Thursday, May 1, 2014

'Mongolia is Korean business-friendly'

Mayor of Ulaanbaatar Erdene Bat-Uul said his country provides “immense business opportunities,” particularly for Korean businesses.

“We have many workers who can speak Korean fluently as they had lived in Korea for a certain period of time as guest workers. Therefore Korean companies will have no difficulties in communicating with them,” he said through an interpreter during a recent interview.

He said these Mongolians, who had years of work experience in Korea under the Employment Permit System (EPS), also have an understanding of the Korean corporate culture.

“Such workforce will definitely benefit Korean investors if they do business there,” he said.

Mongolia is one of the countries that have sent thousands of workers to Korea under the EPA system. These guest workers are mostly working in the manufacturing or service sectors for a limited period of time.

In addition to the workforce, Mayor Bat-Uul noted that the geographical location of Mongolia and its rich natural resources will also benefit Korean businesses.

“Geographically, we are close to China and Russia. And people-to-people exchanges and trade between Mongolia and the northeastern part of China as well as the Russian Far East have been very active over the past decades,” he said.

“As you know, we are endowed with rich natural resources. Korean companies can partake to exploit our natural resources.”

The Ulaanbaatar mayor said Korea is very important for Mongolia seeking to achieve a stable democracy and prosperous economy.

The former democracy fighter said Korea is an ideal partner for Mongolia as it has knowhow on how to build a thriving economy in a once war-torn nation.

“Although we successfully achieved transition from a communist country to a democracy in the 1990s after the collapse of the Soviet Union, and this drew positive responses from the West, we are still learning in terms of democracy,” he observed.

“I see that there are temptations in our society, that if things didn’t go the way as we intended there are some people who try to use physical force to make it work. This is the legacy of communism and we are now fighting against such a mentality.”

Mayor Bat-Uul was to attend a meeting organized by the Northeast Asia Association which was initially scheduled for April. The meeting was rescheduled to June 24-25 due to the tragic sinking of the ferry Sewol off Korea’s southwestern coast, an accident that left more than 300 people dead or missing.

Mayor Bat-Uul delivered deep condolences for the victims and missing and their families. He appreciated the Northeast Asia Association for its invitation to Korea despite the tragedy.

Bat-Uul arrived in Seoul on Friday for a flurry of meetings with Korean legislative leaders, including Speaker Kang Chang-hee, as well as his counterpart Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon. He left Seoul Wednesday.

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