1 VALE EVACUATES 200 PEOPLE FROM TOWN NEAR ITS MAR AZUL MINE WWW.MINING.COM PUBLISHED:2019/02/17      2 TOOTH PLAQUE SHOWS DRINKING MILK GOES BACK 3,000 YEARS IN MONGOLIA WWW.SCIENCENEWS.ORG  PUBLISHED:2019/02/17      3 INCREASING NUMBER OF CHINA-EUROPE FREIGHT TRAINS SUPPORTS MONGOLIA'S ECONOMY: OFFICIAL WWW.XINHUANET.COM PUBLISHED:2019/02/17      4 TAX REVENUE INCREASES BY 33.7 PERCENT WWW.MONTSAME.MN PUBLISHED:2019/02/17      5 COPPER MINER'S $10B BET COMES TO LIFE IN PANAMA JUNGLE WWW.MINING.COM PUBLISHED:2019/02/15      6 TRADE UNIONS REQUEST PM TO FOCUS ON INTEREST RATE CUT WWW.ZGM.MN PUBLISHED:2019/02/15      7 MONGOLIA’S HOURLY WAGE TO REACH USD 1 WWW.NEWS.MN PUBLISHED:2019/02/15      8 US NARCOTICS BY POST TO MONGOLIA! THREE ARRESTED WWW.NEWS.MN PUBLISHED:2019/02/15      9 WRITER D.URIANKHAI NOMINATED FOR THE NOBEL PRIZE WWW.MONTSAME.MN PUBLISHED:2019/02/15      10 MONGOLIA-CHINA-RUSSIA ECONOMIC CORRIDOR BENEFITS ALL SIDES: OFFICIAL WWW.XINHUANET.COM PUBLISHED:2019/02/15      “ОЮУ ТОЛГОЙ” КОМПАНИ 570 ТОННЫ ДААЦТАЙ CAT БРЭНДИЙН ГИДРАВЛИК ЭСКВАТОРООР ХҮЧЭЭ СЭЛБЭЛЭЭ WWW.GOGO.MN  НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/15     ӨРХИЙН САРЫН ДУНДАЖ ОРЛОГО 78,000 ТӨГРӨГӨӨР ӨССӨН Ч ЗАРЛАГА ДАВСАН ХЭВЭЭР БАЙНА WWW.IKON.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/15     АВСТРАЛИЙН ЭЛЧИН САЙД ДЭВИД МЭТЬЮ ВОСЭН ИТГЭМЖЛЭХ ЖУУХ БИЧГЭЭ ӨРГӨН БАРИВ WWW.MONTSAME.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/15     2018 ОНД МОНГОЛ УЛСЫН ЭДИЙН ЗАСАГ 6.9 ХУВИАР ӨСЛӨӨ WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/15     МХБ: II/15-НЫ БАЙДЛААР 8 КОМПАНИ ХЭХ-ЫН ТОВОО ГАРГААД БАЙНА WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/15     2017 ОНД 1.9 ТЭРБУМ ТӨГРӨГИЙН АЛДАГДАЛТАЙ АЖИЛЛАСАН “УЛААНБААТАР БҮК” 2018 ОНД 566 САЯ ТӨГРӨГИЙН АШИГТАЙ АЖИЛЛАВ WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/15     ОРХОН ТҮҮХИЙ НҮҮРСНЭЭС ТАТГАЛЗСАН АНХНЫ АЙМАГ БОЛНО WWW.UNUUDUR.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/15     АТГ-ААС НЭР БҮХИЙ 6 ШҮҮГЧИЙГ ШАЛГАЖ ЭХЭЛЖЭЭ WWW.EAGLE.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/15     МОНГОЛ УЛС ДЭЛХИЙН 77 ОРОНД БАРАА ЭКСПОРТОЛСНООС ХЯТАДАД 93%-ИЙГ НЬ НИЙЛҮҮЛЖЭЭ WWW.IKON.MN  НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/14     АВТО МАШИНЫ ИМПОРТ 2018 ОНД 30% ӨСӨЖ, 86,296-Д ХҮРЧЭЭ WWW.IKON.MN  НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/14    

Events

Name organizer Where
“Doing business with Mongolia”, “UK Investors show” бизнес хөтөлбөр March 27-April 02. 2019 ЛОНДОН ХОТ, ИХ БРИТАНИ Mongolian Business Database London UK
SYMPOSIUM ON GLOBAL MARKETS Nationalism and Protectionism: The United States in the International Arena June 17-18, 2019 The Center for American and International Law Plano, Texas, USA The Center for American and International Law (CAILAW) Plano Texas June 17-18 2019
"Open to Export" ICC WTO International business award ICC WTO London

NEWS

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Taxpayers expect favorable environment from tax reform www.gogo.mn

“We will put an end to the scenario where entities' bank accounts close due to unpaid taxes, which puts their businesses to a standstill and force them to go bankrupt, further increasing unemployment,” resolutely noted Khurelsukh Ukhnaa, Prime Minister of Mongolia, in a discussion on the tax revision held at Mongolian Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Monday, March 5.

For 30 days starting from February 23, Ministry of Finance is conducting a public discussion on revising 24 tax-related laws, including General Taxation Law of Mongolia, Laws on Corporate Tax, Personal Income Tax and Value Added Tax, in order to hear voices of taxpayers and collect best proposals from the relevant parties. No fundamental changes and revisions were made to tax laws in the last decade.

“Due to economic difficulties and unfavourable business environment in recent years, thousands of companies have closed their businesses. As of third quarter of 2017, about 50 percent of entities had inactive operations, while 20 percent of them reported a loss. This shows that our entrepreneurs and taxpayers are still facing financial difficulties.

Since 2006, Mongolia’s economy grew six-fold. In last December, Mongolia was included on the first ever tax haven blacklist of European Union and immediately got delisted after giving promises to enable its tax environment to meet the EU standards.

In addition, 57.5 percent of all companies that took part in Mongolian Business Environment Survey evaluated the tax environment as “unfavourable” and 28 percent of the surveyors answered that the tax pressure reduction and clear tax policies are the foremost priority.

The draft revision is also simplifying the submission of financial statements of private entities. For instance, entities with less than MNT 50 million annual sales income will be required to submit only annual financial reports, and pay one percent of total revenue to tax, reducing frequency of financial report submission by four times and cutting tax 10 times.

In addition, entities with over MNT 3 billion revenue shall quarterly submit financial statements a year and entities with up to MNT 3 billion income shall submit halfyear reports.

The current Law on Corporate Tax requires all entities to prepare quarterly statements regardless of its scale, deduct 10 percent tax from their sales, and entities with over MNT 2.5 billion revenue to pay 25 percent tax. Furthermore, the draft revisions also dictate to cut 20 percent dividend distribution tax of foreign investors to 5 percent.

According to the information given by Khurelbaatar Chimed, Minister of Finance, no-risk bearing companies will not be a subject to financial inspections. Risk assessment will be done based on financial statements of companies and the inspection will be conducted afterwards. As he highlighted, another major change proposed by the laws is the protection of taxpayers’ interest. “If a taxpayer suffers as a result of errors made by a tax inspector, the inspector will be responsible for his action by not serving for 10 years in the public service,” noted Mr Khurelbaatar.

The Ministry of Finance considers that the revisions to tax laws will bring more favourable and healthy tax environment in the country.

In the beginning of this year, the International Monetary Fund’s staff team worked together for two weeks on formulating the draft of the Revision to the General Taxation Law. The Ministry of Finance believes that the bills will be presented to the Parliament by April and take effect starting from January 2019.

Oyunbayar.N

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USD 1 billion soft loan may be settled during PM's visit to PRC www.gogo.mn

Prime Minister Khurelsukh Ukhnaa is planning an official visit to People’s Republic of China (PRC) between April 10 and 13. Mongolia’s key gateway of raw materials export, Gashuunsukhait- Gantsmod border checkpoint, has been operating on half-capacity since last July, drastically reducing coal sales of Mongolia. As for June 2017, the coal export reached 3.9 million tons, which went down to 2.2 million tons in July due to implicit sanction.

In October 2017, Prime Minister Khurelsukh has received Ambassador of PRC to Mongolia Xing Haiming and requested to focus on settling the implicit economic sanction. Thus, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Mongolia Tsogtbaatar Damdin paid a visit to PRC in early-December, which helped reduce inspection to coal and increase exports amount. As a result, the coal export has reached 3.2 million tons in November and December respectively. During the visit, the Foreign Minister signified the importance of frequent high-level visits and agreed on organizing the PM’s visit to PRC.

Mongolia-China business forum on trade and economic cooperation to take place

Whether to reconcile the unsettling relations between the two countries and expand comprehensive strategic partnership will be decided during this visit. In addition, President of PRC Xi Jinping has agreed to provide USD 1 billion soft loan during his visit to Mongolia in 2014. If Mongolia finalizes the investment plans, USD 1 billion worth investment will be released. Furthermore, within the frame of PM’s visit, Mongolian National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MNCCI) will co-organize Mongolia- PRC business forum on trade and economic cooperation with China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission. Representatives of private entities willing to participate in the forum can register at MNCCI until March 10.

On the side note, Minister of Road and Transport Development Bat-Erdene Jadamba paid a visit to PRC in February, and negotiated on settling the finances of Tavan tolgoi-Gashuunsukhait railroad development within the frames of increasing mining exports and supporting economic development of Mongolia. Sides also agreed on establishing new airway in the second half of 2018. As for actions on reducing loads at Zamiin-Uud- Erlian border crossing, sides touched upon the issues of implementing Zuunbayan-Khangi route railroad project and establishing Khangi-Mandal border crossing.

PM’s first visit to the PRC may settle the above-mentioned issues and the PM will sign the Agreement on Transport of Freight to Pacific Ports in the PRC through the Zamiin-Uud-Erlian port.

Davaatogtokh.B, Tugsbilig.B

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WHO releases policy brief on Mongolia's air pollution www.gogo.mn

Mongolia’s air pollution level is 6-10 times higher than those considered safe by the World Health Organization (WHO) air quality guidelines. According to WHO, the data from 2011 to 2015 shows that annual mean concentrations of PM has been decreasing, however, annual mean concentrations are around 2-3 folds higher than the national guideline values. Other pollutants such as SO2 have progressively augmented in the last twenty years and NO2 values have remained high.

Last decade, a couple of surveys on ambient and household air pollution and its impact were locally conducted and findings of these surveys have been used for evidence-informed decision making. A joint research team of Mongolia and Canada estimated in 2011 that 29 percent of cardiopulmonary deaths and 40 percent of lung cancer deaths in Ulaanbaatar city are attributable to ambient air pollution.

The 2017 National Program on Reduction of Air and Environmental Pollution provides a roadmap to decrease air pollutants by 80 percent, prohibit the use of unprocessed coal anywhere except for thermal power plants in Ulaanbaatar, and reduce air and environmental pollution by at least 50 percent by 2025. WHO reviewed that it is crucial to conduct systematic assessment of the sources of air pollution, and identify the most effective interventions to eliminate or control them.

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Selection of road concession overruled www.montsame.mn

Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ On March 7, in its regular meeting the Cabinet decided to delist Project on 204.6 km Road Renovation in route Ulaanbaatar and Darkhan from the List of State Property Concession and overrule the concession selection.

According to general financing agreement between Government of Mongolia and Asian Development Bank, renovation works of 204 km road in route Ulaanbaatar and Darkhan and 113 km road in route Darkhan-Altanbulag will be made within the framework of projects and programs to be implemented with allocated loan capital in 2017-2018. Therefore the concession selection has been overruled. Ulaanbaatar-Darkhan road will be first class road with cement concrete paving and having 4 lanes.

B.Batchimeg

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Industrialization 21:100 is under implementation www.gogo.mn

One of the national programs commencing this year is Industrialization 21:100 that was approved by the cabinet in late January. The program will cover all sectors, except the mining, such as agriculture, light industry, construction and steel industries. Within the frame, 100 factories that will manufacture export-oriented and import-substituting products will be established. According to an initial estimate, the program will require approximately MNT 1.4 trillion investment, produce over six thousand workplaces and will be implemented in two phases from 2018 to 2019 and from 2019 to 2020.

It is decided that the projects will be financed from local and state budget, foreign soft loans and aids.

The goal of the program is to develop sustainable and competitive industrialization involving value added production, meeting international quality and standardization requirements and market economy demands by introducing advanced technology, based on the local community features and resources. In addition, it is believed that it will increase number of workplaces, circulation of domestic and foreign trade and economic growth.

As of the end of 2016, total sales of the industrial sector resulted MNT 11.06 billion and out of this, 20.3 percent or MNT 2.3 billion was accumulated from the processing sector. This is 8.1 percent of the country’s GDP or 3 fold lower compared to middleincome countries.

In accordance with the results of a study conducted by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, the country’s structure of industrial sector is highly dependent on raw materials of mining and agricultural sectors based on simple technology, and about 95 percent of export products are subject to only the first stage processing. This shows that the real value added production, which is the base of sustainable development of any country, is very poor in Mongolia.

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Russia to open 3 polling stations in Mongolia for presidential vote www.xinhuanet.com

ULAN BATOR, March 6 (Xinhua) -- Russians who live in Mongolia will be able to participate in the March presidential election at three polling stations here, Rygzyn Rakshaev, minister-counsellor of the Russian Embassy in Mongolia, said Tuesday.

Over 1,300 permanent and temporary Russian residents can vote at the polling stations from 8 a.m. local time (0000 GMT) to 8 p.m.(1200 GMT), the diplomat said.

The Russian presidential election will be held on March 18. There are eight candidates running for president this year, including incumbent President Vladimir Putin, who is running as an independent candidate.

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Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi seeks dual listing on SEHK www.gogo.mn

At the orders of the Government and Erdenes Mongol LLC, parent company of ETT, the board of Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi (ETT) has decided to register the shareholders of 1072 shares distributed to every citizen of Mongolia last week. Sumiyabazar Dolgorsuren, the Minister of Mining and Heavy Industry, previously revealed that he has already provided guidance and directive to the relevant agencies to study the possibilities of listing Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi (ETT) on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (SEHK) in 2018. The minister believes dual listing is possible and that ETT shares can be traded on both the Mongolian Stock Exchange and Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

At an irregular meeting of the cabinet held on February 23, Sumiyabazar Dolgorsuren, Minister of Mining and Heavy Industry briefed the cabinet on the issues of establishing a sovereign wealth fund and listing of ETT on two stock exchanges. Currently, the ETT shareholding structure is composed of the Government of Mongolia and Mongolian public who own 85 percent and 15 percent of the total outstanding shares of ETT, respectively.

According to the Mineral Resources and Petroleum Authority of Mongolia, there are 9 companies operating in the deposits of strategic importance as set by the Parliament. Tavan Tolgoi, one of the world’s largest high-quality coal deposit sites, is expected to yield over six billion tonnes of resources, of which, a quarter is estimated to be coking coal.

The government intended to sell shares of ETT on the stock exchange both locally and internationally; however, the long-awaited IPO was postponed several times in past years due to weaker coal prices, poor market conditions, and uncertainty over the legal environment in Mongolia.

According to MarketIntel, 80 percent of the total outstanding shares of ETT are already owned by the government of Mongolia and Mongolian citizens. Of those 80 percent of shares, 0.05 percent shares are owned by Mongolian business entities, 14.75 percent and 65.2 percent shares are owned by Mongolian citizens and the government of Mongolia. Whereas, 20 percent of the total outstanding shares of ETT are available to be listed on local and international stock exchanges. Whether ETT is successfully listed on stock exchanges locally and internationally within 2018, the attempt itself will have a significant positive impact on local capital markets and on the coal industry. If the matter is pushed to the following year, it will come too close to the next parliamentary election and may become a highly politicized subject.

Tugsbilig.B

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Mongolian PM to visit Qatar www.news.mn

U.Khurelsukh, prime minister of Mongolia received Sultan al-Mansuri, the non-resident ambassador from Qatar to Mongolia on Tuesday. During the meeting, H.E. Sultan al-Mansuri handed over an invitation to the prime minister to visit Qatar. PM U.Khurelsukh gratefully received the invitation. He is planning to sign memorandums of cooperation on various sectors between Mongolia and Qatar.

The prime minister noted that Mongolia is looking forward to welcoming the Emir of Qatar and that he is glad cooperation between the two countries is steadily developing. PM U.Khurelsukh said the government would provide its fullest support if Qatar opens an embassy in Mongolia.

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Trade with Russia increased by 52 percent www.montsame.mn

Ulaanbaatar/MONTSAME/ As of January, 2018 Mongolia’s foreign trade turnover reached USD785 million, showing 11 percent increase as compared with the same period of previous year. Total export dropped by one percent or USD5 million while import increased by 30 percent or USD84 million.

About trades with neighbor countries, Mongolia made 61 percent of the total foreign trade turnover with China whilst trade with Russia was amounted 16 percent. Trade with China increased by 0.3 percent, but it showed 52 percent increase in trade with Russia.

34 percent of total imports were investment products, including machinery, equipment and constructional materials. 31 percent were fast-moving consumer goods, such as foods, pharmaceuticals, clothes, home utensils as well as others. Import of oil products made up 21 percent.

M.Unurzul

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Rio Tinto, former execs. once again move to have SEC case dismissed www.mining.com

Rio Tinto (ASX, LON:RIO) and two former top executives have filed a motion requesting a U.S. regulator’s lawsuit accusing them of fraud for overstating the value of Mozambique coal assets to be dismissed.

In the 71-page filing, quoted by FT.com, lawyers representing the company, its former chief executive Tom Albanese, and its ex finance director Guy Elliott argue the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) lawsuit is “plainly wrong”.

Case relates to allegations of an attempt to cover up multi-billion losses on a coal investment in Mozambique.
The charges originally laid by the SEC in October last year relate to allegations of an attempt to cover up multi-billion losses on a coal investment in the African country.

Those assets were acquired for $3.7 billion in 2011 from ASX-listed Riversdale Mining, but sold a few years later for $50 million. Rio ultimately took a $3-billion write down on Riversdale — later renamed RTCM — in January 2013, when it also fired Albanese.

The SEC argues that Rio should have taken the impairment charge within just 11 months of the acquisition. But at a time, the lawyers said, the company had not yet completed its analysis of the quantity and quality of the available coal or determined whether there was a viable means for transporting the coal to market.

“This is plainly wrong, and each of its claims consequently fail to meet well-established threshold pleading requirements and must be dismissed,” they said.

The professionals also claimed that Rio moved swiftly to impair the value of the coal assets as soon as its received “late-breaking ore-body test results” late in 2012.

The move follows a letter sent in January by Rio and the executives asking the court handling the case to dismiss the fraud charges against them. The SEC rejected such petition.

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