Saturday, September 6, 2014

Mongolia Brief September 5, 2014 Part I



Mongolia and Russia Sign Agreement on Strategic Partnership for Modernization and Development of Ulaanbaatar Railway
By N. Khaliun
Ulaanbaatar, September 5 (MONTSAME) In frames of the working visit of the Russian President Putin to Mongolia, the Ministry of Roads and Transport of Mongolia signed an agreement on outlining a strategic partnership for the modernization and development of Ulaanbaatar Railway (UBZD) with the Russian Railways.

The document was inked by Mr A.Gansukh, the Minister of Roads and Transportation, and by the president of Russian Railways Vladimir Yakunin. The main goal of the agreement is the strategic development of JSC "UBZD" to ensure growth in the export and transit of goods and strengthen its role in the Eurasian transport and logistics system.
According to the document, by March 1 of 2015 the parties will agree to terms of reference and determine specialized engineering companies to conclude the agreements with JSC "UBZD" for the preparation of investment feasibility studies, including market research, financial and legal models, and a feasibility study on construction projects and the modernization of the railway infrastructure in Mongolia. Funding will be done by JSC "UBZD", using their own and borrowed funds.
The main projects being considered include the centralized modernization and development of the route Sukhbaatar–Sainshand–Zamyn Uud (1,100 km), including the electrification and/or construction of a second track; the northbound construction of the Erdenet–Ovoot railway (545 km) from the perspective of developing the mining industry of northwestern Mongolia; and a construction of the Ovoot–Arz sur route (215 km) with access to Russia and contiguity to Kyzyl–Kuragino.
In the west, a railway line linking Russia and China through Mongolia to export from Russia to China, India, Pakistan, and other countries in the region will be developed, and in the east the possibility of using the Choibalsan–Erentsav railway section (239 km) from the perspective of transit to Khut–Bichigt is being considered.
The agreement also reflects the interest of parties to work with China to build up traffic from Russia to China in the opposite direction using UBZD, which includes the development of competitive tariffs and technological conditions for such shipments.

Mongolia and Rosneft Sign Agreement
By N. Khaliun
Ulaanbaatar, September 5 (MONTSAME) Minister for Education and Science of Mongolia L. Gantumur and the Rosneft chairman of the management board Igor Sechin signed an Agreement to arrange training for Mongolians in partner universities of Rosneft.
The ceremony ran in a presence the two Presidents on September 3 in Ulaanbaatar. Rosneft will assist an organization of teaching process for the Mongolian citizens at Russian universities, including expenses for education, migration formalities, domestic transport, accommodation, food, and scholarship.
The Company had negotiated this issue with Gubkin Russian State University of Oil and Gas, Moscow State University, International Institute of Energy Policy and Diplomacy of Moscow State Institute of International Relations (University) of the MFA of Russia.

Mongolia and Russia Sign Technical Cooperation Memorandum
By N.Khaliun
Ulaanbaatar, September 5 (MONTSAME) The Treasury Department of the Ministry of Finance of Mongolia signed the memorandum of technical cooperation with the Federal Treasury of the Russian Federation.
The document was inked by Kh.Gantsogt, the State Secretary of the Ministry, and by the Head of the Federal Treasury R.Artyukhin. Now the sides are afforded opportunities to exchange experience in the treasury systems functioning.

P.Tsagaan Meets Anglo American Group’s Delegation
By B. Khuder
Ulaanbaatar, September 5 (MONTSAME) Head of the Presidential Office P.Tsagaan Thursday received a delegation led by Mr James Harman, a chairman of the Anglo American Group in charge of business and development affairs.
Mr Harman said the Anglo American Group wants to invest Mongolian mining sector, and it is now waiting for the permission from the government.
In response, Mr Tsagaan appreciated this willingness that coincides with an improvement in the investment environment in Mongolia. “Any foreign-invested company may be accepted nicely here and will face less difficulties if it supports national companies, purchases their products and services and hires the Mongolians,” Mr Tsagaan emphasized. 

Benefits of Mining Outcome to Be Delivered Equally
By B. Khuder
Ulaanbaatar, September 5 (MONTSAME) A cabinet meeting on Thursday discussed a governmental conclusion to a bill on fund for future, initiated by the President, and decided to submit relevant proposal to the draft initiator together with another draft law formulated by the Ministry of Finance.
The President worked out this bill considering an importance of equally delivering profits from the mining sector. The draft reflects a principle of equal delivery of the national profits, recommendations from experts and several countries’ experiences in profit funds.
The cabinet believes that operating the fund of minerals in proper structure and organization will create conditions for protecting the national economy against a price fluctuation of minerals, ensuring a stability of budget, and inheriting wealth to the next generations. 

Development Bank Audited by Domestic and Int’l Organizations
By B. Amarsaikhan
Ulaanbaatar, September 5 (MONTSAME) An auditory report and recommendations by “PricewaterhouseCoopers” LLC, on the 2013 report of Development Bank of Mongolia have been assessed and are to be submitted to parliament.
Annual reports of the Development Bank, assessed by National Auditory Agency every year, have been assessed simultaneously by an international auditory organization in the last two years.
The bank inked agreement with “PricewaterhouseCoopers” LLC in 2013, in accordance with 29th protocol of the board of directors, to have yearly audits on its operational and financial reports of 2013, 2014, 2015. Pursuant to the agreement, the company audited the 2013 annual and semiannual financial reports of the bank and evaluated them as “valid”. The national auditory agency reassured the evaluation by its approval.
The Development Bank, during its three year operations, had audits from three domestic and international auditory organizations.  

About Mongolia-German Cooperation in Minerals
By B. Amarsaikhan
Ulaanbaatar, September 5 (MONTSAME) Authority for Minerals is to co-implement projects with Federal institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR) of Germany.  
Acting director of the Authority D.Uuriintuya and a project- director of BGR Rolf Muff have signed an agreement on technical cooperation in improving economic capacity of Mongolian minerals.  
The Government of Germany gives to the project EUR 1.6 million. The minerals-engaged public and private entities will be provided with reliable and professional information, assessments of the deposits will be made in order to develop economic research for minerals’ exploration and exploitation, processing and supplying the market, as well as to enhance investment in the field. Professional trainings for staff of the authority and a provision of integrated information system are to be underway, said D.Uuriintuya.   
The projects will take two years.  

Mongolian judokas prepare for IBSA Judo World Championships
September 5 (news.mn) The 2014 IBSA Judo World Championships will be held in Colorado Springs, Colorado in the USA, from September 1-7th. This is the first qualifying event for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. The world’s top visually impaired judokas will compete at the state-of-the art U.S. Olympic Training Center.
From Mongolia, judoka B.Uugankhuu (men's 60 kg), A.Munkhbat (66 kg), A.Davaadagva (73 kg), D.Ganbat (90 kg), and P.Bolortuya (women's 52 kg) will compete in the 2014 IBSA Judo World Championships.
The Mongolian national judo team recently participated in the 2014 Judo World Championships in Chelyabinsk, Russia. Mongolian judoka G.Boldbaatar (men's 60 kg) seized the gold medal and the Mongolian national women's team claimed the silver medal. The women's team ranked second overall with their combined victories.

Working group on “Talyn Zam” project kicks off
September 5 (business-mongolia.com) This summer, Modern day ‘silk road’ “Talyn Zam” (Steppe Road) project was initiated by the Government of Mongolia. Mr. Batbayar, Minister for Economic Development, made introduction of the project, and Cabinet Meeting made decision to set up working group on the project, headed by the Minister for Economic Development.
Within the framework of the “Talyn Zam” project, 997 km long highway, 1100 km long high voltage electrical line, gas and oil pipeline are planned. As the result of the project, the Mongolian Government expects increased FDI, construction throughout the nation and new era in the energy and mining sectors.
The Ministry of Economic Development has conducted extensive research, according to the point 4.4 of General Plan of Development of the Economy and Society in 2014 “to create infrastructure facility (railway, highway, oil, gas and energy) connecting the Russian Federation with People’s Republic of China”. As the result, “Talyn Zam” initiative was included in the Joint Statement on Profound Strategic Partnership Relations between Mongolia and China and Mongolian side continued the dialogue with the Russian officials during the President Putin’s visit. President Putin warmly accepted the initiative and hinted to continue the negotiation further.
The Mongolian Government wants to avail this opportunity to connect the biggest provider of mineral resource and the biggest consumer and plays active role in realizing the modern day silk road through Mongolia, which will become the safest and shortest connection between China and Russia.

Global Competitiveness Report 2014-2015: Mongolia
September 5 (infomongolia.com) Since its first publication in 2005, the World Economic Forum launched their new the Global Competitiveness Report 2014-2015 that assesses the competitiveness landscape of 144 economies, providing insight into the drivers of their productivity and prosperity.
This year’s Report contains a detailed profile for each of the economies included in the study, as well as an extensive section of data tables with global rankings covering over 100 indicators.
The top of the rankings continues to be dominated by highly advanced Western economies and several Asian tigers. For the sixth consecutive year Switzerland leads the top 10, and again this year Singapore ranks as the second-most competitive economy in the world. Overall, the rankings at the top have remained rather stable, although it is worth noting the significant progress made by the United States, which climbs to 3rd place this year, and Japan, which rises three ranks to 6th position, where Mongolia was ranked at the 98th place out 144 economies.

China’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman States China, Russia and Mongolia Maintain Close Communication to Host Three-Party Meeting
September 5 (infomongolia.com) At the regular press conference of Foreign Ministry of the People’s Republic of China held on September 04, 2014, Spokesperson Qin Gang answered on several questions forwarded by journalists regarding China’s view on current ongoing regional and international affairs.
The last question was about recent visits of the heads of state of China and Russia to Mongolia, whether the three-party top-level meeting would be organized soon and here is below the question and answer sourced from the press conference.
Q: After President Xi Jinping visited Mongolia, Russian President V.Putin also went there. Is China concerned that Mongolia is rebalancing back to Russia?
A: Mongolia is located between China and Russia. Both China and Russia are Mongolia's neighbors and partners bonded by mountains and rivers. We hope the development of Russia-Mongolia relations can be conducive to regional peace and stability.
We are also willing to work with the two sides to ensure regional stability and development. During President Xi Jinping's recent visit to Mongolia, China and Mongolia have reached consensus to hold a meeting of Chinese, Russian and Mongolian heads of state. At present, the three sides are in close communication on this.
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