Director- General of the Directorate for Economic Diplomacy and Cultural Cooperation Biljana Šćekić in a working visit to Washington paid an official visit to Washington, DC.
She held separate meetings with representatives of the US Chamber of Commerce, the State Department, and the Department of Commerce.
Director-General Šćekić informed Philip Finiello, senior manager for Europe at the US Chamber of Commerce, on the priorities of the newly appointed Economic Diplomacy Directorate of Montenegro’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration. She noted the activities aimed at promoting Montenegro’s investment potential, noting in particular the benefits of Montenegro’s tax system and the good business environment for prospective investors.
Mr Finiello noted the Chamber of Commerce is aware that cooperation with Montenegro and the region is not at the optimal level. In that regard, he discussed the idea of the Chamber to host next year a series of round tables for the region’s ambassadors and US trade associations, which would be an introduction for business summits and conferences. At the same time, he voiced the readiness to help establish contact with representatives of American companies from various areas.
Ms Šćekić informed Tod Schwartz, Deputy Special Representative for Commercial and Business Affairs at U.S. Department of State, of the reasons for establishment and main tasks of the newly launched Directorate for Economic Diplomacy. She noted its activity will focus on two areas: improving economic relations and promoting Montenegro’s economic interests abroad. In that regard, she underlined the importance of US support to Montenegro when it comes to knowledge transfer and exchange of experience.
Mr Schwartz explained the activity of the network of American representations abroad subject to the State Department and Department of Commerce. He underlined US readiness to provide expertise in the areas of interest for Montenegro. He particularly emphasised the important role of honorary consuls, business representations, but also local government representations.
Director-General Šćekić also met with David Brooks, director of the European Unit at the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the US Department of State. She noted in particular the importance of training and exchange programmes and she inquired about the models for closer cooperation in this area.
Director Brooks and his associates informed her there were at present 120 exchange programmes and that 14 Montenegrin students and 12 high-school students are currently in the US, who all show excellent results. Mr Brooks reiterated the support to Montenegro’s processes of EU and NATO integration as very important for future development and economic stability.
Ms Šćekić also informed her hosts of the economic circumstances and possibilities in Monten3egro, and they voiced readiness to cooperate and present Montenegro in the best light with the view to enhancing economic cooperation.