Looking for investment opportunities? Check out what business zones in Montenegro have to offer!

Oct 7, 2015

Montenegro has a lot to offer– from its beautiful coast and mountains, the wealth of natural resources, human capital and skilled workforce, to solid infrastructure and strategic geographic position. But that is only a small part of the country’s potentials, which proved appealing enough to attract more than 80 investors from 24 countries, who gathered in Montenegro for a two-day International Conference on Investment Policies and Potentials. The Conference was organized by the Ministry of Economy, in cooperation with UNDP in Montenegro. Representatives of prominent companies and reputable businesses from Italy, France, Morocco, Libya, Turkey, Poland, United Arab Emirates, Ukraine, Israel – to mention just a few, were presented favourable investment conditions within the established business zones in Mojkovac, Kolašin, Berane, Bijelo Polje and Nikšić, Podgorica and Cetinje.

At the opening of the conference, Vladimir Kavarić, Minister of Economy, said that Montenegro is very well positioned in terms of business environment. ”The Government of Montenegro adopted the Decree on Fostering Direct Investments, which aims to establish provisions and investment incentives designed to create new jobs and contribute to economic and regional development of Montenegro. Additionally, the Decree on Business Zones provides  conditions for business zones establishment, their registration, management and support facilities. Government provides subventions for businesses that invest more than 500.000 euros and create at least 20 new jobs” Mr. Kavarić explained.

Government, both at the central and local level, strives to make constant progress towards creating more favourable business environment and this was confirmed in the World Bank “Doing Business” Report for 2015 that ranks Montenegro at the 36th place out of 189 countries in total, which is six places up compared to 2014.

Fiona McCluney, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative to Montenegro said: “UNDP supports the Government in creating more favourable business environment, by boosting creation of new jobs, eliminating business barriers, simplifying administrative procedures, strengthening competitiveness and opening new avenues for investment. In this endeavour, we are focused on reducing regional disparities. This is of particular importance, when more than 60 percent of people living in poverty live in the north of the country and unemployment is double compared to central and southern regions. The North has great assets, it is home to 100 percent of the country’s hydroelectric potential, 67 percent of cultivable land, 71 percent of forests and all of the country’s known lead, zinc and coal reserves, and it has great potentials for year-around sustainable tourism” said Ms. McCluney.

Mlađan Dinkić, UNDP Consultant and former Serbian Minister of Finance and Economy pointed out that Montenegro's potentials are widely recognized, but that additional steps need to be taken in order to attract more foreign investments. “Montenegro has great potential in tourism and energy sector. However, in order to promote investments, tax incentives are not enough. Investors need to be assured that the legal framework is also improved to enable government support, so that more people can be employed and the export boosted” Mr. Dinkić noted.

During the conference, investors visited business zones Nedakusi (Bijelo Polje), Bakovici (Kolasin) and Babica Polje (Mojkovac) and had an opportunity to discuss concrete incentives with mayors and representatives of the municipalities and businesses. Some of them have already expressed their interest in establishing cooperation and starting up their business in Montenegro. Apart from promotion of the investment potentials, the conference also provided a great forum for discussion and receiving inputs and suggestions on how the country can further boost and promote its overall investment climate.

Together with the Ministry of Economy, UNDP initiated the project “Capacity Building Programme for Local Self-Governance in Business Zones Management and Promotion”, with an aim to accelerate and facilitate investment absorption in the context of enhanced local economic development. Work was done in the field of development of legal framework for promoting business and investment and creating favourable business conditions.

The project also helped advance capacities, knowledge and skills of the business zones managers in municipalities of Mojkovac, Kolašin, Berane, Bijelo Polje and Nikšić for systemic management and more active promotion of the business zones. Jointly, set of promotional materials was developed, including a website  www.bizniszona.me where you can easily access all relevant information about Montenegrin business zones locations.

Besides support to business zones, together with the Government of Montenegro UNDP supports municipalities and clusters of small and medium enterprises in developing project proposals for competitiveness and innovation. UNDP in Montenegro is at the forefront of promoting citizen participation and defining innovative ways to use public space, increase transparency and accountability, as well as to reduce grey economy.

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