It's early Sunday evening, 9th June and I've been in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, again for a few days. After quite a cool day, the sun has come out from behind the clouds, providing some nice low-angle sunshine through the windows of my apartment. The following pictures show a few views from the apartment windows, illustrating the changing skylines in the city:
This is the second time that I'm in this city, consulting to the Mongolian Ministry of Mining in connection with a review of mining governance-related policies and institutions. Together with my colleague from New Zealand, we have just about completed our Inception Report, and are well-advanced with a Diagnostic Report, describing the problems and challenges that we see here. What makes this project interesting is the quality of the people we are working with, as well as the mix between the new (opened-up market economy) and the old (remnants of central planning style of thinking) in the mining sector.
Later during this visit we will conduct a workshop with officials from this and other government ministries, as well as other stakeholders in the mining sector. Findings reported in our Diagnostic Report are likely to result in interesting discussions, including discussions on the difference between good governance and increased government ownership of mining operations.