Development plan for free economic zones to be jointly developed with private sectorEconomy
Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/. As of today, companies and entities are using 130.5 hectares of land out of the 500 hectares of land available at Altanbulag free trade zone. While licenses are possible to be issued for 34.6 hectares, there are 188.4 hectares of land that have been reserved. Licenses were issued for most of the land between 2018 and 2019.
Although a readiness assessment is currently being carried out in the trade zone, corresponding feasibility studies have yet to be conducted. In 2003, a detailed environmental assessment was completed. And previously, general and master plans were also developed for the trade zone - yet, both of the plans were not approved at the time. Thus, the Ministry of Economy and Development and the Ministry of Construction and Urban Development are jointly developing new plans.
The Tsagaannuur free economic zone has a total area of 708.5 hectares Of the nine entities registered in the zone, four have been issued licenses for 101.3 hectares. Despite developing a general development plan and conducting a detailed environmental assessment in 2008, the documents were also not approved.
With 81 entities registered, 101.9 hectares of land are in use out of the 900 hectares available in the Zamiin-Uud free economic zone. Some documents were developed for the zone’s development in 2011. However, they are still in the final stage of receiving approval at the moment.
As for Khushig Valley free economic zone, it was decided to establish the zone with a territory of 1,000 hectares of land in Sergelen soum, Tuv aimag per the resolution issued by the State Great Khural. Infrastructure works have yet to be completed for the zone, and corresponding studies and research are being carried out.
The current state of free trade and economic zones in the country were noted as such during a presentation by Acting Head of the Border Checkpoint Development and Free Zone Policy Department at the Ministry of Economy and Development Kh.Erdenebulgan at the discussion, ‘Development Policy of Free Economic Zones’, which took place at the Mongolian National Chamber of Commerce and Industry on May 12.
During the discussion, it was highlighted how there are certain common issues such as insufficient policy on workforce and human resources in the free economic zones, and the lack of corresponding agreements reached with neighboring countries. Noting the necessity to take the appropriate measures by taking these issues into account, the participants highlighted the opportunity to launch the works for Khushig Valley based on sufficient planning. Currently, there are several pressing issues being faced in successfully developing the free economic zones, such as:
• reaching a mutual agreement with the neighboring countries on establishing free economic zones, and reflecting the suggestions put forth by investors,
• ensuring the stability of policy,
• transitioning into a public-private system,
• deciding on the model of investment and governance by holding discussions with investors.
During the discussion, President of the Mongolian National Chamber of Commerce and Industry O.Amartuvshin put forth a suggestion to establish a consortium of private entities in order to resolve the issues that have not been resolved by the state in the last 25 years. He also noted how the establishment of the Ministry of Economy and Development is giving a certain degree of hope to those in the private sector.
Deputy Minister of Economy and Development S.Narantsogt said, “Today, the factors limiting the development of free economic zones are different in each case. During the event, we discussed implementing corresponding works in partnership with the private sector. The past has shown how the state should not be solely in charge of the development of free economic zones.”