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Prime Minister Duško Marković said that the latest data show that Montenegro continues the positive and successful economic trend in 2017 in the Q1 of 2018, and therefore expects the projected annual economic growth of 3 percent to be exceeded. We have growth in industrial production in the first three months of 2018 of 39%, in the food industry 17%, we have in the first three months growth in tourism about 30%, we have growth in forestry, in wood processing, in the extraction of ore, in stone processing…
Prime Minister Duško Marković said that the latest data show that Montenegro continues the positive and successful economic trend in 2017 in the Q1 of 2018, and therefore expects the projected annual economic growth of 3 percent to be exceeded.
We have growth in industrial production in the first three months of 2018 of 39%, in the food industry 17%, we have in the first three months growth in tourism about 30%, we have growth in forestry, in wood processing, in the extraction of ore, in stone processing … I believe we will exceed, and I would be unhappy if we do not exceed, projections of economic growth of over 3 percent this year. The first three months show that we will exceed these projections. It’s not just our result. It is joint result of all of you sitting here, your companies, your managements, your employees… I share this success and this result with you, I am grateful to you for understanding, support and partnership, and I want to work even harder on this issue in this year too, and for the rest of this Government’s term, Prime Minister said today to businessmen at the regular annual conference “Openly with the Prime Minister” organized by the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) in Montenegro.
The Prime Minister, speaking with President of AmCham Katarina Bulatović, said that the Competitiveness Council noted that the state had serious shortcomings in preparing the legislation in terms of their impact on the overall business environment, and that he asked the ministries to improve cooperation. PM Marković, however, called businessmen to act actively and to instruct the Competitiveness Council of a concrete initiative.
Do not look at the role of the Competitiveness Council only through Council meetings on a specific agenda. It’s an administrative approach. I invite you to propose to the Council specific initiatives that we may not expect and which we are not able to recognise. This can contribute to the new quality of our cooperation and the work of the Competitiveness Council. Give us an initiative, press us, point out to the shortcomings of our regulatory reforms in order to correct the situation, make our environment more favourable, and make the conditions for valorizing our resources safer, the Prime Minister said.
Fight against the gray economy is one of the key tasks
PM Marković said that the Government considers the fight against informal economy one of the key tasks, and that our excellent economic results in the past year is the result of our successful fight against the gray economy. He said that EUR 79 million was collected more over the last year compared to 2016. The Prime Minister said that the revenues from excise tax on tobacco products are increasing.
We have finally improved the image when it comes to excise taxes on tobacco products. In this period of 20 days, revenues from excise taxes increased by 13%. So, we’re improving the ugly image from the beginning. Yesterday at the Cabinet session we agreed and the Minister of Finance was assigned to make a detailed analysis of what is happening on the market and what our answers will be in the short term to eliminate these weaknesses. The fight against the gray economy is our key task. It should enable us to expand the tax and economic base, Prime Minister Marković said.
Political and security stability is a condition for progress
Answering the question of President of the American Chamber of Commerce Katarina Bulatović, whether the Government plans this year to change tax policy, the Prime Minister said that the Government has not raised taxes on profit and income until now, that it has mainly increased consumption taxation, aware that this is not popular measure, but that the Government believes that it should make decisions that are good for the State.
The Prime Minister said that he doesn’t think that reforms are the most important for business, valorisation of resources and a favourable business environment, but that political stability and security are.
Nothing would have benefited us, even if we had dropped VAT, if Montenegro was in political and security instability. No tax rate would be useful, twice as small as this to encourage the development of economics and growth if there is political and security instability. And we have secured both political and security stability. By joining NATO, not only we have secured it, but made it sustainable for all time. So, we worked on several fields, the Prime Minister in the American Chamber of Commerce.
Public procurement, digital economy, passive administration…
Prime Minister Duško Marković spoke, among other things, about the need for further improvement of the public procurement system and serious progress in the digital economy.
Congratulating the American Chamber of Commerce in Montenegro for the tenth anniversary of the work, the Prime Minister said that he called on the ministers to work more intensively with the economy, and that the Government’s partnership with AmCham does not only matter when it comes to creating legislation, but also in order for our administration to get a new image and better understand business and other environment to respond more effectively to needs, adding that he will insist that communication between the Government and the AmCham in this year and in the future will be more intense and more meaningful.
Katarina Bulatović: AmCham works successfully with the Government
The President of the American Chamber of Commerce in Montenegro said that AmCham successfully cooperates with the Government on last year’s cooperation programmes with four ministries: finance, economy, labour and social welfare and health, and that cooperation should lead to more efficient removal of business barriers, better texts of legal acts regulating the business environment, and their better implementation by both the public administration and the private sector. She emphasised the need for more intensive involvement of the business community in the law drafting process.
We consider the involvement of the business community in the regulatory phase as necessary, because only such a transparent and predictable decision-making process leads us to the improvement of the business environment … This year, within our partnership, we expect the invitation by Prime Minister Marković to include our AmCham representatives in working groups for drafting current regulations in those areas of importance to the business community. The predictability of tax policy, the fight against gray economy and corruption, environmental protection, the issue of labour market mobility, a transparent real estate and hospitality policy are important when deciding whether to invest in our economy. By improving the business conditions in these areas, we will contribute to the transformation of Montenegro into a modern, European country, the President of the American Chamber of Commerce in Montenegro said.
Judy Kuo: AmCham is necessary partner of economic cooperation between Montenegro and the US
Deputy Chief of Mission Judy Kuo said at the conference that the United States and Montenegro are allies and share common goals, including enhancing trade partnership and economic cooperation, and that AmCham is a necessary partner for both parties.
AmCham has succeeded in becoming a strong and credible business association that can facilitate positive changes and improve the investment climate in Montenegro that will attract both American and global investors. The partnership of AmCham with the Government, which is confirmed by today’s event, is especially important as the Government of Montenegro continues to fight economic challenges. I am convinced that AmCham will continue to be an important and powerful representative of the business community and ensure that the Government reviews the perspectives of companies and investors in the decision making, Judy Kuo said.
The AmCham network is one of the largest business networks in the world that consists of 177 chambers around the world. In Montenegro, the network consists of more than 80 companies.
Source: Government of Montenegro