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November 2011

Montenegro Agrees On Free Trade Deal with Ukraine Montenegro has agreed with Ukraine to sign a free trade agreement that will break the deadlock over the accession of Montenegro to the World Trade Organization (WTO), a process that has been halt for almost three years. The two sides agreed that all outstanding issues from the WTO-accession process should be agreed upon in a bilateral agreement on free trade that would exclude concessions from the Montenegrin side other than those agreed upon in the previous negotiations. “At our last meeting in Kyiv we agreed with the Ukrainian Government that no other concessions be asked from Montenegro in the further WTOintegration process and that the interests of Ukraine and Montenegro will be regulated through a free-trade agreement,” Minister Kavarić explained. The two sides agreed to meet again in November when they will sign the Free Trade Agreement and an agreement regarding Montenegro’s WTO accession. The free trade agreement is fully in accordance with national interests, and Montenegro, committed to being an open economy, has such agreements with CEFTA, EFTA, EU, Russia, Belarus, and other countries.

Montenegro Needs to Tighten Its Belt Montenegro must bring down the fiscal deficit, the public debt and reduce dependency on foreign finance, in particular at a time when conditions on the international market are sensitive and unpredictable, concluded Finance Minister Milorad Katnic and World Bank Regional Coordinator for Southeast Europe Jane Armitage said, presenting the World Bank‘s report on strengthening public spending management in Montenegro. The collaboration with the World Bank is of great importance in advancing Montenegro’s fiscal position and creating long-term progress, which will together improve the standard of living of the majority of citizens, Katnic said. Armitage voiced support for the Minister’s plan to continue to reduce the fiscal deficit and gradually bring down the level of public debt and said the European Commission’s recent recommendation for the start of EU accession talks was a sign of international confidence in the reforms in Montenegro.

Cargo 10, the new rail operator to contribute in boosting goods transport “Cargo 10”, a joint project of the railway companies of Serbia, Slovenia and Croatia joined Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), Bosnia’s Republic of Srpska, and joining announced Montenegro, Bulgaria and FYR Macedonia. This company has not yet been legally established, although it’s in function from October 4th 2010, when first train with wood briquettes moved from Paraćin to Sezana in Slovenia, dedicated to the Italian market. Corporate objectives is to reduce the transport time between Ljubljana and Istanbul, which will be increased competition in relation to other transport modes, but also in relation to alternative Corridor 4, via Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria. The full effects of “Cargo 10” are expected only after the formal establishment of the company when it will be more organized access to the market. The joint company will provide customers a maximum reduction of all the formalities in the transportation of goods - border and customs formalities, the shorter retention of freight trains on the borders, and allow also that all administrative formalities, whether in terms of export, import or transit, carried out at one place.