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Hong Kong and Mongolia sign agreement on mutual legal assistance in criminal matters www.info.gov.hk
The Secretary for Security, Mr John Lee, and the Consul-General of Mongolia in Hong Kong, Mr Samdan Erdene, signed a bilateral agreement on mutual legal assistance in criminal matters (MLA agreement) in the Central Government Offices today (March 26) on behalf of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) and the Government of Mongolia respectively.
"Both Hong Kong and Mongolia are committed players in international efforts to fight crimes. We have indeed worked together hand in hand over the years to bring into force the agreement on the transfer of sentenced persons in 2016," Mr Lee said at the signing ceremony.
"The signing of the MLA agreement today will further take forward our bilateral cooperation," Mr Lee added.
Under the Basic Law, the HKSAR may, with the authorisation of the Central People’s Government, make appropriate arrangements with foreign states for reciprocal juridical assistance.
The MLA agreement between the Government of the HKSAR and the Government of Mongolia contains the essential features and safeguards of international agreements of this type. Assistance covered by the agreement includes identifying and locating persons, serving documents, taking evidence, executing requests for search and seizure, providing information, and confiscating proceeds of crime.
The MLA agreement with Mongolia is the 32nd agreement of its kind between the HKSAR and other jurisdictions. The other 31 jurisdictions that already have similar agreements with the HKSAR are Australia, the United States, France, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Italy, Korea, Switzerland, Canada, the Philippines, Portugal, Ireland, the Netherlands, Ukraine, Singapore, Belgium, Denmark, Poland, Israel, Germany, Malaysia, Finland, Indonesia, Japan, Sri Lanka, South Africa, India, Spain, the Czech Republic, Sweden and Argentina.
SEOUL, March 26 (Yonhap) -- South Korea and Mongolia on Monday discussed ways to step up cooperation on a range of sectors, including the economy, development and exchange between the peoples of the two countries, the foreign ministry here said.
The third South Korea-Mongolia joint committee meeting was held in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, on the 28th anniversary of the two countries' establishment of diplomatic relations.
South Korea's Vice Foreign Minister Cho Hyun represented South Korea, and Minister of Environment and Tourism Namsrai Tserenbat spoke for Mongolia, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
As part of efforts to enhance bilateral cooperation, Korea requested that Mongolia allow more South Korean airlines to join the Korea-Mongolia air route, which is currently limited to one Korean air carrier. Mongolia responded that a legal revision is under way to address the issue, the ministry said.
The Mongolian side called for an increase in scholarship for its students who are studying in South Korea and for the expansion of Korean visa issuance for its nationals.
The two sides also agreed to work together in fighting air pollution, with Seoul pledging to review measures to help reduce microdust in Mongolia.
Cho also paid a courtesy visit to Prime Minister Ukhnaagiin Khurelsukh and ensured that the two countries will work together to further increase exchanges between their peoples.
Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ An official launch of a project ‘Mongolia Employment Support Project’ took place on March 26 with an aim to encourage youth to create jobs and to develop their businesses.
Within the scope of the project which has been launched in 2017 funded with USD 25 million aid from the World Bank, loan will be granted to youth for running small businesses and provide equipment loan to graduates from occupational training centers.
Moreover, the actions will be taken to increase efficiency of state employment service, to give job finding assistance to low-income citizens under subsistence minimumand and to render support to commence their small businesses. The project will be implemented until 2021 and a total of 84 thousand 900 people are expected to have jobs.
The Ministry of Labor and Social Protection implemented six employment support programs in 2017 with funding of MNT 53.5 billion, involving 48.3 thousand people. According to Law on Employment Support Fund, MNT 20 million loan with low interest is allowed to grant to enterprise and MNT 10 million to citizen.
The main purpose of the project is to back mothers looking after their children aged between 0-3 and graduates who cannot find jobs. Although there are many small enterprises in Mongolia, they cannot earn sufficient income to renew their equipment. Therefore, micro credits will be granted to those people, said James Anderson, World Bank Country Manager for Mongolia.
Monetary policy council of the Bank of Mongolia made a decision to cut the policy rate by one percent and it is set at 10 percent.
The council also renewed the required reserves at 10.5 percent and foreign currency reserves at 12 percent, respectively. The inflation rate expressed in terms of consumer price index reached 6.9 percent at national level and 8.1 percent in Ulaanbaatar last month. The inflation rate will be likely to gradually see an increase as the economy has been recovering. But it is estimated that the inflation rate will stabilize close to the target level.
Hence, it is stated that the decision to decrease policy rate has been made. Bank of Mongolia viewed that the policy rate decrease will have impact on reducing banking sector’s short-term loan interests and supporting business activities.
Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ The Intergovernmental Commission between Mongolia and South Korea is holding its third meeting at the State House today.
At the meeting, the parties will finalize spending and purpose of USD 500 million soft loan to be granted from Korea. Specifically, during his visit to South Korea in January, Prime Minister U.Khurelsukh signed an agreement on Issuance of Soft Loan from Economic Development Cooperation Fund in 2017-2019. Within the framework of the agreement, Mongolian Government will receive a soft loan of KRW, equaling USD 700 million that will have an annual interest of 0.2 percent and 30 years of repayment term with 10 year moratorium period.
A working group from Korea has made projects' study in March in Mongolia and the sides will finalize it at today’s meeting. The meeting is being attended by 13 delegates from the both countries and Foreign Affairs Minister D.Tsogtbaatar and Environment and Tourism Minister N.Tserenbat are among them.
Russia, in its efforts to develop its gas sector in as many geographical locations as possible, is also earmarking increased gas exports to China.
Russian natural gas giant Gazprom said that gas from its Siberia fields could start moving through pipelines to China within the next five years. The disclosure came as Gazprom representatives discussed the development of the Kovyktinskoye field with officials from the Irkutsk region in southeastern Siberia. The talks took place in Moscow on Tuesday.
Gazprom is shaping a major gas production center in the Kovyktinskoye field, which is unique in terms of its gas reserves (2.7 trillion cubic meters), Gazprom said. The energy giant is also preparing Kovyktinskoye to move from pilot development to commercial production.
In 2017, two exploratory wells were drilled and 3D seismic surveys covering 2,400 square kilometers were performed. Efforts are being made to design the site structures and facilities for production purposes, as well as having gas transmission capacities, Gazprom said in a statement. It is planned to start feeding gas from Kovyktinskoye into the Power of Siberia gas pipeline in late 2022, with a section of the pipeline to be laid in the Irkutsk Region.
Gazprom already has in place a 30-year sales agreement with state-owned China National Petroleum Corp. (CNPC) that calls for 1.3 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of natural gas per year through the pipeline.
CNPC, with a market cap of $229 billion, is the world’s third largest oil company and China’s largest oil and gas producer and supplier.
On Wednesday, Gazprom said that the Power of Siberia pipeline had reached a 75.5 percent completion rate, which it called the most ambitions gas project in the global gas industry. Gas shipments from the project to CNPC are scheduled to start on December 20, 2019.
The disclosure also comes as China’s natural gas demand is increasing amid a government mandate requiring at least 10 percent of the country’s energy mix used for power generation to be derived from gas. Further mandates are set for the year 2030 and beyond. China has been trying to offset stagnant air pollution in its major urban centers by replacing coal needed for power generation with gas as well as for industrial and manufacturing end-users.
This increased gas demand caught global LNG markets by surprise this past winter, resulting in gas supply shortages for both residential and industrial consumers, particularly in Northern China.
China’s winter gas usage spike sent spot LNG prices in the Asia Pacific to three-year highs, breaking the $11/MMBtu mark, before trending downward again as cold weather subsided in Northern Asia.
China’s LNG imports hit record levels in January, totaling 5.18 million tons, compared with the previous record of 5.03 million tons set in December, up 51.2 percent from January 2017, according to data from China’s General Administration of Customs. China is the fastest growing LNG market in the world. Late last year, it passed South Korea to become the world’s second largest LNG importer after Japan.
China’s increased LNG usage could potentially help global LNG markets reach supply and demand equilibrium earlier than the often-forecasted date of 2022 or even later. Other variables in the equation include increased Qatari output, which will see the country raise its liquefaction capacity from 77 mtpa to over 100 mtpa within the next five years, as well as a so-called second wave of LNG project development in the US that will start to come on-line after the start of the next decade. Australia, for its part, will soon have as many as ten major LNG export projects operational.
In an effort to go long on gas and not get caught flat footed again during another cold winter, CNPC also plans to build eight gas storage facilities with a total capacity of 21 billion cubic meters (bcm), China’s state run news agency Xinhua said.
The gas storage facilities, located in southwest China's Sichuan Province and Chongqing Municipality, will cost more than 21 billion yuan ($3.3 billion dollars), said Ma Xinhua, general manager of PetrolChina Southwest Oil and Gasfield Company, a CNPC affiliate.
More LNG deals needed
China is also keen to lock in more LNG supply deals, with numerous producers, including American producers. Last month, US-based LNG exporter Cheniere Energy announced that it had signed two long term LNG supply and purchase (SPA) agreements with CNPC. Under the SPAs, CNPC subsidiary PetroChina International Company Ltd. will purchase approximately 1.2 million tons per annum (mtpa) of LNG from Cheniere’s Corpus Christi export terminal under construction in Texas. Cheniere said that the deal will help it move closer to expanding the site.
A portion of the supply will begin this year with the balance beginning in 2023, Cheniere said. The term of each SPA continues through 2043. The purchase price for LNG will be indexed to the Henry Hub price plus a fixed component.
The long-term SPAs follow a MoU reached in November between Cheniere and CNPC during President Trump’s trade visit to Beijing. “We expect these agreements to support the development of Corpus Christi Train 3, and we are now focused on completing the remaining necessary steps to reach a final investment decision later this year,” said Jack Fusco, Cheniere’s President and CEO.
The SPAs mark the first-ever long-term deal between an American LNG exporter and a Chinese state-owned energy company. Cheniere was the first American company in the Lower 48 to export LNG and has already sold several LNG cargoes to Chinese companies on a spot basis.
Reuters, citing analysts, said that the deal should move Cheniere to the top of the pack of companies competing to build the next generation of US LNG terminals to meet possible supply shortages in the early 2020s....
SHANGHAI - China on Monday launched trading of the yuan-denominated crude oil futures contracts at the Shanghai International Energy Exchange, which is the first futures listed on China's mainland to overseas investors.
The listed futures for trading are contracts to be delivered from September this year to March 2019. The benchmark prices of 15 contracts were set at 416 yuan ($65.8), 388 yuan and 375 yuan per barrel, varied by delivery dates.
Li Qiang, Shanghai's Party chief, and Liu Shiyu, chairman of China Securities Regulatory Commission, together rang the gong to open the trading session.
The opening price of the SC1809 contract started at 440 yuan per barrel.
Twenty minutes after the opening, 14,000 transactions were changed hands.
Trading margins for the futures are set at 7 percent of the contract value. The upward and downward trading limits are at 5 percent, with the trading limits on the first trading day set at 10 percent of the benchmark prices.
Overseas investors can invest in the future contracts through various measures. At the beginning, US dollars can be used as deposit and for settlement. In the future, more currencies will be used as deposit.
"China is the world's largest importer of crude oil and the introduction of RMB-denominated crude oil futures contract represents a milestone for China's Futures Market," said David Martin, Asia Pacific head of Global Clearing at JP Morgan.
This time we have interviewed Officer of Visa and Permit Department at Mongolian Immigration Agency, Mandakh.D, in order to inform foreign investors in Mongolia and foreign nationals who are willing to invest.
-Who is considered as the foreign investor in Mongolia?
-According to the Law of Mongolia on the Legal Status of Foreign Nationals, a foreign investor is defined as Mongolian citizen living abroad, a foreign national and a stateless person, who is investing in Mongolia. Also, the Investment Law of Mongolia clearly specifies the investor's definition and its rights and responsibilities.
-What kind of visa is issued for foreign investors in conformity with which regulation?
-There are 11 classifications of visas which apply to foreign nationals depending on the purpose of entry to the Mongolian border. For example business, investment, study, tourism, private purpose and so on.
The foreign investors shall enter Mongolia with 'T' visa. A foreign investor and senior management staff to work in a joint venture, branch or its representative office of foreign-invested entity may apply for “T” classification visa. The visa issuance is resolved in accordance with “The regulation on the issuance of Mongolian visa” ratified by the 338th government resolution and “The regulation on a residence of foreign nationals to Mongolia and its registration”, the government resolution numbered 340.
-What are the requirements of your agency to foreign investors? What should the foreign investors concern when applying for an investment visa and residence permit?
Generally, any country requires basic requirement which comprises of the creation of employment, a reality of investment, and a status of tax payments. Under the framework of this standard, our agency’s core requirement from the investors is focused on the actual investment, a creation of new jobs and tax payment history of foreign investors. All those relations are regulated by the government resolutions namely “The regulation on the issuance of Mongolian visa” and “The regulation on a residence of foreign nationals to Mongolia and its registration”.
When the foreign investor applies for investor’s visa and residence permit in Mongolia, it is essential to consider its documents completeness at an initial stage. Any permit or document issued by an authorized organization shall be revised whether the applicant has edited, forged or counterfeited it. You can find the list of documents to comprise which is available at our agency’s official website www.immigration.gov.mn and may contact a call center 1800-1882.
-The government of Mongolia has announced its commitment to attracting foreign investment. Is there any visa facilitation for foreign investors in this regard?
-The foreign investor receives longer residence permit rather than other types of visa applicants. The following things should be concerned to issue or extend residence permit for up to 3 years in compliance with the amendments of 2016 in the Law of Mongolia on Legal Status of Foreign Nationals. Herein: the permit from an authorized institution, an operation of the entity, status of tax payment and letting agreement as well as number of new employment they avail.
Our organization has introduced 'Appointment service” dedicated to foreign investors since 2017, which applies to international standard. By doing so, we have eased the public service which saves the time and energy of foreign nationals. So far, the world has been using technological advances and high speed of internet everywhere.
-Foreign investment has dropped in recent years, though it seems to revive. Could you mention the latest statistics and information?
-The number of foreign investors with a residence permit for the year of 2016 to 2017 has increased. For example, a foreign investor with residence permit is 967 in 2016 whereas 1121 in 2017. The number of residence permit extension is 2178 in 2016 and 2565 in 2017, which means it has increased respectively.
-Do you have any additional notice about the rights and obligations of foreign investors?
-I would like to notify few things related to a request for a residence permit. A foreign investor who requests to get residence permit of Mongolia shall enter with “T” classification visa of an investor and must be registered within 7 working days and apply for the residence permit within 21 calendar days to the Mongolia Immigration Agency right afterward the entry to the Mongolian border. The foreign investor must arrive at Mongolia Immigration Agency by himself/herself or may send his/her accredited delegate with necessary documents to extend the residence permit.
When extending the residence permit, the foreign investor’ status of tax payment and a regularity of action shall be revised, moreover, the entity’s functioning office and implementation of foreign investment in the country shall be reviewed in essential cases by officials of the Mongolia Immigration Agency.
Please consider if the entity is deemed to have no certain function or avoided to pay tax or forged some document shall be the subject to cancel the foreign investor’s residence permit....
A parliamentary working group has been established for examining the implementation of the Oyu Tolgoi investment agreement by decree of Parliament Speaker M.Enkhbold. The working group will present their conclusions to parliament.
D.Damba-Ochir, chairman of the Standing Committee on Economy is leading the working group and D.Terbishdagva has been appointed as a deputy chief.
The Oyu Tolgoi Investment Agreement was signed in 2009, has an initial 30-year term with a 20-year extension.
The Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) Board of Directors has approved a $130 million policy-based loan to help improve public health and enhance the quality of life in Ulaanbaatar by improving the air quality in the increasingly polluted Mongolian capital.
“The dangerous high level of air pollution in Ulaanbaatar is largely caused by inadequate planning and insufficient infrastructure investment, and compounded by a fragmented regulatory framework” said Maria Pia Ancora, Climate Change Specialist at ADB’s East Asia Department. “ADB’s assistance plays a very important catalytic role in promoting key policy reforms to address this issue, and to provide residents a much cleaner living environment.”
In wintertime, Ulaanbaatar experiences some of the highest levels of pollution in the world, brought about by a heavy reliance on raw coal burning for heating purposes given that it is also the world’s coldest capital, with temperatures regularly dropping below -20 degrees Celsius from October to March. Reliance on coal-fired stoves for individual gers (tents) and inefficient heat-only boilers for buildings contributes to an estimated 80% of particulate matter in the air. The resulting air pollution is posing severe health risks to people, especially children, in the Mongolian capital, while also burdening the country’s already sluggish economic growth.
The ADB assistance will focus on three key reform areas, including strengthening the air pollution regulatory framework for reducing air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from various sectors of the economy, for instance, from transport and household heating. It also guides the government on future expenditures to prioritize efforts for air pollution reduction and human health protection, particularly in introducing less polluting heating fuels, while creating a longer-term framework for better planning and incentives for cleaner fuels and greener development in Ulaanbaatar.
The policy-based loan, which will be sourced by ADB’s ordinary capital resources, will be disbursed in two tranches. The first tranche, worth $100 million, will be withdrawn upon loan effectiveness, while the second tranche for the remaining $30 million will be withdrawn once the second tranche policy actions are achieved.
ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members—48 from the region.