STATEMENT BY PRESIDENT OF MONGOLIA KHALTMAAGIIN BATTULGA AT THE FIRST PLENARY SESSION OF THE 12TH ASEM SUMMIT
“Building the Future Together: ASEM as champion of Inclusive Growth and Sustainable Connectivity”
“Excellencies Heads of State and Government,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The world is facing a number of challenges caused by external environmental changes including globalization, hi-tech development, resource depletion, and climate change in this century. Therefore, the international community agreed on the landmark development charters such as the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, and it has been already three years since their adoption.
I think everyone will agree that the ASEM Summit is an important mechanism for us to realize our vision, policy, and programs at local, regional, and international levels. In particular, ASEM partners have been cooperating actively for the last two years to strengthen their partnership and develop connectivity in all spheres as affirmed in the Ulaanbaatar Declaration of the 11th ASEM Summit.
Mongolia strives to contribute to the activities and development of ASEM and on the other hand, we aim to intensify our cooperation with ASEM that has been significantly contributing to the implementation of our national development priorities.
Indeed, Mongolia’s largest political, economic and cultural partners are ASEM countries. Therefore, in order to overcome our challenges, such as the extreme weather conditions, landlockedness, and economic difficulties of recent years, Mongolia is pursuing a policy to rely on and cooperate with countries, such as ASEM partners as well as our neighbors, and develop dynamically multilateral and bilateral trade and economic relations.
For the past decade, we have been actively engaged, especially since 2016, in the establishment of certain agreements on developing infrastructure links and the economic corridor between Mongolia, Russia and China that are providing us with a greater transit trade opportunities with the North-East Asian countries and beyond through the territories and sea ports of the neighboring countries. In the near future, we are planning to implement a number of projects within the framework of the Mongolia-Russia-China Economic Corridor program, conduct study on opportunities to build the natural gas pipeline from Russia to China through the Mongolian territory, and commence the feasibility study for a Free Trade Agreement with the Eurasian Economic Union.
Furthermore, Mongolia supports the ASEM initiative to establish a think-tank network, and we are determined to contribute to its activities through the International Think Tank for Landlocked Developing Countries established at leadership of Mongolia and based in Ulaanbaatar.
Security of the Korean peninsula is of paramount importance for the security of the North East Asian region and the world. Therefore, Mongolia has been active in developing dialogue mechanisms on regional security and sustainability and been initiating meetings and forums including the Ulaanbaatar Dialogue on North East Asia conference.
Mongolia welcomes the recent positive developments on the Korean Peninsula and is confident that negotiations and efforts exerted by relevant parties will leave positive impact on the regional and international peace and security.
On top of the peace and security initiatives, we are putting forward initiatives on the North East Asian cooperation in economic, cultural and other fields and are supportive toward similar policies and initiatives brought up by the regional countries.
During the Eastern Economic Forum held last month in Vladivostok, Russia, I called upon the urgent and prompt commencement of the North East Asian Super Grid project which can share the load during the peak hours and will be a resource-efficient and optimal solution for supplying Northeast Asian countries with energy.
We share and support opinions of the fellow partners that in the future, ASEM should be an action-oriented mechanism based on our shared cooperation priorities and that in order to broaden the activities of ASEM, its partner countries should have a common position in regard to the current global challenges.
Thank you for your attention.”