BCM NewsWire 581 - 7 June 2019

BCM HIGHLIGHT

INT'L CONFERENCE ON NORTHEAST ASIAN SECURITY HELD IN MONGOLIA

The Sixth International Conference of the Ulaanbaatar Dialogue on Northeast Asian Security kicked off here Wednesday.
The two-day conference had brought together more than 200 government officials, scholars and representatives from around 20 countries and international organizations, including China, Russia, South Korea, the United Nations and the European Union.
According to Mongolian Foreign Minister Damdin Tsogtbaatar, the conference would cover five topics of opportunities and challenges in Northeast Asian security environment, cooperation and competition dynamics in the region, regional energy cooperation, humanitarian challenges in emergency situations, and perspectives for dialogue in Northeast Asia.
Initially intended to facilitate a peaceful solution to the Korean Peninsula issue, the agenda of the conference had been expanded year after year, said Tsogtbaatar.
"There should be new attempts to establish regional security regime that includes all regional states. The Ulan Bator Dialogue on Northeast Asian Security is an excellent move towards this direction," said Yuan Chong, deputy director of Institute of Japanese Studies at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, at the conference.

Source: Xinhua
See also: President sends message to Ulaanbaatar Dialogue
Japanese, N.Korean officials will not meet
North East Asian Youth-Peace and Security seminar running

HOWARD LAMBERT AWARDED NAIRAMDAL MEDAL, VISITS BCM BOARD

Howard Lambert, Managing Director and Head of Corporate Clients, Middle East, of ING bank, was bestowed with the “Nairamdal Medal” on June 3 – one of the highest honors bestowed upon foreign citizens by the Government of Mongolia – for his contributions to the Mongolian economy during his time as the head of ING Mongolia.
The BCM hosted a lunch meeting in honor of Mr. Lambert and his accomplishments. 

Source: BCM internal

ECONOMY

FISCAL FRAMEWORK STATEMENT PREDICTS

Mongolia’s legislative body approved the Fiscal Framework Statement last week, approving the economic prediction of next year, draft fiscal framework for 2020 and 2021-2022 budget. The key indicators of the next year’s fiscal policy are written below.
Experts warn that in the coming year, the economic crisis may embrace the global market. Mongolia's economy expanded by 8.6 percent in the first quarter of this year and has seen an unprecedented increase in the last few years. This year's growth is expected to decline, according to the Fiscal Framework Statement. As a result, GDP growth is expected to stand at about 6 percent. The Asian Development Bank and the World Bank are slightly optimistic about the GDP growth of Mongolia with 6.3- 6.9 percent growth estimations. The World Bank forecasted Mongolia's GDP to grow 6.5 percent in 2021. Economic growth is expected to be supported by mining, agriculture, industry, and services.

Source: ZGM Daily

FDI UP BY 7.5 PCT IN JAN-APRIL

Mongolia has attracted foreign direct investment (FDI) worth 661.8 million U.S. dollars in the January-April period, up by 7.5 percent year-on-year, the country's central bank said Thursday.
Over 90 percent of the FDI goes to the Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold mine, which is partly owned by the Mongolian government, the Bank of Mongolia said in a statement.
The mine is expected to produce an average of 430,000 tons of copper and 425,000 ounces (about 12,050 kg) of gold annually for 20 years.
It will attract at least 1.3 billion U.S. dollars of FDI this year, making up one third of government revenue in 2019, according to the Mongolian Finance Ministry.
Mongolia is rich in natural resources, and FDI in the mining sector has been one of the main drivers of the country's economic growth.

Source: Xinhua

BOM INJECTS USD 850 MILLION THROUGHOUT THIS YEAR TO STIMULATE ECONOMY

The Bank of Mongolia (BoM) pumped USD 850 million into the banking system to intervene in the growing USD rate this year. Officials are highlighting the fact that the net amount of the first few months of this year is nearing the full year funds of 2018.
The BoM is continuing to inject liquidity to strengthen the weakening exchange rate of the MNT, as well as holding a policy to increase foreign currency reserves. Although the FX reserves have increased by 3-4 times over the past three years, international organizations previously estimated FX rates to stabilize if the reserve expanded by another USD 1-2 billion. Accordingly, the greenback reserves, which currently stands at about USD 3.8 billion, need to to reach at least USD 5.5 billion in the following years.
As of April 18, the BoM purchased USD 660 million from "Oyu Tolgoi", "Erdenet Mining Corporation" and "Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi" LLC this year.

Source: ZGM Daily

DEMAND FOR INVESTMENT RISES IN AGRICULTURE AS LIVESTOCK HEADS INCREASE

According to the statistical data on the growth of livestock heads in Mongolia, the share of livestock in the macroeconomy is declining, calling for investment in the field. The agricultural sector accounts for only about 10-15 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) according to the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Light Industry (MOFA). The amount falls further for animal husbandry.
Foreign trade partners and delegations tend to emphasize the potentials of animal husbandry in Mongolia; however, the agriculture accounts for only 0.04-0.08 percent of direct foreign investment (FDI) in Mongolia. The sheer amount displays the investors’ interest and value in the sector. The agricultural sector, especially, animal husbandry is highly dependent on the weather condition. The sun, wind, and rain affect the number of livestock and benefits of it. The traditional animal husbandry sector has been facing difficulties due to risks including the carrying capacity of a pasture, the low livelihood of herders, and animal diseases.

Source: ZGM Daily

OIL PRICE DECLINE MAY IMPACT MONGOLIA’S FUEL PRICES

Crude oil prices fell for five consecutive days reaching the lowest level in May, which is likely to have an effect on Mongolia's economy and potentially reduce fuel price. Brent crude price slumped 0.51 percent to USD 60.97 per barrel on Wednesday. Brent crude oil price, which reached USD 75 since late April, decreased around USD 15 over the last month.
Particularly, the price of oil decreased by USD 9 per barrel last week, which was a multiple-month sharp drop. However, the decline in crude oil prices will not have immediately trigger Mongolia’s fuel price to decrease. The oil price changes takes longer time to have an effect on Mongolia's economy. 
The joint council on fuel price held a meeting on Tuesday and submitted a suggestion containing four or five articles. “Global price of oil usually rise in April and May. In addition, commodity prices rose in recent months, due to the Iranian ban and Libya and Venezuela crisis. However, prices are likely to decline this month.

Source: ZGM Daily

NONPERFORMING LOANS JUMP BY MNT 84.5 BILLION

At the end of April, the amount of outstanding loan to entities, enterprises and individuals amounted to 17.5 trillion MNT, up by 182 billion MNT (1.1 percent) from the previous month and by 3.2 trillion MNT (21.9 percent) from the same period of last year.
On the other hand, the number of new loans issued to individuals increased by 28 percent to stand at 9.1 trillion MNT as the number of new loans issued to private organizations rose by 15 percent, reaching 8.2 billion MNT.
While loan performing normally rose by 31 billion MNT, or 0.2 percent, from March to April this year, nonperforming loans hiked by 84.5 billion MNT, or 4.5 percent. Loans to private organizations account for 85 percent of all nonperforming loans.
As for overdue loans, 79 percent belonged to organizations.

Source: The UB Post

EU SCHEME TO SUPPORT MONGOLIA YAK AND CAMEL WOOL TRADE

An EU-funded initiative is to support the development of the yak and camel wool trade in Mongolia, helping to improve access to international markets and the formation of partnerships with foreign companies.
A meeting of the TRAM project - Trade Related Assistance for Mongolia (EU TRAM) - last month discussed establishing a yak and camel wool cluster to manufacture end products and promote them overseas.
According to the MNCCI, the aim is to create high-standard products as competitive as Mongolian cashmere goods.
Launched in March last year, EU TRAM is a four-year project, worth almost EUR5m (US$5.6m) with the aim of increasing and expanding Mongolian exports, and contributing to sustainable economic growth and development of the country. It has a special focus on specific products/sectors with high potential for export.
Mongolia has preferential duty-free access to the EU market under GSP+ scheme, yet there is low usage of these benefits due to low capacity of Mongolian products to fulfil EU market requirements.

Source: Just-Style.com

WORLD COMPETITIVENESS RANKING 2019 INTRODUCED

On June 3, Economic Policy and Competitiveness Research Center introduced IMD World Competitiveness ranking 2019.
This year, Singapore, Hong Kong and the USA topped the ranking. Mongolia is ranked at 62nd, remaining unchanged from previous year’s ranking.
Mongolia’s consumer price index or inflation, living cost and rental costs of apartments and offices ranked lower as compared with that of other countries, reported I.Odonchimeg, deputy director of EPCRC.
In the economic performance category, one of four basic categories, Mongolia is ranked at 58th. Last year, it stood at 48th in the same category. The decline of Mongolia’s competitiveness score was mainly influenced by the worsening indications of current account, transparency and pension fund, alongside weakness of employment, business law, health, environment and educational index.
Since 2010, The EPCRC, in cooperation with the World Competitiveness Center, has been publishing Mongolia in World Competitiveness Report.

Source: Montsame

NASA IMAGERY: THE URBANIZATION OF ULAANBAATAR

Mongolia’s capital, Ulaanbaatar, sits near the confluence of the Selbe and Tuul rivers on a plateau at the foot of a large, forested mountain. This was not always the case. When the town was initially established in the 1600s, it was a migratory settlement built as a center for Buddhist priests. It changed locations more than two dozen times.
Several teams of scientists have used Landsat images to monitor how the city—particularly the ger districts—have changed over several decades. According to some estimates, ger districts now hold more than 60 percent of Ulaanbaatar’s population.
The Landsat 7 and 8 satellites captured these natural-color images of the city in 2000 and 2018. Notice the development in the river valleys (green linear features) that lead out of the city. Note also how forested areas in the hills north and south of the city have lost tree cover over the years, probably due to people harvesting wood to heat their homes.

Source: NASA

CAPITAL SAFER FOR FOREIGN TOURISTS WITH STUDENT VOLUNTEERS

A total of 40 selected students are working in the Mongolian capital as volunteers to provide information services for foreign tourists as part of local efforts to boost tourism, according to a local official Tuesday.
The students who are proficient in English are expected to provide foreign tourists with all the information they need and protection-related services during the tourism peak season or until the end of August. They started working on Monday under an annual program launched six years ago, which is aimed at making Ulan Bator a safer place for foreign visitors.
"Majority of foreign tourists visiting Mongolia travel through the capital city. So, ensuring the safety of tourists is one of the priorities for us," Tsend Enkhtuvshin, deputy head of Ulan Bator's tourism department, told Xinhua.

Source: Xinhua

THE RAILWAY RIDDLE - EDITORIAL

As he laid the foundation stone of the 414.6-km railroad between Tavantolgoi and Zuunbayan on May 24, President Kh. Battulga noted that something was at last happening on the ground to implement the State Policy on Railway Transportation adopted by Parliament in 2010. For nine years, he said, domestic politics and politicians with personal stakes in coal mining had not allowed anything to move.
Recalling his days as Minister of Road Transportation in the coalition government, Battulga said he had tried to build the railroad in the northern part of the country. He had formed a team, determined routes, signed agreements, laid foundation stones, obtained loans and had spent some of the money, too. Yet, not one km of railroad has been built. There is only piled earth and crumbling embankments on the route from Tavantolgoi to Gashuunsukhait. The government is paying interest on the $200-million loan and the principal must be repaid in 2022.

Source: Mongolian Mining Journal

POLITICS

SECOND BILL TO AMEND THE CONSTITUTION OF MONGOLIA PRESENTED

The second bill to amend the Constitution of Mongolia was presented today (6 June) to the speaker of parliament during a united session. The Constitution of Mongolia was approved in 1992 and was amended in 2000 for the first time. After 19 years, D.Lundeejantsan has presented a new amendment bill; this has been signed by 64 member of parliament. All members of the opposition Democratic Party and some members of the Mongolian People’s Party refused to sign the document.

Source: News.mn

JAPANESE OFFICIALS SEEK NORTH KOREAN DIALOGUE IN ULAANBAATAR SECURITY SUMMIT

Japanese and North Korean foreign ministry officials will meet today in Mongolia on the sidelines of the Ulaanbaatar Dialogue on Northeast Asian Security.
Japan and North Korea have never formally established diplomatic relations. Tokyo has refused to establish relations due to claims that the North Korean government abducted Japanese citizens between 1977 and 1983 and that North Korea’s nuclear program poses a significant threat to Japan’s security.
Due to the current collapse of American diplomatic efforts with North Korea and growing tensions between China and the US over trade, Japan continues to see North Korea as a threat. Last month the rogue country tested short-range ballistic missiles, an indicator of an emboldened Pyongyang.
Japan’s most recent response to the threat of North Korea has been largely diplomatic. Japan is now taking a larger role in negotiations with the country, both working with China and garnering US support for a potential Kim-Abe summit.

Source: ForeignBrief.com
See also: Japanese, N.Korean officials will not meet

BCM NewsWire 577 – 10 May 2019

ECONOMY

BALANCE OF PAYMENTS TOTALS USD 219 MILLION IN SURPLUS

In the first three months of 2019, the balance of payments (BoP) resulted in a surplus of USD 219 million. The indicator reached entered the positive zone compared to last year's USD 42 million losses.
The current account deficit has risen to USD 297.6 million since the beginning of the year, decreased from the previous year. The surplus of the trading account, which shows export and import reached USD 407 million. However, the service account that registered the flow of traffic, tourism, and other high-paid services accounted for a deficit of USD 553.2 million. This is an increase in the deficit over the previous year. The BoM said that the balance of payments will have a surplus of USD 500-600 million this year.
When the balance of payment results in a surplus, a certain amount of funding will be reflected in the  foreign trade profit and financial account, according to the BoM.

Source: ZGM Daily

EBRD PROJECTS GDP GROWTH WILL SLOW TO 6.2 PCT IN 2019

Mongolia’s economy is projected to grow by 6.2% in 2019, down from 6.9% in 2018, and slow further to 5.0% in 2020, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) said in its latest economic outlook published on May 8.
The growth will be aided by further investment in the underground expansion of the Oyu Tolgoi gold and copper mine in the Gobi Desert, it added. Private consumption is also projected to support economic growth thanks to rising real incomes due, in part, to an increase in public workers' salaries. On the other hand, Mongolia’s downside risks stem from the possibility of a slowdown in China and the stalling of reforms due to political uncertainty in the run-up to the parliamentary elections scheduled for 2020.

Source: bneIntelliNews.com
See also: Economic growth seen slowing in EBRD regions in 2019

INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION INCREASES BY 17.5 PERCENT

As of the first quarter of this year, a total production of industrial sector reached MNT 3.8 trillion, showing an increase of 17.5 percent comparing to the same period of last year. This increase was mainly caused by 21.3 percent growth in total production of mining and extractive industry compared to the same period of previous year.
Moreover, coal mining and metal ore mining upped by 64.9 percent and 1.4 percent respectively. Extraction of fluoride, petroleum, molybdenum concentrate and gold are decreased by 4.2-30.1 percent.
In the processing sector, production of main types of products including beer, vacuum windows, doors, buuz and dumpling, woolen and textile goods, combed cashmere and wooden doors and windows for building are increased by 2-97.1 percent.

Source: Montsame

COAL EXPORTS RISE 11.7 PCT IN FIRST 4 MONTHS

Mongolia's coal exports increased 11.7 percent year on year in the first four months of 2019, the Mongolian Customs General Administration (MCGA) said Thursday.
The resource-rich Asian country exported around 11.4 million tons of coal during the period, which was worth 961 million U.S. dollars, posting a year-on-year rise to 21.6 percent.
The coal price per ton was an average of 77.8 dollars from January to April in 2018, and it increased to 84.4 dollars on a year-on-year basis in 2019, the MCGA said in a statement.
Coal is the landlocked country's main export commodity. The country exported a total of 36.5 million tons of coal in 2018, reaching an all-time high.
The country has set itself the goal of increasing coal exports to 40 million tons in the coming years.

Source: Xinhua

MONGOLIA IS DIVERSIFYING ITS ECONOMY TO BUILD BUFFERS OVER RAPID GROWTH

Rising gold and copper prices have helped fuel growth in Mongolia, which heavily relies on mining. But how does the country save for a rainy day when global demand for the metals used in electric car and renewable energy are rising?
The economic growth of Mongolia last year was 6.9 percent, the highest in four years. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) expects the country's growth to be 6.7 percent this year. Khurelbaatar Chimed, Mongolia's finance minister, cited the country needs buffers to avoid an increasing government debt.
“Three years ago, government debts accounted for 85 percent of our GDP, now [the percentage] is down to 58 percent. We need buffers,” said Chimed, noting that his country has created the stabilization fund and the wealth fund, and it's also necessary to be very careful about expenditure decide for the budget.

Source: CGTN.com

TOKYO WARD WOOS MONGOLIAN TECH SCHOOL GRADUATES

Tokyo's Shinagawa Ward is hosting a recruitment event in Mongolia for the graduates of a Japanese-style technical college in the country.
It's part of a bid to tackle an acute shortage of engineers in Japan's manufacturing sector.
The ward had earlier invited students of the Mongolian college to experience what it's like to work at manufacturing plants in Japan. Now, it's stepping up measures to attract the college's first graduates, who are leaving school this year.
Ward officials and business owners will visit Mongolia later this month to hold the recruitment event for this year's graduates. They're also planning a briefing session for next year's graduates.
They'll help the graduates who land jobs in Shinagawa to file residential and other papers at the ward office, and provide courses on Japanese business customs.
The support plan includes helping businesses apply for the students' visa.

Source: NHK World

FIRST OF 107 ENHANCED COAL RETAILS OPEN IN ULAANBAATAR

Ulaanbaatar city authorities, headed by the Mayor, opened the first store of enhanced coal at the 22nd khoroo of Songinokhairkhan district on Monday.
Tavan Tolgoi Fuel (TTF) LLC has commenced the operation of two factors previously. As of May, three production lines are in operation. They are working to expand the lines to seven. The factories have the capacity to produce more enhanced coal after the expansion. The company was established in May 2018 at the Parliamentary Resolution related to the ban on the usage of raw coal consumption.
220,000 households use 1.2 million tons of raw coal per year during the winter in Ulaanbaatar, according to a survey. TTF has the capability to provide those households with 600,000-700,000 tons  of enhanced coal. The coal will be available to the public at 107 locations of ger districts in Ulaanbaatar. Also, the project will involve coal sellers.

Source: ZGM Daily

MONGOLIA LAUNCHES FIFTH INNOVATION WEEK

Mongolia on Monday here launched its fifth Innovation Week to promote creativity in the public and private sectors.
The week under the theme of "Joint Innovation" is being co-organized by the Mongolian Ministry of Education, Culture, Science and Sports, the Mongolian Academy of Sciences, the Mongolian National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, several universities and other relevant institutions.
The event aims to create cultural innovation and develop creative thinking and innovation skills in public and private organizations in order to promote the development of the country's society and economy, the Mongolian Ministry of Education, Culture, Science and Sports said in a statement.
In the week, a series of activities will be held in the Mongolian capital city of Ulan Bator, including an exhibition of innovative products, discussions about innovation and a contest to award innovative ideas and projects for business.
Since 2015, the Innovation Week has been annually organized in Mongolia.

Source: Xinhua

BOM PURCHASES 1.1 TONS OF GOLD IN APRIL

The Bank of Mongolia (BoM) bought 1.1 tons of gold in April, 2019, which shows 10 percent growth comparing to the same period of previous year. 
In April, the Darkhan-Uul and Bayankhongor branches of the BoM bought 9 kg and 3 kg of gold respectively. The gold purchase increased since the adoption of the bill on amendments to the Law on Mineral Resources at the irregular session of the Parliament. Gold royalty was increased from 2.5 to 5 percent. 
Throughout April, average price for a gram of gold stood at MNT 108,757. 

Source: Montsame

MONGOLIA LIFTS QUARANTINE AFTER COUPLE DIES FROM EATING RAW MARMOT MEAT

Mongolia has lifted its six-day quarantine after a couple that had eaten raw marmot meat died of suspected bubonic plague, according to a new report.
The Russian couple — a 38-year-old man and his 37-year-old pregnant wife — reportedly fell ill April 27 after hunting and eating contaminated marmot, a large species of squirrel, in Mongolia, reports said.
They died three days later, leaving behind four kids.
Their deaths sparked panic aboard a plane and forced authorities to place the western Bayan Olgii province, bordering both Russia and China, under what they called an “indefinite quarantine” — leaving tourists stranded.
But by Monday, a number of tourists were finally able to leave the area, the BBC reported.
Marmot meat is considered a folk remedy for good health, Ariuntuya Ochirpurev of the World Health Organisation in Ulaanbaatar, the country’s capital, told the BBC.

Source: The New York Post
See also: Bubonic Plague Strikes In Mongolia: Why Is It Still A Threat?

PASTURE CARRYING CAPACITY EXCEEDED BY 41.2 PCT

Mongolia's pasture was overloaded with livestock animals with 41.2 percent more than its carrying capacity, the country's parliament speaker Gombojav Zandanshatar said Tuesday.
Zandanshatar made the remarks during the opening ceremony of a national conference under the theme of "Creating legal environments for pasture usage and protection."
"Now, Mongolia has around 66.5 million of livestock animals which exceeded the carrying capacity of pastureland in the country by 41.2 percent," Zandanshatar said.
As of the end of 2018, agriculture land accounted for 73.8 percent of the country's total land area, according to the parliament speaker.
A total of 850 people, including members of the Mongolian parliament and government as well as officials and herders from all 21 provinces of the country attended the conference to explore ways to protect pasture, rehabilitate degraded pastures and adjust the number of animals to the existing pasture carrying capacity.

Source: Xinhua

IMMIGRATION OFFICER: ELECTRONIC VISA PERMIT SERVICE NOW AVAILABLE - INTERVIEW

The Mongolia Immigration Agency has just started issuing an electronic visa permit to the foreign nationals. In this regard, we have interviewed Mr. Turkhuu, Officer of the Visa and Citizenship Department of the Mongolia Immigration Agency to highlight the service.
-How will the customers of the Mongolia Immigration Agency apply for the e-service? Also, how many days will it take to receive the response?
-It is possible to get the electronic service by visiting and registering at the “E-VISA” webpage which locates at the upper right site of Mongolia Immigration Agency’s official website - immigration.gov.mn. When a registered user reads the instruction and enters the required application documents to the system, Mongolia Immigration Agency officers accept the application. If the electronically sent documents are complete, the visa officers will send the visa permit via e-mail or message in 3 working days.

Source: GoGo News

CHILD-HAZARDOUS NATION - EDITORIAL

There is no future for a country that neglects children. Children are supposed to be raised with smiles on their faces and showered with love and care by their moms, dads, brothers and sisters. And yet, we continue to hear more and more heart aching reports of children being killed in traffic accidents, being abused by parents and adults, sexually molested by relatives and strangers, and going missing. Even the smog clouding Ulaanbaatar during cold seasons is permanently harming children’s health.Across the world, millions of children are dying due to armed conflicts and wars. We would think that children would be safe in a peaceful country like Mongolia where there’s no violent conflicts or wards, but it doesn’t seem to be the case. 
By the end of last year, the police reported 1,115 crimes against children in Mongolia and stressed at the time that this was a 34 percent rise compared to the previous year. 

Source: The UB Post

ADB ZOOMS IN ON CLIMATE CHANGE AND TOURISM - EDITORIAL

Over 2,000 delegates from the Asia Pacific region came together in Nadi, Fiji for the 52nd Annual Meeting of the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) Board of Governors, which took place from May 1 to 5.
The 2019 annual meeting marks the first time a Pacific developing member country will host ADB’s largest annual gathering, providing ADB Governors an opportunity to discuss important and pressing development issues facing Asia and the Pacific. The theme for this year’s event is “Prosperity Through Unity.” 
This year’s meeting focused on sustainable tourism and its potential to boost national and regional development efforts, the role of private sector financing for disaster risk management and climate resilience, and the importance of actions to improve ocean health. Responses to heightening global economic uncertainty, the role of digital technologies for financial inclusion, and new tools for sustainable infrastructure development were also key topics of discussion.

Source: The UB Post

POLITICS

NEW HEAD AND DEPUTY HEAD OF IAAC APPOINTED

At the session of State Great Khural of Mongolia dated May 2, 2019, Dashdavaa Zandraa was appointed as Head of Independent Agency Against Corruption of Mongolia, and Batsaikhan Janjaa as Deputy Head based on Article 21.1 of Law on Anti-Corruption.
Head of IAAC Z.Dashdavaa has bachelor and master degrees in law. He started his career as a criminal officer in Police Department of Khentii province, police officer in Police Department of Bayangol district, Head of Criminal Department of Govi-Altai province, Head of  Criminal Department of district governor office, Head of Internal Audit department of General Police Department, Director of Police School of Law Enforcement University, Head of 2nd Police Department at Sukhbaatar district, and Deputy Head of General Police Department.
Deputy Head of IAAC J.Batsaikhan has profession of lawyer and Ph.D in law. He worked as Head of Audit department of IAAC and Deputy head of General Executive Agency of Court Decision.

Source: GoGo News

BCM NewsWire 578 – 17 May 2019

ECONOMY

GDP RISES 8.6 PERCENT IN Q1

In the first quarter of 2019, GDP of Mongolia at 2010 constant price reached MNT 3.5 trillion by preliminary estimation of production approach, increased by MNT 279.9 billion or 8.6 percent compared to the same period of the previous year. This increase was mainly driven by the 8 percent increase in the service sector, which is worth MNT 127.7 billion (wholesale and retail trade sector by MNT 52.2 billion or 13.9 percent) and industry, construction sector by MNT 124.9 billion or 11.2 percent.
In addition, the inflation measured by the consumer price index (CPI) at the national level increased by 1 percent from the previous month, by 2.8 percent from the end of the previous year and by 7 percent yoy.
In the first four months of 2019, the total equilibrated revenue and grants of the General Government Budget amounted to MNT 3.1 trillion and total expenditure and net lending amounted to MNT 2.8 trillion, resulting in a surplus of MNT 286.5 billion in the equilibrated balance.

Source: ZGM Daily
See also: Preliminary balance of payments for April 2019

MINING INCOME UP BY 41.2 PERCENT

As reported by the Ministry of Mining and Heavy Industry, MNT 981 billion has been accumulated to the state budget from the mining sector in the first four months of 2019.
Accumulated income to the state budget rose by MNT 286.1 billion or 41.2 percent comparing to the previous year. Collected taxes and duties from minerals such as gold, coal, copper and spar have increased while tax income from zinc and iron have decreased.
Export of mining products reached USD 2.5 billion in the last 4 months. It is an increased performance by 18.2 percent or USD 386.6 million comparing to the same time of the last year. Iron ore, coal, copper, zinc and molybdenum concentrate and crude oil made up 83.2 percent of the total export.
Coal export reached 11.4 million tons or USD 961 million as a sum in the first 4 months of this year. The coal price per ton has been an average of USD 84.4 this year.

Source: Montsame

MONGOLIA EARNS OVER 700 MLN USD FROM EXPORTS OF COPPER CONCENTRATES

Mongolia earned 701.4 million U.S. dollars from the exports of copper concentrates in the first four months of this year, up 4 percent year-on-year, local media reported Friday, citing the Mongolian Customs General Administration (MCGA).
The Asian country exported a total of 489,100 tons of copper concentrates in the period between January and April in 2019, an increase of 30,500 tons from the same period last year, the MCGA said in a statement.
Mining is the most important sector of Mongolia's economy. The country is rich in natural resources such as gold, silver, iron, coal, copper, molybdenum, tungsten, phosphates, tin, nickel, zinc, and fluorspar.
The mining industry accounted for 72 percent of industrial output, 87 percent of total exports, 24 percent of the gross domestic product and 75 percent of foreign investment in 2018, according to the country's Ministry of Mining and Heavy Industry.

Source: Xinhua

FOREIGN TRADE TURNOVER INCREASES BY 15.9 PERCENT

In the first 4 months of 2019, Mongolia traded with 130 countries from all over the world and total trade turnover reached USD 4.3 billion, of which USD 2.5 billion were exports and USD 1.8 billion were imports.
In April 2019, exports and imports reached USD 740.3 million and USD 480.5 million respectively. Compared to the previous month, exports and imports increased by USD 62.3 million and USD 32.3 million respectively.
In the first 4 months of 2019, total foreign trade turnover increased by USD 570.9 (15.4 percent) million, of which exports increased by USD 386.6 million (18.2 percent) and imports increased by USD 184.3 million (11.7 percent) compared to the same period of the previous year.
The 386.6 million increase in exports from same period of previous year was due to an increase of USD 171.0 million in bituminous coal and USD 51.4 million in gold, unwrought or in semi-manufactured forms exports.

Source: Montsame

NON-PERFORMING LOANS INCREASED BY 4.3 PERCENT

The money supply reached MNT 19.9 trillion at the end of April 2019, showing an increase of MNT 188.7 billion or 1 percent from the previous month and by MNT 3.6 trillion or 22.5 percent from the same period of previous year.
At the end of April 2019, the amount of outstanding loan to entities, enterprises and citizens amounted MNT 17.6 trillion, increased by MNT 182.8 billion or 1 percent from the previous month and by MNT 3.2 trillion or 21.9 percent from the same period of previous year.
At the end of April 2019, the non-performing loans in banking system amounted MNT 1.9 trillion, increased by MNT 80.2 billion or 4.3 percent from the previous month and by MNT 738.4 billion or 61.2 percent from the same period of previous year.

Source: Montsame

BAN ON BURNING LOW-GRADE COAL FOR DOMESTIC USE IN CAPITAL COMES INTO FORCE

A ban on burning of low-grade coal for domestic use in the Mongolian capital Ulan Bator came into force on Wednesday, with the aim of reducing air pollution.
"Today, we all witnessed a historic decision to improve air quality in the capital city and protect ourselves from air pollution," Lamjav Byambasuren, vice health minister of the country, said at the opening of an event on raising public awareness of air pollution.
Public participation in air pollution reduction is important, Byambasuren said, calling on residents of the city to comply with the ban on the burning of low-grade coal for domestic use.
According to a statement issued by the National Committee for Environmental Pollution Reduction, households and enterprises who violate the ban will be fined from 300,000 Mongolian tugriks (over 113 U.S. dollars) to 3 million Mongolian tugriks (about 1,134 dollars).
Households in Ulan Bator will be supplied with processed fuel instead of raw coal.

Source: Xinhua

REGISTERED UNEMPLOYED DECREASED BY 4.1 PERCENT

At the end of April 2019, the Labor and Social Welfare Services Agencies have registered 33 thousand job seekers, of which 22.5 thousand or 68.1 percent were unemployed and remaining 10.5 thousand or 31.9 percent were employed but looking for a new job.
Registered unemployed people decreased by 952 (4.1 percent) compared to the previous year but increased by 717 (3.3 percent) from the previous month. A breakdown by gender shows that 11.7 thousand or 52.3 percent were women among total number of registered unemployed.
From total registered unemployed at nationwide, 418 or 1.9 percent were with disabilities, of which 212 or 50.7 percent were women.
In the first four months of 2019, the Labor and Social Welfare Services Agencies have recorded 23.2 thousand newly unemployed and 4.4 thousand registered persons were hired on a new job. By the reasons of new registered unemployed, the highest percentage or 51.4 percent were people who dismissed from job..

Source: Montsame

NEW ECONOMIC FORUM TO SEEK EFFECTIVE WAYS TO SOLVE ECONOMIC PROBLEMS

The main objects of the New Economic Forum are to identify the challenges of economic development and to seek realistic opportunities in a scale of the national producers of excellence, international organizations, and the private sector developers.
Bloomberg TV Mongolia organized the New Economic Forum with the Business Council of Mongolia, Mongolian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MNCCI), American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) in Mongolia, Australian Chamber of Commerce in Mongolia (AustCham), German Business Association of Mongolia (DMUV), and France-Mongolia Chamber of Commerce on May 13.
The world transition from the Western countries to the new economy is growing, the tendency of leaders to seek new economic reforms has been expanding to new markets and new leaders. Implementing policies based on the collective economy and innovative policies is a key policy for new economies.

Source: ZGM Daily

ERDENEBUREN HYDROPOWER PLANT PROJECT TO BE INTENSIFIED

The Government of Mongolia adheres to a policy to reduce the use of imported energy and increase domestic source. During his working visit to Khovd aimag, Prime Minister U.Khurelsukh got acquainted with the progress of project on constructing Hydropower Plant on Khovd River in Erdeneburen soum of the aimag and made a decision to intensify the project implementation. Currently, the feasibility study of the HPP is under formulation.
When Erdeneburen HPP comes into operation, it will be a reliable and cheap energy source that the energy need of western aimags can be fully provided. In addition, it will yield numerous positive socio-economic outcomes, such as budgetary subsidy being given to western energy system will be zeroed, about 1000 permanent job places will be newly created as well as accessibility of doing business will be improved.     
With a total investment worth of USD288 million, the 100MW HPP will produce 300 million kW/h electricity annually.

Source: Montsame

URBAN SERVICES FOR MONGOLIA'S BOOMING BORDER TOWNS - VIDEO

Rapid growth in mining and cross-border trade is putting a strain on existing infrastructure in Mongolia's South Gobi region, an area famous for its wild nature, nomadic culture, and rich mineral deposits.
In Mongolia's South Gobi, four water reservoirs and 39 km of water supply pipelines have been built and 24-hour smart water kiosks are now operating.
More than 200 households now have connections to water supply pipelines in Mongolia's South Gobi region.
The Government with support from the Asian Development Bank is now working to improve urban infrastructure and services.

Source: ADB

FUEL PRICE: SWORD AND SHIELD - EDITORIAL

Two days ago we saw fuel prices increase in Ulaanbaatar yet again. The AI-92 fuel, which takes up 80 per cent of Mongolia’s total fuel consumption, is currently being sold for 1,855-1,880 MNT per liter, which is 70-90 MNT dearer from the rates a week ago. Also, the price of diesel fuel has also gone up by 30-40 MNT per liter.
When fuel prices increase, we also see an increase in consumer goods, especially food products. However, the correlation doesn’t work the other way – a reduction in fuel prices doesn’t mean cheaper consumer goods. So, when the sword of fuel prices strikes, it cuts down the real income of people.   
The fluctuations in fuel prices depend on three key factors: Fuel supply being fully dependent on imports; Fluctuations in MNT rate; and Government attempts to set fuel prices.

Source: Jargal Defacto

POLITICS

PRESIDENT VETOES TAX BILLS

On 22 March 2019, the Parliament approved the revised versions of the laws on General Taxation, Corporate Income Tax and Personal Income Tax together with supporting amendments. The revised tax laws were set to come into force from 1 January 2020.
As the final texts of the revised tax laws were made available, the President vetoed the tax laws in their entirety together with supporting amendments.
The Parliament will now discuss the veto and vote on the veto. The Parliament could overrule the veto by affirmative vote of two-thirds of the members of Parliament (i.e. rejecting the veto) attending the relevant plenary session.
The following summarizes the reasons for Presidential veto.

Source: Avinex Partners LLP

CORRUPTION PROBE STARTS INTO OT "DUBAI AGREEMENT”

Known as the Dubai Agreement, a 2015 expansion deal for the Oyu Tolgoi copper and gold mine, has been under scrutiny by a parliamentary working group. Very senior figures were involved in signing the agreement, the transparency of which has long been questioned.
The report by the working group has been presented to the parliamentary  Standing Committee on Economics. According to L.Oyun-Erdene, Head of the Cabinet Secretariat, the Mongolian side sent its examination results to Rio Tinto, which is the major owner and operator of the mining complex; but it refused to amend the agreement. Currently, the 4-5 people who responsible for signing the agreement are under investigation by the Independent Authority against Anti-Corruption and other legislative bodies.

Source: News.mn

UN EXPERT WARNS AGAINST SETBACKS IN RULE OF LAW AND SHRINKING SPACE FOR CIVIL SOCIETY

Mongolia must ensure that reforms to its legal framework promote rather than restrict the work of human rights defenders, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, Michel Forst, said today.
While Mongolia has often – and rightly so – been depicted as champion of democracy in East and Central Asia, recent legislative amendments are of concerns and are sending mixed messages, Mr. Forst said in a statement at the end of a two-week visit to the country.
“Having carefully considered the information received from the Government, civil society and other stakeholders, I conclude that, Mongolia is a relatively safe country for human rights defenders,” the UN expert said.  “Although some cases of attacks and abuses against human rights defenders were reported, I did not observe a pattern of systematic attacks against them”.
“However, this relatively safe environment does not translate into a conducive environment for human rights defenders. Obstacles such as stigma, the lack of understanding of who human rights defenders are, and dangerous amendments to several laws instill fear and hinder their work.”  

Source: Montsame

MONGOLIA MARKS 30 YEARS OF COOPERATION WITH EUROPEAN UNION

2019 is the 30th anniversary of relations between Mongolia and the European Union. May 9 was also “Europe Day”, a day remembered for the beginning of what is now known as the European Union. In

BCM NewsWire 579 – 24 May 2019

BCM HIGHLIGHT

MONGOLIAN COMPANIES UNITE TO EXPORT CLEAN ENERGY

On May 23, 2019, more than 600 individuals from the Government of Mongolia, private sector, representatives of NGOs, and domestic and international experts participated in the “2019 International New Energy Summit.”

During the Summit, a signing ceremony was held for the Unified Call of the “Gobi Clean Energy Alliance.” Relevant associations, federations, and corporate executives joined the alliance and pledged to harness the Gobi region’s abundant clean energy resources, develop production, and export energy.

Across the world, people are reducing their usage of traditional energy sources and transitioning to clean energy. According to a study conducted by the Asian Development Bank and Ministry of Energy, it is possible for Mongolia to establish a power transmission network in line with international standards and use its domestic clean energy resources to supply the increasing demand for energy in Northeast Asia.

Harnessing the clean energy potential of the Gobi and exporting power to the region is beneficial not only for the Mongolian economy and interests of its citizens, but also for the world, by helping to reduce carbon emissions responsible for climate change.

During the Eastern Economic Forum held in Vladivostok in September 2018, President of Mongolia Battulga Khaltmaa raised the idea of establishing a regional coordinating organization for a Northeast Asian power grid, which would be the most efficient and cost-effective way to bring down the power load during peak hours. Organizations unifying under the Alliance support this initiative and emphasized that using the Gobi region’s clean energy will have a tremendous impact on the development of Mongolia’s energy sector, economy of Northeast Asia, infrastructure cooperation and development, and the ambition to make Mongolia a clean energy exporter.

For more information, please contact:

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During the signing ceremony


BCM signs the pledge

Source: Gobi Clean Energy Alliance
See also: GGGI Mongolia jointly organizes International New Energy Green Summit-2019

BCM BOARD DIRECTORS MEET WITH H.E. PRESIDENT KHALTMAA BATTULGA

During the New Economic Forum held on May 13, H.E. President of Mongolia Khaltmaa Battulga announced to meet with business leaders to freely discuss issues and challenges. On May 18, BCM Board Directors, along with other business leaders, joined the President in free discussion at the “no-tie meeting.”

Source: President.mn

ECONOMY

MNT DEPRECIATES 10 PCT IN JAN-APRIL AGAINST USD

The exchange rate of the Mongolian currency Tugrik against the U.S. dollar fell by 10 percent year on year in Jan-April, data released by the Mongolian National Statistics Office (NSO) showed Tuesday.
At the end of last month, the exchange rate of the U.S. dollar against the Tugrik stood at 2,634.93, said the NSO. Tugrik also depreciated by 3.2 percent against the Chinese yuan.
The Mongolian national currency's depreciation was mainly related to continuous increase in imports, according to experts of the statistical agency.
The value of the Asian country's total imports amounted to 1.8 billion dollars in the Jan-April period, up 11.7 percent from the same period last year.
The Bank of Mongolia has provided more than 600 million dollars to private banks so far this year to manage foreign currency reserves, according to a bank statement.

Source: Xinhua

CONSTRUCTION OF TAVANTOLGOI-ZUUNBAYAN RAILWAY TO COMMENCE THIS WEEK

The Government is planning to inaugurate the construction of 416.6 km railway from Tavantolgoi to Zuunbayan on May 24. The Minister of Road and Transportation Enkh-Amgalan Byambasuren announced that soldiers will help finish the task. Also, it is estimated that MNT 750 billion will be spent on the project.
The domestic transport revenue of the Tavantolgoi-Gashuunsukhait railway is about USD 8, while the transport revenue of the Tavantolgoi-Zuunbayan railway will be USD 20 (per what? Add measure). The Tavantolgoi-Zuunbayan railway line is scheduled to be completed in 2020 starting from May. A total of 3,647 people will work on the construction of the tunnel and dam, while 1,144 people will participate in building the other development works.

Source: ZGM Daily

THOUSANDS QUEUE FOR RESERVE MEAT

Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Light Industry began selling reserve meat this weekend through extended trade fairs in additional 10 locations in an effort to moderate the fast-rising meat prices.
Thousands of people are queuing up to four hours because of the high demand for affordable meat. It was reported that each person can buy five to six kilograms of meat at maximum, which means those who want or need more meat at a bargain will need to go to the back of the line to purchase more.
Prices at these extended expos are 7,200 MNT per kilogram of beef, 6,000 MNT per kilogram of mutton, and 5,500 MNT per kilogram of goat meat. Prepared meat are packaged in two or three kilograms.

Source: The UB Post

GOVERNMENT TO IMPOSE QUOTAS ON MEAT EXPORTS

Mongolia exported 54900 tonnes of meat and meat products in 2018 – a 20 year high. But because of bungled management, the population of Ulaanbaatar, where half of Mongolians live, is experiencing meat shortages. Prices have simply skyrocketed beyond what people can afford. For a nation of meat-eaters, this is hard to cope with!
In order to solve this problem, the cabinet is planning to impose quotas on lamb and goat meat exports due to the shortages in the capital. Ironically, the number of livestock in Mongolia reached 85 million head this year; however, people in Ulaanbaatar can no longer afford to eat meat on a daily basis because of the prohibitive prices.
Currently, the price of beef has reached MNT 16,000 per kg at the big markets in Ulaanbaatar. The Mongolian government’s effort for stabilizing meats price has become ineffective.

Source: News.mn
See also: Supply of staple foods discussed

CHINA PROVIDES AGRICULTURE EQUIPMENT TO MONGOLIA

Mongolia received agriculture machinery from China on Thursday with a soft loan from the Chinese government, with senior officials from both sides attending a handover ceremony here.
Chinese Ambassador to Mongolia Xing Haiming said that the agriculture machinery, provided within the framework of a project on promoting the agriculture production of Mongolia and funded with a soft loan from China, will contribute greatly to the development of the Mongolian agriculture sector and further development of bilateral agricultural cooperation.
Chultem Ulaan, Mongolian minister of food, agriculture and light industry, said that the much-needed agriculture equipment will help Mongolian agricultural entities to upgrade their older equipment and accelerate the development of the country's agriculture sector.
"This is one of the major investments in the Mongolian agriculture sector in history," Ulaan said.

Source: Xinhua

AGREEMENT SIGNED FOR MONGOLIA CHOIR RAILWAY PLATFORM

Kaisun Holdings Limited and China Railway Engineering Construction Mongolia have signed an agreement for the construction of the Mongolia Choir Railway Platform. This project opens up logistic opportunities along the China, Mongolia and Russia corridor by providing full supply chain management services to the region, and enhancing the development of logistics along the Belt and Road megaproject.
Mongolia Choir Railway Platform is one of the largest private enterprises in Mongolia. The railway platform in the town of Choir is located in the middle eastern part of the country, and around 250 kilometers away from the capital Ulaanbaatar, covering a total area of 35,000 square meters, with an annual loading capacity of 1.8 million tons. The cooperation between Kaisun Holdings and China Railway Engineering Construction Mongolia will further strengthen economic ties between Mainland China – Hong Kong – Mongolia.

Source: News.mn

GETTING MONGOLIAN VISA ONLINE

From the 1st of May this year, the Mongolian Immigration agency started issuing some types of visa permits in electronic way.
With the current modification, citizens and legal entities are not required to go to the Immigration agency in person in order to submit the visa permit requests in paper form or to obtain the related decisions and approvals in paper form.
Within the National program “E-Government” aimed at providing fast and citizen-oriented public services, the Mongolian immigration agency has introduced, as the initial step, the online services for granting the visa permits of tourist “J” and business “B” types for single entry and business “B” type for multiple entry visas.
As such, the applications for visa permits of temporary visitors for stay of 31-90 days and multiple entry visas for 30 days, which are issued at the Mongolian diplomatic and consular missions, as well as visa permits to be issued at the international border checkpoints of Mongolia may be filed electronically.

Source: LehmanLaw Mongolia
See also: D.Turkhuu: Electronic visa permit service is now available

FIVE-YEAR PROGRAM TO PROVIDE 150,000 HOUSEHOLDS WITH APARTMENTS APPROVED

At the Cabinet meeting on May 22, Minister of Construction and Urban Development Kh.Badelkhan was tasked to approve a plan of action of the National Program ‘150 thousand households- Apartments’ within the second quarter of the year and ensure its implementation.
According to the program, it is planned to connect 10 thousand private houses with basic infrastructure facilities, re-plan ger areas to construct apartments for 45 thousand households, demolish outdated apartment buildings to build new apartments for 3000 households, construct rental apartments for 18488 households as well as others.   
Actions and funding required for the program implementation will be reflected in annual Basic Guideline to develop the country’s socio-economy, state and local budgets, and will be resolved within public and private partnership.
The program will be implemented in five years between 2019 and 2023.

Source: Montsame

CAR-FREE DAY PROMOTES RISK-FREE, HEALTHY CITY

The annual Car-Free Day continues to reach out to wider audience with an array of activities and entertainment aimed to promote healthy lifestyle and create a healthy, safe and comfortable living environment for residents.
Car-Free Day takes place in Ulaanbaatar on every Saturday of the third week of May. This year, it was held on May 18 under the slogan “Together for Risk-Free and Healthy Environment” and also marked the 380th anniversary of the establishment of the capital. As usual, the police restricted traffic movement in the city center, closed large markets and shopping centers, and temporarily altered bus routes to assist the event and allow locals to exercise by walking, ride bicycles, and running on auto roads. 

Source: The UB Post
See also: Over 30,000 people run in UB Marathon

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