Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Mongolia Brief June 30, 2014 Part III

Mongolia considered less stable in Fragile States Index

Ulaanbaatar, June 30 (MONTSAME) Mongolia has been included in a "less stable states" category of the Fragile States Index (FSI), recently published by the Fund for Peace, a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit, non-governmental research and educational institution.

Focusing on the indicators of risk and is based on thousands of articles and reports that are processed by a relevant software from electronically available sources, FSI divides a total of 178 countries into ten groups from "very sustainable" to "very high alert".
The "very sustainable" group includes only Finland, who remarkably low 18.7 points (the lower the better) to lead all the countries involved, while five African countries such as South Sudan, Somalia, Central African Republic, Congo (D.R.) and Sudan are named "very high alert".
With a moderate 58.1 point, Mongolia has been placed 50th among 178 to be included in the "less stable" group, along with Montenegro, Greece, Bulgaria, Kuwait and Romania.

Mongolian wins double gold in Russia

Ulaanbaatar, June 30 (MONTSAME) A Mongolian biker E.Khaliunbold has bagged two gold medals in a motorcycle road race championship which ran in Russia’s Angarsk on June 28-29.
These medals came in two category events of 250 cc and 450 cc distances, where another Mongolian Kh.Temuujin came third to receive double bronze medals.
In youth category event of 250 cc, the Mongolian Kh.Monkhbolor bagged a bronzed medal.

Mongolians to attend cadet world wrestling championship

Ulaanbaatar, June 30 (MONTSAME) Representing Mongolia, eight boys and seven girls will compete in the Cadet Freestyle World Wrestling Championship in Snina, Slovakia on July 15-20.
Those are N.Naranbuyan (46kg), D.Judgersuren (50kg), Ch.Surenjav (54kg), Temuulen (58kg), S.Enkhbold (63kg), Z.Sumiyabazar (76kg), N.Galsandorj (85kg), B.Byamba-Erdene (100kg) in the boys’ team, and Ts.Lkhamkhuu (38kg), N.Azjargal (40kg), B.Monkhnar (43kg), A.Narantsatsral (46kg),S.Enkhtungalag (52kg), E.Davaanasan and T.Naranchimeg (70kg) in the girls’.
Their coaches are Ts.Khosbayar and G.Purevbaatar.  

Murakami’s "1Q84" translated into Mongolian

Ulaanbaatar, June 30 (MONTSAME) Mongolian translation of first two volumes of three-volume "1Q84" by famous Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami has been published by Monsudar Press.
Translator O.Jargalsaikhan notes that the writing style of Murakami distinguishes from others in terms of narrating unexplainable in simplest words. This translation has become a great gift to the literature in Mongolia that rarely experiences proper translation of contemporary fictions, especially, post-modern novels.
Murakami has been translated into 50 languages, his best sellers have been published in millions of copies. His fiction and non-fiction works have garnered critical acclaim and numerous awards, both in Japan and internationally, including the World Fantasy Award (2006) and the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award (2006), while his whole oeuvre garnered the Franz Kafka Prize (2006) and the Jerusalem Prize (2009), among others.
Murakami's fiction, often criticized by Japan's literary establishment, is frequently surrealistic and nihilistic, marked by a Kafkaesque rendition of themes of loneliness and alienation. He is considered an important figure in postmodern literature. Steven Poole of The Guardian praised Murakami as "among the world's greatest living novelists" for his works and achievements.
1Q84 was first published in three volumes in Japan in 2009–10. The novel quickly became a sensation, with its first printing selling out the day it was released, and reaching sales of one million within a month.

Joint Venture – Mongolia and China

June 30 (Mongolian Economy) A joint venture is to be established after two companies, Mongolian Coal Corporation Limited and Risun Mining Company Limited, entered an agreement, forming the Tianjin Zhengcheng Import and Export Trade Company Limited. This joint venture will transport, sell and distribute coal from Mongolia in order to further develop Mongolia’s diminishing coal sales.
This agreement provides Mongolia with 51% of profits, whereas the rest will belong to Risun. The total investment of this joint venture totals 14 million Yuan, where registration capital rests at 10 million Yuan. 
Mongolia Coal is listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, marking it as a one-of-a-kind company in Mongolia with international shares held in the economy. It is currently the largest producer and exporter of washing coal in the nation. With cutting edge technology and strategically advanced competitive cost structures, the company makes a great candidate to partner with Risun. 
Risun Mining Company Limited is a member of the Risun Group that has daughter businesses located in Dubai, Spain, Brazil and Kazakhstan. This company is one of the biggest coking coal companies in all of China. With their help, Mongolia can supply more hard coking coal to customers in Tangshan, Boading, Xingtai and Shijiazhuang. 
With this new joint venture, Mongolian Coal has the newfound potential to expand its market in coking coal and steel to Chinese provinces and regions. This will also have a positive impact on the diplomatic relations between the two countries as well as help diversify its revenue sources. 

Success without truth and integrity isn’t success

June 30 (Mongolian Economy) The uncontrollable use of drugs, money, power and his very own sales technique led fraudster Jordan Belfort’s life to spiral out of control. Having served 22 months in jail for securities fraud between 2004 and 2006, the so-called “Wolf of Wall Street” now uses this same sales technique – dubbed Straight Line – to turn his life around.
Jordan made millions in the 1990s through his investment company Stratton Oakmont, but at the expense of his investors. The 51-year-old admits the 2013 Oscar-nominated Martin Scorcese film based on his memoir gives a fair representation of his once life of excess. In an opening quote in the film, Jordan’s character, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, lets viewers in on just how much money he was dealing with:
“The year I turned 26 I made USD 49 million, which really pissed me off because it was three shy of a million a week.”
Driving helicopters drunk, taping money on women to smuggle through Switzerland and the excessive drug use – it’s all true. Now sober, he likens himself to a benevolent wolf, much kinder and gentler.
Jordan recently visited Mongolia on his world tour, which was well attended by  politicians and business people (at USD 150 a ticket) to discuss the art of persuasion and how Mongolia should sell its story. 
What contributed to your successes and failures?
At the heart of my success was a system that I’ve been using for many, many years. It started when I was eight years old, believe it or not, by putting in different puzzle pieces together for entrepreneurship. When I was 24 years old, I hit on this idea and invented a system on training salespeople. That came to be known as the straight-line. It was incredibly easy to learn, very powerful.
It turned average people into world-class closers. That was behind the massive success of my firm and ultimately, I lost my ethical leg. Behind the disaster, I grew too fast. I should have slowed down the growth. Once I had the ability to train all these people, I needed to slow down and wait for my investment bank activities to catch up to my sales activities.
On top of that, as the years went on, I started using that same system straight-line in other aspects of business from marketing, to entrepreneurship, to operations. It’s really that idea that there are certain elements that line up in success that you need to essentially apply to every business that you go into and every job that you have. That’s what’s been behind my success.
The failure in my younger days is really based on instant gratification. I went too fast, and not slowing down and understanding at the highest level what business really is. It is about monetizing value.
Unless you can give value, you can’t keep selling and selling because you’re a great salesperson. You have to be selling something that’s actually helping people and making money.
Looking back, what was your greatest regret?
My biggest regret was that when I figured out the system for training salespeople, was to not slow down the growth of my company long enough to allow investment banking to find better companies to focus on compliance. I just grew so fast that it spiraled out of control. That was definitely the big mistake.
When conducting business, is there a certain point that people can cross and partake in unethical activities?
My belief is that there is always this line of morality and ethics. Most people who were raised right by their parents know what it is. They get that uncomfortable feeling in their stomach when they’re about to cross over it and the reason that some people cross over it is because they start rationalising.They start telling themselves stories that it’s not so bad. They say that they can do it this one time, but the truth is that it is not a recipe for long-term success. Once you take the first step over the line, the line of morality moves. Each time you cross it, it moves further and further. Before you know it, you’re starting to do things you thought you’d never do. It seems okay.
Are there any warning signs of fraudulent activity that businesspeople should be aware of?
Well, clearly anytime when someone offers you an opportunity that seems like it’s too good to be true, it usually is. It almost always is. That’s one aspect. Secondly – I call this the gut check – if it doesn’t feel right in your gut, it is probably not right. In that case consult a lawyer, consult an expert that knows the industry. Don’t just gloss over it and say that I’ll do it just this one time. The warning signs are typically there.
How can Mongolian businesspeople learn from your mistakes? In what ways can the Mongolian Stock Exchange improve?
The biggest lesson in my life is, number one, the power and sales of influence. I really think that Mongolia needs to address the issue that they are not able to tell their story in the right way. That’s a huge issue. From failures, you usually have your crash and your boom-and-bust here and there. Things get ahead of themselves and people speculate too much. In my life, I allowed my business to run ahead of myself essentially.
What do you think of the Mongolian stock market?
I think that the problems in the Mongolia stock market right now are not so solely based on the Mongolian stock market. You’re still in the wake of the crash that happened here when the government changed the laws and foreign investors pulled out. Then the London Stock Exchange came in and changed some settlement rules. There are some rules in there that need to be addressed. More than anything, there has to be a fundamental shift in philosophy of the average Mongolian citizen about what it means to be successful. You have to have some belief in your own economy and your own stock market. Without that it is very difficult to succeed.
What is your life goal now?
I’m one of those fortunate people. I love what I do. I love speaking and going out and mentoring and training people. I had some goals and I pretty much hit all those goals. Now, the vision for my future – what I really see myself doing – is really going around the world for the next three to five years and sharing the system I’ve created with a lot of people and focusing on charity work. I also want to take more time off with family. I was very fortunate. I was given a second chance and a lot of people don’t get a second chance. I’m grateful for that. It’s almost like a rebirth for me. I got this chance to really do what I was put on this Earth to do. Everyone has their natural talents. Everyone has their short-comings. My greatest talent is going out there and mentoring and teaching people and motivating people. That’s what I’m doing now and I love doing it.
As you said earlier, Mongolia needs an icebreaker to start the economy again. What kind of icebreakers?
A catalyst. For example, it might be some minerals –  that’s going to be so outlandishly great that one of the big companies is going to come in and the story is going be told to outsiders and that will start the charging. That’s one possibility. Another possibility is that it could happen from within when people here start telling the story and start attracting capital. So it could come intrinsically or extrinsically, but it’s going to come.
Right now Mongolia is trying hard to attract investors back. They’re participating in many meetings and investment summits. Do you think this is the right way? What other methods can we use?
Absolutely. I think that it’s the right thing to do. One of the most important things you want to do is to be bringing in joint ventures with big foreign companies. You want to make it easy for foreigners to invest capital in Mongolia and to also make sure that they are not just raping and pillaging the countryside. You want to make sure that the deal works for both sides. Given what Mongolia has in the ground here and the resource spectrum it has, eventually it’s going to happen. You’re making a lot of progress, more than you realise. It takes time until the catalyst actually hits. You’re making progress right now by doing what you’re doing.
Investors see opportunity, potential, and long-term benefits, but when you come across obstacles such as the inability to predict governmental action, how can we sell our country without being guinea pigs to outside investors?
You want to make sure the deal is sustainable for both sides. You don’t want people coming in and tearing up the countryside. It is like the issue in China and Zambia where the Zambians were getting upset because they thought the Chinese were coming in there. They didn’t have a long-term horizon that was going to empower Zambians. They were coming and stripping the natural resources and leaving. You don’t want that situation, right?
There is a happy medium in terms of legislation. What scares companies is not empowering the people. They don’t want to have 68 percent taxes. They don’t want to all of a sudden have profit taxes. I think it’s very easy for the government to come up with a framework by which big companies and outside investors will feel comfortable to invest here and the Mongolian populace will be protected. I don’t think it’s a difficult balance to strike nor do I think these big companies want to rape the countryside. What they don’t want is these huge swings in taxes.
You will attract outside investment especially with the entire infrastructure and plays with China right now that brings rail into the country, which allows some of the bulk resources such as iron ore and coking coal to turn the iron ore into beneficiaries. You have so much going for you right now. But again, what typically happens is not just in country stories – but in every individual story – you have some place where you want to get a vision for your future and you’re working very hard to get there, but you’re not making progress. You’re not seeing the result, but you actually are making progress. It’s just that the progress is invisible. It takes time until it breaks through and you see the fruits of your labour.
I wouldn’t worry so much about the outcome right now. If you do the right thing and make the right moves and the government stands behind you, foreign investment will come back. Whether it comes back in six months, a year, or three years, it’s going to come back. It’s just a matter of time.
Link to interview

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