July 24, 2014 - Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird paid an official visit to Mongolia on July 24, 2014, at the invitation of Luvsanvandan Bold, Mongolia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs. This was the first bilateral visit by a Canadian foreign affairs minister to Mongolia. The two ministers had a warm and constructive meeting and reaffirmed the close and growing partnership between the two countries over the past four decades.
The ministers emphasized that Canada and Mongolia are intent on building an enduring and intensifying relationship that embraces a set of regional and global security concerns and is based on the shared values of democracy, respect for human rights and the rule of law. They further underscored their resolve that the existing linkages evolve into a comprehensive partnership within which the two countries will continue to work together for peace, security and good global governance.
Minister Bold reaffirmed Canada’s status as a key “third neighbour” for Mongolia and an important partner in North America. Minister Baird underlined that the Government of Canada has demonstrated its long-term bilateral commitment by recently designating Mongolia as a country of focus for development assistance.
In this context, the goal of this bilateral development cooperation will be to help Mongolia stimulate sustainable economic growth by strengthening public service capacity, particularly the management of natural resources.
Both ministers expressed satisfaction with the ongoing cooperation in other areas of mutual interest, in particular Mongolia’s rural and urban development, judicial reform and policing capacity.
The two ministers noted that trade and investment continue to be critical elements of the bilateral relationship. Canada is a top-tier investor in Mongolia and, as a reflection of that, the Government of Canada has designated Mongolia as a priority country in its Global Markets Action Plan. The ministers welcomed the renewal of foreign investment promotion and protection agreement (FIPA) negotiations and expressed confidence that a comprehensive accord can be concluded. They agreed that a comprehensive bilateral FIPA will assist in establishing a secure and predictable framework under which bilateral investment ties can grow.
On the international stage, Mongolia and Canada share membership in a number of international organizations. Canada has been a strong and consistent supporter of Mongolia’s successful efforts to join such forums as the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe. Mongolia and Canada are also partners under NATO though a NATO cooperation agreement with Mongolia and the Community of Democracies. Baird reiterated that Canada will continue to support Mongolia more directly in the area of peace and security under the auspices of Canada’s Military Training and Cooperation Program.
Both ministers underscored the significance of promoting people-to-people contacts, which will complement the long-term development of bilateral relations.
Emphasizing the importance of education to each country and underlining the fruitful cooperation that exists between educational institutions, both ministers affirmed their commitment to further promoting such cooperation. Furthermore, Minister Bold expressed interest in increasing the number of Mongolians studying in Canada.
The ministers noted with satisfaction that last year, the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries, was marked by significant strengthening of bilateral cooperation through high-level exchanges and interparliamentary contacts.
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