This is a best prospect industry sector for this country. Includes a market overview and trade data.

Over the last five years Mongolian demand for information technology (IT) goods and services has boomed as Mongolia’s young and adaptable population has embraced IT products for personal and professional uses.  In its latest analysis on Mongolia’s information technology sector, the Communications Regulatory Commission (CRC) reports that Internet service users rose from 200,000 subscribers in 2010 to 2.6 million by December 2016, increasing Internet penetration to 86 percent.  The Press Institute of Mongolia reported that checking Facebook and reading news are the top two online activities for Mongolians.  Mongolians’ use of mobile and smart phones has also skyrocketed, growing from 60 percent of the population in 2009 to 102 percent of the population in 2015.  (Note:  The CRC reports that most Mongolian consumers subscribe to more than one IT and telecommunication service and own at least two mobile devices.  End note.) 

Demand for both communications and internet technologies has evolved rapidly.  In the telecommunications sector, the use of fixed lines is minimal and declining, as Mongolia has largely bypassed this stage, proceeding directly to the use of mobile and wireless technologies.  There are four major providers — Mobicom, Skytel, Unitel, and G-mobile — all offering pre-paid and post-paid plans for communication and computer services.

Introduction of new technologies has accompanied the boom in mobile phone use.  Since 2009, MobiCom, Skytel, and Unitel have offered 3G high-speed mobile broadband services in Mongolia, and are currently in the early stages of rolling out 4G services.  These services are accessible to all users.  Several companies also successfully market pre-paid, long-distance direct calling card services.

Mongolian law provides for freedom of speech and press.  Individuals and groups may engage in the peaceful expression of views on the internet, but the government imposes restrictions in broad terms on internet content, as well as on television and radio service, while providing only a limited definition of restrictions.  The government maintains a public list of websites blocked for alleged violations of relevant laws and regulations, including those relating to intellectual property.  Apart from this, there have been cases of apparent government interference with online expression on websites or by internet users who posted stories or opinions that criticized or reflected negatively on government officials.  Mongolia is a member of the Freedom Online Coalition (FOC), a cross-regional intergovernmental coalition of 30 countries established in 2011 committed to advancing internet freedom worldwide.  In its Freedom of the Press 2017 report, Freedom House, an independent international watchdog NGO, rated Mongolia “partly free,” giving the country a score of 85 on a scale of 1-100 (0=best, 100=worst).  South Korea, Ghana, and Italy received similar scores.

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Data Sources:
Total Local Production:  National Statistics Office of Mongolia
Total Exports:  Bank of Mongolia
Total Imports:  Bank of Mongolia  
Imports from U.S.:  U.S. Census Bureau

Sub-Sector Opportunities
The CRC and the Communications and Information Technology Authority (CITA) report that Mongolia’s public and private networks are at risk from cyber threats, and that both the government and commercial companies want to develop the domestic capacity to defend the integrity of Mongolian systems against intrusions.  While CITA representatives declare that the Mongolian government prefers domestic solutions, it recognizes outside expertise and products are essential to develop domestic capacity.

The government is seeking to identify systems and other technologies to support its program of delivering services at the municipal, provincial, and national level through high-speed broadband networks.

CITA also promotes Mongolia as a possible location for cloud-computing data centers and backroom business operations.  Mongolian IT specialists have the appropriate IT talents and skills to staff and maintain such facilities, but Mongolia lacks the start-up capital and experience to build these facilities from the ground up.  Partnerships between U.S. IT firms and Mongolian firms, along with the support of the government, may be worth exploring.

Web Resources
Mongolian Resources
American Chamber of Commerce in Mongolia
Bank of Mongolia
Business Council of Mongolia
Communications and Information Technology Authority
Customs General Administration    
Embassy of Mongolia, Washington, DC
General Agency for Intellectual Property and State Registration
General Agency for Specialized Inspection    
General Authority for Social Insurance
General Tax Authority of Mongolia
Government of Mongolia    
Ministry of Construction and Urban Development
Mongolian Builders Association   
Mongol National Chamber of Commerce and Industry
National Statistics Office of Mongolia
Parliament of Mongolia
Press Institute of Mongolia   

U. S. Resources
U.S. Embassy in Mongolia Commercial
U.S. Embassy, Ulaanbaatar
U.S. Department of Commerce
U.S. Department of Commerce Advocacy Center
U.S. International Trade Administration
U.S. Trade and Development Agency
U.S. Export-Import Bank
U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corporation
U.S. Department of State

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