|“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|
Meeting with Umberto De Pretto, Secretary-General of International Road Transport Union www.president.mn
President of Mongolia Khaltmaagiin Battulga visited the headquarters of the International Road Transport Union (IRU) in Geneva, Switzerland, and met its Secretary-General Umberto de Pretto on October 23rd.
At the beginning of the meeting, the sides exchanged views on the implementation of the TIR Convention and trends in the development of global transport sector.
President Battulga underlined that the shortest channel between Europe and the Northeast Asian market is via Mongolia. President Battulga spoke about the nearing completion of construction works to connect Mongolia’s capital city Ulaanbaatar with capitals of all 21 provinces which has yielded a number of positive outcomes, including shortened transport duration and promotion of tourism sector. President Battulga discussed opportunities for cooperation, including a plan to construct a highway connecting Altanbulag, Selenge Aimag, with Zamiin-Uud, Dornogobi Aimag, while mentioning that the project is open to investment from third countries.
For his part, Secretary-General Umberto de Pretto expressed willingness to consider President Battulga’s proposal for inclusion of Mongolians in the training courses and workshops organized by the Union. The Secretary-General emphasized that transport involves plenty of preparation works, including workshops for drivers, managers, and public servants.
The sides discussed regional road transport issues and the Convention on International Transport of Goods Under Cover of TIR Carnets (TIR Convention) during the meeting. At the end of the meeting, President Battulga signed an honorary board commemorating the 70th anniversary of the IRU and wished success to the Secretary-General and the IRU staff members.
Meeting with Francis Gurry, Director General of World Intellectual Property Organization www.president.mn
President of Mongolia Khaltmaagiin Battulga met Francis Gurry, Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), on October 23rd in Geneva, Switzerland.
President Battulga expressed satisfaction with the outcome of Mongolia’s cooperation with the WIPO and discussed introduction of new technologies in SMEs, support to initiatives and innovations of young minds, and access to information on patent acquisition for innovations. The President spoke about the distribution of low-emission stoves in Mongolia in recent years and the current discussion on distributing smoke-filtering chimneys, while expressing his wish to know whether if patent rights had been already granted to similar products.
For his part, Director General Francis Gurry expressed pleasure with cooperating with Mongolia in all areas and decided to organize workshops on how to access the WIPO database and how to put intellectual property to economic use in Mongolia. The Director General also appreciated the productive cooperation between the WIPO and the Intellectual Property Office of Mongolia as a result of which intellectual property registration was automated.
Following the meeting, President Battulga familiarized with the functions of the WIPO, inquiring about information related to Mongolia. Mongolia was ranked 53rd in the 2018 Global Innovation Index.
When US president Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un held a summit in June, Singapore was chosen as the venue over other ideas that were floated, including Mongolia. Now the landlocked central Asian country could have another shot.
As anticipation for a second Trump-Kim summit later this year mounts, Mongolian president Khaltmaagiin Battulga this week seized the opportunity of the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two nations to invite Kim to visit the country. In an interview with Russian media outlet Sputnik, Mongolia’s foreign minister also said that his country was ready to host Trump and Kim if they decide to go ahead with a second summit.
It appears that Mongolia has been working behind the scenes to smooth tensions on the Korean peninsula. Japanese news agency Kyodo reported today (Oct. 19) that a top Japanese intelligence official close to prime minister Shinzo Abe held meetings with senior North Korean officials in Mongolian capital Ulaanbaatar earlier this month. According to an unnamed official to Kyodo, the two sides discussed the issue of Pyongyang’s abductions of Japanese citizens in the 1970s and 1980s. The issue is a major sticking point for the Abe government, and its insistence on resolving the issue has at times left it sidelined (paywall) in the recent rounds of North Korean diplomacy.
The meeting between Japan and North Korea in Mongolia took place shortly after Abe met with Mongolia’s leader in September in Russia, where the two sides agreed to work together to resolve the abductions issue, according to a report of the meeting by Japan’s foreign ministry. Mongolia has hosted talks on other occasions between Japan and North Korea.
Mongolia is one of the few nations in the world that has maintained consistently friendly relations with Pyongyang, and was the second country to recognize North Korea after the Soviet Union. Kim Il Sung, Kim Jong Un’s grandfather, visited Mongolia twice (the country was ruled by a communist regime at the time). More recently, Mongolia’s former president Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj visited Pyongyang in 2013, with the goal of positioning Mongolia (paywall) as a mediator between North Korea and the rest of the world, while presenting itself as a model of economic development for Mongolia to learn from. Elbegdorj also touted the country’s neutrality earlier this year as a reason for why a Trump-Kim summit should be held in Mongolia:
Korean Peninsula: A long waited breakthrough! Here is an offer: US President Trump and NK leader Kim meet in UB. Mongolia is the most suitable, neutral territory. We facilitated important meetings, including between Japan and NK. Mongolia’s continuing legacy – UB dialogue on NEA
– ????????? ????????? (@elbegdorj) March 9, 2018
Mongolia’s foreign minister, meanwhile visited North Korea in February.
“Mongolia’s unique relationship with and access to the DPRK’s leadership has primarily proven to be a most valuable asset in boosting Mongolia’s profile in the region and the world at large,” wrote Tjalling Halbertsma, a scholar and former diplomat in Mongolia, in a study on Mongolia-North Korea relations published in 2014.
As nation of just 3 million people sandwiched between major superpowers in a neighborhood fraught with geopolitical difficulties, Mongolia has long sought to cultivate ties with countries beyond its borders as a way to counterbalance Russia and China’s influence, also known as the “third neighbor” policy. And while it’s maintained friendly relations with North Korea, Ulaanbaatar has complied with United Nations sanctions, kicking out over a thousand North Korean workers late last year (a recent visit by this reporter to the site of a former North Korea restaurant in the Mongolian capital found that the restaurant had changed its name and no longer housed any visible evidence of being a North Korean establishment).
Mongolia’s diplomatic strategy mirrors to some extent Singapore’s playbook, which has allowed the city-state to play host to various major international events over the years, including a historic meeting between the leaders of Taiwan and China in 2015. It could be Mongolia’s chance to bask in the spotlight next.
This article was originally published in Quartz....
Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ The National Agency of Meteorology and Environment Monitoring (NAMEM) has issued warning for herders, citizens and farmers.
Blizzard is expected in Bulgan aimag, in southern parts of Selenge aimag, in northern parts of Uvurkhangai aimag and in western parts of Central aimags on October 24.
Snow and blizzard are expected in eastern half of the country on October 25, in some areas of central, gobi and eastern aimags from October 26 to 28.
Wind will get stronger in eastern half of the country on October 25, in gobi and prairie areas on October 26-28, reaching 18-20 m/s. Dust storm will occur as well.
The temperature drop is expected in most of the country starting from October 25.
In the depression of Darkhad, in mountainous areas of Altai, Khgai, Khuvsgul and Khentei, in Khurenbelchir, in the head of Zavkhan river, in the basins of Ider, Tes, Tuul, Terelj, Kherlen, Onon, Ulz and Khalkh rivers, the nighttime temperature will be -15 to -20 degrees Celsius, the daytime temperature will be -2 to – 7 degrees Celsius.
The nighttime temperature will be 0 to -5 degrees Celsius and the daytime temperature will be +4 to +9 degrees Celsius in southern parts of gobi region.
In other regions, the nighttime temperature will be -8 to -13 degrees Celsius and the daytime temperature will be +3 to -2 degrees Celsius.
Chinese President Xi Jinping has officially opened the world's longest sea crossing bridge, nine years after construction first began.
Including its access roads, the bridge spans 55km (34 miles) and connects Hong Kong to Macau and the mainland Chinese city of Zhuhai.
The bridge cost about $20bn (£15.3bn) and should have opened in 2016.
Construction has been dogged by safety issues - at least 18 workers have died on the project, officials say.
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Mr Xi attended the opening ceremony of the bridge, which took place in Zhuhai, along with the leaders of Hong Kong and Macau.
Limited bus services begin on Wednesday.
What's so special about this bridge?
Designed to withstand earthquakes and typhoons, it was built using 400,000 tonnes of steel, enough to build 60 Eiffel Towers.
About 30km of its total length crosses the sea of the Pearl River delta. To allow ships through, a 6.7km section in the middle dips into an undersea tunnel that runs between two artificial islands.
One of two artificial islands that have been built as part of the multi-billion-dollar project
The remaining sections are link roads, viaducts and land tunnels connecting Zhuhai and Hong Kong to the main bridge.
Why has it been built?
It is part of China's plan to create a Greater Bay Area, including Hong Kong, Macau and nine other cities in southern China.
In the past, travelling between Zhuhai and Hong Kong would take up to four hours - the new bridge cuts this down to 30 minutes.
Can anyone drive across the bridge?
No. Those who want to cross the bridge must obtain special permits, allocated by a quota system. And all vehicles will pay a toll.
The bridge is not served by public transport, so private shuttle buses will ply the route. There is no rail link.
Authorities initially estimated that 9,200 vehicles would cross the bridge every day. They later lowered their estimations after new transport networks were built in the region.
What are people saying about it?
There's been a great deal of criticism of the project.
It has been dubbed the "bridge of death" by some local media. At least nine workers on the Hong Kong side have died and officials told BBC News Chinese that nine had died on the mainland side, too.
Hundreds of workers have also been injured during the construction.
It's fitted with 'yawn cams'?
Special cameras will be on the look-out for drivers on the bridge who show signs of getting sleepy, among other checks - yawn three times and the authorities will be alerted, local media report.
To help counter potential terror attacks, there will also be "48 high-definition surveillance cameras" mounted at intervals along the bridge as well as anti-terror police patrols, the South China Morning Post reports.
And drivers will have to change which side of the road they are on at the crossing. People drive on the left in Hong Kong and Macau but the bridge is Chinese territory and special merger channels have been built to cope with this.
At least 18 people have died working on the bridge
There have also been concerns about the environmental impact.
Environmental groups say the project may have caused serious harm to marine life in the area, including the critically rare Chinese white dolphin.
The number of dolphins seen in Hong Kong waters has decreased from 148 to 47 in the past 10 years and they are now absent from the waters near the bridge, according to the Hong Kong branch of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).
"The project has made irreversible damage to the sea," said Samantha Lee, Assistant Director of Ocean Conservation at the WWF. "I am worried that the number will never rise again."
Is it going to recoup its costs?
The bridge, surrounding link roads and artificial islands cost a staggering $20bn to build - the main bridge alone cost $6.92bn.
Chinese officials say it will generate up to 10 trillion yuan ($1.44tn; £1tn) for the economy, but one Hong Kong lawmaker cast doubt on that figure.
"I am not so sure either how the bridge can sustain itself if not many cars are using it," Tanya Chan told BBC News Chinese.
"I am pretty sure that we would never earn that [construction cost] back."
According to an estimate by BBC Chinese, the bridge will only earn around $86m in tolls per year.
In fact, the bridge's maintenance costs would already take away a third of this income.
Critics have called the bridge a "big white elephant" that guarantees no economic return. Others have said its main purpose is symbolic, ensuring Hong Kong is physically connected to the mainland.
Additional reporting by Lam Cho Wai, BBC Chinese....
Mongolian National Audit Office (MNAO) presented the results of inspection on the air pollution reduction activities of Clean Air Fund (CAF) conducted in 2008-2016 by foreign and domestic investments yesterday and concluded that the fund spent the financing on ineffective measures. The inspection focused on three main factors, namely coordination of government bodies, efficient planning and effectiveness. MNAO spokesperson highlighted that the fund failed to properly manage the measures due to incoordination of legal measures ratified since 1995. With an aim to tackle air pollution, the President and Prime Minister respectively established a national committee twice under the Ministry of Environment and Tourism, and created an agency to organize, implement and monitor actions against air pollution three times. The agency’s structure was changed each time. Accordingly, the line of duties overlapped, ultimately making it impossible to consolidate and monitor the results of implemented measures, reported MNAO. This also means that it is now impossible to track down authorities, public servants and government bodies responsible for the inappropriate use of the financing for air pollution reduction. The MNAO even mentioned that the financial information was based on the Ministry of Finance data. Between 2008 and 2016, a total of MNT 164.1 billion was allocated from local budgets and USD 153.3 million from foreign loans and aids on air pollution reduction measures. Furthermore, electricity tariff discount to 2.5 million consumers of Ulaanbaatar city ger districts will add another MNT 14 billion to this amount. However, the Ministry of Finance responded that it is not possible to share the use of foreign non-refundable aids by each year.
Thus, the MNAO reviewed only the overviews and estimates in inspecting air pollution reduction measures. According to MNAO, 26 percent of total costs were spent on establishing a facility for briquette fuels and its expansion, 22 percent on improved stoves and purchasing vehicles for ash transporting, 10.9 percent on improved fuel, workers’ incentives and warehouse rent. MNAO report also showed that there are not a single successfully completed work. “The key action, which was to distribute improved stoves at a discounted price, they have become same as traditional stoves due to misuse and inadequacy. 70,580 tons of fuel worth agreements were signed with 14 improved fuel manufacturing entities, of which only 22.4 percent were supplied. The MNAO informed that officials at the time signed the deals without studying their capacity. “Although insulations were distributed at a discounted price to ger district households, aging of insulation materials were not determined and grants to target households were not registered or monitored. Electricity cost of ger district households were also discounted by certain percent, no studies were conducted on its impact on air pollution,” addressed a spokesperson of the MNAO. Additionally, the audit office considered that the actions on reducing greenhouse gas emission remains inadequate. The Government allocated MNT 9.8 billion for the action; however, the CAF did not conduct preparatory works, failed to complete tasks, allocated financing without considering the performance and lacked monitoring on project implementation, concluded the MNAO and assessed air pollution reduction actions as unsatisfactory....
ULAN BATOR, Oct. 23 (Xinhua) -- Mongolia should make more efforts to diversify its mining-dependent economy, World Trade Organization (WTO) Director General Roberto Azevedo has said.
Azevedo made the remarks Monday when meeting with Mongolian President Khaltmaa Battulga at the organization headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, the Mongolian president's press office said in a statement on Tuesday.
Battulga is in Geneva to attend the World Investment Forum on Oct. 22-26.
"It is important for Mongolia to diversify its mining-dependent economy. The landlocked country should make more efforts to promote the economic diversification," Azevedo said.
He expressed his willingness to visit Mongolia next year in order to expand bilateral cooperation between the WTO and Mongolia.
Since its accession to the WTO in 1997, Mongolia has been able to strengthen its trade relations with the rest of the world with favorable conditions and use multilateral mechanisms to solve any trade-related issues, according to the Mongolian president's press office.
Ulaanbataar – The first nationwide study of migration in Mongolia reveals that most of the country’s internal migrants over the past 30 years have moved from rural areas to the capital, Ulaanbaatar, causing intensive urbanization and de-population of the countryside.
According to Mongolia: Internal Migration Study conducted by the National University of Mongolia, nearly half of the country’s population (47 percent) are now living in the capital, up from a little over a quarter (26.8 percent) in 1989. Between 20110 and 2016 some 126,143 people arrived at Ulaanbaatar, bringing the total population to 1.4 million, according to the National Statistics Office.
The study, which surveyed 1,000 migrant and non-migrant households, showed that most people did not migrate in response to a specific event. Most moved in search of jobs, better living conditions, educational opportunities, better health services, or to reunite with family members.
The majority settled in Ger districts on the outskirts of Ulaanbaatar, which now account for over 60 percent of the city’s population but have never been adequately integrated into municipal planning. New migrants form almost one third of the population living in these areas and an estimated 40 percent of them are believed to need support.
Some of the challenges and hardships they face are outlined in a second report: Urban Migrant Vulnerability Assessment compiled by the NGO Ger Community Mapping Center(https://www.germapcenter.org/.)
Both studies, conducted over a year, are part of an IOM project: “Understanding and Managing Internal Migration in Mongolia,” supported by the Ulaanbaatar City Municipality (UCM) and funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC.)
“SDC’s support for conducting these assessments reflects a new direction in the Swiss Cooperation Strategy with Mongolia 2018-21 that aims at enhancing our engagement in addressing the challenges of rapid urbanization,” said Gabriella Spirli, SDC’s Director for Cooperation.
“Although the studies showed that the majority of migrants feel better off in Ulaanbaatar, they also revealed much information about the types of hardships the migrants face in the capital,” said Ulaanbaatar City Mayor S. Batbold. “These studies have presented us with invaluable evidence on which to base a new city population policy to meet the needs of residents.”
“These studies go further than providing important baseline data. They represent a breakthrough, because they are evidence-based and propose short- and longer-term solutions at national and local levels to improve current policies and procedures,” said IOM Mongolia Officer in Charge Richard Fairbrother. “IOM will continue supporting the government, the UCM, and the people of Mongolia, to uphold the human dignity and well-being of Mongolia’s internal migrants,” he added.
Following the launch of the reports, IOM will provide training to Mongolian policy makers on the principles, dynamics and challenges that characterize strategic management of internal migration. The training will aim to help the government to eventually draft a policy framework for managing internal migration.
Separately, IOM is today (22-23/10) organizing a two-day training in the use of its Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) for 43 trainers from Mongolia’s National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA.) NEMA is responsible for emergency preparedness, planning and early warning systems nationwide.
Rural populations in Mongolia are particularly vulnerable to the impact of climate change and natural disasters. The rising incidence of severe droughts and dzuds (harsh winters) in the country often forces herders to either travel longer distances to find pastures or, in the event of losing their livestock, to move to urban centres.
The NEMA trainers will share their knowledge with district (soum) level colleagues to improve data collection, processing and assessment to inform emergency responses and enhance NEMA’s understanding of population movements and the needs of displaced populations on the move. A series of further trainings for soum DTM focal points is scheduled for December.
For more information on IOM’s “Understanding and Managing Internal Migration in Mongolia” project please go to: https://www.iom.int/…/iom-mongolia-sdc-project-factsheet-20…
For more information please contact Zuzana Jankechova at IOM Mongolia, Email: email@example.com, Tel: +976 70143100....
Petro Matad said it had started drilling the Wild Horse-1 exploration well in the Baatsagaan Basin in Western Mongolia.
The well was targeting a substantial prospective resources of 480m barrels of oil.
The total depth of the well was 2,200m and it was expected to take between 30 to 45 days to drill and log.
'In the latter case, this would see drilling operations continue into December,' the company said.
'Although winter weather in the area is milder than in Eastern Mongolia, some modifications have been made on the rig to enhance its operability in low temperatures and the company is confident that this will enable completion of well operations before the winter drilling shutdown.
President Battulga has delivered remarks at the Global Leaders Investment Summit.
H.E. Mr. Mukhisa Kituyi, Secretary General of the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD),
H.E. Mr. Alain Berset, President of the Swiss Confederation,
Esteemed Heads of State and Government,
Distinguished delegates and guests,
Ladies and gentlemen,
I am delighted to participate in this august event being held on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the World Investment Forum, which serves as a platform for exchanging views and ideas on how to improve the world trade and investment environment and step up investment cooperation.
I wish to congratulate the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the Swiss Government on the successful organization of this Summit.
Ladies and gentlemen,
According to the UNCTAD’s World Investment Report 2018, global flows of foreign direct investment fell by 23 per cent last year. They fell by 41 per cent as of the first half of this year compared to the same period last year. There is no increase in foreign investment flows to developing countries. These figures make this Summit all the more important and timely.
We, the international community, defined Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to be achieved by 2030 in all sectors and areas, such as poverty reduction, education, health, environment, and energy. Over the first 2-3 years of Sustainable Development Goals’ implementation, investment flows have fallen substantially, and there is an increasing backlash against liberalization of global trade and investment in some countries. With those trends, we are virtually pushing Sustainable Development Goals towards the edge of the cliff.
I would like to emphasize that an emerging technological divide between developed and developing countries in relation to the new industrial revolution poses a daunting challenge for landlocked developing countries like Mongolia in their efforts to achieve sustainable development and implement goals set in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Therefore, our delegation is pleased to have an opportunity to jointly seek solutions to global and regional challenges at this Forum and its sessions.
Distinguished delegates and guests,
Ladies and gentlemen,
In 2016, Mongolia adopted its own “Sustainable Development Vision – 2030” based on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Since then, we are developing and implementing our national-level and intersectoral development policies in line with the “Sustainable Development Vision – 2030″. We are planning to present a National Voluntary Report on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in 2019.
Furthermore, we are in the middle of formulating an integrated investment policy in strict conformity with Sustainable Development Goals. The new policy will help enhance the structure of the relevant authorities and their coordination, and increase the effectiveness of investment.
From my own country’s experience, I can say with confidence that investment has an enormous impact on development. After reaching its peak in 2011 and 2012, foreign direct investment in Mongolia fell sharply due to an unstable investment policy, impacting negatively on its economic growth. We have learnt lessons from this bitter experience and given it special attention at all levels of government by taking step-by-step targeted measures at both national and international levels.
To illustrate, Mongolia established an Investor Protection Council and a Public-Private Consultative Committee mandated to improve the legal environment for investment, promptly resolve complaints and grievances related to bureaucracy and illegal actions and take precautions against any risks.
We also focused on developing a win-win investment agreement that ensures our country’s interests on an equal footing by formulating a model bilateral investment agreement in accordance with the recommendations made by UNCTAD.
Foreign direct investment in Mongolia has been increasing over the past few years. A 2.5 times increase was recorded last year. Economic growth reached 5.3 per cent last year and 6.3 per cent in the first half of 2018.
However, there is still a critical need to promote and attract more investment in sectors crucial for the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals, such as agriculture, processing industries and infrastructure. In order to address this issue, we are working to improve the legal environment for accessing the markets of our trading and investment partner countries and increase investment from those countries to Mongolia.
Along with agriculture, renewable energy and tourism are the key sectors which Mongolia set to develop rapidly. We proposed to our Northeast Asian partner countries to implement a project called “Northeast Asian Energy Super Grid” designed to supply electricity to Northeast Asian countries using Mongolia’s huge potential to produce renewables such as solar and wind energy. We invite you to work together with us in these sectors and make investments that will introduce new eco-friendly technologies.