In the 13th century, Mongolia instituted a tradition of establishing rule of law and open discussion of policy issues at forums, when its first Forum (Huralday) adopted the country’s first Constitution (Ih Zasag) 9 years earlier than the Magna Carta in Britain, and elected Chingis Khan as the Great Emperor of Mongolia. Ever since, most important policy issues were discussed openly between policymakers at various Huraldays.
Thus, it is only natural that on March 2nd and 3rd of 2010, Mongolia will hold its inaugural Economic Forum (Forum) under auspices of the Prime Minister of Mongolia with active support of the President and Parliament (Ih Hural) of the country. The event will lay a foundation for the establishment of Mongolia Economic Forum, an independent non-government organization, to not only hold future Forums but also to provide a permanent venue for open discussion of policy issues and help policymakers find consensus on development matters.
The Inaugural Mongolia Economic Forum of 2011 has a number of distinctive features which make it different from other conferences and forums of previous years held in Mongolia and elsewhere.
Firstly, clear ownership of the event and its recommendations by national political forces and state institutions sets it apart. While Mongolia Economic Forum welcomes support and participation of international organizations, representatives of foreign Governments and private foreign investors and companies that are interested in working in the country, it is clearly a locally-owned platform for discussion of development issues, identification of crucial policies for economic growth and finding a consensus among all domestic players on vital issues of national development. Secondly, the Forum is not a purely academic or business event. Its major goal is to discuss openly and transparently development policies and reach consensus among policymakers. Therefore, politically, the Forum from the very beginning is viewed as a multiparty, multi-institutional platform for discussion. Thirdly, being held before the Lunar New Year, that marks the end of year in the traditional Mongolian lunar calendar, the Forum signifies a new start for the year and aims at identifying crucial policy steps for the year ahead. In that sense, the Economic Forum’s recommendations will have a strong impact on national annual and midterm development plans, budgetary policy and public investments. Holding the Economic Forum in Mongolia possesses significant importance for Mongolian and international business community. The main goal of the Forum is to carry out consultations and discussions between policymakers, the business community and academicians on development issues.
For 2010, better utilization of the Mongolia’s human and natural resources to improve the competitiveness of the country will be the key agenda issue. Other agenda items include budgetary reforms, development of mining and related infrastructure, development of financial markets and the stock exchange, environmentally responsible development and land rehabilitation, preparing educated workforce for development and improving the overall business environment in Mongolia. The Inaugural Mongolia Economic Forum will be devoted to finding best solutions and consensus in these fields that are vitally important to the country.
Participants of Forum will be national policymakers, including the Government, the Parliament and President’s administration, local governors, business leaders, investors, academicians, non-government organizations and media. The Forum is planned to give maximum transparency and openness to policy discussions and it is going to be widely presented to public through the media. Information support of the Forum will include a number of press conferences with the participation of the most distinguished guests of the Forum, and widely broadcasting information about the Forum through leading Mongolian and foreign media.