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http://zgm.mn/post/4565/

Emergency readiness extended until April 30

Emergency readiness extended until April 30
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http://zgm.mn/post/4565/

The cabinet approved the offer of prolonging emergency readiness of State Emergency Commission (SEC), and an extension will be heightened until April 30. The decision covers the closure of all levels of educational organizations, suspension of scheduled international flights, and forms of transportations as well. In particular, the parliament agreed to constrain citizen’s entry through Tsgaannuur border from 8 p.m. March 23, while the Altanbulag border will be closed off its entry from 6 a.m. on Saturday. According to the Deputy Prime Minister, Enkhtuvshin Ulziisaikhan, there would be a need to regulate cross-border movement, so the foreign workforce will not be recruited for a certain period.Moreover, 14 days of disinfection activity was commenced throughout the local and capital city until April 5. In addition, SEC has been consulting with specific decisions on reducing COVID-2019 impact on the socio-economic situation and economic burden on citizens and entities. 

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Outstanding loans to individuals drop by 3.7%

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As of February, outstanding loans at commercial banks increased by 0.5 percent to MNT 17.2 trillion year-on-year. Of these, loans to citizens decreased by 3.7 percent while entities loan rose by 5.5 percent. On a monthly basis, loan drops by 4.1 percent in February from the previous month. In terms of loan interests, the weighted average interest rate on new tugrik loans is 17.3 percent for loans to individuals and 16.9 percent for loans to the private sector. According to the reporting period, non-performing loans account for 10.7 percent of total outstanding loans and over-due loans make up six percent. Bank of Mongolia (BoM) emphasized that quarantine regimes and state of emergency is adversely affected some entities’ operations. In this regard, around 26,000 borrowers with total debts of MNT 2.5 trillion have been struggling to make loan payments. Of these, 65.1 percent or MNT 2 trillion belongs to business entities and 35 percent or MNT 545 billion to individuals. In the meantime, commercial banks have begun to amend their loan agreements in accordance with a portfolio decision issued by the Bank of Mongolia. 

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One more COVID-2019 case confirmed in Mongolia, totaling 15

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During the daily online briefing of the Ministry of Health, the Director of the National Center for Communicable Diseases (NCCD), Mr. Nyamkhuu announced one more imported COVID-2019 case in Mongolia on April 6. A Turkish national, who is being quarantined under medical supervision in NCCD, has tested positive for coronavirus and considered a symptom-free case. The case was one of the 15 Turkish citizens who were in close contact with two previously tested positive. As a result, a total of 15 cases of COVID-19 confirmed in Mongolia. He also said, “No suspicious cases have not been confirmed in NCCD and throughout the state on April 5. In addition, three citizens who were isolated in Darkhan-Uul province tested negative. Moreover, we planned to take the repeated medical examinations from 184 citizens who evacuated by the Tokyo-Ulaanbaatar charter flight. There are 248 individuals put under surveillance in NCCD as of yesterday.”

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Spring session of Parliament commences online

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  • The first online session opened with 70 percent attendance
  • There is an urgent need for the government to amend the 2020 state budget, cut all tolerable election expenses, limit the spread of disease, and postpone the parliamentary elections

On Monday, the opening ceremony of the 2020 spring session of the Parliament was held online following the recommendations of the State Emergency Commission and the World Health Organization. The online session started with 70 percent attendance. The opening of the spring session was attended by the President of Mongolia Battulga Khaltmaa and the Prime Minister of Mongolia Khurelsukh Ukhnaa, while representatives of other international organizations, governmental agencies, and heads of foreign embassies participated online. Parliament Speaker Zandanshatar Gombojav opened the 2020 spring session, emphasizing that it is starting within the legal period amid unprecedented situation in the history of the world and the Mongolian parliament. He said, “There were no food shortages. Production and supply of masks and disinfectants have increased. The Bank of Mongolia has decided to reduce its policy interest rate and reduce mortgage payments of 65,000 people by three months. Mandatory reserve and asset classification procedures have been eased and a set of exemptions has been implemented. The loan and interest rate of the target group has been postponed as well. ”Falling oil prices, financial market crisis, and rising unemployment rate due to the COVID-19 are warning governments to focus on low-risk decisions, highlighted the President of Mongolia Battulga Khaltmaa. “There is an urgent need for the government to amend the 2020 state budget, cut all tolerable election expenses, limit the spread of disease, and postpone the parliamentary elections. If the coronavirus infection gets out of control and spreads further, the health sector of Mongolia could collapse,” he added.

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Some events in the history of independent,multi-pillar foreign policy (2)

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  • The number of countries that established diplomatic relationships with Mongolia reached 192
  • The first ASEM summit was held in Asia, the sixth in 2016 in Ulaanbaatar
  • The good-neighborly and mutual- trust partnership with China was announced in 2003 by the visit of Chinese president Hu Jintao, followed by the strategic parthnership in 2011

The first First President of Mongolia Ochirbat Punsalmaa served from 1990 to 1997. He led a brand new international partnership. At that time, Mongolia took many steps to start, develop and strengthen bilateral relations. Just one example; in 1996, the foreign ministers of Denmark, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Germany, and the Russian Federation visited our country frequently, almost simultaneously, and neither we, nor the international community, nor our two great neighbors imagined it. At that time, there was a paradox. It was a historic moment in Mongolia’s foreign policy. At the same time, Mongolia’s accession to the World Trade Organization ahead of its two neighbors was also an important achievement. At the end of the 1990s, Mongolia had a foreign policy to inherit, and we were able to continue it without making mistakes. Although two different political parties took turns forming the government, they pursued a very active foreign policy in international relations, ensuring the unity of foreign policy. In 2000, Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Mongolia and the two sides signed the “Ulaanbaatar Declaration”, which laid the foundation for the active development of bilateral relations in the new century. In the new century, Mongolia’s vigilance in the fight against international terrorism, the preparation of its military to participate in it, and its contribution to peacekeeping were the first major steps in a new and principled foreign policy. A major step forward in multilateral diplomacy was the 5th International Conference of New or Restored Democracies, held in September 2003 in Ulaanbaatar. Here is a fact I would like to note as I used to be an Ambassador. Mongolia had supported and cooperated with the efforts of other member states to strengthen its role in international relations, respecting the goals and principles of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM). On the other hand, the NAM has provided support and assistance in advancing Mongolia’s foreign policy goals. For example, the final document of the NAM Summit and other summits has included relevant provisions for consolidating its nuclear-weapon-free status and advancing the position of developing countries in the same position as landlocked countries. For the first time, Prime Minister Enkhbayar Nambar attended the 13th Summit of Heads of State or Government of the Non-Aligned Countries in Kuala Lumpur in 2003. In April 2005, President Bagabandi attended the 50th anniversary of the Asia-Africa Summit and the Bandung Conference in Jakarta and signed the Declaration on the New Strategic Partnership between Asia and Africa, which was unanimously approved by the summit. The next third President, Enkhbayar Nambar, proved that there is no sudden change in the foreign policy of a democratic state with the rule of law. The President attended the SCO Summit and was invited to the Asia-Europe Meeting (ACEM) in Beijing in 2008. Mongolia has been a member of the SCO since 2008. One of the important foreign policy achievements of Enkhbayar Nambar’s presidency (Prime Minister was Elbegdorj Tsahia) was the historic visit of the President of the United States to Mongolia. In 2004, Mr. Enkhbayar visited the United States and established a comprehensive partnership based on common democratic values and common strategic interests. 

In 2005, President Bush visited Mongolia as well. Historical steps, such as the Millennium Challenge Account assistance and Mongolian-American defense cooperation, will be discussed from then on. President Enkhbayar also pursued a prudent policy towards his two neighbors. He visited Russia in 2006 and the two sides signed the “Moscow Declaration”, which marked the beginning of a new phase in Mongolia-Russia relations. The Russian prime minister and the president then visited Mongolia in succession, signaling that Mongolia was once again at the center of Russia’s foreign policy beyond its foreign policy frontiers. In terms of Mongolia-China relations, Enkhbayar Nambar did not lose his priority during his tenure. During the next four Presidents’ government, the well-established foreign policy had continued. The history of the 2010s proceeded with a sharp increase in Mongolia’s foreign policy in international relations, with new and more active content. It is worth noting that the trilateral summit of Mongolia, Russia, and China was a great success. In 2014, he invited the heads of state of the two neighbors to a successful visit that summer and autumn and called the leaders of the two powers to a trilateral meeting in the Tajikistan capital to discuss common issues. The leaders of the two world powers, two of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, were invited to visit the tripartite summit in such a short time, almost simultaneously, and then to Ufa in 2015. It continued in Tashkent in 2016, in Qingdao in 2018, and Bishkek in 2019. We are talking about unprecedented meetings in the history of the Mongolian state.We, Mongolians, must appreciate this great work in the historical sense, as a country that has worked hard for many years to find and find a neighbor, and for which we have risked ourselves. When the heads of state of China and Russia visited Mongolia one after another, the eyes of many world leaders were looking at Mongolia, saying, “What exactly happened to Mongolia?”. I am talking about the years when we have made a real "break-through" in the field of multilateral cooperation. Let's name the 11th ASEM Summit. Mongolia was the host country of the 6th Asia Summit and Ulaanbaatar was the host city. The first ASEM summit was held in Asia, the sixth in 2016 in Ulaanbaatar. The Ulaanbaatar Declaration, like the Helsinki Final Act and the Kyoto Protocol, is known around the world. As part of the celebration of the 20th anniversary of ASEM, an assessment of its activities will be made and the main directions of the declaration for the third decade of ASEM will be defined. This ASEM summit is “never to happen again in a century.” It now has 51 members, alternating between Asia and Europe every 51 years, which means that it will take about 100 years to the next ASEM meeting to be held in Mongolia. I would like to say that such an event has never happened before in the history of Mongolia, and it will never happen again. It is inconceivable that such international leaders of the two continents would gather in the capital of our country at the same time and return to experience and appreciate the true history, face, culture, art and progress of Mongolia and Mongolians at the same time. Another clear example is the movement for democracy that unites more than 140 countries around the world - Mongolia chaired the Community of Democracies and hosted the 7th Ministerial Conference in April 2013 in Ulaanbaatar. This is an important event that has raised our country’s prestige in the international arena, and its significance can be measured by the fact that the world has once again proved that a large international forum can be held in our country with dignity and that Mongolians can. We have been succeeding to balance its multi-pillar foreign policy. Mongolia’s former president Elbegdorj Tsahia initiated diplomatic relationships with all UN countries in the first years of his term to mark the 100th anniversary of the National Liberation Revolution. Within the framework of this purpose, the number of countries that established diplomatic relationships with Mongolia reached 192. Is it relatively progressive compared to 149 countries that established diplomatic relations in early 2012, isn’t it? Within the scope of open and non-aligned foreign policy, our country’s foreign relations will certainly expand to any corner of the world by increasing the number of countries with which we have diplomatic relations. We have achieved beyond the tripartite approach to balancing foreign policy. The United States, Japan, the European Union, India, the Republic of Korea, and Turkey continue to pursue the Foreign Policy Concept of developing partnerships and cooperation within the framework of the “third neighbor” policy of the West and the East. The visits are two-flows. The strategic partnership between Mongolia and Japan has been strengthened, and Mongolia’s first free trade agreement, the Mongolia-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement, has entered into force. To develop friendly relations and cooperation with other Asian countries, to participate in multilateral cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region, to support policies and activities aimed at strengthening strategic stability and expanding security cooperation in East Asia, Northeast Asia and Central Asia The policy is already evolving.Mongolia’s 5th president has upgraded foreign policy towards neighboring countries and participates constantly in Vladivostok, Russia, hosts the Eastern Economic Forum every autumn. There is another important achievement in our foreign policy. We have worked to gradually increase the level of our partnership with other countries and have achieved the current results. The history of the partnership speaks about the success of our foreign policy. In the 21st century, Mongolia’s relations and cooperation with its two neighbors have reached a new level. A “traditional good-neighborly partnership” with Russia was announced during Prime Minister Enkhbayar Nambar’s visit in 2003, and a strategic partnership was established in Russia during his presidency in 2006. 

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev’s visit to Mongolia in 2009 reaffirmed his commitment to deepen his strategic partnership, and announced a comprehensive strategic partnership in 2019 during President Putin’s visit. The man signed an agreement on friendly relations and a comprehensive strategic partnership. The good-neighborly and mutual-trust partnership with China was announced in 2003 by the visit of Chinese President Hu Jintao, followed by the Strategic Partner-ship in 2011 during the visit of the Prime Minister of Mongolia Batbold Sukhbaatar, followed by the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. The relationship was declared in 2014 during Xi Jinping’s visit The goal of developing friendly relations with the leading countries of the West and the East, which is an important pillar of Mongolia’s foreign policy, and creating their economic and other real interests in Mongolia has been gradually and successfully achieved. Less than a year after announcing 2018, we declared Strategic Partnership with the USA. Working to advance the 21st Century Comprehensive Partnership with Japan, in 2010 it surpassed that goal and led to the Strategic Partnership. “The Treaty of Good Neighborly Friendship and Cooperation” was established with the Republic of Korea, the Comprehensive Partnership was established in 2011, the “Extended Partnership” was established with Canada in 2004, and Mongolian-Indian relations have long been regarded as “spiritual neighbors” with centuries of traditional cultural ties, and a Strategic Partnership with India was established in 2015. It has made progress in concluding a Partnership Agreement with the European Union and announced in 2005 that it would develop a “Comprehensive Partnership” with Turkey. There is a short history of a comprehensive partnership with Germany in 2008 and an extended partnership with Canada, Australia and Kazakhstan in 2007. Such a history is being written to explain some of the twists and turns of the history of an independent, multi-pillar foreign policy of Mongolia. The history written here is useful for understanding modern Mongolian foreign policy. It can be seen as an example of how a small country can be pro-active and creative in its foreign policy. Even if the country is small, the population is small, and the economy is not good, I believe that they have worked hard to show in foreign policy that they move, do, and create. There have been five presidents in Mongolia, and the government has changed many times. Of Mongolia’s areas of activity (foreign relations, defense, economy, education, health, law, environment, etc), only one area, foreign relations, has always been progressive and has always been positive.