March 05, 2020 – The U.S. government, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), today formally launched a five-year, MNT 41.3 billion ($15 million) Business Excellence for Sustainability and Transparency (BEST) project to help grow and diversify Mongolia’s economy by increasing lending to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and improving economic governance and accountability. This program is conducted with the assistance of the Government of Mongolia through the Ministry of Finance.
U.S. Ambassador to Mongolia Michael S. Klecheski and the Government of Mongolia Minister of Finance Ch. Khurelbaatar gave remarks at the launch of the new initiative, which will be implemented in partnership with Development Solutions in Ulaanbaatar and 12 aimags across the country.
“The U.S. government recognizes small and medium enterprises as important drivers of social opportunities and economic development,” said Ambassador Klecheski. “Through this new project, we hope to expand local businesses’ access to financing and promote improved corporate governance so that Mongolian businesses can reach their full potential and contribute to the country’s economic self-reliance.”
Both parties emphasized how this cooperation will strengthen the U.S. – Mongolia Strategic Partnership as well as other U.S. government-funded bilateral development programs.
According to the National Statistics Office of Mongolia (NSO), at the end of 2017, 77% of businesses registered in Mongolia were classified as SMEs. These companies generated around 25% of Mongolia’s GDP and provided employment to more than half of the national workforce.
Since 2016, USAID support to SMEs has helped improve their access to credit and has facilitated linkages between financial institutions and 750 borrowers, multiplying their investments 20 times over and creating more than 600 new jobs.
This new project will augment USAID’s support of SMEs in Mongolia by working with government and private sector partners to foster an environment conducive to the growth of SMEs, including easier access to business financing, improved corporate governance, capacity-building training on transparency and accountability, and the provision of small grants to disadvantaged enterprises.
SMEs and interested parties can contact implementing partner Development Solution by phone at 7722-2210, by visiting #501, Downtown Building, Jamiyan Gun Street, Sukhbaatar District, Ulaanbaatar, and on social media at the Facebook page @BESTprogramMN and Twitter account @BESTprogram1.
USAID is the lead U.S. government agency for international development and disaster assistance. In Mongolia, USAID partners with the national government to build a more prosperous and well-governed nation. For more information, visit http://www.usaid.gov/mongolia or email firstname.lastname@example.org.