France and Mongolia

Political relations

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 which gave new momentum to Franco-Mongolian relations. The joint declaration adopted during this official visit constitutes the roadmap for Franco-Mongolian relations over the coming years. The former Mongolian president, Mr Elbegdorj also participated in the opening of the Paris Climate Conference (30 November 2015).

The French Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Jean-Marc Ayrault, visited Ulaanbaatar on 15 and 16 July 2016, during the 11th Asia-Europe Meeting, where he met with the Mongolian Prime Minister.

Recent visits

To France:

  • June 2015: visit by Mr Purevsuren, Mongolian Foreign Minister;
  • September 2015: visit by Mr Tsolmon, Mongolian Defence Minister;
  • November 2015: official visit by Mr Elbegdorj, President of Mongolia
  • April 2016: visit by Mr Purevsuren, Mongolian Foreign Minister
  • November 2016: visit by Mr Sergelen, Mongolian Minister of Agriculture, Food and Light Industry
  • December 2016: visit by Mr Munkhabat, Head of the Government Cabinet Secretariat during the Paris Open Government Partnership (OGP) summit.
  • May 2017: visit by Ms Battsetseg, Mongolian Deputy Foreign Minister

To Mongolia:

  • December 2014: visit by Mr Matthias Fekl, French Minister of State for Foreign Trade, the Promotion of Tourism and French Nationals Abroad
  • July 2016: visit by Mr Ayrault, French Foreign Minister, to participate in the 11th Asia-Europe Meeting.

Economic relations

France is the third-biggest European investor in Mongolia for foreign direct investment. France is Mongolia’s 13th-largest supplier (ranking third among European countries behind Germany with a 0.6% market share) and its 11th-largest customer. Bilateral trade remains modest but has a structural trade surplus for France. In 2014, French exports to Mongolia amounted to €9 million with a trade surplus of €4 million for France.

In the nuclear sector, AREVA has been developing mine exploration activities in Mongolia for nearly 20 years, in partnership with the Mongolian Mon-Atom group and the Japanese Mitsubishi Corporation, to exploit two uranium deposits in the Gobi desert in south-eastern Mongolia. Furthermore, the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) has been providing nuclear science and technology training by for Mongolian specialists and students with the Mongolian Agency for Nuclear Energy since 2013.

Cultural, scientific and technical cooperation

The celebration of the 50th anniversary of Franco-Mongolian relations in 2015 gave new momentum to cooperation between France and Mongolia. The State visit by President Elbegdorj in November 2015 saw several agreements be signed (implementation of a bursary co-funding programme; use of the Food Aid Fund; bovine genetic improvement; educational, scientific, cultural and technical cooperation; statement of intent on cinema cooperation; tourism).

France and Mongolia continue to develop their cooperation in scientific and technical fields, notably as regards archaeology, seismicity, agronomy (genetics, animal identification, veterinary vaccines), aerospace, architecture and sustainable development. Cooperation for governance and the rule of law is developing through training conducted by the French National School of Public Administration (ENA), the High Council of French Notariat and the Paris Bar.

The Alliance Française in Mongolia is helping to develop Franco-Mongolian cooperation in matters of education, higher education and cinema.

As regards tourism, France is the second country of origin for European tourists to Mongolia (7,000 in 2014) and supports the promotion of natural and cultural heritage, as well as the development of a sustainable and responsible tourism industry in Mongolia.

Other cooperation

France and Mongolia are developing their military cooperation, in particular through training and exchange of experience (annual Khaan Quest military exercises).

The Hauts de France region, the Allier department and the city of Paris have also developed decentralized cooperation initiatives, notably in medical and educational fields.

Updated: 17 July 2017