by Simon Black: How
Bankrupt Governments Will Confiscate Your Gold
has been gone for centuries, but his spirit undoubtedly lives on
in Mongolia. Empire-building is in the cultural DNA here.
know that they’re sitting on trillions of dollars worth of
valuable resources, and that the economy is undergoing a rapid transformation.
You can see it in their eyes… the energy, the buzz.
Bear in mind
that Mongolia is an incredibly young country. The average age is
mid-20s, and it’s common to see younger people in positions
of significant influence. I dined with a director of the local stock
exchange yesterday and doubt he was even 35. Same with the bank
executives that I met.
youth infuses the local economy with tremendous drive, energy, and
creativity. These people don’t want to sit back and watch the
economic boom happen; they want to be at the forefront of their
country’s emergence into the developed world. And they know
the time is now.
One of the
most striking things about Mongolians is that they know they can’t
do it alone. They want foreign capital… and expertise.
to more frontier markets than I can remember, and most of the time
when a local sees a foreigner, he thinks, “how can I rip this
guy off?” In Mongolia, he thinks, “how can I partner with
this guy to build an empire…?”
amazing difference that’s echoed throughout the society.
you arrive, you’ll get the instant impression that this country
welcomes foreign people and their capital. Nobody’s going to
tear through your underwear looking for dirty bombs or subject you
to an intrusive line of immigration questioning.
in fact, are entitled to visa-free travel to Mongolia; there’s
not even a ‘visa on arrival’ money grab at the airport–
you just show up and present your passport as you would in Paris.
thing about Mongolia is that they aren’t terrified of a strong
currency. With so much foreign investment flowing in to the country,
the local tugrik (MNT) has appreciated steadily against the US dollar.
Last year it was the world’s best performing currency.