Remarks by Ambassador John Danilovich at the White House Press Briefing on MCC-Mongolia Compact Signing

Thank you, Dana.

Later this morning,  President Bush and Mongolian President Enkhbayar will sign a Millennium Challenge Compact designed to reduce poverty in Mongolia.

The goal is to increase economic opportunities for the poorest Mongolians and our $285 million Compact will do that by focusing on critical transportation, property rights, education and health.

We are here today because Mongolia has passed the third-party measurements we use to determine eligibility –

measurements that assess whether countries are

  • governing justly
  • making their own investment in their people, and
  • promoting economic freedom…

and they have worked with us for a number of years to analyze their economy’s impediments to growth and craft this package.

The United States, through MCC, will help the Mongolians stimulate economic growth and development by investing in their people and their infrastructure.

Today’s agreement will:

  • Expand the capacity of Mongolia’s critically important rail system,
  • Help Mongolians obtain clear land titles,
  • Invest in the education and health care of Mongolia’s workers

Like our Compacts with other countries, these are projects that have been selected by Mongolians themselves as critical for economic development and poverty reduction.

These are projects that build on reforms already underway in Mongolia.

And, these are projects that further Mongolia’s commitment to democracy and an open economy.

Mongolia is an excellent example of how the Millennium Challenge Corporation model works, as a bilateral program that provides grants to countries that are doing the right things for the right reasons for their citizens.

To date, MCC has approved 16 compacts with countries totaling $5.5 billion, and we congratulate Mongolia on joining the MCC family with the signing of its compact today and look forward to its successful implementation.

Thank you, and I’d be happy to take a few questions.