More than 150 Slovenian companies are present in Montenegro in various sectors, while at the same time there are more and more Montenegrin companies in Slovenia, announced the Honorary Consul of Montenegro in Slovenia, Vojislav Kovač.
He said in an interview for the Glasnik Chamber of Commerce (PKCG) that such a level of economic cooperation is a confirmation of stable and long-term quality relations.
“Relations between Montenegro and Slovenia are very good, with Slovenia supporting Montenegro on our most important path – the path of European integration. Slovenia is our great friend in implementing the comprehensive reforms that await us for full EU membership. As an illustration, I cite the fact that since 2010, Slovenia has earmarked 14 million for development projects in Montenegro,” said Kovač.
He said that, apart from development projects, where the Slovenian side transfers its knowledge and experience, cooperation in the field of economy is also important. Kovač, speaking about his goals as an honorary consul in Slovenia, said that his goal and desire is to deepen the economic cooperation between the two countries even more.
“I would like certain Montenegrin business entities that do not lag behind similar European companies in their work, organization and business results to find a place on the demanding Slovenian market. It seems to me that several Montenegrin companies have matured for such a thing in the past decade”, announced Kovač.
He cited the example of the company “Čelebić”, which has a significant investment in residential construction, while Zetagradnja, together with the company Rastoder from Ljubljana, is building the tallest residential and commercial building in the capital of Slovenia. The investment value of that project before the increase in the price of raw materials and construction materials was estimated at EUR 45 million.
“These are just some of the projects whose implementation has already begun. Apart from the mentioned companies, I believe that some other successful Montenegrin companies in the field of trade and production will soon take a prominent place on the demanding Slovenian market”, said Kovač.
He also said that Slovenian tourists are happy to visit Montenegro and that he is especially happy that they are coming back. “They know very well our coast and pearls like Prokletije, Durmitor, Tara and Lake Skadar. During their stay in Montenegro, they must also visit Lovćen, and lately also the monument of Franc Prešern in Podgorica, which makes me very happy. When returning to Slovenia, whether they traveled by plane, motorcycle, or car, although they express surprise at our easy relationship with nature, they remain delighted by our innate hospitality, immediacy and warmth. Yes, I can say that tourists from that country feel good with us”, announced Kovač.
He added that It is necessary to strive for those tourists to stay longer, to spend the whole vacation there and to come in the pre- and post-season. In this sense, the local market deserves more attention and engagement of our tourist organizations. “By the way, Slovenia is an excellent example of how the entire country has been put into the function of tourism, and they have very well developed congress, village, health, nautical, sports tourism and I could list more”, said Kovač.
He said that the success of that branch is directly influenced by the cleanliness and arrangement of public areas. “In this sense, I mean public spaces without graffiti, garbage, broken benches, mini-dumps, sidewalks that serve as parking lots. They could also talk about our bad habits in traffic. While we have acquired renowned tourist complexes through private capital, we lag behind in the development of road infrastructure, above all on our coast, we lack bypasses around coastal cities. As we all know, the coast is very busy with traffic,” said Kovač.
When asked in which areas Montenegro can attract new capital from Slovenia, he replied that Slovenia knows Montenegro very well.
“Cooperation, as I have already said, is intensive. They know our mentality, culture, they have a positive experience with us. Based on the legacy from the former joint state, good relations have continued since the first days of transition and privatization”, added Kovač.
Slovenian companies in Montenegro, as he said, operate correctly and it is not rare that they are the sponsors of sports teams or patrons of various events. “We must do much more ourselves to use the excellent natural resources for the development of agricultural production and to produce enough food for domestic needs and significant exports. There are still insufficiently used possibilities for the development of animal husbandry. In this sense, as a result, the logistical advantages of the Port of Bar remain unused”, stated Kovač.
He believes that the priority Is the continuation of the development of energy production, which, thanks to the energy infrastructure with submarine cables and new transmission lines, can be a significant export branch. “We must not forget that Montenegro has made a great success in the field of nautical tourism. Based on knowledge and experience in the field of nautical, I claim that respecting all aspects, Porto Montenegro marina is the best in Europe. “A good step forward for the positioning of Montenegro on the world yachting map is the commissioning of a part of the former shipyard in Bijela, with the installation of a dock for servicing mega yachts,” said Kovač.
According to him, it is necessary to improve the road infrastructure, especially in the coastal area. “It is necessary to think especially about the potential of the north of Montenegro, which deserves a higher quality tourist offer. In order to more transparently attract investors from the EU, it is necessary to harmonize our legislation according to EU standards. As announced, there are very important processes ahead of us – the diversification of the economy in the direction of strengthening production activities and digital transformation”, stated Kovač.
When asked how Slovenia can help us in these processes, he replied that the country has done a lot in terms of digital reforms and the development of e-government. “In Slovenia, the dominant thinking is that digital solutions and reforms open up new opportunities for companies and enable the dynamic sustainability of the economy. Without it, there is no increase in competitiveness, productivity and reduction of business costs. It’s nice to talk about digital solutions, but in Montenegro we have to take a few steps back and build our own sustainable business environment with digitization. The Montenegrin community in Slovenia seems to be well organized,” Kovač announced.