|Frontier's "Invest Mongolia Tokyo 2018"||Frontier Securities||Tokyo Japan|
|"Open to Export" ICC WTO International business award||ICC WTO||London|
Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ The Bank of Mongolia’s mobile bank statement reports that Mobile Bank transaction in the first quarter of 2017 reached MNT 3.1 trillion, showing 2.7 times increase compared to the same period of previous year.
Also, a total of 2.8 million people has been using the mobile bank application. More and more advanced technologies with easier online transaction systems are being introduced to the market. For example, local commercial banks are opening their online platforms and new services for smart phones.
Trade and Development Bank has introduced #TDBPAY, a new transaction service for both business owners and buyers.
Using QR codes, Trade and Development Bank and Khan Bank users can now receive and make transactions. The user’s account information is changed into QR code and can be used on every commercial bank’s mobile applications. Also, Golomt Bank has introduced “Socialpay” service. Using the "Socialpay", the user can use their social network accounts, such as phone number, e-mail address, twitter and facebook accounts, to make transaction and locate nearby people for transaction using their smart phone’s GPS service.
Mongolia traded with 145 countries during the first seven months of 2017. Cumulative trade turnover reached USD 5.9 billion; export accounting for USD 3.5 billion and imports for USD 2.3 billion. During the reporting period, the total trade amount increased by USD 1.5 billion or 33.9 percent, exports by USD 979.2 million or 38.5 percent and imports by USD 504.1million or 27.5 percent on the previous year.
The reason why imports increased by 27.5 percent is largely due to the USD 183.8 million rise in mining imports; diesel imports increased by USD 141.4 million, electronics or motor vehicle equipment by USD 116.3 million, metal products by USD 55.6 million and auto fuel by USD 33.9 million in the first seven months of 2017.
L.Purevsuren: Mutually beneficial and friendly cooperation will be exercised in ties with China and Russia www.gogo.mn
The following is an interview with Mr. L.Purevsuren, the Foreign Policy Advisor to the President of Mongolia.
-Have the dates for foreign visits of the new President been set? From what we have heard, the President is starting his visits abroad from the two neighboring countries.
-President Battulga will attend the Eastern Economic Forum, expected to take place between the 5th and 7th of next month in Vladivostok of Russia, at the invitation of the Russian president. He is not only attending this forum, but also plans to pay a working visit. It is expected that our President will exchange views on Mongolia-Russia relations with Vladimir Putin, the President of the Russian Federation.
-It has been reported that the President is also heading to Budapest at the end of this month for the World Judo Championships.
-Although the President had been elected the head of state, he is still leading the Judo Association of Mongolia. The World Judo Championships will be held in Budapest, later this month, as well as the election for IJF President. It is expected of him to participate in this event as a leader of national judo association of the country. However, of course, the Hungarian side will welcome the President as the head of state of another country. It is a private visit for the President and all costs will be covered by the President himself.
-What outcomes are expected from the Eastern Economic Forum for Mongolia?
-It will be the first time for Mongolia to take part in an important regional economic gathering in Northeast Asia on the level of head of state. The President will also be accompanied by representatives of businesses, related officials and several ministers. Russia, China, Japan and South Korea and other regional countries are sending high-ranking representatives of politics and business. EEF will also incorporate a Mongolia-Russia Business Forum, during which we plan to present major projects intended to be run by the Government.
-What issues can be resolved during President’s visit to Russia?
-Our two countries have active and friendly ties in politics. However, it is not the case when it comes to economic cooperation. We need to renovate the joint railroads and widen the corridors. There are also the unresolved problems of energy cooperation and infrastructure. The foremost priority of the President will be export-targeted production of Mongolia. The number of livestock in Mongolia is already exceeding 80 million. The Siberian market used to be a platform for Mongolia. Unfortunately, as of today, we are being unable to export meat, wool and leather on this market. This matter will be considered very seriously during the meeting of two presidents. The President has set a goal to bring the Mongolia-Russia ties to new heights. The dialogue, in my opinion, will become an important step to determine the future perspective of relations between Mongolia and the Russian Federation.
-What are the priority areas of foreign policy, as defined by our new president?
-In foreign policy, continuance is the most crucial. The concepts of National Security and Foreign Policy of Mongolia both provide that maintaining balanced and equal ties with the two neighbors is a priority in the country’s foreign policy. Therefore, President Battulga attaches great importance to ties with the neighbors. Until 1990, Mongolia’s southern border was closed and we had relations only northward. Nevertheless, economic ties with our northern neighbor have almost disappeared within the last 27 years. The economy has inclined towards the south. The President means to fix this. Nonetheless, it will not mean that Mongolia will be paying all its attention to the relations with Russia and limiting the cooperation China, in the sake of what is reflected in the Concept of National Security. Relations with China will be expanded in the future, as well. The President wishes to upgrade Mongolia’s relations with Russia to the level of that between Mongolia and China in a very short period. Because our new president comes from business sector, he follows a principle that any deal must be mutually beneficial, so that it can survive in a long-term.
He also takes a stance to maintain the development of “third neighbor” policy. In that order, he will also hold meetings during the Vladivostok forum with the Prime Minister of Japan and the President of the Republic of Korea. High technologies are the key to industrial development. However, it needs major financing, which requires the involvement of third neighbors. Another focus will be this.
-Mongolia has an observer’s status in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). Can this status be changed?
-Mongolia is the first observer in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, and 12 years have passed since the status was granted. Situations in SCO have been changing, as well. At first, it was the “Shanghai 5”, and now it has become “Shanghai 6”. During the last SCO Summit in Astana, India and Pakistan joined SCO afresh. With these entries, SCO has now turned into a major organization, broadening its horizons throughout the region. Mongolia is watching very closely where this alliance heads. We need to carefully observe whether it is going to be an economic platform or a military-political union. Mongolia should keep up with other countries if SCO is going to be an economic alliance. This means the issue of Mongolia’s entry to SCO also depends on the organization’s own motives.
-Mongolia is left out of the Belt and Road Initiative of China. Mongolia is supposed to be one of its closest neighbors. However, the route to London and gas pipes from Russia are not passing through Mongolia. Will the President implement policies in order to get involved in the Belt and Road?
-It may seem very obvious that our country is left out, because previously the Trans-Siberian railway, the only railway that used connect Asia with Europe passed through Manjuur and Mongolia, but today, the situation has changed and there are more corridors and passages. We have obviously been trying to be an active player in this. This is the reason why the initiative of Economic Corridor between Mongolia, Russia, and China has come up in the first place three years ago. The agreement was signed a year ago by the three sides. A total of 32 projects have been designated, being considered the most viable. Most of these projects include works that have to pass through Mongolia to connect Russia and China. This is high time we decided which project to start with.
-Is it true, during your attendance at the inauguration ceremony of the Iranian president, you have told a local media that Mongolia is against the US sanction on North Korea?
-It is false information. An inauguration ceremony was held on August 5 for President of Iran Hassan Rouhani after him being re-elected to the office. As the Foreign Policy Advisor and special envoy of the President of Mongolia, I attended this ceremony, which attracted delegates from 105 countries and 25 international organizations. Heads of state of 20 countries and many other high-ranking officials were invited. I was welcomed at the airport by a head of Standing Committee of the Parliament of Iran on August 4. We talked for a while and headed to the hotel. During our meeting, an Iranian TV Channel was recording us. I have not made any statement at that time. I would like to responsibly note that no statement have been made about Mongolia being against the US sanctions. As a member of the United Nations, Mongolia is obliged to follow the decisions made by the UN toward the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, especially the sanctions on that matter.
Stocks in the U.S. and Asia dropped after North Korea fired a missile that flew over Japan.
South Korea's benchmark Kospi index fell 1% in morning Asian trading Tuesday, while Japan's Nikkei sank 0.8%.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called the launch a "serious and grave" threat to his country, a key U.S. ally in the region.
Analysts said the situation over North Korea remains a concern for investors.
"It is going to move back into the headlines and be a cause of volatility for the market," said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities.
U.S. markets had closed for the day when reports of the launch began to emerge. But stock futures were down around 0.5% late Monday, signaling caution in response to the development.
Gold, which tends to benefit from market fear, rose 0.7%. The Japanese yen, a safe haven currency, rose 0.8% against the U.S. dollar.
The Pentagon said North Korea launched a missile that flew over Japan and landed in the Pacific Ocean. The launch prompted warnings for residents in Japan to seek shelter.
A U.S. official said spy satellites had been observing preparations for a ballistic missile test that could reach Guam. The official says the assessment is ongoing.
This launch comes only days after Pyongyang fired off three short-range ballistic missiles in the midst of U.S. and South Korean military exercises in the region.
Companies operating power plants in Russia have started leasing generators with excess capacity to cryptocurrency miners, Vedomosti daily reports.
According to the newspaper, the offer is a boost for crypto miners, as electricity bills consume a significant portion of their profits.
Russia’s largest energy company EvroSibEnergo has reportedly received dozens of requests.
The company owns several plants in Siberia, in the Urals, as well as in the European part of the country, which has shut down.
“There are over 70 manufacturing facilities with ready-made infrastructure, including quick access to electrical grids and substations, provided with cheap electric power,” said the company representative, as quoted by the daily.
He also said the company is currently in talks with dozens of miners, but no contracts have been signed yet.
Nearly 30 percent of bitcoin mining expenses go to paying electricity bills, while mining ethereum takes up to 15 percent of costs, according to mining farm owner Timofey Ra.
He said some digital miners are planning to start farms at electrical grids and had already agreed on preferential terms. They reportedly pay two rubles ($0,03) per kilowatt, instead of 4.5 rubles.
Despite bitcoin's recent drop in value and volatility, digital currencies are still attracting attention in Russia. Some web portals have started selling mining farms, computer hardware linked to a system, with vendors assuring the investment will pay off.
Miner and commodities trader Glencore (LON:GLEN) said Monday it has begun the sale process for a second Australian coal mine as it readies to pay up to $300 million for shares in Yancoal Australia, as part of a deal that allowed the firm to put its hands on Rio Tinto’s (ASX, LON:RIO) former coal assets in the Hunter Valley.
The decision to sell Rolleston mine, made together with its Japanese joint venture partners — Itochu Corp and Sumitomo Corp —, is part of Glencore’s ongoing plan to optimize its portfolio and redeploy capital into other opportunities, it said in the statement.
The mine, which produced 13.3 million tonnes of thermal coal last year, out of Glencore’s total Australian coal production of about 93 million tonnes, is located far from the Swiss firm’s main collieries. That makes it less cost-effective than the other operations from a shipping standpoint.
This not the first coal mine Glencore puts up for sale in recent months. In May, it decided to offload its wholly-owned Tahmoor coking coal mine, also in Australia, saying it was planning on mining just thermal coal in the future.
Last month, in fact, the company was finally able to grab a stake in the coal mines that Yancoal Australia (ASX:YAL) is acquiring from Rio Tinto. The $1.1 billion deal gives Glencore almost half (49%) of those mines and will help Glencore add 7 million tonnes of thermal coal a year to its coal division.
Glencore owns 75% of the Rolleston open cut mine, located in Australia’s Bowen Basin in Queensland state, while its Japanese partners each have a 12.5% stake on it.
Merrill Lynch has been appointed as sole financial adviser on any deal, the company said
Mining for Sustainable Development: Mineral Licensing Corruption Risk Assessment Mongolia www.transparency.mn
Transparency International Mongolia is one of 20 national chapters participating in Transparency International’s global Mining for Sustainable Development (M4SD) Programme. The Programme is coordinated by TI Australia. The M4SD Programme complements existing efforts to improve transparency and accountability in the extractive industries by focussing specifically on the start of the mining decision chain: the point at which governments grant and award mineral licenses.
The first phase of the Programme (2016-2017) focused on understanding the problem. A corruption risk assessment was undertaken which identified a total of 14 risks, stemming from 52 systemic, regulatory and institutional vulnerabilities to corruption in awarding mineral licenses. With an understanding of the nature and causes of corruption risks, national chapters will develop and implement solutions to tackle priority corruption risks in Phase 2 (2018-2020). The chapters will work with key stakeholders from government, the mining industry, civil society and affected communities to improve transparency, accountability and integrity in the decision-making related to the approval of mining projects.
The participation of Transparency International Mongolia in the Programme is supported by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (ADFAT). Globally, the M4SD Programme is also funded by the BHP Billiton Foundation.
The main focus of the study was the analysis of the three License Allocation Mechanisms utilized in Mongolia. The key principle, no license applicant should be discriminated against or favoured, is neglected in several points in the design of the main modes of license allocation in Mongolia, First-Come-First-Served for exploration licenses (suspended since the end of 2015) and the license tender (in practice since 2014). As a result, weak spots in these systems can be exploited in corrupt schemes and - arguably more severely – lead to uncertainties which deter quality investment. No corruption risks were identified regarding the right-of-first refusal mechanism by which exploration licence holders have a priority right to convert an exploration license into a mining license.
The report further elaborates on the three most important licence applicants’ obligations. The Detailed Environmental Impact Assessment is the key document to specify all environmental obligations and the Final Exploration Report is the main source for the development of the geological information system. To ensure accuracy, Mongolia relies on a system of third-party assessor companies compiling information and specialized councils evaluating them, but conflict of interest and limited accountability result in opportunities for corruption in return for approvals. No enforcement for inclusion of affected communities and non-disclosure of agreements significantly increase the risk of collusion and jeopardize potentialyields for affected communities from the negotiation of Community Development Agreements.
Capacity constraints to govern approximately 3,700 exploration and mining licenses emphasize the importance of a robust Governance Framework in the form of due diligence, data management, the license cadastre. While impact of corruption is moderate in these systems, shortcomings may jeopardize the efficiency of the overall governance framework, with very severe and long-lasting implications for the sector.
Finally, the report elaborates on the Prevention of Speculation. Speculation, the application for exploration licenses with the intention of selling them later, and, without investing in exploration impedes the development of the mining sector and increases the risk of corruption. Existing measures for Prevention of License Stockpiling remain largely inefficient and certain license holder rights regarding license transfers facilitate speculation. The disclosure of beneficial owners is another important mechanism which could constrain speculation and many other forms of corruption and financial crimes, but is not enforced in Mongolia.
Transparency International Mongolia will be launching the report on Tuesday 29 August amongst key stakeholders. If you would like further information about the report or Mining for Sustainability Programme, please contact Transparency International Mongolia.
Please review the full report on the link http://resource3.sodonvision.com/transparency/file/2017/8/5d1luucd6wb73n00nfpsg9col/report%20final%202017.08.24.pdf...
As part of his visit to Hungary, Vladimir Putin met with President of Mongolia Khaltmaagiin Battulga.
The meeting took place after the opening ceremony of the 2017 World Judo Championships. The Russian President watched the competitions together with the Prime Minister of Hungary and President of Mongolia.
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr President, I am very glad to have the opportunity to meet you. We know you both as a politician and a good athlete. I would like to congratulate you on the excellent performance of Mongolian judokas at the world championships here.
As for bilateral relations, we will have an opportunity to speak about them in more detail in Vladivostok, where I know you are planning to attend the forum as well. But it is already clear that the trend in trade is good. While last year it fell by 20 percent, in the first half year of 2017 it grew by over 34 percent.
Work is being done on the political track, as well as in the economic and cultural areas. Our traditional Russian-Mongolian ventures are working hard and shipments are up. So, we will have plenty to discuss in depth in Vladivostok.
President of Mongolia Khaltmaagiin Battulga (retranslated): Good evening to you once again.
I am very pleased to meet with you at such a remarkable event as the World Judo Championships. It is great that we are meeting at this event because it is something we are both interested in and fond of. I believe it will serve us well in the future. Naturally, we are planning to have a working meeting in Vladivostok in the near future.
The presidential election in Mongolia was less than two months ago. Considering modern realities, I am planning to further expand relations with our northern neighbour.
You have just said that trade has grown. This trade owes something to cross-border regions and I think it is important to pay attention to the relations between border regions because we have a common border of over 4,000 km.
Naturally, we are primarily interested in investment. Our priority is railways. We have a joint venture, Ulan Bator Railways, with fifty-fifty participation.
Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ The National Statistical Office presented some interesting figures about Mongolia’s younger generation on August 25 which is observed as Youth Day in Mongolia.
Young people aged between 15-34 constitute 34.6 percent of Mongolia’s population, with the sex ratio being 50.2:49.8 (men:women). 26.6 percent of Mongolian young people are students while 47.3 percent are employed. Unemployment rate among young people is 14.4 percent.
Out of those working, 29 percent are working in agriculture sector, 20.2 percent are working in industry and 50.8 percent are working in service sector. 39 percent of the young people hold Bachelor’s degree whereas 22.1 percent have acquired vocational education.
August 25 is a day when the first Mongolian youth union was established in 1921 which was headed by writer, poet D.Natsagdorj.
Mongolia’s young people engaged in blood donation activities on Youth Day, August 25. The event took place on the day at the building of Mongolian Youth Federation which calls for spending the day productively, rather than celebrating.
Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ Ministry of Road and Transport Development informs, transit flights increased by 11 percent, showing positive impact on the economy.
As the air transportation and traffic intensifies, the objectives of increasing air space capacity, safety and economic efficiency is successfully implementing, says the officials.
Minister of Road and Transport Development D.Ganbat addressed “Following the order concerning the renewal of airspace issued in January, 2017, seven air corridors have been re-established. By shortening these routes, the amount of carbon dioxide emission, time and fuel consumptions have started to reduce. As a result, the number of flights have increased, showing positive effects on the economy”.
Mongolia borders with the Russian Federation and the PRC through 15 airways and 11 air corridors connect to them. By an estimate, these new corridors will shorten around 230 thousand kilometers of distance, save 1656 tons of fuel and prevent 5.2 tons of carbon dioxide emission.