|Frontier's "Invest Mongolia Tokyo 2018"||Frontier Securities||Tokyo Japan|
|"Open to Export" ICC WTO International business award||ICC WTO||London|
A total of 175 deals worth 2.9 trillion rubles (US$42.07 billion) were inked during the Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) in Vladivostok, according to Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yury Trutnev.
“These are not the final figures,” he said when announcing the results of the fourth annual EEF, which took place from September 11 to 13.
Trutnev, who is also the Presidential Plenipotentiary Envoy to the Far Eastern Federal District, noted the deals which were signed at previous forums, saying that in 2015 “the figure was 1.3 trillion rubles ($18.86 billion) while last year it rose to 2.5 trillion rubles ($36.27 billion).”
Among the deals agreed to was the establishment of a mining and industrial enterprise based in the Baimsky ore area in Chukotka. Asian investment GenFund will participate in Far East projects of Russian agroholding Rusagro and Nakhodka fertilizer plant.
According to the official, the important deals also include deliveries of 100 SSJ-100 aircraft to Aeroflot, and the construction of a terminal for Novatek LNG transshipment at Bechevinskaya Bay in Kamchatka.
“Within the framework of the forum 100 business events were held,” Trutnev said, noting that more than 6,000 delegates and 1,300 media representatives participated in the event.
The Eastern Economic Forum is an international forum held each year since 2015 to encourage foreign investment in the Russian Far East.
The theme of this year’s event – The Far East: Expanding the Range of Possibilities – reflects aspirations to see Russia more closely integrated into the economic network of the Asia-Pacific region.
China and Mongolia should develop bilateral ties in the right direction from a strategic and long-term perspective, understand and respect each other's core interests and deepen mutual trust, President Xi Jinping said when meeting with Mongolian President Khaltmaagiin Battulga in Vladivostok, Russia, on Wednesday.
China has always greatly valued its ties with Mongolia and will strengthen exchanges and cooperation and keep pushing for better and faster development of the ties, in line with the principle of amity, sincerity, mutual benefit, and inclusiveness and according to the policy of forging friendship and partnership with its neighbors, Xi said.
In addition, China respects the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Mongolia as well as the path of development that the Mongolian people choose for themselves, he said at the meeting on the sidelines of the fourth Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok, Russia.
The year 2007, according to traditional astrology, was the Year of the Golden Pig. It was believed that good fortune would come to families who gave birth during this auspicious time. Regardless of the role that astrology may have played, Mongolia’s annual birth rate grew from 50,000 in 2007 to nearly 90,000 in 2014, and Mongolia today is one of the youngest nations in the world, with young people age 14–34 comprising 35 percent of the population.
So, what does this mean? First, it means there is a pressing need for more kindergartens, more schools, and more jobs, demands that the country is striving to meet. But more importantly, this cohort of young people will have a dominant role in charting Mongolia’s course through the perilous social and economic challenges it faces today, including the nation’s high levels of corruption.
The Asia Foundation’s annual Survey on Perceptions and Knowledge of Corruption (SPEAK) shows clear cause for concern about the experiences shaping the outlook of this critical youth demographic. The research shows that most of Mongolia’s petty bribery takes place in public services such as health and education. In a multiyear average, at least a quarter of those who said they had paid a bribe reported that it was to teachers.
The hard fact is that many young people in Mongolia are growing up and being educated in an environment of corrupt and unethical behavior. The Foundation’s 2016 survey Transparency, Ethics, and Corruption in the Education Sector found that nearly 40 percent of parents had given small bribes to teachers in return for favors such as better treatment, preferred admission to better schools or classes, and higher grades. Alarmingly, when parents were asked about the results of these payments, 78 percent of those who wanted higher grades for their children said the payment or gift had achieved the desired result
When asked if this culture of bribery should be tolerated in the future, 92 percent of parents said no. But when asked if the situation was likely to change, they were pessimistic: 40 percent predicted it would worsen, and 30 percent said it would remain the same.
Low teacher salaries and limited funding for public schools are often cited as the cause of or excuse for this corruption and for not aggressively tackling the problem. But the cost of corruption is more than just the money paid by parents: it’s exposing young people to these practices, which affects their ethical worldview. It is the students who often handle the money in these transactions—they know the purpose of these payments and that they are benefiting from them.
It is not difficult to imagine how young people raised in such an environment might act when they make decisions relating to corruption in the future. According to last year’s SPEAK survey, zero tolerance of corruption is considerably less common among youth than among older age groups. For example, only 28 percent of those age 25–29 say they would not pay a bribe, compared to 51 percent of those 50–59 and 53 percent of those over 60 (figure 2).
So, how can we prevent our children and young adults from succumbing to this culture of corruption? What strategy or methodology should we follow to educate youth? Can we, and they, change the course of development towards a fair and just society in 10 or 20 years? These are the critical questions that Mongolian educational institutions, civil society organizations, and government agencies are trying to answer. The Asia Foundation’s Mongolia office has been engaged in anticorruption activities in the education sector since 2010, and with generous support from the Canadian government we launched a wider intervention campaign for secondary schools and colleges in 2016 as part of our 10-year-old governance and anticorruption program.
Under this initiative, several NGOs and local education authorities are conducting trainings and public-awareness events for hundreds of teachers and thousands of students at 130-plus public secondary schools and 60 colleges and universities in Mongolia’s capital city, Ulaanbaatar. At the same time, local NGOs are helping school administrations improve the transparency and accountability of their finances through active school-reform projects.
Despite years of work, clear signs of improvement in the corrupt culture of the education sector are yet to be seen. But educators and activists say these anticorruption efforts must continue to ensure long-term success.
The Asia Foundation’s Survey on Perception and Knowledge of Corruption (SPEAK) is conducted in partnership with Sant Maral Foundation. The survey, which uses random sampling methodology, has been conducted for the last 10 years. The Foundation’s 2016 survey Transparency, Ethics, and Corruption in the Education Sector was conducted in partnership with a local survey firm Statistical Institute for Consulting and Analysis.
Bayanmunkh Ariunbold is a governance project manager for The Asia Foundation in Mongolia. He can be reached at email@example.com. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and not those of The Asia Foundation....
President of Mongolia Battulga Khaltmaa, yesterday, met with the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin and President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the Eastern Economic Forum, which will conclude today. One key topic at both meetings was the establishment of natural gas pipes, to which the two leaders agreed. During the meeting with his Russian counterpart, President Battulga mentioned his previous proposal on renewing the 1993 Agreement on Friendly Relations and Cooperation between Mongolia and Russia and establishing it without a defined term, and discussed the spendings of Russian RUB 100 billion soft loan on the reform of the Ulaanbaatar Railway Joint Venture and in energy sector and deepening the cooperation between the National Security Councils of the two countries, as well as adopting a revised cooperation plan. President Battulga also said that Mongolia was studying the possibility of accessing a port in the Far East, while making certain proposals, including establishing a joint working group to intensify the implementation of the Trilateral Economic Corridor program.
Furthermore, he made a proposal to cooperate on the establishment of the Northeast Asian super grid for energy and handed over an economic feasibility study related to the proposal and the projects to the Russian President. Russian President Vladimir Putin emphasized his satisfaction with the positive indicators in all areas of bilateral cooperation and economic growth in recent years and expressed interest to further intensify bilateral cooperation in agriculture, railway, and defense sectors. He then reiterated his support for the proposal of President Battulga on building the natural gas pipes between Russia and China via Mongolia. President Vladimir Putin said that the RUB 100 billion soft loan to Mongolia, which is currently under negotiations, can be used on the reform of the Ulaanbaatar Railway Joint Venture and a thermal power plant. The sides agreed to jointly celebrate the 80th anniversary of the Khalkha River Battle next year and organize a joint exhibition, produce a feature film and a documentary, and publish a book in the margins of the anniversary. Moreover, President Battulga invited President Vladimir Putin to pay a visit to Mongolia with the purpose of celebrating the anniversary together.
As for the bilateral meeting with his Chinese counterpart, President Battulga requested President Xi Jinping to support certain matters, including the establishment of the Northeast Asian Supergrid, construction of gas pipes cooperation on ranking the projects within the Mongolia-Russia-China Economic Corridor program, and value-added export of agricultural products. Also, President Battulga proposed to establish a joint working group to build a highway connecting Zamyn-Uud with Altanbulag. President Xi Jinping expressed his readiness to cooperate on complex reform of the comprehensive strategic partnership relations between the two countries, increasing bilateral trade turnover to USD 10 billion by 2020, railway construction, development of process manufacturing, and regional peace and security. President Xi Jinping supported the joint implementation of President Battulga’s proposals. Moreover, President Xi Jinping reaffirmed the invitation for President Battulga to make a state visit to China and attend the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in the first quarter of 2019. The Chinese side informed that it had accepted and will support a proposal on export of agricultural products from Mongolia to China, made by President Battulga during their last meeting in Qingdao....
ULAN BATOR, Sept. 12 (Xinhua) -- Mongolia's central bank issued a silver coin on Wednesday commemorating the friendship between Mongolia and China.
The commemorative coin is rectangular in shape and features two Mongolian and two Chinese children holding hands against a background of the countries' most famous landmarks. The front side of the coin reads, "Friendship Between Mongolia and China."
"The Bank of Mongolia issued the silver coin to mark the upcoming 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Mongolia and China next year," the bank's spokesperson Ariun Dagva told Xinhua.
The 20,000 tugriks (8 U.S. dollars) coin is available at the Treasury Fund of the central bank at a cost of 500,000 tugriks (201 U.S. dollars) per piece.
Since 1972, the Bank of Mongolia has been issuing gold, silver and bronze coins depicting the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac, endangered animals, Olympic athletes and other well known figures as well as historical events or anniversaries.
HOHHOT, Sept. 12 (Xinhua) -- At dusk, 32-year-old driver Bideryar from Mongolia drove his refrigerated truck to pick up vegetables in Erenhot, north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, the largest port along the China-Mongolia border.
"Vegetables from China have brought more choices to our dinner table, and changed our eating habits," he said. "I mainly ate meat in the past, but now, I also eat vegetables imported from China. I am healthier."
Bideryar's sister is a vegetable wholesaler in Ulan Bator, capital of Mongolia. His sister usually sends the list of vegetables needed to the salesman in Erenhot via Wechat and will be notified when the vegetables are ready, upon which Bideryar will leave Ulan Bator for Erenhot.
With a population of about three million people, Mongolia mainly relies on China for vegetables. "In Mongolia, some people have never even seen some of the vegetables from China, but more and more Mongolians are willing to try them," said Gyiya from Mongolia.
Ganerdeni, 37, has been a driver running between Ulan Bator and Erenhot for 17 years. "I work for many vegetable wholesalers, and the need for vegetables from China in Ulan Bator is far from being met," he said.
Every day, ten to twenty refrigerated trucks will depart from Ulan Bator and return early in the morning two days later. The fresh vegetables from China will appear on supermarket shelves at night in Ulan Bator, he said.
"But five years ago, a two-way trip would take three to four days due to the shabby dirt road. But now, with a new road built, a one-way trip only takes eight hours," he said.
Additionally, customs time for fruits and vegetables was shortened last year and made a priority to speed up the process. "It takes only several minutes for a truck carrying fruits or vegetables to be cleared by customs," said Zhang Hongwei with Erenhot customs.
Haogang fruit and vegetable import and export company is the largest export company of its kind between China and Mongolia. It works with over 40 supermarkets and vegetable markets in Mongolia, and exports more than 100,000 tonnes of vegetables and fruits to Mongolia every year.
According to Erenhot customs, 69,000 tonnes of vegetables were exported in 2017, up 20.6 percent year-on-year.
"In the past, they just bought what we sold, mainly potatoes, onions and cabbages, but now, we sell what they order," Zhao Long, general manager of the company, 49, who has been working in the trade for more than 20 years.
One of the purchase orders from Mongolia lists 51 kinds of vegetables, 19 kinds of fruits, six kinds of fungi and two spices. "Each listing also has a photo, so if we don't know what something is, the picture can help us figure it out," he said. "For example, we get celery from Shandong, cabbages from Fujian, and onions from Yunnan."
The company has built a base of more than 70 hectares in a village in Erenhot to plant products based on the orders from Mongolia. Other companies in Erenhot are also developing e-commerce to make it possible for customers in Mongolia to receive fresh vegetables they have ordered the same day....
Washington is increasingly seen as a toxic place, providing few opportunities for politicians on opposite sides of the aisle to talk and work with each other. Even foreign policy, an area once offering considerable scope for consensus and cooperation, has become fractured and controversial.
Against this backdrop, there is one unlikely area of international interest and concern which offers unexpected opportunities for Congressional bi-partisanship: Mongolia.
During the early 1990s, when Mongolia emerged from the shadow of the Soviet Union to transform itself into a democracy as well as a free-market economy, Democrats and Republicans joined hands to offer Mongolia encouragement and support.
At the time, it was thought that a democratic and economically successful Mongolia would offer hope to other countries in Asia and beyond. Remarkably, Mongolia actively participated in and later chaired the Community of Democracies. At the same time, it registered a tenfold increase in GDP between 2001 (when I first served as a foreign service officer in Mongolia) and 2013 (when I completed my final diplomatic assignment as U.S. ambassador to Mongolia), dramatic economic growth that was mostly fueled by its mineral wealth.
Congress actively supported Mongolia’s early success. However, as this interest abated, the Congressional Mongolian Caucus also began to languish — though there are signs that this is beginning to change, as evidenced by the Mongolia Third Neighbor Trade Act, recently introduced into the House by Rep. Ted Yoho, a Republican from Gainesville, Fla.
This new bill offers an especially positive way forward, explicitly acknowledging as it does that fact that the United States is one of the “pillars” of Mongolia’s “Third Neighbor” foreign policy.
Among other things, this policy recognizes that Mongolia as a land-locked country must maintain correct relations with its two powerful immediate neighbors — Russia and China — while also seeking to “balance” these challenging relationships by forging positive ties with third countries.
The fact that cashmere — a luxury product combed from the soft underbelly of cashmere goats after harsh winters such as those experienced in Mongolia where temperatures routinely plunge to 40 degrees below zero — serves as an economic lifeline to tens of thousands of rural Mongolian herders adds to its importance.
Indeed, given that livestock outnumbers Mongolia’s human population by 20 to one, cashmere and other animal fibers make an especially valuable contribution to Mongolia’s economic success in terms of both employment and income at a time when it desperately needs a boost.
While Mongolia trails only China as a global source of raw cashmere, it loses out economically because of its inability to turn that raw cashmere into finished products such as high quality sweaters and suits before exporting it.
As currently written, the Third Neighbor Trade Act provides a five year window for the duty-free entry of Mongolian wool products into the United States, setting the stage for a revival and expansion of the Mongolian wool industry — yak wool, camel wool and cashmere wool.
Successful passage of the Third Neighbor Trade Act would provide a huge incentive for Mongolia to diversify its economy and develop its domestic industry based on a variety of animal fibers, none of which compete directly with American products.
Pioneering new American firms such as the Naadam Co., founded by two young American entrepreneurs who vacationed in Mongolia and returned to the United States hugely impressed with what they saw, are well positioned to spearhead this effort.
Bypassing China, it could export finished products directly to the United States, strengthening the US partnership with a country that has also chosen the path of democracy. Moreover, it ensures that the United States can be supportive in ways that neither threaten U.S. jobs nor involve taxpayer dollars for foreign aid.
Other elements of Congress have endorsed the wisdom of this approach. Indeed, while the Mongolia Third Neighbor bill was formally introduced by a conservative Republican from Florida, it has also garnered support from an unlikely and eclectic range of other congressional groupings including the Black Caucus, Freedom Caucus and Progressive Caucus.
Not surprisingly, the bi-partisan Mongolian Caucus — co-chaired by Rep. Dina Titus (a Democrat from Nevada) and Rep. Don Young (a Republican from Alaska) — also strongly supports this bill.
Hopefully, the Congressional delegation from Georgia will also see merit in this pioneering initiative that benefits both Mongolia and the United States. In particular, Georgia’s two senators are well positioned to assist in this effort once it moves to the Senate — Sen. Johnny Isakson is a leader within the Foreign Relations Committee and Sen. David Perdue plays a key role in the Armed Services Committee.
Both committees and both houses of Congress should welcome and support this legislation which reflects bi-partisanship at its best while also advancing U.S. interests in a seemingly remote yet important part of the world, one which helps diversify Mongolia’s economy, strengthens Mongolian independence and advances U.S. diplomatic partnerships in a part of the world that strategically truly matters.
Jonathan Addleton served as US Ambassador to Mongolia during 2009-2012. A retired Foreign Service Officer, he teaches at Mercer University in Macon, Ga.; serves as Executive Director of the American Center for Mongolian Studies; and authored Mongolia and the United States: A Diplomatic History (Hong Kong University Press, 2013)....
President of Mongolia Khaltmaa Battulga met President of the Russian Federation Vladimir V.Putin and discussed the cooperation between the two countries.
At the beginning of the meeting President Battulga mentioned his previous proposal on renewing the 1993 Agreement on Friendly Relations and Cooperation between Mongolia and Russia and establishing it without a defined term, and talked about spending the RUB 100 billion soft loan from Russia on the reform of the Ulaanbaatar Railway Joint Venture and in energy sector and deepening the cooperation between the National Security Councils of the two countries and adopting a revised cooperation plan.
Furthermore, President Battulga made a proposal to cooperate on the establishment of the Northeast Asian super grid for energy and handed over an economic feasibility study related to the proposal and the projects to President Vladimir V.Putin.
President Vladimir Putin emphasized his satisfaction with the positive indicators in all areas of bilateral cooperation and economic growth in recent years and expressed interest to further intensify bilateral cooperation in agriculture, railway and defense sectors. President Vladimir V.Putin reiterated his support for the proposal of President Battulga on building the natural gas pipes between Russia and China via Mongolia. President Vladimir V.Putin said that the RUB 100 billion soft loan to Mongolia, which is currently under negotiations, can be used on the reform of the Ulaanbaatar Railway Joint Venture and a thermal power plant.
The sides agreed to jointly celebrate the 80th anniversary of the Khalkha River Battle next year and organize a joint exhibition, produce a feature film and a documentary, and publish a book in the margins of the anniversary. Moreover, President Battulga invited President Vladimir V.Putin to pay a visit to Mongolia to celebrate the anniversary together.
President of Mongolia Khaltmaa Battulga met President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping on Wednesday on the sidelines of the 4th Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok, Russia.
At the beginning of the meeting President Battulga requested President Xi Jinping to support certain matters, including the establishment of the Northeast Asian super grid for energy, construction of gas pipes between China and Russia through the Mongolian territory, cooperation on ranking the projects within the Mongolia-Russia-China Economic Corridor program, and value-added export of agricultural products. Also, President Battulga made certain proposals including on establishing a joint working group to build a highway connecting Zamyn-Uud with Altanbulag.
President Xi Jinping expressed his readiness to cooperate in many areas, including complex reform of the comprehensive strategic partnership relations between the two countries, increase of bilateral trade turnover to USD 10 billion by 2020, railway construction, development of process manufacturing, and regional peace and security. President Xi Jinping supported the joint implementation of President Battulga’s proposals.
The heads of state of Mongolia and China exchanged views on celebration of the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries, which will fall next year, and mutually and economically beneficial development of cross-border cooperation.
Gazprom will soon complete its part of the Power of Siberia gas pipeline to China, the Russian company announced on the sidelines of the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok. The pipeline will be one of the world’s largest.
“We have to weld 40 kilometers,” Gazprom Deputy Chairman of the Management Committee Vitaly Markelov.
Last week, on September 5, Gazprom reported that 2,000 kilometers of pipes were welded and laid from Yakutia, Russia to the Russian-Chinese border, which is 93 percent of its length.
Gazprom and the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) signed an agreement for gas to be supplied via the eastern route (the Power of Siberia gas pipeline) in 2014.
The 30-year agreement provides for Russian gas deliveries to China at 38 billion cubic meters per year. Gas supplies will start in December 2019.
The construction was hardly easy for Gazprom, since the pipeline route passes through swampy, mountainous areas, with the extreme environmental conditions of Siberia. By building it, Gazprom intends not only to supply gas to China, but also contribute to the social and economic development of Russia’s Far East and gasification of the Russian regions.
Pipeline natural gas is not the only fuel that will go from Russia to China. Russian gas producer Novatek, in cooperation with the CNPC, is working on the implementation of Russian-led energy project Yamal LNG. China has purchased the first two batches of liquefied natural gas from Yamal.