Doing business

Current business situation

Mongolia has attracted world attention for its mineral prospectively on the back of investment in a number of strategic resource projects, particularly the iconic and vast Oyu Tolgoi mega copper, gold and Tavan Tolgoi coal mine. However, a growth forecast have been revised down substantially for 2014 and 2015 because of unexpectedly slow growth in the first half, persistent delays in large mining projects and likely further policy tightening.

Mining dominates Mongolia’s economy and is expected to be the main driver behind a real annual GDP growth rate of 14 per cent between 2012 and 2020. This growth has been characterised by significant governance challenges, large-scale environmental degradation, weak fiscal discipline, high inflation and a growing social divide.

(Source: Asian Development Bank (ADB) Mongolia: Economy, Nov 2014)

Australia and Mongolia enjoy a close relationship and there are many opportunities in industries such as:

  • mining
  • infrastructure
  • agriculture
  • business Services
  • education (VET, skills development, research)
  • food and beverages.

Business culture

Mongolians are proud, independent, self-confident and loyal in disposition. It is preferable to have someone introduce you to the person you wish to meet, but if this is not possible, then write a formal letter or email in English in advance of your planned visit.

Mongolians expect to be greeted formally, with a handshake, direct eye contact and typically use only their first name. Always provide your business card as part of the greeting process. Bowing or handing business cards with both hands, which is common in other north Asian business cultures, is generally not part of business culture.

Informal conversation is generally expected before getting down to business.

Mongolian executives often enjoy being invited out for lunch or dinner to get to know overseas contacts in a more informal atmosphere.

The giving of small inexpensive gifts is customary at the conclusion of an agreement.

The peak summer holiday months of July and August are difficult to arrange meetings.

Most businesses have at least one person who can speak English and translate.

Setting up in Market

Austrade looks forward to providing initial and ongoing support and advice, though a reputable third party provider to accomplish the mechanics of setting up in Mongolia may be required.

Banking and finance

It is important to work with reputable banks as partners when doing business in Mongolia. As with most emerging economies there is sometimes issues with non-payment, therefore it is important that you do your due diligence on potential partners and engage reputable banks for letters of credit and other protective measures around trade finance.

Links and resources

Government, business and trade

The Financial Regulatory Commission of Mongolia
The Mongolian Immigration Agency
The State Registration Office
The General Administration of Mongolia
The General Department of Taxation
Invest Mongolia Agency
Ministry of Mining and Energy
Ministry of Environment and Green Development
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Central Bank of Mongolia
Mongolian National Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Business Council of Mongolia

News and media

Info Mongolia
News Business Council of Mongolia
News MN
M.A.D Mongolia Newswire

Please note: This list of websites and resources is not definitive. Inclusion in this list does not imply endorsement by Austrade. The information provided is a guide only. The content is for information and carries no warranty; as such, the addressee must exercise their own discretion in its use. Australia’s anti-bribery laws apply overseas and Austrade will not provide business related services to any party who breaches the law and will report credible evidence of any breach. For further information, please see foreign bribery information and awareness pack.