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Altanbulag forum focuses on improving the free trade zone

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Last Friday, the Ministry of Industry, Mongolian National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MNCCI), and Altanbulag’s Free Zone Investors Council jointly organized the Altanbulag – 2015 Economic Forum at the MNCCI.

The main goal of the forum was to discuss the current conditions of the Altanbulag free trade zone, its activities, further development, the legal environment, new rules and regulations, the tax environment, quarantine, and health monitoring. The forum attendees emphasized that it’s necessary to improve the  infrastructure of the free trade zone.

During the forum, the MNCCI, Governor’s Office of the Altanbulag free trade zone, and Altanbulag’s Free Zone Investors Council signed a multilateral declaration on the Altanbulag free trade zone.

Vice Minister of Industry Kh.Badelkhan, Chairman of the MNCCI M.Oyunchimeg, Governor of the Altabulag free trade zone P.Togtokhbayar, Head of the Altanbulag’s Free Zone Investors Council Ch.Amarbaatar, officials from the Industry Ministry, General Agency for Specialized Inspections, and General Authority for State Registration, Mongolian Customs, General Department of Taxation, over 20 representatives from state organizations, and over 100 business owners attended the forum. spoke with Governor of the Altanbulag free trade zone P.Togtokhbayar, and Chairman of the MNCCI M.Oyunchimeg regarding the free trade zone’s issues:

Governor P.Togtokhbayar: There are many landdisputes at the Altanbulag free trade zone. 

What challenges are faced at the Altanbulag free trade zone?

We have unfinished infrastructure work, but we are planning to finalize infrastructure this year, and this will bring many advantages. There are many land disputes at the free trade zone. But it’s praiseworthy that Minister of Industry D.Erdenebat has approved new regulations that select projects and have criteria for entities that want to invest in the free trade zone. 

How many entities have purchased land at the free trade zone, and how many of them are actively operating?

Currently, around 20 entities are actively operating at the Altanbulag free trade zone. A total of 170 entities are registered, five of which are foreign entities. 

What kind of solutions were discussed at today’s forum to improve the free trade zone. What changes will be made?

We are discussing how the customs and specialized inspection should be when entering the free trade zone. We also agreed to resolve tax issues through regulations and agreements. We will find solutions for improvements after discussing the current situation of the free trade zone and challenging issues.

MNCCI Chairman M.Oyunchimeg: Resolving infrastructure will provide possibilities for entrepreneurs. 

What solutions are available for developing the Altanbulag free trade zone? You are highlighting state and private sector collaboration.

The main objective of today’s forum is to discuss state policy, law implementation, and improvement of state and private sector cooperation. Altanbulag is Mongolia’s first free trade zone, and was established ten years ago.

The free trade zone’s activities should have become sustainable, since ten years have passed. Infrastructure investment of 22 billion MNT has been made at the free zone, but it is still incomplete. A total of 4.9 billion MNT was invested from 25 entities, and trading is conducted rarely here. Sometimes it is closed. Now the government needs to immediately invest the remainder, and solve the infrastructure issues. It will provide opportunity for business owners. It is not possible to carry out activities when infrastructure is not resolved. Around 180 domestic entities established agreements for owning land, while foreign companies are waiting for infrastructure solutions. Therefore, state and private sector partnerships need to be intensified, and work should be completed as soon as possible. Unfortunately, work is going very slowly, blocking activities of the free trade zone.


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