November 10, 2019 - Toll tax for the priority Bar-Boljare motorway section will probably range from 3 – 3.5 euro, executive director of the Monteput company Mr Jonuz Mujević told Pobeda daily.
“The exact amount of the toll has not been specified yet, but it will range from 8 to 12 cent per kilometer. The final decision on the toll tax will be made by the Government,” said Mr Mujević, adding that the Government is supposed to determine the exact amount in a year.
According to him, it [the Govt] will most likely opt for the lower rate of toll tax – 8 cent/km.
Mr Mujević continued: “For now, the Government believes that Monteput should collect toll taxes and perform complete maintenance of the highway, but we are waiting for the adoption of the Road Law when we’ll know everything in detail,” he noted.
Text by CDM on November 9, 2019, read more here.
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November 7, 2019 - Next year, Montenegro will be functioning in a complete financial and fiscal stability, said Minister of Finance, Mr Darko Radunović, adding that he hopes it will be for the middle-term.
While answering the questions asked by the MPs, the Minister said that strong economic growth, increase in employment, strengthening fiscal stability and a stable level of competitiveness of Montenegro’s economy represented the position in which Montenegro would welcome the projected global economic slowdown.
“Growing uncertainty in the international surroundings, led by trading and geopolitical tensions, is one of the reasons we took into consideration while making projections of Montenegro’s economic growth in the next year”, said Mr Radunović.
Estimated economic growth this year amounts to 3,1. The projected growth rate between 2020 and 2022 will be 3%.
“From 2019 to 2022, cumulative nominal GDP growth will amount to 18,1. Real GDP growth will be 12,6”, said Mr Radunović.
He emphasized that the decline in public debt “is expected in the forthcoming period”.
According to the estimates, the budget deficit should amount to 2,5% of GDP at the end of the year.
Mr Radunović pointed out that source budget revenues increased by more than €250 million, owing to fiscal consolidation. Next year, public debt will amount to €3,51 billion, that is, 70,3% of GDP.
Text by CDM on November 7, 2019, read more here.
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November 6, 2019 - From the beginning of the year to the end of September, over 1,13 million of cargo has been handled in the Port of Bar, 18% more than in the same period last year, said the company's CEO, Mr Vladan Vučelić for Dnevne novine.
“I’m very satisfied with the results and the activities we have undertaken in the past nine months. I’d like to single out certain activities: the establishment of the legislative framework for smooth work and development of the company by signing the Annex and the Agreement on the Use of Coastal Zone. This agreement allows the Port to use the port area and infrastructure, as well as to undertake specific activities aimed at optimal use of the existing potentials and development of new capacities, in accordance with the law and strategic commitments of the Government. The second important fact is the assessment of the property value. It was carried out for the first time since 2008," said Mr Vučelić.
He adds that signing Collective agreement was another important thing, as it provided the widest range of employees’ rights.
“We’ve negotiated a dispute settlement with the Port of Adria and managed to bring to an end two issues that bothered us. We also have a considerable number of new clients and agreed on business projects. One of them is the conclusion of the contract with HBIS Ironworks Smederevo company on the transshipment of the iron ore. We’ve established contact and agreed on the cooperation conditions. The signing of the contract with ZIJiN RTB Bor on the import of copper concentrate is coming next," pointed out Mr Vučelić.
The results the Port achieved exceeded the ambitious plan it had drawn up.
“Total revenues for nine months amount to €6.946.312. On the grounds of the unloaded cargo in October (167.000 tonnes), it can be expected that it will exceed 1.650.000 projection for 2019 and hit the record high annual cargo handling after the port underwent restructuring in 2009”, adds Mr Vučelić.
He said that he wasn't very satisfied with the existing level of technical equipment.
“In my opinion, it’s the Port’s limiting factor, as it sabotages the volume of cargo handling. There hasn’t been any great investment in the development of technical systems in the port for a long time. We’ve earmarked around €600.000 for that purposes and we’ve focused on valuing and using the property in the domain of tertiary activities. We’ll use the funds to invest in the provision of port mechanics in the first place," explained the CEO of the Port.
He stressed that the Port was dominantly state-owned. Unfortunately, he said, the Port “has no investment potential for the fulfillment of strategic development goals defined in the spatial documentation for the port area”.
“In my opinion, the focus should be put on finding a strategic partner that would contribute to the development of the Port”, said Mr Vučelić.
Mr Vučelić firmly believes that capital projects would improve the Port’s market position.
Text by CDM on November 5, 2019, read more here.
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The biggest benefits of non-working Sunday for shops are obtained by gas station owners, who have expanded their product range over the past two weeks since the new trade law came into effect. Now, you can find oil, milk, salt, and sugar on their shelves.
The ban for shops to be opened started from Sunday 20th October, with the provisions of the new trade law, with a few exceptions such as gas stations, bus and train stations, and airports, kiosks, pharmacies. Prices at these privileged stores are much higher than in markets that may not operate on Sundays.
The Chamber of Commerce Board, on whose initiative the prohibition provisions were adopted for non-working Sunday, will have a session on November 8 and will discuss the implementation of the new law.
"We have received information that gas stations have expanded their range to such an extent that groceries from all product groups are on offer. Bearing in mind that we, for whom the trade is our primary activity, do not work on Sundays according to the Act, we consider this an obvious abuse of the non-working Sunday. A meeting of the Commerce Committee is scheduled for November 8th, where we will point out the non-compliance with the Law. In agreement with the Chamber of Commerce, we will call on the Minister of Economy. We expect the authorities to react because the law must apply equally to everyone, ” it was said to “Vjesti” from the company “Voli”, who was one of the proponents of introducing a non-working Sunday for all shops.
The Association of Petroleum Companies of Montenegro (UNK) told “Vijesti” that petrol stations with their facilities, however, cannot significantly endanger the consumption in supermarkets, because the level of trade with them is much lower and they say that there are no baskets or carts for groceries located at gas stations., which indicates that this is a short trade of the basic items”.
Asked if the amendment to the law was really fair to all traders, because the owners of gas stations used the non-working Sunday, whose shops, along with the increase in turnover on Sundays, sell products at significantly higher prices, from the cabinet of the Minister of Economy Dragica Sekulic, it was answered that in Montenegro the principle of free pricing is applied and that it is up to citizens when and where they will shop.
In shops inside gas stations, goods can be sold if, for the same, the facility meets the prescribed conditions.
As for the sale of food, as explained by the Ministry, following the Law on Food Safety, the Food Safety Directorate registers retail shops.
“Such certified facilities may also be gas stations if they own facilities where they place food on the market and if they have a decision on entry in the register of food establishments by the Administration. The register of the Food Safety Administration contains a large number of gas stations, which also have facilities for retail food sales, ”the Ministry added.
The Association of Petroleum Companies of Montenegro (UNK) admits "a clear increase in sales on Sundays for individual items", which they explain "says that citizens and tourists, while refueling, recognized the opportunity to buy some basic articles on Sundays, while the supermarkets are closed”.
“The increase in sales varies and depends on the location of the gas station itself, so traffic is higher in populated areas. Most often, gas stations, in addition to car cosmetics, oils and lubricants, sell cigarettes, drinks, juices, confectionery and other packaged food products, which are more or less standard and approximately similar in range at all gas stations across Montenegro,” the UNK said.
The association adds that "this increase for only one day is not so significant financially as sales at gas station stores aim primarily to serve customers of oil and petroleum products further, and margins and prices at gas stations are higher than those of standard supermarkets, so buyers only trade basic items, mostly to carry and use while driving.”
Asked by "Vijesti" whether it is true that the owners of gas stations expanded their product range, UNK responded, "that it is an individual decision of each individual gas station to sell goods at the facilities and that the decisions are sometimes seasonal."
“Some gas stations sell heating pellets during the winter, beach mobile during the summer season, car chargers, souvenirs, etc. It’s all a matter of management decision. Outside Montenegro, especially in the EU, it is evident that various goods can be bought at the gas stations. In terms of sales capacity and assortment, petrol stations cannot significantly threaten the turnover in supermarkets. There is no need for the public to favor, to this extent, the advantage of gas stations over supermarkets when working on Sundays. In our opinion, this does not contradict the law, it can only be an advantage for citizens or tourists, who, when traveling, expect to buy certain items to carry, drink or eat in cars at gas stations. Anyone who buys the groceries for their home will probably continue to do so in supermarkets as usual or where they think is best for them," UNK concluded.
Food can only be sold at gas stations with approval
The Ministry of Economy notes that every retailer who sells food products is required to comply with the Food Safety Act, to have equipment in place to store it, and to comply with the principles of good hygiene practice.
When asked if food can be sold at gas stations, UNK replied that "any gas station that duly registered its trade and received a decision from the Food Safety Authority can sell food, factory-packed products."
"We do not have information that has been defined which product can and should not be sold on Sundays, so we asked the Market Inspectorate to answer the same question. Owners of gas stations have the same interest, which is to generate profits solely following the law, which they do now. Some gas stations that have coffee shops or restaurants within their facilities can also sell and serve customers, sell pastry by permits from those in charge, ”UNK said.
The Inspection Directorate told “Vijesti” that their market inspection continuously controls the stores inside the gas stations.
Text by Milorad Milosevic and Goran Kapor, on November 4th, 2019, read more at Vijesti
November 4, 2019 - Montenegro visitor numbers hit record levels by all parameters, including over one million overnights in hotels, more than half a billion revenues from travel for the first seven months and €13.5 million of assigned budget revenues at the state and local level, writes Dnevne Novine daily.
“Having in mind that we generated more than €1 billion in revenues from tourism last year, and that the interest in Montenegro as a tourism destination is on the rise, we believe this year will be record-breaking as well.”
Ms Radak Kukavičić also indicated that Montenegro has been developing and thus becoming a high-end tourism destination that “cannot be imagined without a quality tourism infrastructure and high-category hotel capacities.”
“Famous hotel brands such as Hilton, Aman, Regent, Four Points by Sheraton, H Hotels, Chedi, Melia, Iberostar, Falkensteiner, the first One & Only in Europe and announced Ritz Carlton have recognized Montenegro as a favorable investment and tourism destination. The presence of such hotels is significant because they include all amenities that meet the criteria of a modern guest and promise high occupancy rate throughout the year, and therefore the largest revenues,” concluded the Director of NTO.
On the latest data concerning collected taxes, Ms Radak Kukavičić said: “According to data of the Central Bank of Montenegro, the revenues from travels, i.e., from foreign arrivals amounted to €532 million in the first seven months of 2019, which represents a 4.2% growth compared to the same period last year.
Only from collected city tax in the first nine months of the year, the revenues amounted to around €9.1 million, which is by approximately €1.6 million more compared to the same period last year. The total assigned revenues belonging to the budget of Montenegro, local tourism organizations and local self-governments, which include revenues from city taxes, membership fee and tourist tax, were collected in the amount of approximately €13.5 million from the beginning of the year to the end of October, which is by €2.1 million more when compared to the same period in 2018.”
As for the future activities regarding the promotion of our tourism offer, she said: “After the successful summer tourism season, the NTO has already started promotional activities for the 2019/20 season, which we are implementing in cooperation with local tourism organizations and the tourism industry.“
Text by CDM English on November 3, 2019, read more here.
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01 November 2019 - The local government of Herceg Novi has recently drawn up an Investment Map for the city, which includes several significant projects crucial to the development of the city.
Guided by the desire to overcome all the negative effects of privatization, and to change the previous orientation of economic activities in the narrow zone of the urban part of the municipality, to promote the development of its rural part, especially Luštica, the local government representatives have drawn up a map of investments. The Investment Map includes 15 projects, of which as many as 11 relate directly or indirectly to tourism development, reports Radio Jadran.
Some projects included in the Map will be built from the city’s own resources, such as a public garage and a square in front of the municipal building - worth 3 million EUR. Future investors will be offered to invest in 14 more projects, according to a presentation of the Map organized by the municipality's management.
The Investment Map of Herceg Novi includes the following projects: Bus Station Complex with Shopping Centre in Igalo, Business Centre in Igalo, Tourist Settlement Njivice Viewpoint, "Sport inn" hotel with football pitch in Igalo, Porto Bono Tourist Complex in Luštica, business and apartment type facility in Meljine, mixed-use facility in Igalo, Hotel Play-Igalo, Sports town in Sutorina, Cable car Njivički put-Ilinica, Sanitary landfill Duboki do, City bypass and Zelenika-Rose ferry, nautical tourism at the Škver and the revitalization of the narrow-gauge railway line through Herceg Novi.
The Mayor of Herceg Novi, Stevan Katić, said that the Map was prepared on the basis of valid planning documentation and the spatial plan. He highlighted that one of the most significant projects for Herceg Novi is the construction of the Igalo Bus Station.
Katić also reminded that the current priority is the completion of water and road infrastructure in Luštica, for which project documentation is being drafted, and towards the end of this year and early next year, the realization of infrastructure investments in the peninsula, worth 10 million EUR, will start.
Director of the Agency for Construction and Development of Herceg Novi Boro Lučić emphasized that all 15 investment sites were developed following the spatial plan and added that he expects that future investors will be interested in these projects.
Montenegrin society should pay special attention to the professional rehabilitation and employment of persons with disabilities, based on international standards in this field and good comparative solutions, it was assessed at the session of the Social Council.
The Council considered the Bill on the Professional Rehabilitation and Employment of Persons with Disabilities.
"The aim is to provide conditions for successful vocational rehabilitation, an increase of employment of persons with disabilities and their equal participation in the labor market, while removing barriers and creating equal opportunities," the Council explained.
It is stated that the members of the Council gave tentative approval to the text of the Bill, with the obligation that, after receiving the opinion and suggestions of the European Commission, it should be considered again at the session of the Social Council.
The Council gave a positive opinion to the Bill on Volunteering, which should create more favorable conditions for further development of volunteering in Montenegro.
The bill on volunteering adds a new concept of volunteering, as a voluntary activity in the general interest.
"Which is the most common international standard and leaves the former one that had elements of a labor-law relationship (professional training, work practice), which was certainly not classic volunteering," it was stated.
The Council agrees with the Proposal of the Decision on determining the annual number of permits for temporary stay and work of foreigners for the next year.
The members of the Council are informed about the current status of the Draft Labor Law and the Draft Law on Amendments to the Law on Pension and Disability Insurance.
"The Council from today sent a recommendation to the Government of Montenegro to adopt as soon as possible these two regulations, which are of particular importance for the employees and citizens of Montenegro and forward them to the Parliament for consideration and adoption," the statement said.
The Council supported the initiative to invite Prime Minister Dusko Markovic to the next session of the Council in order to jointly launch a dialogue on topics that are of utmost importance to both social partners and Montenegrin society.
Text by MINA News, on October 30th, 2019, read more at Vijesti
29 October 2019 - Prime Minister Duško Marković opened a new 2 million EUR division of the Kurti furniture factory in Ulcinj, which will create 30 new jobs and said that this kind of project will always enjoy his support and the support of the Government.
"This is a great opportunity and a great moment not only for the municipality of Ulcinj, but for the entire country and for every entrepreneur who works in the interest of their family, their city and the State of Montenegro," the Prime Minister stressed at the opening ceremony, adding that this factory division testifies to the fact that the synergy of local government and the State can lead to yielding such results.
“There are many capable and hardworking people in Montenegro who can create new value in our country, not to always seek support and help from outside. The Kurti family has shown that their ability, their strength, their potential, their hard work can create new added value for Ulcinj and Montenegro as a whole,” Prime Minister Duško Marković noted.
Addressing the owner of the factory Kabili Kurti, the Prime Minister said that the Government will always support this kind of project.
"What you have done is not just a business venture, it is a message to all those who need to create new value in Montenegro, that they will continue to enjoy my personal and the Government's support," Prime Minister Duško Marković underlined.
Speaking to the broader business community, PM Marković said that Montenegro has been performing exceptionally well in recent years.
“This is not only an achievement of the Government but of all stakeholders: employers, entrepreneurs, companies, business associations and, of course, investors. That is why we are experiencing a growth rate among the highest in Europe. In 2017 and 2018, we experienced an average growth rate of 4.9% and 5.1%, respectively, which is the third growth rate in Europe. Nothing happens in Montenegro by accident. This is the result of a thoughtful policy and a commitment. Therefore, the Government has no doubt about whether it must stand by the people who create. Today, I am feeling like I am in my natural environment, where new value is being created, with a man who will create 30 new jobs by opening this factory division, thus enabling young people not only to work and earn money, but to start and raise their families and stay in Montenegro as well. We are sending a message to our compatriots that we have not forgotten them, that they are in our thoughts, and that we will create conditions for them to return and build Montenegro with us, and make it better than it is today,” Prime Minister Duško Marković pointed out.
Speaking about Ulcinj, the Prime Minister said that the policy of his Government is to bring back to Ulcinj its old splendor and all those opportunities that existed when tourism was blossoming in this municipality. In that regard, he referred to numerous investments in this municipality, adding that he understands the issue facing the local government and that they will have the support of the Government.
"The Government stands by you in your bid to overcome the problems for the benefit of Ulcinj and the citizens of Ulcinj, for the benefit of Montenegro and its development," Prime Minister Duško Marković concluded.
Mayor of Ulcinj Ljoro Nrekić stated that this event proves that there is a business environment in Montenegro and in Ulcinj where it is possible to invest and that it foretells new high-quality investments that will create hundreds of jobs, writes Office of the Prime Minister of Montenegro.
The owner of the Kurti furniture factory thanked the Government and Prime Minister Duško Marković for the dedication and opportunities created by the Government for businesses in Montenegro.
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28 October 2019 - A consortium of the German WPD AG company and Vjetroelektrana from Budva is the only bidder for the construction of Brajići wind farm, offering 100 million EUR.
As Cafe del Montenegro reported, five companies have purchased tender documentation in the public tender invited for the lease state-owned land. Only one bid was submitted within the established deadline.
The bid encompasses the construction of a wind warm with a capacity of 100,8 MW, a 100 million EUR investment. The lease of the land will be 2,50 EUR per square meter for a total of 220.770 square meters of land.
WPD AG, a renowned German company, is experienced in the implementation of similar projects in many world countries, with a 4.400 MW portfolio of installed capacity.
The bid also envisages the participation of national companies for 21,6 million EUR, which will further enhance the multiple effects of the project.
Research and measurements of wind potential in Brajići were carried on the grounds of licenses issued by the competent Ministry, between May 2013 and May 2015 and between November 2016 and November 2017.
German WPD expressed its interest in the construction of the Brajići wind farm at the beginning of this year. Andreas Scholl, WPD Director for Europe, met in February with Montenegro’s Prime Minister Duško Marković and said that they wanted such investment in Montenegro.
Similarly, the wind farm Gvozd project was recently estimated at 58 million EUR, rated at 55 megawatts and, according to the estimates, it will have 13 turbines. Shareholders in the state energy company supported the decision on the construction of the Gvozd wind farm. Executive manager of the Directorate for Development and Engineering in the Electric Power Company of Montenegro Ivan Mrvaljević said that development of the Study on the potential of wind and energy production assessment, and the Study on the market and business model of Gvozd wind farm had been carried out before the investment decision.
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27 October 2019 - Marriott International, Inc. recently announced the signing of a milestone agreement with Northstar D.O.O. to bring The Ritz-Carlton brand to Montenegro. Under the plan funded by Al Yasra, The Ritz-Carlton, Montenegro and The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Montenegro is scheduled to bring the brand’s unrivalled elegance and legendary service to the country in 2023.
“With its striking views of the Adriatic coast, Montenegro has quickly become a favourite Mediterranean destination for global travellers,” said Carlton Ervin, Chief Development Officer – Europe, Marriott International. “The signing of The Ritz-Carlton, Montenegro, highlights the demand for our luxury brands in this exciting region. Combining the country’s serene, natural beauty, together with the brand’s legendary service, makes Montenegro the perfect destination for The Ritz-Carlton guest.”
Slated to rise in a prime position on the Western tip of the chic Luštica Peninsula, the hotel and residences are expected to boast panoramic views over the glittering Adriatic Sea. Planned to be accessible by car in 30 minutes from Tivat International Airport or two hours from Dubrovnik International Airport, the coastal property is expected to allow guests and residents to have an unforgettable entrance via the sea at a planned private jetty.
Design plans for the hotel’s 120 elegantly appointed guestrooms and suites envision relaxing sanctuaries for guests, with simple local design planned to merge discreetly with contemporary technology, all to enhance the natural beauty of the location. The project’s plans call for low-rise buildings that would blend into the terrain while maximizing sea and sunset views for guests, residents and visitors alike. The powerful backdrop of the Adriatic is expected to highlight planned recreational amenities, including the property’s main restaurant, two specialty restaurants, a beach bar, indoor and outdoor pools, a salt-water Lido pool, a world-class spa and fitness room, and well-equipped Ritz Kids and Teen clubs.
Plans call for expansive outdoor event spaces with unobstructed views to create ideal settings for hosting memorable gatherings, alongside creative pop-up activations offering seasonal bar and restaurant options. Adventurous activities, such as mountain biking and nature trail hikes, are also being planned for guests to enjoy. Ambassadors of the Environment, a hands-on, educational program developed by Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ocean Futures Society in collaboration with The Ritz Carlton, is expected to offer programming that highlights the extraordinary natural reserves surrounding the property, striving to encourage guests of all ages to understand how their actions can help preserve natural resources for future generations.
“The success achieved on this project, bringing the legendary Ritz-Carlton brand to Montenegro, is a result of dedicated work by all parties involved, both from our company, Marriott International, and the Government of Montenegro,” said Mohamed Al Sager, Chairman, Al Yasra. “This is not only a business success, but a personal accomplishment as well. When I first visited Montenegro on holiday, I fell in love with the natural beauty of the country and knew I wanted to be a part of its future development. What began as just a dream has today become a great project on a clear path of execution."
The hotel and residences are planned as part of a mixed-use development that is poised to include sprawling villas, manicured gardens, a yacht club and a sparkling beach cove. The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Montenegro, is expected to offer 180 apartments and 48 villas and is scheduled to complete the first phase of construction in 2023, with the final phase scheduled for completion by 2028. Residential sales are slated to begin in 2020.