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New Challenges Seek Courageous Responses Comment

Although Montenegro’s potential to attract foreign investments is beyond dispute, there is a strong need to create a clear strategy for attracting investors that focuses on sustainable development and strengthening competitiveness

This publication testifies to Montenegro’s strong potential to attract foreign investors and enable them to operate successfully even under economic conditions that aren’t particularly favourable to economic growth and development. At the same time, this special edition represents an exceptional resource for public policymakers, as it provides an overview of the opinions of numerous local and foreign interlocutors who critically review possibilities to further improve the overall environment, and particularly the business environment, which will open the door to Montenegro’s further development.

Through the numerous featured interviews, there are several very important messages for the future that stand out. Firstly, Montenegro is extremely sensitive to global disruptions, which wasn’t sufficiently acknowledged during the previous period through decision-making related to major investment projects and fiscal incentives for the creation of new jobs. This has led to numerous challenges emerging in the conducting of a stable macroeconomic policy, and especially in the maintaining of a stable external position for Montenegro. This will be one of the key tasks facing the Government of Montenegro in the year ahead.

Numerous changes to the government and parliament haven’t proven to fully support the sincere intentions and efforts of the government to maintain fiscal discipline while simultaneously creating the conditions required for further growth. Moreover, long-identified shortcomings in the social product creation structure were not sufficiently addressed during the previous period, with economic growth continuing to be concentrated and dependent on tourism, with the development of other branches of the economy neglected. At this juncture, a historic opportunity is emerging for Montenegro to build new potentials in the field of renewable energy and to harmonise its economic development goals with those of the European Union.

Preserving macroeconomic stability and diversifying sources to create new growth could open the door to new investments

Examples of successful projects that have been implemented by foreign investors show that their operations are able to resist negative influences to a large extent, which is very important when it comes to the stability of the economy and the preservation of jobs. And yet, Montenegro must be better and more decisive in the “struggle” for investors, compared to other countries that are also striving to attract foreign investors, and must take particular care to ensure that its long-term development decisions are free of political and other influences.

The Government of Montenegro is expected to work with dedication to further harmonise regulations with the EU Acquis and create a stable environment for the operations of various businesses, both domestic and foreign. In this sense, it is essential to improve infrastructure as a whole and to strengthen institutional capacities, and particularly to create a stimulating environment for the development of SMEs.

The Government of Montenegro’s constant dialogue with the business world, including both foreign investors and representatives of domestic business, has brought undeniable positive advances when it comes to improving the business environment, but there still seems to be plenty of room for further cooperation on this front.

There seems to be no doubt that 2023 will not prove particularly favourable for global economic recovery, although news about the easing of inflation represents a good news story for all national economies. This will nevertheless be a difficult year in which it will be particularly important to gauge every step and weigh up the long-term consequences that certain policies could have on the development of Montenegro. Under such conditions, honest dialogue among all interested parties represents a good route to finding a solution that will target the further development of Montenegro’s potential.

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