1 US-MONGOLIA 'THIRD NEIGHBOR TRADE ACT' ON THE WAY WWW.THEDIPLOMAT.COM PUBLISHED:2018/11/17      2 CHINA'S FIGHT AGAINST SMOG MAKES PALLADIUM 2018'S BEST METAL WWW.MINING.COM PUBLISHED:2018/11/17      3 MILLENNIUM CHALLENGE CORPORATION PRESENTS GMS LICENSES WWW.MONTSAME.MN PUBLISHED:2018/11/17      4 MONGOLIA CALLS FOR GLOBAL ATTENTION ON CLIMATE CHANGE WWW.NEWS.MN PUBLISHED:2018/11/17      5 ADB OPENS A NEW WASTEWATER TREATMENT PLANT IN ARVAIKHEER, MONGOLIA WWW.AGENPARL.EU PUBLISHED:2018/11/17      6 CHINA TO BOOST COOPERATION WITH INDIA, MONGOLIA: DEFENSE MINISTER WWW.GLOBALTIMES.CN PUBLISHED:2018/11/17      7 DEATH ON MONGOLIA’S ‘COAL ROAD’ WWW.NEWS.MN PUBLISHED:2018/11/17      8 MONGOLIA SHAKEN BY WIDENING LOAN SCANDAL WWW.ASIA.NIKKEI.COM PUBLISHED:2018/11/17      9 MONGOLIA’S UNEMPLOYMENT FALLS BY 2.2 PERCENT WWW.NEWS.MN PUBLISHED:2018/11/16      10 MEETING MEAT DEMAND: MONGOLIA TO TRADE 17.9 PERCENT OF LIVESTOCK WWW.NEWS.MN PUBLISHED:2018/11/16      БНСУ-ЫН АЖ АХУЙН НЭГЖҮҮДИЙН АУТСОРСИНГ ЗАХИАЛГЫГ ГҮЙЦЭТГЭХ ЗАЛУУЧУУДЫГ СОНГОН, ШАЛГАРУУЛНА WWW.UNUUDUR.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/11/17     НҮҮРСНИЙ ЭКСПОРТ 10 ХУВИАР ӨСӨЖ, 31.3 САЯ ТОНН БОЛОВ WWW.GOGO.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/11/17     СУДАЛГААГААР ЖДҮ ЭРХЛЭГЧИД ЗЭЭЛИЙН ХҮҮНИЙ ЗАРДАЛ ХАМГИЙН ИХ ХҮНДРЭЛ УЧРУУЛДАГ ГЭЖ ХАРИУЛЖЭЭ WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/11/17     ERDENE RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT: ХАЙГУУЛЫН ЗАРДАЛ III УЛИРАЛД 42 ХУВИАР БУУРСАН WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/11/17     ГОРХИ, ТЭРЭЛЖИЙН БАЙГАЛИЙН БОХИРДОЛД АНХААРАЛ ХАНДУУЛЖ ЭХЛЭВ WWW.MONTSAME.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/11/17     ИРЭХ БААСАН ГАРАГТ ХОТЫН ДАРГЫГ ОГЦРУУЛАХ ЭСЭХИЙГ ХЭЛЭЛЦЭНЭ WWW.MONTSAME.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/11/17     “АМГАЛАН” ХОТХОНД БАЙРЛАХ ГЭРТЭЭ КАННАБИС ТАРЬЖ, УРГУУЛЖ БАЙСАН ТУРК ИРГЭНИЙГ БАРИВЧИЛЖЭЭ WWW.MEDEE.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/11/17     ӨНӨӨДӨР АВТОМАШИНЫ ДУГААРЫН ХЯЗГААРЛАЛТ ҮЙЛЧЛЭХГҮЙ WWW.EAGLE.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/11/17     ГАШУУНСУХАЙТЫН НҮҮРСТЭЙ МАШИНЫ ЦУВАА 120 КМ БОЛЖЭЭ WWW.EAGLE.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/11/16     ТАТВАРЫН ОРЛОГО 32.2 ХУВИАР ӨСӨЖ, ТӨСВИЙН ТЭНЦЭЛ 341.9 ТЭРБУМ ТӨГРӨГИЙН АШИГТАЙ ГАРЛАА WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/11/16    

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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USD 200 million wasted on Mongolian rail project? www.news.mn

It has emerged that the Mongolian Government spent a total of 200 USD million on a new railway project which cancelled in 2016. J.Bat-Erdene, Minister of Road and Transport Development has been drawing attention to the railway that was never built.

In 2012 he was responsible for leading the working group for implementing the project. The agreement for constructing railway connecting Mongolia's strategically important Tavan Tolgoi, which contains an estimated 6.4 billion tonnes of coking coal and the Gashuun Sukhait border crossing with China, was signed by Energy Resources LLC. The rail project was seen as essential for speeding up coal transport and was expected to have been completed by 2016. However, the company’s investment to the project was stopped by the Mongolian Government at the time.

It will be recalled that last autumn gigantic queues of coal trucks taking Tavan Tolgoi coal to China formed on the road to the Gashuun Sukhait border crossing. At times the queues exceeded 100 km! Clearly, an alternative mode of delivery has to be found.

Currently, there are two options for the implementing the rail project: either the coal transportation companies unite to cover the costs or China, which buys the Tavan Tolgoi coal invests.

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Rio Tinto fully out of coal sector with $2.25bn Kestrel mine sale www.mining.com

Mining giant Rio Tinto (ASX, LON:RIO) has agreed to sell its Kestrel coal mine in Australia to private equity manager EMR Capital and Indonesian coal company Adaro Energy, in a deal worth $2.25 billion.

The transaction makes of Rio Tinto the first major miner to exit the coal industry, and comes only a week after it announced the $1.7 billion-sale of its Hail Creek Mine, also in Australia, to Glencore, as well as an undeveloped project in Queensland to Whitehaven Coal for $200 million.

The sale of its 80% stake in Kestrel brings the total amount Rio Tinto has collected with the latest three coal sales to $4.15 billion, which it said would be used for “general corporate purposes.”

The sale of its 80% stake in Kestrel brings the total amount Rio Tinto has collected with the latest three coal sales to $4.15bn.
“I would like to thank the many people at Rio Tinto and the communities where we operate, whose hard work and commitment has contributed to the success of the coal business over many years,” chief executive Jean-Sébastien Jacques said in the statement.

Since announcing the company's decision to exit the coal sector last year, the executive has repeatedly said that Rio was not turning its back to coal because of environmental concerns, but because it had better investment opportunities in iron ore, copper, aluminum and bauxite.

Under his direction, the company has focused on cutting costs, generating cash and returning as much of it as possible to investors through dividends and share buybacks.

The strategy helped Jacques announce last month a record dividend as 2017 profit hit a three-year high. It was his first annual report as Rio’s CEO, as he only took over from former boss Sam Walsh in July 2016.

Cloud on the horizon
Despite the financial success, the miner is facing hard times as 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 company said Kestrel deal was subject to regulatory approvals and was expected to be completed in the second half of 2018.

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Petro-yuan helps Russia & China dump US dollar in oil trade www.rt.com

China is the world's biggest crude consumer and buys most of its oil from Russia. However, most settlements are still in US dollars. The launch of the petro-yuan now allows Moscow and Beijing to use national currencies instead.

China and Russia are actively reducing dependence on the dollar in bilateral trade. In October 2017, Beijing launched a payment system for transactions in yuan and Russian rubles. This means that settlements for Russian oil deliveries to China, which have reached 60 million tons per year, can be done without using the dollar.

After Monday's launch of the yuan-backed oil futures in Shanghai, there have been negotiation between Russia and China on mutual promotion of oil futures in national currencies, RIA Novosti reported. In 2016, the St. Petersburg exchange in Russia launched Urals oil futures in the Russian ruble, and support from China could prop up Russian crude futures.

China's new oil benchmark had a hugely successful debut. On the first day of trading in Shanghai, 62,500 contracts with more than 62 million barrels of crude traded for a notional value of nearly 27 billion yuan ($4 billion), Zerohedge reported. Glencore, Trafigura, Freepoint Commodities and other huge oil-trading corporations took part.

Russia held its position as China's largest crude oil supplier in February. Russia supplied 5.052 million tons, or 1.32 million barrels per day (bpd) last month, up 17.8 percent from a year earlier, according to Reuters, quoting the Chinese General Administration of Customs.

The increase in volume happened as a result of a second Sino-Russian oil pipeline, which began operations on January 1. It doubled China’s capacity to pump oil from the East Siberia-Pacific Ocean (ESPO) system. ESPO connects Russia and China with a direct

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Asia stocks follow US shares up as trade war fears ease www.bbc.com

Asian markets followed Wall Street's lead and rose sharply on Tuesday, as hopes grew that a trade war between the US and China could be averted.

Japan's Nikkei 225 index was up close to 2% in morning trade, led by the tech sector.

The US last week announced proposed tariffs against China, which sent US and Asian markets tumbling.

But China's premier Li Keqiang said on Monday that China and the US should maintain negotiations.

Mr Li's comments followed those made earlier by US Treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin, who told US media on Sunday he was "cautiously hopeful" that the US and China could come to an agreement on trade issues.

On Wall Street, the S&P 500 finished Monday's session up 2.7%, the Dow Jones gained 2.8%, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite ended up 3.3%.

By the lunch break on Tuesday, the Nikkei 225 index was up 1.7% to 21,110.68, with tech shares, which would be hurt in an ongoing trade war, keeping the index in positive territory.

Tokyo-listed stocks in the semiconductor equipment maker Tokyo Electron were up 2.4%, while shares in robot maker Yaskawa Electric Corp were up 2.25%.

Elsewhere in Asia, South Korea's benchmark Kospi index was up 0.5% to 2,449.4 points, and Australia's S&P/ASX 200 index was up 0.7% to 5,828.4.

In China, Hong Kong's Hang Seng index added 0.8% to 30,80 points, while the Shanghai Composite had gained 1% in mid-morning trade to 30,794.36.

Tariff talk
US President Donald Trump announced the tariffs against Chinese goods on Thursday, saying they were a response to allegations of intellectual property theft by China.

China then responded to news of the planned tariffs by saying it did not want a trade war, but it was "absolutely not afraid" of one.

Some analysts have said if a full blown trade war is not averted, China could make things difficult for US companies doing business in China, among other measures, while others have said China is more likely to try and avoid escalating the problem.

In response to US tariffs on steel and aluminium imports announced by Mr Trump earlier this month, China has already announced its own set of proposed tariffs worth $3bn.

The US tariffs on steel and aluminium imports came into effect last week.

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Freight train service linking N China, Mongolia launched www.xinhuanet.com

SHIJIAZHUANG, March 26 (Xinhua) -- A new freight train service between Caofeidian Port in north China's Hebei Province and Ulan Bator, capital of Mongolia, was launched Monday.

Departing from Caofeidian Port, a train loaded electrical appliances, furniture and raw materials will travel via Erenhot Port in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region and finally arrive in Ulan Bator.

"This was the first international freight train service launched in Tangshan City," said Wang Kesheng, president of Caofeidian Port Group Incorporation.

He said steel products and construction materials produced in Tangshan would be exported to Mongolia and European countries through the new route.

Caofeidian Port will also be built to access the China-Mongolia-Russia Economic Corridor, according to a strategic cooperation agreement signed by Caofeidian Port Group Incorporation and the government of Ulanqab City of Inner Mongolia.

Caofeidian is an economic development zone in Bohai Bay, about 200 kilometers east of Beijing.

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Russia tightens oil grip as top crude supplier to China www.rt.com

Russia has shipped over five million tons of crude oil or 1.32 million barrels per day (bpd) to China in one month. Statistics show it is the largest crude oil supplier to China for the past two years on an annual basis.
According to the Chinese General Administration of Customs, February’s delivery was up by 17.8 percent from a year earlier.

Saudi Arabia regained its second spot after losing out to Angola in January. Data showed that last month’s supplies came in at 4.635 million tons (1.21 million bpd), down 2.9 percent on year but up from 1.01 million bpd in January.

The third-ranking Angola delivered 973,800 bpd, up 14.7 percent versus a year earlier. Shipments from Brazil have seen the fastest growth among major suppliers. They reached 2.4 million tons or about 626,160 bpd, which is a 54 percent increase on last year.

Imports from the US were 909,117 tons (237,020 bpd) last month, down from 472,500 bpd in January.

Exports of Russian oil to China have more than doubled over the past six years, up by more than 550,000 barrels per day. They gained 21 percent for the January-February period compared with a year earlier, according to data. This was partly due to a second East Siberia-Pacific Ocean (ESPO) pipeline which started commercial operation in January.

In 2011, Russia began supplying China with crude through the Skovorodino-Mohe branch of the ESPO pipeline. That followed Rosneft, Transneft, and China National Petroleum Corporation’s (CNPC) signing agreements.

Rosneft and CNPC inked a 25-year oil deal in 2014 worth $270 billion under which the Russian company is expected to supply 360.3 million tons of crude to China. Since then Russia has overtaken Saudi Arabia to become China’s biggest crude supplier.

Last year, Rosneft agreed crude oil deliveries with China’s CEFC Energy. According to the agreement, the Russian oil major will supply CEFC with 60.8 million tons of oil annually until 2023.

Experts say Chinese imports of Russian oil are likely to stay high over the coming years due to long-term crude supply contracts and rising demand from the world’s biggest oil consumer.

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Political parties demand to nationalize OT www.ubinfo.mn

Amid fraud charges in Mozambique and Guinea, Rio Tinto is facing another turmoil in one of its major projects. After the bribery allegations of Mongolia’s ex-finance minister Bayartsogt Sangajav, who is currently under investigation of Swiss prosecutors and Independent Authority Against Corruption of Mongolia, Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party, Civil Will-Green Party, Green Party and Mongolian National Democratic Party held a press conference on the issues concerning Oyu Tolgoi investment agreement. The coalition is demanding the Government officials to terminate the investment contract and investigate the people involved. With the case being added up to Rio’s current challenges, Mongolian political parties are looking to detach Rio from its (as Rio Tinto's copper and coal group chief development officer Craig Kinnell described in 2015) biggest and best project across the group. The representatives of four political parties, including the former president Enkhbayar Nambar, claimed that Rio Tinto undervalued the resources of Oyu Tolgoi at USD 400 billion at the time of signing, which was allegedly evaluated at USD 600 billion by international organizations.

“The Government of Mongolia purchased 34 percent ownership in the mine which is located on its own territories under massive debts and now, the public is responsible for the repayment, not the officials who signed the agreement,” addressed the former president. Consequently, the Parliament Speaker Enkhbold Miyegombo issued a directive to establish a working group responsible for inspecting and reviewing the investment agreement of Oyu Tolgoi last friday. The working group will be led by Damba-Ochir Dorjdamba, Head of Parliament’s Standing Committee on Economy. Rio Tinto is facing similar charges related to other underdeveloped countries. According to Bloomberg, the company is currently facing probes from the U.K.’s Serious Fraud Office and Australian regulators into whether it paid bribes to secure an iron ore deposit in Guinea. Meanwhile, U.S. authorities have filed fraud charges against the firm and two former executives claiming they inflated the value of Mozambique coal assets acquired in 2011. In addition, the company is exiting coal industry as it entered an agreement with Whitehaven Coal Limited to sell its 75 percent stake in its Winchester South Coal development project in Queensland, Australia last week. According to Mining Global, Rio recently announced to sell its Hail Creek and Valeria coal assets to Glencore in a deal worth USD 1.7 billion.

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Revised law on labor submitted to Parliament Speaker www.montsame.mn

Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ The revised Law on Labor has been submitted to Parliament Speaker M.Enkhbold by Minister of Labor and Social Protection S.Chinzorig.

The currently effective Law of Mongolia on Labor was adopted in 1999, since when it has been amended 24 times.
It is believed that the existing law does not fully cover all aspects of labor relations in this time of market economy, although it fulfilled its duty during the transition from a society where the government was solely responsible for labor relations.

In response to the necessity to broaden the scope of the law and adjust to the current trends in labor relations and international standards, a revision has been drafted.

The revised law introduces certain changes such as expanding the range of issues that falls under the law, inclusion of fundamental rights and compulsory duties of employees, detailed provisions related to international labor standards, discrimination, child labor and compulsory labor, clearing the conditions on labor contract term and exclusion of contract end date on permanent employment; provisions on trilateral labor relations, part-time job and distance job, and more.
Kh.Aminaa

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Hong Kong and Mongolia sign agreement on mutual legal assistance in criminal matters www.info.gov.hk

The Secretary for Security, Mr John Lee, and the Consul-General of Mongolia in Hong Kong, Mr Samdan Erdene, signed a bilateral agreement on mutual legal assistance in criminal matters (MLA agreement) in the Central Government Offices today (March 26) on behalf of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) and the Government of Mongolia respectively.

"Both Hong Kong and Mongolia are committed players in international efforts to fight crimes. We have indeed worked together hand in hand over the years to bring into force the agreement on the transfer of sentenced persons in 2016," Mr Lee said at the signing ceremony.

"The signing of the MLA agreement today will further take forward our bilateral cooperation," Mr Lee added.

Under the Basic Law, the HKSAR may, with the authorisation of the Central People’s Government, make appropriate arrangements with foreign states for reciprocal juridical assistance.

The MLA agreement between the Government of the HKSAR and the Government of Mongolia contains the essential features and safeguards of international agreements of this type. Assistance covered by the agreement includes identifying and locating persons, serving documents, taking evidence, executing requests for search and seizure, providing information, and confiscating proceeds of crime.

The MLA agreement with Mongolia is the 32nd agreement of its kind between the HKSAR and other jurisdictions. The other 31 jurisdictions that already have similar agreements with the HKSAR are Australia, the United States, France, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Italy, Korea, Switzerland, Canada, the Philippines, Portugal, Ireland, the Netherlands, Ukraine, Singapore, Belgium, Denmark, Poland, Israel, Germany, Malaysia, Finland, Indonesia, Japan, Sri Lanka, South Africa, India, Spain, the Czech Republic, Sweden and Argentina.

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S. Korea, Mongolia discuss cooperation on economy, social exchange www.yonhapnews.co.kr

SEOUL, March 26 (Yonhap) -- South Korea and Mongolia on Monday discussed ways to step up cooperation on a range of sectors, including the economy, development and exchange between the peoples of the two countries, the foreign ministry here said.

The third South Korea-Mongolia joint committee meeting was held in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, on the 28th anniversary of the two countries' establishment of diplomatic relations.

South Korea's Vice Foreign Minister Cho Hyun represented South Korea, and Minister of Environment and Tourism Namsrai Tserenbat spoke for Mongolia, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

As part of efforts to enhance bilateral cooperation, Korea requested that Mongolia allow more South Korean airlines to join the Korea-Mongolia air route, which is currently limited to one Korean air carrier. Mongolia responded that a legal revision is under way to address the issue, the ministry said.

The Mongolian side called for an increase in scholarship for its students who are studying in South Korea and for the expansion of Korean visa issuance for its nationals.

The two sides also agreed to work together in fighting air pollution, with Seoul pledging to review measures to help reduce microdust in Mongolia.

Cho also paid a courtesy visit to Prime Minister Ukhnaagiin Khurelsukh and ensured that the two countries will work together to further increase exchanges between their peoples.

pbr@yna.co.kr

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