Doing business

Current business situation

In 2016, the Oyu Tolgoi mine, which provides the majority of the copper-gold ore in Mongolia, and is a strategic partnership with Rio Tinto, commenced the US$ 5.3 billion stage II expansion of the OT mine. This expansion will employ more than 3000 workers during the construction phase and will be fully operational by 2027.

Australian companies are well-placed to assist in developing Mongolia's resources. Projects such as Oyu Tolgoi represent potential not only for Australian METS companies, but also the opportunity for Australia’s education and training providers to introduce world’s best mining practices in workplace health and safely, skills and training development.

The government continues to explore ways to diversify the economy, including a strong emphasis on locally produced equipment and materials for major projects as well as focusing on new infrastructure projects and expansion of the agricultural sector.

Australia’s experience in many sectors is held in high regard in Mongolia and there are many opportunities in industries such as:

  • Mining
  • Education (HE, VET, skills development, research
  • Food and Beverage
  • Infrastructure
  • Agriculture
  • Business Services

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 and direct eye contact. Mongolians 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 Mongolian 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 less formal setting.

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 as most Mongolians take holidays.

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

Setting up in Market

Austrade can provide initial and ongoing support and advice, however you will probably require a reputable third party provider to successfully navigate the mechanics of setting up a business in Mongolia.

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 Government of Mongolia
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs
The Ministry of Environment and Tourism
The Ministry of Mining and Heavy Industry
Mongolian Customs General Administration
General Department of Taxation
Immigration Agency
General Authority for Intellectual Property and State Registration
Mineral Resources and Petroleum Agency of Mongolia
Central Bank of Mongolia
The Financial Regulatory Commission of Mongolia
The Mongolia-Australia Chamber of Commerce (AustCham Mongolia)
Mongolian National Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Business Council of Mongolia
Mongolian Business Database

News and media

Mongolian News Agency (Montsame)
Info Mongolia
News MN
Mongolia Mining Journal

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.