EBRD Vice President Jan Fischer will arrive in Montenegro tomorrow, Wednesday, for a three-day visit. During his stay he will meet with President Filip Vujanović, Prime Minister Igor Lukšić, the Speaker of Parliament Ranko Krivokapić, Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration Milan Roćen, other members of the government, civil society representatives, and representatives of the business community. During his visit Mr Fischer will express the EBRD’s strong support for Montenegro and its efforts towards closer approximation with the European Union.
In this process Montenegro reached a milestone in 2010 when it obtained the formal status of an EU candidate country. In his conversations with policy-makers Mr Fischer will urge Montenegro to transform this important step into a stepping stone for further progress. “The development we are seeing is encouraging and the EBRD remains a committed partner to tackle the challenges ahead, particularly in the areas identified as key priorities in the ongoing dialogue between EU and Podgorica”, Mr Fischer said prior to his departure for Montenegro.
The EBRD’s commitment to Montenegro is illustrated in last year’s results. In 2010 the EBRD signed eight projects in Montenegro worth €135 million in total. The Bank expects the Montenegrin economy to return to robust growth in 2011 with an expansion of GDP of 3.1 percent. In its latest economic outlook, published in late January, the EBRD’s Office of the Chief Economist reports: “Montenegro has managed to weather the worst of the crisis and its recent elevation to EU candidate status may boost investor confidence.”
Jan Fischer joined the EBRD on 1 September 2010 as Vice President, Operational Policies. Prior to joining the Bank, he was Prime Minister of the Czech Republic.