Montenegro has experienced a consistent inflow of foreign direct investment (FDI) in recent years, ranging from small-scale investors to those supporting significant infrastructure projects. The country has also become an integral part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative, which has contributed to its economic development.
After three decades of essentially one-party rule, Montenegro is now charting a new course. The country elected a new president in March, followed by parliamentary elections held recently, signaling a shift in its political landscape.
Foreign investment plays a vital role in Montenegro’s economic aspirations, considering its relatively small population of around 600,000.
He envisions Montenegro as the “Singapore of Europe,” striving to become the most business-friendly nation on the continent.
Additionally, Montenegro’s geopolitical objective is to join the European Union, which will be a top priority for the government.
$1.24 billions in investments
According to the Montenegrin Foreign Investors Council, the country attracted $1.24 billion in FDI last year. In 2022, FDI increased by 24 percent, with 58 percent of the investments taking the form of equity investments. This includes substantial amounts invested in real estate purchases ($483.62 million) and direct investments in banks and companies ($236.83 million).
Tourism, leveraging Montenegro’s stunning 300-kilometer coastline and magnificent mountains, currently represents a significant portion of the country’s GDP. The tourism sector has also received substantial foreign investment, with prominent hotel groups making their presence known.
Chinese investment has played a crucial role in enabling large infrastructure projects, such as the completion of the first section of the highway to Serbia. Montenegro’s Finance Minister, Aleksander Danjanovic, highlights the involvement of Chinese company CIBC, supported by the Chinese EXIM Bank, and their continued interest in furthering the project.
Montenegro’s ambition to join the European Union in the near future has made it an appealing prospect for investment. However, discussions on EU accession have somewhat receded in prominence due to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. Reinstating EU accession as a priority on the Brussels agenda will be a crucial task for the incoming government.
As Montenegro navigates its economic path, attracting foreign investment, advancing infrastructure projects, and revitalizing EU aspirations will be critical. The government’s commitment to creating a business-friendly environment, coupled with its determination to align with EU standards, signals an optimistic outlook for Montenegro’s economy.