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



Russia to resume wheat exports to Turkey, Ankara told to keep tomatoes www.rt.com

Ankara has withdrawn a 130 percent tariff on Russian grain following the meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Sochi.

Russia will resume exporting wheat to Turkey without restrictions starting from Thursday, Turkish Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci told Bloomberg.

Turkey introduced the tariff on Russian grain in response to Moscow's ban on Turkish tomatoes and other produce following the downing of a Russian jet in Syria in November 2015.

While Russia risked losing its second biggest buyer of wheat after Egypt, Turkey had faced higher prices elsewhere.

The Wednesday meeting in Sochi between Putin and Erdogan did not solve the issue of Turkish tomatoes. Putin said Russian farmers have taken out significant loans to boost domestic production and construct greenhouse facilities, so lifting restrictions now will hurt them.

However, Turkey will sell tomatoes to Russia in seasons when the country can’t grow sufficient amounts. Before the deterioration in relations, 70 percent of Turkish tomatoes were exported to Russia.

Ankara’s apology and the subsequent thaw between the countries failed to settle the issue. In March, Russia lifted the restrictions against Turkish onions, cauliflower, broccoli and some other vegetables, explaining there is a lack of these food items in Russia.

Turkey complained that it's only a fraction of tomato sales.

“Russia raised restrictions on some products that totaled $19 million. That’s the value of what’s exported by one little company," Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told Bloomberg in April.

Turkey has failed to replace the Russian market, and its farmers are facing hard times without exports to Russia.

“We cannot survive without the Russian market. Wastage rates have never been this high,” Munir Sen, the head of the association of fruit and vegetable brokers in Mersin, a city which has Turkey’s biggest seaport, told Bloomberg.



China-made C919 no challenge to Boeing, Airbus dominance www.chinadaily.com

BEIJING - While the much-awaited first Chinese-built passenger jet C919 is ready to make its maiden flight Friday, it may take much longer for the newcomer to take off in the aviation market.

Shaking the dominance of aviation giants Boeing and Airbus in the near future is unrealistic, observers say, but the Chinese jetliner could be a strong option for global carriers in decades to come.

Scheduled to depart from Shanghai Pudong International Airport on May 5, the C919, with 158 seats and a standard range of 4,075 kilometers, is expected to compete with the updated Airbus 320 and Boeing's new generation 737.

A total of 23 foreign and domestic customers, including China's national carrier Air China and leasing company GE Capital Aviation Service, have placed orders for 570 aircraft, according to the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC).

But this is only the very first step. Even in China's domestic market, COMAC has a long way to go to turn technical success into business success.

Currently, Chinese airlines seem to be more keen to spend money on wide-body aircraft to enhance their global routes with rising enthusiasm for overseas travel. Those jets are still the exclusive province of Boeing and Airbus.

China Eastern Airlines signed contracts in 2016 to buy 20 A350-900 aircraft from Airbus and 15 B787-9 aircraft from Boeing to be delivered between 2018 and 2022.

China Southern Airlines announced in April that it will buy 20 A350-900 with a total catalog price of nearly $6 billion.

Boeing and Airbus are very mature aircraft manufacturers, and COMAC should seek further cooperation with them to learn from their experiences, according to aviation analysts.

But looking ahead, single-aisle planes like C919 will be the market mainstream and COMAC should do well in the Chinese market, one of the most competitive.

Boeing predicted last year that China will become the world's top aviation market within 20 years, projecting a demand for 6,810 new aircraft in the next two decades with a total value of $1 trillion.

China will need 5,110 new single-aisle airplanes through 2035, accounting for 75 percent of the total new deliveries, according to Boeing.

The C919 will be a strong competitor in this field being economical and comfortable, according to a research note from Guosen Securities.

If the maiden flight is successful, COMAC will seek airworthiness certificates from the Civil Aviation Administration of China and foreign aviation safety regulators before making its first deliveries.

Also, to pave way for C919 to enter foreign markets, the airworthiness certification of the jet will be a part of bilateral air safety agreement talks between China and the EU.

China has invested heavily in commercial passenger jet manufacturing. In 2007, plans to develop a domestic large passenger jet were approved by the State Council. In November 2015, the first C919 jet rolled off the assembly line.

The ARJ21, the country's first regional aircraft also produced by COMAC, began commercial operations in June 2016 following its maiden flight in 2008.



Parliament cancelled its decision to pass big projects sales income through Mongolian banks www.montsame.mn

Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ The second clause of Parliamentary resolution number 29, which indicated to raise state currency reserve by passing sales income of big projects with foreign investment through accounts of Mongolian banks, was cancelled during yesterday’s (May 4) plenary session of the Parliament. 65.5 per cent or 36 MPs out of the attended 55 backed to cancel the clause.

On April 14, parliament approved amendments to the 2017 state budget and other following laws and resolutions, which included resolution number 29. The Budgetary standing committee of Parliament developed a draft resolution to cancel the clause, in a request by Finance Minister, because it has caused difficult condition to implement joint program with the International Monetary Fund.

During the discussion, Democratic Party group in parliament asked five-day break in connection with the issue. DP group head MP D.Erdenebat said the discussion of the issue breaches the law on parliamentary procedure and the pressing problem could be resolved without touching the very important clause. However, DP group was allowed just 30-minute break, and after which the discussion continued, approving to cancel the second clause.




76.8 percent of Mongolian land suffers from desertification www.gogo.mn

According to the Report on Environmental State For 2015-2016, 76.8 percent of the Mongolian territory has been struck by desertification as a consequence of fast-spreading dryness in the recent years. The report was presented by Minister of Environment and Tourism, Ms D.Oyunkhorol at a cabinet meeting.

The main cause of desertification was the 2.5 times increase in the population of livestock since 1990 and failure to maintain the traditional methods of pasture rotation and going on search for better grazing lands, says the report.

Another concern is the increased frequency of atmospheric hazards. In specific, average of 30 atmospheric incidents were observed each year from 1990 and 2000, whereas the number had doubled between 2001 and 2016. For instance, the number of days with dust storms went up to 47 in 2015 from 37 in 2014.

Although Mongolia’s total carbon dioxide emission is lower than the global average, 6.08 metric tons of CO2 emission per capita indicates a number that is quite higher than the global average.
Climate change, pastoral degradation and improper mining activities have speeded up the drying process of surface waters – springs, rivers, ponds and lakes. According to results of 2016 centralized census of surface water, a total of 774 springs, 263 small and large rivers and 346 lakes have dried out.

Moreover, 88 percent of the soil samples from Ulaanbaatar used in the soil test conducted in 2014 were tested positive with various bacteria, mould and fungus, as well as ammonia contamination in densely populated areas.
Wastewater coming from the central sewerage and industrial waste have contributed to Tuul River pollution. The report reads that contents of nitrate azote and rock phosphate at the river’s influx have tendency to increase since 1985.



Orix buying into US geothermal company www.asia.nikkei.com

TOKYO -- Japanese leasing company Orix decided Thursday to invest about $627 million in an American geothermal technology company, aiming to bring the technology to Asia to tap what it expects to be a growing market.

Orix will take a 22.1% stake as early as July in Nevada-based Ormat Technologies, which designs, builds and sells geothermal power plants and equipment. The New York-listed company also operates plants in the U.S., Central America and Africa. The company reported revenue of $662.6 million last year, an 11% increase. It is the world's top maker of binary geothermal equipment, which can generate power even at lower temperatures.

This will mark Orix's first investment in a geothermal company. The group already operates a geothermal plant via the Suginoi Hotel in Japan's Oita Prefecture, which it acquired in 2002. It has partnered with Japanese municipalities in the field as well. The company anticipates growing demand for geothermal power as a form of renewable energy that does not depend on weather.

Orix has been expanding its renewable-energy operations through investments in other enterprises. It bought into an Indian wind power project in March 2016 and a Vietnamese hydroelectric company that September.




China to connect regions with 400kph bullet trains by 2020 www.rt.com

Beijing is developing a new generation of trains capable of reaching 400 kilometers per hour, China Daily reported. The high-speed trains will be part of the so-called Belt and Road Initiative to boost economic ties with other countries.
Read more
A China Railway High-speed bullet train runs towards Beijing South Railway Station © Jason LeeBeijing targets economic growth with $500bn rail expansion
"We will apply new materials in the research and production of the future high-speed trains, such as carbon fiber and aluminum alloy, which will help to reduce weight and enhance energy efficiency,” said Qiao Feng, a senior engineer at the CRRC Changchun Railway Vehicles, a subsidiary of China Railway Rolling Stock Corporation.

He added the new trains would be able to reduce energy consumption per passenger by ten percent. They are expected to promote regional connectivity and create new businesses for China and overseas economies.

The high-speed railway will help many densely populated countries change their commuter transportation, said rail transportation researcher at the National Development and Reform Commission, Feng Hao.

"Because many markets along the Belt and Road Initiative, especially in Central Asia, Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Eastern Europe, are planning to build high-speed rail lines or to upgrade their existing systems, they are eager to gain technological support from China to assist in daily operations, maintenance and staff training," he said.

China has the world’s largest high-speed rail network with more than 20,000 kilometers and expects to more than double that to 45,000 km by 2030.

According to the Chinese National Railway Administration, the country has passenger train services running at operational speeds of 200 – 250 km/h and has the technology to produce trains with a top speed of 350 km/h.

It is actively developing high-speed train technology and last year set a new speed record with a train reaching 840 km/h on a test run. Two trains, known as Golden Phoenix and Dolphin Blue zipped past each other with only 1.6 meters of space between them.

Beijing recently unveiled plans to build the world’s deepest and largest high-speed railway station as part of its preparations for hosting the 2022 Winter Olympics.

It is also developing a new generation of trains for Russia's Moscow-Kazan high-speed railway. China plans to provide a $6 billion loan for the route which in future may become a part of a $100 billion high-speed rail line connecting the two countries.



Japan, China, South Korea pledge to resist protectionism www.reuters.com

Finance leaders of Japan, China and South Korea agreed to resist all forms of protectionism in a trilateral meeting on Friday, taking a stronger stand than G20 major economies against the protectionist policies advocated by U.S. President Donald Trump.

"We agree that trade is one of the most important engines of economic growth and development, which contribute to productivity improvements and job creations," the finance ministers and central bank governors of the three nations said in a communique issued after their meeting.

"We will resist all forms of protectionism," the communique said, keeping a line that was removed - under pressure from Washington - from a G20 communique in March when the group's finance leaders met in Germany.

China has positioned itself as a supporter of free trade in the wake of Trump's calls to put America's interest first and pull out of multilateral trade agreements.

The trilateral meetings' communique said Asian economies were expected to maintain relatively robust growth thanks to a long-awaited cyclical recovery in manufacturing and trade.

But it warned that downside risks remained and called for policymakers to use "all necessary policy tools" to achieve strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth.

"We will continue a high degree of communication and coordination among China, Japan and Korea to cope with possible financial instability in the context of increased uncertainty of the global economy and geopolitical tensions," the communique said.

It also said the three countries agreed to enhance cooperation under the G20 framework and work towards a successful summit of the group in Hamburg in July.

The trilateral meeting was held on the sidelines of the Asian Development Bank's annual meeting in Yokohama, eastern Japan.

(Reporting by Leika Kihara; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)



KPMG's audits of Rolls-Royce accounts probed by regulator www.bbc.com

Britain's accountancy watchdog has opened an investigation into KPMG's audit of the accounts of aero-engine maker Rolls-Royce.
The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) will probe the accountancy giant's oversight of Rolls-Royce's financial statements covering four years.
It follows Rolls-Royce's settlement of £671m with the Serious Fraud Office in January over corruption allegations.
KPMG said it was co-operating and was "confident in the quality" of its work.
The FRC said in a statement: "The FRC has commenced an investigation under the Audit Enforcement Procedure into the conduct of KPMG Audit Plc, in relation to the audit of the financial statements of Rolls-Royce Group plc for the year ended 31 December 2010 and of Rolls-Royce Holdings plc for the years ended 31 December 2011 to 31 December 2013.
"The decision to investigate follows the SFO announcement on 17 January 2017 of a Deferred Prosecution Agreement between the SFO and Rolls-Royce which relates to offences including conspiracy to corrupt and a failure to prevent bribery."
The agreements relate to bribery and corruption scandals involving intermediaries in overseas markets such as Indonesia and China.
Rolls-Royce first passed information to the SFO in 2012 after facing "allegations of malpractice" in the two countries, after which the fraud squad launched a formal investigation.
'Full cooperation'
The company said at the time that its own investigations had found "matters of concern" in additional overseas markets.
KPMG, one of the world's largest accountancy firms, said: "It is important that regulators acting in the public interest should review high profile issues. We will co-operate fully with the FRC's investigation, which follows the SFO's investigations into Rolls-Royce.
"We are confident in the quality of all the audit work we have completed for Rolls-Royce, including the 2010-2013 period the FRC is considering."
The firm has audited Rolls-Royce for 26 years, but is due to replaced next year by PwC.
Rolls-Royce apologised "unreservedly" after the SFO settlement.
The SFO revealed 12 counts of conspiracy to corrupt or failure to prevent bribery in seven countries - Indonesia, Thailand, India, Russia, Nigeria, China and Malaysia.
Often described as "a jewel in the UK's industrial crown", Rolls-Royce makes engines for military and civil planes, as well as for trains, ships, nuclear submarines and power stations.
But in addition to the corruption claims, the company has been hit by a string of profit warnings that sparked a tumble in the share price in the past couple of years. In February, the company reported a record loss of £4.6bn.
Rolls-Royce is holding its annual meeting in Derby, home to its main factory and where it employs 14,000 people.
In a statement ahead of the meeting, chief executive Warren East said estimates for profits and cash flow this year were unchanged, news that will be welcomed by long-suffering shareholders.
"We have some important transformation initiatives under way and, while we have made good progress in our cost-cutting and efficiency programmes, more needs to be done to ensure we drive sustainable margin improvements within the business," Mr East said.
The statement made no reference to the KPMG investigation.



Deliberative Polling and the Future of Mongolia’s Constitution www.asiafoundation.org

By Amarzaya Naran, Mark Koenig

Bringing together a representative sample of an entire country in one room is not a simple task, especially in a place like Mongolia, where much of the population lives in small, often isolated communities, spread out over a vast terrain. For many citizens, a trip to the capital city, Ulaanbaatar, means a full day on a bus, often on unpaved and poorly maintained roads. But once the complicated logistics are figured out, the possibilities for dialogue and discussion that such diversity brings to one room is immense.
Deliberative Polling session in Mongolia 
Plenary sessions provided an opportunity for citizens to hear the arguments in support of and opposed on each issue from independent experts.
On April 29-30, the Mongolian parliament did just that when it brought together 669 randomly selected citizens from across the country to Ulaanbaatar for the first-ever national deliberative poll on the future of the Mongolian constitution. Deliberative polling is an intensive research method that gathers a randomly selected and representative sample, rather than self-selected participants, and provides citizens with information in writing to ensure it is gathering informed opinions. The deliberative poll finishes with each participant taking an opinion survey to determine their views on the topics discussed. These opinions are then collected and help shape the process of constitutional amendment the government will undertake in the coming months.
The two-day event stimulated discussion and gathered citizen input on critical issues ranging from the powers of the president and ensuring the independence of the civil society, to the pressures of urbanization and the frequency of elections.

Citizens in the deliberative poll were organized into 49 small groups of (15 people each) to deliberate on each issue.
Mongolia’s constitution dates to 1992 when the country was just beginning its transition to democracy and a fully market-based economy. While the constitution has provided the foundation for Mongolia to become one of the region’s most robust democracies, in recent years politicization has crept into all levels of government, the independence of the courts and other independent institutions have been called into question, and successive governments have struggled to identify and implement key policies to continue Mongolia’s resource-based growth.
While a long list of such constraints has been raised, consensus on such complicated and contentious issues is extremely difficult to reach, and experts differ widely on which amendments to prioritize and how they should be combined.
The poll comes two months after Mongolia’s government passed a law requiring that the deliberative polling method be conducted before amendments to the constitution could be made. Deliberative polling, pioneered over 30 years ago by the Center for Deliberative Democracy at Stanford University, was first conducted at the Ulaanbaatar city level in 2015 with support from The Asia Foundation and Stanford University. Both Stanford and the Foundation provided capacity building and advisory support for this first national event.
Last weekend’s discourse clearly shows that the government has learned some lessons from the last round of constitutional amendment efforts in 2000, which were viewed negatively throughout the country, in part because they were made quickly and with minimal discussion and debate. In contrast, this event was highly publicized in advance, and the deliberative polling methodology brought clear advantages over other traditional consultation techniques.

Citizens from all walks of like and from every part of Mongolia gathered to participate in this first nation-wide deliberation on constitutional amendments.
Participants from across the country expressed excitement at the prospect of their voices being heard in this amendment process, as well as strong opinions about the wide range of issues being considered. For example, one participant who had journeyed from remote Huvsgal aimag (province) indicated that after the event she had a strong preference to have the power to elect her own local governor, rather than have the governor appointed by the aimag. She believed an elected governor would better understand local issues and concerns.
While the results of the dialogue are still being compiled, and exactly what amendments might result from this process will not be seen for some months, the event clearly shows the intention of the government to invest in citizen participation in the future of the constitution.
To politicians, observers, citizens, and others watching this deliberative event it became apparent that if people think their voice matters in a forum such as this, they will fully engage in fruitful discussion among themselves, ask the experts informed questions, and then make tough decisions on what is best for their communities. While many discussions included surprise and honor at being invited to the deliberation and visiting the Government House, and excitement at meeting people from different provinces, most would quickly, however, shift back to the constitution and how it can support their hopes for the country’s development.
Amarzaya Naran is deputy manager of The Asia Foundation’s Governance Program in Mongolia. Mark Koenig is the Foundation’s deputy director and urban governance specialist based in the Bangkok office. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the individual authors and not those of The Asia Foundation or its funders.



Chinese firm becomes Deutsche Bank's biggest shareholder www.cnn.com

China Inc. has just become the largest investor in Germany's biggest bank.
HNA Group, a deal-hungry Chinese conglomerate, now owns almost 10% of Deutsche Bank (DB), according to a filing Tuesday. That means it has overtaken the Qatari royal family to become the German lender's top shareholder, according to the latest disclosures.
The acquisition of a significant stake in a pillar of European finance is another example of China's growing global influence. Last year, Chinese firms announced around $220 billion worth of deals for foreign companies, far more than any previous year.

HNA now holds a 9.92% stake -- worth €3.4 billion ($3.7 billion) at Tuesday's closing price -- through C-Quadrat Investment, a European asset manager. It has built its holding from an initial stake of just over 3% in February.

The investment is one of a series of big money moves around the world by HNA, which has interests in a wide-range of industries, including airlines, hotels and technology.

Last year was its most acquisitive yet, including a $6.5 billion deal for a 25% stake in Hilton Worldwide.
It's also racked up a lot of debt in the process. HNA and its subsidiaries owed $13.3 billion as of April 12, according to Dealogic.

Beijing's recent moves to stem the flood of money pouring out of China has led to tougher policing of overseas deals by Chinese companies this year.
Despite this, HNA has remained a busy buyer of foreign businesses, signing more than 10 deals worth over $5 billion in the first three months of this year, most of them overseas.
It has done this partly by using its existing operations abroad to raise money for deals, a route some Chinese companies are taking in order to skirt the country's capital control rules.

Deutsche Bank isn't its first move into the finance sector
HNA already holds stakes in asset managers, banks, insurance companies and a hedge fund. Its financial-services arm, HNA Capital, claims to have more than 340 billion yuan ($49 billion) in assets.
Earlier this year, it reached a deal to buy Skybridge Capital, a U.S. hedge fund business, from Trump campaign fundraiser Anthony Scaramucci.

Chen Feng, a former provincial bureaucrat, set up Hainan Airlines with three other people in 1992 with a loan from the local government. That's the business out of which HNA grew to become a huge conglomerate.
Now HNA's chairman, Chen is also a Buddhist scholar and a big advocate of traditional Chinese culture. The 63-year-old wants to help the country become more respected globally.
His company became the subject of a Harvard Business School case study in 2015, which details his habit of visiting each business HNA buys and teaching its staff about the company's "Ten Commandments," which include compassion, integrity and modesty.