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Thursday, August 11, 2016
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Headlines in Italic are ones modified by Cover Mongolia from original
TRQ closed flat Wednesday at US$3.12. Down 10.86% in the last month
New mining minister Dashdorj receives Oyu Tolgoi management
August 9 (gogo.mn) Mr. Ts.Dashdorj, Minister of Mining and Heavy Industry, today received the management team of Oyu Tolgoi LLC (OT LLC). The meeting aimed at presenting the current condition, operation and construction of Oyu Tolgoi, was attended by the representatives led by G.Batsukh, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Oyu Tolgoi LLC, Andrew Woodley, member of the Board of Directors and S.Munkhsukh, Country representative, Mongolia, Rio Tinto.
Representatives stated that OT LLC is implementing national procurement policy to support the development of the domestic supply chains which work creates safe and stable workplace.
At the end of second quarter of 2016, 93 percent of total workforce of OT was Mongolian. Also, OT is working to leave the substantial amount of investment on the underground mine development in Mongolia by cooperating with national suppliers which owned its more than 50% of shares by Mongolian citizen.
During the meeting, Minister Ts.Dashdorj clarified the production update.
"We have planned to produce 208,000 tonnes of copper in concentrates for this year. However, the plan was declined slightly and we are expected to produce 204,000 tonnes of copper in concentrates this year. Also, gold production estimate will be exceeded due to it is possible to explore additional gold ore from Phase 2 of the open pit", stated by the OT management team.
OT gold production to increase contrary to copper output – Montsame, August 9
Pitfalls of Global Hunt for Yield Highlighted in Mongolia Crisis
· Government 2022 bonds fall most on record after FinMin warning
· Mongolia among best performers in rush to emerging-market debt
By Natasha Doff
August 11 (Bloomberg) Investors who piled into some of the world's riskiest bonds to escape near-zero interest rates got a reality check on Wednesday when Mongolia sent its debt plunging by sounding the alarm on its economic crisis.
The government's $1 billion of notes due in six years tumbled the most on record after the finance minister went on television to say his critical goal was to avoid default as growth slows and the debt burden soars. Barclays Plc removed its overweight recommendation on the nation's bonds, which have offered some of the highest returns in a rally fueled by accommodative policies in the developed world.
After cash poured into debt funds tracking emerging nations at the fastest pace on record last month, the shock to Mongolia's bond market highlights the dangers of plowing into junk-rated credits. Money managers have turned to more exotic issuers like Mongolia to take advantage of yields more than 400 basis points above the average rate for sovereigns in developing countries.
MSE Trading Report: Top 20 -0.8%, ALL -0.4%, Turnover ₮2.55 Million Shares
August 10 (MSE) --
Bayanteeg Announces First Half Financial Report, 40 Stocks in Total
2016 year 2 Quarterly reports
APU to present first half operating report to public on August 11
August 10 (MSE) Mongolian Stock Exchange has been mainly focusing on to implement corporate governance codex and disclosure and transparency for MSE's listed companies. Scope of this work, all Joint Stock Companies in Classification "I " of MSE are presenting their operating report to the public. "Suu" JSC conducted open presentation to the public successfully on 2 August 2016.
On 11 August 2016, "APU" JSC will present half-year operating and financial report to the public, and welcoming everyone who interested to participate in the meeting.
Gazar Suljmel announces shareholders meeting on September 14
August 10 (MSE) "Gazar Suljmel" JSC announced the shareholders meeting accordance with the Resolution No.:05 of Board of Meeting, which held on 04 August 2016.
Time and date: At 10:00am, on 14 September 2016
Venue: Building of "Tavanbogd Group" LLC, Peace Avenue, Khoroo # 3, Khan-Uul District, Ulaanbaatar
Following issues will be discussed in the meeting:
1. To terminate the authority of members of the Board of Directors before the expiration date, and nominate new members
2. To make amendment on company's charter, approve renewed company's charter
3. To discuss other issues related with company's charter
4. To discuss the issues regarding to purchase of controlling shares of "Gazar Suljmel" JSC
Reds are rates that set a new record at the time
BoM MNT Rates: Wednesday, August 10 Close
MNT vs USD (blue), CNY (red) in last 1 year:
BoM sells US$20m at ₮2,138.2, CNY20m at ₮321.09, accepts $34.5m MNT swap offers
August 9 (Bank of Mongolia) Spot trade: Commercial banks bid USD40.0 million and the BOM sold USD20.0 million with a single rate of MNT2138.2 and CNY20.0 million with a rate of MNT321.09.
Swap and forward trade: The BOM accepted the bid offers of USD34.5 million and selling bid offers of USD5.0 million swap agreements respectively. The BOM sold USD34.5 million via MNT swap agreement.
BoM issues ₮373 billion 1-week bills, total outstanding -1.8% to ₮814.9 billion
August 10 (Bank of Mongolia) BoM issues 1 week bills worth MNT 373 billion at a weighted interest rate of 10.5 percent per annum /For previous auctions click here/
Subsidized Mortgage Report: ₮161.3 Billion Issued at 5%, ₮420.4 Billion at 8%, ₮64.3 Billion Transferred to 5%
August 9 (Bank of Mongolia) As of August 7 banks received ₮665.3 billion (₮648.2 billion as of July 29) mortgage requests of 10,846 citizens (10,558 as of July 29), of which ₮161.3 billion (₮156.3 billion as July 29) of 3,392 citizens (3,291 as of July 29) have been approved at 5%, ₮420.4 billion (₮408.6 billion as of July 29) of 6,261 citizens (6,075 as of July 29) at 8%.
Also, ₮64.3 billion mortgages (₮62.2 billion as of July 29) of 1,570 borrowers (1,526 as of July 29) who bought housing in Ulaanbaatar ger area redevelopment zones, satellite districts Baganuur, Bagakhangai, and Nalaikh, new capital housing zones, and 21 aimags have been transferred to 5%.
Link to release (in Mongolian)
Mogi: cabinet yesterday has stopped the "Good" programs, i.e. Good Herder, Good Student, Good Hashaa
'Good Herder' 10% Loan Program: ₮161.4 Billion Requested, ₮149 Billion Issued
August 9 (Cover Mongolia) Since the Government of Mongolia launched the "Good Herder" Program in March 15, 2016 the State Bank and Khan Bank has received requests from 41,477 herders for ₮161.4 billion loans at 10% as of August 7 (40,929 herders for ₮159.2 billion loans as July 31) and ₮149 billion loans issued to 38,684 herders (₮147.1 billion loans issued to 38,203 herders as of July 31) have been issued.
Link to BoM update (in Mongolian)
Mongolia's Finance Minister Calls for Economic 'Crisis' Plan
· Choijilsuren presents gloomy situation in TV address
· He vows to keep Mongolia from defaulting on its debt
By Michael Kohn
August 10 (Bloomberg) The Mongolian government is planning to establish a task force to deal with an "economic crisis'' that has led to slowing growth, a declining currency and a soaring budget deficit, the nation's finance minister said in a nationally televised address on Tuesday.
"We came into a situation where we may not be able to afford to finance salaries and operational costs of government departments, such as the Mongolian military who protect our borders and national security, the social and health employees who are in charge public health, as well as individuals in culture and sport,'' Choijilsuren Battogtokh said in the address. "We are in a deep state of economic crisis.''
Choijilsuren painted a gloomy picture for his country, which has suffered from falling commodities prices, an economic slowdown in China and waning interest by foreign investors spooked by anti-investment laws and inconsistent policy. His comments come six weeks after the Mongolian People's Party trounced the Democratic Party in June elections, which appears to lay the groundwork for increased austerity measures.
B.Choijilsuren: Mongolia faces a real economic crisis
August 10 (gogo.mn) Yesterday Minister of Finance Mr. B.Choijilsuren reported the current situation of Mongolian society, economy, budget and finance.
Mongolian economic growth:
Mongolian main economic indicators are falling continuously over the past four years. Economy growth was 17.3 percent in 2012 and it is expected to be at 1.3 percent by the end of 2016.
Money supply has increased by 66 percent in 2014 compared to the 2011 and has dropped since 2015 and reached 9,85 trillion in Jan, 2016. In other words, one of the main reason for economic crisis was supplying large amount of money to the market which has not linked to the economic situation when balance of payments deficit has been increased and foreign investment has been declined sharply. As a result, risk in the banking system has increased, foreign currency reserves has significantly reduced and the Tugrik rate has weakened, concluded by the Minister of Finance.
Over the past four years, wrong monetary policy has been implemented. As a result, money supply has exceeded economic growth of more than 85 percent.
Cash flow has risen by 18 percent during 2011-2013 and has declined starting 2014 and reached its lowest level or MNT 655 billion in Feb, 2016. Cash flow has increased by MNT 183.7 billion and reached MNT 839,2 billion over the last four months which resulted cash shortage at first. Then, cash flow has sharply risen and deepened economic crisis.
Risk in the banking system:
As of first quarter of 2016, gross domestic savings was measured at MNT 7.9 trillion, outstanding loans was reached MNT 12 trillion while macro-economic instability was measured by 4.1 trillion MNT.
An average deposit rate has fell compared to 2008 but rose back in 2011 and reached 13.8 percent in June, 2016 due to increased demand for cash in the banking system and decreased financial strength of commercial banks. Foreign currency deposit rate increased by 1.9 percent due to decline in Tugrik rate. Commercial banks have increased deposit rate up to 19 percent to attract and find new capital resource.
Loan interest rate:
An average Tugrik loan interest rate has reached 15.5 percent in 2011 and has risen by 5.7 percent and reached 21.2 percent as of June, 2016.
The Government and Bank of Mongolia should receive long-term soft loans from partner countries to decrease loan interest rate.
Mongolia has attracted direct investment worth USD 4.62 billion in 2011 and it has declined year by year. In 2015, foreign investment was 110.2 million. As of first quarter of 2016, Foreign direct investment has fallen to USD 35 million. It can be seen as the clearest example of how investors loose their confidence in our country.
Total foreign debt of Mongolia:
As of first quarter of 2016, total foreign debt our country is at USD 23.5 billion which exceeds 210 percent of GDP.
Government debt reaches MNT21.3 trillion which equivalent to 78 percent of GDP.
This year, if the Government pay off both foreign and domestic debt without receiving new loans, only MNT 1 trillion 130 billion is expected to be remained in the state budget. In this situation, the Government will need additional MNT 5.8 trillion for its operation.
Our state budget, economy and financial situation are in difficult situtation. However, our government sees optimistic future and are developing a comprehensive plan to overcome the crisis.
Finance Minister: Mongolian economy losing MNT850 billion – news.mn, August 10
Confederation of Mongolian Trade Unions calls for raises for public officials
August 10 (UB Post) The Confederation of Mongolian Trade Unions (CMTU) delivered demands and suggestions to the Cabinet regarding the action plan of the Mongolian People's Party (MPP) and amending the state budget, demanding salary increases for state servants.
The CMTU demanded that the Cabinet protect the salaries, pensions, and allowances of state servants from inflation; to index their salaries every year; to maintain the tugrug's purchasing power; protect consumers; and to work together with the public and businesses on a law on pricing legislation to create fair market competition.
The CMTU underlined the need to approve the funding of 90 billion MNT when amending the nation's state budget to increase the salaries of state servants.
Medee.mn spoke to the President of the CMTU, Kh.Amgalanbaatar, about their demands.
Does the Cabinet have the opportunity to issue 90 billion MNT to increase salaries for state servants?
As the Government of Mongolia they need to carry out stable activities. That's why they have the opportunity to increase people's revenue. We are submitting the suggestion to resolve this issue by amending the state budget. The CMTU is aware that the nation's economic situation is challenging, but the Cabinet needs to fulfill its obligations. Ahead of the elections, the MPP made a big promise to the public that it would increase salaries and preserve jobs. The CMTU suggests the MPP not fire state servants illegally. We are not only delivering our demands and suggestions, but we are ready to cooperate. We will submit any further suggestions to the Cabinet.
Last year, the CMTU submitted similar demands to the former cabinet. How were they implemented?
The Government for Changes and Government for Solutions implemented several things. In particular, we worked on creating a system for employing educated and professional personnel. We have cooperated in preserving people's jobs.
The 2015 to 2016 labor, government, and society tripartite consensus was approved. How is its implementation going?
It was approved. Unfortunately, the approval of laws related to increasing salaries, preserving, and protecting jobs didn't progress and the elections took place. Our union believes that the new Cabinet is obliged to continue the duties of the former cabinet. We demand the resolution and inclusion of the 90 billion MNT required for raising the salaries of state servants in upcoming budget amendments.
How many complaints have you received so far about state servants being illegally fired?
Staff restructuring, which is carried out under the power of state secretaries, hasn't started yet. The Cabinet spoke about the possibility of saving 5.4 billion MNT by eliminating staff redundancies, which means that they are going to adhere to a policy of cutting the number of staff. However, we hope that they will discuss the issue at the parliamentary level. The MPP promised to maintain the state's sustainability, but if they don't fulfill their promise, the CMTU will fully work to protect the interests and rights of state servants.
Former Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors invited to Premier's Office
Ulaanbaatar, August 9 (MONTSAME) At the invitation of the Prime Minister J.Erdenebat, former and veteran political figures who served in the positions of Minister of Finance and Governor of the Bank of Mongolia (Central Bank) are being welcomed at the State House to discuss the economic situation of Mongolia.
Guests are received the Premier J.Erdenebat, Head of Cabinet Secretariat J.Munkhbat and the current Minister of Finance B.Choijilsuren.
"It is crucial for us to have the valuable guidance of You, who have served in such prestigious offices", noted the PM.
The former ministers and central bank governors are getting au fait with the presentations on 2016 State Budget and the economic situation, as well as the State Budget assumptions for 2017-2019.
Construction minister discusses urban development with ADB specialist
August 10 (UB Post) Minister of Construction and Urban Development G.Munkhbayar met with an Asian Development Bank (ADB) delegation led by Senior Urban Development Specialist Andrew McIntyre to discuss and exchange views on developing Ulaanbaatar.
The Coordinator of ADB's Establishing the Future Cities Program, Senior Urban Development Specialist G.Bat-Erdene, and officials from the Construction and Urban Development Ministry attended the meeting.
During the meeting, the ADB reported that its studies conducted over the last few years have shown that the populations of around 60 to 80 percent of Asian countries are moving to their capital cities. Based on these results, the ADB said it will focus on financing programs for urban development.
Minister G.Munkhbayar underlined that ger district housing gets stuck when it comes to infrastructure, underground network facilities, water, sewage, and heating networks. He asked the ADB delegation about their plans for water treatment, if a new facility will be built or if the existing one will be expanded.
The ADB delegation said that based on the experiences of other countries, building a small-scale facility and connecting it to the central water treatment system is the most efficient solution.
In addition to Ulaanbaatar, the ADB's establishing the Future Cities Program will include Georgia's Tbilisi, Myanmar's Mandalay, Indonesia's Bandung, and Suva in the Philippines.
ADB to implement 'Future Cities' programme in Mongolia – news.mn, August 10
₮20,000 banknote awarded Bronze Certificate at Int'l Paper Money Contest
August 9 (gogo.mn) Mongolian banknote of 20,000 tugrik, printed in 2013, received Bronze Certificate of Merit in the International Paper Money Contest 2016, organized by the Institute for International Monetary Studies.
The contest aims to select the most attractively designed banknote.
In 2006, 20,000 tugrik banknote was produced with high level of quality and privacy in accordane with the research conducted on the demand of cash flow and appropriate structure.
Following banknotes were awarded in the International Paper Money Contest 2016:
Banknote of 1000 Pound (Syria) – Gold Certificate of Merit
Banknote of 10,000 rial (Iran) - Silver Certificate of Merit
Banknote of 50,000 riel (Cambodia) - Bronze Certificate of Merit
Banknote of 20,000 tugrik (Mongolia) - Bronze Certificate of Merit
Mongolia: The Hidden Welfare Champion?
August 9 (Bertelsmann Transformation Index) The World Social Forum convenes in Montreal from August 9-14. On occasion of the world's largest civil society gathering, we look at an unknown star of social policy: Mongolia. Capitalizing on its mineral wealth, the country has set out to become a leading welfare state amongst emerging and developing countries.
Japan wants to import Mongolian thermal coal
August 10 (UB Post) The Ministry of Energy reported that a Japanese electricity company has expressed interest in importing coal from Mongolia.
On Monday, Deputy Minister of Energy T.Gantulga received a Japanese delegation headed by Governor of Shizuoka Prefecture Heita Kawakatsu.
Beginning the meeting, Deputy Minister T.Gantulga said that the Mongolian People's Party won the elections with a majority of seats in Parliament and a new Cabinet has been formed. "The new Cabinet has the opportunity to work sustainably for the next four years. I hope that our collaboration will be fruitful and effective in the future," Gantulga noted.
Governor Kawakatsu underlined that training for energy sector personnel carried out under cooperation between the two countries has been successfully implemented.
He said, "We are proposing purchasing energy coal from Mongolia. Analysis conducted on coal from the Shariin Gol, Alagttolgoi, and Shivee-Ovoo mines showed that they will be suitable for our power plant's consumption. That's why we are proposing cooperation with the Mongolian Energy Ministry."
Deputy Minister T.Gantulga accepted receipt of the collaboration offer, and said that he will study the proposal.
Businesses Can Now Access Mongolia's Market Faster and Easier with DHL
- Mongolia's exports and domestic consumption are returning to rapid growth as its economy recovers from mining downturn
- New time-saving road and multimodal services connect Mongolia to its main European and US trading partners with cost-effective, agile shipping
ULAANBAATAR, Mongolia, Aug. 10, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- DHL Global Forwarding, the leading international provider of air, sea and road freight services, today announced the launch of its new road and multimodal freight services connecting Mongolia to its major European and US trading partners in less than 20 days. The services support both SMEs and larger enterprises in industries ranging from mining and automotive to retail, fashion and perishables seeking to capitalize on Mongolia'sreturn to rapid economic growth and its transition from commodities to value-added exports.
Businesses in European nations stand to benefit from DHL's new road freight service to and from Mongolia which connects to continental Europe through Russia and Belarus under 20 days. The new service offers both Full Truck Load (FTL) and Less-than-Truck Load (LTL) options to support different business sizes, ideal for small cargo volumes and initial market testing. The service will support the movement of imported foreign goods such as furniture, medicines and wine, and exports like mining spare parts, cashmere products and all terrain bikes.
"Mongolia's economy is rebounding from the mining downturn, further building on its status as the world's second-largest cashmere producer and a food and agricultural export hub," saidKelvin Leung, CEO, DHL Global Forwarding Asia Pacific. "With Mongolian businesses gaining a growing slice of global market share, supported by an increasingly solid network of regional Free Trade Agreements, Mongolia's dominant trading partners also stand to gain from increases in domestic consumption of foreign goods."
Mongolia also counts the US as one of its top five sources of imports with cars and food as key imports. DHL's new multimodal service provides Full Container Load (FCL) and Less-than-Container Load (LCL) shipping with transit time as few as 18 days. The service moves cargo such as watches, coffee machines and motorcycles from the US to South Korea by air, via ocean freight to China, and through rail and road into Mongolia, offering a balance between cost-efficiency and speed to businesses in the US seeking to expand their reach to Mongolia'sconsumers. The service also offers Mongolia businesses exporting goods like aviation spare parts, camel wool and rally cars access to the US market.
"The new road freight and multimodal services provide both small businesses and large enterprises with an especially cost-effective and timely way of testing demand and establishing consistent trade between both markets," said Charles Kaufmann, CEO, North Asia and Head, Value Added Services, DHL Global Forwarding Asia Pacific. "As the only international logistics provider with a local presence in Mongolia, DHL enables overseas exporters to gain a head-start in accessing the 'Wolf Economy' as it continues its path to the front of the pack."
Vacancy Notice: Senior Country Economist at ADB, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
Deadline: 22 August 2016
Asian Development Bank (ADB) is currently seeking applications from the eligible applicants for the post of Senior Country Economist in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.
The Senior Country Economist will conceptualize, formulate and implement the Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) and country operation business Plan (COBP) in line with country's development plans and ADB's medium and long-term strategic framework.
The ADB aims for an Asia and Pacific free from poverty.
Key Jobs Responsibilities
The Senior Country Economist will perform the following functions-
Postal system of the future is put to test in Mongolia
ULAN BATOR, AUG 9 (EFE_EPA). — Being a postman is the hardest job in Mongolia.
How does one find a yurt a tent used by nomads in the middle of the steppes, or in the desert?
Fortunately for postmen, that may be about to change: with a system of threeword addresses linked to GPS coordinates.
Mongolia, one of the last nomad countries in the world, does not have a home postal system as the majority of its citizens even in some parts of the capital where nomads are increasingly putting down their roots in settlements on the city's outskirts have no addresses.
"In Ulan Bator, in Mongolia, when you have to give an address, don't say the name of the street, explain that the place is near such building, near that square (...) If you say the name of the street, no one will know where it is," says Ochko, a translator at the city's main post office.
"The current postal system has existed only for 95 years. Before that postmen rode on horseback and every 25 kilometers had to change their steed to complete the journey," explains an octogenarian, who was visiting the post office to send a postcard.
"Currently, delivering letters to people who don't have a particular address is a problem. We don't have a system for naming streets or numbering houses," he added.
With a vast area and a population of only 2.8 million people, Mongolia has decided to put an end to this problem with a revolutionary idea: the 'What3Words' system by a British startup of the same name, which will assign an address of three words to every 9 square meters of land.
According to the firm, if one wants to send a letter to President Barack Obama in the White House, they are not required to put down the full address on the envelope just three randomly chosen words linked to the GPS coordinates.
These words will be able to accurately locate the address using a mobile phone, without even being connected to the internet.
The British startup aims to address the global problem where 4 billion 'invisible' people without addresses 75 percent of the world's population cannot receive deliveries or exercise their rights as citizens.
After signing an agreement with the British company, the Mongolian government will put the system to test in a post office in Ulan Bator.
If successful, will begin implementing it all across the city and subsequently across the country, Mongol Post director, Sodchimeg, told EFE.
"If we manage to reach the rural areas, it will be a historic change," she said.
The possibility of finding a needle in a haystack has never been this certain.
Four Deputy Mayors appointed for Ulaanbaatar
August 10 (UB Post) Pursuant to a government resolution approved on August 3, 2016, the Mayor of Ulaanbaatar will now work with two deputies and two project coordinators. The project coordinators will operate under the status of Deputy Mayors of Ulaanbaatar.
Under the new city government structure, City Council Leader P.Bayarkhuu was appointed the Ulaanbaatar Mayor's Deputy in Charge of Infrastructure, and City Council Leader J.Batbayasgalan was appointed Mayor S.Batbold's Deputy in Charge of Green Development and Air Pollution Affairs.
City Council Representative Sh.Ankhmaa was appointed Project Coordinator in Charge of Ger District Development and Social Affairs. The Mongolian People's Party Deputy Chairman, D.Enkhtur, was appointed coordinator of projects related to poverty reduction and employment.
Ambassador Xing invites new Mongolia PM to visit China
August 10 (UB Post) Prime Minister J.Erdenebat received Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of China to Mongolia Xing Haiming upon the ambassador's request on Monday, where the parties discussed official state visits and economic cooperation.
During the meeting, Ambassador Xing forwarded greetings from Li Keqiang, Premier of the State Council of the People's Republic of China, and conveyed the Premier's invitation to J.Erdenebat to visit China.
Emphasizing Ambassador Xing's valuable contributions to the strengthening and development of Mongolia and China's comprehensive strategic partnership, Prime Minister J.Erdenebat noted that he will work to promptly resolve a number of current issues concerning enhancing bilateral cooperation in trade, the economy, mining, and infrastructure, and increasing the frequency of bilateral high-level visits. J.Erdenebat underlined the significance of establishing a memorandum on strengthening collaboration in investment and industry, as well as reviving the operations of the Mongolia-China Cooperation Council on Minerals, Energy and Infrastructure.
At the end of the meeting, J.Erdenebat conveyed his greetings to Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and expressed his satisfaction with Li Keqiang's recent visit to Mongolia, where the counterparts exchanged their positions on a broad range of cooperation and relations issues, and verified directions for future cooperation.
China, Mongolia hold 9th defense consultation
ULAN BATOR, Aug. 9 (Xinhua) -- The Ninth Sino-Mongolian Defense and Security Consultation was held here Tuesday, focusing on exchanges of views on military cooperation between the two countries.
The dialogue was co-chaired by Sun Jianguo, deputy chief of the Joint Staff Department of China's Central Military Commission, and Bat-Ochir Batsaikhan, state secretary of Mongolia's Ministry of Defense.
Both sides exchanged views on relations and practical cooperation between the two militaries, the regional security situation and other issues of common concern.
Sun said that the two countries are good friends that share a long border and that the Chinese military will maintain high-level contacts with the Mongolian side, and strengthen cooperation with Mongolia in military training, peacekeeping and border defense.
Batsaikhan expressed satisfaction with the smooth development of bilateral relations and the continuous progress made in practical military cooperation between the two countries. He said he expected more communication and contacts between the two militaries.
Both sides agreed that the Sino-Mongolian Defense and Security Consultation mechanism plays an important role in enhancing strategic communication and practical cooperation, and will contribute to safeguarding regional security.
Mongolian Defense Minister Badmaanyambuugiin Bat-Erdene and Dulamsurengiin Davaa, chief of the General Staff of the Mongolian Armed Forces, also met with Sun on Tuesday.
Mongolian and Chinese Defense Ministries launch consultative meeting – Montsame, August 9
Mongolia is key US partner in NE Asia says ambassador Galt to PM Erdenebat
Ulaanbaatar, August 10 (MONTSAME) Head of Government of Mongolia, Mr J.Erdenebat received August 9 the Ambassador of the USA to Mongolia, Ms Jennifer Zimdahl Galt at her request, The sides exchanged opinions on the current state of Mongolia-US ties.
The USA is an important "third neighbor" for Mongolia, noted the PM and added that the incumbent government is attaching greater importance in the intensification of Mongolia-US comprehensive partnership, in specific, the cooperation in trade and investment. He also emphasized the significance of consolidating the ties in politics, defense, education and culture, as well as the people-to-people ties.
Mongolia is a key partner for the USA in the Northeast Asian region, mentioned Ms Galt and noted that the US Secretary of State John Kerry, during his visit to Mongolia last June, reminded of the US' consistent support for Mongolia's democratic progress. She also pledged her contribution in economic diversification processes in Mongolia.
Assistant Foreign Minister of China Meets with Outgoing Mongolian Ambassador to China
August 4 (China MFA) On August 4, 2016, Assistant Foreign Minister Kong Xuanyou met with outgoing Mongolian Ambassador to China Tsedenjav Sukhbaatar.
Kong Xuanyou spoke positively of Tsedenjav Sukhbaatar's contributions to promoting China-Mongolia relations during his tenure as Mongolian Ambassador to China, hoping that Tsedenjav Sukhbaatar can continuously care for and support the development of bilateral relations in the future.
Tsedenjav Sukhbaatar thanked the Chinese side for its valuable support during his term of office, and expressed that he will continue to make positive efforts to advance the development of Mongolia-China relations.
New Defense Minister receives Czech, UK, Turkish ambassadors
August 9 (gogo.mn) Mr. B.Bat-Erdene, Minister of Defence and MP, received ambassadors to Mongolia and discussed bilateral defence cooperations with countries.
At the beginning of the meeting, he received Ms. Ivana Grollova, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary fromCzech Republic to Mongolia, and emphasized that the Mongolia gives high priority on relations with Czech Republic, the major partner country in Europe.
Following he met with Ms. Catherine Elizabeth Jane Arnold, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary from Great Britain to Mongolia, and expressed interest in working together to increase the capacity of peacekeeping operation besides horse polo.
Moreover, he received Mr. Murat Karagoz, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Turkey to Mongolia and proposed support on appointing military attache to Turkey within this year.
Mongolia and Turkey to boost military cooperation
August 10 (UB Post) Mongolian Minister of Defense B.Bat-Erdene received Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Turkey to Mongolia Murat Karagöz on August 8 to improve relation and cooperation in the defense sector.
During the meeting, Turkish Ambassador Karagöz noted that Mongolia is an important and close partner of Turkey in Eurasia. He emphasized that the defense sector is the strongest pillar of the two nations' relations and pledged to continue supporting the Mongolian Armed Forces through military financial cooperation. In particular, Turkey will provide technical assistance and help organize trainings for Mongolian troops.
Minister B.Bat-Erdene underlined that Turkey is an important third-neighbor of Mongolia and that he is pleased with their cooperation in the defense sector, which he says is "improving by the day". He expressed full confidence in Turkey's continued cooperation for developing Mongolia's economy.
The Mongolian Defense Ministry plans to establish a military attaché in Turkey, the minister said at the meeting.
Ambassador Karagöz and Minister B.Bat-Erdene gave clarifications on events following the coup attempt that occurred in Turkey on July 15. Minister B.Bat-Erdene stated that the Mongolian government will support Turkey's democracy.
Last week, Ambassador Karagöz met with Mongolian Minister of Foreign Affairs Ts.Munkh-Orgil to exchange views on near-term cooperation matters and discussed issues concerning a comprehensive partnership between Mongolia and Turkey.
Mongolia and Turkey to build iron workshop for prisoners
Mongolia's General Executive Agency of Court Decision (GEACD) and the Turkish International Cooperation and Development Agency (TIKA) signed an agreement on Monday to build an iron workshop and create jobs for prisoners.
The workshop will be constructed adjacent to Detention Center No.441 of the GEACD and will open jobs for 40 to 50 people. The project will be completed in three stages and local authorities plan to commission the new iron workshop by the end of 2016. The total cost of the project is estimated to amount to 60 million MNT.
TIKA coordinator for Ulaanbaatar Veysel Çiftçi says that the Turkish side will supply necessary technologies and equipment, and that the Mongolian side will be in charge of building for iron workshop, material base and maintenance services.
The iron workshop will provide permanent jobs to prisoners during their incarceration. Approximately 80 percent of prisoners are able to work during summer, but opening an iron workshop will enable them to work all year round, says Deputy Head of the GEACD G.Tuulkhuu.
"Firstly, prisoners will be taught how to make metal products. Secondly, metal supplies required for detention centers will be provided. Thirdly, it will open opportunities for prisoners convicted of serious crimes who are unable to go outside to work during their incarceration. Products made at the workshop will not be sold. In other words, it's a nonprofit factory," said G.Tuulkhuu.
The GEACD plans to build a publishing factory and have convicts serving sentences for serious and exceptionally serious crimes work there if the iron workshop project is deemed successful. According to G.Tuulkhuu, Detention Center No.441 requested to construct a publishing factory and make prisoners sentenced to a minimum of 30 years work. If the factory is established, prisoners will manufacture letterheads and business cards for state-owned organizations.
Opening workshops and factories at detention centers is considered to be beneficial for prisoners who wish to reenter society and helpful to the country's economy.
President receives Shizuoka Prefecture governor
Ulaanbaatar, August 9 (MONTSAME) On August 5, the President of Mongolia Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj welcomed delegation led by the Governor of Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan Heita Kawakatsu. Advisor of Foreign Affairs to the President of Mongolia A.Battur, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Mongolia to Japan S.Khurelbaatar and other officials were present at the meeting.
President Elbegdorj noted: "I would like to extend my warm welcome to you, the delegation of Shizuoka Prefecture who are visiting Mongolia on these days. I am truly satisfied to meet with you once again".
The Governor of Shizuoka Prefecture Heita Kawakatsu said: "We appreciate for your warm welcome. During the visit of the President of Mongolia to Japan in 2010, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between our two countries and in 2011 this MoU was expanded into an agreement. In 2015, a cooperation agreement was signed between the Shizuoka Prefecture and the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sciences of Mongolia and our visit is coinciding with a year's anniversary of this agreement. We have arrived in Ulaanbaatar to draft an agreement on student exchange with the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sciences and Sports of Mongolia".
President Elbegdorj noted that expanding friendly relations with Japan is one of the top priorities of the Mongolia's external policy. Currently, the Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe has visited Mongolia to participate in the high-level meeting of the ASEM which was held in Ulaanbaatar. Enhancing people-to-people relations and expanding cooperation between the cities is important for the development of mutual ties. The President emphasized Mr. Heita Kawakatsu's contribution to this relationship and mentioned that thanks to this cooperation the Shizuoka Prefecture is well known in Mongolia unlike any other Prefectures of Japan, reports president.mn.
Mongolian tankers qualify for Int'l Army Games semifinals
August 10 (UB Post) The Mongolian Ministry of Defense reports that the Mongolian team participating in the Tank Biathlon of the 2016 International Army Games qualified for the semifinals after the conclusion of the individual race on August 7.
The Mongolian tank team finished the individual race with 29 minutes and 31 seconds on the clock. The fastest team was from China, finishing with 21 minutes and three seconds. Mongolia placed eighth with their total distance time for three rounds of 86 minutes and four seconds. Mongolia is one of 12 teams to go to the semifinals relay race stage.
For the semifinals, each crew will have to run four three to five kilometer laps, crossing various obstacles and engaging targets on three firing lines: gun firing on the move, coaxial MG firing at a halt, and a firing session sequence. The semifinals began yesterday and the top four teams will be move on to participate in the final stage of competition.
The Mongolian crew is competing against teams from Kazakhstan, Belarus, and Iran. The top four teams will be announced on August 11.
Mongolia took part in three competitions at the IAG, the Tank Biathlon, Sniper Frontier, and Field Kitchen.
In the first stage of Field Kitchen, Mongolia came in second with 109 points. China came in first with 113 points, and Russia placed third with 104 points. In a special sporting event, the Mongolian team won with a lead of 60 points ahead of the second runner-up.
Here are some clips of the IAG 2016:
MCC to invest in water reserve programs in Mongolia under 2nd compact
Ulaanbaatar, August 10 (MONTSAME) The visiting delegation from the Millennium Challenge Corporation have met with the Prime Minister and the leaders of the Ministry of the Environment and Tourism. Delegates, headed by the Regional Deputy Vice President for Europe, Asia, the Pacific, and Latin America in the Millennium Challenge Corporation's Department of Compact Operations, Ms Fatema Z.Sumar, were welcomed by the Minister of the Environment and Tourism of Mongolia D.Oyunkhorol on August 9.
They informed that the MCC have decided to implement a comprehensive program for water sector of Mongolia on the funding of the second Compact Operations in Mongolia, and presented the proposals for three projects respectively on water distribution, improving water reserves and water usage. If realized, the projects will result in improved flow of River Tuul, increased overall water reserve and renovation of water treatment plant, said the delegates.
The Minister applauded the initiatives of the MCC, and requested to direct certain part of the investment to treating the soil pollution of Ulaanbaatar. Professional organizations have put some studies together on the impact of the common use of wooden toilets in the ger-areas of Ulaanbaatar on the underground water reserve. The MCC accepted this request.
At the end of this meeting, Minister D.Oyunkhorol pledged to set up a working group to give update and necessary information from Mongolian side to forward the commencement of the second compact.
'One Hospital, Two Wings' project to open government hospital to public
August 9 (news.mn) The "One Hospital, Two Wings" project was introduced in February 2015 by former Prime Minister, Ch.Saikhanbileg. The project, located at the First State Central Hospital, aims to transform a special civil service hospital, located west of government house, into a public one. Implementation starts this month.
Under the project, a medical centre with 260 beds is being set up. This consists of a paediatric section and a maternity section. The construction of the First State Central Hospital has required MNT 3.5 billion in investment
Mental Athletics Increasingly Popular in Mongolia
Mongolians, statistically, are the world's best speed memorizers, in no small part thanks to one man's visionary scheme.
August 9 (Transitions Online) Better known for traditional sports involving brawn, such as wrestling, Mongolia has begun to challenge the world's best in the very different field of mental athletics.
Nine Mongolians are ranked among the world's 50 best memorizers, or "mnemonists," according to their scores in various international memory competitions – no mean feat for a nation of less than 3 million people.
Most of the credit for this achievement belongs to Khatanbaatar Khandsuren, the person behind the Mongolian Intellectual Academy, according to The Globe and Mail. His students are capable of adding together or multiplying long strings of numbers without any external aid, reading 1,500 words per minute, or memorizing card decks in 20 seconds.
Last year he took a four-person team to compete at the Extreme Memory Tournament in San Diego.
Although they didn't progress past the quarter-final stage, the Mongolians left a truly memorable impression on the judges, and 17-year-old Enhkjin Tumur "set a tournament record by recalling 30 images in 14.4 seconds," the Guardian reported.
Khatanbaatar says the memory prowess of Mongolian children might be atavistic, given the nomadic lifestyle practiced for countless generations of Mongolians, which turned a strong memory into a valuable asset. He hopes to see his brain-training techniques adopted in schools, The Globe and Mail writes.
"The eventual dream would be to change this country, to develop it. We have a population of only three million. I want to make it as prosperous a nation as maybe the United Arab Emirates. I want Mongolians to be world leaders."
· Khatanbaatar is a board member of the "Memoriad World Mental Sports Federation."According to its website, the Memoriad is a competition "combining memory, mental calculation, mental arithmetic, and photographic reading," which takes part every four years, in the same years as the Olympic Games.
· What memorization is to Mongolia, chess is to Armenia, where the game has been part of the mandatory school curriculum for the past five years.
· Prague recently hosted the 2016 European Rubik's Cube Championship, a competition that brought together aspiring masters in another lesser-known mental sport.
11th Int'l Mongolian Studies Conference taking place on August 15-18
Ulaanbaatar, August 10 (MONTSAME) The 11th Annual International Mongolian Studies Conference is to take place on August 15-18 in Ulaanbaatar, the center of Mongolian Studies of the world, said the Chief of Staff of the President's Office, Mr P.Tsagaan at a press conference on Monday.
The conference, being organized under the auspices of the President of Mongolia, is attracting some 400 scholars from 29 countries.
Discussions will run under five topics: "Mongolian language and speech studies", "Mongolian history", "Mongolian literature and criticism", "Mongolian socio-economic studies" and "Mongolia's International Relations Studies".
Present at the press conference were, Vice Minister of Education, Culture, Sciences and Sports Yo.Otgonbayar, First Deputy President of the Academy of Sciences D.Regdel, Secretary General of the International Association for Mongol Studies D.Tumurtogoo and Secretary of the National Council on Mongol Studies D.Zayabaatar.
UN Mongolia to implement projects worth $79 million in 2017-2021
August 10 (gogo.mn) United Nations in Mongolia will implement projects and programs, amounting to USD 79 million, in 2017-2021.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Ts.Munkh-Orgil today received Ms. Beate Trankmann, UN Resident Coordinator in Mongolia.
Minister Ts.Munkh-Orgil expressed appreciation to UN for its active support and cooperation on the social and economic development strategy of Mongolia. Also, he noted that projects and programs to be implemented by the UN will made valuable contribution to sustainable development goals.
Ms. Beate Trankmann congratulated Mongolia on its active attendance to peacekeeping missions and expressed to support the Government on the implementation of social and economic development strategy of Mongolia.
Bold Mongolian Girl Stars in New Documentary
Set amid stunning mountain scenery, 'The Eagle Huntress' follows a teenager's dream of becoming a master of her craft.
August 10 (Transitions Online) Among the Kazakhs of western Mongolia, the tradition of hunting with eagles is usually passed down from father to son.
Aisholpan Nurgaiv, a 13-year-old girl, however, is determined to become the next master eagle hunter and to compete in the national Golden Eagle Festival. A new documentary is following her efforts along the way, National Geographic writes.
The Kazakhs of the Altai mountain region in western Mongolia are the only people still practicing the demanding craft of hunting with golden eagles, the BBC reported in 2014.
Director Otto Bell believes his documentary, The Eagle Huntress, carries "universal themes," such as women's empowerment. Executive producer and narrator Daisy Ridley (risen to fame in the Star Wars franchise) called the film "deeply moving," and expressed hopes that young women from around the world will take inspiration from it, Entertainment Weekly writes.
Only 50 or 60 "true" eagle hunters, or burkitshi, remain in the Altai, photographer Palani Mohan says, according to The New Yorker. Only female birds are used for hunting as they are bigger and fiercer than males, with wingspans reaching 2.5 meters.
Aisholpan is not the first female eagle hunter: according to researchers, there are records of eagle huntresses from 10th-century Persia, National Geographic explains, as well as photographs of a Mongolian princess with her hunting eagle from the 20th century. Nevertheless, huntresses are very rare. Aisholpan is the first female competitor in the Golden Eagle Festival, and the first huntress in her family in 12 generations.
The documentary was first screened at Sundance in January, following several film festivals during the summer, including the Czech Republic's Karlovy Vary in July. It will have a limited release in the United States in October.
· Climate change has been making life increasingly difficult for the nomadic peoples of Central Asia.
· Nomadic herders account for approximately one-third of Mongolia's labor force.
· In other cinematic news from our region, Anthropoid, a film about the assassination of Nazi chief Reinhard Heydrich opened in the United States this week to mixed reviews.
Archeologists Received Initial Results of Excavations in Mongolia
August 9 (International Turkic Academy) Launched by the initiative of the International Turkic Academy and supported by the History and Archeology Institute of the Mongolian National Academy of Sciences, archeological fieldwork is continuing now in the memorial complex of Shiveet Ulan located in Mongolia.
Archeological works were started in July under the leadership of the president of TWESCO Darkhan Kydyrali, renowned Mongolian archeologist D.Tsevendorj and Kazakh Turkic studies scholar N.Bazilkhan. During excavations researchers had found various ancient Turkic statues. Besides, they identified the structure, shape and the volume of the base of the Shiveet Ulan complex.
These and other findings will be announced on 24 August at the 2nd Turkic-Mongolian Archeological Field Seminar entitled "The Nomads of the Great Steppe: Historical and Cultural Synergies". This event is part of the program of the "From the Khan-Tengri to the Otukan: Historical and Cultural Legacies of the Great Steppe Nomads" international expedition, which consists of renowned statesmen, diplomats, scholars and journalists from Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Mongolia, Russian Federation and Turkey.
Sumiya, the 25th Mongolian to stand on the Olympic podium
Ulaanbaatar, August 9 (MONTSAME) Mongolian judoka D.Sumiya became the 25th Mongolian and fourth female athlete to stand on the Olympic podium, with her amazing performance at the Rio Olympics Women's Judo.
Sumiya was born in 1991, daughter to technician Dorjsuren and middle-school teacher Delgermaa of Baruunturuun soum of Uvs province, and lives with her parents and five younger siblings. D.Sumiya was awarded the title of State Honored Athlete of Mongolia and International Master of Sports. She is a three-time world champion of Sambo Wrestling.
She is the oldest child in her family, has a sister and four brothers. Her family moved to Ulaanbaatar in 2000, and D.Sumiya started going to "Mongolian Girls" judo club in 2006.
Sumiya competes in 57 kg weight category. She is an athlete of "Khilchin" sports committee and is a First Lieutenant.
By A. Ikhsanaa
August 9 (gogo.mn) SUMIYA Dorjsuren, leads the women`s 57 kg Judo World ranking, won silver medal at RIO 2016 Olympics.
She won all her matches and took silver in women's 57kg judo. In her match against Kaoru Matsumoto, she delivered an ippon 22 seconds. In the final wrestling for Gold medal, she was defeated to Rafaela Silva of Brazil by a wazari.
The medal is the first ever for Mongolian Women`s Judo History.
According to the decree to reward the Olympic medalists, each athlete who win an Olympic gold medal would receive 120 million MNT, a silver medallist would receive 60 million MNT, and a bronze medallist would gain 30 million MNT.
Therefore, The Government of Mongolia will grant MNT 60 million to Mongolian State Honored Athlete SUMIYA Dorjsuren.
RIO2016: D.Sumiya claims the first ever Olympic medal for Mongolian Women`s Judo History – GoGo Mongolia, August 9
Sumiya Dorjsuren brings Mongolia's first medal in Rio 2016 – Montsame, August 9
Sumya opens a new page in Mongolian judo – news.mn, August 9
D.Sumiya wins Mongolia's first medal from Rio 2016 – UB Post, August 9
Rio 2016: Boxer D.Otgondalai qualifies for quarterfinals
August 10 (gogo.mn) Mongolian boxer D.Otgondalai won over Enrico La Cruz, boxer from Netherlands with 2:1, making it to the quarterfinals in 60 kg light weight men class.
His next fight will be against Algerian boxer Reda Benbaziz on Aug 13 at 6AM (Ulaanbaatar time).
D.Otgondalai makes it to round of eight – Montsame, August 10
D.Otgondalai enters the final eight – news.mn, August 10
B.Tuvshinbat beats Argentina's Palmetta Alberto in Rio
August 9 (news.mn) Mongolian boxer B.Tuvshinbat in the men's 69 kg category claimed his first victory over Palmetta Alberto from Argentina on Sunday (7th August), thus making it to the final 16. He is the first boxer from Mongolia fighting in the Rio 2016 ring.
Mongolia has entered six boxers to compete in each of various weight classes into the Olympic boxing tournament. G.Gan-Erdene (men's 49 kg) and D.Otgondalai (men's 60 kg) have entered the final 16 by walkovers. B.Tuvshinbat (men's 69 kg) won over Argentina's Alberto Palmetta yesterday (7th August).
Today (8th August). G.Gan-Erdene (men's 49 kg) will have his first fight; meanwhile second in world ranking boxer D.Otgondalai (men's 60 kg) will fight tomorrow (9thAugust).
- E.Tsendbaatar (men's 56 kg) will fight Kenyan Benson Gicharu Njangiru on 10thAugust.
- B.Chinzorig (men's 64 kg) will fight Qatarian Thulasi Tharumalingam on 10thAugust.
- Kh.Enkh-Amar (men's 52 kg) will fight Mexican Elias Emigdio on 13th August.
Two judokas end their games at Rio 2016
Ulaanbaatar, August 10 (MONTSAME) On August 9, Mongolian judoka O.Uuganbaatar, competed in the men's judo (81 kg) of Rio 2016, lost the bout with the Egyptian Mohamed Abdelaal and ended his game in this summer Olympics.
Ranking at 19th place in the world, O.Uuganbaatar had a bye in the first round, which had 33 judokas competing in 81 kg weight category. O.Uuganbaatar has grabbed bronze medals from the Asian Championships and the World Championships.
On the same day, Chinese Yang Junxia claimed a clean sweep over the Mongolian Munkhzaya Tsedevsuren in the women's judo – 63 kg.
Our judoka, world bronze medalist and the fifth place winner of the London 2012 Olympics, have claimed a clear victory in her previous bout with the Z.Rizlen of Morocco.
Team Mongolia – interesting figures
August 10 (news.mn) Overall, 43 athletes are competing in 9 sports categories in Mongolia's 13th Olympics. On this occasion, Mongolians were not able to qualify in gymnastics and cycling. However, Mongolia has entered one athlete into taekwondo competition for the first time. Taekwondo is Mongolian 11th sports category at the Games. Mongolia sent a total of 226 athletes in 10 sports category to the previous 12 Olympics.
A total of 43 athletes have qualified for Rio-2016 is repeating the record number of Mongolians competing at the Moscow-1980 Olympics. On this occasion, 27 of the 43 athletes are competing at the Olympics their first time.
Archer J.Gantugs becomes the oldest athlete in Team Mongolia, aged 44 and 115 days - to be precise. Previously, the oldest contender had been, skier L.Dorj at the 1984 Olympics, who, at the start of the games was 40 and 217 days old.
Sport shooter O.Gundegmaa, is Mongolia's oldest woman athlete and has the largest number of Olympics under her belt, having competed in no less than six Games.
Mongolian sports journalists honoured at Rio 2016
August 9 (news.mn) Journalists who have covered ten or more Olympic Games during their careers and have shown outstanding dedication spanning over three decades, were honoured with a limited edition of Rio 2016 replica torches provided by AIPS Gold Partners and the official Olympic merchandiser "Honav". Around 100 members of the media were joined by Olympic Champions, partners and guests on Monday morning as a new chapter in the celebration of Olympic journalism was written at the iconic Tokyo 2020 Japan House at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
J.Otgontsagaan, general secretary of the Mongolian Olympic Committee and Ch.Otgonbaatar, president of the Mongolian sports press union were honoured, receiving the replica torches. J.Otgontsagaan, has covered no less than thirteen Olympics and was officially honoured at London-2012.
Thousand Oaks surgeon, son drive a 1972 Datsun 8,500 miles from Peking to Paris
August 9 (Ventura County Star) When Tjerk Bury saw flames emerging from under the hood of his 1972 Datsun 240Z in Mongolia, just a week into the Peking to Paris Motor Challenge 2016, he thought his quest to complete the 8,500-mile, 36-day rally had gone up in smoke.
"I grabbed the fire extinguisher and put out the fire," said Bury, a Thousand Oaks hand surgeon. "We then stood back for five minutes, because if there was a fuel leak the car could still explode. Then we started the car and didn't find any fuel leaks.
"For the rest of the day the fire extinguisher was between my legs."
Tjerk Bury, 61, along with his son Chris, 25, finished 26th out of 98 competitors who completed the rally. They crossed the finish line in Paris on July 17 with an official time of 273 hours, 40 minutes and 25 seconds.
They began the event in Peking on June 12, competing in the Classic category for cars in production from 1942 to 1975. Mark Pickering and Dave Boddy from Australia won the Classic category in their 1973 Datsun 240Z with a time of 260:41:28.
The fire in Mongolia was the result of an exhaust leak that had to be patched at the end of each day. The patch caught fire, but it caused far less damage than what Chris Bury expected.
"I had wrapped muffler repair tape around the joint that morning," said Chris, an aerospace engineer and Westlake High graduate who now lives in El Segundo. "The tape burned up, but the car wasn't damaged much."
Mongolia turned out to be an unbelievable challenge for both driver and navigator. The ill-defined roads were hard to follow and sometimes led to dead ends. Using a marine GPS, they navigated from geographic latitude-longitude way points as if they were on open water.
"These are dirt roads and there could be 10 different tracks at a fork," said Tjerk, who did most of the navigation while Chris did the driving. "I had to make a split-second decision as the navigator — where to go left or right — with Chris driving at full speeds. Sometimes we had to turn around. Other times we had to go off road until we found another track."
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