/Ulaanbaatar, 08.06.16/ Japan becomes the first free trade partner of Mongolia following a series of multi-layered engagements since the Economic Partnership Agreement between the two nations was sealed in February, last year.
Seiji Kihara, State Minister for Foreign Affairs from Japan received award "Golden Polar" from Mongolian PM  Saikhanbileg
Yesterday, a joint committee of government officials led by Seiji Kihara, State Minister for Foreign Affairs from Japan and Purevsuren Lundeg, Minister of Foreign Affairs in Mongolia, held its first meeting in Ulaanbaatar, where both parties signed a meeting protocol and the last batch of legislative documents comprehensibly enforcing the agreement.
Japan, as a close ally and the fourth largest trading partner of Mongolia with nearly JPY 32 billion in goods exchanged in 2015, will phase out import tariffs on 9,300 products, largely consisting of mineral and agricultural exports.  In return, Mongolian customs will remove tariffs on 5,700 imports from Japan. The EPA will impose import tariff annulments on almost 95 per cent of the trade turnover.
Mongolia will inevitably benefit more from the East Asian economic integration as trade flows with Japan become increasingly fluid, however the Mongolian government expects the trade exchanges will also help to attract investments and introduce high-tech know-hows. On a grander scheme, the agreement allows Mongolia to connect with other export market through Japan, and expand a regional product network and economic connectivity.
Recognising the new milestone in the bilateral relations in trade, economy and business, Saikhanbileg Chimed, the Prime Minister of Mongolia, highlighted that the establishment of EPA, which came into a fruition with intense efforts from both sides over many years, will open wide opportunities to Mongolian nationals and companies to boost business with their Japanese counterparts. “Government entities of both countries should now move swiftly to promote the EPA’s advantages, terms, discounts and opportunities to businesses.” he said during his meeting with Seiji Kihara, Minister for Foreign Affairs from Japan.
The committee overlooking the effective implementation of the agreement will run 13 subcommittees responsible for promoting and intensifying economic partnership through regular dialogues. 
In 2015, Mongolia’s export to Japan reached 20.3 million USD in value terms, while it imported 274.6 million USD worth goods from Japan, according to government statistics.
The Prime Minister of Mongolia, Saikhanbileg Chimed during his meeting also underlined that Mongolia had managed to form a highly skilled team of experts during the course of the EPA establishment and the government had gained a huge experience in working out free trade agreement.
For successful leadership of the Japanese working group for the EPA establishment, the Premier granted the State Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan the Polar Star Order by the President’s decree.
The Prime Minister also expressed his hopes that the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe would take part in the forthcoming 11th ASEM Summit to be held this July in Ulaanbaatar, and said Mongolia is thankful to Japan for rendering support in the Summit’s preparations.

 Source:Government of Mongolia


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