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PODGORICA (Montenegro), November 8 (SeeNews) – Montenegro has improved modestly in its delivery of prosperity over the past decade, although poverty in rural areas remains a significant concern, London-based Legatum Institute said.
The tiny Adriatic state moved up seven ranks to the 58th spot in this year's edition of the institute's Legatum Prosperity Index.
The country has made progress in all sub-categories, most notably in business environment where it climbed up 39 positions, the Legatum Institute said upon the release of the Legatum Prosperity Index earlier this month.
However, this progress was not matched by the country's performance in the Economic Quality category where Montenegro has fallen 14 positions since 2007, to the 96th spot.
Following its independence from Serbia, Montenegro stepped up its efforts to become a more service-based economy and to improve the business climate, with tourism seen as the primary driver of growth and foreign investment. On the other hand, infrastructure in Montenegro continues to be underdeveloped and although Podgorica has made some progress in this respect, it still lags far behind EU standards.
The country’s economy entered a recession following the global financial crisis of 2008. While there has been modest progress made on strengthening anti-monopoly policies, there has been little movement in the removal of trade barriers.
Unemployment has remained high, at around 19%, though it is still lower than in Macedonia and Serbia. A total of 8.6% of people in Montenegro are living below the national poverty line.
The authorities should increase investments in education not only to improve labour force participation but also to ensure that it can participate in an increasingly knowledge-based economy, the think-tank said.
London-based Legatum Institute is an independent charity within the Legatum Group, a private investment group with a 30-year heritage of global investment in businesses and programmes that promote sustainable human development.