Diversification key to Mongolian development

Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, Jan 23 (IBNS) Mongolia, the hub of one of the world’s fastest-growing economic regions, is the focus of a World Economic Forum report that is published on Thursday.



The report, Scenarios for Mongolia, has been produced to map out potential long-term economic outcomes of the country’s recent period of double-digit growth, which to date has been 
generated largely on the back of rapid development of its resources sector. The three scenarios identified for the country’s future are:


Regional Renaissance: Where Mongolia finds itself at the heart of a dynamic economic area comprising Northern China and Eastern Russia, combined with an integrated, open North Korea. In this scenario, Vladivostok is a thriving seaport benefitting from an opening of Arctic sea lanes, and the free movement of goods and people across borders is commonplace.

China Greening: Envisages a future where China has become a world leader in green technology and the circular economy. This precipitates diversification in Mongolia towards solar and wind-power generation and high-end organic food products.

Resource Tensions: An opposite outcome to Regional Renaissance, where nationalist sentiments lead to territorial disputes, and natural resources are used for political leverage. This makes it difficult for Mongolia to sell its main minerals and to diversify

The aim of these scenarios is to help the Mongolian Government take the strategic decisions that will guide the country towards long-term sustainable and diversified growth. The urgency to address this has been underscored by discoveries that bring the country’s natural resource endowment to an estimated US$ 3 trillion. In a country the size of Europe and a population of just 3 million, this has brought significant development challenges.

“Mongolia’s long-term economic success depends significantly on how well it is able to develop its mining industry and manage its revenues, but also on its ability to diversify and build trade and investment relationships with its neighbours,” said Kristel van der Elst, Senior Director, Head of Strategic Foresight, World Economic Forum.

Common policy responses identified in the scenarios include:

Improving the investment and business climate for both minerals and other sectors
Designing a sovereign wealth fund able to operate as an investment or development fund
Forging strong political and economic relationships with its neighbours

Scenarios for Mongolia, which was produced in collaboration with the Mongolian Government, will form the basis of dialogue in a number of sessions during the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting, in which a high-level government delegation from the country, including the president, Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj, will be participating.

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