Delegation of the European Union to Mongolia

MONGOLIA – Weekly press review 19 July 2021

19/07/2021 - 09:55
Newsletter

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. You can subscribe or unsubscribe through the form available on our website https://eeas.europa.eu/delegations/mongolia_en

COVID-19

As of 19 July, total number of confirmed cases reached 148 424, the total number of recovered patients was 134 101 and total number of COVID-19 related deaths was 740. Ikon (In MNG).  COVID-19 interactive dashboard is available in Mongolian and English.

Vaccination: As of 19 July 2 107 044 people have received the first dose of the vaccine and 1 823 833 people received the second dose. Ikon (In MNG)

Mongolia received 39,780 doses of the Pfizer vaccine: Up to date, 325,260 doses of the total of 2.5 million Pfizer vaccines arrived in Mongolia through the agreement signed by the Government of Mongolia and Pfizer Inc. 2.35 million doses are purchased through the grant funding of Japan. Montsame

Mongolia received 20,000 doses of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine. Montsame

Political and Internal Developments    

Prime Minister to reduce corruption: Government's sessions confirmed the establishment of anti-corruption working group. The Minister of Justice will lead the working group along with 15 representatives of different sectors. Gogo (In MNG)

Foreign Policy

President of Mongolia holds telephone conversation with President of Russia: They agreed that the implementation of the renovation of train cars used by ‘Ulaanbaatar Railway’ Mongolian-Russian Joint Stock Company, construction of new railroads, and energy projects, as well as the joint study being carried out on establishing a free trade agreement between Mongolia and the Eurasian Economic Union should be accelerated. Noting the progress being made in the implementation of the Mongolia-Russia-China Economic Corridor Program, the two sides expressed readiness to support the progress of the construction project for the natural gas pipeline connecting Russia and China through the territory of Mongolia. Montsame

Mongolian President Khurelsukh holds call with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping: The presidents pledged to increase of bilateral trade turnover to MNT 10 billion (EUR 2.97 million) in coming year, and maintain the normal trade and economic cooperation with the help of improved pandemic preventative measures at border checkpoints. Presidents noted the progress made in the Mongolia-Russia-China economic corridor program implementation and vowed to advance the development project on Russia-China gas pipeline to transit through Mongolia. Montsame

U.S. Deputy Secretary Sherman to visit Mongolia next week: The Deputy Secretary will be travelling to Ulaanbaatar to meet with Mongolian officials to reinforce Mongolia-U.S. Strategic Partnership and discuss the shared values of democracy and human rights, including freedom of religion or belief and respect for traditional cultural identity and practice. Montsame

Prime Minister meets U.S. Ambassador: Prime Minister asked the U.S. to cooperate with the Mongolian government in issuing a third dose to its citizens. The Prime Minister also expressed willingness to strengthen cooperation in anti-crime and corruption efforts and showed an interest in working together to get Mongolia’s raking of 111th  in the corruption index to double figures. Montsame

Permanent Representative in Geneva meets ICDO Secretary General: International Civil Defence Organization will provide 20 Russian UAZ-390945 trucks to Mongolia to improve the country’s firefighting capacity. Montsame

Switzerland sends medical supplies worth over CHF 850,000 (EUR 783,360): Swiss Humanitarian Aid Department sent 40 oxygen ventilators and 45 oxygen concentrators for a total value of around CHF 700,000 (EUR 645,120). In addition, the SDC also granted CHF 150,000 (EUR 138,240) for the purchase of four portable X-ray machines for the Ministry of Health. Montsame Montsame

ADB Grant to Strengthen COVID-19 Response in Mongolia: USD 5 million co-financing grant from the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction. The Government of Mongolia will provide counterpart financing of USD 360,000. Montsame

Japan to provide JPY 883 million (EUR 6.8 million) assistance to Mongolia: Minister of Finance and Ambassador of Japan signed an exchange of notes between the governments of Mongolia and Japan. Under the exchange of notes, Japan will provide JPY 883 million (EUR 6.8 million) assistance to Mongolia. Montsame

Economy

Mongolia export rise 45.4% year on year: The international trade balance has reached USD 850.2 million (EUR 720.5 million), which is 2.3 times compared to the previous year. Eagle (In MNG)  

Commentary

Does Mongolia need a state-owned mineral exchange? The Mongolian government is once again looking into creating a national mineral exchange in the hope of stabilizing prices and attracting foreign investment. It is believed that an exchange would stimulate producers to improve quality through standardization and testing, making Mongolian products more attractive to foreign buyers and expanding export potential.  According to R. Ochbadrakh, Head of the working group and advisor to the MMHI Minister, state ownership is required to set realistic market prices, provide transparency, and ensure that prices for state-owned commodities match global market prices. As a result, trade growth and price stability would be a windfall for the government, as the increased transparency would lead to more royalty payments and tax revenue. But a cautious approach has been advised by experts, who recommend testing the concept with one mining product on the Mongolian Stock Exchange, possibly using blockchain technology, prior to investing in the establishment of an independent exchange entity. Mongolia’s extensive unexplored mineral reserves combined to its proximity to two of the world’s largest mineral consumers present economies of scale that provide a strong incentive for investment that could be facilitated through an Exchange.  With a strong potential pull demand from its neighbours, the development of a brokerage-based Exchange would be improvement over the current practice.  Currently, 50% of mineral exchanges are in the US, with the remained based in Europe and Asia. Mongolian Mining Journal

U.S. Department of State 2021 Trafficking in Persons Report: Mongolia: The Government of Mongolia does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but is making significant efforts to do so. The government demonstrated overall increasing efforts compared to the previous reporting period, considering the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on its anti-trafficking capacity. These efforts included investigating, prosecuting, and convicting significantly more traffickers, including in relation to alleged forced labour crimes; improving coordination among ministries and with key international and NGO stakeholders; and repatriating more victims than the previous reporting period. However, the government did not meet the minimum standards in several key areas. For at least the ninth consecutive year, the government did not formally identify any male victims. Police continued to penalize some child sex trafficking victims under commercial sex offenses, rather than formally identifying and referring them to protection services. Law enforcement officers found guilty of facilitating trafficking crimes received administrative sanctions, rather than facing criminal charges for their complicity. US Embassy in Mongolia

Interview with Mongolian Foreign Minister: Mongolia-China cooperation amid COVID-19 exemplary: Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Mongolia and China have maintained active cooperation, setting a real example of how neighbouring countries help each other and overcome difficulties together, Mongolian Foreign Minister Batmunkh Battsetseg has said. "Strengthening continuously mutually-beneficial cooperation with China is one of the Mongolian foreign policy priorities." We are sincerely grateful to the Chinese government and people for donating vaccines and essential medical equipment to Mongolia during this difficult time." China is one of the country's largest trade and investment partners. China's willingness to share development experiences and benefits with other countries, import more goods and services from abroad and pursue a policy of common development is a good opportunity for neighbouring countries such as Mongolia. Mongolia has supported the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative from the onset and actively participated in it. Battsetseg expressed her willingness to exchange experiences and implement joint projects with China not only in the real-economy sectors, but also in financial and e-service within the BRI framework. Xinhua

Mongolia and the Korea Conflict: In 2014, Mongolia’s then-President Elbegdorj Tsakhia established a new dialogue venue in Ulaanbaatar to facilitate a breakthrough on the Korean issue. The conference aimed to increase trust and confidence among the various parties while decreasing tension and hostility on the Korean peninsula. The Ulaanbaatar Dialogue on Northeast Asian Security (UBD), as it is widely known, has aided high-ranking officials in developing mutual understanding and in re-establishing working relations. The dialog has also included non-security issues such as economics, energy, infrastructure, humanitarian issues, and the inclusion of youth in peacebuilding initiatives. The UBD has now firmly established itself as a stable multilateral security dialogue mechanism in which North Korea has consistently participated. Mongolia is an advanced democracy with a firmly established market economy that has a reputation for diplomatic mediation and peacekeeping operations. Mongolia’s regional peacemaker role may reflect its desire for renewed global prestige. In recent decades, the art of using soft power has been enshrined in Mongolia’s foreign policy and via its cordial diplomatic relationships. Pursuing a pacifist foreign policy, Mongolia has sought an “open, independent, multi-pillared” foreign policy and is pursuing a “Third Neighbour” policy in global relations, emphasizing the development of diplomatic ties with both the West and East on pragmatic grounds. Mongolia has declared its territory a nuclear-weapon-free zone and has striven to formalize its nuclear-weapon-free status. These efforts have helped establish Mongolia’s reputation as an honest and dependable broker committed to regional nuclear non-proliferation. Mongolia’s expansion of its mediator profile may not have been achievable without a cordial diplomatic record; its amicable relations with both Koreas have allowed its efforts to mediate as a third-party country to come to fruition. In a rare feat, Mongolia has gained North Korea’s trust. The Diplomat

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Prepared by Sodnomsambuu Gantuya

Delegation of the European Union to Mongolia

ICC Tower, 9th floor, Jamiyan Gun Street 9

1st khoroo, Sukhbaatar district, Ulaanbaatar

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

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