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http://zgm.mn/post/200/

ADB: Mongolia’s economic recovery to continue

​Asian Development Bank releases Mongolia Economic Outlook 2018​

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http://zgm.mn/post/200/


Asian Development Bank (ADB) disclosed the Asian Development Outlook 2018 yesterday and highlighted that Mongolia’s economic growth will remain solid in 2018 and 2019, albeit with slight moderation, following a strong performance in 2017 as coal exports and mining investments strengthened. ADB projects Mongolia’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth to moderate to 3.8 percent in 2018 from the 5.1 percent growth in 2017 before rising again to 4.3 percent in 2019. This is following the 1.2 percent growth in 2016. Continued investment in mining, particularly in the development of the Oyu Tolgoi underground mine, will continue to drive growth. Transportation bottlenecks, however, will prevent coal exports from matching 2017 performance, although these will ease somewhat in 2019, according to ADB report. “Sustained investment into the mining sector will form a basis for continued growth. The strong performance against the International Monetary Fund program is helping to restore investor confidence and improve macroeconomic stability. Continued government commitment to this program will be key in ensuring that macroeconomic buffers are built up, reducing Mongolia’s vulnerability boom-bust cycles in the future,” remarked Yolanda Fernandez Lommen, ADB Country Director for Mongolia. Furthermore, ADB expects the inflation to accelerate to 8 percent in 2018 and ease to 7 percent in 2019, from the 4.3 percent recorded in 2017 following the 24.7 percent depreciation of MNT in 2016, which affected import prices on top of higher commodity prices due to drought and higher excise taxes.


Rising domestic demand and international oil and food prices, coupled with the effects of looser monetary policy in 2017, will continue to drive inflation higher in 2018. These effects will be less pronounced in 2019 as oil prices and domestic demand subside. Mongolia’s budget deficit is projected to equal 6.4 percent of GDP in 2018 and 5.1 percent in 2019, from 3.9 percent of GDP in 2017, as expenditure on social insurance, welfare, and equipment increases, coupled with a likely reduction in budget revenue as reforms to ease reporting requirements and the tax burden for SMEs take place. A sharp recovery in FDI, financial support from multilateral development partners, and better terms of trade allowed the country to refinance a major part of its external debt. Gross reserves more than doubled, reaching 5.5 months of imports. These developments pushed the value of MNT up by 2.5 percent against the USD. The current account deficit will narrow to 6.3 percent in 2018 before widening to 7 percent in 2019. Downside risk to the outlook include lower coal and copper prices, disruptions to the successful implementation of the extended fund facility, higher meat prices, interruption to Oyu Tolgoi production or investment, and worsening financial instability arising from the bank restructuring program. Upside risk to growth include higher commodity prices and a possible deal on large infrastructure projects tied to existing mining production.


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Mongolia announces to support U.S victims of Hurricane Florence

​Prime Minister Khurelsukh meets the Vice President of the U.S Mike Pence​

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Prime Minister Khurelsukh Ukhnaa, who is on an official visit to the United States of America, met with the Vice President of the United States Michael Richard Pence at the White House and exchanged views on expanding bilateral trade and cooperation. Underlining shared common values of both countries such as democracy, legitimacy, respect for human rights, freedom, justice and equality, Prime Minister U.Khurelsukh expressed his pleasure with ties between Mongolia and the United States which are developing successfully in all areas such as politics, defense, economy, culture and humanitarianism over 30 years of period since the establishment of diplomatic relations. He addressed that the people of Mongolia always recall persistent supports of the US administration and its people for Mongolia’s democracy and people’s aspiration for their rights and freedom along their generous assistance for Mongolia to overcome difficulties during transitional period to a free market economy. Sides confirmed that the two countries’ aspiration to deepen relations and cooperation to strategic levels, and within the frame, stepping up to Extended Comprehensive Partnership and negotiated on the Road Map for Mongolia-U.S Extended Economic Partnership.

The road map is a significant part of Mongolia’s objectives to diversify its economy and will enable cooperation on agriculture and renewable energy with the U.S. Also, certain Congress Members of the U.S have initiated a bill to exempt Mongolian cashmere and textile products from tax. He highlighted that the Compact Agreement established between the Government of Mongolia and the U.S. Millennium Challenge Corporation has great significance for improving livelihood of Mongolian people and ensuring economic growth as well as environmental and ecological sustainability and he expressed sincere gratitude to the Government of the United States. Moreover, the PM expressed deepest condolences on behalf of the Government and people of Mongolia for the loss of lives due to Hurricane Florence in the United States and announced that Mongolia will gift USD 100,000 in camel hair blankets to those affected by the hurricane. Mr. Pence recognized the strong support that Mongolia has pledged to continue to provide to NATO’s Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan and Mongolia’s continued enforcement of UN sanctions on North Korea. He thanked the Prime Minister on behalf of President Trump and the American people for Mongolia’s gift. Mongolian PM Khurelsukh then invited Mr. Pence to visit Mongolia at his convenience.

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2018 best of journalism awarded

​10th Baldorj Awards takes place ​

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The 10th Baldorj Awards, annual ceremony for the best journalistic works, took place yesterday. ZGM Newspaper journalist Z.Tselmeg's work was awarded as one of the Top 10 works of journalism. This year’s Grand Prix Prize went to J.Suvdmaa and T.Enkhbat, correspondents of the Today Newspaper for their “Mining Partnered Modern Herder” reportage and “In Search of Responsible Mining” series of articles, followed by the investigative broadcast series on Human Rights by G.Batzaya, J.Zolzaya and B.Lkhagvasuren of MNB television channel. Traditionally, the Baldorj Grand Prix is presented by the President of Mongolia; however, this year's winner was awarded by the former President Bagabandi Natsag as President Battulga Khaltmaa is currently on a working trip in Zavkhan aimag.

Top works of journalism are as follows:

1st-“Tragedy of the Buun Tsagaan Lake” and “How is life” series of articles by Kh.Uyanga /Today Newspaper/.

2nd-“Minus Degree: Gold Regrets or Power of Habitat” and “Abandoned Awe of Khuvsgul Lake” by D.Ganzorig of /TV-9/.

3rd-“We and Mongolian Steppe Love You” and “Pathway to School of a Six-year old Bayanduuren“ by B.Enkhmart /National Post Newspaper/.

4th -“One-time National Content: Once upon a time in Mongolia and South Korea” by D.Erdenebayar, J.Purevdavaa, G.Munkhbayar and G.Natsagdorj /TV-25/.

5th-“Uncultured Mongolia” by S.Batzaya /Mongolian Media Corporation/.

6th-“Give Mongolians the Right to Consume Clean Water” and “Protecting Wildlives Seeking Salvation” by B.Solongo /Zuunii Medee Newspaper/.

7th-“Tears Behind Handset” and “3 Million Living on Lead Meat in a Country with 60 Million Livestock” by Z.Tselmeg /Zasgiin Gazriin Medee Newspaper/.

8th-“One Day of Raging Mongolians at Zamiin-Uud” by E.Khurelbaatar /Daily News Newspaper/.

9th-“Time in Deepest Silence” series of articles of B.Altankhuyag /Montsame News Agency/.

10th-“Made in Mongolia” broadcasting series of N.Khongorzul / Bloomberg TV Mongolia/. Special Prize of the Ambassador of Canada - J.Mandkhai

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Legal dispute over EMC ownership comes to an end

​Supreme Court resotres MCC's 49 percent stake of EMC​

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(MCC) won over the Government of Mongolia at the Supreme Court for the second time yesterday. Thus, the property dispute over Erdenet Mining Corporation (EMC) between MCC and the Government that dragged on for two years finally came to an end. Earlier this year, the Cabinet decided to forcefully nationalize the 49 percent stake of EMC owned by MCC with its 7th resolution, which was followed by massive public backlash because the Supreme Court ruled against the Government on December 7, 2017. Therefore, the Government’s act has been confirmed unacceptable by several courts and the EMC board, which is fully formed by Cabinet members, was suspended. During the yesterday’s ruling, the Supreme Court revoked the Government’s 7th resolution on nationalizing EMC, resinstating the 49 percent stake of MCC. “With the Supreme Court's second ruling, the EMC will now be able to operate normally. We will now demand the Government to fulfill the court's decision and immediately hold the board meeting to address the facing issue as EMC is currently suspended by the international arbitration over a case involving the Government's share of 51 percent stake,” remarked Purevtuvshin Tsooj, CEO of MCC.


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Scholars disclose potential trilateral corridor on tourism

​Fourth Mongolia-Russia-China Think Tank Forum kicks-of​

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The fourth Mongolia-Russia-China Think-Tank Forum kicked off yesterday to discuss the establishment of a trilateral economic corridor between the three countries. The forum is organized by a trilateral think tank union, which was established in 2015 to give advices to industrial, economic, humanitarian, ecological, infrastructure and regional actions between the three countries and is being held in Mongolia for the second time after taking place in Russia and China respectively. During the two-day event, some 120 experts and officials from the three countries are expected to submit their proposals and exchange views on intensifying the establishment of the Mongolia-Russia-China economic corridor and strengthen trilateral cooperation. Under the themed, "Mongolia-Russia-China economic corridor: Innovation and Co-Development," the forum will focus on cooperation in energy, transportation, education, culture, science, technology and socio-economic issues through three panel discussions. "The trilateral economic corridor, an important part of China's Belt and Road Initiative, is related to not only the economy but also various fields such as culture, science, tourism and people-to-people exchanges," Tumurbaatar Yadmaa, President of the National University of Mongolia (NUM), said at the opening ceremony of the forum.

After reviewing the activities of the last three years, the authorities decided to add new members to the Think Tank Union, including National Development Agency of Mongolia, several governors of Chinese provinces and the administration of Chita, Russia. According to Battsengel Vandansambuu, a Professor at the NUM, the union is currently focusing on two projects, namely transit transportation corridor and tourism corridor in Khailaar-Chita-Choibalsan route. “Although China is making significant initiatives in the tourism route, Mongolia is in need to improve infrastructure as the majority of tourists are returning after reaching Buir lake. Dornod aimag has numerous natural and historical wonders and unique places; however, the poor development of hotel, tourist companies and road is becoming a giant obstacle,” addressed Mr. Battsengel. Scholars also pointed out that transit railway transportation will reach 48 million tons by 2020 and 76 million tons by 2030 if the trilateral economic corridor is successfully established. During the meeting of the heads of State of the three countries, a total of 32 programs have been approved, of which 13 are on infrastructure development. The forum is expected to continue with trilateral energy, resource usage and cooperation today.