|Frontier's "Invest Mongolia Tokyo 2018"||Frontier Securities||Tokyo Japan|
|"Open to Export" ICC WTO International business award||ICC WTO||London|
ULAN BATOR, Feb. 7 (Xinhua) -- The International Monetary Fund (IMF) sees Mongolia's economic outlook "positive" in 2018 and 2019 after its working group visited the Asian country to evaluate the economic bail-out program.
Mongolia's economic growth was higher than expected, said Geoff Gottlieb, who led an IMF team to Ulan Bator, the capital city of Mongolia from Jan. 24 to Feb. 6.
During the evaluation trip, Gottlieb and his team discussed, with the related authorities of Mongolia, the third review of the three-year Extended Fund Facility (EFF) arrangement approved on May 24, 2017, in an amount equivalent to about 434.3 million U.S dollars.
The arrangement is part of 5.5 billion dollars from donor countries, including Japan and South Korea, to support stabilizing the economy and lay the basis for sustainable, inclusive growth.
Mongolia has pledged to end expansionary monetary policies, enforce austerity measures, raise some taxes and reduce welfare spending.
"Mongolia's economy is recovering, reflecting strong international demand for commodities and improving confidence; key macro-economic quantitative targets, including the fiscal deficit and international reserves, have been achieved by large margins," Gottlieb said in a statement.
"However, there are several risks to economic growth. In particular, there is a tendency that external demand for raw materials might reduce and oil price increase," Gottlieb said.
The IMF team leader urged the Mongolian authorities to continue building buffers and implementing the structural reforms necessary for high and sustainable growth.
"Thanks to the IMF's program, many positive changes have been observed in the Mongolian economy," Mongolian Finance Minister Chimed Khurelbaatar said.
"Last year, our economic situation was difficult. Foreign exchange reserves accounted to 1 billion U.S. dollars. Early 2017, we paid 580 million U.S. dollars for bond repayment and we faced a lot of difficult situations," said Khurelbaatar.
"However, with implementing the IMF's program, the economy has recovered and even grown by 5 percent over the past period. Foreign currency reserves exceeded 3 billion U.S dollars, and we drew foreign direct investments of 1.1 million U.S dollars," said Khurelbaatar.
The minister also noted that Mongolia's budget revenues exceeded 600 billion MNT or tugrik (246.3 million dollars).
"In 2018 and 2019, a decision was made on increasing salaries in line with the inflation rate," he said.
The IMF has noted that its program helped resolve Mongolia's foreign debt issue in a positive way, and Mongolia's foreign currency reserves increased by 1.8 billion dollars.
In late November, Khurelbaatar said Mongolia's economic growth was expected at 1 percent in 2017 and 4.2 percent in 2018.
The IMF has predicted Mongolia's GDP growth at 5.0 percent in 2018 and 6.3 percent in 2019.
Uvs /MONTSAME/ Representatives of Tyva Republic, the Russian Federation headed by the First Vice-Chairman of the Tyva Government A.V.Brokert worked in Uvs province.
The delegates got acquainted with activities of ‘Uvs Food’ JSC and exchanged views on feasibility to sell seabuckthorn products on Russian market.
They also talked with authorities of the province about infrastructure work progress of Borshoo-Khandgait border checkpoint, construction of M-54 road in routes between Kyzyl-Chadan-Tyva and preparation of ‘Uvs Days’ event to be held in May in Kyzyl, Tvya. Within the framework of the event sports and cultural activities, joint forum to present tourism opportunities in Uvs province and ‘Made in Uvs’ exhibition will be organized.
Moreover, a joint meeting between businessmen of Uvs and Tyva was held discussing pressing issues to them and agreed to collaborate.
Representatives of Tyva Government and Chamber of Commerce and Industry participated in inauguration of ‘Lunar New Year-2018’ exhibition and agricultural companies and individuals from Tyva introduced their goods such as honey, cookies, meat and meat products and breakfast products at the exhibition.
Cabinet held a closed discussion during its regular session last week. Sources claim that the discussion covered the issues concerning Erdenet Mining Corporation (EMC) in connection to the sanction of London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) on EMC’s operations. According to some sources, the related officials of EMC were ordered to negotiate terms with the Standard Bank of South Africa and seekopportunities to avoid debt obligations.
Earlier this week, Chairman of the Democratic Party Erdene Sodnomzundui submitted a questionnaire on LCIA’s decision, Government’s measures and involvement on the issue. Sumiyabazar Dolgorsuren, Minister of Mining and Heavy Industry, has previously confirmed that EMC is obliged to pay monthly payment of USD 900 thousand.
On the other hand, Minister of Justice and Home Affairs Nyamdorj Tsend claimed that the dispute is between Standard Bank and EMC only and denied any involvement of Mongolian Government in the dispute, while Minister of Finance Khurelbaatar Chimed was clueless about the situation as he commented, “I do not have details on EMC.”
The Government has been obliged to repay a total of USD 102 million, including the legal costs, penalty and interest of the last decade.
According to a reliable source, LCIA has sanctioned the operations of EMC and suspended its financial accounts. The legal proceedings started about a decade ago after Batkhuu Sharavlamdan, CEO of Just Group, was accused of Loaning USD 140 million from Standard Bank of South Africa, collateralizing Mongolian Government’s 51 percent ownership of EMC.
HARBIN, Feb. 7 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on Wednesday sent congratulatory messages to the opening ceremony of the years of China-Russia local cooperation and exchange.
Calling localities an important force for China-Russia all-round win-win cooperation, Xi said he and President Putin decided to hold years of China-Russia local cooperation and exchange in 2018 and 2019.
Xi voiced his hope that it would inspire enthusiasm for local bilateral cooperation, further tap cooperation potential and encourage more localities, enterprises and people to join the cause of China-Russia friendly cooperation and common development.
Both China and Russia are at an important period of national development and rejuvenation, Xi said in his message, adding the development plans of both countries enjoy a high degree of affinity, and bilateral local cooperation is promising.
He called on both sides to make the event a new spotlight in bilateral ties, and work together for a splendid future in relations.
Putin hailed the progress of Russia-China all-round partnership of strategic coordination, adding that the years of local cooperation and exchange would cement contact and cooperation between various Russian federal subjects and Chinese localities.
There will be more than 100 activities including an investment conference; trade, industry and agriculture exhibitions; seminars; art festivals; and exchange of visits.
Representatives of the two countries will meet at the International Economic Forum in St. Petersburg, Eastern Economic Forum and Russia-China Expo, Putin said, adding that he believes the years will fully exploit the potential for local cooperation.
Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang addressed the opening ceremony in Harbin, capital of northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, together with Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yury Trutnev, also presidential envoy to the Far Eastern Federal District of Russia.
They also hosted the meeting of the Intergovernmental Commission for Cooperation of the Northeast China and the Far East and Baikal Region of Russia.
Wang hailed the progress of China-Russia local cooperation, citing rapid growth of trade between China and Russia's Far East, as well as enhanced investment cooperation and cultural exchanges, and progress in interconnectivity projects.
China appreciates Russia's new measures to promote development in the Far East and facilitate people-to-people exchanges, and expects these measures to have good outcomes, Wang said.
Calling China one of Russia's most important political and economic partners, Trutnev said Russia hopes to work closely with China to speed up infrastructure building, and boost local cooperation.
Jim Mee, 40, from York, completed the 85-mile crossing of Khovsgol Nuur, a lake in north west Mongolia www.dailymail.com.uk
A hardy British adventurer has become the first to ever ice skate across one of the world’s most barren and inhospitable landscapes - despite not having skated for about 20 years.
Jim Mee, 40, from York, said he meant to pack some skating in before Christmas in the run up to his epic challenge last week but he ran out of time.
Instead he blindly tackled an 85-mile crossing of Khovsgol Nuur in north-west Mongolia - the distance climbing to 100 miles when zig-zags to the edge of the lake to camp were taken into account - skating for nine hours a day for three days, in temperatures plunging to minus 47 degrees Celsius.
Last week, 40-year-old Jim Mee from York completed the 85-mile crossing of Khovsgol Nuur, a lake located 362 miles north west of Mongolia's capital Ulaanbaatar, which freezes solid in winter with the ice reaching up to one-metre-thick +15
Last week, 40-year-old Jim Mee from York completed the 85-mile crossing of Khovsgol Nuur, a lake located 362 miles north west of Mongolia's capital Ulaanbaatar, which freezes solid in winter with the ice reaching up to one-metre-thick
Braving bone-shattering winds and temperatures around minus 47 degrees Celsius, Mee skated for nine hours a day for three days with a support team on hand. He is now the first person ever to skate the lake¿s entire length +15
Braving bone-shattering winds and temperatures around minus 47 degrees Celsius, Mee skated for nine hours a day for three days with a support team on hand. He is now the first person ever to skate the lake’s entire length
Luckily his experience on skis served him well and he completed the frigid traverse unscathed.
Mee is now the first person to ever to skate the lake’s entire length. Talking about his accomplishment, the gutsy globetrotter said: 'Skating across the lake posed [lots of] unique difficulties.
'I was nervous it couldn’t be done. I wasn’t sure if the surface of the lake would be smooth enough to accommodate skating. But this method actually proved to be something of a revelation.
'I skated from dawn ’til dusk, nine hours a day, for three days. It’s a very similar motion to cross-country skiing, where you hit a rhythm and just keep going.
But Mee said the pain was all worth it, as the rewards were immense.
He continued: 'There’s no precipitation in this region so the skies are always clear, meaning the sunrises and sunsets were incredible spectacles.
'And just spending so long in such a bizarre, otherworldly landscape was surreal.
Talking about his accomplishment, Mee said: 'Skating across the lake posed [lots of] unique difficulties. I was nervous it couldn¿t be done. I wasn¿t sure if the surface of the lake would be smooth enough to accommodate skating. But this method actually proved to be something of a revelation' +15
Talking about his accomplishment, Mee said: 'Skating across the lake posed [lots of] unique difficulties. I was nervous it couldn’t be done. I wasn’t sure if the surface of the lake would be smooth enough to accommodate skating. But this method actually proved to be something of a revelation'
Rio Tinto (ASX, LON, NYSE:RIO), the world’s No.2 mining company, showed investors Wednesday how well it has ridden the wave of higher commodity prices by announcing a record dividend on the back of a big surge in annual profit and its cost cutting drive.
The company, which admitted is hunting for acquisitions, including in new commodities such as lithium, handed shareholders $1.80 per stock, taking its payout for 2017 to $2.90. The figure is the highest in Rio’s history and almost 71% more than the one it paid last year. As a result, cash returns to investors for 2017 totalled $9.7 billion.
Net profit for the year rose 90% (you read that right) to $8.8 billion, compared to the $4.6bn recorded in 2016. Underlying net profit after tax, in turn, was $8.62bn, up from $5.1bn in 2016, slightly ahead of market forecasts. Analysts expected the company to report $8.5bn.
Rio's largest division, iron ore, delivered the lion's share of revenue, as prices have recovered and remained relatively stable — trading around $75 a tonne — in the past year.
The record results are the first annual report for chief executive Jean-Sébastien Jacques, who took over from former boss Sam Walsh in July 2016.
Under Jacques, Rio has focused on cutting costs, generating cash and returning as much of it as possible to investors through dividends and share buybacks.
"I'm very proud of what the team has achieved. Biggest dividend ever in the 125-year history of the company and we believe that we’ll be able to generate a lot of cash again this year,”Jacques told reporters on an earnings call.
With net debt below $4 billion, Rio Tinto is once again in a position to look for fresh opportunities and projects. But analysts, including Investec’s mining expert Hunter Hillcoat, believe Rio is unlikely to embark on any “multibillion-dollar expansions” to chase mergers and acquisitions or pay a premium for other commodities, such as copper, given the industry’s history of overspending.
“The only way to rebalance their portfolio is to take on additional growth in other commodities like copper, either through acquisitions where they’ll have to pay a premium or through expansion, but they don’t really have too many meaningful growth options there,” Hillcoat told Bloomberg News.
Despite the positive results, the company is still battling reputational damage brought by a series of incidents, including a probe into a questionable payment made to an external consultant over the Simandou iron ore project in Guinea.
It is also facing fraud charges from the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the country’s top securities regulator, related to the miner's and two former executive’s alleged covered-up of multi-billion-dollar losses on a coal investment in Mozambique, allegations which the two men and the company deny.
Rio has also been recently accused of dodging $700 million in taxes at its massive Oyu Tolgoi copper and gold mine in Mongolia....
The Mongolian government has approved a new cashmere programme to be implemented in two stages over four years. It will help keep the exisiting 5500 jobs in the cashmere sector and to create over 3600 new ones. Regarding the manufacturing capacity of fully processed cashmere, this will be increased final by 5.7 times.
Last year, Mongolia produced 5413 tonnes of washed cashmere, 509 tonnes of combed cashmere and 915 thousand of goods made from the wool.
If Mongolia can produce processed cashmere domestically, the country would be able to export to19.8 million textile goods annuall
There has been news in social media that the Government of Mongolia intends to issue a ‘Panda’ bond of CHY 800 million on the Chinese market. The news source said that Mongolian Government is discussing issuing a five year bond three months after it successfully raised the ‘Gerege’ bond.
Evidently, this is 'fake news'. The Finance Ministry confirmed that the Government of Mongolia will not issue any bonds in the near future. Under the IMF programme, Mongolia's credit rating has increased and the economy is much recovered; the government intends to focus on positive performances.
Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/. Minister of Environment, Green Development and Tourism of Mongolia N.Tserenbat held a meeting with companies that introduced efficient water utilization technologies to hear their opinions and initiatives and to present the ministry's works in this field.
During the meeting, the state policy for water conservation, proper use and wastewater recycling and reuse and the introduction of future works were presented by Sh.Myagmar, head of the Land Management and Integrated Water Policy Coordination Department. “A bill to Amendments to the Law on Water Pollution Payment are ready for Parliamentary discussion. The backbone of the bill is to encourage enterprises with state policy to reuse water. The policy of the Minister N.Tserenbat is to make technological renovations in companies so that they reuse water as much as possible through providing soft loans to them” he said.
The representatives of the companies exchanged views on the water saving, water reuse projects and advanced technologies they introduced.
ULAANBAATAR (Reuters) - Mongolian lawmakers have proposed a new immigration cap, looking to protect domestic workers, even as citizens increasingly seek opportunities abroad.
A parliamentary panel this week approved a proposal to limit to just 100 each year the number of new resident permits granted to foreign or stateless people over the period from 2018 to 2020, with just 30 each from China and Russia, legislator Tsend Nyamdorj said.
The measure will now be considered by parliament.
"If the standing committee approves the bill, it makes it very likely the parliament would have no problem passing it," said Mogi Badral Bontoi, chief executive of market intelligence group Cover Mongolia.
Although open to foreign trade, the former communist, one-party state has been careful to prevent an influx of foreign labour.
Mongolians especially mistrust Chinese workers, not only because of long-standing geopolitical tension with their giant neighbour, but also because they can be hired cheaper and work longer hours.
Unemployment in Mongolia stands at 9.1 percent, the National Statistics Office says.
The strain with China can be traced back to centuries of subjugation, with Mongolia only achieving formal independence in 1921. The Soviet satellite state served as a buffer between China and the Soviet Union until 1990, when it peacefully transitioned to democracy.
Rapid economic growth, driven by immense resource wealth, has prompted interest from foreign nationals. Though foreigners now make up less than 0.4 percent of the population, Ulaanbaatar has used high fees and quotas to rein in immigration.
Last year, Mongolia cut its foreign workforce in half, and sent home about 1,200 North Korean workers to comply with the sanctions.
The Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold mine, run by mining conglomerate Rio Tinto, has also been under scrutiny for its use of Chinese labourers.
About 93 percent of the Oyu Tolgoi workforce is Mongolian, exceeding a lower limit of 90 percent set in a 2009 investment pact. During construction, no more than 40 percent of workers could come from overseas.
After an inspection of Oyu Tolgoi last month, immigration officials deported foreign contractors with Australian engineering firm Hofmann Engineering for visa violations.
With just 3.1 million people in an area almost the size of Alaska, Mongolia is the world's least densely populated country.
Many Mongolians are leaving home for work and education elsewhere, including China, and South Korea has eased their pathway to jobs.
"More Mongolians are leaving to work abroad, which means fewer people in the local labour pool," said Bontoi.
"Mongolia capping foreign labour seems very paradoxical."
(Reporting by Terrence EdwardsEditing by David Stanway andClarence Fernandez)