European Commissioner Mimica visits Mongolia to strengthen bilateral relations
European Commissioner Neven Mimica, responsible for International Cooperation and Development, visited Mongolia from November 12 to 13.
As a part of his visit, Mimica held a meeting with President Kh.Battulga on Monday in the State Palace to exchange views on collaboration opportunities between the two parts.
In addition, the European commissioner’s key duty is to ensure that the European Commission can adapt EU's development policy to the evolving needs of EU's partner countries, delivering on EU's commitments to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and the eradication of poverty in the context of sustainable development.
Mimica is a Croatian diplomat and was appointed as the European commissioner for International Cooperation and Development in November 2014.
During their meeting, Kh.Battulga exchanged opinions on the effective bilateral cooperation between Mongolia and EU over the past decades, and noted the importance of aids and other assistance provided by EU to Mongolia in recent years with Mimica.
The president stated that he hopes EU will support mutually beneficial cooperation projects and programs in Mongolia as its delegation opens in Ulaanbaatar.
The commissioner pointed out that opening the Delegation will help strengthen the ongoing partnership between EU and Mongolia, and intensify bilateral ties in all areas.
Mimica stated that the purpose of his visit to Mongolia is to put into action works outlined in the Memorandum on Development Cooperation, which was signed by Mongolia and EU in 2015, and to review the implementation progress.
Both sides also discussed ways to improve the efficiency of EU’s non-refundable aids that aim to increase foreign investment and employment in Mongolia.
The president added that EU’s loans and aids are having positive impacts on Mongolia’s development, but instead of seeking loans and aids from EU, Mongolia needs to adopt EU member states’ experience in technology, especially agricultural technology, to develop its agricultural sector.
The sides also discussed collaboration opportunities for promoting the Mongolian agricultural sector.
Mimica’s meetings with the political leaders of Mongolia provided the opportunity to discuss the upcoming Budget Support, covering the areas of employment creation and governance of revenues.
As part of his visit, the commissioner also officially opened the new European Union Delegation in Ulaanbaatar. The visit signals EU's continued commitment to support Mongolia’s democracy and sustainable development.
At this occasion, Commissioner Mimica said, "The EU’s support for Mongolia is and remains strong, and this visit is an opportunity to promote ongoing development projects in the country. The planned budget support, which we are currently discussing, would strengthen Mongolia's public finance management, promote employment and vocational training. It would continue the work we are doing through several other ongoing projects, which are helping to diversify the Mongolian economy."
The upcoming budget support is a priority for Mongolia, and EU has been working together closely with Mongolia on Public Finance Management, including fiscal transparency.The commissioner also met Minister of Foreign Affairs D.Tsogtbaatar, Minister of Finance Ch.Khurelbaatar, and Minister of Labor and Social Protection S.Chinzorig. These meetings provided the opportunity to discuss the upcoming budget support planned for 2019 covering the areas of employment creation and governance of revenues.
EU-Mongolia relations are developing well. In November 2017, EU established its Delegation in Ulaanbaatar and the Head of Delegation, Ambassador Traian Laurentiu Hristea, joined in early 2018. The EU-Mongolia Partnership and Cooperation Agreement also entered into force in November 2017. The agreement provides the legal framework for expanding EU-Mongolia relations and covers such issues as political dialogue, trade, development assistance, cooperation in the field of agriculture and rural development, energy, climate change, research and innovation, education and culture.
Mongolia benefits from GSP + (Generalised Scheme of Preferences) since January 1, 2014. Since then, total EU imports from Mongolia have increased by 13 percent, but there is further potential. The project Trade Related Assistance to Mongolia is working with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to support further integration of Mongolia into the regional and global trading system through strengthening its export capacities.
In terms of development cooperation, the budget allocation for 2014-2020 adopted in December 2014 doubled the envelope from the previous allocation from 2011 to 2013. It focuses on two focal sectors: improved governance of revenues for inclusive and sustainable growth and support to better employment opportunities.
EU is also a major partner in supporting Mongolian civil society organizations and human rights activists through the regular calls for proposals.