Business

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.

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

08 Oct 2019, 02:23 AM

08 October 2019 - Montenegro and Turkey agreed on improving cooperation in ten areas concerning trade and economic relations and signed an agreement on cooperation between the two ministries in charge of sport and youth. At the Fifth session of the Mixed Commission for Economic Cooperation between the Government of Montenegro and the Government of Turkey, which was co-chaired by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development of Montenegro Milutin Simović and Minister of Youth and Sports of Turkey Mehmet Kasapoglu, it was noted that two countries foster excellent political relations and that both sides see room for further strengthening economic cooperation.

Deputy Prime Minister Simović noted that this conference is another confirmation that intensive economic cooperation is high on the agenda of continuous boosting of bilateral relations between Montenegro and Turkey, which is characterised by a high-quality political dialogue, mutual understanding and respect. "The Mixed Commission, through regular meetings, works hard to fulfil the tasks that are entrusted to the Commission through the Agreement on economic cooperation between the two counties," DPM Simović stated.

Deputy Prime Minister Simović pointed out that Montenegro has become a reliable and attractive investment destination through the creation of a competitive environment for business, with significant potentials in the areas of energy, tourism, agriculture and industry.

Co-chairing from the Turkish side, Minister Kasapoglu emphasised that Turkey sees Montenegro as a sincere and reliable partner, and that bilateral cooperation between the two countries can set an example not only in the region but also further. He estimated that such high-quality relations between Turkey and Montenegro need to be reflected through economic cooperation, stressing that all the opportunities offered by the free trade agreement must be exploited.

"I believe that the Protocol from this session of the Mixed Commission will give additional impetus to economic relations. I will personally monitor all activities related to the implementation of the Protocol and the agreement on cooperation in the field of sports and youth," Minister Kasapoglu said.

Both sides agreed that the next, sixth session of the Mixed Commission should be held in 2020 and hosted by the Government of Turkey.

The Government of Montenegro's delegation also included Minister of Education Damir Šehović and Minister of Health Kenan Hrapović.

Within the framework of the Mixed Commission, a business forum of Montenegrin and Turkish businesspeople took place, sponsored by the Chamber of Economy of Montenegro and the Turkish-Montenegrin Business Council at the Committee for International Economic Cooperation of the Ministry of Trade of Turkey.

04 Oct 2019, 23:04 PM

04 October 2019 - In accordance with the Government’s commitment to fulfilling the tourism potentials of the northern part of the country, the Public Work Administration has signed three new agreements that will enable the works at ski resorts Kolašin 1600 and Žarski to resume.

As the Government reported, construction of the new ski center in Žarski, on the side of Bjelasica belonging to Mojkovac, envisages the development of conceptual design, leading projects and construction of a ski slope along with "Z4" cable car.

"Top-ranked bidder in the public procurement procedure was "Gradnja inženjering MNE" company from Podgorica. The work is worth 1,9 million EUR. The deadline for the development of conceptual design is within two months from the moment the contract is signed. The main project will be developed within two months from the adoption of the conceptual design and the construction is expected to begin within six months from the day the contractor is involved in the process," read the documents provided by the Government of Montenegro.

The preparation of technical documentation and construction of a six-seat cable car with the capacity of 2600 skiers per hour has been arranged earlier, writes Cafe del Montenegro.

"In addition, the elevation of supporting constructions on Vragodo-Vrioci-Žarski katun road, will create conditions for further construction of access road towards Žarski. The Government of Montenegro will invest nearly 1 million EUR and it has set a 90-day deadline for the completion of works," said the representatives of the Government of Montenegro.

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

28 Sep 2019, 21:47 PM

28 September 2019 - A memorandum on cooperation between the chambers of commerce of Montenegro and the Körfez district was signed on the Business Forum of Montenegro and Turkey in Podgorica. It was stated that investments from Turkey were increasing. In 2018, two states exchanged goods worth 100,7 million EUR.

This agreement is a solid basis for further economic relations with Turkey, said the signatories, Vice President of the Chamber of Commerce Ivan Saveljić and President of the Chamber of Commerce of Körfez Recep Öztürk 

"There is space for the improvement of economic relations between the two countries," said Saveljić.

The Turkish delegation consisted of the representatives of 30 companies of Körfez in the field of energy, construction, metal-processing, trade, logistics, automobile industry and real estate.

Presenting the economic environment of Montenegro, Saveljić pointed out that the country was characterized by intense economic growth.

The most important infrastructure and tourist projects will create safe presumptions for the further economic growth of Montenegro and improvement of life quality of its citizens.

Apart from cooperation in trade, investments from Turkey have surged. Since 2010, a total of 190,3 million EUR has been invested from Turkey, writes CdM.

Last year around 43.000 tourists visited Montenegro. Montenegro expects new investments in the energy sector.

"We have excellent cooperation with Turkish chambers of commerce," said Saveljić.

President of the Chamber of Commerce of Körfez pointed out developed historical and cultural bonds our countries shared.

"We should use this stable interstate cooperation in order to reinforce business cooperation," said Öztürk.

He acquainted his interlocutors with the region he comes from. It is one of the most developed regions in Turkey and it has 160.000 inhabitants.

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

28 Sep 2019, 20:29 PM

28 September 2019 - The introduction of a non-working Sunday, prescribed by the Internal Trade Law, will start on 14 October, Managing Director of the Directorate for Internal Market and Competition in the Ministry of Economy, Biljana Jakić, confirmed for Dnevne Novine daily.

This means the first Sunday off for trading shops in Montenegro will be on October 20th.

“The Law Amending the Law on Internal Trade entered into force on 13 July 2019. The Law prescribes that the provision under Article 35a, which refers to a non-working Sunday, shall apply after three months from the day of entering into force. Therefore, the application of this Article starts from 14 October 2019,” Director Jakić explained.

“Considering that the law prescribed a transitional period for the application of Article 35a relating to a non-working Sunday, within three months from the date of entry into force of the law, we consider that employers have had sufficient time to organize the work process in accordance with this provision," Jakić pointed out. According to her, the Ministry of Economy is in direct communication with employers on the implementation of the new legal norm.

Montenegrin Economy Minister Dragica Sekulić previously explained that they predict that there would be no drop in turnover for traders, and that the business people believe that the daily takings will be passed over from one day to the next. However, the Montenegrin Employers Federation recently filed a law-review initiative with the Constitutional Court. The Federation believes that the law is problematic from the perspective of large and small trading systems, since the Montenegrin economy consists of 95 per cent for small and medium-sized businesses.

“We can already predict the negative effects that the adoption of the law will bring in the future, especially since we have strategically decided to make tourism our main industry. The question is whether we can afford the luxury of giving up the huge traffic that takes place on Sundays, which is affected by many tourists on the coast and in the north," the representatives of the Federation highlighted.

As of October 14, as defined by law, only pharmacies, bakeries, flower shops, souvenir shops, newsstands, shops that sell plant protection products and shops that sell funeral equipment can be open on Sundays.

Exemptions for working on Sundays are also found at gas stations, retail shops within gas stations, markets, stands, counters, showcases, mobile shops, as well as vending machines outside markets. Also, shops and vending machines located inside closed areas, buses, railway stations, airports and ports, booths and kiosks selling goods during events, festivals and events, fairs and public displays of cinematic works, as well as warehouses for wholesale trade are also an exception and can work on Sundays.

Amendments to the law stipulate that employers who violate the provision and open stores on Sundays may be fined between 1,000 and 10,000 euros.

28 Sep 2019, 19:42 PM

28 September 2019 - On September 26, Montenegro successfully issued bonds in the international capital market under the most favourable conditions so far.

Bonds were issued for 500 million EUR, with a maturity of 10 years and the interest rate of 2.55%, which is the longest maturity period and the lowest interest rate achieved so far.

Following the positive reviews by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, as well as positive ratings from world's rating agencies, the international investment market also positively evaluated the activities of the Ministry of Finance and the Government of Montenegro.

In this way, the investors have given full confidence to the Government's continued policy, results achieved and future planned activities in the field of macroeconomic and fiscal policy, preservation of fiscal and financial stability, and implemented and planned activities in the field of Euro-Atlantic integration.

The good results are confirmed by demand for Montenegrin securities. The investors' offer exceeded the issued amount three times, reaching a maximum of over 1.8 billion EUR.

Furthermore, given that over 190 investors from different parts of the world have expressed interest, the Montenegrin bond is generating significant interest in the international securities market. In this regard, geographically speaking, the issue has been significantly diversified, with a considerable interest of investors from the United Kingdom, Europe, the United States, and Asia. On the other hand, institutional investors, i.e. investment funds, insurance companies, commercial banks, etc. were predominant.

Significant success has been achieved in the international capital market, delivering the most favourable market conditions achieved by Montenegro since the first issue of Montenegrin foreign securities.

27 Sep 2019, 19:53 PM

27 September 2019 - Montenegro and Slovenia have developed excellent political and bilateral relations, but also good economic cooperation that can be further enhanced in the fields of tourism, energy and agriculture, Prime Minister Duško Marković and newly appointed Ambassador of Slovenia to Montenegro Gregor Presker stressed at an official meeting held on September 24.

Prime Minister Marković said that the presence of about 150 Slovenian companies is very important for Montenegro and that foreign investments are accompanied with new knowledge, business practice and ethics. The positive evaluation of the Slovenian companies’ operations in Montenegro and their cooperation with the Government are the confirmation of the Government’s policy of continued advancement of the business environment. The interlocutors recalled Slovenian companies engaged in insurance, banking, energy, tourism, trade and planning that accomplished numerous achievements in these areas and that follow strategic plans for further expansion of business and new investments in the Montenegrin economy.

According to the report by the Government of Montenegro, the Prime Minister mentioned that Montenegro achieved strong economic growth of almost 5% in the past two years, reducing unemployment and improving infrastructure as key preconditions for development.

"Investment opportunities in Montenegro are great. We have consolidated the energy sector, turned to renewable energy sources and this area is a serious and great opportunity for the Montenegrin economy, as well as for foreign investments," Prime Minister Marković stated, also referring to tens of millions of euros of investments in agriculture, through the agro-budget and various EU support programmes.

Ambassador Presker emphasised that Montenegro is a factor of stability in the region and that Slovenia strongly supports EU enlargement to the Western Balkans. He added that Montenegro's experience in tourism would be valuable for his country.

The meeting also discussed the situation in the region, highlighting the importance of the EU Open-Door policy for the Western Balkan countries and the speeding up of the integration process.

27 Sep 2019, 16:55 PM

27 September 2019 - From the beginning of January to the end of July this year, total foreign direct investments inflow has reached 448,2 million EUR, while total outflow was estimated at 206,7 million EUR.

A total of 173 million EUR was invested in inter-company debt, investments that do not increase initial capital. Values of companies and banks have been increased by 167,8 million EUR of investment, non-residents invested 94,3 million EUR in real estate, whereas other investments reached 13 million EUR.

From the beginning of the year until the end of July, Hungary has been at the top of the list of countries that invested in our country (51,7 million EUR). Hungarians invested 2,9 million EUR through real estate. Investments in Montenegrin banks and companies amounted to 45 million EUR, reports Cafe del Montenegro.

Russian investors are in second place. Around 41 million EUR came from Russia. Russians contribute to Montenegrin balance by purchasing real estate. They invested 17,6 million EUR through inter-company debt, whereas foreign direct investments totaled only 722.533 EUR.

Bosnia and Herzegovina come third on the list, with 31,2 million EUR of investments: 1,3 million EUR of the real estate sale, 1,4 million EUR of inter-company debt and 28,5 million EUR of investments made by three companies.

When it comes to operations of our citizens abroad, non-confidential data refers to the inflow of money from a real estate sale, whose value is estimated to be 732.702 EUR.

Another 24 million EUR came to our country through a real estate sale. But the data are confidential because of a minimal number of investors.

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

26 Sep 2019, 13:05 PM

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has launched the program “Women in Business” to encourage the development of women's entrepreneurship, and a million euros has been provided for this purpose.

The EBRD announced that the microfinance institution Alter modus had become the first local partner to join the program.

“In the initial phase, the EBRD will provide EUR 1 million to Alter Modus to support women-led micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises. The focus will be on supporting small and medium-sized businesses, especially those outside the capital Podgorica," the EBRD said.

The program “Women in Business” supports women entrepreneurs through access to finance and advisory services to help them improve their businesses.

“Since its global launch in 2014, the program has already involved more than 5,000 women entrepreneurs in the Western Balkans through both forms of support - funding and advisory services. In the Western Balkans, the program is supported by donors from the governments of Italy, Luxembourg and Sweden," the statement said.

The EBRD program “Women in Business” has so far provided more than EUR 500 million through credit lines for more than 60,000 SMEs run by women in 18 countries.

Since investing in 2006, the EBRD has financed 60 projects in Montenegro with a total value of EUR 571 million and provided business consulting and training for more than 100 women-run Montenegrin companies.

Text by Marija Mirjacic, on September 25th, 2019, read more at Vijesti

25 Sep 2019, 22:12 PM

25 September 2019 - Expensive loans, collection of receivables, extended deadlines for obtaining permits and long, drawn-out court procedures in commercial disputes are some of the most important challenges and barriers Montenegrin businesspeople are faced with, said CEO of Montenegro Business Alliance Milan Dragić, CdM reports.

He said that it was necessary to intensify activities and engagement of all relevant subjects in order to reduce barriers, especially those referring to sluggishness or insufficient responsibility in public administration.

"The problem of illiquidity and collection of receivables still exists. Provision of financial funds is a problem due to expensive loans and this issue should be addressed with utmost attention, as it affects the business development. Deadlines for obtaining different kinds of permits should be shorter and a number of documents required for the procedures should be reduced. It is necessary to accelerate court procedures in commercial disputes, especially in contract performance. These barriers target all sectors and they need to be addressed comprehensively. Every economy and society as a whole depend on business. Is there anything more important than providing optimal conditions to those who create new values," asked Dragić.

According to him, innovation is necessary if we want to be competitive in demanding foreign and domestic market. In that context, the quality of products and service offered is essential.

"We should endeavor to provide the greatest possible productivity in order to increase competitiveness. Creating a stimulating environment for businesses is crucial. MBA is very engaged in this regard," says Dragić.

Asked to give his opinion on the business environment in Montenegro, Dragić says that it has considerably improved.

"MBA was the first company to start dealing with the problem of business barriers. And the progress we have made is more than obvious. Usually, people who decide to set up their own business lack initial financial funds. In other words, they are required to provide the money on their own. That has to be changed if we want to encourage business development," pointed out Dragić.

He also added that the cooperation with state and local administration authorities is increasing.

"Certainly, it can be much better, but there is will and that is what matters. Representatives of state and local authorities are becoming aware of the importance of business associations and they are ready to take up our suggestions. To be more precise, they are starting to regard us as their equal partners and that is a necessary prerequisite for raising the quality of our business relations. We firmly believe that the role and influence of business associations will become even more important," concluded Dragić.

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

25 Sep 2019, 14:56 PM

Terminal 2, which opened at Tivat Airport late last year, in less than two months this summer handled 102,000 passengers and will certainly relieve the total traffic of passengers in the airport building. "This increases the comfort of passengers and the quality of service, which is the obligation of every airport to provide to the passengers," director of Tivat Airport Rade Maric told to “Radio Tivat”, emphasizing that it is necessary to raise the quality and extend the aircraft platform as a priority.

There is nothing unsafe at the Airport, but the fact is that some of the investments needed to be made long ago and that the involvement of all airport participants needed to be much greater to maintain that security at the required and demanding level. Since we have increased passenger comfort and quality of service with the new terminal, the same should be done with the expansion of the aircraft platform," explained Maric.

At this point, the priority is a wider and more comfortable platform, that is, generally to bring the entire operating areas to a higher level. The executive management of "Airports of Montenegro" has recognized this as a need and is intensively working on it, said Maric, stating that the introduction of night flights at the airport will greatly relieve traffic on a daily basis.

According to him, the priority would be that the planes do not remain on the platforms, that they are not late and that they are not diverted when it is dusk and 30 minutes after that, mainly to Podgorica Airport. "So, we would have relief and not have to rush at 9 pm, or when the peak season expires and we can no longer accept planes. This would be a limited time because we are still an elite tourist destination, and we have to keep in mind the comfort of those who come to rest in Tivat. Certainly, an hour, an hour and a half to two would significantly contribute to the relief of daily traffic," explained the director of Tivat Airport.

The airport has been doing very well this month as well. Traffic is almost at the level of the summer months, said the director of the airport, emphasizing that very good results are expected in the first half of October.

From the beginning of the year to September 22, there was a turnover of 1,188,000 passengers, which is almost 100 thousand more than in the same period of the previous year when there were 1,093,000. During that period, 6,000 aircraft were accepted and 5,860 in 2018, Maric said.

These results show that the season and the post-season are slowly equalizing, which will happen in the coming period. "We are going to extend the season to 6-8 months a year. A record was achieved this summer when 66 aircraft and 12,269 passengers were received and served in one day. That record in the history of both Montenegro's airports was recorded on August 4th.

The largest and most important resource of Tivat Airport is one significant portion of employees who every airport would wish to have. They are credited for having so much traffic in such a small space, without any incidents. "A couple of minor excesses are negligible compared to such a large number of passengers and aircraft served," the director of Tivat Airport concluded.

Text by Zora Krstovic, on September 24th, 2019, read more at Radio Tivat

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