|Frontier's "Invest Mongolia Tokyo 2018"||Frontier Securities||Tokyo Japan|
|"Open to Export" ICC WTO International business award||ICC WTO||London|
Sodovjamts Khurelbaatar, Mongolia's outgoing ambassador to Japan, speaks about his experiences in both Japan and North Korea at the Embassy of Mongolia in Tokyo’s Shibuya Ward in July. (Satoru Semba)
Mongolia's outgoing ambassador to Japan pledged his country's cooperation in helping to resolve the decades-old issue of Japanese nationals abducted by North Korea.
Sodovjamts Khurelbaatar, in a wide-ranging interview with The Asahi Shimbun ahead of his departure home, also spoke about his impressions of North Korea's leader, Kim Jong Un, from his time as envoy in the reclusive state between 2008 and 2011.
“It is Mongolia’s duty to help solve the (abduction) issue as a partner (of Japan),” said Khurelbaatar, emphasizing the friendly ties the country's enjoys with both Japan and North Korea.
Khurelbaatar made clear that Mongolia is keen to see Japan develop more friendly relations with North Korea.
He also suggested that Mongolia's capital, Ulan Bator, be the setting for stalled six-party talks aimed at denuclearizing North Korea.
Khurelbaatar served as ambassador in North Korea toward the end of the regime headed by Kim Jong Il, Kim Jong Un's father.
He said that when he attended Kim Jong Il's funeral in December 2011, he met the current leader Jong Un and shook his hand.
“His hand was soft,” Khurelbaatar recalled. “I saw sadness in his eyes, but he was occasionally smiling, too.”
He said diplomats in North Korea were well aware before Kim Jong Il's death that his son would take over.
“Kim Jong Il used to see ambassadors from China and Russia, but stopped seeing high-ranking officials from other countries from two to three years before his death,” Khurelbaatar said.
Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is also keen to further relations with Mongolia in light of its good relationship with North Korea.
In September 2013, when Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj was visiting Japan as the president of Mongolia, Abe invited him to his private residence. Khurelbaatar accompanied the president to serve as an interpreter.
Khurelbaatar said the two leaders developed “a deep trust toward each other,” adding that the talks centered on steps they could take together to resolve the nuclear development and abduction issues.
In March 2014, a meeting was held in Ulan Bator so the parents of abductee Megumi Yokota could finally meet their granddaughter, Kim Un Gyong. Megumi was abducted by Pyongyang as a teenager in the 1970s. North Korea says she is no longer alive.
Pyongyang later promised to reopen its investigation into the abduction issue, but then reneged. The issue has been in limbo ever since.
Six-party talks aimed at getting North Korea to renounce is nuclear ambitions stalled in 2008.
Given this background, Khurelbaatar referred to the Ulaanbaatar Dialogue, an international conference on Northeast Asia security that was initiated by Mongolia in 2014, and said Japan should use it to hold discussions with North Korea.
“A war can break out, if one party remains stiff just because the other one is difficult to talk to,” said Khurelbaatar, emphasizing the importance of maintaining dialogue with North Korea, rather than just applying sanctions. “The most undesirable outcome is war.”...
Ukrainian state-owned energy firm Centrenergo has signed a contract with America's Xcoal Energy & Resources to supply 700,000 tons of coal to Ukraine this year.
“This contract was signed in fulfillment of the agreements between the presidents of Ukraine and the United States reached during our president's visit to America in June,” said Centrenergo head Oleg Kozenko.
The US company will deliver 700,000 tons of coal, sending a ship or two each month till the end of the year. Kozenko added that thanks to American coal, Kiev hopes to get through the heating season of 2017-2018 without a problem.
The first batch of American coal delivered to the Ukrainian port of Odessa will be priced at $113 per ton.
“This partnership will provide Ukraine with a secure, reliable, and competitive alternative energy source, helping to stabilize an energy supply which has historically been at the mercy of the country's volatile neighbors,” said White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders in a statement.
Ukraine is a coal-rich country. However, over 50 percent of its coal resources are in the breakaway regions of Donetsk and Lugansk.
Despite the military conflict in the eastern regions, coal supplies continued until March this year. Then, coal supplies completely stopped after Ukrainian nationalists blockaded railroads from the self-proclaimed republics.
Later that month Kiev joined the nationalists and imposed an official blockade on the republics. Since then, Ukraine has faced an energy emergency, due to a lack of coal.
At the same time, US President Donald Trump has pledged to revive the American coal sector, lifting the Obama-era policy of curbing US coal production, as he seeks American "energy dominance."
Mongolia received the first package of livestock disease vaccines from Russia on 31st of July. A total of 4.1 million doses are being sent from Mongolia's northern neighbour, following agreements made during Prime Minister J.Erdenebat’s visit to the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum on 1st-3rd June. Mongolian Food, Agriculture and Light Industry Minister P.Sergelen and Agricultural Minister of Russia A.N.Tkachev have signed an agreement regarding the details of the deliveries of the vaccines from Russia to Mongolia....
Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ Construction work has resumed at a sports complex being built in Darkhan-Uul aimag which is expected to be one of the biggest sports facilities in the country.
A government delegation including B.Javkhlan, Member of Parliament, R.Tserenpil, consulting engineer at the Department of Investment and Industry and O.Gerel, specialist at the Department of Physical Culture and Sports Policy at the Ministry of Education, Culture, Science and Sports visited the project site and looked over the progress on July 28, Friday.
Initially launched in 2011, the project came to a halt in 2014, but is now moving forward after MNT 1.5 billion fund was allocated in the 2017 budget. However, if the rest of the finance isn’t resolved in the next two years, the cost of the project will continue to increase.
According to O.Nemekhbold, CEO of ‘Nembar’ LLC, the contractor of the project, the construction work is 55 percent complete at present.
The sports complex in its 20,000 square meters of area offers a 2200-seat sport hall, an international standard swimming pool, various halls for other sport activities, a hotel and a conference chamber. When in operation, the complex will open an opportunity of hosting various sporting events in Darkhan-Uul, thus benefiting the local economy.
The local authorities in cooperation with the government are working towards settling the remaining MNT 8 billion finance within the next two years in order to inaugurate the complex in 2019.
State Officer of Immigration, Orgil.G: Foreign Nationals have to carry identifiation at all times www.gogo.mn
We have prepared series of interview from dependable source in order to educate foreign residents, temporary visitors and business travelers to Mongolia on relevant Mongolian laws and regulations. This time we have interviewed state officer of immigration at Mongolian Immigration Agency, Orgil G.
- As tourism and construction season sets off, number of foreign nationals visiting Mongolia is increasing. What rights and obligations apply to them?
- In the summer, number of tourists who are visiting Mongolia to see our beautiful nature, culture and tradition and workers to work in infrastructure and construction sector drastically increases. Number of foreign nationals with tourist J type visa is on the rise and makes up most part of foreign nationals visiting Mongolia.
As for tourists, they need to make a careful travel plan and calculate their traveling time. Most tourists stay for 30 days. So they need to carefully plan what to sightsee and where to visit during this time. If their travel exceeds 30 days, they are allowed to make request to Mongolian Immigration Agency to extend their visa 4 working days before their visa expires and get one time visa extension of 30 days. Some tourists visit for 90 days. In this case, they need to complete registration procedure. In detail, according to Law on Legal Status of Foreign nationals, these people need to register at our agency within 7 days of entering Mongolian border.
As for foreigners staying more than 90 days, they are required to obtain residence permit in accordance to their visa type within 21 days of entering Mongolian border. There are 15 types of residence permits such as working, investing, studying, immigrating and residing for marriage or for personal reason etc. Foreigners should bring all necessary documentations according to their permit type and shall be given residence permit. Requests to obtain and extend residence permit is usually processed within 5 working days and 3 working days if they choose express service.
Foreigners who are employed in Mongolia first need to obtain work permit from General Authority for Employment and Welfare Service in order to get their residence permit extended. Therefore they are advised to take this into consideration.
- What kind of offences foreigners in Mongolia often commit? What is the punishment for them?
- Most cases include overstaying residence permit or visa, working illegally without permit from authority and conducting different business than their intended purpose. Offenders are fined with amount equaling to 1-10 times of minimum salary in accordance to relevant legislations. Fine amount varies depending on reason of their offence and number of overstayed days.
Moreover offences such as absence of identification and address violation often occur. As stated in 7.4.5. of Article 7 of Law on Legal Status of Foreign nationals, foreign nationals who are staying in Mongolia for business or personal reason are obliged to carry their passport and residence permit provided by authority at all times. If a foreigner is not carrying passport or identification equaling to that, he shall be fined with amount 3 times less than minimum salary. Foreign nationals who do not have proper documentation, unidentified, who do not follow deportation procedures, are considered to commit crime or offence and who did not leave Mongolia within 10 days after they got warming shall be detained for up to 6 hours with decision from state officer of immigration and 14-30 days with court decision until the case is resolved.
- Law on Offence and Law on Offence procedure were commencedon July 1st. What changes were made?
- Revised Law on Offence came into force on July 1, 2017. About 1600 types of offences are regulated by this law which includes several provisions on fining individual who violated Law on Legal status of foreign national.
For instance, violations of regulations on registration, owning and keeping residence permit, carrying passport, equaling identification and residence permit and regulations on employment are fined with amount equaling to one hundred units, for offence of not registering foreign nationalat relevant authority within legal period, an individual is fined with amount equaling to two hundred and fifty units and a legal entity is fined with amount equaling to two thousand and five hundred units. Moreover if a foreigner did not obtain residence permit within legal period and overstayed their residence permit or visa, he/she shall be fined with amount equaling to ten units for each day of overstay.
And invitee who did not obtain residence permit for foreign national within legal period and whose foreign nationaloverstayed their residence permit or visa, he/she shall be fined with amount equaling to ten units for each day of overstay for each foreign national.
- Then how to clear offence charges? Please give us detailed information on how to prevent committing offence.
- An offender can write request to resolve offence explaining for what reason they violated Mongolian law. They need to bring violation documents for state officer to inspect and bank receipt for paying fine amount for their offence.
During construction season, foreign nationals who are working in road, construction, agriculture, mining and other sectors with permits from Government order and General authority for Employment and Welfare Service often have inviting entity. Therefore these individuals, entities and organizations that are employing foreign nationals are advised to check expiry dates of their employees’ documents regularly.
- Under what circumstances a foreign national is deported?
- There are 12 accounts for deporting foreign nationals as stated in Law on Legal Status of Foreign national. Most common cases include overstaying their residence permit or visa for over two months and conducting different business than their intended purpose.
First halves of past three years statistics reveal that 188 nationalities from 18 countries in 2015, 313 nationalities from 25 countries in 2016 were deported. As for 2017, 261 foreign nationalities have been deported. Number of deported foreign nationals is decreasing in recent years. There are several reasons for that. For instance, due to our economic situation, foreign investment halted and movement of foreign nationals visiting Mongolia slowed down, inspection have improved and information on Law on Legal Status of Foreign Nationals were given to individuals and legal entities on regular basis. Also border inspection has improved and has been deporting illegal foreign nationals from the border.
- What measurements is Mongolian Immigration Agency taking towards preventing foreign nationals to commit offence?
- Mongolian Immigration Agency is constantly conducting regular and sudden inspections. Inspection covers all entities that are employing foreign nationals such as hospitals, schools, production, service and repair shops and rural areas. During inspections, we provide information and advice to prevent foreign nationals from documents violation.
As Ministry of Law and Domestic Affairs announced 2017 as a “Year to bring legal service closer to citizens”, Mongolian immigration Agency is working on initiating “Online Immigration” system. As part of this initiation, we are providing online legal advice and information and organizing activities to prevent any violations.
Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund plans to turn about 200 kilometers of Red Sea coastline into a resort boasting luxury hotels and transport hubs, as part of the kingdom’s plan to reduce the economy’s reliance on oil.
The Red Sea project will cover more than 30,000 square kilometers between the cities of Umluj and Al Wajh. It will be developed across 50 “islands in a lagoon,” according to a statement released late on Monday. Tourists from most nationalities will be able to obtain visas to the area online or upon arrival.
The initial groundbreaking is expected in the third quarter of 2019 and the first phase will be completed by the fourth quarter in 2022, including “the development of hotels and luxury residential units, as well as all logistical infrastructure -- including air, land, and sea transport hubs,” according to the statement.
Saudi Arabia is relaxing the rules on its entertainment and tourism industry as part of its Vision 2030 plan, which aims to overhaul the economy. By 2020, the kingdom plans to have more than 450 clubs providing a variety of cultural activities and events. It also aims to double household spending on recreation to 6 percent.
The Public Investment Fund will inject initial investments into the project and start partnerships with international companies, according to state-run Saudi Press Agency.
Despite the election of Democratic Party (DP) candidate Khaltmaa Battulga as president, the Mongolian People’s Party (MPP) will continue to drive the legislative agenda, given its parliamentary dominance. This will ensure adherence to an International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout package and efforts to stabilise the investment environment.
On 9 July 2017 DP candidate Khaltmaa Battulga secured the presidency in a second round run-off election. Despite the electoral success of the DP in this election, the presidency is a largely ceremonial post and, facing a MPP dominated parliament, Battulga will struggle to materially influence policy during his tenure.
Security risks in Mongolia are generally low, and there is a limited threat of terrorism or civil unrest. Where protests do occur, they are likely to be in connection with political issues and are not likely to turn violent. Mongolia’s foreign policy aims to maintain sound relations with both China and Russia.
However, Battulga’s campaign promised to rebalance the trade relationship with China. China accounts for four-fifths of Mongolia’s yearly exports, and Battulga has raised concerns over China’s strategic interest in the country. Despite this, relations with China are unlikely to materially worsen. Any attempts by Battulga to limit Chinese investment in Mongolia will likely be blocked by parliament, although there will be concerted efforts by the DP and MPP to engage with other countries, including Japan and South Korea.
Mongolia’s economy is likely to experience an uptick in real GDP growth in 2017. A drop in foreign investment in 2016, driven by suppressed global commodity prices and resource nationalist policies, contributed to weak annual growth of 1.1%.
In 2017, renewed investor interest in major natural resources projects, a result of business-friendly policies under the MPP, will drive growth of 2.2%.
Sovereign credit risks remain elevated in Mongolia. Foreign exchange reserves stood at USD 1.2 billion in May 2017, yet USD 1.5 billion in foreign debt is due in 2017 and 2018. However, a three-year USD 434 million Extended Fund Facility (EFF), approved by the IMF in May 2017, will partly ease short-term liquidity risks. The agreement forms part of a broader USD 5.5 billion financing package, provided by the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and the governments of Japan, Korea and China. Designed to support the government’s Economic Recovery Plan, the package will support foreign exchange reserves and banking sector reform. The package is also expected to enable Mongolia to meet its upcoming debt obligations.
However, stringent fiscal targets associated with the facility will weigh on economic growth. The IMF programme mandates that the budget deficit must be reduced to 1.5% of GDP by 2022, from 17% in 2016. As a result, the government has cut nonessential spending, which could slow growth in the short term.
Battulga’s election campaign focussed on resource nationalist policies. This included a proposal that all mining revenues should be deposited in Mongolian banks. However, foreign mining firms are unlikely to see a return to the hostile business environment seen under the previous DP government. In 2012, the DP government sought to limit foreign ownership by invoking the Strategic Entities Foreign Investments Law, to prevent Chinese firm Chalco from acquiring South Gobi Resource. The MPP has 85.5% of seats in parliament, and has pursued more investor-friendly policies since June 2016. Battulga’s election is unlikely to materially change this.
The MPP government announced plans to enhance the business environment for foreign investors in August 2016, creating a council to ensure legal certainty and resolve outstanding disputes. Attracting foreign investment is central to the government’s economic stabilisation plans, particularly in maintaining the IMF programme and meeting foreign debt repayments. In October 2016, the government approved an intergovernmental agreement with Canada, which will offer additional protections for Canadian investors. In an indication of revived confidence in Mongolia, the second phase of the USD 5.3 billion Oyu Tolgoi copper and gold mine began in mid- 2016 and outstanding disputes over the development of Tavan Tolgoi coal mine are now likely to be resolved....
De Beers, the world’s biggest diamond producer by value, said its unit in Botswana is on track to produce the most since 2014 this year, exceeding its annual production forecast.
Debswana, as the local division is known, will likely produce 22 million carats this year, exceeding its 20.5 million-carat target, Gareth Mostyn, De Beers’s executive head of strategy, said in a July 27 interview in Gaborone, the capital. De Beers, which also has operations in Canada, Namibia and South Africa, kept its total forecast for the year at 31 to 33 million carats.
Global diamond sales edged up 0.3 percent last year to $80 billion as rising demand from the U.S., which accounts for more than half of the world’s purchases, offset declines in India and China, according to a De Beers report in June. The Anglo American unit is forecasting more demand from Asia this year, leading to “marginal” growth.
“The market has been looking quite robust and we have decided to produce in order to supply that,” Mostyn said.
Botswana production has been helped by the return of a 46-year-old processing plant at Orapa, which was partially idled in December 2015 due to weak demand.
Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ On 27 July 2017, H.E. Mr. Sundui Batbold, Governor of Ulaanbaatar and H.E. Pol. Gen. Aswin Kwanmuang, Governor of Bangkok signed the Agreement on Establishment of Sister City Relations between the City of Ulaanbaatar and Bangkok Metropolitan Administration.
The document was signed in Bangkok during the official visit by Governor of the Mongolian capital city to Bangkok, Thailand on 26-31 July 2017. In accordance with the document, the two sides will develop cooperation in the areas of tourism, healthcare, education and sports.
During his visit to Thailand, H.E. Mr. Sundui Batbold, Governor of Ulaanbaatar had official talks with H.E. Pol. Gen. Aswin Kwanmuang, Governor of Bangkok and visited Bangkok City Library, “Chang-Hua-Mun” Royal Initiative Project in Petchaburi province and other places of interest.
Amazon is offering a service that converts Japanese text into audio speech.
The US IT giant says the price will be more competitive than similar Japanese providers.
The service already exists in 24 other languages, for use by companies and smartphone application developers.
It is cloud-based, unlike that of competitors in Japan, and clients won't have to buy software to use it. It will cost about 4 dollars per one-million characters.
Tadashi Okazaki of Amazon Web Services Japan said at a news conference that visually impaired people using the service receive information by listening rather than reading. He said this opens up new possibilities for them.
Amazon officials said their service is using AI technology to analyze massive amounts of audio data, and learn new words and natural intonations.