Mongolia

Introduction The Mongols gained fame in the 13th century when under Chinggis KHAN they conquered a huge Eurasian empire. After his death the empire was divided into several powerful Mongol states, but these broke apart in the 14th century. The Mongols eventually retired to their original steppe homelands and in the late 17th century came under Chinese rule. Mongolia won its independence in 1921 with Soviet backing. A Communist regime was installed in 1924. Following a peaceful democratic revolution, the ex-Communist Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party (MPRP) won elections in 1990 and 1992, but was defeated by the Democratic Union Coalition (DUC) in the 1996 parliamentary election. Since then, parliamentary elections returned the MPRP overwhelmingly to power in 2000, but 2004 elections reduced MPRP representation and, therefore, its authority.
History

Early history

Mongolia since prehistoric times has been inhabited by nomads who, from time to time, formed great confederations that rose to prominence. The first of these, the Xiongnu, were brought together to form a confederation by Modu Shanyu Mete Khan in 209 BC. Soon they emerged as the greatest threat of the Qin Dynasty forcing the latter to construct the Great Wall of China, itself being guarded by up to almost 300,000 soldiers during marshal's Meng Tian tenure, as a mean of defense against the destructive Xiongnu raids. After the decline of the Xiongnu, the Rouran, a close relative of the Mongols, came to power before being defeated by the Göktürks, who then dominated Mongolia for centuries. During the seventh and eighth centuries, they were succeeded by Uyghurs and then by the Khitans and Jurchens. By the tenth century, the country was divided into numerous tribes linked through transient alliances and involved in the old patterns of internal strife.

Mongol Empire

In the chaos of the late twelfth century, a chieftain named Temüjin finally succeeded in uniting the Mongol tribes between Manchuria and the Altai Mountains. In 1206, he took the title Genghis Khan, and waged a series of military campaigns - renowned for their brutality and ferocity till today - sweeping through much of Asia, and forming the Mongol Empire, the largest contiguous land empire in world history. Under his successors it stretched from present-day Poland in the west to Korea in the east, and from Siberia in the north to the Gulf of Oman and Vietnam in the south, covering some 33,000,000 km² (12,741,000 sq mi),[6] (22% of Earth's total land area) and having a population of over 100 million people.

After Genghis Khan's death, the empire had been subdivided into four kingdoms or Khanates which eventually split-up after Möngke's death in 1259. One of the khanates, the "Great Khanate", consisting of the Mongol homeland and China, became the Yuan Dynasty under Kublai Khan, grandson of Genghis Khan. He set up his capital in present day Beijing but after more than a century of power, the Yuan was replaced by the Ming Dynasty in 1368, with the Mongol court fleeing to the north. As the Ming armies pursued the Mongols into their homeland, they successfully sacked and destroyed the Mongol capital Karakorum among other cities, wiping out the cultural progress that was achieved during the imperial period and thus throwing Mongolia back to anarchy.

Post-Imperial period

The next centuries were marked by violent power struggles between various factions, notably the Genghisids and the non-Genghisid Oirads and numerous Chinese invasions (like the five expeditions led by the Yongle Emperor). In the early 15th century, the Oirads under Esen Tayisi gained the upper hand, and even raided China in 1449 in a conflict over Esen's right to pay tribute, capturing the Chinese emperor in the process. However, Esen was murdered in 1454, and the Genghisids recovered. In the mid-16th century, Altan Khan of the Tümed, a grandson of Batumöngke - but no legitimate Khan himself - became powerful. He founded Hohhot in 1557 and his meeting with the Dalai Lama in 1578 sparked the second introduction of Tibetan Buddhism to Mongolia. Abtai Khan of the Khalkha converted to buddhism in 1585 and founded the Erdene Zuu monastery in 1586. His grandson Zanabazar became the first Jebtsundamba Khutughtu in 1640.

The last Mongol Khan was Ligden Khan in the early 17th century. He got into conflicts with the Manchu over the looting of Chinese cities, and managed to alienate most Mongol tribes. He died in 1634 on his way to Tibet, in an attempt to evade the Manchu and destroy the Yellow Church. By 1636, most Inner Mongolian tribes had submitted to the Manchu. The Khalkha eventually submitted to the Qing in 1691, thus bringing all but the west of today's Mongolia under Beijing's rule. After several wars, the Dzungars were virtually annihilated in 1757. Until 1911, the Manchu maintained control of Mongolia with a series of alliances and intermarriages, as well as military and economic measures. Ambans, Manchu "high officials", were installed in Khüree, Uliastai, and Khovd, and the country was subdivided into ever more feudal and ecclesiastical fiefdoms. Over the course of the 19th century, the feudal lords attached more importance to representation and less importance to the responsibilities towards their subjects. In addition the usurous practices of the Chinese traders, along with the collection of imperial taxes in silver instead of animals, resulted in poverty becoming rampant.

Independence

With the fall of the Qing Dynasty, Mongolia declared independence in 1911. The new country's territory was approximately that of the former Outer Mongolia. To no avail the 49 hoshuns of Inner Mongolia as well as the Mongolians of the Alashan and Qinghai regions expressed their willingness to join the nascent state. In 1919, after the October Revolution in Russia, Chinese troops led by Xu Shuzheng occupied the capital but their dominance was short-lived. The notorious Russian adventurer "Bloody" Baron Ungern who had fought with the "Whites" against the Red Army in Siberia, led his troops into Mongolia, triumphing over Chinese in Niislel Khüree. He ruled briefly, under the blessing of religious leader Bogd Khan before he was captured and executed by the Red Army assisted by Mongolian units led by Damdin Sükhbaatar. These events led to abolition of the feudal system and ensured the country's political alignment with Bolshevik Russia.

Mongolian People's Republic

In 1924, after the death of the religious leader and king Bogd Khan, a Mongolian People's Republic was proclaimed with support from the Soviets.

In 1928, Khorloogiin Choibalsan rose to power. He instituted collectivisation of livestock, the destruction of Buddhist monasteries and the Mongolia's enemies of the people persecution resulting in the murder of monks and other people. The Stalinist purges beginning in 1937, affected the Republic as it left more than 30,000 people dead. Japanese imperialism became even more alarming after the invasion of neighboring Manchuria in 1931. During the Soviet-Japanese Border War of 1939, the USSR successfully defended Mongolia against Japanese expansionism. In August 1945 Mongolian forces also took part in the Soviet offensive in Inner Mongolia . The Soviet threat of seizing parts of Inner Mongolia induced the Republic of China to recognize Outer Mongolia's independence, provided that a referendum was held. The referendum took place on October 20, 1945, with (according to official numbers) 100% of the electorate voting for independence. After the establishment of the People's Republic of China, both countries recognized each other again on October 6, 1949.

In January 26, 1952, Yumjaagiin Tsedenbal took power. In 1956 and again in 1962, Choibalsan's personality cult was condemned. Mongolia continued to align itself closely with the Soviet Union, especially after the Sino-Soviet split of the late 1950s. While Tsedenbal was visiting Moscow in August 1984, his severe illness prompted the parliament to announce his retirement and replace him with Jambyn Batmönkh.

Democracy

The introduction of perestroika and glasnost in the USSR by Mikhail Gorbachev strongly influenced Mongolian politics leading to the peaceful Democratic Revolution of 1990. This, in turn, allowed the country to begin engaging in economic and diplomatic relations with the Western world. The nation finished its transition from a communist state to a multi-party capitalist democracy with the ratification of a new constitution in 1992.

Geography Location: Northern Asia, between China and Russia
Geographic coordinates: 46 00 N, 105 00 E
Map references: Asia
Area: total: 1,564,116 sq km
Area - comparative: slightly smaller than Alaska
Land boundaries: total: 8,220 km
border countries: China 4,677 km, Russia 3,543 km
Coastline: 0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claims: none (landlocked)
Climate: desert; continental (large daily and seasonal temperature ranges)
Terrain: vast semidesert and desert plains, grassy steppe, mountains in west and southwest; Gobi Desert in south-central
Elevation extremes: lowest point: Hoh Nuur 518 m
highest point: Nayramadlin Orgil (Huyten Orgil) 4,374 m
Natural resources: oil, coal, copper, molybdenum, tungsten, phosphates, tin, nickel, zinc, fluorspar, gold, silver, iron
Land use: arable land: 0.76%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 99.24% (2005)
Irrigated land: 840 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources: 34.8 cu km (1999)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural): total: 0.44 cu km/yr (20%/27%/52%)
per capita: 166 cu m/yr (2000)
Natural hazards: dust storms, grassland and forest fires, drought, and "zud," which is harsh winter conditions
Environment - current issues: limited natural fresh water resources in some areas; the policies of former Communist regimes promoted rapid urbanization and industrial growth that had negative effects on the environment; the burning of soft coal in power plants and the lack of enforcement of environmental laws severely polluted the air in Ulaanbaatar; deforestation, overgrazing, and the converting of virgin land to agricultural production increased soil erosion from wind and rain; desertification and mining activities had a deleterious effect on the environment
Environment - international agreements: party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note: landlocked; strategic location between China and Russia
Politics

Mongolia is a parliamentary republic. The parliament is elected by the people and in turn elects the government. The president is elected directly. Mongolia's constitution guarantees full freedom of expression, religion, and others. Mongolia has a number of political parties, the biggest ones being the Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party (MPRP) and the Democratic Party (DP).

The MPRP formed the government of the country from 1921 to 1996 (until 1990 in a one-party system) and from 2000 to 2004. From 2004 to 2006, it was part of a coalition with the DP and two other parties, and since 2006 it has been the dominant party in two other coalitions. Both changes of government after 2004 were initiated by the MPRP. The DP was the dominant force in the ruling coalition between 1996 and 2000, and also an approximately equal partner with the MPRP in the 2004-2006 coalition. The next parliamentary elections are set for June 2008.

People Population: 2,996,081 (July 2008 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 28.4% (male 433,835/female 416,549)
15-64 years: 67.7% (male 1,013,215/female 1,015,221)
65 years and over: 3.9% (male 51,093/female 66,168) (2008 est.)
Median age: total: 24.9 years
male: 24.6 years
female: 25.3 years (2008 est.)
Population growth rate: 1.493% (2008 est.)
Birth rate: 21.09 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Death rate: 6.16 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Net migration rate: NA
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.77 male(s)/female
total population: 1 male(s)/female (2008 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 41.24 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 44.41 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 37.92 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 67.32 years
male: 64.92 years
female: 69.84 years (2008 est.)
Total fertility rate: 2.24 children born/woman (2008 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: less than 0.1% (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: less than 500 (2003 est)
HIV/AIDS - deaths: less than 200 (2003 est.)
Nationality: noun: Mongolian(s)
adjective: Mongolian
Ethnic groups: Mongol (mostly Khalkha) 94.9%, Turkic (mostly Kazakh) 5%, other (including Chinese and Russian) 0.1% (2000)
Religions: Buddhist Lamaist 50%, Shamanist and Christian 6%, Muslim 4%, none 40% (2004)
Languages: Khalkha Mongol 90%, Turkic, Russian (1999)
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 97.8%
male: 98%
female: 97.5% (2000 census)
Government Country name: conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Mongolia
local long form: none
local short form: Mongol Uls
former: Outer Mongolia
Government type: mixed parliamentary/presidential
Capital: name: Ulaanbaatar
geographic coordinates: 47 55 N, 106 55 E
time difference: UTC+8 (13 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions: 21 provinces (aymguud, singular - aymag) and 1 municipality* (singular - hot); Arhangay, Bayanhongor, Bayan-Olgiy, Bulgan, Darhan-Uul, Dornod, Dornogovi, Dundgovi, Dzavhan, Govi-Altay, Govisumber, Hentiy, Hovd, Hovsgol, Omnogovi, Orhon, Ovorhangay, Selenge, Suhbaatar, Tov, Ulaanbaatar*, Uvs
Independence: 11 July 1921 (from China)
National holiday: Independence Day/Revolution Day, 11 July (1921)
Constitution: 12 February 1992
Legal system: blend of Soviet, German, and US systems that combine "continental" or "civil" code and case-precedent; constitution ambiguous on judicial review of legislative acts; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch: chief of state: President Nambaryn ENKHBAYAR (since 24 June 2005)
head of government: Prime Minister Sanjaa BAYAR (since 22 November 2007); Deputy Prime Minister Miegombyn ENKHBOLD (since 6 December 2007)
cabinet: Cabinet nominated by the prime minister in consultation with the president and confirmed by the State Great Hural (parliament)
elections: presidential candidates nominated by political parties represented in State Great Hural and elected by popular vote for a four-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held 22 May 2005 (next to be held in May 2009); following legislative elections, leader of majority party or majority coalition is usually elected prime minister by State Great Hural
election results: Nambaryn ENKHBAYAR elected president; percent of vote - Nambaryn ENKHBAYAR 53.44%, Mendsaikhanin ENKHSAIKHAN 20.05%, Bazarsadyn JARGALSAIKHAN 13.92%, Badarchyn ERDENEBAT 12.59%; Miegombyn ENKHBOLD elected prime minister by the State Great Hural 56 to 10
Legislative branch: unicameral State Great Hural 76 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms
elections: last held 27 June 2004 (next to be held on 29 June 2008)
election results: percent of vote by party - MPRP 48.8%, MDC 44.8%, independents 3.5%, Republican Party 1.5%, others 1.4%; seats by party - MPRP 36, MDC 34, others 4; note - 2 seats disputed and unfilled; following June 2004 election MDC collapsed
Judicial branch: Supreme Court (serves as appeals court for people's and provincial courts but rarely overturns verdicts of lower courts; judges are nominated by the General Council of Courts and approved by the president)
Political parties and leaders: Citizens Will Party [Sanjaasurengiin OYUN] (also called Civil Will); Democratic Party or DP [Tsakhiagiyn ELBEGDORJ]; Motherland-Mongolian New Socialist Democratic Party or M-MNSDP [Badarchyn ERDENEBAT]; Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party or MPRP [Sanji BAYAR]; Mongolian Republican Party or MRP [Bazarsadyn JARGALSAIKHAN]; People's Party or PP [Lamjav GUNDALAI]
note: DP and Motherland Party formed Motherland-Democracy Coalition (MDC) in 2003 and with cooperation from Civil Will and Republican parties contested June 2004 elections as single party; coalition was dissolved in December 2004
Political pressure groups and leaders: NA
International organization participation: ADB, ARF, CP, EBRD, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, MINURSO, NAM, OPCW, OSCE (partner), SCO (observer), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNMIL, UNMIS, UNOMIG, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Khasbazaryn BEKHBAT
chancery: 2833 M Street NW, Washington, DC 20007
telephone: [1] (202) 333-7117
FAX: [1] (202) 298-9227
Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Mark C. MINTON
embassy: Big Ring Road, 11th Micro Region, Ulaanbaatar
mailing address: PSC 461, Box 300, FPO AP 96521-0002; P.O. Box 1021, Ulaanbaatar-13
telephone: [976] (11) 329-095
FAX: [976] (11) 320-776
Flag description: three equal, vertical bands of red (hoist side), blue, and red; centered on the hoist-side red band in yellow is the national emblem ("soyombo" - a columnar arrangement of abstract and geometric representation for fire, sun, moon, earth, water, and the yin-yang symbol)
Culture

The main festival is Naadam, which has been organised for centuries, consists of three Mongolian traditional sports, archery, horse-racing (over long stretches of open country, not the short racing around a track practiced in the West), and wrestling. Nowadays it is held on July 11 to July 13 in the honour of the anniversaries of the National Democratic Revolution and foundation of the Great Mongol State. Another very popular activity called Shagaa is the "flicking" of sheep ankle bones at a target several feet away, using a flicking motion of the finger to send the small bone flying at targets and trying to knock the target bones off the platform. This contest at Naadam is very popular and develops a serious audience among older Mongolians. In Mongolia, the khoomii, or throat singing, style of music is popular, particularly in parts of Western Mongolia.

The ornate symbol in the leftmost bar of the national flag is a Buddhist icon called soyombo. It represents the sun, moon, stars, and heavens per standard cosmological symbology abstracted from that seen in traditional thangka paintings.

Sports and recreation

Mongolia's Naadam festival takes place over three days in the summer and includes horse racing, archery, and Mongolian wrestling. These three sports, traditionally recognized as the three primary masculine activities, are the most widely watched and practiced sports throughout the country.

Horse riding is especially central to Mongolian culture. The long-distance races that are showcased during Naadam festivals are one aspect of this, as is the popularity of trick riding. One example of trick riding is the legend that the Mongolian military hero Damdin Sükhbaatar scattered coins on the ground and then picked them up while riding a horse at full gallop.

Other sports such as table tennis, basketball, and soccer are increasingly getting popular. More Mongolian table tennis players are competing internationally.

Wrestling is the most popular of all Mongol sports. It is the highlight of the Three Manly Games of Naadam. Historians claim that Mongol-style wrestling originated some seven thousand years ago. Hundreds of wrestlers from different cities and aimags around the country take part in the national wrestling competition.

There are no weight categories or age limits. Each wrestler has his own attendant herald. The aim of the sport is to knock one's opponent off balance and throw him down, making him touch the ground with his elbow and knee.

The winners are honored with ancient titles: the winner of the fifth round gets the honorary title of nachin (falcon), of the seventh and eighth rounds zaan (elephant), and of the tenth and eleventh rounds arslan (lion). The wrestler who becomes the absolute champion is awarded the title of avarga (Titan). Every subsequent victory at the national Naadam-festival will add an epithet to the avarga title, like "Invincible Titan to be remembered by all".

Beginning in 2003, the Mongolian parliament adopted a new law on Naadam, making amendments to some of the wrestling titles. The titles of iarudi and Khartsaga (Hawk) were added to the existing above-mentioned rules.

The traditional wrestling costume includes an open-fronted jacket, tied around the waist with a string. This is said to have come into use after the champion of a wrestling competition many years ago was discovered to be a woman. The jacket was introduced to ensure that only men could compete.

Mongolia's traditional wrestlers have made the transition to Japanese sumo wrestling with great success. Asashōryū Akinori was the first Mongolian to be promoted to the top sumo rank of yokozuna in 2003 and was followed by his countryman Hakuhō Shō in 2007.

Football is also played in Mongolia. The Mongolia national football team began playing again in the 1990s; it has yet to qualify for a major tournament. The Mongolia Premier League is the top domestic competition.

Several Mongolian women have excelled in pistol shooting: Munkhbayar Dorjsuren is a double world champion and Olympic bronze medal winner (now representing Germany), while Otryad Gundegmaa and Tsogbadrakh Munkhzul are, as of May 2007 ranked second and third in the world in the 25 m Pistol event.

Economy Economy - overview: Economic activity in Mongolia has traditionally been based on herding and agriculture. Mongolia has extensive mineral deposits. Copper, coal, gold, molybdenum, fluorspar, uranium, tin, and tungsten account for a large part of industrial production and foreign direct investment. Soviet assistance, at its height one-third of GDP, disappeared almost overnight in 1990 and 1991 at the time of the dismantlement of the USSR. The following decade saw Mongolia endure both deep recession because of political inaction and natural disasters, as well as economic growth because of reform-embracing, free-market economics and extensive privatization of the formerly state-run economy. Severe winters and summer droughts in 2000-02 resulted in massive livestock die-off and zero or negative GDP growth. This was compounded by falling prices for Mongolia's primary sector exports and widespread opposition to privatization. Growth was 10.6% in 2004, 5.5% in 2005, 7.5% in 2006, and 9.9% in 2007 largely because of high copper prices and new gold production. Mongolia is experiencing its highest inflation rate in over a decade as consumer prices in 2007 rose 15%, largely because of increased fuel and food costs. Mongolia's economy continues to be heavily influenced by its neighbors. For example, Mongolia purchases 95% of its petroleum products and a substantial amount of electric power from Russia, leaving it vulnerable to price increases. Trade with China represents more than half of Mongolia's total external trade - China receives about 70% of Mongolia's exports. Remittances from Mongolians working abroad both legally and illegally are sizable, and money laundering is a growing concern. Mongolia settled its $11 billion debt with Russia at the end of 2003 on favorable terms. Mongolia, which joined the World Trade Organization in 1997, seeks to expand its participation and integration into Asian regional economic and trade regimes.
GDP (purchasing power parity): $8.448 billion (2007 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate): $3.854 billion (2007 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 9.9% (2007)
GDP - per capita (PPP): $2,900 (2007 est.)
GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 18.8%
industry: 40.4%
services: 40.8% (2006)
Labor force: 1.042 million (2006)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 39.9%
industry: 11.7%
services: 49.4% (2006)
Unemployment rate: 3% (2007)
Population below poverty line: 36.1% (2004)
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 3%
highest 10%: 24.6% (2002)
Distribution of family income - Gini index: 32.8 (2002)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 15.1% (2007)
Budget: revenues: $1.58 billion
expenditures: $1.497 billion (2007)
Agriculture - products: wheat, barley, vegetables, forage crops; sheep, goats, cattle, camels, horses
Industries: construction and construction materials; mining (coal, copper, molybdenum, fluorspar, tin, tungsten, and gold); oil; food and beverages; processing of animal products, cashmere and natural fiber manufacturing
Industrial production growth rate: 3% (2006 est.)
Electricity - production: 3.43 billion kWh (2006)
Electricity - production by source: fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)
Electricity - consumption: 2.94 billion kWh (2006)
Electricity - exports: 15.95 million kWh (2006)
Electricity - imports: 125 million kWh (2006)
Oil - production: 0 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil - consumption: 12,000 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil - exports: 821.9 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil - imports: 12,280 bbl/day (2004 est.)
Oil - proved reserves: 0 bbl (1 January 2006 est.)
Natural gas - production: 0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 0 cu m (2005)
Natural gas - exports: 0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 0 cu m (2005)
Natural gas - proved reserves: 0 cu m (1 January 2006 est.)
Exports: $1.889 billion f.o.b. (2007)
Exports - commodities: copper, apparel, livestock, animal products, cashmere, wool, hides, fluorspar, other nonferrous metals
Exports - partners: China 71.7%, Canada 11.7%, US 7.3% (2006)
Imports: $2.117 billion c.i.f. (2007)
Imports - commodities: machinery and equipment, fuel, cars, food products, industrial consumer goods, chemicals, building materials, sugar, tea
Imports - partners: Russia 29.7%, China 29.4%, Japan 11.9% (2006)
Economic aid - recipient: $159.5 million (2006)
Debt - external: $1.438 billion (2007)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home: $NA
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad: $NA
Market value of publicly traded shares: $613.3 million (2007)
Currency (code): togrog/tugrik (MNT)
Currency code: MNT
Exchange rates: togrogs/tugriks per US dollar - 1,170 (2007), 1,179.6 (2006), 1,205 (2005), 1,185.3 (2004), 1,146.5 (2003)
Fiscal year: calendar year
Communications Telephones - main lines in use: 158,900 (2006)
Telephones - mobile cellular: 775,300 (2006)
Telephone system: general assessment: network is improving with international direct dialing available in many areas
domestic: very low fixed-line density; there are multiple mobile cellular service providers and subscribership is increasing rapidly; a fiber-optic network is also being installed that will improve broadband and communication services between major urban centers
international: country code - 976; satellite earth stations - 7
Radio broadcast stations: AM 7, FM 115 (includes 20 National radio broadcaster repeaters), shortwave 4 (2006)
Radios: 155,900 (1999)
Television broadcast stations: 456 (including provincial and low-power repeaters) (2006)
Televisions: 168,800 (1999)
Internet country code: .mn
Internet hosts: 298 (2007)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 5 (2001)
Internet users: 268,300 (2005)
Transportation Airports: 44 (2007)
Airports - with paved runways: total: 13
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 10
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2 (2007)
Airports - with unpaved runways: total: 31
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 5
1,524 to 2,437 m: 23
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 1 (2007)
Heliports: 1 (2007)
Railways: total: 1,810 km
broad gauge: 1,810 km 1.524-m gauge (2006)
Roadways: total: 49,250 km
paved: 1,724 km
unpaved: 47,526 km (2002)
Waterways: 580 km
note: only waterway in operation is Lake Hovsgol (135 km); Selenge River (270 km) and Orhon River (175 km) are navigable but carry little traffic; lakes and rivers freeze in winter, are open from May to September (2004)
Merchant marine: total: 73 ships (1000 GRT or over) 448,252 GRT/668,689 DWT
by type: bulk carrier 12, cargo 52, chemical tanker 1, liquefied gas 1, passenger/cargo 1, petroleum tanker 1, roll on/roll off 5
foreign-owned: 62 (Bulgaria 2, China 3, Hong Kong 1, Japan 1, Lebanon 1, Malaysia 1, Russia 17, Singapore 12, Syria 1, Thailand 1, Ukraine 3, UAE 5, Vietnam 14) (2007)
Military Military branches: Mongolian Armed Forces: Mongolian Army, Mongolian Air Force; there is no navy (2008)
Military service age and obligation: 18-25 years of age for compulsory military service; conscript service obligation - 12 months in land or air defense forces or police; a small portion of Mongolian land forces (2.5 percent) is comprised of contract soldiers; women cannot be deployed overseas for military operations (2006)
Manpower available for military service: males age 16-49: 865,425
females age 16-49: 860,669 (2008 est.)
Manpower fit for military service: males age 16-49: 696,652
females age 16-49: 731,480 (2008 est.)
Manpower reaching military service age annually: males age 16-49: 29,990
females age 16-49: 29,256 (2008 est.)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP: 1.4% (2006)
Transnational Issues Disputes - international: none