I took part in the WEF’s Meeting of the New Champions in Tianjin with my wife Inga last month. As a Young Global Leader I get invited to Davos related events since last year. On top of allowing me to visit places I have never seen before, such as Seoul, Dalian, Dubai, Davos and Klosters, and Tianjin in a span of little over a year, Davos connection allowed me to meet the brightest and the smartest people from all around the world. What sets the YGL society from the usual high-level crowd is the unique spirit in each one of these people – free and ambitious thinkers, sense of giving and sharing, high achievers and doers, who are eager to learn and contribute to the society. However, more on WEF and Forum of Young Global Leaders later, though.
Here, I wanted to talk about an article, or more precisely, the title I saw on China Daily while in Tianjin on 13th of September, or rather a title for a Mongolia Special reportage dedicated to the Mongolia Day at the WorldExpo in Shanghai that day.
Why was the event so special for me and many Mongols? Well, we got an extensive coverage on a leading Chinese English language media, China Daily, during one of the most politically and economically charged weeks of the year in China – the world’s rising new superpower. We had Summer Davos, World Bank’s Zoellick’s official visit and Bill Gates and Warren Buffet duo’s philanthropic dinner taking place all at once – the world was zoomed in on China that week, so to say. So we got to share some of the spotlight in a way.
But more importantly for me, personally, we got an official recognition of the term Wolf Economy for Mongolia as part of her re-branding effort. I came up with the term last December, while, helping my friend Roland Nash of Renaissance Capital, to write an investment report on Mongolia. The report was the first of its type, ever, and attracted a lot of attention from the investing public. It was picked up by the extravagant Chairman of Ivanhoe Mines, Robert Friedland, who flashed the term during some of his speeches in front of the Mongolia hungry investors in Hong Kong and Moscow (I sat with him on the panel in Moscow). By the way I think and many others would agree that Robert is the ultimate Amban Said- (source for and ambassador in Mongolian) at-large for Mongolia.
IMF estimates that Mongolia will be the fastest growing economy in the next five years leaving China, Turkmenistan, India and Ghana thanks to the deployment of some of her strategic mines of gold, copper and coal. This growth is fueled by the rise of Chinese (Dragon) Economy and its insatiable hunger for commodities to fuel its industry.
So why Wolf and not a Tiger? Well, we Mongols believed and continue to believe that we came from the marriage of the Wolf Father and the Deer Mother. When we are born we still carry that blue mark with us, on our backs, commonly known as a Mongol spot by others. Wolves are revered by Mongols throughout the history and we believe that Wolves have been sent by the Tengri-Sky. Mongol Khans decreed under the Power of Eternal Tengri. Under the leadership of Grand Khan Chinggis, Mongols created the largest land empire in the history of humankind. Ferocity and strength of the Wolf could be highly symbolical of the way our economy could emerge on the global stage in the coming years.
We want to build our New Economy based on the New Reality in the aftermath of the 1997 Asian and the more recent global financial crisis. We need to leapfrog the western development model, draw lessons from the Middle Eastern economies and get inspired by stories of Asian Tigers and build our own model. This model could draw on the best characteristics of Canadian, Chilean and Norwegian economic models and still maintain its uniqueness – the Wolf attributes. A society which puts human development at the forefront and puts the rights of its citizens at the top of its priority list. Whose citizens are enlightened and empowered to make rational choices, and the government which provides equal access to opportunities and friendly business environment, while ensuring political stability and friendly relations with neighbors, both near and far. A country where justice and rule of law prevail, and at the same time a country which maintains her unique national attributes and nomadic origin. The place to be for young and daring…
Wolves are plenty in Mongolia – we revere them and at the same time we hunt them. They hunt herders’ sheep and goats. Our simple way of living on these plains through history has been one of fight between wolves and men, and men and men for living space and dominance. War tactics and tricks were inspired by the hunting techniques of wolf packs, described so vividly in a book by a Chinese writer Jiang Rong “Wolf Totem”. Mongols believe that that if a man sees the Wolf, his destiny is on par with the wolf’s and if one manages to kill one he possesses a heavenly or tengerlig destiny. It gets abused these days a lot, I must admit too…
Wolves are carnivores who can survive on Mongolia’s barren plains, high hills and deep forests. It can live and prosper under extreme conditions of the Mongolian plateau with temperatures rising to +40 in the summertime and plummeting to -40 in the winters. It adapts and survives – its resilience is not matched. It comes in packs in times of need and hunts in teams.
These days investors are flocking to Mongolia’s capital Ulaanbaatar for Alpha returns to be made in Mongolian projects. And inevitably, the place is destined to become the Alpha Wolf Economy of Asia and the world. And I hope the Mongolian Wolf, through its leadership will show the way for a pack of wolves one day.
Anatole France’s quote: To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe. I believe in the good times near and close for Mongolia – we, her sons and daughters, just need to make that little push now. We are, indeed, very close…
At last, Mongolia is just too harsh for a Tiger to survive.
Unedited first draft,
Source: Ganhuyag’s blog