Saturday, February 7, 2015

Mongolia Brief January 26, 2015

President meets WEF chairman
By B. Khuder
Ulaanbaatar, January 25 (MONTSAME) The leader of Mongolia Ts.Elbegdorj Saturday met with Professor Klaus Schwab, the founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum (WEF), on the fields of the WEF’s annual meeting, held January 21-24 in Davos of Switzerland.

Mr Schwab thanked the President for taking part in the WEF annual meeting, "attaching to it a great importance". Noting that Mongolia is a "wonderful country that has nice future and that is is always close to my heart", Mr Schwab said he and the Mongolian President will do great things for well-being of humankind.
Mr Elbegdorj expressed a willingness to co-organize the WEF’s East Asia Summit in Ulaanbaatar.
Since its establishment in 1971, the WEF has been organized as an event at individual’s initiative, this year the WEF gained a formal status of international and independent institution.

Turkey ready for sharing their experience on Ger Area Redevelopment
By B. Chimeg
Murat Karagöz, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Turkey to Mongolia had met with D.Tsogtbaatar, Minister of Urban Development and Construction.
Murat Karagöz shared his opinion on projects and programs, which are able to be implemented in Mongolia based on opportunities and experiences of Turkey. He said that Turkey is ready to share their experiences on Ger Area Redevelopment with Mongolia.
D.Tsogtbaatar, Minister of Urban Development and Construction pointed the important contribution of Turkey to development of Mongolian urban development and construction field. Especially, he reminded that the possible and numerous measurements in real estate sector. We will appreciate and welcome Turkish companies to operate in Mongolia, he said. 

Number of travelers abroad
By B. Khuder
Ulaanbaatar, January 25 (MONTSAME) The National Statistical Office (NSO) reports that 1,677.6 thousand people of Mongolia (duplicated counting) traveled abroad in 2014.
Some 1,420 thousands or 84.2% of them visited foreign countries with personal purposes, 1,738.2 thousand (duplicated counting) transportation vehicles, including trains, passed the state borders of Mongolia in 2014, which became 27.6 thousand or 1.6% increase against 2013. Some 41% of these vehicles were trucks, 29.6%--cars, 26.2%--cargo trains, and 2.7%--others.
Eighty eight percent of the total vehicles passed through the Zamyn-Uud, Gashuun sukhait, Shivee khuren, Altanbulag and Sukhbaatar border checkpoints.

Price index of apartments in Ulaanbaatar
By B. Khuder
Ulaanbaatar, January 25 (MONTSAME) The price index of apartments in the capital city’s six districts increased 2.2 times in 2014 against a fourth quarter of 2010, by 2.8 times against the end of 2013, and leveled off against the previous quarter.
The price index of apartments rose in a fourth quarter of 2014 by 5.7% in Khan-Uul district, by 3.3% in Sukhbaatar, by 3.0% in Bayangol and Songinokhairkhan districts and by 2.6% in Bayanzurkh against end of 2013.
It declined 0.7% in Chingeltei district, but rose 0.5% in Sukhbaatar and 0.1% in Songinokhairkhan district against the previous quarter. It decreased 0.1% in Khan-Uul, by 0.2% in Chingeltei and by 0.3% in Bayanzurkh district, and leveled off in Bayangol district against the previous quarter.
The price of apartments built before 1970 declined by 0.6-3.8% in the fourth quarter of 2014 in Chingeltei and Bayanzurkh districts against end of 2013, whereas it increased by 0.2-4.0% in other districts. The prices of apartments put into use in 1970-2001 rose by 0.6-5.5%, and of those built after 2002--by 2.9-7.4%.
The prices of apartments constructed before 1970 decreased in fourth quarter of 2014 by 0.2-1.1% in Khan-Uul, Bayanzurkh, Bayangol and Chingeltei districts, and it did not change in Sukhbaatar and Songinokhairkhan districts. These prices of those built in 1970-2011 decreased by 0.4-0.5% in Khan-Uul and Bayanzurkh districts, nut rose by 0.4% in Sukhbaatar district, and there was no change in Bayangol, Songinokhairkhan and Chingeltei districts.
The prices of apartments built after 2002 increased 0.3-0.7% in Khan-Uul, Bayanzurkh, Sukhbaatar and Songinokhairkhan districts and did not change in Chingeltei district.

About prices of construction materials in UB
By B. Khuder
Ulaanbaatar, January 25 (MONTSAME) The National Statistical Office (NSO) has released approximate prices of construction materials made in Mongolia, China, Russia and South Korea purchased in Ulaanbaatar by December of 2014.
The price of Mongolia-made vacuum window increased in December of 2014 by MNT 20.0 thousand or 21.5% per square meter against the previous year, the price of red brick--by MNT 4.0 thousand or 1.7 per 1,000, whereas the price of floor wood declined MNT 20.0 thousand or 7.7% per cubic meter.
The price of China-made ceramic sink increased MNT 18.8 thousand or 19.7%, tap--by MNT 10.0 thousand or 14.3%, doors made of iron--by MNT 25.0 thousand or 13.9%, rubber bath tubes--by MNT 5.0 thousand or 12.5%, nails (one kilo)--by MNT 250 or 10%, ceramic toilet bowl--by MNT 12.5 thousand or 9.4%, and paint--MNT 200 or 7.1%. Prices of other three kinds of construction materials declined by 4.8-37.5%.
Wallpapers made in South Korea increased MNT 1.6 thousand or 25.0%, and Russia-made tap-paper--by MNT 2.0 thousand or 8.7%.

About prices of animal-origin products
By B. Amarsaikhan
Ulaanbaatar, January 26 (MONTSAME) As of December, 2014, a price of two-meters and more cowhide stood at MNT 30-35 thousand in Uvs, Dornogovi, Dundgovi, Khovd, Govisumber aimags as the lowest. The highest price of 57.5-62 thousand was offered in Selenge, Bulgan, Orkhon, Darkhan-Uul aimags and in Ulaanbaatar.
As for the price of horsehide, Zavkhan, Bayankhongor, Govisumber, Dornogovi, Selenge and Dundgovi aimags had the lowest price--MNT 30-33 thousand, while Khovsgol, Omnogovi, Khentii, Tov, Bayan-Olgii and Govi-Altai aimags offered the highest--MNT 40-43.5 thousand.
A price of a kilogramme of combed cashmere stood at lowest--44-46 thousand Togrog--in Khovsgol, Bayan-Olgii and Govi-Altai aimags, and at highest of 58-68 thousand--in Ovorkhangai, Khovd, Orkhon aimags and in Ulaanbaatar. 

Education in statistics
By B. Khuder
Ulaanbaatar, January 25 (MONTSAME) A number of students in all levels of schools reached 933.5 thousand in beginning of the academic years of 2014-2015, increasing 25.9 thousand or 2.8% against the 2013-2014 academic years.
Nationwide these days, 206.6 thousand children are being educated at 1,171 kindergartens, showing an increase of the number of kindergarten by 104 or 9.7%, and of children by 12.9 thousand or 6.7% against the 2013-2014 academic years.
The number of pupils, excluding the pupils of night-class, reached 505.8 thousand, a number of secondary schools reached 762. It shows increases of pupils by 8.8 thousand or 1.8%, and of schools--by six or 0.8% against 2013-2014 academic years.
Furthermore, 251.2 thousand or 49.6% of the total pupils are studying in 1-5th grades, 158.6 thousand or 31.4%--in 6-9th grades, and 95.9 thousand or 19.0%--in 10-12th grades.
The number of secondary school students rose by 5.0% in Ulaanbaatar city, by 0.4-3.8%--in Omnogobi, Dornod, Sukhbaatar, Orkhon, Dornogobi, Bayankhongor, Selenge, Khentii and Khovsgol aimags. This number did not change in Zavkhan, Gobisumber, Darkhan-Uul, Tov and Dundgobi aimags, but in others provinces it declined by 0.6-4.7%. 
In the academic years of 2014-2015, 60.2 thousand children enrolled the first grade of secondary schools, increasing 4.3 thousand or 7.8%, moreover, 32.8 thousand pupils are living in dormitories.

Number of vehicles in Mongolia
By B. Khuder
Ulaanbaatar, January 25 (MONTSAME) By the national census of vehicles, 437.7 thousand vehicles were counted in 2014, increasing 52.8 thousand or 13.7%, the National Statistical Office (NSO) reports.
The cars accounted for 69.4%, trucks--22.1%, buses--4.7%, vehicles with special purposes--3.8% of the total vehicles. The number of cars increased 2.0%, whereas the number of trucks declined by 1.1%, buses--0.6%, and of vehicles with special purposes--0.3%.
Nearly five percent of the total vehicles counted were used for up to three years, 19.7%--for 4-9 years, 75.4%--over a decade by the year of 2014. Amount of the vehicles used for over 10 years increased in 2014 by 2.9%. 

Dairy products exhibition takes place
By B. Amarsaikhan
Ulaanbaatar, January 26 (MONTSAME) A ceremony ran in the city's Bayanzurkh district on Monday for the opening of a dairy products’ exhibition. It will work until January 28 to offer fresh, from the manufacturers’ hands 60 tins of 10 kinds sairy products.
A majority of the products come from Tariat soum of Arkhangai aimag, a place with high reputation in producing dairy products since the times of Bogdkhaan.
This exhibition is running at the front yard of the Wrestling Palace. Present at the ceremony were the Governor of Bayanzurkh district D.Purevdavaa, a deputy Governor of Arkhangai aimag M.Batjargal a, Governor of Tariat soum, and a chairman of Citizen’s Representatives Khural G.Byambadagva.

NBA point guard Smush Parker to play in Mongolia
By B. Khuder
Ulaanbaatar, January 25 (MONTSAME) An American professional basketball player who has played in the NBA and co-player of Kobe Bryant at Los Angeles Lakers William Henry "Smush" Parker arrived Saturday in Mongolia to play for “Madimos Shonkhruud” team at the National Super Basketball League of Mongolia.
At this team, he will play together with an international master of sports T.Sanchir, who was selected as one of the Asian three top players during the 2014 Asian Games.
For the time being, the second round of the National Super League is continuing in the “Buyant-Ukhaa” sports complex. By the schedule, the “Madimos Shokhruud” will face against the “Erdenet drilling RIGS” team, and it will be the first game of Smush Parker in Mongolia.
Born 1981 in Brooklyn, New York, Smush Parker attended Newtown High School in Elmhurst, Queens, where he was a star guard on their varsity basketball team. He then enrolled in the College of Southern Idaho as a freshman in the 1999-2000 season and transferred to play college basketball at Fordham University.
Following his sophomore season at Fordham University, he entered the NBA in 2002 but went undrafted. During his sophomore season, he was Second Team All A-10 and Second Team NABC All-Region.
Between 2005 and 2007, he player for the Los Angeles Lakers as a point guard. Then he played in several teams in China, Russia, Greece, Iran, Venezuela, Dominican Republic and Croatia.

Mongolian-Born Yokozuna Hakuho Becomes Sole Record Holder of Japanese Sumo
January 26 ( On January 25, 2015, the Hatsu Basho or Grand Sumo January Tournament was successfully ended in Tokyo with a new page in Japanese sumo history.
The 69th Mongolian-born Yokozuna Hakuho, Munkhbat DAVAAJARGAL, has achieved his 33rd championship title, which is from now on registered as the sole record holder.
By winning his 33rd career championship, the most in the nearly 270 years of sumo’s recorded history, Hakuho Davaajargal is listed on the top of all-time record ahead of the late legendary Yokozuna Taiho (32 tournament wins) and he finished the 2015 January Tournament with a perfect record of 15:0, where on the last day Yokozuna Hakuho won over his countryman Yokozuna Kakuryu, M.Anand, who finished with 10 wins and 5 losses.
Hakuho Davaajargal, who is 192 centimeters tall and weighs 157 kg, arrived in Japan from Mongolia in 2000. He was named Yokozuna, the highest rank for a sumo wrestler in 2007, and had an overall record of 880 wins and 186 losses at the beginning of 2015 January Tournament.
As customary, after conferring the championship flag, an NHK reporter takes an interview from a winner of the tournament and in his brief conversation Yokozuna Hakuho said, “I am really tired but now that I was able to surpass the legendary Taiho’s record, I feel like I have really repaid my debt of gratitude to him. I won the championship a little too early (two days ago) and I want to apologize to fans for that. After securing the title and surpassing Taiho, I was thinking these past two days I might not have any more goals to achieve and maybe I should retire. But I thought that I should take a good rest and then decide on my next goal. Without all the support and the other wrestlers I faced, I could not get this result. And I want to note that behind every strong man there is a smart woman - my wife. Since being promoted to Yokozuna, she has been there for me. I might have surpassed Taiho numerically, but mentally I still have a long way to go”.
As of other Mongolian wrestlers, the third Yokozuna Harumafuji, D.Byambadorj, finished with 11-4 records and Maegashira Terunofuji (8-7), who defeated two Ozekis received the Fighting Spirit Prize.
2015 January Tournament results of Mongolian-born sumo wrestlers:
Makuuchi Division
1. East Yokozuna Hakuho - M.Davaajargal 15-0
2. West Yokozuna Kakuryu - M.Anand 10-5
3. East Yokozuna Harumafuji - D.Byambadorj 11-4
4. West Sekiwake Ichinojo - A.Ichinnorov 6-9
5. ME-2 Terunofuji - G.Gan-Erdene 8-7
6. ME-7 Kyokutenho - N.Tsevegnyam 5-10
7. ME-9 Tamawashi - B.Munkh-Orgil 10-5
8. ME-12 Kyokushuho - T.Erdenebaatar 8-7
9. MW-12 Arawashi - E.Dulguun 7-8
10. MW-13 Tokitenku - A.Khuchitbaatar 9-6
11. MW-15 Kagamio - B.Nanjid 7-8
Juryo Division
12. E-2 Asasekiryu - B.Dashnyam 5-10
13. W-4 Takanoiwa - A.Baasandorj 6-9
14. E-5 Shotenro - D.Nyamsuren 5-10
15. E-9 Seiro - A.Unubold 9-6
16. E-12 Azumaryu - S.Todbileg 6-9
17. W-14 Sakigake - Ya.Battushig 5-10
Makushita Division
18. W-10 Gochozan - D.Uuganbaatar 4-3
19. W-13 Ryuonami - B.Buyanjargal 2-5
20. W-16 Chiyoshima - G.Munkhsaikhan 2-5
21. E-18 Daishoho - R.Shijirbayar 5-2
22. W-20 Sensho - E.Bayarbat 1-6
Sandanme Division
23. E-12 Daionami - B.Uuganbayar 2-5
24. W-28 Aratoshi - V.Tserendorj (absent)
25. E-38 Takakasuga - E.Enkhmanlai 5-2
26. E-91 Sadahikari - D.Narantsogt 4-3

Female wrestlers become champions of Golden Grand Prix
By B. Khuder
Ulaanbaatar, January 25 (MONTSAME) Mongolian freestyle wrestlers of the national selected team has grabbed medals including gold at the 26th Golden Prand Prix tournament named after twice Olympic champion Ivan Yarygin.
The events ran January 23-25 in Russian Krasnoyarsk. On the first day, international master of sports B.Shoovdor won a gold medal in women 58kg, beating rivals from Kazakhstan, Belarus and Canada. A State Honored Sportswoman, World champion and Olympic bronze medalist S.Battsesteg grabbed a gold in women 63kg contest. She defeated Russian Trazhukova.
Others--A.Battsetseg IMS and State Honored Sportswoman O.Nasanburmaa--won silver medals in  women 55kg and in 69kg divisions. Bronze medals went to E.Bekhbayar (men 57kg), Ts.Byambazaya (women 48kg), E.Sumya (women 53kg) and B.Nomin-Erdene (women 55kg).
Co-organized by Russia’s Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles, Yarygin’s Foundation and Mayor’s Office of Krasnoyarsk, the competition was attended by wrestlers from 15 countries including Russia, Mongolia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Moldavia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Japan.

USD exchange rate still on the rise
January 26 ( Commercial banks are offering USD exchange rates as low as 1,933 MNT. However, rates at Naiman Sharga currency exchange market are 1,945 MNT with a selling rate of USD at 1,948 MNT.
As of December 2014, the rate for USD was 1,850 MNT, which rose by 100 MNT within one month.
Mongol Bank says it has taken several measures to stabilize the USD exchange rate, but by increasing its policy rate, the exchange rate is still increasing. Economists in Mongolia warn that if the USD exchange rate will continue to rise if we do not stop producing tugrugs.  
The announced USD exchange rate of Mongol Bank is 1,947 MNT. 

New semester for secondary schools begins today
January 26 ( The 3rd semester for secondary schools in Ulaanbaatar began today. This was the longest holiday for students in secondary education. Holidays for primary school were observed from December 20th to January 25th, holidays for middle school from January 3 to 25, and high school holidays were from January 10 to 25.
For the new semester, the opening ceremony of a primary school for 620 students in the 17thkhoroo of Sukhbaatar district is taking place today.
Holidays for schools located in rural areas have not yet finished. In rural areas, primary school holidays began on January 10 and will continue until February 8. Middle school class holidays are beginning today and will also continue until February 8. 

Epos records by famous Bat Uvkh to be brought to Mongolia
By B. Nyamdari
January 26 ( L.Kadar, resident of Hungary and a diplomat has handed over the Epos records by famous Bat Uvkh to the Mongolian Embassy in Hungary. The records include three epics of Bum Erdene, Dalain Shar Bodon (Yellow Boar of the Sea) and Khuleg Erdene son of Tusheet.
The handing over of those records will be held today at Voiced Compositions Fund at the Linguistics Institute of Mongolian Science Academy at 12PM.
These records are the first of its kind and are one of the rare intangible assets of Mongolian folklore as it was recorded by one of the famous Mongolian epos singers Bat Uvkh. According to experts this is the significant source for Mongolian Epoc Studies.
U.Bat's singing style depicts one of the most ancient ways of epoc singing inimitable anywhere in the world.

Deputy Minister positions are safe
By E. Orgil
( (Ulaanbaatar) Jan 26, Plenary session of thte Parliament has discussed the proposed amendments in Mongolian Government law, Civil Service law, Public and Private Interest Regulation at Public Services law, Science and Technology law and Anti-Corruption law. The initial discussions on those amendments were introduced.
One of the most discussed proposals were regarding the change of the deputy ministerial positions submitted by MPs B.Bolor, S.Ganbaatar, L.Erdenechimeg and B.Choijilsuren in order to cut the spending of the Cabinet, where at the initial discussion was approved by the majority of the MPs, but was transferred to Standing Committee due to the conflicts in the Government law.
Standing committee discussed on the two amendments to be done to the law to eliminate the position of deputy ministers, but the majority of the members declined the amendments.
Plenary session in the afternoon discussed the new submission of the Standing committee with the attendance of 46 members and 35 members or 76.1 percent have agreed on declining the proposal to cut the deputy ministerial positions. Therefore, annulling the previous votes held on Thursday January 22nd, saving the deputy minister positions at the cabinet.

Mongolian Apps Contest named its winners
By A. Narantsatsral
January 26 ( “UniMedia LLC and Mongol Content LLC have organized the Apps Contest competition focused on developing apps for tablet and smart phones and named its winner yesterday.
The contest was organized in two categories: service tools and game apps. Winners were selected based on design, innovation, technical use and advantages over similar apps.
Service tool apps winners are:
Third place: S.Khangal with Smart Hand Driver app to type faster in Mongolian.
Second place: Happy Baby team with Happy Baby 2.0 app to monitor child’s growth development
First place: D.Amatuvshin with “iLamp” smart app to switch the light with alarm clock. 
Game apps winners are:
Third place: Usukhbayar with Apipo game app to identify colors using smart phone
Second place: Pill heals team with Pill heals game app to cure diseases with pills. 
First place: O.Batkholboo with Spelling sheep game app to create words
Most of the applications sent for the contest were innovative and directed at easing everyday life and has good application in real life.
We have interviewed Sueda Makota, CEO of UniMedia LLC.
Since when the Apps contest started?
This was the second contest. Last year we organized the apps contest by ourselves, while this year we have cooperated with Mongol Content LLC.
How about the previous contestants? Are they developing their apps further? What are their future plans?
Last year we have received over 40 applications and almost 50 percent of them were placed on app stores and circulated among the users. Last year's winner was a student and we have sent him to our Headquarters in Japan for summer internship. During the competition his application was at 30 percent implementation and after his internship he completed the app and put on market.
There are two main goals for the annual Apps Contests: increase the number of the app developers in Mongolia and increase the number of Mongolian developers and introduce their apps on global markets. We are aiming to become the bridge to the global market.
What apps were winners at last year’s contest?
10 applications were finalists, but all of them were game apps. Winning app was game for IQ development, while the second place app was to educate on naming the animals and their body parts.
Does the UniMedia Headquarters in Japan hold similar app contests?
As the Japan Headquarters is more focusing on the business marketing they do not hold such contests in Japan.
Thank you.

President of Mongolia Attends Session “Global Water Agenda-2015”
January 26 ( On the sidelines of the 45th annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF), President of Mongolia attended the session "Global Water Agenda - 2015" on January 22nd and during the event President Ts.Elbegdorj met with global political and economic leaders and exchanged views on the Strategic Competition in the New Global Context.
During the session “The Mining and Metallurgy Policy”, President Ts.Elbegdorj answered questions from the journalists.
The Group of 77 at the United Nations recognized that the economic stability of a country depends on water security. Has Mongolia made any progress in this regard?
President Ts.Elbegdorj: Mongolia participates in the WEF sessions on mining, infrastructure, environment, governance, corruption and many other issues. One of the most concerning issues of Mongolia at the WEF is water security issue. Water security is one of the most pressing issues in Mongolia. My idea was supported by the representatives at today’s session.
Mongolia will impose a higher tax and strict requirements on the mining companies that use groundwater resources. There are many solutions of water shortage in Mongolia such as storing rainwater, preserving river conditions, filtered water and etc. We should support the mining companies that pursue for proper water management.
The mining and the economy of China are the most concerning topics for Mongolia in the Forum. You have just attended the session on mining. What issues have been discussed at the session?
President Ts.Elbegdorj: The WEF has become the arena for international discussion this week. Premier of the State of the People’s Republic of China Li Keqiang opened this year’s mining session of the WEF. The world economy is becoming even more dependent on the economy of China. Mongolia shares the longest land border with China and our two countries enjoy strong economic relationship. Therefore, the economy of Mongolia is dependent on China. First, we should pay attention to the issues that we have settled, during a State Visit of the President of China last year.
In particular, we need to implement works related to infrastructure investment. We must start building the new power plants and railways. On the other hand, Mongolia should pay attention to the sectors that will further benefit, such as agriculture. We should invest more in the processing plant industry of the agricultural sector.
The world geopolitical situation is changing and distrust takes place. What is role of Mongolia’s initiative in overcoming the distrust?
President Ts.Elbegdorj: We cannot mention about the national security without touching value issues. There is no difference between large and small countries. The national security has only one criterion. If Mongolia will propose a good initiative, it will receive wide support from the world countries. Most of our initiatives of relevant to the relations between our two neighbors are supported in the world. If we will maintain our friendly relations with our two neighbors we will find a common language with any other world countries, particularly, in the infrastructure sphere.

President Ts.Elbegdorj Requests to Organize WEF’s East Asia Summit in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
January 26 ( On January 24, 2015, President Ts.Elbegdorj held a meeting with the founder and the Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, Professor Klaus Schwab.
Professor Klaus Schwab appreciated the President of Mongolia for attaching great importance to the Forum and noted, “Mongolia is a wonderful country, which has a bright future and its people have always been close to my heart. Together we shall create great things for the wellbeing of the humanity”.
At the meeting, President Ts.Elbegdorj expressed his proposal to co-organize the World Economic Forum’s East Asia Summit in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.
This year the World Economic Forum gained a 'formal status' in Switzerland, confirming the role of non-profit organization as an international institution for public-private cooperation.

Amendments to budget laws approved
By B. Amarsaikhan
Ulaanbaatar, January 26 (MONTSAME) Submitted drafts of amendments to the State Budget for 2015, to the Budget of Human Development Fund, and to the Budget of Social Insurance Fund were approved by the State Great Khural on January 23.
The second session of the parliamentary plenary meeting started 8.35 pm on Friday to run the third and fourth readings of the above amendments. The budget Standing committee's introductuon was made by D.Gankhuyag MP. He said the revenue of the Master Budget of Mongolia is estimated to be  six trillion 632 billion and 600 million Togrog, or at 27.6 percent of the total GDP, the expenditure is estimated to be seven trillion 837 billion and 400 million, or 32.7 percent of the total GDP, which results in a deficit of one trillion 204 billion and 800 million.
Reflected in the budget clarification are expectation of increased revenue from the special taxes of auto-gas and diesel fuel, income taxes from entities and individuals, and income taxes on private properties, expenditure on benefits for “Glorified Mothers” in accordance with the related laws, increased expenditure on benefits for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers, and on pensions.
The expenditure cuts were required, according to the clarification, on documentation of state authorities, stationery costs, foreign and domestic commissions, fuels, trips, communications, publications, advertisements, receptions, and other events reflected in the state administrators’ action plans. These cut downs are estimated to save 467.2 million Togrog. In addition, events and activities that were estimated to cost 68 million 161.5 thousand were omitted from the budget expenditure. No comments and questions related to the above were raised, thus, the third reading was concluded. On the fourth reading, the Speaker Z.Enkhbold read the proposed amendments in details. The amendments to the State Budget for 2015 and to the budget of Human Development Fund for 2015 were approved with 91.1 percent vote, while the amendments to the budget of Social Insurance Fund were approved with 84.4 percent vote.

Sub-meeting running for establishment of Press Council
By B. Khuder
Ulaanbaatar, January 26 (MONTSAME) Such meetings are being held these days to establish the Press Council of Mongolia (PCM), for example, a sub-meeting of managers of media organizations, employers and journalists ran last Friday.
This meeting selected delegates to take part in a session of the PCM which is expected on this Wednesday, and the Council will be officially established at its session. It also brought together representatives of daily newspapers such as the “Daily Newspaper”, “Zuuny Medee”, “Democracy” and the “Mongolian News” that support a foundation of the PCM. The latter is supposed to bear a key purpose--to improve the ethics and professional responsibility of the journalism in Mongolia.
The participants exchanged views at the meeting on a course of the PCM’s establishment, its functions and structure, and selected members of the Board of Directors. A deputy manager of the “Daily Newspaper” J.Sandagdorj became the member of the Board; a deputy manager of the “Mongolia Economy” magazine I.Otgonjargal--the representative to participate in the PCM’s session. A chairman of the “Niislel Times” newspaper’s Board of Directors Dr Sh.Sukhbaatar, also a head of this newspaper Ya.Monkhjargal, and a general manager of the “Governmental News” newspaper S.Batbaatar were elected the members of the PCM.
At a sub-meeting of the TV channels, newspapers and magazine on last Friday, a journalist of the Mongolian National Public Radio B.Enkhtuya was selected the board member of the PCM, representing TV channels and radio. A department head of the NTV channel B.Uuganbayar, a journalist from the SNB TV channel, and a news desk consultant of the TV8 channel B.Tseden became the PCM’s members.
Representing the printing media, a columnist at the “Onoodor” paper B.Oyun-Erdene was elected the PCM’s Board member, whereas journalists from the “Daily Newspaper”, “Onoodor” and “Ursgal” papers were selected the Council’s members.
A sub-meeting of the broadcasting sphere is expected on Monday.

President attends "Mining and Metallurgy Policy" session
By B. Amarsaikhan
Ulaanbaatar, January 26 (MONTSAME) On the sidelines of the 45th annual meeting of the World Economic Forum, the President of Mongolia Ts.Elbegdorj attended the "Global Water Agenda–2015"session where he met with global political and economic leaders and exchanged views with them on the Strategic Competition in the New Global Context on January 22.
At a "Mining and Metallurgy Policy"”, Mr Elbegdorj answered some questions but by journalists. When asked "if Mongolia made any progress on water security, a source of economic stability by Group of 77 at the United Nations?", he said noted that "Mongolia participates in the WEF sessions on mining, infrastructure, environment, governance, corruption and many other issues", and said that one of the most concerning issues of Mongolia at the WEF is water security issue. "This is one of the most pressing issues in Mongolia. My idea was supported by the representatives at today’s session. Mongolia will impose a higher tax and strict requirements on the mining companies that use groundwater resources,” he said.
The President also mentioned some solutions for water shortage such as storing rainwater, preserving river conditions and using filtered water, and said Mongolia will support mining companies that pursue proper water management.
To a question about main issues discussed at the session, which had run on the most concerned matters for Mongolia, the mining and economy of China, he emphasized that the WEF became the arena for international discussion during the week. "Premier of China Li Keqiang opened this year’s mining session of the WEF. The world economy is becoming even more dependent on the economy of China. Mongolia shares the longest land border with China, and our two countries enjoy strong economic relationship. Therefore, our economy is relatively dependent on China. First, we should pay attention to the issues that we had have settled during a state visit of the President of China last year. In particular, we need to implement works related to infrastructure investment. We must start building the new power plants and railways,” he said.
"On the other hand, Mongolia should pay attention to the sectors that will further benefit, such as agriculture, and invest more in the processing plant industry of the agricultural sector."
Asked about Mongolia’s role in overcoming of geopolitical distrust, the President noted that one cannot talk about the national security without addressing value issues.
There is no difference between large and small countries, said the President. "The national security has only one criterion. If Mongolia proposes a good initiative, it will receive wide support from the world countries. Most of our initiatives relevant to the relations between our two neighbors are supported in the world. If we maintain our friendly relations with our two neighbors, we will find a common language with any other world countries, particularly in the infrastructure sphere,” he said.

2014 Mining Journal Award winners announced
January 26 ( The Mining Journal Awards, a selection of the best in the mining industry each year, has been organized for its fifth year. The selected winners are based on an independent evaluation of professional judges and the best of the mining sector are announced according to the sum of scores for nominated mining companies.
Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi JSC has carried out a number of activities during a period of 3 years and 4 months of operation. The company has faced and settled quite a few disputes as well. However, by the end of 2014, the company had exported 4.3 million tons of coal and reduced its expenses by 20 percent.
The company got the highest score for the category of “Sustainable Mining”, thanks to saving on transportation expenses and trans-shipping products for direct export from inland customs. Moreover, the company met the main criteria of the Mining Journal Awards, such as maintaining stable employment, moving towards a savings mode of operations, the utilization of Tsankhi Town, and an agreement on the reduction of expenses with the contractual mining company of Western Tsankhi.
Although the stable activity of Erdenes Tavan Togloi has been interrupted by state policy, the MJA's judges characterized the performance of the company as outstanding, since the company has met several criteria and maximized exports despite market prices having fallen by 40 percent and implementing savings procedures. 
The “Sustainable Mining” category was newly added to the Mining Journal Awards in 2013, in the same year the economic crisis began. In addition to Erdenes Tavan Togloi JSC, another company with similar scores was awarded in this category.
Although SouthGobi Sands LLC has been involved in controversy and the market price for coal has dramatically decreased, the company has kept its workplace stable, and taken several measures to shift to savings procedure. The company was awarded for “Sustainable Mining” as a result of its successes in 2014, bringing into exploitation a 43 kilometer road to Nariinsukhait-Shiveekhuren, raising financing, and the 98.4 percent implementation of its Nature and Environment Management Plan.
The category with most nominees was “Eco Mine”. In previous years, more than 30 companies have competed for this award. This year, Monpolymet Company got the highest scores and was awarded the best in the “Eco Mine” category.
Beren Metal LLC, working in the deep processing of ferrous ores and production of final products, and Focus Metal Mining company competed in the “Best Mining Technology” category. Focus Metal Mining received the award from the judges.
Oyu Tolgoi LLC was awarded for “Most Accountable Mining Activity”, as the company has launched its concentrator plant in 2014, processed 27.5 million tons of ore, and introduced global standards for workplace safety in Mongolia.
The most famous and prestigious award “Best Mine of the Year” was awarded to Altan Dornod LLC. The company performed 100 percent of its action plan for 2014, increased sales by 60 percent in comparison to 2013, and added 3.7 billion MNT to the state budget.
Activities of large and small mining companies show that in spite of the economic crisis, mining sector companies moved forward in operations and continued to pay taxes to the state budget. 
Honored guest of the Mining Journal Awards 2014, academic P.Ochirbat stated, “Miners performance was very good, but incorrect state policy has caused confusion in this sector.”

UBiers: Chris Newton-Smith
January 26 ( We are delivering the next “Short Interview” featuring Expats in Mongolia, who are working and enjoying live in Mongolia and UB city. We aim to share their experiences of living in Mongolia. Our next guest is Chris Newton-Smith, who works as Art & Design Teacher at British School of Ulaanbaatar... Certainly, it starts with “Why Mongolia?”
Why Mongolia?
Well, I was looking to teach internationally after a few years in the UK, I almost ended up in Houston, USA, but that fell through. Whilst looking for other international jobs, I saw a post in Ulaanbaatar and thought, "Why not?". I wanted an adventure and I got one!
Is UB the coldest capital city?
I'd definitely say it's a contender. It's the only place I've visited that can freeze my facial hair in 5 minutes.
Most favorite thing to see in UB?
I'm a big fan of heading into the countryside to work on my photography portfolio, but UB wise, I enjoy Saturday brunch at Rosewood, cocktails at Monnis and I'm a big fan of the views from Zaisan Monument.
Things that you don't like at all?
The pollution is a big one, not a big fan of that. Also the driving here can be a little chaotic, a bit more patience and less selfishness would make the roads a much safer place
What would you suggest changing in UB?
The road system definitely needs improving, and maybe better public transport to help reduce traffic. Less traffic means less pollution!
What do you do when you miss your homeland?
Pies. Meat pies.
What were the myths about Mongolia that were total lies as you have come to know it in person?
It's a little hard to answer, being brought up in Livepool the only stories you really get of Mongolia are that of Chinggis Khan's reign. He is still perceived as a tyrant by some and it's a shame. I've learnt a great deal about him since living here and all of the good he did for not only Mongolia but all the countries or future countries he ruled over. I can say that I never expected the variety and international feeling of UB and how friendly and helpful the Mongolian people are, I've made many friends here and I'll continue to spread the word about Mongolia.

Ch.Saikhanbileg warned to stop firing with political interests
By U. Badamtsetseg
( (Ulaanbaatar) Jan 26, PM Ch.Saikhanbileg reported to DP Group at Parliament.
DP Group members focused on inside issues of the Party and the human resources issues.
Since the appointment of the new government restructuring at the ministries have been taking place touching the human resources policies and other issues.
In this regard, DP Group is to establish working group to conducts meetings at ministerial level.
DP Group members warned PM Ch.Saikhanbileg to be careful with structural and human resource changes and not to do the downsizings based on political pressures.
Members warned PM to consult with Ministers of his Cabinet as well.

SGK about Programs Excluded from State Budget
By B. Amarsaikhan
Ulaanbaatar, January 26 (MONTSAME) The State Great Khural ran the first reading of a parliamentary resolution--a follow-up of the amended budget laws--on its plenary meeting on January 23.
The resolution addresses the financing of projects and programs with 80 percent or higher completion under the funding of the state budget, through issuance of bank acceptances. It also considers obligating the cabinet to run assessments on the regulations and directions regarding the permitted amount of operational costs for state authorities, and on the decisions to continue and select the projects to be implemented, after careful assessment on their proposals.
The Standing committee on budget issued a procedural vote to adopt the resolution on its first reading. This was supported by 82.6 percent of the MPs at the meeting. Thus, the follow-up resolution to the amendments to the budget laws was approved with 87 percent vote.

“It is Time to Realize Representative and Direct Democracy in Mongolia”
By B. Khuder
Ulaanbaatar, January 26 /MONTSAME/ The Civil Hall at the President hosted last week a discussion themed “Opportunity to simultaneously realize representative and direct democracy in Mongolia”. It was co-organized by the Presidential Office and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).
An advisor to the President of Mongolia on civil participation and economic policy L.Dashdorj made the opening remarks at the discussion. A report was delivered by Dr Andreas Auer, a professor of the University of Zurich and founder of the Institute for Democracy Studies (IDS). Mr Dashdorj noted that a model rule was drawn up in 2010 on the civil participation within a policy on supporting the citizens’ participation and on decentralization, and training is being held to introduce this rule.
"After being re-elected in 2013, the President of Mongolia Ts.Elbegdorj has been realizing a policy on the smart government. Civil participation is one of the integral parts of the smart government. Our President said it is time to simultaneously implement the representative and direct democracy, so we now must pay to this as a state policy,” Dashdorj said.
"Several bills such as on public advertisement and on local polling have been drawn up, and they have been discussed at the Civil Hall in accordance with a direction from the President. Now we are studying experiences of foreign countries and are adjusting them to the Mongolian characteristics,” he said.
"Our goal is not only civil participation, but also issues of converting the economic growth into a real development for the country and making it more adequate for families. The main way of achieving a sustainable development is to form a legal environment which allows all individuals to make a joint decision and to co-realize it,” he emphasized. He added that Mongolia is working on creating a legal environment that develops the governance based on democracy and civil participation.
Mr Dashdorj also underlined that it has been proven that the representative democracy is not possible to develop without the direct democracy.
Mr Andreas Auer explained a possibility of simultaneously developing the representative and direct democracy.
“People create their representative democracy by choosing their representatives as state leaders. The election is one of the methods of choosing them. But the voters and elected people do not establish concrete contracts. It means the connection between them is unnatural.
"Through the direct democratic system, people can choose their leaders directly. A main feature of the representative democracy is the election, whereas the main element of the direct democracy is the opinion poll.
Any matters and problems are tackled by opinion polls all the time. There are many types of opinion polls such as collecting signatures,” Dr Andreas Auer said.

Stock Exchange News for January 26
By B. Khuder
Ulaanbaatar, January 26 (MONTSAME) At the Stock Exchange trades on Monday, a total of 1,233 units of eight JSCs were traded costing MNT nine million 508 thousand and 650.00.
"Gutal” /800 units/, “Tavantolgoi” /134 units/, “Makh impex” /105 units/, “Baganuur” /97 units/ and "Etrans logistics” /50 units/ were the most actively traded in terms of trading volume, in terms of trading value were "Gutal” (MNT seven million and 688 thousand), "Darkhan nekhii” (MNT 598 thousand and 400), “Tavantolgoi” (MNT 549 thousand and 400), “Makh impex” (MNT 350 thousand and 100) and "Baganuur” (MNT 261 thousand and 900).
The total market capitalization was set at MNT one trillion 395 billion 656 million 682 thousand and 192. The Index of Top-20 JSCs was 14,422.71, increasing 1.98 units or 0.01% against the previous day.

Deputy Prime Minister meets with Japanese Ambassador
January 26 ( Deputy Prime Minister of Mongolia U.Khurelsukh met with Takenori Shimizu, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary from Japan to Mongolia, to discuss cooperation between Mongolia and Japan.
The Deputy Prime Minister stated that the grant aid provided by the Japanese government has played an important role in the foundation of present development and in enriching the development and innovation of democracy in Mongolia.  He shared that the Government of Mongolia is appreciative of the support of the Japanese government.
During the meeting, Ambassador Shimizu stated that the continuation of projects implemented between the Japanese government and National Emergency Management Agency of Mongolia, the “Avian Influenza and Combating Avian Flu Epidemic” program, and the “Increasing the Potential of Fire Fighting Technique and Equipment” program will be discussed.   
According to a decree by the Deputy Prime Minister of Mongolia, in honor of his contributions to the emergency management sector, the Deputy Prime Minister of Mongolia has been awarded a medal for “Leader of National State Emergency”.
Ambassador Shimizu invited Deputy Prime Minister U.Khurelsukh to participate in the United Nations' 3rd World Conference to Prevent Disasters being organized from March 14 to 18, 2015, in Japan. 
As reported by his office, Deputy Prime Minister U.Khurelsukh previously participated in the U.N. conference when he served as Head of the National Emergency Management Agency of Mongolia.

"Khusugtun" Mongolian ethnic group is at Asia`s Got Talent
January 26 ( "Khusugtun" the Mongolian ethnic group and "Jalam Khar" the Mongolian traditional dance group went to Malaysia to participate in "Asia`s Got Talent". They had passed the first stage by performing Mongolian traditional "khuumii" (throat singing) and dance. Interestingly, the OST of "Marco Polo" series is written and performed by Khusugtun group.
Asia's Got Talent will go on air in March, 2015. The semi-finals and finale will be held at the iconic Marina Bay Sands, Singapore, with the winner awarded a contract to return and perform live at Asia’s leading entertainment destination. Grammy-award winner David Foster, UK pop sensation and former Spice Girl, Melanie C, Indonesian rock icon Anggun and Taiwanese-American pop idol Van Ness Wu have been named as the celebrity judging panel.
"Khusugtun" ethnic ballad group was founded under the National Folk Song and Dance Acedemic Ensemble of Mongolia in 2009, that consists of 6 high-skilled musicians of Morin Khuur as horse fiddle, Yatga as national zither, guitar, Domba as Khazakh folk musical instrument, Limbe national flute, drums, Ikh Khuur as a great horse fiddle.

M.Enkhsaikhan: Tavantolgoi investment is at least USD 94 billion
By E. Orgil
( (Ulaanbaatar) Jan 26, State Minister M.Enkhsaikhan made announcement on Tavantolgoi Investment Negotiations today.
Investors are to meet today in broad formation twice this week to hold important negotiations. Government of Mongolia will be represented by State Minister M.Enkhsaikhan, Ministers of Mining, Foreign Affairs, Justice, Road and Transportation and representatives of Investment Agency, a working group including over 30 members.
Tavantolgoi Project is to last for 30 years and investors to provide 30 percent of the total investments from their own sources, while remainder 70 percent will be raised from the capital markets involving international banks and financial institutions. State Minister emphasized that investor side expects for sustainable and successful implementation of the project.
In order to secure the loans from the international capital market investors need to comply with the proper documentation and they are already working on it showing their initiative.
State Minister also made short announcement on the investment negotiation progress saying that talks are at 50 percent, and if the negotiations are successful initial investments needed are calculated to be at USD 94 billion, agreement includes over 80 issues per one agreement, but the investors are very open and creative seeking for the mutual benefits, adding the value added projects. He also ensured that parties are taking equal parts in the negotiation.

Debt Management Law is not to be discussed this week
By U. Badamtsetseg
( (Ulaanbaatar) Jan 26, Parliament of Mongolia was set to discuss the draft bill on Debt Management this week.
DP Group leader MP B.Garamgaibaatar clarified that MPP Group discussion hasn't done yet, so the discussions are not happening this week, but emphasized that this bill is one of the important ones in line.
MPP Group couldn't come to unified outcome through their discussions yet, as they have differing opinions on the Government Guarantee.
Parties are concerned over the short term high interest rates debts as the bill provisions the opening of possibilities for private sector to raise funds as well backed by the Government. 
DP group is actively promoting this bill, while other parties are citing to the need to have more discussions. Especially the MPP Group.

Cultural Days of Ulaanbaatar Being Organized in Hualien and Taipei Cities of Taiwan
January 26 ( Upon the initiation of Master Tao Yi, Head of the Vandana Monastery in Hualien County, Mongolia's Trade and Economic Representative Office in Taipei, Capital City Mayor's Office and UB Culture and Art Authority have been organizing "Cultural Days of Ulaanbaatar" in Hualien and Taipei cities of Taiwan on January 24-28, 2015.
On the first day, an opening ceremony was held with cutting the ribbons in front of a Ger (yurt) especially erected for the event that promotes cultural exchanges between Taiwan and Mongolia.
In his opening remarks, Master Tao Yi noted, “We are launching the Cultural Days of UB with a Mongol Ger, where the Great Chinggis Khaan was born and raised. This Ger is round like the globe that represents Mongolia’s culture and door to welcome to the country with hundreds-year cultural heritage. Mongolians host a festivity when to erect a new Ger and thus, we will also celebrate together. We wish Mongolia’s sky be eternal blue and the people be happy and healthy”.
UB Mayor’s Advisor responsible for economic issues Ts.Altantsetseg said, “The closest way to develop Mongolia-Taiwan relationship and partnership is a cultural cooperation. In this regard, we came here to promote Mongolia’s culture and art and appreciate for the initiation to organize this event with special gratitude to the Master Tao Yi and other officials”.
Mongolia’s Trade and Economic Representative Office in Taipei has been operating since 1997 in cultural, economical, trade and humanitarian spheres. In the scope of this event, an acquaintance with Mongolia’s tradition, custom and culture as well as an art exhibition by state laureate artist Ts.Tsegmid and cultural performances by Ulaanbaatar Ensemble will be held on January 26-27, 2015.

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