|Frontier's "Invest Mongolia Tokyo 2018"||Frontier Securities||Tokyo Japan|
|"Open to Export" ICC WTO International business award||ICC WTO||London|
Bangkok, October 4, 2017: Improved global growth prospects and continued strong domestic demand underpin a positive outlook for the developing economies of East Asia and the Pacific, says the latest World Bank report on the region. Stronger growth in advanced economies, a moderate recovery in commodity prices, and a recovery in global trade growth, are the favorable external factors that will support the economies of developing East Asia and Pacific to expand by 6.4 percent for 2017.
The October 2017 edition of the East Asia and Pacific Economic Update reports that the uptick in growth in 2017 relative to earlier expectations reflects stronger than expected growth in China, at 6.7 percent, the same pace as in 2016. In the rest of the region, including the large Southeast Asian economies, growth in 2017 will be slightly faster at 5.1 percent in 2017 and 5.2 percent in 2018, up from 4.9 percent in 2016.
Several external and domestic risks could impact this positive outlook. Economic policies in some advanced economies remain uncertain, while geopolitical tensions centered on the region have increased. Monetary policies in the U.S. and the Euro Area could be tightened more quickly than expected. Many countries in the region have high levels of private sector debt while fiscal deficits remain high or are on the rise.
“The recovery of the global economy and the expansion of global trade are good news for the East Asia and Pacific region and its continued success in improving living standards,” said Victoria Kwakwa, World Bank Vice President for the East Asia and Pacific Region. “The challenge will be for countries to strike a balance between prioritizing short-term growth and reducing medium-term vulnerabilities, so that the region has a stronger foundation for sustained and inclusive growth.”
China’s gradual rebalancing away from investment and towards domestic consumption is expected to continue, with growth projected to slow to around 6.4 percent in 2018.
Thailand and Malaysia are expected to grow more rapidly than expected, due to stronger exports, including tourism, for the former, and increased investment in the latter. Gains in real wages are fueling strong consumption in Indonesia, and a rebound in agriculture and manufacturing is boosting growth in Vietnam. In the Philippines, the economy is projected to expand at a slightly slower pace than in 2016, partly due to slower than expected implementation of public investment projects.
The outlook for smaller countries is mixed. Mongolia and Fiji are expected to fare better in 2017-2018. Mongolia’s macroeconomic stabilization program is encouraging new foreign direct investment in mining and transport. Fiji’s growth will be supported by reconstruction from Cyclone Winston. Growth in Cambodia and Lao PDR is moderating compared to 2016, but its pace remains higher than other countries in the region; trade and FDI in Cambodia and expansion of the power sector in Lao PDR are the main drivers.
Expanding tourism, low world commodity prices, high levels of revenue from fishing fees, and rising construction activity are supporting moderate GDP growth rates in most of the small Pacific Islands. In the longer term, reforms in tourism, labor mobility, fisheries, and the knowledge economy have the potential to lead to significantly higher incomes, employment, and government revenue.
“The improved prospects for global growth offer a window of opportunity for countries to reduce vulnerabilities while pursuing reforms that can yield growth dividends over the longer term,” said Sudhir Shetty, World Bank Chief Economist for the East Asia and Pacific region. “Reducing risks to financial sector stability and strengthening competitiveness, including through deeper regional integration, remain priorities.”
To maintain resilience against risks, the report calls for a move away from measures aimed at short-term growth towards policies that address financial sector and fiscal vulnerabilities. These measures include: strengthening supervision and prudential regulation in countries experiencing rapid growth in private-sector credit and debt; reforming tax policies and administration to help boost revenue collection; and being ready to tighten monetary policy if warranted by the pace of interest rate increases in advanced economies.
Structural reform priorities differ across countries. Sustained reforms of the state-owned enterprise sectors in China and Vietnam can improve growth prospects. The Philippines, Thailand, Lao PDR and Cambodia will benefit from continued improvements in public investment management systems to support expanding public infrastructure programs. In Indonesia, liberalizing the regulations for foreign investment remains important.
The report also highlights the potential that tourism development and deeper regional integration offer to offset the risks of protectionism. Growth in tourism, if well managed, has the potential to yield substantial benefits to the region, including for the Pacific Island Countries. The ASEAN Economic Community offers one avenue for promoting further regional integration, including by further liberalizing trade in services and reducing non-tariff barriers.
Despite success in reducing poverty, high and rising inequality is a growing concern, as are falling mobility and growing economic insecurity. For lasting inclusive growth, measures to reduce extreme poverty must be accompanied by policies that broaden access to quality services and more productive jobs, and stronger social protection systems that reduce the consequences of adverse shocks....
In the latest crackdown by EU authorities over unfair tax deals, US tech company Amazon has been ordered to pay €250 million ($294.38 million) in back taxes to Luxembourg.
EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said Luxembourg’s illegal tax benefits to Amazon had allowed almost three-quarters of the company’s profits to go untaxed. Amazon paid a quarter the tax compared to businesses, she added.
"Member states cannot give selective tax benefits to multinational groups that are not available to others," said Vestager.
Amazon denied the accusations, saying it did “not receive any special treatment from Luxembourg.”
"We will study the Commission's ruling and consider our legal options, including an appeal," said an Amazon spokesperson.
Luxembourg’s government said, “As Amazon has been taxed in accordance with the tax rules applicable at the relevant time; Luxembourg considers that the company has not been granted incompatible state aid.”
The tax deal between Luxembourg and Amazon was struck in 2003. At that time Jean-Claude Juncker, the European Commission's president, was the prime minister of Luxembourg.
The Commission launched the Amazon investigation in 2014, claiming it had suspicions the arrangement had broken EU rules.
Vestager also announced plans on Wednesday to take Ireland to court over its failure to recover €13 billion in unpaid taxes from Apple.
Following a three-year investigation into the iPhone maker’s complicated tax schemes, the European Commission concluded in 2016 that the company benefited from a sweetheart tax deal granted by the Irish government in breach of the European Union's state aid rules.
Apple has appealed to Europe’s highest court to contest the “unfair” decision. The tech giant has not paid the money to the Irish government which has not demanded any repayment.
The Ulaanbaatar Mayor and his advisors discussed the implementation of the Ulaanbaatar Economic and Social Development Guidelines for 2017, ongoing projects and new projects to be carried out next year during their latest meeting last Friday.
City officials touched on lighting problems in the city, implementation of the National Program to Introduce Information Technology to State Archives and Records Management, incentives for top schools and kindergartens in Ulaanbaatar, access to educational institutes, and measures to take for preventing influenza-like illness (ILI), also known as acute respiratory infection.
“People spend nearly 90 percent of their life indoors, breathing the air in offices and homes. Many factors can degrade indoor air quality such as outdoor air pollution, use of stoves, poor sanitation and hygiene practices, smoking, and air ventilation. Exposure to carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, particulate matter, and volatile organic compounds from these factors can cause pneumonia, low birth weight, and lung cancer,” stated L.Tumurbaatar, the Head of the Ulaanbaatar Health Office.
L.Tumurbaatar noted that quite a large sum of funds are required for taking preventive measures for ILI and that health organizations aren’t able to generate necessary funds on their own.
“We need a budget for purchasing air cleaning devices intended to remove pollutants from indoor air and prepare additional beds at hospitals and clinics.”
Head of Policy Planning Department at the Ulaanbaatar Mayor’s Office G.Ulziibayar reported that 70 percent of projects in the Ulaanbaatar Economic and Social Development Guidelines for 2017 have been completed. He reminded that there are still two months left for completing the projects and updated on the situation on guidelines for 2018.
“Requirements, criteria, targets, and required funds for the 2018 guidelines have been developed in accordance with the 2016 Government Resolution No. 249. In total, 489 measures, including ongoing projects that will resume next year and completely new projects, have been planned within the scope of 26 targets. We have planned many social projects to pay more attention to public development in 2018,” G.Ulziibayar said.
At the end of the meeting, Ulaanbaatar Mayor S.Batbold told his council to plan out more interesting and innovative projects for next year and urgently take ILI preventive measures before more people get affected due to colder weather.
“The Ulaanbaatar Health Organizations must take action against ILI as soon as possible. Health officers of every district need to study procurement opportunities for air cleaning devices that reduce household air pollution,” he instructed.
Officials agreed to meet again this week to review the issues.
Mongolia's biggest and most modern library will officially open on 5th of October. Situated at the National University of Mongolia (NUM), the library is not just for students, but is open to everyone who loves books.
The construction of the library began in 2014 and cost MNT 16 billion. The bulk of the funding has come from the university’s budget.
The 6-storey library has modern interior and provides a comfortable atmosphere for 700 students to study. Reading rooms are located on the 1- 4th floors, while laboratories and lecture halls are situated on the 5-6th floors. The library also includes six reading rooms for natural sciences, sociology, humanities, cyber technology and electronics. Each room has own interior design and furniture.
Speaker of Parliament M.Enkhbold received Russian delegates led by Russia’s First Deputy Chairman of the Federation Council Committee on Economic Policy Sergei Kalashnikov on Monday at the State House.
During their meeting, Speaker M.Enkhbold stressed that the two countries’ legislatures should work together to deal with challenges in customs, taxation and transportation, and focus on enhancing their legal and regulatory environment to increase trade and economic cooperation between the two countries.
He added that as a medium-term program for the development of Mongolia-Russia strategic partnership is the basic guideline of mutual cooperation and the main goal of strategic partnership for the next five years, the two countries’ legislatures should urge their governments to implement the program.
Kalashnikov noted that at a meeting between the Russian Federation Council Committee and the Mongolia-Russia Inter-Parliamentary Group in the Mongolia’s legislature in Novosibirsk City of Russia last year, the sides discussed future plans and pointed out that a mechanism to promote cooperation between the two nations’ legislatures, which has been of great importance to developing efficient and constant collaboration in all sectors of the two countries.
Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ As of October 2, 2017, Bank of Mongolia’s gold purchase reached 15.1 tons. The number indicates 1.3 tons of increase compared to the same period of last year. Within this period, a total of 182 individuals and 106 private entities sold their gold to BoM.
BoM is holding policy to centralize gold exchange at home and within its framework, the bank is focusing on informing the public. Accordingly, ‘Mongol Alt’ /Mongolian Gold/ campaign has launched, regularly organizing training for micro miners and private entities, as well as cooperating with related agencies.
After Anti-China Campaign Rhetoric, Mongolia’s President Congratulates China on National Day www.thediplomat.com
Mongolia’s newly-elected President Khaltmaa Battulga won office in July on the back of a campaign laced with anti-China rhetoric. Nonetheless, on September 28, Battulga sent a congratulatory message to Chinese President Xi Jinping, marking the 68th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.
On September 29, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Lu Kang expressed gratitude to Battulga. According to Lu, Battulga said that mutually cooperation fully serves the interests of the two peoples; Mongolia is willing to move forward the China-Mongolia comprehensive strategic partnership based on the principle of respecting each other’s core interests. Battulga also expressed appreciation for China’s assistance and concessional loans to Mongolia. The Mongolian president’s website doesn’t mention the message.
Mongolia depends overwhelmingly on China: almost 90 percent of Mongolia’s exports go to China, and one-third of its imports come from China. In addition, failing to pay debt on time, Mongolia in February asked China to extend a 15 billion yuan ($2.2 billion) currency swap agreement.
Battulga ran his populist presidential campaign by stoking anti-China sentiment among the Mongolian public. As The Diplomat reported, during the campaign, Battulga repeatedly mentioned “threats” from the east, meaning China. In addition, he played the ethnic card, implying that his rival was not a true son of Mongolia, but instead had mixed Mongolian and Chinese heritage. Battulga also said in a 2014 television interview: “The resources will finish in 40 to 50 years and there will definitely be conflict between the Mongolians and the Chinese.”
Numerous observers of Mongolian politics expressed concerns about China-Mongolia relations after Battulga won the election, fearing that Mongolia would significantly reduce its dependency on China and shift its focus to either Russia, it’s only other physical neighbor, or other countries such as India.
Regardless of Battulga’s previous rhetoric, China has maintained an even tone on the relationship. Lu, in the recent press briefing, referred to China and Mongolia as “friendly neighbors” and said, “China stands ready to… promote the sound and steady growth of the China-Mongolia comprehensive strategic partnership based on the series of political consensus reached by the two sides.”
While numerous countries around the world fear the humanitarian and economic crises climate change is expected to bring, Mongolia — and to a lesser extent Russia and several other CEE/CIS countries — will reap significant economic benefits from a modest rise in global temperatures, a new International Monetary Fund (IMF) study finds.
Mongolia is the clear outlier; the IMF forecasts that the country’s per capita output will grow by just under 1.4 percent in case of a 1 degree Celcius increase in temperatures.
More broadly, the CEE/CIS region as a whole is set to benefit disproportionately from hotter temperatures. The same 1 C increase would boost the economies of a total of 13 countries across the region, more than half of the 22 countries worldwide that the IMF anticipates will benefit.
They include Russia, where a 0.83 percent increase in per capita output is expected if temperatures rise 1 C, along with Belarus, the Baltic states, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.
Mongolia in particular is a country of extreme temperatures. Ulan Bataar has the dubious distinction of being the world’s coldest capital — beating the capitals of Canada and Kazakhstan — and temperatures range from above 40 C in the Gobi desert in summer to below minus 40 C on winter nights.
In such extreme cold temperatures, also seen in parts of Russia and Kazakhstan, economic activity is inhibited in winter. Construction sites sit idle, transport is interrupted and — despite specially adapted technologies — industries such as mining are also affected.
In addition, warmer, wetter weather, as forecast in the IMF study, could make it possible to grow a greater volume and variety of crops in countries like Russia — which has already become the world’s top exporter of wheat this year.
The melting of the polar ice cap, albeit a mounting catastrophe in global terms, is also seen by some as good news for Russia, whose ships are now able to navigate Arctic waters. This will also help open up exploration of the Arctic continental shelf, where substantial energy reserves still lie untapped.
Recognising the potential of the Russian Arctic, Moscow plans to spend 209 billion rubles (3.4 billion euros) in the region over the next three years, with state and commercial companies are pledging billions more.
President Vladimir Putin acknowledged this in an interview with CNBC this spring. “What I’m about to say may be unpopular… Climate change brings in more favourable conditions and improves the economic potential of [the Arctic] region,” he told the news channel.
In other countries in the CEE/CIS region, the impact is likely to be insignificant, and none are expected to experience a fall in output.
This is similar to the situation in most of Europe and North America, but in stark contrast to other world regions. Africa is set to be the worst affected, while a fall in output is also forecast in Latin America, the Middle East, the Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia and Australasia. This means most countries worldwide and the vast majority of the world’s population would be negatively impacted.
“Close to 60 percent of the world’s population currently resides in countries where an increase in temperature would likely lead to such pernicious effects. By the end of the 21st century, this number is projected to rise to more than three-quarters of the global population,” the report says.
“Higher temperatures hurt economic activity in hot countries through many channels. They lower agricultural output, reduce the productivity of workers exposed to heat, slow investment, and damage health,” it warns. Many of the countries in the affected region are low income, making it harder for them to adapt to climate change.
The 1 C increase examined in the survey falls far short of the expected temperature hike by the end of this century, which could be as high as 4 C or even more if sufficient measures are not taken to curb global warming.
This would “erase close to one-tenth of the per capita output of the median low-income country by the end of the 21st century, relative to a scenario of unchanged temperature,” says the IMF. Overall, “Climate change is a negative global externality of potentially catastrophic proportions,” it concludes.
The IMF also acknowledges that country-level data doesn't show the whole picture as there are significant differences within countries, meaning that just because warming would result in an overall increase in output in CEE/CIS countries, it doesn’t mean they would avoid a weighty humanitarian cost and damage to some economic sectors.
Southeast Europe, for example, already experiences long hot summers and this year droughts have hit agriculture and pose a threat to hydropower production in parts of the region. Large parts of Central Asia are desert and the region is also vulnerable to climate change.
“[C]limate change is likely to create economic winners and losers at both individual and sectorial levels, even in countries where the effect might be moderate or positive on average,” the IMF warns.
This even includes Mongolia, where climate change is believed to be to a large extent responsible for the increasing severity and frequency of the “dzuds” — extremely cold winters that hit the country every few years, during which millions of livestock are killed.
A government decision to remove regulations that prevented overherding in the 1990s, together with increasingly hot summers and more extreme winters, has led to recent dzuds taking a heavy toll on herders.
Hundreds of thousands have given up their nomadic way of life and migrated to shanty towns around Ulan Bataar, which has brought its own set of environmental problems in terms of the chronic air pollution in the city.
Hot weather is also causing severe problems this year, as drought forced Mongolia to suspend its grain exports, a setback for the country’s plans to diversify its economy away from over-reliance on commodity exports such as copper and coal.
Temperatures in the landlocked country have already risen by 2 C in the last 70 years, three times faster than the global average, the United Nations Environment Programme says. That has brought about rising desertification rates, the melting of glaciers and drying rivers and lakes, threatening livelihoods....
AmCham members meet with the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for China and Mongolia www.amcham.mn
ULAANBAATAR, Mongolia – The American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) in Mongolia hosted a members-only October Monthly Meeting with the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for China and Mongolia, Mr. Alan Turley, on October 3, at Shangri-La Hotel Ulaanbaatar. The Honorable Jennifer Zimdahl Galt, United States Ambassador to Mongolia, attended the meeting as a guest of honor.
The speakers exchanged ideas on further advancing the U.S.-Mongolia commercial relationship and spoke to the meeting’s guests about the current U.S. administration’s messages for Mongolia. The meeting convened senior executives from AmCham member organizations, as well as AmCham Mongolia board members, and included a comprehensive Q & A session on key topics of interest.
Ambassador Galt commented on the joint efforts being made by the U.S. Embassy and AmCham to improve U.S.-Mongolia commercial partnership. During her welcoming remarks she said, “Without a doubt, increasing the U.S. private sector presence and partnerships with Mongolia is the most effective way to deepen our bilateral economic relationship.”
In his keynote address, Deputy Assistant Secretary Alan Turley said, “The Trump administration is committed and engaged to Asia in all spectrums of partnership, and we are looking to directly establish bilateral trade agreements with Asian countries. We believe that Mongolia has great potential in agriculture, herding, and food processing among others, and we have great companies in those sectors that can provide expertise and equipment.”
Chairman of AmCham Mongolia Mr. Jay Liotta delivered the meeting’s opening remarks and stated, “As we see greater and greater engagement from China, Russia, Japan, Korea, the European Union, and others in Mongolia, it is so good to have the U.S. Department of Commerce increasing its role with Mongolia. AmCham looks forward to continue working with you as your local partner to advance commercial ties between the United States and Mongolia.”
About AmCham Mongolia
AmCham Mongolia is an independent membership-driven organization that seeks to build, strengthen, and protect business between the United States and Mongolia, and to actively promote Mongolia as a destination for American investment. AmCham Mongolia is the official local affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the largest business federation in the world with over 3 million member companies. AmCham Mongolia is also a member of the Asia-Pacific Council of American Chambers of Commerce, consisting of 29 American Chambers of Commerce in the Asia-Pacific region.
Sandstorm Gold Ltd. (NYSE MKT: SAND, TSX: SSL) is pleased to report the attributable gold equivalent ounces sold during the third quarter of 2017 and recent updates from the Company's royalty properties.
Erdene Continues to Define New Zone at Bayan Khundii, Receives Positive Metallurgical Results
Erdene Resource Development Corp. ("Erdene") announced additional assay results from their ongoing 2017 drill program at the Bayan Khundii project in southwest Mongolia. A total of 19,386 metres have been drilled in 2017 and during the fourth quarter Erdene will be testing a series of geophysical and geochemical targets within the larger Bayan Khundii prospect area.
Results from drilling completed during the third quarter have continued to define a high-grade zone between the Midfield and Striker Zones. Hole BKD-194 is the latest in a series of holes confirming the continuity between these two high-grade zones. Three holes were also drilled to test potential continuity of gold mineralization west of the Midfield Zone (BKD-183,189 and 190) and a single hole (BKD-198) was drilled 130 metres west of the Striker Zone to test the down-dip potential of previously completed hole BKD-32 which returned a broad zone of low-grade mineralization during 2016 drilling. This hole confirmed higher grades at depth. Drill highlights include:
BKD-188: 120.0 metres of 1.1 g/t gold from 110.0 metres including 3.0 metres of 33.1 g/t gold from 176.0 metres;
BKD-194: 128.0 metres of 1.1 g/t gold from 49.0 metres including 22.0 metres of 3.3 g/t gold from 115.0 metres;
BKD-196: 22.0 metres of 2.4 g/t gold from 112.0 metres including 1.0 metre of 43.1 g/t gold from 118.0 metres;
BKD 197: 6.0 metres of 2.7 g/t gold from 130.0 metres;
BKD-198: 25.0 metres of 1.4 g/t gold from 144.0 metres including 3.0 metres of 7.8 g/t gold from 145.0 metres; and
BKD-30ext: 58.0 metres of 1.2 g/t gold from 59.0 metres including 16.0 metres of 2.8 g/t gold from 87.0 metres.
The results from Phase I metallurgical testing at Bayan Khundii has come back positive with two master composites indicating that gold from the project is free milling and amenable to conventional processing techniques.
Sandstorm has a 2.0% NSR royalty on Erdene's Bayan Khundii and Altan Narprojects.
Reported intervals are not true width. For more information and for complete drill results visit Erdene's website at www.erdene.com and see the press releases dated September 14, 2017 and September 12, 2017.