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

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