1 COPPER MINER'S $10B BET COMES TO LIFE IN PANAMA JUNGLE WWW.MINING.COM PUBLISHED:2019/02/15      2 TRADE UNIONS REQUEST PM TO FOCUS ON INTEREST RATE CUT WWW.ZGM.MN PUBLISHED:2019/02/15      3 MONGOLIA’S HOURLY WAGE TO REACH USD 1 WWW.NEWS.MN PUBLISHED:2019/02/15      4 US NARCOTICS BY POST TO MONGOLIA! THREE ARRESTED WWW.NEWS.MN PUBLISHED:2019/02/15      5 WRITER D.URIANKHAI NOMINATED FOR THE NOBEL PRIZE WWW.MONTSAME.MN PUBLISHED:2019/02/15      6 MONGOLIA-CHINA-RUSSIA ECONOMIC CORRIDOR BENEFITS ALL SIDES: OFFICIAL WWW.XINHUANET.COM PUBLISHED:2019/02/15      7 SOLAR EMPOWERMENT OF NOMADS IN RURAL MONGOLIA WWW.GREENOPTIMISTIC.COM PUBLISHED:2019/02/15      8 MONGOLIA, CUBA TO BOOST BILATERAL RELATIONS WWW.PLENGLISH.COM PUBLISHED:2019/02/15      9 GOOGLE OUTLINES $13BN US INVESTMENT WWW.BBC.COM PUBLISHED:2019/02/14      10 NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT AGENCY TO COOPERATE WITH JAPAN’S MIZUHO BANK WWW.MONTSAME.MN PUBLISHED:2019/02/14      “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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Is Mongolia’s current political instability systemic or a governance issue? www.globaltimes.cn

Mongolia has again been caught up in political instability a year after a new government took over from the one ruling since 2016. According to the Xinhua News Agency, Mongolian Prime Minister Ukhnaa Khurelsukh on Friday survived a no-confidence vote initiated by 27 lawmakers of the ruling Mongolian People's Party (MPP) on November 19 over a financial scandal involving some members of parliament and government. These high-ranking officials are said to have obtained loans with low interest rates from a fund that serves small and medium-size enterprises.

Such internal battles in Mongolian politics are not new but are symptomatic of societal illness for almost 30 years since its democratic transition. Once again, there is widespread discussion on the root cause of this stubborn illness.

Generally, there are two different opinions: one says that Mongolia should carry out systematic constitutional reform. This group is again split into two - one party supports the traditional parliamentary system. The other advocates a presidential form of government. The second opinion says that Mongolia needs a "cosmetic change" on the institutional level rather than a systematic one, a change that clarifies both rights and responsibilities and strengthens supervision.

Yet, no precise diagnosis is given either by internal or outside experts on whether the trouble Mongolia has sunk into is a systematic one or has been precipitated by governance problems, hence, the power struggle drama continues in Mongolian politics.

The problem is characterized by the tension between the "top three," - the parliament, the prime minister and the president, manifesting itself as a power struggle and conflict of interests. Mongolia is characterized as a semi-presidential and semi-parliamentary state, but in comparison, the parliament is more powerful than the president. So, it is also called a parliamentary state with president. The parliament represents the highest authority of the state.

Still, Mongolian polity is different from a classic parliamentary democracy since the president enjoys certain overriding powers such that his decisions can have an impact on any institution at the highest level of the polity. For example, the right to veto the laws and resolutions passed by the parliament, set guidelines for the government and issue decrees, to select the candidate for the prime minister by negotiating with the majority in the parliament etc.

The president also has an equal right with the parliament to nominate three members of the Constitutional Court (nine members). Most importantly, the president has the right to appoint the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and the Attorney General of the Supreme Procuratorate, which indeed violates the principle of judicial independence.

In addition, the prime minister is a member of parliament and so are members of the government. Integration of legislative and executive power makes things even worse. Corruption, interest-groups and factional divisions in politics are becoming more serious. Currently, the MPP in the parliament is divided into two factions. One is with the current Parliament Speaker Miyeegombyn Enkhbold and the other supports the current prime minister. Now, the parliament is deadlocked because 32 members requested the removal of the speaker.

A series of recent political scandals and incidents have further exacerbated public distrust and dissatisfaction with the two major political parties. Mongolia is not only caught in economic and political mire, but also faces a serious mistrust in authorities and the major political parties. Disappointment among the people is high. Political instability has been a chronic disease of Mongolia, which inevitably has had a negative impact on the economy. In the last 27 years, Mongolia has seen 14 governments, which means that the average life expectancy of each government is less than two years.

The next development in the political situation remains to be seen. Mongolia is an important neighbor of China to the north and an essential party to China-Mongolia-Russia economic corridor's construction. Mongolian economy has just shown signs of recovery. Political stability in Mongolia is not only beneficial to the country and its people but also conductive to the promotion of regional stability and sub-regional cooperation.

By B.Shurentana
The author is a lecturer at the Center for Mongolian Studies, Inner Mongolia University. opinion@globaltimes.com.cn

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Mongolia's central bank purchases 18.9 tons of gold in first 11 months this year www.xinhuanet.com

ULAN BATOR, Dec. 4 (Xinhua) -- The Bank of Mongolia, the central bank, has purchased 18.9 tons of gold from legal entities and individuals in the first 11 months of this year, the same as last year's figure during the same period, according to a statement issued on Tuesday.

As of November, the bank's average gold purchase price was 100,995.34 Mongolian tugriks (about 38 U.S. dollars) per gram.

The bank, which bought 20.01 tons of gold last year, has set a goal to buy 22 tons of gold by the end of this year. But it is expected that the bank will fail to achieve its goal because the three-month peak season for gold mining ended in October, analysts said.

In May, the central bank launched a five-month campaign, "National Gold to the Fund of Treasures," to encourage gold miners and individuals to sell gold to banks.

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Trump: US, China, Russia to discuss arms race halt www.nhk.or.jp

US President Donald Trump has said he is willing to start disarmament talks in the future with his Chinese and Russian counterparts.

Trump tweeted on Monday that he is certain he and Xi Jinping, together with Vladimir Putin, will start talking about a meaningful halt to what has become a major and uncontrollable arms race.

This came after he emphasized that US-China relations have taken a big leap forward, referring to his meeting with President Xi in Argentina.

In October, Trump announced that the United States will leave the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, citing violations by Russia.

Russia had said it was ready to discuss nuclear disarmament at a planned meeting between Putin and Trump on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit in Argentina.

But Trump cancelled the meeting, reacting to Russia's recent seizure of Ukrainian naval ships and crewmembers off the coast of Crimea.

It remains to be seen whether the recent apparent thaw in the US-China relations will lead to a full-fledged easing of trade friction between the 2 countries.

The prospects for the US, China and Russia agreeing to discuss disarmament seem far from certain.

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5G smartphones are coming in 2019. What does that mean? www.cnn.com

New York (CNN Business)5G is already here, but you can't do much to access those super-fast speeds unless you live in a specific place with a particular piece of technology. That's about to change.

Samsung and Verizon (VZ) jointly announced Monday the companies would sell a 5G smartphone in the first half of 2019. Although they didn't say which phone would support 5G, Samsung usually announces its latest Galaxy S smartphone in the spring.
The mystery phone may not be the first 5G smartphone to hit the market. Unsure of other companies' plans, Verizon and Samsung hedged by saying it would be "one of the first." But Samsung is by far the largest smartphone maker in the world, and its decision to launch a 5G smartphone means the rest of the market won't lag far behind. If smartphone companies want to stay competitive in the coming years, 5G will soon be a must-have.
That still doesn't solve the problem of network availability. Verizon's 5G network currently exists in only a small handful of cities. AT&T (T) also has 5G networks up and running in just seven cities. Sprint (S) and T-Mobile (TMUS) lag behind. Verizon and AT&T lack specific rollout plans or time frames, but they plan to bring many more cities online in 2019 and 2020. (CNN is owned by AT&T.)
Although 5G may not be much of a selling point now, it will be once it's pervasive enough. 5G promises much faster speeds than 4G. How much faster is up for debate (Verizon says "many times faster"), but lab tests have yielded speeds up to 100 times faster than 4G. When millions of people are on the network, though, that tends to slow speeds down a bit. Industry estimates put 5G at around 10 times faster than 4G in real-life scenarios.
That's where 5G's ultra-low latency technology really comes in handy. Today's networks take a split second to send and receive communications between your smartphone and the network. A split second isn't much, but your phone could make dozens of request each time you tap on your screen. 5G gets that network communication time down to virtually zero.
5G is exciting technology for smartphone owners, but it's potentially much more important for broadband customers and businesses.
Verizon already sells 5G home internet service as a replacement for wired internet connections for homes — it even comes with free YouTube TV as a throw-in. 5G potentially allows companies like Verizon and AT&T to become broadband competitors in every city — something they were unable to do with FiOS and U-Verse.
5G's low latency can allow self-driving cars to process all the information they need to make life-or-death decisions in the blink of an eye. And the health care industry believes 5G could help power the next generation of telemedicine and robotic surgeries.
Before all of that can happen, however, wireless companies have tens of billions of dollars worth of infrastructure to upgrade.
That's a big commitment, but they've made good on their promises before. For example, Verizon also offered the world's first 4G smartphone, the HTC Thunderbolt, which debuted in March 2011. It similarly could only be used in certain areas as Verizon built out its 4G network, and the world collectively rolled its eyes. Yet other smartphone manufacturers quickly followed suit, and 4G modems became standard equipment on smartphones by the end of 2011.

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Roles of science and technology highlighted to achieve sustainable development goals www.montsame.mn

Ulaanbaatar/MONTSAME/ The International Atomic Energy Agency /IAEA/ organized a Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Science and Technology: Addressing Current and Emerging Development Challenges in Vienna, Austria on November 28-30.

During the Conference, Ministers of IAEA Member States responsible for science and technology matters, and Mongolian delegation shared their national experiences, cooperation achievements and further objectives.

Mongolian representative highlighted the roles of science and technology in achieving the 2030 Agenda of Sustainable Development and that using nuclear science and technology in socioeconomic sectors such as agriculture, health and environment will increase actual benefits.

Mentioning that the IAEA renders supports to Mongolia’s endeavors in introducing nuclear technology and methodology, strengthening human resource and intensifying scientific researches, the Mongolian representative introduced some of effective experiences being realized in the country, for instance introduction of advanced methodology and equipment under cooperation with the IAEA for improvement of cancer treatment, its accessibility and human resource.

Concluding the Ministerial Conference, Ministers of the Member States of IAEA approved a Declaration that appeals to promote the development of nuclear science and technology to achieve the SDGs, expand their use and make it accessible, thereby meeting national development priorities of each Member State and contributing to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

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First shipment leaves Rio Tinto’s Amrun bauxite mine in Australia www.riotinto.com

Rio Tinto's Amrun project in Queensland, Australia, has achieved a significant milestone, successfully making the first shipment of bauxite, six weeks ahead of schedule.

The US$1.9 billion (A$2.6 billion) investment in Amrun will replace production from the depleting East Weipa mine and increase annual bauxite exports by around 10 million tonnes. Amrun is expected to reach a full production rate of 22.8 million tonnes a year during 2019.

Rio Tinto Aluminium chief executive Alf Barrios said "Bringing Amrun online further strengthens our position as a leading supplier in the seaborne market. We have the largest bauxite resources in the industry and are geographically well positioned to supply China’s significant future import needs, as well as supporting our refinery and smelting operations in Australia and New Zealand.

"The Amrun mine will ensure generational jobs for Queenslanders and build significantly on our 55-year history on the Western Cape."

At a ceremony on the Western Cape York Peninsula in far north Queensland, more than 80,000 tonnes of bauxite was loaded on to the RTM Weipa bound for Rio Tinto's Yarwun alumina refinery in Gladstone.

Rio Tinto Growth & Innovation group executive Stephen McIntosh said "We are proud to have delivered the project safely, ahead of time and within budget thanks to innovation in the design and fabrication of key infrastructure purpose-built for construction at Amrun's remote location.

"We thank our community and Traditional Owner partners for their continued support and congratulate the Amrun Project and Weipa Operations teams on this great achievement."

During construction the Amrun development set a benchmark in supporting local and regional suppliers with US$1.6 billion (A$2.1 billion) invested with Australian companies, including US$181 million (A$244 million) invested with local Cape York companies.

At the peak of construction 1,200 people worked on site, and since project inception in May 2016, close to 400 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have been employed by the project.

Notes to editors

The ceremony marking the first shipment was attended by local Wik-Waya Traditional Owners and representatives of the Western Cape Communities Co-existence Agreement (WCCCA).

The first shipment is expected to arrive in Gladstone next week.

Rio Tinto is the world’s largest producer of bauxite, with production of 50.8 million tonnes last year.

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Ulaanbaatar joins EBRD Green Cities www.ebrd.com

Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia, is addressing pressing ecological and infrastructure challenges with a Green City Action Plan (GCAP) developed with support from the EBRD. The city with a population of 1.4 million will become the first municipality in Asia to join the Bank’s Green Cities programme.

The CGAP, financially supported by the government of the Republic of Korea, will help identify and implement actions and investments to address priority environmental issues in the capital of Mongolia. It is expected that the first project under the framework will be aimed at the improvement of Ulaanbaatar’s solid waste management system.

The launch event was attended by the Chairman of the City Council, S.Amarsaikhan, the Deputy Governor of the City of Ulaanbaatar, J. Batbayasgalan, and the EBRD Head of Mongolia, Irina Kravchenko. It was followed by a workshop, where stakeholders together with GCAP consultants examined the areas of primary importance for the capital.

EBRD Green Cities is a €950 million facility that offers a comprehensive business model for green urban development, combining strategic planning with investment and associated technical assistance.

Green Cities is one way in which the EBRD is scaling up its green financing as a part of its Green Economy Transition (GET) approach. The Bank seeks to increase the volume of green financing to 40 per cent of the EBRD annual investment by 2020.

The EBRD works in Mongolia to build a diverse economy by developing the private sector and supporting infrastructure improvements. The Bank has invested more than €1.5 billion in almost 100 projects in the country since it started operations there in 2006.

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Photographer spends 17 years documenting life in Mongolia through all seasons www.lonelyplanet.com

Award-winning photographer Frédéric Lagrange has documented life in Mongolia for the past 17 years through a series of stunning and intimate photographs. His vast archive of images has been turned into a large format photography book that captures the spirit of Mongolia, allowing viewers to explore the vast and rugged country and its people through his careful lens.

After almost two decades of photography, and working on editorial and commercial shoots for brands like Louis Vuitton, Vanity Fair, The New Yorker and GQ, Lagrange is ready to show his life’s work and labour of love to the world. His book Mongolia, features 185 photographs captured during his 13-month long trips. The New York-based photographer tells Lonely Planet that he’s been enchanted with Mongolia ever since he was a young boy listening to his tales from his grandfather who spent time there as a prisoner of war as a soldier in World War II.

“He spoke of how he had been rescued in late 1944 by a detachment of Mongol soldiers who were fighting under Soviet command,” says Lagrange. “I remember the excitement in his voice as he explained how he and other British and American prisoners in the camp had been rescued by these massive men from a foreign land. Since then Mongolia has always been on my mind. Those men saved my grandfather’s life—and ultimately mine as well.”

A Mongolian eagle-hunter. Image by Frédéric Lagrange
Lagrange first travelled to Mongolia in 2001 for a month shooting landscapes in the west of the country but that first trip sparked a desire to return. “I felt a strong urge to see more: the Gobi desert in the South, the eagle hunters in the West, the Tsaatan reindeer herders in the Northern Taiga, and so much more,” he says. “That epiphany inspired the idea for this book, which has been a long-term labour of love – 17 years in the making.”

A family is evacuated during a snowstorm, near Tsengel village, Bayan-Ulgii. Image by Frédéric Lagrange
From the nomadic herders who follow the fresh grass of the endless plains to the urban population who shop in malls in the capital Ulaanbaatar, Lagrange travelled to every corner of Mongolia to capture captured the vastly different lifestyles and landscapes of this rapidly-changing country but deeply traditional place. Over time, in a country renowned for its hospitality, strangers became friends and he was invited into their homes and into their minds.

Lagrange captured the nomadic and urban lifestyles of the rapidly-changing country. Image by Frédéric Lagrange
“I have learned to know the country and people quite well over the years, the psychology of the people, the way to approach them, their philosophy, their approach to life, what to do, not to do,” he says. “I have learned a lot from being around those nomadic people from Central Asia. I feel I have a very good grasp of the country and overall I feel extremely comfortable in it and among the local people.” Lagrange was even given a Mongol name, “Гурван Зуу” or Gurvan Zuu.

“People are incredibly hospitable and it is a very safe country to travel, especially for women who travel on their own,” says Lagrange. “One aspect I love about Mongolia is that there are no fences in the country: You can travel from one end of the country to the other, and you will never be stopped or encounter any kind of fence to delimit or confine a piece of land. It is the land of vastness and freedom.”

Lagrange’s journey unfolds across the four seasons in the pages of his book Mongolia, which was funded after just five days through a Kickstarter project (more than doubling its original goal).

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SMEs locked out of financing due to fund scandal www.zgm.mn

An alarming scandal involving Small and Medium-sized Enterprise (SME) Development Fund was brought to light earlier this quarter. The fund, which was supposed to finance SMEs, has allegedly granted high sum of loans to high-profile officials. This resulted in arrests of four people including the Director of SME Development Fund Tugsbileg Sukhbaatar and his Deputy last month. Becoming victims to the bribery and embezzlement scandal, SMEs have lost access to fund financing as a source close to the matter informed that the fund currently has no officials that can authorize loans, completely freezing fund transactions.

The scandal took a toll on Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Light Industry (MFALI), which was responsible for monitoring the fund, and resulted in dismissal of its minister Batzorig Batjargal. Thus, the Independent Authority Against Corruption (IAAC) has begun an investigation on six Parliament members. Although the IAAC refused to disclose the names of those MPs, local media outlets suspect Batzorig Batjargal, Sodbaatar Yangug Bolorchuluun Khayngaa, Enkhbayar Jadamba, Uchral Nyam-Osor and Soltan Gombojav to have been involved in the case. Moreover, the recently appointed Minister of Road and Transport Development Sodbaatar Yangug held a press conference yesterday and disclosed his involvement with the fund scandal and submitted his resignation letter to the Prime Minister.

• SMEs have lost access to financing as the fund currently has no officials that can authorize loans.

• MNT 72.4 billion was allocated to SME Development Fund to finance 132 projects this year

• The situation will only be settled if the Parliament appoints the next Minister of Food, Agriculture and Light Industry.

However, in the middle of commotion in politics, SMEs are waiting for financing from the fund. This year, MNT 72.4 billion was allocated to the fund to finance 132 projects, out of which 80 percent were in local provinces. The average repayment rate of the fund stood positive at 93.5 percent according to Enkh-Amar Mijidsuren, Head of Policy and Planning Department of MFALI. He informed that an acting Chairman of the fund was appointed; however, the incoming minister needs to enforce his authority before any fund can be released. The situation will only be settled if the Parliament appoints the next Minister of Food, Agriculture and Light Industry.

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Sacked! Two Mongolian Ministers lose jobs www.news.mn

Mongolia’s Prime Minister U.Khurelsukh removed two ministers from his cabinet just after he himself narrowly survived a parliamentary attempt to sack him. On Friday, 54.8 percent of MP’s refused to dissolve cabinet in the vote which came after 27 members signed a petition for dissolving cabinet.

Ya.Sodbaatar, the Minister of Road and Transportation Development presented his resignation letter to the PM over the ongoing scandal of Small and Medium Enterprises Fund. The letter was accepted and now will be presented to the President Battulga.

Separate from this, the Prime Minister U.Khurelsukh decided to sack Ts.Tsogzolmaa, Minister of Education, Culture, Science and Sports from her job over irresponsible behaviour including direct criticism of her boss.

Previously, Minister of Food, Agriculture and Light Industries, who was responsible for spending SME funding, was removed from his job.

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