Business and Life

  • Any writer – barring the meanest hack and maybe authors of potboilers in the original sense (and I presume to exclude myself from fellowship with either) – is encouraged by feedbacks, appreciative or even otherwise, so I enjoyed it when at an informal exchange of views I was accused of softness towards the exorbitantly high-paid senior mining executives in a recent column. In point of fact, I had been nothing like that and had merely said that success at such jobs demanded several honed skills from the holder.
  • Careful readers will find on another page of this issue a quote from the indefatigable anti-corruption crusader, President Ts. Elbegdorj, “Corruption makes Mongolia look awful, ugly.”
  • One way of not buckling under the Ulaanbaatar winter is to keep your self-esteem high, with artificial inflation, if necessary (as certainly in the case of yours truly). Only that can extenuate my choice of topic this month.
  • Care for it or not, any Transparency International (hereafter TI) report gets handsome media coverage in every country, even where it has no direct relevance. If a country is seen as having improved on its perceived performance recorded in the previous year’s report – as Mongolia has done in this year’s Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) – it raises expectations of a rise in foreign investment.
  • I remember how in the early days of my stay in Ulaanbaatar, interaction with local journalists would leave me both amused and bemused by their insistence on using the word Company or LLC after mentioning the name of a business firm, particularly if it was one of some size.
  • The conflict between the claims of industry-based growth and environmental protectionism will not be resolved until both sides appreciate the merits of their antagonists’ position and agree to abandon unreasonable posturing.
  • Some four years ago, President Elbegdorj visited India, a country that does not make too many blips on the Mongolian political/economic radar. Some eyebrows somewhere must have been raised at his choice of that country for his first foreign trip as President, and the President’s Office – or some other related authority – soon issued a clarification of the media announcement – arguably not just tactless, but also insensitive and maybe even offensive to the host country – that it was not a personal choice, or a choice of any significance; the present president was being forced to go through with plans arranged by his predecessor.   
  • As if two quotes as epigraph are not enough, I begin the text of the column with yet another, this one Mongolia-specific: “Mainstream media can’t stop fixating on a ‘corrupt’ (is there really any other kind?) government and the (yawn) Oyu Tolgoi negotiations.” My apologies for not being able to attribute this, but I cannot recollect where I read it, though it was quite recently.
  • Considering the alacrity with which media persons in Mongolia track the Internet, I was surprised to find in the Home page of The World Justice Project that even after a week of the release of its latest Rule of Law Index -- the third in an annual series -- there was no record of any feedback from Mongolia.
  • As the season for the MMJ awards gets into its own, it seems a good time to talk about another award -- The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, more commonly called the Nobel Prize in economics. This was established in 1968 and is not part of the original group of awards set out in the dynamite tycoon’s 1895 will.
Do you agree with increasing state participation in the Draft New Mining Law?
  • 1. Agree
  • 2. Disagree



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