Landlocked Mongolia is hoping for better access to China's ports as Chinese President Xi Jinping conducts a two-day visit to the sprawling, arid nation sandwiched between China and Russia.

Xi arrived in the Mongolian capital late Thursday morning and was scheduled to meet with Mongolian President Elbegdorj Tsakhia, and with parliamentary officials on Friday.

Faced with declining foreign investment and increased inflation and unemployment, Mongolia is desperate for more ways to export its mineral resources. Xi's trip is expected to include discussions on infrastructure investment, as well transportation deals that would help Mongolia export minerals through the Chinese ports.

Four of 11 agreements under discussion have to do with ground transportation to Chinese ports, to better ship high-value minerals to South Korea and Japan, China expert Munkhtuul Banzragch said.