The overall competitiveness of districts in Ulaanbaatar has retracted from 2019 to 2021, as large development projects were delayed and existing social and economic challenges worsen amid the COVID-19 pandemic, said the Economic Policy and Competitiveness Research Center (EPCRC) while presenting its new report on Monday.
The Ulaanbaatar’s District Competitiveness Report 2021 is the third edition of the bi-yearly report measuring the competitiveness of districts and examining changes and trends in district development.
“This report determines whether Ulaanbaatar’s development is advancing forward or falling back. It had been improving between 2017 and 2019 based on the district competitiveness index, but between 2019 and 2021, district performances have deteriorated. This means that large developments haven’t been completed in Ulaanbaatar in the past two years. The education and economic indicators fell and we’re facing many issues such as shortage of playgrounds. These issues need to be dealt with at district and city level,” EPCRC Executive Director B.Lakshmi underlined.
“The latest report shows that Bayangol District slipped as Khan-Uul District performed better. Khan-Uul saw improvement in security, peacefulness and employment rate,” he said, before adding the report can become a useful handbook for district mayors for accelerating development and making communities more competitive.
The competitiveness of districts is measured by a total of 150 indicators defined in five main categories: quality of life, living condition, security, governance, and economy. The largest problem faced in the capital is the poor public transportation service, followed by lack of green spaces, as outlined in the report. The center says more cycling lanes and sidewalks need to be built while upgrading public transportation services, improving district governance and providing a better learning environment for children. Songinokhairkhan, for example, has relatively low crime and divorce rates but to become more competitive, the center advises the district to pay attention to im- proving the standard of living, refining its public transportation service, and reducing violations and infringement cases.
Overall, Ulaanbaatar’s competitiveness index stands at 0.545 points, with Khan-Uul, Bayanzurkh and Bayangol districts leading in competitiveness. However, Bagakhangai, Nalaikh and Songinokhairkhan districts are least competitive, according to the Ulaanbaatar’s District Competitiveness Report 2021. Compared to previous reports, Ulaanbaatar’s competitiveness index has declined by 2.2 percent from 0.557 points in 2019, but rose by 4.7 percent from 0.52 in 2017.