MDRC

Nordic countries

Nordic countries

29 October. Arrival to Beijing by CA 902.
The delegation includes 6 persons:

  1. Mr. B. Batkhishig, Economic Adviser to The President of Mongolia
  2. Dr. Ts. Batbayar, Chairman of Board, MDRC
  3. Mr. D. Amar, Executive Director, MDRC
  4. Mr. Ch. Nyamdorj, Member of Parliament
  5. Mr. Ya. Erkhembayar, Member of Parliament
  6. Mr. Ts. Bayarskaihan, Member of Parliament

 


30 October. Arrival to Goteborg by LH.
The delegation arrived to Goteborg via Frankfurt. During almost 7 hour long waiting at Frankfurt airport the delegation had a dinner which.
At 23.25 the delegation arrived to Goteborg, where Mrs. Anita Gerdne has met us and took to the Robinson hotel near the center of the city.

31 October. Sunday
Because of 6 hour difference the delegation slept until 12.00 and at 14.00 Mrs. Gerdne picked us up and took to her cafe called Cappuchino. The delegation had a lunch there with Mr. Erdenechuluun who is staying at Upsalla.
In the evening, we had a dinner at the house of Mrs. Gerdne. Her husband North Gerdne has worked in oil business and now retired 5 years ago.

1 November. Monday

At 10.00 we went to University hospital to meet Prof. Peter Horal and had talked to him about health care system in Sweden. Mr. Horal told us that Sweden has a free medical service for all Swedens because everybody pays so-called welfare tax to local and as well as central government. A person coming to a doctor pays just SEK 100 as an entry fee then everything is free of charge. Local government pays for everything. But they are planning to separate services and make them private. Doctors are low paid and they started to move to another countries, like Norway, where they can earn much more.

Swedish model of welfare is not working perfectly.


At 14.00 we went to Goteborg University to meet Prof. Arne Bigsten who is development economist at School of Economics and Commercial Law. He told us that Swedish economy is a mixed economy, on one hand, it collects high taxes and redistributes for all equally, on other hand, 95 percent of industry is private. Production is private, however, government intervention is still strong. During 1991-92 big speculation boom, so-called bubble, brought a crisis to Swedish economy. One bank was rescued by the government. Sweden went through liberalization of financial market. If in the 1970s Swedish per capita GDP was 3d in the world, now it is 17th in the world. Public debt is about 85% of the GDP. Every year it spends 2% of its GDP to pay off public debt. Sweden should make public debt ratio lower as 60% in order to meet EU criteria. Unemployment is 6% now lower than in early 1990s. Government owns telecommunicastation, hospitals, schools, defence industry. Sweden is highly dependent on foreign trade, it must export much in order sirvive. Less than 1% of the population is employed in agriculture, it produces 2-3% of the GDP. Sweden can join EMU in 2002.


November. Tuesday
We visited Kanog farm “Partille” located out side Goteborg. The farm is property of the municipality, it is rented by 5 persons. Main characteristics of the farm:
- Cultivated area 85 hectares, 1/3 barley, 1/3 oats, 1/3 grassland
- Pasture ground 60 ha, 54 cows, 60 heifers, 45 bulls
- Farm shop, where they sell mostly horse fodder for local county horse owners
One cow gives 11000 ton of milk dayly, they sell to milk factory. Farm has also 4500 hens, and collects 4000 eggs per day.
Total income of farm is about 3 mln SEK yearly, and they pay 200,000 SEK to the municipality for rent.
   


3 November. Wednesday
We came to Oslo by SAS which flew only 50 min. from Goteborg. From Airport we came to hotel Norrana where we will stay 3 nights. Mongolian consul Mr. Erik Walstrom came to meet us at 12.00 and took us to his office of the law firm Haavind&Haga. We had an orientation seminar for Norway visit. Mr. Kenneth Pilscog, China Travel Ltd., came to talk to us about the tourism development in Mongolia. This firm sends about 200 Norvegians to Mongolia yearly mostly those who ride Trans Siberian railway.
Mr. Walstrom told us some basic things about Norway. Norwegians are sensitive about Sweden which can be explained by history.
   
For more than 400 years, it was ruled first by Danes and then by Swedes. It only gained its independence in 1905 and has spent much of the century forging a national identity. More recently, Norway has become prosperous due to North Sea oil. Its economy is still growing steadily – it is expected to increase by 1 percent this year and 3 percent next year, helped by the doubling of oil price since January. The government is next year expected to add another NKr 71.8 bn to its petroleum fund, the financial safety net for when oil runs out, taking the total nearly NKr 300 bn. Unlike Sweden, Norway has a weak industrial base outside the oil, shipping and fishing industries.

There is some state ownership in three large industries: oil, banking and telecoms. The oil industry is dominated by Statoil, which is fully state owned, and Norsk Hydro. In the financial sector, the state also owns a majority of Den norske Bank, the biggest Norwegian bank, as well as its stake in Christiania. Telenor and Telia are 100 percent state owned. But the state remains anxious about the future of the economy once North Sea oil proceeds start to diminish .(it is sufficient for another 25-30 years)


4 November. Thursday
At 11.00. we went to Norwegian parliament, Storting, to meet Mrs. Rigmor Kofoed-Larsen, who visited Mongolia this summer as a member of Norwegian parliament delegation. After their return she informed Minister of Foreign Affairs on the visit to Mongolia. They are interested in social sector development in Mongolia, and in developing tourism in Mongolia for Scandinavian tourists. Norway spends about 10 bn NKr (US$ 1.4 bn) per year as development assistance, which is managed by NORAD.

However, the development aid is focused on certain countries, like Mosambique, Tanzania, Zambia. Mongolia is not included into this list. At present, some Norwegian NGOs engaged in a few projects in Mongolia, focused on education, street children etc.
Afternoon, we visited Norsk Investorforum, where we met Mr. Erik S. Reinert, expert on development economics. He is a critical of IMF or Washington consensus that all economic activities alike. Instead, he argues that like players in different divisions of soccer, countries have industries with different skills. Therefore, he established a small group of economists and political scientists from US, Korea and will hold a conference in August 2000 to reach Oslo consensus. He wrote an paper on”The Role of the State in Economic Growth” in which he argues that narrowly focused and simplistic economic models from the early 1990s, virtually void of any considerations of economic institutions, need profound modifications.
   
5 November. Friday
At 10.00 we went to Royal Ministry of Foreign Affairs to meet Mr. Per Stavnum, Regional adviser for Asia/ Oceania. He told us about bilateral relations. Two countries exchanged visits by Speakers of the Parliament. Min. Tuya's visit was postponed and expressed hope that it will take place at convenient time in near future. One UNDP project on energy efficiency was funded by Norway. 2 Norwegian NGOs are active in Mongolia. Development cooperation is concentrated on a few countries in Asia, for example, on Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh and other South Asian countries. Whether Mongolia can be included or not, much will depend on Parliament decision.

At 12.00 the delegation came to Agricultural University of Norway, located outside Oslo in 40 min drive. Mr. Svein Skoien told us about agriculture in Norway. Although agriculture, forestry, fishing contributes only 2 percent of the GDP, it is very important in terms of employment and protected by the Government. The Government subsidies the farmers by various measures which amount to 12-13 bn NKr. Family farm size is very small not exceeding 13 cows and obliged to sell the qouta of milk. Norway has 350,000 cows, 91,800 pigs, 1 mln sheeps and 55,700 goats. They slaughter half year old lambs and keep only lambs. In Mongolia about 10 Norwegian agricultural specialists work on vegetable growing (5 somons and 200 families), wool center, cow cross breeding. 80 percent of funding comes from NORAD and the rest from NGOs.

6, 7 November. Saturday, Sunday
The delegation comes to Copenhagen by SAS flight at noon on Saturday. Because everything is closed in Denmark in week-ends, we do some sightseeing and shopping.

8 November. Monday
In the morning we went to visit a farm nearby Copenhagen. Mr. Mads Midtiby, the owner of the farm, has 125 ha land and 100 cows. He gets 2.5 ton milk per day, 900 ton per year. His income
1995 70,000 DKr
1996 73,000DK
1997 275,000 DK
1998 504,000
1999 350,000
From milk he gets DK 2,194,226 and from meat 229,284. He has two employees, and pays DK 24,000 and 16,000 respectively.
At noon, we went to the Danish Agricultural Council, the federation of all kinds of associations, to meet Mr. Jens D. Vesterlund, Head of Department, The Danish Institute of Agricultural Information and Education. He told us basic things about Danish agriculture. Although 3-4 percent of population is employed in agriculture, it generates 7-8 bn US$ exports out of total 70 bn exports. 2/3 of all agricultural products are exported abroad. Number of farmers is decreasing. If 200,000 farmers with an average 16 ha land were in 1960, 60,000 farmers with an average 45 ha registered in 1990.
At 14.00 we went to the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries to meet Mr. Pederson, Director, International Affairs. He told us about Common agricultural policy within EU.

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