Mongolia Country Report
Despite its popularity being eroded by fiscal austerity and now negotiating with a newly elected president from the opposition Democratic Party, the Mongolian People’s Party government remains internally stable, and dominates the unicameral parliament with 65 of its 76 seats. GDP growth is gradually recovering from its 2016 nadir. FDI has returned and the fiscal deficit has narrowed from over 20% of GDP and enjoys the support of a USD5.5-billion IMF facility. Policy is focused on facilitating foreign investment in mining ‒ in particular the Oyu Tolgoi gold and copper mine ‒ and infrastructure projects. China accounts for almost all of Mongolia's copper concentrate exports but Mongolia is deepening its commercial relations with the US, Japan, South Korea, andIndia.
The MPP government is focused on providing a stable tax and regulatory environment that facilitates foreign investment. Industrial unrest is rare and the increasingly widespread presence of Chinese migrant labour has not sparked significant protests. The regulatory environment can be cumbersome and corruption is perceived to be a problem, although the government has prioritised tackling these issues.
Mongolia has a number of small extreme nationalist groups that occasionally assault Chinese nationals, but these are not considered terrorist groups by state agencies. The absence of domestic terrorist groups, along with being situated next to Russia and China, both with very strong anti-terrorism regimes, means a significant terrorist attack is very unlikely. In the event of one, government buildings around Chinggis Kahan square in Ulaanbaatar would be the most likely targets. Attacks on commercial assets outside Ulaanbaatar, including major mines, or infrastructure links with Russia and China, are very unlikely.
Landlocked between Russia and China, Mongolia maintains good relations with both neighbours. Accordingly, the risk of interstate war with either country is low. In particular, the current Mongolian People's Party (MPP) government has very good ties with China. Mongolia has a small military that is increasingly oriented towards supporting peacekeeping operations and US-led military operations. It conducts regular exercises with the US, Russia, China, and India.
In the June 2016 general and October 2016 local elections, the MPP government received a strong mandate for taking necessary measures to improve the economy. This political authority attenuates the already low risk of political protests despite continuing cuts to public expenditures. Political protests generally occur in Ulaanbaatar around elections. Protests concerning the natural resource sector occur periodically over perceived corruption and wealth inequality. But all are almost entirely peaceful and present little risk to individuals or property.
Vaccinations required to enter the country
No vaccinations are required to enter the country.
Hepatitis A: A vaccine is available for anyone over one year of age. The vaccine may not be effective for certain people, e.g. those born before 1945 and who lived as a child in a developing country and/or have a past history of jaundice (icterus). These people can instead get a shot of immune globulin (IG) to boost their immunity against the disease.
Hepatitis B: A vaccine is available for children at least two months old.
Diphtheria-Tetanus-Polio: A booster shot should be administered if necessary (once every ten years).
Typhoid Fever: If your travels take you to regions with poor sanitary conditions (for children two years old and up).
Rabies: For prolonged stays in an isolated region (for children from when they can walk).
Tick-Borne Encephalitis: If traveling to a rural area in the spring or of traveling to the north of the country in the summer.
For Children: All standard childhood immunizations should be up-to-date. In the case of a long stay, the BCG vaccine is recommended for children over one month and the MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine for children over nine months.
The western part of the country occasionally experiences seismic activity; several earthquakes with magnitudes of 8.0 or higher were recorded in the 20th century. The last major earthquake took place in December 1957 in Gobi-Altay.
Entry into the country by road requires advanced authorization from Mongolian authorities. Additionally, travelers entering the country by train are strongly encouraged to travel first class. Occasionally extreme meteorological conditions, particularly during winter months, can cause disruptions (delays and cancelations) to flights to, from, and within the country; furthermore, domestic carriers do not always adhere to international aviation security standards. According to recent reports, a number of travelers have had their luggage stolen – sometimes violently – by taxi drivers and thieves waiting at taxi stands. On a similar note, travelers are advised against using “shared taxis,” which are fairly unreliable. Road conditions in the country are frequently poor and far below European standards; snow storms in winter months can seriously hinder access to rural areas. Foreigners visiting the country in winter should also be conscious of the risk of hypothermia as temperatures can fall to -40°C (-40°F). Finally, it should be noted that after having exempted nationals from 42 countries from needing visas for visits of less than 30 days in 2014 and 2015, the Mongolian government reestablished this requirement effective January 1, 2016.
Mongolia's climate is dry and sunny but sudden changes in temperature can be extreme no matter the season.
Sandstorms can strike in the spring. Temperatures are mild in the north during the summer months and hot, even scorching, in the south (Gobi Desert). Rain is most common in the summer. Temperatures quickly become cold in the autumn with snow arriving as early as September. Winter is harsh (-30°C to -40°C) with little snow.
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