|“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|
Mongolia, a landlocked nation of about 3 million people between China and Russia, has become an increasingly important geopolitical partner to the United States.
America’s relationship with Mongolia is not insignificant and provides many opportunities for both countries.
The United States established diplomatic relations with Mongolia in 1987. Since then, the U.S. has been firmly regarded as Mongolia’s most important “third neighbor”—a country that does not border Mongolia, but has strategic relations with it.
Over the past three decades, Mongolia has been a reliable diplomatic ally of the U.S. The country’s transition to stable democracy has been notable, too, especially among former Soviet republics.
Mongolia’s multiparty parliamentary system has yielded an open society, where political dissent is the norm, parliamentary debate is spirited, and compromise between parties is not uncommon.
That contrasts starkly with the rest of post-Soviet Central Asia, where some presidential governments have resulted in autocracies.
The State Department’s Congressional Budget Justification for Foreign Operations for fiscal year 2019 asserts that the “primary goals of U.S. assistance to Mongolia are to ensure the United States remains a preferred partner over geographical neighbors Russia and China, and to give Mongolia greater latitude to chart an independent foreign and security policy.”
More importantly, Mongolia has been considered as an “emerging partner” and as a country with which the U.S. may cooperate to achieve a “shared vision of rules-based order in the Indo-Pacific.”
In fact, Mongolia has already demonstrated a strong commitment to working with the United States on strategic issues.
Mongolia is one of nine NATO “partner” nations, along with Japan and South Korea, in East Asia. Mongolia participates in United Nations global peacekeeping operations and has more than 1,000 peacekeepers deployed in Africa.
Mongolia sent troops to Iraq from 2003 to 2008, and currently has more than 200 troops in Afghanistan serving together with American forces.
All in all, Mongolia has maintained a constructively engaging relationship with the U.S. However, more can and should be done in enhancing bilateral interaction.
In particular, the U.S.-Mongolia economic relationship needs to evolve from one largely based on aid and various types of technical assistance to a partnership based much more on private sector-driven trade and investment.
The Trump administration’s ongoing efforts to raise the American profile and elevate its participation in the region are well-advised. However, without a distinct trade component, they are likely to amount to little more than an empty gesture.
The U.S. efforts need substance, and substance that can count in a concrete and practical way is trade.
To that end, Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Fla., and nine other members of the U.S. House of Representatives have introduced a bipartisan trade bill concerning the United States and Mongolia.
The proposed Mongolia Third Neighbor Trade Act seeks to deepen the U.S.-Mongolia trade relationship. The bill could play a practical role in ensuring Mongolia’s ongoing economic development by incentivizing targeted economic reforms.
Over the past three decades, the United States and Mongolia have made the strategic choice to forge and defend a relationship based on “shared commitment to freedom, democracy, and human rights.”
That choice must be reinforced with concrete and practical action that can further enhance the two nations’ partnership. Increased trade is the logical step forward.
COMMENTARY BY Anthony B. Kim
Anthony B. Kim researches international economic issues at The Heritage Foundation, with a strong focus on economic freedom. Kim is the research manager of the Index of Economic Freedom, the flagship product of the Heritage Foundation in partnership with The Wall Street Journal....
Nov 29 – World No. 2 iron ore miner Rio Tinto gave the long-awaited green light for a $2.6 billion iron ore mine in Western Australia, with first production expected within three years.
The mine would have an annual capacity of 43 million tonnes, which is expected to underpin Rio's production of its flagship Pilbara Blend iron ore, it said in a statement.
The cost is higher than the $2.2 billion the company flagged last year. Rio Tinto on Thursday said the scope of the project had been broadened to include safety improvements, as well as additional infrastructure such as an airport and site access roads.
The miner added that it was mulling a second phase to expand annual production to more than 70 million tonnes, depending on the results of a $44 million pre-feasibility study in the region.
Rio expects to employ over 2,000 people during the construction of the project, with 600 permanent roles created upon completion.
Rio said the operation is designed to use increased automation – including autonomous trucks, trains and drills – and is expected to be its lowest cost contributor to its Pilbara blend product.
(By Ambar Warrick in Bengaluru; Editing by Alison Williams)
Arkhangai /MONTSAME/. One of the local brands of Arkhangai aimag, Baby Yak, is to begin exporting scarves and swaddle blankets to Norway.
Since 2016, the Baby Yak brand products made of yak fiber has been manufactured at the factory of the Arvidjin Ar Delgerekh cooperative. Currently, over 20 types of products, such as hats, scarves and socks, are being produced. A selection of products as well as yak fiber and yarn are exported to France, Spain, Japan and Belgium.
The cooperative has been in a partnership with the AVSF (Agronomists and Veterinarians without Borders), association since 2010.
Depending on what you read, cashmere is an ecological catastrophe waiting to happen. The boom in popularity of this once ultra-luxurious wool, and the subsequent proliferation of cut-price cashmere sweaters on the high street, has apparently forced the cashmere industry to its crisis.
Mongolia, where the majority of the world’s cashmere is produced, is bearing the brunt of the increase in demand. With temperatures frequently hitting -40 degrees Celsius, the region’s goats have developed fluffy undercoats to protect themselves over the harsh winters; these are then sheared by nomads in April-time and sold to manufacturers. Reports suggest that with an increase in demand for wool, more goats have been raised on the pastures than the grasslands can handle. There is also concern for the nomad herdsmen’s welfare, as prices have fallen dramatically. Then there’s the issue of quality: a lot of companies claim to source from Mongolia, but are actually purchasing wool from Inner Mongolia, an autonomous region of northern China.
So, where to go for ethically-sourced, sustainably-produced cashmere as temperatures in the UK drop? Try Mandkhai, a newish brand by Mandkhai Jargalsaikhan, which specialises in goat-to-garment transparency, not to mention deliciously soft cashmere. The 30-year-old designer knows her wool: she is Mongolian, and her parents were the first family to set up shop in post-Communist Mongolia twenty-five years ago, with a cashmere factory. The family’s two factories now comprise one of the country’s biggest cashmere manufacturers – as well as a tourist hotspot. “I can remember Julia Roberts and Richard Gere dropping by the factory to see the spinning machines when I was a child!” Jargalsaikhan laughs.
Mandkhai designs are as cosy and comforting as one would expect – and Gigi Hadid is a fan. The model has been regularly spotted in New York swaddled in her chunky mocha-hued, Mandkhai ribbed cashmere coat. “People think we paid her – but we loaned a sample via our PR company and she must just like it,” Jargalsaikhan says. “My dad doesn’t know who she is, but we see a spike in sales on our website every time she wears it!”
Jargalsaikhan came to London in her twenties to study fashion and marketing and has never left. Having completed a post-university accountancy course – “I need to know my numbers” – she set up her own brand in addition to acting as a wool supplier to designers including Rejina Pyo and Grace Wales Bonner. “There was a gap in the market for something different and modern. We’ve moved on from the navy blue crew-neck. And people are looking for quality and transparency.”
Ah – transparency. How can she guarantee her wool comes from happy goats and equally happy herdsmen? “The goats and sheep we source our wool from are free-roaming, so there’s lots of land for them to graze on,” she says. “We’ve been working with the same nomads for years so we always pay them a fair price – over 60 per cent of the price of each garment goes on raw materials, and I know that they have a good quality of life. Then there are the women in the factories, many of whom have worked with our family for years.” The factories, one of which deals with dyeing and spinning of the raw materials, the other for processing and knitting, are run by Jargalsaikhan’s mother, “an encyclopaedia of cashmere” who trained in knitwear in Japan.
Furthermore, reports that Mongolia’s cashmere industry is devastating the land have been exaggerated, Jargalsaikhan asserts. “Mongolia is a huge country – it’s five times the size of Germany – with only three million people living in it. Many of the herds are free-roaming so they don’t decimate the land because they’re moving around a lot. A lot of the sheep who provide the cashmere wool which is harvested every year in April actually die over the winter due to the cold. So, nature has its way of balancing out the herds.” Her family’s factory produces very little waste. “We sell on anything left over to make felt. I looked into what happens to the fabric over time, and it is entirely biodegradable, so there’s no damage to the environment, unlike the fibres in a synthetic sweater.”
Not that she’d ever purchase a synthetic fibre – this is a woman who lives in cashmere, 24/7. “I know I’m very lucky,” she laughs. “But it’s just the best fabric in the world.”...
Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, has recently released a report to help Mongolia formulate a new investment policy and strategy to better leverage existing foreign direct investment (FDI), attract new forms of FDI, and diversify its economy. This week, IFC and the National Development Agency (NDA) are holding another round of consultation that focuses on private sector stakeholders.
The report, ‘Investment Reform Map for Mongolia’, reveals that FDI is a critical source of capital to support Mongolia’s economic and development agendas. Yet, FDI inflows have been volatile over the last decade and not focused on achieving economic diversification and upgrading. Natural resource-seeking FDI represents 81 percent of total FDI project value since 2012.
“FDI can help Mongolia obtain the capital and know-how it needs for development while saving scarce public resources,” said Jigjidmaa Dugeree, Senior Private Sector Specialist, IFC. “Our findings also show that the country will benefit from more consistent and clear investment policies. The report offers a practical approach to help Mongolia maximize the benefits of FDI and achieve economic diversification.”
The report recommends a two-pillar approach. The first entails maximizing FDI in natural resources by continuing to attract FDI in mining. At the same time, implementing a strategy to increase domestic value addition and linkages between foreign and domestic investors is imperative. The second entails focusing on economic diversification through FDI in other sectors. Further, the FDI policy should focus on sectors and markets where the country can be competitive. Initial findings indicate that some sectors and sub-sectors including tourism and hospitality, e-commerce, and agribusiness have potential to attract FDI.
“IRM report was instrumental in pushing certain reforms including transfer of working secretariat of IPC to NDA, and developing an idea on necessity to have one stop service which will be materialized by the beginning of the next year. We are also starting to work on Investment Policy statement with the help from IFC and would like to see private sector as the active participator in the drafting process,” said B. Bayarsaikhan, Director General of NDA.
The report further highlights that the investment climate and good governance in Mongolia can be improved. To achieve this, the focus should be on effective implementation of current laws (including the Investment Law) and regulations, and on strengthening the existing investor grievance mechanism (Investment Protection Council, Public Private Consultative Committee, NDA). Moreover, Mongolia needs to rebuild a credible investment promotion capacity.
During 2017, Mongolia received 470,000 tourists who have contributed over USD 400 million to the Mongolian economy. Analysts have divided the tourism sector into divided into 14 sub-divisions; of all tourists travelling to Mongolia, some 36 percent came to see the country’s beautiful nature; 28 percent of them came to witness nomadic culture and others in search of adventures.
Mongolia has set a goal of hosting one million foreign tourists and earning one billion U.S. dollars in 2020. In order to implement this goal, the country is planning to construct new international airports in six provinces namely: Uvs, Khovd, Uvurkhangai, Umnugobi, Dornod and Khuvsgul.
In the Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index 2017, Mongolia stands in 102th position out of 136 countries.
ULAN BATOR, Nov. 27 (Xinhua) -- Mayor of Mongolia's capital Ulan Bator, Sundui Batbold, announced his resignation Tuesday after the country's Prime Minister demanded him to resign.
In an official letter to the Citizens' Representative Council of Ulan Bator on Nov. 12, Prime Minister Ukhnaa Khurelsukh accused Batbold of not fulfilling his duties.
On Tuesday, the council discussed Khurelsukh's proposal but failed to make a decision.
However, Batbold decided to submit his resignation letter.
"Mutual understanding between the prime minister and city mayor is crucial in making decisions in the interests of Ulan Bator residents. So, I decided to resign from my position within December 5 for some 1.5 million residents of the city," the mayor said in his resignation statement.
For James Godwin, it wasn’t about the money - or even the fossil.
The Wichita Falls anesthesiologist and fossil enthusiast certainly values his Tyrannosaurus bataar skull. But for him, challenging the government’s attempt to take it from him was about principle as well as basic property rights.
“In this country, the government should not be able to walk into your house on some third party’s word and take your property,” Godwin said in an interview Tuesday.
His perseverance paid off.
A federal judge in Fort Worth ruled on Monday in Godwin’s favor after a one-day trial last week over whether the large dinosaur skull should remain with Godwin or be returned to Mongolia from where it was allegedly unearthed years ago.
U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor agreed with Godwin’s argument that the U.S. attorney’s office waited too long to file its 2017 forfeiture lawsuit, thus violating the five-year statute of limitations.
The government had said that Godwin’s 70 million-year-old dinosaur skull, which belonged to an Asian relative of Tyrannosaurus rex, was among a group of dinosaur fossils stolen from Mongolia years ago.
Godwin, 76, is believed to be the first U.S. owner of a Mongolian dinosaur fossil to contest a government forfeiture action since authorities began cracking down in 2012 on the little-known black market in dinosaur bones.
Since the investigation began, numerous specimens have been returned to Mongolia, and two men were convicted in federal court of smuggling fossils into the U.S. after pleading guilty to the charges against them.
Michael A. Villa Jr., Godwin’s Dallas-based attorney, said a “lack of clarity” over ownership issues related to Mongolian dinosaur fossils remains. The U.S. attorney’s office, he said, cited in court filings a “patchwork” of Mongolian laws that changed over the decades and underwent several different translations in the process.
“And somehow my non-lawyer client is supposed to know all this,” Villa said.
O’Connor, in a recent ruling in the case, wrote that he made no findings as to whether Mongolian law was violated.
The U.S. attorney’s office released a statement Tuesday saying it respects the judge’s decision.
“As the judge noted, our case established probable cause for the forfeiture of the bataar skull, which was stolen from Mongolia for purposes of the National Stolen Property Act and brought into the United States illegally. The Northern District of Texas will continue to vigorously pursue cases involving the theft of cultural property.”
Villa said one of the government’s own experts wrote in a publication that he’d seen dinosaur fossils being sold openly in Mongolian markets. The expert, he said, also wrote that pieces of bataar fossils have been found in China, Kazakhstan and Russia.
Villa said he will ask the government to immediately return his client’s fossil, which is currently being housed in a Montana museum.
Godwin said he will return the skull to its rightful place on a display stand in the museum room of his Wichita Falls house.
“The fundamental premise of this country is that I have a right to my property ... and due process,” he said.
'I felt violated'
Godwin, who has a passion for nature and amateur paleontology, acquired the bataar skull from a Wyoming store he partly owns.
The government's investigation began when someone called federal agents in 2012 to report seeing a bataar skull for sale in the store for $320,000, court records show.
The government brought its lawsuit involving Godwin's fossil under the National Stolen Property Act, which often is used to prosecute antiquities trafficking.
Under the law, the government has five years from the time an offense is discovered to bring a forfeiture lawsuit.
O’Connor ruled that the government discovered the alleged offense when agents prepared a warrant in July 2012 to seize Godwin's fossil. Therefore, that was when the clock had begun ticking on the statute of limitations, the judge said in his ruling.
The U.S. attorney's office, which had argued that the start date occurred later, filed its forfeiture suit in August 2017.
Homeland Security Investigations said that Godwin's bataar skull had been unearthed from the Nemegt Basin in the Gobi Desert in Mongolia between 2000 and 2011, according to the forfeiture lawsuit. It ended up in the hands of a U.S. citizen living in Japan and was sold several more times before turning up in Godwin’s home, according to court records.
Godwin said that -- in an unnecessary show of force -- armed agents showed up at his house to seize the skull in summer 2013.
“I felt violated,” he said.
Godwin said that prior to a 2012 criminal case in New York involving a different bataar skull, he never considered the legality of owning such a fossil. Mongolian fossils had been sold in the U.S. “for a long time,” he said. Some are currently on view in U.S. museums, he added.
“There was no suggestion at any time that there was anything wrong with it,” he said about selling such dinosaur fossils.
Federal agents displayed a dinosaur fossil that was among more than 18 returned to Mongolia after being seized in the U.S.(ICE)
Federal agents displayed a dinosaur fossil that was among more than 18 returned to Mongolia after being seized in the U.S. (ICE)
Godwin said he belongs to a small community of fossil collectors who are “meticulously honest, law-abiding citizens.” He said he doesn’t recall any discussion about the legality of Mongolian dinosaur fossils prior to 2012.
Federal agents, he said, had woven a grand conspiracy theory involving smuggled dinosaur fossils.
“That ain’t the way it is,” Godwin said.
Godwin said that when he announced his victory in the hospital where he works, he got “hugs and high fives all around.”
Villa said the issue will have to remain murky. No court has ever ruled on what laws were violated in the trade of Mongolian dinosaur fossils in the U.S., he said.
Robert Painter, a Houston lawyer who represented the Mongolian government during the investigation, said there are no other ongoing custody disputes involving his client’s fossils in the U.S. He said more than 100 fossils were returned to Mongolia during the investigation.
Painter added that while he’s disappointed that the North Texas dispute ended with a technical ruling, he’s glad that none of Godwin’s other defenses prevailed.
“Everyone in the paleontology community should know that Mongolian law is well understood, and the U.S. government will prosecute cases involving stolen fossils,” he said....
The 6th Invest Mongolia Tokyo has successfully finished on November 19, 2018. The event has attracted about 20 speakers and 250 attendees and 160 organizations.
Invest Mongolia Tokyo aimed to address following opportunities, risks and concerns that have been put forward by the investment communities from Mongolia, Japan and other nations.
Through the presentations and panels, participants have gained the opportunities to understand different angles of approaches from politicians, authorities, banks, lawyers and investors. At the same time, exchanging the ideas with others during breaks and the networking events have been very stimulating for them.
The conference was well received by participants because of following reasons.
First of all, the political relations between Japan and North East Asia particularly with those with Russia and China are improving significantly in the last 12 months and therefore, the relationship with Japan and Mongolia which lies between China and Russia is becoming more and more important.
Secondly, the conference was timely because it was held at the time when Mongolia economy is picking up gradually because of the recent rise of the coal price and the financial assistance from International monetary fund (IMF) and Japan.
Thirdly, some Japanese companies, particularly the SMEs have started to enter into Mongolia.
So, participants could get the most updated perspectives of
1. The improving political situation of North East Asia and the relationship with Mongolia and Japan
2. The current economic condition in Mongolia and the vulnerability of the coal driven economy.
3. The still weak impact of EPA and the necessity to modify it to accommodate the business demands.
4. The current situation of Japanese SMEs who have started to enter into Mongolia and their challenges.
5. The update of Mongolian Stock Exchange and the possible IPO of Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi (ETT).
6. The measures to improve the supply chain of Agriculture industry in Mongolia and the supports from Japan.
7. The agreements on Asian Super Grid by the leaders of the five nations (Mongolia, Japan, China, Russia and Korea ) and the opportunities for Mongolia and Japan.
8. The rapidly changing financial innovation in Mongolia and the changes of the business model of a telecom company in Mongolia.
9. The recent important legislative changes in Mongolia.
10.The proposals to the Government from Japan
11. The strong interest by Mongolian Government to improve the investment climate.
Lastly, I would like to thank the supporting organizations. The conference was supported by Government of Mongolia, National Development Agency, JICA, YAMOH and many others. Also, BD Sec and some others have supported the event. Without their commitments, the conference could not be materialized.
We want to organize the event annually and want to come back to Tokyo in November 2019. So, we welcome more active participation to the event from each of you next year.
Thank you very much for attending the conference.
Founder & CEO
Currently, nearly 13000 coal trucks from 161 enterprises are transporting coal on the 239 km road between the giant Tavan Tolgoi mine and the Gashuun Sukhait border crossing. However, the sudden closure of the border crossings comes as an unwelcome shock for Mongolia; already 91 km long queues of coal trucks have formed since China cut imports without any prior warning. The psychological strain on the drivers is already becoming a major problem; forced to wait for days on end in their cabs in freezing weather, the truck drivers are turning alcohol and falling into chronic depression. There are already cases of tragic deaths on the “Coal Road” says the Mongolian Men’s Development Society. Members of the society have been meeting the truck drivers in person. The scale of the problem cannot be overestimated: the truck drivers support between 40-50 thousand family members. The Men’s Development Society has presented the Mongolian Cabinet with demands regarding problems of the truck drivers. If demands were not meet, non-governmental organisations will unite and to hold a hunger strike....