Prime Minister reports on government’s foreign policy

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Prime Minister U.Khurelsukh addresses Parliament

During Parliament’s Friday session, Prime Minister U.Khurelsukh gave a statement regarding Cabinet’s foreign policy.

At the beginning of his speech, the Premier highlighted that as executing a robust foreign policy is significant for achieving national prosperity, when it comes to foreign policy, carrying out a consistent foreign policy is of great important for the country to succeed in strengthening its relations and cooperation with the world. Prime Minister U.Khurelsukh stressed that the government will seek to strengthen Mongolia’s relations and cooperation in politics, economy and other sectors with other countries; improve its position among the international community; and maintain a foreign policy for strengthening independence and sovereignty through development. He noted that strengthening the country’s relations and cooperation with the two neighbor countries by promoting collaborations between intergovernmental commissions, task forces and other cooperation mechanisms, and pursuing mutually beneficial cooperation is priority for the government.

U.Khurelsukh emphasized that as mutual collaboration in areas along the Mongolia-Russia border under a medium-term program for the development of Mongolia-Russia strategic partnership is a key cooperation area, and noted that there should be a greater focus on enhancing the legal and regulatory environment for taking this collaboration to a new level, and the government is collaborating with Russia to establish an intergovernmental agreement to move forward with this cooperation. He said that to increase trade turnover between Mongolia and Russia, the government is working to establish a free-trade agreement between the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and Mongolia to eliminate challenges regarding tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade. Russia and Kyrgyzstan, out of EAEU’s five member states, have supported Mongolia’s proposal to set up a joint task force to study the feasibility of the free-trade agreement.

The Prime Minister pointed out that to develop Mongolia and China’s comprehensive strategic partnership in all sectors, the government is actively working to accelerate cooperation between the Mongolia-China intergovernmental commission on trade, economy, science, and technological cooperation, and council of mineral resources, energy and infrastructure cooperation. U.Khurelsukh said moving forward with megaprojects, improving the efficiency of loans granted by China to Mongolia, and deal with other issues facing the two countries’ economic cooperation are also areas of focus for Cabinet.
Prime Minister U.Khurelsukh noted that the government is discussing to launch mining, energy, construction, agriculture, and roads and transport megaprojects through mutually beneficial cooperation with China, and will carry out Mongolia’s Development Road project in connection with China’s Belt and Road Initiative.

He also stated that as the economic corridor program by Russia, China and Mongolia will be developed in not only transport and customs, but also in other sectors, the government will seek other collaboration opportunities under this program.

The Premier emphasized that consultative mechanisms between Mongolia and the United States on political, security and regional issues is an example of strengthening relations and cooperation between the two countries and noted that Mongolia is hoping to increase US investment in the country. U.Khurelsukh stressed that another example of successful cooperation of the two countries are the shared values of democracy, freedom, and human rights, which led to the US’s Millennium Challenge Corporation to grant 350 million USD in aid under its second compact agreement with Mongolia to improve water supply facilities in the ger districts of Ulaanbaatar where a large percent of the country’s population are residing.

He underlined that Mongolia is focusing on strengthening friendly relations and developing cooperation with countries in the Asia and Pacific region, and the country is successfully developing strategic partnerships with Japan and India, a comprehensive partnership with South Korea, and expanded partnership with Australia. The Premier cited that since the economic partnership agreement between Mongolia and Japan entered into force, trade between the two countries has increased by 18 percent.

U.Khurelsukh pointed out that defense and security cooperation between Mongolia and India have been deepening in recent years, and as a joint study to establish an economic partnership between the two countries has been completed this year, the two sides will start negotiations next year about establishing the economic partnership, which is expected to help Mongolia free up trade, develop a wide range of economic cooperation with India and increase people to people exchange between the two countries.

In his speech about cooperation between Mongolia and the European Union, U.Khurelsukh said that as the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement between the EU and its member states and Mongolia entered into force on November 1 this year, Mongolia has opportunities to cooperate with the EU’s 28 member states in the areas of trade, economy, education, culture and science.

The Prime Minister stated the government is working to increase Mongolia’s participation in international and regional cooperation organizations to promote mutual interests of landlocked developing countries, host the Ulaanbaatar Dialogue on Northeast Asia Security, and increase participation in UN peacekeeping missions. Mongolia is serving as a member of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights from 2015 to 2018, and during its three-year term, the country has worked under effective leadership to make contribution to activities of the international community; strengthen protection of human rights; promote gender equality; protect the rights of children, women and people with disabilities; combat human trafficking; eliminate race and gender discrimination; abolish the death penalty; and promote freedom of expression.

The Prime Minister emphasized that the government will task over 40 diplomatic missions representing Mongolia to actively collaborate with other countries to bring investment, new ideas and initiatives, soft loans and other assistance to Mongolia’s small and medium-sized enterprises. He added that the government plans to establish a permanent council of technology, innovation and information under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that will provide national enterprises and entrepreneurs new information by learning more about innovative technology and innovation based on scientific achievements, successful international experiences, and opportunities to access international markets.

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