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Mongolia: Doing business and staying in touch

Doing Business in Mongolia

Suits are recommended. Translator services should be arranged prior to departure for Mongolia, although an increasing number of executives speak English, and Russian is widely spoken. Government officials may not be available for meetings on weekends. Exchanging business cards is customary.

Office Hours

Mon-Fri 0900-1800.


Mongolia's economy has traditionally been based on herding and agriculture. Mongolia has extensive mineral deposits; copper, coal, tin, tungsten and gold account for a large part of industrial production.

Mongolia's economy continues to be heavily influenced by its neighbours. For example, Mongolia purchases over 90% of its petroleum products and a substantial amount of electric power from Russia, leaving it vulnerable to price increases. China is Mongolia's chief export partner.

Remittances from Mongolians working abroad both legally and illegally are sizable, and money laundering is a growing concern. Registered unemployment was at 2.7% in 2007 but the real figure is 30% or more because so few register. Unemployment figures increased in early 2009 as the global economic downturn slowed the flow of money in the country.

Mongolia, which joined the World Trade Organization in 1997, seeks to expand its participation and integration into Asian regional economic and trade regimes.
For further information, contact the Mongolian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (see below).


US$11.16 billion (2016).

Main exports

Copper, livestock, animal products, cashmere, wool, hide and coal.

Main imports

Machinery and equipment, fuels, cars, food products, industrial consumer goods and chemicals.

Main trading partners

China (PR), Korea (Rep), Russian Federation, Japan and USA.

Keeping in Touch in Mongolia


Area codes: Darkhan: 01 372, Erdenet: 01 352, Khovd: 01 432. Ulaanbaatar has several area codes, the most common area code is 11. However, if a phone number begins with a 23, 24 or 25 then the code is 21. If the phone number begins with a 26 the code is 51. International calls can be made from telephone exchanges in Ulaanbaatar and provincial capitals.

Mobile Phone

Roaming agreements exist with some international mobile phone operators. Coverage includes large cities, provincial capitals, many county centres and main roads. Mongolia has four mobile phone service providers, two run on the GSM network and two run on the CDMA network. SIM cards are available at low cost from local phone shops.


Access is available in Ulaanbaatar at business centres (often located in hotels), Internet cafés and at the telephone exchange on Suhkbaatar Square. Many cafés, restaurants and hotels in Ulaanbaatar offer free Wi-Fi access. Free Wi-Fi is also available in Sukhbaatar Square. Every provincial capital has a reliable Internet café at the central telecom office. Wi-Fi access outside Ulaanbaatar is rare. The Internet is open and unrestricted. High-speed access is available.


In general the media are free, and sometimes outspoken in their criticism of the authorities. However, journalists risk imprisonment for defamation and violating 'state secrets'. The privately-run English language UB Post is published twice weekly. The government-owned Mongol Messenger is published once weekly.


Airmail abroad can be very slow. There is an express mail service available for a limited number of countries.