16 Oct 2019, 13:08 PM

The Employment Bureau (ZZZ) announced the first public call for grants, worth a total of 1.2 million euros, to start new businesses.

The money will be awarded to more than 400 beneficiaries of self-employment grants, or more than 400 new businesses, over three one-year cycles. The grant will range from three thousand euros to 7.5 thousand euros.

The Minister of Labor and Social Welfare, Kemal Purišić, said that they would allocate a total of 3.5 million euros in the three years of the self-employment project.

"These funds were provided from the pre-accession funds of the European Union (EU) through the EU-Montenegro Program for Employment, Education, and Social Welfare. The program is a continuation of successful cooperation between the European Commission (EC) and the Government in the field of social policy, employment and education policies," Purišić said at a conference organized by the Institute in cooperation with the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare.

Purišić said in a statement that the government is committed to implementing measures and programs of active employment policies aimed at increasing employment and reducing unemployment.

"As a result, we have seen a significant decrease in the unemployment rate over the past few years. According to the data from the Labor Force Survey, it was reduced from 17.7 percent in 2016 to 15.2 percent last year, or 14.3 percent in the second quarter of this year," Purišić added.

The self-employment measures that will be implemented through this call, he said, will enable participants to acquire the necessary knowledge to apply for similar calls, acquire the skills to start and run their businesses, make livings for themselves and their family, and ultimately, contribute to the community through newly established businesses.

"Experience has shown that participants in preparatory self-employment measures have a greater opportunity for employment and the sustainability of that employment. The new jobs that will be created through this program are of particular importance for our citizens in the municipalities with the highest unemployment rate," said Purišić.

The director of the Institute, Suljo Mustafić, said that long-term unemployment remains one of the key challenges in the labor market, especially among young people.

"The Bureau announced the first public call for grants of between three thousand and 7.5 thousand euros. The money will be allocated to a minimum of 400 beneficiaries of self-employment grants, or 400 new businesses, a minimum of 140 per call, over three one-year cycles," said Mustafic.

According to him, all unemployed persons who have been registered for at least six months with the Bureau have the opportunity to apply on the day of the announcement of the call, with emphasis on young people, women, and long-term unemployed.

"That is why I urge all those who are willing to try to start their own business, to inform themselves in the Labor Offices across Montenegro as well as on the Institute's website," Mustafic said, adding that he believes that the grant will certainly be stimulating.

He said the money offered by the Employment Service is not a gift, but a grant to start a new business.

"It is support that carries a great deal of responsibility in implementation, reporting, and sustainability," Mustafic added.

In addition to the financial support, the Bureau will, as he said, as a service close to citizens, provide candidates with training and counseling when applying and during implementation.

"The published public invitation contains all the information, the number of funds, the length of the call and the conditions for participation. It also contains information on the documentation accompanying the application for participating in the program, the rights and obligations of the beneficiaries, as well as the deadlines for submitting the application," Mustafić explained.

As he said, all acceptable project proposals will be forwarded for further consideration and quality assessment.

"Due to the regional backwardness and higher unemployment rate in the north, through this project, we will strive to encourage employment in less developed areas," Mustafić said.

He said that he believes that the Self-Employment Grants Program would be an important factor in economic activity and in improving the overall environment for small business development, and thus the overall situation in the Montenegrin economy.

Text by MINA Business, on October 14th, 2019, read more at Vijesti

14 Oct 2019, 20:47 PM

14 October 2019 - Prime Minister Duško Marković visited the construction site of the Đalovica Cave tourist complex and voiced his satisfaction with the works underway, noting that it is one of the most valuable Government projects that will create new jobs and stimulate other sectors of the Bijelo Polje region.

"I am here for the first time since 15 May 2018. In just a year, we have established an impressive track record. Novi Volvox, which won the cable car project to the Đalovica Cave, is doing a great job in difficult conditions. I do not expect that seven pillars of the cable car will be erected here in these conditions by the end of the year. Therefore, we have great contractors for this project - Novi Volvox and of course, Crnagoraput," said the Prime Minister, reports his Office.

He also visited the works on the substation, which is part of the new electricity structure for electricity supply of the cable car and the cave tourist complex, and drove from Bistrica to the Podvrh Monastery, where the cable car's base will be located.

"We saw a 5,5 km road, which is being built according to the highest standards. I have to admit that I am positively surprised that this time it is done with all the necessary facilities. This will be one of the highest quality roads in the country," Prime Minister Duško Marković stressed, congratulating Crnagoraput company and its subcontractors on high-quality works, which is also the case with all other infrastructure activities related to this project.

Đalovica Cave Tourist Complex Encouraging North Montenegro Development

Speaking about the project that started a year and a half ago when the cable car construction agreement had been signed, the Prime Minister highlighted that the significance of this project could not be measured solely by the amount of money that had been allocated.

"This is one of the most valuable projects being implemented by the Government in the country. Not only because of the amount of money that will be invested in this project (18 million EUR) but because of the value this project brings with it and of course, the benefits that it will bring to Bijelo Polje, to this entire region, and the Montenegrin tourism and economy. I believe that with what we have already agreed on here, when it comes to the valorisation of the Đalovica Cave, in 2021 we will have an offer that will create new jobs and new opportunities for young people and, of course, give an incentive to other sectors to contribute to the making the best use of this area in terms of transport, agriculture, food industry and services," Prime Minister of Montenegro Duško Marković concluded.

Read more news about business in Montenegro at TMN's dedicated page.

14 Oct 2019, 19:39 PM

14 October 2019 - According to the preliminary data on foreign trade exchange from the Statistical Office of Montenegro, in the first eight months of 2019, Montenegro has exported goods worth 263,4 million EUR.

Compared with the same period last year, the export remained at the same level. The data shows that this year, Montenegro mostly exports aluminium, electricity and bauxite.

Ms Jadranka Kaluđerović, economic analyst and director of the Institute for Strategic Studies and Projections, said to Pobjeda daily that the structure of Montenegro’s export “clearly indicates that it relies on natural and not human resources”.

"Montenegrin exports still rely more on what nature has given us, rather than on our knowledge," Kaluđerovic said. In order to achieve the goal – to rely on knowledge, Montenegro must, first of all, invest in the knowledge of children.

“Only the market can show what will dominate in the future. I hope new products, the result of our youth’s ideas, will take over: new applications, software, new organizational solutions, new platforms to connect and more”, said Ms Kaluđerović.

In the structure of exports, the most represented products are classified by material in the amount of 66,5 million EUR, which are made of non-ferrous metals, that is, primarily aluminium with a share of 42.7 million EUR and iron and steel with 13.75 million EUR. This shows that products by Aluminijski kombinat and Toščelik are still dominant in the export structure.

The export of aluminium has declined by 19% in the first eight months of 2019.

In the same period, iron and steel export have increased by 5,2%. The value of total exported electricity amounted to 42,17 million EUR, by 11% more than in the same period last year.

MONSTAT shows that the export of mineral ore, bauxite primarily, amounted to 31,6 million EUR.

Total Montenegro’s foreign trade exchange amounted to 1,99 billion EUR, by 2,1% more compared with the same period last year.

Imports amounted to 15,3%, less than in the same period last year.

The biggest foreign trading partners in export were Serbia (63,2 million EUR), Hungary (31,5 million EUR) and Bosnia and Herzegovina (20,6 million EUR).

Read more about the business environment in Montenegro at TMN's dedicated page.

13 Oct 2019, 14:40 PM

13 October 2019 - The situation in the banking sector in Montenegro has strengthened after addressing issues related to vulnerable banks, as evidenced by excellent indicators of key balance sheet positions with 13 banks operating in Montenegro, Central Bank (CBM) Governor Radoje Žugic said at a high-level dialogue meeting with the European Central Bank (ECB), held in Frankfurt.

Žugić explained that banks' assets of 4,6 billion EUR are at a historical maximum, while the stability of the system is confirmed by an extremely high coefficient solvency ratio of 19,5 per cent, reports Vijesti daily.

"Non-performing loans are steadily declining and currently amount to 4.75 percent of purchases, which is a significant drop from 2011, when their level was 25.9 percent," said Žugic.

Interest rates, he said, continue the decreasing tendency. "Despite low-interest rates, deposits are growing, which is a testament to the confidence in the banking system," Žugic said.

The CBM said that ECB representatives were presented with new data reflecting the situation in the Montenegrin economy, with particular emphasis on the situation in the banking sector. “The Montenegrin economy has been continuously growing for the last six years. According to official data from Monstat, last year saw a 5,1 per cent growth rate, thanks primarily to strong investment activity in the public and private sectors, as well as an increase in domestic demand and private consumption, "said Žugic.

He highlighted that there were positive trends in the fiscal sphere owing to the fiscal consolidation measures implemented by the Government of Montenegro and added that, according to the Ministry of Finance projections, public debt would have a downward trend this year.

The meeting also discussed activities undertaken by the CBM to implement the planned asset quality audit of the banking system (AQR), further strengthen supervision, especially in the segment of money laundering prevention, and modernization of the payment system.

The CBM Vice Governors, Nikola Fabris and Miodrag Radonjić, presented macroeconomic trends in Montenegro, the status of negotiations with the EU, as well as the management of international reserves and the effects of the CBM's monetary policy.

The meeting also discussed the economic situation and development of the euro area banking sector, as well as the ECB's monetary policy. The ECB, they said, offered all forms of support to the CBM in the monetary policy area, especially in the area of ​​supervision.

Read more about the business environment in Montenegro at TMN's dedicated page.

12 Oct 2019, 01:27 AM

12 October 2019 - Renowned Chinese company UTour is interested in investing in Northern Montenegro, primarily in Žabljak, where it wants to build a 100-room hotel according to the standards of the Marriott hotel chain, it was noted at the yesterday’s meeting between Prime Minister of Montenegro Duško Marković's and U-Tour Group Chairman Bin Feng.

"The Chinese tourism industry is very interested in Northern Montenegro, and given the number of the Chinese tourists visiting your country, we think it is a smart idea to have hotels in this part of the country," Mr Feng stressed, adding that the Chinese are increasingly appreciative of Montenegro’s beauty, and that when it comes to the north of the country, they find the Đurđevića Tara Bridge particularly interesting.

Noting that there have been no direct Chinese investments in Montenegro so far, that Chinese companies are present as contractors for the motorway project, Prime Minister Marković welcomed the interest and intention to invest in tourism. He added that the Government of Montenegro would create legal precondition to enable the realisation of the UTour's intention to build a hotel in Žabljak.

UTour is the largest private tour company in China, and in addition to tourism, they are engaged in international financing, as well as investment in hotel facilities. The group has invested in hotels in Japan, Norway, Switzerland, and they own a large number of travel agencies across Europe. According to Mr Feng, nearly 50,000 Chinese tourists come to Montenegro annually, and the number is expected to quadruple in the next five years.

“My Government's agenda is focused primarily on the North, which is a major construction site today. Through the Capital Budget, we have invested a lot in road, energy, utility and social infrastructure," said Prime Minister Marković.

The meeting also discussed opportunities for investment in other sectors, notably in energy, renewable energy and agriculture. Both sides assessed the good interstate relations between Montenegro and China as significant and positive.

Read more about the business environment in Montenegro at TMN's dedicated page.

11 Oct 2019, 16:29 PM

11 October 2019 - The Government of Montenegro is continuously investing in strengthening infrastructure, especially in northern Montenegro, to stimulate investment and improve citizens' lives by creating better conditions.

The Public Works Administration signed the contract for the second phase of reconstruction of the Plav – Vojno selo – Gusinje road, worth 3,5 million EUR. The works will be carried out by Bar-based company "Putevi Bar". The deadline for completion of works is 18 months from the introduction of "Putevi Bar" into the business.

The first rehabilitation phase of 1,2 km long road is underway, for which 850.000 EUR has been allocated. Along with the final phase, the modernisation will cover about 10 kilometers of the road, reports Public Relations Service within the Government of Montenegro.

Furthermore, the Bar-based company will soon begin the reconstruction of Ribarska Street in Plav, for which 300.000 EUR will be allocated from the Capital Budget for North Montenegro, and the scheduled completion date is 70 days from the introduction of the contractor into the business.

Based on the contract with Podgorica-based "Asfalt beton gradnja", the works will be continued in the settlement Bukovica in Rožaje, where the second phase of the construction of the sports and recreational playground is anticipated. The investment is worth around 34.000 EUR, and the deadline for completion is 30 days from the introduction of the contractor into the business.

"Asfalt beton gradnja" was also assigned to pave the road with asphalt in the settlement Godočelje in Petnjica. The investment is worth 25.000 EUR, and the deadline for completion is 25 days from the introduction of the contractor into the business.

Read more news about business in Montenegro at TMN's dedicated page.

11 Oct 2019, 16:24 PM

11 October 2019 - Prime Minister of the Government of Montenegro Duško Marković recently paid a visit to Moračica Bridge, and on that occasion he expressed satisfaction with connecting the span structure on the largest construction project of the first section of the Motorway, highlighting that only the motorway opening will be more important than this moment. 

"I would say that this is the most important day for this entire project. Not maybe, but certainly the only moment more important from this one, is the completion of the whole motorway section and its commissioning," the Prime Minister stated. 

Prime Minister Marković took this opportunity to thank all those who contributed to the largest single construction is at this phase.

"They tell me that this is the third-largest rate bridge in Europe and among the top ten in the world, you can imagine what kind of construction project it is… This is a special day for Montenegro, a special day for all of us who are committed and follow the implementation of this project; this is a confirmation of capability and credibility not only the contractors, but also the entire team involved in this project. This is a confirmation that Montenegro can tackle these project challenges to the benefit of citizens, the state and the population standard of living," pointed out PM Marković, writes his Office.

Prime Minister Marković recalled that it is an investment worth over 70 million EUR and expressed his belief that the Bridge will be fully completed until March next year to be in optimum position function with the Motorway commissioning. 

Moračica Bridge, the most massive single structure on the priority section of the Bar – Boljare motorway, is 175 m high (from the bottom bed of Morača to the roadway of 205 m), 23,4 m wide and 960 m long. 

In addition to Prime Minister Duško Marković, Minister of Transport and Maritime Affairs Osman Nurković, chief engineer of the Bridge Duško Rondović, Ambassador of the People's Republic of China Liu Jin and CRBS General Manager in Montenegro Hei Shiqiang also attended the visit to the Bridge Moračica.

Read more news about business in Montenegro at TMN's dedicated page.

11 Oct 2019, 13:29 PM
October 11, 2019 - The Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Transport announced the submission of applications for pre-qualification for the Airports of Montenegro concession.
Following the Law on Concessions, the Government of Montenegro has adopted a concession act of the concessions for the Airports of Montenegro - Tivat and Podgorica International Airports to the competitively selected best bidder who will establish and register a legal entity with the seat in Montenegro for performing the concession activity. The subject of the concession is the construction, reconstruction, modernization, maintenance, and use of the Airport of Montenegro.
The public invitation states that the  Government intends to provide, through the award of the concession, the necessary valorization of the Airport of Montenegro in a long-term and sustainable manner that will be in the interest of Montenegro and its further economic development.
"The involvement of the private sector in the management of the Montenegrin Airports will result in improved passenger services, an extension of routes, increased air accessibility, and better promotion of Montenegro as a tourist destination, which creates significant benefits at the national and regional level."
The selection of a private partner to carry out the reconstruction, modernization, maintenance, and use of the Airport of Montenegro will be carried out in a two-stage procedure. After the Public Notice for Prequalification announced today, the Call for Proposals will be sent to interested concessionaires who will be positively evaluated in the first phase of the tender.
The right to participate in the tender procedure, by submitting only one bid, is a domestic or foreign legal or natural person, acting as a sole bidder or in a consortium consisting of a maximum of five members.
Transport Minister Osman Nurkovic told TVCG that the interest of foreign companies is high and that the bidder is obliged to pay at least EUR 100 million in advance and to pay the state at least 10 percent of the airport's annual revenue over the next 30 years.
The expected volume of investments is at least 80 million in the first three years and, as Nurkovic adds, at least 200 million over the total duration of the investment.
The pre-qualification phase will last 45 days, after which the tender procedure is expected. The public invitation was also published in the renowned economic journal Financial times.
11 Oct 2019, 01:29 AM

11 October 2019 - Prime Minister of Montenegro Duško Marković recently hosted the representatives of the Italian company Leitner, one of the world's leading manufacturers of products and equipment for ropeways, snow groomers, urban transportation systems, and wind energy. Following the successful launch of the cable car project in Cmiljača and the Monastery Podvrh - Đalovića Cave, the company expressed its intention to start a project to build a gondola cable car from Kotor to Njeguši by financing, according to initial estimates, around 20 million EUR.

The Prime Minister expressed satisfaction with Leitner's business operations in Montenegro so far, assessing that the two cable cars projects, as strategic projects financed by the Government and built by Leitner, are successfully implemented due to the seriousness and commitment of the parent company, as well as the choice of a high-quality local partner.

"It is important for the Government of Montenegro, which allocates a large amount of money from the capital budget for strategic development projects, to have credible partners like Leitner who bring new quality and knowledge. The successful start of the previous two projects recommends you for this one as well. That is why I was delighted by your interest in the Kotor – Njeguši cable car project that you would build on the principle of concession or public-private partnership," Prime Minister Marković noted.

Sales director and member of the Leitner Board of Directors Martin Leitner presented a preliminary design of the cable car to the Prime Minister, saying, among other things, that they plan to build Pininfarina cabins similar to the ones they recently built in Zermatt in Switzerland on the Matterhorn Glacier.

The meeting assessed that the project has a tourist, but also ecological and cultural dimension as it enriches the tourist offer of Montenegro, improves the tourist position of Cetinje and Lovćen National Park, but also creates preconditions for reducing the volume of traffic from Kotor to Njeguši.

Minister of Sustainable Development and Tourism Pavle Radulović and Minister of Culture Aleksandar Bogdanović also attended the meeting.

09 Oct 2019, 16:35 PM

09 October 2019 - Economic activity is slowing in the Western Balkans, alongside investments and exports in the six countries of the region. According to the latest Western Balkans Economic Report called ‘Rising Uncertainties’, growth is estimated at 3,2 per cent in 2019, which is by 3,9 per cent lower than in 2018.

Growth in North Macedonia has continued following a major slowdown in 2019, while Kosovo is expected to record strong growth at 4 per cent. Most economies in the region are seeing slower growth compared to one year ago. Even though the regional economy is foreseen to grow in 2020 and 2021, it will remain slightly below the ten year high of 2018.

"Continuing growth in the region will help to create jobs, bring more women into the labor market and help to curb emigration," says Linda Van Gelder, World Bank Director for the Western Balkans, writes Cafe del Montenegro.

She also added that the economic clouds on the horizon point out to a need for policymakers to reinforce competitiveness, increase the efficiency and effectiveness of public spending, and resolve rising fiscal imbalances in order to build on these successes and encourage sustainable growth.

Despite the economic slowdown, the unemployment rate in the region continued to decline, reaching historic lows.

Read more news about business in Montenegro at TMN's dedicated page.

08 Oct 2019, 19:43 PM

08 October 2019 - Prime Minister Duško Marković opened a conference titled Montenegro Creative Forum by noting that the Government will not save money when it comes to culture, that the Government encourages culture and artists in this area in many ways and that the aim is to link culture and economy in further branding of the country and that in that regard the Government expects support from artists.

"Nowadays, Montenegro has encouraging legislation in the field of film, thus showing that we hear and understand the needs of creators. In parallel, we firmly encourage festivals to position our country as a desirable cultural address in this segment. For the first time, at the prestigious festival Art Market in Budapest, we stood as the State behind works of visual artists and related art creators and made them increasingly visible at the European level. The linking between the culture and the economy, as a new approach to art, is supported through the programme "Creative Montenegro", which is used by 11 authors from creative industries. Finally, during its mandate, the Government will, together with its partners, invest over EUR 3 million to support this sector. Furthermore, we have been working on the development and affirmation of creative industries as a new field of cultural and entrepreneurial activity," Prime Minister Duško Marković stated at the opening of the conference, reports his Office.

Montenegro Creative Forum Conference Opened in Podgorica1

The Prime Minister recalled that Montenegro has become, in a short time, the only country in the region to allow the establishment of cultural businesses by directly supporting artists and by recognising the era of information, technology and design of artistic expression.

Prime Minister Duško Marković stated that culture has been recognised for centuries as a soft power of a state, that is, one of the attributes of its strength and dignity, and that in this era culture must be used for the purpose of contemporary strengthening of the state, not only in terms of its identity and tradition, but also development and entrepreneurship.

"Recognising the needs of preserving national and cultural identity, recognising the needs of artists and their audiences, the Government and the Ministry of Culture are committed to creating new cultural policies. They have already yielded the first results and international visibility of Montenegro. Trends in the world, from the traditional notion of culture and cultural policies, have moved to the modern concept of valorisation. In a time of technological advancement, and in a crowded market that offers new opportunities, art becomes much more than the personal expression of the author. That is why our common task is to put rich creative potential in the service of entrepreneurial ideas and put them into practice, that is, create new social values. To make art, as the most prominent culture, actually become an exact product in the market sense of the word, and contribute to the national economy and higher standard of living of our citizens. Over the very first year of dealing with creative culture, Montenegro has decided to develop its art brands in this segment as well, such as big and famous names of classical art: Lubarda, Milunović, Stijovic, Poček, Šobajić, Popović and many others… Therefore, I see this conference not only as a dialogue on paving the future path of the Montenegrin culture, but as the beginning of a process of even stronger support for the creative sector," Prime Minister Duško Marković concluded.

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