Mongolia and the US agree to intensify labor cooperation www.montsame.mn
Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ Minister of Labor and Social Protection S.Chinzorig discussed Mongolia-US labor cooperation with Manual P.Micaller, Charge d’Affaires of the US Embassy in Mongolia on December 12.
The Minister talked about how the Mongolian Government considers eradication of poverty and unemployment a priority, and the International Monetary Fund’s Extended Fund Facility program is proving effective, citing the projected 5.5 percent economic growth in the country. “Although budget discipline has seen improvement, there are provisions that take a step back as far as social protection is concerned and rule out policy to protect low-income citizens,” he noted.
Minister S.Chinzorig also emphasized the need to take Mongolia-US cooperation in labor and social protection to a new level, requesting assistance from the Embassy. “Closer cooperation in labor and social protection will help protect the rights of Mongolians living and working in the US, ensure social guarantee and create an integrated database,” he said.
For his part, Mr. Micaller expressed the US’ interest to work closely with the Labor Ministry, informing that he was holding talks with the members of the new Cabinet regarding ways to strengthen Mongolia-US comprehensive partnership. “Improvement of population livelihood through diversification of the economy and increased employment is an important area of focus in bilateral cooperation. The US is ready to assist Mongolia in all areas in order for it to successfully implement the IMF program and revive its economy,” he said.
Mr. Micaller also touched upon the Millennium Challenge Corporation’s Second Compact Agreement with Mongolia, which is being drafted and will definitely boost the social and economic development of Mongolia.
The Charge d’Affaires also conveyed Washington’s appreciation of Mongolia’s contribution to peaceful resolution of the tensions in the Korean Peninsula and inquired into an issue regarding the workers from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) in Mongolia, which has surfaced in western media.
Minister S.Chinzorig answered that the Government had taken a decision to not extend the labor agreements of over 1,100 workers from the DPRK in the country, enforcing a UN Security Council's resolution. Labor agreements will not be newly established either. “However, there is no discussion of returning all workers at once. The current workforce will have left the country by June, 2018,” the Minister said. During a press conference held on December 5, Minister of Foreign Affairs D.Tsogtbaatar said that the DPRK Ambassador in Mongolia had been informed of the matter.
The sides also touched upon Mongolia’s request for inclusion in the US H-2 visa category, which is yet to be resolved by Washington.