Montenegro overview


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 3 May 2017

Current EBRD forecast for Montenegro’s Real GDP Growth in 2018 4.2%

Current EBRD forecast for Montenegro’s Real GDP Growth in 2019 3.0%

After exceeding expectations in 2017 and growing by an estimated 4.7 per cent, the Montenegrin economy has continued to power ahead in 2018, with growth in the first half of 2018 estimated at 4.8 per cent year-on-year. This growth was mainly driven by investment, particularly in the priority section of the highway connecting the Montenegrin coast with Serbia (financed by the Chinese Exim Bank and implemented by the Chinese CRBC), as well as in some flagship tourism developments on the coast. Private consumption has also grown strongly, driven by a relatively high rate of lending. However, high imports, as a component of both investment and private consumption, have been fuelling a large trade deficit (of almost 19 per cent of GDP in 2017) and acts as a drag on growth. Tourist arrivals in the first eight months of 2018 were up by 12 per cent year-on-year, with a continued rise of visitors from the EU, boosted by new airline connections.

Montenegro in the EBRD’s 2018-19 Transition Report