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NewsMontenegro's delegation engages in talks with IMF officials at Spring Meetings in...

Montenegro’s delegation engages in talks with IMF officials at Spring Meetings in Washington

In the midst of the Spring Gatherings in Washington, Montenegro’s delegation, headed by Dr. Irena Radović, the Governor of the Central Bank of Montenegro, and Finance Minister Novica Vuković, convened with high-ranking officials from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Their discussions included meetings with Bo Li, the IMF’s Deputy Managing Director, Alfred Kammer, Director of the European Department, Pol Hilbers, Executive Director for the Belgian-Dutch Constituency, and his deputy, Luka Drees. Srikant Seshadri, the IMF Mission Chief for Montenegro, also participated in the sessions.

Governor Radović presented an overview of Montenegro’s banking sector, highlighting a systemic uptick in deposits, loans and capital, coupled with a decline in non-performing loans. She underscored these favorable trends as indicators of the banking sector’s stability, resilient even amidst geopolitical tensions and external shocks.

“Continuously enhancing the regulatory framework to fully align with EU legal standards, the CBCG remains steadfast in the negotiation process, leading working groups for three negotiating chapters and actively contributing to additional seven chapters,” emphasized Governor Radović. She extended gratitude to the IMF for their assistance during the formulation of the recently enacted CBCG Law.

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Li commended Governor Radović for the achieved milestones in regulatory reform and stressed the importance of preserving the CBCG’s independence. “The central bank’s autonomy is paramount, ensuring its credibility and effective oversight,” remarked Li, expressing the IMF’s willingness to support CBCG initiatives aimed at fostering economic inclusivity for women and promoting sustainability in the financial sector—areas of mutual significance.

Minister Vuković outlined the Government of Montenegro’s objectives to foster balanced and sustainable economic growth through enhanced fiscal and macroeconomic policies, structural reforms and a renewed investment cycle, notably in infrastructure, tourism, agriculture, and information technology sectors. He emphasized Montenegro’s target to adopt the Fiscal Strategy by June 2024 and implement a new medium-term debt management strategy for 2025-2027 by year-end, highlighting the invaluable support of the IMF in this endeavor.

Recalling the finance sector’s milestones under the 44th Government, Minister Vuković highlighted the issuance of Montenegro’s inaugural USD bond worth $750 million for a 7-year term at an interest rate of 7.25% in March 2024. This issuance attracted record demand for domestic bonds, totaling $4.75 billion from 250 investors.

Governor Radović also participated in the plenary session of the International Monetary and Financial Committee on the third day of their Washington visit, chaired by Kristalina Georgieva, the IMF’s Managing Director.

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