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Mongolia and the Belt and Road Initiative: The Prospects for the China-Mongolia-Russia Economic Corridor

Introduction

Mongolia is a landlocked country with a population of roughly 3.3 million people, bordering on only two nations, China and Russia. The country’s primary exports are largely minerals and raw materials, making trade with countries other than its immediate neighbors difficult. China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)—and specifically, its primary Mongolian component, the China-Mongolia-Russia-Economic Corridor (CMREC)—promises to facilitate trade between Mongolia and its neighbors, as well as granting Mongolia access to overland routes to the European Union and sea ports in Asia.

The possibilities under BRI/CMREC have drawn praise from a number of voices in Mongolia. Demberel Sambuu, CEO of the Economic Research and Training Institute at the Central Bank of Mongolia, has stated that irrespective of the name given to it, the corridor is natural, inevitable, and necessary. [1] Lakshmi Boojoo, Director General of Mongolia’s…

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