BCM Monthly Meeting Recap December, 2014

The BCM meeting on 9 December with Bayanjargal Byambasaikhan in the chair was attended by 100 members and invited guests. Byambasaikhan made reference to the changes made to the legal environment for investors and how the president is putting his efforts into creating a "smart" government to improve things even further.
"I think this message is of a change for the economic life of Mongolia," said Byambasaikhan. "Everyone is saying government is an obstacle and it needs to be changed. That's what's being discussed now."
BCM membership continues to grow. The three most recently joined members are:
1. ABB Group is a global leader in power and automation technologies. Based in Zurich, Switzerland, the company employs 145,000 people and operates in approximately 100 countries. The company has been a long track record of innovation. Many of the technologies that underlie our modern society, from high-voltage DC power transmission to a revolutionary approach to ship propulsion, were developed or commercialized by ABB.
Today, ABB stands as the largest supplier of industrial motors and drives, the largest provider of generators to the wind industry, and the largest supplier of power grids worldwide.
2. AUM ALT Co. Ltd was established in 2011 as a daughter company of parent company AUM, established in 2007, and is a 100 percent local;y invested company. AUM owns the special license 362A for the extraction of within a 829-hectare field at the Ult region of Uyanga Soum, Uvurhangai Aim.
With the prospecting work complete, AUM has been certified and registered a deposit of 370 kilograms pure gold, according to the decision of Minerals Professional Council of the Minerals Authority from May 2010. The company has over 75 workers and employees and operate the mine with its own machinery and equipments.
3. IUE Group is a collection of companies that strive for excellence in conducting its business by bringing the best value to its investors, clients and community. IUE Group has been identified as the 'Best Tax Payer' several years in a row by the General Taxation Office of Mongolia. The company is dedicated to a number of exciting business projects that contribute to the economic development of Mongolia, particularly in Ulaanbaatar.
To name a few, IUE Group is developing the Morin Khuur Tower, soon to be the tallest skyscraper in Mongolia, as well as a master plan for the Yarmag Township Project, the largest residential project in Ulaanbaatar city.
Richard Kobayashi, Chief Executive Officer of Standard Investment LLC, announced that his firm had underwritten the first public offering on the Mongolian Stock Exchange in two years for the first presentation of the evening. The public offering for concrete producer Merex JSC comes just as Mongolia's new Investment Law takes effect and is the first of what investors hope to be many offerings on the local exchange.
"This is the first time people are beginning to think about us [Standard Investment] and read about us in the newspaper.," he said.
He said Merex has the capacity to rank among Mongolia's top-five concrete producers, with plenty more room to expand into the market – at peak capacity the company currently meets just 3 percent of demand.
Chuluundorj Khashchuluun, Executive Director of the Mongolian Oil Shale Association, spoke next to introduce to the audience the Oil and Oil Shale Mongolia 2014 conference scheduled for 4 April. "We recently had the metals conference, and soon is the coal conference, followed by this oil conference," he said. "We think this has the opportunity to be the fastest growing sector in the country – not only in oil but interest is growing rapidly in oil shale."
Oil shale is one of the most widely distributed minerals in the world. With 700 billion tons estimated to be in Mongolia, the resource needs further study, said Khashchuluun. Lab tests show production quality is similar to the petroleum produced from Saudi Arabia, but with much lower investment costs.
With a new Law on Petroleum expected to be voted on by Parliament this year, Khashchuluun believes oil will help to bring greater diversity to the economy.
The next presentation was given by Ts. Banzragch, Head of Forest Protection and Forest Management at the Ministry of Environment and Green Developmetn, to speak on opportunities for the private sector to cooperate with the government in environmental conservation. The government is rolling out a new program that will pay land leasers to tend to forests and promote tree growth throughout the country.
"Our trees should be used as an asset," said Banzragch.
Currently the ecological conditions allow for only limited tree use, he said, due to the consequences of climate change and deforestation. The timber industry is currently the greatest threat to the tree population of the country because of inadequate restoration efforts employed by the companies that use the wood for products such as construction materials. To combat this threat, the government introduced this program to provide profitable opportunities for companies to enhance Mongolia's forests, rather than clear them.
D. Irmuun, Director of the Division for Promotion and Consultancy Services at the Invest Mongolia Agency, to discuss the role for the new agency he represents. Operating under the umbrella of the Ministry of Economy Development, Invest Mongolia hopes to attract investors by promoting the new Investment Law, along with the tax incentives and other benefits it brings; the aims of the 2025 Minerals Policy to attract investment; and President Tsakhia Elbegdorj's "Smart Government" initiative.
"These calcites are seen as pillars for stable investment," said Irmuun.
The agency will provide the services of information delivery, guidance for business-to-business relationships and the procedures for registration of companies, license attainment, and legal consultancy. Account managers are on staff that, in addition to investment promotion, are there to connect public investors with local business partners.

BCM Monthly Meeting Recap November, 2014

The BCM meeting on 10 November was held in the Crystal conference room in Blue Sky Tower and Hotel with Bayanjargal Byambasaikhan in the chair. In attendance were 200 members and invited guests—an all-time record turnout—to celebrate BCM's 7th anniversary and Membership Renewal Dinner.
BCM currently has 269 members. The five newest members are:
1. Corsec is a member of QMC Group and is a privately-held small business that provides a range of corporate governance, listing and business support services to a diversified national and foreign client base.
2. Founded in 1912, Dale Carnegie Training has evolved from one man's belief in the power of self-improvement to a performance-based training company with offices worldwide.
3. Groundwater Management Solutions (GWMS) provides specialist water supply and water management consultancy services to partners and pride itself on delivering practical, cost effective and high quality solutions.
4. Tenger Insurance was established by investment from TenGer Financial Group LLC and Petrovis Company in 2001. It has operated in the Mongolian insurance industry for over a decade, recommending complex risk solution to clients.
5. XacLeasing was founded in 2007 as a wholly-owned subsidiary of TenGer Financial Group with the aim of developing the leasing sector in Mongolia.
Matthew Pottle, managing partner of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) in Mongolia, kicked off the evening presentations with a summary of the "PwC Global CEO Survey." This year 40 of Mongolia's chief executive officers (CEOs) responded compared with 30 last year, to which Pottle credited BCM's assistance.
"Historically, Mongolian CEOs have been much more optimistic about their own economy compared with the global economy," said Pottle. But this year saw respondents distinguish less between the two. They were also less hopeful for 2015 than their international counterparts," he said. "CEOs globally are much more optimistic than Mongolian. I don't have an answer, but I suspect it has to do with cooling down with the Chinese economy.
Only 10 percent of respondents replied they were "very confident" about growth compared with 40 percent of their global counterparts, or 60 percent for Mongolia's CEO's in 2012. Mongolia's CEOs are hoping to find growth by expanding into new markets, forming new alliances and introducing new products, said Pottle.
The full report will become available on 30 November.
Japanese Ambassador Takenori Shimizu gave the second speech of the evening, presenting on Japan-Mongolia relations, as well as the whirlwind political situation Mongolia stands at today following the ousting of former Prime Minister Norov Altankhuyag.
"Mongolian politics now faces the most difficult but very interesting time since the democratic government was established in 2012. Political instability is not good for an economy, so I simply hope that a new government will be established as soon as possible so that we can continue cooperation."
Shimizu reminded guests of the multiple diplomatic meetings held between Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and President Tsakhia Elbegdorj, and how much closer they've brought relations. Together, he said, they are working to promote democracy, economic benefits and resolve disagreements through peaceful means, he said. "Building this kind of relationship between country leaders sometimes play an important role in promoting bilateral relations."
Trade has grown only modestly, he said, although the economic partnership agreement (EPA) that they've been negotiating for the last two years could expand it greatly. Mongolia and Japan have agreed on the principles, including the removal of duties on 96 percent of Japanese imports to Mongolia and 100 percent of Mongolian export goods to Japan. Such agreements have been a tremendous boost for other Asia nations, including Vietnam and Indonesia, which saw trade growth 1.6 times and 4 times, respectively.
U.S. Ambassador Piper Campbell followed Shimizu with a similar speech on U.S.-Mongolian relationship: "Rather than a U.S. version of Shimizu's presentation, I'd like to complement that presentation with recall of another conversation 10 days ago when asking the question of what kind of trade do Mongolians want," she said, adding " I sometimes feel I get mixed answers to that question."
The United States has its own path open for an EPA that begins with a Transparency Agreement, said Campbell. Although the transparency deal is on Parliament's agenda, it has fallen to the wayside because of the government restructuring and ousting of the prime minister. It's also become controversial because of the misconception that it would provide business with the means to have ultimate control over political matters, rather than just grant access to politicians to provide input. "It does not obligate Mongolian Parliament to vote in a different way, or decide in a different way," she said.
"It does suggest more information. The more points of view you gather, the better informed they will be when decisions will be made."
Guests were next invited into the Diamond reception hall for a four-course meal and a series of performances. The master of ceremonies for the evening was Mr. Mergen Chuluun, who introduced a ballet duo and then musical performances by Clifton Hurt and national philharmonic orchestra singer Khulan. Artistic performances and music proceeded throughout the evening. Highlights included an Arts Council of Mongolia performance comprised of a fushion of costumes and sculpture which was preceded by 6 lively cabaret dancers.
BCM also presented awards to its most outstanding member entities and working group for 2014. Asia Pacific Investment Partners and Tavan Bogd Group received the "Best Company of 2014" awards, while James Liotta and B. Bayar accepted awards as co-chairs of the Legislative Working Group for the "Best Working Group of 2014."

BCM Monthly Meeting Recap September, 2014

The BCM meeting on 22 September was held in the Crystal conference room in Blue Sky Tower and Hotel with Jim Dwyer in the chair. In attendance were 170 members and invited guests—an all-time record turnout.
BCM currently has 262 members. The eight newest members are:
1. Advanced Facilities Management is a member of Bin Butti International Holding Group, based out of the United Arab Emirates, Advanced Facilities Management is the integrated FM services provider arm of the Holding. Advanced FM adds value to the customer's organization, allowing increased focus on core competences by unleashing the potential of outsourcing. The services in which it engages are full-facility services in catering, laundry, environmental and waste control, camp management, and commercial facilities management.
2. Akiolumos LLC is a young local company with diversified businesses in finance, tourism and business consultancy for potential foreign investors offering investment regulatory, tax and auditing advice, business setting-up and connecting with local partners. Over the last one and half years—despite the deteriorated investment climate—Akiolumos has helped establish four Japanese-invested greenfield firms.
3. BDO's global network provides advisory services in 139 countries, with almost 55,000 people working out of 1,200 offices worldwide. With its continued international capabilities, BDO International is happy to announce the admission of BDO LLC in Mongolia, founded by the merger of leading auditing and advisory firms' Itgelt Audit and Amar Incon LLC. BDO Mongolia has an excellent staff that consists of four partners and more than 40 experts with local and international accreditation and experience.
4. Fontus Asia provide specialist services covering all aspects of water resources investigation, development and management across many sectors such as mining, oil and gas, agriculture, manufacturing, urban development, and government and financial institutions. Fontus is 100 percent Mongolian-owned providing industry-leading skills in hydrogeology, hydrology, groundwater and surface water modeling, water resources engineering, aquatic-ecology and wetland management.
5. GMIT is the youngest state university for scientific teaching and research, providing a pioneering model for the reform of university education in Mongolia , and training a new generation of engineers and technology experts in Asia.
6. The Honorary Consul of the Republic of Estonia opened in Mongolia last May . Since May 2012, Kingdom of the Majesty LLC has engaged in trading, financial services, and business development consultancy.
7. Observe Consulting is a leading management consulting firm which specializes in management for system standards published by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). Since its foundation in 2011, Observe Consulting has been providing its consultancy, training and auditing services to the leading companies in industries such as food processing, mining, construction, foreign trade and distribution, banking and finance, Information Technology and Telecommunication, and Energy.
8. Cycling World LLC is the exclusive distributor in Mongolia of the U.S. bicycle brand TREK and Bontrager accessories. The mission is to introduce Mongolia to the bicycle lifestyle. In addition to the distribution and sales of bikes, Cycling World is developing a bicycle rental service and has been active in the cycling tourism in Mongolia.


BCM Monthly Meeting Recap August, 2014


The BCM meeting on 25 August was held in the Crystal conference room in Blue Sky Tower and Hotel with Bayanjargal Byambasaikhan in the chair. In attendance were 154 members and invited guests.

Byambasaikhan welcomed members back after the July break for the Naadam holiday. BCM currently has 256 members. The six newest members are:
1. Air Trans was established in 1997 as Mongolia's first
International Airline ticket agency.
The ticket seller has always been the leader in this industry being the foremost company with permission to issue tickets from the IATA (International Air Transport Association) and with its introduction of the GALILEO airline ticket booking system. Air Trans is the official agent for ticket sales out of Ulaanbaatar for MIAT Mongolian Airlines, Air China, Aeroflot, Korean Air as well as the following airlines: United Airlines, Nippon Airways, Singapore Airlines, Lufthansa, Thai Airways, and Air Astana.
2. Clyde & Co is a global law firm with a pioneering heritage and a resolute focus on its core sectors of aviation, energy, infrastructure, insurance, marine, and trade.
With over 1,400 lawyers operating from 37 offices and associated offices in six continents, the firm advises corporates, financial institutions, private individuals, and governments.
The firm has a reputation for its work in emerging markets, being the largest international firm in the Middle East and with a rapidly expanding network across Asia, Latin America and Africa.
3. Frontier Securities is the first local Mongolian securities firm with a global network and international expertise. Since its establishment, Frontier's primary area of focus has been the cross-border investment banking and advisory business.
Frontier's team in Ulaanbaatar supports Mongolian companies in their fundraising efforts and strives to open the doors of Mongolia to foreign investors.


BCM Monthly Meeting Recap June, 2014

The BCM meeting on 23 June was held in the Crystal conference room in Blue Sky Tower and Hotel with Bayanjargal Byambasaikhan in the chair. In attendance were 110 members and invited guests.

Byambasaikhan opened a discussion on the Mongolia Business Summit held on 19 and 20 June, where Prime Minister Norov Altankhuyag said Mongolia's focus would be on rule of law, stability and predictability, business growth, and getting the state out of the affairs of business. The six newest BCM members were introduced by Jim Dwyer. They are:

1. Ard Financial Group operates primarily in the financial services industry. Subsidiaries include Ard Daatgal, Ard Credit, Monet Capital and the Institute of Engineering & Technology.
2. ESKO Services provides provision of camp and remote site services, catering, housekeeping, camp management, camp design and construction and others.
3. Grandsmart focuses on sales, marketing and distribution and after-sales service for mobile and smart phones, sanitary ware, tile, stationary and ceramics across Mongolia.
4. Mobile Fleet Services, also known as BuyBigTires.com, offers the largest selection of off-the-road tires for mine sites, mining contractors, equipment dealers, and tire dealers across the planet.
5. Trafigura Mongolia is a global commodities trader. It markets a wide range of minerals and chemicals, including copper concentrate, and recently signed an off-take agreement with the Oyu Tolgoi copper mine.
6. World Vision Mongolia is a development and advocacy organization dedicated to working with children, families and communities to overcome poverty and injustice.


BCM Monthly Meeting recap May, 2014

The BCM meeting on 26 May was held at Best Western Tuushin Premier Hotel with Bayanjargal Byambasaikhan in the chair and attended by 165 members and invited guests—an all time high for attendance. 
The eight newest BCM members were introduced by Jim Dwyer.  They are: 
1. Adamas Mining LLC is a Mongolian national mineral exploration and mining company which has been sustainably steering its operations since 2001.  
2. Atlas Copco Mongolia is the mining equipment and services provider subsidiary of Atlas Copco Group based in Sweden. The Group’s products are sold and rented under different brands through a world-wide sales and service network reaching more than 180 countries, half of which are served by wholly or partly-owned sales companies. 
Operating in Mongolia since 2005, its mission is to add value to customers' operations through the development and supply of mining products, application knowledge, service and training. 
3. Founded in 2000, Gunvor Group is one of the world’s largest independent commodity trading companies by turnover, providing integrated trading products and logistics services for participants in the worldwide oil and energy markets. In recent years, we have focused on expanded operations into Asia, the Middle East and the Americas.  


BCM Monthly Meeting recap April, 2014

The BCM meeting on 28 April was held for the first time at Best Western Tuushin Premier Hotel with Bayanjargal Byambasaikhan in the chair and attended by 120 members and invited guests. Executive Director Jim Dwyer introduced BCM's new vice director, Amarjargal Bayarmaa. Bayarmaa currently works with BCM as chairperson of the Environmental Working Group. She leaves her position as senior carbon finance specialist for Clean Energy LLC. 
Dwyer and Byambasaikhan also announced the recently announced Business Summit to be held in Ulaanbaatar in June. 
“The target is to have 150 CEOs of the top Mongolian companies,” said Dwyer. “Obviously government can explain, hopefully, the amendment to the minerals Law and the removed restrictions on exploration licenses, and other initiatives we expect to be taken place in the short term.” 
The event is being organized by the same team behind the Mongolian Economic Forum, the Economic Policy and Competitiveness Research Center (EPCRC). 
The following new BCM members were introduced: 


BCM Monthly Meeting recap Mar, 2014

The BCM meeting on 24 March with Vice Chairman Randolph Koppa in the chair was attended by 110 members and invited guests. Koppa noted that many of those who attended were dividing their time with the day's Mongolian Economic Forum. “The theme this year is to work for the initiative to move forward to 2040 to develop a strategy and priorities to develop Mongolia among a number of scenarios,” he said, referencing the three scenarios presented by the World Economic Forum at the event.