“When Mongolians are asked with which country they find it most
necessary to cooperate, 60% prefer Russia, and 15%-20% choose China.
This is good for our neighbours, too, because they have more
opportunities for investment. The [rest of the] world is our third
neighbour. Of course, we want to have good relations with all other
Ts. Elbegdorj, President.
“There is a deal on the table. Now really the ball is with the government. If they want to do it, we can move with pace, but it is really their call now. They may need more time – what we are talking about here is the GDP of the country for the next 30 or 40 years. It’s a very big decision for them, and that’s why we need to be patient. However, if there is no stability about taxes, or if we have concerns about other issues, then it could be very difficult to convince our shareholders to deploy another $6 billion in the country.”
Jean-Sebastien Jacques, Rio’s copper chief executive.
“I want to express great confidence in the inevitability that all parties at Oyu Tolgoi will continue with the expansion. A truly world-class mine is like a woman having a 100-kilogram baby; it is painful, it takes time... I believe OT will ultimately become the world’s best copper and gold mine.”
“Even if they approve Oyu Tologi by the end of the year, which would be a big positive from a sentiment standpoint, the dollars won’t start to flow back in immediately. There’s a gap that needs to be bridged between approving OT and when large expenditures are made at the project. We don’t expect foreign direct investment (FDI) to recover until this happens.”
Nick Cousyn, of BDSec.
“On its own OT has a massive impact as it is the largest project in the country. But it is also a litmus test for other investors who are not committing to the country while this hasn’t been resolved. A lot of investors are looking at this issue as a signal about whether the government is serious about dealing with foreign investment.”
Alisher Ali, of Silk Road Management.
“The plethora of agreements with both China and Russia to improve Eurasian transportation connections through Mongolia also could benefit ‘third neighbours’, especially Japan and South Korea, and meet Mongolia’s goal to diversify its trade partners. Yet, it is not clear that closer Sino-Russian-Mongolian economic and political ties will reassure Mongolia’s restless foreign investor community.”
Alicia J. Campi, in The Jamestown Foundation.
“The Chinese President’s visit has clearly sent a message to the world that Mongolia is not dependent upon a single company called Rio Tinto and that the country can continue to work with China in many ways.”
U. Ganzorig, President of the Mongolian Financial Markets Association.
“Mongolia is also potentially being squeezed by its immediate neighbours, Russia and China, in the context of a cozying up to China by Putin... For example, is there room for Mongolia to not participate in a proposed Russia-China-Mongolia customs union even though the Mongolian meat sector may be the only potential beneficiary while other benefits would primarily accrue to Chinese and Russian exporters?”
Julian Dierkes, academic and commentator.
“Inhospitality towards, and intolerance of, the presence or involvement of China in Mongolia’s social and economic life has been one of the main themes of the nationalistic rhetoric but is gradually abating since the slowdown of Mongolia’s once double digit economy... Mongolians are becoming more pragmatic in terms of developing the country’s economic and political direction.”
Zulbayar Badral, of Lehman Bush.
“Mongolia has long been a staunch friend of the West as it has tried to keep from falling into either Russia’s or, especially, China’s orbit. Now, both want their pound of flesh… The price of the Democrats screwing up has been the loss of some of Mongolia’s treasured autonomy.”
The majority of the Mongolian people support the third neighbour approach, whether as a specific policy or guiding principle... Any Mongolian politician who realigned the country’s foreign policy against these preferences would open himself to charges of betrayal — a risky business for a politician in a democratic country.”
Jeffrey Reeves, Associate Professor at the Asia-Pacific Centre for Security Studies.
“By establishing two concrete trading partners, we believe that Mongolia has cemented a stable growth method…Although increasing economic reliance on China and Russia provides the two governments with considerable power over Mongolia’s economy, the growth tactic is necessary to the current Mongolian economic model that will eventually lead to more opportunities with a diverse range of countries from Korea to Hungary.”
Mongolian Investment Banking Group.
“The primary objective of Mongolia’s economic policies needs to be restoring internal and external economic stability and avoiding a more vulnerable situation. Monetary and fiscal policy needs to be tightened in order to tackle the immediate economic challenges and preserve financial and fiscal soundness. Parallel efforts are needed to promote foreign and domestic investment.”
The World Bank Economic Update.
“Politics is sabotaging the economy and the nation. I know that Mongolia has the spirit not to restrict, but to liberate, and also the strength to keep progressing on the path of development. I welcome fair and honest criticism as a good thing since we’re an open society.”
Ts. Elbegdorj, President.
“Political leaders should take the lead in establishing a government with mainly non-party representatives, preferably with professional qualifications. Only such a government can revive the national economy.’’
R. Amarjargal, DP member of parliament.
“We have gone through 15 years of national instability due to political instability. Any
Mongolian Government is unable to find its footing because of the peculiar practice of restructuring the Cabinet on an annual basis.”
D. Jargalsaikhan, analyst and commentator.
“People in a country or region that has valuable resources should lead wealthy lives. But it’s not the case in China; people with vested interests and dignitaries monopolise precious valuables. The wealth passed down the interest chain is enormous.”
Hua Po, described in Chinese media as “China politics watcher”.
“In Mongolia, corruption is so common that it has become a kind of social norm. In the end, it makes the state turn against the interests of the public. The state becomes the enemy of its own people. It ruins the main principles of democracy.”
E. Bat-Uul, Mayor of Ulaanbaatar.
Despite repeated statements from senior Government officials that the 106-licence matter is being resolved without further loss to former licences holders and is a priority for resolution, the lack of action to date best illustrates the current process and statements being little more than a public relations exercise with minimal substance.”
The Association of Mineral Licence Holder Victim Companies.