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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G.Zandanshatar to lead Mongolian Parliament www.news.mn

Yesterday (February 1st) in Parliament, MP G.Zandanshatar appointed as Speaker of Parliament, taking 95.2% of the votes that were cast. G. Zandanshatar, who currently works as the Head of the Cabinet Secretariat, was nominated by the Mongolian Prime Minister U.Khurelsukh and yesterday received the endorsement of the Executive Commission of Mongolian People’s Party.

G.Zandanshatar, who is also a former Minister of Foreign Affairs, was born in the Bayankhongor province of Mongolia in 1970 and has been elected three times by his constituents as a Member of Parliament.

On January 29th, the Mongolian Parliament dismissed M. Enkhbold who was its previous Speaker. In recent months, several sessions of the Mongolian State Great Khural had been delayed following a boycott by almost 40 MPs who had protested the actions of the Speaker. In addition, a petition signed by 38 MPs was presented to him demanding his resignation from the post.

Earlier this month, the Mongolian Parliament amended a draft of the Parliament Session Order. Initiated by President Kh.Battulgaa, this amendment provided the opportunity for a majority of MPs to vote to dismiss the Speaker.

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Former Justice Minister and his younger brother released on bail www.news.mn

Former Justice Minister D.Dorligjav and his younger brother D.Baatar were released on bail yesterday (February 1st).

Both had been arrested by Anti-Corruption agents on January 7th and had their houses searched for evidence by the police.

When he was working as the General Prosecutor, D.Dorligjav allegedly extorted $4 million from T.Ganbold, who was the Director of the Altan Dornod Mongol Mining Company. The money was then transferred though D.Baatar’s bank account.

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Mongolia to send humanitarian aid to Syrian children www.news.mn

On Wednesday (January 30th), the Mongolia government decided to send 103 million Mongolian tugriks ($40,000) in humanitarian aid to war-ravaged Syria.

According to Gandulam, the aid is to take the form of blankets, mattresses, school supplies, first aid kits and other necessities. Delivery of this aid to Syria will he handled by the Mongolian Red Cross and other appropriate bodies.

According to the UNCF (United Nations Children’s Fund), there are 5.5 million Syrian children in need of humanitarian aid.

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Week-long event for project to train 1000 engineers to take place in March www.montsame.mn

Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/. The administrative committee meeting for the project, ‘Higher Engineering Education Development Project’, took place yesterday on January 31.

The names of the 16 research students, who will be enrolling in Japanese universities from this April, and 2 students, who will be extending their duration of study, was approved at the meeting.

A week-long project event is also planned to take place on March 11-15. With aims of enhancing partnership between joint research teams as well as Mongolian and Japanese universities, further developing partnership between research institutes and businesses, and informing the public about the results of joint projects and research, one of the main events for the week-long event is the Mongolia-Japan joint research forum.

Moreover, the committee made decisions to hold a nationwide preliminary test for the 2019-2020 enrollment for technical colleges and bachelor’s programme as well as to make adjustments some of the project documents due to extension of the project duration by 1 year from 2023 to 2024 were also made during the meeting.

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Copper price rally halted by Chinese factory surprise www.mining.com

January’s copper price rally came to a screeching halt on Friday after a key gauge showed Chinese factory output shrinking at the fastest pace in almost three years.

Copper for delivery in March slumped 3% compared to Thursday's close to a low of $2.7535 per pound ($6,070 a tonne) on the Comex market in New York.

A January survey of Chinese private sector factory purchasing managers fell to 48.3 from 49.7 in December, the lowest reading since February 2016 and well below forecasts. A reading below 50 signals contractionary conditions.

The subindex for new orders was the weakest since September 2015, but the outlook for the rest of the year improved slightly, with factory bosses most optimistic since May last year.

The Caixin index focuses on small and medium-sized private sector companies while Beijing's official manufacturing PMI is skewed towards large state owned firms. That reading actually increased last month although it also remains stuck just below 50.

Given its widespread use in construction, transportation and power grid infrastructure, copper is considered a good barometer for economic activity and with China consuming nearly half the world's copper, the price of the red metal is closely correlated with domestic factory conditions.

At the start of 2019, copper fell to a near two-year low of $2.54 a pound over worries about slowing growth in China and fears of the impact of the trade dispute between China and the US.

Most analysts remain bullish on the longer term prospects for copper. Capital Economics, a London-based researcher, says that is partly due to slowing mine supply growth.

Capital Economics believes the metal will average $6,500 per tonne in the first quarter of 2020, after a gradual rise this year.

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Mongolia's Crisis of Democracy Continues www.thediplomat.com

On January 29, a majority of members of Mongolia’s parliamentary body, the State Great Khural, voted to oust the unicameral body’s speaker, Miyegombyn Enkhbold. The ousting of the speaker, who was formerly the chairman of the majority Mongolian People’s Party, comes after months of political turmoil. In the parliament’s special session, 43 out of 65 members who attended voted to throw out Enkhbold, who was embroiled in multiple corruption scandals.

The ousting is the most recent chapter in a slow-moving political crisis causing Mongolians have continuously lose faith in their government due to rampant corruption and inefficacy, particularly in addressing an annual air pollution-induced public health crisis in Ulaanbaatar.

In spite of widespread calls for Enkhbold’s resignation from both major political parties, the speaker had refused to step down for over a month in the face of major demonstrations in front of Mongolia’s parliament building. Since early December, more than half of Mongolian MPs boycotted plenary sessions in protest, which stalled out all legislative action for 40 days. The extraordinary measure to oust the speaker, who had formerly served as Mongolian prime minister and mayor of Ulaanbaatar, comes after a newly minted law approved on January 18, when parliament members granted themselves the new power. The original proposal for the bill was put forth just after the new year by President Kh. Battulga, who is from the opposition Democratic Party.

In his parting address, Enkhbold called it, “a grey day in Mongolian parliament.” He said, “I hope this law isn’t used to change the leadership in the future.”

Mongolia’s government has been in crisis due to a series of corruption scandals implicating leaders in both major political parties, whose platforms are virtually indistinguishable. Even after a new speaker is chosen, likely in early February after the Lunar New Year, the inter-governmental and inter-party conflict will continue to test Mongolia’s fledgling democracy.

More than just holding up the passing of budgets and the development of legislative priorities for 2019, the gridlock has threatened the girders of Mongolia’s political system. Critics have argued that the president proposing the bill sets a dangerous precedent for others to propose timely legislation to their benefit. Notably, President Battulga has also ordered for an inquiry into former President Elbegdorj in relation to the former’s negotiation of major mining deals while president.

Since late November, demonstrators have targeted Enkhbold due to his connection to a number of high-profile corruption scandals, which are still ongoing. Most notably, Enkhbold has been implicated in the long-unresolved 2016 60 billion MNT case, in which a group of politicians were accused of conspiring to sell government offices in return for raising 60 billion tugrik (roughly $22 million). The speaker has not been named directly but has been allegedly associated with last year’s Small and Medium-sized Enterprise Development Fund (SME) case. In the SME scandal, a variety of high-profile public officials granted relatives or friends money intended for small business owners. The funds were originally intended to help offset Mongolia’s heavily mining-dependent economy and stimulate the local-level economy.

Opponents, even in his own party, allege that Enkhbold runs a secretive group of leaders from across both major political parties known as MANAN, or “fog” in Mongolian, which has become synonymous with a shadowy oligarchy. In Mongolian, the word MANAN also combines the acronym of the two major political parties, the Democratic Party and the Mongolian People’s party.

The series of protests surrounding the SME scandal began in November, shortly after Prime Minister Ukhnaagiin Khurelsukh (from Enkhbold’s own party) narrowly escaped a vote of no confidence. The prime minister deflected criticism and accused Enkhbold of corruption.

The scandals have been widely covered in local media, and attracted outrage from average Mongolians.

Namuun, 19, said that “corruption is making everyone’s life hard, even someone young like me. It affects my parents; it affects all the people around me.”

The latest major political protest took place January 10 at Sukhbaatar Square and targeted Enkhbold. Like the previous protest on December 27, there were tens of thousands of demonstrators.

At the protest, 56-year-old Ganhuyag said, “I think this year will be year of protest, because if we don’t stop MANAN, our country will not develop.” He expounded, “every TV, every media company has someone from parliament or someone powerful working behind [it]. That is why people should not believe in news but believe in people’s voice.”

Ganuhuyag’s comments are emblematic of a growing public distrust in Mongolia’s governing class, and increasing disillusionment with the country’s media, both of which score low in global transparency ratings.

Occupiers in traditional gers, or yurts, register protest signatures against speaker Enkhbold at Sukhbaatar Square on January 13. The banner says “Protest against the tyranny of MANAN!” Photo by Peter Bittner.

Since the demonstration, dozens of “gers,” or yurts have occupied Sukhbaatar Square, the central government plaza, with at least 10 Mongolians promising to go on hunger strike.

One demonstrator, Batzorig, said, “I am one of 300 people who protested in 1989 in the Democratic Revolution. Look at what the people we trusted since that time have done! This is unbearable.

“I want this destroyed by its roots.”

Peter Bittner is a freelance journalist based in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. Tuguldur Chulunbaatar and Anand Daliad contributed reporting to this story.

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IMF Continues Discussions on the Sixth Review of Mongolia’s Extended Fund Facility www.imf.org

An International Monetary Fund (IMF) staff team led by Mr. Geoff Gottlieb visited Ulaanbaatar during January 28–30, 2019 to continue discussions on the sixth review of the three-year Extended Fund Facility (EFF) arrangement approved on May 24, 2017, in an amount equivalent to SDR314.5054 million, or about US$434.3 million [1] (see Press Release No. 17/193 ).

At the conclusion of the visit, Mr. Gottlieb made the following statement:

“The economy continues its recovery, with growth exceeding 6 percent in 2018, amid supportive external conditions and sharply rising domestic demand. Both the strong growth and the authorities’ commitment to discipline on public spending have resulted in large over-performance on fiscal targets under the program.

“To tackle signs of overheating pressures that are a headwind on further international reserve accumulation, the Bank of Mongolia has raised the policy interest rate and introduced macro-prudential measures to rein in excessive credit growth. The authorities stand ready to tighten further if necessary.

“The rehabilitation of the banking system is a core part of the program. The IMF staff team continues to work with the Bank of Mongolia on the follow-up to the Asset Quality Review that was completed in 2017. The authorities have committed to taking decisive actions regarding the recapitalization or resolution of under-capitalized banks before the next IMF Executive Board meeting on the sixth review. Over the coming weeks, discussions with the authorities will continue from IMF headquarters.

“The team thanks the authorities for their cooperation, constructive dialogue, and hospitality during its stay in Mongolia.”

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Altantuya’s son tells of rejection by father, a popular singer in Mongolia www.malaymail.com

SHAH ALAM, Jan 31 — The High Court here today was told by Mungunshagai Bayarjargal that his father had refused to take him in after his mother, Altantuya Shaariibuu was murdered in 2006.

Testifying as the fourth witness in his family’s RM100 million civil lawsuit against the Malaysian government, Mungunshagai said he reached out to his father, Bayarjargal Bayasgalam, whom he described as a popular singer in Mongolia, for support after Altantuya’s death and was rejected.

“My father clearly told me he was married again. He has other children and he refused to take me in,” he replied under cross-examination to the Manjeet Singh Dhillon, the lawyer representing Abdul Razak Baginda who is also one of the defendants in the lawsuit.

Manjeet had asked Mungunshagai if his maternal grandfather, Shariibuu Setev who is the first plaintiff in the suit, had asked the college graduate if he wished to be with his father.

Bayarjargal and published on November 15, 2006, Manjeet cited that the pop singer had wanted to take custody of his son following Altantuya’s death.

When asked by Manjeet whether he agrees with the article’s content, Mungunshagai disagreed and explained that his father even acknowledged later in his life that he had refused to care for him when he was young.

“I disagree that my father wanted to take care of me. I spoke to him man-to-man. He was very clear at the time and he apologised to me for not being there when I grew up.

“As a son, he didn’t want me at that time. He admitted it and apologised to me,” he said.

Manjeet then asked whether Mungunshagai’s father wanted the best for him; however, Mungunshagai said he never felt loved by his father.

“I knew I had a father but I never felt any loved, any care from him ever. We never spent a night together,” he said.

Manjeet also asked whether Bayarjargal was able to care for him after his mother’s passing in 2006.

“How would I ever know, I never met him,” Mungunshagai replied.

Earlier today, Mungunshagai testified in court that he met his father for the first time in 2011 and while he was growing up, the pop singer would sometimes send him gift and toys.

Referring to the same news article, Manjeet also asked whether Mungunshagai knew that Altantuya had prevented his father from seeing him. The 21-year-old stated he had no knowledge of the matter.

On Tuesday, Mungunshagai testified in court that he had changed his name to Bayarkhuu Bayarjargal to escape the negative stigma from Altantuya’s murder.

In court today, Manjeet asked the unemployed college graduate whether he had kept the word “Bayar” in his name to signify his fondness of his father.

“I put it to you that you changed your name to Bayarkhuu Bayarjagal because you were proud of your father,” he said.

Mungunshagai disagreed, stating that the decision to change his name was made by his grandfather, Shariibuu and that “Bayar” was a very common Mongolian name, which means “joy”.

The hearing will resume on May 6 and start with the cross-examinations of Shariibuu.

Altantuya’s parents Shaariibuu and Altantsetseg Sanjaa, and Altantuya’s two sons had on June 4, 2007, filed a civil lawsuit to claim compensation for the mental shock and psychological trauma they suffered over her death.

However, Altantuya’s younger son, 15-year-old Alatanshagai Munkhtukga, was removed as a plaintiff following his death in 2017.

In the lawsuit where Altantuya’s family is seeking RM100 million as compensation, Sirul Azhar Umar, Azilah Hadri, Abdul Razak and the government of Malaysia were named as defendants.

Sirul and Azilah were convicted by the High Court in 2009 of killing Altantuya. They succeeded in overturning their convictions at the Court of Appeal in 2013, but the Federal Court in 2015 restored their convictions and sentenced them to death.

Abdul Razak, who was accused of abetting the two former police officers in her murder, was acquitted.

Sirul fled to Australia after the death sentence was handed down and is currently in detention there as Australian laws do not allow the extradition of anyone to a country where he or she may be subjected to the death penalty. Azilah is on death row here.

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Mongolian ruling party backs new Speaker of Parliament www.news.mn

The Executive Commission of Mongolian People’s Party has today (January 31st) backed MP G.Zandanshatar as the new Speaker of Parliament. G.Zandanshatar is currently working as the Head of the Cabinet Secretariat. He has been nominated to the post by the Mongolian Prime Minister U.Khurelsukh and the nomination will now be discussed by parliament.

G.Zandanshatar, who is also a former Minister of Foreign Affairs, was born in the Bayankhongor province of Mongolia in 1970 and has been elected three times by his constituents as a member of parliament seat for third time.

On January 29th, the Mongolian Parliament dismissed its Speaker M.Enkhbold from the post. In recent months, several sessions of the Mongolian State Great Khural were delayed following a boycott by almost 40 MPs protesting the actions of the Speaker. In addition, a petition signed by 38 MPs was presented to him demanding his resignation from the post.

Earlier this month, the Mongolian Parliament amended a draft of the Parliament Session Order. Initiated by President Kh.Battulgaa, this amendment provided the opportunity for a majority of MPs to vote to dismiss the Speaker

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70 percent of Mongolian grazing lands degraded www.news.mn

Essential to the economy and national identity of Mongolia, the grasslands are under increasing threat from overgrazing and climate change. Multiple studies over the past decade have shown that the once lush Mongolian steppe, which is an expanse twice the size of the American state of Texas, that is one of the world’s largest remaining grasslands, is slowly turning into a desert. An estimated 70% of all the grazing lands in the country have been degraded to some degree.

From 1940 to 2014, the annual mean temperature on the Mongolian steppe has increased by 2.07°C, which is more than twice the global average. Ten of the warmest years on record have occurred since 1997. In this period, rainfall has decreased, and seasonal weather patterns have shifted. This has exacerbated soil erosion, which has begun to alter the vegetation. This is a trend that projections show will intensify in the first half of the 21st century. Twelve percent of rivers and 21% of lakes have dried up entirely.

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