Mongolia's economy is centered on agriculture and mining. Mongolia has rich mineral resources, and copper, coal, molybdenum, tin, tungsten, and gold account for a large part of industrial production.
There are currently over 30,000 independent businesses in Mongolia, chiefly centered around the capital city. The majority of the population outside urban areas participate in subsistence herding; livestock typically consists of sheep, goats, cattle, horses, and Bactrian camels. Agricultural crops include wheat, barley, potato, vegetables, tomato, watermelon, sea-buckthorn and fodder crops. GDP per capita in 2006 was $2,100. Although GDP has risen steadily since 2002 at the rate of 7.5% in an official 2006 estimate, the state is still working to overcome a sizable trade deficit. A massive ($11 billion) foreign debt to Russia was settled by the Mongolian government in 2004 with a $250 million payment. Despite growth, the proportion of the population below the poverty line is estimated to be 35.6% in 1998, 36.1% in 2002–2003, 32.2% in 2006, and both the unemployment rate and inflation rate are relatively high at 3.2% and 6.0%, respectively (in 2006) Mongolia's largest trading partner is China. As of 2006, 68.4% of Mongolia's exports went to China, and China supplied 29.8% of Mongolia's imports.
The Mongolian Stock Exchange, established in 1991 in Ulan Bator, is the world's smallest stock exchange by market capitalisation.
Industry currently accounts for 21.4% of GDP, approximately equal to the weight of the agriculture sector (20.4%). These industries include construction materials, mining (coal, copper, molybdenum, fluorspar, tin, tungsten, and gold), oil, food and beverages, processing of animal products, and cashmere and natural fiber manufacturing. The industrial production growth rate is estimated to be 4.1% in 2002. Mining is continuing to rise as a major industry of Mongolia as evidenced by number of Chinese, Russian and Canadian firms opening and starting mining business in Mongolia. Domestic food production, especially packaged food production has been increasingly coming up with speed with investments from foreign companies.