Saturday, April 19, 2014

Mongolia Brief April 18, 2014



Protection Uvs Lake Basin considered
April 18 (news.mn) The Protected Areas Administration Department has decided to administer protection to the Uvs Lake Basin in Uvs province. 

In the scope of the action a cooperation agreement was signed between the Provincial Environment Department, the Police Department and the Local Emergency Management Department, the Intelligence Department, the Institute of Meteorology, Hydrology and Environment, the Protection Administration for Uvs Lake and Tes River basins and the Border troop divisions in Uvs province. 
Parties will cooperate in order to put into effect environmental protection law, law on protected areas and law on environmental zone to improve protection and prevention efforts in the protected areas.
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Government not to Be Dissolved, Affirms Prime Minister of Mongolia
April 18 (infomongolia.com) The "30 Minutes with Prime Minister" regular meeting, which was postponed and cancelled (April 10 and 12) last week, was held at the Government House on Thursday, April 17, where Premier N.Altankhuyag gave details on current socioeconomic and political issues.
In his statement, Prime Minister underlined, “In 2013, the Government worked on reducing consumer prices. However current inflation performance is high, but compare to 2012 index is low. Compare to same period of 2013, inflation rate is at 12.4% as of end of March 2014 and this caused mainly on a rise of foreign currencies since Q3 2013 that impacted on imported inflation.
According to International Monetary Fund and the Asian Development Bank's forecast, Mongolia’s economic growth would reach 11.5% in 2014 and last year the performance was at 11.7%, which is higher compare to our two neighboring countries”.
Following the brief information delivered on world’s economy tendency and country’s priority issues such as investment, inflation, state budget and foreign trade, Premier answered on questions forwarded by journalists.
During the first discussion on amendments to the Law on Government held at the today’s plenary session of the Parliament (April 17, 2014), the bill initiated by President* on “double coat” was ratified to be effective from July 01, 2014. Does this mean the ruling Democratic Party failed to retain current Government composition?
This voting does not mean to dissolve the Government, because many discussions and processes are awaited further.
Probably, following the ratification of this amendment, it looks like and is understood the Government would be suspended at any time for those who in a hurry to do. But this will not happen. Nonetheless, this amendment to the bill would consider the some Constitutional issues, therefore, the parliamentary vote here is not an ultimate result.
Minister of Industry and Agriculture, Kh.Battulga stated that the Government is responsible for current economic problems caused, what is your explanation?
Everybody sees from different angles. I have just introduced you economic reality.
Recent days it has been argued that a China invested bank is about to open its branches in Mongolia. How well the Government did researches?
Parliament shall make a final decision. But, authorities should evaluate considerably the situation before to agree. For example, what problems to expect and potentialities of our banks to compete. Though, decision will be made after complete analyzes.
* President Ts.Elbegdorj initiated the bill to make amendments to the Law on Government on removing “double coat”, initially effective from 2016, but Parliament adopted earlier.


Defense Minister of Mongolia Conducts Official Visit to Japan
April 18 (infomongolia.com) Mongolian Defense sector delegates led by Minister Dashdemberel BAT-ERDENE are conducting an official visit to Japan upon the invitation of Defense Minister Itsunori ONODERA on April 15-19, 2014.
On Thursday, April 17, Mongolian Defense delegation visited the National Defense Academy of Japan, where Minister D.Bat-Erdene was received by Academy President Ryosei Kokubun, who introduced the facility activities. After which, Minister got acquainted with studies of Mongolian officers and cadets studying at the Academy.
On the same day afternoon, Minister D.Bat-Erdene arrived at the Ministry of Defense of Japan, where Minister I.Onodera welcomed his counterpart with an official ceremony inspecting a guard of honor.
After the ceremony, two Defense Ministers held an official meeting discussing some global and regional security problems facing today, and exchanged views on defense policies of the two countries, its relationship and partnership issues.
Also, parties expressed their satisfaction on current accelerating ties between the two Ministries focused on bilateral common interests in particular to deepen friendly relations of the two peoples, to strengthen military trusts in the region and world, peace in the region and preserve stability in the form of new content based on the principles of enriched expansion.
Since 1995, the defense relations between the Mongolia and Japan have been growing such as reciprocal visits at all-level, conducting meetings concerning regional security issues, exchanging information, organizing consultative meetings and training of military personnel, moreover two parties are closely cooperating in the forms of military engineers and military hospitals in recent years.
Related:
Defense Minister visits Japannews.mn, April 18
Defense Minister Visiting JapanMontsame, April 18


Agricultural Training Gathers Farmers
Ulaanbaatar, April 18 (MONTSAME) A training themed “Equipment and Watering technology in agriculture sector” ran among agricultural specialists and farmers on Tuesday.
The co-organizers were the Ministry of Industry and Agriculture, the City Mayor's Office, the Agriculture Production Support Fund and the city's Department of Industry and Agriculture.
At the action, much experienced professors and doctors shared their experiences and gave methodological advice on how to plant vegetables to the participants.
Furthermore, all participants also visited agricultural field to see operations of advanced technologies and winter green house. 


Local NGOs to Cooperate with US Embassy
Ulaanbaatar, April 18 (MONTSAME) Delegation of the US embassy in the UB city worked in Khovsgol province on April 16.
Training on ways of studying in the USA with scholarship and information about the US schools with scholarship program were given to local students.
After this, heads of local non-government organizations /NGO/ met with the US delegation team and the embassy side expressed readiness to cooperate with these NGOs in projects and programs.


Premier Reports about Present Situation of Mongolian Economy

Ulaanbaatar, April 18 (MONTSAME) The Prime Minister N.Altankhuyag briefed about a present situation of the economy in Mongolia at the weekly “PM’s 30 minutes” meeting on Thursday.
A report on the economic situation for the first quarter has been released by the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Economic Development, the Bank of Mongolia and the National Statistical Committee (NSC). The cabinet aimed to work last year to reduce prices of consumer goods.
“Although the inflation rate has been increasing, it was lower than the 2012 year’s figure. The inflation rate by the first quarter of this year went up by 12.4% against the previous year, and it was due to a soar of currency rates against Mongolia Togrog,” he said, adding that a condition has been created to restrict the inflation and currency rates.
The Premier said the cabinet rendered support to the construction sector last year therefore its increase had an effect on a growth of the national GDP, and the GDP growth also has been affected by the increases in agriculture, mining, trade and service fields.
The export of mineral products increased in first quarter of 2014 by about 30% against the previous year, whereas the import of foods declined by 2.2%, the Premier said. The import of alcoholic beverages and tobacco decreased by 32%, he added.


Pension Sharing Legislation goes to Parliament for discussion

April 18 (news.mn) During the discussion around the Pension Sharing Legislation in Parliament, the Mongolian People’s Party (MPP) caucus took a break. Due to the break by the caucus, the majority of parliament members voted to discuss the legislation in Parliament. 
The Pension Sharing Legislation allows a person who is the legal spouse or common-law partner of a deceased contributor of social insurance to be paid the pension after their spouses’ death, in the case that both halves of the couple should have paid social insurance for at least 20 years uninterruptedly and have been married for at least 10 years. The bill initiators also proposed several versions where the pension sharing could be at 50, 70 or 100 percent. 
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Local Governors Get Motorcycles

Ulaanbaatar, April 18 (MONTSAME) A governor of Gobi-Altai province O.Amgalanbaatar rendered a total of 83 motorcycles to governors of all bagas /Baga - the smallest administrative unit in the country/ of the aimag on last Monday.
A sum of 91 million 487 thousand MNT was spent for the procurement and supplied by a tender-winner “Monobilka” company.
Related officials say, it will bring state service closely and immediately to local inhabitants. 


Minerals Not to Be Transported on Capital City Roads

April 18 (infomongolia.com) Today on April 18, 2014, the Governor of the Capital City and Mayor of Ulaanbaatar, Mr. Erdene BAT-UUL issued a Decree No. A/293 that temporary prohibits exploiting common minerals such as coal, stones and cement, its transportation and strengthening control over the transport of heavy duty vehicles on the city roads.
The Decree cites all entities utilizing or operating above minerals shall construct hard paved roads and establish logistics center on its own expenses, otherwise the ban is effective, where the Capital City Auto Road Authority is responsible to assist with professional and technical advices.
Moreover, affiliated organs will evaluate the damages on city roads and obliged to organize road rehabilitation works by license owners for up to 75% of damaged roads, if not carried out on time, operating special licenses will be suspended.
Also, cement manufacturing factories and construction companies operating in the territory of city should provide extra two spaces in their yards for cleaning tires of concrete mixer trucks.
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Here to Be Built Canada-Tech Kindergartens and Schools

Ulaanbaatar, April 18 (MONTSAME) City Mayor E.Bat-Uul Thursday visited a kindergarten in the city, the first on equipped with a Canadian technology.
This Canada-tech building was constructed with a financial support of the World Bank, four year ago. The director of the kindergarten says that the kindergarten building has many advantages for usage including low cost and earthquake resistant design. City Mayor E.Bat-Uul underlined a possibility to expand this kindergarten building to upgrade into a complex of a kindergarten and an elementary school.
A total of 16 kindergartens and eight school complexes are planned to be constructed in the city within this year.


Here to Launch Bicycle Regular Tour

Ulaanbaatar, April 18 (MONTSAME) An opening of ‘Regular tour with bike’ is planned to take place at the National Park this Saturday morning.
Under an initiative of a ‘Biking Ulaanbaatar’ project of the Mongolian Youth Confederation, this regular tour event is expected to run at weekends. This Saturday, bikers are planning to travel 12.2 km of roads from the National Park to a mountainside in the Bogd Khan Mountains, famous for its rock paintings. The Bogd Khan Mountains overlooks the nation's capital, Ulaanbaatar, from a height of 3000 feet (914m) above and to the south of the city.


Tour Operators Offer 400 Jobs

Ulaanbaatar, April 18 (MONTSAME) A tourism job fair was held at ‘Ulaanbaatar Business Development Center’ on Friday.
Organizers of the event were Municipal Tourism Authority, Labor Authority, Tourism Sustainable Development Center and Association of Tourism Teachers and Researchers.
This year, nearly a thousand students are expected to graduate from tourism-related faculties of national universities. ‘Tourism and Employment’ fair offered them almost 400 jobs at nearly thirty tour operators and other tour agencies, with almost 80% of jobs offered being seasonal, and the remaining 20% - permanent.
The Municipal Tourist Authority is striving efforts to develop winter tourism in the nation in order to provide tour workers with permanent jobs. Authority chair E.Battulga explained to visitors their trainings for tour guides and operators.


Mongolia to Host Muay Thai Boxing Match

Ulaanbaatar, April 18 (MONTSAME) A meeting of Asian Professional Muay Thai Association has decided to hold a 57kg championship match in Ulaanbaatar this June. The match will be between B.Gantogtokh of Mongolia and Nguyen Tang Quyen of Vietnam.
As part of the Championships, Muay Thai Boxing fights for the 57 kg class will be held in Ulaanbaatar in June. Mongolian B.Gantogtokh (18) is a silver medal winner at the 4th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in Incheon, Korea and two bronze medals at the World Muay Thai Boxing Championships in 2013 and 2014. He has won 11 out of 14 professional fights so far, in five of which he defeated competitors with heavy blow. Vietnamese fighter Tang (19) has thus far won 14 of 20 his professional fights.


T.Batchimeg Achieves Second Draw at Chess Grand Prix

Ulaanbaatar, April 18 (MONTSAME) Mongolia’s T.Batchimeg achieved Thursday her second draw so far at the fourth tournament of the FIDE Women’s Grand Prix 2013-2014, taking place in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia on April 7-22.
She had drew with Russia’s Tatiana Kosintseva at the third round to earn 0.5 point. This time, she played against Antoaneta Stefanova of Bulgaria to reach her second draw and another 0.5 point.
At the Grand prix tournament among 12 best chess players of the world, our T.Batchimeg has two draw and four loses so far after eight rounds. Hou Yifan of China is leading the tournament with 5 points, and is followed by Anna Muzychuk of Slovenia with 3.5 points.
Twelve players are competing in the round robin tournament. The event is organized by the Khanty–Mansi Autonomous Okrug, FIDE, Russian Chess Federation and Ugra Chess Academy.
The Women’s Grand-Prix 2013-2014 will give qualification to the Women’s World Championship match 2015. The previous three tournaments were held in Geneva, Dilijan and Tashkent.


Mongolian Fighters Win at Muay Thai Matches

Ulaanbaatar, April 18 (MONTSAME) Three Mongolians won at Muay Thai boxing matches held Tuesday in celebration of a Thailand national festival.
Renowned Mongolian boxer N.Bat-Erdene knocked out his opponent in the second round, while S.Myadagmaa won her contender in the first round. B.Gan-Togtokh of Mongolia competed against his opponent in five rounds to win over by a scoring margin. With these wins, our fighters have marked up their rankings.
Muay Thai is a combat sport from the muay martial arts of Thailand that uses stand-up striking along with various clinching techniques. This physical and mental discipline which includes combat on foot is known as "the art of eight limbs" because it is characterized by the combined use of fists, elbows, knees, shins and feet, being associated with a good physical preparation that makes a full-contact fighter very efficient. Muay Thai became widespread internationally in the twentieth century, when practitioners defeated notable practitioners of other martial arts. A professional league is governed by the World Muay Thai Council.


G.Battamir Defeats Second Rival at Youth World Boxing Championships

Ulaanbaatar, April 18 (MONTSAME) A Mongolian boxer G.Battamir beat his opponent Nasim Sadik from Afghanistan at the second bout in the men’s 52 kg contest on Thursday.
Another Mongolian D.Tormandakh beat a rival from Germany Vladislav Varyshnik in the men’s 60 kg contest in the first bout. E.Tsendbaatar (men’s 56 kg), G.Dalai (64 kg) and B.Nyamdorj were defeated at the first rounds.
Two women D.Nandinsuvd (51 kg) and G.Uuriintuya (60 kg) left their contests after they defeated by opponents from the Netherlands and Nigeria.
By the tournament schedule, two Mongolians will perform their first fights.


Women Judokas Having Training in Japan

Ulaanbaatar, April 18 (MONTSAME) Female judokas of the Mongolia’s national selected team are having a 10-day joint training in Japan.
They are exercising together with Japanese top judokas including Kaori Matsumoto, an Olympic and World champion, and other judokas from the Tokyo’s Judo Academy and Tokyo University.
The group of Mongolian judokas comprised M.Urantsetseg, a State Honored Sportswoman and World champion; M.Bundmaa, a State Honored Sportswoman and bronze medalist of World championship; international masters of sports B.Monkhtuya, Ts.Naranjargal, A.Tsolmon, Ts.Tserennadmid and B.Mongonchimeg; and their coaches Kh.Erdenet-Od and Ts.Tsevelmaa.
Meanwhile, male judokas are having a joint training in Germany with counterparts of Germany, Georgia and Austria.


UB City to Host First Ever Asian Championship of Folklore

Ulaanbaatar, April 18 (MONTSAME) The Asian Championship of Folklore is planned to run in the UB city on this June 11-15, for the first time.
Initiated by the World Folklore Academy and the World Association of Folklore Festivals, this competition is to be co-organized by non-government organizations /NGO/ of “ArtLar Culture and Art” and “Tuurgatan Yazguur Mongolia” with a support of the National Commission for the UNESCO and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Organizers say, it is expected to be one of the important art measures in Asia.
The best participants will award a certification to participate in the World Folklore Festival which will be held in Bulgaria, this August.


International Contest of Throat Singing to Run Here

Ulaanbaatar, April 18 (MONTSAME) An international contest of throat singing is scheduled to run in western Khovd province on this July 22-23.
On Thursday, a working group, led by B.Chinbaatar, a deputy governor of the province, held a meeting to talk about organization of the competition.
As expected, the first day program will include many activities for participants such as awareness-raising travel of province, a local throat singing concert of respect and an international scientific research meeting of throat singing and contest will start in the second day.
The meeting was attended by Mongolian famous throat singers N.Sengedorj and B.Tserendavaa.
The throat singing tradition known as hoomii is perhaps the best-known musical form of the Mongols. It is sung differently than traditional vocals. This unique type of singing involves the production of two distinctively audible pitches at the same time, including a low pedal note, or drone, derived from the fundamental frequency of the vocal cord vibrations, and higher melodic notes that result when the singer's mouth acts as a filter, selecting one note at a time from among the drone's natural overtone series pitches.


Opera Singer Takes 2nd Place in Int’l Contest

Ulaanbaatar, April 18 (MONTSAME) A 2nd grade student of the Gnessin Russian Academy of Music Ch.Badral has taken 2nd place in the 6th all-Russian Nadezhda Obuhova Young Vocalists´ Festival and Competition.
Held in Lipetsk, Russia on April 6-9, the international contest attracted 217 singers of Mongolia, Russia, USA, Great Britain, France, China, South Korea, Japan, Ukraine, Belarus and Cuba.
Apart of Ch.Badral, Mongolia was represented at the contest by B.Mongolkhuu, a 5th grade student of the Moscow State University of Culture and Arts.
The second place winner Badral received a diploma and a cash prize, and he is also winner of the Grand Prix of the 8th International Competition of Vocalists named after A. Ivanov.  


Here Comes ‘Sochi-2014’ Photo Exhibition

Ulaanbaatar, April 18 (MONTSAME) Photographer Ch.Ganbat is planning to open on April 23 an exhibition event themed Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics.
Blue Moon art gallery will host the event until April 27, the exhibition is organized by the Association of Mongolian Sports Journalists, in sponsorship of the Culture, Sports and Tourism Ministry. Representing his nation, Ch.Ganbat worked as photographer in the 2014 Winter Olympics held in Sochi, Russia on February 7–23 of 2014.
Prior to this event, he had also displayed his photographs from the 2012 Summer Olympics that took place in London, United Kingdom from 25 July to 12 August 2012.


Insurance – what is missing?

April 18 (Mongolian Economy) Mongolia hosted the “Inclusive Insurance” international forum for the first time from April 16-17. The forum focused on topics such as inclusive insurance, micro insurance, and opportunities for the sector. 
The insurance sector contributes only 1 percent to the financial sector, which makes up five percent of the economy. Its development is slowed by its small range of products, an excess of insurance companies relative to its market, government intervention and a lack of market knowledge.  
“The financial sector, including insurance, accounts for only five percent of the economy, while other service sectors contribute 44 percent.  The financial sector is dominated by the banking sector with more than 96 percent, while insurance only shares one percent of this sector” says, Nyambaa.B, Head of Debt management department, Ministry of Finance. These figures are telling of the small insurance sector in Mongolia. 
Insurance Department head of Financial Regulatory Committee (FRC), Ganbold.S told participants that the insurance sector cannot move forward when there is nobody to insure. 
In Mongolia, insurance companies developed institute insurance products. But, the new products companies bring out do not really speak to the middle and low-income residents – majority of the country’s population. 
Inclusive insurance refers to personal insurance available to middle and low-income residents. Forum participants agreed that the inclusive insurance concept is a way to further develop the sector.
Too many players in a small market
There are 13 banks in the banking sector of Mongolia. But the insurance sector – equal to only one percent of GDP – has more than 17 insurance companies. “Too many players in a small market are dragging development downward. They share this small capital,” says,CEO of TenGer Financial Group Bold.M.
The banking sector of Mongolia went through 90 years of development and is equivalent to 119 percent of the Country’s GDP, while the insurance sector, with an 80-year history, accounts for just one percent of GDP. 
He also said, “Meanwhile, the government has brought in the new player itself named National Insurance Corporation, which has not made its role and involvement of the market clear. If It is started working commercially, it may cause the insurance sector to fall.” 
A realistic database is needed
According to the FRC, the profit for 17 insurance companies was MNT 2-3 billion in 2013. Meanwhile, reimbursements to people and entities were approximately MNT 6 billion. Bearing in mind that only10 percent of the population has insurance. “To increase this figure, information will play major role,” says a relevant expert.
“It is hard to tell how many Mongolians are covered by insurance due to a lack of statistics and research. For t further development, we need an insurance institute analysing statistics and supplying information,” says Ganbold, FRC. 
“For inclusive insurance, life insurance product needs to be promoted and developed,” said Mongolhuu.G, CEO of National Life insurance company. 
More than one year of life insurance is usually taken. The long term insurance products allow insurance companies to invest in mid- and long-term projects and programs as well as mortgage packages and government bonds.
As well as Government intervention, Bold.M mentioned income tax as the one of the barriers to developing the sector.
Like all industires, insurance companies need fair competition and business environment encouraging of trade. As the economy improves here and individual wealth is created, there will be more demand for insurance products. The sector needs to have in place the right products and policy to cater to this expected demand. 


Mongolian Peacekeepers Rescue 10 Staff Members of Oil

Company in South Sudan

April 18 (infomongolia.com) On April 15, 2014, a mob of armed civilians have captured the Russian "Safinat" oil company in Bentiu, South Sudan, who forced their way into the facility and opened fire on displaced persons sheltering inside, they issued an ultimatum to shut down production and evacuate workers.
Gordon Koang Chuol, a former militia commander in South Sudan, who fought for the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA), urged oil companies operating in government controlled areas to immediately begin closing down oil production and evacuate staff within a week. He said a failure to comply would risk the forced shutdown of oil facilities and threaten the safety of staff there.
During the attack to the Russian “Safinat” company, U.N. peacekeepers from Mongolia rescued 10 staff members from the Safinat, where five wounded were in critical condition.
The event turned into, where South Sudanese youths attacked the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) base in order to harm members of an ethnic minority sheltering inside and the peacekeepers were forced to fire warning shots.
According to latest news, gunmen have killed at least 20 people and wounded 70 others when they stormed a United Nations base in South Sudan and more than 9,000 civilians are now seeking refuge in the U.N's Bentiu base, and two Indian peacekeepers have been injured.

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