Thursday, June 26, 2014

Mongolia Brief June 25, 2014 Part I

Foreign Minister of People’s Republic of China, Wang Yi Pays Official Visit to Mongolia

June 25 ( At the invitation of the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Mongolia, Mr. Luvsanvandan BOLD, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China, Mr. Wang Yi is paying an official visit to Mongolia on June 24-26, 2014.

This is a response visit after Foreign Minister of Mongolia L.Bold to China conducted in January 2014.
On June 24, the two Foreign Ministers arranged an official talk and reached a general consensus on several issues such as joint celebration of the 65th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Mongolia and the PR of China in 2014, accelerating big projects in the frames of joint trade and economic partnership, as well as strengthening cooperation in culture, education, science and humanitarian sectors.
Following the bilateral talks, two Foreign Ministers called a press conference and in his statement, Foreign Minister L.Bold noted, “The year of 2014 is announced as a Mongolia-China Friendly Exchange Year and in this regard wide range of measures have been successfully implementing. As a result of these measures, we confident that the friendly relationship and mutual understanding between our two people would be more strengthened. Moreover, high-level reciprocal visits have been stabilizing in recent years, and trade and economic cooperation is actively taking place. Also, the two countries are successfully collaborating in the scope of bilateral and regional cooperation mechanisms. On the basis of all these, Mongolia-China strategic partnership and cooperation have been deepening”.
Today, the relationship between Mongolia and China is growing at the most favorable time in the history of relations. There is no issue of disputes between the two countries, and we believe to work more actively in future for the global and regional peace and security, emphasized the two Ministers of Foreign Affairs during their statements.
During his visit, Foreign Minister of China Wang Yi is scheduled to pay a courtesy call on the President of Mongolia Ts.Elbegdorj, Prime Minister N.Altankhuyag and Deputy Prime Minister D.Terbishdagva respectively to exchange views on bilateral relations and partnership.

Chinese Foreign Minister on visit to Mongolia

June 25 ( Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi is making an official visit to Mongolia on the invitation of Foreign Affairs Minister L.Bold between June 24th to 26th.
This visit is being conducted after the visit by Foreign Affairs Minister L.Bold to China in January, as one of the important events for strengthening bilateral relations between the two countries.
In the scope of the visit, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi called on President Ts.Elbegdorj, Prime Minister N.Altankhuyag, and Deputy Prime Minister D.Terbishdagva to exchange opinions on bilateral relations and cooperation.
Official talks between the two counterparts were successfully conducted and information and opinions on politics, the economy, culture, education, humanities, cooperation between Foreign Affairs Ministries, and regional and global issues were exchanged.
The parties also agreed to conduct reciprocal visits and on measures to be taken between the two countries this year. Foreign Affairs Minister L.Bold expressed appreciation about both parties agreeing to jointly celebrate the 45th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Mongolia and China. He also praised the agreement to intensify big trade, economic cooperation projects, boost bilateral relations on culture, education, science, and humanities and they spoke together on multiple other issues.
Minister L.Bold also said that Mongolia and China are jointly implementing a wide range of measures, announcing 2014 as the Year of China-Mongolia Friendly Exchanges, and he aded that he hopes bilateral friendly relations and trust between the people of the two countries will strengthen as result of these measures.
Foreign Ministers Give ReportMontsame, June 25

Prime Minister of Mongolia Meets Foreign Minister of China

June 25 ( On June 24, 2014, Prime Minister of Mongolia Mr. Norov ALTANKHUYAG received the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China Mr. Wang Yi, who is paying an official visit to Mongolia these days.
During his meeting, Premier N.Altankhuyag noted, “It is important for Mongolia to sustainably develop strategic partnership with the People’s Republic of China in all potential sectors. Also, it is significant in our two countries’ partnership to keep the frequency of mutual high-level visits. During the participation at the Fourth Summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) took place in Shanghai last May, the President of Mongolia Ts.Elbegdorj held a meeting with the President of the People’s Republic of China, Mr. Xi Jinping exchanging views on issues of cooperation in bilateral relations and this meeting is considered to strengthening the relationship between our two states”.
In response, Foreign Minister Wang Yi said, “The visit conducted by you, Prime Minister of Mongolia, to China last year was successful. The state visit of the President of China Xi Jinping to Mongolia is scheduled in the near future and in the scope of this visit, biggest joint projects in economic and trade partnership, mining, infrastructure and industry would be started, moreover would give impetus to Mongolia’s economic development. In September 2014, the Davos World Economic Forum will be held in Tianjin, China and we pleased to invite the Prime Minister of Mongolia to participate in this Summer Forum”.
Prime Minister Meets FM of ChinaMontsame, June 25

Mongolia-Poland Business Forum 2014 Successfully Organized in Ulaanbaatar

June 25 ( In the frameworks of the First Intergovernmental Commission Meeting between Mongolia and the Republic of Poland took place in Ulaanbaatar yesterday, the Government Implementing Agency - Invest Mongolia and Polish Information and Foreign Investment Agency in collaboration with Mongolian National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MNCCI) and Polish Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) have organized a Mongolia-Poland Business Forum on June 23, 2014.
The opening remarks were delivered by Deputy Minister for Economic Development of Mongolia O.Chuluunbat, non-resident Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Poland to Mongolia Tadeusz Chomicki, and Undersecretary of State at the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Poland Tadeusz Nalewajk.
At the Forum, Chairman of Invest Mongolia Agency S.Javkhlanbaatar delivered a report introducing Mongolia’s investment environment, new Law on Investment and business opportunities in the country.
Also, Memorandums of Cooperation between Invest Mongolia Agency and Polish Information and Foreign Investment Agency, and MNCCI and PCCI were established.
The Polish business delegates were represented with 25 companies in agriculture and mining facilities & equipment manufacturing, infrastructure, construction, energy, bank and financial institutions, and during the Forum they held meetings with over 50 Mongolian entrepreneurs by establishing contacts and contracts.

Mongolia and Poland hold first intergovernmental commission meeting

June 25 ( The 1st Intergovernmental commission meeting on economic cooperation between Mongolia and Poland was held on Tuesday June 24th.
The first intergovernmental commission meeting was jointly chaired by the Deputy Minister of Economic Development, chair of the joint commission representing Mongolia O.Chuluunbat, Deputy Minister of Economy of Poland, the chair of the commission representing Poland Dariush Bogdan.
At the joint commission meeting the parties exchanged information on the current politics and socio-economic developments of both countries. Talks were held on bilateral relations and cooperation, opportunities for increasing bilateral cooperation, and launching projects that can bring Polish technology to plant sweet beets in Mongolia and build a plant of agricultural facilities.
The parties were also looking for ways to cooperate on mining, railroads and road shipment, education, science, health and social protection.
In the scope of the joint commission meeting, the parties successfully held the Mongolia-Poland business forum along with the Mongolian National Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Mongolian Stock Exchange Announces New CEO

June 25 (Mongolian Economy) Angar Davaasuren, former financial counselor at the Mongolian Embassy in London for the past four years, has been named as the new acting chief executive officer of the Mongolian Stock Exchange. The board of directors appointed Angar to take over Bolormaa Damdin, who presided over the MSE to prevent the interruption of the flow of business while candidates were being sought after. She served as the temporary CEO after the leave of Altai Khangai earlier this year.
Born in 1978, Angar graduated from public school #11 with a specialization in physics and math. Soon after, he earned his bachelor’s degree from Central University of Arkansas and his master’s degree from the University of Liverpool. He studied international finance and accounting.
He is taking on the role as the CEO of the MSE during times of economic uncertainty. The Mongolian economy has been struggling to attract investment despite having 248 listed companies, 48 employees, and a market capitalization of USD 85.9 million. While he has a large task to take on, many are proud of his appointment as the new acting chief executive officer as hopes to turn the economy around are on the horizon.
MSE Appoints Its Acting DirectorMontsame, June 25

Reindeer Herders’ Festival to Run Near Khovsgol Lake

Ulaanbaatar, June 25 (MONTSAME) A so-called "Reindeer Herders" festival is to take place at the "Dalai Tour" tourist camp in northern Khovsgol province on July 7-8.
Aiming at promoting livelihood of the reindeer herders living in this province, the festival program includes a reindeer race, a tour to earn knowledge about the daily life of those herders, and chances to get photographed together with them.
The Tsaatan or reindeer people are a small Tuvan (Tozhu Tuvans) Turkic community of reindeer herders living in northern Khovsgol province of Mongolia. They ide, breed, milk, and live off of reindeer. Much of their income today comes from tourists who pay to buy their crafts and to ride their domesticated reindeer. A news report in 2009 put the Tsaatan population at 220.

Khurd Band to Perform before Naadam

Ulaanbaatar, June 25 (MONTSAME) Celebrating their 20th anniversary, a Mongolian rock group "Khurd" is set to perform just before the Naadam festival on June 10 in the Misheel Expo Center.
During this concert named "Best Hits of Khurd Show", a 12-album "Black Box" collection (recorded for the anniversary), the Golden Record, T-shirts and accessories of the band will be sold. In organizing the concert, Khurd is working with Strings Club.
As the name suggests, at the concert, the band is expected to sing all their hits, including songs about their beautiful country and its people.
Prior to this concert in Ulaanbaatar, the Khurd had been touring around some foreign countries including the USA and S.Korea to perform for Mongolians.
Khurd is considered the first band to have introduced the heavy metal genre into the Mongolian music landscape. Along with Chingis Khaan, Kharanga or Niciton, they are considered "veterans" of the Mongolian pop rock, and, as such, they have greatly contributed to its diversification and encouraged the emergence of many new rock acts.

Robert Friedland – An Optimist 

June 25 (Mongolian Economy) Robert Friedland is the founder and chairman of his family-owned firm Ivanhoe Capital Corporation, which focuses on emerging markets. Friedland is also the founder of Ivanhoe Mines – a Toronto-and New York-listed public company.
Friedland was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1950 and raised in Boston. He graduated in 1974 from Reed College with a political science degree. In his senior year at Reed, Friedland was student body president. During his time at Reed he met Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple, with whom he shared an interest in Eastern spirituality.
At the time, Friedland served as the caretaker of an apple farm south of Portland that was owned by his millionaire uncle Marcel Muller and Jobs would come on the weekends and help with the apple orchard, which served as the inspiration for the name of his company, Apple, Inc. Friendland by that time had become very self-confident and could easily manage people. He found these skills naturally translated into business.
Exploration by Ivanhoe Mines since 2000 has uncovered a chain of copper, gold and silver deposits at Oyu Tolgoi (Turquoise Hill) in Umnugobi. The first phase of what is independently projected to be one of the world’s largest porphyry copper and gold mines began its commercial production last year. As a result, the Mongolian economy grew 17.5 percent in 2011 with the sharp increase of foreign investment that came. Mongolia also successfully transitioned from a low-income to a middle-income country in 2011. 
The boom brought on by the Oyu Tolgoi project for a poor country like Mongolia was a shock. And a third of all money in the economy belonged to Oyu Tolgoi.
Friedland was described by Canadian journalist Diana Francis as a “nomad.” Within five years Friedland had launched businesses in 45 countries.
He holds citizenships for the United States, Canada, and Singapore
Friedland once said: “In 1987, my destiny took me to Bony Piken and I was involved in a harsh competition for New Mount mine, which was worth USD 6.6 million. That operation was Bony’s first mining business and he gave me 10 percent of the USD 400 million in revenue. By using this money I bought my ownership in the mine.”
That mine was a tremendous step forwards for South Africa.
According to Francis, Friedland attracted investors with his cleverness and persuasiveness, and he became a brand among investors.
In 1994, Friedland’s geologists explored a large nickel deposit in Newfoundland, Canada which ultimately made him wealthy. He also engaged in a project for a nickel mine in South Africa. These were a series of waves in his life.
“I came to Mongolia just as the licence ownership rights were guaranteed, after Mongolia adopted a Canadian version of the Minerals Law in 1997. At that time, Garamjav suggested that I conduct drilling at Oyu Tolgoi. And we did it as he said that we will find gold from. It was unique. This was a new land of gold and copper. This was not an ordinary mine and not an area that has just an ordinary minerals. This was the regions of copper and gold.”
According to Oyu Tolgoi – Past, Present and Future, published in 2010 by former President Punsalmaagiin Orchirbat, one of the people to pave Friedland’s way into Mongolia was James Baker, former chief of staff to President Ronald Reagan’s first administration and of President George H. W. Bush’s administration in his final year of office. Baker provided assistance for oil company Nescor to launch its operation in Mongolia. At that time, the company was headed by Neil Salsich, and former US President George Bush and Friedland were among its investors.
Unfortunately, Salsich died due to air plane accident in 1998 and Nescor’s exploration activity in Tsagaan Els and Zuunbayan in Mongolia were halted. But Friedland was still interested in Mongolia.
Hugo Dummet, a head geologist for BHP Billiton’s exploration operations in Mongolia, was the one to demonstrate to Friedland the potential for Mongolia’s mineral resources. Later, Friedland recruited Dummet at Ivanhoe and eventually explored Oyu Tolgoi deposit, which BHP owned at the time.
But after experiencing tremendous losses, BHP needed to sell the majority of its exploration licences, and so Ivanhoe Mines struck a deal.
“The world’s largest copper reserves are in Indonesia’s Grasberg mine and Chile’s Andes Mountains. But the Oyu Tolgoi gold and copper mine neighbours with China, which is starving for metals. So, it means that we are just beside the main market,” Friedland told the Financial Times in 2003.
In the article “Baron Robert” by renowned Mongolian columnist Batbayar, or Baabar as most people know him by his pen name, he writes: “Robert Friedland came to Mongolia for venture business, which is a fact. He acquired the licence for Oyu Tolgoi and spent around USD 1 billion for the mine where the global giant BHP explored and found nothing, which is also a fact. If nothing was found there, he would have gone completely bankrupt.
But Friedland did not go bankrupt, and “this extremely risky move by a semi-insane person” paid off—for him and Mongolia.
Today, Friedland ranks 546th among the world’s billionaires, according to Forbes, with an annual revenue of USD 2.8 billion. He is the 188th wealthiest person in the United States, and he is one of the most well-known individuals in the global mining arena.
Friedland is an optimistic person who brought major change to the Mongolian economy with Oyu Tolgoi. World investors trust him, and so he was able to raise the funds needed to fund the prospect that first launched Mongolia to investor stardom.

How Powerful Is Your Passport?

June 25 (Mongolian Economy) Traveling has become a necessity for many countries in order to attract more foreign investment and capital. However, very few nations carry the privilege of easy travel for its citizens, who are allowed access to a wide variety of countries without a required visa outside of their passport. While passports may seem to grant traveling advantages, there is a bigger and more profound underlying value each passport carries. 
Each country is powerful in its own right. Passports are reflections of each nation’s geopolitical standing and its relations with other countries. So where does Mongolia stand in comparison with its counterparts? 
By comparing all of the countries around the world, Mongolia has access to 51 different countries without a visa requirement outside of its passport, ranking it on the least powerful side of the spectrum. Places such as the United Kingdom, Finland and Sweden boast a number of 173, marking them as the countries with the most powerful passports, which also show that they have a strong geopolitical hold in the international realm. 
Passports also carry immense value. The more powerful the passport, the more valuable it is. Mongolia falls into line with Morocco and could increase its influence by increasing its foreign investment. By examining countries with superior access in terms of traveling privileges, those with more investment and higher positive relations tend to have more entries to other nations.

Arabians interest in mining deepens

June 25 (Mongolian Economy) The United Arab Emirates are sending representatives to pay Mongolia more official visits in hopes to further its cooperation with Mongolia. The Upper Investment PJS of the UAE wants to invest in mining through private-public partnerships based on investment funds that are based in Abu Dhabi. This is not the first time the United Arab Emirates partnered with Mongolia. In the past, both nations have collaborated on projects within the mining and financial sectors and now want to expand its teamwork in more sectors. 
By using its funds based in Abu Dhabi, Arabians aim to partner and invest with Mongolians in mining infrastructure, airlines, real estate, automobiles, energy, banking and finance. Representatives from the UAE underlined in its talk with M. Enkhbold, the Deputy Speaker of parliament, that it needs strong support in order for investment to occur. 

Mongolia – PRC Inner Mongolian Business Forum

June 25 (Mongolian Economy) Investors from Inner Mongolia are arriving to Ulaanbaatar in the beginning of July to take part in a business forum that will take place in the Mongolian Chamber Commerce from July 2nd to July 4th. Over 200 participants will arrive to discuss investment opportunities ranging from mining, banking, logistics, industry, agriculture and trade sectors. 
The event, Mongolia & PRC Inner Mongolian Business forum, is open to the public and is free of charge with registration. Mongolian businesspeople are welcome to register and partake in this business forum. The forum will host a variety of presentations with investors seeking to increase investment with Inner Mongolians who specialize in almost all of the sectors of the Mongolian economy. 

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