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



China, Mongolia to promote synergy of development strategies www.xinhuanet.com

BEIJING, April 9 (Xinhua) -- China and Mongolia on Monday agreed to link the Belt and Road Initiative and Mongolia's Prairie Road development initiative to benefit the two peoples.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang made the remarks while holding talks with Mongolian Prime Minister Ukhnaa Khurelsukh in Beijing.

Li said China and Mongolia are important neighboring countries, good friends and partners, and China appreciates the Mongolian government for reiterating its firm adherence to the one-China policy.

China is willing to work with Mongolia to set the direction of bilateral ties in a strategic height and from a long-term perspective, consolidate political mutual trust, respect each others' core interests and major concerns, maintain high-level exchanges, strengthen parliamentary exchanges, enhance party-to-party exchanges, and communicate more in regional and international affairs, Li said.

Li said he hopes that the development of China-Mongolia ties will benefit both countries and regional peace, stability, and prosperity.

Both China and Mongolia face an important mission to develop their economies and improve peoples' well-being, Li said, noting that China is ready to work with Mongolia to make use of the complementary advantages of their economy.

Li called for initiating feasibility research on a China-Mongolia free trade agreement and speed up the building of a cross-border economic cooperation zone.

Li called on both sides to cooperate more in industrial capacity, investment, agriculture and animal husbandry, energy and minerals, transit transport, shantytown renovation, pollution control, and urban and port infrastructure construction.

Next year will mark the 70th anniversary of establishing diplomatic ties, Li said, calling on both sides to strengthen people-to-people exchanges in youth, culture, media, and tourism to consolidate the social and public opinion foundation for China-Mongolia friendship.

Khurelsukh said Mongolia gives priority to the friendly relationship with China in its foreign policy, and the Mongolian government firmly adheres to the one-China policy.

Mongolia agrees that Tibet and Taiwan are inalienable parts of the Chinese territory, and issues concerning Tibet and Taiwan are China's internal affairs, Khurelsukh said.

Khurelsukh said Mongolia is willing to work with China to enhance political mutual trust, maintain high-level visits, deepen economic cooperation, integrate their development strategies, and have more pragmatic cooperation.

Prior to the talks, Li held a welcome ceremony for Khurelsukh.

After the talks, they jointly witnessed the signing of several bilateral cooperation documents in fields such as economy and trade, people-to-people exchanges, industrial capacity, and environmental protection.

China's top legislator Li Zhanshu also met with Khurelsukh on Monday afternoon, and both sides agreed to share experience in governance and hold more legislative exchanges.



Rio Tinto's Mongolian comfort zone is shaken www.afr.com

Confirmation that Mongolia's anti-corruption authority has opened an "investigation" of the historic 2015 $US4.4 billion project financing deal for the Oyu Tolgoi copper mine has sucked Rio Tinto into the vortex of a controversy that started with a Swiss investigation into the contents of a bank account connected to a former Mongolian finance minister.

Ever since it became clear last month that Swiss authorities were taking serious interest in Bayartsogt Sangajav and how he came to fill a Swiss bank account with $US10 million back in September 2008, Rio has been able to take public comfort in the fact that whatever the circumstances were, they occurred at a time before the multinational miner had the capacity to influence negotiations between the government of Mongolia and Oyu Tolgoi's Canadian-listed developer, Ivanhoe Mines.

At the time the claimed payment was made, Rio owned about 10 per cent of Ivanhoe. The Anglo-Australia stepped its way to control by 2012 and, to announce the changed circumstances, it changed Ivanhoe's name to Turquoise Hill.

Confirmation on March 27 from Swiss authorities that neither Rio nor any of its employees was "currently" subject to the continuing corruption investigation appeared to endorse the security of Rio's preferred comfort zone.

Because it now appears that Mongolia's Independent Authority Against Corruption (IAAC) is attempting to link government approvals of a landmark 2015 Oyu Tolgoi refinancing deal with the Swiss investigation into the circumstances that delivered $US10 million to an account connected with Bayartsogt.

There are some that choose to believe that the IAAC's sudden concern over the 2015 agreement is a political confection more than a matter of substance. This view is born from the fact that the activities of the IAAC are formally overseen by the President rather than the parliament.

The presidential incumbent, who was elected in a seemingly chaotic succession of ballots in June 2017, is the Democrat Party's Khaltmaagiin Battulga. But the Prime Minister elected by the parliament last October is Ukhnaagiin Khurelsukh. A well as being a colourful chap whose nick-name has been "The Fist" ever since he punched a colleague in 2012, he is a leading member of Mongolia's People Party.

But if this is politics then they sure do play a hard game in Ulaanbaatar.

On March 31, Bayartsogt was detained by Mongolia's IAAC, apparently as the next logical step in the criminal investigation by the Swiss Office of the Attorney that has seen it take control of the bank account that has been the focus of its inquiries.

But, as they say, there is more.

At the same time as IAAC moved on the man who formally signed of on the 2009 deal that delivered Ivanhoe 66 per cent of Oyu Tolgoi, it also made two more arrests.

The IAAC arrested and detained a former high-level official of the Mongolian tax department, Ariunsan Baldanjav. And it did the same to B. Byambasaikhan, the former chief executive of Erdenes Mongolia LLC, which is the Mongolian sovereign wealth fund that owns the state's 34 per cent of the mine.

Mongolian state television has reported that the prosecutor's office has also submitted a request to interrogate ex-prime minister Saikhanbileg Chimed on his return from the US and it has flagged requests to arrest "several other" officials involved in either or both of the 2009 and 2015 deals.

The IAAC's reported intent is to test whether the authorities involved in those deals had "abused their power".

Now, among many jobs of standing that include running the Mongolian Archery Association, B. Byambasaikhan is also the chairman of the Business Council of Mongolia. Last week the council issued a strongly worded defence of its chairman, who has temporarily stepped down from his official duties.

A statement released in the name of the council's executive committee expressed deep concern on the way the IAAC matters were being reported in the media, "where it appears there is a linkage between the Swiss Bank account matter of 2009 and the signing of the Oyu Tolgoi Underground Development Plan (so-called Dubai Agreement)".

The background here is important.

Having taken control of Ivanhoe and the operation of the Oyu Tolgoi project that flowed from the Canadian's 66 per cent stake in the project, Rio became the primary source of development finance for Mongolia's biggest ever foreign investment.

Then, in May 2015, Rio and the government agreed on the planned underground expansion that will see Oyu Tolgoi become one of the world's biggest copper mines. With the security that came of that agreement, Rio was finally able to lock down a long-based project financing agreement in December 2015. That deal was worth $US4.4 billion.

The facility was supported by a broad syndicate of international financiers that included export credit agencies from Australia, Canada and the United States and 15 commercial banks. Along with EFIC's contribution, the Australian contributors to the funding package were ANZ and NAB.

And who was the Rio executive that was the ultimate overseer for the project finance negotiations? Well, that task fell to the then head of Rio's copper division. His name? Jean Sebastien Jacques.

Jacques, of course, is now Rio's chief executive.

Jacques has made a wonderful fist of the business he took over from Sam Walsh in March 2016. The financials look ever better and the prices achieved in the retreat from coal have been, frankly, pretty staggering. But not all of the winds Jacques inherited have been as kind.

Regulators in Britain, the US and Australia are investigating a $US10.5 million success fee that was paid to the French investment banker that led negotiations with the government of Guinea over the two disputed iron ore leases that host Rio's rich but isolated Simandou project. And that same troika has reviewed the path Rio took to impairing the $US3.7 billion acquisition of coal mines in Mozambique in 2011-12.

Rio paid a $US35 million settlement with the Serious Fraud Office to end the matter in Britain. But the Mozambique matter has left Rio and two senior executives accused of fraud by the US SEC and of misleading and deceptive conduct by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.

And, even if we discount its latest dramas in Mongolia, things have been tough for Rio there too over the past six months or so. A January blockade on the Chinese side of the border resulted in Oyu Tolgoi seeking protection of force majeure from contracted customers.

Then, just as that situation was resolved, the government confirmed a $US150 million tax dispute with Oyu Tolgoi and its decision to trigger a call in the original investment agreement that requires the miner to build its own power station by 2021. Rio says that could cost up to $US1 billion.
by Matthew Stevens



President: Mongolia is utilizing its resources, but not effectively www.montsame.mn

Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ President Kh.Battulga has stressed the growing need for optimizing Mongolia's natural resource management policy.

The Office of the President, Development and Democracy NGO and the Konrad Adenauer Foundation Mongolia co-organized a forum on natural resource governance on April 6 at the Tuushin Hotel.

President Kh.Battulga attended the event and delivered opening remarks, in which he cited Mongolia’s ranking in the 2017 Resource Governance Index report by the Natural Resource Governance Institute, where Mongolia received 54 score in revenue management, 40 in state-owned enterprise and 42 in sovereign wealth funds indicators.

“The experts have highlighted the incompliance with resource management laws and regulations in Mongolia although they are existent in sufficient number. The Constitution of Mongolia states that the land, its subsoil, forests, water, fauna and flora and other natural resources shall be subject to people’s power and State protection. Unfortunately, the people are not benefitting from the natural resources today,” said the President, calling for action to reduce the inequality of resource distribution.

“We must reflect on our mistakes and discuss how we can better enforce the policy, which makes this forum a timely event,” President Kh.Battulga said.

The forum was the main event following five workshops addressing natural resource governance in Mongolia. Members of the Landtag of German state Saarland attended the forum.



Prime Minister U.Khurelsukh arrives in Beijing www.montsame.mn

Beijing/MONTSAME/ Mongolia’s Prime Minister U.Khurelsukh arrived in Beijing yesterday evening, April 8, to pay an official visit to the People’s Republic of China at the invitation of Li Keqiang, Premier of the State Council.

Today, April 9 China’s Premier of the State Council Li Keqiang will offer an official welcoming ceremony in the Great Hall of the People. Following the ceremony, two PMs will hold official talks and sign official documents.

Moreover, Prime Minister U.Khurelsukh will pay courtesy calls on the Chinese President Xi Jinping and Li Zhanshu, executive chairman of the National People's Congress session presidium.

During the talks and meetings, the two sides will discuss a wide-range of issues on deepening Mongolia-China comprehensive strategic partnership meeting, in particular advancing mutually beneficial cooperation in politics, economy, trade and humanity, and exchange views on regional and mutually interested international matters.

In addition, relations and cooperation documents will be signed today between the government and organizations.
The official visit will continue till April 12.




Czech to provide assistance for winter sports palace www.theubpost.mn

Member of Parliament B.Javkhlan received Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary from Czech Republic Jiri Brodsky and exchanged opinions on cooperation in the development of winter sports and the establishment of a winter sports palace in Mongolia.

Brodsky noted that Czech is ready to support to build a new world standard winter sports palace in Mongolia, in collaboration with the Czech Republic’s Hockey Association and other organizations.

“I am confident that traditional friendly relations between our countries will keep developing not only in sports and culture sectors but also in all fields,” he said. Member of Parliament B.Javkhlan noted, “Mongolia is fully capable of developing winter sports. Our athletes are highly valued for their skills in Asia. I am grateful for the cooperation.

The new palace will give opportunities to our athletes to conduct training during all four seasons.”

The meeting was attended by the first Secretary of the Embassy of Republic of Czech Oldrich Zajicek, commercial and economic consultant Iva Sustakova, President of the Skating Union of Mongolia D.Bolormaa, and Secretary of the Mongolian Ice Hockey Federation A.Mergen.



Russia and Mongolia elaborate new military cooperation program www.armyrecognition.com

Russia and Mongolia are elaborating a new military and technical cooperation program for 2019-2024, Mongolian Defense Minister Nyamaagiin Enkhbold said. According to the Mongolian defense minister, the Mongolian government regards relations with Russia as a priority and is pursuing a policy to establish strategic partnership with Russia.

It will be the third military and technical cooperation program between Russia and Mongolia, he added.

"We are working on a draft of the third medium-term military and technical cooperation program for 2019-2024 with the [Russian] Federal Service for Military and Technical Cooperation," Enkhbold said at talks with Russian Defense Minister General of the Army Sergei Shoigu.

"In addition to other programs for the development of strategic partnership between the two countries, military and technical cooperation will continue under medium-term military and technical cooperation programs," the Mongolian defense minister said.

He thanked the Russian defense minister for military and technical assistance provided to Mongolia and the possibility granted to Mongolian children to study at Russian Defense Ministry cadet schools.

"I’m very satisfied with the results of the meeting with the defense minister. We will work to strengthen the relations between our armed forces and Russia’s Central Military District," Enkhbold said.

"We have agreed that the Russian defense minister will visit us in September this year," he added. According to the Mongolian defense minister, bilateral military and technical cooperation was discussed at the meeting as well.

"We have decided to resume and extend the relevant agreement that expired last year," Enkhbold said. Besides, the officials agreed to increase the number of Mongolian students at Russian military educational institutions, including at the Presidential Cadet School in Kyzyl.



List of Russian businessmen & companies added to US sanctions www.rt.com

The Trump administration issued an expanded list of sanctions on Friday against Russian businessmen and companies. In all, the Treasury Department included 12 businessmen and the companies they control.

Russian businessmen:

Andrey Akimov – Chairman of the Management Board of Gazprombank.

Vladimir Bogdanov – President of Surgutneftegaz, one of the largest Russian oil companies.

Sergey Fursenko – the president of Zenit Football Club and former Russian Football Union president.

Suleiman Kerimov – majority owner of Russia’s biggest gold producer, Polyus.

Igor Rotenberg – chairman at NPV Engineering, the largest Russian power generating company Mosenergo and Gazprom Bureniye.

Andrey Kostin - VTB Bank president.

Kirill Shamalov – non-executive director of Russia’s biggest petrochemicals company, Sibur.

Andrey Skoch – part owner of the steelmaker Lebedinsky Mining.

Russian companies added to the sanctions list:

Rosoboronexport – Russia’s top defense corporation, involved in trading of a wide range of military and double-purpose products, technologies and services.

En+ is a major Russian energy-related company, associated with the sanctioned tycoon Oleg Deripaska. The company was evaluated at $8 billion at the IPO in London last November, and was the first placement of a Russian company on the stock exchange in London since the introduction of sanctions against Russia in 2014.

United Company RUSAL is the world’s second largest aluminum company by primary production output. The company is linked to En+, which is its largest shareholder with a controlling stake of 48.13 percent.

Eurosibenergo is the second-largest property of En+ and is the largest independent Russian power producer.

The blacklist also includes other companies affiliated with Deripaska, are agriculture company Agroholding Kuban; one of the largest diversified industrial groups in Russia, Deripaska-owned Basic Element, financial company B-Finance Ltd; car, train and plane producer Russian Cars (Russkie Mashiny).

Another notable company in the sanctions list is Renova, a Russian conglomerate with interests in aluminum, oil, energy, telecoms, affiliated with Russia’s 10th richest billionaire, Viktor Vekselberg, who is worth $12.4 billion, according to Forbes.



Mongolia to open embassy in Kyrgyzstan www.xinhuanet.com

ULAN BATOR, April 6 (Xinhua) -- Mongolia's State Great Khural, or the parliament, said Friday that it had passed a draft resolution to expand its consulate general into an embassy in Bishkek, capital of Kyrgyzstan.

Since Mongolia and Kyrgyzstan forged diplomatic ties in 1992, bilateral ties have been continually developing in the political sphere with reciprocal visits growing increasingly frequent.

There are 18 agreements effectively regulating the two countries' cooperation at present, and more are on the agenda, the Kyrgyz news agency AKIpress said.



President receives UK Trade Envoy Julian Knight www.president.mn

President of Mongolia Khaltmaagiin Battulga received today Mr. Julian Knight, the UK Trade Envoy to Mongolia and MP.

Upon welcoming the latter, the President congratulated Mr. Knight for being appointed the Trade Envoy at the order of the UK Prime Minister Teresa May, and wished success. “I do not doubt that your appointment as the Trade Envoy to Mongolia will be a strong impetus to deepening and broadening economic and commercial cooperation of the two countries,” President Battulga highlighted.

Mr. Julian Knight thanked the President for his time and said “Our PM Teresa May is placing a great importance on the 55th anniversary of diplomatic relations of Mongolia and the UK and offered me to work as a Trade Envoy yo Mongolia. I accepted this offer with pleasure. It is a common practice for a Trade Envoy to manage trade relations with 2-3 countries. As a trade envoy, managing the relations with only Mongolia indicates a great gesture.”

He pledged to put maximum effort to broadening bilateral trade and economic cooperation. Mr. Knight shared that he met with the affiliated Minister and discussed cooperation in mining sector, as “the sector takes up a major position in bilateral relations”. Mr.Knight underlined the two countries have full potential to collaborate in diversifying Mongolia’s economy, while mentioning that he is familiar with the President’s commitment to economic diversification.

President confirmed that the two countries have potential to cooperate in mining. However, he said, “it is not preferable to emphasize mining. There is now a big gap between rich and poor, in other words, “resource curse” has befallen of Mongolia. In order to tackle this problem, we have been turning to our other major economic sectors such as tourism and agriculture. Mongolia has more than 60 million heads of livestock, and nearly 10 thousand tons of cashmere is “exploited” every year. This is 60 percent of the world cashmere market. If you are willing to cooperate with us in this area, we have the raw material. In a presence of processing industry and well-managed marketing, the sector is promising enough to become as large as Oyu Tolgoi. It’s safe to say we do not have a competitor in this,” the President said and wished the Envoy to pay more attention to this sector.

Mr. Knight accepted the President’s suggestion and mentioned the possibilities of selling Mongolian-made cashmere products in Great Britain. The sides further touched upon the impacts of the latest trade deals of the US and the People’s Republic of China on Mongolia.

Trade turnover between Mongolia and UK reached USD 689.9 million in 2017, in which exports made up 660.5 million and imports, 29.4 million. This represents 24 percent increase against the previous year’s performance. Between 1990-2014, UK investments worth USD 116.8 million were registered. The amount constitutes for 0.82 percent of total foreign investment in Mongolia. Thus, UK is ranking at 14th place out of 112 countries investing in Mongolia.

Julian Knight was appointed Trade Envoy of the United Kingdom to Mongolia last January. It is a custom for the British Government to appoint a Trade Envoy to represent the Prime Minister in order to activate commercial and economic interaction with another country. The United Kingdom has appointed 30 Trade Envoys, thus far, to manage trade relations with 59 countries.



Trump threatens further $100bn in tariffs against China www.bbc.com

US President Donald Trump has instructed officials to consider a further $100bn (£71.3bn) of tariffs against China, in an escalation of a tense trade stand-off.

These would be in addition to the $50bn worth of US tariffs already proposed on hundreds of Chinese imports.

The proposal comes after China retaliated to that by threatening tariffs on 106 key US products.

The tit-for-tat moves have unsettled global markets in recent weeks.

Analysts have said a full blown trade war between the US and China would not be good for the global economy or markets - and that ongoing behind-the-scenes negotiations between the two giants were crucial.

But market reaction in Asia trade on Friday suggested investors were not too troubled by the latest twist, and that trade war fears were somewhat exaggerated.

In China, Hong Kong's Hang Seng was in positive territory, up 1.3%. Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 was also trading higher in the afternoon session.

How has this unfolded?
Earlier this year, the US announced it would impose import taxes of 25% on steel and 10% on aluminium. The tariffs would be wide ranging and would include China.

China responded this month with retaliatory tariffs worth $3bn of its own against the US on a range of goods, including pork and wine. Beijing said the move was intended to safeguard its interests and balance losses caused by the new tariffs.

Meanwhile, there had been rumblings the US was preparing to slap between $50bn and $60bn worth of tariffs on Chinese-made goods in response to unfair Chinese intellectual property practices, such as those that pressure US companies to share technology with Chinese firms.

The draft details of those import taxes were released last week when Washington set out about 1,300 Chinese products it intended to hit with tariffs set at 25% worth some $50bn.

China responded swiftly by proposing retaliatory tariffs, also worth some $50bn, on 106 key US products, including soybeans, aircraft parts and orange juice. This set of tariffs was narrowly aimed at politically important sectors in the US, such as agriculture.

In Mr Trump's Thursday statement he branded that retaliation by Beijing as "unfair".

"Rather than remedy its misconduct, China has chosen to harm our farmers and manufacturers," he said.

"In light of China's unfair retaliation, I have instructed the USTR (United States Trade Representative) to consider whether $100bn of additional tariffs would be appropriate... and, if so, to identify the products upon which to impose such tariffs."

He said he had also instructed agricultural officials to implement a plan to protect US farmers and agricultural interests.

The threats sound strident but the actual impact is far from clear or straightforward - and will vary dramatically from product to product.

To get a sense of how things might play out, let's take soybeans as an example.

China, which is a big producer of soybeans itself, also buys about 60% of all soybeans exported by the US.

It uses the product to feed farmed animals, including pigs and chickens, as well as fish. Those animals are in turn used to help feed China's enormous population.

China's demand for soybeans and soybean products has buoyed the price of US soybeans for some time.

But Beijing's tariffs against US soybeans will mostly likely see sales to China fall off, which will in turn hurt American farmers.

Many of US farmers could then be forced to switch to other crops - very few of which are as lucrative.

Soybean producing areas in the US are filled with famers who voted for Mr Trump, and so some of them are now less than happy with their president.

Meanwhile, China will need to set about sourcing the extra soybeans it needs from other countries.

India is one of the world's biggest soybean producers, and analysts there have already pointed to a potential trade war between the US and China as an opportunity for its economy.

Other big soybean producers are Argentina and Brazil, and some studies suggest that is where China will turn to should the current set of proposed tariffs come into force.

But it could end up paying more than it currently does, ultimately forcing up the price of those animals which eat soybean products. So that would mean pork, for example, China's most popular meat, could get more expensive. And food price inflation is something that will worry Beijing.

Beijing Deals
What China sells to the US

The value of of goods bought by the US from China in 2016.

18.2% of all China's exports go to the United States

$129bn worth of China-made electrical machinery bought by US

59.2% growth in Chinese services imported by US between 2006 & 2016

$347bn US goods trade deficit with China

How long could this last?
China has initiated a complaint with the World Trade Organisation over the US tariffs, in what analysts say is a sign that this will be a protracted process.

The WTO circulated the request for consultation to members on Thursday, launching a discussion period before the complaint heads to formal dispute settlement process.

Meanwhile, under US law, the proposed set of tariffs against about 1,300 Chinese products must now go under review, including a public notice and comment process, and a hearing.

The hearing is scheduled at the moment for 15 May, with post-hearing filings due a week later.

So, it could be some months before the USTR will announce its final findings or any decision on whether or not it will move ahead with the proposed tariffs.