina flies to Mongolia todayDhaka Tribune, July 14


Int’l Market

Cayman Court to Hear MMC’s Application to Appoint Provisional Liquidators on Soft Touch Basis

July 13 -- This announcement is made by Mongolian Mining Corporation (the “Company”) pursuant to Rule 13.09(2) of the Rules Governing the Listing of the Securities on The Stock Exchange of Hong Long Limited and the Inside Information Provisions under Part XIVA of the Securities and Futures Ordinance (Cap. 571 of the Laws of Hong Kong).

Reference is made to the announcement of the Company dated 8 July 2016 that the Company has filed an application for the appointment of provisional liquidators over the Company on a soft touch basis (the “Application”), as well as a petition for the winding up of the Company (the “Petition”) which is a necessary pre-cursor to facilitate the Application, with the Grand Court of the Cayman Islands (the “Cayman Court”).

The Application is to be heard by the Cayman Court at 10:00 a.m. on 19 July 2016 (Cayman Islands time). The Petition has been adjourned as the Cayman Court will first hear the Application and the Petition will continue to be adjourned pending determination by the Cayman Court of the Application.

The Company will publish further announcements to update the shareholders and potential investors on progress of the Application and the Petition as and when necessary

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TerraCom Announces US$1 Million Private Placement Agreement

July 14 -- TerraCom Limited (TerraCom or the Company) (ASX: TER) is pleased to announce the agreement of a US$ 1 million placement to Hong Kong based private investment company Sea Honour Limited (Sea Honour).

Key details of the placement are as follows:

·         The issue price is determined by the volume weighted average price of TerraCom ordinary shares calculated over the period starting 15 business days prior to 4 July 2016, and finishing 15 business days from 4 July 2016 (inclusive).

·         The number of placement shares shall be the lower of US$1 million divided by the issue price, or the Company’s remaining issue capacity multiplied by the placement issue price.

·         Completion of the placement to occur within 5 business days after calculation of the issue price.

Sea Honour is a private investment company owned by Anthony Steains, the CEO of Comprador Limited and former Head of Blackstone Advisory Partners in Asia and Global Head of Metals and Mining Coverage. Mr Steains stated that “TerraCom is an exciting emerging mining company with an impressive asset portfolio and project pipeline in a coal market cycle that we believe has turned. This placement by Sea Honour is potentially the leading edge of interest in Asia for the Company”.

Company Chairman Mr Cameron McRae stated that “this placement is one of the building blocks in our multi-faceted funding strategy which will deliver the expansion of our Mongolian coking coal mine, acquisition and commissioning of the Queensland thermal coal mine and completion of the potential acquisition of the Indonesian coking coal mine”. He went onto say that “this should firmly position TerraCom as a global independent mining company operating in three countries with further potential for expansion within these countries”.

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Mongolia may seek alternative financing for key hydropower project if deal with China fails

July 13 (bne IntelliNews) Mongolia is ready to seek financing from Japan, South Korea and Norway for a key hydropower project on Eg River should deal with China fails, the project’s director Odkhuu Durzee told Bloomberg in an interview on July 11.

China is withholding a $1bn loan to Mongolia reportedly over Russia’s concerns the project threatens water supply to Lake Baikal, according to Mongolian government documents seen by Bloomberg. The project, envisaging the construction of a 103 meter high dam and a 315MW hydropower plant on the Eg River in northern Mongolia, will help the landlocked central Asian country ensure independent supplies of energy and lower reliance on electricity from Russia and dependence on coal-fired generation.

The Kremlin, however, claims the project poses serious risks to water supply to Russia’s Lake Baikal, located some 580km north of the planned dam. Eg River, one the biggest tributaries flowing into the Selegne River, which eventually discharges into Lake Baikal. A Unesco report from 2014 is supporting Russia’s claim saying the dam would impact endangered species of fish and birds.

According to Durzee, Russia and Unesco environmental concerns are unfounded and politically motivated. “Russia wants to see energy control of Mongolia,” Durzee said. “It becomes a political issue. The power lever is in Russian hands. Anytime we stop listening, we have a fear they will shut off the power, especially in winter.’’

Durzee further suggested that China’s political ties with Russia might be the cause for withholding the funding. Mongolia’s foreign ministry has argued that the project is an internal matter for Mongolia, since the Eg River does not cross an international border and Russia should not have influence on the issue. Russia, in turn, is proposing to increase its energy supplies to Mongolia, which cost the central Asian country more than $25mn a year.

Mongolian government already announced it has put on halt the project citing concerns over transboundary issues. Construction works were originally planned to start in the second half of 2016. Mongolia has said it will invest $828mn in the project using the bulk of a $1bn loan from China.

Mongolia’s current annual 700MW power production capacity falls 200MW short of the country’s demand for electricity during winters. While Soviet-era coal-fired plants provide most of the country’s power, the government is seeking to diversify its power sources and reduce pollution by developing renewable energy.

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Culture, Society

In Pictures: The Naadam festival in Mongolia

July 13 (Straits Times) Naadam is a yearly festival celebrated in Mongolia during summer, often in the month of July. While the main celebrations are in the country's capital, Ulaanbaatar, many other parts of the landlocked country hold their own festival as well. Competitors take part in three main games, archery, horse racing and wrestling, known as the 'three games of men'. While the games were originally only for male participants, female categories have now been included in archery and horse racing. In horse racing, children as young as seven years of age lead their horses across the steppes, over various distances, depending on the race category. This festival attracts Mongolians from all over the country and is very popular with tourists too.

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