24 April 2019 - "I am convinced that as a society we are creating less than we can and that it entails inadequate competitiveness and inefficient valorization of development resources," Prime Minister Duško Marković said, answering the question of MP Boris Mugoša.
The Prime Minister emphasised that as long as the theme of strengthening export potential does not become the focus of all segments of society, Montenegro must take care of it every day, building the capacity for all economic and social actors in this process to find their place.
"The issue of reducing the foreign trade deficit and increasing competitiveness is the priority of the Government as a whole, and more responsibility lies with a number of its departments. But this issue must equally be a priority for both business people and employees and associations of employers and trade unions. We are interested in providing new value to the citizens through income, and we can only distribute it if we create it first," Prime Minister Marković stated.
When it comes to dealing with the foreign trade deficit in the field of agriculture and energy, the Prime Minister recalled that he informed MPs a few months ago about the concrete steps the Government has taken on the issue.
"Through contracts concluded for long-term lease of agricultural land, as well as the lease agreement for the purpose of building a solar power plant in Briska Gora, the Government made a step forward and from the role of the creator of the business environment, it transformed into the role of investor, that is, property owner who wants to put it into operation, and get a new value from it," the Prime Minister said, emphasising that every inch of Montenegro has a value and that it has to be valorized in a sustainable and efficient way.
"This is the time when we need to change our approach and set our vision in line with the trends of major markets and global economies," Marković stressed out.
When it comes to state property, the Prime Minister pointed out that the Government would give priority to its valorization, and that competent ministries must be available to entrepreneurs, as lines and budget support programmes are provided. All this makes sense only if the citizens and their families will benefit from it.
The Prime Minister recalled that in 2018, in cooperation with the Chamber of Economy and in partnership with retail chains, a programme for the promotion of products called "Buy domestic products" was launched.
"Every day we work to create the conditions for the cheapest placement of Montenegrin services to foreign markets. Therefore, Montenegro actively participated in negotiations on the liberalization of trade in services through the conclusion of the CEFTA Additional Protocol 6," PM Marković said.
The Prime Minister announced that the Ministry of Economy will implement the "Programme for the Improvement of Economic Competitiveness" in 2019, with two lines of expertise and six lines of financial support worth 1.64 million EUR.
"After a long time, we record significant export results, so in the fourth quarter of 2018, the Montenegrin exports amounted to 106 million EUR, which is an increase of nearly nine percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2017. Analyzing this data, we are pleased with the fact that the import of food and animals decreased by 4% in 2018, which is a consequence of government policies aimed at expanding the production base and increasing the finalization of products in the agricultural sector. Also, the export of chemical products increased significantly, by almost 70 percent - primarily export of medical, pharmaceutical and other chemical products," the Prime Minister said.
"With the adequate involvement of all partners, especially the social and business community, it is indispensable to preserve and further improve the high growth rates of our economy, increase export potential, and thus improve the working conditions and quality of life in Montenegro," PM Marković concluded.
Energy Efficiency Measures have been so far applied, within the two phases of the Energy Efficiency Program in public buildings, in 33 educational institutions, for which about 25 million euros have been spent, the Ministry of Economy said. The Government said that in mid-April works on the implementation of energy efficiency measures at Komanski bridge in Podgorica, worth 1.2 million euros, were completed.
"The executed works involved the installation of thermal and waterproofing on roofs and façades on all buildings, partial replacement of façades, installation of new heating and cooling systems, installation of ventilation systems in kitchen and restaurant, installation of solar collectors and installation of central hot water preparation system, partial replacement of lights, reconstruction of sanitary nodes, floor restoration, painting and other minor works," the Ministry said in a statement.
This Government, in cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Labor and Social Welfare and the Property Management, implements two phases of the Energy Efficiency Program in public buildings, which include the application of these measures in selected educational and social institutions and administrative facilities.
For the implementation of the program funds from the KfW Bank were provided, worth EUR 13.94 million for the first phase and 22.74 million for the second.
"Last year, five educational institutions, including the Gymnasium "Slobodan Skerović", resource center for children and youth in Podgorica "1st June", as well as primary and secondary schools "Aleksa Djilas Beco" and "Vuksan Djukic" in Mojkovac, saw an investment of 5.1 million euros," said the Ministry of Economy. They added that the tender for the selection of contractors for the reconstruction of kindergarten “Our joy” in Herceg Novi, planned for this year, is ongoing.
Text by MINA Business, on April 23rd, 2019, read more at Vijesti
Citizens who have properties in the rural area of the Pluzine Municipality will be exempt from paying real estate tax this year, as stated in the proposal of the president of this municipality Mijusko Bajagic.
The Socialist People's Party (SNP) announced that the proposal was adopted at the local parliament session on Monday.
"As stated in the statement’s explanation, tax exemption is a measure of encouraging the development of agriculture and creating conditions for a better life and retaining of the population in the rural area," said SNP.
As they add, the municipality of Pluzine has been facing the problem of population migration for a long time, which is particularly noticeable in the rural area.
The causes of such a trend are mainly related to significant differences in the level of village development, insufficiently developed infrastructure, limited natural resources, and inability to recruit young people," the statement adds.
As a result of continued migration of the population, villages have remained without permanent residents or dominated by old households and available existing natural resources.
"For these reasons, the Pluzine municipality has decided to make such a decision to encourage the development of agriculture and rural development as a whole through the implementation of incentive measures at the local level," the statement concludes.
Text by MINA Business, on April 23rd, 2019. read more at Vijesti
22 April 2019 - The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development will, after a feasibility study, decide on the co-financing of the Mateševo-Andrijevica motorway section.
This information was announced by the president of this institution Sir Suma Chakrabarti during an interview for TVCG. He also added that the EBRD is also prepared to finance the future concessionaire of the Airports of Montenegro.
The European Bank supports the efforts of the Government of Montenegro to improve the environment for business and investment. However, the grey economy must be reduced, and this also requires tax reduction.
"Energy, transport, infrastructure and the private sector - these are areas where we still want to invest. We are pleased that we can help Montenegro make the private sector more capable of fighting competition, and therefore achieve easier integration. We also support the efforts of the Government to improve the environment for business and investment, "he said.
The first section of the motorway is coming to an end, and preparations for the construction of the remaining sections are on-going. Chakrabarti commented on the plans to participate in the financing of the project of the century - the Bar-Boljare motorway: "Our bank has already helped to prepare the preliminary design of two sections of the motorway, as well as a feasibility study for the entire highway. After the assessment is finished, we will issue a final decision on co-financing and providing help to Montenegro for the Mateševo - Andrijevica section".
Given that the European Bank is taking into consideration the development of road infrastructure, Chakrabarti revealed that the Airports of Montenegro are also in their focus.
"We are ready to consider the financing of the winners on the tender, which will be awarded the concession for Airports of Montenegro," he said.
Suma Chakrabarti also spoke about the methods to reduce and mitigate the negative effects of the grey economy: "During the conversations with business representatives, I have been told that high taxes are a huge burden that puts pressure on local companies. They also mentioned the Labour Law, as well as the necessity of improving skills. You need to focus on these areas to prevent the negative effects of the grey economy".
22 April 2019 - On April 22, Prime Minister of Montenegro Duško Marković met with the leaders of the Orascom Development Holding to discuss tourism potentials in Montenegro and the contribution of the Luštica Bay project to the achieved results in this area.
Prime Minister and the representatives of Orascom Development, led by Chief Executive Officer Khaled Bichara, concluded that Montenegro’s tourism is in its stride and that every day the country has more and more tourists. “Investors and projects such as the Luštica Bay make a significant contribution to the good results we have achieved”, Marković emphasised at the meeting in Podgorica.
According to the Prime Minister, there is great expansion in the area of tourism. ”We had an excellent winter season and we can say that the summer season has started earlier than usual. According to the newest data, there are 29% more guests currently staying in Montenegro compared to the same period last year," Marković pointed out.
He expressed satisfaction with the resort development and the dynamics of the construction works, noting that the Luštica Bay and other major resorts on the coast give a new quality to Montenegro's tourist offer. CEO Bichara thanked Prime Minister Marković for the continuous Government's support, emphasising that without this support the project could not have thrived.
"We could not have achieved anything without the support of the Government. Still, it is also important to point out that tourism cannot be successful without investors such as the Orascom Development, so cooperation is essential,” Mr. Bichara stated on this occasion.
The meeting discussed issues important for the acceleration of the construction works at the Luštica Bay seaside resort, owned by the Orascom Development.
Orascom Development Holding (ODH) is a leading developer of fully integrated destinations, including hotels, residential units and leisure facilities such as golf courses, marinas and supporting infrastructure. ODH offers a diverse portfolio of worldwide destinations covering Egypt, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Oman, Morocco, Montenegro, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. The group operates a total of 33 hotels with 7,177 rooms and controls approximately 101.0 million sqm of land.
Luštica Development AD was founded in 2008 as a joint venture between Orascom Development Ltd. (90%) and the Government of Montenegro (10%). The project site is an inspiring, wonderfully secluded area along the Luštica peninsula, where rolling hills cascade down to an idyllic coastline. Its 690-hectares will be sensitively developed into a fully-integrated, new town in Montenegro with state-of-the-art infrastructure. It will mark the most significant investment in Montenegro yet (1.1 billion Euros) and after completion will host a few thousand residents, more than 1000 apartments, more than 500 villas and townhouses, seven hotels, two marinas, a signature 18-hole golf course and a range of public facilities including a school and medical facility.
20 April 2019 - Electric Power Company of Montenegro and Gradir Montenegro have been given awards by the Chamber of Commerce on account of their successful performance. Glosarij company got the award for social responsibility, Montenegrin Commercial Bank got the prize for innovation, and CEO of Mercator-Montenegro, Ivan Karadžić, was awarded for the improvement of management. Awards were handed by the President of Montenegro, Milo Đukanović.
“We are facing the real possibility to become the next EU Member State. Contemporary Montenegro has a clear vision. We must move on. EU membership is not just a symbolic act; it is a hard process of adopting European values. Competitiveness is our greatest challenge today. Economic competitiveness above all. We want the European quality of life of our citizens,” said President Đukanović.
He said that Montenegro needed further education reform.
“One of the less developed countries of the former Yugoslavia is one of the fastest growing economies in Southeast Europe. Foreign Direct Investments have provided development. We have to change life quality. Citizens of other countries come to Montenegro to look for a job. It is a clear indicator. Entire Montenegrin economy plays a decisive role in the creation of a business environment,” said Mr Đukanović.
In the next ten years, some new resorts of world-known brands will be open.
“New investments stimulate the quality of life. I believe we can be proud of what we have achieved. However, we still know how to acquire,” said the President.
“Chamber of Commerce is putting a value on the true business elite of Montenegro and the leaders in business,” said the President of the Chamber of Commerce of Montenegro, Vlastimir Golubović.
He stressed that the Chamber had introduced numerous initiatives that had resulted in amendments to a significant number of regulations.
“We are planning to go on with working on the creation of incentive regulatory framework that will bring safer and more predictable business, increase in profitability and employment and provide Montenegro with better rating and position on the lists of renowned international organizations,” said Golubović.
In cooperation with the Government, the Chamber will keep insisting on finding commercial space for lower taxation of the economy.
“Grey economy and unfair competition are still the biggest obstacles to raising the competitiveness of the domestic economy. I am sure that with the synergy of the economy, the Government and competent authorities, we can reduce the grey economy to the lowest possible level,” concluded Mr Golubović.
Source: Cafe del Montenegro
19 April 2019 - Infinity Board & Paper, a Tivat-based company, is going to build three residential structures in the Kavač settlement in Kotor, using Turkish capital. The total gross area of the structure amounts 2.046 square meters, and the residential structures will have 63 apartments intended for tourists, reports Pobjeda Daily.
Current Acting Chief State Architect Dušan Vuksanović gave his consent to the preliminary design for these housing projects. The founders of the Tivat company are Buse Ozant and Semih Adikutlu, who is also the Executive Director. The designer of these facilities is Kotor-based company Enforma, whose founder and executive director is Nikola Novaković.
The planned complex will consist of three buildings, which will have a basement, ground floor, and two floors. The project includes the construction of a two-level underground garage and a plateau with swimming pool and free surfaces.
As stated in the preliminary project documentation, object A will contain 23 residential units, object B will have 16, and object C will include 24 residential units. Access to the facilities will be provided from the main parking lot, which leads to an open parking lot and the entrance to the underground garage. There will be 40 parking spaces in the garage and 22 in front of the building. The complex is formally disassembled and consists of three objects that are aligned with the fall of the terrain. There will be a warm linkage between the first level of the garage and the basement of the building A. Objects B and C are accessed by separate external stairways. Basement facilities will be covered with stone, and facade walls represent a combination of stone, wood and bavalite facade material with warm colours.
18 April 2019 -The Montenegro Stock Exchange announced the public call for the sale of the government bonds via an auction. The total value of the emissions amount to 190 million EUR and the auction will be held on 22 and 23 April 2019, as said by the company representatives.
The conclusions of the transactions will be done by the members of the Montenegro Stock Exchange – brokerage companies.
“Based on this, interested business entities and citizens can buy the government bonds via brokerage houses operating on the Montenegro Stock Exchange. The conclusions of transactions may also be done by the banks that have the permit and license for custody operations on the Montenegrin capital market,“ the public call suggests.
To be able to purchase stocks, potential investors should have a signed client contract with the bank or brokerage house, and they should also confirm or sign the order for buying bonds.
The Stock Exchange of Montenegro expects that response to the purchase of state bonds will be significant. Domestic and regional commercial banks, insurance agencies and other legal entities that would like to invest with minimum risk will show the greatest interest, said the acting CEO of the Montenegrin stock exchange, Mirko Marković.
He believes that this time, even the citizens’ interest will be huge, due to the situation in the banking market.
“Lower risk and interest rate higher than the rate on time deposits or savings in banks are the reasons why citizens will choose to buy bonds instead. Another advantage is that the funds invested in bonds are not “trapped”. In case of need, citizens can sell the bonds at the secondary stock exchange and make a profit before the maturity date,” said Marković.
Ministry of Finance has announced that they will issue bonds via Stock Exchange of Montenegro on 22 and 23 April. They are worth €190 million.
Price of one bond amounts 1.000 EUR. Maturity is five or seven years and the projected interest amounts are estimated at 3 and 3,5%.
The new price is ten times lower than the one offered previously.
“This is another good reason for the citizens to choose to buy bonds since the new price of a bond is much affordable,” says Marković.
Borrowing at the domestic market will provide cheaper means of budget financing and the capital market will extend its offer by two financial instruments.
“The impact that issue of state bonds will have on the capital market and the stock exchange itself is multiple positive,” said Marković.
According to him, extending the offer of the capital market will increase the interest of investors and restore trust when it comes to not only bonds but other financial instruments as well.
18 April 2019 - During the past week, President of Montenegro Milo Đukanović received the President of the Parliament of Iceland Steingrimur Sigfusson, who was on an official visit to Montenegro.
The President of Montenegro expressed his satisfaction with the visit of the Icelandic Parliament President, which represents an opportunity for further improvement of relations between the two countries.
"With the exceptionally positive emotion and the relationship that Montenegro has towards Iceland, the country that first recognized our independence and ratified the NATO accession protocol, the dynamics of the meeting at the high and highest level opens up the impression that the relations of the two countries will continue to go only as an upward line," said the President of Montenegro.
He particularly pointed out the possibilities of cooperation in the field of agriculture and fisheries, as well as the exchange of experiences in tourism, investment, and trade. Referring to the achievements of Montenegro in the period since the renewal of independence, Đukanović briefed the interlocutor on the priorities of state policy after joining NATO, integration into the EU and the continuation of dynamic economic growth.
"The date of admission to the EU does not burden us; we are committed to this process primarily because we want to be part of the European value system. That is why we are strongly committed to implementing institutional and structural reforms and creating a stable investment environment," he said.
The President recalled the reasons for the decades-long lag of the Western Balkans for a developed Europe that warns that there is no alternative for this region and that it is important to catch the connection with European development and thus strengthen the stability of the Western Balkans.
The President of the Icelandic Parliament highly assessed the relations of the two countries with excellent predispositions for strengthening cooperation. In addition to fishing and trade tourism, he pointed out the possibility of joint action in the field of energy. President Sigfusson expressed full support for Montenegro's integration aspirations, recognizing that integration is an optimal framework for improving the quality of life of citizens in this region. European relations for Montenegro can only bring good, he stressed.
"It is jointly estimated that Montenegro and Iceland as small countries through intensive dialogue and cooperation can further affirm their positions on the international scene and through the principles of multilateralism. We must work as small countries together, and this is why we are more and more wondering among big players," said the Parliament President in Iceland, adding that international cooperation of small countries is vital.
16 April 2019 - The 37th Nautical Fair, an exhibition which promotes diverse nautical industry segments and continuously supports and encourages nautical tourism development, was officially opened in Budva on April 16.
From 16 to 20 April, the Fair will host 17 exhibitors from the country and abroad who will have the opportunity to present a range of products and services moulded to specific needs of the nautical business and tourism market.
The 37th Nautic Show - Sport, Camping & Recreation Equipment Fair was opened by the Director of the Adriatic Fair Rajko Bujković. The Director pointed out that Fair exhibitors will present vessels and other products created by the most famous world manufacturers. In the category of vessels, the new products of Bayliner, Smartliner, Sea Ray, Italboats, Ranieri will be exhibited under the roof of the Adriatic Fair. “The exhibition will also include a presentation of rubber boats by the manufacturers Zodiac, Mercury, Highfield, Yamaha and Seal. Some of the brands will be included in the exhibition program of the Nautical Fair for the first time, such as the famous Atlantic Marine brand, "said Bujković.
Visitors, sailors and fans of nautical and water sports will be able to get acquainted with the prosperous offer of outboard motors, personal watercraft – jet skis, as well as kayaks, canoes and a range of water sports equipment.
“We are pleased with the interest of renowned foreign producers to be directly presented to the growing Montenegrin market. In this context, the participation of the Austrian firm Jetfloat International is significant, because this company will present a product for which there is a high demand in the region, which are floating pontoons, “Bujković pointed out.
Exhibitors are allowed to partake in program activities which will enable them to present their offer and business activities during the event. “Improve your business results; get in direct touch with potential buyers and partners in a dynamic business environment during the nautical season opening at the Adriatic Coast. We provide a significant range of discounts, designed to support your sales effort and improve business results,” says the PR service of the Adriatic Fair, inviting all individuals and companies to visit the fair and follow the latest trends in the nautical world.
16 April 2019 - To promote domestic products and achieve better placement through trade and tourism offer, the Agriculture and Rural Development Ministry, the Capital City Podgorica and Montenegro Business Alliance have organized the Third Agricultural Fair, which will take place on Thursday, April 18 in Podgorica at the Independence Square.
The main topic of the fair is "The need for greater participation of domestic products in the supply of tourism and trade sectors". The fair starts at 11:00 am.
The Agricultural Fair is supported by the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism, the Ministry of Economy and the Institute for Entrepreneurship and Economic Development (IPER).
"This is the third Agricultural Fair organized by the Montenegro Business Alliance just before the start of the main tourist season. The goal of organizing this event is the further promotion of domestic agricultural products, with emphasis on the need to strengthen the cooperation of agricultural producers and representatives of the tourism and commercial sector," said the representatives of Podgorica.
Such manifestations are, as explained by the organizers, an excellent opportunity to strengthen the cooperation of the tourism sector and trade with agricultural producers.
"These are special activities that require continuity to achieve the desired goal. The organizers have provided space and booths where agricultural products will be exhibited, with the note that agricultural producers are not obliged to pay any compensation," the PG Biro said.
At the Agricultural Fair 2018, around 60 participants presented their products at the Independence Square – individual producers, processing companies and their clusters. The organizers noted that this manifestation presents only a small part of what Montenegrin producers can offer when it comes to agricultural products.
“It is imperative that we all understand that choosing a domestic product means contributing to the development of the domestic economy, creation of new jobs, which will eventually raise the standard of living for all of us and development of the entire society. Thus, to reach our goal of better placement of domestic products, all sectors must make new steps, working together to achieve this goal,” the organisers explained, inviting all citizens to visit the fair and support domestic producers by purchasing organic products.