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Reuters: FDI falls across West Balkans, except Montenegro

Published date: 15.12.2009 14:11 | Author: Kliping inostranih medija

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SARAJEVO, Dec 10 (Reuters) - Western Balkans countries should work together to attract foreign investors, as capital inflows have fallen sharply this year in all countries except Montenegro, foreign investment promoters said on Thursday.

The foreign direct investment (FDI) in the region amounted to 4.5 billion euro ($6.62 billion) in Jan-Sept, a deep decline from the previous year, mainly due to the global economic downturn and the grim outlook for the region still outside the European Union.

"We have realised that big investors do not eye the countries individually but rather the region as a whole," said Petar Ivanovic, a Montenegro investment promotion agency official.

Montenegro was the region's only country that continued to enjoy a boom in investment, for the fifth consecutive year, thanks to its liberal taxation policy and promotion of public-private partnerships, especially in tourism, Ivanovic said.

"Montenegro has attracted 726 million euros in foreign direct investment (FDI) in the first nine months of this year, which is six percent up from 2008 all together," Ivanovic said.

He added that FDI is expected to reach 951 million euros by the end of 2009 and may exceed 1 billion euros in 2010 if all agreed projects are implemented.