Sunday, December 21, 2014

Mongolia Brief December 12, 2014

Zanabazar's rare Shyama Tara sold for 4.3 million USD
December 12 ( An invaluable artwork by Undur Gegeen Zanabazar in the 17th century, a rare bronze figure of Buddhist goddess Shyama Tara, was sold for 4.3 million USD at a Sotheby's auction in Paris, on December 12th, reports Bloomberg.

In efforts to return the rare work of art to Mongolia, Minister for Education, Culture and Science L.Gantumur sent a request to delay the auction to Sotheby’s France Chief Executive Officer Guillaume Cerutti.
The letter from the Mongolian Minister explained that the Shyama Tara might have been smuggled from Mongolia illegally and asked the auction house to clarify the origin of the work. The letter also stated that Mongolia has had a law in place since 1920 prohibiting the sale of historical and cultural heritage.
Sotheby's says that the artwork was acquired from Jean-Claude Moreau-Gobard, who reportedly purchased it in Paris in 1954.

“Script of Eternal Sky 2014” Exhibition to Be Held in Khentii Aimag
Ulaanbaatar, December 12 (MONTSAME) At the initiative of President of Mongolia, the “Script of Eternal Sky 2014” a national calligraphy exhibition will be opened in Khentii Aimag, on December 12-13. Also calligraphy lessons and lectures will be organized during the event.
Promoting the use of Mongolian traditional script, Selenge, Bayankhongor, Dundgovi, Arkhangai, Orkhon aimags and Baganuur district previously hosted the exhibitions, courses and lectures on the national calligraphy. The official website of the President of Mongolia also launched Mongolian traditional script version, sharing the news and actions of the President of Mongolia to the world.

General Council for Ulaanbaatar Railway says no appointment discussed
December 12 ( The regular meeting of the General Council of Mongolian-Russian Ulaanbaatar Railway JSC convened in Ulaanbaatar on December 11th.
The late night meeting is to continue for its second day today, to discuss the key agenda items. General Council members representing Mongolia and Russia are discussing issues on the JSC's fulfillment of financial planning in 2014, a transport and shipment plan for 2015, and technology innovation in Ulaanbaatar Railway.
There is speculation that the appointment of a new head of Ulaanbaatar Railway JSC, replacing current Acting Head G.Sereenendorj, may take place. But a reliable source commented on the appointment issue, confirming, “The appointment is not included on the list of issues to be discussed.  The General Council is now talking about the scheduled issues.”
The General Council of Ulaanbaatar Railway JSC is comprised of members who represent the Russian side, Head of the General Council of Ulaanbaatar JSC and the First Vice President of Russian Railways V.N. Morozov, Deputy Minister of Transport of Russia A.Tsydenov, and a representative of Russian Railways to Mongolia V.V.Morozov; and from Mongolia, Chairman of the Coordinating Department of Railway and Maritime Policy of the Ministry of Roads and Transport Yo.Manlaibayar, Director of Economic Partnership and Aid Policy Department at the Ministry of Economic Development D.Boldbaatar, and President of Mongolian Railroader's Association G.Vandandagva.

Building for the Future: Mongolia’s Opportunity
December 12 ( Axel van Trotsenburg, World Bank Vice President East Asia Pacific
A wise Mongolian proverb reminds us that “times are not always the same; the iris is not always blue.”  The changes to the Mongolian economy since my last visit here just over a year ago attest to the truth of this proverb.  Then, the mining boom that spurred economic growth into double digits was still in full swing, and efforts focused on spending future profits or investing it in much-needed human and physical capital.
Today, the boom times and accompanying euphoria seem long ago. Growth has slowed considerably, foreign direct investment has fallen and inflation remains in double digits as Mongolia grapples with decreasing foreign exchange reserves and a widening fiscal deficit.
External factors, such as falling commodity prices and slower growth in Mongolia’s trade partners, contributed. Such vulnerability to market forces is a risk facing all natural resource-led economies.  Successfully managing the cyclical nature of a resource-driven economy requires tough fiscal discipline when times are good. In dealing with the inevitable ups and downs, resource-rich countries that maintain discipline during good times have more resources and options for when things turn bad.  This is easier said than done, as no one wants to imagine at the height of a boom that the good times will end. But end they eventually do, and countries that have saved for the future better manage the ups and downs of a natural resource-driven economy.
At the heart of such a strategy, however, is the need to build trust that the surplus from a natural resources boom will be used wisely and efficiently.  Such trust is not easily attained, and all countries must struggle to retain it, but there are things that can be done.  Deepening the progress that Mongolia has already made on governance will be essential. Strengthening transparency, managing conflicts of interest and fighting corruption all help to build the trust required for the necessary political and popular consensus to properly manage the natural resource-led macro economy.
In the end, though, development is about people and the betterment of the living conditions of the population.  Supporting greater diversification of the economy would not only help reduce the amplitude of the boom-bust cycles of natural resources, but would also strengthen the link between growth, on the one hand, and job creation, poverty reduction, and trust, on the other hand.
The good news is that there are viable policy options to do so.  Some countries such as Chile and Norway have shown how to successfully implement policies that optimize, in a transparent way, the impact of natural wealth for the population and over time. In addition, Mongolia can count on bilateral and multilateral parties such as the World Bank to assist in this effort.
A diverse and growing economy, one that helps people rise out of poverty, one that ensures that Mongolia’s prosperity is widely shared across the population, can again be within Mongolia’s grasp.  It will take a concerted effort in adopting a policy package aimed at restoring macroeconomic stability, improving regulatory reform, and enhancing international competitiveness.  The pay-off of this effort would be an iris that turns blue again.

Resolutions Issued at First Cabinet Meeting of New Coalition Government
December 12 ( On December 10, 2014, the first Cabinet meeting of the new Coalition Government chaired by Premier Ch.Saikhanbileg was held and the following issues were discussed and resolved.
- A children’s hospital to provide medical care and services with capacity of 150 beds is resolved to establish under the Ministry of Health and Sports. The hospital will be accommodated in one of the state-owned buildings and intends to open within February 01, 2015, where Minister of Health and Sports, G.Shiilegdamba is obliged to manage preoperational and organizational issues. Moreover, Finance Minister J.Erdenebat is requested to allocate required financial sources.
- Minister of Mining R.Jigjid introduced the implementation of the Decree No.216/2014 on “Regulation on selection processes to re-allocate 106 special licenses for exploration and exploitation purposes that earlier were suspended by court decisions”.
- The Governments of Mongolia and Austria had established an Agreement on Financial Cooperation on November 28, 2011 to implement several projects and programs. Under the Agreement, Government of the Republic of Austria shall allocate a soft loan of 40 million EUR to co-implement projects in infrastructure, education, health and social protection sectors. Within the scope of the projects, it was cited in the Agreement to import equipment and supplies freeing from customs tax. Accordingly, at the Cabinet meeting it was resolved to submit a draft bill to the State Great Khural (Parliament) on tax-free import of equipment and supplies of relevant projects. Also, the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Mongolia to the Republic of Austria G.Batjargal is entrusted to co-sign the Export Credit Agreement between the two countries under the Financial Cooperation Agreement.
- Minister of Foreign Affairs L.Purevsuren is requested to submit the visit summary of the President of Mongolia conducted to Beijing to the National Security Council of Mongolia. President Ts.Elbegdorj attended the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Third Senior Officials meeting held in Beijing, China on November 08-11, 2014.

New Foreign Minister Introduces Preparation Works on
Mongolia-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement to Be
Signed in Near Future
December 12 ( On December 10, 2014, Director of the Department of Asia, Pacific Countries at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mongolia, Mr. Ch.Bayarmunkh and Japanese delegation from the Foreign Ministry led by Director-General of the Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau, Mr. Junichi Ihara held a politico-military meeting on Mongolia-Japan foreign relations, defense and security issues in Ulaanbaatar.
During the meeting, parties exchanged information and views on bilateral relations and cooperation as well as issues concerning in Asia-Pacific region, where officials from National Security Councils and the Ministries of Defense of the two countries were present. This politico-military meeting has been organized since 2013 within the aims to strengthen Mongolia-Japan strategic partnership.
On the same day, Minister of Foreign Affairs Lundeg PUREVSUREN received the visiting Japanese delegation and at the beginning meeting Director-General of the Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau Junichi Ihara congratulated the newly appointed Foreign Minister L.Purevsuren and noted the partnership between two countries have been developing at all sectors. Moreover, Mr. Ihara expressed his satisfaction that high-level reciprocal visits have been also activated and wished to keep this progress in 2015.
In response, Foreign Minister L.Purevsuren mentioned about his last visit to Japan when he was accompanying the President of Mongolia Ts.Elbegdorj and expressed his satisfaction that the two countries principally reached a consensus on establishing an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). Furthermore, Foreign Minister affirmed that Mongolia has been accomplishing local preparation works on signing the EPA to be organized in the near future.

New Defense Minister Meets Russian Ambassador to Mongolia
December 12 ( The newly appointed Minister of Defense Tserendash TSOLMON hosted his first reception meeting with the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation to Mongolia, Mr. Iskander Kubarovich Azizov on December 11, 2014.
During the meeting, parties emphasized the successfully developing cooperation in defense sector between the two countries and exchanged information on measures implemented in 2014 as well as further tasks and directories to carry out in military technical cooperation in 2015.
Moreover, Defense Minister Ts.Tsolmon underlined that the Mongolia-Russia traditional friendly neighborhood relations and partnership in defense sector are considered priorities and affirmed that Mongolia will be jointly celebrating the 70th anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War 1941-1945 in 2015.
New Defense Minister Ts.Tsolmon was accredited on December 10, 2014 and Premier Ch.Saikhanbileg conferred the Ministry’s stamp, where preceding Minister D.Bat-Erdene and the Ministry staff were also present.

Mongolians Residing in Japan to Host Sports Games Celebrating 32nd Sumo Championship Attained by Yokozuna Hakuho
December 12 ( Mongolian Students’ Union in Japan announces to organize Sports Games among Mongolians residing in the country that dedicates to the 32nd Championship in Japanese Grand Sumo attained by the 69th Yokozuna Hakuho, M.Davaajargal.
The competition will be sponsored by Mongolian Sumo Union headquartered in Tokyo and taking place at the sports hall of Takushoku University on December 20-21, 2014.
The event will be held in the following categories:
- Men’s and Women’s Team Basketball, three-point shooting
- Football
- Chess
- Draughts
- Sudoku
- Arm wrestling

Head of Mongolian Buddhist Center D.Choijamts Elected as President of Sixth World Buddhist Summit
December 12 ( Mongolian delegates of Buddhist Center headed by His Eminence Khamba Lama of Gandantegchinlen Monastery D.Choijamts are attending the Sixth World Buddhist Supreme Conference being held in the Grand Hall of Buddhism in Kobe city of Japan on December 08-13, 2014.
The Sixth Buddhist Summit is themed "How to contribute to world peace and serenity for humanity through Buddhism", where spiritual ambassadors from various countries are attending.
Notably, during the Conference, the Head of Gandantegchinlen Monastery D.Choijamts is elected to chair the Sixth Buddhist Summit, which is the first nomination from Mongolia.
Head of the Mongolian Buddhist Center D.Choijamts used to serve as the Second Khamba Lama at the Gandantegchinlen Monastery in 1986-1990, further promoted for Da Lama in 1990-1992 and since then His Eminence has been serving as the Senior Khamba Lama.

President Ts.Elbegdorj Phones MCC CEO
Ulaanbaatar, December 12 (MONTSAME) The President of Mongolia Ts.Elbegdorj has called Ms Dana J. Hyde, CEO of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC).
The President has expressed thanks to Ms Hyde for informing that the MCC has chosen Mongolia as a possible country to implement the second phase of the Compact Agreement, on behalf of the Mongolian government and people.
Noting that the first phase of the Compact Agreement was successfully realized in Mongolia between 2008 and 2013, Mr Elbegdorj has emphasized the MCC’s decision which expresses a common goal of Mongolia and the USA will fortify the bilateral relations and cooperation. He hoped that the Compact Agreement’s second phase will significantly contribute to reducing the poverty rate and increasing the economic growth of Mongolia. The government of Mongolia will fully support ensuring of the agreement’s implementation.  

Parliament Ratifies OPCAT
Ulaanbaatar, December 12 (MONTSAME) A plenary meeting of the parliamentary session on Thursday discussed a draft law on ratifying the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (OPCAT).
Submitted by the government on July 8, 2014, the bill’s report was presented at the plenary meeting by D.Dorligjav, the Minister of Justice, and proposals and views from the joint meeting of the Standing committees on security and foreign policy and on justice were delivered by N.Enkhbold MP.
After running Q&As, majority of MPs (94.4%) backed to ratify the OPCAT.
The OPCAT is a treaty that supplements to the 1984 United Nations Convention Against Torture. It establishes an international inspection system for places of detention modeled on the system that has existed in Europe since 1987 (the Committee for the Prevention of Torture).
The OPCAT was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in New York on 18 December 2002, and it entered into force on 22 June 2006.

MPP Faction Head Meets WB Permanent Rep
Ulaanbaatar, December 12 (MONTSAME) Head of the Mongolian People’s Party’s faction at parliament S.Byambatsogt Thursday received Mr James Anderson, the Permanent Representative of the World Bank (WB) to Mongolia.
Mr Anderson expressed a hope that the newly formed cabinet will bring many opportunities and will work through a unified and right policy, and then said the WB is ready to render financial and consulting assistance to Mongolia in order to realize long-term developmental goals and tackling economic urgent problems. Mr Anderson also expressed the WB’s readiness to share experiences of countries in economics and budgetary policy.
In response, Mr Byambatsogt said the MPP faction has decided to back the cabinet in times of the current economic difficulties. “Our priorities are to resolve the problems and to overcome the difficulties by running a unified policy. It will be pleased to collaborate with the WB in exchanging information on related issues,” he said.
At the meeting, the sides shared views on domestic regional development. Then Mr Anderson said he will study a chance to implement specific projects and programmes on this matter. He also introduced to the MPP faction head projects and programmes to be co-implemented by the WB and the government, and asked him to back them at parliament.

Mongolian judokas win gold and silver in Hong Kong
December 12 ( The 8th Asian CADET Judo Championships and 15th Asian JUNIOR Judo Championships 2014 started in Hong Kong, China, on December 11th.
On the first day of the tournament, the Mongolian judo team won one gold and two silver medals. Mongolian judoka B.Uranbileg, in the +70 kg division, won the 8th Asian CADET Judo Championship.
Mongolian judoka B.Bayaraa (55 kg) grabbed the first silver medal at the 15th Asian JUNIOR Judo Championships 2014. Judoka M.Davaasuren won silver in the women's 70 kg event. The 8th Asian CADET Judo Championships and 15th Asian JUNIOR Judo Championships 2014 will continue through December 14th.

IMO National Convention to be held in Ulaanbaatar
December 12 ( The national convention of the International Maritime Organization will be held for the first time in Ulaanbaatar, on December 15-19th.
Mongolia joined the International Maritime Organization (IMO), a London based U.N. organization, in 1996. Present at the IMO National Convention will be U.N. Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Mongolia Sezin Sinanoglu and Minister for Roads and Transportation N.Tumurkhuu.
In recent years there has been an increasing number of Mongolian students attending World Maritime University in Malmö, Sweden.

Mongolia-S.Korea Energy Cooperation Meeting Runs
Ulaanbaatar, December 12 (MONTSAME) A meeting for enhancing Mongolia-S.Korea cooperation in energy and minerals was held on December 10 at Soyombo Hall of the Tuushin Hotel. It was initiated by the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in Ulaanbaatar and of other S.Korean organizations.
State Secretary of the Ministry of Energy D.Delgertsogt took pane at the meeting and said that reliable and continuous provision of energy is an integral part of the country’s security. Installed capacity of Mongolia’s power sector is over 1000 MW, and 79 percent of which is covered by coal-burning thermal stations. Statistics show that the total power production in 2013 was 5123 million kW which indicates 5.7 percent increase against the previous year; that 97 percent of which was produced by the thermal power stations, 1.7 percent, by renewable sources; and that the country imported 1190 million kW of electricity, he informed. “However, Mongolia has been at power deficiency since the rapid expansion of extracting and processing in the mining industry” said the State Secretary.
He also emphasized the necessity to obtain a reliable investment for the construction of the Fifth thermal power station of Ulaanbaatar, large capacity water power station to serve as a system moderator, and of a supertension power grid, in order to meet the excessive demand.
Mr Delgertsogt highlighted the collaborations of the S.Korean professional energy companies on the projects being implemented in a scope of the above goal, mentioning POSCO and DAEWOO’s efforts in the implementation of a project for building the Fifth thermal station with 450 MW per year capacity.  
Korean Energy and Economics Institute (KEEI) and Korgaz together with Mongolian Energy and Economics Institute and Energy Development Center inked a Memoradum of Cooperation, in frames of which the experts cooperate in academic researches.
Mongolia cooperates with the Republic of Korea within the scope of the APEC, has joined the initiative “Asian Energy Highway”, and has set up a research group to achieve the objectives in scope of the initiative. 

WB Encouraged by Mongolian Government’s Resolve to Address Challenges
Ulaanbaatar, December 12 (MONTSAME) A World Bank (WB) delegation led by Mr Axel van Trotsenburg, WB Regional Vice President for East Asia and Pacific, and including Bert Hofman, Country Director for Mongolia, and James Anderson, Country Manager for Mongolia, has concluded its visit to Ulaanbaatar.
The news has been published on WB’s website.
The delegation discussed the current economic situation, the new government’s initial thinking on their program and how the World Bank program could support Mongolia.  The delegation was impressed by the candor with which the Mongolian counterparts assessed the economic situation and their resolve to address the underlying causes of the current macro-economic challenges.
The delegation met with Ch.Saikhanbileg, the Prime Minister; Z.Enkhbold, the Speaker of parliament; J.Erdenebat, the Minister of Finance; and top officials from Mongol Bank, among others.
In his meeting with the delegation, the Prime Minister laid out the broad policy framework to address the current challenges. During the meeting, it was agreed that the World Bank Group would work closely with the authorities on a support program for Mongolia.
“This cabinet is a solutions cabinet.  We will address the difficult issues at hand to maintain macroeconomic stability, restore policy buffers and revamp private sector investment and growth.” Prime Minister Saikhanbileg said, “I welcome the support of the World Bank Group and the international community for our program. Their technical expertise and financial support can help in addressing the challenges that Mongolia currently faces,”
“I am confident that the new government led by Prime Minister Saikhanbileg, with support from a broad coalition of political leaders, is determined to tackle the current economic difficulties and take the necessary actions to ensure a sound macroeconomic base and to promote dynamic private sector development,” said Mr van Trotsenburg. “With this approach, Mongolia will be able to achieve sustainable growth and shared prosperity,”

State Organizations at “Chingis Khaan” Airport Hold Meeting
Ulaanbaatar, December 12 (MONTSAME) State-owned entities that operate at the airport have held a meeting in frames of the “Friendly Ulaanbaatar” program. At the meeting were, representatives of the Border Protection Office, the General Customs Office, the General Authority for Specialized Inspection, the Ulaanbaatar Department for Tourism, and the administration of “Chingis Khaan” airport.
They discussed the problems faced by the tourists and tour companies, their solutions, to speed-up the services, to improve the staff’s communication and language skills, to strengthen the coordination of activities of the state-owned entities operating at international custom posts, and on eliminating the duplications of activities without degrading the auditory values.
It is decided that, as a result of the meeting, the auditory duplications will be eliminated, costumers’ assessments for the communication skills of service staff and will be developed, and overall specialized trainings will be held for the personnel.

New Year’s Tree to Light
Ulaanbaatar, December 12 (MONTSAME) In accordance with the Mayor’s direction, a working group for anticipation and celebration of new year is established and New Year Tree is erected every year. Tree lighting ceremony will be held on December 15 at the Chingis Square.
A four-meter tall stage will be installed next to the tree, and the building around the square will turn on their new year’s lightings. Present at the ceremony will be the city administrator and citizens’ representatives.

Ice Rink to Open Next Week
Ulaanbaatar, December 12 (MONTSAME) An ice rink will be opened at Chingis Square on December 16. Its placing began on Tuesday in accordance with the city administration’s decision about providing young people with possibility to enjoy winter sports activities.  
A 1250 square meter ice rink is being placed at the front of the square, with a changing room and full lighting. “Ulaanbaatar Incorporation” public service company will be in charge of the operation.

Young Diplomats Club in Operation
Ulaanbaatar, December 12 (MONTSAME) Such a club has been established at the initiative of the young personnel of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. An opening ceremony was held at the ministry to mark the start of the activities on December 11.
The Young Diplomats Club aims at developing the skills of young cadres in the diplomatic services, keep the succession of previous generations, improving social ambitions of young diplomats, constant interaction with the diplomatic missions in Ulaanbaatar, and facilitating an environment for collaborative development. A total of 84 members, 11 of which are included in the Adjustment Council, and a head and vice-head has been selected to the Club.
The Club adopted its rules and structure on a meeting of October 31.

Reception runs for anniversaries of two countries
Ulaanbaatar, December 12 (MONTSAME) The Embassy of Mongolia in Poland Wednesday held a reception dedicated to the 103rd anniversary of the National Freedom and Independence and the 25th anniversary of the Democratic Revolution of Mongolia.
The event attracted some 160 people including Mr Jerzy Wenderlich, a Deputy Marshal of the Polish Sejm (parliament); members of parliament, the government and other officials.
The Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Mongolia to the Republic of Poland Mr A.Ganbaatar opened the reception, saying that Mongolia restored its independence in December of 1911, and started the Democratic Revolution in the same month of 1989. He underlined a present situation of Mongolia as well as an intensive development of the bilateral relations.
The same day, a photo exhibition was mounted, showing the actions of the independence and revolution.

Workshop session runs on national implementation of Biological Weapons Convention
Ulaanbaatar, December 12 (MONTSAME) The Fifth session of the workshop was held on December 11 and 12 in Ulaanbaatar by the Department for International Organizations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs together with the Biological Weapons Convention Implementation Support Unit (ISU) located in Geneva.
The United Nations aids the implementation of this convention in Mongolia with professional and expertise assistances and training of cadres.
This session discussed managing of the bio-hazardous products handling with a highlight on Moldova’s practices, and pursuing of the international standards in Mongolia.   
Previous sessions had run in April, September, October and November.
Mongolia joined the Convention in 1972, and is obligated to adopt and implement laws and regulations in accordance with the concept of the Convention.

Parliamentarians meet Asian Champion
Ulaanbaatar, December 12 (MONTSAME) The Minister of Population Development and Social Welfare S.Erdene MP; and S.Odontuya MP Friday received G.Oyun, a champion of the 2014 Asian Para Games.
Represented Mongolia, G.Oyun won a gold medal in the judo team event of the 2014 Asian Para Games took place on October 18-24 in Incheon, South Korea. For her brilliant success, the MPs granted to her a certificate and cash prize.
Present at the reception were D.Orosoo, the governor of Bayangol district; Ts.Gombosuren, head of the social welfare and service section of the district; and other officials.

Ulaanbaatar to cooperate with UMB
Ulaanbaatar, December 12 (MONTSAME) The Administration of Ulaanbaatar city and the Union of Mongolian Banks (UMB) will cooperate in increasing benefits of the financial management within the economic sector.
A cooperation memorandum on it was signed Friday by S.Ochirbat, a Deputy Mayor of the capital city for urban development and investment affairs; and M.Bold, the UMB president.
In accordance with the document, the sides will create the most effective and proper system for providing people with apartments, supporting small- and middle-sized productions and the state-private sector partnership. Moreover, measures will be taken in several phases to issue guarantee for those who are involved in mortgage loans and to render effective and adequate services to them with the programme on re-planning ger areas.

Stock Exchange news for December 12
Ulaanbaatar, December 12 (MONTSAME) At the Stock Exchange trades on Friday, a total of 5,089 units of 13 JSCs were traded costing MNT seven million 331 thousand and 250.00.
"Genco tour bureau” /2,132 units/, “Hurd” /1,224 units/, “APU” /793 units/, “Khokh gan” /330 units/ and "Remikon” /200 units/ were the most actively traded in terms of trading volume, in terms of trading value were "APU” (MNT three million 011 thousand and 602), "Hurd” (MNT one million 713 thousand and 600), “Gobi” (MNT 941 thousand), “Material impex” (MNT 610 thousand and 500) and "Tavantolgoi” (MNT 594 thousand and 450).
The total market capitalization was set at MNT one trillion 460 billion 764 million 738 thousand and 342. The Index of Top-20 JSCs was 15,019.11, decreasing 30.03 units or 0.20% against the previous day.

Stock exchange weekly
Ulaanbaatar, December 12 (MONTSAME) Five stock trades were held at Mongolia's Stock Exchange December 8-12 of 2014. In overall, 40 thousand and 406 shares were sold of 31 joint-stock companies totalling MNT 254 million 649 thousand and 875.00.
"Hai Bi Oil” /21 thousand and 602 units/, "Merex” /2,775 units/, "Khokh gan” /2,745 units/, "Ninse HK” /2,615 units/ and "Genco tour bureau” /2,162 units/ were the most actively traded in terms of trading volume, in terms of trading value--"Hai Bi Oil” (MNT 12 million 839 thousand and 240), "Tav” (MNT eight million and 020 thousand), "APU” /MNT six million 737 thousand and 461/, "Bayangol hotel” /MNT five million and 858 thousand/ and "Gobi” (MNT three million 387 thousand and 355).

Running the Deputy Minister marathon
December 14 (UB Post) Over 40 party candidates are in a race for seven deputy minister positions in PM Ch.Saikhanbileg’s new government.
According to the coalition government agreement, the Democratic Party was allotted five deputy minister seats, the Mongolian People’s Party with seven seats, Justice Coalition (established by the Mongolian National Democratic Party and Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party) with three seats, and the Civil Will Green Party will have one deputy minister seat.
Some candidates began promoting themselves before Parliament had approved ministers. This annoyed party leaders and instead of attracting party support, it has resulted in displeasure.
The MPP proposed that the DP abstain from appointing deputy ministers from parties different from their minister, but the idea was rejected. This clearly shows that a DP minister could end up getting a deputy minister from the MPP, and an MPP minister could get a MPRP deputy minister, and so on.
The most ambitious competitors seem to be coming from the MPP, and there seems to be a focus on supporting young men and women for candidates. Still, there is a group in government that thinks it’s too early to step aside for young people. If party leaders are able to bring up young candidates, competition will become fierce between former MP J.Sukhbaatar, former CEO of the Mongolian Stock Exchange Kh.Altai, former Deputy Director of Erdenes Mongol LLC G.Temuulen, Leader of the Capital City MPP Committee Ts.Sandui, and Head of the Reform Committee of the MPP T.Ayursaikhan.
Potential female candidates are former Deputy Minister of Education, Culture and Science and President of Bishrelt Group B.Undarmaa, former Deputy Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy B.Garamjav, MP B.Narankhuu’s sister B.Saranchimeg, Deputy Director of the National Chamber of Commerce and Industry of MPP M.Oyunchimeg, MPP Secretary General Kh.Bulgantuya, and Chairwoman of the Social Democracy – Mongolian Women’s Association Ts.Tsogzolmaa.
In the case of J.Sukhbaatar, politicians saw him as a strong candidate for MPP Secretary General last year, but he was unsuccessful. In the end, he wrote a strong comment on Twitter, saying that the party will not be reformed as long as T.Badamjunai is in the MPP and referred to him as “briber”. It’s possible the MPP will nominate J.Sukhbaatar as candidate for Deputy Minister of Justice.
Sources report that the son of former Director General of Erdenet Mining Corporation Ch.Ganzorig, G.Temuulen, is being considered for the Deputy Minister of Mining position. The strongest candidate for this position was actually Deputy Minister of Mining O.Erdenebulgan, but things changed as candidates were to be reshuffled from different parties. Former Deputy Minister for Mineral Resources and Energy B.Garamjav, current director of Mon Polimet Group, has also been nominated for this position.
Former Deputy Minister of Education, Culture and Science B.Undarmaa will probably keep her position, as politicians claim that a new minister would lose too much time while reviewing and getting to know their new responsibilities. It seems there are many competitors for this position, but so far, it’s unclear exactly who is interested.
According to rumors, Chairman of the MPP M.Enkhbold wants to appoint one of his people, Chairwoman of Social Democracy – Mongolian Women’s Association Ts.Tsogzolmaa, to one of the seven positions and form a strong faction in the city.
The selection for each post will be finalized at the meeting of the MPP Board of Directors and MPP groups in the parliament.

New Minister of Finance submits draft amendments to 2015 state budget
December 14 (UB Post) On December 11, MP and Minister of Finance J.Erdenbat submitted draft amendments to the law on the 2015 state budget, the law on the 2015 budget for the social insurance fund, and the law on 2015 human development fund to Deputy Chairman of Parliament R.Gonchigdorj.
The draft was revised based on provision 34.1.4 of the law on budget, which states “a draft amendment should be processed when regulating the state budget”.
J.Erdenebat introduced that the expenditure of the social insurance fund increased by 21 billion MNT, but the operating costs were reduced by 0.1 billion MNT.
The following amendments are reflected in the draft regarding the human development fund: the Prime Minister of Mongolia will serve as budget portfolio manager of the dividend accumulation funds, and the debt service payments of the human development fund will be increased by seven million MNT.
The draft also includes increasing the approval of the payment of 2012′s released bonds by 21 million MNT, increasing the human development fund’s prepayment by 81 million MNT, and releasing bonds of 320 million MNT. spoke with Chairman of the Standing Committee on Budget Ts.Davaasuren regarding the draft amendments to the 2015 state budget.
The 2015 state budget was criticized for being inefficient. How is efficiency reflected in the amendments?
The amendments don’t really focus on efficiency. Around 900 positions were cut when approving the 2015 state budget and over 700 million MNT was saved. The changes made made in accordance with the new government’s structure.
During yesterday’s [December 11] cabinet meeting there was talk of 51 billion MNT being saved?
It includes various cuts. I personally don’t agree with some of them. For example, reducing the leather production bonuses by 16 billion MNT is wrong. If we want to solve UB’s population issues and air pollution, then we need to encourage citizens to leave UB and live in the countryside. There aren’t any bonuses in the countryside, so people are heading to the capital.
The new government’s structure was approved, do you need to amend the state budget within 2014?
Yes, it’s necessary. When approving the 2015 state budget, three ministries were eliminated. The new ministries have to have budgets to begin the upcoming year, so the amendments need to be approved within December 2014.
The number of ministries has increased. How are financial resources being estimated?
The amendment includes only a few cuts and additions. The state budget is not finalized yet, so it’s too early to talk about financial resources.

Traffic restriction changes under review today
December 14 (UB Post) The Ulaanbaatar Administration Board is reviewing possible changes to traffic restrictions today during its regular meeting.
Some media outlets and social media have been reporting that traffic restrictions in Ulaanbaatar were halted last Thursday, as the extension of the restricted driving program had reportedly come to its end.
Ulaanbaatar City Mayor’s Office’s official B.Tuvshintugs denied the public speculation and confirmed that traffic restrictions remain in place.
“There is no deadline for the traffic restriction. Drivers will still be prevented from participating in the city’s vehicle traffic once a week in the future. What we talked about changing was reducing the active hours of restriction, following the suggestions of residents, as the winter has come.”
He added, “The Ulaanbaatar Metropolitan Police Department requested applying the restriction from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. on workdays, instead of the 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. schedule, as part of the public’s request. We will discuss whether to approve the request on Monday at a meeting of the Ulaanbaatar Administration Board.”

Tax exemptions considered for imports for projects financed by Austrian loans
December 14 (UB Post) At the Cabinet meeting held on December 10, the government resolved to submit a draft law for Parliamentary discussion to exempt imports of equipment, facilities and supplies for projects being implemented through a soft loan from the Austrian government from Mongolian customs tax.
The governments of Mongolia and Austria established a financial cooperation agreement to implement several projects and programs, on November 28, 2011. Under the agreement, the Austrian government agreed to grant a 40 million EUR soft loan to cooperatively implement several large scale projects in infrastructure, education, healthcare, and social protection.
The agreement includes a clause to exempt the equipment, facilities and supplies to be imported within the scope of the projects from Mongolian customs tax.
The agreement also calls for financing a facilities and equipment modernization program for large state-owned hospitals, the introduction of new technology to upgrade Ulaanbaatar’s water and sewer pipes without digging trenches, and a project to improve the capacity of fire fighting facilities and the equipment of emergency management agencies.
Also resolved at the Cabinet meeting was the assignment of Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Mongolia to Austria G.Batjargal to sign an export credit agreement for the projects to be implemented in the scope of the financial cooperation agreement.
Providing the large state-owned hospitals, which have not undergone substantial modernization in recent years, with new facilities and diagnostic equipment is expected to allow the hospitals to carry out cancer radiation therapy, organ transplantation and laparoscopic surgeries, the diagnosis and treatment of cardiac catheters, and hemodialysis treatment conforming to international standards.

Ts.Oyungerel: Regardless of the government, culture, sports and tourism issues should never be neglected or forgotten
December 14 (UB Post) Mongolia’s new ministers were appointed on December 10. The former Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (MCST), established during the Reform Government, has now been split and integrated into other ministries at the orders of the new Prime Minister Ch.Saikhanbileg.
Former Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism and MP Ts.Oyungerel gave an interview regarding the appointment of new ministers.
You’ve been managing the MCST for over two years. Unfortunately, the government was reformed and the ministry has been shut down. Can you comment on this?
Last Tuesday morning, I gathered all staff at the ministry and passed my work to the three new ministers.  First, Minister D.Oyunkhorol came. We weren’t able to present all the works completed in the past but we separately introduced works that have started and all necessary works that need to be continued. Particularly, draft laws about tourism, casino, and carousel; development plan for a national tourism program; and communication, paperwork, payments, and major decisions made in the past two years within the scope of Mongolia participating in the world’s largest trade show for the travel industry, the ITB Berlin 2015. I delivered data about a website for promoting Mongolia to international tourists, and documents as well as yearly travel calendars for promoting Mongolia to foreign markets.
The Calendar for 2015 has to be developed in December. I advised that it’s more effective if the management for tourist attractions and sites are consistent to environmental policies. Like so, I handed active works, investments, regulations, and documents prepared for national and governmental programs.
Afterwards, I introduced previous and currently active as well as planned works for the sports sector to Minister of Health G.Shiilegdamba. I emphasized that the sports sector should be focused on supporting and encouraging events and measures, rather than jotting down highlights of the sports sector on paper. As it’s effective to select sport teams and athletes and support together with [sports] associations, I mainly discussed about how to work professionally. I’ve also briefed about pending works for previous competitions for the Olympics, and the process for pursuing awaiting investments for sports venues and documents for draft laws for sports sector.
I requested all the ministers to pay special attention to the low salary and neglected social issues of our sector.
How confident are you about the new minister not neglecting the sports sector?
Minister G.Shiilegdamba seemed to be confident that the attention on sports sector will not be reduced. I requested the new minister to keep the current sports team as they have been selected from a completely honest and fair selection process, without influences from some party or acquaintances. Workload for the Ministry of Health will increase immensely. Adding sports sector while the ministry is barely coping with the current work will escalate workload. Government work will progress smoothly if a professional team works and the sector isn’t pushed out of focus. I’m concerned about the high attention previously put on the sports sector would become weaker.
Will former employees who were under your management keep their position?
I introduced the staff from each sector to the ministers and handed their materials. All three ministers informed that they would review the structures of their newly constructed ministries. They said that job positions within the structure will be finalized after discussing with the Ministry of Finance and the government. Currently, it’s unclear where employees at out ministry will be reassigned. I’m expecting them to work at ministries of their respective sector.
The issue to liquidating the MCST has been raised since the former PM N.Altankhuyag suggested a structural change but was dismissed. Isn’t it regrettable that the ministry has been shut down in the end?
Indeed, it’s regrettable. All three sectors combined together to promote Mongolia and increase awareness when they were under the same roof. It’s unfortunate that this process will be split to different routes. Still, the government resolution must be fulfilled. We’re not doing our personal work. In a democratic government, works must be changed according to decisions to reform the government.
No matter how the government functions, cultural, sports and tourism issues shouldn’t be neglected or forgotten. I’m satisfied that the three ministers reviewed former works for each sector, perceived the amount of time and effort spent on them with their own eyes.
The MPP collateralized the V.I.Lenin Museum in Mongolia. Has this issue been resolved?
The V.I.Lenin Museum became a state-owned property, was registered in the real estate registration, and received its land certificate. It has undeniably become a state property. Now, officials are discussing if a state property can be used as collateral for an individual’s loan. We appealed to the court that this sort of act shouldn’t be permitted. This work was passed onto the next minister. It’s included in the 41 work reports I handed in.
Several members of the MPP claimed the MCST was useless and should be shut down. Could this be a revenge for declaring the V.I.Lenin Museum, previously owned by the MPP, as a state property?
I don’t wish to comment on this. I completed a work of the government. I registered a state property as the state’s because the state didn’t privatize, trade, or gift it. I wouldn’t have appealed if it had been privatized. At the time, MPs, employees of the National Circus and local residents were requesting me to return the National Circus to the state. I was solid on the fact that the state shouldn’t reclaim a property that’s been privatized. The V.I.Lenin Museum was a state property and I worked to register it to its rightful owner [the state]. Nobody should be accounting on this. Since the process was conducted transparently before everyone, I guess you can express your disapproval.
You were able to discover the trade network that was illegally smuggling cultural heritages to foreign countries. It must have been difficult to expose this trade secretly conducted for many years, right?
As if they had known the MCST would get shut down, three large science magazines of the world praised our ministry in their magazine, just recently. The articles mentioned that Mongolia was taking courageous steps in stopping illegal trade network for cultural heritages. They had published an article with my picture with a heading saying, “The Woman Who Saved Mongolia’s Dinosaurs”. This shows that Mongolia has become a strong country that can protect, stop and reclaim its cultural heritages from illegal trade networks. The ministry worked with a specific policy for this issue. In other words, we worked under the policy to find the final purchaser and attack. Or else, it would’ve been impossible to expose a network with so many trade procedures in just two years. Mongolia has been stopping illegal trades by cooperating with the Federal Law Enforcement in the U.S. to discover the final network that displays cultural heritages.
A French company that couldn’t be caught in the French market was exposed while trading Mongolian dinosaur fossil in an American market. That French company returned the Mongolian cultural heritages they had through their embassy. The Mongolian Embassy in France will receive dinosaur fossils to return to Mongolia and Minister L.Gantumur will bring it to Mongolia.
It’s extremely difficult to find the head of a network based in the European market. As it requires considerable amount of legal costs, we have to sign many agreements and bring back smuggled relics via donations through museums. We were able to negotiate this sort of agreement with a museum in Berlin. This agreement will be signed under the title of the new ministry. I believe that when this sort of signal is received, market prices will drop, interests for purchasing will lessen, and illegal trade will stop.
People are opposing “Mongol Content” included in the draft law on culture, which hopes to increase Mongolian content in local media, as an attempt to silence private television broadcasts. Can you comment on this?
This draft law was submitted last June. The time to discuss this issue happened to be arranged when the ministry was shut down. I was strongly demanded to submit this draft law since my appointment as the minister in 2012. I’ve even been invited for an interview on a national television broadcast in 2012 to talk about what should be done to [South] Korean films and foreign contents. I was invited after the initiative to increase Mongolian content transmitted through public media. Basically, the demand for this draft law lasted for many months. We spent considerable time on developing this draft law to ensure adequate calculation and research, and submitted it last summer.
I’m not disappointed that the time for its discussion was arranged like this. It will not affect the television sector negatively. The draft law on culture only requests to broadcast Mongolian films on specific time.
Even though you’ve been dismissed, will you be initiating, proposing and supporting draft laws for arts and culture as a MP?
Ministers of Culture do give up their posts but they still work for the culture. Even now, former Minister of Education, Culture and Science Yo.Otgonbayar is working as the main support for draft laws on cultural heritages and library. Following his example, I will support the three ministers when an issue about culture, sports and tourism is raised in the future. I will work just like the previous statesmen. I’d like to wish good luck to the three ministers who received my work. 

Kh.Enkh-Amar receives lifetime ban from amateur boxing
December 14 (UB Post) The professional board of the Mongolian Olympic Boxing Federation’s (MOBF) meeting ended with several striking decisions last week.
Three members of the Women’s National Boxing Team, M.Nandin-Erdene, E.Uyanga and O.Suvd-Erdene, were temporarily dismissed from the team, following their disrespect and mistreatment of their coach B.Enkhtaivan. The National Women’s Team is now dismantled as the team was comprised of the three. They will not be able to compete in local and international tournaments through the state budget until they recover their membership.
The MOBF officials emphasized that the athletes should show more respect and follow the lead of their coach under any circumstances. Sources reported to that coach B.Enkhtaivan might have been mistreating the boxers.
The boxers expressed their will to work with their previous coach L.Enkhbaatar who is currently working at Shiren Beelii Boxing Club.
E.Uyanga won a gold medal in the 64 kg division at the 2012 Asian Women’s Boxing Championship, hosted in Ulaanbaatar. M.Nandintsetseg won a silver in the women’s 51 kg at the Incheon Asian Games 2014.
O.Suvd-Erdene and M.Nandintsetseg headed to Orkhon Province on Wednesday to meet Khangarid Club’s administrators, seeking to fight for the club according to sources close to the issue.
The two boxers used to fight in the club under their first coach S.Battulga.
News that left many speculations was about amateur boxer Kh.Enkh-Amar. The board gave the boxer a lifetime ban from fighting in amateur boxing after discovering that he was fighting in lower age categories at competitions.
It was found that his real name is Kh.Enkhdelger and he had been using the name of his younger brother, Kh.Enkh-Amar, who is three years younger than him, for “religious purpose” according to the boxer.
Kh.Enkhdelger is an International Master of Sport and a member of the Mongolian National Amateur Boxing Team.
The board also imposed a two-year ban from attending tournaments organized by the MOBF to Kh.Enkhdelger’s coach A.Gantulga of Aldar Sports Committee.
Kh.Enkhdelger is 22-years-old and brought much joy to Mongolian fans last year by winning a gold medal at the 2013 Summer Universiade in Kazan, Russia. But his identity has left him without a chance to compete in amateur boxing again.
The MOBF reported that Kh.Enkhdelger was proposed to fight as a professional boxer. If Kh.Enkhdelger agrees, the MOBF said it will assist him in entering the professional boxing arena.
The following are brief interviews about the ban and dismissals with related officials.
Secretary General of the MOBF P.Serdamba: A.Gantulga coach didn’t know about Kh.Enkhdelger’s identity
Can you give more details about the decisions of the MOBF?
Coach B.Enkhtaivan reported about how inappropriate the attitude of the female boxers at the last amateur championship was. They didn’t listen to the coach’s advices and had a poor training despite the coach’s guidance. Athletes must have very strict personal disciplines and be under tight training. Every generation of Mongolian athletes followed this path and succeeded in sports thanks to their coaches. The dismissed female boxers showed this inappropriate behaviour several times and that is why we temporarily halted their membership.
What do you mean temporarily?
If they diligently train and show appropriate attitude, the MOBF’s professional board has no objection to reconsidering their membership. For now, they are able to attend local and international competitions through their own means.
What about Kh.Enkhdelger and his coach A.Gantulga? When did the MOBF find out about the boxer’s age?
Kh.Enkhdelger came to me last August and said, “I suffered from epilepsy as a kid. My parents visited a monk who said they should change my name and switch our residing place. We moved to Ulaanbaatar and I lived with the name of my younger brother ever since.” However, the MOBF see it as intentional fraud. But he can continue his career in professional boxing.
How unfair it is for children to compete against another one who is three years older than they are in sports? Does the age difference influence results?
The results will be very unfair of course. A 15-year-old can beat a 12-year-old opponent easily in any case. Kh.Enkhdelger hid his age and competed in tournaments where he fought against boxers three years younger than him. This is unforgivable in the sports world.
People see coach A.Gantulga as the next and rightful laureate of the State Honor. Will this case affect his reputation or State Honor nomination?
He fully deserves the State Honor as his contributions to Mongolian sports is impeccable. He coached World Champion N.Tugstsogt and many other renowned boxers. Kh.Enkhdelger’s case should not affect any awards planned for him. 
Coach A.Gantulga: We pleaded our guilt
Did you find out why Kh.Enkhdelger changed his name?
His father recently told me that Kh.Enkhdelger immediately recovered [from illness] after changing his name with his brother. I accepted him under my training and he showed success. But I am still wondering why he hasn’t told me anything about it before.
Does he suffer from epilepsy now?
He has fully recovered. Our boxers recently had medical examinations at the State Clinical Hospital No.2 and his results showed no illnesses. I believe it is thanks to sports.
Things would have been much less complicated if he told you about his name when he first started boxing. What do you think?
If he just said so we wouldn’t have faced these penalties today. I would’ve helped him regain his original name and documents but I had no idea.
When did you find out about his name?
I first found out about his identity in August this year when he told the story to Secretary General P.Serdamba. I was shocked to hear it. People might be thinking that I’m lying but it makes no difference now as it’s all done. I don’t want to blame anyone as I can’t help my trainee get back on the boxing ring.

UBR shackling the drive for development
December 14 (UB Post) Rail transport is a driving force for the socio-economic development of any country. It used to be the case in Mongolia. The beginning of Mongolia’s industrial development traces back to 1938, when coal was first transported to our first-ever power plant on a 42 km, narrow gauge railway from Nalaikh to Ulaanbaatar.
In 1955, the northern border of Mongolia was connected to the southern border with a 1,115 km railway. In order to make the connection, a total of 508 bridges, 35 relay stations, five depots, and a central station in Ulaanbaatar, along with many villages that had residential neighborhoods, hospitals, schools, cafeterias, and stores. A 200 km railway to the Salkhit-Erdenet copper-molybdenum mine was completed in 1973. This was all built by Joint Stock Company Ulaanbaatar Railways (UBR), which was jointly founded by the Mongolian and Russian governments in 1949.
Occupying a significant area within Ulaanbaatar, today UBR has a total of 1,815 km of railway, 17,000 employees, and is responsible for 60 percent of all nationwide freight turnover, as well as 50 percent of all rail passenger traffic. However, it has become a “kingdom” inside a nation by being too large, inefficient, unclear, and obstructing city traffic. There is a Mongolian saying that says “The time is never always the same, just like an iris does not always look blue”, which means that times change.
Not able to meet the needs of Mongolia’s rapid development and lacking proper management and technology, UBR has spent 20 years (since the 1990s) conflicting with the normal ways of doing things in a market economy, and has turned into a shackle that impedes economic development today. If UBR had acted sensibly and adapted to the changing needs of a market economy, Mongolia’s total freight turnover and passenger traffic would have grown significantly. UBR resembles a dog sitting on a bundle of hay, not eating the grass while refusing to share it with others. The main reason why UBR has become a bottleneck, hindering development, is that they have a natural tendency towards monopoly and are fully separated from the market economy because of the bilateral agreement between the two countries.
UBR is the only economic entity that does not pay taxes while operating on Mongolian soil. Their operations are governed by an outdated agreement established by the two governments, one that has already completed its historical purpose. UBR is not compliant with Mongolian laws and the constitution regarding companies, registration, fair competition, and land.
Other countries have already adapted to international standards and norms. For example, Russia has been implementing the European Union directive 91/440, and changed their rail infrastructure to improve efficiency by separating the basic structure from the rail operator.
Having the mindset of Erdenet, another joint company, Mongolia has lost 25 years talking about how to increase its UBR ownership from 50 percent to 51 percent, and has not taken it up with Russia.
Mongolian political parties that acquire ruling power one by one, in turn, benefit from this economic entity being inefficient and barely coping with social pressures. It is almost as if the government wants to keep state properties as they are, so that they can appoint their own people in various positions, be in charge of management, keep ownership unclear, and establish goods and services contracts with their own companies. The countless meetings they have had around UBR have wasted an entire era talking about seats and positions rather than tackling the main problem and changing the JSC agreement.
Mongolia’s entire rail and road networks should be owned by the government, but managed and operated by private entities or public shareholding companies. Such ownership allows for competition and efficiency. Even if the infrastructure, such as roads, water supply, or power plants, were established jointly with another country, it must not be owned by another government. The infrastructure can only be used for a certain amount of time, but it should not belong to a foreign country.
Mongolia will not be able to achieve development without reforming UBR by implementing international norms. It is time for us to take advantage of our geographical location and become the next Panama Canal and play an essential role in international rail networks. A magisterial route connecting China and Southeast Asia (two of the biggest players in the global economy) with Western Europe goes through our territory. This route offers rail transport that is cheaper and twice as fast as sea transport. One assessment proved that the Steppe Road, Mongolia’s 2,200 km wide corridor, is twice as cheap as building railway, roads, natural gas pipelines, and power lines over the Altai and Khyangan mountains going around Mongolia.
Mongolia has started pursuing a policy to handle transshipment services between two different gauge railways by connecting to our two neighbors with a gauge difference of 85 mm. A third country managing these logistics is not only efficient for Russia and China, but also the international market. In order to provide such a service, there is a need to build a new railway connecting Zamiin-Uud and Altanbulag. The numerous existing loops in railway routes go through the capital city, where more than half of our population is concentrated, while there are unclear issues of infrastructure ownership. They all point to the need to find a brand new solution.
The existing railway has the capacity for transporting freight weighing 2,000 tons at a speed of 30 to 40 km per hour. It can transport a total of 20 million tons a year. If the planned 400 million USD are raised, the capacity can be improved by 75 percent, which will take the capacity to 35 million tons a year. However, it will still prove to be insufficient in five years’ time, when the demand will reach 100 million tons. To fully meet this demand, a feasibility study was developed seven years ago to build a 1,085 km railway that goes around downtown UB to the south of Bogd Mountain at a speed of 120 km per hour, and with the capacity to transport 6,000 to 10,000 tons of freight. On top of that, there is a need to do the necessary assessments for building a terminal where freight can be transshipped in Tuv aimag. The new railway transit project ought to start immediately.
Parliament has recently issued a decision on a new railway route from Erdenet to Kyzyl, going through the Ovoot, Ovoot-Arts suuri, and Tsagaan Tolgoi ports. This decision should be implemented soon and the concession process must be sped up.
As Mongolia is having political and economic dialogues with its two neighbors and discussing joint mega projects, it is a favorable time for our government to take the initiative with aligned policies and act with speed to continue the implementation of new railway projects. Railway has to be the driving force behind Mongolia’s rapid development.
Trans. by B.AMAR

A careful look at adoption in Mongolia
December 14 (UB Post) A child brings happiness and brightness to any home. Since ancient times, Mongolians have valued children and have spent very precious time raising and educating them. But nowadays, we are unaware of how to treat them. Among children’s biggest difficulties, I am happy to be talking about the challenges of adoption, because this issue only receives a small amount of the public’s attention, and also because I am a child of adoption.
According to the National Statistical Office of Mongolia, over 2,500 children were adopted by local families and brought them happiness. Looking at more comprehensive statistics, approximately 10,300 children were adopted from 2009 to 2013, out which 113 were adopted to foreign families.
Organizations working for children in Mongolia attempt to arrange placement with Mongolian families rather than foreign families in order to keep children happy in their homeland. If it is impossible to place children with local families, they are considered for adoption by foreign families. But, this is easier said than done.
Adoption is an issue that we have to consider carefully. Living in an orphanage at an age when it is crucial for a child to receive their family’s love is a very delicate thing. Orphanage workers prefer placing children with someone who will love them. A child’s whole life and destiny can depend on a successful adoption.
There are so many reasons to adopt children. Sadly, some people look to make money off of children, to have many children to retire earlier (and receive state bonuses), to receive the “Famous Mother” medal, and so on.
It is critical to complete the correct documents and address the District Governor’s Office when filing for adoption. Many types of investigations and research have to be conducted to adopt a child.
Head of the Child Protection and Service Department of the National Center for Children B.Javzankhuu said, “Currently, the government solves adoption issues according to its system. It is just a simple question of how to compose documents and how to resolve placement.”
Mongolian organizations need to pay attention to this simple structure, because changing a child’s living environment affects a child’s entire life. This is a really delicate issue of human rights. A very flexible and broad range of research has to be done. For example, very specific research on what age is most suitable for adoption, or at what age a child is best able to adapt to a new environment.
There are many issues related to adoption. For example, what if adopted parents get divorced? Issues like this always can’t always be foreseen, but this research has not been conducted in Mongolia. Who will supervise the child after adopted parents get divorced?
Supervision includes paying attention to adopted children even after their adoption is finalized. There was one horrible case of a family who locked away their adopted children in a storehouse for many years. This was only one case that was uncovered, who knows if other such terrible things are happening without being noticed.
There are also rumors that people adopt children to do their housework. Simply put, they are just enslaving and exploiting children
The Child and Family Development Centers of 21 provinces and social workers from some soums conducted interesting surveys on the issue of adoption around the world. As a part of these surveys, it was discovered that children’s rights organizations do not participate in the process of adoption.
People seek children to adopt on their own and there is no nationwide registration system of children eligible for adoption in Mongolia. Because of this incomplete system, people rely on what they hear and mostly go to well-known orphanages. Adoption has to be carried out with the participation of law enforcement and legal organizations.
How to live happily, how to study successfully, and to how to create good things all depend on a child’s behavior. They do not grow up wanting to steal or do bad deeds. What leads some orphaned children to this life?
We have seen and heard very heart breaking news around us. Not long ago one new mother left her baby outside and hoped that someone would take care of her child, but her baby could not survive the cold weather and died. Who is to blame for this? Is a new mother or father who did not plan their family the only ones to blame?
We don’t know how many children are delivered to orphanages and suffer because of uneducated and irresponsible parents. On the other hand, maybe children who grow up in an orphanage are luckier than children who grow up begging for money outside or those who start working at an early age.
Children who live with their parents cannot know what emotional difficulties orphans face even after being adopted. Also, we don’t know how many orphaned children or children living on the streets are kidnapped and trafficked.
If we don’t take this issue seriously, what future will our children be living for?
Materials required for adopting a child 
For adoptive parents:
•   Notarized application
•   Governor’s Office statement
•   Police statement
•   Copy of marriage certificate
•   Copy of citizenship identification
•   Health certification  (tuberculosis, AIDS, psychological examination)
For adoptees:
•   Birth certificate
•   Application of children’s parents
•   Notarized copy of application of children’s parents
•   Health certification
All involved parties must be present to address the Governor’s Office. Once a child reaches age seven, parents who are adopting a child must receive the child’s permission for adoption.
Source: Unuudur

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