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Tivat, Montenegro (18 April 2018) — Prime Minister Duško Marković said that Montenegro, following last year’s excellent results in macroeconomic policy, made impressive results in industrial production and tourism growth at the beginning of this year, and that he calls on the banking sector to invest in the economy as much as possible and contribute to the growth and raising of the standard of living…
Tivat, Montenegro (18 April 2018) — Prime Minister Duško Marković said that Montenegro, following last year’s excellent results in macroeconomic policy, made impressive results in industrial production and tourism growth at the beginning of this year, and that he calls on the banking sector to invest in the economy as much as possible and contribute to the growth and raising of the standard of living.
“Montenegrin economy was very successful. All parameters that characterise macroeconomic and fiscal policy results are above projected government’s policies. Our growth in 2017 was projected at 2.7%, and it was 4.4%. This is one of the biggest growth rates in Europe,” the Prime Minister said addressing the NLB Bank Business Forum, which took place in Tivat on Tuesday.
He added that the Government has secured stability of public finance, that the Fiscal Strategy is being implemented in the way we defined it and that other projections are above the plan, pointing out that the country’s credit rating is growing, and that all of this represents an opportunity for investment and for banks to lend money to the economy.
“Industrial production’s growth for the first two months is 39.2%. This growth is impressive. We have a very serious growth in the first two months of this year in tourism. According to many parametres, it amounts to 30% or more. If this continues, our tourism will grow at a rate of 14% this year. You have seen that the latest government’s decisions are going towards the consolidation of our energy sector. There are great development opportunities. In almost all sectors, trends are very good. The situation in the banking sector has significantly improved and progressed, credit activity is growing, and the risks of bad loans are reduced. The assets of the banks are very high – in 2017, over EUR 2 billion of loans were granted, of which EUR 900 million to the economy,” said Prime Minister Duško Marković.
Montenegro is irreversibly standing on EU and NATO tracks
Speaking about Montenegro’s European accession, Prime Minister Marković noted that Montenegro is strongly committed to this goal and that it is irreversibly standing on European and Euro-Atlantic integration tracks.
“For Montenegro, and I would say for all the countries of the Western Balkans, EU accession does not mean only the chance to become members of the prestigious club at some point of time. It is also the most powerful and high-quality instrument for overall social reforms, progress of the country as a whole and the creation of preconditions for reaching the quality of life and standards of the developed world and the EU. Montenegro is strongly committed to this goal. It is irreversibly standing on European and Euro-Atlantic integration tracks, which should bring us the necessary value in order to boost the living standard of each citizen and each family,” the Prime Minister highlighted.
Montenegro’s membership in NATO brings greater stability to region
Prime Minister Duško Marković told the business community that Montenegro’s last year’s membership in NATO brought greater stability to the entire Western Balkans.
“The region has been suffering from a historical lag. This lag is a result of historical reasons that have forced us for centuries to constantly deal with the past and history and to neglect what is essential, namely the economic development and better quality of life. Last year in June, we became a member of NATO, which derived undeniable benefits to the State as a whole, but especially to our economy. Today, Montenegro is known as an investment destination, and there is very strong and significant interest in investing in Montenegro. We have achieved the most significant goal for us in the region – stability, and this is a priority and basic requirement of our progress. Today, not only foreign investors, but also domestic companies have more opportunities to invest money and create new value,” said the Prime Minister.
We will join EU by 2025
Speaking about Montenegro’s European integration, the Prime Minister stated that he is hopeful that during the Bulgarian presidency, Montenegro will open two more negotiating chapters, and during the Austrian presidency, the last unopen chapter, and then start the process of intensively closing negotiating chapters, so that it can become a member of the EU by 2025.
“I am convinced that in 3-4 year time, Montenegro will end the negotiation process, start formalising its membership in the EU and finish this process by 2025,” said Prime Minister Marković.
In that context, he welcomed the European Commission’s decision to start negotiations with Macedonia and Albania.
Entire region is progressing
When it comes to the Western Balkan region, Prime Minister Marković said he is an optimist especially about improving investment and business environment.
“The process of integration in the region is followed by another very important process for the business sector. The Berlin Process has been launched at the initiative of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and then we had the Trieste Summit, which resulted in the action plan of a unique regional economic area. Montenegro is very committed to fulfilling all the obligations from this action plan. It places particular focus on several key policies concerning trade, investment, labour mobility and the digital agenda,” said the Prime Minister.
He emphasised the importance of better infrastructure connections within the region.
“This is very important because there is no high-quality valorisation of resources until we improve the infrastructure. That is why it is essential for all the countries to understand this shortcoming and join forces,” said the Prime Minister of Montenegro, stressing that he is hopeful that customs barriers should be removed first and foremost.
He said that he finds it very important to raise the level of mutual trust and that it is important for prime ministers of the region to meet on a regular basis.
“New enlargement strategy for the Western Balkans is the highest value that has been given to the Balkan countries over the past 30 years, regardless of the content and assessments set out in the document. For us, this is an unprecedented opportunity and Montenegro will definitely use the opportunity,” Prime Minister of Montenegro Duško Marković concluded in Tivat.
PUBLIC RELATIONS SERVICE OF THE GOVERNMENT OF MONTENEGRO
Source: Government of Montenegro