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Montenegro is committed to and applying the principles of multiparty democracy, pluralism and market economics in accordance with the conditions specified in Article 1 of the Agreement Establishing the Bank.
Montenegro has made steady progress on key reforms geared towards integration into the European Union. Since the adoption of the previous Strategy Montenegro obtained formal status of an EU candidate country and opened EU accession negotiations in June 2012. Efforts towards EU approximation remain the main external anchor for comprehensive reforms and progress on this front should buoy economic growth prospects in the medium term.
As a small, open economy Montenegro has been strongly affected by the global financial crisis and volatility in the Eurozone. Following a severe recession in 2009, the economy grew by 2.5 per cent and 3.2 per cent in 2010 and 2011 respectively due to strong growth in exports, recovering domestic consumption and a boost from the tourism sector. Over the past year, however, economic performance weakened considerably as both external and domestic demand deteriorated. Exports fell by nearly 20 per cent year-on-year in 2012.
The real economy has been hit by the drying up of credit. Between 2006 and early 2008, before the onset of the crisis, Montenegro reported annual credit growth rates of over 100 per cent. Since then credit growth has been negative, and, as a result, private sector credit as a percentage of GDP fell from 69 per cent at the end of 2010 to 52 per cent of GDP at the end of 2012.
The business environment has improved overall in recent years, though challenges remain. It is becoming easier to start and run a business according to leading indicators, and the authorities have taken positive steps to ease access to credit and reduce the tax burden on businesses. However, administrative barriers – such as receiving licensing and permits – and infrastructure bottlenecks hamper the competitiveness of Montenegrin businesses according to survey findings.
Last updated 6 November 2013