Stuttgart, Germany (11 March 2015) – Prime Minister Milo Đukanović started his official visit to Germany and presented Montenegro’s investment potential at the Stuttgart’s Business Forum, sponsored by the Baden-Württemberg International.
PM Đukanović underlined that economic development of the Western Balkans is crucial for democratisation of the country and its progress towards integration into European and Euro – Atlantic structures, the two strategic government’s priorities which are common goals of the entire region. Montenegro is a small Western Balkan country with a bright perspective and it is proud of the fact it is the only country in the region which stayed out of the war and war damages during the 90’s, PM Đukanović explained.
Montenegro is known as a stability factor in the region and it is committed to maintaining good neighbourly relations and active engagement in regional initiatives, PM Đukanović stressed. Its progress towards European and Euro-Atlantic accession, has made Montenegro regional leader in that regard, which is a significant step further from the least developed ex-Yugoslavian country to the most developed country in the region, according to the GDP per capita, he added.
Regardless of global and regional constraints, the Government of Montenegro has pursued a path of sustainable economic development through public finance consolidation, structural reforms, improvement of the investment environment, implementation of major infrastructural projects, fight against corruption and organised crime and cooperation with regional and international institutions, PM Đukanović emphasised. All parameters on competitiveness, economic freedom and doing business show that Montenegro is making great progress towards its economic growth, PM Đukanović underlined, adding that although the country is small in terms of geography, it has been recognised as an important investment destination worldwide.
Direct foreign investments are the most significant driving force of the country’s economic development. Over the last few years Montenegro has been among the top countries worldwide when it comes to the influx of direct foreign investment, PM Đukanović stressed. Some of the greatest infrastructural projects are being implemented in one of the smallest European countries, which is a little bit peculiar because of the long lasting financial and economic crisis shaking the world with the same unabated intensity as it was in the beginning, PM Đukanović pointed out.
Along with the infrastructural projects, private sector investments will boost the economic growth in the coming years, PM Đukanović underlined, adding that all relevant evaluations conducted by the most important international organisations, such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, anticipate growth of approximately 3,5%.
The activities already lunched towards boosting economic growth confirm legality of Montenegro’s approach, which states that the Western Balkans needs a new investment framework in order to strengthen infrastructural connectedness and improve connections with the European corridors, PM Đukanović explained. In that regard, the entire region will become more competitive, productive and more attractive for foreign investments, he pointed out.
Neither Berlin nor Brussels can remove business barriers instead of the Western Balkans and the region should make additional efforts towards implementing decisive and urgent structural reforms and fostering cooperation with successful economies such as the German one, PM Đukanović highlighted. Through that kind of cooperation, the entire region could reach economic efficiency adapted to the Balkan-s mentality, PM he added.
There is a strong political will in the Western Balkans to maintain strongly committed to European path and the region is ready for the implementation of major projects in infrastructure and energy, PM Đukanović stressed, emphasising the construction of the underwater energy cable between Montenegro and Italy. The implementation of this project will turn Montenegro into an important European energy hub, enabling the country to valorise its energy potentials, as well as potential of the entire region in a more efficient manner, he added.
PM Đukanović stressed that Montenegro should be focused on the production of hydro energy, tourism industry and agriculture, as Montenegro can make major contribution to regional and European economy mostly in these few sectors. In that regard, Montenegro is open to partnership with Baden-Württemberg, particularly when it comes to expert support for the construction of the hydro power plants Morača and Komarnica, he explained. The cooperation can also be enhanced through boosting bilateral relations with Germany which strongly supports Montenegro’s democratic, economic and overall development, PM Đukanović concluded in Stuttgart.
Source: Government of Montenegro