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Friday, January 20, 2017
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Announcement after Thursday close. 975 trading +3.6% in Friday morning
January 19 -- This announcement (the "Announcement") is made by Mongolian Mining Corporation (In Provisional Liquidation) (the "Company") pursuant to Rule 13.09(2) of the Rules Governing the Listing of Securities on The Stock Exchange of Hong Long Limited (the "Listing Rules") 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 3 November 2016 that the key commercial terms of the proposed debt restructuring (the "Debt Restructuring") in the form of a term sheet (the "Term Sheet") have received the support of (i) the steering committee of holders of US$600,000,000 8.875% senior notes due 2017 issued by the Company (the "Notes", and the holders of the Notes, the "Noteholders"), (ii) the lenders under the facilities agreement dated 5 March 2014 with the Company (the "Lenders") and (iii) QGX Holdings Ltd. ("QGX") which holds certain promissory notes issued by the Company.
Reference is also made to the announcement of the Company dated 21 December 2016 that (i) certain of the Noteholders have entered into a restructuring support agreement with, amongst others, the Company and the joint provisional liquidators of the Company (the "JPLs") with respect to the Debt Restructuring (the "Noteholder RSA"), (ii) the Lenders have entered into a restructuring support agreement with, amongst others, the Company and the JPLs with respect to the Debt Restructuring (the "Lenders RSA") and (iii) QGX has entered into a restructuring support agreement with, amongst others, the Company and the JPLs with respect to the Debt Restructuring (the "QGX RSA" and together with the Noteholder RSA and the Lenders RSA, the "RSAs").
Reference is also made to the announcement of the Company dated 22 December 2016 confirming that all conditions to the effectiveness of each of the RSAs have been satisfied and, accordingly, all provisions of the RSAs have become effective in accordance with their terms. Each creditor that enters into and/or accedes to a RSA undertakes, amongst other things, to work in good faith with the Company to implement the Debt Restructuring as soon as possible.
Pursuant to the terms of the Noteholder RSA, Noteholders who accede to the Noteholder RSA on or before 13 January 2017 are entitled to receive an early consent fee as set forth in the Noteholder RSA. Pursuant to the terms of the Lenders RSA, if, by 4:00 p.m. (New York time) on 20 January 2017 (or such later date as may be agreed), the Noteholders who had entered into or acceded to the Noteholder RSA do not hold supporting Notes (the "Supporting Notes") constituting an aggregate of 50% or more of the principal amount of the Notes, the Lenders RSA may be terminated with respect to a Lender's obligations thereunder by such Lender.
After reconciling and verifying the holding positions of the Noteholders who have acceded to the Noteholder RSA on or before 13 January 2017, the Company is pleased to announce that, holders of Supporting Notes which in aggregate constitute approximately 94.1% of the principal amount of the Notes have entered into the Noteholder RSA on or before 13 January 2017.
The Company will publish further announcements to update the shareholders and potential investors on progress of the Debt Restructuring as and when necessary.
MSE Trading Report, Jan 19: Top 20 +0.68%, ALL +0.37%, Turnover ₮14.1 Million Shares, ₮100.3 Million T-Bills
January 19 (MSE) --
Reds are when MNT fell, greens when it rose. Bold reds are rates that set a new historic high at the time.
USD (blue), CNY (red) vs MNT in last 1 year:
January 19 (Bank of Mongolia) Spot trade: Commercial banks bid weighted average rate of MNT2486.34 for USD 7.4 million and asked weighted average rate of MNT2495.45 for USD 12.0 million and bid weighted average rate of MNT356.88 for CNY53.4 million respectively. The BoM did not receive any bid offers.
Swap and forward trade: The BoM received buying bid offers of USD1.0 million of MNT swap agreements from commercial banks and the BoM did not accept the bid offers.
By Michael Kohn
January 19 (Bloomberg) -- Mongolia's budget deficit at the end of 2016 was 3.67t tugrik ($1.48b), compared to 1.16t a year earlier, according to the National Statistics Office.
* Total revenue and grants to the general govt budget were 5.85t tugrik, while total expenditure and net lending rose 33% y/y to 9.52t tugrik
* Total external trade turnover reached $8.28b, down 2.3% compared from a year earlier
* Exports rose 5.3% y/y to $4.92b
* Imports declined 11.6% y/y to $3.36b
* December CPI increased 0.7% m/m, 1.1 y/y
* At end 2016 non-performing loans in the banking system stood at 1.08t tugrik, a 24.5% increase y/y
Mogi: these guys need to stop giving conflicting announcements. The government may lack the full amount but the PM said they found a way to pay the bonds in full and in time.
January 19 (UB Post) Cabinet Secretariat J.Munkhbat conceded that the government currently does not have enough capital to repay Euro Bond debt due in March 2017, and reported that the government has three options regarding repayment.
J.Munkhbat delved into the issue surrounding the Euro Bond repayment in a recent interview with Mongolian News. He spoke in detail about three potential routes that the government could take regarding the debt. The first option is to repay the debt with what liquid assets are available, the second option is to postpone payment, and the third option is to default on the debt. The Cabinet Secretariat highlighted that the first and third options would be detrimental to the nation's economy.
He cited recent economic hardships and concluded that repaying the bond now would put an immediate strain on the already diminished economy, but defaulting on the loan would be equally harmful to the country. "Defaulting on a loan creates grave consequences for any country,"J.Munkbat noted.
The Cabinet Secretariat believes that postponing repayment of the debt is the most logical and favorable route to pursue. Deferment would require the debt be refinanced, either through discounted foreign loans or enrollment in a standby credit facility proposed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). IMF representatives are set to visit Mongolia in order to continue negotiations for the credit facility. The Cabinet Secretariat stated that a decision regarding the IMF plan is likely to be made before the end of January.
When asked about the allocation of Euro Bond financing, J.Munkhbat admitted that many violations and suspicious activity have been connected to the spending of the bond money. The Euro Bond was intended to finance various projects through loans issued by Development Bank of Mongolia (DBM). The Cabinet Secretariat said, that in the last four years, there have been many illegal activities and violations directly connected to the DBM. He went on to say that the missteps and violations of the DBM have contributed greatly to current economic hardships. However, the Cabinet Secretariat did not go into much detail about specific violations, instead referencing a 200-page report recently released by a working group tasked with investigating the DBM.
The government's recent talks with foreign governments and organizations in the hopes of receiving discounted loans were also addressed by J.Munkhbat. He said that the current government has opened dialogue with countries such as China, Russia, Japan, and several Middle Eastern countries. However, the Cabinet Secretariat underlined that agreements would not be reached overnight, and confirmed that the government is working to pursue financing to repay the Euro Bond debt.
Ulaanbaatar, January 19 (MONTSAME) During its regular meeting on January 18, the Cabinet decided to adopt a resolution to realize 'Gold II' national program. A working group to ensure the implementation on national level will be formed with Minister of Mining and Heavy Industry as head.
In realization of the Cabinet's 2016-2020 action plan and in order to recover the economy, the 'Gold II' program will be realized through two phases until 2020. As a result, the amount of annual gold extraction is expected to stably increase by 2-3 tons, gradually reaching 25 tons by 2020. With realization of the program, MNT 33-59 billion will be collected to state budget in the form of charge for exploitation of mineral resources, and following geological explorations, Mongolia's gold resources will be increased by 100-150 tons, the Cabinet sees.
Mongolia previously implemented 'Gold' program and 'Gold – 2000' programs from 1992 to 2000. According to a report by National Statistical Office, Mongolia's gold production constituted 2.6 percent of GDP and 9.1 percent of export income in 2015.
Ulaanbaatar, January 19 (MONTSAME) During its regular meeting on January 18, the Cabinet assigned N.Nomtoibayar, Minister of Labor and Social Protection to handle the issuance of child allowance to children aged 0-18 from households which were determined to be eligible for the allowance following a recent livelihood study.
Relevant procedure allows beneficiary side – the child, parents or guardian to choose a bank through which the allowance will be provided. In order to benefit from the allowance, corresponding documents must be submitted to the chosen bank.
The procedure states that the amount of the allowance will be calculated with basis on the date of document submission to the banks. The allowance will be issued after 20th of every month.
In compliance with the 2016 budget adjustment, child allowance will be resumed for some 660 thousand children, included in social target group range 1-17, who constitute about 60 percent of the total children who must benefit from the allowance. The money amounting to the rest 40 percent will be saved in a non-cash form to be issued starting from 2019.
Ulaanbaatar, January 19 (MONTSAME) On Wednesday, Minister of Labor and Social Welfare N.Nomtoibayar called a press conference to announce that the decision to lower the annual interest of pension credits from 18 to 15 percent is coming into force from January 18.
On the national level, there are a total of 378 thousand pensioners, 60 percent of whom are in debt of credit with 18 percent annual interest. To relieve the financial burden on the shoulders of those pensioners, the Ministry has talked down the annual interest rate of pension credits and established agreements with State Bank and Khan Bank, through which 91 percent of all pensioners are provided services.
With the decision, the pensioners will enjoy 15 percent annual interest credits with 1-6 months of duration from the moment of enforcement of the agreements with the banks. The outstanding credits will continue to be paid in formerly agreed terms, in other words, with 18 percent annual interest.
Pensioners gained access to free choice of banks, through which they receive benefits, pursuant to the decision made at the last month's meeting of the National Council of Social Insurance. Before this, all pensioners received pensions through Khan and State banks. The decision has also been made in the best interest of the pensioners, so that the commercial banks would be willing to lower their credit and savings' interests to attract more customers, said the Minister.
When asked if the pension credit interest rate will decrease again, Minister N.Nomtoibayar answered that "The Prime Minister has given obligations to gradually decrease the interest rate. The Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare and the General Authority of Health and Social Insurances have been working together on this issue.
Funding is being allocated from the Social Insurance Fund to the banks, with consideration of the banks' credit flow. As of today, MNT 45 billion has been distributed to the State Bank and the Khan Bank.
January 19 (news.mn) Mongolia has an signed agreement with the Hungarian State Printing Company for changing foreign passports to 'smart' or e-passports. The main change is the inclusion of a new international standard data chip.
On 19th of January, R.Sodkhuu, director of the General Authority for State Registration met the president and trade executive of the Hungarian State Printing Company at Government House. During the meeting, the two sides discussed possible ways of altering the agreement and reducing the cost of printing the 'smart' passports; the original contract had been fixed at EUR 9.5. Currently, there are over 1 million people foreign passport holders in Mongolia.
Established in 1952, the Hungarian State Printing Company produces passports with and without chips, documents for crossing borders, travel documents, EU settlement passes, official documents for proposed asylum seekers, refugee and immigration documents and other similar items containing sensitive information.
According to the official website of the State Registration and Statistical Authority of Mongolia, the new chip passports will mean that Mongolian citizens will have fewer problems, when crossing borders and will have more security.
Ulaanbaatar, January 19 (MONTSAME) Last year, an inauguration ceremony was held to reform Mongolia's Information Technology Park as a Science Park. During its regular meeting on January 18, the Cabinet resolved to make Department of Science Park Management at the Science and Technology Fund an Administration of the Science Park.
The administration is responsible for developing innovative, high-technology industry, and handling the establishment and organization of the Science Park.
The 2016-2020 action plan of the Cabinet encompasses certain objectives such as improvising the authoritative and organizational system of science sector in compliance with international trends, developing knowledge-based innovation technology industry, boosting scientific industry products, nurturing national innovation system, and creating legal environment conducive to progress of innovation.
The Science Park is expected to play an important role in realizing these objectives. The Science Park administration will function to develop fruitful cooperation between scientific and business institutions, and produce entrepreneurs and start-up companies based on innovative and high-technology industry.
As the Science Park Management Department has been merged to the administration, there will be no burden on state budget and additional vacancies.
January 19 (Kyodo) Japan has launched a project to improve the public pension system in Mongolia, sharing its experience in dealing with a rapidly aging society with a country facing a similar demographic shift.
Last autumn, 15 officials from the Mongolian central and local governments in charge of pension policy participated in a seminar in Tokyo sponsored by the health ministry.
In addition, experts from the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare and the Japan Pension Service have been stationed in Mongolia to teach local officials how to operate pension systems.
"It is crucially important for any country to establish a solid social security system if the disparity between the rich and the poor is to narrow and its economy is to grow," said Mamoru Yamashita, a health ministry official who has been stationed in Mongolia under the four-year Japanese project through fiscal 2019, launched at the request of the Mongolian government.
The Japanese project, also sponsored by the Japan International Cooperation Agency, is partly aimed at establishing a better livelihood for nomads in Mongolia whose pension coverage is very low.
Mongolia has a mandatory public pension system for company employees. But nomadic herders and self-employed people participate in pension programs on a voluntary basis.
The number of nomads in Mongolia has been decreasing in recent years as many have abandoned pastoral life following successive natural disasters that have made their livelihoods unstable.
At present, an estimated 270,000 of Mongolia's 3 million people live as nomadic herders moving from place to place to find pasture for livestock. Of these, only 20 percent are covered by public pensions.
"Livelihoods of nomads will become unsustainable if their animals die due to natural disasters," a participant in the Japanese seminar said. "Nomadic herding is tough, especially for elderly people, as labor is hard and no leave from work is allowed. That's why social security is essential to support their lives."
Under the current pension system, it is difficult for authorities to collect premiums from nomadic herders who travel from place to place throughout the year. In addition, a large number cannot afford to pay.
Under these circumstances, the Mongolian government is considering introducing a universal pension system that covers all people in the country.
"Given aging will advance further in Mongolia, it is meaningful to know what Japan has addressed and will address pension-related issues," said Basan Batjargal, an official of the Mongolian Labor and Social Protection Ministry who participated in the Japanese study seminar.
A host of problems exists in the Japanese public pension system as well, including sloppy handling of pension records and generational gaps of pension benefits against the background of society's aging, coupled with a falling birthrate.
"No country has a perfect pension system," Batjargal said. "We can learn from what Japan has done in the wake of various problems."
Akihiro Takanashi, an official of the Japan Pension Service, said the study seminar will explain not only the positive aspects of the Japanese pension system but also its problems and demerits. "We want Mongolian officials to decide what to do after analyzing all our system."
January 19 (Mongolian Economy) The head of the Cabinet Secretariat of Government of Mongolia J.Munkhbat made a statement on the conclusion about the current state of the State Palace and certain measures to ensure its quality and security during the meeting of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Security and Foreign Policy held on January 18, 2017.
The State Palace was commissioned in 1951 and expanded in 1961 and 1981. In addition, the construction of the State Ceremonial Complex started in 2005 and was commissioned in 2008. The Science and Technology Commission of the Ministry of Road, Transportation, Construction and Urban Development inspected the State Palace, which consists of 19 sections, and recommended that the parts commissioned in 1951 and 1961 be torn down and redeveloped. They also advised having design institutes carry out assessments on the parts built in 1981 to reinforce the foundation. Although inspection agencies carried out more than 20 inspections and have submitted recommendations on further measures since 2008, no specific actions have been taken to date.
According to the calculations at the time, MNT 28.7-40.9 billion was required to reinforce the foundation of the sections built between 1951-1961 and MNT 37.4 billion to take down and build new buildings. However, according to the most recent estimate by the Ministry of Construction and Urban Development, about MNT 38.8 billion will be required to take down the sections built in 1951 and 1961 and rebuild them, and MNT 3.6 billion to reinforce the foundation of the section built in 1981, bringing the total estimated cost to MNT 42.4 billion.
J.Munkhbat said that the feasibility study should be prepared and finished at first, given the difficult economic situation. He also said preparing temporary work locations for agencies operating in the State Palace in case of risks should be taken into account.
A total of 878 people currently work in the State Palace, and the complex covers a total of 37,212 sq.m. of useable space comprising 406 rooms.
January 18 (UB Post) Ten years ago, the Independent Authority Against Corruption (IAAC) was established to fight corruption. MPs, heads of state organizations, legal scholars and specialists, experienced lawyers, former legislators, and members of the public discussed the progress and challenges facing the fight against corruption, during a national anti-corruption forum that was held last week to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the IAAC's establishment.
The forum's attendees pointed out that according to reports from international independent studies, corruption per capita in Mongolia is high and that corruption in the health and education sectors rates high in reports from Mongolian researchers and government officials.
They concluded that state authorities and the public need to focus on the implementation of amendments to laws which allow monitoring legislators, as well as the implementation of the National Anti-Corruption Program (NACP) approved by Parliament in October 2016.
According to the Corruption Perceptions Index published annually by Transparency International, a global coalition against corruption, Mongolia ranked 83 out of 177 countries, and scored 38 out of 100 points on the index in 2013. Mongolia ranked 80 out of 175 countries with 39 points in 2014, and ranked 72 out of 168 countries with a score of 39 in 2015.
Mongolia's corruption rating has been lowered by only one point over the past three years. This data was acknowledged by Speaker of Parliament M.Enkhbold in a briefing regarding corruption in Mongolia.
Head of the IAAC's Research and Analysis Division D.Dulamsuren stated that everybody has to understand that the state must provide public services without a focus on profits, and that when people have to file state paperwork, they always look for someone who they can pay to help avoid bureaucracy. She said that changing these circumstances is of great importance to fighting corruption.
How is corruption fought through laws and regulations?
MPs are reviewing amendments to the Criminal Code that would increase penalties for state officials engaged in corruption.
During a parliamentary session held last week, Minister of Justice and Interior Affairs S.Byambatsogt highlighted that the amendments outline that a state official found guilty of engaging in corruption will be sentenced to two to six years in prison, and after being released from prison, they will be banned from working in the public sector for two to five years.
Member of Parliament M.Oyunchimeg asked Minister S.Byambatsogt if international legislative practices were included in the amendments. The Minister noted that according to the current Criminal Code, people who offer and accept bribes are all considered to be criminal offenders, but the new version of the Criminal Code outlines that only those who accept bribes will be sentenced.
Minister S.Byambatsogt said that this new section was copied from Singapore's law on fighting corruption. He added that there should be clear legislation concerning bribery and the people who take bribes.
During the session, some legislators proposed a lifetime ban from public service for a state official found guilty of engaging in corruption.
Speaker M.Enkhbold said that Mongolia should join the Global Organization of Parliamentarians Against Corruption. The Speaker noted that increasing state, civic, and media participation and assistance will effectively impact the implementation of the NACP, but that Parliament and the IAAC have the greatest responsibilities concerning the program.
A large number of entrepreneurs and business owners contribute a lot of money to political parties to influence decisions made for their benefit, to influence selection for tenders put forward by state organizations, to buy nominations for elections, or to get good government positions.
Some politicians have put forward proposals to set budgetary limits for political parties to change this network of political corruption, and to make political party financing transparent.
Exposing high-level cases of corruption raises public awareness about corruption, so the IAAC needs to investigate the massive network of political corruption and unravel it before the people. Active investigation by the IAAC is of significant importance to fighting political corruption.
Improving the auditing of state budget spending, monitoring tenders put forward by state organizations, strengthening cooperation between judiciary and law enforcement authorities, and improving the state's transparency and accountability are key to fighting corruption.
Ulaanbaatar, January 19 (MONTSAME) Border posts of Mongolia and China will be closed on January 27-29, according to the Intergovernmental agreement between Mongolia and China in 2004. Chinese New Year will be celebrated those days and during the public holiday border posts are closed traditionally. However, international flights and trains will follow their regular schedule.
January 19 (gogo.mn) Mongolian company Solar Power International LLC in cooperation with Japan`s Sharp corporation and Shigemitsu shoji Co., Ltd have completed the construction of the biggest solar power plant of Mongolia, located in Khongor soum, Darkhan-Uul aimag. Total investment of the project was US$ 17.4 million.
According to the preliminary study, the 10MW solar power plant has a capacity to generate 15.2 million kWh electricity per year through its 32,274 solar panels, which is able to provide renewable energy to 20 thousand homes. Moreover, the power plant will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 14,764 tons.
An official opening of Darkhan 10MW solar power plant will be held on Jan 19th. However, the power plant has started to supply electricity to the main power grid since Jan 1st.
Japan`s Sharp corporation installed 32,274 pieces of high-performance solar panels and supplied low and high-voltage electrical appliances from German company CMA and Swedish company ABB, using the latest technology, know-how and experience. Electrical cables of the plant to withstand temperatures up to -40 C degrees.
"We are happy to commence the operation of Mongolian first mega power plant.
Our country has huge solar energy reserves. Based on that reserve, many domestic and foreign professional organizations have received permission to establish solar power plant from Energy Regulatory Commission.
Future of many projects that will be implemented in energy sector may depends on the operation of this solar power plant", said Energy Regulatory Commission Head A.Tleikhan.
The Darkhan 10MW solar power plant project has successfully implemented by the experts and engineers of both Japan and Mongolia.
Mongolia opens first solar power plant – news.mn, January 19
January 19 (LehmanLaw) Mongolia resident economic entities are taxable on aggregate annual income earned worldwide. Non-resident economic entities carrying out business activities in Mongolia are taxable on the income earned within the territory of Mongolia and otherwise from Mongolian sources.
According to the Law on Corporate Income Tax enacted in 2006, taxable corporate income includes income from activities, properties and sale of property.
The general tax rate for an economic entity incorporated in Mongolia is ten percent (10%) for the first 0-3.0 billion MNT and 300 million MNT, plus twenty-five percent (25%) for all income exceeding 3.0 billion MNT.
Dividend income, royalty income and interest income are taxed at ten percent (10%), income from the sale of a right at thirty percent (30%) and income from the sale of immovable property at two percent (2%).
A representative office of a foreign economic entity that transfers its own profit overseas is taxed at twenty percent (20%). Similarly, the following income of a taxpayer who does not reside in Mongolia but generates income in Mongolia shall be taxed at twenty percent (20%):
1. dividend income received from an economic entity that is registered and operates in Mongolia;
2. loan interest and payment for issuing a guarantee;
3. royalty income and interest on a finance lease, payment for administrative expenses, rent, management expenses and lease, and income from the lease of tangible and intangible assets; and
4. income from goods sold, work performed and services provided in the territory of Mongolia.
Payment of corporate income tax is on a quarterly basis with the payment for the first three quarters to be paid between the 1st and the 20th of the first month for the following quarter, and for the fourth quarter between January 1st and February 10th of the following year.
LehmanLaw Mongolia employs Mongolian Tax Attorneys and Accountants and can take care of all your Mongolia taxation needs!
January 19 (news.mn) Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia, is currently facing several serious problems such as air and soil pollution and draining of its underground water reserve. The strain is the result of the fact that following the tumultuous changes at the beginning of the century, the population literally doubled when thousands gave moved from the countryside in search of a better life in the city. The migration caused the appearance of the sprawling 'ger districts', shantytowns situated mostly on the city's north side. Surrounded by four mountains, the coal burning 'ger' districts are transforming Ulaanbaatar, the world's coldest capital city, into one of most air-polluted places on the planet.
In order to help solve these challenges, the Asian Foundation has concluded a memorandum of cooperation with the Ulaanbaatar City Administration on eco development. This important document was signed during a meeting between Deputy Mayor J.Batbayasgalan and Meloney C. Lindberg, country representative of the Asian Foundation on 19th of January. As a part of memorandum, the Asian Foundation will support Ulaanbaatar's general plan for eco development and help implement stand-alone eco projects.
Ulaanbaatar City and Asia Foundation to cooperate in green growth – Montsame, January 19
January 19 (UB Post) Air pollution has been a hot-button issue for several years. But, with the recent move by the Mayor of UB to restrict rural to urban migration, and the President acknowledging that air pollution has reached disastrous levels, the topic of air pollution has become the center of attention. The backdrop of every debate about air pollution in Ulaanbaatar is the idea of moving the capital. The idea to relocate the capital is not only based on the hazardous air pollution levels, but on a plethora of other pressing issues, including the negative aspects of having one center of development in a country with a land mass of 1,566,000 square km, and the host of consequences of the city's dense population. The topic has always been discussed and advocated for, but at this moment, it is more critical now than ever to seriously consider the move.
In the aftermath of the democratic revolution of 1990, the restriction on migration and movement was lifted and a massive rural to urban migration was observed. At that time, the young Mongolian government had more pressing issues to deal with, including ensuring the sovereignty and independence of the country, and creating a new constitution. As the years went on, the massive flow of rural migrants pouring into the city had reached unprecedented levels, leading up to what we see today: population data showing that half of the country resides in the capital. It is said that Ulaanbaatar was designed to only handle 500,000 residents. This outgrown capacity has led to the issues that all UB residents are all too familiar with: air pollution and traffic congestion. These are just the surface issues that are visible to everyone. Going below the surface reveals consequences for the long-term development of not only the capital but the country as a whole. In the 19th largest country in the world, half of its citizens live in an area of 4,704.4 square km (the size of UB). This has stalled rural development and has only contributed to the problems we face in the capital.
We should give the new democratic government of the 1990s the benefit of the doubt, keeping in mind the more pressing issues they had at hand. However, now there is no excuse for the government to stall on the decision to move the capital. The Mongolian government has been relatively stable for almost two decades. The most obvious and immediate action that could be undertaken to alleviate the issues facing the capital is relocating it. Kazakhstan, a country similar to Mongolia in terms of its development, moved its capital from Almaty to Astana. On July 6, 1994, the Supreme Council of Kazakhstan approved a decree on the transfer of the capital. Nigeria, Pakistan, Brazil, and Tanzania have moved their capitals to solve issues similar to the ones that UB faces today. The recent move by Mayor S.Batbold to restrict migration into the city is a step in the right direction, but it only looks to stop the bleeding. This seems to be a case of too little too late, and has been seen by some analysts to be a move to appease angry residents who have held demonstrations against the government. The current government, headed by the Mongolian's People's Party (MPP), has a real opportunity to take a significant step toward not only combating air pollution but distributing economic development resources across the country. The MPP faces no real opposition, as they hold 65 of the 76 seats in Parliament. This means there would be no significant political gridlock blocking the move. Even the President has said that the capital has become dangerous to inhabit, and took the further step of saying that the capital has no future.
The ancient capital of the Mongol Empire, Kharkhorin, has been discussed as the most attractive destination for a new capital. Details on an ideal new location for the capital are up to experts, who will take into account the feasibility of a given location. Wherever they decide to move the capital, the most important move that the current government can make is to move all, if not most, of the government's agencies and entities to the new capital. This would mean that most politicians and civil servants would move to the new capital. Going a step further, the relocation of major universities and hospitals to the new capital city would be a dramatic step in helping to mitigate the pressure being placed on UB. UB could still remain the commercial center of the country, not much different than the contrast between New York City and Washington, D.C. The government can't be expected to do everything, but what they can do is create a foundation for prosperity and incentivize migration to a newly established capital city. A government cannot force its citizens to move, but it can create a favorable and attractive environment free of the problems that plague our current capital. This simple, yet logical, decision to relocate the capital could have massive benefits for both the long-term prospects of Ulaanbaatar and Mongolia as a whole.
WASHINGTON, DC, January 19 (Office of the United States Trade Representative) – At a ceremony in Washington today, United States Trade Representative Michael Froman and Mongolia's Ambassador to the United States, Bulgaa Altangerel, signed and exchanged letters certifying that the United States and Mongolia have completed their respective applicable legal requirements and procedures for the Agreement on Transparency in Matters Related to International Trade and Investment between the United States of America and Mongolia to enter into force and agreed that the transparency agreement would enter into force in 60 days.
The U.S.-Mongolia transparency agreement applies to matters relating to international trade and investment and includes joint commitments to provide opportunities for public comment on proposed laws and regulations and to publish final laws and regulations. This publication commitment includes the obligation to publish final laws and regulations in English, which should make it easier for U.S. and other foreign enterprises to do business in, and invest in, Mongolia. The transparency agreement also commits the two parties to ensure that administrative agencies apply fair, impartial and reasonable procedures and that persons affected by the decisions of administrative agencies have a right to appeal those decisions. Additional commitments address the application of disciplines on bribery and corruption.
"The U.S.-Mongolia transparency agreement will help to improve and deepen the U.S.-Mongolia trade relationship to the benefit of both of our economies and our workers and businesses," Ambassador Froman commented. "Transparency is critical to the proper and efficient functioning of international trade and investment, and the implementation of this agreement will help provide producers, suppliers, exporters and investors with the needed predictability that comes with a clear understanding of the policies and practices that are going to be applied."
During the signing ceremony, Ambassador Froman and Ambassador Altangerel reiterated the importance of U.S.-Mongolia trade and economic relations and their mutual desire to continue to promote trade cooperation through the U.S.-Mongolia Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA). Ambassador Froman also offered his appreciation to officials from the U.S. Department of State for their key support leading up to the signing and exchange of letters.
The United States and Mongolia signed their transparency agreement on September 24, 2013.
The United States has entered into TIFAs with a number of countries in order to enhance trade ties and coordinate regionally and multilaterally through regular senior-level discussions on trade and economic issues. Regular, ongoing dialogues established through TIFAs with other countries and regions have led to concrete, positive results, resolved trade differences, and led to a deepening of trade and economic relationships.
The United States and Mongolia signed their TIFA on July 15, 2004. The TIFA created a United States-Mongolia Council on Trade and Investment that considers a wide range of issues that include, but are not limited to, intellectual property rights, labor, environmental matters, non-tariff barriers, investment and transparency. Through the Council, the two countries have established an ongoing dialogue to help remove impediments to trade between the United States and Mongolia.
The transparency agreement with Mongolia represents the first time that the United States has concluded a stand-alone agreement addressing transparency in matters related to international trade and investment. Previously, the United States had only negotiated transparency commitments as part of broader agreements. Negotiating a stand-alone agreement with Mongolia offered an opportunity to build concretely on cooperation between the United States and Mongolia under their TIFA.
The U.S.-Mongolia trade relationship saw impressive growth up until 2012, when U.S. exports of goods to Mongolia reached more than $665 million, driven in large part by U.S. efforts to help develop Mongolia's expanding mining sector. U.S. imports of goods from Mongolia also reached a peak in 2012 at $42 million. Since then, imports and exports have both declined, largely because of a downturn in Mongolia's economy.
Mongolia has been a member of the World Trade Organization since January 29, 1997.
A copy of the U.S.-Mongolia Transparency Agreement is available here.
The letters signed and exchanged today can be seen here.
Ulaanbaatar, January 19 (MONTSAME) On January 19, J.Erdenebat, Prime Minister received Xing Haiming, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the People's Republic of China to Mongolia, upon his request.
At the meeting, PM J.Erdenebat and Ambassador Xing Haiming exchanged views on a wide range of issues of bilateral relations and cooperation between Mongolia and China and agreed to make efforts for stimulating bilateral collaboration in the fields of policy, trade, economy and humanitarian in the future.
Ambassador Xing Haiming conveyed greetings from Xi Jinping, President of the People's Republic of China and Li Keqiang, Premier of the State Council of China to the Prime Minister of Mongolia.
In turn, PM J.Erdenebat requested the Ambassador of China to convey his greetings on Chinese New Year to Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang.
Ulaanbaatar, January 19 (MONTSAME) The fourth Chinese foreign investment forum "Importance of Silk Road" was held on January 16-17 in Beijing. China. Over 10 representatives from Mongolia, including Minister of Road and Transport Development D.Ganbat, officials of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Mongolian National Chamber of Trade and Commerce and business people attended the forum.
Minister D.Ganbat delivered speech to report on economic cooperation of between Mongolia and China.
He underlined that the Silk Road Fund, aimed at fostering increased investment in infrastructure sector of Central and Southeast Asian countries and supporting energy development and industrial cooperation, plays important role in global cooperation and integration. During the forum, the delegates expressed that Mongolia would cooperate in development of unified infrastructure that put on a basis for 'Economic corridor'.
Ulaanbaatar, January 19 (MONTSAME) Darkhan-Uul aimag of Mongolia and Wuhai city of Autonomous region of Inner Mongolia, China established a memorandum of understanding to develop friendship relations and cooperation on January 16.
The memorandum aims to develop active and mutually beneficial cooperation between Darkhan and Wuhai city in trade, tourism, culture, art, education and health sectors.
During a working visit to Wuhai city on January 13-16, authorities of Darkhan-Uul province held meetings with relevant officials and visited the Contemporary Calligraphy Museum and the School of Mongol nationals. The school, which was established in 1979, has over 200 students of Mongol national out of total 500 students. Mongolian language has been taught there since 1997 to interested people free of charge. The two parties agreed to exchange teachers.
January 19 (news.mn) A ministerial-level meeting of the Asia Cooperation Dialogue Summit has taken place in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. Under the title of 'Renewable Energy Capital Abu Dhabi' the event was held on 16-17th of January. D.Davaasuren, State Secretary for the Mongolian Foreign Ministry, participated in the summit along with delegates from 34 other countries. At the meeting the 'Abu Dhabi Declaration' was signed and a renewable energy progress plan discussed.
During the forum, D.Davaasuren held meetings with foreign ministers from Bahrain, the Emirates, South Korea, Malaysia and with the energy minister of Qatar.
State Secretary of Foreign Ministry attends Asia Cooperation Dialogue meeting – Montsame, January 19
Ulaanbaatar, January 19 (MONTSAME) The President of Mongolia Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj has attended some series of discussions of the Informal Gathering of World Economic Leaders (IGWEL), running within the 47th annual meeting of the World Economic Forum at Davos-Klosters. The first discussion, he attended was "Actions priorities of the US next administration.
On January 18, the President also attended discussion on 'Energy projects of the region' and made speech. During this meeting, attendees discussed on subjects, 'The Asia super grid' project and possibilities and risks of the regional project.
Moreover, President Ts.Elbegdorj addressed the meeting on "Strengthening trust through leadership". The meeting touched issues on world policies against corruption in infrastructure sector, transparency and good governance.
The President underlined that Mongolia has become an accepted partner of Davos forum and it should not lose possibility to attend the forum further, in his interview to Mongolian journalists during the World Economic Forum. " - Within the Davos forum, Mongolians have been working actively regarding the issue of water. I have been a member of Water initiative group of the Forum and several international conferences and meetings were organized on water issue in Mongolia. We should keep working on this initiative. We also got a request to report on ASEM meeting, held in Mongolia last year. Renewable energy issue is especially important topic for us. The Mongolian Gobi has a significant resource of renewable energy and a renewable energy group has been established involving Mongolia, Russia and South Korea and business studies are being conducted. Using Gobi for renewable energy and many other ideas prompted here, from the forum." said President Ts. Elbegdorj, answering questions of journalists.
January 19 (Mongolia Focus) As someone who thinks and writes about political risk regarding Mongolia, my focus is on domestic politics more than on international relations. Yet, with Donald Trump becoming U.S.-president, I have to add a fairly random element to any risk assessment that acknowledges the utter unpredictability of the new president and thus the chance that he might make statements that have a pointed impact on Mongolia's international relations, whether or not those statements are then backed up by any action.
Mongolian foreign policy is built on two pillars:
- positive relations with both geographical neighbours, Russia and China
- ever-closer links with "Third Neighbours" as deepening relations with countries beyond the immediate neighbours, and also as a safeguard against either of these two neighbours becoming more than overbearing
These pillars have been in place more or less since the early/mid-1990s and generally go unchallenged by Mongolian parties and commentators. Even President Elbegdorj' somewhat hasty Sept 2015 proposal of "permanent neutrality" was couched in terms of this foreign policy.
While little has changed about Mongolia's outlook, its neighbourhood has shifted.
Russia has become significantly weaker vis-a-vis China since its isolation as a consequence of the annexation of the Crimea in 2014. Left without allies or business partners in Europe, Pres. Putin turned to China, but more as a supplicant than a partner. Given only rare moments that the Russian government has shown active interest in Mongolia (uranium resources, gasoline sales and distribution), this has meant that China has become a somewhat dominant player in this trilateral relationship. At some pushy times, this has taken on the form of a "Pu(tin)-Xi-Pincer". Yet, even with Mongolian concessions in the recent spat over the visit of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, this pincer has not been very noticeable in international relations. The strongest indication of any change would be if Mongolia finally agreed to join either the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (as desired by China), or the Eurasian Economic Union (as desired by Russia).
Some third neighbours' interest in Mongolia has declined noticeably in parallel with world commodity prices and those partners' interest in the mining sector. That would be true – sadly for me personally – of Canada to some extent, but also of Australia.
Over the past 25 years, Mongolia's relations with the U.S. have been characterized by a steady undertone of benign neglect with occasional and some sustained flurries of greater attention. I'm sure that many of those involved in the bilateral relationship (particularly, diplomats on both sides) would disagree with that assessment as perhaps a bit unkind, but I think it summarizes the relationship.
The two visits by then-Secretary of State James Baker in 1990 and 1991 were probably the high point of the (re-)establishment of relations with democratic Mongolia. Mongolia's decision to participate in George W Bush's "Coalition of the Willing" was certainly the impetus for the closest relations Mongolia has had with any president, including Pres. Bush's visit in Mongolia in November 2005. Ultimately, this also led to the attention to Mongolia by the Millennium Challenge Corporation.
During President Barack Obama's terms, relations have gone somewhat dormant again, though Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited in July 2011, and Vice-President Joe Biden shortly thereafter, in August 2011.
Others will be much more qualified to offer interpretations or predictions on Trump's foreign policy. In the context of Mongolia, suffice it to say that Trump is a) personally unpredictable, and b) not wedded to conventional wisdom on U.S. foreign policy, making him even more unpredictable. While his foreign policy team is somewhat more predictable, we will not known until some time into the Trump presidency, how actively involved in foreign policy he will be (when it is not also domestic policy), or how disagreements between him and his advisors/cabinet or congress will play out. Note that for Mongolia's foreign policy, this is a new context, i.e. when the foreign policy of one of the reference points for Mongolian policy, the U.S., becomes significantly unpredictable, and possibly random.
Random interest in Mongolia
Over the course of the Trump presidency there is some non-zero chance then, that Mongolia will catch the president's eye. There are some aspects of the situation that Mongolia finds itself in that make this a possibility, though I would not speculate on the degree of likelihood for lack of a deeper understanding of Trumpian foreign policy. In all likelihood, Trump would notice that Mongolia exists in the context of a confrontation with China, Russia, or North Korea, be that a purely verbal, possibly even digital exchange, or something more serious than that.
In any kind of confrontation with or harder line against Russia or China, Mongolia stands to gain attention by presenting itself as a down-trodden small, but democratic neighbour of either of these giants.
Confrontation with Russia
Trump's relationship with Russia has dominated some of the attention in the transition period. Again, I have no insights on that, but it is clear that this relationship is complicated and volatile.
If at some point Pres. Trump takes a hard(er) line of some kind against Russia, Mongolia could certainly present itself as potentially victimized by Russian bullying. In that case, one might imagine that a Trump confronting Russia could become interested in Mongolia and back up assurances with greater attention or other means.
Confrontation with China
Confrontations, rhetorical and possibly more, with China seem very likely under Trump. Here, again, Mongolia could easily portray itself as a (potential) victim of a China that was attempting to gain regional power and establish something like a "sphere of influence". Unlike the Russian leadership who would probably only be mildly bothered by Trump cozying up to Mongolia, the Chinese leadership might actually react to such cozying up. That in turn makes closer links with Mongolia potentially attractive to a Trump who might look for ways to needle/bully the Chinese leadership. But obviously, there are great risks associated with such a strategy given the degree of dependency on China of the Mongolian economy. Yes, U.S. attention is a good thing, probably, but not at the expense of losing the single greatest and really only viable large customer for Mongolian resource exports.
So, there's an element of "be careful what you wish for" in U.S. attention in the context of the China relationship.
Confrontation with North Korea
The DPRK is obviously already a somewhat random element in Northeast Asian international relations, but what if Trump suddenly becomes active on this issue, for example by abandoning the Six Party Talks entirely or by deciding to call Pyongyang's bluff on some particular issue.
If there is a confrontation that even hints at a military confrontation, Mongolia's position as a potential mediator becomes much more important, esp. if Trump has a largely adversarial relationship with the Chinese leadership. Given continued close and somewhat cordial relations between Mongolia and North Korea, the long-standing offer of hosting talks or playing some other kind of mediating role might become that much more important to the U.S. (and Asia, and the world) in case of any kind of violent confrontation.
Whither Mongolian Foreign Policy?
If there is some possibility of direct engagement of Trump on Mongolia matters, how should Mongolian foreign policy prepare for that moment?
Obviously, an awareness of the possibility of any direct engagement is important. With that awareness should come some scenarios of how such engagement might play out in the context of U.S. confrontations with any countries in Asia, but especially in the three relations mentioned above. One obvious choice if scenarios of confrontation have any degree of likelihood of coming about (this will change over the course of the Trump presidency, presumably) is to intensify engagement with Third Neighbours other than the U.S. The EU as a whole (even without the UK) has a different relationship with China and Russia than the U.S., for example. Germany in particular, as one of Mongolia's closest links to Europe has a very different relationship with both of Mongolia's neighbours, especially under Chancellor Merkel.
Attempts to reduce the dependency of the Mongolian economy on China should continue regardless of the U.S., but what if a U.S.-China confrontations vis Mongolia (admittedly a somewhat far-fetched scenario) leads to some kind of closing of the border to China? That leaves Mongolia virtually isolated, especially if relations with Russia were to sour at the same time. Here, only Europe can provide much of an answer, and possibly Turkey via its engagement in Central Asia.
Under Pres. Elbegdorj, Mongolia has placed a lot of emphasis on democracy as a platform for greater international visibility. Trump has not indicated any particular interest in the spread of democracy, though it could be assumed that the Republican leadership would be more committed to that.
I am a particular fan of Mongolian efforts to establish itself as an actor in democratization efforts, particularly via its International Cooperation Fund that targets Asian countries like the Kyrgyz Republic and Myanmar in supporting their democratization efforts. It is difficult to imagine that these efforts would harm Mongolia under any of the confrontation scenarios even though China, Russia, and North Korea will not be particularly charmed by such efforts.
Impact of Mongolian Presidential Election
As I am speculating about the impact of a new president in the U.S. on Mongolia's foreign policy, I would be remiss not to also think about the Mongolian presidential election. A good part of Mongolia's outsized international visibility relative to its geopolotical and economic success has been due to Pres. Elbegdorj' efforts, however (in)credible they may seem on democratization in a domestic Mongolian context. A President M Enkhbold would inherit some of that international visibility, but would likely struggle to enhance or even maintain this. There's little in the MPP's history that says democracy (other than the peaceful relinquishing of power in 1990), and Enkhbold's personality does not seem particular well-suited to international schmoozing. Yes, he would try to attend Davos every year as Elebgdorj has for seven years now, but would he make an impression? The same holds for any other MPP candidates that might be on the horizon should Enkhbold choose not to seek the presidency.
And the DP? Lu Bold as a president might have a good chance at making an impression on Trump given his own wealth and business background. He also has experience in international settings as a former foreign minister, but a democracy claim would not be obvious for him. Some kind of reform candidate, that is a younger DP representative, might have a better chance in this regard.
Ulaanbaatar, January 19 (MONTSAME) The Cabinet approved a state policy on health. The Prime Minister obliged the relevant ministers and governors of aimags and Ulaanbaatar city to organize planned actions and oversee the nationwide implementation.
Ulaanbaatar, January 19 (MONTSAME) In accordance with a Prime Ministerial ordinance issued in response to increasing respiratory diseases among children and patient overload in hospitals of the capital city, the Ministry of Defense opened a Children's division at the Central Military Hospital.
The former Neurology division of the Military Hospital has been refurbished to a 50-bed division for treatment of children, and 28 doctors and other staff have been selected, and started working. The new division has started serving the residents of 8th, 10th, 13th, 16th and 17th Khoroos of Bayanzurkh district and 9th, 10th and 13th Khoroos of Chingeltei district.
During its regular meeting on January 18, the Cabinet assigned the corresponding Ministers to resolve the necessary finance issues arising in connection with opening of the children's division, and issue the relevant certificate permitting to render medicals services to children.
Complementary and alternative medicine use among patients with cancer in Mongolia: a National hospital survey
Buyadaa Oyunchimeg, Jung Hye Hwang, Mansoor Ahmed, Soojeung Choi and Dongwoon Han
January 19 (BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine) --
Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) use is popular in former Soviet Central Asian countries including Mongolia. However, no studies are available on CAM use among patients with cancer in countries of this region. The aim of this research is to describe the prevalence and patterns of CAM use by patients with cancer in Mongolia.
A cross-sectional study was conducted using data from 482 cancer patients attending the National Cancer Center in Mongolia from September 2015 to February 2016. The survey instrument included 25 questions regarding CAM used, factors associated with use of CAM, cancer-related characteristics, and participants' socio-demographic profile.
Among 482 respondents (response rate, 95.6%), 47.9% reported using one or more CAM modalities. Products of animal origin were the most popular modalities of CAM, followed by herbal products. Half of the users used CAM while receiving conventional treatment of cancer. Among users, only 29% discussed the CAM use with their doctors. Female gender, younger age, higher education, shorter disease duration, and prior use of CAM were significantly associated with CAM use.
CAM appears to be widely accepted by patients with cancer in Mongolia. The findings support the urgent need for further in-depth study into commonly used oral CAM products and their potential effects on health of patients with cancer in Mongolia. High prevalence of CAM use among cancer patients in our study warrants further studies in other countries of Central Asia.
Cancer Complementary and alternative medicine Conventional treatment Predictors of CAM use Mongolia
January 19 (MONTSAME) A large-sized tomb with wall paintings dating back to Yuan Dynasty has been discovered in a mountain next to Heng Shan village of Shangsi county of China.
The tomb stands far apart from the Yuan dynasty tombs from Guangzhong but showcases attributes relating to the Yuan tombs found in northern Shangsi and central region of Inner Mongolia. It has a single room separated by stone walls, which are painted.
A painting of a family of six sitting behind a dinner table appears distinctively. The painting portrays five ladies sitting beside the head of the family in the center and having a feast. Three musicians are painted by the front and back walls, while a drummer and a knight cladded with bow and arrow are drawn on the left wall.
The ancient Yuan Empire (1271–1368) is the legacy of the Great Mongol Empire founded by Chinggis Khaan. It occupied the contemporary territories of Mongolia, China and Korea.
Ulaanbaatar, January 19 (MONTSAME) On January 19, U.Khurelsukh, Deputy Prime Minister and Chief of the National Emergency Management Commission of Mongolia worked in Bayan-Uul soum of Dornod aimag.
The Deputy Prime Minister rendered 1000 bales of hay, 240 sacks of fodder, medicines, bio preparation and needed items to herder families, who facing winter disaster.
The Bayan-Uul soum has 481 herder families of 4580 people in 1490 families and 91831 livestock animals. Snow depth has reached over 30 cm in the soum and winter conditions have worsened in 90 percent of this area.
Deputy PM, U.Khurelsukh obliged the governors of soum to oversee the spending of assets and money rendered from the government of Mongolia, pay attention to people's health, support herders in every possible way after conducting surveys on herder families living in areas confronted with wintering troubles. They were also ordered to request assistance from the National Emergency Management Commission, if the budget runs short to carry out the activities.
January 19 (gogo.mn) The Government of Mongolia has decided to allocate MNT 447 million for saiga conservation that are suffering from rinderpest.
According to the data as of Jan 9th, about 693 saigas in Mongolia died due to a rinderpest.
Mongolian saigas, one of the most threatened species on the planet inhabit six soums of Gobi-Altai and Khovd aimags, the western Mongolia.
In 2015, saiga population in Mongolia were stood at 13,000 while global population of saiga was estimated at 120,000.
Saiga once had a much larger range. Today, saiga are only found in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Russia and Mongolia. All of the saiga's range states were part of the Soviet Union or China for most of the last century. Saiga went extinct in China in the 1960s.
Saiga hold a sad record in the animal world – they are one of the fastest declining mammal species on our planet today. Since the early 1990s over 95% of the saiga population has disappeared. There is considerable international concern, and saiga have been listed as Critically Endangered by IUCN, the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
Ulaanbaatar, January 19 (MONTSAME) -B.Tsoggerel, Deputy Minister of Road and Transport presented a report of the State Commission's inspection to commission the construction and equipment of the New International Ulaanbaatar Airport in Khushig valley in Tuv aimag, which was built with a soft loan of the Government of Japan.
Gobi Desert Tour (13 days) with Sand dunes, Orkhon waterfall, Hot springs, Horseback riding,
Recommended Activities: Visit Camel Herder Nomads Traditions & Culture/Sightseeing/Hiking/Camel & Horse Riding/Climbing Sand Dunes
Recommended Days: 13days / 12nights
Transport Types: by Russian Van (4WD) or Toyota Land Cruiser
Total Driving km: 2600kms
Tour Date: Depart daily Anytime
Day 1. Welcome to Meet Our Team / Rocky Hills
"Thousand Camel Festival," organized by a local non-governmental organization working to protect and preserve the Bactrian camel population. Highlights of the festival include camel races, performances by traditional Mongolian musicians and dancers, and visits to significant paleontological and cultural sites of the Gobi. Attend the camel races at the Thousand Camel Festival, a unique opportunity to witness the speed and agility of Bactrian camels. Enjoy performances by traditional Mongolian musicians and dancers, and visits to significant paleontological and cultural sites in the Gobi. The festival is held annually 7th and 8thMarch.
Day 1/04Mar. Welcoming day. Arrval in nomads capital Ulaanbaatar. Transfer to Hotel. City sightseeing tour with Gandan Monastery, Chinggis Khaan square and Mongolian National Museum.
Ice festival 2017 and Camel festival 2017 in one tour of Mongolia
The residents of the Khuvsgul Lake area gather for the festival, which is organized by the Governor's Office of Khuvsgul, the Office of Khatgal, and the Ministry of Environment and Tourism Mongolia. Besides Mongolians, foreign tourists also travel to see and enjoy the festival. The event involves international skating marathon and horse sleigh races, displays of ice sculptures, shaman ceremonies and visits by reindeer herders who make their way south to the festival from their northern taiga. Many traditional games are played on the sidelines, and this is an ideal venue for visitors to join in the fun and games with local people.
"Thousand Camel Festival," organized by a local non-governmental organization working to protect and preserve the Bactrian camel population. Highlights of the festival include camel races, performances by traditional Mongolian musicians and dancers, and visits to significant paleontological and cultural sites of the Gobi. Attend the camel races at the Thousand Camel Festival, a unique opportunity to witness the speed and agility of Bactrian camels. Enjoy performances by traditional Mongolian musicians and dancers, and visits to significant paleontological and cultural sites in the Gobi. The festival is held annually 7th and 8thMarch.
Day 1/01Mar. Welcoming day. Arrval in nomads capital Ulaanbaatar. Transfer to Hotel. City sightseeing tour with Gandan Monastery, Chinggis Khaan square and Mongolian National Museum.
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