Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Mongolia Brief June 24, 2014 Part III

PM Received by Turkish Speaker

Ulaanbaatar, June 24 (MONTSAME) The head of executive power of Mongolia N.Altankhuyag was received by the Chairman of the National Assembly (parliament) of Turkey Mr Cemil Cicek on Tuesday.

The Premier expressed a satisfaction with expanding Mongolia-Turkey relations and cooperation and emphasized a requirement to accelerate a realization of works agreed during the visit of Turkey’s Premier to Mongolia.
Flow of Turkish investments to Mongolia is increasing, so the government of Mongolia is focusing on creating pleasant conditions for investors, the Premier said, adding that Turkish investments should be exploited in construction of apartments, roads, bridges, geopolitics, mining, energy and leather processing.
In response, Mr Cicek said the two countries do not have any political conflicts but have a great political aspiration to boost the ties in all spheres. He also said Mongolia is becoming a leading country in Asia in terms of democratic governance, justice, human rights and freedom.  

President Meets Mr Cicek

Ulaanbaatar, June 24 (MONTSAME) The President of Mongolia Ts.Elbegdorj Tuesday received visiting Mr Cemil Cicek, the Chairman of the National Assembly of Turkey.
Mentioning that the Mongolia-Turkey relations have been developing, the President said Mongolia wants to expand the ties with Turkey, considering it as one of our "Third Neighbours".
Mr Cicek conveyed to the leader of Mongolia greetings from Turkey’s President Abdullah Gul, noted about the 45th anniversary of the diplomatic relations and thanked Mongolia for attaching a great importance to the ties with Turkey, adding that our countries have ancient cultural traditions.
Some 100 contracts and agreements established between our countries, represent a high development of the bilateral relations, he went on. Turkey will focus on expanding of the economic relations, "we are ready to collaborate in the air transportation, infrastructure and energy sectors, to continue a programme on training Mongolian students in Turkey, and to share experiences in development matters", he said.  
Mr Elbegdorj said he is satisfied with a frequency of the political high-level ties between the countries, "and I always respect our ancient historical ties".
He also noted that the bilateral humanitarian cooperation, especially in training Mongolian students in Turkey and cooperation between defense and law enforcement bodies, has been running successfully. The President touched upon an issue of taking a loan from Turkey for the construction sector, and stressed that the current visit will forward the bilateral relations.
He asked Turkish Speaker to pass his warm greetings to Turkey leader. 

Parliament Welcomes Cyber Library

Ulaanbaatar, June 24 (MONTSAME) The Parliament Speakers of Mongolia and Turkey attended Tuesday an opening ceremony of a cyber-library in the State House.
In the project implemented by the Turkish International Cooperation and Development Agency (TIKA), the old library of the parliament office has been shifted into an electronic form. Under a funding of USD 692 thousand, the library has been decorated with up-to-date publishing and paper-work technologies (bookbinding, printing and cutting), lining up with complex equipment to transfer hard copies of documents into electronic form.
Attending the opening ceremony, the parliament Speaker of Turkey Mr Cemil Cicek praised Mongolia’s high achievements in setting the democratic governance and respect for the law, human rights and freedom, and noted that reciprocal visits between the two countries are still unsatisfactory in view of the visa-waiver between Mongolia and Turkey, as Turkish Airlines, the only direct carrier between Mongolia and Turkey, carries up to 500 passengers in one flight, with three flights a week scheduled.

NGO Campaigns against Drug Abuse

Ulaanbaatar, June 24 (MONTSAME) Ahead of the International day against Drug abuse and Illicit Trafficking, a ‘Democratic Power Union’ NGO has announced a nationwide campaign against drug abuse.
The so-called "Sober Mongolian" campaign will promote the public awareness on harmful effects of narcotic drugs under a motto of "Live healthy and think clearly". During the campaign, the organizers are planning to run a "Sober Mongolian" day event and a parade.
The anthem of the campaign has been heard on the Mongolian media instruments since Tuesday.
June 26 is the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. Established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1987, this day serves as a reminder of the goals agreed to by Member States of creating an international society free of drug abuse.
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) selects themes for the International Day and launches campaigns to raise awareness about the global drug problem. Health is the ongoing theme of the world drug campaign. This year, the Day will be celebrated under theme of "Drug use disorders are preventable and treatable".

Mongolian to Face Shaolin Kung Fu Master

Ulaanbaatar, June 24 (MONTSAME) Mongolia martial art fighter M.Nandin-Erdene will compete against Chinese Shaolin kung fu master Yi Long at a tournament in Yanzhou city, China on June 27.
The Mongolian has thus far come victorious in nine out of ten professional fights in his career, while his Chinese opponent has been regarded as number one in Shaolin martial arts by many. Yi Long defeated another Mongolian E.Batbayar at a tournament in Hangzhou city of China this March.
This time, M.Nandin-Erdene is planning to take revenge of his country man, moving to the next stage of the tournament.
M.Nandin-Erdene is an international master of sport and a silver medalist of the Asian Amateur Boxing Championship. He has been on the professional fighting arena since 2012.

Mongolian Becomes Asian Fitness Champion

Ulaanbaatar, June 24 (MONTSAME) Mongolian S.Sugarsuren became Asia champion in the women body-fitness category competition of the 48th Asian Bodybuilding and Fitness Championship in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
Thus, she has become the fifth Mongolian to win the Asian championship title in this sport. Her teammates Ch.Tsogtbaatar and D.Baasandorj won silver and bronze medals at the men fitness category event.
The main event of the Asian Federation for Bodybuilding and Fitness (AFBF) ran on June 19-22 with participation of athletes from Asian countries such as Kazakhstan, Japan, S.Korea, China, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirate, Oman, Yemen, Kuwait and India.

"Glorious Mongolia" Concert Approaches

Ulaanbaatar, June 24 (MONTSAME) Classic musicians O.Baigal (violin) and B.Oyu (piano) are set to perform their joint recital concert "Glorious Mongolia" in the headquarters of Mongolian Star Melchers Co this Saturday.
The young talented musicians will perform classic pieces of Mongolian composers such as B.Damdinsuren, L.Mordorj, Z.Khangal, E.Choidog, J.Chuluun and N.Jantsannorov. While appreciating the beauty of the classic music, the gathered can see nature and wild life pictures by photographer, traveler O.Gan-Olzii. Soloists O.Uyanga and Solongo will also entertain the audience during the two-part concert.
The two musicians had previously played together at "Best of Classics" concert in Ulaanbaatar and Hong Kong in 2013.

Lead Vocal of Kharanga Band to Perform Solo Concert

Ulaanbaatar, June 24 (MONTSAME) The singer of the Kharanga rock band Kh.Lkhagvasuren announced that his much anticipated concert will take place in UB Palace on July 10.
Preceding the national Naadam festival (July 11-13), the concert is expected to cheer up audiences in friendly atmosphere, especially during a Naadam-related song about a ‘Tolin Khul’ race horse.
Lkhavgasuren performed a similar concert amid last year’s Naadam festival, and his fans "demanded" that he repeat the concert every Naadam.
The event will stage the first solo performances of the singer since he was awarded a State high recognition by a decree of the President of Mongolia.

Best Underground Films Announced

Ulaanbaatar, June 24 (MONTSAME) The first Mongolian underground film festival ended with an award ceremony in the Red Ger Gallery on June 21.
Organized by the Golden Reel Association, the festival awarded the bests among 33 films that were screened during the event in the Student Theater of the Culture and Art University.
A judging panel with screenwriter and director D.Tormonkh, writer G.Ayurzana, artist Yo.Dalkh-Ochir, founder of the Golden Reel Association Sh.Ikhbayar, together with an online judge--underground filmmaker Amos Poe--awarded "Window" by B.Bat-Erdene the "Golden Reel" grand Prix.
The best feature (narrative) film award went to "Unending" by B.Tovshintogs, while best non-narrative film award was received by "Globalization" by G.Erdenejargal.

Here Comes Mongolia-Japan Culture Exchange Concert

Ulaanbaatar, June 24 (MONTSAME) Celebrating the 40th anniversary of cultural relationship of the two countries, a "Tradition Japan" NGO is planning to hold a Japan ethnic performance concert in Opera and ballet theater Tuesday evening.
At the event, ethnic and folk art bands from Japan will perform together with Mongolian "Legend" band and singer D.Bold. Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism Ts.Oyungerel will be handed over a Taiko drum as a Japanese tradition. The concert program also includes a kimono show.

6th Week of 100 Day Economic Push

June 24 (Mongolian Economy) A press briefing of the current status of the 100 Day Stimulus Plan took place yesterday, during which representatives discussed the Business Summit of 2014 – an event whose main purpose was to attract foreign investors and introduce the current situation of Mongolia’s investment climate. During this summit, 18 projects were introduced, adding to a grand total of USD 15 billion, operating in a variety of sectors ranging from energy, railway and infrastructure. 
This Business Summit of 2014 was a special event due to the presence of the President of Mongolia, Ts. Elbejdorj, and five ministers. The event marked the first time during which government members participated in important business talks, which represented governmental promotion of the private sector. The President stated that it is time to separate government and business. The Prime Minister also said, “We are reflecting our every decision on how to promote business.”
The energy sector was also discussed as members agreed that it will be reformed. Power Plant #3 will receive an extension with a capacity of 50 mWt. It will obtain its financing of USD 35 million from the Chinggis Bond and the project will be able to meet the energy demand equivalent to the size of Erdenet. Mongolia is planning to start more power plant projects with South Korea, Japan, and France. 
The Director of Energy and Infrastructure at Newcom LLC, D. Gankhuyag, said that these projects will be developed over the next 25 years through public-private partnerships, amounting to USD 1.3 billion. The projects will have the ability to supple the central Mongolian energy demand, especially Ulaanbaatar, in the long-term. 
Success in these projects will set a good base for following infrastructural projects implemented under the concession agreement. Members are currently ready to discuss the Tavan Tolgoi power plant as the legal environment of the energy sector is renewed. 

Finally, “Altanbulag” Free Trade Zone from talks to implementation

June 24 (Mongolian Economy) The opening ceremony of the Altanbulag Free Trade Zone took place on June 22nd. Before the establishment of this free trade zone, the land was an empty steppe. With abundant planning lasting approximately ten years, the area is now filled with road construction and infrastructural work with a pavilion – available for rent at MNT 100,000 per day – selling a wide range of products. The zone also boasts a long line of cars, trucks and retailers. The free trade zone connects Mongolia with Russia and China, providing a shortcut for the passage of goods and services between the three nations. This establishment marks an important step in the development of Mongolia.
Russia and China previously created a strategic partnership of 2015 that will amount to approximately 100 billion USD in trade. 20% of the profits already pass through the Free Trade Zone of Manjuur, and officials hope to see another 10% run through Altanbulag in the near future. This project can help Mongolia earn up to 100 million USD in profits. With this and tax free pressure for the next five years, the project is expected to help the economy grow while improving relations between both Russia and China. 
The Altanbulag Free Trade Zone is a non-taxable zone, providing a huge advantage to those who wish to use the pathway. However, the main challenge remains – creating financial and capital flow in and out of the free trade zone. Although the opening ceremony began on June 22nd, many foreign investors did not show, possibly due to the idea of the free trade zone being discussed for a long period of time rather than implementing action. Hopefully more people will come by as it gains momentum. 
Parliament member, Ts. Tsolmon, stated that right now, the Altanbulag Free Trade Zone is a transit zone, however, in the long-run the free trade zone can be industrialized and evolve into a manufacturing zone. Currently, buyers do not have enough information about this area, thus more public relations and advertising is needed in order for it to reach its maximum potential.
Foreigners recently registered in order to gain the ability to thoroughly use this free trade zone, while Mongolians carry the advantage of passing through with a customs form. Those who wish to live in the area need to be granted permission of residency. For Chinese, South Korean and other East Asian countries who wish to have its citizens take up residency must do so from the Mongolian Embassy of the local government and obtain a transit visa. 
The Buriad people, those who live on the Russian border, earn 70-80% of its GDP through the supply of Chinese goods. The routine trip between China, Manjuur and Russia covers a distance of nearly 1000 km, but with the help of the Altanbulag Free Trade Zone, the trip can be reduced to 300 km. With this opening, the Altanbulg and Khiagt border can operate for 24 hours a day. 
Construction is also constantly creating trade centers. There stands an Auto Trade Center and in the following two months, more trade centers will be built, bringing in more investment to the trade zone. A new trade center consisting of two stories will go under construction, providing an area of 24-72 square meters for 80 retailers. This opening ceremony exhibition will last until June 29th, whereas trade and business operations will continue until September 22nd. If enough investment is attracted as time goes by, operations will extend to 24 hours a day. This free trade zone is also expected to expand the Seleng Province and will allow retailers to operate without paying custom taxes and value-added taxes.
Before the establishment of this trade zone, companies used to have the ability to own as much land as they desired. Now, companies are restricted to a space of 200 square meters. Foreign investors have the capability of requesting to own land in Altanbulag to further its trade as well. In addition to land ownership, Russia requested that the free trade zone should operate for 24 hours a day, hoping that trade will increase rapidly. This will allow the Chinggis Road Project to take place, providing more roads in the area.  
The State Secretary of the Economic Development Ministry, Ts. Shinebaatar, said, “We need to clarify the legal environment of Mongolia to develop the Altanbulag Free Trade Zone. We recently submitted a Free Trade Law to parliament and we will see the negative and positive impacts from the operation of the free trade zone in order to see what changes we need to make.” 
There is also another opportunity to establish a free trade zone in Tsagaan Nuur. If the development of the Altanbulag Free Trade Zone heads in the right direction, policy from government can share the same path and improve investment in the area. 

15th World Korean Forum Held in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia to Discuss about Stability and Unification of Two Koreas

June 24 (infomongolia.com) Korea Global Foundation is organizing the 15th World Korean Forum themed "Toward New Era of Inter-Oriented Unified Korea" being held at the "Round" Hall of Mongolian National University in Ulaanbaatar on June 23-24, 2014.
The objectives of the 15th World Korean Forum is to discuss about stability and unification of Korean Peninsula, where experts, scholars and government officials gathering in Mongolia are to exchange their ideas on unification of the two Koreas and the Cold War-like relationships among the key powers - namely the United States, China and Japan - on the Korean Peninsula, and possible cooperation with countries in the Eurasian region.
At the 15th Forum, President of Korean Global Foundation and Distinguished Professor of School of International Relations at St. Petersburg State University, Dr. Rhee Tshang-chu made opening remarks, also welcoming address was presented by Chairperson of Mongolia-ROK Parliamentary Group at the State Great Khural, MP M.Batchimeg, moreover, opening address was delivered by President of Mongolian National University, Prof. A.Galtbayar, and keynote speech by former member of National Assembly, former Minister for Environment of the Republic of Korea, Yoon Yeo-jun, and an overall remark themed "South Korea: Dilemma Between U.S. Security and China's Economy Tripartite Alliance" Military and Economic Crises on the Korean Peninsula Likely to Ensue" was presented by Chief Advisor for New Politics Alliance for Democracy, Advisor for Peace Asia, Lee Bu-young respectively.
The Korea Global Foundation established on January 01, 1999, organized the first World Korean Forum in New York in 2000 and since then being held annually as customary in major cities around the world and the latter gathering with participation of leading scholars, expert, opinion leaders, politician and business people was held in Vancouver in 2013.
According to organizers, there is saying that the background of Koreans root is Mongolia as from Central Asia to Northeast direction reaches the end to Korean Peninsula and it has an evidence of Mongolian’s great challenges and wild nature. In this meaningful location, organizers prospect the unified era and discuss about future directions.
President of Korean Global Foundation Dr. Rhee Tshang-chu noted that holding the forum in Mongolia is meaningful in that the two ethnic groups share a lot in common and have maintained close relationships over the past 1,000 years.
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