Hovd Time Zone UTC+07:00

 Capital City Ulaanbaatar

 Currency Mongolian tögrög


National Day  11 July

His Excellency Mr Tulga Narkhuu
Embassy of Mongolia
7-8 Kensington Court
London W8 5DL
T: 020 7937 0150
F: 020 7937 1117


“ALL THE POLITICIANS have changed, but the others are mostly here!” remarks Mongolia’s new Ambassador to the Court of St James’s Tulga Narkhuu. He returns to the UK for his second posting as Ambassador. “It’s been less than two years, so there are still many familiar faces on the diplomatic scene.” He arrived  in early September with his wife Burmaa Batbold and three of their six children. He reveals that he felt like he “was just returning from a long vacation. London is an honourable posting. Very few career diplomats have a chance to be here as Ambassador, let alone twice.”

He’s enjoying being back in the swing of his morning walks in Hyde Park, and looks forward to his Credentials presentation. “My first audience with Her Majesty was the most memorable moment of my career. And I imagine the second time might be even better!”

The son of a diplomat, you might say Mr Narkhuu’s career choice was inevitable. “My father’s final posting was as Mongolia’s Permanent Representative to the UN in New York. I felt the need to follow a similar path.” Accordingly, after studying at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, he joined foreign service in 1987.

Having spent 30 years in the service, the Ambassador’s past postings include Beijing (1992-95), Deputy Head of Mission in Washington DC (2000-01) and following his father’s footsteps to the UN in New York (2005-08). A stint in Singapore as Acting Head of Mission provided him with “a good managerial school” before his first Ambassador posting in the UK in 2013. This was followed by a brief stint at his MFA’s Asian Department.

So, Mr Narkhuu returns to the capital, easily distinguishable at receptions by his signature bow tie. His objectives remain largely the same as his last posting: “As the world’s financial centre, in London I’ll be looking for more UK and international investment in Mongolia.” He refers to opportunities in mineral resources, but also other sectors, including agriculture and manufacturing, as well as financial and legal services. “The UK stands to make a big impact on our economy. Post-Brexit, we need to look for new opportunities and ideas to further deepen our cooperation. Hopefully there will be room for small countries like Mongolia.” He continues: “Of course, the EU’s GSP+  allows Mongolian goods be imported to the EU without taxes. After Brexit, will the UK continue that system for Mongolia and other countries that enjoy GSP+ regime?” he asks.

Developing people-to-people relations is another major priority. “With its vast territory and climate extremes, Mongolia has many attractions, especially adventure tourism.” Mr Narkhuu mentions the Mongol Derby, known as the toughest horse race in the world and the Mongol (car) Rally, saying, “I want to promote these special Mongolian experiences to British people.” Closer to home, he has plans for Mongolian cultural and sporting events. “Cultural events that take place in London become known to the rest of the world.” He mentions Mongolian throat singing, and UNESCO registered Mongol musical instruments. “And Mongolian contortionists are often involved in talent shows like Britain’s Got Talent,” he exclaims. “Mongolia is unique in culture, with long traditions going back thousands of years.”

The Ambassador reminds us that the UK was the first country to recognise Mongolia’s independence 55 years ago, and the first of the western countries to formalise diplomatic relations. “At the time, we were in the Communist bloc with heavy Soviet influence, so this was quite a statement from the UK,” Mr Narkhuu recounts. “Today, Mongolia regards the UK as an important partner in our ‘third neighbour policy.’ As well as being our physical neighbours, our main partners in foreign and economic relations are the Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China. But much like any surface, in order to be stable, we need a third pillar – or neighbour. So, the UK has an important place in that policy.” He looks forward to planning a high-level exchange of visits between the two governments.

What does he think is Mongolia’s greatest diplomatic challenge? “From the outside, they say that our challenge is to find the right balance between Russia and China. For us, we have good and healthy relations with both of our neighbours. But we do need to promote our country on the world stage as a business-friendly reliable partner in business. We have nation branding to do, which will be a lot of work.”


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