1 FOREIGN RELATIONS OF MONGOLIA’S ROAD TRANSPORT SECTOR BROADENING WWW.MONTSAME.MN PUBLISHED:2019/02/21      2 MONGOLIA EXPRESSES READINESS TO CONTRIBUTE TO STRENGTHENING ASIA-EUROPE COOPERATION WWW.MONTSAME.MN PUBLISHED:2019/02/21      3 OYU TOLGOI FUNDED 35.1 KM ROAD OPENS IN KHANBOGD WWW.GOGO.MN PUBLISHED:2019/02/21      4 POLYMER BITUMEN TO BE DOMESTICALLY PRODUCED WWW.MONTSAME.MN PUBLISHED:2019/02/21      5 KHURELBAATAR CHIMED: 319 ENTITIES DREW LOANS FROM TWO FUNDS WWW.ZGM.MN PUBLISHED:2019/02/21      6 CONSTRUCTION OF TAVANTOLGOI-GASHUUNSUKHAIT ROAD TO BE INTENSIFIED WWW.MONTSAME.MN PUBLISHED:2019/02/20      7 OVER 30 MEASURES PLANNED FOR REDUCTION OF ENVIRONMENTAL POLLUTION WWW.MONTSAME.MN PUBLISHED:2019/02/20      8 MONGOLIA SAYS IT EARNS OVER 169 MLN USD FROM COAL EXPORTS TO CHINA IN JAN WWW.HELLENICSHIPPINGNEWS.COM  PUBLISHED:2019/02/20      9 RUSSIA’S GAZPROM TO START CHINA GAS PIPELINE BY DECEMBER 1 WWW.RT.COM PUBLISHED:2019/02/20      10 MONGOLIA'S FOREIGN TRADE UP 41.6 PCT IN JAN. WWW.XINHUANET.COM PUBLISHED:2019/02/20      УГСАРМАЛ ОРОН СУУЦНЫ ДУЛААЛГАД ЗОРИУЛЖ 12.7 ТЭРБУМ ТӨГРӨГИЙГ УЛСЫН ТӨСВӨӨС ГАРГАХААР БОЛЖЭЭ WWW.IKON.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/21     2018ОНД ЦАГААН БУДАА , ЭЛСЭН ЧИХЭР , ТАХИАНЫ МАХНЫ ИМПОРТ 24-32 ХУВИАР ӨСЖЭЭ WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN  НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/21     ДЦС IV: 2018 ОНД НИЙТ АШИГ 4.7 ДАХИН ӨСӨЖ , 4.48 ТЭРБУМ ТӨГРӨГ БОЛСОН WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN  НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/21     ТУСГАЙ САНГУУДААС ГАРГАСАН ЗЭЭЛИЙН 100 ОРЧИМ ТЭРБУМ ТӨГРӨГ ХУГАЦАА ХЭТЭРСЭН ӨР БОЛЖЭЭ WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN  НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/21     МОНГОЛ УЛСЫН БОРЛУУЛАЛТЫН МЕНЕЖЕРҮҮДИЙН ИНДЕКС СҮҮЛИЙН 12 САРД АНХ УДАА УНАЛТЫН БҮСЭД ШИЛЖИВ WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/21     2018 ОНД ХАМГИЙН ЧИНЭЭЛЭГ БҮЛГИЙН ХЭРЭГЛЭЭ ЯДУУ БҮЛГИЙНХНЭЭС 5.1 ДАХИН ИХ БАЙВ WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/21     ХОВД ГОЛД ОСОЛДСОН 6 НАСТАЙ ХҮҮХДИЙН ЭРЛИЙГ ЗОГСООЛОО WWW.MONTSAME.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/21     ДБНХ-НООС П.ОРХОНЫ БАРИЛДАХ ЭРХИЙГ 4 ЖИЛЭЭР ХАСАВ WWW.MONTSAME.MN  НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/21     УУХҮЯ: II САРЫН БАЙДЛААР НИЙТ НУТАГ ДЭВСГЭРИЙН 5.6 ХУВЬД АШИГТ МАЛТМАЛЫН ЛИЦЕНЗ ОЛГОСОН WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN  НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/20     300 ОРТОЙ ТӨРӨХ ЭМНЭЛГИЙН БАРИЛГЫН АЖИЛ 80%-Д ХҮРЧ ГУРАВДУГААР САРЫН 1-НЭЭС ДУЛААНД ХОЛБОГДОХООР БОЛЖЭЭ WWW.IKON.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/20    

Events

Name organizer Where
“Doing business with Mongolia”, “UK Investors show” бизнес хөтөлбөр March 27-April 02. 2019 ЛОНДОН ХОТ, ИХ БРИТАНИ Mongolian Business Database London UK
SYMPOSIUM ON GLOBAL MARKETS Nationalism and Protectionism: The United States in the International Arena June 17-18, 2019 The Center for American and International Law Plano, Texas, USA The Center for American and International Law (CAILAW) Plano Texas June 17-18 2019
"Open to Export" ICC WTO International business award ICC WTO London

NEWS

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SpaceX unveils plans to send two tourists around moon in 2018 www.france24.com

SpaceX said Monday two private citizens have paid money to be sent around the Moon in what would mark the farthest humans have ever traveled to deep space.

The United States has not sent astronauts to the Moon since NASA's Apollo missions of the 1960s and '70s.

"We are excited to announce that SpaceX has been approached to fly two private citizens on a trip around the moon late next year," said a statement by CEO Elon Musk.

"This presents an opportunity for humans to return to deep space for the first time in 45 years and they will travel faster and further into the solar system than any before them."

The tourists, who were not named, "have already paid a significant deposit," Musk's statement added.

Health tests and training are to begin this year.

"Other flight teams have also expressed strong interest and we expect more to follow. Additional information will be released about the flight teams, contingent upon their approval and confirmation of the health and fitness test results," Musk said.

The tourists will ride aboard the California-based company's Crew Dragon capsule, which is scheduled for its first unmanned test flight later this year.

It is based on the design currently used to send cargo to the International Space Station, with upgrades to allow for human transport.

The capsule will launch atop SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket, which is scheduled for its first test flight this summer.

The rocket "will be the most powerful vehicle to reach orbit after the Saturn V moon rocket," Musk said.

"At five million pounds of liftoff thrust, Falcon Heavy is two-thirds the thrust of Saturn V and more than double the thrust of the next largest launch vehicle currently flying."

Musk -- who co-founded PayPal and also heads Tesla Motors -- is seen as the emerging leader of the modern commercial space industry, after becoming the first to send a private cargo carrier to the International Space Station in 2010.

The 45-year-old native of South Africa is a long-time space enthusiast, who is also outspoken about his vision to colonize Mars.

Last September he unveiled ambitious plans to establish a colony on the Red Planet by sending 100 humans at a time -- starting in 2024.

SpaceX also plans to send an unmanned Dragon cargo capsule as early as 2018.

In the same month Blue Origin, founded by Amazon chief Jeff Bezos, unveiled plans to build a massive rocket called New Glenn to launch people to space, but the company's president said going to Mars could take decades.

And on the space tourism front, Virgin Galactic, led by British billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson, has set a goal of taking people to the edge of space, more than 62 miles (100 kilometers) above Earth.

Despite the hefty $250,000 price tag, more than 600 would-be astronauts have already signed up, including actors Leonardo DiCaprio and Ashton Kutcher.

Meanwhile, if all goes as planned, lift-off for Musk's two moon tourists will occur next year from the same launch pad near Cape Canaveral that the Apollo program used for its lunar missions.

Musk posted the company's announcement on Twitter by stating: "Fly me to the moon ... Ok."

(AFP)

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Alibaba buys 25 percent stake in Haier multimedia company www.chinadaily.com

Qingdao Haier Co Ltd-the listed arm of Haier Group, China's biggest home appliance supplier-said it will join hands with e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd to own stakes in Haier's multimedia company.

Haier said its multimedia company, which is positioned as an operating platform of Haier's TV business, planned a share transfer and capital boost.

Under the terms of the deal Qingdao Haier will own 20.2 percent in the multimedia firm, paying 525 million yuan ($76.4 million), while Alibaba will own 25.25 percent after the transaction, paying 657 million yuan ($95.6 million).

A statement released late Monday by Qingdao Haier said the move would help build up Haier's smart home product offering and secure more television users.

The announcement said Haier and Alibaba would combine the strengths of both companies to launch innovative products and cater to market demands.

Alibaba said with the further integration of the real economy and new technology, the two sides would strengthen their cooperation to promote intelligent home appliance products and services.

Last year revenues of Haier's multimedia firm totaled 6.7 billion yuan ($975 million), with net profit of 113 million yuan.

"Haier hopes to beef up the content development of its TV business through cooperation with internet giant Alibaba and as a traditional company to explore a new development mode," said Zhang Yanbin, assistant director of All View Cloud, a Beijing-based consultancy specializing in home appliances.

"Haier attaches great importance to its TV business. The operation will make the two sides make full use of their resources and complement each other with advantages."

Zhang said internet TV brands such as LeEco and. Xiaomi Corp had strengths in TV content and value-added services, which traditional home appliance manufacturers could learn from.

Founded in 1984, Haier has been the household electrical appliances brand with the highest sales volumes in the global market for several consecutive years, according to consultancy Euromonitor International.

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Softbank to invest in US satellite business www.nhk.or.jp

Japanese telecom firm Softbank Group plans to become the largest stockholder of a firm to be formed through the merger of a US startup group and a global satellite operator.

Softbank executives say the startup group it backs, One-Web, agreed to the merger with satellite operator Intelsat.

They also say Softbank will invest 1.7 billion dollars in the combined company to take a nearly 40 percent voting stake.

Softbank said in December that it would invest a billion dollars in One-Web. The venture is to launch small satellites orbiting Earth at low altitudes to provide Internet connectivity.

Intelsat operates a worldwide satellite communication network for the broadcasting and telecom industries.

Softbank Group Chairman and CEO Masayoshi Son says the latest plan is in line with his firm's strategy of investing in innovative technology.

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China closing 150 gold mines www.mining.com

China's official news agency Xinhua is reporting that the country is set increase annual gold output to 500 tonnes by the end of the decade from around 450 tonnes currently.

China overtook South Africa as the number one miner of the metal in 2007. China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) expects gold output to grow by an average 3% annually through 2020.

Last year output rose less than 1% to 453.5 tonnes according to the ministry:

[The MIIT] aims to consolidate and upgrade the industry by reducing the number of gold miners to around 450 from more than 600, and shutting down 40 tonnes of outdated production capacity by the end of 2020.
Last year, global gold demand increased 2% to 4,309 tonnes, the highest since 2013, but the improvement was mainly on the back of investment purchases in the West as physical demand from top consumers China and India fell data from the World Gold Council showed.

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China’s coal consumption keeps plummeting, down for 3rd year in a row www.mining.com

China's coal consumption dropped in 2016 for a third year in a row, official data showed Tuesday, as the world's top consumer and producer of the fossil fuel continued tightening environmental rules aimed at dealing with pollution.

Coal accounted for 62% of the nation’s energy mix last year, down from 64% in 2015, and it is expected to fall further under the current five-year plan of capping it at 55% by 2020, the National Bureau of Statistics said.

Coal accounted for 62% of the nation’s energy mix last year, down from 64% in 2015.
Last month, Beijing resumed efforts to cut local coal mines’ output by 800 million tonnes a year until 2020. Authorities have also made public its intention of modernizing China’s coal-fired power plants by the end of the decade in an effort to cut “polluting” emissions by 60%.

The government also aims to add over 20 million kilowatts of installed wind power and more than 15 million kilowatts of installed photovoltaic power by the end of the decade, which underlines the country’s shift towards renewable energy.

Consumption of renewable sources, in fact, went up by 1.7% last year when compared to 2015, accounting for 19.7% of the country’s total energy mix.

Today’s figures suggest that China's CO2 emissions may drop by as much as 1% in 2017, Greenpeace said in a statement, adding it would be the "fourth year in a row of either zero growth or a decline" for the nation.

They also reinforce "China's growing status as a global climate leader, and sends a strong signal to US President Trump that his dirty energy agenda will send the American economy in the wrong direction," Greenpeace said.

According to the environmental campaigner group, China is virtually certain to overachieve its 2020 climate targets and could be on track to a much earlier CO2 peak if the rapid shift to clean energy and away from over-reliance on polluting industries continues.

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Beijing cracks down on ‘ant moving’ underground banks www.rt.com

Chinese regulators said they’ve broken up an underground banking operation that conducted $3.7 billion in illegal foreign currency transfers. The move comes as Beijing attempts to curb massive capital flight.
The State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) said it had investigated six companies suspected of illegal FX transfers in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen.

According to the regulators, other firms were found to have used false documentation and fabricated trades to transfer money out of the country.

The authorities in particular cracked down on 'ant moving' strategies whereby large sums of money were transferred out of China in small portions to avoid detection.

"Underground banking has become a major channel used for money laundering and illegal cross-border transfer of funds," said the Ministry of Public Security.

"It creates an enormous black hole of funds, severely disrupting normal financial supervision and endangering the economic safety of the nation," it added.

Last year Chinese police busted more than 380 underground banks, involving more than $131 billion (900 billion yuan). More than 800 suspects were arrested.

Chinese regulators have intensified their fight against irregularities in the foreign exchange market, following the acceleration of capital flight.

The government has taken restrictive measures limiting cash withdrawals abroad as foreign exchange reserves unexpectedly fell below the $3 trillion level in January for the first time in nearly six years.

Chinese nationals have been moving their money offshore over fears of a weakening economy and with confidence that investments were safer outside the country.

To bolster the bond market and attract more foreign investment SAFE allowed foreign investors in the country’s interbank bond market to trade derivatives for the first time.

The head of SAFE Pan Gongsheng said this week China's foreign exchange market was relatively stable and cross-border capital flows were becoming more balanced.

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India's GDP expands 7% in Q3 www.asia.nikkei.com

NEW DELHI -- India's economy grew a surprising 7% in the October-December quarter despite the government scrapping high-value bank notes that constituted 86% of all cash in circulation.

Gross domestic product grew at a slightly slower pace in the third quarter of the fiscal year that began in April 2016 compared with the 7.4% uptick in the July-September period and the 7.2% growth in the previous quarter, showed data released by the Central Statistics Office on Tuesday.

The CSO also retained its full-year growth forecast of 7.1%, against 7.9% in the financial year that ended in March 2016. It recently upgraded the country's GDP growth for the previous fiscal year from an earlier estimate of 7.6%.

Tuesday's numbers came as a surprise as many analysts had expected the third quarter expansion to be below 6.5%, especially because the demonetization drive appeared to have hit consumption and business activity. A Reuters poll of economists had projected December-quarter GDP growth at 6.4%, while the State Bank of India's research department expected it to be 5.8%.

However, analysts found it strange that the CSO data showed 10% growth in private consumption in the quarter, the first such double-digit growth in India under the Modi government.

"What is important to note is that the agriculture sector has shown very robust growth at 6%," Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das told reporters. Manufacturing growth at 8.3%, unaffected by demonetization, "is again very, very satisfying," he added, commenting on the CSO data.

The third-quarter GDP figure also means that India remains the fastest-growing major economy in the world, surpassing China's 6.8% growth in October-December.

At a media briefing by chief statistician TCA Anant, reporters wondered whether the impact of demonetization was factored into the third-quarter estimates.

"As of now, the data which is available has been captured in these estimates," Anant responded.

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Why does Saudi Arabia invest in Southeast Asia? www.bbc.com

Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak has announced that Saudi Arabia is investing $7bn (£5.6bn) in an oil refinery in the country, a project that will be set up by Malaysian oil company Petronas.
The investment is the first deal to be signed during Saudi monarch King Salman's Asian tour, and is expected to help boost profits at Petronas, which has been struggling with low oil prices for the past few years.
The visit is the first by a Saudi king to Malaysia in more than a decade, but the ties between the two nations run deep.
The Saudi connection came up in Malaysian politics as recently as last year, when Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak said that the $681m found in his personal bank account was a gift from the royal family, and not money embezzled from funds linked to the state investment fund 1MDB.
The Malaysian anti-corruption commission cleared Mr Najib of all wrongdoing. However, his critics say the Saudi Arabian excuse is just a convenient cover - and several international investigations into the matter continue.

Meanwhile, King Salman is expected to head to Indonesia, Japan, Brunei and China as part of his tour of the region.
But behind the cheque book diplomacy is the kingdom's desire to extend its influence in the region and attract Asian investors to Saudi Arabia.
Five reasons why Saudi Arabia is investing in Asia:
1. Scratching backs: Saudi Arabia is looking for ways to diversify its economy and reduce its dependence on oil. The kingdom has been hit by the twin challenges of trying to reform its economy at a time when it has been losing money from falling oil prices.
Investing in nations such as Malaysia may not yield much in terms of reciprocal investment, but watch out for any announcements when King Salman is in China and Japan. Riyadh has already invested in a $45bn technology fund with Japanese firm Softbank, and, according to analysts, the Saudis are looking for investments in logistics, infrastructure and technology from Tokyo and Beijing.
2. Keeping customers: It's not just about bringing investment into Saudi Arabia - it's also about maintaining business in Asia for Saudi crude. The big prize is China - which has overtaken the US as the world's biggest importer of oil. Data from 2014 shows that it sources most of its energy needs from the Arab kingdom.
But Russia and Iran are fast gaining ground, and China has been investing in oil fields in both nations. Riyadh will be keen to ensure that it remains the top supplier for Beijing.
3. Potential investors: Saudi Aramco, the Arab kingdom's state-run oil firm, is heading for a public share sale in 2018. According to reports this would be the world's biggest share flotation, although there has been some doubt cast on the valuations.
Nevertheless, this trip is very much about drumming up interest from Asian investors into buying a 5% stake in Saudi Aramco. There has also been talk of an Asian share listing, although that has yet to be confirmed.
4. Don't cry for me Washington: The US has traditionally been Saudi Arabia's most powerful ally, both in terms of trade and politics. But Donald Trump's recent anti-trade stance may have unnerved some in the kingdom, which could explain why a trip to Asia was planned before one to Washington.
Reaching out to Muslim majority nations such as Indonesia and Malaysia makes sense for the Saudis as it won't just be conversations about investment in physical infrastructure - but also about investing in religious pilgrimages and schools.
5. Investment extends Islamic influence: Traditionally Saudi aid and investment into Malaysia and Indonesia has come through the Saudi government, religious charities and foundations. But in recent years, there's been growing concern in some quarters over the resultant increase in Wahhabism in South East Asia, at a time when the region is going through what some have termed an Islamic revival.
In Indonesia, human rights groups have pointed to the funding of ultra-orthodox clerics in mosques who often have views that are at odds with the archipelago's interpretation of Islam.
In Malaysia, Marina Mahathir, the daughter of Malaysia's former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad, has said that Malays are losing touch with their identity and in danger of undergoing an "Arab colonisation" - in the way they dress, speak and practise their faith.
Saudi Arabia may be keen to deflect this criticism: note that the trip also includes a stop in Indonesia's predominantly Hindu island of Bali.

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Canada’s Saskatchewan and Manitoba are the world's new top mining destinations www.mining.com

Two Canadian provinces — Saskatchewan and Manitoba — are the world’s top two most attractive mining investment destinations, displacing Western Australia from the first to the third place, the latest annual global survey of mining executives released Tuesday by the Fraser Institute shows.

According to Canada’s policy think-tank’s Annual Survey of Mining Companies, the other seven jurisdictions that currently attract the most investors to their resources sector are the US state of Nevada, Finland, the Canadian province of Quebec, the US state of Arizona, Sweden, Ireland, and the Australian state of Queensland, in that other.

Within Canada, Saskatchewan remains the top-ranked province, though Quebec is showing clear signs of improvement. It now ranks third in the country and 6th globally — up from 8th spot last year — and is the only other Canadian jurisdiction in the top 10 worldwide for overall investment attractiveness.

Canada’s Saskatchewan and Manitoba are the world's new top mining destinations

Saskatchewan's leading position can be partially explained by its richness of mineral reserves, coupled with competitive tax regimes, efficient permitting procedures and certainty surrounding environmental regulations, said Kenneth Green, senior director of the Fraser Institute’s energy and natural resource studies and co-author of the survey.

Chile, until recently an undisputed miners' darling, tumbled in the rankings from the 11th place to the 39th position, ranking now way below Peru.
The opposite can be said of two of Canada’s other large jurisdictions — British Columbia and Ontario — which dropped in this year’s rankings. Internationally, Ontario places 18th (down three spots from last year) and B.C. ranks 27th, more than ten places lower than its 2015 position (18th).

When it comes to Latin America, the survey — which ranked 104 jurisdictions around the world based on geologic attractiveness and the extent government policies encourage or deter exploration and investment — shows some surprises.

Chile, until recently an undisputed miners' darling, tumbled in the rankings from the 11th place it held in 2015 to the 39th position and currently ranks below Peru, which occupies the 28th place.

While it’s difficult to single out what caused Chile’s big drop in the ranking, Taylor Jackson, senior policy analyst with the Fraser Institute and co-author of the study, noted that respondents seemed concerned about the country’s tougher and more uncertain environment protection rules. They also appeared more critical of Chile’s geological potential.

Argentina continued to fall in the eyes of mining investors, with five provinces now at the very bottom of the ranking. Two of them — Jujuy and Neuquen — are now ranked even below Venezuela.

In contrast, Africa continued to better its performance, a trend that began in 2012, buoyed by Ivory Coast (17th), Botswana (19th) and Ghana (22nd). As a region, Africa now ranks ahead of Oceania, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean and Argentina for its investment attractiveness.

Permit times

The Fraser Institute also released a separate study examining issues surrounding the exploration permitting process.

Canadian provinces grant the necessary permits to explorers faster than in other international jurisdictions.
It found that, overall, Canadian provinces grant the necessary permits to explorers faster than in other international jurisdictions.

But there is still room for improvement, the report notes, especially in the Territories and BC, with Canada’s most westerly province performing worse than Ontario and Quebec when it comes to waiting times, transparency of the permitting process, and the confidence that explorers have that they will receive their permits at all.

“Time is money, and if permit approval times are unnecessarily long or lack transparency, confidence plummets, overall costs increase and investors will take their money elsewhere,” concludes Green.

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Russia Predicts 2% GDP Growth in 2017 www.themoscowtimes.com

The Russian government expects the country's gross domestic product (GDP) to grow by 2 percent in 2017, pulling the country out of economic recession.

Maxim Oreshkin, Russia's Minister of Economic Development, said that the forecast was based on oil prices rising 0.6 percent from an average of $40 per barrel. He said that the government's full GDP report would be available next month.

"In 2016, growth was concentrated in certain industries, such as agriculture. In 2017, we expect that growth will continue and start to affect the consumer sector,” Oreshkin said. He told investors at a forum in the Russian city of Sochi that the changes would allow the economy to "breathe more freely, to invest more and to grow more."

Last year, the International Monetary Fund forecast that Russia's GDP would grow by 1.1 percent in 2017 and 1.2 percent in 2018.

The World Bank also predicted growth of 1.5 percent growth over the next 12 months, largely boosted by rising oil prices.

Russia's economy contracted by 3.7 percent in 2015, largely thanks to falling oil prices and the impact of international sanctions linked to the Ukrainian crisis.

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