In Montenegro we focus on:
Making the economy more competitive, integrated and green.
Using sustainable tourism as a lever for SME development and investment in related industries – such as agribusiness and sustainable municipal infrastructure – are the focal points in the document.
Working with the private sector to help it become more competitive including developing agribusiness value chains and backward linkages in the tourism sector. Connectivity and regional integration will be improved by expanding cross-border transport and energy links, in line with the Connectivity Agenda for the Western Balkans. And the green economy in Montenegro – which marks 25 years since proclaiming itself a “green state” – will be supported via sustainable tourism among other things.
- Leveraging the country’s comparative advantages to develop agribusiness value chains, providing both investment and advice, to help Montenegro produce more local food for the tourism industry and decrease imports. Tourism – which is the main export product and growth driver in the country – is a big focus of the strategy which lists the following areas of potential EBRD engagement: “Upgrading the existing hotels stock through privatisation, addressing the seasonality issue by promoting development of congress tourism and health tourism facilities, and modernisation of related municipal and environmental infrastructure.
The EBRD’s latest Montenegro strategy was adopted on 15 September 2021.
Current EBRD forecast for Montenegro’s Real GDP Growth in 2023 3.3%
Current EBRD forecast for Montenegro’s Real GDP Growth in 2024 3.7%
Economic recovery continued in 2022 with the economy expanding by 6.1 per cent, driven by strong household consumption and robust performance of the hospitality sector, notwithstanding a deceleration in the second half of the year. Household consumption drove growth in the first three quarters of the year, boosted by a minimum wage hike and labour taxation reform at the beginning of 2022, an inflow of temporary immigrants and strong employment indicators, but slowed by year-end as inflation surged to a record 17.5 per cent in November 2022.
Investment remained weak and construction activity strongly contracted as political turmoil delayed new public investment projects. Last year’s robust performance of the hospitality sector and increasing diversification of Montenegro’s tourists bode well for the upcoming summer tourism season, which still has further scope to recover as the number of foreign visitors in 2022 remained below record 2019 levels. The economy is forecast to continue growing, albeit at a slower pace of 3.3 per cent in 2023 and 3.7 per cent in 2024, as the global growth outlook remains weak. A potential resolution of the political deadlock represents an upside risk, provided the implementation of necessary public investment and the reform agenda speeds up. Large Eurobond repayments are coming due in 2025 and 2027 against the backdrop of increased borrowing costs.