President Battulga holds meeting with residents from Sukhbaatar district of Ulaanbaatar

President of Mongolia Khaltmaagiin Battulga has been holding a series of meetings with residents of the capital city districts. On January 14, the President met with the Chingeltei citizens. Today, the President met with citizens of Sukhbaatar district of Ulaanbaatar in the Central Palace of Culture. Beginning the meeting, President Battulga said "I am holding this meeting with You today to keep my promise to be a President that listens to the citizens. Citizens as yourselves should be voicing your opinions on the urgent matters to urge the parliament and cabinet. I am not the only one who should be speaking, but it is You who should be speaking up and among each other."

He continued "Population of the city of Ulaanbaatar dramatically increased between 1990 and 2017, to be specific, by 854 thousand or 146 percent. 623 thousand or 73 percent of the added population are the migrants from the countryside. Between 2008 and 2016, a total of MNT 147 billion from the State Budget and around USD 60 million from the international loans and aid were spent for reduction of air pollution. In total, 170 thousand pieces of stoves were distributed.

"Today, 1.3 million people live in this city. Re-planning poses too much risk when the city is so crowded. So, I have been bringing out an initiative of establishing a satellite city, moving some ministries, universities and diplomatic corps to the new satellite. A squaremeter of apartment can be sold at below MNT 1.0 million in the satellite city, because we already have a Housing Factory that can produce great amount of prefabricated houses in under short period of time. The project on satellite city is already complete and ready for mobilization.

"Unemployment means poverty, and unfavorable environment for businesses induce greater rate of unemployment. Limited business environment must be crushed. With realization of infrastructural and many other major projects, business can expand and jobs can be created. Our railways were built in 1949. Although a state policy towards railway transport was adopted in 2010, the implementation failed. Likewise, the motor-road policy. In addition to all of this, projects such as Irrigation for the Gobi can create a large number of workplace for young people, leading to less unemployment.

"Meanwhile the poverty rate is at 24 percent in Ulaanbaatar and 38 percent in localities. The number of Mongolian nationals working in the Republic of Korea is reaching 40 thousand. This is an immense number."

On promoting industrialization, the President said "Today, number of livestock herders exceeds 310 thousand, and number of livestock, over 66 million. The domestic market is producing 15 million livestock, 500 thousand tons of meat, 15 million pieces of leather and raw hides, 9,000 tons of cashmere and 27 thousand tons of wool each year. Sadly, these products are flowing out of the southern border without any added value. With active industrialization, we can increase number of jobs in raw material processing factories. A substantial study has been completed on this matter.

"Although the natural resources are property of the people by law, they [natural resources] went to the ownership of a few families. Natural resources are also flowing out the southern border all day and night. We still can't figure out where all the money 'disappear' into. Law enforcement has been nonchalant about this.

"Everyone knows about Erdenet Plant. As it remained the major bread-maker for the country, the plant is rich with expertise of industry. It shows we are capable of processing our riches, rather than exporting them directly. Today, a ton of copper costs USD 8,000-10,000."

On tourism, President Battulga made Dubai an example. He said "They created cities on water and sand to attract tourists. Why can't we do this?

"Development of most of the major tourist attractions are somewhat deficient. Lands are sold out around Shargaljuut hot springs of Bayankhongor and Lake Khuvsgul. There has been no comprehensive policy to regulate these. Mongolia has enough reasons to be one of the major tourist attractions in the world. Even the projects on rail transport service for tourists travelling to Khentii and Khovd aimags have been developed. The projects are complete. Today, there is "nothing" to see in the very birthplace of Chinggis Khaan. In the earlier days, there was nothing but a vodka called 'Chinggis'," said the President and talked about the tourism project of his initiative.

After delivering address to the people, talking about his projects and expressing his positions on urgent issues, the head of state heard people's opinions and exchanged his views.