How Mongolia is Transforming into a Beacon for Foreign Direct Investment in East Asia

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How Mongolia is Transforming into a Beacon for Foreign Direct Investment in East Asia

27 June @ 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm

Lord David Cameron’s April 2024 visit to Mongolia and Central Asia demonstrates the growing importance that London places on protecting and promoting British interests in the Indo-Pacific region. A new report by Darren Spinck for the Henry Jackson Society argues that Mongolia’s strategic location and Ulaanbaatar’s significant democratisation and anti-corruption efforts make the country an ideal partner for collaboration with the United Kingdom, as London builds upon its strategy to shape economic and cooperatives ties in the region.

Landlocked between Russia to its north and China to its south, Mongolia has long demonstrated a commitment to deepening economic and strategic ties beyond its borders. However, investment from the People’s Republic of China offers strong competition to the West, having already led to the creation of over 100,000 jobs and $2 billion in tax revenue, including past development finance for planned road, rail, and energy infrastructure links between the two countries and their neighbour Russia. The new report argues that if London intends to solidify the United Kingdom’s role as a long-term partner with Ulaanbaatar, the UK and its partners should incentivise the private sector to invest in Mongolia and, through its development finance institution British International Investment (BII), bridge the regional infrastructure investment gap.

By kind invitation of Daniel Kawczynski, the Henry Jackson Society is pleased to gather a panel of experts to launch its latest report.



Darren G. Spinck is an Associate Research Fellow at the Henry Jackson Society’s Asia Studies Centre. He is also managing partner of Washington Consulting Solutions, a US-based public affairs agency, where he focuses on policy analysis, strategic message development, and public advocacy programmes.

Mr. Spinck authored the May 2023 Henry Jackson report, “Stronger Together: How US-UK Collaboration Can Answer China’s Growing Geopolitical Ambition”. As a Vice President at public affairs firm Hannaford Enterprises, he managed a public affairs project for Taiwan and managed media activities (strategic messaging, media relations, and commentary development) with the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO) in Washington, DC, for recognition of the 30th anniversary of the US Congress Taiwan Relations Act, which authorizes America’s de facto diplomatic relations with Taipei and guarantees Taiwan’s security through the sales of arms and other assurances.

He is a regular speaker at the Economic Forum in Krynica and Karpacz, Poland and the Foundation Institute for Eastern Studies’ Europe-Ukraine Forum in Rzeszow, Poland, focusing his discussions on the risks of China’s growing influence in Central and Eastern Europe and US policy toward Ukraine.  He was an international election observer with the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America for Ukraine’s 2019 presidential election.

Mr. Spinck gained a BA in journalism, specializing in public relations, from the University of Maryland, College Park, MD, and an MA in international commerce and public policy from George Mason University’s Graduate School of Public Policy, Arlington, VA.


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Dr Elizabeth Fox is an anthropologist and researcher of Mongolia. Focussed mainly on Ulaanbaatar, her research has covered circus contortionists, cashmere factory workers, street-level bureaucrats, and ger district residents. Her doctoral thesis ‘Between Iron and Coal: Enacting Kinship, Bureaucracy and Infrastructure in the Ger Districts of Ulaanbaatar’ (UCL, 2019) was based on long term fieldwork in the outskirts of Mongolia’s capital and constitutes one of the first book-length anthropological studies of life in these areas. Her postdoctoral research builds on the questions raised in her thesis about the role of meat in contemporary Mongolia, interrogating its potential as a material index of social, political and economic change. Now a Research Associate, she is working with fellow MIASU-members Prof Bulag and Dr White on their new ESRC-funded project: Trading Mongolia’s Sovereign Meat: the Social Transformations and Everyday Geopolitics of the ‘Livestock Revolution’.


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Daniel Kawczynski was born in Warsaw, Poland, in 1972 and moved to Britain with his parents at age five to join relatives already settled here. His maternal grandfather had fought in the Battle of Britain.

He was privately educated at St George’s College in Weybridge, joined the Conservative Party at 13, and graduated in business studies with languages at Stirling University, where he was chair of the Conservative Association. In 1992 he mobilised his fellow students to campaign for the Conservative MP Michael Forsyth.

Daniel then worked as an international account manager in telecommunications for ten years, promoting British business in Africa and the Middle East.

Daniel was first elected as the Member of Parliament for Shrewsbury and Atcham in the 2005 General Election.

Daniel has sat on the Foreign Affairs, International Development, Justice and the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committees and was previously the Parliamentary Private Secretary for the Secretary of State for Wales. Daniel also served as an adviser to Prime Minister David Cameron as an envoy to the Polish and Eastern European Diaspora in the United Kingdom.

Daniel was appointed Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Mongolia in October 2020.





The Henry Jackson Society was pleased to host a report launch event featuring Darren G. Spinck and Dr. Elizabeth Fox, chaired by Daniel Kawczynski. The discussion focused on the prospects of deepened UK-Mongolia relations, particularly in trade, investment, and economic cooperation. During the conversation, speakers suggested finalising a UK-Mongolia Partnership and Cooperation Agreement, also exploring agricultural cooperation, and establishing air routes for exporting rare earth elements and minerals. They discussed the UK’s economic strategy through CPTPP membership, and if this would be beneficial for Mongolia, as well as the sensitivity of Mongolia’s relations with China and Russia. Darren G. Spinck emphasized addressing economic vulnerabilities through infrastructure projects and sustainable energy production. Dr. Elizabeth Fox echoed this, adding an emphasis on sustainability and cultural preservation. Speakers highlighted Mongolia’s geopolitical position, its democratization efforts, and the UK’s support for democratic processes in neighbouring countries. Furthermore, they debated the potential impact of further alignment with the European single market on the UK’s ability to trade with Mongolia. Darren Spinck examined how Mongolia’s uranium resources influence relationships with superpowers interested in nuclear energy, and Dr. Elizabeth Fox touched on how increased trade between Mongolia and the UK might affect traditional lifestyles and modern developments in Mongolia.


You can watch this event ONLINE only.



27 June
12:30 pm - 1:30 pm


Millbank Tower, 21-24 Millbank, London, England, SW1P 4QP
21-24 Millbank
Westminster, SW1P 4QP United Kingdom
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Darren G. Spinck, Dr Elizabeth Fox, Daniel Kawczynski


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