Training helps Mongolia harness trade opportunities on their path to green economy

Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia - PAGE, in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment and Tourism of Mongolia and the National Development Agency organized a two-day training on “Green economy, sustainable production and trade opportunities” on  29-30 May 2017 in Ulaanbaatar. The training brought together more than 60 participants from government  ministries, the private sector, higher education, and civil society. The training was divided into 5 sessions with focuses on the 2030 agenda for Sustainable Development, nexuses between trade, environment and sustainable development, agricultural value chains and trade, frameworks for trade, and international best practices. Within these sessions, the topics discussed ranged from green trade concepts, eco labelling, organic agriculture, sustainability standards, and eco-tourism to how to best devise regional trade agreements and create market access opportunities for developing countries.

In addition to UN Environment, the International Trade Centre (ITC) and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) also joined the training where they presented their knowledge on products and databases relating to sustainable trade. Participants were then divided into five groups for in-depth discussions on trade opportunities arising from organic agriculture, eco-tourism, renewable energy, and livestock products, and had the opportunity to discuss their ideas on the export potential of products such as meat and milk, hides and leather, wool, cashmere and knitted garments.

The training was followed by an experts’ workshop on “Sustainable Development and Trade Opportunities for Mongolia”, bringing together nearly 100 participants from government ministries, National Meat Producers Association, Dairy Product Association, Tourism Association, as well as companies and local producers. At this time, the Vice Minister of Environment and Tourism Mr. Ts. Batbayar delivered an opening address that highlighted green trade opportunities in Mongolia driven by the “Industrialization” Strategy, “Mongolian Export” Initiative and “Mongol Branding” programme, as well as ongoing and potential trade agreements with key trading partners.

The training and workshop kick started the new PAGE project on “Harnessing Trade Opportunities in Transition to A Green Economy in Mongolia” in an effort to develop a Mongolian green trade policy. Jointly implemented by the Environment and Trade Hub of UN Environment, the Ministry of Environment and Tourism and the National Development Agency, this project aims to improve the knowledge and capacity of the country to identify and harness green trade opportunities and to also support and complement Mongolia’s efforts to implement the 2030 Agenda and national development policies. Inputs gathered from this workshop will be incorporated into a stocktaking study of Green Trade opportunities and challenges in Mongolia with concrete policy recommendations for future development.

Looking to the future, the government of Mongolia will continue to build its trade policy, which can help the country move closer to a green economy. In 2016, the newly formed government developed its Action Program to be implemented for the period of 2016-2020 with a main objective to revitalize the economy within a short period of time, promote growth, support social sectors, and increase the income of the exports of non-mining sectors and diversify the economy. Since export programme is currently being developed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mongolia and the National Development Agency, PAGE's new trade workshops can help provide Mongolia with additional training and expertise on green trade to inform these new policies.

Agenda, syllabus of the training, presentations: http://nda.gov.mn/1193.html

Agenda and report of the workshop, presentations: http://nda.gov.mn/1192.html