Ivan Bojanović, MFIC BOD Member, Executive Director Of SAGA CG

We Must Work More And Smarter

Montenegro has attracted foreign investment worth hundreds of millions of euros in recent years, which is indeed a kind of confirmation of a good strategy, but it is very important to continue at an even stronger pace in order to be able to talk about new investments to the same or a greater extent five years from now.

Thanks to its geopolitical position and beautiful nature, Montenegro will always be an attractive place for business. It is up to Montenegrins to make it more or less excellent, and we will best achieve that (apart from through continuity in stability – which is very important to every investor), by transferring our traditional hospitality to the basic needs for doing business more simply in the 21st century – says MFIC BoD member and Saga CG Executive Director Ivan Bojanović.

According to our interlocutor, this relates to all phases of doing business: from registration and obtaining the necessary permits, via everything implied by the daily functioning of a company, to an efficient system for resolving disputes and arbitration.

“Montenegro has made plenty of progress in all of the aforementioned fields, but very strong competition exists in the countries of the region and beyond, which also have, and continue to create, an advantage through competitive tax rates, great progress on “doing business” lists etc.,” notes Bojanović.

To what extent has digital transformation advanced in Montenegro? In this context, what are the main recommendations of your ICT Committee?

– We have been hearing that digital transformation represents a great opportunity for Montenegro for a long time, in various places and from people of varying profiles. I’m afraid that, despite so much talk, we might get into a situation where we miss out on that great chance. There are shining examples of projects that, with their results, really represent a true representation of what digital transformation means and should be, but we can’t be satisfied with the end result when we take into account the serious amounts that the state invests in ICT projects. This primarily relates to the utilising of the benefits of technology in state institutions, accessibility and the use of e-services by citizens and the economy, not to mention strategic projects (such as e-citizen) that have brought huge benefits to some countries.

The year that’s ending has – primarily due to the pandemic – brought us all new perceptions of how to view business, and I sincerely believe that this can be the trigger for some new (r) evolution. We need to find a way to be part of the sharing of this new “cake”

I think it would be of great strategic importance to form a ministry for digitisation, because there’s almost no sphere of life in which digitisation doesn’t provide benefits. The experience with the Ministry of Public Administration certainly shows how ICT shouldn’t be treated in Montenegro.

Considering the very specific economic situation, to what extent do the recommendations contained in the White Book represent long-term goals and how much are they intended for the present moment?

– The White Book represents a compilation of the individual experiences of our members, which can of course sometimes also represent a subjective judgement. Naturally, when you sublimate these experiences into a single document you receive statistics that should fairly faithfully present the situation for the period to which they relate.

And that is precisely how one should view the White Book and its recommendations: as valuable statistics and, I believe, a realistic picture of the situation, including the one in which we find ourselves.

On behalf of MFIC, we remain – as has been the case to date – at the disposal of the Government of Montenegro with all of our knowledge and experience.

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