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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Extension work of Biocombinat to commence in June www.montsame.mn

Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ Minister of Food, Agriculture and Light Industry B.Batzorig met Ambassador of Hungary to Mongolia Mihaly Galosfai on January 11.

At the beginning of the meeting, the parties appreciated intensive activity of a project team, established on November, 2017 responsible for formulating technical documentation of the project on extension of Biocombinat state owned enterprise. Extension work of Biocombinat will be implemented with interest free soft loan of USD 25 million from the Hungarian Government.

They talked over toconclude negotiaton on documentation of the project and technical design in February, to launch bid process in Hungary and to commence the extension work by June, establishing the loan agreement.

Biocombinat state owned enterprise was constructed and put into operation with non-refundable aid from Government of Hungary in 1973. The renovation will allow Mongolia to produce most of animal vaccines at home.

At the end of the meeting, Minister B.Batzorig asked the sides to closely and actively collaborate in commencing the work and expressed his confidence that the work would be implemented successfully.

B.Batchimeg

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Petro Matad completes 3D survey in Mongolia's Tugrug basin www.worldoil.com

LONDON -- Further to the Company’s announcement on Oct. 4, 2017, Petro Matad, the AIM quoted Mongolian oil explorer has provided an update on its 3D seismic acquisition program.

The planned 3D survey, which focused on defining and de-risking near term drilling targets within the Tugrug basin has been completed. All the Company’s technical objectives were met during the 3D acquisition and preliminary processing (in field) has confirmed excellent data quality. The full 3D dataset has now been transmitted to the processing contractor, Western Geco and full Pre-Stack Time Migration (PSTM) and Pre-Stack Depth Migration (PSDM) processing is underway. Expected turnaround time will be mid first-quarter 2018 for final PSTM data and end first-quarter 2018 for full PSDM data.

The Tugrug basin has a proven working petroleum system which was confirmed with a stratigraphic core hole drilled by the Company in 2011 near the basin margin. The core hole contained live, un-biodegraded oil in good quality sandstone reservoir. The newly acquired 3D data will enable the Company to optimize the drilling location in the Falcon prospect, a target for the 2018 drilling program.

The Company had initially planned to proceed with a small 2D seismic acquisition program in the Tugrug basin following the completion of the 3D survey. However, as this 2D program was designed to identify additional prospects and leads for potential drilling beyond 2018, and therefore does not impact the choice of locations for the 2018 drilling program, the Company has decided to not acquire the Tugrug basin 2D seismic at this time. A factor in this decision is that the Mongolian winter has been harsh and there are only a few grazing lands still accessible to livestock, one of which is in the area where the Tugrug basin 2D survey was planned. Herders and their livestock have therefore entered the area in large numbers. The Company therefore felt it prudent to postpone the 2017/18 Block V 2D seismic program.

The seismic crew has mobilized to Block IV and has commenced the planned 204-km 2D seismic acquisition program over the Khangai basin in the northern part of Block IV, which is anticipated to complete by early February 2018. This survey aims to better define, for potential drilling in future, certain attractive leads identified on regional 2D seismic, gravity and magnetic surveys acquired in 2015.

Further details on the Company's work programme plans in 2018 and 2019 will be announced in due course.

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China, Mongolia aim to take ties to new level www.globaltimes.cn

China is now Mongolia's largest trading partner and its second-largest source of foreign investment. The two countries recorded bilateral trade of $4.96 billion in 2016, and although the full-year figures for 2017 have yet to be revealed, trade had already jumped by 44.2 percent year-on-year to $3.1 billion in the first half of last year.

During last year's Belt and Road (B&R) Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing, the leaders of the two countries reached a consensus to effectively dovetail the B&R initiative with Mongolia's Prairie Road development initiative. The two sides also signed an array of agreements on economic and trade cooperation.

The second China-Mongolia Expo was also held in September, with a total of 37 projects signed between the two countries. The projects, covering energy, agriculture, big data and cloud computing, involved investment totalling 36.4 billion yuan ($5.58 billion). In addition, Mongolian coal exports to China, mainly through the Ganqimaodu Port in North China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, saw a substantial increase in 2017.

In a nutshell, the two countries have made great progress in bilateral economic and trade cooperation over the past year, laying the foundations for closer economic ties in 2018.

The two nations have set a target of increasing bilateral trade to $10 billion by 2020, which will require efforts from both governments to boost trade and economic cooperation. Since the Mongolian People's Party swept back to power in 2016, Mongolia has moved to cut budget deficits, boost foreign investment and push for mega mining projects in the hope of overcoming its recent economic crisis. To ensure that such measures can come to fruition, Mongolia should seek closer trade and economic cooperation with China.

Official state visits to China by Mongolian President Khaltmaagiin Battulga and Prime Minister Ukhnaagiin Khurelsukh are expected to take place this year, according to media reports. These will be their first China visits since taking office, and if the visits go as planned, a firmer political foundation will be built for bilateral trade and economic cooperation, and plans for further cooperation down the road will be made much clearer.

It is expected that trade and economic cooperation between the two nations will revolve around four main aspects in 2018.

First, the priority areas for bilateral cooperation will likely make headway. The initiatives designed to enhance connectivity between the two nations - notably some mega projects, and the launch of a joint feasibility study for a Sino-Mongolian free trade zone - will be of importance for deepening bilateral trade and economic cooperation and will play a big part in creating synergy between the two countries' development strategies. Discussions about how progress can be made in these areas are expected to be a priority for high-level talks and meetings between the two countries this year.

Second, China will continue to lend money and provide financial aid for Mongolia. Financial help from China can already be seen playing an active role in easing Mongolia's economic crisis. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi held talks with his Mongolian counterpart Damdin Tsogtbaatar in Beijing in December, stating that China will continue its support for Mongolia with ramped-up implementation of financial aid for the country and a preferential export buyer's credit project. The continuation of China's financial assistance for Mongolia in 2018 will certainly be a focal area for cooperation between the two governments.

Third, there will be strengthened efforts to build the China-Mongolia cross-border economic cooperation zone. There are signs that Mongolia's newly elected government has attached importance to building the zone. The Mongolian side's proactive moves, it is believed, will foster greater bilateral cooperation on this project.

Last but not least, trade disputes between the two countries, primarily concerning Mongolia's exports of coal and meat to China, will call for enhanced communication between the two nations so as to pave the way for wider trade and economic cooperation in 2018.

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Mongolia opens criminal case on clean air funds www.news.mn

It is well known that Ulaanbaatar's winter air quality ranks among the world's worst. Nearly half of Mongolia's population now lives in Ulaanbaatar and the public health crisis has reached critical proportions. Acrid coal smoke from 200 thousand ‘ger’ stoves and nitrogen dioxide from 400 thousand cars in Ulaanbaatar are blamed for air-pollution. In recent years, Mongolia has spent a total of MNT 119 billion and 779 million from State Budget and MNT 87 billion 185 million from international investments; MNT 147 billion in 2012-2016. The Clear Air Funds have been responsible for coordinating much off the money. However. serious transparency issues have emerged and the Clear Air Funds have been closed down and the Mongolian Police has been investigating the spending of the Clear Air Funds and opened case for discovering where MNT 3.4 billion went?

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Mongolia exports 33.320.3 thousand tons of coal in 2017 www.montsame.mn

Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ A monthly press conference ‘Transparent and responsible mining’ was organized by Ministry of Mining and Heavy Industry on January 11.

In 2017, Mongolia processed about 1.2 million copper concrete, 20 thousand tons of gold and 7.2 million iron ore. As of preliminary report of December 2017, total production of industrial sector reached MNT 11.8 trillion and it showed increase of 33.7 percent or MNT 3 trillion compared to the same time of last year. 47.567.3 thousand tons of coal was extracted and 40.728.63 thousand tons of coal sold, of which 33.320.3 thousand tons exported. It means coal extraction was increased by 135.53 percent, sale by 120.39 percent and export by 129.1 percent compared to the same time of last year.

Minister D.Sumiyabazar emphasized "Within the framework of ‘Gold 2’ campaign, we planned to extract 18 tons of gold in 2017 and we have overfulfilled the basic task of the program, extracting 20.01 tons of gold."

B.Batchimeg

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Volvo to develop autonomous buses in Singapore www.nhk.or.jp

Swedish auto firm Volvo will develop autonomous electric buses in Singapore in partnership with local entities, including a national university.

A signing ceremony for the collaboration took place in the Asian country on Thursday.

Volvo plans to develop the bodies of 12-meter-long, 40-seater self-driving buses in Sweden and elsewhere. Then it will test the vehicles at Singaporean facilities, such as the university's circuit, starting next year.

Singapore's government seeks to introduce autonomous buses for public transportation in 2022. Volvo says it is studying the option of participating in a bid to be held by the government.

Other automakers and IT firms are already test-running automated buses in the United States and European countries.

Volvo Buses President Hakan Agnevall said his company now has the potential to test various solutions under realistic conditions in a major city.

He added the technology developed in Singapore can contribute to future autonomous applications by Volvo Buses.

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Rio Tinto pulls offer for stake in world’s largest lithium miner www.mining.com

Global miner Rio Tinto (ASX, LON:RIO) is said to have ditched plans to own a stake in Chile’s Chemical and Mining Society (SQM), the world's largest lithium producer, due to a mix of tricky politics and the fact that such miner is currently the target of several claims.

Chilean authorities accuse SQM of underpaying royalties, environmental violations and illicit political financing, which have made the sale process complex, raising at the same time the specter of delays or a steep price discount, local paper Diario Financiero reports (in Spanish).

Decision to withdraw offer for Nutrien’s 32% stake in SQM, worth about $5 billion at current market prices, doesn’t mean Rio Tinto has abandoned plans to capitalize on the electric-car boom.
The company has denied those allegations, adding it is sure a high-stakes arbitration with the government over royalties in Chile's Atacama salt flat will be resolved in its favour.

Rio’s decision withdraw an offer for Nutrien’s 32% stake in the Santiago-based lithium miner, worth about $5 billion at current market prices, doesn’t mean the company has abandoned plans to capitalize on the electric-car boom, the article says.

Nutrien, formed through Canada’s Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan (TSX, NYSE:POT) recent friendly merger with Agrium, must sell its stake in SQM to meet a condition imposed by Indian regulators when approving that link-up.

They have given the fertilizer company until April 2019 to divest its stake in the Chilean miner.

SQM, which has a market value at just over $15 billion, produced roughly 44,000 tonnes of lithium carbonate last year and is developing new projects both in its home-country and Australia.

Laws enacted in the 1970s and 1980s classify lithium as a “strategic” commodity for Chile on the grounds it can be used in nuclear-fusion power plants. While the South American nation is very unlikely to build one of those facilities any time soon, controls on lithium production remain and only two firms — SQM and US chemical company Albenarle Corporation (NYSE:ALB) — are currently allowed to mine the white metal used in electric car batteries.

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Apple's iCloud move to China raises concerns www.nhk.or.jp

US IT giant Apple announced on Tuesday it is going to move the base of its data-storage services used by Chinese customers to China.

The operation of the "iCloud" services will be transferred to a local partner in Guizhou Province starting February 28th. Apple says the move is to comply with Chinese laws.
Beijing restricts data transfers outside of the country.

iCloud users are worried their photos, documents and other data could be handed over to authorities.

Other US and European IT companies are considering moving their data centers to China. Yet they are also worried that the tightening of the country's Internet regulations may end up hurting their business.

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Cabinet meeting in brief www.montsame.mn

Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ The Cabinet made following decisions at its regular meeting on January 10.
The Cabinet adopted a National Program on Livestock and Animal Health. The program deals with comprehensive actions to prevent from, restrict the spread of and disinfect livestock and animal contagious diseases; maintenance of contagious disease-free status; supply of safe food to the population and quality raw material to processing plants; and export of animal-origin raw materials and products.
The Cabinet decided to submit to the Parliament a draft bill on Mongolia-Germany Agreement on Financial Cooperation - Energy Efficiency Programme and Additional Loan and Second Project Agreement.
The Cabinet resolved to submit to the Parliament a draft resolution on the Number, Composition and Geographical Location of Foreign Immigrants for the period 2018-2020. According to the draft resolution, the number of foreign immigrants should not exceed 100 per year.
The Cabinet discussed a draft bill on ratification of Mongolia-Russia-China Agreement on International Road Transport along the Asian Highway Network and decided to submit it to the Parliament.
The Cabinet discussed the possibility of opening a Consulate in Manzhouli, China and agreed to consult with corresponding Parliamentary Standing Committees. By double count, 174 thousand Mongolians traveled to the city in 2016, and 170 thousand in 2017.
The Cabinet decided to submit to the Parliament a draft bill on State Aviation Law.
The Cabinet discussed granting of awards and titles to agricultural workers on the occasion of Lunar New Year. According to submissions sent from provinces, 128 herders have fulfilled the criteria for ‘State Best Herder’ title, ’11 herders ‘Twice winner of State Best Herder’ title, 13 herders ‘State Best Dairymaid’, 5 farmers ‘State Best Farmer’, 10 entities ‘State Leading Agrarian Organization’ and 27 individuals ‘State Best Agrarian’.
Kh.Aminaa

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Some state-owned enterprises to be shut down www.montsame.mn

Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ The Cabinet resolved to shut down and reorganize some state-owned enterprises in order to improve their management and reduce unnecessary budget expenditure on January 10.

State-owned enterprises ‘Industrial Complex’, ‘Mongolian Farming Corporation’, ‘Mongolian Meat Corporation’, ‘Mongolian Stamp’ and ‘Road Equipment Rent’ will be shut down, on grounds of inactivity since their establishment and shortage of financial sources.

The decision was prompted by the common practice among Ministries and government agencies in receiving financial and other forms of assistance from state-owned enterprises for various purposes. Specifically, state-owned enterprises have been spending about MNT 500 million per annum on the expenses of Ministries and government agencies in recent years.

Furthermore, corresponding officials were assigned to ensure public participation, sell a portion of shares and privatize some enterprises through auctions.
Kh.Aminaa

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