Mongolia bets on cashmere industry development to diversify mining-heavy economy

Mongolia bets on cashmere industry development to diversify mining-heavy economy
A herd of cashmere goats in Inner Mongolia.
By bne IntelliNews February 9, 2018

The Mongolian government has approved a four-year programme to boost the country’s cashmere industry in an effort to diversify Mongolia’s mining-dependent economy, Xinhua news agency reported on February 8.

Mongolia is the world's second-largest producer of raw and washed cashmere as the country’s goat population amounts to 27mn and its annual cashmere production capacity stands at 9,400 tonnes. Approximately 90% of the country’s cashmere is exported while the rest is processed into final products. As such, Mongolia is missing out on its potential to annually export 19.8mn pieces of knitted and textile products, which would amount to earnings worth $1.78bn in the event that Mongolia started fully processing all of its cashmere at home.

The programme will be implemented in two stages and will help create over 3,600 new jobs, while supporting 5,500 existing jobs in the cashmere industry.

The initiative will receive funding from state and local budgets along with foreign loans and aid. The authorities expect it to increase Mongolia's production of processed cashmere products by nearly sixfold.

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