“ROUNDTABLE 2020-Foreign Trade, Foreign Policy” forum takes place

2020-10-02 15:16:15

Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ At the initiatives of Members of Parliament, “ROUNDTABLE 2020-Foreign Trade, Foreign Investment Forum” was held on September 30, with around 400 delegates. The forum attendees had discussions on the topics –foreign investment climate, Mongolia’s foreign trade policy, environment of extractive sector and business industry environment.

At the forum, MP G.Amartuvshin said that it is necessary to strengthen current structure and build capacity of human resource within the actions to support foreign trade and investment. Investors consider sustainability important aside from improvement and renovation. Therefore, we should develop, plan, finance, organize, activate and control foreign and domestic investment policies properly, stabilize and promote investment and define foreign and domestic trade policies accurately.

As of the end of 2019, mining and extractive sector is making up over 80 percent of foreign direct investment flow to Mongolia alone. It shows that foreign direct investment is excessively concentrating in one sector (mining) compared to other developing countries. Therefore, it is crucial to make investment climate reform in order to attract foreign direct investment to other areas. As a result, it will build foundation for development of multi-pillar economy. For the investors, they enjoy free access to the market in most cases except of a few bans and limitations in Mongolia. Franchising businesses such as sports centers, fast food and mini markets are going more successful than expected, and it shows investors the possibility of introducing successfully running international business models in Mongolia’s service field. In addition, Mongolia’s cashmere and agriculture sectors are safe to make investment. However, making investment in politically vulnerable economic sectors such as mining causes risk, senior specialist of International Financial Corporation D.Jigjidmaa emphasized. 

CEO of Energy Resource LLC G.Battsengel highlighted in his speech that foreign investors were highly interested in making investment in Mongolia in 2008's and the country received large amount of investment. However, the interest has lowered due to number of reasons such as political decisions that caused unstability. Today,  when special condition is created due to the pandemic  there are opportunities to attract foreign investment not only in monetary forms but using other financial methods.  There are companies who are successfully using the other methods. Therefore, it is significant for the Government to support it with policy and create conditions to work successfully.

Mongolia is an open and favorable country for foreign investment in terms of legal environment. Currently, the Mongolian government established Double Taxation Agreements with 29 countries, General Agreement on Trade and Economic Partnerships with 24 countries and Bilateral Agreement for Promotion and Protection of Investments with 42 countries. By establishing these agreements and treaties and joining relevant conventions, Mongolia is undertaking certain responsibilities targeted to promote and protect foreign investment. With the Law on Investment in 2013, foreign investors have been provided with equal investment opportunities and conditions as Mongolian citizens alongside having legal environment to protect their rights the same as domestic investors.

“The Parliament reflected specific articles and concepts for increasing foreign trade, improving its policy and promoting foreign investment in its policy documents such as Vision-2050, Mongolia’s long-term development document and the Government Action Program for 2020-2024. However, issues relevant to growth in the sector, domestic production and products’ sale at global market would become clear when we have state policy on foreign trade. Establishment of trade agreements with foreign countries will allow Mongolia that has third neighbor policy to be provided with possibilities to make trade in a wider scope at foreign markets,” MP Kh.Gankhuyag said.

At the end of the forum, the attendees agreed to study new solutions and opportunities required for overcoming negative impacts of COVID-19 on society and economy and develop suggestions on policy and measures to attract foreign investors and creating favorable legal environment and conditions to foreign investors and to issue recommendations regarding Government actions and its participation.