A country's development is determined by the support provided to entities and the creation of a favorable environment for them. However, during the last two years, the COVID-19 pandemic has been a hit to businesses, especially for the service sector. This was due to factors such as preventive restrictions, lockdowns, regulations, and time constraints. Therefore, the Governor of the Capital City and the Mayor of Ulaanbaatar issued a number of orders and made decisions to recreate a favorable environment for business entities and reduce corruption and bureaucracy. One of the decisions was the abolition of service time limits. We had an interview with the Governor of the Capital City and Mayor of Ulaanbaatar D.Sumiyabazar on the topic.
-From the first day of 2022, an opportunity has been opened up for businesses to run 74 types of services in Ulaanbaatar without any permissions. Furthermore, the time restrictions imposed in accordance with the COVID-19 situation have been lifted. Could you elaborate on this?
-I see this as the beginning of reforms that will bring good results to the economy. As Ulaanbaatar develops, the country's results and estimates will be discussed at the international level. It is hard to imagine Mongolia without Ulaanbaatar. In order to carry out this reform, we have created a system to ensure accurate information flow to the people. Capital city training, research, and public relations agency will collect complaints and suggestions from the public, provide feedback to the public on implementation plans, conduct a survey based on the facts which lead to decisions made by the city administration. There is an invisible hand in Ulaanbaatar without our participation.
We have chosen a humane democratic society and a free market. Employment opportunities must be provided to citizens of Ulaanbaatar. The city must fully support the business entities and the private sectors.
-You have highlighted that the city decisions are made based on the citizen's suggestions and opinions. How many people made a suggestion to have the aforementioned decisions made?
-About 10 thousand people. During and after the COVID-19 waves, there were many suggestions from citizens to abolish the time restrictions imposed for businesses in the service sector. The state has a duty to protect labor and employment. Government has a responsibility to ensure businesses do not collapse.
Business people on the decision:
The Government of Mongolia has made a decision to downgrade the level of COVID-19 restrictions from ‘Orange’ to ‘Yellow’. The Governor of the Capital City and the Mayor of Ulaanbaatar city issued an ordinance revoking the previous decision to ban the sale and serving of alcohol on the first day of each month in the capital city. It is a form of business support on the one hand and a culture of consumption and enlightenment on the other. According to the survey, a ban on the sale of alcohol not only led to a flourishing illegal trade but also uncontrolled domestic alcohol consumption. Therefore, we listened to businesspeople's opinions on the effectiveness of revoking the ban on the sale of alcohol on the first day of each month, and the impact of recent decisions.
Director of ‘Baatar Taij’ LLC B.Bayasgalan:
“I believe that revoking the ban on the sale of alcohol on the first day of each month and the decision to allow trade and service entities to operate until 5:00 am will encourage cultures of consumption and will be an opportunity for the development of service organizations”
Director of ‘Cafeina’ LLC Ch.Tsendbaatar:
“People are not keen to have limited time to be served. That is why the illegal trade of alcohol flourished when there were time restrictions. As a result, tax-free, illegal traders emerged which leads to a flourished underground economy. In the case of service organizations, the focus is not only on sales but also on disseminating a culture of service and establishing the practice of combining alcohol with food”
CEO of Bluefin LLC B.Uyanga:
“On the first day of each month, the ban on alcohol increased the number of illegal trade and alcohol usage. During the time restrictions, there was a tendency to visit each other’s homes in the evenings to drink alcohol. Now, on the contrary, we are now able to serve in a cultured and appropriate way”
Citizens on the decision:
We’ve heard citizens' feedback on the decision to allow licensed service entities to sell and serve alcohol in the capital city until 5:00 am.
Citizen 1: “I think it is right to return to a normal life. Service and business people are also working hard to make a living and provide jobs for many people. I don't think there's anything wrong with returning to a normal life.”
Citizen 2: “As a young man, I think it is the right decision. Instead, we need to understand the cultures of consumption. Banning activities is not the right solution. The turnover of the economy will increase depending on the profits and income of business entities.”
Every city in the world has a leisure environment for young people. The abolition of service time limits is one of the forms of promoting a free economy in our city.
D.Sumiyabazar: Ulaanbaatar should be separated from the force of market regulation
Every city is unique in its services and culture. Therefore, Mayor is made a decision to support the development of the free market and businesses but urges them to provide services that meet the standard requirements.
Governor of the Capital City and Mayor of Ulaanbaatar D.Sumiyabazar:
-Ulaanbaatar should gradually move to nightlife as the big cities of the world. Proper use should be encouraged. The culture of consumption depends on the person's consciousness. Business entities lead to good results such as corporate profits, taxes and revenues increase, and economic circulation.
Ulaanbaatar should be separated from the force of market regulation. As Mayor, I will not make a decision the market to be closed, blocked, or banned. There should be nightlife and business in Ulaanbaatar. If you have a dedicated building for your service and trade, you can open not only bars and discos, but also restaurants, coffee shops, and grocery stores until 05:00 in the morning, increasing your income and expanding your business. As the warm season comes, the tourist season begins.
As for our city, we aim to create a street that promotes Mongolian customs, culture, national cuisine, and livelihoods, to support citizens and businesses, and to actively implement policies in Ulaanbaatar to support tourism and development.
CAPITAL CITY TRAINING, RESEARCH, AND PUBLIC RELATIONS AGENCY