Political Background and Developments Economic Background
Current Economic Forecast
A Growing Tourist Destination
Travel & Tourism Sector Growth & Link to GDP
Montenegro attracting Increasing Investments
- Montenegro (“Black Mountain”) is a south-eastern European country bordering the Adriatic Sea to the South with a coastline of 293 kilometers.
- The country’s central location makes it accessible for tourists from all over Europe. By plane it is less than three hours from Moscow, London, Frankfurt and Paris and 1.5 hours from Athens, Budapest, Munich, Rome, Vienna, Warsaw and Zurich.
- It is a year-round tourist destination – with 240 days of sunshine a year the country’s climate is identical to those of Majorca or the Cote d’Azur while the country also caters for a touristic winter season with its 3 ski resorts.
- Three UNESCO heritage sites reside in Montenegro: Durmitor, Tara River Canyon and the old city of Kotor – major attractions for tourists.
- The country gained its independence in June 2006 from Serbia via a referendum held in May 2006 where 55% of the voters voted in favour of independence.
- Montenegro is governed by a stable parliamentary democracy.
- It has been led by President Filip Vujanovic since 2008, who was re-elected in 2013 for another five-year term ending in 2018.
- The Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS) won 36 of 81 parliamentary seats at the October 2016 election and formed a government under Dusan Markovic. DPS leader Milo Djukanovic stepped down as PM.
- The Montenegrin government continues to improve the country’s business investment climate. As a result, the average time to issue a construction permit has decreased from six to two months and average registration for a new company has reduced from twenty-five to nine days.
- Montenegro is currently an official candidate for both the European Union and NATO.
- In April 2017, the United States has ratified Montenegro’s application to NATO (only 2 countries remaining to ratify the application).
- One & Only and Lustica Bay Projects have started to sell and build, with projects such as Porto Novi Project (development consisting of a marina and a hotel) in Kumbor, Herceg Novi by Azmont Investments of Azerbaijan’s State Oil Company (SOCAR) are in the pipeline.
- The construction of a highway from the port of Bar to Belgrade (Serbia) is being financed by the Chinese ExIm Bank, with an estimated cost of €807m.
- The Montenegrin government is building a €700m underwater electricity cable from Montenegro to Italy so that the countries will have access to each others’ energy supplies.
- Montenegro has an ever expanding tourism sector: the countries income from tourism was €336m in 2012 and grew by 6% in 2013.
- Despite the global economic recession and the relatively infant stage of Montenegro’s tourism industry, there has been a 28% increase in the number of foreign tourist arrivals since 2008.
- In 2013, Lonely Planet named Montenegro one of its top 10 must-see destinations.
- During the peak summer season over 35,000 tourists arrive each day.
- The World Travel & Tourism Council predicts that the footfall will increase by 16.4% over the next seven years making Montenegro the world’s fastest-growing tourist market.
- Reduced visa restrictions, improved air connections and an increase in large cruise ships docking has attracted tourists from France, Germany, Middle Eastern countries and North America.
ICD, Orascom, SOCAR, ADFG….. Investing in the future growth in Montenegro
- International Corporation of Dubai (“ICD” ), the principal investment arm of the Government of Dubai [Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum (Chairman)] acquired Porto Montenegro Marina and Resort in May 2016, the landmark yacht marina and waterfront development in Montenegro. The move to acquire Porto Montenegro Marina and Resort is in alignment with ICD’s strategy to add high quality international assets in fast growing markets to its substantial portfolio. The transaction marks ICD’s first investment in Montenegro and the yacht marina sector, both of which are expected to experience strong growth in coming years.
- Orascom Development Holding: Invested in Lustica Bay in 2009. In August 2016 Orascom announced its partnership with GHM to bring The Chedi brand to Luštica Bay. The Chedi Luštica Bay’s central location within Luštica Bay main marina promenade affords stunning views over the marina and the Adriatic Sea.
- SOCAR (Azer bai jan’s State Oil Company) is to invest over €500m in the One & Only resort. SOCAR has invested more than € 200m in the construction of the resort so far in 2016, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2017. The complex will include the “One & Only” branded hotel as well as luxury apartments, villas and a marina. Cooperation between Azerbaijan and Montenegro started to develop faster recently. About 4,200 tourists from Azerbaijan visited Montenegro in 2014 compared to 1,500 in 2013. The resort project in Montenegro is the largest Azerbaijani investment project in tourism outside the country.
- Abu Dhabi Financial Group (“ADFG ”) – With an established regional headquarters in Podgorica, ADFG completed in 2015 the largest new mixed-used real estate project in Montenegro. ADFG with Capital Investment (CI) opened The Capital Plaza, in the heart of Podgorica, Montenegro’s capital city. It comprises 1 million square feet of prime retail, business, hospitality and residential space. H Hotel will operate the scheme’s 139- room six-story hotel. ADFG has also invested in the Lučice Project located on Lučice beach, near the town of Petrovac. Its plan is to develop a 5 star Condo style hotel, townhouses, villas, beach bar, restaurants and promenade.