27 August 2018 - By joining NATO, Montenegro received not only the protection of 28 other member states, but a large number of foreign investments and tourists arrived from these addresses.
The Central Bank of Montenegro (CBM) points out that the inflow of investments in the first half of this year has doubled compared to the same period last year.
"According to preliminary data, the total inflow of foreign direct investments from NATO member countries (28 countries) within the first six months of 2018 amounted to 215,2 million EUR, which is significantly higher compared to the same period of 2017 when the inflow amounted to 96,6 million EUR," the CBM Public Relations Directorate told Vijesti.
In the first six months of 2018, the largest inflow of foreign direct investment among the member countries came from Italy (18% of the total inflow), Hungary (13,6%), Turkey (7,3%) and Belgium (2,8% ).
"However, despite the strong growth of investments in the comparative period from these countries, it is important to note that the effects of all integration are reflected over a longer period of time and have an impact on all investors, through the impact on the business environment, regardless of their origin," the institution explained managed by Radoje Žugić.
Montenegro celebrated the first anniversary of its membership in June, 2018.
Montenegro officially became the 29th NATO member country on June 5, 2017, and two days later its flag was raised in front of the NATO headquarters in Brussels.
On the eve of the membership proclamation, supporters of the NATO membership stressed that the joining, among other advantages, would bring Montenegro significant inflow of investments.
By joining NATO, the National Tourism Organisation data showed that the number of tourists from other member states has increased.
"According to the official statistics of MONSTAT for collective accommodation and estimates for individual accommodation, from the beginning of the year to the end of June, the number of tourists from the NATO member states is on average about 25% higher compared to the same period of the previous year", the National Tourism Organisation said for “Vijesti”.
The most significant increase in the number of tourists from NATO member countries was recorded from Lithuania (87%), Germany (62%), Hungary (53%), Denmark (50%), Estonia (47%), Romania (45%), Norway %), The Netherlands (38%), Spain (36%), USA (35%), Canada (33%), Croatia (30%), Great Britain (28%) and France (27%).
For the NATO membership fees, Montenegro allocates around 450,000 EUR annually. The Ministry of Defense points out that this amount represents 0,027% of the total joint annual NATO budget.
"On behalf of the 450,000 EUR membership fee that is paid to the NATO budget, every citizen of Montenegro annually pays about 70 cents," the Ministry of Defense told “Vijesti”. They also pointed out that one of the major benefits of membership, in addition to citizens' safety, is the fact that Montenegro can at any moment count on the support of another 28 members, both in terms of improving the national defense sector, as well as in cases of emergency situations.
When it comes to the concrete assistance of the member states, the Air Policing Mission, performed by Italy and Greece for Montenegro, is already officially launched on the anniversary of the NATO membership, all according to the model that is applied to the airspace of Albania. This mission does not involve additional financial allocations for Montenegro.
Specific assistance was also received when the Montenegrin coast was hit by large fires in July last year, when Bulgarian airlines participated in the firefighting.
Montenegro is also getting support on the education of cadets of the Army of Montenegro, who acquire knowledge for military purposes at military academies in Germany, Croatia, America and Italy.
Montenegro is also taking part in the "Determined Support" mission in Afghanistan, where the eighth contingent is currently in place, and soon it should be replaced by the ninth with 29 members of the Montenegrin Army.
By the end of the year, two officers will take part in the KFOR mission in Kosovo, and one Montenegrin Army leader will participate in the NATO combat group in Latvia. Montenegrin President Milo Đukanović pointed out on the July NATO Summit that Army of Montenegro intends to participate in the announced mission in Iraq.