Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Mongolia Brief March 25, 2014



Vice Speaker Meets Ambassador of Estonia
Ulaanbaatar, March 25 (MONTSAME) A Vice Speaker of parliament L.Tsog Monday received Mr Toomas Lukk, the Concurrent Non-Resident Ambassador of Estonia to Mongolia.

The Vice Speaker said he is happy that the Mongolia-Estonia relations and cooperation are expanding. He backs an activation of the relations and a co-organization of high-level meetings and visits, he said and affirmed that the President of Estonia has been invited to Mongolia.
He also underlined the opportunities to expand the cooperation in the trade, investments, economic and scientific fields, and said Mongolia wants to learn Estonian technology of schist processing.
Estonia has become one of the leading nations not only in Europe, but also in the world by its developing E-governance system, the Vice Speaker expressed a willingness of Mongolia to study this experience and to collaborate with Estonia in preparing staffers and organizing trainings and seminars.
He highlighted an importance of the inter-parliamentary relations and said D.Battsogt MP is the head of the Mongolia-Estonia inter-parliamentary group at the State Great Khural.
In turn, Mr Lukk thanked the Vice Speaker for receiving him and said he and the Embassy of his country do big efforts to expand the bilateral relations and cooperation and intend to creatively continue them.
The Ambassador said it is important to deepen the cooperation in the above fields, adding that the ties between the countries are beginning to develop intensively. The he briefed a present political situation in his country.
Mongolia and Estonia established the diplomatic relations on November 20 of 1991. 


Speaker meets Ambassador of Germany
Ulaanbaatar, March 25 (MONTSAME) The Speaker Z.Enkhbold Tuesday received Mr Gerhard Tiedemann, the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Federal Republic of Germany to Mongolia.
The Speaker expressed a satisfaction with meeting with Germany’s Ambassador to discuss the bilateral relations including the inter-parliamentary cooperation.
In turn, Mr Tiedemann introduced to the Speaker some works for a planned official visit of the Speaker to Germany and expressed a willingness of the German side to develop a wide cooperation with Mongolia in economic sphere. Mongolia-Germany economic forum will take place this, he noted and said he is satisfied with the cooperation between professional organizations in air transportation consulting and railways technical reforms.
The Ambassador also asked the Speaker to support efforts of his country to widen the economic cooperation in frames of the 40th anniversary of the Mongolia-Germany diplomatic relations which is marked this year.
Here the Speaker said Mongolia intends to boost its industrial sector and added Mongolia is learning German experience in producing gas from coal.
He also said he is confident that Germany’s Ambassador will significantly contribute to expanding of the bilateral mutually-trusted and friendly relations and cooperation.


P.Tsagaan delivers remarks at 2014 MEF
Ulaanbaatar, March 25 (MONTSAME) A head of the Presidential Office P.Tsagaan made the opening remarks at the 2014 Mongolia Economic Forum which kicked off Monday in the State House.
Mr Tsagaan said under the leadership of President Elbegdorj and thanks to fruitful efforts of many Mongolians and the World Economic Forum’s staff, Mongolia and the WEF have built an effective and meaningful cooperation in the past two years. “Our cooperation in water issues, in combating corruption and promoting transparency under PACI, and encouraging responsible mineral development have borne concrete results and outcomes,” he said.
“WEF’s contributions and participation in elaborating the Mongolia Development Scenarios were truly instrumental. Discussions of these scenarios in Ulaanbaatar in September 2013 and in a private session in Davos at WEF past January have helped us narrow down our policy focus on many important developmental tasks,” Mr Tsagaan said.
He emphasized Mongolia-WEF partnership has indeed been fruitful, and Mongolia does value this cooperation and friendship, adding that Mongolia has worked hard to improve business and investment environment, and our cooperation with the WEF has given a strong impetus to our efforts to promote foreign investment.
“I am tempted to recall and share with you one story happened at the Mongolia Night Event in January in Davos during WEF. Well, please forgive me for leaking out this pleasant for Mongolia act of violation of protocol, Professor Schwab called the audience comprised of mostly investment community, for actively investing in Mongolia. He did admit that usually he abstains from making promotional speeches, yet, because Mongolia was an exception, because Mongolia is a country of great promise and potential, Professor Schwab urged the investors to come to Mongolia. I do reiterate this call and invitation,” he said.
“On the other hand, we in Mongolia have a lot of work to do. We must continue firmly harnessing our investment environment and adopting business-friendly policies and practices. We must complete and accomplish the goals and tasks we aspire under the Smart government initiative.
You are well aware, in the past 24 years, Mongolia conducted a double transition. Now, from today on, we must pursue and attain a double digit growth. We have the potential, and we have the will. When there is a will, there is a way,” he went on.
“We have a dream, a big dream to leap into a higher level of social and economic development in years to come. It is not just a dream; it is an achievable aspiration provided we pursue a smart, sustainable, liberal, inclusive economic policy which would promote both domestic business and foreign direct Investment. With this, ladies and gentlemen, I cordially invite our colleague, our friend Kristel to moderate the session. Kristel and her colleagues at the Strategic Foresight Group have been our close partners in the past few years,” he said.


B.Boldbaatar Meets Lao Delegation
Ulaanbaatar, March 25 (MONTSAME) Secretary-general of the Parliament Office B.Boldbaatar Monday received a visiting delegation headed by Mr Ungee Vutila, a member of the Laos National Assembly (parliament).
Mr Boldbaatar expressed his satisfaction with an expanding cooperation between the two legislative bodies and their offices.
The Mongolia-Laos ties date back to the 14th century, Mr Boldbaatar noted and said the bilateral ties and cooperation have been activating and regularizing, and the current visit of Mr Vutila gives big opportunities to widen the ties between the parliamentary offices and to share experiences.
Then he spoke about our parliament and its office.
In response, Mr Vutila also introduced to him their National Assembly and its office's activities.
The Parliamentary Offices of the two countries established a cooperation protocol in 2003 during a visit of the Lao NA to Mongolia. Since then, the sides re-established such document three times. During this visit, the Parliamentary Offices are expected to re-establish the cooperation protocol.


SCO Secretary General D.F.Mezentsev Conducts Official Visit to Mongolia
March 25 (infomongolia.com) Upon the invitation of the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Mongolia, Secretary General of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Dmitry Fyodorovich Mezentsev is conducting an official visit to Mongolia on March 23-26, 2014.
On March 24, Foreign Minister L.Bold received the Secretary General D.F.Mezentsev in his office, where parties focused on issues concerning Mongolia-SCO cooperation and other issues of mutual interests. During the meeting Minister L.Bold noted, as an observer in SCO and in the light of its policy for taking active part in regional political and economic cooperation, Mongolia has actively participated in SCO activities and has an aspiration to maintain productive cooperation with SCO on wider scale.
Highlighting an importance of mutually beneficial economic collaboration for ensuring the regional security, he further added that there are great possibilities for such cooperation with SCO member states and observers.
Secretary General D.F.Mezentsev introduced comprehensively about the organization's further activities and vision, and confirmed SCO commitment to broaden joint actions with observers including Mongolia.
On the same day, Secretary General D.F.Mezentsev and SCO Under Secretary General M.A.Zhalopov held meeting with Chairman of Security and Foreign Policy Standing Committee of the State Great Khural (Parliament) Ts.Oyunbaatar, MP Ts.Tsolmon and MP N.Enkhbold in the Government House. In the scope of 10th year of Mongolia’s observer status, sides exchanged views on some measures to organize in 2014.
During his visit, Mr. D.Mezentsev will pay a courtesy call on Prime Minister of Mongolia N.Altankhuyag and Minister of Road and Transport A.Gansukh.
Today on March 25, SCO Secretary General D.F.Mezentsev will attend at the press conference to be organized at the Institute for Strategic Studies at 03:30 pm.
Related:


MPs Meet SCO Secretary-General
Ulaanbaatar, March 25 (MONTSAME) Secretary-General of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Dmitry Mezentsev Monday met with Chair of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Security and Foreign Policy Ts.Oyunbaatar MP and others.
Present at the meeting were also SCO Deputy Secretary-General MrDjalopov, SCO advisor MrVorobyev, and Ts.Tsolmon and N.Enkhbold MPs.
The sides shared views on multilateral activities on trade, economy and transportation between Mongolia and SCO members, observers and dialogue partners. The parties also talked about an initiative to organize joint activities within the 10th anniversary of Mongolia’s joining SCO as an observer.
The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation or SCO is a Eurasian political, economic and military organization which was founded in 2001 in Shanghai by the leaders of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. SCO today has observer states such as Mongolia, Afghanistan, India, Iran and Pakistan, and dialogue partners such as Belarus, Sri Lanka and Turkey.


Parliament of Mongolia Makes Changes to Its 2014 Spring Plenary Sessions' Timetable
March 25 (infomongolia.com) On March 24, 2014, Speaker of the State Great Khural (Parliament) Z.Enkhbold issued a Decree No.48 amending the Parliament Plenary Sessions’ timetable.
The Decree cites, based on the Law on Parliament of Mongolia, Article 11, Paragraph 11.2 and Law on the Rules of Procedures of the Parliament’s Session, Article 4, Paragraph 4.1, the morning 2014 Spring Plenary Sessions will be starting on every Thursdays and Fridays at 09:00 am and afternoon meetings to start at 02:00pm.
Accordingly, Chairmen and Members of Standing Committees and Secretary General of the Parliament Secretariat B.Boldbaatar are obliged to arrange their works undernew hours.
The Autumn Plenary Session morning meetings used to start at 10:00 am and continued at 03:00 pm every Thursdays and Fridays.
According to the Parliament Law, the first day of the Spring Plenary Session with opening ceremony is set on April 05 annually, but this year the day falls on Saturday, therefore the Secretariat has not announced yet when to start the Session.
Related:


FM Receives S.Korean Foreign Ministerial Delegation
Ulaanbaatar, March 25 (MONTSAME) Foreign Minister L.Bold Tuesday met with Mr Li Dung-gi, a chief of Cultural Exchanges Bureau of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of South Korea.
Mr Bold thanked the delegation for visiting Mongolia to attend a consultative meeting of Foreign Ministries of the two countries, which has been held after the official visit of Mr Bold to South Korea, and expressed a confidence in fruitful results of the meeting aimed at enhanced cultural exchanges and mutual understanding of the two nations.
The sides noted the need to pay attention to the relationship between the peoples of Mongolia and South Korea, which falls behind the development of the traditional friendly relationship of the countries.
Referring to S.Korea-based Mongolians as cultural ambassadors, Mr Bold asked the delegation to support activities of voluntary associations and societies of Mongolians living in the country.
In turn, Mr Li Dung-gi briefed on cultural actions and programs planned within missions to advance the mutual understanding and awareness of the two peoples, and to intensify the citizens and diplomatic relationships of the two countries.


Foreign Ministries hold consultative meeting
Ulaanbaatar, March 25 (MONTSAME) The first consultative meeting between Foreign ministries of Mongolia and South Korea ran in Ulaanbaatar March 25 to discuss public diplomacy issues.
The Mongolian part was led by Ts.Batbayar, a director of Policy Planning Department of the Foreign Ministry, the S.Korean--by Mr Li Dung-gi, a chief of Cultural Exchange Bureau of S.Korean Foreign Affairs Ministry.
The sides shared views on cooperation opportunities for advanced public diplomacy, mutual understanding, historical-cultural awareness raising and promotion among the peoples of Mongolia and South Korea.
Emphasizing the role of the press in awareness-raising about a country and its peoples, the Mongolian part expressed willingness to increase exchanges between press and media organizations.
The S.Korean side briefed on cultural activities planned for the Mongolian people, especially the youth, that are to take place through S.Korean Embassy in Ulaanbaatar, and asked the Mongolian part to support these actions.
After that, the sides agreed to actively cooperate in these matters and to hold this kind of meeting activities on a regular base.


Mongolia Wants to Develop Wide-Range Cooperation with SCO
Ulaanbaatar, March 25 (MONTSAME) As the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) observer, Mongolia has been actively participating in the organization’s actions and wants to make the cooperation wider.
It was said by the Minister of Foreign Affairs L.Bold Monday at his meeting with visiting D.F.Mezentsev, the Secretary-General of the SCO, when they were exchanging views on the Mongolia-SCO collaboration and other issues.
Underlining an importance of developing win-win economic cooperation for ensuring the regional security, the Minister said Mongolia has a great opportunity to collaborate in it with the SCO members and observers.
In turn, Mr Mezentsev gave details about the SCO’s activities and measures to be taken in near future, and then expressed a willingness to expand the cooperation with the observers especially with Mongolia. 


Mongolia-Swiss consultative meeting held
March 25 (news.mn) The Foreign Ministries of Mongolia and Switzerland held the third consultative meeting in the city of Berne in the Swiss Confederation on March 24th.
At the consultative meeting, the Deputy Foreign Minister of Mongolia, D.Gankhuyag chaired on the Mongolian side and the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs Assistant State Secretary for Asia-Pacific, Ambassador Beat Nobs leading the Swiss side.
Parties exchanged views on bilateral relations, cooperation, mutual cooperation development, future prospects, and discussed regional and global multilateral issues.
Parties pointed out successful bilateral relations in the fields of politics, culture, and humanities and discussed the plans for an upcoming event marking the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Mongolia and the Swiss Confederation on May 22nd.  Both sides agreed to hold a diverse art and cultural events, business meetings and exhibitions for the anniversary.
The representatives also talked about further moves to boost bilateral trade and economic cooperation. The Mongolian side emphasized the significance of increasing trade and economic relations and suggested to establish a Mongolia-Swiss Joint Economic Cooperation Commission. At the consultative meeting parties and consuls also shared information and opinions on civilians` issues.
Parties also assured satisfaction over the results of numerous development programs that have been launched in Mongolia by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) over the past decade. Project have included support to agricultural development, improving veterinary practice, reducing negative impacts of micro mining to the environment, creating a Single Window Access to Public Services and combating against human trafficking.
Swiss efforts for development in Mongolia are targeted to decelerate centralization in the City, improve vocational school systems in the local area, and increase agriculture to provide food security in the coming years.
Mongolia congratulated Switzerland for chairing the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) this year and expressed that Mongolia believes that bilateral cooperation between Mongolia and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) will be boosted during this period.  The parties also emphasized the importance for the two countries to mutually support each other in the framework of UN and other international organization.     
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Business council to be established to cooperate with China
Ulaanbaatar, March 25 (MONTSAME) Such council is expected to be set up, and a meeting will be held on April 4 in the Mongolian National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MNCCI) to elect the council’s members.
This council's main objectives are to widen the Mongolia-China trade and economic cooperation, to expand a space for Mongolian businessmen at China’s market, to attract Mongolian enterprises to joint investments, to help Mongolian businessmen to collaborate with China’s state-run and private organizations, and to protect legal interests and rights of the Mongolian entities.
These goals are set up in a scope of realizing business support decisions made at intergovernmental meetings.


Stock exchange news for March 25
Ulaanbaatar, March 25 (MONTSAME) At the Stock Exchange trades held Tuesday, a total of 41 thousand and 519 shares of 26 JSCs were traded costing MNT 37 million 249 thousand and 289.34.
"Hai Bi Oil" /22 thousand and 644 units/, "Remikon" /8,197 units/, "Khokh gan” /4,144 units/, "Khovsgol" /2,496 units/ and "Gobi" /936 units/ were the most actively traded in terms of trading volume, in terms of trading value--"Gutal" (MNT eight million 468 thousand and 550), "Hai Bi Oil" (MNT seven million 925 thousand and 400), "Gobi" (MNT six million 020 thousand and 385), "Tavantolgoi" (MNT three million 968 thousand and 078) and "UB-BUK" (MNT two million 782 thousand and 500).
The total market capitalization was set at MNT one trillion 645 billion 612 million 113 thousand and 526. The Index of Top-20 JSCs was 16,446.70, decreasing by MNT 26.17 or 0.16% against the previous day.


EU to Provide Financial Support of over 6.5 Billion EUR to 12 Asian Countries Including Mongolia
March 25 (infomongolia.com) On March 20, 2014, the European Union Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs has announced a financial support of over 6.5 billion EUR in new support for countries and organizations in Asia for the period 2014-2020.
The announcement was made during a two-day event to discuss development cooperation with authorities from the countries and regional organizations involved.
In his statement, Commissioner Piebalgs said, "The EU is committed to cooperation with Asia for the long-run. The future programs are expected to help achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in the region, address climate change, promote energy efficiency, facilitate business and trade through better market accessand support regional integration".
While Asian economies have shown remarkable recent growth, poverty is still widespread on the continent, with about 800 million people in the Asia and Pacific region still living in extreme poverty (live on less than $1.25 a day), according to the Asian Development Bank. As most countries in the region are facing challenges due to uneven regional development and increasing income inequality, EU funding for national and regional programs in Asia for the time period from 2014-2020 increased by 20% compared to the financing period 2007-2013 (€5.1 billion).
The new funds will address key priorities being discussed with the countries present in the programming seminar in Brussels, as well as with the representatives of the regional organization the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Some of these priorities include social protection, better health and education, job creation and better integration of partner countries into regional and world markets.
Funding for EU-Asia cooperation comes from the Development Co-operation Instrument (DCI), which is part of the overall EU budget. These 12 countries (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam) in Asia are eligible for bilateral development programs.
According to the European Union Technical Office in Ulaanbaatar opened in June 2006, Mongolia was represented at above two-day event by Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Mongolia to the Kingdom of Belgium and the European Union, Mr. Khishigdelger DAVAADORJ and an official statement regarding how much fund was distributed to Mongolia is not revealed yet.


Law Merchant Training Runs
Ulaanbaatar, March 25 (MONTSAME) A regular training of "Judges training project in law merchant sector" is running at the National Legal Institute March 24-28.
The judges training project has been co-implemented by the Supreme Court, General Council of the Courts and International Development Law Organization /IDLO/ with a financial support of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development /EBRD/.
The training has gathered judges of the Supreme Court, members of the Constitutional Court and trainee judges majoring in law merchant sphere. 
Foreign teachers and specialists are giving lessons on shareholders' right, dispute in insurance sector, right of lender, laws of competitiveness and bankruptcy.


Bulgan Aimag Receives Tractor
Ulaanbaatar, March 25 (MONTSAME) A center of Bulgan province has acquired tractor for landfill.
Some 800 million togrog were spent for this technique from environment protection and remediation activity expenditure of the fund of environment.
The tractor has been supplied by a tender-winner "Da Chi Wu" company in frames of the governor's action plan on creating a safety living environment, with an aim to make the aimag a "model province of green development".


Journalists to Receive Discounted Medical Treatment
Ulaanbaatar, March 25 (MONTSAME) The Mongolian Journalists’ Union Monday signed a memorandum of cooperation with the South Korean health association and educational authority.
The memorandum enables opportunities for the Mongolian journalists to receive health services in South Korea, including medical treatment at preferential prices, annual complimentary full medical examinations for two media personnel, and a free-of-charge esthetic operation.
In educational cooperation, young journalists will study a one-year language course at a South Korean university.


Disaster Protection Training to Be Organized Nationwide on March 27, 2014
March 25 (infomongolia.com) National Emergency Management Agency of Mongolia (NEMA), under the implementation of the Law on Disaster Protection and other relevant regulations, is organizing a complex training on disaster protection activities at the national level starting at 04:00 pm on Thursday, March 27, 2014.
The training is aimed to regulate the ways to ensure protection of the life and health of the population, of the environment and of property in events of disaster.
Also, the above law and regulations require to organize warning alerts across the country annually on the fourth week in March and check the alert facilities prompt operations, besides to increase the participation of citizens and entities involved in its community area and improve the training practices.
This year the complex training will be organized on its third consecutive year and under the “Earthquake Early Warning System” Project being implemented, 40 Earthquake Sensor Towers have been installed in 6 Districts of Ulaanbaatar. Moreover, TV stations such as MNB, UBS, Mongol TV, largest mobile phone operators - Mobicom and Unitel, and FM radio stations – FM102.5, Auto Radio FM 96.3, Family Radio FM 104.5, Lavain Egshig (Shell Vowel) FM 97.5, MNB 1st Channel and other massmedia are collaborating.
Therefore, the NEMA warns civilians in case of alert signals, do not panic, stay calm and follow instructions and regulations.
Related:
Disaster Protection Training to RunMontsame, March 25


Earthquake occurs in Bulgan
Ulaanbaatar, March 25 (MONTSAME) An earthquake was recorded Monday morning at 08.04 am by UB time in Teshig soum, Gobi-Altai province.
The Institute of Astronomy and Geophysics reported it Tuesday. It said the earthquake was 3.94 magnitudes, its epicenter was 19 km to northeast from the soum on 50.09 degrees of northern latitude and 102.75 degrees of eastern longitude.
There is no information about accidents due to the natural disaster.


Earthquake felt in Govi-Altai
March 25 (news.mn) On Tuesday March 25th a minor earthquake shook southwest Mongolia 40 km away from Tonkhil sum in Govi-Altai aimag early in the morning. The 3.5 magnitude earthquake occurred at latitude 46.13, longitude 93.47 according to the Research Center for Astronomy and Geophysics, Academy of Sciences of Mongolia.
A 3.9 magnitude earthquake in the same area, around 6.20 pm on March 8th, was also registered by the Research Center for Astronomy and Geophysics, Academy of Sciences of Mongolia.


Mongolian Students at State University of Agriculture to Be Completing Their Bachelor Degree at Missouri State University
March 25 (infomongolia.com) Mongolian State University of Agriculture (MSUA) and Missouri State University (MSU) have established an Agreement of Cooperation in Ulaanbaatar on March 24, 2014.
The document was signed by Associate Vice President for International Programs Mr.Stephen Robinette representing MSU and Mrs. Kh.Altantsetseg, Professor and Vice Director of the Division of International Cooperation at MSUA.
In the frameworks, two universities will partner in scholar and cultural exchangeprograms, besides to implement bachelor degree programs under 3+1 and 2+1+1 systems, which means MSUA students will study 3 years at their school and complete the last year program at MSU, and the second option is to study 2 years at MSUA, 1 year at MSU and 1 year at MSUA.
Missouri State University is a public university located in Springfield, Missouri, United States and founded in 1905 has 85,000 alumni applying their education around the world and 1,500 international students studying on the Springfield campus.
The Missouri State University system has four physical campuses:
- The main campus in Springfield, Missouri
- West Plains, Mo., offering two-year associate’s degrees
- Mountain Grove, Mo., focusing on fruit science and agriculture research
- Dalian, PR of China, in partnership with Liaoning Normal University


"Ethnosphere" Art Project to Cooperate with BMI
Ulaanbaatar, March 25 (MONTSAME) National art project themed "Ethnosphere" will cooperate with the BMI /Broadcast Music.Inc/, the largest music rights organization in the USA.
The BMI will work on the copyright protection of new album which will be published and sold to the international music market in frames of the project.
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.
Since its founding in 1939, BMI is the bridge between songwriters and the businesses and organizations that want to play their music publicly. As a global leader in music rights management, BMI serves as an advocate for the value of music, representing more than 8.5 million musical works created and owned by more than 600,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers.
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.


Famous “Portraits” Exhibition Opensat Mongolian Modern Art Gallery
March 25 (infomongolia.com) On March 24, 2014, “Portraits” art exhibition has been opened at the Mongolian National Modern Art Gallery, where famous art pieces being preserved in its fund are now for public view until April 30, 2014.
A portrait is an artistic representation of a person, in which the face and its expressionis predominant. The intent is to display the likeness, personality, and even the mood of the person, says organizers.
These famous artworks include “Self Portrait”, “U.Yadamsuren” and “D.Manibadar” by Mongolian State Laureate, People’s Artist N.Tsultem, “Senior Artists” by G.Odon, portraits of “D.Sukhbaatar” and “Kh.Choibalsan” by U.Yadamsuren, “SculptorTs.Amgalan” by Do.Bold, “Yu.Tsedenbal’s Childhood” by People’s Artist B.Gombosuren, and other paintings by prize winners of Union of Mongolian Artists such as “Manlaibaatar” by Ts.Jamsran and “Jamukha Khaan and Aloneness” by N.Orkhon.  
Related:
"Portraits" Exhibition OpensMontsame, March 25


Mongolian designer’s show at Mercedes Benz fashion week
Ulaanbaatar, March 25 (MONTSAME) Mongolian designer Ariunaa Suri presented her ready-to-wear show during the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in Tokyo, March 22.
This was her second participation in this fashion week that defines further tendency of the fashion world. This time, her show mainly focused on men wears made of pure linen materials. At the show, some forty wardrobes for fall and winter seasons were presented on the podium by Mongolian models such as Ch.Subedei, Ts.Michihdmaa, S.Togs, Yu.Baljidmaa and I.Togsoo, with songs from the new album of the Lemons band of Mongolia.
"Mercedes Benz Fashion Week" is a fashion festival held twice a year in the world's fashion cities during which the trends for the next season are born from the latest collections that are unveiled at fashion shows and exhibitions. Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Tokyo is hosted by the Japan Fashion Week Organization and held twice a year on March and October.


Memory Champions Announced
Ulaanbaatar, March 25(MONTSAME) The National Memory Championship ran at Mongolia-Japan Center on March 22.
At the final stage of the championship, named after the Trade and Development Bank, a total of 52 mental athletes aged 9-34 competed in ten category events such as speed cards, names and faces, numbers marathon, binary digits, flash numbers, five minute random words and ten minute cards, words dates, playing cards and abstract images.
The championship was attended by four of five grandmasters of memory of Mongolia. International second rank judge Kh.Khatanbaatar judged the event, where achievements and scores of mental athletes were included in the world rankings.
At the end of the championship, Ts.Bat-Erdene (15) was announced as the champion of general and junior categories, where he earned a total of 14 medals and 5466 points. With these results, he advanced into 15th in the world memory ranking, beating his own two world records. The Grandmaster Bat-Erdene was followed by two other grandmasters–O.Sengesamdan and S.Tsogbadrakh. The medal winners were also granted rights to take part in open championships in countries such as Japan, Great Britain, Germany, Philippines and Sweden.
The earliest high-level international tournament is the Extreme Memory Tournament in San Diego this April 26-27, to which Ts.Bat-Erdene has been invited as the one of the elite 16 mental athletes. The tournament is aiming to break away from the normal style of memory competition and to try something new and different. The competitors have been chosen based on the current World Memory rankings, making the event extremely competitive and exciting.
The Mongolian mental team is expected to participate in the 23rd World Memory Championship in China’s Hainan on December 7 of 2014.
The opening of event was attended also by Kh.Khatanbaatar, a director of Mongolian Intellectual Acamedy; S.Orgodol, a deputy chief of TDB; Ch.Bat-Erdene, a president of Asian Draughts Association; N.Uchral, a director of Royal Academy of Mongolia.


Mongolian Darts Team Goes to Hong Kong
Ulaanbaatar, March 25 (MONTSAME) Our darts team will attend the first stage of the Darts Asian Open tournament in Hong Kong (China) on March 28-30.
The above announcement was made Tuesday at a press conference where M.Erdene, a head of the Mongolian Darts Amateur’s Federation and the team were present.
The Asian Open tournament will be held as a preliminary event of the Stage 1 of the Soft Draft World Championship 2014 in Macau (China) on April 4. The open championship will be held in men’s five and women’s two rounds, in categories of singles and couples.


Water is our unvalued treasure
March 25 (UB Post) We do not attach any specific value to water because there is plenty of it today. However, one cannot even spend 24 hours without it. Any person who is dying of thirst in a desert will be willing to give up whatever valuables they have in exchange for a single cup of water. What should be done in order for Mongolians to fully recognize the true value of this precious treasure and start protecting and saving water? Do we need to run out of water and be threatened by dying of thirst to realize its value?
WORLD WATER DAY
In 1992, the United Nations declared March 22 as World Water Day and called on every nation to spend this day analyzing and improving their consumption of water, as well as their attitude towards water usage. Water scarcity is causing 14,000 deaths a day (11,000 of which are children below the age of five) worldwide. It is projected that a total of two billion people will be suffering from water scarcity by the year of 2050. What is and will be the cause for such a scenario to come true? On one hand, 98 percent of the total water resources on Earth is saline water, one percent is locked up in polar ice caps, and another one percent (which is available for human consumption) is in rivers, lakes, and underground. On the other hand, as the world’s population keeps increasing, water consumption is going up at even faster pace. To make matters worse, 95 percent of all the cities in the world are disposing wastewater into sources of fresh water such as rivers.
Mongolia is not an exception. Although no one has died of thirst so far, it is safe to say that the train has already left the station. Ulaanbaatar, which has become the home of more than half of our total population, is looking at its sole source of fresh water being significantly compromised. Our groundwater levels have dropped 15 meters while international organizations are ringing alarm bells that our capital city will start suffering from a water shortage in 2017. Their warning is supported by the increasing consumption of water, lower efficiency, and reduced water reserves. Also, the infrastructure that delivers water to residents of the city has become greatly damaged, and there is a high probability of simultaneous pipe failures.
WHERE DO WE GET OUR WATER FROM?
Mongolians do not pay for water itself, but for the services it is provided by, such as its purification and transportation. It costs 0.55 MNT per liter for the industrial use of water whereas you pay only 0.32 MNT if you live in an apartment. Also, it costs 7,950 MNT for a fully loaded five-ton truck to transport water to ger districts. Water distribution points in ger districts charge one tugrug per liter, which means a total of 5,000 MNT is collected when they finish distributing five tons of water. Therefore, operators run a deficit of 2,950 MNT every time such distribution takes place. The Water Supply and Sewerage Authority, which collects, purifies, stores, distributes and protects drinking water, ran a deficit of 10 billion MNT in 2013, and is projected to have a deficit of 16 billion MNT this year, taking the expected performance into account. Thus, they can barely keep operating, let alone improve the city’s water infrastructure. As the existing infrastructure is already 50 to 60 years old, one should not be surprised if their tap water has turned yellow because of rust. On the contrary, it is fortunate that those old pipes are still functioning despite the excessive amount of rust that has made them narrower.
DO WE CONTINUE USING WATER SAME WAY WE DO TODAY?
Mongolians who live in an apartment use 276 liters of water a day on average, which is quite a luxury. It is two to three times more than the water use of an average household in a developed country. On the contrary, people living in ger districts carry their water from a well to their home themselves, and one person has an average daily water use of 8-10 liters, which is very small.
Factories and plants use water for industrial purposes mostly, but they currently do not sort out and clean the water that is too polluted, or treat the water used to wash and process animal skins and wool. Due to malfunctioning equipment, some companies send toxic water to the central wastewater treatment system and interrupt its normal performance.
The central wastewater treatment facility is too overloaded and is pumping domestic and industrial wastewater into the Tuul River without proper treatment. People who live in the Yarmag and Songino areas are falling victim to the pollution. They do not know what to do except complain about thick smog in winter and an unpleasant smell in the summer.
The water that isn’t properly treated changes the color and smell of the Tuul River, which flows a distance of about 100 kilometers. As a result, our beloved Tuul has become one of the five most polluted rivers in the world. Every time senior officials from the government, as well as the city management, visit the river, they react with fake surprise and promise to resolve the issue before escaping in their huge jeeps. Many government administrations have been aware of the problem, but none of them have ever acted upon it. It appears that they not only are incapable of solving such a problem but also have their hands tied by corruption.
LET US CHANGE OUR ATTITUDE!
On World Water Day, we should follow international practices and look at the way we are using water and the attitude we have towards this treasure of ours. Before the inevitable water use restrictions in three years time – whether those measures might be extensive or not – we must start taking action and demand that the government do the same. It has been many years since the Tuul River dried up every spring, causing fish to die in large amounts. We, the residents of the capital, might encounter the same fate those fish faced. Among all animals, fish are the only ones that keep silent when they are caught and killed. We have not become like them yet, so we must make our voices heard. It is time for us to unite under a common goal and do something about our nation’s water. For instance:
1. As there are no other choices, we should accept an increase in the price of water used domestically and industrially. This way, the Water Supply and Sewerage Authority can operate efficiently, which will allow them to improve the city’s water infrastructure step by step. Also, we need to have citizen representatives present at their Board of Directors meetings for the purpose of public scrutiny.
2. We should raise awareness so that people will realize the value of water, change their attitude, start using water in a sustainable way and adopt a culture to save water.
3. Other measures we should take include: using our fresh water for human consumption only, treating water for other uses, making the best out of water from rainfall and snow, developing comprehensive plans for each of the city’s districts, and demanding that the factories that process animal skins treat the water resources they pollute. If such factories are moved to more rural areas, it should be required that they pump the water they use back into the central system.
4. In accordance with the 2013 decision to increase the tax on groundwater used for mining and industrial purposes, half of the revenue from such tax now goes to local government. But we have to make sure that the local governments use that money to increase drinking water reserves. For example, half of Umnugobi aimag’s 13 billion MNT, Zavkhan’s 10 billion, and Ulaanbaatar’s three billion should be spent to fulfill that purpose.
5. Reservoirs should be built wherever possible in the country to catch and contain 20 percent of the water from flowing rivers. We need to build a dam that spans the Tuul River east of Ulaanbaatar and accumulate fresh water. Also, a modern beach and resort should be newly established.
My fellow Mongolians, it is time for us to love our water, which is the very foundation of our happy and healthy life. In recognition of World Water Day, we must treat our water dearly!
Translated by B.AMAR


Two IMAX theaters coming to Mongolia
March 25 (UB Post) IMAX Corporation and New Tour Safaris Co., Ltd., operator of Urgoo Cinemas, the largest theatrical exhibition and entertainment company in Mongolia, announced on Friday an agreement to install two IMAX theaters in Ulaanbaatar. With the agreement, IMAX will now have a presence in 58 countries worldwide.
“We are delighted to join forces with the nation’s top exhibitor to bring IMAX to moviegoers in Mongolia – one of the world’s fastest-growing economies and a market which we believe holds tremendous potential,” said Andrew Cripps, President of IMAX EMEA. “With the rapid expansion of our international theater network and an increased number of local-language films, we are now more globally diversified than ever and today’s agreement underscores our continued focus on globalization.”
“We are committed to delivering premium entertainment experiences and IMAX will serve as an extension of this strategy, which we are confident will both strengthen our business and set the stage for a new era in movie going in Mongolia,” said Anandbazar Tsogt-Ochir, Chairman & CEO of SOD Mongol Group the parent company of New Tour Safaris. “With the world’s biggest blockbuster titles in the world’s most immersive format, we are proud to be the first to introduce The IMAX Experience to the country and look forward to expanding our partnership in the future.”
IMAX’s network is among the most important and successful theatrical distribution platforms for major event films around the globe.
IMAX is headquartered in New York, Toronto and Los Angeles, with offices in London, Tokyo, Shanghai and Beijing. As of December 31, 2013, there were 837 IMAX theaters, 701 commercial multiplexes, 19 commercial destinations and 117 institutions, in 57 countries.
Urgoo Cinema is the leading and largest theatrical exhibition and entertainment company in Ulaanbaatar. The cinema opened with the design standards consultation of Warner Bros International Cinemas in April of 2009.
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8,800 tons of seeds to be imported for spring sowing
March 25 (UB Post) Mongolia is planning to sow grain on 315,000 hectares of land, wheat on 304,000 hectares of land, and potato on 15,400 hectares of land this spring.
Regarding the spring sowing, the parliament of Mongolia decided to exempt 20,000 tons of crop seed from customs tax and value added tax (VAT).
Seeds will be imported from Altay Prefecture in China and Buryatia in Russia.
The state is allocating quotas for the seed importing businesses. The Fund on Supporting Crop Farming has therefore planned to import 8,800 tons of seeds this spring.
Spring sowing will start in late April and will end by May 10, according to the preliminary plans of the Ministry of Industry and Agriculture.


E.Tushig-Erdene: The judges were surprised, as it’s rare for a girl to play contrabass
March 25 (UB Post) A Mongolian female musician won the Grand Prix award at the International Music Festival in the USA. Her name is E.Tushig-Erdene, and she is a tenth grader studying at the Music and Dance College of Mongolia. E.Tushig-Erdene won the award in the contrabass category while competing at the International Music Festival for the first time.
The following is an interview with E.Tushig-Erdene about her amazing achievement.
 -Congratulations! There probably wasn’t any other Mongolian to ever compete in the contrabass category in foreign competitions. Who proposed to you to enter this year’s International Music Festival in the USA?
-Thank you. At first, I didn’t know that I was participating in this sort of competition. Our specialized instructor L.Baasankhuu only said that he’ll send my video for a competition. So I played my instrument. At the very end, I found out that my video was sent to the International Children’s Music Festival organized in the USA.
-How was the selection process conducted? Which piece did you play?
-I played a piece about Russian folks titled Krestiyanckii Tanets (Peasant Dance). This musical piece has a very good and lively rhythm. International judges judge videos sent to for the competition and selects participants.  Then, they send replies via email. In this competition, apart from me, many other Mongolian children took part. We received quite a lot of credit from the competition.
-Did you play your instrument in the USA?
-I did. Many children from countries all around the world came to compete. In the competition, participants had to play their instruments and were judged according to orders we received. Participants who received prizes, performed on stage during the award ceremony.
-Is the competition held annually? How many children from how many countries took part in the competition?
-Children from Germany, America, Australia, Japan, Korea and China participated in the competition. Children from different countries competed in different age categories. Other than contrabass, there are categories such as piano, string instrument, violin, violoncello and flute that children can participate in.
-How did you feel when you went on stage to perform? How did the audience and judges receive your performance?
-For the first time, a Mongolian representative participated in an international music festival in the upright bass violin and came in first place. The audience, especially the judges, were surprised to see me perform as female musicians rarely play contrabass.
-Did you bring your own instrument for the competition?
-I don’t have a contrabass. It’s a very expensive instrument. It costs around three million MNT. I only play the one in my school. When I went to the USA, I didn’t take the instrument with me. It’s very heavy. I rented the theater’s instrument when I went on stage to perform. It costs 70 USD to use it to perform just once.
-Have you performed at international competitions before?
-No. This was the very first time for me. In Mongolia, I participated in the music competition named after Chuluun two times. However, I was hardly able to make any achievements as it isn’t solely for contrabass. The competition is for violin, violoncello and contrabass.
-On stage, contrabass is commonly seen played by men. Why did you choose to play this instrument?
-When I played contrabass at the International Music Festival held in the USA, the audience and judges were surprised because I was a girl. In fact, I was learning dulcimer at the Mongolian Children’s Palace. In sixth grade, I auditioned for the Music and Dance College of Mongolia with dulcimer but the dulcimer class was full. Only classes for yatug (plucked zither) and shanz were available. I didn’t want to enter any of them and was contemplating on which class to choose when instructor L.Baasankhuu came and told me that I was suitable to play contrabass since I’m tall. He also said that it’s a very beautiful classical instrument and that I needed to think on a global level.
Most importantly, contrabass is played by tall people. The instructor gave me a week to think about the proposal. My mother advised me to choose on my own. This is how I first entered the contrabass class.
-Contrabass is a huge instrument. How did you feel when you first saw a contrabass?
-At first, I was frightened and a bit anxious. As time passed, I got used to it. It weighs approximately 10 kg.
-Are you able to lift the instrument with ease now?
-Of course. The main characteristic of contrabass is that it’s used for classical and jazz music. I’m glad that I chose this type of music.
-At the Music and Dance College of Mongolia, how many children are learning this musical instrument?
-You can start entering from sixth grade of general education schools. There are around ten children from six to eleventh grade. There are hardly any girls.
-Can you tell us about your family? Is there any member of your family that have artistic and musical background?
-I live with my grandparents and my older brother. My mother said that she wanted to become someone that works in the music sector when she was young but ended up with a different profession. She sings very well. My older brother is an actor. He participated in a TV talent show named “To be or not to be” of USB television and was one of the top ten participants. In 2008, my grandmother participated in the National Reciting Competition and became the Most Talented Person of Folk Arts. She recites stories for about four hours. The stories my grandmother recites isn’t just any ordinary tales. They are poetic stories that begin with the same letter or vowel. When listening to my grandmother reciting, she gives off a very pleasant feeling as if she’s singing a song.
-You are going to graduate this year. Will you continue to study contrabass and become a professional musician?
-I’m thinking of learning to sing. My mother advised that it’s better to study abroad. I will graduate from the Music and Dance College and learn to sing abroad. I’m interested in becoming a pop singer. My instructor on the other hand, advised me to become a classical or opera singer. He told me that all the best singers such as Celine Dion majored in opera singing.
-I wish you the best of luck on your goals.
-Thank you. By the way, children participating in foreign competitions pay for their own transportation expenses. I’d like to say thank you to my mother’s friends who supported me when I went to the USA to participate in the competition.


Kakuryu M.Anand becomes fourth Mongolian Sumo Grand Champion
March 25 (UB Post) Mongolian professional sumo wrestler, Ozeki (second highest rank) Kakuryu M.Anand won the spring tournament and was granted the title of Yokozuna, Grand Champion of Sumo, after winning his 14th victory on Sunday.
After winning the tournament, M.Anand fulfils the conditions to become the fourth Mongolian and 71st Yokozuna in Japan’s sumo history.
The spring tournament took place in Osaka.
Before the spring tournament began, the Japan Sumo Association promised to promote Kakuryu M.Anand to Yokozuna if he wins the tournament with 13 or more victories.
Kakuryu had a successful record of 14 victories and one defeat in the spring tournament.
On the last day, he beat Ozeki Kotoshogiku of Japan who had won bouts against Mongolian Yokozunas Hakuho M.Davaajargal and Harumafuji D.Byambadorj consecutively in the tournament.
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Lead singer of Kharanga recieves State Honor
March 25 (UB Post) Top contributors of various sectors received the High Order of the State on March 21.
Lead vocalist of the Kharanga band Kh.Lkhagvasuren received a State Honor, along with poet and director of the State Puppet Theater Ts.Khulan, composer D.Tsetserleg and singer N.Tumurkhuyag.
Kh.Lkhagvasuren said, “I am very happy. I want to thank the state, my father, mother, wife, children and everyone. I have been singing for 25 years. The 25th anniversary of Kharanga is occurring this year. I love Mongolia. I found out only two days ago that I will receive the State Honor. My wife told me, and I am very happy.”

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