The forum of businessmen of Montenegro and Norway was held on April 26th at the Regent Hotel, Porto Montenegro.
The meeting was organized by the ESG Summit, the Embassy of the Kingdom of Norway, the Government and Chamber of Commerce of Montenegro, Norwegian Energy Partners and the Nordic Business Alliance.
The event was organized as part of Norway’s energy caravan in the Western Balkans, the goal of which is to connect with the businessmen of that country and affirm the use of renewable energy sources.
This was an opportunity to present the vision of energy management, investment and development projects in solar, wind and hydro energy in Montenegro, and to introduce our companies to Norwegian investors and potential partners.
The caravan included, in addition to Montenegro, business forums and bilateral meetings in Serbia, Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina, and 11 Norwegian companies participated in them. In his welcoming speech, Ambassador Jørn Gjelstad pointed out that the energy sector strongly attracts Norwegian investors considering that it has huge growth potential.
It is crucial that the investment environment is further improved and that renewable energy sources participate more in the Montenegrin energy mix. The production of clean energy, which is at the same time socially responsible and protects the environment, is what we should all strive for – said the ambassador.
State Secretary in the Ministry of Capital Investments, spoke about the plans and activities of Montenegro with the aim of further reducing energy dependence through the construction of facilities for renewable sources, and in accordance with the fulfillment of the goals from the EU agenda.
Taking into account the commitment to fulfilling the obligations we assumed as signatories of the Paris Agreement and candidates for EU membership, Montenegro’s strategic commitment is to base the development of the energy sector on the principles of decarbonization and green transition – said Šahmanović. He invited Norwegian investors to initiate new types of economic cooperation with Montenegro in the energy sector from renewable sources, which will contribute to the additional promotion of our country as an investment destination.
Vice President of the Chamber of Commerce, Nikola Vujović, briefly presented the economic picture of Montenegro in the context of crises caused by the covid pandemic and aggression against Ukraine.
Energy is the sector with probably the best assumptions for new projects and investments – said Vujović.
According to him, the regulatory or legal framework was developed in accordance with EU policies, and the so-called the third energy package of directives and regulations. Another important prerequisite for investment and development is infrastructure, where, in Vujović’s opinion, the most work has been done in the last ten years, apostrophizing the importance of commissioning the submarine energy cable between Montenegro and Italy, i.e. directly connecting our market with the EU market, as well as launching Day Ahead electricity market.
The full development potential of the energy sector can only be realized if, as the basis of the green agenda, it is connected with intensive application of digitization, circular economy, sustainable agriculture and other types of resource-efficient production – said Vujović.
He points out that the current share of renewable sources in the energy mix does not even remotely reflect the production capabilities of Montenegro, and that new projects should lead to a completely different structure and capacity of our energy sector.
He recalled Montenegro’s great experience in cooperation with Norwegian governments, agencies and companies – in areas of strategic importance – such as the introduction of gas and oil exploitation systems.
I believe that all of the above is a good starting point for future cooperation between Norwegian and Montenegrin companies, and the Chamber of Commerce is available for any kind of support and assistance – concluded Vice President Nikola Vujović.
The words of welcome were delivered on behalf of the organizers by Biljana Braithwaite, founding partner and CEO of Sustineri Partners, a consulting firm that organizes the ESG Summit – a regional event on issues of environmental protection, social responsibility and governance, which brings together regional and global government and business leaders and experts for sustainability.
By attracting Norwegian investors to the region, we are building the future that we want to promote through our summit – said Braithwaite. The investment potential of Montenegro was presented by Andrej Lakić from the Investment Agency, while the representative of Elektroprivreda Montenegro Ivan Mrvaljević focused on the energy sector and investment opportunities.
During the meeting, CEO Dragan Vlahović presented Zeta Energy, a joint venture between the Montenegrin state power company and NTE from Norway.
Gunn Vik, director of NORWEP (Norwegian Energy Partners), an organization that supports and helps the internationalization of the country’s energy industry, spoke about the Norwegian energy sector.
This was followed by a short presentation of the Norwegian companies Statkraft, NTE, Tinfos, Gnowreenstat, Emergy, Norsk Vind, Ocean Sun, Nord Pool, Linjemontage, EMerald Geomodelling and Stressman.
The forum ended with bilateral meetings with Norwegian businessmen in which representatives of ten Montenegrin companies participated. They discussed the possibilities of establishing cooperation on specific energy projects.