Mongolia is a unique country of extreme features: three million people over a land mass of three-times France (most sparsely populated country in the world), a vibrant democracy landlocked between Russia and China, mining-dependent (approximately 90% of exports), dominated in trade with one neighbor (China accounts for approximately 90% of the country’s exports), urbanized with about half of the population living in the capital, Ulaanbaatar, and where economic growth and development have been impressive (highest GDP growth in the world in 2011 at over 17%) but extremely volatile (flat growth in 2016 with a historic $5.5 billion multilateral support package initiated in 2017).
Mongolia is favored with key assets: world-class mineral deposits (coking coal, copper, gold, etc.), pasture land and pristine nature, proximity to the second largest economy in the world (China), and an educated population. Mongolia has demonstrated significant success in reducing poverty and elevating human well-being since its peaceful transformation into a market-oriented democracy in the early 1990s. The domestic private sector has vastly expanded in all key sectors (banking, property, telecom, food and beverage, etc.) and foreign direct investment has shown clear, albeit sporadic, potential.
Mongolia successfully transitioned towards a market-oriented democracy, with strong development results since the early 90s. The country has held uninterrupted parliamentary and presidential elections every four years, respectively, since 1992 and 1993, with peaceful transmission of power on every occasion (except in 2008 when it witnessed some post-election bviolence). During this period, life expectancy increased from 60 to 69, access to improved sanitation rose from 46 to 60 percent, and access to electricity from 64 to 85 percent, while the percentage of children out of primary school declined from 20 to 3 percent and rural population fell from 42 to 27 percent. Maternal mortality was halved during the past decade (from 100 to 50 per 100,000 live births), mobile phone networks cover 99% of the population, with 70% smartphone penetration, and real GDP per capita in 2015 more than doubled its level in 1990. Participation in economic activities also increased with private investment rising from 12 percent of GDP in 1990 to above 25 percent in 2005 and even 40 percent in 2012. Access to banking services is one of the highest in the world and financing expanded consistently.