1 VALE EVACUATES 200 PEOPLE FROM TOWN NEAR ITS MAR AZUL MINE WWW.MINING.COM PUBLISHED:2019/02/17      2 TOOTH PLAQUE SHOWS DRINKING MILK GOES BACK 3,000 YEARS IN MONGOLIA WWW.SCIENCENEWS.ORG  PUBLISHED:2019/02/17      3 INCREASING NUMBER OF CHINA-EUROPE FREIGHT TRAINS SUPPORTS MONGOLIA'S ECONOMY: OFFICIAL WWW.XINHUANET.COM PUBLISHED:2019/02/17      4 TAX REVENUE INCREASES BY 33.7 PERCENT WWW.MONTSAME.MN PUBLISHED:2019/02/17      5 COPPER MINER'S $10B BET COMES TO LIFE IN PANAMA JUNGLE WWW.MINING.COM PUBLISHED:2019/02/15      6 TRADE UNIONS REQUEST PM TO FOCUS ON INTEREST RATE CUT WWW.ZGM.MN PUBLISHED:2019/02/15      7 MONGOLIA’S HOURLY WAGE TO REACH USD 1 WWW.NEWS.MN PUBLISHED:2019/02/15      8 US NARCOTICS BY POST TO MONGOLIA! THREE ARRESTED WWW.NEWS.MN PUBLISHED:2019/02/15      9 WRITER D.URIANKHAI NOMINATED FOR THE NOBEL PRIZE WWW.MONTSAME.MN PUBLISHED:2019/02/15      10 MONGOLIA-CHINA-RUSSIA ECONOMIC CORRIDOR BENEFITS ALL SIDES: OFFICIAL WWW.XINHUANET.COM PUBLISHED:2019/02/15      “ОЮУ ТОЛГОЙ” КОМПАНИ 570 ТОННЫ ДААЦТАЙ CAT БРЭНДИЙН ГИДРАВЛИК ЭСКВАТОРООР ХҮЧЭЭ СЭЛБЭЛЭЭ WWW.GOGO.MN  НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/15     ӨРХИЙН САРЫН ДУНДАЖ ОРЛОГО 78,000 ТӨГРӨГӨӨР ӨССӨН Ч ЗАРЛАГА ДАВСАН ХЭВЭЭР БАЙНА WWW.IKON.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/15     АВСТРАЛИЙН ЭЛЧИН САЙД ДЭВИД МЭТЬЮ ВОСЭН ИТГЭМЖЛЭХ ЖУУХ БИЧГЭЭ ӨРГӨН БАРИВ WWW.MONTSAME.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/15     2018 ОНД МОНГОЛ УЛСЫН ЭДИЙН ЗАСАГ 6.9 ХУВИАР ӨСЛӨӨ WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/15     МХБ: II/15-НЫ БАЙДЛААР 8 КОМПАНИ ХЭХ-ЫН ТОВОО ГАРГААД БАЙНА WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/15     2017 ОНД 1.9 ТЭРБУМ ТӨГРӨГИЙН АЛДАГДАЛТАЙ АЖИЛЛАСАН “УЛААНБААТАР БҮК” 2018 ОНД 566 САЯ ТӨГРӨГИЙН АШИГТАЙ АЖИЛЛАВ WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/15     ОРХОН ТҮҮХИЙ НҮҮРСНЭЭС ТАТГАЛЗСАН АНХНЫ АЙМАГ БОЛНО WWW.UNUUDUR.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/15     АТГ-ААС НЭР БҮХИЙ 6 ШҮҮГЧИЙГ ШАЛГАЖ ЭХЭЛЖЭЭ WWW.EAGLE.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/15     МОНГОЛ УЛС ДЭЛХИЙН 77 ОРОНД БАРАА ЭКСПОРТОЛСНООС ХЯТАДАД 93%-ИЙГ НЬ НИЙЛҮҮЛЖЭЭ WWW.IKON.MN  НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/14     АВТО МАШИНЫ ИМПОРТ 2018 ОНД 30% ӨСӨЖ, 86,296-Д ХҮРЧЭЭ WWW.IKON.MN  НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/14    

Events

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

NEWS

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Five Critical Issues Facing Mongolia’s Fifth President www.asiafoundation.org

On June 26, Mongolians went to the polls to vote for their fifth president since Mongolia’s transition to a democracy in 1990. Despite a high voter turnout of over 66 percent, the General Election Commission officially announced on Tuesday that none of the candidates had received the necessary 51 percent of the vote to declare a winner. As a result, officials have called for the country’s first-ever presidential election run-off to take place on July 7.

Mongolia election
Staff prepare ballot boxes ahead of Mongolia’s presidential election.
Mongolians directly elect their president who serves as head of state, commander-in-chief, and head of the National Security Council. Three candidates were on the ballot, representing the Democratic Party, the Mongolian People’s Party, and the Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party. Mongolia’s somewhat unique semi-parliamentary system has both a prime minister and a president who head the government. While there is clear separation of powers enshrined in the constitution, the president can introduce bills to Parliament, and has the authority to appoint judges, the prosecutor general, and the head of the Independent Authority Against Corruption. The president also symbolizes the unity of the Mongolian people.
So, as the electorate gears up once again to return to the polls, what has been perceived as lacking from the campaign is what the new president is committed to addressing during his four-year term. Here are five critical issues facing the country that will no doubt confront the new president:
1. Grappling with corruption. Following a period of positive economic growth from 2011-2013, corruption has proven to be an entrenched problem that affects ordinary Mongolians on a daily basis. According to The Asia Foundation’s 2016 nationwide Survey on Perceptions of Knowledge of Corruption, 85 percent of respondents agree that “corruption is a common practice in our country.” The president can play a pivotal role in reinforcing zero tolerance toward corruption. While Mongolia’s government has developed a National Action Plan Against Corruption Strategy to 2020, it must be earnestly implemented to make a real difference. The president might consider tasking civil society to help shed light, ask questions, and present data about the progress of the government’s plan and its implementation, which could serve as a pillar of the new president’s agenda. The new president could also convene an annual review to hear from civil society organizations on their proposed solutions to help the government promote increased transparency and accountability.
2. Addressing environmental degradation. There is a common understanding in Mongolia that while a clean environment is a right of all Mongolians, it comes with important responsibilities. Several years ago, with the passage of freedom of information legislation as well as the increased focus on citizen participation in local decision-making, communities started to become more vocal about environmental issues that affected them. In nearly any community in Mongolia, citizens can tell you what pressing environmental issues affect them and what ideas they have on how to address them. However, often missing are the committed resources and technical know-how to address these problems. Furthermore, many environmental issues, such as clean water and air, are not confined to one country but are international transboundary concerns. Mongolia has created a national green development strategy as well as an urban strategy for its capital of Ulaanbaatar. Drawing on best practices from Asia and beyond, the president can be a catalyst and a convener for introducing environmental best practices from beyond Mongolia’s borders and be a positive force in the region in combatting environmental challenges. Within the president’s office, a forward-thinking, credentialed advisor to support the president to focus on environmental concerns will enable Mongolia to play a more prominent role in debating and resolving environmental issues.
3. Tackling unemployment and underemployment. Mongolia’s current unemployment rate is 9.1 percent. A steady movement away from traditional herding practices has resulted in both a loss of livelihoods and a shift of population from rural to urban settings. Women are often disproportionately affected by these strains. As Ulaanbaatar is already overstretched in its ability to provide basic public services, migration from rural communities has been halted until January 2018. Women make up 46 percent of the workforce, yet often their contributions are not seen or considered part of the formal workforce. The president can help draw critical attention to the government’s National Program on Gender Equality approved by the cabinet on April 26, 2017. The national strategy emphasizes women’s equal participation in all sectors, and this, coupled with the capital city’s action plan to increase women’s participation in SMEs, could be a strong foundation to see advancements in gender equality. Mongolia’s gender strategy also sites poor indicators for men, including alcoholism, low graduation rates, and poor health outcomes that consequently impact men’s full and meaningful participation in the economy. Addressing these long-running challenges will also be critical to addressing unemployment and a lagging economy.
4. Ensuring equitable access to justice. Mongolia prides itself on having a robust legal framework and a comprehensive set of laws. Despite this, the effective implementation of laws remains a significant hurdle. The next president will play an important role in ensuring that the Judiciary has judges that are appointed based on merit and the strength of their legal knowledge. The recent creation in 2016 of a nine-member Judicial Ethics Committee has helped to ensure that grievances from citizens are listened to and dealt with in the most appropriate and expedient manner. The president would be wise to continue to demand that key judicial reform legislation put into effect is maintained, implemented, and that there is not any backsliding on progress.
5. Enhancing Northeast Asian regional cooperation. Mongolia’s unique and positive diplomatic relations with all countries in Northeast Asia enable it to play a role in providing an open and neutral space for dialogue and opening new avenues for engagement. For example, Mongolia has been able to bring together countries in the region that might not otherwise sit together, due to regional or political differences, to discuss areas of mutual concern on the environment. The new president has a strong role in carrying forward global foreign policy aims, as Mongolia holds deep and longstanding bilateral relationships with countries not only in the region, but also through the region’s “third-neighbor” policy which brings Mongolia closer to countries beyond its direct neighbors, Russia and China.
Whoever emerges as Mongolia’s new president on July 7 will hold enormous influence at a critical time in Mongolia’s history, and how the president addresses these critical issues will decide which direction the country turns.

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Cathay Pacific targets Mongolia with new MIAT Mongolian Airlines codeshare www.businesstraveller.com

Cathay Pacific and MIAT Mongolian Airlines are looking to improve links between the Mongolian capital Ulaanbaatar, and Southeast Asia and Australia, with a new codeshare agreement between the two carriers set to kick off from July 12 this year.

Under the arrangement, Cathay Pacific’s CX code will feature on MIAT’s four-times-weekly service between Hong Kong and Ulaanbaatar, which it launched back in 2012, while MIAT’s OM code will appear on Cathay’s flights between Hong Kong and Singapore, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney. Cathay Pacific deploys its A350 on flights to Melbourne and Brisbane, with Perth set to join in October this year.

The codeshare provides Cathay with a new, growing market that it can feed travellers into via its Hong Kong hub. Speaking about the agreement, Cathay Pacific’s chief customer and commercial officer, Paul Loo, said: “Mongolia is an attractive destination in that it appeals to both tourists and business travellers alike thanks to its pristine natural landscapes, rich culture and rapid development. Ulaanbaatar is quickly making a name for itself as an important business hub, one which we expect to grow on the back of this new agreement.”

MIAT, meanwhile, will now get improved access to two key markets in Asia-Pacific, and travellers on these codeshare services will have their luggage through-checked in Hong Kong. Eligible MIAT customers will also be able to make use of Cathay Pacific’s Terminal 1 lounges at Hong Kong International Airport.

“This is a winning step for both airlines and will provide our passengers with convenient access to Singapore and Australia via the super hub in Hong Kong,” said MIAT president and CEO, Tamir Tumurbaatar. “The codeshare and interline agreement brings advantages for the passengers of both MIAT Mongolian Airlines and Cathay Pacific because our route networks complement each other perfectly. This cooperation is very significant for our landlocked country’s national flag carrier.”

These new codeshare flights are currently available for booking. 

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Ghana signs $10B MOU with China for bauxite project – Senior Minister www.mining.com

LONDON, June 28 (Reuters) – Ghana has signed a $10 billion memorandum of understanding (MOU) with China to develop its bauxite industry, the country's Senior Minister Yaw Osafo-Maafo said on Wednesday.

Growth in the West African country slowed sharply in 2014 due to a fiscal crisis and tumbling commodity prices following years of economic expansion at around 8 percent on the back of gold, cocoa and oil exports.

Taking office in January, President Nana Akufo-Addo has outlined a programme of job creation through the private sector and rural development.

"To develop the bauxite project with its railway and converting bauxite into aluminium we will need about $10 billion … we signed an MOU," Osafo-Maafo told reporters at a conference in London after arriving from China.

"The money will come from the Chinese Development Bank, the implementation of the project will come from other agencies, infrastructure agencies in China, like China Railway," he said.

The funds from Beijing would contribute towards building 1,400 km of a planned 4,000 km railway network, which would connect bauxite mines and production sites as well as establish a rail link into neighbouring Burkina Faso.

Details such as interest rates and terms had yet to be decided, he said, speaking on the sidelines of an investor conference organised by Developing Market Associates.

During his China visit, a second MOU had been signed between China and the Association of Ghana Industries which could lead to some $2 billion being invested in agricultural projects and industries, Osafo-Maafo said.

This was part of a government pledge to "build a dam in every village and a factory in every district", he said.

Asked about the government's plan to issue a 10 billion cedi ($2.25 billion) bond, Osafo-Maafo said he expected the debt to be issued towards the end of the year, and with maturities ranging from 5-15 years.

Earlier in June, Ghana had named Standard Chartered Bank and local lender Fidelity as lead managers for the issue expected to clear debts owed by public sector energy utilities.

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USD 42 million loan to boost enery sector www.montsame.mn

Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ During its regular meeting on June 28, Wednesday, the Cabinet authorized Finance Minister B.Choijilsuren to sign a financing agreement on ‘Second Energy Sector Project’.

The agreement is established between the World Bank’s International Development Association and the Mongolian Government. 

The USD 42 million loan from the World Bank will be used on projects – ‘Baganuur-Southeastern Region Electricity Distribution Network’, ‘Erdenet-Bulgan Electricity Distribution Network’ and expansion of ‘National Electricity Transmission Grid’. In addition, the government plans to set up a 10MW solar power plant in western region.

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128 thousand people will be employed www.mongolia.gogo.mn

World Bank`s USD 25 million soft loan will be spent on the employment promotion project.

Within the framework of the project, job seekers, self-employed people, and young people aged 15-34 years will be employed, trained and provided with an opportunity to get loans.
At first stage, the project will provide long-term job to 128 thousand people (of which 60 thousand of them are women) as well as it has planning to train and grant financial support to 10 thousand people.
The Government of Mongolia`s Action Plan for 2016-2020 projected to train and employ the young people and reduce the number of foreign workers by more than 50 percent.

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‘Baganuur’, ‘Shivee Ovoo’ coal prices to be adjusted www.montsame.mn

Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ During its regular meeting on June 28, Wednesday, the Cabinet advised Energy Regulatory Commission chief A.Tleikhan to take measures concerning coal prices.

The measures will aim to adjust the prices of coal mined for energy use by ‘Baganuur’ and ‘Shivee Ovoo’ companies, and bring closer to a realistic rate.

The Cabinet ordered corresponding Ministers and authorities to study the possibilities of releasing the two companies from debt obligations from Japan.

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Cabinet to discuss ADB program with parliament www.montsame.mn

Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ During its regular meeting on June 28, Wednesday, the Cabinet resolved to discuss with corresponding Parliamentary standing committees a draft ‘General Financing Program’ to be established between Asian Development Bank and the Mongolian Government.

As a result of discussion of cooperation strategy in 2017-2020, sides identified finance, agriculture, education, health, employment, environmental preservation and social spheres for cooperation.

In this regard, Asian Development Bank allocated USD 468 million fund for Mongolia in 2017-2018, which allows USD 404 million loan from its Ordinary Capital Resources (OCR) and USD 64 million Concessional OCR lending.
The Concessional OCR lending has 2 percent interest, 25-year term, 5-year moratorium whereas the OCR loan has an average 20-year term.

The ADB loans will be spent on supporting access to quality education; enhancing services for the disabled and increasing their participation; developing regional road; increasing renewable energy; improving transparency and efficiency of budget administration; and improving air quality in the capital city.

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First restaurant in Russian capital accepts payment in bitcoin www.rt.com

A central Moscow restaurant has become the first in the capital to accept bitcoin. Valenok, named after traditional Russian footwear, said it would accept the cryptocurrency if there is demand.

"We want to keep pace with the time. If there is a demand from guests for payment with bitcoin, we will even install special ATMs to exchange bitcoins for providing the proper level of service to our guests," restaurant spokesman Mikhail Petukhov told RIA Novosti.

Valenok is located on the Tsvetnoy Boulevard in the center of Moscow. An average main course in the restaurant costs about $10.

"The restaurant generates a QR code containing the desired amount and address of his purse. Then, the client scans this QR code using his bitcoin application on a smartphone and makes payment," Petukhov explained.

Burger King in Russia has said the fast food chain would accept bitcoin in the country by the end of the year.

As of now, bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are not recognized by the Russian central bank. However, the blockchain technology behind it is more than just a currency and could be used to speed up and simplify cross-border payments and make clearing and settlement easier.

The value of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies has plunged nearly 20 percent over the last two weeks, but it has been a correction from all-time highs. Digital money has still grown over 150 percent this year.

On Wednesday, bitcoin was trading at $2,581, while rival ethereum was at $307.

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Tsetsii rises in Mongolia www.renews.biz

The first Vestas V90 2MW turbine has been installed at the 50MW Tsetsii wind farm in the Gobi desert in southern Mongolia.

Wood Group’s clean energy business has been appointed owner’s engineer during construction by the project’s developer Clean Energy Asia, having previously finalised the feasibility study and environmental and social impact assessment.
Clean Energy Asia is a joint venture between Mongolia’s Newcom Group and Japanese Softbank Energy.
The 25-turbine project is scheduled to be fully operational by the end of the year.
Wood Group is currently providing project management support, site monitoring, design and technical reviews, and factory acceptance test witnessing as the owner’s engineer.
Wood Group clean energy implementation team leader Brian Macdonald said: “After several years of involvement and supporting the project from its feasibility phase and through pre-construction, it is extremely rewarding for me and the team to see the construction entering into its final stage.”

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EU extends economic sanctions against Russia for another six months www.rt.com

The European Union has prolonged anti-Russia economic sanctions, keeping restrictions on business with Russian energy, defense, and financial sectors until January 31, 2018.

According to a release published on Wednesday, the “decision follows an update from President Macron and Chancellor Merkel to the European Council of 22-23 June 2017 on the implementation of the Minsk Agreements.”

Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the Kremlin takes the EU’s extension of sanctions “negatively and with sorrow.”

Last week, EU leaders confirmed their decision to keep sanctions in place, with the President of the European Council Donald Tusk tweeting "Agreed. EU will extend economic sanctions against Russia for their lack of implementing the Minsk Agreement."

The sanctions were first introduced over the crisis in Ukraine and the Crimea reunification in 2014. They include an arms export ban, limited access to finance for Russian banks, and travel bans for over 150 individuals. Many measures, specifically, prohibit financial interactions with Crimea.

In response, the Kremlin imposed an embargo on EU agricultural produce, food and raw materials. Since then the sides have repeatedly broadened and extended the restrictive measures.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said the embargo on certain Western food products was good for Russia’s economy and should last "as long as possible." He explained the ban is also in consumer interests, with high-quality products at lower prices becoming more available.

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said the measures introduced stimulate domestic production and many Russian companies have been asking the government to keep them.

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