Given the traditional bonds of friendship between India and the constituent republics of former Yugoslavia and impressed by India’s fast economic growth, strides made by India in ICT, bio-technology and other areas, India’s pluralism and democratic governance, excellent education and training institutions, there is considerable goodwill and desire for cooperation with India in Montenegro.
India’s foray into investments in Montenegro in hospitality and tourism sector was marked by acquisition of Aman Resorts of Singapore by the DLF group.( Aman Resorts is part owner of luxury hotel Sveti Stefan along the Montenegrin coast) The first ever delegation of Montenegrin businessmen participated in the India International Trade Fair in New Delhi in November 2008. Jindal Steel Works was initially interested in taking minority holding in Aluminum Plant in Podgorica (KAP) but later backed out.
A team of IT experts from DIT, CDAC and ERNET visited Montenegro in March 2010 to conduct a feasibility study for establishing a secure communication network between the Montenegrin Foreign Ministry and its Missions abroad. The feasibility report prepared by the team has been forwarded to the Montenegrin Foreign Office.
Foreign Office Consultations
Subsequent to signing a Protocol on consultations between the Foreign Ministries of the two countries in May 2009, the first round of India-Montenegro Foreign Office Consultations was held in Podgorica on July 21, 2009. Mrs. Irena Radovic, Deputy Minister for Bilateral Affairs led the Montenegrin delegation whereas Mr. R.N. Prasad, Joint Secretary (EW & CE) led the Indian delegation. Both sides expressed satisfaction over the development of bilateral ties. The Montenegrin government was appreciative of inclusion of Montenegro as a partner country under ITEC and for short duration training courses which would greatly help skills development and institution building in Montenegro.
3India’s assistance was also solicited in setting up an electronic communications network between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Government of Montenegro and around 25 Montenegrin Missions abroad. The Indian delegation also met senior officials in the Ministries of Economic Development, Information Society and Tourism to explore possibilities of bilateral cooperation. The delegation interacted with the Secretary General of Montenegrin Ministry of Foreign Affairs and also met separately Deputy Minister for Multilateral Affairs to exchange views on international issues of mutual interest.
There is shortage of qualified and sufficiently experienced civil servants, executives and managers in Montenegro. Keeping this in view it was felt that excellent educational and training facilities in India could be used for capacity building in Montenegro through the ITEC programme. Montenegro has been offered 5 slots annually under the ITEC programme by GoI. Montenegro ( both government officials and representatives of NGOs) has utilized these opportunities to train its civil servants in diverse areas such as WTO, sustainable audit, public expenditure Management and Human Capabilities Development over the last couple of years. Montenegrin diplomats have also availed of Professional Course for Foreign Diplomats organized by FSI, New Delhi.