Mongolian growth exceeds expectations, ADB says

28 Sep 17

Mongolia’s recovering economy grew by 5.3% in the first half of this year, compared to a 1.2% growth rate recorded in 2016, the Asian Development Bank said this week.

Economic growth is expected to hit at 4% this year and 3% next year, substantially up from the 2.5% and 2% previously projected.

The main drivers of the growth are strong coal exports and the approval of the International Monetary Fund’s reform package in May to rebuild the economy, the ADB said.

“Mongolia’s growth has been stronger than expected in 2017,” said Yolanda Fernandez Lommen, ADB country director for Mongolia.

“Continued government commitment will be key to ensuring that planned investment into large ongoing mining projects – critical for future growth prospects – moves ahead.”

She added: “While it is important to create a sound investment environment in Mongolia’s mineral wealth, more will be needed to ensure that mining-led growth is sustainable and inclusive, and the conditions are created to support economic diversification and higher productivity growth.”

The country’s fiscal deficit fell by 34.1% in the first half of the year, to the equivalent of 5.8% of gross domestic product.

In May, the IMF approved a $5.5bn loan package to support Mongolia’s economy. Debt is almost double the size of Mongolia’s $12bn economy, with government debt accounting for $8.4bn of that.

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