1. Jadamba, Kirk Olson from WCS will give a talk entitled
"SURVEY OF MONGOLIAN GAZELLE 2008-2009"
2. Andrew Dixon from International Wildlife Consultants, UK Ltd will present a talk entitled
"CONSERVATION OF THE SAKER FALCON THROUGH SUSTAINABLE USE"
3. Gankhuyag Purev-ochir from WSCC will give a talk entitled
"PRODUCTIVITY OF SAKER FALCON AT THE ARTIFICIAL NEST AND NATURAL NEST SITES IN CENTRAL MONGOLIA"
on *Thursday, January 7, 2009.* Talk will start at 6:00pm
Abstracts are attached
Biobeers is held on the first Thursday of every month at Sweet Cafe
(located behind the Information and Technological National Park and
next to the Admon Printing Company, west of Internom Bookstore
Building). People are requested to arrive after 5:30pm, in time for the
talk to start at 6:00.
Biobeers is a monthly gathering of government and NGO staff,
biologists, researchers, and other professionals interested in
conservation. Each month, Biobeers sponsors a half-hour presentation
on a topic relevant to Mongolian conservation, followed by an informal
gathering to discuss activities and issues of interest. Biobeers is an
opportunity to find out what is happening in the field of conservation
in Mongolia, talk informally to other researchers and peers in your
field, and share information about issues critical to the environment
and people of Mongolia.
Biobeers is organised by the Zoological Society of London's Steppe
Forward Programme and sponsored by the Wildlife Conservation Society.
At Biobeers the beer is on us!
CONSERVATION OF THE SAKER FALCON THROUGH SUSTAINABLE USE
International Wildlife Consultants, UK Ltd
There is a demand for Saker Falcons for use in Arabic falconry. This demand is met by commercial trade, either through captive-breeding or by wild harvesting. The trade in wild-sourced Saker Falcons can be a legal, CITES regulated trade or it can be an unregulated, illegal trade. Mongolia is the only country that operates a significant legal, CITES regulated harvest (virtually all other international trade in wild Sakers is illegal). However, the Mongolian trade has been subject to a CITES Trade Review because the harvest is potentially detrimental to the Saker population in Mongolia. Conservation through sustainable use is enshrined within the Convention on Biological Diversity and has great potential in its application to Saker Falcon conservation in Mongolia, whilst the continued existence of a sustainable, CITES regulated wild harvest has potential conservation benefits for Sakers internationally. In this talk I will describe the potential for developing a conservation programme for the Saker based on a sustainable harvest in Mongolia and the problems that need to be overcome to implement this conservation strategy.
PRODUCTIVITY OF SAKER FALCON AT THE ARTIFICIAL NEST
AND NATURAL NEST SITES IN CENTRAL MONGOLIA
Wildlife Science and Conservation Centre
We have been studying breeding success of saker falcon at the artificial nest and natural nest sites in central Mongolia since 2007. In line with breeding density, the clutch size, brood size and fledging success of Saker Falcons was lowest at the natural nest grid compared with the artificial nest site. The number of pairs of saker falcons at the artificial nest site is increasing in each year.
On the fist Wednesday of the new year (tomorrow 5 January at 7PM) we have in Cafe Amsterdam the fourth and last episode of the documentary series "On the Trail of GenghisKhan" about Tim Cope's horseback journey from Mongolia to Hungary. People who saw the first episodes in the cafe really enjoyed it, so come tomorrow to watch the last episode, which is also interesting and understandable when you haven't seen the first parts. About Tim Cope: Australian Tim Cope is traveler, author and film-maker, who first came to Mongolia via Russia by bicycle in 2000. Since then he has developed friendship with Tseren and Rik from CafeAmsterdam and Tseren Tours. Tim was part of a row boat journey along the Yenisey river from lake Baikal to the Arctic in 2001. In 2004 he started a 3-year 10.000km journey on horseback from Mongolia to Hungary. He was chosen the Australian Adventurer of the year 2006. This summer he visited Mongolia again and did with Tseren a trek in the west of Mongolia. In July Tim gave a lecture in CafeAmsterdam.
About the film: Tim just finished making a documentary about his journey on horseback from Mongolia to Hungary. This documentary will be broadcast in a series of 4 parts of 45 minutes on the French/German network Arte and the German television channel ZDF next year. A few parts of the documentary he has shown already in CafeAmsterdam during his lecture in July
The Business Council of Mongolia announce that their bilingual website has been upgraded for the New Year.
The categories have been reorganized in order to improve usability and make it easier for visitors to find and access information. We created a new category named "Resources". Here you can find regular reports and other resource documents on Mongolia. We continue to upload issues of the BCM NewsWire to the Archives one-month after distribution to members.
Other new features include the calendar, reports, presentations and interviews as well as easier access to the Mining Supply Chain Database via a direct link on our home page.
The Ikh Nart Nature Reserve in the northwestern part of Dornogobi aimag was visited last month by a team from California State Parks. Since Mark Jorgensen, Superintendent (retired) of California’s Anza Borrego Desert State Park® first visited Mongolia in 2006; the relationship between the Ikh Nart Nature Reserve and California State Parks has been on-going. Ikh Nart and Anza Borrego Desert State Park® in California became official Sister Parks last year when the California State Park Commission voted unanimously to pass a Resolution of Support for the relationship between the two parks. Joint efforts include wildlife studies, natural and cultural resource protection, enforcement, training and ecotourism.
State Parks representatives, some for the first time and some returning, traveled on their own time and at their own expense to the official Sister Park. This year’s delegation included Jorgensen, and Lynn Rhodes, Chief, Law Enforcement Division (retiring), three State Park District Superintendents: Mike Wells, Ronie Clark, and Pam Armas, in addition to Anza Borrego Desert State Park® Ranger Steve Bier.
The visit helped to reinforce responsibilities these land mangers have to protect and preserve natural and cultural resources. Both old and new strategies were shared during the visit in order to continue successful stewardship of the sister parks.
Last year, staff from the two sister parks decided one of the best ways to improve protection at Ikh Nart was to better identify the reserve’s boundaries. The State Parks’ team had boundary signs made and brought with them for installation around the Reserve’s perimeter.
Coordinates for all signs were entered into a GIS system for ease in locating and monitoring. New signs were placed around approximately 1/3rd of the reserve’s boundary during the joint work project. The team hopes to complete the boundary sign project during next year’s visit.
The new signs will help those who visit the reserve. Additionally, illegal mining and trespassing are some of the challenges in managing the reserve and good boundary signs will assist Ikh Nart’s Ranger staff in protecting the area.
The visit included a treat for the State Parks team to attend a local Naadam Festival near Ikh Nart. While there, a young boy received an eye injury and was provided first aid by State Park Ranger Steve Bier who was able to stabilize the injury.
The California State Parks team also brought several first aid packs for the Ikh Nart Rangers and shared a joint first aid training session the following day.
While working at the Reserve, the team also met and supported several local women who have started a crafts cooperative called “Ikh Nart is Our Future”. The women, led by their new Director, Boloroo, set up a table at Ikh Nart’s research camp with their newly made felt works. In addition to helping support the women, a portion of the proceeds from their work helps to provide on going support for the Ikh Nart Nature Reserve.
In March of this year, Ikh Nart’s camp manager Amgaa Sukh Amgalanbaatar, traveled to California’s Anza Borrego Desert State Park® for the second time, to assist with efforts there. The Ikh Nart and State Parks’ team said the joint project work increases awareness of what can be gained when working together to protect valuable resources. The measure of success, in part, will be that places like the Ikh Nart Nature Reserve and California’s State Parks will remain protected and accessible for the public to enjoy today and for generations to come.
Lynn Rhodes has most recently been the Chief of California State Parks Law Enforcement Division. After 30 years with California State Parks, she is retiring at year’s end and will spend more time with her family, writing and supporting natural and cultural resource protection and enforcement in California and other locations such as the Ikh Nart Nature Reserve in Mongolia, California State Parks’ Sister Park
On December 17, 2009 at 7:00 PM in Cafe Amsterdam we would like to invite you to the Mongolia launch of “Mongolia – Nomad Empire of Blue Sky” written by Carl Robinson and produced jointly by the Mongolia National Tourism Organization, an NGO dedicated to marketing and promotion of Mongolia and Odyssey Publications. The book will be sold more than 7,000 copies in 23 countries around the world. The book is 536 pages containing 250 color photos and 14 maps.
The popular image of Mongolia is a vast and featureless landscape of grassy steppe and sandy deserts sprawled across the top of Asia between China and Russia. But the reality of this remote and landlocked country is much more diverse – and inviting. Mongolia also has soaring snow-capped mountains, forested ranges and bare outcrops plus hundreds of rivers and lakes, including one of the world’s largest freshwater lakes. Its rich animal life, both wild and domesticated, is totally absorbing. And its nomadic people are certainly among the most hospitable on earth.
Odyssey’s just-released Mongolia: Nomad Empire of Eternal Blue Sky(available 2/12/09) is a beautifully illustrated book providing a comprehensive and insightful guide to the diverse natural history and rich culture of this land of constant surprises. But the 536-page publication is more than just a guide, but a mini-encyclopedia to this little-known nation that’s been fully-independent only since 1990. Even those interested in simply knowing more about the land that once gave the world the Mongol Empire and Genghis Khan will be drawn into this magnificently-produced and highly-readable publication.
With a reporter’s eye and historian’s ear, veteran foreign correspondent Carl Robinson takes readers on a highly-descriptive, factual and sometimes quirkily personal journey around this vast nation of only 2.6 million people who are far outnumbered by their domesticated horses, goats, sheep, cattle and camels. Starting with the Trans-Mongolian Train journey in from Beijing, the book explores the capital Ulaanbaatar and then, fully-respecting Mongolian tradition, journeys clockwise around the entire country. Unlike others, this guide uses a more comprehensible approach that emphasis distinct geographic and historic regions instead of provinces. Most destinations are simply not on standard tour itineraries and will stimulate operators and tourists to discover new ones.
The book is the result of the author’s collaboration with many Mongolians from all walks of life that has nurtured itself into solid friendship. In recognition of this valuable friendship and despite below-freezing mid-winter temperatures, author Carl Robinson is taking the first copies of the book by train into Mongolia after its official launch at the China Club in Hong Kong on 9 December 2010. This guide to Mongolia is the latest from Odyssey Books & Guides (www.odysseypublications.com) which this year celebrates its 30th Anniversary as the publisher of high-quality and detailed guides, many to quite exotic destinations.
Coming Wednesday 16 December at 7PM we will show in CafeAmsterdam episode two of the documentary series "On the Trail of Genghis Khan" titled "In the Skin of a Wolf" by Tim Cope. Like the first episode, which we showed last week, this is actually a world premiere, because the documentary series has not yet been shown to public before.
About Tim Cope: Tim Cope is traveler, author and film-maker, who first came to Mongolia via Russia by bicycle in 2000. Since then he has developed friendship with Tseren and Rik from CafeAmsterdam and Tseren Tours. Tim was part of a row boat journey along the Yenisey river from lake Baikal to the Arctic in 2001. In 2004 he started a 3-year 10.000km journey on horseback from Mongolia to Hungary. He was chosen the Australian Adventurer of the year 2006. This summer he visited Mongolia again and did with Tseren a trek in the west of Mongolia. In July Tim gave a lecture inCafeAmsterdam.
About the film: Tim just finished making a documentary about his journey on horseback from Mongolia to Hungary. This documentary will be broadcast in a series of 4 parts of 45 minutes on the French/German network Arte and the German television channel ZDF next year. A few parts of the documentary he has shown already in CafeAmsterdam during his lecture in July. Wednesday 7PM we will show part two of the series, which is mainly about Kazachstan and the nomadic culture in this country.
People who saw first episode last week really enjoyed it, so come tomorrow toCafeAmsterdam to watch the second part.
One day later on December 17 at 7PM we have in Cafe Amsterdam the book launch of the just released Odyssey guide book: Mongolia, Nomad Empire of Eternal Blue Sky by Carl Robinson. Everybody is welcome to join the launch. Of course the author will be there as well as the people from the Mongolia National Tourism Organization (MNTO) who jointly produced the book. More news about the book launch will follow soon.
This weekend, a new major ski resort will start operating, it is located on the slopes of the sacred Mountain Bogd Khan Uul, overlooking the capitol city of Mongolia, Ulaanbaatar. The new "Sky-Resort" has several runs served by two chairlifts, the lower west one for beginners and the eastern one for ski racing and training, it ascends to the height of 1570m.
The ski center includes a coffee shop, a restaurant and renting facilities, including skiwear, skis, boards and boots. A 30% discount is offered until 25 December 2009. The site is open from 8:30 and serves full light night skiing until 22:00.
Ski school trainers will be present to teach the basics of skiing to visitors, on a individual or group basis.
The temperatures in Ulan Bator are well below freezing throughout the winter. It does snow from time to time, but not enough to ensure snowy slopes. An Italian company Techno-Alpine has installed snow-making equipment. The snow is made and covers the slopes with the aid of 15 lances (snow guns) that spray snow along the ski slopes. They are operated by two fully automated pumping stations.
In order to minimize delivery times, the lances, pump and compressor station units were transported overland from South Tyrol in Italy to Ulaanbaatar via Russia. The remainder of the equipment was transported via China by sea and then transported overland to Mongolia. The final testing of the equipment was completed a few weeks ago.
Compared to international ski slopes, the Sky-Resort slopes are easy to intermediate. The slope colors on the map below do not indicate the difficulty, they should all be green and blue according to common ski slope color codes. None of the slopes can be considered black diamond coded (difficult), although the most challenging slope is the Khurkhereet 1020m, which is named after the name of the near by valley.
To try out your ski skills use the Khurakh 110 meter slope. Continue on the Artsat 210m, and Nukht 400m slopes. When you feel comfortable with your ski skills take the lower western chair lift and ski down the Tenger 800m, and Chuluut 850m.
Experienced skiers will enjoy going up the eastern higher chair lift and go down the Zalaat 1050m, and Zaisan 1070m slopes. The most challengingslope is the fast Khurkhereet 1020m slope. Have fun.
For lift pass and a pair of skis (opening discount until 25 December). Week-day: half day 12,200 Togrog, full day 16,000 Togrog. Week-end: half day 17,300 Togrog, full day 22,400 Togrog.
Based on the Wave Index the current wave of the H1N1 pandemic in Mongolia is over. The restrictions set by the government have been lifted.
The number of reported swine flu (H1N1 influenza) cases in Mongolia has reached 1183 (as of December 9, 2009). There are 798 confirmed cases in the capitol city Ulaanbaatar and 385 confirmed cases throughout the country provinces. 26 deaths have been attributed to the H1N1 pandemic. Ovorkhangai province has reported 56 cases, with 5 deaths, the highest in the country provinces. (Source: Mongolian Ministry of Health).
The precautions the government has taken have slowed down the fast spread of the flu. It seems the situation in Ulaanbaatar and in the provinces is becoming stable. Only few new cases have been reported in the past week.
See the spreadsheets for detailed analysis and graphs of the H1N1 flu pandemic in Mongolia.
severity index - 2% death Ratio
The H1N1 outbreak in Mongolia is at category 5 in the pandemic severity index. The severity index focuses on how life threatening the pandemic is; it measures the Case Fatality Ratio (CFR) - the percentage of deaths of the total cases reported. In Mongolia 2 percent of the reported H1N1, cases have died (26 deaths out of 1183 cases). In a normal flu season 0.1 percent of those contracting the disease, die. Most of these deaths occur among those at high risk, like old people. The H1N1 virus causes deaths also among young and healthy people including two cases of pregnant women.
The Mongolian government has ordered the addition of respiratory equipment to hospitals and canceled all import tax on medical equipment in an effort to expedite the treatment of patients.
State of emergency
President Tsakhia Elbegdorj said: "We must recognize that the situation has reached the level of disaster. I am concerned about the rate of spread of the disease, which began to encroach on people's lives." Following his statement, a state of emergency was declared. All public transportation out of Ulaanbaatar to the provinces was halted, affecting the routine daily travel of thousands.
This precaution has slowed down the fast spread of the virus to the provinces. Autumn school holiday has been extended; students will study at home via TV channels. Some markets have been closed. Public gathering has een banned.
The first case of H1N1 was reported on October 12th; within a month, over 900 cases were reported. Ulaanbaatar was the first places to be hit; the virus quickly spreading to the neighboring provinces.
The pandemic is not confined to Mongolia, it is a global pandemic with reported laboratory confirmed cases in 199 countries worldwide, including in the neighboring countries Russia and China.
The virus is a strain of the H1N1 virus that hit a third of the world population in 1918 with estimated 50-100 million dead.
Vaccines will be imported from Russia, China and from WHO (World Health Organization). A budget of MNT 753 million was allocated for purchasing medication.
The first batch of 45,000 vaccine doses is expected to arrive this week, from a total of 450,000. The main manufacturer of H1N1 vaccine is the United Kingdom company GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE: GSK) It is the world's second largest pharmaceutical company. The company has announced it had production difficulties that limited the available supply of the vaccine. Shortages were reported globally.
The first round of vaccinations will be given to medical teams, emergency workers, border employees. The second round will include citizens at medical high risk, pregnant women, children and adults with chronic illnesses.
A total of MNT 6.4 billion was allocated from the CCF (Crisis Capital Fund) to purchase medicine, medical apparatuses, equipment for intensive care, disinfectants, ensure readiness of border checkpoints, grant the overtime payment and allowances to medical doctors and workers.
Early signs of influenza A(H1N1) are flu-like, including fever, cough, headache, muscle and joint pain, sore throat and runny nose, and sometimes vomiting or diarrhea.The main route of transmission of the new influenza A(H1N1) virus seems to be similar to seasonal influenza, via droplets that are expelled by speaking, sneezing or coughing. You can prevent getting infected by avoiding close contact with people who show influenza-like symptoms (trying to maintain a distance of about 1 meter if possible) and taking the following measures: • Avoid touching your mouth and nose; • Clean hands thoroughly with soap and water, or cleanse them with an alcohol-based hand rub on a regular basis (especially if touching the mouth and nose, or surfaces that are potentially contaminated); • Avoid close contact with people who might be ill; • Reduce the time spent in crowded settings if possible; • Improve airflow in your living space by opening windows; • Practice good health habits including adequate sleep, eating nutritious food, and keeping physically active.
Discover Mongolia 2009, The 7th International Mining Investors Forum opening ceremony was held today Thursday November 5, at the Children's Palace in Ulaanbaatar.
The Mongolian government has banned all public gatherings for two weeks in an effort to prevent the spread of the H1N1 flu. Discover Mongolia Conference was granted special permission to open its doors due to the importance of the conference.
This conference is the most significant of its kind in Mongolia. It follows the Oyu Tolgoi agreement signed last month between the Mongolian government, Ivanhoe mines and Rio Tinto to develop what will become the largest copper and gold mine in the world.
The annual Discover Mongolia Conference, first held in 2002, aims to introduce the Mongolian mining sector to the world. Domestic mining companies and mining license holders will come face to face with foreign investors and government officials.
The Investor forum on 6-7 November attracts international interest from Canada, France, Russia, China, South Korea, Japan and the United States. A significant Russian delegation is expecting to discuss at the forum previous uncompleted agreements and hopes to increase its hold in several mining projects.
New geological exploration results will be revealed for the first time during the conference. These new survey results will show that the size of "treasures" under the Mongolian surface is much larger than ever predicted before.
Discover Mongolia-2009 promises to be a success, following recent law and investment regulation amendments. These changes have made Mongolia an attractive location for mining investors, while retaining a significant share of profits for Mongolia.
The unprecedented new opportunities for Mongolian businesses are guaranteed by the new laws which ensure that the mining sector use Mongolian services and employees whenever possible.
The conference sponsors include some of the leading companies in the mining sector.
The Platinum Sponsors include the leading trio - Ivanhoe, the developer of the Oyu Tolgoi mine, it's main partner Rio Tinto a global mining company and the Mongolian Oyu Tolgoi company operating the mine.
The Gold Sponsors are - Monnis, originally known in Mongolia as the Nissan supplier. In the past years Monnis has extended its activities to include supply and maintenance of other machinery including Liebherr heavy mining equipment. Geosan is a Mongolian provider of ground and fixed wing airborne geophysical surveys. Geosan employes 40 professional geophysicists and surveyors. Erdene is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX:ERD) and has several mining projects (coal and copper) in Mongolia. Erdene President and CEO Peter Akerley will be giving a presentation at the Discover Mongolia Conference. Centerra is a Canadian company that holds 100% interest in the Mongolian Boroo gold mine in Mongolia. SouthGobi Energy Resources is the developer of the large Ovoot Tolgoi coal mine. Redpath is a global mining contractor. In the past years Redpath was involved in sinking multiple shafts and provide primary mine development services at Oyu Tolgoi. In January, 2008, and at a depth of 1385 meters, the company completed the sinking of the deepest mine shaft ever sunk in Mongolia.
We have recently witnessed an historic moment; the long awaited ratification of the Oyu Tolgoi Investment Agreement. It is widely expected that this agreement will have a strong impact on all aspects of the Mongolian economy. It is meant by the Mongolian Government to send a strong signal to foreign institutional investors that the country is once again open for business as an attractive foreign investment destination.
Is that really the case? What is the investment climate now and how is it likely to change?
Mongolia has always been an attractive investment destination; it is a fast growing economy with easy access to its importing client’s base. It is one of the very few functioning democracies in the region, with an attractive tax regime coupled with few restrictions placed on foreign investors. Mongolia boasts high literacy rates, a young dynamic population and an openness to the outside world seldom seen in other Asian countries.
Mongolia’s economy is centered on agriculture and mining. It has rich mineral resources, and copper, coal, molybdenum, tin, tungsten, and gold account for a large part of industrial production, GDP per capita in 2006 was $2,100. It’s GDP has risen steadily since 2002 at a mean rate of 7.5% according to an official 2006 estimate.
When I first arrived in Mongolia, the signs of transition from a centrally planned economy to a market driven system were obvious for all to see, the cars were getting bigger (and shinier), the clothes more colourful, the shops were being filled with exotic products, skirts were getting smaller (and still are) and property prices were exploding.
Mongolia has moved incredibly fast in terms of progress since then but despite it being less exotic now, it is still the country of all opportunities, the start up costs to business are still very low, the cost of corruption is relatively small and the absence of organized crime is welcomed. The quality of services and the availability of products have improved immeasurably, I currently have Dutch cheeses, Perrier water and Spanish ham in my fridge, the restaurants are world class and international 5 star hotel chains such as Shangri-La are being established in Ulaanbaatar. Louis Vuitton is opening this month its flagship store while Ferragamo is getting ready to move in, Mongolia has finally joined the globalization game, albeit with some reluctance.
This breakneck speed of progress is being sustained by wide ranging speculations in the upcoming mining boom. Mining itself is a very capital intensive operation with large start up costs and high political and commodity risks (but with high potential returns). Smaller investors such as myself, find the supply chain more interesting. This was equally evident to the 49?ers (1849) from the Californian gold rush and all subsequent mining booms, it is the sale of picks and shovels, the operation of saloons and brothels that were consistently considered to be the most stable and profitable businesses.
The $5bn investment amount promised by Rio Tinto and Ivanhoe Mines for the Oyu Tolgoi project will be part of this profitable Mongolian supply chain; this is only one of many large upcoming projects which are expected to contribute to it. It is easily conceivable that this service sector will become a multibillion dollar industry within the next few years.
Over the last five years, I have myself tried to take every opportunity I could and have made small strategic investments, my initial forays have been in residential property, followed by the establishment of a “subway style” restaurant called Sub’baatar and the incorporation of a small consulting firm, Mad & Dysfunctional, post-trauma consulting, dedicated to assisting foreign investors setting up in Mongolia.
All of those investments are based towards taking advantage of the developing supply chain and making the most of the growing economy, some of my investments have been hugely profitable while for others the verdict is still out. I have made many mistakes during that time but have by and large recovered, Mongolia is still a forgiving environment and as long as you are willing to work hard, it is still possible to succeed.
Working in developing countries has its own generic problems; red stamp bureaucracy, lack of basic infrastructure, poor skill sets amongst the domestic labour force, low levels of services, difficulty of enforcing regulations, unstable regulatory environment to name but a few. In Mongolia, this is balanced with a vast pool of opportunities for those willing to take the risk. The country is being revolutionized by the return of many young Mongolians to their home country with new skill sets and the increasing arrivals of young expats keen to establish themselves. The business environment is improving fast, new ventures are started daily, and improvements are visible on a daily basis, it is this fast paced change that constitutes the excitement of working in emerging markets.
For Mongolia to continue moving forward, it will be obliged to have increased interaction with the mega power that China is fast becoming, it not only represents an increasingly important trade partner for imports and exports but also a strong potential political and economical ally. As the influence of China grows, Mongolia needs to rise along with it. At the moment I have the distinct feeling that Mongolia “loves to hate” China, while an element of self preservation is understandable, greater co-operation will be essential in the future. The third neighbor policy, which is currently being pursued by Mongolia, is an innovative way to hedge the risks of being landlocked between two superpowers while taking full advantage of trade potential with its neighbours, an excellent political strategy that will pay off in the long term.
The future of Mongolia is never the less fraught with dangers; corruption might quickly become the source of its downfall, it is therefore important to effectively restrict the opportunities for temptation. This has to start with a true and real separation between public servants (at all levels) and their own business interests.
Corruption is not an emerging market particularity but a global phenomenon, not a week goes by without an international scandal hitting the world medias; but the presence of those scandals and its associated public outcry is an important indicator of a functioning democratic system. Mongolia is currently lacking in large scale corruption scandals.
The foundation of creating a strong and powerful Mongolia will be established through reforms towards a more powerful independent judicial system and the greater enforcement of its law. It is my impression that while the judicial system has a good legal grounding (despite its often contradictory and confusing laws) the enforcement of those regulations are haphazard at best.
The future of Mongolia is bright, a new chapter in its history has just started, we can only hope that its ruling class will make the right reforms to make sure this process continues while making the most of current opportunities for growth.