The earliest contact between Mongolia and the Republic of Singapore started in 1950 when nine Mongolian pilgrims arrived in a ship called the “Automedon” from Jeddah. In the 1960’s, the trade between Mongolia and Singapore was restricted due to the anti-communist policies of Singapore.
Mongolia and the Republic of Singapore established diplomatic relations on June 11, 1970. Demiddavag TSEVENGOMBO, the Ambassador of Mongolia to India, was appointed as the first Non-Resident Ambassador of Mongolia to the Republic of Singapore two years later. In 1990, B. Sharavsambuu, the Vice Chairman of the Councils of Minister of Mongolia, visited Singapore, marking the first official contact between the two countries. In 1992, Mongolia set up a trade representative office in Singapore; an official representative, Gombojav, was resident in Singapore during the late 1990’s. A Consulate General was set up in Singapore ten years later. In 2008, the Consulate General officially became an Embassy and Purevjav GANSUKH became the first resident Ambassador of Mongolia to the Republic of Singapore. In 1995, Jasrai PUNTSAG, the Prime Minister of Mongolia, visited Singapore and he became the first Prime Minister of Mongolia to make an official visit, and in 2001, Bagabandi NATSAG became the first President of Mongolia to make a state visit to the Republic of Singapore.
In 1997, the Ambassador of Singapore to South Korea became the Non-Resident Ambassador of Singapore to Mongolia. In 2016, Lee Hsien LOONG, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Singapore visited Mongolia and became the first Prime Minister of Singapore to do so. When he was welcomed by his Mongolian counterpart Erdenebat JARGALTULGA, he stated that he would open new areas of cooperation between the two countries and enhance bilateral cooperation. Both leaders of the two countries agreed the visit “opened a new chapter” for the bilateral relations between the two countries.
In 2016, a total of 2,800 Mongolians visited Singapore while a total of 1,700 Singaporeans visited Mongolia.
According to the data from The Observatory of Economic Complexity, the exported values from Singapore to Mongolia were between 10 to 20 million US dollars. The exported value started increasing in 2003 and made a new high in 2013, which was 70 million US dollars. However, the exported values fell between 2009 and 2012. Motors were the main products Singapore was exporting to Mongolia. Nonetheless, the proportion of food in exporting products from Singapore to Mongolia started increasing since 2002.
The exported values from Mongolia to Singapore were below 2 million US dollars between 1995 and 2003, in 2005, and between 2007 and 2012. In 2004, much gold was exported to Singapore, making a high on the exported value, which was 20 million US dollars. The exported value increased again when the proportion of transportation utilities and motors helped increase the exported value in 2012. In 2016, total export was 12 million US dollars while total import was 11 million US dollars. The total trade between the two countries for the past 4 years have seen a slight decrease:
- 2016 – 24 million US dollars
- 2015 – 48 million US dollars
- 2014 – 66 million US dollars
- 2013 – 74 million US dollars
Singapore and Mongolia signed agreements among air services, promotion and reciprocal protection of investments and avoidance of double taxation in 1993, 1995 and 2003, separately. Mongolia and Singapore provide the citizens of the two countries visa-free reciprocal travel for up to 30 days. Lee Hsien Loong, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Singapore, suggested the Mongolian government to extend the visa-free travel to Mongolia for Singapore passport holders for up to 30 days during his visit to Mongolia in 2016, and this agreement came into effect starting on 06 June 2017.
On 25 November 2015, the Embassy of Mongolia in Singapore organized the “Mongolia – Singapore Midas Touch Xchange Business Forum 2015” at The Fullerton Hotel Singapore in order to celebrate the 45th Anniversary of the establishment of Diplomatic Relations between Mongolia and Singapore and the 91st Anniversary of the implementation of the first Mongolian constitution and the Declaration of Independence of Mongolia.
As of 2017, more than 1,300 Mongolian officials have participated in the Singapore Cooperation Programme in various fields such as English language, information technology, finance and management, urban and environmental management and tourism etc. In 2009, the Temasek Foundation of Singapore set aside 364,000 US dollars for cooperation with the Nanyang Polytechnic of Singapore and the National Productivity and Development Centre of Mongolia to provide training programmes for 90 Mongolian officials, specialists from the government, non-governmental institutions and private enterprises. Singapore has also provided training programmes and study visits to Mongolian officials in public housing, the Central Provident Fund system and technical and vocational education. Singapore and Mongolia signed a memorandum in energy cooperation in 2016.
A Singaporean living in Mongolia established a non-governmental organization in order to improve Mongolians’ lives.