European Union External Action

MONGOLIA – Weekly press review – 23 March 2020

23/03/2020 - 12:08
Mongolia – Weekly press review

Coronavirus

As of 23 March, there are 10 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Mongolia.

Four new imported COVID-19 cases confirmed the total number of cases is 10.  A total of 193 Mongolian citizens are currently being monitored at the National Center for Communicable Disease. Among them, 156 people who arrived to Ulaanbaatar on 16 March from Berlin on the government arranged charter flight to repatriate Mongolian nationals, were under isolation. Four of them, two men and two women, tested positive for coronavirus. Montsame 

Heightened state of readiness extended: closure of all levels of educational institutes and suspensions of international flights and passenger trains has been extended until 30 April. Montsame  

Mongolia has evacuated 983 citizens through chartered flights from South Korea, Japan, Germany, Russia and Turkey. All evacuees have been isolated upon arrival to Mongolia and placed in government administered quarantine for two weeks. Montsame 

EU – Mongolia  

EU chief vows to help bring home trapped Europeans: Von der Leyen said 1,200 EU citizens have already been broughy back, including hundreds of holidaymakers in Morocco, and that flights are being arranged from Egypt and the Philippines and as far as Peru and Mongolia. Cover Mongolia

'Orano Mining' donates MNT 1 billion (app EUR 330 million) to Mongolia. Ambassador of France Mr Philippe Merlin delivered the donation to Mongolia’s National Emergency Commission to Deputy Speaker of the Mongolian Parliament. News

People In Need supports children with nutrition, education and health kits: the Czech INGO, People in Need, with its partners started the “Clean Hands” initiative in February and supported 250 children with nutrition and sanitation kits. People in Need 

Political and internal developments

Mongolia forbids import of crashed cars: National Auto Transport Centre of Mongolia signed an agreement with Japanese organisations handling car assessments to establishing a database of car exports from Japan to prevent crashed or stolen cars ending up in Mongolia. The agreement will come into effect on 1 April 2020. News 

Chinese Hackers ‘Weaponize’ Coronavirus Data For New Cyber Attack targeting Mongolian government agencies. The targets were other elements of Mongolia’s public sector, with the objective to take screenshots, exfiltrate, delete and edit files, and remotely execute processes. Forbes  The Washington Post Checkpoint 

ADB provides USD 1.4 million for COVID-19 preparedness to procure essential medical equipment for early detection, emergency care, and management of severe respiratory diseases. ADB also approved a USD 225,000 small-scale technical assistance to strengthen Mongolia’s national capacity for infection prevention and control. Montsame 

Foreign Policy

Mongolia to bring 105 Chinese workers with chartered flight: Amidst Mongolia’s coronavirus lockdown construction on the road connecting Ulaanbaatar with Darkhan city has begun once again. The Mongolian Government decided not to bring in 6000 foreign workers but to contract 105 Chinese engineers. The road is of strategic importance as it is part of the north-south corridor, linking the capital with Russia. The Government-chartered flight is planned to arrive on Sunday, 22 March. News 

Kazakhstan halts road transportation with Mongolia: Regular bus service and issuance of permits for Kazakh transportation companies was halted for irregular routes including to Mongolia. No restrictions were imposed on transportation of food products, consumer goods, medical supplies and postal items. Akipress.

​Economy

Coal shipment resumes through Gashuunsukhait border checkpoint: in economical and environmentally friendly containers, and vehicles of companies satisfying certain requirements are allowed for the shipment. Montsame

Loan to be issued to cashmere manufacturers and up to 50% of cashmere to be exported will be processed to a final product.  Soft loans worth EUR 100 million will be issued to the national cashmere manufacturers and app. EUR 67 million will be reserved as a financial source. The loan will have an annual interest rate of 3-5% and the Development Bank of Mongolia will provide financial sources. About 65% of Mongolia’s total cashmere is exported in raw form and 25% as final products. Montsame 

Fuel price to be gradually lowered by app EUR 0,067 per liter in consistence with world market price by 15 April. Montsame 

Customers allowed to defer loan repayment for 90 days and it has been decided that the borrowers’ credit rating would not be changed for six months starting 27 January when Mongolia went into the heightened state of alertness. Non-bank financial institutions and saving and credit cooperatives are also subject to the decision. Montsame 

Tourism sector suffering from the impacts of the coronavirus: Tourism contributed a total USD 607 million to the State Budget of Mongolia in 2019. However, tourism revenue decreased by USD 11.7 million or 28% in the first two months of 2020 compared to the same period in the previous year. News 

Positive foreign trade turnover in March: Mongolia's total trade turnover reached USD 1.5 billion in the first two months of 2020, with export exceeding import by USD 20.7 million, however trade has declined by 21.3% compared to the same period of 2019. Mongolia exported products worth USD 770.7 million in the first two months, down year-over-year by 29.5%. Mineral products amounted 83% of total exports, jewellery to 10.4%, wool products amounted to 2.5%. UB post  

Sales of industrial production decreased by 25.8% due to the 41.8% decrease of the sales of mining and quarrying products, while the sales of manufacturing sector increased by 7.9% and sales of electricity, thermal energy and water supply by 18.5%. Montsame 

ADB estimates COVID-19 loss for Mongolian economy:  If the government continues its COVID-19 outbreak prevention measures for six months, economic growth will likely slow down by 1.5%, with a loss of USD 200 million.  Bloomberg

Commentary

Mongolia increases climate change ambition with actions that improve air quality and human health: Mongolia’s revised Nationally Determined Contribution commits to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 22.7% in 2030. Achieving this would also reduce emissions of key air pollutants and short-lived climate pollutants. The air pollution benefits that can be achieved by implementing Mongolia’s revised NDC are on top of the existing actions being taken or planned that specifically tackle air quality in Ulaanbaatar. Climate and Clean Air Coalition

Parties Competing in 2020 Parliamentary Election by Mendee J and Julian Dierkes: As of late March, there are 36 parties registered at the Supreme Court of Mongolia. The new law on parliamentary elections requires any of these parties, wishing to participate in the upcoming parliamentary elections, to submit their election platforms to the National Audit Office before March 25 for the economic/financial feasibility review. Mongolia Focus