Saturday, February 7, 2015

Mongolia Brief January 7, 2015

Standing Committee Head Gets Familiarized with Ministries’ Activities
By B. Khuder
Ulaanbaatar, January 7 (MONTSAME) Head of the parliamentary Standing committee on economy J.Batsuuri Tuesday got au fait with the Ministry of Construction and Urban Development, the Ministry of Road and Transportation.

The Minister of Mining R.Jigjid introduced to the Standing committee head his Ministry’s actions, noting that it has been working under guidelines from the cabinet.
“Recently, great efforts have been put to refine a legal environment for the mineral and oil sectors. I reckon this environment has become more competitive, comprehensible and sustainable, now we intend to realize it," Mr Jigjid said. A preparation is ensured by the Ministry to grant exploration special license, and the Ministry is maintaining policies on attracting foreign investments and on putting some mineral deposits into economic circulation, he added.
Mentioning that some legal documents have been submitted to parliament, he hoped that the Standing committee will focus on tackling these documents that are supposed to contribute to the country’s development.
By the 2015 budget law, money has been cut for the biggest projects and programmes which are being realized by the Mining Ministry. The Minister Jigjid asked the Standing committee to create conditions for normally continuing these projects and programmes.

Standing Committee on Social Policy Meets
By B. Khuder
Ulaanbaatar, January 7 (MONTSAME) At its meeting on Tuesday, the parliamentary Standing committee on social policy, education, culture and sciences ran a final discussion of a draft amendment to the law on tobacco control submitted by D.Erdenebat MP.
While being discussed by parliament, this bill had received a support after some principally different proposals of MPs were reflected in it.
Then the committee considered a matter on changing compositions of parliamentary sub-committees. The Mongolian People’s Party’s (MPP) faction had proposed changing the sub-committees on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and on poverty reduction, which are related to the Standing committee on social policy. By this reason a majority of the Standing committee backed Ya.Sodbaatar, D.Sumyabazar, A.Tleikhan and D.Khayankhyarvaa to be added to these sub-committees and decided to send a related proposal to parliament meeting. It was also agreed to free S.Demberel, G.Uyanga and L.Gantomor from the sub-committees.
The Standing committee was supposed to run a final discussion of a draft resolution of parliament on re-approving the state policy on education, but decided to postpone it until next week. 

Vice FM Meets Ambassador of Russia
By B. Khuder
Ulaanbaatar, January 7 (MONTSAME) The Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs N.Oyundari received December 31 Mr I.K.Azizov, the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation to Mongolia, reported the Ministry's press service on January 7. The sides shared views on a present situation of the Mongolia-Russia relations and mutual visits, implemented in 2014, and on concrete works supposed to be co-realized in 2015. 

TT Negotiations Continue on Railway Matters
By B. Amarsaikhan
Ulaanbaatar, January 7 (MONTSAME) The negotiations which began January 5 between the government's working group and the strategic investor of Tavan Tolgoi--consortium of Shenhua Energy-Sumitomo-Energy Resources--are continuing with two meetings held on the matters of Deposit-Investment-Cooperation and the railroad connecting Tavan Tolgoi with Gashuunsukhait.
At the first meeting, the sides exchanged detailed information, a sub-group presented related documents, agreements and contracts to the investor. The strategic investors has been obligated to construct and commission on their expenses a basic structure of the railroad which connects the deposit to Gashuunsukhait border port, and to deliver a 51-percent shares of the operating railroad to the State, free of charge, 30 years after the commissioning, as reflected in the parliamentary resolution No.34 and in the Government's resolution No.268.
The railroad basic structure has upper and lower compositions of rail tracks, engineering facilities such as bridges and viaducts, power and water feeds, signal communications, information facilities, level crossings and barricaded gates to ensure regular operations of stations, junctions and traffic.
Present at the meeting were B.Otgochuluu, the head of Department for Strategy and Policy Planning of the Ministry of Mining, S.Javkhlanbaatar, the head of the Investment Department of the Ministry, Ya.Batsuuri, a director of “Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi” JSC, also the representatives of Shenhua Energy Company, Sumitomo Corporation and Energy Resource LLC.

Parliament to Celebrate 23rd Anniversary of Constitution Day of Mongolia
January 7 ( On January 13, 1992, the People's Great Khural (Parliament) approved the new democratic Constitution of Mongolia and since then resolved to observe this day as the Constitution Day.
On this occasion, the State Great Khural (Parliament) of Mongolia released a program to celebrate the 23rd anniversary of the Constitution Day of Mongolia.
January 10-11, 2015
- Amateur Chess Championships organized under the auspices of the Speaker of Parliament. Tournament Opening at 10:30 am, Government House
January 12-18, 2015
- Displaying the original copy of the Constitution at the Mongolian State History Museum. Opening at 11:40 am, Government House
- Launching ceremony of “E-Tour to Government House”. Starting at 01:00 pm, Government House
January 13, 2015
- Award presenting ceremony named after late Merit Lawyer B.Chimid. Grand Ceremonial Hall, Government House, 11:00 am
- Paying tribute to the Monument of Chinggis Khaan, Government House, 11:40 am
- Traditional Wrestling Competition dedicated to the Constitution Day, Wrestling Palace, 02:00 pm

The Youngest Yokozuna Kakuryu, M.Anand Got Married to D.Munkhzaya in Tokyo
January 7 ( On January 06, 2015, professional sumo wrestler the 71st Yokozuna Kakuryu, Mangaljalav ANAND, called a press conference at his affiliated Izutsu beya (arena) revealing an official statement of his marriage.
Yokozuna Kakuryu, 29, married Dashnyam MUNKHZAYA, a 23-year-old Mongolian woman and the young couple expects their first child in coming May. At the press announcement, Kakuryu said he plans to arrange the wedding ceremony after their child’s birth.
Kakuryu, M.Anand added, “The year of 2014 was a full of joyous events while I was promoted for the top Yokozuna title and married my sweetheart.
I am facing more responsibilities for my family and in fact, I had not won a Basho since became the Yokozuna, therefore I will do my best in 2015”.
The young couple started to date in late 2013 and began living together in Tokyo since August 2014. Now D.Munkhzaya is studying there at a Japanese language school.

Studying Swedish Experiences on Trade Facilitation
January 7 ( Mongolian National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MNCCI) with the purposes to facilitate the country’s foreign trade and export promotion is organizing "International Trade Facilitation Issues, Studying Swedish Experiences" Forum in Ulaanbaatar on January 20-21, 2015.
The event will be co-organized with the Swedish National Board of Trade, a Government Agency under Ministry for Foreign Affairs, where the following topics will be covered.
- The role of international trade and trade facilitation
- Fundamentals of trade facilitation issues and activities
- Sweden's trade facilitation activities and experiences
- International trade agreements (multilateral, regional and bilateral)
- Trade facilitation tools and best practices
- Changes and features

Defense Minister Meets Ambassador of India
By B. Khuder
Ulaanbaatar, January 7 (MONTSAME) The Minister of Defense Ts.Tsolmon Wednesday received Mr Somnath Ghosh, the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of India to Mongolia.
The Minister said the two countries can develop the defense cooperation with new contents and boost ties in other spheres such as industry, military sport, culture, arts, scientific works and research. In response, the Ambassador said the defense sector plays a vital role in the bilateral relations and expressed his country’s willingness to continue the “Nomadic Elephant” Mongolia-India military exercises, which were organized annually since 2004. He also highlighted his views about continuing the collaboration in information security and in appointing military attaché to each other.
Since the establishment in 1973, the ties and cooperation in the sphere have been enhancing year by year, as well as high and middle level mutual visits, for instance, a head of the General Headquarters of Mongolian Armed Forces paid an official visit to India in 2014. 
This meeting was requested by the Ambassador. 

Standing Committee on Environment Meets
By B. Khuder
Ulaanbaatar, January 7 (MONTSAME) Ways of changing a composition of the sub-committee on air pollution reduction was discussed at a meeting of the parliamentary Standing committee on environment, food and agriculture on Wednesday.
A related proposal had been already put by the Mongolian People’s Party’s (MPP) faction at parliament, moreover, S.Oyun MP had expressed a willingness to enter this sub-committee, and the "Justice" coalition’s faction had sent a request to free D.Terbishdagva MP from the sub-committee. Regarding all this, S.Demberel, Kh.Bolorchuluun and S.Oyun delivered theirs views. Then a majority of the Standing committee agreed that S.Batbold, Ya.Sodbaatar, Ch.Khurelbaatar and S.Oyun would be included into the sub-committee, and decided to send a related proposal to parliament meeting. They also concurred to remove D.Terbishdagva and L.Bold MPs from this sub-committee. 

EBRD Provides EUR 10ML Loan for Mongolian Car Dealer
By B. Khuder
Ulaanbaatar, January 7 (MONTSAME) The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is continuing to develop local currency financing in Mongolia by providing a loan in Togrog to a Toyota car dealer, Tavan Bogd LLC.
The company is a part of Tavan Bogd Group, a long-standing EBRD client with interests in fast-moving consumer goods, cashmere manufacturing, financial services and trade, according to EBRD. The EBRD loan of 23.4 billion Togrog (EUR 10 million equivalent) will help the company finance a construction of a state-of-the-art Toyota repair and maintenance centre, expand its new car distribution and sales business, and improve energy efficiency.
The project will also benefit from grant financing of EUR 42,000 for an energy efficiency audit provided by the government of Japan. Further grant financing is available for energy efficiency improvements, according to EBRD.
General Director of Tavan Bogd Group Ts. Baatarsaikhan says,"This is another example of the good cooperation between the EBRD and our Group. We can always rely on the EBRD to understand our business requirements and provide us with the support we need."
"With this transaction, the EBRD continues to support Mongolia’s private sector. Demand for new cars keeps increasing and Tavan Bogd’s new repair and maintenance centre will serve the country’s growing middle class,” said Masaru Honma, EBRD Director for Central Asia.
To date, the EBRD has invested over USD one billion into the Mongolian economy. Nearly all EBRD-financed projects support private sector companies and banks, according to EBRD.

Mongolia and China to Upgrade Meat Trade
By B. Amarsaikhan
Ulaanbaatar, January 7 (MONTSAME) The Minister of Food and Agriculture R.Burmaa met January 7 the Ambassador of China to Mongolia Wang Xiaolong to seek a support in mobilizing a dialogue about exporting to China Mongolian agricultural products with no limited quotas.
That dialogue took place during the state visit of Mr Xi Jinping to Mongolia in August of 2014. At the sixth meeting of the working group between the Ministries in Beijing and on the meeting of the Vice ministers of Food and agriculture it had been agreed that the two countries would cooperate in creating a "free of animal diseases" zone in the eastern region of Mongolia, thus implementing a program on facilitating meat export to China and on combat with cross-border outbreak of the animal diseases. Moreover, a Vice minister of Chinese Department of Supervision on Animal and Plant Quarantine, Import and Export Food Safety Bureau, Mr Wu Qinghai had proposed at a meeting with the Mongolian Ambassador Ts.Sukhbaatar to run a dialogue about alleviating the transit regulations and barriers during the trades of beef, mutton, and goat meat, horse by-products, buuz, dumplings, flour, animal fodder and keeps.
In scope of this proposal, a request had been submitted to the Chinese Department of Supervision on Animal and Plant Quarantine to terminate a quarantine in Bayan-Olgii aimag in the aftermath of hoof-and-mouth disease outbreak occurred last year. The termination of the quarantine will allow the aimag’s mutton and goat meat exports to China to commence. Our Ministry of Food and Agriculture issued a direction that addresses creating a favorable environment for trading animal fodder, pedigree livestock, and other agricultural products with China through Bayankhoshuu-Ovdog port of Dornod aimag and Bichigt-Khatavch port of Sukhbaatar aimag.

Tax investigation case against SouthGobi Sands sent to court
January 7 ( The tax investigation case against former three employees of SouthGobi Sands was sent back to court.
The former employees of SouthGobi Sands are accused of tax evasion and money laundering according to Act 166.2 of the Criminal Code of Mongolia.
Justin Kapla, Hilarion Cajucom Jr., and Cristobal David are accused of intentional misstatements when reporting tax revenue in SouthGobi's financial statements.
The former employees of SouthGobi Sands are also accused of 84 billion MNT in tax evasion that should have been paid to the Government of Mongolia.
The Ulaanbaatar City Prosecutor's Office has refiled the case against the former employees of SouthGobi Sands based on the investigation of several transactions allegedly conducted on behalf of other companies.

Mongolia-China’s Khovd and Beitun Cities to Activate Partnership
January 7 ( In October 2014, Khovd Aimag of Mongolia and China’s Beitun city of Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region had established a Partnership Agreement during the International Conference on Investment in Western Region of Mongolia took place in Khovd Sum of Khovd Aimag.
Under the implementation of the Agreement, delegates led by Deputy Director of Beitun City Industrial Zone Logistics, Hou Guo Fang have arrived in Khovd town to conduct a business meeting with the Governor of Khovd Aimag D.Tseveenravdan on January 06, 2015.
At the meeting, Governor D.Tseveenravdan emphasized collaboration opportunities to develop infrastructural projects alongside the highway road to connect Russia, China and Mongolia through Khovd Aimag.
Also, cooperation opportunities in processing meat products, practicing irrigated land system as well as developing responsible mining exploration and other sectors to boost socio-economic spheres of Mongolia.
The other part proposed offers of collaboration in which spheres most needed investments, whether to cooperate on the use of copper and oil, construction of apartment buildings, tax ease on raw materials, and many other legal advises in future partnerships.

Batzandan MP meets Jim Anderson
By B. Amarsaikhan
Ulaanbaatar, January 7 (MONTSAME) A member of parliament J.Batzandan received Wednesday the Country Manager of the World Bank to Mongolia Mr Jim Anderson.
The latter thanked the MP for receiving him and gave information on the WB's projects which are expected to be implemented here: “E-Health” aims at establishing a general database of health and at improving information usage and consistency; a “Smart Governance” aimed to introduce communication technologies into the state services in order to improve the access, transparency and efficiency of the public service information; and an “Education Quality Reform” project is to improve a quality of primary education.
In response, the MP said he is satisfied with the results of the projects targeted to educational sphere among many projects implemented by the World Bank. After this the two exchanged opinions on the projects and programs to be realized in the future by the WB.

Stock Exchange news for January 7
By B. Khuder
Ulaanbaatar, January 7 (MONTSAME) At the Stock Exchange trades on Wednesday, a total of 7,189 units of 15 JSCs were traded costing MNT 25 million 313 thousand and 245.
"APU” /4,900 units/, “Binse HK” /1,000 units/, “Genco tour bureau” /350 units/, “State Department Store” /149 units/ and "Mon-it buligaar” /130 units/ were the most actively traded in terms of trading volume, in terms of trading value were "APU” (MNT 18 million 392 thousand and 747), "UB-BUK” (MNT one million and 890 thousand), “Darkhan nekhii” (MNT one million 417 thousand and 500), “Mon-it buligaar” (MNT one million and 040 thousand) and "Binse HK” (MNT 790 thousand).
The total market capitalization was set at MNT one trillion 412 billion 113 million 391 thousand and 911. The Index of Top-20 JSCs was 14,624.96, increasing 8.53 units or 0.06% against the previous day.

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