Montenegro flag Montenegro: Economic and Political Overview

Foreign trade figures of Montenegro

Foreign Trade in Figures

Montenegro is a small country open to foreign trade, which represents around 86% of its GDP (World Bank, latest data available). In order to become a WTO member, Montenegro has established major trade policy reforms, which include the elimination of import quotas, the reduction of import licences and prohibitions, the streamlining of customs procedures and the elimination of tariff and non-tariff barriers. The country mainly exports are unwrought aluminium (15.7%), electrical energy (13,9%), medicaments (6.6%), and wood sawn (5.8%); while it imports chiefly petroleum oils (5%), medicament (3.9%) motor cars (3.3%), and electrical apparatus(2.1%), even though imports are much diversified, reflecting the openness of the country and the weakness of its national production base. As for most of the countries in the world, in 2021 Montenegro’s international trade was seriously disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, with a reduction of foreign trade ratio on GDP of 22.2 (IMF). However, according to the Montenegro Foreign Investors’ Council goods and services exports will support growth this year more than in previous years. They will benefit from a recovery in commodity prices (aluminium) and an improvement in tourism. However, imports will increase more rapidly due to the needs of infrastructure projects. The trade balance will therefore contribute negatively to growth, but less than previously.
 
According to the latest figures available from Comtrade, Serbia (29.3%), Slovenia(10%), Hungary (6.3%) and Bosnia and Herzegovina (6.2%)were the main trading partners for exports. The main countries of origin for Montenegro’s imports were Serbia (19.8%), China (10.4%), Germany (9.7%) and Italy (6.4%). Overall, the European Union accounts for 44% of the country’s exports and 48.5% of its imports. Montenegro and the EU signed a
Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) on 15 October 2007, which is expected to ultimately lead Montenegro to become a member of the EU.
Montenegro has a strong, structural trade deficit which amounted to -1,662 million USD in 2020 (Latest data available World Bank). Year on Year evolution of Imports of goods and services resulted to a 19.5% decrease, while exports resulted to -48,9% year on year.

 
Foreign Trade Values 20172018201920202021
Imports of Goods (million USD) 2,6133,0102,9092,4022,956
Exports of Goods (million USD) 421472465419515
Imports of Services (million USD) 588723744545755
Exports of Services (million USD) 1,5901,8321,8957581,881

Source: World Trade Organisation (WTO) ; Latest available data

Foreign Trade Indicators 20162017201820192020
Foreign Trade (in % of GDP) 103.7105.6109.6108.586.3
Trade Balance (million USD) -1,838-2,110-2,414-2,311-1,872
Trade Balance (Including Service) (million USD) -979-1,121-1,319-1,174-1,662
Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 15.38.49.22.4-19.5
Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 5.91.86.95.4-48.9
Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 63.164.566.764.860.5
Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 40.641.142.943.725.8

Source: World Bank ; Latest available data

Foreign Trade Forecasts 2022 (e)2023 (e)2024 (e)2025 (e)2026 (e)
Volume of exports of goods and services (Annual % change) 10.81.14.22.32.8
Volume of imports of goods and services (Annual % change) 12.66.15.53.23.3

Source: IMF, World Economic Outlook ; Latest available data

Note: (e) Estimated Data

 
International Economic Cooperation
Montenegro benefits from the European Union ATP protocol (Autonomous Trade Preferences) which allows it to export to the EU without Customs duties on 95% of products.

 

The country has signed a free trade agreement CEFTA which gives it access to the south-east free market, which represents 30 million consumers.

The free trade treaty signed with Russia allows Montenegrin products free access to Russia, that is to a market of 150 million consumers.

 

Main Partner Countries

Main Customers
(% of Exports)
2021
Serbia 24.6%
Switzerland 11.5%
Bosnia and Herzegovina 7.7%
Italy 5.8%
Türkiye 5.5%
See More Countries 44.9%
Main Suppliers
(% of Imports)
2021
Serbia 20.1%
China 9.8%
Germany 9.3%
Italy 6.2%
Greece 5.9%
See More Countries 48.7%

Source: Comtrade, 2022. Because of rounding, the sum of the percentages may be smaller/greater than 100%.

 
 

Main Products

0.5 bn USD of products exported in 2021
Unwrought aluminiumUnwrought aluminium 18.6%
Electrical energyElectrical energy 14.7%
Wood sawn or chipped lengthwise, sliced or peeled,...Wood sawn or chipped lengthwise, sliced or peeled, whether or not planed, sanded or end-jointed, of a thickness of > 6 mm 6.4%
Medicaments consisting of mixed or unmixed...Medicaments consisting of mixed or unmixed products for therapeutic or prophylactic uses, put up in measured doses "incl. those in the form of transdermal administration" or in forms or packings for retail sale (excl. goods of heading 3002, 3005 or 3006) 5.2%
Ferrous waste and scrap; remelting scrap ingots of...Ferrous waste and scrap; remelting scrap ingots of iron or steel (excl. slag, scale and other waste from the production of iron or steel; radioactive waste and scrap; fragments of pigs, blocks or other primary forms of pig iron or spiegeleisen) 5.0%
See More Products 50.1%
3.0 bn USD of products imported in 2021
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals (excl. crude); preparations containing >= 70% by weight of petroleum oils or of oils obtained from bituminous minerals, these oils being the basic constituents of the preparations, n.e.s.; waste oils containing mainly petroleum or bituminous minerals 7.3%
Medicaments consisting of mixed or unmixed...Medicaments consisting of mixed or unmixed products for therapeutic or prophylactic uses, put up in measured doses "incl. those in the form of transdermal administration" or in forms or packings for retail sale (excl. goods of heading 3002, 3005 or 3006) 3.9%
Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally...Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally designed for the transport of persons, incl. station wagons and racing cars (excl. motor vehicles of heading 8702) 3.7%
Electrical energyElectrical energy 2.8%
Human blood; animal blood prepared for therapeutic...Human blood; animal blood prepared for therapeutic, prophylactic or diagnostic uses; antisera and other blood fractions and immunological products, whether or not modified or obtained by means of biotechnological processes; vaccines, toxins, cultures of micro-organisms (excl. yeasts) and similar products 2.1%
See More Products 80.2%

Source: Comtrade, 2022. Because of rounding, the sum of the percentages may be smaller/greater than 100%.

 
 

To go further, check out our service Import Export Flows.

 

Main Services

1.9 bn USD of services exported in 2019
64.82%
20.78%
6.55%
2.18%
1.95%
1.77%
1.59%
0.30%
0.06%
0.8 bn USD of services imported in 2019
43.80%
23.02%
7.77%
7.17%
5.98%
5.83%
2.54%
1.94%
1.20%
0.75%

Source: United Nations Statistics Division, 2022. Because of rounding, the sum of the percentages may be smaller/greater than 100%.

Return to top

Any Comment About This Content? Report It to Us.

 

© Export Entreprises SA, All Rights Reserved.
Latest Update: November 2022

Return to top