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Thursday, June 26, 2014

[BREAKING: Turquoise Hill Files Notice of Dispute Against Mongolian Govt Over Tax Row]

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Thursday, June 26, 2014

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Turquoise Hill Files Dispute Against Mongolian Govt Over Tax Row

By Michael Kohn

June 26 (Bloomberg) -- Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd. files notice of dispute against Mongolian govt over claims it has unpaid taxes, penalties and disallowed entitlements associated with its Oyu Tolgoi mine, according to statement

* Filing is first step in resolution process and includes a 60-day negotiation period: statement

* Dispute can move to international arbitration if parties are unable to reach resolution during negotiation period: statement

* Turquoise Hill “strongly disagrees” with claims in an audit report that requires payment of taxes and charges: statement

* Further investment in the development of the underground expansion of the mine depends on resolution of tax claims and other outstanding shareholder issues: statement

* Distribution of feasibility study on underground expansion delayed as a result of dispute: statement

* Note: Disputed amount about $130 million

(BFW)

 

TRQ release:

Notice of Dispute Filed With the Government of Mongolia

VANCOUVER, BC--(Marketwired - June 26, 2014) - Following receipt of an audit report from the Mongolian Tax Authority claiming unpaid taxes, penalties and disallowed entitlements associated with the initial development of the Oyu Tolgoi mine, Turquoise Hill Resources today announced that a notice of dispute with the Government of Mongolia has been filed.

The Investment Agreement outlines the dispute resolution process. The filing is the first step in that process and includes a 60-day negotiation period. If the parties are unable to reach a resolution during this period, the dispute can be referred to international arbitration.

Turquoise Hill is of the firm view that Oyu Tolgoi LLC has paid all taxes and charges as required under the Investment Agreement and Mongolian law and strongly disagrees with the claims in the audit report.

Outstanding shareholder issues, including tax claims, must be resolved before further investment in the underground can proceed. Consequently, distribution of the underground feasibility study will be delayed. 

Link to release

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[MMC teams up with Risun, SMI continues decline, GoM responds to Genco, Chinese FM on visit, and Oyun elected first president of UNEA]

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Thursday, June 26, 2014

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Headlines in Italic are ones modified by Cover Mongolia from original

 

Overseas Market

1878 closed flat at HK$4.99, SGQ closed +6.45% C$0.66. TRQ closed -5.8% to US$3.41 Wednesday, -9.31% this week

Mongolia Sets Date for Trial Against Former SouthGobi Employees

By Michael Kohn

June 25 (Bloomberg) The trial of a tax investigation case into SouthGobi Resources Ltd. (SGQ) and three of its former employees is set to begin in Mongolia next week.

The Court of Justice in Mongolia is set to hear the case on June 30, SouthGobi said yesterday in a statement. The former employees are U.S. citizen Justin Kapla and two Philippine nationals, Hilarion Cajucom Jr and Cristobal David, SouthGobi Chief Executive Officer Ross Tromans said today by phone from Ulaanbaatar. The three all denied the charges against them and confirmed they have been informed of the trial date when contacted today.

SouthGobi, controlled by Rio Tinto Group unit Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd. (TRQ), said on May 13 that charges for alleged violation of Mongolia's tax laws had been officially filed against three former employees and its local unit SouthGobi Sands LLC. The trial date was set after an additional investigation on the case was completed, the company said yesterday.

The trial date is the latest step in an investigation that started in 2012 with the three former employees kept in Mongolia under a travel ban since then. The case has put a spotlight on the country's legal system, which allows authorities to prevent suspects and witnesses from traveling outside the country.

"SouthGobi disputes these accusations and the procedures and conclusions of the investigations that led to these accusations and will vigorously defend itself and its former three employees against these charges," it said.

The company and its unit prepared its financial statements in compliance with International Financial Reporting Standards, and lodged all tax returns as required under Mongolian tax law, it said.

"I have been notified of a hearing," Kapla said today by e-mail. "There is potential for the trial to start but it is not 100 percent confirmed the trial will start Monday as we have a motion to dismiss that needs to be considered first."

SouthGobi is 56 percent owned by Turquoise Hill.

Link to article

 

Mogi: an oldie but thought might be interesting for some folks

Mongolia - Oyu Tolgoi Copper/Gold/Silver Mine Project Trip Report (May-June 2011)

Prepared by Leslie Johnston, USAID/Washington, EGAT/ESP 

USAID staff conducted a site visit to Mongolia's Oyu Tolgoi Copper/Gold/Silver Mine (OT) project that is under consideration for European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and International Finance Corporation (IFC) financing. This site visit was carried out to fulfill USAID's due diligence responsibilities under the International Financial Institutions Act, Title XIII, Section 1303(a)(3), which requires USAID to review multilateral development bank (MDB) projects with potential adverse environmental and social impacts.

This report summarizes information obtained from meetings with a wide range of stakeholders (e.g. government, MDB staff, NGOs, researchers, mining association) in Ulaanbaatar, local government officials (Dalandzadgad, Tsogt Tsetsee, Han Bogd), OT project staff, OT project-affected herders, and from documents in the public domain. Sites visited included the OT project site and surrounding area, the Small Gobi B Strictly Protected Area, Tsaagan Khad (the coal transfer area), the Tavan Tolgoi coal road and the Gashuun Sukhait border crossing. The meetings focused primarily on the environmental and social aspects of the project. The report does not reflect the views of USAID or of the United States Government (USG), and USAID has not substantiated all comments.

This report is divided into the following sections:

Section 1. Background

Section 2. Oyu Tolgoi Copper/Gold/Silver Mine (OT) Project

Section 3. Government of Mongolia Oversight

Section 4. Recommendations

Link to full report

 

Announcement made after Wednesday close. MMC closed Wednesday -1.01% to HK$0.49

MMC Sets Up Tianjin JV with Risun Group for Joint Coal Transport, Sale, Distribution

June 25 -- The board of directors (the "Board") of Mongolian Mining Corporation (HKEx:975, the "Company") is pleased to announce that on 25 June 2014, Mongolian Coal Corporation Limited ("MCCL"), a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Company, entered into a joint venture agreement (the "JV Agreement") with Risun Mining Co., Ltd ("Risun"), an independent third party of the Company.

Pursuant to the JV Agreement, MCCL and Risun agreed to establish a joint venture company in Tianjin Airport Economic Zone of the People's Republic of China (the "PRC") for the joint transportation, sale and distribution of coal produced by the Company. Risun, a company incorporated in the PRC, is a member of the Risun Group, which is the largest independent coke and related coal-derived chemicals producer and supplier in the PRC.

MCCL and Risun will respectively hold 51% and 49% of the total equity interest of the joint venture company named as "Tianjin Zhengcheng Import and Export Trade Co., Ltd" (the "JV Company"). The total investment of the JV Company is RMB14,000,000 and the registered capital of the JV Company is RMB10,000,000 which will be contributed by MCCL and Risun in proportion to their respective equity interest in JV Company within two years of the establishment of the JV Company.

The core business of the JV Company is to develop markets for the Company's coal sales business, namely marketing and sales of the hard coking coal to be supplied to the customers in Tangshan, Baoding, Xingtai, Shijiazhuang area of Hebei province and northern part of Shandong province in the PRC, including but not limited to coke-chemical plants located in these regions, and owned and operated by the Risun Group.

The Company believes that the JV Company will expand its geographical market penetration to the major coke and steel producing areas in the PRC and further expand long-term relations with the end-users customer base with the expectation to further diversify its revenue sources.

Link to release

 

Jefferies cuts Mongol Mining (0975) to HK$0.65 from HK$0.8, maintains "hold"

[ET Net News Agency, 25 June 2014] Jefferies lowered its target price for Mongolian Mining (MMC)(00975) to HK$0.65 from HK$0.8, and maintained its "hold" call. 

The research house expects MMC to report a loss for 1H (will be announced early August) due to the weak coking coal demand suppressing prices. Steel production is up year-to-date, but coking coal imports into China are down 19%, implying destocking activities in the value chain.

Jefferies believes high finance cost will be a big hurdle for the company to become profit making again

Link to article

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Local Market

MSE News for June 25: Top 20 +0.54% to 15,326.05, Turnover 193.7 Million

Ulaanbaatar, June 25 (MONTSAME) At the Stock Exchange trades held Tuesday, a total of 374 thousand and 169 shares of 12 JSCs were traded costing MNT 193 million 713 thousand and 836.00.

"State Department Store" /310 thousand and 284 units/, "Merex" /41 thousand and 320 units/, "Khokh gan" /7,291 units/, "Hermes center" /6,326 units/ and "E-trans logistics" /5,100 units/ were the most actively traded in terms of trading volume, in terms of trading value--"State Department Store" (MNT 179 million 962 thousand and 200), "Merex" (MNT four million 257 thousand and 720), "Gobi" (MNT four million 163 thousand and 060), "Sharyn gol" (MNT one million and 480 thousand) and "Tavantolgoi" (MNT one million and 029 thousand).

The total market capitalization was set at MNT one trillion 547 billion 309 million 864 thousand and 484. The Index of Top-20 JSCs was 15,326.05, increasing by MNT 82.88 or 0.54% against the previous day.

Link to article

 

Mongolian Stock Exchange Announces New CEO

June 25 (Mongolian Economy) Angar Davaasuren, former financial counselor at the Mongolian Embassy in London for the past four years, has been named as the new acting chief executive officer of the Mongolian Stock Exchange. The board of directors appointed Angar to take over Bolormaa Damdin, who presided over the MSE to prevent the interruption of the flow of business while candidates were being sought after. She served as the temporary CEO after the leave of Altai Khangai earlier this year.

Born in 1978, Angar graduated from public school #11 with a specialization in physics and math. Soon after, he earned his bachelor's degree from Central University of Arkansas and his master's degree from the University of Liverpool. He studied international finance and accounting.

He is taking on the role as the CEO of the MSE during times of economic uncertainty. The Mongolian economy has been struggling to attract investment despite having 248 listed companies, 48 employees, and a market capitalization of USD 85.9 million. While he has a large task to take on, many are proud of his appointment as the new acting chief executive officer as hopes to turn the economy around are on the horizon.

Link to article

Related:

MSE Appoints Its Acting DirectorMontsame, June 25

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Economy

BoM MNT Rates: Wednesday, June 25 Close

 

6/25

6/24

6/23

6/20

6/19

USD

1,825.67

1,825.13

1,824.65

1,824.10

1,824.94

EUR

2,485.38

2,483.27

2,479.88

2,482.69

2,484.66

CNY

292.83

292.96

293.13

293.00

292.73

GBP

3,095.88

3,107.56

3,107.74

3,110.82

3,103.49

RUB

53.81

53.68

53.23

53.10

53.24

June MNT vs USD, CNY Chart:

 

Link to rates

 

BoM issues 168.1 billion 1-week bills, total outstanding -3.5% to 782 billion

June 25 (Bank of Mongolia) BoM issues 1 week bills worth MNT 168.1 billion at a weighted interest rate of 10.5 percent per annum /For previous auctions click here/

Link to release

 

GoM Treasury Auction: Announced 40 Billion 12-Week Bills Sold at Discount, Average Yield 9.328%, with 75.5 Billion Bids

June 25 (Bank of Mongolia) Regular auction for 12 weeks maturity Government Treasury bill was announced at face value of 40.0 billion MNT, each unit worth 1 million MNT. Face value of 40.0 billion /out of 75.5 billion bid/ Government Treasury bill was sold at discounted price and with weighted average yield of 9.328%.

Please find expanded information from Table.

Information of Government securities auction

Announced amount /by MNT/

40,000,000,000

Received amount /by MNT

75,500,000,000

Sold amount /by MNT/

40,000,000,000

Weighted average yield

9.328%

Maximum yield of fulfilled bids

9.390%

Minimum yield of fulfilled bids

9.280%

Link to release

 

High-Level Consultation on Prospects of Mongolia's Macro Economy Launches

Ulaanbaatar, June 25 (MONTSAME) This consultation started Wednesday at the State House.

Co-organized by the Ministry of Finance, the Bank of Mongolia, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank (WB), the action brought together international experts.

The Prime Minister N.Altankhuyag addressed the event to underline an importance of the consultation that is to determine a current situation of the national economy in times of global and regional economies crisis.

The size of main export products increased by 30% this year compared to the same period of the previous year. Exports of gold, copper and crude oil augmented, whereas the export of iron ore declined, the Premier said. "The size of exported coal is higher by one million 500 thousand tons against the previous year, but its prices at the world market fell down, due to which revenue for the national economy cannot reach the level predicted," he said.

The deficit of the external trade of Mongolia was about 800 million US dollars in the first five months of 2013, declining to 200 million in the first five months of this year, the Premier highlighted, and mentioned works being done to ensuring an economic growth in 100 days.

The consultation is continuing with sub-meetings  on present situation and prospects of Mongolia's economy, budgetary matters of mineral-rich countries, intensive growth and banking and financing risks.        

Link to article

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Politics

Mogi: here's that video causing controversy again: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X386vXt2ecQ

GOM WARNS AGAINST "GENCO CAMPAIGN" CALLED " FASCIST AND RACIST" BY LARGEST DAILY , VOTERS DIVIDED

June 24 (IMM&MR) --

·         GoM warned today that program "100 important topics" (PR campaign against narrow gauge funded by MP Kh.Battulga) has "content damaging to national security of Mongolia, economic sovereignty, relations with our eternal two neighbour countries" as well as "defamation and threatening" features.

·         "dividing and breaking up citizens "through "fraudulent information through media and social media " is "unacceptable" for "us, few Mongolians"

·         "decisive measures are to be taken by contacting law enforcement organizations regarding " forcing to the public radical views contrary to national security, editing and  re-arranging citizens' views to comply with one's wishes and threatening"[1]

[1] Монгол Улсын Засгийн газар: http://www.zasag.mn/news/view/5967#sthash.9rk0PLnq.dpuf

http://politics.news.mn/content/183081.shtml

GoM press release:

МЭДЭГДЭЛ

6-р сарын 24 -- Сүүлийн үед зарим телевиз, хэвлэл мэдээллийн хэрэгслээр байнга цацагдаж байгаа "Зуун чухал сэдэв" нэвтрүүлэг нь Монгол Улсын үндэсний аюулгүй байдал, эдийн засгийн тусгаар тогтнол, манай орны мөнхийн хөрш болсон хоёр улстай харилцах харилцаанд сэв суулгахуйц агуулгатай, гүтгэлэг, заналхийллийн шинжтэй байгаа тул Монгол Улсын Засгийн газар энэхүү мэдэгдлийг гаргаж байна.

Олон нийтийн мэдээллийн хэрэгсэл, цахим сүлжээгээр худал хуурмаг мэдээлэл, өөрсдийнхөө үзэл бодлыг зохион байгуулалттайгаар түгээн иргэдийг талцуулан хагаралдуулж байгаа нь бидний цөөхөн монголчуудын дунд байж боломгүй үзэгдэл юм.

Тиймээс үндэсний аюулгүй байдалд харш, хэт туйлширсан үзэл бодлоо олон нийтэд тулгаж, нэвтрүүлэгт оролцсон иргэдийн яриаг өөрсдийн хүсэл зорилгод нийцүүлэн эвлүүлсэн, занан сүрдүүлсэн нэвтрүүлэг, нийтлэл, ярилцлагуудын талаар хууль хяналтын байгууллагад хандаж шийдвэртэй арга хэмжээ авах болсноо хариуцлагатайгаар мэдэгдэж байна. 

Link to post

 

MPP sends warnings to DP and Justice Coalition over minerals law bill

June 24 (UB Post) While the draft amendments to the Minerals Law were being discussed by Parliament, the Mongolian People's Party faction in the parliament delivered demands to Chairman of the Democrartic Party D.Erdenebat and Chairman of the Justice Coalition (a merging of the Mongolia People's Revolutionary Party and Mongolian National Democratic Party), reminding them of their promise on mining and minerals sworn during the 2012 parliamentary elections. A similar official document was previously delivered to Prime Minister N.Altankhuyag.

The official demand states, "Concerning the draft amendments on the Minerals Law submitted to the Parliament by the Government on April 30, the Mongolian People's Party in the Parliament believes that the authorities are not keeping their word sworn to the public, and refusing state involvement in strategically important mines – treasure of the Mongolian people – and releasing it from the control and power of the public. Therefore, the MPP group in the Parliament will discuss the draft bill if authorities will make an open statement to the public that they are rejecting their promises promoted in the mining sector."

In the 2012 parliamentary elections, the Democratic Party, Justice Coalition, and Civil-Will Green Party included the following promises about the mining and minerals sector in their action plans:

Article 31 of Chapter 25 in "Mongolia with Work and Income" election action policy of the Democratic Party:

      Create a legal environment to set the involvement of Mongolian parties at no less than 51 percent in companies to be established or formed at mines.

      The State will hold shares of no less than 51 percent of companies which will be established at mines that were explored with state budget funding.

Articles 38 and 39 of Chapter 3 in the election action policies of the Justice Coalition, the merger of the Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party and the Mongolian National Democratic Party:

      The Oyu Tolgoi agreement will be amended so that the Mongolian share will be no less than 51 percent.

      Mines, which reserves were estimated through state budget funding, will be taken under the public authority and state protection.

Article 5 of the "Rural Life" Chapter of the Civil-Will Green Party's action plan:

      The legal environment will be shaped that around 40 percent of income from the mining sector will be devoted to the development of the province where a mine is located.

The 2012-2016 action plan of the Government of Mongolia approved in 2012 states, "Mongolia will hold shares no less than 51 percent of the companies which were established at mines that were explored with state money."

Link to article

 

SGK sets up working groups to review political financing, elections laws

Ulaanbaatar, June 25 (MONTSAME) A head of the parliamentary Standing committee on petitions and chairwoman of the working group for drawing up a bill on general elections R.Burmaa Wednesday received Dr Marcin Walecki, a chief of Democratic Governance and Gender Unit at the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights.

Burmaa thanked the OSCE/ODIHR authorities for visiting Mongolia and said that working groups have been set up to deal with financing matters of political parties at parliament and formulating a draft law on general elections.

The bill on general elections aims to consolidate all the law on elections-- of the President, parliament and local authorities, she said. Main alterations of the new law concern list of voters, election financing and tackling of election conflicts, she added.

After this the sides exchanged views on related matters. 

Link to article

 

GoM Submits Draft Revision to 1999 Law on Family to Reflect Better Human, Child Rights

Ulaanbaatar, June 25 (MONTSAME) Human Development and Social Welfare Minister S.Erdene submitted Tuesday to parliament Speaker Z.Enkhbold a new wording of this law.

Re-developed to accord with updated social development and international principles of human rights, rights of a child and freedom, the Family law of 1999 consists of 121 articles in 11 chapters in its new wording.

The new wording suggests transferring the functions of social workers responsible for child and family affairs to current development social workers in the city and provinces, in order to ease the overburden to the Government budget.

The Family law has a purpose to regulate relations in regards marriage, divorce, procedure of divorce settlement, property and non-property relations of the family members, adoption and taking in custody.

The Family law coheres with the Constitution and other laws. The changes, however, have been offered in order to accord with the newly-developed Criminal law (civil code) and law on minor offenses.

Link to article

 

Standing Committee Discusses ADB Loan Agreement to Modernize Payment System

Ulaanbaatar, June 25 (MONTSAME) The Standing committee on security and foreign policy discussed Tuesday a draft law on a ratification of the loan agreement for a payment system modernization project.

The committee members then agreed to discuss it at a later meeting of parliament.

The Ministry of Economic Development and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) had earlier agreed to implement the "Payment System Modernization" project here. This two-year project will address issues such as development of non-cash payment system and advancement of inspection on monetary policies realization through controlling money flows.

Under the agreement, established between the parties, ADB will invest twenty million USD to the project, while the Government of Mongolia will grant 2.5 million USD. The financing from ADB will be in form of a loan with a term of 15 years.

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Business

Robert Friedland – An Optimist 

By B. Bayartogtokh

June 25 (Mongolian Economy) Robert Friedland is the founder and chairman of his family-owned firm Ivanhoe Capital Corporation, which focuses on emerging markets. Friedland is also the founder of Ivanhoe Mines – a Toronto-and New York-listed public company.

Friedland was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1950 and raised in Boston. He graduated in 1974 from Reed College with a political science degree. In his senior year at Reed, Friedland was student body president. During his time at Reed he met Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple, with whom he shared an interest in Eastern spirituality.

At the time, Friedland served as the caretaker of an apple farm south of Portland that was owned by his millionaire uncle Marcel Muller and Jobs would come on the weekends and help with the apple orchard, which served as the inspiration for the name of his company, Apple, Inc. Friendland by that time had become very self-confident and could easily manage people. He found these skills naturally translated into business.

Exploration by Ivanhoe Mines since 2000 has uncovered a chain of copper, gold and silver deposits at Oyu Tolgoi (Turquoise Hill) in Umnugobi. The first phase of what is independently projected to be one of the world's largest porphyry copper and gold mines began its commercial production last year. As a result, the Mongolian economy grew 17.5 percent in 2011 with the sharp increase of foreign investment that came. Mongolia also successfully transitioned from a low-income to a middle-income country in 2011. 

The boom brought on by the Oyu Tolgoi project for a poor country like Mongolia was a shock. And a third of all money in the economy belonged to Oyu Tolgoi.

Friedland was described by Canadian journalist Diana Francis as a "nomad." Within five years Friedland had launched businesses in 45 countries.

He holds citizenships for the United States, Canada, and Singapore

Friedland once said: "In 1987, my destiny took me to Bony Piken and I was involved in a harsh competition for New Mount mine, which was worth USD 6.6 million. That operation was Bony's first mining business and he gave me 10 percent of the USD 400 million in revenue. By using this money I bought my ownership in the mine."

That mine was a tremendous step forwards for South Africa.

According to Francis, Friedland attracted investors with his cleverness and persuasiveness, and he became a brand among investors.

In 1994, Friedland's geologists explored a large nickel deposit in Newfoundland, Canada which ultimately made him wealthy. He also engaged in a project for a nickel mine in South Africa. These were a series of waves in his life.

"I came to Mongolia just as the licence ownership rights were guaranteed, after Mongolia adopted a Canadian version of the Minerals Law in 1997. At that time, Garamjav suggested that I conduct drilling at Oyu Tolgoi. And we did it as he said that we will find gold from. It was unique. This was a new land of gold and copper. This was not an ordinary mine and not an area that has just an ordinary minerals. This was the regions of copper and gold."

According to Oyu Tolgoi – Past, Present and Future, published in 2010 by former President Punsalmaagiin Orchirbat, one of the people to pave Friedland's way into Mongolia was James Baker, former chief of staff to President Ronald Reagan's first administration and of President George H. W. Bush's administration in his final year of office. Baker provided assistance for oil company Nescor to launch its operation in Mongolia. At that time, the company was headed by Neil Salsich, and former US President George Bush and Friedland were among its investors.

Unfortunately, Salsich died due to air plane accident in 1998 and Nescor's exploration activity in Tsagaan Els and Zuunbayan in Mongolia were halted. But Friedland was still interested in Mongolia. 
Hugo Dummet, a head geologist for BHP Billiton's exploration operations in Mongolia, was the one to demonstrate to Friedland the potential for Mongolia's mineral resources. Later, Friedland recruited Dummet at Ivanhoe and eventually explored Oyu Tolgoi deposit, which BHP owned at the time.

But after experiencing tremendous losses, BHP needed to sell the majority of its exploration licences, and so Ivanhoe Mines struck a deal.

"The world's largest copper reserves are in Indonesia's Grasberg mine and Chile's Andes Mountains. But the Oyu Tolgoi gold and copper mine neighbours with China, which is starving for metals. So, it means that we are just beside the main market," Friedland told the Financial Times in 2003.

In the article "Baron Robert" by renowned Mongolian columnist Batbayar, or Baabar as most people know him by his pen name, he writes: "Robert Friedland came to Mongolia for venture business, which is a fact. He acquired the licence for Oyu Tolgoi and spent around USD 1 billion for the mine where the global giant BHP explored and found nothing, which is also a fact. If nothing was found there, he would have gone completely bankrupt.

But Friedland did not go bankrupt, and "this extremely risky move by a semi-insane person" paid off—for him and Mongolia.

Today, Friedland ranks 546th among the world's billionaires, according to Forbes, with an annual revenue of USD 2.8 billion. He is the 188th wealthiest person in the United States, and he is one of the most well-known individuals in the global mining arena.

Friedland is an optimistic person who brought major change to the Mongolian economy with Oyu Tolgoi. World investors trust him, and so he was able to raise the funds needed to fund the prospect that first launched Mongolia to investor stardom.

Link to article

 

The Sales Managers' Index: Mongolia

Headline SMI reflects ongoing economic decline in June

·         Business Confidence continues to fall

·         Market Growth Index still decreasing

·         Price Inflation remains high

June 20 (World Economics) The Mongolia Sales Managers' Index brings together the collective wisdom of Sales Managers throughout Mongolia to produce the earliest source of understanding about what's really happening in one of the most resource rich countries in the world. 

Overview

The Headline SMI fell to 45.7 in June from 47.8 in May, indicating that economic activity continues to decline at an accelerating rate. 

Sales Managers have reported that consumers are unable to afford goods and services as prices continue to rise and wages remain stagnant. 

Business Confidence

The Business Confidence Index, which measures how Sales Managers expect the economy to perform over the coming months, remained low and registered 40.3 in June. 

This marks the lowest level of confidence since the panel began in April 2013. 

Sales managers have explained that the continuing depreciation of the Mongolian Tugrik against the Chinese Yuan and the U.S. Dollar is continuing to harm sentiment among investors and businesses. 

Market Growth 

The Market Growth Index reflects the growth of the general marketplace in panellists' own industry sectors. 

The Index registered 41.8 in June, down 2 points from May, making it the fifth month the Index has been under the 50 (no-change) level that distinguishes growth from contraction. 

The trend is consistent with the low levels of Business Confidence seen during the past 9 months. 

Product Sales 

The Product Sales Index reflects the sales of individual companies rather than the wider economy. 

The Index increased marginally to 42.0 in June from 41.4 in May, the fourth successive monthly increase, indicating that the rapid rate of decline in sales may come to an end over the coming months. 

Prices Charged 

The Price Charge Index declined by 1.5 points in June from the 59.5 level in May, indicating that Sales Managers are still passing on large cost increases to customers and businesses. 

Sales Managers have attributed this to the continuing exchange rate depreciation, which is making domestic imported goods such as food and building materials more expensive. 

Staffing Levels 

The Staffing Index reflects the number of staff taken on compared to the same period last year. 

The Index fell to 46.5 in June from 49.5 in May, indicating that Sales Managers are still reducing payrolls but at an increasing rate. 

Summary

World Economics Chief Executive Ed Jones commented:

"The Mongolian Headline SMI for June suggests that economic activity in the country continues to slow down. All indexes are pointing to a contraction in Q2 2014, with the level of Business Confidence and Market Growth falling at a rapid rate while the level of prices continue to increase. Only the Sales Index is signaling a hint of improvement in economic activity."

Link to release

 

Mongolia –Inner Mongolia Business Forum, Ulaanbaatar, July 2-4

June 25 (Mongolian Economy) Investors from Inner Mongolia are arriving to Ulaanbaatar in the beginning of July to take part in a business forum that will take place in the Mongolian Chamber Commerce from July 2nd to July 4th. Over 200 participants will arrive to discuss investment opportunities ranging from mining, banking, logistics, industry, agriculture and trade sectors. 

The event, Mongolia & PRC Inner Mongolian Business forum, is open to the public and is free of charge with registration. Mongolian businesspeople are welcome to register and partake in this business forum. The forum will host a variety of presentations with investors seeking to increase investment with Inner Mongolians who specialize in almost all of the sectors of the Mongolian economy. 

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UAE interest in Mongolia's mining sector deepens

June 25 (Mongolian Economy) The United Arab Emirates are sending representatives to pay Mongolia more official visits in hopes to further its cooperation with Mongolia. The Upper Investment PJS of the UAE wants to invest in mining through private-public partnerships based on investment funds that are based in Abu Dhabi. This is not the first time the United Arab Emirates partnered with Mongolia. In the past, both nations have collaborated on projects within the mining and financial sectors and now want to expand its teamwork in more sectors. 

By using its funds based in Abu Dhabi, Arabians aim to partner and invest with Mongolians in mining infrastructure, airlines, real estate, automobiles, energy, banking and finance. Representatives from the UAE underlined in its talk with M. Enkhbold, the Deputy Speaker of parliament, that it needs strong support in order for investment to occur. 

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White history of 'Black Gold' in Mongolia

June 24 (UB Post) It has been twenty years since Mongolia's first president, P.Ochirbat, marked his white deel with the "black gold" found at Tamsag in Dornod Province. There are many disputes and criteria in the field of "black gold", or oil, but more "white" history. The extraction of oil has helped to reduce local unemployment. Every year, the money brought to the state from this industry increases. Therefore, in the future, it can become one of the primary factors of progress in the economy. State estimates suggest that from 1993 through 2013, 2.6 million tons of oil was extracted and 2.48 million tons exported to China. As planned, this year 782.6 thousand tons of oil will be exported. Information reported mid-year shows that 374.3 thousand tons of oil were extracted and 361.4 thousand tons were exported.

The guaranteed oil reserve in Mongolia is 332.6 million tons, 90 percent of which is found in Tamsag. Now oil exploration and production at five of the province's eight sites is being conducted by four companies operating under production sharing contracts. One of them is Petro China Dachin Tamsag, a company led with Chinese investment. They do extraction at Toson-Uul site No.19 and Tamsag site No.21, where the majority of the country's oil reserves are found. Earlier, we reported that on June 12 through 16, journalists became acquainted with their work. The company has 405 Mongolian and 87 Chinese workers.

Rehabilitated sites

There are disputes that the work of the Mongolian and Chinese workers are identical but their salaries are different. Employers says that the Chinese workers are much more capable, and that there are few Mongolians among such workers. Therefore, the Polytechnic College of Dornod Province has started training general specialists in oil. It is the only place in Mongolia preparing workers for the oil industry. They train experts in oil extraction and underground management. The college was established in 1923 as a veterinary school. The Polytechnic College prepares experts in agriculture, extraction, railway and oil. It employs more than 50 teachers and serves more than 800 students. The companies order workers for necessary areas, and 90 percent of all students find a job. These companies support the college with the necessary equipment, technology and financial resources to receive highly qualified workers. The college is going to celebrate its 90th anniversary soon. It has 6.4 hectares of land and is now planning to build an "Eco Campus". Buildings are ready, all that is left is to construct roads and solve the problems of lighting and video monitoring to make it a world-class complex. Two billion MNT from the state budget will be spent on the campus in 2014 and 2015.

Lighting will be generated by renewable energy sources. Administrators of the college say that the project will be complete by 2015.

G.Ulziiburen: We should calculate if there will be economic growth after building an oil factory

We need to pay more attention to not exporting raw oil. Therefore, the government decided to build a factory in Darkhan-Uul Province. But one month ago, in a National Security Cabinet meeting, this project was canceled because Darkhan-Uul's factory couldn't use imported material. This means the factory will be dependent on Dornod's sites 19 and 21, which contain 90 percent of all of Mongolia's oil reserves. When asked about this issue, G.Ulziiburen, head of the Petroleum Authority said, "A working group for building a processing plant, led by the State Secretary of the Ministry of Mining, is working on this issue. We are planning to build a new factory in Sainshand and in Choir. But the problem is how to transport the oil from Tamsag. There is no country which transports oil by car except Mongolia.

They use special channels. For each ton, we spend 60 USD on transportation. However, transporting by channels is right. We need 300-400 million USD to build them. Where should we get that amount of money? At this time, 10 companies have licenses to construct oil processing factories. But they are not working because it's not economically feasible. Doing is harder than talking. We need processing factories for sure, but we should calculate if it's economically effective to build an oil factory. This should be decided by the National Security Cabinet."

What do they do with liquid waste that contains chemicals?

This is the outstanding issue between citizens and the Petroleum Authority. Companies conduct research and place drills where oil might be. There are no places now spoiled and drafted. Build the channels and then collect the oil underground. Separate water and gas from the collected oil, then relay liquid waste into an earlier prepared hole. The hole, 20 meters long, 15 meters wide, and four meters deep is covered by an impermeable film. There are special companies for relaying waste. Most of the liquid waste is clay. The companies skim the floating oil off the top of the liquid waste. The residual liquid contains certain chemical elements, so they neutralize them, and only the liquid is left to dry. This is the technical process. The environment assimilates the impermeable film after 20 years.
With the same technology, after only one year, the oil extraction site can be renewed. People say, "Our country has been excavated," as they see places needing renewal. We have been to places where ecological restoration has been done. At first, they plant annuals, and then local plants. Leading expert of renewal, L.Erdenesaikhan says, "There is no difference between natural and renewed places. We noticed mice colonies in renewed places, they won't live in adverse environments." Companies note that they are increasing renewal funds. They hand over renewed places to the government. Our mission to east ends, and we travel back home.

Source: Unuudur http://mongolnews.mn/p/52922

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Mongolia energy sector investment update

June 24 (UB Post) As the parliament was given the task of boosting economic development, the Government of Mongolia started regularly informing the press about its work. The newly established Economic Council working under the Prime Minister holds a meeting with journalists every Monday. At this week's meeting, the council gave reporters good news.

Last week, a business summit was organized for the first time in Mongolia. The Economic Council reported that about 200 representatives from 22 countries attended Mongolian Business Summit 2014, a hallmark event organized by the Mongolian Economic Forum NGO. The President of Mongolia, the Prime Minister, and other ministers attended the event, made presentations about attracting foreign investment and increasing national production, and exchanged opinions. Mongolia introduced 18 projects in areas such as mining, energy and construction worth 22 billion USD to investors, presented the investment law and government policy and decisions, and made an effort to revive investors' trust.

The Economic Council reported that two projects introduced during the event received investment. On the second day of the event, a concession contract to build Thermal Power Plant Five was signed. International Power GDF Suez of France, Sojitz Cooperation of Japan, and Posco Energy of South Korea will raise 100 million dollars each and build Thermal Power Plant Five through the concession contract. The concession contract will come into effect after the investors resolve investment issues and sign a land use contract, power purchase contract, and water use contract with relevant state agencies, and then construction of Thermal Power Plant V will begin. Economists highlight that the power plant's construction will become a significant incentive for development of the Mongolian energy sector.

Head of the Tavan Tolgoi Power Plant Project, M.Enkhsaikhan, attended the Economic Council's meeting with the press. He said the Mongolian Business Summit was significant for being organized by private enterprise.

M.Enkhsaikhan stated, "It was highly valuable for accurately depicting Mongolia to foreigners and creating trust. Reviving trust broken due to the erroneous policies of past years is not an easy thing. During the summit, Prime Minister N.Altankhuhag sent invitations to four companies that passed the pre-selection process for constructing the Tavan Tolgoi Power Plant Project, and we received their opinions during the summit. Representatives visited Oyu Tolgoi and Tavan Tolgoi. We will send our commercial offer to them in July, and they will send their offers to us in return. We ought to choose the most competitive offer and begin the project." In accordance with the project's implementation plan, the executor companies will carry out technical studies with their own expenses. According to a preliminary estimate, the required investment for the power plant is about one billion USD.

Enkhsaikhan said the Government of Mongolia is very concerned with increasing its energy production and has notably financed the energy sector from the Chinggis Bond fund. As result of this, Thermal Power Plant Three recently expanded its capacity by 50 MW and Thermal Power Plant Four will expand its capacity by 100 MW in November. Thermal Power Plant Five will be constructed through a concession contract and Tavan Tolgoi Power Plant through an ITF project. These power resources will be constructed and financed by foreign specialists and investors. M.Enkhsaikhan said, "Mongolia's future largely depends on the fulfilment of our job. Thus, we will work without the right to make mistakes. We Mongolians should work together as a team. Currently, we haven't encountered any obstacles. We have so much to do in the future." Analysts say the summit organized at Ikh Tenger State Complex contributed a lot to reviving investors' trust, opening new business opportunities to collaborate in Mongolia, and introducing the Mongolian business and economic environment to investors. The Business Summit will be organized annually in Ulaanbaatar. Source: News.mn http://economy.news.mn/content/182963.shtml

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IFC Helps Promote Corporate Governance in Mongolia, Boosting Business Competitiveness

Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, June 24, 2014 (IFC) IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today introduced the newly approved Mongolian Corporate Governance Code in an effort to enhance the performance and competitiveness of Mongolian companies.

Adopted by the country's Financial Regulatory Commission last month, the Mongolian Corporate Governance Code addresses Mongolia's most common corporate governance issues, including abuse of shareholders' rights, disclosures to shareholders, and checks and balances between governance bodies.

"Firms with better governance are more sustainable and profitable," said Mongolia's Financial Regulatory Commissioner and head of National Corporate Governance Council Ganbayar Davaa. "We hope the adoption of the code will encourage more Mongolian firms to improve their corporate governance practices. In turn, this will lead to more efficient management, better allocation of resources, and more sustainable value creation, which will contribute to the country's long-term economic growth."

IFC partnered with the Financial Regulatory Commission to develop this set of standards, which was introduced to Mongolia's business community during the seventh annual Corporate Governance Forum.

"Companies with good corporate governance practices can reach a higher valuation and attract more investors and business partners," said Phillip Armstrong, Senior Adviser for Corporate Governance, IFC. "To establish a framework for such business practices, the Mongolian Corporate Governance Code embraces the most significant international principles of corporate governance yet also meets local requirements and conditions."

More than 100 company directors, managers, and government officials gathered at the forum co-sponsored by IFC and the Corporate Governance Development Center. In addition to the code, the participants discussed good governance practices and the challenges faced by Mongolian companies and banks.

IFC, together with the Financial Regulatory Commission and the Corporate Governance Development Center, released the first Mongolian Corporate Governance Scorecard, an independent survey of corporate governance practices, in November last year. The Scorecard found that the average corporate governance score for Mongolia's top 20 listed companies is only 27.5 percent, indicating existing corporate governance rules and regulations are insufficiently implemented.

Based on the findings of the Scorecard, IFC and the Mongolian government have developed several initiatives to improve the country's corporate governance framework, including developing the code.

In partnership with Japan and the Netherlands, IFC's Mongolia Corporate Governance Program has organized training and consultations for more than 330 joint-stock companies and banks since 2009. 

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Wagner Asia: 18 years in Mongolia

June 19 --

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Ulaanbaatar

Ulaanbaatar and Vienna to Broaden Cooperation With Expert Exchange

June 25 (infomongolia.com) Mongolian delegates led by the Governor of the Capital City and Mayor of Ulaanbaatar Mr. Erdene BAT-UUL are conducting an official visit to the Republic of Austria.

On June 25, 2014, Mayor of Vienna, Mr. Michael Haupl received Mongolian delegation and expressed a gratitude for accepting his invitation to visit the city.

In the frameworks of visit, the two Mayors discussed issues of collaboration broadening and agreed to employ Mongolian experts from Ulaanbaatar in Vienna. The visit of Mayor E.Bat-Uul is successfully continuing, reports the Mayor's Office.

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Ulaanbaatar to Exchange Staffs with ViennaMontsame, June 25

 

Ulaanbaatar: Becoming a better place to live

June 24 (UB Post) Several large scale leisure and recreational places have opened up this year in Ulaanbaatar. In an effort to develop the city into a more friendly place to live in, individuals, government and companies have spent substantial time and fortune to actualize these projects. The following is a little introduction about the projects.

Nogoonnuur Park

Nogoonnuur Park opened on May 1. When we visited the park, the place was filled with children laughing and riding small boats in the lake.

S.Ulziitogtolkh who worked in North Korea for three years, from 2005-2008, has managed to build a new park and he is cleaning much of the garbage and waste around Nogoonnuur to make it more comfortable for visitors.

Nogoonnuur Lake was discovered after Denjiin Myanga's gravel mine accidentally encountered an underground water reserve which flooded the mine, forcing its operators to cease operations.

Ulziitogtokh saw an opportunity and decided to build a park around the lake and he has been working on the project for three years. As a result of the vision, now adults and children living in the area gained a chance to ride boats and a place to spend their leisure time.

S.Ulziitogtokh's dream is to develop the park into a special place for people to enjoy themselves and spend leisure time. He is planning to manage the park in two different ways for warm and cold seasons. In summer, an open swimming pool will be built and the lake will be used for boat riding. In winter, it's possible to use the park as an ice rink. S.Ulziitogtokh is confident that his dream will be realized in the coming years.

The park was originally aimed at children living in the ger district who have limited places to play and spend free time. S.Ulziitogtokh confided that he felt quilty knowing how children in ger distinct, who sometimes live in extremely difficult condition, might look back on their childhood without play and only bitter memories. So he felt that a park is an ideal solution to the issue.

"As a youth, as an optimistic person, I dreamed that the future will be bright and I can fulfill my dream to build a great park named 'Nogoonnuur'. My fundamental goal is this, not an interest to earn profit," he said.

S.Ulziitogtokh begun his work with large scale cleaning at Nogoonnuur. He hired people to clean, and sometimes he also worked to clean the environment. "There were two truck full of waste after the cleaning," he said. After the cleaning, he started to build a bridge, road and erected a fence to protect the environment.

Although the task of growing plants and trees and building a park in an abandoned and neglected area alone was not understood. But S.Ulziitogtokh kept pursuing his dream, despite his wife's opposition. He spent a small fortune for landscaping and for other work from his family income. When he came back from North Korea, he did not have much money. Although he has bank loans, he's happy to begin his work at the park, he said.

At the park, children pay 500 MNT to rent a small boat for 15 minutes and adults pay 1,000 MNT. Boat rent costs 2,000 MNT for an hour.

National Garden

The newly opened National Garden has already become a popular destination for city dwellers to spend their leisure time. The garden has impressed Ulaanbaatar residents with its comfort provision and new solutions. The National Garden is located south of Dunjingarav trade center and Tuul River bank and covers 960 hectares of land. It's green area takes up 23 percent of Ulaanbaatar's total area and it is the biggest green area in the city. The park has fountains, a children's playground, a Police square, a sports complex that takes up 2.7 hectares, a football field, basketball courts, tennis courts, ski tracks, a race track and a bicycle track. A 2.7 km long additional bicycle track opened on June 2, which is proving incredibly popular.

National Amusement Park

The National Amusement Park has been a favorite destination of children in the nation since November 1965. It is located at the center of the city and takes up 35 hectares of land. Green areas take up 25 hectares, ponds and lake take up 1.8 hectares, and games and rides take up 5.6 hectares. The National Amusement Park has 15 games and rides, such as "Bongo's World" game center, automatic game center, bowling, and video games based on modern technology. The park has six restaurants, small shopping centers and birthday/ special occasion centers. It's mostly crowded on holidays and special occasions such as Children's Day.

Grand Maitreya Project

Grand Maitreya Project was initiated in 2009 and it includes many establishments, buildings and constructions. Grand Maitreya Project includes four main constructions. The first is the construction of the 54 meter tall, fifth Buddhist God of Future Maitreya, which will be the tallest statue in Mongolia, accompanied by a 108 meter tall Zarlig Uvidastyn Stupa. The second project is Soyombo Town Complex, the third is Maitreya Eco City, and the last construction will plant trees around the statue of Grand Maitreya.

Grand Maitreya will be built in Sergelen soum of Tuv province, located 50 kms from Ulaanbaatar. Soyombo Town Complex will include a park named "Buddha Land" which will be one of the largest parks in Mongolia. The park is expected to be built by 2020.

Source: http://news.barilga.mn/r/2326,

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Diplomacy

President Ts.Elbegdorj Proposes Mongolia, Russia, China High-Level Trilateral Meeting in Ulaanbaatar

June 25 (infomongolia.com) Today on June 25, 2014, the President of Mongolia Tsakhia ELBEGDORJ received Foreign Minister of the People's Republic of China Wang Yi.

At the beginning of meeting, President Ts.Elbegdorj noted that the bilateral relations between Mongolia and the PR of China have been actively developing in all sectors in recent years and reached at the top friendly level and further said, "It is very consistent with Mongolia's position that China is pursuing a more open and comprehensive policy towards neighboring countries".

In the scope of the 65th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries, the year of 2014 is announced as a Mongolia-China Friendly Exchange Year. In this regard, bilateral friendly relations will be strengthened by promoting reciprocal travel of children, youths, public servants and civilians, underline parties.

During the meeting, Foreign Minister Wang Yi expressed his grateful to meet the President Ts.Elbegdorj and conveyed sincere greetings of the President Xi Jinping. In his greetings, President of China mentioned a warm meeting with President of Mongolia exchanging views on issues of bilateral relations during the Fourth Summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia took place in Shanghai last May and expressed his confidence to see the President Ts.Elbegdorj soon in Ulaanbaatar.

Minister for Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China Wang Yi visited Mongolia 11 years ago and during this visit noted that Mongolia has been changed a lot in terms of Mongolia's successful achievements and efforts. Minister also underlined that the President Xi Jinping anticipates conducting a state visit to Mongolia soon, which is considered as historical significance after President Hu Jintao, who paid a state visit to Mongolia 11 years ago.

Foreign Minister Wang Yi emphasized that the Government of China's policy is to respect the two countries' paths of the flourishment and support each other, moreover to strengthen mutual trusts between the two states and to respect each other's sovereignty and territorial integrity as well as security issues.

Minister Wang Yi also pointed out that Mongolia's initiation on "Ulaanbaatar Dialogue" raised by the President Ts.Elbegdorj makes significant contributions towards regional and international peace and partnership.

President of Mongolia Ts.Elbegdorj mentioned his suggestion of the possibilities of a trilateral high-level meeting in Ulaanbaatar between Mongolia, the Russian Federation and the People's Republic of China and expressed his gratitude to the invitation to participate at the APEC Summit as a guest of honor.

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Prime Minister of Mongolia Meets Foreign Minister of ChinaInfoMongolia, June 25

 

Mongolian president meets Chinese FM on ties

ULAN BATOR, June 25 (Xinhua) -- Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj held talks with visiting Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi here on Wednesday, with both sides vowing to promote bilateral ties to a new level.

Elbegdorj said Mongolia-China relations are now in the best shape ever, with cooperation in various fields making remarkable headway.

The concept of "amity, sincerity, mutual benefit and inclusiveness" put forward by the Chinese leadership will create favorable conditions for advancing Mongolia-China ties and regional cooperation, he said.

The president also reiterated Mongolia's adherence to the One China policy and readiness to make joint efforts with the Chinese side to promote exchanges and cooperation in various areas and open a new chapter in bilateral ties.

Wang, for his part, said both Chinese President Xi Jinping and President Elbegdorj attach great importance to and try personally to push forward China-Mongolia relations, which adds great impetus to the good-neighborly relations and mutually beneficial cooperation.

China will follow its neighborhood diplomacy guideline featuring "amity, sincerity, mutual benefit and inclusiveness" in its cooperation with Mongolia in various areas, intensifying high-level exchanges, promoting economic and trade cooperation, and increasing cultural exchanges on multiple levels, Wang said.

The top Chinese diplomat also called on both sides to strengthen coordination on international and regional affairs and promote China-Mongolia ties to a new era of development.

Wang arrived here Tuesday on a three-day visit.

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Speaker of Turkish Parliament Visits Historical Sites of Mongolia

June 25 (infomongolia.com) On June 24, 2014, Speaker of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey (Parliament) Mr. Cemil Cicek, who is paying an official visit to Mongolia these days, has visited the site, where the Tonyukuk shining monuments are preserved to date, located in the territory of Nalaikh District, Ulaanbaatar.

By visiting the site, Turkish delegates got acquainted with "11 km of Paved Road to Tonyukuk Monuments" project being implemented under "Protection and Rehabilitation of Ancient Turkic Findings" Program by Turkish International Cooperation and Development Agency (TIKA).

In the frameworks of the Ministry of Education and Science of Mongolia and TIKA partnership, parties established an agreement in 1994 to preserve, protect and rehabilitate ancient Turkic findings located in the territory of Mongolia.

The main objective of the project is to protect the Tonyukuk shining monuments by the means of replacing these monuments with copy ones and relocate the original monuments of Tonyukuk in a museum, and make some arrangements in the place where original monuments are situated. The 11 km of paved road will be stretched from Bayanzurkh District to the Tonyukuk shining monuments and under construction with 30% of completion and will be operational by September of 2014.

During the visit, Speaker C.Cicek noted, "Mongolia and Turkey are nations of friendly brotherhood relations connected with our forefathers and this year we are celebrating the 45th anniversary of diplomatic ties. The TIKA is implementing many projects around the world and this project is one of the investments to Mongolia. We wish to accomplish this project on time and wish our joyous blessing to all drivers on this road".

On June 25, 2014, Turkish delegates headed by Speaker of the Parliament Cemil Cicek and Speaker of Mongolian Parliament Zandaakhuu ENKHBOLD have toured to the ancient capital city of Mongolia, Kharkhorum (Karakorum), which is located in Kharkhorin Sum of Uvurkhangai Aimag (Province).

During their visit, dignitaries were introduced the Erdene Zuu Monastery, the earliest surviving Buddhist monastery, which was ordered to construct by Avtai Sain Khaan (Abtai Sain Khan) in 1586.

They also visited the "Khar Khorum" and "Erdene Zuu" Museums, where about 7,900 exhibits are preserved in "Erdene Zuu" Museum and in the other museum are stored precious heritages of Stone Age, Bronze Age, as well as exhibits displaying eras of early States, Great Mongol Empire and Mongolia's ancient capital city of Kharkhorum.

Following the visit to Uvurkhangai Aimag, delegates headed for Arkhangai Aimag to visit the Khushuu Tsaidam Memorial Complex in Khashaat Sum of Arkhangai Aimag.

Tonyukuk shining monuments

Tonyukuk monuments, located 60 km from Ulaanbaatar, include two stone monuments with ancient inscriptions and a number of human statues. Archaeological excavations performed in the area have uncovered the remains of a brick building with ceramic roof, which at one point burned down and was destroyed. The engraved text covering the eight sides of the two stone monuments contains runic characters. It describes the social situation at the time and events connected with the biography of Tonyukuk the Wise (624-732 AD), a man of noble birth who acted as advisor to three Turkic kings. Tonyukuk was imprisoned for a crime committed while the Turks were subjects of the Chinese, but he was released at the time of Qutuluq's rebellion.

Eventually, when Qutuluq became king, Tonyukuk was appointed as his advisor. Qutuluq died in 693 and was replaced by his brother Mojo, who had been connected with the previous regime, including Tonyukuk. Yet Tonyukuk organized a secret plot with support of exiled politicians, which succeeded in overturning Mojo's ruling, and led to the coronation of Mogilyan as king of the empire. The monuments here were erected by Tonyukuk himself.

Erdene Zuu Monastery

The Erdene Zuu Monastery is part of the Orkhon Valley Cultural Landscape World Heritage Site. The Avtai Sain Khaan, ruler of the Khalkh Mongols and grandfather of Zanabazar, the first Jebtsundamba Khutuktu (Javzandamba Khutagt), ordered construction of the Erdene Zuu Monastery in 1585 after his meeting with the III Dalai Lama and the declaration of Tibetan Buddhism as the state religion of Mongolia.

Khushuu Tsaidam Memorial Complex

This sacred memorial complex, dedicated to Bilge Khaan (Khagan) of Turkic Empire and his younger brother Kul-tegin (Kul Tigin) which flourished during the VI-VIII century, is situated 40 km northeast from Kharkhorin, Arkhangai Aimag. Kul-tegin's grandson, Yolug-tegin, had this memorial built. Bilge Khaan's stele, well known as Orkhon Inscription, is 3,3 m high, 1,3 m wide and has 68 rows of inscription. Bilge Khaan, who was the latest King of Turkic Empire, ruled its country for 19 years. During the excavation of the memorial in July of 2001, over 2,000 finds were revealed and the most important one among them was a gemstone inlaid golden crown of Bilge Khaan. It was formerly an entire complex, but only this stele has been remained currently. These memorials were recognized as a "cultural landscape" of the UNESCO World Heritage in 1996 and under state protection since 1961.

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Mongolia and Poland hold first intergovernmental meeting on economic cooperation

June 25 (news.mn) The 1st Intergovernmental commission meeting on economic cooperation between Mongolia and Poland was held on Tuesday June 24th.

The first intergovernmental commission meeting was jointly chaired by the Deputy Minister of Economic Development, chair of the joint commission representing Mongolia O.Chuluunbat, Deputy Minister of Economy of Poland, the chair of the commission representing Poland Dariush Bogdan.

At the joint commission meeting the parties exchanged information on the current politics and socio-economic developments of both countries. Talks were held on bilateral relations and cooperation, opportunities for increasing bilateral cooperation, and launching projects that can bring Polish technology to plant sweet beets in Mongolia and build a plant of agricultural facilities.

The parties were also looking for ways to cooperate on mining, railroads and road shipment, education, science, health and social protection.

In the scope of the joint commission meeting, the parties successfully held the Mongolia-Poland business forum along with the Mongolian National Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

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Mongolia-Poland Intergovernmental Commission MeetsMontsame, June 25

 

2014 Mongolia-Poland Business Forum Successfully Held in Ulaanbaatar

June 25 (infomongolia.com) In the frameworks of the First Intergovernmental Commission Meeting between Mongolia and the Republic of Poland took place in Ulaanbaatar yesterday, the Government Implementing Agency - Invest Mongolia and Polish Information and Foreign Investment Agency in collaboration with Mongolian National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MNCCI) and Polish Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) have organized a Mongolia-Poland Business Forum on June 23, 2014.

The opening remarks were delivered by Deputy Minister for Economic Development of Mongolia O.Chuluunbat, non-resident Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Poland to Mongolia Tadeusz Chomicki, and Undersecretary of State at the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Poland Tadeusz Nalewajk.

At the Forum, Chairman of Invest Mongolia Agency S.Javkhlanbaatar delivered a report introducing Mongolia's investment environment, new Law on Investment and business opportunities in the country.

Also, Memorandums of Cooperation between Invest Mongolia Agency and Polish Information and Foreign Investment Agency, and MNCCI and PCCI were established.

The Polish business delegates were represented with 25 companies in agriculture and mining facilities & equipment manufacturing, infrastructure, construction, energy, bank and financial institutions, and during the Forum they held meetings with over 50 Mongolian entrepreneurs by establishing contacts and contracts.

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Mongolia-Poland Business Forum RunsMontsame, June 25

 

Court Councils of Mongolia and Italy Signs MOU

Ulaanbaatar, June 25 (MONTSAME) A memorandum of understanding between Court Councils of Mongolia and Italy was signed Tuesday in Ulaanbaatar.

The document was inked by Prof Michele Vietti, a vice-president of the Italian High Judicial Council, and by N.Lundendorj, a chair of the Judicial General Council of Mongolia.

As the judicial system of Italy gives special importance to the independent judicial administration, the cooperation is expected to be particularly fruitful, said Lundendorj.

During his official visit to Mongolia on June 23-28, Mr Vietti will meet Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Mongolia Ts.Zorigt and Human Rights and Legal Policy Advisor to the President of Mongolia Ch.Onorbayar.

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How Powerful Is Your Passport?

June 25 (Mongolian Economy) Traveling has become a necessity for many countries in order to attract more foreign investment and capital. However, very few nations carry the privilege of easy travel for its citizens, who are allowed access to a wide variety of countries without a required visa outside of their passport. While passports may seem to grant traveling advantages, there is a bigger and more profound underlying value each passport carries. 

Each country is powerful in its own right. Passports are reflections of each nation's geopolitical standing and its relations with other countries. So where does Mongolia stand in comparison with its counterparts? 

By comparing all of the countries around the world, Mongolia has access to 51 different countries without a visa requirement outside of its passport, ranking it on the least powerful side of the spectrum. Places such as the United Kingdom, Finland and Sweden boast a number of 173, marking them as the countries with the most powerful passports, which also show that they have a strong geopolitical hold in the international realm. 

Passports also carry immense value. The more powerful the passport, the more valuable it is. Mongolia falls into line with Morocco and could increase its influence by increasing its foreign investment. By examining countries with superior access in terms of traveling privileges, those with more investment and higher positive relations tend to have more entries to other nations.

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Social, Environmental and Other

Mongolia's Environment Minister Elected First President of United Nations Environment Assembly

(Outgoing Governing Council President Hassan Abdelgadir Hilal of Sudan congratulates incoming UNEA President Oyun Sanjaasuren of Mongolia)

Nairobi, 24 June 2014 (UNEP) Dr. Oyun Sanjaasuren, the Minister of Environment and Green Development of Mongolia, has been elected the first president of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA).

Hundreds of environment ministers, decision makers, scientists, civil society representatives and business leaders have gathered at the inaugural meeting of UNEA, a new world body that places environmental issues at the heart of international affairs and provides fresh impetus to tackle growing global challenges.

Dr. Oyun was elected president on the first day of the meeting at the headquarters of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in Nairobi, taking over from Sudanese Minister of Environment and Forestry Hassan Abdel-Gadir Hilal, who was President of the Governing Council. She brings a wealth of experience in environmentalism and political consensus-building to this vital role.

She has been a continuously elected Member of Parliament since entering politics in 1998, pushing crucial legislation in areas such as anti-corruption and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). From 2005 to 2008 she chaired the Mongolian Parliament's sub-committee on the MDGs and poverty reduction.

She has been the leader of the Civil Will Green Party since 2000. When Dr. Oyun took up the environment portfolio in 2012, environment became one of the priority agendas of the Mongolian government, which hosted World Environment Day in 2013. Mongolia joined the Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE) during the event, and has pledged to transition to a green future by promoting renewable energy, sustainable tourism and tackling air pollution, amongst other measures. Mongolia's Parliament recently approved the country's Green Development Strategy.

Dr. Oyun is also the Vice-Chair of Mongolia's National Committee on Sustainable Development, and her ministry is in charge of formulating Mongolia's post-2015 development goals.

Married with three children, Dr. Oyun holds a Ph.D in Earth Sciences from Cambridge University, UK, and a BA and M.Sc. in Geochemistry from Charles University, Czech Republic. She is the founder and head of the Zorig Foundation, a Mongolian organization dedicated to the advancement of democracy and youth education.

The other members of the UNEA bureau are as follows:

Vice-President - H.E. Prof. Judy Wakhungu, Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Water and Natural Resources of the Republic of Kenya

Vice-President - H.E. Mr. Mahmoud Samy, Ambassador, Head of Sustainable Development and Environment Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Arab Republic of Egypt

Vice-President - H.E. Mr. Sargon Lazar Slewa, Minister of Environment of the Republic of Iraq

Vice-President - H.E. Mr. Attila Korodi, Minister of Environment and Climate Change of Romania

Vice-President - H.E. Ms. Khatuna Gogaladze, Minister of Environment and Natural Resources of the Republic of Georgia

Vice-President - Ms. Idunn Eidheim, Deputy Director General for International Cooperation of the Ministry of Climate and Environment of the Kingdom of Norway

Vice-President - Mr. Chris Vanden Bilcke, Head of Directorate for Sustainable Development and Climate Change, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belgium

Vice-President - H.E. Mr. Mariano Castro, Vice-Minister of Environment of Peru

Rapporteur - H.E. Mr. James Fletcher, Minister of Sustainable Development, Energy, Science and Technology of St. Lucia

About the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA)

UNEA is the highest-level UN body ever convened on the environment. It enjoys universal membership of all 193 UN member states as well as other stakeholder groups. With this wide reach into the legislative, financial and development arenas, the new body presents a ground-breaking platform for leadership on global environmental policy. UNEA boasts over 1200 participants, 170 national delegations, 112 delegations headed at minister level and 40 events during the five-day event from 23 to 27 June 2014 at UNEP's Headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya.

Link to release

 

WHO to Certify Mongolia as Measles-Free

Ulaanbaatar, June 25 (MONTSAME) A certificate granting ceremony for the total eliminations of measles in Mongolia will be held in Ulaanbaatar this Thursday.

The certificate is expected to be awarded the Government of Mongolia by Dr Marc Jacobs, a Director for Combating Communicable Diseases at World Health Organization (WHO), Western Pacific Regional Office. During the visit of Mr Jacobs, a 'Measles-free Mongolia' national vaccination conference will take place June 26-27, with participation of some hundred representatives of provinces.

On March 20, the WHO declared four countries such as Mongolia, Australia, South Korea and Macau free of measles.

According to a WHO report, Mongolia has experienced no lab-confirmed or epidemiologically-linked cases since 2010, when last seven clinically confirmed cases of measles occurred.

Measles is an infection of the respiratory system caused by a virus, specifically a paramyxovirus of the genus Morbillivirus. In developing countries, where measles is highly endemic, WHO doctors recommend two doses of vaccine be given at six and nine months of age. Unvaccinated populations are at risk for the disease.

There is no specific treatment for measles. Most patients with uncomplicated measles will recover with rest and supportive treatment. It is, however, important to seek medical advice if the patient becomes more unwell, as they may be developing complications.

Link to article

 

UNDP: Strengthening Local Level Capacities for Disaster Risk Reduction, Management and Coordination in Mongolia

(EMD OFFICER'S TWO WEEK TRAINING TO OBTAIN EDUCATIONAL CERTIFICATE FOR INSTRUCTING DISASTER RISK REDUCTION (DRR) •      A TWO PHASE TRAINING COURSE FOR 75 OFFICERS OF CENTRAL AND LOCAL EMDS RESPONSIBLE FOR DISASTER PREVENTION AND PUBLIC AWARENESS AND REFRESHER COURSE FOR SENIOR OFFICERS RESPONSIBLE FOR DISASTER PROTECTION PLANNING AND PREPAREDNESS WERE HELD WITH THE AIM TO IMPROVE THEIR CAPACITY, AND PROVIDE PARTICIPANTS WITH CERTIFICATION TO CONDUCT FURTHER PUBLIC AWARENESS RAISING TRAINING (ANNUAL REPORT 2013))

What is the project about?

The overall goal of the project is to facilitate decentralized disaster management through sustainable prevention, response and coordination mechanisms, thus reduce vulnerabilities of urban and rural poor. The objective of the project is to enhance disaster management capacities by clarifying roles and responsibilities, formalizing local-level disaster management mechanisms and applying tailored approaches for disaster prevention, preparedness and response in urban and rural settings. At the policy level, the main focus will be on improved coordination and integration of disaster management issues into national and local level development planning.

Expected outcomes:

·         Reduced risks and consequences of natural and man-made disasters at national and community levels

·         Improved sustainability of natural resources management and resilience of ecosystems and vulnerable populations to the changing climate

Expected outputs:

·         National climate and disaster risk management capacities improved in coordination, communication and networking

·         Capacities of vulnerable sectors and communities strengthened in climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction

Three inter-related program outputs will support the achievement of the objective:

Output 1: Policy and regulatory frameworks enable clearer roles and responsibilities for improved disaster risk reduction and management

Output 2: Local-level disaster management mechanisms have procedures and competencies tailored for urban and rural vulnerabilities

Output 3: Feasible local-level mechanisms for disaster risk reduction and response further replicated

What have we accomplished so far?

(LOCAL DRR MECHANISM HAS BEEN IDENTIFIED THROUGH BASELINE STUDY. THE BASELINE STUDY ON LOCAL DISASTER RISK MANAGEMENT MECHANISM AND BUDGET ALLOCATION FOR DISASTER RISK REDUCTION ACTIVITIES WAS CONDUCTED AT SOUMS AND KHOROOS WITH THE PURPOSE OF IDENTIFYING FEASIBLE MECHANISMS FOR LOCAL DISASTER RISK MANAGEMENT AND MAINSTREAMING DISASTER RISK REDUCTION INTO LOCAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM. MORE THAN 600 PEOPLE TOOK PART IN THE STUDIES AND DISCUSSIONS ORGANIZED IN 15 PROJECT TARGET SITES (ANNUAL REPORT 2013).)

Project Output 1: Policy and regulatory frameworks enable clearer roles and responsibilities for improved disaster risk reduction and management.

·         The application of the Law on Disaster Protection over the past ten years, and analyses of this application, have revealed gaps in its coordination and other shortcomings. In response and in order to develop national disaster management in line with international best practice, the project conducted a comparative study and analysis of disaster management legal documents and disaster risk management functions of relevant stakeholders. Based on the findings of the study, the drafts of the Reformulated Law on Disaster Protection and Law on Legal Status of Disaster Management Organizations have been drafted and have been submitted to NEMA. Five follow-up discussions for further improvement were organized involving over 300 people from relevant stakeholders.

·         In the framework of coordinating disaster management at local level, the model disaster preparedness plan for soum and khoroo level was developed and piloted considering natural and geographical conditions, population distribution, infrastructure as well as current disaster management needs.

·         The baseline study on local disaster risk management mechanism and budget allocation for disaster risk reduction activities was conducted at soums and khoroos with the purpose of identifying feasible mechanisms for local disaster risk management and mainstreaming disaster risk reduction into local development program. More than 600 people took part in the studies and discussions organized in 15 project target sites.

·         Thirteen Disaster Risk Reduction Partnership Councils have been established next to the Soum and Khoroo Governors' Offices of project sites to further support and encourage herders groups' to engage in disaster risk reduction activities

What have we accomplished so far?

Project Output 2: Local-level disaster management mechanisms have procedures and competencies tailored for urban and rural vulnerabilities.

·         Two consecutive workshops were conducted jointly with Asian Disaster Preparedness Center /ADPC/ on Community Based Disaster Risk Reduction /CBDRR/ in Selenge and Khentii provinces involving 63 people including  soum governors, project local coordinators and local disaster management officials from over 40 different soums and bags. Participants obtained a clear understanding of CBDRR building blocks and shared their experiences and challenges in DRR implementation.

·         A two phase training course for 75 officers of central and local EMDs responsible for disaster prevention and public awareness and refresher course for senior officers responsible for disaster protection planning and preparedness were held with the aim to improve their capacity, and provide participants with certification to conduct further public awareness raising training.

·         The studio "Rescuer" next to the NEMA was established and equipped by the required technics and equipment to broadcast DRR awareness raising programs through TV channels.

·         The Public Awareness Program on Disaster Risk Reduction was developed with the aim of increasing knowledge and understanding of general public on DRR, and building a culture of living safer by reducing risks. The program includes the advocacy plan developed taking into account the main international and national disaster protection and prevention awareness days and seasonal hazards and has been praised by experts as an excellent initiative.

·         Trainings for disaster response task forces and volunteers were conducted in 2 soums and 2 khoroos involving about 200 people with the aim of providing them with the practical skill and knowledge on their safe involvement to disaster risk reduction and disaster response.

Project Output 3: Feasible local level mechanisms for disaster risk reduction and response further replicated

·         The UNDP Mongolia, in close partnership with the Asian Disaster Preparedness Center and NEMA, identified the Priority Implementation Partnership on Mainstreaming Disaster Risk Reduction into Local Development Planning Processes in Mongolia and work for strengthening local DRR and CCA /Climate Change Adaptation/ capacities.

·         Under this collaboration and in the framework of the project, one-day consultation workshop was conducted involving relevant stakeholders with the following purposes:

o    Stocktaking of recent developments on local level DRR and CCA implementation to support HFA /Hyogo Framework of Action/ and MDGs /Millennium Development Goals/

o    Determining feasible approach to local level DRR and CCA in Mongolia through development of a National CBDRR Framework

o    Integration of local level DRR and CCA outcomes to local development planning.

·         In order to develop CBDRR, the study on the possibility of integrating volunteerism into DRR and identifying gender-specific needs for DRR of target areas has been conducted and recommendations were produced based on the study.

Link to project page

 

MONGOLIA: ASSESSMENT BASED NATIONAL DIALOGUE ON SOCIAL PROTECTION AND EMPLOYMENT SERVICES

-- Social Protection Platform, ILO --

Extending social security and establishing at least a social protection floor (SPF) has become a priority in Mongolia. The Government, notably the Ministry of Population Development and Social Protection (MPDSP) and the Ministry of Labour (MOL), has requested the United Nations' support to obtain a comprehensive overview of the social protection situation in the country and help identify priority recommendations.

The ILO and UN agencies are proposing to conduct an assessment based national dialogue (ABND) on social protection (SP) and employment support services (ES). The SP-ES ABND in Mongolia will benefit greatly from similar exercises conducted in other Asian countries, in particular, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Indonesia, Thailand, and Viet Nam.

The SP-ES ABND was launched on 5 September 2013 in Ulaanbataar by the Minister for Population Development and Social Protection and the UN Resident Coordinator.

STEP 1: Assessment matrix and consultations (Sept. - Nov. 2013)

The assessment matrix is developed with all stakeholders involved in social protection in Mongolia: ministries and government agencies, social partners, civil society, academia and development partners, through national and local consultations. It contains for each of the four guarantees of the SPF an inventory of existing social security, poverty alleviation, and active labour market programmes; identifies policy gaps and implementation issues; and provides recommendations for the design and implementation of further social protection provisions with the aim of guaranteeing at a minimum the SPF to all the population.

STEP 2: Costing of the priority recommendations (Dec. 2013-Feb. 2014)

The cost of the proposed social protection scenarios is then estimated and projected over a 10 year period using the ILO Rapid Assessment Protocol (RAP). This costing exercise can serve as a basis for discussions on available fiscal space, government budget reallocations, and the prioritization of different social protection policy options.

STEP 3: Endorsement of the report at high level (March- May 2014)

The final report is shared with government representatives, workers and employers as well as civil society organizations with a view to validate the recommendations and assumptions and prepare for the next steps (feasibility studies for the design of the new schemes, expansion of existing schemes, or establishment of coordination mechanisms). 

The report, expected to be released by May 2014, will support the implementation of the second phase of the ILO/Japan Project "Promoting and building income security and employment services in Asia - focus on Mongolia and ASEAN" (2014-2015).

Country factsheet

Extending old-age pension and improving social protection and employability of youth in Mongolia (coming soon)

Link to Mongolia page

 

Mongolia's Ninja Gold Miners

ZAAMAR, MONGOLIA - JUNE 24 (GETTY) 'Ninja' miners shovel dirt into a shaker to separate out the heavier gold from the lighter elements on June 24, 2014 in Zaamar, Mongolia. This small, unauthorized group of independent 'ninja' miners uses basic mining techniques to search for gold left over after larger mining operations has left an area. Mongolia has huge mineral reserves and an estimated 100,000 people, among them many unemployed herdsmen, now make a living as 'ninja' miners. (Photo by Taylor Weidman/Getty Images)

Link to photo article

 

Mongolian Designer Up for MUUSE x VOGUE Talents Young Vision Award 2014: Baasandelger Batbekh

COLLECTION: DEELTE

DESCRIPTION: Mongolian elements of costume in high fashion

VOGUE Talents partners annually with MUUSE for the celebrated MUUSE x VOGUE Talents - Young Vision Award. 

PUBLIC VOTE ENDS JULY 11 BY NOON GMT. 

You can vote for as many different designers as you please, but you can only vote for each individual designer once. 

THE PRIZE 

The grand prize winner will be invited to design a capsule collection under the MUUSE label to be sold on muuse.com and at select retailers. In addition, the winner will appear in a feature story on vogue.it. 

From amongst the 50 semi-finalists selected by public vote, Italian VOGUE's Senior Fashion Editor, Sara Maino, will select one grand prize winner, plus 10 finalists for the online community to vote for a "people's choice" award winner. 

The grand prize and the "people's choice" winners will be announced in August during Copenhagen Fashion Week. 

Link to vote

 

'She got it just right' - Christina Noble on Deirdre O'Kane's performance in film about her life

June 24 (Independent.ie) Humanitarian Christina Noble has said she is thrilled that her life's work has been memorialised in film while she is still alive to enjoy it.

The film 'Noble' will hit the big screen on September 19 and stars comedienne Deirdre O'Kane playing Christina, or 'Mama Tina' as she is known to the children she works with around the world.

Christina told the Herald: "I enjoyed it so much when I watched it and Deirdre did a great job playing me."

And she joked: "So often they wait until someone is dead to make a film about them and I'm glad they didn't do that with me."

The film opened to stellar reviews in the States and has picked up several awards along the way, including the prestigious Panavision Spirit Award for Independent Cinema earlier this year.

Christina is modest about her work saying: "I don't like when they call me a charity worker or a philanthropist, I'm a field worker.  I do everything for the love of the children and at the end of it all I'd die for them.

"I'm not magic, I just work hard," she said. "I'm a simple person but a very smart one and you need to be in my line of work."

A previous People of the Year Awards winner, Christina was born into poverty herself.  She travelled to Ho Chi Min City in Vietnam in 1989 after recurring dreams of poor Vietnamese children.  Since then her work has expanded to Mongolia and the hard-working aid worker still prefers to be in the field entertaining her wards with renditions of 'The Fields of Athenry' than anywhere else.

The Christina Noble Foundation concentrates on guiding street children through education and many graduate from university and go on to work as doctors, nurses and engineers, she said.

Christina said her whole family work at the foundation.

Her grandson Thomas works alongside her in Mongolia and he has inherited his grandmother's talents.

"He's incredible, he's a fantastic humanitarian and the children love him," she said.

Despite approaching her seventieth birthday this year she has no plans to retire.

"This is the most rewarding type of work you can do," she said, adding that "you have to be completely dedicated because it's hard work but I wouldn't do anything else."

Link to article

 

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