Market access

Mongolia has been a member of the WTO since 1997. Mongolian legislation recognizes the primacy of international treaties in cases of conflict with domestic legislation.

Regional and international markets

Mongolia is a member of the following regional organizations and trade agreements

Launched in 2006, GSP Plus covers around 7,200 products. It is accessible to especially vulnerable countries that have ratified and effectively implemented key international conventions on sustainable development, labour rights and good governance. 

The EU GSP is the most generous of all developed country GSP systems. The volume of imports to the EU from developing countries under the GSP is greater than the volume of imports under the US, Canadian and Japanese GSP systems combined.

The Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement is open to all members of the UN Economic and Social Council for Asia and  the Pacific. It aims to promote economic development through the adoption of mutually beneficial trade liberalization measures. In addition to tariff concessions, it covers non-tariff measures, trade facilitation, trade in services and investment.

The agreement covers trade in goods, investment, trade in Services, intellectual property, e-commerce, rules of origin, customs procedures, competition, cooperation, dispute settlement, sanitary and phytosanitary measures (SPS) and technical barriers to trade (TBT).The text can be found at:


The mining sector plays a key role in Mongolia's economy. Since the Minerals Law was passed in 2006 it has been amended 22 times, with recent amendments seen as liberalizing the regulatory framework, following a more restrictive approach adopted in 2012.

Over 6,000 deposits of approximately 80 minerals exist in Mongolia, among them coal, copper, uranium, iron ore, oil, tungsten, molybdenum and phosphate. Of particular note are Mongolia’s excellent metallurgic coal deposits. Currently, 160 are being exploited. Mongolia’s location next to China provides a ready market for Mongolia’s mineral wealth. As with all industrial sectors in Mongolia, there is plenty of potential to develop supporting infrastructure.

Mongolian law provides that mineral resources are the property of the state. Under the Minerals Law, individuals and legal entities may apply for exploration licenses and mining licences which authorise exploration and mining activities (respectively) for minerals within the licence area. Unlike in many other jurisdictions, a license under the Minerals Law relates to minerals generally rather than specific minerals.

Mongolia's biggest mine is Oyu Tolgoi. Jointly exploited by Rio-Tinto (UK), Ivanhoe Mines (Canada) and the Government of Mongolia, it is expected to yield 450,000 tonnes of copper and 330,000 ouces of gold annually, and contribute an estimated 30 percent to Mongolia's GDP.

Key rights and terms of a mining license under the Minerals Law

Exploration Licence Mining Licence
Rights of a license holder Exclusive right to conduct exploration for minerals; exclusive right to obtain a mining licence; right to transfer or pledge all or any of the exploration licence; right to explore for radioactive minerals if special licence is granted. Right to engage in the mining of minerals; right to sell mineral products at international prices right to transfer or pledge all or any of the mining licence; right to engage in mining of radioactive minerals if a special licence is granted.
Maximum term 9 years 70 years
Annual license fees 1st year is $0.10 per hectare. Increases thereafter to a maximum fee of $1.50 per hectare. Coal and common mineral deposits are $5 per hectare. Other minerals are $15 per hectare.
Royalties N/A Domestically sold coal base rate: 2.5% of sales value. Other minerals and exported coal base rate: 5% of sales value. Additional rate depending on mineral type, market price and degree of processing: maximum 30% of sales value.
Minimum investment 2nd to 3rd years: $0.50 per hectare. 4th to 6th years: $1.00 per hectare. 7th to 9 years: $1.50 per hectare. N/A


Agriculture has traditionally been an important part of Mongolia's economy. It is estimated that it is made up of 80 percent livestock with the remaining being crop production. It employs 29 percent of the workforce, mainly nomadic, and uses 74 percent of the land. Of Mongolia’s pasture and agricultural land, 27 percent is classified as mountain/steppe and 30 percent as dry grassland. Cropland is 7 percent, which during the socialist period produced to supply Mongolia and export to Russia. The main agricultural exports are leather, organic cashmere, meat, and sheep and camel wool.

There is an estimated 66 million head of livestock, composed mainly of sheep (28 million), goat (25.5 million), horse (3.6 million) and cattle (2.8 million) by 2017. There are an estimated 1.2 million hectares of arable land of which only half is in use.

A number of opportunities exist. These include:

  • Improving the quality of local meat production through the creation of ranches, vaccination of animals to meet international standards, the establishment of slaughterhouses and a refrigeration chain. Mongolia's 23 million sheep produce only 1.8 tonnes of exportable meat compared to 350,000 tonnes from 29 million sheep in New Zealand.
  • Growing market vegetables to supply the Mongolian market in winter months, as an import substitute to vegetables from China.
  • The processing of cashmere, yak hair, sheep, camel wool and leather to high standards for export.

In order to support the sector, the government is establishing the Khalh Gol agricultural free zone in Khalhgol soum, with an area of 500 thousand hectares.

What investors think

“Mongolia’s next” Tavan Tolgoi” and “Oyu Tolgoi” will be in agriculture and farming, reserve and potential for Mongolians. It is my goal and dream to see newsfeeds depicting Mongolia meat and dairy produce exports as a significant percentage of world output. I will do everything I can to make this a reality” 

/Mr. L.Chinbat, Director of Gatsuurt LLC/


Tourism has been a growing sector and since the opening of the economy in 1992. Today there are around 500 tour companies, 375 hotels, 390 tourists camps and more than 20,000 people are working in this field.

Mongolia has developed a reputation as a key destination for outdoor and adventure sport and other related activities, including trekking, climbing, fishing, hunting and bird-watching, making use of its landscapes, rivers and lakes, and nomadic traditions.

Principle access is through the main international airport is Chinggis Khaan, outside Ulaanbaatar. 

Key features of interest for tourism in Mongolia include:

  • The Naadam games, which take place mid-July and feature the traditional sports of wrestling, horseback riding and archery.
  • Lakes such as Khuvsgul, which have become popular with domestic tourists and are accessible by road.
  • National parks, featuring pastureland, mountains and rock formations.
  • The Gobi desert, bordering China.
  • The ancient capital of Karokorum, Chinggis Khaan's fabled city.

The country is aiming to be a hub for the North-East Asia region and visitors come mainly from China, Russia and South Korea (mainly for business), followed by the United States, Japan, France and Germany. Tourists are mostly in the senior category.

In order to support the growth of the sector the government plans, under its National Tourism Development Plan:

  • a new airport for the capital with greater runway and passenger capacity;
  • flights to six provinces from the capital; and
  • access to all provinces by paved road.

Developers wishing to build a lodge in a national park can apply for a permit from the Ministry of Tourism. These are provide for five years and are renewable.

With regards to hotels for business and meeting-related tourism, the view is that a recent building boom has let to an over-supply of business hotel rooms in the capital.

Find out more...

Relevant documents Law on Tourism
Relevant institutions Ministry of Environment, Green Development and Tourism

Financial services

The financial services sector is expected to see growing demand as:

  • international investors enter the country, especially in the capital intensive mining and energy sectors;
  • investment funds from the region seek new opportunities;
  • the government increases minimium capital requirements, leading to consolidation;
  • Mongolian companies and citizens require greater access to banking and insurance services; and
  • a government share giveaway to every citizen of around $500 per citizen is realized.
The Government has been undertaking extensive efforts to support expansion of the financial services sector. Key recent reforms include include the strengthening of the capital markets, both through the Mongolia Stock Exchange and over the counter, through the Bond Market Law of 2014, the Securities Market Law of 2014 and the Investment Funds Law of 2014 (see box below).

Within the banking sector, there are 14 local commercial banks and two representative offices of foreign banks (ING and Standard Chartered). The minimum capital requirement for commercial banks is approximately $12 million. The Central Bank of Mongolia (BOM) formulates and implements monetary policy to achieve its main objective of the stability of the national currency. Foreign banks may establish local subsidiaries no earlier than one year after the establishment of their Mongolian representative offices. The minimum capital requirement for a Mongolian subsidiary of a foreign bank is set at $50 million.

Insurance activities in Mongolia are regulated by the Financial Regulatory Commission of Mongolia through the adoption of regulations and issuance of insurance contracts with insurance companies that have not obtained a license from the FRC, including foreign insurance companies. At present the minimum capital requirement is approximately $1.4 million, although expected to increase to $2.5 million in 2017.

Key features of the Securities Market Law and Investment Funds Law

The Securities Market Law 2014:

  • Improves the security registration procedure, with detailed regulations on listings and IPOs and enabling of dual listings.
  • Is designed to attract foreign investment with the introduction of custodian banks and investment funds, and protections for investors.
  • Improves market convertibility by allowing derivative instruments and asset-backed securities, and over the counter transactions.
  • Increases market transparency by requiring greater disclosure, better governance and introducing self-regulation.

The Investment Funds Law 2014:

  • Establishes rules for investment funds.
  • Regulates entry into the sector, management of funds, registration of fund assets and publication of information to investors.
  • Facilitates access by citizens and foreign investors to Mongolian assets.

last update on: 2/9/2020