“Mediterranean tiger” is a match to original “Asian tigers”: Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and South Korea. In 1960’s and in 1990’s the marked a great growth of economy, which several years in a row was up to 15%.
Podgorica – Montenegro in transition could use the experiences of other countries such as Estonia, and become the first “Mediterranean tiger” – it is a mark of Frederic Sautet and Kyle McKenzie the researchers of Mercatus center alongside the American University George Mason.
– The future of Montenegro without any doubt is optimistic – note Sautet and McKenzie in the text published on the Internet site TCS daily. – Still. The country is on the crossroad and it has many decisions to bring which will be a key for its long-term success. It no longer has Serbia to retain her or to throw its blame on Montenegro – it is stated in the text.
The possibility of Montenegro to become a “Mediterranean tiger” was for the first time mentioned by the ex Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic who four years ago said that Government and the Parliament have to strive to create a secure and attractive surrounding for the investors in order to have a speedy economic growth and opening of new employment places. He added that, is they fulfill the goal, “the commentators in the next few years will maybe speak about Montenegro as of the Mediterranean tiger”.
That expression is a match to original “Asian tigers”: Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and South Korea. In 1960’s and in 1990’s they marked a great growth, several years in a row, and it went up to 15 times more than the actual growth of Montenegrin economy. Their success in great part was based on direct investments from USA and Japan. “Asian tigers: have focused themselves on stirring of production for export to developed countries, they have discouraged domestic expenditure with high custom rates, and they invested in the growth of productivity and improvement of educational system, from primary schools to universities.
Sautet and McKenzie think that Montenegro is on a crossroad and that it can choose whether it will “turn back to shiny future and whether it will join other countries in transition which haven’t succeeded to pull themselves out from socialistic past” or “whether it will continue to decide by looking upon the happenings in other countries such as Estonia, and become the first Mediterranean tiger”.
Even though it is compared with “Asian tigers” the authors praise the fact that Montenegro has reduced the custom rates and refused their increase during the time when it was in Union with Serbia. They also commended the acts about privatization and the success of the market of capital funds. As challenges, they sited the relatively high level of public expenditure of 44, 6% of GDI (Gross Domestic Income) in the end of 2006, the market of work which needs to be liberalized, high participation of grey economy. Sautet and McKenzie suggest that just like Estonia, Montenegro should lower the ballast that the employers have towards their employees, even though in a short-term period it will increase the number of unemployed people.
– Estonia, for example, had about 95% of work force in state enterprises in 1990. In 1992 the ballast for employers was reduced. Unemployment went up as the employees went from state to private enterprises. Still, since the year 2000 the rate of unemployment is in great decline – state the researchers.
Among the biggest opened issues of Montenegro, as “Vijesti” published earlier, Sautet and McKenzie state the choice whether to join EU or not, suggesting a “step back” in order to look at the situation from all possible angles.
They call Montenegro “an extremely small country with just a little bit more than 620.000 citizens” and they quote the professor of the economic faculty Veselin Vukotic who suggests a concept of micro state and says that the “key idea is to build a minimal but efficient state, in stead of paternalistic, all present, but weak country which we now have”.
Sautet and McKenzie as a positive example state the growth of tourism “thanks to the newest James Bond movie and glamorously presented hotel vacant places in the country”. Still, they forget that the hotel vacant places, in the movie displayed as Montenegrin are in fact located in Czech Karlovy Vary.