|Frontier's "Invest Mongolia Tokyo 2018"||Frontier Securities||Tokyo Japan|
|"Open to Export" ICC WTO International business award||ICC WTO||London|
The Chinese government is limiting domestic production of rare earth minerals in the second half of the year, a move likely to crimp international exports and send prices for the critical materials soaring, according to data from Adamas Intelligence.
China is by far the world's largest producer and consumer of rare earths, a group of 17 elements used to make electric vehicles and consumer electronics. The move is already forcing manufacturers to scour the globe for alternative supplies.The U.S. military is worried about China's dominance of the rare earths market, calling it a "significant and growing risk," according to a Pentagon study released earlier this month.
For the second half of 2018, China's quota for rare earth separation and smelting has been cut 36 percent, an attempt to better control the market, according to Adamas, a research firm that closely tracks the rare earths industry.
China's decision to limit domestic rare earth production to 45,000 tonnes for the second half of 2018 – the lowest in more than five years – provides only enough supply for China's domestic buyers, according to Adamas.
The semi-annual quota had risen to 70,000 tonnes in the first half of 2018, 40 percent higher than the first half of 2017. But that move was largely seen by analysts and electronics manufacturers as a step to legitimize black market production, with Chinese manufacturing consuming most of that supply.
While China is likely to attend to its own needs before exporting, increased exports would require the country to draw on already-low inventories of neodymium (Nd), prasesodymium (Pr) and dysprosium (Dy), used in electric vehicle motors, said Ryan Castilloux of Adamas.
Prices for one key rare earth mineral, PrNd Oxide, could increase by 10 percent to 50 percent within the next 12 months, and is on track to double in price within next five years as demand outpaces supply, Castilloux said.
Chinese exports typically supply around 80 percent of the globe's rare earth needs, about 156,000 tonnes annually. Still, exports tend to oscillate wildly from month to month.In September, for example, rare earth exports jumped 15 percent from August levels, despite slipping earlier in the year, according to Chinese government data.
The Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and the Ministry of Natural Resources did not respond to faxed requests for comment.
China's export reticence and market dominance has spooked manufacturers, including Japanese electronics maker Panasonic Corp, which said it is moving to find fresh supply.
"We have been diversifying our procurement channels, building partnerships with our suppliers and working to reduce the use of rare earths," Panasonic said in a statement to Reuters.
Australia's Lynas Corp is the only significant producer of rare earths outside of China through its processing plant in Malaysia. But last month a Malaysian politician said that plant should be closed, denting the company's stock and further unnerving the rare earths market.
Research into rare earth alternatives has come up largely empty, leaving manufacturers beholden to the specialized minerals just as demand for batteries for electric vehicles and other products that use the materials is soaring.
A typical Toyota Prius, for example, uses 25 kilograms (55 pounds) of rare earths, compared to 1 kilogram (2.2 lbs) in a typical combustion-engine vehicle.
(By Barbara Lewis, Ernest Scheyder, Makiko Yamazaki, Tom Daly and Beijing Newsroom; Editing by Bill Berkrot)...
‘Zerger International’ LLC of Bayan-Ulgii aimag is to export livestock by-products including head and five internal organs to the Islamic Republic of Iran from next month.
Executive director of ‘Zerger International’ LLC M.Nurbol said “Our company was established in 2008. However, due to certain reasons the company’s operation is getting stabilized just this year. During the period, we have established an agreement to supply 1000 tons of sheep meat to the ‘Donia tejerat ilya’ company of Iran and have currently exported 230 tons of it,”
“We are working to complete exporting by February, 2019. Besides Bayan-Ulgii we buy livestock from the neighboring aimags of Khovd, Uvs and Gobi-Altai at market price. We are also preparing to export semi-processed by-products starting from next month” he added.
Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ As reported by the Bank of Mongolia (BoM), the newly established precious metal assay laboratories of Darkhan-Uul and Bayankhongor aimags have received 15.5 kg and 2.9 kg gold respectively.
The establishment of precious metal assay laboratory, one stop shop in rural area is part of supporting transparent and guaranteed gold trade, BoM noted. The central bank is focused on increase of domestic currency, therefore it is planned to increase gold purchase and receive 22 tons of gold this year.
The first local laboratories and shops were established jointly by Precious Metal Assay Inspection department, BoM and the Sustainable Artisanal Mining Project of Swiss Development Agency.
During the World Investment Forum, President Battulga Khaltmaa addressed Mongolia’s efforts in improving investment climate and developing win-win investment agreements. President remarked, “We are in the middle of formulating an integrated investment policy in strict conformity with Sustainable Development Goals. The new policy will help enhance the structure of the relevant authorities and their coordination, and increase the effectiveness of investment.” He highlighted that Mongolia has learnt lessons from this bitter experience and given it special attention at all levels of government by taking step-by-step targeted measures at both national and international levels. “To illustrate, Mongolia established an Investor Protection Council and a Public-Private Consultative Committee mandated to improve the legal environment for investment, promptly resolve complaints and grievances related to bureaucracy and illegal actions and take precautions against any risks,” noted President Battulga and added, “We also focused on developing a win-win investment agreement that ensures our country’s interests on an equal footing by formulating a benchmark bilateral investment agreement in accordance with the recommendations made by UNCTAD.”
Mongolia ranked 53rd out of 126 economies in the 2018 Global Innovation Index
Mentioning that the summit should come up with ways to increase the effectiveness and quality of investment and to modify investment protection mechanisms, President pointed out that Mongolia has set to develop renewable energy and tourism along with agriculture. On this regard, President stressed “Mongolia has proposed “Northeast Asian Energy Super Grid” initiative designed to supply electricity to Northeast Asian countries using Mongolia’s potential to produce renewables such as solar and wind energy. We invite you to work together with us in these sectors and make investments that will introduce new eco-friendly technologies.”
President clarifies patent acquisition of low-emission stoves
On the sidelines, President Battulga met with Francis Gurry, Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and Umberto de Pretto Secretary-General of the International Road Transport Union (IRU). Highlighting the distribution of low-emission stoves in Mongolia in recent years and the current discussion on distributing smoke-filtering stovepipes, President expressed his wish to know whether if patent rights had been already granted to similar products during his meeting with WIPO and inquired information related to Mongolia. Mr. Francis Gurry informed that Mongolia was ranked 53rd in the 2018 Global Innovation Index. As for meeting with the IRU, the President disclosed the nearing completion of construction works to connect Mongolia’s capital city Ulaanbaatar with capitals of all 21 provinces which has yielded a number of positive outcomes, including shortened transport duration and promotion of tourism sector. He then discussed opportunities for cooperation, including a plan to construct a highway connecting Altanbulag, Selenge Aimag, with Zamiin-Uud, Dornogobi Aimag, while mentioning that the project is open to investment from third countries....
Meeting with Umberto De Pretto, Secretary-General of International Road Transport Union www.president.mn
President of Mongolia Khaltmaagiin Battulga visited the headquarters of the International Road Transport Union (IRU) in Geneva, Switzerland, and met its Secretary-General Umberto de Pretto on October 23rd.
At the beginning of the meeting, the sides exchanged views on the implementation of the TIR Convention and trends in the development of global transport sector.
President Battulga underlined that the shortest channel between Europe and the Northeast Asian market is via Mongolia. President Battulga spoke about the nearing completion of construction works to connect Mongolia’s capital city Ulaanbaatar with capitals of all 21 provinces which has yielded a number of positive outcomes, including shortened transport duration and promotion of tourism sector. President Battulga discussed opportunities for cooperation, including a plan to construct a highway connecting Altanbulag, Selenge Aimag, with Zamiin-Uud, Dornogobi Aimag, while mentioning that the project is open to investment from third countries.
For his part, Secretary-General Umberto de Pretto expressed willingness to consider President Battulga’s proposal for inclusion of Mongolians in the training courses and workshops organized by the Union. The Secretary-General emphasized that transport involves plenty of preparation works, including workshops for drivers, managers, and public servants.
The sides discussed regional road transport issues and the Convention on International Transport of Goods Under Cover of TIR Carnets (TIR Convention) during the meeting. At the end of the meeting, President Battulga signed an honorary board commemorating the 70th anniversary of the IRU and wished success to the Secretary-General and the IRU staff members.
Meeting with Francis Gurry, Director General of World Intellectual Property Organization www.president.mn
President of Mongolia Khaltmaagiin Battulga met Francis Gurry, Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), on October 23rd in Geneva, Switzerland.
President Battulga expressed satisfaction with the outcome of Mongolia’s cooperation with the WIPO and discussed introduction of new technologies in SMEs, support to initiatives and innovations of young minds, and access to information on patent acquisition for innovations. The President spoke about the distribution of low-emission stoves in Mongolia in recent years and the current discussion on distributing smoke-filtering chimneys, while expressing his wish to know whether if patent rights had been already granted to similar products.
For his part, Director General Francis Gurry expressed pleasure with cooperating with Mongolia in all areas and decided to organize workshops on how to access the WIPO database and how to put intellectual property to economic use in Mongolia. The Director General also appreciated the productive cooperation between the WIPO and the Intellectual Property Office of Mongolia as a result of which intellectual property registration was automated.
Following the meeting, President Battulga familiarized with the functions of the WIPO, inquiring about information related to Mongolia. Mongolia was ranked 53rd in the 2018 Global Innovation Index.
When US president Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un held a summit in June, Singapore was chosen as the venue over other ideas that were floated, including Mongolia. Now the landlocked central Asian country could have another shot.
As anticipation for a second Trump-Kim summit later this year mounts, Mongolian president Khaltmaagiin Battulga this week seized the opportunity of the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two nations to invite Kim to visit the country. In an interview with Russian media outlet Sputnik, Mongolia’s foreign minister also said that his country was ready to host Trump and Kim if they decide to go ahead with a second summit.
It appears that Mongolia has been working behind the scenes to smooth tensions on the Korean peninsula. Japanese news agency Kyodo reported today (Oct. 19) that a top Japanese intelligence official close to prime minister Shinzo Abe held meetings with senior North Korean officials in Mongolian capital Ulaanbaatar earlier this month. According to an unnamed official to Kyodo, the two sides discussed the issue of Pyongyang’s abductions of Japanese citizens in the 1970s and 1980s. The issue is a major sticking point for the Abe government, and its insistence on resolving the issue has at times left it sidelined (paywall) in the recent rounds of North Korean diplomacy.
The meeting between Japan and North Korea in Mongolia took place shortly after Abe met with Mongolia’s leader in September in Russia, where the two sides agreed to work together to resolve the abductions issue, according to a report of the meeting by Japan’s foreign ministry. Mongolia has hosted talks on other occasions between Japan and North Korea.
Mongolia is one of the few nations in the world that has maintained consistently friendly relations with Pyongyang, and was the second country to recognize North Korea after the Soviet Union. Kim Il Sung, Kim Jong Un’s grandfather, visited Mongolia twice (the country was ruled by a communist regime at the time). More recently, Mongolia’s former president Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj visited Pyongyang in 2013, with the goal of positioning Mongolia (paywall) as a mediator between North Korea and the rest of the world, while presenting itself as a model of economic development for Mongolia to learn from. Elbegdorj also touted the country’s neutrality earlier this year as a reason for why a Trump-Kim summit should be held in Mongolia:
Korean Peninsula: A long waited breakthrough! Here is an offer: US President Trump and NK leader Kim meet in UB. Mongolia is the most suitable, neutral territory. We facilitated important meetings, including between Japan and NK. Mongolia’s continuing legacy – UB dialogue on NEA
– ????????? ????????? (@elbegdorj) March 9, 2018
Mongolia’s foreign minister, meanwhile visited North Korea in February.
“Mongolia’s unique relationship with and access to the DPRK’s leadership has primarily proven to be a most valuable asset in boosting Mongolia’s profile in the region and the world at large,” wrote Tjalling Halbertsma, a scholar and former diplomat in Mongolia, in a study on Mongolia-North Korea relations published in 2014.
As nation of just 3 million people sandwiched between major superpowers in a neighborhood fraught with geopolitical difficulties, Mongolia has long sought to cultivate ties with countries beyond its borders as a way to counterbalance Russia and China’s influence, also known as the “third neighbor” policy. And while it’s maintained friendly relations with North Korea, Ulaanbaatar has complied with United Nations sanctions, kicking out over a thousand North Korean workers late last year (a recent visit by this reporter to the site of a former North Korea restaurant in the Mongolian capital found that the restaurant had changed its name and no longer housed any visible evidence of being a North Korean establishment).
Mongolia’s diplomatic strategy mirrors to some extent Singapore’s playbook, which has allowed the city-state to play host to various major international events over the years, including a historic meeting between the leaders of Taiwan and China in 2015. It could be Mongolia’s chance to bask in the spotlight next.
This article was originally published in Quartz....
Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ The National Agency of Meteorology and Environment Monitoring (NAMEM) has issued warning for herders, citizens and farmers.
Blizzard is expected in Bulgan aimag, in southern parts of Selenge aimag, in northern parts of Uvurkhangai aimag and in western parts of Central aimags on October 24.
Snow and blizzard are expected in eastern half of the country on October 25, in some areas of central, gobi and eastern aimags from October 26 to 28.
Wind will get stronger in eastern half of the country on October 25, in gobi and prairie areas on October 26-28, reaching 18-20 m/s. Dust storm will occur as well.
The temperature drop is expected in most of the country starting from October 25.
In the depression of Darkhad, in mountainous areas of Altai, Khgai, Khuvsgul and Khentei, in Khurenbelchir, in the head of Zavkhan river, in the basins of Ider, Tes, Tuul, Terelj, Kherlen, Onon, Ulz and Khalkh rivers, the nighttime temperature will be -15 to -20 degrees Celsius, the daytime temperature will be -2 to – 7 degrees Celsius.
The nighttime temperature will be 0 to -5 degrees Celsius and the daytime temperature will be +4 to +9 degrees Celsius in southern parts of gobi region.
In other regions, the nighttime temperature will be -8 to -13 degrees Celsius and the daytime temperature will be +3 to -2 degrees Celsius.
Chinese President Xi Jinping has officially opened the world's longest sea crossing bridge, nine years after construction first began.
Including its access roads, the bridge spans 55km (34 miles) and connects Hong Kong to Macau and the mainland Chinese city of Zhuhai.
The bridge cost about $20bn (£15.3bn) and should have opened in 2016.
Construction has been dogged by safety issues - at least 18 workers have died on the project, officials say.
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Mr Xi attended the opening ceremony of the bridge, which took place in Zhuhai, along with the leaders of Hong Kong and Macau.
Limited bus services begin on Wednesday.
What's so special about this bridge?
Designed to withstand earthquakes and typhoons, it was built using 400,000 tonnes of steel, enough to build 60 Eiffel Towers.
About 30km of its total length crosses the sea of the Pearl River delta. To allow ships through, a 6.7km section in the middle dips into an undersea tunnel that runs between two artificial islands.
One of two artificial islands that have been built as part of the multi-billion-dollar project
The remaining sections are link roads, viaducts and land tunnels connecting Zhuhai and Hong Kong to the main bridge.
Why has it been built?
It is part of China's plan to create a Greater Bay Area, including Hong Kong, Macau and nine other cities in southern China.
In the past, travelling between Zhuhai and Hong Kong would take up to four hours - the new bridge cuts this down to 30 minutes.
Can anyone drive across the bridge?
No. Those who want to cross the bridge must obtain special permits, allocated by a quota system. And all vehicles will pay a toll.
The bridge is not served by public transport, so private shuttle buses will ply the route. There is no rail link.
Authorities initially estimated that 9,200 vehicles would cross the bridge every day. They later lowered their estimations after new transport networks were built in the region.
What are people saying about it?
There's been a great deal of criticism of the project.
It has been dubbed the "bridge of death" by some local media. At least nine workers on the Hong Kong side have died and officials told BBC News Chinese that nine had died on the mainland side, too.
Hundreds of workers have also been injured during the construction.
It's fitted with 'yawn cams'?
Special cameras will be on the look-out for drivers on the bridge who show signs of getting sleepy, among other checks - yawn three times and the authorities will be alerted, local media report.
To help counter potential terror attacks, there will also be "48 high-definition surveillance cameras" mounted at intervals along the bridge as well as anti-terror police patrols, the South China Morning Post reports.
And drivers will have to change which side of the road they are on at the crossing. People drive on the left in Hong Kong and Macau but the bridge is Chinese territory and special merger channels have been built to cope with this.
At least 18 people have died working on the bridge
There have also been concerns about the environmental impact.
Environmental groups say the project may have caused serious harm to marine life in the area, including the critically rare Chinese white dolphin.
The number of dolphins seen in Hong Kong waters has decreased from 148 to 47 in the past 10 years and they are now absent from the waters near the bridge, according to the Hong Kong branch of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).
"The project has made irreversible damage to the sea," said Samantha Lee, Assistant Director of Ocean Conservation at the WWF. "I am worried that the number will never rise again."
Is it going to recoup its costs?
The bridge, surrounding link roads and artificial islands cost a staggering $20bn to build - the main bridge alone cost $6.92bn.
Chinese officials say it will generate up to 10 trillion yuan ($1.44tn; £1tn) for the economy, but one Hong Kong lawmaker cast doubt on that figure.
"I am not so sure either how the bridge can sustain itself if not many cars are using it," Tanya Chan told BBC News Chinese.
"I am pretty sure that we would never earn that [construction cost] back."
According to an estimate by BBC Chinese, the bridge will only earn around $86m in tolls per year.
In fact, the bridge's maintenance costs would already take away a third of this income.
Critics have called the bridge a "big white elephant" that guarantees no economic return. Others have said its main purpose is symbolic, ensuring Hong Kong is physically connected to the mainland.
Additional reporting by Lam Cho Wai, BBC Chinese....
Mongolian National Audit Office (MNAO) presented the results of inspection on the air pollution reduction activities of Clean Air Fund (CAF) conducted in 2008-2016 by foreign and domestic investments yesterday and concluded that the fund spent the financing on ineffective measures. The inspection focused on three main factors, namely coordination of government bodies, efficient planning and effectiveness. MNAO spokesperson highlighted that the fund failed to properly manage the measures due to incoordination of legal measures ratified since 1995. With an aim to tackle air pollution, the President and Prime Minister respectively established a national committee twice under the Ministry of Environment and Tourism, and created an agency to organize, implement and monitor actions against air pollution three times. The agency’s structure was changed each time. Accordingly, the line of duties overlapped, ultimately making it impossible to consolidate and monitor the results of implemented measures, reported MNAO. This also means that it is now impossible to track down authorities, public servants and government bodies responsible for the inappropriate use of the financing for air pollution reduction. The MNAO even mentioned that the financial information was based on the Ministry of Finance data. Between 2008 and 2016, a total of MNT 164.1 billion was allocated from local budgets and USD 153.3 million from foreign loans and aids on air pollution reduction measures. Furthermore, electricity tariff discount to 2.5 million consumers of Ulaanbaatar city ger districts will add another MNT 14 billion to this amount. However, the Ministry of Finance responded that it is not possible to share the use of foreign non-refundable aids by each year.
Thus, the MNAO reviewed only the overviews and estimates in inspecting air pollution reduction measures. According to MNAO, 26 percent of total costs were spent on establishing a facility for briquette fuels and its expansion, 22 percent on improved stoves and purchasing vehicles for ash transporting, 10.9 percent on improved fuel, workers’ incentives and warehouse rent. MNAO report also showed that there are not a single successfully completed work. “The key action, which was to distribute improved stoves at a discounted price, they have become same as traditional stoves due to misuse and inadequacy. 70,580 tons of fuel worth agreements were signed with 14 improved fuel manufacturing entities, of which only 22.4 percent were supplied. The MNAO informed that officials at the time signed the deals without studying their capacity. “Although insulations were distributed at a discounted price to ger district households, aging of insulation materials were not determined and grants to target households were not registered or monitored. Electricity cost of ger district households were also discounted by certain percent, no studies were conducted on its impact on air pollution,” addressed a spokesperson of the MNAO. Additionally, the audit office considered that the actions on reducing greenhouse gas emission remains inadequate. The Government allocated MNT 9.8 billion for the action; however, the CAF did not conduct preparatory works, failed to complete tasks, allocated financing without considering the performance and lacked monitoring on project implementation, concluded the MNAO and assessed air pollution reduction actions as unsatisfactory....