1 MONGOLIA-CHINA AGREE TO COLLABORATE IN INCREASING MEAT EXPORT WWW.MONTSAME.MN PUBLISHED:2018/09/21      2 U.S. AND MONGOLIA SEEK TO STRENGTHEN ECONOMIC RELATIONSHIP WWW.STRTRADE.COM PUBLISHED:2018/09/21      3 MONGOLIA, U.S. LEADERS DISCUSS BILATERAL TIES WWW.XINHUANET.COM PUBLISHED:2018/09/21      4 BELT AND ROAD SIGNIFICANT TO MONGOLIA, PEOPLE AROUND WORLD -- ACADEMIC WWW.ENG.YIDAIYILU.GOV.CN PUBLISHED:2018/09/21      5 PETRO MATAD UPDATES MONGOLIA EXPLORATION WWW.OGJ.COM PUBLISHED:2018/09/21      6 RIO TINTO’S EXIT FROM COAL PAYS OFF, TO RETURN $3.2B FROM SALES PROCEEDS TO SHAREHOLDERS WWW.MINING.COM PUBLISHED:2018/09/21      7 OPENING CEREMONY OF SAINSHAND SALKHIN PARK HELD WWW.MONTSAME.MN PUBLISHED:2018/09/21      8 ALIBABA’S MA SAYS TRUMP’S TRADE WAR ‘DESTROYED’ HIS PROMISE TO CREATE JOBS FOR 1MN AMERICANS WWW.RT.COM  PUBLISHED:2018/09/21      9 LEGAL DISPUTE OVER EMC OWNERSHIP COMES TO AN END WWW.ZGM.MN PUBLISHED:2018/09/20      10 ERDENES TAVAN TOLGOI REVENUE SURGES DUE TO HIGHER COAL PRICES WWW.NEWS.MN PUBLISHED:2018/09/20      НУРАХ ДӨХСӨН БАЙРУУДЫГ ШИНЭЧЛЭХ КОМПАНИ ОЛДОХГҮЙ БАЙНА WWW.ZGM.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/09/21     МОНГОЛ УЛС ВАШИНГТОН, ПЁНЬЯНЫ ХЭЛЭЛЦЭЭРТ ЗУУЧЛАХАД БЭЛЭН ГЭДГЭЭ ЗАРЛАЛАА WWW.EAGLE.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/09/21     УЛСЫН ХЭМЖЭЭНД 85.3 МЯНГАН ТОНН ТӨМС ХУРААН АВААД БАЙНА WWW.MONTSAME.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/09/21     ЗГ: БУЦАЛТГҮЙ ТУСЛАМЖИЙГ УСНЫ НӨӨЦИЙГ САЙЖРУУЛАХ, ХЭРЭГЛЭСЭН УСЫГ БУЦААН АШИГЛАХАД ЗАРЦУУЛНА WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/09/21     ҮСХ: УЛААНБААТАРТ АЖИЛЛАГЧДЫН САРЫН ДУНДАЖ ЦАЛИН УЛСЫН ДУНДЖААС 121.7 МЯНГАН ТӨГРӨГӨӨР ИХ БАЙНА WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/09/21     МОНГОЛ УЛСЫН ИХ ХУРАЛ, ЕВРОПЫН ПАРЛАМЕНТ ХООРОНДЫН XII УУЛЗАЛТААР ХАМТАРСАН МЭДЭГДЭЛ ГАРГАЛАА WWW.DNN.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/09/21     ТӨРИЙН АЛБАНЫ УДИРДАХ АЖИЛТНЫ УЛСЫН ЗӨВЛӨГӨӨН БОЛЖ БАЙНА WWW.UNUUDUR.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/09/21     2019 ОНЫГ МОНГОЛ, АМЕРИКИЙН ЗАЛУУЧУУДЫН ЖИЛ БОЛГОНО WWW.EAGLE.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/09/21     УУРХАЙЧДЫН АЖЛЫН БАЙР НЭМЭГДЭЖ, ЦАЛИН ӨСЧ БАЙНА WWW.GOGO.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/09/20     “ЭРДЭНЭТ”-ИЙН 49 ХУВИЙН ӨМЧЛӨЛ ТОЙРСОН ХУУЛЬ ЗҮЙН МАРГААН ЭЦЭС БОЛЛОО WWW.ZGM.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/09/20    

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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Sudbury Coleman Mine in shutdown for 30 days www.mining.com

Brazil’s Vale (NYSE:VALE) announced today that the temporary closure of its Coleman Mine in Sudbury, Ontario, which was caused by critical repair work taking place at the shaft's ventilation compartment, will take longer than expected.

Last week, Vale suspended operations at the nickel mine over safety concerns and today the company said the repair work won't be done until mid to late-December.

In a statement sent to the CBC, Amanda Brosseau, a spokesperson with the world’s No.1 iron ore producer, said that workers will be temporarily laid off for the period of the repair. “We know this is disruptive to our people at Coleman and their families. However, safety is at the core of this decision,” she is quoted as saying.

Under the terms of the collective agreement, employees do not get paid when work is not available. Therefore, this latest development has forced unions to step in and support workers in need.

According to Sudbury.com, 480 members of the United Steelworkers Union Local 6500 suddenly found themselves without a job and many of them are struggling to make ends meet. Some have access to employment insurance but some don’t.

“Since the shaft has been neglected for this long, they should not be paying the price,” the president of the union complained to the local publication. He also said that his organization is filing a grievance on behalf of the membership because they expected at least a 45-day notice.

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Entrée Resources Announces Third Quarter 2017 Financial Results www.wtol.com

VANCOUVER, Nov. 14, 2017 /PRNewswire/ - Entrée Resources Ltd. (TSX:ETG; NYSE American:EGI – the "Company" or "Entrée") is pleased to report its financial results for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2017. Details of the Company's third quarter 2017 financial results are contained in the unaudited consolidated financial statements and management's discussion and analysis, which are available on the Company's website at www.EntreeResourcesLtd.com, on SEDAR at www.sedar.com and on EDGAR at www.sec.gov. All figures are in US dollars unless otherwise noted.

THIRD QUARTER 2017 HIGHLIGHTS

Entrée/Oyu Tolgoi JV Property

Entrée has engaged its consultants, Amec Foster Wheeler Americas Limited ("Amec Foster Wheeler") to commence work on an updated National Instrument 43-101 Technical Report (the "Technical Report") on Entrée's 20% participating interest in the Entrée/Oyu Tolgoi joint venture ("Entrée/Oyu Tolgoi JV") in Mongolia. Completion of the Technical Report will be a significant milestone for the Company as it will enable management to discuss preliminary economics for potential future phases of the Oyu Tolgoi mine, where a significant amount of the Entrée/Oyu Tolgoi JV's mineralization occurs, thereby helping investors to understand the underlying value of Entrée's flagship asset. The updated Technical Report will include:
an updated reserve case for the first lift ("Lift 1") of the Hugo North Extension block cave on the Entrée/Oyu Tolgoi JV property. The reserve will be based on information contained within the 2016 Oyu Tolgoi Feasibility Study finalized in May 2016 by Entrée's joint venture partner Oyu Tolgoi LLC ("OTLLC"). First development production from Lift 1 on the Entrée/Oyu Tolgoi JV property is expected in approximately 2021; and
a Preliminary Economic Assessment of Entrée's interest in both Lift 2 of the Hugo North Extension copper-gold deposit ("Lift 2") and the Heruga copper-gold-molybdenum deposit ("Heruga").
Entrée management visited the Oyu Tolgoi mine in early September and had an opportunity to tour some of the main surface infrastructure, including the concentrator and tailings facilities and to also go underground to observe some of the development work completed to date. This visit included a review of plans with OTLLC for the immediate and medium-term future. Entrée is pleased to report that project development, including both direct production and supporting infrastructure, appears to be on track and is being completed to the highest safety and operating standards.
The development of Shaft 4, which is the first physical development work on the Entrée/Oyu Tolgoi JV property, is expected to commence in 2018. Shaft 4 will provide the necessary ventilation required to support mining of the northern part of the Hugo North deposit (including Hugo North Extension on the Entrée/Oyu Tolgoi JV property), which is reported to contain some of the highest-grade copper-gold mineralization in the entire Oyu Tolgoi project. Completion of Shaft 4 is expected in 2021.
As reported by Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd. ("Turquoise Hill") on November 2, 2017, production from the Lift 1 underground mine, which starts on OTLLC's Oyu Tolgoi mining license, remains on track for first draw bell in mid-2020 and sustainable first production in 2021. Activities reported in Q3 2017 include:
Underground lateral development made good progress with approximately 1.4 equivalent kilometres completed. Since the re-start of development in 2016, a total of 5.4 equivalent kilometres of lateral development has been completed.
The third development crew was deployed. Crews four and five were in training during the quarter and are expected to be deployed during Q4 2017. Also during Q3 2017, commissioning of the new 3,500 tonne per day development crusher was completed. With the deployment of crews four and five, a step up in lateral development rates is expected to begin in Q4 2017.
At the end of Q3 2017, Shaft 2 sinking was at 1,249 metres and work had commenced on the service-level excavation that has a floor at 1,256 metres. Shaft 2 sinking is expected to be complete in 2017 at a final depth of 1,284 metres with fit out occurring over 2018. Shaft 2 is key to future increases in lateral development activity.
Shaft 5 sinking progressed approximately 214 metres during Q3 2017. During September, the underground team achieved the best sinking rate for Shaft 5 since project re-start averaging 2.6 metres per day. Sinking of Shaft 5 began slower than expected due to an extended construction re-start period and lower productivity with completion now likely in early 2018. When completed, Shaft 5 will be dedicated to ventilation thereby increasing the capacity for underground activities; however, with good early progress and continued on-plan lateral development, the completion of Shaft 5 sinking in early 2018 is not expected to materially impact the lateral development plan.
Development of the convey-to-surface decline continued to progress with month-on-month improvement resulting from the use of project-wide process optimization techniques. The convey-to-surface system is the eventual route of the full 95,000 tonne per day underground ore delivery system to the concentrator; however, it is not a critical path item for first draw bell planned in mid-2020. Expected completion of the convey-to-surface system is 2022, which will facilitate the ramp up to full production by 2027.
Corporate

Q3 2017 net loss from continuing operations, was $0.3 million as compared to Q3 2016 ($1.0 million), a reduction of 70% from the comparative period of 2016.
As at September 30, 2017, cash on hand was $7.7 million with a working capital balance of $7.8 million.

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Mongolia and Paraguay held first political consultations in Asunción www.akipress.com

AKIPRESS.COM - Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Mongolia B.Battsetseg met Ambassador of Paraguay Federico González and Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Paraguay.

They exchanged views on strengthening the friendly relations between the two countries; expanding bilateral cooperation in fields of economy, particularly, agriculture, and actively collaborating through the shared interests as landlocked developing countries.

Furthermore, the first political consultative meeting between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Mongolia and Paraguay was successfully held on November 9 in Asunción, GogoMongolia reported. 

The consultations were led by the two Deputy Foreign Ministers. During the meeting, the two sides evaluated current state of the bilateral relations and discussed the prospects of further cooperation, and exchanged views on cooperation within the framework of the United Nations and other international and regional organizations.

As Paraguay has vast experiences in the agricultural sector, Mongolian side expressed willingness to cooperate and learn from Paraguayan best practices in beef export such as the public-private partnerships, which significantly increased the beef export, and one–spot policy to support exporting enterprises. Paraguayan side supported the request and expressed readiness for the collaboration.

Moreover, the two sides highlighted the continuous mutual support and cooperation within the framework of the United Nations and other international organizations, and noted the willingness to actively collaborate in the scope of regional and multilateral cooperation such as the Forum for East Asia-Latin America Cooperation (FEALAC). Paraguay is one of the 10 founding member countries of the International Think Tank for Landlocked Developing Countries, based in Ulaanbaatar.

In this regard, the two parties emphasized the importance of active collaboration within the margins of the Think Tank. In addition, the two sides agreed to work towards establishing an agreement on mutual visa exemption for diplomatic and official passport holders of both countries. Mongolia has such consultative mechanism in place with the foreign ministries of Mexico, Cuba, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia and Paraguay among the Latin American countries.

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Mongolia and Laos to mutually supply goods www.montsame.mn

Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ Minister of Foreign Affairs D.Tsogtbaatar met Monday Sialounkone Seng-Outhone, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic to Mongolia and they exchanged views on bilateral relations and cooperation.

Minister D.Tsogtbaatar emphasized Mongolia and the Lao People’s Democratic Republic has developing friendly relations and he invited Saleumxay Kommasith, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Laos to visit Mongolia. Moreover the parties exchanged views on holding regular consultative meeting between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Mongolia and Laos in Vientiane and sign on memorandum of understanding between the Ministries.

The Minister expressed his gratitude on Laotian support for Mongolia’s proposal to establish International Tink Tank for LLDCs and suggested to closely cooperate further in frame of this institute.

Mr. Sialounkone Seng-Outhone congratulated Minister D.Tsogtbaatar for his appointment as Foreign Minister of Mongolia and conveyed greetings from Saleumxay Kommasith, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Laos. He noted that the two countries have had regular high level meetings and talks and expressed hope that Mongolian delegation would visit the Lao People’s Democratic Republic in the near future. Also the sides agreed to support the deal on mutually supplying goods such as Mongolian frozen meat and meat products, and carpet and Laotian agricultural products within the scope of broadening commercial and economic ties between the countries.

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Ch. Khurelbaatar: Economic growth predicted to be 4.2 percent next year www.montsame.mn

Ulaanbaatar/MONTSAME/ In regard with an approval of the State Budget 2018, Finance Minister Ch. Khurelbaatar made a briefing on November 14 at the State House. Beginning the report, he highlighted that the country’s economic growth is predicted to be 4.2 percent next year. “The state budget revenue will be MNT7.2 trillion whereas the expenditure will be MNT9.6 trillion. Subsequently, the total budget deficit will be MNT2.7 trillion. It is, however, an improved indication, as compared with 2017. In 2017, the budget deficit has equaled 9.5 percent of GDP, but next year it will go down into 8 percent.

82 schools and 127 kindergartens to be newly built and three-shifts of schools to be eliminated
MNT1.6 trillion has been budgeted for education sector next year. It is planned to build 82 schools and 127 kindergartens nationwide. Unfinished buildings of schools and dormitories will be solved. As a result, schools will have no three shifts. Tuition loans will be continually issued to students and the loans will not be disbursed through commercial banks, but through the Educational Loan Fund from next year to reduce burdens. 

Health insurance premium for herders to be reduced by 50 percent
MNT893.1 billion was budgeted for health sector in 2018. It aims to put a basis of a reform in health financing system, to improve sufficiency of hospital services and to expand its scope. The Health Ministry will be in charge of health insurance beginning from next year. MNT376 billion, which will be solely expended on health services will be accumulated to the Health Insurance Fund. By doing so, it is believed to create inclusive health insurance and expand primary health care services. Moreover, health insurance premium to be paid by herders, the unemployed and private business owners will be reduced by 50 percent. A national program on ‘Hepatitis-free Mongolia’ will be also funded completely. 

Retirement pensions and benefits to be raised
In light of a policy to stabilize a standard of living, retirement pensions and benefits have been planned to be increased. For instance, pensions of 396.6 thousand people will be raised by MNT119.5 billion in harmony with inflation rates. According to the decision to lower a retirement age for herders by five years, MNT44.6 billion will be transferred into the Retirement Pension Fund. Also, a program ‘Mothers with salary’ will be commenced from January, 2018. In accordance with the program, every mother who cares a child aged 0-3 years at home will be given a monthly benefit of MNT50,000. Single parent who has three or more children aged 0-18 years old will be given a quarterly benefit of MNT240,000. A total of MNT72.8 billion will be spent for the program.

MNT 7 billion to be disbursed to every aimag
With a purpose to intensify rural development and construction, MNT147 billion will be disbursed to all aimags, MNT 7 billion to each. MNT 10 billion has been also budgeted to rebuild the Central Wastewater Treatment Plant in Ulaanbaatar city.

Granting of license as a present to be banned 
Next year’s state budget reflects to accumulate income from regulations of land and license relations. It was decided to eliminate tax-free trades and inappropriate use of minerals licenses and land ownership certificates; therefore, the state budget revenue will be increased by MNT36 billion by means of reporting information of minerals licenses, land ownership certificates and their holders transparently and entirely and selling openly. “Also, licenses will be disallowed to give each other as a present, except to close relatives such as brothers or sisters” said Finance Minister.

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India to become world’s third-largest economy by 2028 www.rt.com

Bank of America Merrill Lynch says India is likely to achieve strong growth over the next decade and will overtake Japan in nominal GDP. It is well on track to become the world's fifth largest economy by 2019.

According to the report, the country has already overtaken Brazil and Russia becoming the second biggest BRICS economy after China. It is also projected to pass France and the UK as the world's fifth largest economy behind Germany by 2019.

“We see India crossing Germany and Japan in nominal GDP in dollar terms by 2028. This assumes the Indian economy grows at ten percent (in nominal US GDP) in the next decade, well ahead of Japan's 1.6 percent,” said the report.

It has outlined three key drivers which will help India stand among the large emerging economies. Those are falling dependency ratios, financial maturity, as well as increasing incomes and affordability.

It would be difficult for India to “replicate South Korea’s export-driven industrialization as its dependence on oil imports implies Delhi cannot depreciate its currency,” said the report.

It added that services have “climbed by ten percent to almost 70 percent of world GDP in the past 20 years. Not surprisingly, they have emerged as a key driver of India's growth as well.”

A recent report by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has also projected India's outstanding growth. It said the country will overtake Germany in 2022 as the world's fourth-largest economy and will push its former colonial ruler UK out of the five top economies this year.

The IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said there was much potential, calling India a “bright spot.”

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Feasibility study on oil refinery to be ready next year www.montsame.mn

Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ On November 14, Deputy Prime Minister U. Enkhtuvshin met Suresh Babu, Ambassador of the Republic of India.

During the meeting, they shared views on establishing oil refinery and IT outsourcing center with soft loan from the Government of India, on launching a direct flight as well as preparations for Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction to be organized next year in Ulaanbaatar.

The sides had the same opinion that Indian PM Narendra Modi’s visit has elevated bilateral relations and cooperation into a new level and they expressed their satisfactions with successful implementation of matters negotiated during the visit.

A feasibility study on oil refinery and pipelines will be conducted by an Indian company and the feasibility study is scheduled to be complete and transfered next year. “Mongolian government pays a special attention on the implementation of this project which is strategically important for Mongolia,” pointed out Deputy PM.

U. Enkhtuvshin said that relevant ministers will be assigned to intensify the project on establishing IT outsourcing center and developing it into Data Center. He also thanked for the decision of Indian side to train emergency staff of Mongolia in the framework of organizing the Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction.

The parties also believe that opening of a direct flight between two counties will boost tourism and business development and attract Indian investors. To this extent, the bilateral trade turnover which is currently about USD27 million, is likely to rise. Furthermore, big construction projects will be intensified.

In addition, they discussed about establishing a cyber-safety training center and developing relations and cooperation in border protection, defense, education and cultural sectors.

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Back From the Brink, Mongolia's Markets Boom www.bloomberg.com

A year after coming to the brink of default, Mongolia is seeing the benefit of a good housekeeping seal of approval from the International Monetary Fund.

The resource-rich country wedged between Russia and China has the best performing stock market benchmark in the world for 2017, and it’s able to borrow on the open market again. Last month, the country attracted more than $5.5 billion for an $800 million sale of bonds in dollars. Investors are looking past Mongolia’s gaping budget deficit, weak credit profile and political uncertainty, taking comfort in an IMF lending program approved in May.

“We are happy to hold Mongolia bonds as the IMF anchor and higher commodities prices will continue to support the economic recovery,” said Mark Baker, a Hong Kong-based portfolio manager at Aberdeen Standard Investments, who bought the sovereign’s new 2023 bond. “With short-term sovereign external debt maturities rolled over and the next maturity not due until 2021, refinancing pressure is off.”

That’s helped its stocks, as well. The Mongolia Stock Exchange Top 20 Index is up about 74 percent so far this year, the biggest gain among all the benchmarks tracked by Bloomberg. Venezuela’s advance incorporates a realistic exchange rate for the country that’s been declared in default. Leading the Mongolian gains have been resource companies including coal miner Tavantolgoi JSC.

Much of the gains in the country’s equities came in the wake of the IMF program signed in May that provided about $5.5 billion in assistance.

It’s all quite a turnaround for Mongolia, which last year garnered only $750 million of bids for a $500 million bond sale, despite a coupon more than 5 percentage points higher than the notes sold last month. In November 2016, Moody’s Investors Service cut its debt rating deeper into junk due to “heightened uncertainty” over the government’s ability to meet its debt service obligations. Fitch Ratings followed suit with a downgrade because of deteriorating fiscal conditions and increased external liquidity risks.

Yield Hunt

With backing from the IMF, Mongolia is now able to benefit from the continued abundance of liquidity in the global financial system, and the attendant hunt for securities that offer extra yield over safe-haven benchmarks. Premiums on speculative-grade dollar bonds as a class have continued to drop relative to Treasuries, and reached a record low earlier this year.

That hunt for yield troubles Guillermo Felices, a London-based senior portfolio manager at the asset management arm of BNP Paribas SA, who says demand has become out of whack with credit and economic fundamentals.

“People are comfortable extending the search for yield,” he said in an interview in Hong Kong on Nov. 10. “Investors need to put the money somewhere and in order to meet the yield target they extend risks, going to riskier countries that then compress those yields. This is without fundamental justification.”

Still, conditions in and out of the country look favorable, at least for now. The country welcomed its fifth president since 1992, when Battulga Khaltmaa took office in July with an anti-corruption agenda. The upturn in coal prices will help its borrowing requirements for 2018 decline to 14 percent of GDP versus previously expected 20 percent, Moody’s said in its Oct. 30 note. Some measures of coal prices have climbed 18 percent since the end of June.

The bottom line for Baker at Aberdeen when it comes to the country’s bonds: “I wouldn’t expect significant spread gains given current valuations, but carry remains attractive.”

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To do lists of the Cabinet in 2018 www.mongolia.gogo.mn

ULAANBAATAR (GoGo Mongolia) Today, Mongolian Parliament approved the State Budget of 2018, Social Insurance Fund Budget of 2018 and Health Insurance Fund Budget of 2018.

Regarding the budget approvals, Minister of Finance Ch.Khurelbaatar answered journalists' questions and introduced the key changes to the State budget at the Government House.
Some indicators of the State budget of 2018:
4.2 percent GDP growth
8 percent budget deficit share in GDP in 2018, decreased from 9.5 percent of 2017
Cabinet plans to bring this indication down to 4.5 percent in 2020.
Minister of Finance emphasizes the importance of decreasing the state budget deficit share in GDP as a good sign. In 2018, the Cabinet plans to:
Improve economy and reduce debt induced pressures
Supplementary revenue will be transferred to the previous debt payments
Increase investors' involvement in stock exchange
Reduce interest rates of commercial banks
Reduce Government bond trade and improve debt management
Continue fiscal stability
Revive foreign investors' faith and accelerate big project implementations
Support private sector by flexible tax policy
Reform the tax system to become more transparent, simple and fair.

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New fertilizers based on metal nanoparticles expected to produce macro-harvests www.mining.com

Russian scientists have developed a new generation of innovative fertilizers that, they say, are capable of increasing crop productivity by 25 per cent. The fertilizers are based on nanopowders of transition metals such as iron, copper, and cobalt.

According to the researchers, who are based at the National University of Science and Technology MISiS, Ryazan State Agrotechnological University and Derzhavin Tambov State University, as a key element of enzymes, such microelements directly affect a plant’s immunity and viability, which leads to its level of resistance to pests and diseases.

“We have developed a fertilizer of a new generation based on nanopowders of metals, which allows us to significantly optimize the technology of a number of agrochemical actions, and to be exact — to reduce them to a one seed treatment by a product containing the essential microelements in nanoform. These particles of transition metals have a powerful stimulating effect on plant growth in the initial growth phase. Thus, the future plant is provided with a supply of necessary microelements at the stage of seeding, which allows us to improve field germination, increase resistance to adversity, and, ultimately, to get a [better] harvest—as the experiments have shown these figures increase by 20-25 per cent," said in a press release Alexander Gusev, the head of the project and a senior research associate at the NUST MISIS Department of Functional Nanosystems.

Gusev added that the main difficulty these kinds of projects face is that highly mobile nanoparticles tend to quickly stick together and form large aggregates. However, the researcher's team was able to solve the problem by using organic stabilizers and the ultrasonic processing of colloidal solutions.

"Now, after receiving encouraging field research results, it is necessary to find out how a new fertilizer will act in different soils, in relation to different plant cultures, and it is also necessary to comprehensively assess its environmental safety before recommending it for widespread use," the scientist said.

Nevertheless, Gusev is optimistic about the low environmental footprint of his fertilizers. In this study, he says that microelements would be able to enter into a plant’s structure without damaging the soil. Normally, microelements are introduced into the soil in the form of soluble salts, which are absorbed by plants in part and the rest is washed out by rains and watering; such discarded portion tends to leak into groundwater systems and disrupt their balance.

Besides the ecological benefits of the new fertilizers, the scientists predict they will also produce positive economic outcomes. They say its consumption is about one gram of dry substance per tonne of processed seed. At the same time, the number of procedures involved is reduced, which would decrease the costs of labour and agricultural equipment.

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