COVID-19 and Trump’s indifference helped human rights abusers in 2020
Belarusian government sees $2bn of withdrawals, issues $580mn worth of bonds in 2020
Lukashenko: I am no enemy of the people
Storming parliaments: New Europe's greatest hits
One of Russia’s biggest wood product companies, Segezha could be Sistema’s next IPO
The volume of the Russian National Wealth Fund tops $183.93bn as gold overtakes dollar asset for first time
EU to begin certifying Russian Sputnik V vaccine for use in Europe
New Ukrainian VC firm QPDigital aims to invest up to $100 million in digital startups
EBRD investments reach record €11bn in pandemic-struck 2020
FPRI BMB Ukraine: Most Ukrainians are optimistic about 2021 – poll
OUTLOOK 2021 Lithuania
EBRD says loan to Estonia’s controversial Porto Franco project was never disbursed
Estonian premier quits after Tallinn development scandal
Top Centre Party official suspected of corruption in Tallinn real estate scandal
Czech Pirates and Mayors approve final coalition agreement for 2021 elections
OUTLOOK 2021 Czechia
BRICKS & MORTAR: Rosier future beckons for CEE retailers after year of change and disruption
Romanian tech entrepreneurs expand into banking sector
OUTLOOK 2021 Hungary
Hungarian government remains silent after Capitol riots
World Bank expects modest recovery for Europe and Central Asia in 2021
FDI inflows to CEE down 58% in 1H20 but rebound expected
OUTLOOK 2021 Slovakia
Slovakia to invest €1.2bn in digitisation
BALKAN BLOG: The controversial recipe for building up Albania
Heavy flooding causes chaos in parts of Southeast Europe
Vodafone Albania plans €100mn infrastructure investments after AbCom merger
OUTLOOK 2021 Albania
Kyiv accuses Bosnian President Dodik of lying about icon gifted to Russian foreign minister
Bosnia’s real GDP contracts 6.3% y/y in 3Q20
Sofia-based LAUNCHub Ventures holds first close of new fund on €44mn
ING THINK: Growth in the Balkans: from zero to hero again?
OUTLOOK 2020 Bulgaria
Labour demand down 28% y/y in Croatia in 2020
Zagreb Stock Exchange's Crobex10 index at highest level since March 5
OUTLOOK 2021 Kosovo
Arrera Automobili aims to launch Albania’s first supercar
World Bank revises projection for Moldova’s 2020 GDP decline to 7.2%
Moldova’s PM resigns to prepare the ground for early elections
Socialist lawmakers in Moldova scrap settlement on $1bn bank frauds
Montenegro’s new ruling coalition carves up top state jobs
OUTLOOK 2021 Montenegro
Vast tide of floating waste threatens Balkan hydropower plants
North Macedonia's manufacturing confidence indicator down by 8.5 pp y/y in December
OUTLOOK 2021 North Macedonia
Transparency International warns of high corruption risk in CEE defence sectors
Moldova fears flooding from Ukraine's planned Dniester hydropower plants
Romania’s industrial recovery paused in November
OUTLOOK 2021 Serbia
Slovenia’s opposition files no-confidence motion against Jansa cabinet
UK Moneyhub picks Slovenia for post-Brexit European base
Slovenia’s dire COVID-19 situation in 4Q20 caused second economic dip
Slovenia’s Eligma completes €4mn funding round
BEYOND THE BOSPORUS: Let’s tentatively pencil in a date for Turkey’s hot money outflow
Turkish opposition leader lawsuit demands one lira from Erdogan, police probe “bald” interior minister posts
OUTLOOK 2021 Armenia
Armenia’s PM cautions conflict with Azerbaijan “still not settled” after trilateral meeting with Putin
COMMENT: Record high debt levels will slow post-coronavirus recovery, threaten some countries' financial stability, says IIF
Russia, Kazakhstan pushing for oil production increases on the back of coronavirus vaccine-fuelled oil price optimism
OUTLOOK 2021 Georgia
Georgia’s political kingpin Bidzina Ivanishvili quits politics
Modern-day “Robin Hood” inspires Georgians drowning in debt
Iran’s navy conducts missile drill while analyst argues Trump even capable of nuclear strike in final days
TEHRAN BLOG: Who’s more credible? Johnson backing Trump’s Nobel chances or Iran applauding arrest warrant for US president?
STOLYPIN: Scope for limited progress under Biden, so long as the past remains the past
Central Asia vaccination plans underwhelm, but governments look unruffled
Fears of authoritarianism as Kyrgyz populist wins landslide and backing for ‘Khanstitution’
OUTLOOK 2021 Kyrgyzstan
Mongolia's winter dzud set to be one of most extreme on record says Red Cross
Mongolian coal exports to China paralysed as Beijing demands virus testing of truck drivers
Mongolia fears economic damage as country faces up to its first local transmissions of coronavirus
Mongolia in lockdown after suffering first local coronavirus transmissions
OUTLOOK 2021 Tajikistan
China business briefing: Not happy with Kyrgyzstan
OUTLOOK 2021 Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan: How the Grinch stole New Year
Turkmenistan: The dammed united
COMMENT: Uzbekistan is being transformed, but where are the democratic reforms?
OUTLOOK 2021 Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan’s Makro positions itself for growth in a more competitive market
Download the pdf version
Anxieties are mounting that Mongolia’s economy is set to pay a heavy price now that the country is dealing with community transmissions of the coronavirus (COVID-19). The nation went into lockdown 10 days ago after the confirmation of its first such infections.
In latest developments stemming from the change in Mongolia’s coronavirus status, Chinese border crossing patrols have requested Mongolian truck drivers hauling mineral exports hand in polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test results for coronavirus before entering China. Mining insiders noted that the biggest crossing on the Mongolia-Chinese border, Gahuunsukhaat in South Gobi, only has the capacity to access a very small amount of local PCR tests. The border customs agency in Gashuunsukhaat has sent a request to the government to immediately open a PCR testing lab near the crossing. It has also requested that Mongolian mining companies help with this matter.
MEC, an Ulaanbaatar-based research and consulting firm, has issued early research on impacts of the virus lockdown on businesses. It interviewed over 660 businesses during November 17-19. The research determined that 92% of respondent businesses have lost profit while 1% have increased profit amid the lockdown.
Some 85% of survey participants said they would like government help, mainly in terms of relief grant financing and tax deferrals. Previously the government instituted coronavirus-crisis tax deferrals for businesses that applied from April to July. The government has yet to explain how it will protect businesses during the lockdown, presently set to run until early December.
Dire situation for self-employed
For self-employed workers, there are worries things could become rather dire. The government launched an Mongolian tughrik (MNT) 5.9tn ($2.65bn) relief programme in April to help overcome economic distress caused by the pandemic, but the relief mainly went to big corporations.
The Ulaanbaatar Chamber of Commerce examined whether the measure provided any real support for self-employed workers. The survey covered 1,652 self-employed people in the Songinokhairkhan, Bayangol, Bayanzurkh and Chingeltei districts of Ulaanbaatar, and in Khovd, Darkhan-Uul, Khuvsgul, Sukhbaatar and Southgobi provinces. Researchers noted the the government doesn't have a system to keep track of or recognise self-employed workers, the main flaw that blocked flows of relief to these people. The income of 17,677 self-employed people in Ulaanbaatar was down by MNT 1.3tn y/y, they observed. And this was the situation during only a ‘semi-lockdown’, prior to Mongolia verifying its first local transmissions of COVID-19.
Cases reach 640
The total number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Mongolia has reached 640, the health ministry briefed on November 23. Of the people involved in those cases, 340 have been cured. A total of 214 of the cases were listed as having resulted from community transmissions recorded since November 7.
Some 93 local-transmission cases have been reported in Selenge province in northern Mongolia bordering Russia. Seventeen have been logged in Orkhon province, home of Erdenet Mining Corporation, one of the biggest ore mining and ore processing operations in Asia.
A sharp fall in world commodity prices, including in copper prices by more than $500 per tonne below Erdenet's target, means that the company’s combined woes pose an imminent threat of a shutdown. However, Erdenet said on November 22 that it was working on a comprehensive programme and set of measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus at its mines and plants.
The company said 60% of its workforce had been tested for coronavirus and all the results were negative.
The government is scrambling to contain the coronavirus having previously been focused on stopping the advent of local transmissions. Officials are under pressure to explain if administrative negligence, especially in Selenge province, has enabled the virus to get a grip. The national emergency committee has conceded that infections in Selenge spread to Zamiin Uud in southeastern Mongolia because administrators of Ulaanbaatar Railway (UBTZ), jointly owned by the Mongolian and Russian governments, disregarded COVID-19 prevention rules, allowing the virus outbreak to spread via the national railway network.
here to continue reading this article
and 5 more for free or purchase
12 months full website access including
the bne Magazine for just $250/year.
Register to read the bne monthly magazine for
Password could contain only
and have 8-20 symbols length.
Please complete your registration by confirming your
A confirmation email has been sent to the email
address you provided.
can't be empty.
No user with
this email address.
Access recovery request has expired, or you are using
the wrong recovery token. Please, try again.
Access recover request has expired.
Please, try again.
To continue viewing our content you need to complete
the registration process.
Please look for an email that was sent to
with the subject line
"Confirmation bne IntelliNews access". This email will have
instructions on how to complete registration
process. Please check in your "Junk" folder in
case this communication was misdirected in your
If you have any questions please contact us at email@example.com
Sorry, but you have used all your free articles fro
this month for bne IntelliNews. Subscribe
to continue reading for only $119 per year.
Your subscription includes:
For the meantime we are also offering a free
digital weekly newspaper to subscribers to
the online package.
Click here for more subscription options,
including to the print version of our
flagship monthly magazine:
Take a trial to our premium daily news
service aimed at professional investors that
covers the 30 countries of emerging
For any other enquiries about our
products or corporate discounts please
contact us at
If you no longer wish to receive
Magazine annual print
Website & Archive
Combined package: web
access & magazine print
Take a trial to our premium daily news service
aimed at professional investors that
covers the 30 countries of emerging Europe: