Delegation of the European Union to Malaysia

MONGOLIA – Weekly press review 20 October 2020

20/10/2020 - 02:16
MONGOLIA – Weekly press review

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 324 and the total number of recovered patients reached 312 on 20 October. Worldometers

Charter flights to be organised in October: Seoul: October 19, 20; Frankfurt: October 23. Montsame

EU - Mongolia    

Philippe Merlin, Ambassador of France to Mongolia: I am struck by Mongolia’s huge potential: Foreign investors including French companies are still facing various obstacles in investing in Mongolia. In order to attract and boost foreign investments, it is crucial to ensure a clear and stable regulatory framework, compliance with contractual obligations. I am confident that the Mongolian government will address those issues. Mongolian Economy

Mongolia to cooperate with Croatia on tourism: The Memorandum of Understanding on Tourism Cooperation was signed on 15 October. The countries will set up a joint working group, introduce and share best practices, and provide mutual support in order to develop mutually-beneficial, long-term, sustainable cooperation in tourism.  Montsame

Slovenia and Mongolia sign Visa Waiver for Holders of Diplomatic and Service Passports. This is the first agreement signed after the conclusion of diplomatic relations between the countries. Montsame

EBRD to own 11.2% of Erdene Resource Development: The EBRD exercised its conversion option for a 5 million USD convertible loan issued to ERD and acquired 30 million shares of the company. Peter Akerley, president and CEO of Erdene Resource Development, said that the loan financed the completion of the detailed feasibility study for the Bayankhundi gold project. AmCham

Political and Internal Developments

Local Elections: The Mongolian People's Party (MPP) saw a landslide victory by gaining the majority (34) of seats, the Democratic Party (DP) won 8 seats, and the National Labor Party (NLP) won 3 seats in the Ulaanbaatar city council. Out of 291 mandates for the Citizens’ Representative Khurals of 9 districts of the capital city, 201 mandates went to the candidates from MPP, 75 seats to the DP candidates, 10 seats to the Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party, one seat to Mongolian Green Party candidate and one seat to an independent candidate. The DP won a majority of the seats in 10 provinces including Arkhangai, Bayankhongor, Bayan-Ulgii, Govi Altai, Dundgobi, Umnugobi, Sukhbaatar, Uvs, and Khuvsgul. AmCham  Montsame

Parliament's discussion on state budget: In the bills submitted to the Parliament, the equilibrated budget revenue has grown by MNT 2.1 trillion compared to the 2020 budget amendments to reach MNT 11.8 trillion and total expenditure reduced by MNT 325 billion to be MNT 13.9 trillion and the equilibrated budget deficit is proposed at MNT 2.2 trillion, equal to 5.1% of the total GDP. Montsame  

Foreign Policy

Final meeting on Mongolia's FATF grey list removal is scheduled for October 21-23: The assessment team that visited Mongolia on October 1-2 supported the proposal to remove Mongolia from the grey list, which was also supported by representatives from more than 100 countries, according to Minister of Finance Ch. Khurelbaatar. The FATF is scheduled to finalize its decision during a meeting in Paris on October 21-23. Montsame

“Selenge-2020” joint military training with Russia wraps up: This year’s training started on 7 October simultaneously on territories of the two countries for the first time. Montsame

1st Training-Workshop on China-Mongolia-Russia Economic Corridor Management held: East and North-East Asia Office (ENEA) of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) is organizing a series of training-workshops to strengthen subregional connectivity in East and North-East Asia through effective economic corridor management. The first of the series was organized on China-Mongolia-Russia Economic Corridor Management. Montsame

Mongolia Ranked 24 of 26 on the Lowy Institute’s Asia Power Index with an overall score of 5.6 out of 100. In 2020, Mongolia had the biggest gains in diplomatic influence (+0.5). It lost the most points in defence networks (−3.0). Elsewhere, it improved in economic capability (+0.2), while trending down in future resources (−1.6), resilience (−0.6), military capability (−0.4) and cultural influence (−0.3). The score for economic relationships was unchanged this year. Lowy Institute

Economy

Mongolia’s GDP to contract by 2-4% possibly sending the country into its first recession since 2009. However, the country’s GDP is expected to recover at an annual growth rate of 8.2% next year, the Bank of Mongolia said in a statement. The country’s mining-dependent economy decreased by 9.7% year on year in the first half of 2020 due to restrictive coronavirus measures. News

Deficit of government budget decreased by 56.7%: In the first nine months of 2020, tax revenue decreased by 13.1% compared to the same period of the previous year. This decrease was mainly due to 18.5% decrease in income tax revenue, 13.0% decrease in social security revenue, 22.0% decrease in other taxes revenue and 8.3% decrease in value-added tax revenue. Montsame

Revenue from rail transport increased by 9.5%: This increase was mainly due to 1.4 million tonnes (18.8%) increase in export freight and 258.4 thousand tonnes (8.8%) increase in transit freight. Montsame

The Mineral Resources and Petroleum Authority (MRPA) has announced tenders for eight exploration licenses in October. Applications will be accepted within 30 days of the announcement of the tender. The minimum threshold price for locations ranges from 1.5 million MNT to 189.9 million MNT. The Independent Authority Against Corruption and Transparency International Mongolia emphasized that the appointment of members for the tender selection committee and the assessment of company capacity have been inadequate. AmCham

Commentary

Why the World Should Care About Language in Inner Mongolia: Mongolian, as a language, is still widely spoken in independent Mongolia, but the “Mongolian script” was largely lost after the Russians introduced Cyrillic in the 1940s, when Stalin sought to control the country as a buffer against China. This makes the Inner Mongolians, who are currently under Chinese rule, the last custodians of the script. For academics, historians, linguists, and cultural aficionados, the Mongolian script holds the key to historical links between cultures that were forged during the Silk Route era and earlier. Understanding this connection might help people realize that this is not Mongolia’s fight alone. The Diplomat 

China insists Genghis Khan exhibit not use words 'Genghis Khan': A French museum has postponed an exhibit about the Mongol emperor Genghis Khan citing interference by the Chinese government, which it accuses of trying to rewrite history. The spat comes as the Chinese government has hardened its discrimination against ethnic Mongols, many of whom live in the northern province of Inner Mongolia. The exhibit was planned in collaboration with the Inner Mongolia Museum in Hohhot, China. But tensions arose, the Nantes museum said, when the Chinese Bureau of Cultural Heritage pressured the museum for changes to the original plan, “including notably elements of biased rewriting of Mongol culture in favour of a new national narrative”. The Guardian

Mining in Mongolia: The mining sector is one of the key drivers of export revenue for Mongolia and is often referred to as the "engine of the economy". With an abundance of mineral resources and largely unexplored territory, Mongolia is potentially an attractive destination for foreign investors interested in exploration and mine development. Given the importance of the minerals sector, Mongolia has been making on-going efforts to modify its legal environment and to align it more closely with global standards. Moving forward to promote environmentally and socially sound mining activities, the government is in the process of drafting a law on mining in addition to the Minerals Law. Practical Law

* * *

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

Autor