Sunday, December 21, 2014

Mongolia Brief December 16, 2014

"Reducing Hep-C in Mongolia" Program Draft Submitted
By B. Amarsaikhan
Ulaanbaatar, December 16 (MONTSAME) Health and sports Minister G.Shiilegdamba received on December 16 a draft of the "National program on reducing incidence of hepatitis C in Mongolia" from his Vice J.Amarsanaa. 

The program, initiated by the latter, was considered on December 5 by 32 professionals from the National Center for Oncology, the National Center for Infectious Diseases, the National University of Medical Science, the Academy of Sciences, the Mongolian Academy of Medical Science, the Health Department of Ulaanbaatar, the Institute of Medical Science, the First and Second state clinics, “Intermed” and “Grandmed” hospitals.
Mr Amarsanaa said that 15 percent of Mongolia’s population is suffering from Hep-C infection, a main cause of liver cancer and hardening. "Hepatic diseases claim 2,400-2,700 lives in Mongolia every year   and have become a second from the top cause of deaths. Trials and researches to invent medicines to cure Hep-C have been running since 2000, and the medicines and drugs were introduced in treatments in 2010. Mongolia leads the global chart by its liver cancer and Hepatitis incidences,” said the Vice Minister stressing that this program's implementation is urgent. 

Nat’l Consumer Price Index Rises
By B. Khuder
Ulaanbaatar, December 16 (MONTSAME) The national consumer price index rose by 0.7% in November 2014 by 10.1% against the previous month, and by 11.5% over the same period of the previous year.
The increase of 0.7% was mainly due to increases of 2.1% in housing, water, electricity and fuels, and 1.4% in clothing, footwear and cloth.

Bank of Mongolia Reports
By B. Khuder
Ulaanbaatar, December 16 (MONTSAME) The Bank of Mongolia reports that money supply (broad money or M2) reached MNT 9.9 trillion at the end of this November, going down by 53.1 billion or 0.5% against the previous month, and increasing by 0.8 trillion or 9.1% against 2013.
At the end of November 2014, a currency issued in circulation reached MNT 769.0 billion, declining 40.7 billion or 5.0% against the previous month, and increasing by MNT 34.9 billion or 4.3% against the previous year.
Loans outstanding amounted to MNT 12.6 trillion at the end of November, decreasing by 185.1 billion or 1.4% against the previous month, and going up by 1.8 trillion or 16.9% against the previous year.
Principals in arrears reached MNT 444.7 billion at the end of this November, declining MNT 5.9 billion or 1.3% against previous month, and going up by 283.6 billion or 2.8 times compared with same period of 2012.
The non-performing loans over the bank system reached MNT 620.0 billion, increasing 13.7 billion or 2.3% against the previous month, and increasing 47.5 billion or 8.3% against the previous year.
44.4 million units of shares were traded valued at MNT 168.3 billion in the stock market. The securities trading declined by 153.0 billion or 47.6%, the shares decreased by 20.4 million shares or 31.5% against the previous year. 

New Year's tree shines bright in Chinggis Square
December 16 ( The city's New Year's tree was lit in a ceremony on Monday attended by Ulaanbaatar city authorities and residents.
Chairman of the Capital City Citizens Representatives' Khural (City Council) D.Battulga, General Manager of Ulaanbaatar B.Badral, and State Merit Athlete and Labor Hero E.Badar-Uugan were present to light the New Year's Tree.
Chairman D.Battulga addressed the crowd, stating, “In 2014, numerous projects were launched in Ulaanbaatar. There is a tradition of lighting the New Year's tree at the central square with residents in metropolitan cities. This is the third year that we have lit the New Year's tree at Chinggis Khaan Square. I wish you all the best in the upcoming year 2015.” Residents of Ulaanbaatar and visitors to the square enjoyed a musical and performance on Monday night, celebrating the New Year's tree lighting.

Traffic restriction hours shortened
December 16 ( The Ulaanbaatar Citizens Representative's Khural issued a decision to cut the hours of traffic restriction on city roads, on Monday, December 15th.
Under the City Council measure, effective since August 2013, vehicles were restricted from participating in city traffic between 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. based on their vehicle license plate numbers. But the traffic restriction hours have now been changed, as citizens suggested shortening the hours of traffic restrictions.
Traffic restrictions will now be in effect from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on weekdays. The change will be effective starting today, December 16th.

New parking rules at the Government House rescinded
December 16 ( Speaker Z.Enkhbold's Monday decision to allow only vehicles belonging to parliamentarians park at the east side parking area at the Government House resulted in a public backlash.
The new parking rule allowed only parliamentarians to park at the east side and the other Government House staff and visitors to share west side parking.
On Monday, the “unworkable” parking rule spurred discontent among staff and visitors who found the east side parking area empty. Today the Speaker is rescinding the parking regulation, allowing staff, visitors and parliamentarians the same access to both parking areas, in response to the social media backlash.

Ulaanbaatar signs MoU on cooperation with The Asia Foundation
December 16 ( Ulaanbaatar City Administrative officials, including Capital City Governor and Ulaanbaatar Mayor Bat-Uul Erdene, are paying an official visit to San Francisco. On Monday, Ulaanbaatar Mayor Bat-Uul Erdene met The Asia Foundation President David Arnold.
At the meeting, The Asia Foundation gave a brief introduction of ongoing projects targeted to improve the quality of life of citizens in Ulaanbaatar to Ulaanbaatar city officials. They also discussed the quality and access of public services; accomplishments in urban development, in particular re-planning the ger districts; and exchanged opinions on the range of future projects ranges and promotion.
Following the meeting, Mayor Bat-Uul Erdene and David Arnold signed a memorandum of cooperation between Ulaanbaatar and The Asia Foundation.
The parties agreed to maintain joint projects of mapping khoroos in Ulaanbaatar in order to cultivate the re-planning of ger districts and to keep planning on track, increase citizen involvement in re-planning and resolutions at the community level, develop an economic strategy for Ulaanbaatar, improve waste management, cut corruption, and strengthen transparency.

First Business Forum between Dornod Aimag, Mongolia and Zabakailsky Krai, Russia Takes Place in Chita
December 16 ( On December 15-17, 2014, the First Business Forum themed “Business Without Borders” between Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Dornod Aimag of Mongolia and Zabakailsky Region of the Russian Federation is taking place in Chita city of Zabaykalsky Krai.
In his opening remarks, President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Zabaykalsky Krai, Andrey Markov said, "We go back to the centuries-old friendship between our peoples. We are ready to help and develop our relationship and will do our best. In fact, trade and economic relations between the Zabakailsky Region and Dornog Aimag have a long history. Today, only need to bring them back to the previous level. Notably, an important role in this played a recent official visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin to Mongolia”.
Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Dornog Aimag, E.Adiya added, "Since the visa-free regime came into force, this meeting will give a positive impact on business development and tourism, so we came to the forum to expand our cooperation in the fields of joint projects in mining, light industry, and food industry. Basically, we want to export coal and meat from Mongolia, we have a lot of meat".
During the first Business Forum, round table meetings, seminars, official meetings, exhibitions of goods and products displayed from both sides are being organized.

Government of Mongolia Resolves to Downsize Number of Agencies by 15%
December 16 ( On December 15, 2014, the regular Cabinet meeting was held and the first issue resolved was to reduce the total number of Government Agencies by 15 percent.
The State Great Khural (Parliament) of Mongolia ratified a Decree No.70 on November 14, 2014 that obliged to perform economical savings in the State Budget by abridging the number of public administrative organs and its employees.
Accordingly, the Cabinet approved the renewed structure and its organizational issues to adhere that aim to eliminate doubled administrative functions, to downsize management steps and to transfer some Agencies to affiliated professional associations and private sectors.
Currently, the Government of Mongolia operates with 15 Ministries, 26 Agencies and Cabinet Secretariat of Government.
Moreover, the new Government decision reflects not to dismiss or change qualified personnel and to adhere the following obligations:
- To ensure the continuity of government operations,
- An Agency will not employ a Deputy Chairperson, if the Agency comprises fewer than 100 employees. Moreover, to remove duplicated divisions by the means of functions,
- If an Agency consists of over 100 employees, only one Vice or Deputy Chairperson is allowed,
- An employee from a merged or liquidated Agency will be promoted for a designated post only,
- An Agency will be comprised of about 10 Units, where Departments and Divisions will no longer exist,
- An Agency Chairperson will not employ an Advisor, besides, allowed to ride only a small capacity vehicle for official usage, but a Deputy Chairperson and a Unit Director are not allowed to ride a vehicle;

MCC to Continue Project in Mongolia
By B. Khuder
Ulaanbaatar, December 16 (MONTSAME) At the cabinet meeting on Monday, the Prime Minister Ch.Saikhanbileg reported that the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) decided to continue to implement projects in Mongolia.
The Premier obliged the Ministers to work out proposals needed for priority spheres to be involved in the MCC project and to introduce the proposals at the next cabinet meeting.
Mongolia has been listed the 37th among the 68 selected countries who will receive non-refundable aid through the 2015 action plan of the MCC realized by the US government.
Before this, the MCC implemented here projects of USD 285 million. Appreciating the actions to strengthen the governance and a successful fulfillment of first-stage works of the project, the US government decided to continue the project in Mongolia.

Law on "Glass" Account to Come into Force Soon
By B. Khuder
Ulaanbaatar, December 16 (MONTSAME) Initiated by the President Ts.Elbegdorj, the law on "glass" account was adopted by parliament on July 1 of 2014 and will come into force from January 1 of 2015 onwards.
The state and localities' budgets, procurement plans, financial statements and draft budgets of following years will be openly informed to the public. All the information will be delivered through a unified website of the "glass" account administrated by a state administrative body in charge of budget matters.
In view of this, the cabinet approved Monday a rule on fixing common standards for the website’s content. Related Ministers have been obliged to publish textbooks on the rule, conduct training for general managers of the budget, connect every organization with a model list of transparent accounts issued by the National Data Center, and to create an opportunity for organizations without websites to post their account information. 

Foreign Policy and Actions Must Be United More
By B. Khuder
Ulaanbaatar, December 16 (MONTSAME) This was underlined by Foreign affairs Minister LPurevsuren at the cabinet meeting on Monday.
He introduced to the cabinet a matter on ensuring the integrity of the country’s foreign policy and actions, which was approved by the governmental resolution last year. The Ministers, Mayor of Ulaanbaatar and governors of aimags have been obliged to adhere in their work to this vital rule that generally focuses on implementing the foreign policy on a principle of a "single window". It means that state servants' foreign visits, their negotiations with foreign states and private organizations, and treaties and documents signing are to be brought under one united management and accordance. "This will help the state more wisely and profoundly design directions for the cooperation with external partners and ensure the national security," the government considers.

Renting of Textbooks to Be Extended
By B. Khuder
Ulaanbaatar, December 16 (MONTSAME) The cabinet meeting on Monday gave an obligation to L.Gantomor, the Minister of Education, Culture and Science, to expand and stabilize the renting of textbooks which are financed by the Asian Development Bank (ADB). This action aims to fully provide pupils of all schools with necessary textbooks. 

Chief Advisor to PM Appointed
By B. Khuder
Ulaanbaatar, December 16 (MONTSAME) One of the famous women politicians of Mongolia and doctor of historical science Delgermaa Banzragch has been appointed chief advisor to the Prime Minister.
Having long-year experiences in laws and politics, Delgermaa defended a PhD degree on historical science in the Siberian branch of Russia’s Academy of Sciences in 2005 with a dissertation "The history of Mongolian democracy of 20th century". She speaks English and Russian.
B.Delgermaa worked as a prosecutor at the State Prosecutor Department in 1982-1986; a teacher of  School of Law at Mongolian State University (MSU) in 1986-1989; a scientific worker at Institute of Law at the Academy of Sciences in 1989-1990; an advisor to State Conference in 1990-1992; a director of Academy of Political Education in 1993-1996; a member of parliament in 1996-2000; an advisor to PM on social policy in 2004-2006; a director of “Liberty” institute; and the Ambassador of Mongolia to Singapore since 2012.

DB to Receive Loan of 300 Million
By B. Amarsaikhan
Ulaanbaatar, December 16 (MONTSAME) Development Bank (DB) of Mongolia signed a loan agreement with the Credit Suisse bank of Switzerland and Sumitomo Mitsui bank of Japan on December 15.
The DB has successfully completed a fund-raising for the financing of projects on infrastructure, construction, industrialization, and energy. In accordance with the Government and parliament resolutions, the DB is obligated to allocate financing for the major economic sectors such as transport, construction and urban development, energy and mining.
The recent loan of USD 300 million will be allocated for the additional financing for major projects on infrastructure, construction and energy that have been previously financed by the Chingis bonds. The loan is guaranteed by the Government, its credit term is seven years.
The leaders of the DB noted that the loan financing will be dedicated only for the sectors of strategic importance such as energy, industry (promoting exports and substituting imports), infrastructure and mining, and that this loan is the first syndicate credit obtained by the DB.

MoU Signed on Co-Implementing “Sustainable Finance” Program
By B. Amarsaikhan
Ulaanbaatar, December 16 (MONTSAME) During the Sustainable Finance Forum organized by the Mongolian Banks’ Association (MBA) on December 16, the participants to the event adopted a memorandum of understanding on co-implementing the programs of sustainable finance.
The forum has gathered some 400 officials including the Deputy Mayor responsible for Urban Development and Investments S.Ochirbat, a president of the MBA M.Bold, a Minister of Environment, Green Development and Tourism D.Oyunkhorol, representatives of international organizations, banks and businesses.
Discussed issues were Mongolia's policy on green development, global trends and best practices, roles and participation of banking sector in the establishment of green economy, and coordinating the development of Ulaanbaatar with Sustainable Finance.
The MBA developed the principles of sustainable finance taking into consideration the pressing issues for the environment and the society. In a scope of the implementation of such principles, banks will introduce in their work and decision-making processes the guidance in four main spheres--mining, construction, agriculture and processing industry--from February of 2015. By this, the banks will be able to estimate the economic efficiency and risks of the projects to be financed by them, and to manage the financing impacts on the environment and society, thus to refuse to finance unpleasant projects.
The MoU was adopted by the Ministry of Environment, Green Development and Tourism and the Bank of Mongolia, at their support for implementing sustainable development policies through the financial leverage and for promoting green economy.

Book about Golden Horde Published
By B. Amarsaikhan
Ulaanbaatar, December 16 (MONTSAME) Mongolia's Ambassador Sh.Altangerel participated December 10 in a video conference that ran for a presentation of the "How the Golden Horde made the Rus’ rich" book by Aleksei Shlyahtorov in Russian Chelyabinsk city. 
The book has been published recently but is already in a great demand. Its author Mr Shlyakhtorov says he wants the Russians to throw away an understanding, which has become firmly in their mind during Soviet times, that the Golden Horde was nothing but a yoke of Mongol-Tatars in Rus’. "In contrary, the Golden Horde, which used to rule during the Great Mongol Empire, had helped Russia to prosper, and this is certified by valid historic sources," he stresses.
"Whoever reads this book, he/she will more or less get rid of the wrong 'Mongol-Tatars yoke' idea," he adds. 

Ice rink opens in the city center
December 16 ( An outdoor ice skating rink for the enjoyment of youth and children was made available to the public today, December 16, at Chinggis Khaan Square,.
The skating rink was installed for its second year by the Ulaanbaatar Governor's office. The outdoor ice rink measures 50 x 25 meters and will later be equipped with a changing room, bench seats, lightning and litter bins. The temporary ice rink will host sporting and entertainment events over the New Year's period.

Prime Minister of Mongolia Urges to Introduce Project Proposals to Be Financed by Millennium Challenge Corporation
December 16 ( At the Cabinet meeting held on December 15, 2014, Prime Minister Ch.Saikhanbileg affirmed that the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) of the United States selected Mongolia to develop the second MCC compact.
Accordingly, Premier Ch.Saikhanbileg ordered all affiliated Ministers to submit required project proposals at the next Cabinet meeting.
At its quarterly meeting held on December 10, the Millennium Challenge Corporation Board of Directors voted Mongolia as eligible for new compact along with other countries. The Board’s selection of Mongolia to develop proposals for the second compact underscores the country’s commitment to good governance. Mongolia successfully completed an MCC compact in September 2013, but poverty remains significant and to the date, the MCC implemented projects worth of 284,911,363.00 USD.

Prime Minister Ch.Saikhanbileg Appoints His Advisors
December 16 ( Prime Minister of Mongolia Ch.Saikhanbileg issued an Ordinance to appoint Doctor of Historical Sciences Mrs. Banzragch DELGERMAA as the Senior Advisor to the Premier and Doctor of Economic Sciences Mr. Ochirbat CHULUUNBAT as the Economic Advisor to the Premier.
The Senior Advisor to the Prime Minister, B.Delgermaa is an experienced politician who started her career as a Prosecutor at the State Prosecutor’s Office in 1982 and her latter public service was as the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Mongolia to the Republic of Singapore.
The Economic Advisor to the Prime Minister, O.Chuluunbat is also an experienced economist and banker, he used to work as the Governor of Central Bank of Mongolia in 2000-2006, elected as a Parliamentarian in 2008-2012 and later served as the Deputy Minister for Economic Development of Mongolia in 2012-2014.

MP receives EU advisor
By B. Amarsaikhan
Ulaanbaatar, December 16 (MONTSAME) International advisor to the European Union Mr Mel Kausen was received by the head of the Standing Committee on social policy, education, culture and sciences D.Battsogt MP on Tuesday.
The guest thanked the MP for receiving him and said that many projects have been successfully implemented in Mongolia by the EU, "a first phase of the project on promoting the professional education has complete, the second is to commence". He also informed the MP about intended to be realized by the EU funding projects on improving an employment in Mongolia and on promoting the implementation of state policies on the employment. He is staying here to assist the development of such projects, he added.
In response, Mr Battsogt said the Ministry of Labour, established in order to achieve better employment rate, is to present to parliament a draft resolution on adopting the state policy on employment. Through enforcing such policies until 2025 in three phases, the employment will be promoted by the developments of national industry and economic sectors, as well of the communities and localities, and the resources will be efficiently distributed. “As a result, inequality in the job market will reduce, and appropriate ratio of production and wages will be set,” said the MP and expressed his Standing committee’s support for the EU projects and promised to collaborate.
The EU non-refundable aid funded projects on improving employment in Mongolia and on promoting the state policy implementations will be realized in 2015-2020. In frames of the realization, analysis of the legal environment on labour, capacity building for the state servants and professionals in this sphere and other important frameworks will take place.  

Defense Minister meets Ambassadors
By B. Khuder
Ulaanbaatar, December 16 (MONTSAME) The Minister of Defense Ts.Tsolmon Monday received Mr Wang Xiaolong, the Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Mongolia, and Ms Piper Anne Wind Campbell, the US Ambassador to Mongolia.
The Minister expressed a satisfaction with meeting the dignitaries from the two countries Mongolia has defense ties and cooperation with, and discussed with them issues of the cooperation and its future.
Mr Wang Xiaolong said all the measures and events were successful that ran in the defense sector in frames of the 65th anniversary of the Mongolia-China diplomatic relations.
The US Ambassador Ms Campbell wished the Minister a success and said the defense sphere plays a leading role in the Mongolia-USA relations and cooperation. She also said she will do her best to boost this collaboration, enriching it with new contents. 

Former president of BoM appointed advisor to PM
By B. Amarsaikhan
Ulaanbaatar, December 16 (MONTSAME) A banker and a former president of the Bank of Mongolia (BoM) Mr O.Chuluunbat was appointed the advisor to the Prime Minister on December 16.
Mr Chuluunbat has graduated the Moscow State Institute of International Relations majoring in economics, is specialized in foreign exchange and finance, speaks Russian and English. He has obtained a doctor’s degree in Economics at the Russian Academy of Sciences with a dissertation themed “Characteristics of financial and monetary system during transition”. He worked as a senior economist and referent in a Foreign Accounting Department of the State Bank in 1981-1987, a senior advisor and dealer at the International Economic Cooperation Bank in Moscow in 1987-1990, an advisor to the president of the BoM 1990-1991, an advisor to a private entity in 1991-1992, first deputy director of KHOTSH bank in 1992-1993, first vice president of the BoM in 1993-1996, a senior trader at Sales Capital market center in New York in 1996-2000, a president of the BoM in 2000-2006, a consultant in a private entity in 2006-2008, a member of parliament, head of the Standing committee on Budget and a member of the Standing committee on Security and Foreign Policy in 2008-2012, and as vice minister of Economic Development in 2012-2014. 

Freight statistics
By B. Amarsaikhan
Ulaanbaatar, December 16 (MONTSAME) In the first 11 months of 2014, 19030.6 thousand tons of freight and 3092.6 thousand passengers (double counting) were carried by railway transport, according to the National Statistics Office.
Compared to the same period of the previous year, the amount of carried freight decreased 186.0 thousand tons or 1.0 percent and number of carried passengers, by 400.9 thousand people or 11.5 percent.
The revenue from railway transport in the first 11 months of 2014 reached MNT 387.5 billion reflecting increase of MNT 219.2 million or 0.1 percent against the same period of 2013.
Some 3180 tons of freight and 623.8 thousand passengers (double counting) were carried by air transport by the end of November. Compared to the same period of the previous year, the amount of carried freight dropped by 620.3 tons or 16.3 percent, and number of carried passengers by 98.6 thousand people or 13.7 percent.
The revenue from air transport in the first 11 months of 2014 reached MNT 224.4 billion, which shows decrease of MNT 2.4 billion or 1.1 percent against the same period of 2013.

Stock Exchange news for December 16
By B. Khuder
Ulaanbaatar, December 16 (MONTSAME) At the Stock Exchange trades on Tuesday, a total of 155 thousand and 913 units of 13 JSCs were traded costing MNT 14 billion 767 million 871 thousand and 713.00.
"Khokh gan” /1,000 thousand units/, “Genco tour bureau” /756 units/, “Aduunchuluun” /394 units/, “Sharyn gol” /190 units/ and "Tavantolgoi” /156 units/ were the most actively traded in terms of trading volume, in terms of trading value were "Sharyn gol” (MNT one million 102 thousand and 050), "Gobi” (MNT 968 thousand and 760), “UB-BUK” (MNT 642 thousand and 600), “Tavantolgoi” (MNT 627 thousand and 120) and "Aduunchuluun” (MNT 610 thousand and 720).
The total market capitalization was set at MNT one trillion 431 billion 420 million 208 thousand and 844. The Index of Top-20 JSCs was 14,616.43, decreasing 63.43 units or 0.43% against the previous day.

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