Monday, June 23, 2014

Mongolia Brief June 23, 2014

Speaker Works in Orkhon Province

Ulaanbaatar, June 22 (MONTSAME) The Chairman of the State Great Khural (parliament) visited Saturday Orkhon aimag to meet with its authorities and discuss with them how a construction is running in the locality.
The province governor noted that the government approved in 2005 an updated general planning of a development of Erdenet city until 2020, making thus this city a basic developmental center of Khangai region, and reported that for Erdenet city’s 123 thousand population erected will be 14 apartment towns in accordance with the above planning.
The “Erdenet khivs” LLC and the “Erdenet” Mining Corporation plan to erect houses for their employees' 800 families, moreover, one of the biggest works is a construction of a sewage plant with a capability of cleaning 24 thousand cubic meters sewage water a day, "it will be erected under EUR 9.5 million given from the governmental of France."
By this June, a number of crimes declined 23%, a detection of the crimes increased 34%, which  means that a collaboration of legal organizations gained notable achievements, said B.Batkhuyag, a head of the Legal Section of the aimag’s administration.
Regarding some construction works, they have started to renovate engineering pipelines of apartments, with a financing from the Ministry of Construction and Urban Development and from the 2014 state budget, also an illumination works have launched, Batkhuyag added.
The Speaker appreciated all the works and said the apartment construction must be based on people's demand, and asked about price increases of consumer goods. "Prices of meat and milk have declined in Bayan-Ondor soum lately, said N.Batjargal, a head of the aimag’s developmental policy section.
Within the working tour, the Speaker also legged the “Erdenet” Mining Corporation, the “Erdmin” LLC which produces copper wires, the “Monkhiin tsagaan jim” LLC and got acquainted with the “Erdenet Eco” model town.

About Forthcoming Visit of China’s FM

Ulaanbaatar, June 22 (MONTSAME) The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) Mr Wang Yi will pay an official visit to Mongolia on June 24-26, by invitation of his counterpart of Mongolia L.Bold.
At its regular meeting on Saturday, the cabinet discussed draft directives the Mongolian side will adhere to during this visit, and decided to have them approved by the Premier.
It is considered that this visit will enhance the Mongolia-China strategic partnership relations and cooperation, strengthen mutual trust and understanding, and activate the bilateral collaboration at international and regional levels.
The sides will also exchange information and views on preparing for high level visits such as a state visit of the PRC President Xi Jinping to Mongolia, and will deepen ties between the two Ministries of Foreign Affairs.
During the visit, the Foreign Ministers of the two countries will hold official talks. Then, Mr Wang will be received by the President Ts.Elbegdorj, the Prime Minister N.Altankhuyag, and the Deputy Premier and head of the Mongolia-China intergovernmental commission for the Mongolian side D.Terbishdagva.

Cabinet Meeting Resolutions in Brief: June 21, 2014

June 23 ( At the Cabinet meeting held on Saturday, June 21, it was discussed over 20 issues and the following resolutions were released:
- The summary of the Second Intergovernmental Commission Meeting between Mongolia and the Kyrgyz Republic on Trade, Economy, Science, Technical and Cultural Cooperation held last May in Ulaanbaatar was sanctioned and the Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Mrs. Ts.Oyungerel, who is a Chairperson of the Commission representing Mongolian Government, is entrusted to monitor the follow-up meeting implementation for the Plan of Action.
- Minister of the Cabinet Office of the Government of Mongolia Ch.Saikhanbileg conducted evaluation in the Ministries’ activities in 2013 and introduced the conclusion to members of the Cabinet.
- Minister of Education and Science Mr. Luvsannyam GANTUMUR is paying a working to the Russian Federation on June 22-26, 2014, and the visit’s guidelines was agreed to submit to the Prime Minister of Mongolia.
- Mongolia to participate in the Universal Exposition “Expo Milan 2015” to take place in Italy between May 01 and October 31, 2015, and Minister of Economic Development N.Batbayar in collaboration with Mongolian National Chamber of Commerce and Industry are entrusted to supervise Mongolian delegation.
- Due to ratification of the Law on Exemption from Customs and Value Added Tax approved by the Parliament on June 06, 2014, a renewed list of equipment and supplies was approved at the Cabinet meeting, where only equipment and supplies for the basic production are included in the list and spare parts, finished products, hand tools and some parts ready to assemble for sale are excluded.
Cabinet Meeting in BriefMontsame, June 22

Chairwoman of Federation Council of Russia Arrives

Ulaanbaatar, June 22 (MONTSAME) The Speaker of the Federal Council of the Russian Federation Ms V.I. Matviyenko Sunday arrived in Mongolia with the official visit. 
In the “Chingis Khaan” international airport, Ms Matviyenko was welcomed by L.Tsog, a Vice Speaker of the State Great Khural (parliament); O.Sodbileg and D.Arvin MPs; B.Boldbaatar, a secretary-general of the Parliamentary Office, and other officials.
The official visit is starting on Monday. The Speaker Z.Enkhbold will hold negotiations with Ms Matviyenko, they are expected to sign a memorandum. After this, Ms Matviyenko will be received by the President Ts.Elbegdorj.
In addition, Ms Matviyenko will receive the Premier N.Altankhuyag and a Vice Speaker and chairman of the Mongolian People’s Party (MPP) M.Enkhbold.
Ms Matviyenko is being accompanied by ten officials among whom are I.M.Umakhanov, a deputy chairman of the Rf Federal Council and head of the group for ties with Mongolian parliament, and V.M.Dzhabarov, a first deputy head of the Federal Council’s Foreign Affairs Committee.

Speaker Welcomes Russian Council Chair

Ulaanbaatar, June 23 (MONTSAME) The Chairman of the State Great Khural (parliament) Z.Enkhbold welcomed Monday the Chairwomen of the Federation Council of the Russian Assembly Valentina Matviyenko on the Chinggis Square.
The two dignitaries paid respect to the monument of Chinggis Khaan and were photographed together. After Ms Matviyenko had written her impression in the Honor guest book of the State House, the two Speakers started negotiations. Following the negotiations, they are expected to inform the media about the meeting.
The same day, the Russian Federation Council chairwoman will be received by the President of Mongolia Ts.Elbegdorj, and will meet with the Prime Minister N.Altankhuyah and the Mongolian People’s Party chairman M.Enkhbold.

Roundtable Meeting Runs about Investment Environment

Ulaanbaatar, June 23 (MONTSAME) Such a meeting titled "investment environment in Mongolia" took place June 20 in Prague, the Czech Republic.
It was co-organized by the Embassy of Mongolia in the Czech Republic, Czech Commercial Chamber and  Czech-Mongolia Commercial Chamber. Aims were to deepen the bilateral economic and commercial cooperation and to give the Czech businessmen details about Mongolia's investment environment.
D.Zumberellham, the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Mongolia to the Czech Republic, made opening remarks, speeches were given by Mr Josef Cilek, the deputy president of the Czech Chamber of Commerce (CCC), and by Mr D.Jargalsaikhan, the vice president of the Mongolia-Czech Chamber of Commerce. Our Embassy's diplomat  in charge of economic and commercial affairs D.Onobilegt gave the gathered information on a present economic situation, investments environment and legal regulations in Mongolia, and presented the Investment Agency of Mongolia.
After this, an advisor to the Czech Ministry of Industry and Trade J.Dudak informed all on a current situation of the Czech-Mongolia trade and economic ties. In addition, some Czech companies, engaged in business in Mongolia, reported about their projects and cooperation issues.
The roundtable meeting attracted more than 30 business delegates of 15 Czech companies and enterprises.

Interview with Markus Waldvogel

June 19 ( Mongolia and Switzerland are celebrating 50 years of diplomatic relations and 10 years of Swiss Development Cooperation in Mongolia. To commemorate the dual anniversaries, the Swiss Cooperation Office in Ulaanbaatar has planned a series of cultural programmes throughout 2014. “Today” has invited SDC Director of Cooperation and Swiss Consul General Markus Waldvogel for an interview.
What events and measures are being organised to mark the double anniversaries?
I think the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Mongolia and Switzerland is an important event to be widely celebrated. It has also been 10 years since the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) officially opened its Cooperation Office in Mongolia.
To celebrate these anniversaries, SDC is holding a number of cultural events. To start with, we organised a reception for high-level delegates from the two countries on 21 May in Ulaanbaatar.
The next event was a photographic exhibition held on 23 May illustrating the similarities in nature, landscapes and the lifestyles of the people of Mongolia and Switzerland. The exhibition remained open for the public in Chinggis Square for three days. The exhibition then travelled to western aimags, where our main activities are concentrated.
I heard that a significant cultural programme is to be presented in cooperation with the Arts Council of Mongolia. 
Yes. Among all the planned activities, we give high priority to the “Agula” music event, organised in partnership with the Arts Council of Mongolia. As part of the event, Switzerland’s Heiri Kaenzig Quintet and Mongolian ethno-jazz band Arga bileg held a joint performance on 29-30 May at the Opera and Ballet Theatre in Ulaanbaatar. We were keen to see how Swiss and Mongolian artists performed new compositions featuring a fusion of modern and traditional music. The groups will also perform in Switzerland in September and October.
I heard that a joint album will be produced. 
The Swiss and Mongolian groups will record an album at the “White Arch” studio in Ulaanbaatar, which will be produced in Switzerland. It will consist of six musical compositions by the Heiri Kaenzig Quintet and T. Purevsukh from Arga bileg, as well as four newly arranged compositions of their best musical works.
Does the Swiss quintet also perform this style of music? Is it a famous group in Switzerland? 
The band also performs ethno-jazz music. In western countries, Mongolian art is generally known for its traditional style. But this time, Arga bileg is performing with these Swiss artists and will have a unique opportunity to show the western world that Mongolians are developing both their traditional and modern arts.
It’s great that this cultural programme has opened a gateway to connect Mongolians with the people of Switzerland through culture and the arts. What other activities are planned?
As you said, one of the objectives of our cultural programmes is to connect the people of our two countries through cultural exchanges. In order to do this, we look for opportunities to support the development of Mongolia’s art and culture sector, supporting artists with more opportunities.
Have you seen traditional Mongolian artistic performances? What is the Swiss-Mongolian joint performance like?
The performance is unique, interesting and innovative, and generates good feelings between people from both countries.
Mongolians are familiar with SDC’s work in Mongolia. I personally knew of a number of projects on combating desertification, supporting sustainable artisanal mining and agricultural projects, all aimed at solving critical problems in Mongolia. I hope this art and culture project will also generate tangible results. 
SDC allocates one percent of its total budget to support the cultural sector in its partner countries. This means we are open to financing projects that contribute to the development of art and culture in Mongolia. This year, we are financing the joint Swiss-Mongolian musical event to mark the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries. In June, we will also announce a call for project proposals in the art and culture sector.
Does that mean that artists who want to undertake artistic works but who face financial difficulties will be able to approach your organisation?
Yes. If people have proposals and projects, they can approach us. We will review the projects via an open selection process and then finance selected projects that have the potential to represent Mongolia to the world.
How do you see the development of SDC’s activities in the future? Are you moving into other priority sectors? 
As of now, our programmes are planned until 2020. We are currently working on three main domains. We focus on food security and agriculture, and providing support for the effective and sustainable use of pastureland through herders’ self-governing bodies. We also have a very successful project in the potato sector, implemented in partnership with the Government of Mongolia. As a result of the project, Mongolians are now self-sufficient in domestic potato production.
We also implement projects targeting vocational education and training, focusing on the training of unskilled workers to match labour market demands. The third area is supporting good governance and decentralisation reform in Mongolia.
Mongolia’s economy has grown rapidly in recent years. This means that there might not be a need for international development and cooperation in the future. At that time, Switzerland might cooperate with Mongolia in the fields of science, trade, commerce and industry.
Thank you. Happy anniversary to SDC!

SDC’s Eco-Schools Project receives Energy Globe Award 2014

Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. 16 June 2014 - The SDC funded Eco-schools Project, implemented by the Mongolian Nature and Environment Consortium (MNEC), was awarded the prestigious “Energy Globe” environmental award from Austria’s Energy Globe Foundation on May 24.
In attendance at the Ulaanbaatar awards ceremony were high-ranking Austrian and Mongolian dignatories, including the Vice-President of the Austrian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Richard Schenz; Austrian Ambassador to Mongolia residing in Beijing, Irene Giner-Reichl; and the Mongolian Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism, Ts. Oyungerel.
Mr Schenz presented the award to MNEC director M. Badarch and L.Shinetsetseg, Project Officer at MNEC.
“It is a great recognition of our efforts to create greener schools and communities in Mongolia, working with children,” M. Badarch said. “We take great pride in being awarded the Energy Globe – the most prestigious environmental prize worldwide – and in being chosen from more than 160 participating countries and 1000 project submissions annually.
The award is given each year to projects that conserve such resources as energy or which utilise renewable or emission-free forms of energy. The aim of the Energy Globe is to raise public awareness about sustainable environmental solutions and to motivate people to become active in this sphere.
Mongolia’s Eco-schools Development Project was selected on the basis of its success in mobilising 166 schools and in teaching young children about the importance of environmental issues and possible solutions to the challenges being faced. The project aims to improve the environmental education and knowledge of youth, and develop a national network focused on creating a better and healthier living environment.
“We are living in a world that requires new thinking about the responsible use of our natural resources. However, change will only happen if awareness about current issues and alternative solutions is raised with as many people as possible” said the the Energy Globe Foundation on its web regarding the work of the Eco school project.
“This is especially true for our young generation, who are the decision-makers of tomorrow. This year’s National Winner of the Energy Globe Award in Mongolia is paving the road to creating greener communities in Mongolia. Congratulations on this initiative.”
SDC has been supporting this movement of eco-schools since 2007. 

Buddhist Women Gather

Ulaanbaatar, June 22 (MONTSAME) A first forum of Buddhist women of Mongolia took place Saturday in Ulaanbaatar.
The forum aims to promote community of the Buddhist women across the country, to put forward new works and ideas for research works, to let share experiences, to draw attention of the gathered to a support to education and culture of the Buddhism and to help them actively participate in various social activities.
Under these purposes, the participants delivered reports with topics “Mongolian women scholars on Buddhism and impact of Buddhism in family education”, “Propagandizing Buddhism through media” and “Role of youths’ organizations in Buddhism”.

Mongolia Celebrates Olympic Day

Ulaanbaatar, June 23 (MONTSAME) Celebrating the Olympic Day (June 23), the Mongolian National Olympic Committee is running a series of events in the National Park on Monday.
The events are presenting, for example, a parade of our Olympic medalists and a start of a tour of the torch to travel around the country along the borders.
The Olympic Day was introduced in 1948 to commemorate the birth of the modern Olympic Games on 23 June of 1894 at the Sorbonne in Paris.  The goal was to promote participation in sports across the globe regardless of age, gender or athletic ability.
International Olympic Committee president Mr Thomas Bach addressed the world saying that today is not just about having fun through sports and physical activity--Olympic Day is more than that. He also invited everyone everywhere "to move, to learn and to discover" through sports and beyond".

M.Urantsetseg Maintains Leadership at IJF Ranking for June

Ulaanbaatar, June 20 (MONTSAME) A State Honored Sportswoman and World champion M.Urantsetseg is still keeping her leadership at the latest world rankings of judokas released this week by the International Judo Federation (IJF).
She maintained her 2,598 points at the women’s 48 kg category, being followed by Brazilian Sarah Menezes having 2,182 points and Cuban judoka Maria Celia Laborde with 1,240 points.
There are no changes against the previous rankings for two Mongolians G.Boldbaatar (1,516 points) IMS and D.Amartuvshin, a silver medalist of the World Championship (1,428) in the men’s -60 kilo category, being ranked at fourth and fifth places, respectively. At this category, G.Kherlen was ranked 10th place in this category with 844 points.
An international master of sports D.Tomorkhuleg also kept his fifth place in the men’s 66 kg category, having 1,324 points. State Honored Sportsmen S.Nyam-Ochir and Kh.Tsagaanbaatar kept their 7th and 10th places, respectively. An Olympic champion N.Tuvshinbayar stood at 16th place in the men’s -100 kg, whereas O.Uuganbaatar IMS was ranked 10th in the men’s 81 kg.
An international master of sports D.Sumya maintained 7th place in the women’s -57 kilo category.

Mongolian Judokas Grab Two Bronze Medals from Budapest Grand Prix 2014

June 23 ( Hungary hosted the first Budapest Grand Prix 2014, where 405 athletes from 53 countries have competed at the Papp Laszlo Sport Arena, Budapest on June 21-22, 2014.
This edition was also purposed to gain points towards qualification for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and representing Mongolia, a total of 13 judokas in the Men’s 8 and Women’s 5 weight divisions have participated.
Following the medal contest competitions, Merit Athlete of Mongolia Kh.Tsagaanbaatar grabbed a Bronze medal in the Men’s 73 kg and International Sports Master G.Otgontsetseg also won a Bronze medal in the Women’s 48 kg.
Final Results for Women’s 48 kg
2. MOSCATT, Valentina (ITA)
3. OTGONTSETSEG, Galbadrakh (MGL)
3. KONDO, Ami (JPN)
5. LIMA-BALDE, Taciana (GBS)
5. FIGUEROA, Julia (ESP)
7. ROSSENEU, Amelie (ISR)
7. CHERNIAK, Maryna (UKR)
Final Results for Men’s 73 kg
1. SCVORTOV, Victor (UAE)
3. TSAGAANBAATAR, Khashbaatar (MGL)
5. ODBAYAR, Ganbaatar (MGL)
5. DUPRAT, Pierre (FRA)
7. DREBOT, Serhiy (UKR)
7. PARLATI, Enrico (ITA)
The next Judo Grand Prix is scheduled to take place in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia on July 04-06, 2014.
Judokas Win Two MedalsMontsame, June 22

President of China Xi Jinping to Pay State Visit to Mongolia near Future

June 23 ( On June 24-26, 2014, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China, Mr. Wang Yi will pay an official visit to Mongolia upon the invitation of the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Mongolia, Mr. L.Bold.
The Government guidelines to adhere during the visit was discussed at the Cabinet meeting held on June 21, 2014 and it was agreed to submit to the Prime Minister for an approval.
The visit of the Foreign Minister Wang Yi would expand strategic partnership and cooperation in all sectors, and expected to give impetus to mutual trust and understanding, and strengthen collaboration in the frameworks of international and regional cooperation.
Also, the visit aims to prepare reciprocal high-level visits to be implemented near future, for instance, the state visit of the President of China Mr. Xi Jinping to Mongolia, moreover, to deepen partnership between the two Foreign Ministries, exchange information and opinion on bilateral relations and other issues of mutual interests as well as it considered to reach common understanding between Mongolia and China.
During the visit, the two Foreign Ministers will have bilateral talks and Minister Wang Yi will pay a courtesy call on the President Ts.Elbegdorj, Prime Minister N.Altankhuyag and Chairman of Mongolia-China Intergovernmental Committee, Deputy Prime Minister D.Terbishdavga.
In 2014, Mongolia and the People's Republic of China are celebrating the 65th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations, which was enacted on October 16, 1949.

“Altanbulag” Free Trade Zone in Selenge Province of Mongolia Opened

June 23 ( The opening ceremony for "Altanbulag" Free Trade Zone was held on June 22, 2014, where MP S.Bayartsogt, Trade Zone Governor Ch.Chimedsuren and other official have attended.
By establishing the “Altanbulag” Free Trade Zone, officials deem it would create a link of economic corridors between Asia and Europe and in the terms of favorable geographical location on the border with Russia and close to China, the Free Trade Zone (FTZ) enables a free access to the third country market.
Located on the northern border of Mongolia and 335 kilometers from Ulaanbaatar, the Altanbulag FTZ was first agreed to establish by the Government of Mongolia in 2002.
In this area, an infrastructure for 15-20 thousand people to live was resolved and currently operational under experimental period of two months. Also, some 87 entities have established land owning agreements to conduct its activities in 500 ha of territory.
In the scope of registration procedure, citizens of the Russian Federation are allowed to enter the Altanbulag FTZ visa-free and other nationals including PR of China, Republic of Korea and Japan can enter with their transit visas.
The "Altanbulag" Free Trade Zone that aims to increase regional development and economic capacity is located in Altanbulag Sum of Selenge Aimag (Province), Mongolia and about 25 km from Sukhbaatar, center of the Aimag.

Concession Agreement Signed for Power Plant 5

Ulaanbaatar, June 23 (MONTSAME) A concession agreement for 415 MW power plant in the capital city was signed by Economic Development Minister N.Batbayar and "Fifth Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plant" LLC executive director Ribesse Benoit.
The consortium comprises GDF SUEZ of France, Sojitz Corp of Japan, Posco Energy of South Korea and Newcom LLC of Mongolia.
This important step allows the international consortium to enter into exclusive negotiations for a 25-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with the Government of Mongolia. Following the signing of the PPA and financial agreements, the consortium will build and operate a coal-fired CHP plant with electricity capacity of 415MW and steam capacity of 587MW.
The entire output from the plant will be purchased by the Mongolian government and the steam produced will be used for the UB city heating. The plant will also help meet the rising energy demand in Mongolia, which is largely driven by the mining sector and a growing population. The project is expected to create 648 jobs.

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