1 FOREIGN RELATIONS OF MONGOLIA’S ROAD TRANSPORT SECTOR BROADENING WWW.MONTSAME.MN PUBLISHED:2019/02/21      2 MONGOLIA EXPRESSES READINESS TO CONTRIBUTE TO STRENGTHENING ASIA-EUROPE COOPERATION WWW.MONTSAME.MN PUBLISHED:2019/02/21      3 OYU TOLGOI FUNDED 35.1 KM ROAD OPENS IN KHANBOGD WWW.GOGO.MN PUBLISHED:2019/02/21      4 POLYMER BITUMEN TO BE DOMESTICALLY PRODUCED WWW.MONTSAME.MN PUBLISHED:2019/02/21      5 KHURELBAATAR CHIMED: 319 ENTITIES DREW LOANS FROM TWO FUNDS WWW.ZGM.MN PUBLISHED:2019/02/21      6 CONSTRUCTION OF TAVANTOLGOI-GASHUUNSUKHAIT ROAD TO BE INTENSIFIED WWW.MONTSAME.MN PUBLISHED:2019/02/20      7 OVER 30 MEASURES PLANNED FOR REDUCTION OF ENVIRONMENTAL POLLUTION WWW.MONTSAME.MN PUBLISHED:2019/02/20      8 MONGOLIA SAYS IT EARNS OVER 169 MLN USD FROM COAL EXPORTS TO CHINA IN JAN WWW.HELLENICSHIPPINGNEWS.COM  PUBLISHED:2019/02/20      9 RUSSIA’S GAZPROM TO START CHINA GAS PIPELINE BY DECEMBER 1 WWW.RT.COM PUBLISHED:2019/02/20      10 MONGOLIA'S FOREIGN TRADE UP 41.6 PCT IN JAN. WWW.XINHUANET.COM PUBLISHED:2019/02/20      УГСАРМАЛ ОРОН СУУЦНЫ ДУЛААЛГАД ЗОРИУЛЖ 12.7 ТЭРБУМ ТӨГРӨГИЙГ УЛСЫН ТӨСВӨӨС ГАРГАХААР БОЛЖЭЭ WWW.IKON.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/21     2018ОНД ЦАГААН БУДАА , ЭЛСЭН ЧИХЭР , ТАХИАНЫ МАХНЫ ИМПОРТ 24-32 ХУВИАР ӨСЖЭЭ WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN  НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/21     ДЦС IV: 2018 ОНД НИЙТ АШИГ 4.7 ДАХИН ӨСӨЖ , 4.48 ТЭРБУМ ТӨГРӨГ БОЛСОН WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN  НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/21     ТУСГАЙ САНГУУДААС ГАРГАСАН ЗЭЭЛИЙН 100 ОРЧИМ ТЭРБУМ ТӨГРӨГ ХУГАЦАА ХЭТЭРСЭН ӨР БОЛЖЭЭ WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN  НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/21     МОНГОЛ УЛСЫН БОРЛУУЛАЛТЫН МЕНЕЖЕРҮҮДИЙН ИНДЕКС СҮҮЛИЙН 12 САРД АНХ УДАА УНАЛТЫН БҮСЭД ШИЛЖИВ WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/21     2018 ОНД ХАМГИЙН ЧИНЭЭЛЭГ БҮЛГИЙН ХЭРЭГЛЭЭ ЯДУУ БҮЛГИЙНХНЭЭС 5.1 ДАХИН ИХ БАЙВ WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/21     ХОВД ГОЛД ОСОЛДСОН 6 НАСТАЙ ХҮҮХДИЙН ЭРЛИЙГ ЗОГСООЛОО WWW.MONTSAME.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/21     ДБНХ-НООС П.ОРХОНЫ БАРИЛДАХ ЭРХИЙГ 4 ЖИЛЭЭР ХАСАВ WWW.MONTSAME.MN  НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/21     УУХҮЯ: II САРЫН БАЙДЛААР НИЙТ НУТАГ ДЭВСГЭРИЙН 5.6 ХУВЬД АШИГТ МАЛТМАЛЫН ЛИЦЕНЗ ОЛГОСОН WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN  НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/20     300 ОРТОЙ ТӨРӨХ ЭМНЭЛГИЙН БАРИЛГЫН АЖИЛ 80%-Д ХҮРЧ ГУРАВДУГААР САРЫН 1-НЭЭС ДУЛААНД ХОЛБОГДОХООР БОЛЖЭЭ WWW.IKON.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/20    

Events

Name organizer Where
“Doing business with Mongolia”, “UK Investors show” бизнес хөтөлбөр March 27-April 02. 2019 ЛОНДОН ХОТ, ИХ БРИТАНИ Mongolian Business Database London UK
SYMPOSIUM ON GLOBAL MARKETS Nationalism and Protectionism: The United States in the International Arena June 17-18, 2019 The Center for American and International Law Plano, Texas, USA The Center for American and International Law (CAILAW) Plano Texas June 17-18 2019
"Open to Export" ICC WTO International business award ICC WTO London

NEWS

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Auditor turns to Prosecutor over air pollution-related cases www.zgm.mn

Under the initiatives of the President Battulga Khaltmaa, the first-ever general hearing on air pollution reduction measures was held yesterday, during which the Deputy General Auditor Oyunbileg Sanjaadorj informs that a list of authorities responsible for misuse of air pollution budget has been submitted to the Prime Minister and related officials, and related cases on six private entities have been sent to the General Prosecutor.

At the meeting, MP Eldev-Ochir Lkhagvaa, who chaired the hearing, did not allow the President or public representatives for inquiries when approving the procedures, which led to criticisms that the hearing turned into a regular meeting of a standing committee.

The purpose of the hearing was to discuss the spendings of air pollution reduction activities and decide on firm solutions to tackle the issue. For instance, the President formed a research team to study the most efficient options to tackle air pollution in Ulaanbaatar last year. The team concluded that the best solution was to accommodate the 200,000 households living in ger districts to the currently available apartments for 110,000 households. Accordingly, the President has issued a request to ratify a housing policy that will allow no-interest loans for ger district households.

As the initiator, the MPs allowed the President to address the hearing once, in which he remarked, “We all know the current situation of air pollution. We have to decide on solutions here. Rural development is one of the solutions to migration-driven air pollution. Not smogless stoves. We need firm actions.”

Owing to the fact that both the President and public representations were silenced, the hearing continued with presentations on air pollution reduction actions. Ms. Oyunbileg criticized, “The air pollution reduction actions since 1995 were non-correlated. Both foreign and national projects failed to show notable results. The distribution of enhanced stoves was inefficient. The stoves failed to perform as planned because of improper use. Results of discounted insulation remain vague due to the lack of studies on results. Same goes to the annulment of night-time electricity tariff. A research was conducted on air pollution reduction, but the results were not evaluated and the research was never used on any projects.”

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Russian Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to Europe will be completed this year www.rt.com

Construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline’s branches will be finished by the end of this year, according to the project’s chief financial director Paul Corcoran.
“The first line [of the Nord Stream 2] will be ready in November, the second in December,” he said at the European Gas Conference on Tuesday.

The $11 billion Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project is set to run from Russia to Germany under the Baltic Sea. It is expected to double the existing pipeline’s capacity of 55 billion cubic meters annually.

Nord Stream 2 is projected to provide transit for 70 percent of Russian gas sales to the EU. The project, led by a subsidiary of Russian energy giant Gazprom, is being implemented in partnership with German energy firms Wintershall and Uniper, French multinational Engie, British-Dutch oil and gas giant Royal Dutch Shell, as well as Austrian energy company OMV.

EU officials, including European Council President Donald Tusk, previously expressed concerns that the completion of the Nord Stream 2 project would lead to Ukraine missing out on €2.5 billion in annual transit fees which Kiev currently receives.

According to the Russian President Vladimir Putin, Nord Stream 2 is a “purely economic project” and its completion does not mean the end of gas transit through Ukraine.

Construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project has been approved by Germany, Finland, and Sweden. Denmark is the only country which hasn’t authorized the project so far. Last year, Nord Stream 2 AG said the consortium could avoid the Nordic state’s territorial waters if it didn’t get permission.

The head of Gazprom, Alexey Miller, said earlier that the implementation of the construction schedule for Nord Stream 2 makes it possible to talk about a possible start of gas supplies through the pipeline from January 1, 2020.

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China factory activity shrinks as slowdown worries rise www.bbc.com

Chinese factory activity contracted for a second straight month in January, the official Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) showed.

The index ticked up to 49.5, but remained below the 50-point level that separates growth from contraction.

China reported its weakest economic expansion in 28 years in 2018, and growth is expected to slow further.

Already, a number of multinationals have said sluggish growth in China has affected their bottom line.

The manufacturing data was up slightly from the 49.4 level recorded in December.

Marcel Thieliant, economist at Capital Economics, said while the PMI didn't weaken any further in January, "it still suggests that the economy lost momentum at the start of the year".

Other data, such as consumer sentiment and retail sales figures, also point to weakening demand in the world's second largest economy.

Several international companies have warned on China's slowdown, including Apple.

The tech giant blamed a 5% fall in revenues partly on China.

Shares of industrial equipment giant Caterpillar took a beating earlier this week, after the company reported its sales slipped 4%, largely due to slow sales in China.

Chipmaker Nvidia also reported softer sales due to a sluggish Chinese market.

3M, which makes products from adhesive tapes to air filters, also said weak customer demand in China affected its bottom line.

China has been attempting to reform its economy to rely more on domestic consumption instead of exports and investment to fuel growth.

The US-China trade war is also creating economic uncertainty.

The latest figures come as officials from both sides meet in Washington to try ease trade tensions.

If the two sides cannot reach an agreement by 1 March, the US has said it will increase the tariff rate from 10% to 25% on Chinese goods worth an estimated $200bn (£154.4bn).

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1200 electric buses to be introduced into public transportation www.montsame.mn

Ulaanbaatar/MONTSAME/ At the Cabinet meeting on January 30, G.Zandanshatar, Head of the Cabinet Secretariat of the Government, introduced a project ‘Development of eco-friendly public transportation with unified smart system’.

Within the project, the Cabinet backed to introduce electric buses: 1200 for public transport service and 250 for child transportation. In connection, it is planned to establish unified control center with smart system, four international standard bus depots and modernize three bus depots of ‘Passenger transport service’ public-owned company.

The project worth MNT854 billion will be implemented under concession. The use of electric buses in public transportation service of the city will decrease greenhouse gas, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, sulfuric gas and dusts being produced by 1046 buses and improve air quality in the city.

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Mongolia parliamentary speaker ousted amid corruption scandal www.reuters.com

ULAANBAATAR (Reuters) - Mongolia’s parliamentary speaker, Enkhbold Myegombo, has been ousted following weeks of public protests against him over accusations he was involved in the corrupt sale of government positions.

Tens of thousands of people took to the streets in late December to protest against Enkhbold and the two main political parties, the Mongolian People’s Party and the Democratic Party.

Public unrest has simmered throughout January, with a cross-party group of legislators boycotting parliament. Some protesters began hunger strikes on Ulaanbaatar’s central Sukhbaatar Square on Jan. 10.

The role of foreign investment in resource-rich Mongolia’s development has also come under scrutiny, with many nationalist politicians complaining that strategic assets have been sold off to foreign firms on the cheap.

Enkhbold denied accusations of corruption and declined to resign, but parliament voted in favour of forcing his dismissal late on Tuesday in a procedure initiated by President Khaltmaa Battulga, who defeated Enkhbold in a 2017 election.

“I was not playing tricks to save my position, I believed this problem should be solved legally,” Enkhbold said, complaining that the dismissal procedure undermined parliamentary democracy.

He could not be reached for comment on Wednesday.

Audio recordings released by a whistleblower in 2016 were believed to implicate a number of politicians in a scheme aimed at raising 60 billion tugrik ($23 million) in campaign funds for parliamentary elections that year, which were won by Enkhbold’s Mongolian People’s Party.

Five members of parliament have led efforts against Enkhbold and the two parties, and they announced on Monday they had formed a group called “Wealth Owner Mongolia” that would fight against corruption and nationalise mines of “strategic” importance.

Mongolia’s biggest foreign-invested project, the Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold mine run by Anglo-Australian giant Rio Tinto, is also at the centre of a corruption investigation involving a former finance minister who signed the original 2009 investment deal.

Mongolia is working with overseas investigators to look into suspected corruption at the mine, the anti-graft agency said on Tuesday, after the re-arrest of the minister.

(This version of the story corrects date of whistleblower activity in paragraph 8 to 2016, not “last year”)

Reporting by Munkhchimeg Davaasharav; Editing by David Stanway and Robert Birsel

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Gold purchase by Mongolia’s central bank declines sharply www.daily-sun.com

ULAN BATOR: The Bank of Mongolia has purchased a total of 183 kg of gold from legal entities and individuals so far this year, down 82 percent from a year ago, local media reported Wednesday, citing the central bank.

The sharp decrease is directly related to the expiration of the effective period of low royalty taxes on gold with the 2014 amendments to the Minerals Law, according to experts of the Bank of Mongolia, reports Xinhua.

The amendments, which have played an important role in hiking gold sales to the central bank over the past five years, expired on Jan. 1.
The bank of Mongolia purchased only 12.7 tons of gold in 2014.

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Mongolian Economy grows highest in last five years www.news.mn

As had been predicted, Mongolia’s economy grew by 7.1% in 2018. According to G.Zandanshatar, who is Chief of the Cabinet Secretariat, this is the highest growth of Mongolia’s economy in the last five years.

In 2011, Mongolia’s economic growth reached its highest peak of 17.3%. According to the Asian Development Bank Outlook 2018, Mongolia’s GDP which was 5.1% in 2017 was predicted to slow down in 2018, predicting a rise of only 3.8%. However, the rate of growth in 2019 is expected to increase by 4.3%.

Economic growth in 2018 was affected by higher prices of raw materials, an increase in coal exports and the recovery of foreign investment.

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Minister of Foreign Affairs attends AmCham Monthly Meeting www.montsame.mn

Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/. The American Chamber of Commerce in Mongolia (AmCham Mongolia) hosted Minister for Foreign Affairs Tsogtbaatar Damdin at the January Monthly Meeting on Tuesday, January 29, at Shangri-La Hotel, Ulaanbaatar. Manuel P. Micaller, Chargé d’Affaires a.i. of the U.S. Embassy in Mongolia, also attended the meeting and delivered remarks.

The meeting convened representatives from AmCham member organizations, state agencies, international development organizations, foreign embassies, and domestic and international businesses. Minister Tsogtbaatar provided updates on the government’s trade and investment policy priorities, and outlined the challenges being encountered.

In his address, Minister Tsogtbaatar noted, “Mongolia’s foreign trade turnover reached nearly 13 billion USD in 2018 – a record-high performance – with export equivalent to almost 7 billion USD, while the FDI grew 1.5-fold over the past year compared to 2015.” He highlighted the importance of expanded Mongolia-U.S. comprehensive partnership and the latest developments in bilateral relations between Mongolia and the U.S., including the Mongolia Third Neighbor Trade Act and the Millennium Challenge Corporation Second Compact, while stressing AmCham Mongolia’s role as a bridge connecting investors to state authorities.

Following the Minister’s keynote address, Chargé d’Affaires a.i. Manuel P. Micaller delivered remarks, stating, “With the new year ahead of us, I want to lay out our economic priorities for 2019: what we hope to accomplish in 2019 in partnership with Amcham and the Mongolian government. The Transparency Agreement is perhaps the most relevant to AmCham members, which requires that new laws, rules, and regulations be subject to a public comment period before becoming final. It is a key element of the Indo-Pacific strategy – combining our two goals of transparency and private sector-led growth into a treaty that will form a cornerstone of our economic partnership once implemented.”

Chairman of AmCham Mongolia Mr. Oybek N. Khalilov delivered opening remarks, and stated, “AmCham Mongolia will continue to work closely with the Government of Mongolia to promote the growth of a strong and competitive private sector across all industries, and to attract investment to the Mongolian economy. AmCham Mongolia’s Roadmap for Growth 2019, a document presenting the framework for our policy and advocacy priorities, will be focused on supporting the country’s economic growth by regaining the interest of foreign investors.”

source: amcham.mn

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GCF, XacBank help finance 10MW PV project in Mongolia www.pv-tech.org

After signing off on a financing partnership with the Green Climate Fund (GCF), XacBank has become the first private bank in Mongolia to fund the completion of a large-scale PV project.

The financing went toward a 10MW PV project in Mongolia, which was completed at the end of 2018. Now operational, the installation has already started to feed energy into Mongolia’s main electricity grid to help spur the country’s transition to renewables. The project was developed at the Sumber Soum area of Mongolia’s southern Govisümber province.

XacBank was able to fund the project in a little over half a year thanks a long-term, concessional loan of US$8.7 million provided by GCF. The site, built with a total investment of US$17.6 million, is expected to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 12,270 tons annually, while also providing 15,395 MWh of electricity every year.

Ayaan Adam, Director of GCF’s Private Sector Facility, said: “This marks an important turning point for Mongolia, which has previously relied on overseas financial institutions to fund large-scale solar generation. XacBank has shown that, with initial concessional loan support from GCF, it is possible for local businesspeople to set their own course in addressing the climate challenge. I hope the commissioning of this solar plant will serve as a model to show how the local private sector can expand renewable markets, not just in Mongolia but also in other countries.”

XacBank CEO Bold Magvan added: “Mongolia has already experienced climate change at an accelerated pace, with rising temperatures and land degradation driving migration and livelihood instability. Completing the plant is symbolic for combating those effects, as well as a tangible decarbonisation of Mongolia’s energy supply.“

The 10MW site is being operated by Mongolian company ESB, while Japan’s Sankou Seiki offered technical input during its construction, along with the assembly of the plant’s 31,000 PV panels.

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Protest ends: Speaker bids farewell www.zgm.mn

Parliament ousted the Speaker Enkhbold Miyegombo yesterday. With 66.2 percent of votes from Parliament members, the 3-month protest that dragged onto multiple public demonstrations, sit-ins, and political separation was brought to an end.

After the ousting, Mr. Enkhbold addressed, “the Parliament has ratified the bill in its full power and I am retiring from my position in accordance with the law. I believe this is a gray day in the history of the Parliament of Mongolia. I hope no other Speaker would be ousted in the same manner.”

Other MPs, namely Erdene Sodnomzundui and Munkh-Orgil Tsend, also expressed the necessity to annul the amendments to the Law on the Procedures of Parliamentary Plenary Session that allows the majority of MPs to oust the Parliament Speaker. Mr. Munkh-Orgil remarked, “Dismissal of a single authority will not brighten the situation. It is important for the people that requested to oust the Speaker shall revoke the bill.”

Accordingly, the Parliament has to appoint the next Speaker before moving onto other items on the order list, including the ousting of Minister of Education, Culture, Science and Sports Tsogzolmaa Tsedenbal, and the recently appointed Minister of Road and Transport Development Sodbaatar Yangug. Another key item is the bill on Minerals, which will extend the 2.5 percent gold royalty for three years. The bill was retracted by the Mongolian People’s Party caucus last week as the Minister of Mining and Heavy Industry Sumiyabazar Dolgorsuren was on a working visit abroad and a certain change had to be made on schedules.

As the last speech as the Parliament Speaker, Mr. Enkhbold stressed “Aside from the last two months, I am confident that the Parliament performed well under my leadership. We took the office in times of depression. We focused on grave issues the country was facing. I understand that the public is upset because of the difficult living environment. But I want to address the organizers of public demonstrations. You have shown us that you can discard all the misconducts of the last two decades on one person. I worry about the potential establishment of control and oppression in the Mongolian Government. I am saying this in this chamber deliberately and responsibly. May the State stay strong and may virtue be heavy.”

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