The Australian Trade Commission will open a trade mission in Mongolia towards the end of this year, Trade Minister Craig Emerson announced on 21 February. The announcement follows a state visit by Mongolia’s Prime Minister Sukhbaatar Batbold, who has been in Australia to discuss the growing relationship between the two nations.
Emerson hopes the office will help foster trade relations in the areas of agriculture and resource mining. “Mongolia is a rapidly growing economy with enormous mineral potential, which large Australian mining companies and related services businesses have been helping develop.”
There are already approximately 30 Australian companies operating in the Central Asian state. Emerson expects Australian involvement in the Mongolian economy will increase as banks and legal firms follow resource companies into the developing nation. Rio Tinto has just made a significant investment, opening a mine site in a joint venture with Canada’s Ivanhoe Mines. Emerson expects junior mining companies will follow.
Batbold has indicated he welcomes foreign investment in the resource sector but adds that he hopes to balance Mongolian interests with those of foreign investors.