Minister B. Jargalsaikhan’s industry development policy

Minister B. Jargalsaikhan’s industry development policy

Following the new Cabinet members the Industry and Trade Minister B. Jargalsaikhan gave a briefing to the press, yesterday. Due to the changes the new Minister made the Ministry has now two main departments for light industry and heavy industry or geology & mining. Miister B. Jargalsaikhan said in order to upgrade the industry sector his policy would focus on reduction of imports and support of domestic industry which would give around 20 thousand new jobs. B. Jargalsaikhan’s attitude toward exporting unprocessed hides and skind to China is very critical. As he said, starting March 2006 expert groups from Italy will make studies for setting up shoe and leather garments factories like for bags and suitcases in Mongolia which would give 15-16 thousand new jobs. These factories are planned to be set up not only in Ulaanbaatar but in Darkhan, Erdenet, Hutul and Baga Nuur. Another group from Italy is likely to start work on establishing a cashmere factory in April. This facory would give 5-8 thousand new jobs. Fur and leather processing plants in different cities were planned too. Negotiations on manufacturing uniforms for army and police of the Russian Federation on order with the relevant ministries were planned as well. 

Unemployment and poverty people were talking much about over the last 15 years can only be fought through the revival of the domestic industry and economic growth. This was the second part of his policy, namely, the development of the mining sector by a special state policy today where mineral prices in the world are high, B. Jargalsaikhan said. In any case, he seemed to be not satisfied with the current policy in the mining sector, especially, with the policy for the strategically important mineral deposits. In his opinion the Mongolian counterpart should own 51% of the strategically important deposits, therefore, he intended to sit behind negotitation desks with the bigger investors and license owners like Ivanhoe Mines. To the question whether it was possible for the Mongolian state to own 51% of the Oyu Tolgoi deposit B. Jargalsaikhan said that unless the stability contract with Ivanhoe Mines is not made Ivanhoe’s share price might drop. Therefore, the stability contract should be made immediately. In regard of 51% ownership he had proposed a draft law to the Parliament as a MP, he said.

The Minister regreted that there were untrue information in the press about him like his dispute with Lu. Bold and his asking the Japanese Minister to invalidate his debt to Marubeni Corporation. He denied all these rumors.

B. Jargalsaikhan is in the politics for more than 15 years and his Republican Party won one seat in the Parliament in 2004. Before he went to the Parliament he was the director of one of the leading cashmere factories in Mongolia “Buyan”. Buyan Co. took a loan of USD 16 million from the Japanes Marubeni Corporation and the Government of Mongolia was called to court in 2001 due B. Jargalsaikhan’s failure to pay his loan. Therefore, B. Jargalsaikhan was accused to be in conflict of interest when he was a candidate for the Industry and Trade Minister.

Date : 2006-02-22 15:46:43                        

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