Monday, July 7, 2014

Mongolia Brief July 7, 2014 Part II



Czech parliamentary delegation arrives
Ulaanbaatar, July 6 (MONTSAME) A delegation led by Mr Petr Gazdik, a deputy chairman of the Chamber of Deputies (lower house) of the Czech parliament, arrived Sunday in Mongolia to pay an official visit.

On the “Chingis Khaan” international airport, the delegation was welcomed by J.Batsuuri MP, a head of the Mongolia-Czech inter-parliamentary groups. Mr Batsuuri wished the delegation to have great time here and then exchanged views with them on woks to be done in frames of the visit.
Within the visit, the delegation will be received by Z.Enkhbold, the Chairman of the State Great Khural. They will also visit the “Khustain Nuruu” natural park in Tov aimag, get au fait with implementation of a project on repairing facilities that provide Ulaanbaatar with water resources.
The guests also will leg a thermal power station in Erdenet city and national vocational training center to see a project on agricultural training and a scientific and training institute of plants and land farming in Darkhan city.

Delegation of China’s Inner Mongolia comes
Ulaanbaatar, July 6 (MONTSAME) A delegation headed by Mr Wang Jun, a chairman of the Standing committee of the People’s Congress and Party Secretary of Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region of China, arrived Sunday in Mongolia.
The delegation was welcomed by Ms D.Arvin MP, a member of the Mongolia-China inter-parliamentary group, Mr Wang Xiaolong, the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) to Mongolia, also by Ts.Narantungalag, a head of the External Relations Section of the Parliamentary Office of Mongolia. Ms Arvin wished the guests a nice time here and discussed with them the visit's works.
The delegation will be received by Z.Enkhbold, the Chairman of the State Great Khural (parliament); by N.Altankhuyag, the Prime Minister; also by R.Gonchigdorj, a Vice Speaker, and by D.Terbishdagva, the Deputy Premier and head of the Mongolia-China intergovernmental commission.

Standing committee head meets delegation of Chinese Taipei
Ulaanbaatar, July 6 (MONTSAME) Head of the parliamentary Standing committee on social policy, education, culture and science D.Battsogt Friday received Cheng Ming, a director of the National Development Institute (NDI) at the National Taiwan University (NTU); Shien Ming Yang, director of the University of Law at the NTU; and the university’s teachers and students.
The NDI director Mr Cheng thanked the Standing committee head for the audience and said they visit Mongolia for the first time. Mongolia and Chinese Taipei entered into democratic system almost at the same time, and Cheng hopes his visit would contribute to the development of the ties and cooperation between Mongolia and the Chinese Taipei.
Mr Battsogt emphasized that these ties have been boosting and noted that the sides can cooperate in the agricultural and land farming sectors. Then he spoke about a structure of the State Great Khural (parliament) and answered to the guests' questions.
The delegation visited Mongolia with aims to fortify the collaboration with the Mongolian State University. 

Speaker meets Chinese Inner Mongolian delegation
Ulaanbaatar, July 7 (MONTSAME) Parliament Speaker Z.Enkhbold met Monday with a delegation led by Mr Wang Jun, a chairman of the Standing committee of the People’s Congress and Party Secretary of Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region of China.
Visiting “the neighbor to strengthen the cooperation”, Mr Wang expressed a confidence in enhancing collaboration between the Mongolian parliament and the People’s Congress of Chinese Inner Mongolia.
After highlighting the good neighbor relations between neighboring provinces of the two countries, Mr Enkhbold spoke about successful implementation of a mine-mouth coal liquefaction project, which has a great importance in reducing the air pollution in Ulaanbaatar. He noted that the Chinese Inner Mongolia has vast experiences in this sector, which, he hopes, will be generously shared with Mongolia.
Mr Enkhbold also mentioned that the transport industry has become one of leading cooperation fields between Mongolia and China, and hoped that ongoing reconstruction efforts in Zamyn-Uud port will bring a significant impetus to the commercial and economic relationship between the two countries.
Recalling talks about establishment of a bicycle assembly factory in Sukhbaatar province in cooperation with Xilingol League of the Inner Mongolia, he promised a support from the Mongolian parliament to this project.
In response, Mr Wang noted the profoundly developing relationship between the peoples of the two countries in addition to the commercial and economic ties, and said there is a great opportunity to further enhance the relations and cooperation. He also expressed a readiness to collaborate in the coal liquefaction and other projects.

Military delegation of South Korea visits
Ulaanbaatar, July 7 (MONTSAME) A delegation headed by Mr Choi Dung-chol, a chair of the Mobilization Department at South Korea’s Ministry of Defense, is visiting Mongolia in accordance with an exchange programme.
The annual exchange programme aims to strengthen the traditional continuation of the friendly relations and cooperation between the two countries in the defense sphere.
The State Secretary of the Defense Ministry Major-General Z.Boldbaatar has received the S.Korean delegation to discuss several issues.
The delegation with five servicemen will leg historical sites in Ulaanbaatar, also the Orkhon Falls, Ogii Lake, the “Tovkhon” and “Erdenezuu” monasteries, the “Kharkhorin” historical museum, the Statues of Great Mongol Empire and other sites. They will also visit a herder family to get familiarized with a Mongolian traditional lifestyle, will ride horses and camel and enjoy fishing.
The delegates said they are happy to be here, "and this coincides with the Naadam festival".
The visit will continue until July 11.

Military titles awarded
Ulaanbaatar, July 7 (MONTSAME) On occasion of the 93rd anniversary of the People’s Revolution of Mongolia, military titles were presented Sunday to some servicemen at the order of the State Secretary of the Defense Ministry.
According to rules of awarding military titles, adopted by the law on the government, and to a decree of the President, the title of Lieutenant-Colonel went to D.Sodnomdarjaa, an expert at the Defense Ministry, the title of Major--to five servicemen including Ch.Enkhbayar, an officer for military registration at the administration of Bulgan aimag, the Senior-Lieutenant title--to four officers. A title of instructor-sergeant was given to some others as well.

President receives Germany’s Foreign Minister
Ulaanbaatar, July 7 (MONTSAME) The President of Mongolia Ts.Elbegdorj Monday received Mr Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG), who is paying an official visit here.
Mr Steinmeier said the Mongolia-Germany relations have been developing successfully in all spheres, and emphasized that Mongolia’s economy is growing rapidly.
The bilateral ties have run well since the diplomatic relations were established 40 years ago, Mr Steinmeier went on. Germany wants to deepen its relations and cooperation with Mongolia in the economic sector, he stressed and said he is glad that Mongolia will participate in the 2015 ITB Berlin international tourism exhibition as official partner.
In response, the President underlined that Germany greatly helped Mongolia learn the ABC of the democracy. “Since the 1990 Democratic Revolution, Mongolia has gained a vast experience in democracy, transmitting to the market economy system, and now we are sharing this experience with Kyrgyzstan and Myanmar," Mr Elbegdorj said.
Many Mongolians studied in Germany many years ago, continuing this tradition, "our countries have opened a new institute of minerals and technology in Nalaikh district," he said and underlined an importance of investments in the education sector.
The German side promised to pay a great attention to training young Mongolians. Then Mr Steinmeier said Germany wants to develop the ties and cooperation with Mongolia in the economy, environment protection, environmentally-friendly technology and renewable energy sectors.

Speaker meets Czech delegation
Ulaanbaatar, July 7 (MONTSAME) Parliament Speaker received in the State House Monday a delegation led by Mr Petr Gazdik, a deputy chairman of the Chamber of Deputies (lower house) of the Czech parliament.
After wishing the delegation a pleasant stay in Mongolia, Mr Z.Enkhbold noted a support from his parliament to ongoing friendly relationship and active cooperation between parliaments groups and offices of the two countries. He talked about his visit to the Czech Republic in 2015, which was initially planned to be paid this September.
An advanced collaboration with the EU countries, including Czech Republic, is one of key missions of Mongolia, Mr Enkhbold said. He expressed an interest in developing the cooperation in every possible field with the country, which Mongolia regards as a “Third neighbour’’. He also spoke about the signing of a partnership and cooperation agreement between Mongolia and the European Union (EU), which, he hopes, will be ratified by the Czech side in near time.
Pleased to meet with the Mongolian Speaker, Mr Gazdik thanked him for regarding the Czech Republic as the “Third neighbor”. After highlighting a support for the collaboration between Mongolia and the EU, the Czech deputy chairman said Mr Enkhbold’s visit will coincide with the 55th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. Noting that the program of this visit includes a tour to learn about projects on a thermal power plant and on groundwater conservation, Mr Gazdik offered sharing of German experiences in these sectors.
Mr Enkhbold expressed a willingness to cooperate in uranium mining, particularly in introduction of safety standards, with the Czech Republic, which has great experiences in this sector.
Mr Enkhbold wished the delegation a successful visit and invited the Chair of the Chamber of Deputies of the Czech Parliament to pay a visit to Mongolia.

Privatization of State-Owned Enterprises
July 7 (Mongolian Economy) The Government issued a new policy that will convert state-owned enterprises into privatized companies. Within the 100 Day Stimulus Plan, the Government submitted a privatization law of state-owned properties to parliament for approval. 
The State Property Committee divided 88 enterprises into three categories: 1) Companies that will not be privatized; 2) Companies that may be privatized; and 3) Companies that will be privatized. The first category contains 18 businesses that are considered to be highly responsible for society – mainly belonging to the mining and energy sectors. The second category consists of 48 companies which may or may not enter privatization. 
The last category is made up of 22 companies. Of these 22, 13 enterprises are currently allowed permission to become privatized. The remaining 9 companies will be shared with state-owned ownership, meaning the Government will see reduced shares, but will still have holdings. This category of companies is facing a deficit of MNT 19 billion.

Tickets for Naadam Festival Available from July 07, 2014
July 7 (infomongolia.com) The 2014 National Naadam Festival, which is starting today with Uriankhai style archery on July 07, is dedicated to the 2,223rd Anniversary of the Mongolia's First Statehood, the 808th Anniversary of the Great Mongol Empire and the 93rd Anniversary of the People's Revolution.
Since the 1990s the opening ceremony of the Naadam has been organized by dispatching the “Yesun Khult Tsagaan Tug” (Nine White Banners) from the Government House to the Central Stadium, after which the State Head of Mongolia opens the ceremony followed by a special program of art and cultural performances.
This year’s official Opening Ceremony will be starting from 11:10 am and State Prize Laureate D.Sosorbaram is organizing the event as a general conductor. The festival tickets will cost the same as the previous years and depending on the seat location, tickets will vary between 16,000, 20,000 and 24,000 MNT (Tugrug). Also, a ticket for a tourist costs 25 USD and the tickets are sold at the Box Offices of Central Cultural Palace and Wrestling Palace on July 07-08, 2014.
This year’s Naadam Festival Opening and Closing Ceremonies at the Central Stadium will be hosted for the last time, because from next year the Three Games of Men will be held simultaneously at the Khui Doloon Khudag, where only horse races used to take place and a big venue for Opening and Closing Ceremonies is under construction and will be operational for 2015 National Naadam Festival.

Asia Foundation Releases Its Fourth USAID-Funded Study of Private Perceptions of Corruption
July 7 (infomongolia.com) On July 07, 2014, the Asia Foundation and the Sant Maral Foundation (SMF) released the fourth Study of Private Perceptions of Corruption (STOPP) as part of the Strengthening Transparency and Governance in Mongolia (STAGE) project at the Best Western Premier Tuushin Hotel in Ulaanbaatar.
The project, funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), aims to strengthen democratic governance by building a more transparent and accountable regulatory and legislative environment while promoting principles of checks and balances.
Implemented since December 2012, the STOPP survey has captured data on the experiences of the business community to find out how corruption debilitates the business environment. The fourth survey interviewed 330 senior-level managers of Mongolians businesses in Ulaanbaatar in April 2014. The STOPP surveys are envisioned to inform critical debates between state actors and the business sector to promote good governance in their exchanges which in turn will foster the business enabling environment.
Additionally, the STOPP survey is complemented by the Foundation’s other survey on perception and knowledge (SPEAK) which is designed to capture data on perceptions and knowledge of administrative practices and grand corruption. Together, the surveys provide a broad picture of the level of corruption in Mongolia.
Director of the SMF, Mr. L.Sumati told, "Observations of the business environment from 2004 until now shows that for the business community in Mongolia the biggest obstacle s remaining corruption. Nevertheless, the latest screening from 2012 to 2014 showed a visible progress comparing to previous years. Regretfully, some indicators are also showing reverse trends from the good start in 2012. It also overlaps with a very difficult general economic situation in the country. It is evident that urgent measures are necessary to improve the situation in the private sector".
Scope
- First survey among private business focused on corruption;
- Administered for the fourth time in April 2014, the third time in October 2013, the second time was in May 2013; and first time was in December 2012;
- Encourages businesses to get proactive in developing solutions to corruption;
- Takes into account the growing interconnectedness between politics and business;
- Structured questionnaire used;
Findings
- The percent of respondents who are satisfied with the general business environment has declined from 27.2 to 12.4 since 2012;
- The number of businesses that consider unofficial charges as a major obstacle has declined by half since 2012;
- Respondents from the business sector consider taxes to be the major obstacle and the tax office to be the main institution creating obstacles to doing business;
- The number of businesses that waste no resources overcoming business obstacles has increased from 9.7 to 18.5 percent since 2012 (a slight decline, however, from May 2013);
- There is a significant decline of 10 percentage points - nearly half - since October 2013 in the number of respondents experiencing or observing incidents of corruption in the previous month;
- The number of respondents with extensive knowledge of the government’s efforts to combat corruption has declined by nearly half since October 2013, to 4.2 percent, while the number with no knowledge has nearly doubled, to 16.4 percent;
- The number of businesses with a written policy against corruption has increased since 2012, from 9.7 to 17 percent.

Deputy Speaker meets Chinese Inner Mongolian delegation
Ulaanbaatar, July 7 (MONTSAME) Parliament Deputy Speaker R.Gonchigdorj met Monday with a delegation led by Mr Wang Jun, a chairman of the Standing committee of the People’s Congress and Party Secretary of Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region of China.
After wishing the delegation a pleasant stay here, Mr Gonchigdorj highlighted a significance of the Chinese Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region in boosting the relationship and cooperation between Mongolia and China.
In response, Mr Wang said that a further strengthening of the relationship and cooperation is the key mission of his visit.
Present at the meeting were also D.Oyunkhorol and D.Arvin MPs.

PM receives Party Secretary of Chinese Inner Mongolia
Ulaanbaatar, July 7 (MONTSAME) The Prime Minister N.Altankhuyag received Monday Mr Wang Jun, a chairman of the Standing committee of the People’s Congress and Party Secretary of Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region of China.
The Premier said he is glad to meet Mr Wang and stressed a significance of the Chinese Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region's contribution to the relationship and collaboration between Mongolia and China, and added that this visit will be an impetus to the further cooperation.
Mr Wang said he is pleased with the current commercial and economic collaboration and ongoing projects, which have been advancing with reciprocal high level visits and meetings, and invited Mr Altankhuyag to the Chinese Inner Mongolia.

Premier receives Germany’s Foreign Minister
Ulaanbaatar, July 7 (MONTSAME) The Prime Minister N.Altankhuyag met Monday with Mr Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Germany.
Regarding the visit of Germany government's member to our country as an expression of the importance the new Federal Cabinet of Germany attaches to Mongolia, Mr Altankhuyag said his country also gives significance to its relations and cooperation with the Federal Republic of Germany, "our main partner nation in the European Union".
The two countries with their long-lasting and friendly relations have great opportunities to advance the economic ties, he went on. Mongolia will support the cooperation particularly in mining and agriculture spheres, is ready to cooperate in manufacturing high quality bio-products from pasture-raised animal husbandry and fertilizer-free agronomy, he said.
Under the tourism industry cooperation, the Germans have been awarded visa-free travel rights to Mongolia, and the air transport between the two countries has been regularized, Mr Altankhuyag noted. While participating in the 2015 ITB Berlin international tourism exhibition as an official partner, Mongolia is planning a wide range of performances to promote its cultural heritages, he said and, as a head of a national committee responsible for the preparation for the exhibition, asked a support from the German side for jointly organizing the events.
This is the first visit since a Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Germany visited Mongolia 18 years ago, Mr Steinmeier noted and expressed a willingness to increase a frequency of high level visits and to stimulate a successful collaboration in cultural, scientific and archeological development, as well as economic relations between the two countries.
The third meeting of an intergovernmental working group of Mongolia and Germany responsible for cooperation in mining, industry and technology sectors is scheduled soon to discuss negotiations and initiatives put forward during official visit of Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel to Mongolia in 2011 and a state visit of the President of Mongolia Ts.Elbegdorj to Germany in 2012.
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