|“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|
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ Today, May 04,Head of Cabinet Secretariat, Minister J.Munkhbat met with the World Bank representatives, headed by Jason Allford, the Executive Director of the World Bank Group representing Mongolia and some other countries. Minister J.Munkhbat noted that protecting investors’ rights in legal frame is one of the priorities of the Government and a council in charge of protecting investors’ rights was established by an order of Prime Minister. He expressed his thanks to the World Bank for granting financial support within the IMF program to Mongolia.
Mr Jason Allford said “- We know that economic conditions were tough when you took power. We are also happy that the economy tends to revive. It would be a good example to other countries that the Government of Mongolia has established a certain structure for the protection of investors’ rights at a policy level. Mongolia needs to increase foreign investment to overcome its economic difficulties. However, restriction of the investors’ transaction, making it to pass only through Mongolian banks has much negative impact on the economy”. Asking whether parliament is reconsidering its decision concerning the matter he said that if parliament makes its decision certain, IMF and WB are ready to conclude their decision within a short period.
“- The majority group in parliament has made its political decision to reconsider and change the parliamentary resolution, which regulates income from some big projects to pass through Mongolian banks. Within this week, the parliament will finalize it. After that, we believe the IMF will confirm its official decision on implementing its program in Mongolia” said Minister J.Munkhbat. He also emphasized Mongolia’s active collaboration with IMF and WB and high expectations, including positive effects to economy as a result of the cooperation this time too.
HOHHOT, May 3 (Xinhua) -- Nearly 5,000 firefighters are battling a fire in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.
The fire has spread to 10,000 hectares, said Shen Dongsheng, an officer with the forest detachment at the Greater Hinggan Mountains.
Four temporary helicopter landing spots have been set up for artificial precipitation, and armored vehicles are also mobilized.
The fire broke out at 12:15 p.m. Tuesday in the Bilahe Beidahe forest in Inner Mongolia.
Initial investigations found the fire was caused by illegal dumping of burning residue by a local furnace worker, who has been detained for further investigation.
Doing the same thing and expecting different results: Mongolia plans to curb air pollution with more coal www.bankwatch.org
A new law on air pollution recently adopted by the Mongolian government is in part the result of massive demonstrations that swept the streets of Ulaanbaatar during the winter months, when pollution in the capital is at its worst. Mobilised under the umbrella movement ‘Moms and dads against smog’, the protestors signed petitions calling on the government to come with an urgent plan for tacking the overwhelming situation in the city, where emissions from the coal burned in the surrounding ger districts and three combined heat and power plants reached some of the highest levels in the world this past winter.
The new policy will soon be followed by a yearly action plan for reducing emissions, but the protestors and civil society groups working for cleaner air in the country should remain cautious. That’s because the government’s plan involves even more reliance on coal – hauled in from the massive Tavan Tolgoi mine in the south and then cleaned in as yet constructed processing plants before being burned in the ger districts that are now responsible for 60 per cent of total emissions in the capital. So the plan does not appear to tackle the underlining problem in Mongolia, which is its dependency on coal.
A new Bankwatch report presented this week in Ulaanbaatar argues that the energy plans of the Mongolian government – which have the backing of international financial institutions – are disconnected from the urgent need to improve the efficiency of an ageing energy system and at the same time address the massive potential of solar and wind energy in the country. The report also shows how the 12 gigawatts of electricity that would be produced by the power plants planned by the government by the year 2030 exceed even its own projections for electricity demand in the country.
The report surveys a number of Mongolia’s coal power projects in the pipeline, including the 600 MW Tavan Tolgoi power plant in the South Gobi region, which would benefit mostly just three mines close to the Tavan Tolgoi deposit, including the EBRD and IFC-financed Oyu Tolgoi mine. In the capital, plans for a new combined heat and power plant supported by the Asian Development Bank and with potential involvement by the EBRD, would only add to emissions while not tackling the problem of burning coal in the ger districts, as these are not connected to the public utilities.
To better understand what is at stake with the governments’ plans for the continued use of coal, more than 40 members of civil society groups from the country gathered on 1 May at the Water Conservation Centre in Ulaanbaatar to discuss the risks of coal-based energy and the involvement of financial institutions in pushing for coal-based energy projects in the country.
Mongolia is at a crossroad, and the movement started by civil society this past winter is a sign for international financiers like the EBRD and the ADB to rethink their energy strategies for Mongolia and prioritise energy efficiency and renewable energy solutions for the the ger districts, rural areas and the people of Mongolia....