Mon­go­lia’s Prairie Road Strat­egy Broad­ens the Prospects for Eco­nomic and Trade Co­op­er­a­tion with China

China's Foreign Trade (English) - - Regional Trade & Investment - By Liu Xin­wei

Mon­go­lia is one of the ear­li­est coun­tries to have es­tab­lished diplo­matic re­la­tions with China. At present, Sino-mon­go­lian re­la­tions have gained a pre­vi­ously-unseen mo­men­tum. In 2017, J. Er­denebat, for­mer Prime Min­is­ter of Mon­go­lia, paid a visit to China, where he met Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping and held of­fi­cial talks with Premier Li Ke­qiang. Both sides ex­changed ideas to fur­ther ex­pand prac­ti­cal co­op­er­a­tion and com­mit­ted to vig­or­ously pro­mot­ingthe Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive and Mon­go­lia’s Prairie Road de­vel­op­ment strat­e­gyto bring about a new driv­ing for bi­lat­eral good neigh­bor­li­ness.

Re cent ly, Pr ime Min is­ter Ukhnaagiin Khurel­sukh of Mon­go­lia paid a visit to China. In or­der to pro­mote eco­nomic and trade ex­changes and co­op­er­a­tion be­tween China and Mon­go­lia, on 11th April, the Chi­naMon­go­lia Busi­ness Fo­rum (here­inafter re­ferred to as the fo­rum) was coor­ga­nized by the China Coun­cil for the Pro­mo­tion of In­ter­na­tional Trade (CCPIT) and the Mon­go­lian Na­tional Cham­ber of Com­merce and In­dus­try (MNCCI) in Bei­jing. The Fo­rum was at­tended by nearly 600 rep­re­sen­ta­tives of gov­ern­ments and en­trepreneurs from both sides, rep­re­sent­ing in­fra­struc­ture, project con­tract­ing, build­ing ma­te­ri­als, clean en­ergy, min­eral re­sources, tourism and other fields.

The achieve­ments of China’s re­form and open­ing up have ben­e­fited neigh­bor­ing Mon­go­lia

Jiang Zeng­wei, Chair­man of the CCPIT, pointed out, dur­ing the fo­rum, that China and Mon­go­lia are friendly neigh­bors who share moun­tains and rivers, sup­port each other, par­tic­i­pate in win-win co­op­er­a­tion, and are good friends who will visit each other fre­quently. In 2014, Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping paid a his­toric visit to Mon­go­lia to im­prove Chi­nese-Mon­go­lian re­la­tions by means of a com­pre­hen­sive strate­gic part­ner­ship, which marks the best stage of Chi­nese-Mon­go­lian re­la­tions in his­tory. Both sides fur­ther en­hance co­op­er­a­tion in var­i­ous fields, bring­ing sound ben­e­fits to both coun­tries and peo­ples.

“In the eco­nomic and trade field, China has been Mon­go­lia’s largest for­eign in­vestor and trade part­ner for years.” Ac­cord­ing to data re­vealed by Jiang, over the past 10 years, the con­tri­bu­tion of bi­lat­eral trade with China to Mon­go­lian eco­nomic growth has reached nearly 50 per­cent. China’s di­rect in­vest­ment in Mon­go­lia has sur­passed USD 4 bil­lion, ac­count­ing

for one third of Mon­go­lia’s for­eign in­vest­ment. Al­most 100,000 jobs have been cre­ated and over USD 2 bil­lion in taxes has been paid in Mon­go­lia due to Chi­nese com­pa­nies’ in­vest­ment in the fields of in­fra­struc­ture, min­ing and projects re­gard­ing peo­ple’s liveli­hoods. In the sphere of cul­ture, more than 1 mil­lion vis­its were made from Mon­go­lia to China an­nu­ally for five con­sec­u­tive years. At present, there are over 100,000 Mon­go­lian for­eign stu­dents in China. The ties con­nect­ing the peo­pleto-peo­ple ex­changes and eco­nomic in­ter­ests of the two sides are get­ting closer and closer.

At present, China’s econ­omy is ex­hibit­ing a sta­ble per­for­mance with good mo­men­tum for growth. The trans­for­ma­tion and up­grad­ing of tra­di­tional in­dus­tries has ac­cel­er­ated. The ca­pa­bil­ity for mak­ing tech­no­log­i­cal in­no­va­tions is gain­ing strength. New in­dus­tries, new forms of busi­ness, and new mod­els are thriv­ing. The Busi­ness Cli­mate In­dex reached a record high in the past five years. The driv­ing force of eco­nomic growth is ro­bust. Jiang pointed out, “China’s eco­nomic growth is brought about by the poli­cies re­gard­ing re­form and open­ing up. We will work hard to deepen re­forms and con­tinue to open China up wider to the rest of the world.”

In the next 15 years, China is ex­pected to im­port USD 24 tril­lion of goods and ab­sorb USD 2 tril­lion of for­eign di­rect in­vest­ment. China’s over­seas in­vest­ment will reach USD 2 tril­lion, which will pro­vide ex­cel­lent de­vel­op­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties for all coun­tries, in­clud­ing Mon­go­lia.

“We wel­come Mon­go­lia to share the fruits of China’s eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment.” Jiang be­lieves that the eco­nomic and trade co­op­er­a­tion of the two coun­tries has a promis­ing fu­ture.

China’s Belt and Road ini­tia­tive and Mon­go­lia’s Prairie Road­strat­egy share the same fu­ture

China and Mon­go­lia have strong eco­nomic com­ple­men­tar­ity and great po­ten­tial for co­op­er­a­tion. For a long time, by means of joint ef­forts of both sides, China and Mon­go­lia have pro­moted balanced progress in terms of min­eral re­sources, in­fra­struc­ture and fi­nan­cial co­op­er­a­tion in or­der to en­sure suc­cess­ful eco­nomic and trade co­op­er­a­tion. Mon­go­lia has sup­ported the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive from the be­gin­ning, and has ac­tively im­ple­mented its own De­vel­op­ment Road which is in har­mo­niza­tion with the ini­tia­tive. Both sides have reached a con­sen­sus about in­te­grat­ing China’s Silk Road Eco­nomic Belt and Mon­go­lia’s Prairie Road de­vel­op­ment strat­egy, which will bring about new op­por­tu­ni­ties for bi­lat­eral eco­nomic and trade co­op­er­a­tion.

Prime Min­is­ter Khurel­sukh of Mon­go­lia at­tended the fo­rum and said that the re­la­tion­ship be­tween China and Mon­go­lia is friendly and has a long his­tory due to com­mon bor­ders. China has been Mon­go­lia’s largest for­eign in­vestor and trade part­ner for years. The two coun­tries have great po­ten­tial for co­op­er­a­tion in the fields of the econ­omy and trade. Mon­go­lia sup­ports the in­te­gra­tion of China’s Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive and Mon­go­lia’s Prairie Road de­vel­op­ment strat­egy and is ready for the co­op­er­a­tion.

“The busi­ness en­vi­ron­ment in Mon­go­lia has been quite fa­vor­able in re­cent years. The in­vest­ment en­vi­ron­ment is re­cov­er­ing, the trust of in­vestors is be­ing re­stored, and the le­git­i­mate rights and in­ter­ests of in­vestors is be­ing pro­tected through var­i­ous mea­sures. The Mon­go­lian govern­ment has been ca r r y ing out spe­cific ac­tions to im­prove the en­vi­ron­ment for busi­nesses and in­vestors by amend­ing the gen­eral law on tax­a­tion. In the fu­ture, we will con­tinue to in­tro­duce more mea­sures to op­ti­mize the busi­ness en­vi­ron­ment,” said Khurel­sukh.

He stressed that en­trepreneurs from China and Mon­go­lia should ac­tively ex­plore and seize op­por­tu­ni­ties for bi­lat­eral co­op­er­a­tion, broaden the types of trade prod­ucts, and in­crease the ex­port of high value-added prod­ucts and agri­cul­tural prod­ucts from Mon­go­lia to China. He also called on Chi­nese en­trepreneurs to in­vest in min­ing, en­ergy and en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion, en­ergy re­sources and other Mon­go­lian in­dus­tries in­volv­ing cut­ting- edge tech­nolo­gies.

Jiang sa id that China and Mon­go­lia have their own ad­van­tages in terms of in­dus­trial struc­ture and nat­u­ral re­sources, and are eco­nom­i­cally com­ple­men­tary to each other, which cre­ates a fa­vor­able en­vi­ron­ment for bi­lat­eral co­op­er­a­tion. He pointed

China has been Mon­go­lia’s largest for­eign in­vestor and trade part­ner for years.

out that the two coun­tries have been mak­ing ef­forts to speed up the link­ing of the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive with Mon­go­lia’s Prairie Road de­vel­op­ment ini­tia­tive, so as to bring eco­nomic and trade ex­changes be­tween the two coun­tries into a new era.

At the sign­ing cer­e­mony of the fo­rum, Jiang Zeng­wei, on be­half of CCPIT, and B.lkhag­va­jav, Pres­i­dent of MNCCI, signed a me­moran­dum of un­der­stand­ing re­gard­ing co­op­er­a­tion on com­mer­cial laws. More­over, com­pa­nies from the two coun­tries also signed more than 35 co­op­er­a­tion agree­ments in var­i­ous fields, such as en­ergy, con­struc­tion and lo­gis­tics.

Lkhag­va­jav also ex­pressed that China is Mon­go­lia’s largest trade part­ner and for­eign in­vestor, and that Mon­go­lia and China have great po­ten­tial to deepen their prag­matic co­op­er­a­tion in var­i­ous fields. Mon­go­lia has ac­tively par­tic­i­pated in the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive, has ex­panded bi­lat­eral co­op­er­a­tion in the fields of trade and in­vest­ment, agri­cul­ture and live­stock hus­bandry, en­ergy and other fields, and will seek new fields for co­op­er­a­tion in the fu­ture.

He also high­lighted the im­por­tance of forestry: “In terms of forestry, Mon­go­lian en­ter­prises need to seek out in­no­va­tions and cre­ate new ways to co­op­er­ate with China. Given the huge de­mand in this re­gard, we are hop­ing to con­tinue our co­op­er­a­tion.”

There are still other great op­por­tu­ni­ties for eco­nomic and trade co­op­er­a­tion to ex­plore

Jiang put for­ward three sug­ges­tions for fu­ture eco­nomic and t rade co­op­er­a­tion be­tween the two coun­tries.

First, the sides should fur­ther ex­pand the scale of bi­lat­eral trade. “Mon­go­lian en­ter­prises have long been look­ing for­ward to lower ex­port tar­iffs to China and ex­port­ing more prod­ucts to China. Chi­nese en­ter­prises are also look­ing for­ward to im­port­ing more farm prod­ucts and min­er­als from Mon­go­lia.” He ar­gued that the busi­ness­cir­cles in both sides should work to­gether to ex­plore new growth ar­eas of trade, ex­pand trad­ing ar­eas and pro­mote trade growth. More­over, they shoul­dac­tively con­trib­ute sug­ges­tions to Chi­naMon­gol FTA Joint Fea­si­bil­ity Stud­ies, pro­mote the con­nec­tiv­ity of rail­way, high­way and other con­struc­tion, en­hance cus­toms clear­ance and trans­port fa­cil­i­ta­tion and pro­mote co­op­er­a­tion on tran­sit trans­port in or­der to fa­cil­i­tate trans­porta­tion of peo­ple and goods.

He also said that China will host the first China In­ter­na­tional Im­port Expo in Shang­hai later this year. This will act as a new plat­form for other coun­tries around the world to ex­plore the mar­ket in China. The par­tic­i­pa­tion of Mon­go­lian busi­ness cir­cles will of course be wel­comed.

Mean­while, both sides should fur­ther ex­pand their in­vest­ment co­op­er­a­tion. Jiang noted that China’s com­plete in­dus­trial sys­tem can meet Mon­go­lia’s in­creas­ing de­mands for fund­ing, tech­nol­ogy and man­age­ment ex­pe­ri­ence brought about by Mon­go­lia’s ac­cel­erat ing u rba n iz at ion a nd in­dus­tri­al­iza­tion. En­ter­prises from both sides can co­op­er­ate in a wide range of fields, such as pro­duc­tion ca­pac­ity, deep pro­cess­ing of agri­cul­ture and an­i­mal hus­bandry, en­ergy and min­eral re­sources, and trans­port, so asto gain win-win re­sults and sus­tain mu­tual de­vel­op­ment.

“We hope that busi­ness lead­ers from the two coun­tries can ac­tively co­op­er­ate with the gov­ern­ments to pro­mote the es­tab­lish­ment of a cross­bor­der eco­nomic co­op­er­a­tion zone. We also hope that Mon­go­lia can main­tain the sta­bil­ity and con­ti­nu­ity of the rel­e­vant in­vest­ment poli­cies, cre­at­ing a fa­vor­able busi­ness en­vi­ron­ment for for­eign in­vestors, in­clud­ing Chi­nese en­ter­prises, to in­vest in Mon­go­lian in­dus­tries,” Jiang con­tin­ued.

Be­sides this, both sides should fur­ther en­rich the way that they carry out eco­nomic and trade ex­changes.

“Con­ve­nient work chan­nels and suf­fi­cient ex­changes and com­mu­ni­ca­tion are the foun­da­tion for prag­matic eco­nomic and trade co­op­er­a­tion.” Jiang went on to ex­plain that the CCPIT is ready to work with MNCCI and other coun­ter­parts to hold more fo­rum­sand ex­hi­bi­tions, or­ga­nize more ex­changes and vis­its, strengthen the shar­ing of in­for­ma­tion, and pro­vide train­ing for per­son­nel. Serv­ing as a go-be­tween for en­ter­prises from both coun­tries, the CCPIT is also will­ing to work to­gether to pro­vide com­mer­cial le­gal ser­vices and help en­ter­prises from both sides to un­der­stand poli­cies and reg­u­la­tions, busi­ness news and project in­for­ma­tion.

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