Australia-Mongolia Diplomatic Relations
Australia and Mongolia celebrate their 45th anniversay of diplomatic relations in 2017. Australia established diplomatic relations with Mongolia on 15 September 1972. Bilateral engagement accelerated following democratic and free-market reforms in Mongolia in the early 1990s. The focus of the relationship to date has been on development assistance and commercial activities in Mongolia's resources sector. There are also strong people-to-people links and deepening political engagement. Mongolia opened an embassy in Canberra in 2008.
Australia opened an Embassy in Ulaanbaatar in December 2015.
The opening of the Embassy in Ulaanbaatar is an important milestone in the bilateral relationship, recognising that Australia is an important investor and a source of expertise in the extractives sector, and that Australia and Mongolia share commitment to democracy and interests in an open, rules-based regional order. The Australian Trade Commission (Austrade) opened a trade office in Ulaanbaatar to serve the needs of Australian business in 2011.
People-to-people links between Australia and Mongolia continue to grow strongly. The Australia Awards in Mongolia scholarship program has enabled more than 400 Mongolians (and their families) to study in Australia and has created a vibrant alumni network, affectionately known as 'the Mozzies', many of whom have become influential Mongolian parliamentarians, officials and businesspeople. In October 2016 there are 55 Mongolian current postgraduate scholarships studying under Australia Awards.
Australia has long had a volunteer presence in Mongolia. Since 2002, over 250 Australian volunteers have contributed to Mongolia’s development, with around 20 new volunteer placements in 2016-17.
Business is further deepening the links between Australia and Mongolia. More than 650 Australians live in Mongolia with a further 1000 Australians visiting Mongolia on short-term assignments at any time. Fifty Australian companies have a presence in Mongolia, including several large Australian companies operating in the mining sector, such as Rio Tinto (a leading investor and the mine developer in the $7 billion Oyu Tolgoi project), CIMIC (undertaking contract mining and road construction), McMahon Holdings (contract mining) and a number of service providers including legal firms (Minter Ellison, Allens Linklaters), financial sector firms (Macquarie Bank, CPS Securities, Garrison Capital) and engineering firms (WorleyParsons, SMEC, Calibre Global).
Australia and Mongolia cooperate on global and regional issues, including in defence and security. Contributing to international peacekeeping and security has been a particular focus of our cooperation. Australians and Mongolians have served together in UN Peacekeeping Operations such as in South Sudan, where Mongolia has over 800 personnel deployed. The two countries have also deployed on coalition operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and peacekeeping operations in Kosovo and Sierra Leone. Australia participates in the annual Khaan Quest peacekeeping exercises hosted by Mongolia.