Sunday, December 21, 2014

Mongolia Brief November 27, 2014

Turkish Defense Attaché Visits
By B. Amarsaikhan
Ulaanbaatar, November 27 (MONTSAME) Concurrent to Mongolia, the Turkish defense attache to China Colonel Ayhan Erhan is paying visit to Mongolia November 25-28.

He was received by the secretary of the Ministry of Defense Major-General Z.Boldbaatar, the head of the foreign cooperation department Colonel D.Ariunbold, and the head of the policy planning and strategy department of the General Headquarters of the Armed forces Brigadier-General J.Badambazar. The sides discussed the two countries’ relations and cooperation frameworks to be realized next year.  After this, Mr Erhan visited the Defense University to take part in "Attache's hour" meeting organized by the Academic Institute of the University. There a he spoke about the Turkish Armed forces and shared opinions with the gathered. He also met with those who are learning Turkish while legging a cabinet of the Turkish Language. 
The defense attache will get au fait with the Training Center of the Armed Forces where "Khaan Quest" international field exercises are held, accompanied by the Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey to Mongolia Murat Karagoz.

Permanent Rep Visits Geneva Canton
By B. Khuder
Ulaanbaatar, November 27 (MONTSAME) The Permanent Representative of Mongolia to the United Nations Office at Geneva and the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Switzerland Mr V.Purevdorj Tuesday met with Mr Francois Longchamp, State Council President of the Republic and Canton of Geneva.
Mr Purevdorj said a cooperation is possible in trade, economic and cultural spheres and proposed that Geneva’s business delegates participate in a Mongolia-Switzerland business forum which will run next year in Ulaanbaatar and propagandize the Mongolian arts and culture in Geneva Canton.
Representatives of the General Election Commission of Mongolia (GEC) and Citizens’ Representative Khural of Ulaanbaatar visited Geneva this year to get au fait how Geneva plans its development and organizes public polls, he noted and expressed a willingness to learn Geneva’s experiences in prompt delivering of state services. The Ambassador also invited Mr Longchamp to Mongolia.
In response, Mr Longchamp asked Purevdorj about development of Mongolian economy, policy on developing mining, roads, transportation and tourism sectors, and supported the proposals on boosting the cooperation in cultural and economic spheres.  

Foreign Office Minister Hugo Swire Congratulates New PM
By B. Khuder
Ulaanbaatar, November 27 (MONTSAME) The Foreign Office Minister for Asia of the United Kingdom Mr Hugo Swire has welcomed the appointment of Saikhanbileg Chimed as the 28th Prime Minister of Mongolia.
In his letter, Mr Swire congratulated Saikhanbileg on this appointment and sent him every good wish in his new role.
"I was privileged to visit Mongolia earlier this year and discuss the many opportunities in Mongolian-British relations with Mr Saikhanbileg, when he was Cabinet Secretary. I am confident that his leadership will help drive forward the country’s rapid development, and that it will unlock the potential for greater foreign investment. I look forward to the appointment of the rest of his Cabinet,” the letter says.

Students receive Oyu Tolgoi scholarships
November 26 (Oyu Tolgoi) Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia - A ceremony to award Oyu Tolgoi scholarships to promising Mongolian students for the academic year 2014-2015 took place today at the Blue Sky Tower.
As in previous years, the qualification process for Oyu Tolgoi’s international and national scholarships began in September. This year 38 students qualified and received their certificates. Seventeen of the recipients study at the University of Science and Technology, ten at the Mongolian National University, and the remainder at the Technology School, Orkhon and the Agricultural University in Darkhan Uul aimag. This year an occupational hygiene student from the Health Sciences University of Mongolia qualified for the programme for the first time. The most popular subject amongst recipients is civil engineering with seven students enrolled.
At the awards ceremony, G.Batsukh, Chairman of the Board of Oyu Tolgoi LLC said, “Oyu Tolgoi is not just a company which produces and exports copper concentrate. It is a company which contributes to converting natural resources into human capital. In the education sector alone, the company spent US$123 million over the last four years. Let the scholarship students develop great minds with unlimited knowledge for the benefit of our country.”
This year, three students qualified for international scholarships. They will study mining, environmental science and electrical engineering in the US, Canada and Australia. Oyu Tolgoi will spend MNT295 million on the national scholarship programme and US$180 thousand on international scholarships.
Speaking at the awards ceremony, Andrew Woodley, President and CEO of Oyu Tolgoi said, “Helping people to get education is truly inspiring. I am confident that the results of this investment in people will be immense. We are very pleased to support the education sector.”
Erdenes Oyu Tolgoi CEO D.Ganbold added, “Oyu Tolgoi makes a very large contribution to Mongolia’s budget. In addition to taxes paid, the company also invests in many sectors besides mining. This relieves a corresponding amount of burden from the state while assisting progress and development. This has helped Oyu Tolgoi to become the face and image of Mongolia.”
P.Erkhembulgan, Head of the Higher Education department of the Ministry of Education and Science said, “Oyu Tolgoi is very proactive and effective in its cooperation with the Mongolian education sector. The construction of Nalaikh Technical College for US$10 million is just one example. I would like to advise the students to study well and be worthy of the trust placed in you.”
Scholarship recipient B. Erdenebaatar who is studying in his final year at the Mechanical Transport school of the University of Science and Technology said that he will do his best to study and become a world class specialist.
Oyu Tolgoi scholarships cover tuition fees, monthly stipends of MNT200,000, dormitory fees and travel costs for students from the countryside. As long as the students’ studies go well, the scholarship continues until graduation and an opportunity is provided for a paid internship at Oyu Tolgoi. Oyu Tolgoi international scholarships cover full tuition fees, dormitory accommodation, health insurance, visa fees and travel expenses. In addition, Oyu Tolgoi pays a monthly stipend and covers the cost of books and study materials, greatly helping the students.
In 2010, Oyu Tolgoi and the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to develop a programme to create a highly competent national workforce for the Mongolian mining industry and other sectors. In accordance with the MoU, Oyu Tolgoi plans to grant a total of 200 national and 30 international scholarships by the end of 2015. To date, 23 students have been granted international scholarships and 170 students national scholarships.

Mongolia ties cooperation in education with KOSEN
November 27 ( The Ministry of Education and Science of Mongolia and Institute of National Colleges of Technology in Japan (KOSEN) signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation aiming to develop KOSEN trainings in Mongolia to provide the country with skilled engineers and technicians.
The MoU was signed by Minister of Education and Science of Mongolia L.Gantumur and President of KOSEN Hidefumi Kobatake in Ulaanbaatar.
Signing the agreement strengthens bilateral cooperation between Mongolia and Japan in the field of education and science, develops opportunities to establish direct collaboration between KOSEN education in Mongolia and Japan, reciprocally approves certificates of both countries in KOSEN education, and will enable the exchange of information between students and teachers.
The MoU will be effective for five years from its signing.

Mongolians in S.Korea Run Chess Competition
By B. Khuder
Ulaanbaatar, November 27 (MONTSAME) Such events ran on occasion of the 852nd birth anniversary of Chingis Khaan (National Day of Pride) on November 23 among the South Korea-based Mongolians.
Co-organized by Mongolia’s Embassy in South Korea and a “Sky+” chess club, the tournament attracted players aged 10-50 years to compete  in the Swiss system.
The Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Mongolia to the Republic of Korea Mr B.Ganbold delivered the opening speech, underlining that Mongolian young players have brilliantly been successful around the world. He also noted that these chess events will be organized annually with aims to make chess more popular, to improve skills of players, and to give players chances to learn from each other. After five games, D.Barsaa took the first place, followed by L.Bataa and J.Purevdorj. They received diplomas and cash prizes from the Embassy. Moreover, contest for chess combination and problems ran.

Dimensions to create a Nuclear-Weapon Free Northeast Asia conference held
November 27 ( The Ulaanbaatar office of Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC), a global network of civil society organizations, held the International conference: Dimensions to create a Nuclear-Weapon Free Northeast Asia, in collaboration with Tsenkher suld NGO of Mongolia, at the Conference Hall of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Economic Cooperation of Mongolia on November 26th.
The international conference was attended by Mongolian researchers, GPPAC Northeast Asian partner organization representatives, and researchers and peace activists from Ulaanbaatar, Tokyo, Kyoto, Pyongyang, Seoul, Vladivostok, Beijing, Hong Kong, and Taipei.
During the conference, participants discussed challenges and regional efforts for denuclearization, cross-border ties between civil society organizations, current development and future perspectives, demands and chances for a nuclear-free Northeast Asia and the role of Mongolia's nuclear free status, and strengthening regional efforts for denuclearization.

Government of Japan Awards S.Demberel with Order of Rising Sun
November 27 ( On November 26, 2014, the Japanese Order of the Rising Sun, 4th Class, Gold Rays with the Rosette was conferred to a national of Mongolia, Mr. Sanj DEMBEREL at the Embassy of Japan in Ulaanbaatar.
The Order was handed by Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Mongolia, Takenori Shimizu to S.Demberel for his contribution to the development of Mongolia-Japan relations, who has been serving at the Embassy for over 15 years.
During his career, S.Demberel released dozens of publications and reference books including Japan-Mongolia Dictionary, as well as worked in the management group of Partnership Union to support Mongolia-Japan relations.
Before, the Government of Japan resolved to award the People's Artist of Mongolia, composer and musicologist Natsag JANTSANNOROV with the Order of the Rising Sun, 4th Class, Gold Rays with the Rosette in 2012.
In 2013, Professor at National University of Mongolia (NUM) Mrs. Suren DOLGOR was also awarded with the Order of the Rising Sun, 3rd Class, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon.
Both Orders were conferred by the Ambassador T.Shimizu at the Embassy of Japan in Ulaanbaatar.

Heads of Government Agencies for Intelligence, Taxation,
Police, and Court Decisions Enforcement Replaced
November 27 ( On November 26, 2014, the second Cabinet meeting chaired by Premier Ch.Saikhanbileg was held mainly focused on replacing some authorities of Agencies.
- The first decision was an appointment of Ts.Munkhtur as a Government Spokesman, he used to work as a Director of Department of Government Press and Public Relations.
- Chairman of the General Intelligence Agency of Mongolia B.Ariunsan was freed from his post and he was appointed as the Director General of the General Department of Taxation succeeding T.Batmagnai.
- New Chairman of the General Intelligence Agency of Mongolia was appointed as B.Khurts, who used to works as the Deputy Chief of the Independent Authority Against Corruption of Mongolia (IAAC) and earlier as the Head of Administration at the National Security Council of Mongolia.
- Chief of National Police, Police Colonel S.Baatarjav was dismissed from his post and replaced by R.Chingis, who used to work as Deputy Chief of National Police since 2012.
- Head of the Court Decisions Enforcement Agency (Authority for Implementing Court Decisions) S.Bayandalai, was dismissed and replaced by B.Bilegt, who used to work as Head of the General Police Department of Mongolia.
PM begins government, November 27

Mongolian insurance sector set to consolidate
November 26 (Oxford Business Group) The insurance sector in Mongolia is heading for consolidation with higher capital requirements likely to squeeze out smaller operators in a crowded market. However larger firms can look forward to solid growth prospects as penetration rates remain low and product awareness is on the rise.
The expected narrowing of the number of insurers − most likely through a series of mergers or buyouts − is set to benefit the remaining firms. At the same time, for well-capitalised local insurers there may be opportunities to partner with multinational operators.
Expansion from a low base
Insurance is slated as one of the key segments for growth in Mongolia’s financial services industry. Insurers are being lured by the scope for expansion, given the country’s rapid transformation in the past 20 years and the economic spin-offs from a growing mining industry; as well as the fact it is an open market – a rarity in Asia.
According to the World Bank, the Mongolian insurance industry registered a CAGR of 26.7% during the review period (2008−2012). At the same time, the introduction of compulsory motor insurance two years ago will result in a 30% expansion in the size of the motor insurance category, according to a report by business consultancy Timetric.
Despite the positive outlook, penetration rates remain extremely low – at around 0.54% –while growth in many non-compulsory segments has been slow. The sector is small in terms of its contribution to the economy, and is a relatively modest component of the broader financial industry, representing 5% of GDP, with the insurance sector’s input being 1% of the sector as a whole, B. Nyambaa, head of the debt management department at the Ministry of Finance, said in April.
Life and health packages are starting to gain some market acceptance, though for the latter, the tradition of the state providing for citizens’ medical needs has meant expansion is coming from a very low base. As the number of privately operated health facilities grows, however, so may the opportunities for health insurance offerings.
Groundwork needs to be laid to raise awareness and shape policies to appeal to local clients according to National Life’s G. Mongolkhuu, CEO of the only life insurance company operating in Mongolia. “Pensions and investment/savings products are a real area of opportunity for the Mongolian insurance sector,” G. Mongolkhuu told OBG. “However, companies need to develop products that are specifically designed with the local market in mind; simply copying and pasting from more developed markets will not work.”
The industry also has to tackle other issues such as shortage of skills and lack of data on insurance policies or the uptake of products. “The insurance sector needs to focus on improving its risk management techniques and the actuarial skills of its human resources,” Tenger Insurance CEO A. Batzorig told OBG. Other sector players have called for a dedicated institute, which would analyse statistics and supply information to the insurance sector.
Policy of growth
The fledgling market boasts 17 insurance firms – compared to just 13 banks – a situation that has kept profit margins tight. Of the 17 firms, all but one offer a range of policy options across the product spectrum.
According to the sector’s governing agency, the Financial Regulatory Committee (FRC), Mongolia’s insurers posted combined profits of MNT2bn-3bn ($1.07m-$1.6m) in 2013, while paying out MNT6bn ($3.2m) to policy holders. The sector had gross revenues of MNT93bn ($49.7m) last year, a figure that should increase as product acceptance grows.
However, the constricted nature of the sector is limiting new players from entering the market, according to D. Bolormaa, the CEO of Bodi Daatgal – the second largest insurer in terms of premiums – with many of the smaller companies already struggling to keep afloat. This is leading to price-cutting, which is weakening the sector as a whole, she told OBG.
“The insurance sector is too crowded, and smaller players are, as a result, charging irresponsibly low rates in an effort to compete,” said D. Bolormaa. “This is dangerous for the system as whole, as they do not understand the risks involved and may not be able to meet all of their commitments.”
This may, however, drive a period of consolidation next year, led by the FRC, Bolormaa said, referring to the watchdog's move to increase the minimum capital requirements for companies.
Tightening market conditions brought on by a slowdown in the economy could also trigger a consolidation. Though the sector is forecast to expand this year and into 2015, a cooling of the domestic economy may be a drag on demand for insurance products. While GDP growth stood at 10% this summer, it remains well behind the government's forecast of 14.7% for the year, and continuing weakness in commodity prices and reduced prospects for China, one of Mongolia’s main markets, could see the growth rate easing.
International doors opening
Despite the overcrowded environment, international insurers are looking to get a foothold in the nascent market, which does not have any restrictions on foreign investment.
The French multinational insurer, AXA, announced in September a partnership deal with Bodi that will see it provide reinsurance services to the Mongolian firm while also providing corporate solutions assistance and research and development support.
If local insurers team up with larger overseas players, it will enable them to provide coverage for the mining and construction sectors, the driving forces of the economy.
The relatively small domestic insurance sector is not yet well enough capitalised to provide adequate coverage for Mongolia's flagship industries. As a result, many of the foreign firms in these industries have policies carried by international companies, with their premiums paid offshore.

Cabinet Appoints Heads of Agencies
By B. Amarsaikhan
Ulaanbaatar, November 27 (MONTSAME) Cabinet meeting on November 26 appointed the following officials the heads of Central Intelligence Agency, General Police Department and General Taxation Department.
The former head of CIA B.Ariunsan was freed from his office replaced by B.Khurts, responsibilities of the head of Police Department was assigned from S.Baatarjav to R.Chingis, and of the head of Taxation Department—from T.Batmagnai to B.Ariunsan.

Cabinet Backs Bill on State Property
By B. Khuder
Ulaanbaatar, November 27 (MONTSAME) The cabinet meeting ran Wednesday discussed a draft law on state property worked out by S.Odontuya MP and other parliamentarians, and then decided to give some related proposals to the bill. The proposals will be reflected in the cabinet meeting’s note and will be conveyed to the draft initiator.
Having 26 clauses in six articles, the bill on state property reflects clauses on types of state properties, understanding about them, regulations of owning and utilizing state properties, the rights and responsibilities of state organizations on state properties, reasons and rules of founding state-run factories and companies, forms of state participation in the relations of entities and other relevant matters.   

Drafts of Credit Transactions Approved
By B. Amarsaikhan
Ulaanbaatar, November 27 (MONTSAME) The Cabinet, on its meeting on Wednesday, discussed and approved the draft of the credit transactions inked by Mongolia and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in purposes to implement the project on improving the employment capacity in Mongolia.
The project aims at enhancing the system of education on agriculture, construction, road and transportation. It is financed by credit with easy terms by the ADB.
In a scope of the project, 30 high schools and 20 training centers facilitated with study tools and equipment will be established, and new study programmes and standards will be developed.

Deputy Foreign Minister D.Gankhuyag Receives DPRK Delegation
November 27 ( Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and Economic Cooperation of Mongolia, Mr. D.Gankhuyag received North Korean delegation who participated in the "Dimension to Create Nuclear-Weapon Free Northeast Asia" International Conference organized by the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC) in cooperation with the "Tsenkher Suld" NGO of Mongolia in Ulaanbaatar on November 26-27, 2014.
The North Korean delegates were headed by National Peace Committee Secretary General, Mr. O Ryong-il, and during the meeting with Deputy Foreign Minister, sides shared view on issues on consolidating Mongolia-North Korea traditional friendly relations and cooperation, increasing the frequency of reciprocal top and high-level visits, and expanding bilateral collaboration at the Korean Peninsula and regional level.
Deputy Minister D.Gankhuyag welcomed active participation of North Korea in activities carried out at various level within Ulaanbaatar Dialogue on Northeast Asian Security, stressing that Mongolia will take further efforts for building mutual trust and confidence between the regional countries and for solving any challenges to face through peaceful means.
Mr. O Ryong-il introduced activities of the National Peace Committee (NPCK) of Korea and said NPCK has a great interest in cooperating with the Tsenkher Suld NGO and other international organizations for building peace and security in Northeast Asia and on Korean Peninsula, reports the Ministry.
Deputy FM Meets North Korean DelegationMontsame, November 27

Mongolian athletes earn medals at 4th Aerobic Asian Gymnastics Championships
November 27 ( The 4th Aerobic Asian Gymnastics Championships were held in Gangwon, South Korea, from November 19 to 21. Over 300 athletes from 11 countries, including China, South Korea, Japan, Thailand, Hong Kong, India, Vietnam, and Australia, participated in the games. Thirty-five athletes from Mongolian secondary schools and university sport clubs represented Mongolia in three different age categories and grabbed one gold and two bronze medals.
The Mongolian team from the Mongolian University of Science and Technology won a gold in the 18 years and older age category. National Institute of Physical Education of Mongolia's team won bronze in the dance aerobics category.
In the junior age category of 12 to 14, young Mongolian athletes from Light Club won bronze.

Playboy Mongolia Names Top 10 Hottest Ladies
November 27 ( On November 27, 2014, the Playboy Mongolia Magazine editors called a press conference regarding the on-line poll summary on Top 10 Hottest Ladies in 2014.
The poll was collected between November 11 and 18, where a total of 24,224 accesses were registered, of which 1,579 people gave their votes. According to poll summary, the 78% of total votes were given to top 10 hottest ladies out of 48 promoted beauties.
The average age given votes was 34 years old and mostly by men and the winner of the on-line poll is topped by Actress B.Bayarmaa collecting the most votes of 169.
Mongolian Top 10 Hottest Ladies in 2014
1. Actress B.Bayarmaa - 169 votes
2. Actress A.Gereltsetseg - 162
3. Journalist L.Dulguun - 154
4. Actress G.Urnaa - 147
5. Actress O.Dulguun - 143
6. Journalist U.Gerelee - 143
7. Singer D.Otgonjargal - 141
8. Actress A.Ganchimeg - 136
9. Actress B.Misheel - 124
10. Actress B.Khulan – 122

Cabinet Meeting in Brief
By B. Khuder
Ulaanbaatar, November 27 (MONTSAME) At the cabinet meeting Thursday, acting Minister of Industry and Agriculture Sh.Tuvdendorj gave a report on harvesting of this year.
According to the report, the country has harvested 518.7 thousand tons of grain, of which 489.4 thousand tons of wheat, 164.0 thousand tons of potatoes, 102.2 thousand tons of vegetables, 51.7 thousand tons of oil plants, 40.3 thousand tons of fodder plants.
- The cabinet backed draft credit agreements to be established between Mongolia and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in order to implement a project on improving the sewage water management of Darkhan city. This matter will be consulted with a related Standing committee of parliament.

Peacekeepers Pay Tribute to Military Banner
By B. Amarsaikhan
Ulaanbaatar, November 27 (MONTSAME)  The first shift of peacekeeping personnel of Military Protection School from the General Staff of the Armed Forces to head to Afghanistan for “Decisive Support” mission held a ceremony to pay tribute to the Military Banner on November 27.
After the expiration of the first phase of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) mission on December 31, the “Decisive support” mission will start on January 1 of 2015.
The purposes of the mission lie in improving the capacity of armed forces to ensure Afghanistan’s national security, as well in training, exercising and promoting the staff. This mission gathers around 12 thousand military personnel from NATO members and partner countries.
Some 2800 Mongolian militants have successfully completed their missions in ISAF operations in Afghanistan, so far.

PM: Cabinet will support private sector
By B. Khuder
Ulaanbaatar, November 27 (MONTSAME) The cabinet will focus its main policy into stabilizing the national economy in order to overcome current economic difficulties. Supporting the private sector will be a pillar of this policy, so the cabinet wants to hear businessmen’s opinions about creating proper solutions.
The Prime Minister Ch.Saikhabileg said it when he convened businessmen on Thursday.
The new cabinet will implement a pragmatic policy for support business. In other words, the cabinet works will be evaluated by the number of successfully realized project not by the number of regulations or rules, the Premier emphasized.
Mentioning that the cabinet meeting on Wednesday made some decision on backing businesspeople and gave obligations to Ministries, Saikhanbileg said a National Council will be set up at the Prime Minister to co-implement proframmes on promoting the national economy. This council aims to reflect the private sector’s proposals and opinions in the state policy to be focused on stabilizing the macro economy, attracting external and domestic investments, improving the business environment and activating the great construction works and foreign trade, and it is open for businessmen to offer their representatives to the council, the Premier said.
The Prime Minister pointed out the government has submitted to parliament some ten bills on abolishing bureaucracy and several phases at the state, which block the private sector’s actions, and added that the cabinet will make efforts to approve these documents. Effective reforms will be done in the actions of taxes and customs, he went on.
“The Prime Minister has invited all political parties at parliament to the new cabinet, and it was a right step. The establishment of the economic council by the party- and faction-free cabinet was a correct solution,” the businessmen emphasized.
Co-organized by the Mongolian National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MNCCI), the Unified Association of Employers and the “CEO” club, the meeting brought together authorities of some 70 companies.    

Stock Exchange news for November 27
By B. Khuder
Ulaanbaatar, November 27 (MONTSAME) At the Stock Exchange trades on Thursday, a total of 110 thousand and 847 units of 16 JSCs were traded costing MNT 682 million 019 thousand and 147.00.
"Mon-it buligaar” /90 thousand units/, “Khokh gan” /17 thousand and 590 units/, “State Department Store” /1,046 units/, “Genco tour bureau” /1,000 units/ and "Baganuur” /450 units/ were the most actively traded in terms of trading volume, in terms of trading value were "Mot-it buligaar” (MNT 675 million), "Khokh gan” (MNT one million 935 thousand and 900), “Baganuur” (MNT one million and 575 thousand), “Gobi” (MNT 873 thousand and 200) and "State Department Store” (MNT 586 thousand and 657).
The total market capitalization was set at MNT one trillion 467 billion 526 million 899 thousand and 011. The Index of Top-20 JSCs was 14,926.53, decreasing 9.99 units or 0.07% against the previous day.

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