Political relations

In 2015, France and Mongolia commemorated the 50th anniversary of the their diplomatic relations. The Mongolian President’s official visit to France on this occasion on 18 and 19 November injected fresh impetus into French-Mongolian relations. The joint declaration adopted during the visit is a road map for French-Mongolian relations in the coming years. Former President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj likewise attended the inauguration of the Paris Climate Conference (30 November 2015).

The French Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, Mr Jean-Marc Ayrault, visited Ulaanbaatar on 15 and 16 July 2016 for the 11ᵗʰ Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM11) and met with the Mongolian Prime Minister.

Recent visits
In France:

  • May 2017: visit by Ms Batmunkh Battsetseg, Mongolian Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs.
  • October 2017: visit by Mr Purev Sergelen, Mongolian Minister of Food, Agriculture and Light Industry

To Mongolia:

  • July 2016: visit by Mr Jean-Marc Ayrault, French Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development to attend the 11ᵗʰ Asia-Europe Meeting.

Economic relations

France ranks third among European investors of foreign direct investment in Mongolia. France is Mongolia’s thirteen among suppliers to Mongolia (ranking third among European countries behind Germany, with a 0.6% market share) and its eleventh-largest customer. Bilateral trade remains modest, but Mongolia has a structural trade surplus. In 2016, 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 boosted 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, cultural, scientific 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 in the area of 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 Association.

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 Department of Allier and the city of Paris have also developed decentralized cooperation initiatives, notably in medical and educational fields.

The European Union’s ratification of the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement is expected to strengthen exchanges between France and Mongolia from its entry into force on 1 November 2017.

Updated: November 2017