What is Davos famous? Although it holds the largest ski resort in the world, today the Swiss city of Davos is renowned for determining the course of the international economy. Forty years have passed since generations of heads of states and governments first gathered there to sharpen their economic policies. The Davos Forum has now become a brand name, a two-word shorthand for the World Economic Forum (WEF). Consequently, the fact that representatives of this organization who determines the direction of the world development arrived in Ulaanbaatar to participate to the Mongolian Economic Forum is a notable event. As well as representatives from the Government and civil society, international organizations, business entrepreneurs and foreign investors have gathered at the State Parliament House for two days to determine the course of development to be adopted in Mongolia. This year’s Forum did not concentrate on protesting about obstacles and barriers,facing the country but on the means and ways to overcome them and on the adoption of an appropriate model of development.
Prime Minister of Mongolia Mr Batbold announced that the final mission of the Mongolian Economic Forum will be to discuss ways of providing for and promoting human development and the emergence of a wealthy middle class. President of Mongolia Mr Elbegdorj confirmed this tendency by asserting in his opening speech on the second day of the Forum that “mineral resources should leave a mark not only on the soil but on the human development.”
Today experts state explain Mongolia finds itself on the eve of a rapid economic development. CNN’s international reporter Stan Grant who chaired the joint session has, undoubtedly, caught the attention of the participants when he labeled the Mongolia economy as the “Wolf Economy”. We are already getting used to many eye-catching names such as the “Next Asian Tiger”, “Моngolian Wolf”, and “Central Asian Kuwait,” and so on. However, it is too early to adopt these names, before even having taking the bull by the horns.
World Economic Forum representative Mrs Catherine MacPile reminded that “mining will not immediately yield a positive outcome,” and that “all will depend upon its management.” Alex Won, Director of the World Industrial Center, WEF, explained how Chili directed mining profits towards education and human development, setting Chili as a leader in the world not only in mining resources, but also in the supply of mining techniques and technology. The “Mongolian Davos” is now in its second year of existence with the sole purpose of listening to such foreign experts, learning from other countries’ experiences and adopting world practices.
Mr N. Altanhuyag, the First Deputy Premier of Mongolia, cautioned that “a lot of money will come from mining.” “If we do not adjust the appropriate economic structure, we might be left with nothing but a ‘Dutch Disease’,” he added. “We can only develop our country by substantially raising the quality of education, knowledge, and skills of the Mongolian people,” Prime Minister Mr S.Batbold asserted. As for the President, he stated, “Citizens exist not because the Government exists, but the Government exists because citizens exist. As such, the main responsibility of our Government is to serve our citizens. In this Year of the Rabbit, rights should be increased citizens and local provinces. A Person will only emancipate by exercising his or her rights. In a country where the Government, the leaders or the President think for the people, the discussion of human development cannot even begin to take place.”
The Mongolian Economic Forum program included 15 sub-sessions dealing with the four principal themes of “Human Development”, “Development Policy”, “Governance”, and “Infrastructure”. All the sessions focused on the issue of human development in Mongolia and discussed ways of creating satisfying educational, working and living conditions. Prime Minister Mr Batbold promised that “all the resolutions coming from the Forum will be reflected in the Government decision-making processes.”
The Government is already expected to adopt a policy to direct the wealth of the country’s natural resources towards the development of human capital. The “Mongolian Economy Magazine” is glad to support such initiative originating from the “Mongolian Davos.” As such, this edition includes articles such as “Has Poverty Decreased or Not?”, “Time to clean up your act,” and “Will mining revenues benefit Mongolia’s arts and culture industry?”
The theme of Human development as an effective human growth factor will be the regular subject of our magazine.