Ulaanbaatar forum II

The Second Ulaanbaatar Forum for East Asia
August 21-22, 2007

The second “Ulaanbaatar Forum for East Asia” under the patronage of the President of Mongolia was held on August 21-22 in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia jointly organized by the Office of the President of Mongolia and the Mongolian Development Research Center. The forum was devoted under the theme of “Resources, Energy and the Environment” which is one of the most crucial and debated issues throughout the country. The Forum was attended by thirty foreign guests and delegates from Canada, China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Russia, Sweden and the USA who work in the field of research, business and academic fields as well as the government officials, researchers and business representatives from Mongolia. Aggregately, twenty reports and papers were presented and discussed during the forum. Following the presentations, questions and comments were also raised among the participants.
The Second Forum was organized for two days in the Government House of Mongolia successfully.  

21 August, 2007
The first day of the forum was divided into two sessions: The morning session was chaired by Dr. Ts.Batbayar, Board Chairman of the Mongolian Development Research Center while the afternoon session was held on energy cooperation issues chaired by Dr.L.Nyamtseren, Board member of the MDRC.

The Forum was opened by the remarks by T.Bilegt, Head of the Office of the President, Mongolia. In his speech, Mr. Bilegt extended sincere greetings to all participants of the second Ulaanbaatar Forum. He addressed that 21st century would be characterized by increasing globalization and progress of information technology as well as by concerns about environmental degradation, global warming, new global epidemic diseases, threats of global terrorism. In its 17 years of transition period, Mongolia achieved much progress in foreign policy, especially in Asia by making several partnership agreements with Japan, China, South Korea, Russia and the United States. Although bilateral relationships with Asia-Pacific countries have been developing with vision and intensive progress, Mongolia is not satisfied with its level of integration into a range of dynamically expanding regional multilateral institutions. Moreover, in order to have active participation in building an East Asian Community, Mongolia needs support from ASEAN members and must become a dialogue partner of ASEAN.  Since Mongolia’s accession to PECC as associate member in 2000, Mongolia is  making efforts to join the Asia-Pacific Economic Council (APEC). Mongolia repeatedly expresses support for APEC’s objectives and principles, as well as  interest in further cooperation, leading to membership through bilateral channels and the APEC Secretariat. Mongolia has been participating in four working groups on foreign trade promotion, energy, tourism and transportation with a status of a  guest country. The view is that this status needs to be changed into a permanent one.  He highlighted that Mongolian initiatives on regional cooperation that need support from participants of the Forum would be discussed in the conference as well.

Following his remarks, Prof. Robert Bedeski, Emeritus Professor at University of Victoria, Canada presented his speech on “Mongolia’s Emergence as a Modern Sovereign Nation-State: Three Stages of Development”. In his presentation, Prof. Bedeski emphasized that Mongolia has arrived at a stage of MSNS existence – with territorial borders clearly delineated with its two neighbors. A stable modus vivendi is reinforced by the presence of third countries whose commercial, religious, cultural, NGO and diplomatic representatives can insure that Mongolian sovereignty will not be neglected by their home countries.

The next presentation after Canadian session was reported by Prof. Bing Zheng, President of the Jilin Academy of Social Sciences, China. In a presentation entitled “The Integration of Jilin Province to the Cooperation in Northeast Asia and its Situation and Tendency” Prof. Bing Zheng argued that in the past 5 years, the total economic amount of Jilin Province constantly enlarged and its development step accelerated rapidly by mentioning statistics on regional total outputs. Thanks to the “four large-scale growths” which are the growth of fixed asset investment, foreign direct investment, other provinces’ fund and foreign trade exportation,   the province’s development enhanced substantially. Moreover, superiority industries such as automotive, petrochemical, agricultural products processing, medicine and electronic industries are the three pillar industries and two superiority industries in Jilin province. In addition, economic technical cooperation with foreign countries such as Japan, the DPRK, Malaysia, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand played a significant role for development of the province.

“Role of Foreign Investors in Asian Equity Market” was presented by Ohara Atsuji, Global Equity Strategist, Shinko Securities Co., Ltd, Japan. The presentation was devoted to prescribe the role of foreign, especially US and European investors and global mega investment bank in Asian stock markets using avail data mainly from International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank and Bloomberg. Participants were expected to understand their powerful role and presence in Asia. Mr. Ohara Atsuji explained the presentation by using some charts, graphs and tables with statistical analysis.

MGIMO professor Sergei Lousianin in his paper “Russian policy in Northeast Asia: Compromises and Priorities” argued that the accomplishment of Russian economic reforms or the threat of their failure may profoundly influence Russia’s regional strategy. As NEA nations are being involved in the regional integration processes with different intensity, Russia has an opportunity to find its own “niche” in Northeast Asia.

“The U.S. economic relations with Mongolia in the 1990s” was presented by Dr. Alicia Campi, President of the Mongolia Society. For the United States, economic ties with Mongolia in the 1990s overwhelmingly meant donor assistance, rather than joint ventures and private investment. There was the perception by Mongolia and other foreign donors that the U.S. as well as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) set the development aid agenda for Mongolia during the decade, even though the planning sessions took place in Tokyo. It was the United States in its role as winner of the Cold War that took the lead in devising and implementing programs both to accelerate Mongolia’s political reforms and its transition to a free market economy. This strategy has been called “shock therapy,” and was quite controversial at the time. However, from the beginning of the new relationship and throughout the 1990s, the U.S. was only the third largest provider of foreign donor assistance to Mongolia. Aid was dispensed at the rate of about $12-17 million a year through USAID and food aid.

Afternoon session on Energy Cooperation was chaired by Dr. L. Nyamtseren, MDRC Board member. Six papers were presented at the session. Ito Shoichi, Researcher from ERINA, Japan, in his paper “Energy Security in Asia-Pacific: New Directions for Conflict or Cooperation” summarized basic energy trends and put forward some policy recommendations. Policy recommendations include: (1) Energy conservation should be one of the keys for cooperation; (2) Business-oriented approach rather than geopolitical approach is necessary; (3) Efficient transfer of advanced energy technologies according to business rules should be encouraged; (4) Resource nationalism must and can be countervailed by policy coordination among consuming countries; (6) Dialogues on enhancing multilateral policy adjustment should be accelerated at two different levels simultaneously: among consuming countries and between consuming and supplying countries.

22 August, 2007

Beforenoon session on Mining Issues was chaired by Dr. Sakhia Lhagva, Board member of the MDRC. Mr. Kh. Badamsuren, Director of Geology, Mining and Heavy Industry Department, Ministry of Industry and Trade, presented a paper titled “Mineral Resources in Mongolia: Current Situation and Future Perspectives”. He gave the current situation of mineral sector both in the world and in Mongolia. Talking about Future perspectives Mr. Badamsuren emphasized the development of the South Gobi region where the policy is set to develop core mining projects, including Tavan tolgoi coking coal, Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold and Tsagaan Suvarga copper, to develop infrastructure and related other sectors. D. Ganbold, Chairman, Mongolian Mining Association, gave another paper on “Current state of affairs in Mongolia’s mining industry and the Challenges it faces”. In his critical paper, Mr. Ganbold covered three areas like uncertain legal environment, taxation policy and non-market system. He recommended to improve and harmonize the legal environment, to invalidate the Windfall Profit Tax, to eliminate the government bureaucracy, to establish an independent Ministry to be in charge of the geology and mining sector, to promote and uphold Responsible Mining.

Afternoon session on Environment issues was chaired by Prof. Ts. Adiyasuren, Former Minister of Environment, President of the University of “Eco Asia”. Mr. B. Enkhmandakh, Vice Minister, Ministry of Environment, gave a paper titled “Current Environmental Challenges of Mongolia and the Areas of Cooperation in NEA”. He gave the overview of the environmental problems in Mongolia and explained the environmental policy, both its institutional and legislative framework. Mr. Enkhmandakh also introduced mid-term environmental priorities like as land restoration of mining sites, reforestation and desertification prevention, reduction of environmental pollution, water use management, protected areas network expansion and biodiversity conservation.

Other speakers included Prof. Chin-seung Chung, Dean, KDI school, Korea, and Mr. Tsevegmid  Tumentsogt, expert of the World Office, Ulaanbaatar. Tumentsogt stated that Ulaanbaatar (UB) is nearly unlivable due to wintertime air pollution. Ground level air pollution, measured in terms of Particulate Matter (PM), in Ulaanbaatar is estimated to be between 2 times (in summer) to 12 times (in winter) minimum accepted standards. It has been well established in the literature that airborne particulate matter (PM) is a critical pollutant responsible for negative health outcomes, such as respiratory illnesses, premature death, and restricted activity days. It is estimated that the total health costs could reach as much as US$292 million (2006), which represents 11% of Mongolia’s total GDP.
Main sources of air pollution are ger area households stoves, heat only boilers, power plants, unpaved roads, garbage burning etc.
Mayor of City of Ulaanbaatar and the Government of Mongolia requested the Bank to provide assistance in dealing with air pollution issue, and the total estimated project cost will be around US$ 14-18 million depending on emergency recovery credit or specific investment loan. The proposed project will comprise the following components: (a) emergency replacement of household stoves in ger areas; (b) emergency retrofitting of heat only boilers; (c) project management, public awareness raising, capacity building, monitoring and evaluation.
23 August, 2007

After two days’ conference, foreign participants went to Terelj, the national park of Mongolia which is 70 km far from the capital, Ulaanbaatar. The guests visited “Turtle” rock and had a beautiful view of Mongolian scenery from the hill at Terelj. In the afternoon, the participants were hosted a lunch in “Ger”, Mongolian traditional felt dwelling. As most of guests arrived in Mongolia for the first time, it was a good opportunity to have sightseeing in countryside.

Conference Agenda
August 21-23,  2007

August 20: Monday
Arrival of foreign guests in Ulaanbaatar

August 21: Tuesday
8:30-9:00 Registration

9:00-9:30 Opening remarks by Hon.T.Bilegt, Head, Office of the President of Mongolia

Beforenoon: General Session

Chair: Dr. Tsedendamba Batbayar, MDRC Board Chairman

9:30-10:00 Canadian Session: Mongolia’s Emergence  as a Modern Sovereign Nation-State: Three Stages of Development presented by Prof. Robert Bedeski, Emeritus Professor, University of Victoria, Canada

10:00-10:30 Chinese Session: The Integration of Jilin Province to the Cooperation in Northeast Asia and Its Situation and Tendency, presented by Prof. Bing Zheng, President of the Jilin Academy of Social Sciences, China

10:30-11:00 Japanese session I : Role of Foreign Investors in Asian Equity Market, presented by Ohara Atsuji, Global Equity Strategist, Shinko Securities/ Visiting Researcher, Osaka University of  Economics and Law, Japan

11:00-11:20    Tea Break

11:20-11:40    Russian Session: Russian policy  in Northeast Asia: Compromises and Priorities, presented by Prof. Sergei Lousianin, MGIMO, Russia

11:40-12:00    American Session: The U.S. economic relations with  Mongolia in the 1990s, presented by Dr. Alicia Campi, President of the Mongolia Society

12:00-12:20    Japanese Session II: Japan’s Agenda for Northeast Asia, presented by Dr. Arai Yukiyasu, Centre for Slavic Studies, Hokkaido University

12:20-12:40    Russian session II: Civilizational Aspects of the Cooperation between Russia and Mongolia, presented by Prof. S. Zhelezniakov, Institute of Sociology, Russian Academy of Sciences

12:40-13:00 Question and Answer period

13:00-14:30 Lunch

Afternoon: Session on Energy Cooperation

Chair: Dr. L. Nyamtseren, Board member of the MDRC

14:30-15:00 Opportunities of Energy cooperation between Mongolia and the NEA  presented by Mr. R. Sundui, Advisor to the Minister , Ministry of Fuel and Energy

15:00-15:20 Energy Security in Asia-Pacific: New Directions for Conflict or Cooperation, presented by Itoh Shoichi, Researcher, ERINA, Japan

15:20-15:40 Key Policy Issues in Electricity Industry, presented by Prof. II-Chong Nam, KDI, Korea

15:40-16:00 Russia and Mongolia: some strategy to develop bilateral relations, presented by Prof. S.B. Folomeeva-Vdovina, Russia

16:00-16:20    Tea break

16:20-16:40    Mongolia and Nuclear Age, presented by  Dr. J. Enkhsaikhan, Former Ambassador of Mongolia to the UN

16:40-17:00 Geopolitics of Energy  in NEA and Mongolia, presented by Dr. D. Shurkhuu, Institute of International Studies, Mongolia

17:00-17:30 Question and Answer period

17:30-18:00 Keynote speech: Horseman’s Leap: Mongolia’s Projection Abroad and Opportunities in the International Arena, presented by Professor Steve Noerper, Center for Global Affairs, New York University

19:00-21:00    Reception hosted by His Excellency N. Enkhbayar, President of Mongolia

August 22: Wednesday

Beforenoon: Session on Mining Issues Chair: Dr. S. Lhagva, Board member of the MDRC

9:00-10:00    Mining in Mongolia: Current situation and Future Perspectives
Presentation by Dr.S.Tsedendamba, Scientific Secretary, National Development Institute
Presentation by Mr.Kh.Badamsuren, Director of the Department, Ministry of Industry and Trade

10:00-10:30    Question and answer period

10:30-11:00    Tea break

11:00-11:30    Mining in Mongolia: How to maintain momentum
Presentation by Mr. Do Ganbold, President, Mining Association of Mongolia
Presentation  by Prof. Julian Dierkes, University of British Columbia, Canada

11:30-12:00    Coal Industry of Mongolia: Future prospects
Presentation  by Mr. N. Boldkhuu, Division Chief, Ministry of Fuel and Energy

12:00-13:00    Question and answer period

13:00-14:30    Lunch

Afternoon: Session on Environment Issues
Chair: Dr. Prof.  Ts. Adyasuren, Former Minister of Environment, President, University of “Eco Asia”

14:30-15:30    Current Environmental  challenges and areas of cooperation in Northeast Asia, including global warming, desertification, air and water pollution
Mongolian presentation: B.Enkhmandakh, Vice-Minister, Ministry of Environment
Korean presentation: Prof. Chin-Seung Chung, Dean, KDI School, Korea

15:30-16:00    Question and answer

16:00-16:30    Tea break

16:30-17:00    Urban planning and How to Make a Cleaner Ulaanbaatar
Presentation: Tsevegmid Tumentsogt, Expert of the World Bank Office, Ulaanbaatar
Presentation: Dr. Prof.  Ts. Adyasuren, Former Minister of Environment, President, University of “Eco Asia”

17:00-17:30    Final question and answer period followed by discussion

17:30-18:30    Concluding Session Closing remarks and adjournment

August 23: Thursday

9:00-17:00    Countryside visit to Terelj National Park

August 24-25

Departure of participants

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