OCTOBER BUSINESS LEADERS’ MEETING POINT
MIROSLAV VRCELJ Fleet and Used Car Manager at Star Import
New Attractive Offers For Diplomats PAGE 36
Top Quality Service And State-Of-The-Art Technology PAGE 40
ERNST WIESINGER MA Executive Vice President - RECA, CEO - Kellner & Kunz AG
BOGDAN GECIĆ LL.M. (Harvard), Managing Partner at Gecić Law
RECA: Invincible Team
Meritocracy, Innovation And Professional Credibility OCTOBER
CORPORATE MIROSLAV VRCELJ, FLEET AND USED CAR MANAGER AT STAR IMPORT
New Attractive Offers For Diplomats Star Import, general distributor of Mercedes-Benz vehicles in Serbia, has developed and presented new attractive offers for members of its customer base from the diplomatic corps. These offers are created during a period that is considered as being the most successful time of this world-renowned brand. It was with this in mind that we spoke to Miroslav Vrcelj, Fleet and Used Car Manager at Star Import, who highlights all the most important news and developments within Mercedes-Benz
uring the first half of this year, Mercedes-Benz has handed over to customers 783,520 vehicles (up 12.8%), making this the best count of unit sales result in any half-year ever in the company’s history. This result places this German manufacturer in first place in the premium market segment worldwide. Mercedes-Benz is also performing very well in this segment in Serbia, and our goal is to keep this trend going and growing. ■ Beyond the prestige of a five-star brand, what is the secret to success? - The company places special emphasis on technical innovations and the excellent quality of the brand itself, its reliability and constant competitiveness. We also find outstanding customer service very important. ■ Which models are most in-demand among diplomats? - The E-Class family models are the most relevant for diplomats in their work, as they meet adequate representation requirements. Since market launch in March, the E-Class Coupe and All-Terrain have also been available in our portfolio. Last year saw the brand new E-Class limousine and T-Model come out, but also the multifunctional VClass, which offers 7-9 seats and resembles a minibus, making it the perfect vehicle for diplomatic delegations. In addition to these models, I am happy to announce that the new, facelifted S-Class will also have its Serbian premiere in October.
■ What does model refreshment involve? - Usually formal and aesthetical changes made to the outlook design. In the case of the iconic S-Class, we can almost talk about a completely new model, because it includes new diesel and petrol engines, while the assistance systems that support drivers have been refined further. The lighting and telematics systems have been renewed, and a new driving benefit has also been introduced – Energizing Comfort Control, which provides the driver with various relaxation and comfort features. ■ Who is eligible for diplomatic discounts? - Embassies, consulates, diplomats, honorary consuls, international organisations and
The E-Class family models are the most relevant for diplomats in their work, as they meet adequate representation requirements their members can receive special discounts intended for diplomats. In the case of private car sales for diplomats, we can also provide certain discounts. But for all further and more detailed information I would advise readers to please visit our website: https//www. mercedes-benz.rs, section Diplomatic sales. ■ What experience have you gained during your work here? - The process usually sees us order the model chosen by the customer, after which we individually configure it directly from Daimler Stuttgart. The invoice will contain a net price without VAT, customs or any other taxes. Depending on the model and status, different discounts can be provided for diplomats. The biggest discount can be given
in the case that an official ambassador’s car with flag holders is purchased. We can see currently that premium services have become very popular with our customers, while we notice great potential in this market segment. We offer a very wideranging portfolio of models and absolutely take the ideas and requests of customers into consideration, before we present them with their personally-tailored Mercedes-Benz cars. We are also more than happy to provide them with suggestions and assistance throughout the entire purchasing process, and we also appreciate feedback from our customers, for the sake of our further and better development. There have been new developments of late in the laws regarding diplomatic purchases – our government recently changed the law so that diplomats can now purchase vehicles on Operational Full-Service Leasing, which previously wasn’t the case. With this new regulation, diplomatic vehicles can be purchased not only for cash or under terms of immediate payment, but also through monthly instalments over certain periods of time, commonly three or four years. Based on Operation Leasing with Car Fleet management, all expenses, maintenance, winter and summer tyre changes, are included in the monthly fee. The vehicle’s owner is the leasing company that leases the vehicle, while the Embassy pays monthly instalments that include all vehicle costs. ■ What are your future plans? - We would like to build a long-term business relationship with members of diplomatic corps in Serbia and the region, and to provide the kind of high-quality services that meet the expectations of our premium customers. In conclusion, what we offer is what our brand claim suggests: “MercedesBenz: The Best or Nothing”. ■ OCTOBER
PARTNERS “I am utterly convinced that EU membership for western Balkan states in all of Europe’s best interest. We share the same values, the same culture and civilization. Germany is one of the most important partners for Serbia and the Western Balkans.”— ANA BRNABIC, Serbian prime minister
Super Cash Loan For Those In Need
Former Pharma Giant Offered For €1
Keeping track of the different needs of citizens, Sberbank Srbija prepared a new, attractive offer of Super Cash Loans for this autumn, offering the citizens an opportunity to receive additional money for their planned or unplanned expenses at an attractive interest rate or to refinance their existing liabilities. The maximum loan amount is up to RSD 3 million, with a nominal interest rate of 8.6%, i.e., with an effective interest rate of 9.84%. A special benefit for all clients applying for a Super Loan is the ability to approve the allowed overdraft before the payment of the first earnings to the Sberbank current account. “By creating Super Cash Loans, we had in focus those in need of money for the new school or a university year, to get married, buy a computer, technical appliances, a new car, or perhaps refurbish their apartment,” said Mirjana Đorđević, director of the Sberbank Srbija Product Development Department, says.
The Ministry of Economy has called a tender to sell a 93.7 pct owned stake in the Belgrade-based Galenika pharmaceuticals, with €1 as the starting price. The deadline to submit the bids in October 2, while they will be opened on October 4. Those participating in the privatization must come from the same industry and have an annual income of over €300 million in the last business year. Galenika owes more than €71 million to banks, who have agreed to a discount and will accept the €25 million payment from the future owner. According to media reEPS
EPS And Mitsubishi Hitachi Signed A €167mln Deal Serbia’s power utility EPS and Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems signed a €167 million deal to help reduce gas emissions and meet EU standards at Serbia’s largest
MILORAD GRCIC AND YASUO FUJITANI
coal-fired power plant. The flue gas desulfurization project would be carried out in four out of six units of Nikola Tesla A power plant complex, which has an installed capacity of around 1,600 megawatts (MW). “The clean-up will improve output and reduce emissions of sulfur by nine times,” Serbia’s Energy Minister Aleksandar Antic said. The project, to be supported by a loan from the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA), is expected to be completed in 42 months, said Antic, adding that €200 million has been invested into energy clean-up so far and another €900 million is planned to be spent by 2025. The contract was signed by Yasuo Fujitani, Senior Vice President MHPS and Milorad Grcic, Acting Director of EPS. The ceremony of signing in Belgrade was attended by the Japanese State Minister for Foreign Affairs Kazuyuki Nakane and Minister of Energy and Mining of the Republic of Serbia Aleksandar Antić.
Serbian Project Wins IFC Backing The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has pledged a €19.1 million loan to Belgian developer Elicio to build a 42MW project in Alibunar, north Serbia. Elicio has also been backed by the Netherlands Development Finance Company, UniCredit and the Green for Growth Fund, which, together, have provided €40 million in loans for
ports, this consortium is once again among those interested in buying Galenika, along with China’s Sinopharm, Amicus, regstered in Switzerland, Serbia-based Hemofarm, owned by Germany’s Stada, and Brazil’s EMS Source: BETA
the 42MW Alibunar project. German manufacturer Senvion is set to supply its MM100 2MW turbine to the site, which is due online next year, according to Windpower Intelligence. According to the IFC, around 70 per cent of Serbia’s electricity is produced by coal plants. “The Alibunar wind farm is the largest wind farm project financed in Serbia to date,” said IFC head of infrastructure in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. Wiebke Schloemer. In August 2016, the Serbian government approved new renewable energy laws on power purchasing agreement criteria and incentives. The legislation confirmed a feed-in-tariff of €92/MWh for 12 years. Earlier in 2016, the energy ministry revealed a list of projects that would make up the total 500MW capacity cap to which the new rules applied, including two Elicio projects, one of which was Alibunar.
Yazaki Opens Factory In Šabac
SHINJI YAZAKI AND ALEKSANDAR VUČIĆ
The Japanese company YAZAKI, the world’s leading manufacturer of cables for the automotive industry, officially opened a factory in Šabac. The factory will produce electronic components for OEM trucks that will be exported to the European market. The construction of the factory in Šabac started last year and lasted 258 days. Currently, YAZAKI is the largest factory in Šabac with a production section, offices, a stockroom, a cantine and an ambulance. „Today, the YAZAKI Group operates in 46 countries and has 290,000 employees. Our corporate policy clearly entails a full commitment to sustainable, secure, and environmentally-friendly business operation,“ said Shinji Yazaki, President of YAZAKI Corporation This year, YAZAKI employed more than 500 people in Serbia. By the end of 2019, 1,700 people will be employied at the new factory.
LABOR “I don’t believe that the people who get a job are unhappy about it. It’s baseless and unfair when people accuse us of promoting Serbia with cheap labor. We’re no Vietnam.” — BRANKO RUZIC
Serbian Minister of Public Administration
BRITISH AMERICAN TOBACCO (BAT)
BAT Launches New Packaging Line In Vranje
BAT’s new, modern facility, worth over €3mln, was officially made operational by Prime Minister Ana Brnabić, as part of a ceremony also attended by BAT CEO for Central and Southern Europe, Richard Widmann, and Thanos Trimis, CEO for Serbia and Montenegro, as well as other prominent representatives of economic and public life of Serbia.
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New executive director at HEINEKEN Srbija (as of 1st February 2018)
Viktor Gillhofer has been named as the new managing director of HEINEKEN Serbia, a function he will take on as of 1st February 2018. Gillhofer will lead the team in Serbia, with the aim of strengthening the company’s leadership position on the market and further developing the winning portfolio of brands. Gillhofer will succeed Alexandros Daniilidis, who takes over as CEO of the Athens Brewery (HEINEKEN Greece). Until recently, Gillhofer held the position of director for Off-Premises and served as a member of the management team of Brau Union Österreich AG, as well as holding the position of director of Brau Union Export. In this position, he achieved significant revenue growth, with a steady increase in market share, resulting in significant increases in profits.
Director of Mars for Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia and Albania
PRIME MINISTER ANA BRNABIĆ AT THE OPENING OF THE FACTORY
The plant in Vranje will directly increase BAT’s number of employees by 10%, while the indirect positive impact on the employment rate in this part of Serbia will be far greater. Furthermore, the investment will have a positive impact on Serbia’s foreign trade balance and its place in the region, especially within the CEFTA agreement. Since its arrival on the Serbian market, BAT has paid more than €1.7 billion to the Serbian budget through excise duties and other taxes. BAT has directly invested €220mln in Serbia, over €120mln of which was invested in the purchase and modernisation of the plant in Vranje, which is now the production centre for CEFTA member countries. TURKISH AIRLINES
Always The Right Time For Istanbul
Predrag Milinčić holds an MBA in the field of General Management from the University of Sheffield. In addition to work experience amassed in the field of food and beverage over the course of 15 years, Milinčić also brings to Mars leadership skills and an orientation towards consumer, while achieving top business results. Milinčić is an experienced manager with great knowledge of the markets in Balkan and Baltic countries. He arrives at Mars from Coca-Cola, where he began his career in 2002 and went through all stages of professional development within the sales department. He developed his career from initial positions of developing points of sale and managing commericalists, through the position of supervisor of team managers, regional sales manager, to national sales director for fragmented markets. He spent a year in Latvia, serving as sales director for the Baltic countries, then joined Mars upon his return to Serbia. During recent years he has contributed successfully to the development and implementation of a large number of strong market strategies. Through a constant focus on the development and motivation of people, which has always been his priority, Miliničić assembles strong and dedicated sales teams, while simultaneously maintaining and developing strong partnerships with customers.
New Director of SAS for the Adriatic region Miloš Đurković took over the management of the Adriatic region for company SAS as of 1st September. The change in the organisational structure is part of SAS’s strategy to accelerate growth in the region. Đurković graduated from the Belgrade University Faculty of Electrical Engineering and from 2011 to 2014 served as president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Serbia. An active member of the Association of Corporate Directors of Serbia and the Serbian Association of Managers, Đurković has amassed more than 23 years of experience in the ICT industry, which he gained working for companies in Serbia and neighbouring countries, where he successfully managed the local representative offices of some of the world’s biggest technology companies. He was the general manager of Hewlett Packard Serbia, general manager of IBM Serbia, as well as head of the representative office of CISCO Systems responsible for the markets of Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia and Albania.
New Executive Director of the Japanese Business Alliance in Serbia - JBAS As of 1st September, the appointment of the executive director of JBAS means that all preconditions have been met for this Alliance to initiate concrete activities, which will be marked officially in the period ahead. The new JBAS Executive Director is Ms Danijela Čabarkapa, who graduated from the University of Belgrade’s Faculty of Economics and has amassed vast experience in providing support for business development and internationalization, which she gained through work on investment and export promotion within the Serbia Investment and Export Promotion Agency, SIEPA, and the Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Serbia.
Istanbul is closer than ever for passengers from Serbia this winter, thanks to the Turkish Airlines promotion that starts on 10th October. Namely, the Turkish flag carrier is presenting return flights from Belgrade to Istanbul at prices starting from €109 for travel in the period from 1st November 2017 to 31st March 2018. Promotional sale prices last until 31st October. The special offer is all inclusive and valid for online sales (fares may vary in sales offices and travel agencies). Use this opportunity to visit Istanbul, a magnificent city that spreads over two continents.
IKEA Plans To Invest Over €200mln In Serbia IKEA plans to invest in Serbia over €200 million over the next five years, according to a news release by Minister Zoran Djordjevic. The company has already invested €60 million in the country and hired 330 employees for its Belgrade site. IKEA plans to build two more sites in the country, the Serbian government said in a press release. In five years, the number of IKEA officials in Serbia is expected to reach 1 200, says Djordjevic. In the Southeast Europe region, IKEA has locations in Croatia, Bulgaria and Romania.
CORPORATE ERNST WIESINGER MA, EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT - RECA, CEO - KELLNER & KUNZ AG
RECA: Invincible Team
“When we now compare the population of Serbia with Austria and the sales figures we achieve in the two countries, we can still find great potential in Serbia,” says Ernst Wiesinger, Executive Vice President - RECA, CEO - Kellner & Kunz AG single second and we’re really satisfied with previous and current developments. ■ Serbia certainly isn’t the biggest market on which you operate. If Serbia is unable to compete in terms of market size, does it have any other comparative advantages over others? - The RECA Group does business in 21 countries, 20 of which are located in Europe and one in Asia (in China, to be precise). The business operations of all companies within the RECA Group can be divided into the following four business units: Metal (craft),
ompany RECA was one of the first to “courageously” launch operations in Serbia back in 2002, when the country had barely begun its transition. That’s why we began this interview with an analogy. “Today we can say that, from a Western perspective, the political, economic and administrative conditions were certainly very difficult when we started our business in Serbia 15 years ago,” explains Mr Wiesinger for CorD, comparing the period when RECA launched its operations in Serbia to the present day. - We founded the company in 2002. The Yugoslav Balkan Wars finally ended around 1999, which we felt in every phase of the com15 YEARS OF RECA SERBIA pany’s development. Serbia was then a rather politically unstable country. We had experiences that were Industry (manufacturing and maintenance), quite irritating for us, but nonetheless we Automotive (passenger cars and commercial vehicles) and Specialist (personal never questioned the potential of Serbia. protective equipment, devices etc.). In the We have always trusted in the country’s RECA Group’s portfolio of markets where potential, the people in the country and, of we sell our products, Serbia is certainly not course, the employees we hired for RECA a big country, with its approximately seven Serbia – fortunately we did so. During the million inhabitants. On the other hand, last 15 years, many things have changed when it comes to population, Serbia can and today things are quite different. These be seen as being on a similar level to the days we certainly see Serbia as a very stable national economy of Austria – in Austria and prosperous country. We haven’t regretted launching our business in Serbia for a we have around 8.8 million inhabitants. 36 |
When we now compare the population of Serbia with Austria and the sales figures we achieve in the two countries, we can still find great potential in Serbia. Today we generate annual sales of around €3 million in Serbia. With only slightly more inhabitants in Austria, we achieve sales as high as €160 million. We definitely want to tap into Serbia’s full potential in times of prosperous economic conditions. ■ What would you single out as a specific success of RECA Serbia during the last 15 years? - Due to the aforementioned economic and political conditions of 2002, we had to go through an extremely tough initial phase. However, the core management team and many employees at RECA Serbia have remained with us since the very beginning, 15 years ago. As such, I believe that this loyalty to the company in particular, and the willingness to overcome all previous difficulties that we faced together and our intention to make things better for the future, were certainly key success factors. Our current business results represent a remarkable success that could only be achieved through people acting in concert and working as a team. So, I can only congratulate the management team of RECA Serbia for being willing to travel this challenging route to becoming the kind of successful and prosperous company that it is today. We are collectively really proud of RECA Serbia and its development during the first 15 years of its existence. ■
CORPORATE MITAN OIL
Top Quality Service And State-Of-The-Art Technology Assessing the investment climate in Serbia as positive, and with a view to the strategic and logistic significance of Serbia, the Danube, Free Zones, the idea to construction an oil terminal of Mitan Oil in Smederevo was born that their corporate strength does not depend on capacities, but rather on an explicit commitment to top-quality service and the most up-to-date technology. “The complete working process, from receiving goods to their final dispatch to end users, is carried out using devices made with the most advanced technology of German and French manufacturers, leaders in the field of oil terminal equipment, such as Satam, Mercedes, Bornemann, Endress Hauser and others. The organisation of operations is harmonised with international standards
member of Hellenic Petroleum, Greece’s Coral – Shell license holder, Swiss company Kaz Munay Trading... According to Mitan Oil’s MD, investments of this type are important because they enable large international companies to maintain a presence on the RS market, and for citizens and companies in Serbia that represents the possibility of purchasing fuel produced in Austria, Hungary, Romania he entire project is impleand other European countries, which means mented as a greenfield more competitive prices and better quality. investment, which means Since 2011, when the company was that we built the plant, with founded and investors first set foot on the a capacity of 50,000m3, from the foundaunregulated agricultural land in the Smetions. This 25-million-euro investment was financed exclusively from the company’s derevo industrial zone, until today, when that own sources, without relying on loans from same location houses a modern terminal, domestic banks and without government through which 50 per cent of petroleum subsidies, which is a real rarity in Serbia,” products are imported into Serbia, the comsays Dušan Vuković, Managing Director of pany has traversed a prosperous but also Mitan Oil, at the beginning of this interview. difficult road. However, this is not the end of Mitan Holding is a Swiss company based strategic growth and development plans. in Zurich. In its many decades of experience “In the next six months, we plan to amassed in the field of trading and storing invest in the construction of an industrial oil and oil derivatives, this Swiss Holding has rail track that will enable the reception of collaborated successfully with renowned goods by rail. In this way, we will miniUpon the realisation of its international partners on the delivery of mise all risks of receiving goods via the derivatives in peacekeeping missions, planned projects, Mitan Oil will Danube, such as unnavigability due to including those of the UN, the Defense low or high water levels. This is of strabe one of the few Terminals Fuel Agency USA, the Swiss agency VBStegic importance to Serbia, as it enables in this region with four SWISSCOY and many others. greater supply stability, security and alternative methods of Mitan Oil today has the largest continuity in critical periods. Alongprivately-owned oil terminal in Serbia side that, we have signed a protocol receiving goods and the region. agreement with company Transnaft “At any given moment we can store ISO 9001: 2015, ISO 14001: 2015 and OHSAS for connection to the product line system 50,000m3 of white derivatives with the 18001: 2008,” says director Vuković. through Serbia. In this context, upon the possibility of delivery three million litres Domestic and international leaders realisation of these projects, we will be one daily, or 500,000 metric tonnes annually,” in the field of oil derivatives trade at the of the few Terminals in this region with four notes Vuković. Mitan Oil terminal, such as MOL Serbia – a alternative methods of receiving goods,” At Mitan Oil they nevertheless believe member of the MOL Group, Eko Serbia – a announces Vuković.■
CONNECTION “Every country in the Balkans should be connected by rail and highway to each other, as we are connected with Skopje, Belgrade, Tirana. Each Balkan country must have access to each other.”— BOYKO BORISSOV, Bulgarian Prime Minister
Moody's Upgrades Government Bond Ratings
Critical Lack Of Labor Force
Credit rating agency Moody’s has upgraded Slovenia’s long-term issuer and senior unsecured bond ratings to Baa1 from Baa3. The outlook on the ratings has been changed to stable from positive. Moody’s, which announced the decision last month, highlighted “the government’s favourable debt trend, driven by fiscal consolidation and robust economic growth”, which the agency expects to be sustained. It moreover pointed to progress with respect to some “important structural reforms, namely with regard to the banking sector, judiciary, and the administrative apparatus of the state”. The agency speaks of efforts to strengthen the banking sector, which are boosting the sector’s ability to support economic activity. The reforms of the judiciary and public CROATIA
Chinese Company Invests €30mln In Rimac Automobili Electric Vehicle technology pioneer Rimac Automobili closes a €30 million investment with Camel Group - Asia’s
MATE RIMAC and LIU CHANGLAI, CEO of Camel Group
Voici La Mode Takes Over M&S Franchise Cyprus-based group Voici La Mode takes over of British retailer Marks & Spencer (M&S) franchise in Romania and plans to open new stores in the near future. Voici La Mode is taking ownership of Marks & Spencer’s three stores in Bucharest but did not agree to buy the remaining three stores in Romania, so the retailer decided to close them. The stores were located in the eastern city of Iasi, in the Black Sea port city of Constanta and in Bucharest. Voici La Mode Group is a family business, founded in the early 1950’s by the late Artemisia Panayiotou who first introduced the products of Marks & Spencer in Cyprus,
administration are also important and have made positive contributions to the country’s competitiveness as well as its institutional strength. Slovenia has had a significant problem with backlogs of court cases, which is gradually being resolved, Moody’s wrote. The stable outlook on the ratings reflects Slovenia’s largely balanced risk profile at the Baa1 rating level, it said. Moody’s is forecasting 3.6% GDP growth for Slovenia for this year. “Growth has been fairly broad-based in spite of the fact that EU-financed public investment has been slow.”
largest battery manufacturer. Camel Group Ltd., has entered into a Subscription Agreement with Rimac Automobili, Greyp Bikes and their founder and CEO Mate Rimac concluding the single largest foreign direct investment in a Croatian technology company. Out of the total investment amount, €3mil will be allocated to Rimac’s sister company – Greyp Bikes. The Investment will be used to fund the launch of new products, extension of production capacity and global expansion of the companies. “Over the years, we have established ourselves as a technology provider and enabler for many global automotive manufacturers. We have become the go-to address when it comes to electric powertrains, batteries, innovative infotainment and telemetry systems and many other core vehicle systems. At the same time, our supercars are redefining what electric vehicles are capable of and showing that the electrified future will be exciting, said Mate Rimac, Founder and CEO of Rimac and Greyp.
in 1960. Today, Voici La Mode Group owns and operates 16 retail locations - five Marks & Spencer stores in Nicosia, five stores of French men’s fashion retailer CELIO - in Nicosia, Limassol and Paphos, six Café la Mode restaurants - in Nicosia and Limassol, as well as other smaller enterprises, employing more than 300 people.
More and more companies struggle with the lack of labor force. The most recent data shows that the number of vacant jobs hit a historical height. The Hungarian Central Statistical Office (KSH) revealed that Hungary’s lack of labor force is becoming critical - 48,460 empty jobs were
registered in the private sector in the second quarter of the year, which means ten thousand new ones compared to the same time last year. It is also two and a half times more than four years before. National economy has 65,700 vacant jobs. Public sector does not give any fresh data since 2016, so KSH counts the numbers from the end of 2015. These show 14,510 unmanned positions. There might be even more in the financial sector, as it also shows a tendency of increase. About 50,000 jobs are unfulfilled in the competition sector. This is critical for companies, as they are facing high lack in many sectors despite the lowering of requirements. And there are probably more unmanned positions than the statistics show. Experts estimate that Hungarian labor market could take 100,000-200,000 more skilled workers. The most problematic sector is production industry, which could accept 19,000 more workers anytime.
Strengthening Of Manufacture - Priority Business community in Kosovo believes that the strengthening of the sector of manufacture must be a priority of the new government in the domain of economy. According to them, Made in Kosovo products must be competitive with other countries of the region and EU member countries. The head of the European Investors Council in Kosovo says that economy must be the top priority of the new government. Meanwhile, the American Chamber of Kosovo has demanded from the new government to demonstrate “a greater dynamic in implementing economic reforms”. The latest data supplied by the Kosovo Agency of Statistics show that 17,6% of the population lives under the poverty threshold with €1.82 a day and 5.2% of the population lives under the threshold of extreme poverty with €1.30 a day. Unemployment rate in the country is 28.7%.
“We will continue with our motto, zero problems with the neighbors and we will intensify our efforts to address all problems that we have with Greece.”— EDI RAMA, Albanian Prime Moinister
Delta Planet In Varna Delta Real Estate, Delta Holding member company, in cooperation with Bulgarian company AP investments, has finalized its acquisition of the shopping-mall in Varna, on the Black Sea coast. “Delta Real Estate continues to strategically expand its business. It is with great pleasure that I announce opening of another construction site in an EU country,” said Zorana Ždrale Burlić, CEO, Delta Real Estate.
This project called Delta Planet and worth €120mln, will be developed together with partner AP investments from Sofia led by two well renown Bulgarian entrepreneurs Angel Angelov and Peter Dudolenski, which have wide range of investments trough real estate developments, healthcare, trade and retail. The performance of final works on the property with the area of 110.000 m2 will start these days while its opening is planned for May 2018. The works will be performed by Bulgarian contractor Planex.
Adriatic Gas Pipeline Albania’s Energy Ministry Damian Gjiknuri presented a feasibility study for a €618mln gas corridor between Albania, Bosnia and Croatia, which it hopes the EU and US DAMIAN GJIKNURI, Minister of Energy will support. He unveiled a preliminary feasibility study for a proposed Ionian-Adriatic gas pipeline, hoping the EU may fund construction of the section of the pipeline between Albania and Montenegro. “Albania had a strong interest in the pipeline project, which could help gasify the country. We hope for support from the EU and the US [for the project],” he said. The 511-km-long pipeline, expected to cost up to €618mln aims to link the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline with Montenegro, Bosnia and Croatia. The feasibility study calls for a new pipeline with a capacity of 5 billion cubic meters per year, BCM, from which Albania and Bosnia hope to consume 1 BCM each, Montenegro 0.5 BCM while Croatia, the biggest and the strongest economy in the Western Balkans, is expected to consume 2.5 BCM per year.
Economy Continues To Grow At A Moderate Pace Montenegro’s economy continues to grow at a moderate pace, and growth should continue over the medium term, but large refinancing needs in coming years are a source of fiscal vulnerability, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said “Staff projects the economy to expand by 3% in 2017 and 2.8% in 2018, with planned fiscal consolidation acting as a moderate drag on growth,” the IMF said in the concluding statement of the mission for the 2017 Article IV consultation with Montenegro. While the economic outlook is positive, risks stemming from the large increase in public debt and external financing needs raise concerns about fiscal sustainability and external stability. Against this background, the IMF stressed the importance of continued fiscal adjustment to reduce debt and meet refinancing needs, sustained efforts to strengthen the financial sector and fiscal and structural reforms to support higher and more inclusive growth. The IMF welcomed the authorities’ well‑specified, medium‑term fiscal adjustment plan, which includes social protection measures for the most vulnerable. They concurred that, if fully implemented, the plan would place government debt on a strong downward path.
BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA
Banja Luka Airport To Revive The Business The Banja Luka Airport is trying to revive its business and to introduce new flights until end of the year. This airport is the only in BiH which experienced a decrease in the number of passengers. Sarajevo International Airport have one of the best years and Tuzla is still the regional base for WizzAir flights with smaller number of flights and bigger number of customers. Now, Banja Luka International Airport want to take the part of the cake, but they know that it will be very difficult. Miroslav Janjic, Airport General Manager, told to media that serious negotiations with several carriers are underway. Banja Luka earlier announced that there is an interest for flights to Zurich and
Vienna, as well as flights to Scandinavia. Brussels Airlines has confirmed its interest to fly to this Airport, but via Sarajevo. Talks are also being held with Israeli and Irish carriers. Just a few years ago, this airport was one of the candidates for WizzAir cooperant but, the management refuses to negotiate since, as they said, there is not enough profit. Janjic in his address to media admitted that it was a missed opportunity. FYR MACEDONIA
Government Rejects IMF’s Recommendations The government led by Prime Minister Zoran Zaev will not accept the recommendations of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on financial planning in different domains. IMF recommended for the retirement age to be increased, to increase tax on fuel and to apply a higher tax on property. But, the minister of Finance, Dragan Tevdovski said that the government has rejected these recommendations. “We are going to stick to the government’s program”, Tevdovski declared. Meanwhile, in its latest visit, the delegation of the IMF in Skopje pointed out that there are problems with the collection of taxes from big companies. IMF said that until 2022, public debt may increase to 53% of GDP and for this reason, a fiscal strategy which will lower government expenses and borrowing is needed. Source: balkaneu.com OCTOBER
CORPORATE BOGDAN GECIĆ, LL.M. (HARVARD), MANAGING PARTNER AT GECIĆ LAW
Meritocracy, Innovation And Professional Credibility Gecić Law was the youngest law firm in Serbia to receive a Tier 1 competition ranking, from the coveted London-based “Top Tier” Legal 500 directory. Since then, this unique boutique law firm has gone on to prove its cutting edge expertise in some of the most complex domestic cases to appear before the European Commission
accession process, when it comes to the business sector generally? - Similar to the Brexit ‘Great Repeal Bill’, but in reverse; the accession process presents a major shock for every business, because of the unique nature of each country’s individual approach. Our firm has been at the forefront of meeting these challenges, as a trusted go-to partner to businesses and, together with international experts like GIZ, the EBRD etc., to the Government of Serbia.
EU member state. In practise, we assisted the Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Serbia and the Ministry of the Economy in drafting the New Investment Act, and provided support with regard to the review of the draft amendments to the Act on his month we spoke with Agricultural Land, and Consolidation of Bogdan Gecić, LL.M. (Harvard), Agricultural Land, along with GIZ. We Managing Partner at Gecić Law. also assisted in the latest alignment of the Public Procurement Act with the ■ What were the main challenges of EU Acquis and the 2014 Directives, and building a law firm in Serbia and inprovided guidance in drafting an We are the first commercial novating in a profession viewed by authoritative interpretation of the many as traditional? Privatisation Act, which was eventulaw firm in the Western ally adopted by the National Assem- We kicked off as a “start-up”, which Balkans to introduce a bly. Most recently, our firm teamed is a term I use loosely, as the legal separate European Law, Trade up with the EBRD, as legal counsel profession differs from a business in & Enlargement practice, and to the Ministry of Finance, on the many aspects, with setting the vision project aimed at improve the legal and attracting the right people repreState Aid expertise senting the toughest challenge. This framework for factoring. entrepreneurial culture, with meritocWhile the end-goal of each EU canracy, innovation and professional creddidate country is to align with the EU ■ You also advised Železara Smederevo ibility at its core, is something we have Acquis, each negotiation process has its (Steelworks) and the Government of nourished to date, despite our continued own peculiarities, exceptions etc. Our Serbia in the first ever parallel state upward growth spiral. We take pride in EU expertise and regulatory/legislative aid case in the steel sector before the the fact that our team members come focus ensure that we understand why authorities in both Brussels and Serbia, under the EU SAA. You are also actfrom leading U.S. and European universisome economies thrived during/upon ties, including Florence EUI, UC Berkeley, ing on their behalf in the ongoing EU EU accession, whereas others failed, KU Leuven, Maastricht, Nottingham, antidumping case before the European and how Serbia as a country, and all of Carnegie Mellon, Panthéon-Assas and Commission (EC). What were the major its stakeholders, can benefit from that Harvard. With such a profile of people, challenges of these cases and how do knowledge. In this way we create fundamental added value in the negotiating innovation comes naturally. you resolve them successfully? phase, protecting many aspects of the - In order to truly understand the challenge, it’s good to remember that, country’s growth prospects, both in the ■ What are the major legal challenges according to the EBRD, the impact of interim period and once it becomes an ahead during the course of Serbia’s EU
the Železara Smederevo transaction on system at large, given that there were no Serbia’s GDP in 2017 alone is somewhere agencies or individuals with prior experience in case matter. This was achieved around 1.0-1.5%. Needless to say that with the support of DLA Piper London. professional and reputational stakes The investigation was concluded in July were extremely high. 2016, with the EC finding that the UAE From a purely legal perspective, carrier’s investment in Air Serbia is in finding a feasible solution required us line with effective control rules. This to accurately understand and analyse showed the investor community that the almost 60 years of EU case law in order Serbian Government, companies and law to perceive every possible scenario firms have the capacity to take on largeand legal remedy available to the steel scale M&A projects at the highest level. mill and the Government, as its largest shareholder. Knowledge management capabilities were of paramount importance, which required an incredible investment on the part of the firm. We have created what is probably the most comprehensive private EU law library east of Vienna and Brusselsbased online resources, which gave the team the kinds of tools and insights necessary to quickly and effectively grasp the bigger picture and formulate the best strategy moving forward. We are currently Gecić Law disrupted the the lead counsel in two distinct market through new, creative procedures, and are awaiting a practise expertise and major decision on the part of the Commission that we hope will be unparalleled service to clients in Serbia’s best interest, and a testament to the team’s prowess in an ■ In May you hosted the 2017 Reunion area of practise that was virtually nonof the Harvard Law School Association of Europe in Belgrade. What does existent locally until a few years ago. this event mean for Belgrade and the profession, and how can young people ■ You also supported Etihad and Air from Serbia take advantage of possiSerbia in an investigation in Brussels bilities to attend Harvard University? that ended with the Commission giving a green light to the transaction. - With more than 160 HLS alumni who What does this precedent mean for came to Belgrade, it is likely the largest similar cases in the future? international gathering of legal professionals in the Western Balkans. This was - While the steel mill sector challenged an amazing opportunity to showcase our our ability to understand the full scope city, network and help tear down certain of EU case law, Air Serbia’s investigation outdated biases, creating more opportuwas more of a contemporary challenge, nities for business and tourism in Serbia. given the relatively new Single European The event’s academic finale, a sesSky initiative and EU rules on ownership sion held at the National Assembly, and effective control of airlines. included professor Emily Broad Leib In addition to testing our ability to (named by Time Magazine as one of the do ground-breaking work for the client, five most innovative women in food), it also pushed our ability to support the
Stefano Palmieri, CFO of Granarolo Group, and Serbian Agriculture Minister Branislav Nedimović. It was also the first time the HLSA Europe Award was awarded to a prominent Dutch HLS alumnus, William Stevens, co-founder of HLSAE. Some of our less modest HLS alumni can still be caught bragging that the Reunion heralded the appointment of Ana Brnabić, the keynote speaker at the Gala Dinner, as the Prime Minister. We can’t be more thankful for the support and positive feedback we received from the local community, particularly the National Assembly, the Royal Family, who kindly hosted the Gala Dinner at the White Palace, the local Harvard Club, the local academic community and the Government of Serbia. As I’ve noted many times before, as a Harvard Law graduate, I’m proud that we highlighted the opportunities Harvard offers young people from Serbia. I hope this encourages our young students to apply to Harvard Law and continue to grow and challenge themselves. ■ Tell us more about the scholarships and opportunities the firm creates for young professionals. - We strongly believe in leading by example and giving back - in 2016, Gecić Law established the Taboroši Scholarship, in memory of Professor Svetislav Taboroši, whose work on academic research and innovative problem solving led to his pioneering work in the field of law & economics in Serbia and the region. According to Belgrade Law School Dean, Sima Avramović, this was ‘the first time in recorded history since the 19th century that a firm and former students have established a scholarship fund on behalf of their professor’ in Serbia. Our commitment to fostering home-grown talent is also illustrated by our involvement in the establishment of Harvard Club of Serbia Scholarships during my tenure as Vice President and scholarship project manager. ■ OCTOBER
CLIMATE “Man-made climate change is contributing to increasingly strong hurricanes causing unprecedented damage. The whole world should be scrambling to get on top of the climate change issue before it is too late for this generation, let alone the generations to come.” — RICHARD BRANSON, Virgin Group
Alphabet Is Considering Investing $1 Billion In Lyft
Google’s parent company, Alphabet, is in talks to invest about $1 billion in U.S. rideshare company Lyft Inc. The talks are being driven by top officials at Alpha-
bet. The potential investment could come either from Google or from CapitalG, Alphabet’s investment division, Bloomberg reported. Representatives of both Alphabet and Lyft representative declined to comment on the potential investment. The two companies have already forged strong ties. In May, Alphabet’s self-driving car unit, Waymo, signed a deal with Lyft to collaborate on autonomousvehicle technology. In July, Lyft announced it was forming an autonomous-car division that would be based at a new center in Palo Alto, California. The app-based taxi company said Waymo would be among its partners that would have representatives working in the space. An investment from Google could help the company achieve that goal and give it a leg up on its archrival Uber. Google was an early investor in Uber, but the companies are now engaged in a hard-fought lawsuit over trade secrets.
Made-In-China Buses Popularized On Quality Europeans are chasing a new fashion to take Chinadesigned new energy coaches as a fresh means of transportation as Europe strengthens its efforts to fight gas emission. Amid fierce competition, Chinese new energy car manufacturers have won favor from European clients thanks to their fashionable look, reliable quality and reasonable prices. In 2016, China manufactured and sold over 28 million vehicles, ranked top globally for WORLD
Global Debt Rose To $217 Trillion In its latest annual summary published at the end of June, the The Institute of International Finance (IIF) found that total nominal global debt had risen to a new all time high of $217 trillion, or 327% of global GDP. According to a last month released analysts by the Bank of International Settlements (BIS), “FX swaps and forwards: missing global debt?” non-banks institutions outside the United States owe large sums of dollars offbalance sheet through instruments such as FX swaps and forwards. The BIS then calculates what balance sheets would look like if borrowing through such derivative instruments was recorded onbalance sheet, as functionally equivalent repo debt, and calculates that the total “is of a size similar to, and probably exceeding, the $10.7 trillion of on-balance sheet dollar debt”, potentially as much as $13-14 trillion. Every day, trillions of
eight consecutive years. More importantly, the annual production of new energy vehicles in China has surpassed 517,000, with BYD, for instance, exporting its coaches and battery technology to more than 50 countries around the world. dollars are borrowed and lent in various currencies. Many deals take place in the cash market, through loans and securities. But foreign exchange (FX) derivatives, mainly FX swaps, currency swaps and the closely related forwards, also create debt-like obligations. For the US dollar alone, contracts worth tens of trillions of dollars stand open and trillions change hands daily. And yet one cannot find these amounts on balance sheets. This debt is, in effect, missing. How much is owed, by whom and for what purpose: trade hedging, asset-liability management, market-making? This special feature frames the issues and suggests some answers. To do so, it breaks ground in combining data on the aggregate amount of outstanding derivatives contracts (from the BIS derivatives statistics) with information from the international banking statistics and from ad hoc surveys to form a view of the size, geography and use of the missing foreign currency debt. The more detailed analysis focuses on the dollar segment, given the currency’s outsize role in the foreign exchange and other financial markets.
Apple, Dell Join Bid To Obtain Chips US tech titans Apple and Dell have joined a bid to buy Toshiba’s memory chip business, a deal seen as key to the survival of the cash-stripped Japanese industrial conglomerate. It was the first time Apple’s name has been officially confirmed as part of the bid, although it has reportedly also been involved in rival bids for the lucrative Toshiba segment. The announcement came after Toshiba said it had picked the Bain Capital-led consortium as the leading candidate to buy its prized chip business in a deal reportedly worth some $18 billion. The Bain Capital-led group also includes state-backed Development Bank of Japan and the public-private Innovation Network Corp of Japan as well as South Korean chipmaker SK Hynix. However, Toshiba has stressed that it was a “non-exclusive” agreement with Bain Capital that “does not exclude the possibility of negotiations with other consortia”. Other suitors are a group led by Western Digital, Toshiba’s US-based chip factory partner, and Taiwan’s Hon Hai Precision, better known as Foxconn.
THAT MAKE UP AN IDEAL WORKPLACE
According to the qualitative research, today’s employees are prisoners of low expectations. And they are often worn-out. Here are 10 tips to build that mythic, often dreamed about, idealized workplace.
1. Define a clear mission and vision 2. Make sure every employee understands he or she contributes to the mission and vision. 3. Engage in transparent communications. 4. Provide opportunities for growth and development . 5. Flexible schedules. 6. Offer competitive salaries, benefits, perks and promotions. 7. Mobile usage (66% of high school students feel it is acceptable to check a mobile device during work time). 8. Treat each employee as a person. 9. Be the leader that you wanted as an employee. 10. Have a little fun.
SIMULATIONS “We think, based on model simulations that climate change is having an effect, making storms slightly more intense with higher rainfall rates, but these changes are not huge and we cannot yet clearly detect them in observations.” — THOMAS KNUTSON,
US Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory
Lego Announces 1,400 Job Losses Lego has launched an overhaul of its business as it announced its first drop in revenues for more than a decade and 1,400 job losses. Coming on top of the unexpected ousting of its chief executive in August, the news suggests Lego is facing its biggest test since it came close to financial collapse in 2003-2004. Revenues fell 5 per cent in the first half of the year to €1.9 billion, ending near consistent double-digit growth over the past decade as Lego became the world’s most profitable toymaker and the second largest by sales. Lego had long defied gravity as other toymakers succumbed to the trend for children to spend more time playing digitally. But under Bali Padda, who was ousted as chief executive in August after only eight months and who had previously been chief operating officer, it had become an increasingly complex organisation. Lego will cut about 8 per cent of its 18,200 workforce – its number of employees has tripled since 2004 – its biggest job cuts ever announced.
Nestlé Takes Majority Stake In Blue Bottle
Air France Unveils Low-Cost Airline Joon Air France on unveiled a new lower-cost subsidiary called Joon that will specifically target well-travelled millenials. A new medium-haul service will begin operating from Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris later this year, with longhaul flights to follow in summer 2018. Joon is “especially aimed at a young working clientele, the millennials (18 to 35 year-olds), whose lifestyles revolve around digital technology”, Air France said in a statement, without elaborating on what new technology would be deployed. The name was chosen “to illustrate a positive state of mind”. Joon is aimed at helping Air France compete with the increasingly intense competition from budget European carriers such as Easyjet and Gulf airlines such as Emirates. UK
Rolling Stone Magazine Is Up For Sale Trailblazing music and popular culture magazine Rolling Stone is putting itself up for sale. Publisher Wenner Media - the majority shareholder - said it was exploring strategic options for its stake in the iconic magazine “to best position the brand for future growth”. It comes after Jann Wenner (71), who said that he hoped to keep an editorial role at Rolling Stone, but that decision would be up to its new owner. Musicians including The Beatles, Madonna, The Doors’ Jim Morrison, Lady Gaga and a naked John Lennon curled up on a bed next to his fully-clothed wife Yoko Ono have featured on the magazine’s cover, as well as politicians including Barack Obama and even Pope Francis.
Jann Wenner’s son - president and CEO of Gus Wenner Media, told The New York Times “Publishing is a completely different industry than what it was. The trends go in one direction, and we are very aware of that.” TURKEY
Switzerland’s Nestlé is accelerating its expansion in the US coffee market by taking a majority stake in California-based Blue Bottle, which is led by Dublin-born businessman Bryan Meehan. The deal values the cafe and roastery chain at more than €588 million. The acquisition of fast-growing Blue Bottle is a strategic shift into retailing by the world’s largest food and drinks company, which owns the Nespresso coffee capsule and Nescafé brands. It also pits Nestlé directly against two other huge coffee brands in the US – Starbucks and Keurig Green Mountain, owed by the JAB investment group. Nestlé is understood to be paying for the 68 per cent stake in Blue Bottle, which by the end of this year will have more than 50 cafes in California, New York, Washington, Miami and Tokyo.
Number Of New Companies Rises By 47% The number of newly established companies in Turkey reached 6,593 in August, growing by 47.46 % compared to the same month last year, the Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges (TOBB) said. A total of 1,218 companies went out of business in August, which saw an increase of 105.4% compared to the same month in 2016. The figures indicated that the number of foreign-partnered new companies stood at 644 in August, while 48,087 companies were established in the first eight months of the year, marking an 8.43% increase over the same period last year. In the first eight months of the year, a total of 3,958 foreign-partnered companies were established, including 644 in August. Out of this figure, 467 of the companies were established in wholesale trade not allocated to a specific commodity, 361 were residential or non-residential buildings, and 277 were established in the real estate sector. OCTOBER
Superior Aesthetics Of Taste Over the eleven years of its work, Cafe&Factory has become recognisable for its unique concept, exceptional assortment and high quality, as well as for cafés that provide enjoyment for all the senses
of Cafe&Factory, it is also possible to buy coffee to take away and prepare at home, and behind the numbers and delectable omestic brand Cafe&Factory is names hides a rich assortment of all blends part of an international company on offer. Thus, “0” denotes coffee without that has been operating succaffeine, No.1 marks the best-selling house cessfully in Serbia for 11 years. blend, No.2 represents the second house From the first café that opened in June blend, No.3 is for filter coffee, No.4 marks 2007, with a concept that includes a small espresso, while the other numbers up to 10 coffee factory with the café, with interiare single origin coffees: Guatemalan, Ethioors authored by domestic designers and architects, satisfied guests have consumed pian, Columbian, Salvadoran, Brazilian. a veritable river of the most diverse blends Our grannies boiled coffee in a Dzezva/ of coffee. For the locations of their cafés cezve and served it “with and without they choose proven locations – in the close foam”, while today the serving of coffee proximity of open markets, which are genscience, art, geography, gastronomy and has become a real art. Cafe&Factory serves hospitality. Though we are constantly espresso-based coffee, but the method of erally associated with freshness, various learning, we all at Cafe&Factory try to pouring milk into coffee is called “latte art”. scents and many people. gradually transfer our knowledge to our The visual presentation is very important, Besides their concept, another novelty guests and customers and to show them and is one of the main reasons guests they have introduced is their assortment all the possibilities of preparing and enjoyalways return. Of course, the quality of of the best and highest-quality variety of coffee is decisive, but the visual part is at speciality coffee beans, just roasted, just ing this drink,” says Irena Jović, Director of least equally deserving, for which staff ground and immediately served. Cafe&Factory, speaking to CorD. were trained by international masters and In addition to the House Blend, which Apart from drinking coffee at the cafés coaches. From quality raw material, via is also its bestseller, Cafe&Factory’s offer well-roasted and ground coffee, to also includes blends and single origin serving, each segment is equally imcoffees from all countries where coffee is grown worldwide. A special novelty portant, and ensuring that everything is represented by blends from lesserfunctions is a staff of around 50 emknown coffee producing countries, such ployees in six coffee shops at present, as Malawi, Burundi, Yemen and Ecuador, while that number is increasing rapidly. whose coffees are ranked among the “I am most proud of the fact that we greatest rarities. are enduring, and that, despite all the “Dealing with coffee was comcircumstances, we are not only enduring but growing. We are expanding our busipletely new to me, and I had to learn The visual presentation is very everything about it in order to do my ness and that is our greatest success, important, and is one of the main and the previous ten successful years job to the best of my abilities. I quickly reasons guests always return fell in love with everything related to testify to that. Our company is stable and coffee. This field intertwines botany, people like to work there,” says Jović. ■
Nike Footwear Made A Billionaire Of Park Yen-Cha The South Korean entrepreneur, who manufactures 60 million pairs of Nikes annually, has a net worth of $1.3 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index and personal connections based on school networks matter for achieving success, Park worked to cultivate relations with those in power. After his release in 2014, Park returned to the helm of Taekwang. Of his four children, only a son in his early 30s, who’s considered an heir apparent, currently has a management role at the company. Revenue, which grew 14.5 percent last year to $1.6 billion, nearly doubled since 2011. Founded in 1971, Taekwang was among hundreds of footwear companies that turned Busan, South Korea’s second-largest city, into the world’s sportshoe capital during the 1970s and ’80s. Global sports retailers, such as Nike, Adidas AG and Reebok International Ltd., flocked to South Korean shoe factories, attracted mainly by low-cost, abundant labour and the factories’ high production.
found workers at the company’s factory near Ho Chi Minh City being exposed to dangerous levels of toxic solvents. The resulting protests and consumer boycotts led Nike to announce the elimination of such substances at its subcontractors. A spokeswoman for Nike said that all Taekwang factories are in compliance ark Yen-cha, who built Taekwang with Nike’s code of conduct, which meets Industrial Co., an empire of more or exceeds international standards, and are than 70,000 employees which has subject to regular audit. been making Nikes since the late “Taekwang has shown a commitment to 1980s, took advantage of the trend to move progress through their approach to modmanufacturing offshore and now makes all ernisation, a culture of safety and lean-based of its Nikes — 60 million, or 12 per cent of all management for health, safety, environment Nikes sold worldwide last year — in Vietnam, and human resource management,” Claire Indonesia and China. Wahl, a Singapore-based vice president for He’s now moving his company toward a sourcing for Nike in Asia, said in a statement conglomerate model, into businesses includToday, Taekwang’s two factories in ing power generation and fertiliser production, Vietnam produce almost 71% of its output. and possibly taking a stake in a port operator. The company is currently building a third facPark has a net worth of $1.3 billion, actory in the southern city of Can Tho in order cording to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, to boost its ability to supply Nike by as based primarily on Taekwang’s valuamuch as 15%. tion. Park and his children own 98.4% of In 2011, Park, whose name is Yet with Nike’s growth rate expected Taekwang. Park also holds stakes directly alternatively spelled Yeon-cha, to slow to the low- to mid-single digits, and through Taekwang and his family was sentenced to 30 months in according to Cindy Wang, an analyst at members in plastic pipes manufacturer jail for tax evasion and bribery Taipei-based CL Securities Taiwan Co., TaeJeongsan Aikang Co. and in Taekwang kwang is turning to other projects for the affiliate Huchems Fine Chemical Corp., involving other officials long term. In July, the company received a where he’s chairman. “Taekwang was not a big name in the license to build a $2.3 billion, 1,200-megawatt It wasn’t success with Nike that put Park industry at the beginning,” said Michael Ku, thermal power plant in northern Vietnam. To in the spotlight. A decade ago, he was at the a former vice president at Taekwang, “But be completed in 2022, it would allow Taecentre of a multi-million-dollar corruption it was quick to adopt a computer-aided kwang to sell electricity to the Vietnamese scandal that involved dozens of politicians, inmanufacturing environment, shifting from government for 25 years. cluding former President Roh Moo-hyun, who labour-centred strategies to a technologyTaekwang also started work last year on killed himself in 2009 after being questioned centred approach.” a $60 million fertiliser plant in Vietnam. A over allegations that his family members took For example, shoe molds produced manuTaekwang spokesman said the company was millions in bribes from Park. In 2011, Park, also in talks to purchase a stake in Gemadept ally couldn’t provide enough design details, so whose name is alternatively spelled Yeon-cha, Corp., Vietnam’s biggest private port operator. computer-assisted technology helped apply was sentenced to 30 months in jail for tax Taekwang currently relies on Indonesia and 3D curves and geometry, Ku said. evasion and bribery involving other officials. China for almost 17 percent and 13 percent of its In the late-1990s, Taekwang came under The 71-year-old Park was born to a poor shoe production, respectively, and has plans to scrutiny for allegations of unsafe labour farming family and completed only elementary ultimately increase production in Indonesia. ■ conditions in Vietnam. An Ernst & Young audit school. In a society where family background
Be Worthy Of Imagination Being at the helm of a company like the Belgrade Fair, with an 80-year tradition, is an honour, a responsibility and a slightly surreal experience
DANKA SELIĆ General manager of the Belgrade Fair
n one side, this experience means facing business challenges and obstacles on a daily basis; a cramped, almost physical struggle for market survival and profit that means life; the inevitable daily assessment of the abilities and opportunities of yourself and others - personal, collective, joint, corporate, social, economic, state; a vortex of corporate demands and obligations ... On the other, more dominant side, the awareness that you are who you are, made of flesh and blood, with flaws and virtues, knowledge and prejudices, you find yourself in the place of the last, golden link in an eighty-year-long chain of incredible events, magnificent successes, but also tragedies, eternalised in each of the links before yours. Privileged and honoured by this fact, that in the year during which the Belgrade Fair marks its 80th anniversary, I am completely occupied with some raw statistics about “my Fair”, and at the same time I am able to personally enhance and upgrade them. And those statistics show that the gates of the company I run “to me” have been passed by more than 60 million visitors, that more than 3,000 fair events have been organised, with an average of 20,000 people “per event”, that it has hosted about 500,000 exhibitors from 180 countries. And 46 |
also that it was a kind of foundation for the economic development of as many as seven countries that emerged “around it” in the meantime. This can be recalled thousands of times and the result is no less wondrous. This is about, for example, already legendary figures linked to the first fair of 11th September 1937, which show that during the first three months of that year as many as 26 pavilions were built at the new Belgrade Fair, that the first fair included the participation of 883 exhibitors, including as many as 390 from abroad, that the fair was then visited by about 300,000 people from the country and around 10,000 from abroad – more than Belgrade then had inhabitants. Or the data during the second post-war birth of the Belgrade Fair in 1957, which – along with the incredible, then
Every dinar that exhibitors invest in fair event participation is returned to them at least twofold immediately, and over time by as much as eightfold... globally valuable construction endeavour – recorded at the first fair event 1,500 exhibitors, 650 domestic and 850 foreign, from 28 countries around the world. That was then a European record that stood for a long time in relation to domestic and foreign exhibitors at some fair, with foreigners in the majority. The fair was already the whole world back then. During the ten days of the fair, instead of the expected 500,000 visitors, the fair was attended by a fantastic 1,150,000 visitors. And, how can I find professional and
moral satisfaction in myself, with such a starry sky above me?! What do I need to know and do to be worthy of the history, the mission and even the day-to-day functioning of the company that I manage and admire immeasurably? And not just me, but anybody in my place. Studies of finances and accountancy, professional exams of “European Finance” and “European business and marketing” at IFAM University in Paris; membership in ASCI and ACI Serbia and Montenegro, for financial and foreign exchange trading; there is also a Forex certificate, and professional training for acquiring certificates for public procurement officers... Twenty-odd years, as they say, experience in the profession. Is that enough only for one side, or for both sides of the medallion called the Belgrade Fair? And then some other irrational deadlocks on the highway return some other figures. Actual. The total economic effects of the company I head, with 180 employees, in the last year was estimated at 12.7 billion dinars of goods and services sold, and 4 billion dinars of gross value added – a full 10 per cent more than the previous year. Over 2.4 billion dinars of total tax revenues were secured. Every dinar realised by the operations of the Belgrade Fair is multiplied at the level of the national economy by up to 11 times. Every dinar that exhibitors invest in fair event participation is returned to them at least twofold immediately, and over time by as much as eightfold... The company doesn’t owe anything to anyone and fulfils all of its obligations, while our fairs and programmes have long since had global repute... I wonder if there is actually anything more realistic than that!
Published on Sep 28, 2017