Mongolia in EU list of tax havens
The European Union has included Mongolia in its first ever tax haven blacklist
On 5 December the European Union had named and shamed 17 countries in its first ever tax haven blacklist and put a further 47 on notice, in an attempt to clamp down on the estimated £506bn lost to aggressive avoidance every year.
The blacklist also included Mongolia as well as South Korea, Namibia, Panama, Trinidad & Tobago, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates.
The blacklist will be linked to EU legislation so that jurisdictions implicated will not be eligible for funds from the bloc except where it is to aid development.
Reacting to this decision of EU Mongolian Finance Minister Ch. Khürelbaatar said, “This is not a pleasant news. Our Ministry has been engaging with EU since June 2017 and the EU has been maintaining that Mongolia must reflect in its laws and legislation the principle of transparency, in other words, EU wants Mongolia to be transparent in terms of information related to the shares being owned by citizens of other countries in Mongolian entities and commercial banks, and the account they hold. The Finance Ministry is working to make about legal and legislative regulation,” the Finance Minister said.
While a researcher J. Delgersaikhan, Director of the Finance and Economic University has said that this is “Definitely an unpleasant news and we must make every effort to meet the EU demand to be written off the black list.” Another economist Dr. P. Khashchuluun of the Mongolian National University said, “Mongolia is not an offshore region, and the country adopted a law against money laundering more than 10 years ago and therefore, it’s difficult to say on what justification the EU has taken such a decision. But this will not have any effect on our economy. Huge amount of asset does not come from the EU.”
And Mongolia’s Foreign Minister D. Tsogtbaatar has said that “Mongolia needs to take action at ‘all levels of government’ to get itself removed from the EU blacklist of tax havens,” following talks with European counterparts during recent ministerial meeting in Vienna of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe.
IMF approves US$79.1 million disbursement to Mongolia
IMF has completed the first and second reviews of Mongolia’s performance under the Extended Fund Facility
On December 15, 2017, the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) completed the first and second reviews of Mongolia’s performance under the program supported by a three-year extended arrangement under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF). Completion of the review enables Mongolia to draw the equivalent of SDR 55.912 million (about US$79.1 million), bringing total disbursements under the arrangement to SDR 83.868 million (about US$ 118.6 million).
Performance under the program thus far has been strong, according to the IMF Executive Board.
Growth in 2017 is projected to reach 3.3 percent, considerably better than forecasted at the time of program approval. The combination of strong policy implementation and a supportive external environment has helped the authorities over-perform on all of the quantitative targets under the program. Performance on structural reforms has also been strong, notwithstanding the delays due to the change in government in September.
Mongolia’s three-year extended arrangement was approved on May 24, 2017, in an amount equivalent to SDR 314.5054 million, or about US$425 million at the time of approval of the arrangement. The government’s Economic Recovery Program, supported by the IMF, aims to stabilize the economy, reduce the fiscal deficit and debt, rebuild foreign exchange reserves, introduce measures to mitigate the boom-bust cycle and promote sustainable and inclusive growth.
“Mongolia’s performance under the Fund-supported program has been positive, despite delays related to political developments. Growth has recovered more strongly than anticipated and confidence is returning, allowing the exchange rate to stabilize, external financing costs to fall, and foreign exchange reserves to recover. The authorities have cut the fiscal deficit and have started structural reforms that would improve the quality of growth going forward,” said Mr. Mitsuhiro Furusawa, Acting Chair and Deputy Managing Director.
While praising the country’s progress on structural, fiscal and social reforms, the IMF said that Mongolia continues to face economic risks.
“With debt still high and the economy still exposed to global commodity developments, it is critical to maintain strong commitment to the program,” Mitsuhiro Furasawa said in a related statement.
“Sustained implementation of the reform agenda, will help cement solid growth, improve confidence, strengthen fiscal revenues and foreign reserves, and mobilize donor support.”
The fracture within the Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party
Power struggle within the Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party ends with two party chairmen
The Mongolian Peo-ple’s Revolutionary Party (MPRP) held its so-called Great Forum in the Government House. It was called by O. Baasankhüü, the only Member of Parliament from the MPRP, who claimed that the Party Chairman Nambar Enkhbayar had been invited but did not come.
At the forum Baasankhüü announced that the party Chairman N. Enkhbayar was being “relieved of his duties as the Chairman of the Party.” This decision has yet to be endorsed by the Supreme Court as N. Enkhbayar’s faction in the MPRP considers the Baasankhüü-organized Party forum as illegal.
Said Ts. Sharavdorj, Member of the MPRP Executive Board, “MPRP members G. Byambasüren and Baasankhüü organized similar meetings which are illegal and against the party rules. MPRP, as a political party, works within the framework of the law, it has its own rules, seal and management structure including the Executive Board and the Great Forum. The MPRP is functioning normally. But Baasankhüü, who wants to become the Party Chairman, has organized an illegal meeting at the behest of certain political forces and under their patronage.”
Mr. Sharavdorj also revealed that the MPRP is planning to hold its Great Forum in the first half of February 2018, during which official changes and amendments are being planned in the Party Rules.
More than 900 delegates from 21 aimags of the country are reported to have attended the so-called MPRP Great Forum.
Duck-like dinosaur discovered in Mongolia
Scientists have discovered a duck-like dinosaur and has named its Halszkaraptor escuilliei
Scientists have discovered a new duck-like dinosaur, which looks so strange that fossils were originally thought to be a fake.
The dinosaur – known as Halszkaraptor escuilliei – lived in modern-day Mongolia during the Cretaceous Period, about 75 million years ago.
Italian researchers believe it would have spent at least some of its time in water. Based on its features, they think the dinosaur used its flipper-like forearms to swim like a penguin, while its long neck would have been used for foraging like a duck and ambush hunting.
The dinosaur was part of the Maniraptora group, which included birds and their closest relatives.
The especially total fossil of Halszkaraptor is initially from Ukhaa Tolgod, south Mongolia, however the group of researchers in charge of its depiction in the logical writing did not find it there. The fossil was sooner or later illicitly poached from its profitable paleontological site, and drifted between private accumulations outside of the nation for quite a long time before being procured and given over to scientists in 2015 for study and come back to Mongolia.
Since the fossil was delicate, profoundly implanted inside a stone piece, and exceptional, the universal group of scientists utilized a cutting-edge technique for picturing and reproducing Halszkaraptor’s skeleton in three measurements. At France’s European Synchotron Radiation Facility, they utilized a powerful, exceedingly delicate kind of X-beam checking—synchrotron multi-determination X-beam microtomography—to see and understandable all the inside points of interest of the example in the stone without touching it. This enabled the specialists to affirm that the abnormal fossil wasn’t a beguiling amalgamation of various dinosaur species, and make sense of the creature’s life systems down to fine scales.
Highlights of its skull recommend it invested energy in the water, seeking after and eating fish. Halszkaraptor had a long, thin nose brimming with short, thorny teeth splendidly suited for clutching wriggling fish. Like crocodiles, Halszkaraptor’s fossil held confirmation of a profoundly created work of tangible organs in the bones of the nose, recommending it followed water-based prey.
The 1911 independence remembered
The 1911 national liberation movement – watershed in modern history
29 December marks Mongolia’s independence from more than 200 years of Machu colonial rule in the country.
On this day in 1911 the independence of Mongolia was proclaimed and the Eighth Bogd Khan was enthroned as the country’s theocrat ruler when the Bogd Khan Mongolia was established with five ministers. (See photo – first five Ministries under Bogd Khan – Ministry of Internal Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of War and Ministry of Justice).
The 1911 National Liberation Movement, which laid the foundation for the country’s renaissance, is regarded in history as the result of many decades of unflinching struggle of the Mongolians for independence and freedom, the revival of the great national consciousness and a fertile soil for the triumph of the 1921 People’s Revolution.
During the years of socialism, until the end of 1990s, this historically important day was disregarded until August 2007 when the new Parliament of Mongolia declared 29 December as a Public Holiday commemorating the Revival of National Freedom and Independence and since it has been observed as a public holiday.
North Koreans face Mongolia exit
As UN sanctions take effect North Koreans working in Mongolia must leave
Mongolia recently joined the international community in sanctioning North Korea, saying it would no longer renew visas for North Koreans working in the country when they expire at the end of the year.
The move will have a major financial impact on Pyongyang as the wages of thousands of North Koreans working in Mongolia help support the country’s nuclear program.
The UN estimated in September that 100,000 North Koreans work abroad and send some US$500 million (RM2 billion) in wages back to the authoritarian regime each year.
The number of North Koreans working in Mongolia has dropped every year since peaking at 2,123 in 2013.
North Koreans have toiled and slept at construction sites in Mongolia, they have operated cashmere sewing machines, and their acupuncture skills are highly prized.
In Mongolia, construction companies have hired North Koreans for their reputation for working long hours without complaint. They live in toolsheds of construction sites or in the basements of apartment projects under construction. They never take time off or even leave the construction sites as they are not allowed to wander in the city on their own.
Many Mongolians, who have employed North Koreans, say that they work from their heart, and they are happy to work in Mongolia.