Unveiling new investment initiatives for sustainable growth
The tenth Mongolia Economic Forum (MEF) is in full swing, attracting 2,200 global guests including business leaders, representatives from multilateral organizations, and members of the third sector. Held from July 9-10, the event aims to explore collaborative opportunities with the Mongolian Government to achieve its ambitious economic goals. Against the backdrop of an upgraded economic growth forecast for 2023, the government has made significant announcements, including the establishment of new investment bodies and partnerships with industry giants Elon Musk’s SpaceX and geo-location company What3Words.
During the Forum, the Mongolian Government unveiled the creation of two entities geared towards bolstering investment in the country. The Private Partnership Centre aims to facilitate business engagement, protecting investors’ rights and interests while expanding import diversification and improving competitiveness in import-substituting industries. The Investment and Trade Agency, on the other hand, will act as a vital bridge for business in Mongolia, offering support and assistance for foreign investors.
In his keynote address, Minister for the Economy and Development and Deputy Prime Minister Khurelbaatar Chimed highlighted the vast investment potential in Mongolia, emphasizing the government’s commitment to amending the Draft Law on Investment to further facilitate new investment partnerships.
The government’s strategic direction, outlined in Vision 2050 and the New Recovery Policy, has yielded remarkable results, and set the stage for this year’s milestones. The comprehensive $US49 billion New Recovery Policy, launched in December 2021, along with the Vision 2050 blueprint, has played a pivotal role in removing growth barriers. As a result, Mongolia achieved above-forecast growth of 4.8 per cent in 2022, with 1.1 per cent attributed to the New Recovery Policy. The upward trajectory continued into 2023, with a growth rate of 7.9 per cent in the first quarter, leading to an upgrade of the growth forecast from 5 per cent to 6 per cent for the year. The forecast for 2024 stands at 6.5 per cent.
The successful management of the COVID-19 pandemic played a significant role in Mongolia’s economic recovery. The collaboration with Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), resulted in a remarkable vaccination coverage, with 90 per cent of the target group receiving at least the first dose. This achievement led to the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions in February 2022, contributing to a mortality rate five times lower than that of other countries. Dr. Ghebreyesus’s presence at this year’s MEF underscored the fruitful partnership.
Aligned with the “Vision 2050” plan, the government has placed a strong focus on fostering a culture of well-being. A campaign launched in May 2022 aimed at promoting early screening and diagnosis services has seen one million citizens participate to date, encouraging proactive healthcare management.
The government’s pro-growth agenda has also attracted significant investment partnerships. The announcement of an unprecedented alliance with SpaceX is set to bring high-speed internet access through Starlink to millions of internet users in Mongolia, particularly benefiting rural areas and supporting the country’s digital transformation. Additionally, strategic alliances with What3Words will leverage Optical Character Recognition technology to streamline postal services while increasing the visibility of Mongolia’s heritage sites and key tourism spots.
Prime Minister Oyun-Erdene Luvsannamsrai expressed delight at hosting global guests for the tenth Mongolia Economic Forum and emphasized the government’s commitment to unlocking Mongolia’s economic potential. Notable recent achievements, including additional investments and the commencement of underground production at the Oyu Tolgoi copper mine in partnership with Rio Tinto in March, showcased Mongolia’s growing attractiveness to international investors.
The Prime Minister welcomed the opportunity for collaboration and discussions at the Forum to address long-term barriers to sustained high levels of growth. The event’s theme, “Welcome to Mongolia,” exemplifies the government’s commitment to fostering a warm and welcoming environment for visitors, whether for business or tourism. Dominic Barton, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Rio Tinto Group, also echoed this sentiment in his keynote address, expressing confidence in Mongolia’s vision, ambition, resources, and talent to achieve greatness, while highlighting the return of strong economic conditions.
The Mongolia Economic Forum serves as a platform for fruitful partnerships and lays the groundwork for Mongolia’s ambitious economic aspirations, making it one of the fastest-growing economies in the world.