Minister Friedrich: German Government pledges strong support to accession process of Western Balkans

    Podgorica, Montenegro (8 September 2014) – Montenegro’s Prime Minister, Deputies anf Economy Minister hosted earlier today German Minister for Federal, European and International Affairs Peter Friedrich.

    Integration of the Western Balkans is an efffective reply to the issues of stability, economic development and prosperity of the entire region, today’s meeting between Montenegro’s Prime Minister Milo Đukanović and Minister Friedrich agreed. Minister Friedrich pointed out the strong support of his Government for the integration process of the region and welcomed Montenegro’s track record in that regard.

    The two officials concluded there is considerable scope for cooperation between Montenegro and the province of Baden Wuerttemberg, especially in terms of small and medium business, energy, sustainable development, training programmes and strengthening of administrative capacity. Experiences of the province in these areas will be significant for making contacts between the two governments and businesspeople, the meeting stressed.

    Baden-Wuerttemberg province is willing to provide expert support to Montenegro’s process of judicial reform and strengthening of administrative capacity, in the spirit of cooperation Montenegro has developed with Germany, its key partner in achieving foreign policy priorities – membership in the NATO and EU, Deputy Prime Minister and Justice Minister Duško Marković and Minister Friedrich pointed out.

    Minister Friedrich offered specific mechanisms of cooperation, with emphasis on training opportunities for Montenegrin judicial personnel and civil servants, through projects of German foundations and universities, and special programmes for strengthening administrative capacity.

    Deputy Prime Minister Igor Lukšić and Minister Friedrich noted that Montenegro and the province of Baden Wuerttemberg have developed excellent relations, particularly in the areas of home land issues and justice. They also pointed out the importance of the Western Balkan conference, which was held in Berlin in late August, and confirmed Germany’s interest in this region, as well as significance of the upcoming regional conferences that is to be organised in Montenegro.

    Western Balkan’s market is interesting for the production of electricity, given the untapped natural resources, and the energy produced could be used to support industrial projects in the German province of Baden-Wuerttemberg, today’s meeting between Montenegro’s Econmy Minister Vladimir Kavaric and German Minister Friedrich highlighted.

    Minister Kavarić informed Mr Frederick about the major energy project – construction of the undersea energy cable between Montenegro and Italy, which, in his word, is to encourage investors to invest in the energy sector not only in Montenegro but also throughout the region. Speaking about the industry sector, Minister Kavarić presented the investment framework which was rated as very favourable. Montenegro’s government, he continued, is working intensively towards improving the investment environment, primarily through the creation of business zones which allow a number of tax and other incentives.

    “Government will provide support to the investments that involve primarily local hiring. In that regard, we are ready to host investors from the Baden-Wuerttemberg province and encourage communication which can result in concrete investment projects,” the Minister of Energy stated.

    Minister Frederick said he expects more intensive cooperation with the countries of the region, particularly through the Danube strategy, and urged Montenegro to take active participation with the aim of utilizing the full potential the region has to offer.

    Source: Government of Montenegro