|Frontier's "Invest Mongolia Tokyo 2018"||Frontier Securities||Tokyo Japan|
|"Open to Export" ICC WTO International business award||ICC WTO||London|
Amid surging demand and limited local production in Iran for halal meat and as Mongolia pushes to make more money from the huge herds of livestock that roam its vast grasslands, the latter country is tapping overseas appetite for halal mutton from the former.
Mongolia has an estimated 30 million sheep-more than New Zealand-but has until recently only managed to export a thin slice of its overall meat output. It hopes that will change, Reuters reported.
Largely because of that kind of new demand, Mongolia’s sheep and goat meat shipments hit 2,601 tons in 2017, 11 times more than 2016.
And while that was worth only around $8 million, industry officials say those volumes are likely to be just the start, with exports in the first half of 2018 quadrupling year-on-year to 775.6 tons.
"The halal meat market is growing worldwide, promising new opportunities for Mongolia," said Ochirbat Begz, executive director of Mongolia Meat Association.
Under pressure from the International Monetary Fund to diversify away from mining, Mongolia aims to turn its huge pastoral economy into a major earner, hoping its free-range organic meat will find a home on plates overseas.
Darkhan Meat Foods, along with rival meat producers Max Impex MMX.MNE and Max Market is rushing to supply mutton to Iran.
It employs around 200 workers at the site, all involved in halal mutton output and expects to double its exports in 2018 from 1,320 tons last year.
“Before contracting with an Iranian company, we only exported beef and horse meat to other countries,” said Otgon-Erdene Bavuudorj, the firm’s general manager.
During a visit to the plant by Reuters, around a thousand 18-month old sheep were slaughtered and then deboned, chopped and packed under the supervision of experts from Dana Negah Parsian, an Iranian importing company, as well as the Iran Veterinary Organization.
The mutton is then frozen and transported by truck through Russia and Kazakhstan, reaching Iran in about two weeks.
But Mongolia’s nascent halal meat industry faces a number of hurdles on the path to growth.
Erfan Esfahani, business manager with the Iranian importer, said the country still needed to improve technology at its slaughterhouses and to train more staff.
In order for meat to be deemed halal, the butcher who slaughters animals must be Muslim. Mongolia is predominantly Buddhist, but 100,000 mostly-Muslim Kazakhs account for around 3% of its population.
The nation has also struggled with foot-and-mouth disease, with an outbreak this March forcing the government to declare martial law in 12 provinces and distribute 500,000 vaccines.
Mongolia has drawn up new animal health legislation to fight such diseases, with the Iranian importers saying they were doing all they could to guarantee meat they buy is safe.
“I check sheep before slaughtering and have not seen any major problems with animal diseases, said Hamid Reza Kavosh, the head of the veterinary office in Iran’s Khuzestan Province, while at the Darkhan plant.
Another problem is the seasonal nature of meat production in Mongolia.
“Putting livestock to pasture is good in the sense that they are free to choose the best grazing area and drink clean water from nature,” said Ochirbat at the country’s meat industry body.
“But importing countries demand regular supplies, which is impossible to meet with pasture, so export-oriented farms need to be developed,” he added.
The reintroduction of trade sanctions on Iran by the United States could also cloud the horizon. Washington has warned there will be consequences for countries that do not respect the sanctions.
But Ochirbat played down such worries, saying it was still early days for halal exports to Iran.
“It’s a little business-to-business trade and not a big international cooperation or something, so it should be okay,” he said....
Russia and China, along with Mongolia, are planning to hold large-scale military exercises, including simulating a nuclear attack, reports Voice of America, citing high-ranking US officials.
To participate in the exercises “Vostok-18”, China will send to Russia more than 3,200 troops and 900 units of military equipment, as well as 30 aircraft, reported the Chinese Defense Department.
Mongolia will take part in these exercises for the first time. Mongolia has recently sought relations with the United States, even though it is geographically located between Russia and China.
A Pentagon official told The Washington Free Beacon that US Intelligence services will closely monitor the exercises due to the expected simulation of the use of nuclear weapons.
“For almost 20 years, at the exercise Vostok, Russia has been developing its new doctrine of “escalation for the sake of de-escalation” using a new low-powered nuclear weapon, which the artillery can be used primarily,” said Richard Fisher, Director of the International Assessment and Strategy Center.
Russia’s new doctrine of rapidly escalating future conflicts with the use of nuclear weapons after the beginning of military conflicts worries the Pentagon.
Korean Air held a donation ceremony yesterday at the National Centre for Lifelong Education in Baganuur, Mongolia, after providing computers and school supplies to improve the local students’ access to Information Communication Technologies (ICT). According to the airline, the donation is part of Korean Air’s bid to bridge the digital divide that local students face in Baganuur, Mongolia, where “Korean Air Forest” is located. In 2013, Korean Air started supporting local educational institutions in Baganuur, by donating computers to selected public schools each year. The Baganuur National Centre for Lifelong Education was founded in 1997 to provide local residents with computer education. The ages of students range from 12 to 60. Korean Air donated 20 computers to the centre, and 10 to 10 public kindergartens in Baganuur, providing educational opportunities to Mongolians and improving their access to rapidly advancing technologies. Korean Air’s relationship with the region goes back to 2004, when the airline began planting trees. A section of the barren Mongolian desert has now turned into a 44ha (440,000m2) forest with around 120,000 trees. The Korean Air forest symbolizes the friendly relations between South Korea and Mongolia. Korean Air employees actively participate in volunteer work for the local community. Employees at Korean Air Ulaanbaatar office visit an orphanage in Baganuur every year to deliver donations, and Inha University Hospital of Hanjin Group has been participating in medical volunteer work for the underprivileged in Mongolia. As a leading global carrier, Korean Air will continuously support global volunteer activities in order to perform its corporate social responsibility as part of company’s initiatives to give back to society. Read more at http://www.etbtravelnews.global...
ULAN BATOR, Aug. 25 (Xinhua) -- Mongolian Prime Minister Ukhnaa Khurelsukh met visiting Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi at Ikh Tenger Complex in Ulan Bator on Saturday.
Khurelsukh asked Wang to convey his best regards to Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.
He said that Mongolia and China are long-standing neighbors and comprehensive strategic partners, and the current smooth development of bilateral relations has become a model for friendly neighbors.
"Mongolia firmly adheres to the one-China policy and maintains that Tibet and Taiwan are inalienable parts of the Chinese territory, and issues concerning Tibet and Taiwan are China's internal affairs," the Mongolian prime minister said.
He noted that there are no political, economic, territorial, religious and other questions between Mongolia and China, and the cooperation between the two countries has great potential and broad prospects.
He said that Mongolia is committed to the integration of its Prairie Road development initiative and the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative, adding that the country hopes to deepen cooperation with China in the fields of agriculture, animal husbandry, energy and infrastructure construction, and elevate bilateral ties to a higher level.
The Mongolian side sincerely thanks China for its support and assistance to Mongolia's development and improving people's livelihood over the past years.
He said that Mongolia highly appreciates China's support for the construction of a waste water processing plant in Ulan Bator, which will make an important contribution to improving the city's ecological environment and the people's quality of life.
Next year will mark the 70th anniversary of establishing diplomatic ties, Khurelsukh said, expressing the hope that the two sides will take this opportunity to accelerate the development of bilateral relations, iron out a new blueprint for the two countries' future cooperation, and work together to push bilateral relations to a new level.
Wang conveyed the cordial greetings from Premier Li to Khurelsukh.
He said that China and Mongolia are friendly neighbors connected by mountains and rivers, and that strengthening the all-round cooperation and deepening the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries are the only right choice for the two sides.
The Chinese side reaffirms its respect for the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Mongolia, and appreciates the Mongolian government's reiteration of its firm adherence to the one-China policy and its confirmation of always supporting each other concerning the other side's core interests.
Wang said that China-Mongolia political mutual trust has grown stronger, expressing the hope that relationship between the two countries will develop rapidly and healthily.
He said that the Chinese side appreciates Mongolia's active response and support for the Belt and Road Initiative, adding that China is ready to work with Mongolia to work out a cooperation outline on the basis of the memorandum of understanding on cooperation between the two countries, and promote the early arrival of more projects.
The Chinese foreign minister also said that China is ready to help Mongolia translate its resources into development advantages, improve its self-development capabilities, achieve economic diversification and improve the people's livelihood in building the Belt and Road together.
He said that the two sides should work closely together to accelerate the process of signing the bilateral free trade agreement and achieve a 10-billion-U.S.-dollar target for bilateral trade as early as possible.
He noted that China is willing to cooperate with the Mongolian side to seize the important opportunity of the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries next year, to maintain close contacts at all levels and promote continuous progress in China-Mongolia comprehensive strategic partnership for the benefit of the two peoples.
On the same day, Wang and Khurelsukh attended the launching ceremony of construction of a waste water processing plant in Ulan Bator. He and his Mongolian counterpart Damdin Tsogtbaatar inspected a special lane at the Chinggis Khaan International Airport in Ulan Bator which was built in the framework of a project to enhance customs clearance facilitation under the Belt and Road Initiative....
Official data from the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) shows the country’s gold reserves have not increased since 2016, when Donald Trump was elected US president. They stayed unchanged at 59.24 million ounces (1,843 tons).
As of the end of June, the PBOC valued its precious metal reserves at $74.1 billion.
Analysts, however, have raised doubts that Beijing has really stopped accumulating gold. They claim a potential trade war with the US and this year’s slump in gold prices are reasons for China to buy.
“The strategic imperative is probably still there to add some gold to reserves quietly bit by bit,” Philip Klapwijk, managing director of Precious Metals Insights, told Bloomberg. The expert, who has tracked precious metals for nearly 30 years, said, “The reason to own gold as a portfolio diversification is even better given the rather strained relations with the US.”
As one of the top gold holders, China has been aggressively accumulating gold reserves to cut its dependence on the US dollar, according to Singapore’s BullionStar precious metals expert Ronan Manly. In an interview with RT, he said that the combined China-Russia gold reserves could shake US dominance in the global economy.
China has gone long periods without revealing increases in its gold holdings. In 2015, for the first time in six years, the PBOC announced a 57-percent jump in reserves to 53.3 million ounces. The announcement coincided with the adoption of stricter IMF rules for foreign reserves and debt data as the government pushed for the yuan to be included in the Special Drawing Rights basket. The IMF added the Chinese currency in October 2016, the last month that the PBOC announced an increase.
Canada's Centerra Gold (TSX:CG) has once again agreed to extend the deadline for completion of all conditions included in a deal it signed in September with the Kyrgyz government, ending long-dragged environmental disputes over the firm’s Kumtor gold mine, the country’s largest.
While the Toronto-based miner did not provide much detail about the reasons for the deadline extension, the fifth one this year, it said the date had been moved from August 24 to Nov. 2
Fifth deadline extension seeks reaching final agreement that would end long-running dispute over Kumtor gold mine.
The announcement comes two months after MINING.com reported the country’s new Prime Minister, Muhammadkaliy Abylgaziev, was reviewing the agreement signed by his predecessor, adding his administration planned to submit to parliament its own proposals regarding the document. The authority, however, didn’t elaborate on when or how radical those suggested changes might be.
The news also follows recent charges of corruption against former Prime Minister Sapar Isakov, who signed the strategic agreement with Centerra last year — a development local media said it could jeopardize the legitimacy of the pact.
When and if finally signed, the wide-ranging arrangement would end a long-drawn-out dispute that crippled investor confidence in the impoverished Central Asian country and prevented Centerra from partaking in any profit from its majority-held and majority-operated Kumtor mine, resulting in the Canadian company filing for international arbitration.
The settlement would also end mutual lawsuits and force the Kyrgyz government to drop all environmental claims against Centerra and its subsidiary. In return, the miner would increase its annual environmental contributions.
Kumtor, which lies near the Chinese border at an altitude of 4,000 metres, has produced around 11m ounces since inception and remaining reserves are pegged at 5.6m ounces.
The Kyrgyz government owns just under a third of Kumtor and the mine contributes nearly 10% of the country's GDP.
Foreign Minister of the People's Republic of China (PRC) Wang Yi is visiting Mongolia until August 25 at the invitation of his Mongolian counterpart Tsogtbaatar Damdin. According to authorities, sides discussed regional and international cooperation, as well as activating Comprehensive Strategic Partnership in selected sectors. Last June, President of Mongolia Battulga Khaltmaa expressed his interest in fastening the projects connected to the economic corridor and his Chinese counterpart announced his alignment with the initiation during a trilateral meeting with the Russian Federation. Also, Mongolia and China have signed 36 agreements worth USD 4.6 billion, including 300MW coal-fired power plant in Buuruljuut and 100MW power project in Zavkhan aimag, during the bilateral business meeting which took place earlier this year. During the three-day visit, Chinese Foreign Minister will visit the Chinggis Khaan airport for the special passage established in the check-in section opened under the Travel Facilitation project of Belt and Road initiation, and attend the opening ceremony of Ulaanbaatar Wastewater Treatment Plant project, which is financed by the PRC under the feasibility study of France.
• Chinese FM to visit Ulaanbaatar Wastewater Treatment Plant.
• Mongolia and China are making effort to increase mutual travelers to 3 million.
• Mr. Wang Yi invites his Mongolian counterpart to visit China next year.
Minister of Construction and Urban Development highlighted that the plant will commission in 2020. Additionally, the Government approved the list of projects to be implemented with the China’s USD 1 billion loan this year. This includes 10 projects, such as the expansion of Erdenet thermal power plant, underpass, meat processing plant and quarantine facility. The loan has a maturity of 20 years, 7-year moratorium and two percent interest. On the first day of his visit yesterday, Mr. Wang Yi met with his counterpart and signed a document on increasing bilateral trade to USD 15 billion. Foreign Minister of Mongolia Tsogtbaatar Damdin informed, “We have agreed to intensify bilateral economic cooperation and discussed the necessity of high-level meetings. Next year marks the 70th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. The sides reaffirmed the President Battulga Khaltmaa’s invitation to China next year.” Mr. Wang Yi addressed, “We are focusing on developing bilateral relations in four major areas. Both our countries are making an effort to increase the number of mutual travelers to 3 million. We are pleased to hear that Mongolian President will pay a visit to China next year.” Furthermore, Mr. Tsogtbaatar expressed Mongolia’s interest in developing non-mining sectors, in which the Chinese delegate responded to conduct studies on the matter.
ULAN BATOR, Aug. 22 (Xinhua) -- The government of Mongolia has decided to prohibit government employees from drinking alcohol during work hours, and impose a ban on keeping alcoholic beverages at governmental organizations at all levels, the government's press office announced on Thursday.
The government made the decision during a regular meeting on Wednesday in a bid to improve discipline and efficiency among public officials, the statement said.
The decision came after the State Special Security Department of Mongolia had found over 100 alcoholic drinks during its recent unannounced inspections in 18 government buildings.
Anyone found violating the ban will be fired.
Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ State Councilor and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China Wang Yi is paying an official visit to Mongolia on August 23-25, at the invitation of his Mongolian counterpart D.Tsogtbaatar.
The formal measures of the visit commenced with official talks of the Foreign Ministers. Afterwards, Foreign Minister of Mongolia D. Tsogtbaatar and Foreign Minister of China Wang Yi signed the Memorandum of Understanding between the governments of Mongolia and the People’s Republic of China on marking the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations of the two countries and ‘2019-2020 Cooperation Plan’ between the Foreign Ministries. Following the signing ceremony, the Ministers made a report to the press.
At the press conference, Minister D.Tsogtbaatar said, “Our official talks wrapped up successfully. We have exchanged views on strengthening bilateral comprehensive strategic partnership relations, deepening mutual understanding and political trust, intensifying trade and economic cooperation and launching big projects. Moreover, the sides agreed to make effort to increase bilateral trade turnover in order to eliminate a dependency of Mongolia’s economy from loans and assistance and to secure balanced sustainable development. 2019 marks the 70th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations. The People’s Republic of China is a country that recognized sovereignty of Mongolia and Mongolia backed China on strengthening its position at the United Nations.”
“During the talks held today, we agreed that China would augment its investment to sectors except mining when increasing its investment to Mongolia. An action of establishing Free Trade Agreement is starting. We also agreed to launch cooperation in ZamynUud-Erenhot zones. The sides review that the visit is effective to activate and continue friendly ties between Mongolia and China,” underlined D. Tsogtbaatar.
Foreign Minister of the People’s Republic of China Wang Yi said, “I have exchanged views with Mongolian side on four matters. Firstly, mutual political trust and support will be enhanced. The comprehensive strategic partnership between the two sides will be enriched with new content. Secondly, bilateral relations will be intensively developed through the opportunities of comprehensive strategic partnership. Thirdly, development of the two countries will be strengthened in accordance with the Road and Belt. Fourthly, bilateral ties will be elevated into a new level on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.”
“Moreover, we reached a number of important agreements: to respect national interests of each other, to protect political foundations of both sides, to carry out Belt and Road in line with the Development Road Program of Mongolia and make a plan of action, to deepen mutually beneficial cooperation. Additionally, the sides signed an intergovernmental Memorandum on celebrating the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. Both sides will work on bringing bilateral trade turnover to USD 10 billion by 2020. In addition, China is willing to accept Mongolia’s proposal to increase the export of agricultural and mining products,” said Wang Yi.
The same day, Foreign Minister Wang Yi paid courtesy calls on the President of Mongolia Kh.Battulga and Speaker of the Parliament M.Enkhbold.
Furthermore, the Minister will attend the launching of construction of a new Wastewater Treatment Plant in Ulaanbaatar on August 25 and will visit rural areas to get acquainted with issues on regional and border cooperation.
The National Statistical Office reported that the overall rate of inflation stood at 7.7 percent nationwide and at 8.8 percent in Ulaanbaatar as of the end of July, nearing a target rate of 8 percent specified in the central bank's Monetary Policy Guidelines for 2018.
Governor of the Bank of Mongolia N.Bayartsaikhan explained that the growth in inflation was mainly driven by supply-side factors. He added that the inflation rate is forecasted to stabilize close to the target rate in the mid-term, even if there has been a temporary increase in the general inflation rate. According to Bank of Mongolia analysts, price hikes for fuel, meat, and vegetables accounted for roughly 50 percent of inflation in Ulaanbaatar as of July.