Mongolia Country profile

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Real GDP grew at more than 6% through 2018 and 2019, thanks to recovery in commodity prices and growing coal demand from China. The IMF projects growth to slow to 5.4% in 2020 from 6.5% in 2019, as export growth moderates and production at Oyu Tolgoi faces delays in part due to cost overruns and development challenges. But a unanimous parliamentary resolution on the 2009 Oyu Tolgoi investment agreement passed in November 2019 provides some confidence that development of the Oyu Tolgoi project enjoys sustained government support.

Longer term, Mongolia’s favourable demographic profile and mineral wealth support robust growth prospects. But economic diversification will be important to ensure sustainable and inclusive growth.  

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Mongolia is a lower-middle-income economy. The IMF forecasts GDP per capita to reach US$5,000 by 2023. That is equivalent to current income levels in Azerbaijan, Armenia and Belize. The number of people living in poverty rose to 30% of the population in 2016 from 21% in 2014, as reflected in falling incomes over that period. But the poverty rate remains below the 39% recorded in 2010.

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