Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Mongolia Brief April 29, 2014

Press release: Mongolian University of Science and Technology team wins Robocon Mongolia 2014
Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia April 28 (Oyu Tolgoi) - Telecom Mongolia, a team of Mongolian University of Science and Technology (MUST) students has won the annual competition to select the team to represent Mongolia in the international “Robocon 2014” contest. “

Robocon is an international contest organised among university engineering students who study robot design. In this year’s national competition, 13 teams from MUST, Darkhan-Uul aimag Technological school, University of Technology, National University of Mongolia (NUM), Choir Polytechnical college, Mongolian State University of Agriculture, and the University of Defense took part. Oyu Tolgoi LLC was the General sponsor of the competition.
Speaking at the opening of the competition, G.Agaanorov, general producer of the Robocon programme and head of the programming department of the Mongolian National Public Broadcaster said: “We would like to express our gratitude to Oyu Tolgoi, the leading mining company, which sponsored the Robocon competition. This supports students and youth to develop their creativity by applying what they have learned in class to making actual robots and creating real value. I’m confident that our cooperation will promote prosperity and development and will contribute significantly to training world-class, future engineers who will make Mongolia’s name famous all around the world.”
The Asia Pacific Broadcasting Union, which represents 111 TV stations in around 50 Asian countries, first organised the Robocon contest in 2001 with the aim to create friendship among young people with similar interests who will lead their countries in the 21st century, as well as help advance engineering and broadcasting technologies in the region.
B.Oyunbat, head of the “Talst” team from the Polytechnical college of Gobi-Sumber aimag said: “Our team is taking part in this competition for the first time. We couldn’t build as good a robot as we wished since we couldn’t find some equipment and spare parts. However, we gave it our best.”
B.Sukh-Erdene, head of the “Mongol Robot” team from NUM said: “We have been preparing for this contest since last fall when the rules of the contest were announced. Our robot executed all of the tasks. We are a very experienced team, but the other competitors were very strong too.”

The Real Economic Situation
April 29 (Mongolian Economy) Politicians have repeatedly stated that the economy was not in crisis and that livelihoods were still safe. Many people in Mongolia have not felt the same way, however.
“It has been a while since the number of customers declined after the traditional celebration of Tsagaan Sar,” said G. Anar a garment seller at Narantuul Market at 12:00 on a Tuesday in April. “These days are really something. I’ve never seen customers be so rare.”
People do not have as much to spend as they used to, she said. And the lack of business was having its own toll on those who work at the market.
“After some months, we won’t be able to pay for the lease, and we have no other option than to take out a loan,” said Ts. Bayandalai, another salesperson at Narantuul who pays up to MNT 70,000 a month for her space at the market. “I am worried about how we can sustain our livelihood for the future.”
Anar and Bayandalai are just two of the 5,000 booth operators leasing space at Naranutal, in addition to the 200 pushing carts at the market. Their revenues have fallen from between MNT 15,000 and MNT 20,000 a day to MNT 5,000 and MNT 10,000 because of the decline in the number of customers. And their stories are not so unique.
The situation is better in the parking lot outside the market, where salespeople sell small goods to incoming travellers. Continued transit in and through the city have sustained sales, they say, as Narantuul is still the destination where many vans and trucks drop off passengers.
“Our revenue has not dropped from MNT 200,000 a day as the prices of our products are from MNT 20 to MNT 30, which is cheaper compared to Narantuul,” said Kh. Khulan, who sells food outside the market.
But deliveries to the market are falling too. According to Mendbayar, a truck driver who travels 800 kilometres to Ulaanbaatar from Zavkhan Aimag, he is making half as many deliveries as he did a year ago, travelling once a month rather than twice a month as he used to.
“It has turned difficult to find customers and I ask my relatives if they have any goods to be transported,” he said.
Bumbugur market was nearly empty the same day on April 1, just a few hours after arriving at Narantuul. Bumbugur’s more central location should make it a more popular destination, but the depreciation against the Chinese yuan has made clothes and home appliances too costly for customers here too. Those who sell home appliances there said that compared with year-long daily income of MNT 150,000 to MNT 200,000, today they are lucky to get MNT 100,000.
“We used to import goods from China two times a month. But now we do it only once a month and sometimes we do not do it at all,” said R. Buyan, who sells home appliances at the market.
Wholesale meat market Khuchit Shonkhor –  popular because of the relatively cheaper price for meat and the variety of options – is also seeing goods growing more expensive. Meat prices have seen up to an additional MNT 2,000 a kilogram from the month before.
Herders were asking for more money for their meat, said salespeople, which was being passed on to the customers. Fodder prices have risen alongside the price of flour in Mongolia. Herders have grown frustrated with the jump in prices, just as their livestock are beginning to breed.
Although the government claimed enough wheat was produced in Mongolia last year to meet domestic demand, Mongolia still had to import 100,000 tonnes of wheat last September to prevent any change in price. It was for nought, however, as the prices for wheat and fodder grew anyway. A package of fodder has doubled in price to MNT 10,000 from previous months.
Taxes at the Border
The same situation was seen at the Bars market. Bars is a popular market for the sale of imported fruits and vegetables. Salespersons here, too, are suffering from fluctuations in the exchange rate, but also because of added tax at the border. 
The prices of fruits and vegetables increased from MNT 10,000 to MNT 25,000 per box from last year. For example, the price of a box of bell peppers has grown from MNT 28,000 last year to up to MNT 48,000 this year.
Mongolia’s customs since last February have enforced a new standard so that the taxes match exactly with Chinese customs. The prices of fruits in China are still the same as that of last year, but because the tugrug has depreciated and customs taxes have grown, fruit stands have had to raise their prices.
According to B. Baigalmaa, a leaseholder at Bars market, the 5 percent customs tax, 10 percent value-added tax and 20 percent increase in the prices of fruits because of the exchange rate depreciation are making it impossible to maintain cheap prices for produce.
“The customs tax is being raised much higher,” she said – 80 percent from before the changes in customs were implemented.
“Politicians are trying to cover the loss of export revenue by increasing import tax. It would obviously lead to the increase in the prices of imported goods. Poverty is expanding because citizens’ wages are not increasing.”
Across town at Zuun Ail, the arrival of spring is expected to place greater demand on construction materials. It is another market being ravaged by the exchange rate. The price for cement mix, for example, had grown from about MNT 8,000 a packet to MNT 12,000 this year.
The greater expenses for construction materials and tools have put many construction projects on hold.
Most of the merchants that operate at Zuun Ail said they use bank loans to fund purchases to stock their shelves. They pay back those loans after they have started selling their goods, but the delays to construction projects will make it harder to repay those loans this year.
The operators at Zuun Ail said business had never before been so slow during spring, and many blamed policy makers.
“There are a number of citizens like us who do not ask the government for money and pay our taxes. We are sustaining our lives on our own,” said O. Saran, a merchant at Zuun Ail. “Under the names of monitoring and checking, customs officers are searching us thoroughly at border point to impose more tax on our imported goods because they think that the current amount of customs tax is insufficient.”
These testimonials are just a few examples of how small business is suffering. Many small business operators suggested that elected officials come and visit these local shops to see the truth of the economy. That might be a bitter pill to swallow.

Mongolia Attends SCO Meeting of Observers
Ulaanbaatar, April 29 (MONTSAME) Representing Mongolia, Director of the Neighbour Countries’ Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs T.Togsbilguun took part in the meeting of National Coordinators of SCO Member States with Authorized Representatives of SCO observer states held April 26 in Beijing, China.
During the meeting, the SCO expressed a willingness to activate cooperation with its observer states, and then exchanged views on expanding the multilateral cooperation in various spheres.
The meeting was chaired by D.F.Mezentsev, the SCO Secretary-General, and it was attended by A.A. Pirov, deputy director of Executive Committee of the SCO Regional Counter-Terrorist Structure.

Japanese Delegation Visits Khoshigt Valley Airport
Ulaanbaatar, April 29 (MONTSAME) A Japanese delegation led by Transport Minister Mr Akihiro Ota visited last Sunday an international ariport that has been under construction in Khoshigt valley in central Tov province.
Seeing the ongoing project to build up an international airport, Mr Ota expressed a satisfaction with project realization that is significantly ahead of its schedule and is expected to be completed by December 2016.
The New Ulaanbaatar International Airport or the Khoshigt Valley Airport is a new international airport presently under construction in 52 km from Ulaanbaatar city center in Sergelen sum, Tov Province. It will serve Ulaanbaatar and its metropolitan area.
The airport is designed with the capacity of up to three million passengers per year, and has ability and space for a possible future expansion of up to twelve million passengers yearly. It will also be equipped with 24 hour all-weather air traffic control system.
In May 2008, a ¥28.8 billion (US$385 million) 40-year soft loan agreement at 0.2% interest was signed between the Government of Mongolia and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation to build a new international airport.

FM L.Bold to Pay Official Visit Estonia
Ulaanbaatar, April 29 (MONTSAME) The Minister of Foreign Affairs L.Bold is planning to start an official visit to the Republic of Estonia at an invitation of his Estonian counterpart Mr Urmas Paet on April 30.
By this visit, the sides are intending to intensify friendly relations and cooperation between Mongolia and Estonia, to make high level dialogues periodically, to get familiar with structure of “e-governance”, to study shale producing experience of Estonia, to talk about mutually concerned matters, to run fruitful collaboration in trade and economy spheres.
Furthermore, an inter-governmental agreement to waive visas between Mongolia and Estonia for E-diplomatic passport holders will be inked by the sides during the visit.
During these days on April 28-29, the FM L.Bold is participating in the 4th annual conference Freedom Online Coalition in Tallinn.

Our Ambassador Participates New Jersey National Festival

Ulaanbaatar, April 29 (MONTSAME) The Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Mongolia to the USA B.Altangerel attended in the National festival of New Jersey state in Rutgers University, last Saturday.
This traditional measure is celebrated annually on last Saturday of April with aims to advertise national culture and custom of International nations living in the state and natives.
This year, the program included promotion events for Mongolian culture to foreigners and a community of New Jersey-based Kalmuk and ran several promotion actions such as to erect Mongolian national dwelling /ger/, and to cook national food and the gathered enjoyed Mongolian national performances.
At the event, Ambassador B.Altangerel thanked organizers for their effort in the promotion of Mongolian culture abroad and congratulated the community of Khalimag for being inherited Mongolian culture to generation to generation. During the event, the Ambassador was presented “Honored guest” certification.
Ambassador B.Altangerel also met with Ms Joanna Regulska, a vice president of the Rutgers University for International and Global affairs and exchanged views on relations' establishment then agreed to cooperate in seeking ways of expansion of collaboration.

Transport Minister Receives Japanese Delegation

Ulaanbaatar, April 29 (MONTSAME) Transportation Minister A.Gansukh received Monday a Japanese delegation led by his counterpart of Japan Mr Akihiro Ota.
At the meeting, the ministers exchanged views on an ongoing airport project in central Tov province under a soft loan from the Japan Bank for International Cooperation. The delegation had visited earlier the airport and earned confidence that the ongoing project shows the international airport in Khoshigt Valley is very likely come to services in the scheduled time – by December 2016.
After sharing opinions on bilateral partnership in transportation, the ministers established an inter-ministerial memorandum of understanding for cooperation between the sides.

N.Altankhuyag Meets Japanese Minister

Ulaanbaatar, April 29 (MONTSAME) The Prime Minister N.Altankhuyag Monday received visiting Mr Akihiro Ota, the Japan’s Minister for Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism.
Beginning the meeting, the Prime Minister expressed gratitude to the Japan’s Minister for signing a cooperation memorandum between the Mongolian Ministries of Road and Transportation, and of Construction and Urban Development, and the Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism. He noted that developing the relations and cooperation with Japan is one of the priorities in the Mongolia’s foreign policy.
The Premier expressed a satisfaction with strengthening of the mutual trust and forwarding of the bilateral ties at a strategic partnership volume, and emphasized an importance of establishment of the Middle-Term Programme on Mongolia-Japan Strategic Partnership which was signed during the mutual visits of the two Premiers. The document significantly contributed to developing the bilateral cooperation in the politics, culture, education and economic fields, he added.
“Mongolia will participate in the ITB Berlin international exhibition in 2015 as a partner, and is aiming to boost its tourism sector for attracting tourists. Within these goals, we are focusing attention to the infrastructure matter,” Mr Altankhuyag said, and asked the Japanese Minister for paying attention to fortifying the bilateral cooperation in the tourism and infrastructure sectors.
In turn, Mr Ota said his country is ready to collaborate with Mongolia in developing the infrastructure in Mongolia.

Construction Minister Meets Japanese Delegation

Ulaanbaatar, April 29 (MONTSAME) Construction and Urban Development Minister Ts.Bayarsaikhan met with a Japanese delegation led by Transport Minister Mr Akihiro Ota.
At the meeting, the sides touched upon issues of collaboration in introduction of Japan’s standards to Mongolia’s construction sector, and experience-sharing on city planning, as well as educational exchanges between the countries that include an opportunity to study civil engineering and construction-related profession in Japan for one thousand Mongolian students.
Aware of the need of trained specialist in construction development of the nation, Mr Ota supported the above proposal of educational program, and agreed about the importance of experience sharing among civil engineers and technical staffers of the two countries through involving Mongolian builders in construction projects preceding the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Following the meeting, the Ministers signed an inter-ministerial Memorandum of Understanding.

FM Attending Freedom Online Coalition Ministerial Conference

Ulaanbaatar, April 29 (MONTSAME) Foreign Minister L.Bold is attending the 4th annual high level Freedom Online Coalition Ministerial Conference, “Free and Secure Internet for All”, that began on April 28 in Tallinn, Estonia.
Foreign Minister of Mongolia L.Bold delivered a speech at the conference and held a press conference along with the Estonian Foreign Minister.
The Mongolian Foreign Minister called for active participation in the Freedom Online Coalition Ministerial Conference to be held in Mongolia next year at a ceremonial conference held by Google.
The Freedom Online Coalition Ministerial Conference has been attended by over 400 representatives from 64 countries including Foreign and IT Ministers of 23 countries and over 180 representatives of civil society organizations, private sector and international media and business.
At the Ministerial Conference, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, United States Secretary of State John Kerry, President of Estonia Toomas Hendrik Ilves, President of Georgia Giorgi Margvelashvili and Speaker of the Kenyan National Assembly Justin Muturi delivered speeches.
This year the Freedom Online Coalition Ministerial Conference welcomed Moldova and Japan.
The Freedom Online Coalition was created from a decision made at the Hague intergovernmental meeting in 2011 with the aim to protect and promote freedom of the internet globally and to thereby shape international decisions in that realm.
In the framework of the conference, Foreign Minister L.Bold held meetings with his counterparts from Canada, Nigeria, the Netherlands, Finland and Sweden and the Deputy Secretary of State of the United States and Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations of the UK.

Mongolia to Chair 5th “Online Freedom” Conference in 2014

April 29 (infomongolia.com) Mongolian delegates led by the Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Luvsanvandan BOLD are participating in the 4th "Online Freedom" conference themed “Free and Secure Internet for All” and organized by the Freedom Online Coalition (FOC) in Tallinn, the Republic of Estonia on April 28-29, 2014.
At the Conference over 400 representatives from 64 nations are taking in part, of which 23 member-states’ Foreign Ministers and Ministers of Informational Technology along with over 180 delegates from civil society and business delegations are present.
The opening remarks were presented by dignitaries including the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, the U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Presidents of Estonia and Georgia, and Senate Speaker of Kenya.
Following the first day of conference, the FOC members unanimously adopted a set of "Recommendations for Freedom Online", also referred to as the "Tallinn Agenda" that includes tasks to carry out next year and works and tendencies must be under consideration, besides the Principality of Moldavia and Japan became a new member-states.
Moreover, the Freedom Online Coalition member countries unanimously agreed electing Mongolia to chair the Coalition in 2014, where President of Estonia, Foreign Ministers of Canada, the Netherlands and Sweden pledged to support Mongolia to host the 5th Conference in Ulaanbaatar during their presentations on the first day.
The Freedom Online Coalition (FOC) is an intergovernmental coalition committed to advancing Internet freedom worldwide in free expression, association, assembly and privacy online. In its founding document, the “Hague Declaration”, the FOC declared that the same rights apply online as well as offline. 
Therefore, FOC member states are committed to working together diplomatically to voice concern over measures to restrict Internet freedom and support those individuals whose human rights online are curtailed. Since its inception in 2011 in The Hague, the Netherlands, the coalition has grown from 15 to 25 member countries including the newly accredited Moldavia and Japan.
On April 30, 2014, Foreign Minister of Mongolia L.Bold will have official talks with his counterpart of hosting nation Mr. Urmas Paet. During the meeting, parties are scheduled to discuss and sign the intergovernmental agreement on reciprocal visa liberalization for holders of diplomatic e-passports between the nationals of the two countries.

Consular Department Director Works in Italy

Ulaanbaatar, April 29 (MONTSAME) Director of the Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sh.Sukhbaatar is working in Italy on April 28-29.
During his working trip, organized within frameworks of comprehensive actions the Government of Mongolia aimed at the protection of rights and interest of Mongolian citizens studying and living abroad, Mr Sukhbaatar held a meeting with Ms Maria Claudia Di Paolo, Regional Director (Lazio Region), Department of the Penitentiary Administration, and discussed issues of mutual concerns.

NSC Secretary-General Meets Japan Counterpart

Ulaanbaatar, April 29 (MONTSAME) In frames of a visit to Japan, the secretary-general of the National Security Council of Mongolia Ts.Enkhtuvshin met last week with his counterpart of Japan Shotaro Yachi in Tokyo.
During the meeting, the NSC leaders agreed to establish permanent ties between the NSCs.
The Japanese government set up its NSC in November of 2013 with a key responsibility to manage the national security policy, and has decided to collaborate with Mongolia in security matters.

Deputy FM Gankhuyag Meets with Vietnamese Deputy PM

Ulaanbaatar, April 29 (MONTSAME) In a scope of a working visit to Vietnam, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs D.Gankhuyag was received by Mr Nguyen Xuan Phuc, the Deputy Prime Minister of this country in Hanoi on April 28, vietnamplus.vn website says, same day.
At the meeting, the Deputy PM Phuc explained that greater ties will serve the two countries' interests, contributing to peace, stability, cooperation and development in the Asia-Pacific.
He also highly praised the outcomes of the sixth Mongolia and Vietnam political consultation at deputy foreign ministerial level, which took place in Hanoi earlier the same day.
Furthermore, the Deputy PM Phuc suggested the two sides closely coordinate in organising activities to mark the 60th anniversary of their diplomatic ties in this November, thus helping increase their mutual understanding and friendship, especially among young generations.
He also noted his wish that the two sides will actively partner with each other in researching and developing the economic ties effectively, matching their political bond.
The official called on the two countries' businesses to enhance their exchange and investment in order to access new cooperation opportunities.
In turn, the Deputy FM D.Gankhuyag praised the socio-economic achievements that Vietnam has recorded over the past years.
He expressed a hope that the two countries will strengthen cooperation in investment and trade, focusing on areas such as mining, tourism, agriculture, employment and light industry, while continuing their collaboration at international forums.
Vietnam has always attached importance to its friendship with Mongolia and wishes to elevate the relationship in a more comprehensive and practical manner.

Vietnam-Mongolia Foreign Ministries Consultative meeting held

April 29 (news.mn) Deputy Foreign Minister of Mongolia, D.Gankhuyag chaired the regular Foreign Ministries consultative meeting between Mongolia and Vietnam during his visit to the Socialist Republic of Vietnam on April 28th as part of his official visit to East Asian countries.
Minister D.Gankhuyag exchanged views with Vietnamese Vice Foreign Minister and Ho Xuan Son on the possibilities to intensify bilateral political negotiations at all levels, expand their cooperation range into economy, trade, investment, agriculture and defense and regarding cooperation in regional and international arena.
Both parties noted the significance of President Ts.Elbegdorj`s visit to the Socialist Republic of Vietnam in 2013 in strengthening traditional good relations and cooperation between the two countries.
Vietnam pledged to support Mongolia`s bid to join the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum (APEC), and to be a partner with negotiation on ASEAN and agreed to hold a consultative meeting and seminar along with Mongolia.

Premier Meets China’s Finance Minister

Ulaanbaatar, April 29 (MONTSAME) The Prime Minister N.Altankhuyag met Tuesday with China’s Finance Minister Lou Jiwei, who is paying an working visit to Mongolia at an invitation of his counterpart of Mongolia Ch.Ulaan.
At the beginning of the meeting, PM Altankhuyag expressed a satisfaction with joint major-scale projects that had launched after his visit to China in 2013, and said he was pleased with several pacts of cooperation that had been concluded during Mr Jiwei’s visit to the country.
In turn, Minister Lou Jiwei expressed an appreciation for Mr Altankhuyag’s support for initiation of the Asian Infrastructural Investment Bank in Ulaanbaatar.
Aware of the exceptional importance of infrastructure development in a landlocked country, the Government of Mongolia decided to join as a founder to the initiation of China to found the bank, the Prime Minister noted. A swap contract between the two countries came to end in last month, and the Mongolian part has a willingness to extend the contract with increased cash flows, said Mr Altankhuyag, and asked the Finance Minister of China to support a prompt solution of the issue.
At the meeting the parties also talked about financial and economic actions of the two Governments. The Prime Minister of Mongolia explained ‘100 day to intensify the economic’ measures of his Government, which aim at enhanced cooperation with other countries and increased attraction of investments to Mongolia, thus improving government budget incomes.
In turn, the Finance Minister of China briefed on proven-successfully measures of the Chinese Government, in which it has trimmed spending of its all ministries, as well as has decreased taxation to save 100 billion Chinese Yuan last year.

Democrats See No ‘Need’ to Dismiss Justice Minister

Ulaanbaatar, April 29 (MONTSAME) The parliamentary caucus of the Democratic Party convened on Monday afternoon to discuss a dismiss proposal for Justice Minister Kh.Temuujin.
At the meeting that lasted until 11 pm that day, members agreed on a need of retaining Kh.Temuujin in his current ministerial office. The meeting also reached an agreement on effective dates for separate draft laws to amend the law on Government and the law on State Great Khural (parliament). The caucus members then agreed to set the effective date of a draft law to eliminate office duplications in parliament and government cabinet as June 1 of 2016.

Wool and Cashmere Sector's Discussion to Run

Ulaanbaatar, April 29 (MONTSAME) A discussion-meeting themed “Difficulties in wool and cashmere sector and ways to overcome” is to run in the State House on April 30.
The action has been co-organized by the Environment, Food and Agricultural Standing Committee, the Ministry of Industry and Agriculture, and the Mongolian Wool and Cashmere Association.
During the meeting, relevant officials will deliver lectures relating to the topic and run discussion on the matters among the participants.   

Ulaanbaatar and Bangkok City Councils to Cooperate

Ulaanbaatar, April 29 (MONTSAME) The Bangkok Metropolitan Council (BMC) and the Ulaanbaatar City Council (UCC) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to strengthen relations by promoting a student exchange program and mutual public health development, said thainews.prd.go.th on Monday.
The MoU was signed by Bangkok Metropolitan Council President Pipat Larbpratthana and the Chairman of the Ulaanbaatar City Council, Dashjamts Battulga, and promises mutual collaboration in the area of student exchange program and public health development. The MoU signing ceremony took place at the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration Bangkok City Hall.
Thailand and Mongolia just celebrated the 40th anniversary of relations on March 5. The BMC and the UCC began their relationship in 1999 and since then have promoted an exchange of culture, sports and tourism.
The MoU that was just signed expands the scope and areas of mutual development and represents a good sign of positive collaboration which is expected to benefit to both countries in the future.

Mongolian Kickboxer to Fight at One Fighting Championship

Ulaanbaatar, April 29 (MONTSAME) Mongolian top kickboxer J.Narantungalag is to take on the challenge of former ONE FC Featherweight World Champion Honorio Banario, as the latter is to set to return to action on May 30.
ONE Fighting Championship (ONE FC) has added the final three fights to the 10-bout fight card of ONE FC: HONOR & GLORY, which is slated to take place on May 30 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium. Hong Kong’s Eddie Ng will put his undefeated streak on the line when he meets top Dutch kickboxer Vincent Latoel. In addition, no-gi grappling champion Bruno Pucci returns to action against exciting MMA prospect, Major Overall.
ONE Fighting Championship (ONE FC) is a Singapore-based mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion which was officially launched on 14 July 2011. It is widely recognized as the biggest MMA promotion in Asia notable fighters on the roster includeShinya Aoki, Bibiano Fernandes, Ben Askren, Masakatsu Ueda and Melvin Manhoef.

O.Gundegmaa Wants to Compete in 2016 Olympics

Ulaanbaatar, April 29 (MONTSAME) A State Honored Sportswoman and Olympic silver medalist has been qualified to compete in the 51st ISSF World Shooting Championships that will take place September 6-20 in Granada, Spain.
She got the right to participate in the World Championships by winning the Shooting Championship Cup tournament of the Mongolian Shooting Sports Federation (MShSF) held last week. Furthermore, she will compete in the World Championships in order to gain a qualification right to take part in the 2016 Rio De Janeiro Summer Olympic Games.
O.Gundegmaa had a break in her sport career because of family matter after the Beijing 2008 Olympics.
She is one of the prominent athletes of Mongolia, and has competed in Summer Olympics five times since the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. She has showed her biggest result at the Beijing Olympics, winning a silver medal in the women’s 25 m pistol event. For her success, she was awarded the state honored sportswoman title as well as Hero of Labour.    

Mongolian Women Table Tennis Team Bags First Win in Tokyo

Ulaanbaatar, April 29 (MONTSAME) The Mongolian women team bagged on Monday their first win in the 2014 World Team Table Tennis Championships in Tokyo, Japan.
The Mongolian women’s team is competing in group A of zone C with Kazakhstan, Guatemala, Salvador, Caledonia and Azerbaijan, while men’s team of Mongolia is playing against Peru, Angola, Bahrain, Mauritius and Philippines.
Mongolian women lost to Kazakhstan in 0:3, before winning Azerbaijan with 3:0 on Monday. They will play against the Guatemala team, who has two wins so far. The teams in zone C are competing to be placed 50th-90th.
Mongolian men lost to Bahrain on Monday and are to play against Peru on Tuesday.
The 2014 World Team Table Tennis Championships are taking place in Tokyo from 28 April to 5 May 2014. The Championships is being staged in Japan for the seventh time and is becoming the 52nd edition of the team competition.

Mongolian B.Gundavaa Placed Sixth 14th at Asian Chess Championship

Ulaanbaatar, April 29 (MONTSAME) Mongolian chess players successfully competed at 13th Asian Continental Individual Open and Women's Chess Championships running in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates (UAE) on April 16-26.
In the men’s tournament, a Grand Master Ts.Batchuluun placed 27th at the end of the tournament, while B.Gundavaa finished it at 14thwith 5.5 points, and G.Monkhal with 4 points. Chess players from China and India led the men’s contest.
An international master and woman grandmaster B.Mongontuul finished Women’s Chess Championship at 14th; whereas another Mongolian B.Anu completed the tournament with 3.5 points.
The top five from the 2014 Asian Open Championship qualified for the 2015 World Cup, whereas the 2014 Asian Women’s champion qualified for the 2015 Women’s World Championship.

Mongolians at World Amateur Championship

Ulaanbaatar, April 29 (MONTSAME) Chess players of Mongolia are taking part in the 2014 World Amateur Chess Championship that started on last Saturday in Singapore.
The men’s team has comprised E.Baasansuren, a FIDE master; B.Nyamdavaa, a sports master; vice masters A.Bayarsaikhan, Sh.Batbileg, Kh.Bayarkhuu, B.Ariunbold, U.Agibileg, G.Monkhbayar, Ts.Bat-Erdene, B.Irmuuntulga and B.Batsuld. The women’s team included a sports master O.Nyamtuya; vice masters U.Uuriintuya and B,Ganchimeg. They coached by a Grand Master D.Sharavdorj; and a FIDE master U.Nasanjargal.
Kh.Bayarkhuu and Ts.Bat-Erdene bagged two wins after two rounds, while G.Monkhbayar, E.Baasansuren, U.Agibuileg, B.Irmuuntuya, A.Batchuluun, B.Batsuld. A.Bayarsaikhan, B.Nyamdavaa and Ya.Sukhbold reached one win so far.
Co-organized by the Singapore Chess Federation and the World Chess Federation (FIDE), the World Amateur Chess Championships is held in Singapore April 25 to May 4th. The championships are governed by the General Regulations for FIDE Competitions (approved in 2011) and the Rules of the FIDE World Amateur Championships (approved in 2011).

Famous Circus Dwarfs to Perform Here

Ulaanbaatar, April 29 (MONTSAME) Invited by the Mongolian National Circus, a world-famous circus dwarfs will stage performances themed “Little stars' wonder” here, on May 25- June 1.
The team will consist of 35 actors and more than 20 kinds of animals including bear, dog, sheep and goat and will perform together with Mongolian circus actors.
Around 20 years ago from now, Mongolian audiences met with these talented dwarfs for the first time.

Our Artists Perform Cio Cio San Opera in South Korea

Ulaanbaatar, April 29 (MONTSAME) Artists of the Mongolian State Academic Theater of Opera and Ballet performed “Cio Cio San” opera at theater of Daejeon city of South Korea on April 25-27.
Under an instruction of Italian opera producer, our team together with S.Korean artists got play rehearsal in this theater for a month with a complete financial support of the opera theater.

Opposition party leader meets Russian Ambassador

April 29 (news.mn) Deputy Speaker of Parliament and leader of the Mongolian People`s Party (MPP) M.Enkhbold received the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation to Mongolia, Iskander K. Azizov, at Government House on Monday April 28th.
During the meeting the parties discussed cooperation matters between Mongolia and Russia relating to bilateral political and socio-economic relations.
Ambassador Azizov noted that the two sides are jointly marking the 75thanniversary of the victory of the Khalkh Gol battle this year.
The Russian Ambassador also invited Deputy Speaker M.Enkhbold to the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) that is scheduled for May.

New International Airport at Khushigt Valley to Be Operational by December 2016, Assures Japanese Minister Akihiro Ota
April 29 (infomongolia.com) Japanese delegates from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, who are paying a working visit to Mongolia on April 26-29, were received by the Minister of Roads and Transportation of Mongolia Mr. Amarjargal GANSUKH on April 28, 2014.
Japanese Minister Mr. Akihiro Ota and Minister Mr. A.Gansukh have exchanged views seeking to broaden bilateral partnerships in the sector; afterwards the two Ministries have established a Memorandum of Understanding to cooperate.
During his stay in Mongolia, Minister A.Oto familiarized with current constructions in progress of a new international airport at Khushigt valley in Tuv Aimag and expressed his satisfaction with the project ongoing activities.
During the meeting with Minister A.Gansukh, Japanese delegates noted that the project execution is significantly ahead of the schedules and assured the airport would be able to complete commissioning and operational by December 2016.
Also, Minister A.Oto added, “This international airport is not only a big air transport facility, but is also considered as the biggest economic effective project and landmark. We are paying a significant attention as our companies are involved and investing, and we are willing to further cooperate on management issues of the airport. The delegation visiting this time is accompanied with leading civil air carriers’ representatives and corporate presidents to familiarize with the project”.

Memorandum of Understanding Established between Ministries of Mongolia and Japan
April 29 (infomongolia.com) On April 28, 2014, Japanese officials led by Minister Akihiro Ota met the Minister for Construction and Urban Development of Mongolia Mr. Tsevelmaa BAYARSAIKHAN.
During the meeting, parties touched upon issues to collaborate on introducing Japanese standards and regulation for building construction, and involving the sector’s 1,000 students from Mongolia to study in Japan in term of Japanese soft loan agreement.
In his meeting with Minister Ts.Bayarsaikhan, Minister A.Oto said, “We support your proposal to train Mongolian staff in Japan in the construction sector and we do understand how it is important for Mongolia’s development, if highly qualified personnel will be prepared before 2020. Welcoming the Tokyo Summer Olympics 2020, we pay particular attention in our construction sector and this is a big opportunity to involve representatives from Mongolian construction industry and exchange experiences between engineers and technicians, thus we accept your request to implement the program”. 
Following the meeting, two Ministers have signed the Memorandum of Understanding to cooperate.

Mongolia and Japan to Bolster Partnerships in Transportation and Construction Sectors
April 29 (infomongolia.com) Following the meetings with Mongolian Minister of Roads and Transportation, and Minister of Construction and Urban Development, Japanese Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Mr. Akihiro Ota was received by the Prime Minister of Mongolia Mr. Norov ALTANKHUYAG on April 28, 2014.
During the meeting, Premier N.Altankhuyag appreciated Japanese side for establishing Memorandums of Understanding and underlined one of the Mongolia’s priority foreign policies is to develop relations and partnerships with Japan.
Premier N.Altankhuyag expressed his satisfaction with strengthening and forwarding collaboration between the two countries in terms of strategic partnership. The reciprocal visits at Prime Minister-level have strengthened the ties, where Mongolia-Japan strategic partnership mid-term program has also provided to boost mutual beneficial cooperation in political, cultural, educational and economic relations, said Premier.
In addition, Mongolia to participate in the ITB Berlin 2015 as a partner country to take place in Germany in March 2015 and we are working to develop Mongolia’s tourism by promoting its sector and aiming to increase the number of tourists to visit our country. In the frameworks, we are focusing on Mongolia’s infrastructure enhancement, underlined Premier N.Altankhuyag. 
In response, Minister A.Oto said it would be delighted to collaborate in the development of the country's infrastructure.

Memorandum of Understanding to Establish Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank Signed between Finance Ministries of Mongolia and China
April 29 (infomongolia.com) Upon the invitation of the Minister for Finance of Mongolia Mr. Chultem ULAAN, Minister of Finance of the Government of the People's Republic of China, Mr. Lou Jiwei is conducting a working visit to Mongolia on April 28-29, 2014.
Within the frameworks, the two Finance Ministers have signed a Memorandum of Understanding on April 28 to collaborate on establishing the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), broadening mutual beneficial cooperation between the two Ministries and exchanging information and experiences within their portfolios.
The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank was announced to create by the President of the PR of China, Mr. Xi Jinping in 2013 that aims to finance commercially viable investments in economic infrastructure and the Government of China is actively working to open the Bank near future.
Currently, 15 member-countries are conducting discussions to found the AIIB including China and Mongolia.

Government of Mongolia Requests China to Extend Validity Period of Swap Agreement to Exchange National Currencies
April 29 (infomongolia.com) On April 29, 2014, Minister of Finance of the Government of the People's Republic of China, Mr. Lou Jiwei was received by the Prime Minister of Mongolia N.Altankhuyag in the Government House.
During his meeting, Finance Minister Lou Jiwei expressed his appreciation to the Government Head of Mongolia for accepting China President’s initiation to found the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).
Premier N.Altankhuyag noted that the infrastructure development is crucial for landlocked countries' economic cooperation, thus the Government of Mongolia decided to join and be a co-founder of the Bank by supporting China’s initiation to develop infrastructure industry.
He further said, “Within the frameworks of bilateral cooperation in financial sector between Mongolia and China, the Central Banks of the two countries have established a swap agreement to exchange their national currencies. The agreement that aims to accelerate bilateral trade and investment, besides to provide financial stability has been expired last month, therefore Mongolia is willing to extend the validity period, but with an increased volume of national currencies to exchange. We believe the Finance Minister would pay more attention to resolve this issue on a timely basis”.

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