Monday, May 12, 2014

Mongolia Brief May 12, 2014



Merit Athlete M.Urantsetseg Wins Gold Medal from Judo Grand Slam Baku 2014 in The Women’s 48 Kg
May 12 (infomongolia.com) The 2014 Judo Grand Slam Baku was organized in Azerbaijan, where 157 male and 90 female judokas from 41 countries have competed on May 09-11, 2014.

Mongolian Judo Team have participated with its 7 athletes including two female and five male judokas represented by Merit Athlete Munkhbat URANTSETSEG in the Women’s 48 kg, Adiyasambuu TSOLMON in the Women’s 57 kg, and IMS Ganbold KHERLEN in the Men’s 60 kg, Merit Athlete Khashbaatar TSAGAANBAATAR in the Men’s 73 kg, IMS Buuveibaatar KHISHIGBAYAR in the Men’s 73 kg, IMS Sainjargal NYAM-OCHIR in the Men’s 81 kg and Beijing Olympics Champion, Merit Athlete Naidan TUSHINBAYAR in the Men's -100 kg.
Following the competition results, Mongolian team achieved only one medal - Gold by Merit Athlete M.Urantsetseg in the Women’s 48 kg, and other judokas were not able to win any medals from Judo Grand Slam Baku 2014  
Final Results for Women’s 48 kg
1. URANTSETSEG Munkhbat (MGL)
2. ROSSENEU, Amelie (ISR)
3. KONDRATYEVA, Nataliya (RUS)
3. LOKMANHEKIM, Dilara (TUR)
5. MOSCATT, Valentina (ITA)
5. AKKUS, Sumeyye (TUR)
7. GURBANLI, Aisha (AZE)
7. JIANG, Yahong (CHN)
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Measures to Be Taken for Department of State Services
Ulaanbaatar, May 12 (MONTSAME) The cabinet meeting held Saturday approved a resolution on some measures to be taken for the Department of State Services.
The resolution is adopted due to requirements of fortifying independence of the department, declining the pressure over state budget and implementing the Cabinet Secretariat for Government on common services of government.
Following the resolution's approval, the cabinet obliged Ch.Saikhanbileg, head of the Cabinet Secretariat, was obliged to reorganize state-run entities from January 1 of 2015 after ensuring proper preparations of the Department of State Services. Accordingly, the complex of recreation and services (restaurant in State House) and the printing house will be kept in a structure of the Department of State Services, whereas the general administration of governmental buildings will be changed into self-financing organizations under the Cabinet Secretariat's leadership.


Cabinet Backs Draft Amendments to Laws
Ulaanbaatar, May 12 (MONTSAME) The cabinet Saturday discussed and backed draft amendments to the law on public celebrations and remarkable days, and then decided to submit them to parliament.
Organizing Mongolian national, diplomatic ceremonies, public remarkable days and celebrations, involving the President, Prime Minister and Speaker in ceremonial events and running meetings of the dignitaries with foreign delegates are regulated by the rule of state protocol.
State ceremonial events are considered as measures of pride and respect for showing the tradition of Mongolian people and national features, involving all the people and leaders of legislative and executive bodies as well as the judicial authority, so it is considered as necessity by the amendment to adopt the state ceremonial rule by the President who is the symbol of people's unity.
The cabinet says the draft amend fully meets the Constitution of Mongolia, and draft amendments to the laws on diplomatic service and on the National Great Festival have been worked out already in order to harmonize them with other laws.


Mongolia to Promote Its Name to Host 2019 East Asian Youth Games in Ulaanbaatar
May 12 (infomongolia.com) The East Asian Games Association (EAGA) resolved to organize the East Asian Youth Sports Festival and delivered to regional countries the proposal to host the First Games in 2019.
Accordingly, the Government of Mongolia at its Cabinet meeting held on May 10, 2014, decided to promote its name to host the 2019 East Asian Youth Games in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.
By issuing this decision, Cabinet members deemed the Festival would bring impetus development in the sports industry, moreover to the flourish of capital city and its constructional development.
Consequently, under the ordinance of the Prime Minister of Mongolia, an organizing committee to promote Mongolia as a candidate and other relevant preparation works to host the First Festival is established.
At the East Asian Youth Sports Festival 2019, nine countries from the regions will be participating namely China (People’s Republic), Guam (by invitation), Japan, Hong Kong (China), Macau (China), Mongolia, North Korea, South Korea, and Taiwan (China).
The East Asian Games is a multi-sport event organized by the East Asian Games Association and held every four years since 1993 among athletes from East Asian countries and territories of the Olympic Council of Asia, as well as the Pacific Island of Guam, and the 6th East Asian Games was organized in Tianjin, China in 2013, where Mongolia achieved a total of 22 medals (4 Silver and 18 Bronze) standing at the 8th place by overall score.
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Cabinet Meeting in Brief

Ulaanbaatar, May 12 (MONTSAME) The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey Mr Ahmet Davutoglu will pay an official visit to Mongolia on May 18-19.
The cabinet meeting ran Saturday discussed a draft directive to be maintained by the Mongolian side during the forthcoming visit. It will be approved by the Prime Minister.
- The cabinet discussed results of the official visit of Shwe Mann, the Speaker of the House of Representatives of Myanmar's parliament paid to Mongolia April 12-15, 2014. The Minister of Foreign Affairs L.Bold was ordered to submit the matter to the National Security Council (NSC).


Ambassador Kh.Davaadorj Attends Scientific Conference in University of Groningen

Ulaanbaatar, May 12 (MONTSAME) The Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Mongolia to the European Union (EU) Mr Kh.Davaadorj delivered a report in an international scientific conference held May 8-9 in the University of Groningen, the Netherlands.
The Ambassador participated as a key speaker in the scientific conference which ran dedicated to an opening of the newly established center for East Asian studies at the university.
In his speech, Mr Davaadorj said that opening of the center for East Asian studies, especially for modern Mongol studies at the University of Groningen fully meets a state policy of Mongolia on promoting Mongol studies. He also introduced to the gathered a present socio-economic situation in Mongolia including a new environment for investors, activities within the foreign policy such as the state policy in East Asian region, the “Ulaanbaatar Talks” initiative by the President, a tendency of the Mongolia-EU relations and cooperation, and an importance of the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement.
While visiting at the university, the Ambassador met with Professor Sibrand Poppema, the president of the University of Groningen; and Tjalling Halbertsma, director of the Center for East Asian Studies, exchanging views on the ties and further cooperation between Mongolian some universities and the University of Groningen. Mr Davaadorj said the Embassy of Mongolia has willingness to collaborate in all spheres with the center, and then handed to the scholars presentation materials.
The University of Groningen has been cooperating with the Mongolian University of Health Sciences since 1992, and also has been cooperating with the Mongolian State University (MSU), professor Poppema said, and expressed thanks to the Ambassador for addressing the center’s opening.
The Center for East Asian Studies has been founded with purposes to carry out inter-sector workshops and scientific works on studies of China, Japan, Korea and Mongolia and to strengthen the ties and cooperation with East Asian universities. This center is expected to launch the master degree training on modern East Asian studies from September of 2014.


Stock Exchange Weekly Review

Ulaanbaatar, May 12 (MONTSAME) Five stock trades were held at Mongolia's Stock Exchange May 5-9, 2014.
In overall, 147 thousand and 262 shares were sold of 47 joint-stock companies totaling MNT one billion 588 million 773 thousand and 762.509.
"Bayanburd” /75 thousand and 109 units/, "Genco tour bureau” /27 thousand and 602 units/, "Remikon" /13 thousand and 914 units/, "Merex” /5,583 units/ and "Khokh gan" /4,520 units/ were the most actively traded in terms of trading volume, in terms of trading value--"Gutal” (MNT 14 million 968 thousand and 750), "Teever darkhan" (MNT seven million 173 thousand and 720), "Asia Pacific Properties" /MNT six million and 076 thousand/, "APU" /MNT five million 550 thousand and 220/ and "Mongol shevro" (MNT five million 118 thousand and 500).


Two athletes gain access to Summer Youth Olympic Games

May 12 (news.mn) The 2014 Asian Youth Championship for men's freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling and women's freestyle wrestling was held over four days in Bangkok, Thailand between May 6th and 11th.
On the final day of the competition, young Mongolian athletes N.Nasanbuyan in the men`s 46 kg, B.Ariunbold in the men`s 50 kg, and E.Davaanasan in the women`s 60 kg each won silver medals.
Z.Sumiyuabazar, who won silver in the 76 kg category, and N.Nasanbuyan who won silver for the 46 kg class, were granted licenses to attend the II Summer Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China.
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Ministers’ resignation request to be discussed Wednesday

May 12 (news.mn) The resignation request of MP and Minister of Agriculture and Industry of Mongolia, Kh.Battulga, from his position as cabinet minister is scheduled to be discussed in Wednesday`s Standing committee meeting on Environment, Food and Agriculture at 2.00 pm. 
The Government was to submit the issue to Parliament for discussion after it had discussed the matter itself. But the Agriculture Minister`s resignation request has been scheduled to be first reviewed in the Standing Committee`s meeting, then to be submitted to Parliament.
MP and Minister of Agriculture Kh.Battulga has not commented on the reason why he wants to resign as Cabinet minister, but said only that he wants to continue his duty as an MP.


Government Resolves Saving and Efficient Restructuring State Budget for 2014

May 12 (infomongolia.com) At the Cabinet meeting of the Government held on May 10, 2014, it was resolved to carry out some measures on saving and efficient restructuring the state budget for 2014.
Due to economic complications arising out in foreign and domestic environment, Mongolian state budget’s balanced income performance has been interrupted from the beginning of 2014 that might to have a potential performance problem in the annual budget income expected.
Total current expenditure growth of 50.2 percent is caused of wages, pensions, benefits, and 10.9 percent of the costs of social welfare growth; 11.7 percent of the buildings built by public investment and the newly created structure and staffing changes; 8.6 % of interest payments, and 8.4 % of the consumer dependent increase in price of goods and services, respectively. Therefore, in order to spend public funds efficiently and reduce costs through efficient use, Government approved a Decree to effectively organize the implementation of the 2014 budget relied on state budget’s balanced income performance until the end of term.
By organizing the implementation of the 2014 budget, budget managers at all levels are obliged to bear on cost reduction, budgeting, saving and efficient restructuring guidelines.
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SMEs to Be Freed from Import Customs Duties and VAT until December 31, 2016

May 12 (infomongolia.com) At the Cabinet meeting held on May 10, 2014, it was resolved to extend law effectiveness for imported equipment and spare parts by exempting from customs duties and value added taxes for another two years.
In 2009, the State Great Khural (Parliament) of Mongolia ratified a law to exempt small and medium enterprises (SME) from customs duties and value added taxes for imported equipment and spare parts until December 31, 2012.
At the latter Cabinet meeting, Ministers agreed to amend the law and extend the period until December 31, 2016. Also, Cabinet members backed the amendments and settlement to the law on Customs Tariff and Taxes and to submit the draft bill to the Parliament.
The draft law is directed to accelerate Government's Action Plan on construction development, where some equipment are required to import and some cannot be supplied by domestic manufacturers, thus for major development projects and programs, SMEs will be freed from Import Customs Duties and VAT for up to two years.
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Foreign Minister of Turkey to Conduct Official Visit to Mongolia on May 18-19, 2014

May 12 (infomongolia.com) Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey, Professor Ahmet Davutoglu will be conducting an official visit to Mongolia on May 18-19, 2014.
During the visit, Foreign Minister of Turkey will have bilateral talks with Mongolian authorities and during the Cabinet meeting held on May 10, 2014, the guidelines to adhere by Mongolia on this official visit was agreed to sign by Prime Minister of Mongolia.
Mongolia and the Republic of Turkey have established the diplomatic relations on June 24, 1969.


First Part of 500 Million USD Loan by China Government Agreed in 2011 to Be Spent for “Highway along Tuul

River” and “Yarmag Bridge”

May 12 (infomongolia.com) In June 2011, the Governments of Mongolia and the People’s Republic of China signed a strategic partnership agreement in Beijing, in the meantime, the Government of China agreed to provide a 500 million USD loan to Mongolia.
Later, the Government of Mongolia issued a list of tasks to be financed by this fund at its Cabinet meeting held on March 30, 2013.
According to Cabinet decision from May 10, 2014, 193 million USD from total 500 million USD loan will be spent to finance the construction of “Highway along the Tuul River” and “Yarmag Bridge” as part of the “Street” projects. Minister of Economic Development N.Batbayar is obliged to establish and manage the project agreements with China side.
Also, each loan agreement for a project to establish with China will be submitted to the Government and if project finance would lack, Minister N.Batbayar is entrusted to negotiate with China part for additional fund.
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Non-Resident Ambassador of Mongolia to Moldova Accredited

May 12 (infomongolia.com) On May 07, 2014, a non-resident Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Mongolia to the Republic of Moldova Mr. Lkhamsuren DUGERJAV presented a Letter of Credence to President of the Republic of Moldova Mr. Nicolae Timofti in Chisinau city.
Following the credential handing ceremony, President Nicolae Timofti received newly accredited envoy, where the latter part conveyed greeting of the state head of Mongolia and during the meeting, parties exchanged views on strengthening friendly collaborations between the two countries in political and economic spheres.
After, Ambassador L.Dugerjav pledged to take every effort to foster Mongolia-Moldova relations and cooperation in all spheres.
At the Cabinet meeting held on January 26, 2014, it was promoted some new envoys to represent Mongolia overseas, where Ambassador L.Dugerjav was appointed as the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Mongolia to the Republic of Bulgaria with residency in Sofia, who concurrently represents Mongolia in Romania and the Republic of Macedonia since January 2014.
Ambassador L.Dugerjav, is a Professor at the Mongolian University of Science and Technology and leader of the Mongolia's Antarctica Research Association, successfully conducted a research expedition across the Antarctica in December 2012 and held negotiations with authorities to accede Mongolia into the Antarctic Treaty.
Mongolia and the Republic of Moldova have established the diplomatic relations on January 30, 1992.
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Mongolia Asks South Korea to Relax Visa Rules

Ulaanbaatar, May 12 (MONTSAME) According to news published on koreatimes.co.kr website on May 11, Mongolians must submit a bank balance statement proving that they have Mongolian tugrug worth $10,000 or more in their bank accounts in order to get a visa.
The financial statement is one of 10 visa documents Mongolians are required to submit to the Korean Embassy in Ulaanbaatar in order to obtain a visa that will allow them to stay here for three months. The nine other materials include a criminal record certificate and a certificate of employment.
The Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Mongolia to S.Korea B.Ganbold claimed that S.Korea is stricter than any other countries in terms of visa documents, calling on the government to relax its visa rules.
"Mongolians, who have invitation letters from their family members or relatives in Korea, must prove that they have bank balances of $5,000, whereas for those who have no such invitation, it is $10,000," B.Ganbold said during a recent interview.
"No other foreign embassies in Ulaanbaatar require Mongolians to submit such a bank balance statement to get a tourist visa. S.Korea is the only country requiring Mongolians to submit the financial statement."
The envoy noted that $10,000 is huge amount by an average Mongolian's living standard. Given that the average monthly income of a Mongolian worker is $300, those who have no invitation letters, have to save all their income for nearly three years without spending a penny to have a bank balance worth $10,000.
The S.Korean Embassy in UB city added the bank balance statement to the list of supporting visa documents for Mongolians in late 2012.
"Each embassy can add or remove particular documents to issue a tourist visa. They make their own decision based on their assessment of the host country," an official from the Immigration Service of Korea said on condition of anonymity.
Our Ambassador Ganbold claimed that Korea's demanding visa policy discouraged Mongolians from embarking on medical tourism in Korea.
"Sick people usually need to get a visa as soon as possible. Even though they submitted all those required documents, they have to wait two to three weeks to get their visas. Coupled with the strict document rule, the lengthy visa process makes it difficult for Mongolians to come to Korea for medical treatment," the envoy stressed.
He said Mongolians prefer Korean hospitals over those in China or Russia because S.Korea has Westernized, efficient and cutting-edge medical facilities.
"Plus, there are some Mongolians here who speak Korean fluently so that Mongolian medical tourists can rely on them when they meet S.Korean doctors."
Under tourist visas, both Mongolians and S.Koreans can travel to each other's nations for three months. These tourist visas are single-entry only. This means that Mongolians, for example, must go through all the hectic and lengthy visa procedure again if they want to visit S.Korea again.
Express visas are not available.
Tightening screw 
The way S.Korean tourists get a visa to Mongolia is a lot easier and simpler than their Mongolian counterparts.
S.Koreans are required to submit three documents only, namely a passport, a visa form and a receipt of visa fee, to get a tourist visa to Mongolia.
They can get the visa three days after submitting these materials. Express visas are also available.
Mongolian Ambassador Ganbold called on the S.Korean government to streamline the visa process.
Of the 10 visa documents, he suggested that the Korean government remove or reduce the amount of the bank balance statement as soon as possible.
"We also want the S.Korean government to ease rules for a multiple-entry visa so that medical tourists can visit S.Korea as many times as they want."
Under the current system, Mongolians who have ever travelled to one of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries are allowed to get a multiple-entry visa to Korea.
Ambassador Ganbold pointed out that this rule is also unrealistic, considering that few Mongolians have ever travelled to OECD countries because they are too far from their country and too expensive to travel to.
Stricter visa documents appear to be part of the S.Korean government's tightening the screws on illegal immigration.
Nearly 180,000 foreigners in this country are undocumented people, according to the Ministry of Justice.
In 2008, the Immigration Service drew up a five-year plan designed to cut the number of illegal immigrants in the face of the rise of undocumented foreigners.
Ambassador Ganbold said that the rate of illegal Mongolian immigrants in S.Korea has sharply decreased in recent years.
In 2011, 4 percent of Mongolians who arrived in Korea that year stayed here despite their visa expired.
The figure for 2012 decreased to 2.5 percent and last year it dropped again to 1.7 percent.
Currently approximately 24,000 Mongolians are living in S.Korea as marriage migrants, manufacturing sector workers or students.


Deputy Minister's Visit Continued in Hungary

Ulaanbaatar, May 12 (MONTSAME) A Mongolian delegation led by Defense Deputy Minister A.Battor met with Mr Tamash Varga, the State Secretary at the Ministry of Defence of Hungary, on May 8.
At the meeting, the parties shared views on defense policies and cooperation between the two countries. After meeting with Mr Tamash Varga, the Mongolian delegation met with Mr Zoltan Borbiro, Defense Ministry Deputy State Secretary to held negotiations.
The Mongolian delegation led by Defense Deputy Minister A.Battor visited the Defense Industry Association of Hungary and its biological laboratory, before being guided around the Defense Ministry Military Hospital to end their visit in Hungary.


People Plant Trees on Weekend

Ulaanbaatar, May 12 (MONTSAME) Citizens and organizations of Mongolia planted trees including shrubs and bushes on the national day of tree planting celebrated nationwide on Saturday.
The President of Mongolia issued a decree in 2010, to celebrate a National Tree Planting Day in Mongolia every second Saturday of May and October. On this day, the President Ts.Elbegdorj planted trees on grounds near the Mongolia-Germany joint institute of minerals and technology in Nalaikh district.
The Mongolia-Germany joint institute was founded in 2011 in accordance with an agreement made between Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany Ms Angela Merkel and the Mongolia’s President Elbegdorj. The President planted the first tree on the institute’s soil under a goal of making the ground a forest.
According to a report from the Ministry of Environment and Green Development, six million trees have been planted around the country since issuing of the President’s decree for celebrating the Tree Planting Day in 2010. At least 65% of these trees have grown, the Ministry said.
Thanks to the initiative, centers of every aimag and settlements have created their green parks, and the capital city has opened the national green park. Moreover, trees have been planted along 40 km paved-road from Ulaanbaatar city in frames of the “Four directions and eight azimuth” initiative.
The President Elbegdorj put forward his proposal, saying that Mongolia should increase of the tax on imported tree saplings in order to promote tree planting business within the country. “We used to import tree saplings costing over 20 million US dollars every year. Now we should prepare saplings in our territory. People are selling their trees to the state,” he said.
During the event, the President announced that he has set himself the goal to plant 3 million trees which is an equivalent to the population of Mongolia. For the time being, he has planted some 20 thousand trees and prepared over 500 thousand saplings.


Wreaths Laid to Zaisan Memorial

Ulaanbaatar, May 12 (MONTSAME) On the occasion of the 65th anniversary of the Victory on Great Patriotic War celebrated last Friday, wreaths laid to the Monument of Soviet soldiers at the Zaisan Memorial and to the Monument of Marshal G.K.Zhukov in Ulaanbaatar city.
Present at the ceremony were I.K.Azizov, the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation to Mongolia; K.I.Koblandin, the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Kazakhstan to Mongolia and other officials. They pointed out that Mongolian government and people stood for the Soviet people in times of the World War II which lasted from 1941 through 1945, and supported them in war times.
Mongolia assisted the Soviet Union during the World War II, combating against fascism, and rendered aid to the Union in all his efforts. Mongolia expressed its willingness to fully back the Soviet Union by issuing a joint resolution of the Conference and the Council of Ministers of the People’s Republic of Mongolia on June 22, 1941 which is the day of WWII start, historical sources say.
During the war times, Mongolia organized a campaign of sending to the Soviet fronts up to four-fold trains with aid, and presented a large number of horses. Moreover, they supplied tanks and fighters to the Soviet Union after creating the “Mongol Ard” air escadrille with money collected from people.


Rosneft to Introduce Lower Pricing Scheme for Fuel Imports

Ulaanbaatar, May 12 (MONTSAME) Imports from Russian fuel producer Rosneft are expected to fall from USD 1,400 a ton to USD 900 as a new price setting agreement at the border is set to take effect, says bcmongolia.org.
According to news published at the website of the Business Council of Mongolia on May 8, the Petroleum Authority of Mongolia and fuel importers met with representatives of Rosneft and Rosneft-MMG to discuss the pricing previous week. While Rosneft’s prices currently are set by global market prices, one of many agreements signed by Rosneft’s president during a March visit sets the price for fuel in line with prices in Singapore.
The agreement will reduce fuel price at the border from last year’s pricing of USD 1,400 a ton to USD 900, said the Petroleum Authority.


Imported Seed to Be Sold 830-880 Thousand Togrog per Ton

Ulaanbaatar, May 12 (MONTSAME) The Agriculture Support Fund is planning to render soft loans totaling 17-18 million togrog to farmers.
This year, a total of 1,180 farmer will be engaged in agricultural activities in the country, with over thousand of them are planning to sow wheat. The Agriculture Support Fund will allot grain seed with a condition of 20% prepayment and the remaining 80% to be paid from the harvest incomes. There are three sorts of grain seed to be sold from the Fund to farmers, with price of 880 thousand togrog per ton for ‘elite’ sort, and 830 thousand togrog for ‘first class’ sort of grain.
The harvested wheat is expected to be supplied to domestic flour producers and the Agriculture Support Fund at a minimum price of 460 thousand togrog.


Mortgage Interest to Be Annual 7% in Provinces

Ulaanbaatar, May 12 (MONTSAME) The Cabinet meeting on last Saturday approved an amendment to the policy guidelines of the Government low-interest housing loans.
According to this amendment, the annual interest of the mortgage loan will 7% in provinces - one percent lower than that in Ulaanbaatar city. With this change, housing provision in provinces will be improved and, migration from rural areas to the capital city will be decreased, the authorities consider.
Since commencing the low-interest housing loan program last June, commercial banks of Mongolia have thus far granted mortgage loans totaling one trillion 49.8 billion togrog to 18 thousand 693 applicants and refinanced already granted housing loans of 520.1 billion togrog under this low interest housing loan program.


Mining Minister Provides Details on Amendments to Minerals Law

Ulaanbaatar, May 12 (MONTSAME) The Mining Ministry’s proposed amendments to the 2006 Minerals Law will maintain the original law’s intent to protect the environment, said Minister D.Gankhuyag, while setting new provisions to better regulate the industry.
According to news published at bcmongolia.org, the website of the Business Council of Mongolia, on May 8, “The main principles of mining legislation hasn’t been touched,” said Gankhuyag, adding that the principle aim was to create a new framework to attract investment by creating more transparency and aligning Mongolia’s regulations with that of other countries’ rules. “The classification of mining resources will be provided according western standards, which will be more open and clear to investors,” he said.
The government prohibited the issuance of new licenses and cancelled some existing licenses where protection was needed because of the proximity to headwaters and forests. The government’s actions reduced the amount of licensed territory in Mongolia from 46 percent of the country to 7.6 percent and the amount of active licenses nearly in half to about 2,000, Gankhuyag said. The amendment would set a limit to the amount of licensed territory to 20 percent. Exploration will be permitted for 12 years as opposed to 9 years, as the government is taking into account the limited amount of time available for exploration before the harsh Mongolian winter sets in, which generally restricts the amount of activity possible to a bare minimum.
The amendment also holds miners accountable if a mine site is closed without any restoration while making explicit the responsibilities miners have to local communities, he said. “This amendment has a paragraph requesting a special worker who will report on reclamation work, mining closure actions and collaboration status with local community and local citizens.”
The amendment also sets out to professionalize the artisanal mining profession, requiring them to register with cooperatives so that they will conform to Mongolian laws.


Annual Live Music Festival Approaches

Ulaanbaatar, May 12 (MONTSAME) A Mongolian live music festival called “Playtime -2014” has been dated to be held at Hotel Mongolia in Gachuurt village of UB city on July 19-20.
This year, Russian rock band Mumiy Troll and Japanese hardcore band Envy will perform at this annual outdoor music event as guest bands.
The festival itself has blossomed over the years into a much anticipated event that the Mongolian public looks forward to every year.
Playtime has been a direct influence upon new and upcoming Mongolian artists, who emerged by the end of the 90's and early 2000's, and has invited artists from a vast number of different countries, including United States of America, Japan, United Kingdom, Russian Federation and Inner Mongolia.
The festival itself has been a major force in introducing now widely recognised and prominent artists to the masses, acting as a musical springboard boosting their audience range and helping the cultural and musical development of the country as a whole.


Int'l Calligraphy Exhibition Opens

Ulaanbaatar, May 12 (MONTSAME) The sixth International Calligraphy Exhibition themed “Script and Culture 2014” opened at the Union of Mongolian Artists under the auspices of the President of Mongolia, last Friday.
The event brought together a total of 19 artists from Inner Mongolia of China and Russian Buryatia and displayed their artworks and scripts.
The opening ceremony was attended by the Chief of Staff of the Office of the President of Mongolia P.Tsagaan, the Minister of Culture, Sport and Tourism Ts.Oyungerel and art delegates from three countries.
After this, all artists were received by the Chief P.Tsagaan and adviser to the President R.Bold at the State House and paid a tribute to the "Nine Base White Banners".
It will be on public view until May 14.
This year is marked as the 810th anniversary of Mongolian traditional script as the State Script proclaimed by Chingis Khaan.


Students' Exhibition to Be on Show

Ulaanbaatar, May 12 (MONTSAME) Senior students of the School of Fine Arts under the State University of Culture and Art are to display their best artworks at Blue Mon art gallery on May 14-16.
This exhibition will show around 100 selected works among 200 artworks of 86 graduates from classes of paintings, line drawings, sculptures, monumental paintings, decorative paintings, leather art, ceramic art and fashion design.


Dueling Piano Concert to Be Played

Ulaanbaatar, May 12 (MONTSAME) Mongolian pianists Ts.Enkhtor and A.Enkh-Amgalan are to give piano concert in the Mongolian State Philharmonic on May 22.
A world famous piano compositions such as “Fantasia” D940 for piano four hands by F.Schubert, “Legends op.59” by Czech composer Antonn Dvorjk, “Petite Suite” by suite for Piano four hands by Claude Debussy and Sonata for Piano Four Hands by French Francis Poulenc will be played at the performance.
Last year, our pianists received the Grand Prix at the International String Quartet Competition in Bordeaux, France.
Dueling pianos (also known simply as "sing-along") is a form of entertainment, usually on stage with two grand pianos, each played by a professional player who sings and entertains; humor and audience participation are prevalent.


New Ambassador of India to Mongolia, Mr. Somnath Ghosh Accredited

May 12 (infomongolia.com) On May 08, 2014, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of India to Mongolia Mr. Somnath Ghosh, who succeeds Mr. Satbir Singh, presented a Letter of Credence to the President of Mongolia Ts.Elbegdorj.
After the credential handing ceremony, President Ts.Elbegdorj received newly accredited envoy Somnath Ghosh and congratulated with his appointment as the Ambassador of India to Mongolia. Mr. President noted that the bilateral relations and cooperation between Mongolia and India have been broadening in many areas including economy, investment, education, information technology, infrastructure, agriculture, tourism, defense and other sectors and expressed his appreciation to Ambassador Somnath Ghosh for coming to Mongolia during the period of intensive development of the mutual relations.
Ambassador said that India pays every attention to attracting investment of Indian companies into Mongolia, developing information technology, infrastructure, mining and economy in Mongolia and expressed his satisfaction that Mongolia-India joint school was opened in Ulaanbaatar. Ambassador expressed hope that Mongolia would further deepen trade and economic ties with India.
President Ts.Elbegdorj expressed content over the recent high level reciprocal visits and political dialogues such as Mongolian Foreign Minister’s official visit to India in 2013 and the President of India H.E. Pratibha Devisingh Patil’s official visit to Mongolia in 2011, which have had great impacts on strengthening bilateral ties.
President Ts.Elbegdorj noted that considering the role of the mining sector as the driving engine of economic development, the Mongolian Government is keen to expand its cooperation with India in promoting investment and introducing latest technologies in mining and infrastructure sectors and stressed the significance of a Memorandum of Understanding signed in May 2012 between the Ministry of Mineral Resources and Energy of Mongolia and the Steel Authority of India in jointly exploring and identifying areas and ways of cooperation as well as developing economic activities in the mining and steel manufacturing sectors.
Mongolia and the Republic of India have established the diplomatic relations on December 24, 1955.


Ulaanbaatar Railway Equipped with 15 New Passenger Trains as Part of Technical Renovations
May 12 (infomongolia.com) Last week, a new page was opened in Mongolian transportation services, where a new Boeing 737-800 aircraft named after Guyug Khaan has been delivered to Ulaanbaatar by MIAT Mongolian Airlines crew on Saturday, May 10 and new 15 passenger wagons were also received by Ulaanbaatar Railway JSC on May 09, 2014.
During the welcoming ceremony of these new locomotive and passenger wagons, Minister of Roads and Transportation A.Gansukh, Deputy Minister Kh.Yerjan, MIAT JSC Executive Director, Acting Director of Ulaanbaatar Railway G.Sereenendorj, Deputy Director of State Property Committee J.Tumurbaatar and other officials were present.
The Governments of Mongolia and Russia agreed to raise the equity fund for a joint venture - Ulaanbaatar Railway (UBTZ) to allocate 125 million USD each, amounting a total of 250 million USD. In the frameworks of fund increases and as part of technical renovations for Ulaanbaatar Railway, new locomotives, passenger and freight trains, high-speed trains under “Railbus” project, and special equipment for railroad-meter and weak spot controller were decided to supply.
These inventories are biggest investment in the sector provided by the Government of Mongolia in terms of state budget purchases in its 65 years of history. These new 15 modern passenger wagons are equipped with latest technology that meet Euro standards and intend to travel between Ulaanbaatar and Moscow.
In addition, each wagon is equipped with a wheelchair lifter, also each car with a television and each wagon with a sauna room.

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