Mongolia – Australia Relations

Political relations: In 1972 Mongolia and Australia (under Prime Minister William McMahon, Liberal Party of Australia-Country Party of Australia coalition) have established diplomatic relations. Bilateral relations have accelerated since the onset of democratic and free-market reforms in Mongolia during early 1990s. Mongolia opened its diplomatic mission in Canberra in 2008; Australia (AusTrade) has opened its trade office in Ulaanbaatar in 2011, which later was upgraded into Australian Consulate-General. Mongolia and Australia agreed in 2007 developing bilateral relations under expanded partnership. Two governments noted in 2011 that Mongolia and Australia share common strategic interests and objectives in the Asia-Pacific region, including the peaceful development of the region. First consultations between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mongolia and DFAT of Australia took place in Ulaanbaatar in 2014.

Australian development cooperation with Mongolia focuses on extractives sector as well as human resources development, which is implemented through educational scholarships. Australian Government’s educational scholarships, which started in early 1990s, today reached 43 per year. In 2013, Australia approved “Australia – Mongolia Program Strategy 2012-2016”. In 2014/2015 Australia would provide AUD 16,3 (est) mln assistance to Mongolia. Mongolia and Australia have announced 5-year long “Extractives program” in 2014. Well-established friendly people-to-people links between Mongolia and Australia serve as a bridge and a fundament for further strengthening of relations 

1993: Minister for Foreign Affairs of Mongolia Mr. Ts. Gombosuren visits Australia

1994: Governor-General of Australia Bill Hayden and Foreign minister The Hon. Gareth Evans visit Mongolia.

1997: President of Mongolia Mr. Punsalmaagiin Ochirbat visits Australia. Mongolia appoints its Honorary Consul in Sydney.

2007: Australian Foreign minister the Hon. Alexander Downer visits Mongolia.

2011: Prime Minister of Mongolia Mr Sukhbaatar Batbold becoming first Mongolian head of government to visit Australia

2012: Australian Foreign minister the Hon. Bob Carr visits Mongolia.

2014: Minister for Foreign affairs of Mongolia Mr. Luvsanvandan Bold visits Australia.

Parliamentary exchange: There have been a number of visits between parliamentarians of the two countries, which started in 1991. The most recent visits include: speakers of parliaments of the two countries exchanged visits respectively in 2005 and 2007, while in 2009 and 2010, two delegations from Mongolia led by Members of Parliament visited Australia, and a group of four Australian Members of Parliament from the Australia-Mongolia Parliamentary Friendship Group paid a visit to Mongolia, In January 2011, the Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Australian Parliament attended the Asia Pacific Parliamentary Forum hosted by Mongolia. In September 2012, the House of Representatives’ Standing Committee on Regional Australia visited Mongolia. Friendship groups have been established in both parliaments, and making its own contributions towards expansion of bilateral relations. Several politicians that studied in Australia serve in current Parliament of Mongolia.

 Australia – Mongolia parliamentary group within the Parliament of Australia: 

1 The Hon Dr Sharman Stone MP (Chair) Member for Murray, Victoria
2 Senator Stephen Parry (President of the Senate) Senator for Tasmania
3 The Hon Bronwyn Bishop (Speaker of the House of Representatives) Member for Mackellar, New South Wales
4 The Hon Bruce Scott MP (Deputy speaker of the House of Representatives) Member for Maranoa, Queensland
5 The Hon Warren Truss MP (Deputy Prime Minister) Member for Wide Bay, Queensland
6 The Hon Tanya Plibersek MP (Deputy Leader of the Opposition, Shadow Minister for Foreign affairs and international cooperation) Member for Sydney, New South Wales
7 The Hon Stuart Robert MP (Assistant Minister for Defence) Member for Fadden, Queensland
8 Senator the Hon Brett Mason (Parliamentary secretary to the Minister for Foreign affairs) Senator for Queensland
9 Mr Ewen Jones MP Member for Herbert, Queensland
10 Mr Craig Kelly MP Member for Hughes, New South Wales
11 Ms Jill Hall MP Member for Shortland, New South Wales
12 Mr Nick Champion MP Member for Wakefield, South Australia
13 Mr Graham Perrett MP Member for Moreton, Queensland
14 The Hon John Cobb MP Member for Calare, New South Wales
15 Mr Ian Goodenough MP Member for Moore, Western Australia
16 The Hon Joel Fitzgibbon MP Member for Hunter, New South Wales
17 Mr Luke Simpkins MP Member for Cowan, Western Australia
18 Senator Lisa Singh Senator for Tasmania
19 The Hon Michael Danby MP Member for Melbourne Ports, Victoria
20 Mr Laurie Ferguson MP Member for Werriwa, New South Wales
21 Ms Maria Vamvakinou MP Member for Calwell, Victoria
22 Mr Ken Wyatt MP Member for Hasluck, Western Australia

 

Education and people-to-people links: Australian Government has been offering educational scholarships to Mongolian students since 1994. To date, around 400 Mongolians have received education in Australia, mostly through these scholarships, however the number of self-funded students to study in Australia is increasing. Today, around 800 students study across Australia, Three Australian students would go to Mongolia in 2015 under the “New Colombo Plan” program. Reciprocal introduction of Work and Holiday visas is on the bilateral agenda. Since early 2000, Mongolia received more than 200 Australian volunteers, who worked in different areas and institutions in Mongolia, helping in strengthening of society in Mongolia.

Resources: There is a significant commercial interest by Australian companies, and enormous trade and investment potentials stem from a boom in Mongolia’s minerals and energy sector. In 2005, Australian Minister for Industry, Tourism and Resources the Hon. Ian Macfarlane visited Mongolia. In 2013, Minister for Mining of Mongolia Mr D.Gankhuyag visited Australia. The two ministries of mining organise working group meetings annually. Australia’s investment in Mongolia is one of the largest in the mining sector and Australia is the leading western investor in Mongolia. There are nearly 60 registered companies including such giants as Rio Tinto, Leighton, X-Trata. Half of contractors of the Oyu Tolgoi mining project, world’s largest copper-gold mine, are Australian companies. Also, several hundred Australians work in Mongolia, mostly in mining and related sectors

Agriculture: The Department of Agriculture, after sending its delegates to Mongolia in 2012, produced a report on Potential cooperation opportunities between Mongolia and Australia in agricultural sector. ACIAR, the Australian center for International agricultural research, sent its delegations to Mongolia twice in 2013 and 2014 respectively. Based on these visits, the Centre is about to start a multi-stakeholder project in Mongolia, hopefully commencing in 2015.

Defence: Defence cooperation is the new page within the bilateral relations. Mongolia and Australian peacekeepers serve in several locations around the world. Each year several Australian soldiers attend the “Khaan Quest” international peacekeeping training in Mongolia. In 2012, Chief of General staff of Mongolia LTGEN Ts. Byambajav visited Australia. Upon invitation of Australian Department of Defence, a Mongolian officer will attend command and staff courses at the Australian Defence College in 2015. The two defence ministries are to conclude the cooperation document.

Mongol studies: In 2011, a Mongolian studies center was established at the Australian National University. In 2012, it was upgraded into the Mongolian Institute. The Institute is making significant contribution towards Mongolian studies in Australia. The institute organises the conferences on Mongolian studies as well as the “Mongolia updates” annually. Also, the Institute provides Mongolian language short training course at the beginning of each year. The Government of Mongolia provides small financial support towards Mongolian studies in Australia. World-renowned scholar Prof Igor de Rachewiltz, an emeritus Fellow at the ANU’s College of Asia and the Pacific, works closely with Mongolia Institute.

Tourism: Every year thousands of Australian travel to Mongolia, also the number of Mongolians visiting Australia is increasing, reaching nearly 2000 in 2013. Several Australian companies organise tours to Mongolia.

 Inter-Governmental bilateral documents

A Memorandum of Understanding on vocational education cooperation aimed at helping Mongolia build the capacity of its mining workforce, encouraging the exchange of vocational education students and staff, and encouraging the exchange of information on education systems, qualifications and recognition processes between vocational education institutes and universities (signed in 2011),

Memorandum of Understanding on the Provision of consular services (signed in 2014),

Sister city relationships

Queensland’s Gold Coast and Ulaanbaatar have Sister City relationships since 1994

 Ambassadors:

Ambassador of Mongolia to Australia Ambassadors accredited to Mongolia from Moscow, Former Soviet Union
2008 Jambaldorj Tserendorj 1973 Lawrence J.Lawrey
2012 Bold Ravdan 1974 Sir James Plimsoll, CBE
Ambassadors of Mongolia accredited to Australia from Beijing, People’s Republic of China 1977 Murra G.M. Bourchier
1989 Yo.Ochir 1981 David W.Evans
1992 Kh.Olzvoi 1984 Edward R.Pocock
1995 D.Tsahilgaan 1987 C.Robin Ashwin
2003 L.Amarsanaa 1991 Cavan O.F. Hogue
2006 G.Batsukh Ambassadors accredited to Mongolia from Beijing, People’s Republic of China
1992 Michael D.Lightowler
1996 Richard C.Smith
2000 David T.Irvine
2003 Dr Alan W.Thomas
2007 Dr Geoff Raby
2008 Peter Rowe
Ambassadors accredited to Mongolia from Seoul, Republic of Korea
20092013 Sam R.Gerovich

Mr Bill Paterson PSM