WHO we are?
Mongolia Development Strategy Institute (MDSI ) was founded in 2003 with the goal of analyzing and debating policy issues that have a major impact on the country's economic, social, political and environmental development and its role in international and regional processes. It does so by commissioning research on specific topics and by serving as a forum for public discussion on economic and security issues.
       
       The objectives of the Institute are as follows:
  • Analysis of the major domestic challenges to Mongolia’s development goals
  • Analysis of the major global and regional developments in trade, economy, technology and security and assessment of their impact on Mongolia’s development
  • Discussion of the outcomes of the analytical work at expert roundtables and symposia  
  • Development of policy recommendations   

        Our Board and experts are researchers, serving and former politicians, public service officials, business people with distinguished careers domestically and internationally. 
WHY we are?

Mongolia has embarked on transition from one-party totalitarian regime with centrally planned economy to democracy and market economy in 1990. Among the countries of the Third wave of democratization, it has been the only case of such successful simultaneous transition in this part of the world. Basic freedoms and human rights enshrined in the Constitution have taken profound roots in the country. The country has had numerous parliamentary and presidential elections that have been recognized as free and fair both locally and internationally. It has robust two-major party political system and active press and civil society. Mongolia’s GDP per capita has reached the higher-middle income levels buoyed by the mining, construction, service, agriculture sectors. Private sector is the country’s source of growth, including very significant foreign investment.        
       There are significant challenges, however, that constitute major stumbling blocks to more rapid development. Compared to the rest of the Asia-Pacific region Mongolia’s growth, though relatively robust, has not reached its full potential. Mongolia’s GDP growth has not been stable with lows of -1.3% in 2009 and highs of 17.3% in 2011. In 2016 it was just 1%. In 2015-16 the country ranked only number 104 among 140 countries in the World Economic Forum competitiveness index. Major challenges persist in infrastructure development, financial market development, macroeconomic environment, institutions among others. Governance still is the weakest point with lack of stability in the public service is constantly identified as one of the major issues. Reforms in the public health and public education sector are long overdue. Environmental sustainability must be high on the agenda for the country which has a society and economy deeply rooted in nomadic pastoral way of life. All these issues still await persistent, stable and clearly defined policies implemented with a longer time horizon.
       The regional and international environment is changing for Mongolia too. The early 2000s were notable for the rise of China as a global industrial powerhouse and Mongolia enjoyed a period of rapid economic development supplying all sorts of mineral resources and agricultural produce to its Southern neighbor. After decade and a half China’s growth is stabilizing and reversing to a new normal, which has major consequences for the Mongolian economy too. Stabilization and growth of the Russian economy also influenced Mongolia’s economy in major ways as well. Major investments from the Western countries also entered Mongolia mainly with the aim of exporting to China. The policy of developing good-neighborly, balanced partnership relations with its two neighbors and developing relations with Third neighbors has served Mongolia well over the past almost three decades. However, changing geopolitical environment among major powers means Mongolia also has to be even more skillful in charting its foreign policy and preserving its achievements. This is already a sensitive neighborhood beset with many complicated relations and potential conflicts and Mongolia has to make sure that its foreign policy supports its democratic and market development.  
​       All these challenges will affect Mongolia’s development. MDSI was established to provide a mechanism for research and analysis of these issues, a forum for debate among professional stakeholders and a platform to synthesize common views on major public policy reforms.

       The MDSI is dedicated to public policy through knowledge-based research and this is its main mission. Emphasis on knowledge-based underscores the most required aspect of Mongolia’s public policy. There is strong perception that laws are adopted without due process of research and analysis, policies lack persistency, stability and transparency.
       
       It is our belief that a public policy that has been based on research and analysis, discussed thoroughly among stakeholders and synthesized to achieve most common ground has a chance to become successful. MDSI is dedicated to such approach of devising public policy.
       The institute was founded by a group of like-minded friends with background in international diplomacy and trade who received their education internationally. All of them had experience of public service or politics. They also had backgrounds in private business. This gave them unique insights into public policy in Mongolia, civil service, international experience and business. Bridging all these worlds is something that MDSI is striving.