Montenegro overview

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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.

Montenegro's policy response to the coronavirus crisis

The EBRD is monitoring Montenegro's policy response to the coronavirus pandemic. Our biweekly publication identifies the major channels of disruption as well as selected impact and response indicators.

Learn more

Current EBRD forecast for Montenegro’s Real GDP Growth in 2021 12.3%

Current EBRD forecast for Montenegro’s Real GDP Growth in 2022 5.7%

Following one of the worst contractions in the EBRD regions in 2020, the economy of Montenegro has started to recover strongly. GDP expanded by 19 per cent in the second quarter of 2021, driven by the strong base effect of last year and a recovery in both domestic and external demand. Given the importance of the tourism sector in GDP, the performance of the third quarter (for which GDP data are not yet available) will largely determine overall GDP growth this year. After a sluggish start, tourism picked up strongly in the summer, with the number of incoming foreign tourists and overnight stays in collective accommodations reaching around 85 per cent of 2019 levels in July/August. While these results are largely due to visitors from the near region, some tourists are coming from further afield. In particular, the number of tourists from Ukraine nearly tripled in the first eight months compared with the whole of 2019, bringing the share to more than 12 per cent of total tourists and making Ukraine the second largest source of tourists this year.
On the back of this result, the government’s budget recorded a surplus of €105 million in June-August, propping up the fiscal accounts. Retail trade has been 40 growing since April, reaching over 50 per cent growth in peak summer months. The economic sentiment indicator has been positive since May 2021.
GDP is forecast to grow by 12.3 per cent in 2021 and by 5.7 per cent in 2022. Upside potential comes from the possibility of an even stronger than expected end to the tourism season, but negative risks largely relate to uncertainties connected to the future path of the pandemic and recurring political volatility.

Montenegro in the EBRD’s 2021-22 Transition Report


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