AMBASSADOR GALT: Thank you, Jay. Good morning everyone, Mr. Prime Minister, AmCham members, it’s a great pleasure to be with you this morning.
It is a privilege to share the AmCham stage with Prime Minister Erdenebat.
Since Mongolia’s new government took office, my colleagues and I at the United States Embassy have expressed the hope that it would partner with AmCham to promote free enterprise and the revitalization of the Mongolian economy.
As Jay said, we have already seen some positive steps forward – suspension of a certificate of origin requirement for Mongolian and foreign importers, a re-examination of exit bans, and a commitment to implement the U.S.-Mongolia Transparency Agreement.
We welcome these initial steps and look forward to deepening our partnership with the government of Mongolia to effect real change in the economy.
This partnership will help realize the government’s desire to restore confidence in Mongolia as a destination for investment.
As laid out in our 2016 Investment Climate Statement, the key will be to adapt the best international regulatory and statutory practices to the Mongolian context and establish a stable, predictable commercial and trade platform for both foreign and domestic businesses.
We recognize that Mongolia’s fiscal situation presents challenges for the government.
Even with a supermajority in Parliament, it is clear from the recent attempt to impose austerity in the supplemental 2016 budget that the path forward is uncertain.
However, fiscal challenges also present opportunities.
We urge the government of Mongolia to embrace these opportunities, especially those that promote free enterprise, transparency, and an improved investment climate.
These reforms are an integral part of the long-term solution that will return Mongolia to sustainable economic growth.
Today’s meeting provides AmCham members a chance to hear from the top government leader, Prime Minister Erdenebat, on how the Mongolian government will meet its economic and fiscal challenges.
As importantly, it also provides an occasion for AmCham members to initiate a dialogue with the Prime Minister on the practical steps that AmCham and the government can take together to successfully transform the Mongolian business environment into one that achieves sustainable economic growth.
The United States Government looks forward to continuing to partner with AmCham and the Prime Minister and his new government in this important endeavor.
Thank you very much.