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MBO Interview with Mr. Slobodan Radović, President of the Montenegro Business Alliance (MBA) MBO: This year the Montenegro Business Alliance celebrates the 10th year since its foundation. Could you brief us about the organization? This September, the Montenegro Business Alliance (MBA) is celebrating the 10th year of its work. MBA was founded through one of the USAID projects and implemented by the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) in Washington and by the Center for Entrepreneurship and Economic Development (CEED) in Podgorica. The main reasons, I would say, for founding MBA were that the private sector was under represented in decision making processes and that a disorganized private sector had just started to develop in Montenegro. The private sector needed an organization to represent it to the government, but it also needed something to bring together individuals to create a unified voice. Based on these facts, and after series of preparatory meetings, the Montenegro Business Alliance was been founded by 10 individual companies at a meeting in Podgorica on the 24th of September 2001.

MBO: What are the main activities of the organization? Mr. Slobodan Radović, President of the Montenegro Business Alliance (MBA)

Short biography: Mr. Radovic was born in Herceg Novi, Montenegro in 1958. After completing studies he worked until 1985 in local construction company “Prvoborac” one of the most successful firms in Montenegro in that period. Since 1985 he moved into private sector, mostly tourism, and step by step developed his own company “Kruso” which currently employees 65 people. Since 2006, Mr Radovic expanded his business operations in the area of construction generating additional 70 new jobs. Mr. Radovic is President of the Montenegro Business Alliance (MBA) since it was founded in 2001, and member of the water polo selection committee. He is married and has three kids.

What are your plans for the future? MBA will continue to support its members and to advocate the improvement of the business environment. In the future, as we approach EU membership, we will face additional challenges and will need to use different strategies to fight these challenges. It is certain that MBA will continue to advocate for change in Montenegro and that all our efforts will be focused on our member’s needs and on the improvement of the overall environment in Montenegro.

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The activities of the organization derive from our mission. The mission of the Montenegro Business Alliance is to improve the quality of life for all Montenegrin citizens through economic growth and prosperity. The organization aims to work in partnership with the public and with the private sector as well as with international groups and individuals to bring stability and sustainability to the Montenegrin economy. We can distinguish between the activities that are related to lobbying for the improvement of the business environment and those that are more related to the promotion of our members, their businesses and Montenegro as a country in which to do business. There is no distinct line between these activities since all of MBA’s activities are based on the needs of our members. The long term goals of MBA are: - to help to create a healthy business environment for private business owners, who represent the main pillar of development in the Montenegrin economy; - to improve the environment for investment; - to encourage a greater level of participation from the private sector in creating a new legal framework; - to participate in the implementation of reform laws; - to be a leader in achieving a national consensus on the priorities of the future economic development of Montenegro; - to continuously expand the spectrum of services to its members; - to build private-public partnership; and - to continue to increase its membership. Our work is conducted through a Board of Directors which has 15 members and also through our MBA offices. Currently, MBA has 2 offices, one in Podgorica and one in Kotor with a total of four fulltime employees.

MBO: Who are your members? First of all, let me say that MBA has a voluntary membership structure and this keeps us motivated to work and to represent the interests of our members since. If they are not satisfied with our work, MBA will no longer be able to exist. This has always kept us alert during the last 10 years. MBA has about 500 members that come from different industries, sectors, branches and regions of Montenegro. Also, MBA has members that are not physically present in Montenegro but that do have a commercial interest in Montenegro, and are therefore willing to be present through the work of a business association. MBA is a coalition of Montenegrin companies, business associations and international companies. MBA has improved the economic condition of businessmen and women in Montenegro by creating a better business climate in which companies can grow and prosper. This is good for all Montenegrin citizens, as these MBA companies represent over 20,000 workers, and MBA members collectively create more than 40% of the Montenegrin GDP.

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