Name organizer Where
Frontier's "Invest Mongolia Tokyo 2018" Frontier Securities Tokyo Japan
"Open to Export" ICC WTO International business award ICC WTO London



J.Erdenbat PM meets assistant FM of China www.montsame.mn

Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ J.Erdenebat, the Prime Minister of Mongolia, Thursday received a delegation led by Mr Kong Xuanyou, the Assistant Foreign Minister of China, who participated in the 3rd meeting of the Strategic Talks between their Ministries of Foreign Affairs.

The Premier underlined the above meeting widely discussed the bilateral relations and cooperation, giving an impetus to boosting the comprehensive strategic partnership ties.

“Last May, I visited China and participated in the Belt and Road Summit in Beijing. During this meeting, I shared the bilateral relations and cooperation issues with Xi Jinpin, the PRC President; and Li Keqian, counterpart of China. These meetings contributed to deepening our comprehensive strategic partnership relations in all spheres,” Mr Erdenebat said.

“We aim to realize works agreed during these visits and to provide our people with profits resulted by the high-level visits,” Mr Erdenebat emphasized, and then asked the Assistant FM to support this matter.

Expressed thanks to the Premier for an audience, Mr Kong Xuanyou agreed with an importance of implementing the concurred works, and said he will convey the issue to relevant officials.



WeChat, Weibo and Baidu under investigation www.bbc.com

China's largest social media platforms - Weibo, WeChat and Baidu Tieba - are under investigation for alleged violations of cyber security laws.
The Office for Cyberspace Administration said the three platforms had failed to police content on their sites.
It said people had been using the platforms to spread terrorism-related material, rumours and obscenities.
The breaches "jeopardised national security," the administration said.
Heavy censorship
The micro-blogging site Weibo, the messaging app WeChat and the internet discussion forum run by Baidu each attract hundreds of millions of users in China.
The authorities there heavily censor the internet, routinely blocking content or search terms and removing posts they consider sensitive.
They also block foreign social media sites and apps, including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Search engines like Google are blocked, and access to many foreign media outlets is restricted too.
The government has further tightened restrictions ahead of the highly sensitive Communist Party Congress.
It is also clamping down on users who try to get around the restrictions, by tightening regulations on Virtual Private Networks.


Iron ore price makes fresh high above $70 www.mining.com

The Northern China import price of 62% Fe content ore jumped 1.6% on Thursday to exchange hands for $76.10 per dry metric tonne according to data supplied by The Steel Index. It's the highest price since early April and the steelmaking raw material is now trading 43.6% up from its 2017 lows struck in June.

Iron ore's latest rally comes after Shanghai rebar futures – the world's most traded steel contract – jumped to the highest level since March 2013 on Thursday reaching 4,016 yuan ($601) a tonne on Thursday.

Chinese traders are worried about a steel supply crunch as Beijing steps ups efforts to crack down on polluting plants. The country wants to cut output by as much as 50% during winter months.

In Hebei province, China's key producing region, steelmakers have until September 1 to comply with stringent new emissions regulations or would be shut down. Some 120 million tonnes of low-quality steel capacity were shuttered during the first six month of the year.

Beijing's policies to clean up and consolidate the domestic steel industry is playing into the hands of iron ore exporting countries with low grade furnaces – particularly those that use scrap – being forced out of business. Authorities are also clamping down on pollution from sintering plants, a necessary extra step when using low grade ore (domestic Chinese iron content averages only about 20%) to make steel.

A worry for the industry has been high stockpiles in China and inventories at the country's ports remain near all-time highs dipping to 139.2 million tonnes last week compared to the record set June 23 at 141.5 million tonnes according to Steelhome data. However, traders tell Reuters "steel producers are increasingly opting for higher grade iron ore to boost efficiency":

"There isn't a lot of high-grade around and Chinese mills are preferring high-grade because they want to produce more with steel prices rising," said a trader in Jinan in China's eastern Shandong province.



Mercedes' parent company is making a big investment in a flying taxi startup — here's what we know www.businessinsider.com

German startup Volocopter recently secured €25 million ($30 million) investment in a funding round led by Daimler, the parent company of Mercedes-Benz.

Volocopter has designed an electric, flying taxi that will start shuttling passengers around Dubai as part of a five-year testing period with Dubai's Road and Transport Authority. The tests will begin by the end of the year.



Profit alert announcement www.mmc.mn

This announcement is made by Mongolian Mining Corporation (the “Company”, together with its subsidiaries, the “Group”) pursuant to Rule 13.09(2)(a) of the Rules Governing the Listing of Securities on The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited (“Listing Rules”) and the Inside Information Provisions (as defined in the Listing Rules) under Part XIVA of the Securities and Futures Ordinance (Chapter 571 of the Laws of Hong Kong).

The board of directors (the “Board”) of the Company wishes to inform the shareholders and potential investors of the Company that after a preliminary review of the Group’s unaudited consolidated management accounts for the six months ended 30 June 2017 and information currently available, the Group is expected to record a consolidated profit attributable to the equity shareholders of the Company of between approximately USD250 million and USD375 million for the six months ended 30 June 2017 as compared to USD61.7 million loss attributable to the equity shareholders of the Company over the same period in 2016.
Such profit is primarily attributable to:
(a) improved coking coal market condition resulting in higher revenue generated by the Group for the six months ended 30 June 2017 as compared to the same period in 2016 by increasing (i) coal product tonnages sold; and (ii) average selling price achieved; and
(b) the successful implementation and completion of the Debt Restructuring by the Company as described in the Company’s announcements (“Relevant Announcements”) dated 5 May 2017, 5 June 2017 and 9 June 2017 (unless otherwise defined herein, capitalised terms in this announcement will have the same meanings as those defined in the Relevant Announcements) which have resulted in an extraordinary gain.
The Company is still in the process of finalising the interim results of the Group for the six months ended 30 June 2017. The information contained in this announcement is based on a preliminary assessment by the Board solely on the basis of the unaudited consolidated management accounts of the Group and the current information available, which have not yet been reviewed nor audited by the independent external auditors of the Company.
Further details of the Group’s performance will be disclosed in the interim results announcement for the six months ended 30 June 2017 to be published by the Company.
Shareholders and potential investors of the Company are advised to exercise caution when dealing in the shares of the Company.



Bitcoin Exchange Gets $100 Million Investment www.bloomberg.com

Coinbase Inc., the digital currency exchange that in the past two months suffered a trading crash and upset customers over how it handled the bitcoin split, received a $100 million investment from a group led by IVP.

Spark Capital, Greylock Partners, Battery Ventures, Section 32 and Draper Associates also participated, according to a statement Thursday. Coinbase plans to use the money to expand its engineering and customer support staff, open a New York office for its professional trading platform GDAX and grow Toshi, “a mobile browser for the ethereum network that provides universal access to financial services,” said Megan Hernbroth, a spokeswoman.

Founded in 2012, San Francisco-based Coinbase said it has seen “unprecedented growth” over the last year as it helped customers buy and sell more than $25 billion worth of digital currencies such as bitcoin and ether. Cryptocurrencies have seen enormous price gains -- bitcoin is up 250 percent year to date -- trouncing other asset classes amid an explosion of attention, but there are growing pains.

On June 21, ether crashed to 10 cents from $317.81 on Coinbase’s GDAX exchange. The cause was a single $12.5 million trade -- one of the biggest ever -- that triggered further selling. It all happened in just 45 milliseconds, after which computer algorithms started buying, driving prices back up to $300 within 10 seconds. “We have reimbursed all customers affected,” Hernbroth said. To help prevent a repeat of the ether crash, Coinbase is considering developing circuit breakers that would pause trading to prevent accidents after consulting with industry experts including the New York Stock Exchange, which has an investment in the company.

Earlier this month, the bitcoin community updated the software it runs to increase the amount of transactions the network can process. In so doing, it created a new digital currency known as bitcoin cash. Initially, Coinbase said it wouldn’t support access to bitcoin cash for its customers, which angered many and led to threats of lawsuits, according to Fortune magazine. Coinbase has subsequently said it would allow customers to access their bitcoin cash by Jan. 1.

Hernbroth said they’ll hit the Jan. 1 deadline “assuming no additional risks emerge.”



China & Malaysia break ground on $13bn railway under Belt and Road Initiative www.rt.com

Construction of a new railway linking Malaysia's east and west has begun as part of China's ambitious New Silk Road project. At an estimated cost of $13 billion, it’s the largest development project in Malaysia.

The planned 688 kilometers East Coast Rail Link will connect the South China Sea at the Thai border in the east with the strategic shipping routes of the Straits of Malacca in the west. China has claimed many parts of the South China Sea.

"The China government has attached great importance to China-Malaysia relations and has always considered Malaysia a dear neighbor and trustworthy partner who is committed to seeking mutually beneficial cooperation and common development in the country," Chinese State Councilor Wang Yong said at the ceremony on Wednesday.

The China Communications Construction Company will build the railway. It will run passenger trains at a maximum speed of 160 kph and goods trains at a maximum speed of 80 kph. The line is due to be completed in 2024.

China is building a new transport corridor to Europe as part of the Belt and Road Initiative (also known as the New Silk Road). The strategy underlines Beijing's push to play a larger role in global economic affairs.

Under the vast project, China wants to lend $8 trillion for infrastructure in 68 countries. These counties make up 65 percent of the global population and a third of global GDP, according to the consultancy McKinsey.



"Tavantolgoi" JSC release Q2 2017 report www.montsame.mn

Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ “Tavantolgoi” JSC released Q2 2017 report Mongolian Stock Exchange yesterday, on August 9. According to the report, sales revenue of “Tavantolgoi” reached MNT 255 billion in the first half of this year, while net profit was at MNT 57.2 billion at the end of 2nd quarter.

The company had MNT 54 billion net profit in 2016, which is now MNT 57.2 billion in the first-half only. After analyzing the report, economists are forecasting bullish movement in their stock price, recommending the traders to buy their stock. For instance, “Tavantolgoi” stock price jumped 15 percent by 11AM today on August 10. Within a year, the company’s stock price multiplied by 4.7 times.

The increase in profit is directly connected to the coal price surge in the global market since the second half of 2016. The company extracted 4 million tons of coal in 2016 and exported 98 percent of them, earning MNT 54 billion net profit. 

Due to the exchange rates of currency, “Tavantolgoi” JSC faced heavy loss of MNT 6.6 billion in the first half of this year. However, the overall report shows positive performance.



The Recent Election in Mongolia and the Future of Northeast Asia www.nbr.org

Landlocked between two major powers and rich with natural resources, Mongolia has actively pursued a strategy to diversify its external partnerships with countries in Northeast and Southeast Asia. As part of this “third neighbor” policy, the Mongolian Armed Forces have undergone significant restructuring and modernization and are considered a respectable partner in regional peace operations. Meanwhile, Mongolia’s economy remains weak and dependent on nonrenewable natural resources.

Following the recent election on July 9, the future trajectory of Mongolia’s foreign policy and U.S.-Mongolia relations raises many questions for U.S. policymakers and analysts. Given the increasingly close Sino-Russian relationship, Mongolia may prove to be helpful in guarding and enhancing U.S. interests in Asia. NBR spoke with Alicia Campi (Johns Hopkins SAIS) to better understand the policy and security implications of the recent Mongolian presidential election and to discuss the best course of action for the United States.

What were the main issues at stake in the Mongolian presidential election on July 9?

The presidential election this year centered around two issues: who should be Mongolia’s main trading partners going forward, and what is the appropriate role for Mongolia on the world stage.

For 70 years until 1990, Mongolia was a Soviet satellite and did not have much contact with China. The country’s move away from a close relationship with Russia in the last 25 years toward today’s economic dependence on China has produced a great deal of societal tension. Mongolia has formulated an economic development strategy that focuses on the development of large mining deposits, but this plan has been undermined by instability in its own government and uncertainty regarding the mining laws and regulations for foreign investors. All of this was compounded by the recent decline in mineral prices, which caused a number of Western investors to drop out. As a result, most of the players left in the market are Chinese investors, who are sometimes financially backed by their government for other than economic reasons. Chinese investment has reached the point of a near total monopoly of Mongolia’s economy: in 2015, China accounted for 88% of Mongolian exports and was the top foreign investor.

Economic instability, the lack of effective regulations, and China’s increasing control and presence have caused the rise of a Mongolian nationalist movement and sometimes anti-Chinese sentiment. Mongolians have a choice—to stay with China as their main trading partner or find other available options if they are not willing to continue relying solely on China. Mongolia lacks transit infrastructure, and Russia, which is its other border neighbor, has the interest but not the money to invest in a northern Mongolian transit route, which could bring Mongolia other trade partners.

Another issue is whether Mongolia should continue to focus on globalized development or return to much more domestically centered development—which is a very comparable trend to those exhibited through the Brexit vote and the election of Donald Trump. The previous president, Tsakhia Elbegdorj, had a vision of Mongolia being active on the international stage. Hence, Mongolia became very active in the Community of Democracies and World Economic Forum in Davos, and the president had plans to make Mongolia a center for international organizations, such as the United Nations, to hold conferences in Ulaanbaatar. This externally oriented perspective resulted in some backlash against Elbegdorj, with critics arguing that he was more focused on international image than working together with the parliamentary government to solve Mongolia’s developmental and social problems.

Similar to Donald Trump, Khaltmaagiin Battulga campaigned on the promise of “Mongolia first,” which above all means equal partnerships and better trade deals with countries like China. What are the prospects for President Battulga to actualize his so-called Mongolia-first policy?

I believe very firmly that Mongolian politicians of all parties understand clearly that Mongolia is a landlocked country between two great powers, and that it has poor infrastructure. In the past few years under Elbegdorj, as Russia and China have grown closer to one another for energy and economic reasons, Mongolia decided that it did not want a “great game” being played around them in the region. President Elbegdorj devised a new economic corridor strategy called “trilateralism.” He insisted that Mongolia, at least publicly, be at the table negotiating with the two other presidents on an annual basis, usually on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, to devise concrete plans on how to better integrate transportation across the Northeast Asian region. From these consultations, there have been real infrastructure and transportation developments, as well as improvements in customs coordination, over the past three years.

The newly elected president, Battulga, is a successful businessman who understands that in order to diversify trade partners to include Europe, India, or Japan, Mongolia needs to get more connected through infrastructure development with its two neighbors. For twenty years in the democratic era, Mongolians understood the necessity and the importance of infrastructure development but deliberately rejected it. Infrastructure development was seen as being oriented solely toward China, which would perpetuate China’s trade partner bias and monopoly of Mongolia’s economy. With the recent rapprochement between China and Russia, Russia has been able to persuade China to cooperate in areas of the Russian Far East to revise and modernize Russian transit and communication infrastructure toward the maritime Pacific. That plan carries the potential for Mongolian railways and highways to go not only south but also north, as long as the rapprochement exists between the two big powers. Instead of being locked out by its neighbors, Mongolia has developed a policy of engagement and has relied on Russia to represent its point of view with China. I predict that this trilateral strategy to develop Mongolia as a transit nation in Eurasia will continue.

Further, even if President Battulga wants to pursue a Mongolia-first policy, he will be hampered because he is not very popular within his own party, the Democratic Party (DP). He was at odds with the previous president, who was also from the DP and worked against Battulga during the pre-general election campaign. In addition, the rival Mongolian People’s Party (MPP) since 2016 has had full control over the parliament. The MPP is the ex-Communist party that traditionally is more pro-Russian, possibly less free-market, and less transparent. Its candidate became the favorite of certain elites in the recent election, including Western and Chinese investors. However, Mongolian politics is personality-driven, as opposed to being driven by political ideology. Personalities within the parties lead factions and attract the attention of the populace. As a former parliamentarian, President Battulga understands and will be able to work with some factions in the MPP-dominant party. He will have to court some parliamentarians and their constituents, who either didn’t vote in the recent election or were with the MPP but are younger and don’t like the way the nation’s policies have developed. If the economy is moving forward, members of the parliament and the public could be enticed to support his Mongolia-first policy.

What does President Battulga’s victory signal for Mongolia’s third-neighbor policy, as well as its foreign policy toward China and Russia for the next four years?

The Mongolian government’s national security concepts of 1994 and 2010 never officially used the term “third neighbor.” They list countries important for Mongolia in a prioritizing order, and most of those countries (e.g., Russia, China, the United States, Japan, the EU countries, South Korea, Turkey, and India) were the same in both documents. The term “third neighbor” has not gone out of fashion but is continually redefined or reprioritized over the years. A possible new third neighbor might be Iran, as a major client for Mongolian meat and minerals. In terms of possible reprioritizations, President Battulga is interested in India because he is a fervent Buddhist and a supporter of the Dalai Lama. Mongolia and the Dalai Lama have cultural and religious connections, and during the last 30 years the relationship between Mongolia and the Dalai Lama has been facilitated out of Delhi. This is a sore point with China.

The idea that President Battulga is a puppet of Vladimir Putin has come up in the foreign press, but that is not the case. He is a very savvy politician. He is pro-Russia but also knows it is not possible to exclude China from Mongolia’s economic development. The question is the degree to which China should be represented in Mongolia’s economy. Since there is not a united DP to support President Battulga’s nationalist initiative, it is unclear what his relationship with Japan, South Korea, and the EU countries would be. Alternatively, he may focus mainly on Mongolia internally and less on the outside world or Mongolia’s role on the global stage. It seems that until transit infrastructure is completed through the trilateralism policy, President Battulga’s strategy will be to slow everything down relating to China. China is hurt by his election, but there likely won’t be a major change of policy to reorient regulations and rules just to target China.

Can you elaborate on Mongolia’s interests in helping solve regional security issues, such as nuclear tensions on the Korean Peninsula, given its precedent of serving as a neutral territory for dialogue?

President Elbegdorj believed that Mongolia could break out of its isolationism and its lack of voice in the international community by serving as a bridge to solve regional problems in Northeast Asia. Northeast Asia is one of the only developed regions that does not have institutional structures and frameworks, and Mongolia is the only country in this region that does not have major problems with any of its neighbors. Becoming more active in regional security is a way to raise the profile of the country in order to break out of its landlocked isolation between China and Russia and eventually expand economically. The Ulaanbaatar Dialogue on Northeast Asian Security just finished a fourth round, and North Korea attended three of the four rounds. It is the only multilateral dialogue framework today that North Korea has been participating in, which is due to Mongolia’s long-standing relationship with North Korea. Mongolia was the second country after the Soviet Union to recognize the North Korean government, and it took a number of the politburo’s children and grandchildren in for protection to save them during the Korean War. In reality, Mongolia is the only country that North Korea, to some extent, trusts. If President Trump were to meet with Kim Jong-un, the one place such a dialogue could take place is in Ulaanbaatar.

Mongolia has the ability and track record of helping the North Koreans. It has moved some money back and forth from other countries to North Korea, been the site for Japanese negotiations with North Korea on the return of Japanese abductees, hosted nonofficial discussions between the United States and the DPRK [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea], and given North Korean ships Mongolian flags for cover so that they could enter international ports. President Battulga may not pursue Korean Peninsula security efforts at the same level of interest as his predecessor did, but in reality the only solution to Mongolia’s landlocked status is to find ports for Mongolian products other than Tianjin or Vladivostok, both of which are at overcapacity. The best viable option for Mongolia to decrease its isolation is the North Korean port at Rajin-Sonbong. As long as we can have some peace and some confidence building on the peninsula, that port is Mongolia’s answer to its isolation. Mongolia has been willing to play a neutral role as a bridge to North Korea, but the window on this possibility may be closing, as tensions on the Korean Peninsula mount and military options rise in consideration. Nonetheless, it remains the best location for negotiations, and the nations participating in the six-party talks should more effectively include Mongolia in regional peacemaking efforts.

In what direction do you foresee U.S.-Mongolia relations going over the next four years? What realistically can be done to strengthen the bilateral relationship in a way that enhances U.S. interests in the region?

We must be realistic about the limited potential of bilateral economic ties, which unfortunately are not very strong in terms of direct trade, particularly in raw minerals. However, the United States and Mongolia can develop cooperation in agricultural products, small and medium enterprises, education, media, and legal services. After all, Mongolia is a flourishing democracy located between the Chinese and Russian markets. But it is not economically viable nor particularly helpful to Mongolia or U.S.-Eurasian interests for giant U.S. companies just to act as intermediaries to the Chinese market. The U.S. government should be strengthening Mongolian economic independence rather than promoting Mongolian economic dependence on the two border neighbors.

Since 2003, the United States and Mongolia have conducted joint military training exercises under the name Khaan Quest, which has grown to include 51 countries. China began as an observer and now is a full participant. In 2005, Donald Rumsfeld went to Mongolia to announce the establishment of an international peacekeeping training center, and President George W. Bush made a very successful state visit, which included a speech to the Mongolian parliament and nation. The United States initially gave $17 million to set up the Five Hills training center. Mongolia also has separate annual exercises with Russia, which has its own training facility close to the peacekeeping training base. Additionally, the U.S. military has a strong relationship to Mongolia through the Alaska State National Guard. Mongolia also has been active in supporting U.S. allied military efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq and has built a reputation in the Pentagon and the U.S. Congress as a reliable military partner. The military ties have been the best part of the U.S.-Mongolia relationship for the past fifteen years and likely will continue because they have grown within a multilateral framework. Our military relationship is a strong one, and both sides have been careful to develop it in a meaningful way, yet in such a manner as to not threaten Mongolia’s two giant neighbors.

One should note that Mongolia’s peacekeeping and democracy training activities are appealing particularly for Central Asian countries and states like Myanmar that either have been ignored or have existing problems with neighbors and don’t want to rely on larger countries like India to be trained. Mongolia has been very successful in developing this role into a business. Former president Elbegdorj created an international development fund to share his nation’s experiences and lessons with Myanmar, Kyrgyzstan, and Afghanistan, among other countries, in building an effective parliamentary democracy, legal reform, and training for diplomats and public servants, journalists, and other civil society members. He also promoted Mongolia as a Silk Road tourism center. It will be interesting to watch President Battulga’s efforts in these areas.



“Fruits” national program approved www.montsame.mn

Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ The cabinet meeting held Wednesday adopted a national program “Fruits”, and obliged P.Sergelen, the Minister of Food, Agriculture and Light Industry, to provide the program with professional and methodological management and to control the implementation.

In Mongolian territory, some 60 sorts of fruits grow, and scholars are developing new sorts of fruits as well as technologies of processing them. As of 2016, areas of fruit gardens reached 6.1 thousand hectares, and 2,560 tons of fruits are harvested a year, but it is not enough for the national consumption.

Mongolia has started to export sea-buckthorn to Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Germany, Singapore and Malaysia, now the country intends to manufacture oil from the fruit’s oil, active ingredients, tea and fodder-purpose leaves.

The national program has key objectives to augment sorts of fruits, to boost the fruit industry, to fully provide the population with fruits and vitamins by creating a unified network of sea-buckthorn manufacture and to increase the export income.

In addition, the national program is expected to increase fruit plantation, create job places in localities and augment kinds of export products, declining size of imported fruits.