[Traduction française en cours]
After several rounds of negotiations under the auspices of UNCTAD, representatives from China, Mongolia and Russia concluded the drafting of a Transit Traffic Agreement
(PDF) between the three countries at their Seventh Negotiating Meeting on 18 November 2005.
Mongolia, an Asian land-locked developing country, is currently in a complex transition process of repositioning itself in the global trading system.
For decades, Mongolia´s trade balance has been heavily impacted by its two neighbours, China and the Russian Federation. Mongolia imports about four fifths of the total value of petroleum products its economy is in need of, and substantial amounts of electricity, from Russia. Meanwhile, China is Mongolia´s first market partner, including for consumer goods such as high-quality cashmere and camel wool products made by a fledgling private sector. Since it became a WTO member in 1997, Mongolia has sought to diversify its trade links with other major markets such as the United States and the EU, and it has undertaken efforts to deepen its integration into Asian regional economic and trade regimes.
However, Mongolia´s land-locked situation hinders the country´s trade expansion. A transit traffic agreement with China and the Russian Federation, covering road, rail and maritime transport, is expected to facilitate transit traffic through these two countries. The draft Transit Traffic Agreement which was finalized with UNCTAD´s assistance at the recent three-party meeting in Ulaanbaatar provides the basis for a number of practical measures that will facilitate and improve the transit of goods between the three countries.