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Пүрэв, 21 11-р сар 2013 19:54

Mongolian Investment Environment: Past, Present & Future (“Оyunlag Orshihui” Seminar №2)

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Oyunlag Orshihui’s 2nd seminar has taken place in Central London on 16th of November with guest speaker Mr Ser-Od, Business Council of Mongolia’s Deputy Director, who shared and discussed the main issues on “Mongolian investment environment’s past, present & future” amongst the Mongolian communities.

E. Ser-Od is the deputy director for Business Council of Mongolia (BCM), and deals with communications between the NGO’s, media and Mongolian parliament members. He has worked for the Mongolian parliament house as an organizer and also served as the international relations director at Mongolian Ministry for Trade & Development. He’s also been employed as Export Manager for influential companies such as SBB-MSC as he has vast amounts of knowledge in business and investment related projects in Mongolia.

Business Council of Mongolia has been founded in 2007 with it’s aim to attract foreign direct investment into Mongolia and also to contribute heavily to leading discussions on the economy, law & social issues, NGO’s and business enterprices. BCM is the key figure for encouraging transparent business environment and now has over 270 business enterprice members and working with 17 Embassies and NGO’s.

The speaker has over 10 years of experience within the investment field and spoke on important topics such as economic growth and investment opportunities.

He mentioned that when we look back at the level of economic development in Mongolia, there wasn’t much interest came from the foreign investors, as such that most developments in Mongolia came from China and Korea. Even, some of the Mongolian companies were distressed through lack of growth and had to use their own capital to make sure that their businesses continued. This lack of development has contributed to the government’s new policy towards attracting foreign direct investment from our third neighbour.

In 2003, Mongolian GDP was $0.9 billion with the growth of 5.5% and GDP per capita was USD $385. However in 2013, the GDP is $10 billion with growth rate of 17% and the GDP per capita is between $3500 – $4000. 

Foreign Direct Investment in Mongolia including investment in OT.

 

The new foreign investment law in key strategic sectors came out in May 2012, which became hugely unpopular amongst foreign investors. Until April 2013, foreign investment has declined significantly due to lack of transparency and the slowness of implementaton of the new investment law. The successful developments of phase 2 at Oyu Tolgoi mines and stable global macro outlook did not help to bring back the foreign and domestic investors confidence as Mongolia related mining companies which are listed on international exchanges lost about 60% - 70% in share price.

 

Lot of companies badly needed financing and couldn’t get that from foreign or domestic investors as the new investment law made it much more difficult.

He suggested that if we don’t create transparent and economic stability, where it overlooks in the long term then we face big risks in this integrated global market. It seems that every four years after the elections, the politians create different policies on changing the shifts amongst laws and regulations. This inconsistency hugely contributes to unstable investment or even economic environment.

Furthermore, they changed the infrastructure law which has received positive public attention but there is a delay in implementation of the law. The government of Mongolia needs to act faster to develop and implement it so that it’ll attract quick investment. The pervious investment law was better because it gave chance to investors not pay tax for the first 2 years. However, the new investment law didn’t include this so that companies needed to pay everything at the same time.

There is a SWOT analysis done on implications of Mongolian economic growth in 2021 by the Association of Enterprises. Details:

Scenario 1: 2021 on Stable growth

•Macro economic stability is in place

•Income from mining sector is distributed equilly amongst the economy

•Stable growth of other sectors and other regions in Mongolia

•Increasing growth in developments of infrastructure

Scenario 2: 2021 on Unstable growth

•Macro economic instability

•Lack of developments and poor corporate governance within the mining sector

•Increasing corruption and bureaucracy

•Lack of investment in Infrastructure

•Unemployment, social instability in the capital city of Ulaanbaatar

Foreing Investors say that tax in Mongolia is too much and wanting some stability and certainty in the new investment law.

E. Ser-Od also asked  the audience “ Where should the government invest the extra income from the mining sector?” as most people answered that it should all go into the education sector. He also mentioned that the mining companies do hire the bright and young Mongolian individuals so that the talent tends to lack in other sectors.

Conclusion

Mr E. Ser-Od gave his opinions on some of the current developments which made the evening more exciting to the audiences. He mentioned that we need to have a seperate, independent body who can overlook and encourage foreing investment by research and study. He also spoke about some of the negative issues surrounding the investment environment and finished his speech on positive developments that are happening in Mongolia.

Negatives:

- “Uncontrollable factors” (lack of transparency, quick policy changes, unstable business environment, unreliability)

Positives:

-High IQ scores amongst the public

-Rich History

-Low Population

-Vast amounts of mineral

-Beautiful countryside with humble public

Mr Ser-Od concluded his talk to students and young Mongolians by saying that “Nowadays lot of young Mongolians go abroad to study and get vast amounts of global knowledge but then when they come home, they tend to complain about the state of Mongolia. However, there are many other countries who are in much worse state than us so we must be proud to be Mongolians living in such a beautiful country with rich history”

Questions and Answers

Question: The foreign investment increased by 10% but it may have adverse effect on the other sectors. What is your opinion on that?

Answer: So I mentioed the SAHSGH03 law which concentrates on restricting foreign companies to take over a Mongolian company where it significantly contributes to the overall Mongolian GDP. However, it’s wrong that the law covers all major sectors. The more investment in our companies would create better reputation and better for Mongolian growth. However it could have negative impact on our neighbours investment into our country.

Question: What is your opinion on long term investment expenditure?

Answer: The government of Mongolia has taken this into consideration. 

Question: Is there any other sectors that could attract foreign investment?

Answer: There seems to be lot of investment coming into infrastructure. Mining is not infinite so in the future we will run out of resources. However the infrastructure needs to have more ideas in terms of developing stable and stronger regulations to support it.

Questions: Is there like an agency that monitors all the investment coming into Mongolia and going out of Mongolia?

Answers: The National Statistical Office of Mongolia and several other agencies provide that public information. Also the Ministry of Trade and Development registers all the foreign investment so that external bodies can use. Recently the government of Mongolia has created an independent agency who overlooks the foreing investment.

Question: Hentii province’s mining called Berhiin, which was taken over by Canadian company and it’s been approved by the government. Why?

Answers: I don’t have good knowledge on this matter. But in a way, they need to follow the newly implemented investment law. It’s wrong to generalize the business environment in Mongolia as every sector is different. If the government keeps saying that they’ll hold more than 50% of the company in an strategic sector then foreign investors wouldn’t appreciate it because they are not charity as these investors are there to make money and contribute to the overall society.

Seminar ended at 19:36pm on 15th of November 2013.

Rudolf Steiner House Theatre, London UK

Representative at the discussion:

X. Ulsbold (British - Mongolian Students Association - President)

Read 14876 times Last modified on Бямба, 23 11-р сар 2013 11:59

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