|Frontier's "Invest Mongolia Tokyo 2018"||Frontier Securities||Tokyo Japan|
|"Open to Export" ICC WTO International business award||ICC WTO||London|
Mongolia recently marked the successful achievement of goals set under its Defence Education Enhancement Programme (DEEP) with NATO. Through DEEP, Mongolia has completed an ambitious multi-year plan for the modernisation of its professional military education system. Since 2013, the National Defence University of Mongolia (MNDU) has implemented a new core curriculum for staff officers, reviewed instructors’ teaching methods and placed greater emphasis on English and other foreign language teaching.
German Deputy Dean of the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies Sven Gareis visited Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia from 5 to 12 July 2017, for the review of DEEP Mongolia, made possible through NATO, the Partnership for Peace Consortium, and the Marshall Center.
With NATO’s support over the last four years, Dr Gareis, Army LtC Klaus Huettker of the German General Staff and Command College in Hamburg and many other experts from Canada, Slovakia, Ukraine and the United States, have worked with their Mongolian colleagues to develop a state-of-the-art Mongolian Staff Officer Course (MSOC) and to implement modern teaching methodologies in the University’s curricula.
“Our involvement with Mongolia’s DEEP programme isn’t over,” said Dr Gareis. “This visit marked the end of the assistance phase of the programme. The next phase is a sustainment phase to secure the achievements and further develop curricula and governance at the MNDU.”
Launched in 2015, the MSOC has become a prerequisite for advancement as an officer in the Mongolian Armed Forces. The MNDU teaches the curriculum, developed with NATO, on international security, leadership skills and operational planning to a civil-military audience. The 2016 MSOC included participants from the Law Enforcement University, Police Academy, the Border Control Forces and the National Emergency Management Agency. This made the MSOC a comprehensive-approach endeavour that will continue.
MNDU President Major General Yadmaa Choijamts emphasised the programme’s success:
"This programme is providing Mongolian officers the opportunity to prepare for multinational operations' staff headquarters. DEEP changed the mind-set of the MNDU, increasing the impulse for reform," said President Choijamts. "As a result of the programme, 45 military personnel from the Mongolian Armed Forces, the General Authority for Border Protection and National Emergency Management Agency have participated in the Mongolian Staff Officer Course and gained knowledge and skills to carry out their duties in international peacekeeping operations staff," he continued.
While in Mongolia, Dr Gareis met with NATO country representatives and with Mongolian Minister of Defence Badmaanyambuugiin Bat-Erdene.
“Minister Bat-Erdene, who attended a special tailored seminar for Mongolian parliamentarians at the George C. Marshall Center in December 2014, expressed to me his appreciation of the successful work of the DEEP team,” said Dr Gareis.
Mongolia will continue to engage with NATO, in the sustainment phase of this programme and has already offered experts to contribute to new DEEP efforts in other partner countries. In addition, Mongolia is taking steps to build upon the results of this programme in the defence education system. The MNDU is now sharing its new teaching experience with civilian universities such as the University of Science and Technology in three common curricula with the MNDU Engineering School.
DEEPs are tailored programmes through which the Alliance advises partners on how to build, develop and reform educational institutions in the security, defence and military domain. Projects are currently running in 12 countries: Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mauritania, the Republic of Moldova, Serbia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia1, Tunisia and Ukraine. They focus in particular on faculty building and curriculum development, covering areas such as teaching methodology, leadership and operational planning....
Over the last three years, the European Union has been losing at least $3.2 billion every month due to the anti-Russian penalties, according to a report by a UN Special Rapporteur Idriss Jazairy.
“The most credible approximation is of $3.2 billion a month,” says the report on the negative impact of the unilateral coercive measures, as quoted by Sputnik.
Jazairy stressed that Russia had sustained a direct loss of nearly $15 billion a year or a total of $55 billion so far.
“The resulting overall income loss of $155 billion is shared by source and target countries,” he added.
EU sanctions against Russia were introduced in 2014 over the country’s alleged involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine and Crimea. The penalties targeted Russia’s financial, energy, and defense sectors, along with some government officials, businessmen, and public figures.
Moscow responded by imposing an embargo on agricultural produce, food and raw materials on countries that joined the anti-Russian sanctions. Since then the sides have repeatedly broadened and extended the restrictive measures.
Russia is the EU’s fourth-largest trading partner after the US, China and Switzerland. The country is also Europe’s biggest natural gas supplier, as well as one of its biggest oil suppliers.
The penalties have been severely criticized by European politicians and businessmen as both politically ineffective and economically harmful for both Russia and Europe.
The CEO of JPMorgan Chase Jamie Dimon has denounced the bitcoin cryptocurrency as a fraud, bound to fail.
“The currency isn’t going to work. You can’t have a business where people can invent a currency out of thin air and think that people who are buying it are really smart,” Dimon said at a bank investor conference in New York.
The head of America’s largest bank threatened to dismiss traders if they trade the cryptocurrency.
“I would fire them in a second, for two reasons: It is against our rules, and they are stupid, and both are dangerous,” Dimon said, as quoted by Reuters.
Dimon also compared the recent bitcoin rush with the 17th сentury tulip mania, which boosted contract prices for bulbs of newly introduced tulips to extremely high levels.
The prices drastically collapsed at the beginning of 1637, making the tulip mania one of the first recorded speculative bubbles.
According to Dimon, bitcoin could be useful “if you were in Venezuela or Ecuador or North Korea.. or if you were a drug dealer or a murderer.”
Meanwhile, the controversial cryptocurrency has tumbled to a three-week low and is currently trading at around $3,970. Bitcoin lost a massive $1,000 in value since the beginning of September when its price was close to breaking a new record of $5,000.
The ouster this month of Mongolia’s prime minister may not bring the small Central Asian country to ruin, but the parliamentary decision Sept. 7 to remove Jargaltulga Erdenebat over suspected graft detracts from the image of the dominant Mongolian People’s Party. The party, Mongolia's oldest and once the singular party under Mongolia’s pre-1990s socialist government, oversaw a quick economic rise through 2013 due to foreign investment in Mongolian mining. But from 2014 it saw the same economy slide to all-but-zero growth expected this year over falling prices and an exodus of Chinese capital.
In July, Mongolians elected President Battulga Khaltmaa of the country’s opposition Democratic Party after he pledged to stand up against the Mongolian People’s Party's massive rule in parliament. About 85% of legislators belonged to the party, better known as MPP, after elections in 2016. The party is considered friendly toward investors and its win last year prompted some analysts to predict economic rebound. Investors, including foreign mining firms, will be keeping two wary eyes on the MPP government's ability to govern during the economic crisis years.
In the boom cycle before 2014, mining firms from Australia, Canada, China and Russia were fervently digging up gold and copper in the country. They provided jobs and steady incomes to common Mongolians. After that year, investment tapered along with the world decline in commodity prices. The pullback in Chinese money particularly stung because China was Mongolia’s top source of investment. The International Monetary Fund has forecast growth in Mongolia of around 1% this year, less than half the rate of 2016 and the lowest of seven frontier economies that it tracks in Asia. The economy had “performed well” under Erdenebat’s government, says Alicia Garcia Herrero, chief Asia Pacific economist with the French investment bank Natixis.
“Political instability has been a long-standing problem for the country, so it is less a problem for existing investors but more or less frustrates new entrants,” she says. Erdenebat was thrown out under suspicion of signing government contracts with companies linked to cabinet members. “Although the ouster may help deter corruption, it also leaves investors with more uncertainty regarding dealing with the government in the future,” Garcia says.
The Democratic Party president, a real estate baron and former wrestling star, can influence policy decisions on public finances and investment in the mining sector. His calls will “have some bearing on the direction and pace of Mongolia’s economic recovery,” says Anushka Shah, assistant vice president and analyst with the Sovereign Risk Group at Moody's.
It’s unlikely, however, that anyone at the top will do anything to throw off development of large mining projects or compromise an IMF program that's designed to turn the economy around, Shah says. The IMF approved in May $5.5 billion for aid to the 3 million-population, largely poor landlocked country between China and Russia.
The impact of the PM’s departure should ease off shortly. Although thirty-three legislators from the PM’s own party voted for the ouster, his party still has what pundits call a “supermajority” in parliament. In any case, no Mongolian prime minister since 2004 has finished a four-year term, so Erdenebat's dismissal sets no records. The party should soon nominate a new candidate for prime minister, which may lead to a cabinet reshuffle within 45 days. The existing cabinet is unlikely to adopt major policies or reforms before then, Shah says.
“Our expectation is that as long as the MPP retains its supermajority, policy direction in Mongolia should remain largely unchanged,” she says....
ULAANBAATAR, Sept 13 (Reuters) - Mongolia could “multiply” food exports to its southern neighbour China but needs to offer more financial and policy support to enable its producers to compete, the country’s president said in a speech.
Thinly-populated Mongolia, sandwiched between Russia and China, is trying to ease its economic dependence on mining after a collapse in commodity prices sent its economy into a tailspin last year.
But President Khaltmaa Battulga said at a forum on food security in Ulaanbaatar on Tuesday that Mongolia was not doing enough to protect agribusinesses, and should raise import taxes and provide more credit to the sector.
“Mongolian food producers use only 30 percent of their capacity, and the government doesn’t move its fingertips to support them,” he said.
Under Mongolia’s parliamentary system, the prime minister is the head of the government while the president can veto legislation and propose his own policies.
Battulga, a populist businessman elected in June, owns stakes in Mongolian food processors Mahimpecs and Talkh Chhikher.
Battulga went on to say that only 1 percent of Mongolian land is used for farming, but if favourable policies pushed that to around 3 percent, the country could become an exporter of healthy, organic wheat or potatoes.
He said Russia and China both levied high rates of tax on food imports, leaving Mongolia at a disadvantage, and local producers have also struggled to get loans.
Mongolia, traditionally a pastoral economy, has potential meat surpluses, with a population of 3.1 million people and over 70 million heads of livestock.
Beef imports into China are expected to increase as wealthier urban Chinese purchase more meat, with the country’s own herds likely to be limited by land and water constraints.
However, Battulga said Mongolia exported only 4 tonnes of beef to China in 2016 and has done nothing to address problems raised by China about the prevention of livestock diseases.
Gombo Nyamjargal, assistant representative of the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization in Mongolia, said the country’s meat export business has been held back by animal health issues and hygiene requirements, as well as a lack of trade agreements.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) pushed Mongolia to diversify its resource-based economy as part of a $5.5 billion rescue package agreed earlier this year.
Agriculture accounted for 11.7 percent of Mongolia’s total gross domestic product in 2016, second only to the mining sector’s 20 percent. However, agriculture is vulnerable to desertification as well as long freezing winters known locally as dzuds.
Two years ago, when it was just a bunch of smart young people with no clients in an office under London’s Westway, I wrote about the location app What3Words.
Its product was so left-field that, although optimistic about its chances, I thought it might yet fail.
What3Words divided the world’s surface into 57tn three-metre squares and gave a unique, three-word name to each.
So if I arranged to meet you in, say, the pub by my office, the address “Firm. Belong. Zooms” would direct you to a specific part of the bar. “Shave. Pops. Sweet” would place me in the pub garden, by the fence.
According to What3Words, 75 per cent of the world’s population has no formal postal address.Its invention would help those people to join the world of online shopping, or to direct a fire engine to their burning kitchen. Even in countries such as Japan and the United Arab Emirates, they say, people sometimes lack postal addresses.
This week, What3Words will reveal the biggest success of its short life. At the Frankfurt Motor Show, Mercedes will announce that the GPS in some new cars will incorporate What3Words from 2018. Drivers will be able to find their destination’s three words on their smartphone, then type or speak those words in 14 languages to find an exact destination.
The system is more accurate than UK postcodes, which most car GPS systems accept. Postcodes take you to a spot which can include as many as 100 premises. In the US, the basic five-digit Zip Code can cover much of a town.
Founder Chris Sheldrick told me about the Mercedes deal on the phone from Tanzania, as he was about to give a TED Talk on how the app could help the developing world.
“The question of how to put an address into a car is recognised to be a big pain point,” Mr Sheldrick said. “Twisting dials to select town and street names, or saying ‘Church Road London’ when there are 14, clearly isn’t great.”
Mr Sheldrick might have added that Mexico City has 632 streets named Juárez, 624 Hidalgo and some 500 called Zapata. With spoken GPS input, pronunciation is another problem. Even most British people do not know that, for example, the Cambridgeshire town Godmanchester is pronounced “Gumster”.
Mr Sheldrick would not tell me how much Mercedes has paid to use What3Words, or how the company is doing financially. But he did say it is gaining credibility in Germany, where the railway company Deutsche Bahn is now an investor.
A deal with Mercedes may not signal much on the social inclusivity front, but What3Words is also making progress with its more altruistic applications.
Last year, Mongolia’s Mongol Post became the first national mail carrier to use What3Words. Postal services on Sint Maarten in the Caribbean, Djibouti, Solomon Islands, Ivory Coast, Tonga and, most recently, Nigeria, have followed.
Mongolia is the only territory where What3Words is up and running. With almost no formal postal addresses, Mongol Post normally delivers letters to rented PO boxes at local post offices.
But the carrier was struggling to deliver packages from Amazon, the local internet marketplace MMarket and even Asos, the British online fashion retailer. Many parcels were returned to the US and UK undelivered.
Ganhuyag Chuluun Hutagt, the Mongol Post board member who persuaded the company to go with the service, told me: “Mongolia has a nomadic culture. Much of the population is on the move. We used to go by our names and clan and addresses were not an issue. Then the Soviets abolished our family names and built cities without street names.”
“Having an address is almost a human right, because without an address you are overlooked by government, you can’t receive basic services.”
Some nomads are receiving mail for the first time. Khan, the country’s biggest bank, uses the service to send out credit cards. Pizza Hut promotes it for deliveries. And if you rent a yurt through Airbnb, the owners will now give you the location in a What3Words address.
It is still not hard to pick holes in the service. The addresses look odd to the conservative eye, although so did URL addresses in the 1990s. This quirk might stop big companies and countries from adopting the system. Critics have complained about overly restrictive terms and conditions.
And the company has not found a way to customise addresses. If, say, Apple, wanted to name a spot in its new headquarters “Apple. Technology. Corporation”, it could not. That name is taken by a square in the South China Sea and cannot be changed.
But it is still only four years since What3Words was just a gleam in Mr Sheldrick’s eye. In another couple of years it could be a Major. Business. Success — a spot I see from my app is just off the A3 highway near Bandar Mahshahr in Iran....
Billions of dollars have been allocated by the World Bank for infrastructure projects in the Chinese Silk Road Economic Belt, according to the bank’s president Jim Yong Kim at the 1+6 roundtable meeting in Beijing.
“Investments, particularly in infrastructure, are extremely important. The Chinese initiative of the economic belt of the Silk Road catalyzes infrastructure investments,” he told the heads of major international organizations.
“The World Bank will help the countries within the initiative to take maximum advantage of the opportunities provided, in accordance with their own development strategies,” he added.
According to the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC), an extra $1 billion is expected to be raised within a year as part of a planned $5 billion infrastructure investment fund for China’s Road and Belt program.
“We have raised the first $1.1 billion, we are going to raise the next billion probably within the next year, that’s my guess,” IFC Chief Investment Officer for infrastructure and natural resources Ram Mahidhara told Reuters.
The fundraising plans are part of IFC’s so-called Managed Co-Lending Portfolio Program (MCPP) that seeks to raise more than $5 billion from investors by 2021, he said. A large part of the funds will be deployed for Belt and Road related projects, the official added.
The Belt and Road Initiative was first proposed by China in 2013. It envisions two components: the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road that are expected to cover more than 60 percent of the world’s population and more than a third of global economic output.
The Chinese proposal envisages the creation of six economic corridors: Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar, China-Mongolia-Russia, China-Central Asia-West Asia, China-Indochina Peninsula, China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and the Eurasian Land Bridge.
In 2015, Russia and China agreed a “new platform” for economic development of the Eurasian Economic Union and the Silk Road Economic Belt.
A Mongolian delegation from the Financial Regulatory Commision has flown to the Egyptian city of Sharm El Sheikh, for the 2017 AFI Global Policy Forum (GPF). The event will take place from 13th-15th September. The Mongolian delegation is being led by S.Davaasuren, director of the Financial Regulatory Commision and Ts.Altantuul, director of the Department of Confederation and Credits.
The Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI) has more than 100 member institutions representing over 90 nations across the globe, making the GPF the most important and comprehensive forum for regulatory institutions with an interest in the promotion of financial inclusion policy. The forum focuses on the development and improvement of national financial inclusion strategies and policies, and is used as a platform for senior financial regulators to exchange ideas and engage in peer-to-peer learning activities.
Mongolian oil explorer Petro Matad Ltd announced Monday that Executive Director Amarzul Tuul has left the company with immediate effect, citing personal reasons.
However, she will continue to work for the company as a consultant and will remain Petro Matad's appointed representative at the Mongolian Petroleum Exploration and Production Association.
Shares in Petro Matad were down 2.2% at 10.38 pence on Monday.
Robert Friedland is mining’s most consummate promoter and the executive chairman of Ivanhoe Mines yesterday grabbed the opportunity to advertise his latest venture – the Kamoa-Kakula project in the Congo – with his usual gusto.
Friedland transformed what could have been a set of exciting drill results into 43 holes of “global significance in the copper world”.
Not that he doesn’t have a lot to work with.
Ivanhoe’s May update lifted Kamoa-Kakula’s resource base above a billion tonnes for the first time and thanks to grades that are a distant memory for Chile’s giants, the in-situ value is an eye-watering $193 a tonne at today’s prices.
Friedland said he’s looking forward to giving shareholders a “substantial” resource expansion in time for Christmas:
“Kamoa-Kakula already is independently ranked as the fifth-largest copper deposit in the world. Seeing the unprecedented rate of growth of high-grade copper resources since drilling began at Kakula in May 2016, I am confident now that soon it will be among the top three.
“The remarkable consistency of the ultra-high-grade copper mineralization at the Kakula Discovery is unlike anything geologists have ever seen in the DRC’s Copperbelt. The discovery remains open in virtually all directions, so the real question is, how much bigger and better is Kakula going to get?” Mr. Friedland added.
Eleven of the 14 rigs at the project are drilling to define resources over the entire strike length of Kakula which now extends at least 12km – an increase of roughly 60% since May.
Ivanhoe is clearly working the project hard. An updated preliminary economic assessment for two mines of 6m tonnes per year each is expected during the fourth quarter as is a base case pre-feasibility study for the the first phase of development of the deposit which Ivanhoe discovered a decade ago.
If things pan out as predicted Kamoa-Kakula would only be topped by Escondida in Chile and Australia's Olympic Dam in terms of sheer size. The DRC project (close to another venerable copper name; Kolwezi) will at the same time overtake Grasberg in Indonesia and Chile's Collahuasi in the rankings.
Ivanhoe and joint venture partner Zijin Mining each own just under 40% of the project and the DRC government 20%. China's Zijin came on board at the end of 2015 for what now seems a steal at not much more than $400m. Even considering at the time copper was barely holding above $2 a pound ($4,500 a tonne).
On Tuesday the bellwether metal was trading just above $3 / $6,650 consolidating a sparkling run since the beginning of June.