ULAANBAATAR, Mongolia, July 13, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — The tenth Mongolia Economic Forum (MEF) continues in Ulaanbaatar today amidst the announcement by the Government of two new bodies to support investment into the country and of new partnerships with Elon Musk’s SpaceX and leading geo-location company What3Words. This also follows the recent upgrading of Mongolia’s projected economic growth in 2023.
2,200 guests from around the world – including leading representatives from global businesses, the third sector and multilateral organisations – are gathering for this two-day event (9-10 July) to discuss how they can work in partnership with the Mongolian Government to deliver its goal of doubling the country’s GDP by 2030 and establishing Mongolia as a leading country in the region by the middle of the century.
Vision 2050 and the New Recovery Policy announced in 2022 set a clear strategic direction for Mongolia’s sustainable development to inform the Government’s wider policy programme. This direction has enabled rapid progress to date and provides the foundation for the latest round of milestones announced this year at the Forum.
This morning the Government announced the creation of the Private Partnership Centre and the Investment and Trade Agency, to support more investment into the country. The Investment and Trade Agency, for example, will provide ‘a bridge for business in Mongolia‘, providing assistance in the protection of investors’ legitimate rights and interests, helping expand import diversification and to improve the competitiveness of import substituting industries.
In addition, in his keynote address to the Forum this morning, Minister for the Economy and Development and Deputy Prime Minister Khurelbaatar Chimed outlined the opportunities for investment that exist in Mongolia and the Government’s intention to amend the Draft Law on Investment to help facilitate new investment partnerships.
Figures show that the Government’s focus on removing barriers to growth through its US$ 49 billion New Recovery Policy – unveiled in December 2021 – and Vision 2050 blueprint are continuing to deliver results. Following above-forecast growth of 4.8% in 2022 – 1.1% of which was attributable to the New Recovery Policy – and growth of 7.9% in the first quarter of this year, the country’s growth forecast for 2023 has been upgraded from 5% to 6%. The growth forecast for 2024 is now 6.5%.
This growth, particularly following the pandemic, was made possible by working closely with Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the World Health Organisation (WHO). Through working together, we achieved remarkable vaccination coverage of Mongolians during the pandemic, with 90% of the target group receiving at least the first dose. This helped us end COVID-19 restrictions in February 2022, and ensured that our mortality rate was five times lower than in other countries. We are delighted that Dr Ghebreyesus has been able to attend this year’s MEF.
A key part of our ‘Vision 2050’ plan is fostering a culture of well-being. Since May 2022, the Government has run a campaign to encourage take-up of early screening and diagnosis services, a key milestone in encouraging the proactive management of our people’s healthcare. I am delighted that 1 million citizens have taken part in this initiative so far.
Two announcements of significant new investment in Mongolia have also been made over recent days, underlining the benefits being delivered by the Government’s pro-growth agenda:
- The Government of Mongolia has entered into an unprecedented alliance with SpaceX, enabling millions of internet users in Mongolia to access high-speed internet through Starlink, particularly benefiting people in rural areas and supporting Mongolia’s digital transformation
- The Government of Mongolia has also forged new strategic alliances with technology company What3Words, supporting the use of Optical Character Recognition technology to streamline postal services, and enabling the increased visibility of Mongolia’s heritage sites and key tourism spots
The Prime Minister of Mongolia, Oyun-Erdene Luvsannamsrai, comments:
"I am delighted to welcome guests from around the world to the tenth Mongolia Economic Forum to discuss how we can work in partnership to unlock the economic potential of Mongolia – currently one of the fastest growing economies in the world.
"This follows two major announcements of additional investment in Mongolia, and the commencement of underground production at the Oyu Tolgoi copper mine with Rio Tinto in March, demonstrating Mongolia’s growing attractiveness to international investors.
"Our impressive recovery from the pandemic, supported by the Government’s New Recovery Policy, provides a strong foundation for tackling long-term barriers to sustained high levels of growth. I welcome the opportunity that the Forum provides to discuss how greater collaboration can help us make even more progress in the years ahead."
This year’s MEF, the tenth since the inaugural Forum in 2010, is being co-hosted by the Prime Minister of Mongolia, Oyun-Erdene Luvsannamsrai, and the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Rio Tinto Group, Dominic Barton, under the theme of ‘Welcome to Mongolia‘, emphasising the Government’s commitment to offering a warm welcome to visitors to the country whether they’re travelling for business or tourism. In his own keynote address to the Forum this morning, Mr Barton emphasised that the vision, ambition, resource, and talent that Mongolians have can achieve anything, adding that the strong economic conditions of a decade ago had returned to the country.
Highlights of this year’s MEF include:
- A dedicated ‘MEF Youth’ event, exploring how the talent and potential of the majority of Mongolia’s population who are under thirty years old can be harnessed to help the country benefit from the technological and economic advances of the 21st century
- Following the Government’s declaration of 2023 as the ‘Year of Anti-Corruption’, a series of events focused on convening experts from key international organisations to discuss how progress to date in this area can be built upon and Mongolia can learn from best practice around the world. This follows the number of cases referred to the courts by the anti-corruption agency that are resolved having risen from 26% in 2019 to 43% in 2022
- Earlier today, the Ministry of Environment and Tourism and leading global environmental organisation The Nature Conservancy announced at MEF the launch later this month of a Conservation Trust Fund (CTF). By establishing a more sustainable system for the financing of conservation projects in Mongolia, the CTF will help Mongolia achieve its sustainable development and climate change goals
- Four plenary sessions and fifteen sub-sessions on topics as varied as the digital economy, food manufacturing, sustainable growth, urban development and capital markets, are being held
A number of Government Ministers are available for media interviews, including in English.