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Mongolia General News and Events
The latest news from Mongolia: General news on activities and events.

Day of mourning declared on Friday to remember 15 firefighters killed in copter crash PDF Print E-mail
Written by Ariunbold Altankhuyag   
Monday, 25 June 2007
Mongolia will observe a national day of mourning on Friday to remember the 15 firefighters killed in a June 13 helicopter crash. Friday is the day the 15 firefighters will be buried. 

All sports and entertainment events will be cancelled on Friday. 

The fatalities occurred while firefighters were riding in a Russian-made Mi-8 helicopter on its way to a forest fire when the helicopter crashed into the forest. Fourteen occupants of the helicopter died before being rescued. The 15th casualty, one of the pilots, died while in a hospital. 

An uproar has occurred as details have been released indicating the firefighters were not rescued for three days. Opposition lawmakers have called for the resignations of the minister and officials in charge. 

Mongolian President Nambaryn Enkhbayar has referred to the “irresponsible actions” which caused the crash, as well as the slow pace of the rescue. 

It has been reported that Mongolia now has no working helicopters. The government previously had two helicopters. However, one was lost during the crash and the other was damaged while reportedly being used during a Parliament member’s fox hunt.

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Kazakstan proposes creating Asian energy cartel to limit competition PDF Print E-mail
Written by Ariunbold Altankhuyag   
Friday, 22 June 2007

Kazakstan has proposed creating an energy cartel of Asian energy producing states, including Mongolia. 

During last week’s meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, SCO, in Almaty, Kazakhstan proposed the creation of an Asian Energy Strategy to limit competition between producing countries. 

The SCO countries currently control 20 percent of the world’s oil and 33 percent of its natural gas.  

The proposed cartel would include those SCO countries that produce energy and those which allow the natural resources to travel through their territory to be delivered to customers. 

However, observers believe competition to sell to Russia and China would make controlling prices difficult, if not impossible. 

Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan make up the SCO. 

Mongolia, along with Pakistan, Iran, and India, holds observer status within the organization.

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APB opens brewery in Mongolia to bottle Tiger beer PDF Print E-mail
Written by Ariunbold Altankhuyag   
Thursday, 21 June 2007

MCS-Asia Pacific Brewery LLC (MCS-APB) will begin production in its $20 million brewery in Ulaanbaatur. 

Manufactured under the name Brewed-In-Mongolia Tiger, the plant will have the capacity to produce 60,000 bottles per day. 

Commenting on the Mongolian beer market, Koh Poh Tiong, Chief Executive Officer of APB said, “APB is optimistic about the potential of the Mongolian beer market and anticipates its investment there to succeed as Mongolia is one of the most liberal and foreign investor friendly economies in Asia. Coupled with its improving economy, which grew 7.5% in 2006, and the increasing preference for beers amongst younger adult drinkers, as well as a shift in consumer preference for beer over vodka, the Mongolian beer market looks set to grow further.” 

While APB is the first foreign brewery in Mongolia, it currently has operations in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and China. 

With more than 70 years in the brewing industry, APB’s most well known brands are Tiger and Heinekens beer.

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Mongolian workers invited to build $5 billion Dubai project PDF Print E-mail
Written by Ariunbold Altankhuyag   
Wednesday, 20 June 2007

Mongolian laborers will be invited to Dubai, where a $5 billion construction project is planned. 

A South Korean contractor, Sungwon Corporation, has been chosen to build the residential and commercial buildings, as well as retail outlets, tourist attractions and redevelopment of existing buildings. 

Sungwon Corporation has overseen similarly large projects in South Korea. 

The Dubai project is expected to take five years to complete. Workers from Vietnam and Uzbekistan will also be employed in the project. 

However, South Korean executives said they are very comfortable working with Mongolian workers. "We have worked with these nationalities in Korea and elsewhere. In fact 20 per cent of the Mongolian workforce speaks Korean," said Richard Lee, vice president, Sungwon Corporation.

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Mongolian hotel to be listed among world’s most exclusive PDF Print E-mail
Written by Ariunbold Altankhuyag   
Tuesday, 19 June 2007

Mongolia has become a member of one of the world’s most exclusive clubs; it now has a hotel listed among the Small Luxury Hotels of the World. 

Small Luxury Hotels lists the most elegant and exclusive group of hotels in the world. As it recently increased the number of member hotels to 450, it has included its first Mongolian property. 

That hotel, the Terelj Hotel Resort and Spa is scheduled to open in October. It will be Mongolia’s first five-star hotel and will provide resort and spa facilities to guests. Also, overnight trips will see guests having the opportunity to sleep under the stars as they mingle with Mongols. 

The hotel and resort is located 50 kilometers north of Ulaanbaatur in the village of Terelj.

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Satellite images to offer view of Mongolian resources PDF Print E-mail
Written by Ariunbold Altankhuyag   
Tuesday, 19 June 2007

Mongolia will have the opportunity to take advantage of satellite images of is territory following the launch of a satellite in September. 

The O2-B satellite, built in Brazil and to be launched by China, will allow Mongolia, among other nations, to view pictures to assist in resource surveys, urban planning and disaster predictions. 

China is finalizing tests of the satellite within a vacuum environment. Other countries which will take advantage of the satellite images include Vietnam and Malaysia.

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Helicopter crash site found, 14 firefighters dead PDF Print E-mail
Written by Ariunbold Altankhuyag   
Tuesday, 19 June 2007

Mongolian officials have recovered the remains of 14 firefighters whose helicopter crashed into a mountain last week en route to a forest fire. Eight firefighters survived the crash. 

The helicopter, a Russian Mi-8, was lost on Wednesday as it flew to a forest fire in north central Mongolia. Officials did not find the crash site until Saturday. Medical crews discovered survivors trapped in the wreckage, said Emergency Minister S. Otgonbayar. 

The helicopter was part of the Mongolian Defense Ministry’s fleet. 

Among the dead were two of three pilots.

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U.S. Supreme Court says Mongolia must pay $2.1 million to New York City PDF Print E-mail
Written by Ariunbold Altankhuyag   
Monday, 18 June 2007

Mongolia will have to pay a $2.1 million bill to New York City following a historic decision by the U.S. Supreme Court. 

New York City sought the aid of the Supreme Court to collect past property taxes on a building housing Mongolia’s United Nations staff. Additionally, the largest American city is seeking $16 million from India for taxes due on the same type of building. 

The position of the U.S. State Department has been that, like an embassy, buildings housing staff of a foreign country within the United States have diplomatic immunity from paying taxes. 

However, in a seven to two ruling by the justices, the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that, according to U.S. law, only an embassy staff and residence of an ambassador enjoy this immunity. A building housing other staff would be subject to the same laws as any other building within the city.

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Satellite system planned to bring advanced communications to Mongolia PDF Print E-mail
Written by Ariunbold Altankhuyag   
Friday, 15 June 2007

A satellite communications system is planned for use in Mongolia to provide television, radio and internet services.  

VT Communications is teaming with Arquiva, a media and satellite service provider, to deliver what is being called a Global Media Network.  

Typically, the service is well suited for areas such as Mongolia where high speed fiber optic lines are not available. Though providing broadcast services, VT Communications will also allow Mongolian-based customers to upload data for worldwide transmission or internet services. 

Besides providing services for individual subscribers, a large demand is seen among large energy companies working to extract mineral deposits throughout Mongolia.

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Australian volunteers knit over 6,000 garments for Mongolian children PDF Print E-mail
Written by Ariunbold Altankhuyag   
Thursday, 14 June 2007
A group of Australian volunteers knitted over 6,000 garments for Mongolian children last year. 

Located in Geelong, Australia the group, called the Guardian Angels, meets at Bellarine Village's Guardian pharmacy to sip tea and knit warm clothing for Mongolian children. 

Pharmacist Greg Porte said he has supported the program because he is sure the garments will save lives in Mongolia. 

``We take mild weather for granted in Geelong,'' he told the Geelong Advertiser. 

``But the cold affects the lives of poorer Mongolian children immensely, leading to a lack of education, lack of nutrition and sickness. 

``Every piece of clothing knitted and donated makes a difference in the most direct way possible to under-privileged kids around the world.'' 

A similar group knits throughout the United States. The U.S. program is called the Dulaan Project, which is headquartered in Flagstaff, Arizona.

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Russian railroad unable to find buyer for delivering oil to China via Mongolia PDF Print E-mail
Written by Ariunbold Altankhuyag   
Wednesday, 13 June 2007

Inefficiencies in hauling Russian oil by rail through Mongolia has resulted in the inability of Yukos-Transservice (YuTS) to find a buyer for its rail properties. 

YuTS previously delivered oil to China by rail, traveling through Mongolia at the Naushki border crossing. However, shipments ceased this past fall due to the high price of delivering oil by rail. 

No bids were received for YuTS assets during an auction held last week. YuTS was seeking to sell off 16,000 tanker cars, its 66 percent stake in East Asia Transit Mongolian Railways and stakes in 12 other assets.  

Observers noted that the asking bid of 8.95 billion rubles was over estimated by as much as 30 percent.

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