Russia vs. Mongolia


Economy - overview

Russia has undergone significant changes since the collapse of the Soviet Union, moving from a centrally planned economy towards a more market-based system. Both economic growth and reform have stalled in recent years, however, and Russia remains a predominantly statist economy with a high concentration of wealth in officials' hands. Economic reforms in the 1990s privatized most industry, with notable exceptions in the energy, transportation, banking, and defense-related sectors. The protection of property rights is still weak, and the state continues to interfere in the free operation of the private sector.

Russia is one of the world's leading producers of oil and natural gas, and is also a top exporter of metals such as steel and primary aluminum. Russia is heavily dependent on the movement of world commodity prices as reliance on commodity exports makes it vulnerable to boom and bust cycles that follow the volatile swings in global prices. The economy, which had averaged 7% growth during the 1998-2008 period as oil prices rose rapidly, has seen diminishing growth rates since then due to the exhaustion of Russia’s commodity-based growth model.

A combination of falling oil prices, international sanctions, and structural limitations pushed Russia into a deep recession in 2015, with GDP falling by close to 2.8%. The downturn continued through 2016, with GDP contracting another 0.2%, but was reversed in 2017 as world demand picked up. Government support for import substitution has increased recently in an effort to diversify the economy away from extractive industries.

Foreign direct investment in Mongolia's extractive industries – which are based on extensive deposits of copper, gold, coal, molybdenum, fluorspar, uranium, tin, and tungsten - has transformed Mongolia's landlocked economy from its traditional dependence on herding and agriculture. Exports now account for more than 40% of GDP. Mongolia depends on China for more than 60% of its external trade - China receives some 90% of Mongolia's exports and supplies Mongolia with more than one-third of its imports. Mongolia also relies on Russia for 90% of its energy supplies, leaving it vulnerable to price increases. Remittances from Mongolians working abroad, particularly in South Korea, are significant.

Soviet assistance, at its height one-third of GDP, disappeared almost overnight in 1990 and 1991 at the time of the dismantlement of the USSR. The following decade saw Mongolia endure both deep recession, because of political inaction, and natural disasters, as well as strong economic growth, because of market reforms and extensive privatization of the formerly state-run economy. The country opened a fledgling stock exchange in 1991. Mongolia joined the WTO in 1997 and seeks to expand its participation in regional economic and trade regimes.

Growth averaged nearly 9% per year in 2004-08 largely because of high copper prices globally and new gold production. By late 2008, Mongolia was hit by the global financial crisis and Mongolia's real economy contracted 1.3% in 2009. In early 2009, the IMF reached a $236 million Stand-by Arrangement with Mongolia and it emerged from the crisis with a stronger banking sector and better fiscal management. In October 2009, Mongolia passed long-awaited legislation on an investment agreement to develop the Oyu Tolgoi (OT) mine, among the world's largest untapped copper-gold deposits. However, a dispute with foreign investors developing OT called into question the attractiveness of Mongolia as a destination for foreign investment. This caused a severe drop in FDI, and a slowing economy, leading to the dismissal of Prime Minister Norovyn ALTANKHUYAG in November 2014. The economy had grown more than 10% per year between 2011 and 2013 - largely on the strength of commodity exports and high government spending - before slowing to 7.8% in 2014, and falling to the 2% level in 2015. Growth rebounded from a brief 1.6% contraction in the third quarter of 2016 to 5.8% during the first three quarters of 2017, largely due to rising commodity prices.

The May 2015 agreement with Rio Tinto to restart the OT mine and the subsequent $4.4 billion finance package signing in December 2015 stemmed the loss of investor confidence. The current government has made restoring investor trust and reviving the economy its top priority, but has failed to invigorate the economy in the face of the large drop-off in foreign direct investment, mounting external debt, and a sizeable budget deficit. Mongolia secured a $5.5 billion financial assistance package from the IMF and a host of international creditors in May 2017, which is expected to improve Mongolia’s long-term fiscal and economic stability as long as Ulaanbaatar can advance the agreement’s difficult contingent reforms, such as consolidating the government’s off-balance sheet liabilities and rehabilitating the Mongolian banking sector.

GDP (purchasing power parity)$3,968,180,000,000 (2019 est.)

$3,915,637,000,000 (2018 est.)

$3,818,780,000,000 (2017 est.)

note: data are in 2010 dollars
$39.723 billion (2019 est.)

$37.774 billion (2018 est.)

$35.222 billion (2017 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars
GDP - real growth rate1.34% (2019 est.)

2.54% (2018 est.)

1.83% (2017 est.)
5.1% (2017 est.)

1.2% (2016 est.)

2.4% (2015 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$27,044 (2019 est.)

$26,668 (2018 est.)

$26,006 (2017 est.)

note: data are in 2010 dollars
$12,317 (2019 est.)

$11,916 (2018 est.)

$11,312 (2017 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars
GDP - composition by sectoragriculture: 4.7% (2017 est.)

industry: 32.4% (2017 est.)

services: 62.3% (2017 est.)
agriculture: 12.1% (2017 est.)

industry: 38.2% (2017 est.)

services: 49.7% (2017 est.)
Population below poverty line12.6% (2018 est.)28.4% (2018 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 2.3%

highest 10%: 32.2% (2012 est.)
lowest 10%: 13.7%

highest 10%: 5.7% (2017)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)4.4% (2019 est.)

2.8% (2018 est.)

3.7% (2017 est.)
4.6% (2017 est.)

0.5% (2016 est.)
Labor force69.923 million (2020 est.)1.241 million (2017 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 9.4%

industry: 27.6%

services: 63% (2016 est.)
agriculture: 31.1%

industry: 18.5%

services: 50.5% (2016)
Unemployment rate4.6% (2019 est.)

4.8% (2018 est.)
8% (2017 est.)

7.9% (2016 est.)
Distribution of family income - Gini index37.5 (2018 est.)

41.9 (2013)
32.7 (2018 est.)

36.5 (2008)
Budgetrevenues: 258.6 billion (2017 est.)

expenditures: 281.4 billion (2017 est.)
revenues: 2.967 billion (2017 est.)

expenditures: 3.681 billion (2017 est.)
Industriescomplete range of mining and extractive industries producing coal, oil, gas, chemicals, and metals; all forms of machine building from rolling mills to high-performance aircraft and space vehicles; defense industries (including radar, missile production, advanced electronic components), shipbuilding; road and rail transportation equipment; communications equipment; agricultural machinery, tractors, and construction equipment; electric power generating and transmitting equipment; medical and scientific instruments; consumer durables, textiles, foodstuffs, handicraftsconstruction and construction materials; mining (coal, copper, molybdenum, fluorspar, tin, tungsten, gold); oil; food and beverages; processing of animal products, cashmere and natural fiber manufacturing
Industrial production growth rate-1% (2017 est.)-1% (2017 est.)
Agriculture - productswheat, sugar beet, milk, potatoes, barley, sunflower seed, maize, poultry, oats, soybeansmilk, wheat, goat milk, potatoes, mutton, sheep milk, beef, goat meat, horse meat, carrots/turnips
Exports$551.128 billion (2019 est.)

$564.314 billion (2018 est.)

$534.657 billion (2017 est.)
$7.012 billion (2018)

$5.834 billion (2017 est.)

$4.916 billion (2016 est.)
Exports - commoditiescrude petroleum, refined petroleum, natural gas, coal, wheat, iron (2019)coal, copper, gold, iron, crude petroleum (2019)
Exports - partnersChina 14%, Netherlands 10%, Belarus 5%, Germany 5% (2019)China 81%, Switzerland 9% (2019)
Imports$366.919 billion (2019 est.)

$355.022 billion (2018 est.)

$345.926 billion (2017 est.)
$5.875 billion (2018)

$4.345 billion (2017 est.)

$3.466 billion (2016 est.)
Imports - commoditiescars and vehicle parts, packaged medicines, broadcasting equipment, aircraft, computers (2019)refined petroleum, cars, delivery trucks, construction vehicles, aircraft (2019)
Imports - partnersChina 20%, Germany 13%, Belarus 6% (2019)China 31%, Russia 29%, Japan 10%, South Korea 5% (2019)
Debt - external$479.844 billion (2019 est.)

$484.355 billion (2018 est.)
$29.945 billion (2019 est.)

$28.046 billion (2018 est.)
Exchange ratesRussian rubles (RUB) per US dollar -

73.7569 (2020 est.)

63.66754 (2019 est.)

66.2 (2018 est.)

60.938 (2014 est.)

38.378 (2013 est.)
togrog/tugriks (MNT) per US dollar -

2,378.1 (2017 est.)

2,140.3 (2016 est.)

2,140.3 (2015 est.)

1,970.3 (2014 est.)

1,817.9 (2013 est.)
Fiscal yearcalendar yearcalendar year
Public debt15.5% of GDP (2017 est.)

16.1% of GDP (2016 est.)

note: data cover general government debt and include debt instruments issued (or owned) by government entities other than the treasury; the data include treasury debt held by foreign entities; the data include debt issued by subnational entities, as well as intragovernmental debt; intragovernmental debt consists of treasury borrowings from surpluses in the social funds, such as for retirement, medical care, and unemployment, debt instruments for the social funds are not sold at public auctions
91.4% of GDP (2017 est.)

90% of GDP (2016 est.)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$432.7 billion (31 December 2017 est.)

$377.7 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$3.016 billion (31 December 2017 est.)

$1.296 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Current Account Balance$65.311 billion (2019 est.)

$115.68 billion (2018 est.)
-$1.155 billion (2017 est.)

-$700 million (2016 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate)$1,702,361,000,000 (2019 est.)$11.14 billion (2017 est.)
Taxes and other revenues16.4% (of GDP) (2017 est.)26.6% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-1.4% (of GDP) (2017 est.)-6.4% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24total: 15.2%

male: 14.8%

female: 15.6% (2019 est.)
total: 25.3%

male: 24.9%

female: 25.9% (2019 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 52.4% (2017 est.)

government consumption: 18% (2017 est.)

investment in fixed capital: 21.6% (2017 est.)

investment in inventories: 2.3% (2017 est.)

exports of goods and services: 26.2% (2017 est.)

imports of goods and services: -20.6% (2017 est.)
household consumption: 49.2% (2017 est.)

government consumption: 12.3% (2017 est.)

investment in fixed capital: 23.8% (2017 est.)

investment in inventories: 12.4% (2017 est.)

exports of goods and services: 59.5% (2017 est.)

imports of goods and services: -57.1% (2017 est.)
Gross national saving27.6% of GDP (2019 est.)

30% of GDP (2018 est.)

25.7% of GDP (2017 est.)
23.7% of GDP (2019 est.)

26% of GDP (2018 est.)

21.2% of GDP (2017 est.)

Source: CIA Factbook