The Mongol Messenger
Reforming higher education to increase Mongolia’s competitiveness
There are more than 130 thousand students acquiring higher education in over 97 institutes in Mongolia. However, there is a number of existing problems in the higher education subsector, leading to low competitiveness and employment rates among university graduates. To increase the number of Mongolia’s globally competitive higher education graduates responsive to labor market demands, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Science, and Sports (MECSS) is realizing the Higher Education Reform Project (HERP) in 2012-2019, with financial assistance from the Asian Development Bank (ADB). The total fund of the project is USD 20 million, 10 percent of which is contributed by the Government of Mongolia. The project outcome will be an improved, well-managed, equitable higher education system.
Mongolian Ethnographic Ger Museum houses a 10,000 piece collection
A father and son who collect ethnographic items and antiquities already have a 10,000 piece collection and run a private museum in a traditional Mongolian Ger.
Mongolia can export more than 10 types of goods to the US without tax
On May 2, we had interview with Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Mongolia to USA Yo.Otgonbayar.
From Canada to Mongolia: self-funded project assists young doctors
When Dr. Hugh M.Parsons first came to Mongolia in 2014, he was simply seeking adventure. It was a birthday trip taken with his wife and a couple friends in the Naadam season. “I have traveled quite a bit over the years. When I came to Mongolia, I liked the smell of the air and the land. I had come to a land of the horse like it was meant to be. I felt a close bond with Mongolia,” he recalled his first visit to the Land of the Blue Sky, which then laid the foundation of a life-long relationship with Mongolia. Dr. Hugh M.Parsons is a Canadian vitreo-retinal specialist, currently positioned as Associate Professor at the Department of Ophthalmology of the British University of Columbia, Chief of Surgery at the Surrey Memorial Hospital and Program Coordinator at the Laurel Foundation. Throughout his career, he has performed about 15 thousand eye surgeries.
Negotiations on road and transportation issues continue with China
We interviewed J.Bat-Erdene, Minister of Road and Transport Development on policy, agreements and documents established with China for roads, transportation, railways and border checkpoint development during the official visit of Mongolia’s Prime Minister U.Khurelsukh to China.
David Sproule: Mongolia is a gem that is yet to be fully explored
“Coming to Mongolia felt like going home,” said David Sproule, Ambassador of Canada to Mongolia, as he recalled his arrival in Mongolia in September, 2017. He sat with the Mongol Messenger on a spring morning to discuss Mongolia-Canada relations, which turn 45 this year. “I was raised in a province in Canada, which has a very similar climate as Mongolia. We have long winters, very warm summers and a dry climate. If I may say, my province and Mongolia also have very similar geographic characteristics – wide grazing land on which we mostly have farms, taiga, woodlands and mountains, as well as demographic similarity in the form of a small population,” he added.
Report on implementation of Law on Protection of Cultural Heritage
According to G.Zandanshatar, Head of Cabinet Secretariat, Mongolia is preparing for a national census on historical and cultural heritages this year. He was delivering a report by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Science and Sports to Parliament on April 12 in response to an inquiry on the state of the implementation of the Law on the Protection of Cultural Heritage and actions taken to protect cultural and historical heritages. The inquiry had been put forward to the Minister of Education, Culture, Science and Sports by MP J.Batzandan. Pursuant to the Law on the Protection of Cultural Heritage, adopted in 2014, a national census on historical and cultural heritages will be held with an aim to enrich the existing heritage database and update the statistical figures. The last census was conducted in 2015-2016.
Mongolbank expects continuity in growth of gold purchase
On the sidelines of the 2018 Mongolia Gold forum & exhibition, held on March 15-16, P.Erdenetuya, Director of Treasury Department of the Bank of Mongolia sat with us to discuss what measures the bank is planning to take in 2018 to increase its gold purchase. Mongolian gold miners sold 20.05 tons of gold to the central bank in 2017, contributing about USD 700 million to the foreign-exchange reserves of Mongolia.
Ministry of Environment works on official tour routes
On March 12 N.Tserenbat, Minister of Environment and Tourism held a press conference following his official visit to the Federal Republic of Germany where he attended the 52nd ITB Berlin, the world’s largest travel trade show, in Berlin on March 7-11. From Mongolia, the Ministry of Environment and Tourism, the Ulaanbaatar City Tourism Department, Mongolian Tourism Association and companies such as MIAT Airlines, Great Genghis, Expedition, Juulchin World Tours and others, participated in ITB Berlin, promoting Mongolia tourism. Moreover, the Minister attended the 8th UNWTO Silk Road Ministers’ Meeting, held during the 2018 ITB Berlin. The 8th UNWTO Silk Road Ministers’ Meeting focused on the long-term vision for tourism along the historic Silk Road routes and how to establish the Silk Road as the most important transnational route of the 21st century. With the theme '2025 Silk Road Tourism Agenda', the ministers and heads of national tourism administrations shared their main ideas and strategies which brings 34 countries together.
Changes in tax Bill introduced
Companies that create new jobs will be supported with tax policy The government of Mongolia launched actions for amendments to the tax laws, aiming at backing the investment and business environment, creating new jobs and protecting the interests of businessmen and taxpayers. In this regard, Bills have been formulated for the general law on taxation, on the income tax of enterprisers as well as the income tax of individuals.
Archaeologists locate enormous grave at Xiongnu burial site
Mongolian and Korean archaeologists have been conducting archaeological excavation and research at a site called Chikhertiin Zoo located in Bayantsagaan Soum in Tuv Aimag since 2016. After a mining exploration license was granted to a Chinese company in the area, archaeologists of the Institute of History and Archaeology conducted a rescue field survey in 2013 to discover a burial site dating back to Xiongnu Empire (III-I century BCE), the first known state established by the ancestors of Mongolians. “The burial almost covered the entire area designated for the exploration license. It caught our attention because of its size, number of tombs and location, which is between the Gobi and steppe, so we started excavation on the site in 2016,” said Eregzen.
Mongolia-China humanitarian exchange council holds first meeting
On January 25, Mongolia and China exchanged views on bilateral cooperation in the humanitarian sector during the First Meeting of the Mongolia-China Joint Council on Humanitarian Exchange held in Beijing, China. The two countries agreed to establish a Joint Council during the visit of Mongolia’s Prime Minister in 2017 with an aim to elevate Mongolia-China cooperation and friendly relations to a new level in education, culture, science, the youth exchange, health, sports, media, television and cinema, tourism, labor and social protection. As Head of the Mongolian part in the Joint Council, State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs D.Davaasuren co-chaired the meeting with Kong Xuanyou, Assistant Foreign Minister of China. During the First Meeting, bilateral delegations discussed the Council’s activities and plans for 2018, the implementation of which will be addressed at the next meeting to be held in Ulaanbaatar.
MongolBank pursues medium-term strategy to renew its operations
B.Lkhagvasuren, Deputy Governor of the Bank of Mongolia was interviewed on Bills related to banking that have been amended or are under parliamentary discussion.
Government pledges to intensify fight against air pollution
Mongolia’s long winter leaves the capital city in gray smog for at least 3 full months and air pollution is one of the most pressing issues the city of over one million faces today. Public awareness on the seasonal but serious issue has been growing stronger and stronger in recent years, demanding more resolute action from the Government. Last winter, a movement called ‘Booj Uhlee’ or ‘We are suffocating’ was initiated by parents concerned about the serious impact of air pollution on their children’s health, and peaceful demonstrations were held, attracting crowds of about 5,000. ‘Parents Against Smog’ NGO, which was formed last year in the wake of increasing levels of PM2.5, continues to operate.
Top 10 events around the world in 2017
MONTSAME Agency names Top 10 events around the world in 2017. Following his victory in the 2016 Presidential Election, billionaire-turned-politician Donald Trump took office as the 45th President of the United States on January 20 under the slogan ‘America First’. The fight against corruption is going strong in many countries around the world, especially in the Republic of Korea where the President was ousted over bribery and abuse of power allegations. Since the beginning of 2017, rates of digital currency bitcoin increased sharply, and as of December 12, it exceeded USD 18 thousand, which made it popular among businessmen and ordinary people. Sexual misconduct and harassment scandals have been a major global agenda in 2017. The 19th Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) took place in Beijing this October. 2017 has proven to be a ripe year for science and technology. The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea has conducted frequent nuclear tests and launched ballistic missiles this year. The conflict in Syria, which has made the country a major hot zone in recent years, is gradually stabilizing.
Top 10 events in Mongolia in 2017
MONTSAME Agency names Mongolia's Top 10 highlights of 2017. The Mongolian people elected former Member of Parliament Battulga Khaltmaa as Mongolia's 5th President in Mongolia’s first two-round election. On October 4, Parliament appointed former Deputy Prime Minister U.Khurelsukh as Mongolia’s 30th Prime Minister. The Mongolian Government and the IMF agreed on a three-year Extended Fund Facility (EFF) program with a total external financing package of USD 5.5 billion. The year 2017 has seen major developments in renewable energy with the inauguration of wind farms and solar power plants. Mongolia became the 51st country to send a satellite into space. Mongolian memory athletes of the National Intellectual Academy grabbed a total of 760 medals from 46 competitions and championships around the world in 2017.
Traditional Mongolian Medicine dates back to 3000 BCE
Under the auspices of the Prime Minister, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Science and Sports and the Mongolian National University of Medical Sciences co-organized the First International Conference on Traditional Mongolian Medicine in the State House on December 8. In connection to the event, we are presenting an interview with academician Sh.Bold, conducted in 2016 regarding the traditional Mongolian medicine and its significance. “Traditional Mongolian Medicine is a priceless heritage we inherited from our ancestors; and seeing as it’s a highly unique practice, Mongolians need to safeguard, disseminate and pass it down from generation to generation,” said academician Sharaviin Bold (Professor, Ph.D., Sc.D). He has been teaching traditional medicine since he graduated from the National Medical University of Mongolia in 1993. His total publications count about 540, including around 60 books and more than 300 academic articles. Specializing in Traditional Mongolian Medicine and its history, academician Bold put the subject in a new light.
First combined solar power and agriculture project commences
Renewable energy is one of the effective solutions to decrease greenhouse gas emissions, combat global warming, and reduce air pollution by stopping coal consumption. Mongolia is implementing several projects targeted to use renewable energy and several renewable energy plants have been already in operation including the 50 MW ‘Tsetsii’ wind farm in Tsogttsetii Soum of Umnugobi Aimag and a 10 MW solar power plant in Khongor Soum of Darkhan-Uul Aimag. Another solar power plant has been built in a suburb of Ulaanbaatar.
EU Ambassador: We were assured there will be stability and continuity
The first week of November was a European week in Mongolia with the annual visit of a group of Ambassadors and senior diplomats of the European Union to Ulaanbaatar and the entry into force of the Mongolia-EU Framework Agreement on Partnership and Cooperation on November 1 as well as the establishment of a Delegation (and Embassy) of the European Union. On November 1, the EU Ambassador Mr Hans Dietmar Schweisgut led the EU group that included 18 non-resident Ambassadors of the EU Member States to Mongolia from Beijing as well as the seven resident Ambassadors. They addressed recent developments and existing issues in bilateral relations. The visit was timely, as Mongolia had undergone a major political change—the appointment of a new Cabinet.
S.Chuluun: There’s a new generation of Mongolists in Mongolia
“Mongolian studies are one of the oldest independent fields of research developed in the region. It represented the eastern region and Asian studies even when Mongolia was under the rule of Qing dynasty”, said S.Chuluun as he sat with us to discuss Mongolian studies, its development and the International Association for Mongolian Studies (IAMS) and its current activities. On September 10, 1818, the first Mongolian studies department was established at Kazan Federal University, Russia. Next year will mark the 200th historic anniversary of Mongolian studies in Russia and worldwide. “We regard September 10 as a Day of Mongolian Studies,” Chuluun said, adding that the celebration will be grand in Russia. Speaking of Mongolian studies in the northern neighbor of Mongolia, Chuluun said, “Over the years, Russia has played a leading role in Mongolian studies and it still maintains the position today. Having produced the biggest number of Mongolists, Russia keeps texts and references about Mongolia from all times.”
“Mongolia is on the same level as developed countries for its development of IT and communications sector”
“InvesCore’s achievements will serve as a stepping stone for many more Mongolian companies to enter the foreign market”
B.Turmunkh: I illustrated 60 pieces for the updated version of ‘The Secret History of Mongols’