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

Events

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

NEWS

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Tomsk regions boost oats exports to Mongolia www.rusexporter.com

Tomsk, Siberia, producers of oats boosted their exports to Mongolia 20 times in January and February 2018 from the first two months of 2017, the Russian Agriculture Supervision Directorate for Tomsk Region said.

The regional directorate cleared 4,500 tons of feed grade oats for export to Mongolian animal husbandries last January and February. Tomsk exported oats and other animal feeds to five countries in the first two months, with Mongolia at the top of the list, where the Siberians shipped 1,184 tons of bran and 67.6 tons of feed grade oats; 19.6 tons of wheat to Denmark — for the first time ever, and 135.4 tons of flour to Uzbekistan.

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Mongolia can make MNT 2.2-4.3 trillion by implementing 'Cashmere' program www.montsame.mn

Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ Mongolia will implement 'Cashmere' program for 4 years with two stages.

As a result, more than 5500 jobs in the textile industry will be sustained and more than 3,600 new jobs will be created. Also, production and export of final products are projected to grow by 5.7 times.

As of last year, Mongolia has produced 5413 tons of scoured cashmere, 509 tons of dehaired cashmere and 915 thousands of knitwear. 90 percent of them were primary processed and 10 percent were final products such as textiles and knitters.

By implementing the "Cashmere" program, it estimated to be possible to export 19.8 million textile and textile products worth MNT 2.2-4.3 trillion.
G.Tuguldur

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Biocombinat expansion project expected to commence this June www.montsame.mn

Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ Mongolia and Hungary have agreed to make active efforts to launch the Biocombinat expansion project in June this year.

The matter was discussed on March 12 during a meeting between B.Batzorig, Minister of Food, Agriculture and Light Industry and Mihaly Galosfai, Ambassador of Hungary to Mongolia.

The Ambassador relayed the intentions of Foreign Minister and Agriculture Minister of Hungary to visit Mongolia for the project’s ground-breaking ceremony.

During the meeting, the sides discussed ways to intensify the project to expand the Biocombinat state-owned enterprise. The project contractor will be selected from a set of companies nominated by the Hungarian Government.

At present, the project evaluation committee has been established, and it is ready to approve the finalized tender documents and announce the tender. Therefore, Minister B.Batzorig noted the importance of timely nomination of companies by the Hungarian Government.

The Minister also expressed the possibility of support to the establishment a loan agreement between the Ministry of Finance and the Hungarian Export-Import Bank.
Kh.Aminaa

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Nariin Sukhait railway- on track for 2018 completion www.news.mn

The Mongolian government is planning to conclude some major infrastructure construction projects during 2018. Among them are the 45.3 km railway from the Nariin Sukhait mine to the Shivee Khuren border crossing and airport extension projects in Khovd, Dornod and South Gobi (Umnugobi). The current status of work has been discussed by parliament.

Railway construction between the Nariin Sukhait mine to Shivee Khuren was approved by parliament in 2017.

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Russia and China to work on joint uranium mining project www.mining.com

Rosatom announced on Monday that the Russia-China Investment Fund for Regional Development will kickstart the financing for a uranium mining project in Russia’s Zabaikalsky Territory.

Zabaikalsky is located in the southeastern region of Transbaikalia and has a 998-kilometre border with China and a 868-kilometre border with Mongolia.

According to state-owned website Sputnik, the agreement was signed on March 12, 2018, and following the signing ceremony, Russian Presidential Adviser Sergei Glazyev said the deal will strengthen commercial ties between Moscow and Beijing. “Both sides consider the project as the first step in widening cooperation. I think that the project is a breakthrough for creating mechanisms for joint investments in general,” Glazyev told the media outlet.

The new project is expected to cost about $330 million. The fund’s first contribution is estimated at $43.9 million.

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Mongolia Strengthens Cooperation With Russia in Fields From Nuclear Research to Transit Rail www.jamestown.org

When Khaltmaa Battulga assumed the presidency of Mongolia in July 2017, most foreign and domestic observers believed he would pursue a much more pro-Russian policy than his globalist-minded predecessor, Tsakhia Elbegdorj. Battulga’s anti-Chinese rhetoric buttressed this prediction during the political campaign, followed by his first trips abroad to meet Putin at the Hungarian 2017 World Judo Championships (Kremlin.ru, August 28, 2017) and in Vladivostok, Russia, later in September. Among his “Mongolia First” principles was the promise of stronger ties with Moscow to alleviate Mongolia’s overwhelming economic dependency on China (UB Post, September 12, 2017). In the last few months, further concrete steps toward a closer Russo-Mongolian relationship have become evident.

During the 21st Meeting of the Mongolia-Russia Intergovernmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific and Technical Cooperation, held in Moscow, on February 26–28, Mongolia and Russia agreed to expand cooperation in trade, economy, education, health, social protection and sports. One of the major agreements that emerged was a Memorandum of Understanding to establish a Nuclear Science and Technology Center (CNST) in Mongolia. Mongolia’s Nuclear Energy Commission Secretary Gun-Aajav Manlaijav and Rosatom’s (Russia’s State Atomic Energy Corporation) Deputy Director General for International Relations Nikolay Spassky signed the document (Xinhua Net, March 1). The center’s primary focus will be civil nuclear energy use, with Russian specialists assisting their Mongolian partners to establish the CNST facilities, as the two sides design a preliminary roadmap for the CNST project via specialized expert groups (Rosatom, February 28). Mongolian physicists for the past 50 years have been trained at Russia’s Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (JINR). The Nuclear Energy Agency of Mongolia, along with the Center of Nuclear Research at the Mongolian State University and the Institute of Physics and Technology at the Academy of Sciences are traditional JINR partners in Mongolia (Jinr.ru, March 7).

During the same timeframe, an interbank lending agreement between the Development Bank of Mongolia (DBM) and the International Investment Bank (IIB), headquartered in Moscow, was also concluded. The deal raised the IIB’s lending limit for the DBM to 50 million euros ($62 million) for a period of up to seven years to implement socially and economically significant projects in Mongolia. Since 2012, the total volume of IIB investments in the Mongolian economy has amounted to over $650 million. Starting from November 2016, the DBM has executed 24 trade finance deals to supply 8.6 million euros’ ($10.6 million) worth of products from the Czech Republic, Japan, Oman, Switzerland, Russia, Belgium, Spain and Germany to Mongolia. The IIB’s loan portfolio in Mongolia includes syndicated loans with the International Finance Corporation and the Dutch Development Institution FMO (Iib.int, February 28).

On the eve of the intergovernmental commission meeting, Russia and Mongolia agreed to a plan to create three trans-boundary protected areas in the Trans-Baikal region, Buryatia and the Altai Republic. This plan is a positive step toward deescalating a variety of trans-water disputes in the Baikal region, which led to Russia labeling Mongolia an “eco-threat” (Siberiantimes.com, May 13, 2016). According to Sergey Donskoy, the Russian minister of natural resources and ecology, the first cross-border reserve of Istoki Amura would connect more than 318,000 hectares of the Zabaykalsky Krai’s security zone, the Sokhondinskii reserve, with the Mongolian National Onon-Balwinski Park. The second cross-border territory would be in Buryatia, located within the Russian Tunkinsky National Park and the Mongolian Khubsugul Park. The third border area would stretch from the Saylyugemskiy Park in the Altai Republic to the Selham reserve in Mongolia. The establishment of joint protected areas will enable the two countries to conduct long-term ecological monitoring of certain species of migrating animals across the borders and to protect flora and fauna (RIA Novosti, February 28).

Just a week earlier, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev authorized his minister of transport to sign a railway transit transportation agreement with Mongolia to promote flexible tariff policy over the next 25 years with the purpose of enhancing cooperation on freight transportation trade. The objectives of this new agreement include easing border checkpoint procedures on transit freight, increasing freight volumes, stimulating infrastructure development of railway transport and assisting Mongolian exporters to overcome maritime transport obstacles (Ubinfo, February 28). One of the clauses covers modernization the infrastructure of the Ulaanbaatar Railway (UBR), a Russian-Mongolian governmental 50/50 joint venture, which is Mongolia’s sole north-south railroad connecting Siberian Russia to North China. Freight turnover in 2017 for the UBR was 23 million tons, a 16 percent increase from 2016 (UB Post, February 5). The Russians reported that the draft agreement on renovating the UBR was prepared by the Mongolian side and presented to them at the end of 2017. Early in February, Oleg Belozyorov, the president of Russian Railways (RZD), met in Ulaanbaatar with President Battulga and his cabinet to discuss the draft document on reforming the UBR as part of Mongolia’s goal to become a cost-effective economic transit corridor, especially for its two border neighbors, Russia and China. During the meeting with Belozyorov, Battulga said that railways development was of great significance for Mongolia’s economic growth and proposed to advance the talks on renovating the Ulaanbaatar Railway JSC (Montsame.mn, February 5).

The railroad transportation agreement was the culmination of September 2017 discussions between Battulga and Putin at the third annual Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok. Although the economic corridor was the policy of President Elbegdorj (see EDM, January 24, 2014), Battulga enthusiastically embraced it and promised to export coal from Mongolia’s largest coal deposit of Tavan Tolgoi to third markets over Russian Railways. In Vladivostok, the Mongolian president also put forward a proposal to establish a free trade agreement with countries of the Eurasian Economic Union to maximize trade turnover with Russia and abolish tariffs and non-tariff obstacles (Mongol Messenger, September 8, 2017). In May 2017, the UBR restarted its transport of Russian oil from Rosneft and Transoil from Russia to Chinese customers. The two oil companies had suspended the transportation since 2005. The revival is connected to China’s One Belt One Road initiative, which promises to include Mongolia in its economic network linking Asia and Europe, as well as developing Mongolian transit infrastructure to Russian Siberia with Chinese loans (Ubinfo, February 28).

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China to become co-owner of Russia's biggest oil company www.rt.com

Chinese state-controlled Huarong Asset Management has bought a 36.2 percent stake in the unit of CEFC China Energy through which CEFC is acquiring a $9.1 billion stake in Russian oil giant Rosneft.

According to CEFC filings seen by Reuters, Huarong has bought the stake in CEFC in two tranches, one in December and one in February. Huarong is controlled by China’s Ministry of Finance.

In September, CEFC Energy announced plans to acquire 14.16 percent of Rosneft shares from Glencore and the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA).

“The final structure of Rosneft's shareholders has been formed,” Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin told Rossiya 24 television.

As part of a long-term agreement, Rosneft and CEFC Energy inked a deal on crude oil deliveries in 2017. According to the agreement, the Russian oil major will supply CEFC with 60.8 million tons of oil annually until 2023.

The agreement covers the development of exploration and production projects in Siberia. The two companies plan to cooperate in refining, petrochemicals and crude trading.

According to the Russian producer, the deal will increase direct supplies of crude oil to the “strategic Chinese market and ensure a guaranteed cost-efficient export channel for the company's crude sales.”

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Ministry of Agriculture's Cashmere Program launches www.gogo.mn

For the launch of the Cashmere Program, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Light Industry (MoFALI) B. Batzorig visited several cashmere factories in Ulaanbaatar.

The program will be implemented in two phases over four years and plans to create over 9,000 jobs in the textile industry and related parts of the industry, and to increase the production of finished products and exports by 5.7 times.

In 2017, Mongolia produced 5,413 tons of washed cashmere, 509 tons of combed cashmere, and 915,000 units of knit and woven clothes. The Cashmere Program has set a target to export 19.8 million pieces of clothing and make sales of 2.2 to 4.3 trillion MNT over the course of its implementation. Minister B. Batzorig stated, “The Cashmere Program will aim to establish a Cashmere Development Fund with a reserve of 500 trillion MNT. This will allow us to revive cashmere processing plants and increase income for herders.”

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PDAC attendance best since 2013 www.mining.com

The Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada said 2018's convention attendance hit 25,606, the best turn out since 2013.

Attendance was still marginally better than last year, just up six percent from 24,161.

The PDAC Convention in Toronto, arguably the world's largest annual mining convention, is a bellwether of the industry's health. Participants from 125 countries attend.

Organizers said the improved numbers is proof that "mining industry has regained its swagger and is building momentum." With the prices for zinc, copper and battery-related metals all up from last year, miners are enjoying a better top line. This time last year spot copper was US$2.60/lb. Today it is at US$3.10. Zinc is also up 25% to US$1.50/lb and cobalt is up over 50% to US$37.50/lb from a year ago. Money is also flowing into the junior sector.

According to PWC, the aggregate market capitalization of the top 100 junior miners hit CA$12.2 billion at the end of June, 2017—up 7% from 12 months earlier.

Note that PDAC enthusiasm is tightly linked to the direction of metal prices. Here's a chart so year-on-year change in spot gold prices versus change in PDAC attendance. Note that gold was at US$1,240/oz a year ago. It is now at around US$1,330/oz.

“This year’s convention was full of energy and excitement for the year ahead,” says PDAC President Glenn Mullan, referring to sold out exhibitor space, panel discussions, courses, workshops, and networking events such as the prestigious Awards Gala. “After experiencing several years of economic challenges, today the mineral exploration and mining industry is experiencing a renaissance and renewed sense of confidence.”

Despite the confidence, worries persist. Active money managers continue to dwindle as money moves to index funds and other passive instruments, said panelists at PDAC's Capital Markets

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Door opens to lifetime rule as China scraps presidential term limit www.asia.nikkei.com

BEIJING -- China on Sunday abolished term limits on the presidency, opening a path for President Xi Jinping to rule the country as he pleases for decades to come, absent some unforeseen blow to his substantial political support.

The National People's Congress voted to remove a clause in the constitution limiting the president and vice president to two consecutive five-year terms. A total of 2,958 delegates voted for scrapping the clause. Only two delegates voted no, three abstained and one ballot was spoiled. The amendment vote required a two-thirds majority to pass.

The last major change to China's constitution -- which dates to 1982 -- enshrined the political ideology of former President Jiang Zemin. It drew 10 opposing votes and 17 abstentions.

The vote on Sunday was carried out by secret ballot, Shen Chunyao, a legislative spokesman, told reporters. The Communist Party, however, controls the legislature and the leadership's proposals are never rejected.

Vice President Li Yuanchao is not expected to stay on in his role. On Sunday, attention was focused on Wang Qishan, a Xi confidant who, according to some media reports, will be named vice president next week as part of the new leadership lineup for Xi's second term.

During Wang's five years as head of the party's anti-graft body, 254,419 officials were investigated for possible wrongdoing, according to government data. Probes involving officials of at least vice ministerial rank grew fourfold over the period, highlighting Xi's public commitment to weed out malpractice at all levels.

Xi's other posts, including secretary-general of the Communist Party and head of China's armed forces, carry no explicit term limits. The president's political ideology has also been written into the constitution with his name attached, making him China's third leader after Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping to receive that honor. Given Xi's knack for consolidating and maintaining power, the leader has an excellent chance of holding on to control of the party, state and military beyond 2023, when his second presidential term would otherwise expire.

Chinese state media have played down the abolition of term limits. Amending the constitution "is a major decision made by the CPC Central Committee from the overall and strategic height of upholding and developing socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era," Xinhua quoted Xi as saying Wednesday. In a news conference after the amendment was approved, a government spokesperson said that concerns about a power struggle like that seen during China's Cultural Revolution were "invalid," in response to questioning by a foreign reporter.

But the official line aside, the removal of term limits is highly significant, dismantling one of the most effective checks on power in a country where citizens do not have the right to vote. Deng, a reformer, introduced the limits to curb abuses of power like those seen under Mao, who led the party as chairman until his death at 76.

Given the ease with which Xi has removed this check, some say absolute rule as party leader, a la Mao, may not be far off in China. If the next Communist Party congress in 2022 effectively abolishes the customary retirement age of 68 for senior officials, Xi could rule the party and state into the mid-2030s, when he would be well into his 80s.

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