Support independent journalism in Central & Eastern Europe.
Donate to TOL!
Stagnant economy and lingering disputes with foreign mining majors could hamper serious reforms.10 July 2017
Mongolia’s new president takes office today promising to diversify the economy and reduce income inequality.
Khaltmaa Battulga of the opposition Democratic Party won Friday’s runoff election with 50.6 percent of the vote, defeating the ruling Mongolian People’s Party candidate Miyegombo Enkhbold by more than nine percentage points, Nikkei Asian Review reports.
The economy dominated the campaign rhetoric, although mudslinging and corruption allegations against both men at times overshadowed debate over the country’s stuttering economy, Bloomberg says.
Battulga, a real estate mogul and former martial arts champion, ran on a message of “Mongolia first” and pledged to use the country’s mining wealth for the people’s benefit, Al Jazeera reports.
The Australian Financial Review writes that Battulga has criticized the investment agreement with mining major Rio Tinto for the Oyu Tolgoi copper mine, one of the biggest money-earners in a country whose economy depends on resource exports, mainly to China.
How that will sit with the foreign owners of copper, coal and gold mines remains to be seen. Last spring the government more than doubled the territory available for mineral exploration and eased regulatory and tax burdens on foreign investors. The moves came when the International Monetary Fund postponed the start of a $5.5 billion bailout after a complaint by Rio Tinto. The IMF approved the multinational bailout package shortly afterward.
Reorienting the country’s economic relations to a less China-centered policy is a top priority for Battulga. He has also pledged to reduce the growing wealth gap, Oneindia.com says.
Going on Assignment in Prague – January 7-15, 2018
Do you have a passion for foreign reporting? Would you like to develop your skills further or simply gain more confidence? This course is aimed at university students, freelance journalists or activists who would like to gain some practical skills in this field. You’ll learn the best tricks of the trade from storytelling and interviewing techniques to locating your sources and incorporating multimedia.
Throughout the course you will be guided by experienced foreign correspondents from media such as Reuters, the BBC, the Financial Times, and the New York Times. You’ll leave equipped with a publishable story to add to your portfolio. Early bird fee available until September 1, 2017. Apply now! or see more info.
The Moldovan Diaries is a multimedia, interactive examination of the country's ethnic, religious, social and political identities by Paolo Paterlini and Cesare De Giglio.
This innovative approach to story telling gives voice to ordinary people and takes the reader on the virtual trip across Moldovan rural and urban landscapes.
It is a unique and intimate map of the nation.