10 May 2012

Living and working in Mongolia with speaker Leo Caputi

As President Martin out of town for the RI Convention in Bangkok, PE Michael was the Acting President.

The speaker today was Mr. Leonardo Caputi and his topic was “Living and working in Mongolia”.  Leonardo Caputi is the Director of Mongolia Opportunity. Leonardo founded Mongolia Opportunity in late 2009 and has managed the fund’s strategies ever since. He is also the founder of Mongolian junior mining company PRHMON. Prior to his activities in Mongolia, he created and successfully operated Queen Ace, a textile brokerage that operated in China as well as France. Before Queen Ace, he has worked as a research assistant at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies. Leonardo holds a Bachelor of Science in Finance from New York University, and is a graduate of Institut le Rosey.

Leondardo showed us some beautiful photos of Mongolia and gave us a brief introduction of Mongolia. Mongolia is a landlocked country in East and Central Asia. It is bordered by Russia to the north and China to the south, east and west. Although Mongolia does not share a border with Kazakhstan, its western-most point is only 38 kilometres (24 mi) from Kazakhstan’s eastern tip. Ulan Bator, the capital and largest city, is home to about 45% of the population. Mongolia’s political system is a parliamentary republic.

The country came under strong Russian and Soviet influence; in 1924, the Mongolian People’s Republic was declared, and Mongolian politics began to follow the same patterns as the Soviet politics of the time. After the breakdown of communist regimes in Eastern Europe in late 1989, Mongolia saw its own Democratic Revolution in early 1990, which led to a multi-party system, a new constitution in 1992, and transition to a market economy.

At 1,564,116 square kilometres (603,909 sq mi), Mongolia is the 19th largest and the most sparsely populated independent country in the world, with a population of around 2.75 million people. It is also the world’s second-largest landlocked country after Kazakhstan. The country contains very little arable land, as much of its area is covered by steppes, with mountains to the north and west and the Gobi Desert to the south. Approximately 30% of the population are nomadic or semi-nomadic. The predominant religion in Mongolia is Tibetan Buddhism, and the majority of the state’s citizens are of Mongol ethnicity, though Kazakhs, Tuvans, and other minorities also live in the country, especially in the west. About 20% of the population live on less than US$1.25 per day.[8] Mongolia joined the World Trade Organization in 1997 and seeks to expand its participation in regional economic and trade regimes.

Economic activity in Mongolia has traditionally been based on herding and agriculture, although development of extensive mineral deposits of copper, coal, molybdenum, tin, tungsten, and gold have emerged as a driver of industrial production. Besides mining (21.8% of GDP) and agriculture (16% of GDP), dominant industries in the composition of GDP are wholesale and retail trade and service, transportation and storage, and real estate activities. The grey economy is estimated to be at least one-third the size of the official economy.  As of 2006, 68.4% of Mongolia’s exports went to the PRC, and the PRC supplied 29.8% of Mongolia’s imports.

Our Sergeant Rtn Paul collected HK$1,000 for raffle and fines.  Rtnne Sonia got the raffle prize as a box of Chinese cakes.