It has been a bit of a whirlwind but I must say Mongolia is unlike any country I have ever seen. From pastoral Nomads to Global high-tech Tycoons…and everything in between.
The country is on the cusp of some very major changes. The struggle to reap the benefits of mineral wealth permeates every aspect of the country’s welfare. Mongolians – at least half the population, live in the capital Ulaan Baatar. The city looks like one huge construction site. Because the winter is long and harsh, all the construction and building has to take place during the warm summer months and the result is partly finished structures everywhere. There is also a shortage of man power to undertake this renaissance. And yet the outside world’s view of Mongolia is its vast steppe and pristine landscapes.
I have the good fortune of working closely with the people who are taking the challenge head on. It is both scary and exhilarating and they simultaneously move a few steps forward and one or two back. But there is no mistaking the energy, the drive and most of all the sincerity to get it right. Unlike the Imperial Khans, this version of Mongolian modernization is seeing the participation of the global community in the country’s future in very on-the-ground ways.
Investors are skeptical, show interest and are making commitments to a long-term growth potential of a country looking to diversify with and beyond its mineral wealth.