Governor Žugić and Minister Radunović held a virtual meeting with the Deputy Managing Director of the IMF, Tao Zhang
This year, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank held regular autumn meetings in a “virtual format”, due to circumstances caused by the COVID-19 virus pandemic. The Montenegrin delegation, led by the Governor of the CBCG, Mr. Radoje Žugić, and the Minister of Finance, Darko Radunović, held the first meeting with the Deputy Managing Director of the IMF, Tao Zhang.
During the meeting, Governor Žugić and Minister Radunović informed their counterparts about the current situation in Montenegro, strongly adversely affected by the COVID-19 virus causing severe health, social and economic problems.
According to Governor Žugić, banks have shown a high degree of resilience so far. This resilience was owing to their good condition before the crisis and to the proactive CBCG actions, i.e. the adoption of timely and adequate measures to strengthen banks’ liquidity and solvency, strong support for the real economy, and preserving financial stability, said Governor Žugić. The CBCG representatives informed Mr Zhang about the current activities of the CBCG, especially those concerning the AQR implementation, which is taking place following the planned timeline.
Minister Radunović informed Mr. Zhang about the public finances, noting that revenues for the first nine months of this year were significantly lower compared year-on-year and compared to the revised plan for 2020, primarily due to declining revenues from tourism during the tourist season as the result of COVID-19 pandemic. On the other hand, budget expenditures have increased due to the implementation of so far three adopted packages of socio-economic measures aimed at combating the adverse effects of the pandemic and helping citizens and the economy, and due to financing increased health system costs.
Mr. Zhang pointed out to the dire situation at the global level, with many countries facing significant economic challenges, and the “shock for Montenegro is stronger and greater, not only because of its size but also because of its dependence on tourism.” In that sense, Mr. Zhang stressed the need for proactive action, i.e. timely preparation for new challenges that could bring a prolonged pandemic duration.
The IMF Deputy Managing Director conveyed this institution’s readiness to continue cooperation and provide all feasible support to Montenegro.