20 Mar 2019, 00:30 AM

19 March 2019 - Port Kotor should have limitations when it comes to the size and number of ships residing in the port, says the Board of the Association of Naval Captains of Montenegro Kotor.

According to the News Agency RTCG, the reason for their reaction was the project which plans to create adequate infrastructure prerequisites for safe and secure reception and servicing of modern passenger vessels. According to the business plan of Port Kotor, new investments in technical and technological solutions related to the construction of a new system for the mooring of cruise ships on pylons should technologically improve port infrastructure. The realization of this project should increase the capacity to accept vessels to the port safely and securely. The primary goals of the project include installation of mooring buoys, expanding marine capacity by placing new pontoons and creating conditions for the service of passengers of ships tied to the pylon.

After the construction of the planned projects, a berth for two ships of 250-300 metres in length and two smaller ships will be provided, it is stated in the business plan that was accepted by the Montenegrin Government, and by which Port Kotor was awarded the first concession. The construction of the pylon in the sea at about 100 meters from the completion of the current operational coastline at Luža and the installation of mooring buoys for cruisers in the aquatorium in front of Dobrota will cost together about three million euros, while planned investments will improve the marine port capacity of the yacht receipt for about half a million euros.

"These projects dramatically reduce manoeuvring space for mega cruisers in the aquatorium, which greatly increases the risk of marine casualties, including the risk of pollution of the marine environment. By completing them, Port Kotor, as the main carrier responsible for the ships’ safety, accepts this genuine and enormous risk in advance. Acceptance of such risks implies that the Port also agrees to great expenses in relations to damages collection, "said the representatives of the Association of Naval Captains of Montenegro Kotor.

They add that the actual depth alongside Luža (for which Port Kotor guarantees that it is safe) is of questionable safety for mega cruisers and that any increase in depth would call into question the static of Luža itself or the safety of berths for such large ships.

19 Mar 2019, 15:23 PM

The most guests of the Institute Dr. Simo Milosevic in Igalo, where 223 thousand overnight stays were made last year, are Montenegrin patients, then Norwegians, Swedes, and Germans. This was said to "Vijesti" by the marketing director of the Institute Nikola Mracevic, adding that last year was successful, although not surpassing the record year of 1989, when there were 421 thousand overnight stays.

The Institute celebrates its 70th anniversary this year. Executive Director Gordana Rajovic said that they expect this year to be successful. She said that among the essential programs was the treatment of Norwegian patients at the Institute in Igalo at the expense of their country, explaining that this cooperation has lasted for four decades. The first group of Norwegians, announced Rajovic, will come to Igalo in April.

"This year, an agreement was signed on the treatment of patients from Libya who will come in groups to Igalo throughout the year," Rajovic said.

Negotiations on the sale of the Institute Dr. Simo Milosevic are in progress. The consortium of the Czech company Philibert and the hotel and tourism company from Petrovac Villa Oliva owned by the businessman Zarko Rakcevic, offered ten million euros for 56.48 percent of the state shares of the Institute "Simo Milosevic" in Igalo and 27.94 million euros for the investments in the next five years.

The management of the Institute expects that after the forthcoming privatization, the Institute will retain and develop its core business and that all 607 full-time employees and a hundred more seasonal will continue to work in this renowned institution following general and branch collective agreements. Medical Doctor Marina Delic says that the Institute is recognizable for treating rheumatisms, rehabilitating patients with neurological and cardiac disorders, with respiratory illnesses and after sports injuries.

She pointed out that the Igalo Institute is one of the largest and most well-known institutions for a multidisciplinary spa treatment in the Mediterranean, thanks to the constant improvement of existing and introduction of new treatment and rehabilitation programs. The guests and patients of the Institute were many well-known figures: writers, painters, actors, athletes, scientists and politicians from the former Yugoslavia, but also the world.

Although even in 1875 the Austro-Hungarian military physicians wrote about mineral, medicinal sources in Igalo, the Institute was officially founded in 1949 at the initiative of Dr Svetozar Zivojinovic. The Institute was then called the "Adriatic Natural Spa", and the treatments were initially used at only 55 square meters surface.

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Text by Slavica Kosic, on March 18th, 2019, read more at Vijesti

19 Mar 2019, 15:19 PM

The company “Port Kotor”, which received a concession from the Government for the management of the aquatorium and the operational coastal area of the port in Kotor for the next 12 years, plans to realize a total investment program worth EUR 5.053.440 during this period.

The port will pay the state a fixed annual concession fee of 250 thousand euros, plus a variable amount of the concession fee of 5 percent EBIDTA (realized profit without interest, taxes and depreciation costs).

In the business plan of this company, majority owned by the Municipality of Kotor, it is stated that out of the total investment program planned, in the first three years of the duration of the concession, 4,328,440 euros will be invested. 

The largest part of the investment program (4,546,440 euros) refers to investment in fixed assets, 350,000 will be spent to improve the status of the port system, while 157,000 euros will be spent on the preparation of project documentation.

In order to realize these investments, the joint-stock company “Port Kotor” will invest more than 3.3 million euros of its funds, and plan two credit loans in the amount of one million i.e. 750,000 euros, with a re-payment deadline period of eight years, a grace period of two years and an interest rate of 4.5 percent.

According to the so-called real business plan scenario, the Port of Kotor expects to have a total income of almost EUR 46.2 million and a total profit of over six million during the 12-year duration of the concession.

Estimation of total revenues for the duration of the concession in the so-called optimistic scenario is over 50.3 million euros, i.e., the total profit of slightly over nine million euros.

In addition to the existing ones, they plan to open 18 new permanent and 6 seasonal jobs.

Port Kotor is based almost exclusively on the acceptance and servicing of large passenger cruisers on the so-called circular tourist trips, whereby Kotor is third in terms of traffic in the Adriatic and one of the leading cruises in the Mediterranean.

"According to the Cruise Lines International Association - CLIA, in 2017 nearly 7 million Europeans decided on one of the round trips, and the global number was 26.7 million people, confirming that cruise trips became an alternative to a classic holiday at land. The concept of cruise trip as part of the tourist activity, according to economic, sociological, psychological, political and other connotations, is a phenomenon that will, by the volume of transactions, approach container transport, the oil and car industry," reads the business plan of Port Kotor.

It is noted that the market in which they operate grows at an average rate of 4.3 percent annually and that the accelerated collapse of the cruising industry imposes the need to create adequate infrastructure prerequisites for safe and secure reception and servicing of modern passenger vessels whose size is also continuously growing. "New investments in technical and technological solutions related to the construction of a new system for the mooring of cruise ships on pylons, which will technologically improve port infrastructure, so their realization will increase the capacity to accept vessels to the port in a safe and secure way; installation of mooring buoys; expanding marine capacity by placing new pontoons; creating conditions for the service of passengers of ships tied to the pylon. So far, they have been able to bind two or up to three medium size ships (150-200 meters in length), while ships over 200-350 meters in diameter were at the anchorage.

After the construction of the planned projects, a berth for two ships of 250-300 meters in length and two smaller ships will be provided, it is stated in the business plan that was accepted by the Montenegrin Government, and by which Port Kotor was awarded the first concession. The construction of the pylon in the sea at about 100 meters from the completion of the current operational coastline at Luza and the installation of mooring buoys for cruisers in the aquatorium in front of Dobrota will cost together about three million euros, while planned investments will improve the marine port capacity of the yacht receipt for about half a million euro.

Pylon and mooring buoys for which the technical project is already finished will significantly increase the level of safety of ships residing in Kotor, especially in adverse weather conditions. It will also contribute to the reduction of air pollution from exhaust gases from ship propulsion systems, which, unlike the current situation when large cruisers in Kotor remain mostly anchored with the so-called dynamic maintenance of the position with performance of the machines, the bow, and stern thrusters, will not be so long and intensively used during the ship's stay in the port.

Since the concession act has brought a number of new business opportunities as it guarantees a monopoly status for performing some activities in the leased aquatorium and the land part, AD Port Kotor also plans to carry out significant investments in the purchase of new passenger boat which will transport passengers on buoys of anchored cruisers to the coast and back.

According to the data on the share capital structure of Port Kotor, the joint stock company, as of December 31st, 2017, the largest share - 56,97% is owned by the Municipality of Kotor. The Fund PIO is the owner of 17.51, and to the Employment Agency of Montenegro belongs 5.87% of the shares. After the collective custody account of CKB, there are owners of 10 percent of the capital. Among the individuals, one of the larger owners of Port Kotor is its former employee, SDP leader Ranko Krivokapic, who owns 1.99 percent of shares. Among the shareholders is the former leader of the Port and former Mayor of Kotor, Nikola Konjevic (DPS), who owns 0.86 percent of shares, businessman Vojin Lazarevic with 0.54 percent of total capital. Employees and citizens hold a total of 5.04 percent of shares of AD Port Kotor.

The Director of the Port Kotor Administrative Sector, Snezana Jonica (SNP), announced that the value of Krivokapic's shares increased for one year and a half by 111,917 euros "thanks to our" poor "management of Port Kotor", thus responding to the allegations of the local SDP.

"On the day when the new Board of Directors was elected in July 2017, the shares of Ranko Krivokapic had a market value of 106,398.6 euros, and on March 16th, 2019 - 218,316.2 euros," Jonica made the comparison her Facebook profile.

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Text by Sinisa Lukovic, on March 18th, 2019, read more at Vijesti

18 Mar 2019, 10:00 AM

18 March 2019 - Croatian multinational oil company “INA - Industrija nafte, d.d.” recently expanded its retail network in Montenegro by purchasing five petrol stations from the company “Pavgord CG d.o.o.”, and after launching all new facilities, it now manages 11 gas stations in Montenegro. This purchase will increase the market share of INA – Industrija nafte d.d. to around 15 per cent, according to the recent statement by the company’s PR service.

The purchased facilities are located in Kotor (in Radanovići and Škaljari), Podgorica, Bijelo Polje and Mojkovac, while INA – Industrija nafte d.d. already has a network of existing locations in Podgorica, Tivat and Pljevlja.

Oil Company INA Purchased Five New Gas Stations in Montenegro 3

According to News Agency BokaNews, the transaction for the purchase of five retail locations of Pavgord CG, which value is not stated in the announcement, was approved by the regulator for the protection of market competition. These petrol stations are valuable for their desired locations and associated structures, especially stations in the coastal cities of Tivat and Kotor.

With this business move, the company INA further improved its position on the Montenegrin market. Compared to 2017, when INA had a 1% market share, its market share will now reach about 15%.

Management board of INA – Industrija nafte d.d. made this business decision based on a solid knowledge of market conditions in Montenegro, with the aim of further building a leading regional position that could have a positive impact on the company’s business and the placement of its high quality products in that market, said the official statement by the PR service. Also, the company plans to further expand the retail network on the Montenegrin market by introducing a wide range of services, such as the gastronomic concept Fresh Corner.

Oil Company INA Purchased Five New Gas Stations in Montenegro 25

"Previous business experience tells us that buyers in Montenegro value the quality of INA's fuel and other products and services. Therefore, in the medium term, we want to become one of the most important “players” in the Montenegrin retail market of derivatives. This transaction is in line with INA’s strategy to strengthen its position as a leading regional brand, "said Darko Markotić, Operations Manager of Customer Service for INA Company.

As reported by the company, INA now employs about 150 workers in Montenegro country, with the possibility of increasing their number in the future.

16 Mar 2019, 23:26 PM

15 March 2019 - Regulation on the allocation of funds for encouraging direct investments and improving the competitiveness of the economy has recently been approved by the Government of Montenegro, as well as the Programme for the improvement of the competitiveness of the economy for 2019. Considering that the existing Regulation concerned exclusively direct investment support programmes, and in practice, the need for constant stimulation and strengthening of the sector of small, medium and large enterprises was identified, which is recognised in several strategic documents as one of the key pillars of accelerated economic development, for which it is necessary to improve their competitive ability, and thus the competitiveness of the economy as a whole, the new Regulation was developed.

The Programme for improving the competitiveness of the economy, for which realisation 1.640.000 EUR has been allocated, prescribes that all previous programmes intended for the development of entrepreneurship and small and medium-sized enterprises are consolidated into a unified programme, which will consist of 10 programme lines.

The Government approved the Information on determining the weighted average retail price of cigarettes for 2019. To ensure the stability of the cigarette market, as well as to preserve budget revenues on this basis, it is proposed to maintain the average weighted retail price of cigarettes from 2018 and 2019 (2,10 EUR per pack). In that context, it was concluded that it is necessary to begin to amend the legal provisions regulating this issue to create conditions for the proposal to be implemented.

The Cabinet within the Government of Montenegro approved the Information on increasing the share capital of Montenegro in the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development through general and selective capital increase and approved the proposal for capital increase, as well as the Indicative plan for subscription and payment of shares.

16 Mar 2019, 21:23 PM

16 March 2019 - Credit Rating Agency Standard & Poor's recently published a new Report for Montenegro which confirmed the rating of the country, which is marked as "stable" while preserving the rating B + / B.

The fact that the credit rating agency Standard & Poor's has confirmed the rating given to Montenegro in 2018 for the third time, points to the expectation that after the fourth confirmation, the country’s credit rating could increase.

By confirming Montenegro's stable credit rating, another relevant global institution recognized the seriousness of implementing fiscal consolidation measures, as well as the overall increase in economic activity resulting from the improvement of general business conditions within the country. According to the Report, the current position of Montenegro on the rating list is the result of a strong economic growth that continued in 2018, estimated at 4,7%, based on the development of tourism, energy and infrastructure, and more specifically, the progress on the construction of the highway that will, as it is said, contribute to regional cohesion and security improvement.

An important backbone of Montenegro’s future development, the Report suggested, is the implementation of a significant number of foreign direct investments over the past five years, which amount to over 10% of GDP at the average level.

Analysts point to the strong institutional position of Montenegro in the region as well as the potential for further development through the structural reforms that the country is currently implementing to join the European Union. According to the report, the important activities for achieving the Government's goals are the continuation of the implementation of fiscal consolidation measures, the reduction of the budget deficit and the reduction of public debt.

16 Mar 2019, 11:54 AM

March 16, 2019 - The Directorate for Inspection Affairs has ordered OHM Mamula Montenegro to suspend works on the island of Lastavica, within the Mamula Fort complex, in order to obtain approval for the conservation project, said the Management Board for the Protection of Cultural Property.

The Management Board states that the Office of the Secretary-General of the Montenegrin National Commission for UNESCO has informed the Inspectorate for Inspecting the Activities of Cultural Inspectors on the occasion of the works in question.
"The inspector's report forwarded to us allegedly ordered OHM Mamula Montenegro DSD to suspend the work to obtain consents to the conservation project. As far as the conservation project is concerned, this management is in the process of approving it. In December 2017, the administration had previously given an opinion on the idea-based revitalisation of the Mamula fort, with suggestions or guidelines, to be respected when drafting a conservation project," the Cultural Heritage Management Board said.
We remind you that the new massive works within the Mamula fortress on the island of Lastavica caused the awakening of the disregard of the villagers of Herceg Novi at the end of last week. The first was the occasion of the initiative of Bokobran and their open letter to all responsible institutions and the public, which turned the attention to the demolition of part of the walls and excavation in the interior of the fort in depths of more than ten meters. It is, as they said, an inadequate revitalisation of the first category of cultural monuments.
The Management Board for Cultural Property yesterday responded that in the report of the inspector for cultural goods states that architect-conservator Katarina Nikolić explained that the dismantling of part of the covering wall of the central plateau was performed and that each stone block was previously marked and disposed of nearby.
"Regarding the Management's actions, we remind you that according to the Act on the Protection of Cultural Property, the owner or holder of a cultural asset is obliged to designate a legal person who will carry out expert supervision over the performance of works on a cultural asset, and the contractor should designate a person to manage to perform works. This person must have a conservation license. So, according to the law, we will be required to be regularly provided with expert oversight reports," said the Department for the Protection of Cultural Property.
About the controversial works on the island Lastavica, OHM Mamula said last week that "all the works on reconstruction and adaptation of the Mamula fort following the urban-technical and conservation conditions and under the supervision of relevant experts and state institutions."
They underlined that the Mamula project was working according to the highest international standards and reminded that all preparatory works on the island were announced and implemented in the strictly prescribed procedure and by Government approval for the preparation of preparatory works of greater size from 20 July 2017.
"On October 12, 2017, when the works were announced, it was explained that, among other things, it would also involve removing the earthquake on the central plateau of the island and excavating up to the ground, so there is no unexpected or unauthorized work", OHM Mamula said in a statement. 
As they pointed out, groundworks on the central plateau, where mechanisation is involved, means cleansing the soil and rock material.
"After forming auxiliary facilities underneath the plateau, the earth's embankment will be restored, and the platoon will have an original look," says the statement.
Otherwise, OHM Mamula said unofficially that the works were not performed last week, or at the time when photographs of the Mamula excavations appeared in the media, but because of the weather conditions and waiting for the "proper documentation", stopped much earlier.
To read the original story in Montenegrin, on Boka News, click here
16 Mar 2019, 09:19 AM

The Government of Montenegro has provided another €1 million from the state budget for the municipality of Plav, said the Prime Minister, Duško Marković at the meeting with the local administration.

“I came to Plav in order to change things for the better. Residents of Plav will feel the benefits of the Government regional development policy," said the PM.

The Prime Minister pointed out the importance of the stabilization of local public finances and emphasized the wholehearted support of the Government through direct budget support and investments from the Capital budget, which, by the way, has been the highest ever since the renewal of independence.

Mr. Marković also said that the northern part of the country could expect benefits from the economic citizenship program. Numerous infrastructure projects, worth over €1,5 million, are currently being carried out.

One of the subjects of the meeting was also the importance of roads. They also jointly concluded that the revitalization and protection of the lake in Plav was of great importance since, without it, Plav can’t develop its potentials.

President of the municipality of Plav, Mirsad Barjaktarević, expressed his satisfaction with the visit of the Prime Minister and said that his overall contribution to the development of the north was great.

Text by CDM on March 15, 2019, read more at CDM

16 Mar 2019, 09:01 AM

According to the decision rendered by the Government Secretariat for Development Projects, Alex Capital Partners, Arton Group and Henley and Partners Government Services companies have been chosen for mediation agents in applying for economic citizenship of Montenegro.

 This decision was brought on Wednesday.

“The Secretariat received 21 applications, and after the deadline expired, there was another one”, reads the decision.

 The public call envisaged the licenses only for the companies whose responsible persons haven’t been convicted by final prison sentence that lasted longer than a year, and who have at least three years of experience in three states, one of them being in the EU.

The decision on the criteria for acquiring Montenegrin citizenship entered into force on 1st January this year. Up to 2.000 passports of Montenegro will be issued by this decision.

Text by CDM on March 15, 2019, read more at CDM

15 Mar 2019, 00:11 AM

14 March 2019 - At the latest session of the Government of Montenegro, the Montenegrin Cabinet passed the Regulation on the criteria and procedure for determining the annual number of temporary residence and work permits for foreigners in 2019 and the Decision Amending the Decision on establishing the yearly number of temporary residence and work permits for foreigners in 2019.

The criteria and procedure for determining the annual number of temporary residence and work permits for foreigners are determined by the Regulation on the basis of relation between supply and demand in the labour market; opportunities to satisfy demand in the labour market, employment of the Montenegrin citizens; employment of foreigners in Montenegro in the previous period; the utilisation of the annual quota in the last year; and employers' needs for employment in the year for which the quota is determined.

The regulation stipulates that a number of temporary residence and work permits for foreigners are allocated from the annual quota, which the competent ministry can additionally assign for individual purposes, in accordance with the needs of the labour market, and at the request of the Employment Bureau. The regulation provides for the quota of 15,454 foreign nationals who can temporarily stay and be temporarily hired in Montenegro in 2019.

The discussion concluded that a large number of illegally hired workers have been spotted on large construction sites, that the State is losing significant revenues, and that this issue will take center stage in the work of the Commission for the fight against the grey economy, as well as inspection services and law enforcement agencies in the coming period.

The Government also approved the Report on the implementation of tax policy in 2018, which states, among other things, that state revenues in 2018 increased by 8.9% compared to 2017, and that the total revenues increased by 8,2 compared to the previous year. The discussion pointed out that last year revenues increased by 187 million EUR, while the annual installment for the construction of the Motorway amounted to 186 million EUR, which means that the increased tax revenue paid one installment.

It was concluded that revenues are being generated satisfactorily and that continuous growth has been recorded, and that fiscal and macroeconomic stability, as undoubtedly the greatest success of the 41st Cabinet of Montenegro, gives the opportunity for further growth and creation of new value. It was pointed out that in the coming period, growth should be maintained, at the same time handling the expenditure side of the budget more responsibly.

14 Mar 2019, 19:39 PM

March 14, 2019 - Montenegro and Azerbaijan have successful cooperation for years, we have done many things together, and there’s still a lot to do in the future, said President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, at the meeting with his Montenegrin counterpart, Milo Đukanović. Mr Aliyev stressed that it was necessary to introduce a direct flight between Montenegro and Azerbaijan.

“The two countries cherish strong, friendly relations that, along with the extraordinary economic and political relations, make the basis for further strengthening and deepening cooperation, especially in the area of tourism and energy, and even trade and transport,” President Aliyev said.

Both agreed that it was extremely important to discuss and encourage the introduction of direct flights between Montenegro and Azerbaijan, and to abolish visas between the two states.

“Successful implementation of the ‘Portonovi’ project represents the result of high level of trust that exists at the highest and all the other levels of the government,” Mr Aliyev noted.
In the forthcoming period, special attention will be given to the strengthening of cooperation in the area of energy, through the implementation of the project the Ionian-Adriatic Gas Pipeline.
Mr Đukanović invited Mr Aliyev to Montenegro, and he (Aliyev) accepted the invitation with great pleasure.
Text by CDM on March 14, 2019, read more at CDM
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