Comoros and the EU

MONGOLIA – Weekly press review 7 June 2021

07/06/2021 - 10:47
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. You can subscribe or unsubscribe through the form available on our website https://eeas.europa.eu/delegations/mongolia_en

 

COVID-19

As of 7 June, total number of confirmed cases reached 66 443, the total number of recovered patients was 54 081 and total number of COVID-19 related deaths was 313. Moh (In MNG). COVID-19 interactive dashboard is available in Mongolian and English.

Vaccination: As of 7 June, 1,872,056 people have received the first dose of the vaccine and 1,525,552 people received the second dose. Ikon In MNG)

Mongolia receives 48,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine coming through the COVAX Facility. Within the scope of the program Mongolia has previously received 64,800 doses of AstraZeneca and 126,360 doses of Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. Ikon (In MNG)

People arriving from countries with registered mutated coronavirus cases will be isolated for 14 days. If a person comes to Mongolia after 14 days of the second vaccination dose, they will not be quarantined at the isolation facilities and will be required to stay at home for a week. Ikon (In MNG)

The National Emergency Commission stated it will not impose a strict lockdown in response to the COVID-19 and will impose partial lockdown necessary. Zasag (In MNG) The remaining restricted 8-9 sectors will gradually open from 15 June. Ikon (In MNG)

The government has secured 2.5 million doses of Pfizer vaccine through a contract. Ikon (In MNG)

EU - Mongolia 

Virtual meeting of TVET sector donors held: Representatives from EU Delegation to Mongolia, World Bank, Asian Development Bank, KOICA, JICA, GIZ and Swiss Cooperation in Mongolia as well as organizations in charge of TVET issues attended the meeting to exchange views on relevant issues, touching upon the directions of further cooperation, coordination of project and program activities and inclusion of the result of assessment study in the policy and strategy. Montsame

Export credit agreement signed for the project ‘Upgrading of Medical Equipment and Capacity at the Central Military Hospital’ with a value of EUR 8 million. The project will be implemented within the framework of the Financial Cooperation Agreement signed between the Government of Mongolia and the Government of the Republic of Austria in 2019. Montsame Gogo (In MNG)

Biocombinat renovation project discussed: Minister of Food, Agriculture and Light Industry Z.Mendsaikhan had a virtual meeting with Deputy State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary Istvan Joo and discussed advancing the Biocombinat renovation project. Montsame

Students and working Mongolians in Hungary will be vaccinated: On 3 June the Mongolian-Hungarian Parliamentary Group held an online meeting. The sides agreed to expand cooperation in the agricultural sector. Gogo (In MNG)

For the first time Mongolian cashmere is exported to Italy by land: 20 tons of cashmere that meets international quality requirements and standards was shipped to Italy. Montsame

Political and Internal Developments

Presidential campaign of Mongolia's ruling party turns online due to pandemic: Starting from 6 June, the MPP is suspending any form of election campaigning that could lead to surging COVID-19 infections. The election campaign will continue only online and in the media in the remaining days. The MPP's new move came after Enkhbat, who is the candidate from the political alliance the Right Person Electorate Coalition, has tested positive and urged his two rivals to turn campaigns online. Montsame Xinhua

The presidential debate has been cancelled as D.Enkhbat, the candidate of the "Right Person Electorate" coalition has been infected with COVID-19 and is being quarantined. The debate was scheduled to be broadcasted live on MNB on Monday, 7 June. Montsame (In MNG)

A complaint was lodged to the General Executive Agency of Court Decision regarding the closure of the DP's account: Democratic Party's account was closed and as a result, it is no longer possible to cover the salaries, publications and other expenses of rural agitators. News (In MNG)

Foreign Policy

10 Countries reopened air border with Mongolia: Turkey, India, Greece, Kyrgyzstan, Thailand, Indonesia, USA, Brazil, United Arab Emirates and Egypt have agreed to reopen air border with Mongolia. Diplomatic talks are being held with China, Russia, South Korea and Japan, which are the most common travel destinations for Mongolians. Ikon (In MNG)

Foreign Minister meets with Gazprom management committee chair: On 2 June Minister of Foreign Affairs B. Battsetseg, held a meeting with Deputy Chairman of the Board of Directors and the Chairman of the Management Committee (CEO) of Gazprom A.B. Miller. During the meeting, they exchanged views on the progress of the project on natural gas pipeline, which will connect Russia and China through the territory of Mongolia. The sides agreed to start formulating a Mongolia and Russia intergovernmental agreement on the natural gas pipeline construction. Mr. Miller said that it is possible to collaborate in training Mongolian specialists of gas pipeline sector. Montsame

Mongolia-EEU Free Trade Agreement to boost Moscow-Ulaanbaatar Economic Ties: Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said: "Negotiations continue between Mongolia and the Eurasian Economic Commission on the possibility of concluding an agreement on a free trade area, which, of course, would contribute to further expanding our economic ties". Urdupoint

Foreign Minister holds bilateral meetings during St. Petersburg Int’l Economic Forum: the sides discussed cooperation in energy, border and environmental areas. Montsame

The Mongolian Armed Forces will return from Afghanistan after completing 17 years of Operation Resolute Support led by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. Montsame (In MNG)

Economy

Bank of Mongolia: Total outstanding loans reached EUR 5 billion. In April, the outstanding loans of commercial banks increased by 2.9% year-on-year to MNT 17.5 trillion equivalent of EUR 5 billion. Bloomberg (In MNG)

Q1 economic performance: The National Statistics Office reported that the nation's current account showed a deficit of USD 141.6 million in Q1 2021, decreasing by USD 581.7 million USD 80.4% compared to Q1 2020. This was due to an increase of USD 648.6 million in trade turnover compared to the same period in the previous year, and a net export increase reaching USD 351.8 million. In Q1, revenue from services reached USD 184.1 million and expenditures were USD 438.4 million, an increase of USD 8.3 million and a decrease of USD 132.1 million, respectively, compared to the same period in 2020. The balance of payments showed a surplus of USD 170.4 million in Q1, compared to a deficit of USD 350.2 million in the first quarter of 2020. News (In MNG)

Foreign currency reserve reaches USD 4.9 billion: The Bank of Mongolia reported that official foreign currency reserves reached a record 4.9 billion USD in April, increasing by 2.45 percent month-on-month and by 27.2% year-on-year. Bloomberg (In MNG)

In the first quarter of 2021, Mongolia’s total external debt reached USD 32.4 billion. According to Bank of Mongolia an increase of about USD 2 billion from the same period of the previous year the total external debt reached USD 32.4 billion equivalent EUR 26.7 billion. Gogo (In MNG)

Covid-19 scare cuts China's Mongolian coal supply. China’s Ceke Port has requested the country’s customs authorities to clear only 90 trucks per day from Mongolia - instead of the typical 200 per day. Metalbulletin

The International Bank for Economic Co-operation becomes member of Green Loan program for SME’s by Trade and Development Bank. IBEC has provided loan in the amount of USD 10 million equivalent EUR 8.25 million for a period of up to 3 years. Montsame

MPs U.Khurelsukh, D.Tsogtbaatar and N.Uchral have drafted a law to make Mongolia a free economic zone for information technology start-ups. The draft law was submitted to the Prime Minister of Mongolia L.Oyun-Erdene for comments by the Government. Montsame (In MNG)

Commentary

Mongolia: RSF urges presidential candidates to voice support for press freedom: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on the three candidates in the 9th  June 2021 presidential election in Mongolia to voice their support for future press freedom reforms as the best way to improve public affairs transparency and combat corruption. Although Mongolia broadly respects the principles of press freedom and media pluralism, its media environment is plagued by conflicts of interest that hinder editorial independence. On 26th April 2017, a few weeks before the previous presidential election, Mongolian television stations replaced their normal programming with blank screens in protest against plans to increase the penalties for defamation, which they feared would force journalists into self-censorship. Mongolia ranked 68th out of 180 in the 2021 World Press Freedom Index. RSF

 

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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