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Nela Vitić, MFIC Board Member, CEO of Ocean Montenegro

Operational Predictability Keeps Investment Levels High

Montenegro is showing that it is developing in the right direction, as most institutions, public officials, administrative personnel, media outlets and the courts are doing their job well and helping the economy to have stable operations. We had the opportunity to confirm this for ourselves in the case of our company, which is facing challenges in the predictability of operations

I feel great personal responsibility, but also honour, that I have – since last year – been part of the board of the organisation that comprises the largest investors in our country, says Nela Vitić, CEO of Ocean Montenegro and Member of the MFIC Board of Directors, who represents the nautical transport and port services sector.

How would you rate Montenegrin business environment in terms of predictability and transparency?

– Predictability and transparency are extremely important factors, both for attracting high-quality companies to one country and for retaining them. In addition to the predictability that is crucial for planning and for stable operations, the most important factor is the operational certainty that is guaranteed by developed institutions and good rule of law. It is very important that, even in the event of occasional occurrences of certain unpredictable adverse initiatives of some institutions, other institutions, the media and courts continue doing their job well.

How satisfied are you with your company’s operations in 2019?

– Ocean Montenegro had a good start to the year. We continued providing services at the highest level, as has been the case to date, and we have also been more active in policy activities than before, as we consider it our role to contribute to the further stabilising of the market through our contribution to creating the regulatory framework. This year we will also be far more dedicated to representing Montenegro within world associations in our domain of business, primarily in the European Tug Owners Association and the European Maritime Pilots’ Association and European Boatman’s Association. We also expect to play a formal role in the creation of new national regulations governing shipping agents and ports, given that we really possess not only practical knowledge from this sector, but also that we can definitely help with the expertise of the international and European associations to which we belong.

As the only female member of the MFIC Board of Directors, I want to promote equality not only within our association, but also to provide a positive example and support to other women managers in Montenegro

Ocean Montenegro is also constantly focused on preserving the certainty and safety of waterway navigation and continuously educating employees, as the company’s most valuable resource, and this year we will exert efforts to further educate our employees. When it comes to expected challenges, this year started quite dynamically precisely from the aspect of operational predictability. Specifically, the Ministry of Transport and Maritime Affairs continued with its problematic initiative of announcing a new, or additional, concession for the provision of port services at the Port of Bar.

This initiative is an extremely aggravating factor for the entire sector, as it contradicts both the rules of the EU and the laws of Montenegro, and is harmful in both micro- and macroeconomic terms, harming public revenues at all levels, but also the image of Montenegro as a healthy investment destination. We’ve exerted significant efforts over the last few months to inform all relevant institutions and partners about this, given that the Ministry did not take into account the arguments and facts that we presented to it. Fortunately, most institutions have shown the attention of a good host and listened very seriously to our legal and economic arguments, which incontrovertibly show the harmfulness of this initiative of the Ministry of Transport and Maritime Affairs.