Is Mongolia the next emerging market for your international business strategy?



international-business-strategyJordan Belfort, the former stockbroker made famous by the book he published in 2008 and the subsequent award-winning film in 2013 starring Leonardo DiCaprio, paid a visit to Mongolia recently.

No, he was not invited to give trading tips. In fact, the convict turned author and motivational speaker was there to talk about how Mongolian government officials and business representatives can help speed along the country’s success “by effectively telling its story”.

Ironically, Mongolia is far from lacking in qualities that make for a good story; the trouble might just be choosing which to share.

Embracing Tradition while Looking Ahead to a Bright Economic Future

Accented with lush and serene vegetation in the summer months, parts of Mongolia could easily be confused for Switzerland, according to Lonely Planet.

Known the world over for Genghis Khan (Chinggis Khaan) and the traditionally nomadic lifestyle that is still purportedly led by more than 30 percent of the population, Mongolia is looking to capitalize on its unique culture and attractive scenery in a bid to open the world’s eyes to many of its strengths as a place to visit and do business.

With more than 1.5 million square kilometres of land inhabited by just under 3 million people, Mongolia is the world’s most sparsely populated independent country in the world; although that would be difficult to believe for someone visiting the nation’s capital of Ulaanbaatar, which nearly half of the country’s citizens call home.

Since its democratic government toppled the communist regime in 1990, the country has been reinventing itself as a unique place where old traditions meet modern life.

As a country rich with natural resources and a well-established mining industry, Mongolia has been actively promoting itself to investors and business owners around the globe, including in Canada through its newly established Canada Mongolia Chamber of Commerce, located in Toronto. I had the opportunity to speak with the Chamber’s Executive Director, Bolor Sambuu.

“After 70 years of Russian influence ending in 1990, the new generation in Mongolia is not ignoring its past steeped with Tibetan tradition,” he said. “It is also in search of new opportunities to share the talents and hard work of Mongolians with the world.

These days, Mongolian cashmere and sea-buckthorn berries have been two of the latest Mongolian exports to gain popularity on the world stage.

And likewise, as a country that has seen regular double-digit growth, its emerging middle-class enjoys travelling to other countries and imported goods.”

Opportunities for Canadian Businesses in Mongolia

Canada is the second largest investor in Mongolia, and Export Development Canada (EDC) is actively pursuing business there, having assisted 28 Canadian firms from its regional offices in Moscow, Russia.

Canadian businesses already export nearly $72 million to Mongolia, and according to EDC, the business environment ranks quite favorably compared to similarly rated markets as denoted by the World Bank Ease of Doing Business or World Economic Forum competitiveness indicators.

Furthermore, the Canadian government has taken an important step to offer additional support to Canadian businesses by opening up a Canadian Embassy in Ulaanbaator.

Learn about government funding programs for export development and find out more about doing business in Mongolia and making it part of your international business strategy by visiting or by contacting Bolor Sambuu.

Have you ever done business in Mongolia? What was your experience? Share your insights below!

About the author

Author: Ryan Weaver

Ryan is a Marketing Analyst at Mentor Works and holds a B.A. in economics, as well as a M.Sc in management and several published works including two book publications. Ryan is actively engaged with business owners and executives to educate them about government grants and funding available to accelerate their growth and cash flow planning activities.

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