Boao Forum seeks green development and connectivity in Asia

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The Boao Forum for Asia Ulaanbaatar Conference kicked off on Tuesday morning in Ulaanbaatar, providing over 300 Mongolian and Chinese lawmakers, entrepreneurs and other representatives with new cooperation ideas and opportunities.
The second Boao Asia Forum held outside of China was themed “Concerted Action for Common Development in the New Era” to call for better connectivity in Asia and seek green development as a common goal in an effort to ensure stable and sustainable cooperation along the Belt and Road routes. It also helped Chinese entrepreneurs better understand the business environment and related policies in Mongolia and Mongolian entrepreneurs better connect with Chinese business and find good business opportunities.

Prime Minister U.Khurelsukh, Chairman of the Boao Forum for Asia Ban Ki-moon, the forum’s Secretary-General Li Baodong, and Minister of Foreign Relations D.Tsogtbaatar addressed the forum at the opening ceremony.

“Today, our world faces several unprecedented economic, social and environmental challenges. Trade tensions are intensifying, while multilateralism is constantly being challenged. So, keeping our focus and principles closely aligned with sustainable development is all the more important,” U.Khurelsukh stated. “Large projects are being carried out for the infrastructure and energy sectors within the scope of the China-Mongolia-Russia Economic Corridor Program. This will create favorable conditions for trades and relations between not only the three countries but the whole region. I’m confident that innovative ideas will be made and specific actions will be taken for this initiative at this year’s Boao Forum. The government will continue to take measures aimed to support economic growth, increase investments, and protect legal interests.”

Asia is the most economically dynamic part of the world, but it is also a region characterized by unbalanced development and numerous sensitive issues. Speakers at the forum believe cooperation among Asian countries and their development are vital to regional stability and prosperity.

The forum’s Secretary General Li Baodong noted in his opening remarks, “By convening this conference in Mongolia, a land-locked country in Asia, the Boao Forum aims to assist Mongolia in translating its resource advantage into an economic development advantage and to promote free trade and multilateral cooperation for common development and prosperity.”

The Ulaanbaatar conference gave participants the opportunity to address not only national issues but also regional concerns.

Current Chairman of the Boao Forum for Asia and former Secretary-General of UN Ban Ki-moon stated that governments worldwide are facing challenges due to sudden and rapid movements toward globalization and increase in populism. He says a biased approach can lead to burdens on the global economy and destruction of the multilateral free trade system. He stressed the need to resolve and supervise issued such as risks of nuclear attacks, geopolitical conflict, terrorist attacks, and refugee crisis.

He added that the world economy is now once again at a crossroad 10 years after the global financial crisis. "With the world witnessing a growing backlash against globalization and surging protectionism, global governance faces greater difficulties."

Growth in emerging and developing Asia will dip from 6.5 percent in 2018 to 6.3 percent in 2019 and 6.4 percent in 2020, Ban reported before calling for tremendous efforts to uphold multilateralism.

The forum highlighted “development”, “cooperation” and “alignment” as keywords. The general topic for the forum was defined as “Joint Future – Integrated Action - Concerted Action – Common Development” with parallel sessions covering topics “Mongolia’s Investment Environment and Business Opportunities”, “Integrating Development Road Initiative with Belt Road Initiative”, “Expanding Infrastructure Interconnectedness across the Region”, and “Seeking Green Development as Common Goal”.

Minister of Foreign Relations D.Tsogtbaatar:

Mongolia is aiming to find new markets for Mongolian export products during the current period of smooth business operations attributed to the economic revival. In order to that, Mongolia has invited investors and business entrepreneurs to Mongolia to connect them with Mongolian companies. A whole day is dedicated to the talks between Mongolian and foreign business entities on the sidelines of the conference.

Secondly, this forum has crucial advantages for the economy, trade, investment and technology industry of the country, providing us with a chance to introduce Mongolia’s policy implementation and business development situations.

Executive Director of Erdenes Mongol LLC P.Gankhuu:

We have many projects we can work on with foreign investors. Erdenes Mongol not only mines large strategically significant deposits but also produce value-added products and carry out energy, infrastructure and logistics projects linked to these mining projects. For instance, we have Shivee Khuren Project, which produces energy from coal and exports it to China. This project isn’t focused solely on coal but also solar and wind energy. We also mention Erdenes Steel LLC’s steel plan project. China’s Sinosteel Company has started cooperating on this project aiming to produce 300,000 tons of steel and 500,000 tons of coke.

The government has permitted Erdenes Mongol to represent Mongolia in large regional joint projects. Now that Baganuur mine’s license has been transferred to our company, we’re developing a project to improve its mine use. Striving to domestically purify gold and produce value-added products, we’re studying the feasibility of a gold plant.

Moreover, we’re cooperating with Australian investors on a methane gas project and it is progressing at exploration stage. After evaluating the large methane gas resources at Tavan Tolgoi mine and completing a feasibility study, we’ll be able to take steps to resolve Ulaanbaatar’s air pollution by creating a clean source of energy and introducing fuel gas.

Vice-President of China International Council for the Promotion of Multinational Corporations Meng Xiaosu:

In the last half-a-year, I came to Mongolia three times and met with many directors of public and private organizations. Among them, I became friends with Deputy Speaker of Parliament Ya.Sanjmyatav and Head of Business Council of Mongolia B.Byambasaikhan. I was also able to meet with Speaker of Parliament G.Zandanshatar and President of Mongolia Kh.Battulga.

Right before this meeting, I sat down with Prime Minister U.Khurelsukh. Because I have all of these good friends, I’m sure our investment and cooperation will be successful. I believe that with the support of the two countries’ leaders and people’s efforts, Mongolia and China will be able to flourish its partnership and intensify cooperation.

Dulguun Bayarsaikhan