FREE GEOPOLITICAL NEWSLETTER

Montenegro

For current reports go to EASY FINDER

MONTENEGRO


  
  

Books on Montenegro

 

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: 120 - (30/05/07)

Montenegro the proud and free 
The Montenegrins are enjoying their newfound independence one year later. There is no doubt that a re-run of the referendum that brought it about would be won by a far more substantial majority today than the barely 55% that was obtained then - just.

Montenegro is on the map, with droves of tourists and property seekers. Nestled in the eastern corner of the Adriatic shore, the country is known for its beaches, its pine forests, and its Mafia-connected smuggling and other activities. The ideal location in fact for the latest James Bond movie, Casino Royale.

Security is, indeed, a perennial problem. As always the US, which has just sent its own sharpshooter, Clifford Bond no less, to sort out a security problem in Sebrenica, Bosnia, is being called in to help.

U.S. Troops - in Montenegro?
A "defence" pact recently signed by the U.S. and the tiny Balkan nation is a "status of forces" agreement which, according to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, "establishes a basis for United States military personnel to operate in Montenegro for mutually agreed activities." 

After all these years, the US is finally going back to the Balkans. What will American troops be doing in Montenegro? Remember way back when, when Republican members of Congress were denouncing U.S. intervention in the Balkans and threatening to withhold funding for troop operations? Why, it seems like only yesterday!

Perhaps the Bush Administration is paving the way for the Democrats to intervene in a bigger way - that always was their preferred area of operations. One assumes that a Democratic administration will be just as tough as Russia, as, say, Dick Cheney had been - and establishing a U.S. base in the Adriatic is bound to infuriate Moscow, and it is designed to do so.

Back in the 1990s, Republicans were saying that the US had no real interests in the Balkans, and that it ought to get out forthwith. Today, a Republican President is sending American troops to the make-believe country of Montenegro, the Grand Fenwick of the Balkans, for no discernible reason other than to annoy Moscow and add to its empire of military bases. (Although, given Bush's history on the Balkan intervention question, his move into Montenegro isn't all that surprising….)

Leader Of Republic Of Montenegro Meets With Baldacci
Montenegro had in fact already been paired with the Maine National Guard under a federal partnership programme that pairs US state militias with those of emerging democracies. While Maine's initial contact with the country was military, there are hopes of more civilian exchanges.
Under unusually heavy security for Maine's capital, Governor John Baldacci met on May 2nd with the president of the Republic of Montenegro, Filip Vujanovic, at the Blaine House. "I want to welcome you, Mr. President, to Maine. It's an honour for you and for us to have you here, to establish a strong bond between the newest country in the world, the newest democracy in the world, and the state of Maine. We're honoured by your presence," said Governor Baldaccci.

Last winter, a delegation from Maine visited Montenegro, and apparently found many similarities there, including its environmental concerns and growing tourist industry.

President Vujanovic exchanged gifts with Baldacci, and invited him to visit the Balkan country. Baldacci accepted, but no time has been set.

US ready to back Montenegro's EU and NATO integration
The Montenegrin president also went to Washington, where again cordiality reigned supreme. US Vice President Richard Cheney said during talks with President Vujanovic that the USA is ready to back Montenegro's EU and NATO integration. 

Cheney assessed positively the military reforms in the country and supported its ambitions to join the Euro-Atlantic Alliance as soon as possible. Vujanovic thanked the USA for its quick acknowledgement of Montenegro's independence. 

Inaugural Greek economic ties with Montenegro eyed
Closer to home, relations with Greece are all important, the natural leader of the Balkans. Greek Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas concluded a groundbreaking series of contacts with Montenegro's top leadership on May 3rd in Podgorica, outlining at least three sectors for budding cooperation between EU-member-state Greece and the newly independent state in the western Balkans.

Sioufas was received by Montenegrin President Vujanovic and Prime Minister Zeljko Sturanovic, among others, where he reiterated Athens' volition to support Montenegro's European integration and to aid its economic convergence with the rest of the continent via the Greek government's structural fund for the Balkans.

Energy issues -- as Sioufas holds the energy portfolio in the Greek government -- also dominated talks, as the minister proposed a bilateral agreement on the sector, along with agreements on SMEs and R&D exchanges.

In talks with Sturanovic, the latter briefed Sioufas on Podgorica's reforms and efforts to join Euro-Atlantic institutions, while he thanked Athens for its support. Both sides also expressed a readiness to schedule a meeting between the Greek and Montenegrin prime ministers in the near future.

During a meeting with Minister for Economic Development Bradimir Gvozdenovic, the two sides discussed bilateral trade and economic cooperation, with the first step being immediate cooperation deals between the two countries' chambers of commerce.

A huge tourist potential
Montenegro can become a world tourist brand if it takes advantage of the potential that it has - said the director of the World Tourist Organization (WTO) for Europe Luigi Cabrini in an interview with "Vijesti." 

"The potential of Montenegro - its mountain area, natural parks, and coastal region - is there. It just needs to be used in the right way. You can become a brand not just thanks to the potential which you have but also because of the fact that many people outside of Europe do not know where Montenegro is, and don't know that it even exists, and tourists like that" - added Cabrini.

Cabrini is the first official representative of the WTO who has visited Montenegro. After the meeting with the president of the Government Sturanovic he said that Montenegro in November will become the 151st full right member of WTO, and he used the visit to open the seminar in Kolasin under the patronage of WTO dedicated to the sustainable development on which the work of that organization is based on.

He went on to make several specific points:-

"In previous years because of the political and historical context you couldn't use what you had, being cut off in a time warp. Now you are in an exquisite situation to become a recognizable brand in this part of Europe with the combination of the already mentioned potential and with a rich cultural heritage. You must admit that many people outside of Europe do not know that Montenegro exists. But that is not a defect. On the contrary, if you have in mind that people are accustomed to travel, and that they have seen a lot of places, and that they wish to see new undiscovered destinations, Montenegro is a jewel to be relished" - explained "Vijesti."

"While visiting Montenegro I was greatly impressed; but there is a lot that needs to be done. That is a normal process, because in order to attract tourists you need good hotels, new infrastructure, attractions which will not be tightly bound to the narrow seasonal character of tourism." - explains Cabrini, adding that WTO will help Montenegro to achieve the positive branding.

"A master plan of the development of tourism should be developed in harmony with the life environment and with all aspects of sustainable development for which WTO pledges full support." Cabrini says.

"In the WTO, we think that the trend of growth of world tourism in the following years will be from 4 to 5 % per annum. Last year 840 millions of tourists visited foreign countries; and until 2020 we are expecting that that figure will reach 1, 6 billions. These records go to benefit of Europe, which today is the biggest market when we are speaking about the reception of tourists. Montenegro should be a spectacular beneficiary." - concluded Cabrini.

« Top

FOREIGN ECONOMIC RELATIONS

Greece seeks inaugural economic and energy ties


Greek Development Minister, Dimitris Sioufas, was received by Montenegrin President, Filip Vujanovic, and Prime Minister, Zeljko Sturanovic, in Pogorica recently, Mmnews reported. 
Sioufas concluded a ground-breaking series of contacts with Montenegro's top leadership. During the meeting, Sioufas outlined at least three sectors for budding cooperation between EU-member-state Greece and the newly- independent state in the western Balkans. He also reiterated Athens' volition to support Montenegro's European integration and to aid its economic convergence with the rest of the continent via the Greek government's structural fund for the Balkans. Being responsible for the energy portfolio in the Greek government, energy issues also topped the agenda of the meeting. Sioufas proposed a bilateral agreement on the sector, along with agreements on SMEs and R&D exchanges. Sturanovic briefed Sioufas on Podgorica's reforms and efforts to join Euro-Atlantic institutions, while he thanked Athens for its support. Both sides also expressed a readiness to schedule a meeting between the Greek and Montenegrin prime ministers in the near future. During a meeting with Minister for Economic Development Bradimir Gvozdenovic, the two sides discussed bilateral trade and economic cooperation, with the first step being immediate cooperation deals between the two countries' chambers of commerce.  

« Top

« Back

 


 
Published by 
Newnations (a not-for-profit company)
PO Box 12 Monmouth 
United Kingdom NP25 3UW 
Fax: UK +44 (0)1600 890774
enquiries@newnations.com