Sunday, December 21, 2014

Mongolia Brief December 17, 2014



Russian national bestowed Mongolia's Polar Star
December 17 (news.mn) In accordance with a Presidential decree, Russian national Anatoly Ivanovic Matern was awarded the Order of the Polar Star for his contribution to bilateral friendly relations between Mongolia and Russia, particularly in education in Mongolia, on Tuesday.

Speaker of Mongolian Parliament Z.Enkhbold presented the state award to Matern at the Government House, on December 16th.
Anatoly Ivanovic Matern is Vice Director of Ural Federal University named after the first President of Russia, Boris Yeltsin. 
Related:
Russian Receives “Polar Star" OrderMontsame, December 17

Disasters and Accidents in Statistical Mirror
By B. Amarsaikhan
Ulaanbaatar, December 17 (MONTSAME) A total of 4,575 disasters and accidents occurred in the first 11 months of this year. As a result, 169 people died, 14,796 heads of livestock and animals were lost.
There were some 3,900 construction fires, 279 forest fires, 123 cases of domestic animal madness diseases, 88 floods and river and lake accidents, 55 cases of 3.5-magnitude earthquakes, 32 heavy rains and floods, 25 severe storms, 13 incidents related to chemical substance usage, and 12 thunders. The fires caused a damage of MNT 10.5 billion, porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome--of MNT 1.6 billion, forest fires--of 1.4 billion, heavy rain and floods--of 755.4 million, severe storms-of 587.5 million. Some 751.5 million Togrog was spent for eliminating consequences of the disasters and accidents.
By late November, 99 people drown in rivers and lakes, 49 died in the construction fires, five were struck by thunder, four died in mining and rock falls, three--in forest fires, and two died in heavy rains, floods and severe storms.        
Against the same period of 2013, the occurrence of the natural disasters and accidents increased by 315 cases.   

Join to Building Mongolia’s Future
December 17 (infomongolia.com) The “Expo Mongolia 2015”, International Mining and Multi Sector Trade Fair organized by JV Consult Mongolia LLC and German Planet Fair Group, is scheduled to be organized at the Buyant Ukhaa Sports Palace in Ulaanbaatar on March 23-25, 2015.
Expo Mongolia will be giving exhibitors the chance to make a significant step into the Mongolian market and develop business relations in Asia.
The show profile includes all important industries such as:
- Building & Construction
- Mining
- Infrastructure
- Alternative Energy
- Healthcare
- Food
- Education
- IT
Expo Mongolia is locally supported by the Ministry of Mining, Ministry of Environment and Green Development, State Property Committee, and Mongolian National Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Moreover, German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy already confirmed an official German pavilion for 2015 that is supported by the biggest Engineering Association VDMA. Countries like Canada, Czech Republic, Chile, Korea, Russia, Ukraine and the United Kingdom are interested as well.
Mongolia has transformed itself to a vibrant democracy with a booming economy. Mongolia is still in a major transformation process driven by the exploitation of its vast mineral resources. The share of mining in GDP today stands at 20 percent, twice the ratio of a decade ago. The economic growth rate was 11.7 percent in 2013, compared to 6.4 percent GDP growth in 2010.
GDP is expected to grow at a double digit rate over the period from 2013 to 2017. (Source: World Bank, Bloomberg, Diplomat.com)
The occurrence of mineral resources such as coal, gold, silver, copper, oil or rare earth elements let Mongolia change into an important export country for the coming decades. The Mongolian government makes every effort to boost the development of the country. Infrastructure development must be pursued in a timely manner to extract the resources and to bring them into global trade. Other sectors such as industrial, education, medical health, transportation or IT will be further developed.

Defense Minister Ts.Tsolmon Receives Ambassadors of PR of China and United States to Mongolia
December 17 (infomongolia.com) The Defense Minister of Mongolia Mr. Tserendash TSOLMON received in his new office the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the People’s Republic of China to Mongolia, Mr. Wang Xiaolong and Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to Mongolia, Mrs. Piper Anne Wind Campbell on December 16, 2014.
At the beginning of meeting, Defense Minister Ts.Tsolmon expressed his satisfaction to meet envoys of the states that have been developing bilateral cooperation in defense and foreign partnerships and parties exchanged views on measures being carried out to date in defense sector and further plans to implement.
During his meeting with Minister, Ambassador of China mentioned that some measures in the defense sector have been successfully completed within the scope of commemorating the 65th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties.
Where, the Ambassador of the US wished success to the newly appointed Minister of Defense and noted that the partnership in defense sector between the two countries refers to the leading position in the relationship and affirmed to contribute in the development of further cooperation bringing in new forms of content.

Actress Ts.Bayasgalan to Be Performing “I Am Edith Piaf”
Musical Monodrama in Chicago, US
December 17 (infomongolia.com) An actress of the State Academic Drama Theatre of Mongolia, Tserendorj BAYASGALAN, who first introduced a musical monodrama to Mongolian audience, has headed for the United States to stage the “I am Edith Piaf” musical monodrama by B.Baatar.
She will be also performing “Melody of Sky” monodrama by B.Galaarid at Madison Street Theatre in Chicago, IL from 07:00 pm to 10:00 pm on December 19, 2014. The event is organized by Mongolian Community in Chicago.

International Finance Corporation Expresses Its Readiness to Finance Second Phase of Oyu Tolgoi Project
December 17 (infomongolia.com) On December 16, 2014, Finance Minister of Mongolia, Mr. Jargaltulga ERDENEBAT received a delegation from the World Bank Group’s International Finance Corporation (IFC) headed by IFC’s Director for Asia and the Pacific, Mr. Vivek Pathak.
During the meeting, Minister J.Erdenebat appreciated the IFC for been supporting to implement Mongolia’s long term development goals, helping to deliver the country’s key industries of mining and agricultural raw materials to the world-class products and expressed his willingness to further intensification of its activities carried out in Mongolia.
In response, the IFC representatives agreed with proposals and emphasized that both sides should discuss on how to expand cooperation and in which sectors the IFC should focus its activities.
Also, the IFC delegates pledged to continue its activities in agriculture, banking and finance, manufacturing, and telecommunications sectors. Moreover, the International Finance Corporation affirmed that its position to support the development of Oyu Tolgoi by allocating finance in collaboration with other investors is remained and expressed its hope that the second phase of OT’s underground development would be started soon.
Related:
Finance Minister Meets IFC DelegationMontsame, December 17

Development Bank of Mongolia Raises Largest Syndicated Loan of 300 Million USD
December 17 (infomongolia.com) On December 15, 2014, authorities of the Development Bank of Mongolia and representatives of Credit Suisse Group and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation have signed a joint syndicated loan to raise 300 million USD.
In order to raise this fund, the Credit Suisse Group AG, Export-Import Bank of China and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation have collaborate as mandated lead coordinators and initially it was planned to set an agreement equivalent of 200 million USD with additional 100 million USD greenshoe options depending on interests to invest.
Since the initial order book was oversubscribed, the Development Bank of Mongolia decided to raise the loan up to 300 million USD that makes the largest syndicated loan in the country's financial sector history.
The fund will be spent to finance Mongolia’s economically important sectors such as in energy, infrastructure, manufacturing and mining.
In March 2012, the Development Bank of Mongolia raised 580 million USD issuing bonds with a 5.75% coupon maturing in 2017 and another 30 billion JPY Samurai bond with a 10-year maturity at 1.52% coupon in 2013 and this is the first raised syndication loan by the Bank, notes CEO of the Development Bank of Mongolia, Nanjid MUNKHBAT.
In addition, a Credit Suisse Group official noted, "The Credit Suisse Bank has been investing in developing economies and we are optimistic about the Mongolia’s economy. Although Mongolian economy faced challenges due to the drop of the mining sector on the international market in recent years, we oversee it all as the end of the crisis. Therefore, this could be a good indication of investors' confidence in the Mongolian market ".

MPP Nominates Vice Ministers
By B. Amarsaikhan
Ulaanbaatar, December 17 (MONTSAME) A special meeting of the Cabinet will be held at 4.00 pm on December 17 to appoint Vice ministers and state secretaries. Parliament-elect parties have named their candidates for these offices.
Mongolian People’s Party (MPP) named seven Vice ministers, Democratic Party (DP)--five, Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party (MPRP)--two, Mongolian National Democratic Party (MNDP)--one, and Civil Will–Green Party (CWGP)--one.
Board of the MPP named its candidates on Wednesday morning. Withdrawn candidates totaled 11 out of 39, and 16 out of 28 youth-dominating candidates have satisfied the MPP’s requirements for Vice ministers’ offices, thus transferred to a closed poll. As a result, seven have been named: G.Temuulen, member of Board of Oyu Tolgoi LLC, for Mining; Kh.Badelkhan, an advisor to the MPP faction in parliament, for Industry; D.Atarmaa, former director of the Health Department of Ulaanbaatar, for Health and Sports; N.Oyundari, owner of “Bull” chain restaurants and “BlueMon” tower, for Foreign Affairs; Ya.Tomorbaatar, director of the Academy of Strategies, for Education, Culture and Sciences; B.Monkhbaatar, a former governor of Bayanzurkh district, for Population Development and Social Welfare; and a former governor of Bayanzurkh district B.Batzorig, a head of Reform Committee of the MPP T.Ayursaikhan and a director of UFC Group N.Tserenbat are being nominated for the office of vice minister of Food and Agriculture.
The final decision will be made by the head of the MPP M.Enkhbold.

Speaker meets with IMF representatives
December 17 (news.mn) Speaker of Mongolian Parliament Z.Enkhbold  met with the International Monetary Fund's (IMF) resident representative for Mongolia, Koshy Mathai, at the Government House today, December 17th.
At the meeting, an IMF report on the economic situation in Mongolia was presented to the Speaker and opinions on the state budget were exchanged.
IMF resident representative Mathai said that Mongolian parliament needs to take quick action for discussion of a draft bill on debt management in the near future.
Related:
Speaker Receives IMF RepsMontsame, December 17

Head of Government’s Media Service Appointed
By B. Khuder
Ulaanbaatar, December 17 (MONTSAME) In accordance with the cabinet decision made Monday, Ms B.Tseepil was appointed the head of the media and public relations service of the government.
B.Tseepil used to serve as chief official of the government’s media service, she is preceded by Ts.Monkhtor who has become the advisor to the Premier on media affairs. 

Cost-Economizing Principles to Be Implemented at All Levels
By B. Khuder
Ulaanbaatar, December 17 (MONTSAME) Head of the Cabinet Secretariat for Government S.Bayartsogt said it Wednesday at an online meeting with localities' authorities.
The government is working out a policy and a programme on overcoming current economic difficulties and on stabilizing the national economy. Within the regime of economization, measures will be taken in several phases for making a composition and structure of state organizations more proper, and an elimination of duties' duplication at Ministries and agencies as well a reduction in managerial stages has already started, he said.
Policy reforms will be done to remove state organizations' state service people from the category of "state" and to carry out the people-targeted state services on principle of state-business partnership, he added.
The cabinet has been told to take several measures after discussing an audit report from the Audit Office at a meeting of the Standing committee on budget over the expenditure of money of Local development and Soums’ development funds. Obligations were given to the localities' authorities to fulfill some concrete works such as imposing responsibilities upon those servants guilty of the money expenditure, registering in a “black list” those companies that poorly performed works by bids, and increasing the public participation and monitoring in all levels of budgetary works.
The aimags and soums’ authorities were ordered to give information about an approval of the law on “glass” account, which will come into force from January 1 of 2015, and to hold relevant training.
Due to reforms in the governmental structure and organization, the cabinet’s action plan will be altered, but many works, planned or already launched by the previous government in construction, industry and state service spheres, will be continued, Bayartsogt said.

Tourism Main Destinations Compiled
By B. Amarsaikhan
Ulaanbaatar, December 17 (MONTSAME) A book by an archeologist N.Erdene-Ochir DSc., "Tourist Route of Mongolian History, Archaeology and Natural Heritage" has been published.
The book divides such destinations into four regions as the Gobi, Gobi-Khangai, Khangai, and Khan Khentii, and provides geographic coordinates.
An introduction of the main destinations and travel routes is of great importance in the tourism development, economic growth, particularly in conserving and improving the historic landmarks, as Mongolia has always been an attraction for foreign tourists and researchers.
The book has been written in Mongolian and English.

Erdenes TT to Review Financial Proposals
By B. Amarsaikhan
Ulaanbaatar, December 17 (MONTSAME) A meeting ran on December 17 of the working group in charge of a selection of strategic investor for Tavan Tolgoi coal deposit. 
The gathered decided to review financial proposals of Peabody Energy Corporation and of a joint consortium of China Shenhua Energy Company, Sumitomo Corporation and Energy Resource LLC. The above companies have satisfied the criteria of potential investor for the deposit, as a conclusion says of the working group. Technical proposals from six companies from the USA, Japan, China and Mongolia were submitted on this December 1.
The meeting also discussed the assessment over the satisfactory competitors and decided to meticulously examine their financial proposals. The Minister of Mongolia M.Enkhsaikhan underlined that the selection processes must be run in an open and transparent manner.
The group consists of the head of the group Mr Enkhsaikhan, Minister of Finance J.Erdenebat, Minister of Mining R.Jigjid, State secretary of Ministry of Environment, Green Development and Tourism J.Batbold, State secretary of Ministry of Justice J.Bayartsetseg, executive director of Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi LLC Ya.Batsuuri as the secretary, and representatives of related NGOs and state-owned companies.

Mongolia Propagandized in Czech Republic
By B. Khuder
Ulaanbaatar, December 17 (MONTSAME) The Immigration Department at the Czech Ministry of Internal Affairs organized an annual event for welcoming the Christmas together with NGOs of foreign citizens on December 12 in Plzen city, the Czech Republic.
The event was attended by NGO delegates of Mongolia, Russia, Ukraine and Vietnam. The participants introduced to the Czech their traditional culture and custom as well as ways of welcoming New Year. Founded with a support from Mongolia’s Embassy in the Czech Republic at initiatives of the Mongolians in the country, the "Bayan Mongol" NGO represented its country at the event, offering to all our cuisine and organizing a concert. 

13-year-old eagle huntress visits Government House
December 17 (news.mn) MP A.Bakei welcomed 13-year-old eagle huntress from Bayan-Ulgii Province, Ashol-Pan, to the Government House. A Kazakh-Mongol, Ashol-Pan has been in the United Arab Emirates participating in the International Festival of Falconry in Abu Dhabi.
MP A.Bakei congratulated the young huntress, who represented Mongolia at the international festival, expressing special thanks for her efforts in promoting traditional hunting with golden eagles, and pledged to support her efforts.
The International Festival of Falconry in Abu Dhabi was attended by more than 800 falconers and associations from 80 countries this year. The event also involves more than 51 exhibitors and performers, 19 trainers, 45 painters and sculptors, and 47 photographers.
The UK's BBC did a feature om Ashok-Pan, the only 13-year-old female eagle hunter in the world, in April.

Bans in place on illegal pyrotechnic trade and import
December 17 (news.mn) The Customs General Authority Mongolia has launched a month-long campaign banning illegal pyrotechnic devices, as it has in recent years, as fireworks have been one of the leading causes of injuries over the holiday.
During the campaign, customs officers will conduct random inspections of automobiles and individuals suspected of containing and carrying pyrotechnic devices illegally; prohibit non-standard, unlicensed pyrotechnic devices without a license (salute, Bengal lights, and wireworks); work closely with other law enforcement units to handle illegal fireworks cases, exchanging information; and receive and investigate reports and complaints about illegal attempts to carry pyrotechnic devices across the border.
Only two entities have been granted permission to import and trade pyrotechnic devices. Permission is issued by the National Emergency Management Agency, and monitored by the General Agency for Specialized Inspection and the Customs General Authority.

Memorandum of Understanding to Implement Sustainable Finance Program in Mongolia Inked
December 17 (infomongolia.com) Mongolian Bankers’ Association (MBA) in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment, Green Development and Tourism, Central Bank of Mongolia (Mongol Bank), International Finance Corporation (IFC, a member of the World Bank Group) and the Netherlands Development Finance Company (FMO) have successfully organized the Mongolian Sustainable Finance Forum 2014 themed "Sustainable Finance: Creating Sustainable Development Through Collaboration" at Best Western Premier Tuushin Hotel in Ulaanbaatar on December 16, 2014.
At the Forum about 400 participants representing Mongolian Bank Institutions, Government, and Parliament as well as other officials from state entities, international organizations, NGOs and entrepreneurs were present.
During the event, attendees have launched the Mongolian Sustainable Finance Principles and Sector Guidelines, a voluntary framework to help local banks integrate environmental and social considerations into lending decisions and product design, promoting sustainable development in the resource-rich country.
The new guidelines, which will take effect in January 2015, were introduced to the public at the Mongolia Sustainable Finance Forum 2014. The guidelines cover four key industries: mining, agriculture, construction, and manufacturing. By implementing these practices, banks will reduce the risk of loan defaults and identify new business opportunities, such as in renewable energy and clean technologies. The newly launched principles are based on international benchmarks, particularly the IFC Performance Standards, the World Bank Group Environmental, Health, and Safety Guidelines, and the Equator Principles, a private sector-led credit risk management framework for determining, assessing, and managing environmental and social risk in project-finance transactions.
Within the scope of the new principles, parties signed on the Memorandum of Understanding to implement the Sustainable Finance Program in Mongolia.

Mongolians conquer at World Memory Championships
By B. Tungalag
December 17 (UB Post) Thirteen Mongolian mental sport athletes from the Mongolian Intellectual Academy successfully participated in the 23rd World Memory Championships, which took place in Hainan, China, from December 11 to 13, earning nearly half of the competition’s medals.
The Mongolian team seized 29 of the 60 medals available, and placed second out of 26 countries with 17,633 points. Athletes competed in ten different categories of the championship: random numbers, speed numbers, spoken numbers, binary numbers, playing cards, random lists of words, names and faces, historic dates, abstract images, and speed cards.
Mongolian athletes from 13 to 16 years old, who are the holders of 14 world records out of 17, competed in the junior age category and grabbed 22 medals out of a possible 30 medals. A.Anudari and E.Purevjav, both 15 years old, qualified for the International Master of Memory title, and E.Purevjav also qualified for the Grand Master of Memory title. E.Enkhmunkh participated in the junior age category and became champion followed by Grand Master Ts.Bat-Erdene, and E.Purevjav.
Grand Master U.Sengesamdan competed in the adult category and stayed in third place with 6,700 points, qualifying him for the highest title of International Grand Master of Memory. He also maintained his sixth place ranking out of 3,000 mental sport athletes around the world.
President of the Mind Sports Council Tony Buzan said during the prize granting ceremony in the speed cards category, “Mongolian boy E.Enkhmunkh, 16, who is participating in junior age category, left 183 athletes behind and became the champion. It is the one of the most amazing moments in mental sports. He proved that the human brain can memorize a pack of cards in less than 30 seconds. Congratulations!”
The 23rd World Memory Championships was attended by 184 mental athletes from 26 countries.

Cabinet decides to cut number of government jobs by 15 percent
By Ch. Khaliun
December 17 (UB Post) On Monday, the Cabinet held a meeting and decided to reduce the number of governmental positions by 15 percent.
On Sunday, the Parliament released Resolution No.70 calling for cuts to the state budget through a decrease in the number of public administrative organizations and their employees.
The Cabinet decided to downsize positions from 15 ministries, 26 agencies, and the Cabinet Secretariat by 15 percent. The cuts aim to eliminate duplicated administrative functions, and to reduce the stages of management by transferring some agencies to affiliated professional associations and the private sector.
The Cabinet decision states that qualified personnel will not be dismissed or changed.
To maintain the continuity of government operations, an agency will not be allowed to employ deputy chairs if it has less than 100 employees and will be responsible for eliminating duplicated divisions. If an agency consists of over 100 employees, only one vice or deputy chair will be permitted.
Employees from merged or liquidated agencies will be promoted for designated posts only. Agencies will now be comprised of up to 10 units, where departments and divisions will no longer exist. An agency chairperson will not employ an advisor and is allowed access to only a small capacity vehicle for official use, while deputy chairs and unit directors are not being given vehicle privileges.

Traffic restriction times shift to winter schedule
By M. Zoljargal
December 17 (UB Post) The Ulaanbaatar City Council (UCC) approved the request of the public to reduce the active hours of traffic restrictions through license plate numbers by three hours. The new schedule started on Monday.
Drivers will be restricted from participating in the city’s vehicle traffic from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. for 12 hours once a week, according to winter schedule, instead of the 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
The winter schedule will be effective from October 15 to April 14, while the summer schedule will be effective from April 15 to October 14, as long as the license plate restriction is in place.
The roads where traffic restriction is applied have also been decreased in the winter schedule as shown in the picture above.
The Ulaanbaatar City Hotlines 1800-1200 and 1800-1234 had received many change requests regarding the restriction’s schedule and covering areas from city residents, which influenced the Ulaanbaatar Metropolitan Police Department and a working group of the council on reducing traffic load to submit the winter schedule draft.
The UCC placed the restriction on August 2012 to speed up the traffic flow in the city and encourage residents to use public transport buses.

Gatsuurt mine proposed for the list of strategic mining deposits
By B. Mendbayar
December 17 (UB Post) A proposal to include Gatsuurt gold mine in the list of strategic mining deposits was discussed in the December 16 Parliamentary Standing Committee on Economy meeting, where the majority of members voted to have its draft bill discussed by Parliament.
Gatsuurt gold mine is owned by the Canadian mining company Centerra Gold Inc, which allegedly submitted the proposal to include the mine in the list, according to Minister of Mining R.Jigjid. However, the amount of state ownership in mine remains unsettled. The mine is estimated to have 50,000 tons of gold.
During the discussion, Member of Parliament L.Enkhamgalan noted, “The draft bill had been prepared incompetently. The amount of state ownership and involvement is not clarified. In addition, can mines be included in the list of strategic mining deposits upon the request of its owner? What is state policy on this issue? Furthermore, it could be suspected that the owner of the Gatsuurt mine is trying to find a means to use the mine by including it in the list, since the mine was rendered unusable because of its conflict with the Long Named Law. Please provide clarification on these issues.”
In response, the Minister of Mining commented, “The mine was rendered unusable under the Long Named Law. However, individual miners have been exploiting gold at the mine, and as a result, the environment has been severely damaged. From this, stemmed the necessity to restore the environmental damages, which could best be done through allowing the owner of the mine to use the mine and carry out environmental restoration afterwards. On the other hand, utilizing the mine is beneficial in this time of economic crisis.”
Opposing the proposal, a Parliament member remarked, “There can hardly be an investor so foolish as to plead for inclusion of a mine in the list of strategic deposits just to use its remaining 50 [sic] tons of gold. Therefore, the owner might have made the proposal because of some external pressure. Including this mine on the list might ultimately result in pushing away investors instead of attracting them.”

Libraries to meet international standards by 2015
December 17 (UB Post) The state is planning to upgrade libraries in Mongolia to meet international standards new years.
People face a lot of difficulties with the library services in Mongolia, especially students. There are problems with getting books, often the library hall gets cold in the winter, employers have difficult attitudes towards customers, most equipment and facilities are old and the environment is not suitable for study. Sometimes students are not able to find books that they are looking for. Most university based libraries are noisy; don’t have an appropriate comfortable reading hall and lack materials.
The National Library of Mongolia was established in 1921 and became a member of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions in 1991. Nowadays it shares books and materials with 100 libraries of more than 70 countries.
At the moment, the library has over three million books, one million of which are related to history, and ample rare and valuable pieces.
There are over 1,509 libraries currently operating in Mongolia; 373 of them are the libraries in provinces, 101 libraries in universities, 54 libraries at institutions, 817 libraries at schools of general education, 120 at organizations, and 44 scientific libraries.
These libraries relate to many sectors and work under the regulations and rules of the Central State Administrative Body. Issues such as funding, book registration, and services to customers are problematic.
Some handwritten historical scriptures are protected and registered in accordance with policies for protecting cultural heritages of the National Library of Mongolia. Historic pieces that are in the hands of individuals and private organizations haven’t been registered or arranged to meet related standards.
In 1990, Mongolia had nearly 400 public libraries, while by the year 2000, the number decreased to 181.
Active readers started to decrease due to several issues. Firstly, libraries of 165 soums were unified with school libraries. Secondly, organizations such as Children’s Library and Public Library of Ulaanbaatar were closed down and privatized. These issues affect readers negatively by limiting information resources and young people lost interest in acquiring and reading books from libraries.
Since the state policy on library services were neglected, libraries started to face a lot of problems. Due to the lack budget for libraries, they couldn’t provide new books, sufficient materials, widen its resources, prepare comfortable environment for readers and conduct efficient services.
Library is a place where people can learn, study, explore and make research throughout their whole life. Globally, the development of libraries is considered an essential issue for human development. That’s why highly developed countries have well organized libraries that provide and conduct services with the latest technologies.
Recently, the library project law was processed in Mongolia. The law covers issues such as building an efficient library service, curator and their duties, reader’s rights, and activities.
The project initiator believes that by approving the law, libraries will meet international standards and will have many of the problems resolved. It will provide readers the latest database, provide sufficient materials and books and a comfortable environment for readers as well as employers.
Some parliament members and related official gave different views on the project and underlined its significance for cultural development.
MP Ts.Davaasuren noted, “Cultural centers and school libraries in soums will be better if they are unified to become a central big library.”
Member of the Standing Committee on culture Yo.Otgonbayar said, “This law focuses on controlling library activities. I think that soums must have separated libraries for public and school use. Database resources in schools must have different materials from public libraries. In the law, there is a reference stating that parliament members who work in the field of education and culture must approve the list of books and materials that will be used at schools.”
“Every institution and school must have a library,” he added.
The project will be considered by Parliament as 67.4 percent of the Standing Committee members approved the project at their meeting.
The final discussion of the project will be conducted soon, according the Standing Committee.
Source: Zuunii Medee

MIAT opens the first Mongolian customs bonded factory
December 17 (UB Post) The Maintenance and Engineering (M&E) Organization of the MIAT Mongolian Airlines has been certified to operate the first customs bonded factory in Mongolia at the Order No. A/222 of the Chairman of the General Customs Office (GCO) on December 4. The opening was held on December 12.
At the opening, directors of MIAT Mongolian Airlines noted that receiving license for a customs bonded factory is significant for promoting production and the sector that will lead Mongolia’s economy, and reducing customs clearance time and cost. They also underlined that this was a major event for MIAT Mongolian Airlines and its M&E Organization as the government policy to improve competitiveness in the global market has been issued for the first time with support from the GCO in Mongolia.
According to Vice President of MIAT N.Ganbold, being granted with the license to operate the first Mongolian customs bonded factory by the GCO is a big event for the company. He noted that the license would become a massive support for the company as it will create various advantages such as saving time and ensure ease of workload.
“Previously, we used to waste a lot of time on spare parts clearances at the customs. Now we can do online clearances and airlift goods and inventory. This is a huge opportunity. Currently, one to two percent of ticket sales of MIAT Mongolian Airlines are being carried out online. We will be working towards increasing online ticket sales to ten to 15 percent,” said N.Ganbold.
M&E entered its third market and started performing heavy maintenance services, which is expanding the scope for MIAT Mongolian Airlines while rapidly increasing its import and export operations. According to N.Ganbold, quick purchase of spare parts and components is essential for eliminating shortage during engineering and maintenance services in a short period and easing customs clearance will become an advantage for enhancing competitiveness in international markets.
M&E is approved by European Aviation Safety Agency under EASA Part-145 regulation to perform maintenance and engineering services for Boeing 767-300ER, Boeing 767-300 and other aircrafts. M&E has performed quick and quality maintenance work for Thailand’s B767-300 aircraft from the Orient Thai Company and South Korea’s B737-800 from Easter Jet Company several times. This was the first time Mongolia had performed heavy maintenance on aircrafts from foreign markets. The organization was complimented by many clients for completing high quality services in the country. For 2015, M&E received requests for heavy maintenance and engineering services for over ten aircrafts from Russia and other countries.
The most time-consuming issue for purchasing and returning spare parts for maintenance services is resolving related issues including customs clearance, notifying the customs office, and receiving customs inspection. By granting special approval to operate customs bonded factory at the 3,600 meter squared land of M&E, the regulation to exempt aircraft for civil air transportation and its parts from customs duties and other taxes that are specified in the Customs Law will become active.
This event has furthered the relation between MIAT Mongolian Airlines and the GCO to a new level, according to N.Ganbold.
Source: Undesnii Shuudan

D.Tsolmon: A society labeling us ‘disabled’ is disabled
December 17 (UB Post) Brilliant Club organized the first “Beauty on Wheelchair” Contest in Mongolia on December 3, to celebrate the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, which aims to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilize support for the dignity, rights and well-being of persons with disabilities.
In total, fifteen ladies participated in the contest and D.Tsolmon became the winner. Below is an interview with D.Tsolmon.
Can you introduce yourself to our readers?
I’m a person with disabilities who’s been on the wheelchair since 2005 because of a spinal cord tumor. Doctors couldn’t diagnose why I got the tumor. Currently, I’m living with my husband and son. I got introduced to my husband while visiting my friend, who is my neighbor.
Organizers of the “Beauty on Wheelchair” Contest announced that the winner would be awarded with an opportunity to travel to Italy. When will you be departing?
It seems that there is a health resort for people with disabilities in Italy. I will be travelling to Italy for 18 days next year in July. Besides going on a vacation, I will study the services for people with disabilities and outline a comparative assessment with Mongolia’s services. I will also be filming the whole trip.
Previously, you mentioned that you were getting your wheelchair repaired. In Mongolia, how many places provide these types of services?
Thanks to G.Dashnyam from Nickel Ganbaa LLC, who first began producing wheelchairs in Mongolia, it’s now possible to order custom-made wheelchairs and get broken ones fixed. I prefer light wheelchairs that enable you to lean backwards without assistance as I’m interested in wheelchair dance sport.
Welfare organizations mainly provides massive wheelchairs from China that aren’t suited for users. Massive wheelchairs don’t fit in the trunks of cars and is difficult to mobilize. Unsuitable wheelchairs are dangerous as it may bend or pierce the backbone.
A peaceful demonstration, with a slogan to turn public transportation accessible to the public, was organized by people with disabilities last summer. How often do you travel by bus?
I’m a regular passenger of public transportation. Since bus drivers and conductors of bus lines near my home recognize me, they understand my situation and help me out. New bus drivers, on the other hand, leave me behind. Wheelchairs can’t aboard buses with handrails in between the door so there are times when I have to wait for a long time for appropriate buses.
Is there anyone with disabilities who gives you strength, inspire and motivate you?
I was 15 years old and I was walking down a street when a driver gave his name card and invited me to come to a New Year party of an NGO that supports people with disabilities. Soon after, the World Vision Mongolia invited me to an event and asked me to recite a poem. Two men in wheelchairs were present at the event and one of them was the driver I met before. When I attended the New Year party he invited me to attend, people in wheelchairs dressed in gorgeous dresses and suits welcomed me. I had never seen so many people in wheelchairs and used to think that I was the only one. I didn’t think disable people would dress up so nicely and hadn’t put much effort into my outfit. Although I was proud and happy to see them, I was embarrassed and hid myself near corners.
I was able to learn to live on my own by contacting Tugeemel Khugjil NGO.
When were you most proud of yourself?
I was the most happiest and prideful when I gave birth to my son. Giving birth almost impossible for a person paralyzed down from the armpit. My nerves from the waist are very weak and welfare organizations determined that I lost 90 percent of my labor capacity. Doctors at the Second Maternity Hospital approved my request to give birth on my own and I didn’t suffer as much while delivering my baby. I’m grateful to Dr.Ariungerel who was the doctor in charge. I heard that it was the first time a person paralyzed from the waist gave birth at the Second Maternity Hospital.
Have you ever been bullied because of your disabilities?
There isn’t a single bad person in this world. People distance themselves and prevaricate from helping people with disabilities because they don’t have enough understanding about us and don’t have anyone with disabilities around them. They’ll feel pressured if a person on a wheelchair suddenly appears on the streets and asks for help. Mongolians have good hearts. Some taxi drivers refuse to take fees and instead, wish me the best of luck and encourage me to fight for my dreams. Few people try to take advantage of us. There were drivers who thought people with disabilities were stupid and tried to extort more money. Once, a man offered to help in an apartment staircase but pushed me down and stole my wallet.
How do you want to be defined by others?
Just like people wear shoes, a wheelchair is “clothing” that helps me move around. We’re humans, the same as others. In the current society, we can only be labeled as people with disabilities. The society that labels us like this is disabled itself. For instance, a young man from another country didn’t feel that he was disabled and didn’t have any issues with being unable to walk. Just after he landed in Mongolia, he became aware that he was actually a person with disabilities. Other countries have roads and wheelchair ramps which enable people on wheelchairs to travel freely without any assistance from others. I heard that a person who lost all four limbs and have muscle weakness teaches at a Japanese university.
In the Mongolian society, people with disabilities are treated as if we don’t need to live actively, have to stay at home without causing problems for others, and take the money the state offers and do something with our lives if we’ve lost more than 70 percent of our labor capacity. Benefit funds are very important to people with disabilities who can’t leave the house because of inadequate road railings, staircase systems, and cold stares and attitudes of some people. A man who can’t control his whole body is making his living expenses by teaching in Japan. Why can’t we do the same? Approximately 16,000 people with disabilities live in Mongolia. If we say that 6,000 of them are unable to work, the remaining 10,000 people can work and invest so much to the society. I believe that even society will see us from a different perspective if we [people with disabilities] live with ambition, motivation and stop making excuses because of our disabilities. Problems for people with disabilities will no longer be a problem if, for example, concrete road ends for pedestrians are lowered.
Do you feel upset about the lack of consideration for the disabled in infrastructure and buildings?
There are cases when people on wheelchairs have been hit by cars because they used roads instead of pedestrian paths because they are too high. It’s judged as the fault of the person on wheelchair in court because they were traveling on roads. I’ve also been almost hit by a car. Most people don’t understand our situation and scolds us to use the pedestrian roads.
What are you currently studying at university?
I was a freshman at Chinggis-Sosei International Relations School (CSIRS), one of the branch schools of Ikh Zasag International University, before I became pregnant. I chose to enter this school because I believe foreign language is an inseparable link to my dreams and an international gateway.
The “Beauty on Wheelchair” Contest has been organized for the very first time in Mongolia, but it’s developed into an international contest in foreign countries. I want to become a bridge for Mongolian young people on wheelchairs and become a passage to their participation in international competitions. I researched about wheelchair dance sport and found that this type of freestyle dancing hasn’t been developed.
Is it true you’ve implemented a project for students on wheelchairs?
It’s very challenging to ask a stranger to help them aboard a bus, go into a school, or take them up the stairs. With my friend, I researched about whether it’s possible for people with disabilities to study and get educated with assistance from volunteers and tested it on myself. I administrated over twenty people and received their help during times when they were free. Simply, one of them would help me alight buses in the morning, another person would come and help me get to different classes during breaks, and a different student would help me get back home. Sometime, I would treat volunteers to lunch and tried my best to reward them as much as I could. I talked with the school administrators and got them to increase community works score of volunteers.
Tugeemel Khugjil NGO organized training about how to function wheelchairs for people who helped me. I had found an organization that would support my project and develop it into a large project for many children but I had to delay this work because I had a baby.
I’m planning to submit my project to the government and have it implemented at a broader scale. I also want schools to start an online curriculum for students with disabilities. It would be wonderful and more convenient if professional lessons are taught through the internet and students with disabilities would go to schools once or twice a week, only when it’s necessary. Attending schools every day is challenging for me as I can’t catch up to the speed of healthy children, specifically, when going from classroom to classroom and taking bathroom breaks.
Source: http://www.mglnews.mn/content/55721.htm

Coca-Cola Zero 2014 bowling competition concludes
By B. Tungalag
December 17 (UB Post) The Mongolian Bowling Amateurs Association and MCS Coca Cola LLC has held the fifth Coca-Cola Zero Championship bowling competition from January 2014 among professional teams of bowling clubs. The final stage of the competition concluded on December 14.
1,200 bowlers from 200 teams competed in the competition. The top 28 teams selected from the 200 and the champion of the competition were announced on December 14.
The first place went to CAD team, who collected 3,911 points. The team was awarded with one million MNT in cash prize and certificate.
Petro Jump team won second place with 3,694 points, and Baganuur LLC’s team won third place with 3,623 points.
Bowler of Petro Jump S.Tsevegmid collected the highest score of 224, and was awarded with the title of “Best Player” and received the certificate of Big Bowling Club to play free of charge.
The general sponsor of the series competition MCS Coca Cola LLC promises to award 10 million MNT to the player who collects the perfect score of 300 points in the course of the championship. No one has taken 300 points currently.

New Year tree shines at Chinggis Square
By B. Baatar
December 17 (UB Post) Ulaanbaatar’s New Year tree lighting ceremony took place on Monday at Chinggis Square.
Chairman of the Ulaanbaatar City Council D.Battulga, General Manager of Ulaanbaatar B.Badral, and State Honored Athlete and Labor Hero E.Badar-Uugan participated in the lighting ceremony.
Chairman D.Battulga noted, “A number of projects were launched in UIaanbaatar in 2014. There is a tradition of lighting the New Year tree at the central square with residents in large cities. This is the third year that we have lighted the New Year tree at Chinggis Square. I wish you all the best in the upcoming year.”
Artists of Ulaanbaatar Ensemble, singer B.Amarkhuu, M.Sonor and Red Theater performed “First Kiss” musical for Ulaanbaatar residents and celebrated the New Year tree lighting ceremony.

Air pollution kills infants in the womb
December 17 (UB Post) The biggest and hardest thing about living in Ulaanbaatar, especially in winter, is overcoming air pollution. Every year, higher authorities discuss effective ways to reduce air pollution and Ulaanbaatar residents get tired of their discussions. It seems that only wind fights against air pollution.
At present, citizens who reside in the following districts are living in hazardous conditions:
• Bayanzurkh District- population: 294,908
• Bayangol District- population: 192,614
• Songinokhairkhan District- population: 261,917
• Sukhbaatar District- population 137,834
• Chinggeltei District- population: 155,000
In total, over one million people face disastrous health risks.
Air pollution and health
International and national experts’ research shows that air pollution negatively effects health; increases the rates of respiratory, cardiovascular and central nervous system diseases; and is linked to allergies, hereditary illness, birth defects, and cancer. Moreover, it inhibits reproductive health (damages embryos and increases the risk of miscarriages) and impacts children’s immune systems and growth.
Health problems confronting Ulaanbaatar residents:
• People cannot get rid of colds and coughs in winter. People of all ages are affected. Even though, there are no symptoms of a cold, people can’t shake off coughing.
• Persistent coughing in children from the ages of 0 to 5 can bring on pneumonia. Mongolia’s children from the ages of 0 to 5 are losing their lives to pneumonia, which is recorded as the nation’s second highest cause of death by disease.
• Allergies are widespread.
• The risk of mortality, miscarriage and fetal death increases
• The risk of cardiovascular disease and death rises
• There were over 40,187 live births in 2013 in Ulaanbaatar and 546 infant deaths were registered, which was an increase of 10.9 percent from the previous year’s data. A total of 1,438 infant deaths were recorded nationwide, out which 45.6 percent only occurred in cities.
• Leading cause of these deaths in infants and children under age 5 was respiratory disease. Among them, pneumonia occupies 87.2 percent.
Looking at Fig. 2, we can see how disease affects some of our most vulnerable city residents.
Looking at different statistics, 380 infant birth defects were registered in 2013, which grew by 13.6 percent from the previous year. It is hard to connect these results with air pollution and we need further research to clarify air pollution’s link to these cases.
U.S. study links air pollution to miscarriage
Experts at The Saban Research Institute at the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles conducted research in Mongolia and published a paper in the journal BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth.
Their paper mentioned that the level of carbon dioxide in the air is 23 times higher in winter in Ulaanbaatar. They investigated the connection between miscarriages (not including abortion) and seasonal air pollution and received data from the National Center for Maternal and Children’s Health.
The study compared those statistics with 1,219 women whose pregnancies ended before their 20th week, from 2009 to 2011. The number and frequency of miscarriage dramatically dropped or increased depending on the season.
Miscarriages occur in 15 to 20 percent of all pregnancies in Mongolia, and this number was close to the rate of miscarriages in the U.S. and western countries. In 2011, there were 23 miscarriages in every 1,000 pregnancies in May 2011, and the number increased to 73 in November 2011. As soon as the days get shorter, air pollution is on the rise.
How much is spent on reducing air pollution?
One organization with the potential to reduce and fight air pollution is the Clean Air Fund. It is financed by the state budget and foreign investments.
Fig. 4 shows the expenditures of the Clean Air Fund. Many projects valued in billions of MNT have been executed by domestic and international organizations working in Ulaanbaatar.
Air pollution creates economic challenges
Medicines for respiratory infection and disease cost a minimum of 1,000 MNT and pills for children cost much more, approximately 16,000 to 25,000 MNT. Nowadays, parents spend more money on cures and medicine, and it is expected that parents will continue to spend more. Unless we establish hospitals for lung and respiratory diseases, children’s illnesses will continue to spread rapidly.
Air pollution threatens public health and the economy, and is about to become a big issue for population growth and national security.
Brief facts about air pollution:
• Air pollution shortens human life expectancy by one to two years
• Air pollution is more dangerous for children than adults, as children spend more time playing outside
• There are outdoor and indoor causes of air pollution. Smoking at home is an example of indoor air pollution
• Electric vehicles emit less pollution
• Excessive exposure to air pollution can result in children developing narrow airways in their lungs.
Source: http://news.gogo.mn/r/151489

Japanese Government pledges aid to Mongolia
December 17 (news.mn) Foreign Affairs Minister of Mongolia L.Purevsuren and Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Mongolia Takenori Shimizu signed a diplomatic note in Ulaanbaatar, on Wednesday, pledging that Japan would provide 2 billion and 200 million MNT in project aid for building a Mongolia-Japan teaching hospital, and 3 billion and 100 million MNT non-project aid to Mongolia.
The opening of a Mongolia-Japan teaching hospital would provide Mongolians with access to high level clinical services at home with complex services from qualified medical specialists. The project is expected to be a significant move towards taking healthcare services to a new level, in the framework of government policy on healthcare system reform.
The Japanese government's free aid to Mongolia during the transfer to a market economy played a significant role when Mongolia went through hard times, improving government structure, and reducing foreign trade deficit.
The free aid from the Government of Japan will fund the purchase of facilities and equipment required by Koosen Technology Institute, a school of MUST. 
Related:
Non-refundable aid to be given by JapanMontsame, December 17

Stock Exchange news for December 17
By B. Khuder
Ulaanbaatar, December 17 (MONTSAME) At the Stock Exchange trades on Wednesday, a total of 2,263 thousand units of 17 JSCs were traded costing MNT two million 661 thousand and 300.
"Genco tour bureau” /1,083 thousand units/, “Hai Bi Oil” /618 units/, “Tavantolgoi” /200 units/, “Binse HK” /155 units/ and "Gobi” /51 units/ were the most actively traded in terms of trading volume, in terms of trading value were "Tavantolgoi” (MNT 820 thousand), "Talkh chikher” (MNT 388 thousand and 500), “Gobi” (MNT 358 thousand and 020), “Hai Bi Oil” (MNT 339 thousand and 900) and "Khasu mandal” (MNT 176 thousand and 335).
The total market capitalization was set at MNT one trillion 430 billion 222 million 835 thousand and 827. The Index of Top-20 JSCs was 14,594.90, decreasing 21.53 units or 0.15% against the previous day.

Academician Namsrai gives lecture for young scientists
By B. Amarsaikhan
Ulaanbaatar, December 17 (MONTSAME) The Chingis’ Order laureate and Honored figure of sciences academician Kh.Namsrai gave lecture December 17 at the Independence Palace for young scientists.
The lecture was dedicated to the "Contemporary Physics, Practices and Approaches of Discovering Future Talents" theme. This event took place in frames of annual "Serial lectures of Academicians" action organized by the Academy of Sciences with a purpose of enlightening the public and advertizing sciences.
The co-organizers of this year’s lecture were the Association of Young Scientists of Mongolia, Mongolian People’s Party, Mongolian National Broadcaster and Promotion Fund for Mongolian Young Scientists. 

Famous Russian to teach Mongolian fencers
By B. Khuder
Ulaanbaatar, December 17 (MONTSAME) A famous fencing coach from the Russian Federation Mr Alexander Rovnyagin will coach Mongolian fencers for two years with an ultimate aim to bring the Mongolian fencing into a newer level.
A cooperation contract has been signed between Mr Ts.Davaatseren, a president of Mongolia’s Fencing Federation (MFF), and Mr Rovnyagin.
Born in 1952, Rovnyagin has been a coach for the national teams of Uzbekistan, Russia, China, Iran and Jordan. Coached by him Russians won four gold medals. Pavel Kolobokov is one of the prominent epee fencers coached by Rovnyagin: he captured one gold, two silver and three bronze medals at the Olympics of 1992-2004, and is current Vice Minister of Sport of Russia. 

Mongolians to compete in World University Speed Skating Championships
By B. Khuder
Ulaanbaatar, December 17 (MONTSAME) Mongolian students will participate in the 2nd World University Speed Skating Championships that will take place on December 18-21 in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
The competitions will attract some 150 skaters of about 20 countries such as Norway, Italy, Poland, Estonia, Belarus, Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Sweden, Chinese Taipei and the Netherlands. Mongolia will be represented there by A.Enkh-Ariun, a student from the Mongolian State University (MSU) and B.Tulga (Institute of Physical Culture). Coached by J.Dolgorsuren IMS, the student skaters will compete in races of 500, 1,000, 1,500, 3,000 and 5,000 m distance categories.
The national team of Mongolia aims to break the national and personal records.

Judokas keep leadership IJF rankings
By B. Khuder
Ulaanbaatar, December 17 (MONTSAME) The International Judo Federation (IJF) has issued the latest update of the world’s top judokas in all male and female weight categories for this month.
World champions Mongolians G.Boldbaatar and M.Urantsetseg still topped the lightest categories of men and women divisions. International master of sports G.Boldbaatar has collected 2,676 points, whereas a State Honored Sportswoman M.Urantsetseg--3,180 points, followed by a Brazilian Sarah Menesez (1,956 points).
In the second lightest category for men division (66 kg), international master of sports D.Tomorkhuleg kept his 4th with 1,710 points. This category is led by a Russian Mikhail with 1,961 points. Two Olympic medalists Mongolians Kh.Tsagaanbaatar and S.Nyam-Ochir are the sixth and the eighth, respectively, in the men 73kg. The rank of an Olympic champion Mongolian N.Tuvshinbayar went down to 15th in the men -100 kg division.
An international master of sports Mongolian A.Tsolmon (1,062 points) is the 11th in the women 52 kg; D.Sumya (women 57 kg)--is the eighth, and Ts.Naranjargal (women’s -70 kg)--the 16th. 

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