Australia and Mongolia to expand ties in mining sector

Australia and Mongolia are set to expand ties in the mining and resources sector following calls by politicians from both nations for cooperation to be strengthened.

Chinese news agency Xinhua reports that Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr met with Mongolian President Tsakhia Elbegdorj on Wednesday during a trip to the landlocked Central Asian nation and emphasized the importance of cooperation in the mining sector for relations between the two countries, with 54 Australian companies currently operating in Mongolia.

Elbegdorj also called for both countries to make cooperation in the mining industry a key opportunity for improving bilateral relations.

The occasion was also used to launch an educational cooperative program which will permit a greater number of Mongolian students to study in Australia.

In an interview with ABC News Carr also took pains to assuage concerns that Mongolia's rising mining sector will be in direct competition with Australia's given that they share the same key exports commodities of iron ore and coal as well as the same key export destination of China.