1 COPPER MINER'S $10B BET COMES TO LIFE IN PANAMA JUNGLE WWW.MINING.COM PUBLISHED:2019/02/15      2 TRADE UNIONS REQUEST PM TO FOCUS ON INTEREST RATE CUT WWW.ZGM.MN PUBLISHED:2019/02/15      3 MONGOLIA’S HOURLY WAGE TO REACH USD 1 WWW.NEWS.MN PUBLISHED:2019/02/15      4 US NARCOTICS BY POST TO MONGOLIA! THREE ARRESTED WWW.NEWS.MN PUBLISHED:2019/02/15      5 WRITER D.URIANKHAI NOMINATED FOR THE NOBEL PRIZE WWW.MONTSAME.MN PUBLISHED:2019/02/15      6 MONGOLIA-CHINA-RUSSIA ECONOMIC CORRIDOR BENEFITS ALL SIDES: OFFICIAL WWW.XINHUANET.COM PUBLISHED:2019/02/15      7 SOLAR EMPOWERMENT OF NOMADS IN RURAL MONGOLIA WWW.GREENOPTIMISTIC.COM PUBLISHED:2019/02/15      8 MONGOLIA, CUBA TO BOOST BILATERAL RELATIONS WWW.PLENGLISH.COM PUBLISHED:2019/02/15      9 GOOGLE OUTLINES $13BN US INVESTMENT WWW.BBC.COM PUBLISHED:2019/02/14      10 NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT AGENCY TO COOPERATE WITH JAPAN’S MIZUHO BANK WWW.MONTSAME.MN PUBLISHED:2019/02/14      “ОЮУ ТОЛГОЙ” КОМПАНИ 570 ТОННЫ ДААЦТАЙ CAT БРЭНДИЙН ГИДРАВЛИК ЭСКВАТОРООР ХҮЧЭЭ СЭЛБЭЛЭЭ WWW.GOGO.MN  НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/15     ӨРХИЙН САРЫН ДУНДАЖ ОРЛОГО 78,000 ТӨГРӨГӨӨР ӨССӨН Ч ЗАРЛАГА ДАВСАН ХЭВЭЭР БАЙНА WWW.IKON.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/15     АВСТРАЛИЙН ЭЛЧИН САЙД ДЭВИД МЭТЬЮ ВОСЭН ИТГЭМЖЛЭХ ЖУУХ БИЧГЭЭ ӨРГӨН БАРИВ WWW.MONTSAME.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/15     2018 ОНД МОНГОЛ УЛСЫН ЭДИЙН ЗАСАГ 6.9 ХУВИАР ӨСЛӨӨ WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/15     МХБ: II/15-НЫ БАЙДЛААР 8 КОМПАНИ ХЭХ-ЫН ТОВОО ГАРГААД БАЙНА WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/15     2017 ОНД 1.9 ТЭРБУМ ТӨГРӨГИЙН АЛДАГДАЛТАЙ АЖИЛЛАСАН “УЛААНБААТАР БҮК” 2018 ОНД 566 САЯ ТӨГРӨГИЙН АШИГТАЙ АЖИЛЛАВ WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/15     ОРХОН ТҮҮХИЙ НҮҮРСНЭЭС ТАТГАЛЗСАН АНХНЫ АЙМАГ БОЛНО WWW.UNUUDUR.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/15     АТГ-ААС НЭР БҮХИЙ 6 ШҮҮГЧИЙГ ШАЛГАЖ ЭХЭЛЖЭЭ WWW.EAGLE.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/15     МОНГОЛ УЛС ДЭЛХИЙН 77 ОРОНД БАРАА ЭКСПОРТОЛСНООС ХЯТАДАД 93%-ИЙГ НЬ НИЙЛҮҮЛЖЭЭ WWW.IKON.MN  НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/14     АВТО МАШИНЫ ИМПОРТ 2018 ОНД 30% ӨСӨЖ, 86,296-Д ХҮРЧЭЭ WWW.IKON.MN  НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/14    

Events

Name organizer Where
“Doing business with Mongolia”, “UK Investors show” бизнес хөтөлбөр March 27-April 02. 2019 ЛОНДОН ХОТ, ИХ БРИТАНИ Mongolian Business Database London UK
SYMPOSIUM ON GLOBAL MARKETS Nationalism and Protectionism: The United States in the International Arena June 17-18, 2019 The Center for American and International Law Plano, Texas, USA The Center for American and International Law (CAILAW) Plano Texas June 17-18 2019
"Open to Export" ICC WTO International business award ICC WTO London

NEWS

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Belarus-Mongolia economic cooperation on the rise www.eng.belta.by

MINSK, 20 September (BelTA) – The economic cooperation between Belarus and Mongolia has intensified, Belarus' Industry Minister Vitaly Vovk said during the meeting with Purev Sergelen, Minister of Food, Agriculture and Light Industry of Mongolia, BelTA learned from the website of Belarus' Industry Ministry. "Thanks to the implementation of the agreements reached during the previous meeting of the Belarus-Mongolia commission we have made progress in our economic relations. However we should not be satisfied with what we have already achieved. We should move forward and increase the bilateral trade," Vitaly Vovk said. During the meeting of the Belarus-Mongolia joint commission, the sides discussed the prospects of cooperation in agriculture, food and light industry, transport, mining, construction, urban development, healthcare and environment. The Mongolian official delegation met with the Belarusian counterparts and visited several Belarusian production facilities including MTZ, BelAZ and MAZ automakers. In January-June 2017 Belarus' Industry Ministry companies exported some $2.5 million worth of products to Mongolia, which was up by 4.4% over the same period a year earlier.

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Fitch: Mongolia IMF Review Delay Has No Immediate Rating Impact www.reuters.com

HONG KONG/SINGAPORE, September 20 (Fitch) The IMF's postponement of its late-September Board discussion on Mongolia's external financing package will delay disbursement of bailout funds, testing investor confidence and raising refinancing risks for the government, says Fitch Ratings. However, the delay is unlikely to extend significantly beyond year-end and should not affect the country's ability to meet near-term debt repayments. It therefore has no immediate ratings implications. The postponement of the Board meeting follows the ousting of the prime minister and cabinet in a no-confidence parliamentary vote on 7 September, which has been attributed to the ruling Mongolian People's Party's (MPP) loss of the presidential election to an opposition Democratic Party candidate in July. It was this outgoing administration that agreed to the terms of Mongolia's IMF-led three-year Extended Fund Facility (EFF), which was approved in May 2017. Disbursement of USD38 million from the IMF tied to completion of the first review will be withheld, along with some components of the financing from other international partners, until the IMF can discuss economic prospects and policies with the new government. Fitch views the delay of the Board meeting as relatively standard IMF protocol under the circumstances of heightened political uncertainty, needed to provide assurances that the incoming administration will be committed to the terms of the EFF. Early adherence to the conditions appears to have been strong. The IMF announced on 2 August a staff-level agreement on completion of the first review of the EFF, and stressed that performance had been good, with "all quantitative targets on track". In particular, it noted progress on structural reform and outperformance on fiscal metrics. In the meantime, the economy is rebounding - GDP growth accelerated to 5.3% yoy in 2Q17, from 1% in 2016. The government also recently appointed an auditor for an asset-quality review of the banking sector, which we expect to proceed. We expect the new administration to maintain policy continuity with the outgoing leadership and to remain committed to the IMF programme, given that parliament is heavily tilted in favour of the MPP, which holds 65 of 76 seats. A new candidate for prime minister is likely to be proposed by the MPP shortly, and to be confirmed by parliament following consultation with the president within the deadline of 6 October. The Ministry of Finance has sought to allay investor concerns by emphasising broad government backing for the IMF programme in a statement released on 19 September, stressing that "Mongolia continues to support the implementation of the IMF programme in full". The new leadership will face strong incentives not to change policy direction or break from the IMF, as either could risk shutting Mongolia out of external debt markets ahead of a USD500 million bond maturity in January 2018. Such a prospect would significantly increase the near-term probability of a sovereign default, given the country's low foreign reserve buffers (USD1.4 billion) and dependence on external capital markets for fiscal funding. Mongolia is particularly vulnerable to swings in investor sentiment, as a considerable portion of government borrowing is in the form of external marketable debt. Mongolia's sovereign rating has been downgraded twice since late 2015, as uneven economic policy has put pressure on public and external finances. The current rating of 'B-'/Stable factors in continuing IMF support, and assumes that the delay in the disbursement of IMF funds will not affect the bond repayment due in January 2018.

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Housing price index of August, 2017 www.montsame.mn

Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ Following is the public report of the July 2017 results of the “Housing Price Index” (HPI) research conducted independently by TenkhlegZuuch LLC at the request of Mongol Bank.

The research shows that the general index of housing price was 1.01 in August 2017. It shows a growth by 0.88 percent in January 2013. The index increased by 0.60 percent compared to the previous month. The general index dropped by 0.61% compared to the same month in previous year. Below are the Price index indicators classified by new and old houses.

The new house price index was at 1.14. This shows a growth by 0.62 percent compared to the previous month. The index increased by 0.27% compared to the same month in previous year.

The old house price index was at 0.91. This shows a decline by 8.55 percent in January 2013. The index dropped by 0.35 percent compared to the previous month, and by 1.58% compared to the same month in previous year.

HPI was calculated by applying Hedonic regression methods and the calculation was based on the information available for 4986 old and new houses supplied for sale at the real estate market of Ulaanbaatar for the particular month.

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Fed keeps U.S. rates steady, to start portfolio drawdown in October www.reuters.com

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged on Wednesday but signaled it still expects one more increase by the end of the year despite a recent bout of low inflation.

The Fed, as expected, also said it would begin in October to reduce its approximately $4.2 trillion in holdings of U.S. Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities acquired in the years after the 2008 financial crisis.

New economic projections released after the Fed’s two-day policy meeting showed 11 of 16 officials see the “appropriate” level for the federal funds rate, the central bank’s benchmark interest rate, to be in a range between 1.25 percent and 1.50 percent by the end of 2017, or 0.25 percentage points above the current level.

U.S. bond yields rose, pushing up the U.S. dollar after the Fed’s decision, but U.S. benchmark stock indexes were little changed.

U.S. benchmark 10-year Treasury note yields rose as far as 2.29 percent, the highest since Aug. 8., a move which helped push bank stock prices higher also.

“The Fed took another step on its path of beautiful normalization, announcing that the gradual balance sheet reduction will start next month and limiting revisions to both projections and policy guidance,” said Mohamed El-Erian, Chief Economic Adviser At Allianz, in California.

In its policy statement, the Fed cited low unemployment, growth in business investment, and an economic expansion that has been moderate but durable this year as justifying it’s decision. It added that the near-term risks to the economic outlook remained “roughly balanced” but said it was “closely” watching inflation.

Fed Chair Janet Yellen said in a press conference after the end of the meeting that the fall in inflation this year remained a mystery, adding that the central bank was ready to change the interest rate outlook if needed.

“What we need to figure out is whether the factors that have lowered inflation are likely to prove persistent,” she said. If they do, “it would require an alteration of monetary policy,” Yellen said.

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Indian billionaire Agarwal to be Anglo American’s top shareholder www.mining.com

Indian billionaire Anil Agarwal is planning to increase its investment in Anglo American (LON:AAL) by as much as 1.5 billion pounds ($2 billion), which would make him the biggest shareholder in the diversified miner.

The acquisition of further shares will be done through Volcan Investments Ltd., the family trust of Agarwal, who is the founder and chairman of Vedanta (LON:VED), India’s largest mining company.

The move could give Agarwal a commanding voice at Anglo American, the world's fifth-largest miner by market value, which the businessman described earlier this year as “a great company with excellent assets and a strong board and management team who are executing a focused strategy.”

Volcan, Agarwal’s family trust, said it would acquire an additional £1.25bn to £1.5bn worth of Anglo shares, which would make the Indian tycoon the miner's biggest shareholder.
The investment comes on top of the 12.43% stake he’s built since March, when Volcan boosted its holding in Anglo American..

While some interpret today’s announcement as the beginning of an Anglo takeover, Agarwal has repeatedly said he doesn’t intend to take control of the company. A dubious statement, as the Indian tycoon already approached the London-listed miner last year with an offer to merge with Hindustan Zinc, a mining firm he controls through Vedanta.

But Anglo stopped the approach in its tracks saying a deal didn’t make sense and wasn’t feasible.

The planned investment is a major vote of confidence in Anglo American, which has staged an impressive turnaround since commodity prices began climbing last year. In February, the firm logged a profit of $1.6 billion for 2016, its first annual revenue in five years.

“We are encouraged by the performance of Anglo American since our original investment earlier this year,” Agarwal said in the statement. “The company has made good progress in its operational and financial performance and remains an attractive investment for our family trust,” he added.

In a separate statement, Vedanta confirmed the proposed investment, noting it has nothing to do with the planned acquisition of shares, which is “being made by Volcan alone” with the assistance of JPMorgan.

Anglo American appointed in June a new chairman, Stuart Chambers, who will take over Sir John Parker in November. Chambers, 61 and former chairman of UK chip designer Arm, is known for his active participation in the sale of several UK companies, including the one where he was chairman until 2016, as he oversaw the sale of Arm to Japan’s Softbank.

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Trading report www.mse.mn

On September 20, 2017, 267,847 shares of 24 firms listed as Tier I, II, and III were traded. 11 firms’ shares increased, 7 decreased in price and 6 remained unchanged. Ikh Barilga JSC was the top performer, increasing 9.83 percent, whereas APU JSC was the worst performer, decreasing 8.12 percent.

The MSE ALL index decreased by 1.3 percent to stand at 1056.31, while the TOP20 stands at 18,327.56 points - a +47.1 percent increase YTD. The MSE market cap stands at MNT 2,053,457,415,986

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Mongolia holds rate to stabilize inflation around target www.centralbanknews.info

Mongolia's central bank retained its policy rate at 12.0 percent "to stabilize inflation around the target rate and thereby facilitate the stability of the macroeconomic environment in the medium to long run."
The Bank of Mongolia (BM) cut its rate by 200 basis points in June, its first cut this year and the second cut following 100 point cut in December 2016 as the bank unwinds a 450-point rate hike in August 2016 to stabilize the exchange rate of the tugrik and preserve international reserves.
Mongolia's inflation rate rose to 5.0 percent in August from 3.4 percent in July, in line with its target of keeping inflation below 8 percent for 2017 to 2019.
Economic growth in Mongolia in the first half of the year topped forecasts, with growth at an annual rate of 5.3 percent, the BM said in a statement issued on September 19 and based on a meeting by the monetary policy committee on September 15.
"Furthermore, economic growth is expected to accelerate and inflation is expected to stabilize around the medium term target rate of 8 percent," the BM said, adding the economy is currently stimulated by improved external demand, relatively high prices of major export commodities and increased investment in the mining sector.
While the bank noted the positive sentiment in financial markets and the economy, it added that "further prospects are highly conditional on export prices and volume."
The exchange rate of the tugrik has been depreciating since July as it reverses a rise in the first 7 months of the year. The turgrik was trading around 2,465 to the U.S. dollar today, up 0.6 percent since the start of this year.
In May the IMF approved a 3-year, $434 million loan to Mongolia as part of a total financing package worth $5.5 billion that was supported by Japan, Korea, China, the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, the fourth-largest package in IMF history.
The package supports the government's economic recovery program that is aimed at building foreign exchange reserves, putting debt on a sustainable path, strengthening the banking sector and securing sustainable growth.
With minerals, such as copper and coal, accounting for 90 percent of Mongolia's exports, the country was hit hard by the sharp drop in commodity prices and a slowdown in export markets.
Mongolia's Gross Domestic Product grew by an annual rate of 4.2 percent in the first quarter of this year, up from 1 percent in the fourth quarter of last year and a contraction of 1.6 percent in the third quarter of 2016.

The Bank of Mongolia issued the following statement:

"The Monetary Policy Committee meeting was held on 15 September 2017, and it was decided to keep the Policy rate unchanged at 12 percent.
As of August 2017, annual inflation measured by the consumer price index has reached 5 percent nationwide and 5.4 percent in Ulaanbaatar city. In the first half of this year, growth of the Mongolian economy exceeded forecasts and reached 5.3 percent (on annual basis). Furthermore, economic growth is expected to accelerate and inflation is expected to stabilize around the medium term target rate of 8 percent.
Mongolian economy is currently stimulated by improved external demand, relatively high prices of the major export commodities and increased investments in the mining sector. While the Bank observes positive changes in market sentiment and positive trends in economic activities, further prospects are highly conditional on export prices and volume.
The Bank’s decision to maintain the policy rate unchanged is consistent with its mandate to stabilize inflation around the target rate and thereby facilitate the stability of macroeconomic environment in the medium to long run.
Extracts of the meeting minutes will be released in two weeks on the Bank of Mongolia’s website."

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Russia looks to become leading organic food exporter as Europe sees future in GMO www.rt.com

Last week, an EU court ruled Italy cannot ban the cultivation of an EU-approved genetically modified crop, thus publicly supporting GMO. At the same time, Russia has been ramping up production and export of organic food.
GMO has been banned in Russia since 2016.

"Recently the organic food market has definitely expanded in Russia. The organically produced food industry held a market valuation of $178 million in 2015, an increase from 2010’s $116 million total,” economist Iryna Kobuta at the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia told RT.

“Euromonitor has also noticed increased spending on pre-packaged organic food and drink in Russia. 2015 saw consumers purchase close to $12 million worth of packaged eco-foods. Russia exports organic buckwheat, millet, alfalfa, flax, and wildly grown products – including wild berries, mushrooms, cedar nuts, and herbs – to a variety of countries. Russia also exports organic wheat to the EU,” she added.

In 2015, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced plans to make the country the largest supplier of healthy, ecologically clean and high-quality food which Western producers “have long lost.”

While Russia already has a significant share of the European market at around $2 billion, or 11.8 percent of Russia's overall agricultural exports, there are obstacles in increasing that share, admits Kobuta.

“The main obstacles to increasing exports of agri-food goods to the EU market are non-conformity with EU food safety requirements, small tariff import quotas applied by EU for agricultural goods, infrastructural and regulatory issues. With regards to the export of organic products, in Russia there is no official certification system or certifying agency,” the economist said.

Due to lack of proper regulation in Russia, local producers keen to operate in organic food have to obtain official certification from third parties like the United States or the EU, to label their products as officially certified bio or organic, and be able to export them outside Russia, Kobuta said.

The draft law "On the Production of Organic Agricultural Products and Amendments to Legislative Acts of the Russian Federation" has not yet been adopted. However, the situation has improved after Russia adopted the national standard for organic products, she added.

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E-commerce key to BRICS nations' business ties www.chinadaily.com

E-commerce will become a new engine of business cooperation among BRICS countries to improve both regional and global economic growth, experts said on Tuesday.

"E-commerce can help construct a more convenient custom clearance, modernized logistics and ideal investment environment," said Wang Jinzhen, vice-chairman of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, at the Public-Private Partnership Forum on BRICS E-commerce.

BRICS, which involves Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, has 44 percent of the world's population-a potential huge market, Wang said.

The rising middle class group and upgrading consumption structure in those countries also laid a foundation for developing the e-commerce industry, he said.

It's necessary for each member to establish more related laws and regulations and inclusive and sustainable financing and investment systems when conducting overseas business, he added.

The five countries contributed 50 percent to the growth of the global economy, while the business volume only occupied 16 percent.

"With the promotion of modern trading, the number will change," he said.

Wang Zhen, director of the Asian-Pacific region of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, said at the forum that there is great potential for e-commerce cooperation among BRICS countries.

The number of netizens from those countries surpassed 1.46 billion last year, among which about 700 million go shopping online, he said.

The trading volume of the internet retail business reached $800 billion, about 11 percent of which came from cross-border e-commerce, he added.

"E-commerce played an important role in boosting regional economic growth," he said. "It also benefits small and medium-sized companies and provides job opportunities for women and young people."

Common challenges for BRICS countries to develop e-commerce include the less developed information network and logistics, as well as a lack of talent and mature market regulation and credit system, according to the E-commerce Development Report of the Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises of BRICS Countries released at the forum.

The report was co-launched by the UNIDO and Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences.

The solution includes establishing unified international rules, multilateral negotiation and dispute-settlement mechanisms, as well as eliminating tariff barriers, the report said.

BRICS should also promote the sales of each other's major products and simplify the regulation of cross-border trade, it said.

The forum is being held during 2017 China International Fair for Investment and Trade, China's major bilateral investment promotional event held in Xiamen, Fujian province, from Monday to Thursday.

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Geological information goes online soon www.mongolianminingjournal.com

It is widely accepted that potential foreign investors in the geological and mining sector will look for an improved legal environment and stable policies, but no less important is to allow them easy and detailed access to geological information. To this end, The Mineral Resources and Petroleum Authority of Mongolia (MRPAM) has taken up the Mongolian Geological Information Catalogue System (MonGeoCat) project to prepare, according to international standards, an integrated geosciences database which will provide Mongolia’s geological information and data to investors and others interested in them. The Australia-Mongolia Extractives Program (AMEP) is financing the project, and also providing technical assistance, while a domestic geoscience IT company, Oyunii Tsomorlig Impex LLC, is developing the metadata catalogue system.

The MRPAM made a presentation on the project at a meeting on 18 August, which was attended by, among many others, G.Nandinjargal, State Secretary, John Langtry, the Australian Ambassador, the AMEP project team, representatives from the National Security Council, and D.Amarsaikhan, Advisor to Oyunii Tsomorlig Impex.

In his introductory remarks, B.Baatartsogt, Head of the MRPAM, expressed his gratitude to all who had contributed to the development of MonGeoCat. State Secretary Nandinjargal called it “a huge first step” and added that the database was the result of the dedicated work of generations of geologists. Ambassador Langtry highlighted the major role of AMEP in the project. He said Australia could attract “quality investment only by making geological information easily accessible to all”. He was happy that Australia had now shared its experience in this with Mongolia and hoped that the system would help make the mineral resources sector become the leverage for the country’s economic development.

All MonGeoCat information will be available in both English and Mongolian. At the moment, the cut-off date for contents of the database is March, 2017. The system will be inaugurated in the fourth quarter of 2017. 

MonGeoCat provides access to the metadata on geology kept at the Mineral Resources Information Technology Centre (MRITC). This integrated system serves as an information catalogue and consists of two interfaces. The first is a web-based map interface which enables spatial searching with a WebGIS (geographic information system). It is based on the ArcGIS platform which is used for mapping and spatial analysis. The second interface is a metadata catalogue, which enables searching for basic characteristics of documents. It is based on GeoNetwork, catalogue application to manage spatially referenced resources.

The system contains over 8200 geological reports, some 200 geographic information systems and 30 information databases.
MRITC specialists described the possibilities the system opens up. For instance, it can make a spatial search in the Web GMS environment and provide information on various general map data, small and medium scale geological maps, satellite imagery, base-maps with toponyms, location of the mineral deposits, Google map data and other information. 

The metadata catalogue of geological information can be accessed through a key word, thereby offering multiple choice tools to get a summary of the information, for instance, the author, owner, size, shape, language selection, how it is linked with other information, information related to exploration, whether it has topographic connection, the access level and other information. 
The AMEP project paid for the software and hardware necessary for the development of the metadata catalogue, and facilitated several trainings for the staff of the MRITC on various aspects of the system.

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