Jun. 6 – Mongolia and South Korea signed an agreement to streamline the visa process for each other’s citizens in a bid to boost people-to-people exchanges and economic cooperation between them, officials said.
The agreement was signed in Seoul last Thursday after talks between Mongolian Foreign and Trade Minister Gombojav Zandanshatar and his South Korean counterpart Kim Sung-Hwan. Continue reading
May 18 – Mongolia’s Cabinet identified a list of several “urgent” roads and bridges that need to be built. It also announced that 5,572 kilometers of roads and 900 kilometers of highways connecting Ulaanbaatar with aimags (provinces) would be restored under the umbrella of the country’s US$3.75 billion “New Up Building” program.
While US$3.5 billion will be drawn from the mining sector for the program, US$17.5 million of the funding is expected to come from foreign and domestic investment, according to officials. Continue reading
Apr. 3 – Ivanhoe Mines has reported that construction of the Oyu Tolgoi (OT) copper-gold mining complex is advancing toward its planned start-up in 2012 with commercial production scheduled for the first half of 2013. The project is currently 72.7 percent complete, according to the company.
Ivanhoe, which began investing in the project in April 2011, has spent US$4 billion on the Oyu Tolgoi complex. In total, including drilling exploration and preparation work on the mine, the company has currently spent US$10 billion on the project.
OT – located 550 kilometers south of Ulaanbaatar and 95 kilometers from the China-Mongolia border – has large copper, gold, silver and molybdenum reserves. The mine is subdivided into three sections:
Mar. 14 – Japan and Mongolia agreed on Monday to launch talks on a bilateral free trade agreement and to provide Ulaanbaatar with economic aid, officials said.
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and his Mongolian counterpart Sukhbaatar Batbold, who is on a six-day visit to Japan from Saturday, also agreed that the two countries will boost cooperation in the development of natural resources and infrastructure, according to a joint announcement released after their meeting in Tokyo.
The matter was on the agenda last year as well, but it was stalled when Japan’s prime minister at the time, Naoto Kan, had to deal with the major crisis triggered by the March 2011 natural disasters. Continue reading
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Tagged Free Trade Agreement, Mongolia Diplomacy, Mongolia FTA, Mongolia Politics, Mongolia-Japan Relations, Sukhbaatar Batbold, Yoshihiko Noda
Mar. 6 – The European debt crisis may lead to a financial crisis in Mongolia, according to a report released by the World Bank last week.
A global economic slowdown may lead to a sharp drop in mineral prices, which will greatly impact the Mongolian government’s revenue, as it is highly dependent on mineral resources.
“Sharply rising government spending is the root cause of overheating: government spending rose by 56 percent in 2011 and is budgeted to rise by a further 32 percent this year, fueled by sharply rising resource revenues,” the report says. Continue reading
Feb. 8 – Mongolia has set a record for the largest budget in the history of the country at MNT4.63 trillion, amounting to more than half of GDP, which experts’ identify not only as a sign of economic development, but also as a symptom of election syndrome.
“We have to mobilize all of our resources to fully fulfill the election promises,” Prime Minister S. Batbold said when presenting a draft budget to Parliament last fall.
Mongolia’s legislative elections will be held in June 2012. Continue reading
Jan. 18 – Mongolia’s economy, which grew almost 21 percent in the last quarter of 2011, risks contraction along with a global downturn in commodity prices partly due to a surge in state spending, according to the International Monetary Fund.
Government spending, which jumped 50 percent in real terms to 6.3 trillion tugrik (US$4.6 billion) last year, is on course to accelerate inflation to an average 18.7 percent in 2012, according to an IMF report. Continue reading
Aug. 25 – In signs of what will become a regular spot on the international business travel itinerary, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden arrived in Ulaanbaatar this week for a visit to Mongolia, which he called a shining example of democratic development. This follows on from his earlier meetings in Beijing.
During his visit, Biden praised Mongolia for successfully carrying out presidential and parliamentary elections after making a peaceful transition to democracy in the early 1990s. The landlocked country had been a Soviet satellite for decades. Continue reading