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http://zgm.mn/post/5381/

Coronavirus changes the world (2)

Coronavirus changes the world (2)
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http://zgm.mn/post/5381/
  • If coronavirus spreads widely, Mongolia will collapse
  • Some countries in the region, including Thailand, have tightened regulations on the import of medical products and removed the excise tax on medical alcohol

Please find the previous part from May 13th issue of ZGM Daily

The recession is just beginning, but revenues have already fallen or plunged in all sectors. If no action is taken now, small and medium enterprises and the shadow economy will be more hard on almost every country (especially in Mongolia). However, there will be extra demand for the Internet-based economy - e-commerce, e-education, and e-health services - so that employees do not lose income. When it comes to making a profit, I could say nothing. China, Asia’s largest economy, has been hit the most but has not collapsed. Instead, the government of the country has supported small If coronavirus spreads widely, Mongolia will collapseand medium-sized enterprises by delaying social security contributions, ground leases, and real estate taxes. Japan has imposed curfews in all provinces but continued to support SMEs through wage comfort and advisory services. The UN commission also noted the good news that Hong Kong, Singapore, and Taiwan have set up special investment funds to subsidize retail, food, transportation, and tourism, and support low-income households.

Countries in the region need to completely reform the import and export policies. Everyone is looking for ways to import cheap, reliable medicines and important medical products promptly. In this regard, countries are reviewing their tariff and non-tariff trade regulations.Some countries in the region, including Thailand, have tightened regulations on the import of medical products and removed the excise tax on medical alcohol. At the same time, many countries are banning or putting restrictions on the export of medical devices and drugs. It is ridiculous that the United States banned the export of masks because it believes that the interests of its citizens must come first. It has been criticized as inhumane action, denying the livelihoods of vulnerable countries facing infectious diseases. Furthermore, some people are acting as if there are no other diseases than corona. Many of these activities connect with finances. It seems like health comes with wealth. In the absence of wealth, there is a call to rely on oneself, a healthy life, and sports.

If coronavirus spreads widely, Mongolia will collapse. Therefore, in addition to mechanically increasing the number of doctors, the State Emergency Commission (SEC) should always encourage people to stay healthy, at least to resist alcohol and smoking, to lead a healthy life and to be athletic. The UN Subcommittee estimated that by 2030, the entire health care system in our region will need to be strengthened, with an annual investment of USD 880 million in emergency preparedness, risk management, and response. Such investments are aimed at overcoming the current situation, compensating the economy, and most importantly, saving lives. Currently, it is more about people, since investment in people is an essential support for economic recovery. Eventually, only humans can run the economy. The world is moving to stop the spread of the virus, to treat those who are infected, and to develop vaccines. It also requires financial resources. Therefore, East Asia will establish a Public Health Emergency Fund in the region, mobilize financial resources, and provide targeted assistance to the countries most affected by the virus. 

India, for example, has offered to set up an emergency fund against COVID-19 under the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) with an investment of USD 10 million. The UN and the regional commission are managing the emergency fund, bringing together member states, regional intergovernmental organizations, the Multilateral Development Bank, the private sector, and civil society.Most importantly, the coronavirus does not discriminate between rich and poor people or wealthy and small countries. The disease spread regardless of the level and boundaries of socio-economic development. Outbreaks appear to be exacerbated by fears, riots, discrimination, and hatred. This means that there is enough reason for political instability. Stigmatization of certain groups in society increases the risk of people hiding their disease and further outbreak. The UN commission called for a message of tolerance, optimism, and partnership in Asia and the Pacific. If we are going to spread something, let’s spread goodness, said the UN Secretary-General.All of the above is very important to us!

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Charter flight evacuates 171 Mongolians from Russia

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The Moscow-Ulaanbaatar charter flight landed at the Chinggis Khaan International Airport on May 26. According to the State Emergency Commission (SEC), 171 people arrived in Mongolia on the flight and will be isolated for 21 days at the National Center for Communicable Diseases (NCCD). The SEC has also decided to evacuate citizens through Altanbulag port on Tuesday and Wednesday. As of Monday, 11,275 people from 46 countries have applied to return to Mongolia. Specifically, about 2,000 citizens from the Republic of Korea, 1,270 from the United States, 906 from Australia, 560 from Kazakhstan, and 549 from India applied. The SEC had previously announced that it would operate a charter flight to India shortly. Moreover, four more patients have recovered from COVID-19 and were transferred into the next stage of isolation, bringing the total number of recoveries in Mongolia to 37, reported Director of the NCCD at a daily briefing of the Ministry of Health. The recovered patients received treatment for 42 to 43 days. Mongolia confirmed 141 cases of the COVID-19; of the 104 people being treated, 95 are in moderate condition and nine are in critical condition. On Monday, the NCCD reported that a COVID-19 had not been detected in 193 people tested at the NCCD and its affiliated laboratories.

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Constitutional court to conclude law on election on June 3

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The Constitutional Court of Mongolia will make a final decision on whether certain provisions of the Law on Parliamentary Elections violate the Constitution at its plenary session on June 3, 2020, according to the Constitutional Court’s Media and Public Relations Office. In line with the election law, Article 6.1 stipulates that a party registered with the Supreme Court prior to the announcement of an election eligible to participate in the parliamentary election and Article 28.3.1 of the same law provides that parties and coalitions must register with the Supreme Court before the deadline for expressing their participation in the election which means conflicting regulations are enshrined in this law. In this regard, the Constitutional court considered whether these provisions violated the Constitution and decided to suspend them in violation of the relevant provisions of the Constitution on April 22. Since the Parliament considered this conclusion unacceptable, the court is going to finalize the dispute in its plenary session. The Constitutional Court of Mongolia has also decided to postpone the May 27, 2020 mid-session at the request of the Cabinet’s proxy representative. The meeting was scheduled to negotiate whether some provisions of the law on procurement of goods, works and services with state and local funds offenses against the constitution.

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Fuel price lowers amid oil plunge

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  • AI-92 gasoline will be sold in Ulaanbaatar at MNT 1,320-1,400

The Mineral Resources and Petroleum Authority of Mongolia (MRPAM) held a press conference on fuel price. Concerning the Brent crude oil plunge in the global market, prices of A-80 type petroleum decreased by MNT 50, AI-92 by MNT 80-100, AI-95 petroleum decreased by 200 MNT, and diesel fuel price reduced by MNT 160 as of May 25.Government Resolution No. 114 specifies that the price of all types of fuel to be reduced by MNT 300-400 due to the fall in oil prices in foreign markets and that it will remain stable further, according to the spokesperson.To implement the resolution, we are working to keep the price of AI-92 type of petroleum stable for eight months. During this period, AI-92 will be available in Gobi-Altai and Zavkhan provinces at a price not exceeding MNT 1,670 per liter. In other words, AI-92 gasoline will be sold in Ulaanbaatar at MNT 1,320-1,400. Retail prices for petroleum and diesel fuel have been falling since yesterday and will be fixed, the spokesperson said. Mongolia has 39 days of oil reserves for normal consumption, the Mineral Resources and Petroleum Authority reported earlier this month. However, the domestic consumption of petroleum products is declining. Particularly, fuel importers state the reducing consumption of petroleum products due to export disruptions and difficulties in the mining sector. As of May 24, petroleum import has decreased by 20 percent and the import of diesel fuel by 32 percent, according to a preliminary report of the General Customs Administration.

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Mining expenditure may drop as companies cut costs

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  • Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi planned to sell 9.2 million tons of coal this year but reduced it by 30 percent to 6.2 million tons

The Turquoise Hill Resources (TRQ), an investor of Oyu Tolgoi (OT) reported that the Oyu Tolgoi underground mine project which was planned to cost USD 1.3 billion in 2020, contracted its spending to USD 1.1 billion mainly due to COVID-19 outbreak. It has also deteriorated open-pit cost from USD 120 million to up to USD 80 million. Oyu Tolgoi project made over 94 percent of foreign direct investment of Mongolia in the first quarter of the year. Petromatad, which has discovered an oil field in the Tamsag basin, has cut its employees’ salaries, reducing the earnings of all directors and senior managers by an average of 50 percent and the salaries of professional consultants by up to 45 percent since the second quarter. In the future, it is possible to cut additional costs depending on market conditions. Additionally, Tsairt Mineral LLC, the main exporter of zinc, has postponed construction work at the open pit this year. As a result, the company said, the plant's supply could be disrupted. The company announced that preparations for an underground mine that will create about 200 jobs have been delayed. Coal companies have also cut their export plans this year. For example, Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi planned to sell 9.2 million tons of coal this year but reduced it by 30 percent to 6.2 million tons.