|Frontier's "Invest Mongolia Tokyo 2018"||Frontier Securities||Tokyo Japan|
|"Open to Export" ICC WTO International business award||ICC WTO||London|
Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ The Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) Board of Directors has approved USD 80 million loan to help transform ger areas in Ulaanbaatar into affordable, low-carbon, climate-resilient and livable eco-districts.
ADB will additionally administer a USD 95 million loan and a USD 50 million grant from the Green Climate Fund (GCF), as well as a USD 3 million sector grant from the High-Level Technology Fund (HLTF).
A third of Mongolia’s population live in urban ger areas, or settlements of low- and middle-income households. These districts suffer from poor sanitation, inadequate solid waste management, and limited water supply, which pose health and environmental hazards. A heavy reliance in these ger areas on coal and biofuels for heating and energy generates large carbon dioxide emissions and worsens air pollution, especially during winter.
“About 850 thousand people live in Ulaanbaatar’s ger areas and have poor access to urban services,” said ADB Senior Urban Development Specialist Mr. Arnaud Heckmann. “This project will improve the lives of around 100 thousand people, including 10 thousand direct beneficiary households that will have access to green housing units, by financing 20 new environmentally friendly districts with good services, green spaces, and access to shops and jobs.”
Incremental growth and migration are increasing the population living in these poor conditions because affordable housing options for low- and middle-income households are very limited. A 2016 survey by the Capital City Housing Corporation estimated housing demand at 150 thousand units, while available affordable housing stock is about 4000 units, with 60 percent of ger area residents willing to move to apartment units if acceptable and affordable solutions are proposed.
The project is a large-scale initiative to provide sustainable and comprehensive solutions to transform sub-standard, highly vulnerable, highly emitting, and polluting ger areas into affordable, climate-resilient and livable eco-districts.
The Ulaanbaatar Green Affordable Housing and Resilient Urban Renewal Sector Project will build 1,500 social housing units along with key infrastructure such as roads, water, sewerage, and heating pipes, as well as green houses for urban farming and public and green spaces; social and public services; and rooftop solar panels and a smart monitoring system for building performance and renewable energy control financed by the HLTF. The solar panels will produce about 40 percent of all electricity demand.
The project will also provide USD 75.7 million out of the GCF loan to the eco-district and affordable housing fund (EDAF) that will make long-term loans to commercial banks, which will be passed on to real estate developers to build an additional 8,500 homes—including 5,500 affordable and 3,000 market rate units—and commercial activities, and to provide low-cost mortgages. The loan to EDAF is expected to leverage around USD 300 million more in investments from developers, commercial banks and beneficiaries. The Asset Management Company of the Development Bank of Mongolia will manage EDAF on behalf of the Ministry of Finance. The GCF grant will be used to provide performance-based grants to qualified developers for climate change mitigation and adaptation features.
A key element of the project is the voluntary land swapping approach for implementing the eco-districts. Under this approach, households owning or renting a plot of land within the proposed eco-district perimeter can choose to participate or not on the mechanism. If they opt to participate, households will have access to a housing unit in the eco-district, through land and asset swaps, rent-to-own schemes, or affordable rental arrangements. If they choose not to participate, the eco-district design will be adjusted to avoid affecting the non-participating household. A community participation plan, which includes skills training and linkages with job opportunities for poor households, will also be implemented.
Institutional and policy improvements, meanwhile, will guide the transformational impacts of the project with respect to regulations, standards, and sector capacity for climate-responsive urban planning; increased performance, energy efficiency, and renewable energy in buildings; improved supply and access to low-carbon affordable housing; sustainable green housing finance; and eco-efficient urban services.
The project is expected to be completed by the end of 2026 and will cost a total of USD 570.1 million.
ULAN BATOR, Aug. 28 (Xinhua) -- Mongolia has implemented three measures to support the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), a senior foreign ministry official said.
The Mongolian Government introduced the measures in November. They are issuing multiple-entry visa for personnel involved in the BRI, allowing them to apply for visa at Mongolia's airport and border crossing, and providing quick access at international arrival and departure, Ariunbold Yadmaa, director general of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' consular department, told Xinhua on Monday.
Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi inspected the Belt and Road quick access at the Chinggis Khaan International Airport in Ulan Bator on Saturday during his visit to the country, marking the official launch of the three facilitation measures.
The Chinese Ambassador to Mongolia, Xing Haiming, said Mongolia is a natural partner of the BRI, supporting it and participating in it since it was proposed in 2013.
Mongolia has dovetailed its development strategy with the BRI, Xing said, adding that the initiative will promote Mongolia's development and China-Mongolia relations.
PETALING JAYA: The Johor Sultan was accorded a warm welcome inside a purpose-built traditional home or “ger”, pitched inside the State House in Ulaanbaatar.
Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar, who is on his first official visit to the country, called on Mongolian President Khaltmaagiin Battulga.
According to the Sultan’s official Facebook page, the Ruler was given a briefing by Mongolian government officials and major private developers on emerging business and investment opportunities, especially on real estate development, in the landlocked country.
He also took the opportunity to visit the Mongolian government-owned Gobi cashmere factory store in Ulaanbaatar, which is popular with tourists for its premier quality clothing.
Mongolia is the supplier of about 40% of the world’s raw cashmere, the country’s largest export after minerals.
The Sultan, who is accompanied by Tunku Panglima Johor Tunku Abdul Rahman, is leading a 15-member delegation.
Today, he is expected to visit Tsonjin Boldog, some 55km from Ulaanbaatar, where a 40m-high statue of Mongol Empire founder Genghis Khan on horseback is located.
Sultan Ibrahim’s visit to the country is at the invitation of the Mongolian president, which was conveyed to him by the Mongolian ambassador to Singapore, George Lkhagvadorj Tumur, in June.
Japanese carmaker Toyota is to invest $500m (£387m) in Uber and expand a partnership to jointly develop self-driving cars.
The firm said this would involve the "mass-production" of autonomous vehicles that would be deployed on Uber's ride sharing network.
It is being viewed as a way for both firms to catch up with rivals in the competitive driverless car market.
The deal also values Uber at some $72bn, despite its mounting losses.
That is up 15% since its last investment in May but matches a previous valuation in February.
According to a press release issued by the firms, self-driving technology from each company will be integrated into purpose-built Toyota vehicles.
Uber halts self-driving tests after death
Uber settles with Waymo on self-driving
The fleet will be based on Toyota's Sienna Minivan model with pilot trials beginning in 2021.
Shigeki Tomoyama, executive vice president of Toyota Motor Corporation, said: "This agreement and investment marks an important milestone in our transformation to a mobility company as we help provide a path for safe and secure expansion of mobility services like ride-sharing."
Both Toyota and Uber are seen as lagging behind in developing self-driving cars, as firms such as Waymo, owned by Alphabet, steam ahead.
Uber has also scaled back its self-driving trials after a fatal crash in Tempe, Arizona, in March, when a self-driving Uber SUV killed a pedestrian.
Since then, the ride-hailing giant has removed its autonomous cars from the road and closed its Arizona operations.
Uber's troubled self-driving car efforts are in need of external help, and this deal with Toyota might provide that expertise. It's of course a terrific opportunity for Toyota, too.
It was reported earlier this month that Uber was sinking around $1m-$2m into its autonomy work every single day. The results of that effort have not been something to be proud of - one fatal crash, one very expensive lawsuit, and not a lot of self-driving compared to the leader in this sector, Waymo.
Sharing the burden, and R&D cost, will delight Uber's investors as it aims for its initial public offering next year.
Meanwhile, shares in Toyota spiked at reports of the deal. Not surprising. Many analysts think personal car ownership will drop dramatically when the self-driving, ride-sharing future is fully upon us - with major companies instead purchasing enormous fleets of vehicles. Toyota, then, may have just secured its biggest ever customer.
The deal extends an existing relationship with Toyota, and furthers Uber's strategy of developing autonomous driving technology through partnerships.
The US firm has also teamed up with Daimler, which hopes to own and operate its own self-driving cars on Uber's network.
On Monday, Uber said it planned to focus more on its electric scooter and bike business in future, and less on cars - despite the fact it could hurt profits.
Revenue from its taxi business is rising but the cost of expansion into new areas such as bike sharing and food delivery has meant losses have grown rapidly....
The Sultan of Malaysian state of Johor Mr Sultan Ibrahim Almarhum Sultan Iskandar will visit Mongolia.
It is the Johor Sultan’s first official visit to Mongolia, which will not only enhance relations between Johor and Mongolia, but also explore investment opportunities for both sides, Bernama news agency reported.
Sultan Ibrahim’s visit to Mongolia is at the invitation of the President of Mongolia, Khaltmaa Battulga, which was conveyed to the sultan by Mongolian Ambassador to Singapore, George Lkhagvadorj Tumur, in June this year.
Report on the unified research of European Union funded project Trade Related Assistance for Mongolia (TRAM) was disclosed last week. According to Toby Philpott, Senior Private Sector Consultant and a key expert of TRAM, 60.8 percent of surveyees consisted of Mongolian private sector representatives considered the People’s Republic of China (PRC) as the best export market for Mongolia, followed up with European Union (34.2 percent). The project, which was launched on March 7, 2018, aims at strengthening the capacity to further develop appropriate export development strategies and translate this into actual implementation through inter-ministerial coordination and enhanced engagement with private sector organisations. A total of 132 respondents from the private sector participated in the study, of which 25 percent were from wool and cashmere industry, 9 percent - meat, 7 percent - tourism, 8 percent - leather, 7 percent - textiles and 9 percent from unidentified sectors. The research considered the general export markets, regulations, times spent on activities, exporters’ knowledge, skills and resources. Furthermore, 82 percent of the surveyees were exporters and the remaining consisted of entities interested in and/ or capable of exporting; however, the officials highlighted that the study could not identify the barriers to potential exporters. In terms of favorable export markets.
• 60.8 percent considered the PRC as the best export market; •
• 34.2 percent - European Union;
• 30 percent - Japan;
• 28.3 percent - Russian Federation and Eurasian Economic Union;
• 21.7 percent - Republic of Korea;
• 16.7 percent - North America.
The survey participants also considered that the freight forwarders fall short of consistency to a single country and suggested to provide such services. As for the export regulations and legal impact, 70.2 percent of the respondents answered the time spend on export documentations take faster than the forecast of World Bank’s Doing Business report. In terms of exporters’ knowledge, skills and resources, the majority (81 percent) highlighted the difficulty of employing skilled staff as they prefer higher salaries and larger entities. The same results were shown in the capacity to conduct cooperation agreement with foreign consumers, agencies and intermediaries. 82 percent of the surveyees have difficulties in concluding a contract with foreigners. As one of the main beneficiaries of TRAM, the Mongolian National Chamber of Commerce and Industry pointed out that the report is yet to be made public and several suggestions on regulations and services will be prepared soon.
The Ministry of Nature, Environment and Tourism, in collaboration with the SWITCH-Asia Sustainable Consumption and Production Facility program of the European Union, held a consultative meeting on Sustainable Consumption and Production.
The meeting's participants highlighted that there is a tendency to squander natural resources in Mongolia. According to a 2017 report published by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, Mongolia spends approximately 15 kilograms of natural resources for every 1 USD of goods produced.
Director of the ministry's Green Policy and Strategic Planning Department T. Bulgan said, “These figures illustrate Mongolia’s outdated technology development and extravagant spending. We spend five times as much as the average in the region, and 20 times as much as some developed nations.”
Due to an increasing number of natural disasters and accidents, personal accident insurance compensation saw an increase of 25.3 percent, reaching 15.8 billion MNT in the first seven months of 2018.
Additionally, demands for personal accident and property insurance have been increasing. As of July 2018, premiums for insurance companies hit 164 trillion MNT.
Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ A theoretical and practical training themed ‘Opportunities for introducing improved experience in procurement and production of sheep wool and wool products to Mongolia’ was held at the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Light Industry within the framework of ‘Support to employment creation in Mongolia’ project of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).
At the training, participants were introduced experiences of International marketing consultant Grant Winning, Australian herder Roven McDonald and former FAO Representative in Mongolia and Pakistan, international expert Kevin Gallagher. Mr. Grant, experienced in raising income through marketing sales of producers in the Asia-Pacific, accompanied the project team in Erdenet, Darkhan and Ulaanbaatar cities. They met with representatives of the domestic producers and identified some pressing issues regarding demand, requirements for raw materials and value-added network. Moreover, the project team met with the herders’ cooperative in Dundgobi aimag and evaluated activities of raw material processing and procurement.
During the training, Mr.Grant Winning shared his experience of increasing the cost of sheep wool in Balochistan province of Pakistan from USD 5 million up to USD 19.3 million by improving the skills and technologies of wool producers. Pakistan has similar climatic conditions and territory with Mongolia and practices pastoralism as well.
International experts emphasized that the important step in producing valuable wool is to keep the cattle in good condition, improve the quality of the wool, washing and wool shearing technologies and classified wool processing. In Pakistan, there are three main requirements for herders, including the sheared wool must be the same length, wool from top, back and belly must be separated and washed thoroughly. In order to meet the requirements Australian practice of washing the sheep before shearing and machine shearing was introduced to Pakistan. As a result, the wool yield from one sheep increased from 70 percent up to 90 percent and improved in quality.
Turkish educator Akçay in Mongolia applies to UN for urgent action against imminent abduction risk www.stockholmcf.org
Turkish educator Veysel Akçay, the general director of schools affiliated with the Gülen movement in Mongolia, who was abducted by the agents of Turkey’s notorious National Intelligence Organisation (MİT) on July 27, 2018, in front of his house in Ulan Bator, has called on the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNCHR) for urgent action against imminent abduction risk.
Writing a letter to UNCHR, Akçay’s lawyers requested on August 24, 2018, an urgent action to prevent his imminent illegal deportation to Turkey. The lawyers stated that the decisive actions by the UNHCR and the government of Mongolia on July 27, 2018, enabled timely release and prevented illegal transfer to Turkey of Mr. Veysel Akçay.
“We are, however, deeply concerned that initial encouraging steps by the government of Mongolia have been subsequently followed by actions, which have clearly exposed Mr. Akçay to the imminent risk of illegal transfer to Turkey. Namely, during this past week, Mr. Akçay was twice prevented from leaving Mongolia for safer third countries,” read the letter.
The lawyers added in their letter that “In addition, the authorities have also allegedly closed the investigation against the perpetrators of Mr. Akçay’s abduction on July 27, 2018. These actions are, inter alia, contrary to Mr. Akçay’s right to leave the country, including his country of residence, a right firmly embodied in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and the relevant United Nations human rights treaties, voluntarily accepted and into force in the Republic of Mongolia.”
They also requested UNCHR to urge the authorities in Mongolia strongly, to ensure that Mr. Veysel Akçay, a victim of abduction under distress and at risk of another imminent abduction in Mongolia, be allowed to travel to a safe third country and until then he and his family are provided protection, necessary to deter any renewed attempt against his right to liberty and security. The lawyers also urged the UNCHR to take immediate action.
In order to take Akçay to Turkey after his abduction, a private plane was held at Ulan Bator Airport for all day on July 27. Akçay, who has worked at educational institutions in Mongolia for 24 years, is reportedly one of only a few Turkish nationals awarded the Mongolian Friendship Medal bestowed by the Mongolian state.
After reactions from Mongolian public and media, Mongolian authorities did not allow MİT agents to transfer Akçay from Ulan Bator to Turkey. The private plane had to depart the airport without Akçay.
The Mongolian Foreign Ministry had issued a statement on the abduction of Akçay and underlined that such an unacceptable act would be “a violation of Mongolia’s sovereignty and independence” and that Mongolia would strongly object to it.
The Mongolian Foreign Ministry statement had indicated that Deputy Foreign Minister Batmunkh Battsetseg met with a Turkish diplomat over the abduction case.
Akçay is married to Meryem Akçay and they have four children. Akçay works as general manager of the Empathy Worldwide Educational Institution, which has run the Turkish-Mongolia Schools (four high schools, one international school, one-day care center) established by the Gülen movement 25 years ago.
MİT abducted journalist Yusuf İnan and Salih Zeki Yigit in Ukraine, and İsa Özdemir in Azerbaijan early in July. They were transported by MİT agents to İstanbul by private plane. MİT agents had abducted six teachers in Kosovo on March over their alleged links to the Gülen movement. In cooperation with Kosovar intelligence, MİT’s abduction of the teachers sparked widespread debate and drew ire from around the world.
According to a statement made by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, over 100 alleged members of the Gülen movement have been abducted by MİT agents abroad and brought back to Turkey as part of the Turkish government’s global manhunt.
“We have been watching these traitors for two years and have brought the leading figures of FETÖ to our country. Some of these cases were covered by the press, while others weren’t at the request of the countries involved. I can frankly say that more than 100 FETÖ-affiliated people have been brought to Turkey,” Çavuşoğlu said in an interview with Turkey’s pro-government CNN Türk.
“FETÖ” is a derogatory term coined by ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) led by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to refer to the Gülen movement.
Turkey survived a controversial military coup attempt on July 15, 2016, that killed 249 people. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement.
Fethullah Gülen, who inspired the movement, strongly denied having any role in the failed coup and called for an international investigation into it, but President Erdoğan — calling the coup attempt “a gift from God” — and the government initiated a widespread purge aimed at cleansing sympathizers of the movement from within state institutions, dehumanizing its popular figures and putting them in custody.
Turkey has suspended or dismissed more than 150,000 judges, teachers, police and civil servants since July 15. On December 13, 2017, the Justice Ministry announced that 169,013 people have been the subject of legal proceedings on coup charges since the failed coup.
Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu announced on April 18, 2018, that the Turkish government had jailed 77,081 people between July 15, 2016, and April 11, 2018, over alleged links to the Gülen movement....