|"Open to Export" ICC WTO International business award||ICC WTO||London|
President Trump spent most of his election campaign and first year in office blasting globalization. Now he's decided to attend its biggest annual celebration: the World Economic Forum in Davos.
The Davos crowd will make for a skeptical audience: CEOs, entrepreneurs and international leaders who typically support free trade and multilateral initiatives, and regard many of Trump's policies as backward-looking.
His reported use of coarse language to describe the countries of origin of some U.S. immigrants -- remarks he has since denied making -- won't have endeared him to many delegates either.
The announcement that Trump would become the first serving president since Bill Clinton to attend was already raising eyebrows. "[It's] emblematic of the contradictions of Trumpism," said Tarun Chhabra, fellow at the Project on International Order and Strategy at The Brookings Institution.
The White House said the main reason Trump is going is to "talk about the America First agenda."
"The president's message is very much the same here as it will be there," said press secretary Sarah Sanders.
Nobody knows exactly what Trump will say in Davos. But here's what the Davos audience would like to hear:
1. I won't threaten war with North Korea
Trump's tough, provocative rhetoric towards North Korea is making the world nervous. Ian Bremmer, the president and founder of Eurasia Group, said North Korea is the world's "most obvious risk of a geopolitical accident."
"Elevated tensions combined with less trust/coordination among all actors means that mistakes, when they occur, are more likely to ignite a conflagration," he said.
Trump this week hinted he might be ready to offer dialogue when it's "appropriate."
That's something the international community really wants to hear, especially since talks between South Korea and North Korea resumed ahead of the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea, next month.
"If he simply refrains from puerile taunts at Kim Jung Un, and doesn't threaten imminent war, he will be met with relief," said Chhabra.
2. I won't start a trade war with China (or Mexico, or Canada)
Trump's first year in office was not good for global free trade.
He pulled America out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a free trade agreement covering 12 countries in Asia and the Americas and began renegotiating the NAFTA agreement.
While he didn't follow through on his promise to label China a currency manipulator, experts are warning things could get nasty in 2018. China's trade surplus with America hit a new record in 2017 as its exports boomed.
Trump's new national security strategy unveiled last month identified China and Russia as U.S. rivals that are "attempting to erode American security and prosperity."
Davos delegates will be hoping Trump will signal he is ready for more cooperation.
"Realistically, they can't expect he would abandon his 'America First' politics, but they might hope he is going to soften it around the edges," said Jeremy Shapiro, director of research at the European Council on Foreign Relations.
And they'll at least want reassurances that Trump still believes in the concept of free trade.
"Something like 'we want a better deal, but we believe in the basic concept of the free trade system and we are not trying to blow up the WTO, and we are not going to unilaterally tear up the agreements,'" Shapiro said.
3. I will rethink the Paris climate accord
Last year, Trump said he would take the U.S. out of the Paris climate agreement negotiated by the Obama administration.
That will make the U.S. the only country in the world not party to the deal. Syria and Nicaragua, the two countries that did not originally join the accord, have since signed up.
World leaders, led by French President Emmanuel Macron, have been urging the U.S., the second biggest polluter after China, to get back into the deal.
Business leaders have also urged Trump to stick with the deal. Microsoft (MSFT), Apple (AAPL), Starbucks (SBUX), Nike (NKE), Goldman Sachs (GS), Chevron (CVX) and ExxonMobil (XOM) were among the big U.S. corporations to back continued U.S. involvement.
Trump hinted this week he might return to the negotiating table, and Davos will be hoping for more signals that could happen.
4. I will stick with the Iran nuclear deal
Senior European diplomats urged Trump this week not to kill off the Iran nuclear deal, brokered by the Obama administration, the U.K., Russia, France, Germany and China in 2015.
Trump promised to get rid of the agreement during his election campaign, calling it "the worst deal ever." So far, he has not delivered on that pledge and the global elite in Davos will want to hear reassurances that he won't.
The agreement obliges Iran to limit its nuclear program in exchange for waiving sanctions that had crippled the country's economy.
5. I won't kick out software engineers
Business leaders and heads of states alike will also hope Trump softens his stance on immigration, especially when it comes to the H-1B visa program for skilled workers.
The Trump administration has called for a review of the program, which provides visas for highly skilled foreigners to work at companies in the U.S.
One Davos delegate will be paying very close attention: Narendra Modi, the first Indian prime minister to attend the gathering in two decades.
India accounts for 70% of all H-1B workers. Tech leaders will also listen carefully to Trump's message on immigration. The sector is a major employer of H-1B visa holders.
6. I will stand up to Russia with America's allies
During the first year of his presidency, Trump lashed out against Germany over its trade policies, caused embarrassment in the U.K. by re-tweeting an extremist politician, and openly criticized NATO countries for not spending enough on defense.
"The international community is going to want to hear that America is the trusted partner that it has been over the past 70 years in the post-World War II system," said Sudha David-Wilp, a senior transatlantic fellow at The German Marshall Fund of the United States in Berlin.
In particular, they will want him to maintain a tough stance towards Russian President Vladimir Putin, especially over the situation in Ukraine....
SEOUL, Jan. 15 (Yonhap) -- South Korean President Moon Jae-in is set to meet the visiting prime minister of Mongolia on Monday to discuss ways to improve bilateral ties, the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae said.
Ukhnaa Khurelsukh arrived here earlier in the day on a three-day visit. He is set to attend a joint business forum and meet other Korean leaders before heading home Wednesday.
Moon's meeting with Khurelsukh will be held later in the day at Cheong Wa Dae, and Mongolian Foreign Minister Tsend Munkh-Org and other visiting officials, including lawmakers, will also participate, according to Cheong Wa Dae.
Monday's meeting comes about four months after Moon and his Mongolian counterpart Khaltmaagiin Battulga agreed to increase exchange and cooperation between their countries in a bilateral summit held on the sidelines of a regional economic forum in Vladivostok, Russia, in September.
South Korea and Mongolia established diplomatic ties in 1990.
Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ Parliament Speaker M.Enkhbold has sent official letters to the President and the Prime Minister regarding his call for increased consumption of traditional Mongolian dairy products.
In his letter sent on January 12, the Speaker requested President Kh.Battulga to call for regular consumption of traditional Mongolian dairy products by enterprises and households by issuing a decree, while informing the President of his initiative to promote production and consumption of traditional Mongolian dairy products so as to ensure food safety.
Moreover, the Speaker forwarded a proposal to Prime Minister U.Khurelsukh regarding measures such as ensuring production quality and standards for traditional Mongolian dairy products, improving the database, human resource and transport and logistics infrastructure, and promoting innovation technology and investment in the production of dairy products.
The mounting pressure by Chinese authorities on the country’s cryptocurrency industry is forcing mining companies to look for alternatives, and Canada is one of the preferred hot spots.
Bitmain Technologies, the operator of some of the largest mining farms in China, is among several companies looking to expand overseas. The company’s spokesman, Nishant Sharma, told Reuters that it is eyeing bitcoin mining sites in Canada’s Québec province, which currently enjoys an energy surplus. He added that the company is in talks with regional power authorities in the province, and that it is also planning to expand in Switzerland.
Two Chinese miners said local authorities in China are increasingly unwilling to allow expansion and had started to shut down some mines in late 2017, as China clamped down on cryptocurrencies.
“We, and from what I understand many of our peers, are already making plans to go overseas,” said Li Wei, chief executive of ZQMiner, a Wuhan-based company which sells bitcoin mining equipment and has mines in three Chinese provinces.
According to public utility Hydro Québec, the energy surplus of the province is equivalent to up to 100 Terawatt hours over the course of ten years. One Terawatt hour powers about 60,000 homes in Québec during one year.
David Vincent, the director of business development at Hydro Québec distribution, said that “mining companies are eyeing operations from about 20 megawatts, the size of a data centre, to sites as large as 300 megawatts, about the size of a small aluminum smelter.”
Once a driving force behind cryptocurrency mining, China accounted for more than two-thirds of the world’s bitcoin-mining operations. However, recently, Chinese regulators started cracking down on virtual currencies, explaining it as a fight with capital outflow. They claimed the trade in cryptocurrencies was being used by Chinese citizens to move cash abroad.
Last year, the regulators banned bitcoin trading and initial coin offerings (ICOs,) which forced all bitcoin exchanges and cryptocurrency trading platforms to immediately stop registering new users, and announce plans to stop virtual currency transaction services.
TOKYO (Reuters) - SoftBank Group Corp (9984.T) plans to list its mobile-phone business and raise some $18 billion, the Nikkei newspaper said, a spin-off that would complete the Japanese telecoms conglomerate’s transformation into a global technology investor.
The parent will sell some 30 percent of SoftBank Corp. It plans to apply to the Tokyo Stock Exchange for the IPO as early as spring, which falls between March and May, and aims to debut the shares in Tokyo and elsewhere, possibly London, around autumn, the newspaper said, without citing any sources for the information.
The 2 trillion yen ($18 billion) IPO would rival the 2.2 trillion yen 1987 listing of Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp (9432.T) in size, the Nikkei said, making it one of Japan’s biggest initial public offerings.
SoftBank Group said in a statement on Monday that a listing of the business was one option for its capital strategy but that no such decision had been made.
The listing would aim to give the mobile-phone unit more autonomy in a group that has become more of an international investment company in recent years, the newspaper said. SoftBank would use the proceeds to invest in growth, such as buying into foreign information-technology companies, the Nikkei said.
SoftBank has been aggressively investing in tech companies worldwide, notably through its $98 billion London-based Vision Fund, saying last month that a group it leads will buy a large number of shares of Uber Technologies Inc in a deal that values the ride-services firm at $48 billion.
“SoftBank’s future will focus less on the mobile-phone business and more on allocating cash to build the world’s largest portfolio of investments in future technologies and business models,” said Erik Gordon, a professor at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business.
“It makes sense to spin off the mobile-phone business using a public offering that would leave SoftBank in control and provide SoftBank with more cash to pursue its strategy of investing in companies with potentially high growth prospects,” Gordon said by email. “It is a way of obtaining capital without adding debt or diluting SoftBank’s equity interests in the growth companies.”
A parent company normally must limit its stake in a subsidiary listed on the TSE First Section to less than 65 percent, but the requirement can be eased if the unit also lists overseas, the Nikkei said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has weighed in on the bitcoin debate. Although there will eventually be a need to legislate cryptocurrencies, he said any risks taken by investors now are their own responsibility.
Speaking at a press conference on Thursday, President Putin said the Central Bank of Russia’s (CBR) cautious approach to cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin is because there is nothing to guarantee their value.
“In general, of course, in the future there will certainly need to be legislative regulation. The Central Bank has already repeatedly formulated its attitude to this case, just as the government has.
"The CBR behaves conservatively, but, in my opinion, there are grounds for this conservatism, because it is known that there is nothing behind cryptocurrency, it cannot be a means of accumulation, it has no material value behind it and it is in no way secured,” he said.
“In certain situations it can be a way of paying that can be done quickly and efficiently. You can pay, but there are no savings and no guarantee, so the Central Bank approaches this very carefully. The fluctuations are colossal: today you invested everything, and tomorrow everything is lost.
“If we regulate, but not efficiently enough, then the government will be responsible for the difficult situations that people can get into. Right now it is the responsibility of the person himself and the government can only say ‘you can do this but you can’t do that,’ and if it’s still not clear then there will be some problems that need to be solved.”
Opinion on bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies remains divided, with some financial experts believing it is a worthy investment, as the price fluctuations and its meteoric rise in value will eventually even out, while others consider it a bubble that will burst sooner or later.
The Russian government is currently mulling over how to best regulate cryptocurrencies, with Deputy Finance Minister Aleksey Moiseev suggesting in December that mining bitcoin and other forms of online money would be illegal, but buying them or trading them would remain within the law.
The World Bank (WB) forecasts that the Mongolian economy will grow by 3.1 percent in 2018.
The WB says that Mongolia's GDP will increase by 7.3 percent in 2019 and 5.5 percent in 2020. Asian Development Bank expects three percent growth for Mongolia in 2018, but the International Monetary Fund predicts that the economy will expand by 4.2 percent.
The Government of Mongolia says that investors’ trust in Mongolia was regained in 2017, and notes that GDP growth reached 3.8 percent in 2017, as predicted. The WB stated in its flagship report, Global Economic Prospects, that the economies of developing countries will grow by 4.5 percent as the supply of commodities continues to increase in 2018.
Credit ratings agency Moody’s also released its 2018 outlook, and predicts that the economies of developing countries will grow by 5.9 percent this year. Moody's noted that the economies of the Asia-Pacific region's developing nations will reach 6.5 percent.
Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ Minister of Food, Agriculture and Light Industry B.Batzorig met Ambassador of Hungary to Mongolia Mihaly Galosfai on January 11.
At the beginning of the meeting, the parties appreciated intensive activity of a project team, established on November, 2017 responsible for formulating technical documentation of the project on extension of Biocombinat state owned enterprise. Extension work of Biocombinat will be implemented with interest free soft loan of USD 25 million from the Hungarian Government.
They talked over toconclude negotiaton on documentation of the project and technical design in February, to launch bid process in Hungary and to commence the extension work by June, establishing the loan agreement.
Biocombinat state owned enterprise was constructed and put into operation with non-refundable aid from Government of Hungary in 1973. The renovation will allow Mongolia to produce most of animal vaccines at home.
At the end of the meeting, Minister B.Batzorig asked the sides to closely and actively collaborate in commencing the work and expressed his confidence that the work would be implemented successfully.
LONDON -- Further to the Company’s announcement on Oct. 4, 2017, Petro Matad, the AIM quoted Mongolian oil explorer has provided an update on its 3D seismic acquisition program.
The planned 3D survey, which focused on defining and de-risking near term drilling targets within the Tugrug basin has been completed. All the Company’s technical objectives were met during the 3D acquisition and preliminary processing (in field) has confirmed excellent data quality. The full 3D dataset has now been transmitted to the processing contractor, Western Geco and full Pre-Stack Time Migration (PSTM) and Pre-Stack Depth Migration (PSDM) processing is underway. Expected turnaround time will be mid first-quarter 2018 for final PSTM data and end first-quarter 2018 for full PSDM data.
The Tugrug basin has a proven working petroleum system which was confirmed with a stratigraphic core hole drilled by the Company in 2011 near the basin margin. The core hole contained live, un-biodegraded oil in good quality sandstone reservoir. The newly acquired 3D data will enable the Company to optimize the drilling location in the Falcon prospect, a target for the 2018 drilling program.
The Company had initially planned to proceed with a small 2D seismic acquisition program in the Tugrug basin following the completion of the 3D survey. However, as this 2D program was designed to identify additional prospects and leads for potential drilling beyond 2018, and therefore does not impact the choice of locations for the 2018 drilling program, the Company has decided to not acquire the Tugrug basin 2D seismic at this time. A factor in this decision is that the Mongolian winter has been harsh and there are only a few grazing lands still accessible to livestock, one of which is in the area where the Tugrug basin 2D survey was planned. Herders and their livestock have therefore entered the area in large numbers. The Company therefore felt it prudent to postpone the 2017/18 Block V 2D seismic program.
The seismic crew has mobilized to Block IV and has commenced the planned 204-km 2D seismic acquisition program over the Khangai basin in the northern part of Block IV, which is anticipated to complete by early February 2018. This survey aims to better define, for potential drilling in future, certain attractive leads identified on regional 2D seismic, gravity and magnetic surveys acquired in 2015.
Further details on the Company's work programme plans in 2018 and 2019 will be announced in due course.
China is now Mongolia's largest trading partner and its second-largest source of foreign investment. The two countries recorded bilateral trade of $4.96 billion in 2016, and although the full-year figures for 2017 have yet to be revealed, trade had already jumped by 44.2 percent year-on-year to $3.1 billion in the first half of last year.
During last year's Belt and Road (B&R) Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing, the leaders of the two countries reached a consensus to effectively dovetail the B&R initiative with Mongolia's Prairie Road development initiative. The two sides also signed an array of agreements on economic and trade cooperation.
The second China-Mongolia Expo was also held in September, with a total of 37 projects signed between the two countries. The projects, covering energy, agriculture, big data and cloud computing, involved investment totalling 36.4 billion yuan ($5.58 billion). In addition, Mongolian coal exports to China, mainly through the Ganqimaodu Port in North China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, saw a substantial increase in 2017.
In a nutshell, the two countries have made great progress in bilateral economic and trade cooperation over the past year, laying the foundations for closer economic ties in 2018.
The two nations have set a target of increasing bilateral trade to $10 billion by 2020, which will require efforts from both governments to boost trade and economic cooperation. Since the Mongolian People's Party swept back to power in 2016, Mongolia has moved to cut budget deficits, boost foreign investment and push for mega mining projects in the hope of overcoming its recent economic crisis. To ensure that such measures can come to fruition, Mongolia should seek closer trade and economic cooperation with China.
Official state visits to China by Mongolian President Khaltmaagiin Battulga and Prime Minister Ukhnaagiin Khurelsukh are expected to take place this year, according to media reports. These will be their first China visits since taking office, and if the visits go as planned, a firmer political foundation will be built for bilateral trade and economic cooperation, and plans for further cooperation down the road will be made much clearer.
It is expected that trade and economic cooperation between the two nations will revolve around four main aspects in 2018.
First, the priority areas for bilateral cooperation will likely make headway. The initiatives designed to enhance connectivity between the two nations - notably some mega projects, and the launch of a joint feasibility study for a Sino-Mongolian free trade zone - will be of importance for deepening bilateral trade and economic cooperation and will play a big part in creating synergy between the two countries' development strategies. Discussions about how progress can be made in these areas are expected to be a priority for high-level talks and meetings between the two countries this year.
Second, China will continue to lend money and provide financial aid for Mongolia. Financial help from China can already be seen playing an active role in easing Mongolia's economic crisis. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi held talks with his Mongolian counterpart Damdin Tsogtbaatar in Beijing in December, stating that China will continue its support for Mongolia with ramped-up implementation of financial aid for the country and a preferential export buyer's credit project. The continuation of China's financial assistance for Mongolia in 2018 will certainly be a focal area for cooperation between the two governments.
Third, there will be strengthened efforts to build the China-Mongolia cross-border economic cooperation zone. There are signs that Mongolia's newly elected government has attached importance to building the zone. The Mongolian side's proactive moves, it is believed, will foster greater bilateral cooperation on this project.
Last but not least, trade disputes between the two countries, primarily concerning Mongolia's exports of coal and meat to China, will call for enhanced communication between the two nations so as to pave the way for wider trade and economic cooperation in 2018....