Bar, Montenegro (PortSEurope) April 26, 2019 – Montenegrin port operator Luka Bar recorded a €22.1 million ($24.7 million) loss in 2018, due to the execution of an agreement for the payment of liabilities to employees and indirect write-off of customer receivables. The port is operated by Luka Bar a.d. Bar. The value of Bar port’s land, which according to the previous estimate from 2008 was €450 ($502) per square
metre, is now estimated at €300 ($335) per square metre. However, the value of some fixed assets, facilities and equipment was increased. Last year, the CEO of Luka Bar was replaced. Zarija Franović and Andrija Lomper succeeded Vladan Vučelić and Vojin Žugić. On 12 April 2019, Montenegro Prime Minister Duško Marković attended the 8th Summit of China and Central and Eastern European Countries 16+1 (CEECs) held in Dubrovnik. Commenting on China, the Montenegro government released the following statement: ““We consider the cooperation of the countries of Central and Eastern Europe with China within the 16+1 Mechanism as successful and significant and it has potentials that should be used”. Talking about infrastructure and connectivity, the Prime Minister put emphasis on the Port of Bar. Potential of this strategic resource of Montenegro should be used and available for trade exchange between Europe and Asia, i.e. the EU and China. “This port (Bar) represents a huge economic and investment opportunity and can be a very usable maritime and traffic hub in achieving goals in what we recognised in “Dubrovnik Guidelines “- the importance of the “Belt and Road” initiative and the EU Strategy for Connecting Europe and Asia and increasing synergy among them,” the Prime Minister of Montenegro emphasised. This might be interpreted as an invitation for China to consider investing in the port, as part of its new Silk Road economic trade policy. China has an ongoing policy of acquiring rights and assets to operate European and Mediterranean ports In recent years, state owned COSCO Shipping Ports and China Merchants Port Holdings have acquired stakes in: Port Said, Egypt; Casablanca and Tangier, Morocco; Istanbul, Turkey; Piraeus, Greece; Bilbao and Valencia, Spain; Marseille, Nantes, Le Havre and Dunkirk, all France; Antwerp and Bruges, both Belgium, and Rotterdam in the Netherlands. The new Silk Road (part of the Belt and Road initiative also known as One Belt, One Road, or OBOR) is a Chinese economic strategy to seek better access for Chinese-made products in European markets, which includes acquiring stakes in ports and other transport facilities, and cooperation agreements with countries along the Silk Road routes. Copyright (C) PortSEurope. All Rights Reserved. 2019.