|Frontier's "Invest Mongolia Tokyo 2018"||Frontier Securities||Tokyo Japan|
|"Open to Export" ICC WTO International business award||ICC WTO||London|
SHIJIAZHUANG, March 26 (Xinhua) -- A new freight train service between Caofeidian Port in north China's Hebei Province and Ulan Bator, capital of Mongolia, was launched Monday.
Departing from Caofeidian Port, a train loaded electrical appliances, furniture and raw materials will travel via Erenhot Port in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region and finally arrive in Ulan Bator.
"This was the first international freight train service launched in Tangshan City," said Wang Kesheng, president of Caofeidian Port Group Incorporation.
He said steel products and construction materials produced in Tangshan would be exported to Mongolia and European countries through the new route.
Caofeidian Port will also be built to access the China-Mongolia-Russia Economic Corridor, according to a strategic cooperation agreement signed by Caofeidian Port Group Incorporation and the government of Ulanqab City of Inner Mongolia.
Caofeidian is an economic development zone in Bohai Bay, about 200 kilometers east of Beijing.
Russia has shipped over five million tons of crude oil or 1.32 million barrels per day (bpd) to China in one month. Statistics show it is the largest crude oil supplier to China for the past two years on an annual basis.
According to the Chinese General Administration of Customs, February’s delivery was up by 17.8 percent from a year earlier.
Saudi Arabia regained its second spot after losing out to Angola in January. Data showed that last month’s supplies came in at 4.635 million tons (1.21 million bpd), down 2.9 percent on year but up from 1.01 million bpd in January.
The third-ranking Angola delivered 973,800 bpd, up 14.7 percent versus a year earlier. Shipments from Brazil have seen the fastest growth among major suppliers. They reached 2.4 million tons or about 626,160 bpd, which is a 54 percent increase on last year.
Imports from the US were 909,117 tons (237,020 bpd) last month, down from 472,500 bpd in January.
Exports of Russian oil to China have more than doubled over the past six years, up by more than 550,000 barrels per day. They gained 21 percent for the January-February period compared with a year earlier, according to data. This was partly due to a second East Siberia-Pacific Ocean (ESPO) pipeline which started commercial operation in January.
In 2011, Russia began supplying China with crude through the Skovorodino-Mohe branch of the ESPO pipeline. That followed Rosneft, Transneft, and China National Petroleum Corporation’s (CNPC) signing agreements.
Rosneft and CNPC inked a 25-year oil deal in 2014 worth $270 billion under which the Russian company is expected to supply 360.3 million tons of crude to China. Since then Russia has overtaken Saudi Arabia to become China’s biggest crude supplier.
Last year, Rosneft agreed crude oil deliveries with China’s CEFC Energy. According to the agreement, the Russian oil major will supply CEFC with 60.8 million tons of oil annually until 2023.
Experts say Chinese imports of Russian oil are likely to stay high over the coming years due to long-term crude supply contracts and rising demand from the world’s biggest oil consumer.
Amid fraud charges in Mozambique and Guinea, Rio Tinto is facing another turmoil in one of its major projects. After the bribery allegations of Mongolia’s ex-finance minister Bayartsogt Sangajav, who is currently under investigation of Swiss prosecutors and Independent Authority Against Corruption of Mongolia, Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party, Civil Will-Green Party, Green Party and Mongolian National Democratic Party held a press conference on the issues concerning Oyu Tolgoi investment agreement. The coalition is demanding the Government officials to terminate the investment contract and investigate the people involved. With the case being added up to Rio’s current challenges, Mongolian political parties are looking to detach Rio from its (as Rio Tinto's copper and coal group chief development officer Craig Kinnell described in 2015) biggest and best project across the group. The representatives of four political parties, including the former president Enkhbayar Nambar, claimed that Rio Tinto undervalued the resources of Oyu Tolgoi at USD 400 billion at the time of signing, which was allegedly evaluated at USD 600 billion by international organizations.
“The Government of Mongolia purchased 34 percent ownership in the mine which is located on its own territories under massive debts and now, the public is responsible for the repayment, not the officials who signed the agreement,” addressed the former president. Consequently, the Parliament Speaker Enkhbold Miyegombo issued a directive to establish a working group responsible for inspecting and reviewing the investment agreement of Oyu Tolgoi last friday. The working group will be led by Damba-Ochir Dorjdamba, Head of Parliament’s Standing Committee on Economy. Rio Tinto is facing similar charges related to other underdeveloped countries. According to Bloomberg, the company is currently facing probes from the U.K.’s Serious Fraud Office and Australian regulators into whether it paid bribes to secure an iron ore deposit in Guinea. Meanwhile, U.S. authorities have filed fraud charges against the firm and two former executives claiming they inflated the value of Mozambique coal assets acquired in 2011. In addition, the company is exiting coal industry as it entered an agreement with Whitehaven Coal Limited to sell its 75 percent stake in its Winchester South Coal development project in Queensland, Australia last week. According to Mining Global, Rio recently announced to sell its Hail Creek and Valeria coal assets to Glencore in a deal worth USD 1.7 billion.
Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ The revised Law on Labor has been submitted to Parliament Speaker M.Enkhbold by Minister of Labor and Social Protection S.Chinzorig.
The currently effective Law of Mongolia on Labor was adopted in 1999, since when it has been amended 24 times.
It is believed that the existing law does not fully cover all aspects of labor relations in this time of market economy, although it fulfilled its duty during the transition from a society where the government was solely responsible for labor relations.
In response to the necessity to broaden the scope of the law and adjust to the current trends in labor relations and international standards, a revision has been drafted.
The revised law introduces certain changes such as expanding the range of issues that falls under the law, inclusion of fundamental rights and compulsory duties of employees, detailed provisions related to international labor standards, discrimination, child labor and compulsory labor, clearing the conditions on labor contract term and exclusion of contract end date on permanent employment; provisions on trilateral labor relations, part-time job and distance job, and more.
Hong Kong and Mongolia sign agreement on mutual legal assistance in criminal matters www.info.gov.hk
The Secretary for Security, Mr John Lee, and the Consul-General of Mongolia in Hong Kong, Mr Samdan Erdene, signed a bilateral agreement on mutual legal assistance in criminal matters (MLA agreement) in the Central Government Offices today (March 26) on behalf of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) and the Government of Mongolia respectively.
"Both Hong Kong and Mongolia are committed players in international efforts to fight crimes. We have indeed worked together hand in hand over the years to bring into force the agreement on the transfer of sentenced persons in 2016," Mr Lee said at the signing ceremony.
"The signing of the MLA agreement today will further take forward our bilateral cooperation," Mr Lee added.
Under the Basic Law, the HKSAR may, with the authorisation of the Central People’s Government, make appropriate arrangements with foreign states for reciprocal juridical assistance.
The MLA agreement between the Government of the HKSAR and the Government of Mongolia contains the essential features and safeguards of international agreements of this type. Assistance covered by the agreement includes identifying and locating persons, serving documents, taking evidence, executing requests for search and seizure, providing information, and confiscating proceeds of crime.
The MLA agreement with Mongolia is the 32nd agreement of its kind between the HKSAR and other jurisdictions. The other 31 jurisdictions that already have similar agreements with the HKSAR are Australia, the United States, France, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Italy, Korea, Switzerland, Canada, the Philippines, Portugal, Ireland, the Netherlands, Ukraine, Singapore, Belgium, Denmark, Poland, Israel, Germany, Malaysia, Finland, Indonesia, Japan, Sri Lanka, South Africa, India, Spain, the Czech Republic, Sweden and Argentina.
SEOUL, March 26 (Yonhap) -- South Korea and Mongolia on Monday discussed ways to step up cooperation on a range of sectors, including the economy, development and exchange between the peoples of the two countries, the foreign ministry here said.
The third South Korea-Mongolia joint committee meeting was held in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, on the 28th anniversary of the two countries' establishment of diplomatic relations.
South Korea's Vice Foreign Minister Cho Hyun represented South Korea, and Minister of Environment and Tourism Namsrai Tserenbat spoke for Mongolia, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
As part of efforts to enhance bilateral cooperation, Korea requested that Mongolia allow more South Korean airlines to join the Korea-Mongolia air route, which is currently limited to one Korean air carrier. Mongolia responded that a legal revision is under way to address the issue, the ministry said.
The Mongolian side called for an increase in scholarship for its students who are studying in South Korea and for the expansion of Korean visa issuance for its nationals.
The two sides also agreed to work together in fighting air pollution, with Seoul pledging to review measures to help reduce microdust in Mongolia.
Cho also paid a courtesy visit to Prime Minister Ukhnaagiin Khurelsukh and ensured that the two countries will work together to further increase exchanges between their peoples.
Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ An official launch of a project ‘Mongolia Employment Support Project’ took place on March 26 with an aim to encourage youth to create jobs and to develop their businesses.
Within the scope of the project which has been launched in 2017 funded with USD 25 million aid from the World Bank, loan will be granted to youth for running small businesses and provide equipment loan to graduates from occupational training centers.
Moreover, the actions will be taken to increase efficiency of state employment service, to give job finding assistance to low-income citizens under subsistence minimumand and to render support to commence their small businesses. The project will be implemented until 2021 and a total of 84 thousand 900 people are expected to have jobs.
The Ministry of Labor and Social Protection implemented six employment support programs in 2017 with funding of MNT 53.5 billion, involving 48.3 thousand people. According to Law on Employment Support Fund, MNT 20 million loan with low interest is allowed to grant to enterprise and MNT 10 million to citizen.
The main purpose of the project is to back mothers looking after their children aged between 0-3 and graduates who cannot find jobs. Although there are many small enterprises in Mongolia, they cannot earn sufficient income to renew their equipment. Therefore, micro credits will be granted to those people, said James Anderson, World Bank Country Manager for Mongolia.
Monetary policy council of the Bank of Mongolia made a decision to cut the policy rate by one percent and it is set at 10 percent.
The council also renewed the required reserves at 10.5 percent and foreign currency reserves at 12 percent, respectively. The inflation rate expressed in terms of consumer price index reached 6.9 percent at national level and 8.1 percent in Ulaanbaatar last month. The inflation rate will be likely to gradually see an increase as the economy has been recovering. But it is estimated that the inflation rate will stabilize close to the target level.
Hence, it is stated that the decision to decrease policy rate has been made. Bank of Mongolia viewed that the policy rate decrease will have impact on reducing banking sector’s short-term loan interests and supporting business activities.
Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ The Intergovernmental Commission between Mongolia and South Korea is holding its third meeting at the State House today.
At the meeting, the parties will finalize spending and purpose of USD 500 million soft loan to be granted from Korea. Specifically, during his visit to South Korea in January, Prime Minister U.Khurelsukh signed an agreement on Issuance of Soft Loan from Economic Development Cooperation Fund in 2017-2019. Within the framework of the agreement, Mongolian Government will receive a soft loan of KRW, equaling USD 700 million that will have an annual interest of 0.2 percent and 30 years of repayment term with 10 year moratorium period.
A working group from Korea has made projects' study in March in Mongolia and the sides will finalize it at today’s meeting. The meeting is being attended by 13 delegates from the both countries and Foreign Affairs Minister D.Tsogtbaatar and Environment and Tourism Minister N.Tserenbat are among them.
Russia, in its efforts to develop its gas sector in as many geographical locations as possible, is also earmarking increased gas exports to China.
Russian natural gas giant Gazprom said that gas from its Siberia fields could start moving through pipelines to China within the next five years. The disclosure came as Gazprom representatives discussed the development of the Kovyktinskoye field with officials from the Irkutsk region in southeastern Siberia. The talks took place in Moscow on Tuesday.
Gazprom is shaping a major gas production center in the Kovyktinskoye field, which is unique in terms of its gas reserves (2.7 trillion cubic meters), Gazprom said. The energy giant is also preparing Kovyktinskoye to move from pilot development to commercial production.
In 2017, two exploratory wells were drilled and 3D seismic surveys covering 2,400 square kilometers were performed. Efforts are being made to design the site structures and facilities for production purposes, as well as having gas transmission capacities, Gazprom said in a statement. It is planned to start feeding gas from Kovyktinskoye into the Power of Siberia gas pipeline in late 2022, with a section of the pipeline to be laid in the Irkutsk Region.
Gazprom already has in place a 30-year sales agreement with state-owned China National Petroleum Corp. (CNPC) that calls for 1.3 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of natural gas per year through the pipeline.
CNPC, with a market cap of $229 billion, is the world’s third largest oil company and China’s largest oil and gas producer and supplier.
On Wednesday, Gazprom said that the Power of Siberia pipeline had reached a 75.5 percent completion rate, which it called the most ambitions gas project in the global gas industry. Gas shipments from the project to CNPC are scheduled to start on December 20, 2019.
The disclosure also comes as China’s natural gas demand is increasing amid a government mandate requiring at least 10 percent of the country’s energy mix used for power generation to be derived from gas. Further mandates are set for the year 2030 and beyond. China has been trying to offset stagnant air pollution in its major urban centers by replacing coal needed for power generation with gas as well as for industrial and manufacturing end-users.
This increased gas demand caught global LNG markets by surprise this past winter, resulting in gas supply shortages for both residential and industrial consumers, particularly in Northern China.
China’s winter gas usage spike sent spot LNG prices in the Asia Pacific to three-year highs, breaking the $11/MMBtu mark, before trending downward again as cold weather subsided in Northern Asia.
China’s LNG imports hit record levels in January, totaling 5.18 million tons, compared with the previous record of 5.03 million tons set in December, up 51.2 percent from January 2017, according to data from China’s General Administration of Customs. China is the fastest growing LNG market in the world. Late last year, it passed South Korea to become the world’s second largest LNG importer after Japan.
China’s increased LNG usage could potentially help global LNG markets reach supply and demand equilibrium earlier than the often-forecasted date of 2022 or even later. Other variables in the equation include increased Qatari output, which will see the country raise its liquefaction capacity from 77 mtpa to over 100 mtpa within the next five years, as well as a so-called second wave of LNG project development in the US that will start to come on-line after the start of the next decade. Australia, for its part, will soon have as many as ten major LNG export projects operational.
In an effort to go long on gas and not get caught flat footed again during another cold winter, CNPC also plans to build eight gas storage facilities with a total capacity of 21 billion cubic meters (bcm), China’s state run news agency Xinhua said.
The gas storage facilities, located in southwest China's Sichuan Province and Chongqing Municipality, will cost more than 21 billion yuan ($3.3 billion dollars), said Ma Xinhua, general manager of PetrolChina Southwest Oil and Gasfield Company, a CNPC affiliate.
More LNG deals needed
China is also keen to lock in more LNG supply deals, with numerous producers, including American producers. Last month, US-based LNG exporter Cheniere Energy announced that it had signed two long term LNG supply and purchase (SPA) agreements with CNPC. Under the SPAs, CNPC subsidiary PetroChina International Company Ltd. will purchase approximately 1.2 million tons per annum (mtpa) of LNG from Cheniere’s Corpus Christi export terminal under construction in Texas. Cheniere said that the deal will help it move closer to expanding the site.
A portion of the supply will begin this year with the balance beginning in 2023, Cheniere said. The term of each SPA continues through 2043. The purchase price for LNG will be indexed to the Henry Hub price plus a fixed component.
The long-term SPAs follow a MoU reached in November between Cheniere and CNPC during President Trump’s trade visit to Beijing. “We expect these agreements to support the development of Corpus Christi Train 3, and we are now focused on completing the remaining necessary steps to reach a final investment decision later this year,” said Jack Fusco, Cheniere’s President and CEO.
The SPAs mark the first-ever long-term deal between an American LNG exporter and a Chinese state-owned energy company. Cheniere was the first American company in the Lower 48 to export LNG and has already sold several LNG cargoes to Chinese companies on a spot basis.
Reuters, citing analysts, said that the deal should move Cheniere to the top of the pack of companies competing to build the next generation of US LNG terminals to meet possible supply shortages in the early 2020s....