Montenegro: Unique spot with its authentic nature
Montenegro is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. Back in 19th century, Lord Byron wrote “At the birth of our planet, the most beautiful encounter between the land and the sea must have happened at the coast of Montenegro. Montenegro offers a diversified life style: “In one day, the curious traveler can have a coffee on one of the numerous beaches of the Budva Riviera, eat lunch with the sound of birdsong on Lake Skadar and dine next to a fireplace on the slopes of Mt. Durmitor”. Within a small area, you can mix with urbanites in a city with a modern lifestyle and nightlife, and bond with nature in an atmosphere of totally untouched natural beauty. It is, simply, Montenegro.
Above words can also be phrased: Montenegro’s natural wealth is very diverse, offering a unique blend of mountain and sea splendor. On one side, the seaside of Montenegro across the heart of Adriatic is famous for the beautiful Bay of Boka fjord, attractive islands, numerous bays and clear water, while on the other side you can find mountains with beautiful lakes, deep canyons with attractive scenery, wild rivers, undiscovered and mysterious caves, all of which are surrounded by untouched nature. Besides all these, precious UNESCO World Heritage sites can also be visited in Montenegro: the old town of Kotor, one of the largest “living old towns” in Eastern Europe, the deepest canyon in Europe, and a beautiful coastal zone.
The beautiful coast of Montenegro is 294 km long. Mountainous northern region is not far away from the coast. In some months of the year, you can ski in the northern part and swim in the Adriatic sea in the same day. Average air temperature is 27.4°C in the summer and 13.4°C in the winter. Montenegro has around 250 sunny days a year.
Budva lies at the heart of Montenegrin tourism, with a beautifully preserved old town and fantastic beaches. As well as the pretty islands in the bay and it’s stunning sandy beaches, Budva is rich in history. The Old Town lies on a small peninsula and represents a treasure chest of cultural heritage. The Budva coast itself is 21 km long with no less than 17 beaches, and includes, Sveti Stefan, certainly the most iconic place in Montenegro. Originally a fishing village, the island is now a 5 star hotel run by Aman Resorts, connected to the mainland beaches by a narrow sand spur. Further south is Petrovac, a beautiful coastal town located approximately half way between the towns of Budva and Bar.
Herceg Novi is one of the sunniest towns on the coast, and has a pretty little old town at its centre. Full of lush greenery, Herceg Novi hosts numerous types of tropical flowers. Towards the end of January the town becomes scented with the subtle fragrance of yellow and green mimosas; the festival of Praznik Mimosa is dedicated to this flower. During the summer months many festivals further enrich the tourist attraction of this busy town.
The Bay of Kotor is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful bays in the world. High mountains encircle the bay and are reflected in the deep blue waters of the Adriatic Sea. Seven islands decorate the Bay of Kotor, adding intrigue. The road hugging the Bay of Kotor passes though a chain of villages, many of which are rich in cultural heritage. Risan is the oldest settlement in the Kotor Bay, and has Roman mosaics dating back to the 3rd century. Kotor and Perast are beautifully preserved medieval towns, classified by UNESCO as world heritage sites.
Tivat is located in the central part of the Boka Kotorska bay. A young town with a pretty waterfront, it’s a firm favourite for yacht enthusiasts. The main airport for the Montenegrin coast is a short drive from the town. Porto Montenegro, the largest super yacht marina in Europe, is located in Tivat. The Lustica peninsula is an unspoiled area of oustanding natural beauty with olive groves, sleepy countryside and dozens of authentic fishing villages and beaches in peaceful bays. The largest towns on the peninsula are Krasici and Radovici, well known for the gently sloping and family friendly Blue Horizon beach. Lustica is also the site of the new Lustica Bay Project, which is now under-construction. Lustica Bay is a ground-breaking, environmentally friendly and sustainable village, marina and golf course complex that is attracting worldwide attention.
Bar is the second largest city in Montenegro (after Podgorica, the capital). It is a vibrant port and new town about 40 minutes drive from Podgorica airport with different architectural styles, modern squares, coastal promenades and wide boulevards with a variety of Mediterranean plants such as palms, pines, oleanders and agaves. Overlooking the new town is a beautiful old town with an ancient archeological site. Ulcinj is the southernmost city on the Montenegrin coast and boasts the longest beach on the Adriatic sea, the Velika Plaza is 13 km long. To the south of this beach, lies Ada Bojana, a naturist river island with marvellous sandy beaches. Valdanos is a unique bay with a coastline covered in old olive trees close to the reconstructed old city of Ulcinj which is full of interesting restaurants, cafés, art galleries and hotels.
Podgorica is the vibrant capital city with rail and airport links to many other European cities. Cetinje is the old capital, with plenty of historical architecture. Lake Skadar is the largest freshwater lake in the Balkans, a national park, its teeming with wildlife and is a favourite with birdwatchers.
Zabljak and Kolasin are the main skiing resorts in Montenegro. Zabljak is a pretty mountain town at 1450m above sea level, in the centre of Durmitor National Park. Durmitor is a favourite with skiers and white water rafters for its dramatic natural beauty, mountains and lakes, and of course, Tara Canyon, the deepest gorge in Europe. Kolasin is a small town in the centre of Montenegro, near the popular ski resort of Bjelasica. Bianca Resort and Spa is a newly refurbished 5 star hotel in the centre of town. The natural beauty of Biogradska Gora National Park is just 15 minutes drive away.
National treatment of foreigners
In 2011, Foreign Investment Law has been adopted which created a secure legal framework, in harmonization with the EU Member States. Foreign Investment Law regulates the basis of foreign investment principles and protection of foreign investors. Foreign legal entities and individuals in terms of this Law are guaranteed equal treatment as domestic in establishing and investing in companies (national treatment). Foreign investors are: foreign legal or natural persons, companies with a share of at least 10% of foreign capital within the company, a company which is a foreign entity established in Montenegro and Montenegrin citizen residing abroad, as well as the person who on the basis of of investments acquired Montenegrin citizenship.
There is no prescribed limit regarding value of capital invested in Montenegro. A foreign investor may acquire ownership rights over real estate in Montenegro, such as offices, properties, apartments, residential premises and land. In addition, foreigners take the same inheritance rights over real property as Montenegrin nationals. All major insurance companies around the world guarantee investment projects in Montenegro. Foreign investors are encouraged to freely invest in an industry they are interested in and are free to carry out the transfer of all assets, including profits and dividends.
Impossible to miss investment opportunities!
In the period after gaining independence, Montenegro has become a very attractive real estate market for both domestic and foreign investors. A stable macroeconomic situation, continued improvement of credit ratings, favorable tax systems, simplification of business procedures and progress in processes of integration (EU accession expected by 2021 and NATO – 2017) are additionally strengthening the attractiveness of the Montenegrin real estate market and and prices are expected to go up steadily. Average real estate prices are around 1.500 € per square meter. This is especially significant for investors who regard Montenegro as a possible starting point for future activities in the region and unlike other countries of EU, no minimum limit of any property is required to be eligible to obtain residence permit in Montenegro, yet.
Dynamic economic growth & development
During the three years period before the crisis, Montenegro recorded the fastest GDP growth in the region, with average growth rate reaching 9.0%. A key driver of economy growth was an influx of the foreign direct investments (FDI). For five years in a row, the country has attracted increased FDI, becoming a leader in Europe according to the level of FDI per capita. Business zones to facilitate investments, have been declared by nine local self-governments in Montenegro, and investors have the opportunity to invest under favourable terms in Berane, Bijelo Polje, Kolašin, Mojkovac, Nikšić, Cetinje, Ulcinj, Podgorica and Rozaje. First strategic (national) business zone is expected to be introduced.
This was possible due to the overall course of economic reforms relying on: openness, monetary stability, i.e. the euro as a legal tender, a low level of business regulation, a low level of taxation (with corporate income tax amounting 9%, as well as personal income tax, after gradual reduction within last three years); free regime of capital flows; a high level of economy privatized (90%) or under the process of privatization.
Various world rankings prove that the course of the country’s economic reforms is a correct one: at the list of World Economic Forum, Montenegro improved in six positions (60th position out of 142) and remained leader in the region outperforming even some EU members such as Poland, Italy, Romania and Bulgaria.
According to The Heritage Foundation, that measures Economic Freedom index (2015 ranking list), ranked Montenegro as 66th, ahead of Croatia (81), Italy (80), Serbia (90), Bosnia and Herzegovina (97) and Greece (130).Montenegro is ranked 31st out of 43 countries in the Europe region, and its overall score is above the world average. According to the World Bank Doing Business, Montenegro improved for 15 positions in last three years and now takes 36th position. Moody’s: Montenegro’s Ba3 rating reflects challenges of small domestic economy, and benefits of EU integration.
The macroeconomic projections of the European Commission anticipate real GDP growth of 3.8% in 2017, and 3,1% in 2018. Montenegro’s economy is expected to pick up growth momentum over the period 2017-2018 due to increased investment activity and engagement of the domestic potential, primarily from the construction sector.
It is also expected that tourism and complementary sectors such as trade, transport, and mining and quarrying, will strongly contribute to growth over the projected period, with reliance on agriculture as the substitution factor for food import and increased exports. The sine qua non for enhancing the economic activity is expected moderate increase of credit support. The average projected GDP rate of growth over the period is 3.8%, which is above the current potential GDP growth of 2.5%).
Regarding agriculture, every branch of it has the big potential for the development. there is an enormous unexploited potential for the development of forestry, water engineering, organic food production, animal husbandry and fishery.
Regarding renewable energy, the most important sources are hydropower, biomass, sunlight and wind power. Only 17% of theoretical hydropower potential of Montenegro has been used.
Dream Country of Tourism
Great potential to be utilized!The World Travel and Tourism Council has rated Montenegro to be one of the top two fastest growing tourism economies over the next 10 years. Montenegro ranks 1st out of 184 countries for its’ GDP growth for tourism, with an 8.8% annualised increase forecast for 2014–2024. Strong commitment to a pro-business government is clearly expressed by the improved business climate and progressively increasing foreign direct investment (FDI). Major progress is recorded over the last four years in the area of market liberalization.
Around ten projects only at the seaside will bring more than 3 billion EUR of foreign capital to Montenegro. The share of the foreign direct investments (FDI) in the country’s GDP reached 17,6% in 2016 (World Bank reports). In the last report, the credit – rating agency Standard & Poor ‘s upgraded the credit rating of Montenegro on a B+. At the same time, rating outlook of Montenegro is stable.
Some very important investments are;
One of the best-known hotel managing brands in the world, Aman Resorts, has been successfully operating in Montenegro for the past few years in the most exclusive location in the country. This company has been managing Sveti Stefan and Milocer with huge success, representing one of the most exclusive vacation places in Europe. With two kilometers of beaches and a peninsula covering 12,000 m², Aman Resort of Sveti Stefan is by far one of the top places in the world. National Geographic has declared this resort among the top 50 places in the World. ‘’ Lonely Planet’’ ranked Sveti Stefan among top 10 destination of the world’s most glamorous destinations in 2013.
At the heart of the Boka Bay, Porto Montenegro, a luxurious marina for mega yachts, attracts a tremendous number of tourists. At the beginning of 2016 Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD), bought Porto Montenegro. It is the main investment corporation of Government of Dubai, who will further contribute to development of this beautiful nautical and tourist complex. There has been estimated that, during the summer months, approximately 6000 people visit Porto Montenegro per day.
Orascom – Lustica Development
During the fourth quarter of 2009, Orascom Development Group entered into an agreement with the Government of Montenegro to develop an integrated destination on the Mediterranean Traste Bay. The total land bank for the project amounts to 6.8 million m² in Lustica, in the municipality of Tivat. The integrated project is planned to offer 2,080 residential units, seven hotels with a total capacity of 1,370 rooms, 2 world-class marinas on the Adriatic Sea with 170 berths, an 18-hole golf course, a Thalasso Centre, commercial facilities, a town center, and basic infrastructure requirements. It is expected that the value of this investment will be around 1.1 billion euros. In the past 3 years Montenegro has been profiled as a country that ranks among the top five tourist destinations, from the standpoint of fastest growing markets. Any business related to service sector in tourism, with annually growing numbers of visitors coming to Montenegro, restaurant business, hotel or residence rentals are great opportunities those may easily bu utilized effectively.
Favorable Tax Climate
The Montenegrin tax system is flat one. Very few countries in the world have a flat system and that in itself creates a lot of advantages, simplicity above all. In addition, all major tax rates in Montenegro are very competitive with respect to other countries in the region and in Europe, and in many aspects Montenegro is working to make its tax system even more attractive.The Corporate Income Tax, which is equal to 9%, is the lowest in the region. The VAT rate amounts to 19%, with the implementation of the rate of 7% on some categories of products and services. Personal income tax is 9% and 15%. The law on personal income tax was amended on February 2013, with temporarily increasing personal income tax on gross monthly salaries of over €720 from 9% to 15%.
Not only for us, but also for very well educated children!
In order to improve its education system, Montenegro signed the Bologna Declaration. There are many internationally recognized private schools as well as public schools in Montenegro. The education system is similar to Turkey such as, there are 12 grades prior to post-secondary education. There are English-language schools for ages 3 to 19 years, authorized to offer the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program (IBDP)Families from abroad may apply to a couple of schools and a faculty specializing in education based on international standards, as access to an international school is an important family-life consideration. The “QSI International School of Montenegro”, located in Podgorica, is a private non-profit institution which opened in January 2006. It offers a quality education in the English language for primary school children from five to thirteen years of age and secondary school pupils up to age seventeen. In 2010 in Tivat Knightsbridge School Montenegro, in partnership with Porto Montenegro, created a unique opportunity for learners in the region. Founded on the principles of global citizenship, KS Montenegro offers the highest standards of an international education.
First British International School in Montenegro Arcadia Academy is working successfully in Tivat and in Podgorica. Arcadia Academy has received the most prestigious accreditation of the University of Cambridge, and it is the first and only Cambridge International School, ie. Cambridge elementary schools in Montenegro, as well as member – COBIS , Council of British international schools.
Surface area: 13,812km2
Beaches: 117 in total (73km)
Highest point: 2.522 m (Durmitor, Bobotov kuk)
Climate: Mediterranean on coast, Continental inland
Sunshine: Average 240 days per year
Language: Montenegrin (very similar to Serbian and Croatian), English and Russian widely spoken
Main Cities: Podgorica (capital), Bar, Cetinje, Niksic, Herceg Novi, Budva, Kotor
Political system: Republic, (Independent State from May 2006). The Republic of Montenegro was admitted as a Member of the United Nations by General Assembly resolution 60/264 on 28 June 2006.Electricity: 220V
International country code: +382
Time Zone: +1 GMT (+2 in summer)
Flying time: 2-3 hours from most captial cities in Europe
Airports: Podgorica, Tivat, and Cilipi (Dubrovnik) in Croatia, 14 km from border
Ports: Bar, Budva, Kotor and Herceg Novi
List of public holidays in Montenegro:1 Jan – New Year’s Day
7-8 Jan – Orthodox Christmas Day
1-2 May – Labour Days
21-22 May – Independence Day
13-14 Jul – Statehood Day
Easter and Christmas holidays are also celebrated.
Please note that each holiday lasts two days, and if the holiday starts on a Sunday then both Monday and Tuesday are holidays.