European Union External Action

MONGOLIA – Weekly press review 5 April 2021

05/04/2021 - 07:11
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 5 April, total number of confirmed cases reached 10 820, the total number of recovered patients was 5 726 and total number of COVID-19 related deaths was 16. Ikon (In MNG).  COVID-19 interactive dashboard is available in Mongolian and English.

Vaccination: As of 5 April, 376 373 people have been vaccinated. Gogo (In MNG)

Prime Minister announced to fully vaccinate all citizens by 1 July. Gogo (In MNG)

Charter flights will be organised to Seoul on 6, 14, 21, 23 (transit), 26 and 27 April; Tokyo on 5 and 13 April; Istanbul on 10 April; Frankfurt 15 and 29 April. Montsame

EU - Mongolia 

“SDG-aligned Budgeting to Transform Employment in Mongolia” project's Steering Committee met: The technical assistance project of the European Union Budget Support of EUR 50.8 million was launched in December 2020. The project aims to support efficient, accountable, and responsive delivery of public services in the Labour and Employment sector and the strengthening of the Public Finance Management systems to accelerate the results oriented, evidence-based policies and planning and supporting institutional capacities of the system. The EU Ambassador Traian Hristea highlighted that “The EU stands ready to continuously support Mongolia in those difficult times of the pandemic. We are looking forward to our enhanced policy dialogue and minimizing the financing gaps of the reforms through a strong and coordinated partnership.” Montsame

Team Europe response to COVID-19 in Mongolia: Team Europe is one of the lead contributors to the COVAX Facility with over EUR 3.2 billion to help secure 1.3 billion doses of vaccines for 92 low and middle-income countries, including Mongolia, by the end 2021. Mongolia will be receiving 138 540 vaccines through COVAX Facility. EU Delegation

Minister of Environment and Tourism had a virtual meeting with the EU Ambassador: Ambassador Traian Hristea underscored that the government of Mongolia and the EU plan to cooperate in three key areas of cooperation and that two of them require close cooperation with the Ministry of Environment and Tourism. The Ambassador proposed cooperating in protecting the wilderness, boosting green economy, and increasing the use of environmentally friendly renewable energy. Montsame

Mongolia to partner with France in involving medical specialists in postgraduate programs: Minister of Education and Science received Ambassador of France to Mongolia. Requests were put forth to increase the number of students involved in the scholarship, to prepare personnel in the fields of mining, agriculture, science, creative industry, and transport and logistics as well as to provide support in the development of research universities. Montsame

Views exchanged on developing longstanding ties with Bulgaria: the Minister for Foreign Affairs received Chargé d’Affaires of the Embassy of Bulgaria to Mongolia. The two sides discussed its longstanding and friendly bilateral ties as well as its cooperation in the fields of agriculture and student exchange. Montsame

The steering committee of the European Union’s Trade Related Assistance to Mongolia (TRAM) project held a meeting: The committee reviewed the actions taken in 2020 and the plan for actions to be undertaken until the project is completed in July. The EU TRAM project with three components, trade policy, trade facilitation and export development, has provided concrete support to public and private sectors in facilitating trade by coping with challenging issues and developing export clusters and putting their products on the international market. Mongolia proposed to implement the second phase of the project. Montsame

“How to convert your traditional business to online” training held: The “All for YOUth, YOUth for all” project, funded by the European Union, has organised the online training for young entrepreneurs, and small and medium-sized entrepreneurs. The project aims to improve NGO capacities, increase youth employment and entrepreneurship, promote civic participation amongst young people, and promote youth volunteerism in Mongolia. Caritas Czech Republic Montsame

Foreign Minister met Czech Ambassador: Minister Battsetseg underscored that putting the Cooperation Agreement on Social Protection between the two countries into effect in the near future would be of great importance for over 10 000 Mongolians working and living in Czechia. the sides had discussions about expanding bilateral economic cooperation in agriculture and supporting private sector partnerships. Montsame

Wool and cashmere factories commit to sustainable textile production: A total of 18 national textile industries have joined to a Voluntary Code of Practice (VCP) for Mongolian sustainable textile production, agreeing for an environmentally-friendly, socially sound, and economically viable production. The VCP for Mongolian sustainable textile production was elaborated within Sustainable textile production and Eco labelling project, implemented by the AVSF Mongolia with financial support from the European Union. Montsame

Roof insulation of 100 households carried out: Within the framework of the “Switch Off Air Pollution” project, co-financed by the European Union, the Simple solutions campaign has been officially launched in Sukhbaatar and Songinokhairkhan districts with a call to insulate houses with the materials at hand. Montsame

Political and Internal Developments    

Mongolia to produce 55% of petroleum consumption domestically by 2024: The Mining Ministry has informed that the oil refinery development project underway by the government of Mongolia in Dornogobi province with investment equal to one-year import cost of petroleum products is capable to produce 1.5 million tonnes of petroleum each year, which are enough to provide 55% of total domestic consumption. Montsame

Temporary committee established to monitor the implementation of Parliament Resolution No. 92 on ensuring Mongolia's interests in the development of the Oyu Tolgoi investment agreement. Bloomberg (In MNG)

Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi JSC starts issuing bonds: The company will sell bonds to the public in three phases, raising MNT 2 trillion (EUR 595.7 million) from domestic stock market. The government plans to finance major infrastructure projects scheduled for 2020-2024, such as railways, power plants, and improved fuel plants. Bloomberg (In MNG)

Test kit that detects antibodies against COVID-19 in saliva sample approved: The diagnostic kit, developed by Mongolian scientists, has shown 100% accuracy for its sensitivity and specificity to detect the infection, and has ability to produce the result in 90 minutes. Montsame

Oyu Tolgoi declared force majeure on some Chinese contracts after shipments to China were suspended due to covid-19 related restrictions. The force majeure is related to coronavirus-related restrictions at the Chinese-Mongolian border crossings. Mining

Oyu Tolgoi, Rio Tinto to open an international mining research centre at the Mongolian University of Science and Technology: Rio Tinto and Oyu Tolgoi are providing USD 2.75 million for the project, which will be carried out until the end of 2025. The project initiators emphasize that the centre will address the lack of skilled domestic mining specialists. Bloomberg (In MNG)

Foreign Policy

First batch of 300 000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines purchased from China arrived in Mongolia: Mongolia plans to vaccinate at least 60 percent of its 3.3 million people using four types of COVID-19 vaccines, and 20% will be vaccinated under COVAX Facility. Xinhua

China, Mongolia vow to enhance parliamentary cooperation: The sides agreed to enhance exchanges and cooperation between their legislative bodies. Xinhua

Third meeting of Mongolia-China cooperation mechanism in response to COVID-19 held: The parties reviewed the implementation of the “Green Gateway” temporary regulation agreed upon under the mechanism and discussed the possibility of resolving the difficulties faced by the main border checkpoints of the two countries due to the pandemic situation.

Pandemic shuts Sino-Mongolia 2nd largest coal checkpoint: Ceke checkpoint has been shut down temporarily since March 29 due to a new COVID-19 case of a Mongolian truck driver. MySteel

Mongolia-India joint working group in charge of coking coal supply issue convened: The joint working group is working to prepare the sample for detailed laboratory analysis and discussion by the professional commission to make a decision on the long-term sustainable purchase of coking coal from Mongolia. Montsame

Economy

Moody's - Improving operating environment supports stable outlook on Mongolia’s banks: Change in outlook for Mongolia's (B3 stable) banking system to stable from negative reflects its banks' stabilizing asset quality and profitability as the operating environment improves on rebounding economic growth. Moody’s

Commentary

Mongolian Government remains cautious over shareholders’ dispute of Turquoise Hill Resource: The Government’s working group responsible for implementing the 92nd resolution of the Parliament is expected to initiate negotiation next week with the representatives of Rio Tinto group that are visiting Mongolia. At the same time, the escalated investment cost of Oyu Tolgoi' is intensifying at the U.S court. The review of independent analysts will be released in June. The inspections of respective regulatory bodies are being carried out in the U.S and U.K. Asia Mining

Stimulus program will drive economic recovery: The Mongolian economy is projected to recover in 2021 as stimulus measures prop up domestic demand, the adverse impact of the global economy recedes, and businesses and consumers adjust to the new norm of living with the pandemic as vaccines are rolled out. The World Bank predicts Mongolia to see growth of 6.8% in 2021 after documenting an above-global-average economic contraction. Its new 10 trillion MNT comprehensive action plan, issued by the Mongolian government to prevent COVID-19 health risks and stimulate economic recovery, is expected to fuel investment and non-mineral sector output through targeted policy loans. World Bank

Impact of COVID-19 severely hitting Mongolian economy hard: The impact of COVID-19 has severely affected the Mongolian economy, albeit with Government intervention, mainly in the form of stimulus packages, it was hoped that the economy would recover quickly and accelerate. Despite these positive trends, Mongolia's economy remained heavily reliant on a few sectors and its trade was concentrated in terms of products and markets thus there is a strong need to diversify. This issue was recognized by the Government as one of its top national policy priorities, as addressed in Mongolia's Economic Recovery Program and the Mongolian Export Program, among others. WTO

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Prepared by Geser Ganbaatar

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