Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Mongolia Brief September 19, 2014 Part I

President Receives Politicians from DPRK
By B. Amarsaikhan
Ulaanbaatar, September 19 (MONTSAME) The President of Mongolia Ts.Elbegdorj received Thursday the North Korean delegates led by Mr Kang Sug Joo, a member of political bureau and a secretary for International Affairs of the Worker’s Party of Korea.

The high guest passed to the President greetings from Kim Jong Un, the leader of Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
The leader of Mongolia said that a principle of the relations between the two countries is concrete, "firstly, we must strengthen the ties secured by previous generations, secondly, the ties must satisfy interests of the two sides, and, thirdly, the documents must be realized signed during the Mongolian President's visit to DPRK in 2013".
The President thanked the N.Korean side for supporting his “North-East Asian Dialogue” initiative and reaffirmed the invitations for the leader of N.Korea Kim Jong Un and first secretary of the Worker’s Party Kim Yong Nam on visiting Mongolia.  

"Mongolia Will Not Accept Proposals on Burying or Transiting Nuclear Waste on Its Territory"
By B. Khuder
Ulaanbaatar, September 19 (MONTSAME) The President of Mongolia said it in interview to Masakatsu Ota, a journalist of the Japanese “Kyodo Tsushin” agency on Thursday. 
This interview was dedicated to the Day of Banning Nuclear Weapon marked on September 26. 
“I guess there is no country that has reached a positive outcome or succeeded with acquisition of a nuclear weapon. The nuclear weapon-free status of Mongolia has been backed by the five nuclear weapon states by releasing an official statement. Now we are negotiating with the NWS especially with the neighbour countries to establish intergovernmental agreement on the matter,” the President said.
“The National Security Council of Mongolia (NSC) has made a concrete decision on prohibiting the burying of nuclear waste and transporting the weapons in Mongolia. It is also illegal for any official from Mongolia to make negotiations or discuss the issues with other countries' people without permission from the NSC. Mongolia has the law on it, so Mongolia will never accept any proposal to bury and/or transit nuclear waste in its territory. This is a proven decision,” Mr Elbegdorj stressed.
“The next issue is my position. Mongolia may accept an action of producing nuclear yellowcake if the country will explore, research or exploit nuclear substances, but no further action shall be permitted,” he pointed out.  

Diplomats Meet Senior Engineer of Mozilla
By B. Khuder
Ulaanbaatar, September 19 (MONTSAME) While in the USA with a visit, the Ambassador-at-Large of Mongolia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs S.Badral and an advisor to the Minister of Foreign Affairs O.Mashbat met Thursday with Mr Chris Riley, a senior policy engineer at the Mozilla in Washington DC.
During the meeting, Mr Badral pointed out that Mongolia is chairing the Online Freedom Coalition (OFC), and then invited the Mozilla company to partake in the Online Freedom Coalition Conference to be held 2015 in Ulaanbaatar.
Accepting the invitation, Mr Riley said the company intends to advertise the cheapest smart phone of USD 33 during the upcoming conference.  

Gundegmaa Wins "Bronze" at World University Championship
By B. Amarsaikhan
Ulaanbaatar, September 19 (MONTSAME) Our woman boxer has won bronze medal in World University boxing championship which took place this September 9-14 in Yakutsk of Russia. 
Among 140 athletes from 20 countries attended the tournament, this medal has been grabbed by M.Gundegmaa in 60kg category. She is the sports master and servers 0184th border post.
This year’s Championship included women boxers for the first time in its history.  

Book donations to local schools
September 19 ( National Book Day is celebrated nationwide each year on the third Saturday of every September, in accordance with a decree by the President of Mongolia.
On National Book Day, the Mongolian Academy of Sciences is planning to hold a book donations to local libraries and schools, presenting work by the academy's researchers and scholars to promote knowledge, aid local school libraries, and invest in knowledge on September 20th.

Toward a greener economy
September 19 (Mongolian Economy) Several recent initiatives highlight Mongolia’s commitment to a greener economy.
An experimental study is to be conducted by the National Statistical Office of Mongolia, with the help of the UN’s International Labour Organisation, to define the concept of a green working environment. The first of its kind in Mongolia, the study is to be completed in H1 of 2015 and consists of two parts: one based on households, the other on enterprise.
Since Rio+20—the UN’s Conference on Sustainable Development in 2012—Mongolia has taken several measures toward integrating green development into its national policy. Mongolia was the first country to join the UN Environment Programme’s global ‘Partnership for Action on Green Economy’ (PAGE) last year. The aim of the project is to build a national green economy strategy “that will generate new jobs and skills, promote clean technologies, and reduce environmental risks and poverty,” according to PAGE. Mongolia’s concerns include sustainable mining, renewable energy, and ecotourism.
After having joined PAGE, the Mongolian government outlined a policy on Green Development that Parliament approved in June 2014. The planning of the implementation process is currently underway. One of the main goals of the approved policy is to support and grow green jobs and the green working environment.

MNT 35 billion; five percent of total budget for tourism
By A. Burenjargal
September 19 (Mongolian Economy) Tourism receives MNT 35 billion to turnaround a 15 percent decline in visitors and boost the country’s strategic tourism sector. 
For the past year, tourists numbers in Mongolia declined by 15 percent while Mongolia is also included in world’s unfriendliest nations for tourists, explains E.Bat-Uul, the city’s mayor. 
To reverse this negativity and to take advantage of Mongolia’s natural beauty on offer, officials initiated the ‘Hospitable Ulaanbaatar’ campaign and sponsored next year’s ITB Berlin – a major travel trade show after which an influx of tourists is expected. Officials are predicting tourist numbers to reach two million by 2020 and five million by 2030. In 2013, 366.095 tourists visited Mongolia.
Tourism has never been a priority but is now seen as a strategic sector as Mongolia recognizes the need to diversify away from mining.  
“Mongolia had never invested money more than a billion tugrugs into tourism. But the state budgeted MNT 35 billion for the development of tourism and culture sector every year. That is believed to be great investment for a change”, said Minister of Culture, Sport and Tourism, Ts. Oyungerel.
There is also an unbalanced portion of outbound and inbound tourism. In the past year, Mongolians made 1.6 million trips out of the country. The number of Mongolian travellers is also four times higher than inbound tourist numbers. Balancing inbound and outbound tourism figures forms part of the campaign’s strategy.  
Is Mongolia ready to handle an influx of tourists? 
As the country’s tourism sector develops, there will be many lessons learned along the way. Policymakers will have to deal with current inflationary pressures for tourism operators. Many charge in USD, which is illegal, but necessary to deal with the increase in inflation over the past year.
Branding, promotion, customer service, ease of travel, resources and capacity are just some aspects of tourism officials will have to consider when promoting Ulaanbaatar and Mongolia. 
A data from Ulaanbaatar city tourism department says tourists in Mongolia spend, on average, USD190 for one night per night. Two times the average wage for a Month 
This year’s budget for tourism is well above what it was in 2012 when only MNT one billion was spent in tourism sector. Increase investment and promotion is expected to increase GDP by 2.5 times or five billion dollars by 2030 according to Hospitable Ulaanbaatar campaign. 
With endless natural beauty and culture, Mongolia is a playground for keen travellers. If the sector is developed sustainably and with its customer in mind, the tourism sector may be a valuable asset to a country looking to develop industries other than mining.
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