May 17 – Starting from July, Turkish Airlines will offer direct flights from Ulaanbaatar to Istanbul three times a week.
A cooperation memorandum on the direct flight was signed on by S. Batmonkh, head of the Civil Aviation Authority of Mongolia and by Bahri Kesici, a deputy director-general of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation at Turkey’s Ministry of Transport and Communication.
Apart from the direct flights, Turkish Airlines will also be opening a representative office in Ulaanbaatar.
A Turkish airline had run such flights from 1996-1997 but a lack of passengers made the airline cancel the route.
“Direct flights between Mongolia and Turkey will help to promote Turkish investment in Mongolia,” Prime Minister M. Enkhbold told businessmen of the two countries at a meeting in Istanbul during his weeklong visit there.
At the Turkish-Mongolian Business Council meeting, Enkhbold expressed his hope that the number of Turkish firms investing in Mongolia would increase. He described the country’s investment environment as attractive, especially in the sectors of mining, construction, infrastructure and energy.
“Companies from Turkey show interest in energy, mining sectors and water resources in Mongolia. We may develop cooperation in these fields,” he said when visiting Turkey on April 2011 on the occasion of the Eurasia Economic Summit.
Meanwhile, economic and trade relations constitute the weakest part of the bilateral relations between the two countries. The trade volume between Mongolia and Turkey was US$11.36 million by the end of last year, with a two-fold increase compared to the previous year.
At the same time, cooperation between the two counties in other fields is continues to develop.
Bilateral relations have reached an advanced level in the field of education. More than 1,000 Mongolian students are enrolled in different Turkish universities at the moment. A Turcology department has been established at the Mongolian National University through a protocol signed between this University and Turkish International Cooperation and Development Agency on July 27, 2001.
Mongolia was Turkey’s 117th largest export partner 2011.
Turkey’s exports to Mongolia were US$43 million in 2011 with an increase of 289 percent (US$11 million) from 2010. Since 2005, in which Turkey’s “Asia-Pacific Commercial and Economic Relations Development Strategy” was initiated, Turkey’s exports to Mongolia have increased by 1,051 percent (US$4 million).
Mongolia was Turkey’s 137th largest import partner in 2011. Turkey’s imports from Mongolia realized US$3 million in 2011, with an increase of 236 percent (US$895,000) compared to 2010.
According to the Turkish Embassy, more than 200 Turkish citizens are living in Mongolia now. Most of them are running small and medium-sized enterprises. There are five Mongolian companies that operate in Turkey in the fields of construction, real estate, wholesale and retail, health and social services.