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China, Mongolia finalize 4,677-km border
Updated: 2005-11-30 16:23

Economic development was another leading issue.

China and Mongolia agreed in principle to work together on producing large coal energy in Mongolia and exporting it to China, Munh-Orgil said.

Mongolia has untapped coal reserves, and China is seeking outside energy sources to maintain rapid economic development.

The two agreed to cooperate in expanding roads and railways, both of which are lacking in Mongolia, Enkhbayar added. In February, the World Bank approved a $100 million loan to China to build transport infrastructure for trade with Mongolia.

Enkhbayar met this week with local officials in the port cities of Tianjin and Xingan to discuss faster and more efficient processing of shipments through Mongolia's chief Pacific Ocean port to the land-locked country.

Chinese officials asked about joining Mongolia in developing copper deposits in the southern Gobi Desert regions of Tavantolgoi and Oyu Tolgoi, and Enkhbayar said Mongolia agreed to pursue China's request.

Mining in Mongolia has become globally competitive over the past decade, as Canadian, Japanese and Russian firms vie with local companies for mineral reserves in a country still formulating its foreign investment policies.

According to a World Bank study, the mining sector's gross domestic product share will nearly double from $96.7 million to $189.7 million between 2002 and 2008 mostly because of copper, gold and fluorite deposits. Today, mining accounts for about 9 percent of Mongolia's $1 billion GDP.

Since 2003, a Sino-Mongolian joint venture has mined coal on the Mongolian side of the border for the Chinese market.

Also this week, the two governments acted on a two-year-old proposal from the Chinese president by signing a framework for China's EX-IM Bank to give the Mongolian Finance Ministry $300 million in preferential loans.

Of that, $240 million will be for Chinese exporters and $60 million for Mongolian importers. Because of its climate and location, Mongolia must import daily necessities.

The two countries talked about learning from each other's ethnic Mongolian populations, Enkhbayar said.

The Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, home to as many as 4 million ethnic Mongolians, may be able to teach its nomadic neighbor to the north something about animal husbandry, land use and agricultural diversification, he said.

On Wednesday, the Mongolian government opened a tourism information center at its embassy in Beijing to follow up a recent agreement on allowing Chinese tour groups.

On Thursday, Enkhbayar will attend a ceremony to open an office of the Mongolian Chamber of Commerce and Trade in Shanghai. Also during his visit, he will look at a high-tech park in Hangzhou to see if Mongolia can do something similar to attract foreign investment.

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