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 3.5%
Current EBRD forecast for Montenegro’s Real GDP Growth in 2024 3.7%
The economy continued to grow strongly year on year in the first quarter of 2023, with growth of 6.1 per cent year on year, driven by robust household consumption, large tourism inflows and the arrival of many Russians and Ukrainians. Growth was also supported by strong investment activity and a rebound in electricity production, aided by favourable weather conditions. The tourism season in 2023 is set to surpass the pre-pandemic level; tourism arrivals in the first half of the year were 13 per cent higher than the record 2019 levels. Real wages in net terms, boosted by the minimum wage increase and abolition of healthcare contributions in 2022, continued to post double-digit growth rates in the first six months of 2023 even as inflation remained high, at 6.9 per cent in July 2023. Other fiscal measures to support the economy included lower excise duties on fuel for farmers and transport companies and an extraordinary adjustment to the minimum pension, implemented alongside a set of tax changes, effective July 2023, with the goal of boosting government revenues. Growth is forecast to reach 3.5 per cent in 2023 and 3.7 per cent in 2024, based on the strong performance of the hospitality sector. The forthcoming appointment of a new government has the potential to unlock the reform agenda and lead to higher public investment.