Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive to give hand to neigh­bor deal­ing with eco­nomic cri­sis

China Daily (USA) - - CHINA - XIN­HUA

Par­tic­i­pa­tion in China’s Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive will help Mon­go­lia over­come its eco­nomic cri­sis, ac­cord­ing to the di­rec­tor of a ma­jor news­pa­per in the coun­try.

“Al­though the Mon­go­lian econ­omy is ex­pe­ri­enc­ing cri­sis now, there is huge po­ten­tial for its fu­ture growth,” said Banzragch Munkhtuul, di­rec­tor of the Mon­go­lian news­pa­per Mon­golyn Medee.

Mon­go­lia, a coun­try of 3 mil­lion peo­ple with a $12 bil­lion econ­omy, is ex­pe­ri­enc­ing its worst eco­nomic cri­sis since 2009. The new gov­ern­ment led by the rul­ing Mon­go­lian Peo­ple’s Party is try­ing to win in­vestor con­fi­dence, cut gov­ern­ment spend­ing and find so­lu­tions to its mount­ing for­eign debt.

“If we can be­come a part of the Chi­nese Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive, re­ceive Chi­nese tech­nol­ogy and know-how, push for­ward large projects and uti­lize our geo­graphic ad­van­tage, it is not dif­fi­cult to over­come the cri­sis,” Munkhtuul said.

She said Mon­go­lia’s geo­graphic po­si­tion be­tween Rus­sia and China of­fers it a chance to boost tran­sit trade, lo­gis­tics and trans­porta­tion be­tween th­ese two coun­tries.

Munkhtuul also said Mon­go­lians should pay more at­ten­tion to China’s suc­cess­ful growth and bring that ma­ture model and in­vest­ment to Mon­go­lia un­der the frame­work of the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive.

Mon­go­lia is in great need of in­vest­ment to up­grade its in­fra­struc­ture. Many Mon­go­lian econ­o­mists see China as a ma­jor source of for­eign di­rect in­vest­ment and the largest mar­ket for its prod­ucts and ser­vices. They ex­pect Mon­go­lia to dove­tail its Steppe Road pro­gram with China’s Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive.

The Steppe Road pro­gram is de­signed to boost the Mon­go­lian econ­omy through trans­bor­der trans­porta­tion.

It in­cludes in­fra­struc­ture im­prove­ments, such as a new high­way to link Rus­sia and China, an elec­tric rail­way ex­ten­sion of the ex­ist­ing Mon­go­lian rail­way and the build­ing of an oil and gas pipe­line through Mon­go­lian ter­ri­tory link­ing Rus­sia and China.

Naran Tude­vdorj, di­rec­tor of the Mon­go­lian coal as­so­ci­a­tion, also told lo­cal me­dia that Mon­go­lia can im­prove its com­pet­i­tive­ness in the coal mar­ket by build­ing a rail­road that reaches China while coal prices are down.

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