China / Politics

Belt and Road Initiative to give hand to neighbor dealing with economic crisis

By Xin Hua (China Daily) Updated: 2016-10-03 08:35

Participation in China's Belt and Road Initiative will help Mongolia overcome its economic crisis, according to the director of a major newspaper in the country.

"Although the Mongolian economy is experiencing crisis now, there is huge potential for its future growth," said Banzragch Munkhtuul, director of the Mongolian newspaper Mongolyn Medee.

Mongolia, a country of 3 million people with a $12 billion economy, is experiencing its worst economic crisis since 2009. The new government led by the ruling Mongolian People's Party is trying to win investor confidence, cut government spending and find solutions to its mounting foreign debt.

"If we can become a part of the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative, receive Chinese technology and know-how, push forward large projects and utilize our geographic advantage, it is not difficult to overcome the crisis," Munkhtuul said.

She said Mongolia's geographic position between Russia and China offers it a chance to boost transit trade, logistics and transportation between these two countries.

Munkhtuul also said Mongolians should pay more attention to China's successful growth and bring that mature model and investment to Mongolia under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative.

Mongolia is in great need of investment to upgrade its infrastructure. Many Mongolian economists see China as a major source of foreign direct investment and the largest market for its products and services. They expect Mongolia to dovetail its Steppe Road program with China's Belt and Road Initiative.

The Steppe Road program is designed to boost the Mongolian economy through transborder transportation.

It includes infrastructure improvements, such as a new highway to link Russia and China, an electric railway extension of the existing Mongolian railway and the building of an oil and gas pipeline through Mongolian territory linking Russia and China.

Naran Tudevdorj, director of the Mongolian coal association, also told local media that Mongolia can improve its competitiveness in the coal market by building a railroad that reaches China while coal prices are down.

(China Daily 10/03/2016 page2)

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