Mongolia: International Relations

By Agnihotri, Newal K. | Presidents & Prime Ministers, September 1998 | Go to article overview

Mongolia: International Relations


Agnihotri, Newal K., Presidents & Prime Ministers


Question

What are your suggestions far improving U.S. Foreign Policy towards your country?

Answer

The U.S. Foreign Policy towards Mongolia is fairly new. Both nations were able to develop bilateral relations only after Mongolia lifted the Soviet control and transformed itself into a pluralist political system in early 1990s.

The U.S. policy in regard to Mongolia is set in full for the joint Mongolia-U.S. statement issued during Secretary of State Albright's visit to Mongolia in May of 1998. The joint statement said that the United States supported Mongolia's democracy and noted the positive contribution that a secure, independent, democratic, and prosperous Mongolia can make to the stability and economic prosperity of the region as a whole. In the joint statement, both sides agreed on the importance of expanding their political, economic, scientific, and cultural relations and on exploring cooperation in environmental protection.

Mongolia is interested in utilizing the U.S. financial assistance in fields that may eventually become a foundation of future areas of cooperation between the two countries like communication, gas pipeline, and transportation network.

Mongolia is also interested in increased U.S. investment and flows of loans by the U.S. financial groups such as Eximbank and MIGA.

Mongolia would like to see the continued U.S. support of its efforts to be integrated in the multilateral cooperation processes in Asia Pacific thus ensuring both its economic progress and national security.

Question

How would you rate your relations with the United States? What can be done to further strengthen these relations?

Answer

Politically, Mongolia attaches a great importance to the development of the relations with the U.S. in a view that it is the important factor for Mongolia to guarantee its sovereignty and security through political means while maintaining well-balanced relations with our two immediate neighbors, Russia and China.

One can easily notice from a whole spectrum of the relations between Mongolia and the U.S. that the political relations are advancing while the business and cultural ties lag behind. In my view, the political accomplishments should be supported by the business cooperation.

As of today, the Mongolia-United States two-way trade is the 4th biggest in Mongolia's foreign trade after China, Russia, and Japan. The U.S. is in a leading position by its private investment in Mongolia. I wish the United States should keep the position further ahead.

Furthering the relations with the U.S. remains our principle preoccupation and both sides need to work closely on identifying obstacles and exploring new areas of cooperation. Unfortunately, there are on our side a number of formidable barriers to trade and investment - lack of transparency, high tariffs, an inefficient set of regulations, and bureaucracy. These barriers are technical ones and the government of Mongolia is working hard to fix them in the near future.

Together, we need to explore possibilities to diversify the U.S. investment pattern in Mongolia into new areas including high tech industries like communications, use of alternative energy resources, banking, insurance, echo-tourism, environmentally-friendly industries based on traditional Mongolian agricultural raw materials.

Question

What are your suggestions for improvements at the United Nations?

Answer

Since joining the United Nations as a member in 1961 Mongolia has been actively involved in its activities. We attach great importance to this world organization and this is confirmed by the fact that relationship and cooperation with the UN agencies is one of our foreign policy priorities. In my view, the United Nations is a unique international organization and has a vast potential to become a most effective instrument for maintaining peace and security, promoting multilateral cooperation in the world and achieving progress and prosperity of nations.

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