Mongolia is in the midst of a debt crisis, and this week it was announced that the troubled country would receive a $5.5 billion international bailout. The loan will be financed by a collection of entities, including the Asian Development Bank, the World Bank, Japan, South Korea, and China. Mongolia’s struggles are recent, but came swiftly. After growing an incredible 17% in 2011, the country quickly fell into cash problems. China’s economic slowdown was a major factor in the economy’s collapse, along with falling commodity prices, a backbone of the Mongolian economy.
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Just four years ago, the Mongolian economy grew by 17% and attracted billions of dollars in foreign investment, according to World Bank data. Today, there is a mounting debt crisis and the risk of a possible default from the Mongolian government, with GDP only growing about 1.3% for the first half of the year. Currency has also plummeted nearly 10% against the dollar in the past month alone, and concern continues to grow as more investors pull their funding from the country.
With bountiful natural resource and an extremely small population to support, Mongolia is becoming an independently powerful economic powerhouse. With $5 billion pumped into the economy in 2011 fueling a stunning 17% increase in the country’s GDP, Mongolia has become the world’s fastest growing economy.
Landlocked between Russia and China can be both a blessing and a curse in international trade. The former has supplied all of Mongolia’s oil needs and the latter receives 90% of Mongolia’s exports. Both are wooing the country so they may become the dominant force in developing the country’s natural resource. However, with other nations pouring in, they might not be as successful in having too much leverage.
Valuable copper, gold, and coal deposits enticed international investors to put $1.4 billion into the Mongolian economy in 2010. As production in China expands, Mongolia is well positioned geographically to capitalize on demand for raw materials. Although small in terms of population, Mongolia saw its national currency (the tugrik) outperform any other global monetary unit over the last year. Will this upward trend continue, or will Mongolia fail to capitalize on a promising opportunity for economic growth?
As it gets colder outside and we head into turtleneck and snow pant season, it’s a good time to start thinking about what you will get your loved ones for the holidays. Many retailers are preparing for the rush of shoppers, but the suffering economy is kind of raining on their parade. The economic downturn is affecting people all over the globe. In Mongolia, factory workers were ready for the demand of their stylish and cozy cashmere sweaters, but are finding that the demand is not what it used to be.