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Inaugural session of Competitiveness Council

Inaugural session of Competitiveness Council
Published date 11.10.2017 16:43 | Author PR Service

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PR ServicePR Service

Podgorica, Montenegro (11 October 2017) -- Inaugural session of the Competitiveness Council, chaired by the President of the Council, Prime Minister Duško Marković, was held earlier today in Podgorica.

Speaking about the first item on the agenda – Establishment of the Competitiveness Council, its goals and further activities, Prime Minister Marković said that the Council is facing a challenging period and ambitious tasks with the aim of raising the level of the Montenegrin economy and improving administrative and other capacities in order to make the business environment incentive for foreign and domestic investors, which will lead to an increase in the standard of citizens and the creation of new jobs. In this context, the Prime Minister said that we are witnessing an increased interest of renowned investors, especially after Montenegro's accession to NATO, and pointed out that the Council should play a leading role in raising the willingness of the State to respond to investors' demands and expectations.

The Council considered and adopted the Report on the Implementation of the Economic Reform Programme (ERP) for Montenegro for the period 2017-2019 in the first six months of 2017. The Report showed that the results of the Government's economic policy in the first half of the year are better than the projections in the ERP for 2017, as follows: Economic growth for 2017 – ERP projection 3,2%, the Fiscal Strategy projection 2,7%; 4,2% achieved in the first half of year, which is among the highest in Europe. Also, better than projected results were achieved in the growth of wages and employment, as well as in the original public revenues (EUR 58.2 million or 8,2% more than the comparative period in 2016, EUR 7.5 million or 1,0% more than planned).  The expectation is that the real growth of the economy will be achieved by the end of 2017, achieved in the first half of the year. Regarding the implementation of the priority reform measures contained in the ERP, aimed at improving the competitiveness of the economy, it was noted that the implementation of the measures contained in the document is conducted in accordance with the dynamics provided in the ERP for 2017.

The Council considered and adopted the Report of the World Economic Forum on the Global Competitiveness Index and the achieved position of Montenegro, in which our country improved its position by five places and it was ranked 77th. This was contributed by the improvement of the position by individual sub-indicators: institutions, infrastructure, macroeconomic stability, higher education, the efficiency of the commodity market and the labor market, financial market, technological readiness, sophistication of business, innovation.

The Council reviewed and adopted the Information on the assessment of Montenegro's credit rating by the rating agency Moody's, by which Montenegro's credit rating is kept at B1 level, while the long-term prospects changed from negative to stable.  The above assessment is based on estimates that Government fiscal consolidation measures will stabilise the general fiscal position of the country; that large investment projects in the transport, tourism and energy sectors improve the prospect of medium-term growth in Montenegro; that progress in the EU accession negotiations, as well as Montenegro's membership in NATO, will contribute to strengthening institutions and improving the country's investment climate.

The President of the Council said he expects economic indicators for the third quarter of 2017 to be also very good and to contribute to the continuation of the current trend of economic growth and employment in 2017. At the same time, he stressed the Government's strong commitment to continuing the implementation of reform measures aimed at increasing the efficiency of the state administration, as well as overall structural reforms in the country.