BCMongolia: Official says Mongolia has settled all its debts

Mr. D.Angar, Chairman of the Debt Management Group at the Ministry of Finance, hopes the differences over the status of the financial debt to Russia will be resolved by the end of the year. Explaining the history of the issue, he said the debt arose in 1973, when the Governments of the two countries established Mongolrostsvetmet and Mongolia’s share of the authorized capital was shown as a loan from Russia. In 2003, the Prime Ministers of the two countries signed a memorandum of understanding on the larger matter of what is called “the grand debt to Russia”, which included repayment of the Mongolrostsvetmet loan.
Mr. Angar said Mongolia has observed all the terms of the memorandum and was sure of its position when the Ministry of Finance wrote to its counterpart in Russia that the Mongolrostsvetmet debt issue had been completely settled. The Russian side has a different perception of the matter and this discrepancy now awaits resolution.

The ripple effect of the OT agreement will make big waves in the economy


Business Council of Mongolia NewsWireThe Oyu Tolgoi investment agreement will provide the template, long awaited by many potential as well as current private sector investors, for much needed Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Mongolia. In a letter addressed to all Members of Parliament the Business Council of Mongolia (BCM) said in early July, “The Project is critical and the effective way for Mongolian economic development and poverty reduction. We look forward to your leadership so that the mine will start operation and employ thousands of Mongolians with major positive economic effects on the supply chain nationwide.” This is now going to pass.
The ripples from the OT project will spread wider and wider and be ever expanding like when a stone is thrown into a still pond.  The fastest noticeable effect will be in the supply chain.  Many new jobs will be created such as those envisioned by Ivanhoe in its “10,000 new jobs” campaign. These will be not only in Umnugovi province, but nationwide.  Vocational training will have to be ramped up dramatically to provide trained and qualified Mongolian workers.
The database prepared by BCM of Mining Supply Chain suppliers will soon be uploaded publicly.  Its 1,153 registrants run the gamut – from current suppliers to Ivanhoe to obvious future suppliers to Ivanhoe and the mining sector, to many less-than-obvious and potential suppliers to the mining and other sectors. The size of this nationwide database will grow as the ripple effect caused by the initial splash made by the OT agreement spreads.
Source: BCM NewsWire
For the full article see BCM Website, BCM News & Press
Business Council of MongoliaThe Business Council of Mongolia aims to advocate increased trade and investment in Mongolia and serve as a forum for dialogue on the important business climate issues. Join us at the Business Council Mongolia Official Website


Genghis Grill Sponsors Mongol Rally


DALLAS, Sept. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Genghis Grill - The Mongolian Stir Fry is well-known for its fresh, hot and healthy food, for its style of fun service, featuring build your own bowl - an INTERACTIVE style of exhibition cooking modeled after a centuries-old legend. According to this legend, 12th century Mongol warriors, led by the mighty warrior GENGHIS KHAN, heated their shields over open fires to grill food in the fields of battle!

Going back to it's roots, Genghis Grill was an active sponsor of the 2009 Mongol Rally and helped raise over $11,000 for Habitat for Humanity. The Mongol Rally is a charity automobile rally that stretches across 10,000 miles in a tiny rickety car. The journey starts in London, through Europe, the Middle East, and into the Far East. The finish line is Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.

The Mongol Rally is to help raise money to build homes for homeless and less fortunate children . Mongolia has a population of almost 3 million. After the fall of the Soviet Union, it was plunged into poverty and on any given night there are thousands of homeless children living in the streets.

Genghis Grill sponsored Aya and Kelly aka the Lone Star Chix. While Kelly has spent the last 10 years traveling through foreign countries, Aya never thought she would have a reason to go to a country like Turkmenistan. Both were excited for the adventure of a lifetime KHANQUERING 10,000 miles together and the opportunity to help raise money for the people of Mongolia.

MPs Approve All Changes, OT Agreement In Two Weeks


bcm-oyu-tolgoiThe special session of Parliament did what it was widely expected to do, and also did it faster at the end. Around 8 on Tuesday evening Parliament approved the last of the four amendments the Government had proposed to facilitate an agreement with the investors in the Oyu Tolgoi project, allowing a relieved and jubilant Rio Tinto CEO Tom Albanese to say in distant Canada, "This is an incredibly important milestone in bringing onstream one of the finest undeveloped copper-gold projects in the world.”

As shares in Vancouver-based Ivanhoe rose 24% in Toronto on receipt of the news, Rio and Ivanhoe both said they now expect to formally sign the agreement with the Government of Mongolia “in the near future”. The Mongolian Finance Minister has said the signing will take place within two weeks.

"The votes today by overwhelming majorities of the members present for the special session of Parliament represent a significant step in Mongolia's commitment to attract foreign investment in the development of the country's mineral resources," Ivanhoe president John Macken said. He was certainly right about the majority support for the amendments. After long months of acrimonious bickering and maddening uncertainty, the MPs approved changes to the law on water by a 90.9 percent majority, to the law on roads by 88.3 percent, and to the corporate income tax by 86.9 percent. The annulment of the windfall profits tax with effect from January 1, 2011 remained the most contentious to the end, but only statistically so, gaining 85 percent support.

Some of its opponents remained unconvinced to the end. Mr. N.Batbayar, one of the MPS who had initiated the tax that was passed in 2006, said after the vote, “The Mongolian Government has just gifted USD20 billion to foreign companies.” Many of the MPs who did favor the annulment shared his concern that the tax, which has brought MNT960 billion to the state budget, will be difficult to replace. The Government’s answer has been that times have changed, the tax has served its purpose, and continuing with it would scare away investment, killing the goose that laid the golden eggs.

The agreement gives the Government 34% shares in Ivanhoe Mines Mongolia, the company that will run the project. Other key terms include a stable and operational tax environment in relation to the development and operation of the project and certainty regarding the term of the investment.

Rio Tinto owns just under 10% of Ivanhoe at present, but an agreement the two companies signed in 2006 allows it to buy another 9.95% for USD388 million when the investment agreement is signed. Rio also gave Ivanhoe a USD350-million loan in 2007 so that project development could continue. Rio could increase its holding of Ivanhoe to approximately 46.5% if all its options are converted to shares.

Ivanhoe expects construction of the mine to take 30 months, but work will begin only after the agreement is approved and signed by the Government and both companies' boards. At the moment, production is targeted for as early as 2013, with a five-year ramp up to full output, Rio said on Tuesday.The Oyu Tolgoi project is located in the South Gobi region just north of the Chinese-Mongolian border, and is expected to produce 440,000 tons of copper and 320,000 ounces of gold annually, with a 45-year mine life.

Source: en.News.mn

Russia withholds loan as Mongolia "still has to repay the grand debt in full"


000-bcm-headlinesThe long-promised USD300-million agriculture loan from Russia will not be available as Russia considers that Mongolia is yet to pay back around USD150 million of the “grand debt”. Mr. Ts.Sukhbaatar and Mr. D.Dorligjav from the Presidential Office were recently in Russia to finalize preparations for President D.Medvedev’s visit to Mongolia. When they suggested that a reference to the USD300 million agriculture loan on easy terms be included on the visiting President’s agenda, they were told by the Russian Presidential Office that this could not be done as under Russian law no commercial loan can be given to a country which already owes Russia money. The Mongolian side said their perception was that all outstanding Mongolian debt to Russia had been waived, but were told this was not so and “some debt remains”. According to the Russian position, Mongolia still has to pay USD150-160 million.

It appears when Prime Minister and later President Enkhbayar negotiated on the debt with the Russians in 2004, he was told Mongolia should put this money into the Mongolian-Russian joint venture Mongolrostsvetmet as part of its capital. Mr. Enkhbayar said a decision on the issue could be taken later. When he returned to Mongolia, however, Mr. Enkhbayar did not make any public revelation of this proposal. Instead, he repeatedly said he had persuaded Russia to waive all debt, and this claim won him many votes, and perhaps the victory also, in the presidential election of 2005. During his four years in office Mr. Enkhbayar is not known to have referred to the issue on any occasion.

Mr. Sukhbaatar says the Russian claim comes as a bolt from the blue. The truth has to be ascertained and the issue resolved without delay. For the moment, however, it is clear there will be no USD300 million loan immediately. Interestingly, earlier Russia had withheld the loan on the ground that the Mongolian Government would have to stand guarantee that commercial banks would repay the money. There was no talk then about Mongolia being ineligible for a loan because it still owed Russia money.

Source: en.News.mn


Business Council of MongoliaThe Business Council of Mongolia aims to advocate increased trade and investment in Mongolia and serve as a forum for dialogue on the important business climate issues. Join us at the Business Council Mongolia Official Website

BC Mongolia: IFC launches project to promote good corporate governance, trade finance



IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, last week signed a memorandum of understanding with the Mongolian Parliament for a training program to help private companies improve economic performance through increased transparency and accountability. IFC also signed an agreement with Khan Bank under IFC’s Global Trade Finance Program to provide a facility of USD2 million. Supporting trade finance is an IFC strategic initiative in Mongolia at a time when the financial crisis has reduced the availability of trade funding worldwide.
Under the Mongolia Corporate Governance project entered into with the Standing Committee on Economics, IFC agreed to train the Mongolian private sector in best business practices. The project is funded through the Netherlands-IFC Partnership Program. IFC’s project team will work closely with the Government to improve existing regulations, and partner with local training and educational institutions to develop the necessary skills to enhance corporate governance. IFC will also work directly with companies to implement good governance standards and assist banks in assessing their clients’ corporate governance practices to reduce their exposure to corporate loan defaults.

“Improving corporate governance in Mongolia will help us attract investment and make our economy more competitive,” said Mr. Ts. Bayarsaikhan, Chairman of the Standing Committee. “This project is particularly important given the impact of the global economic crisis.”

Mr. Lars Thunell, IFC Executive Vice President and CEO, said the program complements IFC’s new project to reform business inspections in Mongolia. “Supporting the private sector in Mongolia is a priority for IFC. We value our Mongolian banking clients in particular because they serve more than 400,000 families,” he said.
Source: www.ifc.org


The Business Council of Mongolia aims to advocate increased trade and investment in Mongolia and serve as a forum for dialogue on the important business climate issues. Join us at the Business Council Mongolia Official Website

BC Mongolia: Khan Resources Hopes “Rule Of Law Will Prevail”


The Mongolia-Russia partnership in a uranium mining venture has raised concerns for the Canadian miner that owns the deposit. Toronto-listed Khan Resources, which still owns a 58 percent interest in the mining license for the Dornod deposit, is seeking to determine how Mongolia's new law on nuclear energy will affect its investment in the country. President and CEO Martin Quick said, "The new nuclear energy law may have a detrimental impact on the project, so we need to canvass our partners' thoughts on that." Mongolia last month passed a law that gave the state the right to own 51 percent of any strategic uranium deposit.

The two companies that form the joint venture, Mongolian state firm AtomMon and Rosatom's mining arm, AtomRedMedZoloto, already owned 21% each of the license, Mr. Quick said. "Hopefully we can come to some reasonable accommodation with our partners and the Mongolian Government," he said. "It is a democracy and hopefully the rule of law will prevail."

Source: Reuters.com

BioBeer: Monitoring Mongolian Biodiversity Wildlife Picture Index (WPI)


Batbayar.G, Munkhjargal.M, will present a talk entitled "Monitoring Mongolian Biodiversity Wildlife Picture Index (WPI)"
on *Thursday, September 3, 2009.*

We will describe our Wildlife Picture Index (WPI) pilot project just completed in Myangan Ugalzat in Western Mongolia and present our preliminary findings. The WPI, developed jointly by the Zoological Society of London and the Wildlife Conservation Society, uses camera stations to reliably and systematically detect many types of terrestrial vertebrates. We set up 2 20 sq km grids with 20 camera stations each; one in the Buffer Zone and one in the core area of the Park for 30 days. Interestingly, human disturbance was much higher in the Core Area of the Park and less so in the Buffer Zone. We detected numerous vertebrate species including passerine birds, small rodents, pikas, marmots and also larger vertebrate species such as Argali. We also used other wildlife detection techniques such as avian point counts, mist netting and small mammal trapping. We discuss future plans for expanding this project as well.

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 6pm, in time for the
talk to start at 6.30.

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!

200 Qatar soldiers will attend joint exercise in October


News.mn reports: More than 200 soldiers from Mongolia and Qatar, as well as observers from the USA and the Republic of Korea, will participate in a joint military exercise in October. Instructors of Qatar's armed forces will offer theoretical training at the first stage, while the second will see training in tactical shooting, field march and training of special forces. The exercise will contribute to strengthening the mutual trust and cooperation between the armed forces of the two countries, with Mongolia expressing the hope that Qatar will continue to help with capacity building of military personnel.


Five important documents signed during Medvedev’s visit


The following documents were signed during Russian President Medvedev’s visit to Mongolia.

-Memorandum on cooperation between the Railway Agency of the Mongolian Government and the Railway and Road Agency of Russian Government;

-Memorandum on cooperation between Ulaanbaatar Railway, and Russian Railways and Transmash Holding of Russian Federation;

-Protocol between General Election Committee of Mongolia and Central Election Commission of Russia;

-Agreement on establishment Dornod Uran company;

-Declaration on strategic partnership between Mongolia and Russian Federation.

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