Saturday, October 18, 2014

Mongolia Brief October 10, 2014 Part II

UK National Health Services reps meet MPs
By B. Amarsaikhan
Ulaanbaatar, October 10 (MONTSAME) Member of parliament and chairman of Standing committee on social policy, education, culture and science D.Battsogt together with G.Uyanga and  S.Ganbaatar MPs received on October 9 a delegation headed by Claire Johnston, the director of Candem&Islington NHS Foundation Trust of the UK, on the occasion of the World Mental Health Day (October 10). 

Ms Johnston thanked the MPs for the audience and informed them about the ongoing research on ways of cooperation between the UK and Mongolia in the health sector. She also requested information on Mongolia’s social development.
In response, D.Battsogt thanked the guests for visiting Mongolia and said that the Law on Mental Health, first adopted on April 20 of 2000, determines state policy and principles on mental health and regulates protecting the people’s mental health, preventing mental illnesses and protecting the rights of people with such illnesses, increasing the participation of public and private organizations as well as of citizens in above measures, and ties between medical personnel and patients in times of diagnosis and treatment of mental illnesses, which are excluded in other legal acts.
In the recent years, occurrences of mental illnesses and suicides are aggressive, he stressed. For instance, the mental illnesses per thousand people were 77.43 in 2000, increased to 112.9 in 2010. Today, there are over 22 thousand people suffering from the mental and psychiatric illnesses. The MP also noted that the new version of the law has been approved by parliament on January 3 of 2013.
Social care is understood variously in Mongolia, said G.Uyanga and added that the health sector is one of the late-blooming sectors of the country, and many obstacles have been faced by it. She expressed her vision that there are possibilities of solution through cooperation with the UK NHS and the country’s interest in the UK health system advantages.
S.Ganbaatar thanked the guests and stressed that Mongolia’s health sector is in a difficult situation. “Mongolia is in need to cooperate with Your country in this field, particularly in matters on air pollution, acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), tuberculosis, dental illnesses".

Our shooter wins silver
By B. Amarsaikhan
Ulaanbaatar, October 10 (MONTSAME) The Mongolian shooter T.Bayartsetseg has won a silver medal in 25-meter sports pistol shooting among women.  
This success was reached by the international master of sports on Thursday at the World University Shooting Championship. The events are running in Al Ain of United Arab Emirates. 
A S.Korean Kim Jihuyo has become a champion in this category, the Polish Klaudia Bres has taken the third place.  
By the way, October 10 is the Mongolian Shooters’ Day.

Mongolia to Export Meat to Russia by Removing Existing Tariff and Regardless of Volume for Some 20 Years
October 10 ( During the visit of President of the Russian Federation V.V.Putin to Mongolia conducted in September 2014, one of the issues agreed was to develop cooperation under concessional terms to supply Mongolia's agricultural products, including meat and meat products on Russian market.
In accordance with principle agreement negotiated to carry out, Mongolian delegates led by Minister of Industry and Agriculture Sh.Tuvdendorj have paid a working visit to Moscow on October 07-08, 2014. The visit was aimed to realize the tasks on exporting agricultural products from Mongolia on zero tariff condition and regardless of volume for some 20 years.
In the frames of working visit, Mongolian delegates held a meeting with Minister of Agriculture of the Russian Federation Nikolay Vasilyevich Fyodorov and Head of Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance Sergey Alexeevich Dankvert, where the two sides have reached consensus to increase in supplies of animal products of all types from Mongolia to Russia by removing existing tariff and lighten meat quarantine condition barriers.
After which, parties agreed to set up a joint working group to study this possibilities and Russian side expressed its readiness to send inspection teams to Mongolia and if meat products’ health and safety assurances meet criteria, Russia is ready to allocate meat import licensing and quotas as much as Mongolia can export.
Moreover, during the talks it was mentioned that Russian Trade Agency in Ulaanbaatar will be soon opened to contribute to the bilateral trade development, where a permanent representative responsible for veterinary quarantine issue will be appointed as well as Russia pledged to assist Mongolia in providing the required amounts of vaccine to fight foot-and-mouth disease if so decided.
Russia will import meat from, October 10

Wedding boom in the city
October 10 ( There is a wedding boom nationwide today as it is believed to be the most special day. This year, the 17th of mid-October (date may change according to lunar calendar) is the luckiest day in Mongolia to be wed. Autumn is widely recognized as the wedding season in the country due to Mongolian religious beliefs of superstitions.  
Mongolians tend to tie the knot on this specific day more so than others day throughout the year. Today 77 couples are going to marry at the Wedding Palace. It isn’t unusual for the Wedding Palace to be the busiest place in the capital on this special day. Since the palace can hardly manage the number of wedding ceremonies in a single day, it opens for a whole 24 hours. In 2013, over 1400 couples tied the knot at the palace. This year the Wedding Palace of Mongolia is expected to register over 1.500 couples` marriage.

Fingerprinting services offered at border crossing
October 10 ( The Citizenship and Migration General Authority of Mongolia launched an e-immigration project with intentions to build a migration registry and control system in the midst’s of electron reforms.
The agency now offers the latest technological services that meet international standards to allow civilians and vehicles to enter a border crossings and for foreign nationals to apply for visas and get a response online. The fingerprinting service was first launched at Gashuun Sukha in Umnugovi province border on April 14th. Drivers of vehicles are now able to cross border check points with the help of fingerprinting identification in as little as 20-30 seconds without getting out of their vehicles.
The Citizenship and Migration General Authority of Mongolia plan to later launch the service in Buyant – Ukhaa and Zamiin-Uud borders.

Mongolia to host The Sumo World Championships
October 10 ( The President of Mongolian Sumo Association D.Batbayar announced that Mongolia would host The Sumo World Championships during a press conference today, October 9.
Mongolian won the right to host the Sumo World Championships 17:7 in competition against Egypt during the annual International Sumo Federation Conference which was held in Kaohsiung City, Taiwan R.O.C. on August 29th, 2014. The Mongolian Sumo Association schedules the date of the Sumo World Championships at the new sports palace in Ulaanbaatar on July 30 and 31st 2016.
For the scope of the preparations for the Sumo World Championships in Mongolia the Mongolian Sumo Association also proposed to hold the Sumo State Championships in advance of the International Sumo Federation.
Secretary of Mongolian Sumo Association U.Tuguldur said that the association is working to build a high school based Sumo Institute dedicated to Tsetsee Gun.

Grain imports supplant domestic suppliers
By S. Az
October 10 (Mongolian Economy) This year Mongolia is projected to harvest 439,000 tonnes of wheat, 154,700 tonnes of potatoes, 100,200 tonnes of vegetables, 47,800 tonnes of rapeseed, and 41,200 tonnes of forage. This is more than enough to supply domestic demand, said the Ministry of Industry and Agriculture.
Despite this impressive performance, several flour manufacturers that took loans in the scope of Price Stability Programme from the government were authorised to import 10,000 tonnes of wheat from China. For this reason, some domestic manufacturers have postponed their wheat purchases from the domestic market. This has netted a drop in selling and a huge amount of reserves in the fields. If the situation continues it would put a strain on suppliers to warehouse their wheat. This in turn may trigger a decrease in wheat production next year.
Faced with such an impending mess, the Mongolia’s Farmer Association called for action to protect the domestic market and to stop importing wheat. President of the Accosiation Ch. Perenlei sent an official statement for support to S. Byambatsogt, head of the Mongolian People’s Party Council in Parliament. The statement said, “This year our farmers have achieved their balance goal by harvesting over 400,000 tonnes of wheat. Unfortunately, imports are to replace our harvest. If decisive action is not taken, the farmers have declared to take action against the situation. Do take this matter in consideration.”
To address the Association’s concerns, the Mongolian People’s Party Council in Parliament established a working group, including members N. Enkhbold, J. Enkhbayar, D. Khayankhyarvaa, Su. Batbold, and J. Erdenebat.
Mongolia has witnessed a fall in agriculture since the 1990s. Since the 2008 implementation of the Atriin Ayan III campaign to spur the return of the domestic agriculture sector, the country has been able to supply its flour demand domestically. This year it will not only be able to meet its demands but also to export a significant surplus. Nevertheless, the Ministry of Industry and Agriculture has decided not to grant promotions per tonnes and to import cheap wheat from neighbouring countries—as in addition it has licensed five companies to import 49,000 tonnes of wheat from Russia. These companies have already brought the first 10,000 tonnes into Mongolia. Thus, the working group from the Mongolian People’s Party Council in the Parliament forwarded a requisition to the Prime Minister of Mongolia. The requisition stated to stop the import of wheat and take strict actions against those who made such an irresponsible decision.

Governments of Mongolia and Finland Agreed to Cooperate in Forestry and Fish Farming
October 10 ( The XII Intergovernmental Meeting on Partnership between Mongolia and the Republic of Finland in Economical, Sciences, Technical and Social Cooperation was held at the Ministry of Population Development and Social Protection of Mongolia in Ulaanbaatar on October 09, 2014.
The Intergovernmental Meeting was chaired by Minister of Population Development and Social Protection Mr. Sodnomzundui ERDENE on behalf of Mongolian side and the other part by Under-Secretary of State responsible for External Economic Affairs at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, Mr. Matti Anttonen.
At this meeting, one of the issues focused was collaboration in the forestry sector and in the frameworks, parties negotiated to cooperate in forestry, fish farming and staff training in forestry sector to carry out by Finnish Forest Research Institute and Ministry of Environment and Green Development of Mongolia.
Also, the sides agreed to develop a joint project on reindeer husbandry development to increase the number of heads and improve the livelihoods of reindeer herders. Besides, to study opportunities in eco-friendly transportation and its maintenance service and technology in winter period as well as to train Mongolian road engineers.
Moreover, parties came to solution on conducting joint trainings to compare the two countries’ service standards in social protection and to introduce European standard into Mongolia, to establish Memorandum of Understanding with the National Institute for Health and Welfare of Finland and to collaborate in social marketing, social insurance and cooperation in technical and technological assistance that aims to provide social service from home.

Training for foreign relations officers finished
By B. Amarsaikhan
Ulaanbaatar, October 10 (MONTSAME) The training for foreign service officers which started on October 6 at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was concluded Friday with experience-sharing session in Zamiin-Uud soum of Dornogobi aimag.
During the session, lectures were given with topics “Cooperation between the state body and local administration in a scope of providing general management of draft law on foreign relations and of foreign policies” by L.Galbadrakh, the director of Foreign Policy Analysis and Management Center and ambassador-at-large; “Diplomatic ethics” by L.Dashpurev, a senior diplomat; “Relations and Cooperation with the Neighboring Countries” by general manager of Academy of Diplomats; “Consular Operations” and “Some issues of practice in State Diplomatic Protocol” by N.Nyamjav, a senior diplomat; and “Dornogobi foreign cooperation and the industrial complex of Sainshand” by P.Gankhuyag, the governor of Dornogobi aimag.
This year’s training continued for three days, and it was co-organized with the Office of the Governor of Dornogovi aimag. The foreign service officers from Ulaanbaatar and the localities have considered that the training was special and efficient as it provided the participants with an opportunity to get acquainted with the foreign cooperation of Dornogobi as well as Erlian city of China, and to study the experiences.

Mongolia to cooperate with OSCE against human trafficking
By B. Amarsaikhan
Ulaanbaatar, October 10 (MONTSAME) State Secretary of the Ministry of Justice J.Bayartsetseg Friday received Mr Alexey Lyzhenkov, the Department of Transnational Threats co-ordinator of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).
The sides have discussed a current status and future perspectives of cooperation between Mongolia’s Ministry of Justice and its agencies, and the Transnational Threats Department of OSCE.
They also emphasized possibilities to collaborate on legal innovations. Opinions has been shared on cooperation and exchange of practices with the members and partners of the OSCE in the future, in customs control management, and combating human trafficking, the Internet security, and illegal use and circuit of narcotics and drugs.
The OSCE is the biggest security organization in the region, with 57 member countries from Europe, America and Asia. Mongolia has acquired a full membership to the organization in 2012, and has since been cooperating with it on maintaining regional security, forming a system ruled by law, protecting and cherishing human rights and freedom, and on providing economic and environmental security.

President Ts.Elbegdorj to visit several countries
By B. Khuder
Ulaanbaatar, October 10 (MONTSAME) The President of Mongolia Ts.Elbegdorj will take part in the 10th Summit of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) to be held on October 14-15 in Milan, Italy.
After participating in the ASEM Summit, the President will pay official visits to Austria and Hungary on October 14-18.
With a goal to intensify the Asia-Europe strategic dialogue based on equal partnership and mutual trust and the mutually-beneficial cooperation, the ASEM Summit is expected to be attended by state and governmental leaders of 49 countries; leaders of the European Union; and the Secretary-General of the ASEAN.
During the official visit to Austria, the President will hold official meetings with his counterpart Mr Heinz Fischer; and the President of the National Council Ms Doris Bures. In Vienna, he will leg the UN Headquarters and will make opening remarks at a Mongolia-Austria business forum.
Within the visit to Hungary, Mr Elbegdorj will meet with his counterpart of the country Mr Janos Ader; the Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban; and other officials. Then he will visit the Center of Mongolian Studies at the Eotvos Lorand University, and will open a Mongolia-Hungary business meeting. He also will give a lecture themed “Mongolian democracy and lesson” at the University of Central Europe.

Will Mongolia export meat and meat products to Russia?
By B. Amarsaikhan
Ulaanbaatar, October 10 (MONTSAME) A delegation headed by the Minister of Industry and Agriculture Sh.Tuvdendorj paid October 7-8 a working visit to Moscow, the Russian Federation.
He has held meetings with the Minister of Agriculture of Russia Nikolai Fedorov and with the head of the Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance Sergei Dankvert. Mr. Tuvdendorj has reached agreements with them on matters of zeroing customs duties on the export of meat and meat products and facilitation of export of several kinds of traditional agricultural products to Russia, Mongolia, and also the implementation of measures in the wake of the first meeting of the working group on cooperation in the field of agriculture of the Russian-Mongolian intergovernmental commission that passed August 28, 2014.
The parties have also agreed to establish in 2014 a joint working group to study issues of eliminating customs duties on the export of meat and meat products from Mongolia to Russia. The Russian side expressed willingness to give our country a license for the import of meat and meat products in the event when the veterinary and sanitary requirements for imports into the Russian Federation of meat and meat products from Mongolia are satisfied.

Stock exchange news for October 10
By B. Khuder
Ulaanbaatar, October 10 (MONTSAME) At the Stock Exchange trades on Friday, a total of 2,454 shares of 11 JSCs were traded costing MNT eight million 832 thousand and 300.00.
"Genco tour bureau” /1,500 units/, “Gobi” /237 units/, “Talkh chikher” /215 units/, “Darkhan khuns” /198 units/ and "Baganuur” /134 units/ were the most actively traded in terms of trading volume, in terms of trading value were "Talkh chikher” (MNT four million and 300 thousand), "Gobi” (MNT one million 919 thousand and 700), “Darkhan khuns” (MNT 990 thousand), "Baganuur” (MNT 469 thousand) and "Darkhan nekhii” (MNT 462 thousand and 500).
The total market capitalization was set at MNT one trillion 572 billion 833 million 249 thousand and 539. The Index of Top-20 JSCs was 15,708.23, increasing 12.05 units or 0.08% against the previous day.

Judokas to compete in Tashkent Grand Prix
By B. Khuder
Ulaanbaatar, October 10 (MONTSAME) Judokas of the national selected team has left for Uzbekistan to participate in the Tashkent Grand Prix tournament to be held on October 16-18 in Tashkent.
Coached by D.Battulga, the Mongolia team has included D.Amartuvshin, G.Kherlen (men’s 60 kg), D.Altansukh, B.Batgerel (66 kg), S.Nyam-Ochir, Kh.Tsagaanbaatar (73 kg), O.Uuganbaatar (81 kg), Kh.Tsogtgerel, T.Batzorig (90 kg), B.Temuulen (+100 kg), G.Otgontsetseg (women’s 48 kg), O.Tsolmon, M.Bundmaa (52 kg), Ts.Monkhzaya (63 kg) and B.Monkhtuya (-78 kg).
The winner of each weight category will receive a cash prize of USD 3,000, the silver medallist--USD 2,000, and the bronze medalist--USD 1,000.

The story of Nauru: the road from heaven to hell
By D. Jargalsaikhan
October 12 (UB Post) Minister of Finance David Aideang of Nauru, which was once considered to be the wealthiest country in the world, announced that the country could no longer make payroll for government employees, schools and hospitals because they are closing down and they are no longer able to supply everyday goods.
In 1995 the Government of Nauru defaulted on payments for the “Samurai” bond of 1989, which was worth five billion USD. An American fund that bought into this bond for $26 million was unable to recover their investment and consequently went to court for numerous years, in the end the court ruling was to freeze all assets of Nauru held in foreign accounts. Thus, the Government was unable to access their funds held in the Australian bank Westpac.
Nauru, a small island country located in the Pacific between Hawaii and Australia, started exporting their resource of phosphate, which is one of the most effective fertilizers, in the 1960-70’s. Through the revenues from these exports, their GDP per capita rose to be one of the highest in the world. Nauru gained independence in 1968 and was never able to break its complete economic dependence on mining. Nauru went through many years with the rise and fall of natural resource prices and the government was very ineffective and irresponsible in its leadership during this time.
When the price of their only mineral recourse was high, the leaders of the country were making luxurious purchases such as Boeing 737 airplanes and expensive cars, as well as constructing luxury houses and hotels. The government established an investment fund and by the 1980s had spent about one billion dollars on various expensive and unprofitable projects. The citizens of Nauru don’t pay taxes, and 95% of the workforce is employed by government agencies. Workers from nearby countries did all the manual labor while the people of Nauru spent their days relaxing on the beach. All hospitals and schools were free of charge, and should anyone require outside medical care the government would fly them to Australia with governmental funds. People from Nauru used to rent private planes in order to go shopping in Guam, Hawaii, and Singapore. The citizens didn’t ask for change when making purchases under $50.
The Presidents of the time used to take national airline aircrafts for vacations in foreign countries, leaving the people with purchased tickets to gaze after them in perplexity. Nauru is famous for allowing others to open offshore accounts without any difficulties. The Central Bank of Russia announced that by 1998 the Russian Mafia had $70 billion in offshore accounts on the island. (“The Economist”, December 20, 2001). Even with a speed limit of 20mph, the Chief of Police had a yellow Lamborghini brought over but his weight made it impossible for him to fit behind the wheel. One third of the employable-aged citizens are unemployed, and due to irresponsible eating habits the rates of obesity (95% of the population over 15 is obese) and diabetes are among the highest in the world. There is even a competition called “Bigger the Better” that is organized for entertainment.
Due to the depletion of their phosphate resources and the lack of any other industry, Nauru managed to waste all of its own and others’ capital. They did not spend their income from phosphate sales wisely. While revenues were high they stopped support for fishing, which was their main industry, and stopped educating their children, especially at the level of higher education.
On top of this, they failed to take environmental restoration into consideration, leaving large holes in the mining process, and thus making agriculture impossible. This left the citizens with no choice but to migrate off the island in large numbers.
Since 2001, Nauru has run an asylum project for people who attempt to immigrate into Australia illegally, and for this they receive a large annual fee from the Australian government. In just 2014 they have received about $100 million Australian dollars. The Asian Development Bank has announced that currently Nauru has no private enterprise, no land for agriculture, very low clean water resources, large amounts of debt, and no sources of government income.
The government of Nauru is currently engaged in court cases with lenders on the basis that despite their default on bond payments no foreign court has the right to freeze the assets of an independent nation. During one of such court hearings held in Australia, the government representatives of Nauru let it be known that they would no longer be able to provide food, water, and electricity to the 1200 immigrants that are currently being housed in Nauru and this could place them at mortal risk.
Professor John Connell of the University of Sydney has said “the current state of Nauru is not just a tragedy but is the result of the leadership’s inability to produce a rational development plan”.
Only people can create wealth, and profits from the sale of natural resources should be used to provide the opportunity for people to work. In order for people to work and create value there has to be innovation and a continuous increase in knowledge and experience. Governments need to be visionary, transparent, responsible and work to fulfill its responsibility to create competition in the private sector and protect personal rights and property.
The story of Nauru’s road from heaven to hell shows us what awaits a country unable to fulfill either or both of these requirements.
Trans. by: G. Munkh-Ariun

Comprehensive labor market database launches
October 12 (UB Post) Many people are unemployed due to the educational system ill preparing workforce
The Labor Exchange Central Office has informed that they have launched a unified database of the labor market on October 2. The new system features the ability to give social insurance payment information and show a history of work experience of individuals to employers, not only recommending job seekers. Also, they have started releasing correct figures on unemployed people, newly announced workplaces and the correct registration number of job applicants.
Itzone LLC performed this database at the cost of one billion MNT of aid from the Mongolian Millennium Challenge Fund and from the invitation of the Labor Exchange Central Office.
They have been surveying the unified database since August of 2013 and launched its official operation April 2014.
The officials from the Labor Exchange agency appreciate this database a lot and regard this development highly. This database will bring success to everyone in the workforce.
By launching this database, current troubles such as job applicant’s incorrect registration numbers; overlapped home addresses and non-updated phone numbers will be eliminated.
The appropriate people fixed mistakes concerning the wrong figures of registered unemployed people.
This comprehensive database covers information for the Ministry of Labor, Labor Exchange Central Office, Center for Employment Services, and Occupational Safety and Disease Research Center. Also the database is connected to the fund of the General Department of Taxation and Social Insurance. Therefore the number of job applicants and insurance payers will be compared and the statistics generated.
The Labor Exchange Central Office connected 142 soums and suburbs and142 khoroo of the city to the Virtual Private Network (VPN). This will lead to easy access to the network and registration to the electronic registration from anywhere. For example, over 26 types of 2500 of equipment installed and connected 9 districts of Ulaanbaatar and 21 provinces to the network.
“The new system will eliminate the old mindset that it is easy to get job through the backdoor,” explained the Head of the Labor Exchange Central Office Ts.Enkhtuya.
She expanded her idea and added that we will be engaged with active job seekers in further and helps them to find jobs. If the job seekers register in our system once, we will recommend them jobs that suit their job skills and experience. The employers will know what kind of job experience the job applicants have by seeing their information on the network. We hope that this system will save time. Even when the employees retire, information about the person such as their job experience and social insurance payments will be kept in the network. So it is unnecessary to search archives.
For the first nine months of this year, 33879 people are unemployed and actively seeking a job, out of 72500 who are registered in the network. Comparing this statistics with this time last year, the number of unemployed people who registered in the network declined by 9.9 percent or 3,718.
But compared to this August, the figure has gone up by 998.
Despite this, the number of registered unemployed people is declining, over 30 to 40 thousand people actively seek the work, but we don’t know how many unemployed people have not registered yet besides this figure.
There are many vacancy announcements throughout the media, but Mongolians still can’t find jobs. What could be its reason?
The deputy head of the Labor Exchange Central Office D.Battogtokh expressed his opinion on this issue.
He said “One of the big pillars that represent our country’s development is employment. In relation to the mining a new sector has been created and investment has increasing but unemployment is not really declining. Until now, many people are unemployed because of lack of information and resources, inconsistent education about employment and insufficiently targeted job applicants in the labor market. Our country lacks the necessary manpower, especially in the era of the mining sector. In other words, we are faced with the demand to prepare children who will be specialized in that sector. I want children to choose marketable majors. But in some cases, people are rejected because of their skillset, work interest and being unable to withstand the work load.”
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