|“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|
VLADIVOSTOK, Russia (Kyodo) -- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Mongolian President Khaltmaa Battulga agreed Tuesday to closely cooperate in settling the issue of North Korea's past abductions of Japanese nationals, with Ulan Bator maintaining diplomatic ties with Pyongyang.
"We would like to realize peace and stability in the region by responding to various challenges, including the North Korea issue, hand in hand (with Mongolia)," Abe said at the outset of their meeting on the sidelines of a regional economic forum in Vladivostok in the Russian Far East.
Tokyo expects Ulan Bator to play a role as a mediator in resolving the abductions by North Korean agents in the 1970s and 1980s.
In June, shortly after a historic U.S.-North Korea summit in Singapore, Japanese and North Korean officials made informal contact at a security forum in Ulan Bator.
Abe and Battulga confirmed the significance of implementing U.N. Security Council resolutions to press North Korea to dismantle its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs, Japanese Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Kotaro Nogami told reporters.
The two leaders also agreed on the need to provide support for nuclear negotiations between the United States and North Korea, Nogami added.
Battulga explained recent relations between Mongolia and North Korea to Abe, according to Nogami, who declined to elaborate.
Abe also said Japan will continue its economic assistance to Mongolia, including support for infrastructure development, the spokesman said. Mongolia will soon open a new airport in Ulan Bator, which was built with Japanese official development assistance.
Abe and Battulga, who assumed office in July last year, also met in Vladivostok last year.
Dolgorsurengiin Dagvadorj, a Mongolian former sumo grand champion known as Asashoryu, was also present at the meeting in the Russian port city. He has been appointed by the president as a special envoy to promote cooperative ties with Japan.
ULAANBAATAR — When Sodnomsengee Ulziitogtork, 42, returned home to Mongolia after spending several years working as a construction laborer in South Korea, the first thing that caught his attention was the lack of parks and public spaces in his home country.
“In Korea, there are many parks and children play in safe, clean, beautiful areas,” Ulziitogtork, who is locally known by the nickname “Ulzii,” said. “I came back to Ulaanbaatar and saw that children didn’t have parks. Instead, they were playing around rubbish. It broke my heart.”
Ulziitogtork is compassionately considered an eccentric in his community — a man of big and bold ideas that some might find unconceivable. He resides in the northern outskirts of Ulaanbaatar, surrounded by the informal yurt dwellings known as gers. The Mongolian capital’s ger districts are often homes to some of the most impoverished communities in the city, if not the country.
Sodnomsengee Ulziitogtork, 42, spent several years working as a construction laborer in South Korea,. When he returned to Mongolia, he noted the lack of parks for children. Photo by Didem Tali.
Climate change in Mongolia has manifested as harsher winters, causing a natural disaster known as dzud, in which a large number of animals starve or freeze to death. In 2018 alone, dzud killed 700,000 livestock animals, making it impossible for thousands of traditional nomadic families to survive in the countryside.
Due to dzuds, a rising number of formerly nomadic families have moved to the outskirts of Ulaanbaatar to live in gers, as they cannot afford modern apartments. There are currently over 800,000 people living in the ger districts in Ulaanbaatar, a city of 1.3 million, which is also the world’s coldest capital. Temperatures can drop to as low as minus 40 degrees Celsius in winter. These urban poor communities often lack access to many basic services and breathe some of the world’s most polluted air as they burn cheap coal to deal with the harsh winter conditions.
According to Enkhnasan Nasan-Ulzii, chief of social policy at UNICEF Mongolia, infrastructural challenges and pollution in ger districts cast a dark shadow over the childhood experience for the urban poor families in Ulaanbaatar.
“Child poverty is significantly overrepresented in ger communities,” Nasan-Ulzii said, explaining that by UNICEF’s estimates approximately 140,000 children live in poverty. “Ger districts aren’t great places to be a child and they are disconnected from the central systems. There are no facilities or infrastructure for a healthy childhood.”
Rachel Machefsky, an early childhood development specialist at Bernard Van Leer Foundation, says pollution is a “silent killer” for children. The physical trauma of exposure to pollution can severely hinder their development and brain health.
“Children are much more vulnerable to all types of pollution,” she said. “Playing in polluted places can expose children to potentially lethal bacteria and illnesses.”
“They also breathe faster and have smaller, shorter bodies, which means they take in much more of the polluted air than adults,” Machefsky added. She said that lack of clean and safe play areas during childhood can continue to follow children for decades in the form of poorer economic prospects due to missed school days and developmental delays, chronic diseases, and even lower IQs.
Living among thousands of poor children, one day in 2011, as Ulziitogtork was walking in his neighborhood, he came across a particularly upsetting sight.
There was a former granite mine in his neighborhood, which according to Ulziitogtork the Mongolian government used to build modern Ulaanbaatar in the 1940s, exploiting the labor of Japanese war prisoners.
The Mongolian capital acquired formidable granite squares, statues, and buildings thanks to the stones extracted from mines in northern Ulaanbaatar. After a peace agreement between countries, Japanese war prisoners who survived the difficult conditions in Mongolia were sent back home in the late 1940s. With time, mining activity gradually stopped and all that was left of a mine that helped to build modern Ulaanbaatar was an empty ditch.
However, as the ger district became more crowded with people migrating to the city’s outskirts from the countryside every year, many households didn’t have access to waste management networks. The ditch gradually filled with rubbish.
“It wasn’t an officially designated landfill,” Ulziitogtork said. “But people didn’t have anywhere else to dispose their waste. So [the former granite mine] was full of rubbish and children were playing there.”
When Ulziitogtork saw children in the mine-turned-landfill, he had an epiphany: During his years as a construction laborer in South Korea, he had saved some money and acquired exactly the right skills to help his community. After he came back home, he built an apartment building, which gave him some rental income. This meant that Ulziitogtork wasn’t in a bad place financially for a ger district-dweller and he realized he could help his neighborhood’s children.
He decided to clean the unofficial landfill, and then turn it into a beautiful park — like the ones he had seen in South Korea. He would use his own savings to do this and consider it a gift to the children of his community.
Feeling energized by this plan, Ulziitogtork immediately got to work. He first cleared out 300 bags of trash, each of which, he estimates, weighed around 60 to 70 kilograms (132 to 154 pounds). Once all the rubbish was cleared out, he found a nice surprise from nature: Rainwater had collected in the bottom of the ditch that was dug by the miners. This meant there was a small artificial lake which had remained hidden for decades under the rubbish.
It took Ulziitogtork two years to clear the landfill and construct a children’s park surrounding the small lake. Nowadays, the small lake that he discovered harbors small boats in summers and functions as an ice skating rink in winters. It’s still a work-in-progress: He keeps tweaking the park with new ideas and plans.
The park also acts as a community and learning center for children. There, they can participate in ice skating activities, watch open-air cinema over the small lake in summers, and learn about Mongolian culture.
After Ulziitogtork’s efforts, the local government not only gifted him the permanent rights to use the former granite mine, but they also honored him with an award for his services to the community.
Ulziitogtork has had a lifelong passion for cinema, arts, and culture, despite no formal training and having been a blue collar worker most of his life. He also dabbles in filmmaking and hopes to screen more films and host filmmaking workshops in the future. The park currently serves 6,000 children in the area. The children keep coming back for various activities, as Ulziitogtork keeps working on transforming his park into a better community and cultural center every year.
Nasan-Ulzii of UNICEF says community centers for children are key elements in ger districts to improve children’s lives and healths. However, she warns that exposure to air pollution in the winter can still have devastating health consequences for young children.
“There is no escape from pollution and bad infrastructure for children,” she adds. Unless the government finds a holistic solution to fight these issues in a long-term and sustainable way, Nasan-Ulzii fears that pollution will continue to devastate the lives of thousands of poor children in the ger districts of Ulaanbaatar.
Nevertheless, Ulziitogtork is determined to keep improving his park and he finds fulfillment in putting a smile on 6,000 faces every year. Even though he is also worried about the pollution, he keeps an optimistic attitude for change. The joyful squeals of children that he hears in a former landfill that used to exploit war prisoners is proof of change and a testament to the future’s possibilities.
Didem Tali is a multimedia journalist covering global economy, gender, environment and displacement issues from around the world....
VLADIVOSTOK (Reuters) -- The Russia-China Investment Fund (RCIF) and China's Tus-Holdings on Tuesday announced joint investment plans focusing on developing technology, which would see $1.28 bln invested in the Russian Tushino Project Technology Park.
RCIF said in a statement that the two groups were considering building a Sino-Russian high-tech innovation park with more than $100 mln investment and had launched a Russia-China venture fund with capital of $100 mln.
"Together with partners from China, we will be able to achieve breakthroughs in the area of advanced technologies and facilitate their early implementation," said Kirill Dmitriev, Co-CEO of RCIF.
RJP-Power vacuum: Rio Tinto scours for electricity to run giant Mongolia copper mine www.reuters.com
LONDON/ULAANBAATAR, Sept x (Reuters) - Mining giant Rio Tinto is racing against time to find the electricity needed to run its giant copper-gold mine in Mongolia, as wrangles with the government threaten a further setback for the flagship project.
Oyu Tolgoi, located in the South Gobi region near landlocked Mongolia’s southern border with China, is scheduled to complete a $5.3 billion underground expansion by 2022, creating one of the world’s biggest copper suppliers.
The project is set to transform Mongolia’s tiny economy and is key for Rio as the sole potential growth area for its copper business, but it has been beset by squabbles over cost overruns, claims of unpaid taxes and corruption allegations.
Now, Rio Tinto and the government are engaged in brinksmanship, not only about the location of the power plant required to run the mine, but also who should pay for it, risking further delays. (Can we explain the brinksmanship?, or else maybe drop it)
Oyu Tolgoi currently pays about $100 million a year to buy electricity from China for its open pit mine, but according to a landmark 2009 agreement, a domestic power source must be found for the project by 2022.
The Anglo-Australian miner has invited three state-owned Chinese contractors to submit bids to build a $1.5 billion power station, but has yet to make a final decision on a go-ahead or receive permits from the Mongolian government.
Even if Rio Tinto made a decision immediately, it would be virtually impossible to complete construction before 2023, said an industry source said on condition of anonymity.
HOW RELIABLE IS THIS SOURCE? CAN WE GET A QUOTE HERE OR GIVE MORE DETAILS?
PARTNERS AT ODDS
The complication for the power project is the Mongolian government’s desire to kickstart the nearby Tavan Tolgoi coking coal project, a massive resources that would xxxx xxxx, and which lies just xxxx km from Oyu Tolgoi.
Rio had originally planned to build its own power capacity, but it was encouraged by the government in 2014 to switch to a proposed plant at Tavan Tolgoi, where it would be an off-taker rather than investor.
Mongolia hoped Oyu Tolgoi’s involvement as a guaranteed customer would encourage investors to back the long-delayed coal mine, and this remains its preferred option, a government source familiar with the situation said.
However, in February this year, the government cancelled a 2014 agreement setting up a framework for co-operation on a shared power plant (why did they do this?)
Oyu Tolgoi, which pays about $100 million a year to buy electricity from China, is looking at options for a domestic power source, said Luke Colton, chief financial officer at Turquoise Hill Resources, the Rio-controlled unit that owns 66 percent of the project.
“An Oyu Tolgoi-based plant is currently the most feasible option that could deliver a domestic power source within the shortest timeframe,” said Colton, although he added that a Tavan Tolgoi plant remains an “important option”.
Whatever Rio does, Mongolia is still determined to go ahead with the Tavan Tolgoi plant.
Otgochuluu Chuluuntseren, a former government official who also served as an Oyu Tolgoi board member, said it was the best option, although politics were getting in the way. (what does this mean? can we say briefly?)
“The main challenge remains the same: political instability and unpredictability,” he said.
Some government officials have expressed impatience about the delays, saying plant construction (at Oyu Tolgoi or Tavan Tolgoi?) could have started years ago.
“Oyu Tolgoi should stop playing with the Mongolian state!” Mongolia’s energy minister Davaasuren Tserenpil said on the ministry’s official Twitter account last month.
Mongolia’s cabinet will soon discuss how to deliver electricity to the scarcely-populated South Gobi. (how do we know this? Will this push the story forward?)
Rio, meanwhile, says its plan for a power plant at Oyu Tolgoi could add another $1.5 billion to the project’s total costs, far higher than originally envisaged back in xxxx. With the Mongolian government owning 34 percent of the project, it would also have to stump up $500 million.
Sun Jianli, spokesman with the Power Construction Corporation of China, one of the contractors, told Reuters the bid was “preliminary” and the project was still “very far away”. The others, China Machinery Engineering Corporation and Harbin Electric International , declined to comment.
If nothing his built on time Rio and Mongolia would face a decision on the domestic power requirement to keep Oyu Tolgoi running. Even if it continue dto take Chinese power, the bill would soar once underground operations get underway. (why? Source?) (Additional reporting by David Stanway in SHANGHAI and Melanie Burton in MELBOURNE Editing by XXXXX)...
ULAN BATOR, Sept. 10 (Xinhua) -- Mongolia's foreign trade turnover reached 8.47 billion U.S. dollars in the first eight months of 2018, up 23.6 percent year on year, customs data showed Monday.
Exports rose 13.9 percent year on year in the January-August period to 4.67 billion dollars, while imports grew 38.0 percent to 3.8 billion dollars, resulting in a trade surplus of 870 million dollars, according to the Mongolian Customs General Administration (MCGA).
The market value of 11 locally manufactured products has increased, contributing to the increase in revenue from exports, the data said.
In the first eight months, the landlocked Asian country has traded with a total of 150 countries. Among the 147 countries to which Mongolia exported its goods and services in the period, China was the recipient of over 85 percent of the total, the data showed.
Head of Iran's Trade Promotion Organization (TPO) Mojtaba Khosrotaj made the remarks in a meeting with Mongolia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Mrs. B. Battsetseg, which took place in Tehran on Sep. 4, according to the website of Iran's Trade Promotion Organization (TPO).
Mrs. B. Battsetseg visited Tehran on September 4 and held talks with Iranian officials. She met with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and discussed expanding bilateral ties between Iran and Mongolia in various fields.
During the visit, she also met with TPO head Mojtaba Khosrotaj, during which the Iranian side said logistics and transportation were two main factors hindering expansion of trade relations between the two countries, stressing the need for finding ways to boost trade transactions.
According to Khosrotaj, the Mongolian president is expected to travel to Tehran later this year to attend the Asia Cooperation Dialogue forum.
He said the forum will provide a good ground for expansion of bilateral trade between Iran and Mongolia.
He also stressed that visa waiver, reducing customs duties and establishing banking relations would act as incentives for Iranian businesses to have a more active presence in Mongolia's market.
The Mongolian diplomat, for her part, called for a meeting between the two countries' private sectors and closer cooperation between the two sides' chambers of commerce.
The Bank of Mongolia (BoM) reported that the government’s foreign debt fell by 328 million USD in the second quarter of 2018, compared to the previous quarter, it's greatest drop over the last ten quarters.
The government's aggregate debt increased by 898 million USD in the first half of the year, reaching 6.9 billion USD, compared to the same period in 2017. According to the BoM, there is no great amount of debt to be repaid this year, but in both 2022 and 2023, the government will have to repay more than 1.1 billion USD in foreign debt.
In the first eight months of 2018, Mongolia’s foreign trade turnover totaled 8.47 billion USD, an increase of 23.6 percent (1.6 billion USD) compared to August 2017.
The balance of trade saw a surplus of 869.2 million USD, with export valued at 4.67 billion USD and 3.8 billion USD in imports. Compared to August 2017, export increased by 13.9 percent (568.9 million USD), while import rose by nearly 38 percent (1.05 billion USD).
ZGM newspaper traced after some of the shocking incidents involving children that occured this year with an aim to find faults and errors that are becoming the root cause of these increased number of child casualties. Just a few months ago, a child who was playing near a pharmacy got electrocuted to death after accidentally grabbing the barred door of the drugstore, to which a nearby grocery store attached a damaged electrical wire. According to the child’s mother, the ambulance said that the child was already dead when they arrived and forbade the parents from touching the body; however, the forensic review stated the child could have survived if first aid was available. Furthermore, the inspector ignored the forensic review and opened a criminal case only on the owner of the grocery story. The pharmacy was relocated by the time we arrived and the lawyer of the child was unaware of it. Therefore, the parents expressed that they wish to submit three demands to the Prosecutor: - Since both the pharmacy and grocery store did not ensure safety, the pharmacy must also be held accountable. - According to the forensic review, the doctor on duty could have saved the child; thus must be a subject to account. - The pharmacy owner reportedly testified that he was aware of the fact that the door was electrocuted and was interacting with the door without touching it.
However, the testimony was not considered in the case; hence, it must be included. Furthermore, the Special Inspection Authority issued a review that says the electrical wire was not damaged, forcing the parents to request for reexamination as they are still worried that the case might close without anyone held accountable. Another public upset of this summer was the death of an 11year old boy who got crushed by an unanchored soccer goalpost of a public school. The Court Clinic examined that the cause of death was a closed-head injury. The case is in delay because the inspector responsible for the case took his/her vacation in July and was shifted to another investigator. The boy’s aunt sniveled that the case may not be settled easy as there is a possibility that no one will be subject to the case. The school’s director was fired three days after the incident and the police informed that he will be summoned as a defendant. According to some child organizations, the person responsible for the safety of the football field and the guard should have also been summoned. As we dug deeper into the cases, it was noticeable that both public and private organizations are still negligent to these grim cases with child casualties. These were just two examples of the lack of accountability and interconnectedness of public services in Mongolia.
Preparations are under way for Russia's biggest military exercise since the Cold War, involving about 300,000 service personnel, in eastern Siberia.
China is sending 3,200 troops to take part in "Vostok-2018", with many Chinese armoured vehicles and aircraft. Mongolia is also sending some units.
The last Russian exercise of similar scale was in 1981, during the Cold War but Vostok-2018 involves more troops.
It comes at a time of heightened Nato-Russia tensions.
Relations between Russia and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Nato) - a 29-member defence alliance dominated by the US - have worsened since Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the drills were justified given "aggressive and unfriendly" attitudes towards Russia.
What will happen in the drills?
Tuesday and Wednesday will see planning and preparation while actual operations will start on Thursday and last five days, the head of the Russian general staff, Army General Valery Gerasimov, was quoted as saying by Interfax news agency.
The Russian defence ministry says 36,000 tanks, armoured personnel carriers and armoured infantry vehicles will take part in Vostok-2018, from 11 to 17 September, along with more than 1,000 aircraft. Vostok is Russian for east.
The exercise will be spread across five army training grounds, four airbases and areas in the Sea of Japan, Bering Straits and Sea of Okhotsk. Up to 80 naval vessels will take part, from two Russian fleets.
The drills will not be near the disputed Kuril islands north of Japan, Russia says.
The ministry's TV channel Zvezda says three brigades of Russian paratroops will play a key role, during drills at the Tsugol military range, near Russia's borders with China and Mongolia.
A key aim is to practise the rapid deployment of thousands of troops, as well as aircraft and vehicles, from western Russia to eastern regions, across thousands of miles, TV Zvezda reports. That involves in-flight refuelling of fighter jets.
The scale of Vostok-2018 is equivalent to the forces deployed in one of the big World War Two battles.
A smaller-scale Russia-Belarus exercise was held last year.
Why is this happening now?
President Vladimir Putin has made military modernisation - including new nuclear missiles - a priority.
Russia's armed forces are reckoned to have about one million personnel in total.
A Russian senator and reserve colonel, Frants Klintsevich, said "it suited the West that our units and headquarters lacked combat skills and co-ordination, but times have changed; now we have a different attitude to combat readiness".
The Chinese defence ministry spoke of deepening military co-operation and "enhancing both sides' capabilities to jointly respond to various security threats", without specifying those threats.
The ministry confirmed the extent of the Chinese involvement: "3,200 troops, more than 900 pieces of military hardware as well as 30 fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters".
Mongolia has not given details of its involvement.
Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu says Islamist extremism in Central Asia is a major threat to Russian security.
China has imposed heavy security and censorship in the mainly Muslim Xinjiang region.
Xinjiang has seen intermittent violence - followed by crackdowns - for years. China accuses Islamist militants and separatists of orchestrating the trouble.
Mr Peskov said the involvement of Chinese units in Vostok-2018 showed Russia and Beijing were co-operating in all areas.
In recent years they have deepened military co-operation and during these drills they will have a joint field headquarters.
It contrasts with the Cold War years when the USSR and China were rivals for global communist leadership and clashed on their far eastern border.
Show of strength
The BBC's Sarah Rainsford in Moscow writes:
The scale and scope of Vostok-2018 is unprecedented for modern Russia, but no surprise. The giant drill is clearly meant as a show of strength by Vladimir Putin and his military, a demonstration that - despite Western sanctions, including against the defence sector - the country remains defiant.
It's also a reminder that, while Russia is seen as a hostile and aggressive force in the West, Moscow has long seen Nato encroachment as the threat.
Hasn't Russia just held a military exercise?
Yes, in the Mediterranean - it focused on co-ordination between warships and aircraft.
Tu-160 heavy bombers also flew from Russia and practised launching cruise missiles - firepower that Russia has already used in Syria.
It was small compared with Vostok-2018, involving 26 vessels (including two submarines) and 34 aircraft. It lasted a week and ended on Saturday.
Western analysts saw it as part of Russia's operation in Syria. Russian aircraft have played a key role in support of Syrian government forces.
What has Nato said?
Spokesman Dylan White said Nato was briefed on Vostok-2018 in May and would monitor it.
He said "all nations have the right to exercise their armed forces, but it is essential that this is done in a transparent and predictable manner".
"Vostok demonstrates Russia's focus on exercising large-scale conflict. It fits into a pattern we have seen over some time: a more assertive Russia, significantly increasing its defence budget and its military presence."
Why is Russia-Nato tension high?
It has been increasing since Russia annexed the Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 and backed pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine.
Nato has reacted with an increased deployment of forces in eastern Europe, sending 4,000 troops to member nations.
Russia says the Nato build-up is unjustified and provocative. It says the Ukrainian revolution of 2013-2014 was a coup masterminded by the West.
Russian diplomats were expelled from Nato countries after the poisoning of Russian ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, with a nerve agent in southern England in March. The UK blamed Russian military intelligence - the GRU - for the attack; Moscow denied involvement...