1 MONGOLIA-CHINA AGREE TO COLLABORATE IN INCREASING MEAT EXPORT WWW.MONTSAME.MN PUBLISHED:2018/09/21      2 U.S. AND MONGOLIA SEEK TO STRENGTHEN ECONOMIC RELATIONSHIP WWW.STRTRADE.COM PUBLISHED:2018/09/21      3 MONGOLIA, U.S. LEADERS DISCUSS BILATERAL TIES WWW.XINHUANET.COM PUBLISHED:2018/09/21      4 BELT AND ROAD SIGNIFICANT TO MONGOLIA, PEOPLE AROUND WORLD -- ACADEMIC WWW.ENG.YIDAIYILU.GOV.CN PUBLISHED:2018/09/21      5 PETRO MATAD UPDATES MONGOLIA EXPLORATION WWW.OGJ.COM PUBLISHED:2018/09/21      6 RIO TINTO’S EXIT FROM COAL PAYS OFF, TO RETURN $3.2B FROM SALES PROCEEDS TO SHAREHOLDERS WWW.MINING.COM PUBLISHED:2018/09/21      7 OPENING CEREMONY OF SAINSHAND SALKHIN PARK HELD WWW.MONTSAME.MN PUBLISHED:2018/09/21      8 ALIBABA’S MA SAYS TRUMP’S TRADE WAR ‘DESTROYED’ HIS PROMISE TO CREATE JOBS FOR 1MN AMERICANS WWW.RT.COM  PUBLISHED:2018/09/21      9 LEGAL DISPUTE OVER EMC OWNERSHIP COMES TO AN END WWW.ZGM.MN PUBLISHED:2018/09/20      10 ERDENES TAVAN TOLGOI REVENUE SURGES DUE TO HIGHER COAL PRICES WWW.NEWS.MN PUBLISHED:2018/09/20      НУРАХ ДӨХСӨН БАЙРУУДЫГ ШИНЭЧЛЭХ КОМПАНИ ОЛДОХГҮЙ БАЙНА WWW.ZGM.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/09/21     МОНГОЛ УЛС ВАШИНГТОН, ПЁНЬЯНЫ ХЭЛЭЛЦЭЭРТ ЗУУЧЛАХАД БЭЛЭН ГЭДГЭЭ ЗАРЛАЛАА WWW.EAGLE.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/09/21     УЛСЫН ХЭМЖЭЭНД 85.3 МЯНГАН ТОНН ТӨМС ХУРААН АВААД БАЙНА WWW.MONTSAME.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/09/21     ЗГ: БУЦАЛТГҮЙ ТУСЛАМЖИЙГ УСНЫ НӨӨЦИЙГ САЙЖРУУЛАХ, ХЭРЭГЛЭСЭН УСЫГ БУЦААН АШИГЛАХАД ЗАРЦУУЛНА WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/09/21     ҮСХ: УЛААНБААТАРТ АЖИЛЛАГЧДЫН САРЫН ДУНДАЖ ЦАЛИН УЛСЫН ДУНДЖААС 121.7 МЯНГАН ТӨГРӨГӨӨР ИХ БАЙНА WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/09/21     МОНГОЛ УЛСЫН ИХ ХУРАЛ, ЕВРОПЫН ПАРЛАМЕНТ ХООРОНДЫН XII УУЛЗАЛТААР ХАМТАРСАН МЭДЭГДЭЛ ГАРГАЛАА WWW.DNN.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/09/21     ТӨРИЙН АЛБАНЫ УДИРДАХ АЖИЛТНЫ УЛСЫН ЗӨВЛӨГӨӨН БОЛЖ БАЙНА WWW.UNUUDUR.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/09/21     2019 ОНЫГ МОНГОЛ, АМЕРИКИЙН ЗАЛУУЧУУДЫН ЖИЛ БОЛГОНО WWW.EAGLE.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/09/21     УУРХАЙЧДЫН АЖЛЫН БАЙР НЭМЭГДЭЖ, ЦАЛИН ӨСЧ БАЙНА WWW.GOGO.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/09/20     “ЭРДЭНЭТ”-ИЙН 49 ХУВИЙН ӨМЧЛӨЛ ТОЙРСОН ХУУЛЬ ЗҮЙН МАРГААН ЭЦЭС БОЛЛОО WWW.ZGM.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/09/20    

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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Policy Research Center introduce studies on foreign policy www.montsame.mn

Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ On February 8, research teams of the Center for Policy Research presented the results of first two of their studies at the School of International and Relations and Public Administration (SIRPA) of the National University of Mongolia.

The studies considered the decision-making mechanism of Mongolia’s foreign policy and the coordination between Mongolia’s geo-economic interests and the implementation of the Programme on Establishing Mongolia-China-Russia Economic Corridor. 
The Center was established last year under the SIRPA, with a general objective to help make the policies more research-based, far-sighted and effective through presenting policy studies and recommendations.

At today’s meeting, M.Batchimeg MP, Director of the Diplomatic Academy of Mongolia Kh.Bekhbat, members of the research teams, SIRPA professors and officials from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Finance and the National Development Department.

The study on “Improving the Decision making Mechanism of Foreign Policy of Mongolia” was led by the State Honored Lawyer J.Enkhsaikhan, former Permanent Representative of Mongolia to the United Nations. The research team has been working with the lawmakers since 2014 and has successfully submitted a recommendation, which the lawmakers accepted and proceeded with, to prepare and present a draft law on Foreign Relations.

“The bill was included in the list of agendas to be discussed by the Parliament’s Autumn Session. However, the parliament postponed the reading of the foreign relations bill until the next session. I believe the bill will be discussed thoroughly and passed at the spring session”, M.Batchimeg MP told MONTSAME. According to her, the law, if adopted, will fill the gap of regulations on accountability system for foreign policy administrators.

Afterwards, the research team leader Ambassador J.Gulguu gave a presentation on the findings of study on economic corridor. Establishing the Mongolia-China-Russia economic corridor will help Mongolia to become an active participant in the regional economic integration, as the corridor will also serve the interests of China to build the shortest cut to Russia and Europe and Russia’s interest to activate the Trans-Siberian railroad usage.

The Program on Establishing Mongolia-China-Russia Economic Corridor reflects 32 major projects, the complete studies on which will be conducted throughout 2016-2020.

 
 
 
 
 
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Indian IT sector alarm over US work visa threat www.ft.com

 
Indian executives are warning that a move by the US to limit visas for skilled workers would strike at the heart of the countries’ trade relations, sharply increasing costs for India’s $146bn IT services industry in a crucial market.
The industry is planning to send a delegation to the US this month to argue against the changes, which have prompted widespread alarm in India.
“Despite the importance that has been attributed to the Indian relationship, despite the warm words from Trump, there may be measures that are taken that are seriously damaging,” said R Chandrasekhar, president of India’s National Association of Software and Services Companies.
“If the US was to curb the number of people that are taken in on H-1B visas in the area, two things can happen: either those jobs remain unfilled in the US or the job goes out of the US.”
Last month legislation was introduced to the House of Representatives that would require companies to pay H-1B immigrants at least $130,000 — more than double their previous minimum salary — unless they can prove that they were unable to find a US worker to do the same job. This effective wage floor currently stands at $60,000 and would be increased in order “to protect American workers”.
Sean Spicer, President Donald Trump’s press secretary, has said the White House will also consider reforming H-1B visas through an executive order, such as the one used to ban travellers from seven majority-Muslim countries.
The move has prompted a public outcry in India — two-thirds of the H-1B visas issued by the US in the 2015 fiscal year were granted to Indians, according to US state department figures. The concern is that an increase would make it too costly for Indian contractors to recruit Indian workers for jobs in the US — and would sharply constrain an industry that has become an engine of skilled job growth in the country.
The IT sector in India is still heavily reliant on its traditional, labour-intensive sources of revenue despite efforts to shift to more cutting-edge areas such as data analytics. Although they can provide some services remotely, the companies rely on sending their best employees to work directly with clients in the US.
The industry last year generated 60 per cent — or $64.8bn — of its revenues in the US, where it employed 155,000 people in 2015, according to Nasscom. After Mr Trump was elected in November, the association cut its growth outlook for the industry this financial year from 10-12 per cent to 8-10 per cent, citing “domestic and global factors impacting its performance”.
Vineet Nayar, former chief executive of HCL Technologies, the fourth-largest Indian IT services company by revenue, said US companies would also be hit: “Facebook, Microsoft — everybody applies for H-1B.”
US-based companies such as IBM, Cognizant and Accenture are among the largest applicants for H-1B visas, according to My Visa Jobs, an immigration consultancy which compiles data on applications.
India’s ministry of external affairs was forced to complain to the Trump administration after news about the new bill caused a slump in IT stocks last month. Sector leader Tata Consultancy Services lost more than 7 per cent of its market value. “India’s interests and concerns have been conveyed both to the US administration and the US Congress at senior levels,” the ministry said.
Companies have begun to take pre-emptive steps, according to placement advisers on college campuses. “[Trump] will impact the employment opportunity for Indian students,” said Kanwal Kapil, chairperson of placements at the Management Development Institute in Gurgaon, which has seen IT hiring fall by 26 per cent compared with last year.
“We cannot rule out the fact that the scepticism has some [relation] to Mr Trump’s future policies,” said Saveeta Mohanty, placements adviser at the Xavier Institute of Management and Entrepreneurship, which expects a 40 per cent fall in IT hiring this season.
Welingkar Institute of Management Development & Research said hiring had fallen 30-40 per cent. All three institutions claimed there was less take-up from TCS and Infosys, which filed the most applications for H-1B visas last year, according to My Visa Jobs. The average salaries for applicants were significantly below the new proposed $130,000 mark — at $79,201 for Infosys and $69,648 for TCS.
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Mongolia takes part in Erasmus+ project www.en.montsame.mn

 
Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ The European Region Action Scheme for the Mobility of University Students (ERASMUS) announced a project themed ‘Promoting internationalization of research through establishment of Cycle 3 Quality Assurance System in line with the European Agenda’ last year, and 4 Mongolian institutions were chosen as participants, reports the Ministry of Education, Culture, Science and Sports.
The Mongolian participants of the project are the Ministry of Education, Culture, Science and Sports, Mongolian National Council for Education Accreditation, National University of Mongolia and Otgontenger University.
On February 3, a meeting was held among the project participants in Yerevan, capital city of Armenia, gathering representatives of the Education Ministries, accreditation institutions and universities of Mongolia, France, Spain, Poland, Kazakhstan, Armenia and Ukraine. During the meeting, the participants discussed future activities and expected outcome of the project.
The project aims for quality assurance system development, third cycle implementation and higher education internationalization in its participant countries by establishing Internal Quality Assurance (IQA) mechanisms and tools within higher education institutions assuring quality of Cycle 3 programs (leading to a PhD degree), and an External Quality Assurance (EQA) system to validate and promote quality of Cycle 3 programs.
The project will be implemented for three years, and the National University of Mongolia and Otgontenger University will upgrade their PhD programs.
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Billion-dollar Alberta coal company goes bankrupt www.mining.com

 
A coal company in west-central Alberta that in 2011 sold for $1-billion is bankrupt, killing hopes that its mine might re-open in the first quarter.
 
The Calgary Herald reported that Grande Cache Coal sent a letter to the town bearing the same name, warning that the company is heading into receivership, thus allowing it to restructure. The letter also said the metallurgical coal mine would re-open in July. According to the newspaper, Grande Cache Coal was forced into bankruptcy last week after the mining company's owner, Chinese coal producer Up Energy Development Group Ltd., defaulted on debt payments in 2016, having owed hundreds of millions of dollars.
 
About 220 employees lost their jobs in 2015 when the mine shut down, a victim of low met-coal prices. But it looked like the mine was going to enjoy a phoenix-like rise, when in November 2016 Grande Cache Coal and Up Energy said that surface-mine operations were expected to restart in Q1 2017. The restart – no doubt prompted by rocketing coal prices – would however depend on "shareholders' approval and the negotiation of key contracts," Grande Cache Coal said at the time. Steelmaking coal prices reached a multi-year high of $308.80 per tonne in November, but have since been in freefall. They settled at $167.80 on Friday, which is still better than 2016, when coking coal averaged $143 a tonne.
 
The bankruptcy is devastating for the small town town of 4,000 northwest of Edmonton, where Grande Cache Coal is the main employer; a year before it closed, the mine had a payroll of 500.
 
It's an unfortunate end to what looked like a bright future for Grande Cache Coal, which in 2011 was purchased for a whopping $1-billion by two Asian companies: Winsway, a Hong Kong-listed public company which imports coking coal for the Chinese steel industry, and Marubeni, a large Japanese trading house.The company was later purchased by Up Energy. At the time, met-coal prices had not yet been crushed by oversupply, waning demand and increasing regulatory burdens which threw the market into disarray. Most of the coal mined by Grande Cache was exported to Asia, where it was used for making steel.
 
According to the Herald a court-appointed receiver will put its Alberta mining assets up for sale, which include leases covering over 29,000 hectares, with an estimated 346 million tonnes of coal resources in the Smoky River Coalfield of west-central Alberta.
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Draft agenda for Parliament spring session approved www.montsame.mn

Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ During its meeting on February 7, Tuesday, Parliamentary Standing committee on State Structure discussed and decided to submit to Parliament a draft resolution on ‘Agenda for Parliament spring session of 2017’.

Parliament autumn session will close on February 10, Friday, and the Parliament must approve its agenda for the spring session.

As a result of a poll on the spring session agenda, 99 draft laws and legislations were collected, and 34 drafts have been selected. The selected draft legislations include important documents such as 2018 national budget framework paper, 2019-2020 budget assumption, Cabinet financial report of 2016, draft resolution on 2018 scheme for social and economic development of Mongolia, draft bill on amendment to the Constitution, draft resolution on medium term program for development of statistical sector in 2016-2020, draft bill on Mongolia’s foreign policy, draft bill on accountability of government higher officials either elected or appointed, revised bill on public service and others.

The Standing committee thus agreed to submit the list of 34 proposed draft bills and regulations to Parliament.  

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State Commission on new airport meets www.montsame.mn

Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ On February 7, Tuesday, State Commission to inspect the construction and equipment of new Ulaanbaatar International Airport (NUBIA) project held a meeting, and agreed that violations detected during the inspections are being corrected.

The 85-member commission led by B.Tsogtgerel, Deputy Minister of Road and Transport Development worked at the airport on January 2-17. The State Commission was divided into 11 sub-working groups assigned on different fields such as air navigation service, aerodrome, road facility, customs inspection, architecture, energy supply, communications, fuel supply and others.

Totally, 31 buildings, facilities and equipment at the airport were under inspection, and minor violations were detected.

Main contractor, prime sub-contractor, project unit and sub-contractors were instructed to correct the violations. An administrative division of the pre-operational NUBIA is currently in charge of monitoring the correction.

The State Commission resolved during its meeting that about 60 percent of the total violations have been corrected. However, after all the violations are corrected, the Commission will organize a re-inspection within the first season of this year.

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Chinese investment targets trade routes www.chinadaily.com

Belt and Road areas will be 'hot places' this year, analyst says
China's overseas acquisitions may press on this year, with new impetus from the Belt and Road Initiative and international expansion of major Chinese companies, analysts said.

"As China has tightened its foreign exchange controls to tackle illegal and reckless activities in overseas markets, the development in countries and regions along the Belt and Road Initiative will become hot places for Chinese investment this year," said Zhang Jianping, director of the Commerce Ministry's research center for regional economic cooperation.

A number of big-ticket infrastructure projects have been launched on the two trading routes, including Sri Lanka's Colombo International Financial City project, the 40 billion yuan ($5.8 billion) China-Laos railway construction project that kicked off in December and the China-Thailand railroad project to be carried out later this year.

Zhang's comments follow a Financial Times report that said $75 billion in overseas mergers and acquisitions involving Chinese enterprises were called off last year. The United States led, with $59 billion in deals scrapped.

Although China's overseas investment hit a record high last year, the total number of mergers and acquisitions that fell through also surged. More than 30 in the US and Europe were halted as a result of regulatory clampdowns. The total value of the canceled deals increased by more than sevenfold from 2015, the report said.

The ministry's Department of Outward Investment and Economic Cooperation said on Tuesday that the $75 billion cited by the Financial Times was much too high and added that it will clarify the situation this week.

Wang Zhile, a senior researcher at the Beijing-based Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, said many Chinese companies will have advantages in conducting finance and investment activities in global markets this year. The country's overseas direct investment volume will remain stable and diversify this year, Wang said.

"Chinese conglomerates such as Shanghai-based Fosun Group, Dalian Wanda Group and Haikou-based HNA Group have already built financing platforms including an insurance company in the United States and listed companies in Hong Kong's stock exchange via merger and acquisition," said Wang.

Chinese outbound mergers and acquisitions rose globally by 114 percent to $208.6 billion last year compared with 2015. Chinese investment surged by 201 percent in Europe and 412 percent in North America, according to the annual M&A Trends report by the London-based law firm Clifford Chance.

Elaine Lo, head of China practice at Mayer Brown JSM, a global law firm, said the US has already showed its concern about China's rapidly growing investment momentum in overseas markets, especially in the high-end technology and military-related sectors.

"The Trump administration may be even more conservative on China's ODI activities. It won't be changed within a short period," said Lo. "It will also lead to trade protectionism measures. The United Kingdom and Germany may also follow the step of the US government."

Peter Batey, chairman of Vermilion Partners, a global investment bank, said, "As the volume of Chinese outbound acquisitions rises to record heights, it is inevitable that some foreign governments will eventually begin to feel obliged to likewise raise their own levels of scrutiny of such deals."

Ren Xiaojin contributed to this story.

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Dried bonito maker to get certificate for EU sale www3.nhk.or.jp

 
A company in central Japan is to become the first dried bonito maker to get a certificate needed to export the key ingredient of Japanese cuisine to the European Union.
 
Dried bonito is used to make broth. Demand for the product is rising in Europe thanks to the popularity of Japanese dishes, but strict EU food hygiene standards have prevented exports from Japan.
 
The company in Yaizu, Shizuoka Prefecture, will soon receive certification under the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point System, an international standard for food safety management.
 
The maker has renovated its factory to meet the EU regulations with help from local authorities.
 
It hopes to start exports in the new fiscal year, which begins in April.
 
Company President Tokuya Kuno expressed his hope to promote made-in-Japan dried bonito in Europe.
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China-Russia rail bridge on right track www.chinadaily.com

Key trade link receives shot in the arm from $110m funding package

The construction of a cross-border rail bridge between China and Russia has moved a step closer to completion because the project's funding gap has been covered, government officials said on Monday.

With a total investment of 2.6 billion yuan ($379 million), the bridge will connect Tongjiang in China's northeastern Heilongjiang province with Nizhneleninskoye in Russia's Jewish Autonomous Oblast.

Known as the Amur International Rail Bridge or the China-Russia Tongjiang Rail Bridge, once completed it will be the first of its kind between the two countries and will serve as the key transportation link that is expected to boost bilateral trade previously constrained by the region's poor transport infrastructure.

The latest round of financing worth $110 million came from a Sino-Russian joint venture backed by China Investment Corp, the Chinese sovereign wealth fund, according to the local government.

"It means that the financing problem from the Russian side has finally been solved," said Zhang Ruohui, an official from the Commerce Department of Heilongjiang province.

Construction of the bridge started in 2014, but it came to a halt due to the funding problem and construction delays by the Russian side.

Wang Jin, the mayor of Tongjiang, said that the bridge will help boost the city's standing as a transportation hub with Russia, and will enhance its role in the China-Mongolia-Russia economic corridor.

"The bridge will help unleash the potential of Tongjiang as a key transportation hub in the region," Wang said.

The bridge is also expected to help boost China's trade with Russia and significantly reduce transportation costs. Bilateral trade between China and Russia stood at $69 billion last year, according to official data.

The bridge will also help boost the economy of Heilongjiang, Wang added.

Xu Tao, a Central Asia studies researcher at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, said the long and difficult process of the bridge project showed there may still be many difficulties for China and Russia to overcome in their future partnership to jointly develop the Far East region.

"Securing funds has long been a hurdle. Insufficient mutual trust and Russian doubts over China's intention to develop the region have been another source of uncertainty for Sino-Russian cooperation," Xu said.

 
 
 
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No Privatization for Russian Railways Until 2020, Deputy Prime Minister Claims www.themoscowtimes.com

The Kremlin will not privatize Russian Railways within the next three years, a top government official has claimed.

First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov, head of the government’s transport and communications commission, said that the railways would not be privatized before then end of 2019.

The Russian government could instead sell off a small share in the state-owned enterprise, Shuvalov told the Izvestia newspaper. The Kremlin is currently Russian Railways sole shareholder.

"It would be a very small share which could then be used as part of a private pension fund,” he said. “But right now, this is not on the agenda," he said.

The Russian government plans to privatize more than 500 joint-stock companies between 2017 and 2019, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak announced last week. Russian media reports had named Russian Railways as one of the likely targets for privatization plans, alongside Russia’s VTB bank and the Russian postal service.

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