Road and Transport Sector
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Mongolia is set to grow at an accelerated pace in the next decade, as its vast mining resources enter into large-scale production. This has greatly improved prospects for prosperity and poverty reduction. However, to realize the full potential, Mongolia will need to achieve a transformation of its society, economy, and governance.Mongolia’s road sector can be an engine for such change, depending on how fast it can adjust to a new context that requires it to perform more, better, and faster. The National Development Strategy (NDS) has assigned ambitious goals for the road sector; in particular, the sector is tasked with developing a modern backbone trunk highway network of about 10,000 kilometers (km) within 10 years.So far, Mongolia’s road sector has served the country well, but it has remained small in scale, and progress in raising performance has been uneven.
A large expansion in the network of quality roads is necessary in order to transport Mongolia’s mining resources to foreign markets and to connect the country in a way that fosters broad-based economic growth.Can the current road sector deliver on the country’s vision? What is needed to scale up the road industry and the agencies responsible for the sector? How can external stakeholders help create a high-performance road sector? What options are available for building road sector capacity? What is the way forward?The present study is an attempt to answer these questions. It was undertaken by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in cooperation with the Ministry of Roads, Transportation, Construction and Urban Development (MRTCUD). The study recognizes that change will not happen overnight. It will require a series of incremental steps to build the domestic road contracting and consulting industry and to modernize government administration. The reestablishment of the Department of Roads (DOR) in 2009 was one such step, but there are many others ahead, and they need to be started soon.
This study looks into the sector’s financial dimension, the techniques and processes followed for road maintenance and construction, and the role of human resources management and education. It tries to understand why sector performance improvement has been slow, even though many sector issues and solutions have been considered in the past. Reflecting on lessons from international experience, it outlines a range of policy options for decision makers and proposes an agenda for the next 5 years.