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http://zgm.mn/post/1603/

Deep water contamination found 47m underneath surface

Bacterial contamination found in 88 percent of UB area

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http://zgm.mn/post/1603/


Ulaanbaatar Environmental Department (UED), under the support from United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF), organized Ulaanbaatar City Soil Pollution and Health discussion to present the results of a study on soil, which addresses critical level of pollution. 

The survey, which sampled the soil in Ulaanbaatar city, shows that 88 percent of the territory has been highly polluted with bacterial contamination according to Battulga Erkhembayar, Director General of UED. Furthermore, Mr. Battulga highlighted the necessity to focus on soil pollution and health issues caused by urbanization that are close to danger level.

The UED also conducted a survey on ground breaks recently. The study unearthed several soil erosion caused by mining a mineral that is widely used for constructions. Based on these studies, the UED decided to restore these areas by planting trees and bushes that soak up pollutants and developing apiculture (beekeeping) in areas that have fewer species of plants. 

Mr. Battulga addressed, “Regarding the apiculture, bees pollinate plants. This project model was implemented in a locally protected area near Selbe river and was successful. Thus, we will support private entities, especially the beekeepers, next year. Starting from January 1 of next year, households living near river basins will be banned from using pit latrine. This is a significant step towards securing clean water source in the capital.”

Participants pointed out that pit latrines are the main cause for soil pollution in the capital. As of today, about 800,000 households live in ger districts in Ulaanbaatar, of which 95 percent use long drops. In total, there are 190,000 pit toilets in Ulaanbaatar. The highest contamination is around 2.8 meters underneath surface, which is the average depth of a long drop. Furthermore, the study also confirms that the soil pollution is contaminating deep water with microorganisms. In specific, the study on 1.5 meter deep well, which is closest to the surface, came out with high pollution and the deepest (47 meters in depth) well was also had certain amount of contamination.

According to the UED, the lack of waste management is another factor for soil contamination. Thus, the capital city officials addressed the immediate need to install waste segregation system and as its first step, to adapt waste monitoring system. In order to address this issue, over 10 private and public organizations conduct soil surveys; however, due to lack of coordination, ineffective projects and overlapped surveys are conducted. Thus, the discussion further picked up on improving coordination.

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Inflation rises above BoM target at 8.1 percent yoy

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National Statistics Office (NSO) released the preliminary results of social and economic situations of November yesterday. According to the report, inflation measured by national consumer price index increased by 7.5 percent from the end of 2017. 

NSO explained that the growth was mainly driven by increases in prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages group by 7.6 percent (non-alcoholic beverages by 5.3 percent and milk, dairy products and eggs by 9.8 percent), alcoholic beverages and tobacco by 8.1 percent, transport by 11 percent, housing, water, electricity and fuels group by 16 percent (electricity, gas and other fuels by 23.1 percent), and health by 12.7 percent. 

In the first 11 months of 2018, total trade turnover reached USD 11.9 billion, of which exports totalled USD 6.5 billion and imports - USD 5.4 billion, with trade balance standing at a billion USD surplus. Compared to the same period of previous year, export decreased by 19 percent and import by 5.5 percent. Foreign trade turnover grew by 23.6 percent, of which exports amounted to USD 794.2 million, which is 14 percent higher than last year and imports - USD 1.5 billion (37.6 percent growth). NSO noted that the growth in trade turnover was driven by increase in mineral products exports, which totalled USD 1.1 billion. 

The equilibrated budget balance, which was MNT 980.4 billion in deficit last year, reached MNT 266.4 billion in surplus in the first 11 months of this year.

Money supply reached MNT 18.6 trillion in November, displaying MNT 321.8 billion growth (1.8 percent) yoy. The currency issued in circulation totalled MNT 895.1 billion in November, a 0.8 percent increase. Additionally, nominal average exchange rate of the Bank of Mongolia (BoM) depreciated by 5.4 percent from the previous month, while MNT depreciated against CNY by 0.6 percent.

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PM to discuss trade opportunities with Japan

Prime Minister Khurelsukh departs to Japan until December 15

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Prime Minister of Mongolia Khurelsukh Ukhnaa is paying an official visit to Japan between December 12 and 15 at the invitation of the Japanese Government. During the visit, Mr. Khurelsukh is expected to make a negotiation with his counterpart Shinzo Abe and pay a courtesy call on key parliamentarians, Japan International Cooperation Agency.

Mongolian delegation also consists of Foreign Minister Tsogtbaatar Damdin, Minister of Mining and Heavy Industry Sumiyabazar Dolgorsuren and Deputy Foreign Minister Battsetseg Batmunkh. 

On his first day of visit, PM Khurelsukh took part in the ninth consultative meeting between public and private sectors of the countries and met with Japan Bank for International Cooperation representatives. Within the frame of the 2017-2021 middle-term Strategic Partnership between the countries, the two countries have agreed to develop cooperation in agriculture, tourism and IT sectors, as well as preparing Mongolian engineers.

As of November, Mongolia imported goods worth USD 517 from Japan, in which automobiles and equipment account for the majority. According to customs statistics, Mongolia exported USD 25.1 million worth goods to Japan. The imports stand USD 266 million higher compared to 2015, before the bilateral economic partnership agreement (EPA) was established, while exports grew by USD 6.4 million compared to the same period. Furthermore, a total of 69 companies issued certificates of origin for 708 products from the MNCCI this year. These include sea buckthorn oil, cashmere blanket, carpet, horse meat and mutton. Specifying the companies, major companies, namely Gobi JSC, Cashmere Holding LLC, Yanmal LLC, APU JSC, Khaan Jims LLC and Ulaanbaatar Carpet JSC have issued the certificates to export products to Japan and the remaining account for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). 

MNCCI highlighted that there were no major changes in export items and quantity to Japan since the establishment of EPA. Businesspeople in Mongolia expressed the need to revise the list of discounted goods and services, noted the MNCCI. 

This year, Oyu Tolgoi LLC successfully conducted a test-export to Japan and a Japanese Okunou Corporation began selling Ulaangom, a cookie made out of seabuckthorn in Mongolian market. Taking these into account, investment experts informed that Japanese SMEs interest in Mongolia are growing in recent years.

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Governor of BoM comments on FX intervention of this year

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Governor of the Bank of Mongolia (BoM) Bayartsaikhan Nadmid has released a statement to explain the current economic situations and measures, in which he highlighted that the bank supplied USD 1.2 billion for foreign exchange (FX) market intervention this year.

According to Mr. Bayartsaikhan, the FX reserves of Mongolia currently stands at a record-high of USD 3.4 billion. “Although the reserves hit USD 4.1 billion in 2012, USD 2.1 billion were raised from Chinggis and Development Bank bonds that year. The current amount may seem high; however, it is still insufficient for the current economic situation. Mongolia needs to settle its foreign debts, which reached USD 27.9 billion. There is a high risk of collapse in global economy. Major bond repayments will mature starting from the second half of 2020. Thus, it is ill-advised to utilize the FX reserves instead of saving it.”

He then explained the depreciation of MNT, saying “Amid high economic growth, FX reserves and stability in the financial market, the MNT rate fell by around 200 points in the last two months. This is due to the vulnerability of the economy that is highly dependent on mining sector. For instance, China started limiting its coal import in November. Compared to October, FX purchase of private entities grew by over USD 240 million in November and the first month of December.”

Mr.Bayartsaikhan also informed that the BoM, in order to stabilize the situation, injected over USD 400 million into the FX market as an intervention; however, the currency rate further sank, which was the indication of a speculative demand for money. This year in total, the bank administered USD 1.2 billion into the market. Last week alone, the bank supplied USD 130 million, said the Governor of BoM. He further suggested the Government to focus on political stability and avoid uncertainty to boost investors’ confidence and support export. “This is critical at the moment as Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi JSC is seeking to issue an IPO at international stock markets.”

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SME demand for green credit totals USD 1.5 billion

MNT 1.3 billion allocated to environmentally-friendly projects

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On the occasion of the five-year anniversary of the National Roadmap for Sustainable Finance, the Sustainable Finance Forum took place this week under the theme “Diversifying from Sustainable Finance”. According to officials, a total of MNT 1.3 billion was allocated to environmentally-friendly projects since the program inauguration.

In 2012, the Trade and Development Bank of Mongolia, in cooperation with Netherlands Development Finance Company, introduced the first Sustainable Finance program “Environmental and Social Management Systems” (ESMS) in Mongolia. As a result, the national roadmap was approved in the following year. The forum was initiated following an imminent need for private and public cooperation to develop and effectively implement policies, actions, and initiatives in line with the commitment of the Government of Mongolia to the global sustainable development agenda and the Paris Agreement, and the unanimous commitment of the banking sector to advance sustainable finance in the country. 

According to the Mongolian Sustainable Finance Association (MSFA), a total of MNT 1.3 billion was granted to environmentally-friendly projects in the last five years. Furthermore, the banking sector financed another MNT 16 billion on environmental projects within this period.

• A total of MNT 1.3 billion allocated to environmentally-friendly projects since the program inauguration.

• Banks financed MNT 16 billion on environmental projects in the last five years. 

• SME demand for green loans stands at USD 1.5 billion.

A market study conducted by the Mongolian Bankers Association (MBA) and MSFA shows that the small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) demand for green loans stands at USD 1.5 billion. Specifying by sectors, construction and processing plants require significant amount of loan. Thus, commercial banks informed that a low-interest credit source will allow them to distribute discounted  loan for environmentally-friendly projects for SMEs.

Traditionally, the MBA annually selects a flagship bank to steer the business organizations towards environmentally and socially-friendly. In this year’s forum, the association picked Khan Bank to be in charge of green development activities in 2019. Thus, the bank will be responsible for protecting cultural heritage, supporting green economic growth and developing transparency.