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Montenegro

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MONTENEGRO


  
  

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Key Economic Data 
 
  2003 2002 2001 Ranking(2003)
GDP
Millions of US $
         
GNI per capita
 US $ 106
Ranking is given out of 208 nations - (data from the World Bank)


Update No: 116 - (25/01/07)

Podgorica proclaimed independence in June following the referendum at which more than 55% of voters supported the break-up of Serbia-Montenegro, which was the last remnant of the former communist Yugoslavia.

Moscow on the Adriatic
The world's newest country, Montenegro, is also one of its most beautiful, the venue which was chosen for making the latest James Bond movie, Casino Royale. It is becoming a major tourist attraction. Indeed it is expected to have the world's fastest growing tourist economy in the next decade (see below).
Properties on the coast are rocketing up in price. 'Montenegro' means Black Mountain, which may prove prophetic. There can be few better investment opportunities as the Russians come to town, making it Moscow on the Adriatic.

Muddle over official language
It is threatened by a possible constitutional crisis because its leaders can't agree on the name of the language they speak. The government, which led Montenegro to independence, wants to make the official language Montenegrin -- but a large majority of the tiny Balkan state's people believe they speak Serbian.
Montenegro broke away from a union with traditional partner Serbia following an historic referendum in May this year.
It has strong historic and cultural links with Serbia, as well as a shared Orthodox Christian religion and language, which only differs slightly in dialect.
Serbian remains its official language despite the ruling pro-independence coalition's plans to change it to Montenegrin in line with similar moves in Bosnia and Croatia in the 1990s.
About 60% of Montenegro's 650 000 population say they speak Serbian, compared with just 21% of those who claim to use Montenegrin, according to a 2003 census.
The issue has become crucial as Montenegro needs to draft a new constitution as soon as possible, since it became independent more than six months ago and still has no new charter.
A pro-Serbian bloc of parties, the strongest opposition group in Montenegro's Parliament, has been insisting that Serbian should remain in official use. "

Montenegro Joins The IMF And World Bank
Montenegro is being welcomed as a new member of the world community. It has joined the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, boosting each institution's total membership to 185 countries. 
Both the IMF and the World Bank made separate announcements about Montenegro's membership on January 18th. IMF chief Rodrigo de Rato said the country's transition to independence has been impressive and economic activity has recovered. He also noted that the country has increasingly become the focus of investor interest." 
De Rato further pointed out that "the future holds many challenges. Achieving a sustained increase in prosperity will require sound economic management, in order to establish the conditions for economic growth and stability - not least in harnessing the benefits of strong foreign direct investment and tourism for the country's future development." 
Montenegrin TV notes that "The original IMF statute and World Bank convention were signed by the Montenegrin Finance Minister and Central Bank Council President, Igor Luksic and Ljubisa Krgovic respectively. … With its membership in the IMF and World Bank Montenegro has completed its integration into the global economic system and has won the right to apply for financial aid like all the other members of these organizations. … Membership in the IMF is very important because with the help of this international organization's program's Montenegro will accelerate its journey to the European Union, Krgovic pointed out. Luksic believes that membership in the IMF and World Bank is of exceptional importance for Montenegro because of its future ratings, and that it is an excellent signal to all potential investors who are prepared to invest in Montenegro." 
"Montenegro's quota, or stake in the IMF, was set at US$41.2 million out of a total of US$325 billion of the 185 members. … The World Bank said it is developing a new four year strategy for Montenegro to help shore up public finances and to encourage private sector investments. 'The strategy, which is expect to be completed by mid-2007, is likely to focus on supporting Montenegro on the path toward European Union membership; promoting growth and jobs through investments in environmentally sustainable tourism infrastructure, along with other high priority infrastructure needs; and supporting government efforts to strengthen and streamline social services such as health and education,' the Bank said." 

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The following from the London Stock exchange is self-explanatory:-

Montenegro property 'spurred on by tourism'
While property prices in Montenegro are relatively lower than in established markets, the expected growth of the country's tourism industry is likely to see the market develop significantly.
According to Andrea Marston, general manager of Dream Croatia, while a number of investors chose to move into the country's emerging market by purchasing land for development, the country is predicted to offer investors new opportunities. Citing research by the World Travel and Tourism Council, Ms Marston suggests that Montenegro's tourism economy is expected to become the fastest growing in the world over the next decade.
"This does mean that a booming tourist sector demands more property for rent, which consequently spurs on the property market," she remarks. 
While offering a "stark beauty", the country is planning further improvements to its infrastructure, such as roads and water, in anticipation of the growth in tourism.

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FOREIGN RELATIONS

Diplomatic relations launched with Greece


Greece opened diplomatic relations with Montenegro on December 18th, which won independence from its union with Serbia in a nationwide referendum in May last year, Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa) reported. 
Greek Foreign Minister, Dora Bakoyiannis, and her Montenegrin counterpart, Milan Rocen, signed a protocol establishing diplomatic ties. Rocen was in Athens on a one-day visit. "We are very happy to welcome Foreign Minister, Milan Rocen, on his first official visit to Greece since Montenegro won independence," Bakoyiannis said. Plans for the opening of a Greek Embassy in the capital of Podogorica should be finalised at the start of 2007. "We are happy that Montenegro managed to gain independence by democratic means and has solved its problems with Serbia, and is establishing good neighbourly relations," Bakoyiannis added. Montenegro narrowly voted for independence from its union with Serbia in May - a time when the question of independence had deeply divided Montenegro, with opponents arguing it would damage economic and political ties with Serbia. "It is the first time in the Balkans that this was achieved in such a democratic manner," Rocen said. 
Montenegro's union with Serbia had been established in 2003, replacing what was left of the former Yugoslavia. 

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