Montenegro should work on improving the infrastructure, in order to achieve two main goals – year-round tourism and electricity export, was assessed during the working breakfast organized by the Chamber of Commerce of Montenegro (PKCG) for representatives of diplomatic and consular missions (DPK) from more from 30 countries of the world.
The meeting was organized In cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and as announced by PKCG, it was an opportunity to present the economic results and investment potential of Montenegro in order to promote and strengthen international economic cooperation.
According to the president of PKCG Nina Drakić, the partnership cooperation that the Chamber has with diplomatic and consular missions is extremely important for domestic businessmen and foreign investors who are given the opportunity to see that we are a good investment destination where their investments are welcome.
Drakić said that the Chamber maintained intensive international activity and during the pandemic enabled businessmen to be part of international economic flows through the organization of business forums, bilateral meetings and connecting companies.
According to her, since the restoration of independence, foreign direct investments (FDI) of more than EUR 13 billion have made a great contribution to the modernization of our economy and employment.
– International companies that successfully operate in Montenegro are the best recommendation for investors and the most reliable signal of trust and a good business environment – said Drakić.
She said that the country has preserved macroeconomic and financial stability in conditions of global economic uncertainty, and that in 2022, according to estimates, GDP growth of 7% and GDP per capita of EUR 8,000, with positive developments in key sectors of the economy.
– The biggest challenges to maintaining such a pace of investments that can support high rates of economic growth will be maintaining the fiscal balance and stable external financial position of Montenegro – said Drakić.
He emphasizes that Inflation of 13%, which is above the Eurozone average, indicates that the need for fiscal discipline will be more pronounced, and the possibility of stimulating growth through consumption will decrease. Therefore, the challenge will be to, acting in conditions of limited fiscal space, create enough space to support economic activity that has the capacity to support economic growth in the long term and strengthen the potential of the economy.
– It is important that we continue the implementation of capital infrastructure projects as soon as possible and thus encourage investments in the production sectors – said the president of the Chamber.
He assesses that the main catalyst of investment activity in the coming period will be the construction of new energy capacities, but he points out that there is a large space for increasing agricultural and food production of recognizable quality. He believes that we need more IT experts who will bring the necessary technological breakthrough to our economy.
She particularly highlighted the vitality of Montenegrin tourism, as evidenced by the 1.7 million tourists in 2022, i.e. 60% more than the previous one. She thanked the diplomatic and consular representatives who, through promotional activities and personal recommendations, contributed to making Montenegro a recognizable tourist destination.
Drakić also emphasized the importance of improving the conditions for doing business in the private sector in order to start realizing the investment potential more decisively, stressing above all the Importance of legal security and certainty.
She also pointed to the importance of international cooperation and support provided by the Chamber of Commerce in introducing and promoting the concepts of dual education, energy efficiency, circular economy and digitization.
– Internationalization and strengthening of the capacities of our economy through attracting foreign investments and transfer of knowledge and technologies will be among the priorities of the work of the Chamber in the coming period as well. Diplomatic and consular missions are our partners, and the long-term and high-quality cooperation we achieve is a guarantee that we will have support on the way to international economic positioning of Montenegro – concluded Drakić.
Dejan Vuković, acting Director General of the General Directorate for Economic and Cultural Diplomacy, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said that today’s geopolitical relations and the time of globalization are changing the dynamics of diplomacy, which is now more open and more focused on the economy, and contributes to the positive image of countries.
– Mediterranean countries, such as Montenegro, have wonderful natural and rich economic potentials – pointed out Vuković, adding that one of the most important missions is the promotion of economic potentials and the creation of the best business environment for foreign investments.
He especially emphasized that the security of investments is contributed by Montenegro’s membership in the most important international associations such as NATO and progress on the path of EU integration.
Andrej Lakić, Deputy Director of the Investment Agency, presented the potential for investments in our country, the favorable investment climate, the tax environment, and the ease of starting a business.
He particularly emphasized the equal treatment of foreign and domestic investors, the stable banking system and the connection of our country with the environment that is constantly being improved by the construction of infrastructure, as well as the advantages offered by business zones. He reviewed the potential of strategic development branches – energy, agriculture, ICT and others, as well as support programs for improving competitiveness.
During the discussion, the diplomats emphasized the high-quality cooperation with the Chamber of Commerce and its commitment to the improvement of international relations. They assessed, among other things, that our country represents the “sleeping giant of tourism” and the “Eldorado of sustainable energy”, stressing the necessity of improving infrastructure and connectivity to achieve the goals of year-round tourism and affirming our country as an exporter of electricity.
The assessment is that our country needs a strategic approach in order to harmonize these two priority areas of development, but also to provide a stable and predictable, above all legal and tax environment, in order to attract new investors. They pointed out the importance of diversifying the Montenegrin economy, which can be especially contributed to by the development of the food and wood industry, as well as ICT.
They emphasized that in their homelands they will continue to promote the potential of the Montenegrin economy and the beauty of our tourist destination.
Today’s meeting was attended by ambassadors and representatives of DKP from Albania, America, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Greece, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Korea, Latvia, Norway, North Macedonia, Palestine, China, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Slovenia, Slovakia, Serbia, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Arab Emirates, Great Britain, and the representative of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in Montenegro.