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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: 121 - (27/06/07)

The rebirth of a nation
Montenegro was an independent state until 1918 when it merged with Serbia and other parts of the western Balkans to create Yugoslavia. That six-state federation crumbled in the wars of the early 1990s, but Montenegro's immediate choice then was to stay allied with Serbia. 

However, the two-state union ended last year when Montenegro's pro-independence parties prevailed in the referendum over opposition groups that favoured a continued alliance with much larger Serbia. The tiny state of 620,000 people officially proclaimed independence June 3. But it regards the real date of independence as a fortnight before when it - just - voted for it. The pro-vote barrel scraped past the 55% threshold. 

Such has been the success of the venture that nobody doubts that it was the right decision. A re-run today would be won by a landslide. 

First anniversary of independence
Cannons blasted celebratory salutes on May 21st to mark the first anniversary of Montenegro's independence, and the young country's leaders renewed promises to take the Balkan nation into NATO and the European Union. 

President Filip Vujanovic addressed a crowd of government officials and diplomats gathered on the eve of the anniversary of the May 21, 2006, referendum in which voters chose to end their state's shaky alliance with neighbouring Serbia. The split brought to a formal end the last union to remain from the shattered Yugoslav federation. 

"We are proud to have realized the dream of our forefathers," Vujanovic said in his speech. "We remain committed to the rule of law, liberal economy ... and maintain good cooperation with our neighbours" as well as with world powers. "Our determination is clear: full membership in NATO ... in the European Union," Vujanovic said. "We are confident in the crucial support of our ally, the United States of America." 

The Jewel of the Adriatic 
Montenegro is on the map - and in a big way. It is actually a fabulous place, with wonderful scenery, which is now receiving the world's attention at last. 

It provided locations for the latest James Bond film, Casino Royale. It has now gone one up on that in 1960s glamour stakes. The Rolling Stones, the British rock group, played a concert in Budva in early June, as part of their 'A Bigger Bang tour.' 

Montenegro is becoming a British celebrities' theme-park. 

Montenegro's biggest airport reports booming tourist numbers
This is giving a big boost to tourism, just at the right time of year. Tivat Airport, Montenegro's busiest, has reported a new record as tourist numbers continue to increase. 

The Visit-Montenegro website notes that 118,680 passengers passed through Tivat Airport for the first five months of 2007 - an increase of more than 40,000 on 2006 figures. 

Furthermore, the trend of growth looks set to continue as Montenegro becomes an increasingly popular holiday and property investment destination. Airport officials expect total passenger numbers for the year to hit somewhere between 550,000 and 600,000 travellers. 

Southeastern Europe Leaders Voice Different Views on Kosovo
Another sign that Montenegro has made it is that Budva again, a delightful resort on the Adriatic, was the venue for a most important meeting for the Balkan states. At a two-day summit in Budva, Montenegrin President, Filip Vujanovic, appeared to side with Serbia when he said: "We still believe that the option of an agreement between Belgrade and Pristina is not exhausted." 

Vujanovic's remarks echoed earlier calls by Serbia, which told Ban Ki Moon, the UN Secretary General, in a letter that it wanted talks on the future of Kosovo to continue. "It is now on the UN Security Council to determine Kosovo's future in a careful and responsible manner," Vujanovic said.

Serbia is relying on Russia's backing to thwart a UN resolution in favour of Kosovo's immediate independence. However, independence without delay is supported by most European Union countries and by the US. 

In contrast to Montenegro's position, Albania's President, Alfred Moisiu, told the Budva summit that the Kosovo issue needed to be resolved as soon as possible. His country has strongly backed the proposal drafted by the UN envoy Martti Ahtisaari, which envisions internationally monitored independence for the province. "This is the best solution for Kosovo, Serbia" region and the European Union," Moisiu said. 

Macedonia's President, Branko Crvenkovski, said he wanted what he called the last outstanding issue in the region "resolved in a productive way and without jeopardizing regional stability and its Euro-Atlantic prospects". 

The conference, organized by an NGO, the International League of Humanists and the government of Montenegro, brought together the presidents of Macedonia, Albania, Bulgaria and Croatia, as well as top officials from Bosnia and Herzegovina and the European Parliament's Delegation for South-East Europe.

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FOREIGN INVESTMENT

Hungarian investors cast their eyes on new market


Hungarian companies plan to invest up to 10 billion Euro in Montenegro in the coming years. This emerged at a meeting between Hungarian Economy Minister, Janos Koka, and his Montenegrin counterpart, Branimir Gvozdenovic, in Budapest on May 11th. Both leaders met to bolster economic ties between the two countries, Mnnews reported. 
Gvozdenovic said that Hungary was the biggest foreign investor in Montenegro in the past two years. It accounted for 27 per cent of all foreign direct investment in Montenegro between 2001 and 2005. Today investments worth as much as 10 billion Euro are in the planning stages there by companies including OTP Bank Nyrt, Magyar Telekom Nyrt, Mol Nyrt, aluminum maker MAL Zrt, Ganz Zrt and TriGranit Zrt. Construction group TriGranit Zrt alone plans to spend several billion euros to build a holiday resort in Montenegro and a new city centre in Podgorica.

Italians ready to invest, 20 companies visit Montenegro

Representatives from Italian firms came on a four-day visit to Montenegro to explore new investments. The representative of the Italians from USA, Salvatore Ferinjo, the member of the parliament commission in charge of defence and security of Italy, lead the delegation. The president of the Union of entrepreneurs, Predrag Mitrovic, said the aim of the Italian visit was the promotion of the state and economy. During the stay in Montenegro, the Italian firms discussed possibilities for investment and joint projects with the representatives of the Government and the Union of entrepreneurs, New Europe reported.
Even though the Union of entrepreneurs was the host of the Italian delegation they had meetings with the government's officials. Italians and Americans of Italian origins said they were interested in investing in regional cooperation and are interested in investing in Montenegro, said Mitrovic. He said the second goal of the visit of the Italian delegation was cooperation with entrepreneurs and Montenegrin businessman. 
"It is important for us to show Montenegro, as a country, that it is safe and open for investments and real business projects. That is our guiding idea," said Mitrovic. Ferinjo was born in Karina, near Palermo and managed to become one of the richest brokers on the Manhattan stock market. Prior to his arrival in Montenegro, Ferinjo told Mnnews that the richest Italian firms from the sector of construction, hotel keeping, tourism are coming to Montenegro. He added, "I have managed to transfer to them my enthusiasm and ideas about investing in Montenegro. I believe there is a brilliant future for Montenegro and I hope that we can be part of the foundations for future lucrative cooperation."

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MINERALS & METALS

Global Steel to invest 1.1bn Euro in new deal 

Global Steel Holdings, the offshore investment arm of the Pramod-Vinod Mittal controlled Ispat Industries, plans to invest 1.1 billion Euro in Montenegro. The investment follows Global Steel's recent acquisition of coalmines in Ivangrad, which have reserves of 150 million tonnes, in Montenegro. Global Steel will invest 600 million Euro for rehabilitation of mines and 500 million Euro for a 500 mw power plant, Mnnews reported. 
The mines in Ivangrad have a coal washing and separation plant that can produce sized and washed coal. There is a coal washing and separation plant attached to the mines that can produce sized and washed coal. The company will rehabilitate the existing mines and will also develop six new mines and washing facilities. Post investment, it will have a capacity of three million tonnes of coal per annum. This is Global Steel's fifth venture in the Balkans. It has recently acquired the Magnohrom Refractory in Serbia, Llamkos Steel in Kosovo, Kremikovtzi Steel in Bulgaria and the coke oven company of GIKIL in Bosnia. Global Steel also operates thermal power plants in Bulgaria and Nigeria. Global's recent acquisition of Llamkos was embroiled in a court case. However, it managed to get control of Llamkos through legal recourse. Global Steel Holdings acquired Kremikovtzi in April 2005. Global Steel operates and manages about 14 million tonnes of steelmaking capacity and associated businesses in mining, energy and logistics in various parts of the world. 

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