France and Mongolia
Founding texts of the bilateral, economic and cultural relationship:
• Agreement on the Exchange of Diplomatic Representatives (30 March 1965), formalized in a letter from the French Foreign Minister Maurice Couve de Murville to his Mongolian counterpart dated 23 June 1965;
• Agreement on the Promotion and Reciprocal Protection of Investments. It was signed on 8 November 1991 and entered into force in France on 22 December 1993;
• Friendship and Co-operation Agreement. It was signed on 18 April 1996 and entered into force on 1 November 1997);
• Agreement for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to Taxes on Income and on Capital. It was signed on 18 April 1996 and entered into force in France on 1 December 1998;
• Framework Agreement on Cooperation in the Tourism Sector. It was signed on 21 February 2005 and renewed by the Administrative Arrangement signed on 19 November 2015;
• Intergovernmental Agreement on Educational, Cultural, and Technical Cooperation signed on 19 November 2015, which replaces the cultural, scientific and technical cooperation agreement signed on 25 May 2005;
• Intergovernmental Cooperation Agreement in the nuclear energy sector, signed on 14 October 2010;
• Agreement on the use of the Food Facility to finance agriculture projects, signed on 15 October 2015;
• Agreement on Implementing a Joint Scholarship Programme, signed on 19 November 2015.
The transformation of the Embassy into a permanent diplomatic post on 25 June 2003 highlighted the French Government’s intention to step up French-Mongolian relations, alongside the two Heads of State’s decision to co-sponsor the French Archaeological Mission in Mongolia (July 2003). The opening of an Alliance Française in Ulaanbaatar in 2005 and of an economic service and a Cooperation and Cultural Action Service (SCAC) at the French Embassy, respectively in 2012 and 2014, highlighted this constant concern to develop our partnership.
The French Minister Delegate for the Food Industry, Mr Guillaume Garot, visited Mongolia to represent the French President at the inauguration ceremony for the re-elected President Mr Tsakhia Elbegdorj in July 2013. The French Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Laurent Fabius, made a historic visit to Mongolia in October 2013 (the first visit by a French Foreign Minister since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1965).
Since that visit, the high-level dialogue has intensified with the visit to France of several members of the Mongolian Government (see below). The Mongolian and French presidents met on the occasion of the ASEM Summit in Milan in October 2014. The Mongolian Foreign Minister visited France from 10 to 12 June 2015. The French Foreign Minister met his Mongolian counterpart in Beijing on 3 September 2015. The Mongolian Defence Minister visited France from 23 to 25 September 2015. These meetings were an opportunity to reaffirm the commitment of both sides to strengthen their relations in all areas.
In 2015, France and Mongolia celebrated the 50th anniversary of the establishment of their diplomatic relations. On that occasion, the President of Mongolia made an official visit to France on 18-19 November 2015.
• September 2013: visit by Mr Gombo Tsogtsaikhan, State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mongolia, to participate in the first meeting of the Mongolia-France intergovernmental working group on energy;
• November 2013: visit by Mr Luvsanvandan Bold, Mongolian Foreign Minister;
• November 2013: visit by Ms Tsedevdamba Oyungerel, Mongolian Minister of Culture, Sport and Tourism;
• January 2014: visit by Mr Namdag Battsereg, Chairman of the Mongolia-France Friendship Group in the Mongolian Parliament;
• February 2014: visit by Mr Khaltmaa Battulga, Mongolian Minister of Industry and Agriculture;
• June 2015: visit by Mr Lundeg Purevsuren, Mongolian Foreign Minister;
• September 2015: visit by Mr Tserendash Tsolmon, Mongolian Defence Minister;
• November 2015: official visit by the President of Mongolia Mr Tsakhia Elbegdorj.
Visits to Mongolia
• July 2013: the French Minister Delegate for the Food Industry, Mr Guillaume Garot, visited Mongolia to participate in the inauguration ceremony for the re-elected President Mr Tsakhia Elbegdorj;
• October 2013: visit by the French Foreign Minister Mr Laurent Fabius;
• December 2014: visit by Mr Matthias Fekl, French Minister of State for Foreign Trade, the Promotion of Tourism and French Nationals Abroad.
In terms of FDI, France is the 18th-largest investor in Mongolia (stock of US$ 48 million).
France is Mongolia’s 12th-largest supplier (ranking third among European countries behind Germany with a 0.9% market share) and its 10th-largest customer. In 2014, French exports to Mongolia amounted to €17.9 million with a trade surplus of €14.6 million for France. Trade has shown a significant increase since 2002, and the Mongolian economy has enjoyed firm growth.
The current context offers many opportunities for French companies. French investment in Mongolia and trade between France and Mongolia are still relatively low but are expected to increase. The French presence consists of 150 nationals and some 15 companies, some of which have been established for a long time.
Regarding bilateral cooperation in the nuclear energy sector, an agreement was signed on 2 September 2013 by the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) and the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) of Mongolia, on the occasion of the first meeting of the Mongolia-France intergovernmental working group on energy. This agreement established a general framework for cooperation in training Mongolian experts and students in nuclear science and technology. It followed the bilateral nuclear energy agreement signed in October 2010, which provides for the exchange and training of personnel and demonstrates our will to further cooperation in the nuclear field with a view to supporting projects.
An agricultural cooperation agreement was signed by the two countries during the French Foreign Minister’s visit to Mongolia in October 2013. The international recognition of the French livestock sector (genetics, animal identification, veterinary vaccines, etc.), allows prospects for cooperation in cattle and sheep breeding in particular. This cooperation supports programmes to import French live animals, which Mongolia wishes to step up. It also provides training for Mongolian professionals to promote their high-quality products through appellations of origin. Two new agreements were signed in this sector during the Mongolian President’s visit in November 2015, with a view to developing French-Mongolian cooperation in bovine genetics via artificial insemination in Mongolia in support of dedicated laboratories, and to financing new projects through a specific fund.
It now goes beyond the emblematic framework of archaeology (a new agreement on archaeology and palaeontology was signed during the French Foreign Minister’s visit to Mongolia in October 2013) and extends to the rule of law and to training (an agreement was signed in 2012 with ENA, and a cooperation agreement with the High Council of French Notariat in 2013; contacts took place in June 2013 with the Paris Bar to set up cooperation in the training of prosecutors), and to the training of officers with a view to Mongolian participation in peacekeeping operations (PKO). The success of the Alliance Française in Mongolia, with approximately 600 students, also highlights the vitality of our cultural cooperation resulting from an intergovernmental agreement on cultural, scientific and technical cooperation which was signed in May 2005 and renewed in November 2015 by a broader agreement covering cooperation in education, higher education and the cinema. A scholarship programme to promote student mobility to France was also launched on the occasion of the Mongolian President’s visit in November 2015.
France and Mongolia are developing tourism cooperation. France ranks second among the countries of origin of European tourists visiting Mongolia, after Germany, with 7000 in 2014. A framework cooperation agreement was signed in February 2005 and renewed in November 2015. It aims to promote the natural and cultural heritage, support the development of a sustainable and responsible tourism sector in Mongolia and increase tourist flows.
France and Mongolia are developing their military cooperation, in particular through training and exchange of experience (annual Khaan Quest military exercises).
A number of French local governments have also developed decentralized cooperation actions, including in medicine and education.