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Monday, April 22, 2024
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Montenegro’s Potential Acknowledged by Turkish Companies

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Turkish companies are increasingly recognizing the potential of Montenegro as an attractive investment destination, stated Prime Minister Milojko Spajić.

Speaking at the first TurkCham Montenegro Economic Summit 2024 held today at the Hilton hotel, he expressed his satisfaction with participating in the summit, which provides an opportunity to deepen cooperation.

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“I am pleased to note the establishment of the Turkish Chamber of Commerce here. This demonstrates that Turkish companies have recognized Montenegro as an attractive destination,” Spajić stated at the summit organized by the Turkish Chamber of Commerce in Montenegro.

According to his statements, the government is fully committed to achieving goals such as meeting all requirements for EU accession, ensuring the rule of law, and fighting against corruption and organized crime.

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“We will work diligently to strengthen the investment environment, reduce business barriers, and stimulate innovation. We aim to improve the tax system, enhance financial macroeconomic stability, improve access to finance for small and medium-sized enterprises, and diversify the economy. These goals will remain high on the government’s agenda to keep our country an attractive investment destination,” stated Spajić.

As stated by the summit organizers, he emphasized that the benefits of economic cooperation with Turkey are enormous.

The summit was organized with the aim of creating a large platform for cooperation, exploring joint growth opportunities, and exchanging experiences between Turkey and Montenegro, especially in the economic and business sectors. Accordingly, the successes and mutual benefits of the existing collaboration between the two countries were highlighted, and areas for future connectivity and growth were identified.

The Ambassador of Turkey to Montenegro, Barış Kalkavan, emphasized the strategic destination and potential of our country, whose economy showed positive trends last year.

“Despite the global economic shocks, Montenegro remains a promising destination in the region. Situated at the crossroads between the West and the Southeast, it maintains excellent relations with neighbors and sets a good example for other countries in the region and the European Union. We have always supported its development. We have excellent political relations and good connections,” said Kalkavan.

He mentioned that trade reached a level of 380 million EUR last year. Over eight thousand Turkish companies operate here, and more than 20 thousand Turks have applied for work permits in Montenegro.

“It is crucial to improve ties and reputation between our two countries. We have reached a figure of 40 flights per week, and on Monday, we will connect the two capitals with flights for the first time,” said Kalkavan.

He stated that Turkey has pledged to invest an additional 800 million EUR in Montenegro this year alone.

“Profit is not our only goal, but also supporting youth and reducing the so-called brain drain,” said Kalkavan.

The President of the Chamber of Commerce (PKCG), Nina Drakić, stated that the number of Turkish companies in Montenegro represents more than one-quarter of their total number.

“I share the satisfaction that we managed to host representatives of the Turkish business community and further affirm our country as an investment destination. After joining NATO, Montenegro has seen an increase in investments and foreign companies,” noted Drakić.

According to her statements, the data show that last year the highest number of foreign companies was Turkish, representing more than one-quarter of all foreign companies, which is even 14 times more than, for example, six years ago.

She added that the PKCG has successful cooperation with the embassy, the Turkish Chamber of Commerce, the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey, and emphasized that the Montenegrin Chamber remains at the disposal of all businessmen and companies from Turkey to enhance cooperation.

“The most promising and significant fields of future cooperation are precisely in the areas of digital transformation, green economy, organic agriculture, and forestry,” stated Drakić.

The President of TurkCham, Burhan Genç, said that the summit is a significant achievement in their business so far.

“Today we are not only talking about numbers. Our goal is to collect information that shapes the global and economic reality in our countries and the world in general. We are here to establish a path for joint discussion and development, explore the possibilities of establishing a lasting partnership between Montenegro and Turkey, and share the vision for a better future,” stated Genç.

The Vice President of TurkCham, Mustafa Yiğit Yeren, added that USD 84 million from Turkish companies has already been invested in Montenegro.

“We want to boost investments in Montenegro and continue to take all steps in that direction. We will provide investors with many tools to establish connections, and that will be our role in Montenegro. In addition to strengthening economic and diplomatic cooperation, we are also here to support the local Turkish community. We are here to stay, and it is an honor for us to be in a country where we can establish mutually important cooperation in so many different fields,” said Yeren.

At the summit, two panel discussions were held, titled “World Economy and the Current Situation in Turkey” and “Opportunities and Advantages for Foreign Investments in Montenegro.”

When it comes to an overview of the world economy and the current situation in Turkey and Montenegro, participants in the first panel, Ege Yazgan, the Rector of Bilgi University, Sadi Uzunoğlu, a lecturer at Trakya University in Turkey, and Mladen Grgić, an economic advisor to the President of Montenegro, highlighted the enormous negative effects that the COVID-19 pandemic and the conflicts in Ukraine and Gaza had on the global economy, including our two countries.

It was also noted that Montenegro, despite being one of the European countries hardest hit by the crisis, is on a clear path to recovery—a country that remains an area of great opportunities and potential.

Uzunoğlu mentioned that Montenegro is a land of possibilities and opportunities. The corporate tax rate here is nine percent, which is a significant advantage for the Montenegrin economy compared to other countries.

“We do not have a problem regarding the eurozone and foreign exchange operations in general, and we do not have currency risk. The economy relies heavily on services compared to other Balkan countries. Your country is on the path to EU accession,” stated Uzunoğlu.

Accordingly, Montenegro, as he assessed, besides being an attractive tourist center, should become a digital transformation hub.

“You should invite our companies involved in digital transformation, utilize the academy and universities. Education, digitalization, tourism, as well as construction activities, are areas worth investing in,” believes Uzunoğlu.

Participants in the second panel discussion included Erhan Aslanoğlu, a lecturer at Piri Reis University, Mert Yılmaz, founding partner at My Education Consultancy, and Mijat Jocović, the dean of the Faculty of Economics at the University of Montenegro. They highlighted areas with the highest potential for Turkish investor involvement.

Aslanoğlu assessed that tourism and real estate are dominant industries in Montenegro.

“After the COVID-19 pandemic, people have started thinking more about travel, movement, and health. When we look at the structure of Montenegro, we need to consider how to diversify tourism. In my opinion, Montenegro should develop all forms of tourism, not just summer and winter but also spring and autumn,” said Aslanoğlu.

One of the key messages that concluded the panel, delivered by Jocović, relates to the general sentiment that Turkish investors are welcome to invest in Montenegro.

“We share a similar culture, history, heritage. The Chamber of Commerce of Turkey is indeed the best connection between our Government and the business world,” added Jocović.

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