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Ulaanbaatar/MONTSAME/ The Economic Cooperation Society of Mongolia and Chinese National Association of Industry and Commerce will jointly organize a forum ‘Belt and Road Initiative and a possibility in Mongolia’ on March 18-21 in Beijing.
More than 90 state-owned and private companies of China confirmed their participation in the forum. In detail, Chinese companies expressed their interest to invest in agriculture, animal husbandry, farming, infrastructure construction, energy, power plant, nature conservation and rehabilitation, a comprehensive service of environment, renewable energy, tourism, metallurgy, information technology, mining, coal, international freight forwarding, production of chemical and construction materials, construction of industrial park, production of equipment as well as other sectors of Mongolia.
Until March 2, a registration is available for businesspersons who want to take part in the forum and look for investment-a partner of cooperation in abovementioned sectors.
The Financial Regulatory Commission reported last week that it registered 800 million shares of the non-banking financial institution LendMN for 100 MNT per share.
LendMN gave a presentation about securities on February 9, at the Mongolian Stock Exchange. LendMN will offer 25 percent of the company’s shares through an IPO.
The company expects to raise five billion MNT from individual buyers and other investors through the MSE trade, and will spend the money on expanding its operations.
Applications for buying the securities will open on February 21, and close on March 7. LendMN introduced its financial technology in 2016, and they provide loans without collateral through a mobile application.
As of January 2018, foreign trade volume increased by 14.7 percent compared to January 2017, and reached 785 million USD.
The balance of foreign trade saw a positive outcome, with exports exceeding imports by 62.7 million USD.
Mineral products made up 83 percent of the 423.8 million USD in exports, with 6.4 percent including precious stones and metals. China received 88.5 percent of Mongolia's export products, while Russia received 1.2 percent.
Import volume increased by 30 percent over 2017, reaching 360 million USD. With the Lunar New Year approaching, imports of food and plastic items tend to increase.
Mining bitcoins requires a great deal of computing power which in turn needs a lot of electricity to solve the mathematical puzzles that reward miners with cryptocurrency.
China and South Korea have already banned bitcoin mining due to problems with a lack of control over fraud and money laundering, and in China's case, concern over the amount of power that the activity sucks from the electricity grid.
Now one of the most popular destinations for bitcoin mining could be facing the same problem as large cryptocurrency miners pile in to take advantage of the island's abundant geothermal and hydroelectric power plants.
According to Iceland's National Energy Authority, bitcoin mining is expected to double Iceland's energy consumption to around 100 megawatts this year, which is more than households on the island nation of 340,000 use, Metro News reported on Sunday.
In 2014 Oilprice.com found Iceland to be "the world's top energy glutton," using more kilograms of oil equivalent per capita than any other nation on earth. With most of Iceland’s energy coming from hydroelectric and geothermal power, Icelanders are some of the planet’s least energy-conscious. Click here for a fascinating video of why the Nordic nation uses so much energy.
Oyu Tolgoi donates air purifiers to The National Center for Maternal and Children’s Health and 116th School www.gogo.mn
Oyu Tolgoi initiated to donate 23 high quality air purifiers to National center for maternal and children health and 116th school for blind and visually impaired children, which are located in one of the most polluted areas of Ulaanbaatar.
This contribution is an example of Oyu Tolgoi’s effort to enhance human security and environment.
Air pollution affects the learning ability and development of respiratory systems of children aged 0-7, with signs of immune deficiency and respiratory infections. With ever increasing flu caused from in-door air pollution these days, 116th school’s dormitory as well as maternity’s critical areas such as surgery rooms and section for prematurely born babies are in particular need of air purifiers. Therefore, Oyu Tolgoi is very proud to support the maternity and school to create healthy environment for their development.
IQ Air purifier filters particles 100 times smaller than ordinary air cleaners and micron particles including bacteria and viruses. Over 100 types of gasous contaminants can be destroyed by this technology and there are no risky side effects because it is ozone-free - making it the most suitable for hospitals and schools.
We would like to express our gratitude to AERIS LLC, official distributor of IQ Air in Mongolia for supplying their products with discount for our donation!
The 17th Congress of the Confederation of Mongolian Journalists (CMJ) took place last Thursday and appointed a new head but several members protested that the meeting wasn’t organized according to their Code of Conduct and that their opinon was disregarded.
During a press conference announced on February 9, President of the Association of Daily Newspapers E.Dolgion stated, “Yesterday (February 8)’s meeting was not a proper congress of CMJ. Why wasn’t it held openly? Every journalist has the right to attend it. Moreover, a new Code of Conduct was approved before we even got the chance to read it through.”
E.Dolgion stated that a proposal to renew any organization’s internal Code of Conduct should be presented five days prior to its discussion session.
“We left before the voting for a new head started. We’re opposing this meeting because its main purpose was to pass a new Code of Conduct, which we haven’t read through, and put journalists under a certain political party’s influence rather than decide the new leader of the Confederation of Mongolian Journalists,” he said.
“Profit was marked as one of the values of the confederation,” criticized former CMJ board member Ts.Oyundari. “After we left, 181 people continued the meeting. We believe that all decisions made at the meeting are invalid as the attendance didn’t meet the requirement.”
Media representatives at the press conference expressed strong disapproval of the latest CMJ decision, which specified to omit Article 1.6 in CMJ’s Code of Conduct. This article states that CMJ’s president, first-deputy president and deputy president must be a nonpolitical party member.
According to the new Code of Conduct, board members will be appointed through a conference, only the president will be non-party, a new member organization will pay a one-time fee of one million MNT, and the members of the board will be fined with a fixed amount for failing to pay their taxes.
Kh.Mandakhbayar, a former member of the Mongolia People’s Party and editor of Zindaa magazine, was elected as the successor of B.Galaarid with 87.5 percent support through a closed poll.
The newly-elected President Kh.Mandakhbayar pledged to broaden the reach of the confederation and strive towards executing his action plan.
His action plan consist of targets to develop professional and independent journalism, enhance and promote correct journalistic ethics, carry out 1,000 – apartment program for journalists, include journalists in risk insurance, strengthen legal environment related to journalism, restructure CMJ, and broaden its foreign relations.
D.Enkhtuya, founder of TV-2 channel, and T.Oyun-Erdene, member of the National Board of the Mongolian National Broadcaster, competed against Kh.Mandakhbayar for CMJ president position. Director of the Mongolian National Public Radio and Television and senior journalist L.Ninjjamts and State Honored Cultural Worker U.Khurelbaatar were also nominated but they decided to withdraw before the polling started....
ULAN BATOR, Feb. 11 (Xinhua) -- Former Mongolian President Nambaryn Enkhbayar was re-elected chairman of Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party (MPRP) on Saturday.
It is Enkhbayar's second term as the MPRP chairman after he received full support from the party's 1,044 members who attended the two-day party congress on Friday and Saturday.
The MPRP, founded in 2010 by Enkhbayar, is the third-largest political party in Mongolia.
Enkhbayar served as prime minister of Mongolia from 2000 to 2004, as speaker of the parliament from 2004 to 2005, and as president of Mongolia from 2005 to 2009.
Mongolian milk and dairy product producers organized the Forum on Dairy Sectoral Reform and Sustainable Provision on Wednesday.
The forum, initiated by the Mongolian Dairy Farmers’ Association, attracted more than 200 people who debated the current situation in the dairy industry, identified challenges, and exchanged their opinions on possible solutions and improvements.
There are around 2,000 farmers raising 43,000 animals for milk production, according to attendees of the forum. Producers stressed the lack of intensified farming is the main reason they are unable to fully meet domestic milk and dairy needs. Reportedly, 66 million livestock in Mongolia produce merely 20 percent of the milk demand in Mongolia and the rest of the demand is supplied through imports.
One of the challenges faced by local producers is that they can milk animals only during warm seasons. As a counterplan, producers proposed developing intensive agriculture, paying more attention to production of milk and dairy products, and requesting government support.
“We have no other option but to develop intensive agriculture to meet local demand. The demand for milk and dairy products is especially high during cold seasons but we’re unable to supply it locally. Intensive agriculture in Mongolia has become outdated because we didn’t have a general policy for it. We can completely meet domestic demand if we start a decisive movement and policy,” stated Head of the Mongolian Dairy Farmers’ Association O.Amartsengel.
The government is especially motivated to improve intensive agriculture in non-farming regions and launched a few projects aimed to develop intensive agriculture for meat and milk production, says O.Amartsengel. However, dairy producers complained that centralizing intensive agriculture in one particular region is not the best decision as it will limit the number of consumers and its reach. Instead, they advised developing intensive farming based in a large city or settlement to resolve transportation related issues.
“Government support for the development of farms has been decreasing in recent years. In particular, it’s hard for farms with around 20 milk cows to get government support. It’s possible to give incentives for every liter of milk supplied through intensive agriculture,” noted Labor Hero and milkmaid S.Khandsuren, who has been engaged in the production of milk for 50 years.
Another problem faced by dairy farmers is animal feed. Farmers can produce high-quality milk by feeding nutritious feed to cows and other animals. Yet, farmers have to frugally use feed because of the high taxes imposed on this type of product.
President of Vitafit Group LLC S.Bolorsaikhan reported, “All Mongolian companies engaged in dairy production use dry milk because milk needs aren’t met domestically 100 percent. The main reason the dairy industry is slumping and all local milk and dairy products aren’t supplied locally is because milk production stops in the winter. Although large milk producers seek opportunities to acquire milk from remote settlements during the winter, it is impossible. Dairy producers have advanced technologies with high capacity but there is a shortage of milk and the volume of imported milk is decreasing every year. Therefore, a state policy is essential for the development of intensive farming.”
“Mongolia’s milk preparation is unable to keep up with the demand. The type of milk and dairy products has increased over the past years,” said Executive Director of APU Dairy LLC G.Enkhbileg. “We must pay special attention to boosting farmers’ productivity and capacity to produce milk. Intensive farming is a solution for the seasonally-dependent liquid milk production.”
At the end of the meeting, Speaker of Parliament M.Enkhbold declared to support and cooperate with dairy producers in the future.
“I believe there’s an undeniable requirement to support dairy production. Both action plans of the government and the Mongolian People’s Party reflect a support for the development of dairy and meat production, and intensive agriculture, as well as the launch of a campaign in this direction. We must fulfill these targets. The public shouldn’t face hypocalcemia (a low blood level of calcium) and the majority of children suffer from tooth cavity when we’re one of the countries with the highest population of livestock and acquire a massive amount of milk directly from milk animals,” he said.
Speaker M.Enkhbold named meat, milk and flour as the most strategically important products. He said that Parliament called on the public to support and promote local production of milk and dairy products after evaluating that the state’s attention to this industry is lower than attention to the meat and flour industries....
The construction of an oil refinery at Altan Shiree soum of Dornogovi Province is set to commence in April of 2018, financed with a one billion USD loan from India. The progress of the project has been encouraging for many who are hopeful that the refinery will offset a certain amount Mongolia’s fuel dependence on Russia.
Despite the optimism, there has been a lot of skepticism, rightfully so. An oil refinery has been an elusive objective for Mongolia for decades. Since the transition into a democracy in 1990, Mongolia has for the most part, been able to maintain the integrity of its political security, dictating its own foreign policy.
What Mongolia has not been able to do is fully ensure its economic and energy security. China is Mongolia’s biggest trading partner and largest buyer of its exports. Previously, the predecessor of the Russian Federation, the Soviet Union filled that role for Mongolia. In the 1990s, due to Russia being caught up in its own internal issues, it saw a significantly reduced role in Mongolia’s economy. Where Moscow has been able to make up for that loss is in the fuel sector.
Mongolia is essentially 100 percent dependent on Russia for fuel. Russia, in particular the state-owned Rosneft, is the largest exporter of fuel to Mongolia, accounting for 94 percent of fuel imports in 2016. In 2017, Russia accounted for up to 98 percent fuel imports to Mongolia. The almost absolute dependency of Mongolia on Russia and the fact that the Mongolian government considers fuel a strategic commodity helps maintain some influence of Russia on Mongolia’s economy.
The oil refinery financed by India is part of Prime Minister U.Khurelsukh’s Cabinet’s efforts to ensure that Mongolia produces food, energy, and fuel internally. The sentiment to alleviate Mongolia’s dependence on its two neighbors is not new and the construction of an oil refinery has been discussed for two decades.
The first real discussion regarding construction of an oil refinery began under the first President of Mongolia P.Ochirbat. In 1997, the president marked his white deel with the “black gold” discovered at Tamsag in Dornod Province.
Since then, many administrations have approved several different projects to build an oil refinery, none of which has been successful.
In the absence of an oil refinery, the Mongolian government subsidizes the price of fuel, maintaining prices almost 30 percent lower than the global market prices. This was mainly done through the excise tax on fuel, with the government modifying the tax where needed to manipulate prices.
Just in the last decade, five different oil refinery projects were approved by four different administrations. The most recent one outside of the proposed oil refinery in Dornogovi Province was the one planned to be built in Khentii Province in 2016 by the Ch.Saikhanbileg Cabinet.
On February 3, 2016, former Prime Minister Ch.Saikhanbileg and then Ministry of Industry D.Erdenebat announced the decision to build an oil refinery at Bor-Undur soum of Khentii Province.
In 2011 and 2013, a proposed oil refinery in Darkhan City, Darkhan-Uul Province was approved by two different Prime Ministers, Su.Batbold and N.Altankhuyag. In addition to the refinery in Darkhan, Su.Batbold approved the project for another refinery in Dornod Province in 2011.
All five oil refinery projects approved by different administrations were set to begin construction in spring but never reached that stage. In 2013, former Prime Minister N.Altankhuyag approved a refinery with the capacity to produce two million tons of petroleum. According to the plan, the refinery was supposed to become operational by 2015, but just like all the others, it failed.
The consecutive failures of different oil refineries have caused some to be suspicious of Russian obstruction in its interest to maintain a fuel monopoly in Mongolia. Seeing as Rosneft maintains dominance on the Mongolian market, it would be naive to think that the state-owned Rosneft, as an extension the Russian government, would not try to preserve its monopoly.
While it is hard to imagine that Russia would not be heavily involved in Mongolia’s fuel sector, it is more plausible that funding, specifically the lack thereof, instead of Russian obstruction was the main culprit in halting the aforementioned oil refinery projects.
Now that India has essentially guaranteed financing, the biggest obstacle in building an oil refinery has been addressed. In addition, the prime minister has said that a joint task force from the General Intelligence Agency, Independent Authority Against Corruption, and the General Police Department will ensure full implementation of the project step by step.
Once operational, the refinery in Dornogovi will have a processing capacity of 1.5 million metric tons of oil per year and will annually produce 560,000 tons of gasoline and 670,000 tons of diesel fuel, as well as 107,000 tons of liquefied gas.The refinery could boost Mongolia’s gross domestic product by 10 percent, officials have said.
Engineers India Limited has developed the detailed project report of the refinery while Mongolian Oil Refinery will work as the focal agency of the project. The contractor of the project has not been selected yet, but it is expected to be an Indian company. Mongolian Ambassador to India G.Gabold has said that the government will discuss announcing a tender in both India and Mongolia with the Export-Import Bank of India.
With backing and funding from a regional and increasingly global superpower, India, Mongolia is on pace to finally capture that elusive goal of fuel independence....
Joining the chorus of regulators calling for a crackdown on cryptocurrencies, the French and German finance ministers said digital tokens “could pose substantial risks for investors” and potentially long-term financial stability.
In a letter to fellow G20 finance ministers – signed by French Finance Minister Bruno le Maire and his interim German counterpart Peter Altmaier, along with the heads of the two countries’ central banks – they said that cryptocurrencies currently have “limited” implications for global financial stability.
“Given the fast increase in the capitalization of tokens and the emergence of new financial instruments” based on them, “these developments should be closely monitored,” the ministers said.
Cryptocurrencies “are currently largely mislabeled as ‘currencies’ in the media and on the internet,” they said, adding that a “lack of clarity” about the nature of tokens “can only fuel speculation.”
They also called for greater protections for retail investors speculating in crypto, saying “the buildup of individual exposures to such volatile tokens could have damaging consequences for misinformed investors who do not understand the risks they are exposing themselves to.”
This week, warnings have been voiced by regulators and watchdogs from the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), the European Central Bank (ECB), and Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission.
ECB board member Yves Mersch said on Thursday that “cryptocurrencies” are “not money, nor will they be for the foreseeable future.”
Bitcoin is “a combination of a bubble, a Ponzi scheme and an environmental disaster,” Agustin Carstens, the head of the BIS, said.
He called on central banks to clamp down on bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to stop them “piggybacking” on mainstream institutions and becoming a “threat to financial stability.”