PM Krivokapić opens Economic Conference – Montenegro 2021

Published on: Dec 2, 2021 12:30 PM Author: Office of the Prime Minister/Chamber of Economy of Montenegro

The Economic Conference - Montenegro 2021, organised by the Chamber of Economy of Montenegro in partnership with the Central European Initiative, opened today in Budva. This year's Conference Conference "Economic resetting in the post-Covid-19 period" gathered representatives of governments, business and academic communities of our country and region, and international institutions influencing the economic development of the Western Balkans.

Prime Minister Zdravko Krivokapić, Acting President of the Chamber of Economy of Montenegro Nina Drakić and Secretary General of the Central European Initiative Roberto Antonione delivered opening remarks.

Prime Minister Zdravko Krivokapić referred to the result that the Government has achieved in the previous period in the economic field. Last year, we had minus of 15.3%, while this year we have a growth which will be between 13-14%. We projected that the budget will be 65% based on the tourist season from 2019, and that has come true, we projected that in June there will be 30% of those who will be vaccinated, and that has happened, he said.

Responding to the challenges that follow, Krivokapić said that the Government was guided by the lessons learned from previous economic events in the world. One of the lessons was defined by Roosevelt during a great recession when he said [that] "government expenditures should be increased." It was an economic shock at the time, but it paid off. The second is the Marshall Plan after World War II, which saved Europe. We used those experiences and created a project called "Europe Now", he said.

He further pointed out that the COVID-19 pandemic caused problems, and those problems are very clear. If you rely on one branch only or if one quarter of Montenegrin income depends on that branch, then you can see how dangerous this project is. This time, tourism and traffic suffered the most, but the construction, as you can see, was almost not endangered, especially not in Montenegro. It helps us to see what we need to do in the next period.

Krivokapić used the opportunity to remind that the Government of Montenegro has launched another project "Montenegro Now", which will connect and upgrade activities in accordance with projects and funds allocated through the Investment and Development Fund of Montenegro.

The most important thing that has happened, and it represents one positive effect of the pandemic, is the transition to the digital services in every sphere and at every step. That digital transformation is necessary for all of us, and the pandemic showed how many problems can be answered quickly, and that is just proof that this Government, which set the digital transformation as one pillar, was absolutely right, Krivokapić pointed out.

The Prime Minister expressed interest and commitment to improving and establishing the principles of the green economy and popularizing the use of renewable energy sources in Montenegro.

Acting President of the Chamber of Economy of Montenegro Nina Drakić especially emphasised the necessity for everyone in the region to remain committed to the process of European integration and to show the necessary perseverance on that path. Participation in the single market will bring new opportunities to our economy, access to numerous sources of financing, and many other benefits. Therefore, we need to be persistent in the pre-accession process, no matter how long and complex it may sometimes seem.

CEI Secretary General Roberto Antonione said that today's conference marks the final phase of the learning process that CEI started earlier this year by organising three events aimed at promoting open discussion and information exchange within an expanded network of public and private actors at several levels. If we want to identify one common feature that connects these events, I would like to highlight the broad consensus reached on the opinion that recovery is an opportunity to improve resilience and help establish a new four-pillar growth model: innovation, digital technology, climate change mitigation, and skills, work and social inclusion, said Antonione.

Antonione stressed the importance of focusing the common agenda on productivity and competitiveness, as well as making economies greener and more digital, with the aim of making the CEI region innovative, resilient and sustainable. In order to successfully carry out this difficult task, supporting the green and digital transition of our economies, investing in education is of the utmost importance, he said.

The conference is organised at the same time as the Central European Initiative CEI Summit of the Heads of Governments as the concluding event of the Montenegrin CEI Presidency. The CEI Heads of Government as participants in a panel on Post-pandemic future of Europe will discuss this topic of importance for the future development. Special attention is paid to the circular economy framework during the panel on Green Circular Economy – economic recovery and a different culture of living and doing business with experts and good business practices, as well as to digitalization and post-covid business transformation.

Samit predsjednika vlada Centralno-evropske inicijative, Budva (02.12.2021.)
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