Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Mongolia Brief May 7, 2014

The Government Revealed a 100-Day Action Plan to Strengthen Economy
May 6 ( Prime Minister N.Altankhuyag announced a stimulus bill named 100-day Action plan for that will seek to ease the economic difficulties that Mongolia currently facing.
The action plan includes 50 points that would boost mining, infrastructure and manufacturing sectors and development of SMEs. The government already made efforts on boosting SMEs to produce import replacing products and 888 projects were selected. GDP growth has be declining since 2011 when it reached 17.5%. The first quarter of 2014 GDP growth was recorded at 7.2%. Also, the biggest mining investor in the country, Rio Tinto, has announced to wait-and-see until the global commodity prices improve making them refraining from proceeding with USD4 billion project finance process for the Oyu Tolgoi mine’s underground part. The MNT was recorded at record low at MNT1805 against USD today.

First Deputy PM Meets Ms Feng Min Kan
Ulaanbaatar, May 7 (MONTSAME) The First Deputy Premier of Mongolia D.Terbishdagva Wednesday received visiting Ms Feng Min Kan, a special adviser to the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Disaster Risk Reduction.
Mr Terbishdagva pointed out that although the number of disaster-related mortality has declined in Asia-Pacific region in last decade, loss and damage to economy, nature and ecology have been increasing. Mongolia has unique features of nature and weather due to its continental climate, so the country always faces the disasters such as drought, dzud, livestock diseases, steppe and forests fires which rarely happen in Asia-Pacific region. Thus, Mongolia is focusing big attention to working out anti-disaster actions, correlating it with a developmental policy and strategy and having its public gain knowledge on disaster reduction, he said.
Mr Terbishdagva said the Mongolian government is ready to collaborate with the UN Special Representative in disaster reduction activities and various measures combating disasters.
Expressing thanks to the First Deputy Premier for attaching a great importance to reducing disaster reduction and its risk matters, Ms Feng highlighted that state-run and private organizations in Mongolia have gained achievements in disaster reducing capability and understanding compared with the date of 2002 when the UN render humanitarian assistance to Mongolia during dzud disaster.
Ms Feng said she has held meetings with authorities of several Ministries of Mongolia, and agreed with the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to hold a joint workshop within the “Creation of potential city” programme.
During the meeting, Ms Feng invited the First Deputy Premier to participate in the 6th Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction to be held June in Thailand, and in the World Forum on Disaster Reduction which is scheduled in March of 2015 in Japan.
At the end of the meeting, Ms Feng expressed a willingness of the UN Special Representative to host the 7thConference of Asian Ministers in 2016 in Ulaanbaatar city.

Parliamentary Session Discusses Measures to Intensify Economy
Ulaanbaatar, May 7 (MONTSAME) A parliamentary session meeting on Wednesday held the first discussion of a parliament draft resolution on measures to intensify the economy of the country.
The discussion was included in agenda of last Friday’s meeting, but MPs ended the meeting before finishing the discussion. MPs consider a close supervision should be paid to the spending of the Government Bonds Capital and the Price Stabilization Program that is not included in the Government Budget. Many criticized leaving out of the money of Genghis Bonds and the Development Bank from the budget gives wrong impression as if there are ‘multiple Government budgets’.

Defense Ministry Delegates Visit Belarus
Ulaanbaatar, May 7 (MONTSAME) The Deputy Minister of Defense A.Battor and accompanying him delegates made a working visit to the Republic of Belarus at an invitation of the Ministry of Defense of Belarus on May 5-6.
This visit was paid in frames of 2014 foreign cooperation plans of the Mongolian defense sector.
On the first day of the visit, our delegation visited the Belaruian Military Academy and the Ministry of Defense where the Minister A.Battor met with his counterpart Major-General M.B Puzikov. At the meeting, the sides exchanged views on matters relating to the defense policies and cooperation between Mongolia and Belarus.
During the meeting, a military cooperation agreement between Defense Ministries of the two countries was also inked by the parties. After this, Minister A.Battor was received by Mr Yu.V Jadobin, the Defense Minister of Belarus to share opinions on bilateral cooperation matters.
Ending the visit, our delegates legged to “Belvneshpromservice” State-Owned Foreign Trade Unitary Enterprise to get familiar with armaments and military products provided to the defense sector of the country.

Standing Committee Head Receives SDC Delegation
Ulaanbaatar, May 7 (MONTSAME) Head of the parliamentary Standing committee on state structure A.Bakei Wednesday received a delegation of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) headed by Gerard Von Land, an evaluation team consultant for the SDC programme on governance and decentralization; and other officials.
The SDC is implementing the programme on governance and decentralization with an aim to promote the works for decentralization and reforms which are realized by the Mongolian government with a non-refundable aid from the Swiss government. This programme’s main objective is to strengthen its democratic processes and increase citizen participation in decision-making processes, the SDC officials said, and they interested in the programme’s correlation with the policy by parliament.
In response, Mr Bakei said the action programme of the current government of Mongolia fully meets policy and goals of parliament, and added goals and purposes of the both parliament and government focus on decentralization and ensuring citizens’ participation.

Mongolia Joins Worldskills International
Ulaanbaatar, May 7 (MONTSAME) The Board of Directors of the Worldskills International took a decision on acceptance of Mongolia’s application at its meeting held in Geneva in March 2014.
The decision is subject to an official approval at the General Assembly of the Worldskills International to be hosted in Luzern, Switzerland in September 2014.
With above 50 members the WorldSkills International is a not for profit membership association open to agencies or bodies which have a responsibility for promoting vocational education and training in their respective countries/regions.
The membership opens up opportunities to participate in Skill Olympics, its annual competition (next to be hosted in Brazil in 2015) and other activities.

Banks Grant Mortgage Loans of 1,049 Billion Togrog
Ulaanbaatar, May 7 (MONTSAME) Commercial banks of Mongolia have received so far re-financing requests for low interest mortgage loans totaling 847.2 billion togrog.
Since commencing the annual 8% mortgage program last June, the banks have received requests to refund already awarded housing loans of 847.2 billion togrog, which have been delivered under the Government program to stabilize the mortgage system of the nation. Refunding requests for the loans totaling 520.1 billion from 18 thousand 212 people have been approved by the commercial banks. 
During the same period, the commercial banks have received low interest mortgage loan applications totaling one trillion togrog. After a careful consideration over the new requests, the banks decided to grant mortgage totaling one trillion 49.8 billion togrog to 18 thousand 693 applicants.

International Conference on Mongol Studies Held in USA
Ulaanbaatar, May 7 (MONTSAME) An international conference on Mongolian Studies was organized by the Embassy of Mongolia in USA, and the Mongolia Cultural Center (MCC) in Washington DC on May 2 – 4.
The conference was attended by over 50 delegates, where some twenty academicians from Mongolia, USA, Russia and South Korea were invited to discuss issues regarding the history, literacy and educational challenges of Mongolia and to give key speeches and presentations.
Hopeful for great impacts a newly-founded fund will give to Mongol Studies, Ambassador of Mongolia to USA B.Altangerel, in his speech, pointed out the importance the Government of Mongolia attaches to the development of Mongol studies abroad.
Added to focus on history, archeology literacy and linguistics of previous international conferences on Mongol Studies, this year, agenda of the conference included socio-economic changes, impacts, gains and losses of Mongolia.
A meeting dedicated to the prominent scholar Kh.Gombojav who founded Mongol studies in USA was held during the conference. Kh.Gombojav also played a key role for Mongolia to join the UN and establish diplomatic relations with many other countries.
Organizers of the conference also guided participants around the Library of the United States Congress to introduce them a Mongolian sutras collection kept there.

Financial Report of UB Electricity Distribution Network Company Released
Ulaanbaatar, May 7 (MONTSAME) The Ulaanbaatar Electricity Distribution Network Company has announced finance report of last April.
Power generating companies have collected a sum of 13.9 billion togrog from its customers in the city and it means that an income has increased by 2.7 billion togrog against same period of 2013.
Main factors included renewed tariff of electricity power from last August and number of customers grown up by 5533 to 246 thousand.

N.Enkhbileg Girl Thanks Minister Kh.Battulga
Ulaanbaatar, May 7 (MONTSAME) A seven year old N.Enkbileg girl, who recently arrived in Ulaanbaatar after seeing a medical treatment in South Korea, met Monday with Industry and Agriculture Minister Kh.Battulga to thank him for his generous donation to a campaign to collect the cost of the treatment.
N.Enkhbileg girl had been suffering from gangrene after a vaccination that went terribly wrong. As the life-threatening condition is untreatable in Mongolia and the family of the girl was not able to pay S.Korea travel and treatment costs, a campaign was launched to collect the money from Mongolian people, where the Industry and Agriculture Minister donated 12 million togrog to the campaign, and D.Ganbat MP gave the girl five million togrog for the medical operation needed.

Khatan Tuul dance group wins State Dance Sport Championships
May 7 ( The State Dance Sport Championships "Moon Cup-2014" was held on May 5th in Ulaanbaatar.
This year for the "Moon Cup" championships there were over 40 dance groups from Umnugovi, Dornod, Darkhan and Ulaanbaatar competing according to the World Dance Council (WDC) rules for international competitions. Winners were announced in five different age categories: newcomer standard (up to 7 years), beginner standard, Latin (8-11 years), junior standard, Latin (12-15 years), youth standard, Latin (16-18), adult standard, Latin (above 19 years).
Khatan Tuul (Queen Tuul) dance group took first place in the standard dance category of the State Dance Sport Championships and National Proud Ulaansarnai (Red Rose), and The Moon dance groups took second and third places. In the Latin dance category, the Moon dance group was granted first place and The Star, and the Khatan Tuul (Queen Tuul) dance group again took second and third places.
The winners of the first and second places of the State Dance Sport Championships were granted the rights to compete in the WDSF World Championship Formation Standard Adult World Championship in Dance Sport in Braunschweig, Germany in November and the WDSF European Championship Adult Latin in Russia.

Senior Basketball Championship Runs among Europe-Based Mongolians
Ulaanbaatar, May 7 (MONTSAME) The 6th Senior Basketball Championship ran among Europe-based Mongolians in Warsaw city of Poland on May 2-4 with a success.
Initiated and supported by Poland-based Mongolians, the competitions were co-organized by the Embassy of Mongolia to Poland, “Mon-Pol” Plock basketball club and Amateurs' Association of Physical culture and Sports.
This sport action brought together Mongolians from European ten countries including Sweden, Czech, Germany and Switzerland and a total of 22 teams competed for championship.

“Ulaanbaatar International Marathon” held on car free day
May 7 ( Ulaanbaatar City will host the “Ulaanbaatar International Marathon” on June 7th. The day has been announced as a “Car-free day” to promote public health and sports.
This year is special as the city is marking the 375th anniversary of its establishment.
The Ulaanbaatar International Marathon aims to develop sport, promote healthy life styles, and encourage strong mental and physical habits and practices.
The Ulaanbaatar marathon will embrace 25-30 thousand participants including native and foreign marathon runners, civilians, representatives of state agencies and NGOs, students and pupils from secondary schools. Registration for the marathon is being conducted at the City Authority for Sports and Physical Culture.

Mongolian "SBL Xasiin Xuleguud" Club to Cooperate with Michael Jordan Flight School
Ulaanbaatar, May 7 (MONTSAME) Mongolian first professional basketball club called “SBL Xasiin Xuleguud” and Michael Jordan Flight School established an agreement officially on Wednesday.
The document was inked by O.Bayartsogt, the CEO of the club and by Mr Mark Raveling, a director of the school.
In frames of the document, junior basketball players of the club will be involved in summer training with Michael Jordan in the USA on August 6-10.

MUST board agrees on restructure
May 7 ( The Board of the Mongolian University of Science and Technology (MUST) has agreed to structural changes and reforms of the university during a board meeting on May 2nd. According to the decision, under the new structure, MUST will be made up of the following schools:
School of Civil Engineering and Architecture
School of Business Management and Humanities
School of Industrial Technology
School of Geology and Mining
School of Information and Telecommunication Technology
School of Energy
School of Mechanics and Transport
School of Social Sciences 
The school of Technology in Darkhan-Uul province will also remain as a branch school of MUST.
According to the resolution made in the Board meeting of MUST, the current 15 schools of MUST will be closed down by June 30th, 2014. MUST will be organized according to the new restructure plan by July 1st, 2014.
The President of MUST, B.Ochirbat is obliged to take the necessary measures to implement the resolution on the restructural changes.

Money from Chinggis and Samurai Bonds Not Finished Today, Says CEO of Development Bank of Mongolia
May 7 ( The regular "Let's Decide and Renew - 222" discussion, being held on every Tuesday on the second week on monthly basis, was held at the "Consensus" Hall of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on May 06, 2014.
The discussion was focused on Projects to Replace Import Products and Increase Export, where authorities of Development Bank of Mongolia and commercial banks; representatives from professional associations and project initiators; and officials from affiliated Ministries and Agencies have participated.
The Government of Mongolia proclaimed 2014 as the Year of Industrialization under “Let’s Create in Mongolia” and in the frameworks, it was announced to support projects that aim to replace import products and increase export, where Government pledged to allocate one trillion MNT (Tugrug) on these projects.
During the discussion, Prime Minister N.Altankhuyag urged to finance immediately some approved projects within this May and start shortly.
Civilians were anxious that Government is run out of money and all capital sourced from Chinggis bonds has been distributed and finished today. So, to answer on these misunderstandings, Mr. N.Munkhbat, CEO of Development Bank, notified that as of today, 1 trillion, 267 billion and 200 million MNT remain from the Chinggis bonds. Of which, 394 billion MNT will be financed for projects to replace import products.
Also, 181 billion is left from 269 billion MNT that were accounted into Golomt Bank with purpose to finance projects supporting agriculture and light industry being implemented by the Ministry of Industry and Agriculture. These funds are eligible to transfer for 888 projects finance.
Moreover, financial source equivalent to 24.3 billion Yen from Samurai bonds is in the Development Bank’s account. All these money is enough to finance the 888 projects.
These 888 projects to be financed will be categorized in the following 5 groups:
- Fund willing to borrow is equivalent to 1/3 of total project costs and 2/3 can be self-financed for the project to implement;
- Fund willing to borrow is equivalent to 1/3 or more of total project costs;
- Projects facing with lack of collateral;
- Projects’ estimation is not finished yet or incomplete projects;
- No feasible projects;
According to preliminary studies, from the total 888 projects, 579 projects that require up to 2 billion MNT are eligible to transfer to Small and Medium Enterprises Development Fund.
Also, some other incomplete projects will be supported by Mongolian National Chamber of Commerce and Industry and other local and international financial institutions to develop the projects.

Networked Readiness Index 2014: Mongolia
May 7 ( The World Economic Forum in partnership with INSEAD (European Institute of Business Administration) have published the 13th edition of The Global Information Technology Report that features the latest results of the Networked Readiness Index (NRI), offering an overview of the current state of ICT (information and communication technologies) readiness in the world.
This year’s coverage includes a record number of 148 economies, accounting for over 98 percent of global GDP. In addition, the Report presents a wealth of data, including detailed profiles for each economy covered and data tables with global rankings for the NRI’s 54 indicators.
The top 10 spots continue to be dominated by Northern European economies, the Asian Tigers, and some of the most advanced Western economies. Three Nordic economies - Finland, Sweden, and Norway - lead the rankings and are positioned among the top Five.
In the Networked Readiness Index 2014, Mongolia ranked in the 61st place out of 148 economies with a score of 4.1, compare to last year, the country stepped down by 2 places (Index 2013, 59th with score of 4.0 out of 144 economies) and in 2012 Index, Mongolia was listed in 63rd place among the 142 countries.

MIAT Mongolian Airlines to Enlarge Its Capacity with Boeing 737-800 Aircraft
May 7 ( The National Flag Carrier - MIAT Mongolian Airlines JSC announced today that the company is to enlarge its capacity with a brand new Boeing 737-800 aircraft on a lease basis. The new aircraft is scheduled to land at Chinggis Khaan International Airport in Ulaanbaatar on May 11, 2014.
The Boeing 737 Next Generation of 800 series aircraft is constructed with 150 seats for economy class and 12 for business class and equipped with latest techniques and technology. Also, capable to make over 10 hours non-stop flight and the business class cabin is equipped with “Inflight Entertainment” service.
As of today, MIAT Airlines operates with two Boeing 737-800 and two Boeing 767-300 aircrafts and conducts regular direct flights from Ulaanbaatar to Beijing, Honk Kong, Seoul, Tokyo, Moscow and Berlin, moreover charter flights to Singapore, Hainan, Cheju, Nagoya, Oyakata and Fukuoka cities.
In frameworks to upgrade its park, MIAT purchased new Boeing 767-300ER in 2013 and intends to buy another two Boeing 737-800s by 2016.

City Council and World Vision Mongolia Sign Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation
May 7 ( On May 06, 2014, the Citizens' Representative Khural of Ulaanbaatar (City Council) and World Vision Mongolia NGO have established a Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation to create a friendly, safe environment for children and to provide a better opportunity for child rights, development and protection within the capital city.
The Memorandum of Understanding was inked by Chairman of the City Council Mr. Dashjamts BATTULGA and Mr. Vincent Edwards, National Director World Vision Mongolia.
In the scope of the negotiations, parties agreed to collaborate on protecting child and family against violence, to support some council’s activities related to children that aim to improve the protection of children rights, education, health, wellbeing and children with disabilities as well.
World Vision Mongolia
World Vision Mongolia opened its national office in Ulaanbaatar city in 1995. Now the NGO has been implementing its projects through 32 Area Development Programmes in Ulaanbaatar and in 17 rural communities across the country.
Setting five priorities in the field, World Vision programmes focus on healthy living, child and family well-being, economic resilience, environmental improvement and child sponsorship, with the aim of achieving transformational development.
World Vision History
In 1947 Rev. Pierce met Tena Hoelkedoer, a teacher, while on a trip to China. She introduced him to a battered and abandoned child named White Jade. Unable to care for the child herself, she asked, "What are you going to do about her?" Rev. Pierce gave the woman his last five dollars and agreed to send the same amount each month to help the woman care for the girl.
This encounter was a turning point for Rev. Pierce. He began building an organization dedicated to helping the world's children, and in 1950 World Vision was born. The first child sponsorship programme began three years later in response to the needs of hundreds of thousands of orphans at the end of the Korean War.
Over the next several decades, World Vision expanded its work throughout Asia, Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and Eastern Europe.

Lenin Museum Doors Forcedly Broken to Open Central Dinosaur Museum
May 7 ( At the Cabinet meeting held on January 12, 2013, Government Decree No.11 was issued to open Central Dinosaur Museum in Ulaanbaatar in the facility, where formerly V.I.Lenin Museum was operational until 1990s.
Shortly after, the facility administrating authorities of Mongolian People’s Party (MPP) refused to vacate and appealed for court.
The first hearing claimed by State Property Committee against MPP was held at the Chingeltei District Court of Ulaanbaatar, and the District Court announced that the property shall be owned by state dated from June 13, 2013.
The next-level court hearing was held at the Capital City Court and the City remained the District-level decision by issuing a City Court Verification No.645 on August 09, 2013.
After, the MPP appealed for a higher-level or the Supreme Court of Mongolia, but was not successful as well and the Supreme Court issued an Ordinance No.689 on November 21, 2013 that cites the building formerly known Lenin Museum locates in the territory of the 5th Khoroo of Chingeltei District shall be owned and administered by the state, in addition, the MPP should vacate immediately.
The final decision was issued on behalf of the State Property Committee, therefore Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism was urging to renovate the purpose-built facility and open the Central Dinosaur Museum, because at that time there were no rooms for T-Bataar and other fossils repatriated, but MPP officials were refusing to vacate to date.
Afterwards, an MPP representative Sh.Radnaased requested to review the decision, but Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Ts.Zorigt dismissed the court case on March 11, 2014.
Today on May 07, 2014, General Authority for Implementing Court Decisions and the State Property Committee forcedly opened the doors of the building and announced the facility is under their authorization and will be operational as regulated. 
Currently, the MPP did not state yet any comments or statements on ongoing facts.

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