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MONGOLIA – Weekly press review 31 July 2020

31/07/2020 - 04:29
Mongolia – Weekly press review

DELEGATION OF THE EUROPEAN UNION TO MONGOLIA This information is based on media reports found in the open sources/via subscription, and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union.

COVID-19

Total number of confirmed cases was 291 and the total number of recovered patients reached 225 on 31 July. Montsame

Mongolia's state of emergency extended for another month until 31 August.  AmCham

14 charter flights on eight routes planned for August:  The flights include: 4 flights to South Korea, 3 flights to Europe, 2 flights to Japan and one flight to Australia, Turkey, the U.S, and India-Vietnam.

Government approves phased reopening of schools, kindergartens: Classes will combine physical classroom learning and online lessons and online classes of all levels of educational institutions will begin from 1 September. Montsame

EU – Mongolia 

Travel restrictions: Council reviews the list of countries for which member states should gradually lift travel restrictions at the external border: as from 31 July member states should gradually lift the travel restrictions at the external borders for residents of the following third countries: Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, Uruguay, China, subject to confirmation of reciprocity. Council

The Czech Government provides charter plane to evacuate Mongolians. A special repatriation flight to be operated from the Czech Republic on 10 August with support from International Organization for Migration to bring back Mongolian citizens from the Czech Republic. Montsame News

Political and internal developments

Three former PMs are imprisoned: S. Bayar became the fourth Prime Minister of Mongolia who was sentenced since 30 years of democracy in Mongolia. Today, three former Prime Ministers of Mongolia are serving their sentences in prison, while former Prime Minister N.Enkhbayar has been released from prison. On 6 July, the 29th Prime Minister Erdenebat, was sentenced to six years in prison. He was detained during the election campaign, ran for parliament from prison, and was elected a member of parliament. His accomplice, B.Otgonbaatar, was found guilty of abuse of power, organizing, and suspended from public office for six years and sentenced to six years in prison. D. Tuvshinjargal was found guilty of complicity in the abuse of power and position as an accomplice, suspended from public office for 5 years and sentenced to 5 years in prison. And Ganbat was also convicted and sentenced to three years in prison, with a five-year suspension from public office. Enkhsaikhan Mendsaikhan is the third PM who is imprisoned. He is the 18th Prime Minister of Mongolia who was convicted of causing MNT 55 million in damage to the Ministry of Energy. He was sentenced for four years and six months in prison, and suspended from public office for four years. gogo

Government action program for 2020-2024 under development and a bill on budget amendment. In connection with the pandemic, budget revenue fell short of forecast by MNT 2.1 trillion as of the first six months of this year. If the situation continues further, budget deficit is expected to reach MNT 3 trillion by the end of 2020. The Government has agreed with China to implement “Green Gateway” temporary regulation to increase coal exports. Montsame

Government stresses need to allow foreign experts into country to boost export: The Ministry of Mining and Heavy Industry (MMHI) reported that in order to increase mineral exports and increase the development and production of the mining sector, 1 243 engineers and technicians need to be allowed to cross the border regularly. Currently, coal is being exported through four ports, and as of June, 8.7 million tons of coal has been exported, 52% less compared to the same period in 2019. As of June, the mining sector's tax contributions to the state totaled MNT 779 billion, 40.9% lower than in 2019. AmCham

Speaker holds discussion on lowering loan interest rates, increasing the amount of loans being given out to support export and production, and reforms in the bank and financing sector. The executives of commercial banks put forth several suggestions, such as a policy on supporting banks, to have the Development Bank of Mongolia partner with commercial banks, the Bank of Mongolia to implement a policy on stabilizing interest rates, establish a single type of ATM and POS machine for all banks, and reduction in the required amount of reserves. Montsame

President asks to expand repatriation of Mongolians from abroad: Mongolia has repatriated its 12 853 citizens from over 40 countries until today, nevertheless, there are more than 10 000 Mongolians abroad awaiting repatriation. Montsame  

Commissions for Citizens' Representative Khural elections will be launched by 6 August:   Thirty-six political parties registered with the Supreme Court of Mongolia are eligible to run candidates in the upcoming elections. AmCham

Foreign Policy

ADB pledges to provide additional USD 1.5 million aid to Mongolia the aid will be allocated from the Asia-Pacific Disaster Response Fund to promote the activities of Mongolia's healthcare sector. Montsame

Mongolia, UN to partner in rebuilding Mongolia's post-pandemic economy: On 28 July, Minister of Foreign Affairs N. Enkhtaivan received representatives led by UN Resident Coordinator Tapan Mishra. At the start of the meeting, Minister N.Enkhtaivan mentioned the UN’s significant contribution in consistently supporting the socio-economic objectives of Mongolia, especially objectives such as developing good governance, reducing poverty, enhancing the legal environment for child protection, ensuring gender equality and expressed that he will comprehensively support the implementation of the United Nations Development Assistance Framework 2017-2021 for Mongolia. Montsame

 Economy

Gobi JSC sees losses of MNT 21.4 billion as of June: Gobi JSC's half-year report was submitted to the Mongolian Stock Exchange (MSE). Gobi's losses totaled MNT 21.5 billion during the reporting period, compared to MNT 3.99 billion in net income in the first half of 2019. The company's sales revenue reached MNT 37.46 billion, which is 44% lower than in 2019. Foreign tourists buy more than half of its products during a travel season and the country's border closure has negatively affected sales. Gobi's share price has dropped by 40 % percent year on year. AmCham

Central Bank of Mongolia sells USD 615 million: The Mongolian Tugrik continues to fall against the US dollar, the Chinese Yuan (CHY) and the Euro, however, is rising against the Russian Rbl. The Central Bank of Mongolia reported that total of USD 615 million has been sold to exchange market in order to support short-term transactions of commercial banks. News 

Revenue of big Mongolian banks falls amid coronavirus lockdown: According to the Central Bank of Mongolia, the most influential banks are the ‘big seven’ namely: Khan Bank, Golomt Bank, Khas Bank, the State Bank, and the Trade and Development Bank. These dominate 90% of the Mongolian banking system. The banks reported a net revenue of MNT 51.8 billion for the first quarter of 2020. The net revenue of the three biggest Mongolian banks decreased by 56%. News  

Bank of Mongolia Inflation Report June 2020: Impact of demand and supply-driven factors to inflation is expected to remain subdued. Annual inflation has consistently been falling in the past 4 months and has reached 3.3% nationwide. Economy  contracted  by  10.7 % as  of  the preliminary  estimates  for  the  first  quarter  of 2020.Economic growth is expected to contract sharply in the first half, followed by a gradual recovery in the  latter  half of  2020. Mongol Bank

NSO reports on COVID-19's impact in Mongolia: National Statistics Office reported that due to slower mineral product procurement from China, Mongolian mineral exports dropped, which caused shrinkage in the first quarter of the year. In June, the inflation rate dropped to 2.8%, which was 5.5% lower than the same period in 2019. Lower state tax revenue indicated lower earnings in domestic production, trade, and services. Processing industry sales in the first half of 2020 totalled MNT 2.1 trillion, 15.7% lower than in 2019. AmCham  

Pandrol signs long term partnership agreement to supply rail fastenings in Mongolia: The partnership agreement has been signed with Gan Khiits and ‘Ulaanbaatar Buk – both Mongolian concrete sleeper manufacturers, who are working together to develop 414.6km of railway on the Tavantolgoi-Zuunbayan route by providing new sleepers for Mongolian Railways (MTZ). The railway will transport 15 million tonnes of freight annually. Pandrol

Commentary

2017-2019 UN Mongolia Country Results Report: During  the  reporting  period,  the  UN  agencies  collectively  mobilized  USD  113.65  million,  out  of  which  USD  66.49  million  was  utilized  for  109  activities  carried  out  in  cooperation  with  56  implementing  partners  (IPs)  across  19  provinces  and  the  capital  city.  Out  of  which,  83  activities  have  nationwide  impact.  These  activities  supported  advancement  of  16  SDGs,  87%  or  USD  57.9  million being directed towards implementation of ten SDGs: SDG 3 – Health (22%), SDG 5 – Gender Equality (10%), SDG 2-Zero Hunger (10%), SDG 15 – Life on land (9%), and SDG 16 – Peace, Justice, and  Strong  Institutions  (8%),  SDG  17  –  Partnership  for  the  Goals  (8%),  SDG  13  –  Climate  Action  (6%), SDG 12 – Responsible Consumption and Production (5%), SDG 4 – Education (5%), SDG 8 – Decent Work (5%).The Government of Mongolia (GoM) has demonstrated its commitment to working with the UN and has gradually increased its share in co-funded activities. The GoM contributed approximately USD  3.1  million  toward  the  programme  activities  over  the  three  years.  Among  many  other  remarkable achievements, the GoM’s commitment and co-financing resulted in the establishment of the International Think Tank for Land Locked Developing Countries (LLDC ITT ) in 2018. UN

Mongolie: quelles évolutions après les élections législatives du 24 juin 2020?: L’amendement à la Constitution adopté par les autorités à la fin de l’année 2019 constitue une autre avancée notable1. Il doit permettre de lutter contre l’instabilité politique qui caractérise la Mongolie depuis le début des années 199, de renforcer l’indépendance de la justice et de favoriser une légère décentralisation. Le changement principal tient au fait qu’il renforce les pouvoirs du Premier ministre en lui permettant de composer son gouvernement et en réduisant le nombre de parlementaires qui peuvent y siéger. Cette disposition vise à lutter contre la pratique du double deel, expression locale qui renvoie à la possibilité pour les parlementaires de cumuler leur mandat de député avec une position ministérielle. Autre changement notable: la capacité des parlementaires à flécher une partie des dépenses budgétaires est réduite afin d’accroître la cohérence du processus d’investissement public. Cet amendement a mis un terme à plus d’une décennie de débats récurrents autour de la nécessité de modifier la Constitution. Il n’a pas pour autant tranché totalement le débat autour d’un éventuel changement de régime. Fondation pour la recherche stratégique  

Heartbeat of the Mongolian economy: In 2011, the Mongolian GDP growth reached 11.5 % which seemed shockingly high to the rest of the world. Some people still proudly talk about this growth. However, in reality, it was a lesson rather than an accomplishment. The dramatic growth was the result of the Investment Agreement concluded in, 2009, which brought investments amounting to seven billion USD to the Oyu Tolgoi project. Perhaps, at that time, Mongolia was not yet aware of its investment environment. In correlation with the transition to a free market, the Law on Foreign Investment was adopted in 1993 which enhanced Mongolian foreign trade. Foreign investment amounts to USD 10 million, or at most USD 25-30 million in a year. mongolianeconomy.mn

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Prepared by Edina Bartalová

Delegation of the European Union to Mongolia

ICC Tower, 6th floor, Jamiyan Gun Street 9

1st khoroo, Sukhbaatar district, Ulaanbaatar

https://eeas.europa.eu/delegations/mongolia_en