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Cityscape magazine spoke to Branimir Gvozdenovic, Montenegrin Minister of Sustainable Development and Tourism, about the opportunities Montenegro offers for real estate investors.

December 2015

How has the Montenegrin real estate market developed over recent years?

Reforms in the field of building construction have been continuously implemented by the Government of Montenegro since 2006 and the situation in this sector in Montenegro has been monitored by the World Bank. In its Doing Business Report, the World Bank established that we moved up an incredible 85 places in comparison to 2013, in terms of procedures regarding issuance of construction permits, which are being issued at one counter. In the past eleven months, the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism issued 36% more construction permits, than, for instance, in 2012. We paid particular attention to implementation of incentives when it comes to construction of hotels, and since 2013 we have been recording constant growth in the field of issuance of permits for high class hotels, as much as by 140%.

Generally, over the past couple of years, Montenegro has seen a large growth in foreign direct investments in the real estate sector, along with its parallel, continuous, normative improvement that resulted in an extremely high growth rate in the construction sector, while new investments are also expected. In the coming months, investments worth several billions of euros are planned in tourism and other key strategic fields.

What makes Montenegro an attractive market for real estate investment? What benefits can potential investors expect when investing in Montenegro?

Montenegro is a small country of numerous opportunities, with proximity of the coastal to the northern area being one of the main advantages, in addition to its immense natural beauty.

Furthermore, the current policy and development strategy of Montenegro recognises tourism as the key economic sector, whose economic capacities represent a prerequisite for dynamic development and GDP growth. In that regard, we would like to emphasise that planning documentation has been completed, enabling construction of great number of hotels, as well as a set of stimulating measures, prepared and planned to be implemented by the Government of Montenegro, with the aim of developing new tourism contents.

In the long term, where do you see Montenegro with regards to its offer compared to its neighbour countries, as well as other European countries such as Spain and Italy?

In comparison to the majority of countries that are recognised as tourism destinations, our comparative advantage lies in the diversity of content, natural resources and possibility of experiencing adventures on a small territory, in a short time period. As a special particularity I would like to mention that the two farthest points in Montenegro are only 190 km airline distance away from each other.

At the same time, all projects in Montenegro are developing at their own pace: Porto Montenegro with its luxurious Regent Hotel; Luštica Bay, developed by Swiss-Egyptian company Orascom; Portonovi of Azerbaijan company Socar; Beyond Horizon, by Qatari Diar as well as Aman Resort – Sveti Stefan.

All of the above mentioned points contribute to the fact that Montenegro ranks high on the list of preferred investment and tourism destinations.