1 IRKUTSK REGION SUPPLIES USD 31 MILLION PRODUCTS TO MONGOLIA WWW.MONTSAME.MN PUBLISHED:2018/11/20      2 27 PARLIAMENT MEMBERS SUBMIT PETITION ON CABINET DISSOLUTION WWW.ZGM.MN PUBLISHED:2018/11/20      3 AIRBNB IS USING WHAT3WORDS TO LIST STAYS WITH MONGOLIAN NOMADS WWW.TECHCRUNCH.COM PUBLISHED:2018/11/20      4 LOCAL PRECIOUS METAL ASSAY LABORATORY PURIFIES 99 KG OF GOLD WWW.MONTSAME.MN PUBLISHED:2018/11/20      5 LEGISLATOR OF MONGOLIA'S RULING PARTY SUBMITS PROPOSAL ON DISMISSING GOVERNMENT WWW.XINHUANET.COM PUBLISHED:2018/11/20      6 SHOCK DECISION: CHINA CLOSES BORDER TO COAL IMPORTS FROM MONGOLIA WWW.NEWS.MN PUBLISHED:2018/11/20      7 STRATEGY INTRODUCED TO FOSTER PRIVATE SECTOR IN WESTERN MONGOLIA WWW.MONTSAME.MN PUBLISHED:2018/11/20      8 MONGOLIA TO STRENGTHEN ECONOMIC TIES WITH RUSSIA WWW.XINHUANET.COM PUBLISHED:2018/11/19      9 VOLKSWAGEN TO SPEND $50 BILLION ON ELECTRIC CAR 'OFFENSIVE' WWW.CNN.COM PUBLISHED:2018/11/19      10 HABITABILITY OF MONGOLIA UNDER THREAT FROM CLIMATE CHANGE WWW.ADELAIDENOW.COM.AU PUBLISHED:2018/11/19      ЭРЧИМ ХҮЧНИЙ ИХ АЧААЛАЛ 973 МВТ-Д ХҮРЧЭЭ WWW.EAGLE.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/11/20     ЗАСГИЙН ГАЗРЫГ ОГЦРУУЛАХ БИЧИГ ӨРГӨН БАРЬСНЫ ДАРАА "ГЭРЭГЭ" БОНДЫН ХАНШ БУУРЛАА WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/11/20     ХАЙНАНЬД ЗУГААЛАХ ГЭСЭН МОНГОЛЧУУД УЛААН-ҮҮДЭЭС НИСЭХ ТАСАЛБАРЫГ ХУУ ХАМЖ БАЙНА WWW.UNUUDUR.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/11/20     ГАШУУНСУХАЙТ БООМТ: ЖОЛООЧ НАРЫН МЭДЭЭЛЛИЙГ УРЬДЧИЛАН ЯВУУЛАХ БАЙДЛААР АСУУДЛЫГ ШИЙДВЭРЛЭХЭЭР БНХАУ-ТАЙ ТОХИРОЛЦЛОО WWW.GOGO.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/11/20     ЗАМЫН НӨХӨӨС, 100 ГАРУЙ ТӨРЛИЙН РЕЗИНЭН БҮТЭЭГДЭХҮҮН ДОТООДОД ҮЙЛДВЭРЛЭЖ БАЙНА WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/11/20     АЛТНЫ ОЛБОРЛОЛТ ЭДИЙН ЗАСГИЙГ ДЭМЖИЖ БАЙНА WWW.ZGM.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/11/20     МОНГОЛЫН АНХНЫ ХУВИЙН ХӨРӨНГИЙН БИРЖИЙН ХОЁР ДАХЬ БҮТЭЭГДЭХҮҮН: “ПАРК ТАУН” БОНД WWW.GOGO.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/11/20     МОНГОЛ, ОХУ-ЫН ТЭЭВРИЙН САЛБАРЫН ХАМТЫН АЖИЛЛАГААГ ӨРГӨЖҮҮЛНЭ WWW.MONTSAME.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/11/20     БНХАУ-ЫН ОЛОН УЛСЫН ИМПОРТЫН ҮЗЭСГЭЛЭН БНХАУ-ОХУ-ЫН БИЗНЕСИЙН ХАРИЛЦААГ ӨРГӨЖҮҮЛЛЭЭ WWW.MONTSAME.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/11/19     АМЧАМ МОНГОЛ 2018 ОНЫ ЖИЛИЙН ТАЙЛАНГИЙН ХУРЛАА АМЖИЛТТАЙ ЗОХИОН БАЙГУУЛЛАА WWW.IKON.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/11/19    

Events

Name organizer Where
Frontier's "Invest Mongolia Tokyo 2018" Frontier Securities Tokyo Japan
"Open to Export" ICC WTO International business award ICC WTO London

NEWS

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Amy Leung: We hope to see Mongolia move to upper middle-income country www.theubpost.mn


The UB Post was introduced to the Asian Development Bank (ADB)’s operations in Mongolia, including projects for air pollution reduction and ger area development, from the bank’s newly appointed Director General for East Asia Department Amy Leung. She also oversees the ADB Sustainable Development and Climate Change Department.

Leung has an extensive knowledge about East Asia affairs as she previously worked as the deputy director general for East Asia Department from 2014 to 2016. Before her appointment as deputy director general, she was the director of Urban Development and Water Division in Southeast Asia Department, covering Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, the Philippines, and Vietnam. Before that, she was the director of Social Sectors Division in East Asia Department.

Does ADB’s East Asia Department only cover Mongolia and China?

The East Asia Department has only two countries – Mongolia and China.

When you do economic analysis, do you not evaluate Hong Kong, South Korea, and Taipei?

The Economic Research Department when they do conduct research they cover the whole region and they also cover these areas, but for the East Asia Department, we do things related to China and Mongolia.

If North Korea applies to enter as a member of ADB. How will you respond?

I think our President Takehiko Nakao answered this question. I think ADB’s position is that we’re very encouraged with the development of North Korea, Italy, and other countries. To become a member of ADB, we need the consensus of our shareholders. Currently, ADB has 67 shareholders both from developed countries and developing countries.

As of now, we will continue to monitor the congress and the development and see how it goes. It’s still early to be talking about membership but since North Korea is indeed in East Asia, if things continue to improve, they can become a member of ADB.

What is ADB’s main focus in Mongolia?

The Country Business Operation Plan was approved last year and its main focus is to help Mongolia diversify economically. Last year was a crisis for Mongolia. During that time, funding partners were all reluctant to not only support the government but also the country program. We do have projects in energy, health, transport, and development of ger areas, which is a very big part of our plan.

We have three pillars. So, the three main areas we are supporting Mongolia are firstly, strengthening environmental sustainability. Just a month ago, Ulaanbaatar Air Improvement Program was signed. The second one is developing infrastructure for economic diversification, and the third is promoting economic and social stability. To support and achieve these targets, the projects just mentioned also cover roads, energy, cleaning the environment, and promoting development. Ger area is an area we’re very focused on. We’re also doing a number of projects in the health sector in Mongolia.

Can you tell me about ADB’s operations in Mongolia, specifically ADB’s current projects targeting promotion of sustainable development, resolving issues related to climate change and water scarcity, as well as future plans for Mongolia?

ADB’s current active portfolio in Mongolia includes 1.15 billion USD of loans and grants, covering 29 projects. Environmental sustainability is one of the three main pillars in ADB’s current CPS, 2017-2020 (the other two are Economic and Social Stability and Infrastructure to Support Economic Diversification). Between 2008 and 2016, ADB provided 26.5 million USD in grants and TAs for the environment sector and ADB plans to significantly increase this over the remainder of the CPS period.

In addition to the loan on air quality, ADB is providing a grant to reduce soil pollution in ger areas by improving sanitation and is providing technical assistance support to the government to conserve forest genetic resources.

Going forward, ADB aims to provide support to improve solid waste management and recycling (2018 –three million USD grant); managing solid waste in secondary cities (2019 – two million USD grant); improve the management of wastewater in aimags (provinces) and soums (Southeast Gobi Urban and Border Town Development Project – 2018 loan for 20 million USD); and strengthen disaster risk management (2020 – 25 million USD loan).

ADB recently loaned 130 million USD for air pollution reduction. I would like an update on this. What is the money being used for?

This stand-alone PBL (policy-based loan) was approved in March 2018. The first tranche, 100 million USD, will be disbursed in May, and the second tranche, 30 million USD, is expected to be disbursed in December 2018 upon the government’s fulfillment of the remaining policy commitments. The PBL is part of ADB’s contribution to the IMF “rescue package”.

The recommended policy actions tackle the air pollution problem from a holistic multi-sector perspective over short-term, medium-term and long-term horizons. And amid fiscal tightening and efforts to stabilize the economy imposed by IMF, the PBL expands public resources for air pollution control, also through efficiency and resulting fiscal savings and by leveraging private sector finance,

ADB’s policy dialogue has helped the government of Mongolia implement urgent measures to reduce air pollution and protect human health in Ulaanbaatar, such as the expansion of district heating and retiring highly inefficient and polluting small heat-only boilers, and the provision of cleaner heating fuel.

The PBL lays the foundation for the longer-term transition to cleaner energy systems and resilient and low-carbon urban development, in complementarity with ADB’s ongoing and planned portfolios, such as promoting a shift to cleaner transport fuel and the use of renewable energies for heating.

With the PBL, ADB leads the development coordination dialogue on air quality improvement and amplifies the impact of other donor interventions (JICA, KEXIM, WB, and others).

I noticed that ADB’s investment to the Ulaanbaatar Urban Services and Ger Areas Development Investment Program will increase through 2020. Can you tell us specifically what kinds of projects will be implemented?

Basically, this project will develop ger areas in terms of providing basic services. For example, water sanitation will be one of the key areas of our intervention. We approved the first tranche of the project in 2013 and the second in 2017. The first one was 130 million USD and the second 67 million USD.

In conjunction with the ger area improvement, we will be processing green affordable housing. Not just housing but housing that uses low carbon technology. A lot of the project is related to the ecosystem, so like recycling. The ger area project is directed to heating, roads, and water supply.

Do you have a specific target you want to meet through this project by 2020?

It is not just one project. It’s a big program with a bunch of small programs. I think that the green affordable housing had a target of 10,000 houses. The project is still in process so it’s not definite yet. We hope that it will provide a more ecological approach to making the ger area more livable.

What are the biggest challenges you face in implementing projects in Mongolia?

It’s the short working season. Only six months can be used for construction. If we look at our projects, we can only make progress a season at a time, because of that constraint, unlike in other countries where we can work all year round. The harsh weather conditions impact our timetable for implementation in Mongolia.

We missed the construction season a couple of times and had to wait for six months. Sometimes it happens when we go for a meeting with constructors because of some dispute or disagreement in negotiation and after it’s resolved, the construction season is over two months later.

Like in most projects, if the implementing agency is working with ADB for the first time, we need to build their capacity because we have a lot of procedures, which is also a part of the reason why your government is borrowing from ADB – to build capacity and knowledge of officials in planning, managing, and implementing projects. In some cases, it could cost delays.

How cooperative is the Mongolian government?

At project level, the Mongolian government is very cooperative. I remember a health project and a couple of social protection policy loans that we supported the government in ensuring. Because Mongolia is so dependent on mining, the economy sort of collapses when the price of metal resources goes down. Our support to that is very effective in my opinion.

Overall, I would say the government’s cooperation is very consistent.

As a large economic partner in Mongolia, we are working really closely with the government right now to implement. We have some policy-based loans that have been challenging but the government actually met the conditions last year. It’s challenging but we are working with the government to identify and resolve issues.

ADB is discussing its Strategy 2030. What is the plan for Mongolia?

The Strategy 2030 is guided ADB’s next 10-year focus — the area we want to focus on. We want to work with our developing member countries to identify the issues we can join hands on. We identified seven issues, including inequalities and poverty reduction, climate change, disaster resilience, and environmental management. I think Mongolia will still require partnership in these areas. Then there’s gender equality. Mongolia actually has good gender equality. There’s also regional cooperation, rural development and agriculture, livable cities, and governance.

These are the areas we want to focus but it’s more to do with getting results. For example, we will not be just building schools; we will see the impacts on students.

How does ADB vision Mongolia in let’s say five years

We hope that Mongolia will be clean, green, very livable, and have a diverse economy. We have been working in Mongolia for more than 30 years. We are committed to support and hopefully, together we can support Mongolia to continue its economic development. I think that other than the environmental aspect, we will diversify the economy. For Mongolia, this is crucial for stabilizing the economy. We will work at the macro level in these two areas and then the air pollution and infrastructure.

I see us continuing our work in Mongolia for many years and hopefully, we’ll see it move to the upper middle-income country.

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Mongolian mining Minister grills Chinese oil company www.news.mn

A delegation, led by Mining and Heavy Industries Minister D.Sumiyabazar, is currently working in the eastern provinces of Mongolia to see how efficiently the oil companies are operating. On 5 May, as part of the inspection, D.Sumiyabazar visited PetroChina Daqing Tamsag LLC, which is extracting oil in the Tamsag area of Dornod Province's Matad Soum.

The Mining Minister held a three-party meeting with Dornod Provincial Governor M.Badamsuren and Jiang Weidong, president of PetroChina Daqing Tamsag LLC. At the discussion, the Dornod Governor complained that the Chinese company was not fulfilling its contractual obligations to hire 200-300 Mongolians who graduated by oil exploration and technical professions. Governor Badmasuren said that the Chinese had not hired a single graduate from the local Dornod Polytechnical College. In the Chinese defence, Mr. Jiang Weidong said, 75 percent of the 630 Mongolian employees are locals and if they need more workers, they will hire locals.

Mining Minister D.Sumiyabazar instructed the Chinese company to hire more locals, to provide details on sub-contributor and procurement activity, to undertake upstream rehabilitation activity, to maintain work safety standards and to complete the stipulated road construction requirement, and to adhere to Mongolian laws.

The 100 percent Chinese owned PetroChina Daqing Tamsag LLC has a 20 years agreement to exploit hydrocarbon reserves in the Tamsag area. From 2005 to 2017, the company extracted over 5.8 million of crude oil.

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Russia-China trade gets another significant boost www.rt.com

Trade turnover between Russia and China grew by 31 percent in the first three months of the year compared to the same period in 2017, according to the Russian customs data.
Exports from Russia to China amounted to $12.27 billion (an increase of 37.1 percent), imports to Russia from China surged to $11.8 billion dollars (an increase of 24.9 percent) in the period. The total trade turnover amounted to $24.1 billion.

The trade turnover between Russia and China reached $69.52 billion by the end of 2016. In 2017, it jumped by 20.8 percent to $84 billion. China is Russia’s largest trading partner. The countries have been planning to reach the $100 billion volume this year.

The countries have been seeking to use domestic currencies in settlements between each other. In 2017, nine percent of payments for supplies from Russia to China were made in rubles; Russian companies paid 15 percent of Chinese imports in renminbi.

Just three years ago, the numbers were two and nine percent, respectively. The two nations have also established a Russian-Chinese investment fund worth 68 billion yuan (over $10 billion) to develop trade, economic investment, and scientific cooperation. China and Russia can increase trade to $200 billion in the coming years, said Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev this March.

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APU and LendMN compose 40.3 percent of MSE ’s stock trade in April www.ubinfo.mn

Stock trading of APU JSC and LendMN, non-banking financial institution composed 40.3 percent of total trades conducted at the Mongolian Stock Exchange (MSE) in April. 26 percent of the trade was solely traded by the youngest firm LendMN. Last month, the MSE conducted a total of MNT 2.98 billion worth stock trades, MNT 592.7 million Government securities trades and MNT 2.98 billion package trades. In addition, the major indexes have fell. For example, the TOP 20 Index decreased by 4.2 percent, to 19800 points, whereas MSE A Index fell the most by 6.5 percent. As a result, the market cap reached MNT 2.47 trillion and dropped by 4.5 percent compared to the previous month.

At the Mongolian Securities Exchange (MSX), a total of MNT 136.8 million stock trades were conducted in April, which was the highest in volume. According to the MSX report, trading intensified resolutely as it launched e-trading platform in the beginning of April. In addition, the exchange started registering IPO applications online last month.

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Mongolia’s debt piles as Rio’s revenue doubles www.ubinfo.mn

The amount of loan Mongolia borrowed from Rio Tinto by pledging its future dividend has reached USD 1.1 billion, including its interest payment.

In 2009, as the 34 percent stakeholder in the Oyu Tolgoi project, Mongolia borrowed USD 770 million from its partner, Rio Tinto which holds the remaining 66 percent of the OT through its ownership of Turquoise Hill Resources. Mongolia pays 6.5 percent interest, plus Libor interest rate (London Inter-bank Offered Rate), which totals around 8.4 percent, for the loan. According to an official source, this equals to USD 100-110 at present. Although the people who were involved in the Oyu Tolgoi Agreement say that this is hardly a loan, Mongolia will have to pay the interest, which is further piling up.

As written in the Oyu Tolgoi Investment Agreement, the investment was financed from two sources: 75 percent from loans and 25 percent from shareholder. Erdenes Oyu Tolgoi LLC (backed by the Government of Mongolia) and Rio Tinto, the investors of Oyu Tolgoi, made primary investment of USD 2.2 billion. Out of this amount, Mongolia will be responsible for approximately USD 770 million. This has been paid by Rio Tinto under a condition that Mongolia will pay from its future dividend.

USD 770 million loan borrowed from Rio adds up to USD 1.1 billion

However, in 2009, when the Loan Agreement was signed, the interest almost reached 10 percent. At the time of signing the agreement, the loan was estimated to be 9.9 percent plus US CPI (consumer price index). In 2011, the Investment Agreement was amended and set the interest at 6.5 percent plus one month Libor.

At present, Mongolia’s credit rating, which was falling in recent years, stands stable and is estimated to improve. Therefore, it is possible to reduce loan expenses by a certain amount, the Minister of Mining and Heavy Industry Sumiyabazar Dolgorsuren noted.

In addition, an official source informed that the Government of Mongolia started talks with Rio. Officials explain that the loan cause no pressure on the State Budget. However, it will block future revenue income. Also, the exact date of dividend distribution is unclear. No one at Oyu Tolgoi and Rio Tinto could confidently say the exact date of Oyu Tolgoi’s dividend payment.

Early this year, Oyu Tolgoi’s CEO Armando Torres told the media that Oyu Tolgoi must accomplish positive cash flow and pay dividends to its shareholders as early as possible. On the other side, he argued that the Government of Mongolia made a choice to loan its initial investment for 34 percent share from Rio and repay from its future dividends. In addition, he added that the underground development fund was raised in cooperation with international financial institutions. “Today, it is impossible to say the exact date of dividend distribution,” said Mr. Armando Torres. He added that it will depend on how profitable Oyu Tolgoi will be.

OT obtained USD 4.4 billion from Export Credit Agencies of the governments of US, Canada and Australia, as well as 15 IFIs. The amount, interest rate and the maturity of the loans variable. But Erdenes Oyu Tolgoi LLC and Turquoise Hill Resources informed that weighted average interest rate was set to be Libor plus 6 percent. Calculating since December 2015, when the agreement was signed, the total sum of loans obtained for financing the underground development has reached USD 5 billion including the interest.

In addition, the company’s expenses are also building up. For a long time, Oyu Tolgoi has been criticized for excessive spending.

Deputy Minister of Mining and Heavy Industry Zagdjav Deleg notified that Rio raised USD 5- 6 billion fund with high interest from global financial market by pledging Mongolia’s deposit. Out of this, USD 1 billion was invested in Mongolia. He added that Oyu Tolgoi’s income does not flow through Mongolia's banking system and only 6-8 percent of its sales revenue is paid to Mongolia.

In the last few years, Rio’s profit doubled. On the contrary, Mongolia’s debt has increased drastically. Rio was in a difficult situation in 2008, before the Oyu Tolgoi Investment Agreement. Rio’s stock price had fallen 7 times from AUD 138 to AUD 20 by May 2008. Whereas last year, the company “treated” its shareholders with USD 5.2 billion – historical dividend disbursement. But Mongolia's economy and society still remain vulnerable.

Ilch.G, Oyunbayar.N

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Steppe Gold hopes to raise 21.1 million CAD with an IPO www.gogo.mn

Steppe Gold Ltd. has announced an initial public offering and plans to raise 21.1 million CAD from Canada’s primary market.

The company intends to offer shares for 2 CAD per unit. Up to 12 million CAD of the expected capital will be spent on exploration and drilling of the Altan Tsagaan Ovoo project. The CEO of Steppe Gold previously reported that the company will invest 100 million USD in the project over the next five years and create up to 250 jobs.

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EBRD finances the largest solar power plant in Mongolia www.ebrd.com

EBRD’s first solar project in the country follows three pioneering wind farms

The EBRD finances its first solar plant in the country
30 MW solar plant to become the largest solar project in Mongolia
US$31.6 million syndicated loan made available by the EBRD, Triodos and FMO Dutch Development Bank.
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) together with Triodos Investment Management and FMO are providing a US$31.6 million syndicated loan to Desert Solar Power One (DSPO) to build the largest solar plant in Mongolia.

The financing will support the construction and operation of the Bank’s first solar project in Mongolia. The EBRD was the original seed investor in the first ever renewable energy project in the country, the Salkhit wind farm, and financed a total of three wind farms, thus contributing to the creation of a renewable energy market in the country.

Power and heat generation in the country depends on old and highly polluting coal-fired combined heat and power plants. The 30 MW solar photovoltaic (PV) power plant will become the first utility-scale solar PV in the country and will generate electricity during the day, when the demand is higher than supply.

The syndicated financing package of US$ 31.6 million will consist of an EBRD A loan of US$ 10.5 million, a B loan from impact investor Triodos Investment Management and FMO Dutch Development Bank, who will provide US$ 10.5 million each. The two ultimate shareholders of the borrower are United Green Group (UGG) and Tucher Group GmbH.

This is the first solar plant in Mongolia to be project financed, continuing the EBRD’s leading role in the country’s renewable sector. The project is in line with the EBRD’s Green Economy Transition approach (GET), a flagship initiative which promotes sustainable energy and resource use. GET aims to dedicate 40 per cent of its annual investments to climate finance by 2020.

The EBRD is a leading institutional investor in Mongolia, with over €1.4 billion invested in 93 projects in the country to date. The bank has invested more than US$ 114 million in renewable energy in the country, supporting four projects and funding more than 180 MW of capacity. In total, EBRD financing committed so far will help Mongolia reach 16 per cent of installed electricity generation capacity, and 6 per cent of its domestic electricity consumption of energy use from renewable sources, helping the country meet its obligations under the Paris climate agreements.

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“Open Letter - from former PM Saikhanbileg” BCM

I, Ch.Saikhanbileg, am writing this letter from the isolated 461st Detention Center.
People who haven’t been here couldn’t possibly imagine the despair of days and nights spent behind bars aching in mind and body in the tiny room where I am now.
If I ever took bribes or committed a criminal offence, I would do my time and get out. However, it's very frustrating to be sitting here for moving forward a project the country needed most while acting within my powers and duties set by the constitution.
By moving forward with the Oyu Tolgoi underground mine, Mongolia successfully avoided a budgetary and fiscal default that would have occurred in late 2016, which is something we are not talking about. Oyu Tolgoi is responsible for more than half of today's 5 percent economic growth, with OT’s development accounting for 3 percent. The company employs 14,000 Mongolian workers, whereas it fell all the way down to 3000 at one point. Furthermore, more
than a thousand enterprises and 41,000 people have had the opportunity to expand their businesses. Annual foreign investment, which had plummeted to minus $200 million, increased to $1.5 billion, with two out of every three dollars being invested for the Oyu Tolgoi underground mine.
If this project did not move forward in 2015, we would be losing out on $400 million annually. The most important thing is if we hadn’t gotten it moving in 2015, the underground mine’s extractive operation wouldn’t be set to commence 2020. If we did not start at that time, by looking at the current political situation, it is becoming increasingly clear even that even with the highest optimism, extraction would not commence until at least 2025 or even later. We would have lost at the very least 5-10 years or more. Go ahead and multiply this by $400 million
a year. If we did not make the decision, this would only be a part of the lost income. Yet, nobody is demanding that money back, and nobody is demanding people be held accountable for it.
As Prime Minister, I was mandated by the people to move forward with the Oyu Tolgoi underground mining project. About 450 thousand people voted for the first time with a text message, and 60 percent said to quickly move the project forward. At that time, parliament even passed two resolutions tasking the government with initiating the Oyu Tolgoi underground mine. During the lengthy negotiations, the government discussed the matter several times and ultimately gave the authority to sign the Financing Plan to the relevant officials.
The decision to move forward with this project was made by the Joint (coalition) Government of the time, which politicians from all parties with seats in parliament were part of. Then it was officially presented to parliament, and questions from all interested members were answered. After the Joint Government ended, the survey was presented to MPs during the 2015 fall session, and any further questions presented by MPs were also answered.

In addition, there was proposal by the parliamentary minority to recall the government in January 2016, and the majority of MPs decided that the government shouldn’t be punished regarding starting up the Oyu Tolgoi underground mine. In other words, parliament emphasized the issue
and took the time to convey its position clearly enough.
One thing must be highlighted here. The decision regarding whether to move forward with the Oyu Tolgoi underground mining project as well as how to move forward was purely a policy and POLITICAL decision. How the project was to be settled, calculation of costs, and receiving of financial reports were political questions to be decided within the executive branch. According to Article 45.2 of the Constitution and other relevant laws, if government decrees are not in line
with the law, the government itself (parliament, in other words) can invalidate it. (There were no such problems in parliament at the time). In other words, the correctness of policy or political decisions can only be determined by the legislature and the executive branch as stated in the constitution. If this basic power is transferred to the judiciary, the principle of separation of powers will be lost, and we will truly have a constitutional crisis on our hands. In developed
countries such as the US and UK, there is a principle of the judiciary not
overseeing/investigating political decisions.
Let me give an example. In 2017, Mongolia had a decision to make: to involve itself in the IMF program and borrow an additional $2.7 billion, or forego the program since the price of gold, coal and copper were improving and budget revenue was increasing. What if the next parliament, without understanding the situation in 2017, establishes a working group to investigate whether
the decision was right or wrong? Will the judiciary decide what was right or wrong? And who else will be arrested?
Recently, the Prime Minister of Mongolia said that he would soon introduce his political decision to move forward with the Tavan Tolgoi project. Can parliament support this unanimously with one voice? Will those who are opposed seek to have the matter resolved through the courts? Will there be another investigation to follow? The issue surrounding the Oyu Tolgoi underground mine is the same as the two examples above. This dispute, which has passed through three parliaments, cannot be left to three judges to decide. If the courts begin to
determine the correctness of POLITICAL decisions, then political prisoners in Mongolia will be born again (or will become a thing once again – alluding to the socialist days). Today, two Prime Ministers of Mongolia and a former Minister of Finance, as well as other relevant officials, have been detained for the making political decisions.
Therefore, I am sending you the following requests and comments.
One. To the President of Mongolia Kh.Battulga, Speaker of Parliament M.Enkhbold, Prime Minister U.Khurelsukh and members of Parliament and the Government:
1. I would like the National Security Council to pay attention to how two prime ministers are becoming living victims of Vyshinsky-style persecution (referring to Stalin’s Purges) for exercising their constitutional mandate and issuing POLITICAL DECISIONS.

2. One of the foundational principles laid out in the Constitution of Mongolia is the right, whether as a majority or minority, to politicize, debate, and decide on policy and political matters. Today we face the issue, whether intentional or unintentional, of a transfer of this fundamental power to the third branch of government. This raises the question of whether parliaments and governments of the future will be able to decide economic and political matters independently without external interference. Parliament, not the judiciary, should determine the correctness of issues. I want all MPs to hold a solid, unified position on this regard regardless of party and coalition.
3. I hope the Parliamentary Working Group on Oyu Tolgoi will work in an unbiased manner. I want you to meet with those who were in the working group that worked on the negotiations and have them clarify their views - not in a prison cell, but in the office.
Two. To Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Mongolia Ts.Zorig, Prosecutor General M.Enkh-Amgalan, and Head of the Independent Authority Against Corruption Kh.Enkhjargal:
1. I hope that you no intention of stirring up the many political problems debated in parliament in the District Courts. Therefore, I would like to ask you to maintain a clear position from the beginning in order to prevent this problem from happening again.
2. Those imprisoned concerning this issue have repeatedly stated that they have not fled and will not flee; that they are no longer state officials, so are unable commit another such crime; and that they intend to respect law enforcement and fully cooperate. However, some people’s detentions have been extended. I implore you to review your decision to detain, which has left society confused, has us confused, and brings about no outcome.
3. I am 100 percent confident that no Mongolian official has ever taken bribes from a public, oversighted, international company in initially establishing as well as resuming the OT project. If this happened, we will be ready to accept any punishment.
Three. To the thousands of active social media users, media outlets, journalists,
newspapers, TV, radio, and websites:Out of respect for the Mongolian state, I came back to be questioned without seeing the completion of my sibling’s cancer treatment.
Despite needlessly jailing me for 30 days, I did not utter one word to the outside. In over a month of incarceration, I have been interrogated only once. Of course, as a human, I wish only to relieve my elderly father’s soul, even if just one day earlier; to kiss my wife and children; to hug my daughter who is barely introduced to life, who still believes her father is in the hospital, counting down the days until I get out. However, this is not just the problem of me and another 4 or 5 people in jail. This is a question of whether there will be more political prisoners in Mongolia; whether the fundamental principles of the Constitution will be adhered to; whether parliament and the government can function normally; whether they will be able to make decisions on a project or program that will bring development; and in what kind of society our children are going to live in.
As a man who firmly believes that those who stand for ethics, justice, and legitimacy far outnumber paid writers, I implore you to raise your voice through the media, news outlets, in your posts and comments, to resolve the issues above and support the great project that is Oyu Tolgoi, which has a positive impact on the country and economy, so that it may operate without
hindrance, and increase the benefits to Mongolia in the future.
Sincerely,
28th Prime Minister of Mongolia Ch.Saikhanbileg
May 2, 2018

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Former top Chinese official jailed for life www.bbc.com

A former Chinese Communist Party official once tipped for a top leadership position has been sentenced to life in prison for bribery.

Sun Zhengcai, a former Politburo member, is the latest senior figure to fall in President Xi Jinping's anti-corruption campaign.

He was found guilty of taking bribes of more than $26.7m (£19.6m).

The 54-year-old, also the former party chief of Chongqing, pleaded guilty to the charges in April.

According to state media outlet Xinhua, Sun's "illegal gains" would be confiscated.

President Xi has made it his personal mission to tackle the widespread corruption in China. More than a million officials have been punished since he became president.

But critics accuse him of using the anti-corruption campaign to silence his political opponents and rein in officials who challenge his position.

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PM addresses at Parliament on water issues www.montsame.mn

Ulaanbaatar/MONTSAME/ Last Friday, May 4, Prime Minister U.Khurelsukh addressed at Parliament about Mongolia’s water resource, present water consumption and pressing issues and measures to be taken further.
Within the Sustainable Development Vision, Mongolia set a goal to provide 80 percent of its population with quality and standard potable water by 2020.

“As of 2015, about 65 percent of the population had access to standard water services. On the other side, about a million of people is still using unguaranteed, open and portable water. It means these people are likely to suffer health problems. …Now, Mongolia encounters a necessity to realize right management and good governance to use water resource decently and rehabilitate and safeguard water quality and reserve,” said the PM.

He introduced about the progress of the state policy on water and many related resolutions, including National Program ‘Water’, Green Development Policy, Sustainable Development Vision-2030 and Unified Management on Water Resource. In addition, there have been 22 laws regarding the Constitution of Mongolia and Mongolia’s water policy, over 20 resolutions issued by the Parliament and its Standing Committees, recommendations by the National Security Council, over 20 government resolutions and more than 30 regulations and rules approved by Environment and Tourism Minister and other relevant ministers.

“Today, the country’s total annual water consumption is around 500 million cubic meter, which equals 0.001 percent of its water resource. Groundwater, which makes up less than two percent of Mongolia’s total water resource, provides over 80 percent of the country’s water consumption. Water use of the population, industries, production and agriculture is growing fast. According to the study in 2011, Mongolia’s total annual water consumption was around 330.0 million cubic meter. However, it tends to double averagely by 2021. To satisfy such fast growing needs of water, we need to take urgent measures reflected in the water-related policies and programs punctually,” stressed the PM.

Due to recent climate change and global warming, the permafrost and water level of glacier declined by roughly 30 percent and as of 2017, 391 lakes, 344 rivers and brooks and 760 springs were found to have dried out.
In the end of his address, the Prime Minister presented essential measures to be taken to improve water supply and water resources to ensure Mongolia’s national security, population growth, sustainable economic development and adaptation to climate change.

The measures include resolving investment matters to implement objectives of the Government Action Plan 2016-2020, ‘Water’ National Program and others, accumulating surface water to increase water reserve, continuing the construction of water complex at Eg, Orkhon, Shuren and Tuul rivers and finding optimal solutions and making river flow adjustments at Kherlen and Tuul rivers. Surface water reserve for Ulaanbaatar’s water supply will be also created along groundwater for combined use and urban wastewater treatment plants will be newly built or expanded.

It also includes issues to train and re-retrain water professionals, intensify exploration and research works on increasing water resource according to the demands of rapid development of economic sectors and production, develop a water organization in charge of proper use of water, as well as others.

M.Unurzul

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