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Land of Genghis Khan is ripe for a business invasion; Firms urged to cash in on fast-growing Mongolian economy with trade event.

Byline: Graeme Brown Head of Business graeme.brown@trinitymirror.com

IT MAY be more well known for yaks, barren landscapes and a certain Genghis Khan, but firms in the region are being encouraged to develop ties with Mongolia as export bosses seek to cash in on predicted growth.

UKTI's international trade team in Birmingham is to lead an Explore Mongolia seminar next month, to help firms do more business with the East Asian country which is expected to be the fastest growing economy in the world over the next two decades.

The country's importance was highlighted by a visit from Foreign Secretary William Hague last month on the back of a flourishing mining sector, particularly for copper and coal, which accounts for almost 22 per cent of its GDP.

Jonathan Webber, head of UKTI's international trade team Birmingham said: "There are many reasons why the world is suddenly waking up to the opportunities that abound in Mongolia and why West Midlands companies need to make sure they don't lose out. For starters, Mongolia is expected to be the fastest growing economy in the world over the next two decades, with GDP per capita looking like it will more than quadruple by 2020. In 2012 it grew by 12.3 per cent and in 2013 it's expected to grow by up to 12 per cent, potentially doubling in 2014."

The Explore Mongolia seminar takes place on Thursday, November 14, at Edgbaston Stadium.

Contributing to the seminar will be a variety of experts from the Brit-ish Embassy, Mongolia's capital Ulaanbaatar, the Mongolian Embassy, London and UKTI West Midlands. It is part of Export Week, from November 11 to 15, which will also see UKTI team up with a host of partners and business organisations to organise a ExploreExport Roadshow across the region.

Events will take place in Staffordshire, Shropshire, Worcestershire and Warwickshire across the week and bring more than 120 UKTI trade specialists from British Embassies and High Commissions from 75 countries.

Mr Webber said Mongolia already has a young, well-educated population, and a pro-Western outlook, with English its official second language.

He added: "One of my tips for dealing with Mongolians - particularly older Mongolians - is to deal face-toface where possible. Meetings, rather than cold calling emails are preferred - especially in the initial stages.

"Mongolia has the world's largest copper reserves, the second-largest coal reserves, significant onshore oil and gas fields, vast gold and iron ore reserves, and many other enormously significant deposits of minerals ranging from uranium to tungsten and zinc.

"Put simply, Mongolia's minerals will provide the world with supplies of many of its most valuable raw minerals for the rest of this century." In 2012, the World Bank ranked Mongolia 73 for its 'ease of doing business', and the trend is one of improvement, for example, Mongolia has publicly adopted European norms and standards for products, services, construction and engineering.

To take part in Export Week events, log onto www.exportweek.ukti.gov.uk MONGOLIA FACTFILE ? Population: 2.9 million ? GDP: PS13.3 billion ? GDP per capita: PS4,717 ? Population below poverty line: 29.8 per cent ? Export partners: China 88.9 per cent, Canada 4.1 per cent ? Import partners: China 37.6 per cent, Russia 25.7 per cent, US 9.4 per cent ? Mongolia has the oldest National Park in the world - Bogd Khan ? The Mongolian Empire, founded in 1206 and existing until the 14th century, was at one point the largest contiguous land empire in the world, stretching from Hungary to China.

A 131-foot statue of Genghis Khan sits on top of the world's tallest statue of a horse.

Ulan Bator is the coldest capital city in the world.

Mongolia has embraced multi-party parliamentary democracy since 1990.

The Mongolian currency is called the tugrik. Printed in the UK, it smells of mutton after a few months' use in Mongolia.

The Mongolian Stock Exchange is the smallest in the capitalist world.

CAPTION(S):

Genghis Khan >

Ulan Bator, Mongolia's capital

The image of Mongolia as a rural backwater whose only export was Genghis Khan, above, is being overturned >
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Geographic Code:9MONG
Date:Oct 31, 2013
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