Deputy Prime Minister asks for ADB’s assistance in opening free trade zone

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The ADB delegation meets with Deputy Prime Minister U.Enkhtuvshin

Director General of the Asian Development Bank (ADB)’s East Asia Department Indu Bhushan met with Deputy Prime Minister U.Enkhtuvshin on January 22 at the State Palace to exchange views on projects being implemented by ADB in Mongolia.

Bhushan pointed out that as the implementations of some projects are insufficient, newly proposed projects and programs to be implemented by ADB are delayed. He emphasized that ADB started funding projects such as the construction of Songinokhairkhan District’s Demonstration Hospital to improve the district’s healthcare service, a road in the Mongolian western region being built along a transport corridor that will link Mongolia to Russia and China, and a new wastewater treatment plant in Darkhan City to improve the city’s urban services by replacing dilapidated sewer pipes and upgrading two wastewater pumping stations, but the projects are behind schedule.

The deputy prime minister stated that ADB is successfully collaborating with the National Emergency Management Agency of Mongolia to implement a project on strengthening community resilience to dzud and forest and steppe fires in Mongolia that will help integrate and complement ongoing disaster risk management initiatives. U.Enkhtuvshin noted that he will focus on hastening the delayed project to improve plant, animal health and food safety by ADB in cooperation with the General Agency for Specialized Inspection.

Deputy Prime Minister U.Enkhtuvshin thanked ADB for granting a policy loan of 600 million USD to Mongolia from 2017 to 2020 under the International Monetary Fund’s extended fund facility program, and asked Bhushan to study ADB’s possibilities to provide Mongolia with a technical assistance and recommendation to open Zamiin-Uud free trade zone as the government of Mongolia plans to begin the zone’s operation this year.

U.Enkhtuvshin stated that he hopes ADB will include his proposal in its action plan from 2018 to 2020, and the ADB delegation responded that as opening the free trade zone is crucial, ADB will review the Mongolian government’s request. Bhushan emphasized that he is looking forward to bringing good news to Mongolia during his next arrival in Ulaanbaatar.

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