Mongolia -Mongolia border closure see goods prices sky rocketing, as Mongolians scramble to make ends meet

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Location: Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

Language: Mongolian

Duration: 00:05:30

Source: A24 subscribers

Restrictions: A24 clients

Dateline: 08-02-2022

Storyline

China’s decision to close its borders with Mongolia ahead of the Winter Olympics in Beijing has heavily affected Mongolia, as the prices have increased tremendously. As China has closed its borders to try to limit the threat of a spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Mongolian market has started suffering from inflation due to the country’s reliance on Chinse products and Chinese imports. Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, B.Munkhjin explained that China’s policy to tackle the pandemic is “very strict,” adding that in case the authorities found a single case, the country would go into standstill. Munkhjin said that his country would like to ask China to adapt to the new norm as is the situation in Mongolia.

ShotLists

– (Soundbite) T.Gereltuya, a citizen

“Due to the closure of the border, the increase in commodity prices has had a significant impact on people’s lives. Prices for household goods and vegetables have risen sharply. It costs 10-20 thousand, only to buy short-term items. Work gloves were 500 Mongolian Tugrugs; now they cost 1,500 Tugrugs. They have increased threefold. Garbage bags and plastic bags used to cost 4,000-5,000, Tugrugs  but now they cost up to 10,000 Tugrugs.”

– (Soundbite) Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, B.Munkhjin:

“China adopts very strict COVID measures. The number of cases in Erlian [a city in Inner Mongolia] is not significant. If there is a case, it would be strictly quarantined for 30 days. So, the strategy and activities to fight COVID-19 are completely different from ours. Therefore, we are very well vaccinated domestically and we are going to get back to normalcy as soon as possible. China’s policy is very strict, and if there is a single case, it will be severely curtailed. There are differences in such perceptions and approaches. What we are saying is that we are adapting and fighting in Mongolia and we are trying to make the same demands on the Chinese side.”

– (Soundbite): Z.Naranchimeg, who is a market seller:

“People are looking for goods. But there are no goods. Withdrawals have been halted since September and October. Commodity prices are rising and reaching a record high. Food and goods are all becoming scarce. We have a very difficult time. They closed the borders in September while we trying to get the goods we had ordered. The Chinese are saying that Mongolia is not withdrawing its goods. No new costumes were bought during the New Year season in December. The remaining goods are 12 months old.”

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