In-person EIAS Book Launch “Mongolia: Cracks in the Eternal Blue Sky” on 13.04.2022

How potentially rich Mongolia is held back by political mischief and corruption. Can the EU (and GSP+) be of any help? The European Institute for Asian Studies is delighted to invite you to the book launch we are organising in cooperation with Erik Versavel to present his book ‘Mongolia: Cracks in the Eternal Blue Sky‘. The book launch will be an in-person event hosted at the EIAS premises on Wednesday 13 April 2022 from 16:30 to 18:00. The event will include an interactive Q&A session between the panellists and the audience and will be followed by a networking reception.

Date: Wednesday, 13 April 2022
Time: 16:30 – 18:00 CEST (Brussels time, GMT+2)
Registration: From 16:00 CEST
Venue: EIAS, Rue de la Loi 26, 10th Floor, B-1040 Brussels

Mongolia: Cracks in the Eternal Blue Sky

In his book, Erik Versavel takes us on a journey starting in 2016 when he arrived in Mongolia, ending in 2020 after abruptly being locked out of the country due to the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. With deep emotional engagement and painful accuracy, he writes about the state of the country and why presidents and politicians are the reason why Mongolia is not the rich country it could – and should – be. He describes how chicanery in the banking sector destroyed the little international credibility the country had and why the number of people living below the poverty line is not reducing while the economy booms. He paints a picture of political, financial and economic crises with devastating detail.

Erik Versavel is a Belgian citizen (°1960), banker, company director, and published author. He started his international banking career in 1983. Having left Belgium in 1993, he then consecutively lived in London, Seoul, Jakarta, Shanghai, Seoul again, Kyiv, Ulaanbaatar, and Colombo. He has witnessed a number of revolutions, debated with the International Monetary Fund, played golf with Chief Financial Officers of some of the world’s largest companies, discussed bond financing with Ministers of Finance, and saw currencies lose 50% of their value in just a few days. He does not spare politicians or corporate citizens pretending all to be fine, blaming all that goes wrong on anyone but themselves.


16:00 – 16:30   Registration

16:30 – 16:40  Opening Remarks by Axel GOETHALS, CEO, European Institute for Asian Studies

16:40 – 18:00  Author’s Presentation and Discussion followed by an interactive Q&A session with the audience
Erik FAMAEYSenior Associate, EIAS
Erik VERSAVEL, Author of the book

18:00  Networking Reception