Bloomberg Tv Mongolia's Interview With H.e Ambassador Mustafa Sarniç

Ulanbator Büyükelçiliği 15.07.2013
  • Main presence of the embassy in Mongolia

- The diplomatic relations between Turkey and Mongolia was established in 1969. However, the relations between the two peoples of Turkey and Mongolia date back to almost 15 hundreds years, the period that Gokturk Empire were prevailed in these soils. Turkish and Mongolian tribes lived over centuries side by side and I believe in solidarity. Shamanism was once our shared religious phenonemon, some traces of which are still vivid among our peoples. Furthermore, let alone the Turkish monuments in Harhorin which are highly valuable to us, that , our common traditions, common words and even similaraties in our cousin are all proof of this reality.

- We are among the leading countries that has representation in Ulanbaataar. Our Embassy was opened in 1996.

- Since then our relations with Mongolia has been steadily on a rise with signing almost 100 agreements, numerous mutual visita the recent of which was realized by PM Erdoğan and many development assistance projects including Turkish scholarsips to Mongolisan students who wish to study in the Turkish universities.

- It is the striking evidence of the importance we attache our ties with Mongolia is the renovated chancery and th newly constructed residence buildings. We put 16 million US dollars for these construction efforts. Especially new residence that is on the street where Japaa and Chech embassies are situated is a state of-the-art building with unique architcature.

  • What do countries share in terms of challenges and economy?

- The Turkish and Mongolian economies are in fact quite well compatible with each other, and I am sure this will pave the way for further cooperation by that time.

- Mongolia and Turkey both represent a success study in the world in terms of sustainable development. Turkey have been enjoying during the last 11 years an average of 5 percent growth rate. Mongolia has also reached two digit numbers in growth (% 17,3 and % 12,7 respectively in 2011 and 2012). Per capita income is also on rise in both countries (11 thousand US Dollars in Turkey and 4 thousand US Dollars in Mongolia). With 76 million Turkish people, Turkish economy is an economic growth with 850 billion US Dollars 2015 and Mongolia with 10 billion US Dollars. These are all positive indicators that our countires are on the right track.

- Challenges ahead of both countries may mostly stem from external economic turbulences like a lessening economic growth in any targeted countries we export or regional instability etcedra. That’s why we should make main dynamics of economy stronger against all kinds of economic turbulences and the shocks as recently observed in 2008, the effects of which are stil ongoing in some Eurozone countries. In fact we succeeded to overcome the negative effects of the 2008 world economic crisis. If we attract more FDI’s, increase our production capacity with competitive prices and focus on education, especially vocational one.

  • Developing business and development cooperation here in Mongolia

-I observe with great satisfaction how a a clear agenda Mongolian government has in economic development. But it is not easy to achieve all of them at once. It will take some time to reap the benefits of the multi faceted investment works ranging from education sector to infrastructure and from social protection to health sector. As declared by PM Erdoğan in his recent visit to Mongolia in April 2013, we are ready to contribute the development efforts of Mongolia with our institutions and with our companies. We will continue to support Mongolia with development and capacity building projects led by TICA and other Turkish interlocutors like municipalities, universities etc. In additiıon, our construction companies have a world wide reputation, taking the second place after China. It is enough to look at the completed projects of these countries in various Central asian countries in order to have an idea about their capacity. Why do not we see them to have undertaken similar infrastructre projects here in Mongolia. Let’s start with big scale social housing projects. Having siad that some of these companies are already settled in Ulanbaatar, looking for cooperation opportunities in housing and road construction. On the other hand, the animal husbandry and dairy products constitute the other export-oriented sectors, given the huge numbers of consumers in this region.

  • Scholarships and aids provided by Turkish Government, their possible/ visible return on economy

- I am very glad to say that Mongolian students studying in Turkey exceeded 1 thousand in number. And it is a source of joy for me, as an Ambassador, to see them, after graduation, to have a strong position in various public institutions and private sector companies in Mongolia. Undoubtedly they are contributing enormously to the sustainable development of Mongolia. Because our diversified education programmes present these graduaters a compatiative employment opportunities. It is comes to me no surprising in my daily contacts and visits in the city to meet with them. Last but not least, I should add that Turkish private companies for almost over 20 years have invested in the education sector, with five schools in four cities in Mongolia with an understanding that it is the best to invest in human beings.

  • Doing Business with Turkey, and trade

- We see huge potential in a growing Mongolian market.

- The trade volume between Turkey and Mongolia is about 40 million US Dollars. But both PM’s agreed during the recent visit of my PM Erdoğan to increase it. At first glance it appears to be a courageous and ambitious target to try to reach commercial trade worth USD 250 million by 2015, but both countries have this capacity.

-Mongolia has livestock and minerals. On the other hand, we have entreprenurial capacity and strong companies with worldwide connections

- The direct flights between Ulaanbaatar and Istanbul represent a landmark development in our economic relations. During the recent official visit of Turkish Prime Minister [RecepTayyip] Erdogan to Mongolia, both sides agreed on increasing the number of flights. And we think that it will be beneficial for Mongolia, who wishes to diversify its economy.

- In parallel with the second decision to liberalise the visa regime of both countries during the said visit of PM Erdogan, we are witnessing an increase in the number of visits of business delegations from Turkey. For example, in June a delegation visit of the Assembly of Turkish Exporters from Istanbul is planned. Just couple of days ago, at the invitation of TUSCON, a Turkish fedaration of business sectors, a group of Mongolian representatives of economic sectors participated to a very important fair on construction materials organized in Turkey

  • Biggest obstacles in the development of Mongolia, an experience you can share?

- I do not have any personel experience on that, but as long as I understand, t the dependence of only one sector, mining constitute a major challenge ahead of the Mongolia. Undoubtedly, economy must be diversified that will include tourism and industry.

  • View on the long term prospects of the Mongolian economy

- I am very optimistic about the long term economic development perspective of Mongolia who is a democratic country with a free market economy. I believe in that as long as the revenue generated by mining sector is shared and diversified by the other sectors, the economy will continue to grow.

  • Current view in Turkey-Mongolia relations, what needs to be done?

- As I said before, we need to steps to be taken: the cooperation on aviation sector that will pave the way for frequent flights between the two countries and visa liberalization from which both countries’ people will benefit.

- I think that the more personal contacts and visits will attract more economic dynamism and interaction. So the means of logistics and transportation should be liberalised in order to open areas for businessmen.

- Should the visa regime applied is liberalized as agreed by both sides, we can see more Turkish tourists visiting Mongolia. In 2012 more than 36 million tourists visited Turkey with a revenue of nearly 25 billion US Dollars. Now we are ready to share our experience with Mongolian tou operators especially in the field of culture oriented tourism.

  • Adapting and understanding Mongolia, your own experience

- As a Turkish diplomat, how I can face any adaptation problem in such a country we have deep rooted cultural and ancestral ties. During Sagan Sar I visited many Mongolian families just to obseve how close the traditions of our countries. I am sure that Ambassador bathısıg has the same feelings in Ankara. I am really tahkful fort he respect shown to me, my family and my Turkish collegues not only by Mongolian administration and people alike.

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