President Kh.Battulga visits Vladvostok this week to attend the third Eastern Economic Forum (EEF). This is seen by some an part of efforts to further regional integration, while at the same time reducing dependence on China. The President has spoken publicly about the dangers of potential dependency.
The clear favoritism for Russia is seen as a departure from previous policies, which aimed to maintain balance in relations between Russia and China, while seeking to expand economic opportunities with countries further abroad. However, there have been no official statements departing from the “Third Neighbor policy” and it is likely that continued expanded trade with multiple trading partners will remain a priority for Mongolia.
Also this week leadership of the Mongolian People’s Party (MPP) met this week to set a date for the party’s conference to appoint a new Prime Minister. This comes after Parliament had recently removed the previous Prime Minister and the Cabinet after allegations of corruption.
Mongolian law gives the Parliament to October 08 to make a new appointment and establish a new Cabinet. Though the removal of the Prime Minister rattled foreign investors, we expect the transition to be relatively smooth. The appointment will be mostly an internal matter of the MPP, and because the new Prime Minister will remain the same party as the previous, no significant policy changes are expected.