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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South Korea political scandal puts corporate decisions on ice www.reuters.com

Korea Inc is moving in slow-motion, mired by the country's political crisis, with a vacuum in planning and decision making as corporate giants such as Samsung and Lotte delay traditional year-end management reshuffles, company insiders say.

Last week, the heads of nine of the biggest conglomerates, or chaebol, were subjected to an unprecedented 13-hour grilling by a parliamentary panel investigating the scandal that led to Friday's vote to impeach President Park Geun-hye.

While no executives have been charged with wrongdoing, many have been questioned by investigators and the offices of the Samsung, Lotte and SK groups were raided.

"With no hint on when top management changes will be announced, what we are seeing right now is a chain reaction that slows down lots of things," said an executive at a key Samsung Group unit that makes electronics components, who declined to be identified given the sensitivity of the matter.

Between them, the nine groups have revenue of 910.5 trillion won ($780 billion), equivalent to more than half of South Korea's GDP.

Executive promotions, an annual ritual at the big family-controlled conglomerates that dominate South Korea's economy, typically set the stage for new initiatives in the coming year, with decision-making tailing off in the weeks beforehand.

With that period of uncertainty stretching on longer than usual, an employee at a Samsung affiliate said staff had been occupying themselves reading news reports and surfing the corporate intranet.

"There is a definite slowdown in day-to-day work as well, because companies are holding off on concrete expansionary plans or changes," said the person, who declined to be named.

The scandal has also sown uncertainty about government policies and the economy, coming at an inopportune time for companies such as Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and Hyundai Motor Co, which are looking to reverse sliding market share in core businesses.

Hyundai, which is bracing for its fourth consecutive year of annual profit decline, said it was also undecided on whether it would announce personnel changes in late December as usual.

"The mood is not great and our chairman had a very tough time at the parliamentary hearing," said a Hyundai Motor Group executive who declined to be named. "It would be fortunate if I don't get sacked in these difficult times."

WHO'S IN, WHO'S OUT?

Park has been accused of colluding with long-time friend Choi Soon-sil and an aide to pressure big businesses to contribute tens of millions of dollars to two foundations set up to back presidential initiatives.

Samsung Electronics, part of the conglomerate that donated 20.4 billion won ($17.5 million) to the two foundations - the most of any group - has seen delays in setting next year's sales targets, a company source said, declining to elaborate.

The company has also yet to announce its yearly management reshuffle. Samsung traditionally announces executive changes in early December, with some investors expecting a major shake-up after it was forced to discontinue its fire-prone Galaxy Note 7 smartphone.

It declined to give a timeframe, or to comment on when it would announce annual personnel moves.

"There's a lot of anxiety," said an employee at Samsung Electronics' chip division, who said employees were huddling over lunch to discuss rumors of changes that would normally have been completed by now.

"I am curious to know whether my current boss will stay, or I will be moving to another team or not."

A Lotte Group spokesman said its annual reshuffle, which usually takes place in late December, was likely to be delayed to next year because of "various situations".

"Our group companies are having more difficulty in setting up business plans than usual," the spokesman said.

"HOLD TIGHT, LOOK BUSY"

Friday's impeachment vote means the country's Constitutional Court has up to 180 days to uphold or overturn it, setting the stage for Park to be the country's first democratically elected leader to be ejected from office.

Ratings agency Moody's said on Monday that the impeachment increased the likelihood that no new policy changes would be implemented until a permanent replacement was in office, which would weigh on the economy as hiring and investment decisions are put off.

"The biggest fallout we can expect from this issue, economy-wise, is companies hesitating to invest," a Bank of Korea official told Reuters, declining to be named.

Samsung, which usually announces its annual investment plan around late January, told Reuters in a statement that it was "currently in the process of making comprehensive plans for next year."

In 2016, it earmarked a record 27 trillion won ($23 billion) of capital spending.

South Korea' finance ministry said last week it was concerned that "domestic issues" may put more pressure on an economy that is grappling with record household debt and weak exports, as well as global uncertainties.

The Federation of Korean Industries, which represents big conglomerates, typically announces annual investment plans by the 30 biggest business groups in March, but an official there said it was not clear whether it would be able to keep to that schedule.

"The current crisis is similar to or worse than that of the 2008 subprime mortgage crisis," he said, also declining to be identified. "We are at a standstill."

That has left employees "holding tight and trying to keep busy" said an official at another Samsung Electronics affiliate.

"Many executives eligible for promotion or other reshuffle prefer to stay low profile ... you don't want to get unnecessary attention," he said.

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Oyu Tolgoi resumes copper shipments to China www.mining.com

Canada’s Turquoise Hill Resources (TSX, NYSE:TRQ), which is 51% owned by Rio Tinto and holds two-thirds of the massive Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold mine in Mongolia, said Wednesday it had resumed concentrate shipments from the operation to China.

The Vancouver-based miner said that after two weeks of talks with Mongolian and Chinese authorities, Oyu Tolgoi has been allowed to restart shipping ore across the border, but it will follow a new joint coal and concentrate crossing route at the border between the two nations.

Production at the mine, expected to reach 560,000 tonnes of copper per year once at full tilt, was unaffected during suspension, Turquoise Hill said.

Rio Tinto approved in May a $5.3 billion expansion of Oyu Tolgoi, one of the world's largest copper mines and a key component of the company’s master plan to become less dependent on iron ore for profits and become one of the world’s biggest copper producers.

The planned expansion, with its nearly 200 km (125 miles) of underground tunnels that will track three times as deep as the Empire State Building is tall, will more than double the copper output from Oyu Tolgoi, which is mostly sent south to China, the world’s main metals consumer.

It is also expected to help Rio and Turquoise Hill get to the most valuable part of the deposit, which also contains gold and silver, and where there has been a open pit mine running since 2013.

First production from the extended underground area is expected by 2020, when a shortage of copper is tipped to emerge. Full ramp up is slated for 2027.

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Japan, Hitachi to stump up $8.5 billion for Horizon nuclear project in Wales: source www.reuters.com

 
The Japanese government and a Hitachi Ltd (6501.T) unit will compile a package worth around 1 trillion yen ($8.5 billion) for a UK nuclear power plant project, a government official involved in the project said on Thursday.
 
The Japan Bank for International Cooperation and the Development Bank of Japan will provide financing for the project, the official told Reuters.
 
The funding plans are a boost for the project, one of several new nuclear plants planned in the UK, which is aiming to replacing its ageing fleet of atomic reactors.
 
Hitachi's Horizon unit plans to construct at least 5.4 gigawatts of new nuclear capacity across two sites in Britain.
 
The funds will be provided for the first plant planned at Wylfa Newydd in Wales.
 
The Nikkei newspaper said Hitachi would invest about 10 percent of the expected 19 billion pounds ($24 billion) cost of the project. A Hitachi official declined to comment, saying the amount has not been announced.
 
 
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1 bil. Yahoo user accounts hacked www.nhk.or.jp

Yahoo has announced that hackers stole data from more than one billion user accounts.

This follows the IT giant's disclosure in September that hackers had penetrated more than 500 million accounts. The combined number makes the thefts one of the biggest data leaks from a company ever.

Yahoo officials said on Wednesday that the latest attack took place in August 2013. Hackers stole names, birthdates, email addresses and telephone numbers of users.

They say passwords and credit card numbers weren't affected because they are stored on a different system.

Yahoo didn't specify the countries targeted, but said the company will contact affected users promptly to advise them to change their passwords.

Analysts expect that the incident may affect Yahoo's business restructuring. In July, it agreed to sell its Internet and other main operations to US telecom company Verizon for about 4.8 billion dollars.

But after the announcement of the first incident, Verizon hinted it would review the buyout price.

 
 
 
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Economic gods may be smiling again at Mongolia www.asia.nikkei.com

TOKYO -- The international financial community's confidence in the Mongolian government's capability in delivering reforms and debt services seems to be ameliorating after a long slump. That was an impression left by an investment-promotion conference held in Tokyo last week, attended by representatives of foreign lenders and investors as well as officials at the country's central bank and legislature.

The timing of the conference, hosted by Frontier Securities, a Japanese-run Ulaanbaatar-based investment bank, seemed to be as bad as it could be.

The country's sovereign debt rating had been downgraded from "B3" to "Caa1" by Moody's in mid-November, with less than four months before the mid-March maturity of a $580 million bond issued by state-run Development Bank of Mongolia. There is no hope that the bank itself will manage to secure funds to repay the bond, given its poor management. The former chief executive of the bank was arrested in October for arbitrary use of funds raised from the bond issuance.

The country's fiscal deficit has exploded to reach 20% of gross domestic product this year. The 2016 GDP is projected to show no growth at around $12 billion, if not a contraction. Mongolia's total external debt is estimated at as much as $23.5 billion, of which the government debt accounts for about $8.4 billion. Analysts say the government needs to repay $1.7 billion-$1.8 billion over the next two years.

In such a situation, to meet the March deadline for the Development Bank's $580 million bond, many believe that the government will need to agree the IMF's loan terms by early February at the latest.

Graeme Knowd, a managing director at Moody's Japan, was straightforward on that issue at the conference. "There seems to be a large gap in the growth forecasts between the Mongolian government's and the IMF's, and we think it will take some time for them to agree on a consensus somewhere in the middle."

On the other hand, Knowd also made a remark that seemed to contradict his own institution's decision to downgrade the country's debt, which led to worries about a default. "What we are seeing is not an insolvency issue but a liquidity issue. We are quite confident that repayment will be made. We are just not certain that it will be made on time in March," he said.

Following Knowd's comment, Neil Saker, IMF's resident representative in Ulaanbaatar, even sounded optimistic. "Regarding the liquidity issue, I am hopeful. We don't really see any big difference [between IMF and the Mongolian government] on the policy framework," Saker said, which many saw as implication that the IMF's talks with the Mongolian government are advancing smoothly. He revealed that the IMF is encouraging other international institutions and countries to join in the rescue initiative as well.

High coupons

Some conference participants said they expected holders of the Development Bank's $580 million would be willing to roll over the debt because the coupon rate will be in double digits. Such a rate would be attractive enough considering that fundamentals internally and externally, including resource commodity prices, mining project progress and macro-economic policies, are starting to ameliorate. "Not many countries have very high interest rates and a bright future at the same time like Mongolia," one of those participants said.

On the sidelines of the conference, an official of the country's central bank, the Bank of Mongolia, was reassuring to both the IMF and Moody's representatives, repeating the line that "the government will repay on schedule for sure."

The central banker also told the Nikkei Asian Review that the bank is determined to maintain the current level of tight monetary policy to maintain the value of the Mongolian currency, the tugrik, for at least a couple of years despite political pressures against it. Saker had told the conference a sustained tight monetary policy is a prerequisite for a new IMF loan.

In recent years, a sharp decline in resource commodity prices led to a sharp drop in government revenues from the mining sector and to a deterioration of the balance of payments. In the June 29 general election, the then-ruling Democratic Party was removed from power and an overwhelming majority voted in the Mongolian People's Party. The new parliament named Erdenebat Jargaltulga, former finance minister, as the new prime minister.

The new government started drafting a policy package involving a fiscal restructure and structural reforms immediately after the inauguration in early July and started talks with the IMF. It proceeded in late September to officially request for an IMF bailout.

Almost all the speakers pointed to a rapid rebound in the prices of coals and copper, both crucial exports for Mongolia. "The economic gods are starting to smile for Mongolia," Nicholas Edwards, a veteran American investor, said. He pointed out that, thanks to the recent price increase, Mongolian coal mines are starting to make money He also noted that copper has been the best performing metal for the past six weeks in the international market.

Of course, every participant agreed that continuous fiscal reforms and economic restructuring are absolute "musts" for the Mongolian government in order to attract a substantial amount of foreign direct investments again.

IMF's Saker warned that the government and politicians should refrain from expanding government expenditure even if the commodity market recovers substantially. "Rather than increasing expenditure when commodity prices go up, which was the story over the last 10 years, [Mongolians] should save those windfalls into sovereign wealth funds and other effective instruments," he said.

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Development Bank of Mongolia and Sberbank of Russia sign MoU www.montsame.mn

 
Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ On the sidelines of his official visit to the Russian Federation, Speaker M.Enkhbold handed Mongolian State Order – the Polar Star – to the leaders of the Moscow Power Engineering Institute on December 14.
 
The Russian institute has been awarded with the Polar Star order pursuant to a decree of the Mongolian President Ts.Elbegdorj, in recognition of its valuable contribution to training professional cadres for the Mongolian energy sector.
 
More than 300 Mongolians have graduated from the MPEI, some 20 of whom defended academic degrees and 150 received postgraduate training.
 
For this reason, the Polar Star order is being bestowed for the MPEI on occasion of the 95th jubilee of establishing diplomatic ties with Russia, explained Mr Enkhbold.
 
On the same day, the Development Bank of Mongolia and the SberBank of Russia inked a Memorandum of Understanding. The document was signed by B.Batbayar, the DB director, and A.Ivanov, Director of SberBank.
 
The Chairman of the State Great Khural, Mr M.Enkhbold is to meet V.A.Vasiliev, the Deputy Chairman of the State Duma and head of the United Russia faction in the State Duma, V.V.Volodin, Chairman of the State Duma, and V.I.Matviyenko, Chairwoman of the Federal Council.
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Australia's Crown Resorts leaves Las Vegas, sells down Macau www.reuters.com

 
Australia's No. 1 casino company Crown Resorts Ltd (CWN.AX) is planning a near-total exit from the world's two biggest gaming hubs, Las Vegas and Macau, as a gambling crackdown in China hits profits and throws its expansion plans into disarray.
 
In a surprise trading update on Thursday, the company scrapped plans to build a casino in Nevada's famed strip, said it would sell half its stake in Macau-focused Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd (MPEL.O) and canceled plans to spin off its international assets.
 
The retreat from overseas casinos shows the impact the Chinese government's anti-graft campaign is having on casino operators throughout Asia, especially the southern Chinese territory of Macau, the only place in China where casinos are legal.
 
Majority owned by Australian billionaire James Packer, Crown has been hard hit by the decline in VIP gaming revenue at its Australian resorts and was rocked in October by the arrest of 18 of its staff for "gambling crimes" in China.
 
"There's no doubt that those arrests changed everyone's outlook for the sector," said Angus Gluskie, a portfolio manager at White Funds Management, which holds Crown shares.
 
"It's not as easy as it previously looked."
 
Crown said it would use the A$1.6 billion ($1.2 billion) proceeds from the sale of its Macau stake to cut debt and pay a special dividend of A$500 million, more than half of which would go to Packer himself.
 
Macau has suffered gaming revenue declines every month for more than two years, while Crown said turnover from VIP gamblers - largely Asian tourists - at its Australian casinos would likely fall 45 percent in the six months to end-December.
 
Overall Australian revenue would fall 12 percent for the period.
 
Crown shares are in a trading halt as the company prepared to give more information about its plans for its remaining stake in Melco Crown. The stock has fallen by a fifth since August.
 
LEAVING LAS VEGAS
 
Crown did not elaborate on its decision to scrap development on the site slated for Alon Las Vegas, but it shuts the door on the company's third attempt to establish itself in the famous resort city.
 
When Packer inherited his late father's broadcasting, publishing and gambling conglomerate in 2007, his first moves included selling its media assets and buying two Vegas-based casino interests, one of which collapsed the following year while the other was written off in 2015.
 
"I don't think there was really anyone out there who was enthusiastic about them going back in to Vegas and so pulling out is the smart thing to do," said Theo Mass, a partner at Arnhem Investment Management which holds Crown shares.
 
"The market is not convinced Crown would make a difference there."
 
Crown's U.S. interests are now limited to a one-fifth stake in Japanese restaurant chain Nobu and a 2 percent stake in Casino firm Caesars Entertainment Co (CZR.O).
 
While Crown cancelled the demerger - a plan it recommended to shareholders as recently as October - it said it would still spin off a 49 percent stake in some Australian hotel properties.
 
Crown's first-half results are due in February 2017.
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China invests in over 25% of US startups, report says www.chinadaily.com.cn

 
China is flooding Silicon Valley with cash, as 26 percent of US unicorns are currently backed by investors from Greater China, while venture capital investment in US companies is down, according to a report.
 
Among the 32 investors that have backed US startups, Chinese internet giants like Alibaba and Tencent, as well as Chinese venture capitalists, are dominant, noted CB Insights, a New York-based investment research firm. Chinese investors have participated in over 40 American tech deals per quarter since 2014, and joined in major 2015 financing deals with the likes of Uber, Lyft and AirBnB among others, involving nearly $10 billion in US tech funding for 2015 alone.
 
"Start-up fundraising in Silicon Valley wouldn't function without Chinese money. It has changed the landscape," said Chris Nicholson, the CEO of Skymind, a deep learning startup, in an interview with the Washington Post.
 
Meanwhile, venture capital investors in the US have taken a more cautious approach as overall investment deal levels drop. What's more, the flood of crossover investment from mutual funds and hedge funds into private technology startups in the US has fallen drastically.
 
According to the report, the global ambitions of Chinese internet giants, the rise of wealth creation and a dearth of investment opportunities in China are the primary motivations for Chinese investors looking to the US.
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Japan, Russia to cooperate on gas, oil development www3.nhk.or.jp

 
Multiple gas and oil development projects are expected to be part of an economic cooperation plan between Japan and Russia.
 
In the run-up to the Japan-Russia summit from Thursday, the 2 governments have been working to materialize projects between companies from both countries based on an 8-point plan proposed by Japan.
 
Sources say 3 firms are expected to cooperate in building facilities to liquefy natural gas produced at the Sakhalin-2 gas field in Russia's Far East. The firms are Japanese trading houses Mitsui & Company and Mitsubishi Corporation and Russia's government-backed energy giant Gazprom.
 
The sources also say Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation, Japanese trading house Marubeni, and Russia's state-run oil firm Rosneft are expected to work together in exploring for oil and gas fields.
 
The sources also refer to concerted financing by Japanese financial institutions to Gazprom, as well as cooperation among firms in planned gas-field development in the Arctic.
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ADB and Mongolia implement 10 projects www.en.montsame.mn

 
Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ Mongolia maintains active cooperation witn the Asian Development Bank in implementing joint projects in Mongolia.
 
These are the projects on Strengthening Institutional Framework and Management Capacity Project, on Dzud Disaster Response, on Regional Improvement of Border Services, on Southeast Gobi Urban and Border Town Development Project —Additional Financing, on Intelligent Transport Systems Development for Mongolia, on Development of Road Safety Policy and Action Plan, on Strengthening of Public Procurement for Improved Project Implementation, on Supporting Financial Sector Development and Stability, on Sustaining Access to and Quality of Education during Economic Difficulties, and on Upscaling Renewable Energy Sector Project.
 
The ADB’s assistance has played an important role in transforming Mongolia into a middle-income economy, and ADB’s country strategy for Mongolia has evolved over the years to match the changing needs of the country.
 
Assistance has been provided to help deepen market-oriented reforms, stabilize and broaden financial markets, establish or rehabilitate key infrastructure, develop agribusiness, improve services in secondary towns and cities, and restructure social services including education and health.
 
ADB is celebrating 25 years of successful partnership with Mongolia in 2016, and is now Mongolia’s largest multilateral development partner, with cumulative assistance of 2 billion USD in grants and loans. The total approved projects in 2015 alone amounted to 275 million USD, and ADB has an active portfolio of projects totaling 1 billion USD.
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