1. Dragana Radevic, 2. Nina Vujosevic, University of Donja Gorica, Montenegro

In last decade, Montenegrin economy recoded positive real economic growth. In 2008, measured by purchase power, Montenegro was (only) 46% of EU-27 average, though ahead of the least developed EU members. However, growth of the economic activity at the national level didn’t reflect equally to all regions. Regional disparities are significant. Compared to other two regions, Northern region of Montenegro has relevant comparative advatnages and significant development potential, due to preserved natural resources – primarely agricultural land, wood and cattle, and good preconditions for development of winter and eco-tourism. Internal regional development policy is coordinated by the Ministry of economy while relevant institutional and legal framework was been set up only in 2010 with adoption of Regional Development Strategy 2010-2014, and Regional Development Law (2011). The main indicator of economy's competitiveness is gross domestic product per capita, however, other factors influence economic achievements and therefore are subject of various analysis. Such factors include: physical and social infrastructure, accessability of the location/region, labour force quality, stimulative framwork for innovation, as wel as efficient public administration and institutions. This is confirmed by set of indicators proposed by EU 2020 Strategy for monitoring economic and social development, as well as environment protection. Competitiveness became an important policy dimension, so it is also elborated in the theory. Depending on the theory of regional developemnt, we distingush key assumptions, determining factors, as well as implications to (regional) competitiveness. Concept of competitiveness is complex and includes viariety of inter-related policies, including entrepreneurship, research and development, innovations and human resources (education and employment policies). It is important to understand to which extent economic growth on all levels is determined by the same or similar conditions, so recommendations for better national competitiveness could be applied to improve competitiveness on the regional and local level. The paper identifies and analyzes comparative advantages of Northern region of Montenegro, identifies factors and provide recommendations for moving towards competitive advantages in order to reach more equal regional development and sustainable valorization of available natural resources. Paper also compares Montenegro to other countries in the region in sense of competitiveness.

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Konferencija: REDETE 2014 - Researching Economic Development and Entrepreneurship in Transition Economies

Datum: 03.02.2014.god.