German Economic Minister’s first visit in 19 years

Dr. Dirk Niebel tells PM S.Batbold the FRG is significantly increasing its aid to Mongolia
From August 19 to August 23, 2010, a German delegation led by Dr. Dirk Niebel, the Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development of the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG), paid an official visit to Mongolia by invitation of Finance Minister S. Bayartsogt. The German Minister was accompanied by about 30 representatives including ministry officials, members of the Bundestag and media. It was the first to Mongolia in 19 years by a German Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, and it is considered a significant visit to boost further economic cooperation of two countries. In 1991, Germany’s Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development visited Mongolia for the first time. On August 19, after meeting with his Mongolian counterpart, S. Bayartsogt, Dr. Niebel met with Prime Minister S. Batbold. The Prime Minister said Mongolia aims to use its natural resources in proper ways by producing value-added products instead of exporting raw minerals, and noted the importance of assistance and support from the FRG to develop accountable mining and build capacity. He said, “We are aspiring to introduce standards of the European Union into all spheres to improve governance and create transparent, open, just, accountable, and sustainable environment. Mr. Batbold emphasized that the FRG is one of the countries that rendered support to Mongolia during its democratic reform, and noted that Mongolia-Germany relations and cooperation have reached the level of comprehensive partnership.
“At this time when mineral deposits are being put into economic circulation, we need the support and assistance of FRG in the sectors of economy, finance and technology, having state-of-the-art techniques and technologies and training personnel,” Mr. Batbold stressed. He said that he hoped Germany’s Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development would contribute significantly to this matter.
He also said that the countries have an opportunity to develop cooperation of inter-civilian relations, in the spheres of humanity, culture, and tourism through some 35 thousand Mongolian alumni of German Universities and institutes.

In turn, Dr. Niebel thanked the PM for successful implementation of extractive industries’ transparency in Mongolia and informed him that the Ministry has decided to increase rendering aid to Mongolia by EUR 3 million.
The German side considers that Mongolia may spend this money on improving the governance of mining companies, training personnel, producing value-added products as well as developing small and middlesized productions and small mines. Dr. Niebel said he hopes Mongolia can succeed in its development with new and good policy. Later, a press conference was hosted by Finance Minister S. Bayartsogt and German Minister Dr. Dirk Niebel at the State House. At the press conference, it was also announced that the German side decided to increase its assistance worth 24.1 million EUR agreed last May by 3 million EUR. The assistance will be spent on improving governance, training personnel, producing value-added products and developing small and medium sized productions, introducing EU standards and developing extractive industries’ transparency. It is believed that these would all encourage the reduction of poverty, create jobs and increase earnings for lives.
In frames of the official visit by Dr. Dirk Niebel, a meeting of representatives of civil societies of the two countries was organized by the Hanns Seidel Foundation, the German Embassy, Konrad Adenauer Foundation and Friedrich Ebert Foundation.
During his visit, German delegation headed by Mr. Dirk Niebel got au fait with the activity of Boroo Gold Company in Bayangol soum of Selenge Aimag.
On August 22, the German delegation led by Dr. Dirk Niebel, the Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development of the Federal Republic of Germany visited Amarbayasgalant Monastery and got familiar with operations of the Thermo Power Station and the process of a regional economic development project in Darkhan-Uul Aimag. He also visited a ger area of Darkhan where he met with a person who received a loan from the project. On August 23, Dr. Niebel met with Minerals and Energy Minister D. Zorigt to share views of bilateral relations and cooperation. He also presented medical equipment and apparatus to the Maternal and Infant Health Center before concluding his visit in Mongolia
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