[Mongolia] still falls short in many areas: lack of a well-articulated national development strategy; a pervasive lack of transparency in government transactions; corruption, including widespread disregard for conflict of interest among elected and appointed officials; a combination of populism and lingering attachment to the state's role in the economy which are detrimental to the development of a friendly environment for foreign and domestic investment; police abuse of suspects and jail inmates; and an abysmal percentage of women among elected and civil servant decision makers.Former US Ambassador Pamela J. Slutz's concluding remarks on her three-year tour as chief of mission in Mongolia (hat tip to Munkhnaran)
[...] As we proceed, we should keep in mind that Mongolia currently lacks the capacity to design and implement the policies and programs necessary to achieve sustainable economic growth. Specifically, Mongolia lacks western-educated, apolitical, well-paid, private and public sector professionals who are able to grasp the principles of and implement private sector-led growth and rule of law, the two determinants of sustainable economic growth. This lack of capable manpower is probably the single, largest obstacle to Mongolia's ability to move forward. The bulk of the current political leaders and senior bureaucrats are of a generation that was educated in the former Soviet Union and steeped in socialist doctrine, government by fiat, and central planning. On top of this, the social fabric of a small, inter-related populace abhors competition with its winners and losers and encourages a lowest-common denominator consensus approach to decision-making.