An EU-funded initiative is to support the development of the yak and camel wool trade in Mongolia, helping to improve access to international markets and the formation of partnerships with foreign companies.

A meeting of the TRAM project – Trade Related Assistance for Mongolia (EU TRAM) – last month discussed establishing a yak and camel wool cluster to manufacture end products and promote them overseas.

According to the Mongolian National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MNCCI, the aim is to create high-standard products as competitive as Mongolian cashmere goods.

Launched in March last year, EU TRAM is a four-year project, worth almost EUR5m (US$5.6m) with the aim of increasing and expanding Mongolian exports, and contributing to sustainable economic growth and development of the country. It has a special focus on specific products/sectors with high potential for export.

Mongolia has preferential duty-free access to the EU market under GSP+ scheme, yet there is low usage of these benefits due to low capacity of Mongolian products to fulfil EU market requirements. This is largely due to the lack of necessary standards and regulations.

"Global consumers already felt that Mongolian cashmere and wool products are pure natural with zero harm to health besides warmness and well-fitting. However, we still encounter hurdles when exporting our goods because of the industrial capability, lack of competitiveness of promotion and packaging, thus it is important to tackle these issues through mutually-beneficial clusters," says B Saruul, MNCCI secretary-general.

"I am sure that our collaboration in cluster with the TRAM project will contribute to increasing the export of Mongolian products."