Asia Foundation Releases 2015 Mongolian Provincial Competitiveness Report

Ulaanbaatar, July 11, 2016 — Mongolia’s annual Provincial Competitiveness report for the year 2015 was recently released by the Economic Policy and Competitiveness Research Center. The report, which was produced with the support of The Asia Foundation measures the competitiveness of all 21 provinces according to over 180 criteria. Visit for more information regarding this collaborative work.


By the end of 2015, Mongolia’s capital, Ulaanbaatar, was home to 45.7% of the country’s total population, while producing 63.7% of the country’s total GDP. Although industrial development is still comparatively low in the provinces, each province has an opportunity to improve their competitiveness based on their geographic location and other advantages. Mongolia’s overall prosperity is closely linked to the development of each of the 21 provinces. Identifying competitiveness is therefore significant for provinces when defining their optimal development strategy based on their respective competitive advantages.

The report is the product of surveys in 21 provinces to identify challenges undermining provincial development and competitiveness. According to the results of this research, the four main dimensions of competitiveness are unequally distributed among provinces. For instance, some provinces score higher in economic performance and infrastructure, with lackluster results in business efficiency.

According to these surveys, three main issues have been identified:

  1. “Insufficient support for businesses through tax discounts and low-cost loans.”
  2. “High interest, short term loans”.
  3. “Lack of sustainable jobs”

The comparative outlook on the distinct advantages and weaknesses of each province gives us an opportunity to identify current development levels, simplify short and long-term planning, and provide a foundation for future development strategies. Moreover, neighboring provinces or provinces in the same region share similar opportunities and challenges. It would therefore be prudent for provinces to reflect such conditions in their development policies and programs, and aim for mutual dialogue and increased cooperation, to ultimately improve their competitiveness.

The Asia Foundation is a nonprofit international development organization committed to improving lives across a dynamic and developing Asia. Informed by six decades of experience and deep local expertise, our programs address critical issues affecting Asia in the 21st century—governance and law, economic development, women’s empowerment, environment, and regional cooperation.

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Related locations: Mongolia
Related programs: Inclusive Economic Growth

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