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Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ The Bank of Mongolia purchased 734 kg gold in March, it reported on April 2.
As such, the bank has purchased 2.3 tons of gold in the first three months of 2018, which shows 2.1 percent increase against the same period of last year.
As of the third month of 2018, the central bank’s average gold purchase rate was MNT 101,822.3 per gramm.
According to officials, the comparatively less amount of gold sold to the central bank in the first season of this year is linked to the fact that placer deposits have not yet started their operations and only hard rock deposits are running.
Gold mining reaches its peak of activity in August, September and October.
Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ Pursuant to an ordinance of the Speaker of Parliament, a working group has been formed to review the implementation of the 2009 Oyu Tolgoi Investment Agreement between the Government and UK-based Rio Tinto Group.
Following the issuance of the ordinance by Speaker M.Enkhbold on March 28, the working group, led by D.Damba-Ochir, Head of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Economy, met on April 2 to discuss its action plan and adopt a working guideline.
The working group members include MPs D.Terbishdagva, deputy head, N.Amarzaya, O.Baasankhuu, B.Bat-Erdene, B.Javkhlan, Z.Narantuya, Ya.Sodbaatar and A.Undraa.
The working group members exchanged views on the establishment of sub-working groups designated to render professional assistance. As such, it was decided that five sub-groups, headed by a member of the working group, will be established.
The working group is expected to report to the Parliament on the implementation of the Investment Agreement within two months.
Beijing/MONTSAME/ MONTSAME News Agency’s Correspondent in Beijing, China interviewed Ambassador of Mongolia to China D.Gankhuyag in connection with forthcoming official visit (April 9) of Prime Minister U.Khurelsukh to China.
About present state of Mongolia-China relations, the Ambassador said, “Thanks to bilateral efforts in past period, cooperation between two countries has advanced in all social sectors within the comprehensive strategic partnership of the two countries. Talks in high levels has become constant. It gives an important impetus to strengthen friendly atmosphere of relations and mutual confidence.”
“In 2018, Mongolian delegates led by MP and Road and Transport Minister J.Bat-Erdene visited China successfully. Moreover, Mongolia-China Business Forum was organized at the Embassy. More events including the First Meeting of the Mongolia-China Joint Council on Humanitarian Exchange and 2nd meeting of permanent inter-parliamentary mechanism were organized in Beijing. These events played an important role to regularize high-level visits and boost bilateral cooperation in sectors of legislation, education, culture, sport and health. It is noteworthy that the bilateral relations are forwarding in all sectors such as politics, defense, economy, culture and humanity,” added the Ambassador.
In the interview, he also talked about possibilities of economic cooperation and interests of two sides to develop economic cooperation. He said, “It aims at changing existing dependence of Mongolia’s economy into multi-pillared. Within this purpose, an intergovernmental memorandum of understanding was established in 2017 to harmonize Mongolia’s ‘Road development’ initiative with China’s ‘The Belt and Road’. We have potential to take active part in ‘The Belt and Road’ initiative to intensify cooperation in all sectors, even cross-border economic cooperation and regional development.”
“Mongolia and China are eternal neighbors, bordering with 4700kms. There are 13 border checkpoints, through which citizens of the two countries are traveling and engaging in mutual trade activities. The main market of Mongolia’s export goods is China. As of this year, Mongolia exported its goods to 52 countries, of which 89.1 percent of the total export went to China. A trade turnover of the two countries is targeted to reach USD10 billion in near future. To fulfill this goal, it necessitates to create a favorable trading condition. The lower capacity of Mongolia’s border checkpoints and underdeveloped infrastructure are some of the main factors that restrict possibilities to expand bilateral trades. Making a conclusion on this matter, we are working to harmonize Mongolia’s short and long-term development policy and strategy with the development of border checkpoints, advance their ranking and types and upgrade operational conditions,” he stressed.
The Ambassador also mentioned about more cooperation possibilities in agriculture, tourism and energy sectors. “Further, it needs to develop a balanced trade and diversify export goods so that substitute each other.
Full interview will be published on the Mongol Messenger issue #14.
Based on 2017 financial reports from 86 fully and partially state-owned entities, including data on revenue, expenditure, profit, loss and liabilities, state-owned companies saw 859 billion MNT in net profit.
In 2016, 45 percent of state-owned companies made profits, but 72 percent made profits in 2017. The dividend distribution of these companies totalled 4.3 billion MNT in 2016 and 12.6 billion MNT in 2017. Aggregate receivables in 2016 were 428 billion MNT, and saw a decrease of 12.5 billion MNT in 2017.
Total liabilities decreased by 16.4 percent in 2017, reaching 3.9 billion MNT. Data from eight entities, including Development Bank of Mongolia and State Bank, were not included in the aggregate report.
Moscow and Beijing will team up to create an integrated navigation system based on Russia’s Global Navigation Satellite System (GLONASS) and the Chinese BeiDou. The system will cover most of Eurasia.
The countries will reportedly negotiate the merger in May at the International Conference on Advanced Technologies in Manufacturing and Materials Engineering in the Chinese city of Harbin, Izvestia daily reports.
The initiative to merge the two separate systems is the result of a proposal made by the Chinese authorities to the Russian Federal Space Agency, Roscosmos. It is intended to create a joint global navigation satellite system, covering the countries of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, which include China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, India and Pakistan.
The new system will allow the partners to share data on the positions of navigation satellite groups, improve working efficiency in a real-time environment, and to exchange corrections, where necessary. At the same time, Russian GLONASS may significantly broaden its user base.
“If the project is implemented, it will allow for an improvement in accuracy for both systems,” said a Roscosmos spokesperson, as quoted by the media.
If successful, the project will divide the entire world into two zones of influence by two united systems GLONASS-BeiDou and GPS-Galileo, operated by the US and the European Union, according to Andrey Ionin, a member of the Russian Academy of Cosmonautics.
Global Positioning System (GPS), the world’s oldest Global Navigation Satellite System, began operations in 1978 to provide location information and navigation to missile submarines and surface ships. The system was also used for hydrographic and geodetic surveying by the US army. The system was opened to civilian and commercial use in 1994. GPS currently operates 31 satellite constellations.
Russia’s GLONASS became operational in 1993. The navigation system has 27 satellites in orbit and all are operational. It is run by the Russian Aerospace Defense Forces and is currently the second alternative navigational system in operation.
Galileo is the European global navigation system, which is available for civilian and commercial use. It is a joint project by the European Space Agency and the European GNSS Agency. At present, there are 22 operational satellites out of a projected 30. Galileo started working in 2016 and is expected to reach full operational capability by 2020.
Chinese BeiDou was put into operation 2000 with limited coverage and navigation services offered mainly to users in China and neighboring regions. The system currently has a total of 22 operational satellites in orbit and the full constellation is projected to reach 35 satellites.
Japan and India are also developing their own regional navigation satellite systems. The Japanese Quasi-Zenith Satellite System (QZSS) is currently under construction. This is expected to become fully operational by the end of the current year. It will have seven satellites and four have already been sent into orbit.
The Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) covers India and nearby regions, extending up to 1,500km. Its seven satellites are currently in orbit, but the first one has been out of operation after all rubidium atomic clocks on board failed in 2017....
The public and private sector convened on March 28 at the “Uniting Power” pre-session for the Mongolian Economic Forum.
State officials presented speeches on the government’s actions, policies, strategies and future targets at the forum, promoting stronger public-private partnership.
One of the highlights of the forum was Head of the Cabinet Secretariat G.Zandanshatar’s presentation on Mongolia’s Three-Pillared Development Strategy, enacted in 2015 with the intention to develop the nation through 27 criteria of nine chapters and three fundamental goals to be achieved by 2050.
The strategy is aimed to establish a just, disciplined, responsible and stable government system, enhance economic competitiveness through a general national development policy, and improve public livelihood. For sustainable economic development, projects will be targeted at food exportation, agriculture, tourism, industry and infrastructure. For governance reform, the government plans to revise the Constitution and reform the legal governance and public services. For public livelihood improvement, a package law to support wealth creators, Development Program for Mongolians, and Policy to Reduce Unemployment and Poverty will be executed.
The government has decided to launch Smog-Free Ulaanbaatar 2020, Shine Khuduu (New Countryside) and Tavan Tolgoi projects along with projects for Industrial and Technical Park for Agriculture, Oil Refinery, Central Wastewater Treatment Plant, Recycling Factory, and New Ulaanbaatar International Airport. Although the government is set on financing these projects through the state budget, private investments, foreign loans, and grants, it has not provided an estimate for their total cost or budget.
Participants were intrigued to find out that the Three-Pillared Development Strategy is expected to open 263,000 new jobs, especially since Mongolia’s unemployment rate fluctuates between 100,000 and 150,000 people.
“One in every three people in Mongolia live in poverty. The biggest cause of poverty is unemployment. Creating new jobs will reduce unemployment,” stated S.Mungunchimeg, the deputy minister of labor and social protection.
Another keynote speech was focused on the package tax law reform. Minister of Finance Ch.Khurelbaatar relayed that through the reform, the government hopes to relieve financial burden on entities, raise tax collection base, and mold a legal environment with longer reporting time.
He reported that enterprises, public and private organizations and individuals proposed 1,082 amendments to laws related to tax and that 19 percent of proposals are ready for submission to Parliament. The government rejected 26 percent of all submitted proposals because they requested either excessive discount or exemption.
“A sustainable economy is starting with the tax law package reform,” Ch.Khurelbaatar claimed. He believes that revising tax laws will lessen burden on small and medium-sized enterprises.
According to the Ministry of Finance, 398,000 out of over 100,000 registered companies account for 85 percent of the total tax revenue of Mongolia. Minister Ch.Khurelbaatar reassured that tax revenue will not diminish if the tax rate is lowered.
During the discussion, President of the Mongolian National Chamber of Commerce and Industry B.Lkhagvajav explained, “Lowering tax rate will uncover the underground economy and increase tax revenue.”
Ch.Khurelbaatar declared that the package tax law reform will be approved before the end of July and related procedures and regulations will be passed in November after public discussion sessions. If these laws are enacted, they will take effect starting next year.
The main event of the Mongolian Business Forum will kick off on May 21 and 22 in Ulaanbaatar....
The Ulaanbaatar mayor’s council went over road construction projects, strategies for tackling traffic, and development projects for the education sector planned for this year last week.
City to focus on reducing traffic
Deputy Mayor in charge of Infrastructure and Ger Area Development P.Bayarkhuu introduced that the construction of an overpass at the intersection of the Traffic Police Department will be completed in 1.6 years, starting next month. To reduce traffic expected during the construction work, eight sub-roads will be newly built or expanded with 1.3 billion MNT. For example, 393 million MNT is required to build a 0.4-kilometer road connecting Mahatma Gandhi Street to Sun Road, 198.2 million MNT to build 0.3-kilometer road connecting Niislel Khuree Avenue to the National Academy of Governance, and 31.6 million MNT to build permanent traffic barriers along the 0.3-kilometer road between Khunnu Street, Saruul Town and Soyolj. Other plans include the construction of a 0.14-kilometer bridge between Road Workers’ Street and 13th microdistrict.
Traffic is one of the most pressing challenges in Ulaanbaatar. Around 80 percent of all vehicles in Mongolia are driven in the capital, with some 40,000 imported each year. However, research shows that not a single car has been sent to the wreckage yard in recent years, reported Ulaanbaatar Mayor S.Batbold.
“Two large overpass projects will be launched in Ulaanbaatar, meaning that traffic will increase tremendously. We will pay special attention to this matter. We hope that the public will understand this and be patient as road constructions commence. With public support, spring development projects will be completed within a short period of time at highest efficiency and quality,” he said.
Some traffic restrictions will be placed from April 15 to October 1 to prevent traffic, according to P.Byarkhuu. Officials are debating two traffic restriction proposals. The first is to launch a driving restriction based on the last digit of license plates only in Baga Toiruu. In specific, vehicles with license plates ending with an odd number can drive along this road on Mondays and Wednesdays, while those ending with an even number drive on Tuesdays and Thursdays. On Fridays, large markets such as Narantuul and Bumbugur will be closed. Officials believe this will enable smoother passage on other roads.
The second option is to allow cars with license plate ending with an odd number to drive from Sapporo intersection to Officers’ Palace on Mondays and Wednesdays, whereas those ending with an even number on Tuesdays and Thursdays and all cars on Fridays. Offiicials decided to conduct a public pollto determine which option to take.
Schedule for infrastructure projects released
City officials outlined a general schedule for infrastructure projects at the meeting. It includes 241 projects for 10 directions, according to B.Oyuntuya, the head of the Engineering Infrastructure Planning Division of the General Ulaanbaatar Urban Development Office.
“Investment for infrastructure projects to be carried out is expected to increase this year. Project targeted at developing ger areas will intensify in summer with loans from international financial organizations. They will be implemented according to a general schedule. Associated organizations must follow the new schedule, avoid causing hindrance to local residents, and deliver precautionary announcements and notices on time,” stated Ulaanbaatar Mayor S.Batbold.
He reminded that hot water outages must not prolong for a month like in previous years and should last a week at most. “We’re striving to do repair and maintenance work for pipes without cutting off hot water if possible,” the mayor said.
18 new schools to be built
This year, the city administration plans to build 18 new schools and expand 27 schools, according to Deputy Mayor Sh.Ankhmaa.
The construction of nine new schools and expansion of 25 schools will be executed with state funds. Seven new schools will be built with a grant from the Chinese government and the rest of the projects with a grant from the Japanese government. Construction work has been scheduled for 56 kindergartens — 42 kindergartens will be newly constructed and 10 kindergartens expanded with state funds, two kindergartens with a discounted loan from the Asian Development Bank, and another two kindergartens with a discounted loan from UNICEF.
Moreover, the government has projected financing for three elementary school and kindergarten complexes and five sport halls in the state budget.
Sh.Ankhmaa reported that Beijing Construction Engineering Group has started assembling framework for five of the seven schools to be built with the Chinese grant.
“Our plan is to reduce general education school shifts to two and increase availability of kindergartens to up to 85 percent by 2020. Many educational projects have been planned for 2018. Right now, land issues for 17 schools and kindergartens need to be resolved. These matters will soon be introduced to the government,” said Mayor S.Batbold....
Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ A resolution of the 7th meeting of the Mongolia-Kazakhstan Intergovernmental Commission has reflected the issue of establishing gold refining plant in Mongolia.
Minister of Mining and Heavy Industry D.Sumiyabazar who is attending the Intergovernmental commission meeting reported about it. "Kazakhstan’s example on gold refining plant and other related information will be presented to the Cabinet meeting and decisions on investment, funding and location of the gold refining plant will be resolved. Moreover the Bank of Mongolia will resolve issues related to getting rights to sell the refined gold on global market. The two parties of the commission agreed that corresponding entities of Kazakhstan get permissions in August, 2018 and to run operations according to international standards, " said Minister D.Sumiyabazar . He also noted that Kazakhstan has introduced high technology of gold refining and reserves all its gold in the central bank and Mongolia shoud introduce this practice.
Minister D.Sumiyabazar met Vice Minister of Investment and Development of Kazakhstan Arystan Kabikenov on March 30. At the meeting they established a memorandum of cooperation in fields of geology, mining and civil aviation. In the frame of the memorandum, the sides will collaborate in exchanging information, good practices and technology in mining sector and in training specialists.
Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi JSC (ETT), which plans to export 10 million tons of coal in 2018, has failed to reach a deal with Chalco. As of March, the company is selling coal at USD 68.1 per ton at the mine, informed Ariunbold Dorj, CEO of ETT. Presently, Mongolyn Alt LLC, SouthGobi Sands and Usukh Zoos are mining in Nariinsukhait residual deposits.
This year, Mongolyn Alt LLC has exported 1.5 million tons of coal. Vice President of the Company Tsogt Galsan notified that the company is selling coal at CNY 500, or USD79.4, at the mine. Around one third of coal in Nariinsukhait consists of coking coal, while the remaining are considered thermal coal.
As for SouthGobi Sands LLC, the average price of coal was CNY 280 or USD 44.5 per ton. The company plans to export 5.5 million tons of coal this year, as well as producing 800 thousand tons of processed coal. The company estimates the processing coal price to reach CNY 500-600.
Aspire Mining LLC, who purchased the special permission to mine in Nuurstei Coking Coal deposit, informed that it expects coking coal price to remain stable throughout the year.