-China and Mongolia are very important neighbours for each other. The development of friendly relations with China is one of priority courses of Mongolia’s foreign policy.
Thanks to joint efforts bilateral relations have dynamically developed and reached the level of strategic partnership. China has been preserving its position of the largest trade partner and investor of Mongolia over the past years. We have a good tradition of sharing our views on bilateral, regional and international issues within strategic partnership ties established between our countries during reciprocal top and high-level visits.
Besides boosting bilateral trade and economic collaboration, Mongolia and China cooperates effectively within regional and international organizations. The cooperation in the cultural, educational, scientific, technical, health and humanitarian areas plays an important role in strengthening mutual understanding and friendship between our nations.
This year marks the 65th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Mongolia and China and 20th anniversary of establishment of the Agreement on Friendly Relations and Cooperation. In this spirit, we have declared the year of 2014 as the Year of China-Mongolia Friendly Exchanges. A broad range of cultural events is carried out within its scope. We have no doubt, these would help our people to know even better of each other and bring closer.
We are witnessing the most favorable period in the history of Mongolia-China relations. I am confident that our relations and cooperation will further and prosper. That is guaranteed by mutual determination of our countries.
-Mongolia is aiming to develop close cooperation with the EU and its member states. Today the EU is our 3rd largest foreign trade partner after the two immediate neighbours, and the largest investor. Mongolia wishes to pursue dynamic cooperation with the EU not only in political and economic fields, but also in the fields of science, education and culture.
The signing of the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement during the visit of Baroness Catherine Ashton to Mongolia witnesses our shared commitment to further develop our bilateral ties. We believe that the PCA will open new opportunities for cooperation with EU and its member states.
The Government of Mongolia has set forth an objective to increase its competitiveness and within this objective, we are striving to introduce and adopt the standards and norms of the European Union in all fields of economic and social spheres. We are grateful that the EU supported our objective from the very beginning.
The relations between Mongolia and the U.S. have been developing significantly in relatively short span of time given that the diplomatic relations was established in 1987.
The U.S. has always been supportive of Mongolia’s transition to democracy from its very beginning. As clearly reflected in the Concept of Mongolian foreign policy, the first and foremost, it is to maintain and develop strategic relations with our two neighbors and secondly to develop third neighbor policy with other countries including the U.S., EU and other Asian developed countries. Therefore, the U.S. is one of our “third neighbors”. Mongolia and the U.S. are aiming to develop comprehensive partnership and cooperation which encompass strengthening of ties in various areas such as politics, security, economy and culture as well as at the multilateral level.
During the official visit of the President of Mongolia, H.E. Tsakhia Elbegdorj, to the U.S and the visit of the U.S. Vice president, Joe Biden, to Mongolia in 2011, both parties underscored the importance of actively promoting the bilateral cooperation in economic sector and expressed their interests in collaborating to create an investment and business environment which enhances the cooperation for Mongolian and U.S. enterprises.
In September 2013, me and United States Trade Representative Michael Froman signed an Agreement on Transparency in Matters Related to International Trade and Investment between the United States of America and Mongolia in New York. The U.S.-Mongolia Transparency Agreement applies to matters relating to international trade and investment and includes joint commitments to provide opportunities for public comment on proposed laws and regulations and to publish final laws and regulations. This publication commitment includes the obligation to publish final laws and regulations in English, which should make it easier for U.S. and other foreign enterprises to do business in, and invest in, Mongolia. This agreement represents an important milestone in the U.S.-Mongolia trade relationship.
Regional integration offers Mongolia the opportunity for a more prosperous future. Mongolia’s vast mining industry has allowed our country to record some of the highest economic growth rates in the world in recent years and this trend will continue in 2014, particularly as demand for Mongolian natural resources rebounds this year.
In the Asia-Pacific region, Mongolia might bring an added value to Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) with its growing economy and friendly political relations with every single country in the region. Mongolia had made an official request to join APEC back in 1993.
Further, Mongolia has always regarded ASEAN as an important Organization, with an important role in the region and beyond. Bringing 10 countries together into a geopolitical and economic union is a remarkable achievement in Asia. In this matter, Mongolia opened its Embassy in Jakarta recently, for the purpose of accelerating our efforts towards regional integration and reinvigorating our bilateral relations with ASEAN member countries.
Our landlocked “sandwich location” should not be seen as a disadvantage, but as an opportunity. Mongolia needs export markets for its mineral resources. While there is interest in these mineral resources among EU and US companies, more promising markets are just around the corner with ASEAN, China, Japan, and the Republic of Korea.
Concerning Mongolia and China bilateral relations, we elevated bilateral relations to the level of strategic partnership in 2011 under which the two countries have been striving to develop an all-around cooperation. The Action Plan for Mid and Long-Term Development of Mongolia-China Strategic Partnership, which defines the basic principles and directions of the bilateral relations in the coming years was signed during the official visit of H.E. Mr. Norov Altankhuyag, Prime Minister of Mongolia to China in October 2013.
Furthermore, ensuring stability on the Korean peninsula is very important in strengthening peace and security in Northeast Asia. Like other states of the region, Mongolia believes that the Korean peninsula should be free of nuclear weapons. Mongolia supports solution of the issue of North Korean nuclear program within the Six Party Talks and engaging DPRK in multilateral dialogue and cooperation.
Moreover, bilateral relations between Mongolia and the Central Asian countries have developed in a new context since the former Soviet Republics declared their independence after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. There was a legitimate reason and necessity for a completely new legal environment in developing a mutual cooperation between Mongolia and the countries of the Central Asia. Thus, Mongolia recognized the independence of those countries, established diplomatic relations with each one of them and signed new agreements and contracts, thereby setting the foundation for a whole new environment of cooperation.
In conclusion, Mongolia actively collaborates with every single country in the region in the UN and its system organizations, SCO, ARF, ACD, CICA and other various international and regional organizations.
2. Mongolia international branding potential: Made in Mongolia. Actions taken in order to optimize the value of the country.
The trend of Mongolian economy will have stable high growth. In 2016, Mongolian economy will increase by 2.5 times compare with economy growth of 2012. The real GDP growth will be indicated by double digit in the next 6 years.
In 2013, Mongolia trade relations with 146 countries from all over the world. The total external trade turnover reached 11billion USD, of which exports made up 4.4 billion USD and imports made up 6.7 billion USD. The external trade turnover will reach 31.7 billion USD in 2016.
Over the past few years, domestic manufacturing has been growing rapidly, suggesting a significant and sustainable recovery in the sector. The structural conditions for Mongolian manufacturing remain challenging for 2013, despite potential in a few niche segments such as food processing for local markets and cashmere products for exports.
At the moment we have an economy based on the mining sector. We want to diversify our markets and have “rainbow economy” consisting of at least six or seven sectors. Diversification and development of the country’s industrial base that helps to shield the economy from mineral price volatility would also be credit positive.
3. Expectations and forecast for Mongolia’s position in international arena.
Mongolia traditionally has played, is playing and will continue to play an active role in international and regional arenas. Since the collapse of the bi-polar system, Mongolia is conducting open, multi-pillar and non-aligned foreign policy. There are six priority directions of our foreign policy, as it is enshrined in the Foreign Policy Concept. The first of all is to maintain friendly relations with our two neighbours, the Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China. Within this direction Mongolia conducting balanced relationship with both of them. The second direction – Mongolia developing friendly relations with highly developed countries of the West and East, as we call our “Third Neighbours”, and working on creating and bringing their economic and other interests in Mongolia. The third direction is strengthening its position in Asia and securing a constructive participation in the political and economic integration process in the region. Mongolia is the only country in this region that has no territorial disputes with its neighbours. Last April H.E. Mr.Ts.Elbegdorj, President of Mongolia launched the “Ulaanbaatar Dialogue on NEA Security”, a regional initiative similar to the Helsinki dialogue. The initiative is important for confidence building and peacemaking process in NEA region. We are striving to become a member of the Asia, Pacific Economic Cooperation forum (APEC). Mongolia as coordinator of the North-East Asia (NESA) sub-group of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM). Mongolia has observer status at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization for more than 10 years. The fourth direction of Mongolia’s foreign policy, activity is to promote cooperation with the United Nations Organization and its specialized agencies, and with international financial and economic organizations. We’ve hosted the Fifth International Conference of New and Restored Democracies in Ulaanbaatar in 2003. We, as Presidency of the Community of Democracies in 2011-2013, held the Seventh Ministerial Conference in April 2013 in Mongolia. The fifth direction of the foreign policy activity is to develop friendly relations with countries of the former socialist community in Eastern Europe, as well as the newly independent states in the Central Asia. And the sixth, last but not least, direction of Mongolia’s foreign policy activity is development of friendly relations with developing countries and cooperating with them within the framework of international organizations and movements, such as the United Nations, the Group of 77 and the Non-Aligned Movement.
Mongolia has become a full-fledged member of the UN on 27 October 1961. Over the past half century, Mongolia’s participation in the UN activities has been consistent comprising a wide range of issues, such as strengthening international peace and security, UN peacekeeping operations, promoting disarmament, democracy, education, empowerment of women, supporting cooperatives, addressing special needs of landlocked developing countries, climate change adaptation, as well as developing its cooperation with the UN programmes and funds.
For example, in spite of its small population, Mongolia is ranked at 27th among the UN Peacekeeping troop contributing countries.Ulaanbaatar is a hometown of the International Think Tank for Landlocked Developing Countries established in 2009 to enhance the analytical capability of landlocked developing countries who needed to coordinate their efforts for the effective implementations of the international agreed provisions, particularly the Almaty Programme of Action and the Millennium Development Goals. Examples of Mongolia’s considerable efforts to strengthen this think tank are sponsoring of three research papers on pressing needs of LLDCs and hosting of the High-Level International Workshop on “WTO Agreement on Trade Facilitation: Implications for LLDCs” which will take place in Ulaanbaatar on 2-3 June 2014. The Meeting will bring together Ministers and senior government representatives from LLDCs, transit developing countries and developed countries responsible for trade, and representatives from UN and other international organizations, international financial institutions and representatives of the private sector.
Since its admission to the UN Mongolia has initiated more than 80 resolutions of the UN General Assembly out of which 10 resolutions have been adopted during the last 10 years. Resolutions entitled “Role of Cooperatives in Social Development”, “Improvement of the Situation of Women in Rural Areas”, “United Nations Literacy Decade: Education for All” (2003-2012), “Support by the United Nations System of the Efforts of Governments to Promote and Consolidate New and Restored Democracies”, “Mongolia’s International Security and Nuclear-Weapon-Free Status” and “Education for Democracy” are among most important of them.
Mongolia has also been an active player in regional organizations. In November 2012, Mongolia acceded to the OSCE, becoming the Organization’s 57th participating State. We have already started and are planning to implementfruitful cooperation activities with OSCE on its dimensions. In 2013, during the Presidential elections, Mongolia hosted OSCE/ODIHR election observation mission and OSCE evaluated Mongolia as an exemplary host giving ODIHR observers full and transparent access to the entire election process and the Presidential election in Mongolia as credible and inclusive elections that provided a meaningful opportunity for political participation for its citizens.
Given its advantageous geographical location being the shortest route connecting Asia and Europe and long standing friendly relations with all the countries as well as active participation in the international and regional bodies Mongolia would continue to be a their reliable partner in the years to come.
4. Main international channels used to communicate the message and policies of the Ministry.
Mongolia is a country as a member of international community, respects the international law, which regulates the behavior of nationstates in international affairs. As such we have embassies abroad, we have consulates to defend the interests of Mongolian citizens abroad. Those are legal instruments, allowed by international law. We also have a number of honorary consuls, who represents Mongolian citizen’s interests abroad also.
5. Future challenges, priorities and policies to face them.
There are many. The world is not immobile. Things are changing constantly. So we need to adjust our policy to those realities.
Northeast Asia is one of the most important regions of the world represented not only by the impressive size of the land mass, but also by the huge number of people living there.
Nevertheless, the region lacks integration, both political and economic. Therefore, resolving regional political issues is of the foremost importance. In this regard, peaceful settlements of the North Korean nuclear issue as well as hotbeds of Russian-Japanese and Sino-Japanese as well as Chino-Vietnamese territorial disputes represent not only urgent but also most challenging issues for all nations of the region to address.
The President of Mongolia, His Excellency, Mr Elbegdorj has proposed the Ulaanbaatar dialogue, aimed at conducting negociations and peaceful settlement of disputes in the region. This initiative is widely accepted by scholars and policy makers in the region. In that sense we are hosting an international conference on security issues in North East Asia in June. More than 30 delegations from countries of this region will be gathered in Ulaanbaatar to discuss the pressing regional issues