Government of Montenegro holds annual sitting open to public, PM Đukanović sums up 2014, announces 2015 activities

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    Cetinje, Montenegro (23 December 2014) – The Government of Montenegro held a public session for the second time earlier today in Cetinje, the old royal capital, where the Prime Minister presented most important achievements in 2014 and announced top activities in 2015.

    The Cabinet sitting was broadcast live on national TV and radio and the session ended after the ministers answered all questions posed by media representatives, who sat in alongside local government top officials, heads of the Central Bank and the union of commercial banks, representatives of business associations, and trade unions.

    Prime Minister Đukanović, who launched the session, looked back on the second year of his Government and presented most notable achievements in the areas of consolidation of public finance and creating preconditions for quicker economic growth, accession to the EU and NATO, which were the top Government priorities.

    The year of 2014 was a success ,as it continued the main coordinates of the state policy, PM Đukanović stated, adding that Montenegro continued to be a successful promoter of European and Euro-Atlantic values in the Western Balkan.

    “We expect the economic growth in 2014 to be slightly above 2%. Lower than we planned, but higher than in the euro zone and the EU. Also, we have created over 3 000 new jobs,“ PM Đukanović emphasised.

    He said that the accession talks with the EU have been carried out according to planning dynamics.

    “Over two and a half year period, we have opened 16 chapters, nearly a half of all the negotiating chapters. In 2014, we opened 9 more chapters, four of them ten days ago,” he explained.

    PM Đukanović noted that nowadays it is clear that NATO integration is the only and reliable way of strengthening stability and prosperity of the region, as well as of consolidating European stability and its global competitiveness. He said it is encouraging that Montenegro is to be invited to join the NATO by the end of 2015.

    “Achieving this goal is directly linked to the growth of our economy,” Montenegro’s Prime Minister added.

    He said that the economy has taken central stage at his government’s agenda in the second half of its mandate. Budget revenue was increased by 8.9 %, whereas the deficit was only 0.7% of the GDP, which is one of the most favourable economic data in Europe, the Prime Minister stressed.

    He pointed out that despite the global crisis, Montenegro has managed to raise foreign direct investment, which amounted to EUR 314 million in the first 11 months of 2014 (17% more than in the same period last year).

    He added that three new banks and a micro financial institution are expected to start operating in Montenegro in 2015, and that the government continued to offer incentives to entrepreneurship and more balanced regional development.

    In addition to strengthening public finance, the economic policy will be based on the advancement of business environment, structural reforms and implementation of major development projects, namely in infrastructure, energy, tourism and agriculture.

    In the Prime Minister’s words, the focus has been placed on the construction of the Bar-Boljare highway, the greatest infrastructure project in Montenegro’s history which will decrease regional discrepancies, create new jobs and provide more secure transport conditions.

    Regarding the cnstruction of the Block II of the Thermal Power Plant Pljevlja, Prime Minister Đukanović said that conditions are being created for the selection of partners for the strategic project.

    When it comes to oil and gas exploration, PM Đukanović said that six companies have shown interest.

    “According to the submitted offers, the companies plan to invest around EUR 100 million in these activities,” PM Đukanović added.

    According to the Prime Minister,, Montenegro collected EUR 704 million from tourism in 2014. He stressed that modern tourist resorts which are to be built will enrich Montenegro’s tourist offer and its global image, particularly referring to the implementation of the projects such as Portonovi – Kumbor, Luštica Bay, Porto Montenegro, Queen’s Beach and Blue Horizon.

    Results in the sector of agriculture, forestry and water management are encouraging, he underlined, stating they created more than 700 new jobs, with an investment of EUR 12 million.

    Great attention, in Prime Minister Đukanović’s words, will be given to further boosting Montenegro’s maritime economy. Therefore, the fleet will be increased by two more ships for the Barska plovidba company.

    Montenegro’s Prime Minister said that the rule of law will be an important part of the state policy in the next year.

    “Intense feeling of legal security will be of crucial importance for the continuation of investment and entrepreneurship,” PM Đukanović underscored, adding that boosting economic activity is expected in the coming period.

    The growth rate, the Prime Minister said, should not be below 4% and it would not be endangered by the financing of the highway project. The country will preserve its fiscal stability and increase the employment rate, Prime Minister Milo Đukanović concluded earler today in Cetinje.

    Source: Government of Montenegro