Mongolia is one of the most open economies in its region and foreign trade accounted for 119% of GDP in 2021 (World Trade Organization, 2023). The country's trade policy aims at adopting market-oriented reforms and reducing dependence on the mining sector. Comparatively, tariffs are low and no customs barriers exist in the country. Mongolia has the potential to become a competitive hub for its strategic location between the vast emerging markets of Russia and China. Total Imports of Goods and Services represented 61% of GDP in 2021, while Exports of Goods and Services represented over 59% of GDP (WTO and World Bank, 2023).
The country exports mainly Copper Ore (27.8% of all imports in 2021) Coal Briquettes (26.2%), Gold (20.2%) and Iron Ore with 9% (OEC, 2023). The most common destination for the exports of Mongolia are China (73%), Switzerland (18.8%) and Singapore (2.44%). Mongolia is traditionally an importing country, but has gradually expanded its exports in recent years. Its main suppliers are China (36.6%), Russia (26.6%), Japan (7.1%), and South Korea with 5.3%(OEC, 2023). The most recent imports of Mongolia are led by Refined Petroleum (14.8%), Cars (6.1%) and trailers and semi trailers (3%).
Mongolia’s trade surplus widened to USD 779.1 million in March 2023, from USD 85.7 million in the same month of the previous year. Exports surged 96% to USD 1,520.5 million, boosted by the increase in sales of iron ores & concentrates (190.5%), copper concentrates (88.8%), and gold, unwrought or in semi-manufactured forms (54.2%), while imports rose 14.7% to USD 741.5 million, mostly due to higher purchases of diesel (172.7%), cars (112.6%), and electricity (107.9%).
|Foreign Trade Indicators||2017||2018||2019||2020||2021|
|Imports of Goods (million USD)||4,337||5,875||6,127||5,294||6,849|
|Exports of Goods (million USD)||6,201||7,012||7,620||7,576||9,247|
|Imports of Services (million USD)||2,154||2,584||3,200||2,083||2,051|
|Exports of Services (million USD)||964||1,154||1,228||651||719|
|Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change)||12||33||9||-15||14|
|Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change)||4||6||12||-5||-15|
|Trade Balance (million USD)||1,490||685||1,158||1,756||1,370|
|Foreign Trade (in % of GDP)||116||126||124||113||119|
|Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP)||57||68||65||55||61|
|Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP)||59||58||59||58||59|
Source: WTO – World Trade Organisation ; World Bank - Latest available data.
To go further, check out our service Import Export Flows
|1.2 bn USD of services exported in 2019|
|Personal travelPersonal travel||37.75%|
|Business travelBusiness travel||4.01%|
|3.2 bn USD of services imported in 2019|
|Personal travelPersonal travel||28.51%|
|Business travelBusiness travel||0.25%|
Source: United Nations Statistics Division, Latest Available Data
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Latest Update: September 2023