Japan to grant an 850 million USD soft loan to Mongolia

Speaker M.Enkhbold shaking hands with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe

During Speaker of Parliament M.Enkhbold’s visit to Japan, he met with Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to discuss relations and cooperation between the two countries.

Prime Minister Abe announced that in the framework of the International Monetary Fund’s extended fund facility program under review for implementation in Mongolia, Japan will grant a soft loan of 850 million USD to Mongolia. The Japanese Prime Minister said that he hopes the Japanese loan will help support Mongolia in overcoming the country’s economic crisis. The annual interest on the 30-year loan would be between one and 1.5 percent.

On March 29, Foreign Affairs Minister Ts.Munkh-Orgil and Japanese Foreign Affairs Minister Fumio Kishida signed a mid-term program for the development of the economic partnership between the two countries to be carried out from 2017 to 2021.

Minister Kishida said that he trusts that signing the mid-term program will be of great importance to expanding mutual cooperation, and that it was a historic move to strengthen collaboration between the parliaments and governments of the two countries. A number of projects in politics, trade, the economy, defense, security, education, and welfare are outlined in the mid-term program.

Minister Ts.Munkh-Orgil pointed out that Mongolia has asked Japan to cooperate in implementing synthetic gas and fuel production projects using Mongolian coal and Japan’s innovative technology. He emphasized that Prime Minister Abe supported the proposal.

The Mongolian Foreign Affairs Minister noted that launching these projects would not only benefit Mongolia, but serve as an opportunity to take advantage of using technology to combat global warming and climate change, which are global concerns. The sides agreed to work together to study the implementation of renewable energy projects in Mongolia.

Minister Ts.Munkh-Orgil underlined that Mongolia’s Gobi has significant renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind, that could make up a large portion of the renewable energy that will be consumed in the Asia-Pacific region at present and in the future.

D.Lundeejantsan, a member of the Mongolia-Japan Inter-Parliamentary Group in Parliament, highlighted that the main directions for the nations’ economic cooperation were determined during Speaker M.Enkhbold’s visit to Japan. As agreements on cooperation between the states’ authorities and entrepreneurs have been reached, he noted that the next five years will be an important time for strengthening state, business, and people-topeople relationships between Mongolia and Japan.

During Speaker of Parliament M.Enkhbold’s meeting with Japanese Minister of Health, Labor, and Welfare Yasuhisa Shiozaki, the sides discussed carrying out training programs for Mongolian college students and small business promotion in Mongolia. The Speaker asked the Japanese Minister for help from the Government Pension Investment Fund of Japan (GPIF) in issuing a Mongolian governmentbacked bond to implement projects in Mongolia to promote small business, create jobs, and to provide low and middle income families with access to mortgages.

Minister Shiozaki stated that all projects and programs the GPIF executes must benefit Japanese pensioners, so under Japanese law, the GPIF only finances beneficial, risk-free projects. He noted that if World Bank accredits Mongolia, the GPIF would be able to consider buying a bond issued by the Government of Mongolia.

Minister of Labor and Social Protection N.Nomtoibayar introduced Minister Shiozaki to ongoing measures the ministry is taking to train Mongolian college students for professional careers. Minister N.Nomtoibayar noted that a Mongolian office in charge of Japanese training programs will be opened in Tokyo. He emphasized that the students will be participating in Japanese culture and language training courses.

Minister N.Nomtoibayar stated that the governments of the two countries will sign a memorandum of cooperation on training Mongolian students in Japan by May of this year. He added that Mongolian students selected for training will meet essential qualifications after attending courses on Japanese laws and regulations, society, culture, and language.

The Government of Mongolia will execute a program to open a hospital with 300 beds. The proposed 560 employees of the hospital, including doctors, nurses, and other specialists, will work according to Japanese standards with financing from the Mongolian Health Insurance Fund. Once the hospital opens, it will be able to accommodate 15,000 in-patients and 350,000 out-patients each year.

Minister N.Nomtoibayar spoke with Minister Shiozaki about getting support for providing the Mongolian medical staff of the hospital with Japanese medical training, and sending Japanese specialists to Mongolai to share their knowledge and experience. He also proposed purchasing medical equipment for the new hospital from Japan.