Prime Minister Dritan Abazović said that it is necessary to create an environment of political stability in order to start the implementation of large infrastructure projects.
- The country cannot increase the gross domestic product (GDP) if there are no large infrastructure projects – said Abazović in the Chamber of Commerce (PKCG), at a meeting with businessmen.
He believes that It is very important to increase state capital, especially in companies that can make a big contribution to the development of Montenegro in the future.
Abazović said that they expect the continuation of the highway, the decision regarding the Airport of Montenegro, but also projects in energy and transport, along with tourism, which can directly affect the GDP.
- If we attract such projects, there will be no problems. We will reach an unemployment level of six or seven percent, and I am afraid that we will have to look for labor in other places – said Abazović.
He stated that Montenegro has all the potential, but that it must focus its capacities on helping its own country.
- Economically, a very good year is behind us and the data show that it exceeds the expectations of those who make more specific forecasts – said Abazović.
Speaking about the seven pillars of economic progress, he stated that the GDP of Montenegro exceeded 5 billion euros for the first time, and it is expected to be 5.6 or 5.7 billion.
- The data are inexorable and exceeded the projections for this year. Forecasts for the next year are four percent. The great satisfaction of the Government is that its economy is resilient and ready for any situation – said Abazović.
When it comes to new jobs, according to official data, more than 226,000 people were employed in Montenegro in November, which means that in relation to the formation of the 43rd Government, about 10,000 jobs were created.
- Compared to November of the previous year, there are almost 25,000 more employees in Montenegro today. According to Monstat data, the unemployment rate in the third quarter is at the lowest level since it has been measured and amounts to 13% – stated Abazović.
Speaking about foreign direct investments, he said that from January to October it amounted to 932 million euros, and the net inflow of FDI was 663.5 million euros.
- The biggest inflow was in 2009, when Elektroprivreda (EPCG) was sold. This government has not sold one meter of state property – said Abazović.
Speaking about tourism, he said that according to the data of the Central Bank (CBCG), revenues by September amount to 916.2 million euros.
- When we compare with 2019, we are at 90%. We reached this level without four markets – said Abazović.
Speaking about the growth of the export capacity of the economy and the increase in competitiveness, he said that the total export of goods was 576 million euros.
- Total exports in 2019 were 415 million euros, while a growth of 70% was achieved compared to the previous year – stated Abazović.
He added that the average net salary in October was 720 euros.
- Compared to January, there was an increase of 34, and compared to the previous year, the increase was 186 euros. Also, complete regularity of all payments was achieved without delay – announced Abazović.
As he said, significant salary increases were announced in the coming year.
- If the budget is adopted on February 1, more than 50,000 people will receive increased wages of at least 20% – said Abazović.
According to him, when it comes to comprehensive structural reforms, there is a significant increase in state capital in priority sectors such as energy (EPCG) and transport (Port of Bar).
- Montenegro is one of the rare countries on the European continent that has not increased electricity prices – Abazović added.
Speaking about the General Collective Agreement (OKU), he said that it is a typical Montenegrin story.
- First came the information that everyone had agreed and that a common solution had been found in the social dialogue, and after 20 days that no common solution had been found. The government will respect whatever you agree on – said Abazović.
The president of PKCG, Nina Drakić, announced that the analysis of the business of Montenegrin companies that have shown a solid degree of resilience in these times of crisis, and which they conducted in the Chamber through direct and continuous discussions with our members, indicates that they need help.
- This assistance implies the existence of clear strategic policies, the adoption of the most important spatial planning documents, a stimulating environment for business and new investments, which are a prerequisite for development – said Drakić.
According to her, the data of the Central Bank also confirm that the economy needs help, according to which today in Montenegro there are close to 20,000 companies and entrepreneurs who are blocked, with a debt that is 50% higher compared to the period before the pandemic.
- The uncertainty of economic trends on the global stage, in the opinion of the economy, should speed up the making of decisions and policies that can only change this situation – said Drakić.
She said that for years they have been pointing to the necessity of changes in labor legislation, in a way that reduces the number of disputes between employers and employees.
- This would achieve a greater synergy of human and material capital, and especially contribute to reducing the costs of disputes. We recognize the changes in this direction as a guarantor of greater legal certainty and predictability of the business environment, as well as the efficiency of collective and tripartite negotiations – said Drakić.
She welcomed the consideration of the appeal of the business to postpone the signing of the new General Collective Agreement, since it is an important document, the adoption of which requires a transparent and inclusive procedure.
Drakić stated that at the previous meeting with the Prime Minister and the ministers, they talked about the need for a comprehensive review of the legislation that affects business conditions, they considered the possibility of establishing a Credit Guarantee Fund, analyzed the suitability of the environment for attracting foreign and domestic investments, and agreed on the necessity support for small and medium-sized enterprises, as the backbone of the real economy, and stronger investment in the green and circular economy.
- It is good that we are considering the situation in the Montenegrin economy today, because the Chamber of Commerce and the Government are the right addresses for providing a unique response to market, economic and broader social challenges. The Chamber is ready to analyze and propose, and the Government has a mandate to make what is justified and necessary part of economic and public policies – Drakić believes.
She said that the current moment in the world, as well as in our country, and the increasingly certain recession in many countries in the coming year, gives this year’s meeting additional importance, because only with joint efforts and understanding is it possible to reduce the risks and spillover of negative trends on the economic system, and wise decisions to turn certain challenges into chances and opportunities for faster growth in the coming year.
- The economy has the indisputable will, and we believe the ability, for a quick exit from the economic crisis, but it cannot do it alone. We expect determination from the Government, and institutions ready to respond to the needs of the economy – concluded Drakić, local media writes.