1 US-MONGOLIA 'THIRD NEIGHBOR TRADE ACT' ON THE WAY WWW.THEDIPLOMAT.COM PUBLISHED:2018/11/17      2 CHINA'S FIGHT AGAINST SMOG MAKES PALLADIUM 2018'S BEST METAL WWW.MINING.COM PUBLISHED:2018/11/17      3 MILLENNIUM CHALLENGE CORPORATION PRESENTS GMS LICENSES WWW.MONTSAME.MN PUBLISHED:2018/11/17      4 MONGOLIA CALLS FOR GLOBAL ATTENTION ON CLIMATE CHANGE WWW.NEWS.MN PUBLISHED:2018/11/17      5 ADB OPENS A NEW WASTEWATER TREATMENT PLANT IN ARVAIKHEER, MONGOLIA WWW.AGENPARL.EU PUBLISHED:2018/11/17      6 CHINA TO BOOST COOPERATION WITH INDIA, MONGOLIA: DEFENSE MINISTER WWW.GLOBALTIMES.CN PUBLISHED:2018/11/17      7 DEATH ON MONGOLIA’S ‘COAL ROAD’ WWW.NEWS.MN PUBLISHED:2018/11/17      8 MONGOLIA SHAKEN BY WIDENING LOAN SCANDAL WWW.ASIA.NIKKEI.COM PUBLISHED:2018/11/17      9 MONGOLIA’S UNEMPLOYMENT FALLS BY 2.2 PERCENT WWW.NEWS.MN PUBLISHED:2018/11/16      10 MEETING MEAT DEMAND: MONGOLIA TO TRADE 17.9 PERCENT OF LIVESTOCK WWW.NEWS.MN PUBLISHED:2018/11/16      БНСУ-ЫН АЖ АХУЙН НЭГЖҮҮДИЙН АУТСОРСИНГ ЗАХИАЛГЫГ ГҮЙЦЭТГЭХ ЗАЛУУЧУУДЫГ СОНГОН, ШАЛГАРУУЛНА WWW.UNUUDUR.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/11/17     НҮҮРСНИЙ ЭКСПОРТ 10 ХУВИАР ӨСӨЖ, 31.3 САЯ ТОНН БОЛОВ WWW.GOGO.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/11/17     СУДАЛГААГААР ЖДҮ ЭРХЛЭГЧИД ЗЭЭЛИЙН ХҮҮНИЙ ЗАРДАЛ ХАМГИЙН ИХ ХҮНДРЭЛ УЧРУУЛДАГ ГЭЖ ХАРИУЛЖЭЭ WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/11/17     ERDENE RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT: ХАЙГУУЛЫН ЗАРДАЛ III УЛИРАЛД 42 ХУВИАР БУУРСАН WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/11/17     ГОРХИ, ТЭРЭЛЖИЙН БАЙГАЛИЙН БОХИРДОЛД АНХААРАЛ ХАНДУУЛЖ ЭХЛЭВ WWW.MONTSAME.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/11/17     ИРЭХ БААСАН ГАРАГТ ХОТЫН ДАРГЫГ ОГЦРУУЛАХ ЭСЭХИЙГ ХЭЛЭЛЦЭНЭ WWW.MONTSAME.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/11/17     “АМГАЛАН” ХОТХОНД БАЙРЛАХ ГЭРТЭЭ КАННАБИС ТАРЬЖ, УРГУУЛЖ БАЙСАН ТУРК ИРГЭНИЙГ БАРИВЧИЛЖЭЭ WWW.MEDEE.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/11/17     ӨНӨӨДӨР АВТОМАШИНЫ ДУГААРЫН ХЯЗГААРЛАЛТ ҮЙЛЧЛЭХГҮЙ WWW.EAGLE.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/11/17     ГАШУУНСУХАЙТЫН НҮҮРСТЭЙ МАШИНЫ ЦУВАА 120 КМ БОЛЖЭЭ WWW.EAGLE.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/11/16     ТАТВАРЫН ОРЛОГО 32.2 ХУВИАР ӨСӨЖ, ТӨСВИЙН ТЭНЦЭЛ 341.9 ТЭРБУМ ТӨГРӨГИЙН АШИГТАЙ ГАРЛАА WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/11/16    

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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Queensland Government completes Blair Athol Coal Mine lease transfer - mine set to re-open by end of June 2017 www.medianet.com.au

Queensland Government completes Blair Athol Coal Mine lease transfer – mine set to re-open by end of June 2017

The historic Blair Athol Coal Mine in Central Queensland will re-open by the end of June this year.

Operations at the Blair Athol Coal mine have been transferred from Rio Tinto to Orion Mining Pty Limited - a wholly owned subsidiary of TerraCom.

The mining lease acquisition has been fully approved by the Queensland Department of Natural Resources and Mines and includes related licenses, land, site infrastructure, active contracts and all mining plant and equipment, including a dragline, to deliver TerraCom’s forecast production schedule and the progressive rehabilitation of the site.

Recommencing mining at Blair Athol - the state's first open cut coal mine - will generate 150 direct jobs and a further 450 indirect jobs in the region.

Orion Mining chairman and TerraCom Board Member Mr Jim Soorley said reopening the mine would create hundreds of jobs in the region and the strong coal prices would provide significant taxes and royalties to the Queensland Government.

“TerraCom is committed to providing employment opportunities for local workers in the region, rather than operating a fly-in-fly-out workforce and the company will also relocate its head office to modern facilities in Clermont.

“The completion of transfer of ownership of Blair Athol Mine is not only great news for TerraCom but is great news for the community of Clermont and the state of Queensland, with up to $80 million in taxes and royalties to flow from the re-opened mine operation and with the recommencement of rehabilitation activities," he said.

The mine had been mothballed since 2012 but the equipment on site has been maintained to a high standard and is ready to start operations. When production recommences at the Blair Athol mine it is expected to export $1.2 billion worth of coal over the next seven years - based on current prices.

$79.6 million will be transferred to a government-controlled trust fund for rehabilitation costs as part of TerraCom's $93.1 million financial contribution to progressively rehabilitate the mine.

TerraCom has built and commissioned a $150 million coking coal mine in the Gobi desert Mongolia, which employs 350 people. It recently signed a 5.5 year deal to sell over $1 billion worth of coal from that mine into China.

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Mongolia to export potatoes to Japan www.gogo.mn

This year, a total of 458.0 thousand hectares of land planned to be cultivated nationwide - grains at 381.6 thousand hectares, potatoes, and vegetables at 23.6 thousand hectares, fodder crops at 23.2 thousand hectares and oilseeds at 28.6 thousand hectares will be planted respectively.
Prime Minister J.Erdenebat stated during the meeting with farmers that Japanese companies submitted an order to purchase potatoes from Mongolia. Currently, we have sent two samples and both of them meet the standard of Japan. Our farmers, however, should more focus on the quality of vegetables as well as should supply high-quality products that meet the customer requirements.
The main topic discussed at the meeting was soil care. It is significant for farmers to protect, improve and restores soil in order to produce plentrous harvest. 
Minister of Food, agriculture and light industry P.Sergelen said that Mongolia to work with China in soil care. In regards, two countries agreed to establish a joint research laboratory of soil care. 
Meanwhile, farmers noted that cultivation is expected to be finished at the beginning of June. This year, we are having enough soil moisture for cultivation due to the Government approved a budget for cloud seeding. In addition, development of agriculture sector is improving year by year. We are seeing progress in training of workforce resource in developed countries.

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Ambassador O.Och meets CEO of Netherlands Development Finance company www.en.montsame.mn

 

Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ Newly appointed Ambassador of Mongolia to the Kingdom of Netherlands O.Och discussed bilateral relations and cooperation with Jürgen Rigterink, CEO of Netherlands Development Financial Company (FMO).

The FMO focuses on developing banks and financial institutions in developing countries and is providing immense contribution in expanding financial institutions in Mongolia and increasing their capital sources. Also, FMO invested in the renewable energy sector and took part in the development of the first wind farm in Mongolia.

On behalf of the company, Mr. Jürgen Rigterink expressed his willingness to cooperate on reducing air pollution, improving heating system in ger district areas and maintaining food security through renewable energy and agriculture sectors, as well as to promote Dutch companies interested in investing these sectors in Mongolia.

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Spring sowing 50 percent on national level www.montsame.mn

 
Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ Prime Minister J.Erdenebat is working in the agricultural regions of central aimags to look over spring sowing that recently began.
 
On May 21, Sunday, the Prime Minister visited farmlands in Tuv, Darkhan-Uul and Selenge aimags, and today, May 22, he works in Bulgan and Orkhon aimag.
 
During the Prime Minister’s visit to ‘Ekh Bayan Bulag’ company in Jargalant soum of Tuv aimag, its Director J.Ariunbold said, “One of the biggest challenges faced by farmers is risk insurance as crop production sector depends completely on weather conditions. Insurance companies are reluctant about having farmers as customers, and we need a specific law regulating this area”. He also conveyed that potato marketing must be aided by a policy.
 
In response, Prime Minister J.Erdenbat said that the Cabinet is paying attention to supporting farmers market their products, citing about an agreement to export potato to Japan starting this autumn.
 
Spring sowing began on May 5 in Tuv aimag where 93 thousand ha area is utilized for crop production. According to Ch.Sarangerel, Governor of Tuv aimag, spring sowing could possiblly complete by May 27 in the province.
 
The Prime Minister also visited the farmland of ‘Khurniad’ company, Javkhlant soum of Selenge aimag on May 21. This year, 174 thousand ha arable land is being planted seeds in Selenge aimag, one of the main agricultural regions of the country, and spring sowing is 60 percent complete in the province.
 
On the national level, spring sowing is 50 percent complete in various agricultural regions.
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Ukraine says no to Russian coal, gas – favours nuclear power www.mining.com

In spite of a blockade on shipments of anthracite coal from occupied Donbas to Ukrainian thermal power plants (TPPs) since this past winter, the country has thus far avoided blackouts. Moreover, Ukraine has managed to increase power generation by 2.1 percent year over year in January–April (Interfax-Ukraine, May 13). This was mainly thanks to heavy reliance on nuclear energy, but warm weather and lower consumption by industry also helped. Ahead of the next heating season, which kicks off in October, Ukraine is going to replace Donbas-sourced anthracite with imported coal, while also converting its thermal power plants to use alternative fuels.

Ukrainian nationalists began to block roads leading into the Moscow-backed so-called Donetsk and Luhansk “people’s republics” (DPR, LPR) at the end of January, protesting against what they saw as profiteering from the war by Ukrainian tycoon Rinat Akhmetov at consumers’ expense (see EDM, February 24, 28). They claimed that the government agreed to pay for coal extracted at Akhmetov’s mines, located in the Russia-controlled areas, according to the so-called Rotterdam-plus formula, so it was as expensive as if it were shipped from the Netherlands (Zn.ua, February 17). Because of the blockade, Ukrainian TPPs were left without anthracite from the DPR and LPR territories, and the government warned in February that almost a third of Ukraine would face blackouts by April. Still, the protests gained momentum, and in March Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko banned all cargo traffic with the occupied eastern territories. As a result, five out of the six Ukrainian TPPs that used to burn anthracite stopped operations in April (see EDM, March 29).

But even with many of its TPPs offline, Ukraine was not plunged into blackouts, thanks to a combination of factors. February and March were unusually warm, so less coal was used for heating. Industry also consumed less power because the Donbas blockade not only affected power generation, but also subdued output in metallurgy and the engineering industry. For example, after growth last year and in January, metal production plunged year on year by 4.3 percent in February and by 2.2 percent in March (Ukrstat.gov.ua, accessed on May 16). Also, thermal power was partially replaced with nuclear power, so the share of nuclear plants in power generation jumped from 52 percent in 2016 to 57 percent in January–April (Interfax, May 15). However, Ukraine cannot continue to heavily rely on nuclear reactors, as it will be necessary to shut them down for scheduled maintenance later in the year. Meanwhile, domestic power consumption is likely to grow, as the economy continues to expand.

To remedy this situation, Ukraine plans to increase coal imports, while adapting its TPPs to use lower-quality G-grade coal, which is extracted outside the occupied areas and can be easily imported, in place of anthracite. The Ukrainian government does not want to increase coal imports from Russia on principle, because of the war, so Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman suggested buying coal from as far as the United States, South Africa and Australia (Ukrinform.ua, March 21). However, that might be prohibitively expensive, given the transportation costs involved.
On April 25, Sakhnakhshiri, a company based across the Black Sea in Georgia, won a tender to deliver 700,000 tons of coal to Ukraine to the state company Tsentrenergo, which runs two of the five power plants stopped due to the coal shortage. Sakhnakhshiri is to deliver coal to Ukraine in May–December. However, there have been doubts about this supplier, showing the pitfalls Ukraine may encounter while looking for a replacement to Donbas anthracite. Sakhnakhshiri faced only one competitor in the tender, a little-known firm registered in Poland but linked to a Ukrainian citizen, whose bid price was only $38 higher than Sakhnakhshiri’s. So there was little or no competition (Liga.net, April 26). Furthermore, Georgia’s former president Mikheil Saakashvili said on his Facebook page on April 27 that Sakhnakhshiri might end up buying coal for Ukraine in Russia, and he questioned the transparency of the deal. Georgia, said Saakashvili, could not produce so much coal of the quality asked by Tsentrenergo. Coal bought from Russia may turn out to be coal that was originally shipped to Russia by the DPR-LPR authorities.

Meanwhile, both the government and Akhmetov’s DTEK, Ukraine’s biggest private energy company, are working to convert their TPPs to G-grade coal. DTEK CEO Maksym Tymchenko said in an interview that one of his firm’s TPPs was currently being converted, and conversion of another plant was already planned (Epravda.com.ua, April 27). DTEK also began to buy anthracite from South Africa (Dtek.com, April 13). Energy Minister Ihor Nasalyk told a recent government meeting that power units at two of Tsentrenergo’s TPPs would use G-grade coal by the end of 2017. Along with the construction of new power transmission lines from nuclear plants and new hydropower units, this should allow Ukraine to replace about four million tons of Donbas anthracite in power generation, Kyiv hopes (Mpe.kmu.gov.ua, April 26).

Ukraine has learned to survive without natural gas purchases from Russia’s Gazprom (see EDM, February 11, 2016). This year, it is learning to live without coal from the areas controlled by Russia-backed militants. This is vital for Ukraine’s highly energy-dependent industry, which is expected to increase production this year, supporting GDP growth for the second year in a row, after deep recession in 2014–2015.

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The Future Course of Mongolia’s Foreign Policy Depends on Economic Gains www.thedialogue.co

By Dr. Vaishali Krishna

Like several post-Soviet states the landlocked location of Mongolia has significantly constrained its foreign policy options, though it has been able to attract many players who could help shape its foreign policy orientations. These players are the so-called “third neighbours” who are basically distant states having no geographical proximity with Mongolia unlike the two neighbours – China and Russia. Even though they are important partners at least at the diplomatic level in keeping a check on China and Russia to ensure Mongolia that it does not fall once again in the Cold War like situation.

Basically a chain of events such as the end of the Cold War, normalisation of Sino-Russian and Sino-Mongolian relations, as well as a shift to democracy and market economy paved the way for Mongolia to adopt an independent foreign policy in order to enter into international politics. The first and foremost desire of Mongolia was to keep its “national interest” intact while formulating its foreign policy because the main purpose of foreign policy for any country is to conduct foreign relations to the best possible advantage. It is for each individual state to decide as to what degree of its involvement in its relations with another state would guarantee and safeguard its national interest.

In terms of definition the national interest stands for “survival and security of the state”. According to Hans Morgenthau, the great realist thinker, all politics is struggle for power, and “as long as the world is politically organized into nations, the national interest is indeed the last word in world politics.” Therefore, it has often been seen that the nations arrange their priorities on the basis of their resources. However, the powerful nations with world-wide political, economic and military activities place high priority on security, while small nations with limited resources compel to reorder their priorities. Whatever may be the priorities, national interest is always considered as dynamic since it keeps on changing in accordance with the needs and requirements. That is what Mongolia has done in its foreign policy orientations.

Mongolia came up with its “Multi-Pillared” foreign policy, the basic tenets of which were explained in the Concept of Foreign Policy which was adopted by the Mongolian Parliament in 1994. Strengthening relations with China and Russia is a priority in Mongolia’s foreign policy, though this does not necessarily mean that it will be aligned with any one of these two neighbours or any third power. In fact, Mongolia aims to promote a balanced relationship with both of its neighbours. At the same time, Mongolia’s foreign policy objective cautions against becoming overly reliant or dependent, politically and economically, on any country.

Other than China and Russia, Mongolia is also diversifying its foreign relations through its ‘third neighbour’ policy, whereby it endeavours to align its interests with highly developed democratic countries and leading international organisations. The third neighbour countries have been identified in accordance with their potential contribution to Mongolia’s economic development and common values. These third neighbours include the United States, Germany, Japan, Turkey and India among others. Such a strategy of Mongolia to win over foreign partners away from China and Russia has been the result of changes witnessed both at the domestic as well as foreign front since the onset of the new millennium. This motivated Mongolian leadership to rethink about revising its existing foreign policy that was done in 2011.

Mongolia’s 2011 revised foreign policy concept somehow identifies China as the country’s largest security concern despite the fact that bilateral relations developed with China in the post-Cold War period appears to be one of the main factors in its external relations. That is also because Mongolia cannot afford neglecting China outrightly due to sharing a long geographic border line with China that helps Beijing dominate Mongolia economically. What is important to keep in mind is that Mongolia’s economy is almost entirely dependent on China as the latter has been Mongolia’s largest trade partner for a long time now, receiving 91 per cent of its total exports and providing 32 per cent of its imports. China is also the largest provider of foreign direct investment (FDI) to Mongolia so much so that it is very unlikely that in the near future Russia will provide a viable alternative for Mongolia for either exports or foreign investment.

An American expert on Mongolia, Alicia Campi is of the opinion that “although Mongolia is sensitive to Chinese activity [even] in the mineral sector, it is willing to let China become a significantly larger supplier of oil products, at least in the short term, to break the back of its dependency on more expensive Russian petroleum products”. In such a situation, it seems that Mongolia’s foreign policy has strongly been affected by its two geographic neighbours, and the third neighbours have not done much to the advantage of Mongolia so far as its national interests are concerned. Indeed, when geography comes into play, every resource has to go through either China or Russia, and the current situation indicates that most of the exports go through China. This is one of the key challenges that Mongolia cannot overcome due to its landlocked geographical location. The third neighbours have little options to make their viable economic presence in Mongolia, though in the democratic era the most important factor in Mongolia’s foreign relationship is tied to economics not politics. So, what course Mongolia’s foreign policy could take in future will depend on economic gains powered by external players where China has already taken a lead through its ‘One Belt, One Road’ project.

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TPP trade deal will continue without Trump www.bbc.com

Asia-Pacific trade ministers have agreed to resuscitate the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal, despite US President Donald Trump abandoning it.
Mr Trump signalled in January he would block the passage of the 12-nation pact in order to protect American jobs.
Trade ministers from the 11 remaining countries have met in Vietnam to get the deal back on track.
The representatives also agreed to help the US rejoin the deal at any time.
The bid to revive the TPP, which would have covered 40% of the global economy, was led by trade ministers from Japan, Australia and New Zealand.
New Zealand trade minister Todd McClay said the remaining countries "are committed to finding a way forward to deliver" the deal.
Door still open
Although the door will be kept open for the US to rejoin the pact, its trade representative Robert Lighthizer said it would not return to the TPP.
"The United States pulled out of the TPP and it's not going to change that decision."
"The president made a decision, that I certainly agree with, that bilateral negotiations are better for the United States than multilateral negotiations."
The remaining 11 countries pushing on with the deal are Japan, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Mexico, Peru, Chile, Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei.

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Saudi, U.S. cement partnership by signing deals worth 280 bln USD www.xinhuanet.com

RIYADH, May 20 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Donald Trump and Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud signed on Saturday here a series of agreements worth 280 billion U.S. dollars, Arabiya local news reported.
The agreements cover military, commercial, energy and petrochemical sectors and are expected to offer hundreds of thousands of jobs in both countries, Arabiya said.
The agreements came at a U.S.-Saudi summit, which will be soon followed by Gulf-U.S. summit and Arab Islamic U.S. summit.
Trump arrived in Riyadh on Saturday morning as the first leg of his first foreign visits since his election as U.S. President.

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Softbank sets up new technology fund www.nhk.or.jp

Japanese telecom giant Softbank Group has officially announced a 93-billion-dollar fund to foster developments in cutting-edge technology.

Backers include government funds from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, US tech giant Apple and US chip maker Qualcomm. Taiwan's Hon Hai Precision Industry, also known as Foxconn, will also invest along with its Japanese subsidiary Sharp.

Sources say that Apple has committed around one billion dollars and Larry Ellison, the founder of US software company Oracle, is chipping in another billion.

Softbank Chairman and CEO Masayoshi Son says technology has the potential to address the biggest challenges and risks facing humanity today.

He says businesses working to solve these problems will need long-term capital and support.

The fund has a target of 100 billion dollars

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US, Saudi Arabia agree on business deals www.nhk.or.jp

US President Donald Trump wrapped up the first day of his visit to Saudi Arabia by touting huge investment deals. He said the projects involved would lead to tens of thousands of new jobs in both countries.

Trump received a royal welcome Saturday as he arrived in Riyadh on the first leg of his first foreign tour since taking office. After meeting with King Salman bin Abdulaziz and other royal family members, he ended the day with a banquet and dancing.

Government officials of both countries say Saudi and US company representatives held talks on business projects worth at least 200 billion dollars.

Saudi Arabia's state-run oil firm, Saudi Aramco, signed 50 billion dollars' worth of agreements with 11 American firms, including General Electric.

US private equity firm Blackstone said Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund will provide 20 billion dollars for a new fund for infrastructure projects in the United States.

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