One of the fastest-growing economies in the Balkan Peninsula, the young nation of Montenegro is an investment destination that holds unrivaled potential with its predominantly business-centric economy.
Home to the Natural and Culturo-Historical Region of Kotor, an UNESCO world heritage city listed as one of the most beautiful old fortress cities in the world, the country boasts incredible natural beauty with its stunning rivers, canyons, yacht-friendly coastline, and scenic mountains. Under the guidance of Hon. Zdravko Krivokapić, Montenegro’s Prime Minister since December 2020, the government has successfully implemented reforms that will enable future growth in public finances through fiscal consolidation. Other initiatives included record investments in infrastructure and balanced regional development in the 2022 capital budget, enhanced connectivity through the rapid development of municipalities, and future goals to improve tax discipline and revenues.
This plethora of features makes Montenegro an ideal investment destination. For example, establishing a new business in Montenegro and entering the market is a straightforward process with very low barriers. “The government is very committed to supporting foreign investors in different sectors such as real estate, tourism, and the aviation industry,” explains Goran Jandreoski, CEO of Airports of Montenegro. Montenegro’s low cost of land and property is also an appealing element for investors. For those aspiring to own property, the purchase process is simple, secure, and straightforward, allowing foreign investors to buy, sell, and rent their properties on similar terms and conditions as the citizens of Montenegro. A liberal visa program allows property owners, regardless of their property’s value, to obtain a residency permit.
“Montenegro has started a new page of its history and its future. By restoring independence in 2006 and becoming a member of NATO, we demonstrate our valuable place in the European and global landscapes.”
H.E. Milo Đukanović, President of Montenegro
Montenegro’s agricultural sector is also thriving with opportunity, as the World Bank approved a €3 million loan to strengthen rural areas and expand agricultural support. The MIDAS project has assisted in implementing an Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance in Rural Development (IPARD)-compatible system and a pilot IPARD-like grant scheme supporting investments in agricultural holdings, which have provided around 660 farmers IPARD-like grants to enhance agricultural production.
A large part of sustainable growth will depend on economic diversification, improving energy efficiency, and the use of renewable sources to achieve sustainable development and synergy between sectors. The nation’s energy sector projects include a submarine cable to Italy for electricity transmission, the environmental reconstruction of coal-fired thermal power plants in Pljevlja, hydropower plant construction and concession agreements for offshore oil and gas exploration. Additionally, the Montenegro Energy Efficiency Project (MEEP) is working to improve energy-efficiency performance and implementation in the country.
Montenegro attracts a total of 1.6 million visitors annually and according to data from 2018, the tourism sector was worth 23.6% of Montenegro’s entire GDP, lending to the effectiveness of Đukanović’s administration and the prioritization of Montenegro’s development as an elite tourist destination. Strong relations between Montenegro and the Middle East amplify the potential of the nation across all sectors where great efforts have been made to connect business communities and facilitate their cooperation, leading to successful investments from the UAE that demonstrate the investment potential of Montenegro.
The country hopes to create a more luxurious and alluring tourism sector by placing VIP lounges in local airports. Ana Marojevic of Fly Montenegro explains, “With the construction of a modern VIP terminal at the airport in Tivat, Montenegro would become competitive with other well-known VIP terminals and luxury destinations such as Nice, Olbia, and Ibiza.”
The Bridge To Middle East
Montenegro is a bridge to the Middle East. The United Arab Emirates and Montenegro have formally established diplomatic relations through the signing of monumental agreements. Both nations have pledged bilateral economic cooperation in trade, investment, tourism, SMEs, technology development and innovation, renewable energy, education and science, agriculture and transport.
The synergy created between the government and investors is key for the success of Montenegro and for investors seeking an entryway into an untapped market and a connection to the Middle East and Europe. Prime Minister Zdravko Krivokapić says, “Our goal is to make Montenegro an attractive destination for future investments. We want to inform investors from that part of the world about the numerous opportunities that Montenegro offers.”