Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Mongolia Brief March 18, 2014

Deputy Speaker Visits China
Ulaanbaatar, March 18(MONTSAME)The Chairman of the Mongolian People’s Party (MPP) and parliament Deputy Speaker M.Enkhbold began his official visit to China on Monday.

The visit aims at leveled-up traditional relationship and updated cooperation between the MPP and the Communist Party of China (CPC), both are the oldest political forces in Asia: the MPP "was born" on March 1 of 1921, the CPC--on July 1 the same year. 
Mr Enkhbold will also visit the Guangzhou Economic and Technical Development Zone to see its social and economic developments, will meet leaders of the CPC to talk about relationship between the two parties and the two countries.
The delegation includes party leading members O.Sodbileg, D.Sarangerel, D.Lundeejantsan and B.Choijilsuren.

“Hours of Construction” Weekly Meeting Runs
Ulaanbaatar, March 18(MONTSAME)The Mayor of Ulaanbaatar city E.Bat-Uul gave a report about works to be done this year, at the "Hours of great construction" weekly meeting on Monday.
Beginning his report, the Mayor said a programme on developing the UB city's ger areas and investment will launch this year. This programme will be co-implemented by the Asian Development Bank within ten years in three phases. In the first one, 16.6 billion togrog worth works will start to erect sub-centers near Bayankhoshuu and Selbe River.
The ger areas re-development will be done with a participation of the private sector. The work will cover 970 hectares areas in 12 places in the city’s five districts in the first turn, Bat-Uul said. Apart from it, 15 thousand 309 hectares at 52 locations will be owned by people for family use, and cadastre,  partial planning and ownership works will begin soon, he said.
The Mayor also reported that a foundation will be created to support small-sized business, small- and middle-sized productions. Some 15.2 billion togrogs have been budgeted, and a related rule is being worked out. About 100 million togrog is expected to be allocated to each khoroo (smallest administrative unit in UB), the Mayor said.
As for the road works, 36 projects and measures will be implemented this year to improve the auto road network. About 20 km roads were repaired and expanded in the city last year, and 55-km roads will be expanded in 2014. Over 44-km new roads and footbridges will be constructed under a financing of MNT 74 billion, the Mayor said.
Then he spoke about a programme on creating metro in the UB city and the “Smart UB” programme that will provide people with an access to necessary information from their home.

Premier Visits University of Defense
Ulaanbaatar, March 18(MONTSAME)On occasions of the 93rd anniversary of the Mongolian Armed Forces and Day of Mongolian Servicemen, the Prime Minister N.Altankhuyag Monday legged the University of Defense.
The Premier got acquainted with activities of the university, then held a meeting with cadets and teachers to talk about patriotism, national pride, present times' Mongolian youths, goals and purposes of life and the Internet usage.
With 300 officer-teachers and 4,000 cadets, this University is the largest educational organization that prepares military staffers for the Mongolian Armed Forces and defense. 

Finance Minister visits South Korea
March 18 (news.mn) Mongolian government officials lead by the Finance Minister, Ch.Ulaan, are visiting South Korea`s Strategy and Finance Ministry and the National Tax Service on March 17th to 19th. 
For the visit to South Korea by Finance Minister Ch.Ulaan individual talks were arranged with South Korea`s Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Strategy and Finance, Hyun Oh-seok, and the head of South Korea’s National Tax Service (NTS), Kim Duk-joong. The parties exchanged opinions on sharing experiences of e-tax services, taxation management and sustainable mechanism of bilateral cooperation between the Ministries.

Mining Minister Meets Rosneft President
Ulaanbaatar, March 18(MONTSAME)The Minister of Mining D.Gankhuyag Monday received a visiting delegation led by Mr Igor Sechin, the Rosneft president and chairman of the management board.
The Minister thanked the Russian Rosneft company for providing Mongolia with oil products for many years and noted that a regular meeting of the intergovernmental commission ran last year considered a matter on supplying up to 1.0 million tons of oil products to Mongolia a year. He also hoped that the railway transportation of crude oil from Russia to China through the Mongolian territory will be restored.
The Minister also thanked the company for studying opportunities to supply raw material to oil refineries which will be erected in Mongolia, in accordance with an internationally-used principle of exchange among three nations.
MrGankhuyag touched upon an issue of constructing a natural gas pipe through the Mongolian territory, and then noted it is urgent to establish a joint company to exploit the "Asgat" silver deposit and to intensify works of technological tests and selection. A decision to put this mineral deposit into an economic circulation was made at the intergovernmental commission.
The Minister pointed out that Mongolia’s government had made a decision to merge all state-owned entities, engaged in the mining field, into the state-run “Erdenes MGL” LLC, so the Mongolia-owned shares of the “Erdenet” Mining Corporation will be transferred to the “Erdenes MGL” LLC.
In response, MrSechin said the Mongolia-Russia traditional, friendly and brotherhood relations have been brought into a new volume, and said his company can collaborate in the biggest strategic projects, maintaining mutually-beneficial principles.
He said the company is ready to realize a project on supplying oil to Mongolia by pipe under a long-term contract because it is expensive to transport oil by railways.
It is urgent to share necessary information and to scrutinize this matter, the sides noted and expressed a mutual readiness to collaborate in the oil sector.

Vice FM Receives Russian Khalimag Delegates
Ulaanbaatar, March 18(MONTSAME) The Vice Foreign Affairs Minister D.Gankhuyag received delegation of the National Khural of Khalimag Republic of the Russian Federation on Monday.
The sides exchanged views on the present level of cooperation and ties between Mongolia and Khalimag and talked about the ways of intensifying the ties in cultural and humanity sphere. 

Flowers laid on Sukhbaatars statue
March 18 (news.mn) To mark the Mongolian Soldiers" Day, the 93th anniversary of Mongolian Armed Forces, high ranking officials from the Ministry of Defense Mongolia and the General Staff of the Mongolian Armed Forces showed great respect to the statue of Sukhbaatar, the hero of the Mongolian revolution, by laying flowers on the statue today, March 18th. 
During the ceremony the Minister of Defense of Mongolia, D.Bat-Erdene, Vice-Minister of Defense and senior officials of the General Staff of the Mongolian Armed Forces were present. Senior officials of the General Staff of the Mongolian Armed Forces also showed respect to the heroes J.Lhagvasuren and L.Dandar who gave their lives for Mongolia`s independence and sovereignty. 
Due to Mongolian Soldier`s Day, the Ministry of Defense held a ceremonial meeting of all officers, first sergeants, sergeants and soldiers of the General Staff of the Mongolian Armed Forces on March 17th.
Wreaths Lain at Sukhbaatar MonumentMontsame, March 18

Mongolia-Cuba Consultative Meeting Held
Ulaanbaatar, March 18(MONTSAME) The second consultative meeting between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Mongolia and Cuba ran Monday in Ulaanbaatar.
The meeting was co-chaired by D.Gankhuyag, Mongolia’s Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, and by Miguel Angel Ramirez Ramos, the director of Cuba’s Foreign Ministry Department of Asia-Pacific Affairs.
The parties confirmed that they intend to strengthen the bilateral traditional and friendly relations, to activate the cooperation in the education and sport sectors, and to develop the ties in the agriculture and health spheres. The countries also agreed to support each other on the multilateral cooperation platform.
Within his visit to Mongolia, Mr Ramos plans to meet with A.Bakei MP, a member of the Mongolia-Cuba Friendship Group at parliament; L.Tumenjargal, the Vice Minister of Culture, Sport and Tourism; and authorities of the Ministry of Health and General Prosecutor Office. 

Minister Meets with S.Korean Counterpart
Ulaanbaatar, March 18(MONTSAME)In frames of working visit to the South Korea on March 17-19, the Minister of Finance Ch.Ulaan Monday met with his counterpart Mr Hyun Oh-seok.
The sides exchanged opinions on the matters such as studying the S.Korean experience in tax management and E-operation system, and ways of setting up a cooperation mechanism between the two ministries.
Present at the meeting was also Mr Kim Duk-joong, the commissioner of the National Tax Service /NTS/. 

Visa free travel to Poland and Turkey
March 18 (news.mn) Holders of Diplomatic and Official Passports in Mongolia and Poland are now able to travel to each other’s countries without a visa. The signing of the “Agreement of Visa free requirements for Diplomatic and Official passport holders between the Government of Mongolia and Poland” was signed on June 29th, 2011 to be effective from April 4th, 2014, allows travel for up to 90 days within a period of 180 days. 
Misunderstandings had arisen from the use of the term “official passport” in the implementation of the previous “Agreement of Visa free requirements for Diplomatic and Official passport holders between the Government of Mongolia and Poland”. An official passport is translated into English as a “service passport”, which meant that some official passport holders faced misunderstandings at Polish Customs. So both sides decided to review the Agreement to fix the confusing terminology. 
In addition, “the intergovernmental agreement between Turkey and Mongolia on the mutual exemption of visas” was signed on October 10th, 2013 in Ankara. The agreement came into effect on April 11th. Nationals of each country can now travel for up to 30 days within a period of 180 days without a visa under the visa-free term. 

Central Bank and ADBto Implement Payment SystemModernization Project in Mongolia
March 18 (infomongolia.com) On March 14, 2014, Minister of Economic Development N.Batbayar and AsianDevelopment Bank (ADB) Country Director Robert Schoellhammer have signed a 20million USD Loan Agreement on Payment System Modernization Project inMongolia.
In 2012, the Government of Mongolia applied for a loan in order to improve thepayment system and following the review in December 2012, the ADB Boardapproved the Loan on November 26, 2013.
The Project will be carried out by the Central Bank of Mongolia for the period of twoyears and the Government will allocate additional 2.5 million USD as investment.
The Project is proposed to:
1. Strengthening the interbank payment system infrastructure for all interbank payments and transactions of other serviceproviders in compliance with the Principles for Financial Market Infrastructures;
2. Strengthening the interbank payment system infrastructure for all interbank payments and transactions of other serviceproviders in compliance with the Principles for Financial Market Infrastructures;
3. Providing technical support to develop capacity of project implementation unit and system participants and to increase newservices’ utilization;
4. Enhancing requisite legal and regulatory framework enabling interoperability, branchless banking, and secure mobilefinancial services, while ensuring consumer protection and preventing money laundering, financing of terrorism and systemicsettlement failure.
The Project is expected to be completed by December 31, 2016.
According to Agreement, Mongolia will pay a commitment charge of 0.15% per annum and Loan has a principal repaymentperiod of 15 years. Interest and other charges on the Loan shall be payable semiannually on February 15 and August 15 ineach year between 2019 and 2033.

Hunnu Air Plans to Open Direct Flight between Novosibirsk and Ulaanbaatar
March 18 (infomongolia.com)According to Komsomolskaya Pravda press release from March 17, 2014, Mongolia’sHunnu Air is pledging to open a new route from Novosibirsk Tolmachevo Airport toChinggisKhaan International Airport in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.
However, the direct flight launching issue is not resolved yet and under discussion,but parties negotiated during the Routes Asia 2014, the largest route developmentforum for the entire Asia region held in Kuching, Malaysia on March 09-11, 2014.
Further the source said, the direct flight between Ulaanbaatar and Novosibirsk doesnot exist and in order to reach the capital city of Mongolia, Russian travelers had totake a flight with two stops in Russia and China about 24 hours that costapproximately 25,000 RUB or 683 USD and Novosibirsk authorities deem the new route would be more cost-effective and openfurther destinations to Beijing and Dubai.

Russia Ready to Implement Long-Term Contract onSupplying Oil Products via Pipeline to Mongolia, SaysRosneft President Igor Sechin
March 18 (infomongolia.com) On March 17, 2014, Russian delegation led by the President and Chairman of theManagement Board of Rosneft Company, Igor IvanovichSechin has conducted athree-hour working visit to Mongolia and during the stay in Ulaanbaatar, PresidentI.Sechin met with President Ts.Elbegdorj, Prime Minister N.Altankhuyag and MiningMinister D.Gankhuyag respectively.
During the meeting with President of Rosneft, Mining Minister D.Gankhuyagexpressed his appreciation to the Russian side for supplying oil products to Mongoliafor many years and mentioned that the Government of Russia agreed to providepetroleum up to one million ton per year during the XVII IntergovernmentalCommittee meeting held in Moscow last November. Minister also underlined that acertain part of transit transport of crude oil from Russia to China via Mongolian territory would be restored.
Moreover, Minister thanked Russian delegation for studying to supply with crude oil to Mongolia’s first oil refinery plant inDarkhan under three-part exchange program being experienced today on international market. In addition, he said anopportunity to link natural gas pipe via Mongolian territory is still open.
Minister D.Gankhuyag further noted to accelerate the process of establishing an independent joint venture to utilize the Asgatsilver deposit and in the first phase it is needed to run experimental works and select appropriate technology. Also, heacknowledged that Mongolian representatives of the Russia-Mongolia joint venture of "Erdenet" Mining Corporation will beadministered by “Erdenes MGL” company. The Government of Mongolia resolved to adhere a general policy to unite all state-ownedenterprises running activities in the field of mining under “Erdenes MGL” authorization that aims to improve corporategovernance and independent professional guidance.
In response, President I.Sechin said the friendly brotherhood relations have been entering into a new level of partnership andemphasized the full potentiality of collaboration in some strategically important projects under the terms of mutual beneficial andmutual respect principles. Also, he mentioned the Rosneft’s oil reserves and crude oil unit cost is recorded as low as comparedto other countries.
Moreover, President I.Sechin noted the railway oil transportation expenses from Russia to Mongolia are estimated high cost,thus the Government of Russia is ready to implement a long-term contract on supplying oil products via pipeline and in order torealize this issue parties should study and exchange information, and Russia’s willingness to partner with Mongolia in oilsector.
During meeting with President Ts.Elbegdorj and Premier N.Altankhuyag, parties exchanged the possibility of increasing thesupply of products from "Rosneft" and as one of the possible areas of cooperation discussed was the delivery of packedbitumen production as well as the development of new logistics solutions.

Largest Zinc-Lead Enrichment Plant in Western Region ofMongolia Now Operational
March 18 (infomongolia.com) On March 10-12, 2014, Mining Minister D.Gankhuyag attended in the openingceremony of Dulaankhar zinc-lead enrichment plant in Bayan-UlgiiAimag, thewestern region’s largest and most advanced manufacturing facility plant.
According to feasibility studies, the Dulaankhar zinc and lead mine located in theterritory of Nogoonnuur Sum of the Aimag was developed to use for a period of 16years and within the term, it expects to concentrate a total of 9,843.3 thousand tons ofore, of which 128.06 thousand tons of lead, 456.81 thousand tons of zinc, and 0.083tons of silver respectively.
At the opening ceremony, MP A.Bakei, representatives of China Embassy toMongolia, Altai province of Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, Bayan-UlgiiAimag and China’s Chi Hua Group’sYushengming LLC were present.
During the working visit, Mining Minister also got familiarized with Asgat Silver Deposit, the site was negotiated to realize intoeconomic circulation during the XVII Intergovernmental Committee between the Governments of the Russian Federation andMongolia in November 2013, and currently parties working on establishing a joint company, where Mongolia to own 51% andRussian side the rest of 49%.

Student-Soldier" Program begins from April
March 18 (news.mn) An opening ceremony for the new "Student-Soldier" Program, which was approved by the Government of Mongolia on February 14th, based on the Presidential Decree 92, was held at the National University of Mongolia on Monday. The "Student-Soldier" program will allow students to serve in the army during their summer vacation. 
According to the Presidential Decree students who want to serve in the army will be granted their bachelor diploma along with a Military service member certificate and will be able to get a job in the state services. The "Student-Soldier" program will be effective nationwide from April 1st in the second quarter of 2014. The Minister of Defense and Minister of Education and Science issued a joint order to launch the program according to a Presidential Decree. 
At the opening ceremony for the "Student-Soldier" program, the Chair of the Mongolian President"s office P.Tsagaan, Minister of Education and Science L.Gantumur, Defense Minister D.Bat-Erdene and the Chair of the Union of the Mongolian Student"sKh.Batsaikhan were present to express gratitude to participants on behalf of over 175,000 students. 
"Student-Soldier" Programme LaunchesMontsame, March 18

Livestock Protection Fund Established
Ulaanbaatar, March 18(MONTSAME)The City's Livestock Protection Fund has been founded under a resolution issued by E.Bat-Uul, the City Mayor.
This is a part of action plan of the City Mayor for 2012-2016 to supply 80 percent of the city's needs in milk with the domestic production.
The Deputy Mayor for Ecology and Green development matters T.Bat-Erdene has been appointed the head of the fund.
The fund will realize aims, reflected in the livestock national programs, develop and support an intensified livestock farming, run researches, and determine pastures capacity. 

Mongolia Annually Consumes Ten Thousand Ton of Sweets
Ulaanbaatar, March 18(MONTSAME)In the first two months of 2014, the nation imported 687.5 ton of confectionery products, says the Customs General Authority.
The total price of the imported sweets stood at 1.7 million USD. Last year, the country imported about 4.5 thousand ton of confections with a total price of 10.3 million USD, which consisted a nearly half of the annual domestic need.
Mongolia’s first confectionery factory TalkhChikher produces five thousand ton of sweet annually. It supplies four types of candies to the domestic market, while AtarOrgoo Co produces three brands of sweets.

Symphonic Orchestral Music Celebrates 90th Anniversary
Ulaanbaatar, March 18(MONTSAME)To celebrate the 90th anniversary of establishment of symphonic orchestral music in Mongolia, a "Memory Pop Opera" group is to stage a concert on March 20.
It will feature soloists of the State Opera Theater O.Uynaga, E.Amartuvshin, E.Ankhbayar and Ts.Aryuna who will sing masterpieces of well-known Italian composers.
The "Memory Pop Opera" group was founded within the State Opera and Ballet Theater in 2014, at an initiative of a solo-performing musician of the theater L.Monkhtsetseg. Since then, the group has been expanding with new members and new repertoire, including Mongolian and world-known classic pieces to reach 34 members today.

Museum Spares Hall for Military Hospital History
Ulaanbaatar, March 18(MONTSAME) The Mongolian Military Museum Monday opened a new hall to display a history of the Mongolian military hospital, on the occasion of the Soldiers' Day and 93rd anniversary of Mongolian Armed Forces.
The hall shows photos depicting hospital assistance during wars and designs of the hospitals buildings, medical instruments and historical documents of that time. 

Military Museum Becomes First with Braille
Ulaanbaatar, March 18(MONTSAME)The Mongolian Military Museum has become the first one to offer Braille explanations for persons with eye-sight problem.
On Saturday, a training themed “Travelling through warrior history” ran at the museum together with school for visually impaired children of the UB city. A cooperation agreement was signed by Colonel G.Zolzaya, a director of the museum, and S.Enkhtuya, the school director. The museum administration gave to the school Braille introductions and explanations of halls and selected exhibits, handbooks, audio versions.
Present at the event were Colonel D.Monkh-Ochir, a director of Management department of Public administration of the Ministry of Defense, N.Batdulam, a head of Development department for persons with eye-sight problem of the Ministry of Population Development and Social Welfare and others.  

"Ethnosphere" Project to Run
Ulaanbaatar, March 18(MONTSAME) Art project themed as such is to run in cultural sphere of Mongolia.
This project is expected to start next month with participation of the Ministry of Culture, Sport and Tourism, Arts Council of Mongolia, professional composers, musicians, fashion designers and painters, who will create complex artwork at professional level.
The USA-headquartered “Universal Music Mastering” studio, a part of the Universal Music Group family, will work with our side during this project.
The ethnosphere is the sum total of the world's cultures, it refers to both the accumulation of living cultures and the ancient lineages from which they evolved.

Hong Kong Hosts Mongolian Days
Ulaanbaatar, March 18(MONTSAME) Mongolian week events kicked off in Hong Kong on Tuesday.
This series of events aim at promotion of Mongolian folk art and nomadic culture, as well as the tourist flows to the country.
The weekly events include a promotion activity for "Genghis Khan and the Mongol Empire" book co-published by Asia Society organization and Smithsonian Institution, an interview with Mr Carl Robinson, an author of "Mongolia: Nomad Empire of the Eternal Blue Sky", a presentation of Mongolia for students and teachers of Hong Kong International School, a seminar on khoomei--a unique throat singing, and art performances.
Khosogton, a Mongolian ethnic-ballad group, is also planning to stage a "Mongolian week" concert during this Week.
The organizers of the action are World’ Mongolian Cultural Association and Hong-Kong-based organizations such as Asia Society, Royal Geographical Society and Odyssey Publications, in partnership with Mongolia’s Consulates-Generals in Hong Kong and Macao.

Hakuho, Harumafuji Remain Deadlocked on Day 9
Ulaanbaatar, March 18(MONTSAME) Mongolia's Hakuho and Harumafuji matched each other with nine consecutive wins to stay tied for the lead on March 17 at the Spring Grand Sumo Tournament in Osaka, and sekiwakeGoeido gave rising star Endo a taste of the dirt in a fiery bout, reported asahi.com website, same day.
YokozunaHakuho, the defending champion, took out sekiwakeTochiozan (4-5) with a pair of thrusts at the face-off followed by a forward drive that even without a good belt hold was enough to force his prey over the edge.
Harumafuji, the junior yokozuna, drove sekiwakeKotooshu into retreat, pulled back as the Bulgarian tried to recover and sent him flying into the dirt as he flailed at thin air. The yokozuna was never in trouble and showed his characteristic speed and wits in garnering the win. Kotooshu hasn't been much of a factor against anyone this tournament, however, so the outcome was fairly predictable.
The former ozeki stands at a disappointing 1-8 record, and is likely to take a status hit the next time out.
One loss back, Mongolian ozekiKakuryu used a confident grappling strategy against No. 3 maegashiraTakayasu, and when that failed to do the trick, switched smartly to a leg sweep and a pull on the belt to send his opponent off balance. All that Kakuryu needed to do to finish the match was add a good push, which he did quite deftly.
Kakuryu is still looking good, but he doesn't quite seem to be faring well enough to stand out and take charge. He could win promotion to yokozuna if his compatriots melt down, but he also may have to add on a little more pizzazz to really grab the attention of the sumo association's leaders.
Kotoshogiku put up a tough fight against fellow ozekiKisenosato, despite his injured right shoulder. The two settled right off into a grappling mode, with Kisenosato working strongly on Kotoshogiku's weak side. Kotoshogiku dug in and tried to fight his way back from a lower position, but in the end did not have the stamina or power to ward Kisenosato off.
The result puts Kisenosato at a very respectable 7-2, and drops Kotoshogiku to 5-4. In his weakened condition, Kotoshogiku will probably be satisfied just to close out with eight wins overall.
SekiwakeGoeido totally demolished top maegashira Endo. Clearly expecting a tough fight from the up-and-coming Endo, Goeido came out with both guns blaring, pounding Endo with heavy thrusts, whipping him off balance as he maneuvered to the side and battering him over the edge and into the spectator seats.
The bout was a great show of determination from Goeido, who obviously saw it as an opportunity to prove that he is still the higher-ranked and more experienced wrestler of the two, though Endo has been getting a lot of attention as a future superstar. The loss was Endo's fifth, but he has also marked a great first competition against the best of the best, claiming Kisenosato and Kotooshu as victims along the way.
KomusubiToyonoshima (4-5) thrust hard but got turned around as he tried to evade and regroup, allowing top maegashiraTamawashi (2-7) to chase him out from behind. KomusubiShohozan thrust out No. 2 maegashiraOkinoumi for his fourth win. Okinoumi is sagging toward demotion with a listless 2-7 performance.

Mongolian Hockey Team Achieved Its First Win
March 18 (infomongolia.com) Mongolian hockey team has been participating in the 2014 Challenge Cup of Asiaorganized in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates on March 15-22, 2014. This is theseventh edition organized annually by International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF)since 2008.
On the first day of the Challenge, March 16, Mongolia played against last year’schampion, the team of Chinese Taipei, but lost by a score of 3:10 and yesterdayachieved its first winning over the team of Hong Kong by 9:2.
On March 19, Mongolian team is scheduled to have a match with Kuwait, the teamhad been facing losses to the United Arab Emirates (1:5) and Chinese Taipei (1:16)last days.
At the 2014 Challenge Cup of Asia, six teams of Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, Mongolia, Kuwait, Thailand and the United ArabEmirates are competing in Round-Robin system.
Mongolian Hockey Team Bags First WinMontsame, March 18

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