|"Open to Export" ICC WTO International business award||ICC WTO||London|
The first sea-borne nuclear power plant made in Russia has been towed to the country’s Arctic port of Murmansk, ready to undertake its first mission, generating electricity in remote locations.
The water-borne power plant, named Akademik Lomonosov, was built by the state-run nuclear corporation Rosatom in St. Petersburg. The new vessel is set to pioneer a new power source for remote regions of the planet, the company says.
The floating nuclear power plant will take on board a supply of nuclear fuel and will then be towed to Pevek, a small town in the Far Eastern region of Chukotka. The port of Pevek, which is located in Russia’s extreme northeast, is separated from the US state of Alaska by the 86-km (53 mile) wide Bering Strait.
The power plant is set to start providing electricity for homes as soon as in 2019, replacing a coal-powered plant and an old nuclear power plant that provides electricity to more than 50,000 people in the region.
According to Rosatom, small sea-borne power units are best suited for remote areas. The plants may help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which are blamed for global warming. Power plants of this kind are able to operate without stopping or the need for refueling for up to five years. The vessels were created to make it possible to supply electricity to hard-to-reach regions of the huge country.
However, green campaigners have raised some concerns over the risk of nuclear accidents. Greenpeace has dubbed Akademik Lomonosov the “nuclear Titanic.” Various environmental protection groups sent Rosatom a letter, calling for full and unrestricted regulatory oversight of the vessel. The floating power plant will not just generate electricity for Pevek, it will be used for oil and gas exploration as Russia is pushing development further north into the Arctic.
Sony says it has agreed to buy a controlling stake in EMI Music Publishing for $2.3bn (£1.71bn) as it looks to boost its music portfolio.
The deal would mean Sony would indirectly own about 90% of the record label and its some two million songs by artists from Queen and Carole King to Alicia Keys and Pharrell Williams.
Sony said it was thrilled with the deal, which is subject to approval.
The announcement comes as Sony prepares to unveil its mid-term plan on Tuesday.
EMI, which has its headquarters in London, is currently owned by a consortium led by Sony. It is one of the world's biggest music publishing firms. Sony already owns 2.3 million music copyrights, including the Beatles catalogue.
The Japanese tech giant's deal, announced on Tuesday with the Abu Dhabi-based investment firm Mubadala, will mean EMI will become a consolidated subsidiary of Sony.
Mubadala's private equity arm has controlled and managed EMI Music Publishing on behalf of Mubadala and other third-party investors since 2012, Sony said on Tuesday. Before that, EMI was owned by Citigroup.
"We are thrilled to bring EMI Music Publishing into the Sony family and maintain our number one position in the music publishing industry," Sony's president and chief executive Kenichiro Yoshida said on Tuesday.
Mr Yoshida said the music business had enjoyed a resurgence over the past couple of years, driven largely by the rise of paid subscription-based streaming services.
"In the entertainment space, we are focusing on building a strong IP portfolio, and I believe this acquisition will be a particularly significant milestone for our long-term growth," he said.
Later on Tuesday Sony is expected to unveil a three-year plan to move away from making any more gadgets and towards a bigger focus on gaming subscriptions and entertainment.
Earlier this month the firm bought a stake in Peanuts, the company behind Charlie Brown and Snoopy.
The deal to buy up a controlling stake in EMI is very much part of Sony's plans to realign its business, analysts said.
In April, it reported a net income of 380bn yen for last year, a seven-fold increase on 2016.
Almost all of its divisions saw an improved performance, but the PlayStation unit was a particular standout - it saw sales jump almost 300%.
Sony's former chief executive Kazuo Hirai handed the reins over to then-finance chief Kenichiro Yoshida earlier this year.
Mr Yoshida and Mr Hirai were instrumental in turning Sony around to focus on smartphone image sensors.
Under their efforts, the Japanese electronics giant also sold off its struggling PC business and launched the successful PlayStation 4 video game console.
ULAANBAATAR: Mongolia is preparing to invite proposals for public-private partnerships that would make a combined 38.3 trillion tugrik ($15.95 billion) in investments to support sustainable development, a government official said on Monday.
At present, Mongolia is recovering from an economic crisis rooted in a collapse in foreign investment and commodity prices, which forced it to turn to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) last year to help repay debts.
The government said that thanks to strong demand for commodities, Mongolia's economy grew an annual 6.1 percent in 2018's first quarter, compared with 5.1 percent last year and 1 percent in 2016.
But the landlocked nation remains desperate for funds to build the infrastructure to bring its huge copper and coal reserves to market.
"Even though we have good figures on the economy we still have issues to solve," Zandanshatar Gombojav, chief cabinet secretary, told the Mongolian Economic Forum on Monday.
The plan to get private-public partnerships will involve 113 projects. The government has not provided details, but officials said they will include transportation infrastructure near the largely undeveloped Tavan Tolgoi coal mine.
However, doubts have been expressed that the government will fulfil its aim to mobilise private capital to fund more than 90 percent of the programme.
"Nobody would believe in a fairy tale that in two years there will be 38.3 trillion tugriks in investment," said Lkhagvajav Baatarjav, chairman of the Mongolian National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, speaking at Monday forum. "It will barely reach 2 trillion tugriks."
He said the situation was not helped by political instability, noting that Mongolia had four prime ministers and around 60 government ministers in just four years.
In 2017, Mongolia received $10.3 billion in foreign and domestic direct investment, up 44 percent from a year earlier, thanks largely to mining, Zandanshatar said.
Mongolia's biggest project is the Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold mine in the Gobi desert, run by Anglo-Australian mining giant Rio Tinto, launched in 2009.
But political disputes have delayed its expansion, and it has been the subject in a corruption investigation that has led to the arrest of two former prime ministers and an ex-finance minister who signed the 2009 investment deal.
ULAN BATOR, May 21 (Xinhua) -- The 2018 Mongolia Economic Forum kicked off here Monday, with the aim of boosting the country's economic development through public-private partnerships.
"We have to consolidate our views on development policies. The public-private partnership is very important for the development of the economy," said Mongolian Prime minister Ukhnaa Hurelsukh at the opening ceremony of the forum.
Over 1,000 domestic and foreign representatives will attend the two-day event.
The annual forum is designed to provide a platform for constructive discussion among key stakeholders, including government, business, civil society and academia, with added input from potential foreign investors and donors.
This year's forum is expected to cover topics such as reviving the economy, speeding up capital market development, building a harassment-free business environment, improving the tax system and investment policies. Enditem
Capital investment in 24 of the EU’s 28 member states has fallen dramatically over the past ten years, according to data from statistical agency Eurostat.
Investment decreased on average by 2.3 percent, falling to 20.1 percent of GDP last year. It stood at 22.4 percent from 2007 to 2017 period. Countries in Europe’s east and south, which were more vulnerable to the crisis, experienced the biggest drops in investment in the years following the crisis, Eurostat reports.
Statistics showed that only three EU countries have seen their investments increase. Those are Sweden (from 23.9 percent of GDP in 2007 to 24.9 percent), Austria by 0.6 percent and Germany by 0.2 percent.
Last year, all EU countries invested around €3 billion ($3.5 billion) in public and private investments. The construction industry accounted for nearly half of investments, while machinery, equipment and weapons systems accounted for 31 percent. Investments into intellectual property products were 19 percent.
The EU’s investment fund (the European Fund for Strategic Investments), which was set up in the aftermath of the financial crisis to address the investment deficit, has mobilized €284 billion ($335 billion) to date. It plans to raise €500 billion ($590 billion) by 2020.
According to the European Investment Bank’s website “it aims to mobilize private investments in projects which are strategically important for the EU.”
Chelsea Football Club owner Roman Abramovich has faced delays in renewing his UK visa, the BBC understands.
The Russian billionaire did not attend Saturday's FA Cup final at Wembley when the Blues beat Manchester United 1-0.
A source close to the 51-year-old suggested he was in the process of renewing his visa, and said it was taking a little longer than usual.
Asked about the visa, Security Minister Ben Wallace said: "We do not routinely comment on individual cases."
Mr Abramovich's office said it does not discuss personal matters with the media.
Reports suggest his investor visa expired three weeks ago.
The delay comes amid increased diplomatic tensions between London and Moscow after the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal in Salisbury.
BBC home affairs correspondent, Daniel Sandford said Mr Abramovich appears to be able to run his businesses in Russia without significant interference from the Kremlin, suggesting that he is reasonably close to President Vladimir Putin.
But he said it was not clear if the delay in renewing his visa is in any way linked to the deterioration in relations between the two countries.
Mr Abramovich, who made his fortune in oil and gas in the 1990s, became owner of the companies that control Chelsea in 2003.
According to the Sunday Times Rich List, he is Britain's 13th-richest man, with a net worth of £9.3bn.
He owns a mansion on Kensington Palace Gardens, the most expensive street in London.
Mr Abramovich is also the former governor of the remote Chukotka region in Russia's Far East.
He has been a regular visitor to the UK since buying Chelsea, attending many of the home matches, and has been to Wembley for previous cup finals.
His private Boeing 767 left the UK on 1 April. It has since travelled to Moscow, New York, Monaco and Switzerland but does not seem to have returned to Britain.
The 51-year-old is one of Russia's richest billionaires
He reportedly sold dolls before making his fortune in oil during the perestroika years in the 1990s
Mr Abramovich was a one-time business partner of the late tycoon Boris Berezovky, an associate of former Russian President Boris Yeltsin
Critics say the two businessmen used their Kremlin "family" ties to acquire key state companies for below market value
Abramovich served as governor of Russia's Chukotka region
He is believed to be close to current Russian President Vladimir Putin
Mongolian Economic Forum – 2018 opens on May 21st at Government Palace. The two days event to attract more than thousand participants, including 50 panelists and 100 experts from government and private sectors.
Mongolia Economic Forum is non- political and non-governmental organization, which was designed to provide a platform for constructive discussion among key stakeholders. The inaugural forum, held in 2010 under the motto “together we can”, while this year forum adopted a theme “Uniting the power”.
During the two-day event government officials, private sector players, foreign investors and donors will attend discussion on key issues such as Integrated foreign investment policy, Development strategy and model, as well as Effective dialogue and cooperation between government and private stakeholders.
In addition, discussions on Sustainable and responsible Mining industry, Tourism and civil aviation, Current state and perspectives of finance and stock market are to be conducted during first day panel sessions.
The forum opens with keynote remarks of Prime Minister U.Khurelsukh, followed by speech of Parliament Speaker M.Enkhbold.
In total 12 sessions will be held within the frame of MEF-2018
Mongolian Development strategy and model
Foreign Investment Integrated Policy of Mongolia
Redevelopment in provincial areas- New perspectives
Tourism sector and civil aviation
Decentralized development, regional development
Attracting investment from Finance and Stock market
Mining, Infrastructure, Transport and Logistics
Pension reform and National Welfare Fund.
The National Statistics Office of Mongolia (NSO) has released its Social and Economic Report for April.
The report shows some interesting changes in the economic and social situation of Mongolia observed in the first quarter of this year, including a wage increase, higher unemployment rate, and increase in the average monthly household income.
Economically active population declines
There are 1.3 million economically active population aged 15 and above in Mongolia, according to the first quarter results of the 2018 Labor Force Survey. Among these people, 665,400 people (52.6 percent) are men and 600,400 people (47.4 percent) are women.
The survey showed that 61.5 percent, or 778,800 economically active people, live in urban areas, while 38.5 percent, or 487,000 people, live in rural areas.
In the first quarter of 2018, the Labor Force Participation Rate (LFPR) stood at 60.6 percent, falling by 1.8 percentage points from the preceding quarter but increased by 1.1 percentage points from the same period of last year. The employed decreased by 4,100 people, or 0.4 percent, compared to the same period of the previous year and economically inactive population went down by 36,500 people, or 4.2 percent. However, the number of unemployed people increased by 7,600 people, or 6.6 percent, over the last quarter and reached 122,900 people by April 31. The majority of the unemployed are men, taking up 56.6 percent.
The unemployment rate has risen by 2.4 percentage points to 9.7 percent since the fourth quarter of 2017.
NSO reported that by the end of April, 34,500 people had filled applications at employment and labor organizations in search of jobs and that 23,400 of them are unemployed while the rest are people searching for a second job.
Labor organizations operating in Ulaanbaatar and provinces registered 294 new people who don’t have a job since January. A breakdown by gender shows that 12,300, or 52.6 percent of the total registered unemployed people are women. In the registered unemployed by region, 33.8 percent are living in Ulaanbaatar, 19 percent in the western region, 18.7 percent in the central region, 16.7 percent in Khangai region, and 11.8 percent in the eastern region.
Newly registered unemployed at the Labor and Social Welfare Services Agency, by reason, by percent, as of April 2018
Nationwide, there are 468 people living with disabilities who wish to work but don’t have jobs, according to labor and social welfare services agencies.
One of the shocking things found in the report was the fact that the majority of newly registered unemployed people (51.8 percent) were dismissed from their previous job. Other reasons included unemployed after university, migration, being released from prison, returned from abroad, and unemployed after military.
According to NSO, unemployment is highest among young people living in Umnugovi, Arkhangai, Uvs, Khovd, Tuv, Orkhon, Dornod, and Govi-Altai provinces.
Registered unemployment trends
Average family earns 1 million MNT per month
The first quarter result of the 2018 Household Socio-Economic Survey showed that the monthly average household income amounted to one million MNT, surging by 137,600 MNT (15.4 percent) compared with the same period of the previous year. It was mainly driven by higher wages, which increased by 52,300 MNT (10.4 percent) in the last quarter, and higher revenue from non-agricultural production and services, which rose by 26,600 MNT (38.7 percent).
As of April, the monthly average household real monetary income (eradicated price inflation impact) stood at 967,100 MNT, increasing by 73,800 MNT since April 2017.
The monthly average household monetary expenditure also went up by 12.6 percent to 1.1 million MNT. This increase was mainly driven by an increase of 96,400 MNT, or 13.8 percent, in non-food expenses and services and other expenditure.
Social insurance and welfare
The following are the key findings in the NSO report related to social insurance and welfare:
The revenue of the Social Insurance Fund reached over 720 billion MNT in the last four months in Mongolia, which is an increase of 72.7 billion MNT and a whopping 11.2 percent compared to last year. It amounted to 190.6 billion MNT in April.
The expenditure of the Social Insurance Fund amounted to 679.7 billion MNT, also rising by 78.1 billion MNT (13 percent) compared to last year. It amounted to 175.7 billion MNT in April.
The revenue of the Health Insurance Fund saw a decline of 13.1 billion MNT (13.1 percent) while the Unemployment Insurance Fund revenue went down by 2.5 billion MNT (17.5 percent) since 2017.
The expenditure of the Unemployment Insurance Fund decreased by three billion MNT (22.6 percent).
Monthly cash allowances, also known as children’s money, was not distributed in April.
Birth rate increases in April
NSO reports that more babies were born in the first quarter of this year compared to the same period of last year.
Over 25,400 babies were born in the first quarter of 2016, over 22,790 babies in the first quarter of 2017, and this year, the number of newborn babies increased to 25,310, according to statistics. Infant mortality and under-five mortality, on the other hand, had increased by 3.1 percent and 4.3 percent respectively by April. Hospitals recorded 370 infant deaths and 440 deaths of children under the age of five. However, a slight improvement was seen in these indexes in April – infant mortality fell by two babies and under-five mortality by 108 children compared to April 2017.
NSO recorded 13,418 patients affected by communicable diseases, which is more than 3,000 patients lower than last year. Reportedly, patients affected by measles fell by 2,145 (62.7 percent), varicella patients by 1,415 (32.3 percent), trichomoniasis patients by 97 (six percent), and tuberculosis patients fell by 66 (five percent) compared to the same period of last year.
In April, five new HIV/AIDS cases were detected, making the total number of HIV/ AIDS cases in Ulaanbaatar 260....
Like Mongolia, the Philippines is a lower-middle income country with a GDP of 399 billion USD and although the two countries are less than five hours away, there is a great contrast between their economic and social situations.
While Mongolia is landlocked and heavily dependent on mining, the Philippines is situated on an island with sea ports all around. It is primarily considered a newly industrialized country, with an economy in transition from one based on agriculture to one based more on services and manufacturing.
The economy of the Philippines is the world’s 34th largest economy by nominal GDP according to the 2017 estimate of the International Monetary Fund. It was also defined as the 13th largest economy in Asia and third largest economy in the ASEAN after Indonesia and Thailand. The Philippines is one of the emerging markets and is the sixth richest in Southeast Asia by GDP per capita values, after Singapore, Brunei, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia. The country is expected to become an upper middle-income country by late-2019, with economic growth poised to clock faster driven by an ambitious infrastructure program, according to the National Economic and Development Authority.
The economy of Mongolia, on the other hand, is one of the fastest growing economies in the world. Impressed with the developments in the mining industry and foreign interest increasing at an astonishing rate, Renaissance Capital predicted that the “unstoppable” economic growth would make Mongolia the new Asian tiger, or “Mongolian Wolf” as they prefer to call it.
The principal industrial activities in Mongolia are mining and agricultural production, namely cashmere. GDP from mining averaged almost 1.78 trillion MNT from 2010 to 2017, reaching an all-time high of 3.97 trillion MNT in the fourth quarter of 2016 and a record low of 3.95 trillion MNT in the first quarter of 2010, as reported by Trading Economics. Meanwhile, GDP from agriculture averaged nearly one trillion MNT from 2010 to 2017, reaching an all-time high of 2.25 trillion MNT in the fourth quarter of 2017 and a record low of 0.46 trillion MNT in the first quarter of 2011.
I had the chance to talk about the economic situation in the Philippines with local experts during my recent visit to the capital, Manila, for the 51st Annual Meeting of the Asian Development Bank (ADB)’s Board of Governors. After my initial surprise at the scorching but humid weather, I was fairly impressed with the completed and ongoing infrastructure work in the city. But in this article, I will compare the two countries with their economic performances as well as delve into some operations by ADB which accelerated each nation’s economic growth.
Without further ado, let’s have a closer look at these two countries.
The economy revived in 2017 from slowing growth in previous years. Growth will remain solid in 2018 and 2019, albeit with slight moderation, thanks to large investments in mining, according to ADB.
Inflation is expected to rise in 2018 before decelerating modestly in 2019, and the current account deficit will narrow considerably in 2018 before widening somewhat in 2019. Urban air pollution, especially in winter, poses an urgent and complex policy challenge.
A fall in copper concentrate quality at the Oyu Tolgoi mine lowered mining production by 6.9 percent in 2017 in spite of a 32.7 percent increase in coal production attributed to favorable prices. Strong recovery in manufacturing—particularly in coal washing, cement production, and meatpacking—helped the industry contribute 0.2 percentage points to growth notwithstanding subdued mining production and a decline in construction.
Large mining-related investments and imports underpinned expansion in the transport, wholesale, and retail industries, making the service sector the main driver of growth, with a contribution of 4.3 percentage points.
ADB commended the government for slashing its budget deficit from 15.3 percent of GDP in 2016 to 3.9 percent last year through its commitments under an agreement with the International Monetary Fund Extended Fund Facility.
Economic growth is forecast to decelerate slightly to 3.8 percent this year before shooting back up to 4.3 percent in 2019, supported by foreign direct investment anticipated to exceed one billion USD annually this year and next to develop the Oyu Tolgoi underground mine. The quality of copper concentrate from the open-pit mine is expected to improve significantly.
Broad expansion in aggregate demand, attributed to higher export growth, underpinned strong economic growth last year. Inflation picked up, and the current account posted a marginal deficit, according to ADB. Accelerated investment is expected to offset moderation in exports this year and next, enabling higher growth. Inflation is forecast to edge up, and the current account to remain in deficit.
ADB believes that strengthened project planning and implementation capacity is crucial to the success of an ambitious public infrastructure program in the country.
The Philippine government has embarked on a massive infrastructure program worth 160 billion USD to 180 billion USD from 2017 to 2022, entitled “Build Build Build.” The program aims to address infrastructure bottlenecks that have long constrained Philippine competitiveness globally, as well as its long-term growth prospects. Under the program, public infrastructure spending is targeted to rise from 4.5 percent of GDP in 2016 to 7.3 percent by 2022.
The program has already gathered momentum, with public spending on infrastructure estimated to rise by nearly a percentage point of GDP last year to reach 5.4 percent. This is a remarkable achievement for the first year. However, considering the wide array of infrastructure projects under the program, the challenge for the government is to ensure that government departments and other implementing agencies have the adequate absorptive capacity to roll out and implement such large and complex projects.
Encouragingly, efforts are already underway to enhance the absorptive capacity of government agencies, including their technical and institutional capabilities for project readiness and budget execution. Initiatives include a proposed shift from a multiyear budget system to an annual cash-based system effective in January 2019, with a view to improving budget execution. A budget reform bill is being pursued in the legislature to institutionalize improvements in the financial management, budgeting, accountability, and result-orientation of the budget process and public spending.
Both Mongolia and the Philippines are considered fast-growing countries but the Philippines is hurtling toward becoming an upper middle-income country with its ambitious strides, while Mongolia continues to take less risky moves.
The Philippines government may seem to be spending an alarming amount of money on infrastructure but this will ultimately bring much larger yield in the long run. Also, the government has shown a remarkable improvement in terms of government debt, depreciating it to 42 percent by the end of 2017, which is said to be the lowest in 20 years. This was possible with improvements to the fiscal management, consolidation of deficits, ramp-up in expenditure, and implementation of tax reforms.
Playing safe is a good method to produce consistent results and that’s exactly what the Mongolian government has been doing so far. However, we can definitely do better considering the immense potential of the Mongolian people and the resources contained in our vast land. Right now, Metro Manila in the Philippines is fully engaged in construction work. This is what is needed to improve and develop a country. Mongolia has many targets and the main reason they haven’t been achieved is slow implementation, with the exception of long-term targets that require substantial time.
Mongolia also needs to diversify its economy so that it can grow without being heavily dependent on mining. The Philippines’ economy and employment were dependent on agriculture several decades ago, but through investments and effective policies for the information and technology sector, it has become less dependent on farming and created many jobs in other sectors. Looking at this, investing in people and infrastructure like the Philippines will most likely boost Mongolian society and its economy....
During its Thursday session, Parliament approved the president’s four nominees for new diplomatic mission heads who will represent Mongolia to their designated countries.
During the meeting of Parliament’s Foreign Policy Standing Committee held on Wednesday, MP N.Enkhbold remarked that Parliament should review nominations for ambassadors in a closed session as crucial issues regarding the nation’s foreign policy would be discussed.
At the beginning of Thursday’s session, former Minister of Foreign Affairs Ts.Munkh-Orgil said that Parliament needs to discuss appointments of diplomatic mission heads in an open session because Mongolians living abroad should be informed of the plans of newly appointed diplomatic mission heads serving in their respective countries.
As lawmakers supported Ts.Munkh-Orgil’s proposal, Parliament reviewed appointments of the new ambassadors in an open session. Legislators asked the four nominees about the plans for their respective diplomatic missions abroad, and relations between Mongolia and these countries.
Diplomat O.Enkhtsetseg, appointed ambassador to Sweden, said that trade turnover reached 33.4 million USD between the two countries last year, which includes exports worth 628,000 USD from Mongolia to Sweden, mainly textile products and Mongol ger, and imports of 32.7 million USD from Sweden, mainly heavy equipment for mining projects.
O.Enkhtsetseg pointed out that she is looking forward to increasing Swedish investment in Mongolia, learning more about Swedish experience in innovation, green development, and sustainable development and promoting bilateral cooperation in these areas.
She noted that more than 6,000 Mongolians are living in Sweden, and many of them ask the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Embassy of Mongolia in Stockholm to create an opportunity that will bring social insurance fees paid by them in Sweden to Mongolia.
O.Enkhtsetseg stated that to fulfill their request, she will work to establish an agreement between the two countries’ governments on labor cooperation and social protection.
D.Batjargal, ambassador to Japan, underlined that Japan has granted 3.6 billion USD to Mongolia for projects implemented under Japan’s Official Development Assistance, and trade turnover between the two countries reached 330 million USD. Exports from Mongolia to Japan are less than 30 million USD, which is why he plans to make efforts for reducing the current trade deficit by promoting cooperation between the two countries’ small and medium-sized enterprises. He added that thanks to the mid-term program for the Japan-Mongolia strategic partnership being carried out from 2017 to 2021, the two countries have seen some progress in bilateral economic cooperation. Therefore, he will actively work to improve the program.
Ya.Ariunbold, ambassador to Canada, emphasized that he will work to take economic cooperation between the two countries to a new level through the Program for Mongolia’s Economic Foreign Relations adopted by Cabinet in 2015, and Canada-Mongolia Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement signed by the two countries in 2016, which will provide a more transparent and predictable regulatory environment for Canadian investors in Mongolia.
The new ambassador stated that he will focus on reaching goals outlined in a trade agreement established by the two nations in 1994 to increase exports, which is currently at 3.4 million USD. He noted that as the two countries are seeking collaboration opportunities for promoting bilateral commercial cooperation, he will concentrate on developing agricultural cooperation and increasing Canadian investment in Mongolia. Ya.Ariunbold added that as he served as the director of the Consular Department of the Mongolian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, he is well informed about challenges facing Mongolians living abroad, which is why he will take care of the nearly 6,000 Mongolians residing in Canada.
N.Tulga, ambassador to Great Britain, pointed out that he is looking forward to approaching Mongolia’s collaboration with the British Veterinary Association to promote meat exports from Mongolia to the UK. He noted that the Embassy of Mongolia in London will focus on providing Mongolians living in the UK and foreigners with fast and accessible consular services by sending consular officers twice a year to places where many Mongolians are living in, such as Scotland and North Ireland, to listen to their challenges and provide them with consular services.
N.Tulga stressed that he will seek to establish a mutual legal assistance treaty with the UK.
Lawmaker B.Bat-Erdene said as people living abroad criticize that instead of taking care of Mongolian citizens living abroad, Mongolian diplomats and consular officers are serving few government officials from Mongolia visiting their respective countries, the ambassadors need to provide Mongolians living abroad with fast and fair consular services without bureaucracy.
During the meeting, MP B.Bat-Erdene asked Director of Department of State Administration and Management at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs N.Ankhbayar about policies the ministry is executing to improve consular and state services for Mongolian citizens living abroad, and visa requirements for foreign tourists for promoting the Mongolian tourism sector.
N.Ankhbayar said that the ministry is taking several measures to provide Mongolian citizens with fast, effective and accessible state services. For instance, a Mongolian national living abroad is able to apply for their new passports online, and the ministry is also working to create standards and deadlines for providing notary and state registration services. He added that the ministry is reviewing the budget for opening new consular posts in countries such as Sweden, Australia, France, the Czech Republic, and Poland to manage the workloads of state and consular services, and a tender process for a project to adopt an electronic visa system for foreigners is in progress....