10 January 2019 - The Montenegrin economy should achieve a slightly lower rate this year, due to its strong base, following the high of last year's growth, announced the Vice Governor of the Central Bank of Montenegro, Nikola Fabris.
"We forecast that the growth rate of gross domestic product in this year amounts to about 3.5 percent," Fabris said in an interview with the Mina Business Agency.
According to him, sectors that the Central Bank of Montenegro expects to be economic growth holders this year are tourism, energy, and construction, mostly by the continuation of construction of the highway, tourist and energy facilities.
‘’Also, it is realistic to expect a gradual recovery processing industry and an absolute growth of agricultural production in the function of imports substitutions," Fabris concluded.
The Ministry of Finance recently developed an Autumn analysis of macroeconomic trends and structural reforms in cooperation with other relevant institutions. The autumn analysis included economic trends and growth in the first nine months of 2018.
The World Bank and the IMF revised their projections for the countries of the Western Balkans, so the forecast for the western Balkan countries was 3.5%, while for Montenegro, the World Bank revised the projection for 2018 to 3.8% or the whole 1 pp. more than the original estimates.
The projection is that by the end of the year, the public finance deficit will amount to 135.5 million EUR (2.9% of GDP). The budget deficit will be 173.1 million EUR (3.8% of GDP), while the local government will have a surplus of 37 million EUR (0.8% of GDP).
However, the Chamber of Commerce of Montenegro recently stated that the grey economy and unfair competition are great business barriers.
“To overcome those barriers, we need to provide greater flexibility of labor market and enable the employer more space to cancel the contract of employment in case the employee fails to justify the reasons for his employment, reduce labor costs, primarily contributions thereof. That will provide higher employment, reduce the grey economy and create new jobs. It will also increase the minimum wage and consequently, reduce the unfair competition and increase the budget revenues,” pointed out Golubović.
January 11, 2019 - Among many Turkish investors operating in Montenegro, there is the owner of a Turkish national food restaurant in Podgorica. Baris Bidav told TVCG that he came to Montenegro, first of all, because of the favorable business environment, which enabled him to open the company in a brief time, such as lower taxes and, according to him, more comfortable living conditions.
Two years ago, Bidav came to Montenegro for a holiday.
"I realized that this is a country where I can stay. Then I came here for three months. I did nothing. I was just looking and exploring the market," Bidav said.
A few months ago, this research yielded fruit. Baris opened the Turkish national restaurant in Podgorica.
"I decided to open a restaurant here because I saw it was missing. I came with my cook, and we started making Turkish dishes," he says.
But Barish is not the only Turk who came to Montenegro for business. Since 2017, the number of companies whose founders are Turkish citizens is multiplying.
"In 2015, we had only 29 companies registered by Turkish citizens. During 2016 - 71 companies, while in 2017 there were 435 registered subjects. When it comes to 2018, this figure is drastically higher, and it is about 1,545 entities founded by the Turkish citizens," said Milica Vuletić from the Tax Administration.
When everything is gathered, the Turkish citizens in Montenegro have a stake in 2.097 companies. Most of them are opened in Budva, just over a thousand, then in Podgorica and Tivat. For now, the tax is paid on a regular basis. "In 2017, they made two million and 600 thousand, and in 2018 that figure doubled. So, we have a charge of five million and 300 thousand euros," said Vuletic. It is precisely the payment of these taxes that led Barisha to Montenegro. He says that in Turkey, where he still has a production house, he pays as much as 48 taxes.
"Why did I come from Turkey? Because three conditions are very useful for foreigners - one of the reasons is to open the company in a very short time and get a work permit. The second reason is the amount of tax, which is low compared to our standards and we saw the possibility of an easier business in Montenegro. The third reason is a small country and easier living conditions," says Barish.
While living in Istanbul, Barish spent almost four hours traveling go to work and returning home. That's why he's surprised why Montenegrins complain about traffic jams.
"Turkey has a lot of people. Montenegro has very few inhabitants, and that is why life is slower, while in Turkey it runs faster," he says.
He also points out that the business we finish in five business days is done in Turkey in one day.
"Montenegrins are not very fast. You're a bit slower, but it comes from a geographic position, and if you do not work quickly it will not have a greater impact on your business," he said.
According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs in Montenegro, at present, 4,187 Turks reside in the country. There are still more Chinese and Russians, and citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia.
Text by RTCG, on January 10th, 2019, read more at CdM
10 January 2019 - Internews Montenegro, in partnership with Internews, is launching a multimedia news production and regional content exchange project entitled “Strengthening Independent Media in Europe and Eurasia.”
As part of the project, Internews Montenegro will provide grants and editorial support to national and local media partners to produce and exchange multimedia news stories within Montenegro and diversify their website content to engage their audience better. The project will also support the production of regional stories and exchange, highlighting common events and issues that are affecting other countries in the Balkans and Eurasia as well as Montenegro.
The purpose of the project is to increase citizens’ access to reliable information about local, regional, and international issues of public importance in the Balkans and Eurasia.
The project “Strengthening Independent Media in Europe and Eurasia" will serve the important goal of strengthening local media in Montenegro, and improve journalistic content available to Montenegrin audiences online. The project will expand citizens’ understanding of the processes in the neighboring countries.
National media partners will receive lower-tier grants to research, design, and produce thematic content packages about issues of national importance. The stories will be shared with local media partners, which will adapt them to their own audiences’ needs. Local media partners will receive grants, editorial support, and business skills training and mentorship.
The project will also support the production of regional, cross-border stories on topics of significance to the citizens of the Balkans and Eurasia. Content producers selected through a competitive process will receive grants to travel to other project countries and report on common issues.
As part of the project’s efforts to encourage production of high-quality, human-centred stories of public interest, a Storytelling Inspiration Lab will gather journalists and IT specialists from the participating countries twice in Kyiv in 2019 and 2020 to familiarize them with best practices, techniques, and tools for creating engrossing digital news stories.
Get more information about the project at the Internews Website.
09 January 2019 - In the last three years, operators invested around 250 million EUR in electronic communications, said CEO of the Agency for Electronic Communications and Postal Services, Darko Grgurović.
He thinks that the trend of the positive development of this sector was continued, both in the context of infrastructure and provision of services.
“Investment volume in the last couple of years was higher than the third of total revenues of this sector. For comparison, in the EU states, investments at an annual level range from 12-15% of the revenue in the electronic communications sector,” says Grgurović.
He said that 117 million EUR was invested in 2016, that is, 50,8% of the total revenue of the sector. In 2017, there was around 82 million EUR of investments. Last year 44,8 million EUR were invested, and around 33,7 million EUR are planned for this year. Considering that the greatest operators at the Montenegrin market operate within the world-famous and regional telecommunication groups, it can be stated that they are stable and that a predictable regulatory framework that guarantees further development of the market has been established.
“Montenegro is recognized as a state with favourable business environment, that is improving with years. With NATO accession and with continuous progress in the European integration, Montenegro became even more attractive for the investors in all fields,” said Grgurović.
Huge investments in the sector of electronic communications led to increasing int he number of connections, quality and reduction in service prices.
“Increase in the number of connections caused penetration of the broadband Internet access by 73,4% concerning the number of households. Judging by this indicator, Montenegro came closer to the EU states regarding penetration average which amounted 75% at the end of 2017,” said Grgurović.
By degree of mobile networks signal coverage, Montenegro can be compared to the most developed states of Europe. All the three operators provide 99% of GSM coverage. All these indicators point out the continuous development of technologies and the accessibility of the most contemporary services.
Montenegrin Electronic Communication Operators have invested in the Montenegrin market more than 500 million EUR in the past ten years. Also, the Agency built five facilities for the control and monitoring of radio-frequency spectre, main measurement and control centre, regional measurement and control centre and three remote measurement and control stations in Pljevlja, Rožaje and Kotor.
The company Voli Trade, owned by Dragan Bokan, bought two parcels of the former factory "Radoje Dakić" for EUR 5.65 million, where he plans to build the most modern hypermarket in this part of Europe, according to “Dnevne novine.” Yesterday, Voli said that the bankruptcy administration of the factory confirmed the purchase of 19,960 square meters.
"Today we received information that a decision was made confirming our purchase of a part of the land of the former factory Radoje Dakić," said Voli trade.
One of the largest retail chains in Montenegro will also build a shopping center on the premises of the former factory.
"We plan to build a state-of-the-art hypermarket in this part of Europe, as well as a shopping center with an exclusive offer, a new and modern trading concept. We also plan to build a new administrative building," said the company.
At the opening of bids at the Commercial Court at the end of December last year, Mladen Markovic, the bankruptcy administrator of "Radoje Dakic", said that Voli trade was the only interested bidder in the fourth tender, at which the remaining assets of the company were sold at an initial price of almost 45 million euros. The property was first offered for 66.5 million euros, the second time for 60 million and the third for 49 million euros.
"Voli delivered an offer for the purchase of 10,060 square meters for 2.85 million, while for the remaining 9,900 meters, it offered EUR 2.8 million," Markovic stated at the Commercial Court, adding that the company offered 13 euros more than the initial advertised prices. The factory "Radoje Dakic" from Podgorica has been bankrupt since 2016 due to a tax debt of 10.7 million euros.
Text by Dnevne novine, on January 10th, 2019, read more at CdM
On Tuesday, January 15th, the implementation of the Vocational Training Program for university graduate students begins. The seventh generation, out of 3,298 graduates, through the two liaison circuits, chose an employer for vocational training.
As announced from the Employment Agency of Montenegro, employers offered a total of 11,007 jobs this year, out of which 4,103 are in the private sector and 6,904 in the public sector. More than two-thirds of the offered work positions remained vacant.
The interest of graduate students for the private and public sector is almost equal. With private employers, 1,697 university students will be trained, and 1,601 in the public sector.
During the application period for university students, there were 3,600 college students without work experience in the Employment Agency records.
Let’s recall, through the program of vocational training for persons with faculty education, through the sixteen previous cycles more than 20,000 university students passed. Professional training of participants lasts nine months and is recognized as a work experience of 12 months and as a condition for taking the appropriate professional exam with a university degree.
Up to now, about 52 million euros have been allocated for the implementation of vocational training programs.
According to the analysis carried out by the Ministry of Education, in cooperation with the Tax Administration, about 50 percent of users after completing the Vocational Training Program continue their work engagement with the same or another employer.
Text by CdM, on January 10th, 2019, read more at CdM
Tourist workers in Zabljak are satisfied with the visits during the New Year's holidays. Director of Savin Kuk ski resort, Milutin Tomić does not hide his pleasure and emphasizes that record turnout was recorded during the holidays.
"Every day, during the New Year's holidays, we had from one thousand to one thousand and a half visitors, both skiers and visitors who used our catering facilities. These are mostly guests from Montenegro, but we also had guests from Albania, Slovenia, Croatia, Austria, Germany," said Tomić to Info Biro.
The manager of the ski trail Javorovača Nikola Rondović agreed with him.
"The ski center Javorovača recorded good visits over these days. There is enough snow. As for the New Year and Christmas holidays, there was a good turnout, and the capacities were fully booked. We have mostly domestic guests and family people. For the New Year's holidays, there were guests from Dubrovnik who came here for the fifth year in a row," said Rondović.
The National restaurant Crno jezero is a place where you can try traditional local cuisine throughout the whole year.
The manager of the restaurant Crno jezero, Dragan Papić, does not hide his pleasure as well. "As far as the winter tourist season is concerned, we are mostly satisfied. The attendance is high, both for New Year and Christmas holidays, and we still have a lot of guests," Papić said.
The manager of hotel Zabljak Dragana Obradovic says this year's visit is better than last year's.
"As for the holidays, there was a huge attendance. As for the current period, we are also happy with the visits. For now, we have more domestic than foreign guests, and the reason is probably that the school break is still on in Montenegro and these are mostly families," she said.
Text by Info Biro, on January 8th 2019, read more at CdM
09 January 2019 - The streets in Podgorica have been covered with snow since the evening of January 8, and the Podgorica Airport is closed for traffic due to heavy snowfall.
"The teams of Airports of Montenegro and Montenegrin Army cleared the airline runway and maneuvering areas during the night and in the early morning, but the heavy precipitation in the morning have managed to create a new snow cover that prevents safe traffic," the representatives of Airport Podgorica explained.
As they highlighted, all teams are still on the ground and are doing everything to get the traffic back to schedule as soon as possible. The representatives of Airports of Montenegro explained that adverse weather conditions - low temperatures - made it slippery at the airport in Golubovci.
This morning, the flight on the Podgorica-Belgrade line which was scheduled for 8:25 am, was canceled. Flights to Ljubljana scheduled for 2:30 pm, 4:35 pm and 5:30 pm, was also canceled. The plane that was scheduled to land in Podgorica from Belgrade at 2:25 pm was diverted to Tivat Airport.
The airline company Montenegro Airlines has recently stated the flight issues due to snowfall. "If the weather conditions improve, Montenegro Airlines will conduct flights tomorrow. We will announce more information in the following period. The flights to and from Belgrade YM102 / 103 still remain in the system, which means that the flights will be realized if the weather conditions are more favorable and Podgorica Airport is opened," Montenegrin Airlines representatives explained for news agency CDM.
Other flights that are scheduled to depart from and arrive at the Airport of Podgorica are on hold.
The program of spatial planning in the Bjelo Polje municipality in 2019 will cost 22,030,181 euros, mostly for the continuation of works on the valorization of the mountain Bjelasica (4.120.000) and Đalovića cave (3.450.000), as well as the construction of a waste treatment plant, (1.169.834 euro).
The funds will be provided from the capital budget of the Municipality (EUR 2.893.000), the operational budget (882.000), loans with the European Investment Bank (40.800), the Directorate of Public Works (9.473.000), the Directorate for Transport (5.420.000) (2.103.147), EIB loan (569.834) and donations for construction of the plant (600.000).
In the construction of facilities of particular importance for the Municipality, EUR 15,179,834 will be allocated.
In the next year, reconstruction of the railway station will begin, for which 300,000 euros is planned, in continuation of works on the valorization of the mountain Bjelasica and Đalovića cave.
For the local infrastructure, 2,182,000 is allocated, which will be spent on the construction of the first phase of the city road in Resnik (228,000), access ramp to the bridge in Njegnjevo with public lighting (50,000), reconstruction of the Museum building (65,000), construction of Mojkovacka Street (150,000), which is also the amount of money for asphalting the municipal roads, which will be invested by the Municipality and the Directorate of Public Works.
160,000 euros will be invested in the construction and reconstruction of the water supply system (Zaton, Kanja, Babić brijeg water supply and reconstruction of water supply Sefersko and Radičko vrelo, and continuation of works on the water supply system Kradenik-Vrba), and for electricity facilities - 2,103,147 euros. 100,000 euros will be spent in the reconstruction of schools, and 50,000 in the city stadium renovation.
They plan to invest 370 thousand euros for the beginning of the construction of the elementary school "Dusan Korać", 150,000 euros for the gymnasium in Njegnjevo, a preschool institution in the upper part of the city 200,000 euros, while for the construction of the wastewater treatment plant 1,169,834 will be invested.
In the relocation of the city water pipeline Rakonje-Ribarevina for the reconstruction of the main road, 420,000 euros will be invested, the reconstruction of the main road Rakonje (traffic lights) - Ribarevine 2,800,000 euros will be invested, and the reconstruction of the same M21 main road, Bar Border bridge Dobrakovo third lane, will see 2,200,000 euros.
Text by Jadranka Cetkovic, on January 8th, 2019, read more at Vijesti
The Secretariat for Development Projects published an announcement for the selection of agents for mediation when applying for Montenegrin citizenship through investments and agents for assessing the international suitability of candidates.
From the Government's Public Relations Service, it was announced that the applications could be submitted until February 1st, 2019.
"The applicant submits a request for acquiring Montenegrin citizenship by admission based on a special program, through a mediation agent, while the assessment of its international eligibility is carried out by an international rating agency, including proof of the origin of the money. The Secretariat for Development Projects will decide on the selection of agents within 30 days from the date of the public opening of the applications and will be published on the Secretariat's website. After the decision is made, the Government will conclude an agreement with the selected agents, on the basis of which the Secretariat for Development Projects will issue licenses to them, and only on the basis of the licenses issued, the agents can carry out their activities within the said program," the Government explained.
If it is subsequently established that a person who has acquired Montenegrin citizenship by admission in accordance with the decision has provided false information or deliberately concealed facts and circumstances, as well as in case the international eligibility assessment agent has submitted inaccurate data in his report for that person, a decision on loss of citizenship will be made.
"All procedures will be transparent, and, as far as these stages of the process are concerned, the opening of applications will be public. The responsible applicants or their authorized representatives will have the right to attend.
Government Decision on criteria, method, and procedure for the selection of a person who can acquire Montenegrin citizenship by admission for the implementation of a particular investment program of special importance for the economic and business interest of Montenegro is applied from 1st January 2019. Based on this decision, 2,000 Montenegrin passports can be issued at the top, in the next three years.
The goal of the Government Program is to further accelerate Montenegro's economic development by creating new tourist, agricultural and processing capacities and creating new jobs.
Text by Marija Mirjacic, on January 4th, 2019, read more at Vijesti
January 8, 2019 - The new bus station the Municipality of Herceg Novi is planning to construct at the Šištet site, will be the highlight of the development and improvement of the quality of life of citizens in Igalo, but also the entire city. In the conceptual design solution, the architects from the "Grad" studio defined the surface, the contents and the appearance of this modern bus station and recently presented their work to the leaders of the local government.