Networking in clusters for sustainable business

Better approach to market, increased competitiveness and improved promotion of products were at the very heart of a two-year Cluster Development project, financed by the EU Delegation in Montenegro and implemented by UNIDO with the support of UNDP. Six new business clusters have been developed within the project “Enhancing the Competitiveness of Local SMEs in Montenegro through Cluster Development”. Key highlights were presented at the closing event which gathered key national partners from the public and private sectors, including representatives of relevant ministries, non-governmental organizations, the academic community and representatives of enterprises and clusters.
"Cluster development is very important process both in medium-term and long-term context. It requires support of number of stakeholders throughout the entire process and further support from our partners from the Delegation of the European Union and the United Nations system is necessary for the continuation of the initiative," said Minister of Economy Vladimir Kavarić who opened the event together with the Head of the EU Delegation to Montenegro Mitja Drobnič and the UN Resident Coordinator in Montenegro Fiona McCluney.
The two-year project which strengthened the competitiveness and market access of selected clusters in Montenegro, especially from the northern less developed municipalities, included trainings and capacity building in the area of marketing and production, study visits, market research and joint development of new products, project preparation and analysis of financial and legal status of the clusters. Part of the activity was related to technical assistance to local governments for the development of project proposals with a focus on competitiveness issues and issues of importance to the clusters.
"This strategically important project is a great and attractive example that clearly shows how European Union funds bring tangible benefits to local small and medium enterprises to improve their long-term potential for sustainability," said Mr. Drobnič.
"The project paves the way for sustainable development of clusters in Montenegro"

Fiona McCluney, UN Resident Coordinator in Montenegro

"The project has established and strengthened dialogue between national and local authorities on one hand and businesses on another, and pave the way for sustainable development of clusters in Montenegro," said Resident Coordinator of the UN system in Montenegro Fiona McCluney.
Besides Ministry of Economy, as the main partner, the project included Ministry of Agriculture, Directorate for Development of Small and Medium Enterprises, Chamber of Commerce and 12 municipalities in the northern and central regions of Montenegro and small and medium enterprises.