|Frontier's "Invest Mongolia Tokyo 2018"||Frontier Securities||Tokyo Japan|
|"Open to Export" ICC WTO International business award||ICC WTO||London|
London (CNN Business)Volkswagen has committed to spending tens of billions of dollars as part of a dramatic shift to electric and autonomous vehicles.
The Germany carmaker said Friday that it would invest €44 billion ($50 billion) by 2023 to develop electric cars, self-driving vehicles and other new technology.
Speaking at a press conference following a meeting of the company's supervisory board, CEO Herbert Diess described the company's strategy as an "electric offensive."
Diess acknowledged that increased spending on new technology could initially harm earnings growth. The investment is roughly €10 billion ($11.4 billion) above what the company set aside for new tech in last year's budget plan.
"Volkswagen must become more efficient, more productive and more profitable in order to finance the high expenditure in the future and in order to stay competitive," Diess said during the press conference.
Volkswagen's stock, which declined roughly 12% so far this year, dropped another 1.3% on Friday.
Volkswagen and Ford
Diess said that talks with US automaker Ford (F) about working together were "progressing positively."
So far the only alliance firmly in place between Ford and Volkswagen involves an agreement to work together on commercial vehicles. But Diess sees potential in more cooperation.
"We can solve the transformation of our business more easily with partnerships," he said Friday.
Automakers are spending billions of dollars as they try to develop the electric and self-driving vehicles they believe are the future.
They're also facing more competition from tech companies, including Uber and Google parent Alphabet (GOOG). Upstarts like Tesla (TSLA) have proved formidable too.
Volkswagen said that the first model built under its new strategy, the ID, will begin rolling off the assembly lines in 2022. Diess said the car will have a range of up to 550 km (340 miles) and cost the equivalent of its current diesel Golf.
The car group, which owns the Porsche and Audi brands, said it would attempt to increase the productivity of its plants 30% by 2025. It plans to build vehicles from different brands on the same production lines as part of the effort.
It will also relocate production of the Passat from Germany to the Czech Republic.
Diess said that Volkswagen (VLKAF) was considering whether to build its own battery cells, a key component in electric vehicles.
The carmaker also announced leadership changes in China, the world's largest car market.
Diess now has direct responsibility for the China business, a move that Volkswagen said reflects "the growing importance of the Chinese market and the high pace of technological development in China."
Stephan Wöllenstein, who currently oversees the passenger car division in China, will handle business operations in the country going forward.
There are fears one of the world's oldest cultures may be wiped out by the effects of climate change. Substantial temperature changes and extreme weather events in Mongolia have been blamed for the deaths of thousands of livestock in recent years. It’s believed to be forcing hundreds of families to abandon their traditional nomadic farming methods per year. Mongolians are pleading for international climate action as world leaders prepare for the UN climate conference in December....
A Southeast Asian nation that was a bit player in the biofuel market is suddenly buying and selling unprecedented supplies. The U.S.-China trade war may have something to do with it.
Malaysia has emerged to displace the U.S. as the biggest supplier of ethanol to China in just two months. It’s also the first time the Southeast Asian country is selling such significant volumes to the world’s top consumer. At the same time, it’s buying a record amount of the fuel from America.
The hook? The shift occurred after President Xi Jinping imposed tariffs on U.S. ethanol imports in retaliation to American counterpart Donald Trump’s duties on Chinese goods. While the two countries apply tit-for-tat levies, shipments from Malaysia to China are tax free.
The dispute between the world’s two largest economies has roiled markets from consumer goods to soybeans, but rarely has a completely new player emerged to fill in a supply gap. The sudden spike in the flows in and out of Malaysia has taken traders by surprise, according to Heather Zhang, a Singapore-based analyst who follows the global biofuel industry at researcher PRIMA.
“It’s an interesting opportunity,” Zhang said. “It shows some merchants are enthusiastic in their effort to generate profitability and adapt to change in the international trading environment during this unusual trade war event.”
There is no significant production or use of fuel ethanol in Malaysia, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said in a report in October last year. It’s not produced commercially as the feedstock is expensive to transport, and it’s also excluded as a source of alternative fuel under the Southeast Asian nation’s biofuel policy, according to the USDA.
For China, demand for the renewable fuel is growing after the world’s largest automobile market announced an ambitious plan to expand the use of ethanol gasoline for vehicles nationwide by 2020. Weaning itself off from U.S. biofuel may be a challenge it struggles to meet given the lack of domestic production capacity, as well as higher prices from suppliers elsewhere.
Malaysia bought about 97 million liters of ethanol this year from the U.S., mostly in August and September, for a total $35 million, or 36 cents a liter, according to the USDA.
China purchased a total 88 million liters of ethanol, labeled as ethyl alcohol in import data, during August and September from Malaysia, compared with zero inbound shipments in the first seven months of this year. The total value of the purchase reported to Chinese authorities was about $49 million, or 56 cents a liter.
Meanwhile, shipments from America to China plunged to just over 13 thousand liters in the quarter ended Sept. 30. China’s price per liter for U.S. ethanol was about 44 cents a liter. Now that would be subject to tariffs including a 25 percent levy imposed in July, a 15 percent tax adopted in April, and a 30 percent tariff on all ethanol imports. The prices reported to Chinese customs and the USDA exclude duties.
While a direct transfer of U.S. ethanol via Malaysia to China would be in breach of China’s tariff rules, the product can be labeled as originating in the Southeast Asian nation if it’s blended with at least 40 percent locally produced fuel before the resale. China already offers preferential levies to qualified products originating from ASEAN countries including Malaysia, and is also looking to finalize a 16-nation trade bloc deal in 2019.
“The market is curious whether the flow will persist and eventually develop Southeast Asia as a sustainable emerging hub,” Zhang said.
Still, some market participants have raised red flags over the sustainability of the new flows, according to a PRIMA report in August. They suspect there is not enough ethanol production capacity in Malaysia for such a trade to seem legitimately viable for long, PRIMA said, cited industry discussions.
“The industry understands that ethanol production in Malaysia is limited, and the country doesn’t consume ethanol either,” Zhang said. “This change has subverted many people’s perception of the fundamentals.”...
ULAN BATOR (Xinhua) – Mongolia’s coal exports in the first ten months of the year totalled 31.3 million tonnes, up 10 per cent year on year, official statistics showed Saturday.
The coal exports are worth USD2.4 billion, the National Statistics Office said.
Coal, which has been one of Mongolia’s main exports, accounted for 41 per cent of Mongolia’s total exports in the period.
The landlocked country exported 33.3 million tonnes of coal in 2017 and has set a goal to increase its coal exports to 40 million tonnes in the coming years.
Ulaanbaatar /MONSTAME/ The 2018 plenary meeting of auto transport representatives of Mongolia and the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region of China was organized by the National Auto Transportation Center in Ulaanbaatar.
Representatives led by Sh.Batsaikhan, deputy director of the National Auto Transportation Center of Mongolia, and Liu Peng, head of the Transportation Bureau of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, exchanged views on bilateral cooperation in transport.
The parties discussed the Intergovernmental Agreement on Road Transport between Mongolia and the People's Republic of China, implementation of its protocol, the 2017 meeting protocol, freight and passenger transport between the two countries and the use of permission letter.
As of November 1, 2018, a total of 52,496 vehicles crossed the Mongolia and Xinjiang border, with 93,236 passengers, traveled by 1120 passenger cars and 1,098,922.7 tonnes of freight passed by 50,166 heavy trucks.
In addition to transportation, border crossing and customs issues of the Bulgan-Takashiken border, the sides discussed the schedule for the passenger transportation service between Bulgan soum of Khovd aimag and Takashiken village of Xinjiang and signed a protocol.
(CNN)For the first time in its 25-year history, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit ended Sunday with its leaders failing to agree on a formal joint statement.
All 21 APEC leaders at the annual meeting in Papua New Guinea were in agreement except China, a source within the meeting told CNN.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed late Sunday that disagreements on trade stood in the way of a final statement.
"There are differing visions on particular elements," Trudeau said.
China may have been concerned about a specific line about unfair trade practices, according to a US official involved in the negotiations.
The official said the most "problematic" line for the Chinese was: "We agree to fight protectionism including all unfair trade practices."
"They seemed to think that the 'unfair trade practices' was some kind of singling out," the official contended.
"It's a little concerning that it appears that China didn't really have any intention in the end of reaching consensus," the official said.
The trade war between the US and China was at the forefront during speeches by Chinese President Xi Jinping and US Vice President Mike Pence on Saturday.
Xi spoke of the need for global cooperation and trade and said all differences could be bridged "through consultation."
"History has shown that confrontation, whether in the form of a cold war, a hot war or a trade war, will produce no winners," Xi said to applause.
But Pence said Washington wouldn't ease the trade war with Beijing until it "changes its ways."
"China has taken advantage of the United States for many, many years and those days are over," Pence told the gathering in Port Moresby.
The Trump administration has levied tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese products since July. The tariffs on $200 billion of those goods are set to increase to 25% from 10% on January 1, which would further escalate the conflict.
China has so far retaliated with tariffs on $110 billion of US products and is likely to respond with more if the United States goes ahead with the increase at the start of January.
Pence also knocked China for loans to developing countries in the Pacific and beyond.
"The terms of those loans are often opaque at best. Projects they support are often unsustainable and of poor quality. Too often, they come with strings attached and lead to staggering debt... The United States deals openly, fairly. We do not offer a constricting belt or a one-way road," he said, mocking China's One Belt, One Road initiative.
China's Foreign Ministry lashed out at Pence for his remarks.
"Our advice for the relevant country is that instead of pointing fingers at others, it would be better to match its deeds with its words and truly treat all countries, big or small, as equals," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said in a statement.
"Not a single developing country has been mired in debt difficulties because of its cooperation with China. On the contrary, their cooperation with China has helped them enhance their capacity for self-driven development and improved their people's livelihood," Hua said about Pence's allegations on loans.
US admiral: 'Great Wall of SAMs'
Further fanning the flames, Pence announced the US would partner with Australia and Papua New Guinea to develop a naval base on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea.
Pence did not give details of the development of the base, but the announcement comes as Washington is trying counter a substantial Chinese military buildup in the South China Sea and beyond.
Most of the region's attention was focused on Port Moresby. The US military commander in the Pacific, speaking at a conference in Canada, accused China's military of "a sustained campaign to intimidate other nations in the East and South China Seas" by fortifying manmade islands.
US Navy ship, Chinese destroyer nearly collide 02:16
"What was a 'Great Wall of Sand' just three years ago is now a 'Great Wall of SAMs' (surface-to-air missiles) in the South China Sea," Adm. Phil Davidson told the Halifax International Security Forum in Nova Scotia.
Davidson said the islands and the armaments on them give Beijing "the potential to exert national control over international waters and airspace through which over $3 trillion in goods travel every year, along with commercial air traffic."
China says its installations on the South China Sea islands are necessary to protect its territory and has criticized repeated US naval and air operations near the islands.
"Some countries, which are outside of the region, ignore China's firm opposition and conduct reconnaissance in the name of 'freedom of navigation,' show off military power, threaten China's sovereignty and the safety of Chinese stationed staff, which could easily cause marine and air accidents, and damage regional peace and stability," China's Foreign Ministry said in a statement sent to CNN in August.
But Davidson said it was China that posed a threat to sovereign rights with military intimidation.
"They're now violating the sovereignty of every other nation's ability to fly, sail, and operate in accordance with international law," Davidson said.
Tokyo, Japan - This morning the sky was overcast, but, being a Sunday, the roads were relatively clear as His Holiness the Dalai Lama drove out of Tokyo to Ishihara in Chiba Prefecture. He was to inaugurate a new Buddhist centre, the Sherab Kyetsel Ling Institute. Mongolian and Tibetan musicians played in greeting as he arrived and he was offered the traditional Tibetan welcome of ‘chema changpu’. He watered a newly planted sapling in the garden before taking his seat in the house, where he was offered a mandala and the threefold representation of the Buddha’s body, speech and mind.
Members of Sherab Kyetsel Ling Institute waiting for Holiness the Dalai Lama to arrive to offer the traditional Tibetan welcome of ‘chema changpu’ in Chiba, Japan on November 18, 2018. Photo by Tenzin Choejor
Stepping outside again, His Holiness was escorted to a temple in the form of a Mongolian tent, a ‘gur’. He undid a knotted plait of ‘katags’ and pushed open the doors to signify its inauguration and was joined by other monks in reciting verses of auspiciousness. Inside he lit a butter lamp before a gleaming statue of the Buddha. Once His Holiness was seated, four young schoolgirls stepped forward, smiling, to offer him silk scarves.
“I’ve never given a teaching in a felt tent like this before,” His Holiness announced, “but I have a feeling that when the 3rd Dalai Lama went to Mongolia to spread the teachings of the Buddha and Je Tsongkhapa he would have done and much later the 13th Dalai Lama would have done too.
“In the past, there were strong connections between Tibet and Mongolia and boundaries were unclear. Buddhism first arrived in Mongolia via the Silk Road and was reinforced when Drogön Chögyal Phagpa became the teacher of Kubilai Khan and his descendants. Later, the 3rd Dalai Lama, Sonam Gyatso, was invited to teach in Mongolia, where he received the title Dalai from Altan Khan.
“My birthplace was near Kumbum Monastery in Qinghai where most of the students were Mongolian. When I was studying in Lhasa, I had 17 debating assistants selected from the colleges of Drepung, Ganden and Sera Monasteries. Among them the best, and for me the most influential, was Ngodup Tsognyi who came from the Abak region of Inner Mongolia.”
His Holiness asked for a show of hands to see how many people in attendance were from Inner Mongolia—about 12—and how many were from Outer Mongolia—about 15. Since most of the rest of the audience were Japanese, what His Holiness had to say was thoroughly translated into Japanese.
“The 13th Dalai Lama went to Mongolia in 1904 and could speak Mongolian well. Ngodup Tsognyi told me that when he received Bhikshu ordination from him, there is a part of the ceremony that involves pulling up the pleats of the lower robe. He didn’t know what to do and at that point his Tibetan was not good enough to understand the instructions so the 13th Dalai Lama explained to him in Mongolian.
“At one time there were thousands of Mongolian students in Drepung Gomang and Sera Je Monasteries. They were all students of philosophy; none of them were involved in menial disciplinary or administrative roles. In 1959, the Abbot of Gomang was Sogpo Lekden and the Abbot of Gyumey was Sesshin Ka. Among other scholars was the Vinaya Abbot Thubten Nyima. Even at that point there were still many Mongolian scholars among us. One of my companions for the Lharampa Geshe exam was Sogpo Yeshi. Another Mongolian, Ngawang Gendun was reputed for his mastery of the classic texts, but Sogpo Yeshi was renowned for his ability to explain them.
“These were the last Mongolian scholars to have come to Tibet. Between 1936 and 1939 the Great Repression took place in Mongolia at the instance of Choibalsan. At least 18,000 monks were killed, while others were forced to disrobe and some were recruited into the army. This was the situation Gyen Ngawang Lekden and Thubten Nyima fled. They wore fleece gowns inside out and hid among the sheep during the day and moved on at night.
“Sogpo Lobsang was ultimately able to escape to India. He was known for playing mah-jong with the Lhasa aristocrats. It’s said that when the Mongolian students in the great monasteries were hard up, Sogpo Lobsang would go into Lhasa to play mah-jong and bring them back his winnings.
“During the 13th Dalai Lama’s time there was another Mongolian scholar, Kalkha Denba, who used to lie down with a page of text, read it repeatedly and deeply ponder what it meant. Phurba Chok, the 13th’s tutor told him, “I’ve heard you’re an emanation of Manjushri”, to which he replied, “O no, I’m not, I’m his neighbour”. Unfortunately, the Great Repression put an end to the stream of Mongolian scholars coming to Tibet.
“In 1979, when relations between the Soviet Union and China had lapsed, I was able to go to Mongolia for the first time. At that time there was no religious freedom outside, but monks at Gandenthegchinlen Monastery were free to practise inside. They made a Long Life Offering to me and when it came to the mandala offering they chanted with such passion that they and I were in tears. These elderly monks had risked their lives to protect their monastery. Eventually, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, religious freedom was restored.
“During another visit, I gave the monastery a painting of the 17 Masters of Nalanda. When I last went there I couldn’t see it anywhere and asked where it was. It turned out they’d hidden it away, still rolled up, with the collection of texts. I urged them to display it on my seat when I wasn’t there to remind them to study.”
His Holiness explained that there had been custom in Tibet of venerating a set of Indian masters known as the ‘Six Ornaments and the Two Supreme Ones’. It occurred to him that there were key names missing from the list, authors of seminal texts still keenly studied today. To the original eight masters: Nagarjuna, Aryadeva, Asanga, Vasubandhu, Dignaga, Dharmakirti, Gunaprabha and Shakyaprabha, he added nine more: Buddhapalita, Bhavaviveka, Chandrakirti, Shantideva, Shantarakshita, Kamalashila, Arya Vimuktisena, Haribhadra and Atisha. He composed a praise and invocation to them entitled ‘Illuminating the Threefold Faith’ and commissioned a new thangka painting to illustrate it.
He added that it was customary in Tibet to study the five major sciences— craftsmanship, logic, grammar, medicine, and 'inner science' or Buddhism, as well as the five minor sciences—synonyms, mathematics and astrology, drama and the performing arts, poetry and composition. Key among these skills was the use of logic. In India logic enabled Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike to debate each other’s points of view, much as today it’s their use of reason and logic that allows Tibetan Buddhist scholars to engage in discussions with scientists. If they relied instead on scriptural authority to bolster their case there would be no common ground on which to communicate.
His Holiness clarified that the masters of Nalanda examined Buddhist scriptures in the light of logic and identified which could be taken literally and which were provisional and in need of interpretation. In general, the Buddha explained that there is no single, autonomous, independent self. However, there were occasions when, talking to people who were unable to accept or follow such an argument immediately, he seems to have spoken as if there were such a self.
The first turning of the wheel of dharma took place in public and is recorded in a commonly accepted account. It dealt with the fundamental teachings of the Four Noble Truths and the Vinaya, or monastic discipline. The second turning of the wheel, the perfection of wisdom teachings, was given to a select rather than a public gathering. In the works of Nagarjuna and the Five Treatises of Maitreya we find arguments asserting that they were indeed the teachings of the Buddha.
These teachings are described in terms of scriptural instructions and the realizations that come from acquaintance with them. Therefore, His Holiness stressed, it is through study, reflection and meditation on the import of such teachings that they will be kept alive. The ultimate goal is enlightenment and Nagarjuna makes clear in his Precious Garland how it is to be reached.
If you and the world wish to attain
Its roots are the altruistic aspiration to enlightenment
Firm like the monarch of mountains,
Compassion reaching to all quarters,
And wisdom not relying on duality.
Turning to Geshe Langri Tangpa’s ‘Eight Verses for Training the Mind’, copies of which had been distributed to the audience, His Holiness explained, “Tibetans showed some interest in Buddhism in 7th century, but took the Nalanda Tradition very seriously after Shantarakshita introduced it in 8th century. This was the early dissemination. Following the assassination of Tri Ralpachen in 9th century, Lang Darma eliminated Buddhism to such an extent that no monks remained in Central Tibet. The country fragmented.
“In Ngari, western Tibet, a descendant of Tibet’s royal lineage, Lha Lama Yeshe Ö thought of inviting Atisha, the most reputed Indian scholar of the time, to his kingdom. He was obstructed by the Ladakhi king’s interference. Nevertheless, his nephew, Chang Chub Ö was ultimately able to bring Atisha to Tibet. Dromtonpa was Atisha’s main Tibetan disciple and his three disciples, Potowa, Phuchungwa and Chengawa each preserved a collection of Atisha’s teachings. Potowa maintained the lineage of scriptural tradition which focussed on six texts: ‘The Compendium of Training' and ‘Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life' by Shantideva; the ‘Bodhisattva Grounds' by Asanga and the ‘Ornament for Mahayana Sutras' by Maitreya; Aryasura's ‘Garland of Birth Stories' and the ‘Collected Sayings of the Buddha'.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama speaking at the inauguration of Sherab Kyetsel Ling Institute in Chiba, Japan on November 18, 2018. Photo by Tenzin Jigme
“Chengawa took care of the oral transmission or stages of the path lineage which dealt with the stages of the spiritual path from that of a beginner up to enlightenment. The lineage of pith instructions that Phuchungwa looked after consisted of short pithy teachings that a disciple could easily put into practice.
“Transmission of the texts in the lineage of scriptural tradition was lost in Central Tibet. I received the transmission of Shantideva’s ‘Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life’ from Khunu Lama Rinpoché, who had received it in Kham. Since then I have revived the remaining texts in the collection and encouraged their study.
“The first seven verses of the ‘Eight Verses for Training the Mind’ deal with how to develop compassion and the awakening mind of bodhichitta. The final verse deals with wisdom. The text begins with a reflection on the kindness of sentient beings. For example, the disciplinary structure of the three higher trainings---ethics can only be undertaken in relation to other beings.
“The second verse focuses on the need for humility. Despondency is not implied because humility in helping others requires courage. The third verse recommends implementing antidotes to the destructive emotions—watch your mind. The fourth commends patience. The fifth, sixth and seventh verses recommend offering the victory to others, seeing enemies as spiritual friends and the meditative practice of giving and taking. The final verse refers to seeing everything as like an illusion.”
The occasion was concluded with a robust and moving musical performance related to the mantra ‘Om mani padme hung’ by Tenzin Chögyal singing and playing a ‘dramnyen’ and Mongolians playing drums, the ‘morin khuur’ and singing.
His Holiness shared lunch with the guests and organizers before driving back to Tokyo. Tomorrow, he will be speaking at Reitaku University....
Mongolia is utilizing its third-neighbor foreign policy to its highest potential by expanding bilateral economic relations with countries around the world without provoking too much conflict with the two giant geopolitical powers, and the country’s only neighbors, Russia and China.
In 2017, Mongolia and the United States celebrated the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations. Over the past 31 years, since 1987, the two countries have expanded ties from the economy to culture to the military, and are now working toward a bilateral trade act that may present a win-win situation for both the United States and Mongolia.
On July 26, 2018, Representative Ted Yoho and nine other members of the U.S. House of Representatives introduced a trade bill between the United States and Mongolia. The proposed Mongolia Third Neighbor Trade Act seeks to promote Mongolia-U.S. trade by authorizing duty-free treatment for certain imports, like cashmere and textile materials. The Mongolia Third Neighbor Trade Act would play a crucial role in Mongolia’s overall economic development, increasing exports-led businesses as well as diversifying its markets. Following the legislative proposal, on July 30, 2018, Mongolian President Khaltmaa Battulga expressed his full support for the trade act and gratitude to the sponsors.
One notable example of how the act could help Mongolia’s economy is in regards to exporting high-end cashmere and other final textile products. Mongolia is the second largest producer of cashmere behind China. While China is Mongolia’s main purchaser of cashmere and textiles, the final product on the global market is labeled as made in China. “In 2017, only 1,100 tons out of total of 9,400 tons raw cashmere, which is almost 50 percent of world cashmere, is processed within the country while the rest of 8,300 tons is exported mainly to China in raw [form] without adding value,” Battulga said. The act, if passed, would allow Mongolia to produce a final product and export it to the United States duty-free, skipping the Chinese middleman.
Relatedly, the act could boost economic trilateralism between Mongolia, the United States, and Japan, with which Mongolia signed an economic strategic partnership agreement in 2015.
The proposed Mongolia Third Neighbor Trade Act is viewed as an opportunity and a positive shift in bilateral relations for both the United States and Mongolia. As the act moves through the U.S. legislative process, it has garnered 12 additional supporters in the House.
On October 23, 2018, Mongolian National Security Council Secretary Gansukh Amarjargal visited the U.S. State Department East Asian and Pacific Affairs Bureau (EAP) to discuss deeper cooperation between the two countries on “leveraging our shared democratic values to further strengthen economic and political ties.” Following the high-level meeting, the U.S. State Department EAP Bureau tweeted, “Mongolia is a key Indo-Pacific partner.”
From a geopolitical standpoint, the United States is strengthening its Asia-Pacific presence and is seeking democratic countries with which to expand cooperation. Mongolia’s active position in the region is timely, efficient, and economically beneficial; it allows the implementation of Mongolia’s foreign policy objectives at a grander scale. Gansukh has said that the government of Mongolia is very hopeful for the Mongolia Third Neighbor Trade Act.
During a discussion with former U.S. Ambassador to Mongolia Dr. Jonathan Addleton, he told The Diplomat that, “In my view, the approval of this act would be a positive step, both for Mongolia and the United States. Appropriately focused on animal fiber products, it involves duty-free access for an item that does not compete directly with any U.S. products while also contributing significantly towards the diversification of Mongolia’s economy and exports.”
If this act were to be passed, it would help solve Mongolia’s export dilemma, address the U.S.-China trade deficit, and expand Mongolia’s economic positioning in the region as well as globally.
By: Bolor Lkhaajav
Bolor Lkhaajav has an M.A. in Asia-Pacific Studies at the University of San Francisco....
Palladium prices are shattering record highs, and investors are betting that tight supplies mean the bull run is just getting started.
The metal, used in pollution-control devices in cars, has jumped almost 9 percent this year in New York, the best performance among major metals. Demand is roaring thanks to China, which is on a mission to reduce smog emissions. Tougher pollution standards mean carmakers are using more of the commodity in catalytic converters. We’ve been dealing with supply deficits going on eight years, and that’s expected to continue. Supply’s certainly been an issue on the mining front as well as the draw-down of existing stockpiles
Global palladium production is falling short of the robust demand, and market forecasters including Citigroup Inc. are projecting further price gains ahead. Hedge funds are also wagering on an extended rally, with the biggest positive bet on the metal since early March.
“The market has a very positive fundamental outlook,” said Maxwell Gold, director of investment strategy at Aberdeen Standard Investments, which oversees $730 billion. “We’ve been dealing with supply deficits going on eight years, and that’s expected to continue. Supply’s certainly been an issue on the mining front as well as the draw-down of existing stockpiles.”
Palladium is a thinly traded market. Much like sister-metal platinum, its production is extremely concentrated, with Russia and South Africa collectively producing about three quarters of the world’s mined supplies.
Almost 70 percent of palladium demand comes from the auto industry, according to researcher CPM Group. Car sales have stayed relatively strong in most places, helping to insulate prices from the hand-wringing over global growth that’s dragged down many industrial commodities.
Supplies are so constrained that users have turned to exchange-trade products to borrow the material they need. This has pushed palladium holdings in ETFs to the lowest since 2009 as manufacturers seek supplies above ground, said Gold.
Hedge funds are adding to their bullish outlook. In the week ended Nov. 13, money managers increased their net-long position, the difference between bets on a price increase and wagers on a decline, for a second straight week to 12,837 futures and options, according to data from the Commodity Futures and Trading Commission published Friday. That’s the most since March 6.
Palladium futures in New York jumped 5.2 percent in the week ended Friday to $1,154.60 an ounce.
One threat to demand: substitution. Historically, palladium has usually been cheaper than platinum, and therefore was used as a popular alternative since the two metals share many of the same chemical properties. But the recent rally has reversed the price relationship, and now palladium suffers the threat of substitution from platinum.
Still, manufacturers need 18 to 24 months for such changes to take place, so that probably won’t be an issue in the immediate future, Suki Cooper, a precious metal analyst with Standard Chartered Bank in New York, said by telephone.
In terms of substitution, “many manufacturers have indicated that it’s not something that can be switched easily or quickly, even though is economically possible,” she said. “The longer-term outlook remains positive and price risks are skewed to the upside.”
(By Marvin G. Perez)...