Round table on Montenegro's Draft Economic Reform Programme 2017-2019
As part of the public debate on the Draft Economic Reform Programme 2017-2019 – the most important Government's economic document, which is structured and made according to the methodology of the European Commission – the round table was held on Friday, 20 January. The representatives of business associations, associations of trade unions, NGOs, universities, local governments, relevant ministries in the Government of Montenegro and EU Delegation to Montenegro took part in the round table.
The Draft Economic Reform Programme, which has clear goals of economic policy, including a detailed agenda of structural reforms, presented the coordinator of the Working Group for the development of this document, Nina Vujošević, Advisor of the Prime Minister, while the measures, policies and projections in the fields of macroeconomics and fiscal framework presented Coordinator of chapters 2 and 3 of the document – Macroeconomic and fiscal framework – Iva Vuković, Director General of the Directorate for Economic Policy and Development in the Ministry of Finance.
The coordinator of the working group for the development of the Montenegro's Economic Reform Programme 2017-2019 pointed out that the Economic Reform Programme is the basic document through which the Government presents its economic policy in the medium term and will submit it to the European Commission by the end of January. Vujošević said that the document is made in accordance with the guidelines of the EC and it is based on the six key recommendations from the EU Ministerial Meeting held in Brussels in 2016. Vujošević presented 20 priority reform measures that affect the growth and competitiveness which have been selected to address the obstacles to growth, with the aim of increasing the competitiveness of the Montenegrin economy and the intensification of economic growth.
She stressed that the strategic development goal of Montenegro is sustainable and inclusive economic growth that will reduce the country's development gap relative to the EU average and increase the quality of life of all its citizens. In order to achieve the strategic development goal, the Government will, according to the Draft Economic Reform Programme 2017-2019, combine two groups of economic policy measures: those aimed at strengthening macroeconomic stability and those related to increasing competitiveness. She pointed out that the Economic Reform Programme 2017-2019 is at the same time fully compliant with the Fiscal Rehabilitation Plan, which represents the optimal combination of economic policy measures that will allow the stabilisation of public finances, the continuation of sustainable economic growth and preserve the level of social protection of the most vulnerable sections of society.
Vuković said that the macroeconomic framework will be based on the investment activity which will have a strong impact on economic course. Economic growth will be affected by the implementation of fiscal consolidation measures. According to the baseline scenario the average rate of real GDP growth 2017-2019 is 3.4% and 2% under alternative scenario.
Fiscal policy goal in the medium term is consolidation of public finances in order to create conditions to reduce the deficit of public spending and slower growth of public debt. Vuković pointed out that the deficit under the baseline scenario is projected at 6.1%, 5.6% and 3.8% of GDP in 2017, 2018 and 2019 respectively. Public debt is projected at 71.6%, 74.9% and 77.5% of GDP in 2017, 2018 and 2019 respectively, after which it will establish its downward trend.
PUBLIC RELATIONS SERVICE OF THE GOVERNMENT OF MONTENEGRO