Mongolian gov't mulls solutions to revive flagging economy

ULAN BATOR, March 30 (Xinhua) -- The Mongolian government addressed potential solutions to reviving the country's tattered economy during the Mongolia Economic Forum 2016 held Wednesday.
In his opening speech, Mongolian Prime Minister Chimed Saikhanbileg blamed populist lawmakers and politicians who often called to review foreign investment agreements with international investors and criticized them for pretending to be patriots.
"We need to address the cause of the crisis. First of all, political parties, the whole country and the public need to reform their economic thinking," the prime minister said, adding that only then would the country's politics and economy be healthy.
He admitted that the country has huge foreign debts, over half of which are due to accounting procedures. He blamed the opposition, the Mongolian People's Party, for distributing 2.3 billion U.S. dollars in public cash handouts.
According to economists, Mongolia's economic growth will be less than one percent this year.
Naidansuren Zoljargal, governor of the Central Bank of Mongolia, said the landlocked country heavily relies on exports of mining commodities, so falling prices in the international market would lead to a sudden drop in currency revenue. To prevent this, he called on the country to develop its non-mining sector.
The annual event drew representatives from different circles, however, there were protests against the government and ruling party organized by a coalition of minor parties and civic groups on Wednesday.
Mongolia is expected to hold parliamentary and local council elections in June. Politicians are courting voters and making many promises to the public as the elections draw near.

Source:Xinhua news agency
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