Mongolia and Australia established diplomatic relations in 1972. When Mongolia transitioned to a democratic and free-market system in the early 1990s, bilateral engagement with Australia was accelerated. The Australia-Mongolia relationship is now strong, despite relatively modest levels of two-way merchandise trade.

The main dialogue between the Australian Mongolian Government is on resources and energy through through the Australia-Mongolia Joint Working Group on Minerals and Energy Cooperation (JWGMEC). However increasing dialogue is occurring in other sectors.

In February 2011, the Prime Minister of Mongolia, H.E. Mr Sukhbaatar Batbold, conducted a guest-of-government visit to Australia. His delegation included several Mongolian ministers, parliamentarians and business people. Prime Minister Gillard welcomed Prime Minister Batbold as the first Mongolian Head of Government to visit Australia since the two countries established diplomatic relations. The leaders witnessed the signature of four bilateral arrangements:

  • A Memorandum of Understanding on vocational education cooperation aimed at helping Mongolia build the capacity of its mining workforce, encouraging the exchange of vocational education students and staff, and encouraging the exchange of information on education systems, qualifications and recognition processes between vocational education institutes and universities;
  • A Memorandum of Understanding to promote agricultural development and the sharing of information and agricultural technologies, with the aim of improving livestock and crop production in Mongolia;
  • A Memorandum of Understanding between the two governments to foster the exchange of information on Cabinet Secretariat operations and on enhancing transparency and public access to information; and
  • A Memorandum of Understanding between the Australian Academy of Science and the Mongolian Academy of Sciences to promote the exchange of ideas and the review of collaborative opportunities in scientific fields of common interest, such as geology, water resources and agriculture.

Further information on the bilateral relationship can be found on the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website.