16 November 2018 - On November 16, the Expert Conference “Days of Electrical Engineers”, whose main focus is the exploitation of potentials - hydropower, wind, sun, valorisation of these resources, as well as economic profitability and development of investment studies, was opened in Podgorica. This event gathered more than 300 electrical engineers, members of the Montenegro Chamber of Engineers, and guests from the country and abroad.
The meeting was organized by the Chamber of Electrical Engineers of Montenegro and the Montenegrin Engineers' Chamber. The aim of the event is the affirmation of electrical engineering, development of professional activity and the exchanging of ideas. In addition to the aforementioned, the goal of the event is to connect members in order to renew existing and establish new professional contacts.
President of Montenegrin Engineers Chamber, Boris Ostojić, and the President of Chamber of Electrical Engineers of Montenegro, Željko Maraš, had the honour of opening the grand event. Twelve lecturers spoke during the Conference, and they presented 12 quality papers.
President Ostojić said that the interest in the “Days of Electrical Engineers” Conference is increasing and that this year's conference is only one in a series of confirmations that the Chamber should be more developed in the future. "The Chamber, as a professional association, has an extremely high potential, visible in its ability to assemble a large number of engineers. Regardless of whether we’re talking about the profession itself, the public interest, the need of a state or an individual, members of our Engineers' Chamber have shown on numerous occasions that they have a sense of belonging to their association, and I hope that this will be the case in the future," Ostojić added.
This year's “Days of Electrical Engineers” included topics related to reactive energy, networked lighting, mobile communications, the future of data centres, digitization of substations etc. The members of the Electrical Engineers’ Chamber and eminent experts from Montenegro and abroad presented their expert papers on topics from the field of electrical engineering. At the end of the event, a gala dinner was organized for all participants, guests and lecturers.
Based on the composition of the participants and the overall atmosphere during the event, the organisers hope that this Conference will become traditional and recognizable both in the country and in the region.
November 16, 2018 - In Montenegro, it has never been a more favorable business environment. Current credit lines enable young people to realize their business ideas more easily and successfully and become successful entrepreneurs, it was announced in Bijelo Polje from the forum "Encouraging young people to start their own business".
Dževad Mekić from the Investment and Development Fund, Bijelo Polje office, pointed out that the youth recognized the activities of the IRF and use these services to a greater extent.
"Since 1999, the Employment Agency of Montenegro has given loans for self-employment, offering more favorable credit resources than the market. Through the Draft Law on Employment, the introduction of mentoring is proposed," said Sanja Nedović, counselor for professional orientation.
She reminded that the Employment Service also conducts three-day education in the field of entrepreneurship.
"At this seminar, people from the Bureau’s records are informed and prepared to go to the labor market more readily. For loan users, we organize special training, with the intention to learn how to dispose of funds and to strengthen their business skills," Nedovic explained.
The Employment Service, a consultant added, promotes entrepreneurship as a desirable and quality form of inclusion in the labor market, which can lead to higher incomes and enable the individual to demonstrate his creativity and opportunities. The development of entrepreneurship among young people in the focus is the work of the Municipal Youth Office. According to Mirha Kasumovic, many activities from the Office are encouraging young people to start a business. The Youth Incentives for Youth was organized by the Youth Office - the Secretariat for Local Self-Government of the Municipality of Bijelo Polje, in cooperation with the Employment Bureau - Bureau of Labor Bijelo Polje and the Investment Development Fund - Bijelo Polje Office. The panel was held in the assembly hall of the Municipality of Bijelo Polje with the aim of motivating and encouraging young people to engage in the world of business by utilizing their potentials of creativity and innovation. Jovana Rondović, a successful young entrepreneur, a beneficiary of IRF loans, also presented her experiences to the young people in Bijelo Polje.
Text by CdM, on November 15th, 2018, read more CdM
November 16, 2018 - Regardless of the political processes or the socio-economic situation of women, the Capital will seek to pursue what your initiatives are and we will have a reliable partner for all your ideas and projects, announced Mayor Ivan Vuković at a meeting with representatives of the Women's Political Network - Snežana Jonica and Marija Ćatović coordinators of the Program for Political Participation and Marija Đuričković Gojčević and Jelena Radenović, coordinators of the Program for Economic Empowerment, which this year has a focus on women entrepreneurship.
"As a citizen, above all, and then as a mayor, I am very much looking forward to every initiative that goes towards the affirmation and improvement of the position of women in our society, in a way that it is also a kind of civilization feature, because there are more women in politics, therefore the Montenegrin society will be more emancipated and better, " said Vukovic.
Snežana Jonica introduced the mayor with a model of support to women entrepreneurship - a system of support for business plans, which would mean more specific benefits – reduce the unemployment rate, because it opens the possibility of engaging women, both those applying and those they employ for the project, but also the return of money to the municipality both through the reduction of unemployment, and through the initiation of interesting businesses, through good defining priorities, then through taxes and contributions through income taxes. As she pointed out, this program would dominantly relate to the establishment of new businesses, and to a lesser extent to the expansion of the existing ones.
Representatives of the Women's Political Network informed the Mayor that in the process of public debate on the budget for the next year they will submit a request for planning funds intended for supporting women's entrepreneurship, and the Mayor expressed willingness to introduce a special budget line for women entrepreneurship as a budget proposer, which amount would be subsequently defined. He also pointed out that in the City Parliament he would initiate the adoption of the Decision regulating the distribution of these funds
Interlocutors agreed that, when it comes to the realization of this project, the Capital is in a better position than other Montenegrin municipalities, since through the functioning of the Bureau for Economic Cooperation and support to the business community it has experience in the preparation of business plans, projects, business incubators.
It is necessary to build a strong foundation for the realization of this project, and in the coming years it will be upgraded. Apart from the offered model, Mayor Vuković left the possibility of allocating funds through interest-free loans, while the third segment of cooperation would be, apart from the already established women's counseling center, by equipping another business space that will turn into a business incubator and this could be a new opportunity for women beginners in business, and the Women's Political Network, as a partner, should work on animating international organizations to conduct continuous training, because it is in the common interest that this area is present. Also, these experts would identify through research what is missng in business, implement continuous programs, exhibit comparative experiences, do market analysis, etc.
Text by CdM, on November 15th, 2018, read more at CdM
November 16, 2018 - The Montenegrin Seamen's Union (UPCG) has announced that, due to the inadequate support of the Montenegrin administration, the seafarers are faced with continuous obstructions affecting their employment in foreign companies.
"This is best confirmed by the fact that our administration needed a number of years to implement EU Directive 2008/106 / EC and after unnecessary exemption, to return Montenegro to the White List of Maritime Countries," states the letter sent to the Minister of Transport and Maritime Affairs Osman Nurković.
Montenegrin Seamen's Union, which gathers the seafarers of all professional profiles and duties on ships, sent a letter to Nurkovic, warning him of the seriousness of the situation that could lead to replacing our naval powers on blacklists and the great problems in the employment of seafarers with foreign companies. Seamen from Nurkovic are seeking to finally begin "in a proper way to deal with his work when it comes to maritime affairs" and also point to a lack of harmonization of domestic legislation with European legislation.
Analyzing the period of renewal of state autonomy, Montenegrin seafarers have come to face with continuous obstructions affecting their employment in foreign companies and the achievement of quality engagements due to inadequate support from the Montenegrin administration.
Seamen face the underlying problem with a shortage of skilled personnel who would continuously, professionally and consistently be able to keep up to date with the latest maritime regulations in the maritime sector and react on time at the national level. In their words, the incompatibility of Montenegrin regulations with international standards, which could be evidenced during the upcoming inspections, could result in the redistribution of Montenegro from the White List. Given the growing involvement of seafarers from Far-East countries, the UPCG notes that the re-excommunication of our seamen from the international maritime market would have far-reaching negative consequences.
If continued with the state administration's approach so far and inadequate personnel systematization within the competent institutions, Montenegrin seafaring will, from the international point of view, continue to be marginalized and Montenegrin seafarers are exposed to severe condemnation by foreign shipping companies or agencies mediating their employment.
"Due to the non-signing of the bilateral agreement on the recognition of Montenegrin seafarers' authority by the Italian administration (but only unilateral in favor of Italy), many Montenegrin seafarers were questioned for many years in Italy. Montenegrin powers have so far been certified by the Italian Embassy in a provisional mandate of three months. Such a system has been in place since 2002, only because of the demand for naval personnel on the international labor market and the unreserved commitment of our seafarers to fight for survival in such conditions. Unfortunately, since mid-September this year, the possibility of provisional verification of the powers is denied and they, because of the obstacles resulting from the inadequacy of our administration, will no longer be able to get a job at the company they built their careers for many years. Their places will most likely occupy colleagues from Ukraine, Russia and the Philippines who unquestionably receive Italian certification of the mandate for a term of 5 years, how many such authorizations should last," the UPCG says in a letter to the Minister of Transport and Maritime Affairs, Osman Nurkovic.
International Bilateral Agreements on Mutual Recognition of Seafarers' Enforcement Authorizations have so far been signed for a negligible number of countries, mainly at the initiative of individual entities that are not part of our state administration. The inadequate motivation of maritime administration employees is also reflected by the fact that Montenegro is, unfortunately, one of the two coastal countries in Europe, which is still not a full member of the Paris MOU PSC system. In this context, the non-transparency in the operations of the Ministry of Transport and Maritime Affairs should be emphasized, where all maritime activities are being published selectively and with delays, according to UPCG. They call on the competent ministry for closer cooperation and emphasize that the constructive cooperation of interest groups in the field of maritime affairs has lately been realized most thanks to the engagement of Montenegrin business alliance representatives, within which a Naval Board was formed.
UPCG warns of complex issues in the area of work and social care and, in the case of seafarers, inadequately defined compatibility with the medical protection system. The UPCG notes that the Ministry of Transport and Maritime Affairs, as a ministry, currently has insufficient willingness or capacity to be a coordinator in systematic observation and solving the needs of seafarers.
UPCG warned Minister Nurković of several other essential issues that have a negative impact on the development of Montenegrin maritime affairs and further aggravates the status of seafarers, including the lack of a National Maritime Development Strategy, the need for a new Rulebook on vocations and the conditions for acquiring and empowering crew members, the impossibility of obtaining visas for certain maritime countries with which Montenegro does not have the best defined diplomatic relations, bureaucratic control of educational institutions and seafaring training centers by certain Classification Societies, and contradictions expressed through the fact that controls are paid by these same institutions, as well as the complicated bureaucratic procedure in issuing and replacing the powers of port captains and the inability to electronically apply them for renewal.
On the international maritime market, about 6500 Montenegrin seafarers are currently engaged in the free assessment. Their earnings are brought to Montenegro on a regular basis, and the amount of remittances on the basis of personal seafarers' salaries abroad almost reaches the net inflow of foreign investment in Montenegro over the last few years, they emphasized from UPCG in addressing Minister Nurkovic.
"We hope that our remarks will enhance the efforts of the representatives of the Ministry of Transport and Maritime Affairs and the other national bodies in order to promote Montenegrin maritime affairs and that the importance of needs of seafarers, who are already generators of the development of our regions, will be seriously understood and adequately treated."
15 November 2018 - At its recent session, the Montenegrin Cabinet made a decision that around 120 kilometers of roads throughout Montenegro will undergo reconstruction during the next two years.
The agreement between Montenegro and the European Investment Bank (EIB) on the financing of the project "Roads reconstruction programme" includes the reconstruction of the following roads: M-8 Pljevlja - Mihajlovica (10 km); M-2.1, Bar Bridge - Dobrakovo - Bijelo Polje (14.6 km); M-2 Berane - Tunnel Lokve - Rožaje (30.9 km); M-2 Lepenac - Ribarevine - Poda - Berane (39,8 km) and M-2 Kamenovo - Petrovac - Bar (23,3 km).
Director of the Transport Directorate Savo Parača told the press following the Cabinet session that the 2015 roads programme includes 24 sections and the reconstruction of 216.3 km of main roads, while the works on the sections financed from the budget are mainly completed and that the total length of the main roads that will be reconstructed with funds from this loan is 125 km.
"By 2020, Montenegro will have 216 km of modern roads," he concluded.
Similarly, in the last five years, a total of 197,84 million EUR was invested in maintenance, reconstruction and construction of regional and trunk roads in Montenegro, as noted by the representatives of the Ministry of Transport of Montenegro recently. They also added that this had an impact on more comfortable, economical, safer and high-quality transport and, therefore, resulted in better accessibility of Montenegro as a tourism destination.
Read more about the investments in the past five years here.
November 15, 2018 - After developing a credible fiscal strategy, the Montenegrin government should adhere to the set goals, even if it slows down the economic growth, in order to restore fiscal balance and reduce public debt, it was suggested by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). The EBRD in its new Transition Report (2018-2019) states that fiscal stabilization is crucial for the economic growth.
"The sustainability of public finances is a significant concern and among the greatest risks facing the country. In the fight against ever-increasing fiscal pressures, a new Fiscal Strategy was adopted in June 2017, which contained a series of measures, including VAT and excise tax, official’s salary cuts, improvement of tax collection and the abolition of maternity allowances with three or more children, adopted by the Parliament a year earlier. The main goal of the Strategy is to achieve the primary budget surplus from 2019 and the overall budget surplus from 2020. This should set the public debt to a declining path, which has rapidly increased to more than 70 percent of GDP in the recent years," the report said.
It is added that renewable energy projects should be further developed because Montenegro has significant potential in this area and further development would help the transition towards the green economy.
"Further improvements are needed in the management. The focus in the coming years should be the development of the Government's e-governance program and strengthening the framework for competitiveness policy," it was stated from the EBRD.
In the previous Transition Report, for 2017-2018, the EBRD released a new approach to measuring transitional progress. According to EBRD, a sustainable market economy must be: 1) competitive, 2) well-managed, 3) "green", 4) inclusive, 5) external shock resistant and 6) integrated. At the same time, the bank has developed a methodology according to which each of the countries in transition, on a scale of 1 to 10, is being evaluated in relation to the six listed qualities. Montenegro got the worst rating for competitiveness, 5.2, the green economy 5.3 and good management 5.9. Montenegro has received slightly better grades for the integrated economy, 6.4, for resistance to external shocks 6.3 and for inclusive economy 6.1.
All countries in the region have poor competitiveness scores, and the main reasons that negatively affect the competitiveness of the countries in the region are inadequate business environment, strong unfair competition coming from the gray economy and limited and often expensive approach to financing (especially for small and medium-sized enterprises).
After several years of relatively weak economic results, growth in the EBRD region in 2017 was on average 3.8 percent, which is the second consecutive year of faster growth.
"The economies in which the EBRD operates have very different rates of population and labor growth, which means that the relationship between productivity growth, wage growth per capita and main economic growth - three concepts that are often used as synonyms - are actually more complex and more specific per the country itself, "the report said.
The EBRD stresses that Montenegro has made progress towards eventual membership in the EU.
Text by Vijesti online, on November 14th, 2018, read more at Vijesti
November 15, 2018 - President of the Chamber of Commerce Vlastimir Golubovic and Director of the Public Procurement Office Mersad Mujevic signed a Memorandum of Cooperation between these two institutions, assessing that this document represents the basis for further strengthening the quality relations between the Chamber and the Procurement office and will contribute to the realization of new joint activities.
The document states that the Public Procurement Administration and the Chamber of Commerce of Montenegro have mutual interest to establish and develop mutual cooperation with the aim of ensuring the quality and efficient development of the public procurement system.
The meeting in the Chamber of Commerce was an opportunity to discuss the proposal of the new Law on Public Procurement. Golubović reminded that the new Law stipulates that the Chamber of Commerce gives an opinion on every text of the law relating to the economy.
"The Chamber's position is that this important act must conform to the needs of the economy and remove unnecessary formalism that burdens the public procurement process in order to increase its efficiency. The economy, among other things, proposes that the right of appeal is to be left only to the participants in the procedure who submitted the correct bids in order to prevent the abuse of that institute. The proposed value of the guarantee for the performance of the contract of 10% of the value of the business transaction is very high because it can reduce the creditworthiness of the bidders. Therefore, it is proposed that it remains at the same level as in the previous Law - from two to five percent," PKCG said.
Director of the Public Procurement Administration Mujević said that the Bill introduces solutions that will significantly relieve and speed up the public procurement procedure, and that numerous suggestions of businessmen have already been adopted. According to him, although the European Commission's opinion on the draft law has already arrived, there is still room for further harmonization with the economy. A new meeting of representatives of the Chamber and the Public Procurement Administration will soon be organized on this topic.
Text by CdM, on November 14th, 2018, read more at CdM
November 15, 2018 - The seismic ship "Polar Empress", which should start 3D seismic shooting of the Ulcinj submarine for the eventual oil and gas exploitation, arrived last night to Bar around 10pm.
The ship is anchored 1.5 km from Port Bar and will stay there for the next two days, confirmed the Port Authority.
The ship, which will be in preparations over the next few days, will be provided free traffic by the Port Bar to be able to carry out the operations. It is planned that the study will last until December 21, but if the weather conditions get worse, it may be extended. Surveys are planned for the 1.2 thousand-square-mile of sea bottom on quadrants for which the concession was awarded to the Italian-Russian consortium Eni-Novatek.
The Maritime Safety Authority has started broadcasting a warning for seafarers, which will last until the end of the 3D shooting.
Civil activists gathered around the SOS for Montenegro along with the sports and professional fishermen and divers and sent a new appeal to halt the testing in search of oil.
Ecologists have pointed out that such studies, which use so-called air cannons, not only cause enormous damage to marine flora and fauna, but also come into the zone of pronounced seismic risks because the tests are conducted in blocks in which 1979 was the epicenter of the devastating earthquake which has caused terrible devastation across the Montenegrin coast.
Sport fishermen Miloš Dašić from Bar, ecologist Nataša Kovačević from NGO Green Home, diver Zoran Docić from Ulcinj, professional fisherman Dragoljub Bajković and citizen activist Mirsad Kurgaš from Bar, said that the seismic tests are being carried out under many secrets, where the Montenegrin Government presents the public very little selective information, while on the other side the harm to the state and “the future of our children" by all parameters are immutable.
They also pointed out that the struggle for protecting the Adriatic from drilling also defends the constitutional definition of Montenegro as an ecological state, noting that tourism and oil industry do not go together anywhere in the world.
November 14, 2018 - After they embark another 16 cruising ships by the end of November and 14 in December, the Port of Kotor will end another successful season.
In the words of Director Branko Kovacevic, Montenegro's response to the request for the award of the concession for the port area to this company has not yet arrived.
Company "Port of Kotor" submitted to the Ministry of Traffic and Maritime Affairs a request on October 1 for the award of the concession for a period of twelve years for the port area.
"Port of Kotor" is listed on the "white list "of taxpayers, and has recently been listed on the "B" list of Montenegroberza due to transparency and performance in business.
Only in 2017, in the name of a tax on a variable basis, the budget of Montenegro paid the amount of EUR 593,612 and the dividend to the state and municipality amounted to EUR 321,598, totaling EUR 915,210.
Source: Radio Kotor
November 14, 2018 - The public enterprise Sea Property supported the activities of the Municipality of Tivat and the competent inspection services on the removal of illegally built facilities on the planned route, with the aim of successfully carrying out works on the construction of the first phase of the coastal promenade - lungo mare in Krašići.
As stated by Sea Property, a 400m long walkway project is realized through the cooperation of this company and the Municipality of Tivat, according to the Joint Financing Agreement on Lungo Mare Construction in Krašići
"The public company participates with funds of 185,000 euros, while the Municipality of Tivat is the carrier of the project's realization activities," the statement says.
As a reminder, the Joint Financing Agreement, initially for the preparation of project documentation and an environmental impact assessment and then investing in the first phase of the construction of the promenade, was signed by the Public Company and Tivat Municipality by the end of 2016.
"We emphasize that the example of removing illegal objects in Krasići is a real indicator of public interest in the first place - building a modern promenade that will make the Krašići coast more beautiful and enjoyable for locals and more attractive for visitors and tourists," said Sea Property.
November 14, 2018 - Bearing in mind the realization of large infrastructure projects in the sectors of transport, energy and tourism, it is necessary to make a decision as soon as possible on the possibility of starting the cement production in Pljevlja and valorizing quality resources, which, for this purpose, this area is rich in, it was estimated at a meeting in the Chamber of Commerce Montenegro, which was attended by the President of this association, Vlastimir Golubović, and the Minister of Economy, Dragica Sekulić, with associates, representatives of the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism, the Municipality of Pljevlja, the Electric Power Industry of Montenegro, the Coal Mine, Railway Infrastructure, the Faculty of Civil Engineering and prominent businessmen.
According to Golubovic, Montenegro imported cement worth 41,149,891 euros in the previous year, while in the first nine months of this year 39,043,241 euros were spent for that purpose. He also said that the Strategy for the Development of Civil Engineering in Montenegro by 2020 foresees building the capacity for the production of cement, with the full respect of the ecological standards of environmental protection and quality of life, as well as new capacities for the production of brick, gypsum, and additives.
The cement factory should be built in Pljevlja, according to the initiative, because this municipality is rich in marl, coal, fly ash and gypsum.
This would allow the valorization of marl which, in the exploitation of coal, is a waste. Using marls for the needs of the cement factory would reduce the area for the outlying landfills and the costs of coal production. The use of fly ash from TPP Pljevlja would substantially solve the problem of its disposal. An optimal valorization of coal with higher thermal efficiency would be achieved. As a basic energy fuel, coal from the Pljevlja basin would be used.
By building a factory of cement, and later other plants for the production of concrete semi-finished products and finished products, it would be possible to increase the road traffic, rail and port capacities. By opening a cement factory and through related jobs, it would be possible to employ 800 to 1000 workers.
During the meeting, besides the economic benefits, it was also pointed to the ecological reasons, since the cement plant would also use the by-products of the Thermal Power Plant Pljevlja as a raw material. Businessmen believe that it is necessary to find an experienced and quality investor who, using modern technology, will make the best use of this raw material and be able to sell the produced cement quantities on the regional market in conditions of strong competition.
They point out that the old cement factory in Pljevlja, which has been working for 12 years, produced better quality cement than the competition in the region, that is, Dalmatia, Kosjeric and Kostolac. The divided opinions were heard whether the precondition for the construction and operation of cement factory is the realization of a railway line project between Bijelo Polje and Pljevlja. It was pointed out that the transport of cement to road traffic routes would lead to their possible rapid damage, but on the other hand, it was pointed out also the example of Kosjeric where the railways are not used for this purpose at all.
According to Sekulić, the project for the construction of a cement plant requires a serious private investor who could place Montenegrin cement on the market of the region or beyond. The investor is the one who should recognize the economic interest and ultimately whether the construction of the cement plant is acceptable. The model that the investor can elaborate can also involve the construction of the mentioned railway line. The state, he said, is developing an environment that is attractive for investment and will soon organize a public tender for expressions of interest and present the mineral resources available, which can be used for the production of the cement.
"In this way, we will get feedback from the businessmen, about the willingness to invest as well as the possible models of using the mineral resources we have available. If the interest in investing in the cement plant is expressed, then the creation of documentation would involve the granting of marl for concession and specification other conditions whose fulfillment would contribute to the profitability of this business," Sekulić said.
Mirko Djacic, president of the municipality of Pljevlja, said that the undeniable advantages of a cement plant in terms of hiring people and using the by-products of the thermal power plant are there. He thinks that the most complex challenge is to find investors. According to him, it can be a strong private company or the state through the Coal Mine or Electro company of Montenegro.
The long-time director of the Coal Mine and the former cement factory in Pljevlja, Djordjie Dzuverovic, said that the cement from Pljevlja had very good results in terms of water-resistances and color that is suitable for natural-concrete - very demanded in the world market. He believes that for the construction of a new cement factory, it is necessary first to remedy the current ecological problems in that town by central heating with the source from the Thermal Power Plant. Director of Pljevlja Thermal Power Plant Vladimir Šestović said that ash, slag, and chemical gypsum are a big problem for this company and that the cement factory is a unique chance that all this by-product and marl from the waste-point Jagnjilo to be used as raw materials. Ljubisa Ćurčić, the director of Railway Infrastructure, said that this company completed the preliminary design of the construction of the railroad’s route Pljevlja-Bijelo Polje in the length of 56.42 kilometers. In the first years, it would transport 1.2 million tons of cargo, and later up to 1.7 million tons.
He believes that the construction of this railroad route is necessary for the functioning of the cement plant. Professor at the Faculty of Civil Engineering dr. Radenko Pejovic believes that it is necessary to speed up the processes related to the construction of the cement factory, and assessed that the opportunity for the business that was brought by the intensive construction in Montenegro was missed.
Text by Vijesti online, on November 13th, 2018, read more at Vijesti