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Ulaanbaatar, Apr 4 (Prensa Latina) Mongolia's 8th International Mining and Oil Expo opened Wednesday at Buyant-Ukhaa sports complex, an event that showcases the latest technologies in the sector and seeks new investments.
Representatives of 130 companies from 20 countries are participating in the Expo that will run until April 6. The event is considered of great importance for Ulan Bator to strengthen projects that generate value-added products and jobs, the Ministry of Mining and Heavy Industry said in a statement.
The ministry highlighted that this sector is growing rapidly followed by construction, transport and energy thanks to open cooperation with companies, the strengthening of public-private partnership and the confidence of investors in applying a policy that provides a legal stable environment.
The Mongolian mining sector makes up 90 percent of exports, 77 percent of industrial products, 22 percent of Gross Domestic Product and 64 percent of the foreign investment.
Non-resident ambassadors of Nigeria, Spain, Iceland and Uzbekistan presented their letters of credence to the President of Mongolia, Mr. Khaltmaagiin Battulga on April 4th.
Mongolia established diplomatic ties with the Federal Republic of Nigeria on September 21st of 1971. Nigeria is the largest economy in southern Sahara.
The non-resident ambassador of Nigeria Baba Ahmad Jidda said “It has been 46 years since our two countries incepted diplomatic relations. Nigeria ranks at 1st in Africa and 6th in the world by oil production. Therefore, I think, Mongolia and Nigeria can cooperate on resource governance.”
President Battulga said Mongolia will be happy to learn practices of Nigeria which leads the world in oil exports.
Mongolia and the Kingdom of Spain established diplomatic ties on July 5th of 1977. Upon meeting the ambassador, Mr. Alberto Carnero Fernández, the President noted “When I had been working as the Minister for Agriculture, I visited your country and developed several agricultural projects in collaboration with Spanish specialists. A feasibility study was conducted on processing some 10 million pieces of hides using Spanish technologies and exporting the products,” and wished the Ambassador to attach importance to agricultural cooperation and seek opportunities to increase bilateral trade.
In response, Mr. Alberto Carnero Fernández thanked for the warm hospitality. He said “I will work actively to improve economic and commercial cooperation. I have met with several authorities on this matter. It is possible to cooperate in introducing Mongolia to Spanish technologies.”
Diplomatic ties were established with Iceland on June 4th of 1974. Within the scope of friendship and close cooperation, Iceland has been training Mongolian professionals in geothermal studies in the United Nations University (UNU) in Reykjavik, Iceland, on its own expense.
The Ambassador, Mr. Gunnar Snorri Gunnarsson said “Iceland has more than a hundred years of experience in exploiting its hotsprings, in other words, geothermal resources. It can probably be the most important aspect of cooperation between Iceland and Mongolia. Producing power using geothermal energy helped Iceland to become almost pollution-free. This is something that we can develop together.”
In response, President Battulga said “We are familiar with Iceland’s expertise in hotsprings and their management. There are about 300 hotsprings in temperatures from 40 to 98 degrees of Celsius in Mongolia. However, the management of hot springs hasn’t been developed adequately,” and wished the Ambassador to take initiative in exchanging practices and enhancing cooperation in this area.
After presenting his credentials, the Ambassador of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Mr. Bakhtiyor Saidov paid a courtesy call on the President of Mongolia, Mr. Khaltmaagiin Battulga. The Ambassador conveyed greetings of the President of Uzbekistan to the President of Mongolia, his family and the people of Mongolia. Noting that there are sufficient potential of enhancing bilateral cooperation, Mr. Saidov pledged to put maximum effort on improving cooperation. “Uzbekistan is interested in imports of processed and unprocessed meat products from Mongolia, and exports of dried fruit and other goods to Mongolia. This way, we can increased the bilateral trade turnover,” added the Ambassador.
President Battulga wished the Ambassador success in their works....
Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ The Cabinet adopted a Procedure on Innovation Grant at its April 4 meeting.
The procedure deals with the issuance of grants for projects that aim to produce innovative products and services through the introduction of new technology.
The Cabinet sees that the adoption of the procedure will help bring intellectual properties into economic circulation and advance the development of production of value-added innovative products.
The procedure states that the amount of a single grant will not exceed 40 percent of the total finance of the project and be less than MNT 60 million.
Those eligible to nominate a project include a citizen of Mongolia, all registered enterprises, businesses, scientific organizations, universities, higher education institutes and vocational training institutes.
The grant will be approved based on an assessment of experts, who will be appointed by the corresponding minister.
Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ The Cabinet decided to grant Child Allowance benefit to 80 percent of children aged 0-18, registered in the household database.
During its regular meeting on April 4, the Cabinet framed a draft resolution on its decision, which will be submitted to the Parliament in the near future.
According to the resolution, the fund required for distribution of the benefit starting from April 1 will be included in the 2018 Budget of the General Budget Administrator and will be allocated in the annual Budget starting from 2019.
The 80 percent coverage of the Child Allowance benefit will add 228 thousand children to the current list of benefit recipients, making the total number 860 thousand.
It has been estimated that MNT 41 billion will be needed to cover 80 percent of the registered children. The Cabinet sees that it is possible to distribute the benefit without making amend to the 2018 State Budget.
Binali Yildirim, the Prime Minister of Turkey will make an official visit to Mongolia on 6-8 April, at the invitation of his counterpart U.Khurelsukh.
During the visit, it is planned that the two prime ministers will discuss cooperation in agriculture, light industry, tourism, road and infrastructure projects.
In Ulaanbaatar, the Turkish Prime Minister is expected to met Mongolian President Kh.Battulga and M.Enkhbold, Speaker of Parliament.
Open bidding for mineral exploration license grants to commence in April, according to Mineral Resources and Petroleum Agency of Mongolia. A total of 8.6 million hectares of area, approved by the resolution of the Ministry of Mining and Heavy Industry, have been discussed in each respective aimags and submitted to the Cabinet.
Open bidding will be announced on the lands approved by the selection. Within the frames of the amendments to Minerals Law of Mongolia, the exploration licenses will be granted only through biddings. Consequently, the highest bidder from companies seeking to obtain a license will be appraised from the scale of up to 45 points and their experience and ability will be evaluated from up to 55 points.
Presently, the Ministry of Mining and Heavy Industry is studying the opportunity to grant exploration licenses through application procedures, instead of bidding.
The Asian Development Bank and the government of Mongolia have signed agreements worth $207m to help improve air quality, education and inclusiveness.
The agreement comprises three loans and one grant as part of three projects in Mongolia.
Fernandez Lommen, ADB country director for the East Asian country, said the projects aligned with the ADB’s strategy for Mongolia which “supports government efforts to foster inclusive growth and ensure opportunities for all, particularly people from disadvantaged backgrounds”.
“We are ready to work closely with the government of Mongolia to improve education quality while also helping address the country’s most pressing problem, which is air pollution, to help improve people’s quality of life.”
The loan for air quality, worth $130m, will focus on various key reform areas, including strengthening the regulatory framework for reducing air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions in the country.
The second project aims to improve people’s access to quality education by narrowing the gap in the number of children going to school.
It will also support reforms in the curriculum, help train teachers, managers and local education administrators, as well as improve teaching and learning materials.
The third project will focus on early identification of children with disabilities through medical and social interventions, the bank said.
It will also improve service delivery for people with disabilities. The loan will be supported by a $2m grant from the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction.
Sick Perth businessman in Mongolia jail hell appeals for aid from Foreign Minister Julie Bishop www.thewest.com.au
The family of a Perth businessman facing seven years in a Mongolian jail are looking to Foreign Minister Julie Bishop to intervene as they fear he may not survive due to ill health.
Mohammed Munshi was sentenced to 11 years jail for criminal fraud last July and lost his first appeal in November. Last month he lost what may be the final appeal possible in the Mongolian justice system, but had his sentence reduced to seven years.
Munshi had been chairman of Gobi Coal, a developer of two coal mines in southern Mongolia, when authorities seized his Australian and British passports in March 2015. His family have not seen him since because they have not felt safe travelling to Mongolia.
His passports were seized a month after Gobi Coal obtained an order in a Hong Kong arbitration for a Mongolian businessman to repay a $US11.5 million loan, according to a complaint lodged with the UN Human Rights Council by Munshi’s Perth-based lawyer.
The complaint alleged the brother of the businessman who lost the arbitration instigated the action, and subsequent fraud charges, against Munshi.
Munshi’s son Arif Munshi said the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade had told the family for three years that there was nothing they could do while the legal process was under way.
Now the legal options appear exhausted, the family see the best hope in government-to- government intervention at ministerial level to secure a pardon from the Mongolian President on health grounds.
Arif Munshi said his 57-year-old father’s health problems included lower back pain that needed an operation, severe varicose veins which put him at high risk of deep vein thrombosis and an enlarged prostate.
The family say Ms Bishop agreed to meet with them this month.
Arif Munshi said the consular assistance had been limited to monthly joint visits to his father, a dual UK-Australian national, by British and Australian embassy staff.
The Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United Kingdom to Mongolia, Mr. Philip Malone presented his credentials to the President of Mongolia, Mr. Khaltmaagiin Battulga on April 3rd.
In regard to his accepting of Mr. Malone’s letter of credence, President Battulga received the newly assigned Ambassador for a bilateral meeting.
Beginning the meeting, Mr. Philip Malone expressed his gratitude for the solemn reception and hospitality. Previously, Mr. Malone worked as minister at the UK Embassy in Singapore, charge d’Affaires at the Embassy in Helsinki and the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Laos. The Ambassador expressed his belief that, although it is his first visit to Mongolia, his diplomatic experience will contribute to the future cooperation.
President Battulga, beforehand, wished Ambassador Philip Malone success in his career, and said “Having established diplomatic relations in 1963, UK is the first among western countries to have diplomatic ties with Mongolia. I would like to congratulate you on the 55th diplomatic anniversary, being marked this year. I am grateful for the fact that Mongolia and UK have built a concrete fundament on which the friendship and cooperation can prosper and for the flourishment of bilateral cooperation in many areas.”
Mentioning that bilateral trade turnover has reached more than USD 680 million which is “not a sufficient performance”, the President asked Ambassador Malone to attach more importance to intensifying economic interaction. The head of state also suggested the Ambassador to travel through all 21 aimags of Mongolia, and explained that it will help him get more understanding about our nomadic culture and the people, as well as it might assist in making more favorable and effective decisions.
In response, Mr. Philip Malone expressed that he accepts President Battulga’s advice, and discussed the possibilities of cooperation in not only economy but in many areas starting with culture and education.
The Trump administration on Tuesday published a list of about 1,300 Chinese exports that could be targeted for tariffs.
The United States plans to apply the tariffs to about $50 billion worth of goods to punish China for its theft of trade secrets, including software, patents and other technology. A 25% tariff would be applied to all the products, according to the US Trade Representative, a wing of the White House.
Many of the tariffs would target the Chinese aerospace, tech and machinery industries. Others would target medical equipment, medicine and educational material, such as bookbinding equipment.
In a statement, the Chinese embassy in the United States said that China "strongly condemns and firmly opposes" the proposed list.
"As the Chinese saying goes, it is only polite to reciprocate," the embassy said, adding that China intends to pursue the matter with the World Trade Organization and enact "corresponding measures of equal scale and strength against U.S. products."
The tariffs won't go into effect immediately. The administration will hold a public hearing for US businesses on May 15. Even after that, it's not clear when the tariffs would be applied.
China tariffs: Artificial teeth, flamethrowers and other things on the list
US business advocates said the administration diagnosed the problem with China correctly, but had the wrong remedy.
"The administration is rightly focused on restoring equity and fairness in our trade relationship with China. However, imposing taxes on products used daily by American consumers and job creators is not the way to achieve those ends," said Myron Brilliant, executive vice president of the US Chamber of Commerce, an advocacy group that has long been opposed to Trump's trade policy.
A lobbying group for US farmers pleaded with the administration not to go forward with the tariffs, fearing retaliation by China, one of the largest buyers of US crops.
"We continue to urge the administration to listen to farmers across rural America who can't afford new taxes on their exports," Max Baucus, a former Democratic senator from Montana and co-chairman of Farmers for Free Trade, said in a statement.
Related: China to US: We'll match your tariffs in 'scale' and 'intensity'
The list came hours after China's Foreign Ministry insisted it would respond with equal measure to any US tariffs. China said it has its own list of American exports that it will target if the United States goes through with its plan.
"We have been saying that China wouldn't start a trade war," a Foreign Ministry spokesperson said in Beijing. "But we are not afraid of it, and we will resolutely fight to the end if someone insists on a war."
Leaders from both countries have been in talks for more than a week to try to make compromises and provide US companies more rights in China.
After a months-long investigation, the USTR concluded that China forces US tech companies that want to operate there to enter joint ventures with Chinese businesses and share their technology. Chinese firms often steal patents and software from the American firms, the investigation found.
Related: How much has the US lost from China's IP theft?
There is little dispute in the United States that China does not play by the rules when it comes to tech trade. The debate in Washington is about the best way to punish China without hurting American consumers.
The United States had promised that the proposed tariffs would hit Chinese tech, aerospace, communications and machinery. But the list released Tuesday includes some unexpected items, such as malaria test kits, hearing aids, defibrillators, flame throwers, syringes, artificial teeth and X-ray machine equipment.
The USTR also proposed tariffs on Chinese-made military rifles, shotguns and grenade launchers. Turbo jet engines and certain helicopters are among those slated in Chinese aerospace to be hit with a duty. Several drilling machines are on the list as well.
The Trump administration has already imposed a 25% tariff on imported steel and a 10% tariff on imported aluminum. Those tariffs apply to most countries, including China, though some have been exempted.
China responded to the metal tariffs with its own tariffs on $3 billion of US exports to China, including fruits, wine, nuts and pork....