25 May 2019 - Prime Minister Duško Marković said that by joining NATO, Montenegro got all the hallmarks of a safe destination for tourists and investors, which is an additional stimulus since Montenegrin investors are already operating in more than 110 countries and that our country has achieved growth rates among the highest in Europe.
"Fulfilling two key foreign policy priorities for our two countries has not only a political but also a very important economic dimension and benefit. By joining NATO, Montenegro got all the hallmarks of a safe destination, both for visitors and tourists, as well as for investors from all over the world – a signal that we share the highest standards and values of democratic societies with which we want even more advanced partnership and cooperation. We achieved economic growth at an average rate of 4.9 percent, almost in all sectors from tourism, energy, agriculture, industry, trade, and in the last two years, we reduced the unemployment rate by 6% and increased the number of employees by over 17,000, of which we are particularly proud. In the first quarter of this year, the parameters are already better than at the same time last year," said Marković.
He added that membership in NATO and increasing compatibility and harmonization with the internal EU system are important factors for such strong growth and development. Montenegro is also fully integrated into the NATO codification system, with 160 company codes and 100 codified products.
"I think this is a very strong basis for the future intensive cooperation between business people and for creating partnerships with other NATO member states and participating in NATO procurement process. Investors from over 110 countries operate in Montenegro, the most prestigious international tourist brands are present, and we are proud that our state has the highest foreign direct investment per capita in the region, with a total investment of 6.5 billion EUR in the period from 2006 to 2018," Prime Minister Duško Marković said at opening of Business Forum Montenegro - North Macedonia at the Chamber of Commerce of Montenegro.
The Prime Minister pointed to the need to strengthen economic cooperation between Montenegro and North Macedonia, saying that it is clear that there are great potentials for deepening economic cooperation.
"We look forward to increased Macedonian investments in all sectors, and in the tourism sector I want to draw attention to the opportunity we can create through a joint approach to distant third markets, especially considering the complementarity of the tourism products of our two countries," the Prime Minister said.
PM Marković pointed to the Government's excellent economic results, stressing that our priorities are now a transport connectivity and investment in the Northern Region.
"Prime Minister Zaev and I understand that poor transport connectivity is a limiting factor for trade and economic relations. Even during our first meeting in Podgorica in November 2017, we talked about finding modalities for the introduction of the airline on the Skopje-Podgorica route in cooperation with other interested cities like Sarajevo, and there is a wish of both parties to specifically discuss this topic at today's joint cabinet session. What I want to inform you about is that Montenegro is investing intensively in improving its infrastructure, that as much as 320 million EUR is allocated for the capital budget this year, the largest amount invested so far. Of this, more than 70% of funds are allocated for the Northern Region, and once again we have sent a message that this is our priority and it will be in focus in the next development period.
Marković continued that the biggest undertaking in the history of Montenegro is ongoing, the construction of the first motorway which will strategically contribute to this goal. After the construction of the first section of the motorway, which is in the final phase, the Government creates the preconditions for continuing the construction of the rest of the motorway towards Serbia.
"Together with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), we are working on defining a model for improving the operation of our airports, while with foreign partners we are coming to an end of the submarine power cable installation. All this will make Montenegro even more accessible and energy investment port," Prime Minister Duško Marković concluded at the opening of the Business Montenegro - North Macedonia, which gathered government officials and business people of the two countries.