Podgorica – Montenegro has all the conditions to achieve success when we are talking about the creation of the attractive investment ambience and attraction of new foreign investors.
When a foreign investor is checking out his possibilities, beside the financial and economic criteria, very important element in making a decision about the investment are: peace in society and strong institutions, as well as their role in the society. Safe and secure surrounding are decisive business factors for investment. The Union of the employers of Montenegro is found in a unique position from which can help that this, safe surrounding can be created – says in the interview for “Vijesti” the general secretary of the International organization of the employers (IOE), Antonio Penalosa.
Recently you, as a member of high delegation of IOE, have visited Montenegro for the first time. With what kind of impressions you have left?
My impressions are positive. The conversations that we had with the political authorities, representatives of the union and business community, surely can be noted as very constructive. On all levels I have noticed the enthusiasm and dedication.
Considering the meetings that you have had, what’s your opinion about the level of the social dialogue in Montenegro, having in mind the determination of our country to enter the EU? Do you see any shortages there and what are your suggestions?
What I have noticed in the relations of the employers and the union is the reflection of the existence of the real will for dialogue. In the future Montenegro has to show itself to the world as a state with a strong will and a clear attitude. On the internal plan, employers have to intensify the dialogue with the workers, they have to develop clear economic positions, also the conditions in which the employers will give guidelines to the Government, for both national and international actions of the Government, have to be created. It is very important that in the moment of joining to the European Union, Montenegro has a strong voice of business which will back up the plans of the Government and draw the attention of the foreigners.
How significant do you think that the role of the Montenegrin Union of the employers is in the very process of the joining to the EU?
Montenegro will pretty soon be found in a situation to negotiate with the EU. During the negotiations the interests of the business community should be clearly stated in those negotiations. What is good for Montenegrin enterprises is also good for the state as a whole. The support and the advices which are given by the Association of the employers is of great importance for the success of the negotiations. For both us and the European business union, The Union of the employers of Montenegro (UPCG) has a complete legitimacy and it is recognized as an organization with the legitimacy.
How significant is the work of economic social counsels for one country, and what is you estimation of the economic social counsels in Montenegro?
First of all, economic social counsel should represent the mirror of the business world. The employers and the union are legitimate and authoritative social partners and they should give suggestions together, and to present harmonized agreements to the society in general, through the economic social counsel. The experiences gained in other states show that the peace and progress in the society are gained if the Governments and political parties are ready to listen the representatives of the employers and unions, and not just impose their own decisions which would be completely opposite with their agreement. The consensus that would be achieved in the Counsel would represent the starting energy in the national social economic issues.
During your visit, it was announced that already next month UPCG will become a full right member of the IOE – How significant this is for the union and also for the state of Montenegro on both national and international level?
The fact that UPCG will become a member of the IOE represents an international acknowledgment of the legitimacy. Through this membership, UPCG receives a technical support of the International organization of the employers and International organization of work, and is also taking part in the programs that are financed by the EU, the training center in Torino and many other institutions. Solidarity and openness of the IOE members is at disposal to the UPCG. Moreover, now when Montenegro is recognized on International level as an independent state, I have the great pleasure to open the doors of the UPCG as a voice of business of Montenegro, an independent state.
Can you announce at least some plans that IOE has with UPCH in the next period, and explain their significance for the Montenegrin economy?
IOE is carefully observing the needs of UPCG. Our intention is to help UPCG in the segment of better equipment and strengthening, Montenegrin employers are given a historical role which they should play in a very short period of time, and we wish to help them to achieve the highest possible standards. I have shown our readiness and openness to help them in their future work. The members of my team will be already next month in Montenegro, and I am ready to visit Podgorica whenever it is necessary.