December 2015 \ Interviews \ Diplomatic Interview
"We consider India a source of wisdom and knowledge"

His Excellency Mr Gonchig Ganbold Ambassador of Mongolia to India

How are Mongolia-India relations progressing under India’s Act East Policy?

Since May last year, India has emphasized on Look to East Policy and which is very much in Mongolia’s interest. Being in Asia and being similar on large scuffs of areas right from non-aligned movement up to the station of military blocs in interest of tranquility and peace keeping. India and Mongolia also have a common standing on various United Nations initiatives such as United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Both countries have much to interact and also Mongolia supports India’s willingness to become the member of the United Nations Security Council. In return India also reiterated its support in favour of Mongolia’s interest to get elected in the United Nations Human Right Council.

Please tell us about Mongolia’s interest to become a member of APEC? How would it affect Mongolia economically?

Mongolia is the shortest route between Europe and Asia; it has a vast territory, almost half of India and its population is small. So, if Mongolia joins the APEC then we would also have common markets like Russia and China. Through these countries we can also get access to other markets. Our exports mainly consist of agriculture material, raw material, semi-products, finished products and minerals. These voluminous goods also need infrastructure, so we could also get joint Asia and Pacific infrastructure, transit and transport services. Not only infrastructure but also our common market, common customs will also facilitate our treaty. Initially we have concluded Free trade Agreement with Japan, we are also looking forward to conclude such agreements with other countries which would help us to join APEC.

What are the steps taken by the Government to promote Mongolia as a tourist destination? Is Government seeking to take advantage of the same and focus on ‘Adventure Tourism’?

Mongolia is one of the few countries in the contemporary world which preserves it ecologically clean environment and has a typical view of nomadic civilization. So, whoever wants to get acquainted with these two scenes should definitely visit Mongolia. The Government also liberalized visa regulations last year. The Government approved a list of 42 countries with a visa free access to Mongolia. The discussions are going on to further liberalize the visa policy. Though, Mongolia is little far from main destination of tourism, we intend to receive as much as 4,00,000 tourists in a year.

Mongolia also has a plenty of geographical and climatic zones. In the southern region we have the belt of Gobi Desert and in the western region we have endless steppes popular for hiking, bird watching and ecological tourism. The western region is also an amazing destination for adventure tourism.