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Southeast European Times: Montenegro seeks to foster improved business climate

Published date: 07.02.2006 16:08 | Author: Kliping inostranih medija

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The main task in Montenegro these days, according to Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic, is to produce more, earn more and raise the standard of living. [AFP]

Montenegro's improving business climate has been highlighted by the establishment of new institutions designed to promote entrepreneurship and build a competitive, knowledge-based economy.

In 2005, the Montenegro Business School in Podgorica opened. Together with the Faculty of Tourism, Hotel Management and Trade, based in Bar, it forms the basis of what will eventually become Montenegro's first private university. The two institutions -- members of the Mediteran Faculty Association -- will soon be joined by a Faculty for European Law and Faculty for Information Technology.

The Business School offers a three-year programme aimed at fostering entrepreneurial values and developing sound business principles, as well as providing specialised knowledge in financing and marketing. Students have the opportunity, during their fifth semester, to attend master's degree programmes at some of the world's most prestigious universities.

Also in 2005, a Business Education Centre opened its doors. The 2m-euro facility was co-sponsored by the Montenegrin government, the Agency for Construction and Development of Podgorica, and the European Agency for Reconstruction. It serves as the new headquarters of the Human Resources Administration, the Centre for Training of Judges of Montenegro, the Agency for Investment Promotion, the Agency for Construction and Development of Podgorica and the Faculty for National and European Studies.

Soon after its opening, the centre served as a venue for the signing of a deal providing for 2m euros' worth of EU support for institutional and human resource development.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic stressed the importance of creating a functional democracy based on sound, professional institutions and the rule of law. These are crucial to fostering economic growth in Montenegro and bringing the country closer to the EU, he said, highlighting the need for reform of the state administration and judiciary.

According to Djukanovic, Montenegro's main task is to produce and earn more, and thus become wealthier. The republic has abundant human resources, in the form of a well-educated and capable population. By learning to match these capabilities with the demands of the world economy, Montenegrins can expect to improve their standard of living. But institutional reform -- at both the local and republic level -- is crucial to the process, he stressed. Entrepreneurs will start investing in municipalities that offer them better terms and conditions for doing business, as well as a higher level of efficiency.

By Antonela Arhin for Southeast European Times 06/02/06