Archive for ‘Politics’

MP’s Continue to be Stuck on Railway Decision

By , 26 May, 2010, No Comment

No agreement on the railway transportation policy is in sight. No decision can be taken on this very important part of the wider minerals policy as MPs continue to be stuck on both the direction of the new network and on the width of the track. Some MPs give their view.

S.Oyun: I think it would be wrong to have the same width everywhere. A combination would be a better option, depending on where the track is leading. Companies who are investing ought to estimate their needs. I would give more importance to economic factors than to political considerations when deciding on the railway policy. Similarly, the final choice of the route, whether it goes south or north or both ways will depend on the amount needed and the transportation benefits.

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Mongolia’s 2010 State Budget and Talks of Revision Amid Inflation Concerns

By , 23 May, 2010, No Comment

Sensitive financial issues were discussed at a “secret” meeting on Monday attended by members of the Standing Committee on the Economy, and representatives of the International Monetary Fund, the MongolBank, and the National Statistics Office. They talked mainly about the budget deficit and the threat of inflation.

The Finance Ministry has proposed revisions to the 2010 budget following the increase in the price of copper and gold. If this has meant MNT 364.2 billion in extra revenue, the decision to increase the salary of civil servants by 30 percent, and reinstatement of the child allowance will lead to more expenses. Some new public projects have also been proposed. Taken together, these will take the budget deficit beyond the proposed 5% of GDP as stipulated by the IMF.

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New Prosecutor General Offers “No Mercy to Corrupt Prosecutors”

By , 21 May, 2010, No Comment

Parliament last Friday approved the appointment of Mr. D. Dorligjav as the country’s Prosecutor General, with 92 percent of MPs accepting his nomination by the President.

Talking to reporters after the Parliament vote, Mr. Dorligjav said his priority will be to ensure that prosecutors at all times abided by the law. “Their main responsibility is to ensure that people’s legitimate expectations are met, and they must never lose sight of the fact that their power stems from the legal principles that they are expected to uphold,” he said.

People who have been sincere and conscientious will certainly not be disturbed. “Indeed, I shall offer them all assistance to be more effective. But I have already told Parliament I shall not retain those with problems of ethics and shall show no mercy to those who abuse their power and bring disrepute to the judiciary,” he told media. He clarified it would be wrong to blame prosecutors alone for all the problems in the judicial sector.

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MP’s Urge Prime Minister to Curb Corruption

By , 10 May, 2010, No Comment

In an open letter to Prime Minister S. Batbold, two Democratic Party MPs, Hero of Mongolia E. Bat-Uul and Mr. Ya. Batsuuri, have lamented the unchecked growth of corruption, bribery, and bureaucracy in government organizations, greatly hindering economic progress and the development of a democratic ethos. If no corrective action is taken, the trend will eventually disgrace the nation on the international stage, they feel.

Political parties and leaders talk a lot about action against corruption during elections, but allow it to thrive when they are in a position to take remedial action. Hidden business deals involving high officials, their fingers in the pie in any major budgetary investments, and misuse and abuse of the funds of state owned businesses have got out of control and reached proportions that endanger national security. Citizens wait in vain for signs of official action, but there is no change in the authorities’ apathy.

Reminding Mr. Batbold that in a democracy people’s feelings cannot continue to be ignored, the two MPs have urged the Government to come out with a comprehensive statement on its stand on the matter. As a first step, they have said, companies and organizations like Erdenet Copper, Ulaanbaatar Railway, MIAT, and the Civil Aviation Authority of Mongolia should immediately have their accounts audited by firms with international exposure.

Source: Udriin Sonin; highlighted in the BCM Newswire by Business Council of Mongolia

Chinese Press: Batbold Reaffirmed Mongolia Would Adhere to One-China Policy

By , 13 April, 2010, 14 Comments

This has got to be Chinese press at its finest. I cannot fathom any Mongolian person agreeing to One-China policy, certainly not any of our politicians, however faulty they may be.  It’s really unbelievable.  Read on.

Here is the excerpt from the Chinese Press:

Xi said China  would like to work with Mongolia  to expand bilateral cooperation.

Batbold proposed the two countries work more closely in economy, trade, finance, minerals, energy, infrastructure and people-to-people exchanges.

Batbold reaffirmed Mongolia would adhere to the one-China policy.

Batbold was one of 2,000 political and business figures and experts from Asia and around the world who gathered at the island resort in south China’s Hainan Province for the BFA annual session.

Here is the link: China, Mongolia underline stronger cooperation

Probably, the article should read “China agrees to One-Mongolia Policy”, but too bad our economy and population is just too small to make that a reality.  😀

I still can’t believe something like this can be posted on an online website that has the 198th highest usage in the world according to Alexa.

Dornod Uranium, Khan Resources, ARMZ, Russia, & Mongolia

By , 5 April, 2010, 1 Comment

Editor’s note: I found this article online today.  It gives an overview of events involving the Dornod Uranium mines.  The players include Khan Resources, ARMZ, Russian Government, and Mongolian Government…

Despite the potentially huge profits, it can be difficult to do business in a former communist country — particularly one that is in Asia. Western companies have learned this the hard way.

One current example is in Mongolia, involving a Canadian company, Khan Resources, and a rapid chain of events that put the company on the verge of losing vast amounts of money and essentially being kicked out of Mongolia. In the end, however, Khan Resources would have the last say.

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Enkhbayar Launches Broadside on Bayar before MPRP Conference

By , 23 March, 2010, 1 Comment

The ensuing MPRP general conference promises to be a lively affair with former President N. Enkhbayar bluntly accusing party chairman and former Prime Minister S. Bayar of being “the mastermind behind the well-orchestrated sabotage” of his re-election bid last year.

Mr. Enkhbayar prefaced his salvo, in a long and wide-ranging interview published in the newspaper Zuunii Medee, by saying, “It does not help if the finger of blame is forever kept sheathed,” and added he was coming out with “the truth now as several events can now be seen in proper perspective” and also because “the party has to be stopped from committing suicide by allowing its leaders to deliberately betray its interests”.

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Erdenet Citizens Urge President to Go Ahead with Judicial Reforms

By , 15 March, 2010, No Comment

President Ts.Elbegdorj’s meeting last week with the citizens of Erdenet turned into an indictment of the way legal and judicial organizations worked in the province of Orkhon.

A woman said she had been practically living in courts trying to get the truth established after the court ordered her son to 8 years’ imprisonment for theft of two mobile phones. Many at the meeting sympathized with her, saying they, too, “knew how judges treat poor people and how they please those with money and power”. The audience urged the President to boldly carry on with his plans to reform the judiciary so that reliable justice was available to all.

Goldman Sachs May File Case on Olon Ovoot

By , 12 March, 2010, No Comment

Goldman Sachs is believed to have filed a case against Mongolia in an international arbitration court in matters relating to Mongol Gazar and the Olon Ovoot mines.  This news comes in the wake of unconfirmed but strong reports that the Mongolian Government has lost the case against the Russian-owned Altan Dornod.

Mr. B.Lhagvasuren, director of the Inspection Department at the Central Bank, has denied any information about Goldman Sachs filing any case
Mr. Ts. Myanganbayar, a business magnate, mortgaged the Olon Ovoot gold mine license to several banks and to Goldman Sachs to borrow a total of MNT 210 billion. Of this, Zoos Bank, now known as State Bank, gave him MNT 60 billion, Anod MNT 30 billion, and Goldman Sachs MNT 15 billion.

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2009 Highlights, Coping with Winter Weather, & Money to Citizens

By , 13 January, 2010, 4 Comments

Mongolia Business Podcast Summary: Mongolia’s 2009 business news highlights; Coping with winter weather in Mongolia; Parliament approves 324 billion tugrugs in handouts to citizens

Mongolian Ice Game "Musun Shagai"

Mongolians playing a traditional Mongolian ice game called "musun shagai", which literrally means "ice ankle bone".

Mongolia Business Podcast Highlights: Parliament recently approved to allocate 324 billion tugrugs, roughly 220 million USD, which essentially gives money away to Mongolian citizens.  Human Development Fund distribute 120,000 tugrugs for each citizen, 70,000 before Tsagaan Sar, or Mongolian New Year, and 50,000 tugrugs after the Tsagaan Sar…

SouthGobi Energy Resources may spend up to $800 million USD to improve operations and better supply customers in China…

Some big events in 2009 were headed by the signing of Oyu Tolgoi (OT) agreement on October 6, 2009, a very good auspicious day.  There was a collapse of two major banks and a merger of two other banks.  In March 2009, Mongolian tugrug fluctuated from 1100 tugrugs to up to 1700 tugrugs before heading back down to 1500 tugrugs.  Prime Minister Bayar resigned…

Weather in Mongolia is currently -30 to -40 degrees Celsius (-40 degrees Celsius is -40 degrees Fahrenheit).

How do we cope with it?

  1. Stay inside.
  2. Dress with too many layers or wear fur
  3. Eat Mongolian diet

Why Mongolians crank up the heat to about 25 degrees (85 Fahrenheit) inside?  It’s freezing outside, but people are wearing shorts inside…. Black stuff on roads is the ice.  Another tip to stay warm?  Turn into a ninja.  Only show your eyes and cover everything, wear layers of clothing, eat mutton, and don’t go out too much…

Click here to listen to entire podcast episode: Mongolia Business podcast by Mongolia Business Blog (MBB)

“Mongolian Law and Legal Environment” with James Liotta of Lehman Lee & Xu

By , 21 December, 2009, 3 Comments

James Liotta Lehman Lee XuOverview: Mongolia has a developing judicial system, sometimes even described as “rotten to the core”.  People need to do due diligence before coming to Mongolia to do business.  Following the law to your best ability from the beginning will help prevent issues later.

For business news, the state budget containing 76 Billion tugrugs or 1 billion tugrug per each MP, has been passed, even after a veto by the President of Mongolia.  Millennium Challenge Account is investing more than hundred million USD for clean air and road infrastructure projects.  Boroo Gold mining company has agreed to donate 1 million USD for new national park being developed in Ulaanbaatar.

For “Mongolia Business” podcast update, we received some recommendations from one of our listeners.  We also received a five star review on iTunes.

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Democracy, Railroad, & Jim Dwyer of Business Council of Mongolia

By , 12 December, 2009, 5 Comments

MONGOLIA BUSINESS PODCAST #4 HIGHLIGHTS

20th anniversary of Mongolian democracy, railroad, & BCM Executive Director Jim Dwyer

December 11, 2009: December 10th is a very important day in Mongolian history.  On this date, Mongolians gathered at the square and peacefully protested for democracy of Mongolia. It was one of the most peaceful yet successful demonstrations in history…  (Download the podcast here: Mongolia Business podcast)

There is a dispute over the railroad between the private sector and Mr. Battulga, the Minister of Road and Transportation.  Additionally, there is a need for a railroad in South Gobi.  Current transportation methods do not meet the needs to transport the mining resources.  Leighton LLC has just been contracted to build the railroad, separately from the mining contract…

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