Ulaanbaatar, 29 August 2022 (TDI): Minister of Foreign Affairs of Mongolia, Battsetseg Batmunkh held official talks with Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea (ROK), Park Jin, today.

Minister Park Jin is paying an official visit to Mongolia from August 28-30. During the meeting, the two Foreign Ministers agreed during official meetings to enhance and improve bilateral cooperation in five key areas.

Foreign Minister Battsetseg expressed confidence that the visit of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the ROK to Mongolia will contribute significantly to strengthening the strategic partnership, and intensifying trade, investment, and economic cooperation.

Agenda of the Meeting

Likewise, it will also strengthen friendly relations between the two countries’ people. While emphasizing that Mongolia & Korea share democratic norms, human rights, freedom, and a market economy, the two sides decided to strengthen the system of strategic consultation.

These consultations will be based on foreign policy, security, and defense matters. In this regard, it was resolved during the meeting, to deepen engagement mechanisms.

These mechanisms include the Joint Committee between the Mongolian and Korean governments, as well as the Strategic Consultation Meeting between Ministries of Foreign Affairs, by holding regular meetings this year.

The parties also agreed to focus more on the development of priority economic sectors such as transportation, logistics, tourism, energy, mining, and agriculture.

In this regard, they shared ideas on efficiently cooperating in the aforementioned domains and conducting cooperative major development projects, matching Mongolia’s long-term development vision, ‘Vision-2050,’ with the plans of Korea’s newly formed administration.

Mongolia-Korea collaboration

Foreign Minister Park Jin on his part backed Mongolia’s “New Revival Policy” and the construction of a large-scale development project in the Khushig Valley.

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Furthermore, in order to strengthen cooperation in the agriculture sector, South Korea’s ‘Smart Farm’ project will be implemented in Mongolia.

Both parties congratulated each other on the successful start of the work to examine South Korea’s experience in establishing a Free Economic Zone and agreed to continue cooperation in this area.

It was agreed to begin negotiations on the development of an ‘Economic Partnership Agreement’ based on the results of a joint study between the two, to strengthen the legal environment in the direction of growing trade && investment and lowering trade barriers.

In addition, efforts to revise the ‘Intergovernmental Agreement on Mutual Promotion and Protection of Investments’ would be stepped up.

The Foreign Minister of Mongolia noted that South Korea has constantly supported Mongolia since the country’s transition to a market economy, while also highlighting its substantial contributions to Mongolia’s social and economic growth through grants and soft loans.

It was agreed to focus especially on accelerating the implementation of the ‘Solongo Affordable Housing Complex 1 and 2 Project,’ which was launched as part of the goal of lowering air pollution in Ulaanbaatar.

The Korean side expressed a willingness to collaborate with Mongolia in the supply of rare earth elements for semiconductors and batteries.

Minister Park Jin also emphasized that the Korean government has resolved to provide a grant for the establishment of a joint rare earth element research center in Mongolia.

The efforts aimed at combating desertification, such as ‘One Billion Trees,’ will continue to get assistance, and the sides will continue to plant trees on 45 hectares under the scope of the ‘Green Belt’ project.

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During official meetings, an intergovernmental agreement on climate change mitigation cooperation was reached.

Joint support will be provided in the domains of culture, education, health, children’s & youth development, sports, physical culture, and humanitarianism within the framework of promoting citizen interchange.

Detailed recommendations were also exchanged to defend the interests of Mongolian people living in Korea.

It was enunciated that Korea will provide attractive travel conditions for citizens, remove visa requirements for citizens traveling for medical reasons, & enhance the frequency of flights between the two nations.

In order to achieve significant headway in easing consular and visa procedures, it was agreed to form a working group in the near future including officials from relevant agencies such as the two nations’ Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Justice, and Home Affairs.

While acknowledging the abundant opportunities for collaboration to enhance regional peace, security, and prosperity, Battsetseg Batmunkh stressed South Korea’s active participation in Mongolia’s ‘Ulaanbaatar Dialogue on Northeast Asian Security.’

For his part, Foreign Minister Park Jin backed Mongolia’s suggestion to host a trilateral conference between Mongolia, South Korea, and the United States.

It is also pertinent to note that for the first time, the South Korean side expressed willingness to support Mongolia’s admittance to APEC and the East Asia Summit.

The visit of the Republic of Korea’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, which has come after an 8-year hiatus, is especially important in analyzing the prior 30 years of relations between the two nations & establishing the prospects & roadmap of cooperation for the next 30 years.