On July 6th, 2021, Mongolia's parliament approved a draft resolution on the opening of a consulate in Chicago. Mongolian foreign minister Battsetseg Batmunkh stressed the importance of this milestone and highlighted the increasing number of Mongolians traveling, working, and studying in the United States. Plans for the new diplomatic post demonstrate the flourishing cultural relations between the two countries and the trust Mongolians place in American institutions of higher learning to provide their children with quality education. The trend also reflects a Mongolian commitment to investing in an educated and skilled citizenry that will spearhead economic growth and development in Mongolia.
The consulate will make consular and citizen services more accessible not only to the more than 8,000 Mongolians residing in the city but also to those living in neighboring states. The post will become Mongolia’s third diplomatic mission in the United States after the Mongolian Embassy in Washington, DC, and Consulate General in San Francisco. Chicago’s status as a major trade and cultural hub means the resolution is expected to significantly expand ties between the two countries in addition to protecting Mongolian citizens’ rights and interests in the United States. The city’s conducive social welfare policies, affordable living costs, housing prices, and abundant employment opportunities have attracted many Mongolians in the last several years. The city’s fledgling Mongolian community has thrived by opening small businesses in the logistics and construction industries. In all, there are three Mongolian schools, 20 civil and community associations, and over 50 companies owned by Mongolians registered in the city.
Sayan Dochinkhuu is a participant in the Young Professionals Program at the East-West Center in Washington. He is a graduate student at Texas A&M University's Bush School of Government and Public Service studying International Affairs, with a concentration in US foreign policy in East Asia and International Development.