Montenegrin Prime Minister, Duško Marković, noted at the Azerbaijan-Montenegro Business Forum in Baku that Montenegro is the most stable country in the region of the Western Balkans, a country of high economic growth and vast investment in infrastructure, which, along with membership in NATO, recommend it to the Azerbaijani investors.
“Stability is a prerequisite for economic prosperity, and certainty is a word that is equally important both in politics and in economy. Nowadays, Montenegro is the most stable country in the region of the Western Balkans and in this part of Europe. This makes us an economically and politically reliable partner. …NATO membership is a signal to investors that Montenegro is a destination that fosters the highest standards and values of partner countries in the domain of security, confirming the safety of an already attractive investment environment. In the first year after membership alone, we saw a significant increase in investors and a number of tourists from NATO countries,” said Marković, addressing the Business Forum that gathered dozens of Montenegrin and Azerbaijani business people.
PM Marković underscored that for three years in a row, the Montenegrin economy has experienced one of the highest growth rates in Europe, more than 4.7% annually, and that over the last two years, the number of employees have increased by almost 8%. In Montenegro, there are investors from more than 110 countries, the most prestigious international tourist brands are present and Montenegro has the highest foreign direct investment per capita in the region, with a total investment of EUR 6.5 billion in the period from 2006 to 2018, he underlined.
“In the field of tourism, Montenegro has positioned itself as one of the fastest growing tourist destinations in the past 15 years, through projects such as Porto Montenegro and Luštica Bay, and by making the best use of its natural beauties and potentials. The trend continues through the Montenegrin – Azerbaijani partnership and the Porto Novi project, which brings a new level of prestige with the opening of the first “One & Only” hotel in Europe. The Porto Novi project is being implemented according to the planned dynamics, and with an initial EUR 260 million, the investments are moving towards the additional EUR 970 million, which places it at the very top of foreign investments in Montenegro. …With regard to energy, Montenegro has been positioned as a regional energy hub by constructing an undersea power cable that links Montenegrin with the Italian coast. For a country with small population, this is of great importance. As to energy cooperation, Montenegro and Azerbaijan have undertaken concrete activities. The Trans Adriatic Pipeline project (TAP), together with the Ionian-Adriatic Pipeline (94 km through Montenegro), will not only mark the strategic linking of our two countries and strengthening the energy resources of Montenegro, but it will also reinforce the position of Montenegro as an energy hub,” the PM explained.
He also said that the state priority is the development of the northern region, which offers great opportunities to investors, and that the State has invested the largest sums of money to date in the construction and reconstruction of the transport infrastructure.
“The language of economy is universal. It is a language based on mutual benefits and development, which are preconditions of general progress. When friendly people and cultures use it, as in the case of Montenegro and Azerbaijan, we can expect further prosperity for our citizens,” Marković concluded./ibna