Brief Historic Background
For most Mongolians, India is a “spiritual neighbour”, a declared ‘third neighbor’, a ‘strategic partner’ and a center for pilgrimage. Of late, our relationship has expanded beyond the cultural sphere into various facets of cooperation in economic and defense sectors. The 3 Ds Democracy, Dharma, and Development Partnership have emergedas the pillars of the India, Mongolia relationship. Historically, our two nations have interacted through the vehicle of Buddhism that has developed, nurtured, and promoted the friendship and spiritual connect. Some Indian & Mongolian historians have conjectured about migration of some tribes from Kangra kingdom to Mongolian territory 4300 years ago. Mangaldev, son of the King headed the migrants and majority of them returned to India after staying there for about 2000 years though there is no historical evidence yet to prove this. In 1924, the Prime Minister of Mongolia Mr. A. Amar mentioned in his book – “Short History of Mongolia” that Mongolian forefathers came from backside of Himalayan Mountains. Another interesting thing often quoted, is about ‘Ganga Nuur’ lake which accordingly to many Mongolians derived its name after ‘Ganga River’ in India from where some Mongolian Lamas brought water and poured into the lake in Sukhbaatar Province and naming it so.
As for our strongest cultural bond, Buddhism appears to have traversed to Mongolian steppes through Tibet and Himalayan region. During the Hunnu State of 3rd century BC and later during the period of Great Mongol Empire Buddhist monks, several traders from India visited Mongolia. In 552 BC, a Lama Narendrayash from the State ofUdayana (Northern India) with some others visited Nirun state. Since to most Mongols, India is the land of Buddha, Lamas and students from Mongolia used to travel to Nalanda, once the largest residential University in India, to study Buddhism. India and Mongolia are ancient lands of the ancient people of Asia. The historic and cultural collaboration between India and Mongolia is most fascinating and unique and is as old as the history of the spread of Indian culture and ideas into Central Asia and Siberia.
In modern times, Buddhism has been promoted by cultural and literary contacts between the people of India and Mongolia. Prof. Raghu Vira, founding member of International Academy of Indian Culture in Delhi discovered that Mongolia’s spiritual and literacy heritage was the golden light, the Altangerel, the Suvarna-Prabhasa-Sutra, or the irreducible diamond in the rock of Vajra- cchedika. In recent times, Prof. Lokesh Chandra collaborated with his father Prof. Raghu Vira and completed the “New Tibe to Mongol Pantheon” in 20 volumes and also edited 108 large volumes of the Mongolian Kanjur or Buddhist Canon. These accounts confirm that both India and Mongolia were in close direct contacts especially during 5-7 century AD and it seems that Buddhism in Mongolia accelerated the process of further spread of Indian culture in Mongolia. The intellectual development of Mongolia is ostensibly influenced by the Mahayana school of Buddhism, its philosophy and philosophical treaties of Nagarjuna used in simplified expression and terminology. Mongolian Buddhism is predominantly the Yellow Hat sect of Buddhism practiced in Tibet and China but over the centuries, it has evolved into its own version, having incorporated the pre-Buddhist religion of ‘Tengerism’ as well as ‘Shamanistic’ influences. Tengerism is an ancient ethnic and state Turko-Mongolic religion originating in the Eurasian steppes, based on folk shamanism, monotheistic at the imperial level, and generally centered around the titular sky god Tengri. The term also describes several contemporary Turko-Mongolic native religious movements and teachings. All modern adherents of “political” Tengrism are monotheists.
Late Ambassador Bakula Rimpoche during his 10 years’ tenure in Mongolia from1990-2000 contributed immensely to consolidating this legacy of Buddhist connection with India and was instrumental in reviving 100s of Buddhist monasteries in Mongolia and setting up of revered Pethub Monastery in UB city. Likewise, several present-day Mongolian scholars, 90+-year-old Prof. Gandendarama through his translations of Indian epics like Ramayana, Mahabharata, Kalidasa and about 30 more books into Mongolian language and Dr Shrindev’s translation of 8 volumes of ‘Dhammapada’ fromPali to Mongolian language have also highlighted close historical connect between the two countries and pitched in for furthering the bond of cultural heritage with Mongolia.
Holding of two important Buddhist international conferences – Asian Buddhist Conference on Peace (ABCP) and Samvaad-III Budhism-Hindusim Global Dialogue inGandan Monastery in May and Sept 2019 respectively – in which India plays an important role, have contributed to consolidating of this shared heritage in recent years. As a part of 65th diplomatic anniversary celebrations, in April 2020, our Ministry of Culture have started reprinting of about 100 sets of ‘108 volumes of Mongolian Kanjur’ which is expected to be completed in 2022. Incidentally, 25 volume set was virtually handed over by EAM to the then Chief Cabinet Secretary Mr. Oyun Erdene (now PrimeMinister) during the 7th Joint Commission Meeting.
A paradigm shift and a strong momentum was brought in our bilateral relations inMay 2015. The historic and first ever visit of Indian Prime Minister to Mongolia, paved the way for elevation of our partnership to ‘Strategic’ level. 13 G2Gagreements and 4 B2B agreements signed to expand our economic cooperation in various areas have come to manifest India’s image as a strong ‘third neighbour’ has taken strong roots in the minds of Mongolian public and government structure. India’s gifting of 150,000 doses of Covid Vaccine on Feb 22, 2021was billed as a “historic” moment by Mongolian Deputy Prime Minister, as it was the Mongolia’s first vaccine came from India.
India established diplomatic relations with Mongolia on 24 December 1955 and year 2020 marked the 65th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations. In January 1956, we had first Mongolian Ambassador in New Delhi. Indian resident Mission in Ulaanbaatar was opened on 22 February 1971. Earlier, Indian Ambassadorin Moscow (T.N. Kaul) was concurrently accredited. Mongolians appreciate Indian’s support to its membership in United Nations in 1961 which was championed by Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru. In 1991, India supported Mongolia’s membership to Non-Aligned Movement (NAM). Mongolia along with India and Bhutan co-sponsored famous UN Resolution for the recognition of Bangladesh as an independent country in 1972.
First ever visit by PM India to Mongolia in May 2015 to mark the 60th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between India and Mongolia brought in a paradigm shift in our relationship. The momentum thus generated has been sustained by several high level exchanges in the last 4 years (Visit of VicePresident, Speaker of the Lok Sabha in 2016 visits of Home Minister & EAM in 2018)and visit of Minster of Petroleum and Natural Gas (Oct 2019) and by initiating of process of construction of first Oil Refinery in Mongolia under Exim Bank LoC of US$I.236 Billion – the single largest project of assistance – capable of refining 1.5 million metric tonnes crude per year (equivalent to approximate 80% of Mongolian oil consumption) has further consolidated goodwill and friendship of India with Mongolia.
Bilateral Cooperation Mechanism
India and Mongolia have ‘India-MongoliaJoint Committee on Cooperation (IMJCC)’ chaired at Ministerial level. 5th meeting ofIMJCC was held in New Delhi in April, 2016 under the Chair of MoS for EA Gen (Retd.) V.K. Singh and Mr. L. Purevsuren, Foreign Minister of Mongolia. The 6th meeting of IMJCC was held in Ulaanbataar on 25th April 2018 co-chaired by late Smt. Sushma Swaraj, External Affairs Minister and Mr. D. Tsogtbaatar, Foreign Minister of Mongolia. Owing to scheduling difficulties, the 7th IMJCC was not held in 2019 and finally took place virtually due to Covid enforced environment on Dec 3rd, 2020 and co-chairmanship of Dr. S. Jaishankar, External Affairs Minister and Mr. L. Oyun-Erden, the then Chief Cabinet Secretary(Prime Minister since Jan 27, 2021).
In addition to IMJCC, a Joint Working Group for Defenceco-operation also convened annually. Mr. N. Enkhbold, Minister of Defence visited Indiain March 2018 and held bilateral talks with RRM, RM, NSA and COAS. The 8th JWGmet in New Delhi (13-14 December 2016) and the Mongolian delegation was led by Deputy Defence Minister. The 9th JWG held from 6-8 May 2019 in Ulaanbaatar headed by JS(Air) and Mongolian Deputy Minister of Defence.
Joint India-Mongolia exercise ‘Nomadic Elephant’ is held annually. Last year it was held at Ulaanbaatar (Mongolia) from 10-22 September 2018 and in 2019 it was held from 05-18 October 2019 at Bakloh (HP), India. During 2020, it could not be held due to Coviden forced environment and is now expected to be held in the last quarter of 2021.
Indian Armed Forces Observers regularly participate in the Annual multilateral peacekeeping exercise ‘Khan Quest’ in Mongolia. For 2021 exercises scheduled to be held in July, invitation has been issued to our MoD. India also offers training both in civilian and defence courses under ITEC Programme.
Border Patrolling Cooperation
The BSF (MHA) of India and the Mongolian General Authority for Border Protection (GABP) have been closely cooperating on border patrolling and related subjects for over eight years. This cooperation has been formalized in the form of a MoU in May 2015 during PM’s visit. A Joint Steering Committee (JSC) has been constituted for furthering this cooperation. The first meetingof the JSC was held on 21-23 Dec 2016 in Ulaanbaatar. The Indian delegation was led by Secretary (BM), MHA. A BSF delegation led by DG, BSF visited Mongolia from 28-30 October 2018 to discuss further cooperation. Several proposals on capacity building& technical assistance, including supply of integrated server to GABP by BSF are under consideration and likely to be completed by mid-2021 provided COVID-19 situation in both countries is eased.
Disaster Management Cooperation between
Disaster Management Cooperation between National EmergencyManagement Agency (NEMA) and National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) picked up pace in the recent years. In 2018, 25 officers of NEMA were trained in India under ITEC. During the visit of President of Mongolia to India in September, 2019, an MoU on cooperation in the field of Disaster Management and Disaster Risk Reduction was signed between NEMA of Mongolia and NDMA of India and an ‘Action Plan’ for2021-2022 has also been negotiated between the two agencies in Feb 2021. However, some of the proposed activities in 2020-2021 could not be held due to Covidpandemic.
A Working Group for cooperation in the field of nuclear energy has been set up between the respective agencies of the two countries i.e. the DAE and the Nuclear Energy Agency of Mongolia. The second meeting of this Working Group was held in Mumbai from 10-12 December 2012. The 3rd JWG meeting washeld in March 2017 in Ulaanbaatar. Another JWG was constituted for cooperation in the field of Renewable Energy but there has not been any progress by either side.
Commercial, Economic and Technical Cooperation
Since the transition of Mongolia from an erstwhile Soviet satellite into democratic nationand free market economy, India and Mongolia signed 2 MoUs pertaining to the establishment of a Joint Trade Sub-Committee and Co-operation between the Planning Commission of India and the National Development Board of Mongolia were signed in1994 during the visit of then Minister for Commerce Shri Pranab Mukherjee to expand bilateral economic trade. Subsequently, an Agreement on Trade and EconomicCooperation for MFN status to each other in respect of customs, duties and all other taxes on imports and exports and an MoU co-operation in the field of Geology and Mineral resources entered into force in Sept 1996. During the visit of President Bagabandiin in 2001, both sides signed an Investment Promotion and ProtectionAgreement which is currently under review. In Sept 2019, President Battulga paid an official visit to India accompanied by 40-member Mongolian Business delegation. During his visit to New Delhi, the 3 main Chambers of Commerce (CII, FICCI and ASSOCHAM organized a ‘Business Meeting’ which was attended by our Minister ofPNG, Shri Pradhan and 2 B2B agreements were also signed.
The mission regularly contributes to consolidating and strengthening our trade and bilateral relations, especially to highlight that Mongolia is beneficiary of India’ssingle largest LoC for construction of USD 1.236 billion Oil Refinery Project inDornogobi Province capable of producing 1.5 million MTA oil (roughly 3.4th of domestic consumption). In Dec 2018, the Embassy in collaboration with Mongolian NationalChamber of Commerce and Industry organized commercial event ‘Trade and Investment Opportunities in India’ to promote Indian Pharmaceutical, Agriculture, Dairy, Spice, Tea, Coffee, Tourism and Educational sector in Mongolia. 1st India-Mongolia JointOil and Gas Exhibition that was followed by 1st ever India-Mongolia Oil and GasExhibition was jointly organized by the Embassy of India, Ministry of Mining and Heavy Industry, Mongol Refinery and Engineers India Ltd in the month of May, 2019 in which32 reputed Indian companies, including TATA Projects, ASCONS, IGSEC and 3Mongolian companies showcased their products and services. The mission also facilitated organizing of first India Education Fair in August 2019 in which 5 IndianUniversities participated and got good response. In November 2019, 40 Indian MSMEcompanies participated for the first time in Misheel Expo. As a part of 65th anniversary celebrations of India-Mongolia diplomatic relations, the mission along with Mongolian National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MNCCI) organized a day long business event titled India: Land of Business Opportunities” highlighting Make in India, Skill India, Digital India and other areas of core competence on Jan 20, 2020.
Mongolia like rest of the world was impacted badly during 2020 owing to Covidpandemic. However, using technological tools, the mission still organized 6-virtual ‘Webinars’ dedicated to Mining & Mineral Cooperation, Healthcare and Pharma sector, Smart Cities, IT and related technologies, Dairy, Agriculture and Animal Husbandry sectors during Oct 2020 to Feb 2021 and another Virtual Meeting by Policy Times of India on ‘Unleashing India’s potential’ was organized in Feb 2021 to bridge asymmetry of information and promote bilateral trade and commerce between India and Mongolia Not with standing our excellent relations, the volume of bilateral trade is modest in value & volumes. Main items of exports to Mongolia include medicines, mining machinery and auto parts, etc. Imports from Mongolia include raw cashmere wool. However, India-Mongolia bilateral trade has registered significant growth during the last five years (2016-2020) as evident from the table given below: Bilateral trade is modest in value & volumes. Main items of exports to Mongolia include medicines, mining machinery and auto parts, etc. Imports from Mongolia include raw cashmere wool. Last year, the Embassy in collaboration with Mongolian National Chamber of Commerce and Industry organized commercial event ‘Trade and Investment Opportunities in India’ to promote Indian Pharmaceutical, Agriculture, Dairy, Spice, Tea, Coffee, Tourism and Educational sector in Mongolia. Bilateral trades for nine years as per Mongolian statistics are as follows:
Bilateral Trade between India & Mongolia (US$ million)
[Note: April to September 2021][Source: https://eoi.gov.in/ulaanbaatar/?pdf4346?000 (Page – 80), https://tradestat.commerce.gov.in/eidb/default.asp]
Indian Community in Mongolia
The Indian community in Mongolia is small, numbering about less than two hundred according to Mongolian Immigration figures. Most Indians are either employed in organized sector or are self-employed such as operating Indian restaurants which are popular with the Mongolians and foreigners in Mongolia. There is a small number of Persons of Indian Origin (PIO). A small number of Mongolians are connected to India either by way of being married to Indians or been born and raised in India. Embassy celebrated Pravasi Bhartiya Divas (PBD) with good participation with Indians in Mongolia in 2018. Embassy organized community programmes like Diwali, Holi etc. The community was also invited to take part in Diplomatic Women’s charity Bazar.
Overview of Mongolia’s Investment Performance
From 1990 to the end of the third quarter of 2020, 123 countries invested a total of US$28.8 billion in Mongolia. 14,900 foreign-invested companies have registered from 123 countries, The top 5 countries that invested in Mongolia since 1990 are Canada, China, Netherlands, Luxembourg and Singapore. First, Canada leads in terms of investment, accounting for 26% of total investment, or US$7.5 billion. Second, China registered 7,536 enterprises worth US$5.5 billion, accounting for 50% of the total foreign enterprises and about 19% of the total investment. Third, Netherlands with 15% of total investment, or US$4.3 billion. Fourth Luxembourg, with 7% of total investment, or US$2.1 billion Fifth, Singapore with 5.6% of total
investment, or US$1.6 billion.
[Source:http://nda.gov.mn/backend/files/Bn1kEhetVRS5btx.pdf (Page number: 38,39)]
Geology, mining prospecting and exploration, petroleum exploration and production sector accounts for 70% or US$20.2 billion (460 enterprises). Trade and food service sector ac- counts for 16.8% or US$4.8 billion (10,171 enterprises). Banking and financial sector accounts for 3.2% or US$941 million (126 enterprises). Transport sector accounts for 1.2% or US$348.8 million (255 enterprises). Engineering construction and construction materials industry accounts for 1.3% or US$401 million (462 enterprises).
Nowadays India has emerged as one of the fastest growing large economies in the world. With its rich natural resources and strong aspiration for development, Mongolia can be an important partner in India’s growth story. India and Mongolia economic cooperation in areas such as infrastructure development, energy, services, and IT and agreed to explore possibility of launching direct air connectivity between New Delhi and the Mongolian capital Ulaanbaatar. Mongolia is not only India’s strategic partner but also a spiritual neighbour. India and Mongolia have close cooperation in trade and economy, science, health, agriculture, culture, education, communication, and tourism. The two countries are also working closely to ensure security and curbing international crimes and terrorism. The total trade between the two countries amounted to US$25.6 million in 2016.
India shares a content relation with Mongolia on various spectra. India must also ponder over multilateral security dialogue both officially and non-officially. Northeast Asia is currently having a few economic collaborative infrastructure projects such as Asia Super Grid Network, Greater Tumen Initiative (GTI), and Trans-Railway projects such as the TKR+TSR+TCR+TMGR linkages, in which India must officially aim to participate. This will enhance India’s foothold in the region. India must view the UBD (Ulaanbaatar Dialogue) as an intellectual strategic exercise forum to strengthen its outreach in Northeast Asia. One of UBD’s prime objectives is to uphold peace and harmony in the region since Mongolia wants to pursue a neutral and equi-cordial foreign policy towards all the major powers in the region. For India, the aim, therefore, should be to invest intellectually in the UBD by sending more experts and scholars who could possibly advocate India’s interests in Northeast Asia.
Economic Performance and Prospect
Economic recovery in 2017 was stronger than anticipated, as real gross domestic product (GDP) increased by 5.1% from 1.2% in 2016, following a prolonged period of a slowdown in growth. The growth momentum of 2017 continued into 2018 Q1, as the economy grew at 6.1% following a robust recovery of the mining sector and strong private consumption. Despite a rapid decline – although partly reversed – during 2010-16 in the incidence of poverty supported mainly by higher wages and transfers, Mongolia’s progress toward achieving its Sustainable Development Vision 2030.
Progress on 8 selected key results indicators (out of 20 Indicators) on the performance and implementation of Mongolia SDV 2030
|Annual average economic growth||%||7.8||5.1||6.6|
|Gross National Income per capita||US$||4,166||3,196.8||17,500|
|Human Development Index||Rank||90||92||70|
|Global Competitiveness Index||Rank||104||101||70|
|Doing Business Index||Rank||56||62||40|
|Share of the population with social insurance coverage in the total economically active population||%||84.4||82.9||99|
|Number of foreign tourists traveling in Mongolia||Million persons||0.392||0.469||2.0|
A robust growth in exports drove improvements in trade despite a significant imports surge explained by growing oil prices and investment. Imports increased by 45.5% in the first five months of 2018, following a 29.1% increase in 2017, amid a continued inflow of FDI and growing real income growth of households. Exports performed very well since late 2016, with higher commodity prices and increased external demand, particularly from China. Total exports grew by 14.6% in the first five months of 2018, following a 26.1% increase in 2017 on the back of historically high coal exports. Exports slightly weakened in January and February. Terms of trade substantially improved throughout 2017, with sharp rises in commodity prices.
Economic activity in Mongolia has traditionally been based on agriculture and livestock. Mongolia also has extensive mineral deposits: copper, coal, molybdenum, tin, tungsten, and gold account for a large part of industrial production.
Zamyn-Uud – Free industrial zone in Mongolia: The Free economic zone is in Zamyn-Uud border point town in the southern part of Mongolia. Allocation for the FEZ is an area of 900 hectares.
The Law on the Legal Status of the “Zamyn-Uud” FEZ envisages to develop the zone with three major sections – industrial, commercial, and tourism-service. “ZamynUud” FEZ offers:
- Industrial section
- Commercial section
- Tourism and services section
Altanbulag Free Trade Zone: The Free Trade Zone (hereinafter referred to as AFTZ) is in the northern part of Mongolia with a planned area of 500 hectares. It is adjacent to Khiagt border port of Russia, 335 km away from the capital city of Ulaanbaatar and 25 km away from Sukhbaatar city of Selenge province.
Mongolia is a resource-rich country with formidable growth prospects. Having adopted a democratic system and a market economy, the country is today at a turning point, as the discovery of huge mineral resources could pave the way to rapid economic and social development. While many of the building blocks of such development are in place, further efforts are required to ensure that the revenues derived from the Mining, Automation, IT, ICT and Agriculture sectors are used effectively and geared towards sustainable development. India should consider Mongolia as a green zone of economic development that absorbs hi-tech features and production skills in a modernization process. To preserve and promote the common heritage of Indo-Mongolian culture is important. This should serve as the basis for nurturing and pursuing future common interests.
As of 29th November 2021, the population of Mongolia was estimated to be 3.52 million people. 68.7% of Mongolia’s population lives in urban centres, while 31.3% lives in rural areas. According to our estimates 3.46 million persons or 98.38% of adult population (aged 15 years and above) in Mongolia are able to read and write. Despite a recent slowdown, Mongolia has experienced dramatic economic growth in the 21st century, exceeding global trends. Foreign direct investment, mining, infrastructure spending, and, more recently, strong fiscal and monetary stimulus measures have driven much of this growth. The country now faces challenges in terms of creating jobs without overly relying on public spending fueled by natural resource exploitation. The trends in educational attainment and enrollment in Mongolia are positive, and education pays off strongly. An increasingly large number of young people are seeking four-year degrees, potentially at the expense of attaining technical and vocational skills.
The initiative will give a thrust to the government’s vision of making India the skills capital of the world. The ministry of skill development and entrepreneurship has been mapping the skills requirement of various countries. Based on the mapping, specific job roles will be developed to train these workers to meet the global requirement. The idea is to enhance people-to-people contacts, foster mobility of workers and skilled professionals from India to Mongolia. Promote a cooperation between India and Mongolia to develop a basic framework that would facilitate movement of skilled workers from India to Mongolia.
Indian IT industry has built up an enormous confidence for itself in the global markets. IT industry in India comprises of software industry and information technology enabled services (ITES), which also includes business process outsourcing (BPO) industry. India is considered as a pioneer in software development and a favourite destination for IT-enabled services.
Over the past five years, Mongolia’s ICT industry has experienced rapid growth. There were 2.01 million internet users in Mongolia and Internet penetration stood at 61.0% in January 2021. Around 4.69 million mobile connections in Mongolia and mobile penetration 141.8% in January 2021.
As for the industrial human resources in the mining engineering field, engineers working in that field have a shortage of specialized knowledge such as high voltage engineering and geology for the underground mining and open-pit mining. Furthermore, generally speaking, it is evaluated that communication skills such as presentation and report writing skill and data analysis ability need to be improved. In addition, a foreign-financed mining company pointed out the necessary of English skills for business communication of the staff working in the company.
ICT Sector in Mongolia
The Government of Mongolia sought India’s assistance on expansion of network in rural areas and improvement of infrastructure of main ICT network. Proposal is under consideration. The Mongolian government set out its five-year mission to build a ‘digital nation’, harnessing data and technology to facilitate innovation, streamline public services and diversify Mongolia’s mining-reliant economy.
Moreover, this digitalisation enables us to streamline public service delivery by reducing bureaucracy, decreasing duplication of effort between government organisations and suppressing public frustration. As a result of e-Mongolia, red tape bureaucracy was significantly reduced, as well as lower- and mid-level corruption. Complaints regarding bribery decreased by 20–30% in the last three months. What’s more, it is estimated that a total of MNT 24 billion (approximately USD 8.2 million) will be saved annually through reduced paperwork, postage, fuel costs and labour. Another remarkable result is the direct and indirect positive impact on the environment. It is estimated that, as the platform currently stands, it will save 5,913 trees, 11,880 tons of greenhouse gases and about 1 million tons of water per year.
Compared to many other parts of the world, Mongolia is remarkably rich in minerals. More than 6,000 large deposits have been discovered, numbering at least 80 different minerals. The most economically significant of these are gold and copper. A new era is expected to usher in stronger India-Mongolia ties, because it’s mining boom which is estimated to fetch billions of dollars when new copper and gold mining projects where started. Besides these reserves, a vast unexplored potential of various minerals makes the country an attractive investment destination for Indian mining companies. If successful, it will sustain a likely boost in demand of raw materials and help the Make in India initiative back home. Unleashing the potential of Copper & Gold mining, and promoting niche market programmes in international marketing of livestock related Milk and Dairy products. The programme on promoting automation, IT & ICT development and Entrepreneurship will also assist regional development and diversification more generally across the country.
Mongolia’s small population together with its rapid development means that knowledge and skills will be a major determinant of FDI attraction and of the long-term success of the economy; but FDI itself also has a significant role to play in filling skills gaps which exist at all levels — vocational, professional, public sector and university — and private industries. Establishing a professional and technical training institution focusing on international languages, information technology (IT), Automation services, Dairy and mining sector. This is very important to identify skills and competence requirements for the country economy and facilitate the entry of needed skilled expatriate personnel.
Registered Entities in Mongolia (in Numbers)
[Source: National Statistics Office of Mongolia, Socio-Economic Situation of Mongolia 2018 / 12, Page – 153]
Mongolia Smart City
The term Smart City is not a new one and, while some examples already exist on the African continent, it is not as widespread as it should be. Urbanization, Economic, Social and Environmental Sustainability requirements are putting increasing pressure on cities’ infrastructure. This requires a paradigm shift to urban centres operational and management models by adopting new and smart technologies to create sustainable living environment for their citizens.
Smart governance is the governance model which is emerging worldwide as the solution for sustainable development. Today, countries around the world are changing rapidly, from the industrial to the technological era, moving towards a knowledge-based society and economy. Modernization and innovation of public administration heavily lies in the use of information communications technology for improving the relationship between government to government (G2G), government to citizen (G2C), government to business (G2B), and government to public employees (G2E).
Mongolia developed its first e-Government policy in 2005, entitled “E-Mongolia National Program”. Currently, Mongolia is determined in creating a knowledge society by developing information and communications technology as a facilitator and enabler for achieving a full operational government model and a sustainable social and economic development.
Mongolia is the country with the lowest population density in the world, with only 3 million inhabitants, of which 80% are under 35 years old, that is, a very young population in general. It is also a landlocked country situated between Russia and China..
A developed urban area that creates sustainable economic development and high quality of life by excelling in multiple key areas: economy, mobility, environment, people, living & government. Excelling in these key areas can be done so through strong human capital, social capital and /or ICT infrastructure.
The smart city will connect human capital, social capital and ICT infrastructure, which is the ultimate goal of any Smart City. Ulaanbaatar, the capital city has a vibrant mix of businesses and workers, residents and urban amenities, and innovation ecosystem in IT / ITES, Engineering & Life Sciences.
Indo Mongolia Cooperation for Economic Growth
Mongolia is one of the largest untapped potential destinations for investments due to its rich natural resources. India’s technology skill with Mongolian employees will transform the work and empowering people. This strategic cooperation could enhance trade with the Mongolia to be over MNT 2,650 billion (≈US$1 billion) and the nation will be home to more than 1 million new employment opportunity. The country is one of the fastest growing economic nations in the world with a rate of urbanization higher than that of India. India today is the fifth largest investor in Africa. In this regard, Indian investments in the region have seen an upward trend in recent years; investments have grown substantially across the African continent and sectors. Today, Indian multinational enterprises (MNEs) present in Africa range from energy to mining to telecommunications to IT-enabled services.
Secured Governance is a concept that is catching the attention of many as a holistic approach to infrastructure needs, promising a great deal. It professes taking advantage of valuation of assets created and delivering at negligible cost to the government. It aims at balanced growth in all sectors in need of better facilities, in a more holistic manner, rather than focusing only on say expressways, or power or any one of numerous other sectors. While addressing any one of them, the others also get due attention ensuring all round development. It promises more societal participation and benefit sharing with transparency. Underlying this is a strategy of developing techno-economic corridors connecting urban areas across the country.
secured governance advocates a pragmatic approach of taking advantage of valuation of assets created. This is not new. We all know when development takes place there is valuation in property. Who benefits from this? Often it is incidental and taken advantage off by land and property sharks. Imagine a model where this valuation can be ploughed back into the project and benefit the people around. First the cost of the project is reduced and can be at negligible cost to the government if carefully planned. Next the population sees it as benefitting them and so they participate more enthusiastically, helping with early completion of the project rather than being an impediment.
Public Private Participation (PPP)
The method of execution envisaged is essentially of the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) model, where concessionaires bid for a project, with the incentive being concurrent areas offered to them for development and commercial use. These will give returns in four to five years which will meet their investment cost. It is better than waiting for 20 years collecting toll to make good the loans taken for a project. While the concessionaire utilizes valuation in a pattern that is part of a larger plan for the area, he also shares this with more and adds more value to the whole system. It will be a win-win situation. The SG approach requires the Government to participate as a facilitator and nothing more. The first step is to recognize the merits of a multi-sector approach to infrastructure and conceive projects which may be predominantly one sector but carry with them smaller packages of other sectors. Implied in this is the ability to take decision across ministries and give clearances at one point. The method of implementation will also be peculiar to each project, the place, and the local conditions. Single window clearances would therefore have to be the norm, supported by empowered teams that can help conceptualize and clear a project in the SG mold. Once this is done, the execution may be decentralized to specific states or regions. Help from the government will only be required for mid-course corrections where inescapable. The requirement is to move from small to big, from project to project. Each will be unique depending on what the ground and the situation dictates. The method of both valuation and value addition needs expertise and imagination for holistic development in the state through Secured Governance. PPPs are essentially “risk sharing partnerships” between governments and the private sector on financing, designing, constructing, and operating public infrastructure and public services. Infrastructure projects are inherently complex and unpredictable, and, under PPP arrangements, governments opt to transfer specific tasks and the risks associated with them to private enterprises that might be better able to execute and mitigate them.
Today we find the valuation due to infrastructure growth is not optimally channelized towards infrastructure development and results in inequalities in society. Secured Governance compliments the present PPP (Public Private Partnership) developmental model, by ensuring balanced participation of the private and public sector taking advantage of value and valuation of infrastructure thereby yielding higher returns. This valuation of infrastructure, which grows manifold, needs to be shared by society and by the Government to support infrastructure development, ensuring balanced growth. Secured Governance aims at addressing this.
Dr. P. Sekhar,
Chairman, Unleashing India,
Global Smart City Panel,
Surendra Kumar Bansal,
Chairman, Mongolia India Business Council, and MD of Namaste Food and Hospitality chain