05 June 2019 - Montenegro and Italy have developed high-quality political and economic relations and, as member states of NATO, they see a lot of room for further strengthening of defence cooperation. It was concluded at the meeting held between Prime Minister of Montenegro Duško Marković and Minister of Defence of Italy Elisabetta Trenta.
Expressing gratitude to the Government and people of Italy for their support during Montenegro's process of joining NATO, as well as for the current European integration process, Prime Minister Marković emphasised the significance of training our officers at prestigious Italian military academies, stressing that the fact that the Italian Air Forces, with their colleagues from Greece, have been protecting the airspace of Montenegro since last year, testifies to strong partnership and close ties between the two countries.
The Prime Minister informed Ms Trent about the strategic goals of Montenegro and the excellent economic performance achieved thanks to the Government’s policy of strong economic growth and boosted employment. In that regard, he referred to the fact that Montenegro is recognised in Italy as a high-quality investment destination and economic partner. This is confirmed by the fact that the two countries are bringing the strategic interstate project of submarine power cable project to an end and that a large number of Italian companies operates in Montenegro.
Minister of Defence Elisabetta Trenta told Prime Minister Marković that Italian companies for large investments in Montenegro could count on the state support.
Both sides agreed that the future of the Western Balkans is in the European Union and that the EU enlargement policy has no alternative.
The meeting was attended by Ambassador of Italy to Montenegro Luca Zelioli.
05 June 2019 - In the first five months of 2019, 56 million EUR more was collected compared to the same period last year and over 21 million EUR more than planned as reported by the representatives of the Government of Montenegro, at the meeting with heads of the Public Revenues Administration, Customs Administration and the Administration for Inspection Affairs.
"This is an excellent result, but we have to continue and intensify our activities. The inspection services' activity on the ground is visible, as well as their commitment to the national interest. We have to charge each euro of the public money to provide better standards to citizens and create more jobs," the Government's Officials stated.
Heads of the three administrations, Miomir Mugoša, Vladan Joković, and Alija Košuta, spoke about this year's positive results and the activities on reducing the grey economy in different areas. In terms of combating the grey economy and informal work, the meeting praised the coordination of inspections with other state authorities, especially the Prosecutor's Office and the police, also highlighting the results in the reduction of the tax debt through rescheduling, which resulted in the collection of about 50 million EUR up to now.
The meeting especially emphasised the significance of the planned introduction of electronic fiscalisation and new excise stamps, which, together with the reforms being implemented in tax and customs services, will provide a modern and efficient system with many opportunities to reduce abuse and better state debt collection.
Intensive activities of the competent state authorities are planned during the tourist season, where improvement is also expected in comparison to previous years.
From 2017 to May this year, the Ministry of Science, with over €11 million financed a significant number of projects that are important for the progress of Montenegrin society.
The Ministry published a publication on these projects, whose total sum amounts to about €16 million, of which the Science Department allocated €11 million.
As stated, the brochure contains programs and instruments through which the Ministry has funded the projects such as innovative projects, scientific research, Horizon 2020, EUREKA program, international infrastructure, IAEA, bilateral program, as well as scholarships for Ph.D. research.
"The brochure that highlights the two-years work shows the most important information related to projects such as the project carrier, the scope of their research, the name of the project and the sum that was allocated for the realization," the statement said.
Each year the Ministry of Science conducts numerous tenders on which the best-rated programs receive financial support and the goal of the brochure is to increase the visibility of the projects funded through the various instruments by that department, with the intention of opening new ways of collaboration at a national and international level.
The Ministry is proud of the scholarships for Ph.D. research that enable young people to focus their career on research work.
"By increasing the number of young scientists in the territory of Montenegro, we are working on strengthening the human capacities that are necessary for us to create a knowledge-based society," they said. The Ministry of Science has argued that they remain dedicated to the promotion of scientific research activities, the provision of support to good and quality ideas, and the financing of projects whose implementation is practically applied in the society.
Text by MINA News, on June 4th, 2019, read more at Vijesti
Montenegro is an attractive destination for investments due to the visible potential for tourism, agriculture, traffic infrastructure, energy and numerous investment opportunities in other sectors, especially in less developed areas, said the chairman of the Chamber of Commerce (PKCG), Vlastimir Golubovic.
"The results that the Montenegrin economy achieved in previous years and which continued in the first quarter of the current year will give us the right to state that Montenegro is a destination which is going on an upward trajectory," Golubovic said at a business meeting of the Montenegrin and Chinese businessmen, organized by the Embassy of China.
PKCG reported that China is the second Montenegrin foreign trade partner in import and is in the ninth position when it comes to exports. The trade turnover realized last year was EUR 270.6 million, which is 18.8 percent higher than in the previous year.
Last year, Montenegro was visited by 41.34 thousand tourists from China, who realized 94.78 thousand overnight stays.
"Recognizing the fact that tourists from the distant markets, such as the Chinese, can be attracted through the joint, regional tourist offer, the Chamber of Commerce of Montenegro, Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina is working on forming a common tourist product targeted at this tourist group. We intend to extend this kind of cooperation to all Western Balkan countries to stimulate the promotion and diversification of tourism products and services and thus contribute to increasing the number of tourists from distant parts of the world," Golubovic said.
He said the investments in energy infrastructure are important, and in particular the installation of an underwater cable between Italy and Montenegro, which will lead to a direct link between the markets of Southeast and West Europe.
"In this way, we will valorize the rich energy potential of the region, so I use the opportunity to invite your companies to invest in the energy sector and take advantages of the benefits that the realization of this project will bring," said Golubovic.
Speaking of investments made in the traffic infrastructure, in particular by accentuating the construction of Bar-Boljar motorway, Golubovic said domestic companies are reliable partners to the company China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC).
He urged Chinese companies to use the comparative advantages of the Port Bar, whose geographical position allows shortening the time of transport and reducing total transport costs.
Ambassador Liu Jin assessed relations between China and Montenegro are at the best level possible.
"Our two countries inherit deeply traditional friendship; practical co-operation has yielded rich fruits, consistently expanding the exchange at the cultural level. The visit of the Chinese entrepreneurs is another proof of our friendship and we expect to be a chance to develop concrete cooperation," Jin said.
He reminded that China and Montenegro are currently working mostly on building the road and energy infrastructure.
"Cooperation should be extended to sectors such as tourism, telecommunications, agriculture, wood industry and others," added Jin.
Deputy Director of the school of professional and lifelong education Hong Kong University SPACE Robert Ning Rong said that the goal of the Chinese delegation's visit was to get acquainted with the Montenegrin society and the country's economy.
"Although there is a difference in the size of our two countries, this is not an obstacle to establish a successful co-operation. Montenegro has a very important role in the initiative that brings together China and 17 Central and Eastern European countries, because through it we have established good relations with the Western Balkans region," said Ning Rong.
The event, organized by the delegation of the Chinese businessmen in Montenegro, organized by the University in Hong Kong, brought together representatives of more than 50 Chinese and Montenegrin companies from the tourism, manufacturing, trade, utility economy, construction, insurance, IT, finance, fashion, health care and others.
Text by MINA Business, on June 4th, 2019, read more at Vijesti
03 June 2019 - In order to promote the extraordinary success of the Montenegrin producers at the recently held Agriculture Fair in Novi Sad, where they won 163 awards and recognitions, a meeting of manufacturers, hoteliers and retailers was organised today in Kolašin, within the Project Kupujmo domaće (Buy domestic products) in order to better connect these sectors, improve placement of domestic products and the tourist offer.
The meeting was organised by the Chamber of Economy in cooperation with the Ministries of Agriculture, Economy and Tourism, the National Tourism Organisation and the Investment and Development Fund of Montenegro.
In the middle of May 2019, Montenegro had ten exhibitors at the fair bringing together all the important actors of agribusiness from the region, including some of the most successful Montenegro's companies.
On this occasion, Montenegro had a joint stand of 117m2 in the Master Hall, consisting of representatives of the Chamber of Commerce of Montenegro, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, and Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism. Minister Sekulić pledged full support to the private sector, through the creation of numerous support programmes for entrepreneurs.
The Government continuously invests in Northern Montenegro and they will continue to support the Municipality of Kolašin on its path towards further economic development and improving the quality of life of every citizen in the area, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Milutin Simović said during a working visit to this municipality.
On the last day of the four-day working visit to Northern Montenegro, Simović met in Kolašin with the leadership of the local self-government headed by President of the Municipality Milosav Bato Bulatović, with whom he signed a contract to establish the Agribusiness Centre.
Montenegro, as a tourist destination, is open to the markets of the Far East, said the Director of Tourism and Tourism Traffic Directorate Armend Mila.
Mila at a meeting with the President of the Association of Small and Medium Enterprises of China, Markus Li, which was organized as part of an international conference in Bulgaria, said that the growth of the number of tourists from China is significant.
"Given that the panel discussion focused on the development of a single tourist product for promotion in the Far East, the collocutors agreed that it is of great importance to define a model for the management of tourist destinations in terms of sustainable tourism," reads the statement from the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism.
The ministry said that as part of an international conference entitled Investing in Sustainable Tourism, held in Suncev Brijeg, the main topic was a presentation of the best ways of investing in sustainable tourism.
The event was organized under the auspices of the Bulgarian Ministry of Tourism, and the key goal presented opportunities for international cooperation in the field of tourism, potentials for direct foreign investments, as well as open discussion of the problems facing the region when sustainable tourism is in question. Mila participated in a panel discussion that was specially organized within the conference, where he presented the potential of Montenegro, the growth rate in tourism and the problems facing tourism as a branch of economic activity. Mila also met with Bulgaria's Minister of Tourism, Nikolina Angelkov. It is commonly considered that the challenge is to reach the extension of the tourist season in all destinations.
"The speakers also agreed that for to extend the season it is necessary to examine the possibilities of optimizing foreign direct investments, preservation, and promotion of cultural heritage as well as diversification and development of new tourism products," the statement concludes.
Text by MINA Business, on June 1st 2019, read more at Vijesti
03 June 2019 - The Government of Montenegro will continue to support the Municipality of Kolašin on its road to further economic development and increase of quality of life of every citizen in the area, said the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Milutin Simović, during a working visit to this municipality.
According to the official report by the Government, Simović confirmed that the support for the growth of Kolašin would include forming of the Agribusiness Centre as a new impulse for the development of the city.
On June 3, Deputy Prime Minister Simović and the President of the Municipality of Kolašin Milosav Bulatović signed an agreement on the establishment of the Agribusiness Centre in Kolašin. The Agribusiness Centre will be equipped with the support of the Ministry of Agriculture.
"This is another concrete indicator of Government support. The Agribusiness Centre will be a new and important address of interest to the citizens of Kolašin, primarily agricultural producers. At this address, all interested citizens can get support for the preparation of business plans, as well as explanations of the content of the extensive Agrobudget and projects financed from EU funds, "Simović stated during a press conference. He added that this example of cooperation of the Government of Montenegro with local government should become a new impulse for the development of agriculture and entrepreneurship in Kolašin.
Simović also said that it is very important that the Agribusiness Centre lives up to the expectations and fulfils its role, especially since the centre’s employees can look up to their colleagues in Žabljak, Mojkovac and Šavnik.
The Mayor of Kolašin Municipality Milosav Bulatović thanked the Deputy Prime Minister for the opportunity to discuss the topics and opportunities for the development of agriculture and the municipality of Kolašin in general. "We are optimistic about the possibilities of agricultural development. By opening the Agribusiness Centre, we get an address that will become a logistics and support centre for the realization of projects of importance for the development of agriculture, improvement of the tourist offer and opening of new jobs, "Bulatović said.
Get more information about business in Montenegro at TMN's dedicated page.
01 June 2019 - At its 6th session, the Competitiveness Council discussed and endorsed the Draft Law on fiscalisation in the sale of goods and services.
The law regulates the procedure of fiscalisation of cash and non-cash payments in the sale of goods and services, the content of the fiscal account, determine fiscalisation bonds and other issues of importance for fiscalisation that should come into force on 1 January 2020. The electronic fiscalisation system, which should replace the existing obsolete fiscal cash system, enables the interaction of tax authorities, taxpayers and citizens through the transmission and monitoring of data in real time, or through efficient transaction control.
The discussion pointed out that similar systems are already used by many countries in the region and beyond, and that in each state after modernisation significant effects have been achieved in terms of increased and timely tax revenues, reduction of informal economy and increased transparency, and reduction of tax administration in the medium term.
President of the Competitiveness Council, Prime Minister Duško Marković, said that this is a transformation project that, in addition to direct influence on tax discipline, contributes to changing the awareness and standards and improving business ethics, as one of the fundamental values of the society of democracy and economic freedom.
The Competitiveness Council considered the Document by Foreign Investors Council of Montenegro on challenges in business in the field of the rule of law, with the pronouncement of the line institutions related to the following companies: Jugopetrol (problems related to tax procedures), Karanović / Partners (general remarks), NLB Bank (general remarks ), Terna Montenegro (general remarks), Addiko Bank (inspection procedure), Porto Montenegro (ending court dispute over the sale of real estate), Port of Adria (infringement of the exclusive right of transshipment of containers), Montenegrin Telecom (regulation of roaming prices), Telenor (tax process of value added tax on the sale of telephones below the market price or at a preferential price), Delta City (request for exemption from the Draft Labour Law, which provides for a non-working Sunday) and Ocean Montenegro (preservation of legal predictability and protection of the public interest in case of proposal for adoption of the concession act of providing port services at the Port of Bar). In all cases, the recommendations of the line ministries were adopted.
The Council adopted the Pronouncement of the line institutions on the recommendations from the 2018 White Paper, which was presented at the Council's session. Within the White Paper, 41 recommendations were intended for the state institutions, and the Council accepted 17 recommendations.
The Council adopted the Report on the involvement of the private sector in the law drafting process for the period January - May 2019, which represents the information of the line ministries on public debates and other forms of involving private sector representatives in the process of passing regulations, at an early stage. The Council recommended to the line ministries to consult with the economy promptly and without exception when drafting laws that have an impact on the business environment.
01 June 2019 - Although the significance that NATO and the EU have to the Western Balkans does not need to be explained in more detail, it is important to emphasise the significance of their shared commitment to this region that is still in discrepancy between the past and the present, Prime Minister Duško Marković said at the opening of the 9th To Be Secure (2BS ) Forum in Budva.
It is important, he stressed, to support the democratic forces, especially considering that integration processes are the core and the main driver of democratic and reform processes.
"It is important to send a clear message from all addresses that there are no alternatives and that NATO and the EU stand together with the states of the Western Balkans on this path. Every absence of clearly demonstrated commitment leaves room for third countries that show interest in this region to use the vulnerabilities of states and the system and endanger their integration path," the Prime Minister said at the Forum.
In the year when NATO marks 70 years of existence, and the 12 member states mark the membership anniversary, the Alliance has a full agenda of facing new and old challenges, with a changed geopolitical situation. The Prime Minister pointed out that special attention, which is very important to us, has been dedicated to the Western Balkans region in the past period.
The Prime Minister also referred to the countries of the region and expressed the belief that North Macedonia will soon become the 30th member of NATO. It is very important, PM Marković added, that Bosnia and Herzegovina was invited to deliver its first Annual National Programme to NATO.
"As the youngest member of the Alliance, Montenegro actively advocates and promotes open door policy. We do this through bilateral support, to Bosnia and Herzegovina and North Macedonia, as well as within regional initiatives and cooperation mechanisms, such as the US-Adriatic Charter and Adriatic Trilateral. We are ready to continue to help all the neighbours and aspirants with whom we want to share experience and lessons learned from the accession process," PM Marković noted.
Furthermore, he spoke about Montenegro's accession to the EU and said that, aware of the size and the length of the process, Montenegro maintains motivation and commitment to this goal.
"The Government is focused on the reform agenda and the development agenda on a daily basis, not as it is sometimes thought of simply because of membership in the EU, but because of the value of the democratic and free society that we need to ensure progress and prosperity for the state and citizens," the Prime Minister highlighted.
He assessed that the European Commission Report on Montenegro had realistically examined the state of progress and the need for further results. We are happy to note the overall work, in particular of the Government and its authorities, the robust growth of the economy and the results achieved in the fight against organized crime and corruption.
"Recognising the importance of individual progress of each candidate on the basis of our own merits, we advocate for the greatest progress of all countries in the region. We hope that the forthcoming Council will adopt a date for opening accession negotiations for North Macedonia and Albania. Likewise, we hope to continue the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina, whose positive outcome will open their way towards the European and Euro-Atlantic family of the developed countries," the Prime Minister of Montenegro pointed out.
Although there is always speculation or analysis of how strong the EU's presence in the region is or its commitment to enlargement policies, we appreciate the many ways in which the Union is present – through investments, donations or support in negotiating, PM Marković noted.
"However, it is important to bear in mind the wider picture and context of the unification of Europe and its permanent stabilization by integrating this part where there is still "unfinished business", and that's why we are convinced that in addition to all the serious issues that the Union is dealing with daily, it will not falter in the most successful EU policy – enlargement policy," Prime Minister Marković said at the 2BS Forum.
The 9th To Be Secure Forum is held under the auspices of the Government of Montenegro and the participants will discuss issues of vital importance for the security of the Euro-Atlantic community, including the Western Balkans, the unity of the Alliance, the influence of third countries, as well as new security challenges.
30 May 2019 - From the beginning of the year, more than 4.500 workers have been engaged in seasonal jobs. That is by 50% higher than in the same period last year. The so-called permanent seasonal workers are included. They are persons who renew their contracts with the same employer, said the Chief of the Regional unit Podgorica, Mr Dragan Marović.
He pointed out that mediation was one of the most important roles of the Employment Agency and a challenge at the same time.
According to him, between 9.000 and 10.000 persons are employed via the Employment Agency every year. That is one-quarter of the total number of unemployed persons.
“There is a deficit in the sector of tourism and hospitality. The reason is that the periods of tourism and agriculture season overlap,” said Mr Marović.
Experience suggests that employers look for qualified and auxiliary workforce. Records of the Agency indicate that there is not enough qualified workforce.
“We must devote more effort in order to increase the share of the domestic workforce. “Zaposlimo domaće – Da Crna Gora radi” state campaign has produced good results. We have organized trade fairs in the central and northern part of Montenegro,” said Mr Marović.
Auxiliary jobs are generally intended for women: maids, hygienists, laundry workers, kitchen workers. However, due to family reasons, women are often tied to their domicile and sometimes men do these jobs. Marović says that employers do not plan their needs for the employees on time and they do not invest in their training and protection.
He points out that salary is not always the priority for a seasonal worker. Some of the determining factors are accommodation, working hours and the employer-employee relationship.
Salaries for unqualified seasonal workers range from 250 to 350 EUR. As for the qualified workers, it goes from 350 to 600 EUR.
Source: Cafe del Montenegro
29 May 2019 - Montenegrins in Kosovo and Albanians in Montenegro are two pillars of a cooperation bridge between our countries and we will work together not to make an unstable Balkan bridge, but to make a solid European bridge, Prime Minister Duško Marković said at the opening of the Development Centre of Montenegrins of Kosovo.
"The Centre will contribute to strengthening ties with the home country as a place of gathering of the Montenegrin community and cherishing identity, culture, tradition and its values. At the same time, the Centre will be another strong link for strengthening existing ties and strengthening the overall cooperation between the two friendly states – Montenegro and Kosovo," said Prime Minister Marković, who is paying an official visit to Kosovo.
He added that he is glad that talks with the Prime Minister of Kosovo Ramush Haradinaj and other leaders, at the same time friends of Montenegro from Kosovo, convey decisive messages of a strong commitment to improving the status, constitutional recognition of Montenegrins in Kosovo, gaining seats in the Parliament.
"The evidence of this commitment is precisely today's activity, which, besides the great contribution of the Association of Montenegrins of Kosovo, the Diaspora Administration, the Embassy of Montenegro in Kosovo and other friends, was supported by the competent institutions of Kosovo, not only in material, but in the essential sense," Prime Minister Marković said and thanked his counterpart Haradinaj for seeing significance of everything that the Development Centre is and should become in the upcoming period.
The Prime Minister emphasised that the spirit of contemporary Montenegro built on democratic values has the elements of multiethnicity, multiculturalism and respect for equality among its citizens, regardless of their nationality, political or religious orientation. That is, he said, the asset we are proud of.
"I want to use this festive occasion to convey a message to all Montenegrins living in Kosovo and anywhere in the world – Montenegro will never forget your contribution to the preservation of Montenegrin identity and awareness of its importance while being constructive and loyal citizens of the countries you live in. I assure you that Montenegro will continue to support all your activities that are aimed at cherishing such values," Prime Minister Marković stressed.
He emphasised the importance of respecting diversity and cherishing European civilization values. PM Marković said that good-neighbourly cooperation is the basis for the joint goals of our two countries, reflected in the commitment to belonging to European and Euro-Atlantic structures.
Opening the Centre with Prime Minister Marković, Prime Minister of Kosovo Haradinaj said that Kosovo is the home of all citizens. President of Kosovo Hashim Thaci said that the Republic of Kosovo and Montenegro will always be friendly countries, while President of the Assembly of Kosovo Kadri Veseli said that the Montenegrins in Kosovo should feel like they are in Montenegro.
President of the Association of Montenegrins of Kosovo Slobodan Vujačić said that the Development Centre will be the home of all Montenegrins from Kosovo and urged the Government of Montenegro to strengthen the economic presence in Kosovo.
Alongside the highest officials of Kosovo – the President of the State, the President of the Assembly and the Prime Minister, representatives of the diplomatic corps and numerous representatives of Montenegrins in Kosovo also attended the opening of the Centre.
Prime Minister Marković continues his visit to Kosovo with a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Haradinaj, after which a joint press conference will be held. During his stay in Kosovo, the Prime Minister of Montenegro will attend the opening of the Arben Xhaferi motorway.