PRESIDENT RECEIVES UK TRADE ENVOY JULIAN KNIGHT
President of Mongolia Khaltmaagiin Battulga received today Mr. Julian Knight, the UK Trade Envoy to Mongolia and MP.
Upon welcoming the latter, the President congratulated Mr. Knight for being appointed the Trade Envoy at the order of the UK Prime Minister Teresa May, and wished success. “I do not doubt that your appointment as the Trade Envoy to Mongolia will be a strong impetus to deepening and broadening economic and commercial cooperation of the two countries,” President Battulga highlighted.
Mr. Julian Knight thanked the President for his time and said “Our PM Teresa May is placing a great importance on the 55th anniversary of diplomatic relations of Mongolia and the UK and offered me to work as a Trade Envoy yo Mongolia. I accepted this offer with pleasure. It is a common practice for a Trade Envoy to manage trade relations with 2-3 countries. As a trade envoy, managing the relations with only Mongolia indicates a great gesture.”
He pledged to put maximum effort to broadening bilateral trade and economic cooperation. Mr. Knight shared that he met with the affiliated Minister and discussed cooperation in mining sector, as “the sector takes up a major position in bilateral relations”. Mr.Knight underlined the two countries have full potential to collaborate in diversifying Mongolia’s economy, while mentioning that he is familiar with the President’s commitment to economic diversification.
President confirmed that the two countries have potential to cooperate in mining. However, he said, “it is not preferable to emphasize mining. There is now a big gap between rich and poor, in other words, “resource curse” has befallen of Mongolia. In order to tackle this problem, we have been turning to our other major economic sectors such as tourism and agriculture. Mongolia has more than 60 million heads of livestock, and nearly 10 thousand tons of cashmere is “exploited” every year. This is 60 percent of the world cashmere market. If you are willing to cooperate with us in this area, we have the raw material. In a presence of processing industry and well-managed marketing, the sector is promising enough to become as large as Oyu Tolgoi. It’s safe to say we do not have a competitor in this,” the President said and wished the Envoy to pay more attention to this sector.
Mr. Knight accepted the President’s suggestion and mentioned the possibilities of selling Mongolian-made cashmere products in Great Britain. The sides further touched upon the impacts of the latest trade deals of the US and the People’s Republic of China on Mongolia.
Trade turnover between Mongolia and UK reached USD 689.9 million in 2017, in which exports made up 660.5 million and imports, 29.4 million. This represents 24 percent increase against the previous year’s performance. Between 1990-2014, UK investments worth USD 116.8 million were registered. The amount constitutes for 0.82 percent of total foreign investment in Mongolia. Thus, UK is ranking at 14th place out of 112 countries investing in Mongolia.
Julian Knight was appointed Trade Envoy of the United Kingdom to Mongolia last January. It is a custom for the British Government to appoint a Trade Envoy to represent the Prime Minister in order to activate commercial and economic interaction with another country. The United Kingdom has appointed 30 Trade Envoys, thus far, to manage trade relations with 59 countries.