Remarks by Ambassador Jennifer Zimdahl Galt at the AmCham July Meeting

As prepared for delivery

AMBASSADOR GALT: Mr. Oybek, AmCham members, good morning.

It is a privilege to share the stage with Member of Parliament Tsogtbaatar and to say a few words at AmCham’s first post-election meeting.

The phrase first post-election meeting underscores the fact that we are all establishing fresh relationships with Mongolia’s new government.

My government and I look forward to working closely with our new counterparts to deepen the already strong partnership between the United States and Mongolia.

AmCham plays a key role in this partnership, as we seek to bolster our bilateral economic ties and strengthen the foundations for private enterprise in Mongolia.

AmCham represents the private sector, independent of government.

It helps identify commercial opportunities and build an attractive investment environment.

It also promotes private sector engagement with the government and civil society to try to resolve the challenges that U.S. and other businesses face.

AmCham Mongolia is a young organization, but it has a track record of success that belies its barely five years of existence.

AmCham has been remarkably effective in identifying challenges and advocating on behalf of members’ business interests with the government and the public.

I am pleased that my Embassy has such a strong relationship with such a successful organization.

Together, we host the annual American Days Expo, now entering its fourth year; identify opportunities for U.S. exporters and investors to contribute to Mongolia’s efforts to diversify its economy, including through agricultural sector development; and engage the Mongolian government on issues as diverse as labor law and intellectual property rights.

Another example of our cooperation with AmCham is engaging the new government on the impending requirement to provide a Certificate of Origin for all imports.

Our concerns are two-fold. First, all importers – Mongolian and foreign – could be burdened with a new requirement that will inevitably drive up costs for businesses, consumers and the government.

Second, this new requirement has been proposed without consultation with either businesses or the public.

This discussion reminds us how important it is for the Mongolian government to finally implement the U.S.-Mongolia Transparency Agreement, which Parliament ratified in 2014, to give proper notice to all stakeholders of pending regulatory changes.

We believe that a transparent review of the proposed Certificate of Origin requirement will demonstrate that the new government is indeed committed to improving the business climate and to attracting foreign investment to help grow Mongolia’s economy.

Mongolia’s recent parliamentary and local elections have yielded a new government, but the challenges this government faces are not new.

Addressing them will require practical, sometimes tough steps taken by savvy, skilled individuals willing to work closely with a range of partners, including AmCham, private U.S. companies, and the United States Government.

Four years from now, I hope that we will look back on this day as the first step in the new government’s promotion of free enterprise in close partnership with AmCham Mongolia.

Thank you.