A little more than 25 years ago, Mongolia started down the path of democracy. Since then the U.S. has actively supported the transition process with projects through the Millennium Challenge Corporation including a $285 million compact that has helped to build roads, promote heath care and education among others things.
On a recent visit to Mongolia, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry stressed the importance of attracting foreign investment to the country. He said, "There’s more we can do to open up the economy. There’s more we can do to get transparency and accountability in place, push back against whatever corrupt practices may have existed from old times into the present, and begin to modernize, create rules of the road which will attract private capital." Implementing the U.S.-Mongolia bilateral Transparency Agreement will go a long way toward creating the conditions favorable to foreign investment.
In a meeting with Mongolian entrepreneurs, civic leaders, and political activists, Secretary Kerry announced a $2.5 million program under the U.S. Agency for International Development to help advance the democratic process. The grant will also help to provide materials to schools that will assist them in teaching their students to understand how free markets and democracy work.
The United States values Mongolia's growing participation on the international scene. Mongolia has committed peacekeeping troops to Sudan, South Sudan and elsewhere. Mongolian troops have also been serving alongside American soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq. Most recently, the U.S. and Mongolia co-sponsored the Khaan Quest Exercises which brings together more than 40 nations and 2000 participants to improve peacekeeping practices and tactics.
In an effort to improve people-to-people ties, the U.S. is working to make it easier for Mongolian businessmen, students, and tourists to obtain visas. The U.S. will also continue to support its highly successful Peace Corps program in Mongolia.
"The bottom line is very simple," said Secretary Kerry, "Mongolia has made remarkable progress for a young democracy." The U.S. is committed to doing all it can to see that progress continue.