The Business Council of Mongolia (BCM) held the 1st Annual Business Council of Mongolia Summit last Thursday at Blue Sky Hotel, to discuss and exchange views about how the business community can resolve issues plaguing Mongolia’s business sector under the banner “Supporting sustainable business growth and development in Mongolia”. Executive Director of Erdenes Mongol B.Byambasaikhan presented opening remarks at the meeting. The BCM highlighted that some of Mongolia’s top businesses and analysts spoke at the event, including Board Chairman of American University of Mongolia Peter Morrow, Executive Director of the National Council of Private Sector Support Ch.Khashchuluun, and Chief Executive Officer of Oyu Tolgoi Andrew Woodley. At the summit, Managing Partner of Price Waterhouse and Coopers Mongolia Matthew Pottle gave advice on how businesses can best manage today’s economic slowdown. International Finance Corporation’s Resident Representative for Mongolia Tuyen Nguyen noted that the IFC still has in hand an austerity plan that focuses on cutting unnecessary public spending along with assistance for managing today’s tough economic conditions. “There is room for flexibility,” he said. At the end of the meeting, the summit’s participants presented their conclusions, and President of the Institute for National Strategy Cameron McRae underlined, “Over the past four years, many strange and surprising events took place in Mongolian politics. The government that was said to be amazing was dismissed. Some of the mega projects stopped, while some of them moved forward. We hope that the next government will study prior mistakes and experiences and manage Mongolia with wisdom.” “It is important for the Mongolian government to hear voices from businesses, because the business sector is related to all other sectors. It is important to provide support and assistance to a company’s social issues. Mongolia needs to develop its economy not only based on the mining sector, but support agriculture and cement and lime production. The country needs to finalize the issue of the Tavan Tolgoi to Gashuunsukhait railway. Because [transport] takes so much time, coal competitiveness is weakening,” noted President of Trade and Development Bank of Mongolia Randolph Koppa. The BCM’s Executive Director Jim Dwyer pointed out that the summit provided a unique opportunity that gave participants the chance to deliver their suggestions to the government, as the BCM plans to deliver a summary of the event’s discussion to lawmakers.