|Frontier's "Invest Mongolia Tokyo 2018"||Frontier Securities||Tokyo Japan|
|"Open to Export" ICC WTO International business award||ICC WTO||London|
The Board of Directors of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a loan of USD 25 million to help Mongolia improve its tax administration and public investment management using information and communication technology (ICT).
The project to strengthen ICT systems will support the Mongolian Tax Authority in its tax collection efforts by providing the necessary ICT infrastructure – network, security, computing, and storage – to host it.
The project is part of ADB’s efforts to improve public financial resource mobilization and management in Mongolia. Over the past 25 years, the ADB has implemented about 280 projects and programs in the country worth a total of 1.9 billion dollars in fields such as health, social protection, infrastructure and urban planning. (ADB)
For the first time, University of Pennsylvania students can learn Mongolian and delve into a new culture.
The East Asian Languages and Civilizations Department introduced the new course in an effort to expand their Mongolian studies program and increase awareness of Mongolian culture on campus. Elementary Mongolian is being offered in this autumn and spring semesters and counts as a credit towards the language requirement.
Penn is unique in offering Mongolian as a language, as only a few universities in the United States, including Indiana University and the University of California at Berkeley, offer it as a language option.
Mongolian student O.Dashdulam, is studying at Pennsylvania Univesity for one year as a Fulbright Scholar, aiming to introduce her culture to Penn students and increase cultural understanding between Mongolia and the U.S.
Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ The Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) Board of Directors has approved a USD 40 million loan to develop a 41 megawatt (MW) distributed renewable energy system—a first-of-its-kind in Mongolia using a variety of renewable energy technologies to supply power and heating in the remote and less-developed western regions of the country.
The project will also be co-financed by USD 14.6 million grant from the Strategic Climate Fund (SCF) under the Scaling Up Renewable Energy Program in Low-Income Countries, one of the Climate Investment Funds designed to support scaled-up deployment of renewable energy solutions to increase energy access and economic opportunities, and a USD 6 million grant from the Japan Fund for the Joint Crediting Mechanism (JFJCM), which supports the adaptation of advanced low-carbon technologies in ADB-supported projects.
“A clean, reliable, and sustainable energy sector is needed to boost economic growth in western Mongolia while addressing the need to reduce carbon and air pollutant emissions,” said ADB Principal Energy Specialist for East Asia Mr. Shigeru Yamamura. “The 41 MW renewable energy system that the project will finance will not only make the energy sector less carbon intensive, but also help the country’s efforts in meeting its commitment under the Paris climate agreement to reduce carbon emissions by 14 percent by 2030.”
The Upscaling Renewable Energy Sector Project will help develop a 40.5 MW distributed renewable energy system using solar photovoltaic and wind powers with advanced battery storage technology and energy management systems to supply clean and reliable electricity to geographically scattered local towns in western Mongolia, which rely on high-cost and high-carbon-intensive electricity imports from neighboring countries. Meanwhile, the project will also showcase a 500-kilowatt thermal shallow-ground heat pump system, which will supply pollutant-free space heating in public buildings. This system could be scaled up in the future and, ultimately, help mitigate local air pollution during winter.
The distributed renewable energy system financed by the project will help connect more than 258,313 people in the project areas to clean and reliable electricity and heat supply, while a total of 87,968 tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually will be avoided by 2023.
The project will also help enhance the ability of the local electricity utilities and related agencies to manage a stable electricity supply. In addition, it will help build a foundation for future private renewable energy investment in western Mongolia by supporting preparation of long-term renewable energy investment plan.
The total cost of the project is USD 66.22 million, with the Government of Mongolia contributing USD 5.62 million. It is expected to be completed by 2023.
The Government of Mongolia has been making efforts to increase renewable energy use since 2000. However, the share of renewable energy in Mongolia’s energy mix remains low at 12 percent. ADB’s assistance for this project will help the government meet its goals under its State Policy on Energy, 2015–2030, which aims to raise the share of renewable energy to 20 percent by 2023 and 30 percent by 2030.
The Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) Board of Directors has approved a USD 40 million loan to develop a 41 megawatt (MW) distributed renewable energy system, a first-of-its-kind in Mongolia using a variety of renewable energy technologies to supply power and heating in the remote and less-developed western regions of the country. The project will also be cofinanced by a USD 14.6 million grant from the Strategic Climate Fund under the Scaling Up Renewable Energy Program in Low-Income Countries, one of the Climate Investment Funds designed to support scaled-up deployment of renewable energy solutions to increase energy access and economic opportunities, and a USD 6 million grant from the Japan Fund for the Joint Crediting Mechanism, which supports the adaptation of advanced low-carbon technologies in ADB-supported projects. “A clean, reliable, and sustainable energy sector is needed to boost economic growth in western Mongolia while addressing the need to reduce carbon and air pollutant emissions,” said ADB Principal Energy Specialist for East Asia Mr. Shigeru Yamamura. “The 41 MW renewable energy system that the project will finance will not only make the energy sector less carbon intensive, but also help the country’s efforts in meeting its commitment under the Paris climate agreement to reduce carbon emissions by 14 percent by 2030.”
The Upscaling Renewable Energy Sector Project will help develop a 40.5 MW distributed renewable energy system using solar photovoltaic and wind powers with advanced battery storage technology and energy management systems to supply clean and reliable electricity to geographically scattered local towns in western Mongolia, which rely on high-cost and high-carbonintensive electricity imports from neighboring countries. Meanwhile, the project will also showcase a 500-kilowatt thermal shallowground heat pump system, which will supply pollutant-free space heating in public buildings. This system could be scaled up in the future and, ultimately, help mitigate local air pollution during winter. The distributed renewable energy system financed by the project will help connect more than 258,313 people in the project areas to clean and reliable electricity and heat supply, while a total of 87,968 tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually will be avoided by 2023. The total cost of the project is USD 66.22 million, with the Government of Mongolia contributing USD 5.62 million. It is expected to be completed by 2023. “The Government of Mongolia has been making efforts to increase renewable energy use since 2000. However, the share of renewable energy in Mongolia’s energy mix remains low at 12 percent. ADB’s assistance for this project will help the government meet its goals under its State Policy on Energy, 2015– 2030, which aims to raise the share of renewable energy to 20 percent by 2023 and 30 percent by 2030,” the ADB highlighted.
More than a decade ago, Darii Garam, 76, moved to Ulaanbaatar with her children so they could go to school and find work beyond herding animals in the countryside. Now, the pollution, set to worsen in the approaching winter, is getting to her.
“Even just going outside for a second, opening your door, your home fills with smoke, your clothes, everything smells like it,” she says moving around her ger, a spacious and neatly kept traditional Mongolian yurt, to make tea.
Darii lives on the outskirts of Ulaanbaatar, an area known as the ger district or sometimes, affectionately, the “g district”, where rural migrants have collected over the last two decades. Here, gers and houses built out of wood and other scrap material creep up the hills that box in Ulaanbaatar. Every winter, as many as 220,000 households burn coal to stay warm. When families can’t afford coal they sometimes burn tyres and other scraps.
The hospitals are packed every winter, as thousands of children fall sick. Visibility is so bad that two people can be walking hand in hand and not be able to see each other. Air pollution, or “smoke” as the residents call it, often reaches several times that of Beijing or Delhi.
“I wanted more for my children but the air is prohibitive,” Darii says. “I’ve never seen air pollution like this before… The food, pollution, everything, is really bad in Ulaanbaatar.”
Mongolia’s rural residents have flooded the capital in search of a better life. Now, as pollution worsens, officials and residents are looking for ways to lure people back to the countryside.
Today, Ulaanbaatar, a city designed to accommodate about half a million people, holds three times this number – almost half of the country’s population of three million. Harsh winters have killed off millions of livestock, forcing rural herders to the capital for work.
In 2004, almost 70,000 people moved from rural areas to the city, equivalent to the population of an entire province. Since then as many as 45,000 have moved to the capital annually. Most collect in the ger district, an area officials say accounts for 80% of the city’s air pollution.
Under pressure, the government decided last year to ban migration, and recently extended the ban until 2020.
But high levels of pollution persist. About 15,000 people marched in Ulaanbaatar, last year protesting against the smog, in one of the country’s biggest demonstrations in years. In January, concentrations of PM2.5, breathable airborne particles, reached 3,320 micrograms per cubic meter, more than 133 times the level the World Health Organization deems safe.
“If we do not act, shall we all die burning whatever we want?” asked Batbayasgalan Jantsan, the city’s deputy mayor in charge of green development.
“What are the primary rights of human being?” he asks. “The right to life. The right to a healthy and safe environment. The state is obliged to provide that. The state has to protect its citizens from environmental pollution.”
Many say a migration ban alone is not enough to resolve the pollution problem. The real issue, experts and locals say, is the stark divide between the city and the countryside. Erdeneburen Ravjikh, the former state secretary of Mongolia’s ministry of construction and urban development, is on a mission to reverse this mass migration and repopulate the countryside.
Growing up in the steppe of southern Mongolia, Erdeneburen thought a lot about how to upgrade his rural hometown, Gurvansaikhan. There was no central heating, just coal-fired metal stoves. Getting water required a mile-long trek, and the bathrooms – wooden stalls outside – were brutal during the winter when temperatures fell to as low as -40C. “I used to freeze my arse off,” he says.
Most families lived in gers, and made their living by raising goats and selling cashmere. Many of the people Erdeneburen grew up with have left. He has also spent most of his adult life outside his hometown.
“In order to fight air pollution, we need to develop the rural areas, to make life good so people stay,” he says. “The main reason people move to Ulaanbaatar is the quality of life – having proper heating, proper toilets, good water supply.”
After four years of fundraising, designing, and construction, today, Gurvansaikhan looks more like a suburban neighbourhood dropped in the middle of the Gobi desert. Paved roads cut through the town, lined with solar-powered lamps. Residents share a wastewater treatment plant, a central heating system, and a water plant. City planners have even kept trees and shrubbery alive in the desert.
Officials at the city, provincial and national level are now working on a program to encourage citizens to migrate from Ulaanbaatar to the provinces. “Creating jobs in the countryside is important. This is what citizens want. They say, ‘I want to go back home, but I need a job’,” Batbayasgalan said.
Convincing people to move will take time. More than half of the country’s GDP is generated in Ulaanbaatar. Last year when unemployment in the city was 8.7%, in rural areas it was as high as 10.7%.
Erdenechimeg Sanlig came to the capital from the countryside six years ago with her children, following their oldest daughter to university. She goes home once a year and always finds that not much has changed.
“Having animals is difficult,” she says, sitting on a neatly made bed inside their ger, a traditional Mongolian yurt on the outskirts of Ulaanbaatar or tent. A television plays the local news. Next to a microwave, a cabinet holds a cup of toothbrushes and a roll of toilet paper. A pink table decorated with images of Disney princesses, for her three granddaughters, sits on the far side of the tent.
“In the countryside our children would not find jobs. It’s better here to find jobs,” she says.
Still, increasingly more residents in the ger district are growing tired of life in the capital. Many complain about the food, the congestion, as well as the pollution. Before the ban, migration to the capital had already been falling since 2014. Last year, the number of people leaving Ulaanbaatar exceeded the amount moving in for the first time since the 1990s.
Zolzaya Amgalan, 32, and her husband Myanganbaatar Tsend, 41, have been here for the last three years with their son and daughter. When their son was a little more than a year old and struggling to walk, a doctor diagnosed him with rickets, and advised the family take a break in the countryside for a year.
“The difference was obvious. In the countryside the air, food, everything is good for the kids,” Zolzaya said. “If there were more development [in the countryside], of course we would move. Everyone would want to move.”...
A Bangladeshi women business delegation led by Women Entrepreneurs Association of Bangladesh president Nasreen Fatema Awal visited Mongolia to develop trade relation.
During the visit on September 7-14, Nasreen Fatema Awal who is also the honorary consul of Mongolia in Bangladesh met with Mongolian speaker of parliament Enkhbold Miyegombo.
The Bangladesh business delegates urged the Mongolian speaker to ease the visa process for augmenting the bilateral trade and economic relations between the two countries.
During the meeting, both sides expressed their interest in arranging bilateral or multilateral workshops and joining hands in pharmaceuticals and agriculture sector.
Besides, they also talked about increasing communication and cultural exchange in the meeting.
Orkhon /MONTSAME/ Hokkaido Eco Village Promotion Project, Japan International Cooperation Agency and Japan’s Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects have initialed a Memorandum of Cooperation on constructing 15 winter greenhouses in Jargalant soum, Orkhon aimag.
In accordance with the Memorandum, construction work of winter greenhouses worth MNT 4.2 billion will commence in June, 2019 after preparing 22 citizens as a trainer in March, 2019.
Moreover, farmers are possible to own the greenhouse in two years if they run plantation successfully.
Governor of Jargalant soum B.Zorigtbaatar said that the construction work will be realized with the non-refundable financial assistance.
A new training facility opened at the Mongolian Airlines (MIAT) on September 20. The flight attendants and pilots now have the possibility to take emergency and conventional situation training at home, including rescue, warning and serving passengers. First Deputy Director of MIAT N.Ganbold emphasized that before the training were conducted annually at the ‘Aeroflot ‘ in Russia or ‘Korean Air’ in Korea with 150-200 attendants. He said “Training is essential for ensuring safety and stable operation of aviation companies. In order to achieve this goal, we established the training facility, which will save the training costs abroad and give possibility to get additional revenue by conducting training for foreign aviation companies. The possibility to conduct frequent training at home regardless of time will improve service quality and increase safety level of the national airlines.” Director of the Administration and Management Department at the Civil Aviation Authority T.Batjargal said “The ‘Chinggis Khaan’ airport will be moved to the new international airport at Khushigt Valley soon. Regarding to it, we have submitted a request to make the airport in Buyant-Ukhaa as a training center to the government and capital city authorities. It is possible to use the airport as a local airport and international flight training center.”...
A high-speed rail link has been launched in Hong Kong, connecting the territory with mainland China.
The Express Rail Link connects Hong Kong to the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou in 40 minutes - less than half the time taken by older trains.
Chinese authorities will be able to operate at a joint checkpoint at the station, and on the trains.
This is controversial as it marks the first time Chinese criminal law will be enforced in Hong Kong territory.
Critics say this violates Hong Kong's freedoms and mini-constitution.
The rail link was launched at a ceremony on Saturday, with one local lawmaker praising the first bullet train journey to Guangzhou South as "very quiet, like I was on a plane".
Government officials say the rail link will boost businesses in Hong Kong, Shenzhen and Guangzhou.
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The rail link will open to the public on Sunday - and also boost train connections with the rest of mainland China, including the capital Beijing.
However, pro-democracy legislators boycotted the opening ceremony, and staged a protest outside the station, saying the rail link undermines Hong Kong's independent legal system.
Hong Kong, a former British colony, was handed back to China in 1997, under an agreement that the territory would enjoy "a high degree of autonomy, except in foreign and defence affairs", for 50 years.
As a result, Hong Kong has its own laws, protections for certain rights and freedoms, and most mainland Chinese laws cannot be applied in the territory.
The new rail link will mark the first time Chinese officials can enforce Chinese law in Hong Kong, in parts of the station, and on trains.
China's top legislative body has said the arrangement does not undermine Hong Kong's autonomy, and its proponents argue it streamlines the immigration process.
However, legal experts from the Hong Kong Bar Association have criticised the arrangement, saying it contravenes Hong Kong's mini-constitution.
The rail link project has also been criticised for being delayed by three years, and going over budget by close to $3bn (£2bn).
One of the world’s longest gas pipelines – the Power of Siberia – which is being created to deliver natural gas from Russia to China, is almost complete. The sides are now getting ready to ink a contract on another major pipeline.
Agreement on the Power of Siberia 2 or the ‘Western Route’ for the supply of Russian gas from the Far East to China might be signed in the first half of 2019, according to Nur Bekri, director of the National Energy Administration of China. The new pipeline will deliver 30 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year.
“We continue consultations... If we agree on the ‘Western Route’, then it will be more than 80 billion cubic meters [for all supply routes, including LNG – Ed.] a year. This means that Russia will take the first place among gas suppliers to China,” Bekri told TASS.
China is seeking to increase gas purchases from Russia and a number of other countries, according to the State Committee for Development and Reforms. The Committee’s head He Lifeng said the reason...
Russian energy giant Gazprom’s CEO, Alexey Miller, said earlier that Russia and China have agreed to get approval for gas supplies via the ‘Western Route’ in the shortest possible time.
Demand for Russian gas supplies is increasing in China, and according to Miller, by 2035 it could reach 80 – 100 billion cubic meters a year.
Administration showed that the world’s second-biggest natural gas importer, China, will account for at least a quarter of all global natural gas consumption growth between 2015 and 2040.
Supplies via the ‘Eastern Route’ (the Power of Siberia) are expected to start by the end of next year. Initial volumes will stand at 5 billion cubic meters, reaching 38 billion cubic meters per year by 2024.
The 3,000-km (1,900-mile) pipeline will be longer than the distance between Moscow and London. The deal on the ‘Eastern Route’ took more than a decade to negotiate. In May 2014, Gazprom and CNPC signed a $400-billion, 30-year framework to deliver 38 billion cubic meters of Russian gas to China annually.
In 2017, Gazprom invested 158.8 billion rubles ($2.4 billion) in the project. This year it plans to invest another 218 billion rubles ($3.25 billion).
Russia’s Arctic region will also be a major source of gas supplies to China. At the moment, Russian gas producer Novatek is working (in cooperation with CNPC) on the implementation of Russian-led energy project Yamal LNG. China has already purchased the first two batches of liquefied natural gas from Yamal.