1 ERDENES TAVAN TOLGOI REVENUE SURGES DUE TO HIGHER COAL PRICES WWW.NEWS.MN PUBLISHED:2018/09/20      2 RUSSIA AND MONGOLIAN BORDER CROSSING NO. 487 WWW.NEWS.MN PUBLISHED:2018/09/20      3 WORLD ECONOMICS REPORTS THAT MONGOLIA’S EMPLOYMENT RATE HITS A FIVE-YEAR HIGH WWW.GOGO.MN PUBLISHED:2018/09/20      4 USD HITS RECORD HIGH IN MONGOLIA DUE TO HIGHER IMPORTS WWW.CHINA.ORG.CN PUBLISHED:2018/09/20      5 READOUT OF VICE PRESIDENT MIKE PENCE’S MEETING WITH PRIME MINISTER UKHNAA KHURELSUKH OF MONGOLIA WWW.WHITEHOUSE.GOV PUBLISHED:2018/09/20      6 MONGOLIA LAUNCHES EU-FUNDED PROJECTS TO PROMOTE GREEN DEVELOPMENT, ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION WWW.XINHUANET.COM PUBLISHED:2018/09/20      7 COAL EXPORTS FROM TOP SHIPPER HOBBLED WITH MINERS FACING CONSTRAINTS WWW.MINING.COM PUBLISHED:2018/09/20      8 FRONTIER'S "INVEST MONGOLIA TOKYO 2018" WWW.MONGOLIANBUSINESSDATABASE.COM PUBLISHED:2018/09/19      9 U.S.-CHINA TRADE TUSSLE IS CREATING WINNERS IN SOUTHEAST ASIA WWW.BLOOMBERG.COM PUBLISHED:2018/09/19      10 YUSAKU MAEZAWA: THE JAPANESE BILLIONAIRE WHO WANTS TO FLY TO THE MOON WWW.BBC.COM PUBLISHED:2018/09/19      ШЕНГЕНИЙ БОГИНО ХУГАЦААНЫ ВИЗИЙН МЭДҮҮЛГИЙГ УЛААНБААТАР ХОТОД АВНА WWW.MEDEE.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/09/19     2018 ЭХНИЙ 7 САРД МОНГОЛЧУУД ГАДААД РУУ ЭМЧИЛГЭЭНД ЯВАХДАА 19.5 САЯ АМ.ДОЛЛАР ЗАРЦУУЛЖЭЭ WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/09/19     ӨНӨӨДӨР ТӨВ ТАЛБАЙД 4000 АЖЛЫН БАЙРАНД БҮРТГЭНЭ WWW.DNN.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/09/19     ЗАЛУУЧУУДЫН ГАРААНЫ БИЗНЕСИЙН ШАЛГАРСАН ТӨСӨЛД 10,0 САЯ ТӨГРӨГИЙН ДЭМЖЛЭГ ҮЗҮҮЛЛЭЭ WWW.MONTSAME.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/09/19     WORLD ECONOMICS: МОНГОЛЫН АЖИЛ ЭРХЛЭЛТИЙН ТҮВШИН СҮҮЛИЙН 5 ЖИЛИЙН ДЭЭД ТҮВШИНД ХҮРЛЭЭ WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/09/19     ERD: "ХӨНДИЙ" АЛТНЫ ТӨСЛИЙН ТОГТООГДСОН НӨӨЦ 751 МЯНГАН УНЦ АЛТ WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/09/19     ХЯТАДЫН $200 ТЭРБУМЫН ИМПОРТОД ТАРИФ ТОГТООВ WWW.ZGM.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/09/19     ШИВЭЭХҮРЭН БООМТООР ХОНОГТ 60-80 МЯНГАН ТОНН НҮҮРС ЭКСПОРТОЛЖ БАЙНА WWW.GOGO.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/09/19     БНХАУ-ЫН 200 ТЭРБУМ АМ.ДОЛЛАРЫН ИМПОРТОД 10 ХУВИЙН ТАРИФ НОГДУУЛАХ ШИЙДВЭР ИРЭХ 7 ХОНОГООС ХЭРЭГЖИНЭ WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/09/18     ӨВӨЛ ЦАХИЛГААН СААТВАЛ ХОТ ДӨРВӨН ЦАГИЙН ДОТОР Л ХӨЛДӨНӨ WWW.ZGM.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/09/18    

Events

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

NEWS

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Kincora Expansion Update: Newly Issued License and Drops Ground www.kincoracopper.com

Kincora Expansion Update: Newly Issued License and Drops Ground
· Mongolian Government issues the new Shavagtai exploration licence to Kincora
· Shavagtai increases Kincora’s footprint around one of the most important untested intrusive complex’s in the world-class Southern Gobi copper belt
· Shavagtai is adjacent to Kincora’s Khuren Tsav licence, which hosts the Bayan Tal target, a large scale copper-gold mineralized system, with previously recorded Devonian age comparable to Oyu Tolgoi
· Kincora has elected to relinquish licence areas which do not meet our rigorous exploration criteria, dropping 103 km2of the Amtgain Toirom license
· Kincora’s dominant landholding in the region now totals 1437 km2, as exploration and expansion activities continue and activities of others increase in the belt
Vancouver, BC — June 8th, 2017
Kincora Copper Limited (the “Company”, “Kincora”) (TSXV:KCC) is pleased to announce the recent issuance by the Mineral Resources, Petroleum Authority of Mongolia (“MRPAM”) of a new copper-gold exploration license adjoining one of our existing and large scale priority exploration licenses that hosts the Bayan Tal Igneous Complex (“BTIC”).
Limited previous exploration at the Bayan Tal target on the Khuren Tsav license returned favourable copper-gold widths and grades on or near to the distal southern outcropping margin of an interpreted large-scale target at shallow to moderate cover with the first comparable Devonian age stratigraphy and conglomerate to Oyu Tolgoi (“OT”), since OT. Previous results include 18m @ 0.75% Cu Eq (trench)and 18m 0.66% Cu Eq in drill hole IBEX006.
The new Shavagtai license is the second Kincora has secured via the direct application system since the new ground in the eastern section of the country was opened up in the second half of 2015 following a 5-year moratorium for issuing new exploration licenses. Other larger-scale and longer-term explorers in the belt have also been successful securing new ground in this belt and are now resuming exploration activities (refer to Figure-2 in the Appendix to this press release). As stated by Minister of Mining and Heavy Industry, Dashdorj Tsedev, at PDAC earlier this year, it is proposed that total land available for exploration in Mongolia will be increased from the current 9.6% to 20.9%.
Sam Spring, President and CEO commented, "It is pleasing to see our portfolio increase around the mineralized Bayan Tal target which is one of the most advanced and prospective untested intrusive complex’s in the Oyu Tolgoi-Tsagaan Suvarga Devonian copper belt.
The new license, in addition to the issuance of our Red Well license last year (noting drilling activities currently ongoing on an adjacent license by large scale incumbent), further demonstrates Kincora’s ability to pick up prospective exploration land in Mongolia. Our regional exploration across the belt, expansive proprietary database, existing network, unique Technical Committee credited multiple Tier 1 copper discoveries, and year round Southern Gobi camp provides a competitive advantage for new project generation.
Discussions remain ongoing for more advanced and/or strategically important new opportunities to provide further scale and continue our counter-cyclical expansion and exploration strategy. There has been a noticeable increase in activities in the belt, with increasing exploration and drilling activities, incumbents expanding land holdings and new entrants undertaking due diligence.
Post the IBEX transaction being completed late last year further additions of strategic land and divestments of less prospective licenses will be part of Kincora’s ongoing strategy and has become possible since favourable changes to the Mongolian mining sector’s legislative environment. Following recent exploration activities, 103 km2of unprospective ground has been voluntarily relinquished as we undertake the first modern systematic Tier 1 drill testing and district scale reconnaissance exploration program the world-class, under-explored Southern Gobi Devonian copper gold belt.”
 
Background
Kincora is pleased to announce that its wholly owned subsidiary Golden Grouse Ibex LLC has been granted a new exploration license by the Mineral Resources, Petroleum Authority of Mongolia (“MRPAM”, previously known as the Mineral Resources Authority of Mongolia, “MRAM”) that covers 20km2, named “Shavagtai” (Sagebrush), and is located adjacent to its existing Khuren Tsav, 14396 license (403km2).
The issuance of the Shavagtai license with full 12 year term follows Kincora in February 2016 securing the “Ulaan khudag” (Red Well) license, located as close as 15km along trend from the Oyu Tolgoi and Shivee Tolgoi mineralized systems (the former which extends a known 26km’s) at the Oyu Tolgoi project, and the eastern section of the country only being opened up in the second half of 2015 following a 5 year moratorium for issuing new exploration licenses.
As part of a standard procedure going forward for all licenses, our Technical Committee has reviewed the Amtgain Toirom, 14876 license to ensure it fits within our exploration parameters and following recent activities, on this licenses and across the belt, including last years extensive ground magnetics survey and historical Induced Polarisation (“IP”), 103km2of the original 162km2license has been voluntarily relinquished as Kincora advances its wholly owned and dominant land position in the belt up the value curve.
 
 
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OPIC, IFC, AND Xacbank supporting women-owned businesses in Mongolia www.opic.gov

WASHINGTON, DC – The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), IFC (International Finance Corporation), and XacBank LLC today signed a loan agreement to support access to finance in Mongolia for women-owned small and medium sized (SME) businesses.

In Mongolia, while 64 percent of SMEs are women-owned, the majority are underserved or unserved by financial institutions. Through cooperation with XacBank, this commitment seeks to provide the financing needed by women-owned SMEs in the country and offer better financial and business advisory services to women entrepreneurs.

“Women entrepreneurs are critical to economic growth and development in Mongolia. During a time when the majority of women-owned SMEs in Mongolia are underserved or unserved by financial institutions, OPIC is proud to partner with IFC and Xacbank to help these female entrepreneurs gain access to finance and new opportunities,” said Acting OPIC President and CEO Dev Jagadesan.

Marcos Brujis, IFC Director of Financial Institutions Group said, “Strong economic growth cannot be attained without gender equality and the empowerment of one-half of the world’s population. IFC’s Banking on Women program, and partnerships like this with OPIC and XacBank, have a critical role to play in unlocking and financing the vast untapped potential of female entrepreneurs.”

"SMEs constitute a vital part of the economic foundation of Mongolia. XacBank has been a front runner in providing financial solutions to small businesses and entrepreneurs. Together with OPIC and IFC, XacBank is opening new opportunities for SMEs and providing competitive financing opportunities," said Xacbank’s President Amartuvshin Hanibal.

The commitment is part of OPIC’s target goal of providing $100 million in loans to women owned SMEs as part of the Women Entrepreneurs Opportunity Facility (WEOF) by March 2022. WEOF is a Goldman Sachs Foundation and IFC partnership to increase access to capital for women entrepreneurs in emerging markets.

Launched in late 2010, IFC’s Banking on Women business invests in and provides advisory services to financial institutions to scale up and improve financial and non-financial services for women and women-led SMEs globally. Through Banking on Women, IFC has US $1.36 billion in cumulative investment commitments in 43 projects in 24 countries dedicated to financing women SME customers, and has led 33 advisory services projects with financial institutions in 23 countries to scale up financial and non-financial services to women customers.

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The first car-free and nightlight street of UB www.news.gogo.mn

The opening ceremony of the first car-free and nightlight street of Ulaanbaatar city has commenced yesterday (Jun 8). 

City Mayor and Ulaanbaatar City Governor has set a goal to make Ulaanbaatar city as tourism and business hub of Northeast Asia in 2017-2020. Within the framework, Seoul street was landscaped and became the first car-free and nightlight street. 
The landscaping works include pavement of 440 meters of area, construction of pedestrians, install of screens and 400 seats for the public, restoring plants, and lighting. Moreover, two sides and ceiling of the night street was decorated with lights. 
Program for the opening ceremony of the car-free street:
9th of June 
Music festival 
Jazz and contemporary music performances
Electro dance music show  
10th of June 
National festival
Jazz and classical music performances
Traditional art performance and fashion show 
11th of June 
Family day festival 
Children playground 
Jazz music performances
In scope of the opening events, Seoul street roads will have closures until June 19 at 6 a.m.

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Copper price jumps on Chinese imports surprise www.mining.com

In February copper hit a 21-month high on the back of optimism that Donald Trump's $500 billion-plus infrastructure plan would add fuel to the fire of Chinese economic stimulus already working its way through commodity markets
 
While US stimulus now appears further in the distance, Chinese support for the sector has stayed surprisingly strong with imports of the metal, widely used in the construction, manufacturing transportation and power industries, surging in May.
 
Official customs data from China, responsible for some 45% of global copper consumption, show the country's refined copper imports in May increasing by 30% to 390,000 tonnes compared to the previous month. Year-on-year import volumes were down 9% however. For the whole of 2016 imports were at record levels of 4.95 million tonnes.
 
The copper imports rebound in May is more than market expectations, especially in the off season for copper, (suggesting) markets had overestimated the slowdown in China's economic growth and sluggish domestic demand," Helen Lau, an analyst at Argonaut Securities in Hong Kong told Reuters.
 
In a sign that disruptions at some of the world's biggest mines including BHP's Escondida mine in Chile and Freeport's Grasberg operations in Indonesia is having an impact on mine supply concentrate imports declined by more than 15% in May compared to April. Cargoes were down 20% compared to a year ago reaching the lowest levels since October 2015. 2016 was a banner year with volumes gaining 28% over 2015 hitting an all-time high of 16.96 million tonnes for the full year.
 
Chinese imports compare to global mined production of an estimated 20.5 million tonnes per year.
 
Copper futures trading on the Comex market in New York reacted positively to the import data adding more than 2% from Wednesday's close trading near its day high of $2.6105 per pound ($5,755 a tonne) in afternoon dealings. Copper is up 3.5% year to date.
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Mongolia Presidential Candidate Evokes Trump, Challenges IMF www.bloomberg.com

One of Mongolia’s top presidential candidates is seeking to reinstate a banking measure that almost derailed the country’s $434 million bailout last month as part of a populist-tinged campaign.

Battulga Khaltmaa, a candidate with President Elbegdorj Tsakhia’s Democratic party, told Bloomberg in an interview that he supports restoring a provision requiring revenue from the Oyu Tolgoi copper mine and other large foreign-backed projects to be directed through local banks. Mongolia’s parliament repealed the provision last month, after the International Monetary Fund balked at approving the funding.

“It’s not fair that we have no verification of how much exports are leaving Mongolia,” Battulga, 54, said Monday in Ulaanbaatar, noting that the country’s mineral wealth belongs to its people. “We don’t know how much has been sold, so we should have valid accounting of the revenue.”

The proposal was one of several populist policies being pushed by Battulga as he attempts to preserve the Democratic Party’s hold on to the presidency in Mongolia, a landlocked nation of 3.1 million people between Russia and China. The June 26 election comes amid a severe economic slowdown caused by weak prices for vital mineral exports, mainly copper and coal.

Battulga is a judo-star-turned-businessman who also served as a former minister of agriculture and industry. He is famous for commissioning a $4.1 million, 40-meter (131-foot) statue of Genghis Khan on horseback.

IMF Bailout

A win by Battulga would preserve the party’s platform to contest policies by the Mongolian People’s Party, which secured control of parliament in a landslide election victory last year. Elbegdorj is ineligible to seek a third term.

The IMF approved a $434 million loan package May 25 -- Mongolia’s sixth such bailout since the end of one-party rule in 1990 -- after the banking measure was repealed. The package is part of $5.5 billion deal that includes includes money from the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank, with Japan and South Korea as direct lenders.

While Battulga said he wouldn’t seek to cancel the IMF deal, he believes that Mongolia can get by without it. His economic development plans revolve on building rail networks and other infrastructure projects to help process minerals domestically rather then sending them directly to China, which bought more than three-quarters of the country’s $3.5 billion in exports last year.

Battulga said he believed no country should account for more than one-third of Mongolia’s exports. Improving the quality of the country’s exports and producing more finished products would open markets in Southeast Asia and elsewhere, he said.

Battulga acknowledged the similarities between his populist campaign against trade deficits with a neighbor and that of Donald Trump’s. “Of course, I won’t build a wall along our southern border,’’ he joked.

Battulga is facing off against Enkhbold Miyegombo of the MPP, a former Ulaanbaatar mayor and the speaker of parliament. Also running is Ganbaatar Sainkhuu, a former lawmaker known for criticizing the Rio Tinto Group, which controls the Oyu Tolgoi mine. Enkhbold declined to comment, saying that he’s not allowed to give interviews since the campaign started. Ganbaatar didn’t respond to a request for comment.

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Poland receives first shipment of American liquefied natural gas www.rt.com

 
The first US tanker carrying liquefied natural gas (LNG) has arrived in the Polish port of Swinoujscie. American LNG is expected to compete in Europe with natural gas piped from Russia and Qatari LNG.
 
“The Department of State has worked closely with European partners to diversify European energy supplies through new sources of natural gas, vital interconnectors and new facilities to import LNG. The United States congratulates Poland on this significant step to diversify its own sources of energy and to strengthen Europe’s energy security,” Washington said in a statement.
 
While Europe has been trying to find alternatives to Russian gas, the cost of shipping from the US remains high and demands significant infrastructure investment.
 
The LNG shipped to Poland is from the Sabine Pass liquefaction facility on the Gulf of Mexico coast. As of now, it is the only LNG exporting facility in the US since the start of the shale revolution. Last year, the first delivery of American LNG to Europe arrived in Portugal.
 
Poland has been one of the fiercest opponents of Russian gas expansion in the European market and wants to become a huge re-seller of LNG in Europe after building an LNG terminal at the port of Swinoujscie.
 
While Russia supplies about 10 billion cubic meters (bcm) a year of Poland’s gas needs, the new Polish terminal has a capacity of 5 bcm which can increase to 7.5 bcm. Last year, LNG made up less than 10 percent of Polish gas consumption.
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President of Mongolia lands in Astana www.inform.kz

ASTANA. KAZINFORM - President of Mongolia Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj has arrived in Astana to participate in the SCO Summit scheduled to be held in the Kazakh capital on June 8-9, Kazinform reports. Mongolia was the first country to be granted observer status at the Tashkent Summit back in 2004. The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) was founded in 2001 by the leaders of China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. The Shanghai Five process formed in 1996 transformed into the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) with accession of Uzbekistan in 2001. The procedure of India and Pakistan's accession to the SCO began in July 2015. Earlier it was reported that President of Afghanistan Ashraf Ghani and Chinese leader Xi Jinping had already arrived in Astana. Russian President Vladimir Putin is expected to land at the Astana International Airport in the afternoon.

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Tokyo Nights May Soon Be Lit Up by a Country 1,700 Miles Away www.bloomberg.com

 
The lights of the high-end boutiques and bars of Tokyo’s Ginza neighborhood may someday be powered by coal burned more than 1,700 miles away (2,700 kilometers) in Mongolia, electricity zipping over ultra-high voltage lines across deserts and under seas.
 
That’s the idea behind plans in Asia for so-called super grids, sending power from countries with relatively few people but lots of wind, sun and fossil fuels to distant electricity-hungry population centers trying to keep up with demand. Mongolia, desperate to make more of its abundant resources as it seeks to revive its flailing economy, aims to make that vision a reality through one of the world’s most ambitious power projects.
 
The landlocked nation is considering a $7 billion plan to build coal, wind and solar plants that could send electricity across China, Russia, South Korea and Japan, according to Tamir Batsaikhan, a project director with the Shivee Energy Complex. It’s just one concept of how to connect power markets across Asia, where demand is forecast by BMI Research to grow 3.5 percent annually through 2026.
 
“At a 30,000-foot level you’d be hard-pressed to argue against it,” said Simon Powell, head of Asian utilities research at UBS Group AG in Hong Kong. “It’s not technically impossible to build an Asian power grid, but there are difficulties.”
 
While the region’s biggest economies, led by China, throw their support behind the projects, the challenge of moving electricity from one country to another --- from the differences in voltages and price to worries about relying on neighbors for power -- may mean Mongolia’s vision remains just a dream.
 
A feasibility study on Mongolia’s proposed 5,280-megawatt Shivee project, which is backed by state-run investor Erdenes Mongol LLC and the country’s energy ministry, is expected by the end of this month, said Tamir. State Grid Corp. of China is carrying out the study and talks with potential buyers would only start after its completion, he said.
 
‘Cannot Imagine’
 
State Grid, one of the world’s biggest power distributors, and Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp., as well as partners in South Korea and Russia, are a few of the main drivers behind the latest ideas to develop a power grid spanning northeast Asia. State Grid’s former chairman, Liu Zhenya, floated an even grander plan almost two years ago for a global network to transmit electricity from continent to continent by 2050 at a cost of $50 trillion.
 
“The energy demands of the next three decades will be astronomical,” Liu, now chairman of the Beijing-based Global Energy Interconnection Development and Cooperation Organization, wrote in a Bloomberg View column in April. “We will need to power -- mainly cleanly -- at a scale and for a range of uses we cannot yet fully imagine.”
 
While Liu has moved on to GEIDCO, where SoftBank’s chief Masayoshi Son is vice-chairman, State Grid continues to promote super grid proposals. The company’s chief engineer, Zhang Qiping, said in November that China can export surplus power to India and Southeast Asia. A global network also dovetails with China’s One Belt, One Road program, President Xi Jinping’s cornerstone trade initiative to connect Europe, Asia and Africa through infrastructure and investment.
 
Puzzle Pieces
 
“State Grid is definitely trying to think big with global energy interconnection,” said Justin Wu, the Asia head of Bloomberg New Energy Finance. “But in the meantime, we’re likely to see projects that will take this on incrementally, building smaller pieces of the puzzle that will fit into this bigger picture of interconnection.”
 
While State Grid has built 10 transnational power transmission lines that include links to Russia, Mongolia and Kyrgyzstan, those interconnects are less about transmitting large amounts of power and more about stabilizing the network, according to UBS’ Powell.
 
State Grid didn’t reply to emails seeking comment, while Korea Electric Power Co. declined to comment. Russia’s Rosseti PJSC is in discussions with partners from China, South Korea and Japan about “establishing bilateral energy ties and developing major Asian energy ring,” said Konstantin Petukhov, deputy director general for development. The company is also in talks with the Mongolian government about building a new power grid, which could be linked internationally, he said.
 
“SoftBank places importance on renewable energy, and a super grid that extends from Mongolia to Japan fixes the problem of security of supply, as the sun is always shining and the wind is always blowing somewhere,” Spokesman Kenichi Yuasa said by email, adding that the company isn’t involved in the Shivee Energy Complex.
 
Multiple Obstacles
 
Such a network faces multiple obstacles, including the challenge of linking different grids and infrastructure and deciding how the power would be priced, according to analysts at UBS and Wood Mackenzie Ltd. Some countries may also worry about becoming too reliant on imported power or technology from China, which has faced resistance in Australia and the U.K. over investments in their electricity infrastructure.
 
“Countries may become cautious about taking Chinese technology, worrying this could endanger their own power system security or even national security,” said Frank Yu, principal consultant on China and North East Asia power at Wood Mackenzie.
 
GEIDCO’s chief Liu has voiced support for moving electricity from Mongolia and northeast China to Japan and South Korea, according to a January statement sent by the organization in response to a request for comment.
 
Other potential transmission projects cited by GEIDCO include sending hydropower from China’s Yunnan province and thermal power from the country’s north to Thailand, Myanmar, Vietnam and Bangladesh; hydropower from Tibet to India and Bangladesh; coal, wind and solar power from western China’s Xinjiang region and coal-fired electricity from Kazakhstan to Pakistan.
 
While these projects help China solidify its relationships with neighbors, as well as other Belt and Road countries, the Shivee project in Mongolia is one way to aid an economy that’s forecast by the World Bank to contract 0.2 percent this year. Constructing Shivee would create 25,000 jobs over five years and may increase gross domestic product by 4 percentage points annually during that period, according to an August GEIDCO statement.
 
“With abundant resources of cheap energy coal, which is not so much profitable to transport, it makes sense to export the final product, electricity,’’ said Khashchuluun Chuluundorj, an economist at the National University of Mongolia.
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Mongolia presidential hopeful urges more state control in mining www.reuters.com

 
ULAANBAATAR, June 8 (Reuters) - A leading candidate for Mongolia's presidency has called for greater state control of projects like the giant Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold mine run by Rio Tinto, making mining and foreign investment central issues in the election campaign.
 
The landlocked North Asian country of three million people goes to the polls on June 26, just a month after securing a $5.5 billion International Monetary Fund-led bailout to lift the economy out of a balance of payments crisis.
 
Campaigning began on Tuesday, and painful austerity measures agreed by the Mongolian People's Party (MPP), which runs the government but doesn't hold the presidency, have made an easy target for rivals, as have controversies over deals done with foreign mining companies.
 
The presidential election in the former Soviet satellite, wedged between China and Russia, comes amid growing frustration among voters over suspected corruption and the perceived ineffectiveness of their governments.
 
Under Mongolia's parliamentary democracy, the MPP government's term should run for another three years, but its policies could be challenged by a president with veto powers.
 
The outgoing president Tsakhia Elbegdorj belongs to the Democratic Party, but has to step down having served a maximum two terms.
 
The Democratic Party's new candidate Khaltmaa Battulga, a martial arts star turned business tycoon, opened his campaign with a call for greater government control over the economy and the country's mineral resources.
 
"Our political environment is very unstable, so our big development policy won't go forward. Because of that, we can't solve unemployment or poverty," Battulga told CI Television in an interview posted on the network's official Facebook account late on Tuesday.
 
"The government should hire experts and take control of everything, including Oyu Tolgoi and Tavan Tolgoi," he said.
 
His comments could send shudders through Rio Tinto, which owns 66 percent of Oyu Tolgoi, and scare off private companies that might be interested in forming strategic partnerships at the giant, fully state-owned Tavan Tolgoi coal mine.
 
Oyu Tolgoi LLC, the Mongolia-based company that runs the project, declined to comment. Rio Tinto did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
 
Dale Choi, analyst and head of the Altan Bumba Financial Group, said the Mongolian government did not have a good record when it came to managing its assets.
 
"Most of the SOEs are loss making businesses, and even those that pay some of the highest taxes to Mongolia are not efficient businesses," he said.
 
RUN OFF LIKELY
 
The ruling MPP candidate Mieygombo Enkhbold, has called for continued "stability", while the government struggles to introduce economic reforms having already raised some taxes and cut spending as part of the IMF bailout deal.
 
Asked for Enkhbold's position on the mining sector, an MPP spokesman forwarded a statement setting out the party's support for the further development of big mining projects "based on the fundamental interests of our people."
 
Nationalist politicians have repeatedly called for greater Mongolian control over Oyu Tolgoi, which is forecast to become the world's third-largest copper producer when output peaks at 550,000 tonnes in 2025, up fourfold from this year.
 
A third party candidate Sainkhuu Ganbaatar, who is expected to win enough votes to force Mongolia's first-ever second round presidential election run-off, has continued his hardline stance when it comes to Mongolia's ownership of its resources.
 
"The Mongolian people in Mongolia are the real master. This means that Mongolians are the deciders of their natural resources," he said in his manifesto.
 
Attempts to renegotiate ownership and a long dispute over taxes and cost overruns led to the suspension of construction on the underground tunnels at Oyu Tolgoi in 2013, and also scared off investment for other projects.
 
Construction on the project was relaunched after the signing of a new agreement that ended the dispute in 2015.
 
During its first phase, the open pit mine had already contributed more than $1 billion in taxes and other payments to the government by 2015, while local businesses and suppliers had earned some $4 billion from the project, according to the International Finance Corporation. (Reporting by Terrence Edwards; Writing by David Stanway; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)
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Singaporeans can now travel visa-free to Mongolia for 30 days www.channelnewsasia.com

SINGAPORE: Singaporeans no longer need to apply for a visa when travelling to Mongolia for stays of up to 30 days, an increase from the current 14, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said on Thursday (Jun 8).
The exemption follows Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s visit to Mongolia in July last year. During his visit, Mr Lee said that discussions are under way with Mongolia to exempt Singaporeans from the visa requirement.
The waiver will facilitate more travel and business between both countries, Mr Lee said then.
Singapore granted a 30-day visa waiver for Mongolian visitors to the country several years ago.
“The exemption of visa requirements will facilitate greater tourism and business exchanges, and strengthen the friendly relations between Singapore and Mongolia,” MFA said in its press release on Thursday.
 
 
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