|“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|
About 60,000 visas were revoked under U.S. President Donald Trump's executive order temporarily halting immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries, the State Department said on Friday, in one of several government communications clarifying how the order is being rolled out.
The revocation means the government voided travel visas for people trying to enter the United States but the visas could be restored later without a new application, said William Cocks, a spokesman for consular affairs at the State Department.
"We will communicate updates to affected travelers following the 90-day review," he said.
Earlier news reports, citing a government attorney at a federal court hearing, put the figure at more than 100,000 visas.
The government issued over 11 million immigrant and non-immigrant visas in fiscal year 2015, the State Department said.
The immigration executive order signed by Trump a week ago temporarily halted the U.S. refugee program and imposed a 90-day suspension on people traveling from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. Trump said the measures would help protect Americans from terrorist attacks.
Under President Barack Obama, Trump's predecessor, the United States added those seven countries as "countries of concern" under its visa waiver program, effectively toughening U.S. visa procedures for individuals who visited those places during the past five years.
Trump's executive order was at least in part informed by those restrictions. The new president, who took office on Jan. 20, went further by temporarily barring passport holders from those seven countries.
The State Department first issued the guidance about revoking the visas on Jan. 27, the day Trump signed his executive order, according to a memo filed in a court case in Massachusetts.
But confusion about the roll out of the order sparked protests at airports across the country where people had been detained and led to a wave of lawsuits filed by individuals, states and civil rights groups.
To further clarify how the order should be applied, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) sent out a letter to all of its employees on Feb. 2, according to a copy of the memo seen by Reuters.
The memo said the agency was continuing to process all applications and petitions for people inside the United States regardless of their country of origin. It also said all applications for permanent residency and adjustment of status can move forward.
USCIS said they could not discuss internal employee communications.
The Department of Homeland Security had earlier clarified, after some initial back-and-forth, that the order would not apply to green card holders. Also people from the seven countries who hold dual citizenship are allowed to enter the United States on the passport of a non-restricted nation when eligible, according to Feb. 2 guidance posted by U.S. Customs and Border Protection's website....
54TH ANNUAL ACADEMY OF AMERICAN AND INTERNATIONAL LAW (Save the date) www.mongolianbusinessdatabase.com
May 21 - June 23, 2017
The Center for American and International Law | Plano, Texas USA
Registrations are now being accepted for the 2017 Academy of American and International Law, which will be held May 21 - June 23 in Plano, Texas.
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This question is answered in the 2017 Academy Brochure, but we also want to share the answers of some of our recent alumni:
Mary Hennessy, Gordon Dadds, United Kingdom
“The Academy gave me a wonderful opportunity to learn from some of the best professors and legal practitioners in the U.S., as well as my classmates. I came home from Dallas feeling more motivated and confident, inspired by the wonderful people I had met.
The Academy was an invaluable opportunity to meet people from all over the world, many of whom will remain important contacts in my professional career and great friends for the rest of my life."
Rodrigo Lepervanche Rivero, EY Venezuela, Caracas, Venezuela
“The Academy was definitely a landmark for my personal and professional life. The experience helped me to understand the law from a worldwide perspective, by having the opportunity to engage with more than 60 lawyers from 25 different jurisdiction, and the opportunity to be taught by the best professors in the U.S..”
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"The 2016 Academy program was my personal best study experience. Not only because we learned lots about international related subjects with world-known teachers from some of the best U.S. universities, but also because of the people we met.
Meeting distinguished lawyers from all around the world gave me perspective, interaction and friends for life. I totally recommend the program, the experience, and Dallas itself. Take the chance and the opportunity and you will never regret it."
Please join us for a world-class learning experience. You will:
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ULAANBAATAR Mongolia is promoting macroeconomic policies aimed at producing years of stable annual growth of 6-8%, Finance Minister Choijilsuren Battogtokh told the Nikkei Asian Review.
The Mongolian economy roared ahead at a world-beating 17.3% in 2011. Just five years later, however, growth nearly ground to a halt, expanding a mere 0.3%, according to the Asian Development Bank.
The economy has been "unpredictable and high-risk [for investors]," Choijilsuren told the NAR in mid-January. But "at a 6-8% pace, we can constantly grow for at least 10 years." During that period, the country can "regain investors' confidence and establish a ... foundation for development," he said.
Mongolia's growth target is in line with advice from the International Monetary Fund, with which the country is negotiating a financial aid package. Choijilsuren said his government and the IMF will likely agree on the basic conditions by Feb. 15. Such conditions typically include fiscal and monetary austerity measures and structural reforms.
In November, the Mongolian parliament approved the 2017 budget, which calls for slashing spending by over 10% from 2016. Choijilsuren said those reductions will continue in 2018, and that the government will further trim the 2017 budget if the talks with the IMF suggest it is necessary.
"Of course people don't like budget cuts," Choijilsuren said. "But our [ruling Mongolian People's Party] is not working for election votes but for the nation," he said, a reference perhaps to populist spending measures of previous governments that have caused the fiscal deficit to balloon to 18% of gross domestic product.
The roller-coaster ride that was the commodity supercycle sent Mongolia's resource-driven economy pinwheeling from 17% growth in 2011 to an external debt crisis just a few years later. But with commodity prices rebounding and the IMF swooping in for an imminent bailout, many feel the worst may be over. Can the country -- so ripe with potential -- transform this moment into the lasting stability its people and businesses have waited so long for?
ULAANBAATAR At about 4 o'clock on a mid-January afternoon, the temperature in the Mongolian capital was lower than minus 30 C. In spite of the cold, people could be seen lugging containers of water from a roadside water station to their homes in one of the many ger districts on the outskirts of the city.
These districts are home to more than 700,000 residents, most living in poverty. The districts lack water supply systems, leaving residents no choice but to buy well water at nearby stations for 1 tugrik (0.04 cents) per liter.
BUILT-IN PROBLEMS Ger districts sprang up in post-communist Mongolia when new land laws automatically entitled each citizen to a free 700-sq.-meter plot of land in designated urban areas. This prompted massive urban migration starting in the late 1990s by former nomadic herders looking for better education for their children and a more modern lifestyle. They brought their traditional tents, or gers, onto their plots, and settled down.
The land policy, however, was not accompanied by an urban development policy. Neither the national nor the city government has provided any infrastructure in ger districts other than electric power. Consequently, most of the people living in these neighborhoods -- more than one-fifth of the country's total population of 3.1 million -- have no plumbing, sewage, paved streets or schools.
At the edge of one ger district is a small supermarket. The 53-year-old store manager, who calls herself Tugszaya, said 8 out of 10 of the adults she knows have lost their low-skill jobs, such as load handling or truck driving, during the last few years.
"Most people have stopped eating luxury stuff like cakes even for the year-end holidays," she said. "They are cutting [back] on even basic foods to buy fuel for their stoves. Look how few shoppers we have."
One reason for this is the lack of education needed to secure better, more stable jobs. For ger districts lacking even schools for children, adult training centers for former herders remain a distant dream.
BIGGER PICTURE The lack of long-term planning and investment behind the trouble in the ger districts is reflected in the country's economic structure.
The mining sector accounted for as much as 25% of gross domestic product in 2015, coming in at $11.7 billion, while manufacturing accounted for just 9%. Copper, gold, iron ore and other metals made up 67% of exports that year, while coal and crude oil made up 23%.
Diversification is the obvious answer to Mongolia's economic woes, but this also requires broad-based, long-term efforts, such as promoting foreign investment, investing in education, and providing research funding.
Another clear risk to the country's economy is its extreme dependence on China as a trade partner. China took in 83% of Mongolia's exports in 2015 and accounted for 36% of imports to the country. A slight slowdown in demand or supply in this neighboring giant could easily play havoc with the Mongolian economy.
To diversify its trade partners, Mongolia needs to not only diversify its industry, but to also invest more in logistics infrastructure to improve connectivity with other countries.
The first freight train from China to the U.K. departed on New Year's Day from the eastern city of Yiwu and arrived in London later in January without having passed through Mongolia. Such a route would only have been an option if the country had an adequate rail system in place.
The obvious lack of social investment does not, however, mean that the Mongolian government has been short of funds.
WASTED OPPORTUNITIES Of the last 17 years, the country has achieved double-digit real annual GDP growth in five years and above-5% growth in six others, buoyed by commodity price upcycles. GDP per capita grew eightfold from 2000 to $3,967 in 2015, though this was down from a peak of $4,400 in 2013.
General government revenue grew from less than 500 billion tugrik in the early 2000s to over 5 trillion tugrik in recent years.
On top of that, the government and government-affiliated entities raised billions of dollars through foreign-currency bond issuances and international loans, especially starting from 2011, even though the country had just turned to the International Monetary Fund to rescue it from the 2008 financial crisis. Public external debt mushroomed from about $2.5 billion, or 31% of GDP, at the end of 2010 to $8.5 billion, roughly 85% of estimated GDP, in 2016.
So where has all the money gone? In a word, corruption.
For 70 years, Mongolia was a Soviet satellite ruled as a single-party state by the Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party. This communist leadership was toppled, and the country held its first democratic election in 1990.
Mongolia, in other words, is still a young democracy, and elections have revolved largely around factional power struggles. Politicians eager to get elected are quick to promise voters direct, short-term economic benefits.
In the 2008 election campaign, for example, both the ruling Democratic Party and the opposition Mongolian People's Party promised cash handouts of 1 million to 1.5 million tugrik (roughly $406-$609) for "every Mongolian" as a share of the nation's mining revenue. The coalition government that eventually formed later announced a multiyear plan to give each citizen 1.5 million tugrik, which would theoretically cost 65% of GDP in 2008.
This universal cash handout was actually implemented from 2010 through 2012, adding to the fiscal deficit and eventually increasing the country's dependence on external debt.
A 2012 law banned election promises of cash handouts, but politicians have continued finding loopholes. One involved the government buying back shares in a national mining company that had previously been distributed to citizens.
Conflicts of interest are rife in Mongolian government. Finance Minister Choijilsuren Battogtokh, for example, owns the country's largest real estate development conglomerate, Khurd Group, and is believed to be one of the country's richest people. Byambatsogt Sandag, the justice and internal affairs minister, is the chief executive of a road construction company. Both of these companies are engaged in public projects.
"Ministers and government positions are lucrative businesses," said Batsuuri Haltar, a prominent independent economist based in Ulaanbaatar. "Especially if they have their own businesses, they can make a fortune during their tenure."
Such widespread corruption has repeatedly disappointed foreign investors and aid donors.
A sovereign debt fund set up by the Development Bank of Mongolia in 2011, for example, attracted an over-subscription among foreign investors when it announced issuance of a five-year, $580 million bond the following year. The money was supposed to be invested in industrial zone development and other infrastructure projects under parliamentary supervision.
Around 2013, however, the chief executive of the DBM, who had been appointed by the Democratic Party, started using the fund without approval by the parliament. The Mongolian People's Party took the power in June, and he was arrested on charges of corruption in October.
The DBM bond is due on March 21. International lenders and aid donors are watching closely to see whether the Mongolian government, with assistance from the IMF, can make the payment or roll it over, or whether it will default.
ON THE BRIGHT SIDE The picture might look bleak, but January brought some welcome news to the coldest capital city on earth: The economy may have bottomed out last year.
Nyamaa Buyantogtokh, Mongolia's state finance secretary, told the Nikkei Asian Review that the fiscal deficit for 2016 had ended up around 15% of GDP, less than an earlier projection of 18%, thanks to rebounds in commodities prices and production late last year.
General government revenue for 2016 is estimated to have reached 5.85 trillion tugrik, up a half trillion tugrik from the government's previous projection in September. The government managed to cut expenditures by more than 200 billion tugrik from the September projection to 9.52 trillion tugrik.
Gold and coal exports for November and December also turned out to be strong. Exports of copper, which saw a sudden price surge in November, were also robust in late 2016.
These positive surprises in commodity exports may result in the actual growth rate for 2016 coming in slightly better than the Asian Development Bank's latest estimate of 0.3%.
The Bank of Mongolia's tight monetary policy, especially after the general election in June, kept inflation in the latter half of 2016 in negative territory. Low inflation finally halted the tugrik's depreciation against major currencies, with the dollar exchange rate peaking just below 2,500 tugrik in December.
The Mongolian currency hit less than 1,200 to the dollar in spring 2011, the year the economy recorded a record-high 17% growth, and had been depreciating since.
While an improved commodities market provided a major tailwind for the economy, the government can also take some credit. The Mongolian People's Party has implemented a number of much-needed reforms. As a result, the IMF will likely agree to extend a second bailout package in less than a decade (the previous one was in 2009) by mid-February, according to sources close to the matter.
SECOND CHANCE So far so good this year. But the country still faces more than $2 billion in external sovereign debt reaching maturity within five years, and securing a real turnaround in the economy will require some fundamental changes.
Morgan Stanley economist Ruchir Sharma, in his book "The Rise and Fall of Nations," emphasizes the importance for emerging economies to develop less politically driven, more productive industries, such as information and communications technologies, manufacturing and retail. Fortunately for Mongolia, there are signs that these kinds of "good" industries are on the rise.
Uuganbaatar Altanchimeg, a 37-year-old computer scientist, returned to Ulaanbaatar in 2013 after working as a software engineer in Japan for six years. Last summer, he and another engineer who had also come back from Japan founded Bers Solution to develop and market portable equipment for quick diagnosis of diabetes.
Diabetes is the second most common cause of adult deaths in Mongolia, partly due to the scarcity of clinics and hospitals capable of diagnosis. The Bers product enables diagnosis in remote locations by sending patient data to a hospital in a major city.
Uuganbaatar said he hopes to "help the country develop the technology industry" by growing his startup into a midsize business. He plans to hire several new engineers and launch a few new development projects within a year or so. He said he is also thinking about venture-capital fund raising in the near future.
IT is just one of the many promising nonmining sectors in Mongolia.
Last September, Clean Energy Asia, a joint venture of Newcom of Mongolia and SoftBank Group of Japan, announced it plans to start commercial operation of a wind energy farm in the Mongolian Gobi Desert by the end of 2017, with financial support from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the Japan International Cooperation Agency.
SoftBank estimates that Mongolia has the potential to generate enough solar and wind power to meet Asia's entire demand for electricity due to its sunny and windy climate. The Japanese group has launched a joint feasibility study with Chinese, South Korean and Russian partners on the concept of an "Asia Super Grid" that would connect power sources in Mongolia with those in other countries across the region.
Mongolia's tourism industry also has room for growth, and its cashmere wool producers are exploring ways to move higher up the value chain in the fashion industry.
Khashchuluun Chuluundorj, an economics professor at the National University of Mongolia, emphasizes the potential for the private sector to drive economic development. "If the international level of transparency and discipline are put in place in both the government and private sector, the country should be able to proceed on a steadier growth path than in the past," he said.
Mongolia missed its chance to secure stable growth during the last commodities upswings. But with resource prices once again rising, the government finally pushing for reform and the private sector poised for growth, this could be the second chance the country has been waiting for.
Additional reporting by contributing writer Khaliun Bayartsogt in Ulaanbaatar...
SEOUL (Reuters) -- Samsung Electronics Co Ltd may build a U.S. plant for its home appliances business, a person familiar with the matter said, the latest global firm to consider a response to criticism about imports from new U.S. President Donald Trump.
Specifics such as the amount the electronics giant might invest and where the new base could be located have yet to be decided, said the person, declining to be identified due to lack of authorisation to speak publicly on the matter.
The new U.S. administration has threatened an import tax while Trump has attacked some of the world's biggest companies for manufacturing abroad for U.S. consumers, stoking much alarm and triggering a rash of promises to invest more in the United States.
"Thank you, @samsung! We would love to have you!," Trump said on Twitter.
Samsung declined to comment on whether it has any specific plans to add production facilities in the U.S. but said it has already made significant investments in the country, including the $17 billion the firm has spent to date for its Austin, Texas, chip plant.
"We continue to evaluate new investment needs in the U.S. that can help us best serve our customers," it said in an email.
South Korean firms have not been singled out so far, but some have embarked on preemptive moves to ward off criticism. The Hyundai Motor Group said last month it plans to lift U.S. investment by 50 percent to $3.1 billion over five years.
LG Electronics Inc also announced in January that it will decide on whether to build a manufacturing base in the United States within the first half of the year and warned of risks from the Trump administration's trade policies.
Plants for assembling appliances would not pose a financial burden for the likes of Samsung or LG, said Jay Yoo, an analyst at Korea Investment.
If a border tax was imposed, investing in plants would be essential if they wanted to remain competitive with rivals such as Whirlpool Corp that make appliances in the country.
The biggest social media IPO since Twitter is here.
Snap Inc., the parent company of Snapchat, filed paperwork on Thursday to raise $3 billion in its long-awaited initial public offering.
The tech company will only sell non-voting shares when it goes public. It will list on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol "SNAP."
The documents offer the clearest glimpse yet behind the curtain of one of tech's most secretive startups.
Snap claims 158 million daily users and said over 2.5 billion Snaps are created every day.
However, the young company warned that its popularity could plateau, hurting its business. It noted that user growth was "relatively flat" in the end of the third quarter. Snap blamed the decline in user growth on performance issues linked to new products and updates.
Snap also continues to struggle to make money -- and it signaled a profit may not be coming soon. The company suffered losses of $515 million in 2016, up from a loss of $373 million the year before.
"We have incurred operating losses in the past, expect to incur operating losses in the future, and may never achieve or maintain profitability," Snap said in the filing.
Not just that, but Snap acknowledged that "for all of our history, we have experienced net losses and negative cash flows."
Snap also warned about the impact of higher expenses, especially legal and accounting costs that public companies deal with.
Snap's financial track record is already bringing unwanted comparisons to Twitter (TWTR, Tech30), which has failed to turn its strong brand recognition into reliable profits.
"To me, Snap is Twitter 2.0 -- a company with a good growth rate that is losing a ton of cash, coupled with a massive valuation," said Brian Hamilton, cofounder of private company analysis firm Sageworks.
Snap's corporate structure will allow its founders to exert enormous control over the company. The Class A shares being offered in the IPO have no voting rights, meaning they can't weigh in on key matters like who sits on the board, how much executives are paid and on potential mergers.
Founders Evan Spiegel and Robert Murphy will control much of Snap's Class C shares, which are granted 10 votes apiece. Class B shares will have one vote apiece, but it's not clear who holds those and they're not being offered in the IPO.
Wall Street competes intensely to get a piece of marquee IPOs like Snap's. That's why Snap's decision to list on the New York Stock Exchange is a big win for that iconic venue.
Morgan Stanley (MS), Goldman Sachs (GS) and JPMorgan Chase (JPM) also won bragging rights as the banks that are taking Snap public.
As is common, Snap listed a number of risk factors that could hurt the company's growth. One interesting risk: Snap warned that its lack of a designated headquarters may "negatively affect employee morale." Snap is based in Venice, California, but its offices are spread throughout the city, a setup the company said may limit social interaction and oversight of employees.
The company confidentially filed paperwork for an IPO before the presidential election. It took advantage of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups, or JOBS Act, which allows companies with less than $1 billion of annual revenue to file for IPOs in secret.
Snap makes money from an eclectic mix of sources, ranging from traditional video ads and sponsored location-based filters to physical products like smart sunglasses sold out of smiling vending machines and ice trays sold on Amazon (AMZN, Tech30).
The Snapchat app launched in 2011 and set itself apart from other messaging services with a focus on disappearing messages. It initially developed a reputation as a service for sending salacious pictures, but has since moved far beyond that.
Today, Snap defines itself as a "camera company." It sells Spectacles for recording videos and has built up its flagship app with augmented reality lenses that make sharing posts with friends more playful and engaging.
On any given day, you can flip through collections of posts from users attending the same event or find big name publishers like Vogue, National Geographic and CNN curating content specifically for Snapchat.
Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj made a statement on national security issue at the plenary meeting of the State Great Khural held on February 2. The statement was heard behind closed doors. The Parliament discussed the bill on revenue and expenditure of the National Treasury Fund under closed regime.
After the session transferred into an open regime, the parliament passed seven legal documents on final readings.
One of the bills passed were the amendments to the Entities’ Income Tax Law. The amendments suggested changes in favor of the companies, which are engaged in productions of food, clothing, construction materials and agricultural products and has annual sales income of less than MNT 1.5 billion. The entities that fall under the category will enjoy only 1 percent income tax between January 1 of 2017 and January 1 of 2021. In this way, the income tax rate is being cut by 90 percent.
The country’s economic growth has been slowing down and the unemployment rate has been increasing in the recent years. The majority of registered companies in Mongolia are running small and medium scale businesses.
The revised bill is expected to alleviate their tax burden and enable them to increase their investment, in order to accelerate the economic growth and reduce unemployment.