A thematic workshop on cluster networking in the fields of tourism and local food was held in Kotor at the Cultural Centre “Nikola Đurković”. The workshop is part of the IPA cross-border project “BACAR: Clusters and Competitiveness – Networking in the Adriatic Region”.

The main objective of the BACAR project is to strengthen the SME competitiveness through building of the cluster approach in the following sectors: creative industry, tourism and rural development.

The topic of the workshop was how to increase the competitiveness in the sector of tourism and local food production in the area of Boka Kotorska and its wider surroundings through sectoral and inter-sectoral networking.  During the workshop the planned results of the project were presented and ideas on how to improve the development of the sector of tourism and agriculture were shared. It was also determined in what ways the clusters can deal with developing innovativeness as an essential tool to achieving competitiveness.

The workshop participants, who were the business sector representatives, took an active part in the workshop and stated numerous problems they encounter in their everyday work, as well as the ways in which these problems could be alleviated or overcome in cooperation with the local governments and state bodies. They drew attention to various problems, such us underdeveloped road infrastructure, inadequate water supply, inadequate inspection supervision, unfair competition, problems with placing products on the market, unfair trading practices, the lack of networking between the producers and tourism industry, etc.

In the coming period, the workshop participants with take part, in cooperation with the public sector representatives, in the “BACAR” project activities related to establishment of clusters. The conclusion of the workshop participants is that such activities can lead to improving the conditions for business though exchanging knowledge, networking and being acquainted with good practice examples from the region, which will be the focus of the project in the coming period.

On behalf of the Municipality of Kotor the workshop was opened by Mr. Vladimir Bujišić, project coordinator, the head of the Kotor Municipality’s Secretariat for Entrepreneurship Department, Utilities and Transportation, and it was run by the BACAR project’s external experts for clustering in the field of tourism and local food production, Mss. Jelena Krivčević and Svetlana Vujičić. The workshop was attended by entrepreneurs in the fields of tourism, food production and agriculture and representatives of the local government’s bodies, Tourism Board of Kotor, Chamber of Economy of Montenegro, as well as the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.