|Frontier's "Invest Mongolia Tokyo 2018"||Frontier Securities||Tokyo Japan|
|"Open to Export" ICC WTO International business award||ICC WTO||London|
Feature: Joint venture sets model for China-Russia cooperation in energy field www.news.xinhuanet.com
MOSCOW, July 3 (Xinhua) -- On the vast east European plain 1,200 km east of Moscow, lines of pumping machines stand on the green grassland. It is the location of Udmurtia Petroleum Corp (UDM), an energy joint venture between Russia and China.
The UDM was bought out by China Petroleum and Chemical Corp., also known as Sinopec, and Russian oil giant Rosneft in August 2006.
Rosneft took a 51 percent stake and Sinopec 49 percent in the UDM, which is China's first and only oil field project in production in Russia.
Located in Udmurtia, a republic in western Russia, the UDM is the republic's largest oil corporation, with 32 oil fields and a daily production capacity of 17,000 tons.
In the UDM building, many awards hang on the wall. Wang Jun, general manager of Sinopec's Russian unit, said that since Sinopec became the UDM's shareholder a decade ago, the UDM has increased production by 7.7 percent and its reserves have gone up 9.5 percent.
In 2016, the UDM paid 843 million U.S. dollars in tax to the republic's government, accounting for 9.6 percent of its total tax revenue. The company ranks the first among the republic's taxpayers, Wang said.
The UDM's average annual profit has been more than 450 million dollars. By the end of 2016, the UDM's net profit totaled 4.877 billion dollars. This year, the company has discovered two new oil fields totaling 800,000 metric tons of reserves in Udmurtia.
The implementation of the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative and the stability of Russia's domestic political situation and economic policies provide the joint venture with security and guarantee, Wang added.
The Belt and Road Initiative, which comprises the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, was brought up by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013, with the aim of building a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient Silk Road routes.
The UDM's general manager, Topal Andrey Yurievich, told Xinhua that the participation of Sinopec has optimized the administration of the joint venture and increased production efficiency.
According to Wang, Sinopec's investment in the UDM is like China marrying a daughter to Russia. How to adapt to the new family and live a good life depends on the good intention and cooperation of the two "original families."
Yurievich said the cooperative relationship between Chinese and Russian companies in the UDM is like a pair of chopsticks. The two chopsticks need to work together to catch food, as one chopstick will never work.
The China-Russia joint venture is regarded as a business success, and also a responsible player in shouldering social responsibilities.
It set up a foundation and spent 7.77 million dollars on charity between 2012 and 2016, including funds on the establishment of kindergartens, primary schools and outdoor parks for children, and for organizing art and cultural festivals. The company also helped build roads for local communities.
When asked to comment on the UDM, Chinese Ambassador to Russia Li Hui said it has not only brought profits to both companies and provided experiences for bilateral pragmatic cooperation in the future, but has also enriched the China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination.
The success has demonstrated the broad prospects of China-Russia cooperation in the energy field, which should be strengthened and enlarged by the two sides, Li said.
The Government of Mongolia sees its minerals sector as critical to national plans for sustainable development, according to a new IGF Mining Policy Framework (MPF) Assessment.
“Mongolia is in the midst of a fiscal crisis and seeks to expand responsible development of its minerals sector in order to generate much-needed revenues,” said Kristi Disney Bruckner, a member of IGF’s assessment team for Mongolia.
“We were encouraged to see that, despite this crisis, leaders of Mongolia’s Ministry of Mining and Heavy Industry remain committed to developing and implementing a legal framework for the minerals sector that will promote long-term sustainable development.”
The ministry is currently revising key areas of its legal framework for the mining industry, including the new Law on Mining. The Government of Mongolia invited the IGF to perform an MPF Assessment in order to help identify gaps and ensure that the law reflects international best practices, with a focus on achieving sustainable development objectives. More information—including the draft Law on Mining—is available on the ministry’s website.
Over the past quarter century, Mongolia has experienced increased foreign direct investment in extractive industries. But economic growth has slowed significantly in recent years. The government is working to stimulate economic growth while ensuring that it meets its commitments to national and international sustainability goals, including the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and Mongolia’s Nationally Determined Contributions under the Paris Agreement. While the country takes a multi-sectorial approach for economic growth, including through its vast agricultural and service sectors, the minerals sector remains a key focus of the government’s growth strategy and is a major contributor to Mongolia’s GDP.
The MPF Assessment reviewed the mining laws and policies of Mongolia and the country’s capacity to implement the IGF’s flagship MPF. It involved extensive desk-based research and a 12-day field visit to Mongolia in which the assessment team visited large- and small-scale mine sites and met with numerous stakeholders from government, civil society, international organizations and the private sector. It was conducted by Sustainable Development Strategies Group and the Ulaanbaatar-based Sustainable Development Research Centre between August 2016 and February 2017.
During the assessment, the Government of Mongolia invited the IGF to facilitate a series of capacity-building workshops focused on issues related to transfer pricing and beneficial ownership, socioeconomic benefit optimization and mine closure. The workshops, attended by over 80 Mongolian participants from national and subnational government, industry and civil society sectors, were held in March 2017 and featured leading international and Mongolian experts and institutions.
“We are grateful to the IGF for this assessment and the excellent capacity building workshops, which have helped us develop practical ways to address the gaps in our framework,” Minister of Mining Ts. Dashdorj said.
“We look forward to continuing our engagement in the IGF and to participating in the Annual General Meeting this October. Our partnership with the IGF helps us ensure that we are governing our minerals sector in a responsible and innovative manner that meets the needs of both current and future generations.”
The assessment team identified several major strengths of Mongolia’s mining sector in its report. The sector is led by many well-trained and highly competent professionals, in both private and public entities. The recently approved Model Agreement on Issues of Environmental Protection, Mine Exploitation, and Infrastructure Development in Relation to Mine Site Development and Jobs Creation serves as a model for agreements between mining companies and local administrative bodies to promote integration of benefits of mining into aimag (province) and soum (district) levels.
The increasingly frequent use of multistakeholder councils at the aimag and soum levels are viewed favourably by stakeholders as mechanisms to discuss and manage concerns related to the minerals sector. The level of open and transparent data on tax and royalty flows, largely a result of Mongolia’s decade of experience implementing the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, was also cited as a major strength in Mongolia. Furthermore, the report commends the efforts of the Government of Mongolia to include a legal framework for artisanal and small-scale mining in its mining law, with implementation support from the Swiss Sustainable Artisanal Mining Project and others.
IGF’s assessment team also identified a number of gaps in Mongolia’s mining law and policy framework.
“The government is well aware of many challenges it faces, and seems committed to taking action to fill the gaps in its existing laws and regulations,” said Luke Danielson, co-author of the IGF’s Mongolia Assessment Report. “It is already working to draft a new Law on Mining, which regulates mine closure and other important aspects of the mining industry. Government officials are actively engaging in capacity building with a number of governmental and non-governmental organizations.”
One of the gaps the team identified in its report was a lack of management of large-volume and high-risk mine wastes, including, but not limited to, their impact on water resources. The report also identifies a lack of government capacity to audit complex tax returns and to deal with transfer pricing, beneficial ownership and related issues. Mongolia also lacks clear criteria regarding which deposits should be classified as “mineral deposits of strategic importance.” The team also identified a lack of clarity and transparency regarding how revenue is distributed to and utilized at the aimag and soum levels.
Mongolia’s participation in the IGF contributes to the implementation of the country’s comprehensive and ambitious State Minerals Policy 2014–2025. The State Minerals Policy lays out a vision for responsible mining, with the goal of providing sufficient social and economic benefits from mining, while also achieving Mongolia’s national plans to implement the Sustainable Development Goals.
“We see great promise in Mongolia,” Bruckner said. “The Ministry of Mining and Heavy Industry’s commitment to sustainable development of the minerals sector sets a great example throughout Asia, while also attracting responsible investors who share this vision. The ministry’s work to develop a comprehensive system for planning and regulating mine closure and rehabilitation shows concrete and practical progress towards addressing the gaps identified in the IGF Assessment. The IGF is extremely pleased by the fruitful partnership it has developed with the Government of Mongolia and looks forward to ongoing collaboration.”...
* Moody's changes outlook on Mongolia banking system to stable from negative
* Moody's on Mongolia banking system - outlook indicates expectation for how bank creditworthiness will evolve in the country over the next 12-18 months
* Moody's on Mongolia banking system- Moody's baseline scenario assumes a marginal decline of 0.2% in real gdp growth for Mongolia in 2017
* Moody's on Mongolia banking system- Moody's forecasts real gdp growth for Mongolia of 1.8% in 2018
* Moody's- outlook on Mongolia's banking system based economic program between imf,government of Mongolia to lead to less challenging operating environment Source text - (bit.ly/2tA3foQ)
A high-level meeting on the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade deal will take place in Japan later this month.
The 2-day conference will be held following an agreement reached at a meeting in Vietnam in May, which was attended by ministers of the 11 parties to the TPP deal. The United States withdrew from the pact in January.
By making as few revisions to the deal as possible, the Japanese government hopes to reach a broad agreement before the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in November.
But government officials say that, while countries such as Canada and Australia are positive, Malaysia and Vietnam are cautious about implementing the pact without the US.
Germany's biggest bank has rejected a request by US House Democrats to provide details of President Donald Trump's finances. Deutsche Bank is citing privacy laws.
The bank provided multimillion dollar loans to Trump’s real-estate business before his political career.
"We respectfully disagree with the suggestion that Deutsche Bank freely may reveal confidential financial information in response to requests from individual members of Congress," Deutsche's counsel said in a letter seen by Reuters.
Maxine Waters and four fellow Democrats have demanded Deutsche disclose the information about Trump’s bank account.
"Trump has made it entirely clear that he has a lot to hide, and it appears that Deutsche Bank is willing to cover for him," Waters wrote to the news agency.
"Efforts by Trump, his family members and associates, and Deutsche Bank to avoid scrutiny only intensify our resolve to follow the Trump money trail,” she added.
In June, a disclosure document published by the US Office of Government Ethics showed liabilities for Trump of at least $130 million to Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americas.
The Democrats don’t have the power to make Deutsche Bank disclose the information. The Financial Services Committee can issue a subpoena, but the Republicans, who are in the majority, would have to agree.
Ikh Uul soum in Khuvsgul Province opened Mongolia’s first mobile factory for milk powder on June 24 through a campaign for meat and milk production, launched in January 2017 by the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Light Industry.
Within the scope of the campaign, MDM LLC initiated the Mongolian Milk Powder project to build mobile dairy factories in 60 soums of 19 provinces in Mongolia. The new factory opened in Ikh Uul soum is the first factory constructed through the project. The project executors predict that they will be able to create up to 2,000 new full-time jobs and increase income of over 20,000 herders through better milk supply chains.
According to MDM LLC, the factory is capable of drying 80 liters of milk in an hour and producing 1.5 tons of milk powder a day.
“There’s a need to utilize unused milk in soums, meet the national demand for milk and dairy products through domestic production, substitute dairy imports and boost exportation. Active participation of the private and public sectors and their cooperation is greatly significant to developing the dairy sector, which would help resolve the issue at hand,” said D.Sovd, a monitoring specialist at the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Light Industry.
“The ministry started collaboration with Mongol Dry Milk LLC to carry out the Mongolian Milk Powder project to meet domestic milk and dairy product demands using milk resources in soums and ultimately increase dairy exports.”
Prime Minister J.Erdenebat testing the milk drying machine
Prime Minister J.Erdenebat testing the milk drying machine
The project will be carried out through 2025, according to Director of Mongol Dry Milk LLC E.Erdenebileg, who says he is confident that the mobile factories to be built through the project will play a big role in the development of Mongolia.
“Drying milk will not only cut transportation cost of milk by tenfold but also provide the opportunity to store and supply milk to domestic dairy factories throughout the year,”said E.Erdenebileg.
Data-sharing business Dropbox Inc is seeking to hire underwriters for an initial public offering that could come later this year, which would make it the biggest U.S. technology company to go public since Snap Inc (SNAP.N), people familiar with the matter said on Friday.
The IPO will be a key test of Dropbox's worth after it was valued at almost $10 billion in a private fundraising round in 2014.
Dropbox will begin interviewing investment banks in the coming weeks, the sources said, asking not to be named because the deliberations are private.
Dropbox declined to comment.
Several big U.S. technology companies such as Uber Technologies Inc and Airbnb Inc have resisted going public in recent months, concerned that stock market investors, who focus more on profitability than do private investors, would assign lower valuations to them.
Snap, owner of the popular messaging app Snapchat, was forced to lower its IPO valuation expectations earlier this year amid investor concern over its unproven business model. Its shares have since lingered just above the IPO price, with investors troubled by widening losses and missed analyst estimates. It has a market capitalization of $21 billion.
Still, for many private companies, there is increasing pressure to go pubic as investors look to cash out.
Proceeds from technology IPOs slumped to $6.7 billion in2015 from $34 billion in 2014, and shrunk further to $2.9 billion in 2016, according to Thomson Reuters data.
Dropbox's main competitor, Box Inc (BOX.N), was valued at roughly $1.67 billion in its IPO in 2015, less than the $2.4 billion it had been valued at in previous private fundraising rounds.
San Francisco-based Dropbox, which was founded in 2007 by Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduates Drew Houston and Arash Ferdowsi, counts Sequoia Capital, T. Rowe Price and Greylock Partners as investors.
Dropbox started as a free service for consumers to share and store photos, music and other large files. That business became commoditized though, as Alphabet Inc's (GOOGL.O) Google, Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) and Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) started offering storage for free.
Dropbox has since pivoted to focus on winning business clients, and Houston, the company's CEO, has said that Dropbox is on track to generate more than $1 billion in revenue this year.
The company has expanded its Dropbox Business that requires companies to pay a fee based on the number of employees who use it. The service in January began offering Smart Sync, which allows users to see and access all of their files, whether stored in the cloud or on a local hard drive, from their desktop.
Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ Mongolia has started exporting meat to Iran in the frames of ‘Meat and Milk Campaign I’.
A 4000 tons of mutton, the first batch of meat to be exported to the county in scope of an agreement reached between ‘Eco Food Trading’ LLC and ‘Darkhan Meat Foods’ LLC, was thus transported to Iran last Friday.
The meat export to Iran expands Mongolia’s foreign export market, noted the authorities of the two companies.
Mongolia is capable of exporting more than 100 thousand tons of meat per annum. If Mongolia can fully utilize this capability, the quality of Mongolian meat will be widely acknowledged in international market which will improve the livelihood of herders, the corresponding Ministry sees.
Just when you thought coal was out, the fossil fuel appears to be back on the burner.
In a sharp reversal of 2016, the world's biggest coal producers – China, the U.S and India – are mining more coal, despite efforts by the 2015 Paris climate accord to rein in carbon dioxide and other emissions believed to cause global warming. President Donald Trump recently announced he is pulling the U.S. out of the agreement.
The Associated Press reports that coal production through May is up by at least 121 million tonnes for the top 3 coal producers – a 6% increase from the same period last year. The most dramatic rise is in the United States, where coal mining rose 19% in the first five months of the year.
The reasons for this year’s turnaround include policy shifts in China, changes in U.S. energy markets and India’s continued push to provide electricity to more of its poor, industry experts said. President Donald Trump’s role as coal’s booster-in-chief in the U.S. has played at most a minor role, they said.
The up-turn in coal use contrasts with a report released two weeks ago from BP Plc, which said that in 2016, U.S. demand for coal plummeted 33.4 million tons of oil equivalent to 358.4 million – a level not seen since the 1970s. China, the world's largest energy consumer, burned the least coal in six years. Consumption of coal fell in every continent except Africa last year.
Other recent coal news continues to support the thesis that the fossil fuel is in decline. Three days ago the Chinese government announced that it will not allow coal imports at small ports from July 1, in a move likely to tighten supply of the fuel during summer and support a further rally in prices. Coking coal futures in China soared almost 8 percent last Thursday.
And on June 21, Coal India, the world’s largest producer, said it is closing 37 mines before March next year as it said they are no longer economically viable due to increasing competition from renewable energy sources.
China has committed to capping its greenhouse gases by 2030 and last year shut down hundreds of coal mines, while also forcing others to reduce hours. The measures were aimed at reducing coal supply and boosting prices, though the Chinese government has since relaxed that policy and production is rebounding, states AP.
After an inconclusive vote in Mongolia’s June 26 presidential election, candidates from the north Asian country’s two most prominent political parties will face off in a second round on July 7.
Mongolia’s relationship with China, particularly regarding its economy, has been a major topic in the election. Ninety percent of Mongolia’s exports go to its southern neighbor, with the main export products being coal and minerals including gold and copper. China wants to invest in infrastructure to mine and move these exports quicker, but can only do so if allowed by the Mongolian government.
Battulga Khaltmaa, candidate for the conservative-leaning Democratic Party and former transport minister, has expressed concern about growing Chinese economic involvement in Mongolia.
In an emailed statement to Reuters, Battulga said that while China “must be a great partner of [Mongolia]”, “rail and transportation for any country is both a national security and an economic issue”.
When resources run out, “there will definitely be conflict between the Mongolians and the Chinese”, he said in a 2014 interview.
Enkhbold Miyegombo of the ruling Mongolian People’s Party is less suspicious of Chinese motives for investment.
The People’s Party was once known as the Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party (MPRP) and served as the Soviet-backed communist regime in Mongolia from the 1920s to the end of the Cold War. The MPRP of today split off from the People’s Party and was represented in the initial vote by candidate Ganbaatar Sainkhuu.
According to one party official in a Reuters interview, he is “open to foreign investment from all countries, that of course includes investment from China”.
The official also said that “the reality for today is we have the supply, China has the demand,” but added that Mongolia needed to diversify and “reduce inappropriate dependence” on one country.
There have been several political conflicts between the two countries in recent years. About a week after the exiled Tibetan religious leader, the Dalai Lama, visited Mongolia in 2016, China reportedly closed an important border crossing that left hundreds of truck drivers stuck at the border for hours and even days.
Al Jazeera reported that a loan deal Mongolia was negotiating with China to ease its financial situation had been cancelled by China, also because of the Dalai Lama’s visit. Mongolia is “paying a very heavy economic price for putting religious freedom ahead of economic necessity,” Al Jazeera reported.
A 2014 agreement with China’s Shenhua Group was blocked by the Mongolian parliament the following year because of disputes about the width of the track. According to a Business News Europe report, then-transport minister Battulga argued that “tanks can easily penetrate into Mongolia in no time if we build a railway with a [narrower] gauge track, the same used in China.”
In the initial vote on June 26, Battulga won 38.1 percent, while the People’s Party’s Enkhbold won 30.3 percent. Ganbaatar Sainkhuu of the Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party gained 30.2 percent....