Friday, June 27, 2014

Mongolia Brief June 27, 2014 Part III

Jockeys under seven not allowed to race horses during Naadam

June 27 (UB Post) The State Specialized Inspection Agency is working to ensure safety of child jockeys this year.

The State Specialized Inspection Agency has issued a demand to the Federation of Mongolian Horse Racing Sport and Trainers to take several measures to ensure the safety of child jockeys this year.
The measures include:
1. Ensure that no child jockey participates in the race without protective gear and clothing.
2. Collaborate with labor inspectors, Confederation of Mongolian Trade Union and Children’s Organizations during the horse racing.
3. To remind herders and related associations about their responsibilities in managing risks.
4. Announce to the public if the Federation of Mongolian Horse Racing Sport and Trainers and Naadam Festival Organizing Committee fails to meet standards.
5. Establishment agreement between jockeys and the Federation of Mongolian Horse Racing Sport and Trainers.
6. Ensure that no child jockey below the age of seven takes part in the race.

D.Gankhuyag: Wang Yi’s visit will strengthen Mongolia-China relation and cooperation

June 27 (UB Post) Chinese Foreign Affairs Minister Wang Yi visited Mongolia from June 24 to 26. Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs D.Gankhuyag gave an interview regarding the visit.
How do you assess the importance of the visit of Minister of Foreign Affairs of China Wang Yi to Mongolia? What’s the significance of his visit?
 The visit is a response to the official visit of Mongolian Minister of Foreign Affairs L.Bold in January. It will contribute in the two countries’ strategic partnership and cooperation for all sectors, strengthen mutual trust and understanding as well as enable international and regional cooperation. This visit is very significant for bilateral cooperation. Both ministers of the two countries will hold a formal meeting to discuss and exchange ideas about key issues on bilateral collaboration in the fields of politics, economics, culture and welfare. At the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, they’ll discuss the status of current cooperation and future prospects between the two ministries, and both countries’ policies and positions for international and regional cooperation.
Furthermore, the Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs will have an audience with Mongolian President Ts.Elbegdorj, Prime Minister N.Altankhuyag, and Deputy Minister D.Terbishdagvad to interchange views on costly issues of the two countries. They’ll also complete preparation work for near-future visits and exchange opinions and information for developing cooperation between the two ministries and other issues of mutual interest.
This year is the 65th anniversary of Mongolia-China diplomatic ties. How do you see the prospects of the bilateral relation?
This year marks the 65th anniversary of Mongolia-China diplomatic ties, which was established in 1949. It’s also the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the revised friendly relations and cooperation agreement between Mongolia and China. To commemorate these anniversaries, both sides announced this year as the Year of Mongolia-China Friendly Exchanges and agreed to organize many events and measures together. Most of them are being implemented step by step, including events such as organizing cultural days and film festivals, displaying photography exhibitions, holding art performances and implementing exchanges for children and youths. Mutual visits of top leaders are included in these measures. This visit of the Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs will be followed by a state visit of the Chinese President to Mongolia, and then, an official visit by Speaker of Parliament Z.Enkhbold to China near the end of this year.
In recent years, every bilateral relation and cooperation has been successful. Visits of top leaders have become frequent and mutual works for trade and economy are continuing actively. The two countries are successfully working together within the framework of regional and international cooperation mechanisms. The vital part of strengthening friendship and understanding between the people of the two countries is the strenuous cooperation in culture, education, science, technology, health, and welfare sectors. The prospects of 2014 are getting better as Mongolia-China relations and cooperation continues to intensify and deepen.
Currently, Mongolian and Chinese relations are in the most favorable time in history. The Chinese side also has the same opinion. Strategic partnership, which is the highest level of relations between countries, is being implemented. There aren’t any problematic issues in political affairs or land and border related matters, we’re constantly exchanging our opinions and positions which we’re holding regarding international and regional issues. We’re cooperating to keep world as well as regional peace and safety. Mongolian and Chinese borders have been completely specified. In other words, it’s become a peaceful border.
For many years, China has been the biggest partner and investor for Mongolian foreign trade. During the 4th Summit of the Heads of State and Government of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA), which took place in Singapore in May, Mongolian President Ts.Elbegdorj met with the President of China Xi Jinping and discussed bilateral relations and cooperation for a wide range of issues. At the meeting, President Xi Jinping reaffirmed China’s official position by stating, “China respects Mongolia’s sovereignty, security and territorial integrity, and respects the development path that Mongolia has chosen for itself in accordance with its national conditions.” He also mentioned that China will be more considerate to the interests of the Mongolian side when cooperating in the future with Mongolia. This gives Mongolia favorable conditions and opportunities to develop.
China has the most neighboring countries in its region. China expressed their new approach to redefine policies with neighbor countries and realize common development. Can you comment on this?
In October 2013, China held a meeting on foreign policy issues for its neighboring countries and made a decision to pay special attention to its neighbors and enable renewed foreign relations. In accordance to this decision, few months after the New Year, China’s relation with its neighbors intensified and established free trade agreements as well as free zone agreements with several countries. They also improved the current level of relations and are cooperating actively to take a new step forward. The President of China also expressed his interests to become good neighbors, good friends and good partners, and support each other on issues of core interest and major concern. Mongolia sees this as favorable for Mongolia-China bilateral relations as well as for regional cooperation. In relation to this, during the official visit of Minister L.Bold to China in January, Vice President of China Li Yuanchao Keqiang welcomed him and introduced him to the above policy. Li Yuanchao said, “China pays a particular importance to relations with neighboring countries including Mongolia in pursuit for closer, open-minded, and mutually beneficial policy.”
How is Mongolia-China relations and cooperation in fields of trade and economy? How are major projects progressing?
Mongolia established a strategic partnership with China in 2011. Prime Minister N.Altankhuyag developed a medium and long term program for developing the strategic partnership during his official visit to China in 2013. Based on this, bilateral collaboration is progressing well in all sectors including politics, economics, culture, and welfare sectors. Especially in the last few years, we worked together in major projects for energy, mining and infrastructure and we have a good outlook for getting actual results from previous projects. The main pillars of Mongolia-China strategic partnership are trade and economic cooperation. Business entities of both countries are actively collaborating in mining, construction, road, transportation, agriculture, bank and financial sectors. China has been the biggest partner and investor for Mongolian foreign trade for the last 14 years.
During this visit, counterparties of Mongolia and China will assess the progress of Mongolia-China relations in recent years, confirm mutual interests to deepen and develop bilateral relations further, and exchange ideas and opportunities to widen cooperation. They’ll be discussing important agreements which the presidents of both countries agreed on last year as well as measures to implement the medium and long-term program to develop the Mongolia-China strategic partnership which includes large scale projects for economic cooperation, coal gasification, and railroad construction.
Mongolia plans to build a 5,600 km long railroad and started the first stage to build 1,800 km in 2013. Notable major corporations, banking and financial organizations are welcome to participate in accordance to market regulations in this railroad construction as well as other industrial development projects. With intentions to intensify cooperation, we’re negotiating the extending of previously active Mongolia-China Minerals and Energy Council and making it into a Cooperation Council for Minerals, Energy and Infrastructure. Mongolia is interested in co-establishing a coal-based power plant and exporting coal to China. We have opportunity to continue this talk during visits of top country leaders and make further progress. Coal gasification project is giving considerable amount of result and we’re working to get actual outcome in the near future. This project can be considered as one of the biggest projects in the history of Mongolia-China cooperation in economics. It’s also very important for reducing air pollution in Mongolia.
The public has little information and understanding of Mongolia-China relations and cooperation. They have various impressions and views regarding cooperation especially for railroad and mining sectors. What are your reviews on this matter?
Countries around the world are developing and changing very quickly. Regions are actively developing and globalizing. They’re not losing any opportunities to develop and are working together to create favorable and secure environment for safety and foreign relations. Certainly, looking back and comparing the past would give negative effects for development. The correct thing to do now is to keep moving forward, use every opportunity for development and prosperity and focus on creating secure environment for safety. Presently, there are all sorts of debates about the type of rail road to build; wide or narrow gauge. Respective agencies will discuss this issue and submit it to the government and Parliament. In other words, we, Mongolians, will decide it by ourselves. There’ll be no external interferences.

Development Bank of Mongolia to cooperate with foreign companies

June 27 (UB Post) During the irregular governmental meeting on Wednesday, approval was given to the Development Bank of Mongolia’s Board of Directors to establish a 75 million USD contract with Vnesheconombank of Russia, the Bank of Foreign Economic Activity, in order to re-finance capital demanded for installing and buying a 100 Megawatt turbine generator to improve the capacity of Thermal Power Plant No. 4.
Vnesheconombank has requested to adjust the financing terms granted to the Development Bank of Mongolia with the term stated in the contract, “Financing project and managing pay back”. If the term of pay back stated in the contract and Governmental resolution No. 99 of 2012 is extended, financing can be granted from five to eight years correlating to the term in the contract.
Therefore, the opportunity has been created to receive long-term financing under conditions to be paid back in 2022, amending the contract and extending the loan term.
The capital required for improving the capacity of Thermal Power Plant No. 4 is being granted through the Development Bank of Mongolia, in compliance with the contract “Financing project and managing pay back” and other relevant construction and installation contracts and agreements. So far, financing of 48.5 million USD has been issued to the project.
Also, approval has been granted to the Board of Development Bank of Mongolia to make relevant agreements, and it has allowed banks and financial organizations to open loan lines equivalent to up to 10 percent of their own capital in order to raise financing sources for equipment and facilities required for implementing projects within the program to promote exports.
In accordance with an order of the Government of Mongolia, a total of 1,151 projects were received for the program to select industrial projects to replace imports and improve exports. Some 599 projects which require financing of less than two billion MNT have been transferred to the Fund to Develop SMEs at the Labor Ministry. It has been left to the authority of the Development Bank to provide for the 286 projects that require financing of more than two billion MNT. Some 161 of these 286 projects are planning to import facilities and equipment valued at 2.43 trillion MNT from overseas, and the Development Bank of Mongolia is to cooperate with ExIm banks of the United States, South Korea, China, Turkey, Japan, Russia and Italy.
Renovations in Soum Centers Project introduced
Working with the relevant local professional organizations, the Ministry of Construction and Urban Planning has developed general planning and infrastructure sketches for 16 soums which will undergo renovations.
With the implementation of the project, the 65 thousand residents of these 16 soums will be supplied with fresh drinking water and sewage systems, and conditions will be created to live and work in a pleasant environment connected to a central heating system.

High capacity laboratory opens for better food safety in Mongolia

June 27 (UB Post) Newly constructed extension of the Central Food Laboratory of SAMO Scientific Food Research and Manufacturing Institute opened on Wednesday with the aim to improve food safety in Mongolia.
The extension was built as part of a Mongolia-Korea bilateral contract on “Strengthening safety monitoring on agriculture-based food products in Mongolia” project, which is financed by the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA).
Total cost of the establishment was one million USD. According to reports, 600,000 USD was used for equipment purchase and installation, while 400,000 USD was spent on training specialists and researchers. The researchers of Korea Food Research Institute, who executed the laboratory project, are currently teaching Mongolian staff the operations of the laboratory equipment.
The new laboratory is fully equipped with required modern equipment and is capable of conducting extensive research on any type of food product.
At the opening, Deputy Minister of Industry and Agriculture Ts.Tuvaan said, “The Food Safety Law of Mongolia was approved last year and we faced an urgent need to establish a high capacity laboratory to enforce the law. The newly opened laboratory can detect content and origin of all types of food products that include meat, dishes, vegetables and flour, using nano-technology.”
“Detailed research can also be conducted on samples of food that caused food poisoning, on meat with possible antibiotic content, or wheat with pesticide content for clarification at this laboratory,” he noted.
Acting chief of SAMO Institute G.Maral commented, “Calories, quality statistics, amino acid, fat acid compound, pesticide, antibiotic content, food coloring and flavoring substances, as well as food preservation substances will be detected with our equipment in the laboratory.”
She also highlighted that their previous equipment required extensive time and manual operations, while the new laboratory will save time and increase efficiency. “Previously, we conducted researches on around ten samples, now we will do studies on 50 to 60 samples per day.”
“Our researches will not be limited by only samples which inspectors brought. We will conduct our research based on requests of individuals and organizations for a certain amount of fee.”
Evaluations by SAMO Institute will be valid throughout Mongolia.

New milk factory to produce 45 million liters of dairy products per year

June 27 (UB Post) Yesterday, APU LLC opened a new milk factory capable of producing 45 million liters of product annually. This becomes the ninth project the company has implemented in the past six years. Equipment and facilities from renowned companies from eight countries, such as GEA Group of Germany, are installed in the factory capable of fully supplying Mongolian milk and milk product demands. The factory is built in conformity with European Union milk plant standards.
During the opening ceremony of the factory, Minister of Industry and Agriculture Sh.Tuvdendorj said, “Milk is a sacred symbol. Private enterprise has made a huge investment, and as a result, Mongolia – which has 50 million livestock – is becoming capable of processing its raw milk by itself and delivering fine products to its citizens. This will also support herders.” The Chief Executive Officer of APU, Ts.Erdenebileg, said, “With 90 years of experience, APU is Mongolia’s oldest beverage manufacturer. Research for the project began in 2011. Construction of the factory began last year and was completed within a year. The project became a comprehensive project that successfully contributed to improving the collaboration of milk production, milk product transportation, logistics, producers, farmers and herders. Consumers now can buy milk products that are produced in conformity with the latest standards and meet food safety standards.”
Approaching its 90th anniversary, APU invested 46 billion MNT in its new milk factory and created about 100 jobs. The company established 12 milk accumulation points throughout Tov aimag, and will buy 60-80 tons of milk from farmers and herders daily, and will manufacture 21 types of milk products.
Currently, the company is manufacturing its Maamuu and Sain brand products with Sweden’s innovative packaging solution, Ecolean. The package is resistant to odor, light and is lightweight.

Safe search engine provides national security

June 27 (UB Post) The following is an interview with T.Bayarjavkhlan, CEO of Moogol Cloud LLC, which is working to make the first Mongolia search engine, Moogol.
Compared to other countries, the development of Mongolian information technology (IT) is relatively weak. What is different about the newly developed search engine?
We have 20 years of experience working in IT and we’ve made many programs. For many years, we were thinking about having our own independent search engine. With this aim, we resolved to make this system two years ago and worked on its survey for a year. In Mongolia, technological prospects are open, and content makers are working hard. All soums are connected to fiber optic cables and internet use in rural areas is increasing. So it is important to find a way to use internet distribution effectively.
What benefits will we have through the Mongolian search engine?
We have spent some time on using information and technological systems. Although we are still using foreign search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Index. Honestly, since Mongolia is an independent country, it should have its own data base and systems that allows data sharing and updating in order to ensure their information safety. It will be mutually beneficial to individuals and businessmen, if a nationwide information system can be set up.
For example, residents of southern regions are planning to plant vegetables in five hectares of field to supply their needs. In addition, researchers conducted a survey that shows plantation potential in the region. Moogol will give these people a chance to exchange their information, cooperate and make the survey more accurately.
In this way, a good business environment and collaborative surveys, investigations and data bases will be established.
Furthermore, if children in rural area want to learn English, a feed that says “how to learn English online” will be included in the Moogol. It is very unique since we can manage demand and reach of information.
You said that having our own search engine is advantageous for press and business sectors. What is the difference between Google and Moogol?
It is hard to request to Google that we need that kind of information and we want to distribute it because there is no representation of Google in Mongolia. So our site has to deal with it and make data entering the system and information distribution of private and information companies clearer.
Soon we will have a program that fixes misspelling. Consequently, users can search for information accurately and the targeted information will be found easily and fast.
So why exactly do we need our own search engine? Maybe users prefer Yahoo, Google, or Index more since they have already gotten used to using them.
The point is national security. Mongolian companies are using their Facebook actively instead of developing their own website. This is becoming a key issue which decelerates this sector’s development. Moreover, the point is that we are becoming more dependent on foreign search engines. When the internet network is off, the internal e-mail system has to be working.
Even though it seems that using foreign sites is not an issue at present, If we look at our future, having our own search engines is safer.
If we don’t develop this field ourselves, in five to 10 years, maybe we will not even be able to create a website on our own.
What kind of information will be included in this search engine?
All Mongolian content and information will be submitted to it and companies will have to upgrade their information on it.
Google defines their goal as the world brain, but we will set our goal as the Mongolian brain. For consumers, they can find information from Moogol, same as Google.
We are aiming to promote our national producers mostly through a cyber network.
It was noted by foreigners that information about Mongolia in English is quite poor, during a recent international expo. So it is essential for tour companies to enrich their websites and publish their information in many languages.
In addition, research works of scholars will also be added to the search engine. This way, it is useful for students and researchers who will conduct this sector’s survey.
Also, Mongolians’ knowledge on searching information and choosing the right key words is quite poor. So we need to train them in this area. If Mongolia supports its national search engine by using it to find information, Moogol will improve itself quickly.
We will launch our website on July 1.
How should the state support this project?
The state has to show support by establishing a network system such as Facebook and Twitter. For example, our southern and northern neighbors have their own search engines and they are the most used search engines in their nation. In order to take care of national information and technological security, the state has to take this into account.
Link to interview

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