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22nd Greater Tumen Initiative (GTI) Consultative Commission (CC) Meeting held on 8 December 2022
2022/12/22 12:19:47 Views:


Ulaanbaatar - On December 8, 2022, the 22nd Greater Tumen Initiative (GTI) Consultative Commission (CC) Meeting was successfully held by video conference. GTI Member States (Mongolia, the People’s Republic of China, the Republic of Korea, the Russian Federation), as well as high-level representatives from line ministries, the local governments of Northeast Asia (NEA), financial institutions, research institutions and international organizations attended the meeting.


The meeting started with opening speeches delivered by Mr. Batjargal Khandjav (State Secretary, Ministry of Economy and Development, Mongolia), Mr. Ling Ji (Vice Minister and Deputy China International Trade Representative, Ministry of Commerce of China), Mr. Seong-Wook Kim (Deputy Minister for International Affairs, Ministry of Economy and Finance of the Republic of Korea), and Ms. Natalia Stapran (Director General of the Department of Multilateral Economic Cooperation and Special Projects, Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation) .


Mr. Batjargal Khandjav emphasized that the cross-cutting theme of climate change had become an important pillar for collaboration that GTI members should aim for. Mongolia is working in accordance with the policy ensuring sustainable development of the region and to encourage trade and economic cooperation, improving the infrastructure in accordance with the principle of equality and mutual benefit in regional cooperation, intensifying cross-border trade, creating favorable conditions for transportation, diversifying the economy, and supporting export-oriented production. Also, he emphasized that agriculture is one of the key potentials for deepening trade and economic relations, with an opportunity to jointly form a value chain within the region and to develop production and manufacturing matching international standards, using the characteristics and strengths of the member countries. Mongolia had conducted hybrid format workshop within the GTI operational framework together with UNESCAP to discuss the current situation in the food security area and to propose possible cooperation to advance the collaboration in this sector. Noticing the needs in making real investments in the framework of the program and implementing economically beneficial projects and programs with investment-oriented initiative, it is important to strengthen partnerships with development partners such as MDBs and EXIM Banks, and to promote cooperation of the private sector and the business sector to attract investment to the region.


Mr. Ling Ji first mentioned some progress scored by GTI members in various areas in the past year: China-Russia Highway Bridge and Tongjiang Railway Bridge were open to traffic; China, Mongolia, Russia actively moved forward the Asian Highway network and scored important progress; the 4th NEA Policy Dialogue on Industrial Parks was held to call on strengthening cooperation on regional industrial chains and supply chains; over 30 rural tourist routes were introduced at the GTI Rural Tourism Promotion Meeting; under local cooperation, members reached common understanding on strengthening the land, sea corridor, transportation, logistic, and SME development. Noticing the crisis such as the heightening geopolitical tensions, the resurgence of COVID-19, growing risks of global recession, rising unilateralism and protectionism are harming the industrial and supply chains, GTI members should specify the areas of cooperation, strengthen the drivers of cooperation and uphold open regionalism. Looking ahead, China suggests to: (1) keep up the momentum for regional economic integration and promote policy coordination; (2) embrace the opportunities in digital economy and green investment, etc., to unlock extra drivers for regional growth. In 2021, China’s digital economy reached 45.5 trillion yuan, accounting for 39.8% of the GDP, showing great potential in the digital market. China is willing to engage in GTI digital cooperation on trade, transport and logistics, to fill the gaps in digital development of all parties through capacity building, and to facilitate the coordinated development in green economy; (3) put people first and promote sustainable and inclusive growth. China welcomes initiatives on promoting SME development and look forward to strengthening exchanges and cooperation on energy and food security, e-commerce driven, poverty reduction and rural tourism.


Mr. Seong-Wook Kim noted that, as the global economy continues to face challenges, the concerns for economic contraction along with persistent inflationary pressure are looming, while the global supply chain is disrupted and uncertainties linger. Issues such as climate change, food security and the spread of infectious disease require collective actions by international community. GTI can be instrumental in strengthening the cooperation in Northeast Asia in responding to these challenges. GTI has contributed to lay a foundation for the development of not only the tumen region, but also in Northeast Asia, and broadening the scope of cooperation in the region by engaging with local government, research institutions, businesses and international organizations with various project across sectors. However, the institutional constraints due to legal, financial and human recourse have weaken the capacity of GTI to implement projects. Thus, he called to bring changes to GTI to achieve inclusive growth and harmonize policy goals of members in the post COVID era, and proposed 3 directions of the GTI development: a) GTI’s transformation into a legally independent international organization; b) reinforcing the cross-border and cross-sector cooperation among government, business, academics and international organizations; c) encouragement of North Korea to re-join the GTI. Mr. Kim appealed for closer coordination between countries for the development of Northeast Asia.

Ms. Natalia Stapran echoed with Mongolia on the importance of agricultural development and food security when the world faces food crises along with the COVID-19 and followed by economic and energy crises caused, among others, by unilateral restrictive and protectionist measures. Russia has made efforts to fulfill obligations on food supplies as a large agricultural producer: the agriculture exports by September has already been 16% higher than last year, and mutual trade in agriculture products with the GTI partners at the same period increased by 19%. For the analytical work carried out under GTI, Russia welcomes the completion of the project on the development of rural tourism in the GTI countries, and noted the interim report on capacity building in power interconnection cooperation in Northeast Asia. Russia successfully chaired and held the Energy and Transport Boards’ sessions, welcomes the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between the GTI Secretariat and the International Coordinating Council on Trans-Eurasian Transportation, and also saw the 3rd UNESCAP-GTI Seminar on Transport Issues held in November as an important step on sharing best practices in the digitalization of the transport sector. Also, she mentioned that Russia is ready to share the experience regarding the development of the national sustainable finance system, including the green finance taxonomy adopted in 2021, and working on a social finance taxonomy and expanding the use of all available sustainable financial instruments. The volume of placement of green, social and adaptation bonds traded on the Moscow Stock Exchange in 2022 amounts to more than 4 billion dollars. She emphasized that sustainable development and overcoming the challenges of climate change should be one of the key priority areas within the GTI in the coming years, and suggested GTI working more closely with the UNESCAP and other relevant stakeholders to explore new opportunities of the sustainable agenda.

After the opening session, the GTI Member States first positively reviewed the overall progress in priority sectors and partnership development since the 21st CC Meeting in December 2021, then welcomed the outcome of the ‘Draft Project Report on Capacity Building Needs Assessment for Effective Power Interconnection Cooperation in North-East Asia‘ as well as the ‘Project Report on Design on Developing Rural Tourism to Promote Rural Development and Revitalization in Greater Tumen Region: GTI Rural Tourism Promotion Meeting’.


During the second session, policies and measures on promoting logistics and transportation in Northeast Asia in the post-pandemic era were shared by the invited officials of transport sector*. Then, Ms. Fideles Sadicon (Sustainable Development Officer, East and North-East Asia Office, UNESCAP) presented the outcome of the 1st Annual Forum on Connectivity with the theme "Framework for Agriculture Development and Food Security in the Greater Tumen Region".


The third session featured the theme of “Supporting Regional Actions to Address Climate Change as a Crosscutting Theme under GTI Operational Framework”. Mr. Sukhragchaa Mijidsuren (NDC National Coordinator, Climate Change Department, Ministry of Environment and Tourism, Mongolia) gave a presentation about regional actions of Mongolia to address climate change, and Mr. Tumun Tsydypov (First Deputy Director General, BAIKAL.CENTER (VEB.RF Group)) presented Baikalsk ecotourism infrastructure projects. Ms. Natalia Stapran mentioned the goal of Russia to reach carbon neutrality by 2060 and stressed the importance of cooperation in NEA to address climate issues and to keep the balance between climate sustainability and people's prosperity and people's economic and social needs. Moreover, GTI’s expenditure report, budget proposal and the work plan for the period ahead were endorsed by the Members States.


Lastly, members adopted the Ulaanbaatar Declaration**. The Government of China took over the GTI CC Chairmanship and confirmed that the 23rd CC meeting will be hosted and chaired by China in 2023.


*Speakers in session 2: Mr. Bolor-Erdene B., Director, Policy Planning Department, Ministry of Road and Transport Development, Mongolia

Ms. Yan Yan, Deputy Director, Asia-Pacific Division, Department of International Cooperation, Ministry of Transport, China

Dr. Kim Sung Hoon, Research Fellow, Smart City Transportation Center, Korea Transport Institute

Mr. Alexey Sapetko, Director of the International Cooperation Department, Ministry of Transport of the Russian Federation


** Ulaanbaatar Declaration:  /?info-791-1.html