1 CONSTRUCTION OF TAVANTOLGOI-GASHUUNSUKHAIT ROAD TO BE INTENSIFIED WWW.MONTSAME.MN PUBLISHED:2019/02/20      2 OVER 30 MEASURES PLANNED FOR REDUCTION OF ENVIRONMENTAL POLLUTION WWW.MONTSAME.MN PUBLISHED:2019/02/20      3 MONGOLIA SAYS IT EARNS OVER 169 MLN USD FROM COAL EXPORTS TO CHINA IN JAN WWW.HELLENICSHIPPINGNEWS.COM  PUBLISHED:2019/02/20      4 RUSSIA’S GAZPROM TO START CHINA GAS PIPELINE BY DECEMBER 1 WWW.RT.COM PUBLISHED:2019/02/20      5 MONGOLIA'S FOREIGN TRADE UP 41.6 PCT IN JAN. WWW.XINHUANET.COM PUBLISHED:2019/02/20      6 EIGHT COMPANIES ANNOUNCE TO DISBURSE DIVIDENDS SO FAR WWW.ZGM.MN PUBLISHED:2019/02/20      7 MONGOLIA'S PROSTITUTION ZONES, WHERE WOMEN TRADE SEX FOR FUEL IN SUB-ZERO TEMPERATURES WWW.TELEGRAPH.CO.UK PUBLISHED:2019/02/20      8 MONGOLIA TO SUSPEND KFC OUTLETS FOR INQUIRY AFTER FOOD POISONING REPORTS WWW.CNBC.COM PUBLISHED:2019/02/20      9 MIAT TO FLY BETWEEN ULAANBAATAR AND GUANGZHOU WWW.NEWS.MN PUBLISHED:2019/02/20      10 NEW BOOK ABOUT MONGOL EMPIRE’S IMPACT ON ISLAM WWW.NEWS.MN PUBLISHED:2019/02/20      УУХҮЯ: II САРЫН БАЙДЛААР НИЙТ НУТАГ ДЭВСГЭРИЙН 5.6 ХУВЬД АШИГТ МАЛТМАЛЫН ЛИЦЕНЗ ОЛГОСОН WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN  НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/20     300 ОРТОЙ ТӨРӨХ ЭМНЭЛГИЙН БАРИЛГЫН АЖИЛ 80%-Д ХҮРЧ ГУРАВДУГААР САРЫН 1-НЭЭС ДУЛААНД ХОЛБОГДОХООР БОЛЖЭЭ WWW.IKON.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/20     II/19-НИЙ ДОТОР 24 ХК НОГДОЛ АШИГ ОЛГОХТОЙ ХОЛБООТОЙ ШИЙДВЭРЭЭ ГАРГАЖ , СЗХ-НД ХҮРГҮҮЛСЭН БАЙНА WWWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN  НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/20     ӨНГӨРСӨН САРД 23.9 МЯНГАН ЖУУЛЧИН ХҮЛЭЭН АВЧЭЭ WWW.EAGLE.MN  НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/20     ЭРЧИМ ХҮЧНИЙ ИМПОРТ БУУРЧЭЭ WWW.EAGLE.MN  НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/20     ТАТВАР ТӨЛДӨГ 191 МЯНГАН ААН-Н 95.9 ХУВЬ НЬ БИЧИЛ БИЗНЕС ЭРХЭЛДЭГ WWW.EAGLE.MN  НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/20     НИЙТ НУТГИЙН 70 ОРЧИМ ХУВЬ НЬ ЦАСТАЙ БАЙНА WWW.MONTSAME.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/20     ХАНБОГД-ОЮУТОЛГОЙГ ХОЛБОСОН ЗАМЫН НЭЭЛТ БОЛЛОО WWW.GOGO.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/20     ЗГҮЦ-ЫН АНХДАГЧ ЗАХ ЗЭЭЛИЙН АРИЛЖАА МХБ-ИЙН ҮЙЛ АЖИЛЛАГААНЫ ОРЛОГО БУУРЧЭЭ WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN  НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/19     “TEMASEK HOLDINGS” КОМПАНИ “TRQ” ДЭХ ЭЗЭМШЛИЙН ХУВИА 28 ХУВИАР БУУРУУЛАВ WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN  НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/19    

Events

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

NEWS

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Alibaba Singles Day sales frenzy surpasses records www.bbc.com

Internet giant Alibaba has set new sales records on Sunday for its biggest shopping day, the annual Singles Day.

The Chinese company hit a record $1bn (£774m; €883m) in sales in 85 seconds, and then just shy of $10bn in the first hour of the 24-hour spree.

In total, customers spent $30.8bn, up 27% on last year, but the lowest annual increase in the history of Singles Day.

Online discounts have been offered on 11 November, Alibaba's informal holiday for singles, since 2009.

Alibaba Group chief executive Daniel Zhang said the spending bonanza demonstrated "customers' continued pursuit to upgrade their everyday lifestyles".

The event was kicked off on Saturday with a gala featuring US singer Mariah Carey, a Japanese Beyoncé impersonator and a shoe-shopping-themed Cirque du Soleil performance.

What is Singles Day?
Alibaba invented the occasion to celebrate the unattached as an antithesis to the romantically involved on Valentine's Day.

It is now the world's biggest online sales event and this year's total was more than Black Friday and Cyber Monday's totals combined, according to Bloomberg.

Some 180,000 brands are available in the shopping blitz, including top technology companies Xaomi, Apple and Dyson.

Last year, the Chinese company expanded the event to the Western market, with downloads of its app AliExpress surging in the US and UK.

Will Singles Day keep on growing?

The shopping frenzy has broken world records in e-commerce sales - surpassing last year's record at 17:34 Hong Kong Time (10:34 GMT).

However, observers believe as the event matures, its growth rate will slow down.

Alibaba has also faced new challenges this year, such as new rivals in the market, a slowing economy and its stock dropping 16% thanks to China's trade war with the US.

The November sale event is expected to be founder Jack Ma's last at the helm of the company. The current chief executive will take over as chairman next year, Alibaba announced in September.

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China’s oil imports surge to record high www.rt.com

China’s crude oil imports averaged 9.61 million barrels a day last month, customs data cited by Reuters has revealed, with the agency noting the amount is the highest on record.
Once again, it was the independent refiners, or teapots, that drove the increase as they seek to fulfill their import quotas before they expire.

The total October volume of imports hit 40.80 million tons, of which teapots imported 8.22 million tons. Yet this was lower than the teapots’ intake as forecast by S&P Platts last month, which was nine million tons. It was, however, substantially higher than the 7.26 million tons independent Chinese refiners imported in September.

Last month, Beijing announced it will raise by 42 percent the oil import quota for its non-state refiners—most of which are the independent refiners—for 2019 as new refinery capacity is planned to enter into operation next year. This served to dampen worries about a possible decline in demand, but only temporarily: now OPEC and Russia are once again talking about cutting production because of expectations of excessive supply.

What’s more, China is changing its sources of crude. The country sharply reduced its intake of US crude, for example, as the trade war between Washington and Beijing escalated this summer. A few months ago, Chinese refiners stopped buying US oil completely in anticipation of tariffs on it. Beijing did not impose tariffs and in October, CNBC reported recently, refiners resumed purchases of US oil. However, the volume of these imports remains unclear and may be much lower than earlier imports, before the start of the trade war.

Chinese refiners have also been importing a lot of Canadian oil relative to their usual intake of this particular oil. With the discount of Western Canadian Select to West Texas Intermediate at historic lows making the Canadian blends particularly attractive for Chinese bargain hunters, chances are this trend will continue for the time being unless the price environment changes radically.

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UN adopts literacy resolution sponsored by Mongolia www.montsame.mn

Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ The ‘Literacy for life: shaping future agendas’ resolution introduced by Mongolia was adopted at the Third Committee meeting of the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA 73) on November 6.

According to the UNESCO survey for the UNGA 73, about 750 million adults around the world, most of whom are women, are illiterate, 617 million children and adolescents do not have access to education and 262 million children, adolescents globally are out of school.

With the adoption of the resolution, the UN General Assembly recognized the “catalytic effect” of the United Nations Literacy Decade (2003–2012) as “a global framework for sustained and focused efforts for the promotion of literacy and literate environments”. The resolution calls upon governments to “scale up literacy programmes for children, youth and adults, including older persons” to “foster innovative delivery of literacy services, including through technology and a strengthened institutional network”

The resolution on literacy initiated by Mongolia was supported by the Members States and 100 countries have joined the initiative as co-sponsors.

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Number of eco schools reaches to 286 www.montsame.mn

Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ As of today, 286 secondary schools and 4 kindergartens have been registered in Eco School international program, based on ISO 14001 environmental management system, which aims at ingraining environmental-friendly lifestyle.

The 4th national forum held on November 7-8 highlighted that the country intends to increase the number of eco schools, involving 50 percent of total schools by 2022, as stated in the Education for Sustainable Development national program. The United Nations Environment Program emphasizes that the eco school program is the most efficient and worldwide model program to implement education for sustainable development and the Program is developing cooperation for it.

During the forum, a discussion was held under topic ‘Healthy, Safety, Green Environment’ to release recommendation for the Standard for School Environment being developed by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Science and Sports and necessary information were delivered by professional organizations.

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Small wastewater treatment plant begins operation in UB www.news.mn

A small wastewater treatment plant with a capacity of 20,000 cubic meters has been opened in the Khan-Uul District of Ulaanbaatar. The facility, which was opened on 6 November, will serve160,000 households from the Yarmag and Nisekh apartment complexes; it was constructed by the HNC Company at a cost of MNT 33 billion from the State Budget. This will help decrease burden on the central wastewater treatment plant which is currently operating with 190,000 cubic meters.

Depending on the wind direction, the bad smell from the wastewater treatment plant is a serious problem in the Mongolian capital during summertime. To solve this, and other problems, a new wastewater treatment plant with a capacity of 250,000 cubic meters, significantly more than the old one is to be constructed in the city. Work on the new plant is expected to begin next spring and to begin operation in 2020.

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Mongolia celebrates birthday of Genghis Khan www.xinhuanet.com

Mongolia on Thursday celebrated National Pride Day, which commemorates the birth of the legendary conqueror Genghis Khan more than 800 years ago.

Mongolian President Khaltmaa Battulga, Prime Minister Ukhnaa Khurelsukh, Parliament Speaker Miyegombo Enkhbold, other members of the parliament and government ministers paid respects to the statue of Genghis Khan in front of the government palace in the capital Ulan Bator.

The celebrations also included traditional wrestling.

In his speech, Battulga called on the parliament and government to respect justice and the rule of law.

His message is related to issues surrounding the alleged abuse of a fund aimed at helping the development of small and medium-sized enterprises.

Reports recently went public that some lawmakers and their relatives have obtained loans with low interest rates from the fund. The scandal has become headlines in the country.

Mongolia began marking the anniversaries of Genghis Khan's birth as an official public holiday since 2012. The anniversary falls on the first day of first month of winter on the Lunar calendar.

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MPP defends scandal hit MP over SME fund www.news.mn

The public will be watching Mongolian Prime Minister U.Khurelsukh’s government for its reaction to massive allegations of misuse of its Small & Medium Enterprise Fund.

In 2009, the Mongolian government expanded a fund to support small and medium enterprises (SME’s). This provided companies with low-interest loans at 3 percent interest for up to five years and contained 2 billion Mongolian Tugrik (roughly USD 780,000 at today’s exchange rate). The fund is reported to have dispersed loans totalling nearly 700 billion tugrik, amounting to several hundred million U.S. dollars. The fund was created in and continues to be overseen by the Ministry of Food, Agriculture, and Light Industry.

However, many of the companies that received loans are tied to prominent politicians through ownership of the SMEs that benefited. The allegation led the current minister of food, agriculture, and light industry, B Batzorig, a member of parliament for the ruling Mongolian People’s Party (MPP), to offer his resignation. A specific allegation is that the minister’s wife had been directly benefiting from the SME fund. Last week, the chief prosecutor requested the State Great Khural (parliament) to revoke B. Batzorig’s parliamentary immunity, however, it refused to do so, It should be noted that the house is dominated by the MPP.

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Harassment victims at Google gain more power www.bbc.com

Google employees will now be able to more freely speak out over issues of sexual harassment at the firm.

Responding to demands from the around 20,000 workers who protested last week, the company has said it will end the practice of "forced arbitration" in cases of sexual harassment.

Arbitration will now be optional, chief executive Sundar Pichai said in an all-staff email.

The company did not, however, respond employees' demands in other major areas of concern, angering campaigners.

Most notably, it did not comment on calls for Google's board to have an employee representative, and for the company's chief diversity officer to report directly to the chief executive.

'Sincerely sorry'
In an email to staff on Thursday, Mr Pichai said: "Over the past few weeks Google's leaders and I have heard your feedback and have been moved by the stories you've shared.

"We recognize that we have not always gotten everything right in the past and we are sincerely sorry for that. It's clear we need to make some changes."

The measures, Mr Pichai said, will increase transparency around instances of sexual harassment, expand mandatory training, and offer increased support for those with claims.

Most impactful will be a shift away from forced arbitration, a highly-criticised practice that meant employees were contractually-bound to deal with complaints internally, in what some legal observers have described as being a "private justice system".

"We will make arbitration optional for individual sexual harassment and sexual assault claims," Mr Pichai wrote.

"Google has never required confidentiality in the arbitration process and arbitration still may be the best path for a number of reasons (eg personal privacy) but, we recognize that choice should be up to you."

'Caste-like system'
But the Tech Workers Coalition, which backed last week's action, said the measures did not go nearly far enough, particularly where it related to contractors who worked with the firm.

"Sundar ignored the demand for a worker to be represented on the board and [temps, vendors and contractors (TVCs)] continue to have no adequate protections from sexual harassment, who make up over half the Google workforce and are disproportionately women and people of colour.

"TVCs didn't receive this email this morning, and have been excluded from the townhall. This deliberate sleight demonstrates the caste-like system deployed by Google, which fails to protect its workers and our colleagues."

The spokesperson added: "For a company that likes to innovate, it's striking to see such a lack of vision for treating all of their workforce with basic dignity. We take inspiration from all who work at Google to keep fighting to build worker power."

Campaigners hope the promised overhaul of how Google handles issues around sexual harassment will remove a culture of secrecy that saw one high-profile engineer leave the company with an $90m pay out, despite "credible" claims of inappropriate behaviour.

The company later said that over the past two years, 48 other employees - including 13 considered to be senior staff - had been fired over sexual harassment issues.

More widely, Google's move to end forced arbitration for sexual harassment claims may energise employees at other firms to demand the same. Uber and Microsoft had already dropped the practice.

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Russia-China trade turnover to hit $100 billion in 2018 www.rt.com

The volume of mutual trade between Russia and China may reach $100 billion by the end of 2018 with the figure expected to double in the years ahead, according to Andrey Slepnev, Chief Executive of the Russian Export Center.
“Russia’s exports to China totaled $26 billion in the first half of the current year, marking a 43 percent growth compared to the same period a year ago,” the official said, stressing that the institution expects the figure to increase up to $54 billion at year-end.

According to Slepnev, the partners have managed to boost trade of such goods as wood, metal and chemicals. The volume of agricultural products in the mutual trade reportedly went up one-and-a-half times.

Chinese consumers are reportedly interested in purchasing Russian natural cosmetics and children’s products.

“We are currently developing a number of energy and high-technology projects. A joint enterprise on heavy helicopters is negotiated,” he said. “Cooperation in space and energy sectors is being developed.”

Earlier this year, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the trade turnover with the country’s Eastern neighbor may reach $100 billion. China is currently Russia’s largest trading partner, accounting for 15 percent of Russian international trade last year.

Bilateral trade between the two countries grew by 31.5 percent, reaching $87 billion in 2017. The partners are promoting settlements in ruble and yuan, bypassing the US dollar and other Western currencies amid numerous anti-Russian sanctions, as well as trade pressure placed on Beijing by Washington.

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Mongolia plans coal rail link to China by 2021 www.reuters.com

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Mongolia aims to complete a railway from its Tavan Tolgoi coal project to the Chinese border by 2021, a Mongolian official told Reuters on Thursday.

The rail link from Tavan Tolgoi would have the capacity to deliver 30 million tonnes of coal a year to China, said Samdandovj Ashidmunkh, chief investment officer of the state firm running the project.

The link will be completed within two years of an overseas initial public offering of stock in Tavan Tolgoi scheduled for the first quarter of 2019, Ashidmunkh, of Erdenes-Tavan Tolgoi, said on the sidelines of a forum in Shanghai on China-Mongolia cooperation in mining.

Mongolia expects demand for high quality coking coal from China’s steel sector to increase, but many analysts in China believe steel production is nearing its peak and could start to fall.

Tavan Tolgoi is the world’s largest undeveloped coking coal mine with 7.4 billion tons of estimated reserves.

The project was originally set to host a thermal power plant that would supply Rio Tinto Ltd’s massive Oyu Tolgoi copper mine, which is currently being expanded.

But Mongolia’s inability to find funding has put the onus on Rio Tinto to build its own power facility.

Ashidmunkh said the government still planned to build a power plant at Tavan Tolgoi.

“It would be too much to have two power plants (in the region). Even if (Oyu Tolgoi) built its own power plant they will still need to purchase our coal,” he said.

Analysts attending the forum expressed scepticism about Mongolia’s ambitions, saying logistic costs still eroded the competitiveness of Mongolian coal and demand could soon begin to taper.

“China and Mongolia are greatly divided in the perception of coal resources at present,” said Chang Yijun, chief analyst with the consultancy Fenwei Energy.

Mongolian coal would only be competitive in southern China, where more imports were required, he said.

By David Stanway
Additional reporting by Beijing Monitoring Desk and John Ruwitch; editing by Richard Pullin

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